Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Getting Away with Torture

This editorial talks about the lack of accountability on behalf of the U.S. government concerning the situation in Guantanamo Bay. As noted, it is possible that the U.S. has violated the War Crimes Act of 1996, the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice by using several methodically planned means of torture. Who is going to hold the U.S. government accountable? The people? Half of whom who probably have no idea where Guantanamo Bay is and what might be going on there? The ICC? As Sara noted the U.S. isn't even a member and the body lacks any real authority anyway.

I don't know who is going to step up and take responsibility for this, but Americans need to realize that what's occurring in Guantanamo has nothing to do with justice, and it sacrifices the principles we're supposedly trying to preserve, further endangering our nation by breeding international contempt and hatred. If we condemn other nations for acts of torture and allow their victims to seek refuge here, we are saying torture does not have a place in those societies. Why are we allowing it in ours?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Limits of the ICC

This article spotlights the powerlessness of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This article profiles two of the men in positions of power who led and supported the crimes against humanity committed by the Janjaweed militia in Sudan. While the ICC "issued arrest warrants" one year ago, the Sudanese government says the ICC "has no jurisdiction to try Sudanese suspects". What then is the role of the ICC? Is it enough to encourage member states to voluntarily extradite those who commit gross human rights violations to be tried in front of the national community? Sudan won't extradite the suspects, the U.S. isn't even a member (lucky for former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, among others): What is the proper role of the ICC?