"Spanish Judge Says Bush Could Face War Crimes Charges
One of the most prominent judges in Spain has publicly said President Bush and his Iraq war allies should face war crimes charges for their actions in Iraq. Baltasar Garzon called the war in Iraq one of the most sordid and unjustifiable episodes in recent human history. Garzon said "We should look more deeply into the possible criminal responsibility of the people who are, or were, responsible for this war and see whether there is sufficient evidence to make them answer for it." Garzon is the investigating judge for Spain's National Court. Garzon became famous in 1999 when he tried to extradite former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet from Britain and try him for crimes against humanity."
* brownstein in LAT:
"AT TIMES, President Bush's second term has resembled a laboratory test of what happens to a large institution when all mechanisms of accountability are disabled. ...
The answer begins with Bush's management style. He combines a distaste for details with a tendency to prize loyalty over performance.
Shaped by those attitudes, Bush typically worries more about signaling resolve to his critics by denying failures inside his government than demanding excellence by punishing it. ..."
"It is hardly news that most Beltway politicians are bereft of any sense of responsibility for their actions or consistency of any kind. Still, even with that understanding at the forefront of one's mind, it is difficult to witness the revolting spectacle of Congressional Republicans of all people pretending to be angry over executive abuses of unchecked surveillance power and flamboyantly masquerading around as aggressive watchdogs over the rights of Americans. Even for our political culture, that is really a bit much."* froomkin:
"Among the many lessons of the Scooter Libby trial is this one: That when the White House issues squirrelly statements under fire, the most cynical interpretations may well be the closest to the truth.
So there's really no longer any excuse for letting President Bush get away with carefully parsed denials, hairsplitting and non-answers.
In that spririt, my takeaway from Bush's comments yesterday on the firing of eight U.S. attorneys is that the president may well be aware that his critics are correct -- and that at least some of the prosecutors were ousted because top White House officials felt they had not performed their duties with sufficient loyalty to the Republican Party.
He certainly didn't deny it.
And consider this: Taken as a whole, Bush's statement was full of assertions that it's hard to consider anything but massive whoppers.
The champion of a "unitary executive" suddenly talking about the sanctity of the separation of powers? A man known to operate almost exclusively in a bubble of flatterers suddenly lashing out against a precedent that might lead to a president not getting candid advice?
And does Bush really think anyone other than his staunchest supporters would consider "reasonable" his proposal to make Karl Rove and other top aides available for private interviews with congressional investigators?"
* Der Spiegel:
"Robert Lady, the former CIA chief in Milan, has gone into hiding. He is the subject of an extradition order from Italian authorities for the role he played in the kidnapping of radical Muslim cleric Abu Omar in Milan. Washington is seeking to derail the trial -- perhaps because Condoleezza Rice may have given the operation the green light.
Indeed, Robert Lady's comments to Cole seem as threatening as they do disillusioned, and they were likely meant to sound that way. "No one's called me for support," he said. "No one has helped. I keep thinking, Fuck it, I've got nothing to lose.""