What's going on with America and the rest of the world?
In a story that is suspiciously floating just below the general U.S. media radar, former President George W. Bush and his puppet-master/VP Dick Cheney were unanimously convicted of war crimes by a five panel tribunal in Malaysia on Friday. Neither were in attendance and only a few left-leaning publications have commented upon the hearings.
To some, the conviction is a long overdue statement on the civil rights abuses that took place during the Bush administration in locations across the globe, including Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.
How is it possible that the unanimous conviction of a former U.S. President as a war criminal does not immediately register as the most important news of the day? Today's endorsement of Romney by the newly minted war criminal is getting far more traction in the news. (Though, as Politicker notes, the Romney camp has yet to comment on the news.)
To some, the conviction is a long overdue statement on the civil rights abuses that took place during the Bush administration in locations across the globe, including Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and legal advisors Alberto Gonzalez, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were also declared guilty of crafting the so-called "torture memo" that justified the willful torture of detainees in defiance of the Geneva Convention.
To others, this largely ceremonial statement by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission is only a formality and an empty gesture. Aggressively anti-left news source CNS News calls the tribunal a "mock trial," pointing out that the tribunal has "no authority whatsoever, and in the event of a 'conviction' can do little more than put out a press release."
And that's precisely what the tribunal, encouraged by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, has done. Transcripts of witness accounts and the charges are being sent to the United Nations and the Security Council with the hopes that other countries will follow their lead.
Tribunal president Tan Sri Dato Lamin said after the hearing:
As a tribunal of conscience, the Tribunal is fully aware that its verdict is merely declaratory in nature... The Tribunal recommends to the War Crimes Commission to give the widest international publicity to this conviction and grant of reparations, as these are universal crimes for which there is a responsibility upon nations to institute prosecutions if any of these accused person may enter their jurisdictions."
In February of last year, Bush canceled a trip to Switzerland due to "the risk of legal action against him for alleged torture." With two countries openly lodging these accusations upon the former President, will the rest of the world be far behind? Or will this matter get swept under the rug in a strangely under-reported cloud of mystery?