Several books have been written, and many articles have been published in august international legal journals, and long winded lectures have been delivered at prestigious universities, international organizations, and hallowed halls around the world by international experts in criminal law; but only a few have taken any meaningful action against the perpetrators of some of the most brutal acts and despicable crimes on our planet: the kidnapping and transportation of men to some dark dungeons in secret prisons in foreign lands, in a process euphemistically called “Extraordinary rendition”.
“Extraordinary rendition” is an extra-judicial act of abduction and transportation of people to secret prisons scattered around the world, without obtaining a legal order issued from a court of law. It is an abominable act perpetrated often with the cooperation and connivance of nations not averse to practicing such barbarity.
Some of the nations that facilitated such shocking, and blatantly illegal acts are none other than our friendly, permanent allies such as Britain, France, Germany, and Italy; and allies of mutual convenience such as Australia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan and Jordan; and, in a class by itself, Syria. Poland and Romania are also suspected of lending the USA a helping hand. The BBC has reported that, according to a report from Europe's human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, fourteen European states colluded with the CIA in secret US flights for terror suspects. The report states that Poland, Romania, Spain, Turkey, Germany and Cyprus provided "staging posts" for rendition operations, while the UK, Portugal, Ireland and Greece were "stop-off points", and that Italy, Sweden, Macedonia and Bosnia allowed the abduction of residents from their soil.
The criminal policy of Extraordinary Rendition meets the definition of War Crimes as enunciated in the Rome Statute that constitutes the foundation of the International Criminal Court in Hague, in the Netherlands. It has been established that under the pretense of waging a “War on Terror”, nearly 100 people have been subjected to this barbarous act. They have been tortured using techniques such as water boarding, banging on the head, sleep and food deprivation, and forcing them to sleep in the nude on cold floors.
Now comes the news that, a courageous man of unimpeachable character, moral fortitude, and a strong conviction that the perpetrators of these despicable war crimes and crimes against humanity must face justice at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands. Mr. Francis A. Boyle, Professor of International Law, University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign, Illinois, USA, has filed a complaint against American citizens George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, and Alberto Gonzales, whom he refers to as the “Accused”. He has petitioned the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to obtain international arrest warrants against George Bush and his co-accused.
Even though the United States is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, because the Accused had ordered that these men be subjected to extraordinary rendition - the kidnapping and subsequent torture - they have committed acts considered as crimes under the ICC statute, within the territories of many ICC member states. And so the ICC has jurisdiction to prosecute the Accused for their ICC statutory crimes. He has also requested the prosecutor to formally submit to the “Pre-Trial Chamber a request for authorization of an investigation” of the Accused under Rome Statute Article 15(3).
I have been waiting to hear this good news for over two years now. And I am happy and terribly relieved that Professor Francis A. Boyle has persevered, against heavy odds, to complete the task. I hope Professor Francis A. Boyle will follow this complaint, soon, by filing an additional complaint against George Bush and Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair for committing War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity by bombing and invading a disarmed Iraq without any provocation. The destruction of the city of Fallujah, and the infrastructure of Iraq, its roads, bridges, electricity generating plants, and water treatment centers, and the slaughter of more than a million Iraqis, and the displacement of 4 million more as refugees, in my opinion, constituted even graver War Crimes than the “Extraordinary Rendition” implemented by them.
Yesh Prabhu, Plainsboro, NJ
Tuesday, February 9, 2010