Big brother media got it wrong again! Almost universally ignored is the mounting evidence that the two Israeli soldiers were not kidnapped; they were captured inside Lebanon. [See Forbes: Israeli soldiers were captured —not "kidnapped"]
The implications are enormous. If true, then Israel is guilty of aggression —a war crime! Moreover, Israel lied! The war crime of "aggression" is in addition to crimes associated with Israel's deliberate targeting of civilians.
Concurrently the human rights group —Human Rights Watch —has accused Israel of war crimes in connection with what it calls "...indiscriminate attacks against civilians." The new report refutes Israeli claims that Hezbollah uses civilians as human shields and states flatly that the claims are false. Previously, Human Rights Watch addressed Hezbollah conduct and condemned attacks on civilian areas.
Crimes against humanity:Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhuman acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.
The current report by Human Rights Watch is entitled Fatal Strikes: Israel’s Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon. It analyzes " ...two dozen cases of Israeli air and artillery attacks on civilian homes and vehicles." According to the report, of 153 dead civilians, 63 are children.
Given that so little reported these days is true, it is hard not to conclude that the chaotic state of the world is a result of evil people acting upon deliberate lies. People act upon what they believe to be true and nothing good comes of it. There is, however, a worse case. Some people know the truth but lie anyway and act upon what they know to be untrue.
Government is waging war against the people.On the home front, the Bush administration —in danger of being found guilty of war crimes itself —continues a shameless campaign to make legal after the fact the crimes that it has already committed. Under Bush, the office of Attorney General is reduced to rewriting established principles of law so that the "President" of the United States doesn't wind up in a dank cell —or even the gallows!
—L. Neil Smith
By Kate Zernike The New York Times
Published: August 3, 2006
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has pressed Congress to refine the definition of war crimes prohibited under the Geneva Conventions, as the Bush administration and lawmakers continue to debate the rules for treatment and trials of terrorism suspects.
Administration proposals on how to bring suspects to trial have moved closer to what some senators have said they will demand, but two hearings Wednesday on Capitol Hill foreshadowed a fight over the definition of coercive interrogation tactics.
Administration lawyers and senators also continued to clash over evidence obtained through coercion or hearsay and how to deal with classified evidence.
The Supreme Court ruled in late June that terrorism suspects must be extended the protections outlined in a provision of the Geneva Conventions that prohibits "outrages upon personal dignity, and in particular humiliating and degrading treatment."
Gonzales argued Wednesday that the language of the provision, known as Common Article 3, was too vague.
And because the U.S. War Crimes Act, passed a decade ago, makes it a felony to violate that provision, he said that troops could be prosecuted for interrogation tactics considered too harsh.
Congress, he said, could "help by defining our obligations" under the provision.
Gonzales, publicly discussing the administration's new proposal for prisoner trials for the first time since the court's ruling, said it would offer legislation that included a proposal to change the War Crimes Act, to bring "clarity" in defining which violations of Common Article 3 rise to the level of war crimes.
"The surest way to achieve that clarity and certainty, in our view, is for Congress to set forth a definite and clear list of offenses serious enough to be considered war crimes," he said.
But senators said Congress should not endorse any treatment it would not want used on U.S. soldiers.
"We must remain a nation that is different from, and above, our enemies," said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona.
The differences between the administration and the Senate were most pronounced when McCain asked Gonzales whether statements obtained through "illegal and inhumane treatment" should be admissible. Gonzales paused for almost a minute before responding.
"The concern that I would have about such a prohibition is, what does it mean?" he said.
"How do you define it? I think if we could all reach agreement about the definition of cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment, then perhaps I could give you an answer."
McCain, a former prisoner of war, said that using illegal and inhumane interrogation tactics and allowing the evidence to be introduced would be "a radical departure" from longstanding U.S. policy.
The court ruled in June that the military tribunals that President George W. Bush had established for suspects held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, violated international law and were not authorized by U.S. statute.
Lawyers from the Defense and Justice departments initially tried to persuade Congress simply to approve the tribunals. By Wednesday, the administration had changed its position. "What we are considering now is a better product," Gonzales said.
He said the administration proposed enacting a new code of military justice modeled on court-martial procedures. The new proposal departs from the initial tribunals in several ways. The presiding officer would be a military judge, for example, and would rule on evidence, but not participate in the final verdict. The jury would have five members, instead of three, with 12 in death- penalty cases. Conviction would require two-thirds of the jury to agree, and unanimity in death-penalty cases.
But the proposal also departs from court-martial procedures, in that suspects would not be entitled to warnings regarding self-incrimination, or to Article 32 proceedings, which are similar to a grand jury.
It would allow the introduction of hearsay evidence that the judge ruled "reliable" and would share classified evidence with the defense counsel, but not necessarily the defendant." ...
Additional resources and updates:
And from the Washington Post
George Bush and Ehud Olmert are far removed from danger. They order the killing of Lebanese civilians and refuse to agree to a ceasefire. What sort of creatures are they by the standards of the 21st century? If they are human beings, then they must be two criminals who make war a means to exercise barbarism.
George Bush gave Ehud Olmert a new deadline to end his mission in Lebanon. However, the mission will not be accomplished. The mission is basically a figment of the imagination, and planning and hopes are useless. The US, or its dog, Israel, cannot exterminate a segment of an Arab society simply because they do not like it. This has been proven in the fight against Hamas, and it will be the case in the war on Hezbollah.
Given Washington's rejection of a ceasefire, it can no longer claim that it helps its Arab friends in the region. How can the Arab leaders convince their peoples that real benefits may accrue from the continued killing and devastation in Lebanon? Is there a policy that underlies the death and destruction? Of course not. Killing and devastation may be considered the whim of the world's sole great power in George Bush's times. Even in the world of cowboys, there is the man and the monster; and there is the wise person and the wicked one.
Bush sleeps in peace because the killing is going on in Lebanon. Moreover, John Bolton, the US envoy to the UN, has degenerated from a crude Zionist to the most obnoxious level of Zionist racism. In his opinion, the killing of Lebanese civilians should not be considered the same as the deaths of civilians in Israel. He believes that Israeli civilians who are killed are the victims of terror, while Lebanese civilians are killed in 'military operations dictated by the principle of self defense'. Bolton, once honored by some Lebanese who thought he had become sane, should be admitted into a mental hospital. But he managed to stay out of it, and qualified as Bush's envoy to the UN.
Dr. Condoleezza Rice, like Olmert, was baptized as a Sharonite. Basically, they are all Sharonites who were waiting for this opportunity. They wage wars whose results are guaranteed, as though these wars were simply training courses for their pilots. No one is brothering the neo-Sharonites in their wars. Dr. Condee says a ceasefire will be implemented when the situation becomes appropriate. Therefore, she will not agree to the deployment of international forces or any procedures that would signal an end to the military operations. She is waiting for Olmert to give a sign that the mission is complete: 'We killed as many civilians as we could. We have left nothing standing. We inflicted the worst damage possible on fields and property. We denied them access to supplies and drugs. We have turned Lebanon into an 'aid agency' that is accused of inability and failure. We terrified Syria into thinking that we may attack it, too. But we have not been able to destroy Hezbollah and the Resistance. We will cease fire, and let's see what happens in Lebanon.'
In fact, all the parties saw an opportunity to seize Lebanon. The stage is set for all roles, except the role of the State. Bush has the impudence to say that he is anxious for the Lebanese State, though it is the last of his concerns, and of his criminal ally, Olmert. The Lebanese State is also the least priority for Damascus, Tehran and Hezbollah itself. The State is like a decor that pleases everybody. It does not matter if the vast majority of the Lebanese counts on the State, and wants it to be established on the ruins of war. It is others who shape the destiny of the State, army and society. They all play the same game as the Israelis, who urged the Palestinian Authority to do what they themselves avoided. The Israelis crippled the Authority, and destroyed its tools that enabled it to function. The Israelis are now striking the Lebanese army, only because the Lebanese PM voiced his intention that the State should take full control of Lebanon.
On the seventh day of the Bush-Olmert campaign, the families slaughtered in the massacres are no longer able to draw the sympathy of the US President or even the British PM, although both swore that some divine revelation had beckoned them to the war against Iraq. There is no divine message to draw their attention to the crimes of Israel. ...
The Associated Press
Thursday, August 3, 2006; 2:37 PM
BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Hezbollah's leader offered Thursday to stop rocket attacks on northern Israel in return for an end to airstrikes throughout Lebanon.
However, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah also vowed to fire rockets into Tel Aviv if Israel strikes Beirut proper. Israeli warplanes have repeatedly bombarded Hezbollah strongholds in southern suburbs of Beirut.
The Existentialist Cowboy
'Please don`t misunderstand me about this,' he pleaded. 'Any sentient human being could not fail to be moved by what they see, the suffering and death.'