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Thank God Bush told the ICC to stuff it(28 posts)

Thank God Bush told the ICC to stuff itBikeViking
May 28, 2002 10:52 AM
Here we have a namby-pamby court of "enlightened" individuals tell Britain what it may/may not do within their own voter-approved judicial system?!?! This is insanity. Usurpation of national sovereignty comes to mind. Whether the Brits are right or wrong is immaterial. No such "internaitonal court" should be telling ANY duly elected democracy/republic what they are permitted to do/not do.

I believe the correct response to those internationalist judges would be: "P!SS OFF!!!!

Murderers Could Go Free After European Court Decision
By Mike Wendling London Bureau Chief
May 28, 2002

London ( - Hundreds of murderers could have their sentences reviewed or reduced after a European court struck down the British home secretary's power to overrule parole boards, ruling that the practice contravenes human rights legislation.

The European Court of Human Rights ordered a review of the British law in a ruling in favor of Dennis Stafford, who was convicted of murder in the northern England city of Newcastle in 1967. Stafford was released in 1979 under the condition that he remain on probation for the rest of his life.

In 1994, Stafford was convicted of check fraud and given a six-year sentence. A parole board voted to release him two years later, but that decision was overruled by then- Home Secretary Jack Straw.

Stafford was eventually released four years ago, but not before bringing legal action against the British government.

On Tuesday, the European court ruled that British authorities illegally detained Stafford under the pretence that he was likely to commit further acts of fraud or non-violent offenses.

"If there was evidence that the applicant was conspiring to commit any such offences, a further criminal prosecution could have been brought against him," the decision read.

"The Court could not accept that a decision-making power by the executive to detain the applicant ... was in the spirit of the (European) Convention," the judges ruled.

Decisions on whether or not to free a prisoner should be made by legal officials rather than by politicians, the court ruled.

Stafford was awarded about $40,000 in damages and legal costs.

Current Home Secretary David Blunkett said Tuesday that the ruling would not prevent him from keeping murderers sentenced to life in prison locked up.

Blunkett said he would use all powers at his disposal to "enshrine the power of Parliament to provide adequate punishment for the guilty."

"We will study today's judgment in detail," Blunkett said in a statement. "My overarching priority will remain protecting the public from dangerous offenders, while doing everything we can to assist and support victims and their families.

"It is crucial that jurisprudence does not interfere with this basic right on behalf of the elected government," he said.

Victims' advocates

Victim advocacy groups were outraged by the court's decision. Norman Brennan of the Victims of Crime Trust called the ruling "disgusting."

"If somebody is a danger or poses a danger, it should not be a weak, liberal parole board letting them go free," he said.

Brennan also took issue with the amount of compensation awarded to Stafford.

"(He) got more money in compensation than any ... victims of crimes," he said.

The case could give new hope of freedom to up to 1,300 convicted criminals, including Myra Hindley - one of Britain's most notorious murderers.

Hindley and her lover Ian Brady were given life sentences in 1966 for the murder of three children. They later confessed to two more child killings.

Hindley's health has deteriorated in recent years, but successive British justice ministers have refused to release her from prison.

Edward Fitzgerald, the lawyer who represented Stafford in front of the European Court, also represents Hindley.
May 28, 2002 11:25 AM
Isn't the real solution to give these people proper sentences in the first place? To even think about parole for murderers and career criminals is absurd. Don't let them out, and you don't have to worry about getting them back in later.
Anybody thought about earlier intervention?retro
May 28, 2002 4:00 PM
Instead of locking people up AFTER they commit crimes, and having to feed and house them all their lives, what about spending a fraction of the money to provide adequate food, meaningful education and some real opportunity for them starting when they're toddlers? We could call the program, oh, let's's Head Start sound?
Isn't there a law against politicians thinking ahead?OutWest
May 28, 2002 4:54 PM
As far as the European court interfering with Britain's right to administer their own justice system, when Britain joined the ECC they opened the door to this kind of interference. I don't believe France and Germany have a lot of love for Britain and after WW2 not much respect either, as that conflict weakened Britain considerably. I think Britain would be better off without the ECC but I am probably oversimplifying the issues and besides Britain is in too deep to pull out now. Being the first Canada-born in an English family I hate to say this but IMHO again Britain is hooped, for now anyway.
My brain I can't tell the difference between ICC...OutWest
May 28, 2002 4:59 PM
...and the EEC (European Economic Community). Hey they both have a C in them, I'm going to have a nap, bye.
is it really that simple?mr_spin
May 29, 2002 6:38 AM
I've always hated arguments like this, because it allows people to throw up their hands and excuse behavior. It may seem to make sense, but I don't buy it. There are plenty of people who grow up without adequate food, without meaningful education, and without real opportunity who don't become murderers and career criminals. Most lead completely respectable but ordinary blue collar lives.

On the other end of the spectrum, I recall reading about a town in Texas, I think it was Plano (Lance's hometown!). Most of the residents are considered well off. They have adequate food, meaningful education and real opportunity. They also have a pretty big problem with high school kids on heroin and some other drug I can't recall. The suicide rate is also pretty high. Maybe adequate food, meaningful education and real opportunity isn't the magic cookie for success.
no logical connection between this and the ICC.weiwentg
May 28, 2002 4:37 PM
unless you're saying that the ICC would be likely to let war criminals off lightly. in the case of actual war crimes, I have a feeling they would use the Nuremberg trials as a precedent. and I don't have data on the severity of the sentences meted out.
besides, the ICC would have judges from all over (it should, anyway). there should be a mix of liberal/conservative viewpoints.
there is a certain perception that America is not willing to play by the rules of international law. for example, America has often vetoed resolutions condemning Israel. usually it's just America and Israel vs the rest of the world. care to comment?
no logical connection between this and the ICC.BikeViking
May 29, 2002 3:34 AM
My point is no nation should give up its sovereign judicial rights like Britain (and other nations did) to the ECC. I was trying to draw a parallel with the ICC. The participating nations will surrender their rights to prosecute their own war criminals and I believe that is wrong.

If we had an American serviceperson, who within the course of their duties, MAY have committed a war crime. It is up to each democratically elected nation to prosecute the crimes of its citizens. What if the US doesn't think its a war crime? Would we be compelled to turn the person over? Absolutely NOT!

The UN is good for some things, but implementing a judicial system (ICC) that, I believe, will eventually take on more than originally mandated. Bureaucracies have a history of excessive growth. I fail to understand what the ICC is suposed to fix, other than devolving power from nations to UN.
no logical connection between this and the ICC.weiwentg
May 29, 2002 5:09 AM
that's better. and good point about bureaucracies.
now, during the Vietnam war, Lt William Calley gave his troops illegal orders to fire upon Vietnamese civilians. almost an entire village was slaughtered. as a psychology student, I know how hard it can be to resist an order from a superior. but that does not absolve an individual from responsibility - the Nuremburg trials set that precedent. yet, in the end, only Calley was punished (a few others were tried). and then again, he got off light - originally sentenced to life imprisonment, a fitting punishment, President Nixon placed him under house arrest instead. the army later paroled him - they PAROLED a MASS MURDERER. opinion polls showed that SEVENTY EIGHT PERCENT OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC DISAGREED WITH THE ORIGINAL VERDICT!! 51% thought that he should be freed by Nixon! see here:
if Calley had been a German soldier, the outcome would have been different. he was, instead, the soldier of a powerful nation.
My Lai was not the only massacre American forces conducted. but to my knowledge, no other American commanders were tried.
I'm not saying that an international court would necessarily be better, but it might be less biased.
yes, I know what I am saying: that your country is biased. granted, during the Vietnam war, the Vietnamese came to be seen as less than human; the psychological processes leading to this are complex, but it happens in war. in an ambiguous situation such as the one Calley's troops are in, it can be difficult to know which orders to follow and which to reject - I have served in the military, and I know that I am only obligated to follow lawful orders. as are all soldiers. but still, justice was not served in the Vietnam war. and while there were no My Lais in Iraq, the sanctions imposed during and after the conflict caused severe harm to the Iraqi civilian population. perhaps hundreds of thousands of civilians, children included, died as a result of sanctions. this is neither just nor acceptable - should it have been necessary to depose Saddam, this could have been done by military force during the first Gulf war. even I would have approved! and the US has had a long, sad tradition of defying international law and wishes (perhaps this is one time when they should have been defied).
another, more recent example:weiwentg
May 29, 2002 5:15 AM
Augusto Pinochet.
well human rightsMJ
May 29, 2002 12:25 AM
are human rights innit?

I think we could all agree that we (collectively) don't want a politician to be the sole decision maker with regard to any facet of public policy...

the ECHR is something that Britain signed up to - that's the discussion I think you're trying to begin - whether or not that's a good idea - with a tenuous link to the ICC - if you want to look at the actual issues of signing up to the ECHR then you have to look at underlying considerations taken into account prior to entering the ECHR and what safeguards remain to sovereign Euro-states

if you want to talk about a politician's right to do anything they want because they're in an (unelected as it happens) office then you should read Plato's Republic and come back later

'namby pamby' - well the judges apply the law that was agreed by the countries who have signed up to the ECHR - they are indeed a mixture of liberal and conservative - but they, nevertheless must apply the law both in spirit and in letter - the Home Office Secretary shouldn't have the right to make such decisions according to the legislation

should life mean life is yet another discussion...

we can discuss multiple points but unrelated points don't support each other nor can they be related - i.e. one doesn't necessarily lead to the other
well human rightsBikeViking
May 29, 2002 3:39 AM
My (probably a bit broad) point with the article was how an international (European in this case) court is telling a sovereign nation what they can/cannot do. Whether the ECHR was correct isn't the point. Not even concerned about the correctness of the decision.

I just can't fathom that a free nation would give up its rights to handle its criminal affairs in a manner that it sees fit.
well human rightsMJ
May 29, 2002 5:20 AM
but that's what you're not getting - the UK has not handed over its rights in regards to criminal affairs - it has agreed however, by treaty, to abide by the terms of the ECHR (European Convention of Human Rights) and the ECHR court that considers human rights violations for signatories

can you give an example in the US where an unelected politician has the sole discretion as to whether a prisoner/convict can be held indefinitely contrary to the explicit wishes of a democratically elected statutory body?

probably not - normally you'd have to go to some of the world's well known dictators for that sort of stuff

as for international treaties and sovereign rights - you may not like it but the US is signatory to literally thousands of binding treaties which have ceded portions of sovereign US legal and judiciary discretion - some of those treaties deal with quasi and actual criminal matters (extradition treaties, drugs policies, the New York convention, UNCITRAL, the majority of shipping/aviation treaties, major international business and finance are all relevant examples) - most of these treaties and conventions have bodies/processes which make binding decisions

a global village means just that - it's already a reality in practice - your arguments are decades too late

that's why Bush's stance on the ICC is ridiculous - it's also not taking the big picture approach to 'sovereign rights' - and if it does so it does so disingenuously - his rejection is with a narrow focus - the US doesn't want (perhaps understandably - but again that's a different discussion) other people/countries trying members of the US military for crimes

your frame of reference for these discussions is exclusively from the (conservative) US persepctive - try and approach it from the other side
Wrong analysis...muncher
May 29, 2002 5:50 AM
It's not an "international Court" - it's the highest Court in the English Judical system - because we have made it thus. We have made it thus on account of a belief in the principles that it upholds. We have not given up the right to handle our criminal affairs in the manner we see fit, we have just given our public the right to have the opportunity (practicalities aside) to force the government to have to handle these matters in a way which is consistent witht the principles of human rights.

The bottom line is that we as a sovereign nation, decided that a sovereign nation does not have the right to be sole judge and jury on a person's fundamental human rights - checks and balances.

sweet - nmMJ
May 29, 2002 6:16 AM
yet another example of why the ICC is a great ideaMJ
May 29, 2002 8:11 AM
have you given up trying to defend your points in this thread?,1280,-1769969,00.html

World Court To Review Congo Killings

Wednesday May 29, 2002 5:10 PM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The World Court will hold emergency hearings in June on Congo's accusations that Rwanda-backed rebels murdered millions of Congolese since the outbreak of civil war in 1998.

Congo filed the case Tuesday against Rwanda, accusing it of ``massive, serious and flagrant violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law.''

The court, which deals only with disputes between nations, will hear arguments from both sides on June 13, a spokesman said.

Congo accused Rwandan troops of killing more than 3.5 million Congolese.

Since the outbreak of the civil war in August 1998, Congo says, Rwandan troops raped Congolese women, kidnapped and assassinated politicians and looted property.

Rwandan authorities say they need to station troops in Congo to stop attacks on their territory by Congo-based rebels.

Congo asks for the withdrawal of armed forces from its territory and compensation from Rwanda for damages. It filed similar cases against Uganda and Burundi two years ago, but neither of those cases has been settled.
May 31, 2002 1:02 AM
I guess this didn't happen either since you won't have heard about it in 'Soldier of Fortune'/'Guns and Ammo'/'Jugs' or whatever passes for news where you live

maybe you can tell the 3.5 million dead people it didn't happen - that in fact rumours of their deaths are greatly exaggerated - you know 'internet African rumours'

I think you left alot of things outstanding on this thread - care to follow up on anything?
I guess this one is a TKO - nmMJ
May 31, 2002 7:33 AM
Hey BVBikeViking at home
Jun 2, 2002 2:41 PM
Africa has been a sh!thole for years, so what do you expect the rest of the world to do when they refuse to stop hacking each other up with machete's? That's pretty heinous in anyone's book, but they did it anyway. We cannot fix people's attitiudes. But you would sure like to try with American money, wouldn't you?

YOu are SO full of yourself. Being snotty seems to be a charactersitic of yours and it's not appropriate nor a trait worthy of allegedly reasonable people discussing issues. I guess my papers don't equal yours, becaue they don't agree with your "we need the UN to solve ALL the worlds problems because nations are too stupid/corrupt to do it themselves" outlook.

BTW, I did a Google search on Bush/Rice/Brazil/2002/comments, reviewed 40 -50 sites of various international origin and found nothing. What about it?
Jun 5, 2002 4:47 AM
and do you have any explanation as to why Africa is so deprived?

could it have anything to do with restrictive trade policies? (European) colonial powers? another front of the cold war that's been left to fester since things got wrapped up in the west?

American money and the ICC have absolutely no relation - nice attempt to obfuscate the issue but no dice - I don't ecall demanding the UN to solve all the worlds problems - you started the thread when you (mistakenly) linked the ICC and the ECHR - two things which your posts indicate you have no knowledge of - wanna try again on that one? (and if you say things that are wrong or illogical I'm gonna call you on it - if you don't like that then don't post silly things)

for the record I understand the ICC is not intended to solve all the world's problems but rather it will set up an international criminal court

a good argument (which you have not used) is that the US stands the most to lose with the ICC as it's a main contributor to international military interventions but remains the international whipping boy of all sorts of rogue states who would seek to use US involvement (even in wholly justified projects) as a platform/case/argument for bringing charges against US military and political leaders - the ICC process could be easily subverted with 'political cases' - this may result in less US involvement in global hotspots - when you're the world's only global policeman everybody wants a piece...

it's not about which papers you have read - it's about you limiting the discussion to what you have (not) come across

does your google search take into account Portuguese/German/foreign language articles? - in any event the burden of proof (or rather disproof in this case) is on you to identify how Der Spiegel is not a reputable news source...

I'm sorry that my forcefully disagreeing with you is difficult - it appears you exist in an environment where people do not question your beliefs - whether or not you like me isn't the point - the fact is that I'm right

glad to see you're posting from home and saving US taxpayers money
Hey BVBikeViking
Jun 5, 2002 6:01 AM
This makes perfect sense...I linked the ICC and the ECHR as courts that operate and would operate, respectively, outside any nations judicial system. My point behind the comparison was asking why would the US or any other nation, give a trump power over their judicial system to an international court? You still have yet to address why any democratically governed nation would do this? Apparently some naitons view their sovereignty quite different that the US does. This is what started the whole thing...

For the last time, I HAVEN"T EVER SAID THE DER SPIEGEL ARTICLE WAS FALSE!!!! Because this allegation is so inflammatory, reasonable people ask about corroboration. Otherwise we're all believing the supermarket tabloids. This is not to compare Der Spiegel to them, but I will not wholeheartedly accept a outrageous single source story just because I may or may not like what it's reporting. You are SO quick to jump on Bush, you want believe ANYTHING negative about him. If there is other corroboration, I'd like to see it, but I have looked and not found any. The American media would be ALL over this, if there was even a whisper about it. I am still skeptical, but await EVIDENCE!!!

There is forceful disagreement which I deal well with, but your diversion from the issue(s) to talk about what my work schedule may or may not be is no concern of yours. Personal attacks aren't being forceful...they are childish and from your last post, they continue.

Stick to the issues...your strident need to "TKO" me by any means, are not befitting of an educated adult. From your post, I gather you are a smart person, but just because we disagree on political matters doesn't give you license to start dragging my character through the mud on the small bit of personal information I have put out on the board.
Jun 5, 2002 6:19 AM
one reason to give power to an external body is that a sovereign nation, should not have the right to be sole judge and jury on fundamental human rights - it's about checks and balances

if you are unwilling to accept the article until you have corroborating evidence that is implying, if not stating clearly, you feel it is false

when I read something I read it, consider the source for any slant and leave it at that - I do not come to a conclusion that things I don't like must be corroborated

you have not identified how, or given an example of where (Stevie Wonder aside), the US press treats GB badly (he is apparently loved by all - nobody's questioned him - and the US media is overwhelmingly conservative when compared with Euro media) - nor do you seem willing to accept that the non-US media picks up alot of stories which are unplatable to an American news market (that doesn't mean it's not true - it's an editorial decision)

if you didn't post about 'your tax dollars being wasted' so much while posting on government time it wouldn't be an issue - it's called hypocrisy - do as I say not as I do - sorry you don't like it - most people don't - but I do promise not to mention it again (after this post)
Hey BVBikeViking
Jun 5, 2002 7:04 AM
Difference of opinion...I truly belive our Constitution stands the test of time as a remarkable document. I just can't accept that a Belgian (or any other nationality) can pass judgement on the judicial system of any other nation. This gets us closer to a "world government" that gets scoffed at by many people. If there is a world judiciary, world law is the next step...laws are administered by governments, which MAY lead to world government. I am adamantly opposed to ANY possibility of this happening. It's bad enough trying to get American bureacrats to do anything, much less a nameless foreign (to me) bureacrat.

I read them carefully also, but when something as outrageous as this comes out, my BS detector goes on. I am willing to entertain any facts having to do with that story, I don't refute it, I simply want more evidence because it's so outrageous.

I amy have overstated the media's treatment of W., but if there was such a story (the Brazil one) floating around, I have no doubt they would pick up on it. It's outrageous, and it would garner ratings (money). It's a real food fight for our media to break stories first because it all gets back to the ratings.

I can look at my own shortcomings with the candid eye. It's not fun, but it's aobut being realistic. What was irritating me was that you were posting like you KNEW what I do and when I do it and I know you don't. I have never shared any of that information with the board and I never will. I have posted from work from time to time, but your assumption of "waste" was overstated, based on an assumption, and had nothing to do with the particular issue. We all live in glass houses, so I try not to throw stones of the personal nature unless absolutely necessary.

Consider it dropped...
Jun 5, 2002 7:21 AM
it's not the judicial system it's passing judgment on - in the case of the ICC - it's passing judgment on the actions of certain members of a country who contravene an (internationally) agreed code of conduct and committed criminal offences - the US is alteady a signatory for many such conventions (Geneva Convention for example) - but judgment and enforcement is rare indeed (for any military criminals)

world government it is not

the US media avoids many stories that are published abroad - many such stories are only published abroad to appeal to certain external groups - this isn't a new point - it's the third or fourth time I've raised it... the food fight stories are the ones that Americans want to read - and do most Americans even care what Bush said about Brazil? - I think no is the answer - should most Americans care what he said is another discussion and the one I'm trying to instigate

he's not the person who should be in office - if I had a team of people telling me what to say (and more importantly what not to say) and still messed up as much as he does I'd be out of a job - he's not the person you want out front - he's doesn't present well outside the US and is frequently offensive

maybe you should email Der Spiegel if you're that concerned about the source/genuininty of the story (all Germans speak English)
Hey BVBikeViking
Jun 5, 2002 9:26 AM
My landlord didn't speak German got better and was passable for conversation with kids, but that's about it.

I am concerned about everything he does, because it seems like he's straying from principle at times, campaign finance reform. You may be right, but I would hope the American public would want to know if our President is, in fact, saying the things he did in that story.

The BS flag does cut both ways...i was out running errnads and listening to talk radio (what a suprise!). Anyway the host (Neal Boortz) was talking aobut some book that was distributed at a UN Child welfare forum (something like that). Anyway, he was reading excerpts and then claimed the book was instructing Latin American children to have sex with each other, adults, animals etc.

As much as I dislike the UN, intellectual honesty demands that I actually see the material in question before I go telling all my friends about the UN "Kids Need Sex" book allegation.
talk radio is not a news source - nmMJ
Jun 6, 2002 12:49 AM
talk radio is not a news source - nmBikeViking
Jun 6, 2002 5:40 AM
Any respectable talk radio host always cites specific news sources when they bring up topics for discussions. Rush (like himor not) is very good at citing his story sources. Mike Savage is a bit inflammatory for my taste, but a lot of what he says is rhetoric, not necessarily based in fact. Newspapers, especially local ones, do the same thing from major news services. So it's a secondhand source. The burden is then on the listener to NOT accept blindly what is told to them, but to check things out for themselves. Neil Boortz always tells his listeners to check TWO sources othere than himself before a listener should believe what he says. It's a reasonable thing to do, regardless of ideology.
Jun 6, 2002 6:22 AM
a guy reading something on the radio should be telling people to check out the primary source - what he reads is not news - what he is reading is news (sound like responsible advice)

comparing a published, well recognised journal to a talk radio show is apples and oranges