Former U.S. terror czar Richard Clarke (shown), who resigned in 2003, dropped two bombshell statements about the Bush administration he served during a recent TV interview. First, he said, former President George W. Bush and then-Vice President Dick Cheney probably perpetrated what amounts to “war crimes” surrounding the unconstitutional attack on Iraq. While plenty of Americans on all sides of the political spectrum might be inclined to agree, Clarke went even further. He suggested the duo could be prosecuted by the dictator-dominated United Nations at the global body’s self-styled “International Criminal Court” (ICC) in The Hague.
Clarke was fairly blunt when asked whether he thought war-crimes charges should be brought against Bush, Cheney, and then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. “I think things that they authorized probably fall within the area of war crimes,” the former U.S. terrorism czar for Bill Clinton and George W. Bush said in an interview with Amy Goodman of the “progressive” Democracy Now TV program. “Whether that would be productive or not, I think, is a discussion we could all have.” It was not immediately clear why, if he believes they authorized war crimes, there should be a “discussion” about whether justice is “productive.”
Next, Clarke, listed as a “senior advisor” to the globalist Council on Foreign Relations and whose formal title in the U.S. administration was “national coordinator for security and counterterrorism,” suggested that the UN’s kangaroo “court” might play a role in such prosecutions. “We have established procedures now with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where people who take actions as serving presidents or prime ministers of countries have been indicted and have been tried,” Clarke said without hinting at the ICC’s illegitimate nature or the fact that the United States has never agreed to participate in the widely criticized global “judicial” regime.
Still, Bush’s former terror czar insisted his ex-boss could be prosecuted by the UN outfit. “So the precedent is there to do that sort of thing,” continued Clarke, who is also affiliated with various extreme leftist outfits such as the Center for American Progress. “And I think we need to ask ourselves whether or not it would be useful to do that in the case of members of the Bush administration. It’s clear that things that the Bush administration did — in my mind, at least, it’s clear that some of the things they did were war crimes.”
The irony, of course, is that Bush’s unconstitutional invasion and occupation of Iraq were carried out under a UN “resolution” as opposed to a declaration of war issued by Congress, which the U.S. Constitution requires. Indeed, the Bush administration and its “partners” in the war cited UN Security Council Resolution 1441, adopted unanimously in 2002 by the 15-member global body, as justification. The UN agreement — which can never legitimately override the U.S. Congress’s authority to declare war — purported to mandate the disarmament of Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein, a former U.S. government ally in the 1980s despite his use of weapons of mass destruction.
Of course, it is hardly the first time Bush and other senior U.S. officials — including Obama, who has taken Bush’s mass-murder-via-drone program to deadly new heights — have been accused of war crimes. In 2012, a pseudo-international “court” in Malaysia styling itself the “Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission” even purported to “convict” Bush and seven other senior administration officials of “war crimes” for invading Iraq. Among those “convicted” in absentia were Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, as well as U.S. “legal advisers” Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee, and John Yoo. The court was set up by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Separately, as reported by the Huffington Post, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff, also accused Cheney of perpetrating war crimes. “Waterboarding is a war crime, unwarranted surveillance ... all of which are crimes,” Wilkerson said in 2011 in arguing that the former vice president was a war criminal. “I don't care whether the president authorized him to do it or not, they are crimes.” Obviously, as demonstrated at Nuremberg, following orders is not a valid excuse for perpetrating war crimes.
It is also not the first time that Clarke, who served in high-level positions under numerous administrations, has criticized Bush. Indeed, when it comes to Iraq, the ex-terror czar has been a relentless critic since his resignation in 2003. “The president wanted me, after the fact, to blame Iraq for the 9/11 attack,” Clarke said in the interview with Democracy Now that aired last week. He has also been deeply critical of the administration for allegedly ignoring crucial information on al-Qaeda that could have been important in stopping the September 11 attacks. Instead of focusing on real threats, Clarke suggested the administration was too preoccupied with inventing justifications to invade Iraq.
Clarke also spoke out against some of the Obama administration’s abuses, particularly what he referred to as a “kill committee” — “people who sit around in the White House passing folders back and forth of names and voting on who they’re going to kill.” According to Clarke — not to mention any semblance of constitutional or even merely civilized standards — such schemes “went way too far.” He also criticized some of the National Security Agency’s “illegal” spying programs, which he said should be abolished. Special criticism was reserved for the death-by-drone program, which, ironically, Clarke played a role in getting off the ground. Multiple estimates suggest that thousands of innocent civilians have been massacred under the schemes. Clarke disagreed with those figures, but acknowledged that “it is clearly too many.”
Despite Bush’s own well-documented disdain for the U.S. Constitution, his God-given rights to a fair trial by a jury of his peers, like the right of all Americans, must be respected — an impossibility at the UN’s kangaroo court. Dr. Charles Rice, a professor of law at Notre Dame University, called the ICC “a monster” that essentially “repudiates the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence and cancels the 4th of July.” Especially troubling, he said, is that the court acknowledges no boundaries to its supposed authority. “In our system, law is supposed to be a rule of reason which, in a sense, controls the state and compels the state to operate under the law,” Dr. Rice explained. “What are the limits on the ICC? There are none. It's insane!”
As such, if Bush and other senior officials are ever charged with war crimes or other criminal charges, they must be prosecuted in the United States under U.S. law in a real, legitimate court. Of course, the Obama administration, which has perpetrated numerous similar crimes, has worked fiendishly to protect officials in the previous administration from prosecution for torture, spying, war crimes, and more. However, if justice is to be served, alleged American war criminals may only be prosecuted in U.S. courts before a jury of their peers.
Already, in 2011, the self-styled UN “court,” which does not possess even a semblance of authority over Americans, claimed to be “investigating” U.S. forces. Empowering the despot-packed UN to operate its own pseudo-judiciary branch would be a major mistake for many reasons that have been outlined in this magazine for over a decade. Allowing such a planetary “court” to prosecute Americans would be an absolute disaster. They may start with alleged war criminals, but that will undoubtedly not be the end. The Obama administration and its globalist allies are working hard to empower the ICC. For the sake of liberty, the Constitution, and national sovereignty, Americans and their representatives must work even harder to stop it.
Photo of Richard Clarke: AP Images
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at