Spain Investigates Bush War Crimes While Obama Obfuscates

Spain investigates what America should
San Francisco Chronicle

A Spanish court has initiated criminal proceedings against six former officials of the Bush administration. John Yoo, Jay Bybee, David Addington, Alberto Gonzales, William Haynes and Douglas Feith may face charges in Spain for authorizing torture at Guantánamo Bay.

If arrest warrants are issued, Spain and any of the other 24 countries that are parties to European extradition conventions could arrest these six men when they travel abroad.

Does Spain have the authority to prosecute Americans for crimes that didn’t take place on Spanish soil?

The answer is yes. It’s called “universal jurisdiction.” Universal jurisdiction is a well-established theory that countries, including the United States, have used for many years to investigate and prosecute foreign nationals for crimes that shock the conscience of the global community. It provides a critical legal tool to hold accountable those who commit crimes against the law of nations, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. Without universal jurisdiction, many of the most notorious criminals would go free. Countries that have used this as a basis to prosecute the most serious of crimes should be commended for their courage. They help to create a just world in which we all seek to live.

2 Responses

  1. Spain has no right to judge what happens to United States officials. All I can say is Spain I thought you were bigger and better then this…guess not. If your in Guatanamo Bay you must have done some nasty shit. And now you want to prosecute U.S. officials for torturing criminals.

    Say we put the Taliban in Guantanamo Bay- you want to prosecute officials for torturing them?!?! Spain you are abusing your universal jurisdiction rule.

  2. Someone has to handle things when the country of origin does not.

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