Acknowledging Our International Criminals: Henry Kissinger and East Timor

By Mark, Brandon | Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, Winter 2003 | Go to article overview

Acknowledging Our International Criminals: Henry Kissinger and East Timor


Mark, Brandon, Denver Journal of International Law and Policy


[T]he odds against bringing human rights abusers to justice remain astonishingly high. Indeed, the absence of effective means of sanctioning abuses reveals a tragic anomaly of the post-World War H era. On the one hand, the nations of the world, all but universally, have committed themselves to a series of detailed covenants in which they have pledged to one another and to the larger international community that they will respect human rights. On the other hand, far more extensive and terrible violations of human rights have occurred than during any other period except for World War II itself.

--Aryeh Neier, War Crimes (1)

INTRODUCTION

In a one week period of March 2003, three ostensibly unrelated events transpired that typify a central theme in United States (U.S.) foreign policy since World War II. First, in early March, the inauguration of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was heralded in The Hague. (2) However, no representative from the United States attended, an event described by some "as world justice's biggest step since an international military tribunal in Nuremberg tried Nazi leaders after World War II." (3) The reason no U.S. representative attended the groundbreaking event was because the U.S. is not a party to the tribunal. In fact, the U.S. has been attempting to undermine the tribunal by "persuading other countries to seal bilateral agreements exempting all U.S. citizens from the court's authority." (4)

The same day the inaugural events for the ICC were being held, a U.S. federal appeals court held that Kuwaiti, Australian, and British citizens captured in Afghanistan in the course of the U.S. "war on terror" were not entitled to challenge their detentions at the Guantanamo Bay naval base. (5) The court held that habeas corpus relief was unavailable to aliens held outside U.S. territory. (6) On grounds that appeared to strain logic, the court refused to grant the detainees the minimal right to have an independent judicial body evaluate the evidence supporting their continued incommunicado detentions. (7) The court held it lacked jurisdiction to evaluate the merits of the detainees' claims, effectively insulating their detentions from challenge in the judicial branch. (8) However, the real effect of the ruling was to give unlimited discretion to the president and military regarding the detention of foreign nationals captured in foreign interventions and held on foreign U.S. bases. (9) The court appeared unconcerned that the detentions were accidental, (10) or even worse, lacked supporting evidence and possibly violated international laws and obligations. (11)

The third event came less than a week later. Before U.S. forces invaded Iraq, the Bush administration publicly identified nine Iraqi officials who it asserted "would be tried for war crimes or crimes against humanity after an American-led attack on Iraq." (12) Despite that at the time the announcement was made, international public opinion seemed to question the validity of the Bush administration's preemptive war in Iraq, (13) the administration, without irony, issued a decision to seek prosecutions based on international law against Iraqi officials. The list of Iraqi officials who were to be prosecuted was also issued without any attempt to explain the apparent contradiction between the decision to prosecute them and the the administration's contrary position with respect to the ICC.

These three events are mentioned as an introduction to the broader problem of which this Article seeks to address but a tiny part. The problem is exemplified by the almost total lack of domestic public reaction to the three events, and the absence of public outcry epitomizes the American publics's reaction to the many arguably questionable foreign policy actions of the U.S. in the past fifty-plus years.

Unfortunately, this problem has profound implications for the continued existence of the international legal system. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Acknowledging Our International Criminals: Henry Kissinger and East Timor
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.