International Commission of Inquiry looks into Bush Junta's crimes against humanity

A group of American lawyers, academics, writers and human rights activists, as well as a number of people from other countries, have established what it calls "The 2005 International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration of the United States"

The Commission's 'mission statement' is set out in a brief document as follows:

When the possibility of far-reaching war crimes and crimes against humanity exists, people of conscience have a solemn responsibility to inquire into the nature and scope of these acts and to determine if they do in fact rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity. That is the mission of the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity. The first session will be held October 21-22 in New York City. This tribunal will, with care and rigor, present evidence and assess whether George W. Bush and his administration have committed crimes against humanity. Well-established international law will be referenced where applicable, but the tribunal will not be limited by the scope of existing international law.

The tribunal will deliberate on four categories of indictable crimes:
1) Wars of Aggression, with particular reference to the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. 2) Torture and Indefinite Detention, with particular reference to the abandonment of
international standards concerning the treatment of prisoners of war and the use of torture. 3) Destruction of the Global Environment, with particular reference to systematic policies contributing to the catastrophic effects of global warming. 4) Attacks on Global Public Health and Reproductive Rights, with particular reference to the genocidal effects of forcing international agencies to promote
“abstinence only” in the midst of a global AIDS epidemic.

The Commission’s jury of conscience will be composed of internationally respected jurists and legal scholars, prominent voices of conscience, and experts and monitors in relevant fields. The tribunal’s legitimacy is derived from its integrity, its rigor in the presentation of evidence, and the stature of its participants. Representatives of the Bush administration will be invited to present a defense.

Prior to the meeting of the Commission, teams with sufficient expertise will prepare preliminary indictments in each of the four areas, setting forth the scope of the Bush administration’s actions and how they contravene legal and moral norms for international behavior. At the meeting of the Commission, there will be four prosecution teams that organize the presentation of the evidence. This evidence will be documents as well as eyewitness testimony by victims and observers of the crimes alleged. The formal proceedings will be held in a public venue and all attempts will be made to publicize and broadcast its deliberations internationally. The Commission’s jury of conscience will
come to verdicts and its findings will be published.

The holding of this tribunal will frame and fuel a discussion that is urgently needed in the United States: Is the administration of George W. Bush guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity? The
Commission will conduct its work with a deep sense of responsibility to the people of the world.

Commission members included former US Senator James Abourezk, Denis Halliday,ex-UN Assistant Secretary-General, former head of UN Humanitarian Mission In Iraq, novelists Russell Banks and Gore Vidal, law professor Amy Bartholomew, well-known authors and journalists such as Phyllis Bennis and James Petras, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, historian Howard Zinn and numerous representatives of social movements, NGOs and religious groups.
To follow the Commission's activities, go to http://www.bushcommission.org/call-charter.htm