Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How should nations respond to crimes against humanity?

On May 23, 1960, then- Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion stood at the podium in the Knesset and solemnly said: "A short time ago one of the most notorious Nazi war criminals, Adolf Eichmann, was discovered by the Israeli security services. Adolf Eichmann is already under arrest in Israel and will shortly be placed on trial."


These events almost 49 years ago have relevance today - how should nations respond to crimes against humanity? If any nation, including the United States, wants to be a viable member of the international community, then should not everyone abide by the rule of law?

This is the issue facing the U.S. and President Obama. It is clear that the Bush regime authorized torture, in clear violation of both U.S. and international law. How much did Bush and Cheney know and authorize are yet to be determined. Holding participants accountable is only a portion of the issue. Yet the lesson from Israel has implications for the U.S. and for every nation that is facing this sort of problem.

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