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Should George Bush be tried for war crimes?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/12/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 565 times Debate No: 69944
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




This is my first debate, and I wish my opponent good luck. I will not write to much for my opening statement, for I would like my opponent to start the argument.

Since the recent declassification of documents describing the torture in Guantanamo (which although only previous officially released, their existence has been believed by many.), there has been debate on whether to try George Bush for war crimes. I am aware that the United States does not recognize the international court, but this is beyond the point. This debate is about if he should be tried, not if he will be. Although the torture was technically legal, I am asking you to look at this from a moral point of view rather than a legal one.


Torture is only a war crime if carried out during a state of war. If Obama tortures US civilians to find out if they committed domestic crimes that doesn't make him a war criminal, but if he does it on a large enough scale it is a crime against humanity.
Technically a lot of the people waterboarded were captured by security agencies of other countries and passed into US custody of a civilian agency who has the task of protecting the US against terror attacks.
Also from a moral standpoint he is fighting back against terrorist that have slaughtered masses of innocent civilians in several different countries around the world. The methods may be brutal but in the end lives were saved.

The people that Bush committed so called crimes against did this
On the morning of 7 January 2015, at about 11:30 local time, two Islamist terrorists armed with assault rifles and other weapons forced their way into the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. They fired up to 50 shots, initially killing 11 people and injuring 11 others, and shouted "Allahu Akbar" (Arabic for "God is [the] greatest") during their attack. A French National Police officer was the last to die as he encountered the gunman shortly after they had left the building. The gunmen identified themselves as belonging to Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen, which took responsibility for the attack. Several more attacks took place at related shootings that followed in the "le-de-France region after the Charlie Hebdo shooting, where five others had been killed and another eleven wounded, also by Islamic terrorists.

France raised its Vigipirate terror alert to its highest level and deployed soldiers in "le-de-France and Picardy. A massive manhunt led to the discovery on 9 January of the suspects, brothers Sa"d and Ch"rif Kouachi, who exchanged fire with police. The brothers took hostages at a signage company in Dammartin-en-Go"le, and were gunned down when they emerged firing from the building.

On 11 January, about 2 million people, including more than 40 world leaders, met in Paris for a rally of national unity, and 3.7 million people joined demonstrations across France. The phrase Je suis Charlie (French for "I am Charlie") was a common slogan of support at the rallies and in social media. The remaining staff of Charlie Hebdo continued publication, and the following issue sold out seven million copies in six languages, in contrast to its typical French-only print run of 60,000

These terrorist are the people you are trying to protect! Do you want this to happen?This is a list of terrorist attacks in the United States between now and 2010

Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013
2010 February 18: Austin suicide attack: Andrew Joseph Stack III flying his single engine plane flew into the Austin Texas IRS building killing himself and one IRS employee and injuring 13 others. Stack left a suicide note online, comparing the IRS to Big Brother from the novel 1984.
2010 March 4: 2010 Pentagon shooting: John Patrick Bedell shot and wounded two Pentagon police officers at a security checkpoint in the Pentagon station of the Washington Metro rapid transit system in Arlington County, Virginia.
2010 September 1: Discovery Communications headquarters hostage crisis: James J. Lee, armed with two starter pistols and an explosive device, takes three people hostage in the lobby of the Discovery Communications headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland before being killed by police. After nearly four hours, Lee was shot dead by police and all the hostages were freed without injury. Lee had earlier posted a manifesto railing against population growth and immigration.[66][67]
2012 August 5: Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting: Six people were killed and three others were injured, including a police officer who was tending to victims at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The gunman, 40-year-old Wade Michael Page, killed himself after being shot by police.[68] The shooting is being treated by authorities as an act of domestic terrorism.[69][70] While a motive has not been clearly defined Page had been active in white supremacist groups.[68]
2013 April 15: Boston Marathon bombings: Two bombs detonated within seconds of each other near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing 3 and injuring more than 180 people.[71][72] Late in the evening of April 18 in Cambridge, Massachusetts an MIT campus police officer was shot and killed while sitting in his squad car. Two suspects then carjacked an SUV and fled to nearby Watertown, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. A massive police chase ensued, resulting in a shootout during which several IED's were thrown by the suspects. A Boston transit police officer was critically wounded and suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a Russian immigrant of Chechen ethnicity, was killed. The second suspect, Tsarnaev's younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, escaped. A "Shelter in place" order was given for Boston, Watertown, and the surrounding areas while house-to-house searches were conducted, but the suspect remained at large. Shortly after the search was called off Tsarnaev was discovered by a local resident hiding inside a boat parked in the resident's driveway less than three blocks from the scene of the shootout. He was taken into custody after another exchange of gunfire and taken to nearby Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he was treated for injuries received during his pursuit and capture. Tsarnaev was arraigned on federal terrorism charges from his hospital bed on April 22, 2013.[73][74][75][76] Preliminary questioning indicated the Tsarnaev brothers had no ties to terrorist organizations.[77] A note written by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the boat where he was captured said the bombings were retaliation for US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan against Muslims.[78]
2013 April 16: April 2013 ricin letters: Two letters, sent to Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker and president Barack Obama, were tested positive for ricin. Each letter contained the message "I am KC and I approve this message". On April 27, 2013, a man named Everett Dutschke was arrested.
2013 November 1: 2013 Los Angeles International Airport shooting: Paul Anthony Ciancia entered the checkpoint at the Los Angeles International Airport and fired his rifle, killing one Transportation Security Administration officer and injuring six others. The motivation behind the attack was Paul's inspiration of the anti-government agenda, such as believing in the New World Order conspiracy theory, and stating that he "wanted to kill TSA" and described them as "pigs".
2014 April 13: Overland Park Jewish Community Center shooting: A pair of shootings committed by a lone gunman occurred at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and Village Shalom, a Jewish retirement community, in Overland Park, Kansas. A total of three people died in the shootings. One suspect, identified as Frazier Glenn Miller, Jr., a neo-Nazi neo-Pagan, was arrested and charged with capital murder, first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and aggravated assault.
2014 June 8: 2014 Las Vegas shootings: Two police officers and one civilian died in a shooting spree in the Las Vegas Valley committed by a couple, identified as Jerad and Amanda Miller, who espoused anti-government views and were reportedly inspired by the outcome of the Bundy standoff. The Millers both died during a gunfight with responding police; Jerad Miller was fatally shot by officers, while Amanda Miller committed suicide after being wounded.
2014 October 23: 2014 New York City hatchet attack: Zale Thompson injured two New York City police officers, once critically at a Queens, New York shopping district by striking them with a hatchet. 4 officers were posing for a photograph when Thompson charged them. The police opened fire killing Thompson and injuring a bystander. Thompson who converted to Islam 2 years before the attack posted "anti-government, anti-Western, anti-white" messages online.[79]
2014 November 28: Austin, Texas: Right-wing and anti-government extremist Larry Steven McQuilliams set a fire at the Mexican Consulate and shot towards several government buildings. Police arrived on scene and shot him dead. McQuilliams had a prior criminal history including drug possession and robbery.
2014 December: "The Guardians of Peace" linked by the United States to North Korea launched a cyber attack against SONY pictures. Embarrassing private emails were published and the organization threatened attacks against theaters that showed The Interview a satire which depicted the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Following the refusal of theater chains to show the movie, SONY Pictures withdrew release of the movie, a decision that was criticized by President Obama and others. Obama said the USA will respond. North Korea denied responsibility for the attack and proposed a joint investigation with the U.S.

I rest my case
Debate Round No. 1


You have made a very good counter-argument.

Many of the attacks you stated were not committed by a group, but rather by an individual person. Information gained from torture would not have been able to prevent these attacks, while some of the information would have prevented the other attacks. Attacks provoked by the US involvement in the middle east. I admit my wording was bad when I said if Bush should be tried for war crimes, I meant tried by a court for these tortures (I am not great at law, so I do not know the specific label that these crimes would be given). What you must realize that the reason for these attacks are because many people have lost their families in the war, and so of course a lot of anger must be pointed towards the States. Just because someone is a terrorist does not mean their human rights are diminished. If you say that a terrorist in anyone who kills another person, than you are calling soldiers and veterans of the US army terrorist. But when we see a veteran, we do not swear and shout at them for their injustices, we salute them, for they have done our country a service by protecting our citizens. So you must decide what defines terrorism. Both sides have killed innocent people, but if only one side is getting tortured, especially behind the backs of the American people, than something must be wrong.

No matter what crime someone has committed, they never deserve torture. Torture is something that turns a forty year old battle hardened man into a 5 year old, screaming and crying and wanting their "mommy". Just imagine this. Imagine one of your parents or family members screaming for their "mommy" or "daddy". It is a horrible thing to think about. Imagine being in solitary confinement, not being able to talk to anyone for days, weeks, or even months. Imagine being raped by an american soldier who has some crazy idea that if he puts his privates into yours that he is somehow serving his country. Imagine that by the end of this you will be in so much pain that you would rather die then live another day but they will not even give you this relief. We are humans. If someone kills another they are still human. I am in no way defending the terrible acts that these terrorists have committed, but there are other ways. There is rehabilitation, or simply just regular jail. If we want to gain information than we can use all the drones we have stocked up, all the cameras that we see on poles everyday.

Torture is also against the Geneva Convention, which was signed by the United States after the Second World War. The fact that these politicians have been able to bend the rules so that these acts are not called torture is appalling. And it is even more appalling to see that the man behind the wheel may escape with no consequences at all, setting a very bad example for future politicians and citizens of the United States.


The drafters of the 1949 Geneva Conventions sought to base the treaty on past precedent. While the 1907 Hague regulations stipulated that "the laws, rights, and duties of war apply not only to armies, but also to militia and volunteer corps," those same regulations also presented a four-part test to determine eligibility of those irregular forces for lawful combatant status.[23] In order to be recognized as legitimate combatants, the Hague regulations required irregular units to "be commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; to have a fixed distinctive emblem recognizable at a distance; to carry arms openly; and to conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war."[24]

The drafters of the Third Geneva Convention adopted this four-part test as part of the criteria to determine eligibility for POW status. The delegates drafting the convention made quite clear in their debates that they did not want to confer automatic POW status on irregular forces. After much negotiation, a special committee of the conference resolved this question by crafting article 4(A) so as to differentiate between regular armed forces, constituent volunteer corps, and militias on one hand, from irregular resistance movements, on the other. The drafters agreed to apply the Hague four-part test to the latter.[25]

Terrorists groups ranging from separatists like the PKK in Turkey, Chechen rebels in Russia, or the Pakistani-backed Harakat ul-Mujahideen in India; to Palestinian groups like Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, to the numerous cells that comprise the Al-Qaeda network all fail the four-part test. Hijacking civilian airliners and flying them into office buildings is not "in accordance with the laws and customs of war," nor is using human bombs to blow up buses, nor is lining up and executing school teachers. On these grounds, as well, the Taliban also forfeited claim to POW status. While they did carry arms openly, they neither observed the international humanitarian law, nor wore any recognizable sign to distinguish themselves from civilians.[26]

In its war against terror, the U.S. military adheres to the competent tribunal requirement. No detainee ended up in Guant"namo without a series of interrogations by U.S. intelligence officials. This process was intended to determine whether a prisoner was a bona fide enemy or an innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time. Questions were asked, explanations given, and evaluations made. Thus, while Australian jihadist David Hicks wound up in Guant"namo and will shortly appear before a U.S. military commission, Afghan Haji Faiz Muhammad was arrested on suspicion of affiliation with the Taliban and was later released. Faiz Muhammad had few complaints about his treatment in U.S. custody, declaring "we had enough food to eat. We could pray and wash with water five times a day."

Here are some other reasons

1.Timely information is needed to break up cells, capture wanted terrorists, and prevent thousands or millions of deaths; this information can be obtained in a more timely manner by administering torture. If we were able to stop the 9/11 attacks, thousands of lives would have been saved, along with billions of dollars in economic damage. Intelligence agents had information that Osama bin Laden was up to something, but they had nothing specific as to place and time. Today, the FBI and CIA are in the same situation. The next attack could involve a nuclear "dirty" bomb, an anthrax or smallpox bioweapons attack, or a poisonous chemical attack. The 9/11 attacks were bad, but the devastation of a mass destruction weapons attack could be tenfold. Intelligence information is only good for a short time. When Saddam was captured, Al Qaeda and Fedayeen cells scattered. Thus, any intelligence gained after a short initial period was outdated. Torture ensures we get the information on a timely basis. Of course torture itself may not be moral, but we're talking about the lives of thousands, possibly even millions. Even if mass destruction weapons aren't involved, low-level attacks like a homicide bombing could cause the loss of many Americans lives. What is more important--protecting an evil, hateful terrorist from a little pain or saving scores of American lives? You may hear or read "expert" opinions in the media that torture isn't effective for getting information. But use the logical part of your brain. How long would you be able to withhold your secrets if you were deprived of several days sleep, drugged, had limbs broken, given electric shock, etc. There are many reasons NOT to torture someone, but efficacy isn't one of the them. There are far more humane ways to get information than the ones listed, but as we've seen, terrorist apologists, who whine about things like loud music pumped into the cell, will define anything short of country club conditions as "torture".

2.These specific terrorists deserve a little extra punishment for the death and misery they've caused. Mounir al-Motassadek, who was accused of being a member of a terrorist organization and being an accessory to the deaths of more than 3,000 people on 9/11, was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a German court. He's lucky he wasn't convicted of killing 100,000 people; the court may have sentenced him to 20 years! The justice system has become somewhat of a joke in democratic societies. Even in America, where punishment is tougher than mainland Europe, the punishments aren't all that bad, relatively speaking. When you contribute to the death of thousands, a punishment of painless death or life in prison just doesn't cut it. We're talking about people that will kill Americans no matter where they are or who they are, and they show no remorse for their actions. Maybe a little torture is fitting for someone like Saddam Hussein.

3.Anything we do to our captives will still be nothing compared to what they do to our soldiers when captured. As we saw with the American POWs in Iraq, it doesn't matter how well we treat prisoners, our soldiers will always be faced with brutal torture or death. Consider the terrorists held in Guantanamo Bay. The prison there holds some of the most evil, hate-filled, venom-spewing men in the world. Yet, we feed them well, allow them books & prayer time, and refrain from beating them. Several prisoners released from there have said they were treated well and fed better than in their own country. Yet, the media distorts the treatment, showing us getting a little rough with some combative prisoners. Many in the media speculate we're torturing prisoners whenever we come up with useful information, despite the fact they have no proof (or their "proof" is the statements of the terrorists themselves). The point is, it doesn't matter if we torture prisoners or give them the royal treatment, much of the media and world opinion will believe what they want to believe.

4.Terrorists under duress may give us information that we didn't even know to ask. There is so much information a high ranking terrorist leader could have--plans, names, locations, computer passwords, financiers,...the list goes on and on. A professional interrogator can usually come up with a wide arrange of questions, but there will always be more that he can't think of--information that save millions of lives! Think what information anyone would be willing to give up if his bones were breaking, his body was burning from electricity, his nails being plucked, his hands being soaked in acid, or whatever the case may be.

Also the terrorist attacks previously stated may not have been directly executed by terrorist cells but the cells in question did inspire supply and helped plot said attacks.
Debate Round No. 2


I have seen a comment that shows substantial proof that this argument has been plagiarized, I will ask the CON to forfeit.


Ok i forfeit vote for pro
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by donald.keller 1 year ago
Something is wrong with this debate...
Posted by ResponsiblyIrresponsible 1 year ago
This is disgusting. CON plagiarized his entire case in a debate against me, and has done the exact same here.

Paragraphs 1 and 2 from reddit:

Then he copy and pastes from Wikipedia:

Then the giant timeline from here:

Then for his second argument, he plagiarize from here:

And here:

And here:

And here:

And there's more, I'm sure, but I'm getting tired of pasting his arguments into Google--be my guest, though.

Case in point: CON is a rampant plagiarizer, and this should not be let go--I urge everyone to vote him down, as I plan to do.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: ff