On November 22, after four hours of deliberation the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) gave a unanimous guilty verdict that found Tony Blair and George W Bush guilty of crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and genocide in relation to their roles in the invasion of Iraq. The KLWCC was a tribunal in Malaysia consisting of five judges with extensive judicial and academic backgrounds. The proceedings took place from November 19-22, and found that these two former heads of state had selectively manipulated international law, organized the unlawful aggression, and committed an international crime in 2003 by invading Iraq.
The commission found that both Blair and Bush had contemplated invading Iraq as early as 2001. It was found that both men had admitted that they believed or knew the unreliability of the intelligence reports on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. With this information they still chose to continue with an invasion to over throw Iraq’s dictator. The memoirs of both men were included as evidence in the case showing each man’s intention to invade Iraq in spite of international law.
Bush and Blair were invited to offer their own defense or send a representative, but both declined to do so. It was argued that Bush had exhausted all forms of diplomacy and had received intelligence on Iraq for over two years before launching the invasion. On this note the tribunal believed that the Bush administration had fabricated documents to have it appear as though Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
The KLWCC’s verdict holds no legal weight, but the symbolic value of the guilty verdict is measurable. The tribunal, in its ruling, said that it would report the findings to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and that the KLWCC will enter the names of Bush and Blair in to the Register of War Criminals maintained by the KLWCC. Finally, the tribunal will provide the two names to the members of the Rome Statute, which allows those states to prosecute the individuals of international crimes in national courts.
Sources: “Kuala Lumpur tribunal: Bush and Blair guilty” Richard Falk, Aljazeera, November 2011, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/11/20111128105712109215.html
“Bush and Blair found guilty” Eunice Au, New Straits Times, November 2011, http://www.nst.com.my/local/general/bush-and-blair-found-guilty-1.9641
“Bush, Blair found guilty of war crimes” Press TV, Infowars.com, November 2011, http://www.infowars.com/bush-blair-found-guilty-of-war-crimes/
Student: Taylor Wagner and Ben Brandstatter
Faculty Instructor: Kevin Howley, Ph.D.
Evaluator: Robert Dewey, D. Phil., History