We are the 99%

October 31, 2006

Santorum accuses - but does he really?

Recently Dickiecougarmellonscaife's paper reported this about Senator Rick Santorum:
U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum accused state Treasurer Bob Casey of "aiding and abetting terrorism and genocide," saying Sunday that state pension funds are invested with companies linked to terrorist-sponsoring states.

"We're talking about billions of dollars in investments with companies with ties to terrorist-sponsoring states," Santorum, R-Penn Hills, said at his campaign headquarters in Green Tree. "This is an issue I think is critical. If we can choke them off economically, we can reduce our risk."
Of course, it's complete crap. But let's look at its implications anyway. Rick said that Casey is "aiding and abetting" terrorism and genocide. What exactly does "aiding and abetting" mean? Here's a definition from findlaw.com:
A criminal charge of aiding and abetting or accessory can usually be brought against anyone who helps in the commission of a crime, though legal distinctions vary by state. A person charged with aiding and abetting or accessory is usually not present when the crime itself is committed, but he or she has knowledge of the crime before or after the fact, and may assist in its commission through advice, actions, or financial support. Depending on the degree of involvement, the offender's participation in the crime may rise to the level of conspiracy.
I think Lil Ricky's leaning on the "financial support" part of the definition.

Now let's look at that "genocide" part. Here's Article I the "Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide" adopted by the UN in 1948:
The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish.
So it's a crime under international law. Rick Santorum is accusing Bob Casey of violating international law.

But as a good conservative, Ricks' probably not in favor of supporting international law. He voted against US Cooperation with the International Criminal Court back in 2001. Here's how the bill was described on the Senate Floor:
[Senator Jesse] Helms said of his measure: "Without this amendment, the Rome Treaty can expose U.S. soldiers and civilian officials to the risk of prosecutions separate and apart from the laws of the United States of America. Therefore, they could very well be battling international bureaucrats and prosecutors instead of terrorists such as those who on September 11 committed mass murder against thousands of innocent American citizens in New York City and at the Pentagon, not far from here."
So even though Casey can't be tried by the ICC (no small thanks to Rick Santorum), genocide is a crime in the US, isn't it?

While I'm no lawyer, I'd have to answer that with a "yes, but..." Take a look.

The Basic Offense is described as:
Whoever, whether in time of peace or in time of war, in a circumstance described in subsection (d) and with the specific intent to destroy, in whole or in substantial part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group...[emphasis added]
And what is subsection (d)?
(d) Required Circumstance for Offenses.— The circumstance referred to in subsections (a) and (c) is that—

(1) the offense is committed within the United States; or

(2) the alleged offender is a national of the United States (as defined in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101)). [emphasis added]
Ok. I guess that unless Casey had the specific intent to commit genocide AND if the genocide were committed within the United States, he's off the hook.

Ricky's a lawyer, right? Shouldn't he know this stuff?

But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe in my non-expert reading, I've missed something and Ricky's right - so why hasn't he called out the FBI on Bob Casey??? There's a war criminal running for the US Senate! It's an outrage - an outrage, I tell you! Why isn't Ricky doing something about it? Can't he even attempt a citizen's arrest?

He doesn't do anything because he knows the charge is an empty dirty smear of the worst kind. The stuff that people hate about politics and politicians.

And anyway, he'd look as silly as Gomer Pyle if he tried that running around in circles yelling "Citizen's Arrest!" thing.

Not that he doesn't look silly now.

- Desperate and dirty and down by an average of 13 points (as of 10/31/06)

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