Monday, July 24, 2006

Compassionate Conservativism in Action -- Fined for Giving Toys & Medicine to Sick Children

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

A Seattle peace activist, fined for taking medicine to sick and dying children in prewar Iraq, is challenging that Bush administration policy as a violation of international law tantamount to genocide.

Bert Sacks, 64, vows not to pay the $10,000 fine for violationg U.S. economic sanctions against Saddam Hussein's Iraq by taking $40,000 worth of medicine and toys to the country in 1997.

Sacks, whose appeal will be heard today, lost a previous court challenge in U.S. District Court in Seattle in 2004. But Sacks and his attorney say the legal landscape has changed in their favor with the recent Supreme Court decision dismantling Guantanamo tribunals for alleged terrorists.

In that case, which also began in Seattle, the Supreme Court instructed the Bush administration that it cannot simply ignore the Geneva Conventions, which embody the international law of war.

Sacks says that's exactly what the administration has done by illegally imposing a restriction on the delivery of humanitarian supplies that are protected by the Geneva Conventions and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

But government lawyers refute Sacks' contention that the court in Seattle "rejected Sacks' efforts to invoke international law as a ground for invalidating the ... sanctions regulations."

There's more, and you can read the defendant's own blog here.

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