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house Bill H.R. 3851

Should the State Dept. Offer Bounties for Suspected War Criminals Who'd be Prosecuted Domestically?

Argument in favor

The State Department’s program that offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest or conviction of war criminals needs the clarity that it can target individuals who would be prosecuted domestically, not just by international tribunals.

Jerrey's Opinion
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02/04/2018
If it brings war criminals to justice in their own country or in the US,so much the better.
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Leon's Opinion
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02/04/2018
Yes provided they follow due process. If a court won’t issue a warrant then no.
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Hal's Opinion
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02/04/2018
Standing by and doing nothing is not a option for a peaceful world.
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Argument opposed

The War Crimes Rewards Program should only be used to pay bounties to apprehend war criminals who would be prosecuted by international tribunals, not those that would be tried under the law of the U.S. or other countries.

I.Got.an.Idea...'s Opinion
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02/04/2018
This should be international tribunal, but if this goes through, then they should start with the ENTIRE Bush/ Cheney war criminal machine. They should be top priority, including any Congress members, lawyers, and or judges that may have been involved in their criminal acts.
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RadicalModerate's Opinion
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02/04/2018
Gorge w. Bush. Started an illegal war based on fake news. Built a torture camp in Cuba. Stole the 2004 election. Bush lied people died. Aung San Suu Kyi. She is the “democratically” elected ruler of Burma. She is complicit in the rape and murder of young Muslim girls and boys, by the Burmese military who are committing genocide against the Rohingya.
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Hillary's Opinion
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02/04/2018
Creating a hunting season for humans is an appalling idea. While I whole heartedly agree that war criminals should pay for their crimes I am terrified of the threat of McCarthyism and the memories of lives destroyed by the “red scare” and Japanese internment camps, lynchings, mob rule, “un-American activities committee, and other horrifying examples of giving law enforcement unlimited power or taking the law into untrained and uneducated hands. How many innocent people will suffer horrendous consequences if there is a bounty, an enormous bounty at that, on the head of someone.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
  • The house Passed February 8th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 407 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedSeptember 27th, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 3851?

This bill would clarify that the State Dept. is authorized use its War Crimes Rewards Program to obtain information leading to the arrest or conviction of individuals suspected of committing war crimes who haven’t been charged by an international tribunal. The State Dept. would be permitted to offer rewards for crimes that would be prosecuted under the laws and statutes of the U.S. and other countries. The program offers cash awards of up to $5 million, but it is unclear whether current law allows it to be used to target individuals who haven’t been charged with war crimes by an international tribunal. Rewards can only be paid for information related to specific individuals designated by the State Dept.

Impact

The State Department’s War Crimes Rewards Program.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3851

The CBO has no basis for estimating whether the State Department would offer more rewards as a result of this change.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and original cosponsor Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced this bill to clarify that rewards can be offered for war crimes prosecutions that take place under domestic law, as current law appears to confine their use to prosecutions before an international tribunal:

“The War Crimes Rewards Expansion Act would clarify this ambiguity, ensuring that the WCRP can be used for prosecutions  that take place under domestic law — including U.S. law or the law of another country — in addition to the laws of international tribunals.
This clarification will build on the WCRP’s success, providing the State Department with clear authority to use rewards for a wider range of prosecutions. Under certain circumstances, atrocities can be prosecuted with the greatest impact in national courts, within the societies in which the crimes occurred. Doing so can help ensure the parties understand the law, witnesses have access to the trials, and public awareness is maximized.”

This legislation passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee on a voice vote and has the support of six bipartisan cosponsors in the House, with three representing each party.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock)

AKA

War Crimes Rewards Expansion Act

Official Title

To amend the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to provide for rewards for the arrest or conviction of certain foreign nationals who have committed genocide or war crimes, and for other purposes.

    If it brings war criminals to justice in their own country or in the US,so much the better.
    Like (33)
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    This should be international tribunal, but if this goes through, then they should start with the ENTIRE Bush/ Cheney war criminal machine. They should be top priority, including any Congress members, lawyers, and or judges that may have been involved in their criminal acts.
    Like (124)
    Follow
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    Gorge w. Bush. Started an illegal war based on fake news. Built a torture camp in Cuba. Stole the 2004 election. Bush lied people died. Aung San Suu Kyi. She is the “democratically” elected ruler of Burma. She is complicit in the rape and murder of young Muslim girls and boys, by the Burmese military who are committing genocide against the Rohingya.
    Like (65)
    Follow
    Share
    Creating a hunting season for humans is an appalling idea. While I whole heartedly agree that war criminals should pay for their crimes I am terrified of the threat of McCarthyism and the memories of lives destroyed by the “red scare” and Japanese internment camps, lynchings, mob rule, “un-American activities committee, and other horrifying examples of giving law enforcement unlimited power or taking the law into untrained and uneducated hands. How many innocent people will suffer horrendous consequences if there is a bounty, an enormous bounty at that, on the head of someone.
    Like (31)
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    I question all bills that are sponsored by southern Republicans. Okay, granted this is a bipartisan bill, but I will still question it. Also, how about the war that was started due to fake weapons of mass destruction? Should that former president be tried?
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    Will Dick Cheney be on the list?
    Like (19)
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    War crimes should be tried in international courts. I do not support legislation that dilutes global enforcement of war crimes; it paves the way for countries (like the US) to politicize war crimes as part of the “war on terror” and further focus the police state against black and brown people.
    Like (16)
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    Yes provided they follow due process. If a court won’t issue a warrant then no.
    Like (16)
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    Standing by and doing nothing is not a option for a peaceful world.
    Like (9)
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    If these people are suspected of war crimes, they should be tried under an international tribunale. The U.S. should not be prosecuting them domestically. It’s also disturbing that we would pay people millions of dollars to hunt down other human beings.
    Like (8)
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    Whenever we have thuggish people in power, as we do now, who label every individual, every judge, every investigative agency which disagrees with or overrules them as “traitors”, we cannot afford to enable them to place more targets on more backs, especially with a cash reward attached. Bad idea.
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    Should this pass, I foresee enormous potential for the U.S. -- particularly under the current administration -- to unilaterally declare a person or persons, for politically-motivated reasons, a "war criminal" whether or not a true war crime has been committed. Really bad idea.
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    Wanna be bounty hunters running wild is not an American value
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    Another stupid bill proposed by a stupid Republican! WTF! Are we becoming a nation of bounty hunters??? We are supposed to turn alleged “war criminals” over to regimes that are themselves criminal! We have a war criminal in the White House! He avoided the war against Vietnam Nam, and that is a crime!
    Like (4)
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    Creating a hunting season for humans is an appalling idea. While I whole heartedly agree that war criminals should pay for their crimes I am terrified of the threat of McCarthyism and the memories of lives destroyed by the “red scare” and Japanese internment camps, lynchings, mob rule, “un-American activities committee, and other horrifying examples of giving law enforcement unlimited power or taking the law into untrained and uneducated hands. How many innocent people will suffer horrendous consequences if there is a bounty, an enormous bounty at that, on the head of someone. Please remember the constitution.
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    What?? Can’t you think of a way NOT to spend more of our money?? An international tribunal should be in charge of these types of crimes, not an individual country. Have you ALL lost your minds?? If you want to try people in the US start with the ENTIRE Bush/ Cheney war criminal machine. 18 years and our wonderful soldiers lives, body parts, and mental stability has been wasted because of NOTHING!!! They lied about WMDs and they should be top priority, including any Congress members, lawyers, and or judges that may have been involved in their criminal acts.
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    First how is this even legal. Second, who would provide the money for these bounties, oh wait, the American people through tax dollars. As a tax paying citizen I am putting my foot down, no. Finally, no taxpayer money should ever be used to pay for a bounty on an individual and then transport that individual back to the country to face trial domestically.
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    No, open carry and a bounty on humans sounds too much like the early, Wild West to me. I don’t trust the current administration so passing this kind of bill could be dangerous.
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    This bill is dangerous, for it would allow the U.S. government to offer bounties for people that only it may see as criminals, even if the rest of the world does not see it that way. American can not become the sole arbiter of justice in this world!
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    The U.S. is not the international police. This is what international courts are for.
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