Rumsfeld to be sued in Germany for war crimes

The nutroots will delight at the irony of Germans sitting in judgment of American hawks at a war-crimes trial. Will anyone else?

A few points.

1. Time is claiming its story is an exclusive. Really? Then how’d it end up on the Blotter yesterday morning?

2. Am I misreading the story or is Drudge? His headline says, “Germany to pursue criminal prosecution of Rumsfeld over prison abuse.” From the article:

Just days after his resignation, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany’s top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba…

Indeed, a similar, but narrower, legal action was brought in Germany in 2004, which also sought the prosecution of Rumsfeld. The case provoked an angry response from Pentagon, and Rumsfeld himself was reportedly upset. Rumsfeld’s spokesman at the time, Lawrence DiRita, called the case a “a big, big problem.” U.S. officials made clear the case could adversely impact U.S.-Germany relations, and Rumsfeld indicated he would not attend a major security conference in Munich, where he was scheduled to be the keynote speaker, unless Germany disposed of the case. The day before the conference, a German prosecutor announced he would not pursue the matter, saying there was no indication that U.S. authorities and courts would not deal with allegations in the complaint.

Sounds like they’re petitioning the German government to prosecute, but whether it ultimately will or not is up to the powers that be and hasn’t been decided yet. Also, why would they prosecute this time if they opted not to do so two years ago? Rumsfeld logically has less of an immunity defense now than he did in 2004, so “U.S. authorities and courts” should be even better able to deal with him today.

And just as I finish typing that last sentence, I see Drudge has removed the red font and rewritten the headline to say “Germany may pursue criminal prosecution.” Super.

3. The key point: if the left thinks its acquiescence in a sovereignty grab by European powers will redound to its electoral advantage, then I fervently urge them to follow their inclinations. The only people who’d be happier than the nutroots to see Rumsfeld led away by German police is the Republican National Committee.

Speaking of Rumsfeld and electoral advantages, I’ll leave you with this. Weep:

President Bush was moving by late summer toward removing Donald H. Rumsfeld as defense secretary, people inside and outside the White House said Thursday. Weeks before Election Day, the essential question still open was when, not whether, to make the move…

The delay in Mr. Rumsfeld’s departure was painful for some Republicans, who have argued that his continued presence in the administration was politically counterproductive. Some complained Thursday that the resignation had come too late to be any help during an election in which Mr. Rumsfeld became a whipping boy for Democratic, and eventually some Republican, candidates.

Exit question: by the logic of the chickenhawk argument, doesn’t this mean Rumsfeld should stay?