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26 Aug

“Issues?” Issues such as these be damned. These are not issues, damn it

These are violations of our Constitution, our laws and international law.

By The McGlynn, August 26, 2009

Attorney General Holder: “Further, they need to be protected from legal jeopardy when they act in good faith and within the scope of legal guidance. That is why I have made it clear in the past that the Department of Justice will not prosecute anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees. I want to reiterate that point today, and to underscore the fact that this preliminary review will not focus on those individuals.

The above paragraph defining who they etc. are.

Attorney General Holder: “Further, torturers need to be protected from legal jeopardy when the torturers act in good faith and within the scope of legal guidance. That is why I have made it clear in the past that the Department of Justice will not prosecute any torturer who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees. I want to reiterate that point today, and to underscore the fact that this preliminary review will not focus on those torturers.”

This week the world turned upside down. The Nuremberg Principles, alive for over sixty years, have been tortured to death by the the Obama Holder Justice Department. “I was only following orders” is now apparently a complete defense. (“only following orders” (“Befehl ist Befehl”), literally “order is order”). The same defense rejected at the Nuremberg and the Tokyo trials after the Second World War from German, Japanese soldiers and their leaders who had committed war crimes. The accused claimed they should be held innocent from punishment for killing Jews and others because they were only following the Führer’s  and their leaders’ legal orders. The principle, that men are responsible for their own actions, dying a slow death under the Bush era, has been finished off by the Obama administration.

And the “legal guidance given by the Bush Cheney-era Office of Legal Counsel”?  This guidance essentially gave prosecutorial immunity to any interrogator performing any kind of torture. The infamous Yoo and Bybee, in a 2002 legal briefing, even wrote that interrogators were above the law.

This “preliminary review” of the evidence for a dozen lower-level CIA officials is the beginning of the path to investigation oblivion. Holder will preliminary  investigate this lower level to death until the nation forgets about it.

Holder stated that “I share the President’s conviction that as a nation, we must, to the extent possible, look forward and not backward when it comes to issues such as these.” I say to Mr. Holder, you, sir, are in violation of the law! It is not your job to look forward or backward. You job is to enforce the law. Anything short of this is in violation of the law.” “Issues”. “Issues?” Issues such as these be damned. These are not issues, damn it. These are violations of our Constitution, our laws and international law.

You are required to begin an investigation at the top and not the bottom. If you do not do so, this criminal syndicate, that we gave birth to, will continue.

The Nuremberg Principles

Justice Robert Jackson
Principle I. Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefore and liable to punishment.

Principle II. The fact that internal law does not impose a penalty for an act which constitutes a crime under international law does not relieve the person who committed the act from responsibility under international law.

Principle III. The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible government official does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.

Principle IV. The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.

Principle V. Any person charged with a crime under international law has the right to a fair trial on the facts and law.

Principle VI. The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
(b) War Crimes:
Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation of slave-labor or for any other purpose of the civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
(c) Crimes against humanity:
Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.

Principle VII. Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.

The Facts
In January 2003, a group of American law professors warned President George W. Bush that he and senior officials of his government could be prosecuted for war crimes if their military tactics violated international humanitarian law. The group, led by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, sent similar warnings to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

Although Washington is not part of the International Criminal Court (ICC), U.S. officials could be prosecuted in other countries under the Geneva Convention, says Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Ratner likened the situation to the attempt by Spanish magistrate Baltazar Garzon to prosecute former Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet when Pinochet was under house arrest in London.

Both former President George W. Bush and senior officials in his government could be tried for their responsibility for torture and other war crimes under the Geneva Conventions.

In addition, should Nuremberg principles be followed by an investigating tribunal, former President Bush and other senior officials in his administration could be tried for violation of fundamental Nuremberg principles.

In 2007, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the ICC’s chief prosecutor, told The Sunday Telegraph that he could envisage a scenario in which both British Prime Minister Tony Blair and then President Bush faced charges at The Hague.

Perhaps one of the most serious breaches of international law by the Bush administration was the doctrine of “preventive war.” In the case of the Iraq war, it was carried out without authorization from the U.N. Security Council in violation of the U.N. Charter, which forbids armed aggression and violations of any state’s sovereignty except for immediate self-defense.

As stated in the U.S. Constitution, international treaties agreed to by the United States are part of the “supreme law of the land.” “Launching a war of aggression is a crime that no political or economic situation can justify,” said Justice Jackson, the chief U.S. prosecutor for the Nuremberg Tribunal.

Benjamin Ferencz, also a former chief prosecutor for the Nuremberg Trials, declared that “a prima facie case can be made that the United States is guilty of the supreme crime against humanity — that being an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.”

The conduct and the consequences of the Iraq war are subsumed under “Crimes against Peace and War” of Nuremberg Principle VI, which defines as crimes against peace “(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances; (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).” In the section on war crimes, Nuremberg Principle VI includes “murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property.”

The criminal abuse of prisoners in U.S. military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo are clear evidence of ill- treatment and even murder.

According to the organization Human Rights First, at least 100 detainees have died while in the hands of U.S. officials in the global “war on terror,” eight of whom were tortured to death.

As for the plunder of public or private property, there is evidence that even before the war started, members of the Bush administration had already drawn up plans to privatize and sell Iraqi property, particularly that related to oil.

And one could go on and on and on …………………

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