New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully’s meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the planned series of top-level visits, described by Israel’s Foreign Ministry as “New Zealand Month”, are an opportunity for this country to show the world where it stands in relation to human rights and international law.
Recent questions posed by the New Zealand Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC) in a recent Open Letter to Murray McCully http://palestine.org.nz/phrc/index.ph raise urgent and long-neglected issues. While our Foreign Minister wholeheartedly supports Israel’s membership of the OECD, Israel is encouraged to continue stifling the Palestinian economy through belligerent military occupation. The Palestinian people have no control over their borders, air space, sea or access to the wider global economy. Israel severely restricts access by Palestinian fishing boats to essential fishing grounds, often at the expense of fishermen’s livelihoods, vessels and even life and limb. In addition, Israel uses its military might to take a grossly disproportionate amount of Palestine’s water, to the detriment of Palestinian agriculture and health. For 44 years now the US and the UK, and, by association, New Zealand, have stood by Israel and allowed this exploitation to continue while pressuring the victims to negotiate with their oppressor.
Although the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are recognised under international law as a single territorial unit, Israel continues to prevent the movement of Palestinians between the two areas. As the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports, Israel maintains an average of 520 permanent checkpoints, road obstacles and other restrictions besides imposing hundreds of mobile checkpoints, all inside Palestinian territory. Furthermore, Israel’s illegal settlements and annexation Wall, with its ethnically discriminatory Israeli-only roads, place intolerable costs upon the movement of Palestinian goods, workers and students.
Our Foreign Affairs Minister is unable to show any softening of Israel’s relentless suppression of Palestinian human rights, and aspirations through decades of what he likes to call “dialogue” with Israel. The PHRC invites Mr McCully, once again, to answer the questions posed in our Open Letter to him dated 30 April 2012. Consideration of these questions might help him concentrate his mind on the vital issues that confront, not only the Palestinian people but also the wider world community. “New Zealand Month” should be used to demonstrate to Israel that dialogue no longer means cosy chats and complicity but plain speaking and the demand that Israel end its gross violations of international law.
There was an old joke about a robber rapist who bursts into the home of a couple and, seeing the man so obviously shaking with fear, does not bother to tie him up. He contemptuously draws a circle on the floor around the man and says:
“If you step out of this circle, I’ll kill you.”
He then proceeds to ransack the house, robs them and then rapes the wife and leaves. The woman cries: “What kind of a man are you? How could you stand there and not defend me?” The man says: “I put my foot out of the circle several times, but he didn’t see me.”
I was reminded of this when reading about the Report of United Church of Canada (UCC) on Israel/Palestine of May 1, whose recommendations will be considered by the the General Council of UCC in August.
The report follows a 12-day visit and meetings in Israel and Palestine of the UCC working group with Christian, Jewish and Muslim community representatives in Israel and Palestine.
Condemning the harsh occupation, the report recommends: -
- Calls for an end to occupation, as the main contributor to the injustice that engenders violence. (It “balances” this nicely with…)
- Condemns actions and activities that seek to delegitimize and demonize Israel affirming that non-violent resistance to the occupation is justified.
It “balances” it nicely with:
- Advising against the use of “the language of apartheid” when applied to Israel.
- calling for an economic boycott –[built-in balance follows ]– directed exclusively against settlement products that can be identified as produced in or related to the settlements or the occupied territories.
Was the anti-South Africa boycott exclusively directed against bantustan-produced goods?
- advises against a comprehensive boycott of Israel and Israeli goods and products [*see above]
- affirms Israel as a Jewish state, meaning a homeland for Jewish people that “ensures complete equality of social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or gender” [a vegetarian hawk?]
- supports a negotiated settlement to the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees that maintains the demographic integrity of Israel [so... that would be Israel "negotiating" to allow enough Palestinian refugees to return to make a football team]
- calls for opportunities that will bring together Palestinian and Israeli/Jewish communities for growth in mutual understanding [probably the best way would be to provide Palestinians with more education about the Holocaust]
So the UCC put its foot out several times but unlike the old joke, the Israeli watchers saw them!
None of the above merits more than a flick of the fly swat but what really got their attention was one particular recommendation:
- challenging Christian beliefs that theologically justify the occupation, branding the theological foundation for Christian Zionism a false doctrine.
That is far more than putting one’s foot out of the circle, that’s endangering the flow of millions of dollars raised by Christian zionists in Canada and that cannot be allowed.
Jumping to the defense of Christian zionists were:
Frank Dimant, CEO, B’nai Brith Canada, who vowed:
“We certainly will stand together with them in this new fight in Canada.” Feeling the pain of Christians suffering at the hands of the Islamic enemy he added: “Considering the cruelty inflicted upon Christians in Islamic states and the murder of thousands of people in Syria, it becomes clear that these church groups are ignoring gross violations of human rights in favour of fixating on the democratic Jewish state of Israel.”
Shimon Fogel, CEO, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, echoed Dimant’s sincere concern:
“Throughout the Middle East there are millions of Christians in grave danger by repressive regimes, but there are no calls for boycotts of those countries. This is just idiocy.”
The vast bullying/blackmailing/bribing machine of the ZPC has until August, when the recommendations come up for vote to make UCC step all the way back into the circle. And apologize!
Israel’s High Court of Justice orders to demolish West Bank outpost
The Israeli administration has an uncontrollable weakness for George Orwell’s 1984; the best example is the 1982 Lebanon War which was named by the government “the War for the Peace of the Galilee.” The Hebrew possessive contraction brought together the two words which sounded exactly like “War-Peace,” creating a perfect Orwellian oxymoron. These instances abound; the topic of today’s article sends us to a place which its name contradicts its nature. Beit El is a settlement just north of Jerusalem, in the problematic Mateh Binyamin Regional Council; its name means “House of God,” yet, its residents committed crimes in the name of God. In response, this week Israel’s High Court of Justice ordered the demolition of Beit El’s Ulpana neighborhood by July 1, 2012.
Beit El – Ulpana Neighbourhood
One of the reasons Benjamin Netanyahu had to widen his government by the addition of Kadima (see Shaul Mofaz Walks to Canossa) was his urgent need to deal with a series of court decisions defining settlements and outposts in the West Bank as illegitimate. The previous government was narrow and composed by right wing parties, allowing single extremist members of the coalition to block government decisions aimed at solving these problems. One of the most notorious cases was Migron (see April 2012: Battle of Migron); in that case, Netanyahu’s government decided to move the entire outpost to a nearby hill in order to fulfill an eviction order while keeping coalitional peace. However, that is not always possible. Sometimes, settlements on the line of fire are too sensitive for that. That’s the case of Beit El.
At first, Beit El looks similar to any other settlement in the West Bank. A religiously observant town located next to a large Palestinian city (al-Bireh), and belonging to the extremist Mateh Binyamin Regional Council (see Mattot Arim and the Jewish Extremists Clockwork). Yet, two of its statistics draw immediate attention. It was founded in 1977, meaning it is one of the oldest Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Then, it has a population of over 1,200 families; it is the closest thing the settlements have to a megacity. Checking a bit deeper, one finds that this is a key settlement in the Religious Zionist Movement. The State of Israel wouldn’t have been possible without an alliance between the secular Zionists and the religious Haredim (see Netanyahu’s Mule: On an Unholy Alliance); the result is what outside Israel is known as Religious Zionist Movement, and in Israel it is generalized as “kipot srugot,” the “hand-woven kipas”, after the distinctively hand-woven headcovers used by its men.
Beit El is home to various prominent persons. Rabbi Binyamin “Benny” Elon is a former member of the Knesset for the Moledet party and lives in Beit El. His father Menachem Elon was the former Deputy Chief Justice of Israel, and his brother Rabbi Mordechai Elon, is a prominent figure in the Religious Zionist Movement. His wife, Emuna, is an author and journalist who spent significant period of her life in New York; this is a reminder that most settlers in the West Bank are American Jews.
Ya’akov Dov “Katzele” Katz, the leader of the National Union party, also lives in Beit El . Beyond being a Knesset legislator, he is also the Executive Director of Beit El Yeshiva Center Institutions and Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio which operates out of studios in Beit El and Petah Tikva. This shortlist is enough to convince that Beit El is not Migron; it cannot be moved to the nearest hill in the middle of the night. It is linked directly to the parliament, the government, and the media. In Netanyahu buys Justice, I described how it is also indirectly linked to the Supreme Court. How dares the High Court of Justice to evict them? (Note for non-Israeli readers; Israel lacking a Constitution, its Supreme Court can operate as High Court of Justice-Bagatz-to which any person can approach, bypassing lower courts).
Unlawfulness in the West Bank has various layers. The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this. The international community considers Israeli settlements a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention’s prohibition on the transfer of an occupying power’s civilian population into occupied territory. Thus, they are illegal under international law. Israel disputes that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the Palestinian territories as they had not been legally held by a sovereign prior to Israel taking control of them. This view has been rejected by the International Court of Justice and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The vast majority of West Bank settlements are in between these definitions; they are considered illegal by the entire world, but legal by the Israeli government. However, sometimes they are considered unlawful even by the Israeli government.
This usually happens when there are disputes regarding the purchase of the land upon which the settlement was built. For example, in the abovementioned Migron, most of the land occupied by the outpost belongs to several Palestinian families living in the nearby villages of Burqa and Deir Dibwan. Associated Press discovered in 2008, that Abd Allatif Hassan Sumarin, who supposedly sold a plot of land to Binyamin Regional Council owned Al Wattan Ltd in 2004, had been dead since 1961. In Nabi Saleh and other locations, settlements occupy lands unlawfully confiscated by the Israeli government. The Ulpana neighborhood of Beit El was established in 1999 on similarly problematic lands, which belong to people from the nearby Dura al-Qar village. In a lawsuit before the High Court of Israel, the state notified the court that the company developing the Ulpana neighborhood, Gush Emunim’s Amana Company, was aware that the seller of the land, a 7-year old Palestinian child, was not its legal owner at the time. Thus, even the State of Israel defines Ulpana as illegitimate, thus the eviction order issued on May 7, 2012, by the High Court of Justice. Supreme Court President Ahser Grunis along with Justice Uzi Fogelman and Justice Salim Joubran rejected an appeal from the state requesting it to reconsider its earlier ruling to evacuate the Ulpana neighborhood, despite the state itself recognizing the unlawfulness. Please let me clarify the situation. The State of Israel led a legal battle in its courts against its own laws.
Netanyahu faces a serious problem. A settlement belonging to settlers’ aristocracy has been evicted by Israel’s highest court. He cannot solve the problem legally. “Juden Raus!” (“Jews Out” in German) is being heard again, but this time the offensive words are uttered by the highest Jewish court. How big must be the settlers’ crimes in order to have achieved this shameful situation! Yet, Netanyahu is resourceful and manipulative. Reports from the government’s meeting after the court decision claim that Netanyahu is planning to deploy Israel’s secret weapon against the High Court. For the second time in its history, Israel is planning to legislate a retroactive law. Israel’s Nazis and Nazi Collaborators Punishment Law (Hok Le’Asiat Din BaNatzim) from August 1, 1950, enables the execution of Nazis; its maximal punishment has been applied twice, but carried out only once. Between 1950 and 1961, this law was used to prosecute 29 Jewish Holocaust survivors alleged to have been Nazi collaborators. The first and only time it was used to execute a person, was in the Adolf Eichmann case. He was illegally kidnapped by Mossad from Argentina in 1960 and two years later was hanged. The second instance was the horrific persecution of John Demjanjuk (see Western Psikhushka Killed Demjanjuk), in which it became clear Israel knew it was prosecuting the wrong man. What makes this law special from a legal point of view is that it is retroactive and extraterritorial, since the State of Israel didn’t exist during WWII. Moreover, the alleged crimes were neither committed in Israel nor against Israeli citizens.
An ex post facto law (Latin for “after the fact”), or retroactive law, is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of actions committed prior to the enactment of the law. Ex post facto laws are expressly forbidden by the United States Constitution, though some countries accept them. These laws cannot be accepted as fair practice, regardless of the justifications used for their approval. Simply, how can one protect himself against a law that has not been legislated yet? States applying this horror assume people have the power of precognition (Israel publicly assumed to possess such powers, (see Minority Report: IDF arrests Palestinian prisoner released in Shalit swap). Thus, the Nazis and Nazi Collaborators Punishment Law cannot be accepted as a legitimate law, especially due to its geopolitical consequences. If we accept this, we will be forced also to accept a Laotian law sentencing Americans chewing bubble-gum in Honduras to death (no offense intended to any of these nations). Now, Netanyahu wants to do that again, by legislating a law that will transform the illegal purchase of land in Beit El into legal, rendering the court decision obsolete.
There is no doubt everything is unacceptable in this case: the land deal, the settlers’ actions, the government behavior in court, and now the possible legislation of another retroactive law. Mr. Netanyahu, we are entitled to live under a legitimate legal system, with no secret laws, with no retroactive laws, and with no extraterritorial laws. We are entitled to live in a society that respects its own laws, and that its laws are used for the benefit of its citizens not for the benefit of organized crime. You and yours are unable to provide that, thus, at least, let us tell you three words: Raus! Raus! Raus!
I got into Sun-Ra 3-4 years ago and I quickly became fascinated by this Alien Cuckoo from Saturn. When he is good his very very good, When he is bad he is terrible. Well to be fair it’s not terrible, rather ugly sounding. Sun Ra merges beautiful and ugly sounds into a rapturous joyous noise. He has a unique sound and is without doubt, totally orginal. My favourite album is “Lanquidity” and of course “the Nubians of Plutonia”. Be warned this is challenging stuff. ~ Jonathon
Space is the Place
Sun Ra was born on the planet Saturn some time ago. The best accounts agree that he emerged on Earth as Herman Blount, born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1914, although Sun Ra himself always denied that Blount was his surname. He returned to Saturn in 1993 after creating a stunningly variegated and beautiful assemblage of earthly and interplanetary music, most notably with his fervently loyal Arkestra.
Sun Ra and his Arkestra were the subject of a few documentary films, notably Robert Mugge’s ‘A Joyful Noise’ (1980), which interspersed performances and rehearsals with Sun Ra’s commentary on various subjects ranging from today’s youth to his own place in the cosmos.
Today’s documentary, Don Letts’ ‘Sun Ra, Brother From Another Planet’ from 2005, reuses some of Mugge’s material and includes some additional interviews.
The American government has issued an arrest warrant for American citizen Yonas Fikre, 33, who is seeking asylum in Sweden. This comes, after the Ethiopia-born resident of Portland, Ore, publicly alleged illegal detention and torture while in the United Arab Emirates – carried out at the behest of the FBI.
The FBI response is predictable; they will not comment on individual investigations because of security and Privacy Act concerns. It won’t be drawn on Fikre’s accusation that it orchestrated torture.
Meanwhile, in Kuala Lumpur the tribunal seeking to convict George Dubya Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and five others for war crimes nears its conclusion.
The esteemed prosecution team make its final submission to a packed ‘court’ room.
Who is responsible for all the crimes committed on detainees in Bagram, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and similar US bases?
Professor Gurdial Singh, refers to the case of the Japanese commander who led forces in the Philippines in WW2. Tomoyuki Yamashita’s troops, under his command, committed crimes against civilians. The international tribunal in Tokyo held him liable and convicted him. This decision was confirmed by the US supreme court who found that by virtue of his role as ‘commander of the troops’ Yamashita had to take positive action to end such abuses – or be held responsible for them.
Commanders then, in findings of abuse and crimes against other troops or civilians, are under the US supreme courts consideration guilty until proven innocent. The burden of proof lies with those in command to prove they took active steps to end any acts contravening international law, by their troops.
It follows that the chain of command can be held responsible in abuses that have arisen from the US occupations of the past decade, argues the prosecution. From the CIA operatives in plain clothes, to the paid bounty hunters in Kirkuk and Pakistan, from the interrogators in Bagram and Gitmo to the President of the USA, commander in Chief of the US army, all will be culpable legally if torture has taken place.
So did the prosecution here in KL make the case beyond a reasonable doubt?
The totality of the evidence reveals that Bush made executive orders that led to the subsequent abuses and crimes in Guantanamo Bay which then mutated and spread to other US military bases where detainees were (and are) held without due process. The Commander-in- Chief of the military not only expects his orders will be acted upon; updates from the battle field are regularly made to him. So why was nothing done to stop the acts of violence that were eventually revealed by the media to be taking place? Far from seeking to stop the abuse of detainees in US hands, Bush and his chain of command at the time, sought legal opinions in advance of the actions, to attempt to make them excusable if they ever came to light.
The Enemy Combatants Executive Order issued by the Bush regime said that (those it considered) Taliban and Al Quaeda members were no longer protected by the Geneva Convention. This order, led to ALL the subsequent abuses. Detention in Guantanamo Bay was another effort to remove detainees from any legal jurisdiction. Creating a deliberate ‘legal black hole’; a lawless environment, for which the Bush regime’s commands were responsible. Waterboarding was found to have ‘no lasting harm’ said Bush at the time. In his autobiography he says, that he, personally, approved the use of enhanced interrogation ‘techniques.’ The prosecution in KL emphasises the plural – “techniques”.
This then can be taken as a clear admission of guilt to the charge that Bush had full knowledge of – and indeed gave the command to – torture. US forces and their hired hands from Afghanistan to Iraq via Guantanamo and further afield into the bases and secret prisons of which the world knows nothing, are all answerable under international law to the Commander in Chief of operations.
All the witnesses who gave testimony at this tribunal (for their testimonies see the earlier article I wrote) were interrogated by the CIA, using the new techniques approved by Bush.
So, what has the Bush/Cheney defence been for these crimes; there appears to be only one game plan available to them and it is a weak one. ‘National necessity’, that in order to protect Americans, the norms of law applying to Muslim detainees, can and must be jettisoned. The only problem for Bush, Cheney and the entire chain of command in this shameful section of world history is that this ‘defence’ whilst emotionally appealing to Fox News viewers – has no basis whatsoever, nor relevance, in law.
Article 2.2 of the Geneva convention, says that there are no exceptional circumstances WHATSOVER which ‘may be used to withdraw the captives protections and rights.’
When the US Supreme Court said that the rights of any detainees could not be violated in its own investigation, Bush in his memoirs announced, arrogantly, that he ‘disagreed strongly with the court’s decision’.
A clear admission that he wished he could (and he did) disregard the law of the United States in relation to the protection of victims of war aka ‘captives’.
The case against Rumsfeld.
The infamous 2002 ‘torture’ memo, had a second document attached to it. A request for approval of new techniques by commanders at Guantanamo Bay.William Haynes was the General Counsel of the Department of Defense in Bush’s administration. He has also been General Counsel of the Department of the Army. It was Haynes, who sent the request for approval of the new techniques. Rumsfeld’s direct approval was needed for any torture to take place.
18 levels of techniques were sought; including solitary confinement of up to 30 days, 24 hour interrogations, use of fear of dogs etc. Also scenarios where a detainee was made to fear death or injury to others in order for information to be obtained by the interrogators.
No limits to the use of these techniques were sought nor any given.
Haynes, advised that all these methods and a dozen more should be made’ legally’ available. Rumsfeld was the secretary for defence at the time. He added comments to the memo in his own handwriting. The infamous ‘flippant’ note that he stood for 8 hours a day in his job so ‘why is standing (by detainees) limited to just four hours’ appeared in the margin proving he read the memos. In his memoirs, Rumsfeld says he regrets having scribbled the comment. Not because of the gross flippancy in relation to real human suffering being inflicted that it showed. But, because he was misunderstood. That, his note was just a statement of fact about his working hours – not a hint that more extreme measures should be effected by the Gitmo command.
Prosecutor Singh says; ‘When the beast is caught look at the contrivances; Pathetic.’
Any Secretary of Defence memo goes right down the field of command to the field level, where it will be implemented.
Rumsfeld, via the legal memos to Gitmo never placed limits on the interrogation techniques he was signing off on – nor their use in combination.
Rumsfeld has publicly contradicted himself saying the techniques were only meant for use against specific prisoners; those deemed the ‘worst of the worst’
Prosecutor Singh of the persecution said; ‘This is a bald faced untruth’.
Rumsfeld later said he was ‘troubled’ by reports of combo techniques used on detainees. Saying it looked as if methods went ‘beyond’ the original orders.
Yet, his department was repeatedly warned of the mistreatment of detainees. There was public knowledge of the methods used at Gitmo. It is inconceivable that Rumsfeld did not know of abuses.
Those, who issue the action advice are as responsible as those who carry out the orders. The orders were handed out in the full knowledge that a crime would be carried out as a result. Thus, the 18 Interrogation techniques, are linked directly to Washington. Rumsfeld was regularly involved in talks about these methods.
In Rumsfeld’s memoir he says of the eventual media exposure of torture, of humiliation techniques of sexual abuse in Bagram and beyond that they – ‘occurred on my watch….I take full responsibility.’
But where is the responsibility? Empty words.
‘The fruit of the poison tree is poisoned’ says the prosecution, here in KL. The logic of the original memos, stayed in effect for over a year, until the Abu Ghraib scandal, caused them to be repealed.
The Slazenger Report of 2004 concluded that the entire chain of command, including Rumsfeld, was responsible for the abuses and degrading treatment of detainees in Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere.
Such abuses were not, bad apples, but ‘systemic acts and crimes’.
At the time of the abuses an ICRC report found that criminal acts were considered ‘acceptable’ by coalition forces.
The defence case, as laid here in Malaysia, is more that weak it is, in legal terms, childish.
Rumsfeld approved the basis of the report by a working group in which the definition of torture was relaxed without legal justification, creating an environment where torture was acceptable.
The charges against the Bush Administrations VP, Richard Bruce Cheney.
That he knew everything that was going on.
The court is shown a clip from a US news show where Cheney is interviewed live. He states that he would ‘strongly support using it again’ when asked about the torture method of simulated drowning known as water boarding.
Video shown of Dick Cheney on specific point:
Would he approve secret prisons he’s asked?
Did he stand by other methods of torture (deemed illegal under international law)
DC; Yes..It was controversial at the time. It was the right thing to do.
Prosecution uses this as a clear admission of guilt in absentia, here in Malaysia.
The legal advice sought by Bush et al was sought not just to be mulled over – but in order that it be acted upon.
Legal advice in 2002/2003 and 2004 for the the illegal techniques came directly from the office of legal council in the Attorney Generals office. The AG webpage clearly states that all executive orders (from Bush etc) and proclamations proposed to be given by the Presidents office are reviewed. In short, a legal check must be made that Presidential orders conform to the law.
Here again the team surrounding Bush tries the weakest of manoeuvres to wriggle out of legal culpability for its heinous crimes. The legal office for the US administration has tried to say that the advice they gave on torture at the time was ‘merely exploratory.’ That they were just looking at the outer limits of legality. This is incorrect and deliberately misleading. All their written advice- is legally binding on the Presidential Office. It is not merely read and considered. The President MUST act on it.
Prosecutor Singh, calls Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld the ‘Unholy trinity’. Few here, including the victims of torture giving evidence would disagree.
The political memoirs of arrogant, former world leaders are proving a gold mine for legal teams seeking justice when they retire from office. Thus, Rumsfeld, from his book; ‘Administration lawyers fully vetted the CIA’s programme, giving them the green light to proceed.’ It was the CIA’s programme which was applied and that stripped human beings of their dignity and rights.
Former CIA director John Tenet, in his memoirs, recounts that the CIA had to wait for legal approval to be given before they could proceed with the new interrogation techniques. He recounts:
….despite what Hollywood would have you believe; in times like this you don’t call in the tough guys you call in in the lawyers.
The clear guidance that was sought for the new torture methods, came in August 2002 – from the sixth accused in this case, Rumsfeld’s lawyer.
The message all the implicated lawyers gave to Guantanamo interrogators at the time of a visit to the base, was; ‘do what is needed to be done.’
And this advice didn’t occur in an awareness vacuum.
The orientation visit that Washington lawyers went on took place well before further illegal techniques were requested. Their jolly holiday included watching interrogations. So, the spurious claim that their subsequent advice to highest echelons of power was just explorative and not necessarily to be used is a joke. These memos kick-started all the acts that violated international law.
The techniques in Gitmo migrated to Iraq, as has been reported here from the witnesses, former detainees. The hooding, electrocution, nudity, denial of toilet use.
Terrible advice was firstly sought, then given and finally acted upon
So are legal advisers responsible if other act on their advice?
Listen to what the Nuremberg trials said; that legal advisors,who prepare erroneous advice, which then leads to war crimes – are themselves subject to trial.
In the Nuremberg trials after World War Two, 16 lawyers were charged for advising the Nazis. All but four were found guilty and convicted.
Senior a senior US judge was asked by the prosecution counsel the following question;
Does a delinquent lawyer share the same responsibility as a rogue interrogator?
Answer; If the legal advice they wrote, opened a door to abuse, even torture, then in theory the responsibility would go back to the author of the advice.
Bush lawyers bent the laws.
The star of this trial has undoubtedly been Professor Francis A. Boyle, scholar in the areas of International Law and Human Rights. His no nonsense presentation of the relevant judgements from the Nuremberg Charter and his in depth knowledge of the US army Field manual (which forms the basis for all legally permitted and forbidden behaviours of the US forces) has been compelling. And damning for Bush, Cheney and all their advisors on trial here.
In his final summation, Boyle makes it clear that legally, the Commander at the top of the tree IS responsible for the crimes of his subordinates. People, not in us military uniforms, were committing war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo, who were under US command. The US government at the time was the ‘Belligerent Occupant’ of Iraq, thus with regard to the torture that took place there , (whether by the CIA or Iraqi torturers or soldiers or contractors) those crimes are directly attributable to those at the top of US command. Beware Obama.
The Field Manual also says in the index ‘Torture forbidden.’
To avoid prosecution; ‘All these lawyers had to do was open the manual look at the index and see ‘torture forbidden.’ Says Boyle
Page 107 of the Field Manual, paragraph 270, in bold and capital letters states the; ‘prohibition of coercion – no moral or physical coercion’ can be exercised against a protected person.
i.e.; You cannot threaten to rape torture or murder a relative to get information from captives.
And so it goes on.
Even in the darkest hour of the Vietnam War no one in the US administatration argued for the right to torture anyone.
Even with the Viet Cong, the US authorities said that they would observe the rights of detainees and prisoners as outlined under international law.
Chillingly, the Pentagon has now clearly hinted that its Field Manual with so much of the Nuremberg charter on the protection of civilians in combat zones and captives, incorporated in it, has been up for review. Somewhere in the dark annals of the Pentagon, a revised version awaits the US armed forces. And the world.
The judgement is expected this afternoon.
* Please note there was an error in this article mistakenly saying Gitmo commanders were also accused this is incorrect it was the Washington leaders and legal advisors only.
After the World Wars, a group of Intelligence services formed an agreement to fight communism and share intelligence and to help security. As part of this agreement a global communication monitoring system was established. Using all the members they could monitor all communications on the planet. This was gradually expanded and eventually became the Echelon system. With its main centres being:
The Special Relationship
But who runs Echelon? Echelon is run by a joint alliance of countries Canada, America, New Zealand, Australia, Israel & Britian. AKA CAZAIB.
The latest news from Jewland and around the word with the one and only Deek Jackson. LOL