The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence. The World is at the Precipice of another World War by Francis A. Boyle

by Prof. Francis A. Boyle
Global Research, October 6, 2010

XVIIIth Conference “Mut Zur Ethic”: Direct Democracy

Feldkirch, Austria, 4 September 2010

I am very happy to be speaking with you this evening. I want to express my gratitude to Zeit-Fragen for publishing the German language edition of my book The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence (Clarity Press: 2002) which comes out now on the anniversary of the end of the Second World War.  At this time 65 years ago, Japan surrendered to the United States after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the incineration of 250,000 completely innocent human beings.

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The United States Promotes Israeli Genocide Against the Palestinians by Prof. Francis A. Boyle

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Francis A. Boyle
Global Research, January 10, 2009

(from “Tackling America’s Toughest Questions,” now at

As long ago as October 19, 2000, the then United Nations Human Rights Commission (now Council) condemned Israel for inflicting “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” upon the Palestinian people, most of whom are Muslims. The reader has a general idea of what a war crime is, so I am not going to elaborate upon that term here. But there are different degrees of heinousness for war crimes. In particular are the more serious war crimes denominated “grave breaches” of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Since the outbreak of the first Intifada in 1987, the world has seen those heinous war crimes inflicted every day by Israel against the Palestinian people living in occupied Palestine: e.g., willful killing of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli army and by Israel’s illegal paramilitary settlers. These Israeli “grave breaches” of the Fourth Geneva Convention mandate universal prosecution for the perpetrators and their commanders, whether military or civilian, including and especially Israel’s political leaders. Continue reading

An Israeli War Crimes Tribunal (ICTI) May be the Only Deterrent to a Global War by Francis A. Boyle

Dandelion Salad

by Francis A. Boyle
Global Research, December 31, 2008

The United Nations General Assembly must immediately establish an International Criminal Tribunal for Israel (ICTI) as a “subsidiary organ” under U.N. Charter Article 22. The ICTI would be organized along the lines of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY), which was established by the Security Council.

The purpose of the ICTI would be to investigate and prosecute Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Peoples of Lebanon and Palestine–just as the ICTY did for the victims of international crimes committed by Serbia and the Milosevic Regime throughout the Balkans. Continue reading

The Bush Admin Is an Ongoing Criminal Conspiracy Under International Law and US Domestic Law

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Francis A. Boyle
Global Research, September 2, 2008

Justice Robert H. Jackson Conference:
Planning for the Prosecution of High Level American War Criminals
Massachusetts Law School

September 13-14, 2008
Andover, Massachusetts

Since the impeachable installation of George W. Bush as President in January of 2001 by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Gang of Five, the peoples of the world have witnessed a government in the United States that has demonstrated little if any respect for fundamental considerations of international law, human rights, and the United States Constitution.

What the world has watched instead is a comprehensive and malicious assault upon the integrity of the international and domestic legal orders by a group of men and women who are thoroughly Machiavellian and Straussian in their perception of international relations and in their conduct of both foreign policy and domestic affairs. Even more seriously, in many instances specific components of the Bush administration’s foreign policies constitute ongoing criminal activity under well-recognized principles of both international law and U.S. domestic law, and in particular the Nuremberg Charter, the Nuremberg Judgment, and the Nuremberg Principles, as well as the Pentagon’s own U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10 on The Law of Land Warfare (1956), all of which apply to President Bush himself as Commander-in-Chief of United States Armed Forces under Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution.

Depending upon the substantive issues involved, those international crimes typically include but are not limited to the Nuremberg offenses of crimes against peace: For example, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and perhaps their longstanding threatened wars of aggression against Iran and now Pakistan.  Their criminal responsibility also concerns Nuremberg crimes against humanity and war crimes as well as grave breaches of the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and of the 1907 Hague Regulations on land warfare:  For example, torture at Guantanamo, Bhagram, Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere; enforced disappearances, assassinations, murders, kidnappings, extraordinary renditions, “shock and awe,” depleted uranium, white phosphorous, cluster bombs, Fallujah, and the Gitmo kangaroo courts.

Furthermore, various members of the Bush administration have committed numerous inchoate crimes incidental to these substantive offences that under the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles as well as paragraph 500 of U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10 are international crimes in their own right:  planning and preparation—which they are currently doing today against Iran and Pakistan—solicitation, incitement, conspiracy, complicity, attempt, aiding and abetting.

Finally, according to basic principles of international criminal law set forth in paragraph 501 of U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10, all high level civilian officials and military officers in the U.S. government who either knew or should have known that soldiers or civilians under their control (such as the C.I.A. or private contractors), committed or were about to commit international crimes and failed to take the measures necessary to stop them, or to punish them, or both, are likewise personally responsible for the commission of international crimes.

At the very top of America’s criminal chain-of-command are President Bush and Vice-President Cheney;  former U.S. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld; Rumsfeld’s Deputy Paul Wolfowitz; Secretary of State Rice; former Director of National Intelligence Negroponte; National Security Advisor Hadley; his Deputy Elliot Abrams; former U.S. Attorneys General Ashcroft and Gonzales, criminally responsible for the torture campaign launched by the Bush Jr. administration; and the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staffs along with the appropriate Regional Commanders-in-Chief, especially for U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).

These U.S. government officials and their immediate subordinates are responsible for the commission of crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes as specified by the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles as well as by U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10.  Today in international legal terms, the Bush Jr. administration itself should now be viewed as constituting an ongoing criminal conspiracy under international criminal law and U.S. domestic law because of its formulation and undertaking of serial wars of aggression, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in violation of the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles that are legally akin to those perpetrated by the former Nazi regime in Germany.

Of course the terrible irony of today’s situation is that six decades ago at Nuremberg the U.S. government participated in the prosecution, punishment and execution of Nazi government officials for committing some of the same types of heinous international crimes that the members of the Bush administration currently inflict upon people all over the world. To be sure, I personally oppose the imposition of capital punishment upon any human being for any reason no matter how monstrous their crimes, whether they be Bush Jr., Tony Blair, or Saddam Hussein.

As a consequence, American citizens possess the basic right under international law and United States domestic law, including the U.S. Constitution, to engage in acts of civil resistance designed to prevent, impede, thwart, or terminate ongoing criminal activities perpetrated by Bush administration officials in their conduct of foreign affairs policies and military operations purported to relate to defense and counter-terrorism.  Today’s civil resisters are the sheriffs!  The Bush administration officials are the outlaws!

We American citizens must reaffirm our commitment to the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles by holding our government officials fully accountable under international law and U.S. domestic law for the commission of such grievous international and domestic crimes.  We must not permit any aspect of our foreign affairs and defense policies to be conducted by acknowledged “war criminals” according to the U.S. government’s own official definitions of that term as set forth in the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles, U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10, the U.S. War Crimes Act, the Four Geneva Conventions and the Hague Regulations.  The American people must insist upon the impeachment, dismissal, resignation, indictment, conviction, and long-term incarceration of all U.S. government officials guilty of such heinous international and domestic crimes.  If not so restrained, the Bush administration could very well precipitate a Third World War.

In this regard, during the course of an October 17, 2007 press conference, President Bush Jr. terrorized the entire world with the threat of World War III if he could not work his illegal will upon Iran.  It is my opinion that the Bush administration is fully prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons against Muslim and Arab states and peoples in order to break the taboo of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  After the terrible tragedy of September 11, 2001 the United States of America has vilified and demonized Muslims and Arabs almost to the same extent that America inflicted upon the Japanese and Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor.  As the Nazis had previously demonstrated with respect to the Jews, a government must first dehumanize and scapegoat a race of people before its citizens will tolerate if not approve their elimination: witness Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  In post -9/11 America we are directly confronted with the prospect of a nuclear war of extermination conducted by our White Racist Judeo-Christian Power Elite against Peoples of Color in the Muslim and Arab worlds in order to steal their oil and gas.  The Crusades all over again.  But this time nuclear Armageddon stares all of humankind right in the face!

We American lawyers must be inspired by the stunning example set by those heroic Pakistani lawyers who led the successful struggle against the brutal Bush-supported Musharraf military dictatorship in Pakistan.  We American lawyers must now lead the fight against the Bush dictatorship and empire! This is our Nuremberg Moment!

Thank you.

© Copyright Francis A. Boyle, Global Research, 2008

The url address of this article is:


1 Million For Impeachment

Kucinich: Citizens must demand Congress consider impeachment

Take Action – Sign the Petition for Impeachment


Call on Iran to sue Israel and US in World Court over threats of military force

Dandelion Salad

(source: CASMII)
Saturday, August 9, 2008

CASMII Press Release

9 August 2008

The US and Israeli leaders have systematically violated Article 2 of the UN Charter in the past few years threatening Iran with military attacks over its disputed nuclear programme. CASMII calls on the Government of Iran to respond positively to the compelling case made by Professor Francis Boyle to sue these countries in the International Court of Justice in The Hague so as to avert an Israel/US war and further sanctions on Iran.

Iran ‘s nuclear plants including its enrichment facilities are all under the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Every single report of the Agency on Iran since 2003 when the inspections started – including over a period of two years when Iran voluntarily enforced the Additional Protocol’s regime of intrusive inspections – has stressed that there has been no diversion of declared nuclear material into weaponization. Speaking at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East in May this year, Dr Mohammad ElBaradei, the head of the IAEA, asserted : “We haven’t seen indications or any concrete evidence that Iran is building a nuclear weapon and I’ve been saying that consistently for the last five years”, and added that the problem is one of trust.

Conditions for reporting the nuclear file of a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is spelled out in Article 12(c) of the IAEA Statute. As Michael Spies of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms has explained : “Verification and enforcement of the non-proliferation objectives contained in the NPT are limited, in part to maintain the balance of rights and obligations of states parties. NPT Safeguards, administered by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), are limited to verifying that no nuclear material in each non-weapon state has been diverted to weapons or unknown use. These safeguards allow for the IAEA to report a case of non-compliance to the Security Council only if nuclear material is found to have been diverted.”

Despite the absence of any evidence of a nuclear weaponization programme and contrary to Article 12(c) of the IAEA Statute, the US pressured the member states of the Governor’s Board of the IAEA to report Iran ‘s file to the UN Security Council in February 2006.

Even a powerful country like India was threatened by the US Ambassador, David Mulford, who publicly declared in January 2006 that there would be no US–India nuclear deal if India did not vote against Iran in the Board. Stephen Rademaker, the then Assistant Secretary for Non-Proliferation and Global Security, boasted a year later in a public meeting that India ‘s vote was coerced by the US.

The decision of IAEA’s Governors Board in February 2006 to report Iran ‘s file to the UN Security Council, which has resulted in four UN Security Council resolutions and three rounds of sanctions against Iran , has therefore no real legal basis. In the words of Michael Spies: “Under a traditional view, the authority of the Security Council is limited to cases which have been found to constitute a threat to international peace and security. But as we have seen in the case of Iran , which takes place what was formerly a legal vacuum, the Council’s “innovative” approach has resulted in a(nother) de facto expansion of its role beyond the relatively narrow precepts of the UN Charter and has poised it to become the ultimate enforcer of global treaty regimes.”

Moreover, the four Security Council resolutions adopted against Iran, themselves violate the UN Charter as they are all based on Articles of Chapter 7 (Resolution 1696, 31-07-2006, under Article 40, Resolution 1373 on 23-12-2006, under Article 41, Resolution 1747 on 24-03-2007, under Article 41 and Resolution 1803 on 03-03- 2008, under Article 41) without invoking Article 39 that was required to establish that Iran’s nuclear programme is a “threat to peace, breach of peace, or act of aggression”.

Michael Spies concludes from this that “it calls into question the legitimacy of [the Security] Council in intruding on matters of enforcing treaty law on matters that do not rise to the level of threat to the peace.”

The Government of Iran, representing the country in international relations, has the duty to confront coercion, unjustified pressures and sanctions against Iran ‘s national interests on all fronts including in the legal domain. Iran should have sued the US through the International Court of Justice at an early date and in any case certainly after the US Ambassador’s well-documented public threat to coerce India against Iran in January 2006.

In the absence of any legal challenge taken up by Iran in the international sphere, Israel , the US and their European allies – the UK and France – became emboldened to threaten Iran with military intervention since 2004.

The Israeli and US leaders have made a mockery of international law and routinely declare that “all options are on the table”, which has become a euphemism for threatening “pre-emptive military strike”. Terrifyingly, in his response to a reporter, President Bush has not even ruled out a nuclear attack on Iran , a non-nuclear armed state.

More recently, Shaul Mofaz, Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister, stated publicly in early June, when Israel reportedly conducted a dress rehearsal of a military strike on Iran’s nuclear plants, that “Israel will attack Iran if it doesn’t abandon its nuclear program”, a statement that was strongly condemned by the IAEA. Mofaz repeated the threat later in July and said “if there won’t be a choice other than a nuclear Iran or a military option, it’s clear what our decision has to be”, a threat he reiterated again on 1 August.

The consistent Israeli and American bellicose statements and activities in recent weeks have prompted a large group of prominent Israeli academics to set up an “Ad Hoc Group Against Israeli Attack on Iran ” which has issued a press release declaring that “There is no military, political or moral justification to initiate war with Iran ”.

The military threats contravene Article 2(4) of the UN Charter that clearly states: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

Israeli and American threats of using military aggression against Iran should remind us of the fundamental charge against the Nazi leaders in their trials after the Second World War. The Nuremberg Tribunal, which brought Hitler’s henchmen to justice for their wars of aggression, asserted : “War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

The case against the US and Israel has been well formulated by Professor Francis Boyle who has recommended that Iran should sue these countries in the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

By insisting on the pre-condition that Iran must suspend uranium enrichment which is Iran ‘s right under the NPT, the US is in effect refusing to negotiate with Iran in good faith while threatening it with further sanctions, a de facto naval blockade and military intervention. But Iran voluntarily suspended its enrichment programme and enforced the Additional Protocol under President Khatami for some two years without gaining any thing in return.

In contrast, Iran has proposed that its enrichment programme be carried out under the auspices of an international consortium with Western participation and has also offered to enforce the IAEA’s Additional Protocol if its nuclear file is returned to the Agency. These two proposals, which would provide full transparency of Iran ‘s nuclear programme and guarantee that it would remain for peaceful purposes only, form a very reasonable ground for negotiations with the US and its European allies to remove any suspicions about Iran ‘s nuclear activities. It is reasonable to expect that an international court of law would issue a restraining order against the US and Israeli threats and force the US to drop its precondition and ultimatums and enter into comprehensive and unconditional negotiations for a peaceful resolution of its standoff with Iran.

CASMII calls on Iran to challenge the reckless and illegal threats against the country and wage a legal battle to sue the US and Israel in the World Court, which in the very least would bring to world public attention the facts of the nuclear issue and debunk the lies and distortions propagated against it. A lawsuit against Israel and the US is now an essential component of averting a catastrophic war in the Middle East which would have devastating repercussions for the whole world.

For more information or to contact CASMII visit


Francis Boyle: Iran Should Sue to Stop US Attack

Francis Boyle: Iran Should Sue to Stop US Attack

Dandelion Salad


Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois, proposes that Iran sue the U.S. in the World Court to enjoin it against threats to attack Iran

Vodpod videos no longer available.


US lawyer seeks to sue US over Iran threats



US lawyer seeks to sue US over Iran threats

Dandelion Salad

By Chris Gelken
Press TV, Tehran
Tue, 22 Jul 2008

An American lawyer has offered to represent Iran in an international lawsuit against Israel and his own government in an effort to stop Washington and Tel Aviv from initiating further sanctions against Tehran.

Francis A. Boyle says following Washington’s latest ultimatum to Tehran to freeze uranium enrichment within two weeks or face further isolation, Iran needs to act quickly.

At weekend talks in Geneva, the United States delivered what it describes as a “clear and simple message” that Iran must choose between cooperation or confrontation.

In an email interview with Press TV, Boyle urged Iran to begin drafting lawsuits for presentation to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague before the two-week ultimatum expires.

Q. Precisely what would the charges against the US and Israel be? What are you hoping to achieve?

A. About two years ago Iran contacted me about a proposal I had made to sue the United States, Israel and the EU-3 (Britain, France and Germany) at the International Court of Justice in The Hague for their repeated and public threats to launch a military attack upon Iran over its undoubted right under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to engage in nuclear reprocessing.



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Flynt Leverett on Iran

Iran and the US: Beyond the war of rhetoric

RNN: Iran Geneva talks stall?

Anti-war group calls actions as US & Israel prepare for attack on Iran
Charge Bush With Murder by Francis A. Boyle (audio)

Harvard’s Gitmo Kangaroo Law School-The School for Torturers

Sue Israel for Genocide before the International Court of Justice by Prof. Francis A. Boyle (1998)

Civil Resistance In the Age of Bush & Cheney by William Hughes (Boyle)

Law and Resistance: The Republic in Crisis and the People’s Response by Prof. Francis A. Boyle



Charge Bush With Murder by Francis A. Boyle (audio)

Dandelion Salad


Posted 06/24/08


George W. Bush could be indicted at the state level for murder with malice aforethought, that according to internationally recognized legal expert Francis A. Boyle of the School of Law at the University of Illinois.

According to Boyle, President Bush deceived US soldiers about the reason for sending them to Iraq. Thus, he argues, the 4100 US soldiers who have died in Iraq thus far were murdered. Professor Boyle sees a variety of cases that could be brought and he believes it would take just one indictment and the whole house of cards would fall.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Before Scott McClellan, there was Paul O’Neill (videos)

A Totally Lawless Regime By Paul Craig Roberts

Maj. Gen. Taguba Accuses Bush Admin of War Crimes (video)

Bugliosi Seeks “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder”

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder

Harvard’s Gitmo Kangaroo Law School-The School for Torturers

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Francis Boyle
Global Research
June 16, 2008

Boumediene v Bush, 553 U.S. Supreme Court, June 12, 2008


Harvard’s Gitmo Kangaroo Law School — The School for Torturers

Not surprisingly, the January 2007 issue of the American Journal of Imperial Law–otherwise known as the self-styled American Journal of International Law but founded and still operated by U. S. State and War Departments’ apparatchiks and their professorial fellow-travelers– published an article by Harvard Law School’s recently retired Bemis Professor of International Law Detlev Vagts (who only taught me the required course on Legal Accounting) arguing in favor of the Pentagon’s Kangaroo Courts System on Guantanamo despite the fact that they have been soundly condemned by every human rights organization and every human rights official and leader in the entire world as well as by the United States Supreme Court itself in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006).

I am not going to bother to recite here all the grievous deficiencies of the Gitmo Kangaroo Courts under International Law and U.S. Constitutional Law. But suffice it to say that the Gitmo Kangaroo Courts constitute war crimes under the Laws of War, the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949, and even the U. S. Army’s own Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare (1956). Field Manual 27-10 was drafted for the Pentagon by my Laws of War teacher the late, great Richard R. Baxter, who was generally recognized as the world’s leading expert on that subject, which is precisely why I voluntarily chose to study International Law with him and his long-time collaborator Louis B. Sohn, and not with the bean-counter Vagts. For the entire post-World War II generation of international law students at Harvard Law School, Louis Sohn shall always be our real Bemis Professor of International Law and never the False Pretender to that Throne known as Detlev Vagts.

Since those student days I have personally appeared pro bono publico in five U.S. military courts-martial proceedings involving warfare that were organized in accordance with the Pentagon’s Uniform Code of Military Justice (U.C.M.J.)–which still does not apply to the Gitmo Kangaroo Courts despite the ruling by the U. S. Supreme Court in Hamdan that the U.C.M.J. should be applied in Guantanamo–on behalf of five U. S. military personnel who each acted as matters of courage, integrity, principle, and conscience at great risk to their freedom:

U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Jeff Paterson, the first U.S. military resister to President Bush Sr.’s genocidal war against Iraq; Army Captain Doctor Yolanda Huet-Vaughn, the highest ranking U. S. commissioned officer to be court-martialed for refusing to participate in President Bush Sr.’s genocidal war against Iraq; Captain Lawrence Rockwood, who was court-martialed by the U. S. Army for trying to stop torture in Haiti after the Clinton administration had illegally invaded that country in 1994; Army Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia, the first U. S. military resister to be court-martialed for refusing to participate in President Bush Jr.’s war of aggression against Iraq; and Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, the first U.S. commissioned officer to be court-martialed for his refusal to participate in President Bush Jr.’s war of aggression against Iraq.

As I can attest from my direct personal involvement, each and every one of these five courts-martial under the U.C.M.J. were Stalinist show-trials produced and directed by the Pentagon that predictably and readily degenerated into travesties of justice. These five U.C.M.J. courts-martial involving warfare each proved correct the old adage attributed to Groucho Marx that military justice is to justice as military music is to music. By comparison, the Gitmo Kangaroo Courts will not even be run in accordance with the U.C.M.J. despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan that they should be.

Whenever they are up and running the Gitmo Courts will constitute Stalinist Show Trials as well as Kangaroo Courts, and their preliminary proceedings have already proven them to be Travesties of Justice. Even worse yet, fully-functioning Stalinist Gitmo Kangaroo Courts will quickly become conveyor-belts of death for alleged and already tortured terrorist suspects along the lines of the Texas execution chamber operated by George Bush Jr. when he was the “governor” of that state and tortured to death 152 victims by means of lethal injection. Gitmo will become America’s Death Camp. But today under the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949, executing persons detained as a result of armed conflict without a fair trial before a regularly constituted court constitutes a grave war crime. To be sure, under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution Professor Vagts has the freedom to advocate war crimes so long as he does not participate in their commission, or incite them, or aid and abet them.But precisely where is that line to be drawn for law professors?

In this regard, the Harvard Law School Faculty currently has at least five professors who have advocated torture and war crimes:

Vagts himself, who supported abusing the then recently captured President of Iraq Saddam Hussein despite his being publicly acknowledged to be a Prisoner of War by the Bush Jr. administration itself and thus absolutely protected by the Third Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Convention against Torture; the infamous Alan Dershowitz, a self-incriminated war criminal in his own right. Dersh publicly acknowledged being a member of a Mossad Committee for approving the murder and assassination of Palestinians, which violates the Geneva Conventions and is thus a grave war crime; the Neo-Con Con Law non-entity known as Richard Parker.

Another one of my teachers, Waco Phil Heymann. Previously Waco Phil had been Deputy to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, the Butcheress of Waco. Reno ordered the Waco Massacre, while Heymann orchestrated its cover-up and thus earned his well-deserved sobriquet of Waco Phil. All those incinerated women and children!

The war criminal Jack Goldsmith who while working as a lawyer for the Bush Jr. administration at both the Pentagon and later its Department of In-Justice did much of the legal spade-work designing, justifying and approving the hideous human rights atrocities that the Bush Jr. administration has inflicted on everyone after 9/11. Goldsmith and his co-felon legal colleague from the Bush Jr. administration Professor John Yoo–now desecrating Berkeley’s Law School where my friend and colleague the late, great Dean Frank Newman had taught Human Rights–are functionally analogous to Nazi Law Professor Carl Schmitt, who justified every hideous atrocity that Hitler and the Nazis inflicted on anyone.

Despite my best efforts to prevent it, the Harvard Law School Faculty and Deans hired the war criminal Goldsmith right out of the Bush Jr. administration knowing full well that he was up to his eyeballs in the Gitmo Kangaroo Courts, torture, war crimes, enforced disappearances, murder, kidnapping, and crimes against humanity, at a minimum. And when Goldsmith’s proverbial “smoking-gun” Department of In-Justice Memorandum was published by the Washington Post, Harvard Law School’s Dean Elena Kagan contemptuously boasted in response about how “proud” she was to have hired this notorious war criminal. Previously Kagan had also publicly bragged that the future of International Legal Studies at Harvard Law School would be in the “good hands” of their resident war criminal Goldsmith. How tragically true! The Neo-Conservative Harvard Law School Faculty and Deans deliberately set out to hire this Neo-Nazi legal architect of the Bush Jr. administration’s bogus and nefarious “war against terrorism” because they fully support it together with all its essential accouterments of torture, kangaroo courts, war crimes, murder, kidnapping, enforced disappearances, crimes against humanity, and Nuremburg crimes against peace.

By contrast, after the terrorist bombing of the Murrah Federal Building by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols in alleged revenge for the Waco Massacre and Cover-up by Janet Reno and Waco Phil Heymann, to the best of my recollection I do not remember that the Neo-Conservative Harvard Law School Faculty and Deans advocated kangaroo courts, torture, war crimes, and racist profiling for America’s White Judeo-Christian Males. Yet after 9/11 the fundamentally White Racist Harvard Law School Faculty and Deans have no problem with inflicting torture, kangaroo courts, war crimes, and racist profiling upon Muslims/Arabs/Asians of Color, which is exactly why they hired the war criminal Goldsmith to teach such criminal practices to their own law students and thus someday turn them into racist U. S. governmental war criminals in their own right. This is because for the most part the Harvard Law School Faculty and Deans have always been viscerally bigoted and racist against Muslims/Arabs/Asians and other People of Color since at least when I first matriculated there in September of 1971.

The Harvard Law School Faculty and Deans are no longer fit to educate Lawyers, Members of the Bar, and Officers of the Court. They are a sick joke and a demented fraud. Groucho Marx would have had a field day with them: Harvard is to Law School as Torture is to Law. The Harvard Law School Faculty and Deans torture the Law. Do not send your children or students to Harvard Law School where they will grow up to become racist war criminals! Harvard Law School is a Neo-Con cesspool.

Francis A. Boyle holds a J.D. Magna Cum Laude (1976) from Harvard Law School, and an A.M. 1978) and Ph.D. (1983) in Political Science from Harvard University. He taught for two years as a Teaching Fellow in the Harvard College, and as also an Associate at Harvard’s Center for International Affairs 1976-78). He practiced tax and international tax with the Boston law firm of Bingham, Dana & Gould (1977-78). He joined the Faculty of the University of Illinois College of Law in 1978, where he currently teaches courses on Public International Law, International Human Rights, the Constitutional Law of U.S. Foreign Affairs, and Jurisprudence, having previously taught courses on Criminal Law, International Organizations, World Politics and International Law, and Latinos and the Law. He is the author of eleven books including his latest “Protesting Power:War, Resistance and Law” (Rowman & Littlefield Inc.:2008) and Breaking All The Rules: Palestine, Iraq, Iran and the Case for Impeachment” (Clarity Press: 2008).

He can be reached at: FBOYLE@LAW.UIUC.EDU

© Copyright Francis Boyle, Global Research, 2008

The url address of this article is:


Guantanamo prisoners have rights – Supreme Court

Guantánamo detainees have constitutional right to habeas corpus: Supreme Court Checks and Balances in Boumediene

Kristol: McCain & Graham Plan To Introduce Legislation Undermining Supreme Court Decision On Gitmo

Bush To Detain Supreme Court Justices Who Ruled Against Him On Rights Of Detainees

The McCain Paradox (video)

McCain, You Can’t Have It Both Ways (video)

Disturbing Stirrings – Ratcheting Up For War on Iran by Stephen Lendman

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, May 12, 2008

Led by Dick Cheney, Bush administration neocons want war on Iran. So does the Israeli Lobby, but it doesn’t mean they’ll get it. Powerful forces in Washington and the Pentagon are opposed and so far have prevailed. Nonetheless, worrisome recent events increase the possibility and must be closely watched.

Recall George Bush’s January 10, 2007 address to the nation. He announced the 20,000 troop “surge” and more. “Succeeding in Iraq,” he said, “also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing ‘terrorists’ and ‘insurgents’ to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt (those) attacks….we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.”

That was then; this is now. On May 3, Andrew Cockburn wrote on CounterPunch: “Six weeks ago, President Bush signed a secret ‘finding’ authorizing a covert offensive against the Iranian regime that, according to those familiar with its contents, (is) ‘unprecedented in its scope.’ ” The directive permits a range of actions across a broad area costing hundreds of millions with an initial $300 million for starters. Elements of the scheme include:

— targeted assassinations;

— funding Iranian opposition groups; among them – Mujahedin-e-Khalq that the State Department designates a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO); Jundullah, the “army of god militant Sunni group in Iranian Baluchistan; Iranian Kurdish nationalists; and Ahwazi arabs in southwest Iran;

— destabilizing Syria and Hezbollah; the current Lebanon turbulence raises the stakes;

— putting a hawkish commander in charge; more on that below; and

— kicking off things at the earliest possible time.

These type efforts and others were initiated before and likely never stopped. So it remains to be seen what differences emerge this time and how much more intense they become.

More concerns were cited in a Michael Smith May 4 Times Online report headlined “United States is drawing up plans to strike on Iranian insurgency camp.” It refers to a “surgical strike” against an “insurgent training camp.” In spite of hostile signals, however, “the administration has put plans for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities on the back burner” after Gates replaced Rumsfeld. The article makes several other key points:

— “American defense chiefs (meaning top generals and admirals) are firmly opposed to (attacking) Iranian nuclear facilities;”

— on the other hand, they very much support hitting one or more “training camps (to) deliver a powerful message to Tehran;”

— in contrast, UK officials downplay Iranian involvement in Iraq even though Tehran’s Revolutionary Guard has close ties to al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army; and

— Bush and Cheney are determined not to hand over “the Iran problem” to a successor.

Earlier on April 7, Haaretz reported still more stirrings. It was about Israel’s “largest-ever emergency drill start(ed) to test the authorities’ preparedness for threats (of) a missile attack on central Israel.” Prime Minister Olmert announced that the “drill (was) no front for Israeli bellicose intentions toward Syria” and by implication Iran. Both countries and Hezbollah see it otherwise and with good reason. Further, Israeli officials indicated that this exercise might be repeated annually because they say Iran may have a nuclear capability by early 2009, so Israel will prepare accordingly.

No one can predict US and Israeli plans, but certain things are known and future possibilities can be assessed. Consider recent events. In mid-March, Dick Cheney toured the Middle East with stops in Israel, the West Bank, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Oman, Afghanistan and Iraq. It came after Centcom commander Admiral William Fallon “resigned” March 10 (a year after his appointment) after reports were that he sharply disagreed with regional administration policy.

Public comments played it down, but speculation was twofold – Fallon’s criticism of current Iraq policy and his opposition to attacking Iran. Before the March 10 announcement, smart money said he’d be sacked by summer and replaced by someone more hawkish. It came sooner than expected, and, even more worrisome, by a super-hawk. One with big ambitions, and that’s a bad combination. More on that below.

First, recall another Pentagon sacking last June, officially announced as a “retirement.” George Bush was said to have “reluctantly agreed” to replacing Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace because of his “highest regard” for the general. At issue, of course, was disagreement again over Middle East policy with indications Pace was far from on board. He signaled it on February 17, 2006 at a National Press Club luncheon. Responding to a question, he said: “It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral.” He later added that commanders should “not obey illegal and immoral orders to use weapons of mass destruction….They cannot commit crimes against humanity.”

These comments and likely private discussions led to Pace’s dismissal. This administration won’t tolerate dissent even by Joint Chiefs Chairmen. It’s clear that officials from any branch of government will be removed or marginalized if they oppose key administration policy. Some go quietly while more notable ones make headlines that omit what’s most important. For one thing, that the Pentagon is rife with dissent over the administration’s Middle East policy.

For another, the law of the land, and there’s nothing more fundamental than that. The administration disdains it so it’s no fit topic for the media. Law Professor Francis Boyle champions it in his classroom, speeches, various writings and books like his newest – Protesting Power: War, Resistance, and Law.

Boyle is an expert. He knows the law and has plenty to cite – the UN Charter; Nuremberg Charter, Judgment and Principles; Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Hague Regulations; Geneva Conventions; Supreme and lower Court decisions; US Army Field Manual 27-10; the Law of Land Warfare (1956); and US Constitution.

He unequivocally states that every US citizen, including members of the military and all government officials, are duty bound to obey the law and to refuse to carry out orders that violate it. Doing so makes them culpable. Included are all international laws and treaties. The Constitution’s supremacy clause (“the supreme law of the land” under Article VI) makes them domestic law. General Pace, Fallon and others on down aren’t exempt. Neither is the president, vice-president, all administration members and everyone in Congress.

Before Fallon’s sacking, things were heating up. Three US warships (including the USS Cole guided-missile destroyer) were deployed to the Lebanese coast – officially “to show support for regional stability (and over) concern about the situation in Lebanon.” It’s been in political crisis for months, and it’s got Washington and Israel disturbed – because of Hezbollah’s widespread popularity and ability to defend itself.

Any regional US show of force causes concern, especially when more is happening there simultaneously. Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin criticized it, and Hezbollah said it “threat(ened)” regional stability – with good reason. It believes conflict will erupt in northern Occupied Palestine close to the Lebanese border. It’s also preparing to counter Israel’s latest threat – an Israeli Channel 10 News report that the IDF is on high alert “inside and outside Israel” and is prepared to launch a massive attack if Hezbollah retaliates for the assassination of one of its senior leaders, Imad Fayez Mughniyah, by a February 12 Damascus car-bombing.

Then came Cheney’s Middle East tour with likely indications of its purpose – oil, Israeli interests and, of course, isolating Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas further, and rallying support for more war in a region where Arab states want to end the current ones. What worries them most, or should, is the possibility that Washington will use nuclear weapons. If so, consider the consequences – subsequent radioactive fallout that will contaminate vast regional swaths permanently.

After Cheney left Saudi Arabia, the state-friendly Okaz newspaper reported that the Saudi Shura Council (the kingdom’s elite decision-making body) began formulating “national plans to deal with any sudden nuclear and radioactive hazards that may affect the kingdom” should the Pentagon use nuclear weapons against Iran. It’s a sign Saudi leaders are worried and a clear indication of what they discussed with Cheney.

Saudi, Iranian and other world leaders know the stakes. They’re also familiar with Bush administration strategy and tactics post-9/11.

Exhibit A: the December 2001 Nuclear Policy Review; it states that America has a unilateral right to use first strike nuclear weapons preemptively; it can be for any national security reason, even against non-nuclear states posing no discernible threat;

Exhibit B: the 2002 and hardened 2006 National Security Strategies reaffirm this policy; the latter edition mentions Iran 16 times stating: “We may face no greater challenge from a single country country than Iran;” unstated is that Iran never attacked another nation in its history – after Persia became Iran in 1935; it did defend itself vigorously when attacked by Iraq in 1980;

Exhibit C: post-9/11, the Bush administration scrapped the “nuclear deterrence” option; in his 2005 book “America’s War on Terrorism,” Michel Chossudovsky revealed a secret leaked report to the Los Angeles Times; it stated henceforth nuclear weapons could be used under three conditions:

— “against targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack;

— in retaliation for attack with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons; or

— in the event of surprising military developments;” that can mean anything the administration wants it to or any threats it wishes to invent.

WMD echoes still resonate. Now it’s a nuclearized Iran. Preemptive deterrence is the strategy, and Dick Cheney places the Islamic Republic “right at the top of the list” of world trouble spots. He calls Tehran a “darkening cloud” in the region; claims “obviously, they’re heavily involved in trying to develop nuclear weapons enrichment….to weapons grade levels;” cites fake evidence that Iran’s state policy is “the destruction of Israel;” and official post-9/11 policy identifies Iran and Syria (after Iraq and Afghanistan) as the next phase of “the road map to war.” Removing Hezbollah and Hamas are close behind plus whatever other “rogue elements” are identified;

Exhibit D: former Defense Undersecretary Douglas Feith’s new book, “War and Decision;” in it, he recounts the administration’s aggressive Middle East agenda – to remake the region militarily; plans took shape a few weeks post-9/11 when Donald Rumsfeld made removing Saddam Hussein official policy; the same scheme targeted Afghanistan and proposed regime change in Iran and elsewhere – unnamed but likely Syria, Somalia, Sudan, at the time Libya, removing Syria from Lebanon, and Hezbollah as well.

On the Campaign Trail – Iran in the Crosshairs

John McCain is so hawkish he even scares some in the Pentagon. Here’s what he said about Iran at a May 5 campaign event. He called the Tehran government the gravest danger to US Middle East interests and added: a “league of nations” must counter the “Iranian threat. Iran ‘obviously’ is on the path toward acquiring nuclear weapons. At the end of the day, we cannot allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon. They are not only doing that, they are exporting very lethal devices and explosives into Iraq (and) training people (there as) Jihadists.”

It’s no surprise most Democrats have similar views, especially the leadership and leading presidential contenders. Obama calls Iran “a threat to us all.” For him, a “radical (nuclearized) Muslim theocracy” is unthinkable, and as president he won’t rule out using force. Nor will he against Pakistan or likely any other Muslim state. Obama also calls his support for Israel “unwavering.” He fully endorsed the 2006 Lebanon war, and it’s no secret where Israel stands on Iran and Syria.

Clinton is even more menacing. One writer calls her a “war goddess,” and her rhetoric confirms it. On the one hand, “Israeli security” tops “any American approach to the Middle East….we must not – dare not – waver from this commitment.” She then calls Iran “pro-terrorist, anti-American and anti-Israel.” She says a “nuclear Iran (is) a danger to Israel (and we’ve) lost critical time in dealing” with the situation. “US policy must be clear and unequivocal. We cannot and should not – must not – permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons.”

Worst of all was her comment on ABC’s Good Morning America in response to (a preposterous hypothetical) about Iran “launch(ing) a nuclear attack on Israel.” Her answer: “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran. And I want them to understand that. We would be able to ‘totally obliterate’ them (meaning, of course, every man, woman and child).” She then added: “I don’t think it’s time to equivocate. (Iran has) to know they would face massive retaliation. That is the only way to rein them in.”

At the same time, she, the other leading candidates, and nearly everyone in Washington ignore Iran’s official policy. The late Ayatollah Khomeini banned nuclear weapons development. Today, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad affirm that position, but western media won’t report it. They also play down IAEA reports confirming that no evidence shows Iran has a nuclear weapons program or that it’s violating NPT.

Media Rhetoric Heating Up

It happens repeatedly, then cools down, so what to make of the latest Iran-bashing. Nothing maybe, but who can know. So it’s tea leaves reading time again to pick up clues about potential impending action. Without question, the administration wants regime change, and right wing media keep selling it – Iranian leaders are bad; removing them is good, and what better way than by “shock and awe.”

Take Fouad Ajami for example from his May 5 Wall Street Journal op-ed. It’s headlined – “Iran Must Finally Pay A Price.” He’s a Lebanese-born US academic specializing in Middle East issues. He’s also a well-paid flack for hard right policies, including their belligerency. He shows up often in the Wall Street Journal (and on TV, too) and always to spew hate and lies – his real specialty.

His latest piece is typical. Here’s a sampling that’s indicative of lots else coming out now:

— “three decades of playing cat-and-mouse with American power have emboldened Iran’s rulers;

— why are the mullahs allowed to kill our soldiers with impunity;”

— in Iraq, “Iranians played arsonists and firemen at the same time; (it’s) part of a larger pattern;

— Tehran has wreaked havoc on regional order and peace over the last three decades;”

— earlier, George HW Bush offered an olive branch to Iran’s rulers;

— “Madeleine Albright (apologized) for America’s role in the (1953) coup;”

— all the while, “the clerics have had no interest in any bargain;” their oil wealth gives them great latitude;

— “they have harassed Arab rulers while posing as status quo players at peace with the order of the region;”

— they use regional proxies like “Hezbollah in Lebanon, warlords and militias in Iraq, purveyors of terror for the hire;

— the (earlier) hope….that Iran would refrain from (interfering) in Iran (was) wishful thinking;” now there’s Iran’s nuclear “ambitions” to consider; the “Persian menace” has to “be shown that there is a price for their transgressions.”

Sum it up, and it spells vicious agitprop by an expert at spewing it. He’s not alone. Disputing one of his assertions, a May 5 AFP report quotes Iraq government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh saying no “hard evidence” shows Iran is backing Shiite militiamen or inciting violence in the country.

Consider the Arab street as well. It’s unconcerned about Iran but outraged over US adverturism. Recall also that on March 2 Iranian President Ahmadinejad became the first Iranian head of state to visit Iraq in three decades. Prime Minister al-Maliki and President Talabani invited him and welcomed him warmly as a friend.

That doesn’t deter The New York Times Michael Gordon. He’s taken up where Judith Miller left off, and his May 5 piece is typical. It’s headlined “Hezbollah Trains Iraqis in Iran, Officials Say.” The key words, of course, are “Officials Say” to sell the idea that their saying it makes it so. No dissent allowed to debunk them or other administrative-supportive comments.

This one cites supposed information from “four Shiite militia members who were captured in Iraq late last year and questioned separately.” For Gordon and “Officials (who) Say,” it’s incriminating evidence for what Washington has long charged – “that the Iranians (are) training Iraqi militia fighters in Iran,” and Hezbollah is involved. The Pentagon calls them “special groups.”

Gordon goes on to report that Iran has gotten “less obtrusive (by) bringing small groups of Iraqi Shiite militants to camps in Iran, where they are taught how to do their own training, ‘American officials say.’ ”

Once trained, “the militants then return to Iraq to teach their comrades how to fire rockets and mortars, fight as snipers or assemble explosively formed penetrators, a particularly lethal type of roadside bomb….according to American officials.”

As usual, the “officials” are anonymous and their “information has not been released publicly.” Gordon continues with more of the same, but sum it up and he sounds like Ajami, Judith Miller, and growing numbers of others like them.

On March 17, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) put out an Action Alert headlined “No Antiwar Voices in NYT ‘Debate.’ ” It referred to The Times March 16 “Week in Review” section on the war’s fifth anniversary featuring nine so-called experts – all chosen for their hawkish credentials. Included were familiar names like Richard Perle, Fred Kagan, Anthony Cordesman, Kenneth Pollack and even Paul Bremer. On May 4, The Times reconvened the same lineup for a repeat performance that would make any state-controlled media proud.

No need to explain their assessment either time, but NYT op-ed page editor said this on July 31, 2005: The op-ed page (where the above review was published) is “a venue for people with a wide range of perspectives, experiences and talents (to provide) a lively page of clashing opinions, one where as many people as possible have the opportunity to make the best arguments they can.” As long as they don’t conflict with official state policy, offend Times advertisers or potential ones, acknowledge Iran’s decisive role in ending the recent Basra fighting, or mention the (latest) 2007 (US) National Intelligence Estimate that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 – even though it’s likely one never existed and doesn’t now.

With Iraq still raging and hawkishness over Iran heating up, it’s disquieting to think what’s coming, and it’s got Middle East leaders uneasy. Not about Iran, about a rogue administration with over eight months left to incinerate the region in a mushroom-shaped cloud and no hesitation about doing it.

Enter the Generalissimo – Initials DP, Ambitions Outsized

Fallon is out, and, in late April, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said David Petraeus is being nominated to replace him as Centcom commander. General Raymond Odierno (his former deputy) will replace his former boss as Iraq chief. New York Times reporter Thom Shanker said these “two commanders (are) most closely associated with President Bush’s current strategy in Iraq,” so are on board to pursue it and maybe up the stakes.

Besides being a Latin American expert, James Petras writes extensively on the Middle East and how the Israeli Lobby influences US policy. His 2006 book, “The Power of Israel in the United States,” is must reading to understand it. Petras has a new article on Petraeus. It’s incisive, scary, and unsparing in exposing the generalissimo’s true character, failings, and ambitions.

Competence didn’t make him Iraq commander last year. It came the same way he got each star. In the words of some of his peers – by brown-nosing his way to the top. It made him more than a general. He’s a “brand,” and it got him Time Magazine’s 2007 runner-up slot for Person of the Year.

The media now shower him with praise for his stellar performance in an otherwise dismal war. So do politicians. McCain calls him “one of (our) greatest (ever) generals.” Clinton says he’s “an extraordinary leader and a wonderful advocate for our military.” Obama was less effusive but said he supports his nomination as Centcom chief and added: “I think Petraeus has done a good tactical job in Iraq….It would be stupid of me to ignore what he has to say.” It would also hurt his presidential hopes as the right wing media would bash him mercilessly if he disparaged America’s new war hero with very outsized ambitions and no shyness in pursuing them.

He got off to a flying start after being appointed to the top Iraq job last year. The White House spin machine took over and didn’t let facts interfere with its praise. It described him as aggressive in nature, an innovative thinker on counterinsurgency warfare, a talisman, a white knight, a do-or-die competitive legend, and a man able to turn defeat into victory.

Others like Admiral Fallon had a different assessment, and Petras noted it in his article. Before his removal, he was openly contemptuous of a man who shamelessly supported Israel “in northern Iraq and the Bush ‘Know Nothings’ in charge of Iraq and Iran policy planning.” It got him his April 16 promotion, and his week earlier Senate testimony sealed it. He was strikingly bellicose in blaming Iran for US troop deaths. That makes points any time on Capitol Hill, especially in an election year when rhetoric sells and whatever supports war and Israel does it best.

Petras adds that Petraeus had few competitors for the Centcom job because other top candidates won’t stoop the way he does – shamelessly flacking for Israel, the bellicose Bush agenda, and what Petras calls “his slavish adherence to….confrontation with Iran. Blaming Iran for his failed military policies served a double purpose – it covered up his incompetence and it secured the support of” the Senate’s most hawkish (independent) Democrat, Joe Lieberman.

It also served his outsized ambitions that may include a future run for the White House. His calculus seems to be – lie to Congress, hide his failures, blame Iran, support Israel and the Bush agenda unflinchingly, claim he turned Iraq around, say he’ll do it in the region, and make him president and he’ll fix everything.

He (nor the media) won’t report how bad things are in Iraq or the toll on its people. They won’t explain the “surge’s” failure to make any progress on the ground. They won’t reveal the weekly US troop death and injury count that’s far higher than reported numbers. By one estimate, (including weekly Pentagon wounded updates), it tops 85,000 when the following categories are included:

— “hostile” and “non-hostile” deaths, including from accidents and illness;

— total numbers wounded; and

— many thousands of later discovered casualties, mainly brain traumas from explosions.

Left out of the above figures are future illnesses and deaths from exposure to toxic substances like depleted uranium. It now saturates large areas of Iraq in the soil, air and drinking water. Also omitted is the vast psychological toll. For many, it causes permanent damage, and whole families become victims.

Consider civilian contractor casualties as well. They may be in the thousands. A February Houston Post report noted 1123 US civilian contractor deaths. It left out numbers of wounded or any information about foreign workers. They may have been affected most.

Several other reports are played down. One is from the VA about 18 known daily suicides. The true number may be higher. Another comes from on May 5 but unreported on TV news. It cited Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health on an April 2008 Rand Corporation study. It found about “18.5% of returning (Iraq and Afghan) US soldiers (afflicted with) post-traumatic stress disorder or depression (PTSD), and only half of them receive treatment.”

Much of it shows up later, and many of its victims never recover. A smaller psychiatric association study put the PTSD number at about 32%, and a January 2006 Journal of the American Medical Association put it even higher – 35% of Iraq vets seeking help for mental health problems. A still earlier 2003 New England Journal of Medicine Study reported an astonishing 60% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans showing PTSD “symptoms.” Most victims said their duty caused it, but over half of them never sought treatment fearing damage to their careers.

The same Rand study said another 19% have possible traumatic brain injuries ranging from concussions to severe head wounds. About 7% of vets suffer a double hit – both brain injury and PTSD or depression. It’s a wonder numbers aren’t higher as most active duty and National Guard forces serve multiple tours – some as many as six or more in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. Surviving that ordeal in one piece is no small achievement.

Patraeus’ calculus omits these victims and all other war costs abroad and at home. They’re consigned to an over-stuffed memory hole for whatever outs the facts on the ground or his PR-enhanced image.

Petras strips it away and calls him “a disastrous failure” whose record is so poor it takes media magic to remake it. This man will now direct administration Middle East policy. He supports its aims, and if neocon wishes are adopted it means continued war and occupation of Iraq, stepped up efforts in Afghanistan, and making a hopeless enterprise worse by attacking Iran. No problem for Petraeus if it helps his ambitions. They, of course demand success, or at least the appearance, the way Petraeus so far has framed it. It remains to be seen what’s ahead, and how long defeat can be called victory.

And one more thing as well. Congress will soon vote on more Iraq-Afghanistan supplemental funding. Bush wants another $108 billion for FY 2008. In hopes a Democrat will be elected president, Congress may add another $70 billion through early FY 2009 for a total $178 billion new war spending (plus the usual pork add-ons) on top of an already bloated Pentagon budget programmed to increase.

It’s got economist Joseph Stiglitz alarmed and has for some time. In his judgment, the Iraq war alone (conservatively) will cost trillions of dollars, far more than his earlier estimates. That’s counting all war-related costs:

— from annual defense spending plus huge supplemental add-ons;

— outsized expenses treating injured and disabled veterans – for the government and families that must bear the burden;

— high energy costs; they’re affected by war but mostly result from blatant market manipulation; it’s not a supply/demand issue; there’s plenty of oil around, but not if you listen to industry flacks citing shortages and other false reasons why prices shot up so high;

— destructive budget and current account deficits; in the short run, they’re stimulative, but sooner or later they matter; they’re consuming the nation, and analysts like Stiglitz and Chalmers Johnson believe they’ll bankrupt us; others do as well like Independent Institute Senior Fellow Robert Higgs who last year outed the nation’s trillion dollar defense budget; in a recent May 7 article, he wrote: “As the US government taxes, spends, borrows, regulates, mismanages, and wastes resources on a scale never before witnessed in the history of mankind, it is digging its own grave;” others believe we’re past the tipping point and it’s too late;

— debts must be serviced; the higher they mount, the

greater the cost; they crowd out essential public and private investment; need growing billions for interest payments; damage the dollar; neglect human capital; and harm the country’s stature as an economic leader; the more we eat our seed corn, the greater the long-term damage;

— debts also reduce our manoeuvring room in times of national crisis; limitless money-creation and reckless spending can’t go on forever before inflation debases the currency; that’s a major unreported threat at a time monetary and fiscal stimulus shifted financial markets around, and touts now predict we’re out of the woods; they don’t say for how long, what may follow, or how they’ll explain it if they’re wrong;

— add up all quantifiable war costs, and Stiglitz now estimates (conservatively) a $4 – 5 trillion total for America alone; watch for higher figures later; both wars have legs; another may be coming; leading presidential candidates assure are on board and have no objection to out-of-control militarism;

— Stiglitz will be back; his estimate is low; before this ends, look for one of several outcomes – trillions more spent, bankruptcy finally ends it, or the worst of all possible scenarios: an unthinkable nuclear holocaust that (expert Helen Caldicott explains) “could end life on earth as we know it” unless sanity ends the madness.

The generalissimo is unconcerned. He’s planning his future. He envisions the White House, and imagine what then. Like the current occupant and whomever follows, look for more destructive wars to serve his political ambitions and theirs. They fall right in line with the defense establishment, Wall Street, and the Israeli Lobby.

Decades back, could anyone have thought things would come to this. Hopefully, good sense will gain currency and stop this madness before it consumes us.

Global Research Associate Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

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Are the Clashes in Beirut a Signal of the inception of a new War for the “New Middle East”?

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Sue Israel for Genocide before the International Court of Justice by Prof. Francis A. Boyle (1998)

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Francis A. Boyle
Global Research, March 4, 2008
MSA News – 1998-03-20

The following article was written more than ten years ago In Honor of the Tenth Anniversary of the Intifadah Gaza City, Palestine – 13 December 1997

I would like to propose publicly here in Gaza, Palestine–where the Intifadah began ten years ago at this time–that the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine and its President institute legal proceedings against Israel before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague (the so-called World Court) for violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. I am sure we can all agree that Israel has indeed perpetrated the international crime of genocide against the Palestinian People. The purpose of this lawsuit would be to demonstrate that undeniable fact to the entire world. These World Court legal proceedings will prove to the entire world and to all of history that what the Nazis did to the Jews a generation ago is legally similar to what the Israelis are currently doing to the Palestinian People today: genocide.

There are three steps that should be taken for Palestine to sue Israel before the International Court of Justice for genocide. First, the President of the State of Palestine must deposit an Instrument of Accession to the 1948 Genocide Convention with the U.N. Secretary General, the depositary for the Convention. This Accession would become effective in ninety days.

Second, the President of the State of Palestine should deposit a Declaration with the International Court of Justice accepting the jurisdiction of the Court in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and with the terms and subject to the conditions of the Statute and Rules of the Court, and undertaking to comply in good faith with the decisions of the Court and to accept all the obligations of a Member State of the United Nations under Article 94 of the United Nations Charter. Article 35(2) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice gives the Security Council the power to determine the conditions under which the World Court shall be open to states such as Palestine that are not yet Parties to the ICJ Statute. These conditions have been set forth by the Security Council in a Resolution of 15 October 1946. I would recommend that the State of Palestine consider making a “general declaration” accepting the jurisdiction of the World Court generally in respect of all disputes which have already arisen, or which may arise in the future, as permitted by paragraph 2 of this 15 October 1946 Security Council Resolution.

Pursuant to the terms of paragraph 5 of that Resolution, “All questions as to the validity or the effect of a declaration made under the terms of this resolution shall be decided by the Court.” Therefore, it would be for the World Court itself to decide whether Palestine is a State entitled to exercise the powers conferred by the Security Council in its Resolution of 15 October 1946. For reasons explained in more detail below and elsewhere,1 I believe the World Court will decide in favor of Palestine on this matter of its Statehood.

To the same effect is Article 41 of the Rules of Procedure of the International Court of Justice:

Article 41

The institution of proceedings by a State which is not a party to the Statute but which, under Article 35, paragraph 2, thereof, has accepted the jurisdiction of the Court by a declaration made in accordance with any resolution adopted by the Security Council under that Article, shall be accompanied by a deposit of the declaration in question, unless the latter has previously been deposited with the Registrar. If any question of the validity or effect of such declaration arises, the Court shall decide.

The Security Council Resolution referred to in Article 41 that is now in force is the Resolution of 15 October 1946 mentioned above.

In addition, that same Article 35 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice also permits a State such as Palestine that is not a Party to the ICJ Statute to file a lawsuit against another State without making the above-mentioned Declaration provided that both States are parties to a treaty that contains a compromissory clause submitting disputes arising thereunder for adjudication by the World Court:

Article 35

1. The Court shall be open to the states parties to the present Statute.

2. The conditions under which the Court shall be open to other states shall, subject to the special provisions contained in treaties in force, be laid down by the Security Council, but in no case shall such conditions place the parties in a position of inequality before the Court. …. [Emphasis added.]

Article IX of the Genocide Convention, to be quoted in full below, contains such a “special provision” or compromissory clause.

Indeed, the World Court clearly envisioned and expressly approved such a lawsuit by a State Party to the Genocide Convention, which is not a Party to the Statute of the International Court of Justice and has not even made the aforementioned Declaration accepting the jurisdiction of the Court, by means of Paragraph 19 of its 8 April 1993 Order in Case Concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, (Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)), Request for the Indication of Provisional Measures, which I personally filed, argued, and won for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its President Alija Izetbegovic:

19. Whereas Article 35 of the Statute, after providing that the Court shall be open to the parties to the Statute, continues:

“2. The conditions under which the Court shall be open to other States shall, subject to the special provisions contained in treaties in force, be laid down by the Security Council, but in no case shall such conditions place the parties in a position of inequality before the Court”;

whereas the Court therefore considers that proceedings may validly be instituted by a State against a State which is a party to such a special provision in a treaty in force, but is not party to the Statute, and independently of the conditions laid down by the Security Council in its resolution 9 of 1946 (cf. S.S. “Wimbledon”, P.C.I.J. 1923, Series A, No. 1, p. 6); whereas a compromissory clause in a multilateral convention, such as Article IX of the Genocide Convention, relied on by Bosnia-Herzegovina in the present case could, in the view of the Court, be regarded prima facie as a special provision contained in a treaty in force; whereas accordingly if Bosnia-Herzegovina and Yugoslavia are both parties to the Genocide Convention, disputes to which Article IX applies are in any event prima facie within the jurisdiction ratione personae of the Court;

[Emphasis added.]

Notice that in the language emphasized above, the World Court ruled that a State Party to the Genocide Convention could file a lawsuit against another State Party even “independently of the conditions of the Security Council in its resolution 9 of 1946.” In other words, Palestine can sue Israel for violating the 1948 Genocide Convention so long as Palestine becomes a Contracting Party to the Genocide Convention. For reasons explained in more detail below and elsewhere,2 I believe the World Court will find that Palestine is a State entitled to become a Contracting Party to the Genocide Convention. Out of an abundance of caution, however, I still recommend that Palestine file the above-mentioned Declaration generally accepting the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.

Third, and finally, the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine and its President must file an Application against Israel instituting legal proceedings for violating the Genocide Convention on the jurisdictional basis of Article IX thereof, which provides as follows:

Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfillment of the present Convention, including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute.

In accordance with Article 36(6) of the ICJ Statute, in the event of a dispute as to whether the World Court has jurisdiction over a lawsuit between Palestine and Israel on the basis of Article IX of the Genocide Convention, “the matter shall be settled by the decision of the Court.”

Therefore, the filing of this genocide Application should be enough to get Palestine into the World Court against Israel for quite some time. And once Palestine is in the World Court, we can then consider requesting from the Court at any time an Indication of Provisional Measures of Protection against Israel to cease and desist from committing all acts of genocide against the Palestinian People. This international equivalent to a temporary restraining order would be similar to the two cease-and-desist Orders that I won from the World Court against the rump Yugoslavia on behalf of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 8 April 1993 and 13 September 1993.3

Furthermore, in its Judgment of 11 July 1996 in the Bosnia case, the World Court ruled in Paragraph 34 that there is no reservation ratione temporis to be implied into the Genocide Convention and in particular Article IX thereof, in the following language:

34. Having reached the conclusion that it has jurisdiction in the present case, both ratione personae and ratione materiae on the basis of Article IX of the Genocide Convention, it remains for the Court to specify the scope of that jurisdiction ratione temporis. In its sixth and seventh preliminary objections, Yugoslavia, basing its contention on the principle of the non-retroactivity of legal acts, has indeed asserted as a subsidiary argument that, even though the Court might have jurisdiction on the basis of the Convention, it could only deal with events subsequent to the different dates on which the Convention might have become applicable as between the Parties. In this regard, the Court will confine itself to the observation that the Genocide Convention — and in particular Article IX — does not contain any clause the object or effect of which is to limit in such manner the scope of its jurisdiction ratione temporis, and nor did the Parties themselves make any reservation to that end, either to the Convention or on the occasion of the signature of the Dayton-Paris Agreement. The Court thus finds that it has jurisdiction in this case to give effect to the Genocide Convention with regard to the relevant facts which have occurred since the beginning of the conflict which took place in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This finding is, moreover, in accordance with the object and purpose of the Convention as defined by the Court in 1951 and referred to above (see paragraph 31 above). As a result, the Court considers that it must reject Yugoslavia’s sixth and seventh preliminary objections. [Emphasis added.]

In other words, Palestine would be able to claim in its World Court Application against Israel that the Israeli genocide against the Palestinian People commenced with the Zionist war, conquest, ethnic cleansing, and occupation of 1948–“the beginning of the conflict,” to use the precise words of the World Court itself. Indeed, in the Bosnia case I already successfully argued to the World Court that ethnic cleansing is a form of genocide.

Article II of the 1948 Genocide Convention defines the international crime of genocide as follows:

In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such:

(a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within a group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

[Emphasis added.]

Certainly, Palestine has a valid claim that Israel and its predecessors-in-law–the Zionist Agencies and Forces–have committed genocide against the Palestinian People that actually started in 1948 and has continued apace until today in violation of Genocide Convention Article II(a), (b), and (c), inter alia.

For at least the past fifty years, the Israeli government and its predecessors-in-law–the Zionist Agencies and Forces–have ruthlessly implemented a systematic and comprehensive military, political, and economic campaign with the intent to destroy in substantial part the national, ethnical and racial group known as the Palestinian People. This Zionist/Israeli campaign has consisted of killing members of the Palestinian People in violation of Genocide Convention Article II(a). This Zionist/Israeli campaign has also caused serious bodily and mental harm to the Palestinian People in violation of Genocide Convention Article II(b). This Zionist/Israeli campaign has also deliberately inflicted on the Palestinian People conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction in substantial part in violation of Article II(c) of the Genocide Convention.

Of course, the downside of bringing this lawsuit is that at some point in the future the World Court could rule that the State of Palestine does not exist as a “State” entitled to accede to the Genocide Convention. But I think that there is a high probability that this World Court, as currently constituted, would rule in favor of the existence of the State of Palestine.

Today the State of Palestine is recognized de jure by about 125 states or so around the world, the only significant geographical exception being Europe. Even then, most of the states of Europe accord Palestine de facto recognition as an Independent State. The only reason why these European states have not accorded Palestine de jure recognition as an Independent State is massive political pressure that has been applied upon them by the United States Government.

Palestine is also a Member State of the League of Arab States, which is the appropriate “Regional Arrangement” organized under Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter. In addition, Palestine has Observer State Status at the United Nations Organization. Indeed, today Palestine would be a Member State of the United Nations Organization if not for illegal threats made by the United States Government to keep Palestine out of the United Nations.

Nevertheless undaunted, on 15 December 1988 the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 43/177, essentially recognizing the then month-old State of Palestine. That Resolution was adopted by a vote of 104 in favor, the United States and Israel opposed, and 44 states abstaining. For reasons fully explained elsewhere,4 such General Assembly recognition of the State of Palestine is constitutive, definitive, and universally determinative.

I believe the World Court will rule in favor of the de jure existence of the State of Palestine for the purpose of mounting this lawsuit against Israel for genocide. We might not get the vote of the Judge from the United States who was a State Department Lawyer during the Reagan administration. But I believe that a majority of the fifteen Judges on the International Court of Justice will rule in favor of the de jure existence of the State of Palestine.

To be sure, we can expect that the United States Government will do everything possible to line up the votes of certain Judges against Palestine. But it is no longer the case that the United States Government controls the World Court. In this regard, recall the high degree of independence the World Court demonstrated by condemning the United States Government throughout the proceedings of Nicaragua v. the United States of America over a decade ago.5

Of course, if necessary, I could also sue the United States before the International Court of Justice for aiding and abetting Israeli genocide against the Palestinian People in violation of Article III(e) of the 1948 Genocide Convention that expressly criminalizes “complicity” in genocide. This separate lawsuit against the United States would be similar to the proceedings that President Izetbegovic of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina authorized me to institute against the United Kingdom on 15 November 1993 for aiding and abetting Serbian genocide against the Bosnian People. In this regard, you should consult the Statement of Intention by the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Institute Legal Proceedings Against the United Kingdom Before the International Court of Justice of 15 November 1993, which I drafted for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and filed with the International Court of Justice on that same day.

The Bosnian U.N. Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey also circulated this Statement to the Member States of both the General Assembly and the Security Council as an official document of the United Nations Organization.6 This document should give the reader a fairly good idea of the legal basis for Palestine to sue the United States at the World Court for aiding and abetting Israeli genocide against the Palestinian People.7 In regard to this proposed lawsuit, the U.S. government’s reservation to Article IX of the Genocide Convention is invalid and severable.

Quite obviously, I cannot promise the Palestinian People a clear-cut victory in these two lawsuits. But the mere filing of this genocide lawsuit against Israel at the World Court would constitute a severe defeat for Israel in the Court of World Public Opinion. The Palestinian filing of this genocide lawsuit in 1998 would deliver yet another body-blow to Israel along the same lines of the major body-blow already inflicted on Israel by the creation of the State of Palestine in 1988. Israel has never recovered from the creation of the Palestinian State. So too, Israel will never recover from this genocide lawsuit brought against it by Palestine before the International Court of Justice. Likewise, the United States government will never recover from a World Court lawsuit brought against it by Palestine for aiding and abetting Israeli genocide against the Palestinian People.

For these reasons, then, I would ask all the Palestinian People around the world to give the most serious consideration to backing my proposals: Tell the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine and its President to sue Israel for genocide before the International Court of Justice! Tell the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine and its President to sue the United States before the International Court of Justice for aiding and abetting Israeli genocide against the Palestinian People! May God be with the Palestinian People at this difficult time in your Nation’s history.


1. See Francis A. Boyle, The International Legal Right of the Palestinian People to Self-determination and an Independent State of Their Own, 12 Scandinavian J. Development Alternatives, No. 2 & 3, at 29-46 (June-Sept. 1993); The Future of International Law and American Foreign Policy 135-96, 268-73 (1989) (Creating the State of Palestine).

2. Id.

3. See Francis A. Boyle, The Bosnian People Charge Genocide (1996).

4. See note 1 supra.

5. See, e.g., Francis A. Boyle, Determining U.S. Responsibility for Contra Operations Under International Law, 81 Am. J. Int’l L. 86-93 (1987); Defending Civil Resistance Under International Law 155-210 (1987).

6. See U.N. Doc. A/48/659-S/26806, 47 U.N.Y.B. 465 (1993).

7. See also John Quigley, Complicity in International Law: A New Direction in the Law of State Responsibility, 57 Brit. Y.B. Int’l L. 77-131 (1986).

Copyright 1997 by Francis A. Boyle. All rights reserved.

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Principle Confronting Power by Prof. Francis A. Boyle

Dandelion Salad

by Prof. Francis A. Boyle
Global Research, March 1, 2008

In Memory of Hans Morgenthau

During the 1950s I grew up in a family who rooted for the success of African Americans in their just struggle for civil rights and full legal equality.  Then in 1962 it was the terror of my own personal imminent nuclear annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis that first sparked my interest in studying international relations and U.S. foreign policy as a young boy of 12:  “I can do a better job than this!”

With the escalation of the Vietnam War in 1964 and the military draft staring me right in the face, I undertook a detailed examination of it.  Eventually I concluded that unlike World War II when my Father had fought and defeated the Japanese Imperial Army as a young Marine in the Pacific, this new war was illegal, immoral, unethical, and the United States was bound to lose it.  America was just picking up where France had left off at Dien Bien Phu.  So I resolved to do what little I could to oppose the Vietnam War.

In 1965 President Lyndon Johnson gratuitously invaded the Dominican Republic, which prompted me to commence a detailed examination of U.S. military interventions into Latin America from the Spanish-American War of 1898 up to President Franklin Roosevelt’s so-called “good neighbor” policy.  At the end of this study, I concluded that the Vietnam War was not episodic, but rather systemic: Aggression, warfare, bloodshed, and violence were just the way the United States Power Elite had historically conducted their business around the world.  Hence, as I saw it as a young man of 17, there would be more Vietnams in the future and perhaps someday I could do something about it as well as about promoting civil rights for African Americans. These twin concerns of my youth would gradually ripen into a career devoted to international law and human rights.

So I commenced my formal study of International Relations with the late, great Hans Morgenthau in the first week of January 1970 as a 19 year old college sophomore at the University of Chicago by taking his basic introductory course on that subject.  At the time, Morgenthau was leading the academic forces of opposition to the detested Vietnam War, which is precisely why I chose to study with him.  During ten years of higher education at the University of Chicago and Harvard, I refused to study with openly pro-Vietnam-War professors as a matter of principle and also on the quite pragmatic ground that they had nothing to teach me.

In the summer of 1975, it was Morgenthau who emphatically encouraged me to become a professor instead of doing some other promising things with my life:  “If Morgenthau thinks I should become a professor, then I will become a professor!”  After almost a decade of working personally with him, Morgenthau provided me with enough inspiration, guidance, and knowledge to last now almost half a lifetime.

Historically, this latest eruption of American militarism at the start of the 21st Century is akin to that of America opening the 20th Century by means of the U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898.  Then the Republican administration of President William McKinley stole their colonial empire from Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; inflicted a near genocidal war against the Filipino people; while at the same time illegally annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting the Native Hawaiian people (who call themselves the Kanaka Maoli) to near genocidal conditions.  Additionally, McKinley’s military and colonial expansion into the Pacific was also designed to secure America ’s economic exploitation of China pursuant to the euphemistic rubric of the “open door” policy.   But over the next four decades America’s aggressive presence, policies, and practices in the “Pacific” would ineluctably pave the way for Japan’s attack at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 194l, and thus America’s precipitation into the ongoing Second World War.    Today a century later the serial imperial aggressions launched and menaced by the Republican Bush Jr. administration are now threatening to set off World War III.

By shamelessly exploiting the terrible tragedy of 11 September 2001, the Bush Jr. administration set forth to steal a hydrocarbon empire from the Muslim states and peoples living in Central Asia and the Persian Gulf under the bogus pretexts of (1) fighting a war against international terrorism; and/or (2) eliminating weapons of mass destruction; and/or (3) the promotion of democracy; and/or (4) self-styled “humanitarian intervention.”  Only this time the geopolitical stakes are infinitely greater than they were a century ago:  control and domination of two-thirds of the world’s hydrocarbon resources and thus the very fundament and energizer of the global economic system – oil and gas.  The Bush Jr. administration has already targeted the remaining hydrocarbon reserves of Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia for further conquest or domination, together with the strategic choke-points at sea and on land required for their transportation.  In this regard, the Bush Jr. administration recently announced the establishment of the U.S. Pentagon’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) in order to better control, dominate, and exploit both the natural resources and the variegated peoples of the continent of Africa, the very cradle of our human species.

This current bout of U.S. imperialism is what Hans Morgenthau denominated “unlimited imperialism” in his seminal work Politics Among Nations (4th ed. 1968, at 52-53):

The outstanding historic examples of unlimited imperialism are the expansionist policies of Alexander the Great, Rome , the Arabs in the seventh and eighth centuries, Napoleon I, and Hitler. They all have in common an urge toward expansion which knows no rational limits, feeds on its own successes and, if not stopped by a superior force, will go on to the confines of the political world. This urge will not be satisfied so long as there remains anywhere a possible object of domination–a politically organized group of men which by its very independence challenges the conqueror’s lust for power. It is, as we shall see, exactly the lack of moderation, the aspiration to conquer all that lends itself to conquest, characteristic of unlimited imperialism, which in the past has been the undoing of the imperialistic policies of this kind….

On 10 November 1979 I visited with Hans Morgenthau at his home in Manhattan. It proved to be our last conversation before he died on 19 July 1980.  Given his weakened physical but not mental condition and his serious heart problem, at the end of our necessarily abbreviated one-hour meeting I purposefully asked him what he thought about the future of international relations. This revered scholar, whom international relations experts generally consider to be the founder of modern international political science in the post World War II era, responded:

Future, what future? I am extremely pessimistic. In my opinion the world is moving ineluctably towards a third world war—a strategic nuclear war. I do not believe that anything can be done to prevent it. The international system is simply too unstable to survive for long. The SALT II Treaty is important for the present, but over the long haul it cannot stop the momentum. Fortunately, I do not believe that I will live to see that day. But I am afraid you might.

The factual circumstances surrounding the outbreaks of both the First World War and the Second World War currently hover like the Sword of Damocles over the heads of all humanity.  It is imperative that we undertake a committed and concerted effort to head-off Hans Morgenthau’s final prediction on the cataclysmic demise of the human race.  The simultaneous impeachments of both President Bush and Vice President Cheney would be an excellent place to start.

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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Protesting Power – War, Resistance & Law by Stephen Lendman (Boyle)

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, February 28, 2008

Review of Francis A. Boyle’s book

Francis A. Boyle is a distinguished University of Illinois law professor, activist, and internationally recognized expert on international law and human rights. From 1988 to 1992, he was a board member of Amnesty International USA. He was a consultant to the American Friends Service Committee. From 1991 to 1993, he was legal advisor to the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and currently he’s a leading proponent of an effort to impeach George Bush, Dick Cheney and other key administration figures for their crimes of war, against humanity and other grievous violations of domestic and international law. Boyle also lectures widely, writes extensively and authored many books, including his latest one and subject of this review: Protesting Power – War, Resistance and Law.

Boyle’s book is powerful, noble and compelling, and he states its purpose upfront: Today, a “monumental struggle (is being waged) for the heart and soul of (America) and the future of the world….” It matches peacemakers on one side, war makers on the other, and all humanity hanging in the balance. The book provides hope and ammunition. It’s a urgent call to action and demonstrates that “civil resistance (is) solidly grounded in international law, human rights (efforts), and the US Constitution.” It “can be used to fight back and defeat the legal, constitutional, and humanitarian nihilism of the Bush administration” neocons and their chilling Hobbesian vision – imperial dominance, homeland police state, and permanent “war that won’t end in our lifetimes,” according to Dick Cheney.

Boyle has the antidote: “civil resistance, international law, human rights, and the US Constitution – four quintessential principles to counter….militarism run amuk.” Our choice is “stark and compelling.” We must act in our own self-defense “immediately, before humankind exterminates itself in an act of nuclear omnicide.” The threat today is dire and real, it demands action, and civil resistance no longer is an option. With survival at stake, it’s an obligation.

The Right to Engage in Civil Resistance to Prevent State Crimes

Post-WW II, US foreign policy adopted the political “realism” and “power politics” principles that Hans Morganthau explained in his seminal work on the subject – “Politics among Nations: the Struggle for Power and Peace (1948).” For decades, it was the leading international politics text from a man eminently qualified to produce it and whose experiences under Nazism influenced him.

His cardinal tenet was darkly Hobbesian – that international law and world organizations are “irrelevant” when it comes to conflicts between nations on matters of national interest. Ignore “reality” and perish, but consider the consequences. They’ve been disastrous for America, at home and abroad, in a world of our making where life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” No law or justice exists, no sense of right or wrong, no morality, just illusions of what might be, and a “struggle for survival in a state of war” by every nation against all others for one unattainable aim – absolute power and national security at the expense of other states and most people everywhere.

Political “realists” believe that when nations respect international laws and norms and ignore the “iron law” of “power politics,” they invite disaster at the hands of aggressors. Boyle believes otherwise and eloquently states it: “Throughout the twentieth century, the promotion of international law, organizations, human rights, and the US Constitution has consistently provided the United States with the best means for reconciling the idealism (and aspirations) of American values….with the realism of world politics and historical conditions.”

It can work the way Boyle documented it in his 1999 book, Foundations of World Order: The Legalist Approach to International Relations, 1898 – 1922. In it, he offers a comprehensive analysis of US foreign policy achievements through international law and organizations to settle disputes, prevent wars and preserve peace. It included:

— an obligatory arbitration system for settling disputes between states – the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in 1899 that’s still operating at The Hague as the oldest international dispute resolution institution;

— the Permanent Court of International Justice (World Court) in 1922 that was replaced by the International Court of Justice in 1946 after the UN was established in 1945;

— the codification of important areas of international law in treaty form;

— promoting arms reduction after relaxing international tensions by legal techniques and institutions; and

— convoking periodic peace conferences for all internationally recognized states; the League of Nations was established for this purpose and later the United Nations with its functional agencies like the International Labour Organization, WHO, UNESCO, and IAEA. Other affiliated institutions included the IMF, World Bank, GATT, WTO and regional organizations like the OAS, Arab League, African Union, ASEAN, OSCE and EU. To these add NATO, the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (the Rio Pact), SEATO, ANZUS and various bilateral self-defense treaties under Article 51 of the UN Charter.

These organizations should have worked. In practice they don’t, and Boyle explains why: compared to America’s early “legalist, humanitarian, and constitutionalist approach to international relations, geopolitical (realpolitik) practioners of the Hobbesian” school prevailed – men like Johnson, Kissinger, McNamara, Nixon, Byzezinski, Carter, Reagan, GHW Bush, GW Bush, his neocon ideologues and countless others. They disdain democracy, constitutional government and their essential principles: commitment to the rule of domestic and international law, human rights, equal justice and peace.

Consider the cost. It’s beyond measure and even worse looking back, in spite of all efforts toward conflict resolution. Since the nation’s founding, America has been at war with one or more adversaries every year in our history (without exception), and note the consequences:

— we glorify wars and violence in the name of peace;

— have the highest domestic homicide rate in the western world by far;

— our society is called a “rape culture” and three-fourths of all women are victims of some form of violence in their lifetimes, many repeatedly;

— millions of children are violence or abuse victims and get no help from the state;

— in a nominal democracy under constitutional law, aggressive wars and domestic violence are normal and commonplace; peace, tranquility and public safety are illusions and so are human rights, civil liberties, the rule of law, and common dignity, and the reason it’s so is simple – it benefits the privileged few at the expense of the greater good.

What can be done? Plenty, according to Boyle. “Concerned citizens” and people of conscience are obligated to use our available tools – domestic and international law and human rights as “checks and balances against” government abuses of power in the conduct of domestic and foreign policies. Otherwise, administrations can run amuck and literally get away with murder and other major crimes of war, against humanity, peace and the general welfare.

Consider the alternative and what can be gained. By respecting the law, human rights and other nations’ sovereignty, US administrations could defend the nation, conduct its foreign and domestic affairs, and achieve its goals successfully without wars, violence and disdain for the common good. At worst under an anti-Hobbesian construct, short-term objectives might be sacrificed in part for more vital ones in the long run, and isn’t that what survival is all about.

At his book’s end, Boyle quotes Hans Morgenthau’s comments in 1979, just months before his death, and it’s appropriate to mention them here. Boyle asked him “what he thought about the future of international relations” at the time Jimmy Carter was President. His response: “Future, what future?….In my opinion the world is moving ineluctably toward a third world war – a strategic nuclear war. I do not believe that anything can be done to prevent it. The international system is simply too unstable to survive for long.” Arms reduction treaties are mere stopgaps and will be unable to “stop the momentum.”

If Morganthau is right, the choice is stark and clear. Continue our present path and perish or unite at the grassroots to change an ugly, unsustainable system and let humankind survive. There’s no middle ground, time may be short, and who knows if enough still remains.

Yet Boyle eschews that notion and dedicates his book to hope through resistance. We must try and use our available tools – the Constitution; UN Charter; Nuremberg Charter, Judgment and Principles; Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Hague Regulations; Geneva Conventions; Supreme (and lower) Court decisions; US Army Field Manual 27-10; The Law of Land Warfare (1956); and our own profound commitment to resist and prevail whatever the odds and consequences. Apathy isn’t an option.

History, moreover, shows these tactics work when enough people commit to them. They ended the Vietnam war, and, in the 1980s, anti-nuclear and anti-war resisters forced the Reagan and GHW Bush administrations to conclude the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 1987 and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in 1991.

Conditions today are far more grave under neocon rule that disdains the law and all binding peace and international arms reduction treaties. It:

— claims the right to develop new type nuclear weapons, not eliminate the ones Morganthau believed will destroy us;

— ignores the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and intends to test new weapons developed;

— ended Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty protection;

— rescinded and subverted the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention;

— spends more on the military than the rest of the world combined, and it’s getting worse; on February 4, the largest ever defense budget since WW II, in inflation-adjusted dollars, was proposed for fiscal 2009 at a time the nation has no adversaries, should be at peace, but chooses wars without end instead;

— disdains a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty to prevent additional nuclear bombs to be added to present stockpiles already dangerously too high; and

— claims the right to wage preventive wars under the doctrine of “anticipatory self-defense” using first strike nuclear weapons against any other state. Morganthau would say I warned you.

Boyle says civil resisters like the ones he testifies for represent hope. They’re “the archetypical American heros” whose names few people know – Richard Sauder, Jeff Paterson, David Mejia, Ehren Watada, Kathy Kelly, Daniel Berrigan, his late brother Philip and many other courageous, dedicated people for peace and equal justice. They risk their lives and freedom for the greater good, pay hugely for it, and Ramzy Clark once saluted them saying: “Our jails are filling up with saints.” We have a constitutional right and personal duty to support them, join them, and resist our government’s criminal acts. They must be stopped or the alternative may be WW III and the end of humanity.

Constitutional law supports resistance (not disobedience that violates the law). The First Amendment protects the right to “peaceably….assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” It doesn’t have to be lawful, just peaceable, so it’s incumbent to resist when governments act criminally and endanger public safety and welfare, and the law is on our side. Resisters have the same statutory and common-law defenses as criminal defendants – defense of self, others, necessity, choice of evils, prevention of crime, execution of public duty, citizen’s arrest, prevention of a public catastrophe, and other defenses. If not us, who then?

Federal courts abdicated their power and defer to presidential lawlessness under doctrines of “political question, state secrets, standing, judicial restraint, (and) national security.” Congress as well has power, but won’t use it. If it did, imagine how constructively it could exercise its appropriation authority under Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution saying: “No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law….”

Congress alone is empowered to do it. It controls the federal budget that includes defense and supplementary military spending. Foreign wars will end and new ones not begun if Congress won’t fund them. It’s how Vietnam ended. Congress stopped funding it under the Church-Case June 1973 amendment that cut off appropriations after August 15. Legislative power is the same today, but post-9/11, Congress abdicated its authority and defers to Bush administration demands on nearly everything, including aggressive foreign wars.

If the courts and Congress won’t act, the public must and if charged and prosecuted are protected under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the right of trial by a jury of peers. Boyle explains that the “American criminal jury system (ultimately may be) the last bastion of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the US Constitution” against a criminal administration and whichever one succeeds it if it continues lawless policies.

From his experience, Boyle is hopeful because when American juries understand government crimes, “they usually refused to convict” civil resisters trying to stop them. Two precedent-setting 1985 cases stand out as examples: People v. Jarka and Chicago v. Streeter. In both cases, defendants used a common-law defense called “necessity” and were acquitted. They were absolved of criminal liability because their actions caused less injury than the greater one they hoped to avoid. Winning these cases makes them applicable to more serious ones like crimes of war, and against humanity and peace.

Ahead, achieving victories or hung juries is crucial to preserving our constitutional system under threat. A strong message will be sent that ordinary people can confront government crimes and prevail. As such, we have to try. Surrender or apathy aren’t options. The stakes are far too great.

Defending Civil Resisters: Philosophy, Strategy, and Tactics

In an age of lawless government, resisters represent hope. They’re the “sheriffs,” government officials the “outlaws,” and it highlights the importance of seeking counsel and who to choose. The person must believe in the accused and their cause and work cooperatively with an international law expert to introduce these principles into the proceedings as evidence.

Many times, international law is the only defense, there’s plenty to draw on, and Boyle believes when a peace-loving, law-abiding jury hears compelling evidence citing it, “there is almost no way the government will be able to convict” resisters on trial. The jury will either acquit, be hung, or charges will be dismissed before or during trial. It’s thus clear that a successful defense requires a jury trial because too many judges support state authority and may deny evidence and convict. That’s particularly true for federal judges who are nominated by the President, confirmed by the Senate, and over two-thirds on the bench now come from the extremist Federalist Society.

Proper representation and effective courtroom proceedings are crucial and follow from civil resistance acts that at times means spending time in jail. A good lawyer’s job and Boyle’s book are to prevent it, and he devotes considerable space explaining how. It begins with a good lawyer. After that comes:

— a proper defense that aims to win or at least get a hung jury;

— introducing international law as evidence and relating it to traditional common-law, statutory, procedural, and constitutional defenses that usually include one or more of the following: defense of self, others, property, necessity, prevention of a crime or public catastrophe, citizen’s arrest, and other legal choices; international law is part of domestic law under Article VI of the Constitution (the supremacy clause);

Article VI also includes treaties as the “supreme law of the land;” so are Supreme Court decisions like The Paquete Habana (1900) that stated “International law is part of our law, and must be ascertained and administered by the courts of justice of appropriate jurisdiction….” In United States v. Belmont (1937) and United States v. Pink (1942), the Court ruled that the supremacy clause applies to international executive agreements that don’t receive formal Senate advice and consent (the Senate does not ratify treaties as such);

US presidents take an oath under Article II, Section 1, Clause 7 to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution….” International treaties and agreements are included. In addition, Article II, Section 3 requires the president to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully exercised;”

— introducing the burden of proof in affirmative defenses to force the prosecution to prove guilt by disproving this type defense; the idea is to create a reasonable doubt about criminal intent;

— distinguishing “specific intent crimes” (that many resisters are charged with) from general intent ones;

— defending the crime of unlawful “trespass” by arguing it was done to uphold domestic and international law to prevent the commission of a crime;

— establishing a pattern of criminal government behavior to justify resistance against it; it may include but not be limited to: Nuremberg crimes against peace, humanity, war crimes, breaches of Geneva, Hague, the UN Charter, genocide, torture and other crimes including inchoate ones, such as planning, preparing or aiding and abetting them;

— using appropriate international criminal law standards in the US Army Field Manual 27-10 (that incorporates Nuremberg Principles, Judgment and the Charter) and The Law of Land Warfare (1956); the Field Manual paragraph 498 states that any person, military or civilian, who commits a crime under international law is responsible for it and may be punished; paragraph 499 defines a “war crime;” paragraph 500 refers to conspiracy, attempts to commit it and complicity with respect to international crimes; paragraph 509 denies the defense of superior orders in the commission of a crime; and paragraph 510 denies the defense of an “act of state;” and so forth;

— pro se resisters (representing themselves without counsel) must take special care to prepare a proper defense with one aim – to convince one juror of their innocence; these and other considerations are vital to an effective defense when it’s you v. the state and judges may be hostile. Resistance, however, is crucial because in Boyle’s words: “Today is our Nuremberg moment!”

Trident on Trial

In this and succeeding chapters, Boyle reviews cases in which he testified pro bono for the defense. In each one, he explains the issue, who was on trial, followed by a summation of the crucial portions of his testimony that are text book examples of a proper and effective defense.

The Trident II strategic nuclear missile submarine is the first example and is described as follows: it’s the “most hideous and nefarious weapon of mass destruction (WMD) ever devised” because of its unimaginable destructive power. The US Navy deploys 14 Tridents, the UK four others, and just one of them has enough nuclear kilotonnage to destroy much of planet earth and maybe all of it from nuclear fallout – around 270 or more times the destructive power of the low-yield bombs that incinerated Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Further, NAVSTAR satellite communications give Delta V multiple warhead MIRVs on board pinpoint accuracy to make Trident ideal for an offensive near-omnicidal first-strike capability. At patrol depth, the extremely low frequency (ELF) system is the only way to communicate with these submarines. For that reason, Plowshares defendant George Ostensen (in 1987) engaged in civil resistance against the Ashland, Wisconsin ELF facility and was charged with two counts of “sabotage.” He faced a possible 40 year prison sentence if found guilty as charged.

Boyle testified for him and used the transcript as a text for other Plowshares resisters to contest similar charges against them. It paid off with two outright acquittals in 1996 and another in a 1999 Scotland case because juries were convinced that ELF/Trident II was as dangerous as described above and thus criminal under well-established international and domestic law principles. These verdicts led to a “stunning” victory when the Navy announced it would shutter its Wisconsin and Michigan ELF systems in September 2004. “Civil resistance had triumphed over the Trident II,” but these weapons are still deployed and threaten all humanity by their existence.

Brief excerpts of Boyle’s testimony in his Ostensen defense follow. The laws he cites are mentioned above so comments on them are brief and not repeated for succeeding chapters.

In Ostensen and other testimonies, Boyle explains domestic and international laws relevant to the cases:

— the US Constitution; the supremacy clause under Article VI stating that all forms of international treaties and agreements to which the US is a signatory are binding on “all American citizens, government officials, (the military and) courts of law;”

— The Paquette Habana (1900) Supreme Court decision affirming that international law is US law;

— The Law of Naval Warfare (1955) and The Law of Land Warfare (1956) both state that international laws bind all members of the US military, government officials and American citizens; they clearly say that international law limits the threat or use of nuclear weapons because these weapons are so deadly;

— the Navy, Army and Air Force manuals incorporate the Nuremberg Principles as binding US law; they include crimes of war, against peace and humanity as well as planning, preparing, or waging an aggressive war; also applicable is conspiracy, incitement, and/or aiding and abetting the commission of these crimes; Nuremberg also rejected the defense of superior orders; the UN General Assembly unanimously approved these Principles as recognized international law in Resolution 95(I) in December 1946;

— the Army, Navy and Air Force field manuals are issued to all members of the military today who are told they are fully accountable for any Nuremberg violations;

— an outstanding DOD policy states that nuclear weapons are to be developed according to international law requirements;

— Jimmy Carter’s Presidential Directive 59 involves the targeting of nuclear weapons as first-strike options; at the time of the Ostensen case, no such official first-strike policy existed; that changed under the December 2001 Nuclear Policy Review; it affirmed the right to declare and wage future preventive wars using first- strike nuclear weapons; Trident II/Delta V submarines are nuclear first-stike WMDs; so is the ELF communication system;

— the first-strike option is clearly illegal under Nuremberg Principles as well as the 1907 Hague Regulations that require an ultimatum or formal declaration of war; no nation has the “right” to affirm a policy of “deterrence” to threaten or destroy another one, let alone all humanity by nuclear weapons; that’s very clear under Nuremberg.

The Constitutionality of President George HW Bush’s War against Iraq on Trial (The Gulf War)

Boyle testified at the trial of Marine Corps Corporal Jeffrey Paterson. Over time, his military obligations increasingly conflicted with his moral beliefs. Things came to a head when he was told he’d likely be sent to the Persian Gulf as part of the military buildup prior to the Gulf War. On grounds of conscientious objection, he applied to be discharged and was refused even though the law states:

“To qualify for discharge from military service as a conscientious objector, an applicant must establish that:

(1) he or she is opposed to war in any form – Gillette v. United States (1971);

(2) his or her objection is founded in deeply held moral, ethical, or religious beliefs – Welsh v. United States (1970); and

(3) his or her convictions are sincere – Witmer v. United States (1955).”

Marine Corps Order 1306.16E requires that reasonable efforts be made to assign minimally-conflicting duties while an application is being processed. Nonetheless, Paterson was ordered to deploy to Saudi Arabia on August 29, 1990. He refused to go, was arrested, incarcerated, then freed pending court-martial.

Paterson has an honored distinction. He was the first military or civil resister to GHW Bush’s “unconstitutional and criminal” Gulf War. He was charged under article 86 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) alleging his refusal to muster to deploy to the Gulf. On November 1, his lawyer filed a motion to dismiss three charges on grounds they were illegal. A special hearing was then held on November 19 before a Marine Corps judge. He ruled for Paterson by concluding that the government bore the burden of proof that must be beyond a reasonable doubt.

It was “a great victory for peace, justice, international law, the US Constitution, and civil resistance.” On December 5, 1990, Paterson was administratively released from the Marine Corps with an “other than honorable discharge.” His case was precedent-setting, “of great historic significance,” and it’s applicable to all cases of military and civil resistance against government crimes, including waging wars of aggression.

The US is a signatory to the UN Charter, it’s the law of the land under the supremacy clause, and its Chapter VII empowers the Security Council alone to “determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression,” and, if necessary, take military or other action to “restore international peace and stability.” It lets a nation use force only under two conditions:

— under authorization by the Security Council; or

— under Article 51 that permits the “right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member….until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security.”

In addition, both houses of Congress, not the president, have exclusive power to declare war under Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution that’s known as the war powers clause. Nonetheless, that procedure was followed only five times in our history, it was last used for WW II in 1941, and Congress addressed the issue in 1973 when it passed the War Powers Resolution.

It requires the president to get congressional authorization for war or a resolution passed within 60 days of initiating hostilities. It also states in Section 4(a)(3): “In the absence of a declaration of war, in any case in which United States Armed Forces are introduced — (3) in numbers which substantially enlarge the United States Armed Forces equipped for combat already located in a foreign nation; the president shall submit within 48 hours to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President pro tempore of the Senate a report, setting forth” necessitating circumstances, a request for “constitutional and legislative authority,” and the “estimated scope and duration of the hostilities or involvement.”

Congress gave GHW Bush this authority on January 14, 1991. It did not give it to George W. Bush, yet he went to war anyway in violation of a host of laws, domestic and international. On January 15, 1991, Congressman Henry Gonzales, Ramsey Clark and Francis Boyle launched a national campaign to impeach GHW Bush. Five articles of impeachment were prepared.

They apply as well today to GW Bush’s illegal wars against Iraq and Afghanistan, and Boyle states why as follows: “the House can, should, and must impeach President Bush for commencing this war, lying about this war, and threatening more wars. All that is needed is one member of the House of Representatives with courage, integrity, principles, and a safe seat” to do it. If not, the alternative is dire – wars without end, a homeland police state and the end of the republic that’s already on life support.

In testifying for Corporal Paterson, Boyle reviewed the relevant laws already covered above. He also cited pertinent Supreme Court decisions going back to Little v. Barreme (1804) and Mitchell v. Harmony (1851) as well as Colonel William Winthrop’s Military Law and Precedents (1880, 1886 and revised and enlarged in 1920).

Winthrop specifically states that soldiers are obligated to disobey illegal orders defined as follows: ones unauthorized by law or that are clearly illegal acts. In the Paterson case, there was no authorized law, and he had no duty to obey a clearly unlawful order.

President Clinton’s Invasion of Haiti and the Laws of War

Noam Chomsky believes that every US president since WW II could be impeached because “they’ve all been either outright war criminals or involved in serious war crimes.” Bill Clinton was one of them. In November 1993, he sent troops to Somalia, supposedly for humanitarian intervention, got no congressional authorization, and killed about 10,000 Somalis. He was then complicit in the 1994 Rwandan massacres (involving no US troops), and on September 19, 1994 again acted illegally – he invaded Haiti without congressional authority and violated the Constitution’s war powers clause.

The 10th US Army Mountain Division from Fort Drum, New York was part of the force sent. Capt. Lawrence P. Rockwood II was a fourth generation soldier and career military officer with 15 years service. Yet he jeopardized his safety, career and personal liberty to aid incarcerated Haitians.

He learned about horrific human rights violations inside Haiti’s prisons under its military dictator. They were especially bad at the National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince, he informed his superiors, and then pressured them to take control and stop the abuses. Nothing was done, so Rockwell acted on his own as the US Army Field Manual 27-10 and international law require.

On September 30, he went to the prison alone, inspected conditions inside, saw firsthand how bad they were, and compiled a list of prisoners’ names to deter their deaths or “disappearance.” Subsequently, he was court-martialed in May 1995 and faced up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of multiple charges.

In fact, he was convicted of five specifications on three charges under the UCMJ, including:

— failure to report for duty under article 86;

— disrespect for a superior officer under article 89;

— willful disobedience of superior orders under article 90; and

— conduct unbecoming an officer under article 133.

— He was acquitted of two specifications of an additional charge of failing to obey an order and dereliction of duties under article 92.

The court abstained from imposing a prison sentence and instead dismissed Rockwood from the army with forfeiture of pay. In so doing, the military jury affirmed his defense that he acted properly under international law to stop grievous abuses inside Haiti’s prison. He left the army “an acknowledged and eternal hero to the worldwide human rights movement.”

Appearing for the defense at his trial was an expert witness, an authentic human rights hero in his own right – Hugh Thompson. As a Vietnam helicopter pilot, he saved lives at the infamous My Lai massacre by threatening to kill Lt. Calley and his soldiers if they didn’t cease slaughtering innocent civilians. Thirty years later, he won a medal for it, and he told the court that Rockwood also deserved one as for his heroic act. He fought for human rights and won, and Boyle relates his testimony for him to laws of war and human rights violations applicable to the Bush administration’s Iraq war, its oppressive occupation, and the actions of its puppet government in Baghdad for which Washington is fully accountable under international law.

It began with an illegal March 19, 2003 “decapitation strike” against Saddam Hussein in violation of a 48 hour ultimatum he’d been given to leave the country with his sons. That crime and trying to assassinate a country’s leader are also illegal under earlier cited international laws.

Next came “shock and awe,” Baghdad was targeted, and Article 6(b) of the Nuremberg Charter was grievously violated. It defines war crimes to include the “wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.” Fallujah and other Iraqi cities were similarly victimized (as were Afghan targets) in spite of a May 8, 2003 joint US-UK pledge to the president of the Security Council: that Coalition states “will strictly abide by their obligations under international law, including those relating to the essential humanitarian needs of the people of Iraq.” Instead, laws are ignored and Iraqis continue to suffer grievously under an illegal, brutish occupation.

It includes the widespread use of torture that became de facto US policy after George Bush’s September 17, 2001 “finding” authorizing CIA to kill, capture and detain “Al Qaeda” members anywhere in the world and rendition them to secret black site prisons for interrogation, presumed to include torture. Soon after on January 25, 2002, White House Counsel, Alberto Gonzales called the Geneva Conventions “quaint and obsolete,” and it was all downhill from there to Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Bagram in Afghanistan and countless other torture prison sites. Included also is a newly revealed secret Guantanamo one called “Camp 7” for “high-value” detainees. It’s gruesome to imagine the barbarity inside under a president claiming “Unitary Executive” powers to do as he pleases outside the law.

In his testimony, Boyle again explained relevant laws that were covered above. US governments and the Pentagon willfully ignore them, George Bush flaunts them, and accountable civilian and military officials to the highest levels are guilty under domestic and international laws of crimes of war and against humanity and peace.

President George W. Bush’s War against Iraq on Trial

US Army Reserve Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia was the first Iraq War veteran to refuse further involvement in the war as a matter of conscience after serving in it from April to October 2003. Following leave on return, he failed to rejoin his National Guard unit and filed for discharge as a conscientious objector on grounds that the invasion and occupation were illegal and immoral. The army, in turn, deliberately overcharged him with desertion to send a strong message to other military personnel that they, too, would be severely punished if they acted similarly.

Mejia’s May 2004 court-martial was a kangaroo-court show trial to drive home the point. It was widely broadcast and reported to all military personnel worldwide on internal Pentagon television, radio and newspaper outlets. Acting improperly, the military judge disallowed prepared defense testimony under the army’s Field Manual 27-10, the Constitution and established international law.

Mejia was found guilty, a year in prison was imposed, and Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience, its highest honor. Only after the verdict was Boyle allowed to testify during the sentencing phase – but under strict limitations imposed by the (hanging) judge. Again, he cited relevant domestic, international and military law, reviewed crimes of war and against humanity under them, and explained the culpability of commanders and government officials at the highest levels for abusing and torturing prisoners.

Other military resisters came after Mejia. One was First Lt. Ehren Watada in June 2006 when he refused to deploy to Iraq and publicly stated why – “as an officer of honor and integrity, (he could not participate in a war that was) “manifestly illegal….morally wrong (and) a horrible breach of American law.” By his courageous act, Watada became the first US military officer to face court-martial for refusing to deploy to Iraq. He was charged with:

— one specification under UCMJ article 87 – missing movement;

— two specifications under article 99 – contempt toward officials (for making public comments about George Bush); and

— three specifications under article 133 – conduct unbecoming an officer.

If convicted on all charges, Watada faced possible dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and seven years in prison. A military equivalent of a grand jury convened on August 17, 2006 to inquire into charges and decide if they were justified. Watada called three expert witnesses in his defense, and chose them well:

— former UN Iraq Humanitarian Coordinator (1997 – 1998) Denis Halliday who resigned under protest because he was “instructed to implement a policy that satisfies the definition of genocide (and already) killed well over one million individuals, children and adults;”

— US Army Colonel Ann Wright who resigned her commission as a foreign service officer in the State Department in March 2003 to protest a “war of aggression (in) violat(ion) of international law;” and

— distinguished Professor Francis Boyle, international law and human rights expert, activist and author of this and many other books on these topics.

On August 22, the Army reported on the proceding and recommended all charges be referred to a general court-martial. It began in February under very constricted rules – denying a First Amendment defense and disallowing one questioning the legality of the war. However, legality issues were impossible to exclude, they directly related to charges brought, and the prosecution introduced them at trial. In addition, Watada firmly stated before testifying that he refused to deploy because of the war’s illegality.

Unable to pressure him not to so testify, the presiding judge declared a mistrial. He’d lost control of the proceeding, knew Watada was on solid ground, and had to prevent his evidence from being introduced to avoid the embarrassing possibility of an acquittal on one or all charges. If it happened, the war’s illegality would have been exposed and its continuation jeopardized.

Under the Fifth Amendment “double jeopardy” clause, Watada cannot be retried on the same charges. It states that no person shall be “subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” Watada’s triumph by mistrial was a powerful tribute to his convictions and redoubtable spirit. It’s also an inspiration to civil resisters and all members of the military to follow in his courageous footsteps.

Boyle explains the urgency in his final paragraph that’s a powerful message for everyone: The causes of both world wars “hover like the sword of Damocles over the heads of all humanity.” Civil resistance is our only hope “to prevent WW III and an (inevitable) nuclear holocaust….Toward that end this book has been written.” Read it and act. Apathy isn’t an option.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at and listen to The Global Research News Hour on Mondays from 11AM to 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions on world and national topics with distinguished guests.

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Civil Resistance In the Age of Bush & Cheney by William Hughes (Boyle)

Law and Resistance: The Republic in Crisis and the People’s Response by Prof. Francis A. Boyle

US Interventions: 1798 – Present (2005)


Civil Resistance In the Age of Bush & Cheney by William Hughes (Boyle)

Dandelion Salad

by William Hughes
Global Research, February 17, 2008

A Review of Francis A. Boyle’s new book

“Be the change that you want to see in the world.” – Mohandas Gandhi

The late Philip Berrigan, Dissenter Emeritus, wrote in 1997: “The empire’s wars are killing us.” (1) One of the big props for that empire is the clique in our society, known as the “Military-Industrial Complex.” This is the same powerful special interest that President Dwight D. Eisenshower warned the nation about in his “Farewell Address.” (2) Peace activist Berrigan felt, as a result of the arms race, that the world was moving towards a nuclear holocaust. In any event, Professor Francis A. Boyle’s new book, “Protesting Power: War, Resistance, and Law,” reveals how some courageous individuals have successfully challenged the many outrageous, and ongoing, crimes of our national regimes, via their arrest in a Civil Resistance-type action, and, subsequently, as a defendant in a court of law before a jury of their peers.

One of the initial things that Professor Boyle does in his excellent tome is to distinguish between the terms “civil resistance” and “civil disobedience.” Often they are confused in the minds of the public. Professor Boyle said that in “civil resistance” cases, you have individuals, acting “peaceably,” who are attempting to “prevent the ongoing commission of international crimes…They are acting for the express purpose of upholding the rule of law, the U.S. Constitution, international, and human rights.” An example of civil resistance would be protesters risking arrest by trespassing in order to the prevent the production and use of “First Strike” nuclear weapons, which Professor Boyle claims are “illegal” under International Law.

Classic civil disobedience cases, on the other hand, involved activists, who deliberately choose, by their conduct, to violate domestic laws for the “express purpose of challenging and changing those laws.” As an example, Professor Boyle cited the activists, particularly from the African-American community, during the 1950s and 1960s, who went to jail for various offenses, like in the historic sit-ins, in order to spotlight racially discriminatory laws and to bring about equal Civil Rights for all Americans.

In his demanding role as an educator, attorney, consultant and respected expert witness on International Law, Professor Boyle has been in the trenches taking on the “State Crimes” of various U.S. administrations for close to thirty years. Civil Resistance has been the primary tool utilized by the activists in their legal-based, court room battles. As a result, the civil resisters, he insists, have become the “Sheriffs and the U.S. government officials committing the crimes, the outlaws.”

Professor Boyle underscores how successive U.S. administrations have manipulated the public in order to justify their lawless ways. The Bush-Cheney Gang is one of his prime examples. He said that it is hell bent on stealing the “hydrocarbon empire from the Muslim states and people living in Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.”

Essentially, it sells its foreign policy wrongdoings, like the war in Iraq, by posing a “Hobessian” choice to the people. It suggests that there are only two alternatives: Either threaten or use U.S. military force in a particular situation, or allow “the enemies to prevail.” Professor Boyle insisted that they ignore a third way, which embraces diplomacy, peaceful resolutions of disputes, the application of the rules of law and the traditions of fair play. Professor Boyle labeled the conflict in Iraq as “criminal,” and the foreign policy of the Bush-Cheney Gang, which was fueled, in part, by the rabid Neocon ideologues, “as out of control.”

How does civil resistance work within the framework of the American judicial system? Well, Professor Boyle cited the “People v. Jarka” case, among other landmark litigation, to illustrate some of his key points. In 1984, activists protested in front of the Great Lake’s Naval Station base, which is located in Illinois, on Lake Michigan. The focus of the demonstration centered on the issues of U.S.’s violence-producing “intervention in Central America” and also on our country’s buildup of “offensive nuclear weapons.” Ronald Reagan was the president at the time. The defendants were arrested, when they sat in front of the naval base, locked arms, and refused to be moved. They were charged by authorities with the crimes of “mob action and resisting arrest.”

The defendants, in “Jarka,” elected a trial by jury. The trial judge, the Hon. Alphonse F. Witt, permitted testimony on their behalf from eight expert witnesses on International Law. They testified how the actions of the Reagan administration, in Central America, were in violation of well settled legal principles established by the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention, the Hague Convention and other precedents. They also specified how a nuclear weapon would kill potentially hundreds of thousands of people and cause horrific harm to “combatants and noncombatants alike,” and that their use would violate the principles of “necessity and proportionality” under International Law. In Illinois, a defendant has a right, under certain circumstances, to raise the Common Law defense of “Necessity.” In other words, the defendants were permitted to argue to the jury that their supposed criminal conduct, [the blocking the road into the base], was justified’ in order to “avoid a public or private injury ‘greater’ than the injury that might reasonably result from his or her own conduct.” The judge actually instructed the jury that “the threat or use of nuclear weapons violated international law.” Needless to say, all the defendants were acquitted.

The “Jarka” case also spotlights one of the hallmarks of a civil resistance action. The defendants in it sincerely believed that they “hadn’t violated” any criminal laws. Professor Boyle put it this way: “From their perspective, [it’s the] U.S. government officials [who are] on trial…Civil resisters disobeyed nothing–to the contrary, they obeyed international law and the U.S. Constitution.”

In “Jarka,” Professor Boyle served as counsel to the lawyers handling the precedent-setting case, and also in a companion matter of “Chicago v. Streeter.” He praised the work of all of the trial lawyers involved in the two cases, and also the “vigorous efforts of the ‘Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy’ (LCNP).”

Professor Boyle also discussed cases involving the crime of Trespass. It’s a “specific intent” offense and is one of the charges usually leveled at someone for participating in a civil resistance action. In order to convict, however, the government must prove that the defendant acted with an “unlawful purpose.” Often, in order to make their point about government evildoing, a “resister” will go on the property of a federal facility, like the National Security Agency or the Pentagon, without permission. In those kinds of situations, Professor Boyle said the defense lawyer should consider making this argument to the jury: “The defendant did not do so for an ‘unlawful’ purpose, but was instead acting for the express purpose of upholding the requirements of international law…in order to prevent the commission of international crimes by U.S. officials there and elsewhere.”

Professor Boyle highlighted some of the antiwar groups in the country who have utilized “Civil Resistance” over the years. He mentions the legendary Plowshares, Gulf War Resisters, the Anti-Apartheid Movement, Greenpeace, Sacred Earth, the Sanctuary Movement and the Pledge of Resistance, among others. (3) He wrote that by the year 2004, “Nuclear Resister” had estimated that there were more than, “9,400 antiwar-related arrests in the U.S. alone.” All of this caused the former U.S. Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, to comment: “Our jails are filling up with saints.”

Also in his book, Professor Boyle writes, in detail, about the possible strategies to adopt in a Civil Resistance case; a trial, in Wisconsin, involving opposition to the “Trident II,”a nuclear missile submarine; the constitutionality of the Persian Gulf War; and the legality of President Bill Clinton’s “invasion of Haiti.” It’s his treatment, however, of the opposition to the illegal and immoral Iraq War, by gutsy members of the U.S. military, like Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia (US Army Reserves), and First Lieutenant Ehren K. Watada (US Army), that I believe readers will find most riveting.

Finally, Professor Boyle has been a true champion of the U.S. Constitution and of the rule of law. He has continued to demonstrate his commitment to his principles by demanding the impeachment of President George W. Bush, Jr. for committing “high crimes and misdemeanors.” (4). In a way, his highly informative book, “Protesting Power: War, Resistance, and Law,” is simply an extension of his love of justice and his deep concern for our Republic, which continues to drift dangerously towards the creation of a police state. I say: Read Professor Boyle’s well written and fully documented book. It is filled with valuable lessons for all activists. (5) This is especially so for those whose conscience, living in the Age of Bush and Cheney, may dictate that “civil resistance” is a moral and legal choice for them to exercise.


5. For another relevant book on resisting the Iraq War, see,

©2008, William Hughes, All Rights Reserved.

William Hughes is a video and print journalist. His videos can be found at:
Email Contact: contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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Law and Resistance: The Republic in Crisis and the People’s Response by Prof. Francis A. Boyle


If Americans Knew What Israel Is Doing! Video was Censored! (video)

Note not all Jews are Zionists, and Jews need to speak up LOUDLY in my opinion. Happy Chanukah everyone. love, Lo

Dandelion Salad



Those who want to suppress the facts have dishonestly contacted YouTube and claimed that the video “If Americans Knew What Israel Is Doing!” was a Terms of Service Violation. The video is clearly NOT a TOS violation. You can see why they don’t want you to see it. The user “rbdevon4” was a smartass contacting me with this message: “You have violated YouTube terms of use policy with your anti-Semitic hate videos. You must remove them IMMEDIATELY! Thank you for your cooperation.” Soon after that, he and his buddies succeeded in getting my video removed.
Israeli Army of Cyber-Soldiers Target Our Right to Know…

See these videos:
Tanya Reinhart RIP…

AIPAC is pushing us to war with Iran for Israel…

Journalist Receives Death Threat for Talking About Israel…

U.S. support of Israel puts America at risk and it is immoral and unjust. If Americans knew what Israel was actually doing they would not support it in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is the goal of If Americans Knew to provide full and accurate information on this critical issue, and on our power — and duty — to bring a resolution.

Deceptions Sell Israel to Americans

Israeli soldiers often intentionally murder and maim children.

Dishonesty about 9/11 motives robs Americans of the freedom to decide for ourselves if we want to put our lives at risk over specific foreign policies.

The Gorilla in the Room is US Support for Israel.

Mainstream Media, the 9/11 Commission Report, politicians and pundits have all downplayed and/or omitted the fact that the main motive for the 9/11 attacks was outrage over U.S. support of Israel. Here is a rare exception to the suppression, it comes from The Forward:

The fact is from November 1947 to May 1948 the Zionists were already on the offensive and had already attacked Arabs. In the months before Israel was declared, the Zionists had driven 300,000 non-Jews off their land. In the months before Israel was declared, the Zionists had seized land beyond the proposed Jewish State.

The Israeli government’s Foreign Ministry is involved in efforts to influence public opinion on the Internet. Israel’s Foreign Ministry orders Internet propagandists, so called “trainee diplomats,” to skew online polls and public forums to conform with the Israeli line.

Added: June 24, 2007


The LeeVees: How Do You Spell Channukkahh? (music video)

Happy Hanukkah “Light Up the World” (music video)