9.8.2013 Leave a comment
4.26.2012 Leave a comment
Once a day on which Germany committed an infamous crime
1.24.2012 Leave a comment
Does it exist? Is the United States a Nation of Laws? It is clear that some rules do exist. But do they conform to the spirit and letter of the rule of law doctrine?
(1) If you are a high-ranking government official who commits war crimes, you will receive full-scale immunity, both civil and criminal, and will have the American President demand that all citizens Look Forward, Not Backward.
(2) If you are a low-ranking member of the military, you will receive relatively trivial punishments in order to protect higher-ranking officials and cast the appearance of accountability.
(3) If you are a victim of American war crimes, you are a non-person with no legal rights or even any entitlement to see the inside of a courtroom.
(4) If you talk publicly about any of these war crimes, you have committed the Gravest Crime — you are guilty of espionage — and will have the full weight of the American criminal justice system come crashing down upon you.
It is thus clear that some Americans are not subject to the rule of law. The rule of law makes sense only when everyone is subject to the same laws. The United States is not a country governed by laws.
David Dayen of FireDogLake walks over some of the same ground as Greenwald:
The Administration has reserved some of its most punitive uses of their prosecutorial discretion for government leakers and whistleblowers. Government information gets leaked all the time, of course, often by official sources doing so on behalf of the Administration for political reasons. But no Administration has prosecuted as many government officials for leaking as this one; in fact, the six criminal cases are more than all other Presidents combined. It has unquestionably had a chilling effect on other whistleblowers. The case against former NSA official Thomas Drake, which thankfully collapsed last year, is the most celebrated of these cases. But the inadequacy of that case has not stopped the Justice Department from continuing to wage war on leakers.
- American Justice-three cases (thetruthhaschanged.com)
- Dean Erwin Chemerinsky to deliver remarks concerning the importance of the rule of law in a democratic society on February 10, 2012 in North Carolina (lesliebrodie.wordpress.com)
- Bank Amnesty Bending the Rule of Law to Help the Banks: Effort to Draft a National Foreclosure Statue Underway (timothymccandless.wordpress.com)
- Keeping it straight about the National Defense Authorization Act… (onemorecup.wordpress.com)
- The Rule of Law? (wmmbb.wordpress.com)
- War on Terror: A War Without Definition, An Enemy Without A Face (disquietreservations.blogspot.com)
- Rule of Law : GLOBAL COALITION URGES BAHRAIN AND MOROCCO TO JOIN THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (moroccotomorrow.org)
- US, UK back democracy, rule of law (nation.com.pk)
4.19.2011 Leave a comment
It’s just amazing that the Iraq invasion and occupation were about Oil. The Independent now reports that:
Plans to exploit Iraq’s oil reserves were discussed by government ministers and the world’s largest oil companies the year before Britain took a leading role in invading Iraq, government documents show.
As Patrick Cockburn points out:
The supposed disinterest expressed by international oil companies in the outcome of the invasion of Iraq in the year before it was launched never quite made sense. Iraqis used to ask ironically if the rest of the world would have been quite so interested in the fate of their country if its main export had been cabbages.
Nevertheless, Cockburn believes:
It has never seemed likely that the US and Britain invaded Iraq primarily for its oil. Reasserting US self-confidence as a super-power after 9/11 was surely a greater motive. The UK went along with this in order to remain America’s chief ally. Both President Bush and Tony Blair thought the war would be easy.
But would they have gone to war if Iraq had been producing cabbages? Probably not.
Cockburn is right about the role of oil in the push for war. After all, the United States can invade and decimate nearly any country it wants to destroy. But Iraq and its oil had strategic value for the faltering superpower, and Iraq could serve to announce to the world that the United States could defend its interests when pushed. Fortunately, the Iraqis also had designs on their country! The Iraq invasion and occupation have thus produced a political nightmare for the United States and Great Britain. It can be said that the United States prevailed in Iraq. But it is clear that it weakened America as a whole and as a military power.
- The Independent: Secret Memos Show Iraq Invasion Linked To Big Oil Companies (alan.com)
- Britain, oil firms held talks before Iraq invasion, paper says (theglobeandmail.com)
- UK Consulted Big Oil Before Iraq Invasion (newser.com)
- Documents reveal talks between Government and oil giants before Iraq invasion (dailymail.co.uk)
- Iraq war documents reveal talks between Government and oil giants BP before invasion (dailymail.co.uk)
- “British Government Memos Tie Iraq Invasion to Big Oil” and related posts (thehollywoodliberal.com)
- Like supporting Gaddafi with arms Iraq was about OIL – Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq – UK Politics, UK – The Independent (rajcairnsreport.wordpress.com)
- Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq (redantliberationarmy.wordpress.com)
- Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq (independent.co.uk)
- Patrick Cockburn: Libya’s parallels with Iraq under Saddam are truly ominous (independent.co.uk)
4.1.2011 Leave a comment
Alexander Cockburn asks:
In terms of evil deeds, is Qaddafi a Mobutu, a Bokassa, a Saddam, or any U.S. president?
His answer: “Surely not.”
I find it difficult to disagree with his answer given Qaddafi’s opponents, who were all unrepentant killers.
I ought to mention that neither Cockburn’s question nor his answer would hold any significance whatsoever if it were not for the American need to justify its imperial sorties by claiming these military actions were meant to check the actions of or depose outright an archfiend. It is believed, wrongly, I would guess, that Americans will not long tolerate war-making unless the war-makers target radical evil. Thus, for this American President, the name Qaddafi along with the aura that surrounds that name does provide the President with the fortitude needed to produce another costly political-military spectacle. That Obama’s actions in Libya are legally dubious and morally suspect are matters which remain unresolved. Neither the quality of Qaddafi’s character nor America’s pretensions to being exceptional can resolve them. Nor also an act of Congress and a Supreme Court judgment.
Fortunately, Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich have already identified one path that would resolve the issues raised by Obama’s Libyan actions: Impeachment. I believe this outcome, one that would be politically and legally relevant, would provide a more effective and durable remedy to Executive branch lawlessness than would Congressional disapproval or a Supreme Court ruling that could not be enforced except by the use of violence. After all, the impeachment option would require the proponents of the action to make their case in public to the American people and thus by extension to the whole world.
- Gaddafi Could be Right About al-Qaeda: Alexander Cockburn [Zahir shamsery] (ecademy.com)
- Obama: Qaddafi regime’s “days are numbered” (cbsnews.com)
- Lockerbie questions loom for key Libya defector (cbsnews.com)
- Libya mission creep: Obama’s rationales for the military campaign will force him to expand it. (slate.com)
- Newly taciturn president decides maybe he should say something about Libya after all (hotair.com)
- “Gates, Clinton: Libya not a ‘vital interest,’ but US could be there for months | WorldCSM” and related posts (minnpost.com)
- The Libyan Psychodrama – HUMAN EVENTS | John Hayward (jamespatrick1.wordpress.com)
- Qaddafi’s troops push rebels further from Tripoli (cbsnews.com)
- Rumsfeld: Ambivalence on Qaddafi ouster harmful (cbsnews.com)
- No applause for stopping an atrocity? (cbsnews.com)
- Africa Continental Shift (time.com)
- In Light of the Libyan Civil War, Give Mubarak his Due… (asiansecurityblog.wordpress.com)
- The Questions To Which Obama Has No Answers (andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com)
- Libya: What would Kirk think? (professorbainbridge.com)
- Dictator Jean-Bedel Bokassa’s chateau sold at auction (guardian.co.uk)
- Dictator-lit: Saddam Hussein tortured metaphors, too (guardian.co.uk)
- Advice For Journalists: Disaster Preparedness Edition (worldtruthtoday.com)
- Personal Finance for Dictators: Where to Stash the Cash (nytimes.com)
3.21.2011 1 Comment
Der Spiegel recently published three of the suppressed photographs it has of Americans committing a war crime in Afghanistan. They can now be viewed online, and include this image:
NATO is bracing for the consequences produced by the publication of these photos, according to a Der Spiegel online report:
At NATO headquarters, there are fears that the coming days could see angry protests in Afghanistan or even potential attacks against NATO units. “The images have an enormous potential here in Afghanistan,” one NATO general told SPIEGEL ONLINE. “Experience shows that it might take a couple of days, but then people’s anger will be vented.”
- New damaging photos from Afghanistan published by Der Spiegel (americablog.com)
- Paper Runs Graphic Photos Of Afghan Killings From War Crime Probe (huffingtonpost.com)
- US Army ‘kill team’ in Afghanistan posed with photos of murdered civilians (tipggita32.wordpress.com)
- German newspaper publishes suppressed photos of U.S. soldiers posing with partially naked Afghan corpse (dailymail.co.uk)
- Another Abu Ghraib: Photos of Army “Kill Team” in Afghanistan Released (news.firedoglake.com)
- US Army ‘kill team’ in Afghanistan posed with photos of murdered civilians (guardian.co.uk)
- US Army ‘kill team’ in Afghanistan posed with photos of murdered civilians – The Guardian (news.google.com)
- Military apologizes for Afghan abuse photos (capitolhillblue.com)
- More Damaging Than Abu Ghraib? Repugnant Army ‘Kill Team’ Took Photos, Trophies from Murdered Afghan Civilians (alternet.org)
- NATO agrees Libya arms embargo plan, stuck on no-fly (reuters.com)