War Criminals, Beware

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War Criminals, Beware

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Nov 03, 2006 5:04 am

<!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.thenation.com/doc/20061120/brechersmith" target="top">www.thenation.com/doc/20061120/brechersmith</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><br>On November 14 a group of lawyers and other experts will come before the German federal prosecutor and ask him to open a criminal investigation targeting Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales and other key Bush Administration figures for war crimes. The recent passage of the Military Commissions Act provides a central argument for the legal action, under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction: It demonstrates the intent of the Bush Administration to immunize itself legally from prosecution in the United States, even for the most serious crimes. <br><br>The Rumsfeld action was announced at a conference in New York City in late October titled "Is Universal Jurisdiction an Effective Tool?" The doctrine allows domestic courts to prosecute international crimes regardless of where the crime was committed, the nationality of the perpetrator or the nationality of the victim. It is reserved for only the most heinous offenses: genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, including torture. A number of countries around the world have enacted universal jurisdiction statutes; even the United States allows it for certain terrorist offenses and torture. <br><br>Many of the participants in the New York conference were human rights lawyers who have been expanding the use of universal jurisdiction since it was employed against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. In a recent case brought in Spain, for example, Argentine Adolfo Scilingo was tried and found guilty of crimes against humanity he committed in Argentina and sentenced to serve a 640-year prison term [see Geoff Pingree and Lisa Abend, "Spanish Justice," October 9]. The decision was made to try to prosecute Rumsfeld in Germany because its laws facilitate the use of universal jurisdiction. <br> <br>The conference was sponsored by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which is bringing the case against Rumsfeld, and by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), a network of 141 national human rights organizations founded in 1922. <br><br>An earlier case against Rumsfeld was brought two years ago in Germany by CCR on behalf of four Iraqi victims of Abu Ghraib, drawing largely on documents and photos that revealed abuse at the prison. As the case was being considered, a security conference loomed in Munich. Rumsfeld, who could have been served papers or even arrested, refused to attend unless the case was dismissed. It was dismissed February 10; Rumsfeld flew to Germany the next day. <br><br>The reason the prosecutor gave for the dismissal was that there was "no reason to believe that the accused would not be prosecuted in the United States"--notwithstanding powerful evidence that the officials who controlled prosecution were themselves part of the conspiracy to commit war crimes. The new complaint will be based on the failure of US authorities to investigate and prosecute high-level officials. <br><br>The case will draw on a powerful new argument. The Military Commissions Act of 2006, which the President promoted and recently signed into law, provides retroactive immunity for civilians who violated the War Crimes Act, including officials of the Bush Administration. Such an attempt to provide immunity for their crimes, it will be argued, is in itself evidence of an effort to block prosecution of those crimes. Indeed, according to Scott Horton, chair of the International Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association, when Yugoslavia sought to immunize senior government officials, the United States declared the act itself to be evidence of such a conspiracy. <br><br>The new case will introduce other important elements as well. Lawyers who served as advocates, architects and enablers of prisoner abuse policies, like Alberto Gonzales and John Yoo, will be added as defendants. Abuse in Guantánamo will be added to that in Abu Ghraib. The complaint will present new evidence showing responsibility for torture and prisoner abuse at the highest levels of the chain of command. <br><br>Wolfgang Kaleck, a German human rights lawyer who is bringing the case in cooperation with CCR, FIDH and other groups, told the conference in New York that he is often asked, Do you really expect Rumsfeld to be arrested for war crimes? His answer is that he doesn't expect it immediately. "But we make it possible that someday Rumsfeld will be arrested," he says. According to Kaleck, the German government regularly receives calls from potential high-level visitors asking, "Are there any complaints against me?" <br><br>Antoine Bernard, FIDH executive director, says that although there have been few convictions so far based on universal jurisdiction, "now fear is not just on the side of the victims but also of the torturers." And that, supporters argue, will have a deterrent effect on government officials who contemplate using torture. <br><br>Peter Weiss, vice president of both CCR and FIDH and an elder statesman of international human rights law, notes that it took fifty years to get the Supreme Court's Brown decision outlawing school segregation, but during all that time people kept bringing cases that eventually changed the legal system's fundamental position. "New norms are being constituted to deal with the reality on the ground," he said. "Later those norms become real, practical, enforceable law." <br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: War Criminals, Beware

Postby Gouda » Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:22 am

Well mini kudos to <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>The Nation</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> for recognizing some degree of conspiracy in domestic arrangements. <br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>...notwithstanding powerful evidence that the officials who controlled prosecution were themselves part of the conspiracy to commit war crimes.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> Great point here:<br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>Indeed, according to Scott Horton, chair of the International Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association, when Yugoslavia sought to immunize senior government officials, the United States declared the act itself to be evidence of such a conspiracy.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> Can they not also rope in Bush and Cheney and most of the Congress? And, I might add on edit, the ringleaders at the CIA, DIA, Special Forces and other agencies? <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=gouda@rigorousintuition>Gouda</A> at: 11/3/06 4:28 am<br></i>
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Re: War Criminals, Beware

Postby rain » Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:28 am

thanx SLaD.<br>(I'd comment further but I'm still hyperventilating over the GoogleAds).<br><br><br> <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=rain@rigorousintuition>rain</A> at: 11/3/06 4:38 am<br></i>
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Re: War Criminals, Beware

Postby rain » Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:54 am

ok. I'm going to try to organise some of my thoughts on this.<br><br>here's their (english version) website -<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.fidh.org/_news.php3">www.fidh.org/_news.php3</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>this is who/what B-liar and a few others were squawking about a couple of weeks back with the 'continuing to support their US allies and staying the course' or whatever and obviously it is of some concern to the current criminals given the whipping the pen's been given lately.<br><br>naturally, I'm inclined to want to suggest that anyone who's so inclined to support and 'ally' (whatever that means) with them and, in developing networks, include them, and keep informed about what they're up to.<br><br>but first, a few cautionary provisos.<br><br><br><!--EZCODE IMAGE START--><img src="http://www.fidh.org/IMG/arton3539.gif" style="border:0;"/><!--EZCODE IMAGE END--><br>International Forum of Non-Governmental Organizations - “Civil G8 - 2006”<br><br>eh, the (in)famous 'chessboard'.<br><br>------<br><br>Synopsis of Rasul v. Bush: <br>The Guantánamo Detainees Case Decided by the Supreme Court <br><br>In early 2002, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed two habeas corpus petitions, Rasul v. Bush and Habib v. Bush, challenging the U.S. government’s practice of holding foreign nationals captured in connection with its war on Afghanistan and al-Qaida in indefinite detention, without counsel and without the right to a trial or to know the charges against them. The Supreme Court, over the administration’s objections, agreed in November 2003 to hear the cases of the Guantánamo detainees together with al Odah v. Bush. The arguments were heard on April 20, 2004; in a historic ruling on June 28th, 2004, the Court ruled that the detainees have access to U.S. Courts to challenge their detention. <br><br>The Center for Constitutional Rights began this case in February 2002, shortly after the first detainees were sent to Guantánamo. Representing two Australians—David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib—and two men from the U.K.—Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal, CCR filed a petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus in the District Court for the District of Columbia. The petition challenged the Presidential Executive Order of November 13, 2001, which authorized indefinite detention without due process of law, as a violation of international law and the U.S. Constitution. It was shortly after 9/11 and a very different climate existed in the United States at that time: no other legal organization was willing to join us in our efforts, and CCR received scores of death threats and hate mail. <br><br>The core contention of the litigation was that the United States cannot order indefinite detention without due process. The detainees have the right to challenge the legality of their detention in court. To make that challenge meaningful, they have the right to be informed of the charges they face, and the right to present evidence on their own behalves and to cross-examine their accusers. The failure of the Bush Administration to provide these protections raises serious questions about their commitment to the U.S. Constitution and international law. <br><br>'Rasul v. Bush' in the Courts<br><br>After CCR filed the first habeas petitions, the government filed a major motion to dismiss, claiming, among other arguments, that the “detention” is not based upon military orders, but on the President’s common law war powers.” The government also claimed that the matter was a political question not under the jurisdiction of the courts. On August 7, 2002, the district court dismissed the petition, adopting the ruling in Habib v. Bush that a petition for habeas corpus is not available for non-U.S. citizens detained outside of United States jurisdiction. <br><br>CCR appealed to the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, arguing that if U.S. courts do not have jurisdiction to review the Executive detentions at Guantánamo, then no court has jurisdiction to review them: that would mean that the U.S. could act in any way it chose without being subject to any laws anywhere in the world. CCR argued that under American constitutional tradition and international law, courts must be able to review the lawfulness of these Executive detentions. <br><br>On March 11, 2003, the D.C. Circuit rejected the appeal. The court ignored the fact that the detainees had not been declared "enemies" of the United States by any lawful international or domestic tribunal and are therefore languishing in U.S. military captivity without any legal basis. Approving the power of the President to act lawlessly in these matters, the Circuit concluded that the consequence of its interpretation of the law "is that no court in this country has jurisdiction to grant habeas relief, under 28 U.S.C. §2241, to the Guantánamo detainees, even if they have not been adjudicated enemies of the United States."<br><br>At the time, CCR President Michael Ratner stated, "The right to test the lawfulness of one's detention is a foundation of liberty that has roots going back to the Magna Carta. The U.S. is not only denying the detainees fundamental rights, but is jeopardizing any claim that it is a country ruled by law. I fear for the rights of all of us. The court's ruling, that the U.S. Constitution does not run to those jailed in territory over which the U.S. has 'complete jurisdiction and control,' is utterly erroneous. Every detained person has a right to his or her day in court."<br><br>On September 2, 2003, CCR filed a petition for certiorari in the United States Supreme Court seeking review of the lower court decisions. By now it had been two years since 9/11, and the long-term detentions at Guantánamo without hearings were causing alarm among a wider sector of the population. A remarkable array of individuals and organizations filed amicus (friend of the court) briefs in support of the petition. <br><br>On November 10, 2003, over the objections of the Administration, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Rasul v. Bush. Our written argument was filed on January 14, 2004, and dozens of groups filed amicus briefs with the Court in support of CCR’s case, including former American POWs; former diplomats; former state department officials; former judges; military lawyers; Japanese-American internee Fred Korematsu; and the House of Lords. On April 20, 2004, the Supreme Court heard arguments, and, in a major blow to the Bush Administration on June 28th, 2004, they ruled in favor of the detainees. Finally, after two and a half years of litigation, CCR won the first phase of the Guantánamo cases.<br><br>While this case was pending, two of CCR’s named clients—Rasul and Iqbal—were released from Guantánamo to British authorities and freed completely shortly after their arrival in England. They have issued an open letter to the president and the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee detailing the abuse they received and witnessed at Guantánamo.<br><br>A third client in the suit, Australian David Hicks, was designated for a military tribunal, and as a result was given access to a military lawyer, Major Michael D. Mori. From the moment he was designated, he was removed from contact with the other detainees and awaited charges in solitary confinement for six months. CCR’s fourth client, Mamdouh Habib, is reportedly in very bad physical and psychological condition, and the Australian government asked that his condition be looked into.<br><br>http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/rasul_v_bush/home.asp<br>=======<br><br>Hamdan Case Gets Widespread Press<br><br>On Tuesday, March 28 the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the landmark case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, in which Perkins Coie attorneys represent Salim Hamdan, who is alleged to be Osama bin Laden's former driver. The case presents a challenge to "military commissions," which are courts established and supervised by the Executive Office that are being used to try detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, including Mr. Hamdan. The case has received worldwide attention and events at this week's oral argument were closely watched and widely reported. Working together with Georgetown law professor Neal Katyal and JAG attorney Lt. Commander Charlie Swift, the defense team argued to the Court on Tuesday that these military commissions violate both the Geneva Conventions and federal statutes that limit the jurisdiction of commissions and provide important protections – such as the accused's right to be present at trial – to defendants subject to prosecution before these tribunals. The Court's opinion is expected in early July. <br><br>The case presents issues of considerable constitutional and legal significance, and has generated intense international interest, with articles appearing in publications as far away as South Africa. Closer to home, Perkins Coie's participation has been cited in a number of media, including the Seattle Times, Law.com, Bloomberg.com and FoxNews.com (see links below). Perkins Coie attorneys working on the matter are Harry Schneider , Joe McMillan, Charles Sipos, Benjamin Sharp and Kelly Cameron. <br><br><br>Defending Detainee Defends Us (Seattle Times) <br><br>Top Law Firms Join Forces in Landmark Detainee Case (Law.com) <br><br>Navy Lawyer Charles Swift Battles Bush in Guantanamo Bay Case (Bloomberg.com) <br><br>Supreme Court Could Set New Rules for Gitmo Detainees (FoxNews.com) <br><br>Hamdan v. Rumsfeld: Path to a Landmark Ruling (NPR) <br><br>http://www.perkinscoie.com/page.cfm?id=855<br><br>- the elusive Nicholas Rockefeller,<br><br>Nicholas Rockefeller Mr. Nicholas Rockefeller is a partner with the international law firm of Perkins Coie, LLP where he represents a number of U.S. and foreign companies engaged in financial transactions based here and abroad. He brings to the Company his extensive experience in finance, international transactions, and government relations. Recently Mr. Rockefeller has been principal attorney in matters involving resort financing, U.S. government guarantee of a foreign investment, several venture capital capitalizations and middle market recapitalizations. Mr. Rockefeller also serves as a Managing Partner of the Rockvest Development Group and its affiliate, the Rockefeller International Fund. In recent years, the Fund has made substantial direct and portfolio investments in Emerging Market Economies. Domestically, the Group supervises investments in publicly traded securities and in private enterprises and maintains an active venture capital portfolio. He is Chairman of the Board of Rockefeller Asia, a financial services company with emphasis on infrastructure projects in telecommunications, transportation, and energy. He is a Managing Director of Trenwith Holdings, a merchant bank specializing in middle market transactions. Mr. Rockefeller is a director of Las Aquilas Doradas, the Campaign for Minority Engineers and the Western Justice Center Foundation. He is a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Oregon Law School and The Pepperdine University School of Law. Also, Mr. Rockefeller is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations<br><br>http://www.zoominfo.com/people/rockefeller_nicholas_13197185.aspx<br><br>Alice might find this interesting -<br><br>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Federation_for_Human_Rights<br><br>so here's what's probably my main point of concern, as I'd contend, that the Third Reich was set up, as in established, developed; allowed to go through the motions and then cleaned up. so I'd just want to be sure that these guys were clear and authentic, not just running a background show 'till we accept their (NWO) version of 'peace'.<br><br><br>keep this in mind<br><br><!--EZCODE IMAGE START--><img src="http://www.anomalous-images.com/WORLD.JPG" style="border:0;"/><!--EZCODE IMAGE END--><br><br>http://www.thewatcherfiles.com/denver.html<br>on the other hand, if a significant number of people, who were aware of the considerations and issues, were involved<br>maybe we could 'tip the balance'.<br><br>edited for really bad lay-out (or whatever the term is), not sure it helped much.<br> <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=rain@rigorousintuition>rain</A> at: 11/3/06 9:35 am<br></i>
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