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Crimes Are Crimes -- No Matter Who Commits Them

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  • Dan Clore
    News & Views for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo [The World Can t Wait (http://www.worldcantwait.net/ ) has published the following
    Message 1 of 4 , May 31 7:25 PM
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      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

      [The World Can't Wait (http://www.worldcantwait.net/ ) has published the
      following ad in the New York Review of Books and the Nation. Signers
      include Cindy Sheehan, Cornel West, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hedges, Daniel
      Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, Ray McGovern, Carl Dix, Bill Quigley, William
      Blum, Joyce Kozloff, Ann Messner, David Swanson, Sunsara Taylor, Stephen
      Rohde, Fr. Bob Bossie, Peter Phillips, Jed Stone, Tomás Olmos, Peter
      McLaren, Jodie Evans, Margaret Lawrence, Matthis Chiroux, Larry Everest,
      Andy Worthington, Blasé Bonpane, William Ayers, Dahr Jamail, Kathy
      Kelly, Mike Gravel, Rev. Dr. George F. Regas, Donald Freed, Frank
      Summers, Rocky Anderson, Tom Morello, Ann Wright, Edward Asner, Sarah
      Kunstler, Emily Kunstler, Michael Ratner, James Cromwell, M. Cherif
      Bassiouni, Rosalyn Baxandall, Ann Fagan Ginger, Stephen Hays, Uzma Khan,
      Dennis Loo, Larry Pinkney Robert Sevin, David Zeiger and Debra Sweet.
      Readers can sign on, too.--DC]

      http://tinyurl.com/y2gc2zs
      Crimes Are Crimes - No Matter Who Does Them

      In the past few weeks, it has become common knowledge that Barack Obama
      has openly ordered the assassination of an American citizen, Anwar
      al-Awlaki, because he is suspected of participating in plots by Al
      Qaeda. Al-Awlaki denies these charges. No matter. Without trial or other
      judicial proceeding, the administration has simply put him on the
      to-be-killed list.

      During this same period, a video leaked by whistleblowers in the
      military showing U.S. troops firing on an unarmed party of Iraqis in
      2007, including two journalists, and then firing on those who attempted
      to rescue them -- including two children -- became public. As ugly as
      this video of the killing of 12 Iraqis was, the chatter recorded from
      the helicopter cockpit was even more chilling and monstrous. Yet the
      Pentagon said that there would be no charges against these soldiers; and
      the media focused on absolving them of blame -- "they were under
      stress," the story went, "and after all our brave men and women must be
      supported." Meanwhile, those who leaked and publicized the video came
      under government surveillance and are targeted as "national security"
      threats.

      Also during this period, the Pentagon acknowledged, after denials, a
      massacre near the city of Gardez, Afghanistan, on February 12, 2010, in
      which 5 people were killed, including two pregnant women, leaving 16
      children motherless. The U.S. military first said the two men killed
      were insurgents, and the women, victims of a family "honor killing."
      The Afghan government has accepted the eyewitness reports that U.S.
      Special Forces killed the men, (a police officer and lawyer) and the
      women, and then dug their own bullets out of the women’s bodies to
      destroy evidence. Top U.S. military officials have now admitted that
      U.S. soldiers killed the family in their house.

      Just weeks earlier, a story broken in Harper’s by Scott Horton carried
      news that three supposed suicides of detainees in Guantánamo in 2006
      were not actual suicides, but homicides carried out by American
      personnel. This passed almost without comment.

      In some respects, this is worse than Bush. First, because Obama has
      claimed the right to assassinate American citizens whom he suspects of
      "terrorism," merely on the grounds of his own suspicion or that of the
      CIA, something Bush never claimed publicly. Second, Obama says that the
      government can detain you indefinitely, even if you have been exonerated
      in a trial, and he has publicly floated the idea of "preventive
      detention." Third, the Obama administration, in expanding the use of
      unmanned drone attacks, argues that the U.S. has the authority under
      international law to use such lethal force and extrajudicial killing in
      sovereign countries with which it is not at war.

      Such measures by Bush were widely considered by liberals and
      progressives to be outrages and were roundly, and correctly, protested.
      But those acts which may have been construed (wishfully or not) as
      anomalies under the Bush regime, have now been consecrated into
      "standard operating procedure" by Obama, who claims, as did Bush,
      executive privilege and state secrecy in defending the crime of
      aggressive war.

      Unsurprisingly, the Obama administration has refused to prosecute any
      members of the Bush regime who are responsible for war crimes, including
      some who admitted to waterboarding and other forms of torture, thereby
      making their actions acceptable for him or any future president,
      Democrat or Republican.

      We must end the complicity of silence and say loud and clear:

      The things that were crimes under Bush are crimes under Obama.
      Outrages under Bush are outrages under Obama.
      All this MUST STOP.
      And all this MUST BE RESISTED by anyone who claims a shred of conscience
      or integrity.

      --
      Dan Clore

      New book: _Weird Words: A Lovecraftian Lexicon_:
      http://tinyurl.com/yd3bxkw
      My collected fiction: _The Unspeakable and Others_
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0035LTS0O
      Lord Weÿrdgliffe & Necronomicon Page:
      http://tinyurl.com/292yz9
      News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

      Skipper: Professor, will you tell these people who is
      in charge on this island?
      Professor: Why, no one.
      Skipper: No one?
      Thurston Howell III: No one? Good heavens, this is anarchy!
      -- _Gilligan's Island_, episode #6, "President Gilligan"
    • Mark
      I paste the response below from another group. Mark ... Actually it s a kill or capture list, somewhat like saying wanted, dead or alive . In other words,
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 2, 2010
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        I paste the response below from another group.
        Mark


        ----
        Actually it's a 'kill or capture' list, somewhat like saying "wanted, dead or
        alive". In other words, he poses such a threat to others that the priority is to
        neutralize him by any means. If he were to surrender or allow himself to be
        taken into custody, I don't think they have permission to shoot him in the head
        right there. But if he's resisting or the only way to get at him while his
        position is known is to snipe him or send a missile, then they can strike with
        lethal force. So, this kind of thing has been done and is done by police all the
        time. If you're on top of a bank with a rifle, shooting at people below, they
        don't have to wait until you're just about to pull the trigger on your next
        victim, the swat team sniper in the helicopter can take you out as soon as he
        has a clear shot. In fact, a mad man on the loose in a city can be shot at by
        common police. But, if they happen to take you into custody, then you need to be
        given a trial.

        Other things worth mentioning:

        - This guy is not denying being a significant member of Al Qaeda. And Congress
        approved military force against Al Qaeda, considered to be a military enemy,
        after 9/11.
        - As a military enemy of the U.S. he is also exempt from President Ford's ban on
        political assassinations.
        - international law allows the use of lethal force against people who pose an
        immanent threat to a country. His influence on the organization is well
        documented and professed.

        So, the standard this article proposes would be kind of like requiring each
        enemy soldier on the battlefield to be given a trial before they can be shot at
        (it also mixes in a lot of emotional but unconnected material about various
        massacres and other unrelated crimes and scandals, which is distracting to its
        argument).

        I have never denied that we are at war with Al Qaeda or that their leaders
        should be attacked as any military would. However, I have always been against
        firing missiles into areas with innocent civilians present, and I've always held
        that if you do happen to obtain custody of any living human being, that they
        should receive a fair trial and have habeus corpus rights; not be held
        indefinitely without redress or representation. In those departments, Obama is
        making improvements by banning torture, banning secret prisons, and closing
        Guantanamo Bay while trying to give trials to those inside (although the process
        is taking longer than he or I prefer).

        I am open to arguments as to whether we should really be thinking of Al Qaeda
        like a military enemy, but as long as we are, this seems consistent to me.

        Daniel


        --- In Humanist_Roundtable@yahoogroups.com, "Mark" <gawwwrrsh@...> wrote:
        >
        > News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
        > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo>
        >
        > [The World Can't Wait (http://www.worldcan twait.net/ ) has published the
        > following ad in the New York Review of Books and the Nation. Signers
        > include Cindy Sheehan, Cornel West, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hedges, Daniel
        > Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, Ray McGovern, Carl Dix, Bill Quigley, William
        > Blum, Joyce Kozloff, Ann Messner, David Swanson, Sunsara Taylor, Stephen
        > Rohde, Fr. Bob Bossie, Peter Phillips, Jed Stone, Tomás Olmos, Peter
        > McLaren, Jodie Evans, Margaret Lawrence, Matthis Chiroux, Larry Everest,
        > Andy Worthington, Blasé Bonpane, William Ayers, Dahr Jamail, Kathy
        > Kelly, Mike Gravel, Rev. Dr. George F. Regas, Donald Freed, Frank
        > Summers, Rocky Anderson, Tom Morello, Ann Wright, Edward Asner, Sarah
        > Kunstler, Emily Kunstler, Michael Ratner, James Cromwell, M. Cherif
        > Bassiouni, Rosalyn Baxandall, Ann Fagan Ginger, Stephen Hays, Uzma Khan,
        > Dennis Loo, Larry Pinkney Robert Sevin, David Zeiger and Debra Sweet.
        > Readers can sign on, too.--DC]
        >
        > <http://tinyurl. com/y2gc2zs>
        > Crimes Are Crimes - No Matter Who Does Them
        >
        > In the past few weeks, it has become common knowledge that Barack Obama
        > has openly ordered the assassination of an American citizen, Anwar
        > al-Awlaki, because he is suspected of participating in plots by Al
        > Qaeda. Al-Awlaki denies these charges. No matter. Without trial or other
        > judicial proceeding, the administration has simply put him on the
        > to-be-killed list.
        >
        > During this same period, a video leaked by whistleblowers in the
        > military showing U.S. troops firing on an unarmed party of Iraqis in
        > 2007, including two journalists, and then firing on those who attempted
        > to rescue them -- including two children -- became public. As ugly as
        > this video of the killing of 12 Iraqis was, the chatter recorded from
        > the helicopter cockpit was even more chilling and monstrous. Yet the
        > Pentagon said that there would be no charges against these soldiers; and
        > the media focused on absolving them of blame -- "they were under
        > stress," the story went, "and after all our brave men and women must be
        > supported." Meanwhile, those who leaked and publicized the video came
        > under government surveillance and are targeted as "national security"
        > threats.
        >
        > Also during this period, the Pentagon acknowledged, after denials, a
        > massacre near the city of Gardez, Afghanistan, on February 12, 2010, in
        > which 5 people were killed, including two pregnant women, leaving 16
        > children motherless. The U.S. military first said the two men killed
        > were insurgents, and the women, victims of a family "honor killing."
        > The Afghan government has accepted the eyewitness reports that U.S.
        > Special Forces killed the men, (a police officer and lawyer) and the
        > women, and then dug their own bullets out of the women's bodies to
        > destroy evidence. Top U.S. military officials have now admitted that
        > U.S. soldiers killed the family in their house.
        >
        > Just weeks earlier, a story broken in Harper's by Scott Horton carried
        > news that three supposed suicides of detainees in Guantánamo in 2006
        > were not actual suicides, but homicides carried out by American
        > personnel. This passed almost without comment.
        >
        > In some respects, this is worse than Bush. First, because Obama has
        > claimed the right to assassinate American citizens whom he suspects of
        > "terrorism," merely on the grounds of his own suspicion or that of the
        > CIA, something Bush never claimed publicly. Second, Obama says that the
        > government can detain you indefinitely, even if you have been exonerated
        > in a trial, and he has publicly floated the idea of "preventive
        > detention." Third, the Obama administration, in expanding the use of
        > unmanned drone attacks, argues that the U.S. has the authority under
        > international law to use such lethal force and extrajudicial killing in
        > sovereign countries with which it is not at war.
        >
        > Such measures by Bush were widely considered by liberals and
        > progressives to be outrages and were roundly, and correctly, protested.
        > But those acts which may have been construed (wishfully or not) as
        > anomalies under the Bush regime, have now been consecrated into
        > "standard operating procedure" by Obama, who claims, as did Bush,
        > executive privilege and state secrecy in defending the crime of
        > aggressive war.
        >
        > Unsurprisingly, the Obama administration has refused to prosecute any
        > members of the Bush regime who are responsible for war crimes, including
        > some who admitted to waterboarding and other forms of torture, thereby
        > making their actions acceptable for him or any future president,
        > Democrat or Republican.
        >
        > We must end the complicity of silence and say loud and clear:
        >
        > The things that were crimes under Bush are crimes under Obama.
        > Outrages under Bush are outrages under Obama.
        > All this MUST STOP.
        > And all this MUST BE RESISTED by anyone who claims a shred of conscience
        > or integrity.
        >
        > --
        >
      • Andy Robinson
        The UN has said drone strikes / assassinations are not permissible, with a few exceptions. See here:
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 3, 2010
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          The UN has said drone strikes / assassinations are not permissible, with a
          few exceptions. See here:

          http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/03/world/03drones.html?scp=1&sq=drone&st=cse

          The basic line is that, if America has a right to pre-emptively kill people
          it thinks (at its own discretion) are a threat to it, outside of firefights
          and warzones, this same right needs to be accorded to every state, and the
          effect of this would be chaos - it would eliminate the prohibition on using
          force which is one of the most central elements of world peace (according to
          the UN's liberal frame).

          The UN is also concerned that the CIA drone strikes are unaccountable,
          unlike regular military actions (in principle!), and thinks they should be
          brought under some blanket of accountability so that mistakes and rights
          violations can be addressed.

          It also states that, while assassinating an al-Qaeda *military* commander is
          possibly justified (there is a "reasonable legal case" in international
          law), the US extension of targets to cover people like preachers (such as
          al-Awlaki), recruiters, political representatives, propagandists, and
          economic financers (such as drug producers) is indefensible and constitutes
          a massive expansion beyond the conventional definition of legitimate
          military targets. These people should be pursued through legal channels if
          at all.

          America has retorted that Russia and Israel also support the doctrine of
          pre-emption. (These are two countries which have both been responsible for
          aggressive wars in recent years).

          America's use of high-level air strikes in preference to lower-flying
          flights and ground operations is considered by many scholars to breach
          international law because it vastly increases the likelihood of innocent
          civilian casualties. It should be added that America has actually been
          pursuing a number of these 'rogue' policies for some time. While
          assassinations outside warzones is new, targeting non-military targets
          deemed part of the enemy 'infrastructure', such as media outlets, factories
          and even supportive civilian areas, has been a normal part of American war
          since at least the time of Vietnam, and has been done not only in warzones
          but also in dirty war / destabilisation campaigns and in cases of
          retaliation (as a few examples, we could consider the bombing of a
          pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, the attack on the Chinese embassy in
          Belgrade, the attack on Aidid's radio station in Somalia, bombing of
          agricultural dams in Vietnam, and the mining of Nicaraguan harbours). There
          are recurring rumours in Britain that Blair talked Bush out of bombing the
          al-Jazeera news station about a year into the Iraq war.

          bw
          Andy


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Kevin Carson
          ... Wait a minute: is the UN suggesting the U.S. should be held to the same standards of legitimate self-defense as other countries? I guess you know this is
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 3, 2010
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            On 6/3/10, Andy Robinson <ldxar1@...> wrote:

            > The UN has said drone strikes / assassinations are not permissible, with a
            > few exceptions. See here:
            >
            > http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/03/world/03drones.html?scp=1&sq=drone&st=cse
            >
            > The basic line is that, if America has a right to pre-emptively kill people
            > it thinks (at its own discretion) are a threat to it, outside of firefights
            > and warzones, this same right needs to be accorded to every state, and the
            > effect of this would be chaos - it would eliminate the prohibition on using
            > force which is one of the most central elements of world peace (according to
            > the UN's liberal frame).

            Wait a minute: is the UN suggesting the U.S. should be held to the
            same standards of legitimate self-defense as other countries? I guess
            you know this is blasphemy. Next thing you know, they'll be saying
            countries besides the U.S. are entitled to define the ability to fight
            back when attacked as a "threat," or define the refusal to obey orders
            as "aggression."

            --
            Kevin Carson
            Center for a Stateless Society http://c4ss.org
            Mutualist Blog:  Free Market Anti-Capitalism
            http://mutualist.blogspot.com
            The Homebrew Industrial Revolution:  A Low-Overhead Manifesto
            http://homebrewindustrialrevolution.wordpress.com
            Organization Theory:  A Libertarian Perspective
            http://mutualist.blogspot.com/2005/12/studies-in-anarchist-theory-of.html
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