Bush and Obama: War Crimes or Lawful Wars?

http://www.debatingtaboos.org/2011/11/bush-and-obama-war-crimes-or-lawful-wars/

DEBATING TABOOS:
Bush and Obama: War Crimes or Lawful Wars?

For Immediate Release: Nov. 3, 2011

Who: Ralph Nader; Center for Study of Responsive Law
When: Friday, November 18, 2011 at 12:30 p.m.
What: Bush/Obama: War Crimes or Lawful Wars?
Where: 1530 P St NW, Washington, DC – Carnegie Institution building
Contact: Katherine Raymond, 202-387-8030, kraymond@csrl.org

(Washington, D.C.) – On Friday, November 18, Ralph Nader and the Center for Study of Responsive Law will host a public debate on the subject: Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s actions: war crimes or lawful wars?

Debaters arguing for the proposition that Bush and Obama engaged in war crimes

Bruce Fein is an attorney and constitutional scholar, and has consulted foreign nations on matters ranging from constitutional revision to telecommunications and cable regulation, and human rights. He appears regularly on national and international television, cable, and radio programs as an expert in foreign affairs, terrorism, national security, and has testified over 200 times before Congressional committees. .

Lt. Colonel Tony Shaffer is a highly experienced U.S. Army intelligence officer, and is nationally known as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for intelligence collection and policy, terrorism, data mining, situational awareness and adaptive/disruptive technologies. He is also a senior advisor to multiple organizations on terrorism and counterinsurgency issues and a member of the US Nuclear Strategy Forum.

Debaters arguing against the proposition that Bush and Obama engaged in war crimes

David B. Rivkin is a member of Baker & Hostetler Law Firm’s litigation, international and environmental groups and co-chairs the firm’s appellate and major motions team. He served in the White House Counsel’s office and the Department of Justice under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Prior to embarking on a legal career, Mr. Rivkin worked as a defense and foreign policy analyst, focusing on Soviet affairs, arms control, naval strategy and NATO-related issues, and served as a defense consultant to numerous government agencies and Washington think tanks.

Lee Casey a partner at Baker & Hostetler, focuses on federal environmental, constitutional and international law and Alien Tort Statute issues. He served in the Department of Justice under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He also advises clients on compliance issues under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), U.S. trade sanctions regimes, and federal ethics requirements. Mr. Casey’s practice includes federal, district and appellate court litigation, as well as matters before federal agencies. From 2004 through 2007 he served as a member of the United Nations Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.

Moderators
Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, is a nationally recognized legal scholar who has written extensively in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law. He has served as a consultant on homeland security and constitutional issues. He also is a nationally recognized legal commentator.

Stuart S. Taylor is a lawyer, author and freelance journalist focusing on legal and policy issues, a “National Journal” contributing editor, and a Brookings Institution nonresident fellow. He has written many columns on this issue and has co-authored a piece titled “Looking Forward, Not Backward: Refining American Interrogation Law” through the Brookings Institution.

The event is free and open to the public. Please join us and invite your colleagues and friends to attend.The Debating Taboos series brings public attention and analyses to “taboo” topics. This is the third debate in the series.

A complimentary light lunch will follow the event.

HRW: Obama broke law not prosecuting Bush & Cheney

Human Rights Watch has stated its position on the Obama Administration’s lack of justice in the cases of Richard Bruce Cheney and George Walker Bush for war crimes and authorizing war crimes

Terror suspects spill more ‘high value’ intelligence

July 24, 2003, 10:54PM
Terror suspects spill more ‘high value’ intelligence
Detainees are offered rewards in exchange for information

Associated Press GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — Terrorist suspects have become more compliant and are offering many more important intelligence tips, said the U.S. Army general who commands the prison where preparations are under way for military tribunals.

Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller said that three-fourths of the 660 or so detainees have confessed to some involvement in terrorism. Many have turned on former friends and colleagues, he added.

Miller said detainees are giving up information in “incentive-based interrogations.” Rewards include more recreation time, extra food rations to keep in their cells, or a move to the prison’s medium-security facility.

“We have a large number of detainees who have been very cooperative describing their actions, either terrorist actions or in support of terrorism — more than 75 percent” of them, Miller said in an interview Wednesday.

Some tips have led to more arrests, others revealed terrorist recruiting techniques, he said.

“In February we were able to get 35 `high value’ — the highest value — intelligence (pieces). … In June we had more than 225,” Miller said.

The prisoners’ statements, which Miller said have been verbal, could be used as evidence before the secret tribunals, unlike in the United States.

The prison’s location at this U.S. naval base at the eastern end of Cuba puts the detainees out of the jurisdiction of U.S. courts and constitutional protections, a situation that has been criticized by human rights groups as a violation of the detainees’ rights.

The prisoners are all suspected of ties to the al-Qaida terrorist network or Afghanistan’s ousted Taliban regime.

Legislators file suit against Bush over ending ABM treaty

June 12, 2002, 1:17AM
By JIM ABRAMS
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Thirty-one House members filed suit against President Bush on Tuesday in an effort to block the president from withdrawing from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

The United States officially leaves the treaty Thursday, six months after Bush announced his intention to do so. The Pentagon plans an earth-breaking ceremony Saturday at Fort Greely, Alaska, to begin construction on the first portion of a new missile interceptor system.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, the lead plaintiff, said Bush does not have authority to unilaterally withdraw from a treaty and should first seek the consent of Congress. “The Constitution of the United States is being demolished and we need to challenge that in court,” he said.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, also names Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell as defendants. The plaintiffs are all Democrats, except for one independent who usually votes with Democrats.

It states that while the Constitution is silent on the role of Congress in treaty terminations, treaties have the status of “supreme law of the land” equivalent to federal laws and that laws can be repealed only by an act of Congress.

“I am troubled that many in Congress appear willing to cede our constitutional responsibility on this matter to the executive branch,” said Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis. He tried unsuccessfully Monday to bring a resolution to the Senate floor stating the president cannot withdraw from the treaty without Senate approval.

Kucinich last week tried to get the House to vote on a similar resolution, but House Republicans unanimously rejected a motion to bring the issue to a vote. Republicans generally support withdrawal from the treaty, which prohibited the United States and Soviet Union from building missile defenses and has been an impediment to Bush’s plans for a missile defense system.

“This is so far out of touch,” said Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., a proponent of a missile defense system. “The end of the ABM treaty marks a significant milestone” enabling the Pentagon to adjust to post-Cold War changes and emerging threats, he said.

The lead lawyer for House lawmakers, Peter Weiss, said they are asking the court for expedited treatment of the suit. But he said that even if the court does not act by the withdrawal date, a later decision agreeing that Bush must first get congressional consent could be retroactive.

In House debate last week, Republicans argued that past presidents have terminated dozens of treaties without consulting Congress. Kucinich pointed to an 1835 House vote blocking President Jackson from pulling out of a treaty with France.

In 1979 the late Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., sued President Carter over his decision to terminate a mutual defense treaty with Taiwan when he established diplomatic relations with the Beijing government. The Supreme Court, without ruling on the constitutional issue, vacated or threw out an appeals court ruling in favor of Carter and ordered it sent back for reconsideration.