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.

Second Court allows another Rumsfeld torture case to go forward.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago has rendered a ruling in Rumsfeld’s attempt to dismiss the case based on immunity. The court has rejected the argument and nobody should be surprised that torture apologist David Rivkin is firing back by insulting the judges themselves. “Having judges second-guess the decisions made by the armed forces halfway around the world is no way to wage a war. It saps the effectiveness of the military, puts American soldiers at risk, and shackles federal officials who have a constitutional duty to protect America.”

U.S. Circuit Judge David Hamilton wrote the opinion.

Second, we agree with the district court that Secretary Rumsfeld is not entitled to qualified immunity on the pleadings. The law was clearly established in 2006 that the treatment plaintiffs have alleged was unconstitutional. No reasonable public official could have believed otherwise.

The plaintiff in this case is filed as John Doe. John Doe was sent to Iraq in as an Arabic-English interpreter with a marine corp’s intel unit in December 2004. In less than a year he was arrested without charge and thrown in solitary confinement blindfolded and handcuffed. He was in solitary for 72 hours then transported to Camp Cropper before being tortured some more. He was released 9 months later. He filed suit in 2008.

The court decision comes on the heels of a ruling by Federal Court in the case of Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel. Vance and Ertel are suing for torture committed upon them when they worked for Shield Group Security, U.S. hired contractor.

A report from RussiaToday

Another report worth watching

Rumsfeld is accused of approving torture methods that included sleep deprivation, walling, extended standing, and other violations of Army Field Manual, domestic law, and foreign treaties regarding the treatment of prisoners. The expressed outrage by officials days into the Iraq war about the treatment of captured chopper pilots shows they had a low bar for tolerance in abuse of American prisoners of war but no compunction for the abuses we know happened. Repeatedly, they’ve used the ‘bad apples’ spin.

These suits work to destroy the bad apples narrative. Attorney Mike Kanovitz said, the court had to choose between “protecting the most fundamental rights of American citizens in the difficult context of a war or leaving those rights solely in the hands of politicians and the military. It was not an easy choice for the Court to make, but it was the brave and right choice.”

The state department hasn’t responded but torture apologist and broken message maker David Rivkin resumed his same old attacks and claimed the decision would be overturned.

We’ll keep you posted on Donald Rumsfeld and his torture apologist attorney, David Rivkin.

Canadian Activists Vow to Arrest George W. Bush in October

Apparently Canadians haven’t forgotten George W Bush’s crimes.

Surrey BC Mayor Diane Watts forewarned of torture issues with George W Bush Invite in October by Peace Activists

Surrey BC Canada May 2 2011: WeAreChangeVancouver has just released new video of Surrey BC Mayor Diane Watts’s Office being notified by Peace Activists of her impending complicity in harboring/inviting a credibly accused and self admitted torturer and war criminal to Surrey BC this October.

http://tv.globalresearch.ca/2011/05/canadian-activists-vow-arrest-george-w-bush-october

U.S. seeks to contain ‘top secret’ evidence in Mehanna trial

Laurel Sweet of the Boston Herald has just published a report on the DOJ’s use of state secrets arguments in prosecuting Tarek Mehanna.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. is beseeching a federal judge in Boston not to release to an accused Sudbury terrorist’s lawyers the evidence prosecutors that have amassed against him under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, warning the disclosure of “top secret” materials could “cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”

Such lawyers are able to examine evidence without divulging contents to the accused. This argument has become typical of the DOJ for the past several years.

Holder asserted in a sworn claim of executive privilege filed with U.S. District Court Judge George O’Toole Jr. in the case of Tarek Mehanna, “The FISA materials contain sensitive and classified information concerning United States intelligence sources and methods and other information related to efforts of the United States to conduct counterterrorism investigations.”

This argument has been used back since the civil war as spies for the North couldn’t get recognized for compensation while the government simply turned a blind eye to them. It is a specious argument.

“We don’t even know what the (FISA) evidence is,” Mehanna’s attorney Janice Bassil said yesterday, adding Holder’s attempt to withhold the government’s evidence from electronic surveillance and physical searches was not unexpected.

“In these cases, where there are accusations of terrorism, civil liberties and constitutional rights kind of go out the window,” she said. “They are not clearly recognized and are often ignored.”

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?articleid=1353939

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

John Kiriakou changes his tune

John Kiriakou changes his tune

After some reflection former CIA agent John Kiriakou has modified his view about the torture of Abu Zubaydah. He apparently didn’t realize that there wasn’t just one session of torture, but 83 sessions of torture.

If one round of torture worked, Kiriakou seems to argue that he would at least find it effective.

The Truth About Richard Bruce Cheney