Saturday, November 24, 2007

Frances Boyle to lawyers on Law and Resistance

Dear Impeachment Person,
Harold Burbank has forwarded to us what has to be one of the
half-dozen finest and most important speeches of the year--by Francis
Boyle to the Northwestern U School of Law.

Law and Resistance: The Republic in Crisis and the People's Response*
Professor Francis A. Boyle of University of Illinois College of Law
Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at Northwestern University School of Law
Sponsored by: National Lawyers Guild, Northwestern University Student
Law School Chapter and Chicago Chapter of the NLG

*(c)Copyright 2007 by Francis A. Boyle. All Rights reserved.

Since the impeachable installation of George Bush Jr. as President by
the U.S. Supreme Court's Gang of Five, the people of the world have
witnessed a government in the United States that has demonstrated
little if any respect for fundamental considerations of international
law, human rights, or the United States Constitution. Instead, the
world has watched a comprehensive and malicious assault upon the
integrity of the international and domestic legal orders by a group of
men and women who are thoroughly Machiavellian and Straussian in their
perception of international relations and in their conduct of both
foreign affairs and American domestic policy. Even more seriously, in
many instances specific components of the Bush Jr. administration's
foreign policy constitute ongoing criminal activity under well
recognized principles of both international law and United States
domestic law, and in particular the Nuremberg Charter, the Nuremberg
Judgment, and the Nuremberg Principles, as well as the Pentagon's own
U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10 on The Law of Land Warfare, which applies
to President Bush Jr. himself as Commander-in-Chief of United States
Armed Forces under Article II, Section 2 of the United States

Depending on the substantive issues involved, these international and
domestic crimes typically include but are not limited to the Nuremberg
offences of "crimes against peace"-- so far Afghanistan, Iraq,
Somalia, and perhaps their longstanding threatened war of aggression
against Iran. Their criminal responsibility also concerns "crimes
against humanity" and war crimes as well as grave breaches of the Four
Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the 1907 Hague Regulations on land
warfare: torture at Guantanamo, Bhagram, Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere;
enforced disappearances, assassinations, murders, kidnappings,
extraordinary renditions, "shock and awe," depleted uranium, white
phosphorous, cluster bombs, Fallujah, etc. Furthermore, various
members of the Bush Jr. administration have committed numerous
inchoate crimes incidental to these substantive offences that under
the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles as well as U.S. Army
Field Manual 27-10 (1956) are international crimes in their own right:
planning, and preparation—which they are currently doing today against
Iran—solicitation, incitement, conspiracy, complicity, attempt, aiding
and abetting. Of course the terrible irony of today's situation is
that six decades ago at Nuremberg the U.S. government participated in
the prosecution, punishment and execution of Nazi government officials
for committing some of the same types of heinous international crimes
that the Neo-Conservative Straussian members of the Bush Jr.
administration currently inflict upon people all over the world. To be
sure, I personally oppose the imposition of capital punishment upon
any human being for any reason no matter how monstrous their crimes,
whether they be Bush Jr., Tony Blair, or Saddam Hussein.

According to basic principles of international criminal law set forth
in paragraph 501 of U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10, all high level
civilian officials and military officers in the U.S. government who
either knew or should have known that soldiers or civilians under
their control (such as the C.I.A. or mercenary contractors), committed
or were about to commit international crimes and failed to take the
measures necessary to stop them, or to punish them, or both, are
likewise personally responsible for the commission of international
crimes. This category of officialdom who actually knew or should have
known of the commission of these international crimes under their
jurisdiction and failed to do anything about them include at the very
top of America's criminal chain-of-command President Bush Jr. and
Vice-President Cheney; former U.S. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld;
Secretary of State Rice; Director of National Intelligence Negroponte,
who was previously in charge of the contra terror war against the
people of Nicaragua that murdered 35, 000 civilians; National Security
Advisor Hadley; his Deputy Elliot Abrams, who was also criminally
responsible for murdering 35,000 people in Nicaragua; former U.S.
Attorney General Gonzales, criminally responsible for the torture
campaign launched by the Bush Jr. administration; and the Pentagon's
Joint Chiefs of Staffs along with the appropriate Regional
Commanders-in-Chiefs, especially for Central Command (CENTCOM).

These U.S. government officials and their immediate subordinates are
responsible for the commission of crimes against peace, crimes against
humanity, and war crimes as specified by the Nuremberg Charter,
Judgment, and Principles as well as by U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10 of
1956. Today in international legal terms, the Bush Jr. administration
itself should now be viewed as constituting an ongoing criminal
conspiracy under international criminal law in violation of the
Nuremberg Charter, the Nuremberg Judgment, and the Nuremberg
Principles, because of its formulation and undertaking of serial wars
of aggression, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war
crimes that are legally akin to those perpetrated by the former Nazi
regime in Germany. As a consequence, American citizens possess the
basic right under international law and the United States domestic
law, including the U.S. Constitution, to engage in acts of civil
resistance designed to prevent, impede, thwart, or terminate ongoing
criminal activities perpetrated by Bush Jr. administration officials
in their conduct of foreign affairs policies and military operations
purported to relate to defense and counter-terrorism.

For that very reason, large numbers of American citizens have decided
to act on their own cognizance by means of civil resistance in order
to demand that the Bush Jr. administration adhere to basic principles
of international law, of U.S. domestic law, and of our own
Constitution in its conduct of foreign affairs and military
operations. Mistakenly, however, such actions have been defined to
constitute classic instances of "civil disobedience" as historically
practiced in the United States. And the conventional status quo
admonition by the U.S. power elite and its sycophantic news media for
those who knowingly engage in "civil disobedience" has always been
that they must meekly accept their punishment for having performed a
prima facie breach of the positive laws as a demonstration of their
good faith and moral commitment. Nothing could be further from the
truth! Today's civil resisters are the sheriffs! The Bush Jr.
administration officials are the outlaws!

Here I would like to suggest a different way of thinking about civil
resistance activities that are specifically designed to thwart,
prevent, or impede ongoing criminal activity by members of the Bush
Jr. administration under well﷓recognized principles of international
and U.S. domestic law. Such civil resistance activities represent the
last constitutional avenue open to the American people to preserve
their democratic form of government with its historical commitment to
the rule of law and human rights. Civil resistance is the last hope
America has to prevent the Bush Jr. administration from moving even
farther down the path of lawless violence in Southwest Asia, military
interventionism in Latin America and Africa, and nuclear confrontation
with Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China.

Such measures of "civil resistance" must not be confused with, and
indeed must be carefully distinguished from, acts of "civil
disobedience" as traditionally defined. In today's civil resistance
cases, what we witness are U.S. citizens attempting to prevent the
ongoing commission of international and domestic crimes under
well-recognized principles of international law and U.S. domestic law.
This is a phenomenon essentially different from the classic civil
disobedience cases of the 1950s and 1960s where incredibly courageous
African Americans and their supporters were conscientiously violating
domestic laws for the express purpose of changing them. By contrast,
today's civil resisters are acting for the express purpose of
upholding the rule of law, the U.S. Constitution, human rights, and
international law. Applying the term "civil disobedience" to such
civil resistors mistakenly presumes their guilt and thus perversely
exonerates the Bush Jr. administration criminals.

Civil resistors disobeyed nothing, but to the contrary obeyed
international law and the United States Constitution. By contrast,
Bush Jr. administration officials disobeyed fundamental principles of
international law as well as U.S. criminal law and thus committed
international crimes and U.S. domestic crimes as well as impeachable
violations of the United States Constitution. The civil resistors are
the sheriffs enforcing international law, U.S. criminal law and the
U.S. Constitution against the criminals working for the Bush Jr.

Today the American people must reaffirm our commitment to the
Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles by holding our government
officials fully accountable under international law and U.S. domestic
law for the commission of such grievous international and domestic
crimes. We must not permit any aspect of our foreign affairs and
defense policies to be conducted by acknowledged "war criminals"
according to the U.S. government's own official definition of that
term as set forth in U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10 (1956), the U.S. War
Crimes Act, and the Geneva Conventions. The American people must
insist upon the impeachment, dismissal, resignation, indictment,
conviction, and long-term incarceration of all U.S. government
officials guilty of such heinous international and domestic crimes.
That is precisely what American civil resisters are doing today!

This same right of civil resistance extends pari passu to all citizens
of the world community of states. Everyone around the world has both
the right and the duty under international law to resist ongoing
criminal activities perpetrated by the Bush Jr. administration and its
nefarious foreign accomplices in allied governments such as in
Britain, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Georgia, etc. If not so
restrained, the Bush Jr. administration could very well precipitate a
Third World War.
In this regard, during the course of an October 17, 2007 press
conference, President Bush Jr. terrorized the entire world with the
threat of World War III if he could not work his illegal will upon
Iran. Then Russian President Vladimir Putin responded in kind by
likewise terrorizing the entire world with the prospect of yet another
Cuban Missile Crisis if he did not get his way on the needlessly
provocative anti-ballistic missile systems that the Bush Jr.
administration plans to locate in Poland and the Czech Republic. The
publicly threatened U.S./Israeli attack upon Iran could readily set
off a chain of events that would culminate in World War III, and could
easily go nuclear. It is my opinion that the Bush Jr. administration
would welcome the outbreak of a Third World War, and in any event is
fully prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons against Muslim and Arab
states and peoples.

After September 11, 2001 the United States of America has vilified and
demonized Muslims and Arabs almost to the same extent that America
inflicted upon the Japanese and Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor.
As the Nazis had previously demonstrated with respect to the Jews, a
government must first dehumanize and scapegoat a race of people before
its citizens will tolerate if not approve their elimination: Hiroshima
and Nagasaki. In post-9/11 America we are directly confronted with
the prospect of a nuclear war of extermination conducted by our White
Racist Judeo-Christian Power Elite against People of Color in the
Muslim and Arab worlds in order to steal their oil and gas. The
Crusades all over again. But this time nuclear Armageddon stares all
of humankind right in the face!

We American lawyers must be inspired by the stunning example set by
those heroic Pakistani lawyers now leading the struggle against the
brutal Bush-supported Musharraf military dictatorship. We American
lawyers must now lead the fight against the Bush Jr. dictatorship!

This is our Nuremberg Moment!

Thank you.