Former Veterans For Peace Director Elliot Adams and the Coalition to Ground the Drones indict military and personnel of Hancock, NY Drone Air Force Base along with their chain of command up through Obama. History of the court of public opinion’s power. Goals of the new Prosecute US Crimes Against Humanity Now Campaign noted.
In this age of instant world wide personal communication, once calls for prosecution of government officials ordering murderous attacks in vulnerable nations begin they will spread and sweep the world.
Former Veterans For Peace President Elliot Adams wrote an indictment of the military and workers of Hancock NY Drone Air Force Base. It was read by three women from The Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones, who were able to reach the air bases entrance gate, a few days ago. Elliot Adams had been arrested with others while marching toward the base.
“Indictment of the Drone Warriors“
‘To the Service Members of Hancock Air Base, Each one of you, when you joined the United States Armed Forces or police, publicly promised to uphold the United States Constitution. We … call your attention to Article VI of the Constitution, which states in the supremacy clause, that, without exception, treaties shall be the supreme Law of the Land.
One Treaty duly ratified by the US is the United Nations Charter. It was agreed to by a vote of 89 to 2 in the US Senate, and signed by the President, in 1945. It remains in effect today. As such, it is the supreme law of the land.
The preamble of the UN Charter states that ‘all nations shall refrain from the use of force against an another nation.’
This Treaty applies both collectively and individually to all members of the US armed forces, who have sworn to uphold the Constitution, which includes Article VI. Under the UN Charter and long established international laws, anyone – citizen, military, politician, or judge, – that knowingly engages in illegal use of force against another nation is committing a war crime.
Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice of the U.S., you are required to disobey any clearly unlawful order from a superior.
We charge that the Air National Guard of the United States of America, headquartered at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, home of the 174th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard, under the command of 174th Fighter Wing Commander Colonel Greg Semmel, is maintaining and deploying the MQ-9 Reaper robotic aircraft.
Extrajudicial targeted killings such as the U.S. carries out by unmanned aircraft drones are intentional, premeditated, and deliberate use of lethal force in violation of US and international human rights law.
It is a matter of public record that the US has used drones for targeted killings in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Pakistan, with no rigorous criteria for deciding which people are targeted for killing, no procedural safeguards to ensure the legality and accuracy of the killings, and no mechanisms of accountability.
The drone attacks either originating at this base or supported here are a deliberate illegal use of force against another nation, and as such are a felonious violation of Article VI of the US Constitution.
By giving material support to the drone program, you as individuals are violating the Constitution, dishonoring your oath, and committing war crimes.
We charge the chain of command, from President Barack Obama, to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, to Commander Colonel Greg Semmel, to every drone crew, to every service member supporting or defending these illegal actions, with the following crimes: extrajudicial killings, violation of due process, wars of aggression, violation of national sovereignty, and the killing of innocent civilians.
We demand that they immediately stop these crimes, and be accountable to the people of the United States and Afghanistan, …
Nuremberg Principles l — Vll, and by Conscience, to refuse to participate in these crimes, to denounce them and to resist them nonviolently.
As citizens of this nation, which maintains over 700 military bases around the globe, and the largest, most deadly military arsenal in the world, we believe these words of Martin Luther King still hold true, “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government.” There is hope for a better world when WE THE PEOPLE hold our government accountable to the laws and treaties that govern the use of lethal force and war.
Let all accused in this indictment understand that our words are spoken nonviolently. All are invited to stop the use of drones and refuse to participate in illegal warfare.
Signed by, the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars” [published by David Swanson, 22 April 2012 in War is a Crime.]’
Since Truman, presidents of the US National Security State have felt themselves securely above the law in ordering unconstitutional, illegal, undeclared murderous wars in nations anywhere they were advised to.
Obama, though himself a lawyer and therefore precisely aware of the criminal nature of his acts, is no exception. No president before him has been so audacious in preposterously proclaiming the sanctity of the deadly military attacks he has ordered, appearing oblivious to the possibility of future prosecution and punishment.
Corporate controlled media has reinforced the idea that all US wars are above prosecution. Thus everyone participating in this brutal national behavior of taking lives daily, year in year out, feels reassured their participation is not criminal. Kids dutifully pulling the triggers, their parents willingly paying their war supporting taxes, the media personalities knowingly bending the truth to work up public fears and war acceptance, the leaders of organized clergy devilishly calling wars on poor people just, and the financiers behind the wars all try to relax and void their conscience of feelings of guilt.
However there have been many citizen indictments during these sixty-three years of US undeclared wars that bode some reason for alarm among those involved in crimes against humanity. Here below, are noted but a few.
– Quite a number of US soldiers have faced trial for atrocities committed.
– The world has learned that Chief Nuremberg Prosecutor Telford Taylor once said he would have been proud to prosecute the US pilots shot down while bombing cities in Vietnam. GOP Vice-presidential candidate Sen. John McCain was one of those pilots shot down.
– Now, Veterans For Peace, once tough young men tricked into serving murder incorporated for Wall St. shaming themselves and their country are indicting participants in these criminal wars of mass homicide.
– Mothers like Cindy Sheehan, painfully suffering from regret for not preventing their sons from entering the military, lead bitter public condemnation of their public officials.
– Cardinal Spellman is identified in history books as a key proponent of the Vietnam war that Rev. Martin Luther King prosecuted in the court of public opinion as an atrocity.
– At Nuremberg, five Nazi media personalities were tried and sentenced. One was hung.
– Financier David Rockefeller’s close confidants and high appointed war-running officials, the Dulles brothers are now clearly documented in encyclopedias as master war criminals; his Henry Kissinger, now careful where he travels to avoid arrest, was sued in a District Court as an accomplice to murder; Rockefeller cohort Zbigniew Brzezinski tries to excuse his bragging of being responsible for covert CIA attack in Afghanistan to frighten the Soviets in.
– “Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has been stripped of legal immunity for acts of torture against US citizens authorized while he was in office. The 7th Circuit Court made the ruling.” [Welcome to Boston, Mr. Rumsfeld. You Are Under Arrest , Global Research , 9/20/2011]
– “Former US Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Elizabeth, have canceled a planned speaking engagement at Toronto’s Metro Convention Centre next month … “He felt that in Canada the risk of violent protest was simply too high. They specifically referenced what happened in Vancouver.” A fierce protest of Cheney’s speech in British Columbia last September necessitated the use of Vancouver riot police and kept Cheney locked inside the speaking venue for seven hours while crowds were dispersed.” Who’s Afraid of War Crimes Prosecution? Cheney Cancels Canada , Global Research , Canada, 5/19/2012
– “Amnesty International called on Canadian authorities Wednesday to arrest and prosecute George W. Bush, saying the former US president authorized “torture” when he directed the US-led war on terror.” [Amnesty calls on Canada to arrest Bush, AFP 13, 2011]
– “there is no longer any doubt as to whether the [Bush] administration has committed war crimes.” said Major General Antonio Taguba, who led the official Army investigation into Abu Ghraib Prison torture, in his report of September 19, 2011
In his mind, does Obama dismiss internationally highly regarded MIT professor, Noam Chomsky’s recently reiterated prescient warning that “Every US President since WW II, if they had brought to trial under the Nuremberg Principles set of laws and convicted, could have been hung?”
This writer imagines a somewhat older Ex-President Obama one day telling a judge and jury “I had no choice.” [but to keep murdering all those men, women and children in nearly a half-dozen nations for more than a decade] “We were attacked on 9/11.”
… And the prosecutor answering, ‘But while you illegally ordered the mass destruction of human beings in so many other nations, you knew the 9/11 suicide attack was carried out and funded by citizens of a US ally, Saudi Arabia, which you never ordered bombed.’
All Americans, who have participated in cruel and inhuman US wars in nations still suffering impoverishment from more than a century of conquest, exploitation and plundering by the investment bank run empires of Europe and America, take heed. There is a now a campaign titled Prosecute US Crimes Against Humanity Now that features, following the examples of peoples historian Howard Zinn and Martin Luther King Jr., an educational country-by-country history of US crimes.
If the world superpower of the moment can prosecute other leaders of governments for crimes, like it did Slobodan Milosovitch and its own wayward agents, Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein, and if an ally like Spain can arrest and extradite US darling Gen. Augusto Pinochet, ex-dictator of Chile, it should not be inconceivable that the world suffering US wars for its Wall Street investments for more than six decades, will one day prosecute US leaders, if for no other reason, for some measure of compensation and restitution.
When such prosecution happens, all adult American citizens will feel the condemnation in the eyes of the citizens of the many nations invaded, bombed and otherwise attacked over more than a half century. For as the demonstrators indictment of ordinary servicemen and personnel of the drone base in New York would seem to indicate, it takes the collaboration of the whole nation to be able to make war on so many many countries over a period of more than a half century.
Article originally publish and headlined by OpEdNews, 4/26/2012
Jay Janson, 80, archival research peoples historian activist, musician and writer; lived, worked on all continents; articles on media published in China, Italy, UK, India and the US; now resides in NYC;. Howard Zinn lent his name to various projects of his. GlobalResearch, InformationClearingHouse, CounterCurrents, Minority Perspective, UK; DissidentVoice, OpEdNews, HistoryNewsNetwork and others have published his articles. Weekly column, South China Morning Post, 1986-87; reviews for Ta Kung Bao; articles China Daily, 1989. Is coordinator of King Condemned US Wars International Awareness Campaign http://kingcondemneduswars.blogspot.com/ and creator of the Prosecute US Crimes Against Humanity Now Campaign http://prosecuteuscrimesagainsthumanitynow.blogspot.com/
which features a country by country history of US crimes. He studied history at CCNY, Columbia U., U. Puerto Rico, Dolmetscher Institut München; Germany; Korean National University of Arts, Seoul; Radiotelevisione italiana, Rome; Zagreb Radiotelevision,Yugoslavia; Hong Kong Arts Academy.