Jan 14, 2009

Nuremberg principles

Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Nuremberg Tribunal. Adopted by the International Law Commission of the United Nations, 1950, and forming the cornerstone of international law:

Principle I

Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor and liable to punishment.

Principle II

The fact that internal law does not impose a penalty for an act which constitutes a crime under international law does not relieve the person who committed the act from responsibility under international law.

Principle III

The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible Government official does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.

Principle IV

The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.

The SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) signed with the Iraqi government over the objections of many Iraqis, significantly Muqtada Al Sadr, is in many respects a meaningless document, according to many US commentators. US forces will not, apparently, move out of Iraqi cities as agreed; they will stay where they are, but be called “Support troops” rather than “Combat troops.”
Similarly, the fifteen thousand or so prisoners in US jails, which must, now they fall under Iraqi, not US, law, be either charged with a crime or released, will continue to languish in their prisons, if the Iraqi government agrees to this, as demanded by the US.
By coy admission of US news reports, it is the US which is behind Ukraine’s blocking of the gas which Russia had turned on again. A very odd situation, since Russia now insists that only a new pipeline completely bypassing Ukraine can solve the problem. Not only missiles aimed at it from Poland and the Czech Republic, but the cause of freezing people throughout eastern Europe, and probably of the complete disarming of its Ukrainian proxy. The bankrupt US clearly has no wish for friendly relations with the main depositary of oil and gas in the world, far larger than Saudi Arabia.
Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that Iran is not trying to make nuclear weapons, and that even if Iran had them, they would be useless against the two hundred Israel has, and the thousands in the USA. Iran’s real crime is the proposed Oil Bourse, trading oil in currencies other than dollars: no more “mint in your backyard” by possessing the only petrocurrency. That horse has already bolted, however. Only one third of China's trade is export business. Two thirds is domestic consumption, and the current financial chaos has resulted in a fall of three per cent in export business. The dire predictions of financial disaster for China as exports to the US dry up are something of a joke - in its reporting as in its treaties and agreements, US statements are hardly worth the paper they are written on or the breath required to make them. China has allowed its currency to be used for inter Asian trade, and the best Washington can hope for is to be included in a basket of currencies used as the new reserve.
Timothy Geithner is by no means “the only man in Washington who understands the TARP program.” Many people understand it very well. Mr. Hank Paulson, previously head of Goldman, Sachs was made head of the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) as a temporary hire of the federal government, and given power to over rule all existing government agencies. $350 billion was distributed to the banks. Many institutions rushed to declare themselves banks, including GMAC, the department of General Motors previously arranging financing for purchasers of GM cars. Space for parking all the GM cars that no one wants to buy is running short, and GMAC is advertising on TV for people to deposit money with them, with what success is not known. By one professional estimate, $200 billion would have been sufficient to buy all the troubled mortgages overhanging the economy. None of the banks have said what they have done with their share of the $350 billion, and the Treasury has similarly given vague and repetitive answers to congressional questions on what happened to the $350 billion. No one is willing to say what happened to the money. (Mr. Bernie Madoff is mailing boxes of jewellery and checks to his friend and family and Ms. Condy Rice has a very large haul of diamonds presented to her during official visits to Middle Eastern countries.) A second tranche of $350 billion for Mr. Obama to dispose of is waiting.
The coming administration of the little Luo certainly needs to protect its own existence, and the limitation of inauguration contributions to $50,000 and the complete banning of contributions from lobbyists were very impressive. An honest man, apparently. The closing of Guantanamo is also positive. The US refused to give up its lease of the land from the Batista regime that Castro overthrew, and Castro has never cashed any of the checks regularly sent by the US under its Batista agreement. Will they now admit the Batista regime has gone, and hand the land back to Cuba?
Above all, the incoming administration can not dodge the question whether they are going to investigate, and punish, contraventions of the law by the previous administration. (The appointment of Admiral Blair, who aided and supported the slaughter of the Timorese by General Wiranto, - How dare they vote for independence! - as Obama’s head of Intelligence is not promising.)
Without that, any administration can use the Bush continuation of Nixon’s “If the president did it, then it's legal” as precedent.
“Mr. Obama’s pick for attorney general, the mild-looking Eric Holder, may be the key figure in the early months of the new government. If he doesn’t commence some aggressive investigations and prosecutions – beginning with Henry Paulson for insider trading when he was in charge of Goldman Sachs and shorting his own company’s mortgage-backed securities – [which he invented, by the way – ed.] then the whole Obama enterprise could fall under suspicion of illegitimacy.” The Daily Reckoning 12/23/08
Iraqi victims are unanimous that US torture is far, far worse than that of Saddam. Hillary Clinton’s hearing in the US Congress (“protecting women”) makes it clear that the Pathan treatment of women a thousand miles away will be used as the justification for the Palestinian slaughter, and the Congressional “non-binding resolution” is a gleeful, jeering support of the Israeli campaign in Gaza. What disgusting people!
What goes around comes around – don’t whine then.
The people at the Pentagon better hope they win, since at the Nuremberg Trial the Charter of the International Military Tribunal shows what is a hanging offense if they lose.

(a) CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;
(b) WAR CRIMES: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;
(c) CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated. Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan.

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