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Keith Millea
02-23-2010, 11:36 PM
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/02/23-1

Published on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 by Raw Story (http://rawstory.com/2010/02/top-bush-adviser-defends-allowing-president-massacre-civilians/) Top Bush Adviser Defends Allowing President to Massacre, Nuke Civilians


The senior Justice Department legal adviser to president Bush who made the legal case for the Bush Administration's use of torture tactics on terror suspects defended comments that the president could unilaterally "massacre" civilians in wartime in a newly released interview.

http://www.commondreams.org/files/article_images/yoo_0.jpgJohn Yoo (File)
"You did argue that the president can legally order a village of civilians massacred," a KQED radio host asked John Yoo, now a professor at Berkeley. "Do you stand by that?"
"If, I thought it was militarily necessary," Yoo replied. "All you have to do is look at American history.... Look at the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. "
Not backing down, Yoo championed the use of nuclear weapons in World War II.
"Could Congress tell President Truman he couldn't use a nuclear bombing in Japan, even though Truman thought in good faith he was saving millions of American and Japanese lives?" Yoo continued. "Or look at the American bombing campaign of World War II over Europe. Again, terrible things that the country had to do to bring the war to a faster conclusion and in the long run perhaps save more American or German lives."
He also suggested that the decision to use America's nuclear arsenal is the president's alone.
"The government places those decisions in the president, and if the Congress doesn't like it they can cut off funds for it or they can impeach him."
Liberal blog ThinkProgress' Ian Millhiser, which first highlighted the interview, argues that (http://thinkprogress.org/2010/02/22/yoo-nuke/) Yoo's understanding of the law in this case is wrong.
"As far back as 1804, a unanimous Supreme Court held in Little v. Barreme that Congress has sweeping authority to limit the President's actions in wartime. That case involved an Act of Congress authorizing vessels to seize cargo ships bound for French ports. After the President also authorized vessels to seize ships headed away from French ports, the Supreme Court held this authorization unconstitutional on the grounds that Congress' decision to allow one kind of seizure implicitly forbade other kinds of seizure. More recently, in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the Court held that the President does not have the power to unilaterally set military policy (in those cases with respect to detention); he must comply with statutory limits on his power. Taken together, these and other cases unquestionably establish that Congress has the power to tell the President 'no,' and the President must listen."
"John Yoo is a moral vacuum, but he is also a constitutional law professor at one of the nation's top law schools and a former Supreme Court clerk," the site added. "It is simply impossible that Yoo is not aware of Little, Hamdi and Hamdan, or that he does not understand what they say. So when John Yoo claims that the President is not bound by Congressional limits, he is not simply ignorant or misunderstanding the law. He is lying."
This weekend, Newsweek's Michael Isikoff noted (http://rawstory.com/2010/02/bush-power-massacre-entire-village-torture-author-yoo/) that Yoo also "told Justice Department investigators that the president's war-making authority was so broad that he had the constitutional power to order a village to be 'massacred,' according to a report released Friday night by the Office of Professional Responsibility."
Pressed on his views in an interview with OPR investigators, Yoo was asked:

"What about ordering a village of resistants to be massacred? ... Is that a power that the president could legally -"
"Yeah," Yoo replied, according to a partial transcript included in the report. "Although, let me say this: So, certainly, that would fall within the commander-in-chief's power over tactical decisions."
"To order a village of civilians to be [exterminated]?" the OPR investigator asked again.
"Sure," said Yoo.


© 2010 Raw Story

Ed Jewett
02-24-2010, 02:55 AM
Who IS this man? Is he so immersed in "law" and power that he can talk about cutting off funding and starting impeachment proceedings AFTER a nuclear weapon has been used? Who destroyed the moral compass of America?

" I wanna know the names in the shadows, I wanna hear someone ask them 'why?'?"

David Guyatt
02-24-2010, 12:14 PM
I echo your concern Ed.


"The government places those decisions in the president, and if the Congress doesn't like it they can cut off funds for it or they can impeach him."
Liberal blog ThinkProgress' Ian Millhiser, which first highlighted the interview, argues that Yoo's understanding of the law in this case is wrong.
"As far back as 1804, a unanimous Supreme Court held in Little v. Barreme that Congress has sweeping authority to limit the President's actions in wartime. That case involved an Act of Congress authorizing vessels to seize cargo ships bound for French ports. After the President also authorized vessels to seize ships headed away from French ports, the Supreme Court held this authorization unconstitutional on the grounds that Congress' decision to allow one kind of seizure implicitly forbade other kinds of seizure. More recently, in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the Court held that the President does not have the power to unilaterally set military policy (in those cases with respect to detention); he must comply with statutory limits on his power. Taken together, these and other cases unquestionably establish that Congress has the power to tell the President 'no,' and the President must listen."

The problem as I see it is that Congress don't have the balls any longer to use their authority -- they've long been sold to the highest bidder who've crushed them to pulp.

Peter Lemkin
02-24-2010, 12:35 PM
Yoo-Palin next President/V.P. Dream-Team! :damnmate:
Maybe could have Chaney and Rummy back in some capacity too.....ah, Imperialism, Fascism and War with NO regard for Civilians, Genocide, War Crimes, Laws - Domestic or International.....not even an impotent Congress.....what the men behind the shadows have had dreams about since they killed JFK.....now almost a permanent reality.......:afraid::afraid::afraid:

Jan Klimkowski
02-24-2010, 07:14 PM
"What about ordering a village of resistants to be massacred? ... Is that a power that the president could legally -"
"Yeah," Yoo replied, according to a partial transcript included in the report. "Although, let me say this: So, certainly, that would fall within the commander-in-chief's power over tactical decisions."
"To order a village of civilians to be [exterminated]?" the OPR investigator asked again.
"Sure," said Yoo.

Lidice.

Oradour-sur-Glane.

Kortelisy.

Sant'Anna di Stazzema.

Notorious examples of the Nazi massacre of entire villages.

John Yoo has revealed himself, and the regime he served, as sharing the Nazi Weltanschauung.

Whilst MSM ignores the story in favour of celebrity sex scandals.

Peter Lemkin
02-24-2010, 07:41 PM
"What about ordering a village of resistants to be massacred? ... Is that a power that the president could legally -"
"Yeah," Yoo replied, according to a partial transcript included in the report. "Although, let me say this: So, certainly, that would fall within the commander-in-chief's power over tactical decisions."
"To order a village of civilians to be [exterminated]?" the OPR investigator asked again.
"Sure," said Yoo.

Lidice.

Oradour-sur-Glane.

Kortelisy.

Sant'Anna di Stazzema.

Notorious examples of the Nazi massacre of entire villages.

John Yoo has revealed himself, and the regime he served, as sharing the Nazi Weltanschauung.

Whilst MSM ignores the story in favour of celebrity sex scandals.

Jan, your list of examples could be multiplied by ten or twenty-fold, or more. But you made the point. Yoo is a modern-day neo-fascist who does believe what the Nazi's believed...that civilian deaths mean nothing negative, and perhaps something positive for the oppressor Ubermensch. We have come full circle [again] and NO one in the MSM is even noticing. I begin to feel we are not doing more than documenting for some alien race, when they come in the future, the ethical and moral failures of Humans in the 21st and earlier centuries. It is a very sad note. Celebrity sex they won't understand. Genocide, hate, murder, they will. Our species, I fear, will be rated among the most bestial of the known ones in the Universe. What a joke that those in power see us as the only ones in the Universe and moral as all hell [Dante's seventh level, I think....]

Ed Jewett
02-25-2010, 02:17 AM
Let us not forget Sand Creek. Perhaps a list ought to be posted as a sticky. Congressional testicle-crushing was the motivation for the approval of torture (or perhaps it was the inspiration for Yoo's famous thoughts). There ought to be some kind of caption contest for the post-event jelly... perhaps Potomac caviar.

Peter Lemkin
02-25-2010, 06:56 AM
The Congress was bought and scared [9-11, Antrax, other Big Lie Magic Shows, enough suspicious deaths...etc.] and Voila'! They'll do dance to the tune of those paying for the 'music'. The 'music' is certainly getting to be Military, Corporate and Finance tunes only. The People get no say and only a handful of representatives. Some democracy! And all those in office watched and herded and frightened by an expanding Praetorian Guard of neocon think-tankers and others who think their ways around the laws and the Constitution....toward.....:driver:

David Guyatt
02-25-2010, 10:37 AM
In case some members and visitor are unfamiliar with some of the named events, I'm posting the following.

It needs to be remembered that it was an atrocity and a punishable war crime under the "crimes against humanity". Yoo is a disgrace to humanity.


Lidice Massacre

The best known of these retaliations occurred on June 10. The Nazis chose the village of Lidice for its residents' known hostility to the occupation, from suspicion that it was harboring local resistance partisans, and for its supposed connection to one of Heydrich's killers. German security police surrounded the community the night before, rousted all the residents, forced them into locked buildings, and blocked all avenues of escape from the town. In the early morning all women and children (under 16 years of age), a total of nearly 300, were trucked away to concentration camps, only about half of whom are known to have survived. Later the men were brought out in small groups throughout the day, lined up against walls, and shot to death until bodies were strewn and heaped across the lawns between buildings. Later they were buried in a mass grave.
The village itself was burned to the ground and further leveled with explosives, then bulldozed, including the cemetery and its tombstones. All valuables were looted from the homes, and even domesticated animals were destroyed. Grain was sown over the rearranged earth to bury any sign of the site's past. Later, the name of the village was ordered removed from all German-made maps.
The troops that assaulted Lidice made a film (without audio) to record their operation that day. It survives as a lasting testament to the fate of Lidice and was among the documents entered in the postwar Nuremburg trials.

http://www.lidice-memorial.cz/img/history3.JPG


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/94/Memorial_lidice_children_%282007%29-commons.JPG/300px-Memorial_lidice_children_%282007%29-commons.JPG
Memorial to the murdered children of Lidice.

Jan Klimkowski
02-25-2010, 09:45 PM
The fifth part of a documentary about Heydrich, with very brief footage and testimony about the massacre at Lidice:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKxakC1DbQ0&feature=related

Yoo is indeed a disgrace to humanity.

And so are his masters and their Nazi Weltanschauung.

Bruce Clemens
02-25-2010, 09:57 PM
How do people like him function in a public position without bad things happening to them?

What we need is to hire P.I.'s to find out where these people live, the tag numbers on the vehicles they drive, their regular routes and haunts, their personal phone numbers and emails and publish all that information on the web for whackos and nut-jobs who are looking for 5 minutes of fame to see...

Maybe one of 'em do us all a favor.

Jan Klimkowski
02-25-2010, 10:11 PM
How do people like him function in a public position without bad things happening to them?

What we need is to hire P.I.'s to find out where these people live, the tag numbers on the vehicles they drive, their regular routes and haunts, their personal phone numbers and emails and publish all that information on the web for whackos and nut-jobs who are looking for 5 minutes of fame to see...

Maybe one of 'em do us all a favor.

Sorry, Bruce, but Yoo is just a paid apparatchik who lost his moral compass many years ago - if indeed he ever had one.

Yoo is the type of retarded amoeba that spawns in a toxic swamp. He is a necessary and inevitable parasite receiving sustenance from a thoroughly corrupt and evil system.

That system breeds the likes of Yoo every time it takes a shit. They are near identical, scummy, slimy, amoral, greedy - like nearly all the Volkland Security (ooh my bad, Homeland Security) apparatchiks.

But Yoo is not the system.

Austin Kelley
02-25-2010, 10:17 PM
Bruce, I think you were simply indulging in an (understandable) revenge fantasy because the massive injustice involved is so horrific, so I don't really have a big problem with what you wrote. That said, the comments above made me think of the pamphlet entitled You Can't Blow up a Social Relationship - The Anarchist case against Terrorism (http://flag.blackened.net/noterror/cantblowup.html), written in 1978 in the wake of the bombing of the Sydney Hilton Hotel. Here is a relevant excerpt from the ending section:




Armed struggle means people would be killed and there is no getting away from the fact that violence threatens humanism. But libertarians would hope to preserve their humanism by ensuring that armed struggle would merely be an extension of a political movement whose main activity would be to spread ideas and build alternative organization. The forces of repression (police, army) and the rulers themselves would not be excluded from such efforts. In fact much effort would be devoted to splitting them with politics to minimise the necessity for violence. In this situation everyone would have a choice. Libertarians are extending to people the hope that they can change. We are extending to people our confidence that a self-managed society will be more satisfying for all people. This includes our rulers, even though we recognise the limitations created by the characters people have developed in their lives, especially those adapted to the exercise of power...

You can't blow up a social relationship. The total collapse of this society would provide no guarantee about what replaced it. Unless a majority of people had the ideas and organization sufficient for the creation of an alternative society, we would see the old world reassert itself because it is what people would be used to, what they believed in, what existed unchallenged in their own personalities.

Proponents of terrorism and guerrilla-ism are to be opposed because their actions are vanguardist and authoritarian, because their ideas, to the extent that they are substantial, are wrong or unrelated to the results of their actions (especially when they call themselves libertarians or anarchists), because their killing cannot be justified, and finally because their actions produce either repression with nothing in return or an authoritarian regime.

To those contemplating political violence we say, first look to yourselves: is destructiveness an expression of fear of love? There are political traditions and political possibilities you have yet to examine.

To the society which produces the conditions of poverty, passivity, selfishness, shallowness and destructiveness in which the response of political violence can grow we say, take warning. These conditions must be overthrown. As a French Socialist said in 1848 - "If you have no will for human association I tell you that you are exposing civilisation to the fate of dying in fearful agony."

Ed Jewett
02-26-2010, 03:21 AM
An interesting and indirectly-related thread at RI which starts with a postulated set of scenarios:

"Add your own: CIA prof's post-9/11 ethics class scenarios"
http://rigorousintuition.ca/board2/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=20974

Ed Jewett
02-26-2010, 03:47 AM
My Gift to the Obama Presidency

Though the White House won't want to admit it, Bush lawyers were protecting the executive's power to fight a vigorous war on terror.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704188104575083473537079844.html?m od=rss_Today%27s_Most_Popular

By JOHN YOO (http://online.wsj.com/search/search_center.html?KEYWORDS=JOHN+YOO&ARTICLESEARCHQUERY_PARSER=bylineAND)

Barack Obama may not realize it, but I may have just helped save his presidency. How? By winning a drawn-out fight to protect his powers as commander in chief to wage war and keep Americans safe.
He sure didn't make it easy. When Mr. Obama took office a year ago, receiving help from one of the lawyers involved in the development of George W. Bush's counterterrorism policies was the furthest thing from his mind. Having won a great electoral victory, the new president promised a quick about-face. He rejected "as false the choice between our safety and our ideals" and moved to restore the law-enforcement system as the first line of defense against a hardened enemy devoted to killing Americans.
Related WSJ Stories:

•In the News:
Yoo Lawyer Attacks Dawn Johnsen's 'Partisan' Assertions (http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/02/23/yoo-lawyer-attacks-dawn-johnsens-partisan-assertions/)
•On the Editorial Page:
Review & Outlook: Vindicating John Yoo (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704757904575078182303405948.html)


In office only one day, Mr. Obama ordered the shuttering of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, followed later by the announcement that he would bring terrorists to an Illinois prison. He terminated the Central Intelligence Agency's ability to use "enhanced interrogations techniques" to question al Qaeda operatives. He stayed the military trial, approved by Congress, of al Qaeda leaders. He ultimately decided to transfer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the planner of the 9/11 attacks, to a civilian court in New York City, and automatically treated Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day, as a criminal suspect (not an illegal enemy combatant). Nothing better could have symbolized the new president's determination to take us back to a Sept. 10, 2001, approach to terrorism.
Part of Mr. Obama's plan included hounding those who developed, approved or carried out Bush policies, despite the enormous pressures of time and circumstance in the months immediately after the September 11 attacks. Although career prosecutors had previously reviewed the evidence and determined that no charges are warranted, last year Attorney General Eric Holder appointed a new prosecutor to re-investigate the CIA's detention and interrogation of al Qaeda leaders.
In my case, he let loose the ethics investigators of the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) to smear my reputation and that of Jay Bybee, who now sits as a federal judge on the court of appeals in San Francisco. Our crime? While serving in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel in the weeks and months after 9/11, we answered in the form of memoranda extremely difficult questions from the leaders of the CIA, the National Security Council and the White House on when interrogation methods crossed the line into prohibited acts of torture.
View Full Image


http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/ED-AL038_yoo_DV_20100223172603.jpg
David Klein

Rank bias and sheer incompetence infused OPR's investigation. OPR attorneys, for example, omitted a number of precedents that squarely supported the approach in the memoranda and undermined OPR's preferred outcome. They declared that no Americans have a right of self-defense against a criminal prosecution, not even when they or their government agents attempt to stop terrorist attacks on the United States. OPR claimed that Congress enjoyed full authority over wartime strategy and tactics, despite decades of Justice Department opinions and practice defending the president's commander-in-chief power. They accused us of violating ethical standards without ever defining them. They concocted bizarre conspiracy theories about which they never asked us, and for which they had no evidence, even though we both patiently—and with no legal obligation to do so—sat through days of questioning.


OPR's investigation was so biased, so flawed, and so beneath the Justice Department's own standards that last week the department's ranking civil servant and senior ethicist, David Margolis, completely rejected its recommendations.
Attorney General Holder could have stopped this sorry mess earlier, just as his predecessor had tried to do. OPR slow-rolled Attorney General Michael Mukasey by refusing to deliver a draft of its report until the 2008 Christmas and New Year holidays. OPR informed Mr. Mukasey of its intention to release the report on Jan. 12, 2009, without giving me or Judge Bybee the chance to see it—as was our right and as we'd been promised.
Mr. Mukasey and Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip found so many errors in the report that they told OPR that the entire enterprise should be abandoned. OPR decided to run out the clock and push the investigation into the lap of the Obama administration. It would have been easy for Mr. Holder to concur with his predecessors—in fact, it was critical that he do so to preserve the Justice Department's impartiality. Instead the new attorney general let OPR's investigators run wild. Only Mr. Margolis's rejection of the OPR report last week forced the Obama administration to drop its ethics charges against Bush legal advisers.
Why bother fighting off an administration hell-bent on finding scapegoats for its policy disagreements with the last president? I could have easily decided to hide out, as others have. Instead, I wrote numerous articles (several published in this newspaper) and three books explaining and defending presidential control of national security policy. I gave dozens of speeches and media appearances, where I confronted critics of the administration's terrorism policies. And, most importantly, I was lucky to receive the outstanding legal counsel of Miguel Estrada, one of the nation's finest defense attorneys, to attack head-on and without reservation, each and every one of OPR's mistakes, misdeeds and acts of malfeasance.
I did not do this to win any popularity contests, least of all those held in the faculty lounge. I did it to help our president—President Obama, not Bush. Mr. Obama is fighting three wars simultaneously in Iraq, Afghanistan, and against al Qaeda. He will call upon the men and women serving under his command to make choices as hard as the ones we faced. They cannot meet those challenges with clear minds if they believe that a bevy of prosecutors, congressional committees and media critics await them when they return from the battlefield.
This is no idle worry. In 2005, a Navy Seal team dropped into Afghanistan encountered goat herders who clearly intended to inform the Taliban of their whereabouts. The team leader ordered them released, against his better military judgment, because of his worries about the media and political attacks that would follow.
In less than an hour, more than 80 Taliban fighters attacked and killed all but one member of the Seal team and 16 Americans on a helicopter rescue mission. If a president cannot, or will not, protect the men and women who fight our nation's wars, they will follow the same risk-averse attitudes that invited the 9/11 attacks in the first place.
Without a vigorous commander-in-chief power at his disposal, Mr. Obama will struggle to win any of these victories. But that is where OPR, playing a junior varsity CIA, wanted to lead us. Ending the Justice Department's ethics witch hunt not only brought an unjust persecution to an end, but it protects the president's constitutional ability to fight the enemies that threaten our nation today.
Mr. Yoo, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley and visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, was a Justice Department official from 2001-03. He is the author, among other books, of "Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush" (Kaplan, 2010).

David Guyatt
02-26-2010, 10:59 AM
That system breeds the likes of Yoo every time it takes a shit.

:congrats::hahaha::hahaha::hahaha:

I wish I'd said that...

David Guyatt
02-26-2010, 11:06 AM
You can't blow up a social relationship. The total collapse of this society would provide no guarantee about what replaced it. Unless a majority of people had the ideas and organization sufficient for the creation of an alternative society, we would see the old world reassert itself because it is what people would be used to, what they believed in, what existed unchallenged in their own personalities.


Very well said Kelly. Human nature does tend to commence new beginnings with the highest hopes and ideals but sooner or later regresses to personal interest. Imo of course.

Peter Lemkin
02-26-2010, 09:08 PM
Lidice is just down the road from where I type this.....Here is a photo of what was left after the German 'Yoos' were done.http://library.usu.edu/Specol/digitalexhibits/masaryk/images/lidice3.jpg

Jan Klimkowski
03-01-2010, 10:56 PM
Lest we forget:

http://www.thisdayinquotes.com/2010/02/it-became-necessary-to-destroy-town-to.html


February 7, 1968 – “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.”

This is how Associated Press journalist Peter Arnett reported it:


“It became necessary to destroy the town to save it,” a U.S. major said Wednesday. He was talking about the grim decision that allied commanders made when Viet Cong attackers overran most of this Mekong Delta city 45 miles southwest of Saigon. They decided that regardless of civilian casualties they must bomb and shell the once placid river city of 35,000 to rout the Viet Cong forces.

When Arnett’s story about the destruction of Ben Tre hit the news the next morning, February 8th, the major’s quote immediately became infamous. To this day, it is still cited as a classic quotation that epitomizes the insanity of war in general and of the Vietnam War in particular.

The veracity of the quote has also been a source of controversy. Since Arnett did not identify the officer who supposedly used the line, some people have questioned whether anyone actually said it.

In 2006, a Vietnam veteran named Michael D. Miller created a website titled “Saving Ben Tre.” On that site, Miller claims to have been present when a “Major Booris” said something very close to what Arnett reported. Miller gives the quote as: “We had to destroy Ben Tre in order to save it.”

Like Arnett’s report, Miller’s version has been disputed.

More significantly to the people of Vietnam, there has been a long-running dispute over whether Ben Tre actually had to be destroyed.

The U.S. military’s official explanation of why “it became necessary to destroy the town” is that it had been infiltrated by thousands of Viet Cong. Thus, their rationale went, trying to oust the VC in ground-level fighting, from street to street, would have caused a high number of American casualties and even more civilian casualties.

Perhaps they were right. But somehow, Arnett’s report on the outcome doesn’t quite smell like victory:


U.S. advisers said the heavy allied firepower hurled on the city to drive out the Viet Cong probably contributed largely to the deaths of at least 500 civilians and possibly 1,000. South Vietnamese officials say the enemy dead totaled 451. About 50 Vietnamese soldiers died, along with more than 20 Americans...Lt. Col James Dare of Chicago, commander of U.S. Advisory Team 93, said “we will never know for sure” the number of civilians who died…Maj. Chester L. Brown of Erie, Pa., spent hours over the city as an Air Force forward air controller directing helicopter and fighter-bomber attacks. “It is always a pity about the civilians,” he said.

The AP story went on to say:


U.S. officials reported it was impossible to determine the attitude of the city’s residents to the bombing and artillery fire. “Most of those we see around appear mighty relieved that they survived,” one official said, “But I know that there are lots of refugees, maybe 10,000 to 15,000, outside of town in a camp and they may not be so happy.”

I suspect that last quote was a bit of an understatement.

Ed Jewett
03-01-2010, 11:28 PM
Sing Along... "Tangled Up in Yoo"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nvJaQQ4xCc&feature=player_embedded

The Hoos of the University of Virginia support indictment and prosecution for guest lecturer John Yoo. Join a protest in Charlottesville, Va., on March 19, 2010.
This event can be found at http://hoosagainstyoo.org (http://hoosagainstyoo.org/) and on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/event.php?invites&eid=327136293348).
http://afterdowningstreet.org/files/images/yooflyerimage.jpg (http://afterdowningstreet.org/files/yooflyer6.pdf)
This event is supported by After Downing Street, Backbone Campaign, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, CODE PINK: Women for Peace, Defenders for Freedom Justice & Equality, Democrats.com, Joyful Dissent, Peace of the Action, Progressive Democrats of America, Socialist Party of Central Virginia, War Criminals Watch, World Can't Wait.
March 19, 2010, Charlottesville, Va.
Year 8 Begins in Iraq War, as Afghanistan escalates
2 p.m. meet on grass across from Corner for Funk the War musical march.
3 p.m. meet in front of Minor Hall at the University of Virginia for rally to protest John Yoo, who speaks in Minor Hall at 3:30. SPEAKERS include: Cindy Sheehan, Susan Harman, Ray McGovern, Charlotte Dennett,
Print flyer: PDF (http://afterdowningstreet.org/files/yooflyer6.pdf).

Jan Klimkowski
03-02-2010, 02:57 PM
Yoo presumably considers these Pakistani children and villagers as "collateral damage":


September 14, 2008

Playing with firepower

President Bush is taking a big gamble in launching overt attacks on Pakistani territory

By Christina Lamb

The Americans picked an inauspicious day to open a new front in the war on terror. It was 4am on the third day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and the villagers of Angoor Adda, a small Pakistani mountain town near the Afghan border, were lighting their stoves for breakfast before a long day of fasting.

Two US helicopters supported by a AC130 Spectre gunship landed close to the shrine of a local saint. Out jumped about three dozen heavily armed marines and Navy Seals from a crack unit called Detachment One. As they emerged from the churning dust onto the rock-strewn hills, they made for a terrifying sight in their night-vision goggles.

Within minutes the commandos had surrounded the mudwalled compound of Payo Jan Wazir, a 50-year-old woodcutter and cattle-herd. They believed an Al-Qaeda leader was hiding inside.

According to villagers, the troops burst in, guns blazing, killing Payo Jan, six children, two women and a male relation. Among the dead were a three-year-old girl and a two-year-old boy, they said.

The gunfire brought neighbours running out of their homes. As people headed towards Payo Jan’s house to see what had caused the commotion, the commandos opened fire, killing 10 more villagers.

The Americans fanned out, conducting house-to-house searches, before jumping back into the gunships and off into the sky. Stunned villagers were left to carry away the bodies left in the street.

The first known American ground assault inside Pakistan had left 20 people dead. US officials claimed they were suspected Al-Qaeda fighters; the Pakistan government said they were innocent civilians.

What is not in doubt is that the attack provoked outrage in a country supposed to be America’s ally, which eight days ago completed its transition to democracy with the election as president of Asif Ali Zardari, widower of the assassinated Benazir Bhutto.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article4748833.ece

Peter Lemkin
01-12-2011, 07:32 PM
Fragging Bob: Bob Kerrey, CIA War Crimes, And The Need For A War Crimes Trial

by Douglas Valentine

By now everybody knows that former Senator Bob Kerrey led a seven-member team of Navy Seals into Thanh Phong village in February 1969, and murdered in cold blood more than a dozen women and children.

What hardly anyone knows, and what no one in the press is talking about (although many of them know), is that Kerrey was on a CIA mission, and its specific purpose was to kill those women and children. It was illegal, premeditated mass murder and it was a war crime.

And it's time to hold the CIA responsible. It's time for a war crimes tribunal to examine the CIA's illegal activities during and since the Vietnam War.


War Crimes As Policy

War crimes were a central was part of a CIA strategy for fighting the Vietnam War. The strategy was known as Contre Coup, and it was the manifestation of a belief that the war was essentially political, not military, in nature. The CIA theorized that it was being fought by opposing ideological factions, each one amounting to about five percent of the total population, while the remaining ninety percent was uncommitted and wanted the war to go away.

According to the CIA's mythology, on one side were communist insurgents, supported by comrades in Hanoi, Moscow and Peking. The communists fought for land reform, to rid Vietnam of foreign intervention, and to unite the north and south. The other faction was composed of capitalists, often Catholics relocated from North Vietnam in 1954 by the CIA. This faction was fighting to keep South Vietnam an independent nation, operating under the direction of quiet Americans.

Caught in the crossfire was the silent majority. The object shared by both factions was to win these undecided voters over to its side.

Contre Coup was the CIA's response to the realization that the Communists were winning the war for the hearts and minds of the people. It also was a response to the belief that they were winning through the use of psychological warfare, specifically, selective terror the murder and mutilation of specific government officials.

In December 1963, Peer DeSilva arrived in Saigon as the CIA's station chief. He claims to have been shocked by what he saw. In his autobiography, SubRosa, DeSilva describes how the VC had "impaled a young boy, a village chief, and his pregnant wife on sharp poles. To make sure this horrible sight would remain with the villagers, one of the terror squad used his machete to disembowel the woman, spilling he fetus onto the ground."

"The Vietcong," DeSilva said, "were monstrous in the application of torture and murder to achieve the political and psychological impact they wanted."

But the methodology was successful and had tremendous intelligence potential, so DeSilva authorized the creation of small "counter-terror teams," designed "to bring danger and death to the Vietcong functionaries themselves, especially in areas where they felt secure."


How Counter-Terror Worked In Vietnam

Thanh Phong village was one of those areas where Vietcong functionaries felt secure. It was located in Kien Hoa Province, along the Mekong Delta. One of Vietnam's most densely populated provinces, Kien Hoa was precariously close to Saigon, and is criss-crossed with waterways and rice paddies. It was an important rice production area for the insurgents as well as the Government of Vietnam, and thus was one of the eight most heavily infiltrated provinces in Vietnam. The estimated 4700 VC functionaries in Kien Hoa accounted for more than five percent of the insurgency's total leadership. Operation Speedy Express, a Ninth Infantry sweep through Kien Hoa in the first six months of 1969, killed an estimated 11,000 civilians-supposedly VC sympathizers.

These functionaries formed what the CIA called the Vietcong Infrastructure (VCI). The VCI consisted of members of the People's Revolutionary Party, the National Liberation Front, and other Communist outfits like the Women's and Student's Liberation Associations. Its members were politicians and administrators managing committees for business, communications, security, intelligence, and military affairs. Among their main functions were the collection of taxes, the recruitment of young men and women into the insurgency, and the selective assassination of GVN officials.

As the CIA was well aware, Ho Chi Minh boasted that with two cadre in every hamlet, he could win the war, no matter how many soldiers the Americans threw at him.

So the CIA adopted the Ho's strategy-but on a grander and bloodier scale. The object of Contre Coup was to identify and terrorize each and every individual VCI and his/her family, friends and fellow villagers. To this end the CIA in 1964 launched a massive intelligence operation called the Provincial Interrogation Center Program. The CIA (employing the US company Pacific Architects and Engineers) built an interrogation center in each of South Vietnam's 44 provinces. Staffed by members of the brutal Special Police, who ran extensive informant networks, and advised by CIA officers, the purpose of the PICs was to identify, through the systematic "interrogation" (read torture) of VCI suspects, the membership of the VCI at every level of its organization; from its elusive headquarters somewhere along the Cambodian border, through the region, city, province, district, village and hamlet committees.

The "indispensable link" in the VCI was the District Party Secretary the same individual Bob Kerrey's Seal team was out to assassinate in its mission in Thanh Phong.


Frankenstein's Monster

Initially the CIA had trouble finding people who were willing to murder and mutilate, so the Agency's original "counter-terror teams" were composed of ex-convicts, VC defectors, Chinese Nungs, Cambodians, Montagnards, and mercenaries. In a February 1970 article written for True Magazine, titled "The CIA's Hired Killers," Georgie-Anne Geyer compared "our boys" to "their boys" with the qualification that, "Their boys did it for faith; our boys did it for money."

The other big problem was security. The VC had infiltrated nearly every facet of the GVN-even the CIA's unilateral counter-terror program. So in an attempt to bring greater effectiveness to its secret war, the CIA started employing Navy Seals, US Army Special Forces, Force Recon Marines, and other highly trained Americans who, like Bob Kerrey, were "motivationally indoctrinated" by the military and turned into killing machines with all the social inhibitions and moral compunctions of a Timmy McVeigh. Except they were secure in the knowledge that what they were doing was, if not legal or moral, fraught with Old Testament-style justice, rationalizing that the Viet Cong did it first.

Eventually the irrepressible Americans added their own improvements. In his autobiography Soldier, Anthony Herbert describes arriving in Saigon in 1965, reporting to the CIA's Special Operations Group, and being asked to join a top-secret psywar program. What the CIA wanted Herbert to do, "was to take charge of execution teams that wiped out entire families."

By 1967, killing entire families had become an integral facet of the CIA's counter-terror program. Robert Slater was the chief of the CIA's Province Interrogation Center Program from June 1967 through 1969. In a March 1970 thesis for the Defense Intelligence School, titled "The History, Organization and Modus Operandi of the Viet Cong Infrastructure," Slater wrote, "the District Party Secretary usually does not sleep in the same house or even hamlet where his family lived, to preclude any injury to his family during assassination attempts."

But, Slater added, "the Allies have frequently found out where the District Party Secretaries live and raided their homes: in an ensuing fire fight the secretary's wife and children have been killed and injured."

This is the intellectual context in which the Kerrey atrocity took place. This CIA strategy of committing war crimes for psychological reasons to terrorize the enemy's supporters into submission also is what differentiates Kerrey's atrocity, in legal terms, from other popular methods of mass murdering civilians, such as bombs from the sky, or economic boycotts.

Yes, the CIA has a global, illegal strategy of terrorizing people, although in typical CIA lexicon it's called "anti-terrorism."

When you're waging illegal warfare, language is every bit as important as weaponry and the will to kill. As George Orwell or Noam Chomsky might explain, when you're deliberately killing innocent women and children, half the court-of-public-opinion battle is making it sound legal.

Three Old Vietnam Hands in particular stand out as examples of this incestuous relationship. Neil Sheehan, CIA-nik and author of the aptly titled Bright Shining Lie, recently confessed that in 1966 he saw US soldiers massacre as many as 600 Vietnamese civilians in five fishing villages. He'd been in Vietnam for three years by then, but it didn't occur to him that he had discovered a war crime. Now he realizes that the war crimes issue was always present, but still no mention of his friends in the CIA.

Former New York Times reporter and author of The Best and The Brightest, David Halberstam, defended Kerrey on behalf of the media establishment at the New School campus the week after the story broke. CIA flack Halberstam described the region around Thanh Phong as "the purest bandit country," adding that "by 1969 everyone who lived there would have been third-generation Vietcong." Which is CIA revisionism at its sickest.

Finally there's New York Times reporter James Lemoyne. Why did he never write any articles linking the CIA to war crimes in Vietnam? Because his brother Charles, a Navy officer, was in charge of the CIA's counter-terror teams in the Delta in 1968.


Phoenix Comes To Thanh Phong

The CIA launched its Phoenix Program in June 1967, after 13 years of tinkering with several experimental counter-terror and psywar programs, and building its network of secret interrogation centers. The stated policy was to replace the bludgeon of indiscriminate bombings and military search and destroy operations which had alienated the people from the Government of Vietnam with the scalpel of assassinations of selected members of the Viet Cong Infrastructure.

A typical Phoenix operation began in a Province Interrogation Center where a suspected member of the VCI was brought for questioning. After a few days or weeks or months undergoing various forms of torture, the VCI suspect would die or give the name and location of his VCI comrades and superiors. That information would be sent from the Interrogation Center to the local Phoenix office, which was staffed by Special Branch and Vietnamese military officers under the supervision of CIA officers. Depending on the suspected importance of the targeted VCI, the Phoenix people would then dispatch one of the various action arms available to it, including Seal teams like the one Bob Kerrey led into Thanh Phong.

In February 1969, the Phoenix Program was still under CIA control. But because Kien Hoa Province was so important, and because the VCI's District Party Secretary was supposedly in Thanh Phong, the CIA decided to handle this particular assassination and mass murder mission without involving the local Vietnamese. So instead of dispensing the local counter-terror team, the CIA sent Kerrey's Raiders.

And that, very simply, is how it happened. Kerrey and crew admittedly went to Thanh Phong to kill the District Party Secretary, and anyone else who got in the way, including his family and all their friends.


Phoenix Comes Home To Roost

By 1969 the CIA, through Phoenix, was targeting individual VCI and their families all across Vietnam. Over 20,000 people were assassinated by the end of the year and hundreds of thousands had been tortured in Province Interrogation Centers.

On 20 June 1969, the Lower House of the Vietnamese Congress held hearings about abuses in the Phoenix VCI elimination program. Eighty-six Deputies signed a petition calling for its immediate termination. Among the charges: Special Police knowingly arrested innocent people for the purpose of extortion; people were detained for as long as eight months before being tried; torture was commonplace. Noting that it was illegal to do so, several deputies protested instances in which American troops detained or murdered suspects without Vietnamese authority. Others complained that village chiefs were not consulted before raids, such as the one on Thanh Phong.

After an investigation in 1970, four Congresspersons concluded that the CIA's Phoenix Program violated international law. "The people of these United States," they jointly stated, "have deliberately imposed upon the Vietnamese people a system of justice which admittedly denies due process of law," and that in doing so, "we appear to have violated the 1949 Geneva Convention for the protection of civilian people."

During the hearings, U.S. Representative Ogden Reid said, "if the Union had had a Phoenix program during the Civil War, its targets would have been civilians like Jefferson Davis or the mayor of Macon, Georgia."

But the American establishment and media denied it then, and continue to deny it until today, because Phoenix was a genocidal program -- and the CIA officials, members of the media who were complicit through their silence, and the red-blooded American boys who carried it out, are all war criminals. As Michael Ratner a lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights told CounterPunch: "Kerrey should be tried as a war criminal. His actions on the night of February 24-25, 1969 when the seven man Navy Seal unit which he headed killed approximately twenty unarmed Vietnamese civilians, eighteen of whom were women and children was a war crime. Like those who murdered at My Lai, he too should be brought into the dock and tried for his crimes."

Phoenix, alas, also was fiendishly effective and became a template for future CIA operations. Developed in Vietnam and perfected with the death squads and media blackout of Afghanistan and El Salvador, it is now employed by the CIA around the world: in Colombia, in Kosovo, in Ireland with the British MI6, and in Israel with its other kindred spirit, the Mossad.

The paymasters at the Pentagon will keep cranking out billion dollar missile defense shields and other Bush league boondoggles. But when it comes to making the world safe for international capitalism, the political trick is being more of a homicidal maniac, and more cost effective, than the terrorists.

Incredibly, Phoenix has become fashionable, it has adhered a kind of political cachet. Governor Jesse Ventura claims to have been a Navy Seal and to have "hunted man." Fanatical right-wing US Representative Bob Barr, one of the Republican impeachment clique, has introduced legislation to "re-legalize" assassinations. David Hackworth, representing the military establishment, defended Kerrey by saying "there were thousands of such atrocities," and that in 1969 his own unit committed "at least a dozen such horrors." Jack Valenti, representing the business establishment and its financial stake in the issue, defended Kerrey in the LA Times, saying, "all the normalities (sic) of a social contract are abandoned," in war.

Bullshit.

A famous Phoenix operation, known as the My Lai Massacre, was proceeding along smoothly, with a grand total of 504 Vietnamese women and children killed, when a soldier named Hugh Thompson in a helicopter gunship saw what was happening. Risking his life to preserve that "social contract," Thomson landed his helicopter between the mass murderers and their victims, turned his machine guns on his fellow Americans, and brought the carnage to a halt.

Same with screenwriter and journalist Bill Broyles, Vietnam veteran, and author Brothers In Arms, an excellent book about the Vietnam War. Broyles turned in a bunch of his fellow Marines for killing civilians.

If Thompson and Broyles were capable of taking individual responsibility, everyone is. And many did.

Phoenix Reborn

There is no doubt that Bob Kerrey committed a war crime. As he admits, he went to Vietnam with a knife clenched between his teeth and did what he was trained to do kidnap, assassinate and mass murder civilians. But there was no point to his atrocity as he soon learned, no controlling legal authority. He became a conflicted individual. He remembers that they killed women and children. But he thinks they came under fire first, before they panicked and started shooting back. The fog of war clouds his memory

But there isn't that much to forget. Thanh Phong was Kerrey's first mission, and on his second mission a grenade blew off his foot, abruptly ending his military career.

Plus which there are plenty of other people to remind Kerrey of what happened, if anyone will listen. There's Gerhard Klann, the Seal who disputes Kerrey's account, and two Vietnamese survivors of the raid, Pham Tri Lanh and Bui Thi Luam, both of whom corroborate Klann's account, as does a veteran Viet Cong soldier, Tran Van Rung.

As CBS News was careful to point out, the Vietnamese were former VC and thus hostile witnesses and because there were slight inconsistencies in their stories, they could not be believed. Klann became the target of Kerrey's pr machine, which dismissed as an alcoholic with a chip on his shoulder.

Then there is John DeCamp. An army captain in Vietnam, DeCamp worked for the organization under CIA executive William Colby that ostensibly managed Phoenix after the CIA let it go in June 1969. DeCamp was elected to the Nebraska State Senate and served until 1990. A Republican, he claims that Kerrey led an anti-war march on the Nebraska state capitol in May 1971. DeCamp claims that Kerrey put a medal, possibly his bronze star, in a mock coffin, and said, "Viet Cong or North Vietnamese troops are angelic compared with the ruthless Americans."

Kerrey claims he was in Peru visiting his brother that day. But he definitely accepted his Medal of Honor from Richard Nixon on 14 May 1970, a mere ten days after the Ohio National guard killed four student protestors at Kent State. With that badge of honor pinned on his chest, Kerrey began walking the gilded road to success. Elected Governor of Nebraska in November 1982, he started dating Deborah Winger, became a celebrity hero, was elected to the US Senate, became vice-chair of Senate Committee on Intelligence, and in 1990 staged a run for president. One of the most highly regarded politicians in America, he showered self-righteous criticism on draft dodger Bill Clinton's penchant for lying.

Bob Kerrey is a symbol of what it means to be an American, and the patriots have rallied to his defense. And yet Kerrey accepted a bronze star under false pretenses, and as John DeCamp suggests, he may have been fragged by his fellow Seals. For this, he received the Medal of Honor.

John DeCamp calls Bob Kerrey "emotionally disturbed" as a result of his Vietnam experience.

And Kerrey's behavior has been pathetic. In order to protect himself and his CIA patrons from being tried as a war criminals, Bob Kerrey has become a pathological liar too. Kerrey says his actions at Than Phong were an atrocity, but not a war crime. He says he feels remorse, but not guilt. In fact, he has continually rehabbed his position on the war itself-moving from an opponent to more recently an enthusiast. In a 1999 column in the Washington Post, for example, Kerrey said he had come to view that Vietnam was a "just war. "Was the war worth the effort and sacrifice, or was it a mistake?" Kerrey wrote. "When I came home in 1969 and for many years afterward, I did not believe it was worth it. Today, with the passage of time and the experience of seeing both the benefits of freedom won by our sacrifice and the human destruction done by dictatorships, I believe the cause was just and the sacrifice not in vain."

Then at the Democratic Party Convention in Los Angeles last summer Kerrey lectured the delegates that they shouldn't be ashamed of the war and that they should treat Vietnam veterans as war heroes: "I believe I speak for Max Baucus and every person who has ever served when I say I never felt more free than when I wore the uniform of our country. This country - this party - must remember." Free? Free to murder women and children. Is this a consciousness of guilt or immunity?

CBS News also participated in constructing a curtain of lies. As does every other official government or media outlet that knows about the CIA's Phoenix Program, which continues to exist and operate worldwide today, but fails to mention it.

Why?

Because if the name of one targeted Viet Cong cadre can be obtained, then all the names can be obtained, and then a war crimes trial becomes imperative. And that's the last thing the Establishment will allow to happen.

Average Americans, however, consider themselves a nation ruled by laws and an ethic of fair play, and with the Kerry confession comes an opportunity for America to redefine itself in more realistic terms. The discrepancies in his story beg investigation. He says he was never briefed on the rules of engagement. But a "pocket card" with the Laws of Land Warfare was given to each member of the US Armed Forces in Vietnam.

Does it matter that Kerrey would lie about this? Yes. General Bruce Palmer, commander of the same Ninth Division that devastated Kien Koa Province in 1969, objected to the "involuntary assignment" of American soldiers to Phoenix. He did not believe that "people in uniform, who are pledged to abide by the Geneva Conventions, should be put in the position of having to break those laws of warfare."

It was the CIA that forced soldiers like Kerrey into Phoenix operations, and the hidden hand of the CIA lingers over his war crime. Kerrey even uses the same rationale offered by CIA officer DeSilva. According to Kerrey, "the Viet Cong were a thousand per cent more ruthless than" the Seals or U.S. Army.

But the Geneva Conventions, customary international law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice all prohibit the killing of noncombatant civilians. The alleged brutality of others is no justification. By saying it is, Kerrey implicates the people who generated that rationale: the CIA. That is why there is a moral imperative to scrutinize the Phoenix Program and the CIA officers who created it, the people who participated in it, and the journalists who covered it up to expose the dark side of our national psyche, the part that allows us to employ terror to assure our world dominance.

To accomplish this there must be a war crimes tribunal. This won't be easy. The US government has gone to great lengths to shield itself from such legal scrutiny, at the same it selectively manipulates international institutions, such as the UN, to go after people like Slobodan Milosevic.

According to human rights lawyer Michael Ratner the legal avenues for bringing Kerrey and his cohorts to justice are quite limited. A civil suit could be lodged against Kerrey by the families of the victims brought in the United States under the Alien Tort Claims Act. "These are the kinds of cases I did against Gramajo, Pangaitan (Timor)," Ratner told us. "The main problem here is that it is doubtful the Vietnamese would sue a liberal when they are dying to better relations with the US. I would do this case if could get plaintiffs--so far no luck." According to Ratner, there is no statute of limitations problem as it is newly discovered evidence and there is a stron argument particularly in the criminal context that there is no statute of limitations for war crimes.

But criminal cases in the US present a difficult, if not impossible, prospect. Now that Kerrey is discharged from the Navy, the military courts, which went after Lt. Calley for the My Lai massacre, has no jurisdiction over him. "As to criminal case in the US--my pretty answer is no," says Ratner. "The US first passed a war crimes statute (18 USC sec. 2441 War Crimes) in 1996--that statute makes
what Kerrey did a war crime punishable by death of life imprisonment--but it was passed after the crime and criminal statutes are not retroactive." In 1988, Congress enacted a statute against genocide, which was might apply to Kerrey's actions, but it to can't be applied retroactively. Generally at the time of Kerrey's acts in Vietnam, US criminal law did not extend to what US citizens did overseas unless they were military.

[As a senator, Kerrey, it should be noted, voted for the war crimes law, thus opening the opportunity for others to be prosecuted for crimes similar to those he that committed but is shielded from.]

The United Nations is a possibility, but a long shot. They could establish an ad hoc tribunal such as it did with the Rwanda ICTR and Yugoslavia ICTY. "This would require action by UN Security council could do it, but what are the chances?" says Ratner. "There is still the prospect for a US veto What that really points out is how those tribunals are bent toward what the US and West want."

Prosecution in Vietnam and or another country and extradition is also a possibility. It can be argued that war crimes are crimes over which there is universal jurisdiction--in fact that is obligation of countries-under Geneva Convention of 1948--to seek out and prosecute war criminals. "Universal jurisdiction does not require the presence of the defendant--he can be indicted and tried in some countries in absentia--or his extradition can be requested", says Ratner. "Some countries may have statutes permitting this. Kerrey should check his travel plans and hire a good lawyer before he gets on a plane. He can use Kissinger's lawyer." CP

Douglas Valentine is the author of The Phoenix Program, the only comprehensive account of the CIA's torture and assassination operation in Vietnam, as well as TDY a chilling novel about the CIA and the drug trade.