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(en) The Internet Anti-Fascist: Sun, 26 July 98 -- 2:43 (#149)

From Paul Kneisel <tallpaul@nyct.net>
Date Sat, 01 Aug 1998 22:47:12 -0400

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

             The Internet Anti-Fascist: Sunday, 26 July 98
                       Vol. 2, Number 43 (#149)

                         ESCAPE FROM NURNBERG:
                              by tallpaul

   "There can be no peace without justice, no justice without law and
   no meaningful law without a Court to decide what is just and lawful
   under any given circumstance."
     --  Benjamin B. Ferencz, a former Nurnberg prosecutor 

The U.S. State Department's hypocrisy on international war crimes was
sharply revealed when it refused to become part of the new
International Criminal Court, originally proposed over 50 years ago
during the trials of Nazis immediately after World War II.

David Scheffer, the U.S. informal ambassador on war crimes, led the
manuevers, sharply condemned by most nations with no permanent seats in
the U.N. Security Council. But Scheffer also took his diplomatic clues
from conservative Senators Jesse Helms and John Ashcroft who protested
that "the court could nullify protections written into the
Constitution's Bill of Rights, which guarantees among other things
freedom from unwarranted search and seizure, freedom of speech and
freedom of religion."

Much of the formal dispute centered on how investigations could be
started and how they could be stopped. The U.S. wanted the court to
limit its actions to charges brought by either a state or the U.N.
Security Council. In effect, the U.S., like other permanent members of
the Council would have had a veto of the court's actions.

This is rather like having the Mafia exercise a veto on criminal
prosecutions. It also conjures up visions of Goebbels Nazi propaganda
machine blasting England for war crimes in Ireland and India and
calling for a similar international court, providing always that
Germany can veto prosecutions of German actions. For any court --
local, national, and international -- must have a total independence to
conduct investigations and prosecutions as it deems fit. The U.S.,
despite increasing clamors about the "law of nations" for largely non-
European and non-Christian "madmen," did not want such a genuine
independent body.

Conservative U.S. opponents openly presented their opposition to the
idea that U.S. military forces could be charged and tried by such a
body. On the surface at least they had much to worry about. As U.S.
prosecutors argued at Nurnberg, "acts of state" were not a defense
against German aggression against Poland and Czechoslovakia. Would a
similar defense hold for the U.S. against far smaller Cuba at the Bay
of Pigs, or the invasions of Grenada and Panama?

There is also another worrisome side about an international court for
leading political figures in the U.S. quite apart from the military.
That is the less militarily focused "crimes against humanity" of
leading U.S. medical personal. Nazi doctors were convicted of, among
other things, sterilizations.[1] The defense cited U.S. court
statements in favor of similar sterilizations, though not on the same
social scale. The judges correctly refused to accept this defense. But
the Nazi argument pointed out one inescapable fact: that Nurnberg was a
political victor's trial. For radical humanists, the issue at Nurnberg
was not that too many people were convicted but that others, equally
guilty of condemned acts, were not even tried.

The new court threatened the whole notion of war crimes tribunals as
victor's courts. That was something that the U.S. government found

Equal prima facie cases for U.S. medical crimes against humanity exist
around the infamous "experiment" on untreated syphilis in Black men in
the U.S.[2] The Central Intelligence Agency's "search for the
Manchurian Candidate"[3] where uninformed people were drugged and
others submitted to forced electroshock at front institutes like the
Society For the Investigation of Human Ecology was another.

These acts had nothing to do with speech or religion; prosecuting those
who committed them would not have involved any loss of the criminals'
rights that the usually "get tough on crime" Republican right so
worried about when condemning the court.

No, the U.S. refusal to support a real international court showed
several other things. One was that the U.S. State Department really
does want to be the "cop of the world." A second was that the same
Department wants a policy where the U.S. military is also judge, jury,
and executioner, all concealed behind a policy of lip service to
international law. The third is the hypocrisy behind the claims.


The abstract *concept* of a standing international court with
independent prosecutors is an excellent one. The concrete
*implementation* of the thing is, however, subject to considerable
criticism and analysis.

In this brief essay I did not examine the court in detail. Significant
problems exist, largely in a State's ability to protect itself and its
nationals from jurisdiction. Other rules make it far easier to
prosecute members of guerilla resistance movements than formally-
constituted armies, even if both formations are charged with equal

As Richard Dicker of Human Rights Watch summed up, "This is a treaty
that traveling tyrants will be very comfortable with." But like the
singing dog, the remarkable thing is not that the dog sings poorly but
that it sings at all.

- - - - -


[1] For original Nazi documents on castration see David Keren's  
"Miscellaneous Nazi documents, including descriptions of medical
experiments," via:

[2] for the original study in 1953[!], see Eunice Rivers, R.N., Stanley
H. Schuman, M.D., Lloyd Simpson and Sidney Olansky, M.D., "Twenty Years
of Followup Experience in a Long-Range Medical Study,"  Public Health
Reports, Vol 68, No. 4, April 1953, 391-395. via: 

[3] see John Marks book "The Search for the Manchurian Candidate,"
partially online via:

Note especially the role of D. Ewen Cameron, Harold Wolff, and Lawrence

See also the documents at the Parascope web site like "Cloak and Dagger
Dosers" via:

and "Documents of Human Experimentation" via:

Delete the line-ending dash in the multi-line URLs.

The Internet Anti-Fascist: Thursday, 23 July 98
FTP Supplement #52 (#146): Controversy Over A Standing World Court With
Jurisdiction Over International War Crimes: Part 1

1)  Past TINAF articles related to international war crimes and
2)  Christine Lucassen (Reuters), "US: New court should pursue major   
    atrocities," 12 Jun 98
3)  Reuters (no author), "Conservatives campaign against world court," 
    12 Jun 98
4)  Claire Jellinek (United Press International), "UN prepares for
    Criminal Court talks," 14 Jun 98
5)  Candice Hughes (Associated Press), "U.N. To Settle World Court
    Problems," 14 Jun 98
6)  Claire Jellinek (United Press International), "Annan urges
    international court," 15 Jun 98
7)  Associated Press (no author), "Pope Backs War Crimes Tribunal," 15 
    Jun 98
8)  United Press International (no author), "Global war crimes court 
    faces challenge," 16 Jun 98
9)  Candice Hughes (Associated Press), "U.N. Considers World Criminal 
    Court," 16 Jun 98
10) United Press International (no author), "US: May support int'l 
    court," 17 Jun 98
11) David J. Scheffer (Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues and 
    Head of the U.S. Delegation to the UN Diplomatic Conference on the 
    Establishment of an International Criminal Court U.S. Department of
    State), "Status of Negotiations on the Establishment of an
    International Criminal Court," 15 Jul 98
12) Candice Hughes (Associated Press), "US Wants To Curb World Court 
    Scope," 16 Jul 98
13) United Press International (no author), "Diplomats debate war 
    crimes," 16 Jul 98
14) Candice Hughes (Associated Press), "War Crimes Panel May Be
    Formed," 17 Jul 98
15) Reuters (no author), "UN war crimes court statute adopted," 17 Jul 
16) Candice Hughes (Associated Press), "Draft Treaty Rebuffs Key US 
    Demands," 17 Jul 98
17) Paul Taylor (Diplomatic Editor /Reuters), "Dream of world war crime
    court turns reality," 17 Jul 98
18) Richard Owen (The Times of London), "International Criminal Court: 
    Last Ditch Efforts," 17 Jul 98
19) Jude Webber  (Reuters), "War crimes court created, U.S. won't 
    join," 18 Jul 98
20) Minneapolis Star-Tribune (editorial), "War court -- U.S. on wrong 
    side of humanitarian issue," 21 Jul 98
21) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (editorial), "America AWOL in supporting
    international court ," 21 Jul 98

- - - - -

The Internet Anti-Fascist: Friday, 24 July 98
FTP Supplement #53 (#147): Controversy Over A Standing World Court With
Jurisdiction Over International War Crimes: Part 2

1) "Overview [of the ICC]," U.N.
2) U.N. (press release), "UN to Establish International Criminal
   Court," Mar 98 
3) U.N. (press release), "Press Briefing By USG for Legal Affairs and 
   UN Legal Counsel," 18 May 98 
4) U.N. (press release), "U.N. Diplomatic Conference Concludes In Rome 
   With Decision To Establish Permanent International Criminal Court," 
   17 Jul 98 
5) U.N. (press release), "Secretary-General Says Establishment of 
   International Criminal Court Is Major Step In March Towards
   Universal Human Rights, Rule of Law," 18 Jul 98

- - - - -

The Internet Anti-Fascist: Saturday, 25 July 98
FTP Supplement #54 (#148): Controversy Over A Standing World Court With
Jurisdiction Over International War Crimes: Part 3

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: Adopted by the United
Nations Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment
of an International Criminal Court on 17 July 1998.

   We have no ethical right to forgive, no historical right to forget. 
       (No permission required for noncommercial reproduction)

                               - - - - -

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