Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: IMPEACHMENT AND PEACE MUST COME IN THE STREETS!
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Imbush Peach

An interview with Naomi Wolf about the 10 steps from democracy to dictatorship!

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

IMPEACHMENT AND PEACE MUST COME IN THE STREETS!


A REALITY CHECK AND WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS.
WE EITHER ACT OR WE FAIL, AND SURRENDER AND LEAVE ANOTHER GENERATION TO HAVE THE COURAGE TO PAY THE PRICE FOR THE PRESERVATION AND RESTORATION OF DEMOCRACY
IN THIS LAND.

While there are those individuals, and those organizations touting their success in gutting the Kyl/Lieberman Amendment, foolishly, falsely and for their own self-serving organizational promotion, like any complicated negotiation; there was more on the table necessary to accomplish the goal…in other words there were throw-aways in the package. The included material from “democrats.com”is circulating widely on the internet and is being posted up by countless bloggers and peace/impeachment advocate groups, and it is a “dead wrong opiate”!

There have been so many recent events within our ranks of protest that can only be described as distressing, disgusting and disheartening, and I am an eternal optimist in these matters as I come from the historical perspective that when things get bad enough the people will rise up an act, act even in a violent manner akin to the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam Protest Era of most recent historical vintage.

And I see that as the only answer any more. Our marches have been by-in-large media ignored and as important to Congress as a mosquito at a back yard cook out. We have declared the Congress to be IMPOTENT; now we need to take a good look at ourselves!

This will be resolved in a fashion to retain and restore our Democracy only when we all take back this nation; civilian and military. Meeting time and talk time is over. It is time to act or surrender; no more wasting time!

MoveOn (http://www.moveon.org/) has lost any semblance of integrity on the Impeachment issue.

PFAW (http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general) participated in a Kennedy Center awards presentation to Nancy Pelosi. I am still asking myself what the hell was that all about.

The “Encampment” is being criticized by internet geniuses who hundreds of miles away.

Meetup groups are suffering from internal frustration frictions and are turning on one another.

And now democrats.com (http://www.democrats.com/ )puts out this piece of verbal lint making the “Aggressive Progressives “label look laughable!

We had all better dismiss this pronouncement of success and refocus quickly. I follow this with two pieces that clearly spell out the fact and perception that the potential for disaster in Iran is far from over and obverted! Take a small pat on the back and then get back to the fight!


NOW READ THE TRUTH: LIEBERMAN-KYL DEFANGED BECAUSE OF YOUhttp://www.democrats.com/Lieberman-Kyl-defanged

Submitted by the pen on September 29, 2007 - 5:33am.

WE THE PEOPLE CUT THE HEART OUT OF THE LIEBERMAN-KYL AMENDMENT

It has taken a couple days for the actual disposition of the Lieberman-Kyl amendment to leak out, but in FACT, the two most offensive paragraphs (3 and 4), which we were objecting to so strenuously as amounting to a declaration of war on Iran, were REMOVED IN THEIR ENTIRETY prior to the vote. Which means we WON.

BEHOLD YOUR VICTORY (PAGE 8): {WHAT UTTER NONSENSE}

Yes, you did it, with your TENS of thousands of emails and phones to Congress this last Monday and Tuesday. We are so proud of our participants on this one. Claim your win.

What was left was not great, but ultimately it means nothing with the actual teeth of the amendment extracted, not that that's any excuse for those who voted yes (or did not vote at all). So the Senate called some people a terrorist organization. Big deal, it's not binding anyway, no more than their groundless and hypocritical condemnation of MoveOn a week ago. And for those who may say this gives Cheney and Bush an excuse to do anything, this White House doesn't think it needs an excuse to do anything, that's the whole POINT of impeachment.

Once again this PROVES that activism works. We beat them back this time in a major way, folks, and why? Because we actually spoke out, that's why! We dismissed the voices of defeatism and took action. Fancy that, participatory democracy works. Are the evil ones going to give up? Of course not, and that's why we're not going to give up either. Let's say it together, we're going to keep ON speaking out in even greater numbers.

There are many dirty secrets in Washington, but the biggest one of all they are trying to keep may be that when you write and call in mass numbers, members of Congress tremble, shaking in their socks, especially in the House where they have to get reelected every two years. Oh, sure, sometimes they send us their form letter responses trying to slough us off, trying to con us into thinking we are not having an impact. But we know the truth, which is that they work for us, and we do have the POWER with our personal messages to enforce that.

WHAT DO WE DO NEXT? WHY, IMPEACHMENT OF COURSE

This week yet another video of Dick "Five Deferments" Cheney surfaced from the early nineties, again articulating his views as to why trying to occupy Iraq would be lead to nothing but a disastrous quagmire. And yet this is the same man who not only lied the country into doing just that once he seized power himself, but is still the most aggressive force in the White House pushing for an even more monumental debacle in Iran.

H. RES 333 ACTION PAGE: http://www.usalone.com/hres333.php

This is a NEW action page. We're going to have a new action page on impeachment EVERY week from now on. That's the plan, we're ALL going to call for impeachment once a week from now on, and each time encourage everyone else we know to do the same thing using the friends invitation section of the action page.

Recognizing the gravity of the increasingly loud drumbeats for more war coming from the Vice President's office, this week Dennis Kucinich, who had already gotten 20 cosponsors for H.Res 333 to impeach Cheney, said he was seriously considering forcing the House of Representatives to take up the issue of impeachment by bringing it as a privileged resolution.

We have a major win in our pocket this week. We have slowed them down. But we also recognize that the only thing that will stop them completely is confronting the White House, and Cheney in particular, with impeachment. Each and every member of the House must be called to account at this moment in American political history, by the demands of you, their constituents, whether they will stand up for the Constitution and stop Dick Cheney's delusional march to Iran . . . or not.

Already more than 110,000 of your fellow constituents have voted in the National Cheney Impeachment Poll. If we had a million people call in one week, impeachment would be the centerpiece on the table so fast it would make their heads spin. We're going to do it. We're going to crank up our efforts to a new level this week. And when Dennis Kucinich DOES introduce his privileged resolution, we're going to crank it up even more.

(This is now the business as usual mode verbiage we all pass around.)

On The Other Hand, The Nation does not share this view of success. Common Sense should tell you that this administration has never been defeated out right on any of its’ agenda, and if the Kyl/Lieberman Amendment was such a feat there should have been jubilation in the streets. I didn’t see any.

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/edcut?pid=238617

SHIFTING TARGETS

Last week, the Senate -- via the Kyl-Lieberman Senate resolution -- handed the Bush Administration a close-to-blank check for military strikes against Iran. The resolution accuses Iran of fighting "a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq." (Hillary Clinton, along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, voted for it.) Sy Hersh's chilling article in this week's New Yorker ("The Administration's Plan for Iran") shows how the Administration may attempt to use that resolution as it redefines its military and political justifications for attacking Iran.

Hersh reports that the White House has requested that the Joint Chiefs redraw its plans for a possible attack on Iran. Confronted with a lack of public support for a major bombing campaign, with the intelligence community's assessment that Iran is at least five years away from obtaining a nuclear bomb, and the growing realization in Washington that Iran is "the geopolitical winner of the war in Iraq," the Administration has been marketing a new and dangerous line. The view that has taken hold in the White House, Hersh writes, is "that if many of America's problems [in Iraq] are the responsibility of Tehran, then the solution to them is to confront the Iranians."

As a result, "What had been presented primarily as a counter proliferation mission has been reconceived as counterterrorism." The focus is no longer broad bombing attacks--with targets including Iran's known and suspected nuclear facilities and other military and infrastructure cites. Instead, " the emphasis is on 'surgical' strikes on Revolutionary Guard Corps facilities in Tehran and elsewhere, which the Administration claims, have been a source of attacks on Americans in Iraq."

The revised bombing plan, "with its tightened focus on counterterrorism, is gathering support among generals and admirals in the Pentagon," Hersh writes. One former senior intelligence official tells Hersh, " Cheney's option is now for a fast in and out--for surgical strikes." Hersh is careful to state that he was "repeatedly cautioned in interviews" that Bush has yet to issue the "execute order" that is required for military operations inside Iran--"and such an order may never be issued." But, he continues, " There has been a significant increase in the tempo of attack planning."

Hersh quotes former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski: "This time, unlike the attack in Iraq, we're going to play the victim. The name of our game seems to be to get the Iranians to overplay their hand. A lot depends on how stupid the Iranians will be. Will they cool off (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad and tone down their language?" How will the Iranians react to more limited bombing strikes? Brzezinski tells Hersh that Iran would likely react "by intensifying the conflict in Iraq and also in Afghanistan, their neighbors, and that could draw in Pakistan. We will be stuck in a regional war for twenty years."

America's allies have shown mixed reactions to the new plans. Strikingly, Hersh reports that the new British government of Gordon Brown has had the most positive response to the plan--even though, as one retired four-star General tells Hersh, the British believe they were "sold a bill of goods" before the war in Iraq and "the burden of proof is high" for action against Iran. There are a few speaking out against plans that could result in disastrous and unintended consequences for US and world security. Hans Blix tells Hersh, "There are important cards that Washington could play; instead, they have three aircraft carriers sitting in the Persian Gulf."

As to the drumbeat for war, Blix says that his "impression is that the United States has been trying to push up the accusations against Iran as a basis for possible attack--as an excuse for jumping on them." David Kay, the former CIA adviser and chief weapons inspector in Iraq for the United Nations, tells Hersh that "questions remain about the provenance of weapons in Iraq, especially given the rampant black market in arms."

His inspection team was astounded, Kay says, in the aftermath of both Iraq wars, by the 'huge amounts of arms' it found circulating among civilians and military personnel throughout the country. He recalled seeing stockpiles of explosively formed penetrators, as well as charges that had been recovered from unexploded American cluster bombs. Kay also says, "I thought Petraeus went way beyond what Iran is doing inside Iraq today."

Hersh's important and alarming article is a warning that the Administration is intent on taking us into another military disaster--which will destabilize the region and the world and make the US less secure. And actions like the Senate's Kyl-Lieberman resolution, while only symbolic, could be used as a pretext by a White House determined to use military confrontation to avoid blame for the catastrophe in Iraq.

It must be repealed. In its place, the Senate should introduce and pass a resolution stating that there are no good military options for solving our disagreements with Iran. Military action will only result in disastrous and unintended consequences for US, regional and global interests. It is time for tough-minded and astute diplomacy and engagement with Iran--so as to weaken the hardliners in that country's government. One tragedy among many: At a time when a majority of Americans appear to have learned that there are limitations to the use of military force, it appears increasingly likely that the hardliners in our country are intent on taking us into another fiasco.


And Now We Are Getting Into The Hard Wood Of This Post. For months I have been collecting and researching this issue:


THE POINT WHERE OUR MILITARY CAN, AND IS DUTY BOUND TO, REFUSE TO OBEY THE ORDERS OF THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF.

I had just returned from a one day trip to New York City and a serious consideration of this material with world renowned attorneys. I am fortunate to have some very fine legal minds at my disposal when I really need them. I have been sort of adopted by a few of them, or they see themselves as my Guardian Angels, and I do in fact need a Guardian Angel or two now and then. After what would be an intense five figure billing hours day, (it’s a g0od thing my counsel is free), I have firmly in mind that which can be clearly and legally said on this matter.

A momentary digression if you will. In the Vietnam Era such counsel was readily available to those in the protest movement and contributed significantly to our progress and legal force. Today, like so many other components of our society, attorneys are hiding in their bunkers, jumping out only sporadically to fire off a scholarly round or two instead of standing in the open blazing away for the protection of the people and the integrity of our Constitution.

Cheney is in his bunker; Rove has gone away…a non recorded phone call away; the White House is impervious to our noise; the Congress has taken a total flight from reality, and everyone else is playing the game of who wants to be President, and there are all too many people who want to play and ante up at the table as if that is the answer to all of our problems…and that is a problem.

Anyway when I returned to Virginia the following was making the rounds of cyber space and I was glad to see it as it makes for a perfect segue into the heart of the history and legalities of the matter, and it certainly provides emphasis to my position that this Iran matter did not go away or even diminish in threat with dropping two little pieces of Kyl/Lieberman.

LEADING AMERICANS ASK U.S. MILITARY TO REFUSE ORDERS TO ATTACK IRAN

http://www.nlgmltf.org/militarylaw.html

Country music legend Willie Nelson, literary icon Gore Vidal, Gold Star Mother Cindy Sheehan, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, retired U.S. Army Colonel Ann Wright, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega, author and radio host Thom Hartmann, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Rabbi Steven Jacobs, and dozens of other prominent Americans have signed a letter asking the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all U.S. military personnel to refuse orders to launch an aggressive war on Iran.

The letter has been posted as a petition for others to sign at

http://www.dontattackiran.org/

The text of the letter follows:

ATTENTION: Joint Chiefs of Staff and all U.S. Military Personnel: Do not attack Iran.Any preemptive U.S. attack on Iran would be illegal. Any preemptive U.S. attack on Iran would be criminal.We, the citizens of the United States, respectfully urge you, courageous men and women of our military, to refuse any order to preemptively attack Iran, a nation that represents no serious or immediate threat to the United States.

To attack Iran, a sovereign nation of 70-million people, would be a crime of the highest magnitude. Legal basis for our Request - Do not attack Iran:The Nuremberg Principles, which are part of US law, provide that all military personnel have the obligation not to obey illegal orders. The Army Field Manual 27-10, sec. 609 and UCMJ, art. 92, incorporate this principle. Article 92 says: "A general order or regulation is lawful unless it is contrary to the Constitution, the law of the United States ..."

Any provision of an international treaty ratified by the United States becomes the law of the United States. The United States is a party and Signatory to the United Nations Charter, of which Article II, Section 4 states, "All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state..."

As Iran has not attacked the United States, and as the U.S. is a party and signatory to the Charter, any attack on Iran by the U.S. would be illegal under not only international law but under the U.S. Constitution which recognizes our treaties as the Supreme Law of the Land. When you joined the military, you took an oath to defend our Constitution.

Following the orders of your government or superior does not relieve you from responsibility under international law. Under the Principles of International Law recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal, complicity in the commission of war crime is a crime under international law.

Background:

The Bush Administration's charges against Iran have not been proven. Neither the development of nuclear weapons, nor providing assistance to Iraq would, if proven, constitute justification for an illegal war. An attack on Iran might prompt the formidable Iranian military to attack U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. Thousands of our soldiers might be killed or captured as prisoners of war. A U.S. attack against Iranian nuclear facilities could also mean the deaths, from radiation poisoning, of tens of thousands of innocent Iranian civilians.

The people of Iran have little control over their government, yet would suffer tremendously should the U.S. attack. Bombing raids would amount to collective punishment, a violation of the Geneva Convention, and would surely sow the seeds of hatred for generations to come. Children make up a quarter of Iran's population.

Above all, we ask you to look at the record of our actions in Iraq, which U.S. intelligence admits is "a cause célèbre for jihadists" - a situation that did not exist before we attacked. We must face the fact that our rash use of military solutions has created more enemies, and made American families less safe. Diplomacy, not war, is the answer.

Know the Risks Involved in Refusing an Illegal Order or Signing This Statement:We knowingly and willingly make this plea, aware of the risk that, in violation of our First Amendment rights, we could be charged under remaining sections of the unconstitutional Espionage Act or other unconstitutional statute, and that we could be fined, imprisoned, or barred from government employment.We make this plea, also aware that you have no easy options.

If you obey an illegal order to participate in an aggressive attack on Iran, you could potentially be charged with war crimes.

If you heed our call and disobey an illegal order you could be falsely charged with crimes including treason. You could be falsely court martialed. You could be imprisoned. (To talk to a lawyer or to learn more about possible consequences, contact The Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, Courage to Resist, Center on Conscience and War, Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild 415-566-3732, or the GI Rights Hotline at 877-447-4487.)


** Final request:Our leaders often say that military force should be a last resort. We beg you to make that policy a reality, and refuse illegal orders to attack Iran. We promise to support you for protecting the American public and innocent civilians abroad.

Our future, the future of our children and their children, rests in your hands. You know the horrors of war. You can stop the next one.

Sincerely,Daniel Ellsberg,

Thom Hartmann,
Rabbi Michael Lerner,
Rabbi Steven Jacobs,
Cynthia McKinney,
Willie Nelson,
Cindy Sheehan,
Norman Solomon,
Elizabeth de la Vega,
Gore Vidal,
Ann Wright,

James Abourezk, former U.S. Senator, (D) South Dakota,

Stacy Bannerman, Author, "When the War Came Home",

Military Families Speak Out Charter Board member John Bonifaz, constitutional attorney and author of "Warrior-King: The Case for Impeaching George W. Bush."

Amy Branham, Gold Star Mother of Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith, US Army Reserves, Nov. 1981-Feb. 2004 ,

Blase Bonpane, Ph.d, Director OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS ,

David Clennon, Actor/activist ,

Tim Carpenter, Executive Director, Progressive Democrats of America,

Daniel Ellsberg, author of "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers."

David Cobb, 2004 Green Party Presidential Candidate,

Jeff Cohen, author/media critic ,

Elizabeth de la Vega, former federal prosecutor and author of U.S. v. George W. Bush ,

Karen Dolan, Director, Cities for Progress/Cities for Peace ,

Anne Feeney, activist/folksinger or Local 1000, AFM,

Mike Ferner, Navy corpsman; Secretary, Veterans for Peace,

Bob Fertik, President Democrats.com ,

Laura Flanders, Radio Host on Air America ,

Bruce K. Gagnon, Coordinator Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space ,

Lila Garrett, KPFK Host of "Connect the Dots"

Liberty Godshall, writer, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council ,

Hon. Jackie Goldberg, California Assembly Member (AD 45), retired.

Kevin Alexander Gray, writer, and organizer with the Harriet Tubman Freedom House Project ,

Representative Betty Hall, Hillsborough District 5, New Hampshire General Court ,

David L. Harris, MD ,

Tom Hayden ,

Thom Hartmann, author and Air America radio host,

Valerie Heinonen, o.s.u.,
Ursulines of Tildonk for Justice and Peace .

Jenny Heinz , member of CodePink, member of Granny Peace Brigade,

Rabbi Steven Jacobs, Los Angeles,
Michael Jay, Steering Committee, Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles,

Charles Jenks, co-founder and editor of traprockpeace.org Justice Through Music,

Antonia Juhasz, author, The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time,

Jerry Kass, playwright and professor at Columbia University Dr,

Nazir Khaja ,Chairman, Islamic Information Service, Los Angeles, CA.

Mimi Kennedy, National Chair, Progressive Democrats of America ,

Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun and Chair, the Network of Spiritual Progressives

Summer Lipford, Gold Star Mother,NC 28677

David Lindorff, Author, The Case for Impeachment

Alice Lynn, Delegate, California Democratic Party (41st AD)

Ben Manski, Executive Director, Liberty Tree

Ray McGovern, Army infantry/intelligence officer, 1962-64; CIA analyst 1964-90.

Cynthia Mckinney, former Congresswoman

Barbara Mills-Bria, Be The Change-USA

Bill Moyer, Executive Director, Backbone Campaign

Willie Nelson, Entertainer, Peace Activist

Annie Nelson, Sustainable Biodiesel/Peace Activist

Honorable Eric Oemig - Washington State Senator

Geov Parrish, Executive Director Peace Action of Washington

Jacob Park, Founder, A28.

Brad Parker, Officer of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party

Bill Perry, Director, Delaware Valley Veterans For America

Gareth Porter, investigative journalist and historian Marcus Raskin, member of National Security Council Staff under President Kennedy

Dorothy Reik, President, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains

Coleen Rowley, retired FBI Agent and former Chief Division Counsel of Minneapolis Division of the FBI

Bill Scheurer, Editor, PeaceMajority Report

Randi Scheurer, IL-Dist. 8, Congressional Candidate

Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Families for Peace

Alice Slater, Abolition 2000 New York

Norman Solomon, Author and syndicated columnist

David Swanson, Afterdowningstreet.org

John Stauber, Co-author, "Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq"

Jonathan Tasini, PDA NY Ethel Tobach, Ph. D., member of Psychologists for Social Responsibility

Tina Richards CEO Grassroots Americaredith, Gold Star Mother, Proud Mom of Lt Ken Ballard- KIA 5.30.04

Gore Vidal, Author

Marcy Winograd, President, Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles

Ann Wright, US Army Colonel (Retired) and US diplomat who resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to the Iraq war.

Kevin Zeese on behalf of Voters for Peace and Democracy Rising Velvet Revolution


** These resources are publicly available, and our offering them does not indicate that these organizations support this petition.

FROM A POST THAT WILL SURFACE SHORTLY AS I SET THIS STAGE!

We Are Losing The War In Iraq. We Are Losing The War For Peace. We Are Losing The War To Impeach. We Are Losing The War To Save This Nation As It Should Be. We Are Losing And We Have No One To Blame But Ourselves.

It Is Time To Stop Talking And Playing Like Good Little Boys And Girls Within The System. The System Has Been Fractured Like Shards Of Glass, Beyond Any Instant Repair. The Legal And Legislative Remedies, The Mechanisms Of Redress And Correction Have Been Corrupted Beyond Any Usefulness. And Just What The Hell Are We Doing?

I Monitor Peace And Impeachment Sites And Networks Nationwide, And Everywhere The Situation Is The Same, Pitiful And Lame.

It Is Time For A Serious Reality Check That Will Redefine What We Must Do To Stop And Bring Down The Bush Regime, Or Admit That We Are Either Unable Or Unwilling To Do So And Accept The Consequences For Generations To Come Until Such Time As A Generation Rises In This Nation And Takes Back This Country By Force And Builds Anew!

And that will include our military taking a stand in defense of this country at home, a defense of our Constitution.

The wordings of the current oath of enlistment and oath for commissioned officers are as follows:
"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

"I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God." (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)

During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress established different oaths for the enlisted men and officers of the Continental Army:

Enlisted: The first oath, voted on 14 June 1775 as part of the act creating the Continental Army, read: "I _____ have, this day, voluntarily enlisted myself, as a soldier, in the American continental army, for one year, unless sooner discharged: And I do bind myself to conform, in all instances, to such rules and regulations, as are, or shall be, established for the government of the said Army." The original wording was effectively replaced by Section 3, Article 1, of the Articles of War approved by Congress on 20 September 1776, which specified that the oath of enlistment read: "I _____ swear (or affirm as the case may be) to be trued to the United States of America, and to serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies opposers whatsoever; and to observe and obey the orders of the Continental Congress, and the orders of the Generals and officers set over me by them."

Officers: Continental Congress passed two versions of this oath of office, applied to military and civilian national officers. The first, on 21 October 1776, read: "I _____, do acknowledge the Thirteen United States of America, namely, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to be free, independent, and sovereign states, and declare, that the people thereof owe no allegiance or obedience to George the third, king of Great Britain; and I renounce, refuse and abjure any allegiance or obedience to him; and I do swear that I will, to the utmost of my power, support, maintain, and defend the said United States against the said king, George the third, and his heirs and successors, and his and their abettors, assistants and adherents; and will serve the said United States in the office of _____, which I now hold, and in any other office which I may hereafter hold by their appointment, or under their authority, with fidelity and honour, and according to the best of my skill and understanding. So help me God." The revised version, voted 3 February 1778, read "I, _____ do acknowledge the United States of America to be free, independent and sovereign states, and declare that the people thereof owe no allegiance or obedience, to George the third, king of Great Britain; and I renounce, refuse and abjure any allegiance or obedience to him: and I do swear (or affirm) that I will, to the utmost of my power, support, maintain and defend the said United States, against the said king George the third and his heirs and successors, and his and their abettors, assistants and adherents, and will serve the said United States in the office of _____ which I now hold, with fidelity, according to the best of my skill and understanding. So help me God."

The first oath under the Constitution was approved by Act of Congress 29 September 1789 (Sec. 3, Ch. 25, 1st Congress). It applied to all commissioned officers, noncommissioned officers and privates in the service of the United States. It came in two parts, the first of which read: "I, A.B., do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) that I will support the constitution of the United States." The second part read: "I, A.B., do solemnly swear or affirm (as the case may be) to bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and to serve them honestly and faithfully, against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever, and to observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States of America, and the orders of the officers appointed over me." The next section of that chapter specified that "the said troops shall be governed by the rules and articles of war, which have been established by the United States in Congress assembled, or by such rules and articles of war as may hereafter by law be established."

Although the enlisted oath remained unchanged until 1950, the officer oath has undergone substantial minor modification since 1789. A change in about 1830 read: "I, _____, appointed a _____ in the Army of the United States, do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever, and observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the rules and articles for the government of the Armies of the United States." Under an act of 2 July 1862 the oath became: "I, A.B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I have never borne arms against the United States since I have been a citizen thereof; that I have voluntarily given no aid, countenance, counsel, or encouragement to persons engaged in armed hostility thereto; that I have neither sought nor accepted nor attempted to exercise the functions of any office whatsoever under any authority or pretended authority in hostility to the United States; that I have not yielded voluntary support to any pretended government, authority, power, or constitution within the United States, hostile or inimical thereto. And I do further swear (or affirm) that, to the best of my knowledge and ability, I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God." An act of 13 May 1884 reverted to a simpler formulation: "I, A.B., do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God." This version remained in effect until the 1959 adoption of the present wording.

The wordings of the current oath of enlistment and oath for commissioned officers are as follows
"I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God." (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)

A DUTY TO DISOBEY ALL UNLAWFUL ORDERS

AN ADVISORY TO US TROOPS

by LAWRENCE MOSQUEDA

Lawrence Mosqueda, Ph.D. teaches at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He can be reached at mosqueda@evergreen.edu

DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL LAW

As the United States government under George Bush gets closer to attacking the people of Iraq, there are several things that the men and women of the U.S. armed forces need to know and bear in mind as they are given orders from the Bush administration. This information is provided for the use of the members of the armed forces, their families, friends and supporters, and all who are concerned about the current direction of U.S. policy toward Iraq.

The military oath taken at the time of induction reads:
"I,____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God"

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 809.ART.90 (20), makes it clear that military personnel need to obey the "lawful command of his superior officer," 891.ART.91 (2), the "lawful order of a warrant officer", 892.ART.92 (1) the "lawful general order", 892.ART.92 (2) "lawful order". In each case, military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey Lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey Unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the UCMJ. The moral and legal obligation is to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders, especially if those orders are in direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ.

During the Iran-Contra hearings of 1987, Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, a decorated World War II veteran and hero, told Lt. Col. Oliver North that North was breaking his oath when he blindly followed the commands of Ronald Reagan. As Inouye stated, "The uniform code makes it abundantly clear that it must be the Lawful orders of a superior officer. In fact it says, 'Members of the military have an obligation to disobey unlawful orders.' This principle was considered so important that we-we, the government of the United States, proposed that it be internationally applied in the Nuremberg trials." (Bill Moyers, "The Secret Government", Seven Locks Press; also in the PBS 1987 documentary, "The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis")

Senator Inouye was referring to the Nuremberg trials in the post WW II era, when the U.S. tried Nazi war criminals and did not allow them to use the reason or excuse that they were only "following orders" as a defense for their war crimes which resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent men, women, and children. "In 1953, the Department of Defense adopted the principles of the Nuremberg Code as official policy" of the United States. (Hasting Center Report, March-April 1991)

Over the past year there have been literally thousands of articles written about the impact of the coming war with Iraq. Many are based on politics and the wisdom of engaging in an international war against a country that has not attacked the U.S. and the legality of engaging in what Bush and Rumsfield call "preemptive war." World opinion at the highest levels, and among the general population, is that a U.S. first strike on Iraq would be wrong, both politically and morally. There is also considerable evidence that Bush's plans are fundamentally illegal, from both an international and domestic perspective. If the war is indeed illegal, members of the armed forces have a legal and moral obligation to resist illegal orders, according to their oath of induction.

The evidence from an international perspective is overwhelming. The United States Constitution makes treaties that are signed by the government equivalent to the "law of the land" itself, Article VI, para. 2. Among the international laws and treaties that a U.S. pre-emptive attack on Iraq may violate are: ·

The Hague Convention on Land Warfare of 1899, which was reaffirmed by the U.S. at the 1946 Nuremberg International Military Tribunals; ·

Resolution on the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons and Prevention of Nuclear War, adopted UN General Assembly, Dec 12, 1980; · Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; December 9, 1948, Adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the UN General Assembly; · Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Adopted on August 12, 1949 by the Diplomatic Conference for the Establishment of International Conventions for the Protection of Victims of War; ·

Convention on the Prohibition of Military or any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, 1108 U.N.T.S. 151, Oct. 5, 1978; · The Charter of the United Nations; · The Nuremberg Principles, which define as a crime against peace, "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 accomplishment of any of the forgoing." (For many of these treaties and others, see the Yale Avalon project at www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/imt.htm. Also see a letter to Canadian soldiers sent by Hamilton Action for Social Change at http://www.hwcn.org/link/hasc/letter_cf.html)

As Hamilton Action for Social Change has noted "Under the Nuremberg Principles, you have an obligation NOT to follow the orders of leaders who are preparing crimes against peace and crimes against humanity. We are all bound by what U.S. Chief Prosecutor Robert K. Jackson declared in 1948: [T]he very essence of the [Nuremberg] Charter is that individuals have intentional duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience imposed by the individual state." At the Tokyo War Crimes trial, it was further declared "[A]nyone with knowledge of illegal activity and an opportunity to do something about it is a potential criminal under international law unless the person takes affirmative measures to prevent commission of the crimes."

The outcry about the coming war with Iraq is also overwhelming from legal experts who have studied this in great detail.

By November of 2002, 315 law professors had signed a statement entitled "A US War Against Iraq Will Violate US and International Law and Set a Dangerous Precedent for Violence That Will Endanger the American People."

Other legal organizations such as the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy and the Western States Legal Foundation have written more extensive reports, such as that by Andrew Lichterman and John Burroughs on "War is Not the Path to Peace; The United States, Iraq, and the Need for Stronger International Legal Standards to Prevent War." As the report indicates "Aggressive war is one of the most serious transgressions of international law." In fact, at the Nuremberg trials, the issue was not just individual or collective acts of atrocities or brutal actions but the starting of an aggressive war itself. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert L. Jackson stated,

"We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it. And we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a trial of the causes of the war, for our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy." (August 12, 1945, Department of State Bulletin. )

In another report written by the same authors and also by Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, New York, and Jules Lobel, Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh entitled "The United Nations Charter and the Use of Force Against Iraq," the authors note that:

"Under the UN Charter, there are only two circumstances in which the use of force is permissible: in collective or individual self-defense against an actual or imminent armed attack: and when the Security Council has directed or authorized use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security. Neither of those circumstances now exists. Absent one of them, U.S. use of force against Iraq is unlawful."

The authors were specifically referring to Article 51 of the UN Charter on the right to self-defense. Nothing that Iraq has done would call that provision into effect. The report also states that:

"There is no basis in international law for dramatically expanding the concept of self-defense, as advocated in the Bush Administration's September, 2002 "National Security Strategy" to authorize "preemptive"--really preventive--strikes against states based on potential threats arising from possession or development of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons and links to terrorism. Such an expansion would destabilize the present system of UN Charter restraints on the use of force. Further, there is no claim or publicly disclosed evidence that Iraq is supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorist.

The Bush administration's reliance on the need for "regime change" in Iraq as a basis for use of force is barred by Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which prohibits "the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state." Thus the rationales being given to the world, the American public, and the armed forces are illegal on their face. (For a copy of this report see www.lcnp.org/global/iraqstatement3.htm)

It is important to note that none of the authors cited thus far or to be cited have any support for Saddam Hussein or the Government of Iraq whatsoever. They and others who do not support an illegal war in Iraq believe that government of Saddam Hussein is corrupt, vile, and contemptible. So is the leadership and governments of many of our "allies," such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan-governments that the United States may very well attack within the next decade. It is important to remember that Saddam Hussein was an important "ally" during the 1980s and that many of the weapons that may be faced by our armed forces will bear a "Made in the USA" label. The issue here is not the "evil' of Saddam Hussein, nor the international community doing nothing, but an illegal march to war by the Bush administration.

Even former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, a very conservative Republican from Texas, has warned that an "unprovoked attack against Iraq would violate international law and undermine world support for President Bush's goal of ousting Saddam Hussein." Armey explicitly states "If we try to act against Saddam Hussein, as obnoxious as he is, without proper provocation, we will not have the support of other nation states who might do so. I don't believe that America will justifiably make an unprovoked attack on another nation. It would not be consistent with what we have been as a nation or what we should be as a nation." (Chicago Tribune, August 9, 2002, available at Other articles demonstrating the illegality of this war can be found at here.

In addition to the violations of international laws, which have been incorporated into U.S. law, the impending attack on Iraq is a direct violation of national law as Bush claims that he has the authority to decide whether the U.S. will go to war or not.

The U.S. Constitution is very explicit on this point. Only the Congress has the authority to declare war, Article 1, section 8, Par. 11. Congress does not have the right to give that power away, or to delegate that power to the president or anyone else. The President as the "Commander in Chief" (Article 2, section 2, Par. 1) can command the armed forces in times of peace and war, but he does not have the authority to declare the war or determine if that war is to occur, especially if he is engaged in illegal conduct in violation of the Constitution itself or his oath of office.

The Constitution spells out very clearly the responsibility of the President and his oath, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." (Article 2, section 2, Par. 8). The President also has the primary duty to make sure "that the laws be faithfully executed," (Article 2, section 3).

The vaguely worded resolution passed by the Congress in October was both illegal and an act of cowardice, as noted by Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia. Byrd's remarks were made on the floor of the Senate on October 3, 2002. In part he said:

"The resolution before us today is not only a product of haste; it is also a product of presidential hubris. This resolution is breathtaking in its scope. It redefines the nature of defense, and reinterprets the Constitution to suit the will of the Executive Branch.

It would give the President blanket authority to launch a unilateral preemptive attack on a sovereign nation that is perceived to be a threat to the United States. This is an unprecedented and unfounded interpretation of the President's authority under the Constitution, not to mention the fact that it stands the charter of the United Nations on its head."

The full texts of his remarks are well worth reading, not only on the illegality of the war but also the illegality of Congress in abandoning its duty under the Constitution.

MORAL CODES AND LAWS

The United States is a secular country with a great variety of religions, which are adhered to by the majority of the people.

Political leaders who claim to speak in the name of God are rightfully looked upon with suspicion, whether they are foreign leaders or the president of the United States. This is especially true when the issues are those of war and peace. Nevertheless, the U.S. often blends the border on issues of Church and State, including in public oaths, such as the oath which is taken at the time of induction.

This author will not claim to know the will of God, but it is valuable to examine what the religious leaders of the country are saying about this war. Virtually every major religion in the United States has come out against the Bush plans for war.

Again this is not because of any support for Saddam Hussein, but rather the Bush plans do not meet any criteria for the concept of "just war." One would expect this from the religions that are respected and pacifist, but it also true from those who have supported past U.S. wars, and even have Chaplains in the service. Below is a sample of the analysis of U.S. religious leaders:

Catholic

We respectfully urge you to step back from the brink of war and help lead the world to act together to fashion an effective global response to Iraq's threats that conforms with traditional moral limits on the use of military force. US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Letter to President Bush, Sept. 13, 2002.

Episcopalian

The question for us now must be: what is our role in the community of nations? I believe we have the capacity within us to help lead our world into the way of justness and peace. The freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the United States oblige us to attend not only to our own welfare, but to the well-being of the world around us. A superpower, especially one that declares itself to be "under God," must exercise the role of super servant. Our nation has an opportunity to reflect the values and ideals that we espouse by focusing upon issues of poverty, disease and despair, not only within our own nation but throughout the global community of which we are a part. The Presiding Bishop's statement on military action against Iraq, September 6, 2002.

Jewish International cooperation is far, far better than unilateral action, and the U.S. must explore all reasonable means of attaining such support. Non-military action is always preferable to military action, and the U.S. must fully explore all options to resolve the situation through such means. If the effort to obtain international cooperation and support through the United Nations fails, the U.S. must work with other nations to obtain cooperation in any military action. Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Executive Committee Decision on Unilateral Action by the U.S. Against Iraq.

Lutheran

While we are fully aware of the potential threat posed by the government of Iraq and its leader, I believe it is wrong for the United States to seek to over-throw the regime of Saddam Hussein with military action. Morally, I oppose it because I know a war with Iraq will have great consequences for the people of Iraq, who have already suffered through years of war and economic sanctions. Further, I believe it is detrimental to U.S. interests to take unilateral military action when there is strong international support for weapons inspections, and when most other governments oppose military action. I also believe that U.S. military action at this time will further destabilize the region. I call upon members of our congregations to be fervent in prayer, engaged in conversation with one another and with our leaders. In the final analysis, we must stand unequivocally for peace. ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson's Statement on Iraq Situation, August 30, 2002.

Methodist United Methodists have a particular duty to speak out against an unprovoked attack. President Bush and Vice-President Cheney are members of our denomination. Our silence now could be interpreted as tacit approval of war. Christ came to break old cycles of revenge and violence. Too often, we have said we worship and follow Jesus but have failed to change our ways. Jesus proved on the cross the failure of state-sponsored revenge. It is inconceivable that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior and the Prince of Peace, would support this proposed attack. Secretary Jim Winkler of The United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society, August 30, 2002.

Presbyterian

We urge Presbyterians to oppose a precipitate U.S. attack on Iraq and the Bush administration's new doctrine of pre-emptive military action. We call upon President George W. Bush and other leaders to: Refrain from language that seems to label certain individuals and nations as "evil" and others as "good"; Oppose ethnic and religious stereotyping, Guard against a unilateralism, rooted in our unique position of political, economic and military power, that perpetuates the perception that "might makes right"; Allow United Nations weapons inspections in Iraq, without undue pressure or threats of pre-emptive, unilateral action; and End the economic sanctions against Iraq, which have been ineffectual but have done untold damage to the Iraqi people. The General Assembly Council and the staff leadership team of the Presbyterian Church (USA), September 28, 2002.

United Church of Christ With heavy hearts we hear once again the drumbeat of war against Iraq. As leaders committed to God's reign of justice and peace in the world and to the just conduct of our nation, we firmly oppose this advance to war. While Iraq's weapons potential is uncertain, the death that would be inflicted on all sides in a war is certain. Striking against Iraq now will not serve to prevent terrorism or defend our nation's interests. We fear that war would only provoke greater regional instability and lead to the mass destruction it is intended to prevent. UCC leaders, September 13, 2002.

Ecumenical As Christians, we are concerned by the likely human costs of war with Iraq, particularly for civilians. We are unconvinced that the gain for humanity would be proportionate to the loss. Neither are we convinced that it has been publicly demonstrated that all reasonable alternative means of containing Iraq's development of weapons of mass destruction have been exhausted. We call upon our governments to pursue these diplomatic means in active cooperation with the United Nations and to stop the apparent rush to war. World Council of Churches, August 30, 2002.

For a fuller elaboration of these and other comments from religious leaders, such as by the Mennonites, Quakers (Society of Friends), Unitarian Universalist, and other ecumenical groups see www.ecapc.org. Other religious and moral objections to Bush's plans have been articulated. In September of 2002, 100 Christian Ethicists from major seminaries, divinity schools, and traditionally conservative religious schools challenged the claim that preemptive war on Iraq would be morally justified in a simply worded statement, "As Christian ethicists, we share a common moral presumption against a pre-emptive war on Iraq by the United States." (See the Chronicle of Higher Education, September 23, 2002,)

Religious resistance to Bush's war plans can also be found in the overwhelming vote of 228-14 by the U.S. Catholic Bishops against the war and in the unprecedented show of unity by Chicago's top Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders in the first public statement on any national issue of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago in opposing Bush's war. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 1, 2002)

It is noteworthy that the Pope John Paul II has come out very strongly against this war in unambiguous terms, "No to war!" The Pope said during his annual address to scores of diplomatic emissaries to the Vatican, an exhortation that referred in part to Iraq, a country he mentioned twice. "War is not always inevitable. It is always a defeat for humanity." (NY Times, January 14, 2003). The Pope, a seasoned diplomat, was not just making a moral statement about peace; he referred to the legal codes discussed earlier in this article, "War is never just another means that one can choose to employ for settling differences between nations. As the Charter of the United Nations organization and international law itself reminds us, war cannot be decided upon, even when it is a matter of ensuring the common good, except as the very last option and in accordance with very strict conditions, without ignoring the consequences for the civilian population both during and after the military operations." (See Irish Examiner, 1/13/2003)

It is also important to restate that the head of Bush's own church has come out against this war. Jim Winkler, the general secretary of the Board of Church and Society for the United Methodist Church has come out very strongly against this war. President Bush has refused to meet with Winkler.

"The Methodist Church, he (Winkler) says, is not pacifist, but 'rejects war as a usual means of national policy'. Methodist scriptural doctrine, he added, specifies 'war as a last resort, primarily a defensive thing. And so far as I know, Saddam Hussein has not mobilized military forces along the borders of the United States, nor along his own border to invade a neighboring country, nor have any of these countries pleaded for our assistance, nor does he have weapons of mass destruction targeted at the United States'." (See Observer/UK, October 20, 2002)

Individual will have to make their own decisions about the "morality" of the war but the consensus decision that has been developing among religious leaders is that this war does not constitute a "just war" by virtually anyone's standards. The concept of "sin" is also a personal decision but again those who study these issues from the Pope to theologians to pastors to other religious leaders do not and cannot give their approval to the illegal actions that the Bush administration are going to impose on the world in general, and people of Iraq and the men and women of the U.S. armed forces in particular.

REASONS FOR THE WAR AND POSSIBLE ACTIONS

The reasons for war are not supposed to be the purview of soldiers in the field. They are just supposed to follow orders. But when a war is so blatantly illegal soldiers need to have some background to make an informed decision about how to conduct themselves. In a short space it is not possible to delineate the full reasons, but it is not about the dangers of Saddam Hussein. As indicated above, there are no credible anti-war or peace advocates that advocate any positive statements about Saddam Hussein or the Government of Iraq. The world, however, in general, does not believe that the Bush administration has any solution to the situation. In fact many believe that Bush, himself, is a significant part of the problem.

Many people have pointed out that this war is about the oil. It is, but it is much more than that. The United States does not need the oil to survive but the people in the Bush administration want to expand the hegemony that the United States government has had since the collapse of the Soviet Union. This is not a critique of U.S. foreign policy, per se, but a recognition of reality. This is essentially what Bush has been saying in his public speeches at West Point, etc., and is very explicitly saying in his "National Security Strategy (NSS), which he published in September of 2002.

The NSS is the political articulation of what the main actors of the Bush administration published in September 2000, before the elections, before they took power, and before the fateful day of September 11, 2001. That project was called "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century", A Report of The Project For the New American Century. These documents are essentially the blueprints for hegemony and for a word that has come back into vogue- Empire. These documents are publicly available, but not often read. All Americans and all members of the armed forces should read them. Many of the people quoted in this article have no doubt read them and understand the policies basic illegalities, and thus the conclusion that the war itself is domestically, internationally and morally indefensible.

There are many critiques of the impact of these policies-which articulate the reasons not to go to war. Some of the better ones can be found at Global Policy ; Foreign Policy in Focus or the Education for Peace in Iraq Center. There are also several other valuable research sites.

There are also many U.S. veteran groups that have seen the horrors of war up close and do not want to have another generation of young Americans suffer not only the war, but also the post traumatic stresses that emerge after war, when they discover they have been lied to, have participated in aggression, and then are abandoned by their government after the wars. This war is particularly amenable to such, since there is so much dissention, based on solid information that this war is not only unnecessary but also illegal, and may be without a foreseeable end.

Charles Sheehan Miles, is a Gulf War veteran and former President of the National Gulf War Resource Center (http://www.ngwrc.org/). He also help to found the extraordinarily useful "Veterans for Common Sense"


(http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/) which has a great deal of information about the current situation. On January 16, 2003, he wrote:

"This war does nothing to protect American lives, but it will do everything to destroy the lives of many thousands of Iraqis and Americans. This war will not protect us from weapons of mass destruction, but it will make it more likely Iraq will try to use them. This war will not liberate the Iraqi people, but it will do everything to ensure they receive a new master, one ruled by corporate profits and oil to fuel more American consumption. This war isn't worth the life of one American soldier." (http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=14952)

The idea that those who oppose the Bush plans for war are against the troops is a fundamental lie. Support for the troops is not done by sending them off to a war which is fundamentally unnecessary-support is keeping them home. Support for the troops is not done by lying to them about the purpose and goals of the war and allowing those who will benefit and profit a free ride on the backs of the troops. Support for the troops is not done by making them complicit in an illegal and immoral war-it is done by exposing the lies and giving the troops an opportunity not to be complicit in war crimes.

A group of veterans of many different wars and eras has issued a statement that has been distributed to active duty soldiers making some of the points made in this article. Signers includes many well-known veterans such as Vietnam veteran and author Ron Kovic (Born on the 4th of July), author and film producer Michael Moore (Bowling for Columbine), and American historian Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States) and several hundred other veterans.

The statement "Call to Conscience from Veterans to Active Duty Troops and Reservist" reads in part:

"Many of us believed serving in the military was our duty, and our job was to defend this country. Our experiences in the military caused us to question much of what we were taught. Now we see our REAL duty is to encourage you as members of the U.S. armed forces to find out what you are being sent to fight and die for and what the consequences of your actions will be for humanity. We call upon you, the active duty and reservists, to follow your conscience and do the right thing.

In the last Gulf War, as troops, we were ordered to murder from a safe distance. We destroyed much of Iraq from the air, killing hundreds of thousands, including civilians. We remember the road to Basra -- the Highway of Death -- where we were ordered to kill fleeing Iraqis. We bulldozed trenches, burying people alive. The use of depleted uranium weapons left the battlefields radioactive. Massive use of pesticides, experimental drugs, burning chemical weapons depots and oil fires combined to create a toxic cocktail affecting both the Iraqi people and Gulf War veterans today. One in four Gulf War veterans is disabled.

If you choose to participate in the invasion of Iraq you will be part of an occupying army. Do you know what it is like to look into the eyes of a people that hate you to your core? You should think about what your "mission" really is. You are being sent to invade and occupy a people who, like you and me, are only trying to live their lives and raise their kids. They pose no threat to the United States even though they have a brutal dictator as their leader. Who is the U.S. to tell the Iraqi people how to run their country when many in the U.S. don't even believe their own President was legally elected?

There is no honor in murder.

This war is murder by another name.

When, in an unjust war, an errant bomb dropped kills a mother and her child it is not "collateral damage," it is murder.

When, in an unjust war, a child dies of dysentery because a bomb damaged a sewage treatment plant, it is not "destroying enemy infrastructure," it is murder.

When, in an unjust war, a father dies of a heart attack because a bomb disrupted the phone lines so he could not call an ambulance, it is not "neutralizing command and control facilities," it is murder.

When, in an unjust war, a thousand poor farmer conscripts die in a trench defending a town they have lived in their whole lives, it is not victory, it is murder.

If the people of the world are ever to be free, there must come a time when being a citizen of the world takes precedence over being the soldier of a nation. Now is that time. When orders come to ship out, your response will profoundly impact the lives of millions of people in the Middle East and here at home.

Your response will help set the course of our future. You will have choices all along the way.

Your commanders want you to obey. We urge you to think. We urge you to make your choices based on your conscience.

If you choose to resist, we will support you and stand with you because we have come to understand that our REAL duty is to the people of the world and to our common future." (To see the full statement and view all the signatures see http://www.calltoconscience.net/.)

The choices that those in the military and their supporters face are hard ones. Let us begin with some undisputed options. Members of the armed forces are sworn to protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. They are also sworn to obey all LAWFUL orders and have an affirmative duty to DISOBEY all UNLAWFUL orders.

The unelected president will not tell his troops or his commanders that he is issuing unlawful orders. Few, if any, of the top commanders will tell their troops that they are issuing unlawful orders. Those on the front lines, those who fly the planes, those who target Cruise missiles and other weapons of mass destruction need to make decisions. According to International Law, Domestic Law, the Constitution, and various Moral Codes it is not enough to say or believe that one is just "doing their job" or just "following orders." Decisions have to be made.

One should check out the sources of information presented in this article, to see if International Law still applies to America, to see if the Constitution still applies, to see if the Pope and other national and international members of the clergy are right in their moral objections to this war, to see if the legal arguments are valid against the war or for the war.

One should investigate if they are being lied to by their unelected commander in chief. Members of the armed forces have a sworn and sacred duty to uphold the law and the Constitution. According to the laws, international, domestic, and moral, the interpretation of whether orders are legal are not only the responsibility of "superior officers," but is needed each level of command, and by those who execute those commands.

Please note that the information presented here is not meant to encourage one to break the law, but rather to follow international, domestic, and moral laws. The information here is not intended to encourage one to break one's oath but rather to be true to one's duty and conscience and make an informed decision.

If the decision is made that the orders to begin or continue the war are illegal, then each bomb dropped will be a war crime, each bomb loaded will be a war crime, each support effort will be aiding and abetting a crime.

Each death, especially that of a civilian, will be a war crime (not collateral damage).

If the war itself is a crime than all efforts that aid in that effort are criminal.

Given that over 50% of the people of Iraq are children under the age of 16, this will be a war against children and a crime against humanity.


The decision to obey one's oath and not follow illegal orders is no doubt a difficult one, and one that will probably result in punishment from those who issue the illegal orders.

One should not take this issue lightly, just as one should not take the decision to follow an illegal order lightly.

There will no doubt be consequences for those who follow their conscience. It is the duty of all who recognize the illegality of the war to support all resisters.

For examples on how hundreds of thousands of GIs resisted the illegal war in Vietnam (by the U.S. Governments own admission in the Pentagon Papers) read Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States," Chapter 18. For a personal account of a brave officer's resistance in Vietnam and later, see "Witness to War" by Charles Clement.

I am aware that many active duty personnel and reservist already have grave doubts and reservations about the conduct of this war, just as do significant numbers of veterans and the general public and citizenry. Those who have severe doubts about the legality of what they are "ordered" to do should talk to their comrades in arms, their spiritual advisor (if they have one), and should contact one of the groups listed below and weigh their options.

There may well be some safety in numbers. Albert Einstein, the genius physicist, once stated that if 2% of the military refused to fight or participate, the wars could not continue. Time is short. Or if you are reading this after the hostilities have commenced, it is time to stop the madness and war crimes.

At the end of this article there is contact information for organizations that have historically assisted active duty personnel, reservist, or veterans of conscience who desire specific legal, political, or moral guidance in time of war. If possible, these would be good organizations to contact. As the veterans "Call to Conscience" statement notes "if you have questions or doubts about your role in the military (for any reason) or in this war, help is available. Contact one of the organizations listed below. They can discuss your situation and concerns, give you information on your legal rights, and help you sort out your possible choices." These organizations are listed for your information and are not responsible for the contents of this article.

OATH OF OFFICE AND UNLAWFUL ORDERS

The military oath taken at the time of induction or commissioning reads:"I,____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God"

There is…considerable evidence that Bush's plans are fundamentally illegal, from both an international and domestic perspective. If the war is indeed illegal, members of the armed forces have a legal and moral obligation to resist illegal orders, according to their oath of induction.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 809.ART.90 (20), makes it clear that military personnel need to obey the "lawful command of his superior officer," 891.ART.91 (2), the "lawful order of a warrant officer", 892.ART.92 (1) the "lawful general order", 892.ART.92 (2) "lawful order". In each case, military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey Lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey Unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the UCMJ. The moral and legal obligation is to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders, especially if those orders are in direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ.

Among the international laws and treaties that a U.S. pre-emptive attack on Iraq may violate are:

The Hague Convention on Land Warfare of 1899, which was reaffirmed by the U.S. at the 1946 Nuremberg International Military Tribunals.

Resolution on the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons and Prevention of Nuclear War, adopted UN General Assembly, Dec 12, 1980.

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; December 9, 1948, Adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the UN General Assembly.

Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, adopted on August 12, 1949 by the Diplomatic Conference for the Establishment of International Conventions for the Protection of Victims of War.

Convention on the Prohibition of Military or any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, 1108 U.N.T.S. 151, Oct. 5, 1978.

THE CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS.

The Nuremberg Principles, which define as a crime against peace, "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 accomplishment of any of the forgoing."

For many of these treaties and others, see the Yale Avalon project at: www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/imt.htm

Also see a letter to Canadian soldiers sent by Hamilton Action for Social Change at: http://www.hwcn.org/link/hasc/letter_cf.html) . Though the citation is Canadian, all nations as signees to International Agreements and Conventions are bound by them, and obliged as a matter of law to abide by them.

As Hamilton Action for Social Change has noted "Under the Nuremberg Principles, you have an obligation NOT to follow the orders of leaders who are preparing crimes against peace and crimes against humanity.

We are all bound by what U.S. Chief Prosecutor Robert K. Jackson declared in 1948: [T]he very essence of the [Nuremberg] Charter is that individuals have intentional duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience imposed by the individual state." At the Tokyo War Crimes trial, it was further declared "[A]nyone with knowledge of illegal activity and an opportunity to do something about it is a potential criminal under international law unless the person takes affirmative measures to prevent commission of the crimes."

In a report written by Andrew Lichterman, John Burroughs, of the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy and the Western States Legal Foundation, and Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, New York, and Jules Lobel, Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh entitled "The United Nations Charter and the Use of Force Against Iraq," noted that:

"Under the UN Charter, there are only two circumstances in which the use of force is permissible: in collective or individual self-defense against an actual or imminent armed attack: and when the Security Council has directed or authorized use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security. Neither of those circumstances now exists.

Absent one of them, U.S. use of force against Iraq is unlawful."

The authors were specifically referring to Article 51 of the UN Charter on the right to self-defense. Nothing that Iraq has done would call that provision into effect. The report also states that:

"There is no basis in international law for dramatically expanding the concept of self-defense, as advocated in the Bush Administration's September, 2002 "National Security Strategy" to authorize "preemptive" - really preventive - strikes against states based on potential threats arising from possession or development of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons and links to terrorism. Such an expansion would destabilize the present system of UN Charter restraints on the use of force. Further, there is no claim or publicly disclosed evidence that Iraq is supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorist.

The Bush administration's reliance on the need for "regime change" in Iraq as a basis for use of force is barred by Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which prohibits "the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state." Thus the rationales being given to the world, the American public, and the armed forces are illegal on their face.
For a copy of this report see www.lcnp.org/global/iraqstatement3.htm.
Other articles demonstrating the illegality of this war can be found at:

http://deoxy.org/wc/wc-ilaw.htm and

www.lcnp.org/global/SCIraqletter.htm.

It is important to remember that Saddam Hussein was an important "ally" during the 1980s and that many of the weapons that may be faced by our armed forces will bear a "Made in the USA" label. The issue here is not the "evil' of Saddam Hussein, nor the international community doing nothing, but an illegal march to war by the Bush administration.

In addition to the violations of international laws, which have been incorporated into U.S. law, the… attack on Iraq is a direct violation of national law as Bush claims that he has the authority to decide whether the U.S. will go to war or not. The U.S. Constitution is very explicit on this point. Only the Congress has the authority to declare war, Congress does not have the right to give that power away, or to delegate that power to the president or anyone else.

The President as the "Commander in Chief" (Article 2, section 2, Par. 1) can command the armed forces in times of peace and war, but he does not have the authority to declare the war or determine if that war is to occur, especially if he is engaged in illegal conduct in violation of the Constitution itself or his oath of office. The Constitution spells out very clearly the responsibility of the President and his oath, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." (Article 2, section 2, Par. 8). The President also has the primary duty to make sure "that the laws be faithfully executed," (Article 2, section 3).

Above text excerpted and edited from International Law: a duty to disobey all unlawful orders, 9 March 2003, by Lawrence Mosqueda, Ph.D. http://electroniciraq.net/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/6/265/printer

THE LEGAL AND MORAL DILEMMA: Given that the actions of this nation in Iraq are without legal or moral merit; the contemplation of any military action against the state of Iran is unconscionable and it is time for the United States, citizenry at large and the military of this nation to put and end to the blind obedience flock mentality that now governs the attitudes and actions of this nation.

JOINT CONGRESSIONAL RESOLUTION: To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq.

"The resolution before us today is not only a product of haste; it is also a product of presidential hubris. This resolution is breathtaking in its scope. It redefines the nature of defense, and reinterprets the Constitution to suit the will of the Executive Branch. It would give the President blanket authority to launch a unilateral preemptive attack on a sovereign nation that is perceived to be a threat to the United States. This is an unprecedented and unfounded interpretation of the President's authority under the Constitution, not to mention the fact that it stands the charter of the United Nations on its head."

Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, remarks made on the floor of the U.S. Senate, October 3, 2002).

He was 100% correct! The Failed, Falsification, Fabrication Filled, Corrupt Error Laden Document.

IRAQ WAR RESOLUTION
107th CONGRESS2d SessionH. J. RES. 114Passed: October 11, 2002

JOINT RESOLUTION

To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq.

Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq's war of aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq;

Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism; Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;

Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998;

Whereas in Public Law 105-235 (August 14, 1998), Congress concluded that Iraq's continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in `material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations' and urged the President `to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations';

Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolution of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people; Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;

Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq; Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens;

Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;

Whereas Iraq's demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 (1990) and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 (1991), repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 (1991), and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949 (1994);

Whereas in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1), Congress has authorized the President `to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolution 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677';

Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it `supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1),' that Iraq's repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and`constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region,' and that Congress, `supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688';

Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;

Whereas on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the United States to `work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge' posed by Iraq and to `work for the necessary resolutions,' while also making clear that `the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable';

Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq's ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary;

Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40); and
Whereas it is in the national security interests of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This joint resolution may be cited as the `Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002'.

SEC. 2. SUPPORT FOR UNITED STATES DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS. The Congress of the United States supports the efforts by the President to—

(1) strictly enforce through the United Nations Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq and encourages him in those efforts; and

(2) obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

(a) AUTHORIZATION- The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to—

(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and

(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

(b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION- In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that—

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and

(2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

(c) War Powers Resolution Requirements-

(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

(2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this joint resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.

SEC. 4. REPORTS TO CONGRESS.

(a) REPORTS- The President shall, at least once every 60 days, submit to the Congress a report on matters relevant to this joint resolution, including actions taken pursuant to the exercise of authority granted in section 3 and the status of planning for efforts that are expected to be required after such actions are completed, including those actions described in section 7 of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338).

(b) SINGLE CONSOLIDATED REPORT- To the extent that the submission of any report described in subsection (a) coincides with the submission of any other report on matters relevant to this joint resolution otherwise required to be submitted to Congress pursuant to the reporting requirements of the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), all such reports may be submitted as a single consolidated report to the Congress.

(c) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- To the extent that the information required by section 3 of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) is included in the report required by this section, such report shall be considered as meeting the requirements of section 3 of such resolution.

Laws And treaties violated by President George W. Bush, Vice-President Richard Cheney, public officials under their authority, and members of the U.S. military under their command

The U. S. Constitution, Art. VI, para. 2, makes treaties adopted by the U.S. part of the “law of the land.” Thus, a violation of the U. N. Charter, Hague IV, Geneva Conventions, etc. is also a violation of U.S. federal law.

U.S. Federal Law 18 U.S.C. § 2441 (War Crimes Act of 1996) makes committing a war crime, defined as: “…a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party…” punishable by fine, imprisonment, or death.

And the following treaties and charters which define: wars of aggression, war crimes, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity:

Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV)
Art. 55. The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator…of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.

U.N. Gen. Assembly Res. 3314
Defines the crime of aggression as “... the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State…or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations…”

Nuremberg Tribunal Charter
Principle VI: “The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
(a) Crimes against peace: Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties;

(b) War crimes: …murder, ill-treatment…of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war,…plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages…

(c) Crimes against humanity: Murder, extermination…and other inhuman acts done against any civilian population…when such acts are done…in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.”

Geneva Conventions

A) Protocol I, Article 75: “(1)…persons who are in the power of a Party to the conflict…shall be treated humanely in all circumstances…(2) The following acts are and shall remain prohibited…whether committed by civilian or by military agents: (a) violence to the life, health, or physical or mental well-being of persons…(b) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, enforced prostitution and any form of indecent assault…and threats to commit any of the foregoing acts.”

B) Protocol I, Art. 51: “The civilian population…shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.” Art. 57: (parties shall) “do everything feasible to verify that the objectives to be attacked are neither civilians nor civilian objects…an attack shall be cancelled or suspended if it becomes apparent that the objective is not a military one…”

C) Protocol I, Art. 70: “The Parties to the conflict…shall allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded passage of all relief consignments, equipment and personnel…even if such assistance is destined for the civilian population of the adverse Party.”

D) Protocol I, Art. 35: “In any armed conflict, the right of the Parties…to choose methods or means of warfare is not unlimited…It is prohibited to employ methods or means of warfare which are intended, or may be expected, to cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the environment.”

E) Convention I, Art. 3: “Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms… shall in all circumstances be treated humanely...To this end, the following acts (in addition to those listed in Art. 75, above) are and shall remain prohibited:…the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.”

F) Convention III, Art. 5: “Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy (are prisoners of war under this Convention), such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.”

G) Convention IV, Art. 33: “No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”

A Duty to Disobey All Unlawful Orders

As the United States government under George Bush gets closer to attacking the people of Iran, there are several things that the men and women of the U.S. armed forces need to know and bear in mind as they are given orders from the Bush administration. This information is provided for the use of the members of the armed forces, their families, friends and supporters, and all who are concerned about the current direction of U.S. policy toward Iraq and Iran.

The military oath taken at the time of induction reads:
"I,____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God"

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 809.ART.90 (20), makes it clear that military personnel need to obey the "lawful command of his superior officer," 891.ART.91 (2), the "lawful order of a warrant officer", 892.ART.92 (1) the "lawful general order", 892.ART.92 (2) "lawful order". In each case, military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey Lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey Unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the UCMJ. The moral and legal obligation is to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders, especially if those orders are in direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ.

The 3 types of orders a Soldier is allowed to disobey are..


1. Illegal
2. Immoral
3. Unethical

There is no question that grounds for our American Servicemen and women and officers in particular to disobey this President clearly exist. In Iraq they did not save a few isolated cases. If the order to attack Iran is given it is time for the military to support the Constitution, be faithful to their oaths and this nation. We will stand behind that decision.
Also listed below are sources of information that may be useful about the current situation, in addition to the sources listed in the article.

SUGGESTED RESOURCES:

BOOKS on foreign policy

Noam Chomsky, especially Deterring Democracy, 9/11, Rouge States

Phyllis Bennis, Before and After: U.S. Foreign Policy and the September 11 Crisis

Gilbert Achcar, The Clash of Barbarisms: September 11 and the Making of the New World Disorder

William Blum, Killing Hope

Dilip Hiro, Iraq, In the Eye of the Storm

WEB SITES

Alternative News and analysis,
http://www.commondreams.org/ http://www.alternet.org/; http://www.fair.org/

Alternative Analysis, mailto:www.globalexchange.org%3B mailto:www.znet.org

Middle East Analysis, http://www.merip.org/;http://www.foreignpolicy-infocus.org/index.html

English Reports from Iraq,http://www.iraqjournal.org/jeremybio.html

ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE HELPED GIs IN THE PAST (Some are religious, some political, some pacifist) Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (CCCO) The GI Rights Hotline (800) 394-9544 (215) 563-4620 Fax (510) 465-2459 630 Twentieth Street #302 Oakland, CA 94612 girights@objector.org http://girights.objector.org/whoweare.html

American Friends Service Committee-National 1501 Cherry Street Philadelphia, PA 19102 Phone: (215) 241-7000 Fax: (215) 241-7275 afscinfo@afsc.org mailto:www.afsc.org

American Friends Service Committee--New England Region 2161 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge, MA 02140 617-661-6130 maito://afscnero@afsc.org/

Center on Conscience & War (NISBCO) 1830 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009 Tel: (202) 483-2220 Fax: (202) 483-1246 Email: nisbco@nisbco.orgmailto:%2F%2Fwww.nisbco.org%2F

Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild 1168 Union Street, Suite 200 San Diego, CA 92101 619-233-1701

National Lawyers Guild, National Office 143 Madison Ave 4th Fl., New York NY 10016 212-679-5100 FAX 212 679-2811 nlgno@nlg.org http://www.nlg.org/

Northcoast WRL / Humboldt Committee for Conscientious Objectors (NCWRL-HCCO) 1040 H Street Arcata, CA 95521 707-826-0165 HCCO-Help@sbcglobal.net

Quaker House of Fayetteville, NC 223 Hillside Ave Fayetteville, NC 28301 910-323-3912 or 919-663-7122

Seattle Draft and Military Counseling PO Box 20604 Seattle, WA 98102 206-789-2751 sdmcc@scn.org

War Resisters League 339 Lafayette Street New York, NY 10012 212-228-0450 or 800-975-9688 wrl@warresisters.org http://www.warresisters.org/

Veterans Call to Conscience 4742 42nd Ave. SW #142 Seattle, WA 98116-4553 CallToConscience@yahoo.com http://www.oz.net/~vvawai/CtC/

Veterans for Common Sense http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/

National Contacts http://www.veteransforcommonsense.org/contacts.asp

Citizen Soldier 267 Fifth Ave., Suite 901 New York, NY 10016 Phone (212) 679-2250 Fax (212) 679-2252 www.citizen-soldier.org/

Fellowship of Reconciliation P.O. Box 271,NY, NY 10960 845-358-4601 Fax:(845) 358-4924 E-mail: for@forusa.org http://www.forusa.org/

Catholic Peace Fellowship P.O. Box 41 Notre Dame, Indiana 46556-004 574-631-7666 info@catholicpeacefellowship.org; http://www.catholicpeacefellowship.org/

Peace Education Office of Mennonite Central Committee MCC US 21 S. 12th Street Akron, PA 17501-0500 717-859-3889 tmp@mccus.org http://www.mcc.org/ask-a-vet/index.html

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