June 22, 2007
I confess to being uncomfortable when I bought this book, which addresses in a very comprehensive way the degree to which the US Government and the US military as well as intelligence, mercenary, and corporate personnel, are committing war crimes.
I want to say up front, that as best I can tell; our brave and professional troops are in fact making lemonade from lemons, and doing the best they can. However, they all realize that they and all the world was lied to by the Bush Administration, that this is about oil, and that they are killing civilians and many children for no good reason, due to the horrible circumstances that we have created by remaining there. According to this book, suicides are up 40%, there are 6000 deserters, and seamen recruits are *winning* when court-martialed for refusing to obey illegal orders to go to Iraq.
The editors have done a superb job of bringing together a collection of proven individuals including President Jimmy Carter, Senator Robert Byrd, Daniel Ellsberg, Sy Hersh, a group of US Generals (retired) protesting the White House mandated torture, and a wide variety of individual experts on war crimes.
The book opens with a discussion of three kinds of war crime:
1) Wars of aggression, i.e. unprovoked, pre-emptive, unjustified
2) Violations of humanitarian law
3) Crimes against humanity
You can read the book for the details. Suffice to say that they set the stage with objective factual discussion, and then proceed to document, most ably, the reality that the United States of America is now a war criminal in the larger context of humanity. What is being done “in our name” is immoral, reprehensible, unconstitutional, impeachable, and–to my great dismay–largely ignored by the majority of our adult population.
A few highlights from this easy to read collection of relatively short (2-4 page) pieces:
Ellsberg: Loyalty to the Constitution must take precedence at all levels. Like Viet-Nam, we are now realizing that the current regime cannot be trusted and can blunder strategically because the balance of power is out the door. Only We the People can demand a restoration of liberty & justice for all, with respect for the Constitutional limits to federal power.
Carter: Iraq war is an unjust illegal war. He says this as a President and as a Christian and as a loyal American who reveres the Constitution.
Herbert: Pentagon is “shopping for wars” even as Iraq hollows it out. They have even discussed surprise unprovoked military attacks whose only justification is the possibility of collecting intelligence. As an intelligence expert, I can afford that the secret intelligence community is largely worthless and costs over $60 billion a year, but I can also assert that for less than $5 billion a year, I can not only provide 96% of all the intelligence we need from open sources in 183 languages, but I can also provide free online education and free cell phone answers from reachback help desks in India.
Hersh: we and Israel plan to invade Iran regardless of what the facts are and regardless of what the American people believe or desire. Talking to Pentagon sources, Hersh sees us funding and training death squads around the world, turning the world into what one senior official called a “global free fire zone.”
Retired Generals: Torture was “top down” decision and command, not a few bottom up “rotten apples.”
Various: US using illegal weapons, including depleted uranium and napalm, in Iraq and elsewhere.
FBI emails (redacted): Military interrogators practicing torture impersonated FBI special agents, meaning that the FBI instead of DoD would be nailed in the public eye. FBI appears to have honored its own higher standards and not followed the idiot Gonzalez (then White House Counsel).
Center: detailed case against Donald Rumsfeld for ordering, funding, and knowing of war crimes at all levels of command. Why they did not go after Bush and even more so, Dick Cheney, whose 25 high crimes and offenses have been itemized in my reviews of ONE PERCENT and VICE.
Roberts: No one left to stop them (within the government)
Falk speaks about accountability.
The book ends with four recommendations:
1) Halt the war crimes
2) Bring the war criminals to justice
3) Draw the lessons (the most obvious: don't throw stones if you live in a glass house)
4) Establish barriers to future war crimes.
A one-page appendix lists 22 relevant substantive web sites containing additional information.
Sadly, as good as this book is, it is a cry in the wilderness. It is not being used by any major transpartisan organization (such as Reuniting America and its members Moral Majority, the ACLU, MoveOn, and others totaling 110 individual members in all).
I truly grieve over how low our Nation has gone. The Republic no longer exists–every politician–every single one–is in violation of the Constitution and impeachable for their dereliction of duty in allowing Cheney and his puppet Bush to wreak havoc on the world and on our own citizens, whose loss of moral standing, national treasure, and an assured future will take at least a quarter century to remediate.
See my lists for a fast survey of books relevant to impeachment, to judging Cheney, to the good and the bad of religion within affairs of state, on why they hate us, and so on. If there is one slim chance for our future, it is that on this 4th of July we will all declare our independence from this illegal White House, demand the immediate resignations of these two war criminals (who, not incidentally, stole two elections in a row), and reconstitute the government by forcing all those now in Congress to either pass Electoral Reform prior to November 2008, or be recalled and “ordered home.”
The monkey is now on our backs. What are we going to do?
EDITED 4 Sep 07 to use new link capability to add other recommended books and DVDs.
Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror
Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency
Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil
Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory
9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA, Fourth Edition
9/11 Mysteries Part 1: Demolitions
9/11: Press For Truth
Aftermath: Unanswered Questions from 9/11