Criminal Nation: Obama and Trump Both Should Be Jailed for War Crimes

It is as if the Gambino and Genovese crime families were arguing their turf disputes in the courts and the news media. The Democrats are screaming bloody murder over President Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey, whom Hillary Clinton still blames for her defeat at the polls and whom the bipartisan War Party has never forgiven for Comey’s earlier hesitancy to blame the Russians for the same offense.

Now that Trump has cut Comey loose — ostensibly for his handling of the Clinton emails scandal, according to three letters sent by Trump and his two top Justice Department officials – the Democrats have stepped up calls for a special prosecutor to continue the evidence-less crusade against the Kremlin.

It’s the Saturday Night Massacre all over again, cry the Democrats, harkening back to the weekend in 1973 when President Nixon fired Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. But this is not about the rule of law — quite the opposite: it’s about continuing the momentum of the U.S. military offensive begun in 2011 under President Obama, a wholly illegal aggression that has destroyed Libya, killed half a million Syrians, delivered vast regions to the control of the two feuding factions of al-Qaida, and brought the world closer to nuclear annihilation than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis.

“This is not about the rule of law — it’s about continuing the momentum of the U.S. military offensive begun in 2011 under President Obama.”

The War Party is determined to make the offensive permanent, to keep up the pressure on the ultimate targets, Russia and China, until they break or capitulate to U.S. domination of the world. The current, rabid anti-Russian hysteria adds another layer of fake news on top of the wholly fictional U.S. “War on Terror” scenario. But these mega-lies can no longer mask the great obscenity of the 21st century: that the U.S. is allied with al-Qaida, whose jihadists act as imperialism’s foot soldiers in the Middle East.

Donald Trump thought last month’s attack on Syria had bought him immunity, or at least a respite, from the wrath of the War Party, which was determined to burn him at the political stake — not for his raging racism and hostility to civil liberties, but for his previously stated opposition to “regime change” and never-ending tensions with Russia. Trump’s 59-missile salvo against a Syrian airbase was supposed to wipe the slate clean and forgive his heresies against the extralegal rights of the “exceptional” U.S. empire. But apparently, there is no statute of limitations on even the suggestion of peaceful coexistence with targeted states.

“The current, rabid anti-Russian hysteria adds another layer of fake news on top of the wholly fictional U.S. ‘War on Terror’ scenario.”

And now, in an almost laughable legalistic perversion, a group of lawyers from the Obama White House, of all places, is suing the Trump administration for failing to provide sufficient legal rationale for last month’s Tomahawk hit on Syria. The lawyers at United to Protect Democracy claim their insider knowledge of “how the federal government works” gives them unique insights on “implementing and enforcing the norms that have constrained presidential power for decades” – although they never constrained Obama from his own lurch towards apocalypse, in 2011. Indeed, these legal hit-men for empire acknowledge as much, admitting (or bragging?) that “we defended past presidents against legitimate oversight and illegitimate attacks.” The self-styled “watchdog” group does not list its board or members on its website, but their admission implicates them in Obama’s legal defense of his regime change assault on Libya. The U.S.-NATO bombing campaign, which killed an estimated 50,000 people, destroyed the country’s infrastructure, resulted in the murder of its chief of state, empowered jihadist militias, and unleashed a torrent of arms across Africa and the Middle East, nevertheless did not violate the War Powers Act because

“U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve U.S. ground troops,” wrote Obama’s lawyers.

When challenged by Congress, Obama maintained that the war on Libya was not a war at all, because no Americans were killed.

“This ‘proxy war’ was never a secret and was always a clear violation of the United Nations Charter.”

Like synchronized dancers, the U.S. and its allies pivoted immediately to Syria, where they attempted to use much the same formula — jihadists + arms + financing + CIA training + political protection at the UN — to overthrow the Bashar al-Assad government. This “proxy war,” which involved U.S. military and intelligence personnel on the ground from the very start, was never a secret and was always a clear violation of the United Nations Charter, which the U.S. is legally obligated to uphold. Nations are forbidden to use force against other nations except in self-defense or with the authorization of the UN Security Council. Unlike in Libya, the U.S. did not have the fig leaf of enforcing a UN-authorized “no-fly zone” in Syria. Yet, there was hardly a peep from any but a handful of Democrats, and therefore no need for Obama’s in-house lawyers to defend their Chief against charges of aggressive war, the most serious of international crimes.

In 2013, after Syria was falsely blamed for a chemical attack on civilians, Obama threatened to directly bomb Syrian forces. His lawyers were prepared to argue that an attack on Syria could be justified – like Bill Clinton’s bombing of Kosovo in 1999 – on vague grounds of eliminating a threat to peace. But of course, the greatest threat to peace is aggressive war, of which the United States was already — and chronically — guilty. In the end, Obama decided to ask Congress for authorization to bomb, and then changed his mind when the Russians offered to broker destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles. But, like all U.S. presidents, and with no grounds under international law, Obama insisted that Commanders-in-Chief have the right to bomb other countries to defend U.S. “national security” based on their own judgment — another legal nonsensicality.

“Obama maintained that the war on Libya was not a war at all, because no Americans were killed.”

So, the legal mercenaries of United to Protect Democracy, veterans of Obama’s 2011 military offensive, have no problem with violating international law. Their beef with Trump appears to be that he did not provide sufficient legal rationale for his bombing Syria – which is different than actually obeying international law. Trump’s people issued what are described as “talking points” to explain his actions against Syria. But former White House lawyer Justin Florence, the group’s legal director, wrote that this is not enough:

“The U.S. government must publicly articulate its legal theory in order to uphold the international legal framework we have relied on for so many years as a constraint on other states.”

The UN Charter is clear on what constitutes aggression. Trump is an aggressor. So were Obama, and Bush (the UN Secretary General said so), and so was Clinton. Since the U.S. is a superpower and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the UN will never authorize the international community to punish the U.S. for its crimes. But, that does not absolve the U.S. of criminality — and humanity’s collective memory and conscience will never forgive the United States for the crushing of nations and the death of millions. The Democratic Party hacks with law degrees at United to Protect Democracy are concerned, not about peace, but that U.S. presidents go through the motions of rationalizing their imperial crimes. Say something that sounds good, they urge. Convince the American public that it’s OK for the U.S. to claim life and death powers over the rest of humanity. Make an effort, why don’t ya?

“Humanity’s collective memory and conscience will never forgive the United States for the crushing of nations and the death of millions.”

These “watchdogs’” real problem with Trump is that he has not bothered to commission creative lawyers like themselves to provide lofty wordage to justify the indefensible. He has not taken care to skillfully market U.S. imperial aggression to its home population. This may not be impeachable, but it is embarrassing and unbefitting of an “exceptional” empire.

Ajamu Baraka, the 2016 Green Party vice presidential candidate and an editor and columnist at Black Agenda Report, wrote in this issue of BAR:

“The absence of any real opposition to the reckless use of U.S. military force — the attack on Syria, the macho demonstration bombing in Afghanistan, the provocations toward North Korea — exposed once again the unanimity among the U.S. ruling class and the state on the use of military force as the main strategy to enforce its global interests.”

The American public does not think of itself as bloodthirsty, but it has a huge tolerance for the spilling of other people’s blood. Americans also have a peculiar sense of entitlement.

“Imperial privilege is this strange ability on the part of the U.S. public to ‘shrug off’ the consequences experienced by people impacted by the direct and indirect result of U.S. militarism,” Baraka writes.

Obama’s former lawyers at United to Protect Democracy understand that Americans demand only that politicians use pretty words to justify the barbarities committed in their name. If you stick with the formula, the template, and make Americans feel exceptional, then you can bomb the hell out of the rest of the world, at will.


2017-05-10

By Glen Ford

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.
Glen Ford’s blog

Source: Black Agenda Report

Save 

READ MORE!
International Law? The Americans don’t give a Damn
The United States of America has sunk to a new low in diplomacy and civilized relations between nation states with its demand that Russia close its consular missions in San Francisco, Washington and New York, quickly followed by its order that the consular staff leave the premises while the FBI conducted a search of the premises and staffers personal apartments. To order the closure of a mission, or to order the withdrawal of a member of diplomatic staff, is within its right but a search of consular property is not. It is a flagrant violation of the Vienna Convention on ...
READ MORE
The Ancient Spiritual Roots of Russophobia
Introduction The term “russophobia” (the hatred and/or fear of things Russian) has become rather popular in the recent years, courtesy of the anti-Russian hysteria of the AngloZionist Empire, but this is hardly a new concept. In his seminal book “Russie-Occident – une guerre de mille ans: La russophobie de Charlemagne à la Crise Ukrainienne” (“The West vs Russia – a thousand year long war: russophobia from Charlemange to the Ukrainian Crisis”) which I recently reviewed here, Guy Mettan places the roots of russophobia as early as the times of Charlemagne. How could that be? That would mean that russophobia predates the ...
READ MORE
Five Times Corporate Media got Caught Publishing “Fake News” Causing the Death and Suffering of Millions
A now-notorious list of ostensibly “fake” news sites — created by a liberal professor, seemingly out of thin air — spread like wildfire online in the past two days and was eagerly reprinted by corporate media presstitutes hoping to vindicate their own failed reporting on the 2016 election. But branding perfectly legitimate outlets with the same scarlet letter as those devoid of integrity deemed the professor’s list a spurious attempt to defame alternative and independent media — anyone dissenting from the left’s mainstream narrative — as a whole. This is, in no uncertain terms, a hit list — or, at least, a laughable attempt — and ...
READ MORE
Brainwashed Nation
The United States is immersed in a political St. Vitus’s dance typical of empires in convulsion. The confident colossus that watched its arch-rival disintegrate from 1989-1991 now has its highest office occupied by a malevolent clown enabled by supporters befitting a casting call for a Hieronymous Bosch panel. The liberal class gnashes its teeth and blames Trump, the Koch brothers, the Tea Party. But the shock is hardly credible. The current political trap befits a country that internalized its own Cold War propaganda campaign from 1945-1991. The unrelenting flow of messages aimed at keeping Americans fearful and accommodating debased our ...
READ MORE
Democratizing the US Constitution: An Idea Worth Considering
The grandees of the Republican Party are on the ropes. Donald Trump has them by the balls, but, even without Trump, they would be in what Bush the Father would call deep “do-do.” Any Republican candidate for President whom two-thirds of the electorate could abide would be anathema to the one-third that Republicans have recruited into their rank and file. Mitt Romney was the final straw. The establishment’s situation is so pitiful that even Chris Christie is starting to look good to them. If his candidacy survives into the Spring, late night TV comedians will rejoice; others, not so much. Ted Cruz remains ...
READ MORE
Making America Great Through Exploitation, Servitude and Abuse
The public denunciation by thousands of women and a few men that they had been victims of sexual abuse by their economic bosses raises fundamental issues about the social relations of American capitalism. The moral offenses are in essence economic and social crimes. Sexual abuse is only one aspect of the social dynamics facilitating the increase in inequality and concentration of wealth, which define the practices and values of the American political and economic system. Billionaires and mega-millionaires are themselves the products of intense exploitation of tens of millions of isolated and unorganized wage and salaried workers. Capitalist exploitation is based on ...
READ MORE
Can Russia Survive Washington’s Attack?
It is not only American generals who are irresponsible and declare on the basis of no evidence whatsoever that “Russia is an existential threat to the United States” and also to the Baltic states, Poland, Georgia, Ukraine, and all of Europe. British generals also participate in the warmongering.  UK retired general and former NATO commander Sir Richard Shirreff, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in Europe until 2014, has just declared that nuclear war with Russia is “entirely possible” within the year.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3596977/The-outbreak-nuclear-war-year-West-Putin-entirely-plausible-says-former-NATO-chief-promoting-novel-2017-war-Russia.html My loyal readers know that I, myself, have been warning for some time about the likelihood of nuclear war.  ...
READ MORE
The Balkans: Endurance and Endeavour. Resistance to Foreign Oppression
I travel frequently to the countries which once made up the now defunct Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, satisfying a passion of mine that stems back to my childhood days. For me, the Balkans’ history, its people and its cultures are both enigmatic and magnetic, as they have been, too, for countless others, of many nationalities, over centuries gone by.  Accounting for the enchantment of the Balkans, its captivating allure, is a challenge to put into writing. Because no words can truly embellish what is one of the most absorbing parts of the world. To understand and feel what it is ...
READ MORE
Colour Revolutions: Made in?
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations. Save
READ MORE
Here’s your ‘Putin Did It!’ Survival Guide…
As the Duran reported, it was only a matter of time before the ‘Putin Did It’ (see The Duran Lexicon for more) line crept back into the news in light of a re-opened FBI investigation, following the discovery more incriminating Hillary Clinton emails. Sure enough, Howard Dean, the man who ended his own presidential campaign by acting like a crazed hooligan on stage, has said that now the FBI and Putin are on the same side. This comes days after Putin reassured the world that he really doesn’t want, need or care to meddle in the US election. Of course the usual suspects in the western ...
READ MORE
Democracy
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.   Save Save
READ MORE
What About Apologizing To Ukraine, Mrs. Nuland?
Yesterday’s leak of the flagrant telephone talk between the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt has already hit the international media headlines. In short, it turned out that the US officials were coordinating their actions on how to install a puppet government in Ukraine. In this flagrant telephone talk between the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt agreed to nominate Bat’kyvshchina Party leader Arseniy Yatseniuk as Deputy Prime Minister, to bench Udar Party leader Vitaly Klitschko off the game for a ...
READ MORE
Why Israel is Blocking Access to its Archives
Israel is concealing vital records to prevent darkest periods in its history from coming to light, academics say Al-Jazeera – 9 June 2016 Israel is locking away millions of official documents to prevent the darkest episodes in its history from coming to light, civil rights activists and academics have warned as the country’s state archives move online. They claim government officials are concealing vital records needed for historical research, often in violation of Israeli law, in an effort to avoid damaging Israel’s image. The Israeli army has long claimed to be the “most moral” in the world. Accusations of increased secrecy come as Israel marks ...
READ MORE
Western Warmongers Killed 1.5 Million Muslims In “War On Terror”
“I believe the perception caused by civilian casualties is one of the most dangerous enemies we face.” – U.S. General Stanley A. McCrystal in his inaugural speech as ISAF Commander in June 2009. The dust had hardly settled on Russian airstrikes on ISIS positions in Syria before Western media reports claimed that ‘civilians’ had been killed “including women and children”. Leaving aside the dubious nature of these allegations – the first of which was made before Russian airstrikes had even begun, according to Putin – Western propaganda outlets and the politicians they serve are in no position to point the finger at Russia ...
READ MORE
NATO: Seeking Russia’s Destruction Since 1949
In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, U.S. president George H. W. Bush through his secretary of state James Baker promised Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev that in exchange for Soviet cooperation on German reunification, the Cold War era NATO alliance would not expand “one inch” eastwards towards Russia. Baker told Gorbachev: “Look, if you remove your [300,000] troops [from east Germany] and allow unification of Germany in NATO, NATO will not expand one inch to the east.” In the following year, the USSR officially dissolved itself. Its own defensive military alliance (commonly known as the Warsaw Pact) had already ...
READ MORE
The Relationship Between Washington And ISIS: The Evidence
Reports that US and British aircraft carrying arms to ISIS have been shot down by Iraqi forces have been met with shock and denial in western countries. Few in the Middle East doubt that Washington is playing a ‘double game’ with its proxy armies in Syria, but some key myths remain important amongst the significantly more ignorant western audiences. A central myth is that Washington now arms ‘moderate Syrian rebels’, to both overthrow the Syrian Government and supposedly defeat the ‘extremist rebels’. This claim became more important in 2014, when the rationale of US aggression against Syria shifted from ‘humanitarian intervention’ ...
READ MORE
Kosovo: An evil little war (almost) all US candidates liked
Although the 2016 presidential election is still in the primaries phase, contenders have already brought up America’s failed foreign wars. Hillary Clinton is taking flak over Libya, and Donald Trump has irked the GOP by bringing up Iraq. But what of Kosovo? The US-led NATO operation that began on March 24, 1999 was launched under the “responsibility to protect” doctrine asserted by President Bill Clinton and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. For 78 days, NATO targeted what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – which later split into Serbia and Montenegro – over alleged atrocities against ethnic Albanians in the ...
READ MORE
Serbia’s Sovereignty as a Nation State: Serbia does not need a ‘Dialogue’ on Kosovo
“Now that the global circumstances have changed, and when the United States and NATO are losing their influence, and while the powers that are in favor of preserving Kosovo and Metohija – such as Russia and China – are strengthening, we are nevertheless pursuing a policy of complete surrender.” The aim of the internal dialogue conducted by the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, should be to distribute responsibilities and to be the cover for the final surrender of Kosovo and Metohija. The government constantly assures us that it will never recognize Kosovo as an independent State, but here we must point out the ...
READ MORE
Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes Speech
International Law? The Americans don’t give a Damn
The Ancient Spiritual Roots of Russophobia
Five Times Corporate Media got Caught Publishing “Fake News” Causing the Death and Suffering of Millions
Brainwashed Nation
Two Presidents: A Difference
Democratizing the US Constitution: An Idea Worth Considering
Making America Great Through Exploitation, Servitude and Abuse
Can Russia Survive Washington’s Attack?
The Balkans: Endurance and Endeavour. Resistance to Foreign Oppression
Colour Revolutions: Made in?
Here’s your ‘Putin Did It!’ Survival Guide…
Democracy
What About Apologizing To Ukraine, Mrs. Nuland?
Why Israel is Blocking Access to its Archives
Western Warmongers Killed 1.5 Million Muslims In “War On Terror”
NATO: Seeking Russia’s Destruction Since 1949
The Relationship Between Washington And ISIS: The Evidence
Kosovo: An evil little war (almost) all US candidates liked
Serbia’s Sovereignty as a Nation State: Serbia does not need a ‘Dialogue’ on Kosovo