Thursday, September 18, 2008

Recommendations From Bush War Crimes Prosecution Conference
Submitted by davidswanson on Thu, 2008-09-18 15:01. Criminal Prosecution
By Sherwood Ross

ANDOVER , MASS. (Special) -- Twenty recommendations made at a conference on prosecuting President George Bush for war crimes are under consideration for action, according to conference convener Lawrence Velvel, a prominent law school dean.

"Attendees discussed the violations of international and domestic law that were committed and are now studying recommendations for action," said Velvel. “All of us feel that those who committed war crimes and other crimes against humanity must be held accountable," he said. “The continued viability of Nuremberg Principles barring aggressive war and torture depends on it.”

More than 120 public officials, lawyers, academics, and authorities on the U.S. Constitution and international law attended the two day conference, which was held in Andover , Massachusetts on September 13th and 14th.

The conference resulted in recommendations ranging from asking the next U.S. Attorney General to prosecute Bush, to having any of some 2,700 county district attorneys launch proceedings against him for murder, to having Bush prosecuted for war crimes in other countries.

A newly formed committee will decide which of the suggestions can practicably be pursued.

The complete list of possible actions is:

1. Working for the election of district attorneys who pledge to prosecute high level war criminals for murder under state law, and working for the reelection of district attorneys who pledge to prosecute such criminals for murder.

2. Working for the election of state attorneys general who pledge to prosecute high level war criminals for murder under state law.

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5. Requesting state bar authorities to disbar the lawyers who were part of the executive cabal to authorize torture and other abuses that are crimes under international law, domestic law, or both.

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7. Asking universities to conduct hearings on whether certain individuals (e.g., John Yoo, Jack Goldsmith) should be dismissed from faculties for aiding and abetting criminal acts.

8. A march of many thousands of American lawyers on the Department of Justice (a la Civil Rights or Viet Nam war marches or the million man march). The purpose of the march would be to highlight lawyers’ belief that crimes were committed and must be punished.

9. Seeking prosecutions of high level war criminals before foreign courts or before international tribunals such as the International Criminal Court.

10. Asking the next federal Attorney General to prosecute war criminals.

11. Seeking major congressional investigations of what occurred.

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14. Impeachment, even after the culprits leave office. And, unless he resigns from the federal bench, Jay Bybee, who collaborated with John Yoo on the first torture papers, will still be in office after the election.

15. Legislative or judicial action to dramatically cut back on, and sometimes totally eliminate, the present vast overuse by the federal government of the state secrets doctrine, executive privilege and other such doctrines.

16. Repeal of immunity amendments (which, even if not repealed, may have tremendous holes in them with regard to federal prosecutions, are unlikely to have any immunizing effect at the state level (though they may nonetheless be claimed as a defense), and whose only effect on foreign and international prosecutions would be to encourage them because these amendments indicate that the American federal government (like the governments of Argentina and Chile for many years) refuses to take action against federal criminals.

17. Resisting pardons, particularly advance pardons by Bush or the next president before there are convictions.

18. Creating an office of Chief Prosecutor(s), with Vince Bugliosi as Chief Prosecutor for domestic actions and perhaps a Co-Chief Prosecutor, with international prosecutorial experience, as Chief Prosecutor for foreign and international actions. This office would handle prosecutions in which governmental officials are willing to use “our” designated chief prosecutor as the lead lawyer, and would advise governmental prosecutors who desire to handle the prosecutions themselves but are willing to use “our” chief prosecutor as an adviser...


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