Friday, May 12, 2006

the 1940's were so quaint, darling...

Lest we forget. There are parallels with today in the methodologies and ideas behind the horrors of the Third Reich. It appears there are no similar parallels in the application of law.
The challenge is not so much to haul Bush, Blair and cohorts before an International Tribunal or before an International Court. The International will is not evident, is overwhelmed by the US/UK axis of threat, intimidation, lies and propaganda.
The challenge is to understand how it is that this has been done, why there is insufficient collective outrage, how we can expose that and how we can integrate and extend resistance to the erosion of the principles which underpin our very being.

Nuremberg.

"...the very essence of the Charter is that individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience imposed by the individual State".
Judgment of the International Military Tribunal for the Trial of German Major War Criminals: The Law of the Charter

Report to the President by Mr. Justice Jackson, October 7, 1946
"We negotiated and concluded an Agreement with the four dominant powers of the earth, signed at London on August 8, 1945, which for the first time made explicit and unambiguous what was theretofore, as the Tribunal has declared, implicit in International Law, namely, that to prepare, incite, or wage a -war of aggression, or to conspire with others to do so, is a crime against international society, and that to persecute, oppress, or do violence to individuals or minorities on political, racial, or religious grounds in connection with such a war, or to exterminate, enslave, or deport civilian populations, is an international crime, and that for the commission of such crimes individuals are responsible. This agreement also won the adherence of nineteen additional nations and represents the combined judgments of the overwhelming majority of civilized people. It is a basic charter in the International Law of the future."
"A judgment such as has been rendered shifts the power of the precedent to the support of these rules of law. No one can hereafter deny or fail to know that the principles on which the Nazi leaders are adjudged to forfeit their lives constitute law and law with a sanction."
"They resorted to legal devices such as "protective custody," which Goering frankly said meant the arrest of people not because they had committed any crime but because of acts it was suspected they might commit if left at liberty. They destroyed all judicial remedies for the citizen and all protections against terrorism. (Not current usage of the this word - Ed) The record discloses the early symptoms of dictatorship and shows that it is only in its incipient stages that it can be brought under control. And the testimony records the German example that the destruction of opposition produces eventual deterioration in the government that does it. By progressive intolerance a dictatorship by its very nature becomes so arbitrary that it cannot tolerate opposition, even when it consists merely of the correction of misinformation or the communication to its highest officers of unwelcome intelligence. It was really the recoil of the Nazi blows at liberty that destroyed the Nazi regime. They struck down freedom of speech and press and other freedoms which pass as ordinary civil rights with us, so thoroughly that not even its highest officers dared to warn the people or the Fuehrer that they were taking the road to destruction. The Nurnberg trial has put that handwriting on the wall for the oppressor as well as the oppressed to read."
Report to the President by Mr. Justice Jackson, October 7, 1946

Article 6 - Nuremberg Charter:
"The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which, there shall be individual responsibility:
(a) CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, 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 the accomplishment of any of the foregoing;
(b) WAR CRIMES: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose of civilian population of or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity;
(c) CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.(1)
Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan."
Article 6 - Nuremberg Charter

Article 7. - Nuremberg Charter
"The official position of defendants, whether as Heads of State or responsible officials in Government Departments, shall not be considered as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment"
Article 7. - Nuremberg Charter

Article 8. - Nuremberg Charter
"The fact that the Defendant acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility, but may be considered in mitigation of punishment if the Tribunal determines that justice so requires."
Article 8. - Nuremberg Charter

dodo

All sources from archives at
http://elsinore.cis.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/imt.htm
The Judgement at:
http://elsinore.cis.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/proc/judlawch.htm

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