A Manhattan Project physicist once said, “secrecy, once accepted, becomes an addiction.”
The federal government keeps building up more and more tolerance of the crimes it must hide, and in doing so, is transforming itself into a centralized empire where nothing can be questioned!
The War on Terror tipped the balance between secrecy and privacy, yet many don’t even realize it. Today, we live in an age where secrecy has eclipsed privacy. In fact, there still are people out there convinced that if it concerns national security, they will give up everything for it. But no one can define it. It is ambiguous and ubiquitous at the same time. The 9/11 attack shifted the perception from inalienable rights, to rights not of natural origin and subject to the government’s whim. A symptom – the war crimes started with former President Bush, and have mounted with current President Obama.
Everything is a secret now days. From the crimes in Collateral Murder to the Snowden revelations, the federal government plays the “national security” trump card, or falls back to blatant denial.
As with any addict, the feds become tolerant to their drug of choice and need a higher dosage to feel a high. But as the atrocities mount, leaks of secret information hit our newsstands and Twitter feeds, and the approval rating of our government decreases.
The first step is acknowledging the federal government has a problem.
Diagnosis: Addiction to secrecy. Uses secrecy to cover up human rights violations, Constitutional violations and even violations of international law. Excuses what it is doing by claiming to protect the people. Gateway drug: Afghanistan War.
Treatment Plan: Stop enabling
Many are trying to give America an intervention. Some blog, others leak information, and one even sues the former administration. On March 13th, Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi woman filed suit against the Bush Administration.
“She alleges that the Iraq War was not conducted in self-defense, did not have the appropriate authorization by the United Nations, and therefore constituted a ‘crime of aggression’ under international law—a designation first set down in the Nuremberg Trials after World War II. The aim of the suit is simple: to achieve justice for Iraqis, and to show that no one, not even the president of the United States, is above the law.”
Addicts often commit crimes as a result of, or in support of their habits. The feds are no exception.
War Criminal Bush
Undeclared War in Afghanistan
The 2001 Authorization of the Use of Military Force (AUMF) released Congress from the bonds of responsibility to declare war. It vaguely allowed the president, without any limits on duration, against anyone, anywhere, all without seeking any further authority from the Congress.
Ryan T. Williams wrote in Dangerous Precedent about the U.S.’s failure to acknowledgement the sovereignty of foreign nations.
“The U.S. led invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 was initiated precisely to threaten territorial integrity and political independence of Afghanistan. The United States did not respect the Taliban government’s wishes: When the Taliban asked for proof that al Qaeda was there, the United States provided none.17 Because the United States wanted to overthrow the Taliban government and kill various suspected terrorists in their country,18 the United States could not look to Article 2(4) as legal justification of its war in Afghanistan. Even if it could, however, America’s continued war against the Taliban a decade later is a clear violation of Article 2(4) [Geneva Convention].”
Undeclared War in Iraq
Hamilton iterated in Federalist 25, “We must receive the blow, before we could even prepare to return it. All that kind of policy by which nations anticipate distant danger, and meet the gathering storm, must be abstained from , as contrary to the genuine maxims of a free government.”
Another undeclared war was authorized with the 2002 AUMF against Iraq. But also has faced criticism over its legality under international law. This time, the 2002 AUMF cited an old Gulf War UN resolution against WMD to justify the invasion in Iraq. It rested on a vague resolution from the UN Security Council: Resolution 1441. In fact, resolution 1441 was passed with Syria as a YES vote after it defined certain conditions.
“While the Council had unanimously adopted resolution 1441, it was no secret that Syria had joined the consensus after receiving clarifications and guarantees that the international community would seriously proceed with the investigation, refraining from the use of the resolution as a pretext for war against Iraq.”
The U.S. essentially deceived the UN Security Council and falsely presented reasons to go to war to the American people and those abroad.
No WMD’s were found by the IAEA, UN Security Council, or American forces.
No prior approval was obtained for the use of force by the UN.
Use of force may only be authorized by the Security Council if a member state is acting in self defense of if under broader terms (when threat of another country is inconsistent with UN manners).
However, even without the approval for use of force, the Iraq war continues even after regime change.
Under the AUMF’s in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush administration used the vague language to warrant indefinite detention of combatants. In 2009, half of the 166 were cleared for release, but will remain imprisoned.
The US signed the Geneva Convention in 1949 along with 195 other countries set up the standards of treatment in the time of war and established international law standards. Indefinite detention is in violation of article 5 of the Geneva Convention.
Otherwise known as enhanced interrogation which includes water boarding. John Yoo drafted the “legal” justification of torture. The administration authorized such horrendous treatment of prisoners seen in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and a number of CIA black sites. Torture violates Convention 1 and Convention 3 of the Geneva Convention
War Criminal Obama
Without Bush and his administration getting full immunity, Obama and his administration will be next ones on the chopping block for war crimes. His war crimes include but are not limited to:
-Undeclared wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Algeria, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Mali, and Somalia
-Terror Tuesdays and the Drone Strike Program that has a 2% success rate
-Threat of the Use of Force in Syria and Iran
Over 100,000 people have died in Syria but the nation posed no threat from the US until recently when chemical weapons were suspected to be used on Syrian civilians. The Obama administration has tried to claim that the world drew the red line on chemical weapons. But while no one wants anyone using chemical weapons on people, we can’t use that line as a reason for vigilante violence. Syria is one of five UN member countries that never signed the Chemical Weapons Convention. Not until recently has it decided under guidance from Russia, to put its stockpile under control of an international committee.
On a side note, the U.S. is in violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention since it has not completed the destruction of 90 percent of its stockpile by April 2012.
And now, our threat of force is focused on Iran. There’s no international law against enriching uranium. And even if it is a weapon, no international law authorizes a preemptive strike or the use of force.
We have boundaries to war for a reason. And without boundaries you get a crazed addict terrorizing others left and right.
“Wise politicians will be cautious about fettering the government with restrictions that cannot be observed, because they know that every breach of the fundamental laws, though dictated by necessity,impairs that sacred reverence which out to be maintained in the breast of rulers towards the constitution of a country, and forms a precedent for other breaches where the same plea of necessity does not exist at all, or is less urgent and palpable.” ~Hamilton Federalist 25.
It’s time America has an intervention about America’s intervention.
Latest posts by Kelli Sladick (see all)
- Knowledge is Power: Cheat Sheet of Federal Surveillance Laws and Orders - October 9, 2014
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- The Constitution and Just War - September 10, 2014