Sep 14, 2008 10:50 PM GMT
An Open Letter to John Conyers
The War Crimes of Bush, Cheney and Co.
By TOM STEPHENS and JOHN PHILO
Dear Congressman Conyers:
We write to ask that you take the lead in efforts to appoint special counsel to investigate the top officials of the current US Government executive branch and their leading co-conspirators. The targets of this proposed investigation include, but are not limited to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, Stephen Cambone, Douglas Feith, Lewis Libbey, Richard Perle, Elliott Abrams, Michael Ledeen, James Woolsey, Newt Gingrich, and John Ashcroft.
The subject matter of this proposed investigation is the conduct of the so-called "war on terrorism," and the illegal and catastrophic US war of aggression against Iraq. Specifically, we believe that these individuals and others conspired to commit war crimes, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and to cover up their wrongdoing in connection with these crimes. These crimes include systematic violations of fundamental human rights guaranteed by the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the Convention on Torture, the Alien Tort Claims Act, lying to Congress and to other federal officials, and violations of other laws, treaties and obligations, including internal regulations of the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice. The end result of this pattern of flagrant, wanton, systematic and intentional wrongdoing, by the highest executive and civilian military officials in the US Government, is the disastrous military, diplomatic and political situation facing the United States, and the men and women on active duty in US military forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere today.
First these officials conspired to start an unlawful war of aggression, justified by lies. Then they carried out their illegal conspiracy. It included unlawful killing of thousands of Iraqi civilians, destruction of civilian infrastructure, and use of weapons of mass destruction like cluster bombs and depleted uranium against the civilian population of Iraq. Throughout this conspiracy, they have implemented policies and practices for unlawful arrests, detention, interrogation, beatings, abuse, humiliation and torture, in violation of fundamental human rights protected by law. As a result of their misconduct, the dangers of international terrorism have been severely inflamed, international friends and allies turned away, and the security of our people imperiled. The true aims of the administration are revealed in its legally required policy statement to Congress of September 20, 2002, when it stated that the awful crimes against humanity of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington, DC "opened vast, new opportunities." (The National Security Strategy of the United States," Section VIII, Development Agendas for Cooperative Action with the Other Main Centers of Global Power) In seizing these "opportunities" to enrich their corporate supporters and increase their own power through aggression, the top officials of this administration have committed "high crimes and misdemeanors" that justify their removal from office and their criminal punishment under law.
Everywhere today we hear the question: "How will America regain its credibility?" In the wake of the Bush administration's reckless, dishonest, and profligate expenditures of blood and treasure, for the benefit of their multinational corporate patrons, the answer is clear: Investigate their crimes pursuant to law, indict them based on the massive record of facts supporting such an indictment, and put the top architects of this illegal and deadly policy of permanent, "pre-emptive" war on public trial. Accountability for the massive crimes of the Bush/Cheney administration should not be limited to a handful of low-level scapegoats who implemented their policies at Abu Ghraib prison. It should lie with those at the very top in Washington, who bear ultimate responsibility for the profound and multi-dimensional crisis to which they have brought our nation and our world. If we do this in full view of the world, then our fellow citizens, friends and allies may be able (after our great poet Langston Hughes) to say "Let America be America again." Only then can we get on with the serious business of repairing the severe, long-term damage done by these crimes, and restoring our security, freedom, and system of fairness and equal justice for all.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. If there are any questions or concerns, if you require backup documentation from reliable sources for this analysis, or if there is anything else we may be able to do to assist your office in this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.
National Lawyers Guild