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 Post subject: Holy Smokes! Moral Courage At Last!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:45 am 
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Now we see the first instance of retired Generals and Admirals speaking out in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee demanding specific questions be asked for the AG designate.....a real peice of work.

Oh. My! Can I believe what I am seeing? Do these Generals and Admirals realize they could be recalled to active duty and suffer the consequences of their actions?

Finally, we see acts of moral courage by those with leadership qualities not forgotten.

Bests,
John
http://www.verpa.org
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=

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Brigadier General David M. Brahms (Ret. USMC) General Joseph Hoar (Ret. USMC)
Brigadier General James Cullen (Ret. USA) Rear Admiral John D. Hutson (Ret. USN)
Brigadier General Evelyn P. Foote (Ret. USA) Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy (Ret. USA)
Lieutenant General Robert Gard (Ret. USA) General Merrill McPeak (Ret. USAF)
Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn (Ret. USN) Major General Melvyn Montano (Ret. USAF Nat. Guard)
Rear Admiral Don Guter (Ret. USN) General John Shalikashvili (Ret. USA)

The Honorable Members of the Senate Judiciary
United States Senate
Committee on the Judiciary
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:

Dear Senator

We, the undersigned, are retired professional military leaders of the U.S. Armed Forces. We write to express our deep concern about the nomination of Alberto R. Gonzales to be Attorney General, and to urge you to explore in detail his views concerning the role of the Geneva Conventions in U.S. detention and interrogation policy and practice.

During his tenure as White House Counsel, Mr. Gonzales appears to have played a significant role in shaping U.S. detention and interrogation operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantánamo Bay, and elsewhere. Today, it is clear that these operations have fostered greater animosity toward the United States, undermined our intelligence gathering efforts, and added to the risks facing our troops serving around the world. Before Mr. Gonzales assumes the position of Attorney General, it is critical to understand whether he intends to adhere to the positions he adopted as White House Counsel, or chart a revised course more consistent with fulfilling our nation's complex security interests, and maintaining a military that operates within the rule of law.

Among his past actions that concern us most, Mr. Gonzales wrote to the President on January 25, 2002, advising him that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to the conflict then underway in Afghanistan. More broadly, he wrote that the "war on terrorism" presents a "new paradigm [that] renders obsolete Geneva's" protections.

The reasoning Mr. Gonzales advanced in this memo was rejected by many military leaders at the time, including Secretary of State Colin Powell who argued that abandoning the Geneva Conventions would put our soldiers at greater risk, would "reverse over a century of U.S. policy and practice in supporting the Geneva Conventions," and would "undermine the protections of the rule of law for our troops, both in this specific conflict [Afghanistan] and in general." State Department adviser William H. Taft IV agreed that this decision "deprives our troops [in Afghanistan] of any claim to the protection of the Conventions in the event they are captured and weakens the protections afforded by the Conventions to our troops in future conflicts." Mr. Gonzales' recommendation also ran counter to the wisdom of former U.S. prisoners of war. As Senator John McCain has observed: "I am certain we all would have been a lot worse off if there had not been the Geneva Conventions around which an international consensus formed about some very basic standards of decency that should apply even amid the cruel excesses of war."

Mr. Gonzales' reasoning was also on the wrong side of history. Repeatedly in our past, the United States has confronted foes that, at the time they emerged, posed threats of a scope or nature unlike any we had previously faced. But we have been far more steadfast in the past in keeping faith with our national commitment to the rule of law. During the Second World War, General Dwight D. Eisenhower explained that the allies adhered to the law of war in their treatment of prisoners because "the Germans had some thousands of American and British prisoners and I did not want to give Hitler the excuse or justification for treating our prisoners more harshly than he already was doing." In Vietnam, U.S. policy required that the Geneva Conventions be observed for all enemy prisoners of war - both North Vietnamese regulars and Viet Cong - even though the Viet Cong denied our own prisoners of war the same protections. And in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the United States afforded Geneva Convention protections to more than 86,000 Iraqi prisoners of war held in U.S. custody. The threats we face today - while grave and complex - no more warrant abandoning these basic principles than did the threats of enemies past.

Perhaps most troubling of all, the White House decision to depart from the Geneva Conventions in Afghanistan went hand in hand with the decision to relax the definition of torture and to alter interrogation doctrine accordingly. Mr. Gonzales' January 2002 memo itself warned that the decision not to apply Geneva Convention standards "could undermine U.S. military culture which emphasizes maintaining the highest standards of conduct in combat, and could introduce an element of uncertainty in the status of adversaries." Yet Mr. Gonzales then made that very recommendation with reference to Afghanistan, a policy later extended piece by piece to Iraq. Sadly, the uncertainty Mr. Gonzales warned about came to fruition. As James R. Schlesinger's panel reviewing Defense Department detention operations concluded earlier this year, these changes in doctrine have led to uncertainty and confusion in the field, contributing to the abuses of detainees at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, and undermining the mission and morale of our troops.

The full extent of Mr. Gonzales' role in endorsing or implementing the interrogation practices the world has now seen remains unclear. A series of memos that were prepared at his direction in 2002 recommended official authorization of harsh interrogation methods, including waterboarding, feigned suffocation, and sleep deprivation. As with the recommendations on the Geneva Conventions, these memos ignored established U.S. military policy, including doctrine prohibiting "threats, insults, or exposure to inhumane treatment as a means of or aid to interrogation." Indeed, the August 1, 2002 Justice Department memo analyzing the law on interrogation references health care administration law more than five times, but never once cites the U.S. Army Field Manual on interrogation. The Army Field Manual was the product of decades of experience - experience that had shown, among other things that such interrogation methods produce unreliable results and often impede further intelligence collection. Discounting the Manual's wisdom on this central point shows a disturbing disregard for the decades of hardwon knowledge of the professional American military.

The United States' commitment to the Geneva Conventions - the laws of war - flows not only from field experience, but also from the moral principles on which this country was founded, and by which we all continue to be guided. We have learned first hand the value of adhering to the Geneva Conventions and practicing what we preach on the international stage. With this in mind, we urge you to ask of Mr. Gonzales the following:

Do you believe the Geneva Conventions apply to all those captured by U.S. authorities in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Do you support affording the International Committee of the Red Cross access to all detainees in U.S. custody?

What rights under U.S. or international law do suspected members of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, or members of similar organizations have when brought into the care or custody of U.S. military, law enforcement, or intelligence forces?

Do you believe that torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment - such as dietary manipulation, forced nudity, prolonged solitary confinement, or threats of harm - may lawfully be used by U.S. authorities so long as the detainee is an "unlawful combatant" as you have defined it?

Do you believe that CIA and other government intelligence agencies are bound by the same laws and restrictions that constrain the operations of the U.S. Armed Forces engaged in detention and interrogation operations abroad?
Signed,

Brigadier General David M. Brahms (Ret. USMC)
Brigadier General James Cullen (Ret. USA)
Brigadier General Evelyn P. Foote (Ret. USA)
Lieutenant General Robert Gard (Ret. USA)
Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn (Ret. USN)
Admiral Don Guter (Ret. USN)
General Joseph Hoar (Ret. USMC)
Rear Admiral John D. Hutson (Ret. USN)
Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy (Ret. USA)
General Merrill McPeak (Ret. USAF)
Major General Melvyn Montano (Ret. USAF Nat. Guard)
General John Shalikashvili (Ret. USA)

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
ON SIGNATORIES OF LETTER TO SENATE JUDICIARY

Biographical information on:


Brigadier General David M. Brahms (Ret. USMC) General Joseph Hoar (Ret. USMC)
Brigadier General James Cullen (Ret. USA) Rear Admiral John D. Hutson (Ret. USN)
Brigadier General Evelyn P. Foote (Ret. USA) Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy (Ret. USA)
Lieutenant General Robert Gard (Ret. USA) General Merrill McPeak (Ret. USAF)
Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn (Ret. USN) Major General Melvyn Montano (Ret. USAF Nat. Guard)
Rear Admiral Don Guter (Ret. USN) General John Shalikashvili (Ret. USA)

Brigadier General David M. Brahms (Ret. USMC)
General Brahms served in the Marine Corps from 1963-1988. He served as the Marine Corps' senior legal adviser from 1983 until his retirement in 1988. General Brahms currently practices law in Carlsbad, California and sits on the board of directors of the Judge Advocates Association.
Brigadier General James Cullen (Ret. USA)
General Cullen is a retired Brigadier General in the United States Army Reserve Judge Advocate General's Corps and last served as the Chief Judge (IMA) of the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals. He currently practices law in New York City.

Brigadier General Evelyn P. Foote (Ret. USA)
General Foote was Commanding General of Fort Belvoir in 1989. She was recalled to active duty in 1996 to serve as Vice Chair of the Secretary of the Army's Senior Review Panel on Sexual Harassment. She is President of the Alliance for National Defense, a non-profit organization.

Lieutenant General Robert Gard (Ret. USA)
General Gard is a retired Lieutenant General who served in the United States Army; his military assignments included combat service in Korea and Vietnam. He is currently a consultant on international security and president emeritus of the Monterey Institute for International Studies.

Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn (Ret. USN)
Admiral Gunn served as the Inspector General of the Department of the Navy until his retirement in August 2000. Admiral Gunn commanded the USS BARBEY and the Destroyer Squadron "Thirty-one," a component of the U.S. Navy's Anti-Submarine Warfare Destroyer Squadrons.

Rear Admiral Don Guter (Ret. USN)
Admiral Guter served as the Navy's Judge Advocate General from 2000 to 2002. Admiral Guter is currently CEO of Vinson Hall Corporation/Executive Director of the Navy Marine Coast Guard Residence Foundation in McLean, Virginia.

General Joseph Hoar (Ret. USMC)
General Hoar served as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Central Command. After the first Gulf War, General Hoar led the effort to enforce the naval embargo in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, and to enforce the no-fly zone in the south of Iraq. He oversaw the humanitarian and peacekeeping operations in Kenya and Somalia and also led the U.S. Marine Corps support for operations in Rwanda, and the evacuation of U.S. civilians from Yemen during the 1994 civil war. He was the Deputy for Operations for the Marine Corps during the Gulf War and served as General Norman Schwarzkopf's Chief of Staff at Central Command. General Hoar currently runs a consulting business in California.

Rear Admiral John D. Hutson (Ret. USN)
Admiral John D. Hutson served as the Navy's Judge Advocate General from 1997 to 2000. Admiral Hutson now serves as President and Dean of the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, New Hampshire.

Lieutenant General Claudia J. Kennedy (Ret. USA)
General Kennedy is the first and only woman to achieve the rank of three-star general in the United States Army. Kennedy served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Army Intelligence, Commander of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, and as Commander of the 703d military intelligence brigade in Kunia, Hawaii.

General Merrill A. McPeak (Ret. USAF)
General McPeak served as the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force. Previously, General McPeak served as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces. He is a command pilot, having flown more than 6,000 hours, principally in fighter aircraft.

Major General Melvyn Montano (Ret. USAF Nat. Guard)
General Montano was the adjutant general in charge of the National Guard in New Mexico from 1994 to 1999. He served in Vietnam and was the first Hispanic Air National Guard officer appointed as an adjutant general in the country.

General John Shalikashvili (Ret. USA)
General Shalikashvili was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Department of Defense) from 1993 till 1997. Prior to serving as Chairman, he served as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, and also as the commander-in-chief of the United States European Command. He was until recently a visiting professor at The Stanford Institute for International Studies.

_________________
It is dangerous to be right when your government is wrong.--Voltaire

You may choose to ignore the facts, but you cannot change the facts --Author Unknown


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:30 pm 
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Good for the Generals, John...it won't matter what they say, but at least there are lots of no-no resistances to the Gonzalez appointment. It might cause him be less aggressive when he DOES become AG...which I'm sure he will.

Same thing with Condi Rice...I hope she knows she's also not everybody's favorite the way she is Bush's. I don't see why the senators who have reservations about her, like Joe Biden, don't go ahead and vote against her...do they not have the courage of their convictions anymore..if they ever did?

Catherine

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:11 pm 
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Catherine,

If the gods of justice and corruption are to bend to Herr Gonzalez's becoming the AG, then there might just be some eye openers awaiting him.

How will the new AG handle hard evidence of Treason In Wartime (no statue of limitations here) perpetrated by none other than the folks running the national security apparatus of our country!

Is not the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the Land (homeland, that is) responsible for proceeding with the proper protocol to identify the felonious culprits in our midst who may very well be on the job espionage agents from another country while posing as the lynch pins of our foreign policy?

He may choose to ignore these irrefutable facts listed on this forum and others, as did Ashcroft for the last three years with this information sitting on his desk, as well as Karl Roves, but he CANNOT CHANGE these facts, and they are not going away.

Sort of like Nixon, and hopefully Bush, where they get another term, by hook or by crook, ONLY to suffer impeachment for crimes bound to surface.

Ashcroft joins in the conspiracy to obstruct justice in a capital murder case by ignoring hard irrefutable evidence of high crimes and treason.

Will Gonzo suffer the same fate and join the ranks of traitors to the Constitution. I guess we will have to wait and see, eh? :D

Bests,
John
http://www.verpa.org

_________________
It is dangerous to be right when your government is wrong.--Voltaire

You may choose to ignore the facts, but you cannot change the facts --Author Unknown


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 9:06 pm 
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I don't claim to have psychic abilities by no means, but somehow I think this big party that is planned for Thursday's Coronation may just be the beginning of the end for these criminals.

It's happened before, and what goes around comes around....the "Let Them Eat Cake" crowd can't last much longer. All it needs to make the fit hit the shan is one little more mistake made by the wrong person at the right time. Whether that's a decision making procedure that goes awry; Bush's Boy Who Cried Wolf stance happens once too often, OR someone on the inside will cave and start to air all the dirty laundry. It may already be happening...read my posts entitled Green Acres and another entitled Bush Rules of Journalism

Eventually, the All Hat and No Cattle cowboy president will get just a bit too cocky, and he'll fall off his high horse...and he just might, like Humpty Dumpty, break and not be able to be put back together again.

Won't that be a great day!

http://www.jameswjohnson.com/movies/bushman.htm

Catherine

_________________
Image

"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:51 pm 
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Catherine,

Remember when the WMD claim lost it's glitter and doubts began to surface in the first few months after March of 03? Two things came crashing through the gates: 1) He's a BAAAAAAAAD Man! and 2) "He tried to kill my daddy".

From that moment on his cook was goosed.

The list is now long and repetitive, and the coronation will take place. But just like in George Orwell's Animal Farm, the critters will soon have had enough and take appropriate action as mandated by the Constitution.

"The sun is shining, OH, happy day!" Circa 1953

Bests,
John
http://www.verpa.org

_________________
It is dangerous to be right when your government is wrong.--Voltaire

You may choose to ignore the facts, but you cannot change the facts --Author Unknown


Last edited by johnmccarthy on Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:53 pm 
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I couldn't agree with you more!

By the way, I just sent you an email about the interview...let me know what you think!

Catherine

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"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac

"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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 Post subject: You Are Gonna Love This
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 2:14 am 
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Sort of made my day when this came screaming into my inbox, flaps down and shakin'.
Bests,
John
http://www.verpa.org
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://www.truthout.org/docs_05/011905A.shtml

The Gonzales Indictment

By Marjorie Cohn


Alberto Gonzales should not be the Attorney
General of the United States. He should be
considered a war criminal and indicted by the
Attorney General. This is a suggested
indictment of Alberto Gonzales for war crimes
under Title 18 U.S.C. section 1441, the War
Crimes Act.


COUNT I: Application of Geneva Conventions;
Definition of Torture


On or about January 25, 2002 through January 16, 2005,
Defendant ALBERTO GONZALES, Counsel to George
W. Bush, the President of the United States of America,
did write, commission and concur in memoranda that
advocated conduct by United States military forces,
amounting to war crimes under Title 18 U.S.C. section
1441 (The War Crimes Act ).


The War Crimes Act defines as war crimes: grave
breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and violations
of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions.


Section 130 of the Geneva Convention Relative to
the Treatment of Prisoners of War (Third Geneva
Convention) defines as grave breaches of that
Convention: "willful killing, torture or inhuman
treatment," and "willfully causing great suffering
or serious injury to body or health."


It is well-established that Article 3 common applies
to international as well as internal armed conflicts.
Article 3 common provides that "persons taking no
active part in the hostilities, including members of
armed forces who have laid down their arms...shall
in all circumstances be treated humanely, without
any adverse distinction founded on race, colour,
religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other
similar criteria."


The following acts constitute violations of Article 3
common: "Violence to life and person, in particular
murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and
torture"; "outrages upon personal dignity, in
particular, humiliating and degrading treatment"; and
"the passing of sentences and the carrying out of
executions without previous judgment pronounced by
a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial
guarantees which are recognized as indispensable
by civilized peoples."


Article 5 of the Third Geneva Convention provides:
"Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having
committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the
hands of the enemy [are prisoners of war under this
Convention], such persons shall enjoy the protection
of the present Convention until such time as their
status has been determined by a competent tribunal."


Defendant ALBERTO GONZALES wrote, in a
memorandum to President George W. Bush dated
January 25, 2002, that the war against terrorism is
a "new paradigm" that "renders obsolete Geneva's
strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners
and renders quaint some of its provisions."


Defendant GONZALES wrote that the Third Geneva
Convention should not apply to members of the
Taliban and Al Qaeda who were captured after the
United States invaded Afghanistan in October 2001.
Defendant GONZALES also advised President Bush
in that memorandum that he could avoid allegations
of war crimes under The War Crimes Act by simply
declaring that the Geneva Convention does not apply
to members of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Defendant
GONZALES wrote that a determination of the
inapplicability of the Third Geneva Convention would
insulate against prosecution by future "prosecutors
and independent counsels."


In apparent reliance on the advice in Defendant
GONZALES' memorandum, and notwithstanding
the requirement of Article 5 of the Third Geneva
Convention that a "competent tribunal" determine
the status of prisoners, President George W. Bush
issued an order on February 7, 2002, specifying
that the United States would not apply the Third
Geneva Convention to members of Al Qaeda, and
that as commander-in-chief of the United States,
he had the power to suspend the Geneva
Conventions regarding the conflict in
Afghanistan, although he declined to suspend them
at that time.

Defendant ALBERTO GONZALES commissioned
the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of
Justice's memorandum dated August 1, 2002,
which required that, in order to constitute "torture,"
the pain caused by an interrogation must include
"injury such as death, organ failure, or serious
impairment of body functions." This definition is
contrary to The War Crimes Act and the
Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel,
Unusual or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,
a treaty ratified by the United States.


Before the August 1, 2002 memorandum was issued,
Colin Powell, Secretary of State, had counseled
against its conclusions that the Geneva Conventions
did not apply; he wrote that this "will reverse over a
century of U.S. policy and practice in supporting the
Geneva conventions, and undermine the protection
of the law of war for our troops, both in this specific
conflict and in general."


Although the August 1, 2002 memorandum was
retracted on December 30, 2004, the provisions
of the August 1, 2002 memorandum remained in
effect for 2 ½ years, notwithstanding the warnings
of Secretary Powell.


The January 25, 2002 and August 1, 2002 memoranda,
and the February 7, 2002 order set forth policies that
led to the willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment;
and great suffering or serious injury to body or health,
of DOES 1 through 1,000, prisoners in United States
custody in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantánamo Bay, Cuba,
as listed in EXHIBIT A (Dear Mr. Gonzales).


Defendant ALBERTO GONZALES knew or should
have known that, pursuant to memoranda written by,
commissioned or concurred in by him, prisoners in
United States custody would be subjected to willful
killing, torture or inhuman treatment; and great
suffering or serious injury to body or health, in
violation of The War Crimes Act.


COUNT II: Military Commissions

Between September 11, 2001 and November 13,
2001, Defendant ALBERTO GONZALES did
participate in the drafting of the Military Order
establishing the Military Commissions, which
order was signed by President George W. Bush
on November 13, 2001. Said order mandated
conduct by members of United States military
forces which constitute war crimes under The
War Crimes Act.


The War Crimes Act defines war crimes as grave
breaches of the Geneva Conventions. Section
130 of the Third Geneva Convention defines as
a grave breach of that Convention: "willfully
depriving a prisoner of war of the rights of fair
and regular trial prescribed in this Convention."


Article 84 of the Third Geneva Convention provides
that prisoners of war shall be tried in the same types
of courts (military or civilian) as members of the
armed forces of the Detaining Power. It also provides:
"In no circumstances whatever shall a prisoner of war
be tried by a court of any kind which does not offer
the essential guarantees of independence and
impartiality as generally recognized."


Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions
prohibits "the passing of sentences and the
carrying out of executions without previous
judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted
court affording all the judicial guarantees which
are recognized as indispensable by civilized
peoples."


Unlike courts convened pursuant to the Uniform
Code of Military Justice, and civilian courts of
the United States, the Military Order provides for
no judicial review by federal courts of the United
States. The final level of review in the Military
Commissions is to the President or the Secretary
of Defense.


Military Commission Order No. 1(6)(B)(3) allows
the use of evidence that the accused is not permitted
to see, and provides for the exclusion of the accused
from the proceedings. These provisions violate the
rights of the accused to be confronted with the
evidence against him, and to confront and
cross-examine adverse witnesses. These rights are
guaranteed to the accused in courts convened under
the Uniform Code of Military Justice and civilian
courts in the United States.


Section 4(c)(3) of the Military Order provides for
the "admission of such evidence as would, in the
opinion of the presiding officer of the military
commission...have probative value to a reasonable
person." Such evidence would be inadmissible
under the rules of evidence in courts convened
under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and
civilian courts in the United States.


Defendant ALBERTO GONZALES knew or should
have known that the Military Commissions, in whose
creation he participated, will deprive prisoners in
United States custody who will be tried before them,
of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in the
Third Geneva Convention and Article 3 common to
the Geneva Conventions.


Penalties Under the War Crimes Act


Title 18 U.S.C. sec. 1441 provides that any national
of the United States who commits a war crime "shall
be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any
term of years, or both, and if death results to the
victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death."

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You may choose to ignore the facts, but you cannot change the facts --Author Unknown


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