Legal Accountability and the Rule of Law

The Problem: By serving almost exclusively moneyed interests and corporations rather than their electorate, governments continue to enable these moneyed interests to wreak havoc on their public, the peoples of other nations, and the biosphere. Since we cannot expect those who serve these interests to reform themselves, this pattern will continue to the great detriment of humanity and all life on earth, absent democratic, legal accountability.

Proposed Solutions:

  • Pressure government officials to get to the bottom of who, at the highest level, was responsible for the financial free-fall of 2008-2010 and insist on their being held accountable in a court of law.
  • Petition President Barack Obama to make the United States a signatory to the International Criminal Court.
  • Mobilize men and women of conscience all over the world, so that credibly accused war criminals such as Tony Blair, George W. Bush, and Richard Cheney can be held legally accountable as private individuals who, once out of office, no longer enjoy official immunity for authorizing acts of state terror contrary to instruments such as the Genocide Convention and the Nuremberg Principles. To cite a few examples:
    • In the United States, activists should continue to demonstrate against former George W. Bush administration “torture lawyers” John Yoo and Jay Bybee, insisting on their disbarment and prosecution.
    • Legal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Justice Robert Jackson Steering Committee should continue to call on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to pursue all leads in his criminal prosecution of unlawful interrogation methods pursued by the CIA, since these war crimes were authorized at the highest levels of government. Meanwhile, efforts continue to find a local state prosecutor or attorney general to launch a criminal prosecution of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld in a state criminal court for taking the nation to war under false pretenses and for authorizing torture of prisoners to further the pretexts for war—war that has led to the deaths of more than 6,000 American and NATO coalition soldiers, more than a million Iraqi civilians, and more than 32,000 Afghan civilians. (Bush indicted for torture in Geneva)
    • In Canada, citizens have tried to prevent the entry of George W. Bush into Canadian territory, or, when the former U.S. president does enter the country, they have demanded that he be arrested and brought before an appropriate domestic or international court to be prosecuted as a credibly accused war criminal. Those who have actively played a role include Lawyers Against the War (headquartered in Canada) as well as Canadians and Americans (including former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark) who came to the defense of Mohawk activist Splitting the Sky, arrested in March 2009 in Calgary for trying to arrest Bush, tried in June 2010, and released on conditions by a sympathetic Canadian judge.
    • In Great Britain, citizens’ pressure resulted in holding open hearings (The Chilcot Inquiry) requiring high-level government officials like former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his successor, Gordon Brown, to testify in early 2010 about Britain’s role in invading Iraq. However, calls for Bush and Cheney’s testimony have gone unheeded, and the hearings do not have the authority or jurisdiction to prosecute wrongdoers.
    • In the above three countries (U.S., Canada, and Great Britain), there is credible evidence of criminal activities at the highest level, requiring—as a matter of law—the prosecution of wrongdoers. Citizens should not rest until justice is served.
    • We encourage citizens of other nations to report their activities, including actions within current legal structures and outside of current legal structures (independent tribunals, etc.), to ensure that those responsible are held legally accountable for their criminal acts.

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