Live from Andover, Massachusetts
This was a Live Broadcast -- 2 Day Conference -- All Day Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 13-14th, 2008
Find partial archive here. See WarCrimes Video Clips Section.
A two-day conference on obtaining prosecutions of high level American war criminals will open September 13th, in Andover, Mass. The conference will explore the legal grounds for, and plan for, obtaining prosecutions of President Bush and top officials of his Administration for war crimes. In the tradition of America's Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials after World War II, Justice Robert Jackson, the Conference's purpose is to hold high U.S. officials accountable in courts of law and, if guilt is found, to obtain appropriate punishments. Otherwise, said the Conference's convener, Lawrence Velvel, the future will be threatened by additional examples of Executive lawlessness by leaders who need fear no personal consequences for their actions, leading to the possibility of more Viet Nams, more Iraqs, and more repression. Velvel emphasized: This is intended to be a planning conference, one at which plans will be laid, and necessary organizational structures will be set up, to seek prosecutions to determine guilt and, if guilt is found, appropriate punishments. Attendees will hear from prominent authorities on international law, criminal prosecutions, and constitutional rights who are determined to give meaning to Justice Jackson's words: The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes by little people. It must also reach men who possess themselves of great power and make deliberate and concerted use of it to set in motion evils which leave no home in the world untouched.
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Topics to be discussed, Velvel said, include:
* What international and domestic crimes were committed, which facts show crimes under which laws, and what punishments are possible.
* Which high level Executive officials and Federal judges and legislators as well, if any are chargeable with crimes.
* Which international tribunals, foreign tribunals and domestic tribunals (if any) can be used and how to begin cases and/or obtain prosecutions before them.
* The possibility of establishing a Chief Prosecutor's Office such as the one at Nuremburg.
* An examination of cases already brought and their outcomes.
* Creating an umbrella Coordinating Committee with representatives from the increasing number of organizations involved in war crimes cases.
* Creating a Center to keep track of and organize compilations of relevant briefs, articles, books, opinions, and facts, etc., on war crimes and prosecutions of war criminals.
Scheduled to address the Conference include:
* Famed former Los Angeles prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, author of the best-selling "The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder"(Vanguard).
* Phillippe Sands, Professor of Law and Director of the Centre of International Courts and Tribunals at University College, London . He is the author of "Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values" (Penguin/Palgrave Macmillan), among other works.
* Jordan Paust, Professor of Law at the University of Houston and author of "Beyond The Law."
* Ann Wright, a former U.S. Army colonel and U.S. Foreign Service official who holds a State Department Award for Heroism and who taught the Geneva Conventions and the Law of Land Warfare at the Special Warfare Center at Ft. Bragg, N.C. She is the coauthor of "Dissent: Voices of Conscience."
* Peter Weiss, Vice President of the Center For Constitutional Rights, which was recently involved with war crimes complaints filed in Germany and France against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others.
* Benjamin Davis, Associate Professor at the University of Toledo College of Law and former American Legal Counsel for the Secretariat of the International Court of Arbitration.
* David Lindorff, journalist and co-author with Barbara Olshansky of "The Case for Impeachment: Legal Arguments for Removing President George W. Bush from Office"(St. Martin 's Press).
* Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, and the U.S. implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.
* Lawrence Velvel, a leader in the field of law school education reform, has written numerous internet articles on issues relevant to the conference.