Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Armistice’s Day Is Done–Contrary to NYT

By Jim Naureckas | FAIR | March 13, 2013

The New York Times (3/8/13), writing about Korean tensions, reported:

The North said this week that it considered the 1953 armistice agreement that halted the Korean War to be null and void as of Monday because of the joint military exercises. The North has threatened to terminate that agreement before, but American and South Korean military officials pointed out that legally, no party [to an] armistice can unilaterally terminate or alter its terms.

“Nonsense,” says Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois (Institute for Public Accuracy, 3/13/13):

An armistice agreement is governed by the laws of war and the state of war still remains in effect despite the armistice agreement, even if the armistice text itself says additions have to be mutually agreed upon by the parties. Termination is not an addition.

Boyle pointed to both U.S. military regulations and international law as evidence that the Times’ claim was wrong:

Under the U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10 and the Hague Regulations, the only requirement for termination of the Korean War Armistice Agreement is suitable notice so as to avoid the charge of “perfidy.” North Korea has given that notice. The armistice is dead.

The Army Field Manual states, “In case it [the armistice] is indefinite, a belligerent may resume operations at any time after notice.” Article 36 of the Hague Regulations says:

An armistice suspends military operations by mutual agreement between the belligerent parties. If its duration is not fixed, the belligerent parties can resume operations at any time, provided always the enemy is warned within the time agreed upon, in accordance with the terms of the armistice.

The New York Times should let its readers know that it allowed anonymous officials to mislead them.

March 14, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

Analysis: Little Caution Used in U.S. Drone Assassinations

By Sherwood Ross | May 7, 2012

Although President Obama’s top counter-terrorism adviser says caution is exercised when making drone attacks, official US announcements often state that suspects are killed. This very word betrays the fact that every drone attack is a crime because it is illegal in any civilized society to kill suspects. The Pentagon and CIA killings are murder, pure and simple. (Only last week, Washington announced it killed four “suspected militants” by drone attack in Pakistan, resulting in a formal protest from Islamabad “strongly condemning” the killings. “Such attacks are in total contravention of international law and established norms of interstate relations,” the Pakistan statement underscored.)

Moreover, the Washington Post quoted a Pakistani government official who reminded: “When a duly elected democratic Parliament says three times not to do this, and the U.S. keeps doing it, it undermines democracy.”

Presidential adviser John Brennan told a group of academicians at the Woodrow Wilson Center, “We only authorize a strike if we have a high degree of confidence that innocent civilians will not be injured or killed, except in the rarest of circumstances,” Charlie Savage of The New York Times reports in the April 30th edition.

But Brennan acknowledged “instances when — despite the extraordinary precautions we take — civilians have been accidentally injured, or worse, killed in these strikes. It is exceedingly rare, but it has happened. When it does, it pains us and we regret it deeply, as we do any time innocents are killed in war.”

Exceedingly rare? As Juan Cole of the University of Michigan observed in The Nation magazine, the Britain-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism(BIJ) found “not only are civilians routinely killed by U.S. drone strikes in northern Pakistan” but “often people rushing to the scene of a strike to help the wounded are killed by a second launch.” Presumably, some of these victims may include medical personnel and relatives.

The BIJ estimates the US has killed some 3,000 people in 319 drone strikes. Of these, 600 were civilian bystanders and approximately one in four of those were children.

“At the very time Brennan made his speech, there emerged further confirmation of CIA “signature strikes’ that were launched at people who allegedly may be engaged in a pattern of activity that could somehow suggest their involvement in some form of terrorism on the basis of dubious intelligence,” said Francis Boyle, the distinguished professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign.

“These “signature strikes’ are indiscriminate and thus illegal and war crimes. And the fact that all these drone strikes constitute widespread and systematic war crimes mean they also constitute Crimes against Humanity as defined by the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court and customary international criminal law,” Boyle added.

“Obama, Brennan, Petraeus and the CIA operatives involved must be held criminally accountable for these war crimes and Crimes against Humanity in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, inter alia,” said Boyle, author of “Tackling America’s Toughest Questions” (Clarity).

Obama, who presents himself as the doting father of two daughters, is systematically and criminally taking the lives of other parents’ children in his blind passion to destroy his enemies. He has radically stepped up drone attacks over his predecessor, George W. Bush, and makes no apologies for their commission. The drones are now so “hot” in the Pentagon arsenal that manufacturers cannot keep pace with the demand for them. The US has 7,000 unmanned aerial vehicles, Cole writes, which it has deployed in strikes in six countries under direction of the CIA and Pentagon.

Cole points out the drone strikes are largely carried out in places where no war has been declared; neither has any Status of Forces Agreement been signed. “They operate outside the framework of the Constitution, with no due process or habeas corpus, recalling pre-modern practices of the English monarchy, such as declaring people outlaws, issuing bills of attainder against individuals who offend the crown and trying them in secret Star Chamber proceedings.”

“The only due process afforded those killed from the air is an intelligence assessment, possibly based on dubious sources and not reviewed by a judge,” Cole writes. “There is no consistency, no application of the rule of law. Guilt by association and absence of due process are the hallmarks of shadow government.”

Of the 3,000 slayings in Pakistan by drone strikes, writes Bill Van Auken, only 170 victims have been identified as “known militants.”

According to Van Auken, Brennan told his Woodrow Wilson Center audience, “The constitution empowers the president to protect the nation from any imminent threat of attack” but that assertion “is a lie.” Van Auken explained, “As US officials acknowledged, Sunday’s attack in Pakistan was directed at elements who were allegedly preparing not to attack the US, but rather to resist the US military occupation of Afghanistan.”

The accelerating drone strikes are only one aspect of the emerging covert operations that were once a minor arrow in the national security quiver, The Nation writer Cole states, but today are “the cutting edge of American power.”

“Drone strikes, electronic surveillance and stealth engagements by military units such as the Joint Special Operations Command, as well as dependence on private corporations, mercenary armies and terrorist groups, are now arguably more common as tools of US foreign policy than conventional warfare or diplomacy,” Cole writes.

May 7, 2012 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment