An independent U.N. human rights investigator said Thursday that the United States is failing to properly investigate alleged war crimes committed by its soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Although some cases are investigated and lead to prosecutions, others aren't or result in lenient sentences, said Philip Alston, the U.N. Human Rights Council's special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings.
"There have been chronic and deplorable accountability failures with respect to policies, practices and conduct that resulted in alleged unlawful killings — including possible war crimes — in the United States' international operations," Alston said in a report dated May 26 and published on a U.N. Web site.
This is the second statement from an independent UN human rights investigator along these lines. Which means, twice now we've had independent international officials, who by position of their post deserve some respect as 'expert' opinions in the matter, clearly state since Obama took office, that the US is failing to investigate and prosecute war crimes.
This in itself is an impeachable offense. There are both international treaties signed by the US, and US law making these acts illegal. It is the legal responsibility of officials in the US government to investigate and prosecute illegal acts. Its not an option. Its not a political decision. Its a legal responsibility. By failing to do so, the officials in the Obama administration are failing in their responsibilities. At some point, this comes back to Obama as he is the elected official at the top of the government who is responsible for the actions of his government. And remember, the war crimes charges against Milosovich in Serbia were not based on acts that he personally committed. Instead, they were based on his position of being in command, and that he therefore bore the responsibility to prevent those under his command from committing such acts.
Its the constitutional responsibility of Congress to investigate if they receive evidence that impeachable offenses are being committed. Just like I used to say when Bush was in the White House, its not optional, its not a political decision. Its a constitutional requirement for people who've sworn an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. At the very least, there should be serious investigatory committee hearings asking the Obama administration exactly what they are doing to make sure possible war crimes are being properly investigated and prosecuted. This should include questions about what is being done about the investigation and prosecution of officials from earlier administrations who were in command and control positions of organizations that committed war crimes.
Gee, if the US government isn't investing clear cases of war crimes that are reported to it, what are they using the resources of the government for? How about this? FBI Infiltrates Iowa City Protest Group by Matthew Rothschild at The Progressive magazine.
He was very well dressed. He claimed he’d been in the military. But he said when he was ordered to go to Iraq, he refused and was granted conscientious objector status.
That’s how activists in Iowa City are now recalling a person they believe was working undercover for the FBI.
So, the US government refuses to properly investigate and prosecute war crimes. But, they put a lot of effort into investigating protest groups that are opposing the war, and thus who are opposing war crimes.
PS ... in the some things never change category. With my eclectic reading tastes, one of the next things I read today was this interview with Grace Slick (singer for Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship for those who aren't old hippies like me and thus might not recognize the name.) It includes this passage.
... I have something that you probably also have a copy of. I have the F.B.I. file here on the Jefferson Airplane.
I had sent in this FOIA request, back in 2003. As you know, apparently the feds were not amused by your relationship with the Yippies, or specifically Abbie (Hoffman).
In the file, F.B.I. headquarters domestic “intelligence” (their word, not mine) alerted the secret service, military intelligence and local law enforcement about your presence in various cities, particularly in Cleveland and Cincinnati.
[Grace]We got arrested almost every time we went to Ohio (laughs).
Yeah, after the Kent State massacre. You are specifically mentioned by name in the file, which is actually quite unusual, because according to the FBI’s own policy, and the FOIA/PA laws, the privacy laws, usually living peoples’ names are redacted from the files and public view, due to the privacy laws. Of all the people in the Airplane, J. Edgar Hoover’s henchmen were more worried about you than they were about any other member of the group. The F.B.I. labels their teletypes about you as being, quote “urgent.”
Some things never seem to change. Whether its Nixon or Bush in the White House. Or whether its the guy who campaigned by constantly chanting the word 'change' at us. Even then, some things never change.