What is the US legal argument that current wars are lawful? We’ve never found one, have you?

“No treaty, however much it may be to the advantage of all, however tightly it may be worded, can provide absolute security against the risks of deception and evasion.” – President Kennedy, June 10, 1963

As you know from history, after two world wars, the US led international treaty-creation that made military attacks on other nations unlawful unless that nation’s government attacked first, or there was provable imminent threat. Importantly, this is no restriction of military use for self-defense to stop an active attack.

You also know that no nation’s government attacked the US on 9/11, yet the US regularly uses military attacks against other nations. You may know that since World War 2 such US military actions have killed ~30 million since WW2, arguably more than Hitler’s Nazis.

You may also know that all “reasons” given to the US public to support current wars are easily verified as lies known to be false as they are told. You may have felt intentionally deceived at the time; now official US government disclosures and presentation of public evidence prove it.

You may wonder, given the treaties making war unlawful empower US military to reject war orders and arrest those who issue them since no war order is lawful in an unlawful war, what is the official US legal justification for these wars?

Since the beginning of US military action just after 9/11, colleagues and I are only aware of vague references to “self-defense” and a 2001 letter of US Ambassador to the UN, John Negroponte, that mentions “ongoing threat” within Afghanistan. The UN Security Council resolved in its legal authority twice that nations should cooperate to get the facts and arrest the criminals of 9/11. Afghanistan agreed to assist in the arrests of any criminal suspects. The US refused to provide any evidence, used its military for armed attack, invasion, and military occupation. This violated the UN Security Council’s two legally-binding resolutions rather than uphold war law (details and analysis).

Outside of Negroponte’s letter, I’m not aware of any other legal attempt of the US to justify their wars to the international community.

As many of us have written for years, the US domestic “Authorizations for use of military force” (AUMF) are strictly limited to legal use:

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the judicial branch of the UN. Their definition of “armed attack” is by a nation’s government. Because the leadership of the CIA and FBI both reported that they had no evidence that the Afghan government had any role in the 9/11 terrorism, the US is unable to claim Article 51 protection for military action in Afghanistan. The legal classification of what happened on 9/11 is an act of terrorism, not an armed attack. In addition, American Daniel Webster helped create the legal definition of national self-defense in the Caroline Affair as “necessity of that self-defence is instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation.” The US attack on Afghanistan came nearly a month after the 9/11 terrorism. Article 51 only allows self-defense until the Security Council takes action; which they did in two Resolutions (1368 and 1373) claiming jurisdiction in the matter.

In conclusion, unless a nation can justify its military use as self-defense from armed attack from a nation’s government that is “instant, overwhelming, and leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation,” all other acts of war are unlawful. The legal definition of “self-defense” ends when the attack terminates. In general legal definition, no party is allowed use of force under the justification of “self-defense” if the law can be applied for redress and remedy. 

Letter of the US 1973 War Powers Act (WPA): The authorization by Congress for US presidential discretion for military action in Afghanistan and Iraq (AUMF) references WPA. This act, in response to the Vietnam War, reframes the Founders’ intent of keeping the power of war in the hands of Congress. It also expressly limits the president to act within US treaty obligations; the principle treaty of use of war being the UN Charter.

This means that presidential authority as commander-in-chief must always remain within the limitations of the UN Charter to be lawful orders.

So it appears the US legal “argument” is only a vague claim of “self-defense” that destroys that legal definition, and in no way addresses how US military attacks honor the two treaties to end such “wars of choice,” or the meaning of those treaties.

That’s all they’ve got, and my interested colleagues and I are unaware of any reasonable attempt by the US to legally explain their use of military attacks.

Are you? If so, please comment and/or contact me with such links of an official US justification of lawful war.

I suppose the US has the same justification as the British for their invasion and occupation of India: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win” (attributed to Gandhi).

I do know that that all lawyers in the UK’s Foreign Affairs Department concluded the US/UK invasion of Iraq was an unlawful War of Aggression; all 27 of them were in agreement. This followed the Dutch government’s recent unanimous report and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s clear statements (my most recent article on this topic with more details here).

I do know that the two treaties to end nations’ armed attacks after two world wars are crystal-clear in letter and intent. They are meant to be as clear as where you stop at stop signs when driving, or where in-bounds and out-of-bounds are for a sports playing field.

I do know my own family’s sacrifices in these two world wars:

  • Both of my grandfathers served the US military for World War 1. My dad says his father refused to tell “war stories,” and my mom’s dad serviced trains’ pneumatic braking systems in Paris.
  • My father, only uncle, and wife’s father served the US military in World War 2. My uncle’s hair turned white, and he refused to ever discuss what he witnessed. My wife’s father was shot by Nazis on three separate occasions as a combat field medic; the last putting seven machine gun bullets through both his legs and crippling him. My father was trained to operate M4 Sherman tanks, and was young enough that only some of his 18-year-old cohorts in 1945 were shipped to Europe.

I do know that I refuse the long history of lie-began US Wars of Aggression that continues to today, and conclude with the most decorated US Marine general in his day that US wars are lie-started and strongly motivated for 1% corporate plunder.

I do know that the simple and lawful solution is to cause US War Criminal surrender through arrests or Truth & Reconciliation.

I do know that I welcome public participation to share what they know, and act as they see best.

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  • This claims to have the answer: http://www.radiolab.org/story/60-words/

    • Carl_Herman

      Yeah, I wanted to avoid a longer post, but I think you’re right that I have to include AUMF directly rather than linked. Thanks, Orangutan 🙂

  • Dee

    The UN has never declared any of the US wars in Iraq or Afghanistan Illegal. You, me everybody is entitled to an opinion and in the US we are free to publish or speak that opinion. But that is as far as it goes. The Oath the Military takes is to preserve protect and defend the Constitution and obey the orders of the Commander in Chief and the Officer appointed over them. If the UN has not declared to war illegal, if the International Court of Justice has not declared a war illegal .. then anybody acting to arrest the President or disobey an order is committing a crime that they will have to answer for in a court or courts martial and will , if found guilty , have to go to jail. You may see them as a prisoner of conscience, but legal authority , the courts, will see them as a traitor and offering aid and comfort to the enemy.

    So long as the US has a veto on the Security Council, it is unlikely the Security Council will declared a US back war illegal or that the ICJ will impose a fine on the US for conducting an illegal war. And that is the penalty.. nobody gets arrested for an Illegal War , Nations get fined. National Interest and National Security are some very broad terms ..

    Take the WMD in Iraq for example .. Intel said they had WMD.. Iraq had used WMD against Iran, Saddam said he had WMD. We knew which of our allies had sold the WMD capability to Iraq. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-08-27/how-times-have-changed-cia-files-prove-america-helped-saddam-use-chemical-weapons

    In Afghanistan The simple fact is Al Qeada had declared war on the US twice , before the 9/11 attacks http://www.heritage.org/research/projects/enemy-detention/al-qaeda-declarations and we ignored them, thinking they didn’t have the capability. I think a case could be made in an International Court that given the declarations of war and the safe haven being provided by Afghanistan and the actual terror attacks against the US and US interests by Al Queda and the fact we did attempt diplomatic measures to gain custody of the attackers.. anybody acting on a belief that our war in Afghanistan was illegal would have a hard time in court proving it.. and if they did act on that belief and couldn’t prove it, if they refused an order or attempted to “arrest” and take anybody into “custody” aka Kidnapping they would have to personally suffer the penalty.. which is kind of harsh death or life imprisonment.
    So lets tell the whole truth here, The UN Charter has a definition of legal and by extension illegal war AND the UN Charter has a mechanism to officially declare that a war is Illegal and the obligation to do so, even more so if a member nation is getting attacked and asks for such a declaration. The UN has NOT so declared, therefore the war isn’t illegal under the UN Charter. Yes, it is rigged.. we sit on the security council and we have an absolute veto and it would be the Security Council that declares wars illegal .. that’s diplomacy and some of the stuff that goes into getting nations to sign treaties in the first place. You start throwing around Legal and illegal and lawyers and law and details and procedures get involved, folks/ nations are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
    You invoke the Oath to the Constitution and act on your belief , your action will be tried in a court of law with jurisdiction and if you can’t prove, and without a UN declaration that a war is illegal you can’t prove the war is illegal, you will pay the penalty for violating your Oath to the Constitution and any laws you might have broken violating your Oath. Anybody can do anything they want because they believe it is right and they are assumed innocent until convicted under laws that say they were wrong in their belief.
    You can believe you life is in danger and act in self defense to defend your life.. doesn’t mean the court will agree at your trial that harming or killing the person you believe was threatening or posing a threat to your life was right or reasonable or justified.
    If you cite the UN Charter as the authority for your opinion, your opinion is legally wrong until the UN security council agrees with you. So far they do not, therefore you are legally wrong and the wars are legal. The same for any and every treaty you might choose to cite as an alternative to the UN Charter.. Until the Treaty members under Treaty provisions decide differently all the wars you have an opinion about as being illegal , are in fact under the provisions of the treaties you cite are not illegal.

    • Carl_Herman

      No, Dee, with all respect. This is why:

      “War” is an act among nations, not among groups with members who conspire to commit a crime. Therefore any so-called “terrorist” group cannot be considered “at war” nor can the US use military attack upon another nation and claim they are “at war” with some group within the country.

      You are correct that the UN is rigged, but that doesn’t change the fact the US is not even close to meeting the lawful requirement for military attack. Analogies: a car driving ~30 mph through a stop sign violated the law, no matter what action police/courts take or do not take; a baseball pitch ten feet over the batter’s head is a ball and not close to a strike, no matter what the umpire claims.

      Therefore, until We the People grow-up enough to state the simple truth that we’re being played for fools so oligarchs can kill and loot in our name and with our money, we’re in need of this basic education. The US military must honor the US Constitution and war law, NOT WHAT LYING PSYCHOPATHS TELL THEM IS LAW TO USE THEIR KILLING POWER.

      • Dee

        The US Constitution says the Congress has the power to declare war and issues Letters of Marque ( commission pirates or these day , Private Security Contractors I suppose) Doesn’t say or limit the reasons or justifications for going to war, doesn’t say it has to be in the National Interest , doesn’t say anything about the why or morality of any war.. Congress has the power. Congress is authorized to keep secrets. Nothing in the Constitution says Congress has to tell the citizens the truth or has to tell the public anything. says the President has to report to Congress once a year.. it is only recently and as a courtesy that he does it publically.. Presidents just sent a letter to Congress for years.
        US Military has JAG officers.. they are military lawyers .. any troopie can go to JAG and for free ask any question about law or act of war or an order they want any time they can get an appointment.. and I assure you JAG says that the wars are legal, and very rarely says an order is illegal … and they give sound real legal advice .. and like any legal advice, if you are acting under the advice of your lawyer , you are pretty much covered legally.
        Do you have any competent legal authority that says any War is illegal that we are involved in? And even if it was, who and how would they enforce it against the US outside of a small fine.
        I agree war is immoral, inhumane, all sorts of bad for all sorts of good reasons .. I agree war should be illegal.
        But legally speaking , they are legal , with only very small occasional illegal infractions.
        As I have pointed out to you before the legal basis for the Nuremburg Trials was the Surrender terms themselves and aside from a few small violation of the Hague Conventions all of the ‘War Crimes’ tried at the Nuremburg Trials were created out of whole cloth by the Victors after Germany Surrendered. re: The London Pact

        • Carl_Herman

          Dee: yes, this article’s first link cites and explains two treaties that under Article 6 of the US Constitution we are legally bound under choice of 2/3 of the Senate and two US Presidents to intentionally have as US “Supreme law.”

          I invite all of the public, including you, Dee, to read those two treaties, and tell us what they mean (it will only take about an hour). Under that letter and intent of treaties after two world wars, along with Article 6 of our Constitution, then tell us what the definitions are for legal and illegal war.

          Thank you, Dee. You’ve inspired me for another angle to help people find a place to stand to stop these lie-started and, I assert, obviously unlawful wars.

          • Carl_Herman

            And, Dee or anyone, please supply links to any JAG published reasoning to tell US military to follow these war orders. Lt. Ehren Watada was successful to not be prosecuted when he refused war orders for Iraq, yes?

          • Dee

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ehren_Watada His court martial was on missing movement and conduct unbecoming .. his reasons did not matter very much , but rather were offered in Mitigation ( something like a Justification Defense in civilian court).. he got a mistrial and was dismissed from the service.. that is the equivalent of a dishonorable discharge. He lost certain civil rights for life http://www.ehow.com/list_6139124_consequences-dishonorable-discharge-military.html

            here is the Jag handbook http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/operational-law-handbook_2012.pdf The entire first chapter is a discussion of The legality of war with many references to the UN Charter.. it backs what I have said. Carl you are not going to be happy.. but you invoked legality and the lawyers followed in thru that hole. sorry.

          • Carl_Herman

            No, again, Dee. Lt. Watada was not prosecuted. And I imagine Dr. King “lost certain civil rights for life” because of his arrest record, too.

            The JAG handbook you link is helpful; they state: “Any decision to employ force must rest upon the existence of a viable legal basis in international law,” specifically in context of the US treaty of the UN Charter.

            The JAG handbook also affirms the UN Security Council’s authority: in this case as explained with two Resolutions for cooperation to get facts, lawful arrests, then prosecutions for those who did the crimes of 9/11. This did not authorize US use of force; the US violated these lawful Resolutions for War of Aggression.

            The JAG handbook also affirms: “Preventive self-defense—employed to counter non-imminent threats—is illegal under international law.” Anyone can read Chapter One in a few minutes to confirm this.

            I’m not “sorry” for your reply: it helps the public to see our point that when “officials” lie in “emperor has no clothes” obvious fashion, it’s our job to speak the facts are not even close to the law.

            Your position to surrender our voices to such “officials” would have kept Americans under British rule as a colony. The answer to this problem of a trial is also in the Constitution: a jury to determine both the facts and through jury nullification the applicability of law to those facts. Military trials are not jury trials, true, and open the more important trial of informed public opinion that will end these unlawful and lie-started wars.

            But Dee: where are you on legal opinion of the now verified lies to begin these wars? Don’t those amount to treason as the closest crime by US “leaders”?

          • Dee

            Carl read the link The Lt was court martialed .. that is the same thing as prosecuted.

            And read little farther into the Jag handbook .. the very articles of the UN Charter you cite are used to justify the US wars and use of force because the UN has never defined certain terms .. so we have and the UN hasn’t complained o disagreed … believe me read the whole chapter .. when you get to this you can start crying.

            Selection from the Jag manual

            In contrast, some States, including the United States, argue that an expansive interpretation of the UN Charter is more appropriate, contending that the customary law right of self-defense (including anticipatory self-defense) is an inherent right of a sovereign State that was not “negotiated” away under the Charter. Arguing that contemporary experience has demonstrated the inability of the Security Council to deal effectively with acts and threats of aggression, these States argue that, rather than artificially limiting a State’s right of self-defense, it is better to conform to historically accepted criteria for the lawful use of force, including circumstances which exist outside the “four corners” of the Charter.

            c. Preemptive Use of Force. In the 2002 National Security Strategy (NSS), the U.S. Government took a step toward what some view as a significant expansion of use of force doctrine from anticipatory self-defense to preemption.12 This position was reinforced in the 2006 NSS, which reaffirmed the doctrine of preemptive self-defense against “rogue states and terrorists” who pose a threat to the United States based on their expressed desire to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction.13 The “Bush Doctrine” of preemption re-casted the right of anticipatory self-defense based on a different understanding of imminence. Thus, the NSS stated, “We must adapt the concept of imminent threat to the capabilities and objectives of today’s adversaries.” It concluded: “The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction – and the more compelling the case for taking action to defend ourselves, even if uncertainty remains as to the time and place of the enemy’s attack.”14 The 2010 NSS, however, suggests a possible movement away from the Bush Doctrine, as the Obama Administration declares in the NSS that, “while the use of force is sometimes necessary, [the United States] will exhaust other options before war whenever [it] can, and [will] carefully weigh the costs and risks of action versus the costs and risks of inaction.”15 Moreover, according to the 2010 NSS, “when force is necessary . . . [the United States] will seek broad international support, working with such institutions as NATO and the U.N. Security Council.”16 Nevertheless, the Obama Administration maintains that “the United States must reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend our nation, yet we will also seek to adhere to standards that govern the use of force.”17

            d. A modern-day legal test for imminence, consistent with the above, was perhaps best articulated by Professor Michael Schmitt in 2003. He stated that States may legally employ force in advance of an attack, at the point when (1) evidence shows that an aggressor has committed itself to an armed attack, and (2) delaying a response would hinder the defender’s ability to mount a meaningful defense.18

            D. Self-Defense Against Non-State Actors. Up to now, this handbook has discussed armed attacks launched by a State. Today, however, States have more reasons to fear armed attacks launched by non-state actors from a State. The law is still grappling with this reality. While the answer to this question may depend on complicated questions of state responsibility, many scholars base the legality of cross border attacks against non-state actors on whether the host State is unwilling or unable to deal with the non-state actors who are launching armed attacks from within its territory.19 Some scholars have posited that a cross border response into a host State requires the victim State to meet a higher burden of proof in demonstrating the criteria that establish the legality of a State’s use of force in self-defense.20

            E. OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF). In the wake of the attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 (9/11), the UN Security Council passed, on the very next day, UNSCR 1368. This resolution explicitly recognized the United States’ inherent right of individual or collective self-defense pursuant to Article 51 of the UN Charter against the terrorist actors who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks. The basis for the United States’ use of force in OEF is, therefore, the Article 51 right of individual or collective self-defense. United States forces involved in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission must also, however, be aware of current UNSCRs, the most recent of which is UNSCR 2011 (dated 12 October 2011), which “[a]uthorizes the Member States participating in ISAF to take all necessary measures to fulfill its mandate.” The mandate of ISAF per the UNSCR is to assist the Afghan Government in improving “the security situation and build its own security capabilities.” Thus, forces operating within the ISAF mission do so legally on the basis of a Security Council resolution, whereas forces operating within the OEF mission do so legally on a self-defense basis.

            Oh I agree there is a lot of double talk and pious references to high principle… but do not for one minute think you were the first to come up with the “war is illegal” thing and that battalions of lawyers haven’t already found arguments that prove war is very legal..in fact not going to war, in most cases is what is illegal. And it is all in the Jag manual .. just keep reading.

          • Carl_Herman

            Dee, thank you! Would you be willing for our conversation to become the basis for an article? I’d allow you any introduction you want (including to remain anonymous) and to check for accuracy.

            Now to your comments: I did read everything you linked. A “prosecution” of Lt. Watada means a complete legal procedure; what occurred was a mistrial: the judge in this case surrendering the prosecution. Analysis here: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-court-martial-mistrial-of-lt-watada/4951

            And perfect what you cite! The US admits violating the legal limits of the UN Charter because the Security Council somehow isn’t “good enough” and blah, blah, blah with BS to justify violating the law. Also, the US admitted there is no “imminent threat” so that undercuts further “reasons,” and recall that Afghanistan agreed to arrest any criminal suspects of any crime upon consideration of evidence (the US refused to provide any; Bush: “We know he’s guilty”).

            These are all Orwellian legal claims, Dee, and exactly my point: war is not peace, aggression is not self-defense, going 30 mph through a stop sign is not a “stop,” and a baseball pitch ten feet over everyone’s heads is not a strike.

            The war lawyers, torture lawyers, bankster lawyers who are the lying sacks of spin in attempt to kill and loot in our name must be called out for what they are: criminal accomplices in killing millions, harming billions, and looting trillions.

            Until Americans are ready for this citizenship test, what we receive from our psychopathic leaders will continue and escalate.

          • Dee

            Americans are citizens when they are born or naturalized , there is no other citizenship test and American citizens have complete freedom of and from conscience, and are free to believe anything they want. Lying is protected free speech. And a lot of what should be a crime concerning banksters and torture is actually legal , just like war. Somebody else on here recently posted an article on

          • Carl_Herman

            Dee, tell us what the two treaties to end war mean in letter and intent, please. This should help: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/04/resolving-developed-nations-obvious-complicity-lie-started-us-war-crimes.html and this: http://www.examiner.com/article/how-a-government-teacher-easily-proves-occupy-s-claim-of-us-war-crimes

            You seem to argue that two treaties with Constitutional power mean nothing compared to “word games” such as pointed to in the JAG handbook, then a case study of Lt. Watada where the government ran from court rather than bring their legal argument that their wars comply within the law doesn’t indicate the government’s weak position, and then that the two treaties themselves are constructed to allow for Wars of Aggression/wars at will when the offending nation creates some BS “reason” such as the existing Security Council isn’t “good enough” and insists their definition of “self-defense” however they define it is valid.

            Do I understand your conclusion?

            This is what I conclude: the treaties outlaw war in clarity similar to explaining when a baseball runner is safe or out at a base, the US wars aren’t close to the self-defense requirement to attack another nation, and the US continues these wars only on public ignorance with corporate media propaganda.

          • Dee

            Carl .. what article in the UCMJ do you think the Military should have charged Lt Watada under?
            And when it comes to treaties and what they intend and what they say .. it isn’t like baseball , it isn’t like national laws ..
            The UCMJ has only so many articles ( laws) you have to charge somebody with a violation of one of them to have a case. Some of the articles are admistraive

          • Carl_Herman

            Dee: Lt. Watada should be a spark for US military refusal of unlawful war orders – no war order is lawful for unlawful war. He should not be charged, but honored as one of the very few with the intellectual integrity and moral courage to support his Oath to defend the US Constitution. Specifically, he supported Article 6 that US treaties to only engage in armed attacks when under attack by another nation’s government is the only lawful time armed attack against another nation may be engaged.

            9/11 sparked the UN Security Council to resolve for cooperation to get the facts, arrests, and prosecutions. You fear-monger and justify the US wars in your last part here, and point to further international duplicity to support unlawful wars. Yeah, that happens, and is another layer we must reject: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/04/resolving-developed-nations-obvious-complicity-lie-started-us-war-crimes.html

          • Dee

            No Dr, King was never convicted of a felony.. you only lose Civil rights on a felony conviction or a dishonorable discharge ( enlisted ) or dismissal ( commissioned officer). The military is different than civilian.. Lt Watada had a mistrial , he was prosecuted but not convicted , he was administratively dismissed , not a legal action , so no appeal .. consequences are based on dismissal, not on conviction.
            imagine what you want.. but facts would be better

          • Carl_Herman

            Ok: how about the civil right of one’s life not to be taken by government? Please recall the King Family civil trial verdict that the US assassinated Martin: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/04/2014-worldwide-wave-action-arrest-dr-kings-killers-us-government-media-leaders-8.html

            You’re right, and thank you for the correction to be clear on the most important facts concerning Dr. King’s loss (and all of our loss) of his most important civil right.

          • Dee

            I feel like a simple person talking to the Cheshire Cat in Alice. In the Conventional sense of words .. The Lt was prosecuted and got a hung trial , normally a second prosecution is not barred under double jeopardy, so there was a internal policy conflict on further prosecution look for a fiction to hang a “out” on. Dr King I think had all of his Civil Rights, because he exercised them at a time when that was not an easy thing to do , he was the example that it could be done and why he was a Hero. I would have personal troubles conceding Dr King lost his civil right to life thru any Legal Proceeding. Personally I assume if it is a question of legality it will never be straight forward and will be intentionally convoluted and even internally self contradictory, a word game of sorts .. and I see you are familiar with the concept re: my first two points in this post.
            We are having a conversation , and it is part of an article by you already, aren’t we? What would this other conversation be like and how would it be different and how much editing would be involved on your end? As near as I can tell we agree except on whether words mean what we want them to mean or if they have some anchor in the real world.
            You ask if anybody had seen a legal justification for the wars we fight.. I produced it, it is anchored in the real world to the extent that the nation and the military actually operate on those legal concepts, and no other nation or organization or treaty member contests the legality because they may need the same loopholes themselves at a latter date.. Although we argue against our very own legal rational when Russia does it in the Ukraine , but even that flip flop doesn’t fly internationally, just because we want it to, because the reasons we use when we do small friendly invasions and kill people are that legally sound. Can you imagine the US going to the ICJ and demanding reparations for 9/11 from Al Qeada ? And then them sending us a check ?

          • Carl_Herman

            Dee: Lt. Watada legal status was a mistrial declared by the military judge, with no further trial held as allowable. When the same governing body that says the war is legal also appoints the judge, then drops the trial before the defense can make their case that the war was illegal, that seems revealing for any other member of the military who would like to make a similar challenge. Again, details here: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-court-martial-mistrial-of-lt-watada/4951

            Dr. King is a hero for recognizing the same unlawful acts of government as Lt. Watada; both cases having “official” claims of legality. Both paid prices for their real-world leadership by the hands of US government “leaders”; Watada to be removed from his job and demonized, Martin King to be demonized for challenging the Vietnam War and then assassinated by US government. Again, King Family civil trial evidence and verdict: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/04/2014-worldwide-wave-action-arrest-dr-kings-killers-us-government-media-leaders-8.html

            The article I have in mind would allow readers to consider the legal argument you provided. I would allow you to preview the article, even amend comments to make the argument most clear. My intention is to demonstrate to anyone interested that law is meant to mean specific and understood limits of behavior. We know this is its purpose in sports, traffic law, and that people on the street cannot attack another person unless under attack or imminent threat of attack.

            The US ongoing war-murders are easy to see as unlawful in the ordinary context that everyone is meant to understand basic and important rules.

            Setting aside the government’s ridiculous claims of what happened on 9/11, as I documented, the UN Security Council resolved twice for nations to cooperate for factual findings, arrests, and prosecutions of all involved in 9/11. The idea that the US can or should war-murder a million people in direct violation of those resolutions is tragic-comic, demands public recognition of unlawful war, and arrests of US war “leaders.”

            So, Dee: interested in my putting these comments together for public consideration under its own article title?

          • Dee

            No but thanks .. we don’t speak the same language.. you think all “laws” are the same and all systems of laws are the same .. it leads to some gross misunderstandings on your part.. think Watada escaped punishment and the UCMJ has the same structure as civil law .. Okay let me try and explain .. President Obama made a comment about soldiers that committed rape or sexual assault should be thrown out of the military .. he was thinking that that meant they got fired .. under the UCMJ despite the fact that long jail terms in a military prison are available, dismissal is consider about second to the death penality.. and because the President / Commander in Chief said he thought dismissal was appropriate the Military Courts ruled that The President wielded inappropriate and undue influence in a Courts martial decision, really all Courts Martial decisions involving those charges and specifications and now no Courts martial can impose dismissal from the military for rape or sexual assault while he is President. Dismissal is the whole hold a formation cut the buttons and devices off the uniform , break the sword have the entire formation turn their back on the convicted and march him off post accompanied by drum roll. technically we aren’t even supposed to be referring to Watada by his former rank. The Military certainly isn’t. And as you keep pointing out Treaties by the Constitution have weight of National law.. But treaties don’t have “laws” they have principles .. they don’t have penalties, they don’t have agents of enforcement, The signatories have to write a national law interpreting the provisions of the treaty for a nation to have a law to enforce. And we wrote that law our way.. to be enforced our way and we do .. that is what the JAG manual explains. And if US troops break the law the way we wrote it in Congress for the Military or if a national action would violate the law the way congress interpreted it then Congress would have to act or the unit commander would have to act.
            I simply don’t think you understand half of what you read from the actual practical side of implementation or the meaningfulness of the penalties or how the structure of the laws involve actually work .. you think everything in the world works under some form of US civil law.. it doesn’t we are a really weird and different system of laws .. In Canada hate speech is criminal and the government gets to decide what hate speech is .. In Italy right now Amanda Knox is being tried for a third time, this time in abstentia after being acquitted once and convicted once. That could never happen here. And I just don’t think you understand that.. especially with the UN and 192 different member nations each with a different system of law… of course the members get to modify and adopt the general principles in their own way .. geeze
            I can’t spend the energy correcting your misinformed interpretations about systems of law and thinking they somehow support your agenda .. and it is becoming painfully obvious you do not want to understand for fear it will not support your personal agenda and personal sense of Justice or legality. Everything is a gottcha with you.. and that is simply not going to fly withany kind of legal sophisticated audience.. to many people are doing effective things to stop war .. I was kind of hoping you might get on board .. instead of throwing a wrench in the works .. lost cause .. we have had enough conversation . You do not wish to understand you hold the one true truth .. be happy in that.

          • Carl_Herman

            Dee, you seem to argue that only experts can understand the law, and that treaties mean nothing outside a nation’s deliberate manipulation of its meaning.

            You also argue that people are working (I assume you include yourself) to end war through legal avenues.

            Alrighty then: what are people/you doing?

            As of now, this is what I read from you: treaties are worthless to perform what the Constitution states under Article 6 to be our “supreme Law” under any objective understanding of behavior agreed among nations. Therefore, the US is free to define “legal war” however they choose, and the sacrifices of all our families and meaning of a “treaty” are all lost to the power of dictatorial US government to say whatever they want when they want to.

            Do I understand you correctly, Dee?

            If so, I disagree, and claim the entire history of The Enlightenment in support of the letter and intent of the US Constitution and meaning for what a treaty and law communicate.

          • Dee

            No Carl, I am saying that almost everybody understands the law.. it takes somebody real special to not understand. That is why you are such a minority view. You ask for legal justification, I linked you to it. You say the US hasn’t implemented the provisions of the treaty, The UN thinks we have, no complaints from them, We have laws on the books that are enforced for Both the UN Charter and Hague and Geneva Conventions. We try diplomacy first, we build a coalition, we consult the UN Council, we observe the JSC resolutions, We get invited by the country in question often, we have bases in 175 countries, we have troops serving as UN observers. We honor our treaty obligations all over the world.

            War it terrible, horrible, inhumane, there is just no nice way to do it, but we spend billions on weapons nobody else can afford or have the technology to build to minimize human casualties and avoid collateral damage.

            If you remember the Left in America was begging the Military to go into Afghanistan to stop the Taliban and what they were doing to women and UN protected world history sites, N.O.W. had a resolution that we go help. The people always want us to go help the oppressed , until we do and then ohh myy god war is so horrible .. it changes people so much , they get PTSD and wounded and killed and civilians get killed and hurt. We stopped genocide in Bosnia and pretty much the whole former Yugoslavia. Liberated Kuwait, and got bad mouthed for not stopping the genocide in Rwanda because we didn’t go. When we went into Afghanistan and Iraq it was popular, and not just for the talking points popular these days.. it was to free the women from Taliban oppression, it was because Saddam was violating the treaty from the first Iraq war , violating the no fly zones , slaughtering his own people, all true, Saddam had used chemical weapons against Iran and claimed he still had them, turned out he was bluffing and now the story is we made that up, no, the Fact is Saddam made that up. Al Qeada declared war on US years before 9/11, and we had the UN’s blessing to go in . If folks don’t want to join the military they don’t have to.

            I have worked with the Quakers on draft counseling, I have spoken out against the various wars back when they were still popular as a Vet. I believe we shouldn’t be in so many entangling alliances like the UN and NATO and SEATO or have commitments to Saudi Arabia or bases in the Middle East, even before we has a shot at energy independence, let South Korea and Japan and the Philippines handle their own issues with China. let Israel solve it’s own problems, And stop selling arms to everybody and their corrupt uncle. I have worked very hard in the anti Nuclear movement for dang, 28 years, and been a NVCD trainer about that long. The hard part of being against war is when it is popular, when folks are getting slaughtered and they can’t defend themselves, when our guys are getting killed nation building and all the glory part is over. The Terrorists aren’t just attacking us .. right now an Al Qeada associated group Boko Haram have kidnapped a couple hundred young girls and are selling them as sex slaves for $12 apiece in Nigeria . Kerry says we are going to go help, is that Legal in your mind? It is going to be drones and Hellfires and Rangers, maybe Force Recon, It won’t be a big thing , folks are going to be killed, civilians, unavoidable, the guys that took them are technically civilians , terrorists and some of the girls might get killed too , by us, by the terrorists so they can’t testify. I am against us helping.. not our problem .You going to write an article condemning our illegal incursion? What if a hellfire hits the wrong hut? We know they are crossing borders, into not the country asking us for help, as a safe haven, should we invade? I don’t think so.. but if we do go in , it isn’t something I am going to protest or call it illegal, Pretty sure it is legal and Just , but then there is your slippery slope. Pete Seeger , pretty famous anti war and social justice guy, folks singer on his Guitar is written ” this Machine kills Fascists” wonder what that means? I’ve marched with Correta Scott King, I was invited to the opening ceremony of the Southern Poverty Law Center, because of some of my work.

            Trying to claim war is illegal is a non starter , it just doesn’t work , and The UN and the Hague and Geneva conventions and only a few non mainstream churches have ever declared war illegal .. doesn’t mean that folks don’t try to make war less common, less acceptable, and advocate for using diplomacy more.. and someday ending war or make war more humane .. limit the unnecessary carnage, try to put some limits on the violence md the weapons , like land mines. But you have to have some principles , you have to be in touch with reality. You can’t pick and choose, and you have to have a better way.. what is you better way to save those girls in Nigeria? .. have an alternative to protecting the refuge camps in Somalia ? Going to write a citation or a subpoena for Assad or the rebels ? Is Syria an Illegal war? if so , how are you going to stop it.

            You want to see a Hero that was a conscientious objector? ever heard of Desmond Doss? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desmond_Doss or Thomas Bennett http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_W._Bennett_(conscientious_objector) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_G._LaPointe,_Jr.

            This is as far as we have got.. if you think war is Illegal, then do not do it.


            If you need to know how legal war is then read this , Yes I mean legal , when nobody says NO, when nobody protests. http://www.plough.com/en/articles/2011/july/blessing-the-bombs

            But I can read the Law.. And while many things . documents, treaties, Charters deplore war, work to stop war, they can’t make it illegal, and nobody has, because they can’t enforce a law against war. You do what you can do. And you have to have a better way to protect the innocent than war. and right now we don’t. Right now Military service is voluntary, but the draft laws are still in place.. if you object to all war.. seriously, align yourself with a church or organization that is recognized, and start walking your talk now. And get a community that will support your moral position .. the sooner the better .. you don’t just get to say some magic words .. there has to be evidence you live the life. And you have to know what you are talking about.. you start telling them that war is illegal and it isn’t going to work. Legal is a societal/ governmental concept, individuals do not get to make their own laws or pick and chose what laws they will follow. Conscience is an individual right, That, even the laws say, they must respect. But it has to be all war, all violence, even to save those girls in Nigeria, to be officially recognized and respected by the laws here in the US. It has to be on Moral, or Religious, or Humanitarian grounds.
            Those same options Moral , religious, humanitarian have credibility if you want to stop war, claiming war is illegal because it is against this treaty or that charter just doesn’t work because they all have loopholes or nobody , no nation, would sign on.. nations who think war is illegal are easy to spot , they don’t have a military force. But you say it is only for defensive purposes.. which means you think some war is legal.. you can’t even be a conscientious objector if you believe that.

          • Carl_Herman

            Dee and interested readers: read the UN Charter for yourself and see the treaty that under Article 2 makes the US wars not even close to lawful. Here’s my article with the sections if you don’t want to invest the hour to read it for yourself: http://www.examiner.com/article/us-war-law-explained-arrest-us-war-criminals-before-they-do-iran

            Here’s the Kellogg-Briand treaty that makes war illegal to use as a policy: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/kbpact.htm This takes about 5 minutes to read.

            Both are active treaties.

            The UN Charter requires a nation to take-on the US/UK wars as an issue, and no nation has yet taken on those empires, so Dee is not truthful in saying what the UN “thinks” about it. Here’s some expert testimony, including the Secretary General of the UN and all 27 UK Foreign Affairs lawyers agreeing the wars are not lawful: http://www.examiner.com/article/how-a-government-teacher-easily-proves-occupy-s-claim-of-us-war-crimes

            Think for yourself, folks. War law is meant to be as clear as traffic laws, sports laws, and your household rules for family.

            Don’t believe Dee or me. Look for yourself.

          • Dee

            I feel like a simple person talking to the Cheshire Cat in Alice. In the Conventional sense of words .. The Lt was prosecuted and got a hung trial , normally a second prosecution is not barred under double jeopardy, so there was a internal policy conflict on further prosecution look for a fiction to hang a “out” on. Dr King I think had all of his Civil Rights, because he exercised them at a time when that was not an easy thing to do , he was the example that it could be done and why he was a Hero. I would have personal troubles conceding Dr King lost his civil right to life thru any Legal Proceeding. Personally I assume if it is a question of legality it will never be straight forward and will be intentionally convoluted and even internally self contradictory, a word game of sorts .. and I see you are familiar with the concept re: my first two points in this post.
            We are having a conversation , and it is part of an article by you already, aren’t we? What would this other conversation be like and how would it be different and how much editing would be involved on your end? As near as I can tell we agree except on whether words mean what we want them to mean or if they have some anchor in the real world.
            You ask if anybody had seen a legal justification for the wars we fight.. I produced it, it is anchored in the real world to the extent that the nation and the military actually operate on those legal concepts, and no other nation or organization or treaty member contests the legality because they may need the same loopholes themselves at a latter date.. Although we argue against our very own legal rational when Russia does it in the Ukraine , but even that flip flop doesn’t fly internationally, just because we want it to, because the reasons we use when we do small friendly invasions and kill people are that legally sound. Can you imagine the US going to the ICJ and demanding reparations for 9/11 from Al Qeada ? And then them sending us a check ?

  • I wonder just how many Military Generals are in the current Mainstream media? This is one of many stories Mr. Herman that would make for a great publication here on Washington’s Blog!

    OCTOBER 18, 2013 The Military-Industrial Pundits: Conflicts of Interest Exposed for TV Guests Who Urged Syrian War