Inquiry Into Bush War Crimes to Release Findings
Commission of Inquiry Into Bush War Crimes And Crimes Against Humanity to Release Preliminary Findings
National Press Club, Washington, DC
WHEN: Feb. 2, 12 Noon
The International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration met in New York City the weekend of January 20th through the 22nd to work towards fulfilling its mandate: "When the possibility of far-reaching war crimes and crimes against humanity exists, people of conscience have a solemn responsibility to inquire into the nature and scope of these acts, and to determine if they do in fact rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity."
A prestigious panel of jurists heard testimony documenting criminal acts and policies allegedly perpetrated by President Bush and his administration from prominent experts, former US and UK officials, and eye-itnesses, in the areas of war, torture, global environment and health, and Katrina. Hundreds of people attended and the session was covered by CNN, Newsday, all-news channel New York 1, Pacifica radio, and other media. (See links at end of this e-mail.)
Musician, actor and human rights activist Harry Belafonte opened the session: "It is important when all the instruments of government collapse, we go in the final hour, to the most important line of battle: the people themselves." (Full audio and video of all speeches will be posted at www.bushcommission.org)
Attorney Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, stated: "We are putting the Bush administration on trial. We investigate in order to expose. We document in order to indict. We arouse consciousness in order to create mass resistance."
* Scott Ritter, former UN weapons inspector, testified: "What passes for intelligence is nothing more than politically motivated propaganda...There was no intelligence failure because the policy wasn't disarmament; it was regime change."
* Craig Murray, ex-UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan: "There was no form of torture so extreme that the CIA would refuse the results of that torture....You can't build security on evil. I don't believe torture works, but even it if did work, I'd rather die than have anyone tortured to save my life."
* Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski (Ret.): "When [General Geoffrey] Miller arrived at Abu Ghraib, he said, 'It's my opinion that you're treating the prisoners too well....You have to treat the prisoners like dogs... Rumsfeld...authorized sleep deprivation, stress positions, meal disruptions, serving meals late, not serving a meal, leaving the lights on, playing loud music, issuing criticism of their religions."
* Dr. Alan Berkman, Prof. of Public Health, Columbia University: "[Bush's] ideologically driven prevention agenda has in fact accounted for millions of deaths in the five years since he took power."
* Daphne Wysham, of the Institute for Policy Studies: "The Bush White House is deliberately targeting information policy-makers have on climate change in an effort to protect some of the most powerful industries on the planet, namely the oil, gas, and coal industries."
* Hurricane Katrina Victim Larry McBride testified that he and other prisoners in a New Orleans jail were left to die during Hurricane Katrina, and were then beaten and denied food and water by the National Guard when they fled to higher ground.
The panel of jurists is currently deliberating and receiving further evidence. Preliminary findings will be made public at a news conference scheduled for February 2nd at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. at noon. The Commission will later issue detailed findings, accompanied by full documentation. Video and audio transcripts will be posted as available.
As the Commission has brought these proceedings to conclusion, the aggregate impact of the scope and severity of these crimes has shocked even the organizers and experts. People in different fields have shared their information and were stunned. This Commission's work is breaking new ground and will impact the whole political terrain.
YOUR PARTICIPATION AND SUPPORT ARE NEEDED!
Your participation is essential to fulfilling the Commission's mission by making its work and findings known to millions. As Michael Ratner said, this is a pivotal moment. It's no time to sit on the side lines. It is up to all of us to take the evidence of the Commission out into society, to fuel and reframe the debate from one about 'dishonesty," "misconduct," and "law-break" to a recognition of unconscionable crimes against humanity. In doing so, this Commission becomes an instrumentality of all of humanity.
We have a rare opportunity to help make this happen. Funds are needed to fly jurists and witnesses from Europe and the U.S. to Washington, DC for our Feb. 2 press conference. We urge you to give all you can, and then give more. History, and global humanity, demand nothing less. Checks should be made out to "Not In Our Name" and mailed to Not In Out Name, 305 West Broadway, #199, New York, NY 10013. Contributions can be made on line at www.nion.us/NSOC/sign.htm.
Visit the Commission web site at www.bushcommission.org. Volunteers needed in the New York area!
Contact the office at email@example.com. or call 212-941-8086.
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LINKS TO COVERAGE:
Craig's was also Newsday's quote of the day -- "I would rather die than to have someone tortured to protect me."