Friday, April 18, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hell in Brussels – The NATO Spring

Dr. Strangelove

Excerpt from The War Diary of ISAF's Media Operations Centre NATO Headquarters Blvd Leopold III 1110 Brussels, Belgium. Thursday, April 17, 2014 9:30 AM Au Repos de la Montagne, Montagne de Saint-Job 39. Coffee en route to work. Urgent phone call from Chief.  It’s back!  The Chief is practically giddy.  Just when things were the pits for NATO, war is in the air.  Belgium is full of tulips and Ukraine is full of weapons. Urgent meeting in the wine cellar of Le Wine Bar du Sablon, Rue Haute 198.  11:00 AM in wine cellar. Just like the good old days. Property prices are up and flocks of military publicists are migrating to Brussels for the Cold Messaging War that is inevitable.  The Chief said as much to us in the morning briefing. “This is a proper war,” he said with relief through a fog of champagne and cigars.  “This is the war NATO was built for:  Steppes! Tanks! Enemies that wear uniforms!  Missiles!  Good Guys and Bad Guys!  Except for the Germans.  They seem unenthusiastic for some reason. But this time,” he continued, beaming at us, “new technology means we can shape public perception at light speed.”

 “Any thought at all to take Stalingrad?” somebody asked. 

“We’re looking forward not back,” said The Chief darkly.  “As you know, NATO’s position is that political problems can’t be solved by military means, but it's all we know so all options are on the table.” 

 “Where IS the table, Chief?”  

“It’s in a supersecret room at NATO HQ marked NATOPTABLE.” 

“And what options are on it now?” 

“All of them.” 


“Look, I don’t want to get into specifics…” 

“What do we say when people ask us the question?” 

“Tell them you don’t want to get into specifics.” 

"Can we get a picture of the table?"


"You can redact the options."


“What if they ask who’s making NATO policy?” 

"The North Atlantic Council." 

"Who are they?" 

"It's not clear."

4:00 PM The bar opened.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The CIA torture report

1. By this time, the whole world knows what Americans did to their prisoners in the "war on terror".
2. The treatment of these prisoners is, by any sensible definition, torture.
3. Regardless of the name, such treatment is criminal under Common Article 3 of the Geneva conventions of 1949, that the United States is a party to.
4. The torture has not produced any useful information, by any standard.
5. The dancing around publishing the report for "national security" reasons is bullshit:  the only reason to redact the report is to protect the people who did the torturing.
6. The Nuremberg Principles and the subsequent Statue of Rome (that the US has signed but not ratified) make clear that the responsibility for such crimes lies with the chain of command.

The following is from Canada's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act (2000):

Crimes against humanity

  • 1. For the purpose of this Statute, “crime against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:
    • (a) murder;
    • (b) extermination;
    • (c) enslavement;
    • (d) deportation or forcible transfer of population;
    • (e) imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;
    • (f) torture;
    • (g) rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
    • (h) persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
    • (i) enforced disappearance of persons;
    • (j) the crime of apartheid;
    • (k) other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

 (1) A military commander commits an indictable offence if
  • (a) the military commander
    • (i) fails to exercise control properly over a person under their effective command and control or effective authority and control, and as a result the person commits an offence under section 4, or
    • (ii) fails, after the coming into force of this section, to exercise control properly over a person under their effective command and control or effective authority and control, and as a result the person commits an offence under section 6;
  • (b) the military commander knows, or is criminally negligent in failing to know, that the person is about to commit or is committing such an offence; and
  • (c) the military commander subsequently
    • (i) fails to take, as soon as practicable, all necessary and reasonable measures within their power to prevent or repress the commission of the offence, or the further commission of offences under section 4 or 6, or
    • (ii) fails to take, as soon as practicable, all necessary and reasonable measures within their power to submit the matter to the competent authorities for investigation and prosecution.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Nobody isn't under the law

 DON CHERRY (con't)

32. Trying to undermine Elections Canada who are asking the Conservatives to be accountable.

33. Trying to change terms of the Supreme Court Act by sneaking it into one of his legislative sausages.

34. Trying to appoint a new Supreme Court judge while disregarding legal advice that the choice might not be constitutional.

35. Trying to appoint a new Supreme Court judge....

RON MACLEAN (interrupting)
And good evening.  And of course we'll be discussing the Supreme Court of Canada's decision that the Prime Minister's choice for a new judge was unconstitutional.  Welcome to House of Commons Night in Canada.

It was a clean ace...


Absolutely.  2014 SCC 21


The decision regarding the reference about selection of Supreme Court judges from Quebec...


The Supreme Court Act of 1875

Although Justice Moldaver...

...dissented.  He's a good guy  But he's out to lunch on this one.


I read the Act.  It's a no brainer.


Now you're using the hundred dollar words but if you read the Act it seems very clear that whoever wrote it had in mind that there had to be Supreme Court judges from Quebec who were up to speed on Quebec Civil Law as well as English Common Law


...that means a guy who's semi-retired and hasn't practiced law in Quebec for 10 years isn't up to speed within the meaning of the Act...


As Gomery said, there's at least 10 judges in Quebec who meet that reading of the 1875 act and are A-team lawyers up to speed on Quebec Civil Law and English Common Law

You happen to have the 1875 act with you?

Doesn't everybody?  It's on my Playbook.

You're a BlackBerry guy?

Waterloo needs an NHL team.

And that's it for us here on...

You don't use an iPhone do you?


Get me CSEC  on BBM.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

“take away that fool’s bauble, the mace”

...and give us Strong, Stable Leadership™

Oliver Cromwell, 1653
Dissolving the Rump Parliament to become Lord Protector™

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Stupidity, ignorance, war crimes, Munich, and David Frum

The principles of international law and comity of nations, which normally require that Canadian officials operating abroad comply with local law and which might otherwise preclude application of the Charter to Canadian officials acting abroad, do not extend to participation in processes that violate Canada’s binding international human rights obligations.
Supreme Court of Canada 2008 SCC 28

Finally, we will all learn something about ourselves and our political leaders. The months since 9/11 have been a moral test. The Bush administration has passed with flying colours. Its opponents have failed. Politics can be a long, slow business. But in the end, moral failure will be held to account -- even in Canada.
David Frum
"All the pre-war dogmas are falling away"
24 March, 2003

Iraq, 2003
The Reality Show

The conference of the 5th November, 1937, made it quite plain that the seizure of Czechoslovakia by Germany had been definitely decided upon. The only question remaining was the selection of the suitable moment to do it. On the 4th March, 1938, the defendant Ribbentrop wrote to the defendant Keitel with regard to a suggestion made to Ribbentrop by the Hungarian Ambassador in Berlin, that possible war aims against Czechoslovakia should be discussed between the German and Hungarian armies. In the course of this letter Ribbentrop said:
" I have many doubts about such negotiations. In case we should discuss with Hungary possible war aims against Czechoslovakia, the danger exists that other parties as well would be informed about this."
On the 11th March, 1938, Goering made two separate statements to M. Mastny, the Czechoslovak Minister in Berlin, assuring him that the developments then taking place in Austria would in no way have any detrimental influence on the relations between the German Reich and Czechoslovakia, and emphasised the continued earnest endeavour on the part of the Germans to improve those mutual relations. On the 12th March, Goering asked M. Mastny to call on him, and repeated these assurances.
This design to keep Czechoslovakia quiet whilst Austria was absorbed was a typical manoeuvre on the part of the defendant Goering, which he was to repeat later in the case of Poland, when he made the most strenuous efforts to isolate Poland in the impending struggle. On the same day, the 12th March, the defendant von Neurath spoke with M. Mastny, and assured him on behalf of Hitler that Germany still considered herself bound by the German-Czechoslovak Arbitration Convention concluded at Locarno in October, 1935.
The evidence shows that after the occupation of Austria by the German Army on the 12th March, and the annexation of Austria on the 13th March, Conrad Henlein, who was the leader of the Sudeten German party in Czechoslovakia, saw Hitler in Berlin on the 28th March. On the following day, at a conference in Berlin, when Ribbentrop was present with Henlein, the general situation was discussed, and later the defendant Jodl recorded in his diary:
"After the annexation of Austria the Fuehrer mentions that there is no hurry to solve the Czech question, because Austria has to be digested first. Nevertheless, preparations for Case Gruen (that is, the plan against Czechoslovakia) will have to be carried out energetically; they will have to be newly prepared on the basis of the changed strategic position because of the annexation of Austria."
On the 21st April, 1938, a discussion took place between Hitler and the defendant Keitel with regard to " Case Gruen ", showing quite clearly that the preparations for the attack on Czechoslovakia were being fully considered. On the 28th May, 1938, Hitler ordered that preparations should be made for military action against Czechoslovakia by the 2nd October, and from then onwards the plan to invade Czechoslovakia was constantly under review. On the 30th May, 1938, a directive signed by Hitler declared his " unalterable decision to smash Czechoslovakia by military action in the near future."
In June, 1938, as appears from a captured document taken from the files of the SD in Berlin, an elaborate plan for the employment of the SD in Czechoslovakia had been proposed. This plan provided that " the SD follow, if possible, immediately after the leading troops, and take upon themselves the duties similar to their tasks in Germany.... "
Gestapo officials were assigned to co-operate with the SD in certain operations. Special agents were to be trained beforehand to prevent sabotage, and these agents were to be notified " before the attack in due time .... in order to give them the possibility to hide themselves, avoid arrest and deportation .... "
" At the beginning, guerrilla or partisan warfare is to be expected, therefore weapons are necessary .... "
Files of information were to be compiled with notations as follows: " To arrest " .... " To liquidate " ...." To confiscate " .... " To deprive of passport" etc.
The plan provided for the temporary division of the country into larger and smaller territorial units, and considered various " suggestions ", as they were termed, for the incorporation into the German Reich of the inhabitants and districts of Czechoslovakia. The final " suggestion " included the whole country together with Slovakia and Carpathian Russia, with a population of nearly is millions.
The plan was modified in some respects in September after the Munich Conference, but the fact that the plan existed in such exact detail and was couched in such war-like language indicated a calculated design to resort to force.
On the 31st Augt, 1938, Hitler approved a memorandum by Jodl dated 24th Augt, 1938, concerning the timing of the order for the invasion of Czechoslovakia and the question of defence measures. This memorandum contained the following:
" Operation Gruen will be set in motion by means of an 'incident' in Czechoslovakia, which will give Germany provocation for military intervention. The fixing of the exact time for this incident is of the utmost importance."
These facts demonstrate that the occupation of Czechoslovakia had been planned in detail long before the Munich conference.
In the month of September, 1938, the conferences and talks with military readers continued. In view of the extradordinarily critical situation which had arisen, the British Prime Minister, Mr. Chamberlain, flew to Munich and then went to Berchtesgaden to see Hitler. On the 22nd September Mr. Chamberlain met Hitler for further discussions at Bad Godesberg. On the 26th September, 1938, Hitler said in a speech in Berlin, with reference to his conversation:
" I assured him, moreover, and I repeat it here, that when this problem is solved there will be no more territorial problems for Germany in Europe; and I further assured him that from the moment when Czechoslovakia solves its other problems, that is to say, when the Czechs have come to an arrangement with their other minorities, peacefully and with out oppression, I will be no longer interested in the Czech State, and that as far as I am concerned I will guarantee it. We don't want any Czechs."
On the 29th September, 1938, after a conference between Hitler and Mussolini and the British and French Prime Ministers in Munich, the Munich Pact was signed, by which Czechoslovakia was required to acquiesce in the cession of the Sudetenland to Germany. The " piece of paper " which the British Prime Minister brought back to London, signed by himself and Hitler, expressed the hope that for the future Britain and Germany might live without war. That Hitler never intended to adhere to the Munich Agreement is shown by the fact that a little later he asked the defendant Keitel for information with regard to the military force which in his opinion would be required to break all Czech resistance in Bohemia and Moravia. Keitel gave this reply on the 11th October 1938. On the 21st October, 1938, a directive was issued by Hitler, and countenanced by the defendant Keitel, to the armed forces on their future tasks, which stated:
" Liquidation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia. It must be possible to smash at any time the remainder of Czechoslovakia if her policy should become hostile towards Germany."
On the 14th March, 1939, the Czech President Hacha and his Foreign Minister Chvalkovsky came to Berlin at the suggestion of Hitler and attended a meeting at which the defendants Ribbentrop, Goering and Keitel were present, with others. The proposal was made to Hacha that if he would sign an agreement consenting to the incorporation of the Czech people in the German Reich at once, Bohemia and Moravia would be saved from destruction. He was informed that German troops had already received orders to march" and that any resistance would be broken with physical force. The defendant Goering added the threat that he would destroy Prague completely from the air. Faced by this dreadful alternative, Hacha and his Foreign Minister put their signatures to the necessary agreement at 4.30 in the morning, and Hitler and Ribbentrop signed on behalf of Germany.
On the 15th March German troops occupied Bohemia and Moravia, and on the 16th March the German decree was issued incorporating Bohemia and Moravia in the Reich as a protectorate, and this decree was signed by the defendants Ribbentrop and Frick.

Crimes against Peace

Keitel attended the Schuschnigg conference in February, 1938 with two other generals. Their presence, he admitted, was a " military demonstration," but since he had been appointed OKW Chief just one week before he had not known why he had been summoned. Hitler and Keitel then continued to put pressure on Austria with false rumours, broadcasts and troop manoueuvres. Keitel made the military and other arrangements and Jodl's diary noted " the effect is quick and strong." When Schuschnigg called his plebiscite, Keitel that night "briefed Hitler and his generals, and Hitler issued " Case Otto " which Keitel initialled.
On 21st April, 1938, Hitler and Keitel considered making use of a possible " incident," such as the assassination of the German Minister at Prague, to preface the attack on Czechoslovakia, Keitel signed many directives and memoranda on " Fall Gruen," including the directive of 30th May, containing Hitler's statement: "It is my unalterable decision to smash Czechoslovakia by military action in the near future." After Munich, Keitel initialled Hitler's directive for the attack on Czechoslovakia, and issued two supplements. The second supplement said the attack should appear to the outside world as " merely an act of pacification ,and not a warlike undertaking." The OKW Chief attended Hitler's negotiations with Hacha when the latter surrendered.
Keitel was present on 23rd May, 1939, when Hitler announced his decision " to attack Poland at the first suitable opportunity." Already he had signed the directive requiring the Wehrmacht to submit its " Fall Weiss " timetable to OKW by 1st May.
The invasion of Norway and Denmark he discussed on 12th December 1939, with Hitler, Jodl and Raeder. By directive of 27th January, 1940, the Norway plans were placed under Keitel's " direct and personal guidance." Hitler had said on 23rd May, 1939, he would ignore the neutrality of Belgium and the Netherlands, and Keitel signed orders for these attacks on 15th October, 20th November, and 28th November, 1939. Orders postponing this attack 17 times until Spring, 1940, all were signed by Keitel or Jodl.
Formal planning for attacking Greece and Yugoslavia had begun in November, 1940. On 18th March, 1941, Keitel heard Hitler tell Raeder complete occupation of Greece was a prerequisite to settlement, and also heard Hitler decree on 27th March that the destruction of Yugoslavia should take place with " unmerciful harshness."
Keitel testified that he opposed the invasion of the Soviet Union for military reasons, and also because it would constitute a violation of the non-aggression Pact. Nevertheless he initialled " Case Barbarossa," signed by Hitler on 18th December, 1940, and attended the OKW discussion with Hitler on 3rd February, 1941. Keitel's supplement of 13th March established the relationship between the military and political officers. He issued his timetable for the invasion on 6th June, 1941, and was present at the briefing of 14th June when the generals gave their final reports before attack. He appointed Jodl and Warlimont as OKW representatives to Rosenberg on matters concerning the Eastern Territories. On 16th June he directed all army units to carry out the economic directives issued by Goering in the so-called " Green Folder," for the exploitation of Russian territory, food and raw materials.
In the face of these documents Keitel does not deny his connection with these acts. Rather, his defence relies on the fact that he is a soldier, and on the doctrine of " superior orders," prohibited by Article 8 of the Charter as a defence.
There is nothing in mitigation. Superior orders, even to a soldier, cannot be considered in mitigation where crimes as shocking and extensive have been committed consciously, ruthlessly and without military excuse or justification.
Wilhelm Keitel was hung at Nurember, 16 October, 1946

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Godwin's Corollary

As a result, belief in diplomacy has become almost a clandestine faith among ambitious foreign-policy types. “Disparaging and trivializing diplomacy is a Washington obsession,” says Zenko. No important diplomatic opening, not with Iran, not with Russia, can fail to be likened to “Munich.” Even Secretary of State Kerry compared the failure to lob  missiles into Syria’s civil war to Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler.
Chase Madar
The Anti Warrior
The American Conservative

As an on-line discussion of international affairs grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Neville Chamberlain and Munich approaches 1.