Friday, December 16, 2011

P.J. Crowley channels Strom Thurmond

"The Pentagon has learned nothing, and forgotten nothing."
 - famous quote, maybe by Talleyrand

 Philip J. Crowley 

The essence of the  case is, if every soldier gets a vote on national security policy, the military ceases to function.

 Glenn Greenwald 

. Actually, the "essence" is: when the gov't does everything of importance behind abusive secrecy, democracy ceases to function

Testimony July 16, 1973, by former Major Hal Knight, USAF,  at Hearings of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Ninety-Third Congress, on bombing in Cambodia - particularly regarding falsification of records of  B52 targets - page 44

Mr. Knight.  Frankly, sir, I felt that the Senate Armed Services Committee was deceived.  On this side of the House, if you go up through the military chain, I don't imagine that anybody was deceived.

Senator Thurmond.  It was your duty to act within the military channel and to pass on anything to higher headquarters which you felt was improper, wasn't it?

Mr.  Knight.  Yes, sir, but I didn't take an oath to support the military, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution.  That goes beyond strictly military channels.

 (emphasis added )

"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

So really, the question is what happens when an oath to defend the Constitution conflicts with an order from the President of the United States and his appointed officers, particularly when the order is unlawful.

So that takes us back to Nuremberg, and the Charter of the International Military Tribunal agreed in London, August 8, 1945, in particular Article 8:

"The fact that the Defendant acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior shall not free him from responsibility, but may be considered in mitigation of punishment if the Tribunal determines that justice so requires."

There you go.  Keitel was hung at Nuremberg.  The majority of his crimes had nothing to do with the Holocaust, and everything to do with violations of international humanitarian law as it then existed.  For example: 

"When, on 8th September 1941, OKW issued its ruthless regulations for the treatment of Soviet POW's, Canaris wrote to Keitel that under international law the SD should have nothing to do with this matter. On this memorandum in Keitel's handwriting, dated 23rd September and initialled by him, is the statement:" The objections arise from the military concept of chivalrous warfare. This is the destruction of an ideology. Therefore I approve and back the measures." Keitel testified that he really agreed with Canaris and argued with Hitler, but lost. The OKW Chief directed the military authorities to cooperate with the Einsatzstab Rosenberg in looting cultural property in occupied territories."

"In the face of these documents Keitel does not deny his connection with these acts. Rather, his defense 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 defense.

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.

Conclusion: The Tribunal finds Keitel guilty on all four Counts.