This event is
dedicated to all Iraqis who died and resisted the US military
invasion and occupation of Iraq
Patrick Ryan McCaffrey Sr.,
former student at De Anza College,
who died in June, 22, 2004 in Iraq at the age of
THURSDAY, NOV. 10, 2005.
1. Biographies of Presenters
2. Inquiry into Colin Powell’s Complicity in War Crimes
3. International Law, War Crimes and War Crimes Tribunals / Truth
4. Goals of the Tribunal
Dr. Wendy White
is Instructor of Humanities at DeAnzaCollege
Dr. Greg Druehlis Instructor of Political Science at DeAnzaCollege
Dr. Ayad al-Qazzazis Professor
of Sociology at California State University-Sacramento. An Iraqi-American
scholar, educated at the University
of Baghdad and the University
of California Berkeley, he specializes
on U.S. foreign
policy in the Middle East and the Sociology of the Middle
East and North Africa.He is the President of the Sacramento Arab
American Chamber of Commerce.He is the
author of Transnational Links Between the
ArabCommunity in the U.S. and the
Arab World; The Arab World: A
Handbook for Teachers; Women in the
Middle East and NorthAfrica; and North Africa: an Annotated Bibliography.
Ramon Leal is a
De Anza College student, majoring in Political Science. Leal served 4 years on
active duty in Germany
from July, 1996 to July, 2000. He served in National Guard from 2000 to
January, 2005.He served in Iraq
from June, 2003 to April, 2004. He is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
Pierre LaBossiereis a native of Haiti
and a founding member of the Haiti Action Committee (www.haitiaction.net), a local
organization dedicated to connecting volunteers and charitable donations with
Haitian peasant cooperatives. LaBossiere’s family
moved to the U.S.
from Les Cayes, in southern Haiti,
where he worked with the church youth movement.He is presently an activist on behalf of social justice and the
restoration of the legitimate, democratically elected government of President
Aristide, who was again overthrown in a U.S.-sponsored coup in 2004.
Ann Fagan Ginger
is a practicing attorney and Executive Director of the Meiklejohn
Civil Liberties Institute, in Berkeley,
California.She has been a Visiting Professor of Law at
the University of California-Hastings College, the University
of San Francisco, Santa
the University of Puget
Sound and NewCollege.She is the author of Challenging U.S. Human Rights Violations Since 9/11 (2005); California Criminal Law Practice (Vol. I and II);Jury Selection in Civil and Criminal Trials,
Nuclear Weapons AreIllegal, and The National Lawyers Guild; From Roosevelt to
Dr. Chuong Chung is an Associate Professor of Asian
American Studies at City College of San Francisco. He is the former director of
San FranciscoStateUniversity’s VietnameseStudiesCenter.
He is a native of Vietnam
and is currently serving as the President of the San Francisco Ho Chi Minh Sister City Committee. He is the author of two books, Perfume Dreams and The Book of Perceptions, which highlights the reconnection of
Vietnamese Americas with the homeland. Dr. Chung also teaches in the
Intercultural and International Studies Division of DeAnza
Retired Army Colonel
Ann Wright is a decorated veteranwith
26 years in public service as an U.S.
army officer and 15 years as a U.S.
diplomat. She served as a US
diplomat around in countries like Grenada,
etc. She joined the Foreign Service in 1987 and served as Deputy Chief of
Mission of US Embassies in Sierra Leone,
with previous assignments in Somalia,
Grenada and Nicaragua.She received the State Department’s Award for
Heroism. She resigned from US Foreign Service on March 19, 2004 while serving as Deputy Chief of Mission
at the US
embassy in Mongolia,
to protest the US War in Iraq,
the US policy
on Israeli-Palestinian conflict, U.S.
policy on Korea,
and the erosion of civil liberties.
Retired Air Force
Captain Joyce Riley is a Registered Nurse who has been a Director of
Nursing of four institutions. She served in Operation Desert Storm (The Gulf
War, 1990-91), flying active duty missions on a C-130 aircraft from Alaska
to Cuba. Her
experience as a medical-legal expert in medical malpractice suits gave her the
background to investigate the Gulf War Illness/Syndrome. She worked as a nurse
transporting sick and injured troops from the Gulf War to the U.S.
She is a co-producer of the documentary, “Beyond
Treason,” which examines the Gulf War Illness/Syndrome and the US
Military’s attempts to cover it up. She presently serves as Spokesperson for
the American Gulf War Veterans Association.
An Inquiry into Colin Powell’s
Complicity in War Crimes
Colin Powell is among the most accomplished and most powerful African
Americans in U.S.
history. The son of Jamaican immigrants, he was a highly decorated Army
officer, and served as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff of the Americal Division (23rd Infantry Division, U.S.
Army) in Vietnam.
He graduated from CityCollege
in New York and earned an MBA
from GeorgeWashingtonUniversity.He later became a four star General and
Senior Military Assistant to Secretary of Defense Caspar
Weinberger and later National Security Advisor in the Reagan and Bush
Administrations. He became the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from
1989-1993, and during this period oversaw the invasion of Panama
and Operation Desert Storm: the Gulf War (1990-‘91). In 2001, he became the
first African American Secretary of State in U.S.
history, after campaigning for President Bush in the 2000 election. In July,
2005, he became a “limited strategic partner” with one of the most prestigious
venture capitalist firms in the Silicon Valley, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and
Byers, of Menlo Park, which is
currently exploring investments in nanotechnology applications for security
systems. He resigned from his position as Secretary of State in 2005.
Despite his reported reservations about war in Iraq and his differences
with the Cheney/ Rumsfeld/ Wolfowitz
axis inside the Bush Administration, Colin Powell made a presentation before
the U.N. Security Council on Feb. 5, 2003, which made the case for a unilateral
invasion of Iraq and the violent overthrow of its government, based on
erroneous claims of the Saddam Hussein regime’s possession of chemical and
biological weapons and ongoing efforts to obtain nuclear weapons (see Pulitzer
Prize winner,Charles Hanley’s critique at
Philly.com). Powell also asserted that there were links between al-Qaida and the Iraqi government. Powell’s perceived
integrity and credibility served to convince the American people that war
was necessary and that the lack of United Nations support or legitimacy was of
minor consequence.Powell’s speech was
so inaccurate and misleading that he has since admitted that it is a “blot on
his record.”However he also stated that
the U.S. has
little choice but to continue the current policy in Iraq,
and being a “loyal”, but “reluctant soldier”,… I’m
right there with him with the use of force”(ABC’s 20/20; 9/8/2005).In the
Sept., 2004 issue of The Atlantic,
Powell stated that “you need somebody like a George Bush to…say this is our
challenge (in response to P.J. O’Rourke’s assertion that “the Islamists are
evil…and people are having trouble getting their head around who’s the enemy).
Colin Powell’s willingness to serve the President and his advisers’ War in
Iraq and his failure to resign or otherwise separate himself from their
destruction of Iraqi society, their documented attacks on civilian populations,
their widespread use of torture, the Patriot Act, the widespread arrest and
deportation of Arabs, South Asians, and other Muslims, and the erosion of civil
liberties have given rise to this inquiry as to his complicity in the Bush
Administration’s War Crimes, Crimes against Peace, Crimes against Humanity, and
widespread violations of International Law.Powell’s complicity in the unlawful abuse of power is not limited to the
War in Iraq, however.
The thousands of Afghan civilian deaths which resulted from U.S.
military action and the torture of prisoners are also war crimes, consistent
with the pattern which we now see in Iraq.Colin Powell played a critical role in the
U.S./French orchestrated coup d’etat against the
democratically elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti,
on Feb. 29, 2004.
Similarly, Powell, as Secretary of State coordinated the U.S.
support for the hard-line Israeli Government of Ariel Sharon, as he reoccupied
the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and
Gaza.Earlier in his career, in 1986, Powell
admittedly arranged for the sale of 4500 TOW missiles to the Khomeini regime in
Iran in order
to secure funding for the Nicaraguan Contras, an armed force which routinely
used terrorist attacks on Nicaraguan civilians in order to destabilize the
Sandinista government in Nicaragua
(Powell; My American Journey, 1996, p
300-402).These actions, while
authorized by President Ronald Reagan, were at the center of the Iran-Contra
Scandal.Powell orchestrated the
invasion of Panama
with Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz in 1989 (Powell,
401-421). As an investigator into alleged atrocities in Vietnam
in the same division which perpetrated the My Lai
massacre, Powell’s report lauded the excellent relations of U.S.
troops and Vietnamese civilians. Colin Powell, in his role as Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff may bear responsibility for the development and use of
depleted uranium weapons, which have contaminated Iraq, Afghanistan, the former
Yugoslavia and their peoples, and led to illnesses among U.S. veterans, which
the U.S. military and others have gone to great lengths to minimize or
International Law and War Crimes
Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights,and Ann Fagan
Ginger, Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute)
Conceptions of “customary
international law” emanate from such documents as the United Nations
Charter, the Nuremburg Charter, the Geneva Conventions, and the Hague Conventionof 1907,
three of which emerged in the aftermath of World War II, but which built upon
hundreds of years of jurisprudence. The United States has signed all of these treaties and is legally
bound by them.
War Crimes have been
defined by these agreements as 1)Crimes
Against Peace, which include planning,
preparation, or initiation of a war of aggression, in lieu of the negotiated
settlement of disputes; and 2) Crimes Against Humanity, which includes the killing of civilians,
indiscriminate bombing, the use of certain types of weapons, killing
defenseless soldiers, ill treatment of prisoners of war, and attacks on
non-military targets. Any violation of these is a war crime and if they are
committed purposefully, knowingly, or recklessly, they are considered “grave
breaches.”Nazis and Japanese convicted
of these crimes after World War II were hanged.
War Crimes Act (18USC; 2441) provides
substantial jail sentences for violations of war crimes, including the death
penalty, for those convicted of “outrages upon personal dignity, torture or
inhuman treatment, willfully causing great suffering, [and] causing serious
injury to body or health.”
Article 2:1 of the UN
Charter states that “all members shall refrain from the threat of the
use of force againstthe territorial
integrity and political independence of any state.”
Article 2131 and 33 of
the UN Charter requires that “international disputes be settled by
peaceful means;…negotiation, inquiry, mediation, conciliation,
arbitration, judicial settlement, and resort to regional agencies. Not until
all means are exhausted, can force be used”.
51 states that “nothing in the…UN
Charter shall impair the inherent right of… self-defense”.
The Third and Fourth Geneva
that all regular members of a government’s army or members of a militia
fighting alongside them be treated as POWs. Others
must be tried as civilians consistent with national law; Article 5 requires
that competent tribunals be established to determine their status.
The Convention Against Torture (ratified by the US Congress in
*Each party shall take
effective action to prevent acts of torture in any territory in its
*No exceptional circumstances
whatsoever whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal
instability, or any
other… can be invoked as a justification of torture
*An order from a superior
officer or a public authority is not… a justification of torture.
Previous War Crimes
Tribunals and Commissions of Inquiry:
The Nuremburg Tribunals
24 major Nazi leaders and 200 officers tried (World War II).
The Bertrand Russell Vietnam
War Crimes Tribunal, London, Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark: 1966-67; investigated and
publicized U.S. and allies’ war crimes and
conduct in Vietnam.
Truth and Reconciliation
Commission in South Africa; 1995-2002, led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to investigate
victims and perpetrators in the Apartheid system; 849 given amnesty; 5392
The UN Commission on Truth
in El Salvador; 1993:
investigated deaths of 75,000 people in the 12 year Salvadoran Civil War, after
peace agreement between El Salvadoran Government and the FMLN.
The Commission for
Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor;2002-2004:UN Transitional
Administration; 2002-2004: to investigate the deaths of 200,000 people and
human rights violations from 1974-1999.
The World Tribunal on Iraq;
by Jakarta Peace Consensus, Indonesia; and Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation in
Brussels; A 2004 NewYork Tribunal was held and in
October 27-29,2005 a Tribunal was held in Istanbul, Turkey to investigate U.S.
crimes of premeditated war, crimes committed during the aggression, and new
doctrines of military dominance, simultaneous wars, and related economic
Goals of the Tribunal
I. To establish more specific knowledge of Colin Powell’s
culpability for the actions of the Bush Administration:
politicizing intelligence in the months preceding the invasion of Iraq to
mislead the American public and the international community as to the threat
posed by Saddam Hussein’s regime and the necessity of going to war;
2.Ignoring the United Nations
Charter and the will of the UN Security Council in the decision togo to the war against Iraq;
3.Carrying out armed attacks
in such a way that civilians would be killed in large numbers, either
intentionally or inevitably as a result of the scale of the attacks;
4.Attempts to assassinate
5.The destruction of the
cities and the economic infrastructures not necessary for the success of
6.Exposure of the Iraqi
population and US service women and men and other nationals to effects of
depleted uranium weapons and other toxic munitions and materials.
7.Irresponsible failure to
protect the historical and national treasures and monuments;
policies which allow the total breakdown of the social order endangering the
safety, livelihood and lives of the Iraqi population.
9.Attempted expropriation of
the natural resources of the occupied people of Iraq.
10.Deliberate targeting of the
places of worship and religious sites
11.The killing of journalists
who did not share the Bush administration’s goals in Iraq;
12.The widespread use of
humiliation, inhumane treatment, torture, rendition (sending prisoners to
foreign countries for violent interrogation and torture), beatings, rape,
deathand the threat to engage in the
above, in relation to prisoners;
13.Refusal of competent tribunals to establish
the legal status of prisoners
14.Exploitation of federal contracts for
profiteering in the course of war;
15.Public campaigns of disinformation to obscure
the nature and scale of the above crimes, including legal and judicial
judgements and decisions authorizing such crimes.
II. To establish knowledge of specific commission of
crimes of war and violations of International Law and US Law by Colin Powell:
1.In the UN speech on February 5, 2003 concerning the justification for war in Iraq;
2.In Powell’s role in the war
and occupation of Afghanistan (2001-2005);
3.In Powell’s role in the
overthrow of the government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti on February 29, 2004;
4.In Powell’s role in support
of Israeli war crimes against Palestinians (1986-2005);
5.In Powell’s role as Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the war crimes in the Gulf War (killing of
civilians, retreating soldiers, targeting social and economic; infrastructure
6.In Powell’s role in the
cover-up of Gulf War Illness/Syndrome among US veterans in the Gulf War
7.In Powell’s role as National
Security adviser to President G.W. H. Bush in orchestration of the invasion of Panama and overthrow and arrest of
Manuel Noriega in 1989;
8.In Powell’s role in the sale
of missiles to Khomeini regime in Iran in 1986;
9.In Powell’s role in support
of Nicaraguan Contra guerillas’ terrorist attacks on Nicaraguan people (1980s)
10.In Powell’s role in death of civilians in A Shau Valley in Vietnam and the cover-up ofUS atrocities in Americal
III. To report the findings of the Tribunal to the Media, the
American Public and the UN Commission on Human Rights