Friday, August 28, 2015

Nuremberg: A Fair Trial? A Dangerous Precedent


The Nuremberg War Trial has a strong claim to be considered the most significant as well as the most debatable event since the conclusion of hostilities. To those who support the trial it promises the first effective recognition of a world law for the punishment of malefactors who start wars or conduct them in bestial fashion. To the adverse critics the trial appears in many aspects a negation of principles which they regard as the heart of any system of justice under law.

This sharp division of opinion has not been fully aired largely because it relates to an issue of foreign policy upon which this nation has already acted and on which debate may seem useless or, worse, merely to impair this country's prestige and power abroad. Moreover, to the casual newspaper reader the long-range implications of the trial are not obvious. He sees most clearly that there are in the dock a score of widely known men who plainly deserve punishment. And he is pleased to note that four victorious nations, who have not been unanimous on all post-war questions, have, by a miracle of administrative skill, united in a proceeding that is overcoming the obstacles of varied languages, professional habits, and legal traditions. But the more profound observer is aware that the foundations of the Nuremberg trial may mark a watershed of modern law.

Before I come to the discussion of the legal and political questions involved, let me make it clear that nothing I may say about the Nuremberg trial should be construed as a suggestion that the individual Nuremberg defendants or others who have done grievous wrongs should be set at liberty. In my opinion there are valid reasons why several thousand Germans, including many defendants at Nuremberg, should either by death or by imprisonment be permanently removed from civilized society. If prevention, deterrence, retribution, nay even vengeance, are ever adequate motives for punitive action, then punitive action is justified against a substantial number of Germans. But the question is: Upon what theory may that action properly be taken?

The starting point is the indictment of October 18, 1945, charging some twenty individuals and various organizations, in four counts, with conspiracy, crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Let me examine the offenses that are called in Count 3 of the indictment "war crimes," in the strict sense...

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1946/04/nuremberg-a-fair-trial-a-dangerous-precedent/306492/?single_page=true

OLC: President May Withhold WMD Info from Congress

Despite an explicit statutory requirement to keep Congress “fully and currently informed” about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the President may withhold proliferation-related information from Congress if he determines that doing so could harm the national security, according to a sweeping opinion from the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) that was prepared in 2003.

The opinion, written by then-OLC deputy John C. Yoo, was released this week under the Freedom of Information Act. See Presidential Authority to Protect National Security Information, January 27, 2003.

The OLC opinion takes an uncompromising view of presidential authority. It reviews multiple statutes that mandate disclosure of various types of information to Congress, including requirements to report on WMD proliferation and to keep the intelligence committees “fully and currently informed of all intelligence activities.” It then concludes that those statutes cannot override, modify or limit the President’s constitutional prerogatives.

“Despite Congress’s extensive powers under the Constitution, its authorities to legislative [sic] and appropriate cannot constitutionally be exercised in a manner that would usurp the President’s authority over foreign affairs and national security,” the OLC opinion said.

Even to a layman, the Yoo opinion seems muddled and poorly argued, in several respects...

http://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2015/08/olc-nsi/

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

9/11 survivor known as 'Dust Lady' in iconic photo dies at 42


New York (CNN)Many remember the haunting photograph: A woman wearing business attire and pearls is covered head-to-toe in white dust, her hands held out helplessly before her, as she makes her way out of the World Trade Center's damaged North Tower on September 11, 2001.

She survived that day, getting out before both towers of the trade center crumbled and killed 2,753 people in the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.

But the woman in the photos, known to most as the "Dust Lady," died Tuesday, her family said. Marcy Borders was 42.

She had been battling stomach cancer since last year, daughter Noelle Borders told CNN...

http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/26/us/9-11-survivor-dust-lady-dies/index.html

Monday, August 17, 2015

The History of CIA-Funded Foundations: Why the CIA Deliberately Funds Socialists and Liberals

Who Paid the Piper: The Cultural Cold War1 by Frances Stoner Saunders (1999)  is about the covert “cultural” propaganda the CIA carried out between 1950 and 1967. The Congress for Cultural Freedom, the centerpiece of this operation, had offices in 35 countries, published over 20 magazines, held art exhibitions and provided major financial support for American artists, poets, authors and playwrights. Its primary purpose was to “nudge” the intelligentsia of Western Europe away from Marxism and communism towards a more accommodating view of US interests.

At the end of World War II, Europeans tended to view the US as “a culturally barren nation of gum chewing, Chevy driving, Dupont-sheathed Philistines.” To counteract this stigma, Truman issued an appendix to executive order NSC-4A, directing the CIA director to undertake covert psychological activities in support of American anti-Communist policies.

As Saunders details, this strategy included CIA support for both US and foreign Non-Communist Left (NCL) organizations, trade unions who agreed to weed out “dangerous radicals” and leftist intellectuals. The rationale was to create and support “parallel” organizations to provide an alternative to Communist groups over which the CIA had no control...

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/09/01/the-history-of-cia-funded-foundations/