Every Lapdog Should Have His Day . . . in Court

It’s time for a citizen’s arrest …

Words by Heathcote Williams. Music by Max Reinsch. Performance by Alan Cox.

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  1. says

    I enjoyed the recording. In 2004, legal action was brought in Germany against Donald Rumsfeld. This was possible because Germany has a universal jurisdiction law for war crimes. The Pentagon reacted angrily, and Rumsfeld was also troubled by it. His spokesman at the time, Lawrence DiRita, called the case a “a big, big problem.” He was to speak at a security conference in Munich and said he would not appear unless the proceedings were not halted.

    Legal action was again initiated in Munich against Rumsfeld in 2006 for war crimes.

    In 1998, former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested in the U.K. and held for 16 months in an extradition battle led by a Spanish magistrate seeking to charge him with war crimes. He was ultimately released and returned to Chile.

    A Belgian court tried to bring charges against Ariel Sharon for crimes against Palestinians, particularly regarding the Sabra and Shatila massacre.

    In 1984 the Sandinista government in Nicaragua filed a suit in the International Court of Justice against the United States, which resulted in a 1986 judgment against the United States. The ICJ held that the U.S. had violated international law by supporting the contras in their rebellion (which included continual acts of murder, torture, and terrorism) against the Nicaraguan government and by mining Nicaragua’s harbors.

    All of these efforts were stymied by jurisdictional issues, but there is a hint that someday the rule of law might help to prevent war – or at least some of the worst atrocities of war.

    • says

      Yes. We need a song about Rumsfeld the war criminal. Anyone game?

      Song could include a chorus about this, per Daily Kos:

      A federal case in San Francisco […] alleges that President Bush and much of his administration should be tried for violating international law in the execution of the Iraq War.

      However, the Obama administration’s Department of Justice has moved to request that such Bush-era officials, and the former President, be shielded with immunity. [emphasis added]

      In court papers filed today, the United States Department of Justice requested that George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and Paul Wolfowitz be granted procedural immunity in a case alleging that they planned and waged the Iraq War in violation of international law.
      Plaintiff Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother and refugee now living in Jordan, filed a complaint in March 2013 in San Francisco federal court alleging that the planning and waging of the war constituted a “crime of aggression” against Iraq, a legal theory that was used by the Nuremberg Tribunal to convict Nazi war criminals after World War II.

      [The] suit alleges that President Bush and his administration falsified pretenses for the war, failed to get international approval, and began planning for the possibility of an invasion before 2000.
      However, the Obama administration would like to shield the ex-President and his officials from such prosecution, [emphasis added] arguing that everything done was performed within the scope of their various governmental roles.

      Meanwhile, Bradley Manning – now Chelsea Manning – will be spending 35 years in prison for exposing U.S. war crimes.

      Crimes Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their ilk helped choreograph.

  2. Neil McGowan says

    The song is great :) But there is one flaw in it – Blair wasn’t “conned” by the neocons. He didn’t for a moment believe in the “Weapons Of Mass Destruction”. They were a lie he told knowingly and willingly.

    The arrest needs to go further than just Blair. Campbell, both the Miliband Twins, Goon, Brown, Browne, and Mandelson are all equally guilty. All of them need to go down for these crimes.

    A country that fails to arrest war criminals is a fascist, worthless state.