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20 May 2011 @ 08:14 am
Libyagate: US, time's up & The illegality of NATO  
The illegal war in Libya Glenn Greenwald (former constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York) [hat tip Mathaba.net]
"No more ignoring the law when it's inconvenient. That is not who we are. . . . We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers" -- candidate Barack Obama, August 1, 2007
[...] Make no mistake: Obama is breaking new ground, moving decisively beyond his predecessors. George W. Bush gained congressional approval for his wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bill Clinton acted unilaterally when he committed American forces to NATO's bombing campaign in Kosovo, but he persuaded Congress to approve special funding for his initiative within 60 days. And the entire operation ended on its 78th day.
In contrast, Congress has not granted special funds for Libya since the bombing began, and the campaign is likely to continue beyond the 30-day limit set for termination of all operations. . . .
If nothing happens, history will say that the War Powers Act was condemned to a quiet death by a president who had solemnly pledged, on the campaign trail, to put an end to indiscriminate warmaking. /more

(Watch: Obama accepts Nobel Peace Prize Raw)

IADL statement on military action against Libya
The International Association of Democratic Lawyers issued the following statement regarding the Security Council Resolution 1973 in Libya and military actions by the United States, France and the United Kingdom's imposition of a no-fly zone:

1. The International Association of Democratic Lawyers ("IADL") has previously condemned the brutal repression of democratic mass demonstrations in Libya and stated that reports of indiscriminate bombing on civilians if true would violate the core principles of humanitarian law. IADL also called for an immediate end to support of Gaddafi's regime and for the immediate end to the bloodshed of the Libyan people. IADL stressed that the Libyan regime may be guilty of crimes against humanity, which may brought before the International Criminal Court. Nonetheless, IADL opposed foreign intervention in Libya including establishment of a a no-fly zone.
2. Notwithstanding the requirement of Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter that all members states of the United Nations must settle their disputes in a peaceful manner and Article 2(7) which prohibits intervention into essentially domestic matters of a country, the Security Council on March 17, 2011 passed a resolution which in the name of protecting civilians allowed for the imposition of a no-fly zone. This resolution is inconsistent with both Articles 2 (4) and 2 (7) of the Charter.
3. IADL notes that as soon as this resolution passed, peaceful methods to end the attacks on civilians in Libya were abandoned and France, the United Kingdom and the United States began military actions to impose a no fly zone in Libya, which has exposed many more civilians to potential death and injury.
4. IADL, therefore condemns this resolution and military actions based on it, at the same time as we condemn the Gaddafi's actions against his people and demands that all such attacks end.
5. IADL further reaffirms its support for the democratic movement and for a peaceful solution of the Libyan internal conflict based on principles of self-determination and non intervention.

The Responsibility to Protect – The Cases of Libya and Ivory Coast Prof. Marjorie Cohn, CGR
[...] “Who is to decide if there is an urgent need for an intervention in a given State, according to what criteria, in what framework, and on the basis of what conditions? Who decides it is evident the authorities of a State do not protect their people, and how is it decided? Who determines peaceful means are not adequate in a certain situation, and on what criteria? Do small States have also the right and the actual prospect of interfering in the affairs of larger States? Would any developed country allow, either in principle or in practice, humanitarian intervention in its own territory? How and where do we draw the line between an intervention under the Responsibility to Protect and an intervention for political or strategic purposes, and when do political considerations prevail over humanitarian concerns?”
The Responsibility to Protect doctrine violates the basic premise of the UN Charter. Last year, the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee declined funding for the office of the new Special Advisor on Responsibility to Protect. Some member States argued that the Responsibility to Protect had not been agreed to as a norm at the World Summit. The debate will continue. But for many States, this is a slippery slope that should be viewed with extreme caution.
(Marjorie Cohn is a professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, past president of the National Lawyers Guild, and deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers.)

Items mentioned previously -
The Use of Force Against Libya: Another Illegal Use of Force Jurist Forum
Curtis Doebbler, professor of law at Webster University and Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, both in Geneva, Switzerland, says the UN Security Council and the military coalition in Libya acted in contravention of international law in its use of force against Libya

French lawyer to prosecute NATO for 'crimes' in Libya Afriquejet
French lawyer to prosecute NATO for 'crimes' in Libya - A complaint will be filed in the coming days in Brussels, Belgium, against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for 'crimes' committed in Libya, including the killing of the Libyan leader's son and his three grandchildren, French lawyer Philippe Missamou, announced Thursday to PANA.

As NATO strives for regime change by bombing a path for the insurgents, who is protecting the civilians from NATO and the insurgents?
Dr Moussa Ibrahim presents Libyan Government story Stopthebombing.info

Some Benghazi insights
Way to go. People power in Benghazi, video and text, Mathaba
The population of Benghazi have been terrorised by the summary executions, shootings and abduction and torture of many thousands of people simply for being labelled as "pro Gaddafi" because of their belief in people's power and direct democracy as opposed to the reactionary rebel imposters.
Now some brave souls have ventured out into a demonstration to show that there is popular support for defending people's power in Benghazi.

Mentioned previously
Bombing Libya: 1986 - 2011 T.C Mountain, Counterpunch
The revolt started in Benghazi in eastern Libya. A very important point not mentioned anywhere in the international media is the fact that due to geographic location, being one of the closest point to Europe from the African continent, Benghazi has over the past 15 years or so become the epicenter of African migration to Europe. At one point over a thousand African migrants a day were pouring into Libya in hopes of arranging transport to Europe.
The human trafficking industry, one of the most evil, inhumane businesses on the planet, grew into a billion dollar a year industry in Benghazi. A large, viscous underworld mafia set down deep roots in Benghazi, employing thousands in various capacities and corrupting Libyan police and government officials. It has only been in the past year or so that the Libyan government, with help from Italy, has finally brought this cancer under control. With their livelihood destroyed and many of their leaders in prison, the human trafficking mafia have been at the forefront in funding and supporting the Libyan rebellion. Many of the human trafficking gangs and other lumpen elements in Benghazi are known for racist pogroms against African guest workers where over the past decade they regularly robbed and murdered Africans in Benghazi and its surrounding neighborhoods. Since the rebellion in Benghazi broke out several hundred Sudanese, Somali, Ethiopian and Eritrean guest workers have been robbed and murdered by racist rebel militias, a fact well hidden by the international media.
Benghazi has also long been a well known center of religious extremism. Libyan fanatics who spent time in Afghanistan are concentrated there and a number of terrorist cells have been carrying out bombings and assassinations of government officials in Benghazi over the past two decades. One cell, calling itself the Fighting Islamic Group, declared itself an Al Queda affiliate back in 2007. These cells were the first to take up arms against the Libyan government
[...] When the first demonstrations of discontented youth took place in Benghazi the loose coalition of terrorist cells and human trafficking gangs immediately took advantage of the turmoil to attack the high security prisons outside of Benghazi where their comrades were locked up. With the release of their leadership the rebellion began attacking police stations and government offices and Benghazi residents began to wake up to the sight of dead bodies of police officers hanging from freeway overpasses.

More recently -
Killings and Rumors Unsettle a Libyan City NYT
BENGHAZI, Libya — Three weeks ago, a traveler spotted a man’s body in the farmland on this city’s outskirts, shot twice in the head with his hands and feet bound. He had disappeared earlier that day, after visiting a market.
Ten days later, near the same spot, a shepherd stumbled upon the body of a second man, killed with a single bullet to the forehead. Masked, armed men had taken him from his home the night before, without giving a reason, his wife said.
The dead men, Nasser al-Sirmany and Hussein Ghaith, had both worked as interrogators for Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s internal security services, known for their brutality against domestic dissidents. The killings, still unsolved, appeared to be rooted in revenge, the families said, and have raised the specter of a death squad stalking former Qaddafi officials in Benghazi, the opposition stronghold.

(See yesterday's post for an account of the atrocities committed by insurgents is Az Zawiya)

An exhaustive timeline via StopBombingLibya.info
Hidden behind propaganda a giant crime against Libya is fact
2002: The U.S. State Department launched the "MEPI“ program that was ostentatiously designed to support "reform efforts“ in the Arab world. It supported a wide range of government opponents there for transition to freedom, democracy and human rights the way the U.S. liked to have it. It’s aim was to build up more and more US-led impact on opposition against US-sponsored regimes over the the years, so that when a country was ready, the U.S. could replace a U.S. sponsored dictatorship with a new U.S. sponsored regime. Libya was one of the programs targets. /more

First class coverage of Libya by CRG

(Stopthebombing.info's list of Libya articles)

Notable
Law change will allow Lockerbie files' release Scotsman
NEW laws to allow the publication of Lockerbie files are to be brought in by the SNP.
Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was jailed for life for the December 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which exploded in the skies above the Scottish town, killing 270 people.
The SNP wants to change the law to allow the publication of papers from the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC), which said there were six grounds where it believed a miscarriage of justice may have occurred.
[...] But Labour justice spokesman Richard Baker voiced concerns over the announcement. He said: "We need to know what Kenny MacAskill's reason for this change in the law is. "He has always maintained that Megrahi was properly convicted by a Scottish court and that he had no reason to doubt his guilt. Now he appears to be casting doubt on his own assertion, and if that is the case, then Mr MacAskill needs to explain whether that influenced his decision to grant compassionate release."

Ivory Coast president wants ICC probe VoR
The president of Ivory Coast Alassane Ouattara has requested that the International Criminal court start an investigation into the crimes committed after the second round of the presidential elections last year.
[The ICC should consider whose supporters were responsible for most of the killings, who armed them and the role the UN and France played in taking a side so intensifying and prolonging the conflict. That is if it finds itself as the only option open, i.e. local courts refuse to handle the case or are likely to be more biased than the ICC.]

Obama gives up, AIPAC wins MJ Rosenberg, Al J
Supporters of justice in the Middle East need to raise their voices, lest president hears only Israel's shouting.

Al-Jazeera’s “Exclusive” Relationship With Al-Qaeda CFP
[...] In the interview, Ibrahim discloses that “…we made a lot of money out of Al Qaeda” by selling bin Laden tapes to other news organizations. “A tape in the old days would sell for US $100,000,” he says. “You get the tape, and then other news organizations wanted to air it as well. So it was selling.”
Meantime, television broadcaster Jerry Kenney, a leading critic of the Qatar-based channel, is blasting Senator John McCain for praising the channel and giving Al-Jazeera an exclusive interview. His open letter to McCain says:
Senator McCain:
I voted for you in the last Presidential election and I am very, very disappointed that you have chosen to lend your credibility to Al-Jazeera.
It is obvious that you don’t understand that you are being used by a very sophisticated propaganda machine in the same way that Jane Fonda was by the North Vietnamese. No difference, except you haven’t posed sitting on anti-aircraft guns. That would be too obvious.
Freedom House lists the country of Qatar (the owner and operator of Al-Jazeera) as NOT having a free press. Wouldn’t it be better if you took the stance that you will appear on Al-Jazeera when the dictator of Qatar guarantees a free independent press for his own subjects/citizens?
I fear for my country when a national leader with such a distinguished war record exercises such poor judgment.
It seems that you care more about getting on TV anywhere anytime then you do America.