Update on Bush War Crimes Conference
The agenda is now set and speakers in place for the September conference to plan for the war crimes prosecutions of President Bush and other top administration officials. As you may recall, two posts here in June (here and here) described plans by Massachusetts School of Law dean Lawrence Velvel to convene the conference. As we quoted Velvel saying then: "This is not intended to be a mere discussion of violations of law that have occurred. It is, rather, intended to be a planning conference at which plans will be laid and necessary organizational structures set up, to pursue the guilty as long as necessary and, if need be, to the ends of the Earth."
Now the conference has a firm date, an agenda, an initial list of presenters, and a Web site that lays it all out. To be held Sept. 13 and 14 in Andover, Mass., the conference is to be named in honor of Justice Robert H. Jackson, who in 1945 took a leave of absence from the Supreme Court to serve as chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals. Among those so far tapped to speak are:
- Former Los Angeles prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, author most recently of the book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder.
- Phillippe Sands, director of the Centre of International Courts and Tribunals at University College, London, and author of Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values.
- Jordan Paust, professor of law at the University of Houston and author of Beyond The Law: The Bush Administration's Unlawful Responses in the 'War' on Terror.
- Ann Wright, the former U.S. Army colonel and U.S. Foreign Service official who wrote Dissent: Voices of Conscience.
- Peter Weiss, vice president of the Center For Constitutional Rights in New York.
- Benjamin Davis, associate professor at the University of Toledo College of Law and former American legal counsel for the Secretariat of the International Court of Arbitration.
- David Lindorff, journalist and co-author with Barbara Olshansky of The Case for Impeachment: Legal Arguments for Removing President George W. Bush from Office.
- Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and author of Breaking All the Rules: Palestine, Iraq, Iran and the Case for Impeachment.
Velvel's initial announcement of the conference in June attracted controversy for his suggestion that administration officials found guilty of war crimes should be hanged. "We must insist on appropriate punishments," he said, "including, if guilt is found, the hangings visited upon top German and Japanese war-criminals in the 1940s." That controversy aside, this latest announcement of the speakers and agenda suggests the program is one to be taken seriously.
Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on July 28, 2008 at 12:13 PM | Permalink
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