News Release

Seeking Accountability for Bloody Attacks: · Fallujah, Iraq — 2004 · U.N. Compound in Lebanon — 1996

MARTI HIKEN
COLLEEN FLYNN
W. GORDON KAUPP
Hiken, a spokesperson and co-chair for the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force, is the plaintiff in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that has just been filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Flynn and Kaupp are among the attorneys representing the Task Force.

The lawsuit seeks the release of the U.S. military’s Rules of Engagement that were in effect during the invasion and assault on the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2004. It also seeks similar information in connection with the shooting incident that involved Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena in Baghdad on March 4, 2005.

A statement released by the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force said: “It is in the interest of national security, honor, integrity, and the rule of law that we seek the release of this information from the U.S. military, specifically from CENTCOM. There are times in the history of this country and especially during time of military conflict that the American people must themselves judge what actions pursued by military forces serve their interest and security. The American people have a right to know what methods of destruction are being employed by its military as we wage wars against our ‘enemies’ throughout the world. And if there are meaningful limits to the use of that force, we should know what they are. If we abandon any pretense at following international norms of conduct in how we wage war, we lose the greater battle, regardless of body counts and land seized.”
More Information

NOURA ERAKAT
JUDITH BROWN CHOMSKY
The Center for Constitutional Rights is litigating a class action lawsuit in connection with the shelling of a U.N. compound in Qana, Lebanon, by Israeli forces 10 years ago, resulting in the deaths of 106 civilians and hundreds wounded. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) is introducing legislation on behalf of the victims.

Erakat, grassroots national organizer and legal advocate at the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, has been working with the Center for Constitutional Rights as well as Qana survivors. She said today: “Shielded by U.S. foreign policy, Israel has never been held accountable for its shelling of a U.N. compound that provided refuge to 800 unarmed civilians in Qana. Instead, U.S. and Israeli pressure worked to shelve a U.N. investigation that found that ‘while the possibility cannot be ruled out completely, the pattern of impacts in the Qana area makes it unlikely that the shelling of the United Nations compound was the result of technical and/or procedural errors.'”

Chomsky, a CCR cooperating attorney, said today: “There is no official in any country that is above the law. It is important that we have a single standard by which people of any country can be called to justice for the violation of human rights.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Cynthia Skow, (415) 552-5378; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167