News Release

NATO and ICC: Power and Accountability

AARON HUGHES, aarhughes at; SCOTT KIMBALL, scttkmbll at
Hughes and Kimball are veterans and members of Iraq Veterans Against the War. They will be leading a rally and march on Sunday to the NATO meeting “security perimeter.” Kimball said today: “We plan on returning our medals to the leaders of NATO — it’s been destabilizing, not stabilizing, Afghanistan. We are against this militarism.”

Hughes explained his returning of medals: “Because every day in this country, 18 veterans are committing suicide. Seventeen percent of the individuals that are in combat in Afghanistan, my brothers and sisters, are on psychotropic medication. Twenty to 50 percent of the individuals getting deployed to Afghanistan are already diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, military sexual trauma or a traumatic brain injury. Currently one-third of the women in the military are sexually assaulted.”

DAVID N. GIBBS, dgibbs at
Author of First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, Gibbs is a professor of history and government at the University of Arizona who has written extensively on NATO. He said today: “NATO is an organization that lost its relevance with the Cold War. It was originally created to protect Europe against a military invasion by the Soviet Union. By any reasonable standard, it should simply have ceased to exist with the end of the Cold War in 1989. Today, it is largely an example of bureaucratic self-preservation, as well as a drain on the economy.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at
Boyle is a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of Tackling America’s Toughest Questions. Yesterday, reported that Charles Taylor — in his first statements after being convicted by the UN Special Court on Sierra Leone: “President George W. Bush not too long ago ordered torture and admitted to doing so. Torture is a crime against humanity. The United States has refused to prosecute him. Is he above the law? Where is the fairness?” The report noted that “In January of 2010, one Professor Francis A. Boyle of the College of Law at the University of Illinois filed a Complaint with the International Criminal Court against President Bush and at least five of his senior officials for allegedly committing international crimes.”

Just this week, Boyle returned to the U.S. from Malaysia and the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, which convicted Bush in absentia. He said today: “The International Criminal Court has become a joke and a fraud. I supported it originally. But no more. It has no credibility whatsoever. It just goes after tin-pot dictators in Africa while the real war criminals such as Bush, Blair and Netanyahu get off scot-free. Hence I went out to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal to convict Bush, Blair, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their consigliore lawyers.”