A two-day conference on obtaining prosecutions of high level American war criminals will open September 13th, in Andover, Mass. The conference will explore the legal grounds for, and plan for, obtaining prosecutions of President Bush and top officials of his Administration for war crimes.
In the tradition of America’s Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials after World War II, Justice Robert Jackson, the Conference’s purpose is “to hold high U.S. officials accountable in courts of law and, if guilt is found, to obtain appropriate punishments. Otherwise,” said the Conference’s convener, Lawrence Velvel, “the future will be threatened by additional examples of Executive lawlessness by leaders who need fear no personal consequences” for their actions, leading to “the possibility of more Viet Nams, more Iraqs, and more repression.”
Velvel emphasized, “This is intended to be a planning conference, one at which plans will be laid, and necessary organizational structures will be set up, to seek prosecutions to determine guilt and, if guilt is found, appropriate punishments.”
Attendees will hear from prominent authorities on international law, criminal prosecutions, and constitutional rights who are determined to give meaning to Justice Jackson’s words: “The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes by little people. It must also reach men who possess themselves of great power and make deliberate and concerted use of it to set in motion evils which leave no home in the world untouched.”