Japan’s “leadership” seemed to be suffering from amnesia on the 78th commemoration of the destruction of the city of Hiroshima by a nuclear bomb dropped by the United States, the first nuclear bomb to be used in war, and only one of the two nuclear bombs ever used in war, the second of which was also dropped by the United States, and that too against Japan. Yet, all the political leaders of Japan who participated in the official commemoration of that crime against humanity forgot to name the criminal, the United States. However, all of them, for some unknown reason, mentioned Russia, although it was the United States that was solely responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians in that crime in 1945, and perhaps the principal motive behind that bombing was the United States’ intention to threaten the USSR, of which Russia was a part at that time.
For nearly five years, publisher and journalist Julian Assange has fought extradition to the United States where he faces 175 years in prison for revealing evidence of U.S. war crimes. Instead of protecting freedom of the press, to which he pledged allegiance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in April, Joe Biden is continuing Donald Trump’s prosecution of Assange under the infamous Espionage Act. James Ball is one of at least four journalists that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI are pressuring to cooperate with the prosecution of Assange, Ball wrote in Rolling Stone.
Several members of the EU’s Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee have proposed a resolution calling for the EU to assist the International Criminal Court (ICC) in investigating and prosecuting the Israeli government for its war crimes against Palestinians in the occupied territories. The resolution was pushed forward by Swedish Social Democrat Evin Incir, who is also the EU’s rapporteur for recommendations of relations with the Palestinian Authority (PA). The resolution was proposed on 27 June, with 41 votes in favor, 21 against, and nine abstentions, with a plenary vote scheduled for July.
You can indict Vladimir Putin over war crimes in Ukraine. But if you do, you’d better indict Joe Biden as well. That is the message that Professor Alfred de Zayas, world-renowned human rights and international law expert, gave “MintCast” host Alan MacLeod on today’s episode of the series. A Swiss-American lawyer, academic and United Nations official with over 50 years’ experience in the field of human rights, de Zayas joins us for a wide-ranging discussion about international law and Ukraine, U.S. sanctions, whistleblowers, the successes and failures of the United Nations and its bodies, and the growth of a new and cynical “human rights industry” that weaponizes the concept to attack foreign governments.
Heavy Ukrainian shelling of central Donetsk on April 28 killed nine civilians – including an eight-year-old girl and her grandmother – and injured at least 16 more. The victims were burned alive when the minibus they were in was hit by a shell. The attack also targeted a major hospital, apartment buildings, houses, parks, streets, and sidewalks. All civilian areas – not military targets. I was outside of Donetsk interviewing refugees from Artyomovsk (also known as Bakhmut) when both rounds of intense shelling occurred, the first starting just after 11am.
Criminal charges of treason and abuse of power have been leveled against an unspecified number of Ukrainian servicemen by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). In a bizarre plot to seize Russian aircraft and transfer the planes to Ukraine, the accused soldiers disclosed sensitive information that allowed Moscow to strike an important Ukrainian airfield with a Kalibr missile. A commander was killed, 17 airmen were wounded, two fighter jets destroyed, and “significant damage” was inflicted to the airstrip and several nearby buildings. Will Ukrainian authorities now level criminal charges against members of Bellingcat, the Western government-funded open source investigations collective, for its role in the connivance?
On March 17, a little more than one year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Karim Khan, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), announced that the Pre-Trial Chamber (PTC) had issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for the commission of war crimes in Ukraine. The PTC also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, commissioner for children’s rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, for the same war crimes. While the U.S. celebrates the arrest warrant against Putin, it has pressured the ICC to refrain from prosecuting Israelis and Americans. There is a double standard in the ICC’s treatment of the situations in Ukraine and Palestine.
On April 7th 2018, gruesome images of an alleged chemical attack emerged from the Syrian town of Douma. Dozens of dead bodies, including children and infants, appeared heaped in piles inside of an apartment building. Others lay on the street in front as if trying to escape deadly gas. Strikingly, many of the victims displayed copious foam oozing from the mouth and nose. Along with their proximity to a clear escape route, these visible symptoms suggested that something extraordinarily poisonous had killed them instantly. US officials immediately promoted the allegations of insurgent-tied groups that the Syrian army had killed the victims with chlorine gas or the nerve agent sarin, or even a combination of both.
Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have carried out the most important investigative journalism of our generation, revealing to the public the inner workings of power through the release of luminous documents. No other news organization has come close. This information has exposed the crimes, lies, and fraud of the powerful, sparking the judicial lynching of Assange who awaits extradition to the US in a high security prison in London. It allowed people across the globe to understand what their governments are doing behind their backs. In this show, we will speak with the Italian investigative journalist, Stefania Maurizi, author of Secret Power: WikiLeaks and Its Enemies, about some of the most important information provided to the public by WikiLeaks. These include the US War logs from Afghanistan and Iraq, a cash of 250,000 diplomatic cables and 800 Guantanamo Bay detainee assessment briefs, along with the 2007 collateral murder video in which US helicopter pilots banter as they gunned down civilians, including children and two Reuters journalists in a Baghdad street.
Nearly two years have passed since the International Criminal Court (ICC) began investigating war crimes committed in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza. But the ICC has yet to take concrete steps to move the investigation forward. Frustrated with the glacial pace of the ICC’s investigation and the lack of clarity about how and when the investigation will proceed, three Palestinian human rights organizations issued a joint statement to the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute (the management body of the ICC) on December 6, saying, “We have not seen any concrete step in this investigation, no action by the Prosecutor to break the vicious cycle of impunity.” They added, “The situation on the ground is deteriorating year after year, month after month, day after day.
The Collective of Saharawi Human Rights Defenders in Western Sahara (CODESA) released its first annual report on July 28 titled, “Continuous war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Moroccan occupation against Saharawi civilians. What future for the decolonization process in Western Sahara?” According to Mahjoub Maliha, head of CODESA’s external relations, the report reflects “the gravity and scale of the violations committed by the Moroccan occupation forces against Saharawi civilians.” It records human rights violations and war crimes committed in the occupied Western Sahara in the period between September 2020 and December 2021. Morocco claimed sovereignty over Western Sahara after Spain withdrew its colonial control from the territory in 1975.
I was in Nuremberg during the war crimes trials which followed WWII. My father, Brig. Gen. Telford Taylor, was Chief Prosecutor during the second, American phase. The French, Russian and British staffs had gone home to continue trials at home, but the US stayed longer, and scheduled about 400 additional defendants. They were divided into twelve categories: judges, doctors, industrialists, etc. There were 142 convictions and ten death sentences. I remember the high spirits of the occupying troops and tribunal staff, The joy of triumph and victory. I danced with them in the ballroom of the Grand Hotel, where the officials and court lawyers spent their evenings. I scared myself by looking into seemingly-bottomless bomb craters, played in the war-shattered wreckage of our commandeered townhouse, and listened to stories told by the servants, who were tearfully glad to be fed and sheltered during the hunger-stricken post-war years.
Although the United States has tried mightily to undermine the International Criminal Court (ICC) since it became operational in 2002, the U.S. government is now pushing for the ICC to prosecute Russian leaders for war crimes in Ukraine. Apparently, Washington thinks the ICC is reliable enough to try Russians but not to bring U.S. or Israeli officials to justice. On March 15, the Senate unanimously passed S. Res 546, which “encourages member states to petition the ICC or other appropriate international tribunal to take any appropriate steps to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Russian Armed Forces.” When he introduced the resolution, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said, “This is a proper exercise of jurisdiction.
The US State-Department-sponsored media apparatus is declaring that there were war crimes committed by Russian troops as they left the town of Bucha, just west of Kyiv. Soon After the Ukrainian army retook the town, there were published reports of bodies with bound hands and feet and of mass graves of civilians in international media, all with accompanying pictures and presumed satellite imagery of those bodies. I am not going to say that Russian troops committed no atrocities. I do find the accusations dubious and opportunistic since the very same media outlets demanding war crimes charges and tribunals for Bucha have completely ignored the war crimes committed by Ukrainian forces in the 8-year civil war in the country.
Americans have been shocked by the death and destruction of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, filling our screens with bombed buildings and dead bodies lying in the street. But the United States and its allies have waged war in country after country for decades, carving swathes of destruction through cities, towns and villages on a far greater scale than has so far disfigured Ukraine. As we recently reported, the U.S. and its allies have dropped over 337,000 bombs and missiles, or 46 per day, on nine countries since 2001 alone. Senior U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency officers told Newsweek that the first 24 days of Russia’s bombing of Ukraine was less destructive than the first day of U.S. bombing in Iraq in 2003. The U.S.-led campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria bombarded those countries with over 120,000 bombs and missiles, the heaviest bombing anywhere in decades.