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Veterans For Peace Calls For Criminal Investigation Of Biden Administration

Above photo: Ellen Davidson.

Veterans deliver letters to 16 US State Department Offices urging investigation of arms shipments to Israel.

Numerous Federal Criminal Statute Violations Cited, No response From State Department Inspector-General.

In sixteen U.S. cities, March 5-7, members of Veterans For Peace will hand deliver an exhaustively researched letter to U.S. State Department offices that has gotten no response from the department’s Inspector-General since February 11.

The cities are Buffalo, New York, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Portsmouth, NH, Greensboro, NC, Boston, San Diego, Tucson, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta,  Bridgeport, CT, Los Angeles, Dallas and Houston.

Josh Paul, former State Department senior official who resigned over weapons shipments to Israel said, “The Secretary and all relevant officials under his purview should take this letter from Veterans For Peace with the utmost seriousness. It is a stark reminder of the importance of abiding by the laws and policies that relate to arms transfers.”

The letter from Veterans For Peace alleges violations by U.S. government officials of:

  • The Conventional Arms Transfer Policy, which prohibits U.S. weapons transfers when it’s likely they will be used by Israel to commit genocide; crimes against humanity; and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, including attacks intentionally directed against civilian objects or civilians or other serious violations of international humanitarian or human rights law, including serious acts of gender-based violence or serious acts of violence against children. Dozens of authoritative complaints and referrals made by hospital administrators in Gaza, as well as by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Palestine Authority, South Africa, Turkey, Medicins san Frontieres, UNRWA, UNICEF, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Norwegian Refugee Council and the World Food Programme, have confirmed that there is an ongoing human rights and humanitarian disaster due to Israel’s cutoff of water and electricity, deliberate destruction of sewage infrastructure and delaying of aid shipments by Israeli forces.
  • The Foreign Assistance Act, which forbids the provision of assistance to a government which “engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”
  • Arms Export Control Act, which says countries that receive US military aid can only use weapons for legitimate self-defense and internal security. Israel’s genocidal campaign in Gaza goes way beyond self-defense and internal security.
  • The U.S. War Crimes Act, which forbids grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, including willful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, and unlawful deportation or transfer, perpetrated by the Israeli Occupying Forces.
  • The Leahy Law, which prohibits the U.S. Government from using funds for assistance to units of foreign security forces where there is credible information implicating that unit in the commission of gross violations of human rights.
  • The Genocide Convention Implementation Act, which was enacted to implement U.S. obligations under the Genocide Convention, provides for criminal penalties for individuals who commit or incite others to commit genocide.

Mike Ferner, VFP National Director, said, “Just as any good soldier can recognize when they are given an unlawful order, we believe some State Department staff are horrified at the orders they’re given and will decide to uphold the law, find the courage to speak out and demand an end to the carnage. VFP enthusiastically supports Josh Paul for what he did and we believe the public does, too. The IDF has killed over 30,000 Palestinians and is utterly destroying Gaza. These actions amount to genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and VFP wants them investigated.”

Veterans For Peace has over 100 chapters in the U.S. and since 1985 has exposed the true costs of war and militarism. Its goal is to abolish war as an instrument of national policy.

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