the Bush Administration Accountable for Their Crimes
Only a Peoples' Movement Can Stop this Criminal War!
Global Condemnatation of a Criminal Regime
U.S. violations of international law have become so outrageous and
widespread that even mainstream organizations, including Amnesty
International, International Comittee of the Red Cross, and
Physicians for Human Rights have issued statements condemning the
Bush Administration's lawlessness.
In addition, representatives of the media worldwide, including CNN,
BBC, the Newspaper Guild, and widely respected organizations such
as the Committee to
Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders have spoken out
against the military's attempt to silence coverage of war crimes by
political pressure and by directly targeting journalists.
The U.S. - A Rogue State
According to a 308-page report issued last week by Amnesty
International, the U.S. is "thumbing its nose at the rule of law,"
by engaging in torture, abuse, and illegal detentions.
More than a year ago, grisly pictures of the torture chambers of Abu
Ghraib came to light, sparking justifiable outrage, particularly
throughout the Arab world. The Pentagon reponded by banning cell
phone cameras which had been used to photograph the abuse.
They then selected a few low-ranking soldiers to punish for
executing policies that we now know originated in the Washington,
DC. Alberto Gonzales who drafted the memo advising the President
that he was not bound by international law was subsequently
promoted to Attorney General. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld approved
many of the interrrogation techniques used in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib,
and Bagram Prison.
A year after the Abu Ghraib photographs exposed the real character
and intent of U.S. occupation, the conditions and apparatus remain
in place for torture, abuse, and illegal detentions. While the
Pentagon is engaging in a public relations campaign to convince
the public that these crimes are the actions of a few "bad apples,"
tens of thousands of detainees in U.S. prison camps in Iraq,
Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, and secret locations elsewhere remain
in brutal and inhumane conditions.
Evidence of torture and abuse by U.S. forces continues to mount.
According to the May 29 Washington Post, "The latest FBI documents
detailing allegations of prisoner abuse at Guantanamo Bay are, like
previous FBI documents, highly disturbing. They contain
prisoners' descriptions of beatings, strippings and abuse of the
Koran. Detainees variously claim the Muslim holy book has been
thrown on the floor, thrown against a wall and, yes, flushed in a
toilet. There are also references to these kinds of events having
led to an "altercation" between detainees and guards."
The government was forced to release 1,000 pages of transcripts this
week. The testimonies included offer a shocking look into the
torture chambers of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where about 520 men from
40 countries remain held, some for as long as three
A recent report from Physicians for Human Rights examining the use
of psychological torture against prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and
at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba says that the abuse was a direct result of
decisions developed by civilian and military leaders
to "take the gloves off" during interrogations and "break" prisoners
through the use of techniques such as "sensory deprivation,
isolation, sleep deprivation, forced nudity, the use of military
working dogs to instill fear, cultural and sexual humiliation, mock
executions, and the threat of violence or death toward detainees or
their loved ones."
"Although the evidence is far from complete," the report says, "what
is known warrants the inference that psychological torture was
central to the interrogation process and reinforced through
conditions of confinement."
Torture and abuse are not the work of a few "bad apples." These
inhumane and brutal policies flow directly from the highest levels
Amnesty International recognized this and suggested that foreign
governments investigate senior U.S. officials involved in torture
and abuse and arrest and
question Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, former CIA Director
William Tenet, and Vice President Dick Cheney.
The Pentagon's Response: Target the Press
In response to the growing global outrage at U.S. torture, the Bush
Administration is taking steps, not to halt its criminal actions,
but to stop media coverage of the abuse.
On May 1, Newsweek magazine revealed that an internal US military
investigation had found substantial evidence interrogators at
Guantanamo Bay had desecrated the Koran. Newsweek's story led to
outrage against the US in Afghanistan and elsewhere where
violent protests led to at least 15 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
Newsweek wasn't the first media outlet to report on the trashing of
the holy Islamic text by US military personal at Guantanamo.
Reports in the Independent of London, the Washington Post, the NY
Daily News, and the Financial Times have all described desecration
of the Koran, including throwing it into the toilet.
However, the White House damage control team was able to
successfully pressure Newsweek to retract the story amd issue an
apology. The Bush Administration claims
Newsweek's story led to preventable deaths that resulted from the
protests. "People lost their lives. People are dead," Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld said. "People need to be very careful about
what they say, just as they need to be careful about what they
do." This is the same man who lied to the U.S. public, saying he
knew exactly where the Iraqi people were hiding weapons of mass
destruction. His lies helped lead the U.S. into a war cost the
lives of more than 100,000 Iraqis and 1600 U.S. soldiers.
Newsweek's retraction had nothing to do with the veracity of the
article. There is ample evidence that the acts described are
standard procedure in U.S. prison camps. The retraction came in
repsonse to Pentagon pressure, part of a campaign by the Bush
Administration to silence any media coverage that does not follow
its script. Newseek's only mistake in this matter was caving in and
retracting the story. The White House campaign to block coverage of
its crimes doesn't stop at just putting public pressure on
media outlets. Reports of the killing, torture, and harassment of
journalists by "coalition" forces in Iraq have been well documented
by organizations including the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ),
Reporters Without Borders, and the International Federation of
One of the most powerful executives in the news business, CNN's
Eason Jordan, was forced out after he spoke at a panel discussion at
the World Economic Forum in January, reportedly saying that the U.S.
military had targeted a dozen journalists who had been
killed in Iraq.
One of the BBC's top news anchors, Nik Gowing, said recently that he
was "speak[ing] for a large number of news organizations, many of
whom are not really talking publicly about this at the moment," when
he made this statement about the dangers facing reporters in Iraq:
"The trouble is that a lot of the military--particularly the
American...military--do not want us there. And they make it very
us to work. And I think that this...is leading to security forces in
some instances feeling it is legitimate to target us with deadly
force and with impunity."
At a May 13 meeting in St. Louis, Newspaper Guild President Linda
Foley said: "Journalists, by the way, are not just being targeted
verbally or politically.
They are also being targeted for real in places like Iraq. What
outrages me as a representative of journalists is that there's not
more outrage about the number, and the brutality, and the cavalier
nature of the U.S. military toward the killing of journalists in
These attacks include air raids on Al Jazeera offices in Baghdad and
Kabul, tank assaults on hotels where journalists were known to be
housed, and the assassination of a Reuters cameraman filming outside
of Abu Ghraib prison.
That the U.S. military has targeted news media is beyond dispute
– and such actions are war crimes. The Geneva Conventions’ Protocol
I, Article 79, says, "Journalists engaged in dangerous professional
missions in areas of armed conflicts shall be
considered civilians.... They shall be protected as such under the
Conventions and this Protocol, provided they take no action
adversely affecting their status as civilians."
Help Build a Movement to Hold the War Criminals Accountable
George W. Bush and his Administration have committed numerous War
Crimes. They lied in order to lead the U.S. into a war of
aggression. They have killed more than 100,000 Iraqi people. They
have engaged in torture, abuse, and assassination. They have
committed crimes against peace and crimes against humanity, and they
must be held accountable.
These lawless killers have already demonstrated their absolute
contempt for any legal restraint, whether domestic or international.
The only force that can stop their drive to globalize Abu Ghraib is
the power of the people.
We must build a mass grass roots movement to end the Bush drive for
empire and to demand justice.
PeopleJudgeBush.org was launched in the summer of 2004 as part of
the organizing for a week of protests against the Republican
National Convention in New York City. Organizers sponsored the
August 26 War Crimes Tribunal, where an international panel of
witnesses and experts presented conclusive evidence of the crimes
committed by the Bush Administration. Findings from the Tribunal,
including documentation and testimony are available online.
The Tribunal was more than a series of presentations, however. It
was conceived as a Tribunal to Build Resistance, recognizing that
the people have a right and an obligation to resist. The Tribunal's
Journal doubled as a Field Guide to the Republican National
Convention Week of Resistance, including a calendar of protests.
The extensive media and organizational coverage of the U.S. abuse
and torture is not happening in a vacuum. They are forced to
acknowledge it because activists,
bloggers, independent journalists by the thousands have already
spread this information globally--it is now common knowledge.. In
order to maintain a shred
of credibility, even the corporate media is forced to report on
But it is not enough to acknowledge that the Bush Administration is
a criminal regime. We must also defend the right and obligation to
resist. The people of Iraq have the right to defend themselves and
resist illegal U.S. invasion and colonial occupation.
Members of the military have the right to refuse to obey orders to
fight in an illegal war. And the people have the right and the
obligation to organize and take to the streets to demand that George
W. Bush be held accountable.
Now that the crimes have been exposed, we are compelled to respond.
People Judge Bush will be participating in an important unity
meeting on June 11 at the New School University in New York City
(Saturday, June 11, 11 am - 5 pm, the Lang Center at
New School University, 55 W. 13th St. in Manhattan, between 5th &
6th Aves). This meeting will bring together activists and
organizations from across the country who recognize that the
brutality of this criminal regime demands a unified response.
Global opposition to this criminal regime has created a crisis for
the Bush Administration. Because activists have exposed the truth
about the war, recruiting is down by more than 30% and is at its
lowest point in decades. Grassroots activism is
having an impact, and now is the time to turn up the heat.
We need your help to continue organizing this summer. We are
producing new educational materials, organizing tools, and activists
resources. We are organizing
meetings in schools, places of worship, and community centers across
the country. We are also planning a major national meeting at the
end of the summer to bring together veterans, military families,
youth, and activists from across the country to discuss practical
steps and tactics to challenge the criminal regime in Washington.
Here's how you can get involved:
* Spread the word by forwarding this email
* Sign the On-Line Petition --Vote Bush Guilty
of War Crimes.
* Download flyers
* You can also hep by purchasing People Judge
Bush t-shirts and other merchandise at