The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] Daniel Ellsberg Interview

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

(Daniel Ellsberg is the American  hero who disclosed the infamous "Pentagon Papers" which exposed 
some of the illegalities of the US role in the Vietnam War.)

Interview with Ellsberg on impeachment grounds for Bush & company (We were just following orders)

..."Meanwhile, the law not having changed, we are violating it. And when we violate the U.N. 
Charter, when the president violates the U.N. Charter, he's violating a law -- international law, a 
treaty that we've ratified, which ranks with the highest law of the land, along with the 
Constitution -- a ratified treaty, above statute law. And he's directly violating his oath of 
office, which is to uphold the law and the Constitution.

I think it's not going to happen, but he certainly earned impeachment as a result of this. But, 
more seriously, in a way, he is clearly indictable -- and all of his subordinates who are 
cooperating with him, including, whatever his private opinions, Secretary of State Powell, and 
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. They have engaged and they are in a conspiracy to wage aggressive 
war for which people were convicted at [the Nazi war crime tribunals at] Nuremberg. I could say 
people were hanged at Nuremberg.

But my concern is not to see anybody hanged or even tried. My concern is to get off, get out of 
this situation, and for them, it's a little too late now. It's not that they are going to be tried. 
But I now see in a new perspective why this administration backed off ratifying the International 
Criminal Court [treaty]. I have little doubt now that when they did that, which was odd at the 
time, they had this invasion of Iraq in mind - knowing, by the way, that they might well not have 
U.N. authorization for it.

It's not that they feared being tried. That's inconceivable, as a practical matter. But they didn't 
want to be indicted. They didn't want people to point out in the world that they should be tried. 
And the fact is American troops now have been put in a tragic dilemma, whether to obey orders, 
which they undoubtedly will do, at whatever cost. Or, to refuse to obey a blatantly illegal order, 
which is what they are receiving right now.

The order to participate in this war is, I think to anybody who has looked at the context 
critically, must be extremely excruciating. They must know that in the absence of U.N. 
authorization and the refusal of that by most nations in the world, that the orders they are 
getting to participate in this war are blatantly illegal.

Many of them don't know that, undoubtedly. But the ones who do are confronted with a challenge that 
American troops -- and I identify with those as a former marine officer. They have never had to 
face that before.


Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]