Last week, I entered Walter Reed Army Hospital to notify the Department of Defense that I would refuse to obey any orders from my commanding officers — including President Obama — until the president produces his original birth certificate. After nearly eighteen years of wearing the military uniform of the country I have proudly served, including overseas assignments in imminent danger/combat areas in Bosnia and Afghanistan, I felt compelled to take this step.
The military oath taken at time of induction reads:
“I,____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God”
The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 809.ART.90 (20), makes it clear that military personnel need to obey the “lawful command of his superior officer,” 891.ART.91 (2), the “lawful order of a warrant officer”, 892.ART.92 (1) the “lawful general order”, 892.ART.92 (2) “lawful order”. In each case, military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey Lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey Unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the UCMJ. The moral and legal obligation is to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders, especially if those orders are in direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ.
During the Iran-Contra hearings of 1987, Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, a decorated World War II veteran and hero, told Lt. Col. Oliver North that North was breaking his oath when he blindly followed the commands of Ronald Reagan. As Inouye stated, “The uniform code makes it abundantly clear that it must be the Lawful orders of a superior officer. In fact it says, ‘Members of the military have an obligation to disobey unlawful orders.’ This principle was considered so important that we-we, the government of the United States, proposed that it be internationally applied in the Nuremberg trials.” (Bill Moyers, “The Secret Government”, Seven Locks Press; also in the PBS 1987 documentary, “The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis”)
Senator Inouye was referring to the Nuremberg trials in the post WW II era, when the U.S. tried Nazi war criminals and did not allow them to use the reason or excuse that they were only “following orders” as a defense for their war crimes which resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent men, women, and children. “In 1953, the Department of Defense adopted the principles of the Nuremberg Code as official policy” of the United States. (Hasting Center Report, March-April 1991) Over the past year there have been literally thousands of articles written about the impact of the coming war with Iraq. Many are based on politics and the wisdom of engaging in an international war against a country that has not attacked the U.S. and the legality of engaging in what Bush and Rumsfield call “preemptive war.” World opinion at the highest levels, and among the general population, is that a U.S. first strike on Iraq would be wrong, both politically and morally. There is also considerable evidence that Bush’s plans are fundamentally illegal, from both an international and domestic perspective. If the war is indeed illegal, members of the armed forces have a legal and moral obligation to resist illegal orders, according to their oath of induction.
The evidence from an international perspective is overwhelming. The United States Constitution makes treaties that are signed by the government equivalent to the “law of the land” itself, Article VI, para. 2. Among the international laws and treaties that a U.S. pre-emptive attack on Iraq may violate are:
· The Hague Convention on Land Warfare of 1899, which was reaffirmed by the U.S. at the 1946 Nuremberg International Military Tribunals;
· Resolution on the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons and Prevention of Nuclear War, adopted UN General Assembly, Dec 12, 1980;
· Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide; December 9, 1948, Adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the UN General Assembly;
· Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Adopted on August 12, 1949 by the Diplomatic Conference for the Establishment of International Conventions for the Protection of Victims of War;
· Convention on the Prohibition of Military or any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, 1108 U.N.T.S. 151, Oct. 5, 1978; · The Charter of the United Nations;
· The Nuremberg Principles, which define as a crime against peace, “planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements, or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for accomplishment of any of the forgoing.” (For many of these treaties and others, see the Yale Avalon project. Also see a letter to Canadian soldiers sent by Hamilton Action for Social Change). at )
As Hamilton Action for Social Change has noted “Under the Nuremberg Principles, you have an obligation NOT to follow the orders of leaders who are preparing crimes against peace and crimes against humanity. We are all bound by what U.S. Chief Prosecutor Robert K. Jackson declared in 1948: [T]he very essence of the [Nuremberg] Charter is that individuals have intentional duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience imposed by the individual state.” At the Tokyo War Crimes trial, it was further declared “[A]nyone with knowledge of illegal activity and an opportunity to do something about it is a potential criminal under international law unless the person takes affirmative measures to prevent commission of the crimes.” …
Lawrence Mosqueda, Ph.D
The Evergreen State College
Olympia, WA 98505
There may well be some safety in numbers. Albert Einstein, the genius physicist, once stated that if 2% of the military refused to fight or participate, the wars could not continue. Time is short. Or if you are reading this after the hostilities have commenced, it is time to stop the madness and war crimes of The British Monarchy.
The first order of business Obama took care of on day one of his Presidency was to sign off on an Executive Order that states that only the records he chooses to be made public will be released. It appears that the issue of Obama being forced to produce a copy of his birth certificate may prove to be extremely difficult, if not impossible.
Vol. 74, No. 15 Monday, January 26, 2009
Title 3— The President
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Executive Order 13489 of January 21, 2009 Presidential Records
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to establish policies and procedures governing the assertion of executive privilege by incumbent and former Presidents in connection with the release of Presidential records by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) pursuant to the Presidential Records Act of 1978, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Definitions. For purposes of this order: (a) ‘‘Archivist’’ refers to the Archivist of the United States or his designee.
(b) ‘‘NARA’’ refers to the National Archives and Records Administration.
(c) ‘‘Presidential Records Act’’ refers to the Presidential Records Act, 44 U.S.C. 2201–2207.
(d) ‘‘NARA regulations’’ refers to the NARA regulations implementing the Presidential Records Act, 36 C.F.R. Part 1270.
(e) ‘‘Presidential records’’ refers to those documentary materials maintained by NARA pursuant to the Presidential Records Act, including Vice Presi- dential records.
(f) ‘‘Former President’’ refers to the former President during whose term or terms of office particular Presidential records were created.
(g) A ‘‘substantial question of executive privilege’’ exists if NARA’s disclo- sure of Presidential records might impair national security (including the conduct of foreign relations), law enforcement, or the deliberative processes of the executive branch.
(h) A ‘‘final court order’’ is a court order from which no appeal may be taken.
Sec. 2. Notice of Intent to Disclose Presidential Records. (a) When the Archivist provides notice to the incumbent and former Presidents of his intent to disclose Presidential records pursuant to section 1270.46 of the NARA regulations, the Archivist, using any guidelines provided by the in- cumbent and former Presidents, shall identify any specific materials, the disclosure of which he believes may raise a substantial question of executive privilege. However, nothing in this order is intended to affect the right of the incumbent or former Presidents to invoke executive privilege with respect to materials not identified by the Archivist. Copies of the notice for the incumbent President shall be delivered to the President (through the Counsel to the President) and the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel). The copy of the notice for the former President shall be delivered to the former President or his designated representative.
(b) Upon the passage of 30 days after receipt by the incumbent and former Presidents of a notice of intent to disclose Presidential records, the Archivist may disclose the records covered by the notice, unless during that time period the Archivist has received a claim of executive privilege by the incumbent or former President or the Archivist has been instructed by the incumbent President or his designee to extend the time period for a time certain and with reason for the extension of time provided in the notice. If a shorter period of time is required under the circumstances
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set forth in section 1270.44 of the NARA regulations, the Archivist shall so indicate in the notice. Sec. 3. Claim of Executive Privilege by Incumbent President. (a) Upon receipt of a notice of intent to disclose Presidential records, the Attorney General (directly or through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel) and the Counsel to the President shall review as they deem appro- priate the records covered by the notice and consult with each other, the Archivist, and such other executive agencies as they deem appropriate con- cerning whether invocation of executive privilege is justified.
(b) The Attorney General and the Counsel to the President, in the exercise of their discretion and after appropriate review and consultation under sub- section (a) of this section, may jointly determine that invocation of executive privilege is not justified. The Archivist shall be notified promptly of any such determination.
(c) If either the Attorney General or the Counsel to the President believes that the circumstances justify invocation of executive privilege, the issue shall be presented to the President by the Counsel to the President and the Attorney General.
(d) If the President decides to invoke executive privilege, the Counsel to the President shall notify the former President, the Archivist, and the Attorney General in writing of the claim of privilege and the specific Presi- dential records to which it relates. After receiving such notice, the Archivist shall not disclose the privileged records unless directed to do so by an incumbent President or by a final court order. Sec. 4. Claim of Executive Privilege by Former President. (a) Upon receipt of a claim of executive privilege by a living former President, the Archivist shall consult with the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel), the Counsel to the President, and such other executive agencies as the Archivist deems appropriate con- cerning the Archivist’s determination as to whether to honor the former President’s claim of privilege or instead to disclose the Presidential records notwithstanding the claim of privilege. Any determination under section 3 of this order that executive privilege shall not be invoked by the incumbent President shall not prejudice the Archivist’s determination with respect to the former President’s claim of privilege.
(b) In making the determination referred to in subsection (a) of this section, the Archivist shall abide by any instructions given him by the incumbent President or his designee unless otherwise directed by a final court order. The Archivist shall notify the incumbent and former Presidents of his deter- mination at least 30 days prior to disclosure of the Presidential records, unless a shorter time period is required in the circumstances set forth in section 1270.44 of the NARA regulations. Copies of the notice for the incumbent President shall be delivered to the President (through the Counsel to the President) and the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel). The copy of the notice for the former President shall be delivered to the former President or his designated representative. Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, or legislative proposals. (b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and
subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
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Sec. 6. Revocation. Executive Order 13233 of November 1, 2001, is revoked.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 21, 2009.
[FR Doc. E9–1712 Filed 1–23–09; 8:45 am] Billing code 3195–W9–P