President Obama's refusal to apologize to Japan for America's nuclear attack on its people in WWII when he visits Hiroshima May 27th will mirror his refusal to prosecute CIA torturers.
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In a speech at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., shortly after taking office in 2009, Obama praised the Agency as the "tip of the spear" protecting America from its enemies even as human rights groups called for CIA employees' prosecutions for torture during the George W. Bush years.
Then White House Press Secy. Robert Gibbs told reporters that Bush administration officials who okayed torture would not be prosecuted because "The President is focused on looking forward."
The result of his "looking forward" was that Obama's drone warfare campaign over the next five years killed 2,400 people, according to London's Bureau of Investigative Journalism. This was done without Court orders, making the attacks war crimes. "Turning a blind eye" actually is the better description of Obama's policy.
Japanese wire service JIJI quotes current White House Press Secy. Josh Earnest stating last May 12 that "the president does not plan to deliver a major address in Hiroshima" (when he visits that city's Peace Memorial Park.)
Translation: Obama will not say President Truman's decision to use the nuclear bomb was wrong. However, at the outbreak of WWII, on September 1, 1939, and before America entered the fray, President Franklin Roosevelt beseeched the belligerents (Germany, France, UK, and Poland) to refrain from the "inhuman barbarism of bombing civilian centers," acts, FDR said, which "sickened the hearts of every civilized man and woman" and "profoundly shocked the conscience of humanity."
And FDR's Secretary of State Cordell Hull wrote in his memoirs that the State Department was quick to support the League of Nations which on Sept. 27, 1937, "solemnly condemned the bombing of open towns in China by Japanese planes and declared that 'no excuse can be made for such acts which have aroused horror and indignation throughout the world.'" This stance was later supported by the Vatican, which termed the nuclear bombings a "catastrophic conclusion to the war's apocalyptic surprises."
Not only were the nuclear attacks upon overwhelmingly civilian targets inexcusable, but the U.S. and its British allies earlier had firebombed much of Germany and Japan. In all, by the end of WWII, more than 7 million Germans and eight million Japanese had been bombed out of their homes, and estimates of those killed have run as high as 1 million in each country. Compare this to Hitler's bombing of Guernica in April, 1937, that killed 1,650 people and left nearly 900 wounded---yet was universally (and rightly) condemned.
The comparison here is that by the end of the war the U.S. had adopted the tactics of the fascists it denounced at the beginning of the war. Compounding this tragedy has been the refusal of Japan to apologize to China for invading that nation and the refusal of President Obama to apologize to Japan and Germany for America's massacres of their civilian populations. While we're at it, the British might apologize for the 1945 incendiary attack on Dresden that killed about 50,000 civilians in a refugee-crowded city.
Much has been written about America's nuclear vaporization of Hiroshima and Nagasaki but the firebombing campaign against 64 other Japanese cities should not be overlooked. On the March 9, 1945, firebomb raid on Tokyo alone, U.S. warplanes killed 83,000 people and wounded 41,000 more,
President Obama's refusal to prosecute CIA agents for torture and President George W. Bush for the crime of Iraq that killed 1.5-million people, is nothing short of a signal to future war criminals that they can get away with murder.
"As proven by my book 'The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence' (Clarity Press), the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by President Truman constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity in accordance with the U.S. Government's own definition of those terms as of August 1945 as set forth in U.S. War Department Field Manual 27-10 (1940) and the Nuremberg Charter of August 8, 1945," says Francis Boyle, the prominent international legal authority at the University of Illinois, Champaign.
"The same can be said for the fire-bombing of Tokyo which was patterned upon the fire-bombing of Dresden," Boyle continued. "Likewise, the Bush Jr. Administration's torture scandal constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity under international criminal law."
Obama Accessory After The Fact To Torture and War Crimes
Boyle goes on to say, "For the Honors Harvard Law Graduate President Obama to refuse to prosecute the appropriate Bush Jr. officials in gross violation of his obligation to do so as required by the Convention against Torture renders President Obama an Accessory After The Fact to the Bush Jr. Administration's torture, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
"Furthermore, President's Obama's Drone Murder Campaign against Muslims around the world constitutes war crimes and crimes against humanity that verge upon genocide in violation of the 1948 Genocide Convention and that renders him a Principal In The First Degree to these heinous international and U.S. domestic crimes. There is no Statute of Limitations for the perpetration of these grievous international crimes by Bush and Obama and their Associates.
Moreover, Boyle concluded: "There is Universal Jurisdiction for every State in the World to prosecute Bush, Obama and their Associates for committing these"international crimes. This sets forth the Agenda for all International Lawyers around the World to pursue until all these Bush and Obama War Criminals are brought to Justice somewhere. Never again!"
(Sherwood Ross formerly reported for several leading wire services and is the author of two plays on Japan, "Baron Jiro," staged at Live Arts Theatre, in Charlottesville, Va., and "Yamamoto's Decision," read at the National Press Club, where he is a member.)