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Nuremberg Trial Prosecutor’s Warning: Make Law, not War

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"The hope and love of our those who came before is resides in our hearts. The love of all future generations resides in our actions." --Steven Jay, Co-Founder, Mobilized.news

NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER,  STEVEN JAY: The author of this article is over 100 years old. He is the last living American prosecutor from the Nuremberg trials where Nazi perpetrators were brought to justice for their atrocities against humanity.

On March 11th, 2020,  Ben Ferencz was celebrating his 100th Birthday.  While I attempted to see him earlier in the day to wish him a Happy 100th (!!!) he was unavailable at that time, and I was on the way to visit my dad in the Hospital.  Upon returning home from the Hospital, Ben invited me into his home where we recorded a video message (below) to encourage and enlighten my Dad with the hope that he would recover from Aspirating Pneumonia.

While I am grateful to have been able to share this message with my Dad,  my Father would not recover from his ailment and would pass away at 6:59 a.m. three days later.

Before we get into Ben’s message about Law and War, I am reminded of the moment that Dad gave me the idea for a good news network.  His words and his love for humanity would transform into this project, and my Dad’s love resides in all we do here.

This project is dedicated to my Dad, and everyone who made and makes a difference with their eternal love. Thank you.  —Steven Jay

 

 

The sole surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg Trials warns that an executive order from President Trump regarding the International Criminal Court is cause for concern.

The post first appeared in The Daily Beast.


 

Given the death toll from COVID-19 and the continuing public outcry over police brutality in the United States, it may have gone largely unnoticed that on June 11, President Trump issued an executive order targeting the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Hague-based war crimes tribunal that the United States has refused to join.

The order, which has prompted harsh condemnation from the international justice community and other concerned stakeholders, comes on the heels of a recent ruling by the ICC authorizing an impartial investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity alleged to have been committed by the various parties to the conflict in Afghanistan.

The order seeks to impose economic and US travel sanctions on any foreign person “directly engaged in any effort by the ICC to investigate, arrest, detain, or prosecute” personnel of the US or our allies without prior consent of their respective governments.

In announcing the sanctions, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo accused the ICC of being “highly politicized” and a “kangaroo court.” He said that the ICC would have done well to “do the right thing and kill the investigation.” Given that Pompeo was a director of the CIA when that agency is reported to have been complicit in the commission of war crimes committed by Afghan operatives, his views may perhaps come as no surprise.

As the sole surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg Trials, I believe a few words are in order about what the ICC is and what it is not. Contrary to the current administration’s anti-ICC rhetoric, the court is neither unaccountable nor anti-American. It is a treaty-based organization whose statute has been ratified by 123 countries, including 27 of our 28 NATO allies.

Significant safeguards and limitations have been built into the ICC’s operating structure to assure that it does not become some sort of supra-national court run amok. Its judges and its prosecutor are elected for fixed terms by a governing assembly representing each of the court’s 123 member states, and they, along with the deputy prosecutor, the registrar and the deputy registrar, may all be removed from office for improper conduct.

It may hear cases related only to four specific crimes: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression. Its jurisdiction is generally limited to crimes committed by the nationals or on the territory of the states that have signed up to the court or that have voluntarily agreed to its jurisdiction. It has no enforcement arm of its own and must, therefore, rely on the cooperation of policing personnel from countries around the world to enforce its arrest warrants. Without such support, the ICC is relatively powerless.

The ICC recognizes the primacy of the national courts of all nations, including the United States. Its operating statute provides that countries which are willing and able to prosecute their own citizens may do so in their own domestic courts and that such rights supersede the jurisdiction of the ICC.

It is only where national courts fail in their obligation to genuinely and impartially investigate their own nationals that the ICC may move forward in exercising its jurisdiction. It is a court of last resort designed to assure that otherwise voiceless victims of atrocity crimes may ultimately have their day in court, whether it be before national courts or before the ICC itself if necessary.

Nations that uphold the law in their own courts need have no fear of ICC investigations. Having said this, countries with a record of pardoning war criminals who have been duly convicted by their own military courts of crimes as serious as the murder of unarmed detainees should be aware that such a pattern of conduct does little to enhance a country’s reputation for genuinely upholding the rule of law.

At Nuremberg, the United States and its allies tried Nazi leaders who dragged their nation into war to the tune of Deutschland Uber Alles. They considered themselves a law unto themselves, and it was their undoing. The Nuremberg Trials were intended not as victor’s justice, but to help establish a rule of law to deter future international crimes, regardless of who the perpetrators might be.

This point was clearly articulated by the American chief of counsel at the International Military Tribunal, Robert Jackson who, standing at the podium in Courtroom 600 in Nuremberg, emphasized that “while this law is first applied against German aggressors, the law includes, and if it is to serve a useful purpose it must condemn aggression by any other nations, including those which sit here now in judgment.”

It is true that the ICC has had its share of start-up woes, as did our own Supreme Court during its earliest decades. It is a relatively young institution that relies on the cooperation of countries around the world to bring perpetrators to justice. It is a challenging task, as not all countries make the cooperative effort that they should. But it is much too early to suggest that we should throw out the baby with the bathwater by condemning or by threatening the ICC. To do so is to repudiate Nuremberg and the rule of law for which so many around the world have sacrificed.

There was a time when the United States was looked upon as a bastion of leadership and of hope. As a nation, we produced statesmen such as Elihu Root, who served as a US attorney, Secretary of War, Secretary of State, US senator, and the founding president of the American Society of International Law. In 1913 he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to establish an international court. Though he studied elsewhere, there has long been a special room at Harvard honoring him. It was established in 1939, shortly before I arrived there as a law student. Above the doorway are words that inspired me then and inspire me still: “Make us effective and useful for the advancement of the cause of Peace and Justice and Liberty in the World.” Attacking the International Criminal Court for simply doing its job is most assuredly not the way to do that.

Friday was International Criminal Justice Day, a day on which the world recognizes both the passage on July 17, 1998 of the Rome Statute treaty that established the ICC as well as the hard-fought achievements and ongoing efforts at the ICC and elsewhere to secure justice for victims of the world’s gravest crimes. Having reflected on the importance of international criminal justice, we Americans today have some serious soul-searching to do and questions to answer. The rule of law is at peril, and so is our credibility and standing in the world.

On behalf of the countless victims of atrocity crimes around the world who look to the United States for moral leadership and to the ICC for help in the fight against impunity, I respectfully urge President Trump to reconsider the matter and to rescind his recent executive order and its sanctions.

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Editorials

Welcome to the New Powered by You: An Evolution in Media Whose Time is Now

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January 16, 2022

Hello,

Every day, I wake up and ask myself a question: How can we create the future when the world is upside down?

If we look at the “corporate” news, that is, the stories paid for by advertisers and large corporations, one would want to crawl back into bed.  But in reality, there is something brewing under the radar, that is, unless, one focuses on the next generation of systems and services that’s emerging.

Our world is changing. And with these changes, there is an increased demand for relevant knowledge to guide us towards optimal health and well-being for people and the planet.

But the ways of the past are not capable of bringing us to a healthier tomorrow.

While it seems that the world is turned upside down, in reality, we are going through the largest seismic shift in our lives.  

While some people are looking to fix potholes, there are those of us who are building better roads; better paths;   

As the corporate and political worlds try to maintain their stranglehold on public systems, services and policies, there is a whole new world being born, a world where systems are based on natural synergy, equilibrium—balance and integrity.   

As we are experiencing the end of a civilization based on greed and plundering natural resources, people have woken up to the reality that the greatest natural resource is a well-informed public, and the convergence of technologies and system change has opened up a rare one time ina lifetime world where we the people can come together and unite and consciously create the systems, services and policies that serve all life–including the health of our planet, with systems, services and polcies that are dedicated to prosperity without harming our beautiful blue planet.

The age of enlightened conscious creativity.

We have an important choice to make: 

We can continue as we have been going, putting our trust in failed leadership and their systems driving us off a cliff, 

Or we can come together, united in Solidarity for the health of all life.   

What if we can harness collective power and wisdom to create a healthier planetary co-existence?

Mobilized is a nationally broadcast Television series with weekly conversations and a collaborative website dedicated to overcoming our misunderstandings to work and co-exist better together.

Please join us as a collaborator in creation.

Thank you.

Steven Jay

 

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Editorials

As the Golden Globes lose their luster, can we create a better version of Hollywood?

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Something interesting is happening in Hollywood. People are walking away from the Golden Globe Awards.

And for good reason.

Anyone who has ever worked in the filthy abyss of Hollywood, New York, or any major entertainment city will know first hand how these systems work. Sycophants, parasites and moguls and talent agents willing to step all over each other just for the sake of another prize. Some will even kill for a shot at the brass ring.  And industry divided cannot succeed.

The only good thing I found in the Golden Globes was watching Ricky Gervais lampoon the stars and their handlers from the stage. Bravo to Gervais, it doesn’t make a difference what you think of him, afterall, he had something that most of Hollywood doesn’t have. Balls. Guts. And a way of delivering amusing reality dosed insults to their face only to find he’s been re-instated as the show host for the next years showing.

 

The annual Golden Globes ceremony has been unable to find a broadcasting partner or any celebrities willing to present or collect its awards after a Hollywood boycott over its diversity and ethics scandal, resulting in a pared-down event with the emphasis on philanthropy.

According to Variety, the Globes’ talent bookers have failed to persuade any big Hollywood figures to attend the 2022 edition of the awards ceremony, a hitherto glittering annual event that traditionally kicked off the lucrative awards season. In March 2021 more than 100 public relations firms announced they would withdraw cooperation with the Globes, a series of high-profile Hollywood figures, including Tom Cruise and Scarlett Johansson, made stinging public criticisms, and TV network NBC cancelled its broadcast of the 2022 edition. (-The Guardian)

 
eguardian.com/film/2022/jan/09/golden-globes-lose-their-shine-as-a-listers-shun-unethical-ceremony

But this years showing not only lacked the luster of Hollywood today, but doesn’t even have a Network or Livestream to cover it.  I guess we’ll have to rely on celeb Twitter Feeds.

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Arts

How The Pentagon and CIA Have Shaped Thousands of Hollywood Movies into Super Effective Propaganda

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By David Swanson, World BEYOND War, January 5, 2022

Propaganda is most impactful when people don’t think it’s propaganda, and most decisive when it’s censorship you never knew happened.

 

When we imagine that the U.S. military only occasionally and slightly influences U.S. movies, we are extremely badly deceived. The actual impact is on thousands of movies made, and thousands of others never made. And television shows of every variety.

The military guests and celebrations of the U.S. military on game shows and cooking shows are no more spontaneous or civilian in origin than the ceremonies glorifying members of the U.S. military at professional sports games — ceremonies that have been paid for and choreographed by U.S. tax dollars and the U.S. military. The “entertainment” content carefully shaped by the “entertainment” offices of the Pentagon and the CIA doesn’t just insidiously prepare people to react differently to news about war and peace in the world. To a huge extent it substitutes a different reality for people who learn very little actual news about the world at all.

The U.S. military knows that few people watch boring and non-credible news programs, much less read boring and non-credible newspapers, but that great masses will eagerly watch long movies and TV shows without too much worrying about whether anything makes sense. We know that the Pentagon knows this, and what military officials scheme and plot as a result of knowing this, because of the work of relentless researchers making use of the Freedom of Information Act. These researchers have obtained many thousands of pages of memos, notes, and script re-writes. I don’t know whether they’ve put all of these documents online — I certainly hope they do and that they make the link widely available. I wish such a link were in giant font at the end of a fantastic new film. The film is called Theaters of War: How the Pentagon and CIA Took Hollywood. The Director, Editor, and Narrator is Roger Stahl. The Co-Producers are Matthew Alford, Tom Secker, Sebastian Kaempf. They’ve provided an important public service.

In the film we see copies of and hear quotations from and analysis of much of what has been uncovered, and learn that thousands of pages exist that nobody has yet seen because the military has refused to produce them. Film producers sign contracts with the U.S. military or CIA. They agree to “weave in key talking points.” While unknown quantities of this sort of thing remain unknown, we do know that nearly 3,000 films and many thousands of TV episodes have been given the Pentagon treatment, and many others have been handled by the CIA. In many film productions, the military effectively becomes a co-producer with veto power, in exchange for allowing the use of military bases, weapons, experts, and troops. The alternative is the denial of those things.

But the military is not as passive as this might suggest. It actively pitches new story ideas to movie and TV producers. It seeks out new ideas and new collaborators who might bring them to a theater or laptop near you. Act of Valor actually began life as a recruitment advertisement.

Of course, many movies are made without military assistance. Many of the best never wanted it. Many that wanted it and were denied, managed to get made anyway, sometimes at much greater expense without the U.S. tax dollars paying for the props. But a huge number of movies are made with the military. Sometimes the initial movie in a series is made with the military, and the remaining episodes voluntarily follow the military’s line. Practices are normalized. The military sees huge value in this work, including for recruitment purposes.

The alliance between the military and Hollywood is the main reason that we have lots of big blockbuster movies on certain topics and few if any on others. Studios have written scripts and hired top actors for movies on things like Iran-Contra that have never seen the light of day because of a Pentagon rejection. So, nobody watches Iran-Contra movies for fun the way they might watch a Watergate movie for fun. So, very few people have any notions about Iran-Contra.

But with the reality of what the U.S. military does being so awful, what, you might wonder, are the good topics that do get lots of movies made about them? A lot are fantasy or distortion. Black Hawk Down turned reality (and a book it was “based on”) on its head, as did Clear and Present Danger. Some, like Argo, hunt for small stories within large ones. Scripts explicitly tell audiences that it doesn’t matter who started a war for what, that the only thing that matters is the heroism of troops trying to survive or to rescue a soldier.

Yet, actual U.S. military veterans are often shut out and not consulted They often find movies rejected by the Pentagon as “unrealistic” to be very realistic, and those created with Pentagon collaboration to be highly unrealistic. Of course, a huge number of military-influenced films are made about the U.S. military fighting space aliens and magical creatures — not, clearly, because it’s believable but because it avoids reality. On the other hand, other military-influenced films shape people’s views of targeted nations and dehumanize the humans living in certain places.

Don’t Look Up is not mentioned in Theaters of War, and presumably had no military involvement (who knows?, certainly not the movie-watching public), yet it uses a standard military-culture idea (the need to blow up something coming from outerspace, which in reality the U.S. government would simply love to do and you could hardly stop them) as an analogy for the need to stop destroying the planet’s climate (which you cannot easily get the U.S. government to remotely consider) and not one reviewer notices that the film is an equally good or bad analogy for the need to stop building nuclear weapons — because U.S. culture has had that need effectively excised.

The military has written policies on what it approves and disapproves. It disapproves depictions of failures and crimes, which eliminates much of reality. It rejects films about veteran suicide, racism in the military, sexual harassment and assault in the military. But it pretends to refuse to collaborate on films because they’re not “realistic.”

Yet, if you watch enough of what is produced with military involvement you’ll imagine that using and surviving nuclear war is perfectly plausible. This goes back to the original Pentagon-Hollywood invention of myths about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and runs right up through military influence on The Day After, not to mention the transformation — paid for by people who throw a fit if their tax dollars help prevent someone freezing on the street — of Godzilla from a nuclear warning to the reverse. In the original script for the first Iron Man movie, the hero went up against the evil weapons dealers. The U.S. military rewrote it so that he was a heroic weapons dealer who explicitly argued for more military funding. Sequels stuck with that theme. The U.S. military advertised its weapons of choice in Hulk, Superman, Fast and Furious, and Transformers, the U.S. public effectively paying to push itself to support paying thousands of times more — for weapons it would otherwise have no interest in.

“Documentaries” on the Discovery, History, and National Geographic channels are military-made commercials for weapons. “Inside Combat Rescue” on National Geographic is recruitment propaganda. Captain Marvel exists to sell the Air Force to women. Actress Jennifer Garner has made recruitment ads to accompany movies she’s made that are themselves more effective recruitment ads. A movie called The Recruit was largely written by the head of the CIA’s entertainment office. Shows like NCIS push out the military’s line. But so do shows you wouldn’t expect: “reality” TV shows, game shows, talk shows (with endless reunifications of family members), cooking shows, competition shows, etc.

I’ve written before about how Eye in the Sky was openly and proudly both completely unrealistic nonsense and influenced by the U.S. military to shape people’s ideas about drone murders. A lot of people have some small idea of what goes on. But Theaters of War: How the Pentagon and CIA Took Hollywood helps us to grasp the scale of it. And once we’ve done that, we may gain some possible insights into why polling finds much of the world fearing the U.S. military as a threat to peace, but much of the U.S. public believing that U.S. wars benefit people who are grateful for them. We may begin to form some guesses as to how it is that people in the United States tolerate and even glorify endless mass-killing and destruction, support threatening to use or even using nuclear weapons, and suppose the U.S. to have major enemies out there threatening its “freedoms.” Viewers of Theaters of War may not all immediately react with “Holy shit! The world must think we’re lunatics!” But a few may ask themselves whether it’s possible that wars don’t look like they do in movies — and that would be a great start.

Theaters of War ends with a recommendation, that movies be required to disclose at the start any military or CIA collaboration. The film also notes that the United States has laws against propagandizing the U.S. public, which might make such a disclosure a confession of a crime. I would add that since 1976, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has required that “Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.”

To learn more about this film, view it, or host a screening of it, go here.

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Mobilized TV

Mobilized TV on Free Speech TV  takes a deep look at our world, the consequences of human activity on our planet, and how we can reverse and prevent existing and future crises from occurring. Mobilized reveals life on our planet as a system of systems which all work together for the optimal health of the whole. The show delves into deep conversations with change-makers so people can clearly take concerted actions.

Produced by Steven Jay and hosted by Jeff Van Treese.

Mobilized’s TV series Mobilized TV  premieres on Free Speech TV on Friday, October 15, 2021. All episodes appear:

Fridays 9:30 PM Eastern (USA/Canada)

Saturdays:  6:30 PM (Eastern USA/Canada)

Sundays:  8:30 AM Eastern (USA/Canada)

January 7, 8, 9, 2022

Leading Environmental Justice Attorney, Thomas Linzey of the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights is a leading force helping communities implement successful rights of nature laws. Find out how your community could take on big business to serve the health of all.

 

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