Thursday, September 05, 2013

Syria: The legal issue

Syria: The legal issue

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

This article explores the legal questions around the issue of the United States of America and/or France deciding to go ahead and attack Syria in retaliation for a supposed deployment of Chemical and Biological Weapons by the Syrian authorities against civilians. Any such attack would render those involved liable to prosecution.

The first point is that whatever the United States Congress (Senate and House of Representatives) decide and whatever the French Presidency decides, their decisions are not binding under international law and have no jurisdiction whatsoever outside the frontiers of their countries.

International law is framed and binding depending on the international treaties signed as signatory states. One such document, fundamental in international law, is the United Nations Charter signed on June 26, 1945 by the United States of America and France. It came into force on October 24 that same year.

Chapter I, Article 2, point 3 states: All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.

Point 4: All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Chapter VI, Article 33, point 1 states that members must resolve disputes by peaceful means inside the UNSC (United Nations Security Council) and Article 37 point 1 states expressly that failure to do so means the dispute must always be referred back to the UNSC.

This means that under international law, any decision by the United States' Congress bears no legal meaning whatsoever outside the frontiers of the United States of America and further, any such deliberation of or consent granted for the use of military action overseas, without the express consent of the UNSC, is illegal, constitutes a violation of international law, rendering those deliberating in favour of, or consenting to, acts of violence against sovereign states liable for prosecution under international criminal law of incitement to murder or attempted murder.

Should such actions occur, occasioning the bodily harm of grievous bodily harm or death of persons, then the accusations in such criminal prosecutions would be murder with criminal intent or the equivalent in the forums of law governing the issue in the respective countries where such cases were brought to court.

In this case, the citizens of the United States of America could impeach their President and de-select their representatives. No people accepts being governed by liars, cheats and murderers.

Regarding France, now billed as "America's closest ally" by the Obama regime, any act of military aggression would render it liable for prosecution for violation of the Rome Statute (*):  Article 8bis (1) of the Rome Statute, as added in 2010, reads: "For the purposes of this Statute, 'crime of aggression' means the planning, preparation, initiation or execution, by a person in a position effectively to exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a State, of an act of aggression which, by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations." Article 8bis (2)(b): "Bombardment by the armed forces of a State against the territory of another State or the use of any weapons by a State against the territory of another State."

Either France and the USA stand by the documents they sign or else should be expelled from all organisms whose documents are binding to them as member states.

Regarding US internal law, a document from the Congressional Research Service (**) of 2010, Terrorist Material Support: An Overview of 18U.S.C. 2339A and 2339B, states clearly that Section 2339B (Support of Designated Terrorist Organizations (18 U.S.C. 2339B) outlaws:

(1)(a) attempting to provide,
(b) conspiring to provide, or
(c) actually providing
(2) material support or resources
(3) to a foreign terrorist organization
(4) knowing that the organization
(a) has been designated a foreign terrorist organization, or
(b) engages, or has engaged, in "terrorism" or "terrorist activity."

 ..."The offense is complete upon assent; the support need only be planned, not

"Under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. 2, anyone who counsels, procures, aids, or abets a violation of Section 2339B or any other federal crime is punishable as though he had committed the offense himself. "In order to aid and abet another to commit a crime it is necessary that a defendant in some sort associate himself with the venture, that he participate in it as in something that he wishes to bring about, [and] that he seek by his action to make it succeed."(19)"Typically, the same evidence will support both a conspiracy and an aiding and abetting conviction."(20)

There are numerous other references in this document pointing towards criminal liability of US Congress members voting in favour of a military strike against Syria. When the evidence that it was the Islamist Jihadi terrorists supported by President Obama and his poodle states starts to proliferate (***), it is time to start examining whether the US Congress is a serious institution or a terrorist organization in disguise.