Spanish Inquiry of Alleged Bush-Era War Crimes Begins TODAY

On Monday morning, February 15, 2010, in a Madrid courtroom, Judge Balthazar Garzon will formally convene his investigation of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity allegedly committed by officials, at various levels, of the Government of the United States and their surrogates in and from a variety of other countries.

The investigation by the Spanish Magistrate could go on for several months and involve testimony from a range of victims, some of whom are Spanish nationals who allegedly were detained and brutally tortured over a considerable period of time. The investigation by Judge Garzon will be the first formal, comprehensive examination of the alleged criminal activity which occurred in the post 9/11 period and could lead to a number of officials being charged and ordered to stand trial.

It is expected that the first witness will be Dr. William F. Pepper, the international human rights Barrister and Attorney, who was asked by the Court to file an Opinion and testify as an expert on the issue of jurisdiction of the Spanish Court with respect to the various crimes being alleged which include Waging Aggressive War, Kidnapping/Extraordinary Rendition, Arbitrary Detention, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity and Torture.

More here:

I can't believe this day has finally come.

I just pray to god that Garzon, despite his body guards (who I'm sure someone has tried to or will try to corrupt), can stay alive long enough to see this thing through to the end.

Thanks for posting this GREAT news!

Me, neither

After all, how often do we see American elites receive even symbolic justice? I have to admit, I haven't been following this, so take the following as sheer, mostly uniformed speculation: I speculate that if anything comes of this, it will be possible because of an elite vs. elite rift. Wayne Madsen is reporting that the US is practicing economic warfare against Europe and Japan. Perhaps this is Europe's way of saying "Back off".

From Obama waging economic warfare on several fronts, including Japan.

In addition to Japan, the Obama administration is also waging war on the "soft underbelly" of the European Union. The Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank have decided that if the national economies of the "PIGS" -- Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain -- are attacked, the euro will fall against the dollar, since the European Central Bank will be forced to bail out the most vulnerable large economies in the European Union. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, a Socialist, recently attended the National Prayer Breakfast meeting in Washington, also attended by Obama, in order to plead Spain's case. Apparently, Zapatero came away empty-handed and he was roundly criticized for attending an event sponsored by an ultra-right wing group, The Fellowship, which had ties with the Spanish fascist government of Francisco Franco. Obama also snubbed Zapatero, the current president of the rotating EU presidency, by saying he would not attend an EU-US summit scheduled for Madrid in May.

Obama's worsening relations with China, developing from the U.S. administration's agreement to sell advanced weaponry to Taiwan, and the tweaking of the nose of the Russian bear by placing missile systems in Poland and Romania, have a number of worldwide intelligence agencies wondering whether Obama is trying to outdo George W. Bush in obstinacy and diplomatic bluster.

Against Madsen's general claim about economic warfare against the "PIGS", note that recent revelations about the Greek government's cheating on it's debt limits via deals with Goldman Sachs go back to 2002 - well before Obama became President. OTOH, the specific incident with Zapatero is recent.

William F Pepper !! Great article ! Dynamic justice!!

"It is you who are the torch-bearers with respect to that truth.... ...Steel your spines. Inspire your children. Then when the moment is right, rise again...." W PEPPER

In his Opinion submitted to the Court last spring, Pepper conclu

In his Opinion submitted to the Court last spring, Pepper concluded:

“… from the U.S. government’s own documents and the public statements of its leaders, that there is prima facie evidence of the following crimes:

o Torture and the Conspiracy to Commit Torture
o War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity
o Waging Aggressive War
o Illegal (Arbitrary) Detention

[He] places varying degrees of responsibility on particular government officials including George W. Bush and Richard Cheney and dismisses as inapplicable to serious international crimes the relevant defenses available to them and their subordinates including the government lawyers who [he argues] have a special professional responsibility.”

He further concluded that the Spanish Court, “is fully able and obligated …under international law and Universal Jurisdiction” to prosecute if the evidence indicates that prosecutions are legally justified.

Pepper, who in 2007 won the landmark case Nikbin v. the Islamic Republic of Iran in which — for the first time in U.S. history — a sovereign state, as opposed to individuals or government agencies, was held accountable for torture, is no stranger to controversial cases. A friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the last year of his life, Dr. Pepper went on to represent James Earl Ray in his quest for a new trial. After Ray’s death in 1997, he later represented the King family in the 1999 wrongful death civil suit King v. Jowers and Other Unknown Co-Conspirators. In that case, after a month-long trial in which over 70 witnesses testified, the jury found, after only 59 minutes of deliberation, that defendant Loyd Jowers and “others, including government agencies” participated in a conspiracy to assassinate Dr. King.

Dr. Pepper is expected to be followed to the witness-stand on Monday by two former Guantanamo detainees.

The investigation by the Spanish Magistrate is expected to last several months and include testimony from a number of victims, five of whom are Spanish citizens or residents who were allegedly detained and tortured. Judge Garzon’s inquiry will be the first, and perhaps only, formal examination of alleged criminal activity that could lead to a number of officials being charged with violations of the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture, both of which were signed by the United States and ratified by the U.S. Senate.

William F Pepper

should have won this year's Noble Peace Prize.