Manning and Nuremberg

Ever since WWII ended, Americans have viewed the Nuremberg Trials as a step forward in human civilization, a significant effort to create a moral foundation on which to base our personal decisions about whether or not to “follow orders.” The Real News Network’s evaluation of Manning’s trial in the context of Nuremberg merits close reading.

to quote the Nuremberg Charter, the fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.

Manning sees the video of the helicopter gunning down essentially unarmed people and then shooting this van that comes up afterward to help these people, that’s a war crime. More than that, it’s a war crime within a war where the whole war itself is a war crime because it’s illegal. And he has a legal obligation to do what he can to go against that. And I wish that had been his defense, and it wasn’t, but I wish they’d used Nuremberg as his defense, because then it would have put the war on trial.

Obama succeeded in keeping the focus on punishing the messenger in order to prevent a national dialogue about whether the on-going post-9/11 U.S. policy of fighting global war against Muslim political activists to maintain and even expand U.S. domination of the international political system for the benefit of the U.S. ruling elite.

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