THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: INTERNATIONAL OUTLAW On June 27, 1986, the International Cou
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: INTERNATIONAL OUTLAW
On June 27, 1986, the International Court of Justice, under the
auspices of the United Nations, handed down a decision that found the
United States in violation of international law. The decision called
for the United States to cease its international illegal activities
against Nicaragua. The Court's decision, 12-3, held that the U.S.
support of the contras was illegal. A further decision, 14-1, held
that U.S. mining of Nicaragua's harbors and distribution of a CIA
assassination manual also violated international law.
In 1987, while President Reagan was defending his contra policy,
while Oliver North was telling contra stories to Congress, and while
Secretary of State George Schultz was asking Congress for $270 million
in contra aid, the U.S. media failed to inform the American public
that the Reagan administration's efforts were illegal.
In fact, the International Court of Justice decision against the
U.S. was, for all intents and purposes, a non-event in the U.S. media
This non-event status was never more evident that in the media's
failure to cover the November 12, 1987, U.N. General Assembly vote,
94-2, that called for "full and immediate compliance" with the World
Court's June 1986 decision. In particular, the General Assembly called
on the U.S. to cease funding its military activities against
The question of whether the U.S. government rejects international
adjudication as having a part in aiding peace, or whether the rule of
international law is valid, void, or only reserved for minor matters
was never really explored by the U.S. media in light of the World
Court and General Asesembly decisions in the United Nations.
The American public has been kept ignorant of this international
issue and its implications on U.S. policy toward Nicaragua largely
because of media indifference.
SOURCES: HUMAN RIGHTS, American Bar Association Press, Winter
1987/88, "The World Court: Let's Not Forget This Anniversary," by
Howard N. Meyer; ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 8/7/86, "In Contempt of
Court," (op/ed article), by Richard B. Bilder.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank