01-04-90 021300 LEGAL ANALYSIS OF PANAMA INVASION Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute Pea

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01-04-90 02:13:00 From: NEW YORK ON-LINE LEGAL ANALYSIS OF PANAMA INVASION Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute Peacenet Bulletin #1, 1/1/90: The Peace Law and Education Project provides some basic statements of U.S. Law relevant to the US invasion of Panama in order to enhance public discussion and debate on this event and to spur appropriate action by policymakers, the media, the concerned public and their organizations. This is a continuing feature of the work of Meiklejohn Institute, which provides law and history to help people working for peace, jobs, justice and the environment. 1. U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, clause 11: "The Congress shall have Power...To declare War,...". President Roosevelt, to carry out this constitutional responsibility, asked Congress to declare war after Japan invaded in 1941. The Congress so voted. 2. U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 2: "The President...shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and the Advice and Consent of the Sentate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls,..." U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 3: "He...shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers;..." 3. The Congress quoted theses constitutional limitations on the power of the President over foreign policy and war making in the War Powers Resolution, 87 Stat. 555, Public Law 93-148, 93rd Cong. (H.J. Res. 542, adopted over presidential veto 11/7/73). "Sec. 2. (a) It is the purpose of this joint resolution to fufill the intent of the framers of the Constitution of the United States and insure that the collective judgment of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and to the continued use of such forces in hostilities or in such situations." "Sec. 2. (c) The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces." Congress then established a reporting requirement for the President (Section 4) and a section interpreting the Resolution to require the United States to abide by its treaties (Section 8). 4. U.S. Constitution, Article VI, Section 2: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States... and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land;..." The United Nations Charter is such a treaty, ratified by the U.S. Senate (89-2) in 1945. The Organization of American States Charter is also such a treaty, ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1951. 5. United Nations Charter, Article 2, Section 1: "The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members." 6. UN Charter, Article 2, Section 3: "All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered." 7. UN Charter, Article 2, Section 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." 8. UN Charter, Article 33, Section 1: "The parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall, first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice." 9. UN Charter, Article 37, Section 1: "Should the parties to a dispute of the nature referred to in Article 33 fail to settle it by the means indicated in that Article, they shall refer it to the Security Council." 10. Organization of American States Charter, Article 22: "In the event that a dispute arises between two or more American States which, in the opinion of one of them, cannot be settled through the usual diplomatic channels, the Parties shall agree on some other peaceful procedure that will enable them to reach a solution." 11. OAS Charter, Article 25: "If the inviolability or the integrity of the territory or the sovereignty or political independence of any American State should be affected by an armed attack or by an act of aggression that is not an armed attack,...or by a conflict between two or more American States, or by any other fact or situation that might endanger the peace of America, the American States, in furtherance of the principles of continental solidarity or collective self-defense, shall apply the measures and procedures established in the special treaties on the subject." 12. The United States has never renounced any article of these treaties, nor has it announced that the Panama Canal Treaty with Panama means that it will not fulfill its obligations under the UN Charter and the OAS Charter. 13. The Nuremberg Principles are part of U.S. law through an Executive Agreement (Aug. 8, 1945), and are set forth in the Department of the Army Field Manual, "The Law of Land Warfare" (FM 27-10), (18 July 1956) Secs. 498-511. The Principles define crimes against peace and war crimes and establish responsibility therefor on each individual, whether or not acting under orders (Principle IV). 14. Nuremberg Principles, Principle II: "The fact that internal law does not impose a penalty for an act which constitutes a crime under internatiuonal law does not relieve the person who committed the act from responsibility under international law." 15. Nuremberg Principle VI: "The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law: a. Crimes against peace: (i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;... b. War crimes: Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to,...wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.... 16. Nuremberg Principle VII provides that "Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, [or] a war crime,...is a crime under international law." Scholars contend that inaction to stop such crimes in the face of knowledge that they were committed, may cause one to be in complicity. Under this theory, certainly every member of Congress who does nothing, and perhaps everyone in the United States who watches the news, may be held accountable in the eyes of the world. 17. In the Admissions by the U.S. Government in U.S. v. Oliver North, (U.S. District Court for District of Columbia, Crim, No. 88-0080-02-GAG) read into the record April 6, 1989: "97. In late August 1986, North reported to Admiral Poindexter that a representative of Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega had asked North to meet with him. Noriega's representative proposed that, in exchange for a promise from the USG to help clean up Noriega's image and a commitment to lift the USG ban on military sales to the Panamanian defense forces, Noriega would assassinate the Sandinista leadership for the U.S. government. North had told Noriega's representative that U.S. law forbade such actions. The representative responded that Noriega had numerous assets in place in Nicaragua and could accomplish essential things, just as Noriega had helped the USG the previous year in blowing up a Sandanista arsenal." "99. Admiral Poindexter responded that if Noriega had assets inside Nicaragua, he could be helpful. The USG could not be involved in assassination, but Panamanian assistance with sabotage would be another story. Admiral Poindexter recommended that North speak with Noriega directly." "101. In mid-September 1986, LtCol North notified Admiral Poindexter that Noriega wanted to meet with him in London within a few days. North had discissed the matter with Assistant Secretary of State Abrams, who had raised it with Secretary of State Shultz. Shultz thought that the meeting should proceed. Admiral Poindexter approved." 18. The number of U.S. citizens living in the U.S. "killed, threatened and brutalized" during the days prior to the U.S. invasion (as Pres. Bush alleges U.S. citizens were in Panama) is not available to the Peace Law and Education Project. The number is greater than the number for Panama and it is available to President Bush through the Police Departments of the District of Columbia, Detroit, Oakland, and other U.S. cities. Executive action to stop, or at least to cause a decrease, in these crimes in these jurisdictions has not been forthcoming. --------------------------------------------- Topic 16 Panama Invasion - Legal Analysis peacelaw carnet.panama 10:28 am Jan 3, 1990 An analysis of the legal status of the US invasion of Panama available on mcli.peacelaw conference as of 1/1/90. --------------------------------------------- Source: PANAMA echo on The NY Transfer, A Free-Speech Independent BBS: (718) 448-2358 via NY OnLine Alternate News/Information 718-852-2662 (1:107/607) ---------------------------------------------


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