This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its closing form.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.
Over the weekend at the Munich Stability Conference, Vice President Kamala Harris accused Russia of committing not just war crimes but crimes from humanity in Ukraine.
VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS: The United States has formally identified that Russia has dedicated crimes versus humanity. And I say to all individuals who have perpetrated these crimes, and to their superiors, who are complicit in these crimes, you will be held to account.
AMY GOODMAN: Secretary of State Tony Blinken followed up on Harris’s opinions by declaring in a statement, “We reserve crimes from humanity determinations for the most egregious crimes. These functions are not random or spontaneous, they are section of the Kremlin’s widespread and systematic attack towards Ukraine’s civilian inhabitants,” Blinken explained.
We go now to Geneva, Switzerland, in which we’re joined by the longtime human rights legal professional Reed Brody, who’s brought historic authorized circumstances versus previous Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré and some others creator of To Capture a Dictator: The Pursuit and Trial of Hissène Habré. He’s former counsel for Human Legal rights Observe.
Reed, thanks so a great deal for becoming a member of us. Can you talk — I really do not know if people caught the change correct now for accurately what Vice President Harris, and I hope tomorrow President Biden in Poland will be indicating.
REED BRODY: Properly, Vice President Harris fundamentally stated what we all know to be real, which is that Russian forces are committing crimes versus humanity in Ukraine. Secretary Blinken applied — and, in truth, they each employed the authorized definition, which is crimes fully commited as element of a prevalent or systematic attack on a civilian populace. I feel we all imagine that, you know, the bombing of hospitals and schools, the torture, the sexual violence, the assaults on civilian infrastructures, the deportation of young children, these all amount to crimes in opposition to humanity. I’m not absolutely sure, to be truthful, what the — you know, why the assertion was made, what legal importance it has that the U.S. has determined that crimes from humanity have been dedicated. She also talked about how the authors of these crimes will be held to account.
And, of class, as we have talked about before, there is a significant justice mobilization in Ukraine, surpassing any precedent by orders of magnitude. You have 66,000 war crimes instances opened by the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office. The Worldwide Legal Court has opened its greatest subject operation at any time. A dozen other states have jumped in to open up instances on their possess soil. Lots of many others have equipped guidance, economical, complex guidance to Ukrainian prosecutors. So there is a big sum of investigation in real time like we have by no means seen before.
I do not know what new this is going to deliver. I indicate, potentially President Biden is going to describe. Obviously, the U.S., you know, has a pretty ambiguous connection, in general, with global justice. It is not a member of the Global Prison Court. It does assist, really, less than the Democratic administrations, including the Biden administration — aid the do the job of the Intercontinental Prison Court docket. But we’ll have to seriously see what this declaration usually means. I imply, it is a incredibly potent assertion, and I think, in lots of — it is a welcome statement. Crimes towards humanity are becoming fully commited by Russian forces in Ukraine.
AMY GOODMAN: Reed, we just experienced you on two months ago talking about the situation of war as a crime of aggression, and the trouble that poses for the United States, because numerous may well say, “Yes, which is specifically what is heading on below, but for the United States to say that is to go against its past positions.”
REED BRODY: Well, of study course, I signify, the U.S. posture on justice is — you know, on worldwide justice is riddled with double standards. Glimpse, the U.S.’s principal objection to the Worldwide Felony Court is not that they’re investigating Africans or they’re investigating these folks the U.S.’s principal objection is that the ICC purports to look into crimes fully commited by citizens of [nonparty states]. So, the U.S.’s massive objection is that the ICC could, and was, until finally it was deprioritized by the prosecutor, investigate alleged U.S. war crimes in Ukraine. U.S. is not a get together, but — excuse me, Afghanistan. U.S. is not a occasion, but Afghanistan is. The ICC, similarly, is investigating alleged war crimes and crimes versus humanity by Russian forces, even even though Russia, like the United States, is not a bash to the ICC, but is allegedly committing war crimes and crimes versus humanity on the territory of a point out, Ukraine, which is a social gathering.
The similar double typical will come in, or would appear in, in phrases of aggression prosecutions. Now, Vice President Harris did not talk about the criminal offense of aggression. And one particular interpretation of why she manufactured such a potent statement on crimes from humanity this weekend is so that she didn’t have to talk about the criminal offense of aggression, due to the fact the U.S. is tiptoeing about this situation, for the motive that you mentioned, Amy. The U.S., and the only cause —
AMY GOODMAN: I mean, correct now we’re coming up on the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, ideal? In March of 2003.
REED BRODY: Accurately. The only purpose the ICC does not — which is investigating Russia, nonparty condition, investigating their alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes in Ukraine, but not their aggression, is — and a lot of would say the only cause the ICC hasn’t already indicted Vladimir Putin for the criminal offense of aggression, which was the supreme intercontinental criminal offense at Nuremberg, is that the United States, Britain and France insisted, against the the greater part of the other states, that the ICC need to not be ready to exercise its aggression jurisdiction against [nonparty states], like the United States, France and Britain, but also like Russia.
So, I imply, again, it is a extremely welcome statement, I think, by Vice President Harris. Russia — these are large crimes. I signify, we all carry on to be stunned and horrified by these crimes. But America has to — the United States has to arrive to grips with the point that, whether or not it is crimes like the Bush administration, crimes against detainees in Guantánamo, in Abu Ghraib, in secret prisons, that were being never ever dealt with, or the unlawful invasion of Iraq by the United States in 2003, in 2002, you can never — you know, you can not have it both equally techniques. And the applications of worldwide justice ought to not only be aimed at enemies and outcasts.
AMY GOODMAN: Reed Brody, I want to thank you for staying with us, war crimes prosecutor, former counsel for Human Legal rights Enjoy, creator of To Capture a Dictator: The Pursuit and Demo of Hissène Habré.
Next up, as the Centers for Disorder Regulate warns teen girls experience history stages of despair and hopelessness, we glimpse at the function of social media. Back again in 30 seconds.
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