October 21-22, New York City:

First Session of the 2005 International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Committed Against Humanity by the Bush Administration of the United States

Revolution #019, October 23, 2005, posted at revcom.us


Keynote Addresses: The Moral Challenge and Responsibility of Our Time

Howard Zinn Historian, special videotaped message to the Commission
Marcus Raskin Institute for Policy Studies and The Nation editorial board
Michael Ratner President Center for Constitutional Rights

Presentation of Indictments

1. Wars of Aggression:
2. Torture and Indefinite Detention:
3. Destruction of the Global Environment:
4. Attacks on Global Public Health and Reproductive Rights:

Jurists, Prosecutors, & Witnesses Include:

James Abourezk, former United States Senator; Amy Bartholomew, professor of law at Carleton University; Steven Bronner, professor of political science, Rutgers University; Dennis Brutus, South African poet; Larry Everest, author of Oil, Power & Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda; Thomas Fasy, MD, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine; Denis Halliday,ex-UN Assistant Secretary-General, former head of UN Humanitarian Mission In Iraq; Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst; Camilo E. Mejia, member of Iraq Veterans Against the War; Barbara Olshansky, Center for Constitutional Rights and coordinator of Guantanamo detainee defense; former detainees, and video footage of testimony by Iraqis under occupation.

The full prosecution of the indictments will take place in a second session to be held by January 2006.



Did the Bush Administration commit crimes against humanity?

Featuring: Witnesses from the Gulf Coast:

Survivor, Kimberly S.: "... if it hadn’t been for the young men they were calling thugs, I would have died; "
Rescuers & Expert testimony, including: Rev. Luis Barrios, assoc professor at John Jay College; Dr. Robert Bullard, author,Quest for Environmental Justice: Human Rights & the Politics of Pollution; John Clark, Professor of Environmental Studies, Loyola University, New Orleans; Mark Krasnoff & Monique Berdin, Cajun community activists and filmmakers; Corlita Mahr, Peoples Hurricane Relief Fund; Malik Rahim, Common Ground Collective, New Orleans; Jeremy Scahill, correspondent for Democracy Now!, and other witnesses.


Tens of thousands of people, desperately poor, mostly Black, waving from rooftops as flood waters rose. Search-and-rescue missions suspended and aid supplies cut off in the name of "security" – leaving people to drown, and die of thirst and starvation. Black people stocking up on necessities like food, water and medicine portrayed as "looters." Police and military guns pointed at survivors’ heads. Ordinary people seeking to help turned back at gun point. For four full days, images from the Convention Center of people suffering and even dying from lack of food, water and medicine. A police-state like atmosphere in the Superdome. Everything spoke to the utter disdain for those, mostly Black and poor, who had lost so much – from family and friends, to livelihood and shelter.

An evidentiary hearing will be held on October 22, 2005 on this question, as part of the first session of The 2005 International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration of the United States [www.bushcommission.org]

The hearing will primarily hear testimony from witnesses, from those who were left stranded instead of being rescued, had the gun turned on them instead of being provided food, water and medicine, and many who saw family and friends die needlessly. We will hear from journalists, examine reports from scientists and government workers who saw warnings about the potential catastrophe being willfully ignored by the administration, and from doctors and others who rushed to help but were thwarted. We are calling on all who can provide testimony or video footage and can contribute to the historic mission of this commission and its proceedings to come forward – with enthusiasm and outrage.

The hearing will seek to determine the truth of what happened. Is it true that the Bush administration had advance knowledge of Katrina’s strength, trajectory and potential destructiveness, and yet did absolutely nothing to evacuate people, mostly Black and poor, from the most risk-prone areas? One hundred thousand people were left stranded – directly in harm’s way – to flooding from the waters of Lake Pontchartrain. Levees meant to keep the waters at bay broke, a scenario predicted by scientists for years, and made worse by massive cuts in funding by the Bush administration.

The commission will also investigate the potential impact of the Bush administration’s plans for "rebuilding" New Orleans. It will inquire into whether the proposals will disenfranchise the displaced, depriving them of their homes, and amounting to what is a coercive deportation

The Commission will then determine, by applying exacting standards, if the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina warrants an indictment and prosecution under the charter and scope of the Commission. While potential crimes related to the tragedy of Katrina involve consequences of polices and actions that involve state and local authorities, and that predate the Bush administration, including deeply-systemic causes, particularly the national oppression of Black people, it is also clear that there are real and major areas of culpability that are very specific to this administration.

The Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center
311 W. 34th Street, New York City

Suggested registration: $30 for both days (or $20 for one day only)
Student and low income: $15 for both days (or $10 for one day only)

To register, e-mail commission@nion.us or phone 212-941-8086

Or register online at bushcommission.org/dateplace.htm

From the Charter of the International Commission of Inquiry

When the possibility of far-reaching war crimes and crimes against humanity exists, people of conscience have a solemn responsibility to inquire into the nature and scope of these acts and to determine if they do in fact rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity. That is the mission of the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity. The first session will be held October 21-22 in New York City. This tribunal will, with care and rigor, present evidence and assess whether George W. Bush and his administration have committed crimes against humanity...

The holding of this tribunal will frame and fuel a discussion that is urgently needed in the United States: Is the administration of George W. Bush guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity? The Commission will conduct its work with a deep sense of responsibility to the people of the world.

The Commission is sponsored by the Not In Our Name statement of conscience, joined by the following individuals and organizations:

[List in formation]

James Abourezk, former United States Senator

As'ad AbuKhalil, professor of politics & public administration, California State University-Stanislaus

Dirk Adriaensens, BRussells Tribunal executive committee and coordinator SOS Iraq

Dr. Nadje Al-Ali, social anthropologist at the University of Exeter, founding member of Act Together: Women's Action on Iraq & and member Women in Black UK

Anthony Alessandrini, organizer with the World Tribunal on Iraq and New York University Students for Justice in Palestine

Edward Asner

Russell Banks, novelist

The Rev. Luis Barrios, Ph.D., associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice & Anglican Priest

Amy Bartholomew, professor of law at Carleton University

Greg Bates, Common Courage Press

Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies

Michael S. Berg, grieving father of Nick Berg killed in Iraq May 7, 2004, and one man for Peace

Ayse Berktay, from the organizing team of the World Tribunal on Iraq

William Blum, author of Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower

Francis Boyle, author of Destroying World Order and professor at the University of Illinois College of Law

Jean Bricmont, Brussells Tribunal executive committee

Marjorie Cohn, professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and executive vice president of National Lawyers Guild

Lieven De Cauter, BRussells Tribunal executive committee

Patrick Deboosere, BRussells Tribunal executive committee

Michael Eric Dyson

Peter Erlinder, William Mitchell College of Law and lead defense counsel, United Nations Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Arusha, Tanzania

Larry Everest, author of Oil, Power & Empire: Iraq and the U.S. Global Agenda and Behind the Poison Cloud: Union Carbide’s Bhopal Massacre

Richard Falk, professor emeritus of International Law, Princeton, and Visiting Professor in Global and International Studies, UC-Santa Barbara

Thomas M. Fasy, MD, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, member, American Academy of Arts & Letters and founder & editor in chief, City Lights Books, San Francisco

Ted Glick, former coordinator, Independent Progressive Politics Network

Dr. Elaine C. Hagopian, former president of Association of Arab-American University Graduates (AAUG) and primary founder of the Trans-Arab Research Institute (TARI)

Sam Hamill. director, Poets Against War

International Movement for a Just World (JUST), Malaysia

Abdeen Jabara, past president, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

Dahr Jamail, U.S. independent journalist who has reported extensively from Iraq since the invasion

C. Clark Kissinger, contributing writer for Revolution and initiator of the Not In Our Name statement of conscience

The Reverend Doctor Earl Kooperkamp, Rector, St. Mary's Episcopal Church, West Harlem, New York City

Joel Kovel, editor-in-chief, Capitalism Nature Socialism: A Quarterly Journal of Socialist Ecology, and author of The Enemy of Nature

Jesse Lemisch, professor of history emeritus, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun magazine and author of The Left Hand of God: Taking Back America from the Religious Right

Rev. Davidson Loehr, Ph.D., First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, Texas

Robert Meeropol, Executive Director, Rosenberg Fund for Children

Barbara Olshansky, deputy legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and author of Secret Trials and Executions

New Jersey Civil Rights Defense Committee

New Jersey Workers Democracy Network

National Lawyers Guild

National Lawyers Guild, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter

Not In Our Name Project

James Petras, professor emeritus of sociology at Binghamton University, New York

Jeremy Pikser, screenwriter

Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and author with Ellen Ray of Guantanamo: What the World Should Know

Stephen F. Rohde, civil liberties lawyer and co-founder of Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace

Marc Sapir MD, MPH, co-convener of the UC Berkeley Teach In on Torture and executive director of Retro Poll

Sister Annette M. Sinagra, OP

State of Nature on-line magazine

Inge Van de Merlen, Brussells Tribunal executive committee

Gore Vidal

Anne Weills, civil rights attorney in Oakland, National Lawyers Guild

Leonard Weinglass, criminal defense attorney

Naomi Weisstein, professor emeritus of Neuroscience, State University of NY at Buffalo

Cornel West

Howard Zinn, historian

[institutions referenced for identification only]