Tuesday, May 20, 2014

U.S. Cites End to C.I.A. Ruses Using Vaccines

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: barry levine
Date: Tue, May 20, 2014 at 3:21 PM
Subject: re: U.S. Cites End to C.I.A. Ruses Using Vaccines
To: "letters@nytimes.com"

To the Editor:
   " 'I would not snare even an orc with a falsehood' said Faramir". Thus did JRR Tolkien summarize a civilized man's disdain for perfidy. The Geneva Conventions cast this as law (for the 147 nations who ratified it, if not for the U.S.):
"1. It is prohibited to kill, injure or capture an adversary by resort to perfidy. Acts inviting the confidence of an adversary to lead him to believe that he is entitled to, or is obliged to accord, protection under the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, with intent to betray that confidence, shall constitute perfidy."
    Now that the Obama administration has foresworn the particular instance of perfidy involving bogus vaccination campaigns, one might wonder why we still won't ratify the Geneva Conventions, even 37 years behind the rest of the world.  And we're still not party to the International Criminal Court.  In ways large and small, the U.S. government seems to prefer to operate by guidelines promulgated in secret inside the Executive Branch, rather than by laws duly enacted in the Legislative.  The prohibition against perfidious vaccinators is one example. The Durham investigation--that cleared CIA agents, officer and contractors of violating DoJ guidelines without ever asking if they had broken the law--is another.
    To ratify the Geneva Conventions lies with Congress; it would be unfair to blame president Obama for their failing. And the Durham investigation is in the past; no one can fix that. But president Obama is still Chief Executive, and the DoJ still reports to him. If we are to have a nation of law, and not of men, as our Founding Fathers aspired, it is for president Obama to not just promulgate secret guidelines, but to faithfully execute the law. Prosecuting torture and perfidy is still the right place to start.
Barry Haskell Levine


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