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News :: International
Violation of International Law In Afghanistan, War Vet Tells Troops
02 Mar 2006
Press release relevant to all soldiers and citizens of all nations involved in the Afghan war. Four documents: -To Canadian troops in Afghanistan, -Canada Violating International Law In Afghanistan, War Vet Tells Troops, PM -Letter to PM Stephen Harper, Feb. 28, 2006 -Research Brief: “Legal Aspects of Canada’s Actions in Afghanistan Deeply Troubling.”
News Release: For immediate use
Feb. 28, 2006

Canada Violating International Law
In Afghanistan, War Vet Tells Troops, PM

Kamloops, B.C., Canada -- Canadian troops in Afghanistan are complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity because of their new aggressive role in support of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and should be immediately pulled out of the war zone and returned to Canada or risk facing possible future criminal charges, according to a decorated Vietnam war veteran now turned Canadian peace activist.

This was the message sent directly to Canadian troops in Afghanistan Tuesday, Feb. 28, via a government website message board at the same time it was sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, all members of Parliament, and Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean, who serves as Commander-in-Chief of Canadian forces. It came from military veteran John McNamer, 58, of Kamloops, British Columbia. McNamer was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his service with the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam and he is the author of a newly-released research brief examining the legality of Canada’s role in Afghanistan.

Attached to a letter to Harper is the five-page brief with 46 footnoted references documenting “criminal actions” resulting from ongoing Coalition procedures and actions in Afghanistan. The documentation relies primarily on published news accounts from mainstream media reports over the past several years, as well as the 2005 “Report of the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan” to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

McNamer said that some experts believe the legal basis for the war in Afghanistan is flawed to begin with, but that his primary concerns are based on “factual evidence” that the war is “demonstrably criminal in its execution.”

The research brief documents substantial allegations of illegal torture; illegal and abusive detainments – sometimes leading to deaths in custody; civilian deaths from bombing and other indiscriminate use of force, and collusion with illegal “renditions” of individuals to and from other countries for purposes of torture. It also charges that Canada is in violation of international law for allowing illegal CIA “torture flights” to use Canadian air space and airports, saying there is a link between the flights and Coalition activities in Afghanistan.

Canada is said to be in violation of international and Canadian law as well for its current policy of handing over detainees to American authorities, who do not treat them in accordance with the Geneva Conventions – which Canada is bound by. The brief disputes Canadian military assurances that prisoners are being handled humanely by the U.S., pointing to a recently-leaked high-level British government document which admits the British have no idea whether or not detainees they are handing over to the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq are being sent to secret CIA detention centres for torture.

The report details the worldwide system of an illegal CIA “extraordinary rendition” process of kidnapping people and transporting them to various countries for torture. It says the process includes secret illegal “dark prisons” in Afghanistan where detainees may end up, and charges that Coalition forces act in support of and collusion with these illegalities. It notes recent news articles asserting that one U.S. prison in Afghanistan is said to be “worse than Guantanamo Bay.”

McNamer said the information detailing Canada’s role in Afghanistan has been sent out to Canadian peace activists and that he expects his report will be a topic of concern when activists gather in various cities March 18 for a day of protest against the invasion of Iraq.

He said he sent a message to Canadian troops in Afghanistan offering to provide them with his complete report and the letter to Harper. The message was filed with the Department of National Defence website “Write to the Troops”, but McNamer said he is worried it may not get to the troops if officials decide to censure it by not posting it. He told the troops that his message is not hostile to Canadian Force, and that he believes “you have the right and obligation to understand that you may have personal responsibility for illegal actions you may be involved in while in Afghanistan, and the right to know what is being said about this situation in Canada.”

ATTACHED:
Letter to PM Stephen Harper, Feb. 28, 2006
Research Brief: “Legal Aspects of Canada’s Actions in Afghanistan Deeply Troubling,”
Feb. 27, 2006
Message to Canadian Troops in Afghanistan, Feb. 28, 2006

---

CONTACT:
John McNamer
Tel. (250) 374-1058, e-mail jhnmcnamer (at) yahoo.ca
Footnoted documents available on request
Author biography, recent passport photo and copy of Bronze Star Medal certificate
available on request


###############



To Canadian troops in Afghanistan, Feb. 28, 2006

Greetings and safe journey to all Canadian Forces in Afghanistan this day. I am John McNamer, a decorated Vietnam war veteran from Kamloops, British Columbia.
Please be advised that I have informed Prime Minister Stephen Harper today that after extensively researching the issue, I have come to believe that Canada’s military personnel in Afghanistan and key political leaders are acting in ways that are unlawful and legally indefensible. This, in my judgment, leaves you and these leaders open to possible future charges of criminal violations of international and Canadian law in relation to war crimes and crimes against humanity. I have therefore respectfully requested the Prime Minister to immediately end this risk to Canadian military personnel by immediately ordering a complete withdrawal from the Afghanistan war zone.

My letter to Prime Minister Harper and the attached five-page research brief documenting criminal actions resulting from ongoing Coalition procedures and actions in Afghanistan can be obtained in full by writing to me at jhnmcnamer (at) yahoo.ca

Please know that this is not a message hostile to Canadian Forces. My best wishes go out to each and every one of you. I am posting this message because I believe you have the right and obligation to understand that you may have personal responsiblity for illegal actions you may be involved in while in Afghanistan, and the right to know what is being said about this situation in Canada.



Letter to PM Stephen Harper, Feb. 28, 2006

And

Research Brief: “Legal Aspects of Canada’s Actions in Afghanistan Deeply Troubling,”
Feb. 27, 2006

Available at:

http://mparent7777.livejournal.com/6697551.html

Violation of International Law In Afghanistan, War Vet Tells Troops, PM
by John McNamer / CCNWON Thursday, Mar. 02, 2006 at 7:59 AM
jhnmcnamer (at) yahoo.ca
Press release relevant to all soldiers and citizens of all nations involved in the Afghan war. Four documents: -To Canadian troops in Afghanistan, -Canada Violating International Law In Afghanistan, War Vet Tells Troops, PM -Letter to PM Stephen Harper, Feb. 28, 2006 -Research Brief: “Legal Aspects of Canada’s Actions in Afghanistan Deeply Troubling.”

Press release relevant to all soldiers and citizens of all nations involved in the Afghan war. Four documents: -To Canadian troops in Afghanistan, -Canada Violating International Law In Afghanistan, War Vet Tells Troops, PM -Letter to PM Stephen Harper, Feb. 28, 2006 -Research Brief: “Legal Aspects of Canada’s Actions in Afghanistan Deeply Troubling.”

News Release: For immediate use
Feb. 28, 2006

Canada Violating International Law
In Afghanistan, War Vet Tells Troops, PM

Kamloops, B.C., Canada -- Canadian troops in Afghanistan are complicit in war crimes and crimes against humanity because of their new aggressive role in support of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and should be immediately pulled out of the war zone and returned to Canada or risk facing possible future criminal charges, according to a decorated Vietnam war veteran now turned Canadian peace activist.

This was the message sent directly to Canadian troops in Afghanistan Tuesday, Feb. 28, via a government website message board at the same time it was sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, all members of Parliament, and Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean, who serves as Commander-in-Chief of Canadian forces. It came from military veteran John McNamer, 58, of Kamloops, British Columbia. McNamer was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his service with the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam and he is the author of a newly-released research brief examining the legality of Canada’s role in Afghanistan.

Attached to a letter to Harper is the five-page brief with 46 footnoted references documenting “criminal actions” resulting from ongoing Coalition procedures and actions in Afghanistan. The documentation relies primarily on published news accounts from mainstream media reports over the past several years, as well as the 2005 “Report of the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan” to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

McNamer said that some experts believe the legal basis for the war in Afghanistan is flawed to begin with, but that his primary concerns are based on “factual evidence” that the war is “demonstrably criminal in its execution.”

The research brief documents substantial allegations of illegal torture; illegal and abusive detainments – sometimes leading to deaths in custody; civilian deaths from bombing and other indiscriminate use of force, and collusion with illegal “renditions” of individuals to and from other countries for purposes of torture. It also charges that Canada is in violation of international law for allowing illegal CIA “torture flights” to use Canadian air space and airports, saying there is a link between the flights and Coalition activities in Afghanistan.

Canada is said to be in violation of international and Canadian law as well for its current policy of handing over detainees to American authorities, who do not treat them in accordance with the Geneva Conventions – which Canada is bound by. The brief disputes Canadian military assurances that prisoners are being handled humanely by the U.S., pointing to a recently-leaked high-level British government document which admits the British have no idea whether or not detainees they are handing over to the U.S. in Afghanistan and Iraq are being sent to secret CIA detention centres for torture.

The report details the worldwide system of an illegal CIA “extraordinary rendition” process of kidnapping people and transporting them to various countries for torture. It says the process includes secret illegal “dark prisons” in Afghanistan where detainees may end up, and charges that Coalition forces act in support of and collusion with these illegalities. It notes recent news articles asserting that one U.S. prison in Afghanistan is said to be “worse than Guantanamo Bay.”
McNamer said the information detailing Canada’s role in Afghanistan has been sent out to Canadian peace activists and that he expects his report will be a topic of concern when activists gather in various cities March 18 for a day of protest against the invasion of Iraq.

He said he sent a message to Canadian troops in Afghanistan offering to provide them with his complete report and the letter to Harper. The message was filed with the Department of National Defence website “Write to the Troops”, but McNamer said he is worried it may not get to the troops if officials decide to censure it by not posting it. He told the troops that his message is not hostile to Canadian Force, and that he believes “you have the right and obligation to understand that you may have personal responsibility for illegal actions you may be involved in while in Afghanistan, and the right to know what is being said about this situation in Canada.”

ATTACHED:
Letter to PM Stephen Harper, Feb. 28, 2006
Research Brief: “Legal Aspects of Canada’s Actions in Afghanistan Deeply Troubling,”
Feb. 27, 2006
Message to Canadian Troops in Afghanistan, Feb. 28, 2006

---

CONTACT:
John McNamer
Tel. (250) 374-1058, e-mail jhnmcnamer (at) yahoo.ca
Footnoted documents available on request
Author biography, recent passport photo and copy of Bronze Star Medal certificate
available on request


###############



To Canadian troops in Afghanistan, Feb. 28, 2006

Greetings and safe journey to all Canadian Forces in Afghanistan this day. I am John McNamer, a decorated Vietnam war veteran from Kamloops, British Columbia.
Please be advised that I have informed Prime Minister Stephen Harper today that after extensively researching the issue, I have come to believe that Canada’s military personnel in Afghanistan and key political leaders are acting in ways that are unlawful and legally indefensible. This, in my judgment, leaves you and these leaders open to possible future charges of criminal violations of international and Canadian law in relation to war crimes and crimes against humanity. I have therefore respectfully requested the Prime Minister to immediately end this risk to Canadian military personnel by immediately ordering a complete withdrawal from the Afghanistan war zone.

My letter to Prime Minister Harper and the attached five-page research brief documenting criminal actions resulting from ongoing Coalition procedures and actions in Afghanistan can be obtained in full by writing to me at jhnmcnamer (at) yahoo.ca

Please know that this is not a message hostile to Canadian Forces. My best wishes go out to each and every one of you. I am posting this message because I believe you have the right and obligation to understand that you may have personal responsiblity for illegal actions you may be involved in while in Afghanistan, and the right to know what is being said about this situation in Canada.



Letter to PM Stephen Harper, Feb. 28, 2006

And

Research Brief: “Legal Aspects of Canada’s Actions in Afghanistan Deeply Troubling,”
Feb. 27, 2006

Available at:

http://mparent7777.livejournal.com/6697551.html

mparent7777.livejournal.com
See also:
http://Violation of International Law In Afghanistan, War Vet Tells Troops, PM

This work is in the public domain
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