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un | 24.01.2006 20:36 | Anti-militarism | London | World

On 7th December 2005 Tony Benn and forty three others, sent a letter to The UN and to the UK Attorney General asking them to investigate breaches of The Nuremberg Charter and Geneva and Hague Conventions during the Iraq War.



On 7th December 2005 Tony Benn and forty three others, including Rose Gentle, Reg Keys, Harold Pinter, and Michael Mansfield QC, sent a letter to The UN and to the UK Attorney General asking them to investigate breaches of The Nuremberg Charter and Geneva and Hague Conventions during the Iraq War, and to bring those responsible to account. The UK is obliged as a Signator to The Conventions to investigate these charges.

We asks you to join as supplementary signatories by e-mail, or post. We want these signatures to be without end or time limit, and, as citizens of the UK, to make it clear, that the Attorney General must fulfill his obligations.
Alternatively we risk these Conventions being torn up, and in the words of Harold Pinter (Nobel speech - www.filmmakersagainstwar), we will have "torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder," without cease.
We want to restore dignity, and humanity to our country, not the rule of Abu Ghraib, the dog lead, and Fallujah (Fallujah: April 2004 -

If you agree with the Tony Benn Submission which follows, can
you please send your name to the Stop The War e-mail site, or by post to Stop The War, 27 Britania Street, WC1X 9JP, where it will be recorded and passed to the UN and Attorney General. Your e-mail address will be kept secret. Lindsey German, and Nicholas Wood on behalf of Tony Benn.

I........... Dated




With Reference to The Iraq War 2003 - 20005

This is a request to Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UN
that he should instigate an investigation into the claims listed in
the attachment to this memorandum. It is also jointly addressed to
Lord Goldsmith the Attorney General of the UK. The UK is a High
Contracting Party and Signatory to The Geneva and Hague Conventions
and Protocols and The Nuremberg Charter of 1945, and of The Rome
Statute of The International Criminal Court. It is thus appropriate
that The Attorney General should investigate what appear to be
grave breaches of these Conventions and Protocols, and of UN General
Assembly Resolution No 95, before and during the Iraq War 2003 - 2005.

We are concerned that, should these breaches be established, those
responsible should be held to account. This is urgent. It appears that
many breaches, even now, are continuing to take place.

Submitted by: Tony Benn,
Mrs Rose Gentle MFSO mum of Gordon Gentle killed in
Iraq 28:7:04, Reg Keys, Harold Pinter,
Prof. Richard Dawkins, Bruce Kent,
Lindsey German Convenor Stop The War
Coalition, Michael Mansfield
QC, Corin Redgrave,
Jemma Redgrave, Andrew Burgin, Mark
Steel, Brian Sewell Columnist on the
London "Evening Standard", Professor Ted
Honderich, Dr Martha Mundy Reader in
Anthropology LSE, David Halpin
FRCS, Sara Wood ,
Nicholas Wood RIBA
FRGS, Andreas Whittam Smith,
Lord Nicolas Rea, Hywel Williams MP
for Caernarfon, Peter Day, Anabella
Pellens, Nicolas Kent Theatre Director, Alan
Plater, Jonathan Price, Willy Russell
Writer, Ralph Steadman,
Anna Steadman, Dr C.J.Burns-Cox Consultant Physician
MD FRCP, Michael Naish,
Richard Gott, Celia Mitchell, Adrian Mitchell,
Una Doyle NUT, Geoff
Evans Bsc Hons Dip LP, Dr Margaret
Evans Phd BSc Hons, David
Levitt, David Gentleman
Artist, Julian Rea,
Sylvester McCoy, Alex Salmond MP Leader
Galloway MP Respect, Cicely
and Ian Herbert, Elfyn Llwyd MP Parliamentary Leader
Plaid Cymru. Maureen Hinton,
Yasmin Alibhai Brown, Baroness Dr Jenny Tonge, Roger Lloyd
Pack Actor,
Jehane Markham Writer,
Vanessa Redgrave, Adam
Price MP,
Bill Paterson, Angela Flowers, Ken Loach, Dr Eric Herring,
John McDonnel MP,
Paul Mackney General Secretary NATFHE,
Martin Rowson
Cartoonist, Michael Gambon, T.G. Walker,
Chair, Our World Our Say, Simone La
Corbiniere, Director Our World Our
Say, Tara Healy-Singh, Terry
Jones, Chris Coverdale, Michael Culver
Actor, Amanda Ward
Artist, Rory Bremner, Janet Street-Porter,
Maggie Paterson, Mara Stankovitch, Steve Bell
Cartoonist, Michael Heath, Dr Adna Siddiqui,
Pauline Bradley, Khalid Mahmood-Choham Clr
Watford, Estella Schmid CAMPACC,
Nick Hildyard, M. Jaral, Angie Zelter, Anne
Gray CAMPACC, Jane Kelly
NATFHE, Michael T Darwyne, Jacky Thompson, Dr.Louise

Submission: We allege that the breaches committed by the UK
Government and the USA in coalition partnership during the period
2002 - 2005 outlined as a selection in summary are as follows:-

1 Crimes Against Peace: Planning and Conducting an Aggressive
War using deceit, including deliberately falsifying reports to
arouse passion in support of this war .

2 Failure to ensure public order and safety by disbanding
the army and police of Iraq, without properly replacing those

3 Extensive destruction of service infrastructure,
including drinking water, sewage systems, telephones and electricity
supply, with grave consequences to the inhabitants of Iraq,
especially in hospitals.

4 Deliberate damage to hospitals and medical facilities and
personnel including the shooting up of Red Crescent
ambulances, and prevention of movement of ambulances.

5 Failure to prohibit looting and arson resulting in the
despoliation and pillage of museums, libraries, archaeological sites,
hospitals, administrative buildings and state records.

6 Failure to respect cultural property including the use
of the Babylon archaeological site as a military camp.

7 Economic exploitation of occupied territories by orders
of The Provisional Coalition Administration to the benefit of foreign
interests, including the use of Production Sharing Agreements, and IMF
rules, even though warnings were made by the Attorney General that
these may be construed as contrary to International Law.

8 Seizing botanical assets by Provisional Coalition
Administration Order 81, which ends the prohibition of private
ownership of biological resources, and introduces foreign monopoly
rights over seeds.

9 Political persecution by initially sacking all Baath
Party members, thereby very severely reducing the administrative and
professional class who had been obliged to be members.

10 Religious persecution: US Defence Secretary memo of 2
December 2002 sanctioned the use of religious humiliation against

11 Use of cable ties as a restraint to
detainees' wrists causing injury and unnecessary suffering .

12 Use of hooding detainees, wilfully causing mental suffering,
especially when used for prolonged periods, or when combined with

13 Use of dogs as a means of obtaining information
authorised by US Defence Secretary memo of 2 Dec 2002.

14 Forcing detainees to stand for many hours as a means of obtaining
information authorised by US Defence Secretary memo of 2
December 2002, and practised at Abhu Ghraib and other US prisons.

15 Sexual and bodily humiliation of detainees, including
rapes, and stripping naked for long periods.

16 Aggressive patrolling with
indiscriminate mass arrests of males, including 14 year olds,
indiscriminate destruction of property, and invasion of women's'
quarters contrary to tenets of the Koran.

17 Killing and wounding treacherously by indiscriminate
shooting at check points, strafing of groups of obvious civilians, and
disproportionate use of force in residential areas.

18 Degrading treatment of detainees by marking foreheads and
bodies with indelible marker pens as a means of identification
and control.

19 Use of cluster bombs on grounds of military
expediency. As well as being munitions causing random unnecessary
suffering by steel spicules, incendiary and depleted uranium bomblets,
a large number don't explode, effectively becoming land mines.

20 Use of depleted uranium shells, on the grounds of
military expediency, causing a very long term legacy of radioactive
damage to the environment, cancers and birth defects.

21 Use of white phosphorous (WP) chemical munitions.

22 Collective penalties in Fallujah during
the first assault of April 2004 when 1,000 Iraqis including 600 women
and children were killed.

23 Evacuation of Fallujah, ( a city nearly the size of
Cardiff) in preparation for a second disproportionate assault
in November 2004, which employed the use of starvation and
thirst on an entire population, targeting of hospitals, medical staff
and ambulances, indiscriminate shooting of non combatants and
destruction of private and state property

24 Failure to keep a proper record of POW
names and locations.

25 Failure to treat POWs humanely, especially those held
in the open in the sun.

26 Abolition of Habeas Corpus: holding an estimated
30,000 prisoners without charge or trial over an indefinite

27 Failure to record Iraqi deaths and injuries with
consequent failure to determine proportionality or medical
requirements of survivors. Also causing unnecessary suffering to
relatives of the deceased.

28 Unilaterally holding that the Geneva Conventions do not apply

to certain actions, especially to the use of private security
contractors, and mercenaries and to the detention of certain types of
enemy combatants.



Much of the evidence for these actions, which we believe are contrary
to International Law, are now in the public domain: for instance: The
Secret memo from David Manning to The Prime Minister dated 14 March
2002, The Confidential and Personal memo from The British Ambassador
to the USA to the Prime Minister dated 18 March 2002. Clare Short's
book "Honourable Deception?" Greg Dyke's "Inside Story", Robert Fisk's
" The Great War for Civilisation", President Chirac's interview of 10
March 2003, Hansard, the British Museum sponsored book on the looting
of Iraq's National Museum and use of Babylon as a US base, the report
on the destruction of "Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation" by
Dahr Jamail, Lee Gordon's eye witness account in 'Camden New Journal'
of the shooting up of ambulances in Fallujah, The Peacerights Report
of the Inquiry into the alleged Commission of War Crimes by Coalition
Forces in The Iraq War During 2003 ", The Rumsfeld memo of 2 December
2003, gun film footage of the F16 strike against civilians in
Fallujah, photographs of mistreatment of POWs at Abhu Ghraib.

More detailed evidence for all these atrocities will be provided by
us if so required.

Signed.....................................Tony Benn
7th December 2005

Letters in identical terms have been signed and approved by
signatories to the submission as listed above and are available on

- Homepage:


Hide the following comment

Here comes Benn, it must be time for Blair's next war...

25.01.2006 09:23

Here comes Benn, must be almost time for another war. Pretty soon, we'll be getting Clare Short again (or has Glenda Jackson replaced her fully now), and then a Liberal leader who 'opposes' war but fully backs every 'allied' soldier that fights in the name of aggressive warfare. Still, I don't suppose the Iranians will be as stupid as the Iraqis in inviting Benn to visit so he can gather intelligence on potential bombing targets this time.

Of course, such a thing didn't really happen, did it. And the Germans really DID oppose the Iraq war as well, didn't they. Just put your fingers in your ears, and "la la la" out loud, and all those nasty stories about high ranking German government officials helping the US bomb civilians during the invasion of Iraq will just safely pass you by.

You see, Benn has the VERY best of reasons for holding the view that Blair is as bad as Hitler, and yet the 'New Reich' party is the very best place for a person such as Benn to belong. And, of course, Benn's son being a significant ranking goon of Blair means absolutely nothing at all.

Question- who fights best for the 'elite'?
1) Lord 'knob-head' who joins the conservative party, and spends all of his time 'braying' about the scummy 'riff-raff' who dare to object to the power held by the 'elite'
2) Good old 'Tony' who puts himself at the centre of as many 'riff-raff' organisations as he can, and ensures they are fully run into the ground.

Benn must truly think he is shooting fish in a barrel. I mean, years ago he must have said to Blair "how an Earth can I remain a member of the Labour Party, and still expect people to think that I oppose your actions, given the list of things that you have planned?". That there is even one person left in the UK thick enough to still follow Benn given everything that has happened to date is just amazing, and very very depressing.

And hey, Blair's 'boy' (and I use that word very carefully) Kofi Annan is certainly the very best person for all those dim bulbs to address their petition to. I mean, heaven forbid any of our 'moral geniuses' that stand behind Benn should have noticed certain 'problems' that Annan's family had recently with respect to Iraq. Mind you, nothing like a little (or a lot) corruption to 'prove' the honesty of a person, that's what I always say (well, actually, I always say the complete opposite, but then I'm stupid enough to apply logic, common-sense, and intellect to any situation).

So BENN is writing to ANNAN so that something unspecified can be done to people unspecified over the Iraq War. Actually, BENN is writing to ANNAN so something specific can be done by the UN against IRAN that appears to be totally unlike the IRAQ situation, and hence unstoppable by comparison.

It's an old game. It's called "the second time mustn't seem like the first, even when it is exactly the same". Benn is very good at old games.