Monday, October 8, 2007

Prominent Americans Ask Military To Refuse To Attack Iran

By Webster Tarpley

Supporters of the August 26 Kennebunkport Warning welcome the statement issued by David Swanson entitled " Leading Americans Ask U.S. Military to Refuse Orders to Attack Iran, ( and signed by a group of well-known personalities. The massive evidence of this danger which existed at the end of August has become still more massive over the past five weeks, and we are glad that these signers have seen their way clear to launch an initiative on this critical front.

Just a few days after the Kennebunkport Warning was issued, on August 30, a rogue B-52 flew across the United States carrying six nuclear armed cruise missiles from Minot, North Dakota to Barksdale, Louisiana. According to many analysts, these weapons were destined to be used in a nuclear sneak attack on Iran, which may have been planned for September 6, the day that Israel launched its own aerial sneak attack into Syria and perhaps also Iran . (Even more heinous uses of these cruise missiles here inside the United States can also not be excluded, given the insistence of the Cheney Doctrine on a terrorist act in the US to be blamed on Iran as the immediate pretext for the Iran war ­ as Zbigniew Brzezinski told the Senate Foreign relations Committee on Feb. 1, 2007.) Many sources (see Wayne Madsen Report, September 24) agree that the transfer of these nuclear weapons to Iran was blocked by US Air Force personnel, backed up by anti-Cheney factions in the intelligence community, who refused to obey an illegal order, just as the Kennebunkport Warning had urged on August 26. It is also important to note that some half dozen personnel linked to the Minot and Barksdale air bases have died under mysterious circumstances since July, raising the sorts of questions that make a large-scale Congressional investigation of this entire incident absolutely imperative. It is odd that the new statement, while urging the military to disobey illegal orders, offers no support or recognition to those courageous persons who appear to have already done just that; it is more than odd that this incident, which was extensively reported in a cover-up published on the front page of the Washington Post of Sunday, September 23, is not mentioned at all in the new statement.

Unfortunately, the "Leading Americans" document comes too late to influence the B-52 incident itself. We would urge the "Leading Americans" signers to take note of the fact that the loyal USAF personnel who stopped the rogue B-52 from being used for high treason, and to demand that an investigation be started.

We would also urge the signers to add the decisive question of the false flag event, be it a new 9/11 and/or a new Gulf of Tonkin provocation, to their statement. This is the heart of the Kennbunkport Warning, but is not mentioned in the new statement. As Steve Clemons recently wrote in, it is unlikely that a sneak attack on Iran could get through the normal channels of the US national security interagency process. The realization of Cheney's war plan depends upon an outside manufactured event, along the lines of 9/11, which could be used to engineer the typical neocon end run around the standard operating procedures and launch the wider war. As Clemons wrote:

We should also worry about the kind of scenario David Wurmser floated, meaning an engineered provocation. An "accidental war" would escalate quickly and "end run," as Wurmser put it, the president's diplomatic, intelligence and military decision-making apparatus. [] That kind of war is much more probable and very much worth worrying about.

The failure to identify this critical feature of the false flag, even in the wake of the rogue B-52 incident and Israeli attack on Syria, is a key difference between the new statement and the Kennebunkport Warning.

The new statement constantly narrows its subject matter to "any preemptive U.S. attack on Iran ," which seems to suggest that there might be some other kind of attack on Iran that would be more acceptable, and to which this statement might not apply. Bush (in his "nuclear holocaust" speech of August 28), Cheney, Petraeus, Odierno, Mrs. Clinton, and all the usual suspects are already busy arguing that the looming US attack on Iran will not be preventive, but a retaliation against alleged Iranian arms shipments into Iraq, training of Iraqi resistance fighters, etc. According to Congressman Kucinich, the top leadership of the Democratic Party has already given its approval for an attack of this type. In opposition to this prevarication, it is important to stress that ANY AND ALL ATTACKS on Iran are not only unjustified, but would also represent national suicide for the United States and a slide into a third world war in which the US would be not just the aggressor, but also the sure loser. There must in short be no US attack on Iran , Syria , Pakistan , Lebanon , Sudan , or any other country under any pretext whatsoever.

Finally, the Kennebunkport Warning called for the immediate impeachment of Cheney as an urgent measure of war avoidance ­ to keep Cheney's finger away from the nuclear button, just as Secretary of Defense James Rodney Schlesinger did in regard to Nixon during the final weeks of Watergate in 1974. This is something that everyone can and should work for. At the website, where the Kennebunkport Warning is posted, dedicated activists who really want to stop World War III are urged to declare their candidacies for the US House and Senate immediately, as the only means of getting the attention of the two corrupt and bankrupt political parties, thus contributing to a people's candidates' movement that will eventually be able to go beyond appeals to incumbents to contest the issue of political power in this country.

We agree with the new statement's stress on the idea that illegal orders must be countermanded. But we would also submit that loyal military personnel who take such actions deserve the full support of a growing political movement which aims at impeaching and removing the current regime from office, and bringing them to justice for their crimes, including war crimes and the misprision of treason around 9/11. The Kennebunkport Warning puts the burden of impeachment on the Congress, where it belongs. Military people who refuse to act as pawns of the Cheney are pledged the support of a civilian political movement. The new statement appears to let the Congress and the two corrupt political parties off the hook, while shifting the entire burden of resistance to individual military people. The military do have a special role in this, but is the civilian political movement of candidates which has to give them cover, and not the other way around.

We urge the sponsors of the new statement to increase the effectiveness of their intervention by including these points in their text, to which they are offered in the spirit of friendly amendments.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Swanson <_>
Date: Oct 2, 2007 11:15 AM
Subject: [Activists] Prominent Americans Ask Military to Refuse to Attack
To: _ (

Leading Americans Ask U.S. Military to Refuse Orders to Attack Iran Country music legend Willie Nelson, literary icon Gore Vidal, Gold Star Mother Cindy Sheehan, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, retired U.S. Army Colonel Ann Wright, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega, author and radio host Thom Hartmann, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Rabbi Steven Jacobs, and dozens of other prominent Americans have signed a letter asking the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all U.S. military personnel to refuse orders to launch an aggressive war on Iran. The letter has been posted as a petition for others to sign at _http://www.dontattackiran.org_ ( The text of the letter follows: ATTENTION: Joint Chiefs of Staff and all U.S. Military Personnel:

Do not attack Iran.
Any preemptive U.S. attack on Iran would be illegal.
Any preemptive U.S. attack on Iran would be criminal.

We, the citizens of the United States, respectfully urge you, courageous men and women of our military, to refuse any order to preemptively attack Iran, a nation that represents no serious or immediate threat to the United States. To attack Iran, a sovereign nation of 70-million people, would be a crime of the highest magnitude.

Legal basis for our Request - Do not attack Iran:

The Nuremberg Principles, which are part of US law, provide that all military personnel have the obligation not to obey illegal orders. The Army Field Manual 27-10, sec. 609 and UCMJ, art. 92, incorporate this principle. Article 92 says: "A general order or regulation is lawful unless it is contrary to the Constitution, the law of the United States ..."

Any provision of an international treaty ratified by the United States becomes the law of the United States. The United States is a party and signatory to the United Nations Charter, of which Article II, Section 4 states, "All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state..." As Iran has not attacked the United States, and as the U.S. is a party and signatory to the Charter, any attack on Iran by the U.S. would be illegal under not only international law but under the U.S. Constitution which recognizes our treaties as the Supreme Law of the Land. When you joined the military, you took an oath to defend our Constitution.

Following the orders of your government or superior does not relieve you from responsibility under international law. Under the Principles of International Law recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal, complicity in the commission of war crime is a crime under international law.


The Bush Administration's charges against Iran have not been proven. Neither the development of nuclear weapons, nor providing assistance to Iraq would, if proven, constitute justification for an illegal war.

An attack on Iran might prompt the formidable Iranian military to attack U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. Thousands of our soldiers might be killed or captured as prisoners of war. A U.S. attack against Iranian nuclear facilities could also mean the deaths, from radiation poisoning, of tens of thousands of innocent Iranian civilians. The people of Iran have little control over their government, yet would suffer tremendously should the U.S. attack. Bombing raids would amount to collective punishment, a violation of the Geneva Convention, and would surely sow the seeds of hatred for generations to come. Children make up a quarter of Iran's population.

Above all, we ask you to look at the record of our actions in Iraq, which U.S. intelligence admits is "a cause celebre for jihadists" - a situation that did not exist before we attacked. We must face the fact that our rash use of military solutions has created more enemies, and made American families less safe. Diplomacy, not war, is the answer.

Know the Risks Involved in Refusing an Illegal Order or Signing This Statement:

We knowingly and willingly make this plea, aware of the risk that, in violation of our First Amendment rights, we could be charged under remaining sections of the unconstitutional Espionage Act or other unconstitutional statute, and that we could be fined, imprisoned, or barred from government employment.

We make this plea, also aware that you have no easy options. If you obey an illegal order to participate in an aggressive attack on Iran, you could potentially be charged with war crimes. If you heed our call and disobey an illegal order you could be falsely charged with crimes including treason. You could be falsely court martialed. You could be imprisoned. (To talk to a lawyer or to learn more about possible consequences, contact _The Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors_ ( , _Courage to Resist_ ( , _Center on Conscience and War _ ( , _Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild_ ( 415-566-3732, or the GI Rights Hotline at 877-447-4487.) **

Final request:

Our leaders often say that military force should be a last resort. We beg you to make that policy a reality, and refuse illegal orders to attack Iran. We promise to support you for protecting the American public and innocent civilians abroad.

Our future, the future of our children and their children, rests in your hands.

You know the horrors of war. You can stop the next one.


Daniel Ellsberg, Thom Hartmann, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Rabbi Steven Jacobs,
Cynthia McKinney, Willie Nelson, Cindy Sheehan, Norman Solomon, Elizabeth de
la Vega, Gore Vidal, Ann Wright,
James Abourezk, former U.S. Senator, (D) South Dakota
Stacy Bannerman, Author, "When the War Came Home", Military Families Speak
Out Charter Board member
John Bonifaz, constitutional attorney and author of "Warrior-King: The Case
for Impeaching George W. Bush."
Amy Branham, Gold Star Mother of
Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith, US Army Reserves, Nov. 1981-Feb. 2004
Blase Bonpane, Ph.d, Director OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS
David Clennon, Actor/activist
Tim Carpenter, Executive Director, Progressive Democrats of America
Daniel Ellsberg, author of "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon
David Cobb, 2004 Green Party Presidential Candidate
Jeff Cohen, author/media critic
Elizabeth de la Vega, former federal prosecutor and author of U.S. v. George
W. Bush
Karen Dolan, Director, Cities for Progress/Cities for Peace
Anne Feeney, activist/folksinger or Local 1000, AFM
Mike Ferner, Navy corpsman; Secretary, Veterans for Peace
Bob Fertik, President _Democrats.com_ (
Laura Flanders, Radio Host on Air America
Bruce K. Gagnon, Coordinator Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power
in Space
Lila Garrett, KPFK Host of "Connect the Dots"
Liberty Godshall, writer, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense
Hon. Jackie Goldberg, California Assembly Member (AD 45), retired.
Kevin Alexander Gray, writer, and organizer with the Harriet Tubman Freedom
House Project
Representative Betty Hall, Hillsborough District 5, New Hampshire General Court
David L. Harris, MD
Tom Hayden
Thom Hartmann, author and Air America radio host
Valerie Heinonen, o.s.u., Ursulines of Tildonk for Justice and Peace
Jenny Heinz , member of CodePink, member of Granny Peace Brigade Rabbi
Steven Jacobs, Los Angeles
Michael Jay, Steering Committee, Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles
Charles Jenks, co-founder and editor of _traprockpeace.org_
Justice Through Music
Antonia Juhasz, author, The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at
a Time
Jerry Kass, playwright and professor at Columbia University
Dr, Nazir Khaja ,Chairman, Islamic Information Service, Los Angeles, CA.
Mimi Kennedy, National Chair, Progressive Democrats of America
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun and Chair, the Network of Spiritual
Summer Lipford, Gold Star Mother,NC 28677
David Lindorff, Author, The Case for Impeachment
Alice Lynn, Delegate, California Democratic Party (41st AD)
Ben Manski, Executive Director, Liberty Tree
Ray McGovern, Army infantry/intelligence officer, 1962-64; CIA analyst
Cynthia Mckinney, former Congresswoman
Barbara Mills-Bria, Be The Change-USA
Bill Moyer, Executive Director, Backbone Campaign
Willie Nelson, Entertainer, Peace Activist Annie Nelson, Sustainable
Biodiesel/Peace Activist
Honorable Eric Oemig - Washington State Senator
Geov Parrish, Executive Director Peace Action of Washington
Jacob Park, Founder, A28.
Brad Parker, Officer of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic
Bill Perry, Director, Delaware Valley Veterans For America
Gareth Porter, investigative journalist and historian
Marcus Raskin, member of National Security Council Staff under President
Dorothy Reik, President, Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains
Coleen Rowley, retired FBI Agent and former Chief Division Counsel of
Minneapolis Division of the FBI
Bill Scheurer, Editor, PeaceMajority Report
Randi Scheurer, IL-Dist. 8, Congressional Candidate
Cindy Sheehan, Gold Star Families for Peace
Alice Slater, Abolition 2000 New York
Norman Solomon, Author and syndicated columnist
David Swanson, _Afterdowningstreet.org_ (
John Stauber, Co-author, "Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda
in Bush's War on Iraq"
Jonathan Tasini, PDA NY
Ethel Tobach, Ph. D., member of Psychologists for Social Responsibility
Tina Richards CEO Grassroots Americaredith, Gold Star Mother, Proud Mom of
Lt Ken Ballard- KIA 5.30.04
Gore Vidal, Author
Marcy Winograd, President, Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles
Ann Wright, US Army Colonel (Retired) and US diplomat who resigned in March,
2003 in opposition to the Iraq war.
Kevin Zeese on behalf of Voters for Peace and Democracy Rising
Velvet Revolution