The US made the decision not to be committed to the rule of law, many decades ago. American presidents have treated US law with contempt and broken it on numerous occasions. Bush broke it with instituting torture in Gitmo and other black sites, Reagan with his Iran-Contra, Clinton with his Balkan War and Obama with his refusal to prosecute war crimes as required by law amounting to obstruction of justice!
- ** Academy Award-winning documentary.
The US government invoked self-defense as legal justification for its invasion of Panama.[] A number of scholars and observers have concluded that the invasion was illegal under international law. The justifications for invading given by the U.S. were, according to these authorities, factually baseless, and moreover, even if they had been true they would have provided inadequate support for the invasion under international law.
Article 2 of the [United Nations Charter], a cornerstone of international law, prohibits the use of force by member states to settle disputes except in self-defense or when authorized by the [United Nations Security Council]. Articles 18 and 20 of the [Charter of the Organization of American States], written in part in reaction to the history of US military interventions in Central America, also explicitly prohibit the use of force by member states: “[n]o state or group of states has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal affairs of any other state.” (Charter of the [Organization of American States] (OAS), Article 18.) Article 20 of the OAS Charter states that “the territory of a states is inviolable; it may not be the object, even temporarily, of military occupation or of other measures of force taken by another state, directly or indirectly, on any grounds whatever.”
The US has ratified the UN Charter and the OAS Charter and therefore they are among the highest law of the land in the US under the [Supremacy Clause]
(ttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supremacy_Clause) of the US Constitution. Other international law experts who have examined the legal justification of the US invasion have concluded that it was a “gross violation” of international law.
The [United Nations General Assembly] passed a resolution strongly deploring the 1989 U.S. armed invasion of [Panama]. The resolution determined that the U.S. invasion was a “flagrant violation of international law.”
Independent experts and observers have concluded that the US invasion of Panama also exceeded the authority of the president under the US Constitution because Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution grants the power to declare war solely to the Congress, not to the president. According to observers, the US invasion also violated the [War Powers Resolution]
(ttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_invasion_of_Panama#cite_note-60) a federal law designed to limit presidential action without Congressional authorization, because the president failed to consult with Congress regarding the invasion of Panama prior to the invasion.
Local and international reactions
The invasion of Panama provoked international outrage. Some countries charged that the U.S. had committed an act of aggression by invading Panama and was trying to conceal a new manifestation of its interventionist policy of force in Latin America. On 29 December, the [General Assembly of the United Nations]
(ttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Assembly_of_the_United_Nations) voted 75–20, with 40 abstentions, to condemn the invasion as a flagrant violation of international law.
On 22 December, the Organization of American States passed a resolution deploring the invasion and calling for withdrawal of U.S. troops, as well as a resolution condemning the violation of the diplomatic status of the Nicaraguan Embassy in Panama by U.S. Special Forces who had entered the building.
Eighteen years after the invasion, Panama’s National Assembly unanimously declared 20 December 2007 to be a day of national mourning. The resolution was vetoed by President [Martin Torrijos] (ttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Torrijos).
On 19 December 2019 the Panamanian government declared 20 December to be a National Day of Mourning (Dia de duelo nacional) to be marked by lowering the national flag to half staff.
The Washington Post disclosed several rulings of the Office of Legal Counsel, issued shortly before the invasion, regarding the U.S. armed forces being charged with making an arrest abroad. One ruling interpreted an executive order which prohibits the assassination of foreign leaders as suggesting that accidental killings would be acceptable foreign policy.
Another ruling concluded that the [Posse Comitatus Act] (ttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act) of 1878, which prohibits the armed forces from making arrests without Congressional authorization, is effective only within the boundaries of the U.S., such that the military could be used as a police force abroad—for example, in Panama, to enforce a federal court warrant against Noriega.
20,000 were displaced from their homes. Disorder continued for nearly two weeks.
On 19 July 1990, a group of 60 companies with operations in Panama filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government in [Federal District Court in New York City]
(United_States_District_Court_for_the_Southern_District_of_New_York) alleging that the U.S. action against Panama was “done in a tortuous, careless and negligent manner with disregard for the property of innocent Panamanian residents”. Most of the businesses had insurance, but the insurers either went bankrupt or refused to pay, claiming that acts of war were not covered.[]
About 20,000 people lost their homes and became refugees as a result of urban warfare. About 2,700 families that were displaced by the Chorrillo fire were each given $6,500 by the U.S. to build a new house or apartment in selected areas in or near the city. However, numerous problems were reported with the new constructions just two years after the invasion.[]
Noriega was brought to the U.S. to stand trial. He was subsequently convicted on eight counts of drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering and sentenced to 40 years in prison. His sentence was later reduced to 30 years.
For days it looked as if former Mossad hit squad chief Michael Harari, known to Panamanians as the “second most important person” in their country, was going to be totally ignored in US press accounts of the Panama invasion. Only NBC reported on two successive evenings at the beginning of the invasion that Noriega’s Israeli aide and confidant had made a rapid series of visits to Nicaragua, Cuba and Israel in the days preceding the US strike in an apparent attempt to prepare a Noriega escape route.
The Israeli press, which considered Noriega the second most important person in Panama after Harari, wasn’t so reticent as it speculated about how Israel’s master spy would manage the escape to Israel, and whether or not he would bring Noriega along.
Despite the early warning to Israelis in Panama, however, Noriega didn’t escape. US special operations troops disabled hidden planes and boats that would have been used, but at a cost in American lives. In the words of the Washington Times of Jan. 4: “Of the 23 soldiers killed in combat, I I were special operations forces. Military experts considered this a high casualty count for special forces.” In other words, a lot of young American servicemen died at the hands of Panamanian elite units who apparently knew they were coming, possibly because of the action of one or more informants in the US government.
Americans won’t read much serious media speculation about who those informants might be. The numbers of people within the US government who can find reasons not to pursue any investigation that may lead to Israel literally have reached critical mass.
Truth no longer will out, unless it absolves Israel. That is why virtually nothing significant emerged from the congressional hearings on the Reagan administration’s arms for-hostages dealings with Iran. Because every line of investigation led directly to Israel, no single line was pursued for long. The result is a near-total information blackout. Extremists in the government of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir count on it, and conduct themselves with total disregard for American public opinion.
But for the bizarre circumstances of his escape, the mainstream US media might never have revealed any of Harari’s key role in a Panama-based triangle that apparently helped put drugs from Colombia into the US, used the proceeds to buy arms (some captured from the PLO in Lebanon) from Israel or through Israeli brokers, and then sold the arms. They certainly went to US-backed contras and friendly Latin governments. They may also have gone to states like Cuba and Nicaragua, and to Marxist guerrillas like those in El Salvador and Peru.
There are reports that Harari slipped out of Panama on an Israeli plane just before US forces struck. Other reports say he was caught by US forces, and then released. Astonished Americans, from embassy personnel to GIs, who believe they witnessed parts of that drama leaked the story. Then the spin doctors went to work to explain that the Americans and Panamanians involved had confused Harari’s driver, a young Panamanian sergeant, with his Israeli boss, the often photographed, 62-year-old, second-most powerful man in Panama.
…A masterful example of such spin control is a detailed backgrounder in the Jan. 7 Washington Post on Harari’s long association with Panama’s rulers. The article, by David Halevy and Neil Livingstone, describes other such Harari exploits as his personal direction of Israeli assassination squads that killed 12 alleged Black September Palestinian terrorists (along with an innocent Moroccan waiter in Norway and some innocent bystanders in Beirut) after the 1972 murder of Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich.
There are a lot of other things about Harari, Israelis in Panama, and their disastrous effect on the Jewish community there that Americans won’t be reading in their daily newspapers or hearing on the evening news much longer. Before Harari recedes into the shadows, however, here are a few facts that were reported just before and immediately after his unplanned moment in the international media spotlight.
The Israeli government keeps referring to Harari as “retired.” In the words of an official Israeli spokesman, “He is absolutely not connected in any way to the government.” However, even Halevy and Livingstone admit he came out of his 1979 retirement in 1980 to accept an assignment as Mossad’s director for Central America. Officially he was assigned to the Israeli Embassy in Mexico City. He spent most of his time, however, in Panama, where he had known since 1973 both Panamanian strongman Omar Torrijos, who was killed in a 1981 plane crash, and his successor, Noriega.
NORIEGA’S TIES TO ISRAEL
It was Harari who reorganized, renamed and trained the Panamanian Defense Forces when Noriega succeeded Torrijos. Harari also instructed Noriega’s personal bodyguard and his “Special Anti-Terror Unit.” Harari obtained advanced technical equipment and weapons for them, and there is no doubt he taught them how to anticipate and neutralize many of the attempts to monitor Noriega’s activities launched by American intelligence officers from their bases in the Canal Zone.
As for Harari’s ongoing connections with Israel, Panama’s new police commander, Eduardo Herrara Hassan, explains: “I was the ambassador to Israel but he was my boss. Everything I did had to be authorized by Harari.”
“MR. 60 PERCENT”
In the spring of 1988, when Colonel Herrara first broke with Noriega and took refuge in Miami, he said of Michael Harari: "We call him ‘Mr. 60 Percent’ because he gets that much from any deal that he makes." Harari took kickbacks from Israeli businessmen seeking to invest in Panama, and split the proceeds with Noriega.
Just how profitable that was is indicated by a Panamanian Jewish leader quoted in the Washington Jewish Week of Dec. 28:
“The Israelis working here do not, by and large, reflect well either on Israel or the Panamanian Jewish community. They have practically gained control of the Central Avenue business district. They are engaged in contraband and money laundering. In general, they engage in very aggressive and often unfair business practices. They mainly keep apart from the Jewish community, and have little interest in Panama. They are here to make a lot of money and get out.”
… noted that in the three-day Panama City looting spree touched off by the US invasion, most of the hundreds of stores wrecked along 20 blocks of Central Avenue were Jewish-owned.
Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters, Code Shifters and Song Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa
Media Discussion List
What’s the fuss? Everyone knows that international trials for war crimes
were intended only for Africans and other people Uncle Sam doesn’t like.
The subversion of US foreign policy to play sycophant lap-dog to the Zionist state is clear; our media, politicians, elections, anti-BDS and protest laws, and other forms of propaganda influence to Israeli extremist goals!
Our government, politicians and foreign policy have been subverted by Israel and their lobby, AIPAC, to support and defend Israeli extremist racism, illegal colonization, and supremacist beliefs.
Subversion includes the “security training” of US police departments in Israel to help make American citizens into Palestinians who have been brutalized and murdered by entrenched racism in Israel, now exported to the US!
THAT is a treason and subversion expanded by the trump regime and the “religious” extremist nutter pompeo, and other groups…
Billions in annual “aid” to Israel, defending their supremacist racism, illegal colonization of the Occupied Territories, attacking actions by the World Court and further radicalizing and militarizing the US police culture of violence against “enemies” must no longer be tolerated! It is a de facto occupation mindset exported to America and must be stopped!
The murder of George Floyd and numerous others may be viewed as “war crimes” committed by radicalized violent police, charged to “Protect and Serve”, NOT be “trained” to be an occupation army by a racist state! BDS! Zionist IS Racism!
Your information is not accurate - false - as you may very well know, under the Fourth Geneva Convention. You are either sadly ignorant or intentionally posting false info/history - neither is acceptable.
“The Hague Convention has been established as customary international law and is thus binding as well. In essence, international humanitarian law forms a significant part of international law that must be respected and complied with, particularly by parties to conflicts”.
"It is unlawful under the Fourth Geneva Convention for an occupying power to transfer parts of its own population into the territory it occupies. This means that international humanitarian law prohibits the establishment of settlements, as these are a form of population transfer into occupied territory"
ALL Israeli “settlements” in the Occupied Territories including the “annexation” of Jerusalem, as well as the Israeli “Apartheid Wall” are illegal under International Law; the West Bank and the Golan.
The proposed, trump-supported “annexation” of most of the West Bank is also illegal, regardless what the orange Israeli stooge thinks.
" The International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion today that Israel’s building of a barrier in the occupied Palestinian territory is illegal and said construction must stop immediately and Israel should make reparations for any damage caused."
"In the course of the armed conflict that erupted in the Middle East in June of 1967, the Israeli military occupied the remainder of the territory allocated to the Arab State under the partition plan in U.N. resolution 181 (II) of 1947. This territory also constituted the remainder of Mandated Palestine and comprised the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which was under Jordanian control, and the Gaza Strip, which was under Egyptian administration. The lines of these areas were defined as such by the 1949 Armistice Agreements that were concluded between Israel and Jordan and Egypt respectively. The Israeli military also occupied the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula and the Syrian Golan Heights. Israel, thus, became a belligerent occupant of those territories and the relevant instruments of international humanitarian law became applicable with respect to the governance of the occupation of these territories, the conduct of the occupying Power and to the civilian population, who thereinafter became “protected persons.”