Ramsey Clark: Darling of war criminals joins US Tamil Tigers
The New York immigration lawyer Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran-led pro-LTTE group Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) endeavored to score a 'legitimacy' point in the eyes of the Western World when it announced Friday that it has inducted former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark into the TGTE fold as a 'Senator' of the Tamil Eelam provisional parliament.
The TGTE which was inaugurated about two years ago has vowed to win the US-led Western nations and the UN through its lobbying and diplomacy as an ethnic Diaspora movement to force a referendum in the north and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka to create a Kosovo-type situation to bifurcate this South Asian nation to establish an independent 'Tamil nation' to which the Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhaharan violently fought until his and his movement's demise in May 2009 earning the title 'war criminal'.
Ramsey Clark has now joined the TGTE in support of fulfilling a dream of the war criminal Prabhaharan.
The former attorney general of the United States Mr. Clark splendidly fits into this TGTE group which espouses Prabhaharan's war crimes as he was once the war criminals' best friend as declared by the popular American magazine SALON. The man who long ago championed civil rights and voting rights in the sixties became a friend and legal counsel to three war criminals, one convicted this year for war crimes and genocide at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Now, this great friend of war criminals has joined a US-based ethnic Diaspora group that legitimizes the war crimes and genocide of Prabhaharan. The group's leader Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran was onetime Prabhaharan and his LTTE's legal counselor.
Who is Ramsey Clark? and why did he earn the title 'friend of war criminals?
Clark served in the Department of Justice as the Assistant Attorney General of the Lands Division from 1961 to 1965, and as Deputy Attorney General from 1965 to 1967.
In 1967, President Johnson nominated him to be Attorney General of the United States. He was in that position until 1969.
As Attorney General during part of the Vietnam War, Clark oversaw the prosecution of the Boston Five for “conspiracy to aid and abet (Vietnam) draft resistance.” Four of the five were convicted, including pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock and Yale chaplain William Sloane Coffin .
He supervised the drafting and played an important role in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Civil Rights Act of 1968.
Out of the attorney general's department since 1969 Ramsey Clark earned the title 'friend of war criminals' when he offered legal defense to war criminals and genocide practitioners such as Charles Taylor of Liberia, Slobodan Miloševi? of Yugoslavia and Saddam Hussein of Iraq.
In 2004 Clark joined a panel of lawyers to defend Saddam Hussein in his trial before the Iraqi Special Tribunal. Clark appeared before the Iraqi Special Tribunal in late November 2005 arguing "that it failed to respect basic human rights and was illegal because it was formed as a consequence of the United States' illegal war of aggression against the people of Iraq." Clark said that unless the trial was seen as "absolutely fair", it would "divide rather than reconcile Iraq". Christopher Hitchens claimed that Clark was admitting Hussein's guilt when Clark reportedly stated in a 2005 BBC interview: "He [Saddam] had this huge war going on, and you have to act firmly when you have an assassination attempt".
At the end of 1998 Clark attended a human rights conference in Baghdad, Iraq, where in his keynote speech he pointed out how “the governments of the rich nations, primarily the United States, England and France,” dominated the wording of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which showed “little concern for economic, social and cultural rights.” One analyst commented the social and cultural rights claimed by his Iraqi hosts include the right to hang opponents in public at the airport, or poison thousands of Kurds and torture and execute any opponent of the regime.
When he flew to Belgrade to support Slobodan Milosevic during NATO’s campaign, there was no word about the siege of Sarajevo, the massacre at Srebrenica or the million homeless refugees from Kosovo — and even less of those olfactory eloquent mass graves that NATO later uncovered. But then, urging Belgrade to resist NATO, while he was there picking up an honorary degree, he told his hosts, “It will be a great struggle, but a glorious victory. You can be victorious.”
On March 18, 2006, Clark attended the funeral of Slobodan Miloševi?. He declared: "History will prove Miloševi? was right. Charges are just that: charges. The trial did not have facts." He compared the trial of Slobodan Miloševi? with the one of Saddam Hussein by stating: "both trials are marred with injustice, both are flawed." He characterized Slobodan Miloševi? and Saddam Hussein as "both commanders who were courageous enough to fight more powerful countries."
Journalist Ian Williams wrote in 1999 that in Grenada Ramsey Clark went to advise Bernard Coard, the murderer of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop. Other clients include Radovan Karadzic, the indicted Bosnian Serbian war criminal whom he defended in a New York civil suit brought by Bosnian rape victims, and the Rwandan pastor who is accused of telling Tutsis to hide in his church and then summoning Hutus to massacre them, and then leading killing squads.
In April 2012 when Ramsey Clark visited Buena Vista University he was asked about his experiences, Mr. Clark was very specific in his reasons for defending people who other people would not such as Liberia's Taylor, Yugoslavia's Milosevic and Iraq's Sadham Husain .
His answer was: “Well I’m a lawyer, so it’s kind of my job to represent them, but I do it not because it’s my trade; I do it because if people see someone from another culture and deem them an enemy, where does it end? If not, it’s just war by another means. I respect the humanity of all people, the right to counsel of all people, and you have to believe that equal justice is possible. If we just take sides where are we? If they (The Axis powers in WWII) had won, could they have tried us for Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, or Tokyo?” Clark said.
In 2003 Ramsey Clark was asked when former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was being extradited to The Hague in June 2000, you rushed to Belgrade to try to stop this from happening. As a political activist, what were your arguments for supporting Mr. Milosevic?
Clark's answer to that was: "First you have to go back 10 years, long before his illegal extradition to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. Yugoslavia was a country that the United States and the great powers of Europe intended to destroy. Mr. Milosevic was its president and led its heroic defense.
"The idea of Yugoslavia was to create a federation of Slavic peoples in Southern Europe, in the Balkans, to prevent and avoid what had been centuries of violence and war. I’ve always believed this was one of the most hopeful opportunities humanity has had to create stable conditions and peace."
Naturally SALON Magazine named him 'Friend of War Criminals'.
Another question posed to him in 2003:
Question: Mr. Clark, the majority of the population in the West, including big parts of the left, considers the Serbs in general and Slobodan Milosevic in particular as among the world’s biggest war criminals, responsible for all bloody conflicts during the break-up of the country. How do you confront a position like that?
Answer: There’s a sad phenomenon we have to be concerned about. People who care deeply about peace, human rights, justice, can also be manipulated by the mass media. This media machine, controlled by concentrated wealth, has the ability to not only reach everybody with its propaganda but to block out other messages and debates. In the 1990s it saturated people with the idea that Milosevic had committed such crimes.
Yet the same forces that accused Milosevic of these crimes were themselves responsible for the bloodshed and warfare in Yugoslavia, as I explained before. This happened also with regard to Iraq. The U.S. led sanctions that killed 1.5 million people, a half-million of them children under the age of 5. Yet the media all blamed Saddam Hussein for deaths of Iraqis during sanctions, but the U.S.-led sanctions prevented food and medicine from getting into Iraq.
People who really want peace can’t be taken in by propaganda that makes them think that by hating the demonized person you can find peace and human rights. You’ll instead find war, injustice and indignity.(End Quote)
Former Liberian pres
ident Charles Taylor was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity in April 2012 and was sentenced to fifty yeaars in prison by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Ramsey Clark provided legal counseling to Taylor.
During his term of office, Taylor was accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity as a result of his involvement in the Sierra Leone Civil War. Domestically, opposition to his regime grew, culminating in the outbreak of the Second Liberian Civil War in 1999. By 2003, he had lost control of much of the countryside and was formally indicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone. That year, he resigned as a result of growing international pressure and went into exile in Nigeria. In 2006, the newly elected President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf formally requested his extradition, after which he was detained by UN authorities in Sierra Leone and then at the Penitentiary Institution Haaglanden in The Hague, awaiting trial. He was found guilty in April 2012 of all eleven charges levied by the Special Court, including terror, murder and rape.
It is this Ramsey Clark who has now joined the pro-Tamil Tiger group led by Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, a group which supports the agenda of the late Prabhaharan who unleashed brutality and genocide for more than twenty years in Sri Lanka until it was defeated in May 2009. International human rights organizations, the United Nations and the US State Department in their reports have accused the LTTE of war crimes and violation of international humanitarian law leading to genocide.
Mr. Rudrakumaran's organization has taken pride in inducting the former US attorney general who spoke on behalf of brutal war criminals as one of its advocates.
- Asian Tribune -