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The 9-11 bombings Are Not Acts of War

The 9-11 bombings Are Crimes Against Humanity
by David T. Ratcliffe
May 2003

The bombings of 11 September 2001 are clearly crimes against humanity (as defined by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court) because they are deliberate and intentional killing of large numbers of civilians for political or other purposes.

See:   Crimes Against Humanity - Benjamin Ferencz Interview, 19 Sept 2001

After 11 September 2001, people in the United States Executive Branch immediately chose to label the bombings as an act of war by a foreign aggressor rather than as a criminal act requiring redress through legal remedies.

It is timely to recall the people who created The White Rose, the student-led German resistance movement which started in Munich in 1943. This began when it became obvious that no other German citizens were doing anything significant to stop fascism. The White Rose printed seven leaflets exposing the tyrannical power of their militaristic and nationalistic regime. From this dissent they became the target of the anti-terrorism units of the Nazis for those illegal acts of treason against flag, Volk and Fuhrer. These people were willing to stand up and die for what they believed in. If we survive this period of our species' adolescence, the current, infantile partiality masquerading as if it were the whole will necessarily collapse as Hitler's and all the other's did before.

If we do make it through this epochal moment in the growth of our species, we will need to have consistently re-asserted the primacy and critically essential body and rule of law that has been established, both domestically and internationally, from the Haudenosaunee and Athens to Nuremberg and beyond that has sought to establish legal precedents to encourage and provide for a more humane and secure world in the future.


A concern is that people tend to become what they oppose. It is much too easy to "other" those we believe are the ones making all the trouble while ignoring our common, shared human nature. Given that this occurred so markedly in the U.S. since WWII, now the trap is making Bush et al be the "other" which will only perpetuate the same amply discredited patterns of history that have always kicked-in after the previous boogie-man has been destroyed.

Dispelling the Bewitchment That "We're At War"

Since 9/11 the U.S. corporate regime justifies everything it is doing by claiming we are war. The war powers of the presidency is cited in the courts as justification for the military to hold citizens. Public discourse is largely locked into a tacit acceptance of legitimacy for what has been done because "We're at war" -- from making aggressive war on peoples that cannot defend themselves and rejecting international treaties and laws, to justifying and implementing the unthinkable-before-September-11th police state now codified on the law books here at home.

But we are not at war. The 9/11 bombings were a crime against humanity mass murder of civilians. The U.N. Security Council rejected Bush II's bid to label the bombings an "armed attack" by one state against another state. The resolution that was passed denominated these events as "terrorist attacks." As international law professor Francis Boyle points out, "there is a magnitude of difference between an armed attack by one state against another state, which is an act of war, and a terrorist attack, which is not. . . . terrorists are dealt with as criminals. Terrorists are not treated like nation states. Terrorists are dealt with by means of international and domestic law enforcement. Terrorists are not given the dignity of special status under international law and practice."

But elevating the dignity of terrorist individuals to reside on a par with the authority of nation-states is precisely what Bush II is doing. The claim that "we are are war" provides the underlying justification for the USA PATRIOT Act, the Homeland Security Act, and the violation and destruction of the foundations of American Constitutional liberties as well as the abrogation of the United States' participation as an equal member in the family of nations. Regressing to the barbaric "law of the jungle" promises the abrogation of an entire species' evolutionary history that seeks to honor and serves life's needs. There is much to be done to challenge and dispell the bewitchment that "we are at war."

On The Sponsorship of 9/11 and Common Sense:

Violations of Constitutional Rights and Liberties by Bush II

Attorney General John Ashcroft's undermining of constitutional rights far exceeds anything experienced in American history. Since 11 September 2001, Bush II has enacted laws that deny freedom here at home on an order of magnitude greater than anything terrorists could dream of imposing. And they're not finished yet. Except for rare critical analyses of these denials of freedom inside the United States, commercial media has utterly failed to emphasize the relentless march of this supreme and fundamental threat to freedom and liberty by our own unelected government.


The October 2001 "USA PATRIOT Act" (USAPA) legally turned the United States into a potentially permanent police state. It vastly expands the structures of government secrecy and surveillance, utterly relinquishes any semblance of due process, categorically violates the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments, and unacceptably mixes aspects of criminal investigations with aspects of immigration and foreign intelligence laws, while it simultaneously extinguishes the accountability of elected and non-elected government officials.

Members of Congress have pointed out that this legislation would not have stopped the 9/11 attacks. Hence, for what did we give up our unique constitutional guarantees and liberties?

The USAPA was passed during the height of the anthrax scare which effectively shut down the US government at a very critical moment in our history as a republic. Congressman Ron Paul asserts that this law was not made available to members of Congress for review before its vote.

See:   Police State, by Kelly O'Meara, Insight Magazine, 9 November 2001

Among the many violations of United States Constitutional rights and guarantees codified in the "USA PATRIOT Act" (USAPA), the following subset provides an initial understanding of how Bush II has attacked freedom more effectively than any supposed terrorist could ever dream of to doing.


The "Homeland Security Act"

The creation of the Department of Homeland Security is perhaps even a more momentous turn (if that's possible) away from constitutional governance than the 1947 National Security Act. With the Homeland Security Act, Bush II is pushing hard to do away with the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 which for more than a century has kept the U.S. military out of local law enforcement. Last fall Homeland Security Czar Tom Ridge warned the International Longshoremen Workers Union that any large scale strike contemplated against Pacific Maritime will be viewed as a threat to national security.

See also: 

The "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003"

The leaked draft in January 2003 of the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003" (DSEA) to the Center for Public Integrity is a potent indicator of what Bush II seeks to "cook up" for all Americans without the bothersome process of public debate much less of the advice and consent of the Congress. As Democratic senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on February 10:

"The early signals from the Administration about its intentions for this [DSEA] bill are ominous . . . For months, and as recently as just last week, Justice Department officials have denied to members of the Judiciary Committee that they were drafting another anti-terrorism package. There still has not been any hint from them about their draft bill."

Georgetown University Law professor David Cole (author of Terrorism and the Constitution,) reviewed the draft legislation and said it "raises a lot of serious concerns. It's troubling that they have gotten this far along and they've been telling people there is nothing in the works." This proposed law, he added, "would radically expand law enforcement and intelligence gathering authorities, reduce or eliminate judicial oversight over surveillance, authorize secret arrests, create a DNA database based on unchecked executive `suspicion,' create new death penalties, and even seek to take American citizenship away from persons who belong to or support disfavored political groups."

As reported on 20 February 2003 in the The News & Observer, Former Republican congressman Bob Barr observed that the proposed legislation in the DSEA seeks "all sorts of powers far beyond what any normal person would deem necessary to fight terrorists acts." This "Son of the Patriot Act" -- which General Ashcroft's department would not acknowledge existed when queried for months by Congressional staffers -- provides more indications of how Bush II would like redefine the constitutional basis of America. There are many, many Sections of this draft law that merit attention and scrutiny. Only a very few are mentioned below.


Hypertext copy of the especially significant sections of the "USA PATRIOT Act" and the draft of the "Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003" texts, as well as extensive analysis of both of these products of General Ashcroft's "Department of Justice" are available at:

The Rule of Law is Critical to our Survival

It is possible to use the rule of law to challenge Bush II. Purchase, study, and highlite examples from "How to Use `New' Civil Rights Laws after 9-11," Ann Ginger editor, published by Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute with 68 cases won in US courts on torture, illegal detention, deportation, etc., using the United Nations Charter & treaties.

With all the stories being presented in commercial media by body snatcher/twilight zone types as so-called reality, it is a fundamental necessity to emphasize the specific ways in which our world has been defined by the rule of law, especially since World War II, and how this structure has been rejected by the United States government since September 11th. Although Bush II pretends they are not accountable to such rules, they are criminally liable, they know it, and they fear this. The following list enumerates some of the more significant violations of domestic and international laws, treaties, and conventions as well as deceptions being carried out primarily against the American populace.

International law Professor Francis Boyle worked with former Congressman Henry Gonzalez (D-TX) and former United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark to write the five articles of impeachment against George Herbert Walker Bush which Representative Gonzalez introduced into the House on 16 January 1991.

In early 2003 Professor Boyle wrote a Draft Impeachment Resolution Against President George W. Bush detailing six articles of impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors with the hope of finding a member of Congress willing to introduce this into the process of the United States federal government. This present-day draft catalogs the violations of Bush's constitutional oath of office, violations of United States domestic laws, as well as violations of international laws, treaties, and conventions. Many of these are enumerated in the following References section.

Author Terry Tempest Williams' account of the Code-Pink Rally in Washington D.C. on March 8th gives voice to what exists within each and every one of us:

To witness Alice [Walker]'s deep calm -- and then to hear her speak of meeting Martin Luther King as a young woman in high school. She said, "I now understand that his calm came from being a free man, he was his own sovereign, his obligation was to follow his own conscience."

Each of us must follow and answer to our own conscience.



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