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At a Saturday Halifax, Nova Scotia International Security Forum, US Strategic Command head General John Hyten said all top Pentagon commanders are trained to disobey “illegal orders,” including himself, adding:
“I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do. And if it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen?”
“I’m going to say, ‘Mr. President, that’s illegal.’ And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, ‘What would be legal?’ And we’ll come up with options, with a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that’s the way it works. It’s not that complicated.”
“If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail. You could go to jail for the rest of your life.”
Even as commander-in-chief, no US president would order a nuclear or other military strike without input and advice by and agreement from other administration officials and top Pentagon commanders.
War isn’t the prerogative of a single individual in America and most other countries. It takes months of planning to launch one. It isn’t waged ad hoc.
Hyten’s remarks sounded like the theater of the absurd. When America intends waging war, international, constitutional and US statute laws are ignored – including the US Army Field Manual 27-10, incorporating Nuremberg Principles, stating:
Any person, military or civilian, who commits a crime under international law is responsible for it and may be punished.
The defense of obeying superior orders is inadmissible. Provisions apply to all US military and civilian personnel to the highest levels – including the president, defense secretary and joint chiefs of staff.
All US post-WW II wars were acts of naked aggression against nations threatening no one. None were waged legally.
Washington rules flagrantly violate the most important of core principles, ones relating to war and peace, attacking other nonbelligerent countries repeatedly on the phony pretexts of protecting national security, humanitarian intervention, responsibility to protect, and/or democracy building. Utter rubbish in all cases!
As US air force commander, Hyten is responsible for authorizing illegal terror-bombing in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia – all acts of naked aggression on the phony pretext of combating terrorism.
He’s culpable for massacring tens of thousands of civilians, destroying vital infrastructure, and turning areas targeted to wastelands – supporting terrorist groups, not combating them.
He’s a war criminal like all other Pentagon commanders at all levels, in all branches of service. So are most members of Congress for authorizing the funding of illegal wars, and all US presidents for ordering them.
America wages permanent war on humanity, the highest of high crimes. Hyten piously claiming he won’t obey an illegal war is belied by his aggressive actions.
He along with most other US government and military officials remain unaccountable for Nuremberg-level crimes.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”