PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A discussion on holding government officials responsible for reported torture of detainees and warrantless spying on citizens will be held at Berkshire Community College, Koussevitsky Art Center, Room 111, on Monday, April 20, from 7 to 9 p.m.
The speakers are David Swanson, co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org and creator of ProsecuteBushCheney.org, and workers' rights attorney Valeria A. Gheorghiu. The same presentation will be given at noon in Albany, N.Y.
The talk is being sponsored the college's GIRO (Global Issues Resource Organization), Berkshire Citizens for Peace and Justice and the Chatham Peace Initiative.
According to advocates for accountability, there is a growing movement to prosecute for war crimes those responsible in district, state, federal, foreign, and international courts; to punish them with civil suits; to deny former top Justice Department officials membership in state bars and employment in academia; to force more evidence into the public realm; and to hold Congressional hearings or create independent commissions.
Swanson and Gheorghiu will discuss these approaches, and what people can do to help, as well as how failure to hold the last White House accountable is already affecting the behavior of the current one. They will also propose a long-term agenda to limit the power of presidents and avoid the crimes associated with aggressive war.
Swanson is the author of the upcoming book "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union" by Seven Stories Press, and of the introduction to "The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush," by Dennis Kucinich. He holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, including as press secretary for Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as communications coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.
Gheorghiu practiced at the Workers' Rights Law Center of New York Inc. since graduating from Vermont Law School in 2006 with a juris doctor and a master of studies in environmental law. She is a member of the New Jersey Bar, with admission pending to the New York Bar this year, the National Lawyers' Guild International Committee and the Justice Robert Jackson Steering Committee. Published in the Fourth World Journal on her work in India as a Fellow for the Center for World Indigenous Studies with Gene Campaign, she is planning on opening a solo practice in New York. While in law school, she served as a board member of the International and Environmental Law Societies.
The talk is open to the public, with a suggested donation of $10. For more information: 518-766-2992.
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I applaud this dialogue. Our representatives - with very few exceptions - have shown no leadership in preventing much less prosecuting these crimes which we ourselves defined a, crimes so grave that there is no immunity or statute of limitations for them.
To not prosecute makes us all complicit in these highest of all crimes.