The worldwide marches against the United States and United Kingdom's 2003 invasion of Iraq were the largest ever acts of political advocacy.

Advocacy action attempts to utilize established channels of power to win the prosecutions of war criminals and, hopefully, bring about the end of United States violations of international humanitarian law. As detailed on other parts of this website, the actions of various members of the US political elite violated established international laws to which the US is a party and which have been codified in domestic law. In theory, then, established channels of power ought to fulfill the responsibilities of the power granted to them and undertake legal action in accordance with their obligations, be this by seeking warrants and arresting criminals, prosecuting criminals through the court system, presiding over such criminal prosecutions, or enforcing criminal sentences handed down by courts. Advocacy actions typically take the form of lobbying efforts.

The War Crimes Project primarily supports advocacy directed towards to groups of people: US district attorneys and federal law enforcement.

US District Attorneys

US District Attorneys are the prosecutors tasked with bringing federal criminal charges against a people. Because the War Crimes Act of 1996, the US law designating what is and is not a war crime, is a federal, US District Attorneys are responsible for charging people with war crimes.

There are many ways you can pressure your local US district attorney to bring criminal charges against war criminals. One important step you can take is to present the district attorney with petition signatures urging them to do their job. Links to petitions encouraging the prosecution of different criminals can be found on the criminals' respective pages. Organizing community meetings with the them can also be helpful, especially if you are a lawyer with organizational support behind you. Direct action is also a very effective, if not the most effective, way of putting pressure on the district attorney. More on this can be found on the page about direct action.

Remember that whatever strategy you choose to pursue, all US district attorneys are appointed by the president themself. This means that they owe some degree of political loyalty to the president, and the president will probably discourage district attorneys from prosecuting past political officials, lest they be prosecuted in the future. However, regardless of the political pressures the executive branch exerts on district attorneys, these attorneys are ultimately responsible for prosecuting federal crimes, including war crimes, and it is important to remind them of this responsibility.

The arrest of the Watergate Hotel burglars in 1972 was the last time high profile political agents were arrested for violating US federal law.

Federal Law Enforcement

The United States Department of Justice runs two federal law enforcement agencies: the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Marshal Service (USMS). These organizations are tasked with investigating possible federal crimes within the borders of the US and arresting the perpetrators of these crimes. It is therefore their responsibility to investigate and arrest US war criminals.

The best way to encourage federal law enforcement agencies to fulfill their responsibilities in relation to American war criminals is to call their tip lines and encourage investigation. The War Crimes Project prefers to believe that these agencies are unaware of the crimes committed by politically powerful US war criminals, rather than believing that these agencies are willfully negligent of their duties. We therefore believe it is our duty as good citizens of the United States to call federal law enforcement tip lines to inform these agencies of possible violations of the War Crimes Act. The War Crimes Project recommends organizing call in days to the tip line numbers where many people call to report the same crimes on the same day rather than calling yourself in order to multiply the effect of your call.

Despite the fact that it is the responsibility of these agencies to investigate violations of the War Crimes Act, both the FBI and the USMS are nevertheless controlled by the executive branch of the US government and therefore face similar political pressures not to carry out their duties as US district attorneys. It is also important to note that these organizations, especially the FBI, have often retaliated in legally questionable ways against people they dislike.

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer

The legal statuses of different types of actions vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The War Crimes Project cannot guarantee that an action promoted on this website is legal in your jurisdiction. It is also prudent to check the legal status of an action, preferably with a lawyer though minimally by personally consulting relevant criminal statues, prior to engaging in it to make sure you are comfortable shouldering any legal responsibility that may be assigned to you as a result of your action. The War Crimes Project neither supports nor condemns illegal actions. We merely ask that you follow your conscience and accept responsibility for your actions.