The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence

By Francis A. Boyle | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

detMy suspicions about human law go back 30 years. They began with the trial of The Baltimore 4 following Dr. King's assassination in April, 1968. Our effort, in October 1967, was one of many raids on Selective Service —some say over 100—both standby and covert.

In the Baltimore 4 trial, the federal judge enforced a narrow focus— did we do the resistance act we admitted doing against the genocidal debacle in Southeast Asia? He suppressed “why” we did it, except by our testimony, which the prosecutor dismissed contemptuously as misguided, even adoles- cent.

But no expert testimony reached the jury about search and destroy operations, napalm, cluster bomb units, Agent Orange, Phoenix Program assassinations, millions of Indochinese dead, the risks of nuclear war against China and the Soviet Union.

I witnessed for the first time an American Court fabricating a legal railroad—what we call a kangaroo court. On reflection it was pitiful—a court exposing itself like an exhibitionist snatching his raincoat open. But despite the shameful (and shameless) spectacle, the judge initiated a pattern scrupulously followed for 30 years, departing again from the initial concept of The Founders—protection of the people against the government and powerful. The judge did the exact opposite—he protected the government and military against the people.

Such legal machinations are insidious—they effectively strip people of any non-violent redress against “their” government. We should recall that Thoreau called legal dissent “consent” since he apparently believed that tolerating legal dissent by the regime strengthened its credibility (and injustice). In brief, the government imposes an enormously effective deterrent —“break the law and you'll go to prison!”

As the years passed and my arrests mounted, setting up a revolving door between prison and “minimum security,” I feverishly researched material on law and the judiciary. I read Thomas Merton who likened the legality of Christ's execution—“we have a law and according to this law he must die” (Jn 19:7)—to the legality of nuclear war (Hiroshima and Nagasaki and subsequent doomsday adventures). This time, Merton wrote, the death sentence is passed on humankind, The Body of Christ.

I read further, discovering that the Bible gave human law ample treatment. 1st Samuel 8th chapter, for example, exposes the State as a

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The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Table of Contents *
  • Foreword 11
  • Special Introduction George Bush, Jr. September 11th, and the Rule of Law 16
  • Notes 38
  • Chapter One - The United States Embraces International Legal Nihilism 40
  • Notes 52
  • Chapter Two - The Lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 55
  • Notes 87
  • Chapter Three - The Relevance of International Law to the Paradox of Nuclear Deterrence 92
  • Notes 125
  • Chapter Four - Star Wars vs. International Law 136
  • Notes 155
  • Chapter Five - The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence 162
  • Notes 205
  • Conclusion - Democracy vs. the Nuclear Power Elite 206
  • Postscript 210
  • Notes 210
  • Index 211
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