Protest Koh’s speech at the University of Illinois Law School!
When: 11:30 am, Friday, Oct. 28
Where: North Courtyard, Law Building Complex, Peabody Drive, Champaign
We live in a time of state-sanctioned murder of Black, brown, and poor people within the U.S. and beyond. Since Obama’s election in 2008, extra-judicial killings have often been perpetrated and justified by former liberal critics of past President Bush’s open practices of torture, war, and occupation. Top lawyers have played a crucial role in this process. One of the most prominent has been Harold Koh, currently a professor of international law and former Yale Law School dean who served as Hillary Clinton’s top legal advisor while she was Secretary of State (2009 to 2013). In that capacity, Koh has planned, promoted, and justified heinous crimes that have cost thousands of lives and devastated whole regions and countries. Anyone with a conscience should protest his appearance as an honored guest at the University of Illinois Law School on October 28.
Here are just a few examples of the many crimes for which he must be held to account:
Koh helped to conceive, execute, and publicly defend President Obama’s drone assassination program. He participated, based on questionable CIA intelligence, in deciding who ought to live and who ought to die, all without charges, trial, an opportunity to defend themselves or to surrender. The victims include thousands of innocent people in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and other countries, and at least two U.S. citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki, and a few weeks later, his 16-year-old son, again without any due process.
He testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Obama’s devastating 2011 bombardment of Libya was not a “hostile action” since there was “limited exposure for US troops,” so no Congressional approval was needed. His boss, Hillary Clinton, was an outspoken advocate of the savage NATO bombing. Obama sent Koh to testify after lawyers from the Justice and Defense Departments refused to take the Administration’s line, which was both illegal and immoral. Thousands died in that bombardment, the country’s infrastructure was destroyed, and an open field has been created for reactionary jihadists.
Koh was part of the State Dept. team that claimed “it was not clear” whether the coup d’etat in Honduras (2009) was really a coup, so the sanctions that would be required against the coup regime were not applied. A cable from the US Embassy in Honduras to the State Dept. that was revealed by Wikileaks exposed his lies. Instead of sanctions, the U.S. worked with the coup government to drive the elected president out of the country and establish a regime more to US liking.
Koh participated in the shocking failure of the US State Dept to investigate the Israeli commando murder (2010) on the Mavi Marmara of passengers attempting to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza, including Furkan Dogan, a US citizen. Instead, the US chose to rely on Israel’s investigation of its own murder, not unlike US police investigating their murders.
The list could go on. We urge you to join World Can’t Wait Chicago, AWARE, Neighbors for Peace (Chicago), Central Illinois Prairie Greens, World Labor Hour, and more (list in formation, contact email@example.com to add your name) at 11:30 am on October 28, North Courtyard, Law Building Complex, 504 E. Pennsylvania Ave., Champaign, Il 61820