William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses reports that President Trump considered firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein over his involvement in the raid of the offices of Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
(WPR Morning Show | April 12, 2018) President Donald Trump took to Twitter Wednesday to issue a warning to Russia – and the world – of a possible military strike by the U.S. This messages comes on the heels of reports earlier this week of a suspected chemical attack in Syria’s rebel-held town of Douma. Join us for a look at the latest details surrounding this possible military action and push back from Russia before we turn to a (insert guest description) to look at the humanitarian concerns about the ongoing crisis in Syria.
(WUNC | April 10, 2018) In the 1990s, officials founded five criminal tribunals to seek international justice: four temporary bodies in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Cambodia, and the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands. The first four were put in place to handle specific civil war crimes. Since then, the issue of international criminal justice has faded.
Host Frank Stasio talks to David Crane about why international justice is hard to achieve. He’s the founding chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. He’s also the co-editor of “The Founders: Four Pioneering Individuals Who Launched The First Modern-Era International Criminal Tribunals” (Cambridge University Press/2018). Crane talks about geopolitical changes that have diminished the political will to prosecute international human rights violations. He also discusses his book and how the five criminal tribunals were founded …
FACT CHECK: CAN GOVERNORS REFUSE TRUMP’S REQUEST TO SEND THE NATIONAL GUARD TO THE BORDER?
(Checkyourfact.com | April 6, 2018) California Rep. Ted Lieu said in a tweet early Thursday that governors may legally refuse President Donald Trump’s request to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Because @POTUS is using Title 32 authority–instead of federalizing the Guard under Title 10–this is a REQUEST for state Governors to send troops,” said the tweet.
Trump’s memorandum requires the consent of governors to send National Guard troops to the border. If governors refuse, he could try different legal tools to deploy the Guard.
Lieu sent the tweet after Trump signed a memorandum Wednesday requesting the use of the National Guard to help fight drug trafficking, illegal immigration and gang activity at the border. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown also said Wednesday that if Trump asked her to deploy Oregon National Guard troops to the border, she would refuse …
… While Title 32 does not give the president full command of Guard troops, it allows for more flexibility in the type of work that the forces may do. “The benefit of the Title 32 status from the perspective of the feds is those soldiers are not constrained by the Posse Comitatus Act,” William Banks, a law professor at Syracuse University and director of the college’s Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits military participation in civilian law enforcement activities. Title 32 provides an exception to that rule, but Title 10 does not.
If a governor refuses to deploy the National Guard, Trump may use other strategies to legally utilize those troops at the border. George Mason University Law Professor Timothy M. MacArthur and Managing Attorney Leigh M. Winstead of the Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic said that the simplest solution would be to limit the work that the troops do so that he can utilize Title 10 instead …
… Banks said that while it is legal, deploying the National Guard to the border raises some tactical issues. “People in military uniforms generally don’t enforce the law … there’s just a cultural aversion to that,” he said. “Even if these men and women have the legal authority to do some things beyond what they were trained to do, there could be some challenges in operationalizing orders” …
New details on Trump’s troop deployments to the Mexican border
(Military Times | April 4, 2018) President Donald Trump is ordering U.S. troops to the southern U.S. border, but the move does not appear to be as unusual as the White House first billed it this week.
Guardsmen would not have the authority to participate in law enforcement, such as preventing an illegal crossing.
The Pentagon and White House on Wednesday walked back President Donald Trump promise to handle border security “militarily,” saying the proposed moves will be restricted to National Guard personnel and be similar to past operations in Southern states …
… If the Guard is deployed as it has been in the past, there would be little those troops could do to stop crime along the border, said William Banks, author of “Soldiers on the Home Front: The Domestic Role of the American Military” and director at the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University’s College of Law.
The Posse Comitatus Act prevents the federal government from using federal troops to conduct local law enforcement on U.S. soil. Banks called it the backbone of colonists’ grievances when the United States declared independence from England.
“The phrase is known by every Private 1st Class in the U.S. military,” Banks said.
It’s also why National Guard forces are under state control, Banks said. The president could federalize the National Guard in an extreme situation, such as when Bush requested that the Guard forces responding to Hurricane Katrina be placed under federal control.
But even then, guardsmen would not have the authority to participate in law enforcement, such as preventing an illegal crossing or conducting a drug interdiction, he said.
There are exceptions, Banks said. Title 32 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 185.4 provides National Guard troops “immediate response authority” — the ability to defend themselves if they are under immediate threat.
There is also a broader, short-term “emergency authority,” which allows the forces to take control “in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances” …
Pentagon hustles to jump in line with Trump’s border directive
(AFP | April 4, 2018) Pentagon planners scrambled Wednesday to find ways to support President Donald Trump’s surprise edict that he would send “the military” to guard America’s southern border.
“The president would need a legal authorization to carry out that mission. I doubt that he could get it.”
The commander-in-chief’s seemingly off-the-cuff directive blindsided officials Tuesday, when Trump said the military would guard the frontier until “we can have a wall and proper security.”
It took hours for the White House to clarify that Trump’s plan involved mobilizing the National Guard, and not active-duty troops, but Defense Department officials kept looking for other ways to bolster border security …
… Syracuse University professor William Banks, who has written a book about the domestic role of the American military, said the Pentagon might find it simplest to offer support other than regular troops, such as logistical or intelligence support to the civilian agencies on the border.
“It would be extraordinary to have so-called boots on the ground involved in enforcing (immigration) laws,” Banks told AFP.
“The president would need a legal authorization to carry out that mission. I doubt that he could get it.” …
Trump Told He is Not a Criminal Target in Mueller Probe
(Bloomberg Law | April 4, 2018) William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses reports that Robert Mueller told attorneys for President Trump that the president is not being considered as a criminal target. The news comes as President Trump’s legal team thins, revealing potential gaps in Trumps defense team. He speaks with Bloomberg’s June Grasso on Bloomberg Radio’s “Politics, Policy, Power and Law.”
Successor to Robert H. Jackson Speaks at Jackson Center
(The Post-Journal | April 3, 2018) Inside the Robert H. Jackson Center on Monday sat David Crane, the first American chief prosecutor in an international war crimes tribunal since Robert H. Jackson, himself, during the Nuremberg Trial. Crane, former chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, indicted and later convicted Charles Taylor, president of Liberia, marking the first time a head of state was held accountable for war crimes.
“No one is above the law,” Crane said regarding the legacy of the Sierra Leone tribunal.
Crane’s mandate as chief prosecutor was to prosecute those who bore the greatest responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity that were committed during the decade-long Sierra Leone Civil War.
Crane also recently released a book titled “The Founders: Four Pioneering Individuals Who Launched The First Modern-Era International Criminal Tribunals.” The book, written primarily by Crane, features first-hand accounts of the creation of four separate tribunals that brought justice to places such as Rwanda, Cambodia, Yugoslavia and Sierra Leone.
Greg Peterson, director of the Robert H. Jackson Center, conducted the interview and noted that Crane created a lot of precedents regarding international war crime tribunals. Peterson described Crane’s new book, “The Founders,” as a detailed history of the “four foremost prosecutors since Jackson.”
The four prosecutors included in the book include Crane, Richard Goldstone, Robert Peit and Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
“He is in a high echelon of prosecutors,” Peterson said of Crane. “We’re thrilled that he’s here.”
Crane recently announced he would be retiring from his alma matter the Syracuse University College of Law where he taught as a professor of practice since 2006. While there, he taught international law, international humanitarian law, military law and national security law.
Prior to the public interview, a four minute video was played that showed segments from Taylor’s indictment.
“The path will be strewn with the bones of the dead, the moans of the mutilated, the cries of agony of the tortured echoing down to the valley of death,” Crane began his opening statement during the tribunal.
Crane said during the interview that he was personally attacked by other heads of state in Africa because of the indictment. After being indicted, Taylor was later sentenced to 50 years of imprisonment …
Experts: Trump appointments signal more hawkish foreign policy
(Newsday | April 1, 2018) President Donald Trump’s decision to replace National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster with former UN Ambassador John Bolton and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo signals the commander-in-chief is moving toward a more hawkish approach on foreign policy matters, say national security and foreign affairs experts.
The president’s move to surround himself with two figureheads with a reputation for choosing military intervention over diplomacy comes as he prepares to meet with North Korea for denuclearization talks, and as he continues to voice his displeasure with the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran …
Corri Zoli, director of research at Syracuse University’s Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, said in selecting Bolton, Trump is probably attempting to have a “bad cop” in place ahead of his discussions with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
“I would say he’s chosen Bolton very much thinking about North Korea . . . so he can have a bad cop . . . so that Bolton can be the real hardliner in the discussions, so that Trump can negotiate on even terms, so the president can play the pure negotiator role,” Zoli said …
After teaching as a Professor of Practice at his alma mater since 2006, David M. Crane L’80 has announced that he will retire from the College of Law in August 2018. Crane taught international criminal law, international humanitarian law, military law, and national security law. As a faculty member of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, he developed interdisciplinary projects and courses with colleagues from across the University, including, most recently, a groundbreaking course on media and atrocities with Professor Ken Harper of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
At the College, Crane founded Impunity Watch, an online student-run law review and public service blog, and the Syrian Accountability Project (SAP), an internationally recognized effort among students, activists, journalists, and non-governmental organizations to document war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Syrian Civil War.
“It has been a pleasure teaching at my alma mater,” says Crane. “The hundreds—perhaps thousands—of students I have taught and placed in jobs or at other universities has inspired me and excited me in ways I never imagined. I hope I gave them a spark to go out in the world and make a difference.”
“For the past 12 years, David Crane has taught many hundreds of students about the paramount importance of the rule of law, the scourge of impunity, and that ordinary human beings—especially those who are the victims of atrocities visited upon them by the powerful—must always be the focus of justice,” says College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise. “I know that our students have been honored to work for Impunity Watch and the Syrian Accountability Project and that they were often spellbound in the classroom by David’s stories from his days in the military and working for the Special Court for Sierra Leone.”
Before Crane joined the College of Law faculty, from 2002 to 2005, he was the founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), appointed to that position by Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan. Serving as a UN Undersecretary-General, Crane’s mandate was to prosecute those who bore the greatest responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during Sierra Leone’s civil war in the 1990s. Among those he indicted was Liberian President Charles Taylor, the first sitting African head of state to be held accountable in this way. Taylor was found guilty in April 2012 of all 11 charges levied by the SCSL, and he was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Crane’s UN appointment was preceded by more than 30 years in the US federal government. Crane held numerous positions, including Director of the Office of Intelligence Review; Assistant General Counsel of the Defense Intelligence Agency; an appointment to the US Senior Executive Service; and Waldemar A. Solf Professor of International Law at the US Army Judge Advocate General’s School. Among Crane’s most lasting legacies are the desk books he edited for publication by the JAG School: The Law of War, Operational Law, Counterintelligence Coordination, Legal Aspects of Future War, and Cases and Materials on Intelligence Law.
For the past six years, College of Law and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs students have assisted Crane’s efforts toward justice for the people of Syria. In particular, the student-led Syrian Accountability Project has documented humanitarian crimes committed by all sides during the Syrian Civil War. They have catalogued that information—relative to applicable bodies of international law, such as the Geneva Conventions, the Rome Statute, and Syrian Penal Law—in an extensive conflict narrative, crime base matrix, and in several white papers. The aim of SAP’s work is to guide a future prosecution team toward the administration of postconflict justice for Syrians. In 2016, the Syrian Accountability Project was praised by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) on the floor of the US House of Representatives for its work gathering evidence of atrocities.
Crane has received numerous accolades and awards for his service to international law and human rights, including honorary degrees from his alma mater Ohio University and from Case Western Reserve University. Crane has been awarded a Medal of Merit from Ohio University, a Distinguished Service Award from Syracuse University College of Law, and a George Arents Pioneer Medal from Syracuse University. Among Crane’s other awards are the Intelligence Community Gold Seal Medallion, the US Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, a Legion of Merit award from the US Armed Forces, and an Eclipse Award from the Center for Victims of Torture. Crane was made an honorary Paramount Chief by the Civil Society Organizations of Sierra Leone, and in 2006, he was given a key to the City of Highland Park, IL, where he attended high school.
Crane recently published The Founders, the complex and compelling story of his and his three fellow international prosecutors’ efforts to set up the world’s first international tribunals and special courts.
Crane’s experience investigating and prosecuting some of the world’s most appalling crimes and his expertise in humanitarian law has led to many media inquiries over the years by the world’s foremost news outlets. For instance, he has appeared as an expert on NBC’s The Wanted, a 2009 six-part series focusing on international justice; on the BBC’s documentary Mad Dog: Gadaffi’s Secret World in 2014; and in a lengthy 2016 profile in Der Spiegel in the wake of the release of the SAP white paper “Through a Window Darkly.”
The day after the release of the “Caesar Report” in 2014—first announced by The Guardian—worldwide media rushed to seek comment from Crane. “In the eyes of the media, David Crane L’80 is a wanted man,” explained SU News in its coverage. “[Crane] spent much of the day on Tuesday in a small TV studio located in Newhouse. From there, he spoke to reporters around the world … In one afternoon, he completed interviews with Sky News, CBC, the BBC, Al Jazeera, NPR, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. That was before taking a break at 5 p.m. to teach class.”
Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism Director of Research Corri Zoli spoke to Syracuse-area channels 3/5 on March 9, 2018, about the overtures between the United States and North Korea on the subject of nuclear weapons. Zoli called them “interesting developments” that we should approach with a “healthy dose of skepticism” given North Korea’s broken promises in the past …