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The Center for Constitutional Rights Has Germany Investigate America By: Stephen Brown
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, December 02, 2004

In a blatant attempt to undermine the American war effort in Iraq and to damage and embarrass the United States in the eyes of the world, a leftist American legal organization filed a criminal complaint yesterday in a German court to have ten, high-ranking American military and political leaders put on trial in Germany for crimes against humanity and human rights violations committed at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison.

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which FrontPage writer John Perazzo has described as a ‘Fifth Column Law factory’ whose lawyers “align themselves with anti-American ideologies and totalitarian sympathies,” filed the 170 page comprehensive complaint with the German Federal Prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe. Included as defendants in the complaint are Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former CIA Director George Tenet, Lt. General Ricardo S. Sanchez  and Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone.

The plaintiffs are four Iraqis who allegedly were subjected to torture and maltreatment at the hands of American soldiers at Abu Ghraib in a scandal that has already been well documented.
CCR President Michael Ratner, who has a long affiliation with radical causes, said at a news conference in Berlin yesterday that American military and political leaders from Donald Rumsfeld on down must be investigated and held accountable, since the United States has refused to investigate those at the top in connection with the case.  
However, this isn’t Ratner’s first attempt to smear America in the War on Terror. During the American invasion of Afghanistan, he lamented the fact that Afghan children would die because of the bombing and falsely accused the United States of refusing to stop its air strikes to allow emergency food deliveries. However, Ratner’s greatest success came last summer when he got the Supreme Court to grant the terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay the right to contest their internment before U.S. courts.
The German law code contains a statute regarding crimes against humanity and human rights violations that allows German courts to try the perpetrators no matter where the alleged misdeeds were committed in the world. For this reason, the CCR chose Germany to file its complaint, since this country is required to investigate any such charge under this law.
But there is also a more sinister reason for the CCR’s transparent attempt to undermine America in time of war. The CCR knows that three of the American military personnel named as defendants, Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez, Major General Walter Wodjakoski and Colonel Thomas Pappas are stationed in Germany. Lt. General Sanchez is the commander of U.S. Army Corps V, while Major General Wodjakoski is the Deputy Commander of both the V Corp and of Combined Task Force Seven, whose troops include those in Iraq. The radical lawyers’ organization realizes any investigation of the U.S. Army in Germany would hurt the military’s position there, as these officers would probably be sent home before they would ever be allowed to appear before a German court.
But since this particular German law, called the ‘Voelkerstrafgesetzbuch’ in German, has never seen any of the 26 complaints filed under it reach even the preliminary proceedings stage since its introduction in 2002, what the CCR is probably hoping for is to strengthen the already rampant anti-Americanism in Western Europe and keep alive the Left’s portrayal of the Abu Ghraib scandal as a modern My Lai.
The truth be told, the CCR and others of its ilk do not care any more about the Abu Ghraib victims than the Left cared about the South Vietnamese people during the Vietnam War. Thirty thousand people were murdered in that notorious Iraqi prison during Saddam Hussein’s time and yet the CCR and other anti-American bodies were nowhere to be seen, let alone heard. The same goes for the more than 200,000 bodies discovered in Iraqi mass graves, the children’s prisons and the rape rooms that existed for 24 years in that country; the silence of the blame-America-first crowd was deafening. If the CCR is such a compassionate human rights organization, it must be asked why it hasn’t filed any complaints in German courts against one of the many mass murderers from Saddam Hussein’s rule, or against torturers and killers living comfortably in many other countries, who have never had to answer for their crimes. The answer is that the CCR can’t score any anti-American points, its true purpose, pursuing such worthy causes.
In their heartless, hate-America campaign, the CCR is simply exploiting the Abu Ghraib incident, and others like it, as a phoney humanitarian cover for their hatred of America. In time of peace this would be despicable and unconscionable; but in time of war the CCR’s actions fall under a far more troubling and morbid label.

Stephen Brown is a contributing editor at Frontpagemag.com. He has a graduate degree in Russian and Eastern European history. Email him at alsolzh@hotmail.com.

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