Aruba's First International Signature Online Newspaper
'Follow Us And Stay With Us Cause You Deserve To Be Told The Truth'

Global News Aruba 

Marjorie Cohn, signature news reporter and contributor of Global News Aruba, is a professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law where she taught from 1991-2016, and a former president of the National Lawyers Guild. She lectures, writes, and provides commentary for local, regional, national and international media outlets. Professor Cohn has served as a news consultant for CBS News and a legal analyst for Court TV, as well as a legal and political commentator on BBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, and Pacifica Radio.

The author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law and co-author of Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice (with David Dow) and Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent (with Kathleen Gilberd), Professor Cohn is editor of and contributor to The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration and Abuse, and Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues.

One of her books was cited in a U.S. Supreme Court opinion and her articles have appeared in numerous journals such as Fordham Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, and Virginia Journal of International Law, as well as The National Law Journal, Christian Science Monitor, and Chicago Tribune. Professor Cohn is a contributing editor to Jurist and National Lawyers Guild Review, and her frequent columns appear on Huffington Post, Truthout, Truthdig, Consortium NewsCommonDreams, Counterpunch and ZNet.

She has been a criminal defense attorney at the trial and appellate levels, and was staff counsel to the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Professor Cohn is the U.S. representative to the executive committee of the Association of American Jurists, and is deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers.

A veteran of the anti-Vietnam War movement, Professor Cohn received her B.A. from Stanford, where she majored in Social Thought and Institutions, and her J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law. She testified in 2008 about the U.S. government interrogation policy before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and has also testified at military courts-martial about the illegality of the wars, the duty to obey lawful orders, and the duty to disobey unlawful orders.

Professor Cohn sits on the board of directors of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign and Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, the national advisory boards of Veterans for Peace, and Progressive Democrats of America, and she is a civilian member of the board of GI Voice. She is also a member of the advisory board for the American Constitution Society – San Diego Chapter.

The recipient of the San Diego County Bar Association’s 2005 Service to Legal Education Award, Professor Cohn was recognized as one of San Diego’s Top Attorneys in Academics for 2006, 2008 and 2009, and was given the 2007 Bernard E. Witkin, Esq. Award for Excellence in the Teaching of the Law by the San Diego Law Library Justice Foundation. She received the 2008 Peace Scholar of the Year Award from the Peace and Justice Studies Association, the 2009 Amnesty International-San Diego Digna Ochoa Human Rights Defender Award, and the 2010 Alumni Achievement Award from the Santa Clara University School of Law. In 2010, Professor Cohn debated the legality of the war in Afghanistan at the prestigious Oxford Union. She received the Debra Evenson Venceremos Award from the National Lawyers Guild in 2018.

A legal observer in Iran on behalf of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers in 1978, she has participated in delegations to Cuba, China and Yugoslavia. She lived in Mexico and is fluent in Spanish.

( source www.marjoriecohn.com )

"Pentagon to Allow Nuclear Responses to Non-Nuclear Attacks" 

By Prof. Juris Doctor Marjorie Cohn

www.truthout.org   

Signature News Reporter and Contributor

Global News Aruba

USA


(Image Courtesy of rudall30 / Shutterstock)


Amid the media frenzy surrounding the Nunes-Trump memo, the Pentagon officially released its 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) last week. The NPR calls for the development of leaner, meaner nuclear weapons and lowers the threshold for the use of nukes. Donald Trump must be thrilled. During the presidential campaign, he questioned a senior foreign policy adviser about nuclear weapons three times during a briefing, asking, “If we had them why can’t we use them?”

This new strategy opens the door to first-use of nuclear weapons, which is prohibited under international law.

Jane Doe - Another Company, LLC

The NPR calls for “low-yield” nuclear weapons on submarine-launched ballistic missiles — weapons that could cause as much damage as the bombs the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

For the first time, the new NPR states that the United States could use nuclear weapons in response to non-nuclear attacks, including cyberattacks, in “extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States, its allies and partners.” This new strategy opens the door to first-use of nuclear weapons, which is prohibited under international law.

In its 1996 advisory opinion, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concluded that while the use of nuclear weapons might be lawful when used in self-defense if the survival of the nation were at stake, a first-strike use would not be.

The ICJ held in its “Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons” case that “the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law.”

“However,” the IJC continued, “the Court cannot conclude definitively whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be lawful or unlawful in an extreme circumstance of self-defence, in which the very survival of a State would be at stake.”

Framing Russia and China as Nuclear Threats

Russia, China and North Korea are singled out as potential nuclear threats in the NPR. The document “erroneously states that the United States needs new nuclear weapons because ‘China is expanding and modernizing its considerable nuclear forces’ and is pursuing ‘entirely new nuclear capabilities,'” according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Gregory Kulacki, China project manager at the UCS Global Security Program and author of the UCS’s newly released white paper, said, “There is no evidence that nuclear weapons are becoming more prominent in China’s military strategy or that China has changed its longstanding no-first-use policy.”

US casualties, Payne argued, could be limited to “approximately 20 million people,” which, he called, “a level compatible with national survival and recovery.”

Jane Doe - Another Company, LLC

The NPR has alarmed foreign leaders. Mohammad Javad Zarif, foreign minister of Iran, tweeted that the NPR brings “humankind closer to annihilation.” The United States is “shamelessly threatening Russia with a new atomic weapon,” Iranian president Hassan Rouhani stated. “The same people who supposedly believe that using weapons of mass destruction is a crime against humanity are talking about new weapons to threaten or use against rivals,” he added.

Ren Guoqiang, a spokesman for the Chinese defense ministry, said in a statement, “We hope the US side will discard its ‘cold-war mentality,’ [and] shoulder its own special and primary responsibility for nuclear disarmament.”

Both Beijing and Moscow reaffirmed that nuclear weapons are not “first strike” weapons. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that nuclear weapons are only a defensive deterrent. He listed the following “entirely defensive scenarios” for the threshold use of nuclear weapons: “in response to an act of aggression against Russia and (or) against our allies if nuclear or other types of mass destruction weapons are used, and also … with use of conventional arms but only in case our state’s very existence would be in danger.”

Where Is This Coming From?

Keith Payne, president of the National Institute for Public Policy, was one of the key drafters of the NPR. In 1980, Payne astoundingly claimed in Foreign Policy that the United States could win a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. US casualties, Payne argued, could be limited to “approximately 20 million people,” which, he called, “a level compatible with national survival and recovery.”

Derek Johnson, executive director of Global Zero, the international movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons, said in a statementthat the NPR is “a radical plan written by extreme elements and nuclear ideologues in Trump’s inner circle who believe nuclear weapons are a wonder drug that can solve our national security challenges. They aren’t and they can’t.”

Indeed, a retired senior Army officer told The American Conservative that the lower-yield warheads give Trump “a kind of gateway drug for nuclear war.”

“This plan would be troubling under any Administration,” Johnson observed, “but given this President’s consistent and unabashed displays of ignorance, ballistic tendencies and dehumanizing world views, we should all be on red alert.” Johnson expressed support for legislation that would restrict the first use of nuclear weapons.

Sixteen senators wrote in a letter to Trump on January 29, “[Y]our NPR would undermine decades of U.S. leadership on efforts to reduce and eventually eliminate the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons.”

The senators noted that the NPR fails to mention Article VI of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which enshrines a commitment “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to the cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.” The United States is a party to the NPT.

A “senior nuclear thinker and NPR critic” explained how the document’s recommendations were developed. “[T]he story you won’t hear is how this really came about,” he told The American Conservative. “One day, Sean Hannity got on television and talked about how we need more nuclear weapons and Donald Trump heard this and went over to the Pentagon and presto, we got Keith Payne and his crew. That’s the truth, and that’s what got us to where we are.”

Apparently, Hannity, whose hype on Fox News about the Nunes-Trump memo continues to poison the national debate, is becoming Trump’s main foreign policy guru.

Sixty percent of Americans don’t trust Trump with nuclear weapons, according to a recent NBC News/Washington Post poll.


Copyright Truthout. Reprinted with permission.

www.truthout.org