NOTE: In 1990, I submitted the following petition to the United Nations in efforts to bring attention to the lawlessness of the United States, and for protection from US repression.
S. Brian Willson
P.O. Box 170670
San Francisco, CA 94117
July 26, 1990
Chief, Special Procedures, Center For Human Rights, United Nations Office at Geneva
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Dear Madam or Sir:
The enclosed PETITION describes the gross violation of human rights being committed directly or indirectly by the United States Government against millions of people in a number of sovereign nations within the international community. It also describes the personal efforts of myself, similar to efforts of thousands of other U.S. citizens, to bring political structures and officials to accountability and justice for their participation in acts violating the human rights of so many people.
I, along with others, believe we have exhausted all reasonable legal expressions directed to remedy these wrongs. I, along with others, have reason to believe that continued escalation of nonviolent confrontations with the political structures and officials of the United States Government will lead to our imprisonment, injury or even death. This PETITION is an attempt to speak to the international community about these very serious matters of responsible citizenship in the letter and spirit of the Nuremberg Obligation. Where do we turn for help?
I believe the right to peace is a human right. I request your assistance in communicating these very serious issues to the international community.
S. Brian Willson
Date: July 26, 1990
To: The international community, including all nations, organizations, and citizens comprising the world community, including the Center for Human Rights of the United Nations;
Subject: Exhaustion of all civilized and peaceful expressions and remedies to address egregious violations of domestic, Constitutional and international laws and standards by officials and employees of the United States Government; PETITION directed to the cessation of egregious and illegal behavior of these officials and employees of the U.S. of America;
From: S. Brian Willson, Institute for the Practice of Nonviolence, P.O. Box 170670, San Francisco, California USA 94117; (415) 751-5772. Date of Birth: July 4, 1941. Place of Birth: Geneva, New York. Military background: U.S. Air Force, 1966-1970; security officer in Vietnam, 1969; separation as Captain, 1970; Honorable Discharge. Education: B.A., 1964 Sociology; M.S., 1968, penology/corrections/criminology; J.D./Juris Doctor, 1972, (admitted to Washington, D.C. Bar, 1973); Ph.D., 1988, Humanities (Hon.); LL.D./Doctor of Laws, 1990 (Hon.).
PERSONAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE FACTS:
From my experiences in Vietnam; from my reading of extensive historical and contemporary accounts of U.S. domestic and foreign policy; from my association with ex-officials of the U.S. military, U.S. State Department, Central Intelligence Agency, and other components of the U.S. security establishment; from my travels to and observations in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, and Mexico, among others, in order to personally gather evidence; from my observation and examination of the U.S. political process and the laws adopted and funds appropriated for carrying out domestic and foreign policies; and from my association with thousands of other U.S. citizens who have similarly participated in some or all of the above experiences, I, as a reasonably acting citizen of the United States, in command of my various faculties to observe and interpret facts and patterns of political behavior, and make conclusions from these observations, state the following:
Officials of the united States, directly, and directly or indirectly through their official or unofficial agents, employees, or hired functionaries, and/or through surrogate and proxy governments, are participating in a prolific pattern of War Crimes (atrocities, terrorism, violent crimes), aiding and abetting war crimes, crimes against customary international law, Crimes Against Humanity (state-sponsored war crimes), Crimes Against Peace (initiating and waging wars, including “low intensity” wars of aggression/intervention against sovereign people and nations), and crimes in violation of statutes and treaties, and therefore in violation of the Constitution (Art. VI, “all Treaties…shall be the Supreme Law of the Land”).
PERSONAL ACTIVITIES AS CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES DIRECTED TO COMPEL OFFICIALS OF THE UNITED STATES TO COMPLY WITH DOMESTIC, CONSTITUTIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL LAW:
- Directing written complaints with evidence and arguments to representatives in the Congress and the President.
- Repeated personal lobbying. Congressional representatives, with accompanying photographs, personal statements of victims, audio and video tapes of abuses.
- Presenting victims of abuses in person to Congressional representatives.
- Founder of Veterans Education Project with other U.S. war veterans speaking to thousands of high school students about the realities of war, promoting active citizenship and supporting dissent where appropriate.
- Writing many letters to editors of various newspapers citing the various abuses of U.S. policies; many were published.
- Participant as a speaker at many political rallies and demonstrations in Washington, D.C. and at other locations: at the headquarters of the Department of “Defense,” at the White House, in front of the U.S. Capitol/Congress, at weapons storage and construction facilities, at Reagan’s western white house/ranch, in front of federal buildings, at colleges and universities, in town commons, etc.
- Extensive travel to locations of U.S. foreign policy in action—Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. First hand experience interviewing victims of the U.S.-financed and directed Contras in Nicaragua; interviewing Contras in prison or who have returned to Nicaragua under the amnesty; interviewing victims of the El Salvador death squads and U.S.-financed Salvadoran army; observing the effects of contra attacks of villages, farms and cooperatives, health clinics, schools, power plants, bridges, and roads; observing the effects of civilian villages bombed by the U.S.-financed Salvadoran Air Force; observed the aftermath of ambushes and civilian vehicles destroyed by land mines; interviewed torture and mutilation victims of the Contras in Nicaragua and the death squads and U.S.-financed Salvadoran army in El Salvador.
- Interviews with the U.S. CIA contract employee, Eugene Hasenfus, after he had parachuted to safety when his plane was shot down over Nicaragua while dropping military supplies to the U.S. Contras. Learned of the air supply routes from El Salvador and Honduras to supply the U.S. Contras in Nicaragua after the International Court of Justice ordered the United States to cease further funding of the Contras as it was ruled a violation of international law.
- Observed the first peace talks between the Nicaraguan government and the U.S. Contras at Sapoa in March 1988. Observed the release of contra prisoners by the Nicaraguan government in compliance with the Sapoa agreement.
- Visits to U.S. Embassy officials in El Salvador and Nicaragua, respectively1 citing evidence of numerous abuses of human rights and international law by officials of the U.S. government.
- Decision to refuse to pay any further federal income taxes under the authority of Nuremberg and international law in order to withdraw personal complicity with the continued violations of law of the Constitutional democracy of the United States of America.
- Organized with other veterans the Veterans Peace Coalition to petition Congress to cease all further funding of the U.S. Contras in Nicaragua.
- Participated with three other U.S. war veterans in the Veterans Fast For Life, an open-ended, water-only fast addressing the U.S. citizenry, the Congress, and the President of the violations of Nuremberg, international and Constitutional law in the U.S. policy of supporting countless human rights abuses in El Salvador and Nicaragua. Fast ended after 47 days on the U.S. Capitol steps when thousands of other U.S. citizens committed themselves to escalate their expression of dissent and resistance to the lawlessness of the officials of the United States government.
- Founder of the Veterans Peace Action Teams (VPAT) with other veterans, recruiting, training and sending teams of U.S. military veterans into the war zones of Nicaragua to rebuild what the U.S. Contras destroyed, then returning to the United States to present further evidence of the lawlessness of U.S. policy to other citizens and the Congress.
- Founder of Nuremberg Actions (NA) with other conscientious citizens at the Concord, California Naval Weapons Station, the largest Department of Defense weapons storage facility on the west coast of the United States, in a peaceful and nonviolent manner, to interdict the movement of lethal munitions and weapons on trucks and trains on their way to Central America, thereby upholding the Nuremberg obligation as citizens of a Constitutional democracy intending to uphold international and Constitutional law even if officials of the government refuse to do so.
- Participated in actions of nonviolent civil obedience (disobedience) at the main entrance of the headquarters of the Department of Defense (Pentagon), and at the Concord, California Naval Weapons Station attempting to stop a munitions train. Police refused to make arrest at the Pentagon or at Concord. In the case of Concord, the U.S. Navy munitions locomotive pulling 2 boxcars loaded with highly explosive munitions accelerated to over 3 times the train speed limit after receiving notice well in advance of our nonviolent action. Train ran over me, cutting off both legs below the knee and fracturing my skull, among other injuries.
- Participated with other ex-U.S. military personnel and ex-CIA officials on a 10-day, water-only fast on the U.S. Capitol steps in protest of continued Congressional funding of the U.S. Contras in Nicaragua in violation of international law.
- Created the Institute for the Practice of Nonviolence with Holley Rauen to promote the understanding of nonviolent attitudes and behavior as a profound method for facilitating personal and political transformation.
- Travel to other countries in the world to develop a network of citizens promoting lawful behavior by all nation-states, self-determination of all people, and to promote the understanding that popular sovereignty is the only legitimate legal basis for any collective community, nation-state or otherwise.
- Travel to many parts of the United States relating my personal experiences as a citizen as to the egregious violations of civilized behavior and domestic, Constitutional and international law by officials of the United States of America, and the obligations of the United States citizenry to uphold the law under Nuremberg and other authority, as well as reasons of conscience, even if officials of the United States continue to defy the law (or especially because they continue to defy the law).
- Teaching at public events, workshops, and in university settings the nature of U.S. foreign policy, U.S. violations of law, and obligations of citizens to take responsibility for maintaining a society that upholds the basic civilized rules of behavior on a planet with 5 billion people living in many countries.
- Writing and distributing written reports of my personal experiences, my conclusions, and recommending courses of action for the citizens of the United States.
- Between February 20 and March 1, 1990, I was part of an 11-person Nicaragua election observer delegation, continuing to examine the United States’ role in intervening in the political life of the sovereign nation of Nicaragua.
- I have supported the lawsuits of individual citizens and Congresspeople directed against the President and other executive officials of the United States government asking compliance with the law. The judiciary has failed to require the Congress and the President to uphold international and Constitutional law in terms of U.S. foreign policy in Nicaragua and El Salvador.
The officials of the United States government, representing the citizens of the United States of America, continue to promulgate and appropriate monies for policies that egregiously violate fundamental human rights and international, as well as domestic and Constitutional law. Over a period of years, I, along with thousands of other U.S. citizens, have expressed dissent and resistance to these lawless and abusive policies in a variety of legal ways as well as through nonviolent civil (dis)obedience. I believe I have now exhausted my legal, and nonviolent, expressions directed to remedy these wrongs being committed by officials of the United States of America in my name as a citizen. This letter PETITIONS the international community for assistance in bringing the officials of the United States government to justice and accountability. [END]