Collateral Damage by Sallie Latch
by Kathy Kelly
Washington, D.C. area - On February 14th, 2023, Valentine’s Day, organizers of the Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal and their supporters will serve a “Citation for Contempt” on the corporate offices of Raytheon in Arlington, Virginia for failing to comply with a “Subpoena” previously served on them on November 10, 2022. Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and General Atomics have all been served and “Indicted” for their complicity in aiding and abetting the United States government in committing War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, Bribery, and Theft. This action on Valentine’s Day is called “Melt Your Cold, Cold Heart.” Simultaneous actions will occur in San Diego, CA; New York City; Asheville, NC; and Syracuse, NY.
On the same day the Tribunal will also serve Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, with a “Subpoena” compelling him to testify before this public Tribunal answering questions involving his previous employment with Raytheon and the role these weapons manufacturers play in fomenting needless war for corporate profit.
These Subpoenas and Citations are issued by the Tribunal on behalf of victims of deadly attacks by the United States since 9/11 in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Lebanon, enabled by weapons produced by the above named defendants. The People of the World are delivering these subpoenas in preparation for the upcoming Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal, which will be held November 10, 2023.
The Tribunal is unusual in holding private actors accountable for enabling war crimes and promoting militarism and war. The Tribunal’s work is inspired by the U.S. Senate’s Nye Committee after World War I; the 1945 Nuremberg trials of German industrialists at the close
of World War II; the 1966 Russell Tribunal on the Viet Nam War; and the filing this year of a case against three French arms makers for complicity in attacks by Saudi Arabia against Yemeni civilians.
The four defendants generate billions of dollars in profits each year by knowingly manufacturing, marketing, and selling products that kill not only combatants but noncombatant civilians as well.
By funding the political campaigns of members of Congress charged with oversight of the military, as well as other members of Congress, these defendants are alleged to have bribed public officials to approve billion-dollar contracts funded by taxpayer money. Defendants are also alleged to have directly influenced U.S. war-making policy to increase their profits.
The Tribunal itself will hear direct testimony from victims of war crimes, military analysts, and legal authorities during the Tribunal hearings in November of 2023. Those testimonies are currently being collected. Additional evidence is also being gathered.
Support and participation in this Tribunal include Dr. Cornel West, Marjorie Cohn, Bill Quigley, Col. Ann Wright, Ajamu Baraka, Marie Dennis, Col Lawrence Wilkerson, Marie Dennis, Medea Benjamin, John Pilger, Richard Falk, Matthew Hoh, among others.
The public viewing of the Tribunal will educate the citizens of the world on the direct role weapons manufacturers are alleged to play in fomenting needless war and suffering across the planet, violating numerous national and international laws, and engaging in war profiteering.
The Tribunal encourages victims of these crimes, employees of these corporations, and government employees to come forward if they have information pertinent to the work of the Tribunal.
Participants will bring signs reading “In Contempt” and “Melt Your Cold, Cold Heart.” The time and location of the delivery of the Subpoenas are listed below.
Raytheon, February 14, 2023, 10:30 a.m. EST, 1100 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22209 Pentagon, February 14, 2023, 1:00 p.m. Metro Stop at the Pentagon
Kathy Kelly ([email protected]) helps plan the Merchants of Death War Crimes Tribunal (merchantsofdeath.org); she is board President of World BEYOND War and a co-coordinator of BanKillerDrones.org