Letter to Senator Richard G. Lugar, re: Bolton Nomination

Senator Richard G. Lugar, Chairman
U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Dirksen Building
Washington DC 20510-6225

April 11, 2005

Dear Senator Lugar:

Almost 60 years ago, I represented the United States as a Chief Prosecutor in one of the Nuremberg war crimes trials. We earned the respect and admiration of the world by upholding the principles, espoused by Justice Robert Jackson and General Telford Taylor, that crimes against humanity could not go unpunished and that law must applied equally to everyone I have never before raised objection to any political appointment but I cannot remain silent regarding your consideration of John Bolton to be our chief representative at the United Nations. I am deeply convinced that his confirmation would be seriously detrimental to the interests of our nation.

There is no doubt that Mr. Bolton is an intelligent and patriotic American who is entitled to have opinions that differ from my own. The views he has publicly expressed have been so far removed from the Nuremberg principles and the rule of law that they have astounded and alienated nations all over the world. I shall refer only to areas where I feel particularly qualified to comment.

I am a Harvard Law School graduate (1943), and former combat soldier who was awarded five battle stars in World War Two. I have devoted most of my life trying to help create a more peaceful and humane world. As an unpaid observer, I have spent much time at the UN working for the creation of the International Criminal Court to strengthen the rule of law. John Bolton, despite pretensions t the contrary, has been working to destroy the ICC in its cradle. The arguments made in opposition to the ICC are demonstrably false. The ICC poses no threat whatsoever to US military personnel. The details are spelled out in my books and articles shown on my website.

I will merely note that support for the ICC has come from the American Bar Association and many other respected legal associations, every former President of the American Society of International Law, a host of outstanding legal experts including former Ambassador Shabtai Rosenne (Va. J. Int.L. 164) who represented Israel with distinction at the United Nations for many years. The nearly 100 nations that have ratified the Statute for the Court, as well as those many small countries that have been badgered into signing agreements to immunize all US national from ever being sent to the ICC, view the Bolton-supported efforts with scorn and apprehension. His confirmation would be received as another slap in the face. Such actions make enemies of friends. Bolton's declarations that international law does not exist, that the US has a legal right to ignore its treaties and to launch preemptive strikes against presumed enemies, all repudiate what we stood for at Nuremberg. He has been a key spokesman for a point of view that is not shared by all Americans. His rejection by the Senate would be a reaffirmation that America has not lost the ideals which made it great.

Since I am now in my 86th year, may I presume to request that you circulate this letter among all of your colleagues for their consideration.

With best wishes to you all,