Anne McLellan   Letter 24   15-May-2000   Please raise your War Crimes Unit pay
"Gen. McCaffrey's troops fired at Iraqis spotted nearby and 15 to 20 people in civilian dress fell, according to witnesses." Agence France-Presse

May 15, 2000

The Honourable Anne McLellan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Room 360, Justice Building
239 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H8

E-mail: [email protected]

Anne McLellan:

I bring to your attention the following story which I came across in this morning's National Post:

WASHINGTON • U.S. troops under the command of General Barry McCaffrey, who now heads the White House's anti-drug office, killed unarmed Iraqi troops at the end of the 1991 Gulf War, according to a report in The New Yorker magazine.

The article in the magazine's May 22 edition cites Gen. McCaffrey's former military colleagues who question whether he used excessive force on three occasions when he commanded the 24th Infantry Division.

The U.S. Army investigated the events and found no wrongdoing, but the report claims important witnesses and information were ignored or missed.

In the first case, on Feb. 27, 1991, Gen. McCaffrey's troops opened fire on 382 detained and wounded Iraquis, all stripped of their weapons.  The number of casualties is unknown.

Another attack in question, the day after the Feb. 28 ceasefire, followed the discovery of a cache of weapons at a deserted schoolhouse.  Gen. McCaffrey's troops fired at Iraqis spotted nearby and 15 to 20 people in civilian dress fell, according to witnesses.

On March 2 a day before peace talks began Gen. McCaffrey reported his division had come under heavy attack and he responded with an "all-out attack" that the report described as "one of the biggest and most one-sided of the Gulf War."

The number of casualties is unknown, but 700 Iraqi tanks, armoured cars and trucks were destroyed, the report said.

"There was no need to be shooting at anybody," said James Johnson Jr., a retired lieutenant-general.  "They couldn't surrender fast enough.  The war was over."

Other enlisted men cited in the report said the Iraqis had not made the initial attack.

Gen. McCaffrey declined to be interviewed for the report.

Agence France-Presse

National Post, 15-May-2000, p. A14.

As there is some immigration from the United States to Canada, there is some chance that a few of the U.S. soldiers involved in the above atrocities are today living in Canada.  If your War Crimes Unit prosecuted at least one such American, then it would shatter its image as a branch of the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) and as having as its main purpose increasing Jewish cohesion and support for Israel which keeping alive the image of non-Jewish Nazi war criminals accomplishes.

I think that I can suggest a solution to the problem of the corruption of your War Crimes Unit which is a substantial raise in pay for its employees.  My reasoning is as follows: (1) good lawyers don't work for your War Crimes Unit because they can make a lot more money in the private sector; and (2) good lawyers don't work for your War Crimes Unit because of the low quality of the work which is overwhelmingly persecuting non-Jewish old men for conjectured immigration infractions committed half a century ago.  The presence of one of these deterrents without the other might not degrade personnel quality much some good lawyers do tolerate low pay if the work is valuable, and some good lawyers do tolerate work of low value if the pay is high.  However, it is hard to imagine any good lawyer willing to do demeaning work for low pay.

Given these two deterrents acting together, then, the result may be that your War Crimes Unit ends up being staffed by the losers of their profession, tending toward such characteristics as docility, subservience, mediocrity, incompetence, and lack of judgment.

The effect of a substantial hike in pay, then, could be that a higher quality of personnel would be attracted, and that these would have the good sense to begin prosecuting real war criminals, and even the good sense to resist CJC directives that you may pass along to them instructing them to neglect the public interest in order to carry out some CJC agenda.

Lubomyr Prytulak