Tag Archives: United States

The Criminal Responsibility of Those Suspected of Torture

On 3 December 2014, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program was declassified thereby providing the world for the first time with an “official” version of the United State’s anti-terrorism program run by the CIA. A lot has already been written about what techniques were used by the American intelligence community, whether they led to any actionable intelligence (in particular if the information gathered played any part at all in locating Osama bin Laden), and whether the particular techniques amounted to torture. A lot has also been said about whether or not the United States should prosecute those responsible for authorizing CIA interrogation techniques that amounted to torture. However, one part of this situation has not been fully analyzed – other than the individual who carried out the interrogation (and possibly their immediate supervisor), who else would be liable for prosecution?

Put plainly, where does the buck stop?

The only way to answer this question, as a matter of law, is to take the generally accepted facts about the program, and apply potentially applicable laws of criminal responsibility. I say potentially as there is no set law on criminal responsibility at the international level – and torture is an international crime.

At the moment, there are two potentially applicable doctrines of criminal responsibility at the international level. The first is that applied by the United Nations ad-hoc International Criminal Tribunals created in the 1990’s. The second is the doctrine adopted by the International Criminal Court. Both doctrines are potentially applicable in that the case could (eventually) go before the ICC – an albeit unlikely event – should the United States join the court. Likewise, the issue could wind up before an ad hoc internationalized or international tribunal should the political winds move in that direction. In any case, the question remains academic for the time being.

Before turning to the doctrines of responsibility, it will be necessary to set out some basic and generally accepted facts of the program so that the doctrines can be applied. For the sake of this article, I will assume that at least some of the interrogation techniques used by the CIA amount to torture. That question has been debated enough elsewhere.

The doctrine adopted by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals is generally referred to as Joint Criminal Enterprise, or JCE. It comes in three different versions, however, only the third version – the most expansive – will be of interest here as it would be able to reach the greatest number of individuals. This doctrine states that,

With regard to the third category, what is required is the intention to participate in and further the criminal activity or the criminal purpose of a group and to contribute to the joint criminal enterprise or in any event to the commission of a crime by the group. In addition, responsibility for a crime other than the one agreed upon in the common plan arises only if, under the circumstances of the case, (i) it was foreseeable that such a crime might be perpetrated by one or other members of the group and (ii) the accused willingly took that risk.[1]

While the quote sets out two different requisites, there are in fact three: that the accused participate in a criminal plan, that the crime was foreseeable even though it was not the object of the criminal plan, and that the accused willingly took the risk that the crime would be committed. The additional factor is required because it would be too expansive to hold an individual for crimes committed in the furtherance of a legal plan in the same way which is allowed when the underlying scheme is already illegal.[2]

The question arises as to what the criminal enterprise in question would be regarding the CIA interrogation program. All responses to this question will themselves be controversial, and would detract from the overall discussion here, much like the issue of whether or not the CIA techniques amounted to torture. For the sake of argument, let us assume that the interrogation program itself – regardless of the techniques used – would constitute an illegal act.[3] If this were the case, any individual within the administration that formulated or actively participated in the implementation of the interrogation program could potentially be held liable for acts of torture carried out during the implementation of said program. This could include those who designed the program, authorized the program or knowingly implemented the program. This may seem broad, and it is, but it is also an accepted reach for the law in order to hold those who lead criminal groups accountable for the actions of their collaborators.

The view would be slightly different if the matter were to be brought before the International Criminal Court due to the fact that the doctrine of JCE is not applied by the court. At the ICC it is sufficient that a crime is committed during the implementation of a common plan between the accused and another, under the following circumstances:

(i) that the co-perpetrators have agreed: (a) to start the implementation of the common plan to achieve a non-criminal goal, and (b) to only commit the crime if certain conditions are met; or

(ii) that the co-perpetrators (a) are aware of the risk that implementing the common plan (which is specifically directed at the achievement of a non-criminal goal) will result in the commission of the crime, and (b) accept such outcome.[4]

Under this doctrine, there is no need to determine if the underlying plan was criminal in nature. It is sufficient that a criminal act was a reasonable possibility in achieving their goal.

The significance of the difference between the ICC and UN doctrines of responsibility is that an individual can be tried for a crime even if they did not actively participate in a crime, but that they knew one could occur in the course of an otherwise legal endeavor. This knowledge could simply be that the accused knew one of their associates commonly committed crimes of a specific type under the given circumstances.[5]

For there to be criminal responsibility under this doctrine of responsibility, it would need to be shown that the member of the administration engaged in a common agreement to allow certain types of activity (say, enhanced interrogation techniques) and that they should have known that this could lead to torture, and accepted that risk. Responsibility under this doctrine is potentially much more expansive due to the fact that there is not need for voluntary or knowing participation in a criminal plot, but only the intentional engagement in activity with others while knowing that it is possible that a crime could be committed in the normal course of events: something that is extremely likely in a war setting.

The bottom line is that a colorable argument could be made that high-level American officials are criminally responsible for crimes committed as part of the CIA interrogation program. This means that they could be indicted and prosecuted under generally recognized principles of international criminal law, in particular universal jurisdiction for torture.[6] Under no circumstances should the United States permit its officials to be tried abroad, this would simply be a political blunder of unprecedented proportions. The only way to avoid this possibility entirely is to prosecute those who could be responsible under the above theories of criminal responsibility within the United States justice system.

[1] ICTY, Prosecutor v. Tadic, Judgment, 15 July 1999, IT-94-1-A, ¶ 228.

[2] This is the theory of responsibility if the accused did not order or otherwise aid and abet in the commission of the torture.

[3] One aspect of the program was the unwilling removal of individuals from one country to a “black site” where they were not allowed contact with the outside world without court process. This could be viewed as “illegal,” regardless of whether or not the country of origin permitted the removal. See, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 9 (“1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law. 2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him. 3. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgement [sic]. 4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful. 5. Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation.”)

[4] ICC, Prosecutor v. Lubanga, 14 March 2012, ICC-01/04-01/06, Judgment Pursuant to Article 74 of the Statute, ¶¶ 982, 984 (requiring that implementation embodied a sufficient risk that, if events follow the ordinary course, a crime will be committed.

[5] See, for example, Ibid. at ¶¶ 1072 – 1083, 1109, 1111-1112.

[6] There are debates as to whether this is perfect universal jurisdiction, or an imperfect jurisdiction that requires the presence of the accused on the national territory, however, this is a debate for a different place and time.


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The Temptations of International Criminal Justice: Part One – Ukraine

ICCThe International Criminal Court (ICC) – to date the only permanent, multi-lateral institution created to prosecute cases of international crimes – has not had the easiest time of it. In fact, the Court has been plagued by many different accusations regarding its operations. One of the most persistent critiques it that the ICC has an anti-Africa bias.[1]

Since the entry into force of the Rome Statute – the Court’s founding document – on 1 July 2002, the ICC has opened 21 cases arising from 8 situations.[2] All of the accused are from African countries, only two of which not being from sub-Saharan Africa. Further supporting claims of an anti-Africa bias is the fact that the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) has declined to open investigations into alleged crimes in Venezuela and Palestine – two of the few situations brought to the Court’s attention that are outside of Africa.[3] In the last weeks the Court has received, and the OTP opened preliminary examinations into, two additional referrals[4] – one referring to Iraq and the other to Ukraine.

UN Security CouncilThese two situations provide a tempting opportunity for the ICC to show that it is willing not only to take on cases outside of Africa, but also cases that involve potential allegations against government officials of the great powers – States with permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Notwithstanding the need for the ICC to branch out and take on cases arising from events in locations other than Africa, and to challenge the great powers, the Court would do well to steer clear of both these situations. In the coming weeks I will write more about this subject. For now, this first post will discuss the situation in Ukraine.

The Situation in Ukraine

Recent events in Ukraine have been making international news for some time. The current round of troubles began with the street protests leading to the occupation of Maidan square by “pro-western” protestors in November of last year. The protests, at times violent, arose from the refusal of then president Yanukovych to sign an agreement with the European Union that would have led to greater ties between the regional block and Ukraine. He chose instead to pursue closer ties with Russia.[5] The protests escalated until February of this year with the overthrow of the Yanukovych government and his subsequent flight to Russia. The new regime in Kiev immediately began to have problems in the east of the country where there is a majority of ethnic Russians. These troubles have led to the annexation of Crimea by Russia and violent unrest in eastern Ukraine that has seen claims of criminal behavior by both sides.[6] While the new government in Kiev is supported by the West, Russia has supported – to an extent that is not entirely clear – separatists in the East.

Allegations have been made that the Yanukovych government illegally targeted civilians during the protests leading to his ouster in a way that amounts to the commission of international crimes. After the fall of his government, there have been allegations of crimes being committed against Russian speakers by those associated with the new regime that could in turn amount to international crimes.

This context is important in order to understand the scope of the referral by the new regime in Kiev, regardless of the veracity of either side’s claims of crimes by their opponents.

Ukraine’s Acceptance of Jurisdiction

The authorities in Kiev referred the situation in Ukraine from 21 November 2013 to 22 February 2014, covering only the period of the street protests in the capital that led to the overthrow of the Yanukovych government.[7] In effect, the authorities in Kiev have made a referral (technically an acceptance of jurisdiction pursuant to Article 12(3) of the Rome Statute) that would de facto only expose their political rivals to prosecution – a mighty tool in the continuing conflict ravaging that country. The OTP has since announced that it is conducting a preliminary evaluation of the situation.[8]

A One-Sided Referral

Kiev’s clever limitation of their referral would not be the first time that the ICC had to deal with a situation where the referring government wanted to encourage the Court to move against its opponents without risking prosecution of regime members. In the situation concerning the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Uganda tried to refer only the crimes of the insurgent group and not those allegedly committed by government militias and armed forces. The OTP however decided that a referral of a situation to the ICC is ipso facto a referral of all crimes committed by either side of the conflict in question. In other words, States cannot just refer the crimes of their opponents. However, this was a case of the government trying to exclude liability arising out of contemporaneous acts to those that they were trying to refer to the Court. The situation in Uganda was an ongoing insurgency that saw attacks by the LRA and reprisals by government forces over a period of time.

The situation in Ukraine is different in at least one fundamental way. Here, the crimes allegedly committed by one side predominately occurred during the timeframe of the referral to the Court, while the crimes allegedly committed by the new government would have occurred after that time period. Kiev’s acceptance of jurisdiction poses the same dilemma as that of Uganda’s referral as to the one-sidedness of the prosecutions sought by the Court. Of course there are crucial differences, not the least of which is the fact that Uganda is a State party to the Rome Statute, so that there is no question of jurisdiction over crimes outside the scope of the referral in that case. Ukraine of course is not a State party so the ICC would lack jurisdiction outside of any acceptance thereof. In the face of this limitation the ICC should not simply mechanically proceed based on the scope of the referral by Ukraine as doing so would risk irreparable harm to the Court and the nascent permanent system of international criminal justice.[9]

Allowing the new authorities in Kiev to avoid responsibility through the use of a clever temporal limitation of their referral would undermine the message sent by the Court in the situation in Uganda – all sides are equal before the ICC and States cannot use the Court as a weapon against their political and military adversaries. It would send the wrong message about the purpose of international criminal justice if the Court (either the OTP or the chambers when they hear the issue) were to proceed with investigations and/or prosecutions based on such a limited referral or acceptance of jurisdiction. The message would be that if you are able to seize the government of a State, you could refer the crimes of your predecessors to the Court without risking prosecutions for the crimes you commit after taking power. State power as protection from prosecution, one of the central evils that international criminal justice was designed to remove.


Ukraine’s acceptance – or granting – of jurisdiction to the ICC is an attractive opportunity of the Court to show that it is not “anti-African” and to take on one of the great powers, Russia. However, while this may be true, the referral is also dangerous in that it could set a precedent on how to arrange the prosecution of political enemies before an international body thereby rendering the ICC nothing more than a pawn in the game of international Real Politick. The OTP and the Court as a whole must be careful not to allow this important institution to become anything other than an agent of justice by investigating and prosecuting crimes committed by all sides to a conflict, not just those that may have committed crimes first (or last). The failure of the ICC to successfully deal with this referral is nothing less than a mortal threat to the credibility of international criminal justice.

[1] See, e.g., http://iccforum.com/africa; http://www.gulf-times.com/opinion/189/details/367879/international-criminal-court-is-accused-of-anti-africa-bias; http://sites.thehagueuniversity.com/africans-and-hague-justice/home.

[2] Of the 30 accused before the court of committing international crimes, 8 remain at large (4 in one case alone from 2005), 3 have died before being taken into custody for trial, the charges against 4 were not confirmed, 3 have not been transferred for trial at the Court even though in custody of local authorities, the arrest of 2 was not confirmed, 1 has been acquitted, 7 are on trial or waiting for the confirmation of charges and 2 have been convicted. This is my count based on the current (17 May 2014) list on the ICC website. It may be that some names are no longer listed and my total count is therefore off. Also, I did not count those on trial for offenses against the administration of justice.

[3] See, http://www.icc-cpi.int/en_menus/icc/structure%20of%20the%20court/office%20of%20the%20prosecutor/comm%20and%20ref/Pages/communications%20and%20referrals.aspx.

[4] I am using the term her in a broader sense then the technical one used at the ICC. I mean simply that two new situations have been brought to the attention of the Court.

[5] In the background of this conflict are the divisions in Ukraine between ethnic Ukrainians and ethnic Russians.

[6] See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euromaidan; http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303948104579533341029784038.

[7] See, http://www.icc-cpi.int/en_menus/icc/press%20and%20media/press%20releases/Pages/pr997.aspx.

[8] See, http://www.icc-cpi.int/en_menus/icc/press%20and%20media/press%20releases/Pages/pr999.aspx.

[9] The Court’s current problems have in no small part led to suggestions of creation another ad hoc court for South Sudan instead of referring the situation to the Court. See,

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The Summit of the Americas and the Half-Hearted Debate on Drug Legalization in the Hemisphere

The 6th Summit of the Americas, held in Cartagena, Colombia, came to a close on April 15th, 2012 after having brought together 33 heads of state from various nations throughout the Americas with the aim of establishing a “hemispheric agenda” by consensus.  Such an agenda, it was hoped, would be capable of addressing the pressing issues of poverty and inequality, citizen security, access to technology, and responses to natural disasters that affect all nations irrespective of wealth or political systems. The very nature of international gatherings of this sort practically guarantees the desire to claim progress in a particular area is always present.  That is especially the case with the Summit, held as it is only once every three years.  However, it is seldom that these events bear witness to truly controversial proposals that do not have the stamp of approval of the most powerful member nations, even when those proposals directly affect the human rights of the populations in question.  The debut of the issue of drug legalization made sure that this was an exceptional year.

Much talk preceded this Summit not least because some of the most outspoken leaders were not in attendance.  The issue of Cuba’s exclusion appeared to be a factor in all of the decisions.  Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s conspicuous absence was officially owed to his ongoing bout with cancer, but he sent his foreign minister in his stead to press the case for overturning Cuba’s fifty-year exclusion from the Organization of American States (under whose auspices the Summit is held).  Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua decided to bail in favor of a last-minute show of solidarity with Cuba, and Rafael Correa of Ecuador did the same in typical grandiose fashion.  This hand-wringing left host and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in a tight spot, publicly encouraging discussion of the issue but not going so far as to secure final agreement on Cuba’s eventual inclusion in the 2015 Summit to be held in Panama.  In fact, final agreement proved elusive on most big-ticket issues, with the U.S. and Canada opposing Cuba’s inclusion, and Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner taking a predictably hard line on her country’s sovereignty over the Falkland Islands – otherwise known as the Malvinas – which have belonged to Britain since 1833.

President Santos projected an equanimous posture in the face of suspicions that the Summit was a failure.  He said with respect to Cuba and the Falklands that “[w]e all knew there would be no agreements here, we knew it from before, so there are no negative surprises here.”[1]  Though true, the contentious nature of this Summit was clear from the lack of a joint declaration upon its conclusion.  This division of opinion was no less evident on the issue of drug legalization.  Recently-elected Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina, a former general with ties to the late despotic figure Efraín Ríos Montt, has proven to be an unlikely and outspoken critic of the status quo “war on drugs” led by the United States.  President Pérez stated that “[t]here must be a dialogue over whether we should continue doing the same that we have been doing for the past fifty years to combat drug consumption, production and trafficking, even though we have been unable to eradicate this market.”[2]   A seemingly innocuous proposal – debating a policy that’s a half-century old – the implications for changing the current course are huge.

The degree to which Guatemala and its neighbor to the north, Mexico, have seen their societies torn apart by the scourge of drug trafficking and organized crime almost defies belief.  Since December 2006, when President George W. Bush began exerting pressure on his counterpart Felipe Calderón to employ the Mexican military in the fight against the cartels, an estimated 47,500 people have lost their lives in Mexico alone, a figure (directly from the Mexican government) that only occasionally appears in reports from mainstream U.S. news networks and, when it does, is noticeably devoid of context or any suggestion of U.S. responsibility.[3]  The same can easily be said for other countries.  Incidents of murder in Honduras began to increase in 2005 leading up to the ouster of former President Manuel Zelaya in 2009.  Today Honduras, following the recent withdrawal of the Peace Corps, tops the list of the world’s most dangerous countries.[4]

The United States has been largely shielded from the blowback occasioned by the war on drugs.  When violence does happen, it is almost entirely confined to the southern side of the border, converting Ciudad Juárez (just across from El Paso, Texas) into one of the most dangerous cities in the world.  Legally speaking, the U.S. has, in effect, “externalized” the incredible human cost of its prohibition regime onto its neighbors to the south, whose weak institutions are incapable of confronting the infinite resources of the cartels in their midst.  Where Latin American politicians cannot be bought, they can often be assassinated with ease, to say nothing of the plight of journalists.[5]  This situation, coupled with widespread geographic ignorance on the part of American society, ensures that American politicians never really have to grapple with the effects of their policies on this issue.  Accountability is absent to such an extent that perhaps only tragedy will result in a true reassessment of priorities.  Mexico and Central America have certainly seen more than their fair share of that and at a level most Americans could never tolerate.

No doubt aware of all of this, U.S. President Barack Obama was nonetheless forced to confront the reality that drug policy discussions broaching the issue of legalization are still taboo in the United States.  This is the case despite the June 2011 report released by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a group made up of former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan as well as the former leaders of Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia, among other distinguished statesmen and intellectuals.  The report began thusly: “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world.”[6]  Indeed, only in the fossilized universe of drug policy could such a bold statement be seen as anything other than a clear indication a change in course is welcome and near.  Among the Report’s many recommendations, one is that countries target large-scale traffickers in favor of petty dealers and users.[7]  After all, groups like the FARC in Colombia – who began as “revolutionary” outfits but have become little more than mafias with a penchant for exporting cocaine and inflicting human suffering (à la Ingrid Betancourt) – bear the lion’s share of the culpability for the innumerable national and transnational social problems that arise from the basic fact of their existence.   The Report ultimately went on to conclude that prohibition has caused more harm than good, but it did praise the implementation of alternative sentencing avenues, such as drug courts, for dealing with drug offenses in a manner more consistent with public health imperatives rather than criminal ones.[8]  It is noteworthy that all U.S. states currently follow some variation of that approach.[9]

Most interestingly, though, is that this Report represents the Commission’s high-profile about-face from the ideologies that spawned our earliest international agreements on drug policy.   Beginning with the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the groundwork was firmly in place for an international prohibition regime.  The 1988 United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances went further to include provisions aimed at critical aspects of organized crime including asset seizure[10] and extraditions.[11]  Surely no one is rethinking these protections against the more nefarious features of organized criminality, but the basic assumption that prohibition is the answer to worldwide drug-induced woes is clearly no longer the subject of unanimous agreement.  Accordingly, the Report’s authors sought a conspicuous break with what they termed “drug control imperialism” as practiced by the United States and other powerful, consumer countries when they noted that “[t]he idea that the international drug control system is immutable, and that any amendment – however reasonable or slight – is a threat to the integrity of the entire system, is short-sighted.”[12]  It is quite evident from the Report that flexibility (even “experimentation”) in crafting substance abuse policies across national and cultural borders should be the rule, rather than the exception.[13]

For all the hype, this wisdom has yet to “trickle down,” and the current impasse on drug policy is not yet – strictly speaking – a debate about legalization.  President Pérez and his Central American counterparts, unable to act unilaterally given that they would almost certainly then become narco-states in the tragic mold of Guinea-Bissau, are only left with the option to continue pressing their objections in whatever international fora and media outlets remain available to them.  However, the true irony inherent in this dispute is that the country responsible for creating most of the demand for drugs – the United States – is also saddled with a corporate media superstructure that appears to have abdicated its duty to bring such critical matters to public attention.[14]

In other words, mainstream U.S. media might be a large part of the problem.  For an example of this tendency, one need look no further than the coverage surrounding the Summit itself.  While the American public was mostly oblivious to the Summit’s existence, they couldn’t help but discover that a few ill-fated Secret Service agents cavorted with prostitutes during the trip to Cartagena.[15]   Such a discovery on the part of the media-consuming public was inevitable because the story became the darling of the 24/7 news cycle, and coverage was ubiquitous no matter how rote.  To some extent, regular folks simply prefer sex scandals to policy discussions, but the fact remains that the media, in its functional role as information gatekeeper for the large numbers of Americans who get their news exclusively from television sources, had no interest in taking part in or even facilitating the ongoing substantive debate on drug policy that the Summit laid bare.

The corporate media’s interest, writ large, is to publicize exciting, sensational news in order to sell ad space.  But, by foregoing the opportunity to explore the dramatic repercussions of our war on drugs on our neighbors to the south, the shareholder-driven media likewise gave up the chance to inform the American public that a panoply of voices does in fact exist on this issue.  Perhaps like none other, this policy is not a monolith.  Rather, like any policy, it depends on reliable support and financing to continue.  With polls showing that more than 50% of the U.S. population supports marijuana legalization and even higher numbers consistently decry the failure of the war on drugs, this was a message that deserved to be heard.[16]

Students of politics may marvel at the staying power of certain expensive, destructive, and contradictory policies despite their obvious weaknesses.  Those same cognoscenti will also note that, in the absence of a free and effective media apparatus, the public is essentially deprived of its democratic duty to make critical policy decisions on its own behalf.  Considering the splintering effect occasioned by left-wing demagogues in the U.S.’s own back yard and its corrupting corporate influence at home, we may have to look at the frozen-in-time nature of this debate as symptomatic of a larger malaise afflicting American society (perhaps also seen in widespread voter apathy).  In legal terms, there is no push whatsoever to rescind the weighty provisions of earlier international agreements on narcotic drugs, but this is not a condition sine qua non of success.  What we are instead witnessing is a hemispheric shift in opinion in which North-South agreement is tending to forge ahead despite an unsympathetic media climate.  The desires of eager publics throughout the hemisphere have been excluded from the larger debate just as they have effectively been prevented from knowing how much North-South commonality of viewpoints actually exists on these issues.  The project of furthering this awareness still has quite a ways to go, but the establishment of a legal order aimed at accommodating the full spectrum of voices in the legalization debate would be an ideal development.

Drug cartels are a mortal threat to Latin American democracy, which is to say, American democracy.[17]  And responsible media professionals everywhere are faced with a choice:  honest coverage or the continuation of a 50-year legacy of staying on message.  Our politicians face the same choice.  For its part, the American public also has a critical role to play, but it may not even know it.  Ironically, that was the message this Summit was supposed to communicate to us.

[5] See, e.g., Ret. Gen. Mario Arturo Acosta’s recent killing on April 21, 2012, http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/21/us-mexico-general-idUSBRE83K03N20120421See also the murder of the prospective governor of Tamaulipas, Rodolfo Torre, in late June 2010, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703964104575334942693439322.html and only a few days later, the killings of Mayor Nicolas Garcia Ambrosio, Council Member Angel Perez Garcia, and Chihuahua Deputy Attorney General Sandra Ivonne Salas Garcia, http://articles.cnn.com/2010-07-01/world/mexico.mayor.killed_1_juarez-cartel-mexican-state-border-state?_s=PM:WORLD

[6] Report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy (2011), pg. 2.  Available at:  http://www.globalcommissionondrugs.org/wp-content/themes/gcdp_v1/pdf/Global_Commission_Report_English.pdf

[7] Id. at 14.

[8] Id. at 16.

[9] National Association of Drug Court Professionalshttp://www.nadcp.org/learn/about-nadcp

[10] Article 5

[11] Article 6

[12] Report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy at 8.

[13] See id. at 11.

[14] For more information on the concentration of media ownership in the United States, see, e.g., The Columbia Journalism Review, “Who Owns What?”, at http://www.cjr.org/resources/, and Free Press, “Who Owns the Media?” at http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart

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