Koh to L?


Rumors are flying that Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh is under consideration to be State Department Legal Advisor. That would be a welcome development.
The Office of the Legal Advisor, or “L,” as the bureau is known at State, is unique in its charge to promote the development of international law and compliance of U.S. policy with international law. John Bellinger did yeoman’s work as Legal Advisor during the latter part of the Bush Administration and managed incremental policy shifts regarding the International Criminal Court, the Law of the Sea Convention and other issues (though the Cheney wing flustered this movement on a number of occasions).
Koh’s appointment would make a powerful statement. On a symbolic level, appointing one of the country’s most highly regarded legal minds to this post would signal the Obama Administration’s seriousness regarding its recommitment to international law. And Koh, who is keenly focused on restoring America’s standing in general — and commitment to the rule of law in particular — has the intellectual firepower and — at least by reputation — the competitive fire to fight the good fight.
— Scott Paul


2 comments on “Koh to L?

  1. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Obama has already telegraphed his intention to do NOTHING about the crimes of Cheney, Bush, Rice, Gonzales, etc..
    In regards to ample current evidence that Obama could care less about international law is his silence about the recent atrocities committed by Israel against the population of Gaza. There is mounting evidence that flechettes were used against civilians, as well as the confirmed use of white phosphorous. Obama’s silence is all we need to know about his disdain for basic human rights and international law.
    It is reasonable to assume that any Obama appointments in regards to legal staffing have been vetted to assure that they will enforce Obama’s agenda above their loyalty to the law, domestic or international. This has already been demonstrated by Holder’s echoing of Obama’s “looking forward” attitude and statements. We are seeing the construction of yet one more Washington army of attorneys filling key posts who have been chosen for their loyalty to the POTUS, rather than their loyalty to the law. If Obama had any respect for the law, he would be demanding prosecution for the KNOWN CRIMES of the Bush Administration.


  2. erichwwk says:

    Are we to have a bi-polar world, where we get one world of symbols ( $24 of trinkets) while in the parallel universe of reality Manhattan island disappears?
    If I am to believe Obama is seriously (as opposed to symbolically) committed to international law, a minimum necessary condition would be to appoint a special prosecutor to pursue criminal prosecution of those that committed war crimes in the US Government. As Senator Lindsey Graham said re to waterboarding:
    “I don’t think you have to have a lot of knowledge about the law,” he said in 2007, “to understand this technique violates Geneva Convention Common Article Three, the War Crimes statutes, and many other statutes that are in place.”
    Or as Scott Horton reported in his article “The Mess at Hamas (US base in Kyrgyzstan) that he consistently heard:
    ““We finally got an up-close look at your government. You’re a bunch of hypocrites, no less corrupt than our own government–just a lot bigger.”
    Or as Bruce Gagnon ended his post on “Obama Appoints Another Bush Man” I recently quoted:
    “Who is being fooled by all of this? Are you?
    Sadly we are hearing that many Obama supporters still find it hard to reflect deeply on the mounting evidence that “change” really means “more of the same”. This time around the same-old-song will be delivered by someone who is articulate and can effectively sell the corporate dominated government to a sadly spiritless American people.”


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