by Sherwood Ross
Sherwood Ross has worked as a publicist for the City of Chicago and public
relations consultant to New York City. He served as news director for the
National Urban League; and worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News
and workplace columnist for Reuters.
He has also been a media consultant to
colleges, universities, law schools and more than 100 national magazines
including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Business Week, and Foreign Policy;
as a speechwriter for mayors, governors and presidential candidates, and as
a radio news reporter and talk show host at WOL, Washington, D.C. He holds
an award for "best spot news coverage" for Chicago radio stations in 1963.
His degree from the University of Miami was in race relations and he has
written a book, "Gruening of Alaska," a number of national magazine articles
and several plays, including "Baron Jiro," produced at Live Arts Theatre,
Charlottesville, Va., and "Yamamoto's Decision," read at the National Press
Club, where he is a member.
A conference to plan the prosecution of President Bush and other high
administration officials for war crimes will be held September 13-14 at the
Massachusetts School of Law at Andover.
"This is not intended to be a mere
discussion of violations of law that have occurred," said convener
Lawrence Velvel, dean and cofounder of the school. "It is, rather,
intended to be a planning conference at which plans will be laid and
necessary organizational structures set up, to pursue the guilty as long
as necessary and, if need be, to the ends of the Earth."
"We must try to hold Bush administration leaders accountable in courts
of justice," Velvel said. "And we must insist on appropriate
punishments, including, if guilt is found, the hangings visited upon top
German and Japanese war-criminals in the 1940s."
Velvel said past practice has been to allow U.S.
officials responsible for war crimes in Viet Nam and elsewhere to enjoy
immunity from prosecution upon leaving office.
"President Johnson retired to
his Texas ranch and his Defense Secretary Robert McNamara was named to head
the World Bank; Richard Nixon retired to San Clemente and his Secretary of
State Henry Kissinger was allowed to grow richer and richer," Velvel said.
He noted in the years since the prosecution and punishment of German and
Japanese leaders after World War Two those nation's leaders changed their
countries' aggressor cultures.
One cannot discount contributory cause and
effect here, he said.
"For Bush, Richard Cheney,
and John Yoo to spend years in jail or go to the gallows for their
crimes would be a powerful lesson to future American leaders," Velvel
The conference will take up such issues as:
nature of domestic and international crimes committed
which high-level Bush
officials, including Federal judges and Members of Congress, are chargeable
with war crimes
which foreign and domestic tribunals can be used to
the setting up of an umbrella coordinating committee
with representatives of legal groups concerned about the war crimes such as
the Center for Constitutional Rights, ACLU, National Lawyers Guild, among
The Massachusetts School of Law at Andover was established in 1988 to
provide an affordable, quality legal education to minorities, immigrants and
students from low-income households that might otherwise be denied the
opportunity to obtain a legal education and practice law.
Its founder, Dean Velvel, has been
honored by the National Law Journal and cited in various publications for
his contributions to the reform of legal education.