Protest When John Rizzo Interviewed at Fordham 2/15/2014
On January 30, war criminal John Rizzo spoke at Fordham University in an interview with the director of the University’s Center on National Security. War Criminals Watch organized a protest at the event. We distributed leaflets about Rizzo to the attendees who filled about two/thirds of the law school’s amphitheatre. Nick Mottern of kNOwdrones stood throughout the talk with a banner saying "No Drone Killing" along with three of us who had Rizzo war criminal posters held high. (Other sizes of the downloadable poster can be found here).
Rizzo was quiet and self-possessed and spoke fairly forthrightly about a number of acts he engaged in but was very clear in pointing out their "legality" which, of course, was of his doing along with other torture lawyers such as John Yoo and Jay Bybee.
Issues were raised during the Q&A by several audience members. For example, Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and adviser to War Criminals Watch/World Can’t Wait, questioned what has happened to Fordham’s former stance on morality which used to define murder, torture and rape as evil but now gives honors to figures such as John Brennan, another war criminal. Gen. Janis Karpinski raised questions as to the culpability of those in charge of disastrous policies, rather than placing all the blame on those in the lowest ranks and asked when will this all end. Nick Mottern’s question about drone strikes can be seen in the video starting at 40:21.
You can watch the video to see the entire initial presentation. However, the second half with the Q&A, both in the video and the transcript, has been edited significantly.
It is interesting and tragic to note that on Feb. 5, Pakistani anti-drone activist Kareen Khan was picked up by 15-20 armed men from his home and was disappeared until he was released on Feb. 14 after world-wide protest. Kareem is a journalist whose brother and son were killed by a drone in 2009. Last year he lodged a murder case against Jonathan Banks, the then CIA station chief in Islamabad. A similar case by other complainants was also lodged in Pakistan against John Rizzo, accusing him of six murders as well as conspiracy to kill a large number of Pakistani citizens.