Biden Risks Complicity in Genocide, Warns Brief

“The United States — and U.S. citizens, including and up to the president — can be held responsible for their role in furthering genocide,” says a brief by experts at the Center for Constitutional Rights.

President Joe Biden addresses the nation about the response to the Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel and the ongoing war in Ukraine, Oct. 19 in the Oval Office. (Official White House Photo/ Oliver Contreras)

By Jake Johnson
Common Dreams

A day before President Joe Biden delivered his primetime Oval Office address demanding more military aid for Israel, a group of expert attorneys issued a grave warning.

By continuing to arm the Israeli military as it carries out a massive assault on the Gaza Strip, the lawyers argued in an emergency briefing paper, the Biden administration is rendering itself complicit in possible genocide against Palestinians in the occupied territory.

“The United States is not only failing to uphold its obligation to prevent the commission of genocide, but there is a plausible and credible case to be made that the United States’ actions to further the Israeli military operation, closure, and campaign against the Palestinian population in Gaza rise to the level of complicity in the crime under international law,” warned experts with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), a U.S.-based nonprofit. 

CCR’s brief notes that “the United States—and U.S. citizens, including and up to the president—can be held responsible for their role in furthering genocide,” both under international and U.S. law. 

“Israel’s invocation of self-defense for the campaign it has unleashed against the entire Palestinian population in Gaza, and the full credit the United States gives it when affirming its unconditional support, does not negate genocidal intent or serve as a justification for its crimes under international law,” the brief adds. “In the absence of accountability, we have now reached the point of genocide. All states must now — finally — act, including the United States, to end and address all of these crimes.”

The brief was released following Biden’s visit to Israel, during which he embraced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and vowed to keep backing the far-right leader’s devastating military campaign, which has killed more than 7,000 Palestinians in Gaza and left large swaths of the enclave in ruins.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that at least 30 percent of Gaza’s housing units have been destroyed or damaged by Israeli airstrikes.

CCR observed in its legal analysis that “prior to and alongside these acts of mass killings and targeting of civilian infrastructure, Israeli officials in the political and military hierarchy have made clear, unambiguous statements that reveal an intent to destroy the Palestinian population in Gaza, including by creating conditions of life calculated to bring about the population’s destruction (in whole or in part).”

Katherine Gallagher, a senior attorney with CCR, emphasized in an interview with The Intercept on that “U.S. officials can be held responsible for their failure to prevent Israel’s unfolding genocide, as well as for their complicity, by encouraging it and materially supporting it.”

“We recognize that we make serious charges in this document — but they are not unfounded,” said Gallagher. “There is a credible basis for these claims.”

The brief provides a day-by-day summary of Israeli officials’ “statements and conduct advancing genocide” since Oct. 7, when Hamas carried out a deadly attack on Israel. The brief then examines statements from U.S. officials signaling unconditional support for Israel on those same days, even as the evidence of war crimes mounted.

For example, on the same day that Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Daniel Hagari announced that the Israeli military had already dropped “hundreds of tons of bombs” on Gaza and declared that the focus of the assault was “on damage and not on accuracy,” Biden said that his administration “will make sure that Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens, defend itself, and respond to this attack.”

Days later, a member of the Netanyahu government’s “war cabinet” said in an interview that Gaza “must be smaller at the end of the war.” According to a White House readout from that day, Biden “spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu to reiterate unwavering U.S. support for Israel.”

Even in the face of warnings from genocide studies scholars, human rights groups, and the United Nations that Israel is running roughshod over international law and committing crimes against humanity, Biden has requested $14 billion in additional military assistance for Israel as part of a supplemental funding package.

That sum, according to CNN, “reflects requests Biden received while traveling to the region.”

CCR attorneys stressed in their brief that the Biden administration’s pledges of military support for Israel “have been made with full knowledge of Israeli statements and Israel’s action from which genocidal intent against the Palestinian civil population can be inferred.”

“Furthermore and critically,” the brief reads, “the material assistance and pledges of assistance and encouragement have never diminished, and in fact, continued, after Israeli officials clearly stated the goal of subjecting the entire civilian population of Palestine to conditions of life intended to destroy the group in whole or in part, through the killing of Palestinians by indiscriminate bombardment, including after the death toll of children surpassed 1,000.”

“It continued after the deprivation of the most essential necessities to sustain human life reached a point where the Palestinian population was largely without food, water, electricity, and fuel, with the attendant devastating impacts on their access to medical assistance and health,” the document adds.

Jake Johnson is a staff writers at Common Dreams. 

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50 comments for “Biden Risks Complicity in Genocide, Warns Brief

  1. Tegh Sahota
    October 29, 2023 at 17:46

    Risks? Biden and the democrats are already complicit in genocide. US and West has been complicit for well over 50 yrs

      October 30, 2023 at 08:01

      There is absolutely no certainty that the ICC will prosecute Israeli officials let alone the U.S. president for what is going on in Gaza, there he is only at risk of prosecution at this point.

  2. Vera Gottlieb
    October 29, 2023 at 11:30

    Do the ‘old folks’ in Washington even comprehend what this is all about?

  3. Dan A Goldstein
    October 28, 2023 at 23:15

    I’m infuriated by Israel’s military and political leadership claiming Hamas is using everything from churches, mosques, hospitals, probably even bakeries as tactical strongholds protected by “human shields.” Applying Israeli “standards,” the Poles embedded civilian human shields in and around its government buildings during Die Luftwaffe’s carpet bombing of Warsaw during WW2. Regarding Israel’s “total Siege” of Gaza, didn’t Die Wehrmacht and Waffen SS totally besiege Warsaw’s Jewish Ghetto before annihilating it in 1943? I’m equally appalled by Israel’s sadistic ground attacks. What better way is there for the IDF to commit further war crimes against the civilian Palestinian population than by exploiting the blackout? What better time would there be to commit innumerable ruthless acts, largely against women and children, than during the pitch black overnight hours, as that would enable Israeli personnel to carry out further atrocities with near-anonymity? It’s time to cut off every penny of US military aid to Israel. For the love of humanity, we American taxpayers should not be compelled to send an additional $14 billion in tanks, planes, white phosphorous ammunition and other implements of death to the genocidal Zionist state.
    P.S. Sorry for any redundancy of late. Generally speaking, I first attempt to post these comments on various “western media” YouTube pages, where they usually “mysteriously” disappear. Before that happens, however, I save them in my email account. The whole rather convoluted process sometimes leads to a bit of confusion as to what I tried to post, when and where. Thank god for Consortium News and its complete lack of deference to the US-Israel propaganda machine and its subservient outlets worldwide!

  4. Eric Foor
    October 28, 2023 at 10:49

    The world stands in Shock & Awe as the 13th tribe of Israel (formally known as America) continues to outshine it’s 12 brethren in funding the Palestinian Holocaust. Perhaps Israel will mint a new “King Biden” coin. Their Savior has come at the ruin of all our souls.

  5. Susan Leslie
    October 28, 2023 at 09:43

    Who condoned Hamas in the first place? Israel & USA – so, who is ultimately responsible? Think about it…

  6. J Anthony
    October 28, 2023 at 09:28

    This is a flash-point in our history, to be sure. For so long the US/Israeli government partnership of global-hegemony has run roughshod over everyone and everything, propagandized the hell out of their citizens, and wore their hypocrisy like a badge-of-honor. Now it is finally gone beyond their ability of being able to spin their insanity as “just” any longer as the whole world watches them expose themselves as the fascist pigs they are. This needs to be a turning-point for the world, and we know they will never take accountability nor acknowledge that they’re wrong, so it’s up to all anti-fascist groups and individuals to hold them responsible and not them off the hook, while at the same time recognizing our own complicity in staying silent for too long. Wile still too many are swallowing the hypocritical bile spewing forth from corporate-whore media and politicians, just as many are unwilling to tolerate it any longer. It’s about time.

  7. mr_bog
    October 28, 2023 at 08:45

    We know Biden operates on the assumption that there will never be consequences for his behavior no matter how blatantly illegal or immoral.
    I mean what other politician would withhold a billion dollars until somebody stops investigating his son’s place of business for corruption, quid pro quo, and then go on television bragging about it like he should get a cookie? We expect politicians to be corrupt, but to brag about it with exuberance? That takes a Biden.

  8. WillD
    October 27, 2023 at 23:19

    It is no longer a question of ‘risking’ it, as if it were a future possibility. He IS complicit. He’s sent vast numbers of naval forces to the area, he has given money to Israel, he has publicly supported Israel’s actions, and has already launched attacks on Syria.

    That is direct complicity. He is guilty of this and many other crimes.

      October 28, 2023 at 04:42

      Prosecutions at the International Criminal Court for genocide is however still only a future possibility and given the politicization of the court not at all a sure thing.

      • Renate
        October 28, 2023 at 20:43

        The ICC is useless but a Nuernberg Trial by the victors could be the answer. But in any case, in the history books, the demented president will be called a war criminal. It takes sadistic people to do what they are doing and what for. Pope Francis could have excommunicated him for his crimes already, but even the pope is a politician.

  9. October 27, 2023 at 23:13

    Biden, acting on his own, can immediately stop Israels genocide of the Palestinians. He can simply tell Netanyahu that all financial and military aid from the US to Israel will cease immediately. This would leave Israel as easy prey to its neighbors who have suffered the consequences of the false state’s colonial endeavors. It could also lead to genocide of the Israelis. Of course this is never going to happen until the flailing US empire collapses.

  10. Selina Sweet
    October 27, 2023 at 22:21

    It kind of surprises me that Biden and the warhawk triplets – Nuland, Sullivan, Blinken – apparently aren’t unsettled one bit over
    our Siamese connection with Israel’s ethnic cleansing and the cognitive dissonance it’ll inevitably provide the next time they tell the world the USA is bringing freedom, democracy and justice to some poor benighted country’s people. This “Shining Light on the Hill”.
    All code for a sad aggressive self-centered disaster in the making. This intolerable relationship with Israel feels like it’s a Turning. From the pretense of USA as a sincere “helper” persona to a frank, direct, naked presentation of the cold soured beast at the core. Scratches whomsoever’s back necessary to augmenting or cementing more power by any means necessary, and so what’s it to you? We’re bigger than you rationalization. A replay current time of the whites’ massacres of the indigenous nations at the start of country-fi-cation. Not to mention the Southern whites’ bludgeoning treatment of Blacks. Appallingly, disgustedly, awfully sad. Is Biden and the triplets a mirror of the citizenry itself? Then, there’s a Daniel Ellsberg. Clear sighted, deeply compassionate, principled, to whom truth mattered. Unfazed by the corporate culture’s manipulativeness – do anything attitude for profit at any cost – for self-aggrandizement. Some polling agency ought to ask a large USA population – In light of events of the past 20 years, what – in your opinion – does the USA government stand for?

  11. RWilson
    October 27, 2023 at 20:39

    It’s obvious to any honest observer that US foreign policy is controlled by the Zionist entity. The overwhelming influence of Zionist money in US elections has been well documented. The blanket avoidance of Israel’s criminal history by the corporate press has been well documented. Israel’s use of blackmail, slander, and assassination have all been well documented.

    It’s time to take America back. No more American lives and treasure squandered for a deluded, barbaric, extremist religious cult.

  12. Susan
    October 27, 2023 at 20:18

    Israel’s invocation of self defense is a bunch of bullshit and everyone knows it. Why do we all keep pretending that Israel’s genocidal attacks on Palestine are warranted? Afterall, either America and/or Israel are really behind the Hamas attacks on Oct 7th and everyone knows it is true.

      October 28, 2023 at 04:58

      The evidence for your last comment has not yet emerged, if it is true.

    • Renate
      October 28, 2023 at 21:05

      All is possible, the CIA was active in hiring snipers and paying demonstrators to back up the regime change in Kiev. Considering the lies and deceptions I can’t believe the elections in London, Paris, and Berlin were kosher. So much incompetence in the three big NATO nations is hard to believe, as Finland and Sweden end neutrality to jump on the sinking NATO ship. I am not a conspiracy freak, but this is a lot of coincidence.

    • Piotr Berman
      October 29, 2023 at 10:35

      While I agree with the first sentence in part (not everyone knows it), the third sentence is an unnecessary speculation that does not fit the facts AS I KNOW THEM. The Hamas attack followed laws of physics. If you pour water into a pot and cover with a lid, nothing much will happen. But if you put it on a fire/hot electric coil, at some point the lid will start to jump and boiling liquid will splash (I experimented in the kitchen, so this is 1st hand info).

      The current government of Israel is most fascistic ever, it even includes a party previously banned by Israel as extremist (overtly genocidal). In the same time, “collective West” expressed only mildest and covert objections. Thus we have most extremist and least inhibited government in Israel history, and the heat under Palestinian pot increases, more settlement expansions, more pogroms, more clashes, and more religious provocations. In this context, American Administration was congratulating itself (as written by Sullivan) that Middle East is more tranquil than ever because of its policies etc. Trump gave Israel all approvals that were requested, Biden continued perhaps even more emphatically.

      Palestinians were deprived of all reasonable options, and part of them responded with a reckless act that fits the reality created by Israel with Western help. No aspect of their actions exceeds the envelope of “normal” created by the West. Look of what was lauded as “legitimate resistance” in Syria.

  13. RWilson
    October 27, 2023 at 20:16

    I see every member of Congress who votes to support Israel’s genocide as a traitor to America on behalf of a blatantly criminal foreign entity. Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians is obviously drawn straight from the Bible.

    “In the cities of the nations that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not leave alive anything that breathes.” – Deuteronomy 20:16.

    The Zionist policies and actions have been terrorism and genocide from the start.
    Terrorism: How the Israeli state was won

    In 1948 an invading Zionist army slaughtered village after village of Palestinians with the intentional strategy of terrorizing the population into fleeing for their lives. Which most of them did. Then their homes and lands were stolen, and they were blocked from returning home, all in glaring violation of international law.

  14. RWilson
    October 27, 2023 at 20:12

    I see every member of Congress who votes to support Israel’s genocide as a traitor to America on behalf of a blatantly criminal foreign entity. Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians is obviously drawn straight from the Bible.

    “In the cities of the nations that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not leave alive anything that breathes.” – Deuteronomy 20:16.

    The Zionist policies and actions have been terrorism and genocide from the start.
    Terrorism: How the Israeli state was won

    In 1948 an invading Zionist army slaughtered village after village of Palestinians with the intentional strategy of terrorizing the population into fleeing for their lives. Which most of them did. Then their homes and lands were stolen, and they were blocked from returning home, all in glaring violation of international law.

    It is obvious to any honest observer that US foreign policy is controlled by the Zionist entity. The overwhelming influence of Zionist money in US elections has been well documented. The blanket avoidance of Israel’s criminal history by the corporate press has been well documented. Israel’s use of blackmail, slander, and assassination as controls have all been well documented.

    There is no other explanation for why virtually the entire Congress would pledge allegiance to such a blatantly terrorist regime, with such a long record of crimes, including mass murder, mass land theft, ethnic “cleansing”, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and apartheid. And all of this criminal insanity is “justified” by referring to a tribal legend from 3000 years ago.

    No more American lives and treasure squandered on a deluded, barbaric, extremist religious cult.

  15. gcw919
    October 27, 2023 at 19:20

    Murdering children is beyond comprehension. (Look at the eyes of the “fortunate” ones who didn’t die, but will be scarred for life). For American taxpayers to finance this is the worst sort of crime. What kind of monsters run this country?

  16. Marie-France Germain
    October 27, 2023 at 18:51

    I can’t wait to see all our leaders in the Western countries at the ICC behind the glass cages. Too bad we don’t have the gallows or the guillotines anymore. But I’m sure their prison stripes will look adorable on these genocidaires.

  17. October 27, 2023 at 18:14

    Yes. The US government and its agents are complicit in, and involved in, this ongoing genocide. Yes, both the legal entity referred to as the US government, and its agents, who are in fact US citizens, to include the alleged president, are subject to prosecution for their facilitation of and their participation in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity under both US and International law.

  18. Hegesias
    October 27, 2023 at 17:40

    In the US and Israel are not subject to international law, and they know it. There can be no consequences.

    • Hansrudolf Suter
      October 28, 2023 at 02:11

      “the United States—and U.S. citizens, including and up to the president—can be held responsible for their role in furthering genocide,” both under international and U.S. law.

      • J Anthony
        October 28, 2023 at 09:14

        They CAN be, but WILL they be???

        • Renate
          October 28, 2023 at 21:14

          It would depend on who the victor will be at the end of the possible WWIII if anything is left standing and more than cock roaches survive. Russia and China maybe?

        • Piotr Berman
          October 29, 2023 at 10:53

          The only penalty can be political under current conditions, but it may come. Biden lost 11% of Democratic support, and a proportional loss among independents. This is enough to loose the battleground states. One important aspect is that the support that exists is based on a lie of “the most heinous terrorist attack ever”, now Ha’aretz compiled testimonies etc., some of which were circulating earlier, about (A) inflated number (B) savage IDF attacks killing their own civilians using weapons like tanks and incinerating helicopter missiles. The most gruesome photos represent victims of those attacks (that killed a comparable number of Hamas fighters).

          After Hunter Biden laptop catastrophic success in hiding the corruption and decrepitude of Bidens, a segment of population switched to uncensored (lightly censored?) social networks like X/Twitter, so the big lie will be exposed to increasing number of voters. Resolute support of genocide will not pay. Democrats as “lesser evil” could really overdo this approach this time.

  19. Lois Gagnon
    October 27, 2023 at 17:23

    Nothing would make me happier than to see Biden and the rest of the US establishment face charges of being complicit in genocide at a Nuremberg style trial. They’ve been replacing democratically elected governments around the world with fascist dictatorships and calling them democracies since the end of the Second World War. We are witnessing the culmination of their efforts on at least two fronts of that policy. They are trying desperately to drag the whole world into another global blood bath. Enough! Arrest these miscreants before they get their wish.

  20. bardamu
    October 27, 2023 at 17:05

    The complicity is embraced, of course. Risked are the charges.

    It’s a bit alarming that all citizens should be held accountable for the administration’s action, but it is not like there are no historical precedents for this.

  21. Sanford Kelson
    October 27, 2023 at 17:00

    Would be worthy of filing a complaint with the courts for an injunction?

  22. Paula
    October 27, 2023 at 16:33

    I don’t know that it matters since USA has been breaching international law and so has Israel for far too long. UN seems useless and needs disbanding and reorganizing so that one nation cannot nullify a United Nations decision. How ridiculous is that? And citizens united needs to be gone. We, the people don’t have a lobby except for our vote and that seems in jeopardy as well when votes can be stolen. Paper ballots only.

    • GC
      October 27, 2023 at 18:36

      I Agree with you.

    • Renate
      October 28, 2023 at 21:23

      I will not vote for the lesser of two evils again, I will not vote for war criminals regardless of party that includes members of Congress I would vote FOR a promising candidate with character and a spine if there is such a thing.

  23. Drew Hunkins
    October 27, 2023 at 16:29

    Gaza’s being absolutely smashed right now by artillery, airstrikes, rocketry, etc. Revolting Zionist savagery on display.

    All paid for by the U.S. taxpayer.

    To speak out against this means future employment’s in jeopardy. Of course this is the least of it, the Palestinians face imminent death.

    • GC
      October 27, 2023 at 18:39

      Our troops shouldn’t go there to be killed for Netanyahu’s bullshit.

      • Drew Hunkins
        October 28, 2023 at 00:04

        Right on comrade!

  24. Harvey Reading
    October 27, 2023 at 15:32

    Biden is dumb as ever. Sorta reminds me of Kissinger during the genocide the US inflicted on the Vietnamese…and he got a peace prize from the explosives wizard’s namesakes… Whadda country, eh?

  25. Daedalus
    October 27, 2023 at 15:28

    Biden doesn’t ‘risk complicity’, he is clearly complicit. Biden is single-handedly destroying the Democratic Party.

  26. October 27, 2023 at 15:21

    Since 1945 , America`s Undeclared Wars have directly caused Millions of Civilian Deaths
    of Men, Women and Children. US Troops , illegally based, in Syria and Iraq, are being attacked by Local Tribes; NOT Al Qaida, or ISIS. In Syria US Troops are Stealing Oil by the Tanker-Full, and Destroying Crops. Over 1 Million Civilians have been Killed in Iraq by America , since 2003. American State Terrorism. In 1951 America dropped Chemical
    and Biological Weapons on North Korean Peasants. Hundreds of Thousands of Cambodian Rice Farmers were Killed from the Air in the War against Vietnam. In Vietnam, America Burned Local Villages with Napalm, White Phosphorus, and Agent Orange.

  27. Sharon Aldrich
    October 27, 2023 at 15:20

    I don’t understand why the world is not responding to this massacre. Where are the so-called “leaders”.

    • GC
      October 27, 2023 at 18:50

      Bought off by big corporations no doubt.

      • J Anthony
        October 28, 2023 at 09:16

        Or being demonized, arrested, black-listed etc

      • Arch Stanton
        October 28, 2023 at 19:54

        The corporations are Zionist entities.

        It’s full spectrum dominance of the western world, it’s an incredible feat how a racist & satanic movement has captured the western world, everything has gone, all our laws have been subverted by these lucifers.

        The only way the world can reset is for this to escalate, meaning that Iran, Iraq, Syria join the fray. It will be utter carnage but a global reset of wanting peace would hopefully prevail after the dust settles; problem is the dust could be radioactive.

  28. Drew Hunkins
    October 27, 2023 at 15:19

    The entire Zionist Power configuration in the U.S. is complicit in vicious and disgusting crimes against millions of citizens in the Middle East. Have been for years, and it ranges across the political spectrum.

    Psychopaths like Nuland, Blinken, Sullivan, Nikki Haley, Lindsey Graham, Bill Kristol and many others should be on death row. Now that Israel’s starting a ground invasion of Gaza free from the prying eyes of the international community, genocide is indeed the stark reality. Washington is ruled by careerist automatons who bend over backwards for the Jewish supremacist bribes (“campaign contributions”).

    God help us.

  29. Glen Hedley
    October 27, 2023 at 15:18

    The unfortunate problem, that both Israel and the US have violated International Laws on numerous occasions , have been condemned in the UN and they simply ignor any of these condemnations. They are a law unto themselves. That’s the example of “Rules based order”.There isn’t a single country in The West who aren’t complicit in the Israeli ethnic cleansing. There hasn’t been a a single murmur of criticism except to punish anyone who shows any solidarity with The Palestinians ..G.Hedley

  30. Jeff Harrison
    October 27, 2023 at 15:05

    Yes but who will call either the US or Israel to account for these horrors.

  31. Andrew Nichols
    October 27, 2023 at 14:55

    But its only genocide when designated western enemues do it. As Israelis are not, it cant be. Such is life and death in the WesternMinority World Truman Show Bubble.

  32. Nuremberg
    October 27, 2023 at 14:54

    “risks?” I think we are beyond that stage. At this point, we ain’t talking about ‘risk’ any more. We are talking certainty.

    -His attitude from the beginning has been ‘full support’ and ‘praise the Lord and pass the ammunition’.
    -He immediately moved the military to ‘have Israel’s back’ and to try to intimidate Lebanon in staying out of the fight.
    -He showed up in Israel the day after they blew up a hospital. If he didn’t want to be complicit, he should have turned that plane. Instead, he showed up and made more promises to get Israel ‘whatever it needs’.
    -The USA provided the single no (veto) vote on a UNSC resolution calling for a cease-fire, thus having Israel’s back diplomatically.
    -The USA makes demands on what must happen before a cease-fire, which is another means of preventing a cease-fire.
    Biden has made every action required to make sure the genocide progresses.

    America is beyond ‘risking complicity’. That train has left the station.
    The whole world is watching. And they don’t have to watch the censored American ‘news’.

    • GC
      October 27, 2023 at 19:04

      Sad How Biden fell hook, line and sinker into Nettanyahu’s Bullshit. You can bet BiBi is orgasmic about it.

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