Every once in awhile (no, in point of fact, much too often) I am chagrined by the dreck that emerges from American legal education. Now I learn that the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover will convene a conference in September to lay plans to prosecute President Bush and other high administration officials for war crimes, according to Legal Blog Watch. "This is not intended to be a mere discussion of violations of law that have occurred," says MSL's dean Lawrence Velvel in a statement announcing the conference. "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 insist on appropriate punishments," Velvel said, "including, if guilt is found, the hangings visited upon top German and Japanese war-criminals in the 1940s." Sending administration officials to the gallows, he added, "would be a powerful lesson to future American leaders."
Mass. School of Law has not yet made it into US News and World Report fourth and last tier, as the school cannot meet the ABA's accreditation standards. But Mass. School of Law has already made itself famous by opposing Justice Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court (he was "too intellectual", wrote the learned Dean Velvel: Roberts and Alito are "liars," he sniffed, concluding with the erudite, "Excuse my French, but what bullshit. What absolute bullshit.... If Alito proves, as threatened, to support the actions of these dangerous and incompetent clowns in the Administration from Bush on down, then all the hoped for Democratic gains of 2006 -- even if they were to occur despite the fact that many persons will refuse to give otherwise available support to the Democrats because of extreme distaste for the Democrats, obvious cowardice -- all the hoped for Democrat gains of 2006 will not make one goddamned bit of difference.").
My guess is that Dean Velvel likely opposes capital punishment -- except when it concerns high-ranking members of the administration, perhaps. Maybe the Secret Service would like to provide a legal lesson to the Dean about death threats against the President.