Dear Prof. O’Connell,
[Moritz College of Law]
I read your article “What is War” on Jurist forum website http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forum/oconnell1.php. I share your views as pertaining to public international law. However, I respectfully wish to point out that some of your factual allegations are not well grounded. While these do not impinge on your legal reasoning, a more cautious approach to factual evidence might have caused you to draft your article differently.
I am referring here specifically to one allegation, namely that the US has been attacked on September 11, 2001 “from Afghanistan”. On the base of this allegation you apparently endorse the US “legal right to take the fight to that country”, a euphemism for a policy of mass killing by aerial bombing.
In your article you do not refer to any evidential grounds for the allegation that the events of 9/11 had any links to Afghanistan.” In fact, such evidence was never produced. In 2002 Robert S. Mueller, Director of the FBI admitted that the agency has not found any evidence in Afghanistan or elsewhere about the prepartion of the 9/11 attacks. In 2006 a spokesman of the FBI admitted to Muckraker Report that the FBI did not possess “hard evidence” to link Osama bin Laden to the events of 9/11. The U.S. government, plainly, did not produce any evidence on which a case of self-defense could be mounted. The war against Afghanistan was thus at best based on flimsy evidence and more likely on non-existing evidence, like that on Iraq.
More seriously, and perhaps not known by you, the US authorities did not even produce a shred of evidence that proves the participation of any Muslim terrorists in the mass murder of 9/11. While the FBI has published the names and photographs of 19 individuals who allegedly partipated in this mass murder (by hijacking four aircraft and flying them into the known landmarks), no evidence has been produced to prove that these individuals even boarded these aircraft, let alone hijacked them.” None whatsover. Zero. Niente. Rien. It escapes me why nobody has pointed out this crucial fact in the case of the largest mass murder on US soil. Perhaps you have an answer to this extraordinary fact.
With my sincere greetings,