The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics...

STATEMENT OF

March 02, 1991|By THEO LIPPMAN

STATEMENT OF the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics following hearings involving Dictators:

The Committee initiated Preliminary Inquiries into allegations of misconduct by Dictators Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Hideki Tojo, Joseph Stalin and Saddam Hussein in connection with invasions of and alleged atrocities in Sovereign States.

The Committee has met on more than a dozen occasions to consider the evidence produced at the hearings and the written arguments of Special Counsel and counsel for the Respondent Dictators. The task of the Committee has been to sort through this exhaustive record and to identify any evidence of wrongdoing and any exculpatory evidence.

FINDINGS

It is a necessary function of a Dictator's office to intervene in the affairs of a neighboring Sovereign Country when their constituents expect it. Ample evidence was received during the hearings showing that Dictators should and have responded to their constituents in this way throughout history.

The evidence shows Mr. Hitler invaded and/or subjected several Nations' civilian populations to atrocities on an unprecedented level, including in some instances perhaps mass murder and genocide.

Mr. Mussolini invaded a Sovereign Nation; however, there is little evidence that he directed his forces to inflict more than moderate unnecessary damage to the objects of his aggression.

Mr. Tojo was aware of, if he did not indeed order, atrocities against civilians and military personnel in Sovereign Nations his Nation invaded. It is worth noting that he was at all times operating in behalf of an Emperor whom he perhaps incorrectly but nevertheless honestly believed to be Divine.

Mr. Stalin's atrocities in invaded Nations were widespread, but never exceeded his treatment of his own citizens, which was, by definition, "constituent service."

Mr. Hussein sent his armies into a neighboring Nation, where acts of looting, property destruction and extreme brutality occurred. The Committee notes that the boundaries between the two Nations have been in dispute in the past.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on the evidence available to it, the Committee concludes that:

Mr. Mussolini and Mr. Tojo exercised poor judgment but that their activities do not reach the level of requiring institutional action against them.

The conduct of Mr. Stalin and Mr. Hussein was certainly attended with insensitivity and gave the appearance of being improper but that their activities do not reach a level requiring institutional action.

There is substantial credible evidence that provides substantial cause to conclude that Mr. Hitler may have engaged in prohibited conduct. Therefore the Committee, pursuant to its Supplementary Rules, shall proceed from the Preliminary Inquiry to an Investigation.

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