David L. Hoof

Strictly Speaking

Crimes Against Humanity

April 24, 2014

Tags: crimes against humanity, Nuremburg, Nazi, Hitler, Operation Iraqi Freedom

CRIMES (against humanity)

It is strange – and sad, too – to reflect on the United States at the end of World War II, where it convened the Nuremberg trials to hold accountable Nazis who ordered, directed or participated in the execution of six million other human beings. The reason that it is strange and sad is not that this reckoning shouldn’t have been made. It should have, and probably more broadly. The reason that the phrase, "crimes against humanity," applied against Hosni Mubarak, is that the United States allowed its own petty tyrant, invoking fear and threats, to torture prisoner of war held in foreign countries, a process that continued for more than six horrific years, and no one was held accountable.

This campaign of unregulated sadisticstorture was done by a man who professed a belief that he was an agent of a just God. Now what would have happened to an unelected person who captured and held his alleged enemies in his basement, ignoring the sanctions of the laws, or international conventions, torturing, humiliating and perhaps even killing individuals against whom no legal charges were ever brought.

And how can we Americans ever hold out head up, how can we ever recover the moral high ground, after something like that? Here’s something to think about, and its likely to take your breath away. It has taken Germany more than half a century to shed the stigma of its Nazi past.

Immediately post-War, the country was in denial. Many insisted that they were just fighting for their survival. But eventually, via Nuremberg, the enormity of their crimes settle on them. On the side of a building near the Führer bunker in shattered Berlin, one brave individual has splashed in black pain, “I am ashamed to be a German.”

I wonder if America has, even yet, begun to see how similar its conduct during the second Iraq war was to the one supported by a strident little man with a square mustache.

Selected Works

suspense mystery
For every emerging independent woman today, men can be little better than annoying at best and downright monstrous at worst. A creation of a stolen NSA computer program, Fiona Halloran is launched into the present to assist faltering novelist Andy Delaney capture the market that has evaded him, the one for and about women. But there’s an emerging risk: increasing personal danger to them both. This doesn’t stop when they finish his latest novel, Babes & Bastards. It just spills over to the next best seller in a series starring Fiona Halloran, Nun No More. Look for it soon in a bookstore near you.
In the dying Montana town of Sanctuary, helf-Crow Deputy Redfawn Kravitz relentlessly tracks the killer of Senate candidate Jeb Holloway, who then starts picking off the best suspects, one-by-one.
Using only sounds as clues, a blind man must locate his six-year-old niece before kidnappers kill her.
historical mystery
Just before Oktoberfest in 1931, Adolf Hitler's niece and secret lover is found dead in a locked room in the Fuhrer's Munich flat. Pressured by the Nazis, the police rule it a suicide, but evidence suggests a cold blooded execution. If the killer can be outed, widespread outrage will thwart a maniac's rush to power.
A cheated wife goes way overboard to get revenge on - and a fair settlement from -- her uberrich husband, with terrifyingly hysterical results.
literary mystery
Little Gods is prep school noir, like A Separate Peace as if it were written by Alfred Hitchcock.
action adventure
A clandestine biowar attack on America reduces society to medieval chaos.
Approaching Christmas, a winter blizzard locks Chicago in snow. Among its residents, retired FBI poisons expert Tad Lindholm is a haunted man. Haunted by his past, haunted by his recently dead lover Yvette, haunted by the long shadows of too many empty booze bottles, haunted by depression, and tempted by an arsenal of deadly doses to end it all. At the same time, he is trapped by lingering suspicions that he alone synthesized the traceless toxins responsible for recent deaths. Numb with stubbornness, encircled by intersecting mysteries, Lindholm pursues the real killers among his enemies, only to discover an unimaginably personal betrayal.