Acted as counsel for North Vietnamese Communists and Iran’s Islamic dictatorship
Founder of International Action Center, which is staffed by members of the Workers World Party, a Marxist-Leninist vanguard
William Ramsey Clark was born December 18, 1927 in Dallas, Texas. His father was Tom C. Clark, who was a United States Attorney General and a Justice of the Supreme Court.
Ramsey Clark served in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1945 and 1946, then earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1949, and thereafter a Master’s Degree as well as a J.D. from the University of Chicago.
During the presidential administrations of John F. Kennedy and then Lyndon Johnson, Clark served as Assistant Attorney General of the Lands Division from 1961-65; Deputy Attorney General from 1965-67; and finally U.S. Attorney General from 1967-69. Throughout his tenure as Attorney General, Clark focused on social issues and civil rights. He set up the first federal narcotics addict-treatment unit. He restructured federal prisons to stress the importance of rehabilitation, early release, education, and job training rather than punishment. And he was the first Attorney General to call for the elimination of the death penalty.
After his years in the Justice Department, Clark worked as a law professor and became a prominent figure in the anti-Vietnam War movement. In 1974 he was the Democratic Party’s candidate for a U.S. Senate seat representing New York, but lost to Republican Jacob Javits. In 1976 Clark again sought the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate but was defeated by Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
For decades, Clark has consistently condemned American foreign policy and its related military campaigns, from the Vietnam War, to the Iraq War, to the broader War on Terror. Conversely, he has backed myriad groups, governments, and individuals with rabidly anti-American, and even terrorist, agendas. Whatever the nature of any conflict, Clark invariably sides with America’s adversary:
During the Vietnam War, Clark traveled to Hanoi to show solidarity with the North Vietnamese who were torturing and murdering American POWs; he exhorted the Vietcong to continue their brave fight, then returned to the U.S. and told Congress that American prisoners were being treated very well.
Clark traveled to France to meet with Ayatollah Khomeini in January 1979. Soon thereafter, while the foot soldiers of Khomeini’s revolution held 52 Americans hostage in Iran from November 1979 through January 1981, Clark went to Tehran to publicly denounce the “Crimes of America” for all the world to hear.
After the U.S. bombed terrorist training facilities in Libya in April 1986, Clark made his way to Tripoli to show support for President Muammar Qadhafi.
Clark defended PLO leaders when they were sued by the family of Leon Klinghoffer, the wheelchair-bound American Jew murdered by Palestinian terrorists aboard the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1986.
Clark went to Iraqto consult with Saddam Hussein in 1990, while the U.S. geared up for a military operation to drive the dictator’s invading forces out of Kuwait.
In May 1991 Clark filed a complaint with the International War Crimes Tribunal, charging President George H.W. Bush and members of his Cabinet with “crimes against peace, war crimes, [and] crimes against humanity.”
Clarkvisited Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to defend him against charges of genocide (of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo), and to condemn American imperialism. He also defended former Milosevic henchman Radovan Karadzic.
Clark defended the Islamist terrorists who carried out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, characterizing their prosecution as the charade of a racist justice system. To this day, he continues to defend Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, mastermind of the 1993 bombing and leader of the Islamic Group, an Egypt-based terrorist organization with close links to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.
Clark was a member of the legal defense team (whose members earned a combined $7 million of U.S. taxpayer money) that defended Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-'Owhali, Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, Mohamed Sadeek Odeh, and Wadih El-Hage -- the four men who helped orchestrate the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed a total of 224 people. The two defendants who faced the death penalty were spared by a minority-dominated jury that was swayed by Clark's assertion that that no member of a racial minority -- African-American, Arab, or anyone else -- could get a fair trial in the United States. Clark also blamed the 1991 Gulf War and the subsequent United Nations sanctions against Iraq for having caused the psychological "suffering" that provoked the embassy attacks.
In 2002 Clark filed a court petition on behalf of more than 100 terrorism suspects who, while being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, were allegedly (and contrary to strong evidence suggesting otherwise) not provided with: “adequate clothing, underwear and footwear”; “fairly priced food, soap, tobacco and ordinary items”; and “complete latitude in the exercise of religion.”
When the U.S. was on the brink of war with Iraq in 2003, Clark wrote a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, accusing America of having committed war crimes during the 1991 Gulf War. “Far from being a threat to the United States, or any other people,” he wrote, “Iraq has been a victim of U.S. aggression for 12 years.”
Clark has also thrown his support behind such individuals as: Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, a Rwandan pastor accused of orchestrating the slaughter of thousands of Tutsis in the 1990s; Nazi war criminals Jack Riemer and Karl Linnas (the latter was an ex-Nazi concentration camp guard who oversaw the murder of approximately 12,000 resistance fighters and Jews in Estonia); Branch Davidian leader David Koresh; FMLN terrorist collaborator Jennifer Casolo; antiwar activist Philip Berrigan; political figure Lyndon Larouche (who Clark defended against charges of conspiracy and mail fraud); American Indian rights activist and double murderer Leonard Peltier; former Liberian President Charles G. Taylor, who was once Africa’s most prominent warlord; Camilo Mejia, an American soldier who deserted his post in March 2004 as an act of protest against the U.S. war in Iraq; the three individuals who killed Maryland police officer Bruce Prothero in 2000; and Lori Berenson, an American convicted of supporting the leftwing Peruvian terrorist group MRTA.
In 2004 Clark volunteered to join the defense team of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in his war-crimes trial before the Iraqi Special Tribunal. In late November 2005 Clark argued before this Tribunal “that it failed to respect basic human rights and was illegal because it was formed as a consequence of the United States' illegal war of aggression against the people of Iraq.”
In a December 1997 interview with Impact International, Clark claimed that when the Cold War against the Communists ended, America decided that “Islam would be the new enemy.” “At Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman's trial,” Clark continued, “what we saw in both FBI and CIA files, and this is their phrase, 'the greatest threat to the international and domestic security of the United States is Islamic fundamentalism.' But actually, 'Islamic fundamentalism' to them is redundant. So they have to convict a blind Islamic scholar of terrorism to show that Islam is, at it highest levels of learning and attainment, nothing but a terrorist concept. How could a blind man be a terrorist, what could he do? They claimed that he was the leader of the conspiracy that set off the bomb in the World Trade Centre. … He [Rahman] had nothing to do with it, but we have this war against Islam going on.”
According to Clark: "The Christian Church overwhelmingly -- there are exceptions -- [chooses] to call Mohammed a terrorist. They could call Jesus a terrorist too. I mean, he was pretty tough on money lenders a time or two."