Ramsey And Me: My Brief History With Ramsey Clark (RIP)
Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark has passed away. I have a little story about him and I.
While I was in law school Ramsey Clark wrote a book accusing the United States of endless war crimes in the First Persian Gulf War. I read various discussions of the allegations and knew them to be based on false representations of international law related to warfare. At the time one of my requirements as an editor on the Houston Journal of International Law was to write an article relating to international law of “publishable quality.”
I bought Clark’s book, “No Fire This Time” and regarded it as a senseless hack piece. Rebutting his book became the article I had to write. Citing, quoting and applying the actual international laws of warfare I wrote, “No Fire This Time: False Allegations of American War Crimes In The Persian Gulf.” The article was published in The Military Law Review and even caught the attention of former President George H.W. Bush who in a personal letter to me stating that he was directing the article be included in his Presidential library at Texas A&M.
Shortly after I wrote the article Ramsey Clark came to Houston to speak to a conference on legal issues associated with involuntary confinement of the mentally ill. I attended the conference where he was keynote speaker. I brought with me Clark’s book and my paper.
I was surprised to find my Property Law professor there was well. We sat together and my Professor read my paper while Clark spoke. Afterwards Clark mingled with participants, and signed some autographs. My professor encouraged me to get Clark’s autograph.
I approached Ramsey Clark and truthfully told him I had read his book. He laughed and made a joke about how I must have been one of maybe three people in the country who had. I presented him his book and asked for his autograph. As you can see, he signed describing me as someone who “cares about peace.”
I then told him I wrote a paper about his book and handed him my paper. Without looking at it he thanked me and put it in his bag telling me he would read it on the plane. If he did I suspect he was disappointed.