West Wing Continuity Guide
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Could Leo be charged with war crimes for actions during the Vietnam conflict if the U. S. ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court?
Julia Lock sent us a link to the ICC statute at http://www.un.org/law/icc/statute/romefra.htm and writes: "If a State becomes a Party to this Statute after its entry into force, the Court may exercise its jurisdiction only with respect to crimes committed after the entry into force of this Statute for that State. . . ." The articles she referred us to say that an individual would be relieved of "of criminal responsibility" if "(a) The person was under a legal obligation to obey orders of the Government or the superior in question; (b) The person did not know that the order was unlawful; and (c) The order was not manifestly unlawful." As Julia points out, "Leo clearly has (b) and (c) taken care of. The only real issue is whether he was under a legal obligation to obey that order..." But then we are back to the initial statement that if the U.S. ratified the statute, the court would have jurisdiction only with respect to new crimes.
How many "free" elections has Taiwan had?
This Associated Press, Dec. 4, 1999 article says "Until 12 years ago, Taiwan was run by a repressive government that banned opposition parties that threatened its rule. This March's election will be just the second time the Taiwanese have directly elected their leader."
Would a National Anthems be treated like background music?
Anyone who has ever attended hockey games in which an American team has played a Canadian team, knows that one stands and is quiet during the playing of both National Anthem. We do know that the constraints of fitting a whole story into less than 45 minutes is extreme but to show the President of the United States talking loudly during the playing of the Canadian National Anthem seemed rather extreme. We heard the following complaints (in the order they got to us):
  • Wayne Reeves wrote us immediately, "I am not Canadian, but thought it was a big 'faux pas'."
  • Catharin Ackroyd of Vancouver wrote: "How can you play the Canadian Anthem and have actors SITTING at their tables? How can you play our anthem and have characters walking and talking through it? It was offensive."
  • Elizabeth Templin wrote that during the "Dead Irish Poets" episode "I was absolutely chagrined to see the 'President' in the episode of 'West Wing' completely ignore Canada's National Anthem. In fact he carried on a conversation with the 'first lady', while our flags waved in the background.. I'm sure if the tables were reversed and one of the Canadian stations played a similar scene while the U.S. National Anthem was being played there would be an out cry by loyale Americans."
  • Also Maureen Collins posted a link on the West Wing forum at the Television without Pity site to a Canadian news article which discusses the episode and how it treats the Canadian Anthem. In part this article says: "More than 1.5 million Canadians tuned in to the episode. Many were atwitter over the high profile Canadian content, e-mailing, faxing and phoning CTV to express their excitement. . . . while the majority of comments were positive, a few viewers grumbled that several of the show's characters talked over the anthem."
Could Marbury be what he called himself: "England's ambassador to the United States"?
Since England hasn't sent out ambassadors of its own since it joined with Scotland to become Britain and since that was before the United States became a nation, there has never been an ambassador from England to the United States.
  • My Encyclopaedia Britannica (1994) calls England the "predominant country of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland." England is not a separate nation with its own ambassador, it is part of "the United Kingdom" which is often called "Great Britain" but is never called just "England" in diplomatic or government circles so Marbury calling himself, "England's ambassador to the United States" was absolutely crazy! England has been part of the larger nation since the Act of Union of 1707. Even before that England and Scotland were joined together and "had been under the same monarchs since 1603."
  • The CIA World Factbook website says of this country:
    Country name:
         conventional long form: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
         conventional short form: United Kingdom
         abbreviation: UK
The CIA page also says: "England has existed as a unified entity since the 10th century; the union between England and Wales was enacted under the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284; in the Act of Union of 1707, England and Scotland agreed to permanent union as Great Britain; the legislative union of Great Britain and Ireland was implemented in 1801, with the adoption of the name the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 formalized a partition of Ireland; six northern Irish counties remained part of the United Kingdom as Northern Ireland and the current name of the country, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, was adopted in 1927."

Where is there more information on the proposed treaty against landmines?
The following was sent to us by Michael Leaveck from the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation's Campaign to ban landmines:

Was there a real incident where Saudi Arabia's religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a burning school because they were not wearing headscarves and abayas (black robes)?
The following reports are still on the web about the March 11, 2002 incident:
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