I gotta say, even I thought that I was going a little over the top with my assertions that President George W. Bush and his cohorts should arrested and tried for their crimes.
But now I see that Amnesty Internationals annual report, and their Executive Director in the US, agrees with me (though on other grounds).
The refusal of the US government to conduct a truly independent investigation into the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison and other detention centers is tantamount to a whitewash, if not a cover-up, of these disgraceful crimes. It is a failure of leadership to prosecute only enlisted soldiers and a few officers while protecting those who designed a deliberate government policy of torture and authorized interrogation techniques that constitute torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The government’s investigation must climb all the way to the top of the military and civilian chain of command.
If the US government continues to shirk its responsibility, Amnesty International calls on foreign governments to uphold their obligations under international law by investigating all senior US officials involved in the torture scandal. And if those investigations support prosecution, the governments should arrest any official who enters their territory and begin legal proceedings against them. The apparent high-level architects of torture should think twice before planning their next vacation to places like Acapulco or the French Riviera because they may find themselves under arrest as Augusto Pinochet famously did in London in 1998.
So who’s on the list?
- Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
- William Haynes, the Defense Department General Counsel
- Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
- Major General Geoffrey Miller, Commander of the Joint Task Force Guantanamo
- George Tenet, former CIA Director
- Alberto Gonzales, US Attorney General
- Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, former Commander of US Forces in Iraq
- Captain Carolyn Wood
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of those who deserve investigation, we would be remiss if we ignored President George W. Bush’s role in the scandal. After all, his Administration has repeatedly justified its detention and interrogation policies as legitimate under the President’s powers as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. And President Bush signed a February 2002 memo stating that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to Taliban or al Qaeda detainees and that their humane treatment should be contingent on “military necessity.” This set the stage for the tragic abuses of detainees.
Without full and impartial investigations of all key players, the torture scandal will come to be as indelibly associated with the Bush Presidency as Teapot Dome is with Warren Harding’s or Watergate with Richard Nixon’s.
What’s more, it is the height of hypocrisy for the US government itself to use the very torture techniques that it routinely condemns in other countries.
He really says it all for me.
I have nothing more to add.
Now the question is… does anyone out there actually have the guts to arrest one of these men on their next trip abroad.
How about a Citizens Arrest?