Posts tagged Torture is torture
Posts tagged Torture is torture
Former President George W. Bush has canceled a visit to Switzerland, where he was to address a Jewish charity gala, due to the risk of legal action against him for alleged torture, rights groups said on Saturday.
Criminal complaints against Bush alleging torture have been lodged in Geneva, court officials say.
Human rights groups said they had intended to submit a 2,500-page case against Bush in the Swiss city on Monday for alleged mistreatment of suspected militants at Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. naval base in Cuba where captives from Afghanistan, Iraq and other fronts in the so-called War on Terror were interned.
Leftist groups had also called for a protest on the day of his visit next Saturday, leading Keren Hayesod’s organizers to announce that they were cancelling Bush’s participation on security grounds — not because of the criminal complaints.
But groups including the New York-based Human Rights Watch and International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) said the cancellation was linked to growing moves to hold Bush accountable for torture, including waterboarding. He has admitted in his memoirs and television interviews to ordering use of the interrogation technique that simulates drowning.
Bush is a war criminal. At least other countries have the gumption to prosecute.
As Julian Assange emerged from his nine-day imprisonment, there were renewed concerns about the physical and psychological health of Bradley Manning, the former US intelligence analyst suspected of leaking the diplomatic cables at the centre of the storm.
Manning, who was arrested seven months ago, is being held at a military base in Virginia and faces a court martial and up to 52 years in prison for his alleged role in copying the cables.
His friends and supporters also claim they have been the target of extra-judicial harassment, intimidation and outright bribery by US government agents.
According to David House, a computer researcher from Boston who visits Manning twice a month, he is starting to deteriorate. “Over the last few weeks I have noticed a steady decline in his mental and physical wellbeing,” he said. “His prolonged confinement in a solitary holding cell is unquestionably taking its toll on his intellect; his inability to exercise due to [prison] regulations has affected his physical appearance in a manner that suggests physical weakness.”
He was arrested seven months ago and is still not charged with a crime. We are torturing one of our own citizens on our soil. If this doesn’t chill you, it should. Remember, he has not been convicted of a crime. He might be guilty, but he has not been convicted. Get the difference?
Read Glenn Greenwald’s excellent summary here.
In its first months in office, the Obama administration sought to protect Bush administration officials facing criminal investigation overseas for their involvement in establishing policies the that governed interrogations of detained terrorist suspects. A “confidential” April 17, 2009, cable sent from the US embassy in Madrid to the State Department—one of the 251,287 cables obtained by WikiLeaks—details how the Obama administration, working with Republicans, leaned on Spain to derail this potential prosecution.
The previous month, a Spanish human rights group called the Association for the Dignity of Spanish Prisoners had requested that Spain’s National Court indict six former Bush officials for, as the cable describes it, “creating a legal framework that allegedly permitted torture.” The six were former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; David Addington, former chief of staff and legal adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney; William Haynes, the Pentagon’s former general counsel; Douglas Feith, former undersecretary of defense for policy; Jay Bybee, former head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel; and John Yoo, a former official in the Office of Legal Counsel. The human rights group contended that Spain had a duty to open an investigation under the nation’s “universal jurisdiction” law, which permits its legal system to prosecute overseas human rights crimes involving Spanish citizens and residents. Five Guantanamo detainees, the group maintained, fit that criteria.
This is so many layers of fucked up. If you’ll notice, this was at the same time the attorney general here in the US suggested they would investigate the Bush administration. That was dropped.