Category Archives: Torture

Obama doesn’t slam the door on prosecuting Bush and Company..

This just in, from MSNBC:

President Barack Obama is leaving the door open to possible prosecution of Bush administration officials who devised harsh terrorism-era interrogation tactics.

He also said Tuesday that he worries about the impact of high-intensity hearings on how detainees were treated under former President George W. Bush.

But Obama did say, nevertheless, he could support a congressional investigation if it were conducted in a bipartisan way.

Obama has said he does not support charging CIA agents and interrogators who took part in waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics, acting on advice from superiors that such practices were legal. But he also said that it is up to the attorney general whether to prosecute Bush administration lawyers who wrote the memos approving these tactics.

But..Rahm said this weekend that Obama wouldn’t go after the Bush Lawyers. How does this new statement fit with that one?

Your guess is as good as mine, m’dear reader….

“justice delayed is justice denied.” – Or so sayeth Holder.

And to that end, Eric Holder will not be investigating ‘war crimes’ committed by Bush and his administration.

I shit you not. Jonathan Turley says so here. I will snip the important part:

In a major decision, Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that he has found that the Justice Department has acted improperly in barring any criminal investigation of well-documented war crimes committed by the Bush Administration in the torture program. To punish the failure of the Department to act in a timely fashion, he has announced that no criminal charges will be pursued regarding torture to teach prosecutors a lesson that “justice delayed is justice denied.”

On April 1, 2009, Holder held a press conference in which he was angry over the failure over Acting Associate Attorney General Daniel Marcus and Lanny Breuer, head of the Criminal Division, to even investigate the commission of war crimes despite a public record of the crime.

I am flummoxed folks. What.A.Bunch.Of.Horseshit.

Video when available.

Maj Gen.Taguba supports a torture commission.

Retired Maj. Gen. Tony Taguba investigated the abuses at Abu Gharib for the military and the Bush Administration. He now supports a commission to investigate all the horseshit done in the name of George Bush, with regard to torture and other abuses of prisoners. Salon has an interview up with Major General Taguba, who was treated horribly after his report was issued. Below is an exerpt from the writeup. It’s a worthwhile read folks, check out the whole article.

On Thursday, 18 human rights organizations, former State Department officials and former law enforcement and military leaders asked the president to create a nonpartisan commission to investigate those allegedly abusive detention practices.

Retired Maj. Gen. Tony Taguba, who investigated the famed abuses at Abu Ghraib, signed on to the effort. He explained his support in an interview with Salon. Taguba agrees with many attorneys who think it would be difficult, and perhaps impossible, to prosecute former Bush administration officials. A nonpartisan fact-finding commission, however, might provide some degree of accountability for official U.S. detention and interrogation policies that Taguba called misguided and illegal.

Taguba would like to see a broad mandate for the commission, including a study of administration claims that abuse gleans good intelligence, which he fervently disputes. And while he believes the commission should look at the decisions of military and civilian policymakers, he has a particular interest in getting to the bottom of civilian leaders’ claims for the legality of the administration’s interrogation and detention policies, which he called “despicable and questionable.” The retired general would also like to see the commission empowered to make recommendations for the future, to help ensure such abuses never occur again.

You are best known for doing an honest investigation of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. You suffered some consequences for that. Is that fair to say?

As far as consequences are concerned, the report and testimony were not going to be well received. I followed my conscience and integrity — the best I could do to honor the Army uniform I had the privilege of wearing for over 34 years.

They parked you at the back of the Pentagon in retribution, right?

I was disappointed in my assignment back to the Pentagon to be on Rumsfeld’s staff. I was suspicious about the assignment. But I served at the pleasure of the president and performed as expected. It was conveyed to me by close friends that I had to be watched closely by senior leaders.

Can you describe this torture commission that you and others are advocating?

I would not refer to it as a torture commission. [It remains to be decided] if it is to be a truth and reconciliation commission, or a presidential commission, or a congressional commission, or a private commission … Interest groups have talked about establishing a special prosecutor in that regard. I feel we have to come to terms with policies that have gained such notoriety and have been debated about whether they were in the best interest of our national security, and whether those who created these policies were pressured by their senior leadership.

Personally, I advocate putting them ALL on trial for war crimes and after they do the perp walk on national tv, they spend the rest of their lives and the afterlife in the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth. This place should not be confused with the Penitentiary at Ft. Leavenworth, although I really don’t care which of the facilities Bush and his cronies end up in.

Click graphic for larger, readible image.

Gates tells the Pentagon to start planning the closing of Gitmo

From Jurist:

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has ordered the Pentagon to draft a proposal for shutting down the military prison at Guantanamo Bay in preparation for a possible order from President-elect Barack Obama, a Pentagon spokesperson said Thursday. Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters that Gates wants to have a plan in place in the event Obama issues an order shortly after his inauguration to close the facility. Morrell said:

[Gates] has asked his team for a proposal on how to shut it down [and] what would be required specifically to close it and move the detainees from that facility, while at the same time ensuring that we protect the American people from some very dangerous characters.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] Executive Director Anthony Romero applauded the move [press release], saying:

The fact that Defense Secretary Gates is finally taking steps to close down Guantanamo and its unconstitutional military commissions is a welcome and encouraging sign that President-elect Obama intends to fulfill his campaign pledge. This is an important first step toward turning the page on eight years of shameful policies that allowed torture and violations of domestic and international law.

Also Thursday, the ACLU, along with Amnesty International USA, Human Rights First, and Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a letter to Obama calling on him not to create a similar detention system, should he close Guantanamo and end the military commissions system.

It can not happen soon enough for those still languishing there. Obama must end the torturing of this individuals as well as provide them with due process. Gates is stepping up to the plate on this issue and I do applaud him for that move.

Navy into torture as well.

From Jurist:

Six US sailors have been charged for allegedly abusing Iraqi detainees held at Camp Bucca. The six are said to have physically assaulted at least two detainees whom they were guarding, and locked eight others in a cell that had been covered with pepper spray. Seven other sailors reportedly faced non-judicial punishment for their involvement in the incidents. Al Jazeera has more. CNN has additional coverage.

Camp Bucca was at the center of controversy in 2003 when the so-called Taguba report (pdf) detailed instances of detainee abuse and found that the detention camp was well over its carrying capacity. Many former Abu Ghraib detainees were transferred to Camp Bucca after reports of detainee abuse in the Baghdad prison surfaced. In July, four former Abu Ghraib detainees filed lawsuits against two private US military contractors and three of their employees, alleging torture, war crimes and civil conspiracy. The former detainees said that employees of CACI International and L-3 Communications, which performed interrogation and interpretation work for the US military, violated the Geneva Convention, the Army Field Manual and US law by torturing and conspiring to torture the detainees. They also alleged that CACI and L-3 were negligent in failing to prevent the torture.

Torture a United States military tradition….across all branches apparently.

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