ABC News: Top Bush officials intimately involved in planning war crimes
- From: trudogg <independent@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 15:44:51 -0400
ABC News is reporting that senior Bush administration officials were
intimately involved in planning torture regimens for use against
terrorism suspects. The officials include vice president Dick Cheney;
CIA director George Tenet and his successor, former CIA agent and
Congressman Porter Goss; then-national security advisor Condoleezza
Rice; former secretary of state Colin Powell; former secretary of
defense Donald Rumsfeld; and former attorney general John Ashcroft.
All were members of the Principals Committee of president Bush's
national security council.
Torture is illegal under US and international law. In 2006, with the
help of a complacent Congress, the administration immunized themselves
from prosecution under the relevant US law?the 1996 War Crimes Act?by
slipping into the Military Commissions Act a provision amending the
previous law and retroactively forgiving any government official or
employee who violated it.
In November of 2006, we suggested that the Military Commissions Act
would backfire on administration officials because it stripped war
crime victims of any recourse under US law, making it more likely that
courts in countries outside the US would consider claims against the
US. With the news that at least the seven top officials named in the
ABC story were not only aware of the torture but actively involved in
planning it, the likelihood that an overseas court will hear charges
becomes much greater.
Along with passage of the Military Commissions Act, Congress further
effectively immunized the administration from domestic accountability
when Nancy Pelosi declared impeachment "off the table" prior to
assuming the House speakership in January of 2007. With Bush assured
of finishing out his term of office and holding the power of the
presidential pardon, we can expect that he and his accomplices will
never be at risk of paying for their crimes here. Pelosi herself could
be held accountable outside the US because she, along with other
senior members of Congress from both parties?including fellow
Democrats Jay Rockefeller and Jane Harman?was aware that the US was
contemplating the authorization of torture and failed to act to
Together with other, previous revelations, the ABC story confirms that
for the past six years at least, the US government has been run by
bona fide war criminals with the consent, active in some instances,
tacit in some and unwitting in others, of Congress. The US is a rogue
nation. What are we going to do about it?
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