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"The people who cast the votes don't decide an election; the people who COUNT the votes do." -- Joseph Stalin

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bush Must be Prosecuted for War Crimes

A Detainee at Guantanamo

In a press conference on October 5, 2007, President Bush states: "This government does not torture people. We stick to international law".

President Bush later talks with Larry King about the aftermath of 9/11 and criticisms of his administration. When confronted with the issue of torture, Bush again states: "WE DON'T TORTURE".

It is obvious from his statements, that Bush was very aware of international law and that torture is against the Geneva Convention and that he was lying. He must also have been aware that violating the Geneva Convention exposes our troops to similar treatment when and if they are captured.  In other words, Bush's "Macho Man" routine not only endangered our troops, but cast a dark shadow on the integrity and reputation of the United States abroad.  

Now we have evidence that we not only tortured captives, but in some cases they were tortured to death. Three major human rights organizations have declared the Department of Defense was running secret prisons at Bagram and in Iraq, actively sought ways around the terms of the Geneva conventions and cooperated with the CIA's "ghost detention" program which saw prisoners hidden from Red Cross oversight.

The arrival of the documents comes on the same day the ACLU published two unredacted pages of a government report which reveals detainees in US custody were tortured to death. In a Raw Story article, the following was revealed:

"These newly released documents confirm our suspicion that the tentacles of the CIA’s abusive program reached across agency lines," said Margaret Satterthwaite, Director of the NYU International Human Rights Clinic, in a Thursday advisory. "In fact, it is increasingly obvious that defense officials engaged in legal gymnastics to find ways to cooperate with the CIA’s activities. A full accounting of all agencies must now take place to ensure that future abuses don’t continue under a different guise."

The papers, part of a volley of responses to Freedom of Information Act requests, were released by Amnesty International USA, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. The entire package, which encompasses hundreds of pages, was boiled down to several key points by the CCR in a report by Mother Jones writer Steve Aquino.

"One heavily redacted page mentions (page 34) an 'undisclosed detention facility' at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan," he noted.

"Another, dated May 2004, highlights (page 17) how the Geneva Conventions can be interpreted to allow the CIA and the DoD to ghost detainees' identities so they can be denied a visit from the International Committee of the Red Cross.

"This was done, according to a memo from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to '
maximize intelligence collection efforts.' In other words, give them more time to interrogate inmates." And perhaps most outrageous, a Feb. 2006 e-mail disclosed by the groups highlights an effort to limit bad press by delaying the release of a detainee "for 45 days or so until things cool down."

It is astonishing that the government may have delayed releasing men from GuantŠ±namo in order to avoid bad press," said CCR attorney Gitanjali Gutierrez, who represents many of the men held in GuantŠ±namo, in an Amnesty International release. "Proposing to hold men for a month and a half after they were deemed releasable is inexcusable. The Obama Administration should avoid repeating this injustice and release the innocent individuals with all due haste."


President Obama and his Attorney General, Eric Holder, have expressed a hesitancy to look back at the Bush administration and a desire to look toward the future.  That future will always have a dark cloud hanging over it unless we hold President Bush and his cohorts accountable for their illegal and murderous conduct.  As we used to say in the 60's,


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