Friday, May 04, 2012
The torture crimes of the Cheney-Bush Administration aren't going awayThe systematic use of torture during the Cheney-Bush Administration continue to be an issue and will be for many years into the future. So far, we have only circumstantial evidence that the Obama Administration may be continuing torture in some form. It certainly seems clear that Bradley Manning was tortured by the extreme sensory isolation to which he was subjected, similar in kind to the treatment that fried US citizen Jose Padilla's brain. Padilla was publicized by former Attorney General John Ashcroft as an aspiring "dirty bomber", but the government never even charged him with anything related to a "dirty bomb".
Human rights attorney and torture opponent Scott Horton talks about the recent spectacle of Jose Rodriguez, CIA torturer who is now doing a book tour bragging about his career as a war criminal. (Jose Rodriguez, Poster Boy No Comment 05/01/2012)
He points out the painfully obvious - painfully obvious, that is, if your not a celebrity pundit who lives to be invited to the White House Correspondents Dinner every year - about Rodriguez' motive to destroy torture tapes: "His motivations in shredding them therefore seem clear enough: he was afraid of criminal prosecution."
And Horton writes (italicized insert in original):
Indeed, why has Rodriguez not been charged and put on trial? That’s a question many are asking as he takes to the airwaves to push the idea that torture works. The only satisfactory answer lies in the doctrine of in pari delicto [In pari delicto applies when both sides of a lawsuit have been involved in the same wrongdoing.] - the Justice Department is itself so deeply enmeshed in Rodriguez's crimes that it could hardly prosecute the case. But if this doctrine explains the DOJ’s failure to prosecute, it also suggests that someone else should be bringing the charges. ...I continue to think that the single greatest failure of the Obama Administration was to decline their legal obligation under international treaty to prosecute torture crimes. Torture is a fundamental breach of the rule of law that threatens the entire structure of the rule of law in a fundamental way. Obama's obligation as President was to see that these crimes were prosecuted and the practice halted. He very consciously declined to do so.
The torture crimes aren't going away.
Tags: accountability for torture, torture
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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