This video from CNN in the USA is called Anderson Cooper: Torture and President Bush.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Senate probe blames top Bush officials for abuses
WASHINGTON — Top officials — including former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — were responsible for the use of “abusive” interrogation techniques on detainees at Guantanamo Bay, in Afghanistan and at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, a bipartisan Senate report concluded Thursday.
The long-awaited Senate Armed Services Committee report bluntly refuted the Bush administration’s repeated claims that the abuses, which helped fuel the Iraq insurgency and damaged America’s reputation around the world, were the work of a few low-level “bad apples.”
“Senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees,” said the report’s 19-page unclassified executive summary. “Those efforts damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority.”
“Attempts by senior officials to pass the buck to low-ranking soldiers while avoiding any responsibility for abuses are unconscionable,” said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the panel’s chairman, who released the executive summary with Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the committee’s top Republican.
The report “details the inexcusable link between abusive interrogation techniques used by our enemies in violation of the Geneva Convention and interrogation policy for detainees in U.S. custody. These policies are wrong and must never be repeated,” said McCain, a former prisoner of war in North Vietnam.
Dear Senator McCain: why did you not state those truths about Rumsfeld and others in the Bush administration earlier? Like, when you were running for President for Bush’s party? Why did you, instead, cuddle up to Bush?
The 250-page classified report, which is undergoing a Pentagon declassification review, was the most comprehensive to date of a series of official investigations into the abuses of suspected terrorists who were detained after President George W. Bush launched his “global war on terror” after the 9/11 attacks.
The Senate report traces the abuses to a Feb. 7, 2002, Bush memo that declared that international law on the treatment of war prisoners embodied in the 1949 Geneva Convention didn’t apply to al Qaida or to the Taliban.
The report outlines how senior U.S. officials, including Rumsfeld, Myers and then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice shaped the policy decisions that led to the use of interrogation techniques that the administration insists were legal but that numerous legal authorities and some former military officers have denounced as torture and war crimes.
Detainee abuses led to attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq, according to testimony to the committee by a former Navy general counsel, Alberto Mora. “There are serving U.S. flag-rank officers who maintain that the first and second identifiable causes of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq — as judged by their effectiveness in recruiting insurgent fighters into combat — are, respectively, the symbols of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo,” he said.
It’s not clear, however, if the report will lead to legal proceedings against any of the officials or military officers named or whether the incoming Obama administration will pursue allegations of possible crimes committed during President Bush’s war on terror.
Senate torture report confirms Bush, top officials guilty of war crimes; here.
Leading lawyer calls for Rumsfeld prosecution: here.