Bush administration ordered torture, US Senate says

This video from CNN in the USA is called Anderson Cooper: Torture and President Bush.

By Roy Gutman and Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers, USA:

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?

McCain and 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.

7 thoughts on “Bush administration ordered torture, US Senate says

  1. Obama House Parties: Special Prosecutor for Bush

    This weekend, Barack Obama’s campaign is organizing “Change is Coming” house meetings to transfer the amazing energy and enthusiasm of the campaign over to the hard work of governing. You can search for a meeting near you:

    We support all of Obama’s top priorities, starting with economic growth based on green jobs, and universal health care. But we do not want him to give in to pressure from Republicans and the corrupt Washington Establishment to sweep the heinous crimes of the Bush Administration under the rug.

    This week we asked President-elect Obama to appoint a Special Prosecutor – ideally Patrick Fitzgerald – to independently investigate the gravest crimes of the Bush Administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping. Our question came in 6th for all questions submitted to Obama:

    If you want to help promote a Special Prosecutor, please attend a “Change is Coming” meeting near you:

    Share your experiences in the comments here:

    Thanks for all you do!
    Bob Fertik

    Nadler Resolution Has 9 Co-Sponsors

    Thanks to your emails and calls, Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s resolution against pardons and for a Special Prosecutor (H.Res. 1531) now has 9 co-sponsors:

    Tammy Baldwin (WI02), Steve Cohen (TN09), Barney Frank (MA04), Barbara Lee (CA09), John Lewis (GA05), Carolyn Maloney (NY14), Ed Pastor (AZ04), Pete Stark (CA13), and Robert Wexler (FL19).

    If one of them represents you, please call their office at 202-224-3121 to say thanks. Otherwise call your Representative and ask why they have not co-sponsored H.Res. 1531, and (politely) demand that they do.

    And if you haven’t signed our petition yet, please join over 47,000 who have:


  2. AWOL US Soldier Seeks Asylum in Germany
    [T]he Nuremberg trials were based here in Germany in 1948, about sixty years ago, where they say that everybody, including soldiers, would — you know, must take responsibility for all of their actions. . . . So I think that it would be best for me to apply for asylum in Germany, as well, because of the actual stance and the historical precedents that have been set, you know, in this land.


  3. Posted by: “frankofbos” FrankOfBos@yahoo.com

    Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:07 am (PST)

    Bush History-Retired US Military Officers to Bush: No Torture! 12/15

    President Bush signs on to a torture ban on this date, but asserts that
    he can ignore the law. Retired military officers will urge Bush to
    uphold the ban to “ensure that our brave men and women” in uniform can
    honor “the values they fight to protect”. Also on this date, a
    government report calls Bush interrogation techniques “outmoded,
    amateurish, and unreliable”.

    Today’s category: Bushisms, Human Rights/Human Wrongs


  4. Posted by: “frankofbos” FrankOfBos@yahoo.com frankofbos
    Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:06 pm (PST)
    A former NCIS head says that Bush era abusive treatment of detainees
    may be self defeating, and “just ain’t right”. Also, Bush is upset at
    one leak, the one that shows he broke US law, but is unconcerned about
    another, the one involving his administration exposing a CIA agent.
    Pretty slimy, no? Also, wise words from George Washington & Ike,
    ignored (of course) by Bush.


    Today’s category: Betraying the CIA, Corruption/Conflicts of Interest,
    Human Rights/Human Wrongs, Hypocrisy


  5. Pingback: US soldiers defiling Afghan corpses again | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: The United States government and torture | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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