US government unwilling to prosecute torturers


This video from the USA is called Mancow: Waterboarding is Torture: Olbermann.

By Patrick Martin:

Obama exonerates CIA torturers

17 April 2009

President Barack Obama announced Thursday that CIA agents who engaged in torture of prisoners over the past seven years will not be prosecuted or punished. As the Justice Department released memos documenting in grisly detail the interrogation guidelines set down by the Bush administration, the White House made it clear that neither those who ordered the torture nor those who carried it out would face justice.

The four memos released Thursday were written by the Office of Legal Counsel, an arm of the US Department of Justice, in 2002 and 2005. Their release was compelled by a court-established deadline in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The ACLU denounced the Obama White House statement barring any prosecution of torturers. ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said the memos “provide yet more incontrovertible evidence that Bush administration officials at the highest level of government authorized and gave legal blessings to acts of torture that violate domestic and international law.”

The memos document in detail the methods employed against as many as 30 prisoners—a much larger number than previously admitted—including waterboarding, beating and kicking, slamming a prisoner’s head into the wall, slapping, forced standing, forced nakedness, prolonged shackling, sleep deprivation, deprivation of food and threats against a detainee’s family members.

See also here. And here. And here. And here. And here.

Hopebroken and hopesick, Obama fans need a new start, by Naomi Klein: here.

Bush memos parallel claim 9/11 mastermind’s children were tortured with insects: here. Bush Torture Memo Approved Use of Insects: here. See also here.

CIA torture exemption ‘illegal’: here.

White House bars prosecution of Bush officials who authorized torture: here.

More revelations from Bush torture memos: here.

While President Obama, in a speech before CIA operatives in Langley, Virginia, reiterated that his administration would protect agents from prosecution, new revelations underscored the depth and sadism of the torture program: here.

The publication of previously classified Bush Justice Department memos detailing and approving forms of torture has become the focus of a political crisis that marks a new stage in the decay of American democracy: here.

Extent of Health Professionals’ Role at CIA Prisons Draws Fresh Outrage From Ethicists: here.

6 thoughts on “US government unwilling to prosecute torturers

  1. On Thursday, President Obama stood up to intense pressure from rightwingers by releasing four of the infamous “torture memos.” This is an enormous victory for those of us who worked so hard to elect President Obama, while also working tirelessly to defend the Constitution against the crimes of Bush and Cheney.

    Unfortunately, President Obama also said he would not prosecute CIA agents who engaged in torture, simply because George Bush’s lawyers told them it was “legal.” President Obama also said Attorney General Eric Holder would use taxpayer dollars to defend torturers against lawsuits by torture victims, and to pay all judgments if they lost.

    Tell Congress: No Amnesty for Torturers
    http://www.democrats.com/no-amnesty-for-torturers?cid=ZGVtczE0MDA2MmRlbXM=

    These decisions are intolerable and unacceptable. Torture is utterly immoral and un-American. It produced absolutely no useful intelligence. It recruited terrorists responsible for at least half the U.S. deaths in Iraq. And it endangered every U.S. soldier who may be captured in the future.

    And torture is absolutely illegal. The U.S. ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which prohibits torture and requires prosecution of torturers. In 1947, the U.S. prosecuted a Japanese officer for waterboarding. No lawyer can “legalize” what is illegal.

    Congress must take the following actions:

    1. Demand the appointment of a Special Prosecutor by Attorney General Eric Holder for torture, warrantless wiretapping, and other heinous crimes of the Bush Administration. (Thanks to Rep. Jerrold Nadler for leading the way !)

    2. Prohibit the use of any taxpayer dollars to defend government officials who committed such crimes against lawsuits, or to pay for judgments against them.

    3. Impeach Judge Jay Bybee, the torture memo author who serves on the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California.

    4. Protect human rights by restoring Habeas Corpus and the Fourth Amendment (search and seizure), including repeal of the Orwellian-named Protect America Act, U.S.A. Patriot Act, the FISA Amendments, and Military Commissions Act.

    5. End secret government by prohibiting use of “State Secrets,” “Sovereign Immunity” and “Signing Statements.”

    Sign our Petition to Congress: No Amnesty for Torturers
    http://www.democrats.com/no-amnesty-for-torturers?cid=ZGVtczE0MDA2MmRlbXM=

    Through your patience and persistence, we are moving ever closer towards the restoration of the Constitution and the Rule of Law in the nation we love.

    Thanks for all you do!

    Bob Fertik

    #####

    Forward this message to everyone you know!

    Like

  2. Amnesty International USA: TAKE ACTION NOW!

    Infamous torture memos were released yesterday, just as Amnesty activists are meeting with Congress calling for accountability.
    Add your voice to theirs. Call for an independent investigation into torture.

    In a pivotal moment in our call for accountability, yesterday the Obama administration finally released the four infamous memos crafted to provide legal cover for the U.S. torture program.

    You and I know there is no legal form of torture. But Obama wants us to believe that “this is a time for reflection, not retribution.”

    We’ve done plenty of reflecting, and the information in the memos only confirms what we’ve known all along. Torture is illegal under both domestic and international law and no set of legal memos can change that.

    Within hours of their release, the memos fueled new speculation that there is just too much out there now for Congress to ignore calls for accountability.
    Protest against torture

    Incredibly, our lobby week is wrapping up today, giving us an amazing opportunity to push Congress on accountability, when they’re most receptive to our calls, both in person and online.

    Send a letter now to Congress calling for a full and independent investigation.

    Before today, major editorial boards from the Boston Globe, Salt Lake City Tribune, and Philadelphia Inquirer threw their hat into the ring, calling for accountability.

    While we may have convinced editorial boards, it’s Congress that has the power to setup independent investigations. This is the last day of our lobby week. While Amnesty members finish up their meetings, let’s hit Congress from both on and offline.

    Send an email to your elected officials and tell them that you want to know the truth about torture. Once members of Congress realize they can’t turn down the buzz about torture in their own districts, they’ll have to confront the issue in Washington.

    The Obama administration has truly taken some important steps to correct past mistakes. Just a week ago, the CIA announced that it is no longer operating any of the secret overseas prisons used to detain terror suspects. While correcting some of these bigger problems certainly puts us on the right path, it doesn’t tell us how we veered so far off in the wrong direction.

    By this time, anyone who isn’t the slightest bit curious about how we became a nation that tortures needs a wake-up call. And we’re just the group to give it to them!

    Thanks for standing with us,

    Njambi Good
    Director, Counter Terror with Justice Campaign

    Take Action Donate Blog
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    � Copyright 2009 | Amnesty International USA | 5 Penn Plaza | New York, NY 10001 | 212.807.8400

    Like

  3. Saturday 18th April, 2009

    Memos show Bush administraion authorized torture

    Big News Network.com Saturday 18th April, 2009

    Declassified memos, just released, show the Bush administration authorized the CIA to engage in harsh torture techniques.

    Those that carried out the torture however will not be held accountable.

    Four memos released by the Justice Department Thursday, set our various techniques including the use of a plastic neck collar to repeatedly slam a prisoner into a wall, confining a suspect in a box with insects, keeping detainees naked, and standing in painful positions. The memos also approve slapping, sleep deprivation, and waterboarding – a technique that simulates drowning.

    In a statement, U.S. President Barack Obama said his administration will not prosecute agents who carried out the harsh interrogations, but he left open the possibility of prosecuting anyone who acted without legal authority.

    Michael Hayden, who led the CIA under then-President George W. Bush, blasted the release, saying foreign governments will think the CIA “can’t keep a secret” and are now less likely to cooperate with the United States.

    Current CIA director Leon Panetta released a statement Thursday, saying there are new policies in place, but he strongly opposes efforts to prosecute those who were carrying out interrogation practices that had been approved at the time.

    The director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, said it is important to remember that the CIA was struggling to obtain critical information from captured al-Qaida leaders after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In a statement, he said those techniques will not be used in the future.

    The memos were released Thursday to meet a federal court deadline in response to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.

    An ACLU spokesman, Alex Abdo, praised the Obama administration for releasing the memos but said transparency is not enough.

    The rights group Amnesty International welcomed the documents’ release but criticized the government’s decision to not hold accountable those responsible for committing “acts of torture.”

    http://feeds.bignewsnetwork.com/?sid=491142

    Like

  4. U.N. Official: No Pass For Torturers

    Despite Obama’s Decision To Give CIA Immunity, Investigator Says U.S. Is Bound By Int’l Law To Prosecute

    (AP) President Barack Obama’s decision not to prosecute CIA operatives who used questionable interrogation practices violates international law, the U.N.’s top torture investigator said Saturday.

    On Thursday, Obama absolved CIA officers from prosecution for harsh, painful interrogation of terror suspects under the former Bush administration.

    The announcement was met with disappointment from human rights groups and former detainees who condemned such methods as torture.

    In a brief telephone interview with The Associated Press, Manfred Nowak, an Austrian who serves as a U.N. special rapporteur in Geneva, said the United States had committed itself under the U.N. Convention against Torture to make torture a crime and to prosecute those suspected of engaging in it.

    “They are party to the convention and the convention is very, very clear,” Nowak said when asked to confirm comments contained in an interview he gave Austria’s Der Standard newspaper. “The fact that you carried out an order doesn’t relieve you of your responsibility,” he said, adding it could be a mitigating factor.

    Nowak, who said he would soon travel to Washington for meetings with officials, also called for a comprehensive independent investigation into the matter and added it was important to compensate the victims.

    First you need the truth, and then you need justice.
    Manfred Nowak, U.N. special rapporteur

    “Now we need to know all the facts – not just bits and pieces,” Nowak said. “First you need the truth, and then you need justice.”

    The Obama administration on Thursday also released secret CIA memos detailing interrogation tactics sanctioned under Bush.

    The memos authorized keeping detainees naked, in painful standing positions and in cold cells for long periods of time. Other techniques included depriving them of solid food and slapping them. Sleep deprivation, prolonged shackling and threats to a detainee’s family also were used.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/04/18/politics/100days/main4953883.shtml?source=RSSattr=HOME_4953883

    Like

  5. This Thursday, we will deliver our Special Prosecutor petitions to Attorney General Eric Holder. We will join with the ACLU and 185 other groups which oppose immunity for torturers.

    Nearly 25,000 of our readers have signed our petition – but you have not. Could you sign right now so we can deliver your signature on Thursday? No Amnesty for Torturers:
    http://democrats.com/no-amnesty-for-torturers?cid=ZGVtczE0MDA2MmRlbXM=

    Torture is utterly immoral and un-American. Despite Dick Cheney’s lies, it produced absolutely no useful intelligence. In fact, it recruited terrorists responsible for at least half the U.S. deaths in Iraq. And it endangered every U.S. soldier who may be captured in the future.

    And torture is absolutely illegal. The U.S. ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which prohibits torture and requires prosecution of torturers. In 1947, the U.S. prosecuted a Japanese officer for waterboarding. No lawyer can “legalize” what is illegal.

    Congress must take the following actions:

    1. Demand the appointment of a Special Prosecutor by Attorney General Eric Holder for torture, warrantless wiretapping, and other heinous crimes of the Bush Administration. (Thanks to Rep. Jerrold Nadler for leading the way!)

    2. Prohibit the use of any taxpayer dollars to defend government officials who committed such crimes against lawsuits, or to pay for judgments against them.

    3. Impeach Judge Jay Bybee, the torture memo author who serves on the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California.

    4. Protect human rights by restoring Habeas Corpus and the Fourth Amendment (search and seizure), including repeal of the Orwellian-named Protect America Act, U.S.A. Patriot Act, the FISA Amendments, and Military Commissions Act.

    5. End secret government by prohibiting use of “State Secrets,” “Sovereign Immunity” and “Signing Statements.”

    Sign our Petition: No Amnesty for Torturers
    http://democrats.com/no-amnesty-for-torturers?cid=ZGVtczE0MDA2MmRlbXM=

    Through your patience and persistence, we are moving ever closer towards the restoration of the Constitution and the Rule of Law in the nation we love.

    Thanks for all you do!

    Bob Fertik

    #####

    Forward this message to everyone you know!

    Like

  6. Pingback: Bush-Gadaffi joint venture torturing | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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