Border Patrol: Honduran child Refugee crisis
7.) John Kerry is the current US Secretary of State, walking around freely today.
By Cliff Kincaid
From Accuracy in Media: The Washington Post has run two articles over three days highlighting how John Kerry has criticized the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraqi prisoner abuse story. Kerry thinks Donald Rumsfeld should go and that Bush should take responsibility. In both of these stories, however, the Post failed to mention that Kerry himself admitted committing war crimes in Vietnam.
To his credit, Tim Russert confronted Kerry with his own words from 1971 on Meet the Press. Kerry had said, during an April 18, 1971, appearance on Meet the Press: “There are all kinds of atrocities and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free-fire zones. I conducted harassment and interdiction fire. I used 50-caliber machine guns which we were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people. I took part in search-and-destroy missions, in the burning of villages. All of this is contrary to the laws of warfare. All of this is contrary to the Geneva Conventions and all of this ordered as a matter of written established policy by the government of the United States from the top down.” Kerry said those who condoned or engaged in such activities were war criminals.
6.) Bill Clinton is an Elder Statesman, walking around freely today.
Former, disgraced US President. Initiated bombing raids against Yugoslavia and Iraq, neither country able to defend itself, resulting in the deaths of thousands. Conducted punitive sanctions against Iraq, resulting in hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths.
According to a Dutch intelligence report on Bosnia, in the early 1990s Pentagon intelligence worked with the Saudis and Iranians to bring weapons and mujahedeen terrorists the ‘Afghan Arabs’ – into Bosnia to indoctrinate and lead Alija Izetbegovic’s Muslim extremists in fighting the Bosnian Serbs.
The same terrorists had been used against the pro-Soviet side in Afghanistan. Once again the media lied, claiming the Bosnian Serbs were fighting to destroy the Bosnian Muslims (i.e., genocide) when they were in fact defending their communities from the mujahedeen, and were allied with a large group of moderate Muslims.
In Afghanistan (as Brzezinski proudly states) and then in Bosnia, the US sponsored Muslim terror even as the State Department was officially condemning it. Because ordinary people would never support such a policy, it was sold to the public as support for freedom fighters (Afghanistan) or as defense of abused Muslims (Bosnia.)
By the late 1980s Brzezinski’s protégé, Prof. Zalmay Khalilzad, was the top strategist of the Afghan war.
The Iraqi News Agency says the parliament will recommend that Mr. Clinton and other Western leaders be brought to trial for war crimes against the Iraqi people.
Just last week, the U.S. Senate passed a measure urging the United Nations to form a tribunal to try Iraqi President Saddam Hussein for war crimes.
An Iraqi official says Baghdad's move is in retaliation for the Senate vote, which has drawn sharp criticism in Iraq.
The ruling party's newspaper says the vote shows how "frustrated" U.S. lawmakers have grown alarmed over what it called Iraq's latest diplomatic successes. The paper touted the weapons inspection deal with the U.N. as one of those successes.
©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed
5.) Madeline Albright is a Elder Stateswoman, walking around freely today.
Former US Secretary of State under Clinton. Condoned the punitive sanctions against Iraq that resulted in an estimated 500,000 deaths of children. Remarked that such sanctions were "worth it."
Wasil Ahmad: the 10-year-old 'hero' murdered by the Taliban
Top Ten American War Criminals Living Freely Today
By Christopher R Rice
This article is not against one administration or another. This article is not based on opinion. This article is based on law. Either we are a nation of laws or we are not. Either the law applies to everyone or it is just there to keep the poor and defenseless in line. Below you will find a list of 10 American War Criminals living among us, in no particular order. First, here is the law which this article is based on...
Title 18 U.S. Code § 2441 - War crimes
Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.
The circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that the person committing such war crime or the victim of such war crime is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or a national of the United States (as defined in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act).
As used in this section the term “war crime” means any conduct—
(1) defined as a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party;
(2) prohibited by Article 23, 25, 27, or 28 of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed 18 October 1907;
(3) which constitutes a grave breach of common Article 3 (as defined in subsection (d)) when committed in the context of and in association with an armed conflict not of an international character; or
(4) of a person who, in relation to an armed conflict and contrary to the provisions of the Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices as amended at Geneva on 3 May 1996 (Protocol II as amended on 3 May 1996), when the United States is a party to such Protocol, willfully kills or causes serious injury to civilians.
(d)Common Article 3 Violations.—
(1) Prohibited conduct.—In subsection (c)(3), the term “grave breach of common Article 3” means any conduct (such conduct constituting a grave breach of common Article 3 of the international conventions done at Geneva August 12, 1949), as follows:
The act of a person who commits, or conspires or attempts to commit, an act specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control for the purpose of obtaining information or a confession, punishment, intimidation, coercion, or any reason based on discrimination of any kind.
(B) Cruel or inhuman treatment.—
The act of a person who commits, or conspires or attempts to commit, an act intended to inflict severe or serious physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions), including serious physical abuse, upon another within his custody or control.
(C) Performing biological experiments.—
The act of a person who subjects, or conspires or attempts to subject, one or more persons within his custody or physical control to biological experiments without a legitimate medical or dental purpose and in so doing endangers the body or health of such person or persons.
The act of a person who intentionally kills, or conspires or attempts to kill, or kills whether intentionally or unintentionally in the course of committing any other offense under this subsection, one or more persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including those placed out of combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause.
(E) Mutilation or maiming.—
The act of a person who intentionally injures, or conspires or attempts to injure, or injures whether intentionally or unintentionally in the course of committing any other offense under this subsection, one or more persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including those placed out of combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, by disfiguring the person or persons by any mutilation thereof or by permanently disabling any member, limb, or organ of his body, without any legitimate medical or dental purpose.
(F) Intentionally causing serious bodily injury.—
The act of a person who intentionally causes, or conspires or attempts to cause, serious bodily injury to one or more persons, including lawful combatants, in violation of the law of war.
The act of a person who forcibly or with coercion or threat of force wrongfully invades, or conspires or attempts to invade, the body of a person by penetrating, however slightly, the anal or genital opening of the victim with any part of the body of the accused, or with any foreign object.
(H) Sexual assault or abuse.—
The act of a person who forcibly or with coercion or threat of force engages, or conspires or attempts to engage, in sexual contact with one or more persons, or causes, or conspires or attempts to cause, one or more persons to engage in sexual contact.
(I) Taking hostages.—
The act of a person who, having knowingly seized or detained one or more persons, threatens to kill, injure, or continue to detain such person or persons with the intent of compelling any nation, person other than the hostage, or group of persons to act or refrain from acting as an explicit or implicit condition for the safety or release of such person or persons.
Read more- https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2441
9.) Hillary Clinton is an Elder Statesmen who is currently running to be President of the United States.
The “hard choices” taken by Clinton and her team didn’t just damage U.S. relations with Latin America. They contributed to the enormous damage done to Honduras. In the years following the coup, economic growth has stalled, while poverty and income inequality have risen significantly. Violence has spiraled out of control. Meanwhile, the U.S. government has increased military assistance to Honduras, despite alarming reports of killings and human rights abuses by increasingly militarized Honduran security forces. Many Congressional Democrats have asked for a complete suspension of security assistance while human rights violations continue with impunity. But neither the Clinton nor Kerry State Departments have heeded their call.
Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/09/24/hillary-clinton-emails-and-honduras-coup
And it’s been a nonstop party ever since. In the aftermath of the coup, Honduras’ homicide rate has soared along with other forms of violence. As The Guardian’s Nina Lakhani recently noted in an article on the March assassination of Honduran human rights and environmental activist Berta Cáceres, whose name reportedly appeared on a hitlist belonging to U.S.-trained Honduran special forces:
“Human rights groups have condemned U.S. support for Honduran security forces amid mounting evidence implicating police and military in systematic abuses. In April, activists warned Congress that death squads were targeting opposition activists, much like they did during the ‘dirty war’ in the 1980s.”
Somalia has been led by warlords since 1990. That is US strategy because of its oil. So when there's oil there is always a military humanitarian intervention. Since 1991 IMF “economic medicine ensured economic and social chaos which set the stage for the civil war". Somalia became a territory for four US oil giants (Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips) who have been allocated 2/3s of Somali (The Times).
In 2006 the US got 50,000 Ethiopian troops to invade Somalia and eventually withdrew in 2009 creating the Al Shabaab which the US arms and with the return of Ethiopian troops. A wikileaks cable implicates US Under Secretary of State for Africa, Jendayi Frazer in pressing Ethiopia’s President Meles Zenawi to invade its neighbor. Somalia-Ethiopia rift is the cause of the Ogaden region which has been divided between the two. Now US drones are used in Somalia.
Rebel forces in southern Sudan began using child soldiers long before seceding from Sudan in 2011. The United States, on the other hand, passed a law in 2008 that banned providing military assistance to nations that use child soldiers. The law was called the Child Soldiers Prevention Act, or CSPA, but after South Sudan’s independence, the White House issued annual waivers that kept aid flowing to the world’s newest nation despite its use of child soldiers. President Obama stated in 2012 that the waiver that year was in “the national interest of the United States.”
Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state when the first waivers were issued, was apparently never asked to comment on them, and the State Department never provided any explanations about its role. Clinton had spent years vowing to defend the rights of children worldwide — in 2012, she railed against “modern-day slavery” in the introduction to a State Department report on human trafficking that took aim at the “unlawful recruitment or use of children” by armed forces. Yet she does not appear to have publicly explained her role in allowing South Sudan and other countries to receive military support despite using children as combatants. In fact, the State Department played a central role in issuing the controversial waivers, according to two sources, including a former State Department official.
The CSPA waivers and the broader panoply of military and diplomatic support that was extended to South Sudan and the government of its president, Salva Kiir, failed to prevent a descent into violence that has cost more than 50,000 lives and forced more than 2.4 million people to flee their homes.
3.) Henry Kissinger Elder Statesman, walking around freely today.
By Marcus Gee Toronto Globe
Henry Alfred Kissinger, former U.S. Secretary of state, national security adviser and Nobel laureate
Complicity in coup against Chilean government plus the "killing, injury and displacement" of three million people during Vietnam War.
Head of Kissinger Associates, Inc., international consulting firm in Washington.
It was a rainy day in spring when they brought Charles Horman home.
The U.S. journalist and filmmaker had been abducted and killed after the Chilean military overthrew president Salvador Allende in September, 1973. Six months later, his body arrived by plane in a crude wooden crate with "Charles Horman from Santiago" scrawled on the side.
As the makeshift coffin was unloaded at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, N.Y., the driving rain washed the words away, sending trails of black ink down the box. It was April 13, 1974.
Even before Mr. Horman's widow, Joyce, found herself standing in the rain that day, she had vowed that no one would ever erase the memory of what had been done to her husband.
She has been true to her word.
In the chaos that followed General Augusto Pinochet's decision to depose Mr. Allende on Sept. 11, 1973, hundreds of the leftist president's supporters were taken away to be tortured, beaten or killed. Mr. Horman, an Allende sympathizer living in Santiago, was one of them.
In the month that followed, Ms. Horman, then 29, and her father-in-law, Ed, searched frantically for Mr. Horman -- an ordeal dramatized in the Oscar-winning 1982 film Missing, starring Sissy Spacek and Jack Lemmon.
The movie ends when Joyce and Ed discover that Charles is dead, killed by the military and his body hidden in a wall at a Santiago cemetery. But Joyce Horman's search continues. For 28 years, she has struggled to track down those who killed the man she loved. And the person at the center of her quest is none other than Henry Alfred Kissinger.
A leading citizen of the world's most powerful nation, Mr. Kissinger served as U.S. Secretary of state and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in the same year as the coup in Chile. He was also national security adviser to president Richard Nixon, and Ms. Horman believes that he and other U.S. officials were deeply involved in the events that cost her husband his life.
It has been almost 30 years, and she doesn't seem bitter. At 57, she is pleasant and straightforward, in her stylish glasses with owlish frames, and has friends, a career and a social life. Nor does she seem obsessed with her dead husband. No photographs of him are to be seen in her bright apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
Even so, the events of 1973 still cast a dark shadow. Asked what she misses most about Charles, she dissolves into tears and then explains: "He was intelligent, friendly, interesting -- he just loved life, and that's why his friends loved him."
Of course, nothing can replace the life she and her husband might have had. All that she wants now, she says, is the simple truth -- and that leads to Mr. Kissinger.
"There's no way around him," she says. "He is the most responsible person for the behavior of the U.S. government in Chile at that time. He needs to be put on trial."
A few years ago, that would have seemed wildly improbable. The armor of sovereign immunity protected all officials from the acts they committed on government service, no matter how unsavory.
But the 1998 arrest of the man behind the coup, Gen. Pinochet, has knocked a gaping hole in that armor Since then, a posse of victims, human-rights activists and crusading prosecutors has tried to apply this "Pinochet precedent" to others accused of mass killing, torture, abduction and war crimes.
Mr. Kissinger is their biggest quarry yet, and they are getting closer all the time. Now, prosecutors in Chile, Argentina, Spain and France want him to testify about what happened in Chile. Last month, a Chilean judge staged a re-enactment of the Horman killing at Santiago's National Stadium, and now wants Mr. Kissinger at least to answer written questions about U.S. involvement in the coup.
Ms. Horman is thrilled, but she has a different reason for chasing the great statesman: "My main goal is to find out what happened to Charles."
As author Thomas Hauser wrote in The Execution of Charles Horman,the book that inspired the film Missing,both Mr. Horman, the brilliant son of a New York industrial designer, and Joyce, the lively daughter of a Minnesota grocer, had absorbed the questing, skeptical spirit of the Sixties.
Mr. Horman covered the riots at the Democratic National Convention in 1968 for the liberal journal The Nation and made a film about napalm.
The couple had been married less than three years when, in 1971, they set off in a camper van through Latin America. When they reached Santiago, they decided to stay.
It was a heady time in Chile. Mr. Allende had come to power in 1970 and brought in radical changes: land reform, wealth redistribution and the nationalization of key industries. Mr. Horman began writing for a local magazine that often attacked Mr. Nixon for undermining the Allende government.
When the military stepped in, he was in the coastal city of Vina del Mar with friend Terry Simon; they met two U.S. officers who seemed to know a lot about the coup. Mr. Horman concluded that his country had plotted with Gen. Pinochet, and made copious notes -- which may have cost him his life.
Back in Santiago, essentially a war zone, he and his wife decided to return to the States as soon as possible. But on Sept. 17, a light green truck pulled up at their house, and a dozen soldiers carried out Mr. Horman and armloads of papers and books. Ms. Horman wasn't home at the time, and never saw her husband again.
The truck drove straight to the National Stadium, a clearinghouse for the thousands of Chileans being rounded up. At least four dozen were killed there -- a first installment on the more than 3,000 killed during the Pinochet regime.
Returning home to find the house in a shambles, Ms. Horman contacted the U.S. Embassy seeking help. She got the run-around. When she finally asked if the embassy could get her into the stadium, a U.S. diplomat asked, "What are you going to do, Mrs. Horman, look under all the bleachers?"
For four weeks, she pounded the pavement, meeting with anyone she thought might be able to help, while her father-in-law, who had flown in from New York, visited hospitals and morgues. Finally, they got into the stadium. A Chilean colonel led Ed Horman to a platform, where he addressed the roughly 2,000 prisoners under guard in the stands. "Charles Horman, this is your father," he said. "If you are here, I would like you to take my word that it is safe and come to me now."
His heart jumped when a young man ran forward, but he realized that it was not his son. "Right then," he said later, "I knew I'd never see Charles again."
Five days later, an official of the Ford Foundation, a U.S. philanthropic agency, told Mr. Horman he had learned from a military contact that his only child "was executed in the National Stadium on Sept. 20."
The next day, a U.S. official confirmed that Charles's body had been found in a local morgue. Two days later, Ms. Horman and her father-in-law flew home, and it was then that her real struggle began.
She and her husband's parents brought a wrongful-death suit against the U.S. Government and Mr. Kissinger, but it was dismissed for lack of evidence in 1978. The book followed, along with the Oscar-winning 1982 movie by director Constantin Costa-Gavras.
2.) Ruppert Murdoch. Media baron. Never met a war he didn't like. Responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and untold millions of refugees through media encouragement of harsh, US foreign policy. Owns a sizable chunk of the US news media. Murdoch is the most visible Godfather of the Mainstream News Mafia (MNM). Elder Statesman and multi-billionaire news baron, walking around freely today.
8.) David Petraeus is an Elder Statesman now, walking around freely today.
By Michael B Kelley
From the Business Insider: While ousted CIA Director David Petraeus eats dirt for his extra-marital affair, some people would like him to answer for much more serious crimes.
There is evidence that Petraeus, when he commanded US forces in Afghanistan, oversaw the intentional bombing of funerals and civilian rescuers with drones, which constitutes a war crime according to The International Criminal Court.
For years the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) has reported on the use of the double tap—a strategy used by terrorists that involves bombing a strike site multiple times in relatively quick succession to maximize devastation—and there are documented instances that Petraeus employed this tactic as CIA director.
In September the NYU and Standford law schools released a report detailing how double taps affect the Pakistani population, noting that several international law professors have said that "intentional strikes on first responders may constitute war crimes."
10.) Leon Panetta is an Elder Statesman now, walking around freely today.
By Phillip Crawford and David R. Henderson Antiwar.com
As director of the CIA, Mr. Panetta has been in charge of CIA programs that killed hundreds, if not thousands, of people in Pakistan.
According to the Dawn, Pakistan’s oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper, of the 44 Predator strikes carried out by U.S. drones in the tribal areas of Pakistan in 2009, only five were able to hit their actual targets, killing five key al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, but at the cost of over 700 innocent civilians. For each al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorist killed by U.S. drones, 140 innocent Pakistanis also had to die.
In June 2009, a CIA drone fired a Hellfire missile that destroyed a “suspected militant hideout” in a border village in Pakistan, burying a family inside the ruins of the building. When rescuers rushed to help the injured, the hovering drone fired a second missile, killing 13 of those seeking to help the victims of the first strike. On the next day, a funeral procession for the dead was also hit, killing 80 civilians. The funeral attack was reportedly aimed at Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud, though officials acknowledged that he was not killed in the salvo.
The New York Times reported in September 2010 that the CIA had drastically increased its bombing campaign in the mountains of Pakistan.
Under the Geneva Conventions and other international laws, it is a war crime to launch indiscriminate attacks affecting the civilian population or civilian objects with the knowledge that such attacks will cause excessive loss of life, injury to civilians, or damage to civilian objects. This distinction between combatants and noncombatants is fundamental to all humanitarian law.
Furthermore, the CIA drone program, as it currently operates, is a system of extrajudicial execution in which people who may or may not be terrorists are targeted for assassination even when they are nowhere near a battlefield. The CIA has no more legal right to assassinate suspected terrorists on the streets of downtown Karachi than Pakistani intelligence agencies have to assassinate suspected terrorists on the streets of Carmel.
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4.) Robert McNamara is an Elder Statesman now, walking around freely today.
By Robert Scheer The Nation
Former US Secretary of Defense. What’s wrong with this picture?: Slobodan Milosevic will be dragged before an international war crimes tribunal while Robert McNamara tours American college campuses touting his latest book on how to achieve world peace, and Henry Kissinger advises corporations, for a fat fee, on how to do business with dictators.
Clearly, when it comes to war crimes, this nation is above the law.
The United States has supported, nay imposed, a standard of official morality on the world while blithely insisting that no American leader ever could be held accountable to that same standard.
The persistent, if implicit, argument, made since the time of the Nuremberg post-World War II trials, is that we get to judge but not be judged because we are a democratic and free people inherently accountable to the highest of standards. Dropping atomic bombs on Japanese civilians was, therefore, a peaceful gesture because it shortened the war. Wouldn’t we judge such a claim as barbaric if employed by any other nation to justify using such a weapon?
As the war in Vietnam further demonstrated, we are deeply invested in the righteousness of war against civilians, but only when we are the warriors. Now we will judge Milosevic a war criminal because he did the same.
Whatever the horrors inflicted upon noncombatants during Milosevic’s tenure, they pale in comparison to what McNamara did during the eight years that he presided over the Vietnam War, in which millions died because of the lies he told and policies he ordered.
Milosevic is accused of using military force to wage a campaign of terror against the civilian population of Kosovo. Yet it was McNamara who defined the largest part of the Vietnamese countryside, populated by peasants, as a free-fire zone. At no point was the population of Kosovo systematically raked with anti-personnel bombs and incinerated with napalm, as were the Vietnamese under the McNamara-directed policy.
McNamara refused to discuss his role in Vietnam for twenty-seven years after leaving his post as Secretary of Defense, yet the acts over which he concedes guilt in his 1995 memoir certainly could have formed the basis of war crimes investigations of both McNamara and Lyndon Baines Johnson, the president he served. In his book, McNamara makes clear that neither he nor Johnson believed that the United States had a moral right to carpet-bomb the Vietnamese into submission to achieve irrational US policy goals.
In a letter McNamara wrote to Johnson in 1967, the Secretary of Defense conceded that the United States was flirting with war crimes and cautioned the President that “there may be a limit beyond which many Americans and much of the world will not permit the United States to go.” He added: “The picture of the world’s greatest superpower killing or seriously injuring 1,000 noncombatants a week, while trying to pound a tiny backward nation into submission on an issue whose merits are hotly disputed, is not a pretty one.” But LBJ and McNamara were never held accountable in a court committed to those human rights limits, and their successors, Richard Nixon and his key warrior, Kissinger, promptly escalated the war, carpet-bombing North Vietnamese peasants and destroying all normal life in neutral Cambodia. The fierce bombings that destroyed the Cambodian countryside also collapsed civil rule there, paving the way for Pol Pot, a mass murderer who killed more than a million of his own people and yet later became an ally of the United States. It was only when he was no longer useful to US policymakers that they considered him worthy of a war crimes trial. By then he was infirm.
“Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner] I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause, for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country.” George Washington (1775)
“Treat them with humanity, and let them have no reason to complain of our copying the brutal example of the British Army in their treatment of our unfortunate brethren who have fallen into their hands." George Washington.
In all respects, he wrote the prisoners were to be treated no worse than American soldiers; and in some respects, better. Through this approach, Washington sought to shame his British adversaries, and to demonstrate the moral superiority of the American cause.” In the worst of times when foreign troops literally occupied American soil, torturing and murdering American patriots and few believed that the cause of the revolution could ultimately win against the might of the British Empire, the first Commander in Chief of the U.S.A. set the precedent that this society is to lead even our enemies by “benignant sympathy of [our] example.”
And it worked. Many of the British Empire’s German mercenaries in fact joined the revolutionaries in their fight against the English and stayed here in America to be free when the war was won.
1.) George W. Bush & Co. Embattled Statesman, walking around freely today.
From the Progressive: When Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he was asked whether he "ordered or approved the use of sleep deprivation, intimidation by guard dogs, excessive noise, and inducing fear as an interrogation method for a prisoner in Abu Ghraib prison." Sanchez, who was head of the Pentagon’s Combined Joint Task Force-7 in Iraq, swore the answer was no. Under oath, he told the Senators he "never approved any of those measures to be used."
But a document the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) obtained from the Pentagon flat out contradicts Sanchez’s testimony. It’s a memorandum entitled "CJTF-7 Interrogation and Counter-Resistance Policy," dated September 14, 2003. In it, Sanchez approved several methods designed for "significantly increasing the fear level in a detainee." These included "sleep management"; "yelling, loud music, and light control: used to create fear, disorient detainee, and prolong capture shock"; and "presence of military working dogs: exploits Arab fear of dogs."
According to an article in The New York Times, Gonzales submitted written testimony that said: "The policy of the United States is not to transfer individuals to countries where we believe they likely will be tortured, whether those individuals are being transferred from inside or outside the United States." He added that he was "not aware of anyone in the executive branch authorizing any transfer of a detainee in violation of that policy."
"That’s a clear, absolute lie," says Michael Ratner, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who is suing Administration officials for their involvement in the torture scandal. "The Administration has a policy of sending people to countries where there is a likelihood that they will be tortured."
The New York Times article backs up Ratner’s claim. It says "a still-classified directive signed by President Bush within days of the September 11 attacks" gave the CIA broad authority to transfer suspected terrorists to foreign countries for interrogations. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International estimate that the United States transfers between 100 and 150 detainees a day to countries notorious for torture.
Sanchez may be personally culpable for war crimes and torture, according to Human Rights Watch. And Gonzales himself was one of the legal architects of the torture policies. As such, he may have been involved in "a conspiracy to immunize U.S. agents from criminal liability for torture and war crimes under U.S. law," according to Amnesty International’s recent report: "Guantánamo and Beyond: The Continuing Pursuit of Unchecked Executive Power."
As White House Counsel, Gonzales advised President Bush to not apply Geneva Convention protections to detainees captured in Afghanistan, in part because this "substantially reduces the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act," Gonzales wrote in his January 25, 2002, memo to the President.
The Bush Administration’s legal troubles don’t end with Sanchez or Gonzales. They go right to the top: to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush himself. Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International USA say there is "prima facie" evidence against Rumsfeld for war crimes and torture. And Amnesty International USA says there is also "prima facie" evidence against Bush for war crimes and torture. (According to Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, "prima facie evidence" is "evidence sufficient to establish a fact or to raise a presumption of fact unless rebutted.")
Amnesty International USA has even taken the extraordinary step of calling on officials in other countries to apprehend Bush and Rumsfeld and other high-ranking members of the Administration who have played a part in the torture scandal.
This memo "set the stage for the tragic abuse of detainees," says William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA.
Bush's White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said "The United States is leading the way when it comes to protecting human rights and promoting human dignity. We have liberated fifty million people in Iraq and Afghanistan. . . . We’re also leading the way when it comes to spreading compassion."
Schulz takes the long view: "Let’s keep in mind, there are no statutes of limitations here."
Read more: http://www.progressive.org/mag_impunity
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