Skip to comments.Bush, Other Top Officials Should Face Torture Probes, Says Amnesty; Urges Arrests if Warranted
Posted on 05/27/2005 2:31:20 PM PDT by Dog
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 26 (OneWorld) - Rights watchdog Amnesty International urged foreign governments Wednesday to investigate and prosecute President George W. Bush much as they once did former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
''If the United States permits the architects of torture policy to get off scot-free, then other nations should step into the breach,'' William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said in a statement launching Amnesty's annual report.
Bush is among a dozen former or current U.S. officials who should be probed by foreign governments because Washington has failed to conduct ''a genuinely independent and comprehensive investigation'' of torture allegations against U.S. troops, commanders, and their civilian overseers, Schulz said.
Others on the Amnesty list of potential targets for investigation and prosecution include Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief George Tenet.
''If the U.S. government continues to shirk its responsibility, Amnesty International calls on foreign governments to uphold their obligations under international law by investigating all senior U.S. officials involved in the torture scandal,'' Schulz said.
''If those investigations support prosecution, the governments should arrest any official who enters their territory and begin legal proceedings against them,'' he added. ''The apparent high-level architects of torture should think twice before planning their next vacation to places like Acapulco or the French Riviera because they may find themselves under arrest as Augusto Pinochet famously did in London in 1998.''
Torture and other grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions amount to crimes against humanity and therefore all states have a responsibility to investigate and prosecute people responsible for them, Amnesty said in its 308-page report.
The U.S. government had yet to respond to the Amnesty report Wednesday but Rumsfeld and others on the Amnesty list have strongly denied that they condoned torture or did anything wrong.
Military officials and administration spokespersons have repeatedly and strenuously denied any policy promoting or tolerating torture and have said that allegations of abuses have resulted in dozens of investigations and a number of prosecutions and disciplinary actions.
Some 125 such cases have been filed, Amnesty acknowledged, but it said they have involved only soldiers and their superiors in the field and have yet to trace lines of responsibility back to Washington. Characterizing this as a refusal to investigate, Schulz said it amounted, in effect, to ''tolerance'' for torture and mistreatment and warned that it would destroy U.S. credibility when Washington assails human rights violations by other governments, like those in Syria or Egypt.
''It is the height of hypocrisy for the U.S. government itself to use the very torture techniques that it routinely condemns in other countries,'' Schulz said. ''When the U.S. government then calls upon foreign leaders to bring to justice those who commit or authorize human rights violations in their own countries, why should those foreign leaders listen?''
Amnesty's demand dovetails with a lawsuit by Human Rights First and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) alleging that Rumsfeld and others authorized torture-like interrogation techniques by U.S. troops at U.S bases in Afghanistan, Cuba, and Iraq.
It also buttresses a campaign by non-governmental organizations demanding a full-scale independent probe of the prisoner abuse scandals modeled on the 9/11 Commission. That effort has brought together rights advocates of a liberal as well as conservative stripe, former Republican lawmakers, and retired military officers.
The call for foreign governments to take action also coincided with the release by the ACLU Wednesday of documents that it said revealed that prisoners at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, complained that guards mistreated the Koran and in one incident, flushed a copy of the Muslim holy book down a toilet.
The ACLU said it obtained the documents under court order from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and that they also provided accounts of beatings, sexual assaults, and hunger strikes.
The revelations follow Newsweek's recent retraction of a report saying that government investigators had corroborated almost identical incidents involving the Koran. The magazine ultimately withdrew its story saying a confidential government source no longer could be confirmed.
While Schulz singled out the United States as what he called ''a leading purveyor and practitioner'' of torture, Amnesty's report surveyed 149 countries and found that for the most part, 2004 had been a bleak year for human rights everywhere.
Amnesty also highlighted:
-- Darfur, where it said the Sudanese government generated a human rights catastrophe and the international community did too little too late to address the crisis, betraying hundreds of thousands of people.
-- Haiti, where it said individuals responsible for serious human rights violations were allowed to regain positions of power.
-- The eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where it bemoaned the lack of an effective response to the systematic rape of tens of thousands of women, children, and babies.
-- Afghanistan, which it said slipped into a downward spiral of lawlessness and instability despite the holding of elections.
-- Reports that Russian soldiers had tortured, raped, and sexually abused Chechen women with impunity.
-- Zimbabwe, where it said the government manipulated food shortages for political reasons.
''The betrayal of human rights by governments was accompanied by increasingly horrific acts of terrorism as armed groups stooped to new levels of brutality,'' Amnesty added.
They have become unhinged Amnesty International..
I think they ought to go live in the cave with their hero, Osama.
They compare that to the gulags of Russia where hundreds and hundreds of thousands were starved, brutally tortured and killed? These people are beyond the pale and themselves should face prosecution for their actions in a time of war.
I've got there amnesty right here.
Treason. Yep. I call it. AI guy should be arrested. But then again , he shouldn't: insignificant pimple.
Interesting how these also-rans resulted in deaths in the hundreds of thousands more than the supposed US atrocities, yet Amnesty only mentions arresting Bush and company.
These worms are awfully brave when it comes to tough talk about an administration they know allows them to shout and lie.
That says everything I need to know.
Jeff sad to say its going to take another 9/11 or bigger to shut up these whiners on the left.
They will never shut up, sad to say. Americans will take care of that, though if something larger than 9/11 happens again...guaranteed.
No, another 9/11 wouldn't shut them up, it will only strenghten their beliefs. See? We are being punished for being so bad, we brought it on ourselves, blah, blah, blah.
Thick skulls, small contents.
It wouldn't shut them up. They would quietly be happy that the U.S. got hit again. Perhaps not happy about people being killed, but definitely happy it happened to the evil Bush Administration. They'd lie low for a while, then be right back with their inane ramblings.
The words "sound" and "fury" come to mind along with something like "signifying nothing". I think it's time for this "poor player" to get off the stage.
You series is on my list to read on my next vacation.
The only bright side of when the muslims actually do take over, people like this will be hobbling around on one foot and one hand... if they're lucky enough to have a head.
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