Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Where are the subpoenas?

Or, why not not just issue arrest warrants and get this thing going?

The Senate has issued a report that implicates Donald Rumsfeld as the author of interrogation techniques that can only be compared to war crimes, so the question remains as to why nothing is being done.

I can only scratch my head in wonder at the ineptitude of my Senator, Carl Levin, who is the author of the Senate report, for failing to bring these criminals to justice.

The report concluded that Rumsfeld's actions were "a direct cause of detainee abuse" at Guantanamo and "influenced and contributed to the use of abusive techniques ... in Afghanistan and Iraq."

"The abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 was not simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own," the executive summary said.

"Interrogation techniques such as stripping detainees of their clothes, placing them in stress positions and using military working dogs to intimidate them appeared in Iraq only after they had been approved for use in Afghanistan and at (Guantanamo)."

Whether you are a fan of the Senate or not, their inaction is inexcusable given their official bipartisan stance and the gravity of the allegations.  If Clinton can be harangued and impeached over a blow job, surely Rummy and Cheney can be tried and convicted for violations of the Geneva Conventions.

Glenn Greenwald points out:

The policies which the Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously [ie, composed of both Democrats and Republicans] concludes were authorized by Bush, Rumsfeld and several other top Bush officials did not merely lead to "abuse" and humiliating treatment, but are directly -- and unquestionably -- responsible for numerous detainee murders.  Many of those deaths caused by abusive treatment have been formally characterized as "homicides" by autopsies performed in Iraq and Afghanistan (see these chilling compilations of autopsy findings on detainees in U.S. custody, obtained by the ACLU, which reads like a classic and compelling exhibit in a war crimes trial).


Just ponder the uproar if, in any other country, the political parties joined together and issued a report documenting that the country's President and highest aides were directly responsible for war crimes and widespread detainee abuse and death.  Compare the inevitable reaction to such an event if it happened in another country to what happens in the U.S. when such an event occurs -- a virtual media blackout, ongoing fixations by political journalists with petty scandals, and an undisturbed consensus that, no matter what else is true, high-level American political figures (as opposed to powerless low-level functionaries) must never be held accountable for their crimes.

Jail these bastards.  


Anonymous said...

But that would mean a special prosecutor, wouldn't it?

Tony said...

The Senate can issue subpoenas and get these guys under oath. The Special Prosecutor statue conveniently expired with the Clinton administration.