Bush & Rumsfeld could be indicted
Sun Oct 30, 2005 20:08
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The War Crimes Act of 1996, a federal statute set forth at 18 U.S.C. § 2441, makes it a federal crime for any U.S. national, whether military or civilian, to violate the Geneva Convention by engaging in murder, torture, or inhuman treatment.

ush & Rumsfeld could be indicted
10/30/2005 3:00:00 PM GMT

http://www.apfn.org/apfn/england.htm

If successfully convicted, Bush and Rumsfeld could be sentenced to life in prison, or even death

In a letter sent to George W. Bush before the invasion of Iraq, a group of 100 American law professors opposing Iraq war warned the U.S. President that he as well as senior officials at his government could be prosecuted for war crimes if any violation of international humanitarian law happened.

The group demanded warring parties to distinguish between military and civilian areas, only use the level of force that militarily necessary and only use weaponry proportionate to what is being targeted.

"Our primary concern ... is the large number of civilian casualties that may result should U.S. and ‘coalition’ forces fail to comply with international humanitarian law in using force against Iraq," the group, led by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, wrote in the letter that was also addressing the Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Reuters reported in January 2003.

Ironically, at that time President Bush asked the Iraqi officers and soldiers to disobey any orders to use weapons of mass destruction in the event of a conflict. "If you choose to do so, when Iraq is liberated, you will be treated, tried and persecuted as a war criminal," he said.

According to the War Crimes Act of 1996, a federal statute set forth at 18 U.S.C. § 2441, any violation of the Geneva Convention by engaging in murder, torture, or inhuman treatment, is federal crime, and this for any U.S. national, military or civilian, said an editorial published on globalResearch.

This law is not only applicable to those who carry out such crimes, but to those who order them, know about them, or fail to prevent them from taking place, and this includes both low and senior ranking officials.

The law, moreover, has no statute of limitations, and thus a war crimes complaint can be filed at any time.

Several reports released over the past year and declassified documents listed numerous cases where detainees held at Abu Ghraib jail near the Iraqi capital and in U.S.-run prisons in Afghanistan died as a result of being tortured by the American soldiers. And since this law stipulates that if a prisoner died as a result of torture the penalty could be death sentence, then death penalty should be appropriate for anyone found guilty of carrying out, ordering, or sanctioning any of the acts that have been carried out in Abu Ghraib or Afghanistan.



Last week, the general in charge of Abu Ghraib prison stated that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other senior ranking administration officials ordered that inhuman treatment and torture as part of a deliberate strategy.

It's been revealed that today, more than a year after Abu Ghraib scandal broke out and inhumane and brutal interrogation methods used against the Iraqi detainees at the notorious prison were uncovered, torture continues at that prison and, more people are still being tortured by the U.S. military personnel worldwide. It seems that Bush’s administration is not even considering or intending to stop those tactics, instead it is trying to found a way that legalizes them or makes them easier.

In January 2002, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales wrote a memo to President Bush saying that America needs to find a way to sidestep the Geneva Convention as it puts top officials in a serious situation; bearing in mind prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 2441. And thus Gonzales prepared a document trail that can be used to prove that “top administration officials knowingly created a policy of torturing prisoners, and that such a policy could reasonably have been expected to result in the death of some prisoners,” according to GlobalResearch.

Recent statement by Abu Ghraib general accusing top officials of involvement in the crimes that were carried out at the jail is a key evidence for convicting Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, as well as other administration officials for violation of the War Crimes Act of 1996. And if successfully convicted, they could be sentenced to life in prison, or even death.

http://www.aljazeera.com/me.asp?service_ID=9932

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The War Crimes Act of 1996: Bush, Rumsfeld could be Indicted under US Law
http://georgewashington.blogspot.com/

The War Crimes Act of 1996, a federal statute set forth at 18 U.S.C. § 2441, makes it a federal crime for any U.S. national, whether military or civilian, to violate the Geneva Convention by engaging in murder, torture, or inhuman treatment.

The statute applies not only to those who carry out the acts, but also to those who ORDER IT, know about it, or fail to take steps to stop it. The statute applies to everyone, no matter how high and mighty.

18 U.S.C. § 2441 has no statute of limitations, which means that a war crimes complaint can be filed at any time.

The penalty may be life imprisonment or -- if a single prisoner dies due to torture -- death. Given that there are numerous, documented cases of prisoners being tortured to death by U.S. soldiers in both Iraq and Afghanistan, that means that the death penalty would be appropriate for anyone found guilty of carrying out, ordering, or sanctioning such conduct.

Here's where it gets interesting. The general in charge of the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq stated this week that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other top administration officials ORDERED that inhuman treatment and torture be conducted as part of a deliberate strategy.

It has also recently come out that, even after the torture at Abu Ghraib hit the news, torture still continues at that prison and, indeed, the U.S. is still torturing people worldwide. Even to the casual observer, it is obvious that the administration has no plans to stop, but has instead been working tirelessly to make it easier to carry out torture in the future.

Let's recap. We now know that torture in Iraq was ordered by top officials, and that torture is continuing, notwithstanding the administration's claims that it was only "a couple of bad apples" that were responsible for Abu Ghraib. Making a potential prosecutor's job easier, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales wrote a memo in January 2002 to President Bush saying that America should opt out of the Geneva Convention because top officials have to worry about prosecutions under 18 U.S.C. § 2441. By attempting to sidestep the Geneva Convention, Gonzales created a document trail that can be used to prove that top administration officials knowingly created a policy of torturing prisoners, and that such a policy could reasonably have been expected to result in the death of some prisoners.

The U.S. did opt out of the Geneva Convention for the Afghanistan war, but we never opted out of the Geneva Convention for Iraq. Indeed, President Bush has repeatedly stated that Geneva applies in Iraq (although he has since claimed that foreign fighters captured in Iraq are not covered). Thus, there would be very little room for fancy footwork by defense lawyers in a prosecution against top officials concerning torture in Iraq.

The Abu Ghraib general's recent statements about torture coming from the top is an important piece of evidence for convicting Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, and a host of other top administration officials for violation of the War Crimes Act of 1996. Upon conviction, they could be sentenced to life in prison, or even death.

Additionally, violation of the war crimes act almost certainly constitutes a "high crime or misdemeanor" which would allow impeachment of such officials. http://georgewashington.blogspot.com/

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President Authorized Abu Ghraib Torture, FBI Email Says
by NewStandard Staff

http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/1348


Among a new batch of documents rights groups have forced the gov't to release, a Bureau communication refers to a presidential Executive Order endorsing some forms of torture witnessed at Iraq prison.
Dec 21, 2004 - Repeated references in an internal FBI email suggest that the president issued a special order to permit some of the more objectionable torture techniques used at Abu Ghraib and other US-run prison facilities around Iraq. The email was among a new batch of FBI documents revealed by civil rights advocates on Monday. Other documents describe the initiation of investigations into alleged incidents of torture and rape at detention facilities in Iraq.

The email, which was obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, represents the first hard evidence directly connecting the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal and the White House. The author of the email, whose name is blanked out but whose title is described as "On Scene Commander -- Baghdad," contains ten explicit mentions of an "Executive Order" that the author said mandated US military personnel to engage in extraordinary interrogation tactics.

An Executive Order is a presidential edict -- sometimes public, sometimes secretive -- instituting special laws or instructions that override or complement existing legislation. The White House has officially neither admitted nor denied that the president has issued an Executive Order pertaining to interrogation techniques.

The specific methods mentioned in the email as having been approved by the unnamed Executive Order and witnessed by FBI agents include sleep deprivation, placing hoods over prisoners’ heads, the use of loud music for sensory overload, stripping detainees naked, forcing captives to stand in so-called "stress positions," and the employment of work dogs. One of the more horrifying tools of intimidation, Army canines were used at the prison to terrorize inmates, as depicted in photos taken inside Abu Ghraib.

The correspondence is dated May 22, 2004 -- a couple of weeks after images of torture and humiliation at the prison broke in the world media -- and was sent between FBI officials attempting to clarify the Bureau’s position on the terminology to use when categorizing and reporting such techniques. The author repeatedly states those techniques were, at least temporarily, permitted under the mysterious presidential directive. The author also wrote that Pentagon policy had since restricted most of the techniques to require specific authorization from the chain of command.

"As stated, there was a revision last week in the military’s standard operating procedures based on the Executive Order," the letter reads. "I have been told that all interrogation techniques previously authorized by the Executive Order are still on the table but that certain techniques can only be used if very high-level authority is granted." The author goes on to recount having seen a military email that said certain techniques -- including "stress positions," the use of dogs, "sleep management," hoods, "stripping (except for health inspection)," and blaring music -- cannot be used without special authorization.

The author wonders if techniques that fall within the scope of the Executive Order should be referred to as "abuse," since they are technically legal. Unless otherwise advised by the Bureau, the email continues, agents "will still not report the use of these techniques as ‘abuse’ since we will not be in a position to know whether or not the authorization for these tactics was received from the aforementioned officials."

The author does believe that interrogation methods that involve "physical beatings, sexual humiliation or touching" clearly constitute "abuse," suggesting they are not within the scope of the repeatedly referenced Executive Order.

The email says that FBI personnel operating at Abu Ghraib witnessed but did not participate in prisoner interrogations that involved actions approved by the Executive Order. That statement upholds separate documentation also obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests backed by a lawsuit on the part of the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups.

As reported by The NewStandard, documents revealed in October showed that FBI agents had witnessed abuses like those mentioned in the email, in addition to many more severe actions.

The email that was revealed on Monday is the first official document to state that the Oval Office was the source of directives permitting abuse and torture.

After the ACLU released the documents, White House, Pentagon and FBI officials told reporters that the author of the email was mistaken, and that the order was not an Executive Order, but a Defense Department directive. All sources refused to be identified in news reports.

The White House does not appear to have ever officially denied that President Bush issued an Executive Order specifying interrogation techniques, though none has been made public. The ACLU and other organizations involved in forcing the release of documents regarding prisoner treatment at Abu Ghraib as well as prison camps in Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba have demanded the White House "confirm or deny the existence of such an order," according to an ACLU press release issued on Monday.

Last June the president insisted that the only authorization he has issued with regard to interrogation procedures was that American personnel "would conform to US law and would be consistent with international treaty obligations."

But as the unidentified FBI official noted in his email, techniques are made legal under US law if and when the president issues an Executive Order rendering them so.

Asked more directly less than two weeks later if President Bush had ever approved particular prisoner handling methods, White House spokesperson Scott McClellan responded, "In terms of interrogation techniques related to what the military may carry out in Guantánamo Bay or Iraq, those are determinations that are made by the military, and we expect that those techniques fit within the policies that this President has instituted."

The president and his legal advisors have repeatedly said that the US government neither condones nor commits torture. The Bush administration’s conservative definition of torture, as expressed at a June 22 press briefing by White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, incorporates only acts bearing "a specific intent to inflict severe physical or mental harm or suffering."

If White House statements are to be taken at face value, then, they still leave considerable room for the possibility that President Bush has authorized specific acts that civil libertarians and international law consider torturous, including the methods listed in the FBI email.

The United Nations Convention Against Torture, which the United States Congress has ratified, defines "torture" far more broadly as including "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession."

Also included among the newly released documents were notices regarding the initiation of criminal investigations pertaining to abuse of Iraqi detainees.

One of the documents is a memo stating that the US Army’s Criminal Investigation Division had commenced an inquiry "regarding the alleged rape of [a] juvenile male detainee at Abu Ghraib Prison." The name of the investigating officer or unit has been blanked out, and no identifying information is offered pertaining to the case.

Another document notifies Valene Caproni of

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