Guantanamo Bay

Rumsfeld Vilified by UK Military; Germany Intent on Persuing Rumsfeld et al

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Snooping around the internet for news relating to Rumsfeld’s disastrous tenure at the top job in the Pentagon two pieces were quite eye catching.

First, writing in the Guardian on Wednesday, Richard Norton-Taylor ends with this:

In Britain, Rumsfeld was vilified by military commanders and senior officials. His decision to abandon the Iraq army directly contradicted a directive from Admiral, now Lord, Boyce, then chief of the defence staff who had instructed his commanders in the field to deal with Iraqi officers to help maintain law and order.

It is difficult to exaggerate the scorn directed at Rumsfeld this side of the Atlantic, among the military and security and intelligence agencies concerned – pragmatically – about the effect of Guantanamo Bay. He should be indicted, they say. But they say so privately because they are servants of the Blair government. And not one British minister dared to criticise Rumsfeld. That is one appalling feature of Rumsfeld’s destructive tenure of office.

And then this report from Time magazine I actually thought very eye catching.

Friday, Nov. 10, 2006
Exclusive: Charges Sought Against Rumsfeld Over Prison Abuse
A lawsuit in Germany will seek a criminal prosecution of the outgoing Defense Secretary and other U.S. officials for their alleged role in abuses at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo


Just days after his resignation, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany’s top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The plaintiffs in the case include 11 Iraqis who were prisoners at Abu Ghraib, as well as Mohammad al-Qahtani, a Saudi held at Guantanamo, whom the U.S. has identified as the so-called “20th hijacker” and a would-be participant in the 9/11 hijackings. As TIME first reported in June 2005, Qahtani underwent a “special interrogation plan,” personally approved by Rumsfeld, which the U.S. says produced valuable intelligence. But to obtain it, according to the log of his interrogation and government reports, Qahtani was subjected to forced nudity, sexual humiliation, religious humiliation, prolonged stress positions, sleep deprivation and other controversial interrogation techniques.

All this stuff that has been previously reported — but here is the extra interesting new bit:

Along with Rumsfeld, Gonzales and Tenet, the other defendants in the case are Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone; former assistant attorney general Jay Bybee; former deputy assisant attorney general John Yoo; General Counsel for the Department of Defense William James Haynes II; and David S. Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff. Senior military officers named in the filing are General Ricardo Sanchez, the former top Army official in Iraq; Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the former commander of Guantanamo; senior Iraq commander, Major General Walter Wojdakowski; and Col. Thomas Pappas, the one-time head of military intelligence at Abu Ghraib.

Germany was chosen for the court filing because German law provides “universal jurisdiction” allowing for the prosecution of war crimes and related offenses that take place anywhere in the world

Familiar names, huh? There is a good selection to be starting off with. In my opinion 🙂 All implicated in one way or another of turning the United States rule of law, that has served the country so well in the past, into a free wheeling charter for sadistic personalities. Reading the names, these are exactly the people responsible for Abu Ghraib, not the low level “few bad apples” that have so far been prosecuted.

Then Michael Ratner has his say:

“The utter and complete failure of U.S. authorities to take any action to investigate high-level involvement in the torture program could not be clearer,” says Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a U.S.-based non-profit helping to bring the legal action in Germany. He also notes that the Military Commissions Act, a law passed by Congress earlier this year, effectively blocks prosecution in the U.S. of those involved in detention and interrogation abuses of foreigners held abroad in American custody going to back to Sept. 11, 2001.

And that’s it, the article goes on to say some other stuff, but none of it very important.

What is important to me is that someone is doing something about Mr. Bush’s enablers. Realistically, I would not expect that indictments handed down in a German Court will have much impact on the lives of those individuals indicted. But that does not matter so much. What matters is that there is an unambiguous signal sent to Mr. Bush that Germany at least considers that actions taken by his government in the name of the war on terror are criminal.

The message is:

     Mr. Bush – Your Government – Criminal – Criminal – Criminal.
     Signed: Germany.


Written by mikk0

November 12, 2006 at 5:29 am

Posted in Guantanamo

One Response

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  1. “… the Military Commissions Act, a law passed by Congress earlier this year [2006], effectively blocks prosecution in the U.S. of those involved in detention and interrogation abuses of foreigners held abroad in American custody going to back to Sept. 11, 2001.”

    VERY important! The International Court cannot be used if the accused can be tried in their own countries. One should think the USA capable of trying its own criminals. The MCA not only effectively blocks prosecution, it offers a sort of blanket pardon. So the U.S. has declared itself incapable of trying its own criminals in this connection.

    Look to Germany. Or The Hague.


    March 10, 2007 at 3:39 am

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