Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bush authorised torture

How high up the chain did approval of the US's illegal regime of torture and disappearance come from? All the way from the top, it seems. According to today's Washington post, the CIA has finally acknowledged the existence of a directive from Bush authorising torture:

After years of denials, the CIA has formally acknowledged the existence of two classified documents governing aggressive interrogation and detention policies for terrorism suspects, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

But CIA lawyers say the documents -- memos from President Bush and the Justice Department -- are still so sensitive that no portion can be released to the public.

Rumours about these documents have been floating around for some time - but this is the first time the CIA has confirmed they exist. And now that that's out of the way, the ACLU can go to court to acquire them. There is a compelling public interest in determining whether the President of the United States personally conspired to violate US and international law and commit war crimes, and one that far outweighs any concerns about keeping those interrogation techniques secret (particularly given the level of publicity around US torture and the similar directives from other US officials which have already been released). The security classification system does not exist to hide evidence of government wrongdoing – but that is exactly what it is being used for here.

Unfortunately, the passage of the Military Commissions Act means that Bush will not be able to be charged with war crimes or torture in a US court (that was the point - to cover the President's arse from any future administration with a shred of conscience and concern for law). But this information may result in him one day facing charges in other countries or before an international tribunal. And the sooner, the better.


... but this information may result in him one day facing charges in other countries or before an international tribunal. And the sooner, the better.

... and hopefully Rumsfeld and Cheyney will be standing beside him!

Posted by Anonymous : 11/16/2006 04:44:00 PM

The really interesting thing here is whether the international rule of law will apply to Rumsfield, Bush, etc. Or does it only apply to enemies of the West, like Iraqis and Serbians?

In a sense, I don't mind if it doesn't apply. That is the law of the jungle, the law of power, which we will live with for a long time yet.

What I mind is the holier than thou righteous attitude that goes along with it, and is likely to be exposed as just another smokescreen for enforcing their will on other people.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/16/2006 07:59:00 PM

Expect diminished responsibility as a defence. With Rove discredited and Unca Dick having no place to hide, the buffoon-in-chief's rank inadequacy will be amply showcased over the next to years.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/16/2006 09:23:00 PM

> That is the law of the jungle

even now international law (in particular, and still to an extent national law) rests upon "the law of power".

you can't tackle it head on or the system will fall over - you just have to keep chipping away at the edges.

I'd be happy to wait 10 years and then catch any guilty parties long after they have been seperated from power.

Posted by Genius : 11/17/2006 07:07:00 AM