Friday, December 03, 2010

Torture: Past Time to Clean House

Done "In Our Names!", against what we say we are and stand for and against our Laws and the International Law we helped write! We are already, and have been, paying the high price for this past decade, which will continue!

Time to clean house on torture

As Wikileaks reveals how the US has covered the CIA's dirty tracks, the Obama administration must hold officials to account

Former department of justice official John Yoo testifying before the House judiciary committee during a hearing on the Bush administration's interrogation policy in 2008 in Washington, DC. Yoo cited attorney-client privilege in avoiding answering specific questions about his involvement in drafting the controversial 2002 'Bybee memo' on interrogation techniques. Photograph: Melissa Golden/Getty Images

3 December 2010 - In the already sordid annals of US torture in the name of countering terrorism, November proved to be an unusually embarrassing month – not just for the Bush administration, which sanctioned the abuses, but also for the Obama administration, which has failed to hold its predecessors accountable.

First, former President George W Bush boasted in his new memoir and on talkshows how he had authorised waterboarding, a form of torture. Then, a US special prosecutor announced that he will not pursue criminal charges against CIA officers for intentional destruction of videotapes that reportedly show two terrorism suspects being waterboarded in one of its secret prisons in Thailand in 2002. Now, classified diplomatic cables newly released by WikiLeaks confirm that both the Obama and Bush administrations sought to quash criminal investigations in Europe into illegal counterterrorism activities such as kidnapping and torture by Bush-era officials.

In Spain, US diplomats in April 2009 joined with a pair of Republican members of the US Congress to urge a Spanish prosecutor, as well as officials with Spain's justice ministry and foreign affairs ministry, to drop a potentially landmark investigation against six top Bush administration officials, the cables show. The Spanish probe sought to indict former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and five other Bush administration officials for creating the legal framework to justify the use of torture and other coercive interrogation techniques {read rest}

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