Thursday, July 14, 2011

Getting Away With Torture

As Human Rights Watch contends, the Obama Administration has failed to meet this country's obligations "to investigate acts of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees" by the prior administration.  It has just released a 107-page report, Getting Away With Torture, which "presents substantial information warranting criminal investigations of Bush and senior administration officials, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and CIA Director George Tenet, for ordering practices such as “waterboarding,” the use of secret CIA prisons, and the transfer of detainees to countries where they were tortured."

Executive Director Kenneth Roth states that despite "solid grounds to investigate Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Tenet for authorizing torture and war crimes . . . President Obama has treated torture as an unfortunate policy choice rather than a crime."  In the absence of a meaningful reckoning, however, "Obama's decision to end abusive interrogation practices will remain easily reversible unless the legal prohibition against torture is clearly reestablished."

Roth asserts that if the United States government refuses to pursue credible criminal investigations, other countries should prosecute US officials involved in crimes against detainees in accordance with international law:  "The US has a legal obligation to investigate these crimes," Roth said. "If the US doesn't act on them, other countries should."

[Related posts:  No Accounting For Torture; Pitfalls of Only Looking Forward, Tortured Logic; No Spain, No Gain.]


Post a Comment