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Torture: Will no one be held accountable?

On the off chance that you missed it, I want to repeat yesterday’s news from the Washington Post. A Bush administration official finally has said yes, terror suspects were tortured:

‘We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani,’ said Susan J. Crawford, in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in February 2007. ‘His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that’s why I did not refer the case’ for prosecution.

Crawford, a judge, is the person who decides whether Guantanamo detainees will stand trial for their alleged offenses. Her conclusion in Qahtani’s case was that he was tortured, and because he was tortured he could not be tried for his alleged plan to be the 20th hijacker on 9/11.

Finally someone in the administration has defined a detainee’s interrogation as “torture.” Not a pundit, not a critic, not some Democrat running for office or trying to score points. Crawford is the Bush administration’s appointee given the specific responsibility of deciding how to deal with the detainees, and this is her conclusion re Qahtani.

It was bad enough that the administration authorized the use of torture, in violation of the Geneva Conventions, all the while denying they were doing so and knowing torture does not get reliable information from a prisoner. Now, apparently, those prisoners who were tortured can never be tried for crimes they might have committed.

Are the individuals who conceived and instigated this entire debacle just going to wash their hands on January 20th and ride off into the sunset? Will they, much like those they tortured, never be held accountable for what they did?

I have no words for the anger I feel about what this administration has done, and I’m deeply saddened to think that our new president, in his efforts to heal this nation and move forward, may decide it’s best to let Bush, Cheney & Company slip quietly out of Washington — to ponder their “disappointments” in private, answerable to no one but themselves.

1 Comment »

  1. Google: “CIA Rendition”

    Take some time with those results. That small phrase may change your life and alter everything you hold dear as the “truth”. It did for me.

    One of the greatest “trampling” of Madison’s Constitution of the Republic is the fact that a virtual army of specialized forces exists (the CIA) and is allowed absolutely ZERO oversight by Congress. They are commanded by the President, are answerable to the President, and report ONLY to the President of the United States.

    I recommend “Nemesis” by Chalmers Johnson, even if you only read the chapter about the CIA.

    [I was thinking only of the Gitmo prisoners, but have known that rendition was also going on. If the CIA operatives involved are responsible only to the President, then rendition is yet another practice for which Bush should be held accountable.

    If another nation were to hold suspected terrorists in a special prison without ever trying them, and often torturing them, and sends other suspects to other countries to be tortured, wouldn’t the U.S. and other nations step in and demand accountability? What will other nations think of us if we don’t take action and hold the perpetrators accountable.]

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” ― Isaac Asimov

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