Despite previous attempts by the Bush administration to blame subordinates for physically and mentally abusing detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, a bipartisan Senate panel reportedly blames the White House, saying the abuses were the direct result of Bush administration detention policies.
The Senate Armed Services Committee report — the result of a nearly two-year investigation that directly links President Bush’s policies after the 9/11 terrorist attack, legal memos on torture, which has led to many deaths, and interrogation rule changes with the abuse photographed at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq — concludes that harsh interrogations techniques used by the CIA and the U.S. military were adapted from the training techniques used to prepare special forces personnel to resist interrogation by enemies that torture and abuse prisoners.
The abusive techniques included forced nudity, painful stress positions, sleep deprivation and waterboarding, which allegedly ended in. A lot of the report remains classified. The report was released last week by the Senate committee.
Obviously it comes as no surprise. The Bush administration continues trying to keep their crimes covered with constant stall tactics, and has barred members of Congress from gaining access to key legal documents and memos about the detainee program, including an August 2002 memo that evaluated the legality of the program. More information can be found from The San Francisco Chronicle, The Daily Kos, Media With Conscience News and Salon News. George Bush authorized the abuses and torture. Bush’s crimes are profoundly unlawful and there is no statute of limitations for war crimes. Despite confirming Bush’s illegal actions, the report did not recommend any type of accountability or corrective actions.
Mukasey Putting Loyalty Above the Law
Disgraced Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was replaced by Michael Mukasey, who has proven more than once that he is also a disgrace. Mukasey has deliberately stonewalled every attempt made by Congress to investigate the most controversial policies of the Bush administration related to the so-called global war on terror.
Mukasey, possibly in an attempt to dissuade incoming President Obama from investigating the plethora of crimes committed by the Bush administration, has publicly declared that there is no legal basis to prosecute current and former Bush administration officials for authorizing torture, domestic surveillance, and that there is no reason for President Bush to issue blanket pardons before he leaves office in January to the individuals responsible for implementing those policies.
According to Mukasey, “there is absolutely no evidence that anybody who rendered a legal opinion, either with respect to surveillance or with respect to interrogation policies, did so for any reason other than to protect the security in the country and in the belief that he or she was doing something lawful. In those circumstances, there is no occasion to consider prosecution and there is no occasion to consider pardon.”
It’s ridiculous for the senior law enforcement official in the country to say that there is no reason to prosecute these criminals because these people believed they were doing something lawful. Violating the Geneva convention and authorizing torture and abuse is not lawful. Illegally spying on American citizens is not lawful. There is very little the Bush administration has done that is lawful. Bush’s corrupted policies and fantasies did not protect this country — they have in fact destroyed millions of lives and endangered this country. Something needs to be done to protect this country from Bush’s policies.
Rep. John Conyers — chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, who has never done anything to hold Bush and his administration accountable for any of the crimes they’ve committed — knows that there are reams of evidence showing that the Bush administration broke the law. A break down on some of the crimes committed by Bush and his administration is available from The Intelligence Daily.
Obama Urged to Keep Bush’s Intelligence Chiefs
Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, the House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat reportedly recommended that President-elect Barack Obama keep the country’s current National Intelligence Director and CIA chief in place for some time to ensure continuity in U.S. intelligence programs during the transition to a new administration.
Reyes also recommended to Obama’s transition team that some parts of the CIA’s controversial alternative interrogation program should be allowed to continue, although he declined to say what he specifically recommended.
Reyes believes that Mike McConnell, Director of National Intelligence and Michael Hayden, Director of the CIA should stay at their posts for at least six months since they’re ‘pivotal to keeping us safe and secure.’ Reyes is afraid we’ll all be annihilated by the terrorists created by Bush and his administration.
Top Congressional Democrats were informed about Bush’s torture and illegal surveillance policies and did nothing to stop them, oftentimes assenting and pushing for more. Congress has repeatedly passed illegal, unconstitutional laws — after crimes had already been committed — attempting to legalize Bush’s illegal actions because of Congressional Leadership’s complicity in Bush’s crimes. That’s also why Bush hasn’t been impeached.
As noted by Glenn Greenwald from Salon News, Bush’s policies aren’t going to disappear because Democrats are in control. The highest levels of Democratic Congressional leadership of our corrupted political system are one of the many factions in Washington working to make sure that Bush’s policies remain in place.
The President Is Not Above the Law
As noted by Bill Moyers Journal on PBS, the press seems strangely uninterested in Bush’s controversial treatment of the Constitution and the Rule of Law: torture, surveillance without a warrant, or prisoners of war, the Geneva Convention and the claims that the president has made for expanding the power of his office.
Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional lawyer, had this to say when he appeared as a guest of Bill Moyers:
“What you have is a two-tiered system of justice where ordinary Americans are subjected to the most merciless criminal justice system in the world. They break the law. The full weight of the criminal justice system comes crashing down upon them. But our political class, the same elites who have imposed that incredibly harsh framework on ordinary Americans, have essentially exempted themselves and the leaders of that political class from the law.
They have license to break the law. That’s what we’re deciding now as we say George Bush and his top advisors shouldn’t be investigated let alone prosecuted for the laws that we know that they’ve broken. And I can’t think of anything more damaging to our country because the rule of law is the lynchpin of everything we have.”
We the people have paid the price for political corruption in Washington. There is one set of laws in this country and it’s time for politicians to stop condoning and covering the criminal actions of their peers. More information regarding Bush’s delusions of being above the law can be found at PBS and Crooks and Liars.
The Bush administration has a callous history of perverting the rule of law and thinking they’re above it. For the past three plus decades, politics as usual in Washington has resulted in President’s getting away with multiple crimes. It’s time for that to stop and it’s time for the people to demand that Bush and his administration — as well as those who helped him along the way — be held accountable.