Friday, January 20, 2012

Crime - torture - and punishment

A small item from the Miami Herald, one of the McClatchy newspapers, the only papers that did serious coverage of the lies involved in the Iraq aggression, but have no publications for the “important people” in Washington and New York, talks of the torture and rape of three Frenchmen picked up by the United States in 2001 and held for four years in Guantanamo. The pictures of rape at Abu Ghraib were one of the things that shocked even Rumsfeld – as the SecDef reported of seeing the photographers, perhaps bringing home to him for a moment who he was, a war criminal (with the legal doctrine of command responsibility, the US executed Japanese generals who had not explicitly warned their troops against committing war crimes...).

Over a hundred prisoners were murdered in the course of torture, in American custody, according to the Pentagon (see “Taxi to the Dark Side” concerning the murder of Mr. Dilawar)...

It is the third international judicial inquiry into American war crimes, the article reports, in the past week. The Convention against Torture, here, though international law and American law (signed by President Reagan, ratified by Congress, part of the highest law of the land under Article 6, Section 2 of the Constitution, the Supremacy Clause) may be ducked by the Obama administration as well as the Bush administration, but European judges do not agree.

Will the Obama administration provide Judge Sophie Clement with the secret records from Guantanamo she is asking for?

If it does not, will the provision about what happens when a national court refuses to prosecute grave crimes be brought into effect, and will international courts move, even more determinedly, against American war criminals?

Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Rice, the formerly well-travelled Secretary of State, and Gonzaelz and Yoo among others, can no longer go abroad. See here, here, here, here and here.

They occasionally tour in the United States, make book sales, face demonstrations (in classrooms at Stanford and Berkeley or at Auraria in Denver or at the University of Virginia or at the American Political Science Association, or as with Bush in Montreal…), and perhaps have odd dreams

Drip, drip, drip…

Report: French judge wants to probe Guantanamo torture claims

Related Content
• Spanish judge reopens Guantanamo torture probe

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — A French judge is seeking U.S. permission to visit the prison camps here to investigate claims by former French inmates that they were tortured, the Associated Press reported from Paris on Tuesday.

The AP reported that it saw a formal international request from investigating judge Sophie Clement to U.S. authorities to see the prison here that Tuesday held 171 captives, none of them French citizens. Clement also seeks copies of all documents relating to the arrest and transfer of three Frenchmen who were held there.

The three men are Nizar Sassi, now 31, Mourad Benchellali, now 30, and Khaled Ben Mustapha, now 40. They were arrested on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in late 2001 and transferred to Guantánamo. They were sent back to France in 2004 and 2005, held for a time for trial there, but then released.

The men told the judge during questioning in France that they were subject to violence including torture and rape during their detention.

At Guantánamo, a Pentagon spokesman, Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale said it was not immediately known whether U.S. officials had received the request.

The request is the third indication in less than a week that international authorities have renewed their interest in the legality of Bush-era policies on the treatment of war-on-terror captives. On Friday, a Spanish judge decided to go forward with torture investigations involving four other former Guantanamo captives now living in Europe, one day after British authorities said they would probe British links to a CIA-organized rendition program that delivered opponents of now dead Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to Libya, where they allege they were tortured.

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