The watchdog organization, Human Rights Watch, has called for President Obama to arrest Dick Cheney and George W Bush in order to prosecute them for their participation in the CIA’s torture program. A new report from the group says, “there is substantial evidence supporting charges of conspiracy to torture against senior US officials and CIA contractors, including evidence that some individuals joined the conspiracy after it was first established.” Specific crimes listed in the report are “torture, assault, sexual abuse, war crimes, and conspiracy to commit such crimes.”
Human Rights Watch did not stop with only Cheney and Bush either. Their report is very comprehensive and goes on to list a load of their underlings as well:
Based on the information outlined above, the following individuals should be investigated for their role in the conspiracy: Acting CIA General Counsel John Rizzo, Head of the Justice Department OLC Jay Bybee, OLC Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, the person identified as ‘CTC Legal’ in the Senate Summary, CIA Director George Tenet, National Security Legal Advisor John Bellinger, Attorney General John Ashcroft, White House Counsel Legal Advisor Alberto Gonzales, Counsel to the Vice President David Addington, Deputy White House Counsel Timothy Flanigan, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.
In the time after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Bush and Cheney took advantage a nation that was in a state of panic. They immediately set to finding legal loopholes, allowing the CIA to detain and torture suspected terrorists or those affiliated with them. Bush had stated in 2002 that Taliban or Al-Qaeda actors did not fall under the Geneva Prisoner Of War rules, thus allowing for the atrocities committed under his regime.
The torture program was created by two civilians, James Mitchell, and Bruce Jessen. Both had previously worked as Psychologists for the Air Force but had zero experience as interrogators. They also had no knowledge of Al-Qaeda, or any relevant experience in terrorism or regional experience. The program was carried out in what were called “black sites” in allied nations, such as Poland, without full disclosure being made to them what their use will be. When their true purpose was brought to the awareness of host nations, there was severe backlash harming American global credibility.
Once commenced, the torture program was managed with all of the Bush and Cheney ineptitude that is responsible for the spectacular failure of the decade-long occupation of Iraq.
People were held for months in these facilities, sometimes without even being questioned, due to a lack of translators with the required expertise. When communication was possible, the program produced false intelligence, because the victims were telling the interrogators anything they wanted to hear. Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, lied to the CIA about attempting to recruit black American Muslims in order to get the torture to stop. The CIA knew internally that there would be very little actionable intelligence obtained, but leadership did not seem to care. The victims of these sites were essentially being tortured simply because they could be, without any regard for results.
The CIA torture program and the White House’s approval of it is a perfect example of why the G.W. Bush presidency is going to go down as one of the most corrupt and criminal administrations in U.S. history. It is about time that we Americans hold these people to account for the damage they caused to our nation and the world, by punishing them for their crimes.
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