New Torture Report: Trail Leads to Rumsfeld, Other Senior Officials

April 22, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The Senate Armed Services Committee released a blistering report on Tuesday, condemning senior level Bush administration officials who either authorized or created “the legal and operational framework” for their shameful, harsh interrogation abuses of detainees. The report focuses on interrogation abuses conducted by the military used in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, directly authorized in a written memo authored by former defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The report points to culpability at the highest levels of the Bush administration, including President Bush himself, who set the climate for abuse by claiming the Geneva Conventions did not apply to terrorist detainees. Next in line is former Vice President Cheney who implored the administration to turn to the “dark side” to deal with terrorists after 9/11.

White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales referred to the Geneva Conventions as “quaint,” as well as providing legal cover for Bush administration officials and CIA agents to sanction torture.

The 232-page report, prepared over 18 months was entered into the record by Senate Armed Services Chairman, Democratic Senator Carl Levin, leaving no doubt how deeply top Bush officials were involved in abuses saying: “claims, such as that made by former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz that detainee abuses could be chalked up to the unauthorized acts of a “few bad apples,” were simply false,” chastising Wolfowitz and others who attempted to shift blame down to low level soldiers.

Rumsfeld’s written authorization of 15 interrogation techniques used by the military in its SERE training, to prepare soldiers for harsh interrogation techniques used by enemies that refuse to follow the Geneva Conventions, was used to sanction detainee abuses in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gitmo.

Some of these SERE techniques authorized by Rumsfeld, included keeping detainees naked, placing them in stress positions, putting hoods over their heads, face and body slaps, sleep deprivation, slamming them against a wall, confinement in a small box, treating them like animals, subjecting them to loud music and flashing lights, exposure to extreme temperatures and until just recently, waterboarding.

The report shows how the authorizing of aggressive interrogation techniques, conveyed the message that physical abuse and degradation of detainees was appropriate and set the stage for a dark period in America’s history, during the Bush administration.

The disgusting trail of Rumsfeld’s memo is as follows, first it was used to sanction abuses at Gitmo, next a special-operations military lawyer in Afghanistan used it to approve detainee abuse, next the depraved memo was delivered into the hands of an officer of a special-operations unit in Iraq who changed the letterhead and proceeded to employ the SERE interrogation techniques.

Rumsfeld’s memo was then delivered to the head interrogation officer at Abu Ghraib prison, where stress positions, sleep management and military dogs were used to abuse prisoners.

Senator Levin is formally recommending Attorney General Holder pursue investigations of detainee abuses, by appointing an independent investigator to “establish accountability of high-level officials–including lawyers.”

Now both The Senate Armed Services Committee and President Obama are putting the ball in Holder’s court for possible criminal investigations into illegal actions taken by Bush administration officials, authorizing torture.

MoveOn.org is set to launch a new web ad calling for Holder to conduct an investigation into Bush administration officials, responsible for condoning torture, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, John Yoo and Jay Bybee.

The web ad concludes with the tag lines:“America is better than this.” “Ask Attorney General Holder to appoint an independent special prosecutor to investigate these abuses.”

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One Response to “New Torture Report: Trail Leads to Rumsfeld, Other Senior Officials”

  1. Rotten to the Core « HYSTERICAL RAISINS on April 24th, 2009 8:03 pm

    […] DVD cover. (ChattahBox)—The Senate Armed Services Committee released a blistering report on Tuesday, condemning senior […]

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