Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Arrest Bush, Arrest Them All

The United States Army general who investigated the Abu Ghraib torture scandal has accused the Bush regime of war crimes and challenged American prosecutors to act.

Retired Major General Antonio Taguba, who claims he was forced into early retirement for his outspoken findings, says Bush and his minions have disgraced the honour of the United States and its military:

"This report tells the largely untold human story of what happened to detainees in our custody when the Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture. This story is not only written in words: It is scrawled for the rest of these individuals' lives on their bodies and minds. Our national honor is stained by the indignity and inhumane treatment these men received from their captors.

The profiles of these eleven former detainees, none of whom were ever charged with a crime or told why they were detained, are tragic and brutal rebuttals to those who claim that torture is ever justified. Through the experiences of these men in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, we can see the full scope of the damage this illegal and unsound policy has inflicted - both on America's institutions and our nation's founding values, which the military, intelligence services, and our justice system are duty-bound to defend.

In order for these individuals to suffer the wanton cruelty to which they were subjected, a government policy was promulgated to the field whereby the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice were disregarded. The UN Convention Against Torture was indiscriminately ignored. And the healing professions, including physicians and psychologists, became complicit in the willful infliction of harm against those the Hippocratic Oath demands they protect.

After years of disclosures by government investigations, media accounts, and reports from human rights organizations, there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.

The former detainees in this report - each of whom is fighting a lonely and difficult battle to rebuild his life - require reparations for what they endured, comprehensive psycho-social and medical assistance, and even an official apology from our government.

But most of all, these men deserve justice as required under the tenets of international law and the United States Constitution.

And so do the American people."

Read the summary of the Taguba report here:

Look, people, here's another challenge. These draft-dodging despots, beginning with Cheney and working on down through the ranks of the neo-con vultures, are war criminals, plain and simple. Why, then, are we still treating them as legitimate members, nay leaders, of the community of nations of the free world? Bush/Cheney have caused the slaughter of far more people than Mugabe ever did, more than Ghadaffi, more than Arafat, more than al-Qaeda or Osama bin Laden, more than just about anyone save for Nixon, Stalin and Hitler.

These people, and the right-wingers in other nations who serve as their enablers, are vermin and if our world is to heal the wounds they've torn into us, the leadership must be denounced and condemned, charged and tried. The hundreds of thousands of dead and millions displaced deserve nothing less.

Before you dismiss this call as histrionic or hyperbole, at least read this:

Then, those of you interested in seeing the complete mosaic of how the American people and the rest of us were neo-conned into the War Without End on Terror, throw 75-bucks at PBS and get a copy of their 4.5-hour DVD "Bush's War." If you still have some hold on your senses and integrity, it'll make your blood boil.


LeDaro said...

It is an unprovoked and illegal war.

Bush Senior attacked Iraqi forces in Kuwait claiming that no sovereign nation should overtake another sovereign nation. So what Bush Jr. has done? Only difference is that murder and mayhem is many folds greater.

Fish said...

Well, I'm not sure that I would agree with the picture of Irak that Michael Moore paints, but there's no getting around the fact that Iraq had not attacked the U.S., but then again, neither did Nazi Germany.

Can you imagine how that war would have gone had Hitler not saved Roosevelt a lot of trouble and declared war so soon after Pearl Harbour? It's entirely possible that the U.S. may have simply focused its efforts on Japan and thrown the rest of us to the wolves. Stalin would have probably crushed Hitler anyways, but then all of Europe would have been Communist.

I'm not trying to suggest that the U.S. needed to go into Iraq, in fact, hindsight being 20/20, it's pretty clear that the situation is almost the opposite of how things were in 1941. All I'm saying is that a war does not necessarily have to be provoked to be justified (though clearly the Iraq war is neither).

LeDaro said...

Fish, there is a great difference between Iraq and Hitler. Hitler was a threat to world peace. Iraq had no WMD - the excuse Bush and gang used.

Sadaam had nothing to do with Al-Queda as they were threat to his regime. Now Al Queda is entrenched in Iraq.

Invasion was to control Iraq oil resources as McCain has openly admitted.

Fish said...

Ledaro, if you re-read the final sentence of my last comment, you will notice that I very clearly wrote that the invasion of Iraq was neither provoked nor justified.

My only point was to say that one nation does not NECESSARILY have to attack another nation first in order for an attack to be justified. Nothing more was said, so it appears we are in agreement.

The Mound of Sound said...

Actually, the grounds upon which war can be waged lawfully (and therefore justifiably) are incredibly limited. It pretty much comes down to war sanctioned by the Security Council or war without SC sanction either in defence to attack or to pre-empt an imminent attack.

The international community came to this agreement when, in the mass mayhem of WWII, we realized that wars of aggression had to be outlawed. The evolution and spread of WMD technologies made this more than mere diplomatic altruism but in fact a global imperative.

Of course the most powerful nations could not resist the urge to renege on this deal which has furnished, to no small degree, the underpinning to the spread of WMD development, including dreaded nuclear weaponry.

The Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty obliged the then nuclear club members to work toward nuclear disarmament. They've ignored it from the outset and yet seem to become outraged when lesser nations shun their NPT obligations.

The hypocrisy is stunning. It's also lethal - sooner or later.

Fish said...

For once I was making more of a moral argument than a legal one, but you're absolutely right Mound. A war is generally considered illegal so long as it is not authorized by the security council.