UN official: Enough evidence to prosecute Rumsfeld for war crimes
David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster
January 26, 2009
Monday, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak told CNN’s Rick Sanchez that the US has an “obligation” to investigate whether Bush administration officials ordered torture, adding that he believes that there is already enough evidence to prosecute former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
“We have clear evidence,” he said. “In our report that we sent to the United Nations, we made it clear that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld clearly authorized torture methods and he was told at that time by Alberto Mora, the legal council of the Navy, ‘Mr. Secretary, what you are actual ordering here amounts to torture.’ So, there we have the clear evidence that Mr. Rumsfeld knew what he was doing but, nevertheless, he ordered torture.”
Asked during an interview with Germany’s ZDF television on Jan. 20, Nowak said: “I think the evidence is on the table.”
At issue, however, is whether “American law will recognize these forms of torture.”
A bipartisan Senate report released last month found Rumsfeld and other top administration officials responsible for abuse of Guantanamo detainees in US custody.
It said Rumsfeld authorized harsh interrogation techniques on December 2, 2002 at the Guantanamo prison, although he ruled them out a month later.
The coercive measures were based on a document signed by Bush in February, 2002.
There is a video at the source as well.
UK ‘must release’ Iraq war files
January 28, 2009
The British government has been ordered to release the minutes of crucial ministerial meetings from 2003 at which the United States-led invasion of Iraq was discussed.
The information tribunal, which hears appeals under Britain’s data protection act, backed a decision to disclose minutes of cabinet meetings from March 13 and 17, where ministers held talks about whether the decision to go to war was allowed under international law.
The tribunal said: “We have decided that the public interest in maintaining the confidentiality of the formal minutes of two cabinet meetings at which ministers decided to commit forces to military action in Iraq did not… outweigh the public interest in disclosure.
The cabinet office has 28 days to decide whether to appeal against the ruling.
Announcing its decision on Tuesday, the tribunal said: “The decision to commit the nation’s armed forces to the invasion of another country is momentous in its own right, and… its seriousness is increased by the criticisms that have been made of the general decision-making processes in the cabinet at the time.”
A spokesman for Gordon Brown, the British prime minister, said: “We are considering our response”.
Tony Blair, prime minister at the time of the invasion, was widely criticised for backing George Bush, the then US president, in invading Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein despite failing to secure a second United Nations resolution on the matter.
Ministerial discussions focused notably on Peter Goldsmith’s, the then attorney general, advice on the legality of war.
Blair’s government strongly resisted demands for the advice of its most senior legal adviser to be made public, until a large section was leaked during the 2005 general election campaign.
Goldsmith then denied ministers pressured him into changing his mind to rule that invading Iraq would be legal in international law even without a second UN security council resolution.
The information tribunal said that “there has… been criticism of the attorney general’s legal advice and of the particular way in which the March 17 opinion was made available to the cabinet only at the last moment and the March 7 opinion was not disclosed to it at all.”
The tribunal ruling backed up an earlier decision by Richard Thomas, the information commissioner.
Thomas said: “I am pleased that the tribunal has upheld my decision that the public interest in disclosing the official cabinet minutes in this particular case outweighs the public interest in withholding the information.
“Disclosing the minutes will allow the public to more fully understand this particular decision.”
Blair and his cohorts should be tried for war crimes as well.
Others in the Bush Administration as well as Bush, should also be charged with war crimes and crimes against Humanity.
The weapons alone that were used, are one good place to start.
The war was based on fabricated information and lies.
Torture was condoned. Killing over a million people is Genocide.
Also there are the deaths an injuries suffered by the soldiers who were sent to the illegal war.
The list of crimes is quite extensive.
There is also the abuse of power. I would even call it treason.
No one should ever again, be allowed to commit these types of crimes and those who did, certainly should not go free. They are criminals.