Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Rumsfeld Responsible for Torture Scandal

Human Rights Watch has called for an investigation of Donald Rumsfeld and those under his control for human rights abuses perpetrated by the U.S. Military. No surprises here, but it's worth noting all the same.

The humanitarian organization Human Rights Watch has issued a report to coincide with the first anniversary of the publication of the first Abu Ghraib photographs, which showed the most horrendous and shocking scenes of torture and disrespect for the human condition since the Nazi concentration camps of WW2.

In the report "Getting away with torture? Command responsibility for the US abuse of detainees", the report states that there is "substantial evidence warranting criminal investigations" of Rumsfeld, Tenet (ex-CIA Director), General Ricardo Sanchez (US commander in Iraq) and General Geoffrey Miller (Commander of the Abu Ghraib concentration camp).

The report claims that there is also evidence that Abu Ghraib is the tip of the iceberg and that torture of detainees also took place in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and at other secret locations around the world. The report quotes special counselor Reed Brody, who claims that "This pattern of abuse across several countries did not result from the acts of individual soldiers who broke the rules. It resulted from decisions made by senior US officials to bend, ignore or cast rules aside".

The report examines the legal principle of "command responsibility", under which a superior is liable for crimes committed by subordinates where he either knew or should have known that these crimes were being committed and did not take reasonable action to prevent them.

HRW goes on to claim that Rumsfeld himself signed documents authorizing the use of dogs to frighten prisoners, or forcing detainees into "stress positions", in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Convention against Torture.|Link|
(emphasis added)

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