Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Rumsfeld authorized detainee torture--War Criminal's Trial Begins

Federal suit charges Rumsfeld authorized detainee torture
By Don Knowland
8 March 2005

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Four Afghans and four Iraqis have sued US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in federal court in Chicago, the city of his principal residence, for implementing interrogation policies that resulted in their torture at the hands of US military forces. The case was filed on behalf of these plaintiffs on March 1 by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First, until recently known as Lawyers for Human Rights.

According to the complaint, all the plaintiffs “are and were non-combatant civilians who pose no threat to the United States.” They were not engaged in hostilities against the US, were never prosecuted for criminal violations and were released by the military after being brutally tortured. The suit charges that this torture came as a result of a “policy, pattern or practice of torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” authorized at the highest levels of the US military.

The eight plaintiffs have provided detailed accounts of their abuse by US torturers, which form the cornerstone of the lawsuit against Rumsfeld. [See accompanying article “Afghan and Iraqi prisoners detail abuse by US torturers”] They are seeking monetary damages to compensate them for their physical, psychological and emotional injuries.

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights and the four Iraqis recently sought to initiate criminal prosecution of Rumsfeld and former CIA Director George Tenet in Germany, for many of the same acts alleged in the lawsuit, but the German government rejected that request on February 10. [See “US group files war crimes complaint in Germany against Rumsfeld”]

The complaint initiating the civil lawsuit against Rumsfeld pieces together in considerable detail the train of events that led to widespread torture of detainees in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo, Cuba, and reads like pages from the annals of the Nazis’ techniques. The full written complaint can be viewed at by clicking on “Rumsfeld complaint” under the “Legal Papers” heading.

International law and US law prohibits, without exception, torture and cruel treatment of prisoners. By 2002, illegal interrogation techniques were already widespread in Afghanistan. In January 2002, Amnesty International wrote letters to Rumsfeld complaining of mistreatment of Afghanistan detainees, including sensory deprivation by means such as hooding, restraint in painful positions, death threats, prolonged sleep deprivation, violent shaking, and use of cold air to chill the detainee. Amnesty International wrote a lengthy memorandum to Rumsfeld in April 2002 complaining of abuses both in Afghanistan and at Guantanamo.



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