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Archive for November 10th, 2006


A lawsuit in Germany will seek a criminal prosecution of the outgoing Defense Secretary and other U.S. officials for their alleged role in abuses at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo.

Just days after his resignation, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany’s top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The plaintiffs in the case include 11 Iraqis who were prisoners at Abu Ghraib, as well as Mohammad al-Qahtani, a Saudi held at Guantanamo, whom the U.S. has identified as the so-called “20th hijacker” and a would-be participant in the 9/11 hijackings. As TIME first reported in June 2005, Qahtani underwent a “special interrogation plan,” personally approved by Rumsfeld, which the U.S. says produced valuable intelligence. But to obtain it, according to the log of his interrogation and government reports, Qahtani was subjected to forced nudity, sexual humiliation, religious humiliation, prolonged stress positions, sleep deprivation and other controversial interrogation techniques.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs say that one of the witnesses who will testify on their behalf is former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the one-time commander of all U.S. military prisons in Iraq. Karpinski — who the lawyers say will be in Germany next week to publicly address her accusations in the case — has issued a written statement to accompany the legal filing, which says, in part: “It was clear the knowledge and responsibility [for what happened at Abu Ghraib] goes all the way to the top of the chain of command to the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld .”

A spokesperson for the Pentagon told TIME there would be no comment since the case has not yet been filed.

Along with Rumsfeld, Gonzales and Tenet, the other defendants in the case are Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone; former assistant attorney general Jay Bybee; former deputy assisant attorney general John Yoo; General Counsel for the Department of Defense William James Haynes II; and David S. Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff. Senior military officers named in the filing are General Ricardo Sanchez, the former top Army official in Iraq; Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the former commander of Guantanamo; senior Iraq commander, Major General Walter Wojdakowski; and Col. Thomas Pappas, the one-time head of military intelligence at Abu Ghraib.

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US envoy to UN ‘set to lose job’


The US envoy to the UN, John Bolton, looks set to lose his job after the Democrats’ victory in mid-term polls.

Mr Bolton was appointed to the post during a Congressional recess after his nomination stalled in the Senate.

The White House wants Mr Bolton to stay at the UN, but the chances are slim of him being backed by the Senate.

He would become the second high-profile member of President George Bush’s team to leave after the polls, following Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Mr Bolton’s appointment in August 2005 was a procedural manoeuvre which avoided the need for him to be confirmed until the end of this year.
That procedure cannot be repeated, and the new climate in Congress appears to rule out winning a two-thirds majority of senators.

President Bush has formally asked for Mr Bolton to be confirmed during the final session of the outgoing Senate.

Climate change
But the senators who opposed Mr Bolton last time, including one Republican, are refusing to change their minds.

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Rumsfeld Acknowledges Rocky Turn in Iraq


WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld acknowledged Thursday progress in the Iraq war has not been going ”well enough or fast enough” in his first extended remarks since announcing his resignation under political pressure.

Rumsfeld said little about his impending departure when speaking to a friendly audience of students, teachers and military personnel at Kansas State University. Instead, he offered a retrospective of sorts on his two tours as defense chief while echoing President Bush’s appraisal that the conflict has been going poorly in recent months.

”I will say this — it is very clear that the major combat operations were an enormous success,” he said, of the March 2003 invasion in which Baghdad fell within weeks. ”It’s clear that in Phase 2 of this, it has not been going well enough or fast enough.”

Since the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein, a violent insurgency and — in recent months — bloody warfare between Muslim sects have erupted.
Democrats demanded Rumsfeld’s resignation in the first blush of victory in Tuesday’s midterm elections, as they had done throughout the campaign. Unhappiness with the course of the Iraq war was a driving force for voters who brought down the GOP majority in the House and Senate.

Rumsfeld declined to offer advice to former CIA chief Robert Gates, nominated by Bush on Tuesday to replace him, and ducked when asked to grade his performance as defense secretary, a job he has had since the start of the Bush administration. ”I’d let history worry about that,” he said crisply.

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A lawsuit in Germany will seek a criminal prosecution of the outgoing Defense Secretary and other U.S. officials for their alleged role in abuses at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo.

Just days after his resignation, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany’s top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The plaintiffs in the case include 11 Iraqis who were prisoners at Abu Ghraib, as well as Mohammad al-Qahtani, a Saudi held at Guantanamo, whom the U.S. has identified as the so-called “20th hijacker” and a would-be participant in the 9/11 hijackings. As TIME first reported in June 2005, Qahtani underwent a “special interrogation plan,” personally approved by Rumsfeld, which the U.S. says produced valuable intelligence. But to obtain it, according to the log of his interrogation and government reports, Qahtani was subjected to forced nudity, sexual humiliation, religious humiliation, prolonged stress positions, sleep deprivation and other controversial interrogation techniques.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs say that one of the witnesses who will testify on their behalf is former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the one-time commander of all U.S. military prisons in Iraq. Karpinski — who the lawyers say will be in Germany next week to publicly address her accusations in the case — has issued a written statement to accompany the legal filing, which says, in part: “It was clear the knowledge and responsibility [for what happened at Abu Ghraib] goes all the way to the top of the chain of command to the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld .”

A spokesperson for the Pentagon told TIME there would be no comment since the case has not yet been filed.

Along with Rumsfeld, Gonzales and Tenet, the other defendants in the case are Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone; former assistant attorney general Jay Bybee; former deputy assisant attorney general John Yoo; General Counsel for the Department of Defense William James Haynes II; and David S. Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff. Senior military officers named in the filing are General Ricardo Sanchez, the former top Army official in Iraq; Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the former commander of Guantanamo; senior Iraq commander, Major General Walter Wojdakowski; and Col. Thomas Pappas, the one-time head of military intelligence at Abu Ghraib.

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