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Posts Tagged ‘Bush Administration officials’

Sahil Kapur, Raw Story, March 17, 2010

Senior Bush administration officials sternly cautioned the 9/11 Commission against probing too deeply into the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, according to a document recently obtained by the ACLU.

The notification came in a letter dated January 6, 2004, addressed by Attorney General John Ashcroft, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and CIA Director George J. Tenet. The ACLU described it as a fax sent by David Addington, then-counsel to former vice president Dick Cheney.

In the message, the officials denied the bipartisan commission’s request to question terrorist detainees, informing its two senior-most members that doing so would “cross” a “line” and obstruct the administration’s ability to protect the nation.

Continues >>

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International Criminal Court’s case against Bashir could provide legal precedence for going after Bush.

Think Progress- By Ben Armbruster on Mar 5th, 2009 at 7:30 pm

The International Criminal Court (ICC) yesterday issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Today, the AP reports that, based on the legal principles the ICC used to arrest al-Bashir, former President George W. Bush could be next on the list:

David Crane, an international law professor at Syracuse University, said the principle of law used to issue an arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir could extend to former US President Bush over claims officials from his Administration may have engaged in torture by using coercive interrogation techniques on terror suspects.

Crane is a former prosecutor of the Sierra Leone tribunal that indicted Liberian President Charles Taylor and put him on trial in The Hague.

Richard Dicker, director of the International Justice Programme at Human Rights Watch, said the al-Bashir ruling was likely to fuel discussion about investigations of possible crimes by Bush Administration officials.

President Clinton signed the “Rome Statute” setting up the ICC in 2000 but Bush then “unsigned” the document in May 2002, thereby withdrawing U.S. support for the court. However, the Wall Street Journal reported today that according to a senior White House official, the Obama administration may reconsider joining the court.

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Pelosi: Bush Administration lawbreakers should face prosecution, not immunity

Raw Story- John Byrne
Published: Thursday February 26, 2009

Not so fast.

Bush administration officials who broke the law should face criminal prosecution and shouldn’t get immunity in exchange for testimony under a proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission being discussed in the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in an interview broadcast late Wednesday.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) yesterday announced his committee will hold hearings on creating a panel to investigate alleged crimes committed by Bush administration officials, including torture of detainees and illegal wiretapping. Leahy has said the panel would avoid criminal charges except in cases of perjury.

Pelosi said she supported the investigation, but any plan should hold open the possibility of prosecution.

VIDEO AND MORE HERE

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Sudhan @16:00 CET

This Abu Ghraib detainee was reportedly threatened with electrocution if he fell.
This Abu Ghraib detainee was reportedly threatened with electrocution if he fell.

By Patrick Leahy, Time, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009

More than 30 years ago, a special Senate investigation peered into abuses that included spying on the American people by their own government.

The findings by Senator Frank Church’s committee, drawn from testimony spanning 800 witnesses and thousands of pages of government documents, revealed how powerful government surveillance tools were misused against the American people. For instance, the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation spent more than two decades searching in vain for communist influence in the NAACP and infiltrated domestic groups that, for example, advocated for women’s rights. The Church committee’s work led to creation of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and later to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act–reforms that largely held until the Bush years. (See George W. Bush’s biggest economic mistakes.)

The parallels with today are clear, and so are the lessons. Then, as in recent years, some were willing, in the name of security, to trade away the people’s rights as if they were written in sand, not stone. For much of this decade, we have read about and witnessed such abuses as the scandal at Abu Ghraib, the disclosure of torture memos and the revelations about the warrantless surveillance of Americans.

Continued >>

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Dozens of secret Bush surveillance, executive power memos found; Could be made public

Raw Story- John Byrne
Published: Tuesday February 3, 2009

Details about more than three dozen secret memoranda written by Bush Administration officials now sit atop a chart created by a public interest reporting group. The memos track new details about dozens of secret Bush Administration legal positions on torture, detention and warrantless wiretapping.

Meanwhile, Obama’s freshly-confirmed Attorney General Eric Holder told senators that he was open to declassifying White House legal memos if no support for their original classification could be found, signaling a likely showdown with former President George W. Bush over executive privilege.

“The Bush administration’s controversial policies on detentions, interrogations and warrantless wiretapping were underpinned by legal memoranda,” Pro Publica’s Dan Nguyen and Christopher Weaver write. “While some of those memos have been released (primarily as a result of ACLU lawsuits), the former administration kept far more memos secret than has been previously understood. At least three dozen by our count.”

Nguyen and Weaver produced the chart. Propublica was founded in 2007 as a non-profit driven investigative news outlet and is run by a former managing editor from the Wall Street Journal.

The chart lists 40 memos that remain secret, along with identifying the 12 that have been made public.

Click for more

Given the chart, one can find the exact date a memo was written, its author and sometimes short details the authors have gleaned from other sources.

Among the memos’ titles: “Criminal Charges against U.S. terrorists”; “Options for Interpreting the Geneva Convention” and “Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply to military operations abroad or in U.S.”

LARGER CHART & MORE HERE

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Bush officials authorized torture of US citizen, lawyers say

Raw Story- John Byrne
Published: Friday January 30, 2009

Attorneys for US citizen Jose Padilla — who was convicted of material support for terrorist activities in 2007 — say that high-level Bush Administration officials knew their client was being tortured during the time he was held an enemy combatant in a South Carolina brig, because of the command structure and that then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld employed in approving harsh interrogation tactics.

Rumsfeld approved the harsh interrogation techniques early in Bush’s presidency. In Iraq, a cheat sheet titled “Interrogation Rules of Engagement,” revealed that some of them required the Iraq commanding general’s approval.

Among those requiring approval are tactics Padilla’s mother and lawyer say he was the victim of: “Sleep adjustment,” “Sleep management, “Sensory deprivation,” “isolation lasting longer than thirty days” and “stress” positions.” It wouldn’t be a shock if military guards went beyond the traditional treatment of a US prisoner, given Rumsfeld’s approved techniques and that Padilla was is legal limbo as an enemy combatant and eligible to be held for years without charge.

Padilla and his mother filed suit against the US government last year alleging a litany of harsh interrogation practices they said were tantamount to torture. His lawyer also says he was held in isolation for years while held at the South Carolina brig.

“They knew what was going on at the brig and they permitted it to continue,” Tahlia Townsend, an attorney representing Padilla, told the Associated Press Thursday. “Defendants Rumsfeld and [Deputy Paul] Wolfowitz were routinely consulted on these kinds of questions.”

The Justice Department is attempting to get the case dismissed. Padilla’s suit alleges mistreatment and that Padilla’s being held as an enemy combat was unconstitutional.

MORE HERE

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