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Torture: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al should be charged

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has recently released a 107 page report, “Getting Away with Torture: The Bush Administration and Mistreatment of Detainees,” detailing the abuse of detainees under the former Bush administration.

“Overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration obliges President Barack Obama to order a criminal investigation into allegations of detainee abuse authorized by former President George W. Bush and other senior official… The Obama administration has failed to meet US obligations under the Convention against Torture to investigate acts of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees.” – HRW

Some excerpts from HRW regarding the report:

*President Bush publicly admitted that in two cases he approved the use of waterboarding, a form of mock execution involving near-drowning that the United States has long prosecuted as a type of torture. Bush also authorized the illegal CIA secret detention and renditions programs, under which detainees were held incommunicado and frequently transferred to countries such as Egypt and Syria where they were likely to be tortured.

*Vice President Cheney was the driving force behind the establishment of illegal detention and interrogation policies, chairing key meetings at which specific CIA operations were discussed, including the waterboarding of one detainee, Abu Zubaydah, in 2002.

*Defense Secretary Rumsfeld approved illegal interrogation methods and closely followed the interrogation of Mohamed al-Qahtani, who was subjected to a six-week regime of coercive interrogation at Guantanamo that cumulatively appears to have amounted to torture.

*CIA Director Tenet authorized and oversaw the CIA’s use of waterboarding, stress positions, light and noise bombardment, sleep deprivation, and other abusive interrogation methods, as well as the CIA rendition program.

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