Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Identifying those responsible for war crimes

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The Bush team made much of the notion of “accountability,” and I’m glad to see some accountability start to happen. This is encouraging:

Top officials — including former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — were responsible for the use of “abusive” interrogation techniques on detainees at Guantanamo Bay, in Afghanistan and at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, a bipartisan Senate report concluded Thursday.

The long-awaited Senate Armed Services Committee report bluntly refuted the Bush administration’s repeated claims that the abuses, which helped fuel the Iraq insurgency and damaged America’s reputation around the world, were the work of a few low-level “bad apples.”

“Senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorized their use against detainees,” said the report’s 19-page unclassified executive summary. “Those efforts damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies, and compromised our moral authority.”

“Attempts by senior officials to pass the buck to low-ranking soldiers while avoiding any responsibility for abuses are unconscionable,” said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the panel’s chairman, who released the executive summary with Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the committee’s top Republican.

The report “details the inexcusable link between abusive interrogation techniques used by our enemies in violation of the Geneva Convention and interrogation policy for detainees in U.S. custody. These policies are wrong and must never be repeated,” said McCain, a former prisoner of war in North Vietnam.

The 250-page classified report, which is undergoing a Pentagon declassification review, was the most …

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Written by Leisureguy

12 December 2008 at 9:33 am

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