Monday, May 11, 2009

Oxdown Gazette » Two Important Petitions Regarding US Torture System

Oxdown Gazette » Two Important Petitions Regarding US Torture System

he first, endorsed by a row of respectable NGOs, calls for a ‘Independent Commission’ along the lines of the 9-11 Commission, has this legal hook: ‘recommend measures that would prevent any future abuses’:

Commission on Accountability

It does not propose immunity for those who testify, the essence of a ‘truth commission.’ Were it to be chaired by respectable figures who are not tarnished by contradictory statements on briefings given to Congress or a demonstrable role during the Clinton Administration in illegal renditions, it does not appear to me to be incompatible with a call for a special prosecutor.

The second, by progressive Democrats, calls for a Special Prosecutor to ‘investigate and prosecute any and all government officials who have participated in torture and other war crimes’ It written largely in parallel with the indictment being formulated in Spain and focusing on the US Department of Justice and Gitmo. It admittedly is complicated with the extraordinarily broad expression ‘participated in’:

www. Democrats.Com call for a ‘special prosecutor’ for ‘bush war crimes’

The latter is part of a strong effort on the part of ‘’ to keep AG Holder attentive as he prepares to release the Office of Professional Responsibility report, but seems to have a wording which defeats its purpose. The problem with this ‘scandal’ and its ‘cover-up’ is that the congressional leadership of the oppositional political party are implicated in the cover-up. This of course is not new news. It was all covered above the fold in the Washington Post in the days after the original destruction of the CIA torture tapes was reported in December 2007.

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