In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America

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War Crimes and War Criminals Must Be Prosecuted!

 By Debra Sweet 

 Holder Releases CIA Torture Report
 
The release of the long-anticipated CIA report, quashed since 2006 by the Bush regime, and then postponed several times by the Obama administration, finally came on August 24. 
 
Newsweek and the Guardian UK report that the CIA used mock executions to terrorize detainees, including through threatening the use of pistols and electric drills, and routinely threatened violent acts, including murder and rape, against the relatives of detainees. 
 
Attorney General Eric Holder has named a long time federal prosecutor, John H. Durham, to conduct a “preliminary review” aimed at determining whether a full criminal investigation of the conduct of agency employees or contractors is warranted. The New York Times described some of the dilemma Holder (and Obama) face: Obama has instructed Holder not to “look backward” (i.e., not to hold Bush, Cheney and Co. responsible for the torture they condoned and ordered), while at the same time still being able to claim that “we do not torture”. 
 
Glen Greenwald wrote in Salon that “Holder's decision does not amount to the appointment of a Special Prosecutor, since a preliminary review is used, as he emphasized, "to gather information to determine whether there is sufficient predication to warrant a full investigation of a matter."  More important, the scope of the "review" is limited at the outset to those who failed to "act in good faith and within the scope of legal guidance" -- meaning only those interrogators and other officials who exceeded the torture limits which John Yoo and Jay Bybee approved.  Those who, with good faith, tortured within the limits of the Office of Legal Counsel memos will "be protected from legal jeopardy" . Moreover, the announcement of Holder’s long awaited decision came on the same day the Obama administration announced that it will continue the odious Bush policy of “rendition” – which translates into plain English as giving prisoners over to flunky regimes for torture.
 
The Times reported that “Mr. Holder has told associates he is weighing a narrow investigation, focusing only on C.I.A. interrogators and contract employees who clearly crossed the line and violated the Bush administration's guidelines and engaged in flagrantly abusive acts.  But in taking that route, Mr. Holder would run two risks. One is the political fallout if only a handful of low-level agents are prosecuted for what many critics see as a pattern of excess condoned at the top of the government. The other is that an aggressive prosecutor would not stop at the bottom, but would work up the chain of command, and end up with a full-blown criminal inquiry into the intelligence agencies - just the kind of broad, open-ended criminal investigation the Obama administration says it wants to avoid."
 
Clearly, the interests of the people living in this country who care about humanity are not conflicted at all.  The war crimes should be prosecuted!  The CIA agents, contractors, and the lawyers and "deciders" who were in the White House should all face justice.
 
The demand for bringing those responsible for torture – up to and including Bush and Cheney – is far from dead. Those of us who've been calling for an end to the US torture state are right, and we should be more insistent than ever.
 
World Can't Wait will be reporting more fully on these developments in the upcoming days.
 

 

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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.