January 2006; Photo by Fred Askew
By Emma Kaplan
Watching all of the hype around Cheney, Rumsfeld and John Yoo has made me absolutely nauseated. And frankly, every single person who screamed at their television or had an Impeach sticker on their car when these war criminals held power should be just as nauseated.
These are the criminals that lied, broke the law and committed some of the most atrocious crimes against humanity comparable to that of Nazi Germany. And now they are gallivanting around the country, on the media and in NYC as “legitimate voices of authority.”
I was about 20 years when I began to deeply feel that the Bush administration was illegitimate. I was outraged at the fact that this administration was taking away basic civil liberties and how they lied about the reasons why the U.S. went to war.
“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.” —Vice President Dick Cheney, August 2002
“No ‘weapons of mass destruction’ were ever found in Iraq. An October 2004 CIA report concluded, ‘Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991” and found “no credible indications that Baghdad resumed production.’ An unnamed CIA official later said, ‘Bush didn’t give a fuck about the intelligence. He had his mind made up [to go to war].’”
I attended a screening of the Not In Our Name inspired Bush Crimes Commission held by World Can’t Wait. This commission featured detailed evidence and substance in the form of stunning testimony from eye-witnesses and experts that proved the Bush regime to be guilty of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity.
It showed fourteen year old Ali Faris who had been shot by U.S. military forces in his own home. It showed the mark in house left by a U.S. a bomb that murdered a child who had been sleeping there. Other photos showed U.S. tanks taking over playgrounds, destroying homes and lives. An Iraq veteran and war resister spoke with pain in his voice about daily life in Iraq. He talked about how medical aid was denied to civilians and how they were given orders to kidnap these civilians and take them to camps where they were sleep deprived and subjected to other forms of torture. He talked about how they were trained to look at Iraqis as dogs. A UN ambassador showed evidence that a prisoner had died from having his body emerged in boiling water.
At that point, I started to cry.
I could go on about what was revealed but I wouldn’t do all the testimony justice. If you haven’t seen this you should watch it here
I had never seen anything like this before. Afterwards, my sadness and disbelief quickly turned to anger. I called my mother, whose uncle had been killed in Auschwitz. I told her “We are fucking torturing and killing people. We have to stop the Bush Regime. They are like the Nazis.”
Legal memos written by attorney John Yoo authorized the use of torture by giving the Bush administration the right to use whatever methods it deemed necessary including “crushing the testicles of a child.” Yoo now teaches constitutional law at Berkeley.
More evidence comes to light everyday that re-affirms how correct we were in identifying the Bush Regime as dangerous war criminals who were indeed guilty of vicious crimes against humanity. Wikileaks has shown time and time again that massacres, kidnapping, torture and extradition have been carried out with consent from the highest levels of government.
wrote. “As revealed by a State Department Cable released by WikiLeaks last week, US forces committed a heinous war crime during a house raid in Iraq in 2006, wherein one man, four women, two children, and three infants were summarily executed. The cable excerpts a letter written by Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, addressed to then Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.”
Rumsfeld is infamous for telling a military aide (after 9/11) to “sweep it all up, things related to [the attack] and not.” He is also authorized this.
In an August 30 interview with Matt Lauer, Cheney completely stands behind his decision to torture, his pal Donald Rumsfeld and the illegal wars of aggression in the Middle East. These monsters shouldn’t be on book tours, in NYC or in college classrooms. They should be locked up in jail.
But why aren’t they in jail? They aren’t in jail partly because Obama is continuing these crimes.
It has become common knowledge that Barack Obama has openly ordered the assassination of an American citizen, Anwar al-Aulaki. Without trial or other judicial proceeding, the administration has simply put him on the to-be-killed list. Whistleblowers in the military leaked a video showing U.S. troops firing on an unarmed party of Iraqis in 2007, including two journalists, and then firing on those who attempted to rescue them, including two children. As ugly as this video of the killing of 12 Iraqis was, the chatter recorded from the helicopter cockpit was even more monstrous. The Pentagon says that there would be no charges against these soldiers; and the media absolves them of blame. “They were under stress,” the story goes; “Our brave men and women must be supported.” Meanwhile, those who leaked and publicized the video came under government surveillance and are targeted as “national security” threats.
The Pentagon acknowledged, after denials, a massacre near the city of Gardez, Afghanistan, on February 12, 2010. 5 people were killed, including two pregnant women, leaving 16 children motherless. The U.S. military first said the two men killed were insurgents, and the women, victims of a family “honor killing,” but the Afghan government accepts the eyewitness reports that U.S. Special Forces killed the men, (a police officer and lawyer) and the women, and then dug their own bullets out of the women’s bodies to destroy evidence. Top U.S. military officials have now admitted that U.S. soldiers killed the family in their house.
Rumsfeld says that Obama has accepted the Bush doctrine. This obviously doesn’t justify what Rumsfeld did; this just makes Obama a war criminal too.