By Jeremy Brecher and Brendan Smith, The Nation. Posted July 19, 2008.
Why we can't let the Bush Administration get away with its crimes.
Retired General Antonio Taguba, the officer who led the Army's investigation into Abu Ghraib, recently wrote in the preface to the new report, Broken laws, Broken Lives:
"There is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."
Should those who ordered war crimes be held to account? With the conclusion of the Bush regime approaching, many people are dubious, even those horrified by Administration actions. They fear a long, divisive ordeal that could tear the country apart. They note that such division could make it far harder for the country to address the many other crises it is facing. They see the upcoming elections as a better way to set the country on a new path.
Meanwhile, the evidence confirming not only a deliberate policy of torture, but of conspiring in an illegal war of aggression and conducting a criminal occupation, continues to pile ever higher. Bush's own press secretary Scott McClellan has revealed in his book, What Happened, how deliberately the public was misled to foment the attack on Iraq.
Philippe Sands' new book, Torture Team, has shown how the top legal and political leadership fought for a policy of torture -- circumventing and misleading top military officials to do so. Jane Mayer's The Dark Side, reveals that a secret report by the Red Cross -- given to the CIA and shared with President Bush and Condoleezza Rice -- found that U.S. interrogation methods are "categorically" torture and that the "abuse constituted war crimes, placing the highest officials in the U.S. government in jeopardy of being prosecuted."
Despite the reluctance to open what many see as a can of worms, there are fresh moves on many fronts to hold top U.S. officials accountable for war crimes. Read On