Bush & Co.: Hemmed in, and not forgotten
This news may be old to those who follow such things, but the Center for Constitutional Rights says it is “closing in on Bush and Co.” (CCR Spring Newsletter). What they mean is that
On February 25, the full panel of judges of the Audencia Nacional (Spain’s High Court) rejected a Spanish prosecutor’s effort to stop an investigation into the role of U.S. officials for torture at Guantanamo. This is a monumental decision that, for the first time, will enable a judge to continue a case investigating the “authorized and systematic plan of torture and ill treatment” by U.S. officials at Guantanamo. Geoffrey Miller, the former commanding officer at the Base, has already been implicated, and the case will surely move up the chain of command.
This news was already covered by Andy Worthington and others, a month ago. As Worthington noted,
This is exceptionally good news, [according to] the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has been involved in this case (and in another ongoing case, aimed at the six senior Bush administration lawyers who authorized the US torture program)…
In the same article, Worthington wrote this regarding Geoffrey Miller:
…on January 7 this year, CCR and the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), submitted a dossier to the court (PDF), detailing the involvement in torture of Maj. Gen. Geofffrey Miller, the commander of Guantánamo during part of the time that Lahcen Ikassrien was held, “which collects and analyzes the evidence demonstrating his role in the torture of detainees at Guantánamo and in Iraq,” where he was subsequently sent to “Gitmo-ize” operations at Abu Ghraib, leading to the worldwide scandal that erupted in April 2004, when photos of the abuse of prisoners first brought the horrors of the Bush administration’s widespread use of torture in the “War on Terror” into the open.
Based on the information in the dossier, CCR and ECCHR believe that there is sufficient information for the court to request that a subpoena be issued for Miller to testify before Judge Ruz, and it is this that led CCR to express the hope, in its press release, that as a result “the case will surely move up the chain of command.”
You may recall, because of Wikileaks, we know that the U.S. has already tried to interfere in this case –successfully, at first. But you may also recall that Bush had to cancel a scheduled speech in Switzerland recently, because CCR was prepared to request a criminal inquiry into his role in the US torture program. This effort, CCR notes, was not a loss, because the detailed complaint was made public and provides a strong legal basis to hold Bush accountable for having authorized torture in any of the 147 countries that have ratified the Convention Against Torture. This indictment compiles over 2,500 pages of publicly available material. CCR’s partner in these cases is the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.
Our own government should be leading this fight against torturers; it is to our shame that, instead, our government is aiding and abetting the torturers by (a) failing to prosecute, with abundant evidence at hand, and (b) strongly opposing any prosecution.
We need another set of Nuremburg trials. Unfortunately, the U.S. is unlikely to allow any such thing here in America. One can hope, then, that somewhere in Europe, there are judges and lawyers that care enough to make sure that justice is done– in Europe, if not in the United States.
Even though this may not be news to some, I think it is important to set it before you as a reminder that people still care about this, and have not given up. I hope you are one of those people.