The Bush administration lied about the reason it decided to deprive detainees of Geneva Convention rights and protections. The real reason was that Bush and his lawyer decided that it was the best way to protect the President and other officials from criminal prosecution.
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On January 11, 2002, the United States announced that it was refusing to abide by the 1949 Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war. The Third Geneva Convention, which provides specific guidelines for treatment of prisoner combatants, is a part of the "law of nations" and is a mainstay of international humanitarian law. The United States explained that the prisoners taken in Afghanistan and Pakistan were not actually prisoners of war, but were in fact "unlawful combatants."
The Bush administration always knew its programs were illegal and that they could be prosecuted for them. In January 2002, then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales advised Bush to deny prisoners of war protections under the Geneva Conventions. Doing so, Gonzales argued, "substantially reduces the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act" and "provides a solid defense to any future prosecution."
Bush's decision to end Geneva Convention protections sent a message to the U.S. military and intelligence services to commit war crimes. It was a decision that shocked many, including those within the military who rely on those protections for their own personnel.
Now, Bush is gone. There is a new president and a new attorney general. We could never expect justice from Bush's Department of Justice, but now we have the chance to make Bush's and Gonzales' worst nightmare - "future prosecution" - come true. Please take a moment right now and send a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding immediate investigation and prosecution.
Bush officials, in their supreme arrogance, believed they could just annul the laws they didn't like - that this would "provide a solid defense" when they left office.
It is our obligation in defense of the Constitution and fundamental principles of human rights to ensure they are held accountable.
Crucifixion in Iraq
The torture program that Bush set in motion has claimed untold lives.
On November 4, 2003, an Iraqi prisoner named Manadel al-Jamadi died of asphyxiation while being interrogated by the CIA. "A forensic examiner found that he had essentially been crucified; he died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs," the New Yorker reports.
The Department of Justice has long known about the ghastly death of Mr. al-Jamadi, as well as other war crimes and human rights violations committed against detainees in U.S. custody. But they have failed to prosecute, fearing that new torture revelations will inevitably implicate the government's top brass, including the officials of the Bush administration.
Taking it to the Streets
The indictment movement is also moving full steam ahead supporting a June 25 rally in Washington, D.C., as part of an international Torture Accountability Action Day. We are meeting at John Marshall Park (501 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) for a rally from 11am to 12noon, and then marching to the U.S. Department of Justice.
--From all of us at IndictBushNow.org
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