On Friday I got an e-mail from the Center for Constitutional Rights explaining that their plan to provide the legal justification for a preliminary criminal investigation of George W. Bush to the General Prosecutor of the Canton of Geneva with regards to his actions in the torture of so-called “enemy combatants”. The plan had to be canceled because the former President had canceled his trip to Geneva. It lead to this post .
By Swiss law a person accused of torture under the International Conventions Against Torture (ICAT) has to be present in Swiss territory for the government to act. With the cancellation of the trip, the CCR and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIHR) could not file this criminal complaint, but that is not stopping them from working to make it impossible for President Bush to travel to Europe in the future.
One of the incredible frustrations for those of us who have been pushing for torture investigations and prosecutions in this country is that there is so much prima fascia evidence of criminal wrong doing. The CRR and FIHR have done yeoman’s work in putting together all the supporting legal details that are publicly known about the criminal President Bush’s role in approving the use of torture. You can read the complaint here, but let me give you a summary.
There are a lot of moving pieces the overall narrative of torture and there are things that we do not actually know which can provide confusion. In the complaint the CCR shows first that it was under President Bush’s and no others authorization that detainees from Afghanistan and else where were not to fall under the Geneva Conventions, that it was he who approved the use of so called “enhanced interrogation” and that he had been advised that some of his actions were illegal under the Geneva Convention rules.
They then rely on the investigations of the International Committee of the Red Cross for accounts from the so-called “High Value Detainees” on what happened to them under U.S. custody. Particularly horrifying is the account by Abu Zubaydah on how on his second time being waterboarded he lost control of his bladder from fear. Now when he is stressed he still loses control of his bladder.
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