Bush-Cheney Torture Team in His Sights
Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón who, in 2002, issued arrest warrant for the late General Augusto Pinochet of Chile, and wanted our former secretary of state Henry Kissinger questioned by British court, is now conducting a hearing to consider torture case against Bush officials. More power to him.
Whether or not Judge Garzón succeeds in establishing a case against them, his action is laudable. It is obvious that for political and other reasons, after making the torture memos public, President Obama would rather bury the issue. But the memos supporting torture prepared by members of legal staff of the Bush administration prove that laws were broken and twisted to serve the needs of a few megalomaniacs. And to move forward without conducting a full inquiry would be the wrong thing to do. Politics, however, is full of instances when decisions are not based on what is right but what is expedient.
In the meantime, don't expect to see Bush-Cheney and the amoral members of their staff traveling in Europe. They are not going to place themselves at risk of being arrested.
Excerpts from The Guardian UK.
Criminal proceedings have begun in Spain against six senior officials in the Bush administration for the use of torture against detainees in Guantánamo Bay. Baltasar Garzón, the counter-terrorism judge whose prosecution of General Augusto Pinochet led to his arrest in Britain in 1998, has referred the case to the chief prosecutor before deciding whether to proceed.
The case is bound to threaten Spain's relations with the new administration in Washington, but Gonzalo Boyé, one of the four lawyers who wrote the lawsuit, said the prosecutor would have little choice under Spanish law but to approve the prosecution.
The officials named in the case include the most senior legal minds in the Bush administration. They are: Alberto Gonzales, a former White House counsel and attorney general; David Addington, former vice-president Dick Cheney's chief of staff; Douglas Feith, who was under-secretary of defence; William Haynes, formerly the Pentagon's general counsel; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, who were both senior justice department legal advisers.
In a now notorious legal opinion signed in August 2002, Yoo and Bybee argued that torture occurred only when pain was inflicted "equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death".