Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rumsfeld to stand trial for war crimes?

Rumsfeld to stand trial for war crimes?

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A UN official says there is enough evidence that former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld could be brought to justice for war crimes.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak in an interview on Monday told CNN that the international body had enough evidence to prosecute Rumsfeld for his direct authorization of tortures at US detention centers in 2002.

"We have clear evidence," Nowak said. "In our report that we sent to the United Nations, we made it clear that former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld clearly authorized torture methods and he was told at that time by Alberto Mora, the legal council of the Navy, 'Mr. Secretary, what you are actually ordering here amounts to torture.' So, there we have the clear evidence that Mr. Rumsfeld knew what he was doing but, nevertheless, he ordered torture."

The UN torture official earlier in an interview with Germany's ZDF television had said that "I think the evidence is on the table."

Nowak said that the United States had an "obligation" to probe former President George Bush's Administration for their involvement in torture.

A bipartisan Senate survey last month revealed that Rumsfeld and other high-ranking administration officials were responsible for detainee abuse at Guantanamo Bay Prison.

The Los Angeles Times said on December 12, 2008 that the report directed its most pointed criticism at Rumsfeld's decision in December 2002 to authorize the use of harsh interrogation techniques at the Guantanamo Bay facility. The report described Rumsfeld's directive as "a direct cause for detainee abuse" at Guantanamo and concluded that it "influenced and contributed to the use of abusive techniques, including military working dogs, forced nudity and stress positions, in Afghanistan and Iraq."

The coercive measures were based on a document signed by Bush in February, 2002.

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US new President Barack Obama has ordered for the notorious US facility at Guantanamo to be shut down. But the so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" have already destroyed the lives of many who had kept for years at US prisons worldwide without even charges.

"It's too painful, it's too deep, it's too dark and fills me with sadness... They did everything they could to destroy me when I was completely innocent," says former US detainee Mohammad Saad describing six years of humiliation, interrogation and ill-treatment under US orders in Egypt, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

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