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Spanish Court Weighs Inquiry on Torture for 6 Bush-Era Officials

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posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 08:22 PM
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Spanish Court Weighs Inquiry on Torture for 6 Bush-Era Officials


www.nytimes.com

A Spanish court has taken the first steps toward opening a criminal investigation into allegations that six former high-level Bush administration officials violated international law by providing the legal framework to justify the torture of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, an official close to the case said.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 08:22 PM
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It looks like one country is actually taking the steps to hold the Bush adminstration accountable for torture of prisoners.

First many here will think "OH, not another bash Bush administration thread"..."he is gone, look to the future".

So I am going to counter that thought and postings immediately. Yes Bush is gone, but what occured during his adminstration is NOT gone, we are all living with it everyday. So, with that said, there is unfinished business everywhere, regarding what happened and who did what during those 8 years.

The U.S. had taken 5 Spanish citizens and residents of Spain and tortured them at Gitmo.

Spain has a history of standing up to torture and holding those who did it accountable. So they do in fact have jursidiction for bringing Bush adminstration officials to court.


Spain can claim jurisdiction in the case because five citizens or residents of Spain who were prisoners at Guantánamo Bay have said they were tortured there. The five had been indicted in Spain, but their cases were dismissed after the Spanish Supreme Court ruled that evidence obtained under torture was not admissible.

The 98-page complaint, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, is based on the Geneva Conventions and the 1984 Convention Against Torture, which is binding on 145 countries, including Spain and the United States. Countries that are party to the torture convention have the authority to investigate torture cases, especially when a citizen has been abused.


Now, they are talking about issuing arrest warrants


The case, against former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and others, was sent to the prosecutor’s office for review by Baltasar Garzón, the crusading investigative judge who ordered the arrest of the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The official said that it was “highly probable” that the case would go forward and that it could lead to arrest warrants.

The complaint under review also names John C. Yoo, the former Justice Department lawyer who wrote secret legal opinions saying the president had the authority to circumvent the Geneva Conventions, and Douglas J. Feith, the former under secretary of defense for policy.

Most of the officials cited in the complaint declined to comment on the allegations or could not be reached on Saturday. However their defenders have said their legal analyses and policy work on interrogation practices, conducted under great pressure after the 2001 terrorist attacks, are now being unfairly second-guessed after many years without a terrorist attack on the United States.


I find this interesting, and yes right now I will fully admit exciting to think, those who thought they were untouchable and did as they pleased, could now have to stand and face the music over what they let and ordered happen.

The article does say, it arrest will not happen most probably inside the U.S. they would only be arrested outside the U.S.

Last year in a thread, I said Bush adminstration officials would eventually be prisoners in the U.S., without being able to leave - due to being wanted criminals eventually in the rest of the world.

Well, it looks like that is coming true..... to my secret delight!


The move represents a step toward ascertaining the legal accountability of top Bush administration officials for allegations of torture and mistreatment of prisoners in the campaign against terrorism. But some American experts said that even if warrants were issued their significance could be more symbolic than practical, and that it was a near certainty that the warrants would not lead to arrests if the officials did not leave the United States.



The complaint was prepared by Spanish lawyers, with help from experts in the United States and Europe, and filed by a Spanish human rights group, the Association for the Dignity of Prisoners.

The National Court in Madrid, which specializes in international crimes, assigned the case to Judge Garzón. His acceptance of the case and referral of it to the prosecutor made it likely that a criminal investigation would follow, the official said.

Even so, arrest warrants, if they are issued, could still be months away.

Gonzalo Boye, the Madrid lawyer who filed the complaint, said that the six Americans cited had had well-documented roles in approving illegal interrogation techniques, redefining torture and abandoning the definition set by the 1984 Torture Convention.

Secret memorandums by Mr. Yoo and other top administration lawyers helped clear the way for aggressive policies like waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques, which the C.I.A. director, the attorney general and other American officials have said amount to torture.

The other Americans named in the complaint were William J. Haynes II, former general counsel for the Department of Defense; Jay S. Bybee, Mr. Yoo’s former boss at the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel; and David S. Addington, who was the chief of staff and legal adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Mr. Yoo declined to comment on Saturday, saying that he had not seen or heard of the petition.



So my next question.... how many other countries are going to join in the indictments against the Bush adminstration, also a following question....... will George W. Bush and Dick Cheney's names ever be on any?







www.nytimes.com
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 28-3-2009 by questioningall]



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 08:39 PM
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IMO we should go after the traitors in the current one who want to do away with the constitution as we know it.

Bush was bad but we need to move on and focus on the people in this one and prevent Obama from doing anything terrible like Bush did.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 09:03 PM
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reply to post by Frankidealist35
 


This thread is not about the current adminstration. Though I do not agree with what is going on....

The discussion here is about, the Bush adminstration officials possibly being prosecuted in Spain for torture.



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 09:08 PM
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reply to post by Frankidealist35
 


So your saying they shouldn't be subjected to the legal consequences of their actions because.. Obama is in office?



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 09:15 PM
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They're still rounding up Nazi war criminals and prosecuting them (see Demjanjuk). So should we just say "move on, don't bother prosecuting old nazis?"

If Bush-era officials did the crime, they should do the time. Would you feel any different if these were Obama-era officials who committed such crimes while in office?



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 09:27 PM
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They are not going after Bush. They are going after those who 'advised' him, it seems.

Even if they succeed, Bush is safe. Frankly, if there is going to be any real justice, it would be to have their own countrymen prosecute them. When's the next tornado to OZ?



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 11:44 PM
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Originally posted by Frankidealist35
IMO we should go after the traitors in the current one who want to do away with the constitution as we know it.

Bush was bad but we need to move on and focus on the people in this one and prevent Obama from doing anything terrible like Bush did.



We are moving on --------> moving onto prosecuting criminals like Bush.

Get it?!?!



posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 11:51 PM
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reply to post by ScaredCabbage
 


Why don't we prosecute the Bush criminals and the Clinton criminals in the Obama administration first?



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 12:19 AM
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reply to post by questioningall
 


terrorists are not subject to international law, the geneva convention does not apply to them...



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 12:24 AM
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reply to post by Fox News
 


So if no treaty is made with a country its ok to torture their citizens?

And they were Spanish citizens, in either case different actions should have been taken... Torture is no good and should not be government sanctioned.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 12:29 AM
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reply to post by Fox News
 


Thank you. I am very concerned that folks who supposedly know international law and so much about the Geneva Conventions, seem to elect to engage in selective ignorance.

Non-uniformed combatants, have zero rights, are subject to immediate summary execution, and legally cease to exist at the moment they engage. Those that legally cease to exist cannot have any legal basis for making charges of any nature, even torture.

Torture? No. There was no torture at Guantanamo. There may have been some enthusiastic persuasion, but no one is crippled, marked, nor disfigured.

Normally in court, you must prove wrongdoing. Our good allies for whatever reason, assume guilt first.

Spain of all nations, home of the bloody Inquisition, should be conducting their own real-time, honest-to-goodness torture against non-uniformed combatants when caught.

Nah.

Much easier to blame the US, and try to find where one of their arbitrary lines was crossed. It's real hard to keep up with the line, as it depends on who is doing the crossing, and what day of the month it is.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 12:44 AM
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I'm still waiting for someone who was tortured to show up and put his scars and disfigurements up as evidence. So far all I have heard was they was tortured.

Where is the unrefutable picture evidence that it happened?

Show me a pic like those from Iraq where Saddam had acid thrown on peoples faces, whipped them and cut off limbs.

If they were tortured let them show some kind of physical proof that they were tortured.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 12:46 AM
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Maybe Spain should take care of their own torturing problem before tackling that of the world


Amnesty International considers that the continuing allegations of ill-treatment by police officers result from multiple failings by the Spanish authorities to comply with their international legal obligations which require them to take a range of measures to prevent ill-treatment.


www.amnestyusa.org...

Naughty naughty. How dare Spain extradite a person to another country where they might get tortured. Maybe Spain is willing to do this so can go after people in Russia as well.


The Spanish authorities approved the extradition of Murad Gasayev to the Russian Federation, where he would be at great risk of torture, on Friday afternoon. Amnesty International has called for the proceedings to be halted immediately.

"We hold the Spanish authorities responsible for the wellbeing of Murad Gasayev and urge them not to send him to a country where he is at a high risk of being tortured, and indeed claims he has already been tortured," said Nicola Duckworth, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International.


www.unhcr.org...



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 12:55 AM
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reply to post by questioningall
 


Darn. From the title I was hoping they were voting on whether or not to torture the 6 officials.


Kidding.

And for the person who says that terrorists fall outside the Geneva convention, well the problem with that is, we didnt exactly make sure we were arresting terrorists. Several of those people turned out not to be, and have since been released to their countries of origin cleared of any wrong doing.

Soooo, we have tortured some innocent people. Which might just make us in the wrong.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 01:05 AM
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I think Bush should be tried by Americans in America. He should be subject to all the rules and regulations he ignored while in office. I cannot wait to see him behind bars, but if it isn't an American trial then it cannot be recognized as legitimate by our own laws and our Constitution.



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 01:06 AM
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Why does we rely on other country to prosecute the officials?

Obama should the one prosecute Bush and his team



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 01:07 AM
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Originally posted by Alvatore
Why does we rely on other country to prosecute the officials?

Obama should the one prosecute Bush and his team


President Obama is just as bad or worse then W was. Who is going to try him?



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 01:46 AM
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In the future we will be able to obtain indictments for war crimes, genocide and insensitivity by (clever jurisdiction-shopping) presenting some evidence to the Berkeley California City Council...yupyup

It amazes me when people cry out like seagulls about crimes when those crimes were committed to (at least more so than not, arguably) further the interests of the group to which the "seagulls" themselves belong.

I always try to avoid people like that for anything involving business or commitment...Persons who are unable to recognize their own actual self-interest, you can't make deals with people like that, they are liable to do any crazy thing unexpectedly, and then justify their bad performance by making reference to their feelings (self-flattering precious unselfish spiritual tarpits that they use like resorts to wallow in when assailed by life's troubles).

You can't use cruel words to navigate cruel seas. In order to see straight, people have to become comfortable with their own evil, to recognize that their own lives are always predatory and in a certain light everything in human life is bad. These persons crying out against Bush et al (would they be better off under a jihadist/Islamist umma - I think not), it seems to me, come from the moiety that need to pretend that they are good, and life is good...(heck, and they might get a pat on the head and a biscuit, and be told that they are "inspiring" and "special" ... Nobody seems to call them prating extra-credit suck-ups to a phony ostensible hypocritical morality, which is nice...)

Actually they are inspiring and special to me, though, because it does take great strength of will to be persistently blind and wrong about everything... (Just like it's natural to love unrepentant criminals, you know, they got 'em on videotape, their DNA etc., and criminal says "Nope,nope - It wasn't me" - and they don't expect or try to be believed, they just say it - you know, at that point, you do kind of want them to keep on acting like that...facts be damned...there is something kinda sweet about that...)



posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 01:52 AM
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Originally posted by Alvatore
Why does we rely on other country to prosecute the officials?



Well the Bush team was smart enough to do some fudging of our laws to help avoid prosecution here after the Supreme Court ruled al-Queda operatives DID fall under the Geneva convention.

www.washingtonpost.com...


The Supreme Court decided in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld on June 29, however, that the administration's policy of not honoring the Geneva Conventions was illegal, and that prisoners in the fight against al-Qaeda are entitled to such protections.

U.S. officials have since responded in three ways: They have asked Congress to pass legislation blocking the prisoners' right to sue for the enforcement of those protections. They have drafted legislation allowing the consideration of intelligence-gathering needs during interrogations, in place of an absolute human rights standard.

They also formulated the War Crimes Act amendments spelling out some serious crimes and omitting altogether some that U.S. officials describe as less serious. For example, two acts considered under international law as constituting "outrages" -- rape and sexual abuse -- are listed as prosecutable.


Bush also wrote himself and his administration a pardon for war crimes. See video below.




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