Former president George W. Bush and a raft of senior US officials from his administration should be investigated for conspiracy to torture and for other crimes, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.
In a scathing report, the international rights group decries the lack of prosecutions of those involved in the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret program to torture detainees in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
It said there is enough evidence for the attorney general to order criminal probes.
The 153-page report outlines evidence to support the main criminal charges that could be brought against those behind what is referred to so-called “enhanced interrogation” techniques, and challenges claims that prosecutions are impossible.
“US officials who created, authorized and implemented the CIA program should be among those investigated for conspiracy to torture as well as other crimes,” the report summary states.
It lists several top Bush officials, including the former president himself, then CIA director George Tenet, former attorney general John Ashcroft and former vice president Dick Cheney.
Additionally, the report says James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen — who devised the program under a CIA contract — should also be investigated for their roles in the initial conspiracy.
The American Civil Liberties Union last month sued the two psychologists on behalf of a group of former prisoners from the early days of America’s “war on terror.”
The CIA’s use of torture was detailed in an explosive report released a year ago that describes the agency’s interrogation of Al-Qaeda suspects, including beatings, rectal rehydration and sleep deprivation.
Such mistreatment was more brutal than had been previously acknowledged — and did not produce useful intelligence.
“It’s been a year since the Senate torture report, and still the Obama administration has not opened new criminal investigations into CIA torture,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.
“Without criminal investigations, which would remove torture as a policy option, Obama’s legacy will forever be poisoned.”
Human Rights Watch said that although much of the abuse took place a decade or more ago, statutes of limitation do not preclude criminal charges.
“The statute of limitations for the crime of conspiracy may be extended if those responsible conceal a central component of the plot, which was the case with the CIA program,” the group said in a statement.
Under the UN Convention against Torture, ratified by the United States in 1988, governments are meant to investigate allegations of torture.
“The failure to investigate and prosecute CIA torture increases the danger that some future president will authorize similar illegal interrogation methods in response to an inevitable serious security threat,” the group said.
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump recently called for the return of waterboarding, a simulated drowning interrogation technique widely denounced as torture, saying it was “peanuts” compared to what the Islamic State group is doing.
The report is available at: hrw.org/node/283564
Trump Twitter-rages at ‘evil propaganda machine’ New York Times
President Donald Trump kicked off his Sunday morning by going on a multi-tweet rant about the New York Times where he blamed them for his poor poll numbers and called them "an evil propaganda machine.'
Trump began with, "The Failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from their Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt....., " before adding, "'Journalism' has reached a new low in the history of our Country. It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke...But the public is aware! #CROOKEDJOURNALISM."
Trump suggests hitting France with 100 percent tariff on wine over dispute with Macron
According to a report from Bloomberg, President Donald Trump publicly suggested that he would consider a 100 percent tariff on wines coming from France.
The report states that the president recently made the suggestion as part of his trade war that has crippled American manufacturers and farmers while at the same time hitting American consumers' wallets.
Trump's comments came during a recent Long Island fundraiser and were tied to his unhappiness with President Emmanuel Macron and his tax on multinational technology companies.
Gun found in FedEx package sent from US to China
Chinese authorities have found at least one firearm in a FedEx package sent from the US, local police said Sunday, in the latest incident to befall the logistics firm in China.
Police in Fuzhou, eastern Fujian province, said "in recent days" they had received a tip about a package sent to a Fujian-based sporting goods company.
The parcel was sent by a US client and contained at least one firearm, said Jin'an district police through their official Twitter-like Weibo account.
The firearm has been seized and officers are investigating, they added, without specifying the number of weapons in the package.