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
George Floyd’s brother tears up discussing condolence phone call from Trump: ‘It hurt me’
The brother of George Floyd described the condolence phone call he received from President Donald Trump during a Saturday interview on MSNBC.
Philonise Floyd was interviewed by the Rev. Al Sharpton on "Politics Nation."
While Derek Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third degree murder, the other three officers involved in the killing remain free.
"They all need to be convicted of first degree murder and given the death penalty," Floyd said.
"What was the conversation with President Trump like?" Sharpton asked.
"It was so fast," Floyd replied.
"He didn't give me an opportunity to even speak. It was hard, I was trying to talk to him, but he just kept like pushing me off, like 'I don't want to hear what you're talking about.' And I just told him I want justice. I said that I couldn't believe they committed a modern-day lynching in broad daylight."
Bill Barr slammed by ex-FBI official for ignoring the right-wing ‘Boogaloo Bois’ infiltrating protests
Attorney General Bill Barr was slammed by the former assistant director for counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Saturday for misleading Americans about the source of violence at the protests over the killing of George Floyd while in police custody.
"There's evidence developing, Brian, that the organization we're seeing of the most violent protesters is coming from a couple of disturbing places," both, by the way, there's disparate in terms in being from the right or the left. here's what those who monitor these groups and sites are seeing.
"We're seeing a far-right group, one group for example known as the Boogaloo Bois, who on their private Facebook page and social media outlets are calling for violence, calling for people to show up," Frank Figliuzzi told MSNBC's Brian Williams.
Trump is the ‘greatest troll in the history of the internet’ and Twitter needs to ‘pull the plug’: NYT columnist
President Donald Trump would face an existential crisis if Twitter were to enforce it's own rules and hold him accountable -- and one New York Times columnist wants to see it happen.
"C’mon, @Jack. You can do it," Maureen Dowd wrote, referring to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey with his username on the platform.
She urged Dorsey to "just pull the plug on him."
"You could answer the existential question of whether @realDonaldTrump even exists if he doesn’t exist on Twitter. I tweet, therefore I am. Dorsey meets Descartes," she explained. "All it would take is one sweet click to force the greatest troll in the history of the internet to meet his maker."