<center><h1><a href=http://www.villagevoice.com/generic/show_print.php?id=59732&page=hentoff&issue=0501&printcde=MzMxNDY3NDM4Ng==&refpage=L25ld3MvMDUwMSxoZW50b2ZmLDU5NzMyLDYuaHRtbA==>The Scum Also Rises...</a></h1></center> <blockquote>U.S. officials who take part in torture, authorize it, or even close their eyes to it, can be prosecuted by courts anywhere in the world [under international law]. <b>Kenneth Roth, executive director, Human Rights Watch, December 27, 2002</b> U.S. Navy documents released today by the American Civil Liberties Union reveal that abuse and even torture of detainees by U.S. Marines in Iraq was widespread. . . . ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero [said] "this kind of widespread abuse could not have taken place without a leadership failure of the highest order." <b>American Civil Liberties Union, December 14, 2004</b> The president insists that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will remain in office, and on December 19, Bush's chief of staff, Andrew Card Jr., said on ABC News' This Week that "Secretary Rumsfeld is doing a spectacular job and the president has great confidence in him." However, on December 9, Senator Jeff Bingaman, Democrat of New Mexico, wrote Rumsfeld to express his "deep concern over issues related to detainees being held in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Recent reports indicate that not only were detainees mishandled and interrogated in a manner inconsistent with the Geneva Conventions, but that subsequent internal reports of abuse appear to have been suppressed . . .</blockquote> "...internal reports of abuse appear to have been suppressed . . ." If that isn't damning in and of itself, I don't know what is. Beginning with Alberto Gonzales' vetting and sigining off on memos which condoned mistreatment and torture of prisoners and dismissed the Geneva Convention as "quaint" and "obsolete" to the current flip-flop on the issue, the Bush administration has been complicit and complacent with regards to the mistreatment of prisoners. And let's not forget the utter contempt the Administration has displayed towards international law, save where it advances US business interests. It also shows us that Abu Ghraib was not the result of a "few bad apples" "blowing off steam" with a few "fraternity pranks". It was the result of policy explicitly stated by the administration, and implemented in the field by members of our armed forces. That such policies would be known and condoned in the highest circles of governement, all the way up to the Oval Office, only reveals the unfitness to command at those levels. The Administration did a grave disservice to our troops in producing the DOJ memos in an attempt to justify outright violations of international law, the Geneva Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and plain human decency. The recent attempts to distance themselves from those earlier memos, with one repudiating them, shows that they <b>know</b> that they were in violation of the aforementioned laws and treaties. Their guilt is plain for all to see. Their actions brand them war-criminals and they must be brought to justice as such. This Administration and its actions represent a shameful chapter in US history...A chapter which should be brought to a close with all deliberate speed.