It's not news that the Bush Administration made up its own rules when it came to the treatment of detainees.Geneva Conventions—who needs 'em? Waterboarding—perfectly legal. Secret prisons in foreign countries—everybody does it. Sexual abuse of prisoners (plus photos!)—harmless fun by a few bad apples!
But novel legal theories and strained readings of international law can't justify the "we can do whatever we want" system of prisoner treatment, as a new Senate report has found.
Here, from the New York Times, is a summary of the Senate report. We highlighted a few paragraphs that reveal the Bush Administration's unwise and immoral actions in its so-called War on Terror.
[A] bipartisan report by the Senate Armed Services Committee has made what amounts to a strong case for bringing criminal charges against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld; his legal counsel, William J. Haynes; and potentially other top officials, including the former White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and David Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff.The report shows how actions by these men “led directly” to what happened at Abu Ghraib, in Afghanistan, in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and in secret C.I.A. prisons.
These policies have deeply harmed America’s image as a nation of laws and may make it impossible to bring dangerous men to real justice. The report said the interrogation techniques were ineffective, despite the administration’s repeated claims to the contrary.Alberto Mora, the former Navy general counsel who protested the abuses, told the Senate committee that “there are serving U.S. flag-rank officers who maintain that the first and second identifiable causes of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq — as judged by their effectiveness in recruiting insurgent fighters into combat — are, respectively, the symbols of Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo.”