U.S. cannot hide details of Bush and Cheney’s crimes, states new United Nations report U.S. officials must not receive “de facto immunity” for torture crimes
The United Nations special rapporteur has called on the United States to publish documents that it possesses on the use of torture and the “gross” and “systemic” violations of human rights under the administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
The new UN report demands that governments that cooperated with Bush’s global torture operation conduct criminal probes into officials who ordered or cooperated with the Bush torture regime.
The Indict Bush Now movement is actively campaigning throughout the country to demand that the U.S. government demonstrate to the world that those – like Bush and Cheney – who committed torture and illegal spying in the name of the American people be indicted and prosecuted.
It is a disgrace that Cheney is making the rounds now with a new documentary, “The World According to Dick Cheney,” which justifies torture. The UN report makes it clear that Cheney, like Bush, should be facing criminal charges instead.
Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur, stated that the U.S. continues to classify documents revealing the criminal acts of the Bush administration “and no public official has been brought to justice in the United States.”
Failure to release the information about the torture acts committed under order of Bush and Cheney constituted “a policy of de facto immunity for public officials who engaged in acts of torture, rendition and secret detention, and their superiors and political masters who authorised these acts,” Emmerson stated in a major address before the UN Human Rights panel.
“Words are not enough. Platitudinous repetition of statements affirming opposition to torture ring hollow to many in those parts of the Middle East and North Africa that have undergone, or are undergoing, major upheaval, since they have first-hand experience of living under repressive regimes that used torture in private whilst making similar statements in public,” he added.
“The scepticism of these communities can only be reinforced if western governments continue to demonstrate resolute indifference to the crimes committed by their predecessor administrations.”
Secret torture centers throughout the world
The people of the world are demanding accountability for those who committed crimes against humanity. The fact that Bush and Cheney are U.S. officials should offer no automatic immunity from prosecution for their crimes.
“There is now credible evidence to show that CIA 'black sites' were located on the territory of Lithuania, Morocco, Poland, Romania and Thailand, and that the officials of at least 49 other States allowed their airspace or airports to be used for rendition flights,” Emmerson said, referring to clandestine locations where individuals were shipped for secret incarceration and torture without any extradition procedures, formal charges, evidence or access to a lawyer.
He urged those five states to conduct “effective independent judicial or quasi-judicial inquiries” into the allegations.
The UN official said any public officials who may have authorized or helped in setting up such facilities should be held accountable, Reuters reports.
In Milan, Italy, a court convicted 22 CIA agents in absentia for their role in the kidnapping of an Egyptian Muslim cleric “and his rendition to Cairo where he was detained for 14 months and repeatedly tortured.”
The UN official stated that all countries that participated in the global torture system must be held accountable before the law.