US Indymedia Global Indymedia Publish About us
Printed from Boston IMC : http://boston.indymedia.org/
Boston.Indymedia
IVAW Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier
Testimonies
Brad Presente

Other Local News

Spare Change News
Open Media Boston
Somerville Voices
Cradle of Liberty
The Sword and Shield

Local Radio Shows

WMBR 88.1 FM
What's Left
WEDS at 8:00 pm
Local Edition
FRI (alt) at 5:30 pm

WMFO 91.5 FM
Socialist Alternative
SUN 11:00 am

WZBC 90.3 FM
Sounds of Dissent
SAT at 11:00 am
Truth and Justice Radio
SUN at 6:00 am

Create account Log in
Comment on this article | View comments | Email this article | Printer-friendly version
News :: Human Rights
Who is Responsible?
06 Apr 2005
When are we going to see, those bastards swinging from a tree??
Is no one in administration accountable?

Bob Herbert

04/05/05 "Sun-Sentinel" - - The Bush administration is desperately trying to keep the full story from emerging. But there is no longer any doubt that prisoners seized by the United States in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere have been killed, tortured, sexually humiliated and otherwise grotesquely abused.

These atrocities have been carried out in an atmosphere in which administration officials have routinely behaved as though they were above the law, and thus accountable to no one. People have been rounded up, stripped, shackled, beaten, incarcerated and in some cases killed, without being offered even the semblance of due process. No charges. No lawyers. No appeals.

Arkan Mohammed Ali is a 26-year-old Iraqi who was detained by the U.S. military for nearly a year at various locations, including the infamous Abu Ghraib prison. According to a lawsuit filed against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Ali was at times beaten into unconsciousness during interrogations. He was stabbed, shocked with an electrical device, urinated on and kept locked -- hooded and naked -- in a wooden, coffinlike box. He said he was told by his captors that soldiers could kill detainees with impunity.

(This was not a boast from out of the blue. On March 26, for example, The New York Times reported that the Army would not prosecute 17 American soldiers implicated in the deaths of three prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.)

Ali's story is depressingly similar to other accounts pouring in from detainees, human rights groups, intelligence sources and U.S. government investigators. If you pay close attention to what is already known about the sadistic and barbaric treatment of prisoners by the United States, you can begin to wonder how far we've come from the Middle Ages. The alleged heretics hauled before the Inquisition were not permitted to face their accusers or mount a defense. Innocence was irrelevant. Torture was the preferred method of obtaining confessions.

No charges were ever filed against Ali, and he was eventually released. But what should be of paramount concern to Americans is this country's precipitous and frightening descent into the hellish zone of lawlessness that the Bush administration, on the one hand, is trying to conceal and, on the other, is defending as absolutely essential to its fight against terror.

The lawsuit against Rumsfeld was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First, a New York-based group, on behalf of Ali and seven other former detainees from Iraq and Afghanistan who claim to have been tortured by U.S. personnel.

The suit charges that Rumsfeld personally authorized unlawful interrogation techniques and abdicated his responsibility to stop the torture and other abuses of prisoners in U.S. custody. It contends that the abuse of detainees was widespread and that Rumsfeld and other top administration officials were well aware of it.

According to the suit, it is unreasonable to believe that Rumsfeld could have remained in the dark about the rampant mistreatment of prisoners in U.S. custody. It cites a wealth of evidence readily available to the secretary, including the scandalous eruptions at Abu Ghraib prison, the reports of detainee abuse at Guantanamo Bay, myriad newspaper and magazine articles, internal U.S. government reports, and concerns expressed by such groups as the International Committee of the Red Cross.

(The committee has noted, among other things, that military intelligence estimates suggest that 70 percent to 90 percent of the people detained in Iraq had been seized by mistake.)

Whether this suit will ultimately be successful in holding Rumsfeld personally accountable is questionable. But if it is thoroughly argued in the courts, it will raise yet another curtain on the stomach-turning practices that have shamed the United States in the eyes of the world.

The primary aim of the lawsuit is quite simply to re-establish the rule of law. "It's that fundamental idea that nobody is above the law," said Michael Posner, executive director of Human Rights First.

Once the rule of law has been extinguished, you're left with an environment in which moral degeneracy can flourish and a great nation can lose its soul.

Write to columnist Bob Herbert at The New York Times, 229 W. 43rd St., New York, NY 10036. E-mail: bobherb (at) nytimes.com.

Copyright © 2005, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Copyright © Information Clearing House. All rights reserved. You may republish under the following conditions: An active link to the original publication must be provided. You must not alter, edit or remove any text within the article, including this copyright notice.

http://www.vialls.com/myahudi/rape.html

This work is in the public domain
Add a quick comment
Title
Your name Your email

Comment

Text Format
Anti-spam Enter the following number into the box:
To add more detailed comments, or to upload files, see the full comment form.

Comments

WE are responsible
06 Apr 2005
Unfortunately, WE are responsible for the torture, kidnappings and deaths of innocent people.
Until WE THE PEOPLE take responsiblity? WE will be loathed and hated throughout the world.