Judge Jackson didn't call Bush & Rumsfeld 'war criminals'...
That was me.
George Tenet asked if he had permission to use enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.…“Damn right,” I said. —Former President George W. Bush, 2010
There is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account. —Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, June 2008
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin fact-checked Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas after Cornyn asked Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson why she called former President George W. Bush and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld "war criminals." Earlier, Senator Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina had asked her the same loaded question. These racists think they’re so clever. But everybody knows what they’re up to.
Judge Jackson said she didn't remember using the term. Over a lunch break, Durbin researched the matter and later told the hearing Judge Jackson never made those remarks. No, she did not specifically call the former president and defense secretary “war criminals.” But, to her credit, she was one of the government public defenders assigned to the case who in 2005 signed four essentially boilerplate habeas corpus petitions on behalf of detainees at Guantánamo Bay that claimed the United States government had tortured the men and that such acts “constitute war crimes.
The petitions each named Mr. Bush and Mr. Rumsfeld — along with two senior military officers who oversaw the Guantánamo detention operation — in their official capacities as respondents. And, they said, such officials’ acts in ordering or condoning the alleged torture and other inhumane treatment of the detainees “constitute war crimes and/or crimes against humanity in violation of the law of nations under the Alien Tort Statute.” (NY Times)
All four of the detainees Judge Jackson represented for a time were eventually repatriated — three to Afghanistan and one to Saudi Arabia. None were ever tried or convicted of any crime.
She didn't say it. I did.
Could it be that the MAGA senators mistook Judge Jackson for me? I’ve often accused both Bush and Rumsfeld of war crimes. I thought all that was accepted as fact. Was I naive or is history now being rewritten and the verdicts reversed?
Remember, it was Bush who referred to torture as “enhanced interrogation.” It was later revealed that the techniques described as being legal by the Bush administration included waterboarding, walling, sexual humiliation, beating,s and sleep deprivation to the point of hallucination. Oh yeah. Can’t forget about those black sites.
As for Rumsfeld, he was a member of the NSC Principals Committee, which approved the use of torture for CIA detainees. Rumsfeld never exerted his authority to stop the torture and ill-treatment of detainees even after he became aware of evidence of abuse over a three-year period beginning in early 2002.
This according to a Human Rights Watch report on war crimes during the Bush administration:
Of Rumsfeld’s methods, “fear of dogs … to induce stress” deserves special attention. Threatening a prisoner with torture to make him talk is considered to be a form of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. Threatening a prisoner with a ferocious guard dog is no different as a matter of law from pointing a gun at a prisoner’s head. And, of course, many of the pictures from Abu Ghraib show unmuzzled dogs being used to intimidate detainees, sometimes while they are cowering, naked. As General Fay noted in his report on Abu Ghraib “When dogs are used to threaten and terrify detainees, there is a clear violation of applicable laws and regulations.”
The Defense Department investigation chaired by James R. Schlesinger found that “the augmented techniques [approved by Rumsfeld] for Guantanamo migrated to Afghanistan and Iraq where they were neither limited nor safeguarded.”
In the Human Rights Watch report, there are no less than 146 references to Rumsfeld's war crimes.
In my heart of hearts, I wish that Judge Jackson was in a position where she could have replied to her racist inquisitors: “Yeah, I said it. What’s your point?”
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