No Comment — April 6, 2009, 8:31 pm

“Investigate and Punish the Perpetrators”

The Red Cross apparently thinks that a number of senior Bush Administration figures belong in jail. Its report on “high-value detainees” from February 2007 has just been published by the New York Review of Books. It can be downloaded here(PDF).

A stand-out among the conclusions:

…That the US authorities investigate all allegations of ill-treatment and take steps to punish the perpetrators, where appropriate, and to prevent such abuses from happening again.

As we know, the treatment of the sixteen high-value detainees was reviewed and approved at a very high level. The specific regimen for these detainees was presented to and approved by the Principals Committee of the National Security Committee, chaired by Condoleezza Rice. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, in a recent interview with Rachel Maddow, properly focused our attention on the fact that an extensive paper trail exists which has not yet become public. Powell said it should be public and the participants should be questioned about it. I give him points for all of that, particularly in that he will himself figure as a target of this inquiry.

The Red Cross does not reach quickly to an “investigate and punish” recommendation. That happens only where the evidence of criminal conduct is manifest. And it was in this case. They use the word “torture” repeatedly, without equivocation or qualification.

Given that six of the key Bush Administration perpetrators now face a criminal investigation in Spain, the publication of the Red Cross report makes it far more likely that the Spanish prosecution will go forward. The question, however, is for the Obama Administration: why has Eric Holder blocked the criminal investigation that a proper understanding of his duties would lead him to initiate?

Share
Single Page

More from Scott Horton:

From the April 2015 issue

Company Men

Torture, treachery, and the CIA

Six Questions October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm

The APA Grapples with Its Torture Demons: Six Questions for Nathaniel Raymond

Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.

No Comment, Six Questions June 4, 2014, 8:00 am

Uncovering the Cover Ups: Death Camp in Delta

Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

July 2015

One Day Less

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Dressed to Kill

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Wrong Prescription?

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Travel Day

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Fugue State

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Avian Voices·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The mockingbird’s bath is an orgy of thrashing and writhing about. When he has finished, one of the innocents alights on the rim of the basin and looks with disbelief at the thimble of water remaining.”
Illustration by Eric Hanson
[Browsings]
Before the War·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I’m worried that what the Houthis did to push Yemen into a civil conflict in September 2014, the Saudis may end up doing again when they end their campaign by eliminating the Houthis.”
Photograph by Alex Potter
Article
The Speakeasy·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In order to understand how Marty’s could survive as an institution, I returned a year after my first visit to spend a week at what was sure to be the world’s bleakest comedy club.”
Photograph by Mike Slack
Post
The Lost Land·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I had first encountered some of these volumes—A Swiftly Tilting Planet, The Giver—as a child, and during adolescence, they registered as postcards from a homeland recently abandoned.”
Photograph by the author
Article
Wrong Prescription?·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Whatever the slogans suggested, the A.C.A. was never meant to include everyone.”
Illustration by Taylor Callery

Estimated cost of the environmental damage caused each year by the world’s 3,000 largest companies:

$2,200,000,000,000

Two thirds of U.S. teenagers experience uncontrollable rage.

Beekeepers began extracting 1 million honeybees living beneath the siding of a house in New York State.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Subways Are for Sleeping

By

“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”

Subscribe Today