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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?
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
i. stand with israel
I listen to a lot of conservative talk radio. Confident masculine voices telling me the enemy is everywhere and victory is near — I often find it affirming: there’s a reason I don’t think that way. Last spring, many right-wing commentators made much of a Bloomberg poll that asked Americans, “Are you more sympathetic to Netanyahu or Obama?” Republicans picked the Israeli prime minister over their own president, 67 to 16 percent. There was a lot of affected shock that things had come to this. Rush Limbaugh said of Netanyahu that he wished “we had this kind of forceful moral, ethical clarity leading our own country”; Mark Levin described him as “the leader of the free world.” For a few days there I yelled quite a bit in my car.
The one conservative radio show I do find myself enjoying is hosted by Dennis Prager. At the Thanksgiving dinner of American radio personalities (Limbaugh is your jittery brother-in-law, Michael Savage is your racist uncle, Hugh Hewitt is Hugh Hewitt) Dennis Prager is the turkey-carving patriarch trying to keep the conversation moderately high-minded. While Prager obviously doesn’t like liberals — “The gaps between the left and right on almost every issue that matters are in fact unbridgeable,” he has said — he often invites them onto his show for debate, which is rare among right-wing hosts. Yet his gently exasperated take on the Obama–Netanyahu matchup was among the least charitable: “Those who do not confront evil resent those who do.”
Average number of Americans who are injured by chain saws each year:
A farmer in Kenya bit a python who tried to eat him.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”