Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 

Sat

17

May

2008

NLG Calls To Investigate Administration And Lawyers Who Wrote Torture Memos - Issues White Paper
Saturday, 17 May 2008 08:47
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) calls on Congress to appoint a Special Prosecutor, independent of the Department of Justice, to investigate and prosecute high Bush officials and lawyers including John Yoo for their role in the torture of prisoners in U.S. custody.


The NLG has issued a White Paper explaining why the memos, which purported to give objective legal advice, subject all those involved to prosecution under international and U.S. domestic law. This includes people who ordered the torture, approved it or gave advice to justify it.

Guild President Marjorie Cohn testified on May 6 before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the House Judiciary Committee, that some lawyers in the Department of Justice were "part of a common plan to violate U.S. and international laws outlawing torture."

The 14-page White Paper details the ways in which the lawyers, including Yoo, Jay Bybee, David Addington, and William Haynes, counseled the White House on how to get away with war crimes. The lawyers said that the Department of Justice would not enforce federal laws against torture, maiming, assault and stalking. "Just because the statute says," John Yoo explained in a recent Esquire interview, "that doesn't mean you have to do it."


Professor Cohn told the congressmen it was "reasonably foreseeable" the lawyers' advice "would result in great physical and mental harm or death to many detainees"; more than 100 have died, many from torture. Torture, like genocide, slavery and wars of aggression, is absolutely prohibited at all times. No country can ever pass a law that would allow them.

Professor Philippe Sands, a British international litigator and author of the new book, "Torture Team," also testified at the congressional hearing. He said that after his extensive interviews with many Bush officials, including John Yoo, "it became clear to me that the Administration has spun a narrative that is false, claiming that the impetus for the new interrogation techniques came from the bottom-up. That is not true; the abuse was a result of pressure and actions driven from the highest levels of government."

It was recently revealed that Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, George Tenet, and John Ashcroft met in the White House and personally oversaw and approved the torture by authorizing specific torture techniques including waterboarding. President Bush admitted he knew and approved of their actions.

"They are all liable under the War Crimes Act and the Torture Statute," Professor Cohn testified. "Under the doctrine of command responsibility, commanders, all the way up the chain of command to the commander-in-chief, are liable for war crimes if they knew or should have known their subordinates would commit them, and they did nothing to stop or prevent it. The Bush officials ordered the torture after seeking legal cover from their lawyers."

The National Lawyers Guild calls on Congress to appoint a Special Prosecutor, independent of the Department of Justice, to investigate and prosecute the high officials of the Bush administration and the lawyers who advised them, for their roles in misusing the rule of law and legal analysis to justify torture and other crimes.

The White Paper can be read at www.nlg.org/news/statements/White Paper - Yoo hearing.doc
More from this author:
Bush Plans War on Iran (3938 Hits)
by Marjorie Cohn The Sunday Times of London is reporting that the Pentagon has plans for three days of massive air strikes against 1,200...
Erwin Chemerinsky and the Post-9/11 Attack on Academic Freedom (5603 Hits)
by Marjorie Cohn One week after renowned legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky was offered the position of dean of the new law school at the...
Pursue Diplomacy, Not War, With Iran (4523 Hits)
by Marjorie Cohn Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to the United States has prompted an outcry, including protests and tabloid...
Cheney Sounds Out Jordan, Egypt on U.S. Bombing of Iran (5441 Hits)
by Marjorie Cohn My cousin Larry Russell, a travel writer, spent three weeks (May 11 through May 31 of 2007) in Jordan as a guest of the...
Torture Endorsed, Torture Denied (7123 Hits)
by Marjorie Cohn Originally published on the Jurist The April 2004 publication of grotesque photographs of naked Iraqis piled on top of ...
Related Articles:
Immaculate Conception: A Squirt in the White House (13703 Hits)
George W. Bush's innumerable sycopants like to potray him as a down-to-earth man of the people: a man's man, tough and fearless, a good-ole-boy...
Source Reveals CIA Electro-Shock Torture in Secret Detention Camps (9051 Hits)
by Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed "The electro shocks are administered without warning. This process is called 'loosening up'. When the person is...
Paper Trail:Turning the Corner With a Timely Verdict (9883 Hits)
by Chris Floyd   Well, Karl Rove got the banner headline he wanted for all the final Sunday papers before the ele ction: Saddam Hussein Is...
Torture Memories (5937 Hits)
By Shepherd Bliss I try not to think about torture. Then I read the following: Vice-President Dick Cheney apparently defends it, a U.S. soldier...
Two White Sisters in Asia: Israel and Australia (7510 Hits)
by M. Shahid Alam “Israel has not fully acknowledged the value of working together with Australia in Asia. It’s a way for us to...


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Trackback(0)
Comments (0)add comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

adsense

Top