Bush guilty of torture & compensation to former Guantanamo detainees

Charlie - posted on 11/18/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )

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On Tuesday the British government announced that it had reached a settlement to pay compensation to sixteen former Guantanamo detainees for the abuses they suffered in US custody. Shaker Aamer, a UK resident still held in Guantanamo, will be one of those receiving an, as yet, undisclosed financial payment.



At least six of the individuals had lodged civil claims for damages against the government in the UK. The complaints included British complicity in unlawful detention, extraordinary rendition and torture. One detainee, Binyam Mohamed, alleged that British intelligence officers had supplied questions to his Moroccan interrogators who at one point cut his penis with a knife to get him to talk.



The British government has denied any wrong doing and the Home Secretary Kenneth Clarke told the House of Commons that “no admissions of culpability have been made in settling these cases.” The stated reasons the government decided to agree to the settlement were to avoid protracted litigation, diverting resources from vital counterterrorism investigations, and estimated legal costs that could have exceeded $80m.



However, an equally pressing concern was the government’s desire to protect classified information from disclosure in court. Much of this classified information related to CIA reporting on its interrogation and treatment of the detainees in its custody.





Attempts by the former detainee Binyam Mohamed to pursue compensation in British courts earlier this year for the abuses he suffered put the British government on the back foot as it fought to prevent the disclosure of classified documents to Mohamed’s lawyers.



These classified documents included forty-two communications from the CIA relating to the process of Mohamed’s interrogation, its planning, collaboration with British authorities, and the manner in which his treatment was monitored.



In its attempts to block the release of these documents, the government’s legal team told the court that both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the CIA had written official letters warning that the US would review its intelligence sharing agreement with the UK if the court released the information.



In the light of its experience in the Binyam Mohamed case it is difficult to escape to the conclusion that the British government has taken the step of settling all Guantanamo and rendition-related claims out of court in large part to spare American blushes and to preserve the close intelligence ties that exist between the two countries.



This is one of the little discussed consequences of the Bush administration’s counter-terrorism policies – our allies have been compromised and embarrassed by their association with the CIA’s rendition to torture and the reputational (and apparently financial) cost around the world of being America’s friend has gone up. Bush’s decision to authorize the use of a torture was both a crime and a blunder.



The British government’s announcement was made a day after Amnesty International published a new report – Open Secret: Mounting Evidence of Europe’s Complicity in Rendition and Secret Detention – on European involvement in the Bush administration’s illegal activities.



As the former President continues his book tour proudly proclaiming that he ordered the torture of terrorist suspects, the contrast could not be more stark. Europe is grappling to clean up a mess that is largely not of its own making while the prime culprit laughs all the way to the bank.



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What do you think do these men deserve compensation ?

why ? why not ?

Should Bush be charged ?

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Jenny - posted on 11/19/2010

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nati...



This was drafted in 1984 and the US did sign on.



Article 2 of the convention prohibits torture, and requires parties to take effective measures to prevent it in any territory under its jurisdiction. This prohibition is absolute and non-derogable. "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever"[5] may be invoked to justify torture, including war, threat of war, internal political instability, public emergency, terrorist acts, violent crime, or any form of armed conflict.[6] Torture cannot be justified as a means to protect public safety or prevent emergencies.[6] Neither can it be justified by orders from superior officers or public officials.[7] The prohibition on torture applies to all territories under a party's effective jurisdiction, and protects all people under its effective control, regardless of citizenship or how that control is exercised.[6] Since the Conventions entry into force, this absolute prohibition has become accepted as a principle of customary international law.[6]



This is also interesting, I wonder when the UN will be sending inspectors to Gitmo:



The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT), adopted by the General Assembly on 18 December 2002 and in force since 22 June 2006, provides for the establishment of "a system of regular visits undertaken by independent international and national bodies to places where people are deprived of their liberty, in order to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,"[10] to be overseen by a Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Amanda - posted on 11/19/2010

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I agree with Sara B about the "slippery slope" annalogy.....
I am not a Bush fan, i didn't read his book and i don't plan to read his book.... does he actually state "i'm proud of authorizing torture"? or does he simply stick to his decision?
Loureen- what is the source of this article, if you don't mind me asking?
It mentions Classified documents, and the article makes a lot of assumptions based on the classified documents which, based on the fact that they are classified, the media can't know fully what is in them...... so they are assuming that the reason the US tried to block release of these documents was to spare itself embarassment..... truthfully, there are laws and regulations on the release of classified info and they are particularly stringent when it comes to the release to another nation. the info. is classified for a reason.... and a lot of times the president is the "fall guy", he takes responsibility for things that happen in his administration (not saying this is definately the case in this situation, but who really knows?)

Sara - posted on 11/19/2010

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I think that being detained and having the basic human rights, that are guaranteed to you by the Geneva Convention, side-stepped is definitely an egregious crime, and they deserve compensation for that. To be held with no formal charges against you and then tortured for information is just plain wrong. Gitmo should be shut down and we should try to, in some way, make up for all the wrongs we have done over the last 9 years.



As far as Bush being charged as a war criminal, I don't know. I feel like that's a slippery slope. I personally don't like Bush and don't agree with his policies, but is he any more of a war criminal than men like Franklin Roosevelt, who ordered the detention of Japanese-Americans during WWII in internment camps? If I call Bush a war criminal, then I have to call others that I have a great deal more respect for war criminals as well, and I don't know how I feel about that. I really want to say yes, because I believe Bush was wrong in his actions and it's sick to me that he's proud of it, but when I think war criminal I think Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot, not George Bush.

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Bree - posted on 11/23/2010

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I have very mixed feelings about this. Part of me screams "Who's getting charged with war crimes for our guys getting tortured and beheaded with a dull blade on video"...and part of me (the rational part that doesn't always speak up right away) knows that in this day it isn't eye-for-an-eye or right to sink to the level of terrorists.
I agree with someone up there that said if Bush is getting prosecuted then it needs to go on down the line. Whoever gave him the option to sign that. Whoever gave him the intelligence that said these people had information that needed tortured out of them. This is a tough one and I'm glad I personally don't have to make any decisions.

ME - posted on 11/20/2010

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I just taught the Geneva Conventions in my philosophy class, and it is undeniable that the Bush Admin. broke those conventions. The US supreme court case, Hamden V Rumsfeld says as much...I think the whole Administration should be charged, but I don't think that they will be. I do think that people held for years without charges or trials should be compensated!

Petra - posted on 11/20/2010

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It sounds more like they want these guys to keep quiet. Hush money vs. compensation... not cool.

[deleted account]

Should they be compensated? Yes, absolutely.

Should Bush be charged? Honest answer, I don't know.

Should the Brits be the ones to do the compensating? Not sure, it depends on what their involvement was. I think they probably had more knowledge than they admit to. Plus, if they don't compensate, who will? It's unlikely the US government will step up and these men deserve to be compensated.

Lacye - posted on 11/19/2010

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That is horrible. It doesn't matter that they were war prisoners, they still had rights! I am not a Bush fan and if he has been going around and saying that he authorized it, yeah, he should be charged as well. That also goes for anybody else that knew that he was allowing this to go on.

Petra - posted on 11/19/2010

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Yes, they deserve compensation. Anyone who is illegally detained, deprived of legal counsel, tortured, etc. is deserving of some sort of formal & financial apology, especially when it was the American government ordering their detainment, interrogation & torture. The US is not some third world dictatorship - this sort of treatment of human beings is not supposed to happen. Bush is happily admitting to it and writing frickin memoirs about it? He should absolutely be charged. Anyone who flounts basic human rights in this manner, in a country with a fucking constitution that sets out actual human rights, should not just sail away and profit from their book on the subject. He's a fucking idiot. If it were another ex-president or country leader and American soldiers were subjected to these kinds of things there, you bet your ass they'd be nailed to the wall for it.

@Jennie - I agree completely. I've read that Obama is shutting it down and I hope its not just to avoid the financial fallout of lawsuits for fucking innocent people over.

Jenny - posted on 11/18/2010

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Yes, he should be charged. So should Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rove.

And if it's continuing Obama should be charged too.

Charlie - posted on 11/18/2010

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Personally I think they still deserve basic human rights and SOME compensation is deserved in this case considering these men were ever actually charged of anything as for Bush , he should be charged for war crimes he has happily admitted to ordering the tourture of of terrorist SUSPECTS .

I will elaborate later .

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