Bipartisan task force concludes Bush administration responsible for torture, war crimes

A non-partisan, blue-ribbon task force sponsored by the Washington-based Constitution Project issued a report on US treatment of detainees in the wake of the September 11 attacks. The task force, after a two-year investigation, unanimously concluded that “it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture,” and that “the nation’s most senior officials…bear ultimate responsibility for allowing and contributing to the spread of illegal and improper interrogation techniques.”  … ere was “no firm or persuasive evidence” that the use of harsh interrogation tactics “produced significant information of value,” and that the Office of Legal Counsel lawyers gave “erroneous legal sanction” to the practice.

The task force was chaired by Asa Hutchinson, a Republican who served in the Bush administration and has most recently acted for the NRA in its opposition to gun control; and by James Jones, a former Democratic representative and ambassador to Mexico. Its members included former senior government officials, a former president of the American Bar Association, two retired Army generals, a former FBI director and a former United Nations ambassador, along with several distinguished professors and doctors from across the political spectrum.

These days, it is difficult to find common ground between Democrats and Republicans on almost anything. Yet on this task force, they agreed—unanimously—that the Bush administration’s most senior officials are responsible for war crimes and abuses of fundamental human rights, including torture; enforced disappearances; and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
from Washington’s War Crimes in The Nation (May 13, 2013, p 6)

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