Getting Away with Torture
NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY

Getting Away with Torture


FSRN: Human rights advocates urge criminal investigations into the Bush administration for torture -   July 14, 2011
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


Audio

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter



The in-depth interviews with knowledgeable people are a gold mine to those of us with questing minds who are determined to pursue the facts, wherever they may lead. - Jennifer Humiston
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

Transcript

Getting Away with TortureDANNY WOOD, FREE SPEECH RADIO NEWS: A report released today by Human Rights Watch says there are grounds for President Barack Obama to order criminal investigations of former president George W. Bush, vice president Dick Cheney, defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and CIA director George Tenet for ordering the use of torture, secret detention facilities, and rendition of detainees. For more on this report, called Getting Away with Torture: The Bush Administration and Mistreatment of Detainees, we turn to Andrea Prasow, senior counterterrorism counsel for Human Rights Watch. Welcome to Free Speech Radio News.

ANDREA PRASOW, SENIOR COUNTERTERRORISM COUNSEL, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Thank you.

WOOD: Former president Bush has always justified his authorization of torture, like waterboarding, on the grounds that the Justice Department lawyers said it was legal. But you say there's substantial information that senior administration officials, including Cheney, sought to influence the lawyers' judgment. Can you give some examples of that information?

PRASOW: Yeah. I think it's really important to recognize that a memo from a lawyer doesn't make criminal conduct legal. There's some evidence to suggest that senior administration officials first identified the torture they wanted to engage in and then sought the memos from the Justice Department lawyers. That's simply not the way it works. The duty of a lawyer is to provide independent legal advice to his client, and that's not what happened here.

WOOD: So on what legal basis exactly could a prosecution of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Tenet proceed here in the US, and how could it get underway?

PRASOW: War crimes. Definitely the War Crimes Act makes it possible to pursue war crimes in federal court in the US, the crime of conspiracy, conspiracy to engage in assault, abuse, all sorts of different types of conduct. When you look at what happened to some of these detainees, it's very clear that what we would consider sort of ordinary crimes took place: they were beaten; they were sexually abused; they were threatened with violence. All of these are clear crimes under US law and can be prosecuted.

WOOD: If the US doesn't act on these crimes and investigate them, you've said other countries should. How far could a case pursued somewhere like Spain, for example, which has a legal system that allows its courts to pursue international war crimes, really get?

PRASOW: You know, George Bush had a trip up to Switzerland a few months ago. And human rights activists and victims had been prepared to file a criminal complaint upon his arrival in Switzerland. And he cancelled that trip. There was a lot of publicity in advance. And it suggested that he was aware that he might actually be charged in Switzerland and therefore didn't travel to that country. So I think that actions taken by other countries really can have an impact. Other countries need to step up if the US won't and make it clear that torture will not be tolerated, regardless of who perpetrates it.

End of Transcript

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


More Info

For more from Danny Wood, visit fsrn.org

Comments

Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

Comments


Latest Stories


Lawyers of Six Officers in Gray Case: Move Trial Out of Baltimore, And Away From Its Politics
Activist Kwame Rose Arrested Outside Freddie Gray Pre-Trial Hearings
Former Cop Says Freddie Gray Slowdown Didn't Prompt Crime Spike
TRNN Livestream Outside Freddie Gray Pre-trial Hearing
Trade Union General Strike Across India
In Landmark Ruling, California Prisons Halt Solitary Confinement
Veolia Pulls Out of Israel
Is Erdogan Creating a Perfect Storm to Get His Party in Power?
The US Dollar and the Search for a "Reasonable" Capitalist - Heiner Flassbeck on RAI (3/5)
Pre-trial Hearings for Freddie Gray Case Start Wednesday
What Has Changed Since Freddie Gray's Killing?
Labor, Bernie Sanders, and Direct Action: Larry Hanley and Morrigan Phillips
Is Obama Greenwashing His Climate Record in Alaska?
Key Pocomoke Councilwoman Says City Doesn't Speak for Her in Secret Meeting Controversy
Days of Revolt: The Revolutionary, Caged
A Broken System Breaks Families
Cheney Blasts Iran Deal, Forgets That as VP Iran Got Closer to Getting Nukes
DC Mayor's New Plan to Stem City Violence: More Policing
Extraordinary Brutality Inflicted on Civilians in Yemen
India's Economy Can Grow Without Increasing Carbon Emissions
The Media Assassin and Shooting the Enemy
Racing to a Dead End - Heiner Flassbeck on Reality Asserts Itself (2/5)
Pocomoke to Attorney General: Reason for Secret Meeting is Secret
Mediterranean Refugee Crisis Escalating
Who "Recovered" in Post-Katrina New Orleans?
The Global African: W. Kamau Bell & The Crisis in Detroit
Members of Syriza's Central Committee Defecting to Popular Unity
Bullock Trial Begins Friday
Why is Sanders Silent on U.S. Foreign Policy?
Reaganism and Thatcherism were Intellectually Dishonest - Heiner Flassbeck on Reality Asserts Itself (1/5)

RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting