Thursday, November 11, 2010

Amnesty International wants Bush on trial over torture

Press TV

The London-based Amnesty International (AI) has called for a criminal investigation into former US President George W. Bush's admission of torture.

The rights group's call comes after Bush confirmed in his recently released memoirs, Decision Points, that he authorized the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" against detainees held in secret US custody.

Exactly six days after the September 11 attacks, Bush authorized the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to set up secret detention facilities outside the US.

Amnesty claims multiple human rights violations were committed against detainees in the name of the so-called 'war on terror.'

Additionally, in an 8 November 2010 interview with Matt Lauer on NBC, Bush stated that he had authorized the use of "water boarding" and other "enhanced interrogation techniques" against alleged "high-value detainees." During the interview, Bush focused on the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

"Would it be OK for a foreign country to waterboard an American citizen?" Lauer asked.

"It's all I ask is that people read the book. And they can reach the same conclusion. If they'd have made the same decision I made or not," replied Bush.

According to a report released by the CIA Inspector General, Mohammed was water-boarded 183 times. Mohammed had spent three and a half years in a solitary confinement in secret locations before being transferred to military custody in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he continues to languish without trial.

Amnesty is calling for Bush and others involved in torture to be tried under the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which the US ratified in 1994.

"Under international law, the former President's admission to having authorized acts that amount to torture are enough to trigger the USA's obligations to investigate his admissions and if substantiated, to prosecute him," AI said.

"Failure to investigate and prosecute in circumstances where the requisite criteria are met is itself a violation of international law," it added.

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