Saturday, December 10, 2005
Conspiracy to Torture
Consider just two words: 'command responsibility.' Those words stand among the most resolutely enduring principles established after World War II by the Nuremberg Tribunals. Today they pose a special threat to President Bush, Vice President Cheney and the other officials who actively promote what Secretary of State Rice, in Germany, insisted the Administration 'does not authorize or condone.' To carry out physically and psychically brutal interrogations outside all international norms has required the Administration to corrupt the ordinary meaning of language itself. 'We do not torture' (Bush). 'What we do does not come close to torture' (Director of Central Intelligence Porter Goss). Such denials continue despite twelve reports from the Defense Department documenting the opposite--never mind Congressional testimony, journalistic investigations and NGO reports making common knowledge of waterboarding, sleep deprivation, near-fatal beatings and mock executions. "