Thursday, June 16, 2011

Torture Accountability After All?

By Stephen Soldz, ZNet, June 16, 2011

Those of us who opposed the Bush administration torture program have been demoralized by the lack of accountability for the numerous abuses committed as part of that program. President Obama decried torture, and said he would end it, but he also said he wanted to “look forward, not back,” apparently precluding investigations of the abuses committed by the previous administration.

The Obama administration has not merely refused to initiate criminal investigations of those who approved and ordered the Bush-Cheney torture program. They have declined even to support a Commission of Inquiry to explore what happened in a non-judicial forum. Further, the administration used every legal tool available – including spurious arguments about national security in US courts and diplomatic pressure on foreign governments – to stymie efforts at accountability through ethics complaints, domestic civil trials, and foreign criminal cases for the crimes committed by predecessors.

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