LINES OF THE DAY

". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Monday, March 30, 2009

My Concern Is the U.S. Use of Torture and Incarceration

Not some other nation's past use.

Full story reported in the UK Guardian here; pull follows below:

Criminal proceedings have begun in Spain against six senior officials in the Bush administration for the use of torture against detainees in Guantánamo Bay. Baltasar Garzón, the counter-terrorism judge whose prosecution of General Augusto Pinochet led to his arrest in Britain in 1998, has referred the case to the chief prosecutor before deciding whether to proceed.

The case is bound to threaten Spain's relations with the new administration in Washington, but Gonzalo Boyé, one of the four lawyers who wrote the lawsuit, said the prosecutor would have little choice under Spanish law but to approve the
prosecution. "The only route of escape the prosecutor might have is to ask
whether there is ongoing process in the US against these people," Boyé told the
Observer. "This case will go ahead. It will be against the law not to go
ahead."


The officials named in the case include the most senior legal minds in the Bush administration. They are: Alberto Gonzales, a former White House counsel and attorney general; David Addington, former vice-president Dick Cheney's chief of staff; Douglas Feith, who was under-secretary of defence; William Haynes, formerly the Pentagon's general counsel; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, who were both senior justice department legal advisers.

Court documents say that, without their legal advice in a series of internal administration memos, "it would have been impossible to structure a legal
framework that supported what happened [in Guantánamo]". Boyé predicted that
Garzón would issue subpoenas in the next two weeks, summoning the six former
officials to present evidence: "If I were them, I would search for a good
lawyer."


If Garzón decided to go further and issued arrest warrants against the six, it would mean they would risk detention and extradition if they travelled outside the US. It would also present President Barack Obama with a serious dilemma. He would have either to open proceedings against the accused or tackle an extradition request from Spain.


Obama administration officials have confirmed that they believe torture was committed by American interrogators. The president has not ruled out a criminal inquiry, but has signalled he is reluctant to do so for political reasons.

2 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

That is one story to watch.

It's almost inevitable, than many in the Bush administration will end up like Kissinger, bound to staying in the US, and facing war crimes charges if they leave.

K. said...

Rolling Stone reported this week that the Interior Dept has referred Bush Admin shenanigans to Justice and that indictments may follow.