Amnesty International goes off the deep end

There goes my respect for a once-noble organization. Amnesty International says that foreign governments have a legal obligation to capture and try President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzalez and others.

Foreign governments that are party to the Geneva Conventions and/or the Convention against Torture—and that is some 190 countries—and countries that have national legislation that authorizes prosecution—and that is at least 125 countries—have a legally binding obligation to exercise what is known as universal jurisdiction over people accused of grave breaches of the Conventions. Governments are required to investigate suspects and, if warranted, to prosecute them or to extradite them to a country that will. Crimes such as torture are so serious that they amount to an offense against all of humanity and require governments to investigate and prosecute people responsible for those crimes—no matter where the crime was committed.

Amnesty International’s list of those who may be considered high-level torture architects includes Donald Rumsfeld, who approved a December 2002 memorandum that permitted such unlawful interrogation techniques as stress positions, prolonged isolation, stripping, and the use of dogs at Guantanamo Bay; William Haynes, the Defense Department General Counsel who wrote that memo, and Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, who is cited in the memo as concurring with its recommendations.

Our list includes Major General Geoffrey Miller, Commander of the Joint Task Force Guantanamo, whose subordinates used some of the approved torture techniques and who was sent to Iraq where he recommended that prison guards “soften up” detainees for interrogations; former CIA Director George Tenet, whose agency kept so-called “ghost detainees” off registration logs and hidden during visits by the Red Cross and whose operatives reportedly used such techniques as water-boarding, feigning suffocation, stress positions, and incommunicado detention.

And it includes Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who called the Geneva Conventions “quaint” and “obsolete” in a January 2002 memo and who requested the memos that fueled the atrocities at Abu Ghraib; Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, former Commander of US Forces in Iraq, and Sanchez’ deputy, Major General Walter Wojdakowsi, who failed to ensure proper staff oversight of detention and interrogation operations at Abu Ghraib, according to the military’s Fay-Jones report, and Captain Carolyn Wood, who oversaw interrogation operations at Bagram Air Base and who permitted the use of dogs, stress positions and sensory deprivation.

While this is by no means an exhaustive list of those who deserve investigation, we would be remiss if we ignored President George W. Bush’s role in the scandal. After all, his Administration has repeatedly justified its detention and interrogation policies as legitimate under the President’s powers as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. And President Bush signed a February 2002 memo stating that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to Taliban or al Qaeda detainees and that their humane treatment should be contingent on “military necessity.” This set the stage for the tragic abuses of detainees.

What will happen to AI's funding, which comes largely from American donations?

Well, they'll still get donations from Al Gore.

HT: Lorie Byrd and Captain's Quarters.

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