Take 27 minutes and 41 seconds out of your day to hear this incredible interview with Philippe Sands. Sands, a barrister, has written a book on the chain of command leading up to the torture that happened at Guantanamo, at Abu Ghraib, and at CIA "black site" prisons.
What he makes extraordinarily clear is a direct link from the offices of President George W. Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney and Sec.Def. Donald Rumsfeld, through papers signed by the men themselves and through the lawyers at their offices; to breaches of the Geneva Convention and the UN Convention of torture, which have already been admitted: torture techniques such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation, dogs, etc.
Another thing he makes extraordinarily clear is that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their lawyers, are not just morally responsible, but criminally culpable. That is to say: they have committed war crimes. Now, I didn't exactly need convincing of this, but what Sands makes clear is that they are also proveably, legally, convictably responsible. You should hear the interview, and probably read the book, too. The interview binds up a lot of little facts and papers that have been flying around for years into a coherent narrative that easily leads to a natural conclusion. It all ends in Nüremberg.
Today, I also happened to find this delightful transcript over at Daily Kos, where former Attorney General and grand inquisitor in charge of torture, John Ashcroft, gets asked some serious questions by students at a campus meeting. I find this wonderfully reminiscent of the last scene in A Few Good Men. YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!
Let's hear Ashcroft actually, for real, arguing that the conviction of Japanese torturers for waterboarding is not the same as Americans waterboarding. Roll tape:
Dday over at Hullabaloo has a nice analysis of the blow-by-blow in the transcript. It ends in Nüremberg, too. That's where it's all going. If there is any justice left in the world, that's where the Bush administration is going.ME: (firmly) Mr. Ashcroft, please answer the question.
ASHCROFT: (shouting) Read it back!
ME: "The victim was bound or otherwise secured in a prone position; and water was forced through his mouth and nostrils into his lungs and stomach."
ASHCROFT: (shouting) You hear that? You hear it? "Forced!" If you can't tell the difference between forcing and pouring...does this college have an anatomy class? If you can't tell the difference between forcing and pouring...
ME: (firmly and loudly) Mr. Ashcroft, do you believe that Yukio Asano's sentence was unjust? Answer the question. (pause)
ASHCROFT: (more restrained) It's not a fair question; there's no comparison. Next question! (loud chorus of boos from the audience)