Torture Report Shows Need for Accountability | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Torture Report Shows Need for Accountability

After the recent release of six long-term detainees in indefinite detention from the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp to Uruguay and the release of the CIA Torture Report, we are reminded once again of the abuses that our own government has committed in the so-called "War on Terror."

The Government, under George W. Bush, took the position that the U.S. Constitution had no effect either in CIA prisons out of the United States or at Guantanamo Bay. It also believed that the Geneva Conventions of 1949 did not apply to any prisoners captured in the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq. The Geneva Conventions provide protections for any enemy soldier captured in fighting. Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions prohibits detention practices that are cruel, degrading, or humiliating." Revelations of anal intrusions, sexual assault, waterboarding, and the like are serious violations of the Conventions, equivalent to war crimes. But it is most important to note that the torture exposed in the CIA Torture Report was sanctioned at the highest levels of the United States Government, under the watchful eye of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and former Vice President Dick Cheney, who once commented that detainees were not made to hold stress positions long enough.

After September 11, 2001, torture was official U.S. policy under George Bush -- authorized at the highest levels of government. Evidence of its continued and systematic practice continues to surface to this day. On September 17, 2001, George Bush signed a secret finding empowering the CIA to capture, kill, or interrogate al-Qaeda Leaders." It also authorized establishing a secret global network of facilities to detain and interrogate them without guidelines on proper treatment. Around the same time, Bush approved a secret "high-value target list" of about two dozen names. He also gave CIA free reign to capture, kill and interrogate terrorists not on the list.

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