Saturday, April 11, 2009

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

Baltasar Garzon, a judge in Spain, has taken the first steps toward opening a criminal investigation into allegations that six former high-level Bush administration officials violated international law by providing the legal framework to justify the torture of prisoners at GITMO.

Their names 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 undersecretary of defense; William Haynes, formerly the Pentagon's general counsel; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, who were both senior justice department legal advisers All these people approved the application of torture on suspects.

Mr. Garzon is the very same prosecutor who went after Augusto Pinochet. Spain can claim jurisdiction in the case because five citizens or residents of Spain who were prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have said they were tortured there. The five had been indicted in Spain, but their cases were dismissed after the Spanish Supreme Court ruled that evidence obtained under torture was not admissible. It may only be a matter of time before international warrants are issued for the arrests of these six men.

Despite this huge international news, national press and television are mostly silent. We need to applaud Mr. Garzon for his efforts.

John D. Morgan

Arlington Heights



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