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War Crimes: The charges mount--bipartisanly

Here's more on torture, etc.:"A report released Thursday by leaders of the Senate Armed Services committee said that top Bush administration officials, including Donald H. Rumsfeld, the former defense secretary, bear major responsibility for the abuses committed by American troops in interrogations at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other military detention centers."The report was issued jointly by Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the Democratic chairman of the panel, and Senator John McCain of Arizona, the top Republican. The report represents the most thorough review by Congress to date of the origins of the abuse of prisoners in American military custody, and it explicitly rejects the Bush administrations contention that tough interrogation methods have helped keep the country and its troops safe.

"The report also rejected previous claims by Mr. Rumsfeld and others that Defense Department policies played no role in the the harsh treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 and in other incidents of abuse.

"The abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, the report says, was not simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own but grew out of interrogation policies approved by Mr. Rumsfeld and other top officials conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees.Story: to report:

About the Author

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.



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Remember this is not a matter of partisanship. It is the story of an arrogant bunch of hoods doing what they wanted because they could. Some very honorable Americans resigned their offices and ambassadorships saying that our country now held the motto that "you don't have to love us as long as you fear us." No wonder the world turned against us. Most importantly, too many in the media got intimidated and argued the gang of hoods case. Fox News in the one hole. Very subtly Fox News is trying to change that attitude and image. Certainly, the unnecessary lives are the most deplorable. But the damage done to the American way was huge. Historians will certainly assert that turning 9/11 into Pearl Harbor was one of the greatest distortions ever concocted.

I take this report as a sign that Senator McCain is serving now where he can best serve us.If the contents of the report are classified, then presumably they couldnt be used by other governments to charge Rumsfeld or other administration notables with war crimes.

Whatever is classified or not, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Addington, Yoo, and company (whoever they may be) would be foolish to travel publicly overseas after the Bush Administration leaves office.

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