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: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/12/washington/12detainee.html?hpLink to report: http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=305735

Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal. 

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