In considering the question of whether or not our nation’s leaders are guilty of war crimes, it’s important to consider that the administrations of George Bush and Dick Cheney, as well as those of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have recently been indicted for conducting deliberate policies in Iraq which included the use of torture. Worse, still, is that these policies, first implemented by Clinton at the beginning of the conflict, continue to this day.
The definitive findings of the bipartisan commission linking these top U.S. leaders to the use of torture appeared in a letter written to the Salt Lake Tribune on April 17, as “Report: U.S. resorted to torture after 9/11”. The author’s underlying point included the implication that reporting on the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon had Crimes against Humanity significantly diminished the public awareness of the commission’s findings to the point where they seem to have been all but overlooked.
Ironically,the commission also found that there was “no firm or persuasive evidence” that torture even yielded any beneficial information.
Since the panel implicated both President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, and most Americans would demand a war crimes tribunal for any foreign leaders who had authorized the torture of Americans, we must do the same when our own leaders are involved in the torture of others.
At the same time, in a related story, former Deputy Secretary of State, Dr. Steve Pieczenik makes reference to an explosive a 15-month video documentary investigation by the Guardian and BBC Arabic, in which it is revealed that retired US colonel James Steele, a veteran of American proxy wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, played a fundamental role in training and overseeing US-funded special police commandos who ran a network of torture centers in Iraq. Another special forces veteran, Colonel James Coffman, worked with Steele and reported directly to General David Petraeus, who had been sent into Iraq to organize the Iraqi security services.