Amnesty calls on governments to arrest US Officials


I gotta say, even I thought that I was going a little over the top with my assertions that President George W. Bush and his cohorts should arrested and tried for their crimes.

But now I see that Amnesty Internationals annual report, and their Executive Director in the US, agrees with me (though on other grounds).

Statement Of Dr. William F. Schulz Executive Director, Amnesty International USA, May 25, 2005

The refusal of the US government to conduct a truly independent investigation into the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison and other detention centers is tantamount to a whitewash, if not a cover-up, of these disgraceful crimes. It is a failure of leadership to prosecute only enlisted soldiers and a few officers while protecting those who designed a deliberate government policy of torture and authorized interrogation techniques that constitute torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The government’s investigation must climb all the way to the top of the military and civilian chain of command.

If the US government continues to shirk its responsibility, Amnesty International calls on foreign governments to uphold their obligations under international law by investigating all senior US officials involved in the torture scandal. And if those investigations support prosecution, the governments should arrest any official who enters their territory and begin legal proceedings against them. The apparent high-level architects of torture should think twice before planning their next vacation to places like Acapulco or the French Riviera because they may find themselves under arrest as Augusto Pinochet famously did in London in 1998.

So who’s on the list?

  • Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
  • William Haynes, the Defense Department General Counsel
  • Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
  • Major General Geoffrey Miller, Commander of the Joint Task Force Guantanamo
  • George Tenet, former CIA Director
  • Alberto Gonzales, US Attorney General
  • Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, former Commander of US Forces in Iraq
  • Captain Carolyn Wood


While this is by no means an exhaustive list of those who deserve investigation, we would be remiss if we ignored President George W. Bush’s role in the scandal. After all, his Administration has repeatedly justified its detention and interrogation policies as legitimate under the President’s powers as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. And President Bush signed a February 2002 memo stating that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to Taliban or al Qaeda detainees and that their humane treatment should be contingent on “military necessity.” This set the stage for the tragic abuses of detainees.

Without full and impartial investigations of all key players, the torture scandal will come to be as indelibly associated with the Bush Presidency as Teapot Dome is with Warren Harding’s or Watergate with Richard Nixon’s.

What’s more, it is the height of hypocrisy for the US government itself to use the very torture techniques that it routinely condemns in other countries.

He really says it all for me.

I have nothing more to add.

Now the question is… does anyone out there actually have the guts to arrest one of these men on their next trip abroad.

How about a Citizens Arrest?

5 replies on “Amnesty calls on governments to arrest US Officials”

  1. So what does Amnesty International want to do with the group who likes to decapitate civilian workers and video tape the whole mess and also drag mutilated bodies through the streets and hang ’em from bridges.

    Good grief. This is nonsense.

  2. Jane,

    I suspect they’d like them arrested and brought to trial just like the other war criminals.

    This is not nonsense. If you commit a criminal act, you should be persecuted, whether you are a terrorist beheading people or a President ignoring the Geneva convention.

    When I was a kid, countries that ignored the Geneva convention usually started with “Peoples REpublic of…” and they were the enemy. It was inconcievable that the US would be one of those countries. If Slobo Milosovic can be arrested and tried for his actions, or Pinnochet, so can Bush.

    Just because Amnesty is focusing on those that should know better doesn’t mean they support terrorist. Drop the “if you are not with us you are against us” crap. THAT is nonsense.

  3. jane.

    Read the report. They deal specifically with “Iraqi Armed Groups”.

    It’s 3/4 down the page.

    “Armed groups opposed to the presence of US-led forces in Iraq were responsible for gross human rights abuses which caused thousands of civilian casualties. ”

    Like I’ve said before, and like the head of Amnesty USA said.. this isn’t about singling out the US, it’s about treating EVERYONE the same.

    Rules have no meaning if they only apply to a select group.

    Hell. Canada was fingered by Amnesty for a bunch of things, mainly related to our horrendous treatment of Native peoples in the past and less than stellar treatment since then.

  4. Oh, puhleese. It’s over the top just as you said. Amnesty International apparently isn’t worried about being taken seriously by those of us with any common sense. Your crowd is getting more and more whacko.

    Take this over to SMASH’s site and stir it up. You need another earful and I’m not going to dignify this stupidity with a rebuttal.

  5. May 26, 2005
    Hell, no, I won’t NGO!
    I was going to make some comment about Amnesty International’s wretched, self-destructive report, but Wretchard has already said it all in one pithy paragraph worth quoting in its entirety:

    I’d have to say that Amnesty International’s Report claiming the US is the world’s worst human rights violator condemns itself far more than it does the United States. Anyone who has lived in the Third World or any of the places which Amnesty International purports to care about knows — and I mean knows for a fact — what police abuse, torture, arbitrary detention, etc. really are and that it cannot be compared in any wise to the “Gulag” in Guantanamo Bay. Moreover, anyone who has lived in such places knows that the last place where victims can find practical help is from Amnesty International.

    One more icon of my youth down the drain. [Isn’t this all about their own fund-raising?-ed. Ya think?]

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