That Senate torture report that we’ve been waiting for so long to be released even in highly redacted form completely ignores the role of Bush administration officials who ordered and provided legal cover for the CIA’s torture regime from 2001 to 2009, according to a McClatchy report.
A soon-to-be released Senate report on the CIA doesn’t assess the responsibility of former President George W. Bush or his top aides for any of the abuses of the agency’s detention and interrogation program, avoiding a full public accounting of one of the darkest chapters of the war on terror.
“This report is not about the White House. It’s not about the president. It’s not about criminal liability. It’s about the CIA’s actions or inactions,” said a person familiar with the document, who asked not to be further identified because the executive summary – the only part to that will be made public – still is in the final stages of declassification.
The Senate Intelligence Committee report also didn’t examine the responsibility of top Bush administration lawyers in crafting the legal framework that permitted the CIA to use simulated drowning called waterboarding and other interrogation methods widely described as torture, McClatchy has learned.“It does not look at the Bush administration’s lawyers to see if they were trying to literally do an end run around justice and the law,” the person said.
As a result, the $40 million, five-year inquiry passed up what may be the final opportunity to render an official verdict on the culpability of Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney and other senior officials for the program, in which suspected terrorists were abducted, sent to secret overseas prisons, and subjected to the harsh interrogation techniques.
“If it’s the case that the report doesn’t really delve into the White House role, then that’s a pretty serious indictment of the report,” said Elizabeth Goitein, the co-director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program at the New York University Law School. “Ideally it should come to some sort of conclusions on whether there were legal violations and if so, who was responsible.”
Yes, but we wouldn’t want to actually hold a powerful person responsible for war crimes. I mean, it’s only required that we do so by UN Convention Against Torture, which was pushed through and signed by Ronald Reagan. But Obama has done everything he can to protect the Bush administration, including threatening other countries who wanted to use the universal jurisdiction granted them under the UN CAT to file charges against Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.