Hopes Raised, Dashed.

April 13, 2009 at 11:23 pm | Posted in Bush, Department of Defense, Foreign Affairs, law, torture | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , ,
Justicia - Justice stands blindfolded as people around her are being tortured.  Pieter Bruegel (1525-1569), artist

"Justicia" - Justice stands blindfolded as people around her are being tortured. Pieter Bruegel (1525-1569), artist

Scott Horton at The Daily Beast:

Spanish prosecutors have decided to press forward with a criminal investigation targeting former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and five top associates over their role in the torture of five Spanish citizens held at Guantánamo, several reliable sources close to the investigation have told The Daily Beast. Their decision is expected to be announced on Tuesday before the Spanish central criminal court, the Audencia Nacional, in Madrid.


The six defendants—in addition to Gonzales, Federal Appeals Court Judge and former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, University of California law professor and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, former Defense Department general counsel and current Chevron lawyer William J. Haynes II, Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff David Addington, and former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith—are accused of having given the green light to the torture and mistreatment of prisoners held in U.S. detention in “the war on terror.”


The Bush Six labored at length to create a legal black hole in which they could implement their policies safe from the scrutiny of American courts and the American media. Perhaps they achieved much of their objective, but the law of unintended consequences has kicked in. If U.S. courts and prosecutors will not address the matter because of a lack of jurisdiction, foreign courts appear only too happy to step in.

I am having a hard time believing that anyone will prosecute the bastards, but the Spaniards give me hope.

It’s more than sad that an American should feel more hopeful at the effectiveness of a foreign legal system than their own.

h/t Hilzoy

UPDATE (4/16/09): It looks like my small hope has been dashed, at least for now.


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