The Washington Post reported in a front page article,  that in retrospect the Bush regime’s practice of torture saved no lives, led to no critical information, foiled no plots, and like most everything else that group told the American people, was based on lies.  Dan Froomkin provides a more accessible account  of the Post’s findings.  The always wonderful Digby does as well, here  and here.

Further, we now know that incarcerating innocent people was a deliberate strategy of the Cheney/Bush administration.  Even when they knew most of these men were innocent, they continued to hold them. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, a Republican and former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell added In his important posting for the Washington Note blog,

“U.S. leadership became aware of this lack of proper vetting very early on and, thus, of the reality that many of the detainees were innocent of any substantial wrongdoing, had little intelligence value, and should be immediately released.”

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney opposed addresing the problem  because “to have admitted this reality would have been a black mark on their leadership.” Far better to leave hundreds of innocent men, from 13 to 90, locked up indefinitely.

 The initial disregard with whether the incarcerated were actually guilty of anything was apparently due to some computerized model for finding information that happily sacrificed the innocent in a failed effort to capture the guilty.  Their continued incarceration was due to the depravity of Rumsfeld and Cheney.  For more, see here.  

Given this widespread and depraved criminality it was with enormous pleasure that I read war crimes charges have now been filed in Spain against many key players behind torture in the Bush administration.  Because Spanish citizens and residents were arrested and tortured by the US, Spain has standing under the law. The judge who nailed Pinochet will handle the case.  At this writing it looks as if the case will go forward and arrest warrants will be issued.  It cannot be too soon, even if in practice it only means that these thugs will be confined to American territory for the rest of their lives to avoid arrest for their crimes.

The United States government, Democratic and Republican alike, may no longer believe in the rule of law,  but happily other nations do.   Decent Americans can only hope Rumsfeld and Cheney will be next. 

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