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Accountability

War Crimes and Double Standards

George Bush could be next on the war crimes list
March 6, 2009
New Zealand Herald

THE HAGUE — George W. Bush could one day be the International Criminal
Court’s next target.

David Crane, an international law professor at Syracuse University, said the
principle of law used to issue an arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir could extend
to former US President Bush over claims officials from his Administration may
have engaged in torture by using coercive interrogation techniques on terror
suspects.…

Rep. Holt Introduces Anthrax Commission Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 3, 2009

Contact: Zach Goldberg 202-225-5801 (office)

HOLT INTRODUCES ANTHRAX COMMISSION LEGISLATION Bill Would Create 9/11 Commission-Style Panel to Investigate Anthrax Attacks and Government Response

(Washington, D.C.) — Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) today introduced the Anthrax Attacks Investigation Act of 2009, legislation that would establish a Congressional commission to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks and the federal government’s response to and investigation of the attacks. The bipartisan commission would make recommendations to the President and Congress on how the country can best prevent and respond to any future bioterrorism attack.…

9/11 Commission Senior Counsel & Team Leader to Testify at ‘Truth Commission’ Hearing Today

Sen. Leahy Proceeds With Truth Commission
Today on C-Span, 10am Eastern

Senate Judiciary Cmte. Chairman Leahy (D-VT) holds a hearing on the creation
of a nonpartisan commission to investigate past national security policies.
Sen. Leahy (D-VT) first called for a truth commission, which would inquire into
alleged wrongdoing by past Administrations, during an event on Capitol Hill.

watch Truth
Commission: C-SPAN3
at 10am (ET)

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Obama and Holder Must Prosecute War Crimes or Become Guilty of Them Themselves

by Dave Lindorff
March 3, 2009
ThisCantBeHappening.net

The dithering and ducking going on in the Obama White House and the Holder
Justice Department over the crimes of the Bush administration are taking on
a comic aspect.

On the one hand, we have President Obama assuring us that under his administration,
there will be respect for the rule of law, and on the other hand we have this
one-time constitutional law professor and his attorney general declaiming that
there is no need for the appointment of a prosecutor to bring charges against
the people in the last administration, in the CIA, in the National Security
Agency and in the Defense Department and the military who clearly have broken
the law in serious and felonious ways.…

CIA Destroyed Tapes Admission Comes In ACLU Lawsuit Over Torture Documents

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK — According to a letter filed by the government in court today,
the CIA acknowledged it destroyed 92 tapes of interrogations. The admission
comes in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit seeking records of the treatment
of prisoners in U.S. custody abroad. In December 2007, the ACLU filed a motion
to hold the CIA in contempt for its destruction of videotapes recording the
harsh interrogation of prisoners in violation of a court order requiring the
agency to produce or identify all the requested records.…

CIA destroyed 92 interrogation tapes

By Devlin Barrett
Associated Press on ABC News
March 2, 2009

WASHINGTON — New documents show the CIA destroyed nearly 100 tapes of
terror interrogations, far more than has previously been acknowledged.

The revelation Monday comes as a criminal prosecutor is wrapping up his investigation
in the matter.

The acknowledgment of dozens of destroyed tapes came in a letter filed by government
lawyers in New York, where the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit
seeking more details of terror interrogation programs.…

Obama administration backs Bush, tries to kill ‘lost’ White House emails lawsuit

RAW STORY

Missing email includes day Cheney’s office told to preserve emails in CIA leak case WASHINGTON — Welcome to change.

The Obama administration, siding with former President George W. Bush, is trying to kill a lawsuit that seeks to recover what could be millions of missing White House e-mails in a stunning reversal of Obama’s rhetoric about Bush secrecy on the campaign trail.

Two advocacy groups suing the Executive Office of the President, including one of the groups that helped derail former House Speaker Tom DeLay, say that large amounts of White House e-mail documenting Bush’s eight years in office may still be missing, and that the government must undertake an extensive recovery effort.…

Statement on Prosecution of Former High Officials

We urge Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a non-partisan independent Special Counsel to immediately commence a prosecutorial investigation into the most serious alleged crimes of former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Richard B. Cheney, the attorneys formerly employed by the Department of Justice whose memos sought to justify torture, and other former top officials of the Bush Administration.

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UPDATE 2/27/09 6pm: In response to the many email questions we’ve received asking why we have not endorsed this call for a Special Prosecutor: On 2/24, when this statement/petition was posted at AfterDowningStreet.org, 911truth.org immediately signed on as an endorsing organization via the signup at that site.

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Poll: Most want inquiry into anti-terror tactics

By Jill Lawrence
February 16, 2009
USA Today

WASHINGTON – Even as Americans struggle with two wars and an economy in
tatters, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds majorities in favor of investigating
some of the thorniest unfinished business from the Bush administration: Whether
its tactics in the “war on terror” broke the law.

Close
to two-thirds of those surveyed said there should be investigations into allegations
that the Bush team used torture to interrogate terrorism suspects and its program
of wiretapping U.S.…

Obama: Reopen the 9/11 Investigation

by Melissa Rossi
Author, What Every American Should Know about the Middle East (Plume/Penguin,
Jan. 2009)
February 10, 2009
HuffingtonPost.com

Patrick Leahy has a point when he urges President Obama to open investigations about the Bush administration. However, he’s not pointing at the issue that we need to start with. Namely, September 11th. What really happened? More than a few people know – and I am not alone in calling for those who know to start talking and fess up.…

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Obama to Meet Victims, Relatives of 9/11 Attacks

Michael D. Shear, Peter Finn and Dan Eggen
The Washington Post
Thursday, February 5, 2009; 6:23 PM

President Obama will gather tomorrow with victims and families of the 9/11
terrorist attacks and U.S.S. Cole bombing for a face-to-face meeting as his
administration struggles to decide how to handle detainees at Guatanamo Bay,
Cuba, several of those invited said.

The previously undisclosed meeting at the White House tomorrow afternoon will
give the new president a chance to explain his decision to close the controversial
prison facility where the U.S.…

Eric Holder Signals No Prosecutions of Bush War Criminals

By Dennis Loo
January 30, 2009
WorldCantWait.net

Attorney General nominee Eric Holder in written response to a question posed to him during his Senate confirmation hearing by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) stated:

“Prosecutorial and investigative judgments must depend on the facts, and no one is above the law. But where it is clear that a government agent has acted in ‘reasonable and good-faith reliance on Justice Department legal opinions’ authoritatively permitting his conduct, I would find it difficult to justify commencing a full-blown criminal investigation, let alone a prosecution.”

Newsweek described
this written statement as “carefully vetted by Obama’s White House lawyers.”
In other words, Holder’s statement fairly reflects Obama’s and Holder’s intentions
in this regard.…

PBS: NSA could have prevented 9/11 hijackings

Muriel Kane

RawStory.com

The super-secretive National Security Agency has been quietly monitoring, decrypting, and interpreting foreign communications for decades, starting long before it came under criticism as a result of recent revelations about the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. Now a forthcoming PBS documentary asks whether the NSA could have prevented 9/11 if it had been more willing to share its data with other agencies.

Author James Bamford looked into the performance of the NSA in his 2008 book, The Shadow Factory, and found that it had been closely monitoring the 9/11 hijackers as they moved freely around the United States and communicated with Osama bin Laden’s operations center in Yemen.…

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Obama order could present problems for Rove

John Byrne
January 27, 2009
RawStory.com

A little-noticed twist in an order issued by President Barack Obama the day
after his inauguration may present problems for former White House Deputy Chief
of Staff Karl Rove and other Bush Administration officials that have been targeted
for their alleged role in various scandals.

Rove was subpoenaed Monday afternoon by House Judiciary Committee Chairman
John Conyers (D-MI). When the dogged Democrat subpoenaed him last year, Bush
Administration lawyers invoked “executive immunity” to prevent Rove
from testifying.…

September 11th Advocates Statement Re. Gitmo Closing

For immediate release
January 23, 2009

The Guantánamo Bay Detention Center continues to be an enormous stain on America’s
reputation. Newly elected President Obama has taken the first step in removing
this stain by keeping his campaign promise to the American people.

The temporary halting of proceedings at Gitmo gives us the “audacity
to hope” that President Obama will be able to restore America’s good name,
which has been repeatedly tarnished during the past eight years.…

Letter from Open Government Groups to Senate Armed Services Committee re. Nomination of William J. Lynn III

January 23, 2009
Project on Government Oversight

Honorable Carl Levin, Chairman
U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services
228 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Honorable John McCain, Ranking Member
U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services
228 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Levin and Senator McCain,

The undersigned groups commends you, Chairman Levin, for your decision to wait to evaluate the impact of President Obama’s new revolving door restrictions requiring appointees to recuse themselves from work related to their former employer or clients, as well as from matters or issues for which he lobbied.…

UN Rapporteur: Initiate criminal proceedings against Bush and Rumsfeld now

By Scott Horton
January 22, 2009
Harper’s

In an interview on Tuesday evening with the German television program “Frontal 21,” on channel ZDF Professor Manfred Nowak, the United Nations Rapporteur responsible for torture, stated that with George W. Bush’s head of state immunity now terminated, the new government of Barack Obama was obligated by international law to commence a criminal investigation into Bush’s torture practices.

“The evidence is sitting on the table,” he stated.…

Detainee Tortured, Says U.S. Official–Trial Overseer Cites ‘Abusive’ Methods Against 9/11 Suspect

By Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writer
Page A01

The top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantánamo Bay detainees to trial has concluded that the U.S. military tortured a Saudi national who allegedly planned to participate in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, interrogating him with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a “life-threatening condition.”

“We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani,” said Susan J.…