Spain to try BUSH administration for crimes against humanity

Discussion in 'Politics' started by MohdSalleh, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Spanish court considers trying former US officials


    By PAUL HAVEN, Associated Press Writer Paul Haven, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 34 mins ago

    MADRID, – A Spanish court has agreed to consider opening a criminal case against six former Bush administration officials, including former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, over allegations they gave legal cover for torture at Guantanamo Bay, a lawyer in the case said Saturday.

    Human rights lawyers brought the case before leading anti-terror judge Baltasar Garzon, who agreed to send it on to prosecutors to decide whether it had merit, Gonzalo Boye, one of the lawyers who brought the charges, told The Associated Press.

    The ex-Bush officials are Gonzales; former undersecretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith; former Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff David Addington; Justice Department officials John Yoo and Jay S. Bybee; and Pentagon lawyer William Haynes.

    Yoo declined to comment. A request for comment left with Feith through his Hudson Institute e-mail address was not immediately returned.

    Spanish law allows courts to reach beyond national borders in cases of torture or war crimes under a doctrine of universal justice, though the government has recently said it hopes to limit the scope of the legal process.

    Garzon became famous for bringing charges against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998, and he and other Spanish judges have agreed to investigate alleged abuses everywhere from Tibet to Argentina's "dirty war," El Salvador and Rwanda.

    Still, the country's record in prosecuting such cases has been spotty at best, with only one suspect extradited to Spain so far.

    When a similar case was brought against Israeli officials earlier this year, Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos assured his Israeli counterpart that the process would be quashed.

    Even if indictments are eventually handed down against the U.S. officials, it is far from clear whether arrests would ever take place. The officials would have to travel outside the United States and to a country willing to take them into custody before possible extradition to Spain.

    The officials are charged with providing a legal cover for interrogation methods like waterboarding against terrorism suspects at Guantanamo, which the Spanish human rights lawyers say amounted to torture.

    Yoo, for instance, wrote a series of secret memos that claimed the president had the legal authority to circumvent the Geneva Conventions.

    President George W. Bush always denied the U.S. tortured anyone. The U.S. has acknowledged that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-described plotter of Sept. 11, and a few other prisoners were waterboarded at secret CIA prisons before being taken to Guantanamo, but the Bush administration insisted that all interrogations were lawful.

    Boye said he expected the National Court to take the case forward, and dismissed concerns that it would harm bilateral relations between the two countries.

    He said that some of the victims of the alleged torture were Spaniards, strengthening the argument for Spanish jurisdiction.

    "When you bring a case like this you can't stop to make political judgments as to how it might affect bilateral relations between countries," he told the AP." It's too important for that."

    Boye noted that the case was brought not against interrogators who might have committed crimes but by the lawyers and other high-placed officials who gave cover for their actions.

    "Our case is a denunciation of lawyers, by lawyers, because we don't believe our profession should be used to help commit such barbarities," he said.

    Another lawyer with detailed knowledge of the case told the AP that Garzon's decision to consider the charges was "a significant first step." The lawyer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

    There was no immediate comment from Garzon or the government.

    The judge's decision to send the case against the American officials to prosecutors means it will proceed, at least for now. Prosecutors must now decide whether to recommend a full-blown investigation, though Garzon is not bound by their decision.

    The proceedings against the Bush Administration officials could be embarrassing for Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who has been keen to improve ties with the United States after frosty relations during the Bush Administration.

    Zapatero is scheduled to meet President Barack Obama for the first time on April 5 during a summit in Prague.
  2. LOL. Spain, Romania, Ivory Coast, Belgium... who gives a damn about these third world shitholes and their kangaroo courts. Are they stupid enough to believe they matter?


    PS and that's coming from someone who believes that Bush and his cabinet should be prosecuted...but by american courts, not by some irrelevant politically correct euro bureaucrats or their third-world, corrupt, islamo-fascist UN brethren.
  3. Cutten


    Spain, Belgium and Romania are hardly third world shit holes, and have the rule of law and functioning judicial systems.

    For 3rd world conditions try somewhere like Baltimore or half of Mississippi.
  4. l wouldn't exactly call Spain or Belgium a 'third-world shithole'.
  5. Good grief. Maybe it's our country that is the basket case. An economy based off individuals pouring Starbucks coffee to one another is doomed to fail.
  6. Whether they are third world shitholes is a matter of opinion. More importantly they are completely irrelevant (just like the rest of Europe), they have no jurisdiction and they have no enforcement mechanism. All their usual declarations, proclamations, international courts and other similar self-righteous posturing are a joke no one in the world pays attention to. Can you imagine Spain taking former american officials in custody? Neither can I.

    As I said before it's coming from someone who thinks Bush and Co belong in Guantanomo. But it's quite comical when all these irrelevant, obscure and impotent European countries stick their noses where it does not belong.
  7. Perhaps, but Europe is not any better. It's not like they are producing anything. We will eventually recover (although it may take a few decades), they with their two hour lunches and 8 week-long vacations probably won't.
  8. Mr J

    Mr J

    And if they have a better standard of living? They're hardly third world, and Belgium in particular is a higher standard than the US. They're certainly not obscure and irrelevant countries. At least not to anyone who isn't completely ignorant of the world outside of their nation. It's ironic that you're talking about irrelevant, impotent third world nations when the US itself is in decline.
  9. Actually no, it isn't. Burundi is a third-world shithole. Belgium is a fully modernized western country with a parliamentary democracy.

    It's shocking that you actually didn't know that. I know many Americans have trouble locating places like Europe, South America and other weird places like that on a map, but I didn't think I could find an American on here who thought that Belgium was a third-world country.

    Maybe you were confusing Belgium and Belgrade? That still wouldn't make you right - I'm just grasping at any explanation here.
  10. Let's start with the fact that US per capita GDP ($44,000) is 30% higher than Belgum's ($33,500). (Spain is even worse). As they likely pay higher taxes I find it hard to imagine that their standard of living is better. And given Belgium's small and relatively homogeneous population and extremely favorable location their economic numbers are hardly impressive. More importantly Belgium doesn't have to spend money on defense (because we do) so they can artificially increase their standard of living. But the other side of it is that they are defenseless, impotent and irrelevant and that's exactly what I was talking about.

    For Christ's sake, Iran kidnapped British sailors in neutral waters and Britain for all intents and purposes apologized, the terrorists bombed train stations in Madrid and got away with it (not individuals but terrorist organizations behind them). Why don't they sue Ahmadinejad and Osama instead of Bush and Cheney.
    #10     Mar 29, 2009