Sunday, May 10, 2009

Will the DOJ Bring Justice to The Iceman?

You have probably seen this picture before. This is Manadel al-Jamadi, also known as "The Iceman" and "Mr. Frosty" by his captors.

He was killed in 2003 in Abu Ghraib right after being questioned by CIA interrogator Mark Swanner, who to this day freely roams the streets of Virginia:
CQ Politics (April 8, 2009): Swanner's case has just been left to die quietly, without notice, a former CIA official involved in the matter observed, on condition of anonymity because it remains classified.

Reached on Tuesday, Swanner's lawyer Nina Ginsberg said she was not free to discuss any aspects of the case, except to say she had heard nothing further from the Justice Department about prosecuting him. link

Let's hope this case does not become part of the DOJ pattern of covering up the tracks of individuals suspected of committing crimes during the Bush years.


In the name of the "war on terror," the U.S. government has subjected people who have not been charged with or convicted of any crime to:

Torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment

• Abductions (known as extraordinary rendition), "disappearances", and secret detention

• Illegal and indefinite detention in Guantanamo, Bagram, other U.S. facilities, and secret CIA sites

• Denial of legal rights, including fair trials and habeas corpus--the right to challenge the legality of one's detention

Additionally, the U.S. government has employed companies that have been implicated in cases of killings, torture, and rape, and has failed to adequately investigate and prosecute abuses.

These practices are wrong.

They are illegal under U.S. and international law. They violate American principles of justice. Military and intelligence experts have said these practices are ineffective.

Amnesty International calls on the United States government to end these human rights violations immediately and hold accountable all those who authorized and implemented them. Detainees must be charged and given fair trials, or be released to countries where they will not be at risk of human rights abuse.

The U.S. government must respect and protect human rights, and counter terror with justice.

It’s up to people like us—people around the world who want justice, security, and human rights—to make sure it happens. Join us

-Amnesty International USA’s Counter Terror With Justice Campaign Team |



Obama Violated the Convention Against Torture

The following is a letter I sent President Obama on May 7, 2009 via

Mr. President,

In reference to the torture memos you said:

"In releasing these memos, it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution."

This violates the Convention Against Torture, to which we are bound, which states in Article 2:

1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.

2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political in stability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.

3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.


CIA agents must not torture prisoners, even if a guy named Yoo, Bush or The Pope instructs them to do so.

Update: In addition to Article 2, Article 146 of the same Convention Against Torture states:

"Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed , or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts."


Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Keith Olbermann makes some great observations on the aftermath of governments who just looked ahead instead of first fixing past mistakes: