Torture Led to Murder; It's a Fact. BuzzFlash Has Been Calling This Murder I, Regardless of the Cause.

This is a guest post by Mark Karlin, cross-posted from The Buzzflash Editor's Blog.

For many years now, BuzzFlash has been recording and documenting the acts of homicide and war crimes that have resulted from the Cheney/Bush/Rumsfeld policies on torture and killing of sometimes randomly singled out Arabs.  Face it, the trio of war criminals had a policy that if innocent Arabs got caught up in the web of torture and war, that was their problem.  So what would be a crime of murder if committed in the United States was an "act of protecting America against terrorism" in Iraq, Afghanistan and the CIA "black holes."

Even if many of the tortured and dead were just so more wrongfully abducted and arrested "collateral damage."

A study by the Human Rights First Organization has what we believe is an undercount of those individuals who died as a result of homicide while in U.S. custody (the study did not include the CIA "black hole" detainees who were tortured, because there has never been any accounting for the victims -- and one study ascertained 32 of the CIA "rendition suspects" are still unaccounted for.)

BuzzFlash has emphasized this for some time -- as we also covered how the media, including many progressive sites, had not seen the forest through the trees because they overlooked widespread murder while just emphasizing two "high level" Al Qaeda operatives who survived torture.

Most recently we ran a series of two editor's blogs and a BuzzFlash analysis on the importance of recognizing that what is at issue with the past Bush Administration officials is not just torture, but more pressingly murder:


Hannity's Waterboarding Distraction Trivializes Torture, Minimizes Murder and Appeals to the Sadist in Us All

Recently, I was re-watching the riveting documentary written by Alex Gibney and Directed by Eugene Jarecki, "The Trials of Henry Kissinger."  The main lesson is this: If you are a member of the ruling elite, one of its princes of power, and your nation calls the shots in the world, you can get away with war crimes, as Kissinger has.  Not only that, you can remain a revered pundit and adviser.

So it goes with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, the legal enablers of torture and murder, and all the others who should be held legally accountable for policies that led to sanctioned homicides.


I also remember that riveting moment from Ron Howard's gripping re-creation of a historic media duel, "Frost/Nixon," when Frost coaxes out of Nixon a defiant declaration that a president cannot break the law because he is, in essence, the decider of what is legal.

That is the case we have before us with the Bush Administration war criminals, and if Kissinger's de facto immunity from prosecution is any precedent, the Bush architects of torture will also go unpunished.

At this point, the only investigation for crimes of torture and murder may rest with a Spanish judge, if his government will even allow it.

Our criminal court system does not deal so leniently with murder; but apparently Nixon was onto something when he made his unexpected exclamation to Frost: "When the president does it, that means it is not illegal."

Other progressive blogs are now following BuzzFlash's lead in declaring that murder is murder -- and that torture is the precipitating cause of death, and therefore homicide -- not just torture -- is of compelling legal importance as far as prosecution.

Let's hope that the calls to justice for murder to not reach a Henry Kissinger cul-de-sac.

The Legal Case Against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Et Al., Is Murder One, Not Just War Crimes

Torture Led to Murder; It's a Fact. BuzzFlash Has Been Calling This Murder I, Regardless of the Cause.

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Dear ACLU Supporter,

Unbelievably, there's a growing chorus to let the Bush torture team get off scot-free.
A draft report from the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility reportedly concludes that the lawyers who drafted the “torture memos” were legally sanctioning illegal interrogation methods. It asserts that they committed lapses of judgment but claims that they should not be prosecuted.

And now, according to the Washington Post, former Bush administration officials have launched a behind-the-scenes campaign to get the Justice Department to soften the ethics report even further.

We can’t hide the truth about torture, and enforcing the law is not a political decision. There must a thorough investigation, and if crimes have been committed, our legal system demands accountability.

Please write a letter to the editor of your local paper, and let them know that no one is above the law. You can also help get the word out by writing a blog post or commenting on an article about these developments online.

The ACLU and hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to demand a complete criminal investigation into Bush administration officials who authorized detainee abuse and torture.

Attorney General Holder has said that he intends to follow the facts and the law wherever they lead. We need to make sure he follows through and knows that the American public is behind him.

It would be a dangerous precedent to conclude that lawyers who played a critical role in an illegal program are immune from criminal investigations. No one is above the law.

Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, and demand respect for the rule of law. Please also consider writing a blog post or commenting on an article about these developments online.
Thanks for all you do.


Anthony D. Romero
Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director