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Should Charges Be Brought Against US Officials For Torture?

This week the New York Times editorial board published a piece calling for criminal charges against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, his legal counsel, and perhaps other top officials, for the abuse and torture that occurred at American military prisons.

Citing a bipartisan report coming from the Senate, the editorial says that these officials ignored warnings from lawyers in the armed forces that they were breaking the law, subjecting soldiers to criminal liability, and employing a policy that was counterproductive to American security. The piece states:

These top officials, charged with defending the Constitution and America’s standing in the world, methodically introduced interrogation practices based on illegal tortures devised by Chinese agents during the Korean War. Until the Bush administration, their only use in the United States was to train soldiers to resist what might be done to them if they were captured by a lawless enemy.

It appears the Bush administration doesn't think it has a problem, as Dick Cheney admitted this week that he authorized waterboarding, and the White House has said it doesn't see a need for sweeping pardons.


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