The revelations from the Senate Torture Report have placed the potential crimes of the previous Administration in focus once more. The aggression against the people of Iraq and the torture committed by the CIA — including torture of innocent people — did not have to happen. These were affirmative choices made by people in power, done to exploit 9/11 for their own purposes.
We have identified at least two different laws that would support indictments against those who committed torture in the last decade: the War Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. § 2441) and the Convention Against Torture implementing legislation (18 U.S.C. § 2340A). We have drafted a public memorandum discussing these laws in an effort to spur debate on the issue of potential wrongdoing.
As more and more facts are revealed, as greater consensus emerges regarding what happened during those dark days after 9/11 — just today, Senator Carl Levin, reiterated that the Bush Administration misled the country about the links between Iraq and Al Qaeda — there will be a greater push from both the public, the international community, and almost certainly members of government regarding the need for accountability. Aggression was not the only crime committed at Nuremberg: the grotesque excesses of the Nazis against their victims gave birth to modern jurisprudence regarding crimes against humanity and torture as well.
The release of the torture report, combined with the Iraq War, make clear that what is now at stake is the legacy of Nuremberg itself.
December 12, 2014 Public Memorandum