News Release

Where’s the Accountability? * One Year After Abu Ghraib * Misleading About WMDs


Thursday is the first anniversary of the publication of the Abu Ghraib photos. Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, executive vice president of the National Lawyers Guild, and author of “Torture of Prisoners in U.S. Custody,” Cohn said today: “Although Donald Rumsfeld approved the use of physical coercion and sexual abuse of prisoners in Iraq, he has been effectively cleared by the Army’s inspector general. Lower-ranking soldiers are taking the fall for a policy of torture that goes all the way up the chain of command.”
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Brody is special counsel with Human Rights Watch, which has just released the report “Getting Away with Torture? Command Responsibility for the U.S. Abuse of Detainees.” He said today: “The United States should name a special prosecutor to investigate the culpability of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and ex-CIA Director George Tenet in cases of detainee torture and abuse. … Abu Ghraib was only the tip of the iceberg. It’s now clear that abuse of detainees has happened all over — from Afghanistan to Guantánamo Bay to a lot of third-country dungeons where the United States has sent prisoners. And probably quite a few other places we don’t even know about.”
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Yesterday the Iraq Survey Group released its final report finding that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. A Gallup poll released today finds that “half of Americans say the Bush administration deliberately misled Americans about whether Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. This is the highest percentage that Gallup has found on this measure since the question was first asked in late May 2003.”

Mahajan is author of the book Full Spectrum Dominance: U.S. Power in Iraq and Beyond. He said today: “Many who scrutinized the Bush administration’s claims about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction had concluded by late 2002 that they were deliberately misleading us. [See: “Detailed Analysis of October 7, 2002 Speech by Bush on Iraq” and “Bush’s War Case: Fiction vs. Facts at”] On the torture scandals, the U.S. government has at least gone through the motions of doing investigations, even though none involved independent commissions and they let the chief perpetrators off the hook. But there has been no accountability for the WMD fabrications. Pat Roberts, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which has delayed investigating ‘use of intelligence’ for almost a year, recently indicated on Meet the Press that resumption was a low priority. The government used fabrications to drive the nation to war. Although Congress has swallowed a story about ‘faulty intelligence,’ the public isn’t buying it. In a functioning democracy, there would be public hearings and accountability for the administration.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167