Politics

Human Rights Watch Calls For Investigation And Prosecution Of Bush Administration For Torture

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.Former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Bush administration hasn’t been in power since 2009, but the its leaders may not be off the hook for the torture program established after the 9/11 terror attacks.

Human Rights Watch is calling on the Obama administration to address the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s findings on the CIA torture program, which were released in December 2014, and investigate and prosecute those implicated in the report, Talking Points Memo reported.

Among those named by Human Rights Watch are former President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, CIA Director George Tenet, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Defense Department General Counsel William Haynes II.

"The U.S. government has not adequately accounted for these abuses. It has an obligation under international law to prosecute torture where warranted and provide redress to victims, but it has done neither," Human Rights Watch wrote. "No one with real responsibility for these crimes has been held accountable.”

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The report highlighted some of the findings from the Senate’s report on the CIA program, but noted not even those investigators had access to some 9,400 documents the CIA withheld, arguing that it fell under executive privilege. In fact, the report released by the Senate is still redacted.

Some of the slightly more gruesome details noted in Human Rights Watch’s statement were the CIA’s use of “‘rectal feedings’ in which CIA personnel forcibly inserted tubes into the rectums of detainees and infused pureed food into their bodies, which the Summary and medical experts conclude was not medically necessary.” Interrogators also “used excessively large tubes to conduct rectal feeding.” 

Human Rights Watch also included diagrams of some of the positions prisoners were required to hold for days or months at a time and noted several of the prisoners reporters severe sleep deprivation and being required to stand on their already broken legs.

Sources: Human Rights Watch, Talking Points Memo / Photo credit: The White House