UN demands prosecution of Bush-era CIA crimes

37bcun crime cia bush UN demands prosecution of Bush era CIA crimes

Documents about the CIA’s program of rendition and secretdetention of suspected terrorists have remained classified, eventhough President Obama’s administration has publicly condemned theuse of these “enhanced interrogation techniques”. The US has notprosecuted any of its agents for human rights violations. UN investigator Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur on thepromotion and protection of human rights while counteringterrorism, said that the classified documents protect the names ofindividuals who are responsible for serious human rightsviolations.“Despite this clear repudiation of the unlawful actionscarried out by the Bush-era CIA, many of the facts remainclassified, and no public official has so far been brought tojustice in the United States,” Emmerson said in a report to theUN Human Rights Council, according to Reuters.Kept in secret prisons around the world, the CIA’s detaineeswere subjected to torture including waterboarding, sleepdeprivation and various other interrogation techniques that violatehuman rights. The detainees were often subjected to clandestinetransfers to secret prisons known as CIA ‘black sites’.“There is now credible evidence to show that CIA ‘blacksites’ were located on the territory of Lithuania, Morocco, Poland,Romania and Thailand, and that the officials of at least 49 otherstates allowed their airspace or airports to be used for renditionflights,” Emmerson said, describing how suspected terroristswere often detained without being charged for any crimes, receivingextradition procedures or having access to lawyers.Emmerson has urged the US to prosecute any public official whowas involved in setting up the CIA “black sites” at which humanrights or legal violations occurred. Even though the Obamaadministration has condemned those who promoted the use of suchfacilities for inhumane procedures, the administration has taken nosteps to punish any of its public officials. Attorney General EricHolder has said that the Justice Department would not take legalactions against those who “acted in good faith” and followedthe guidelines provided by the Office of Legal Counsel during theBush era.But without names and details about the involvement of USofficials at CIA black sites, the government is maintaining a levelof secrecy and “perpetuating impunity for the public officialsimplicated in these crimes,” Emmerson said.  A Senatecommittee led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) previouslyinvestigated the CIA’s interrogation program and may have hadcomplete access to classified information about it.Emmerson has called for this information to be published“without delay, and to the fullest extent possible.”While the UN special rapporteur lacks the power to force theObama administration to release this information, his report putsfurther pressure on the US government to expose a practice itpublicly condemns, but continues to keep secret.

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UN demands prosecution of Bush-era CIA crimes


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