An update: the "Bush Six"

>> Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An update to some of this blog's pieces on allegations that members of the Bush Administration were instrumental in the commission of torture and war crimes: my sister forwarded me an interesting article from The New Yorker, a "Talk Of The Town" column concerning barrister Philippe Sands, whose book Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values apparently influenced Spain's recent decision to conduct an investigation into whether six former members of the Bush Administration should be charged with crimes against humanity.

It seems that, in addition to writing the book (which, ironically, it seems some of those under investigation helped write1), Mr. Sands was also consulted by lawyers involved with the filing of the motion to begin the investigation.

The New Yorker piece quotes Douglas Feith, one of those under investigation, who apparently still doesn't quite get it:

Feith, reached on the phone, called Sands’s book "wildly inaccurate." He said, "It’s not a happy thing for the Spanish Court to think of prosecuting Americans for advice they gave to the President of the United States!"

...which makes the whole thing sound like these poor men are being harassed for suggesting Mr. Bush wear a different tie with that shirt or that the fish isn't really that good but the new potatoes are to die for. I suppose Mr. Feith would be just as outraged if an American prosecutor thought of going after someone who offered the late John Gotti advice about corpse disposal or tax evasion. The problem, Mr. Feith, is that the advice you offered your President may very well have been very bad criminal advice--advice that he was immune to the law or that the obvious laws did not apply, advice on how to skirt prosecution, advice that at the very least was unconscionably negligent and at worst constituted a conspiracy to engage in human rights violations.

If the latter, it's quite a happy thing indeed to imagine a criminal against humanity receiving his just desserts. We'll see, won't we, Mr. Feith?

1What the hell is it with these people? It seems hard to believe they were that clueless, but apparently they were/are.


rbird Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 11:41:00 PM EDT  

Glad you liked the NY piece! I thought it was interesting that the author's interest in studying torture cases began when he had the opportunity to defend Pinochet, and his wife said, "I will divorce you if you take that job."

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