German Lawsuit Also Names Gonzales, Tenet, Others.
Breaking News: In a Time Magazine 'exclusive' article, supported by this item from yesterday's ABC News Blotter it is disclosed that an American group will file a lawsuit in Germany seeking an investigation of recently ousted Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, ex-CIA head George Tenet and "other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
"But wait," some of you with better memories might ask, "haven't we heard this story before?" Very good question hypothetical questioner(s), and the answer is yes you have, for some time now, notably this DKos Diary from November '04. "So what's different now?", you ask. Good question! Well, "...circumstances have changed in two important ways. Rumsfeld's resignation, they say, means that the former Defense Secretary will lose the legal immunity usually accorded high government officials. Moreover, the plaintiffs argue that the German prosecutor's reasoning for rejecting the previous case — that U.S. authorities were dealing with the issue — has been proven wrong." This MSNBC report from May, 2004 shows the administration was worried about this possibility, and trying to circumvent it as early as January, 2002, and citing this Alberto Gonzales memo (pdf.)
Ironically, a key element in the German decision is the passing of the Military Commissions Act. This travesty, which we at Les Enragés.org have referred to as the War Criminals' Protection Act, is seen by the German prosecutors as just that, a proof that action wouldn't be taken in US courts. If justice was to be done, it would have to be in a foreign court. Germany was chosen because that country's laws exert a claim of universal jurisdiction over war crimes matters.
When he resigned only two days ago, many were warning Rummy "don't let the door hit you in the ass." Well, apparently it did.
Hat-tip: Nigel Elliott
TAGS: Donald Rumsfeld, War Crimes, Charges Pending, Conviction Inevitable