Anti-Torture Groups Request Special Prosecutor for Bush, Cheney War Crimes

24.2.09

Lawyers’ organizations, anti-war groups, peace groups and others today issued the following statement:

Statement on Prosecution of Former High Officials

We urge Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a non-partisan independent Special Counsel to immediately commence a prosecutorial investigation into the most serious alleged crimes of former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Richard B. Cheney, the attorneys formerly employed by the Department of Justice whose memos sought to justify torture, and other former top officials of the Bush Administration.

Our laws, and treaties that under Article VI of our Constitution are the supreme law of the land, require the prosecution of crimes that strong evidence suggests these individuals have committed. Both the former president and the former vice president have confessed to authorizing a torture procedure that is illegal under our law and treaty obligations. The former president has confessed to violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

We see no need for these prosecutions to be extraordinarily lengthy or costly, and no need to wait for the recommendations of a panel or “truth” commission when substantial evidence of the crimes is already in the public domain. We believe the most effective investigation can be conducted by a prosecutor, and we believe such an investigation should begin immediately.

Drafted by The Robert Jackson Steering Committee (Lawrence Velvel, Kristina Borjesson, Marjorie Cohn, Colleen Costello, Ben Davis, Valeria Gheorghiu, Chris Pyle, Elaine Scarry, David Swanson, Peter Weiss, Andy Worthington)
Contact: David Swanson

Signed By:

Center for Constitutional Rights
The National Lawyers Guild
After Downing Street
American Freedom Campaign
Ann Wright, retired US Army Reserve Colonel and US diplomat
Backbone Campaign
Brad Blog
Cities for Peace
CODE PINK: Women for Peace
Daniel Ellsberg, Truth-Telling Project
Defending Dissent Foundation
Delaware Valley Veterans for America
Democrats.com
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Gold Star Families for Peace
Grandmothers Against the War
Grassroots America
High Road for Human Rights Advocacy Project
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Justice Through Music
Marcus Raskin, co-founder of Institute for Policy Studies, member of editorial board of the Nation, member of the special staff of the National Security Council in the Kennedy Administration
Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored
Naomi Wolf, author of End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, and Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries
National Accountability Network
Northeast Impeachment Coalition
Op Ed News
Peace Action
Peace Team
The Progressive
Progressive Democrats of America
Republicans for Impeachment
United for Peace and Justice
Velvet Revolution
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Veterans for Peace
Voters for Peace
War Crimes Times
Wisconsin Impeachment/Bring Our Troops Home Coalition
World Can’t Wait

UPDATE March 22: 168 groups and individuals have now signed up. Please visit the After Downing Street website for the latest, and visit this page for further information.

UPDATE June 25: 216 groups and individuals have now signed up.

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed.

9 Responses

  1. Frances Madeson says...

    A great day! I had been dismayed to learn that institutions I respected were urging for a Truth Commission. The truth can well emerge in the context of criminal prosecutions and justice will be better served. Though there is surely some overlap, the above list represents millions of Americans. Further, I’m confident that given an opportunity to do so, more organizations and celebrities will sign on as word spreads. I wonder if there is already a short list of prosecutors sufficiently fearless to the task?

  2. Lets NOT Pardon Bush or Chaney; They Tortured US for 8 Years, Remember | BadGalsRadio - RootsRock since 99' says...

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  3. Prosecuting the Bush Administration’s Torturers by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

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  5. Philip Dennany says...

    Any that would attempt to put asside or further delay proper disposition through due process of law should themselves be prosecuted as accomplice after the fact. The entire world is waiting for the United States Government to finally make proper and just dispositioin of these anti-humanitarian crimes.

  6. USA: Tortured Gitmo prisoner found dead-AlterNet « FACT – Freedom Against Censorship Thailand says...

    [...] — is still avoiding the most obvious response to this wealth of disturbing material, by appointing a Special Prosecutor to investigate the whole sordid saga, former Vice President Dick Cheney is still gobbling up [...]

  7. Obama’s Confusion Over Guantánamo Terror Trials by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

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  8. Sean says...

    I’m so happy to have found this webpage! It’s wonderful to see so many organizations taking a stand! I pray Bush et al do not get away with this heinous act!!

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Sean. Good to hear from you.

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