Bush administration lawyers would be well advised to think twice before traveling to Europe — or anywhere outside the United States:
One of America’s NATO allies—which supported the Bush Administration’s war on terror by committing its troops to the struggle–has now opened formal criminal inquiries looking into the Bush team’s legacy of torture. The action parallels a criminal probe into allegations of torture involving the American CIA that was opened this week in the United Kingdom.
Spain’s national newspapers, El País and Público reported that the Spanish national security court has opened a criminal probe focusing on Bush Administration lawyers who pioneered the descent into torture at the prison in Guantánamo. The criminal complaint can be examined here [in Spanish]. Público identifies the targets as University of California law professor John Yoo, former Department of Defense general counsel William J. Haynes II (now a lawyer working for Chevron), former vice presidential chief-of-staff David Addington, former attorney general and White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, now a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and former Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith.
Glenn Greenwald examines some essential differences in how the British and the U.S. governments view the “rule of law” concept:
Last month, in response to increasing pressure in Britain over reports of British resident Binyam Mohamed’s deterioration in Guantanamo, the Obama administration released him back to Britain. Ever since, he has been detailing the often brutal torture to which he was subjected over several years, torture in which British intelligence officials appear to have been, at the very least, complicit. As a result, despite the efforts of both the British Government and the Obama administration to keep concealed what was done to Mohamed, the facts about his treatment have emerged and a major political controversy has been ignited.
That’s because torture is illegal in Britain, as it is in the United States. But unlike the United States: Britain hasn’t completely abandoned the idea that even political officials must be accountable when they commit crimes; their political discourse isn’t dominated and infected by the subservient government-defending likes of David Ignatius, Ruth Marcus, David Broder and Stuart Taylor demanding that government officials be free to commit even serious war crimes with total impunity; and they don’t have “opposition leaders” who are so afraid of their own shadows and/or so supportive of torture that they remain mute in the face of such allegations. To the contrary, demands for criminal investigations into these episodes of torture (including demands for war crimes investigations from conservatives) span the political spectrum in Britain[.]
Jay McDonough at Newshoggers: “The noose is tightening” (warning: photograph of brutalized prisoner):
… With the recent news that another three damning Bush Administration era torture documents will be released soon, and today’s story that a New York judge has ordered the CIA to release all information about the destruction of videotapes of detainee interrogations, it’s becoming more and more likely the extent of Bush Administration criminal conduct will become clear.
Jeralyn has a rough translation to the criminal complaint and links to further details.