The moral compass of the United States has been permanently damaged by the actions of the Bush administration's war on terror and its aggression in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Part and parcel to this aggression has been the admission of war crimes by those at the highest levels of the Bush administration, including the president himself.
Condoleeza Rice admitted to Senator Carl Levin, head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, that starting in 2002 she held high-level discussions on torture in the White House. This story received little coverage by the mainstream media because it occurred during the 2008 election season.
President George W. Bush, in a stunning admission to ABC News, stated that he knew about the meetings and approved of them. This occurred in April 2008 and no action was taken by the Congress.
On his way out the door, Vice President Dick Cheney has admitted that he approved of waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques." Not only does he admit it, but he admits it proudly in an attempt to cement his place in the history of Bush torture policies.
The Bush administration has left behind a legacy of war, death and destruction unparalleled in recent history. It has violated both national and international laws, as well as the Geneva Conventions. As Americans, we must hold our own elected officials to the same standards that we hold the rest of the world to.
While Dick Cheney will tell you that waterboarding and other torture techniques have saved American lives, the exact opposite is true. The stories about and pictures of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo have served to turn more people in these war-torn areas against us.
It is time to demand that the Obama administration appoint a Special Prosecutor to conduct a thorough investigation of Bush administration war crimes that results in an indictment of the guilty parties. Rather than return comfortably to private lives, those complicit in these crimes (and they do not stop here) should take a trip to The Hague.
We the undersigned request that the Obama administration appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute the high-ranking officials in the Bush administration who have admitted to knowing about and approving the use of torture during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. These officials include Condoleeza Rice, Dick Cheney, and George W. Bush. Others present at meetings include John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and Alberto Gonzales.
The Bush administration has been lawless, violating national and international laws as well as the Geneva Conventions. Moreover, Bush, Rice and Cheney have admitted to these war crimes without hesitation.
What makes these people different than Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot or Radovan Karadzic? Nothing. Being American does not give them a free pass.
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