02 January 2006

Rumsfeld admits to "ghosting" detainee

Under the Bush administration, you have no human rights unless George says so. They talk about liberation and freedom; but, at the same time, they are carefully sidestepping domestic and international laws, treaties, and standards.

All the while, they keep on chanting "God bless America", as if their God might condone the suffering we've caused.

From AfterDowningStreet.org:
U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has admitted that he "ghosted" a detainee, meaning that he made the decision to hold a prisoner without keeping any records of the fact.

While prisoners of war can be theoretically stripped of their rights by calling them other names (like "unlawful combatants"), they are probably most effectively stripped of all rights by keeping their imprisonment secret. That is what Rumsfeld says he did.

An account of what we know on this matter can be found on page 110 of a new report by Congressman John Conyers called "The Constitution in Crisis; The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Cover-ups in the Iraq War."

Following a catalog of evidence of other crimes sanctioned by top Bush Administration officials, the report reads:

"We also have an admission that George Tenet specifically approved the ghosting in Iraq of a specific individual, and that Mr. Rumsfeld admitted to approving of ghosting of detainees as a special matter. During a press conference in June 2004, Secretary Rumsfeld confirmed not only that he was asked by CIA Director George Tenet to hide a specific detainee, but also that he hid the detainee and that the detainee was lost in the system for more than eight months:

"Q -- Mr. Secretary, I'd like to ask why last November you ordered the U.S. military to keep a suspected Ansar al-Islam prisoner in Iraq [Hiwa Abdul Rahman Rashul] secret from the Red Cross. He's now been secret for more than seven months. And there are other such shadowy prisoners in Iraq who are being kept secret from the Red Cross.

"SEC. RUMSFELD: With respect to the -- I want to separate the two. Iraq, my understanding is that the investigations on that subject are going forward. With respect to the detainee you're talking about, I'm not an expert on this, but I was requested by the Director of Central Intelligence to take custody of an Iraqi national who was believed to be a high-ranking member of Ansar al-Islam. And we did so. We were asked to not immediately register the individual. And we did that. It would -- it was -- he was brought to the attention of the Department, the senior level of the Department I think late last month. And we're in the process of registering him with the ICRC at the present time . . ."


This is the Secretary of Defense publicly stating that the Director of the CIA told him not to register a prisoner with the Red Cross, and that he obeyed, and that several months later the prisoner was still not registered.

Why do Nuremberg Principles III and IV both come to mind?
[Read more.]

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