War crimes charges filed against Rumsfeld

From UPI, Nov. 14, links added:

WASHINGTON — A Pentagon spokesman dismissed as “frivolous” a lawsuit alleging war crimes filed in Germany Tuesday against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The criminal complaint was filed on behalf of 11 former prisoners at Abu Ghraib and one detainee at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base by the Center for Constitutional Rights and other organizations.

The lawsuit was filed in Germany because the U.S. government has granted government officials retroactive immunity from prosecution for war crimes in U.S. courts.

“It certainly sounds frivolous to me,” said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman, who had not yet seen the complaint. “I think its important to note that it is in reference to Abu Ghraib, and Abu Ghraib is something the U.S. government has investigated very thoroughly … . With respect to any mistreatment … the appropriate individuals have been held accountable for their actions.”

The soldiers directly responsible for the prison abuse at Abu Ghraib have been court-martialed and punished, some with jail time.

A similar complaint was dismissed in a German court in 2004, but the group said Tuesday it has new evidence and new defendants as well as a new German federal prosecutor.

The complaint says Rumsfeld approved harsh interrogation techniques “that legally constitute torture and/or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” and violate international law.

“These acts of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment constitute war crimes,” states CCR.

The lawsuit also names as defendants former Chief White House Counsel (and current Attorney General) Alberto R. Gonzales, former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, and General Counsel of the Department of Defense William James Haynes II.

See also WW4 REPORT #104

See our last posts on the torture scandal, the Rumsfeld resignation and the GWOT apparatus.