Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Update: Rumsfeld as Defendant?

As reported here last Friday (and here), civil rights activists are attempting to bring charges of war crimes against outgoing SOD Donald Rumsfeld. German law allows war crimes charges to be files in German courts, regardless of where the the crimes were allegedly committed.

From SpiegelOnline:

The coalition, led by the New York-based civil rights group Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), filed a criminal complaint against Rumsfeld on Tuesday at the Federal Prosecutor's Office in Karlsruhe, Germany. The complaint calls on the prosecutor to investigate whether high-ranking US officials authorized war crimes in the context of the war on terror.

The complaint is being brought on behalf of 12 alleged torture victims, 11 of whom are Iraqi citizens who were held at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. The twelfth man is Guantanamo detainee Mohammed al-Qahtani, a Saudi citizen identified by the US as a would-be participant in the 9/11 attacks and held at Guantanamo since January 2006.

CCR is the same group that launched a YouTube how-to tutorial on impeaching the President.

CCR is targeting not only Rumsfeld, but 11 others as well:

The human rights groups have not just set their sights on Rumsfeld, though. The suit names 11 other high-ranking US officials, including current US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet, and Ricardo Sanchez, the former commander of all US forces in Iraq. They are all accused of either ordering, aiding, or failing to prevent war crimes.

"There crimes are not the work of a few bad apples," said CCR president Michael Ratner. "They were planned and executed at the highest levels of the US government."

This is not the first time CCR has gone after Rumsfeld in Germany. German prosecutors dropped the 2004 attempt. CCR is warning that the witch-hunt will continue even if charges are dropped in Germany again:
And even if Rumsfeld gets off again in Germany, Kaleck told the Tagesspiegel he is confident the former secretary of defense will get his comeuppance elsewhere: "If not today in Germany, then Rumsfeld will get problems tomorrow in Spain, or the next day in Sweden."
Let's hope that the German prosecutors are as wise this time around.

No comments: