Recently CIA documents released on the orders of President Barack Obama confirmed the widespread use of torture on prisoners of the Bush administration's so-called "war on terror". The files showed that some prisoners had been tortured up to nearly 200 times with the approval of George W. Bush's administration.
Banning the use of such interrogation methods was one of the very first acts of Barack Obama when assuming office in January, but his announcement a few days ago that CIA agents who had carried out the torture on orders from the Bush administration would not be prosecuted came as a disappointment to many human rights activists. This is in contradiction of the Nuremberg principles which say that each individual is responsible for his or her actions and cannot claim innocence by insisting that one just carried out orders.
During a White House press meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan yesterday, President Obama did however indicate that those persons in the Bush administration which authorised the use of torture, which includes former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, may risk being put on trial.
The perhaps most evil member of the Bush administration, former Vice President Dick Cheney, reacted to the President's remarks by shamelessly calling for the CIA to release documents which he claims show that torture works!
The use of torture is a grave crime against humanity. If the USA ever again shall be able to talk human rights with other nations they must prosecute those of their own citizens who carried out the torture and those who sanctioned it. Cheney should be prominent among those put on trial.
President Truman had a sign on his desk which read "The buck stops here". They are perhaps less willing to admit it, but ultimate responsibility for the crimes committed by the Bush administration rests with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
An article in The Washington Post on President Obama's remarks: