Bush Regime: Indicted for Crimes Against Humanity
Revolution #022, November 13, 2005, posted at revcom.us
On October 21-22, an extraordinary tribunal was held in New York City to indict the Bush regime for crimes against humanity. The First Session of the 2005 International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration brought four indictments against the regime:
- Wars of Aggression
- Torture and Indefinite Detentions
- Destruction of the Global Environment
- Attacks on Global Public Health and Reproductive Rights
The Tribunal also held a hearing into a fifth indictment around Hurricane Katrina and the crimes of the Bush regime surrounding that disaster.
Audio files of some of the powerful indictments, testimonies, and statement at the First Session are available online at the Commission's website: bushcommission.org. Links to sections of the testimony broadcast on Democracy Now! are also available at the Commission website.
REVOLUTION coverage of this historic tribunal, including excerpts from key testimony, is online at: revcom.us
The Commission's Jury of Conscience will come to verdicts at the Second Session and publish its findings. From bushcommission.org:
"The second session will held in January. It will be at least a three-day session to present all the witnesses, experts, and documentary evidence on each of the indictments, with the comprehensiveness and standards required to prosecute the case and to fulfill the mission of the Charter. The jury of conscience will then consider the evidence and deliver its opinion on each count of the indictments.
"This Commission will itself be an audacious undertaking, one with the potential to make great societal impact. To realize this vision will require many people working in concert, on many levels."
Contact the Commission at:
Torture and Indefinite Detention
From the testimony of Barbara Olshansky, deputy legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, at the Oct. 21-22 Tribunal:
I'll start with what happened on September 12 2001. Immediately after the terrorist attacks, people were snatched from their homes all over the United States.... There were hundreds of immigrants in America, mostly Muslim and South Asian men, who were rounded up by the FBI and the INS under the rubric of an immigrant sweep...Once they were arrested these folks were all labeled as "of interest" by the 9/11 investigation and thrown basically into legal limbo. What we now know happened to these people is that they were arrested and taken in the middle of the night. Their families were not told where they were going.... It took us six weeks to find people -- we now know that was because there was a direct order from Ashcroft's Justice Department down to the individualized levels, lthe wardens of each of the facilities, to lie to us [their lawyers] about whether there were people in the jails.
They were held without an indictment. They were denied the right to counsel. They were denied the right to trial by jury. They were denied judicial review. They had no charges brought against them. They were not permitted out on bond. They couldn't call their families nor could they call their consulate....
They were brought in for minor immigration violations, which are the equivalent of traffic tickets, these are violations for which we have never in the history of the United States ever arrested anyone. They would get before an immigration judge (very often we couldn't get there because we didn't know), and the judge would say "OK, you overstayed your tourist visa.... We have to send you home, are you ready to go home?" And people said "Yes." And the FBI said "No! You can't leave until we clear you of any suspected charges of connection with terrorism."
And all of these people -- not hundreds, thousands -- were kept up to two years until the FBI determined that they could be released. These people left. They have not been charged with any crime... When they were in these facilities around the country, they were kept in federal prisons, and state and county jails, and immigration centers. They were subject for the most part to solitary confinment... They were housed with dangerous criminals who were virulantly anti-Arab, anti Muslim, anti South Asian in the wake of the attacks. They were strip searched repeatedly upon entering and exiting their cells. They were manacled amd shackled all the time. And they were brutally beaten by guards....Three hundred videotapes were taken in the Metropolitan Detention Center of the processing of these individuals as they came through the facilities. They showed the guards beating people and bashing their heads against each pillar as they brought them to their cells, forcing their heads against posters that said "These colors don't run."