Retired Gen. Taguba: Bush Administration Committed "War Crimes"

Writing the forward to a Physicians for Human Rights study of 11 former detainees who were apparently tortured by US military personnel and later released, Army Maj. General Antonio Taguba (Ret.) writes that "there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes. The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account."

Taguba, who led the Army’s official investigation into the Abu Ghraib scandal, says that the report from the doctors' human rights group based in Cambridge, Mass., "tells the largely untold human story of what happened to detainees in our custody when the Commander-in-Chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture. This story is not only written in words: It is scrawled for the rest of these individuals’ lives on their bodies and minds. Our national honor is stained by the indignity and inhumane treatment these men received from their captors."

The report -- titled "Broken Laws, Broken Lives: Medical Evidence of Torture by US Personnel and Its Impact" -- details medical evaluations of 11 former detainees held by the US military in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay. None were ever charged with any crime; all have since been released. The report describes how the 11 detainees suffered alleged beatings, sodomy, electric shock, involuntary medication, threats to their lives and families, shacklings, sleep deprivation, and other forms of abuse.

Taguba says "these men deserve justice as required under the tenets of international law and the United States Constitution. And so do the American people."

The White House says it is not U.S. policy to torture detainees.

- jpt

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