Nadler: Bush Memoir Proves Criminal Use of Torture, Requires Accountability for the Sake of American Principles and Safety
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Today, in response to President Bush’s admission in his memoir that he had personally authorized the use of torture while in office, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) blasted the Bush Administration’s illegal policy and renewed his longstanding call for full accountability for the criminal use of torture. Nadler, Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, urged Attorney General Eric Holder once again to appoint a special prosecutor with a robust mandate to investigate torture committed during the Bush Administration and, if necessary, prosecute those at all levels of government who were complicit in its use.
Nadler issued the following statement:
“I am outraged by President Bush’s own admission in his newly released memoir that he personally authorized the use of waterboarding on detainees while in office. This admission, delivered without remorse or regret, reminds us disturbingly of the persistent lack of accountability and resolution in confronting the crime of torture committed by our own government. The only way forward is to appoint a special prosecutor with a broad mission to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute these known cases of torture.
“Waterboarding has long been considered torture – a view shared by the Obama Administration – and committing or ordering torture is a severe crime under both international and U.S. laws, for which we have convicted foreigners and Americans in the past. The President is bound by the Constitution to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed.’ Failure to order a criminal investigation would be a serious dereliction of duty. With President Bush’s admission, no further excuses or evasions are conscionable.
“Failure to provide accountability for torture will reduce American credibility among foreign nations and endanger American troops by enabling terrorists and future enemies to justify torture using Bush’s own words. We already have extensive evidence of how American torture has enraged foreign populations and recruited fighters for Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and various Iraqi militias who have killed and maimed our troops.
“The perversion of our laws and treaty obligations in order to support an illegal campaign of torture is a stain on the honor of our nation, and it is essential that those who committed these misdeeds be made to answer for their actions. As I have long said, it is imperative that the Department of Justice ensure that a special counsel fully investigates the commission of torture, follows the trail wherever it goes, and, if warranted, prosecutes accordingly. There is no legal or moral reason to insulate those who authorized or ordered the torture of detainees.”
Dereliction of Duty from Wikipedia
§ 892. Art. 92. Failure to obey order or regulation
Any person subject to this chapter who— ... (3) is derelict in the performance of his duties;shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
Outside of wartime, the maximum punishment allowed is a Dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 1 year (10 years for service members receiving special pay under 37 USC 310).
And that's for starters.