American human rights lawyers attempt to prosecute Donald Rumsfeld for war crimes in Germany.
Reuters reports that a U.S. human rights group, Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) has filed a criminal complaint with Germany's Federal Prosecutors alleging Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and senior U.S. officers are guilty of war crimes over the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal:
CCR is taking advantage of a 2002 German law allowing prosecutions for human rights and war crimes regardless of where the acts took place or the nationalities of the perpetrators.
The group says Rumsfeld, former CIA Director George Tenet, a senior defense official and seven U.S. military officers, including the former top U.S. commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, were ultimately responsible for the torture and humiliation of the Iraqis by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib.
CCR says the action is a last resort after the failure of the U.S. Congress to properly investigate Abu Ghraib. It argues that the Pentagon has essentially appointed investigators into the abuse, while U.S. prosecutors look away.
How can Americans in a time of war file a criminal complaint in a foreign country against the sitting Secretary of Defense, a former CIA director, a senior defense official and seven U.S. military officers? This sounds like "giving of aid and comfort" to our enemies to me.
The CCR's claim that the prisoner abuse wasn't investigated and that prosecutors have looked away is pure bovine fecal matter:
These excerpts from GlobalSecurity.org's "Abu Ghurayb Abuse Chronology" demonstrate the insincere fallacy of the CCR's bogus claims:
12 May 2003 - Four soldiers from the 320th MP Battalion abused detainees at the Theater Internment Facility (TIF) at Camp Bucca, Iraq following a transport mission from Talil Air Base.
8 June 2003 - CID Report on abuse of detainees at Camp Bucca.
11 Aug 2003 - CJTF-7 requests assessment team; MG Ryder is appointed.
20 August 2003 - BG Karpinski, Commander 800th MP Brigade, gives General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand to CPT Damaris Morales, Commander, 770th MP Company; LTC Dale Burtyk, Commander, 400th MP Battalion; CSM Edward Stotts, Command Sergeant Major, 400th MP Battalion; 1SG Carlos Villanueva, First Sergeant, 770th MP Company.
6 November 2003 - MG Ryder's Report is submitted.
10 November 2003 - TC (P) Jerry Phillabaum, Commander, 320th MP Battalion is given a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand from BG Karpinski, Commander 800th MP Brigade, for lack of leadership.
13 January 2004 - Abu Ghraib detainee abuse reported by Army Spc. Joseph M. Darby, an MP with the 800 MP Brigade.
14 to 25 January 2004 - The Criminal Investigation Division (CID) conducts interviews.
16 January 2004 - BG Kimmit notifies reporters that an investigation had been opened into alleged abuse at an unspecified prison in Iraq.
17 January 2004 - BG Janis Karpinski, Commander, 800th MP Brigade receives a Memorandum of Admonishment by LTG Sanchez, Commander, CJTF-7.
17 January 2004 - Phillabaum was suspended from his duties as commander of the 320th MP Battalion by LTG Sanchez, CJTF-7 Commander.
19 January 2004 - LTG Sanchez requested that the Commander, US Central Command, appoint an Investigating Officer (IO) in the grade of Major General (MG) or above to investigate the conduct of operations within the 800th Military Police (MP) Brigade from 1 November 2003 to the present. This report is separate from the other investigation which is an investigation into the specifically alleged crimes.
24 January 2004 - Chief of Staff of US Central Command (CENTCOM), MG R. Steven Whitcomb, on behalf of the CENTCOM Commander, directed that the Commander, CFLCC, LTG David D. McKiernan, conduct an investigation into the 800th MP Brigade's detention and internment operations from 1 November 2003 to present surrounding recent reports of suspected detainee abuse in Iraq.
28 January 2004 - CID Report on criminal abuses at Abu Ghraib.
31 January 2004 - Commander of CFLCC, LTG McKiernan appointed MG Antonio M. Taguba, Deputy Commanding General Support, CFLCC, to conduct an informal investigation under AR 15-6 into the 800th MP Brigade's detention and internment operations.
10 February 2004 - LTG Mikolashek begins Department of the Army Inspector General (DAIG) assessment.
23 February 2004 - Seventeen US soldiers are suspended pending outcome of the investigation.
3 March 2004 - The Taguba team presented their out-brief to the appointing authority, LTG McKiernan.
9 March 2004 - The team submitted the AR 15-6 written report with findings and recommendations to the CFLCC Deputy SJA, LTC Mark Johnson, for a legal sufficiency review.
20 March 2004 - Charges are lodged against the six accused MP NCOs. BG Kimmit gives a press conference.
6 April 2004 - CG CFLCC approves MG Taguba investigation.
15 April 2004 - MG Fay MI investigation initiated.
1 May 2004 - CJTF-7 approves MG Taguba recommendations.
3 May 2004 - The US military reprimands the six MP officers.
7 May 2004 - Rumsfeld testifies before Congress.
11 May 2004 - MG Taguba testifies before Congress, detailing the findings of his report.
19 May 2004 - In the first court-martial related to the prison abuse scandal, Spc. Jeremy Sivits receives the maximum penalty; one year in prison, reduction in rank and a bad conduct discharge.
24 May 2004 - BG Karpinksi is relieved of her command of the 800th MP Brigade.
10 June 2004 - The New York Times writes that during this week CENTCOM Commander Gen. John Abizaid requested that an officer more senior than current Investigating Officer MG George Fay lead the military's investigation into the prison abuse scandal. A higher-ranking officer would be able to interview senior officers which Army regulations prevent MG Fay from doing.
The prisoner abuse at Abu Ghurayb was outrageous and provided a propaganda bonanza to our enemies. The scandal has been thoroughly investigated, numerous times, and those implicated in improper behavior are being charged and the cases against them adjudicated.
The treasonous actions by the CCR, filing a foreign criminal complaint against U.S. officials and military officers, will only provide additional propaganda opportunities to our enemies and make life more difficult for good people doing their best to protect us from the evil doers.