8.12.06

Suit by Iraqis and Afghans claims Rumsfeld ordered torture

Suit by Iraqis and Afghans claims Rumsfeld ordered torture | csmonitor.com:
'The secretary of Defense personally issued orders and authorized illegal interrogation techniques and caused torture,' says ACLU lawyer Lucas Guttentag. '[Rumsfeld] was directly and personally involved.'

Mr. Guttentag says that Rumsfeld also 'failed to take the required actions to stop abuse in the face of overwhelming uncontroverted evidence that he received and was aware of.'

The Defense secretary had been notified of the abuses via Red Cross reports, human rights organization reports, military internal reports, and FBI reports, according to documents obtained by the ACLU under the Freedom of Information Act, Guttentag says.

In addition to Rumsfeld, the suit names Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of coalition forces in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, Col. Janis Karpinski, commander of the military unit that ran detention facilities in Iraq, and Col. Thomas Pappas, commander of the military unit that gathered intelligence in Iraq.

The civil suit was filed by lawyers with the ACLU and Human Rights First. It says Rumsfeld and the officers violated constitutional protections, international law, and the Geneva Conventions. The suit seeks compensatory damages and a judicial declaration that the legal rights of the detainees were violated under the Constitution, the Geneva accords, and other international law.

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