The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld – Georgetown University Speech Notes – PDF

2009 The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld Georgetown University Speech Notes

Georgetown march 18 2009

Witness against torture–make visible–

Debate —

  1. Scorecard—where are we some almost 2 months in—battle
  2. New memos
  3. Prosecutions–nyrb danner battle


CCR—gitmo, torture and abuse (everywhere) ; extra rendition, secret sites, military commissions

Gitmo first case–still there; torture–civil suits—immunity; rendition arar-canada;

Rough 7 or 8 years–unrelenting—dark pit–all these issues-

Like to believe we have turned a corner–half full or half empty—much more—-real battle—

Gitmo–main demand of witness against torture

3 times sct til finally habeas corpus—still fighting it out—

Now — What rights? What can court do? 20 of 23 ct wtd to release—still there; 60 or 60 govt. nelc; still forced feeding; now it is obama’s prison; similar in court;

What done: EO—closing prison in one year—what does that mean?

Unlikely will exist in one year at gitmo—

But of 240 —what will happen to them—

CCR wtd 2 basket approach—7 years —another year—pros/repatriate

But EO –3 baskets approach—oppose

Prosecute some; repatriate others and—possibly continue to detain—preventive detention scheme—(legal gloss on gitmo—holding people without trial)—

No place for it; erosion of rights;

(#2) 1a. in the interim—obama admin is defending a detention scheme without trial

Less than a week ago—4 o’clock press release—bush tactic—DOD withdraws ec definition—

Drops enemy combatant and no longer exec power—all think great news

But read the briefs—now called: members of enemy forces and members of opposing forces—

And guess what—definition of who can be held indefinitely—the same except for one word—substantially in front of supported—

Old wine new bottles—let’s hope —not the end of the story—

(#3) (lb) related to holding people without trial—picked up in US  AI marri—5-4—sct no review; vacated; but not give up authority—and repeats can do it

(bottom line of all this —at least for now —preventive detention auth)

  1. Score card 2—military commissions—rump trials —7 years

are we going to go back to regular trials—fed or ucmj cts martial—

Not clear—

Yes in an EO–Military commissions stopped but only 4 months —

and couple with gitmo eo—study what kind of trials to give people—is it

feasible to use article III cts—

  1. Secret sites–

you know what these are: cia run—water board; jane m dark side

“close expeditiously— and short term transitory”

What does it mean trust cia better but still issues for me

(recent nyrb danner—icrc) tenet medal of freedom

3.A other prisons—bagram—habeas etc

  1. Extraordinary rendition eo—study and ensure no one rendered who can face torture—diplomatic assurance; but not renditions—go grab across border with force and violence—

Torture—what has Obama done– about the torture program

  1. Civil Cases related to these practices:–torture/extra rendition Truth justice and reparations—

Blocked the lawsuits

5a State secrets–stop a lawsuit—can be held up –jeppesen

Recently obama same position—judge was surprised—

binyan Mohamed—uk case —harm

5 b. Other ways to stop lawsuits qualified immunity—rasul v bush; padilla v yoo; arar v ashcroft ; legal advice argument

  1. Torture EO Bans torture and Common Art 3 violations Applies AF

But: Wiggle room for CIA and study commission see panetta ticking time bomb

But AFM and Annex M enemy combatants isolation sensory and sleep dep. (get rid of annex m—no enhanced techniques)

So torture is or cld be still a problem—

But what of future–book + ccr Prosecutions to deter—
Obligation to invest prosecute and punish–

  1. Best picture for my on why crim invest + prosecution is ness is obama on jm 22 signing orders—afm to all agencies; more or less—

Impt day–

But what does it tell us–next president-

  1. Obama and looking forward —
  2. A couple of months ago—never thought; in the wind—growing–polls etc

2/3 crim invest/indept panel maj—criminal —

  1. And for good reason:
  2. First—no doubt torture and other crimes committed by high level admin officials—that and other viol —eg assault-that can be prosecuted

As Major Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, who investigated the Abu Ghraib scandal for the Pentagon, declared: “There is no longer any doubt as to whether the current [Bush] 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.”

Nyrb report: table of contents

  1. —we know the key officials—go after the top—torture team

By torture team I mean primarily some of the key architects of the torture program—members of the principals committee bush cheney tenet Rumsfeld

War council–yoo addington Haynes Gonzales flanigan by actively participating in a five-man War Council that planned War on Terror legal strategy–legal advice but more —

  1. thousands of docs; testimony to go on—memos; techniques; books; hearings reports;
  2. Prosecution ness as I said to deter in the future—moral and example–­But also because it is the law: CAT; states obligation; invest pro and punish
  3. Excuses: criminalizes a policy difference; it is not. The torture policy was already criminal.

b.. potential defendants where acting in our best interest. That does not absolve them. It is the excuse made by torturers in every country of the world. If laws can be broken based on “best interests,” we are living in a lawless world —

  1. golden shield —legal excuses—prosecutor look into—(conspiracy—aid and abet)

There can be no excuses—

  1. How done? Crim invest—special or independent

10.—Suggestions for an inquiry short of prosecutions—

  1. Most prominent of which is Leahy—truth commissions–

Whitewash—said as much; 1. immunity; 2 expose and turn the page

3. Fixated on prosecution—same page –4. Mistakes and learn from errors—

Must be rejected—impunity; not some fragile democracy—as in Latin America—and even there—commission avoid what obligated do under treaty

Ccr website—letter

  1. Suggestions other type —can be—role if no immunity–at least bight levl– and seen as a step; not as avoidance mechanism—prosecutor at same time

Survivors and victims play a role—

Some have argued not politically possible—certainly not if we don’t demand it -­that is what we must do—never get more then we ask for—or demand—changing

Go with it—if make sure a step —no immunity; appt of prosecutor to make sure–

We will continue to hear more and more excuses as to why prosecutions should not occur. They are just that, excuses. We should not be dissuaded. Only prosecutions can draw the clear, bright line that is necessary to insure that never again will ours be a country of torture.

Inter american commission hearing

Charles Simic : What unites many countries in the world, both the ones that don’t give a fig about human rights and the ones that profess they do, is their unwillingness to punish their war criminals

…There’s an unwritten understanding that crimes committed by the United States and a few other Western powers go unpunished. What nationalist ideologues everywhere tell their own people is that they occupy a unique  moral universe in which the laws of the outside world do not apply. Unlike  everyone else in the world, they, and only they, are good even when they are  slaughtering women and children. Anyone who objects to that view either  suffers from self-hatred or is some sort of traitor in the employ of a foreign  power.

— Charles Simic, “Connoisseurs of Cruelty,” New York Review of Books, March 12, 2009

article 6 1. Upon being satisfied, after an examination of information available to it, that the circumstances so warrant, any State Party in whose territory a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is present shall take him into custody or take other legal measures to ensure his presence. The custody and other legal measures shall be as provided in the law of that State but may be continued only for such time as is necessary to enable any criminal or extradition proceedings to be instituted. 2. Such State shall immediately make a preliminary inquiry into the facts.

Repeal Mca amnesty and definition of war crimes

Get rid of mili order number 1

Bought into some of worst myths no gwot but war



  1. Main Elements of the CIA Detention Program

1.1 Arrest and Transfer

1.2 Continuous Solitary Confinement and Incommunicado Detention

1.3 Other Methods of Ill-treatment

1.3.1 Suffocation by water

1.3.2 Prolonged Stress Standing

1.3.3 Beatings by use of a collar

1.3.4 Beating and kicking

1.3.5 Confinement in a box

1.3.6 Prolonged nudity

1.3.7 Sleep deprivation and use of loud music

1.3.8 Exposure to cold temperature/cold water

1.3.9 Prolonged use of handcuffs and shackles

1.3.10 Threats

1.3.11 Forced shaving

1.3.12 Deprivation/restricted provision of solid food

1.4 Further elements of the detention regime. . . .

—to its stark and unmistakable conclusion: The allegations of ill-treatment of the detainees indicate that, in many cases, the ill-treatment to which they were subjected while held in the CIA program, either singly or in combination, constituted torture. In addition, many other elements of the ill-treatment, either singly or in combination, constituted cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.