According to Yahoo News, in response to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s blistering report on the CIA’s brutal handling of prisoners after 9/11, the New York Times is calling for a criminal investigation of former Vice President Dick Cheney and other members of the Bush administration for conspiring to commit torture and other crimes prohibited by federal and international laws.
“Americans have known about many of these acts for years,” the Times editorial board stated on Monday.
“But the 524-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report erases any lingering doubt about their depravity and illegality.”
In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Cheney refused to call some of the CIA’s actions with prisoners – including involuntary rectal feeding – torture.
In its editorial, the Times said the “sadistic” techniques outlined in the committee’s report “are, simply, crimes. They are prohibited by federal law, which defines torture as the intentional infliction of ‘severe physical or mental pain or suffering.’
“They are also banned by the Convention Against Torture, the international treaty that the United States ratified in 1994 and that requires prosecution of any acts of torture.”
“It is no wonder that today’s blinkered apologists are desperate to call these acts anything but torture, which they clearly were,” the Times continued. “As the report reveals, these claims fail for a simple reason: C.I.A. officials admitted at the time that what they intended to do was illegal.”
The paper criticized the president for failing “to bring to justice anyone responsible for the torture of terrorism suspects.”
The Times: “No amount of legal pretzel logic can justify the behavior detailed in the report. Indeed, it is impossible to read it and conclude that no one can be held accountable. At the very least, Mr. Obama needs to authorize a full and independent criminal investigation.”
The Times’ editorial board is calling for a special prosecutor to investigate Cheney, David Addington, Cheney’s former chief of staff, former CIA Director George Tenet, as well as John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the lawyers “who drafted what became known as the torture memos”; Jose Rodriguez Jr., the CIA official “who ordered the destruction of the videotapes”, the psychologists who devised the torture regimen, and any CIA employees who carried it out.