In response to a news report that a judge is allowing some of the CIA's torture victims to sue the psychologists who planned the program, but only those "not in the chain of command" I posted:
-- “This has never happened before,” -- But it appears the case can only be brought against civilians not in the chain of command. Which means if this precedent is followed that the American military and the CIA are still above the law when it comes to committing war crimes.
Note: The US military was bitterly opposed to the torture program and may well be generally innocent, although serious issues referring to relating to Abu Graib and other such occurrences still remain unresolved.
I'm astonished that even some civilians are being held accountable for these horrific war crimes, the first officially sanctioned war crimes in US history. It isn't that the US did not use new torture on occasion, we have. However, the person performing the act knew he was committing a crime and could face prosecution and imprisonment. He might even face execution as did some Japanese war criminals for water boarding American captives.
Please be aware that I am not ignoring the atrocities committed against Native Americans. Those were cases of mass murder and genocide, and could certainly be classified as war crimes, though I place them in a different category, since they were aimed at the tribes as a whole rather than against specific individuals. In other words, I consider those genocidal actions much worse than what the Bush administration authorized. And just for the record, Andrew Jackson was responsible for many of these atrocities. This is an interesting point in the light of the current dispute over removing his face from the front of the $20 bill and placing it on the rear.
It seems to me that this surprise decision is evidence that America is truly changing. Think of what has happened just in the last few years. The South is being forced to remove it's glorifications of the monsters who fought for an expanded slave empire. Even Republicans are admitting that income disparity is a major problem. Gay marriage and gay rights in general have become the norm. The ones arrogant religious right is now whining and crying about how little power they have. A dedicated democratic socialist is running a highly successful grassroots campaign for president. The right wing's death grip on the highly politicized Supreme Court has been broken and it does not look likely that it will be restored. The federal government now takes responsibility, limited responsibility, but still responsibility, for America's healthcare. It seems that a Black president will soon be replaced by a female president. And many more changes away from our old self-destructive and hateful habits
are in clear evidence.
Conservatives are terrified of these changes. I find them hopeful and refreshing.
Speaking of torture and American policy, remember this old post?