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Spain Launches Wide-Ranging Criminal Investigation Into U.S. Torture. When Will Obama?

Spain is doing what should be done in the U.S.: Treating these severe crimes as crimes. Human rights lawyers say Obama should follow suit.
 
 
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Despite rhetoric coming from the White House that Americans should look "forward not backwards" when it comes to pursuing those responsible for torture, Spain doesn’t seem to be listening. Judge Balthazar Garzon, who has been pursuing a criminal case against six former Bush administration officials for torture, has now authorized a wide-ranging criminal investigation into the US torture program at Guantanamo. The recently released torture memos and declassified Senate reports, Garzon said, show that at Guantanamo there is "an authorized and systematic plan for torture and harsh treatment of people deprived of their freedom without any charges and without the most basic elemental rights for detainees, set forth and demanded by international treaties."

According to the Center for Constitutional Rights, Garzon’s "writ did not name specific officials as defendants but speaks of investigating the roles of those responsible for authorizing, planning and executing the torture program, particularly in light of the newly release torture memos and the Senate Armed Services Committee report. The case could lead to arrest warrants in Europe and, according to CCR attorneys, places new pressure on the Obama administration to appoint its own special prosecutor to investigate the crimes committed by former officials."

Jeremy Scahill is the author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army .