Addington Knew About War Crimes; Failed To Correct Illegal Policies, Practices
Addington essentially encouraged more war crimes, arguing that changing practices meant admitting the original violations. However, failing to correct known problems is an illegal excuse to continue violating Geneva. The issue isn't how torture is or is not defined, but whether there had been abuse, in violation of Geneva.
David S. Addington, who was then Mr. Cheney’s counsel and is now his chief of staff, was prominent among those who opposed modifications like an explicit ban on evidence obtained by torture, contending that it would wrongly hint that the government had sanctioned torture at all.
[ NYT: TIM GOLDEN, Memo Fueled Deep Rift in Administration on Detainees, 1 Oct 2006 Ref ]
The only reasonable conclusion is that Addington knew there were violations, or possible volations, and failed to prevent or stop what he knew or should have known what was occurring. It is not reasonable to conclude that Addington did not know about something he is reported to have been concerned about. Moreover, his reported concern leaves the reasonable impression that he knew of a problem, but failed to correct what he knew, or should have known was illegal and contrary to the Geneva Conventions.
Conversely, it defies reason to argue that Addington, allegedly someone who looked very every excuse to ignore the law, would suddenly be concerned with the law on something that was not a real concern. Rather, Addington's concern appears to be linked not with a concern for the law, but his realization he had no legal excuse or plausible defense to justify what had already happened.
Recall the President's words: "Failure to act would embolden other tyrants" Ref. Why is the world waiting to act to prosecute this alleged American war criminal?
Indeed, the 2006 Military Commissions bill and movement of prisoners from the now-disclosed CIA detention centers shows the abuse was not lawful and the US government officials knew this, as they publicly disclosed in July 2006.
Despite knowing the treatment was illegal, rather than change procedures or policies, the US government officials (1) crafted the illegal Military Commissions Bill; (2) granted themselves false immunity by illegally preventing prisoners the right to challenge their detention; and (3) included language to pay for the cost of defending their failure to prevent war crimes.
These illegal 2006 policies and procedures in the Military Commissions Bill would not have been needed had the United States followed the laws of war once making the decision to use force in 2001.
Constitutional Requirements Ignored
Geneva requires the detaining power, the Untied States, to ensure the prisoners of war are prosecuted using established procedures.
US courts rely on the Constitution, which guarantees the right of a detainee to challenge their detention. Rasul affirmed this right applied to prisoners of war held at Guantanamo.
Hamdan supposedly triggered the Military Commissions bill, and affirmed the Geneva obligations were requirements. Yet, no consideration was given to habeas corpus:
The element of the new legislation that raised the sharpest criticism among legal scholars and human rights advocates last week was the scaling back of the habeas corpus right of terrorism suspects to challenge their detention in the federal courts. But in dozens of high-level meetings on detention policy, officials said, that provision was scarcely even discussed.
So much for their concern with international outrage. It's foolish to have spent time on a Military Commissions bill as a public relations stunt, only to find out they've ignored the public, and relied on more illegal stunts.
American abuse of power, in part, fuels terrorism. Public relations backfire when the players ignore the law.
Here is what we can conclude about the NYT information:
1. The Members of the Legislative and Executive Branches knew there had been war crimes, yet failed to investigate them.
2. After knowledge of the illegal war crimes, Addington and others refused to prevent further illegal war crimes.
3. The Congress passed an illegal Military Commissions Bill.
4. Congress illegally failed to ensure the United States, the President, and others honored the Geneva obligations.
5. The Executive Branch did not seriously consider the full implications of Hamdan and the Geneva requirements; nor did it ensure the prisoners were afforded the full Geneva protections.
6. The pre-decisional discussions and memoranda have been disclosed to third parties and are not protected by any claim of executive or legislative privilege.
7. The pre-decisional memoranda shows the Members of Congress and Executive Branch knew about illegal war crimes, failed to timely prevent the war crimes; and despite Hamdan failed to ensure the policy fully complied with the Geneva requirements. This is evidence of recklessness, and warrants and upward adjustment in the war crimes sentencing.
Evidence: Consistent Implications
It's possible to take a broader view of these conclusions. There are some broad, recurring themes to this information:
(a) The different, emerging lines of evidence independently continue to confirm the war crimes allegations, alleged defendants, and scope of the illegal activity;
(b) These conclusions substantially match (1) the list of war crimes indictments; and (2) the implications of the pre-9-11 NSA illegal monitoring;
(c) Each of the conclusions can be linked with the Helix Evidence Model, linking Verizon, Abraxas, and AT&T to the alleged war crimes and illegal FISA violations; and
(d) Nothing we've publicly heard by way of explanation or defense does anything to undermine the support for (1) the adverse inferences or (2) allegations of illegal conduct and war crimes.