Col. Wilkerson: Cheney and Rumsfeld, Guilty of War Crimes?

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Colin Powell's former chief of staff has written a provocative piece, Dogging The Torture Story, in which he links the homicides of 25 detainees to the Vice President and the SECDEF:

Documents and memos that have already made their way into the public domain make it clear that the Office of the Vice President bears responsibility for creating an environment conducive to the acts of torture and murder committed by U.S. forces in the war on terror.

There is, in my view, insufficient evidence to walk into an American courtroom and win a legal case (though an international courtroom for war crimes might feel differently). But there is enough evidence for a soldier of long service — someone like me with 31 years in the Army — to know that what started with John Yoo, David Addington, Alberto Gonzales, William Haynes at the Pentagon, and several others, all under the watchful and willing eye of the Vice President, went down through the Secretary of Defense to the commanders in the field...

The Bybee memorandum's description of torture as organ failure or beyond gave officials an out when answering questions about "Did we do torture?"

When an official said "no ", he or she meant that we did not do organ failure. Of course, with 136 deaths in detention and counting — and with 25 or more now confirmed as homicides — even that admission by that standard is now false.