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Breaking: Iraqis and Saudi to Pursue Abuse Charges Against Rumsfeld in Germany

Drudge has the siren going on this one, and rightly so. From Time Mag:

Just days after his resignation, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is about to face more repercussions for his involvement in the troubled wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany's top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


The plaintiffs in the case include 11 Iraqis who were prisoners at Abu Ghraib, as well as Mohammad al-Qahtani, a Saudi held at Guantanamo, whom the U.S. has identified as the so-called "20th hijacker" and a would-be participant in the 9/11 hijackings. As TIME first reported in June 2005, Qahtani underwent a "special interrogation plan," personally approved by Rumsfeld, which the U.S. says produced valuable intelligence. But to obtain it, according to the log of his interrogation and government reports, Qahtani was subjected to forced nudity, sexual humiliation, religious humiliation, prolonged stress positions, sleep deprivation and other controversial interrogation techniques.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs say that one of the witnesses who will testify on their behalf is former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the one-time commander of all U.S. military prisons in Iraq. Karpinski -- who the lawyers say will be in Germany next week to publicly address her accusations in the case -- has issued a written statement to accompany the legal filing, which says, in part: "It was clear the knowledge and responsibility [for what happened at Abu Ghraib] goes all the way to the top of the chain of command to the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ."

This is disgusting.

As Michelle reminds us, this isn't the German government that's pursuing the criminal charges, but individual people who chose Germany because of its universal jurisdiction:

Germany was chosen for the court filing because German law provides "universal jurisdiction" allowing for the prosecution of war crimes and related offenses that take place anywhere in the world. Indeed, a similar, but narrower, legal action was brought in Germany in 2004, which also sought the prosecution of Rumsfeld. The case provoked an angry response from Pentagon, and Rumsfeld himself was reportedly upset. Rumsfeld's spokesman at the time, Lawrence DiRita, called the case a "a big, big problem." U.S. officials made clear the case could adversely impact U.S.-Germany relations, and Rumsfeld indicated he would not attend a major security conference in Munich, where he was scheduled to be the keynote speaker, unless Germany disposed of the case. The day before the conference, a German prosecutor announced he would not pursue the matter, saying there was no indication that U.S. authorities and courts would not deal with allegations in the complaint.

I would like to see Angela Merkel squash this.


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» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Rumsfeld Steps Down; Gates To Succeed Him

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» SEIXON linked with Try Rumsfeld for War Crimes

Comments (43)

Time for the U.S. to withdr... (Below threshold)
mcg:

Time for the U.S. to withdraw its troops from Old Europe, methinks.

Let's be sure to direct the... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Let's be sure to direct the disgust appropriately. Germany just happens to be the country the plantiffs filed in. Last time a filing was made Germany through the case out. Merkel isn't an enemy of the US.

The US former military colonel who is testifying on their behalf, however, should be reviled. She is blatantly selling out her country to protect the fact that Abu Gharib happened while she was in charge, in country and supposedly out of the loop. She either has to claim it was her boss's fault or admit she was completely incompetent.

Agreed. And how high can we... (Below threshold)
Ironman:

Agreed. And how high can we make protectionist duties on Mercedes and BMW vehicles?

They can file whatever they... (Below threshold)

They can file whatever they want, same as in America, Rumsfeld and the rest can ignore it, they might as well file a suit against Santa Claus, in his official capacity, along with the other 'defendants'...in another country? Forget it, the only troubling thing is if their government actually makes supportive noises...right now it just sounds like nuts filing a case for publicity, happens all the time.

" Rumsfeld's resignation, they say, means that the former Defense Secretary will lose the legal immunity usually accorded high government officials." This is just ignorance, if he's resigned then he's not responsible for anything that's not covered by his immunity. Two outcomes: Germany tells them to stuff it, again, or Germany tries to make a stink about it and Merkel loses whatever relations she's trying to build with the US, it's their choice.

Incidentally, this is another good reason to promote the anti-ICC stance. Gimme a break, terrorists suing US officials in Germany over alleged actions in Cuba.

Shit. You know how all of ... (Below threshold)

Shit. You know how all of the liberal-progressive weenies whine about the "chilling effect" on free speech in America as a result of the Patriot Act? What utter CRAP.

Instead, THIS is the REAL "chilling effect" of giving even an inch to the ICC, one-world nutjobs.

This is scary.

Well, we have troops in Ger... (Below threshold)

Well, we have troops in Germany to act as a tripwire to discourage ground invasion by the USSR.

What is wrong with THAT picture?

Gen. Karpinski should not get a pass on her behavior. Retired flag officers aren't released from all their obligations.

I agree with Faith+1... (Below threshold)
langtry:

I agree with Faith+1. When I first saw Drudge's alert, I thought it meant that Germany's government was intending to prosecute Rumsfeld. When I clicked the link, it was clear that it was merely the location within the EU where the plaintiffs chose to file their lawsuit, a completely different and less galling situation. It's a lot less offensive when you consider that it's a few p.o.'d Iraqis and their deep-pocket-dreaming attorneys, and not Merkel's administration doing the suing!

I just finished reading "Th... (Below threshold)
PC14:

I just finished reading "The Looming Tower (Al-Quada and The Road to 9/11). Great, great book. I was so pissed off after reading this about Germany:

The new Germany had carefully enshrined tolerance in its consitution, including the most openhanded political asylum policy in the world. Acknowledged terrorist groups were allowed to operate legally, raising money and recruits-but only if they were foreign terrorists, not domestic. It was not even against the law to plan a terrorist operation so long as the attack took place outside the country.

The unspoken compact that the Germans made with the radical foreign elements inside their country was that if Germans themselves were not attacked, they would be left alone. In recoiling from its extremist past, Germany inadvertently became the host of a new totalitarian movement.

Falze: "this is another goo... (Below threshold)
jdavenport:

Falze: "this is another good reason to promote the anti-ICC stance."

No doubt. Its structurally incapable of pursuing justice. An illusion bought into by those who misunderstand the nature of power, and those who do understand it, but are nasty bastards.

I have a feeling the new co... (Below threshold)
jp2:

I have a feeling the new congress will uncover some pretty nasty things traceable to Rumsfeld. Hence Bush's lie about Rummy and his dismissal soon after the election.

Why would Rummy care anyways? Germany can't touch him.

She is blatantly ... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
She is blatantly selling out her country to protect the fact that Abu Gharib happened while she was in charge, in country and supposedly out of the loop

Exactly, and pasted below is the key word highlighted.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs say that one of the witnesses who will testify on their behalf is former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the one-time commander of all U.S. military prisons in Iraq

The key word is former Brigadier General.

I was on a Mobile Training Team out of Fort Benning and I worked with a lot of Reserve Units.

There are some great weekend warriors out there. A lot of prior Active Duty makes up the senior leadership.

However, and I hate to say it, but there were a few that did more weekending than warrior-ing.

The General (ahem) correction, the Colonel was a dud.

You prior military out there reading this will know exactly what I'm talking about here.

Why was there no staff duty officer or NCO making the rounds in that prison? Obviously the little partiers in that cellblock didn't worry about anyone what's so ever checking in on them.

This tells me what a weak commander she was. How did she know what the hell was going on throughout the prison if her key leaders were not making the rounds, writing an activity report, and briefing her. She was either just completely incompetent or seriously lazy or a combination of the two.

This story is dead on arrival. She hasn't a leg to stand on and she's the key witness. End of story.

I have a feeling ... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
I have a feeling the new congress will uncover some pretty nasty things traceable to Rumsfeld

And I just shook my Magic 8 Ball and it says "All signs point to NO".

And to think my prediction is just as good as what your brain thought out.

But really I think you just wanted someone to notice you.

There, how's that?

State Senator Shea-Porter, ... (Below threshold)
kevino:

State Senator Shea-Porter, the newly-elected member of congress from NH-01, supports "ending the Iraq war and redirecting funds from the $500 billion annual military spending in the U.S." OK, a good place to start cutting defense spending is eliminating NATO and pulling out of Germany.

Kim, I'm not entirely sure ... (Below threshold)
cat:

Kim, I'm not entirely sure why you think it's so disgusting that foreigners might want to try your politicians for the war crimes that they clearly committed. But I do take some small comfort from your insistence - if you are not a total hypocrite, I'm sure you will now agree that your troops should get the hell out of our countries, go back home where they belong and leave the rest of us alone.

Yeah, cat, and next time yo... (Below threshold)
Irate as heck:

Yeah, cat, and next time you find your land getting invaded, we just might decide to stay home and not answer your emergency call.

Okay Cat. Next time your c... (Below threshold)
Henry:

Okay Cat. Next time your country needs help, don't come crawling to us. What you idiots don't understand is that we, the mighty USA, are always there for those who need us. And we're treated like shit for it. Go back to your litter box, Cat, and stay there. Meanwhile, we'll continue to do the right thing, and protect people from the murderous terrorists who want us all converted to Islam. WE WILL NOT SUBMIT.

Kim, I'm not entir... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Kim, I'm not entirely sure why you think it's so disgusting that foreigners might want to try your politicians for the war crimes that they clearly committed

Using this same reasoning, it is fair to conclude that explosive devices were planted throughout the WTC to bring them down so we could start a war to take over Middle Eastern oil fields. Oh, and the Jews were warned in advance.

This "theory" has been endorsed and verified by top scientists and engineers. I know this because left-wingers have provided links and told me to open my eyes. (Truth to power or something)

It comes from the same playbook of uncovering the evil that is the Bush administration and Republicans in general so let's lump this one in with it. Sounds reasonable to me.

And if you don't think this is real, well then, I can introduce you to some Democrat voters that can get pretty vicious on you not seeing the....(as you put it....clearly committed) acts.


FLIP 'EM THE FINGER, RUMMY!... (Below threshold)

FLIP 'EM THE FINGER, RUMMY! They may want to claim jurisdiction over an American national, but they haven't got a cowardly leg to stand on.

Let's see, how many times did we kick Germany's ass in the 20th century?

Just how much Kool Aid do y... (Below threshold)

Just how much Kool Aid do you drink in one day Jumpinjoe?

I have never read such absolute and utterly false drivel in my life - and I'm OLD!

HenryWe don't want... (Below threshold)
cat:

Henry

We don't want you to submit. We want you to go home. But I forgot, you're already home - it's your soldiers that keep shooting us, your air force that keeps bombing us. You just sit at home cheering them on at no risk to yourself.

We don't want your so-called help that always ends up in our people dying. We want you to mind your own business and sort out your own problems and stop sticking your big noses into ours. You know so little about the world outside your borders, it's not surprising that almost everything you do out here makes things ten times worse than they were before.

cat,I am curious. J... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

cat,
I am curious. Just so I can get a handle on the views you espouse, in what country do you live? And are you a citizen of that country?

Jumpinjoe, if explosives w... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Jumpinjoe, if explosives were used in the WTC, and the evidence is clear, why is this not covered in the MSM which clearly has little affection for the Bush administration?

Gayle, When I... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:

Gayle,

When I said this:

This "theory" has been endorsed and verified by top scientists and engineers. I know this because left-wingers have provided links and told me to open my eyes

I was being sarcastic.

Here: Sarcasm Off/

Put it to you this way, when a lefty says "clearly committed", then don't those lefties that are dedicated to proving their theory that 9-11 was an inside job and they too claim "clearly committed" because they have "truth to power".

Shouldn't they also get their investigation?

I would love to see it.

Jumpinjoe, if expl... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Jumpinjoe, if explosives were used in the WTC, and the evidence is clear, why is this not covered in the MSM which clearly has little affection for the Bush administration

Rumor has it that the media is right wing and run by corporations who are hiding the truth to protect the Bush administration.

You haven't heard this?

I do believe I have been called "stupid" on the AOL message boards for not seeing the light on this obvious suppression of news.

We don't want you ... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
We don't want you to submit. We want you to go home. But I forgot, you're already home - it's your soldiers that keep shooting us, your air force that keeps bombing us. You just sit at home cheering them on at no risk to yourself

cat person,

If you are being shot at by Americans then don't point weapons in their direction. Mmmmmmmmmm-kay......

Oh and another thing, if you don't control those that practice the same religion of peace from flying eff'in airplanes into our skyscrapers, then we'll have to do it.

If you start denouncing it loud and clear and stop it at its source then chances are we wouldn't have to. Would we now?

You do that for me and I promise you we will not have a war. Deal?

Litter Box Queen Cat... Gue... (Below threshold)
Henry:

Litter Box Queen Cat... Guess what? I am a proud member of the greatest military on Earth (US Marine) and have already been to Iraq and back. I know more about what's going on than you possibly could (unless you are an Iraqi.) I willingly serve, and will be there to do my duty. Looks like YOU'RE the one sitting home... bitching and moaning about things you have no idea about. I notice you won't say where you're from... you're probably just a California liberal pretender. Go crawl back under your rock. Long live the USA. WE WILL NOT SUBMIT.

Rummy just needs to go the ... (Below threshold)
IllTemperedCur:

Rummy just needs to go the Fidel route. "History will absolve me"... Problem is, the history that will absolve Rumsfeld will be written in American blood.

cat,But I... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

cat,

But I forgot, you're already home - it's your soldiers that keep shooting us, your air force that keeps bombing us. You just sit at home cheering them on at no risk to yourself.

I don't know where you're from, but judging by what you said, let's for the sake of argument say Iraq.

Who's doing the killing there? Who's blowing up kids, kidnapping hundereds of people and executing them? It's not the U.S. forces. There are many more Muslims killed by Muslims than by us.

We don't sit at home and cheer on death, cat...no one wants to see that. Maybe just for a moment, just a moment, entertain that we are trying to do something good.

It is a good thing Bush Ren... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

It is a good thing Bush Renig'd on our agreement to participate in the world court:

UNITED NATIONS - The Bush administration will not take part in the International Criminal Court scheduled to be ratified next month and is considering removing its signature from the treaty that created it, a top war crimes envoy said yesterday.

''The US is not and will not be part of the ICC,'' said Pierre Prosper, the State Department's ambassador at large for war crimes issues, told reporters in New York.


It is if he knew?

For far too long I have fel... (Below threshold)
Herman:

For far too long I have felt that Rumsfeld has borne too much of the blame for the Iraq fiasco, and for Guantanamo. The culprit that the Germans really should charge with a crime is, of course, the acting Commander-in-Chief, Bush (or the real Commander-in-Chief, Cheney).

Propaganga: Take some rand... (Below threshold)
JC:

Propaganga: Take some random filing in a small jurisdiction somewhere, then blow it up out of proportion.

Not that I wouldn't like that Saudi or those Iraqis to have some method of redress for being abused while innocent, but war crimes won't be on the table.

The culprit that t... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
The culprit that the Germans really should charge with a crime is, of course, the acting Commander-in-Chief, Bush (or the real Commander-in-Chief, Cheney

The first witness I would like to call on behalf of the defense is John Kerry.

Senator Kerry, in 2003 you said this:

"(W)e need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. We all know the litany of his offenses. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. ...And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War

and then this......

I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force if necessary to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.

My question for you is, WTF?

Don't take this too serious... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Don't take this too serious, they are only a few disgruntled idiots out for money. Has nothing to do with the government of any of the countries, including Germany. They simply went liberal court shopping, another lesson learned from the dim's. Even out of power the dim's have tainted the world.

With Russia sliding fast back into communism the Germans have a big problem and they will want our help. Be stupid and get told, you're on your own.

"Germany was chosen for the... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

"Germany was chosen for the court filing because German law provides "universal jurisdiction" allowing for the prosecution of war crimes and related offenses that take place anywhere in the world."

LMAO they can take their "universal jurisdiction" and stick it where the sun don't shine!!

jp2 you must have shit for ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

jp2 you must have shit for brains.

DaveD: "cat, I am curious. ... (Below threshold)
jdavenport:

DaveD: "cat, I am curious. Just so I can get a handle on the views you espouse, in what country do you live? And are you a citizen of that country?"

Well, I live iin New Jersey, but I'm an Iraqi in spirit.
My perspective is fake but accurate.

I'll make anyone a bet. The... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

I'll make anyone a bet. The Germans will not come to the U.S. and get Rummie. They will be met by 50-60 thousand heavly armed 'hunter' carrying everything from a 30-06 to a 300 mag. semi auto. Some will even have the new 50 cal rifle that is accurate from a mile out. Try to invade during hunting season (German season open year round) and tangle with that many armed hunters with a backpack full of Jack Daniels. Na, no way.

Do German idiots taste like chicken?

I'm thinking of three possi... (Below threshold)
Bolshe.vik:

I'm thinking of three possibilities, one is that the germans think it's payback time. Two, the muslims are telling germans what to do. Three, germans have their heads stuck up their collective ass.

This should be in civil cou... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

This should be in civil court as it's really just an intellectual property infringement case.

(Joke stolen from Hot Air commenter token)

mcg has it absolutely correct. If they actually go forward with this then we should close each and every base we have in Germany.
I'm sure the Czech Republic and Poland would love to host some bases in case Germany or Russia start to get frisky again.

I hope he does get a trial ... (Below threshold)
Anon:

I hope he does get a trial in Germany so all the truth could be laid to rest. After all if the head of Abu Graib, Karpinski, has evidence isn't that something? What I have read about the Germans being able to get Rumsfield is that if he ever flew to England or any other European country he could be held and extradited. It happened to Pinochet.


Karpinski should be the one... (Below threshold)
Pat A:

Karpinski should be the one on trial for dereliction of duty. Those night shift enlisted were obviously left unsupervised for a long period of time. They did not get a memo or phone call from Rumsfeld, telling them to misbehave. The military chain of command does not work thay way. Karpinski surely had an enlisted Sergeant Major who should have had the night shift Sergeant under control. Karpinski also had a Chief of Staff that should have had his finger on the pulse on the enlisted side. Poor command was the reason for this whole problem. Karpinski should be serving some hard time about now, considering the impact her lack of attention had on the war and on our world standing.

Pat, What you say about K... (Below threshold)
Anon:

Pat, What you say about Karpinski is true, and if it were only a case of he said, she said, then I'd say forget it. However, there doesn't seam to ever been an investigation into the top levels.

"The utter and complete failure of U.S. authorities to take any action to investigate high-level involvement in the torture program could not be clearer," says Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a U.S.-based non-profit helping to bring the legal action in Germany.

<a href="http://www.un.org/... (Below threshold)
johca:

Rome Statute of the International Court contributes to the complications.

1. On behalf of President Clinton, Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues David Scheffer, signed the Rome Treaty on 31 December 2000, the last day a country could sign the treaty without at the same time depositing an instrument of ratification.

2. In a communication received on 6 May 2002, the Government of the United States of America informed the Secretary-General of the following: "This is to inform you, in connection with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court adopted on July 17, 1998, that the United States does not intend to become a party to the treaty. Accordingly, the United States has no legal obligations arising from its signature on December 31, 2000. The United States requests that its intention not to become a party, as expressed in this letter, be reflected in the depositary's status lists relating to this treaty."

Regarding former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, she abandoned control of daily military operations she was in command of to contractor and other government agencies. The U.S. Army significant blunder by not fully inquiring into this matter and holding the immediate chain-of-command performing daily operations for failure to sustain minimal military discipline. Former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, is trying to convince her demotion was political retribution when in fact any claim by her that the abuses were perpetrated by contract employees trained in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay and sent under orders from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld could not have happened unless she abandoned her command responsibilities. She is certainly the best example of what I find despicable in military leadership, she is hiding behind gender and every other popular myth excuse to show she didn't abandon her command responsibilities.

Her demotion to Colonel wasn't full accountability considering she served primarily in intelligence and military police assignments and expectation of her commission and professional development and duty experience leading to appointment to command should have provided exposure to: FM 27-14, LEGAL GUIDE FOR SOLDIERS; FM 27-1, LEGAL GUIDE FOR COMMANDERS; FM 27-100, LEGAL OPERATIONS; and, FM 27-10, THE LAW OF LAND WARFARE. I certainly had exposure and training in these matters by the time I was an E-5 with only eight years of active duty service.

Her many unsubstantiated claims' to specifically include she witnessed children as young as twelve years of age incarcerated at Abu Ghraib demonstrates in addition to lack of any possession of moral courage, that she was significantly criminally negligent or criminally incompetent in performing her commander duties.




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