To the editor:

If George Bush were not holding the office of president, he would be charged with murder.

Dilawar was a 22-year-old Afghan taxi driver who in the spring of 2005 was detained along with his three passengers at a checkpoint near Camp Solerno, an American outpost in Afghanistan. They were held as “suspects” with no evidence to suggest that they had committed a crime. After being chained to a fence in an upright position for the night, they were taken to Bagram air base for further interrogation. Mr. Dilawar was again chained to his cell and beaten repeatedly for four days straight, after which he died from wounds that he sustained at the hands of his American captors.

The three passengers were ultimately charged with “threatening American forces” and sent to Guantanamo. They were released 15 months later due to lack of evidence.

Several months prior to the murder, Bush’s national security advisors including Dick Cheney, Condaleza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft met at the White House where CIA officials graphically demonstrated torture techniques that were being used in the “war on terror”. Ashcroft asked aloud why the meeting was being held in the White House and surmised then that “history will not judge this kindly”.

In an effort to provide legal cover for his agents, CIA chief George Tenet required that the principals sign off on each and every act of torture that was carried out. Essentially torture was micromanaged at the highest levels of government.

The United States is a signatory to the U.N. Convention Against Torture, a treaty in effect since 1984, which explicitly requires investigation and prosecution of any person who is found to be complicit in acts of torture against other human beings.

Last month George Bush admitted, “Yes, I’m aware our national security team met on this issue, and I approved.”

Kevin Fristad


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