Rumsfeld Authorized Illegal Detention
If Iraq ever becomes truly sovereign, will the Iraqi government try to hold Donald Rumsfeld accountable for this? Will President Bush?
Pentagon officials tell NBC News that late last year, at the same time U.S. military police were allegedly abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ordered that one Iraqi prisoner be held “off the books” — hidden entirely from the International Red Cross and anyone else — in possible violation of international law.
The Pentagon claims that it's entitled to hold prisoners in secret if they pose a threat. A dubious claim at best, but just silly in this case. The detainee was no longer being interrogated and had been returned to Iraq where he became "entirely lost in the system." You'd think the Pentagon would do a better job of keeping track of prisoners it deems a threat.
The Pentagon confirms that the detainee has been held since October, but the International Red Cross wasn't notified and the detainee wasn't given an identification number as required by the Geneva Conventions. Rumsfeld's hands-on approach to this detainee invites inquiry into his degree of involvement in the prisoner abuse scandals. At the very least, Rumsfeld's arrogant disregard of international law invites inquiry into his fitness to hold his job.
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