Legal advisers, high-level officials, covert operatives
Abuse of prisoners and detainees by US personnel has occurred, at the very least, at three overseas sites: Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad, in Iraq; Guantánamo Bay, in Cuba; and Bagram Air Base, in Afghanistan. As of April, more than 330 cases have surfaced in which US military and civilian personnel are alleged to have abused, tortured, or killed detainees, implicating more than 600 US personnel and involving more than 460 detainees.
To date, there are at least 600 covert operatives who may find themselves in need of a pardon
We still do not know how widespread, severe, and systemic the abuse was. Thanks to the Washington Post’s Dana Priest’s pioneering reporting, the public learned last November that the US government is operating a “covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe.” But what exactly has transpired at these sites remains unclear. Nor do we know what transpired during the first few years at Guantánamo Bay, since US officials wouldn’t let lawyers or human-rights advocates survey the facility until 2004 — more than two years after the detention facility opened — after the Supreme Court ruled that inmates have the right to receive visits from their lawyers.
So far, only lower-echelon military personnel and one civilian contractor have been charged with abuse-related offenses, all committed at Abu Ghraib. Yet federal prosecutors have numerous resources at their disposal to uncover what happened, and to work their way up the ladder toward prosecution of any of the president’s men responsible for allowing the military and intelligence services to step outside the traditional laws of war.
: News Features
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