Ian Welsh over at The Agonist reports that Donald Rumsfield has been charged with torture in Paris.
Former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld got an unpleasant surprise during his visit to France today when human rights groups filed a complaint with the Paris Prosecutor before the “Court of First Instance” (Tribunal de Grande Instance) charging the chief architect of President George W. Bush's "war on terror" with ordering and authorizing torture.As a commenter notes, the charges won't actually go anywhere but they signal a willingness to pursue the rule of law for as long as it takes. Pinochet and certain Serbian officers stand as examples of their futures for the Bush administration's torturers. Eventually, someday, there will be charges that actually bring about a day in court. That said court almost certainly won't be an American one is an indication of just how far from grace the leadership of both political parties in the U.S. have fallen.
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the French League for Human Rights (LDH) filed the complaint while Rumsfeld was in Paris for a talk sponsored by Foreign Policy magazine, and under French law, an investigation must be opened if an alleged torturer is inside France.
“France is under the obligation to investigate and prosecute Rumsfeld’s accountability for crimes of torture in Guantanamo and Iraq," said FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen. "France has no choice but to open an investigation if an alleged torturer is on its territory. I hope that the fight against impunity will not be sacrificed in the name of politics. We call on France to refuse to be a safe haven for criminals.”
“The filing of this French case against Rumsfeld demonstrates that we will not rest until those U.S. officials involved in the torture program are brought to justice," said CCR President Michael Ratner. "Rumsfeld must understand that he has no place to hide. A torturer is an enemy of all humankind.”
Raw Story has more:
Although his group has been a part of previous attempts to bring charges against Rumsfeld, including two former tries in Germany, Ratner believes French court has the highest chance of success.
"There are Guantananamo detainees who were tortured that are living in France," he said. "It gives French courts another reason to prosecute."
Ratner says Europe is "getting very hot for Rumsfeld," and suggests a French court could at least issue its version of a subpoena.
"We hope that this case will move forward," he said, "especially as the US says it can continue to torture people."