I'll give you three reason
It's hard enough for me to stomach the idea of Americans doing this to people we have some right to believe meant us harm (we're supposed to symbolize something better than that), but when you know that the mindless incompetence that defined the Bush administration led to untold number of innocent people being abducted, without any access to lawyers or their families, and then sent to be tortured (an interrogation technique that has proven to be inferior if not downright counterproductive), any American who believes that we stand for a belief system incompatible with such horrors must demand Bush be held accountable.
- Mohammed al-Qahtani, had been threatened with military dogs, deprived of sleep for weeks, stripped naked and made to wear a leash and perform dog tricks. This year, a military tribunal at Guantánamo dismissed the charges against Mr. Qahtani.
- Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen wrongly abducted by the US, tortured, and then set free, having been cleared of any charges : "I was dragged across the floor and my blindfold was removed. I saw seven or eight men dressed in black and wearing black ski masks. One of the men placed me in a diaper and a track suit. I was put in a belt with chains that attached to my wrists and ankles, earmuffs were placed over my ears, eye pads over my eyes, and then I was blindfolded and hooded. After being marched to a plane, I was thrown to the floor face down and my legs and arms were spread-eagled and secured to the sides of the plane. I felt two injections, and I was rendered nearly unconscious. At some point, I felt the plane land and take off again. When it landed again, I was unchained and taken off the plane. It felt very warm outside, and so I knew I had not been returned to Germany. I learned later that I was in Afghanistan."
- Maher Arar, Candian wireless technology consultant, wrongly abducted by the US, tortured and the set free, having been cleared of any charges:
Early the next morning Arar is taken upstairs for intense interrogation. He is beaten on his palms, wrists, lower back and hips with a shredded black electrical cable which is about two inches in diameter. He is threatened with the metal chair, electric shocks, and with the tire, into which prisoners are stuffed, immobilized and beaten.
The next day Arar is interrogated and beaten on and off for eighteen hours. Arar begs them to stop. He is asked if he received military training in Afghanistan, and he falsely confesses and says yes. This is the first time Arar is ever questioned about Afghanistan. They ask at which camp, and provide him with a list, and he picks one of the camps listed.
Arar urinated on himself twice during the interrogation.
Throughout this period of intense interrogation Arar was not taken back to his cell, but to a waiting room where he could hear other prisoners being tortured and screaming. One time, he heard them repeatedly slam a man’s head on a desk really hard.
The New York Times holds out little hope that President Obama will do the right thing here:
Personally, I don't care about Mr. Obama's political capital. I understand there are many problems that impact the lives of millions of Americans he needs bipartisan support to address, but the needs of the many do not trump the right to justice of the few. So long as he's clear that it's justice he's after, I believe Obama would have enough support to bring this to trial. Yes it would be ugly. There are horrendously cowardly torture apologists with megaphones who will defend this abomination (many of them willing to send a "few bad apples" to the gallows when their fearless leader convinced them that's where the buck had stopped, but now that they know better, their balllessness has been revealed).
A prosecutor should be appointed to consider criminal charges against top officials at the Pentagon and others involved in planning the abuse.
Given his other problems — and how far he has moved from the powerful stands he took on these issues early in the campaign — we do not hold out real hope that Barack Obama, as president, will take such a politically fraught step.At the least, Mr. Obama should, as the organization Human Rights First suggested, order his attorney general to review more than two dozen prisoner-abuse cases that reportedly were referred to the Justice Department by the Pentagon and the C.I.A. — and declined by Mr. Bush’s lawyers.
I know how unpleasant all this is for most of us. I too wish it would all just go away, and I know that letting Bush slink off to his ranch is seemingly the fastest way to do that, but for just a moment imagine he does. Imagine he's safe and sound in Texas, sleeping well in his wealth and security, and the whole thing blows over. It's easy to do actually, and I find comfort in it until I attempt to put myself in the shoes of those who have been tortured or their loved ones. Try it.
Imagine someone lying in bed next to the man they love. A man who's been a good family man, good father, good citizen, and good spouse. Imagine that man wakes in the middle of the night, in a cold sweat, silently but violently mouthing the same screams they had tortured out of him in Jordan or Afganistan. Imagine the terror in his face when the light is turned on, how he weeps as he's rocked back to sleep. Put yourself in the position of that person holding him. As you do, you outline the scars of where he was beaten with your fingers. You imagine the agony in his mind every night as it tries to sift through the dark months of being locked in filth, the beatings, the blood, the lonliness. Imagine how it feels when it dawns on you that this man you love will have these same nightmares the rest of his life.
As gratuitous as that may seem, all I have to do is imagine this happening to someone I love and the question of whether you let Bush slink off becomes crystal clear.
Bush must be held accountable.