by The Daily Take Team
14 December 2015
authorized and participated in the illegal roundup
of hundreds of
innocent men after 9/11, from high-up government officials on down,
is now fair game for
(Image: Lance Page/Truthout;
For almost a decade and a half, the people behind the
administration's shameful treatment of terrorism suspects
have avoided punishment for their crimes, but that may be about to
The courts have had their say and have ruled that former Bush
administration officials can, in fact, be sued for how they
conducted the "war
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals made that pretty much official
on Friday when it refused to hear a challenge to its earlier ruling
in the case of Turkmen v. Ashcroft. That case, sparked by a civil
rights lawsuit filed by the
Center for Constitutional Rights,
involves hundreds of Arab, Muslim or South Asian men who were
detained and then abused by our government in the weeks following
Some of them were beaten by security guards and kept in solitary
confinement, which the United Nations considers a form of torture.
After they were released, these men sued
the people they say authorized their detentions - people like former
Attorney General John Ashcroft and former FBI director
A district court initially blocked their claims, but in June, the
Second Circuit Court allowed them, saying that Ashcroft, Mueller and
company could be sued. The government then made one more last ditch
push to protect the Bush administration, but that effort
failed last Friday (11 December 2015) when the Second Circuit
Everyone else who authorized and participated in the illegal roundup
of hundreds of innocent men
after 9/11, from high-up government
officials on down, is now fair game for a lawsuit.
This is great news.
done some things for some of the worst abuses
of the Bush administration, we've never had a true national
reckoning with what actually went on from 2001 to 2009.
Cheney and company took us into
some very, very dark places after 9/11, and the detention of
hundreds of innocent people solely on the basis of their race or
religion is just the tip of the iceberg of what the Bush
They lied us into illegal wars
that killed thousands of Americans and millions of Iraqis
and Afghan civilians.
They also tortured terrorism
suspects, many of whom turned out to be innocent, in
violation of international and US law.
Oh yeah, and they also created
the Guantánamo Bay detention center, which, to this day,
remains one of the best recruitment tools in the world for
groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
The list goes on...
Obviously, the Obama administration doesn't exactly have a stellar
record when it comes to the "war on terror" either, the drone wars
being just one example. But even so, the Bush administration still
bears the ultimate responsibility for taking our country down the
path we're still on a full decade-and-half after 9/11.
And that's why we need to prosecute
everyone in Bush administration who participated in these
...I mean everyone, right now.
Like any self-proclaimed democracy, the United States can and should
be a moral force for good in the world. But it can't be one when it
lets the biggest war criminals in its history get off scot-free.
The decision by the Second Circuit Court
of Appeals allowing lawsuits against people like former Attorney
John Ashcroft is a step in the
It opens up a new path for our country,
a path that offers us the chance for a national redemption of