Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

US Legal Opinion Supports Spanish Torture Investigation (William F. Pepper)

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
reprehensor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 06:09 AM
Original message
US Legal Opinion Supports Spanish Torture Investigation (William F. Pepper)
Edited on Tue May-26-09 06:24 AM by reprehensor
(Digg this story.)

Earlier this month, US-based lawyer William F. Pepper submitted a legal opinion in support of the Spanish investigation into various tortures that took place during the Bush administration.

Pepper encouraged the Spanish investigators to broaden their scope to include George W. Bush personally, saying;

"It would be an injustice not to prosecute those who occupied the highest positions of authority. It would be like processing Eichmann and overlooking Hitler..."


Below find an English translation from Spain's Publico, the story was first published May 9, 2009, in Spanish.

-----------------------------------------------



U.S. Lawyers point to Bush for the tortures

The lawyer of Martin Luther Kings family contributes a thorough report to the Spanish lawsuit to reinforce the charge -- The American Civil Liberties Union offers their colaboration

Pere Rusiol in Madrid (Pblico)
Translation: Lynn Strother

A group of lawyers in the United States, led by William F. Pepper, the veteran human rights lawyer linked to Martin Luther Kings family, have joined the Spanish lawsuit about Guantanamo and the tortures of the Bush administration. Pepper has contributed a 121 page document to the prosecution, in which he defends Spains right to investigate, and suggests that the proceedings be widened to charge former president George W. Bush directly.

The U.S. lawyers also contribute 45 documents to the lawsuit some, declassified recently; others, of public knowledge for years that permit the "tracking of the process of decision making" that led to the application of methods equivalent to torture with the detainees of the "war against terrorism".

All of these documents are now part of the lawsuit that the judge Eloy Velasco is preparing in the National High Court against six lawyers who built the "legal scaffolding" which led to Guantanamo. They will also be included in the twin process being prepared by Baltazar Garzn, in which, besides the charge against the lawyers they demand action against political figures of the Bush administration, like the former head of the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld, and his advisor on national security and later Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

The extensive document of the U.S. lawyers requests the investigation be widened to include Bush and his vice-president Dick Cheney. "It would be an injustice not to prosecute those who occupied the highest positions of authority. It would be like processing Eichmann and overlooking Hitler", wrote Pepper before presenting his legal position.

Quote by Conde-Pumpido

The 71 year old lawyer, who studied at Columbia University and the London School of Economics, quotes the Spanish Attorney-General, Cndido Conde-Pumpido to reinforce his petition that Bush also be investigated. Conde-Pumpido charged very severely againt the initial lawsuit presented only against Bushs lawyers and classified it as "fraudulent" because it was directed against the lawyers and not the responsible politicians.

The double investigation by the Spanish High Court about the legalization of practices equivalent to torture like waterboarding have already made strong inroads in the U.S. and not only in the form of editorials in the related press.

The Obama administration will have to answer a plea commission sent by Judge Velasco interested in learning if there is an ongoing investigation in the U.S. And the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, has made it clear that he intends to collaborate with the judicial requirements of other countries, in spite of the poisonous campaign against started by heavyweight neocons like John Bolton.

The lawyers in the U.S. have also taken the lawsuit in Spain very seriously. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) , the important NGO for civil rights, which forced the declassification of secret memoranda of the CIA, sent the investigator Jameel Jaffer to Madrid for three days. He offered the support of the organization so that Spain could go ahead with the prosecution.

Recruiting lawyers

Peppers group is now recruiting lawyers to also put them at the disposition of the lawsuit and create a network of support that includes activists and NGOs. He wrote the report, that is already at the disposal of Spanish justice, himself. "It has been many hours of work, but I think this has been the most important case in my life for the advancement of international human rights law", he explained to Pblico from Washington, his base of operations besides London.

The document analyzes the presumed responsibility of Bush and his team from the 45 official texts received from the declaration of national emergency, the 14th of September 2001, up to the recently declassified memoranda - , but it concentrates on reinforcing the right of Spain to apply universal jurisdiction because no lawsuit has been made in the U.S.

"The crimes that have been committed are a clear violation of international law. Not only have the obligations that most nations impose on each other by treaties been violated, but also the basic rules built up over centuries", Pepper concludes.

An icon for the civil rights NGO

William E.Pepper has been an example for the groups in the United States that defend civil rights for 40 years. He was one of Martin Luther Kings close friends when he was assassinated in Memphis in 1968, and later became the lawyer of reference of the family in their crusade to unmask who really was behind the crime.

Pepper has consecrated his life to this lawsuit, even defending James Earl Ray, who was found guilty for the assassination; and who the family of King always considered a mere sacrificial goat to avoid the exposure of those really responsible. Pepper has published several books about these proceedings, the most recent of which is: An Act of State (in Spain, Un acto de Estado, published by Foca).

In the book, Pepper points to the CIA and the FBI as part of the plan to eliminate the bothersome King. The book has been praised by Ramsey Clark, who was the attorney-general of the U.S. when the black leader was assassinated.

Pepper, who lives between the United Kingdom and the United States, has always combined his role as a lawyer educated at Columbia, researcher at Oxford and lecturer at the best universities in the U.S., from Princeton to Harvard with that of activist, which led him to Vietnam as a journalist. He has also specialized in international law.

At 71 years old, he considers this lawsuit opened in Spain to be the most important one of his life towards claiming international responsibility and intends to dedicate body and soul to it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 06:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. It's coming
first investigation then followed by trials. bushco will not get away with murdering the people of Iraq like they have and destroying the country like they have.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 06:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Either we prosecute or allow extradition when the long arm of the law
reaches across the Atlantic.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 07:48 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Yep
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Reagan signing statement says Spain should prosecute.
It is the law of the land = UN Convention on Torture from 1984

Don't you love it when a signing statement bites Bush/Cheney in their guilty arses! :rofl:

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/20...
24 Apr 2009 Reagan On Torture Prosecutions

From his signing statement ratifying the UN Convention on Torture from 1984:

"The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention . It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today.

The core provisions of the Convention establish a regime for international cooperation in the criminal prosecution of torturers relying on so-called 'universal jurisdiction.' Each State Party is required either to prosecute torturers who are found in its territory or to extradite them to other countries for prosecution."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Oh, I love this
Thank you for posting it. I have definitely bookmarked this little gem.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. I just want to kick this because it is the first time that I can think of
that I ever fully supported one of Reagan's signing statements.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. We need to show that we are mature enough to discipline our own.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-28-09 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
16. Nobody expects the Spanish Torture Investigation!
Fetch the comfy chair.

I wish the investigators a lot of luck, because they're going to need it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 06:52 AM
Response to Original message
3. K&R
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
5. K&R
:kick:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 08:53 AM
Response to Original message
7. This is why Cheney is soooo busy, spinning public opinion before his inevitable extradition request.
Busted!!

Rec'ed.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
9. Spain's Judges Cross Borders in Rights Cases
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
10. Mr. Pepper should avoid small planes.
Maybe he should just avoid travel and never be alone and always appear happy and content with life.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
12. Kudos to Pepper.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-26-09 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
13. Kick n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-27-09 03:26 AM
Response to Original message
14. .
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Oct 22nd 2014, 12:17 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC