3/01/2005

War Criminal

From Reuters:
Human rights lawyers will file a lawsuit in federal court on Tuesday against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on behalf of eight men who say they were tortured by U.S. forces in custody in Iraq and Afghanistan, sources familiar with the case said.
The lawsuit charges that officials at the highest levels of the U.S. government shoulder ultimate responsibility for the physical and psychological injuries sustained by the men while in American custody. It was the latest development in a scandal over ill-treatment of U.S. war prisoners that has drawn criticism from around the world.
The case will be filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First in U.S. District Court. The two groups scheduled a news conference later on Tuesday to announce details. The groups did not state who would be named in the lawsuit, but sources familiar with the case said it was Rumsfeld.
"The men represented in the lawsuit were incarcerated in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they were subjected to torture and other cruel and degrading treatment, including severe and repeated beatings, cutting with knives, sexual humiliation and assault, mock executions, death threats, and restraint in contorted and excruciating positions," the two groups said in a statement. None of the eight men was charged with a crime, the groups said.
Bill Lann Lee, an assistant U.S. attorney general for civil rights during the Clinton administration, and retired Rear Adm. John Hutson, former judge advocate general of the U.S. Navy, were due to participate in the news conference.

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