Spain May Open Torture Investigation of Former Bush Officials

Lady Justitia will only be played and spurned so long before she will claim her due…

A top Spanish court has moved toward starting a probe of six former Bush administration officials including ex-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in connection with alleged torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay,The New York Times said on Saturday.

The criminal investigation would focus on whether they violated international law by providing a legalistic justification for torture at the U.S. detention camp in Cuba, the Times said.

The paper said the National Court in Madrid had assigned the case to judge Baltasar Garzon, known for ordering the arrest of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet .

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Gonzalo Boye, a Madrid lawyer who filed the complaint, said the six Americans had well-documented roles in approving illegal interrogation techniques, redefining torture and abandoning the definition set by the 1984 Torture Convention, the newspaper said.

The groundbreaking work done by Human Rights advocates in holding Pinochet to account for his crimes was instrumental in raising the bar on the application of international codes of justice against former heads of state. These figures used to pretty much operate globally with immunity for their actions. Today, the story is changing, and if Americans are going to envision themselves as champions of the rule of law trumping the rule by men, then holding men accountable to those laws is an imperative act. Do we need to leave it to the Spanish to administer justice that we ourselves should be responsible for?

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