Human Rights Watch has called on Barack Obama, the current US president, to order a criminal investigation into alleged detainee abuse by his predecessor, George W Bush, and senior figures from his administration.
“There are solid grounds to investigate Bush, [former vice president Dick] Cheney, [former secretary of defence Donald] Rumsfeld, and [former CIA director George] Tenet for authorising torture and war crimes,” Kenneth Roth, HRW’s executive director, said.
In a 107-page report entitled, “Getting Away with Torture: The Bush Administration and Mistreatment of Detainees,” the rights watchdog said inaction was denting America’s standing in the world.
“The US is right to call for justice when serious international crimes are committed in places like Darfur, Libya, and Sri Lanka, but there should be no double standards,” Roth said.
“When the US government shields its own officials from investigation and prosecution, it makes it easier for others to dismiss global efforts to bring violators of serious crimes to justice.”
If we are to believe in the rule of law, than the lawmakers and enforcers must be held accountable to their violations as well. The largest abuses against the law are committed by those who create or enforce it, as they believe no one will punish them, and their acts are massive. Hold leaders accountable: preserve the rule of law.