Sanchez Fingered As Authorizing Torture (What Else is New?)

Reuters.com: The top U.S. commander in Iraq authorized prisoner interrogation tactics more harsh than accepted Army practice, including using guard dogs to exploit “Arab fear of dogs,” a memo made public on Tuesday showed.

The Sept. 14, 2003, memo by Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, then the senior commander in Iraq, was released by the American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained it from the government under court order through the Freedom of Information Act.

“The memo clearly establishes that Gen. Sanchez authorized unlawful interrogation techniques for use in Iraq, and in particular these techniques violate the Geneva Conventions and the Army's own field manual governing interrogations,” ACLU lawyer Amrit Singh said in an interview.

Um, yes, but this is news? We have known about Gen. Sanchez's role in allowing prisoner abuses for a long time. Which is why Rumsfeld's choice of Sanchez to write the first report on the Abu Ghraib abuses was clearly designed to be a cover-up—because there was no one with a stronger incentive to keep the lid on things.

Will Rumsfeld be tried for war crimes some day? There is universal jurisdiction and there is no statute of limitations.

Update: Sanchez prevaricates to the point of perjury when testifying before Congress.

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