There have been hints before that George W. Bush could be liable for war crimes for specifically authorizing the torture of War on Terra detainees. The first such hint wasthis January 25, 2002, memo written by Alberto Gonzales when he was still White House Counsel, in which he warned the president of what the future might hold:
It is difficult to predict the motives of prosecutors and independent counsels who may in the future decide to pursue unwarranted charges based on Section 2441 [the War Crimes Act of 1996].
In December 2004 theACLU gained access to a sheaf of FBI emails from agents stationed at Guantanamo Bay, including one written in May 2004:
The two-page e-mail that references an Executive Order states that the President directly authorized interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, the use of military dogs, and “sensory deprivation through the use of hoods, etc.” The ACLU is urging the White House to confirm or deny the existence of such an order and immediately to release the order if it exists. The FBI e-mail, which was sent in May 2004 from “On Scene Commander–Baghdad” to a handful of senior FBI officials, notes that the FBI has prohibited its agents from employing the techniques that the President is said to have authorized.
TodayDan Froomkin directs us to aTime magazine article by Ron Suskind in which Suskind discusses the Assminstration’s strong desire to prevent detainees who have been torutred from filing civil suits over the treatment they received while in US custody.
However, discovery in such a case would show that the President and Vice President were involved in overseeing their interrogations, according to senior intelligence officials. Subpoenas on how evidence was obtained and who authorized what practices would go right into the West Wing.
It seems those Hitler comparisons are indeed apt.