Earlier this month, eight members of the Bush administration were found guilty of torture and war crimes by an unofficial tribunal in Malaysia for defying international law and torturing people in the post-9/11 era. On this Memorial Day, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship urge Americans to demand a reckoning.
During the tribunal, Mahathir Mohamad, former Malaysian prime minister and founder of the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalize War, said: “I hope people in the world will take notice and they should actually ostracize these people. These are basically murderers and they kill on a large scale. That a person who murders one person should be hanged, but a murderer, a person who caused the death of so many people should be honored, this is actually not in keeping with our ideas about civilization.”
Watch Press TV’s report on the trial, then read the beginning of Moyers and Winship’s appeal before continuing to the full piece at Moyers’ site below. —ARK
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship:
Facing the truth is hard to do, especially the truth about ourselves. So Americans have been sorely pressed to come to terms with the fact that after 9/11 our government began to torture people, and did so in defiance of domestic and international law. Most of us haven’t come to terms with what that meant, or means today, but we must reckon with torture, the torture done in our name, allegedly for our safety.
It’s no secret such cruelty occurred; it’s just the truth we’d rather not think about. But Memorial Day is a good time to make the effort. Because if we really want to honor the Americans in uniform who gave their lives fighting for their country, we’ll redouble our efforts to make sure we’re worthy of their sacrifice; we’ll renew our commitment to the rule of law, for the rule of law is essential to any civilization worth dying for.
After 9/11, our government turned to torture, seeking information about the terrorists who committed the atrocity and others who might follow after them. Senior officials ordered the torture of men at military bases and detention facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq, in secret CIA prisons set up across the globe, and in other countries – including Libya and Egypt — where abusive regimes were asked to do Washington’s dirty work.