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Actually, I did expect the Spanish Inquisition

30 March 2009

As I thought, it’s up  to Spain to initiate war crimes charges against the Bush administration.

With the United States apparently unable or unwilling even to take the half-step of setting up a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” I thought that Spain or Belgium — both of which recognize “Universal Jurisdiction” for international war crimes — would sooner or later have to start the ball rolling.  Spain has.

What I said back in mid-February was that

The Spanish — having experience with trying foreign human rights criminals — and being able without any stretch of legitimately applying “extraterritorial jurisdiction” — have the best claim of taking the first shot at the Bushistas. Spaniards were killed in Iraq (quite a number of them) and it’s not incoceivable that we we will find a Spaniard, or someone who is covered by Spanish law (say, a refugee in Spain, of which there are many from Iraq) who was abused, tortured, waterboarded… extraordinarily rendered… anything to set off an investigative magistrate.

Julian Borger and Dale Fuchs (The Guardian, U.K.) explain that the Spanish claims of jurisdiction are based on the fact that “six Spaniards were held at Guantánamo and are argued to have suffered directly from the Bush administration’s departure from international law.” Given that the courts have accepted the charges (an investigative magistrate has found enough evidence to go forward), Despite the expected diplomatic problems this will create for Madrid and Washington, “Gonzalo Boyé, one of the four lawyers who wrote the lawsuit, said the prosecutor would have little choice under Spanish law but to approve the prosecution…It will be against the law not to go ahead.”

Judge Baltzar Garzon, who oversaw the prosecution of Augustin Pinochet has oversight of this case:

The officials named in the case include the most senior legal minds in the Bush administration. They are: Alberto Gonzales, a former White House counsel and attorney general; David Addington, former vice-president Dick Cheney’s chief of staff; Douglas Feith, who was under-secretary of defence; William Haynes, formerly the Pentagon’s general counsel; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, who were both senior justice department legal advisers.

Court documents say that, without their legal advice in a series of internal administration memos, “it would have been impossible to structure a legal framework that supported what happened [in Guantánamo]”.

Boyé predicted that Garzón would issue subpoenas in the next two weeks, summoning the six former officials to present evidence: “If I were them, I would search for a good lawyer.”

If Garzón decided to go further and issued arrest warrants against the six, it would mean they would risk detention and extradition if they travelled outside the US. It would also present President Barack Obama with a serious dilemma. He would have either to open proceedings against the accused or tackle an extradition request from Spain.

I don’t bring this in here to beat up on the discredited, disgraceful, disgusting Bush administration … but I would hope that when Judge Garzon gets a few minutes, he look into Luis Echiverria’s escape from justice on a technicality.  The Fox Administration promised a “truth commission” years ago, and it stalled out, never really getting to the bottom of the Tlatelolco Massacre, or the disappearances of the 1970s.  Right now, pressure is growing (especially from the Rector at UNAM, who is more than just a major college president, but an important political figure in his own right) for finding some mechanism to bring the truth to light.

If it takes a Spanish Inquisition to pry information out of the Bushes, so be it.  And, if that’s what it takes to nail down what happened in Mexico in 1968, I’d hope we can get it done before the bicentennial of the start of the War of Independence from Spain next year.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah permalink
    1 April 2009 12:38 pm

    HEAR!! HEAR!!! I was studying at ITESM in Queretaro when they finally opened up the US documents regarding Mexico/Tlatelolco/Olympics. Its beyone time to “nail down what happened in Mexico in 1968!”

  2. 20 April 2009 4:23 am

    EL JUEZ GARZÓN Y GUANTÁNAMO.

    Rafael del Barco Carreras

    Abril 2009. Para quien ha pasado TRES AÑOS en La Modelo de Barcelona, 1980-3, que un juez español investigue GUANTÁNAMO, ya no es que sea una ininteligible falacia, que merece profundos estudios psiquiátricos o sicológicos, a la par que sociales e históricos… por el olvido colectivo de una perversión propia de las peores cárceles del TERCER o ningún Mundo.

    Garzón podría citar a todos los vecinos de unos 50 años de edad de alrededor del tétrico edificio que muchas noches, en masa, salieron al balcón gritando “asesinos, asesinos…” por los alaridos de los encadenados en LOS SÓTANOS DE LA QUINTA GALERÍA, perfectamente audibles. O consultar varios sumarios con “muertos”, verdaderos “asesinatos”, y como aun vivirán familiares y denunciantes… interrogar. !Qué ni han prescrito y sin alcanzarles la injusta Ley de “borrón y cuenta nueva”!

    Él disfrutaría, porque en este sumario, no debería dictar un auto pidiendo la partida de defunción de FRANCO (habían pasado cinco años de su muerte), y aunque hayan muerto varios, el director CAMACHO (una verdadera bestia), viven de los que borrachos en sus guardias nocturnas se divertían torturando. Inmensas palizas…con muertos. En Barcelona eso lo saben todos los JUECES Y FISCALES de entonces, pero no buscan Guantánamos para montar numeritos… con olvidarse de lo sobreseído y archivado, basta. Preguntar al Presidente actual de la Audiencia, José Luis Barrera Cogollos, digno sucesor del de entonces Alfonso Hernández Pardo, con quien compartió Tribunal ESPECIAL (montado solo para ese caso “jueces contaminados”) en el Juicio por el Consorcio de la Zona Franca, donde se me condeno a esos tres años pasados en prisión.

    Las imágenes que tanto se han difundido de las especiales prisiones americanas son “infantiles” comparadas con lo que he vivido y visto… en una prisión rodeada de una CIUDAD que ya había votado PROGRESISMO SOCIALISTA, y que poco le importaba si allí había inocentes (que por las habituales torturas y sistema judicial los había muchos) o terroristas con decenas de muertos. 2.600 hacinados, y ríanse del “Expreso del medianoche”.

    En http://www.lagrancorrupcion.blogspot.com reproduzco las páginas de “Barcelona, 30 años de corrupción” para refrescar la memoria con el propio relato del primer juez de Vigilancia Penitenciaria en Barcelona, el otrora gran amigo de Garzón, Gómez de Liaño, preguntándose que fue de aquellas denuncias.

    Podríamos también preguntarle por los restos de LASA Y ZABALA que sacó del armario cuando le convino para sus elucubraciones y ambiciones políticas.

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