Ex-Bush Official Willing to Testify Bush, Cheney Knew Gitmo Prisoners Innocent
By Jason Leopold, Truthout
April 22, 2013
"Now, in a sworn declaration obtained exclusively by Truthout, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell during George W. Bush's first term in office, said Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld knew the "vast majority" of prisoners captured in the so-called War on Terror were innocent and the administration refused to set them free once those facts were established because of the political repercussions that would have ensued.
"By late August 2002, I found that of the initial 742 detainees that had arrived at Guantánamo, the majority of them had never seen a US soldier in the process of their initial detention and their captivity had not been subjected to any meaningful review," Wilkerson's declaration says. "Secretary Powell was also trying to bring pressure to bear regarding a number of specific detentions because children as young as 12 and 13 and elderly as old as 92 or 93 had been shipped to Guantánamo. By that time, I also understood that the deliberate choice to send detainees to Guantánamo was an attempt to place them outside the jurisdiction of the US legal system."
He added that it became "more and more clear many of the men were innocent, or at a minimum their guilt was impossible to determine let alone prove in any court of law, civilian or military."
For Cheney and Rumsfeld, and "others," Wilkerson said, "the primary issue was to gain more intelligence as quickly as possible, both on Al Qaeda and its current and future plans and operations but increasingly also, in 2002-2003, on contacts between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s intelligence and secret police forces in Iraq."
"Their view was that innocent people languishing in Guantánamo for years was justified by the broader war on terror and the capture of the small number of terrorists who were responsible for the September 11 attacks, or other acts of terrorism," Wilkerson added. "Moreover, their detention was deemed acceptable if it led to a more complete and satisfactory intelligence picture with regard to Iraq, thus justifying the Administration’s plans for war with that country.""
Bravo Truthout and Lawrence Wilkerson! It is way past time for this to be presented to the public. Please, Wilkerson, go all the way and tell us the rest! We know you're still holding out...
What we have here by way of gift from Colin Powell's ex-"Number 2" is solid eye-witness testimonial evidence of intentional war crimes and crimes against humanity, all for the personal political advantage of the Bushies who made those decisions.
Obama and Holder have no legal, moral or ethical justification left for failing to pursue those evil bastards. All that is left is the naked personal-protection politics of a has-been pop idol and completely failed leader with his own stack of very dirty laundry to shield from prosecution down the road. - Wes