“Rumsfeld should be going to jail”
According to Harbury, the only outcome in the civil case is that Rumsfeld will be ordered to pay money damages to the plaintiffs, both of whom are US citizens. However, this will not mean that a non-US citizen who faced torture can also file a lawsuit.
Under US laws, conspiring to commit torture outside the United States is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, Harbury insists.
“Under our own laws Mr. Rumsfeld should be going to jail.”
The human rights activist and lawyer believes Rumsfeld should be personally facing the charges as he authorized he torture.
“Because he ordered those he certainly should be subject to suit,” she said.
Harbury also stressed that other people who worked with Rumsfeld on policies of torture, including former President George Bush should be held responsible.
“If you break the law, you are supposed to face trial.”
Harbury hailed the fact that the civil suit can now be filed against Rumsfeld, but insisted that it is barely enough. “The great travesty here is that they are not facing criminal trials,” she said, pointing out the massive war crimes committed during the Bush era.
“In fact those patterns and practices by Rumsfeld, Bush and others made the world a much more dangerous place and have probably resulted in far more people going out in the streets with different kinds of makeshift bombs and killing our own soldiers who were out there trying to protect our own country,” she concluded.
Debra Sweet, the director of the World Can't Wait organization, says the case could be seen as a step towards justice, though the Obama administration has consistently opposed the prosecution of Bush era officials.
“I suppose it could go all the way to revealing the sordid business that stands behind this illegitimate occupation of Iraq and, I would add, Afghanistan by the United States,” the activist told RT. “One can only hope that there actually is the potential for the whole story coming out in this lawsuit. There have been numerous attempts to seek justice in US courts by people who were detained in Guantanamo completely without charges, by people who were kidnapped and taken to US black torture sites. None of these people has been able to convince the court in the US to allow their legitimate lawsuits to go forward. And this is because in each case the Obama administration Department of Justice has opposed these inquiries – and their justification is always national security.”