WASHINGTON - May 10 - Green Party leaders called for the immediate resignation of all senior Bush Administration officials under whose watch abuse of Iraqi prisoners occurred, especially those officials who had been informed that such abuse was taking place.
"The revelations of humiliation, torture, and murder of prisoners destroy any possibility of President Bush's stated desire to win over Iraqi hearts and minds," said Starlene Rankin, Lavender Green Caucus delegate to the national party. "Instead, news of the abuses has shamed the U.S., turned Mr. Bush's sermons about democratic ideals into rank hypocrisy, and inflamed the Arab world against us."
Greens charge that the recent news caps a mountain of deception and abuse of power by President Bush and senior administration officials in the handling of 9/11 and information leading up to the attacks and in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
The Green Party of the United States has already called on Congress to impeach President Bush, in July 2003.
On May 7, the International Committee of the Red Cross said that abuse of prisoners was so widespread that it may have been condoned by coalition forces and that senior Bush officials may have known of the abuses. The Red Cross had repeatedly sent reports urging the U.S. to take 'corrective action', which were apparently ignored.
Greens are demanding the resignation of three top Bush officials:
- Greens say that CIA director George Tenet bears ultimate responsibility for the CIA's alleged approval of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. U.S. military personnel at the jail have claimed that intelligence encouraged the mistreatment in order to soften detainees in preparation for interrogation.
Greens note that Tenet has presided over two earthshaking intelligence blunders: the 9/11 attacks and the supposed threat that Iraq posed to the U.S., especially Saddam Hussein's purported weapons of mass destruction, which the Bush Administration used to justify the invasion of Iraq. The CIA's failure to investigate financial connections between Saudi Arabian and Pakistani officials and al-Qaeda is consistent with the Bush Administration's attempt to shift attention towards nonexistent connections between Saddam and al-Qaeda. Greens allege that Tenet gave misinformation to the 9/11 Commission during his sworn testimony in April.
"Mr. Tenet appears to have lied to the 9/11 Commission and opened himself up to perjury charges when he denied that he had any personal meetings with the President during the month of August 2001, in which Bush received the now famous August 6 report about terrorist threats," said Mark Dunlea, member of the Green Party of New York State. "Tenet was obviously attempting to distance himself from the CIA report. After testifying, Tenet admitted publicly that he had visited President Bush in Crawford, Texas on August 17 and in Washington, D.C. on August 31." (White House memo documenting an August visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/08/20010825-2.html)
Green Party leaders have called for a new independent commission, with full participation of surviving family members, to investigate the government's handling of 9/11 and intelligence leading up to the attacks.
- Greens held Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld accountable for the abuses at Abu Ghraib, and noted that Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had briefed the panel about Iraq in a classified session last week but concealed the news they knew was about to break in the media.
"It's becoming apparent that Abu Ghraib may not have been an aberration at all, as Mr. Rumsfeld claims," said Jake Schneider, treasurer of the Green Party of the United States. "The abuses are consistent with the torture of Afghan prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, which Mr. Rumsfeld has tried to justify, insisting that the U.S. is exempt from the Geneva conventions. They're consistent with the Bush Administration's policy allowing transfer of prisoners to foreign countries that allow torture in order to extract information."
- According to a Agence France-Presse on May 4, Iraqi human rights minister Abdel Basset Turki said that Iraq occupation administrator Paul Bremer knew in November 2003 that Iraqi prisoners were being abused in detention centers http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,9465475%255E1702,00.html. A spokesman for Bremer has confirmed that Bremer knew about the abuses in January (AP, May 7).
Greens also note that Bremer sanctioned pillage when he approved the takeover of Iraqi resources, services, and industries by foreign corporations, under occupation rules that enable 100% foreign ownership of Iraqi banks, mines, and factories and allow these firms to move 100% of their profits out of Iraq. The policy violates the Hague regulations of 1907 (signed by the U.S.) and the U.S. Army's code of war.
"We're pleased to see that [presumed Democratic nominee] Sen. John Kerry wants Donald Rumsfeld to resign," said Charles Shaw, media coordinator of the Illinois Green Party. "But Democrats and Republicans alike in Congress, including Sen. Kerry, have largely backed the invasion of Iraq, the Bush Administration's handling of 9/11, and Bush foreign policy, all of which have been based on deceit and have led to unprecedented abuses of power. Unless we can change the direction of our government, American democracy and leadership of the free world is in grave danger."