WASHINGTON -- May 24 -- Green Party leaders called on Congress to begin immediate and far-reaching investigations of major abuses by the Pentagon:
- Evidence of torture and abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and abuse at facilities in the U.S., especially at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York.
- Recent reports that the Pentagon is unable to account for more than a trillion dollars in financial transactions and missing equpment; $8.8 billion in Iraqi oil sales unaccounted for in a 2005 audit, according to the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.
"The astronomical waste of taxpayers' money, torture of detainees, inadequate protection for U.S. troops facing enemy fire, disregard for the effects of depleted uranium, and 1,600-plus deaths of American personnel and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths are more than a failure of accountability," said Gloria Mattera, lead organizer of the demonstrations at the Brooklyn facility and current Green candidate for Borough President in Brooklyn <http://www.electgloria.org/>. "This is a massive abuse of power. It deserves impeachment, criminal investigation, and prosecution."
"The Department of Defense can no longer call the torture reports a matter of excessive misbehavior by a few individuals," added Steve Kramer, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "It's a systematic problem -- a policy decision made at the highest levels. Mr. Rumsfeld has disgraced his office and should resign immediately, or be removed for the sake of our nation's integrity. And the missing one trillion dollars must be accounted for before Congress considers another dime in any war appropriations."
Despite its apologies, the Newsweek accounts of desecration of the Quran by U.S. military personnel at detention centers have been corroborated in reports from the International Committee of the Red Cross, legal depositions, and in numerous other periodicals, including The Financial Times.
"President Bush was more outraged by the fact that abuses are being reported than by the abuses themselves," said Marc Sanson, who is also co-chair of the Green Party. "Newsweek's retreat is a blow to freedom of the press -- to the media's obligation to investigate and report, regardless of threats from the powerful."
Greens noted that several U.S. generals have become increasingly grim about the future of the occupation.
"The generals are confirming what antiwar protesters claimed from the very beginning -- that the invasion of Iraq was based on a misinformation campaign and will likely continue for years, with mounting casualties," said David Cobb, 2004 Green Party candidate for President. The Green Party led the political opposition to the invasion and sharply criticized Democratic and Republican support for President Bush's invasion plans, and now calls for an immediate end to the occupation.