Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (L) shares a laugh with ex-President George W. Bush (C) and ex-Vice President Dick Cheney during the farewell parade at the Pentagon on December 15, 2006. (File photo)
The United Nations says the United States has failed to prosecute cases of criminal acts among Bush-era officials, while insisting on the release of a report on its terrorism program.
The United States must publish "without delay, and to the fullest extent possible" its Senate report on Former US President George W. Bush’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program of rendition and secret detention of terrorism suspects, said Ben Emmerson, an investigator with the UN Human Rights Council, on Monday.
He said that Bush’s "war on terror" waged after 9/11 led to "gross or systematic" violations involving secret prisons for Islamic militant suspects, clandestine transfers and torture.
"There is now credible evidence to show that CIA 'black sites' were located on the territory of Lithuania, Morocco, Poland, Romania and Thailand, and that the officials of at least 49 other States allowed their airspace or airports to be used for rendition flights," said Emmerson.
The special rapporteur on human rights added that suspects were detained without extradition procedures, indictments or access to a lawyer.
This comes as Bush revealed in his memoirs that he had ordered the use of "waterboarding," which is considered a form of torture by international law.
Emmerson went on to criticize US President Barack Obama’s administration for failing to prosecute criminal acts committed under the Bush administration, while allowing “impunity for the public officials implicated in these crimes" by citing the "superior orders defense" and secrecy based on national security grounds.
"Despite this clear repudiation of the unlawful actions carried out by the Bush-era CIA, many of the facts remain classified, and no public official has so far been brought to justice in the United States," said Emmerson.
Meanwhile, ex-US Secretary of State Colin Powell expressed deep regret over his remarks at the UN Security Council in support of waging the 2003 war against Iraq, in which he detailed the Bush administration’s fabricated report about the purported weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program.
In 2003, the US and Britain invaded Iraq in blatant violation of international law and under the pretext of finding WMDs. But no such weapons were ever discovered in Iraq.
More than one million Iraqis were killed as the result of the US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.