By Matthew Rothschild on March 31, 2009

Hallelujah, finally someone in authority is going after at least some of the Bushies who were the architects of the torture policies.

Tellingly, it’s not President Barack Obama or Attorney General Eric Holder.

In fact, it’s not anyone in the United States.

No, it’s the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón, the same man who took down General Augusto Pinochet.

He’s drawn up a 98-page complaint (here’s a crude, computerized translation) against six former Bush Administration officials and has handed the complaint over to Spanish prosecutors.

The officials under investigation are:

Alberto Gonzales, who was White House counsel, and then Attorney General.

David Addington, Cheney’s chief of staff.

John Yoo, the Justice Department lawyer who wrote up some of the most infamous memos on torture.

Jay Bybee, who also drafted Justice Department policy on torture and amazingly is now an appellate court judge.

And William Haynes and Douglas Feith, who were high up in the Defense Department.

I’ve looked at the complaint, in rough translation as well as in its original Spanish, and it lays out, in detail, how these six individuals tried to “justify the unjustifiable” and legalize war crimes.

For instance, it cites a visit by Addington and Haynes to Guantanamo on September 25, 2002, where Addington ordered a lieutenant colonel to “do what needs to be done” in direct reference to obtaining information from a prisoners there.

It says that a memo Haynes drew up, and Rumsfeld approved, a list of “18 forms of torture.”

It says that the six people named were all lawyers and, malevolently used their legal skills “actively and decisively in the development, approval, and launching” of a dubious legal framework.

This framework denied “basic rights to a number of important prisoners,” it protected “people who participate in illegal activities and torture, and it was designed, “above all, to establish the absolute impunity for all officials, soldiers, doctors, and other staff” in Guantanamo.

Congratulations to Judge Garzón for refusing to accept impunity.

My only wish is that Judge Garzón would expand his list of targets to include not only the six mentioned above, but also Rumsfeld, Cheney, and yes, Bush, too.

Because they all were in on it.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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