Calls are increasing for the prosecution of George W. Bush administration officials tied to the CIA torture program. On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch called on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special prosecutor who would investigate the crimes detailed in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the program. On Monday, The New York Times editorial board called for a full and independent criminal investigation. We put the question about prosecution to Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: Richard Clarke also says he believes President George W. Bush is guilty of war crimes for launching the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
RICHARD CLARKE: I think things that they authorized probably fall within the area of war crimes. Whether that would be productive or not, I think, is a discussion we could all have. But we have established procedures now with the International Criminal Court in The Hague where people who take actions as serving presidents or prime ministers of countries have been indicted and have been tried. So the precedent is there to do that sort of thing.
AMY GOODMAN: So, that’s Richard Clarke, Bush’s former counterterrorism czar, who said Bush came up to him right after the 9/11 attacks to say, “Start linking this to Iraq.” Colonel Wilkerson, he’s a Bush administration official. You’re a Bush administration official. Of course, the man you worked for, Colin Powell, was a Bush administration official, secretary of state. Do you think that President Bush, Vice President Cheney, George Tenet, head of the CIA, and others should be held accountable for war crimes, should be actually charged?
COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON: I have to say that after all of my investigations, my students looking into the episodes in case studies and so forth, my own personal experience in that administration, I can only give you an answer that is, I think, utopian, I think it’s far too optimistic, it’s Pollyannaish: yes. But I don’t think for a moment that it’s going to happen.
AARON MATÉ: Colonel, the Senate report says that 26 innocent people were caught up in the program, and former Vice President Cheney addressed this. Speaking to Meet the Press, he was asked about the report finding that 26 of the 119 prisoners were innocent. This was his response.
Read the full article in Democracy Now!