Zelikow Torture Memo Released in Attempt by State Department to Distance Itself from Torture on Eve of KSM Show Trial in Guantanamo

Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
April 8, 2012

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George W. Bush and Tony Blair have committed international conspiracy to launch an aggressive war, subject to a future Nuremberg prosecution, says an analyst.

In a recently surfaced memo from the George W. Bush’s White House, former State Department counselor Philip Zelikow states that techniques used by American-led forces in Iraq and Afghanistan amount to ‘torture’ according to international law and domestic law.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Webster Griffith Tarpley, author and historian in Washington, to further discuss the issue. The following is a transcription of the interview.

Press TV: [The previous guest speaker] Mr. Millet says that, basically, the United States is not responsible for any war crimes, had no intention of killing anyone in Iraq and, I guess, according to what he’s saying the numbers, really, are not so substantial. Your take on that, Mr. Tarpley.

Tarpley: Well, I have to disagree with that. It’s just during the time of the so-called economic sanctions during the 1990s – it’s between 1 million and 1.5 million people died in Iraq with sanctions that extended to food.

You remember Madeleine Albright was asked if that kind of a death toll was worth it for democracy? And Madeleine Albright, today the head for the wonderful National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute part that brings you [freedom for tomorrow], said, yes, that death toll is worth it.

Then, after the invasion in 2003, it’s certainly another 1 million to 1.5 million. So, we’re getting up to Second World War proportions. I think that the matter of intent is clear.

The Nuremberg Precedent is international conspiracy to launch aggressive war. Bush, Tony Blair and some others, they fill the bill. So that would be the subject of some future Nuremberg prosecution.

I wonder if you’re interested in this question now that just came up, though, the problem of why the state department is publishing this memo at the present time? This is obviously politically timed.

Here in Washington we’re going to have in Guantanamo concentration camp, in Cuba, the trial of Khalid Sheik Mohamad Ramzi bin al-Shibh and a couple of others. They’ve all been water boarded, repeatedly. And this was clearly, everybody knew, a violation of the Geneva Convention, a war crime.

At the same time, we have some people now who want to separate their political careers from that. The State Department that chose to release this now is obviously interested in saying, ‘oh, don’t look at us – we’re not part of water boarding, we’re not war criminals here at the State Department’; although they are.

Then we’ve got Philip Zelikow who’s the author of the memorandum, who was interviewed in The Guardian. Philip Zelikow was happy to be interviewed. I think he could either be Secretary of State or UN ambassador in a Romney administration coming up. So he wants you to be reminded that he’s not part of this water boarding, war crimes creek.

The time is now coming for this counter [new court] in Guantanamo Bay which is politically motivated also because Obama wants to profile himself as tough on terrorism; that means likely people like Ashcroft, Gonzales, Yoo, Bybee, Haines, Addington, many others, who really are suspect of war crimes.

We had the Garz?n prosecution in Spain which seems to have essentially broken down. And then there was Moreno-Ocampo – but everyone knows Moreno-Ocampo is servant of the US imperialism and he’ll never touch it.

Press TV: Your take [on US democracy – defined as being free of starting wars].

Tarpley: The United States is a plutocracy or an oligarchy, and that ought to be clear. And the current American foreign policy is to sabotage economic development.

Wherever there’s a pipeline: be it in Burma, Myanmar; be it the TAPI, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India; be it the Iran, Pakistan, India or China; wherever there’s peaceful economic development that involves access to oil and other raw materials, the US is there with what I consider a lunatic foreign policy, of attempting to sabotage economic development, great projects, and infrastructure.

Wherever they’re found, with the idea that the US has to sabotage these things because the US has nothing to contribute to them, and you had a [working system] in Iran, Pakistan, India, to justify the entire region, the US would have no role.

Press TV: Do you think that we would see George W. Bush and Tony Blair actually standing in a court for war crimes?

Tarpley: Yes.

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