Opinion; Mine | Re: Rebuke Swift After Albright Declares: ‘Special Place in Hell…


Madeleine Albright served as secretary of state under President Bill Clinton. (Photograph: Chip East/Reuters )
Madeleine Albright served as secretary of state under President Bill Clinton. (Photograph: Chip East/Reuters )

“Hillary Clinton will always be there for you. And just remember, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”

Referencing Article:  Rebuke Swift After Albright Declares: ‘Special Place in Hell’ for Women Who Don’t Vote Clinton”

 

No, Secretary of State Albright – not so.  At the core of the matter, is whether a Presidential candidate regardless of gender, will address the U.S. obligations to investigate allegations of torture.          

As a Presidential candidate, Secretary of State Clinton’s views and position on the issue of torture should be decisive and a matter of record.  Clinton’s position is not only of interest to the U.S. public, but globally as well. Over the last few years, there have been numerous investigations into the issue of renditions and torture in Europe. Only recently did President Obama acknowledge that we did indeed “torture” some detainees.

In 2012 my attorney, Bradley Moss, wrote a letter to then Secretary of State Clinton on my behalf, requesting she investigate Abu Omar’s (#milanrendition) allegations of torture, by Egyptian Government officials.  This request was also made of the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Michael H. Posner, who previously served as President of Human Rights First. 

My letter was never answered.   

And the U.S. State Department is refusing to confirm or deny that there were any discussions of the letter. 

 FOIA: Secretary of State Clinton was on numerous emails regarding the #milanrendition.  Several emails have been redacted entirely. 

 

  Excerpt from my letter sent to Secretary of State Clinton on the requirement to investigate allegations of torture.

“Equally as troubling throughout the course of this entire international saga has been the apparent disinterest on the part of the U.S. Government to investigate allegations that Abu Omar was allegedly tortured by Egyptian Government officials (with or without the assistance or involvement of U.S. Government personnel) after allegedly having been transferred to Egypt by the U.S. Government by way of an alleged extraordinary rendition. See http://tinyurl.com/l9yelg. Under 18 U.S.C. § 113C, the codification of the U.S.’s ratification of and compliance with the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (“CAT”), any U.S. national who commits an act of torture outside of the United States is subject to criminal penalties of up to 20 years in prison. See 18 U.S.C. § 2340A(a). “

Notwithstanding this self-imposed obligation to prosecute such criminal offenses, there is no indication that the U.S. Government has conducted any semblance of an inquiry – classified or not – into whether U.S. nationals were involved in the alleged torture of Abu Omar. This lack of action is particularly disconcerting given the presence of noted human rights advocates on your staff, such as Michael H. Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, who previously served as President of Human Rights First and who presumably was selected to serve at least in part due to his past human rights work . When combined with the Justice Department’s recent discretionary determination to decline to prosecute any of the deaths that allegedly resulted from the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” in Afghanistan in 2002 and Iraq in 2003, see http://tinyurl.com/94bn6jd, it feeds the narrative overseas that the U.S. Government will not hold accountable its own personnel who violate criminal prohibitions on torture.”

– Sabrina de Sousa

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