20 November 2008

Cheney indicted for Organised Criminal Activity

A Grand Jury in Texas has indicted US Vice President Richard 'Dick' Cheney (left) and the former US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (below right) for "organised criminal activity", related to alleged abuse of inmates in private prisons.

The Grand Jury of Willacy County, in the Rio Grande Valley near the US-Mexico border, said that Mr. Cheney is "profiteering from depriving human beings of their liberty".

The indictment cites "a money trail of Mr. Cheney's ownership in prison-related enterprises, including the Vanguard Group", which owns an interest in private prisons in southern Texas.

According to the jury's indictment, Alberto Gonzales has "used his position to stop the investigations as to the wrong doings into assaults in county prisons".

Dick Cheney's office has declined any comment. "We have not received any indictments. I can't comment on something we have not received," Cheney's spokeswoman said.

The indictment, overseen by County District Attorney Juan Guerra, cites the case of one Gregorio De La Rosa, who died on April 26th, 2001 inside a private prison in Willacy County.

The Grand Jury wrote that it made its decision "with great sadness", but said they had "no other choice but to indict Mr. Cheney and Mr. Gonzales, because we love our country".

The indictment has not been seen by a judge yet, who could still dismiss it. But the fact that it was made, and - of all places - in Texas, the heartland of right-wing conservative Republicans, is in itself significant.

It will be interesting to follow developments in this case, which also is one of the first signs for a sea-change in public attitude towards the outgoing Bush administration, after the clear win of Barack Obama on November 4th and an increased majority for the Democrats in both Houses of the US Congress.

Given the many crimes and war crimes the Bush administration has committed, this indictment on a relatively small scale might look insignificant to some, but it could be the first step of a longer and more detailed process, aimed at dealing with the numerous breaches of national and international law that were the hallmark of the Bush administration.
With some luck George W. Bush might in future be indicted himself, as he personally authorised systematic and widespread torture of US prisoners and is responsible for many more criminal acts committed by Americans at home and abroad.

As most people's memories are short, let me just remind you that only last year Cheney's former Chief of Staff and close confidant Irve Lewis 'Scooter' Libby (right) was found guilty of "obstruction and purgery" and then sentenced to "30 months in federal prison, a fine of $ 250,000, two years of supervised release and 400 hours of community service".
Even though George W. Bush pardoned his old pal four weeks later and ordered his release from prison, the fine and community service remained and Libby is therefore still a "convicted felon", as they put it in the USA.

When he was first indicted in 2005, few people believed that the case would lead to a conviction, or even go to court. But it did.

So perhaps the criminals who occupied the White House and ruled the USA for the past eight years will not be getting away scotch-free after all... In the interest of peace and justice, let's hope so.

The Emerald Islander

1 comment:

Cuppa Coffee said...

this definitely should be brought to the attention of the media. After all wasn't he involved in shooting someone as well.

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