Excerpted from BBC News. “Cheney accused on prisoner abuse.”
While Colin Powell urged the US President to follow Geneva Conventions prohibiting torture, neocons Cheney and Rumsfeld “essentially wanted to do away with all restrictions”.
Mr Bush agreed to a compromise, that “Geneva would in fact govern all but al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda look-alike detainees”.
“What I’m saying is that, under the vice-president’s protection, the secretary of defence [Donald Rumsfeld] moved out to do what they wanted in the first place, even though the president had made a decision that was clearly a compromise,” Col Wilkerson said.
He said that he laid the blame on the issue of prisoner abuse and post-war planning for Iraq “pretty fairly and squarely” at Mr Cheney’s feet.
“I look at the relationship between Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld as being one that produced these two failures in particular, and I see that the president is not holding either of them accountable… so I have to lay some blame at his feet too,” he went on.
Asked by the BBC’s Today if Mr Cheney could be accused of war crimes, he said: “It’s an interesting question.”
“Certainly it is a domestic crime to advocate terror,” he added.
“And I would suspect, for whatever it’s worth, it’s an international crime as well.”