WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US President Barack Obama has never held any US official accountable for war crimes, leaving the door open for successor Donald Trump to legalize the use of torture, retired US Army major and military lawyer Todd Pierce told Sputnik.
“To the best of my knowledge, I believe the only prohibition Obama put in place was an executive order prohibiting the military from torturing and requiring them to only use techniques listed in the Army Law of War Manual, but not affecting the CIA,” Pierce remarked.
Because of Obama’s failure to create a more robust legal framework to prevent torture and protect human rights, Trump would find it easy to take the harsh measures he promised during his election campaign, Pierce asserted.
“With that minimal ‘parchment barrier’ to torture by the military, all it would take is for the next president to revoke it,” he said, referring to Obama’s written order.
“In the case of the CIA…if I am correct as to the executive order, all that would need to be done is to rewrite any policy, if there is one, prohibiting torture,” he stated.
In Pierce’s estimation, actions by the current president have not matched his rhetorical support for human rights.
“Unfortunately with Obama, he has always been more talk than corrective action and never held any US. official accountable for their war crimes, even though the US has a War Crimes Act in as statute for the purpose of prosecuting our own war criminals,” he said.
According to Pierce, Obama has not made serious use of the 1996 law.
“Obviously, the War Crimes Act is just for show to pretend to the world that we are not the hypocrites that we are in fact when it comes to war crimes,” he said.
Pierce added that the current administration and its immediate predecessor, under George W. Bush, both argued that the president, as commander in chief of the US military, is not limited in any way, including the law, in prosecuting the nation’s “war” on terrorism.