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Iraq crimes return to haunt Rumsfeld

Former US defence secretary can no longer deflect responsibility for abuse of detainees

Donald Rumsfeld
Image Credit: Rex Features
Donald Rumsfeld
Gulf News

Former US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld may have thought he put the Iraq fiasco behind him when he left office. Although by most standards the main culprit in plunging America into the quagmire of the Iraq war, Rumsfeld walked away from politics on his own terms and even wrote a best-seller. Nothing haunted him until now: a US court has ruled that two American men, who allege they were tortured while being held by the US military in Iraq, can personally sue Rumsfeld for damages. One of the two men, a former military contractor, claims Rumsfeld personally approved torturous interrogation techniques on a case by case basis.

This, of course, doesn't come across as a surprise given that Rumsfeld was closely involved in the detainee abuses at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and elsewhere. Back then, he successfully applied a strategy of deflecting responsibility downwards.

Thankfully, he won't have that option now.