Torture And Pay Grades.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald on the conviction of Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge, who tortured criminal suspects in his custody and covered it up for decades:

At long last, a measure of justice was delivered today when a jury returned a verdict of guilty against Jon Burge on obstruction of justice and perjury. The verdict necessarily found that torture and abuse occurred in police districts in the city of Chicago in the 1980s. It’s disgraceful that torture happened and sad that it took so long to bring Burge to justice, and the only thing that would have been worse is if this measure of justice never happened.

The Justice Department's summary of how Burge treated his victims:

During the trial, several victims testified that they had been tortured by Burge and other officers who worked for him in area two of the CPD. Various witnesses testified that the officers administered electric shocks to their genitals, suffocated them with typewriter covers, threatened them with loaded guns and burned them on radiators. The jury found that Burge had lied under oath when he claimed that he did not participate in any of these acts of torture, and that he was unaware of any other officers having done so.

What else is Fitzgerald up to? At the moment, he's investigating the possibility that ACLU lawyers representing suspected terror detainees violated the law when, using open-source information and a private investigator, they pieced together the identities of CIA interrogators whom they believe abused their clients. The attorneys then showed them pictures of the interrogators (without names) in order to help substantiate the claims of abuse.

Obviously, if laws were broken, people should be held accountable. But Fitzgerald is not investigating the actual treatment of the ACLU's clients, or those who may have authorized that treatment, just the possibility that they may have compromised the identities of the interrogators that they claim tortured them. In America, torture is illegal only up to a certain pay grade.


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