It is hard to believe that Bush, Rumsfeld, and Powell did not know about the torturing at Abu Ghraib prior to the publication of the photos. According to Seymour Hersh, Rummy not only knew, but encouraged zealous measures of attaining intelligence through his direct orders. In case you missed it, here is Seymour Hersh's New Yorker article. I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that, if this is so, they are all guilty of war crimes. Powell has a history of trying to cover up war crimes.
Powell's history with My Lai, and some more funky stuff related to Abu Ghraib below.
In "Bush: Dumb Like A Bullet ... Is Dubya both a bumbling simpleton *and* a shrewd manipulator who smirked at tortures in Iraq?", Mark Morford gives us a great read that ties together some articles that cover otherwise grossly under-reported topics.
In that bastion of liberal values, The NY Post, we can read that the sex-capades of the MPs in Abu Ghraib weren't merely a routine part of the sadistic war crimes committed against Iraqi inmates. Rather, it seems that the sanctioned sadism of the prisons environment actually turned the MPs on ... and they made some Abu Ghraib pornos ... that, along with more evidence of extreme prisoner abuse, are now being kept from public view.
In a previous post ("On American Abuse of Prisoners 1"), I tried to link some of the sadism of Abu Ghraib to my experience with the "training" at the US Air Force Academy. It is interesting to note that this Academy is also under investigation for many unreported rapes. I dated one of my female classmates after we graduated, and she confirmed my suspicion that sexual abuse and rape were much more common there than than the official story led us to believe. It seems that where you have sanctioned sadism, supposedly in the service of some higher good ("training" future officers, saving American lives in Iraq), aggressive (and what might normally be transgressive) sexuality seems to be let loose.
But back to the war criminals in higher office. If Rumsfeld gave the order, he is most likely guilty of a war crime. If he knew, he is at least guilty of purgery. Jail, not just impeachment, should be in his future ... but won't be, as we all know.
And Bush probably knew too. Or, he was told and didn't do anything about it. He may have forgotten, or not understood completely, but this won't hold up in court.
Yes, Powell knew too, and he makes it clear that Bush knew. Before we start respecting Powell because he doesn't get along with Rummy, and is kept out of the loop with the leaders of Bush and Co., we might consider that he is implicated in yet another cover up of a war crime, as he was with My Lai.