Donald Rumsfeld may be looking forward to living out his golden years at his vacation home on the Eastern Shore, but lawyers who represent detainees at Guantánamo Bay have other ideas. In a message just sent to reporters, they say they intend to file war crimes charges against Rumsfeld next week in Germany, arguing that his departure from the Department of Defense means that he's no longer entitled to immunity from prosecution.
It won't be the first time lawyers at the Center for Constitutional Rights have tried to persuade German authorities to prosecute Rumsfeld for war crimes. They tried in 2004 -- the subject then was Abu Ghraib -- but German officials declined to pursue the matter because, they said, the United States was investigating on its own. Still, it's clear that Rumsfeld took the prospect of prosecution at least a little bit seriously at the time. Before German prosecutors announced they wouldn't be taking up the case, Rumsfeld said he'd have to think twice about whether he could take the risk of traveling to Germany for a meeting there.
CCR lawyers say that, under Rumsfeld's direction, the Department of Defense has "adopted the practices of torture and indefinite detention" that they're challenging in a number of other cases.