Monday, November 14, 2005

Torturer-in-Chief should get prison

90 Senators recently voted to re-affirm the ban in US law on the use of torture, which Bush is threatening to veto if it reaches his desk. And now it turns out that the CIA's own inspector general warned the administration that the use of torture was illegal last year.

The CIA's inspector general warned last year that interrogation procedures approved by the Bush administration could violate the UN convention against torture, it emerged yesterday.

The leaking of the inspector general's classified report represented an embarrassment for President George Bush, only a few days after he emphatically declared: "We do not torture." It also comes at a sensitive time when the vice-president, Dick Cheney, is lobbying to have the CIA exempted from legislation establishing stricter interrogation rules.

According to the New York Times, the 2004 report by the inspector general at the time, John Helgerson, expressed particular concern over an approved technique known as "waterboarding", which involves strapping a detainee to a board and submerging him until he believes he is drowning....

CIA officials made no comment on Mr Helgerson's report, but former CIA officials say most agents are unhappy about the blurred rules and doubt that harsh techniques are productive. "Americans do not join the CIA to commit torture," Jeffrey Smith, a former agency legal adviser, wrote in the Washington Post yesterday. |Guardian|
I hate to tell them that torture does not come under the category of "other duties as assigned". Torture is illegal. The Nuremburg trials established the precedent that just following orders is not a defense. Everyone who committed torture is a war criminal without a legal defense. We should punish them right after we impeach and imprison Bush and Cheney.

It is time for all people of conscience to demand the end of this illegal regime.
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Nota Bene: I posted this as a comment over on The Bellman, but I felt the need to vent my political frustrations even more.

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