Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Koala Boy brought to my attention an LA Times article concerning an Australian who is being released from Guantanamo: Detainee Says U.S. Handed Him over for Torture. The article says that while official testimony/investigations show about 18 terrorism suspects have been "rendered" to Middle Eastern nations, the actual number is far higher.

"Officials say the CIA's role has varied widely, from providing electronic and other covert surveillance before raids to flying blindfolded terrorism suspects from one country to another on a Gulfstream jet the agency uses.

"It's a growth industry," said a recently retired CIA clandestine officer who worked on several "renditions" in the Arab world. "We rendered a lot of people to Egypt, Jordan and the Saudis in particular…. Ultimately, the agency just wants these people to disappear forever."

I'm appalled by this, as I assume most of The Citizens are. My question is: if such "terrorism suspects" are in fact foreigners captured on foreign soil, is the CIA doing anything in violation of U.S., foreign, or international law? If the CIA is not acting in any official capacity, isn't this called "kidnapping"? If the CIA just "renders" them to foreign governments with no instructions and never inquires what has become of them, aren't they still liable for what happens to them in some way, like sending Jews back to Nazi Germany (didn't we do that at some point)?


Koala Boy said...

You may be also interested in this article from following the CIA torture plane.

Raised By Republicans said...

There is no excuse for torture. I'm sure there are nationalists and conservatives out there who think this is preventing terrorist attacks or something but that misses two important points:

1) torture has been repeatedly shown by studies to be an unrliable way of getting accurate intelligence.

2) once these "terrorist suspects" were captured (ASSUMING they actually have contacts with the bad guys) wouldn't their comrades assume they'd eventually talk and change their plans enough to make anything we learn from the prisoner useless after a relatively short period of time?

Arg! These Bushies are just advocating torturing people because they think that the "tough guy" response. It is insane!

Dr. Strangelove said...

Koala Boy brought another shocking article on torture in the Australian press to my attention. I will quote from it here (I have highlighted a few sections):

"It is now reasonably clear that there was action by the President," the American Bar Association's Scott Horton told The Age. "I have now seen several further documents which persuade me that there is in fact a determination by the President that dates from roughly April 2002. It is addressing extreme interrogation procedures, though not in detail."

[...] While the White House now vehemently denies that Bush signed any secret executive order authorising torture, Scott Horton and other independent lawyers question those denials. "They are consciously deceptive," says Horton, who has worked closely with US military lawyers trying to expose the scandal. While there was no "executive order", he believes a so-called "presidential determination" or top-secret authorisation opened the door to torture and abuse of terrorism suspects.

The Age notes that Article II of the UN Convention Against Torture (to which US is a signatory) states: "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."

They also report that Senator Kennedy and over 100 of, "America's leading military, academic and human rights lawyers" are calling for an, "independent bipartisan commission with full subpoena powers to find out whether the White House approved the torture."

So if a smoking gun exists and is found... is it too early to start calling for impeachment?

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