Friday, December 16, 2005
We don't torture, but we'll use torture evidence.
This amendment will allow the military tribunals which are reviewing the status of the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay Cuba to use evidence gathered when detainees are tortured by foreign governments.
There is no law which this administration recognizes that stops them from rendering detainees to nations well known for torturing prisoners. Notice the careful qualification "which this administration recognizes", to the premise of the previous statement. Because there are treaty obligations and established international law that does make the practice undeniably illegal. The practice of taking a person with no judicial recourse from society and giving them over to another nation with no possible oversight by anyone except those who are doing the rendering is intrinsically extra legal. Secretary of State Rice simply saying we do not render prisoners for the purpose of torturing for intelligence is not credible after the -repeated -examples -where it -has been shown -that we -actually do [pdf] -precisely that.
So now we actually have proposed congressional approval for using intelligence gained from torture in the cases of those being held at Guantanamo Bay. This circular reasoning is simply unacceptable. Under the McCain amendment Americans are now supposed to be prohibited from torturing detainees, yet Americans still can use the evidence gathered by other nations who torture against detainees? It is not difficult to see where this road leads. America picks up a "high value" detainee, gives them to the Iraqi Interior Ministry, , or some other such ally, and after the interrogators get what we want to hear we ship the detainee off to Guantanamo for an appearance before the military tribunal. Which tribunal will be presented with all the evidence extracted from the detainee under torture! If Americans are now expressly forbidden from torturing detainees, the information garnered from the torture of detainees should be banned from American proceedings. Period!
One wonders, if Senator McCain had been moved from captivity in North Vietnam to a Soviet gulag to be tortured, would he now be more concerned with the policy of rendition? I do not think the nationality of the interrogator who is operating the power drill, or the electrodes, or whatever, has any bearing on the amount of pain the detainee feels when they are being broken. But who am I to say? I'll tell you who I am... I'm an American! And I say Americans need to take the high road back from the absolutely evil, depraved, and sick bosstyds who have made us a nation that relies on torture!
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