Monday, September 18, 2006
Redefining torture... to allow cattle prods.
Trying to end a protest by dissident Senate Republicans, the White House says it's confident it can reach a compromise on proposed rules for interrogating terror suspects.I'm an opponent of allowing these techniques, and I hereby declare (and am proud to say that I must be amongst the 1st to observe) that what we are talking about here does not "verge" on torture. To use electric shocks on a prisoner, and to make them think that they will drown to death defines the word torture. If mock executions are outlawed how does waterboarding not fit that description precisely.
But neither side is saying how an agreement can be achieved on whether to allow highly controversial methods by the CIA, such as electric shock, forced nakedness and waterboarding, in which a subject is made to think he is drowning. The Bush administration says those techniques have foiled terror plots. Opponents say they verge on torture.
The article three of the convention forbids "humiliating and degrading treatment" and "outrages upon personal dignity". How in the twisted world of this horrible administration can we define using waterboarding, forced nakedness, stress positions (brings to mind the image of our Vietnam POW's kneeling on the floor with their arms hooked behind them by a bamboo rod across the back) and electrocution as not being degrading or humiliating. Of course each of those techniques is an outrage. This administration must not be allowed to use their Orwellian techniques to redefine torture.
Any American who thinks these techniques are proper in the pursuit of gaining intelligence ought to consider the specter of an American POW being electrocuted or forced into stress positions, naked, by a country who has signed the convention. We are now in the process of giving away one of the major protections afforded our service members in time of war, and the administration is trying to make this into a campaign issue! How twisted is that?
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