Independent Christian Voice

Wednesday

CIA warned interrogation tactics could violate international law

From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 - A classified report issued last year by the Central Intelligence Agency's inspector general warned that interrogation procedures approved by the C.I.A. after the Sept. 11 attacks might violate some provisions of the international Convention Against Torture, current and former intelligence officials say.

The previously undisclosed findings from the report, which was completed in the spring of 2004, reflected deep unease within the C.I.A. about the interrogation procedures, the officials said. A list of 10 techniques authorized early in 2002 for use against terror suspects included one known as waterboarding, and went well beyond those authorized by the military for use on prisoners of war.

The convention, which was drafted by the United Nations, bans torture, which is defined as the infliction of "severe" physical or mental pain or suffering, and prohibits lesser abuses that fall short of torture if they are "cruel, inhuman or degrading." The United States is a signatory, but with some reservations set when it was ratified by the Senate in 1994.

The report, by John L. Helgerson, the C.I.A.'s inspector general, did not conclude that the techniques constituted torture, which is also prohibited under American law, the officials said. But Mr. Helgerson did find, the officials said, that the techniques appeared to constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under the convention. […]

The list of 10 techniques, including feigned drowning, was secretly drawn up in early 2002 by a team that included senior C.I.A. officials who solicited recommendations from foreign governments and from agency psychologists, the officials said. They said officials from the Justice Department and the National Security Council, which is part of the White House, were involved in the process.

Among the few known documents that address interrogation procedures and that have been made public is an August 2002 legal opinion by the Justice Department, which said that interrogation methods just short of those that might cause pain comparable to "organ failure, impairment of bodily function or even death" could be allowable without being considered torture. The administration disavowed that classified legal opinion in the summer of 2004 after it was publicly disclosed.

[Read entire article]

We, as a country, have lost any moral authority we might have had when it comes to human rights abuses. How can we now complain about the treatment of our soldiers or detained citizens when we have set such a standard of treatment? And let me remind you of what our standard of government was supposed to be under the newly elected president, in his own words from 2001:

First, we must always maintain the highest ethical standards. We must always ask ourselves not only what is legal, but what is right. There is no goal of government worth accomplishing if it cannot be accomplished with integrity.As you work for the federal government there is no excuse for arrogance, and there’s never a reason to show disrespect for others.

What is right, Mr. President? Torture or any derivation thereof is not. Opposing the Senate measure banning torture is wrong.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home