Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On The Recent Condemnation of Torture - 2

"Your Interrogator is here."
In this series we are considering the reasons the U.S. adopted the torture policies of "a third-world banana republic" when it began to systematically torture detainees at sites around the world.

The primary source of this consideration is The Constitution Project's Detainee Report ("CPDR") which was recently released (On The Recent Condemnation of Torture).

One of the purposes of accountability is to preserve democracy (When Accountability Is A Plague).

Nevertheless, the Obama DOJ declined to prosecute any cases of torture according to the CPDR (page 330).

Additionally, some media progressives jumped on the "don't prosecute them if they were only following orders" bandwagon (see e.g. I Disagree With Naomi Wolf and You Must See Past Your Nose Obama).

This, decades after the Nuremberg Trials were conducted, under the timeworn reality:
"The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."
("I Was Following Orders", citing Nuremberg Principle IV). It is also years after U.S. police were sent to prison for torturing detainees (President Reagan Puts Cheney In Jail).

These abrogations of duty and obedience to law were denounced, not only by the CPDR as noted earlier in this post, but also by U.N. officials:
The U.N. special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, has denounced the closure of Durham’s investigations without charges as violating the obligation under CAT to hold perpetrators of torture accountable:
I have to say that the decision not to investigate, prosecute and punish what happened when those torture memos were in effect is a refusal to accept an obligation in international law that the United States has. Unfortunately, there has been no serious investigation and recently the only investigation that was still going on, by Special Prosecutor [John] Durham, was completely terminated with a decision not to prosecute even cases in which the torture victims had died. ... It is a very disappointing position because you can imagine how hard it is for the Special Rapporteur on Torture to go around the world saying you have to investigate, prosecute and punish when the first reaction is, “If the United States doesn’t do it, why should we?”
Without being in a position to examine the evidence or the reasons prosecution was declined, it is difficult to dismiss Durham’s investigations as not “serious,” or comment on prosecutors’ disposition of any individual case. But there is no question that many acts of torture or complicity in torture have resulted in no prosecution, no conviction, or a disproportionately low sentence — even in cases where U.S. personnel went beyond the techniques that were legally authorized.
(CPDR, pp. 330-331). So the U.S. government has become a haven for banana republic type thugs who have nothing but contempt for international and related domestic law.

All the while demanding that other nations comply with that international law.

Is it any wonder, then, that we see repetition of wrongs as if we were acting out the movie Groundhog Day (Groundhog Day & The Climate of Fear)?

Such as North Korea and recent domestic events?

Remember that during the 911 daze there were various letters mailed to government officials that were contaminated with anthrax?

An individual who had nothing to do with it was arrested and charged with mailing the anthrax letters  (see Mysto Army Anthrax Lab Shut Down - 2 and Mysto Army Anthrax Lab Shut Down).

That groundhog daze is still with us (Ricin Mailings Charges Dropped).

Remember the media screaming about intelligence being inadequate to stop 911 because the 1200 some odd agencies weren't enough so we needed another one we would need to call "Homeland Security" (Homeland Security Happy Daze - 2)?

The groundhog daze of those lunatics is still with us today, crying about lax intelligence.

Could the reality be that national officialdom lacks intelligence?

The previous post in this series is here.

Of Monsters and Men ...

1 comment:

  1. The U.S. hypocrisy of torturing but not wanting anyone else to is just another reason we are no longer considered to be the good guys: Link