Friday, June 18, 2004

TT: Proving my case

When opinion pieces like this from the Washington Post gets reprinted in the TT Express and no perspective is provided to help readers distinguish between mistreatment and torture, linking to Saddam's torture video is essential.

So torture is legal?
By Anne Applebaum
Thursday, June 17th 2004
To understand the magnitude of what may have gone on in America's secret prisons, you don't need special security clearance or inside information. Anyone who wants to connect the dots can do it. To see what I mean, review the content of a few items now easily found on the Internet.

Item 1: The "torture memo". Written in August 2002 by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, at the request of the CIA and then the White House, this memo argues that it "may be justified" to torture al-Qaida suspects. The memo, posted last weekend on The Washington Post's website, also speculates that international law, which categorically prohibits torture, "may be unconstitutional".

Item 2: The "Rumsfeld memo". This document, unearthed by the Wall Street Journal, was written in March 2003 by a Pentagon working group. It declared not only that the American president has the power to evade international law and torture foreign prisoners but that interrogators who follow the president's commands can, in addition, be held immune from prosecution.

Item 3: The Abu Ghraib photographs. Remember what they show: not just torture but guards who appear absolutely certain of their legal and moral right to torture, as well as a large number of unidentified personnel, standing around and watching.


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