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    « Knight Ridder's Cojones | Main | Another Possible Condi Contortion »

    December 07, 2005

    Comments

    Andrew Leyden

    "It depends what your definition of "is" is."

    I mean, I thought we were done with that sort of crap....

    praktike

    "those obligations extend to U.S. personnel wherever they are, whether they are in the United States or outside of the United States"

    but doesn't Rice's inclusion of this mean that the US is interpreting CAT to apply to treatment of foreigners abroad? Or am I missing something?

    Eric Umansky

    Her comments speak to geography; what the Justice Dept. has previously issued an opinion on is based on nationality. In other words, ask Rice whether the CIA can screw with foreigner being held overseas and I suspect a straight answer will not be forthcoming.

    Mark Gilbert

    Rice's sentence structure is a bit convoluted, but the short version is, "CAT obligations apply to US Personnel outside the US."

    Eric, contrary to your comment above, don't her words speak to nationality ("US personnel")? She is clearly saying that the CIA (who are US personnel) are bound by the CAT when operating overseas.

    The Post article plays this as a change in administration policy, but I'm guessing she was just responding to pressure, from Europeans and from the press, to say something reassuring. Rice and the administration as a whole are still very squirrelly on the whole issue.

    Tom Maguire

    She is clearly saying that the CIA (who are US personnel) are bound by the CAT when operating overseas.

    Well, yes - but if I am following this, the CAT does not impose any obligations on US personnel with respect to their treatment of non-US citizens abroad.

    Again, if I am getting this, US personnel cannot torture US citizens anywhere, and cannot torture aliens in territory under US control.

    However, US personnel operating abroad can do what they want to non-US citizens.

    Patrick (G)

    The known loopholes:
    1. The U.S. can have foreign governments do the torturing for us (e.g. Syria).
    2. The U.S. can have contractors do the torturing for us (e.g. CACI at Abu Ghraib).
    3. Per Rumsfeld, if U.S. military officers witness Torture, they have a responsibility to report it, for intelligence purposes presumably, but not to actually stop it as illegal behavior.

    jayz

    My quick and dirty understanding of their position - when the U.S. ratified the CAT, the U.S. interpreted it to be no broader than the prohibitions of the 8th Amendment's prohibition on cruel or unusual punishment. The 8th Amendment only covers actions in the U.S., or actions against U.S. citizens outside the U.S. So Bush and cronies can sanction torture of non-US citizens outside the U.S. and still claim they are following the CAT.

    George E. Lowe

    Hi, Andrew Sullivan TODAY wants/demands the Congress to pass the McCain "ANTI-TORTURE" Amendment without any exceptions. He especially wants NOT to exclude the high-ranking Americans who signed the TORTURE MEMOS, beginning in early 2002. Every member of the BLOGOSPHERE & the "independent" MSM journalists MUST demand the WHITE HOUSE release ALL of these TORTURE MEMOS--so the healing of our nation can begin. These White House memos exist. Why not ask Scott McClellan about them [date & number] & see what his response is? Enraged in Stuart, FL. George E. Lowe

    RepubAnon

    My interpretation of Condoleeza Rice's carefully parsed words is that the US will outsource 100% of the torture to Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc. Note how she defended "extraordinary rendition" - kidnapping "suspects" and transporting them to a convenient torture center for "harsh" interrogation. Fafblog's satirical comments come perilously close to the truth:

    "RICE: I'd also like to point out that whenever we send a prisoner to a country that routinely tortures prisoners, that country promises us NOT to torture them.
    Fafblog: And then they get tortured anyway!
    RICE: Yes, they do! It's very strange."

    16words

    She could say "We don't and never will torture, nor will we permit or condone torture by others for any reason, at any time or in any place". The fact that she uses more than the 25 or so words that are necessary to provide complete reassurance is itself grounds for suspicion. The hole gets deeper and she's still digging.

    s9

    Now would be a very good time for people in this discussion to ponder the distinction between CIA agents and CIA officers.

    global yokel

    My suspicion is that Rice, Gonzales, Cheney and the other thugs are out there preaching the virtues of torture not because they actually believe it to be an effective interrogation technique, but because they fear that they might someday have a date in The Hague in front of a tribunal. They are trying to create an atmosphere wherein they won't be prosecuted and judged severely when the Bush cabal leaves office in '08.

    instarx

    Everyone seems to be missing two big weasels in Rice's so-called assurances that the US does not torture. In trying to assure the Europeans that they have it all wrong, she said that "US personnel" do not torture. In a second statement a day later, meant to sound even more restrictive, she stated that "US employees" do not torture. Unfortunately neither of those statements cover the civilian para-military contractors that perform much of the administration's security work in Iraq and around the world. The people who work for these contractors are neither US government personnel nor US [government] employees. They are private citizens working for private companies.

    At the beginning of the Iraq war the Bush administration encouraged Special Forces personnel to "retire" from the military and join private security firms doing work for the US in Iraq in places like Abu Graib. The Bush administration also made several statements that civilian contractors who committed crimes in Iraq would not be prosecuted by the US since the crimes would not have been committed on US soil.

    It seems clear to me that a) at the beginning of the Iraq war the Bush administration set up para-military units, neither military nor CIA, that do not have any of the constraints of military rules or US law, and b)the Bush administration is using weasel words that make it sound as if it is broadly prohibiting torture, while specifically not including these civilian para-military units in their denials.

    The ugly truth may very well be that the Bush administration has set up its own international para-military torture squads beyond reach of US law and Congressional oversight.

    Robert Maxwell

    I can't remember seeing or hearing any comment from Geo,Bush senior on this subject.After all,who better to direct some of the actors in this'play'than Dad who was not only a C.I.A. agent, but the head of that little club.Considering Geo. J.R.'s political experience,or lack thereof(half term at Texas governor),such wide reaching plans rarely come from such challenged minds.

    Robert Maxwell

    I can't remember seeing or hearing any comment from Geo,Bush senior on this subject.After all,who better to direct some of the actors in this'play'than Dad who was not only a C.I.A. agent, but the head of that little club.Considering Geo. J.R.'s political experience,or lack thereof(half term at Texas governor),such wide reaching plans rarely come from such challenged minds.

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    flirting tips

    Well how do they classify inhumane things? What is considered humane and what isn't? Is there some sort of list somewhere or something?

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