Monday, December 19, 2005

Torture Ban Undercut

Hey, you had to know it was toogood to be true. That's right...

"Even as the U.S. Congress has passed a prohibition against the use of torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, it is set to adopt legislation that would strip the judiciary’s ability to enforce the ban, Human Rights Watch warned today."

So here is our compromise and exactly HOW they got Bush to accept the damn ban: it's a paper tiger. To wit:

"...the legislation containing the McCain Amendment currently includes another provision – the Graham-Levin Amendment – that would deny the five hundred-some detainees in Guantánamo Bay the ability to bring legal action seeking relief from the use of torture or cruel and inhumane treatment. And it implicitly authorizes the Department of Defense to consider evidence obtained through torture or other inhumane treatment in assessing the status of detainees held in Guantánamo Bay.

If passed into law, this would be the first time in American history that Congress has effectively permitted the use of evidence obtained through torture.

“With the McCain amendment, Congress has clearly said that anyone who authorizes or engages in cruel techniques like water boarding is violating the law,” said Tom Malinowski, Washington Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch. “But the Graham-Levin amendment leaves Guantánamo detainees no legal recourse if they are, in fact, tortured or mistreated. The treatment of Guantánamo Bay detainees will be shrouded in secrecy, placing detainees at risk for future abuse.”"

So, essentially, the torture ban is what it is: political posturing to make its supporters look good while really offering nothing substantive in the way of reform. That sounds about par for the course for this government.

Posted by crimnos @ 8:47 AM