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Human Rights Law

: Never In Our Names

Monday Torture News Roundup

By possum

Every day these days brings new discussions and new revelations about the state of torture around the world.  Today's news finds a focus on the U.S. and continues the debate about if or not to investigate the Bush administration.  The facts become more and more clear as the days pass.

The evidence is clear from the memos put in the public eye in recent days.  There is no credible support for CIA or other statements claiming the U.S. did not torture.

An Aug. 1, 2002 memo written by Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee to CIA Acting General Counsel John Rizzo addressed interrogating Abu Zubaydah. He was a high-ranking al-Qaida official whom the CIA thought had vital information, which could prevent a terrorist attack.

The memo was a written in response to the CIA's request to use certain techniques - including waterboarding - while interrogating Mr. Zubaydah and its desire to know if these techniques would violate laws against torturing prisoners.

It disproves critics' claims the CIA and the Bush administration willfully and recklessly engaged in torture without regard to established law or legal procedures.

Senator Feinstein calls for calm in the debate to allow bipartisan investigation to continue.
My hope is that the public debate quells, that we have an opportunity to do our work, the Committee will consider it, and then we will release, most likely, findings and recommendations.
And the hedging continues on and on without real purpose or end.

If or not torture can be justified continues to be a moral issue worthy of address.

What is striking about the quality of this debate is that it is being conducted in strictly Utilitarian terms. And that leads to some very bizarre moral reasoning. Utilitarianism is number-crunching, but of a very peculiar kind; in its crudest forms, it seems to imply that you can measure pleasure and pain, and that by maximizing the pleasure of the greatest number of people, you may be able to justify the infliction of pain on a select few.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the U.S. may be close to making final decisions about the Guantanamo detainees.

The attorney general did not say how much longer he thought it would take to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba. Before officials can meet President Barack Obama's January deadline, the U.S. must first decide which detainees to put on trial and which to release to the U.S. or other countries.

At least one poll suggests Americans do not wish to see investigation into Bush torture policies.

A Rasmussen poll released last Saturday reveals that 58 percent of U.S. voters do not want investigations into how the Bush administration treated terrorism suspects.

The debate may never be ended.  If or not justice is to be brought to the fore one day is yet to be seen.  Today the flu epidemic is pushing torture off the front pages of most news outlets.

Torture no more.
Close Guantanamo.

Flickr, Creative Commons


Full post as published by Never In Our Names on April 27, 2009 (boomark / email).

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