Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Convention Against Torture (CAT) for Dummies


Found this (via Call of Cthulhu). It's a pretty good resource for why the President has no authority what-so-ever to give permission to anyone in our government to engage in torture of any kind.

Here is an exerpt:

So the terms of the Convention Against Torture is the law of the land in the United States, right?

A: Yes it is, with the exception of the few reservations the US made.

Q: Aren't there exceptions when torture can be justified?

A: No, Article 2 Paragraph 2 states "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."

Q: Did the United States have a reservation regarding this section?

A: No.


snip


Q: So given his role as chief law enforcement officer and given the fact that the Convention Against Torture is the law of the land and given the fact that the Convention Against Torture provides for ""No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture," why would the president's legal advisers say "The president, despite domestic and international laws constraining the use of torture, has the authority as commander in chief to approve almost any physical or psychological actions during interrogation, up to and including torture?"

A: I cannot possibly explain why.

As Michael Froomkin said:

"And just imagine what those guys will do if they don’t have to worry about re-election."

|