This week has seen a veritable landslide of stories on US torture and the practice of “rendition.” Condi Rice was dogged by the topic all over Europe, and her answers–while apparently appeasing some European governments–sounded twisted and lame. On Wednesday, she announced that the UN treaty on torture does apply to the US after all–an apparent policy shift for the Bush admin.
The sad fact is that the US has used, and apparently continues to use torture. Sometimes we do it ourselves, and sometimes we send prisoners off to countries who will do the job–that’s called “rendition.” As I read it, Rice can go ahead and say we don’t “torture” only because she doesn’t consider sleep deprivation and holding a prisoner’s head under water to simulate drowning to be torture.
Well worth reading are the following:
The BBC reported last night that a US official admited that we are holding some prisoners incommunicado with no access by the Red Cross. Basically, this is admitting that we have secret prisons.
ACLU.org on the lawsuit of a German national mistakenly arrested by the CIA and flown to Afganistan–and tortured. Guess what, he didn’t know anything.
Guardian story on the role of “planespotters” had in exposing the movements of secret prisoners on CIA planes.
BBC story on UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour’s criticism of US and other countries “advocating an erosion of the total ban on torture.”
And finally to wrap things up: the NYT reports that, oops, the government based pre-war intel on the link between Al Qaeda and Iraq on “evidence” extracted under torture or threat of torture. Cruel and inept: the Bush Administration.