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America ignored the Geneva Convention

 

Last updated 12/18/2008 at Noon



A new bipartisan Senate report concluded that the US used illegal torture on prisoners.

The report was released by Senators Levin and McCain and was based on a two-year investigation. It said that the policies and resulting controversies tarnished the reputation of the United States and undermined national security.

Those actions “damaged our ability to collect accurate intelligence that could save lives, strengthened the hand of our enemies and compromised our moral authority.”

The Defense Department authorized controversial interrogation practices, including forced nudity, painful stress positions, sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures and use of dogs.

The practices, some of which had already been used by the CIA at its secret prisons, were adapted for interrogations at Guantanamo Bay and US detention camps in Afghanistan and Iraq, including the infamous Abu Ghraib prison.

“The Committee’s report details the inexcusable link between abusive interrogation techniques used by our enemies who ignored the Geneva Conventions and interrogation policy for detainees in US custody,” McCain said in a statement. “These policies are wrong and must never be repeated.”

The decision to use coercive techniques was traced to a memo signed by Bush in February 2002 declaring that the Geneva Convention’s standards for humane treatment did not apply to captured al-Qaida and Taliban fighters.

I think Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush ought to be held responsible for authorizing these illegal and immoral activities.

Obama has pledged to make such activity explicitly illegal and order it to stop. I hope and believe he will keep that campaign promise.

Jon Monday

 

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