torture

News Flash

From the BBC:

Bush bans terror suspect torture

US President George W Bush has signed an executive order on how terrorist suspects should be treated.

It bans cruel and inhuman treatment of any suspects detained and interrogated by the US authorities, and describes acts of torture as intolerable.

These include sexual acts or attacks on the detainee’s religious beliefs.

However, the White House would not reveal if all controversial interrogation procedures would be barred under the new guidelines.

So how many years did it take to do this? Far too long. How much political pressure (and not moral pressure by the way) did this take? Sigh. This shouldn’t even be a battle.

I’m still frustrated with the lack of clarity that the BBC indicates at the end. This doesn’t really feel like any actual change at all, considering the penchant for the Bush administration to sign a law and then say they won’t enforce it in a signing statement afterwards. I want to see the actual document and these words in practice until I’ll believe them.

Update from the BBC:

However, the White House would not reveal if all controversial interrogation procedures would be barred under the new guidelines.

The US has been criticised by human rights groups over interrogation techniques such as “waterboarding”, in which prisoners are strapped to a plank over water and made to fear that they will drown.

Critics have also complained that the CIA has run secret prisons and has flown prisoners to third countries for torture.

The White House declined to say whether the CIA currently had a detention and interrogation programme, but said that if it did, it had to adhere to the guidelines outlined in the executive order so CIA officers were not put in legal jeopardy.

Figures. This means virtually nothing.

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