Wednesday, November 30, 2011
“A Middle East Dictatorship Has More Democratic Accountability for Abuse of Power, Including Torture, Than the US Under Obama”
The same Senate which today passed a bill allowing indefinite detention of American citizens on American soil for suspicion of being terrorists is now considering a bill to repeal the prohibitions against torture:
The ACLU and over 30 other organizations sent a letter to the Senate asking them to oppose an effort in Congress that threatens to revive the use of torture and other inhumane interrogation techniques.
If passed, an amendment introduced by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) to the Defense Authorization bill would roll back torture prevention measuresthat Congress overwhelmingly approved in the 2005 McCain Anti-Torture Amendment, as well as a 2009 Executive Order on ensuring lawful interrogations. It would also require the administration to create a secret list of approved interrogation techniques in a classified annex to the existing interrogation field manual.
In a related development, republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann renewed her attack on the prohibition of waterboarding and other forms of torture ….
Glenn Greenwald pointed out last week:
Bahrain’s Sunni government promised “no immunity” for anyone suspected of abuses and said it would propose creating a permanent human rights watchdog commission. “All those who have broken the law or ignored lawful orders and instructions will be held accountable,” said a government statement, which says the report acknowledges that the “systematic practice of mistreatment” ended shortly after martial law was repealed on June 1.
As Andrew put it: “So a Middle East dictatorship has more democratic accountability for abuse of power, including torture, than the US under Obama.” Beyond things like this and the facts set forth in the last paragraph here, perhaps Andrew could use today’s post of his to help clear up the towering mystery he raised yesterday of liberal disenchantment with Obama. That American war criminals are being aggressively shielded from any and all accountability is not an ancillary matter but one of enduring historical significance.
That’s okay, though, because – according to top military, intelligence and civilian experts on interrogation – torture:
(1) Doesn’t produce actionable intelligence
(2) Reduces national security
(3) Creates more terrorists
(4) And is only useful for:
(A) Producing false confessions; and
(B) As a way of terrorizing the population