I wondered where the loopholes were found in the International Convention Against Torture. Well, it turns out that there are some — in fact, the United States, when it ratified the convention, wrote its own set of loopholes in. That’s thinking ahead for you!
U.S. Added Loopholes when It Signed International Torture Convention
The Pentagon have quietly sharpened ’s non-denial denial of Seymour Hersh’s report and now call it “journalist malpractice”.
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- Have things really gotten that bad? → U.S. government is cruel, despotic, a threat to people → U.S. torture policy → evading legal prohibitions / White House approval
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- For a picture uglier than leering military prison guards turning loose their dogs on a naked cowering prisoner or masked jihadists sawing off the neck of a civilian contractor try picturing a bunch of lawyers sitting around trying to find the loopholes in the torture prohibitions of the Geneva Conventions.
- Seymour Hersh gets the goods on how the abuse at Abu Ghraib was a direct result of decisions made by the Secretary of Defense. Also: The I.R.S. thanks me, with a colorful badge and certificates of appreciation, for my invaluable contribution to the American tax system.
- Looking for loopholes — you can read the Geneva Conventions with the same glee as the lawyers who discovered they banned torture only against those prisoners we don’t suspect of being on the other team.
- Great Moments in Passive Verbs. Also: the quest for loopholes and immunity continues; and: any guess as to what sort of institutional structure encouraged the abuses at Abu Ghraib?
- If you’re still interested in reading about Abu Ghraib, I can point you in the direction of a good set of words on the subject.
- In Backwards Land, the Nuremberg Principles say that “I was only following orders” is a perfectly valid defense. In other news: The Bush Administration hired its lawyers from Backwards Land.
- Julia “Butterfly” Hill, commenting on her war tax resistance and on the state of the world: “There are too many ways we all accidentally or knowingly participate in this injustice that supports its existence, including in our inactions. It is too easy a trap to fall into, to separate our selves from people like Bush, the media, and this current administration, and claim a moral stand merely by means of verbal disassociation.”
- The Bush Administration had every opportunity to repudiate the notorious “torture is legal when the president says so” memo yesterday when Attorney General John Ashcroft appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Instead, Ashcroft was very careful to do everything but repudiate the memo or its message. Also: Much of the memo has now been released on the web — and it is every bit as ugly as the news reports suggested.
- I know this is a blog about tax resistance, not about current events, but I also cover issues of personal ethics and of individual responses to government-sponsored atrocity here — and so I think it’s worthwhile to write about the American torture policy.
- An update in the legal battle between the I.R.S. and the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Quakers). Also: The Dubya Squad are starting to back off just a bit from their “torture is okay when we do it” stand, and they’ve released more White House documents to try to make the case that it’s not as bad as it seems.
- Can you stand yet another update on the torture policy debate? The White House is finally starting to open up and give straight(er) answers. And I’ve got ’em in a compact summary, with useful commentary. No, really.
- Claire Wolfe and Aaron Zelman give us their 5.2 cents on the “Fair Tax” National Sales Tax proposal.
- From Israel to Vietnam to Iraq to Git’mo: the news in brief.
- So remember how when those torture memos came to light the Dubya Squad promised to ditch them pronto and come up with a new set of interrogation guidelines? Don’t hold your breath.
- More U.S. torture revelations from Gitmo and Iraq. Also: Hannah Arendt on the difference between temptation and compulsion, and the dictum of Socrates that it is better to suffer injustice than to commit it.
- Even the Washington Post is starting to think this torture thing is serious. But Dubya has put another torture memo alumnus up for nomination so he doesn’t seem to think Congress much cares. But there are more torture memos on the way so if there is anyone left who is capable of outrage but just hasn’t heard enough yet, there’s still time. Also: some data on U.S. arms sales in recent years.
- The C.I.A. pulls out the “we don’t gotta if we don’t wanna” defense to the Freedom of Information Act. Also: the San Francisco Chronicle wonders how the I.R.S. will use private debt collection agencies.
- The Dubya Squad have released a new torture memo. Although the news media will probably report it as a climb-down from the controversial memos of years past, it is another ugly exercise of lawyers asking “how much torture can we get away with?”
- More revelations about the sick U.S. torture policy and attempts to cover it up are leaked to the New York Times by military intelligence officials and interrogators.
- A formerly pro-war libertarian wonders why he didn’t find the liberal anti-war movement to be very persuasive. Also: the social security reform debate for dummies. And: Alberto Gonzales tries to wipe the torture memos off of his hands.
- A lengthy round-up of news and views concerning yesterday’s confirmation hearing for U.S. attorney general nominee Alberto Gonzales.
- A thing or two more about the confirmation hearing for U.S. attorney general nominee Alberto Gonzales.
- A must-read modest proposal for expanding the use of torture, an interview with Adam “Bury the Chains” Hochschild, a surprisingly sensible article from Iraq War hawk Andrew Sullivan, and a war tax resister from Austin tells about living with the crackdown and hoping for a peace tax.
- Shifting money from a tax-deferred retirement account to a Roth IRA can be a good move, for tax resisters and for taxers alike. And: the Dubya Squad are trying awfully hard not to admit that they’ve got a policy of torturing people.
- The I.R.S. is told it must challenge a “social norm” that tax evasion is okay if it wants to close the “tax gap.” Also: another billion dollar tax evasion technique. And: the tip of the torture iceberg keeps getting bigger, and U.S. troops are caught acting like drunk Gestapo University undergrads on spring break.
- Sigh… It’s time for another U.S. Torture Policy Update.