- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 30, 2009


Much has been written lately about the Bush administration’s interrogation techniques. Lanny Davis’ column “President Clinton — Obama made right call on torture memos, prosecutions” (Monday, Nation) refers to those techniques as torture.

The document “Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” is available to anyone with a computer and an Internet connection. However, it seems as though few journalists have bothered to read it.

Article 16 of the convention makes it clear that “other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” is not the same as torture. Article 2, while prohibiting torture even in exceptional circumstances, does not prohibit other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Obtaining information from an unlawful combatant about his imminent plans to kill American citizens qualifies as an exceptional circumstance and justifies anything short of torture.

Aiding and abetting the enemy is considered treason. For the Bush administration to have interpreted a rather vague law for the benefit of America’s enemies rather than for its citizens would have been a far more serious crime than anything it stands accused of doing. Unfortunately, we now have an administration that disagrees.



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