Thursday, February 10, 2005
UN Convention Against Torture "Just a Scrap of Paper"
Some of the right-wing blogs believe the rest of us actually want Iran to have atomic weapons and that we want terrorists to attack. This springs from their unhealthy habit of listening to their own propaganda. In fact, the rest of us think Iran is less likely to pursue a nuclear weapons program if they believe there are other means of keeping the United States from overthrowing their democratically elected government (again) and putting in a puppet regime.
CIA prisoners 'tortured' in Arab jails
By Stephen Grey
BBC Radio 4's File on 4
A former CIA official has confirmed suspicions that dozens of terror suspects have been flown to jails in Middle Eastern countries where torture is routinely practised, and without reference to courts of law.
Michael Scheuer, who once headed the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and left the CIA last November after a 22-year career, said the practice, known as "extraordinary rendition", was seen by the US as a key tactic in its war on terror.
Mr Scheuer said the operation was authorised at the highest levels of the CIA and the White House and was approved by their lawyers.
The former CIA officer acknowledged that some of the suspects sent to places such as Egypt could then be tortured.
But he said: "It wouldn't be us torturing them and I think there is a lot of Hollywood involved with our portrayal of torture in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
"Human rights is a very flexible concept... It depends how hypocritical you want to be on a particular day."
Human rights campaigners, however, find it difficult to reconcile rendition with President Bush's claims of upholding the United Nations convention against torture. It says: "No state shall expel, return or exradite a person to another state where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture."
We also believe the best way to recruit terrorists to attack the United States is for the United States to continue sweeping up people of military age and torturing them until they "confess.The blowback from the CIA's Iran coup putting the Shah back in power was the hostage crisis. Mr. Bush's disregard for everything this country used to stand for is setting us all up for a blowback of a size too frightening to contemplate.