Binding U.S. law requires prosecutions for those who authorize torture

From Glenn Greenwald's Sunday, January 18, 2009 column:

Most officials in the Bush-2 Administration have admitted the use of torture


"Is waterboarding torture?

Atty General designate Holder:


CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (signed by the U.S. under Ronald Reagan):

Article 2

1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.

2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.

3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture. . . .


Ronald Reagan, 5/20/1988, transmitting Treaty to the U.S. Senate:

The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention. It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today.


So let's see:

A whole bunch of Bush Administration higher-ups have proudly admitted to using torture.

The treaty negotiated and signed by Republican Party Saint Ronald Reagan says "No exceptions -- if they did it, they MUST be prosecuted."

The way Glenn Greenwald and the various professors of law he consults explain the treaty as well as the law passed by the senate in 1994 to enforce it, even if incoming President Obama doesn't want to dwell on the past, he doesn't have a choice.

Even George W. Bush proudly explained how he ordered torture of a Guantanamo prisoner after asking one of the legal experts who works for him -- not sure, but I'm told it was Pedro, the late Senor Wences' friend in the box:

"Is it alright?"

"'S Alright."



We can't face the world and ask for a return of international authority unless we enforce the laws here in the USA first --- and if we start the new administration by saying "Oh, except for the rich and powerful," the new president's approval ratings will fall as fast as a turd dropped from the top of San Francisco's Bank of America building. It will undermine the new administration before it even begins.


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