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'Too Little, Too Late, Better Than Nothing': Torture Ban Passes Senate Despite GOP Opposition


'Too Little, Too Late, Better Than Nothing': Torture Ban Passes Senate Despite GOP Opposition

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

The U.S. Senate's Tuesday passage of a limited ban on torture is being met with mixed enthusiasm from human rights advocates, who alternately praise it as a "historic" victory and "too little, too late, but better than nothing."


Didn’t the USA promote the notion of the United Nations Organisation and sign the UN Convention against Torture and assorted Geneva Conventions concerning behaviour in times of war as well, or am I merely dreaming?


The Army manual, and all DoD manuals are written to comply with Federal Law. DoD must rewrite their manuals to meet the Law,not use them to evade criminal prosecution.


Out of the 21 GOP senators who endorse torture, 10 are from Southern states and the rest from Kansas and Oklahoma. What does that tell you about decency, morality and ethics? Not only do these senators not have any of the above, they also are evil and despicable as human beings. It is Republican ideology that allows for Nazi methods to be used! Are Republicans brutal, uncivilized troglydites? I would have to say yes!


And also from a few mid western states.


George Washington on the treatment of prisoners:" Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner]. . . I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause… for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country."

Roosevelt Spanish-American War of 1898
"Great as the provocation has been in dealing with foes who habitually resort to treachery, murder and torture against our men, nothing can justify or will be held to justify the use of torture or inhuman conduct of any kind on the part of the American Army.”

From President Ronald Reagan’s signing statement ratifying the UN Convention on Torture from 1984:
“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.”

— “The United States is committed to the worldwide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example.” President Bush on UN Torture Victims Recognition Day 26 June 2003
— “Freedom from torture is an inalienable human right and we are committed to building a world where human rights are respected and protected by the rule of law … Many have been detained, arrested, thrown in prison and subjected to torture by regimes that fail to understand that their habits of control will not serve them well in the long term.” Statement by President Bush released by the White House on June 26, 2005
— “We do not torture.” President Bush to reporters during a visit to Panama in November 2005
— “The bill Congress sent me would take away one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror — the CIA program to detain and question key terrorist leaders and operatives.” President Bush on his veto of a bill that would have outlawed waterboarding in March 2008
— “I’m aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved … I told the country we did that. And I also told them it was legal. We had legal opinions that enabled us to do it.” President Bush in an interview with ABC about interrogation tactics used on detainees in April 2008



The United States Military Commissions Act of 2006, also known as HR-6166, was an Act of Congress signed by President George W. Bush. Sec. 948 Geneva Conventions Not Establishing Source of Rights— No alien unlawful enemy combatant subject to trial by military commission under this chapter may invoke the Geneva Conventions as a source of rights. You can find this Act on Wikipedia. Bush also covered the military so that they can not be prosecuted for their participation of “crimes against humanity” (my quote in the parentheses)… .


What goes round usually comes round. So when a USAian soldier finds himself./herself combating away merrily in a country that regards the USAian grunt as an enemy, then that grunt is unlikely to be afforded treatment according to the Geneva conventions etc.

As for the Spanish-American war, the US locked away and starved to death around 200 000 Philippino civilians in concentration camps as hostages against the Philippino resistance which had been fighting for freedom from the Spanish and then objected to the USA buying them from the Spanish. I am mot sure who Roosevelt was talking about when that happened.