Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Condi "clarifies" US torture policy

Glad to see Condi has removed one of the legalistic loopholes being used by the US to justify torture by its staff working overseas:
Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, appeared to announce a shift in America's policy on the interrogation of terrorist suspects today when she said that US interrogators were barred from using cruel or degrading practices wherever in the world they were.

The Bush administration has previously insisted that the ban on cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment under the UN Convention against Torture did not apply to Americans working overseas.

Now we just need to see "torture" (as in "The United States does not condone torture") being used in its English sense, rather than the neocon definition of pain approaching but not equivalent to organ failure. And hope that Tony Blair will start making this distinction, rather than employing the same legalistic diversions as at today's Prime Minister's Questions:
The Prime Minister: ... I have drawn a very clear distinction on any suggestion that there can be any use of, or condoning the use of, torture. That is completely unacceptable on any basis. In respect of the allegations of so-called torture facilities or detention facilities across Europe, I have to say to my hon. Friend that I really know nothing about them at all—I only know that there are not any such here. If he reads the very clear statement by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday, I think that he will find that it is consistent with all that I have said.

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