Cal Tzedek: I never thought I’d see opposing torture become a controversial stance

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

I never thought I’d see opposing torture become a controversial stance

A current bill in the House of Representatives (H.R. 10) contains provisions for ‘extraordinary rendition.’ According to the American Bar Assocation,

"These provisions would permit secretly transferring terrorist suspects to foreign countries known to use torture in interrogating prisoners. Extraordinary rendition not only violates all basic humanitarian and human rights standards, but violates U.S. treaty obligations which make clear that the U.S. government cannot avoid its obligations under international law by having other nations conduct unlawful interrogations in its stead."

Basically, the bill makes it legal for the U.S. to enable torture. Not only does the bill remove the current immigration provisions preventing the U.S. from deporting folks to their home countries if they would be subject to torture there, it would also, according to Amnesty International, give the Department of Homeland Security the authority

"to deport people to countries other than where they are citizens or residents if DHS believes deporting the person to his or her home country "would be prejudicial to the United States." The word "prejudicial" is not further defined. This vague authority would allow persons to be returned to any country, even ones in which they had never set foot."

More information:
Paul Krugman’s recent editorial in the New York Times, in which he writes “This would institutionalize a Kafkaesque system under which suspects can be sent, at the government's whim, to Egypt or Syria or Jordan”

Posts at Crooked Timber, where I first learned of this.

Representative Edward Markey is introducing an amendment to remove the provisions for extraordinary rendition. Please write your representative in support of his amendment.


Take a look at some of my anti-John Yoo posts at Progcal that I made months ago. The anti-anti-torture position has more of a following at Berkeley than you'd believe.
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