On Monday’s show I talked to Columbia law prof Scott Horton Monday about Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to re-open some alleged prisoner abuse cases for possible prosecution. Here’s the interview:
Navi Pillay: “People who order or inflict torture cannot be exonerated…”
Here’s the WPost piece by Colum Lynch.
Posted in Guantanamo, human rights, Torture, U.S. policy, United Nations
Tagged Colum Lynch, detention, Guantanamo, Navi Pillay, The Washington Post, Torture, U.S. policy
Must-read Bob Woodward piece on the front page of today’s Washington Post:
The top Bush administration official in charge of deciding whether to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees to trial has concluded that the U.S. military tortured a Saudi national who allegedly planned to participate in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, interrogating him with techniques that included sustained isolation, sleep deprivation, nudity and prolonged exposure to cold, leaving him in a “life-threatening condition.”
“We tortured [Mohammed al-]Qahtani,” said Susan J. Crawford, in her first interview since being named convening authority of military commissions by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in February 2007. “His treatment met the legal definition of torture. And that’s why I did not refer the case” for prosecution.
Read the rest here.
The NYT’s Eric Lichtblau reports on Mukasey’s remarks to journalists yesterday:
Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said Wednesday that he saw no need for President Bush to issue blanket pardons of officials involved in some of the administration’s most controversial counterterrorism policies.
Mr. Mukasey told reporters that there was “absolutely no evidence” that anyone involved in developing the policies “did so for any reason other than to protect the security in the country and in the belief that he or she was doing something lawful.”
Here’s the rest:
Here’s an update (from Tuesday’s program) on how Obama’s national security team is shaping up and what that might mean for the foreign policy agenda:
Today I look at the question of how Obama will confront the torture question–and the legacy of the harsh interrogation tactics authorized by Bush Administration officials. Some human rights advocates are calling for a special prosecutor, others for a truth commission. Lawyers lay out the pros and cons of a major investigation. Here’s the story:
The International Center for Transitional Justice (www.ictj.org) has been exploring this issue as part of its U.S. Accountability Project.
Alan Brinkley has a review of Jane Mayer’s The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals in tomorrow’s NYT Book Review. He calls it “a powerful, brilliantly researched and deeply unsettling book.” His concluding paragraph:
The Bush administration is not, of course, the first or only regime to violate civil liberties. John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt all authorized or tolerated terrible violations of civil and human rights, all of them in response to great national and global crises. In some respects, the Bush administration is simply following a familiar path by responding to real dangers with illegal and deplorable methods. But Jane Mayer’s extraordinary and invaluable book suggests that it would be difficult to find any precedent in American history for the scale, brutality and illegality of the torture and degradation inflicted on detainees over the last six years; and that it would be even harder to imagine a set of policies more likely to increase the dangers facing the United States and the world.