HUMAN first, then a proud IRANIAN

This blog represents the way I see some of the most significant events impacting the world and its citizens. This blog also represents how I react to the events as a member of humanity with a voice, a determined voice that insists to be heard. The voice of an Iranian who loves his country but his priority is humanity; humanity without border. I will say what I want to say, when I want to say it, and how I want to say it, but I will never lie. I will also listen; I promise.

June 10, 2004

"Dark House" torturers

Don't miss watching this Democracy Now!s interview with the attorney, Michael Ratner who has been fighting for Human Rights which have been violated by the United States, internally and externally. He will also touch Reagan's role in massacres of thousands in central and south America. He tells you how CIA provided the interrogators with instructions as "how to torture".

Before the interview with Mr. Ratner, there are some segments of the recent questioning of John Ashcroft in the US Senate committee in which he refuses to release the memos related to what is known as "The Pinochet Principle" that essentially gives an open hand for torturing the prisoners. Some excerpts:

KENNEDY: I'm not asking hypothetical. This is a memoranda that, again, was referred to today in the Post. "August 2002, Justice Department advised the White House that torturing Al Qaida terrorists in captivity abroad may be justified and that international laws against torture may be unconstitutional if applied to interrogations." Do you agree with that?

ASHCROFT: I am not -- first of all, this administration rejects torture.

KENNEDY: I'm asking you whether this is -- these are -- there are three memoranda, January 9, 2002, signed by John Yo (ph), the August 2002 Justice Department, the (inaudible) amendment memo and the March 2000 -- the interagency working group. Those are three memoranda. Will you provide those to the committee?

ASHCROFT: No, I will not.
...AMY GOODMAN: If the memo says that the President can claim to be able to ignore laws regarding torture on the grounds of national security, what other laws could he ignore?

MICHAEL RATNER: Well, it actually goes farther than that. It says that the President is exempt from all criminal laws in the United States with regard to when he has the Commander of Chief power fighting a war. In other words, he's exempt from all law. The example of what happened to Troy is not outside here. That's what he's saying. He's saying in a war I can do anything. In the war, there's no Geneva convention and there's no convention against torture and there's no law there at all. I can pick you up tomorrow and put you in the brig, torture you and do whatever I want and it can be justified in the name of national security.

AMY GOODMAN: What about the ticking time bomb theory, the idea if there's a ticking time bomb, you can do anything to a person who can tell you how to -- where it is?

MICHAEL RATNER: A famous law school hypothetical for which they have never actually found one, but once you open the door to that, as everybody who studies this issue, it opens it to thousands of people being tortured. That is not what this memo is about. This memo is not saying ticking time bomb. The memo is saying it's a general mat they're the president is exempt from using laws that prohibit torture; is exempt from those laws.

AMY GOODMAN: During recent Supreme Court testimony, the Bush administration said that they were not using torture. Did they lie to the Supreme Court?

MICHAEL RATNER: It was extraordinary hearing. Judge Ginsberg -- Justice Ginsberg turns to Paul Clement and says, what if you use mild torture? Paul Clement says that the United States doesn't engage in torture. The key words to me in this whole thing -- "Trust us." that's the way our government is trying to sell the war in Iraq, the abuse in Abu Ghraib, what's happening in Guantanamo Bay. "Trust us." They can't be trusted. They need a court looking at them. They need Congress looking at them and they need the people of America going after them.
Don't miss it.

Also read this Boston Globe article titled The torturers among us.
WHAT HAVE we learned so far about officially sponsored torture by the US government?
First, It is unambiguously clear that the torture of prisoners in Afghanistan, at Guantanamo, and at Abu Ghraib was official policy.....
That's how the article starts.

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