Ashcroft and Torture

Tompaul Wheeler points us to a report of a visit by John Ashcroft to Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. There was a lively Q&A. Here’s a sample: ME: First off, Mr. Ashcroft, I’d like to apologize for the rudeness of some of my fellow students.  It was uncalled for–we can disagree civilly, we don’t need…

Above the Law

Tompaul has a post on the Bush administration’s repeated claim to be above the law. Mark Shea rolls his eyes at those who now think we should be proud of torture.

Torture and Human Dignity

David Cole, “The Torture Veto,” The Nation. Bush says “hardened terrorists” merit different treatment from captured soldiers. But in this conflict that distinction quickly dissolves. What exactly is the basis for treating suspected terrorists differently from other human beings? The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment does not have…

Republicans Endorse Torture

Republicans in the House voted to uphold Bush’s veto of a bill that would have prohibited the CIA from torturing prisoners. Meanwhile, the US has refused to allow a UN torture inspector to visit American-run jails in Iraq. Ed Koch says the Democratic party must now make this a campaign issue. Nancy Pelosi has outlined…

Bush Approves Torture

As suspected, George Bush has vetoed the bill banning torture, giving all kinds of excuses and rationalizations, despite the pleas of religious and military leaders and diplomats. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the nation’s ability to lead the world depends on its morality, not military might. “We will begin to reassert that moral authority by…

Shame!

George Bush has vowed to veto a bill that would ban torture. This is reprehensible. I agree with Teddy Kennedy: “President Bush’s veto will be one of the most shameful acts of his presidency,” Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said in a statement Friday. “Unless Congress overrides the veto, it will go down in history as…

Scalia Defends Torture

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says that in a “ticking time bomb scenario” (a premise at which which the interviewer scoffs) “it would be absurd to say that you can’t stick something under the fingernails, smack them in the face.” Is it obvious that what can’t be done for punishment can’t be done to exact…

The History of Water Torture

NPR looks at the history of water torture–yes, torture is the word to use. It was the word used in the war crimes trials against Japanese military leaders following WW2. They were convicted for it. In 1983 a Texas sheriff was convicted for using it to extract confessions. Mirror of Justice comments (and points to…

Joe Galloway on “Artful Dodging”

At E&P, Joseph L. Galloway, Memo to Media: I Witnessed ‘Waterboarding’ — And, Yes, It is Torture. Did Bill Clinton have sex with that woman? Is Elvis Presley really dead? Is the Pope Catholic? Does a bear do his ablutions in the woods? Is waterboarding torture? The answer to all of these questions, put simply,…

The FBI and Torture

Steve Bergstein tells the horrific story of the ordeal suffered by Abdallah Higazy, who was coerced into a false “confession” after 9-11 by an FBI agent who threatened that he would have Egyptian security forces torture his family. The long and the short of it was that an Egpytian national, Abdallah Higazy, was staying in…

Pope Benedict XVI to Beatify Priest Who Tortured

John Allen reports on the upcoming beatification of 498 Catholics who were killed in the Spanish Civl War. Fr. Gabino Olaso Zabala, however, was involved in the torture of a Filipino priest. According to written testimony from the victim, Olaso participated in the 1896 torture of a Filipino priest named Fr. Mariano Dacanay, who was…

Mark Shea on Torture on “Relevant Radio”

Poor Mark Shea. And I mean it–I sympathize with him. He’s taken a strong stand against torture–a stand that would seem to be a no-brainer for any Christian. He was interviewed on “Relevant Radio,” and … well, read his post. Update: You can’t read it now, because he took it down. They told him the…

Carter: US Has Abandoned Human Rights

Jimmy Carter issues scathing denunciation of Bush’s policies. Bush [recently] defended the [criticized interrogation] techniques used, saying, “This government does not torture people.” Asked about Bush’s comments, Carter said, “That’s not an accurate statement if you use the international norms of torture as has always been honored — certainly in the last 60 years since…

Torture and Religious Liberty

Lawrence Swaim writes about the efforts taken by American torturers at Guantanamo to destroy the religious faith of captives. Four former detainees at Guantanamo — Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal, Rhuhel Ahmed and Jamal al-Harith — are litigating in Rasul vs. Rumsfeld to hold government officials accountable for torture they endured while being held there. (All…