Thursday, May 05, 2011
The "new" torture debateAmerika schlittert in neue Folterdebatte (America slides into a new torture debate) reads the headline for a Der Spiegel Online article.
Juan Cole writes (No need for Torture. Did a Telephone Call to al-Qaeda in Iraq Unravel Bin Laden? Informed Comment 05/05/2011)
The Obama team is said to have been dismayed by the rapidity with which the national subject has switched from the death of Usama Bin Laden to the use of torture in interrogations.This is right. The Obama Administration gave torture advocates a new validation. The opposition party came to power and refused to enforce the laws against torture against perpetrators who had publicly admitted to ordering it. This Administration accepted the Guantánamo mess and the Cheney-Bush alternative prosecution track for terrorist suspects - including indefinite detention without trial. And at least in the case of Bradley Manning, torture is still being practiced by the military. (Or at least was until public and international pressure got them to place Manning in more decent cond
Jonathan Hafetz writes in Bin Laden and the Torture Debate Balkinization 05/04/2011:
Bin Laden's death won't resolve the torture debate, nor will it be the last time the capture or trial of a suspected terrorist reignites controversy over the basic direction of U.S. counter-terrorism policy. What the response to bin Laden's death shows is how questions that before were not subject to debate--i.e., is torture permissible (answer: no, never)--have seemingly become a legitimate subject of public discourse. It also suggests that until the United States establishes a meaningful accountability mechanism and comes to grips with the abuses committed after 9/11, those who support torture will continue to exploit each new opportunity to defend it through the creation of a pro-torture narrative. [my emphasis]The torture issue isn't going away. There has to be a real accounting for it.
Tags: accountability for torture, jonathan hafetz, juan cole, torture
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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