Thursday, May 05, 2011

The "new" torture debate

Amerika 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.

The first thing to say is that Democratic leaders and the Obama administration only have themselves to blame for this torture issue still being salient. It can be deployed by the Cheney family and their surrogates only because Democratic leaders made a decision not to have anyone prosecuted for the crimes of the Bush administration. Not torture. Not warrantless domestic surveillance. Nada. If there had been prosecutions, and, better, convictions for torture, then people defending it would be defending convicted criminals,and would reveal themselves for what they are. [my emphasis]
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: , , ,

| +Save/Share | |

Links to this post:

Create a Link


"It is the logic of our times
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?


  • What is the Blue Voice?
  • Bruce Miller
  • Fdtate
  • Marcia Ellen (on hiatus)
  • Marigolds2
  • Neil
  • Tankwoman
  • Wonky Muse


  • Robert Fisk on Bin Laden's death
  • Stephen Walt on whether the US murdered Bin Laden
  • The changing Bin Laden death story
  • Howard Fineman on Obama and the death of Osama bin...
  • Bin Laden's death: the original official story
  • "Al Qa'ida" after Bin Laden
  • Shrub Bush on Bin Laden's death: total absence of ...
  • Osama bin Laden dead: So now we can end all our wa...
  • The legendary May 1, 2003 Mission Accomplished spe...
  • It was eight years ago today...



    [Tip: Point cursor to any comment to see title of post being discussed.]
    www TBV




    Environmental Links
    Gay/Lesbian Links
    News & Media Links
    Organization Links
    Political Links
    Religious Links
    Watchdog Links



    Atom/XML Feed
    Blogarama - Blog Directory
    Blogwise - blog directory



    hits since 06-13-2005

    site design: wonky muse