29 September 2004

More torture

I know, I'm a broken record on this. But this is, you know, evil.

It looks like the US government may take another step in the construction of a gulag archipelago.

From Katherine at Obsidian Wings:

In Section 3032 and 3033 of H.R. 10, the “9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act of 2004,” introduced by House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL). The provision would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to issue new regulations to exclude from the protection of the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, any suspected terrorist — thereby allowing them to be deported or transferred to a country that may engage in torture. The provision would put the burden of proof on the person being deported or rendered to establish “by clear and convincing evidence that he or she would be tortured,” would bar the courts from having jurisdiction to review the Secretary's regulations, and would free the Secretary to deport or remove terrorist suspects to any country in the world at will — even countries other than the person's home country or the country in which they were born. The provision would also apply retroactively.

Go read the whole horrible thing.

Then read Michael at Discourse.net reminding us that this is one among many examples of our government's pro-torture policy.

Anyone who votes for people capable of supporting these policies has blood on their hands.

Please circulate the Obsidian Wings article. The quote about the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act is from a press release by Representative Edward Markey, (D-Mass), who is introducing a bill to amend the Act to strike this evil provision. This is a case where people can really make a difference by writing to their representatives and urging them to support Markey's bill.

Here's what I wrote to Nancy Pelosi, my congresshuman:

I have just learned about the "extraordinary rendition" provision in Section 3032 and 3033 of HR 10, the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act of 2004. It permits the US to ship out suspected terrorists to other nations known to use torture in interrogations.

Torture. As in, “evil.”

I find it deeply troubling that the United States would even be discussing legislation which enables torture. Doubly so in a bill that does not afford the protections of due process of law we hold to be essential in circumstances which much less severe stakes.

I understand that Representative Edward Markey of Massachucetts is introducing a bill to strike this provision from HR 10. Looking at his web page, I see that you and he are closely allied. I urge you to also join with him on this issue.

So much of government is a matter of dry and debatable policy, conflicting interests with equally reasonable claims, partisanship, and hairsplitting over differing values. This is a time when clear moral principle is at stake. I hope that you will take this opportunity to stand up for what is right.

Go on, write one yourself. You'll feel better.


Anonymous said...

Aarrgghh. Our blogs are both so cheery today.

Thanks for writing your letter.
- yezida

Anonymous said...

I am so happy we are torturing anyone involved in the deaths of so many good people. may God have mery on them, and may we speed them on there way to him.

Jonathan Korman said...

This blog has no patience for appealing to a merciful God and applauding torture in the same breath.