Thursday, May 26, 2005

Faith & Values Administration Continues to Condone Torture

Let me say it again.....Torture is wrong. Torture is grotesquely immoral. Torture is tangible evil.

George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfled and Condoleezza Rice all turn their heads to torture under their watch, while calling theirs a "faith and values" administration.

That's a lie.
From John Podesta's Center for American Progress....

FBI documents released yesterday provide detailed summaries of alleged abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba including physical abuse and disrespectful use of the Koran. Although these stories have not been fully corroborated, they come on the heels of the disclosure of other FBI documents that include eyewitness accounts by FBI agents of harsh and potentially illegal interrogations at the camp.

In another development, Amnesty International, the renowned human rights organization, released a hard-hitting report accusing the Bush administration of condoning “atrocious” violations of human rights at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. Make no mistake about it: America’s moral authority has been seriously eroded by the administration’s handling of prisoners.

The Bush administration has condoned torture and abuse of prisoners. The Amnesty report details how the U.S. has systematically evaded its obligations under human rights accords and justified illegal, abusive interrogation techniques of prisoners. The administration’s “rendition” of prisoners to countries known for torture makes a mockery of the administration’s claim to uphold the rule of law and promote the “cause of liberty” throughout the world.

The administration’s blatant disregard for human rights has undermined U.S. standing in the world and fostered a culture of widespread abuse in other countries. The U.S. has been the world’s leading moral and legal authority throughout much of its history. But the administration’s blatant disregard for our own ethical standards and commitment to international law is now being used by other countries as justification for their own human rights abuses. Their rationale is not hard to figure out: “If the U.S. says it’s okay to string up prisoners with electrical wires and use all forms of psychological and physical abuse, then it must be okay for us as well.”

Congress must appoint a genuinely independent and impartial commission to investigate the administration’s handling of prisoners. The administration cannot be trusted to honestly and thoroughly investigate its own actions on human rights. Congress must exercise its independent authority to check the executive branch’s behavior in these matters. America’s moral authority will not be restored unless we fully investigate all allegations of torture and appropriately punish all those who bear responsibility for this shameful part of our recent history.

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