Monday, September 25


Rights groups challenge Bush's deal with McCain et al.

"It only takes 30 seconds or so to see that the Senators have capitulated entirely, that the U.S. will hereafter violate the Geneva Conventions... and that there will be very little pretense about it," according to Marty Lederman, an international law professor at Georgetown University School of Law, who suggested that the White House had gotten the better of the rebels.

His interpretation of the deal's likely impact on the CIA's legal authority to use cruel or inhuman interrogation methods in defiance of the Conventions' Common Article 3 was similar to that of Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and most other groups.
The ACLU's legislative director, Caroline Fredrickson, assailed the deal as a "compromise of America's commitment to the rule of law."

Like other groups, she cited provisions in the bill, which will be taken up by the Republican-led House of Representatives next week, that would permit testimony that was coerced through cruel or inhumane treatment to be used as evidence in military trials, preclude the judicial branch from reviewing the government's compliance with the Geneva Conventions, and deny detainees the right to challenge their status in court.

"It is essential that the bill be amended to ensure that all detainees have access to the courts to challenge the legality of their detention and their treatment," said Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth.

"This 'deal' still wipes out habeas corpus," noted Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. "(Its) abolishment is the equivalent of the authorization of executive detention -- one of the hallmarks of a police state."

Ratner and other activists also noted that the compromise, if approved, would retroactively immunize military and CIA staff from prosecution under the 1995 War Crimes Act for violations of the Geneva Conventions committed during the "war on terror".

"This 'deal' amnesties those in the administration who may be guilty of war crimes as Argentina and Chile tried to do during their 'dirty wars'," Ratner said. "That is illegal under international law."

Tags: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home