One of the first presidential orders from BHO (yep – we have already acronymised him) is that he has asked for the military commissions at GITMO to be suspended for 120 days, as well as shorter delays for hearings for habeas corpus. Here is a link for the order.
Now that is a good start.
Reports are also saying that BHO intends on having immediate changes in the “enhanced interrogation” techniques used by the military and the CIA.
The President also signed an order saying that all interrogations conducted by the United States would abide by the army field manual, effectively banning the CIA from using “enhanced interrogation” techniques including waterboarding.
But the problem is that the latest version of the Army Field Manual seems to have actually codified the torture that has taken place at GITMO, changes that the Bush administration championed.
The President of the National Lawyers Guild Marjorie Cohn has stated that portions of the AFM protocol, especially the use of isolation and prolonged sleep deprivation, constitutes cruel-and-unusual punishment and is illegal under the Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, the U.N. Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Hina Shamsi, an attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, has stated that portions of the AFM are “deeply problematic” and “would likely violate the War Crimes Act and Geneva,” and at the very least “leave the door open for legal liability.” Physicians for Human Rights and the Constitution Project have publicly called for the removal of problematic and abusive techniques from the AFM.
BHO said in Dec 2007 that he would “have the Army Field Manual govern interrogation techniques for all United States Government personnel and contractors”.
So unless the AFM changes I will still be blogging about torture.
Filed under: Human Rights |