The Rambler :: blog

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Outsourcing Torture 

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This is not, and never intends to be a political blog: I know about music, I like talking about music, and political blogging without fail always turns ugly and I have no time for the inevitable mudslinging. However linking to this post is clearly a special case, and I do so in order to raise awareness. In summary:

The Republican leadership of Congress is attempting to legalize extraordinary rendition. "Extraordinary rendition" is the euphemism we use for sending terrorism suspects to countries that practice torture for interrogation. As one intelligence official described it in the Washington Post, "We don't kick the shit out of them. We send them to other countries so they can kick the shit out of them." ...

As it stands now, "extraordinary rendition" is a clear violation of international law--specifically, the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Degrading and Inhuman Treatment. U.S. law is less clear. We signed and ratified the Convention Against Torture, but we ratified it with some reservations. They might create a loophole that allows us to send a prisoner to Egypt or Syria or Jordan if we get "assurances" that they will not torture a prisoner--even if these assurances are false and we know they are false.

Last month Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Congressman, introduced a bill that would clearly outlaw extraordinary rendition. But Markey only has 22 cosponsors, and now the House leadership is trying to legalize torture outsourcing--and hide it in the bill implementing the 9/11 Commission Report. ...

To other bloggers: Please consider linking to this post. This bill will pass unless people know about it, and no newspaper has reported on it. The press coverage of the CBS memos showed that blogs can break a story and have an effect--and this story is about 100 times more important than Bill Burkett's shenanigans and CBS news’ negligence.

I'm talking to Republicans, conservatives and libertarians as well as to Democrats and liberals. I know that you are more decent than this, and that you do not approve of torture. Please prove me right, and do something about it. Republicans are the majority in Congress, and they are much more likely to listen to you than to any Democrat. The press is much more likely to report on the story if liberal and conservative blogs both cover it.

Thank you.

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