Scott Horton interviews Mark Danner, who aquired the Red Cross report on torture that has been in the news this week:
The ICRC professionals who prepared it concluded, and wrote explicitly, that the behavior they catalogued included torture, as well as cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. They were judging the procedures used in the black sites against the Geneva Conventions (in the enforcement of which they play a formal role), the Convention Against Torture, and a number of other international agreements. Whereas in earlier reports the Red Cross used formulations that nuanced the question somewhat (saying, for instance, that Guantánamo practices were “tantamount to torture”), in this report they spoke bluntly and forcefully, saying that the conduct was torture. That of course is a violation of international law. But it is also a violation of domestic law. It is a crime, in fact.
Why are elected officials above the law?
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