Friday, February 06, 2009

Ending Torture

The refusal to delay military tribunal treatment of the case of suspected al-Qaida bomber Abd al-Rahimal-Nashiri was overruled today, bringing a new hope for justice in the cases of detainees at Gitmo. This had originally been kept in the works by a lower 'judge' over the request by President Obama to give time to investigate the crimes and punishment of detainees. Mr. al-Nashiri had been tortured, and tapes of his interrogation destroyed.

The Pentagon's senior judge overseeing terror trials at Guantanamo Bay dropped charges Thursday against an al-Qaida suspect in the 2000 USS Cole bombing, upholding President Barack Obama's order to freeze military tribunals there.

The charges against suspected al-Qaida bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri marked the last active Guantanamo war crimes case.

The legal move by Susan J. Crawford, the top legal authority for military trials at Guantanamo, brings all cases into compliance with Obama's Jan. 22 executive order to halt terrorist court proceedings at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Crawford withdrew the charges against al-Nashiri. However, new charges can be brought again later, and al-Nashiri will remain in prison for the time being.

"It was her decision, but it reflects the fact that the president has issued an executive order which mandates that the military commissions be halted, pending the outcome of several reviews of our operations down at Guantanamo," Morrell said late Thursday night.

The ruling also gives the White House time to review the legal cases of all 245 terror suspects held there and decide whether they should be prosecuted in the U.S. or released to other nations.

Disgracefully, there remain some elements of our society who think that torture is justified, and usually say it's used to prevent future violence, even thought that torture occasions that future violence. It's all too obvious that the view that condones torture holds a lot of sheer denial of humanity, and is irrational like most violence. Most of the civilized world detests torture, and has reacted with condemnation of the U.S. while it had leaders who were perpetrators of torture.

With the country's removal of those criminals from power, we have regained a place among civilized countries. Judge Crawford has removed the last blockade to the U.S. in its restoration to respect from the rest of the world, and self-respect.


Ken Starr is working against U.S. standing as civilized world participant. Please protest forcing CA gay couples to divorce; tell the Supreme Court not to divorce 18,000 California couples. Tell the Court to invalidate Prop 8, reject Ken Starr's case, and let loving, committed couples marry. DEADLINE: Valentine's Day. At link, Crooks & Liars post.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

PAMELA HESS | February 6, 2009 11:18 AM EST | AP

WASHINGTON — The United States will continue to hand foreign detainees over to other countries for questioning, but only with assurances they will not be tortured, Leon Panetta told a Senate committee considering his confirmation as CIA director.

That has long been U.S. policy, but some former prisoners subjected to the process _ known as extraordinary rendition_ during the Bush administration's anti-terror war say they were tortured.

"I will seek the same kind of assurances that they will not be treated inhumanely," Panetta said Friday in his second day before the Senate Intelligence Committee. "I intend to use the State Department to be sure those assurances are implemented and stood by, by those countries."

Panetta formally retracted a statement he made Thursday that the Bush administration transferred prisoners for the purpose of torture.

"I am not aware of the validity of those claims," he said.

Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., chastised Panetta for careless words. "You cannot be making statements or making judgments based on rumors and news stories," he said.

Because he has not yet been confirmed, Panetta has not been briefed on the details of the secret program.

Panetta said he believed the Bush administration was trying to protect the country from terrorists with its use of secret prisons, renditions and harsh interrogations.

The torture is not going to stop.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Cosa Nostradamus said...

Watching cable news is torture. Can Panetta get the Fairness Doctrine re-instated? Maybe we could have some really fair & balanced coverage of these issues.

10:43 PM  

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