Thursday, November 10, 2005


From last Night's Nelson Report (via Talking Points Memo):
Torture is prohibited by law throughout the United States. It is categorically denounced as a matter of policy and as a tool of state authority. Every act constituting torture under the Convention constitutes a criminal offense under the law of the United States. No official of the government, federal, state or local, civilian or military, is authorized to commit or to instruct anyone else to commit torture. Nor may any official condone or tolerate torture in any form. No exceptional circumstances may be invoked as a justification of torture. US law contains no provision permitting otherwise prohibited acts of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment to be employed on grounds of exigent circumstances (for example, during a ‘state of public emergency’) or on orders from a superior officer or public authority, and the protective mechanisms of an independent judiciary are not subject to suspension. (Report of the United States to the UN Committee against Torture, October 15, 1999, UN Doc. CAT/C/28/Add.5, February 9, 2000, para. 6.)


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