I know I have been posting a lot about torture and the Bush Administration's culpability in it, but this is something I feel strongly about. I have somethings now that show the legalities of behind why we shouldn't torture.
Also, there has been discussion as to whether water boarding is torture or not but it has been known as torture since the Spanish Inquisition. It was just when the Bush Administration decided to change how the USA recognized the Geneva Convention that water boarding became not torture as far as they were concerned. However, they then changed their mind after the pictures of Abu Ghraib became public and say they have stopped doing it. So, if it isn't illegal, if it isn't torture, why did they stop?
Here are the rulings and laws that spell out the reasons and reasoning behind us not allowing torture and why they should be held accountable. Also, why are they, the ones who ordered torture to be done, by his own admission, VP Cheney did so, any less guilty than the ones who were punished earlier? Remember Staff Sgt. Ivan Frederick,Pfc. Lynndie England, Spc. Sabrina Harman,Cpl. Charles A. Graner Jr.,Spc. Jeremy Sivits, Sgt. Javal S. Davis, Spc. Megan Ambuhl, Spc. Armin J. Cruz Jr., and Spc. Roman Krol?
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
advisory declaration adopted by
the United Nations General Assembly (December 10, 1948)
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was presented after World [W]ar II. Its provisions made their way into the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and as such, were ratified as norms of international law by the majority of civilized states in the world.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
- in force September 8, 1992
Article 4. 1 . In time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which is officially proclaimed, the States Parties to the present Covenant may take measures derogating from their obligations under the present Covenant to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, provided that such measures are not inconsistent with their other obligations under international law and do not involve discrimination solely on the ground of race, colour, sex, language, religion or social origin.
2. No derogation from articles 6, 7, 8 (paragraphs I and 2), 11, 15, 16 and 18 may be made under this provision. 3. Any State Party to the present Covenant availing itself of the right of derogation shall immediately inform the other States Parties to the present Covenant, through the intermediary of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, of the provisions from which it has derogated and of the reasons by which it was actuated. A further communication shall be made, through the same intermediary, on the date on which it terminates such derogation.
Article 7. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.
Article 16. Everyone shall have the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment - in force November 20, 1994
Article 3 . 1. No State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture. 2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.
Article 4. 1. Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture. 2. Each State Party shall make these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.
Article 16. 1. Each State Party shall undertake to prevent in any territory under its jurisdiction other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture as defined in article I, when such acts are committed by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. In particular, the obligations contained in articles 10, 11, 12 and 13 shall apply with the substitution for references to torture of references to other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
2. The provisions of this Convention are without prejudice to the provisions of any other international instrument or national law which prohibits cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment or which relates to extradition or expulsion.
The United States signed and ratified both the Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
- entered into force internationally on January 27, 1980
Article 53. Treaties conflicting with a peremptory norm of general international law (jus cogens). A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law. For the purposes of the present Convention, a peremptory norm of general international law is a norm accepted and recognized by the international community of States as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of general international law having the same character. [emphasis added]
The United States has not ratified nor signed this treaty, supposedly because its contents were already accepted norms of international law.
In the Aftermath of World War II the United States was a participant in the Nüremberg Tribunal
Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nüremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, 1950.
Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor and liable to punishment.
The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible Government official does not relieve him from responsibility under international law.
The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.
Complicity in the commission of a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity as set forth in Principle VI is a crime under international law.