So, now the the CIA has admitted to waterboarding three men, which the Bush administration is now claiming is legal and that the President can authorize the CIA to resume using this torture technique anytime he wants.
CIA Director Michael V. Hayden has threatened Congress that “depriving the agency of coercive methods would ‘increase the danger to America.’” No, it is the use of torture that is the threat to America. It threatens our safety, both from our own government and for the ill will it breeds towards us around the world. It threatens our already damaged respect and moral standing. It’s ineffective and all information gathered through torture is suspect. Indeed, questions have came up about the truthfulness of both Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s tortured confessions.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both condemn waterboarding as torture as defined under the UN Convention Against Torture and are calling for the investigation of these and other allegations of torture, and prosecution of those who have done it. Excuses using the “ticking time bomb” scenario are made, justifying suspending the rules against torture for “the war on terror,”but the UN Convention Against Torture clearly states: “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency may be invoked as a justification of torture.”
Already banned by international law, and for use by our military, Amnesty International is calling for the Senate to join the House in voting to restrict the use of interrogation techniques by US agencies to those permitted in the Army Field Manual, which specifically bars the use of waterboarding, sexual humiliation and the use of dogs. Call your Senator. Say no to torture.