Saturday, December 04, 2004

Thin Edge of the Wedge

America has admitted to using evidence gained by torture.

Evidence gained by torture can be used by the US military review panels deciding the fate of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the US Government has conceded.

Lawyers acting for Australian detainees in Cuba have called on the Australian Government to renounce the practice.

About 70 years ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled evidence gained through torture was inadmissible.

Deputy associate Attorney-General, Brian Boyle, has told the District Court in Washington DC, that the Guantanamo review panels are allowing such evidence.

This development is shocking and deplorable, but hardly surprising. The US military and the White House have given clear indications that they consider the law to be at best, only a minor hindrance to their activities; human rights--even those of terrorists or members of the Taliban--are non-existant.

I seriously doubt that Howard will denounce this US practice. Howard is too closely aligned with Bush to now criticise or condemn the Bush administration. Most likely, he will do everything he can to ignore or cover-up the issue, perhaps saying things like "let's wait for an investigation" or "don't make broad assumptions" or "there is no evidence that the Australians held at Guantanamo Bay were tortured, so why should we care?"


  • At December 05, 2004 5:02 am, Blogger Nic White said…

    I think torture is a legitimare means of gaining information if other options have been exhausted and the information is important enough, like if it could save lives.

  • At December 05, 2004 10:54 am, Blogger Alex said…

    Apart from the fact that it has been demonstrated countless times over historany that torture is not reliable for information extraction, the entire practice is abominable and degrades the humanity of both torturer and tortured.

  • At December 06, 2004 3:21 pm, Blogger B. S. Fairman said…

    It is always the person who is not being tortured that defends it.

  • At December 07, 2004 11:43 am, Blogger Kroke said…

    I think Zizek put it best when he said that the very fact that torture is being 'discussed' in a political forum, is scary enough. You are already morally bankrupt when you introduce a dialogue that weighs the pros and cons of torture; as if it is something you can come to a compromise over. It is wrong, and there should be doubt about it.


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