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Let’s define “harsh interrogation” a little better now that it’s a law, shall we?

October 17, 2006

Front page papers all around the U.S. (and the world?) informed us all that today “Bush signed a law authorizing harsh interrogation,” or something close to that. This “harsh interrogation” term is our new way of saying torture, which is exactly what it is. In the Reuters article, we learn that the beauty of this law is that what is acceptable as torture doesn’t even have to be stated:

Bush said it would allow intelligence professionals to question suspects without fear of being sued by them later.

“This bill spells out specific recognizable offenses that would be considered crimes in the handling of detainees so that our men and women who question captured terrorists can perform their duties to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.

The White House has refused to describe what techniques will be allowed or banned.

Of course at this point we wouldn’t expect anything less from the Bush Administration. What is critical to acknowledge, over and over again, is how these new laws regarding the CIA prisons, torture, and the indefinite detention of “persons of interest” in the War on Terror are all purposely flagrant demonstrations of exceptional power. By exception I’m referring to the establishment’s exception from the rule of law by virtue of its sovereign power. It answers to no one; they are the Law, and the spaces they create in those prisons are the physical areas of exception. Torture is a contingency – its definition is in their hands, not ours.

You never want to find yourself in one of these places. The problem is, that the mere presence of such prisons inscribes an intolerable injustice upon everyone. The threat, the awareness of such acceptability is a violation of the human right to freedom and self-determination.

To oppose this law doesn’t mean we’re “soft on terrorists”. We just want to deal with them in the light of day by the rule of law created by democracy.

Americans tortureThis is not a good day for the world.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2006 10:36 am

    It’s incredibly scary. I’ve heard interviews with people who’s attitude is, “Well, they’re terrorists and don’t deserve the same rights the rest of us have!” With that attitude, hey, let’s apply that to murderers as well. Why give anyone suspected of a crime any kind of rights? After all, they’re criminals! Does anyone ever think abuse of power will apply to them when they pass it into law? It’s unbelievable in this day and age that people can be so naive.

  2. October 18, 2006 2:38 pm

    Fantastic point, technogrrrl. These people… Let me pause her to remind people who think this legislation is okay that these are indeed PEOPLE. Terrorist, enemy combatant, insurgent — these are all words the Bush Regime uses to dehumanize their victims so that they seem less human and less real — and therefore okay to treat in ways that we wouldn’t think of treating animals. What would you do if you saw someone doing what is depicted in this picture — including the blood, the terror on the victims face — to a dog? At the very least you would call 911. Many people would jump the sick bastard and kick his ass. And he would most definitely go to prison for it. So why is it okay to do it to a HUMAN BEING? Look closely at the picture above and you tell me who the terrorist is. If you tell me it’s the guy on the ground near the pool of hiw own blood with the look of pain and terror on his face than you are one sick bastard and you need help.

  3. October 19, 2006 11:00 am

    I agree fully. What a horrific image. If we want to stand out as moral arbiters, we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard.

  4. October 25, 2006 10:17 pm

    For a country founded on freedom, equality and hope, the direction is painfully endless. I a few soldiers and how they act towards other countries and it’s sad to see how our military brainwashes people and cultivating the enviornment for organized terrorism in search for a better world? Thanks for sharing, everyone needs to open their eyes from time to time. Get out and vote!!!

  5. Zoe permalink
    April 6, 2007 9:27 am

    More people need to see these things. The media never really talks about these laws that are being passed. It’s important for people to understand what’s going on but the medias more focused on what new clothes look best for summer and what Brad Pitt did last weekend. While in another part of the world our country is allowing for people to be tortured. It’s awfull.

  6. Adrian Marzette permalink
    May 27, 2007 9:26 pm

    oh wow. i can not believe this picture! this is horrible! who took this picture? are they a reliable source?

  7. Trav permalink
    June 5, 2007 6:00 pm



    • April 8, 2010 4:43 pm

      Totally agree….if they want to go out of their way to attack and kill innocents, then they deserve torture themselves….they’ll be surprised to realized that there isn’t a mass of virgins waiting for them on the other side

  8. jalen permalink
    April 16, 2008 2:47 am

    I feel so much pain when you see a lot of human rights being violated its just bad

  9. era permalink
    June 20, 2008 1:59 am

    if that person or group was being thought by there parents about god, thought how to respect others do good things not doing such harsh act then there will no violence. we should always think that we own our life to god and him can only be the one to take that from us. no one is allow to kill anybody….it is a big sin that god will never ever forgive. always love others,respect others as you want others to respect you in return.

  10. January 12, 2009 3:29 pm

    To post the picture of this pathetic creature on acconcrete floor and imply it is waterboarding is rediculous not to mention intellectually dishonest. Please, if you are going to expound on a topic, please educate yourself as to exactly what is entailed in waterboarding……a routine all navy seals go through as part of their training. Please give your readers a detailed description of waterboarding and please don’t take it off that idiot Algore’s web site. I will bet you have no idea.

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