Thursday, April 30, 2009
Actually they violated American US Codes on torture as well as international accords and laws. The reporter who asked the question only mentioned international law and framed the question as "the rest of the world against the US policy" completely leaving out that US Code is involved allowing Obama some weaseling and wiggling room. The only response to the question framed truly would have elicited the response that he (Obama) would require Holder to follow the law and draw up warrants and arrest Bybee and Haynes and Cheney immediately. The law is fairly clear that they conspired to break US War Crimes Law. Everyone in the room when these things were discussed was conspiring.
They appear they might be guilty. For those of us who want to wheel out the guillotine, it seems as if death penalties for the higher-ups are ruled out with the parenthetical expression "(other than the penalty of death)" as well as giving the conspirators a completely flexible length of sentence: "...for any term of years or for life." What a loophole for the favored elite conspirators among us! The guy ordered to torture who actually kills someone in the process gets death. The man who ordered him to do it (or "conspired") could get off scott free (or with a $1 fine) or walk away after some minimum security dalliance with a Libby style sentence.
Considering the lightness of these sentences overall it would seem sensible to go on with prosecutions under the US Code 2340A in Federal 4th District Court where the fix is always in:
TITLE 18. CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
PART I. CRIMES
CHAPTER 113C. TORTURE
18 U.S.C. § 2340A
§ 2340A. Torture
As used in this chapter--
(a) Offense. Whoever outside the United States commits
or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this
title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if
death results to any person from conduct prohibited by
this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned
for any term of years or for life.
(b) Jurisdiction. There is jurisdiction over the activity
prohibited in subsection (a) if--
(1) the alleged offender is a national of the United
(2) the alleged offender is present in the United
States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or
(c) Conspiracy. A person who conspires to commit an
offense under this section shall be subject to the same
penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the
penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of
which was the object of the conspiracy.
The US torture codes are here: