Original post made by Jag Singh, Duveneck/St. Francis, on Sep 22, 2006
Once again the Bush administration is pressuring Congress to serve as a rubber stamp to continue the despicable practice of torturing detainees. The pro-torture, anti-democratic neocons are attempting to slither around the Geneva Conventions humanitarian protections for detainees and thereby legitimize the CIA’s brutal interrogation tactics. Information extracted under torture is not only morally repugnant but worthless. A case in point was the rendition and torture of a Canadian citizen, Maher Arar. Mr. Arar was sent to Syria where completely false information was extracted under torture. Arar was completely vindicated by a Canadian Commission which issued a scathing report highly critical of both the US and Canadian governments. It is ironic that Syria, condemned for sponsoring terrorism, was selected as a target site for extracting information under torture! It is laudable that Senator McCain and his colleagues are attempting to reign in the attempts of the Bush administration to gut the Geneva Conventions. However, what is critically absent from the McCain-Graham-Warner amendment is the absence of the writ of habeas corpus which gives detainees the right to challenge their detention. Abolishing habeas corpus would mean that anyone could ‘disappear’ and not be able to seek justice and protection through the US courts. This would be death blow to democracy and may serve as a brutal instrument to stifle dissent. This must not be allowed to happen. Congress needs to stiffen its spine and restore its oversight duties on this runaway presidency.