Thursday, September 30, 2004

Legalized Torture?

If House Republicans have their way, the US will join an unsavory list of countries that - in one way or another - conduct or condone torture. Obsidian Wings, via Scrutiny Hooligans brings us news of Section 3032 and 3033 of H.R. 10, the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act of 2004. Brought to you by the vile Denny Hastert, of course.

The provision would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to issue new regulations to exclude from the protection of the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, any suspected terrorist - thereby allowing them to be deported or transferred to a country that may engage in torture. The provision would put the burden of proof on the person being deported or rendered to establish "by clear and convincing evidence that he or she would be tortured," would bar the courts from having jurisdiction to review the Secretary's regulations, and would free the Secretary to deport or remove terrorist suspects to any country in the world at will - even countries other than the person's home country or the country in which they were born. The provision would also apply retroactively.
There is so much that is not just wrong, not just unconstitutional, but downright inhumane about the proposal that I don't even know where to begin. But we can all start by writing our Representatives and letting them know that we don't want to be a member of that club.