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May 02, 2004

No Judicial Free Zones

Connect the dots from the detention cases currently before the Supreme Court and the torture that happened to Iraqi prisoners.

The Bush administration wants not only the prisoners at Guantanamo but even American citizens they deem "enemy combatants" to be exempt from all judicial review of the conditions under which they are contained.

So who would then decide what conditions are acceptable? Military intelligence officers doing their interrogations.

And it is military intelligence officers who are accused of directing the torture of prisoners in Iraq:

The suggestion by Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski that the reservists acted at the behest of military intelligence officers appears largely supported in a still-classified Army report on prison conditions in Iraq that documented many of the worst abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad, including the sexual humiliation of prisoners.

The New Yorker magazine said in its new edition that the report by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba found that reservist military police at the prison were urged by Army military officers and C.I.A. agents to "set physical and mental conditions for favorable interrogation of witnesses."

Remember why the CIA had its "hands tied" after Vietnam? Because unfettered power is power that will be abused, leading to these kinds of human rights abuses.

And for those who say we need such unfettered power to win the war on terrorism, look around at the world media covering the scandal around the Iraqi torture. We've lost more ground in winning over support for US goals due to this torture than any military information we could have possibly received.

Bad means are not only morally wrong; they are ultimately ineffective.

Posted by Nathan at May 2, 2004 09:15 AM