Sunday, May 10, 2009

Obama Violated the Convention Against Torture

The following is a letter I sent President Obama on May 7, 2009 via

Mr. President,

In reference to the torture memos you said:

"In releasing these memos, it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution."

This violates the Convention Against Torture, to which we are bound, which states in Article 2:

1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.

2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political in stability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.

3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.


CIA agents must not torture prisoners, even if a guy named Yoo, Bush or The Pope instructs them to do so.

Update: In addition to Article 2, Article 146 of the same Convention Against Torture states:

"Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed , or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts."


Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Keith Olbermann makes some great observations on the aftermath of governments who just looked ahead instead of first fixing past mistakes:

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