Fortsat ballade om amerikansk tortur
USA og den amerikanske selvbevidsthed presses for tiden på to fronter:
- Har man med fuldt overlæg udleveret fanger til afhøring i lande, hvor man vidste, de ville blive udsat for tortur, og
- Har man selv drevet hemmelige fængsler, hvor der rutinemæssigt er anvendt "forbedrede" forhørsmetoder, som alle vist er enige om må betragtes som mishandling og tortur.
[Arar] was seized in September 2002 while travelling through JFK airport in New York, on his way home after a holiday in Tunisia. After being questioned for 13 days about a terrorism suspect - the brother of a work colleague - he was handcuffed, placed in leg irons, and put aboard an executive jet. Hearing the crew describe themselves as members of the "special removals unit", and discovering he was bound for Syria, the country where he was born, he begged them to return to the US. The crew, he says, ignored his pleas and suggested he watch a spy film that was being shown on board. After landing in Jordan, Arar says he was driven to Syria, where he was held in a small underground cell which he likened to a grave. His hands were repeatedly whipped with cables, he says. He added that he would eventually confess to anything put to him. Arar was released a year later after the Canadian government took up his case. The Syrian ambassador in Washington announced that no terrorist links had been found.The Independent har opstillet fem spørgsmål, som Rice - og alle USAs europæiske støtter! - bør besvare, hvis de eller USA som sådan fortsat skal tages alvorligt af nogen som helst:
For alle, der ønsker at trække vejret i et frit samfund, må sagen i alle tilfælde være klar: Hvad der end kan konstrueres af forskruede og velkendte force majeure-argumenter, bør tortur som forhørsmæssig rutine skys som pesten.
You say the US does not permit torture under any circumstances. So why are you bending the torture rules?
After 11 September 2001, the CIA sought authority for more aggressive interrogations. A US Justice Department memo dated 1 August 2002 for President Bush's legal counsel Alberto Gonzalez (now the Attorney General) said "torture may be justified". Also the CIA has been seeking exemptions from a proposed ban on subjecting prisoners to "cruel and inhumane treatment".
If rendition is done in co-operation with local governments in some cases, as you say, why is it done in secret?
Amnesty International said yesterday that six planes used by the CIA for renditions have made some 800 flights in European airspace, including 50 landings at Shannon airport in Ireland. The information contradicts assurances given last week by Ms Rice to the Irish Foreign Minister, Dermot Ahern, that Shannon had not been used for "untoward" purposes, or as a transit point for terror suspects.
Could you explain why you believe these renditions are "permissible under international law"?
Amnesty International's senior director of regional programmes, Claudio Cordone, said: "Flying detainees to countries where they may face torture or other ill-treatment is a direct and outright breach of international law with or without so called 'diplomatic assurances'. These assurances are meaningless. Countries known for systematic torture regularly deny the existence of such practices."
You say that the US respects the sovereignty of other countries. On what basis do you fire missiles at suspects who are on foreign soil?
An unmanned, CIA Predator aircraft is believed to have killed an al-Qa'ida commander in Pakistan at the end of last week. In 2002, a Predator operating in Yemen airspace killed six al-Qa'ida suspects, including an American citizen, in a country considered to be at peace with the US.
What plans do you have for trials where you believe the suspects have committed crimes?
There have been a number of cases, including the kidnapping of a German national, Khaled Masri, in which the suspect has been wrongfully imprisoned. The CIA picked up a terror suspect, Imam Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, two years ago in Milan. He was flown to Cairo where he was questioned and tortured. An Italian judge has issued arrest warrants for 13 CIA agents involved. According to Human Rights Watch, it remains unclear under what law the CIA was acting without the blessing of the local judicial authorities.
Dels fordi den virker dehumaniserende, på offer såvel som på bøddel - og dels, fordi den ud fra et forhørsteknisk synspunkt ganske enkelt ikke virker ret godt. Tænk f.eks. på den djævelsk dygtige forhørsdommer i Dostojevskijs Raskolnikov:
Komme han til bunds i sagen? Ja. Bruger han tortur, eller ville det have hjulpet ham? Nej.
Ikke, at dette er det egentlige eller afgørende element. Tortur er uacceptabelt, som voldtægt af kvindelige fanger er uacceptabelt - det kaster en pestånde over bøddel, over offer, og over alle indbyggere i ethvert samfund, hvor en sådan praksis stiltiende accepteres.