Obsidian Wings has a very important post about a bill in Congress which will allow the US to legally send suspected terrorists to any country for torture.
The Republican leadership of Congress is attempting to legalize extraordinary rendition. “Extraordinary rendition” is the euphemism we use for sending terrorism suspects to countries that practice torture for interrogation.
[…] As it stands now, “extraordinary rendition” is a clear violation of international law—specifically, the U.N. Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Degrading and Inhuman Treatment. U.S. law is less clear. We signed and ratified the Convention Against Torture, but we ratified it with some reservations. They might create a loophole that allows us to send a prisoner to Egypt or Syria or Jordan if we get “assurances” that they will not torture a prisoner—even if these assurances are false and we know they are false.
Here is some information about the bill from Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Congressman’s office.
These are excerpts from a press release one of Markey’s staffers just emailed me:
The provision Rep. Markey referred to is contained in Section 3032 and 3033 of H.R. 10, the “9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act of 2004,” introduced by House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL). 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.
Please contact your Congressman and tell him/her to vote against this provision.
And in November, please vote the Republicans out who are thinking up such crazy laws and has been doing what the law would make legal for quite some time now.