Monday, May 22, 2006

Democracy Now! | UN Panel Calls for Bush Administration to Close Guantanamo Bay Military Prison

Democracy Now! | UN Panel Calls for Bush Administration to Close Guantanamo Bay Military Prison: "GABOR RONA: First, thank you for having me on, Amy. The significance of this entire process is that, in addition to what you mentioned, this is the first time that the U.S. has come before the scrutiny of an international legal body since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This is not a situation in which the U.S. appeared because it was being called on the carpet. Quite the contrary. States are required to file periodic reports to the committee, which is charged with monitoring compliance with the torture convention, and the U.S. is a party to the torture convention. So this is a routine process.

What I think was not routine, though, was the fact that the United States sent a large and very high-level delegation to Geneva to appear before the Committee Against Torture, expressed its respect for the process and for the expertise of the members of this committee. It's an independent committee. It's not a political committee. The people on the committee are experts in their field. And the United States presented very detailed information about its legal arguments, asserting why it felt it was in compliance with its international legal obligations, but did not present a great deal of information about its practices, the facts.

And it was gratifying to see that the committee rejected much of the United States' legal posturing, invited the United States to provide more information about actual practices, and in no uncertain terms was critical of the United States’ practices of secret detentions, of interrogation techniques that amount to torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, of the process of extraordinary rendition, which is nothing more than enforced disappearances, and of several practices taking place within the U.S. criminal justice system, supermax prisons, and police stations.

AMY GOODMAN: We only have a minute, but how signific"

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