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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 

US torture a conscience policy choice - Human Rights Watch

Another group weighs in on the United States illegal, immoral and counter- productive use of torture.
Human Rights Watch slams US 'torture' in annual report
...The New York-based monitor said the US strategy, as well as fuelling terrorist recruitment, had hampered Washington's ability to pressure other countries into respecting international law.

"Fighting terrorism is central to the human rights cause," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "But using illegal tactics against alleged terrorists is both wrong and counterproductive."

...In its critique of US policy, Human Rights Watch dismissed the argument that cases of abusive interrogation could be put down to a small number of "bad apples" in the military when they were clearly "a conscious policy choice" by senior US government officials.

Roth said evidence of that deliberate policy included the threat by
President George W. Bush to veto a bill opposing "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment," and moves by Vice President Dick Cheney to exempt the Central Intelligence Agency from the law.

"Responsibility for the use of torture and mistreatment can no longer credibly be passed off to misadventures by low-ranking soldiers on the nightshift," said Roth.

"The Bush administration must appoint a special prosecutor to examine these abuses, and Congress should set up an independent, bipartisan panel to investigate," he added.
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