Sunday, January 13, 2008

All in a day's work

US President George Bush, October 5, 2007:

This government does not torture people.
Judgement of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Shafiq Rasul et al v Richard Meyers et al [PDF], January 11, 2008:
The plaintiffs concede that the “torture, threats, physical and psychological abuse inflicted” on them, which were allegedly approved, implemented, supervised and condoned by the defendants, were “intended as interrogation techniques to be used on detainees.” Compl. ¶ 141. In fact, as the district court correctly noted, “the complaint alleges torture and abuse tied exclusively to the plaintiffs’ detention in a military prison and to the interrogations conducted therein.” 414 F. Supp. 2d at 34. Under Ballenger, then, the underlying conduct—here, the detention and interrogation of suspected enemy combatants—is the type of conduct the defendants were employed to engage in.


While it may generally be unexpected that seriously criminal conduct [in this case, torture - I/S] will arise “in the prosecution of the business,” here it was foreseeable that conduct that would ordinarily be indisputably “seriously criminal” would be implemented by military officials responsible for detaining and interrogating suspected enemy combatants.

(Emphasis added) Or, in other words, torture - a criminal act under US and international law - is now all in a day's work for the US military.

(Hat tip: Talkleft)