Administration Tries to Evade Torture Ban (Again)
The Washington Post reports that lawyers for the Bush Administration have filed court briefs arguing that the ban on "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" passed (finally) as part of last year's Defense appropriations bill "does not apply to people held at" Guantanamo Bay prison, because of another provision in the bill which limited detainees' access to federal courts.
"U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler said in a hearing yesterday that she found allegations of aggressive U.S. military tactics used to break the detainee hunger strike 'extremely disturbing' and possibly against U.S. and international law. But Justice Department lawyers argued that even if the tactics were considered in violation of McCain's language, detainees at Guantanamo would have no recourse to challenge them in court."
Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch, told the Post "Unfortunately, I think the government's right; it's a correct reading of the law. The law says you can't torture detainees at Guantanamo, but it also says you can't enforce that law in the courts."
McCain's office had no comment for the Post, and a quick GoogleNews search doesn't bring up any statement from him so far. If this reading of the law is correct, it's time to make a change - I cannot believe that the intention of all those who voted for the torture ban in the Senate and the House was for it to mean absolutely nothing.