Wednesday, April 04, 2007

American Values: RIP

Evidence from alleged al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla can be used against him at trial despite defense claims the American's arrest was based on information obtained through torture, a U.S. judge ruled on Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke refused to reconsider a magistrate's ruling in September to admit Padilla's statements to the FBI as evidence in his trial starting on April 16 on charges of conspiring to aid Islamist extremists overseas.

Padilla [was arrested and charged] based in part on information provided by two prisoners held at the U.S. military jail at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, Abu Zubaydah and Binyam Muhammad...

Muhammad has claimed in court documents that he gave false confessions implicating Padilla while held in a Moroccan prison, where he was beaten and slashed on the chest and penis with scalpels before being sent to Guantanamo.

Zubaydah was transferred to Guantanamo in September, along with 13 other "high-value" captives who had been held in secret CIA prisons. The New York Times has said his interrogators stripped him naked, held him in an ice-cold room and subjected him to deafeningly loud music.

All three of the key individuals in this case claim to have been tortured. Given what we have learned about US treatment of prisoners over the past three years, those claims deserve serious examination. Any information based on torture should not be allowed in any court- civilian or military.

Vice-president Cheney has declared that waterboarding (a 'dunk in the water') is a "no-brainer" and not torture. See the clip below. With this sort of support, why wouldn't interrogators continue to cross the line?

In this more extended piece from MSNBC there is some commetary on Cheney's remarks, and a demonstration of what 'waterboarding' is- and it's not a dunk in the water.

Must we become terrorists to combat terrorists? Must we sell our soul to win against those who have sold theirs to hatred?

No comments: