12 March 2005
Article 1 of the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment states that: “For the purposes of this Convention, the term ‘torture’ means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”
Article 2 of the Convention states that: “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.”
Article 15 states that: “Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made.”
So Jack Straw, our intellectually (never mind morally) challenged foreign minister tells us:
“Just in terms of moral calculus, [what] if we had been told through liaison partners that 11 September was going to happen with all the details. Now torture is completely unacceptable and [we would] query whether that was the reason why we got the information … but you cannot ignore it if the price of ignoring it is 3,000 people dead.” – Jack Straw
One of the arguments used by the government in its attempt to justify preventive detention is that the sources cannot be revealed for fear of ‘compromising’ them. The truth however, is a lot grimmer as Straw’s defence of torture reveals. For what Straw’s comment exposes is a totally morally bankrupt ruling elite, getting more desperate by the day as its defence of the indefensible crumbles.
So Straw is telling us that the end justifies the means in a sick parody of the propaganda campaign conducted against the Soviet Union (and elsewhere) for nigh on fifty years.
If ever one needed proof that the people who run this alleged democracy are sick and twisted look no further than Straw’s statement that the above quote is extracted from (no force used, these guys are so sure of themselves that they think nobody actually listens to or even understands what they say).
Straw, in a letter to the committee investigating prisoner abuse says:
Britain cannot ignore the intelligence gained by America from prisoners who were tortured, Jack Straw has told a committee of MPs but that “we [that is, the government] faced a moral hazard”.
The article in the Independent tells us that:
The ISC [Intelligence and Security Committee] was told Britain’s anti-terrorist forces had prevented attacks by using intelligence gained from so-called “ghost prisoners” held by the US in breach of the Geneva Conventions. The “ghost prisoners” are held at undisclosed locations, under unknown conditions with no access by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
That’s the advantage of turning illegal actions under the Geneva Convention and other international laws into mere “moral hazards”, for they are according to Straw just objects you steer clear of by making two wrongs into a right viz. 3000 corpses. It is in itself clear proof of why the law of preventive detention that our cowardly collection of MPs just passed puts us on the slippery slope toward a fascist state.
After all, what distinguishes the guys who toppled the twin towers from Jack Straw? Not a damn thing except that Straw is complicit in a damn sight more murders than Osama and co could ever carry out. Lock the bastard Straw up on publicly admitting to supporting terrorist related activity. I rest my case.
1. Straw: Britain cannot ignore evidence obtained by torture By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor, the Independent, 11 March 2005.
And if you think the execrable Straw is alone in this kind of thinking, read on…
A piece in the Wall Street Journal a reader has just sent me merely reinforces just what a bunch of utterly immoral bastards these rulers of ours really are. Entitled “Rendering Al Qaeda”, the piece quotes Sandy Berger, Clinton’s national security advisor:
“In the United States, we have this thing called the Constitution, so to bring him [Osama] here is to bring him into the justice system,” Mr. Berger told the Washington Post in October 2001. “I don’t think that was our first choice. Our first choice was to send him someplace where justice is more ‘streamlined [eg Saudi Arabia]’.”
The piece goes on:
Actually, renditions [sending ‘em someplace where ‘justice’ is more “streamlined”] really are a scandal, though this has nothing to do with torture. The scandal is that this long after September 11 neither the CIA nor the Defense Department has a set of clear, effective and legally sanctioned means to extract actionable intelligence from terrorist suspects in their custody.
It ends on this enlightening note:
Terrorist suspects are potentially among the most valuable sources of intelligence, yet the expanded use of renditions only indicates that the U.S. itself is incapable of mining these assets. No one we know wants to “outsource torture,” but critics of the practice are obliged to say what tactics they will sanction that can extract information from terrorists when it might save American lives.
So Straw, hopefully you’ll have company in a prison someplace where, if you’re lucky, you won’t be subjected to the kind of ‘justice’ that’s not so “streamlined” as the one you’re sicking on the British people.