The UN General Assembly has received a 15 page report on extraordinary rendition and it does not look good for Bush or Cheney. Cheney is currently attempting to get the CIA exempted from the torture restrictions under US law, but he may have a rougher time coming under international law.
United Nations, 10 November, (IPS): - Six countries -- the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Sweden and Kyrgyzstan -- have been singled out for violating international human rights conventions by deporting terrorist suspects to countries such as Egypt, Syria, Algeria and Uzbekistan, where they may have been tortured.
The charges, which come at a time when the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is accused of running secret detention centres overseas, have been catalogued in a 15-page U.N. report presented to the 191-member General Assembly by Manfred Nowak, a special rapporteur (reporter) on torture.
Bush and Cheney have "depended" on those assurances that people sent to other countries will not be tortured [wink, wink], but the UN seems to believe that this will not work.
The study cites Article 3 of the U.N. Convention Against Torture, which says "clearly and unequivocally" that "No State party shall expel, return ('refouler') or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be danger of being subjected to torture."
But countries such as the United States and Sweden have justified the extradition on the ground that countries receiving the deportees have given "diplomatic assurances or formal guarantees" that there will be no torture, ill-treatment or the death penalty.
But according to Nowak, "diplomatic assurances are unreliable and ineffective in the protection against torture and ill-treatment and such assurances are sought usually from States where the practice of torture is systematic".
He also points out that diplomatic assurances are not legally binding. "Therefore they carry no legal effect and no accountability, if breached, and the person whom the assurances aim to protect has no recourse if the assurances are violated."
Boyle pins down the the crime to Article 7 of the ICC:
Francis A. Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, is particularly critical of the policies of the administration of President George W. Bush -- specifically on renditions.
He condemned the "reprehensive policy known euphemistically as 'extraordinary renditions'" that involve both the "enforced disappearances of persons" and torture, as being "widespread" and "systematic."
Such acts, Boyle told IPS, constitute a "crime against humanity" as defined by Article 7 of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC).
"That is precisely why the Bush Jr. administration has done everything humanly possible to sabotage the ICC," he added.
And calls for prosecution of an assortment of people from Bush down through his lawyers [Miers?]:
To the contrary, Boyle argued, everyone in the chain of command responsible for this criminal policy -- from Bush down through Vice President Dick Cheney, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, CIA Director Porter Goss and operatives at the Clandestine Services Unit of the CIA -- "must be prosecuted under both U.S. domestic criminal law, international criminal law, and the domestic criminal legal systems of every state in the world".
Boyle also pointed out that there is no statute of limitations for such grievous international crimes.
"Furthermore, all Bush Jr. administration lawyers at the White House, the Department of Justice, and the CIA, inter alia, who signed off on 'extraordinary renditions' must also be prosecuted for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, enforced disappearances, murder, and kidnapping, " said Boyle, the author of "Destroying World Order" (2005) and "Biowarfare and Terrorism" (2005).
He said that Italy is correctly starting to do this. Other states are obligated to follow under basic principles of both treaty and customary international law, Boyle added.
Rabbani leaves them no outs either.
Rabbani [Mouin Rabbani, contributing editor to the Washington-based Middle East Report] said there is no persuasive explanation of why else renditions have in the past several years become a weapon of choice for officials who have demonstrated a total contempt for the rule of law, and have very publicly indicated their determination to leapfrog restrictions, such as the Geneva Conventions and longstanding protections of civil liberties, on their handling of suspects.
UN on rendition
U.N. Blasts Practice of Outsourcing Torture
By Thalif Deen Inter Press Service
Bush and Cheney and their cohorts have proven over and over again that they have no respect for any laws. And what can we say about their weapon of choice - torture - except that Satan walks again on earth and we see his face in extraordinary rendition and our so-called "Christian" leaders.