UN expert criticizes US torture decision

Source: Associated Press

[SIZE=4]President Barack Obama’s decision not to prosecute CIA operatives who used questionable interrogation practices violates international law, the U.N.'s top torture investigator said Saturday. But he said Washington is unlikely to face any legal sanctions.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=4]On Thursday, Obama absolved CIA officers from prosecution for harsh, painful interrogation of terror suspects under the former [/SIZE][SIZE=4]Bush administration[/SIZE][SIZE=4]. The announcement was met with disappointment from human rights groups and former detainees who condemned such methods as torture.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=4]In a brief telephone interview with The Associated Press, Manfred Nowak, an Austrian law professor who serves as a special rapporteur for the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council, said the United States had committed itself under the U.N. Convention against Torture to make torture a crime and to prosecute those suspected of engaging in it.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=4]“They are party to the convention and the convention is very, very clear,” Nowak said when asked to confirm comments contained in an interview he gave Austria’s Der Standard newspaper. “The fact that you carried out an order doesn’t relieve you of your responsibility,” he said, adding it could be a mitigating factor.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=4]Nowak, who said he would soon travel to Washington for meetings with officials, also called for a comprehensive independent investigation into the matter and added it was important to compensate the victims.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=4]“Now we need to know all the facts - not just bits and pieces,” Nowak said. “First you need the truth and then you need justice.”[/SIZE]
[SIZE=4]The Obama administration on Thursday also released secret CIA memos detailing interrogation tactics sanctioned under Bush.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=4]The memos authorized keeping detainees naked, in painful standing positions and in cold cells for long periods of time. Other techniques included depriving them of solid food and slapping them. Sleep deprivation, prolonged shackling and threats to a detainee’s family also were used.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=4]Washington is unlikely to face any legal sanctions, but “naming and shaming has its impact, and usually governments try not to be criticized,” Nowak said.[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=4]http://images.forbes.com/media/partners/storylogos/ap.jpg [/SIZE][/URL][URL=“http://www.forbes.com/breakingnews/AP_full.html”]

If the law was broken, and the CIA is absolved because they were doing what was condoned by the Administration, I would question this. Actually I disagree with this. If you hire thugs to murder someone, both the employer and the employees are responsible. In any case if you don’t hold someone responsible, the rule of law has been subverted for political expedience. This is dereliction of duty? Was the law broken, yes or no? If the answer is yes, someone should be held accountable.

I wonder how the CIA operatives that quit feel about this. They quit instead of following illegal direction from the white house. Now they see those who did break the law get a free pass… I guess it dosen’t always pay to follow your convictions…

for some it’s a moral dilemma