Zero-Hour In Geneva: Will Obama Seal His Legacy On Torture? | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Zero-Hour In Geneva: Will Obama Seal His Legacy On Torture?

A U.S. delegation will be asked by a United Nations panel on Wednesday if it believes the international Convention Against Torture applies to actions conducted by U.S. personnel outside of the nation’s borders.

And nobody knows what the U.S. delegation is going to say.

Wednesday will mark the first U.S. appearance before the Committee Against Torture since the Obama Administration took office in 2008 and swore to put the abuses of the Bush White House’s post-9/11 torture program behind it. Despite its firm stance against the operation, though, lawmakers and advocates are concerned that Wednesday could see the Obama White House nudge open the door for such a program to happen again.

"Right now the Executive Branch is actually debating whether the ban on cruel and inhuman treatment of prisoners applies to US facilities overseas or just inside the United States,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) in a statement to The Huffington Post. “My view is the ban should apply everywhere, but clearly some people haven’t learned from the mistakes of the past decade.”

The program’s critics say this week’s meeting in Geneva presents an opportunity for the U.S. to mark a clear departure from the abuse and controversies of the Bush years.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I frankly wouldn't bet against the US delegates refusing to take a stand on this, one way or the other, because under the current administration, the US government is still torturing prisoners of war.

As reported in the guardian.com on 24 January, 2014:

The United States Army Field Manual (AFM) on interrogation (pdf) has been sold to the American public and the world as a replacement for the brutal torture tactics used by the CIA and the Department of Defense during the Bush/Cheney administration. On 22 January 2009, President Obama released an executive order stating that any individual held by any US government agency "shall not be subjected to any interrogation technique or approach, or any treatment related to interrogation, that is not authorized by and listed in Army Field Manual 2 22.3." But a close reading of Department of Defense documents and investigations by numerous human rights agencies have shown that the current Army Field Manual itself uses techniques that are abusive and can even amount to torture. Disturbingly, the latest version of the AFM mimicked the Bush administration in separating out "war on terror" prisoners as not subject to the same protections and rights as regular prisoners of war. Military authorities then added an appendix to the AFM that included techniques that could only be used on such "detainees", ie, prisoners without POW status. Labeled Appendix M, and propounding an additional, special "technique" called "Separation", human rights and legal group have recognized that Appendix M includes numerous abusive techniques, including use of solitary confinement, sleep deprivation and sensory deprivation. According to Appendix M, sleep can be limited to four hours per day for up to 30 days, and even more with approval. The same is true for use of isolation. Theoretically, sleep deprivation and solitary confinement could be extended indefinitely.

And what about the force feeding of hunger-striking prisoners of war at Gitmo, particularly if they have been cleared for release, or have not been charged, but will never see the light of day in their home country?!?

Any of you out there who have experienced being fed through a nasal gastric tube know that at best, it is a thoroughly uncomfortable procedure. At worst, it can cause serious pain and horrific side effects.

And to use it as punishment against those on a hunger strike, as the US military is doing at Gitmo?!?

Immoral and unconscionable in the extreme, in my view.

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