Now Cough

Thursday, March 17, 2005


No Torture, Please

From yesterday's press conference with the president:

Q Mr. President, can you explain why you've approved of and expanded the practice of what's called rendition, of transferring individuals out of U.S. custody to countries where human rights groups and your own State Department say torture is common for people under custody?

THE PRESIDENT: The post-9/11 world, the United States must make sure we protect our people and our friends from attack. That was the charge we have been given. And one way to do so is to arrest people and send them back to their country of origin with the promise that they won't be tortured. That's the promise we receive. This country does not believe in torture. We do believe in protecting ourselves. We don't believe in torture. And -- ...

Q As Commander-in-Chief, what is it that Uzbekistan can do in interrogating an individual that the United States can't?

THE PRESIDENT: We seek assurances that nobody will be tortured when we render a person back to their home country.


Speaking of Uzbekistan....

Human Rights Watch says "The [Uzbek] government has made no visible progress on ending the use of torture in practice and only minimal progress on implementing the recommendations made by the U.N. Special Rapporteur on torture after his visit to Uzbekistan in 2002. Torture and ill-treatment remain pervasive throughout the Uzbek criminal justice system, and occur with near-total impunity.  more

And, the president must have forgotten what his own State Department did regarding Uzbekistan more than a year and a half ago: U.S. Cuts Aid Over Rights Concerns


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