I have been very careful to try not to label the allegations we have heard coming out of Guantanamo Bay as torture, or even abuse, because I don’t know where the lines are drawn. Sure, I have a gut sense of what is abuse and what is torture, and I know what is indefensible, but I don’t want to run around haphazardly calling our boys (whether they be military, civilian contractors, CIA, etc.) torturers.
Apparently, if this story is accurate (always a big if these days) our government has made a distinction:
Washington has for the first time acknowledged to the United Nations that prisoners have been tortured at US detention centres in Guantanamo Bay, as well as Afghanistan and Iraq, a UN source said.
The acknowledgement was made in a report submitted to the UN Committee against Torture, said a member of the ten-person panel, speaking on on condition of anonymity.
“They are no longer trying to duck this, and have respected their obligation to inform the UN,” the Committee member told AFP.
“They they will have to explain themselves (to the Committee). Nothing should be kept in the dark.”
UN sources said it was the first time the world body has received such a frank statement on torture from US authorities.
The Committee, which monitors respect for the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, is gathering information from the US ahead of hearings in May 2006.
The folks at Powerline might want to slow down their claims that this is nothing more than “worrying that a terrorist’s air conditioning might not be properly adjusted.”