Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.
From President Bush's interviews with Al Arabiya and Alhurra, 5/5/04
President Bush views the Abu Ghraib prison abuses as abhorrent.
What took place at Abu Ghraib does not represent America, which is a compassionate country that believes in freedom. America sent troops into Iraq to promote freedom.
In a democracy, everything is not perfect and mistakes are made. But also in a democracy, those mistakes will be investigated and people will be brought to justice. We are an open society that is willing to fully investigate what took place in Abu Ghraib.
This stands in stark contrast to life under Saddam Hussein. His trained torturers were never brought to justice under his regime. There were no investigations about mistreatment of people.
There are investigations under way to determine how widespread abuse may be occurring.
President Bush has instructed Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to find the truth and then tell the Iraqi people and world the truth. Then, to address the problems in a forthright, up-front manner.
FBI E-Mail Refers to Presidential Order Authorizing Inhumane Interrogation Techniques
A document released for the first time today by the American Civil Liberties Union suggests that President Bush issued an Executive Order authorizing the use of inhumane interrogation methods against detainees in Iraq. Also released by the ACLU today are a slew of other records including a December 2003 FBI e-mail that characterizes methods used by the Defense Department as 'torture' and a June 2004 'Urgent Report' to the Director of the FBI that raises concerns that abuse of detainees is being covered up.
'These documents raise grave questions about where the blame for widespread detainee abuse ultimately rests,' said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. 'Top government officials can no longer hide from public scrutiny by pointing the finger at a few low-ranking soldiers.'
The documents were obtained after the ACLU and other public interest organizations filed a lawsuit against the government for failing to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request.
The two-page e-mail that references an Executive Order states that the President directly authorized interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, the use of military dogs, and 'sensory deprivation through the use of hoods, etc.' The ACLU is urging the White House to confirm or deny the existence of such an order and immediately to release the order if it exists. The FBI e-mail, which was sent in May 2004 from 'On Scene Commander--Baghdad' to a handful of senior FBI officials, notes that the FBI has prohibited its agents from employing the techniques that the President is said to have authorized.
The ACLU documents are available here. Perhaps the president might find it useful to investigate himself in his unstoppable drive for accountability.