11 November 2006

It begins

Background Brief On The Case Against Rumsfeld, Gonzales And Others Filed In Germany On November 14, 2006 (PDF)
From Donald Rumsfeld on down, the political and military leaders in charge of ordering, allowing and implementing abusive interrogation techniques in the context of the “War on Terror” since September 11, 2001, must be investigated and held accountable. The complaint alleges that American military and civilian high-ranking officials named as defendants in the case have committed war crimes against detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the U.S.-controlled Guantánamo Bay prison camp.

The complaint alleges that the defendants “ordered” war crimes, “aided or abetted” war crimes, or “failed, as civilian superiors or military commanders, to prevent their commission by subordinates, or to punish their subordinates,” actions that are explicitly criminalized by German law. The U.S. administration has treated hundreds if not thousands of detainees in a coercive manner, in accordance with “harsh interrogation techniques” ordered by Secretary Rumsfeld himself that legally constitute torture and/or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, in blatant violation of the provisions of the 1949
Geneva Conventions, the 1984 Convention Against Torture and the 1977 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – to all of which the United States is a party. Under international humanitarian treaty and customary law, and as re-stated in German law, these acts of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment constitute war crimes.

I don't seriously expect that Rumsfeld or any other member of this grisly gang will ever find themselves on trial for crimes against humanity or war crimes. I do expect they may find it advisable to drop any travel plans to a nation that recognises universal jurisdiction to punish such crimes. Strangely enough, the recent US legislation to give legal cover to torture may exacerbate the position of potential defendants. Similar immunity laws enacted by the Chilean junta were cited as reason for the House of Lords to grant extradition in the Pinochet case in

1 comment:

Merry Mama said...

Off the wall comment here on a comment you posted over a year ago on another site. You said:

Do we actually know that decorously rubbing between the thighs was all the Athenians did or is that all they reported doing? I happen to be left-handed. No-one actually remembers any pressure to use my right hand, but I must have been a distinctly conformist kid because I do a lot of things as though I were right-handed. That does not alter my underlying wiring.

An imaginary society that imposed severe sanctions on the left-handed would not thereby eliminate left-handedness. Apologists for the policy might perhaps allege that handedness is a matter of choice. Or a cultural construct. Such a society might have few left-handed people who actually expressed their handedness. The law could only suppress the behaviour, not the wiring.

If you look at heredity studies for male homosexuality and male handedness, you discover that handedness is less likely to be transmitted by heredity. And while we’re at it, we’d need to explain the disturbing prevalence of certain familiar behaviours in other primate species."

I understand what you are saying here, and I do agree that handedness can be downplayed though it is a biological predisposition. Yet I wonder whether homosexuality, if it is a deviant act, say, such as ...maybe on the same place as anorexia, perhaps, if it is a good thing for it to be socialized out of us.

In my sociology class, we discussed the fact that peer influences are not only negative, but positive. If the influence of society toward perpetuating itself through heterosexuality (and therefore, natural selection) carries any weight, what would prevent social influence AGAINST homosexuality as being a positive value? (I'm asking from a hopefully objective point of view and would like an objective answer.)