Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Rice in Europe
White House spokesman Scott McClellan denied that Rice's comments represent a change in U.S. policy. The ban on cruel and degrading interrogation tactics by Americans at home or abroad ``is existing policy,'' McClellan told reporters in Washington.
David Luban, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and a visiting professor at Stanford University Law School, said the Bush administration has believed the CAT clause isn't binding on the U.S. because ``Congress never implemented it.'' Luban, in a telephone interview, said the administration believes the Convention's prohibition on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment ``doesn't apply outside of U.S. territory.''
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said today that U.S. personnel are prohibited from carrying out cruel treatment of detainees both in the U.S. and abroad.
Commenting on the United Nations Convention Against Torture, she said, ``as a matter of U.S. policy the United States' obligations under the CAT, which prohibits of course cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment, both obligations extend to U.S. personnel wherever they are, whether they are in the United States or outside of the United States.''
Michigan Senator Carl Levin, the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, said Rice's comments represent an ``almost a total reversal'' of the Bush administration's policy on detainee treatment. ``It means you get to the cruel and inhumane'' definition of torture, `not just our definition'' in existing U.S. law, Levin said in an interview today.See Financial Times
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