Monday, April 27, 2009

2 Things about Torture and Foreign Policy

1. First off, as I've said before, I believe that the area where the U.S. President is given the most independent power and influence and long-term effect is that of our foreign policy. And... foreign policy matters a LOT to me. So - I was fascinated by this article by Foreign Policy magazine called "Obama's Report Card" that has 40 top foreign policy experts in the country give Obama a grade for his actions thus far.

2. Andrew Sullivan wrote a post today about the UN Convention on Torture that Reagan supported and signed.

It's really striking. It is just so clear and uncompromising. I do not understand how our government could possibly have been okay with compromising these standards. I agree with the Overeducated Underachiever that the lack of value for the dignity of humanity that it reflects makes me feel sick when I read about it.

Article 1.1. For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the
consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an
official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from,
inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.2. This article is without
prejudice to any international instrument or national legislation which does or
may contain provisions of wider application.
Article 2.1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.2. 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.3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.

1 comment:

amiable amy said...

Hi Kacie, nice to hear from you...thanks for the visit in my blog and for the comment.

Hmmm...this is an issue which is very interesting to talk about...very sensitive too.

Well said girl.