President Obama recently released Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel memos which authorized the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” I believe that these techniques constitute torture, and thus violate federal and international law. We must prosecute those responsible.
Here is a partial list of the techniques employed by CIA agents, justified by the Office of Legal Counsel, and possibly ordered by the White House.
- Forced nudity.
- Sleep deprivation up to 180 hours, or 7.5 days. The detainee shall have his hands shackled above their head, so as to force them in an upright position. The detainee shall be made to wear a diaper.
- Diet restriction to 4 cans of Ensure per day. The recommended minimum is 1500 calories per day, but the detainee may be fed as few as 1000 calories per day.
- Cramped confinement in a box with insects.
- Dousing with cold water (41 degrees F, 5 degrees C).
- The waterboard.
Each of these techniques, and especially combinations of them, are inhumane, cruel, or degrading. At least one of these techniques, the waterboard, whose primary purpose is to cause a fear of imminent death, inflicts severe mental suffering on the victim. These techniques constitute torture.
Torture is illegal according to 18 U.S.C. subsections 2340-2340A, as well as according to the Geneva Convention, to which the United States is a signatory. President Reagan signed a treaty that stated, “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,” and that “Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts.” The US Constitution states that “all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”
Please protect human rights, our safety and moral authority, and the rule of law in our country. The Constitution is under attack, and you took an oath to defend it. Please do so by pressing for investigations into these crimes.
Thank you for your service.