-United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President Barack Obama and Under General Michelle Bachelet, Assistant Secretary-General Rachel Mayanja, M.P. Dillon, Head of the Information & Evidence Unit, Office of the Prosecutor, of the International Criminal Court:
As you may know, the International Criminal Court ("the ICC" or "the Court") is governed by the Rome Statute, which entrusts the Court with a very specific and carefully defined jurisdiction and mandate. A fundamental feature of the Rome Statute (Articles 12 and 13) is that the Court may only exercise jurisdiction over international crimes if (i) its jurisdiction has been accepted by the State on the territory of which the crime was committed, (ii) its jurisdiction has been accepted by the State of which the person accused is a national, or (iii) the situation is referred to the Prosecutor by the Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
Does the United States Torture Women? Is there the belief that this woman must be tortured for the good of the country? Does national anguish over torture and rendition exist? Is a case concerning a female sex offender have torture skeletons in the closet shrouded in official secrecy? Can a woman profiled as a lesbian be realistically threatened with meddlesome amateurs? Should women profiled as lesbians be forced to walk the streets with a lack of oxygen to the brain caused by hypovolemic shock ranging of symptoms, including memory loss, movement and sensory deficits, seizures, coma, speech or comprehension deficits, depending on which parts of the brain it affects?
Is A Justice System that Systematically Avoids Torture Mentally Competent?
Torture is not only evil, but also insidious, and that therefore we must guard against the temptation to torture by enacting and enforcing strict laws against it. Torture is an abomination. It is without exception illegal. Those who have authorized it and those who have carried it out have committed crimes. It's also an implicit debasement of the value of the law itself.
It is the most heinous of crimes, one for which there is no affirmative defense at all. Even twenty years of physical and psychological abuse reported and documented on the internet does not seem to be any way to conduct a real trial when the government stands accused variously of incommunicado detention, Torture with threats of death, nudity, rape, extreme isolation, and druggings.
Acts specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering upon another person within his custody or physcial control are prohibited as defined in 18 U.S.C. section 2340(1) (2009). Then, When secondary parties act with the purpose of assisting the principal in the conduct that constitutes offenses...he should be deemed an accomplice if his culpability as to the attendant circumstances would be sufficient to convict him as a principal. Accordingly, these standards of conduct for interrogation have fallen short. And, when physicians have reason to believe that interrogations are coercive, they must report their observations to the appropriate authorities.
If authorities are aware of coercive interrogations but have not intervened, physicians are ethically obligated to report the offenses to independent authorities that have the power to investigate or adjudicate such allegations! The government bringing accusation(s) has, in fact, tortured the defendant for years while holding her in conditions of enforced disappearance and incommunicado detention. Torturing her directly and indirectly by using her children as a tool of torture.
Torture as a word, as a deed, that require investigation, has been banned from all American courts. The effort that is being expended to prevent so much as one verdict of torture in the United States is incredible. In this particular case, it is distorting everything about this author's case disregarding the possibly it could be proven to outweigh a victim's trauma and horror. In the face of clear laws and clear evidence of violation of those laws, a rhetorical resort to theory or morality or practicality isn't just an attempt to obscure the commission of crimes.
Until they bring torture into a court room in the United States, perhaps it is the government which is not competent for trial. The sooner we accept that the battle between the privilege of keeping state secrets and the inevitability of judgment for breaking a law that upholds our humanity is a battle that must be fought, that cannot be avoided, and that will bring pain and pit friend against friend and sibling against sibling, the sooner we can begin to talk realistically about how to avoid the worst of all possible consequences. Because we know we should not solve this with violence.
President Obama said, "There are three horsemen of the very real jus cogens apocalypse, and they areslavery, genocide, and torture. And when a country does not avoid them, and cannot live with itself if it bargains with them, then it faces judgment."
Case references, filed documents in State, Federal, and International Courts:
Current Country Totals From 12 Aug 2010 to 31 Jan 2011:
United States (US) 169 India (IN) 6 Brazil (BR) 3 Nepal (NP) 3 Spain (ES) 2 South Africa (ZA) 2 Slovakia (SK) 1 Germany (DE) 1 United Kingdom (GB) 1 Poland (PL) 1 Canada (CA) 1 Ireland (IE) 1 France (FR) 1 Japan (JP) 1 Indonesia (ID) 1 Thailand (TH) 1 Philippines (PH) 1 Korea, Republic of (KR) 1 Italy (IT) 1
What is important here is that democratic institutions are unwilling or unable to stop the turn to torture. One after the other, the judicial system, the legislature, the opposition parties, and the press failed. The police and military operate outside the law encouraging the pattern of abuse and new ones. The military uses its privileged position to establish covert torture, delay investigations, shape information, recruit political allies. Now, so do the local police and Courts. In effect, they formed a closed state within the state to intrude on the civil and human rights of American citizens.
There may be proposals for Truth and Reconciliation commissions, proposals to investigate but not prosecute, proposals to acknowledge the great guilt of those at the top and be lenient on those who carry out orders. But in effect, this case needs to be heard Internationally because the justice system and Congress will not.
In the American mind, it is necessary to have graphic brutality, to have blood spurting across the screen, and heads crunched against walls, to have intense and explicit physical pain and the scars to prove torture. Then, we will never end torture in this country, and never again serve as a beacon for human rights in the world.
I believe some deep place in the human psyche is attracted to torture. A fundamental aspect of human nature is an abhorrence of powerlessness and a concomitant will to power. And what greater confirmation of power, and banishment of powerlessness, is there than utter control over another human being -- body, mind, and soul?
The President delivered a speech calling for indefinite preventive detention of some people, for a period characterized by the chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as "until the end of this conflict, which means terrorism, against the United States, against her allies, and in the world abates." http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/21/us/politics/21obama.text.html
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also agrees by saying, "We must unite. Violence against women cannot be tolerated, in any form, in any context, in any circumstances, by any political leader or by any government." -
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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