• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

Torture on the JobTorture on the Job | The Washington Independent

Can torture really fall within the scope of employment for a senior government official?

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals thinks it can. Now the U.S. Supreme Court will get to decide if it agrees

It’s a curious idea to consider torture part of one’s job description — though it’s unequivocally, universally, against the law. Torture by U.S. government officials is against the statutory law of the United States; the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment,” and international law, including the Geneva Conventions and the U.N. Convention Against Torture.

It’s not like there’s a debate over the interpretation of these laws. Or even that the court is questioning whether U.S. officials really did authorize torture — the evidence is overwhelming that they did

Yet somehow, when British victims of torture at Guantanamo Bay — who were eventually released because they’d done nothing wrong — sued U.S. officials for directing their inhumane treatment, the federal court dismissed their case. The court reasoned that military commanders like former Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld are protected from lawsuits because any torture of suspects was done in the interest of protecting the country — and that was their job.

The court went on to say that they also can’t be held legally responsible because at the time, they might not have known that prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, innocent or not, would have any right not to be tortured – or at least not a right they could ever enforce in court

On Friday, Michael Ratner and Shayana Kadidal of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Eric Lewis of the law firm Baach Robinson & Lewis, filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to reverse that ruling

“The Court of Appeals’ sweeping conclusion,” they wrote, “that Guantanamo detainees have no constitutional rights and therefore can be tortured consistent with the Constitution is abhorrent in a nation of laws and is in direct conflict with this court’s precedents.”

“The Court of Appeals’ further conclusion,” their petition continued, “that officers who were aware of the illegality of their conduct under numerous sources of law can nevertheless avoid liability for their actions through a calculated reliance on purported constitutional ambiguity is equally pernicious and contrary to this court’s longstanding doctrine that qualified immunity does not protect defendants who engage in deliberately unlawful conduct.

“Finally, the Court of Appeals’ conclusion that torture and abuse are within the scope of employment and therefore respondents are immune from liability for their conduct is fundamentally at odds with the universal principle that torture is *ultra vires *[beyond any authority conferred by law] under all circumstances.

The Supreme Court doesn’t have to hear the case, of course. Though it’s been repeatedly willing to admit that Guantanamo detainees do have rights — rulings that fly in the face of the Bush administration — it’s not clear what the justices will do when it comes to victims trying to hold U.S. officials accountable. That would seem to be the logical next step, however.

As Lewis noted when he sent me a copy of the petition

“Fingers crossed that the S. Ct will be uncomfortable with leaving alone a decision saying GTMO detainees are not persons and have no right not to be tortured.”

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.