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

U.S. Will Provide OAS Body with Obama Administration’s Position on Truth Commission

It was an odd but refreshing spectacle, to see U.S.-based human rights lawyers arguing to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that the United States has effectively insulated itself from accountability for torture and war crimes, and ought to be pushed by an international body to do better.

The Inter-American Commission, an arm of the Organization of American States — of which the United States is a member — normally sits in judgment of countries like Argentina and Chile, whose histories of torturing and “disappearing” political opponents and committing war crimes are notorious. But there were the commissioners, from various Latin American countries, listening to the arguments of Center for Constitutional Rights President Michael Ratner and ACLU human rights program director Jamil Dakwar, that the Bush administration had enacted laws and taken steps in litigation to shield itself from accountability for such crimes — and so far, the Obama administration had not changed those policies.

In particular, Ratner was talking about provisions of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that provides immunity for Bush administration officials who authorized torture of military combatants, violated the Geneva Conventions or otherwise broke the law on the advice of government lawyers. He also cited the positions that the Bush and Obama Justice Departments have taken in seeking to dismiss cases on the grounds that they would expose “state secrets” or otherwise interfere with executive powers.

Dakwar recounted the story of German citizen Khaled el-Masri, an ACLU client who claims he was tortured at a CIA “black site” but whose case was dismissed because of that “state secrets” privilege.

And both lawyers argued that a truth commission, along the lines of one proposed by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt), if it provided immunity and foreclosed prosecutions would never be an adequate substitute for criminal prosecutions, which they argued are critical to holding the United States accountable for violations of international law.

“That’s the way to demonstrate that those violations will not be tolerated and wil not be repeated,” said Ratner. “Otherwise what you’re faced with is impunity … A commission can’t be used as a substitute for criminal liability.”

Lewis Amselem, the U.S. representative to the commission, for his part, respectfully listened to the list of charges and nodded. He responded with his own list of all the pronouncements the Obama administration has made about closing Guantanamo, ensuring the prison meets Geneva Conventions standards, and reviewing the cases of every detainee to facilitate their eventual transfer. He didn’t defend any of the particular provisions of the Military Commissions Act or the legal positions of the Justice Department as described, but promised to bring the concerns back to the State Department. He promised to report back to the commission with the administration’s policy on a truth commissions, as well as to answer questions from the commissioners about how many Americans have been prosecuted for torture in military and civilian courts.

Ratner, however, was ready with the answer: “None.”

Although there have been cases brought through the military system charging assault of prisoners, only lower level military people at Abu Ghraib were charged, “under the theory of the Bush Administration that this was not a policy or practice of the United States, it was just a few bad apples.” Prosecutors “only had authority to look down the chain of command, not up the chain of command,” said Ratner.

While the commission’s rulings are not binding, it has authority to make recommendations to the U.S. government. Lawyers involved said they expected those to be issued within the next few weeks.

It’s no longer a “state secret” that TWI has a Twitter feed. You can follow us here.

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.