Defining torture away

12 10 2007

From Andrew Sullivan

Bret Stephens argued in a Wall Street Journal piece yesterday that the European Court of Human Rights had ruled that several of the techniques used by the Bush administration in interrogating prisoners do not amount to “torture”. Let us leave aside the exquisite irony that the Wall Street Journal is now invoking not American law (because they cannot) to redefine torture, nor even English law (ditto), but one ruling on appeal of the much-detested European Court to decide what U.S. law is and should be. The case is much, much less than Stephens made it out to be – and the result maintained the clear illegality of some of the mildest techniques adopted by the US to torture prisoners suspected of terrorism. All the British legal authorities and the British government and the European Court and the European commission found that the five techniques cited were illegal under British and European law – separately or in combination.

More here.

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