1. Article VI of the United States Constitution states: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”
2. The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (commonly known as the United Nations Convention against Torture) is an international human rights treaty, under the review of the United Nations, that aims to prevent torture and cruel, inhuman degrading treatment or punishment around the world.
3. United States signed the Convention on April 18 1988 and ratified it on October 21 1994.
4. Therefore, as a treaty made under the authority of the United States, it is the law of the land.
5. In sum, any torture perpetrated by any persons on behalf of the United States is an unlawful act and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
6. Perpetrating these acts on Romanian, Lithuanian, Polish, or Cuban soil (the so-called “rendition” – handing over of persons to be tortured elsewhere) does not make them legal or constitutional or permissible under the UN Convention against Torture, and consequently under our own Constitution. It only demonstrates that the torturers knew well that they were violating the U.S. Constitution and attempted to avoid any legal consequences of their actions. These criminals, as well as the authorizing government officials and their foreign co-conspirators (all the way up to where “the buck stops”) ought to be tried for their crimes.
7. Every government official, from POTUS down to the lowly clerk, takes an Oath of Office, which clearly states that he or she will “to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
8. If convicted, the torturers should be made to pay in proportion to their involvement in these criminal acts. If it was up to me, they would certainly be hanged just like the 5 Japanese soldiers tried after WWII for water-boarding American POW’s. As for “I am a patriot and I was just following orders” – it did not fly in Nuremberg and it should not fly in The Hague.
Now, do you still believe in the Constitution of the United States? Unequivocally Yes? Not really? Mostly? Believe in some articles and amendments but consider other ones obsolete or no longer applicable? Sort of, except when it comes down to the topics on which I happen to opine differently? Where do you stand?