United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said yesterday that the U.S.-led war on terror has undermined the global ban on torture. Her statement did not go over well with U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton, who called Arbour’s statement “inappropriate and illegitimate.” U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s spokesman said that Annan wants to take the matter up with Bolton as soon as possible.
In the meantime, Media Matters for America reports that the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post all reported Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s assertion that the U.S. does not permit or condone torture without placing her statement in the context of our nation’s extremely narrow definition of “torture.” In fact, the United States’ definition of torture is at odds with international standards, and violates the U.N.’s Convention Against Torture.
The Heretik asks “why the Bush administration continues to review its treaty obligations as optional,” and also provides us with a good roundup of what is being said by people who are not fooled by Bolton’s and Rice’s fingers-crossed rhetoric.