Friday, February 8, 2008
Home for the holidays
If the Bush administration wants to slash its huge proposed budget deficit for next year, it looks like the government's international travel budget can be cut back severely. Comments today by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights that waterboarding violates the U.N. Convention against Torture and that violators are subject to universal jurisdiction means that U.S. military officials can be arrested as war criminals and prosecuted by nations around the globe. If the waterboarding of three suspected al-Qaida terrorists in 2002 was authorized by the White House, does that mean no more midnight flights to Baghdad by President Bush and Condoleezza Rice? "I would have no problems with describing this practice as falling under the prohibition of torture," High Commissioner Louise Arbour told a news conference Friday in Mexico City, according to the Reuters international news agency. "There are several precedents worldwide of states exercising their universal jurisdiction ... to enforce the torture convention and we can only hope that we will see more and more of these avenues of redress," Arbour said, according to Reuters. Maybe that explains why the tapes were destroyed.