Saturday, July 21, 2007

Amnesty International Considers New Bush Executive Order 'Same Old Song'

PR Newswire
Amnesty International Considers New Bush Executive Order 'Same Old Song'

WASHINGTON, July 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jumana Musa, Amnesty
International USA advocacy director for domestic human rights and
international justice and an international law attorney, issued the
following statement in response to President Bush's executive order
regarding the interpretation of the Geneva Conventions Common Article 3 as
it applies to the Central Intelligence Agency's program of detention and

"Today's executive order is noteworthy for what it does not say as much
as for what is does state. Although the order prohibits rape, sexual
assault or abuse, sexual humiliation and denigration of religion, the
deafening silence on other techniques that the CIA may have used, such as
waterboarding, the cold room technique and sleep deprivation, speaks
volumes. The United States can no longer hide behind the specter of
national security and providing so-called 'too much information' to Al
Qaeda to avoid an outright rejection of such patently unlawful techniques.

"The broader problem with this executive order is that it works off the
mistaken contention that there is a global war that extends the law of war
framework to every corner of the world. This misappropriation of
humanitarian law has been used by the administration to avoid human rights
law and assert ultimate executive authority over detention and
interrogation of anyone President Bush designates an 'unlawful enemy

"Also, this order is designed to determine the lawfulness of
interrogation techniques that can be used in the CIA's 'program of
detention' -- widely known as an illegal program of 'disappearances' and
secret prisons. A legitimate interrogation regime cannot cure the
illegality of this despicable practice and does not bring this nation in
line with its treaty obligations.

"The fact that President Bush continues to assert the authority to
engage in secret detentions and applies that authority to a broad range of
people who can picked up anywhere around the world indicates an unrepentant
administration that seeks to minimize the rule of the law."