The CIA Cruelty Authorization Act of 2006:
There have been several reports in recent days about drafts of the Bush Administrationâ€™s proposed amendments to the War Crimes Act. Now, Slate has published a version of those amendments that reportedly was “sent to Congress” last week. I’m informed that this proposal was, at most, shared with a few Republicans on the Hill, and that it is not the final version. Assuming, however, that this amendment is fairly close to what we will eventually see from the Administration, it is, indeed, a very big dealâ€”but not quite for the reasons that have thus far been stressed in most accounts.
Currently, the federal War Crimes Act provides for criminal sanctions (up to life imprisonment, or even death in extreme cases) for all violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.
I really hope that the congress does not pass this. the recognition of war crimes and the debasement of humanity that is called torture is wrong, even if it does save tens of thousands of lives, because in the end, when you torture someone, and the nation is complicit, people realize their complicity and eventually come to terms with their own horror and the death of their own humanity.