Torturing The Norms

Of a Financial Times online >poll about torture, Alice Marshall asks “

How did this even get to be part of the conversation?

Meanwhile, the BBC reports on the investigation of a Swiss Senator in “CIA abduction claims ‘credible:'”

He went on: “Legal proceedings in progress in certain countries seemed to indicate that individuals had been abducted and transferred to other countries without respect for any legal standards.”

I’ve been putting off the big news, which is the passage of the McCain bill, because I wasn’t sure if it mattered, and I could make my hoped-for transition to blogging about torture to blogging about the prosecution of torturers. I’ve now read Marty Leberman’s “The McCain Amendment — The Good,” “The (Potentially) Bad” and “The Ugly,” and am sad to report that I can not make that transition. After a very hard Senate fight, the rules are still subject to implementation by an administration that has demonstrated active and repeated contempt for the rule of law.

Finally, be sure to read Vladimir Bukovsky’s important essay, “Torture’s Long Shadow” about the history of torture in the Soviet Union. (John Quarterman caught a paragraph I had missed, and discusses it in his post on “Historical Externalities.”)