Orwellian Quote of the Day

by Kevin Jon Heller

From the government brief arguing that the media and witnesses in the 9/11 trial should not be permitted to hear the defendants describe being tortured by the US government:

“Each of the accused is in the unique position of having had access to classified intelligence sources and methods,” the prosecution says in court papers. “The government, like the defense, must protect that classified information from disclosure.”

The government is right about one thing — the 9/11 defendants are indeed in a “unique position” to know how the government tortures people.  That’s what happens when you’re the victims of said torture.  Something tells me, though, that the defendants would’ve been more than happy not to have had “access” to those interrogation techniques…

http://opiniojuris.org/2012/10/15/orwellian-quote-of-the-day/

7 Responses

  1. Maybe the defendants can be tried for spying on the secret interrogation methods.

  2. I like it! But don’t give the government any ideas.

  3. And they could certainly be charged with aiding the enemy if they were ever allowed to discuss what happened to them.

  4. ==And they could certainly be charged with aiding the enemy if they were ever allowed to discuss what happened to them.==

    That’s why they should never be released.
     

  5. In Al-Skeini v. UK the UK argued that respecting the European human rights convention in Iraq amounted to human rights imperialism:
    “Further, if the Court were to hold that contracting states are obliged to secure Convention rights in territories where the Convention does not already apply, and over which they exercise temporary but effective control, this would risk requiring the state to impose culturally alien standards in relation to the governance of the territory, in violation of the principle of sovereign self-determination.” And quoted approvingly from the British judges: “[T]he [European] court would run the risk not only of colliding with the jurisdiction of other human rights bodies but of being accused of human rights imperialism.”

    Imagine fourteen year smart Iraqi girl in an encounter with a British soldier, pulling her iPad, surfing to the European Court site, and saying:

    -    Mister soldier, according to the convention you would violate my human rights if you raped me.
    Soldier: Applying the convention in Iraq would be imposing you culturally alien standards in violation of the principle of sovereign self-determination. The whole world would accuse us of human rights imperialism.

  6. European decision does not make legal sense.  The CAT committee and the H.R. Comm. under the ICCPR have both recognized an “effective control” test — that persons protected are those in one’s territory, territory that one occupies, and those elsewhere who are under one’s effective control (e.g., any detainee of any status).

    Moreover, Articles 55(c) and 56 of the U.N. Charter (which trump inconsistent European treaty law under U.N. art. 103) apply in all social contexts and require “universal” respect for and observance of human rights.
    I don’t think that any of you disagree — but the UK judges?    What were they on? 

  7. @Jordan
     
    The court did not buy the British argument, but that’s something new, because the European convention did not go outside Europe before in cases of military occupation. Before Al-Skeini the court accepted effective control over an area as meaning ships, aircrafts, prisons, embassies etc. And in cases of state agent authority and control over the individual, for instance someone arrested. Not if the person was shot from 100m away. What was new in Al-Skeini was a ‘jurisdictional link’ arising from military occupation. The court said inpara.149that “the United Kingdom (together with the United States) assumed in Iraq the exercise of some of the public powers normally to be exercised by a sovereign government. In particular, the United Kingdom assumed authority and responsibility for the maintenance of security in South East Iraq. In these exceptional circumstances, the Court considers that the United Kingdom, through its soldiers engaged in security operations in Basrah during the period in question, exercised authority and control over individuals killed in the course of such security operations, so as to establish a jurisdictional link between the deceased and the United Kingdom

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