Wednesday, December 7, 2005

That Clears That Up

From the Globe and Mail:

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sought Wednesday to clarify U.S. policy on harsh interrogation methods, saying no U.S. personnel may use cruel or degrading practices at home or abroad.

Ms. Rice’s remarks followed confusion in the United States over whether CIA employees could use means otherwise off limits for U.S. personnel.

It also follows strong and sustained criticism in Europe over techniques such as waterboarding, in which prisoners are strapped to a plank and dumped in water.

“As a matter of U.S. policy,” Ms. Rice said the United Nations Convention against Torture “extends to U.S. personnel wherever they are, whether they are in the U.S. or outside the U.S.”

The UN treaty also prohibits treatment that doesn’t meet the legal definition of torture, including many practices that human rights organizations say were used routinely at the U.S. military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Bush administration has previously said the ban on cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment did not apply to Americans working overseas. In practice, that meant CIA employees could use methods in overseas prisons that would not be allowed in the United States.

Oh, so now Condi’s saying torture is not allowed at home and abroad? Has she cleared that with Dick Cheney?

If a Democrat did that, it would be called “flip-flopping.” But when the Bushies do it, it’s considered “clarifying.” And It’s Okay If You’re A Republican.