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US Law on Torture & Reservations on UN Convention on Torture

Posted on 04/25/2009 10:21:12 AM PDT by airedale

Earlier I asked the question about the law that the Bush administration used to hang their hats on to define torture. Someone provide the answer and since it's important and passed in 1994 when the Democrats dominated both House of Congress and Bill Clinton was president I thought I'd make it easy for everyone to read. Also the US during this same time period also ratified the UN Convention on Torture with reservations. The reservations are shown below from Wikipedia. These totally blow the meme the DemoRats and the MSM are using and the info should be widely disseminated.

18 USC CHAPTER 113C - TORTURE 01/03/2007

Sec. 2340. Definitions

"-STATUTE- As used in this chapter - (1) "torture" means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control; (2) "severe mental pain or suffering" means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from - (A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering; (B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality; (C) the threat of imminent death; or (D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality; and

(3) "United States" means the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the commonwealths, territories, and possessions of the United States.

-SOURCE- (Added Pub. L. 103-236, title V, Sec. 506(a), Apr. 30, 1994, 108 Stat. 463; amended Pub. L. 103-415, Sec. 1(k), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4301; Pub. L. 103-429, Sec. 2(2), Oct. 31, 1994, 108 Stat. 4377; Pub. L. 108-375, div. A, title X, Sec. 1089, Oct. 28, 2004, 118 Stat. 2067.)

The Wikipedia has a pretty good article on the accession to the United Nations Conventions against Torture which was ratified in 1994. From Wikipedia:

“The US ratification itself, on 21 October 1994, came some six years after the spring 1988 signature and was subject to numerous (A) reservations, (B) understandings and (C) declarations. These can be read verbatim at the UN treaty website[4] and are parsed here as follows:

A. Reservations: The US made two reservations in connection with its ratification.

(1) The US would only be bound to prevent the "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" that are addressed by article 16 of the Convention[6][2] to the extent the term "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" was synonymous with the "cruel and unusual punishment" prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, or Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution.

(2) Pursuant to treaty option, the US is not bound to resolve questions by international arbitration, but it "reserves the right specifically to agree to follow this or any other procedure for arbitration in a particular case."

B. Understandings: The US announced certain interpretive understandings, "which shall apply to the obligations of the United States under this Convention:"

(1) Regarding the definition of certain terms in the Convention,

(a) "Torture"[7] must be specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain. Furthermore, "mental pain" refers to prolonged mental harm resulting from either

(1) the intentional infliction of severe physical pain;

(2) the administration of mind altering drugs;

(3) the use of other procedures that are also "calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;"

(4) the threat of imminent death; or

(5) the threat that another person (e.g. a spouse or relative) will imminently be subjected to the foregoing.

(b) "Torture" must be an action against a victim in the torturer's custody.

(c) "Sanction"[8] includes judicially-imposed sanctions and other enforcement actions authorized by United States law or by judicial interpretation of such law.

(d) "Acquiescence"[9] requires that the public official, prior to the activity constituting torture, be aware that such activity is imminent, thereafter violating his duty to prevent such activity.

(e) A noncompliance with applicable legal procedural standards[10] does not per se constitute torture.

(2) Article 3 forbids deporting a person "where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture." The US, attempting to avoid the difficulty of interpreting "substantial grounds for belief," interprets the phrase to mean "if it is more likely than not that he would be tortured." This is essentially the preponderance of evidence test.

(3) Article 14 requires a State Party to provide, in its domestic legal system, a private right of action for damages to victims of torture. The US understands this to apply only for torture committed within territory under the jurisdiction of that State Party.

(4) The US does not consider this Convention to restrict or prohibit the United States from applying the death penalty consistent with the Constitution of the United States.

(5) The Convention will only be implemented by the United States "to the extent that it exercises legislative and judicial jurisdiction over the matters covered by the Convention." In other words, the Convention per se is not US law. By itself, it has no legal effect within the US or upon its representatives. Rather, the Convention imposes an obligation[11] on the US to enact and implement such domestic laws as will cause it to come into conformity with the requirements of the Convention. This understanding is echoed in the declaration below.

C. Declarations: The US declared that the provisions of articles 1 through 16 of the Convention are not self-executing.”

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: bush; torture; uslaw

1 posted on 04/25/2009 10:21:12 AM PDT by airedale
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To: airedale
The U.S. is the ONLY country on this planet that does NOT torture..
And since the U.S. in reality does torture the whole subject is moot..

Moot in the sense of BULL SQUEEZE...
BS for the tea and crumpets set to bleed themselves over..

2 posted on 04/25/2009 10:25:23 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: airedale

“non compliance -—” does NOT indicate torture!

3 posted on 04/25/2009 10:25:45 AM PDT by Kansas58
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To: airedale

Thanks, I had been wondering about this. Not that having an objective as to emotional discussion is likely to occur in the media.

4 posted on 04/25/2009 10:26:22 AM PDT by Paladin2 (Big Ears + Big Spending --> BigEarMarx, the man behind TOTUS)
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To: Kansas58
The point of the torture convention is pain and suffering done solely for the purpose of pain and suffering ~ the kind of thing we mere citizens would like to inflict on politicians who screw us over, or foreigners who attack us, or MSM types who insult us.

That's what's prohibited.

Now, if you should cause pain and suffering as an "incidental" while, perhaps, blowing their brains out with a shotgun, that's actually OK!

We'd best keep that in mind come the revolution ~ wouldn't want to get in trouble with the UN or anything. So, keep it clean, keep it legal ~ jus' kill 'em.

(NOTE: Hope I got across to everyone the profound hypocrisy the Leftwingtards and Do-Gooders got into putting that convention together).

5 posted on 04/25/2009 10:33:40 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
if you should cause pain and suffering as an "incidental" while ....

That's the entire point.

Under ObamaWimps definition, a prison could suffer "torture" if that prisoner was claustrophobic and thus suffered mental pain from being locked up in a small cell.

Or a terror suspect could claim "torture" (mental pain and anguish) if that terror suspect was given non-Muslim food, of if that prisoner was not allowed to have Mecca prayer rugs....

6 posted on 04/25/2009 10:44:14 AM PDT by Edit35 (.)
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To: airedale

The game is to keep the Republicans on the defensive constantly so that they cannot organize a decent defense posture for the 2010 elections.

7 posted on 04/25/2009 10:58:05 AM PDT by OpusatFR (Those embryos are little humans in progress. Using them for profit is slavery.)
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To: Paladin2

My view is that we need to make the info well known. I’ve sent it to Rush, Hannity, and Hugh Hewitt as well as an LA Times reporter. If the first 3 pick this up it will be difficult for the MSM to ignore it. Even if they do ignore it the message will get out. Also the Republicans in congress might grow a set and make the point as well. I’m not putting much hope on the last one, sadly.

8 posted on 04/25/2009 11:37:24 AM PDT by airedale ( XZ)
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To: OpusatFR

It’s not just to keep them on the defensive it’s to totally remove them from the board. That’s Obama’s pattern and the rest of the DemoRats in congress and leadership positions outside of congress including in the MSM are as big a set of weasels as you can find who really want power and to destroy anything or one that doesn’t agree with them.

9 posted on 04/25/2009 11:43:43 AM PDT by airedale ( XZ)
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To: airedale

One would also need to include whatever case law has been developed to refine the legal interpretation of the statutes.

10 posted on 04/25/2009 11:54:38 AM PDT by Paladin2 (Big Ears + Big Spending --> BigEarMarx, the man behind TOTUS)
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To: Paladin2

True but it would have to be from the time the law was passed until the Bush people used the enhanced techniques. I suppose I should go back and see if earlier versions of that code had the same language defining torture. Then there would be a longer trail of precedents. It would be interesting to read the Senate deliberations on the UN Treaty to see what they said about the reservations. They were the ones that made them along with Bill Clinton. Clinton’s will be harder to find since most of his stuff is locked away for a few years unless your a scholar with appropriate approvals from Clinton & Co. Back to Congress their comments when they were developing the exceptions would be fun to publicize and ask them to explain their position then vs now and not let them off the hook with I changed my mind or the ever popular I was for it before I was against it.

11 posted on 04/25/2009 12:27:38 PM PDT by airedale ( XZ)
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To: airedale; randita; LucyT; NormsRevenge; Dog; Straight Vermonter; G8 Diplomat; Fred Nerks; ...

Well,....maybe a truth commission would need to look at all of this....nice work digging this out,....

12 posted on 05/16/2009 10:16:58 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Lets wait until a honest Republican retakes the POTUS and we have a conservative majority on both sides of the HILL before we start talking about a truth commission. Then again, looking back on all the horse crap produced by the 9/11 commission doesn't give me much hope either.
Clowns galore populate WDC.
13 posted on 05/17/2009 4:49:05 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (I still believe Duncan Hunter would have been the best solution... during this interim in time....)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Fred Nerks; george76; ...

Thanks Ernest_at_the_Beach.

14 posted on 05/17/2009 8:43:36 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ( Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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