It is inexcusable for scientists to torture animals; let them make their experiments on journalists and politicians. — Henrik Ibsen
According to ABC, “all American officials including intelligence agents are barred from using torture in interrogating terror suspects and other prisoners.”
U.S. torture policy is being reviewed by the UN Committee Against Torture. As expected, the U.S. had a weak defense for their actions, although one could hardly tell this from press accounts. Here’s an example from IHT:
More than 100 U.S. military personnel and intelligence officers have been disciplined for abusing detainees, U.S. officials said before an international panel investigating the treatment of prisoners by the United States in its fight against terrorism. The number is nearly twice that cited by human rights groups.
Let’s take a look at the actual punishments rendered:
Charles Stimson, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, said the United States had court-martialed 103 service members and intelligence officers since 2001, leading to 19 convictions with jail terms of a year or more.
So we’ve essentially given most everyone a walk on this (except for a handful of scapegoats) and the media is talking about the disparities in the numbers various groups have presented. We need to look at the big picture. While torture continues in America and abroad, 80% of those accused get away with it and most of the rest get mere slaps on the wrist.