Sunday, September 24, 2006

Tort Deform?





Voodoo Pain Goddes- 21" X 21"
- Digital Air Brush - 2005

Rich Frederick









Hilzoy @ Obsidian Wings is on to something:

Specifically: the "compromise bill" bans certain forms of torture. As Marty Lederman and others have argued, it defines torture much too narrowly. However, even if its definition of torture were absolutely impeccable, ask yourself this question: how, exactly, would it be enforced? How could the Courts even take cognizance of any torture that might be going on, given that any habeas claim, and "any other action against the United States or its agents relating to any aspect of the detention, transfer, treatment, trial, or conditions of confinement of an alien detained by the United States" is prohibited?

As far as I can see, the answer is: unless the government brings criminal charges against someone, it couldn't. We could be waterboarding every single detainee every single day; we could be pulling out their toenails with pliers; we could be beating every one of them to a pulp, or asphyxiating them, or sending serious electric currents through their genitalia, or keeping them awake for weeks on end until they became psychotic, or running them over with trucks, and the courts would have no way to stop it.


Who will stop this if the courts can't?

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