The Torture Ban that Doesn't Ban Torture: Obama's Rules Keep It Intact, and Could Even Accord With an Increase in US-Sponsored Torture Worldwide.
If you're lying on the slab still breathing, with your torturer hanging over you, you don't much care if he is an American or a mere United States - sponsored trainee.
When President Obama declared flatly this week that "the United States will not torture" many people wrongly believed that he'd shut the practice down, when in fact he'd merely repositioned it.
Obama's Executive Order bans some -- not all -- US officials from torturing but it does not ban any of them, himself included, from sponsoring torture overseas.
Indeed, his policy change affects only a slight percentage of US-culpable tortures and could be completely consistent with an increase in US-backed torture worldwide.
The catch lies in the fact that since Vietnam, when US forces often tortured directly, the US has mainly seen its torture done for it by proxy -- paying, arming, training and guiding foreigners doing it, but usually being careful to keep Americans at least one discreet step removed. ...
That is, the US tended to do it that way until Bush and Cheney changed protocol, and had many Americans laying on hands, and sometimes taking digital photos. ...
For every torment inflicted directly by Americans in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo and the secret prisons, there were many times more being meted out by US-sponsored foreign forces.
Those forces were and are operating with US military, intelligence, financial or other backing in Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Jordan, Indonesia, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Colombia, Nigeria, and the Philippines, to name some places, not to mention the tortures sans-American-hands by the US-backed Iraqis and Afghans.
Any "loi-ya" worth his fee knows it's all in the wording - letter of the law, they call it.