In a Michigan speech this week Former President Bush stated "We Water-boarded Khallid Sheik Mohammad, I'd do it again to save lives." Human rights law experts agree that waterboarding is torture, and the United States has prosecuted waterboarding as torture. Has the President admitted to committing war crimes? If so, is there an obligation to prosecute? The Convention Against Torture, which the United States has signed and ratified, requires states to prosecute those who commit torture:
Article 7(1) The State Party in territory under whose jurisdiction a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is found, shall in the cases contemplated in article 5, if it does not extradite him, submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.
- See a report on Bush's statement here.
- And see this report on the assertion that torture saved lives, and
- This DOJ report on the effectiveness of torture, and this summary by Newsweek.
- This essay considers the argument that the torture program was effective.
- The International Red Cross has released reports such as this one (pdf) on the techniques used by US interrogators.
What does the US response to torture allegations tell us about human rights law?