United Nations special rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights Ben Emmerson came out and took aim at Republican candidate Mitt Romney on Friday telling The Canadian Press, “There is no doubt that the Romney administration would be able to claim — in the event of a Romney presidency — a democratic mandate for torture.”
“That would put Romney as the first world leader in history to be able to claim a democratic mandate for torture,” Emmerson said.
Emmerson said he planned to raise his concerns in an address to the UN General Assembly later this month.
During a debate in 2007, Romney said he opposed torture in any form, but ducked the question of whether he viewed waterboarding as torture. He also said he wanted other terrorists to face the same kind of treatment as Mohammed did.
Romney has criticized his Democrat rival, President Barack Obama, for unequivocally ruling out the use of waterboarding. The Republican’s advisers are pushing him to campaign on scrapping the president’s ban on such techniques, the New York Times has reported.
It’s not torture?
Dig this: Under the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1949 Geneva Conventions (both of which we signed) and our own Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991, the basic definition of torture is: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” (Those descriptions that follow “torture” are also embodied in the definition of that punishment.)
“The re-introduction of torture under a Romney administration would significantly increase the threat levels to (Americans) at home and abroad,” Emmerson said.
“Such a policy, if adopted, would expose the American people to risks the Obama administration is not currently exposing them to.”
Emmerson says he will address the UN with his concerns. He also expressed concerns over Barack Obama’s drone strikes.
If Barack Obama gains re-election, he announced he will seek to close Guantanamo Bay.