Does treaty barring cruel treatment apply to US facilities abroad? US officials reassess position
The Obama administration is considering reaffirming a Bush administration position that a treaty barring “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” did not apply to noncitizens at prisons operated overseas by the CIA or U.S. military.
President Barack Obama had criticized that position in 2005 when he was still a U.S. senator, the New York Times reports. In accord with that view, he issued an executive order in 2009 that banned cruel interrogations of detainees at any U.S.-operated facility.
Internal debate began after the State Department circulated a memo within an interagency lawyers’ group several weeks ago, the Times says. Military and intelligence lawyers reportedly take the position that the treaty doesn’t apply to U.S. actions overseas, according to the Times report.
U.S. officials will have to decide on a position before sending a delegation next month to the United Nations Committee Against Torture.