Dear President Bush,
Recently Sec. Rice shared her concern about the United Nations becoming irrelevant. You have said similar things in the past. The United States conduct at a hearing yesterday may contribute to that perception.
The U.N. Panel Against Torture began its interrogation regarding U.S. practices for domestic and foreign prisoners. It wishes to explore prison procedures in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. The questions submitted to Washington included queries into secret prisons and the treatment of those captives.
A friend attended day one of the hearing yesterday and shared this report:
The USA has sent a huge delegation to defend itself in front of the UN Panel Against Torture..,which started yesterday and continues through Monday. The answers they refused to give yesterday...("...can't answer questions having to do with intelligence matters of the USA..")..,even the ones they did give to the panel were flimsy. One of the panel members said "it is not the USA that is to define what is and what isn't torture, but this UN Panel of which the USA is a signed up member" There are 59 questions on the UN Panel Against Torture's list and we didn't sound too grown-up yesterday I must say. I cringed...
I thought you might want to know what happened. The U.S. has another day of hearings to redeem itself, that is if you give the order to be open and transparent….