Tuesday, February 06, 2007

U.S. Hasn’t Signed Treaty Banning Disappearances

A United Nations treaty banning governments from holding people in secret detention had 57 signers today. Notably absent at the ceremony was the United States, Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy.

The convention defines forced disappearances as the arrest, detention, kidnapping or "any other form of deprivation of freedom" by state agents or affiliates, followed by denials or cover-ups about the detention and location of the person gone missing.

Nations that eventually ratify the text would enshrine victims' rights, and would require states to penalize any forced disappearances in their countries and enact preventative and monitoring measures.

On top of President Bush’s admissions of secret CIA prisons, American agents have been charged in such kidnappings by German and Italian authorities.

Does anyone else find it funny how Vice President Dick Cheney can disappear for months at a time as an accountable elected official? When he goes under the radar, is it to visit our secret prisons in vacation destinations like “the tropics”? Does Cheney take in any waterboarding while there? Or is he more interested in other games of torture?

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