December 12, 2014 11:00 am -

[su_right_ad]Juan Mendez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture discussed the reaction of the world to the Senate torture report. It’s not pretty.

COLMES:  Does the United Nations believe people need to be prosecuted?

MENDEZ: Yes we do absolutely. It’s not because the United Nations says it is, it’s because international law requires it. And yes, we think that telling the truth is important. But it’s only one of the obligations to the United States. Next is to proceed now to investigating and prosecuting whoever should be prosecuted for these crimes…

MENDEZ: I go to many countries around the world, or talk to authorities of other countries when I engage with them on other cases of torture. And I frequently hear, “Why us? If the United States can do it why can’t we?” So I think yes it has been a big drawback. I would say that it’s more of a drawback in a sense of this phenomenon that conditioned all of us to begin to think, “Well, maybe it’s inevitable, maybe it’s ugly but we should look the other way.” I think before 9/11 2001, we all much more had a clear consensus on the immorality and the illegality of torture than we have now. But I think this report goes a long way in restoring this consensus that we have partially lost.


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

24 responses to UN Torture Expert Explains The Damage We’ve Done

  1. edmeyer_able December 12th, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Really sad that this has to be spelled out so carefully and that those supporting the use of torture will still deny the damage that was done.

    • cecilia December 12th, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Dick “Wormtongue” Cheney is immoral. So he doesn’t care

      • granpa.usthai December 12th, 2014 at 11:40 am

        warmongering cowards usually are.

        the child molesting poop artist being another example.

    • granpa.usthai December 12th, 2014 at 11:37 am

      hell, they’re still wearing Afrika Korps Kowboy Hats when showing off stolen US Military weapons (ref: das Bundy bunker in Nevada).

  2. John_St_John December 12th, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Prosecute, convict and execute. That was the punishment that was established for the Nazis and Japanese soldiers who tortured and murdered untold numbers of civilians and military personnel during WWII. So, with that same reasoning, it is only just that anyone who ordered or took part in the so called ‘enhanced interrogation methods’ used by the United States government should pay the same to the piper who has come calling. And the excuse, “We were just following orders” does not hold any credence either.

  3. Wayout December 12th, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Did the UN do anything to it’s peacekeeping troops that were sexually abusing children when they were stationed in Africa? I didn’t hear of any trials, does anyone here know when they happened?

    • DieselJohnson December 12th, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      Not relevant.

      • Wayout December 12th, 2014 at 12:41 pm

        How about the 1995 genocide at Srebrenica where 5000 Muslims were promised protection by the UN were killed – not relevant either? Surely the UN officials involved in that should have been held accountable for allowing that terrible crime. But hey, I guess since there was no water throwing or butt feedings involved it is no big deal in your eyes, right?

        • edmeyer_able December 12th, 2014 at 12:58 pm

          Because mistakes and errors were committed in the past doesn’t mean we continue to make them now, yes genocide was committed and it will be a reminder for future generations to do better.

        • Chinese Democracy December 12th, 2014 at 2:30 pm

          Surely the UN didnt torture anyone ..

          but hey anyone who calls torture .. water throwing , really shouldnt be taken seriously anyway

        • DieselJohnson December 12th, 2014 at 4:41 pm

          I never said it was no big deal. Just that it’s not relevant to the topic being discussed.

        • burqa December 12th, 2014 at 6:37 pm

          How about platformate in our gas?

          How about the designated hitter rule?

          How about cyclamates?

          How about the face on Mars?

          How about how about?

          Grasping like a drowning man trying to float on a Cheerio. Anything, ANYTHING to avoid the topic at hand….I count that as a white flag waving like Horshak’s hand when he knew the answer to a question asked by Mr. Kotter…

        • jasperjava December 12th, 2014 at 8:08 pm

          The Srebenica massacre was aggressively prosecuted. Serbian leaders were indicted with war crimes and tried at the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

          I’m glad to see your newfound enthusiasm for prosecuting war criminals. I can’t wait to see B*$h and Cheney wearing orange jumpsuits in the prisoner’s dock.

    • HessenBalkan December 12th, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      Now that you say it…I didn’t hear anything about the outcome of that.

    • tiredoftea December 12th, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      If that were a serious question, you could, and should, do your own research. But, since your only point on your posts here is to deflect the subject, why don’t you just post that you agree with the right wing machine that our government should employ torture in our name? In fact, you should support a national “Presidential Medal of Torture” that would go to the agent who tortured the most prisoners, or extracted the most useless information from them. Or, maybe created the most imaginative new torture method.

    • Chinese Democracy December 12th, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      YES the UN “did something”

      Tough UN line on peacekeeper abuses
      Action initiated to end sexual misdeeds in peacekeeping missions –

      See more at:

      To bad Obama wont ” do something ” and have Cheney arrested

      • burqa December 12th, 2014 at 6:33 pm


  4. granpa.usthai December 12th, 2014 at 11:34 am

    just following orders was ruled ‘unacceptable’ as a defense for criminal or brutal behavior at Nuremberg in 1945/1945.

    maybe the defense should try-

    “I forgot”?

  5. Paper Boy December 12th, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Should the United States ban the use of torture, all of the other nations will follow the example. Wouldn’t that be great, peace, justice, and equality for all of the world, finally.

    • Bunya December 12th, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      The United States does ban the use of torture. You must remember, we don’t torture. We “enhance interrogate”. The only difference between the two is, one is referred to as “torture” (bad) and the other is referred to as “enhanced interrogation” (good). See the difference?

      • Paper Boy December 12th, 2014 at 4:02 pm

        Well, the United Nations is working on it.

      • burqa December 12th, 2014 at 6:41 pm

        Different names for the same thing.
        Kinda like “dinger” and “tater.”
        Or “ta-tas” and “hogans”.

  6. burqa December 12th, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Of course we should be following the law.
    We should also be taking the lead and setting an example for others when it comes to prosecuting torturers.

  7. fancypants December 13th, 2014 at 1:26 am

    maybe we can kill 2 birds with one stone by keeping our troops out of most if not all countries and abolish undeclared wars from our vocabulary