President Obama Won't Just Close Gitmo, But Will He Stop the Torturing?

UN human rights commissioner points out force feeding is torture


for shame
Utenrisk Departementet/Norway

A hunger strike by more than 100 detainees at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay was probably a motivating factor for President Obama suddenly taking a renewed interest in the camp's closure this week. The detainees, some of whom have been there more than 10 years, were unimpressed with the president's fresh (but also stale, after all it's the same as 2008's) rhetoric on closing Gitmo, and the hunger strike is continuing.

The U.S. military has been force-feeding some of the detainees, a practice described as torture by some of those previously subject to it. Today, the UN's commissioner for human rights weighed in, his spokesperson saying that "if it's perceived as torture or inhuman treatment—and it's the case, it's painful—then it is prohibited by international law." The stance, he explained, is based on a 1991 declaration by the World Medical Association that forced feeding is "never ethically acceptable."

Will the Nobel Peace Prize winning president who promised the U.S. wouldn't torture stop torturing? Or will he use his own definition of torture, as his predecessor George W. Bush did? Or will he and his apologists just ignore it, like every other promise broken and right violated by this president?