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BOARD PASSES RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE NATIONAL POLICY AGAINST TORTURE

Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Special to suffredin.org

 Chicago – The Cook County Board passed a resolution affirming its support for the National Policy Against Torture.  Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, 13th District, introduced the resolution on June 7, 2005 and it was referred to the Finance Committee.  All Commissioners joined the resolution as co-sponsors. The County Board approved the resolution on June 21, 2005.  The full text of the resolution follows.

 “With our armed forces engaged in active duty in locations across the globe, the National Policy Against Torture is an important reminder that as a nation we condemn the use of torture and all cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment upon any person under the physical control of any governmental authority,” commented Commissioner Suffredin.

 Suffredin further stated, “As we approach the celebration of the founding of our nation, this resolution is an affirmation of one of the founding principals of our democracy.  Specifically, that we are a country committed to justice under the law.”

 Resolution Text:

 RESOLUTION

Sponsored by

THE HONORABLE LARRY SUFFREDIN, COUNTY COMMISSIONER

Co-Sponsored by

THE HONORABLE JOHN H. STROGER, JR., PRESIDENT, JERRY BUTLER, FORREST CLAYPOOL, EARLEAN COLLINS, JOHN P. DALEY, ELIZABETH ANN DOODY GORMAN, GREGG GOSLIN, CARL R. HANSEN, ROBERTO MALDONADO, JOSEPH MARIO MORENO, JOAN P. MUPRHY, ANTHONY J. PERAICA, MIKE QUIGLEY, PETER N. SILVESTRI,  DEBORAH SIMS, AND BOBBIE L. STEEL, COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

 RESOLUTION AFFIRIMING NATIONAL POLICY AGAINST TORTURE

 WHEREAS, As elected officials of Cook County, Illinois, we have an obligation to uphold the laws that govern Cook County, the State of Illinois, the Constitution of the United States of America and all international treaties to which the United States is party, including the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and related standards of international human rights; and

 WHEREAS, The use of torture and other cruel inhuman or degrading treatment upon any person under the physical control of and inflicted by any federal authority, including civilian contractors, constitutes a violation of the law of nations in that customary international law prohibits torture as reflected, expressed, and defined in multilateral treaties and other international instruments, international and domestic judicial decisions, and other authorities; and

 WHEREAS, The use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment upon any person under the physical control of and inflicted by any federal authority, including civilian contractors, constitutes a violation of the United States Constitution.  The acts of mistreatment aforementioned constitute a violation of the Fifth Amendment and of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment; and

 WHEREAS, The use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment upon any person under the physical control of and inflicted by any federal authority, including civilian contractors, constitutes a violation of specific protections afforded by the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions, including but not limited to, Article 3 common to all four Geneva Conventions.  Violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions are treaty violations as well as violations of customary international law; and

 WHEREAS, The use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment up on any person under the physical control of and inflicted by any federal authority, including civilian contractors, constitutes a violation of Articles 7 and 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).  Violations of these provisions are treaty violations as well as violations of customary international law; and

 WHEREAS, The use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment upon any person under the physical control of and inflicted by any federal authority, including civilian contractors, constitutes a violation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), and where applicable also of the federal anti-torture statute, 18 U.S.C. section 2340-2340A, which Congress enacted to fulfill U.S. obligations under CAT. Violations of CAT are treaty violations as well as violations of customary international law; and

 WHEREAS, The use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as a method of extracting intelligence information may lead to inaccurate and misleading information.  The Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation states: “the use of torture and other illegal methods is a poor technique that yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say what he thinks the interrogator wants to hear;” and

 WHEREAS, The use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment upon a foreign national in U.S. custody may have the effect of radicalizing the victim’s own moderate political, social or religious ideologies.  The aforementioned acts of mistreatment may also have the effect of radicalizing the ideologies of the society from where the victim originates.  Radicalized ideologies may increase the threat of terrorism against Americans; and

 WHEREAS, The use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment upon a foreign national in U.S. custody may increase the likelihood that kidnapped or captured American citizens and military personnel will be subjected to similar acts of mistreatment.  The U.S. Army Field Manual on Intelligence and Interrogation states” “[The use of torture and other illegal methods] may also place U.S. and allied personnel in enemy hands at great risk of abuse by their captors;” and

 WHEREAS, The use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment undermines the rule of law and delegitimizes the United States government as an advocate for democracy.  The U.S. Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation states: “Revelation of use of torture by U.S. personnel will bring discredit upon the U.S. and its armed forces while undermining domestic and international support for the war effort;” and

WHEREAS , The U.S. Army Field Manual on Intelligence and Interrogation states that binding international treaties and U.S. policy “expressly prohibit acts of violence or intimidation, including physical or mental torture, threats, insults, or exposure to inhuman treatment as a means of or aid to interrogation.  Such illegal acts are not authorized and will not be condoned by the U.S. Army.”  The Manual specifically defines “physical torture” to include “infliction of pain through chemicals or bondage,” “forcing an individual to stand, sit or kneel in abnormal positions for prolong periods of time,” “food deprivation,” and “any form of beating.” 

 NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, We, the Board of Commissioners of Cook County, condemn the use of torture and all cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment upon any person under the physical control of any governmental authority, including civilian contractors; and

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, We, the Board of Commissioners of Cook County, call on the President and Congress to affirm the domestic and international obligations of the United States of America to the rule of law and to condemn the aforementioned acts of mistreatment; and

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be sent to President George W. Bush and the members of the Illinois Congressional delegation representing Cook County and let it also be spread upon the official proceedings of this Honorable Body.

 



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