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Keywords: anti-torture network opposing torture everywhere particularly torture by the united states under the bush administration

The Anti-Torture Network
"Opposing Torture Everywhere, But Particularly Torture By
The United States Under The Bush Administration"

By Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director - Internet Church Of Christ -
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NOTE: January 23, 2009 - This page will soon be updated (hopefully) to reflect the fact that Barack Obama is now the President of the United States (thank God). God bless America.

The ANTI-TORTURE NETWORK is a group of people joined together by their common desire to oppose torture wherever it exists. The motto of this group is "Opposing Torture Everywhere." And we particularly oppose all torture by The United States under the Bush Administration.

Our main website is named The Anti-Torture Network and it is located at

Our Group Headquarters is located at, along with our Membership List.

If you also want to oppose torture here and abroad, you are invited to join with us, by using the sign-up box below.

Membership is open to all people who want to oppose torture, and all members are allowed to post messages to the entire Group.

Google Groups Subscribe to Anti-Torture Network
Browse Archives at

Here is our Anti-Torture Network group at

In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the United States Supreme Court ruled that all military prisoners (detainees) of the United States are entitled to (at least) the minimum, protections of of the Geneva Conventions' "Common Article 3," which prohibits all "cruel treatment and torture."

The McCain Amendment Now Clearly Prohibits All U. S. Torture Of Prisoners, Even "Suspected Terrorists." It Is Now The Law.

NOTE: Laws and treaties already in effect prior to the McCain Amendment were covering the cases of "suspected terrorists." But some perverted, sadistic, torture-happy fanatics in the Bush Administration had falsely argued that somehow such prisoners were not covered by existing law. So the McCain Amendment was written to put an end to these false and foolish arguments. Also please note that Presidential commentary in a signing statement has no effect whatsoever on the law he is signing. Just because the President falsely claims that he does not have to follow a law, that does not give him the right to break it. Nothing can release him from his Constitutional obligation to "faithfully execute" all the laws, as written. The Supreme Court, not the President has the exclusive power to interpret the meaning of our laws. Therefore such "Presidential signing statements" are unconstitutional, and no Federal employeee - military or civilian - is permitted to break the law just because the President may have illegally ordered him to do so. An illegal order, even by the President, must not be followed, on penalty of later prosecution after the law-breaking President is removed from office, as the Supreme Court case LITTLE v. BARREME has made clear. (See

McCain Amendment in the final version of the FY 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill


(a) IN GENERAL.--No person in the custody or under the effective control of the Department of Defense or under detention in a Department of Defense facility shall be subject to any treatment or technique of interrogation not authorized by and listed in the United States Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation.

(b) APPLICABILITY.--Subsection (a) shall not apply to with respect to any person in the custody or under the effective control of the Department of Defense pursuant to a criminal law or immigration law of the United States.

(c) CONSTRUCTION.--Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the rights under the United States Constitution of any person in the custody or under the physical jurisdiction of the United States.


(a) IN GENERAL.--No individual in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.

(b) CONSTRUCTION.--Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose any geographical limitation on the applicability of the prohibition against cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment under this section.

(c) LIMITATION OF SUPERSEDER.--The provisions of this section shall not be superseded, except by a provision of law enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act which specifically repeals, modifies, or supersedes the provisions of this section.

(d) CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT DEFINED.--In this section, the term ''cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment'' means the cruel, unusual, and inhumane treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, as defined in the United States Reservations, Declarations and Understandings to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment done at New York, December 10, 1984.

Summary of International and Other U.S. Law Prohibiting Torture and Other Ill-Treatment of Persons in Custody
from Human Rights Watch

NOTE: When the United States signs a treaty, such as the Geneva Conventions and others listed below, those treaties become a part of the Law of the United States, according to Article VI of our Constitution, which says, "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding." Furthermore, the Supreme Court, not the President, has the responbsibility to interpret how these treaties shall be applied. (Article III, Section 2)

Source: U. S. Constitution, at and elsewhere.

"International and U.S. law prohibits torture and other ill-treatment of any person in custody in all circumstances. The prohibition applies to the United States during times of peace, armed conflict, or a state of emergency. Any person, whether a U.S. national or a non-citizen, is protected. It is irrelevant whether the detainee is determined to be a prisoner-of-war, a protected person, or a so-called .security detainee. or .unlawful combatant.. And the prohibition is in effect within the territory of the United States or any place anywhere U.S. authorities have control over a person. In short, the prohibition against torture and ill-treatment is absolute."

"The following summary sets out the major international legal obligations of the United States and various legal bases by which U.S. officials, military personnel and others could be prosecuted for torture or other mistreatment of persons held at U.S. military and intelligence detention facilities. Included are web links to the cited international conventions and federal statutes."

I. International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Conventions

"The primary source of international humanitarian law (also called the laws of war) is the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, which the United States ratified in 1955. The Third Geneva Convention concerns prisoners-of-war; the Fourth Geneva Convention safeguards so-called 'protected persons,' most simply described as detained civilians. Detainees must at all times be humanely treated (Geneva III, art. 13, Geneva IV, art. 27). Detainees may be questioned, but any form of 'physical or mental coercion' is prohibited (Geneva III, art. 17; Geneva IV, art. 31). Women shall be protected from rape and any form of indecent assault (Geneva IV, art. 27)."  
"Torture or inhuman treatment of prisoners-of-war (Geneva III, arts. 17 & 87) or protected persons (Geneva IV, art. 32) are grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and are considered war crimes (Geneva III, art. 130; Geneva IV, art. 147). War crimes create an obligation on any state to prosecute the alleged perpetrators or turn them over to another state for prosecution. This obligation applies regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator, the nationality of the victim or the place where the act of torture or inhuman treatment was committed (Geneva III, art.129; Geneva IV, art. 146)."  
"Detainees in an armed conflict or military occupation are also protected by common article 3 to the Geneva Conventions. Article 3 prohibits '[v]iolence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; . . . outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.'"  
"Even persons who are not entitled to the protections of the 1949 Geneva Conventions (such as some detainees from third countries) are protected by the 'fundamental guarantees' of article 75 of Protocol I of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions. The United States has long considered article 75 to be part of customary international law (a widely supported state practice accepted as law). Article 75 prohibits murder, 'torture of all kinds, whether physical or mental,' 'corporal punishment,' and 'outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, 'and any form of indecent assault.'"  
II. Human Rights Law  
"Torture and other mistreatment of persons in custody are also prohibited in all circumstances under international human rights law, which applies in both peacetime and wartime. Among the relevant treaties are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (arts. 7 & 10) and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention against Torture), both of which the United States has ratified. The standard definition of torture can be found in article 1 of the Convention against Torture."  
"In its reservations to the Convention against Torture, the United States claims to be bound by the obligation to prevent .cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. only insofar as the term means the cruel, unusual and inhumane treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Furthermore, U.S. reservations say that mental pain or suffering only refers to prolonged mental harm from: (1) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering; (2) the use or threat of mind altering substances; (3) the threat of imminent death; or (4) that another person will imminently be subjected to the above mistreatment."  
"Prohibitions on torture and other ill-treatment are also found in other international documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the U.N. Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, and the U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners."  
"Additionally, the prohibition on torture is considered a fundamental principle of customary international law that is binding on all states (what is known as a 'peremptory norm' of international law because it preempts all other customary laws). All states are bound to respect the prohibition on torture and ill-treatment whether or not they are parties to treaties which expressly contain the prohibition. They are also obliged to prevent and to punish acts of torture, even if they are not parties to treaties that expressly require them to do so."  
"The widespread or systematic practice of torture constitutes a crime against humanity. (See, e.g., art. 5 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court)"  
III. U.S. Law  
"The United States has incorporated international prohibitions against torture and mistreatment of persons in custody into its domestic law. The United States has reported to the Committee Against Torture that: 'Every act of torture within the meaning of the Convention is illegal under existing federal and state law, and any individual who commits such an act is subject to penal sanctions as specified in criminal statutes. Such prosecutions do in fact occur in appropriate circumstances. Torture cannot be justified by exceptional circumstances, nor can it be excused on the basis of an order from a superior officer. '"  
"Military personnel who mistreat prisoners can be prosecuted by a court-martial under various provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ, arts. 77-134)."  
"The War Crimes Act of 1996 (18 U.S.C. 2441) makes it a criminal offense for U.S. military personnel and U.S. nationals to commit war crimes as specified in the 1949 Geneva Conventions. War crimes under the act include grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. It also includes violations of common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions, which prohibits 'violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; .outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment."  
"A federal anti-torture statute (18 U.S.C. 2340A), enacted in 1994, provides for the prosecution of a U.S. national or anyone present in the United States who, while outside the U.S., commits or attempts to commit torture. Torture is defined as an 'act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control.' A person found guilty under the act can be incarcerated for up to 20 years or receive the death penalty if the torture results in the victim.s death."  
"Military contractors working for the Department of Defense might also be prosecuted under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-778), known as MEJA. MEJA permits the prosecution in federal court of U.S. civilians who, while employed by or accompanying U.S. forces abroad, commit certain crimes. Generally, the crimes covered are any federal criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. The MEJA remains untested because the Defense Department has yet to issue necessary implementing regulations required by the law."  

Source: Modified slightly from , framed below.

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Other Important Links

International Human Rights Instruments at

University Of Minnesota Human Rights Library at No



Torture grossly violates the universal commandment given by Jesus, that we should always treat others as we would like to be treated.

   So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this 
   is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12 RSV)

Even in war, once we have people under our control, we must treat them humanely, just as we would want to be treated humanely if we were under their control. If we were their prisoners, the very last thing we would want is to be tortured. Therefore, we should not ever torture our prisoners. Torturing people is the absolute complete opposite of what God wants us to do!

The act of torture perfectly expresses the twisted spirit of Satan, and totally violates the Holy Spirit of God. The desire to inflict pain on others is the most repulsive, repugnant, Satanic desire we could possibly have. It is inconceivable that any person who has the Holy Spirit dwelling within him should ever be able to embrace torture in any form, or in any case.

Our enemy Satan, who hates all people, constantly tries to tempt us into hurting each other. But we must resist Satan, and treat each other decently, no matter what our differences may be.

    Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a 
    roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 RSV)

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
    kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control;
    against such there is no law.  (Galatians 5:22-23 RSV)

    Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will
    flee from you. (James 4:7 RSV) 

It is never necessary for us to sin. If we keep looking, the Lord will make a way for us to accomplish anything we need to accomplish, without sinning.

       No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is
       faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength,
       but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that
       you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13 RSV)

       But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is 
       impossible, but with God all things are possible."
                                               (Matthew 19:26 RSV) 

Satan is a liar and the father of lies. He wants us to believe that torture is somehow necessary and justified to "save American lives" or to "help win the war on terror." Nonsense! Total lying nonsense! The sin of torture is never necessary to accomplish any good purpose. For instance, if we think we need to obtain information from prisoners to save American lives, torture is not the way to do it, because people will tell you anything, just to stop the pain. So then you act on bad information, and you are worse off than if you had done nothing.

But the real motivation for torturing is all-too-frequently not to obtain information, but simply to inflict pain on the prisoner. Thus the other prisoners are terrorized by the screaming, and the captors feel they get some revenge on their enemies. And the most unclean and Satanic urges in mankind are aroused, when some people have some other people completely under their control, with very few restrictions on what they can do. Once you open the door to torture, for any reason, you invite a horde of other unexpected depraved activities to occur, as happened at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere.

So the idea that torture is necessary to save lives is completely bogus, created by Satan himself to magnify human misery.

    You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your
    father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has
    nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.
    When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a
    liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 RSV) 
Blessings to you. May God help us all.

      Rev. Bill McGinnis, Pastor

Source: Bible verses are from the online Revised Standard Version Bible (RSV) at the University of Michigan -

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Blessings to you. May God help us all.

       Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director -

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