Thursday, March 06, 2008

The New Patriot Act

By virtue of two-thirds majorities in both houses, Congress today overrode President Bush’s veto and passed into law Title 18, Part I, Chapter 28 of the United States Code, "An Act to regulate the use of persuasive techniques in the gathering of intelligence from enemy aliens" a.k.a. The New Patriot Act.

18 U.S.C. section 563 - Applicability
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all residents of these United States irrespective of citizenship or country of origin and shall not be abrogated by any too clever-by-half exemptions such as Guantanamo Bay being part of Cuba.

18 U.S.C. section 564 - Geneva Conventions
Whereas we signed on to these conventions, we really ought to comply with them, don’t you think? That means no more weaselly outs like "illegal enemy combatant" or trying to "opt out" altogether to avoid prosecution under the War Crimes Act.

18 U.S.C. section565 - Cruel and unusual punishment
Considering that we try to kill convicted murderers painlessly, it seems only reasonable to inflict as little pain as we can on prisoners being interrogated. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the permissible level of pain that can be inflicted is definitely way below that which causes organ failure or death.

18 U.S.C. section 566 - Waterboarding
Come on now. This is torture pure and simple. No more waffling on this one.

18 U.S.C. section 567 - Use of music as a method of torture
The use of loud music for prolonged periods of time may be appropriate in limited circumstances. However, whenever possible, the detainee should be permitted to choose the type of music used. In all cases, however, the excessive use of any Céline Dion song or any cuts off "The Best of Meatloaf" album is deemed to be in violation of this Act.

18 U.S.C. section 568 - Specific prohibitions
Certain practices will be deemed to be unacceptable torture. No prisoner may be forced to listen to more than two consecutive recorded speeches by George W. Bush, to look at a picture of Dick Cheney for more than ten minutes or to view the director’s cut of "Ishtar" or "Days of Heaven" in its entirety.

18 U.S.C. section 571 - Penalties
Whoever knowingly violates any of the foregoing provisions is guilty of an indictable offense but chances are we’re never going to find out anyway so it’s not clear why we even bothered.

No comments: