« Nous ne torturons pas »

NEW YORK – Interrogé en septembre 2006 sur la question de savoir si les interrogateurs américains traitaient convenablement les détenus de « grande valeur » à Guantanamo Bay, et ailleurs, le président George W. Bush avait répondu par une phrase désormais célèbre : « Nous ne torturons pas ».

La notion de torture est notoirement difficile à cerner, mais nous savons depuis un certain temps déjà que l’ancien président était, comment dire, parcimonieux avec la vérité. Au strict minimum, les interrogateurs américains enfreignaient les Conventions de Genève - ratifiées par les Etats-Unis - qui proscrivent les « traitements cruels, inhumains ou dégradants ».

Attacher quelqu’un à une planche et l’amener à deux doigts de la noyade, encore et encore, ou obliger un prisonnier – entièrement nu et couvert de ses excréments – à rester debout pendant des jours avec les mains attachées au plafond, jusqu’à ce que ses jambes aient tellement gonflé qu’elles doublent de taille, sont des procédés qui n’ont peut-être pas été définis comme des actes de torture dans les mémorandums rédigés par les avocats gouvernementaux, mais qui sont indéniablement cruels, inhumains et dégradants.

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