From Peter Erlinder at Jurist:
Earlier this month, “Chuckie Taylor”, the son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, now facing trial at The Hague, became the first US citizen in history to be convicted under 18 USC §2340-2340A, a 1994 federal statute that criminalizes violations of the Convention Against Torture by any US citizen, anywhere in the world. The Bush Justice Department was successful in arguing the constitutionality of §2340A and its applicability to a US citizen for crimes committed in Liberia between 1999 and 2003.
Ironically, this overlaps with the period during which the Bush executive branch itself was engaging in what the CIA’s George Tenet euphemistically called “enhanced interrogation techniques” in secret CIA overseas prisons and in places like Abu Ghraib and Guantamo. The CIA apparently adopted “waterboarding” and other “torture” tactics when their first high-level captive refused to cooperate in late 2001 or early 2002 , and the “torture stain” began to spread to other executive-branch services. [more]