Perhaps it was someone's idea of a joke inserted on the website? I hope. But in a world of right-wing eliminationist rhetoric (see multiple posts of David Neiwert's on this at Orcinus) there's all too much reason to fear it was for real.
Contradicting a series of international law decisions by multiple national and international tribunals, and citing a missive from the French Foreign Ministry, a French court has ruled that ministerial immunity against torture charges persists past the minister's retirement.
Is this (pro-US) French President Nicolas Sarkozy's doing? It certainly seems an odd decision for Bernard Kouchner, the former socialist and co-founder of Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) turned Foreign Minister.
It also seems like the sort of decision a decent court system would overturn on appeal.
Finally, a presidential candidate has seized the opportunity presented by the CNN/YouTube debates … it looks like the creative minds at Chris Dodd's campaign—which has already distinguished itself with a string of web innovations—were paying attention. A few days ago, they posted this question from Senator Dodd for this Wednesday's Republican CNN/YouTube event:
Since June 2001, there have been more than 270 TASER-related deaths in the United States. AI is concerned that TASERs are being used as tools of routine force—rather than as weapons of last resort. Rigorous, independent, impartial study of their use and effects is urgently needed.
By all means let's get the data. It's possible that the people killed by tasers might have been shot to death by police limited to their traditional guns and truncheons. But I doubt it.
Update2: Digby has a video of a Utah Highway Patrolman tasing a motorist — and then apparently lying to his partner about having given the motorist a warning. Lawsuit to follow. (But, say Digby's commentators, the real issues are pushy Taser salespeople and poor law enforcement training.)