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Torture

post #1 of 121
Thread Starter 
The US tortured prisoners. It's now out there for the world to see.

What do we do about it?

 

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post #2 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

The US tortured prisoners. It's now out there for the world to see.

What do we do about it?

Put those responsible on trial for their horrific crimes and make sure it NEVER happens again.
post #3 of 121
Paper tiger

Quote:
In appearance it is very powerful but in reality it is nothing to be afraid of; it is a paper tiger. Outwardly a tiger, it is made of paper, unable to withstand the wind and the rain. I believe the United States is nothing but a paper tiger.

Quote:
In Mao Zedong's view, the term could be applied to all allegedly imperialist nations, particularly the United States and the Soviet Union (following the Sino-Soviet split): Mao argued that they were superficially powerful but would have a tendency to overextend themselves in the international arena, at which point pressure could be brought upon them by other states to cause their sudden collapse.

A bit of a tangent, I know, but those were the first words that came to my mind.

Paper pushers, pushing for a false war in Iraq.

Paper pushers, for chasing after the 21st century's hobgoblins.

This story has legs and is in a constant nonstop 247 news cycle.

However, I do tend to agree with Obama, I'd rather correct the bad behavior going forward, and minimize the potential collateral damage in focusing too acutely on the past bad behavior.
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post #4 of 121
Thread Starter 
Arianna Huffington has a good blog about this problem, saying it is a defining moment for the US. She also takes on the media for making the issue a left-right thing when it is an American thing.

"It is a test of our courage and our convictions. A test of whether we are indeed a nation of laws -- or a nation that pays lip service to the notion of being a nation of laws."


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ariann..._b_190687.html

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #5 of 121
"The USA does not torture."
"File sharing is not theft."
"Condoms help spread AIDS."
"Easy availability of guns saves lives more than it destroys them."
"There's nothing we can do about Global Warming."
"Faith in Christ solves all problems."
"Tax cuts increase tax revenue."
"Abortion is murder."
post #6 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Arianna Huffington has a good blog about this problem, saying it is a defining moment for the US. She also takes on the media for making the issue a left-right thing when it is an American thing.

"It is a test of our courage and our convictions. A test of whether we are indeed a nation of laws -- or a nation that pays lip service to the notion of being a nation of laws."

http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...24#post1408124

Fix it!

Your link that is, as I'd like to read it.

TIA

EDIT - Found it. Read it. The Torture Moment

My fear? That this goes all the way to the SCOTUS, with a 5-4 decision for "torture". Given the almost guaranteed minimum of 4 votes from the WRONG side of the bench.

I'd like to see the DOJ pursue this to it's maximum extent, if the opinions of various legal scholars considers this a proverbial "slam dunk".

In other words, I'd like to read the opinions of several, no make that many, legal scholars on this issue first.

The nation of laws rhetoric? OJ. People wrongly accused of a crime, and only later are some of them exonerated, based on subsequent DNA testing, or some such.
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post #7 of 121
Thread Starter 
Fixed the linkie. Thanks, Frank, and sorry about that.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #8 of 121
Thread Starter 
The US hanged Japanese soldiers who waterboarded US troops during WWII and sent many more to jail for long terms.

Why is American justice different for itself?

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

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post #9 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

Paper tigerHowever, I do tend to agree with Obama, I'd rather correct the bad behavior going forward, and minimize the potential collateral damage in focusing too acutely on the past bad behavior.

This is definitely where I disagree with Obama. If the perpetrators are not punished, you have deep-sixed your chances of preventing the same thing happening again in the future because future torture architects will (rightly) conclude they will get away with it.

There are many, many war criminals masquerading as judges, presidents, congressmen, and other public officials. They all need to go down (including I'm sure some congressional democrats).
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post #10 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

This is definitely where I disagree with Obama. If the perpetrators are not punished, you have deep-sixed your chances of preventing the same thing happening again in the future because future torture architects will (rightly) conclude they will get away with it.

There are many, many war criminals masquerading as judges, presidents, congressmen, and other public officials. They all need to go down (including I'm sure some congressional democrats).

Clinton got impeached for lying about a BJ.

I wonder what would have happened to Bush, Cheney, et. al., if these memos had been "discovered" during their term of office?
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post #11 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

The US hanged Japanese soldiers who waterboarded US troops during WWII and sent many more to jail for long terms.

Why is American justice different for itself?

You want the American standard to be show trials that end up in executions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

This is definitely where I disagree with Obama. If the perpetrators are not punished, you have deep-sixed your chances of preventing the same thing happening again in the future because future torture architects will (rightly) conclude they will get away with it.

There are many, many war criminals masquerading as judges, presidents, congressmen, and other public officials. They all need to go down (including I'm sure some congressional democrats).

Really? I would like to see proof that it is impossible to prevent a future activity unless you punish every previous party who engaged in that activity.

Isn't trying to punish every person who engaged in that activity instead of just moving on and protecting ourselves from future incidents pretty much the entire Bush rationale for taking us to war? I think this reasoning presented just justified every yes war on the vote.

Obama loves to compare himself to Lincoln. He should look at what Lincoln did after the Civil War and use that as a model.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #12 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

You want the American standard to be show trials that end up in executions?



Really? I would like to see proof that it is impossible to prevent a future activity unless you punish every previous party who engaged in that activity.

Isn't trying to punish every person who engaged in that activity instead of just moving on and protecting ourselves from future incidents pretty much the entire Bush rationale for taking us to war? I think this reasoning presented just justified every yes war on the vote.

Obama loves to compare himself to Lincoln. He should look at what Lincoln did after the Civil War and use that as a model.


Indeed it is not the entire Bush rationale for war. At any rate, military action was a perfectly appropriate response to 9/11. Military action in Iraq was just really fucking stupid and unnecessary. Your comments are doubly interesting since it has become clear in the last couple weeks that people were tortured to attempt to prove one of the BS rationales the Bush administration gave for the war in Iraq (the alleged Al-Qaeda - Saddam connection).

At any rate, prosecuting torturers is about the rule of law, and lifting the country out of the moral cesspool it was dragged into. You can't do that by sweeping torture under the rug.

It is impossible to guarantee the US will not torture again, but it's essentially guaranteed to happen again, and happen again soon, if the powerful can see there are demonstratively no consequences to their actions, regardless of what else the country does to prevent it from happening again. Another administration will come along with lawyers that will say the president is not limited by the constitution during war and that torture isn't really torture, and they'll be safe in the knowledge that punishment for their crimes will never come.

Another big distinction is that the "war on terror" is about external forces, while prosecuting torturers and torture architects is a matter of internal rot. It simply must be cut out or it will remain dormant, waiting to return.

In the end, it's not really about punishing the guilty to make them pay out of some sense of revenge; it is about our society repudiating torture in a loud and clear voice.

I am heartened that you don't seem to be advocating that we didn't torture or that torture was necessary.
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post #13 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

Indeed it is not the entire Bush rationale for war. At any rate, military action was a perfectly appropriate response to 9/11. Military action in Iraq was just really fucking stupid and unnecessary. Your comments are doubly interesting since it has become clear in the last couple weeks that people were tortured to attempt to prove one of the BS rationales the Bush administration gave for the war in Iraq (the alleged Al-Qaeda - Saddam connection).

Call me crazy but the reasoning there is preemptive. It is saying we must strike now to prevent a future event. People are saying that future events will take place based on what we do now. We aren't even talking about the same people in the future but different people who will be emboldened based off of how we handle this.

That is PRECISELY the Bush rationale for war.

Quote:
At any rate, prosecuting torturers is about the rule of law, and lifting the country out of the moral cesspool it was dragged into. You can't do that by sweeping torture under the rug.

How wide do you draw the circle? How do you know where to end it? Do we shoot every Congress person who voted for the war? Who didn't speak out against waterboarding? Who know about or were briefed and said nothing? Who hired a lawyer that wrote the opinion that said it was legal and acted on it? The person who followed the commands of his/her superiors under threat of court marshall and the jail time?

How do you know where to draw that line?

Quote:
It is impossible to guarantee the US will not torture again, but it's essentially guaranteed to happen again, and happen again soon, if the powerful can see there are demonstratively no consequences to their actions, regardless of what else the country does to prevent it from happening again. Another administration will come along with lawyers that will say the president is not limited by the constitution during war and that torture isn't really torture, and they'll be safe in the knowledge that punishment for their crimes will never come.

It is much easier to guarantee if you start by denouncing and withholding support to anyone who practices Pax Americana and declares in any form or fashion that the U.S. is responsible for and must control matters outside itself. We don't need to worry about being a bad cop versus a good cop if we aren't the cop.

Quote:
Another big distinction is that the "war on terror" is about external forces, while prosecuting torturers and torture architects is a matter of internal rot. It simply must be cut out or it will remain dormant, waiting to return.

In the end, it's not really about punishing the guilty to make them pay out of some sense of revenge; it is about our society repudiating torture in a loud and clear voice.

I am heartened that you don't seem to be advocating that we didn't torture or that torture was necessary.

I go both ways on these matters. My view has always been that if we decide to do it, our hands will get dirty and we must do it right. If we don't choose to do it, then we don't have these problems. Most people pick a middle ground where they will fight a "cleaner" or "better" war. I don't think that is possible. I used to have a sig that said the same people that want us out of Iraq want us in Darfur. I consider that mentality just as guilty in one case as the other. The "internal rot" that we must cut out is our desire to control things beyond our borders and be the cop for the world. If we cut before that then it is really just about punishing someone following orders of following a philosophy. We shouldn't do that. We should change the philosophy.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #14 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Call me crazy but the reasoning there is preemptive. It is saying we must strike now to prevent a future event. People are saying that future events will take place based on what we do now. We aren't even talking about the same people in the future but different people who will be emboldened based off of how we handle this.

That is PRECISELY the Bush rationale for war.


You seem to want to make this a black and white issue, but that leads to ridiculous conclusions if you play them out to their endpoint.

Then by your logic no one should ever be put in jail for any crime, and our entire criminal justice system is pointless. Just let crime victims sue in civil court for money damages. That is the argument you are making taken to its conclusion. Although exactly how effective it is is debatable, deterrence is part of the reason we put individuals in jail for crimes they commit. Another large reason, which I referred to in my last post, is a way for society to condemn the unacceptable behavior in a particularly pointed fashion.

Also, this is not the Bush rationale for war. And what "war" Afghanistan, Iraq? They had entirely different rationales. Afghanistan was certainly not principally about future terrorists being emboldened. It was about eliminating the current terrorists from which an attack on our country originated. The rationales for Iraq changed so many times, who the hell knows. It was painted as a current and imminent threat to our national security, and it was also painted as a haven for al qeada, and we tortured people to try and make that connection to justify a war that we had already decided we were going to wage.

We're not preemptively punishing future torture. The torture happened! And if it's not dealt with, our country remains in the muck. With Iraq, there was nothing Iraq had done that justified the cost of a full-scale invasion and occupation of the country.

Edit: just to add some additional content. Preemptive war (with the caveat that firing the first shot is not always preemptive) is stupid in part because that makes it more likely someone will preemptively declare war on you. I would submit that in the the case of institutionalized torture, prosecuting those crimes is a fair bit more likely to prevent future institutionalized torture than our criminal justice system is at deterring crime in general. The number of individuals in a position to institutionalize torture is by definition a very small group of people. If that small group can look to the past and see that the powerful were not, in fact, above the law, that should give them significant pause.

In contrast, the notion that bombing and invading some country in the present will affect the judgment of other countries in the future, given the big, wide, diverse world we live in... well that's just not too realistic.

War and criminal justice are simply not the same beasts.


Quote:
How wide do you draw the circle? How do you know where to end it? Do we shoot every Congress person who voted for the war? Who didn't speak out against waterboarding? Who know about or were briefed and said nothing? Who hired a lawyer that wrote the opinion that said it was legal and acted on it? The person who followed the commands of his/her superiors under threat of court marshall and the jail time?

How do you know where to draw that line?

Again, so how do we draw the line with any criminal conspiracy? We should just give up because it would be hard to do?

You are also conflating the issues of torture and the war. My personal opinion: those who were briefed and said nothing should get booted out of office (I suspect this includes Pelosi). The architects who instructed lawyers to deliver a pre-ordained conclusion to justify torture should see jail time. (Cheney / Bush, etc) The lawyers should be disbarred and see some jail time, the doctors who oversaw the torture should all loose their license and face some jail time. Those who followed commands will be the most difficult and will certainly vary on a case-by-case basis, but undoubtedly some should face jail time as well.


Quote:
My view has always been that if we decide to do it, our hands will get dirty and we must do it right.

In your view, is torture part of "doing it right?" If we decide to get our hands dirty, as you put it, do you think torture is more effective than traditional interrogation techniques?
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post #15 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

The US hanged Japanese soldiers who waterboarded US troops during WWII and sent many more to jail for long terms.

Why is American justice different for itself?

Mainly 'cause we're dealing with an enemy that doesn't recognize non-combatants as being off-limits, and they don't take prisoners.

Fighting using rules of engagement the other side hasn't agreed to and doesn't follow is stupid.

We'd have to torture every prisoner we have in custody, draw and quarter their bodies, then drag the bodies through the streets of downtown New York to demonstrate the same level of justice we receive from them.
post #16 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

At any rate, military action was a perfectly appropriate response to 9/11.

To use military force against a non stationary, non local, non state entity is simply idiotic. The use of the military was a "Bring it on" moment of complete insanity. Bin Laden has by all means won this war big time. The US and indeed the world has proven that this monetary based western culture is volatile and highly unstable. A little nudge by a handful of freaks and the whole thing goes to shit over a "Mommy this guy poked me, whaaa, now I am going to kill everyone who wears what he wears".

These "wars", I am not sure we can really call it that since we are not fighting any country, have for a few years let us live in a mirage of "we are the strong", we can buy Hummers, we are the "good", we party, we don't care how many people die for oil, etc.

We tortured people to become less than the terrorists. We placed ourselves below their level. Torture proves that we are cavemen at best.

So many years wasted with petty BS generated in the smallest brain to ever have grace the inside of a skull, Mr. Bush's. Instead of the US aligning with the "good" it aligned with the "evil".

The war is us against us.

There is no positive aspect of torture.

I like everything else you said.
post #17 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamac View Post

We tortured people to become less than the terrorists. We placed ourselves below their level. Torture proves that we are cavemen at best.

Are you asserting that those who engage in terrorism... who target women and children in markets just to have air time on TV, who take no prisoners except to torture and use as bargaining chips, who torture their their own countrymen.. are you suggesting they're in a morally superior position?
post #18 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taskiss View Post

Are you asserting that those who engage in terrorism... who target women and children in markets just to have air time on TV, who take no prisoners except to torture and use as bargaining chips, who torture their their own countrymen.. are you suggesting they're in a morally superior position?

Until they, steal our resources, brutalize our people and bomb the living crap out of the US killing over a million civilians, one could describe them as relatively peaceful. I wander what some of the knuckleheads in the US would resort to, especially if it had been a dozen extremists from Canada that had killed 3000 Saudi Arabians, that caused a hypothetical US occupation and widespread death from the hands of the Iraqi's invading forces.
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post #19 of 121
Bush's words in the wake of Abu Ghraib are quite interesting:

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.co...n-torture.html
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post #20 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

Bush's words in the wake of Abu Ghraib are quite interesting:

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.co...n-torture.html

In other words he's willing to prosecute a few on the bottom rung of his own military or anyone else considered convenient, all the while being the orchestrator. What a guy!
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post #21 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

one could describe them as relatively peaceful.

Really?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_r...ions_1979-2003
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban...nd_persecution
post #22 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

In other words he's willing to prosecute a few on the bottom rung of his own military or anyone else considered convenient, all the while being the orchestrator. What a guy!

I googled "pelosi torture" and this was the first link:

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/thebeat/258258

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

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post #23 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

I googled "pelosi torture" and this was the first link:

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/thebeat/258258

It's most certainly not a partisan issue, other than that the architecture came out of the executive branch, which of course has only one party at a time. I think Pelosi likely has to go.
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post #24 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

It's most certainly not a partisan issue, other than that the architecture came out of the executive branch, which of course has only one party at a time. I think Pelosi likely has to go.

Indeed.

The Executive certainly bears the brunt of the responsibility, but the complicity of the other branches of government in the illegal war and how it has been carried out is troubling, to say the least.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

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post #25 of 121
We are nurturing a nightmare that will haunt our children, and kill theirs.
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post #26 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hands Sandon View Post

Yes really.

So, how would you suggest someone resolve the apparent disconnect between your assertions and the published information? Read info, apply bias?

Don't get me wrong, I would never say we're better than they are... the US has been accused of arrogance like that in the past. I'm saying we're no better than they are, and you have to fight fire with fire, if indeed you plan to fight.
post #27 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

You seem to want to make this a black and white issue, but that leads to ridiculous conclusions if you play them out to their endpoint.

Then by your logic no one should ever be put in jail for any crime, and our entire criminal justice system is pointless. Just let crime victims sue in civil court for money damages. That is the argument you are making taken to its conclusion. Although exactly how effective it is is debatable, deterrence is part of the reason we put individuals in jail for crimes they commit. Another large reason, which I referred to in my last post, is a way for society to condemn the unacceptable behavior in a particularly pointed fashion.

Not quite. I'm sure there is a better phrase for it because I remember the concept of it even though I am now forgetting the phrase. It basically amounts to saying no retroactive prosecution for a law, decision or legal understand that has happened after the act. As an example it would be like going back and prosecuting all the slave owners AFTER declaring slavery illegal. They were acting within the law before that (yes it was bad law) and afterwards if they follow the law again, nothing should happen.

As a country we didn't start in a perfect state are still aren't there. You do put people in jail for crimes committed after you pass the law. You can't or shouldn't put them in for crimes committed before the law was created/clarified/etc. We can understand and call them whatever we want but to expect society to prosecute such a nebulous area actually undermines rule of law. You wouldn't want a cop to go back and write you a ticket for the speed you drove yesterday in your car after they changed the sign.

Quote:
Also, this is not the Bush rationale for war. And what "war" Afghanistan, Iraq? They had entirely different rationales. Afghanistan was certainly not principally about future terrorists being emboldened. It was about eliminating the current terrorists from which an attack on our country originated. The rationales for Iraq changed so many times, who the hell knows. It was painted as a current and imminent threat to our national security, and it was also painted as a haven for al qeada, and we tortured people to try and make that connection to justify a war that we had already decided we were going to wage.

We're not preemptively punishing future torture. The torture happened! And if it's not dealt with, our country remains in the muck. With Iraq, there was nothing Iraq had done that justified the cost of a full-scale invasion and occupation of the country.

From my understanding, the Bush got authorization for his actions (Iraq and Afghanistan)and further more declared that if a government tolerated terrorists within their midst that they would be preemptively toppled to prevent the terrorists from going forward with their agenda. He not only invaded certain countries, but outlined an "Axis of Evil" and had other known countries fall into line (Libyia as the best example) to prevent preemptive action.

As for whether Iraq was justified, it was voted on and won the votes of many Democrats including our current secretary of state and V.P. As you note the rationales changed but this isn't uncommon. Governing isn't a clean business and especially since in my view they are less than perfect in their execution, there are often backtracking and adjustments.

Let me ask we will soon likely be on our second or third stimulus package and second or third level of company bailouts. How is this any different?

Quote:
Edit: just to add some additional content. Preemptive war (with the caveat that firing the first shot is not always preemptive) is stupid in part because that makes it more likely someone will preemptively declare war on you. I would submit that in the the case of institutionalized torture, prosecuting those crimes is a fair bit more likely to prevent future institutionalized torture than our criminal justice system is at deterring crime in general. The number of individuals in a position to institutionalize torture is by definition a very small group of people. If that small group can look to the past and see that the powerful were not, in fact, above the law, that should give them significant pause.

In contrast, the notion that bombing and invading some country in the present will affect the judgment of other countries in the future, given the big, wide, diverse world we live in... well that's just not too realistic.

War and criminal justice are simply not the same beasts.

With regard to being "above the law" clearly that is something that the courts would decide. I suspect they would not be willing to find against the administration for a number of reasons people have mentioned here. First they have been to court and had judges give decisions on motions put forward by administration lawyers, etc. Second they did try to interpret case law and apply past precident to non-enemy combatants, etc. Finally even to this day there are very likely, still clear gaps in the law on this matter. Again some have been mentioned here by other posters.

As to what will best influence the future, that isn't really grounds for a prosecution. The only grounds for prosecution is proof of guilt according to the laws that exist within the timeframe the action occurred.

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Again, so how do we draw the line with any criminal conspiracy? We should just give up because it would be hard to do?

Actually yes. There are plenty of cases that are dropped for precisely that reason. If the burden of proof level is too high a bar to meet for a case, they don't prosecute it.

Quote:
You are also conflating the issues of torture and the war. My personal opinion: those who were briefed and said nothing should get booted out of office (I suspect this includes Pelosi). The architects who instructed lawyers to deliver a pre-ordained conclusion to justify torture should see jail time. (Cheney / Bush, etc) The lawyers should be disbarred and see some jail time, the doctors who oversaw the torture should all loose their license and face some jail time. Those who followed commands will be the most difficult and will certainly vary on a case-by-case basis, but undoubtedly some should face jail time as well.

In my opinion that is a very broad and very dangerous circle. You are talking about disbarring and imprisoning lawyers for simply presenting the case for the government as an example. That sounds like pretty terrifying.

Quote:
In your view, is torture part of "doing it right?" If we decide to get our hands dirty, as you put it, do you think torture is more effective than traditional interrogation techniques?

It doesn't matter where I want the line to be drawn. The reality is that when you engage in war it is a messy process. There will be civilian deaths. There will be collateral damage. They will be torture both endorsed and not endorse and away from oversight.

You note for example that we prosecuted people for torture in WWII. I also remember that we bombed Dresden into a giant pile and dropped a couple nukes on two civilian cities. Do you remember anyone being prosecuted for those actions? Amazingly enough, I don't. Also any investigation into those trials after WWII will make clear they were show trials. The people weren't properly represented. The burden of proof was low, letters with claims could sentence people to death as an example and no need to face an accuser existed.

As is usual the real rule is, the winner dictates terms to the loser and writes the history afterward.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #28 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

You do put people in jail for crimes committed after you pass the law. You can't or shouldn't put them in for crimes committed before the law was created/clarified/etc.

There were treaties (e. g. Geneva Convention), laws (binding us to said treaties), and rules (military rule of conduct).

That's the only salient fact we (e. g. DOJ) needs to pursue this matter.

Also, those down the chain of military command can not (or should not) be held accountable, since this would be deemed to be insubordination for not following orders (e. g. stovepipe). Catch-22 as it were.
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post #29 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Not quite. I'm sure there is a better phrase for it because I remember the concept of it even though I am now forgetting the phrase. It basically amounts to saying no retroactive prosecution for a law, decision or legal understand that has happened after the act. As an example it would be like going back and prosecuting all the slave owners AFTER declaring slavery illegal. They were acting within the law before that (yes it was bad law) and afterwards if they follow the law again, nothing should happen.

As a country we didn't start in a perfect state are still aren't there. You do put people in jail for crimes committed after you pass the law. You can't or shouldn't put them in for crimes committed before the law was created/clarified/etc. We can understand and call them whatever we want but to expect society to prosecute such a nebulous area actually undermines rule of law. You wouldn't want a cop to go back and write you a ticket for the speed you drove yesterday in your car after they changed the sign.

I am not following you at all here. The law is not ambiguous. Torture is illegal quite clearly under both domestic law and international law, and waterboarding has been unequivocally categorized as torture until Bush/Cheney declared it wasn't.

Quote:
Second they did try to interpret case law and apply past precident to non-enemy combatants, etc. Finally even to this day there are very likely, still clear gaps in the law on this matter. Again some have been mentioned here by other posters.

As has been noted in many places on the web, those memos virtually ignored mountains of precedent and would get a failing grade in any intro-level legal writing course. Either the conclusion was 1) preordained, and if there is sufficient evidence to support that conclusion, well they need to go to jail. or 2) at very least it was gross malpractice and the authors should be disbarred.

Quote:
Actually yes. There are plenty of cases that are dropped for precisely that reason. If the burden of proof level is too high a bar to meet for a case, they don't prosecute it.

While who you should or shouldn't charge would likely be very complicated, when there is such overwhelming evidence of serious crimes, they simply must be faced.
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post #30 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

There were treaties (e. g. Geneva Convention), laws (binding us to said treaties), and rules (military rule of conduct).

That's the only salient fact we (e. g. DOJ) needs to pursue this matter.

Also, those down the chain of military command can not (or should not) be held accountable, since this would be deemed to be insubordination for not following orders (e. g. stovepipe). Catch-22 as it were.

I'm guessing that since there can be no higher law of the land than the constitution, and that since the constitution mandates the office of the president to perform as the commander in chief, and since that office is chartered to secure the republic, the office of the president can pretty much do that job as is seen fit. About the only check on the president is the congress and the courts, not treaties.

And, as for treaties, the office has the power to make them (provided two thirds of the senate concur), I assume it has the power to un-make them when performing under order of the congress, specifically the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002" and the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists of 2001".
post #31 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

There were treaties (e. g. Geneva Convention), laws (binding us to said treaties), and rules (military rule of conduct).

That's the only salient fact we (e. g. DOJ) needs to pursue this matter.

Also, those down the chain of military command can not (or should not) be held accountable, since this would be deemed to be insubordination for not following orders (e. g. stovepipe). Catch-22 as it were.

You make a good point with the catch-22 and as I also noted, it would be quite the mitigating factor with regard to prosecuting someone. I'm pretty sure that it has been argued and the reasoning behind all those memos with regard to this matter would deal with the fact that the Geneva Convention deals with combat between countries and has a provision to deal with civil wars but does not deal with terrorists. I'm sure that many people could argue all sides of this matter but the real point would be would a jury use it to convict or set free members of the executive branch and military who were following it, I'm sure they would state, to protect the country.

What do you think the conviction rate would be there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flounder View Post

I am not following you at all here. The law is not ambiguous. Torture is illegal quite clearly under both domestic law and international law, and waterboarding has been unequivocally categorized as torture until Bush/Cheney declared it wasn't.

As was noted above, the legal argument would be that terrorists were not parties that signed the GC and thus it does not apply to them. That was the whole process that everyone participated in that you want them tried for now.

Many would argue that since this did go through the courts it falls into one of two groups. We are now either trying people for political disagreements after an election in which they lose or the second would be that even the process or participation in the process could be illegal.

This is why I asked how you ask courts to prosecute lawyers for representing the government as an example. Their only crime is producing legal documents. How can that be a crime unless the very process itself was illegal.

Quote:
As has been noted in many places on the web, those memos virtually ignored mountains of precedent and would get a failing grade in any intro-level legal writing course. Either the conclusion was 1) preordained, and if there is sufficient evidence to support that conclusion, well they need to go to jail. or 2) at very least it was gross malpractice and the authors should be disbarred.

I'm certain that when when certain public defenders have to defend a client that is as guilty as can possibly be and they want a trial, they still have an obligation to do their best even if the best is going to be a terrible job given the case and reasoning behind it. We can't outlaw the process though.

Let me ask you a question that cedes your view 100%, if you are a member of the justice department working for the executive branch and the government asks you to produce a motion for an argument to justify torture, isn't that argument by it's very nature going to be crap reflecting the position itself? How does one escape from that catch-22?

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #32 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taskiss View Post

I'm guessing that since there can be no higher law of the land than the constitution, and that since the constitution mandates the office of the president to perform as the commander in chief, and since that office is chartered to secure the republic, the office of the president can pretty much do that job as is seen fit. About the only check on the president is the congress and the courts, not treaties.

And, as for treaties, the office has the power to make them (provided two thirds of the senate concur), I assume it has the power to un-make them when performing under order of the congress, specifically the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002" and the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists of 2001".

So I take it that you liked our DicK-ta-tater-in-Chief? And that the POTUS is above all existing laws?

As in you don't respect the rule of law?
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post #33 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

As was noted above, the legal argument would be that terrorists were not parties that signed the GC and thus it does not apply to them. That was the whole process that everyone participated in that you want them tried for now.

The idea that the GC somehow only limits what you can do to other signees is fucking ridiculous. It's like saying that I cannot be prosecuted under US Law for the murder a Mexican because he's not a US citizen. Fucking insane excuse.
post #34 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

You really don't know much about the constitution, do you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

So I take it that you liked our DicK-ta-tater-in-Chief? And that the POTUS is above all existing laws?

As in you don't respect the rule of law?

It's pretty simple - I posted several pieces of evidence that I consdered when guessing what the argument would be to defend the previous administration.

Please limit yourself to discussing the post and not to me personally.
post #35 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

The idea that the GC somehow only limits what you can do to other signees is fucking ridiculous. It's like saying that I cannot be prosecuted under US Law for the murder a Mexican because he's not a US citizen. Fucking insane excuse.

Actually that would be true if the only agreement we had between Mexico and the U.S. was the GC but we have a number of agreements in place beyond that agreement.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #36 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

I'm certain that when when certain public defenders have to defend a client that is as guilty as can possibly be and they want a trial, they still have an obligation to do their best even if the best is going to be a terrible job given the case and reasoning behind it. We can't outlaw the process though.


Let me ask you a question that cedes your view 100%, if you are a member of the justice department working for the executive branch and the government asks you to produce a motion for an argument to justify torture, isn't that argument by it's very nature going to be crap reflecting the position itself? How does one escape from that catch-22?

The answer should be "I can't do that, because that is 1) not my job and 2) against the ethics of my profession."

I think you are forgetting that these were presented as legal memos, i.e. these were pieces of writing that should have been analytical, not persuasive. There is a HUGE difference between advocating for a client and performing legal analysis for one.

In other words, your hypothetical is inapposite. This is most definitely not analogous to defending a client in court. The situation is more analogous to a client coming into an office who tells you he plans to embezzle money from his employer and he would like you to provide the best legal cover for him that you can.

To do so is a gross breach of one's professional ethics.
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post #37 of 121
Thread Starter 
A few years ago there were some leaders in Bosnia who did certain things. They were brought to justice (with American help) under international laws and treaties. US lawmakers are just as bound by those laws.

There are also human laws.

From the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 5
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.


Article 6
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

(among other points)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Univers...f_Human_Rights


No torture. Also nothing about "enemy combatants".

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #38 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taskiss View Post

So, how would you suggest someone resolve the apparent disconnect between your assertions and the published information? Read info, apply bias?

Don't get me wrong, I would never say we're better than they are... the US has been accused of arrogance like that in the past. I'm saying we're no better than they are, and you have to fight fire with fire, if indeed you plan to fight.

I edited my earlier post to illustrate better the point I was trying to make. The savagery of the torture that you highlight, I can only hope that the US has played no part in. However, what's gone on at the black sites remain hidden and may well approach the same level of hideous barbarism that has been evident by Iraqi's. Deporting someone to a place where they can be violently tortured to death is no better than doing it yourself. The CIA conduct torture and still do under Obama, unfortunately, indeed Obama supports secret rendition. Things won't change until the media is back in the hands of the people instead of the big corporations.
We are nurturing a nightmare that will haunt our children, and kill theirs.
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post #39 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taskiss View Post

Are you asserting that those who engage in terrorism... who target women and children in markets just to have air time on TV, who take no prisoners except to torture and use as bargaining chips, who torture their their own countrymen.. are you suggesting they're in a morally superior position?

Yes, they at least are sticking to their way of doing things, we are just happy to abandon everything that is dear to us for some misguided need for revenge.
post #40 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taskiss View Post

It's pretty simple - I posted several pieces of evidence that I considered when guessing what the argument would be to defend the previous administration.

Please limit yourself to discussing the post and not to me personally.

See that little ! in the lower left hand corner. Go ahead, make my day.

As to the present subject matter of torture, I'll consult with my attorneys (i. e. The DOJ) and get back to you ASAP.

So unless you are currently sitting on the SCOTUS, there really isn't much more that we all can discuss here.

Now is there? I do seem to have the memory of having discussed and deferring to the opinions of actual well respected legal scholars in a previous post of mine.
Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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