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"Torture"

Discussion in 'The OT' started by GeneralDisarray, Sep 28, 2006.

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  1. jpl

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    First off, you're confusing two separate things here. The normal functions of the government in terms of how we function is one thing. But in times of war, the courts have always held that we have a right to protect ourselves. You keep trying to draw erroneous analogies: Well, if we torture these guys, we're just a whisker away from caning people who the police pick up on the street... come on. That's just nonsense. These are enemy combatants who were fighting our military and who we captured on a field of battle. By any international standard, we are entitled to kill them on site... we could have had KSM executed on the field of battle with no legal problem whatsoever. Does that mean that that response extends to normal US citizens engaging in our lives here in the US? Of course not. You have to separate the two. I know that liberals tend to not to like to do that, but this is a situation that is NOT the same as how the police pick up a suspect on the street who's believed to have committed a crime. What we're dealing with here is how to handle ENEMY COMBATANTS. Not common criminals. These are people who want to destroy the US, not some purse-snatcher we caught. For some reason liberals tend to think everything is just a crime scene. This is not - this is a war.

    And do you really mean to say that someone captured on the field of battle has the same constitutional protections that you or I do? Nonsense. The court has always held that. The closest you could come to that is what the court held with foreigners being here in the US. Non-US citizens who are on US soil are entitled to constitutional protection. Do you wonder why these prisoners are in Guantanamo? Because it's NOT US SOIL.

    And you may have an issue with waterboarding, but I don't, and I would guess most of the American people don't either. Of course it's not a routine police procedure, nor should it be. But when you're talking about terrorists who want to kill us, and who've already attacked us, that's a different situation altogether. We've ALWAYS separated the two. That's what posse comitatus is all about - the US military is not allowed to be deployed in a military function on US soil. There's a separation that you seem to not want to acknowledge.
     
  2. jpl

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    Yeah, THAT'S what I'm advocating - beheading prisoners :rolleyes: Do you REALLY see waterboarding for the purpose of gleening information as the same thing that these monsters are doing? That's what you're saying. We've "stooped to their level" which means that waterboarding is just as bad as decapitation. Please.
     
  3. jonstad

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    Excellent post s8ist.

    Unfortunately, many here have bought into the propaganda of fear that unless we surrender our own rights and principles in the interest of "safety", we will be surrendering to the terrorists and offering up our families and our nation for death and destruction.

    But as you point out, exactly the opposite is more probably the case. As we adopt the morality and tactics of our enemy even to a degree, we lose what sets us apart from them. And once we've lost that, it's going to be very hard to get it back.

    Yes, it's very true that al Qaeda and the lot aren't parties to Geneva or have any notion of basic human rights and dignity as we would consider it. And they certainly don't adhere to them or display anything we would regognize as morality and ethics in their behaviors. And we rightly condemn them for this lack of morality, ethics and humanity.

    Since the reliability of information gathered by torture seems to be dubious at best, I don't understand how it is seen as advantageous to adopt the tactics of torture. Disregarding for the moment the moral and ethical questions raised and even assuming that SOME useful information may be obtained in the short term, I cannot see that use of torture in the long term is advantageous to the US.
     
  4. pjmrt

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    If it not widely considered as torture, why is the current admininstration so anxious about it? Because the liberals and the media want to claim everything is torture - any treatment or interrogation other than quietly sitting in front of them and politely asking them "Moh, please please with sugar on top, tell us which school you planted that bomb." Is treating someone with less than total respect "torture"? Are prisoners of war entitled to our constitutional protections of its citizens?

    It really comes down to this. It is really easy for everyone to intellectualize this torture discussion. Bottom line, when they DON'T get the information - it often means someone dies - someone's son, daughter, mother, father. If that someone was YOUR someone - would you be more upset if they p**d on their Koran and got the info that samed their life, or that they did not even try and their someone is now in a grave?
     
  5. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    By the way some people excuse these "things as ok in a time of war"... you could extend that to say that Germany and the holocaust was "ok" because it was war, and Hitler was just imprisoning and torturing Jewish prisoners because he saw them as the enemy.

    Why do we even have war crimes trials if everything, including torture is ok in a time of war? How can we possibly encourage torturing terrorist prisoners (or suspects) we have captured and at the same time be coordinating a war crimes trial against Saddam Hussein?

    Seriously... think about it... we are trying him in a world-court for crimes against humanity that we are trying to do ourselves... and there are people on this very forum who want to punish Hussein while simultaneously declaring it is ok for us to torture prisoners.

    Ultimately, if people just won't see the slippery slope down which we are headed... all I can say is that I hope we don't become the enemy during my lifetime. I don't like the direction this country could be heading in terms of how we value other life.
     
  6. Tom in TX

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    Jonstad, what part of "We the people, of the United States..." don't you understand?

    I can't find where this includes a terrorist thug from Iran, or wherever. Can you point out where these rights are granted to foreigners in OUR Constitution?

    Tom in TX
     
  7. s8ist

    s8ist Banned User

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    good call. i say we all start pissing on the Qu'ran and see if it stops the terrorists.
     
  8. Tom in TX

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    I guess that means the terrorists can vote in our next election? According to Jonstad, there's nothing in the Constitution, or Bill of Rights to deny them this "right"!!

    I wonder who they would vote for!!!!!!!!!

    So, Jonstad, can they vote now?

    Tom in TX
     
  9. pjmrt

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    Actually, that is not the case. Saddam is being tried by Iraqis for war crimes against Iraqis.

    I for one am bothered by the use of torture. Whether some of the interrogation methods are really torture - I don't know. Some of the tactics called torture, are quite simply not torture and the accusation is absurd. Others, ... well I'm not so sure. I would love to see the US set the bar high in the way we treat prisoners. I also think that is political suicide, because the press will quickly turn on you the second that you fail to gain a piece of valuable intel - and US citizens pay the price with their lives. It takes a willingness to accept a great deal of risk.
     
  10. jonstad

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    OK, where in there does it say this "more perfect union" will apply its principles only to citizens of the US. As already indicated, any person, regardless of their "race, creed or national origin", charged with a violation of US law is entitled to the same privilages and protections under US law as a US citizen. I guess the question then becomes, do you dispute that?

    If you do not dispute that, then where is the basis for your argument?

    The current thinking appears to be that if we don't charge anyone with a crime, we can hold them forever and apparently do whatever we want with them. However, this takes away the right of Habeas Corpus, roughly translated "where's the body", that goes back even further than the Constitution, at least to the Magna Carta.

    In addition, the treaties and conventions we are party to concerning these matters ALSO stress the right of habeas corpus as well as the right to be treated in a humane manner. If the US or other nations are not bound by the treaties they sign, then what good is it so have treaties?
     
  11. pjmrt

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    You're kidding right? Come on jonstad, I know that Hawaii salt air has neurological effects, but come on....:lol: So you think the framers of declaration of indendence and the constitution were writing that those protections extended unilaterally by them to all nations? I will give you that they believed those principles should be adopted by all people. I won't go so far as to say they believed the Bill of Rights applied to foreign people in foreign lands, any more than that they should help elect the president (as much as the libs would like the French and Germans help elect our president;) ).

    So tell me jonstad, was the US also wrong to rail against Tokyo Rose? After all, wasn't she just exercising her "constitutional right" to free speech. What about Hitler?
     
  12. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Please don't ask for a link to the US Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. If you can't find it easily (as I just did) on a federal government Web site, then you just aren't trying...

    I read the Declaration of Independence in its entirely, as well as the US Constitution and all the currently ratified amendments (including those amendments that retract previous amendments).

    A few things I find interesting...

    From the US Constitution:

    Note that the crafters of this particular amendment wanted to make sure that folks didn't take advantage of a loophole and say that "if it isn't in the Constitution then it isn't a right"...

    Note how this paragraph reads... Since we are assuming that the crafters of amendments to the constitution choose words carefully so as not to obscure meaning... note that "citizens" rights are described as well as the rights of "any person". Clearly, to me, if the "equal protection of the laws" was only intended for US citizens, then they would have continued to use the word "citizens" throughout the whole paragraph. The conscious choice to note that not only are all citizens entitled to these rights but ANY PERSON as well, seems to make clear the intentions of this amendment.

    And last, but not least... from the Declaration of Independence:

    Note the portions I have made bold... Our founding fathers felt they were being restricted from "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" as a key reason for the declaration that follows. I cannot believe that our founding fathers would have sought to establish a new government that in the future would tread upon those same "laws of nature" that they themselves felt victims of restriction.

    Also, "all men are created equal"... the declaration makes no statement that only men of this proposed new country were created equal... or that some people are more equal than others... but in fact they are stating that it is because "all men are created equal" and we were not being treated equal by the British, that we sought to free ourselves from their bonds and establish a new nation wherein all men would be treated as the equals our founding fathers believed them to be. Again, creating a nation wherein we considered ourselves above others outside our borders was clearly NOT the intention of our founding fathers, and I believe they would have found it abhorrent to imply that their words were not intended for all people.

    It is our duty to stand up and say when our government betrays these principles... I think this is pretty much self-explanatory. Again, the founding fathers wanted to be sure that IF in the future their new nation strayed from its original intended respect for all people... that the duty of their descendants was to protect the ideals they stood for and question the government.

    And perhaps the most relevant portion of all to this topic on torturing: "...all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable..." This shows very much what I and others have said... that the more we try to excuse and defend the torturing, the more we are going down the wrong path.

    I don't think I can speak any clearer than the founding fathers... which is why I took the time to read and quote from them.
     
  13. bear paws

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    I'm going to make an exception here.

    "WE the people of the United States"...............
    "and secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves" All one sentence and paragragh so as not to show break or change of subject. I'm certain there is some English grammer rule that applies here.
     
  14. bear paws

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    HDme.
    Sect [1} 1st sentance discribes how "people" becomes a "citizen " [ born or naturalized in the United States and 2nd sentance describes the rights of that "citizen. "and subject to the juresdiction there of {United States}" [In The USA , not on foriegn soil]. "any people within its jurisdiction" again on USA soil.
    Part of the same paragragh. Same subject, "citizen".Same english grammer rules apply.

    We have no legal [or other] "jurisdiction" any where else in the world so our Constituion only applys where we have jusidiction. Excemption Porto Rico because they won"t leave our jurisdiction.

    Though the Declaration is a remarkable rally proclomation document , it is not the law of the land and does not usurp the Constitution. The Constitution came after, once WE where the United States . If any thing in the declaration was intendend to be in the Constitution , it is or would be.

    The passage "created equal" was a renunceiation of Englands rule over us as a people "at that time in history" not as the constituion adresses the subject,
     
  15. bear paws

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    Your making a moral equivalant to Germany and the holocaust to wheather we "water board" the savages trying to kill us is scary at best.
    Hitler by the way was KILLING [slautering wholesale] the Jews and Christians because he felt they were inferiour [ not just the enemy] and just could not KILL them faster than they where being captured and before we got there. He could not build the facilities fast enough to keep up. We don't "exterminate" womem, children, Old men, crippled and POWs.
    Had we not went after HIM as many thought we should not, all of Europe and Asia would be blond and blue eyed. Maybe even us.

    Its thinking like that which caused us to go in almost Too late.
    Intresting how the Islamic Fascist Fanatics think we are inferior also.
     
  16. jonstad

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    Gee, we waterboarded Tokyo Rose? I don't recall that. But hey, You're the intel pro!;) (It's a joke!):D

    Of course the framers didn't pretend they could extend the "blessings of liberty" to everyone around the globe. That certainly would have been the epitome of over-reaching.:yesman: (although it should be noted that now that WMDs, etc. have been debunked as reason to invade Iraq, the rationale has turned to extending the "blessings of liberty" to the Iraqi people):scratchin

    But I do believe the framers intended to extend the courtesy of these "blessings" to anyone of any nation who happened to come under the authority and or judicial system of the USA, including the military judicial system.

    And that is the point here. Any military base, or US intelligence agency compound, authorized and paid for by US tax dollars and operated by US personnel is under the jurisdiction of either the civilian or military courts. And it doesn't matter if it's an Air Force base in Afganistan, a CIA black site in Poland or Abu Ghraib. It is no different from the brig at Annapolis or Fort Hood. If we capture persons, arrest, detain them, whatever you want to call it, those persons are entitled to essentially the same rights as you or I if we find ourselves at the local booking desk, "detained" for a DUI. They have a right to legal counsel. They have a right to know the charges against them. They have a right to be charged and tried in a reasonable time period or be released. And they have the right to not be mistreated or tortured.

    Now the rules vary slightly in the case of prisoners of war. But not all that much. But even then, first you got to prove they are POWs and not guys you just picked up at random. But we didn't want to go by the rules for POWs, so we came up this "illegal combatant" thing. We just invented a whole new catagory, claiming that since this was a new catagory, no existing rules applied and we could do whatever we wanted. As you can imagine, more than a few nations were rather upset with this notion that you could unilaterally invent a new catagory whenever it pleased you. It's a bit of a dangerous concept. What if Zarqawi had "invented" a new catagory, say "western dog", and claimed he had the right to decapitate western dogs? Would you expect everyone to say "Oh, new catagory, no rules, that's OK then!"

    Civilized people live by rules. We call them laws. It is HOW we live together without occasionally decapitating one another. We pride ouselves on being a nation of laws, at least we used to. Because some people don't act civilized, because they don't adhere to the laws that make civilization possible, it doesn't mean we should abandon our own laws when dealing with them. No matter how you slice it, it makes us LESS CIVILIZED! And I don't think that's a good direction to go. Instead of defeating them, we are on the road to becoming them.
     
  17. jonstad

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    OK, here we go again.:bang:

    You appear to claim the US can have no "jurisdiction" outside its own borders. Fell free to correct me if I misunderstand.

    So, let's take Guantanamo as an example, simply because it is probably the most clear-cut and understandable.

    I don't think anyone claims Guantanamo is US territory, certainly not Cuba. Your claim is that the US has no jurisdiction there. OK. But then who does have jurisdiction? Cuba? Or is it in some extrajudicial limbo where no one has "jurisdiction"? And of course the reason we are keeping prisoners there is precisely because it is not on US territory. So do the prisoners there have ANY rights? And if so, rights under whose jurisdiction? And if they're not under any jurisdiction, they should be able to leave whenever they want, right?

    Guantanamo is run under the authority of the US military, and/or various US intelligence agencies. Are we agreed? Are these entities, the military and intelligence agencies, under the jurisdiction of the US? Last I checked, yes. If they're not, we've got a helluva lot more to worry about than "illegal combatants".:eek:

    Anyway, I digress.:blush:

    The military and various intelligence agencies at Guantanamo are under the jurisdiction of the US. The prisoners there are under the jurisdiction of the US military and these agencies. Ergo, the prisoners are under the jurisdiction and held by the authority of the US. On any US military base, intelligence compound, even embassys, while on that property one is under the "jurisdiction" of US laws and courts. One may also be subject to the laws of the foreign nation where the base or compound is located, but usually that only applies outside their perimeters. If you assault or kill another American ON THE BASE, you would normally only be subject to US jurisdiction, either military or civilian courts. If you did the same to a foreign national, it might be a different story. But you would normally STILL be subject to US law, AS WELL as local authorities.

    There is no "limbo" where there is no jurisdiction. You're either under US jurisdiction, or you're under someone else's. Returning to Guantanamo, if the "illegal combatants" are not under US jurisdiction, then they are under the jurisdiction of Cuba. Now assuming Cuba wants or would accept jurisdiction, they would probably just release the prisoners there or maybe hold them until it can be arranged to return them to their country of origin.

    If we feel we have a valid reason to hold and charge these individuals with crimes, that is what we must do. Or we should release them. And the imperitive for that is not only Geneva or the UN or the Red Cross, it is written into our Constitution!
     
  18. bear paws

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    May i enliten you??

    The Federal Courts [2] agree, according to the treaty of 1903 and 1934, that abrogates the treaty of 1903 article I and then article III, Guantonamo is NOT under their [ courts ] Jurisdiction.

    The two [2] federal courts agree that the Naval Station at Gauntonamo is not legally part of the United States and that " The United States can not excercise complete constitutional jurisdiction and control, by language of the treaty, thus not envoking the powers of all three [3] branches of govrnment, just the executive branch".

    IOW, The Constitution does not follow the flag, explicitly "Extra Territorial" because CUBA retains ultimate SOVEREIGNTY over Gauntonamo.
    We lease the land by international law and agreement and the " the Land Lord [Cuba]retains the lawfull 'bundle of rights" so to speak. Addionally here are no hebeous corpus [ re; to go on and on ] laws in Cuba. The land lease agreement gives us rights of use but does not grant us complete jusisdiction within the confines of a sovereign nation. Because its under the perveiw and jusidiction of the Executive Branch only the courts and congress under the 'seperation of powers" has no constitutional applicable authority .

    Bear!
     
  19. Tom in TX

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    Try reading the first part of the paragraph, and the last part. Anyone with a brain can see this pertains to citizens of the U.S.

    We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect
    Union, estabish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for
    the comman Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves
    and our Posterity [ future], do ordain and establish this
    Constitution for the United States of America

    Jonstad - I have disagreed with you on many points before, but you are way off base on this one. "We the people of the United States" (can you follow this so far?). And "for the United States" (still able to follow?). It does not ever say that this Constitution is for everyone in the world! Never says it!

    Do you honestly think that all people on this earth have all the rights granted in the U.S. Constitution??? Please answer!!!
     
  20. jonstad

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    So your premise(and I am not disputing you legal citations) is that the US Executive branch is bound by the laws of Cuba in regard to Guantanamo? Hmmm! I wonder if that's something we've mentioned to Castro lately?:scratch:

    We obviously have an entirely different view of the extent of Executive power in this country. But even you seem to concede that the power in question here was established, or at least confirmed by the courts. The decisions referenced relate to another time and circumstance and more recent decisions seem to indicate the courts DO have some power to regulate what goes on at Guantanamo at least as far as judicial proceedings are concerned. And that Guantanamo may not be the exclusive executive preserve they had once considered it.

    In addition, international treaties negotiated by previous Presidents and confirmed by the Senate DO apply to the executive. I don't believe there is anything in Geneva or any other accords we are party to that allows nations indefinate detention or torture as long as it occurs extra-territorially. And the courts, also recently, have ruled that these conventions DO apply even in Guantanamo or secret prisons. That is why the "black sites" have been closed and the detainees moved to Guantanamo. Bush is hoping Guantanamo may be the last bastion where his "alternative interrogations techniques" will be outside the purview of domestic and international courts. His panic to enact immunity for himself though,(addressed in another thread) indicates he may have come to the realization that this is a pretty slim hope!
     
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