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Old 04-26-2009, 11:30 PM   #166
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Ike should have gone after FDR officials involved in the internment of Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor. Nixon should have tried those involved with the Bay of Pigs. Carter should have prosecuted Nixon for Cambodia and Ford for pardoning Nixon. Reagan should have taken Carter to court just for being Jimmy Carter. On and on.

Peaceful transfer of power is so overrated in a democracy.



i'm sorry America is more complicated than you want it to be.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:53 PM   #167
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Old 04-27-2009, 12:08 AM   #168
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and let's just highlight, again, what Ronald Reagan -- the Jesus of contemporary conservatism -- signed in 1984:


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Article 1.
1. For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
2. This article is without prejudice to any international instrument or national legislation which does or may contain provisions of wider application.

Article 2.
1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.


it's all very obvious *why* the Bushies wanted to torture, and it had nothing to do with any ticking time bomb scenario. in fact, it's rather horrible.

it is on-the-record that KSM was waterbaorded 83 times in March of 2003. it obviously wasn't to disrupt a plot. the bomb would have gone off somewhere between the 33rd and the 37th waterboard. no, the only reason you waterboard someone 83 times is if you were trying to get a false confession about the false link between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda.

that's the motivation here. they needed to justify their war. and they were happy to torture people -- very, very bad people -- in order to get their lies to go along with their other WMD lies.
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:42 AM   #169
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After a quick glance, here's a few other Signatories of the Convention Against Torture:

Afghanistan

Cuba (I'm trying not to laugh)

Somalia (piracy is ok I guess)

Sri Lanka

Sudan (not to worry, George Clooney and Brad Pitt have been dispatched)

Rwanda (genocide ok as well)

Saudi Arabia (honor killings, no big deal)

Russian Federation

Egypt

Yemen

CHINA !! (what's a little organ harvesting of political prisoners)

Let's not forget, this is the same U.N. that has elected China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Egypt, Cuba plus Pakistan to it's Human Rights Council. You know, the one that replaced it's discredited predecessor, the U.N. Human Rights Commission.

GWB rightly boycotted membership in the HRC because of it's repeated criticism of Israel and refusal to cite glaring rights abuses in the Sudan, Russia, Syria, Iran, China and elsewhere.

And he correctly didn't let a discredited international treaty weaken our national defense.
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:01 PM   #170
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After a quick glance, here's a few other Signatories of the Convention Against Torture:

Afghanistan

Cuba (I'm trying not to laugh)

Somalia (piracy is ok I guess)

Sri Lanka

Sudan (not to worry, George Clooney and Brad Pitt have been dispatched)

Rwanda (genocide ok as well)

Saudi Arabia (honor killings, no big deal)

Russian Federation

Egypt

Yemen

CHINA !! (what's a little organ harvesting of political prisoners)

Let's not forget, this is the same U.N. that has elected China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Egypt, Cuba plus Pakistan to it's Human Rights Council. You know, the one that replaced it's discredited predecessor, the U.N. Human Rights Commission.

GWB rightly boycotted membership in the HRC because of it's repeated criticism of Israel and refusal to cite glaring rights abuses in the Sudan, Russia, Syria, Iran, China and elsewhere.

And he correctly didn't let a discredited international treaty weaken our national defense.




what is your point here? Reagan's an idiot for signing it?

i'm glad you've stopped debating whether or not these "techniques" are torture or not. you've conceded that, yes, they are torture. so at least we're in agreement of what the law clearly stated.
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:26 PM   #171
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what is your point here? Reagan's an idiot for signing it?

i'm glad you've stopped debating whether or not these "techniques" are torture or not. you've conceded that, yes, they are torture. so at least we're in agreement of what the law clearly stated.
No we aren't, "torture" being more complicated than you want it to be.
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:52 PM   #172
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Once more, with feeling

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No we aren't, "torture" being more complicated than you want it to be.
Article VI of the US Constitution makes treaties we enter into "the supreme law of the land". There is no "but these other countries are screwing around!" provision.

The UN Convention Against Torture, which we ratified in 1994, defines torture thus:
Quote:
Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person
It goes on to state in Article 2:

Quote:
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political in stability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
No, it is shockingly simple. A waterboard is one of the two devices highlighted at the Tuol Sleng prison in Cambodia that now services as a memorial to the Khmer Rouge's torture regime.
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The government insists that it does not torture, yet it uses methods that it calls torture when practiced by other governments. In Jordan, for example, the State Department observes that “the most frequently alleged methods of torture are sleep deprivation, beatings, and extended solitary confinement.” In State Department reports on other countries, sleep deprivation, waterboarding, forced standing, hypothermia, blindfolding, and deprivation of food and water are specifically referred to as torture.
The Mississippi Supreme Court in 1926 overturned the murder conviction of a black man because his confession was induced as follows:
Quote:
that they had the appellant down upon the floor, tied, and were administering the water cure[waterboarding], a specie of torture well known to the bench and bar of the country.
There is a virtually undisputed record of these methods being recognized as torture. Until George Bush got into trouble for this, then suddenly his defenders realized it was all very complicated and relative.
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:18 PM   #173
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No we aren't, "torture" being more complicated than you want it to be.


no, it's very clear. we have laws.

if you want to change the law, there are ways of doing that as well.

and if you're wondering, i think Pelosi is looking like she has blood/water on her hands as well. we'll see how that develops.
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:22 PM   #174
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No, it is shockingly simple. A waterboard is one of the two devices highlighted at the Tuol Sleng prison in Cambodia that now services as a memorial to the Khmer Rouge's torture regime.


a visual aid:





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Old 04-27-2009, 02:35 PM   #175
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no, it's very clear. we have laws.

if you want to change the law, there are ways of doing that as well.
I'll just bite my tongue at that one.
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and if you're wondering, i think Pelosi is looking like she has blood/water on her hands as well. we'll see how that develops.
As I've said, you can't take this issue out of the post 9/11 context.
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:40 PM   #176
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All this pre 9/11 post 9/11 talk...

the truth is, the law didn't change post 9/11 your mentality may have changed but the law didn't. This isn't difficult.
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:43 PM   #177
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I'll just bite my tongue at that one.

no, please explain.


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As I've said, you can't take this issue out of the post 9/11 context.

the treaties and the law make clear that context doesn't matter. there are rules and there are standards, and since we impeached a president over the so-called rule of law -- perjury over blowjobs in a civil trial! -- does it not seem at all crazy to follow the rules of law in regards to torture.

besides, we know torture doesn't work. if you're so concerned about getting good intelligence, why would we employ tactics historically renowned for their ability to produce false confessions? but then again, these people think it's more important to discharge gay people from the military than it is to have linguists fluent in Arabic and Farsi.

seems like a waste of resources. unless, of course, you want someone to make a false confession about, say, a link between A.Q. and S.H., so that you can then take that false confession and turn it into a justification for policy. that's what totalitarian regimes have done through history. they decide on a reality, and then they torture out the information that will support that reality.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:55 AM   #178
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I think this sums it up nicely.

The Wrong Torture Question

by David Swanson
April 29, 2009


When Americans get "ethical" these days they ponder the great moral mysteries, like "Is public health coverage fair to insurance companies?" or "If we increase the military budget but reduce one section of it, can the whole world still be safe?" or "Would you still oppose torture if it worked?"

Let me suggest a few reasons why I think that last question is the wrong one.

First, torture DID work. It forced false agreement with war lies, helping to launch a long-desired illegal war. And it persuaded many Americans that some very scary and very foreign people were out to get them, people so scary that they had to be tortured in order to talk with them, people whose every false utterance, aimed at stopping the pain, instead generated color-coded horror warnings.

Second, torture has boosted recruitment for anti-U.S. organizations tremendously, horribly damaged the United States' image, stripped U.S. diplomats of the power to address human rights abuses abroad, as well as stripping U.S. citizens of a clear moral right to protest being tortured, and set an example that has spread far and wide. Torture has brutalized participants and witnesses, and we are all witnesses, and it has destroyed lives both through torture to the point of death and through torture to the point of unbearable life.

Third, if you're going to violate particular laws and treaties, you can either repeal them and leave all the other ones intact, or you can simply proceed criminally, thereby assaulting the whole structure of law, leaving everyone in doubt whether ANY laws will be enforced against important people. Our government has taken the latter approach and redefined crimes as "policy differences," which is why torture is ongoing and no criminal penalty will deter its future expansion or the commission of other crimes of whatever sort by high officials.

Fourth, if torture had produced life-saving information, we would have long since heard that fact shouted from every television studio. In fact, we did hear such claims made. They just all turned out to be fictional. In the latest claim of this sort, torture supposedly produced information on the planned bombing of a building in Los Angeles, and this information was transported back in time to the moment at which investigators had already discovered that proposal and laughed heartily at the then-debunked claim that a serious plot had ever developed. The fact that Dick Cheney is pushing this nonsense on us is not actually a compelling reason to believe it unquestioningly.

Fifth, if torture ever produced life-saving information it would be through sheer luck and not intention. Nobody tortures with that intention, because expert interrogators believe other methods are more effective than torture. And if that lucky day ever came, there would be no basis on which to surmise that other methods would not have been at least as effective as the torture was. So, even if a real ticking time bomb situation could be created, there would be no reason to believe torture to be the best tool. And if you could magically design a situation in which, by definition, torture was the ethical choice, you still would not have created a situation in which ignoring the crime of torture would do less damage than pardoning the torturers.

So, do ends justify means? Is torture just plain wrong even in those cases when it would save more lives than it cost? These are intensely ignorant questions. Ends must always be made to justify any means, but the ends must be understood in their entirety. If one result of an action is damage to the rule of law or exacerbation of international hatred or promotion of senseless fear, that must be part of the calculation. Of course torture would not be wrong in a situation in which, all things considered, it did more good than harm; but that situation cannot be found. Whether you claim to simply adhere to a blanket rule, or you consider all the consequences of your actions, you arrive at the same conclusion: torture must be abolished.

But so must the debate over whether torture must be abolished. Torture is illegal. Our laws must be enforced. Torture's recent prominent use by the United States came about in an attempt to promote a far worse crime than torture, the crime of aggressive war. We should not be asking ourselves whether torture was an acceptable means toward that end. We should be asking ourselves how we can best rid the world of wars of aggression.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:43 AM   #179
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i wonder ... if it "worked," should we rape detainees?

again, we're not talking about any ticking time bomb scenario. the memos make that clear that said scenario wasn't at all a consideration when they were formulating policy.

so the question is: should we rape men like KSM if it works?

there won't be any "permanent" damage, at least in a physical sense. it's not like we're chopping off fingers or testicles or stretching someone on the rack.

what do we think?
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:46 AM   #180
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no, please explain.
This is about gays marrying goats, Irvine.
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