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Declassified Bush-Era Torture Memos

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by FriendlyFire, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. bigfatron

    bigfatron Emperor

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    You mean logic like the reality that torture rarely if ever leads to good information, but simply the tortured telling the torturer what they think they want to hear?

    Naivety isn't always confined to us pathetic liberals....

    BFR
     
  2. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

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    That's not true; the fourteenth amendment gives equal protection under the law to all people within their jurisdictions. It is not limited to US citizens. There are some constitutional protections guaranteed to enemy combatants, such as habeus corpus.

    Also, the ban on torture is more than Common Article 3; the US also signed the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which not only bans torture, but also cruel and degrading treatment.
     
  3. Commodore

    Commodore Deity

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    Which is precisely why FM 2-22.3 forbids torture (that is, aside from the obvious illegality of torture). That is also why the CIA cannot use their own interrogation methods anymore and are being forced to adopt FM 2-22.3.

    As a side note, I am actually pretty far from being right wing. My own post history on this site will actually show that I am pretty far left in fact.

    @Bill3000: The fourteenth amendment only applies to detainees when we bring charges against them. Seeing as these interrogations (at least the ones I conduct) are for intelligence collection and not law enforcement (in fact most information gained in intelligence interrogations are not admissible as evidence during any following criminal proceedings) the only protection guarenteed to them are those which are outlined in international law and treaties.

    As for the United Nations Convention Against Torture, it was explained to us during our training that it was a supplement to Common Article 3 in the sense that it went into more specific detail on what were considered legal interrogation techniques.
     
  4. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    Exactly. Those who claim their acts aren't torture when they obviously are certainly can't rationalize them on the basis of cruel and degrading treatment. They obviously violated both US and international law, and if there is any poetic justice in this world, they should find find themselves in prison for lengthy periods of time for doing so, or at least subject to exactly the same sort of treatment from an 'enemy'.

    John McCain may be another clueless mediocre student who wouldn't have graduated from the Naval Academy without the help of his famous father and grandfather, but at least he understood the implications of these horrific deeds because he suffered through the same sort of treatment himself. You simply can't rationalize it under any circumstances.
     
  5. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    Nice emoticon.
     
  6. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Fantasy Warlord

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    Commodore, I don't see how the above (bolding by me) 'boils down' to what you said!

    You seem to be quoting interpretations of that article which you were doublessly taught in training - understandable enough.

    But if you take a fresh look at the actual wording of the Article, it is clear enough that it hasn't been followed.
    Look at the bolding: cruel treatment, torture, degrading and humiliating treatment are explicitly forbidden to use on detainees!

    It doesn't really get clearer than this!

    Never mind if waterboarding et al is 'torture' (semantics!), at the very least it is cruel treatment, not to mention degrading and humiliating.

    A country that regard itself as an example - no, THE example of democracy in the world - should not stoop to such methods. Period.

    There may be very, very rare instances where some form of torture (call a spade a spade!) w/o lasting effects is actually the lesser evil and necessary... I recall a case in Germany some years back where a police chief had a kidnapper tortured in an attempt to save the life of a kidnap victim for instance. The kidnapper had already revealed his victim was imprisoned with a limited supply of air. The police chief had the courage to use torture in this case and to defend that in a court of law afterward - he didn't pretend it was 'legal' and so avoided setting a precedent. I always admired that guy...
    The trouble with the Bush administrations tactics is that they used this kind of reasoning on an ever-widening basis. Torturing prisoners on a more-or-less routine basis because they might have information that could save American lives is a very different kettle of fish! That kind of reasoning can be used on anybody.

    The attempts to keep the records secret prove (to me at least) that there is collective guilty conscience in the CIA and elsewhere - they know very well they can't publicly defend every instance as absolutely necessary in the manner I described above.
     
  7. Commodore

    Commodore Deity

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    Once I have the time I will post further documentation supporting the minimum standards we must provide to detainees.

    As for waterboarding, I have said many times that it is torture and it is illegal, which is why the CIA must now use the Army's field manual for interrogation, which explicitly forbids torture for legal and operational reasons.
     
  8. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    Only I doubt it was actually true. I certainly can't find any mention of it on the internet. This is a very famous hypothetical:

    http://ajliebling.blogspot.com/2007/09/too-easy-answers-about-torture.html

    But I completely agree with everything else you wrote. They are obviously trying to rationalize it out of guilt and fear of heavy prison sentences.
     
  9. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    I was also under the impression that no waterboarding was ever done at Gitmo.
     
  10. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

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    The CIA doesn't interrogate just at Gitmo, and besides, the ban on torture and cruel and inhumane treatment isn't restricted just to Gitmo.
     
  11. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    No, but if they are questioned/interrogated at a Pakistani or Polish base in those countries, merely with CIA agents in attendance, does that make a difference?

    I dont claim to know all the ramifications of the issue and whats involved. Do you?
     
  12. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

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    No, it doesn't. It's commonly considered to be a loophole, but it's not, as that is banned as well in the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which the United States ratified.


    Really, I would have thought that they went over this in the military...
     
  13. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    But does it implicate the USA as guilty or does it implicate the host nation, i.e. Pakistan or Poland for example?

    All I am saying Bill is that you shouldnt speak with such authority since you arent an expert on this issue and there are indeed 'loopholes' that exist. Heck, I work in the military legal profession and I wouldnt claim to be qualified to speak like that on the matter as its a pretty deep well of information to take in.

    As for your stealth edit: They go over what is a lawful order and what isnt.
     
  14. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

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    Read my edited post. It implicates both parties, as it is both illegal to extricate the person to the torturing nation as well as torture the person under customary international law. I don't really need to speak with authority when it's pretty blatant. Pretty much every single human rights lawyer agrees with me on this issue.
     
  15. MobBoss

    MobBoss Off-Topic Overlord

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    I simply dont think the issue is quite as 'blatent' as you make it out to be. Thats all.
     
  16. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

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    Please tell me how "It is illegal under international law, of which the United States ratified, to torture a person, or extricate a person to a nation in which he will be tortured" is not blatant.

    Also, when referring to CIA waterboarding cases, the CIA fully admitted to be the ones who waterboarded the terrorists, inside Gitmo or not, so extrication is irrelevant.
     
  17. I'm Cleo!

    I'm Cleo! Deity

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    The article in the OP is not about whether the U.S. tortured (which has been resolved, no matter how vehemently some people deny it), it's about what arguments the Bush administration relied upon in formulating their detention policy. We'll see what the Bush administration was trying to do, what questions they were asking, and what sort of policies were based on those arguments. Was it just "bad apples," or were high-ups asking for memos justifying war crimes?

    Moreover, there's absolutely no reason why these should have been secret in the first place unless the administration was trying to conceal their activities from the American people. After all, the interrogation methods, whatever they were, were routinely carried out on people who have no duty of confidentiality -- the detainees themselves!

    Cleo
     
  18. Zarn

    Zarn Le Républicain Catholique

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    I think we should do the same for the Obama Administration, once he leaves office...


    or we can call him out on it, now.
     
  19. I'm Cleo!

    I'm Cleo! Deity

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    Yes, absolutely. Right now is good for me. :)

    Cleo
     
  20. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    Right now works for me. Welcome aboard after all these years.
     

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