Skip to content

"An Arrest Warrant for George W. Please!"

The headline is from a commentary in the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung, translation at World Meet Us. Apparently the newly released torture memos have sparked quite a debate in the United States; see the interesting articles recommended in the sidebar.

Trackbacks

No Trackbacks

Comments

Display comments as Linear | Threaded

Marie Claude on :

ummm torture is so common nowadays http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article6201333.ece http://www.iran-resist.org/article5203.html

Don S on :

You think? I thought the idea was that torture doesn't really count unless an American does it, or 'renditions' the 'victim' to the Egyptians or something. If an atrocity occurs and an American had nothing to do with iut, did it really occur?

Marie Claude on :

did I attack you on that purpose ? http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2009/04/22/terrorism-and-moral-torture/ http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2009/04/30/the-price-of-safety/#more-3553

Don S on :

Years of pointed (and one-sided) attacks have convinced me that the sole source of human evil is the US. In many people's eyes, anyway. Therefore I question any evil of any kind that doesn't bear the lable of The Great Satan, which Europe has swallowed hook, line, and sinker.

Pat Patterson on :

Here's the financial statement for HRW for the fiscal year 2008. Could you please show me how this organization is sposored by the US government in any fashion imaginable? Plus you should remember that falsifying these documents means the signatories have put themselves in legal jeopardy if they are false.

Pat Patterson on :

http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/related_material/FinancialStatements2008.pdf Sorry, the link didn't print.

Pat Patterson on :

Prove it! Provide one citation that suggests that HRW is sponsored by the US rather than these risible assertions. What you call advertisements are required documents that non-profits must provide for the government and the public to view to find their sources of income. It's plain to see that you did not see that the bulk of the money HRW receives was from individual donors and none from any government organization. Plus HRW from a simple reading of its investigations would hardly be considered pro-US. And considering it was founded by initial grants from a Communist in the US, Lillian Hellman, one can only wonder at the bizarre claims that it was anti-communist. Forget Der Spiegel all I have to do is watch CCTV or read anything by Xinhua to see propaganda at work.

Pat Patterson on :

Still waiting for that one citation that show HRW sponsored or controlled by the US. I expect pigs will fly before ScJK ever provides that answer!

Pat Patterson on :

Still not one credible source that claims HRW sponsored or controlled by the US. As to Jenin, even the UNHCR reversed its intitial claim of thousands of dead civilians when they were able to investigate fully through the use of the UN identity cards issued in the West Bank and Gaza as well as there not being any bodies recovered where it was claimed. Stick to your original claim and not fly off on tangents. Is HRW a handmaiden to the US government or not?

Pat Patterson on :

Plus this whole attempt to paint Ken Roth as a Zionist misses the point that his speech that year was to counter arguments made in Commentary and Tikkun that he was pro-Hezbollah. There rest is simply the overwrought ramblings of ScJK with no basis in reality. And as usual modifying and abridging Roth's comments to make them appear different then they actually were. The quotes that ScJK uses are not quotes from Mr Roth's speech but paraphrases from NGO Monitor and Tikkun which are highly critical of HRW and Amnesty International for being near things to anti-Semitic. The speech doesn't seem to be available in a transcript though if someone finds it I would be grateful for a head's up. Here's the paraphrase that our friend tried to pass up as a text. http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/analysis_of_ken_roth_s_defense_of_hrw_s_policy_on_israel_

Pat Patterson on :

You made the charge, you provide the evidence. Any evidence rather than whining about whether I'll believe it or not. At this point I doubt if anyone here would believe your claim to being on fire even with pictures. Be a man engage in a debate with some facts rather than simply changing the subject.

Pat Patterson on :

All I asked for was one citation that showed HRW was sponsored by the US government. And here we are days later and still not one citation.

David on :

You know, I never thought of torture as a partisan issue. Growing up in America it never occurred to me that my government would design a "legal" framework for waterboarding prisoners. The fact that here it is 2009 and we as a nation are engaged in a debate on the efficacy of torture is depressing indeed. Last week at his press conference President Obama said that torture "corrodes the character of a country." How true. Sadly, how true.

Pat Patterson on :

The only thing that seems clear is the accuracy in the last syllable of embarass. BTW, Pamela is a woman's name though the tough-as-nails real Pamela might find your confusion complimentary.

David on :

"The 'torture memos' are NOT a big deal with anyone" I suppose it's possible to believe that, if one has not actually read the memos. But it will be difficult to ignore the story next week, as the Senate holds hearings which will dominate the news cycle again. And then the following week the Pentagon will release new photos of prisoners being abused - the fruits of the memos - for all the world to see.

Pat Patterson on :

The fantasy part of that is believing that the Democrats are going to call for hearings on methods that they had and have approved since 2001. David must believe that ever time someone mentions Pelosi, Harman, Rockefeller et al that the microphones will suddenly go silent and that every reporter and viewer of CSPAN will decided to take a bathroom break. http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=326678070127102

John in Michigan, USA on :

Pelosi, Harman, and the other Dems on the committee are trying to use the John Kerry defense all over again. Kerry claimed that when he authorized the Iraq invasion (famously: he was for it before he was against it), he had an (unwritten) understanding that it was only an elaborate bluff against Saddam and that we wouldn't actually follow through. These are the same Democrats who defended the poor, misunderstood CIA in the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson scandal. Just like Kerry on Iraq, these Democrats were for the CIA, before they were against it. This is part of why our foreign policy is such a mess: the left never truly accepted the bi-partisan consensus that emerged after 9/11. === As a side note, the situation of centrist Democrat Jane Harman is very, very interesting. She was [url=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124121908115478693.html]a key player[/url] in what the Wall St. Journal is now calling the [url=http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124182533815302417.html]AIPAC non-scandal[/url], in which all charges have been dropped. Apparently, some government agency (probably the FBI) was wiretapping Ms. Harman who at the time was hoping to become the next Chair of the House Intelligence Committee. The FBI and the CIA are traditional rivals. This is purely speculation, but, it is easy to imagine that politicians on the left, with connections at the FBI, tried to tie Harman to the AIPAC non-scandal in order to pressure her to conform to the Pelosi party line.

Pat Patterson on :

Most of the sources I've read say she was caught in flagrante making some promises concerning the AIPAC lobbying was by NSA. But I also understand that perhaps she was not the target but became one when contacted by the target. A lot of backpedaling going on here as unless the congressman is caught and decapitated then the agency involved in the coup will suffer greatly. Rep Harman's congressional district abuts the district I live in and is generally fairly conservative but she remains popular in much the same way that William Fulbright was. Find a podium that allows her to buck the Democratic platform but generally support the party on social issues.

Kevin Sampson on :

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8049090.stm How does it feel to be hung out to dry (TWICE!)by the Dear Leader, Dave? Any buyer's remorse?

John in Michigan, USA on :

From the evidence I've seen so far, the policies at issue were bi-partisan...just saying. Attempting to regulate torture by law makes as much sense as attempting to regulate war by law. Anyone who has studied the history of the American progressive movement(s), since at least WW I shouldn't be surprised in the least that we're debating these issues.

Pat Patterson on :

Maxwell was considered such a joke, he predicted that India would be a fascist dictatorship in 1967, that until his contract with the UK's Guardian ran out all his stories appeared without a byline. Since I had just started college in 1967, and was mainly interested in Porsches and surfing, I doubt if anything you imagine I said destroyed his reputation much more than he had. The last comment was a reference to the East German playwright Bertholt Brecht. Who was caught lying to HUAC and had to flee the US before he was deported. Still waiting for you to get back on topic and provide any proof that HRW is sponsored or takes orders from the US government?

Don S on :

An alternate theory is that no atrocity anywhere occurs without the active or at least complicity of the United States, which performs the role of Satan for the post-religious generation....

Joe Noory on :

Ummm "Editors" - it didn't spark any sort of debate in the US. It sparked off the same crowd of people who detested George Bush into talking to one another AGAIN about just another one of the dolls they want to stick pins in. A "public debate" is not a bunch of self-appointed intellectuals of leftist persuasion writing areticle about "the details" of things they muturally agree feeds their egos. It's no different for readers abroad, just because it exports well, and indulges someones' fantasy. It would end up employing the courts to their political objectives, corrupting that the way they've corrupted elections by unceasingly claiming that whenever they lose, it's because the election was stolen from them. If it went to prosecution, they would have to take the members of the select intelligence committee too: and the likes of Mr. "entusiastic torturer" himself, Chuck Shumer, a man more interested in trying to appear like a tough re-electable thug than a legislator reasoning the defense of his nation. There are others too who the LOGIC OF PROSECUTION will have to be tortured for to assure Democrats that it will only be their political opponents that are served papers. So I recommend that you stop licking your lips. If at difficult times, the decisions governments have to make are booted around by future prosecutions that resemble a British tabloid "debate", you can locate the blame for damaging a nation a lot more swiftly. There's also something to be said for those from nations too sensitive to engage in the ugly business of the protection of their own populations and cities from deisuading those who do it for them. Berlin would not be able to recitify it with the old checkbook if the US withdraws from that role.

Don S on :

Joe, I rther think otherwise. This is trash-talk, led by those who weren't there on St.Crispins Day. Guppies who propose to arrest a shark. "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition: And gentlemen in England now a-bed Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day." Bush should book a trip to Europe, first to Madrid and thence Berlin, to look those who world 'hold their manhoods cheap' were they not utterly shameless right in the eye - and watch them either blink or convene an illegitimate 'court' to try him. Would that bury NATO (and the western 'alliance') with it? Yes. Those things badly need burying - they died long ago and the corpse is dissolving into corruption....

John in Michigan, USA on :

"Would that bury NATO (and the western 'alliance') with it? Yes. Those things badly need burying - they died long ago and the corpse is dissolving into corruption...." Interesting idea. I know ending NATO is near and dear to your heart, and also other conservatives. I have some sympathy, but I still think that there is so much in common between the US and Europe that NATO, for all its faults, is worth keeping. Better we are all in the tent pissing out, even if some splash-back occurs. Furthermore: If Europe found itself at war in the future, do you really believe the American public could sit on our hands? The urge to attempt to re-enact WW II and "the Greatest Generation" would be overwhelming, particularly with this President. Maybe in another 30 years we will be able to resist this instinct, but not today. So, we might as well stay there as long as they are willing to have us. That way we can prevent war in Europe, or if it comes, fight it from a much better position than without NATO. If the global economy collapses, that will be the time for the US to return to its isolationist roots. But there's no point to forcing the issue. Besides, using the Bush trial to weaken or collapse NATO would never work. When the Belgians threatened to indict Americans under the Universal Jurisdiction, Rummy threatened to close the NATO HQ and move it someplace else. That was enough, they caved. Side note: I imagine somewhere in the NATO treaty or supporting treaties is a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). Would this agreement prevent Bush, who was Commander-in-Chief of all US forces, from being prosecuted in a court of any country that is part of NATO?

Don S on :

John, ther 'conservatives' may be isolationist but I am not. No, my point is that the US has no need to be 'allied' with countries with no visible wish to be allied with the US, or to contribute anything of moment to the alliance. Which includes most of Continental Europe. The US has a lot in common with many countries. India, China, Latin America as well as in Europe. Are we allied with China? No. Russia. Lots of Russians in the US, but we're not allied with them. The US should remain allied with the UK, because the UK contributes more than empty rhetoric. The US should seek cooperation with India and even China. It should engage globally, but does not need to provide security for Europe any more. They are capable of defending themselves. Don't forget that the US has had much in common with Europe since we were founded, but no permanent alliance existed until 1948 (perhaps 1940 in the case of the UK). NATO came into being in 1948 because it was desperately needed. No more. I suggest you ask yourself a simple question: If NATO did not exist today, would anyone feel compelled to create it? The answer is obviously 'no', I think.....

John in Michigan, USA on :

"If NATO did not exist today, would anyone feel compelled to create it?" The answer is no. However, the cost of maintaining something is much less than the cost of creating or re-creating it. Besides financial costs, there are also hidden costs: once ended, it may not be possible to re-create NATO due to political limits, even if it turns out to be needed in the future. Also, it is very difficult to estimate the cost of the power vacuum (real or perceived) in Europe. Before 9/11, the enemy's line was: the US (the West) is a paper tiger. They truly believed that a small flame would cause the whole thing to go down. They were wrong, of course. But, even today, they don't see it that way. Their revised narrative appears to include the belief that Europe and the US can be split, and then one (or both) will fall. Now, you and I know that probably wouldn't happen. But, ending NATO would feed that narrative, and therefore cause a surge in enemy activity, before it becomes apparent that this revised narrative is in need of yet more revision. These narratives matter. Traditional real politik doesn't have a very good answer for why bin Laden decided to embark on 9/11. Traditional real politik obviously explains why Afghanistan had to resist the Soviet occupation; but it does not explain why Afghanistan determined that sponsoring a major attack on the US was in its national interest. I suppose it might be worth ending NATO, IF it could be done in a way that a) does not create the perception of a power vacuum in Europe or a deepened US/Europe split and b) decreases stress on the US military, without decreasing the overall size of our military. Your Bush show trial gambit is intriguing, but does not accomplish either of these. [url=http://everything2.com/title/Your%2520ideas%2520are%2520intriguing%2520to%2520me%2520and%2520I%2520wish%2520to%2520subscribe%2520to%2520your%2520newsletter]I do not wish to subscribe to that newsletter[/url] :-)

Don S on :

"but it does not explain why Afghanistan determined that sponsoring a major attack on the US was in its national interest." I'm not at all certain 'Afghanistan' did do that. I've read interviews with Taliban/Pashtun leaders expressing a sense of betrayal; that Al-Q 'betrayed' the Taliban by using Afghan territory to launch an unwinnable war with the US. Admittedly the Taliban seemed more of an anarchy than a government, and some Taliban may have known about the 9-11 plans (and even approved). Hard to say for certain. But I suspect the Taliban as a whole didn't know what was about to go down, and if they had might even have taken steps to head it off. So should the US/NATO have invaded Afghanistan? Absolutely yes. The fact is that they allowed their territory to be used to launch a major war and did not take immediate steps to arrest the Al-Q forces and leadership on their territory, but rather tried to defend them. Anarchy is no excuse.

SC on :

Actually, this sounds about right, but leads to a question about alternative courses: Suppose instead of our now multi-administration adventure in nation-building, instead we settled for simply administering a righteous smack-down and left the Taliban stripped and naked before their enemies. Even if they returned to power, it would be a harrowing experience. Would that experience and the hoped for deterrent effect been, for the US at least, the most cost-effective course of action in the region?

SC on :

(Ahem) I think it time for me pull out my old fiddle, Don. NATO has too much support within the governing classes on both sides of the Atlantic to go gentle into that good night. Was watching a CSPAN telecast of an awards ceremony/grip and greet for the Atlantic Council. Kind words all around: Nato and like organizations beloved. You may be right in the long run, but it will be a long run. Also, I doubt that an arrest warrant for GWB would spell the end of Nato. A significant percentage of Americans would greet it with glee: A significant, and perhaps equal, percentage would be be angered and horrified. The greatest effect might be to foment a storm in the US. Who knows: some politicians might view that as a positive development.

Kevin Sampson on :

'I still think that there is so much in common between the US and Europe that NATO' I'm not so sure. There have been significant demographic changes in the US in the last half century that call that into question. The enormous number of Central and South Americans that have immigrated have come mainly from the middle and lower class. Many of them are of Indian descent. If they think about Europe at all, it is as the home of the Conquistadors.

Kevin Sampson on :

And not a word about Sec. Gates announcement yesterday that 50 to 100 of the inmates of Guatanamo Bay will be neither released nor tried. Curious.

Joe Noory on :

You know the who thing is about having deposed a regime that really did torture people for no reason other to maintain a brutal grip on power. The leader turned out to be an [url=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4085020865238983998&hl=en]old fashioned European favorite[/url], a great market for their overpriced rubbish, and willing to [url=http://www.command-post.org/archives/002978.html]ship him anything[/url] that he could gas a village with. They are also feeble cultures that endulge this kind of adulatory abuse, in that they know that their hatred has no consequences to them personally, because Americans are more likely to behave like thoughtful adults [url=http://www.newmajority.com/ShowScroll.aspx?ID=128b9c56-03f7-4507-874d-41d8b4e3cebf]that they would[/url]. They know, however, not to chew gum in Singapore for fear of torture, and say nothing.

Don S on :

Never happened, Joe. Or if it did those were GI's doing it. And if it were Iraqis - why then it was Rumsfeld's fault for selling Itaq a few tons of insecticide. Certain evidence and footage is not fitting to be shown by any European news organization. Why show it when you can trot out the photos of Lynddie England doing her thing, yet again?

Marie Claude on :

"The leader turned out to be an old fashioned European favorite, a great market for their overpriced rubbish, and willing to ship him anything that he could gas a village with." Hein ???? again LMAO 4. An American company, Pfaulder Corporation of Rochester, New York, supplied the Iraqis with a blueprint in 1975, enabling them to construct their first chemical warfare plant. The plant was purchased in sections from Italy, West Germany and East Germany and assembled in Iraq. It was located at Akhashat in north-western Iraq, and the cost was around $50 million for the plant and $30 million for the safety equipment. 14. When Saddam did in fact use chemical weapons against his own people, he did so on the afternoon of 17 March 1988, against the Kurdish city of Halabja. The United States provided diplomatic cover by initially blaming Iran for the attack. The Reagan Administration tried to prevent criticism of the atrocity. The Bush (senior) administration authorised new loans to Saddam in order to achieve the goal of increasing US exports and put us in a better position to deal with Iraq regarding its human rights record. 15. The US Department of Commerce licensed the export of biological materials—including a range of pathogenic agents—as well as plans for chemical and biological warfare production facilities and chemical-warhead filling equipment—to Iraq until December 1989, 20 months after the Halabja atrocity. 8. France provided Saddam with extended-range Super Etendard aircraft capable of hitting Iranian oil facilities in the lower Gulf. http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/51/040.html In an interview with the Rocky Mountain News last month, he noted that the United States imported far more oil from Iraq than France during the sanction years and that the United States had the right to review every contract approved under the oil-for-food program http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2004/may/03/20040503-123158-1229r/?page=2 http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/arms+trade http://www.answers.com/topic/arms-industry-1

John in Michigan, USA on :

Well, you and Don S [url=http://www.atlantic-community.org/index/Open_Think_Tank_Article/How_to_Repair_Our_Relationship_with_Europe]have already debated this question here[/url]. It seems to me the US company, Pfaudler did the right thing (refused to build the large factory) for the wrong reasons (practical reasons rather than idealism). Still, they did the right thing. The German company, Karl Kolb, did the wrong thing (build the factory) for the wrong reasons (profit). To be fair, the roles could easily have been reversed. Also, all of this was dual-use technology. But by the 1990's, the US had come up with the only policy that made sense: prevent any dual-use technology from going to Iraq, no matter the humanitarian cost. The resistance to this policy from the European side, made a unified Western diplomatic position impossible.

Marie Claude on :

OK, May-be that the costs for planes purchase were much higher than for the "mustard", but planes were less harmful BTW, the numbers show different as far as the global arm trade for ME Government and commercial secrecy has meant that the size of the global arms trade can only be estimated. One of the most respected annual estimates is made by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). For 2005 it estimated the value of the global trade in conventional weapons at $56 billion/£27 billion. Significantly, between 2002 and 2005 there has been a massive increase in the market totalling around $20 billion/£9.84 billion. Arms were chiefly imported in 2004 by countries in the Middle East ($10 billion/£4.92 billion, chief markets: UAE $3.6 billion/£1.77 billion and Saudi Arabia $3.2 billion/£1.57 billion). The second largest importer was Asia ($5.8 billion/£2.85 billion, chief markets: China $2.7 billion/£1.33 billion; India $1.7 billion/£0.84 billion; and Taiwan $1.1 billion/£0.54 billion). The main exporters in 2006 were USA ($14.08 billion/£6.9 billion) and Europe ($11.2 billion/£5.49 billion). Within Europe, Russia ($5.8 billion/£2.8 billion), France ($0.4 billion/£0.19 billion), Germany ($1.0 billion/£0.49 billion), and UK ($3.3 billion/£1.61 billion) were the largest. The proportion of military expenditure accounted for by countries in the developing world was about 18% in 1993 (up from 6% in 1965 but down from 24% in 1989). During the 1980s, NATO countries supplied 31% of arms in the developing world, with France supplying 11%, and the Warsaw Pact countries supplying 58%. In 1994 the USA was a major weapons supplier in 45 of the world's 50 regional conflicts, and sold arms worth $14.5 billion/£9.1 billion. 4. An American company, Pfaulder Corporation of Rochester, New York, supplied the Iraqis with a blueprint in 1975, enabling them to construct their first chemical warfare plant. The plant was purchased in sections from Italy, West Germany and East Germany and assembled in Iraq. It was located at Akhashat in north-western Iraq, and the cost was around $50 million for the plant and $30 million for the safety equipment. 14. When Saddam did in fact use chemical weapons against his own people, he did so on the afternoon of 17 March 1988, against the Kurdish city of Halabja. The United States provided diplomatic cover by initially blaming Iran for the attack. The Reagan Administration tried to prevent criticism of the atrocity. The Bush (senior) administration authorised new loans to Saddam in order to achieve the goal of increasing US exports and put us in a better position to deal with Iraq regarding its human rights record. 15. The US Department of Commerce licensed the export of biological materials—including a range of pathogenic agents—as well as plans for chemical and biological warfare production facilities and chemical-warhead filling equipment—to Iraq until December 1989, 20 months after the Halabja atrocity uh sorry the links got swallowed in the spam box

Joe Noory on :

Enough with the evasions and tortured revisionism. Saddam's regime bought his poison gas equipment from Bayer and others in europe. Plus, in the 1975 period they were buying development tools for pharma and agraculture from europeans to a greater degree. So your logic is that if the Americans were doing it too, that it is only the evidence of THEIR action that's negative? The French government went out of her way to sell Saddam a nuke plant predicated on the fissile capacity of the spent fuel. Europeans siezed on the opportunity to continue trading with him when thw US curtailed relations after Halabja. But as we all know, to most Europeans, all fact are mere opportunities to rationalize the wrongness of those they don't like for whatever personal reasons, not any actions those people take. Just think of the sick adoration of any cruel thing the Russians do. The only logic to that is that they want some sort of inhumane muscular and European whiteness to look up to, not by any measure the peace, love, and symbolic acts of human rights that they prattle on about without question.

Marie Claude on :

The attack raised a number of questions of interpretation regarding international legal concepts. Those who approved of the raid argued that the Israelis had engaged in an act of legitimate self-defense justifiable under international law and under Article 51 of the charter of the United Nations (UN). Critics contended that the Israeli claims about Iraq's future capabilities were hasty and ill-considered and asserted that the idea of anticipatory self-defense was rejected by the community of states. In the midst of this controversy, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) came under fire from individuals and from governments who complained that the Vienna-based UN agency had failed to alert the world to developments at Osiraq. IAEA officials denied these charges and reaffirmed their position on the Iraqi reactor, that is, that no weapons had been manufactured at Osiraq and that Iraqi officials had regularly cooperated with agency inspectors. They also pointed out that Iraq was a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (informally called the Non-Proliferation Treaty or NPT) and that Baghdad had complied with all IAEA guidelines. The Israeli nuclear facility at Dimona, it was pointed out, was not under IAEA safeguards, because Israel had not signed the NPT and had refused to open its facilities to UN inspections. http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iraq/facility/osiraq.htm so look for louses, I'll get you Baygon

Joe Noory on :

Like David's search for ways to use the law against political opponents, a kind of medieval torture of law and reason, you seem unable to understand that there is no "big book of international law" or a nursery tale policeman to enforce these imagined "community standards". International law is a field of practice where the interaction of domestic laws in different national legal systems is studied and interpreted. It is NOT the "President and Politburo of the Planet Earth" that simple people almost seem to imagine it could be, as if we're living in a Sci Fi world of drama. Just imagine WHY it is that you're hoping someone will employ these legalisms NOW, but not under any other circumstances.

David on :

The last thing I need is to be lectured by a faux-American. Here's a suggestion: take a dictionary and sit down and read the Constitution of the United States. In particular, pay attention to the Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments. Then read all of the international treaties the US has ratified that prohibit torture, including Geneva Conventions, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Convention Against Torture.

Pat Patterson on :

Of the three mentioned treaties the US has only signed and ratified one of them, the Geneva Conventions, which only prohibits extreme measures. The other two David claims as limiting on US actions have have never even been submitted to Congress as there is the thorny little problem of the 6th Amendment which guarantees American citizens and resident(when applicable) a trial and a chance to confront witnesses which if implemented the two UN Conventions do not. The argument, ongoing, is whether those rights extend to non-citizens captured on the battlefield. There is little in US law or any other nations laws that support that viewpoint but it is certainly an idea worth talking about. Though I feel will continually be rejected by the conservative nature of our government. And by taking a pie-in-the-sky approach to the Constituion David, aside from not knowing the difference between and encyclopedia and a dictionary, has attempted what the Senate has refused to do for at least a century. Make a treaty obligation binding over the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Even this 3rd generation faux-American doesn't want that to happen.

Kevin Sampson on :

'The last thing I need is to be lectured by a faux-American.' LOL. Is it just me, or did that also have a distinctly racist ring to it? Anyway, I'm disappointed you didn't respond to me at #4, David. So what do you think of the Secretary’s announcement?

Pat Patterson on :

That's twice David has impugned the citizenship of Joe Noory. Three strikes anyone?

David on :

I can only agree with Andrew Sullivan: "Torture is the weapon of cowards and bullies and monsters. Cheney is all three. Prosecute him." Read the Bybee and Yoo torture memos. Every word of each one. The Bush administration created a "legal" framework for torture. And then implemented it. Detainees were tortured to death. But it's all a big joke, right Don?

John in Michigan, USA on :

"Detainees were tortured to death." Who died? Please give names, dates and circumstances.

Don S on :

Who is joking, David? What I'm writing about is observable fact. If an American isn't involved or can't be blamed, it's not news in Europe.....

Pat Patterson on :

I didn't realize Andrew Sullivan had switched topics lately as I assumed he was still trying to prove that Gov Palin was not the mother of Trig Palin.

Sue on :

Andrew Sullivan loved Bush until the latter turned against gay marriage. Then AS became obsessed with Sarah Palin's reproductive life. It was unseemly. There is very little real public debate about the "torture" memos. Average people in the US don't care if CIA personnel employed rough interrogation methods (no one died or suffered concrete physical damage to health) on suspected foreign terrorists. Nothing will come of the revelation of these memos. If anything, they indicate to many Americans just how tame the CIA's activities were. Obama is shrewd. He won't go on a witchhunt of CIA personnel just to get back at Bush. Prosecuting government employees for using excessive zeal in protecting America is a losing game in domestic politics. The man wants to be reelected, presumably.

John in Michigan, USA on :

"Detainees were tortured to death." Still waiting for evidence.

Pat Patterson on :

Can you provide one citation that proves your point other than the feeble common knowledge allusion? What local people, Cubans? Are you mixing up detainees held in Cuba, Iraq or Afghanistan?

John in Michigan, USA on :

In other words, Sc. JK has no evidence, either. Typical propaganda. Sc. JK and David have been conditioned to scream "habeas corpus" every time someone is detained, but they have no idea what "habeas corpus" actually means. Hint: it is more subtle than "double-plus good". For example, David, if he believed in the ideals he claims to defend, would have written "Detainees were allegedly tortured to death."

Pamela on :

Let me guess. English is not your first language, is it? Nor is common sense. Lack of evidence is evidence. Who knew?

Pamela on :

I think we should agree that neither of us understands a word the other is saying. May I make a suggestion in the event you are truly concerned about prisoner conditions at Guantanimo. Contact the Red Cross. They make regular visits. Seriously.

Pamela on :

Oh what a crock. I worked in the news industry for 11 years. Not as a reporter/journalist, I was a software developer. I was steeped in that culture and the narcissism these people are clinically ill with. I was at USA Today during the first Gulf War. You would not believe how they strutted their stuff when they got back. You'd think they had actually fired a weapon or something. No. The 'torture memos' are NOT a big deal with anyone but people who think they make the news. Actually, in the news cycle, it's being taken over by SWINE FLU WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!! Look, it's no secret on this board that I have many friends in the military. On of them is deployed at Camp Bucca, Iraq, the largest in terms of detainee population we have - last count about 18,000. I am well versed in what the ROEs for our soldiers are in these circumstances. Nobody was tortured to death. And frankly David, there are enough pissant lawyers who are representing these pieces of scum that if they had ANY evidence of what you alledge they would have given all the stuff to the New York Times and there would have been a Pulitzer awarded. As for Sullivan - as I recall it was in the Clinton admin that the Defense of Marriage Act was passed. One of the most entertaining moments of my life was watching Christoper Hitchens rip him a new one. Hi Pat.

David on :

Wny not just read what the US Senate Armed Services Committee has written in its report: "A combination of "enhanced interrogation" techniques approved by high-level Bush administration officials coupled with a series of brutal beatings administered by military interrogators were directly responsible for the December 2002 deaths of two detainees at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, according to a report released last week by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The report classified their deaths as homicides. In other words, the two prisoners were tortured to death." Full description [url=http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/Senate-Panel-s-Report-Link-by-Jason-Leopold-090501-67.html]here[/url]

Joe Noory on :

Your beloved Jason Leopold does NOT link the report. He "links the report" to whatever politically floats his boat. For example, he obscures the fact that the "Senate Panel" is not the responsible committee, and neither do you, because you're concept of justice is limited to your political proclivities, not law. Not being the Judicial Committee, resposible for the UCJ, the Armed Services Committee's responsibilities include: [i]Aeronautical and space activities peculiar to or primarily associated with the development of weapons systems or military operations; the common defense; the Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the Air Force, generally; maintenance and operation of the Panama Canal, including administration, sanitation, and government of the Canal Zone; military research and development; national security aspects of nuclear energy; naval petroleum reserves, except those in Alaska; pay, promotion, retirement, and other benefits and privileges of members of the Armed Forces, including overseas education of civilian and military dependents; selective service system; and strategic and critical materials necessary for the common defense.[/i] But what does THAT matter, eh? You're quite a disappointment. It's the 21st century, and we still have leftists getting hard nipples over anything that resembles a Stalinist political purge.

John in Michigan, USA on :

David, please see my response [url=http://atlanticreview.org/index.php?url=archives/1281-An-Arrest-Warrant-for-George-W.-Please!.html#c19433]here[/url].

John in Michigan, USA on :

David, still waiting. Does the [url=http://media.mcclatchydc.com/smedia/2009/04/21/20/Detainees-main1.source.prod_affiliate.91.pdf]PDF file[/url] I located contain evidence of people being tortured to death?

John in Michigan, USA on :

Sigh. A link to an op-ed talking about a Senate Report while mixing in other statements, reports, and rumors. Well at least that's something. On an issue as delicate as this, with so much misinformation flying around, you'll understand why I prefer to get as close to primary sources as possible. This is especially important because the raw, primary source reports themselves are probably still classified, at least in part. Therefore, it is important to form judgements based on unclassified reports written by people who have actually read these classified reports in full, if at all possible. I am sure Leopold thinks he has great sources and leaks, but I doubt he has the full picture. For example, the op-ed by Leopold contradicts itself: initially, the treatment is "directly responsible for the December 2002 deaths". But a few paragraphs later, the treatment policies are only "a contributing factor". Which is it? Elsewhere in the article, Leopold attempts to weave a narrative involving nearly everything but the kitchen sink. It is difficult to tell how much is Leopold's opinion or theory, and how much was actually in the new report. Interestingly, Leopold also points out that Democrats remain suspiciously silent on the question of, [url=http://www.opednews.com/articles/2/What-Did-Democrats-Really-by-Jason-Leopold-090418-151.html]did Democrats approve these techniques[/url]? If [url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/21/report-harsh-interrogatio_n_189817.html]this Huff Post entry[/url] is talking about the same report as Leopold, the report was dated Nov 20, 2008 but only recently released. [url=http://media.mcclatchydc.com/smedia/2009/04/21/20/Detainees-main1.source.prod_affiliate.91.pdf]Here is a PDF of that report[/url]. Irritatingly, the 121 page PDF is a scanned image of a text page, and not text itself. This means you can't search for keywords (without special software that I don't have). In fact, several of the commenters at Huffington Post complain that the report apparently does NOT say that anyone was tortured to death. One commenter, [url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/21/report-harsh-interrogatio_n_189817.html?show_comment_id=23405270#comment_23405270]Prakosh[/url], says "Unfortunately something has been left completely out of this reporting and it is disturbing in the extreme. This is the 8-11 people, depending on the source who died during their interrogations." What I want to avoid is a paper chase. Here is what I propose. David, can you kindly have a look at the PDF and tell me if you believe it will support your contention that detainees were tortured to death? Perhaps you could tell me the page number(s) to focus on? If you tell me I'll find the evidence there, I'll certainly read it. If not, I'm happy to consider other material, keeping in mind the primary source preference. This stuff is too important to rely on journalists trying to make deadlines and sell ads, or bloggers and movie producers adding their own interpretation to events.

Kevin Sampson on :

'The arguments ought to focus on BUSH's wrong policy, derailed (by Pat-John) to whether there is death out of torture by US military.' Actually, the alleged 'torture' was conducted by the CIA. In fact, the Dear Leader has now decreed that all interrogations must be conducted according to ARMY (ie military)Field Manual 34-52.

Pat Patterson on :

You're right! Mea culpa.

Pat Patterson on :

In addition the whole issue of torture seems to have been simply a campaign promise jettisoned as soon as adult decisions had to be made by the new Administration. This Salon article by an Obama supporter Glenn Greenwald outlines the steps that are being taken to prevent any of the other paperwork concerning "torture" to never see the light of day. What then is the issue if the supposed moral clarity some expressed on the illegality and immorality of torture when those they trusted to correct and expose this crime are simply staring into space and occasionally saying, "What?" http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/05/12/obama/

Add Comment

E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.
CAPTCHA

Form options