CIA Admits Waterboarding

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by skunk, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #1
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7229169.stm
    During the Nuremburg trials, over which the US co-presided, waterboarding was considered as torture, for which the individuals in question were tried and convicted (among other crimes). Waterboarding is specifically mentioned as torture in the Geneva Conventions, to which the US is a signatory. Waterboarding, as others have already declared, is not “like drowning”…..it is drowning! What is this administration telling us? Either that they did not know, a defense used by the Nazis, or that the Nuremburg trials were false convictions?
     
  2. stevento macrumors 6502

    stevento

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  3. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #3
    Somehow I don't think it's quite that simple.
     
  4. stevento macrumors 6502

    stevento

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    #4
    all the republicans (except ron paul) love waterboarding and torture
     
  5. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #5
    You might ask John McCain what he feels about torture.
     
  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #6
    but generalizations are so much better and easier.
     
  7. stevento macrumors 6502

    stevento

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    #7
    he says "we're americans; we dont torture" but so does george bush.
     
  8. ham_man macrumors 68020

    ham_man

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    #8
    He's felt it already, and he agrees with everyone who doesn't have their head up their rear that it sucks and is...uhhh...you know...pretty wrong.
     
  9. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #9
    and i'm pretty sure thats what skunk was getting at.
     
  10. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #10
    My point exactly.
     
  11. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    #11
    Exactly.
     
  12. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #12
    Nothing ever is that simple, is it? But it's certainly food for thought.
     
  13. Naimfan macrumors 68040

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    #13
    That's certainly true. I sincerely hope our next President issues an executive order banning the use of any such "interrogation method," or, even better, that Congress passes a bill banning and criminalizing any such method that the next President signs into law.
     
  14. RacerX macrumors 65832

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    #14
    Actually, the laws needed to prosecute such crimes already exist. The real problem is that the chief law enforcement officer of the United States is unwilling to take such actions, mainly because it was the Justice Department itself that gave erroneous opinions under which much of this stuff was done.

    Of course breaking the law, whether on your own (without knowing the law), at the advice of your attorney (or legal counsel) or at the advice of law enforcement officials is not a defense for illegal actions.

    But as long as the people who are in danger of prosecution are in positions to stop any investigation of these matters, no one will be charged and these matters will not be brought before the part of our government entitled to make interpretations of such laws, the Judicial Branch.

    As for whether or not the United States tortures... if the people behind this are brought to justice, then these actions are not a reflection of the United States, but instead the actions of a number of radical (and sick) individuals who attempted to abuse their positions (by abusing others).


    For those who believe these people saved lives by their actions... well, these people could save even more lives and restore the honor of our country by falling on their swords and surrendering themselves to our system of laws.

    They won't because unlike truly honorable men and women of our country (who have died during the tenure of this administration), these individuals put their own welfare before that of the rest of us.
     
  15. astrostu macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I'm just surprised people are surprised about this. Personally, I'm near a breaking point (actually, well beyond it) where I believe maybe 0.1% of what comes out of the Bush administration.
     
  16. Naimfan macrumors 68040

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    #16
    RacerX--

    I'm unaware of any section of United States Code criminalizing the use of waterboarding as an interrogation technique. There is also the problem of prosecuting someone following orders they reasonably believed to be lawfully given.

    Unfortunately, this is more of a political issue, and it is unlikely that anyone who took part in waterboarding will be prosecuted.

    I've adopted the position that anything coming from the current administration is a lie unless it can be independently verified. Much easier (and probably more accurate) that way.
     
  17. RacerX macrumors 65832

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    #17
    Well, from here...
    U.S. Law

    The United States has incorporated international prohibitions against torture and mistreatment of persons in custody into its domestic law. The United States has reported to the Committee Against Torture that: “Every act of torture within the meaning of the Convention is illegal under existing federal and state law, and any individual who commits such an act is subject to penal sanctions as specified in criminal statutes. Such prosecutions do in fact occur in appropriate circumstances. Torture cannot be justified by exceptional circumstances, nor can it be excused on the basis of an order from a superior officer. "

    Military personnel who mistreat prisoners can be prosecuted by a court-martial under various provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ, arts. 77-134).

    The War Crimes Act of 1996 (18 U.S.C. § 2441) makes it a criminal offense for U.S. military personnel and U.S. nationals to commit war crimes as specified in the 1949 Geneva Conventions. War crimes under the act include grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. It also includes violations of common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions, which prohibits “violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; …outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.

    A federal anti-torture statute (18 U.S.C. § 2340A), enacted in 1994, provides for the prosecution of a U.S. national or anyone present in the United States who, while outside the U.S., commits or attempts to commit torture. Torture is defined as an “act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control.” A person found guilty under the act can be incarcerated for up to 20 years or receive the death penalty if the torture results in the victim’s death.

    Military contractors working for the Department of Defense might also be prosecuted under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-778), known as MEJA. MEJA permits the prosecution in federal court of U.S. civilians who, while employed by or accompanying U.S. forces abroad, commit certain crimes. Generally, the crimes covered are any federal criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. The MEJA remains untested because the Defense Department has yet to issue necessary implementing regulations required by the law.
    Further, in the United States ignorance of the law cannot be used as a defense.

    Hopefully that clears up these issues a little.
     
  18. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    #18
    ROFLMAO! :D:D:D:D:D

    Never knew ignorance of the law was not a defense . . . ;)

    Why do you think there is such a debate about whether waterboarding is torture?
     
  19. RacerX macrumors 65832

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    #19
    Think about it this way, if ignorance of the law could be used as a defense, then a majority of those occupying our prisons would be lawyers and the like as everyone else would have plausible ignorance... unless charged for the same type of actions twice, of course.

    Maybe for the same reason there was such a debate as to whether divulging a covert operative's identity was illegal or whether obstruction of an investigation was illegal. One side of this debate has people facing the possibility of criminal charges.

    You may see that as political and shy away from this type of thing, I see it eroding our nations core beliefs.

    Waterboarding is torture based on precedent. If this ever gets in front of a judge, the counter argument to "what defines torture?" will be previous cases in which people were convicted of torture. Even with conservative justices, most believe in stare decisis, which is why it would be dangerous to even have the possibility of an investigation that would lead to trial for these people.



    More to the point, this has less to do with politics and more to do with our government turning it's back on our founding principles. Look at the Declaration of Independence. There is a list of grievances which we used to justify our independence. Our country should never be guilty of similar grievances against our own citizens or any one else. But reading down that list, it isn't hard to spot stuff in that list that this administration is guilty of.

    Politics is politics, everyone can have their own opinion... within the frameworks of our government. When people start to abuse their position and believe that they are above the law, that is when political debate should end and the people of our nation unite.

    But sadly, what should happen and what does happen are quite different things. Even if the next president doesn't abuse the office like the last, the ability to abuse the office will remain. No one currently running is strong enough of will to give back power the presidency shouldn't have.

    Why? Because they have spent their lives trying to get that power to begin with. People whose life ambition was to obtain the presidency aren't going to work to bring balance back to our government.

    And people who avoid the issues at hand... dismiss them as nothing but politics as usual, insure that nothing will change.

    Apathy is always the biggest enemy of the people.
     
  20. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #20
    But this was being ordered by higher ups, and is now being defended by higher ups, who were just saying we don't do this.

    As with the Valerie Plame thing, and the ton of other scandals out there, I doubt anything will come of this, and sadly no, I'm not surprised.
     
  21. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    #21
    Racer--

    I think you missed the wink at the end of my saying I wasn't aware that ignorance of the law is no defense.

    Let me just say I appreciate your passion and interest in the subject, and suggest you channel that to working in the field for change.
     
  22. RacerX macrumors 65832

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    #22
    I was trying to make a joke about lawyers without going too far (my late father was a lawyer and law professor).

    Back when I worked as a production manager for a legal document service (almost 10 years ago) I had a variation on the old joke "What do you call a thousand lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?" My answer was "Bad for business." :eek:

    Change would be good.
     
  23. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #23
    I hear that Naimfan is a lawyer, but I don't know, seems pretty nice to me. :p
     
  24. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #24
    He has his moments. :cool:
     
  25. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    #25
    LOL! Though they may be few and far between, eh? ;)

    I am indeed a lawyer, and my practice, in the main, is constitutional law. I'm not involved at all with the litigation around this particular issue, but I've done a lot of work around other related issues. (Sorry if that appears mysterious--I'm bound by confidentiality requirements on a lot of it.)
     

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