Sunday, April 19, 2009

do not pass go, do not collect $200

no get out of jail free card for the folks who were only "carrying out orders" when they tortured.


  1. who DOES get the $200? the al-Quaeda and other terrorist cells overseas who shoot their prisoners or cut their heads off? how do you define "torture" and WHO is defining it? how the U.S. interrogates its prisoners is far different from what's done overseas. as i blogged about Obama releasing previously classified CIA documents, how can one discern what is humane and what isn't it the international world of "cloak & dagger"? CIA, MI6, al-Quaeda...the list goes on and on. why should the U.S. and other "civilized" nations play by one set of rules while terrorist cells play by another?

  2. what is torture, from the United Nations 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment:

    Article 1

    For the purposes of this Convention, the term "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.the methods we're talking about are techniques used by nazi germany, the soviet union and the khmer rouge of cambodia. if you have trouble discerning that this is torture, or is inhumane, then i have serious questions about your judgment. honestly:

    waterboarding: immobilizing the victim on his or her back with the head inclined downwards, and then pouring water over the face and into the breathing passages. By forced suffocation and inhalation of water, the subject experiences drowning and is caused to believe they are about to for your last question, "why should the u.s. play by one set of rules..." well, i'm having trouble even mustering up the energy to explain that one.

    how's this: because we're better.

  3. because we're better doesn't cut it, tony. you can't set rules for clandestine operations such as those carried out by the organizations i mentioned above.

    besides, it may be a mute point. obama's chief of intel. just submitted docs that show that Congress approved all forms of interrogation between 2002 - 2006.

    how can Congress then go after Bush officials if Congress told them it was OK?

  4. "because we're better doesn't cut it"?

    i fear you're too far gone, friend. (although sometimes i think you're disagreeing just to be disagreeable.)

    i'm not suggesting we set rules, or even attempt to set rules, for clandestine operations, terrorists, or our enemies (although we've certainly done that in the past, i.e. the geneva convention, the u.n. convention against torture.)

    i'm suggesting we have our own set of rules by which to live. our own set of values and morals (aside from those we've pretty clearly laid out and agreed to in the above mentioned conventions.) and when we don't act in accordance with those values, we are no better than those we oppose. i find it almost impossible to believe that you disagree with that.

    but apparently you do.

    no matter who bears ultimate responsibility for it, the point of torture is not moot. personally, i couldn't care less if it's democrats, republicans, or obama himself who approved it, i believe it's wrong.

    but those are just my values, i guess.

    on the other hand, you would be pro-torture, is that right?

  5. and as far as mr. blair's blockbuster revelation about congress approving the bush administrations "enhanced interrogation techniques," well...

    the world socialist website as well as the washington post both beat him to it (way back in september of 2006.)


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