President Obama opens door to prosecution regarding torture of terrorists

Discussion in 'World Events' started by StrawDog, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

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    The United States Department of Justice had authorized the procedure, that is Bush Administration get off scott free card.
    Pay no heed to what Obama says, its all Bullshit and Blue Sky.
     
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    There you go, making a very silly statement rathe than answering the question. I was not involved in the terrorism that the prisoners were doing to be captured and tortured so why would you want that to happen to me?
     
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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    I do not know but I'm sure that many lives were saved and a direct attack on America was also averted. I am only hoping the damn MEDIA would find out about that more so than trying to prosecute those involved with the extracting of information. Remember that no one was ever killed when being tortured and no one was injured unlike the terrorists who beheaded, tortured and mutilated people to death.
     
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  7. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    In war you must do what you can to survive. In the second world war many prisoners were tortured and killed! No one ever was briught up for torturing the prisoners Americans had , have they? When trying to save lives you must try to do whatever you can in order to win the battle for those people who you are trying to protect.

    But we aren't talking about that. We are discussing the policy of torturing prisoners that were terrorists that already killed innocent people. You are now trying to focus on something else entirely different.


    That's my point exactly, why hasn't the MEDIA found out that information and given that out to the public before they prosecute people for torturing anyone. At least then many people would "see" what was received from the torturing not just the torturing as we all are being told about. Why isn't that being done I'd ask. Perhaps the MEDIA is controlled by those people who only want to make America look as bad as they can?
     
  8. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    During the second world war , did you ever hear of any allied person being taken to court or discharged because of torturing prisoners? That went on as many war vets have told me had happened and if you do not think it didn't then you are very gullible.
     
  9. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    But then again what if they could get the location of the bomb? Then it was found and many peoples lives were saved. What would YOU think then?
     
  10. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Funny , those in charge of the recession and their greedy ways of taking what they wanted out of the system were never arrested for their wrong doings, but now we are going to watch torturing people be brought up and see what happens. It is rather odd that you can steal trillions of dollars away from everyone yet not be arrested but torture someone and you;'ll be prosecuted to the fullest!
     
  11. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    There's a difference when there's a war going on and the Army is involved not the FBI or other domectic law enforcement types.
     
  12. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    I know that during the second world war there was torturing going on against the Japanese and Germans so whenever there's a war there's always going to be a slip up every time.
     
  13. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    cosmic, do you think it was wrong of the US to hold the Japanese responsible for war crimes when they waterboarded Americans?

     
  14. jps Valued Senior Member

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    I don't doubt that it happened, but has anyone ever tried to bring a legal action based on it? For the record, at least some of the U.S. conduct during WWII has been acknowledged as wrong. The U.S. apologized and paid reparations to Japanese Americans interned during the war.

    This is dodging the issue though. Do you really want to defend the position that anything goes in war?


    I simply altered the scenario you set up to illustrate that such thought experiments can be made to support whatever you want them to. In reality, you can never know for certain what the consequences of such actions are.

    The question is no more helpful for real world action than "would you go back in time and kill Hitler as a baby?" Even if you answer yes, I doubt you'd think this justifies legalizing infanticide as a general matter. The same reasoning applies to your question, even if you'd say you would torture a terrorist if you knew that it would save lives and not lead to increased terrorism, that doesn't mean torture should be legalized as a general matter.


    Even assuming that such evidence exists, which I seriously doubt, the media can't just "find out" anything it seeks. This information is secret, and the unauthorized release of it would be a federal crime. The only reason the recent torture memos were released was because a federal court ordered them to be released following a FOIA action by the ACLU. The media didn't get them released, they only reported on what they said after the Obama administration released them, after being ordered to do so by a judge.

    If you went to court and got an order compelling the Obama administration to release information on the nature of the information obtained from torturing terrorists, and they complied, the media would report on that too.
     
  15. jps Valued Senior Member

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    For those interested in the legal framework surrounding any prosecutions of U.S. agents, here is a great breakdown:

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/01/18/prosecutions/

    To summarize:
    1. Treaties signed by the President and ratified by Congress have the force of law in the U.S.
    2. The convention against torture forbids the "just following orders" defense in torture prosecutions.
    3. The convention against torture makes prosecution of alleged torturers mandatory.

    In an actual prosecution, I'd imagine there would be a number of potential issues that would probably complicate obtaining convictions against the actual agents who engaged in the torture, including the fact that the issue is not so much that they were "following orders" as that they were expressly told by the country's legal apparatus that what they were doing was legal.

    As a general matter, ignorance of the law cannot excuse violating it, but may be grounds for mitigation at sentencing, but this case is more difficult, as it could be argued that generally the executive branch's interpretation of the law has legal force itself, and thus, in a sense, it was for all intents and purposes legal at the time. This probably wouldn't hold up, and generally crimes like torture don't require criminal intent, but the circumstances are more ambiguous if the torturers acted under the assurance that they were acting legally, and under the belief that their actions were necessary to save lives.

    I think its unlikely that they will be prosecuted for this reason. Those who gave them legal advice, and ordered the actions, on the other hand, seem better targets for prosecution, as it is hard to see a defense based on reliance on memos they wrote themselves.(if this were allowed, it would basically place the executive branch above the law, the attorney general could issue a memo legalizing any illegal conduct he intended to engage in).

    Torture, under U.S. law, is:

    18 U.S.C.A. § 2441

    Thus, it seems that conspirators are no different from torturers from a legal standpoint.
     
  16. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    To me anything goes that doesn't kill or maim another prisoner.
     
  17. StrawDog disseminated primatemaia Valued Senior Member

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    I am sure the moon is made of cheese.

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    A thought. Death is painless. Torture is painful.
     
  18. StrawDog disseminated primatemaia Valued Senior Member

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    We are waiting for "peace", "justice" and "change". Lets see.

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  19. StrawDog disseminated primatemaia Valued Senior Member

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    I concur with this. Take this to the very top.
     
  20. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    You've got it exactly backwards. It's third world banana republics where a change of government means everyone in the party out of power goes to jail. Justice is politicized.

    By opening this door, Obama risks sucking all the oxygen out of Washington as everything is consumed in a firestorm of recriminations, accusations, and counter-accusations.

    He also risks severely weakening counter-terrorism efforts as officials and agents are forced to constantly second guess themselves and wonder if their actions will land them in jail. The safe course? Do nothing. Sure as hell don't aggressively atttempt to defend the nation. Just cover your ass, push paper, and wait for the next attack to come. Then we can begin the next round of hearings and recriminations over why we didn't do more.
     
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Simple answers, actually

    Psst! That's why they're evil.

    Take it up with Gen. David Petraeus:

    Some may argue that we would be more effective if we sanctioned torture or other expedient methods to obtain information from the enemy. That would be wrong. Beyond the basic fact that such actions are illegal, history shows that they also are frequently neither useful nor necessary. Certainly, extreme physical action can make someone 'talk;' however, what the individual says may be of questionable value. In fact, our experience in applying the interrogation standards laid out in the Army Field Manual (2-22.3) on Human Intelligence Collector Operations that was published last year shows that the techniques in the manual work effectively and humanely in eliciting information from detainees.

    There is not yet a credible case that torture has saved any lives. I have long been reminding that the Bush administration's claims of preventing terror attacks through the use of torture is bogus. If they had better incidents to report, why have they been pushing bullshit?
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Petraeus, David. "Memorandum". May 10, 2007. WashingtonPost.com. Accessed April 22, 2009. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/documents/petraeus_values_051007.pdf

    See Also:

    Froomkin, Dan. "Bush's Counterterrorism Record: 0 for 1". White House Watch. December 18, 2008. WashingtonPost.com. Accessed April 22, 2009. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2008/12/18/BL2008121802193.html
     
  22. StrawDog disseminated primatemaia Valued Senior Member

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    And by sweeping it under the carpet, the integrity of the US justice system (and moral superiority) can go into the trash can.

    I guarantee, that if the US evacuated the ME, and stopped meddling in the affairs of other nations, terrorism would disappear as a threat.

    Well, there has not been one for uh, 8 years now. If you have bad tooth, rip it out, don`t rely on pain killers.
     

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