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First Thing We Do, Let's Torture All The Lawyers

Over at Outside The Beltway, James Joyner has kicked off an interesting discussion about torture, enhanced interrogation, and which people have more stomach for doing what needs to be done versus which people refuse to sacrifice principle for the sake of expediency. (There, I think I was fair to both sides.)

It's a fascinating topic, but there's one aspect that Mr. Joyner doesn't address. And that is the effect lawyers -- and our ever-increasingly lawyer-driven society (especially in political matters) -- are having on the topic.

It's understandable how Mr. Joyner would overlook this; as he's a lawyer himself, it's a natural blind spot.

Correction: he's not a lawyer, he just hangs around with a bad crowd. My apologies, sir; while I understand that falsely calling you a lawyer could be considered defamatory and even libelous, I plead lack of malice and offer this correction and humble apology.


Here, let me explain my theory, in relation to the topic of torture.

For a long, long time, the rule was simple. "Don't torture people." It was clear, it was concise, and it was understood. People didn't commit torture -- and if they did, they were punished for it.

And then the lawyers got involved. They insisted on a precise definition of "torture." The old rule of thumb -- "would you consider it torture if it was done to you?" wasn't good enough. They wanted it spelled out in precise detail just what constituted torture -- and, by implication, what did not. They insisted on specific criteria and conditions would trigger punishment. And this is what they came up with:

(1) "torture" means 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;
(2) "severe mental pain or suffering" means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from--
(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
(B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
(C) the threat of imminent death; or
(D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality; and
(3) "United States" means the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the commonwealths, territories, and possessions of the United States.

And that's when things started going pear-shaped. Let's take the example of waterboarding. Here's how I think things might have gone down:

"We need a way to interrogate these guys -- the worst of the worst -- that will break them. But we have to stay within the letter of the law regarding torture, so keep that in mind."

"The letter of the law? How close can we get?"

"As long a you're on the right side of it, as close as you like. Just don't cross it."

"OK, we got this technique. We've taken this old method -- water torture -- and refined and improved it to the point where we think it's within the law. We've taken out the stuff that clearly breaks the law, but preserves the effect."

"Tell me more."

"First up, there's no physical harm. We make certain that no water enters the lungs, so there's no chance of drowning or pneumonia or other injury. So that's covered."

"Good. Go on."

"Second, we've put quite a few of our own people under it, and they've reported no long-term trauma. They freak out during, and they're very cooperative immediately after, but they don't seem to have any lasting effects -- except that they would really rather not go through it again. So I think we've got the 'nothing prolonged' covered, too."

"Sounds good. Run it past some Justice Department lawyers, show 'em what they need, and if they sign off, go for it."

And so we end up with an approved interrogation technique that many would consider torture, but many others would not -- and can get lawyers to argue that it doesn't break the letter of the law.

And here, we see an inversion of some political stereotypes. The left is arguing that we not only need to obey the letter of the law, but not even come close to the letter. Meanwhile, the right is arguing that the letter of the law was obeyed, even if the spirit was bent a bit; and further, there are times that the needs of Justice trancend the laws of Man. And in the cases of these three detainees, the worst of the worst of the worst, it was justified for the greater good.

We wanted a law against torture. And we insisted that we spell it out in black and white. And when you set something down in law, you're going to have lawyers finding loopholes and creeping as close as they can to that letter of the law without breaking it. They'll bend it, push it, twist it, warp it, but argue like hell that they haven't broken it.

And so we have waterboarding. Those who said "we need a law against torture" had their lawyers craft a definition of torture that they then enacted into law. And then other people got their own lawyers to find a way around those laws so they could do what they thought was necessary without legal risk. And thus a practice that many -- arguably -- would call "torture" and many -- arguably -- would say does not meet the written legal definition of "torture" -- came to be used in just three cases, the most extreme and critical ones.

And the information gained from those three men we waterboarded -- out of the thousands we captured -- led, eventually, to the location and killing of Osama Bin Laden.

Good enough for me.

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Comments (108)

What's the difference be... (Below threshold)

What's the difference between a lawyer and a trampoline?
You take off your shoes to jump on the trampoline.

To quote the left, it's all... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

To quote the left, it's all in the "nuance".

Like my colleagues Steve Ta... (Below threshold)

Like my colleagues Steve Taylor and Chris Lawrence, I'm a political science PhD, not a lawyer. Two of my other co-bloggers, Doug Mataconis and Alex Knapp, are attorneys, which may be the source of the confusion.

What I know of the law of war I learned almost entirely in my training as an Army officer.

But, how did they get past ... (Below threshold)
Matt:

But, how did they get past this part of the definition?

(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;

Waterboarding might not cause physical damage, but it is reported to trigger the drowning responses in victims which would probably include some type of physical pain and suffering. Does mental anguish count as suffering?

Waterboarding might not be so bad if you know you will only go through it for a short period of time and only once or twice total for training. It might take on a whole different meaning to a person that knows it will happen again, and again, and again until they break and give their captors what they want.


It also wasn't just waterbo... (Below threshold)
Chico:

It also wasn't just waterboarding, there were other approved "enhanced interrogation techniques" that we prosecuted as torture after WWII, like the use of cold and cold water, sleep deprivation, and prolonged standing.

Ever see the movie The Purple Heart, about flyers caught by the Japanese in WWII? Just about everything in that movie depicted as torture was on the approved list, and new things too, like putting guys in coffins with bugs.

I just don't get the celebration of torture. I was proud to be a part of a military that had a tradition of treating its POWs humanely - two ex-Wehrmacht POWs told me how well treated they when I was in Germany.

Yoo and Bybee should have been disbarred for their "opinions" which omitted and distorted all kinds of law, for example the Geneva conventions.

Chico, you missed the part ... (Below threshold)

Chico, you missed the part where we took existing techniques and modified them to be compliant with the law. Still unpleasant, but not "torture" as the US law defines it.

At least according to the Justice Department lawyers at the time. And my lawyer can beat up your lawyer.

J.

"Yoo and Bybee should have ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Yoo and Bybee should have been disbarred for their "opinions" which omitted and distorted all kinds of law, for example the Geneva conventions."

Eric Holder should have been disbarred for getting a pardon for a convicted criminal in exchange for contributions to Billy Bob's Memorial Library and Whore House.

Funny how things work out.

JT,Another importa... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

JT,

Another important point. U. S. Laws and Legal Protections apply to United States Persons (Citizens and legal alien residents). None of the three were United States Persons.

The three terrorists were illegal combatants.

The Geneva III tests for legal combatant status are in no way a high bar. If you can't pass those tests, you are a wolf on two legs with precisely two legal rights: The right to become dead, and the right to remain dead. The only constraint applying to those who bring those rights to the illegal combatant is that they may not eat them after killing them.

Those who hold otherwise are the enemies of civilization.

People who claim what we di... (Below threshold)
Weegie:

People who claim what we did was torture need to understand first the allowable treatment of legal combatants and treatment of illegal combatants as differentiated by Geneva.

Legal combatants are protected from interrogation, except for criminal interrogations, which already protect defendants against coercive interrogation.

Illegal combatants are only protected against torture, where the exact definition of torture is left for the signatory state to define. This means there is no internationally accepted legal definition of what specific techniques are and are not torture.

There is also the great difference between the torture done to US and other prisoners by the Japanese and what was done to Gitmo prisoners. The Japanese torture was intended to inflict pain, suffering and damage upon legal combatants who were fighting according to the rules of war. The Gitmo technique was not intended to inflict pain, suffering or damage, and the subjects were not legal combatants.

And once the DoJ issued a memo that detailed what the legal limit of aggressive interrogation techniques was, that, in essence, legalized those techniques, both with respect to US law and to international law.

ChicoI believe the... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Chico

I believe the geneva convention mentions something about combatants not in uniform are considered spies. In addition. I dont recall AQ signing the geneva convention. You might want to tell Danny Pearl your feelings on Torture. Dont forget to yell really loud though. Kinda hard to hear about being nice to terrorists when you are in the grave.

There's one word which is t... (Below threshold)
BlueNight:

There's one word which is too often left out of this discussion:

Brutality.

Certainly waterboarding is brutal. So is tasing someone not resisting arrest, or slapping a prisoner hard. Pretty much anything that would be assault or battery if a private citizen did it would be considered brutality if a law enforcement official did it.

However, not everything brutal is torturous.

Remember the kerfuffle with the radio host who did the ratings stunt by getting waterboarded in a manner very different from the Gitmo method? After that, I attempted to waterboard myself. For the briefest split second, I did feel like that one time I lost my footing in a neighbor's pool and found myself drowning. I've never posted the resulting video to my YouTube account, but I could if I wanted.

I certainly would not do it again. If it lasted longer, I would panic and freak out and do whatever I could to prevent it from happening again. But I suffered no physical harm or mental trauma.

I would call it brutality, not torture.

Rodney,As usual, y... (Below threshold)
Chico:

Rodney,

As usual, you don't know what you're talking about. Retired, you are also wrong on the Geneva Conventions.

1. The U.S. anti-torture statutes protect everyone, not just U.S. persons. That's why the Liberian Charles Taylor, Jr. is now serving 97 years in federal custody for torture of Liberians committed in Liberia.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/09/charles-taylor-jr-torture-liberia

2. Geneva Convention IV, Article 5 applies to all detainees, including illegal combatants and requires humane treatment.

Art. 5 Where in the territory of a Party to the conflict, the latter is satisfied that an individual protected person is definitely suspected of or engaged in activities hostile to the security of the State, such individual person shall not be entitled to claim such rights and privileges under the present Convention as would, if exercised in the favour of such individual person, be prejudicial to the security of such State.

Where in occupied territory an individual protected person is detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication under the present Convention.

In each case, such persons shall nevertheless be treated with humanity and, in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed by the present Convention. They shall also be granted the full rights and privileges of a protected person under the present Convention at the earliest date consistent with the security of the State or Occupying Power, as the case may be.

http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/385ec082b509e76c41256739003e636d/6756482d86146898c125641e004aa3c5

Ignoring Geneva IV was one of the things Yoo and Bybee should have been disbarred for, and was one of the things the Bush administration lied about.

Well, since the combatants ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Well, since the combatants cannot be identifies as to their country or who they serve under and with no uniforms, your little quotes Chico don't work. You lefties have a comprehension problem when it comes to this war. It is not and never will be fought or thought of as a conventional war. According to your belief, Obama is now a war criminal since we now know Obama did not fire.

An analyst explained that when they use water boarding, they do so to test for compliance. They do not ask questions they do not know. They ask the terrorist questions the interrogators already know to gauge the terrorists compliance level. AFTER the terrorist proves compliant, then they question him on things they do not know but the terrorist at this time doesn't know if we already know or not.

This stops in its tracks the argument that the terrorist will say and/or agree to anything the interrogator asks just to stop the water boarding.

So again, chico and his buddies prove once again they know not what they speak.

Don't forget, Obama's justice department is going after the CIA interrogators to punish them. That is just disgusting. ww

Yawn!... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Yawn!

I don't see anyone objectin... (Below threshold)
epador:

I don't see anyone objecting to torturing lawyers, just terrorists.

Hmmm.

Hardly any of these interro... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Hardly any of these interrogation techniques or torture had anything to do with elciiting information, except for very few cases, And I have read many of the reports. The majority of Gitmo detainees had nothing to with al'queda. No it was more about the collective guilt of being muslim, sadistic behavior and vengeance on our part, if you were honest and want to talk about the real world, that it why so many or the truly professional hardened FBI and CIA interrogators were revolted about what went on, and left the program.

Funny Chico. I thought spi... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Funny Chico. I thought spies could be shot on sight.

Also nowhere in there does it say that waterboarding is not humane treatment.

People have broken under waterboarding in as little as 15 seconds proving that it's effects are purely pschologoical and does not do physical or mental harm. You can hold your breath longer than 15 seconds.

But go ahead. Treat terrorists with kid gloves. I am sure they will appreciate it while they are cutting your head off.


Hey Stevie - 'read all the ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Hey Stevie - 'read all the reports'? So when did you get access? According to press reports I've read a total of 3 people were waterboarded.

"that it why so many or the truly professional hardened FBI and CIA interrogators were revolted about what went on, and left the program."

Names?

Chicken hawks like Cheney a... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Chicken hawks like Cheney adore enhanced interrogation technique or torture. Real military men or with a background in the miltary man as an officer like General Pertaeus, Colin Powell or John McCain despise it, wonder why? Here is a long list of names and their objections

sclook a shiny!... (Below threshold)
epador:

sc
look a shiny!

Steve" And I have ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Steve

" And I have read many of the reports. "

Damn, I have worked at NSA and the J6 for USCINPAC and I got to read any of the reports. How did a grocery store manager accomplish such a feat?

Also I didnt see anything about any of them "leaving the program".


"Hardly any of these interrogation techniques or torture had anything to do with elciiting information"

Except for that one little tidbit which eventually got us OBL. And it was all about getting information. did you think these guys were doing it for fun? Hell if we wanted Sadist we would have asked Nancy Pelosi for a list of her SF donors.


There are those who argue, ... (Below threshold)
docjim505:

There are those who argue, whether from a sense of personal ethics or (more likely) political motivations, that they oppose "torture", which they broad define as being less than nice to the bad guys. Then there are those - including me - who will countenance just about any level of brutality in the interests of protecting our country and people.*

I suggest that "playing nice" is only possible when one has a clear upper hand or, more specifically, there is no perceived utility in "playing rough". It's very easy to have high-sounding moral principles when one doesn't feel that he is risking very much to keep them. When the sense of risk goes up, the incentive to play nice goes down accordingly.

I would like to recommend the movie "Unthinkable" (2010; dir. Gregor Jordan) as it pretty dramatically encapsulates the problem that we face, i.e. how far will we go to protect ourselves, and how willing are we to shed our "humanity" when we PERSONALLY have something to lose?

----

(*) An uncharitable view would be that the "moralists" are actually the immoral ones, as they are perfectly willing to let other people - perhaps MANY other people - die so that they can feel virtuous.

I thought Hooson was the gr... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

I thought Hooson was the grocer, not Crickmore...

Waterboarding may not be to... (Below threshold)
Don L:

Waterboarding may not be torture, and it certainly may be effective, but the real important thing mysteriously left out of this discussion from the right (no, not lawyers) but have they not replicated exactly what they call so evil about the left, and more particularly, the Alinsky-ites?

Is not, "it's torture, but look at all the good it does" nothing less than "any means to an end?" particularly when you strip away all the possible good results from the issue.

Wrong is wrong, regardless of which side decides to do it(or for what noble purpose).

But then, social conservatives have to think like this.

Waterboarding may not be to... (Below threshold)
Don L:

Waterboarding may not be torture, and it certainly may be effective, but the real important thing mysteriously left out of this discussion from the right (no, not lawyers) but have they not replicated exactly what they call so evil about the left, and more particularly, the Alinsky-ites?

Is not, "it's torture, but look at all the good it does" nothing less than "any means to an end?" particularly when you strip away all the possible good results from the issue.

Wrong is wrong, regardless of which side decides to do it(or for what noble purpose).

But then, social conservatives have to think like this.

And so we have wat... (Below threshold)
Soupy Sails:
And so we have waterboarding. Those who said "we need a law against torture" had their lawyers craft a definition of torture that they then enacted into law. And then other people got their own lawyers to find a way around those laws so they could do what they thought was necessary without legal risk. And thus a practice that many -- arguably -- would call "torture" and many -- arguably -- would say does not meet the written legal definition of "torture" -- came to be used in just three cases, the most extreme and critical ones.

And the information gained from those three men we waterboarded -- out of the thousands we captured -- led, eventually, to the location and killing of Osama Bin Laden.

But the information that lead to the finding of bin Laden didn't come out during torture. It came out in normal interrogation interviews years later.

But then the author didn't claim that waterboarding helped. He just points out that the prisoners had been tortured in the past.

Amazing how the "critical thinkers" in the conservative neighborhood don't think at all when someone feeds them BS they want to hear.

Hey - if the prisoners drank coffee the week before they gave up the incriminating information would Juan Valdez claim that coffee resulted in the killing of bin Laden?

Only if he was a moron.

"But the information that l... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"But the information that lead to the finding of bin Laden didn't come out during torture. It came out in normal interrogation interviews years later."

Go put your face in a pie Soupy, this has been discussed ad nausea. Go drink some more of the liberal Kool Aid.

Waterboarding is a mind game. It's designed to break the will to resist. You ask questions THAT YOU ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWERS TO. Over time, the individual has to admit TO THEMSELVES they've spilled the beans. The interrogators KNOW the correct answers. Then the real mind games start. Eliciting info that you don't know. And also subject to verification, from other sources.

So what came first Soupy, the chicken or the egg?

"one of the things Yoo a... (Below threshold)
PBunyan:

"one of the things Yoo and Bybee should have been disbarred for"

Lawyers don't get disbarred for giving legal opinions with which leftist douchebags disagree, they get disbarred for committing actual crimes. Like Bill Clinton and both Mr. & Mrs. Obama, for example.

In the every day gathering ... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

In the every day gathering of info in the war on terror, sure lets dance along the LEGAL guidelines.

BUT...in an impending nuclear device planted, etc., ALL bets are OFF and WE need that info one way or another!!! Make waterboarding look like Disney Land.

As #22 Docjim stated "UNthinkable" is an excellent example.

Best Terrorist Rules:
1st rule: if MILLIONS of lives are in immediate danger......there ARE NO RULES!!!

I still think the best appr... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I still think the best approach, that the Israelis use, works best on the PLO miltants or terrorists, they capture and detain. In their interrogations, they don't torture them but manage to get their prisoner, who initially loathes them, to cooperate, by building an amicable human relationship with the prisoner tather than just hauling him off to be tortured often to confess to something he had no knowledge of when he had explicit knowledge of other matters. Ironically but not surprisingly,

"I think that without a doubt, torture and enhanced interrogation techniques slowed down the hunt for bin Laden," said an Air Force interrogator who goes by the pseudonym Matthew Alexander and located Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, in 2006.

It now appears likely that several detainees had information about a key al Qaeda courier -- information that might have led authorities directly to bin Laden years ago. But subjected to physical and psychological brutality, "they gave us the bare minimum amount of information they could get away with to get the pain to stop, or to mislead us," Alexander told The Huffington Post.

As I <a href="http://dartem... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

As I wrote long ago:

The Hague Treaties and Geneva Conventions were written to codify the most humane practices of the Western Civilizations when it came to the inherently inhumane practice of warfare. They attempt to set bounds and standards for an activity which is (by its very nature) resistant to such restraints.

They are based on an underlying assumption of reciprocity.

By following the customary laws, Treaties and Conventions, one extended the protections to others in the belief that by so doing one had secured the same protections for ones own forces and civilians. The negative reinforcement was that failing to meet these standards of behavior and treatment freed one's enemies to act in the same manner.

The reciprocal nature of the Customary Laws of Warfare mean that civilized nations observing the Laws of Warfare are under no obligation to afford the customary protections to combatants who are NOT abiding by the Customary Laws of Warfare. None of the terrorists who have been subjected to enhanced interrogation meet the tests of GENEVA III for status as legal combatants.

To extend the Geneva III protections for Prisoners of War to Al-Qaeda is to legitimize their violations of the Laws of Land Warfare. That is why Article 4 Section 2 subsection d required that irregular forces, to be considered eligible for PoW status, must meet the requirement "...of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war."

They have not, and show no signs of doing so in the future.

Denying Al-Qaeda members the protections they have failed to earn may do little to deter them, but it does allow us to interrogate them (an action forbidden under Geneva III for bona fide PoW’s).

The converse position, that of granting those Geneva III protections to overt war criminals such as Al-Qaeda weakens the incentives to adhere to the customary laws of war going forward.

The relevant sections of GENEVA III are quoted in their entirety in the linked article.

Note that "protected person... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

Note that "protected persons" Under GENEVA III (referenced out of context [how else] by chicka above) are those who PASS the tests of Article 4.

Steve,You do under... (Below threshold)
Evil Otto:

Steve,

You do understand that what the Israelis do doesn't always work, right? I assure you that what they're doing isn't some trademarked Israeli Method™. Interrogators have been using that tactic for as long as there have been interrogators. The police in this county use that method all the time. And it is effective, no doubt... BUT NOT ALWAYS. It works better on the rabble of a terrorist organization than the leadership, who know far more about what is going on, know the consequences to their organization if they break, and have no illusions about the people interrogating them.

There have only been a very few captured terrorists that we've waterboarded, and they've been the toughest nuts to crack. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, for example, the mastermind of 9/11. There was no way whatsoever we were going to build an "amicable human relationship" with him... he knew full well what the Americans wanted, and was never going to cooperate. So they waterboarded him, again and again and again and again, five times with 183 "pours," until he finally began to crack. Do you understood that THAT is what it took to break him? Or do you somehow think that he was going to respond if an American interrogator pretended to be his bestest friend in the whole wide world?

tather than just hauling him off to be tortured often to confess to something he had no knowledge of when he had explicit knowledge of other matters.

Dear God, is that what you honestly think is going on? Do you actually believe we're hauling people off to confess under torture? That our interrogators are stupid? Or maybe they just get off on "torturing" people...

Steve, don't take this the wrong way, but the more I read of your comments the more I think you are hopelessly naive.

Evil Otto @ 33 wrote:... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Evil Otto @ 33 wrote:

Steve, don't take this the wrong way, but the more I read of your comments the more I think you are hopelessly naive.

Evil Otto gives credit where it is not due.

chicka is not naive, he's aligned with the enemies of civilization.

Oh, and on another note.</p... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Oh, and on another note.

Quarter (accepting surrenders) is also subject to the reciprocal nature of the Customary Laws of Warfare. An enemy who is NOT abiding by the Customary Laws can, and should be, denied quarter (as ObL was in this case).

For a long, long time, t... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

For a long, long time, the rule was simple. "Don't torture people." It was clear, it was concise, and it was understood. People didn't commit torture -- and if they did, they were punished for it.

And then the lawyers got involved. They insisted on a precise definition of "torture." The old rule of thumb -- "would you consider it torture if it was done to you?" wasn't good enough. They wanted it spelled out in precise detail just what constituted torture -- and, by implication, what did not. They insisted on specific criteria and conditions would trigger punishment. And this is what they came up with:

It was the Bush administration that kept coming up with bizarre definitions of torture. The pattern was an interrogation technique was leaked, the administration would be accused of torture, then Bush would quote a definition provided to him by his lawyers.

And the informati... (Below threshold)
warchild:
And the information gained from those three men we waterboarded -- out of the thousands we captured -- led, eventually, to the location and killing of Osama Bin Laden.

Good enough for me

Everything you said before this was your opinion which is fine. I disagree with it but we are in the realm of the subjective so fine. However, when you say Torture led to the capture of Bin Laden that is in the realm of the objective which requires proof.

So My question is from what source are you basing this conclusion on? because it contradicts every news report I have heard on this subject to this point.

Also torture was used to prove the 9-11 Al Qaeda link, which of course turned out to be untrue. So we have one egregious case of bad intelligence.


"It was the Bush administra... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"It was the Bush administration that kept coming up with bizarre definitions of torture."

Really Tina? Like the lefts - 'causing mental anguish'?

30 years as a cop, I caused a lot of 'mental anguish' each time I arrested some crook.

Tina S. @ 36,Since... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Tina S. @ 36,

Since you're only offering assertions, I rebut you with the counter assertion: No, the Bush Administration did not come up with "bizzare" definitions of torture, nor were the administration's legal definitions arrived at ex post facto.

child @ 37,

Leon Panetta (your party's DCI) is now on the record both as to al-Queda Iraq connections and intelligence gathered from enhanced interrogations setting the stage for the localization of ObL.

As a threshold matter, I su... (Below threshold)
James H:

As a threshold matter, I submit that the issue is not the lawyers, but rather the "clients." When I first read the torture memoranda, my first thought was that the legal reasoning was weak. My second thought was that the attorneys writing the memoranda had been told what their conclusions would be, and that they should shape their reasoning to their conclusion. My third thought was that if you have to look at a particular interrogate and say, "Is this torture?" then you have already crossed a line.

James H,We find yo... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

James H,

We find your logic to be torturous and thus require that you immediately surrender for prosecution under the anti-torture statutes...

chicka is not naive, he'... (Below threshold)
Evil Otto:

chicka is not naive, he's aligned with the enemies of civilization.

Rodney, gotta disagree with you.

I believe he's naive. Steve strikes me as the sort of sheltered liberal (like most of them) who thinks the world works according to his rules... that you can get captured terrorist leaders to spill their guts by being nice to them, that diplomacy can turn enemies into friends, and that greater global understanding can lead to Peace For Our Time. In other words, Steve is cut from the same cloth as Neville Chamberlain. He has no real understanding of evil, no real understanding of just how ugly the world can be, and what it takes to ensure him the safety to sit behind his computer bitching about the fact that we didn't capture bin Laden and give him a nice, civilized trial.

He's not "aligned with the enemies of civilization," he's an enabler.

Evil Otto,I must b... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Evil Otto,

I must beg to differ with you.

Since chicka has claimed to be a veteran of two difference branches of service he would have had to be educated on the Customary Laws of Warfare on multiple occasions. As such there is no excuse for such a reading which sets the Customary Laws of Warfare on their head.

Chico and TinaSinc... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Chico and Tina

Since you are so against torture and treating prisoners IAW Geneva convention than I guess you want Obama tried for war crimes correct?

I mean after all HE stated he directed the mission. He stated he made the decisions. he stated He gave the orders. yet you have an unarmed man shot apparanatly in cold blood who supposedly wasnt even reaching for a weapon even though he had at least 10 minutes or so to get a weapon into his hands. A weapon that was in the same room as he was ( maybe he was busy trying to destroy INTEL). All this was done in violation of the Geneva convention, in violation of murder laws, in violation of international law since the attack didnt have UN sanction, didnt have Congressional sanction, etc. The UN Human rights commission is asking about details as well. So you are all for Obama being frogmarched off to prison correct? After all dying is worse than torture correct?

Another important... (Below threshold)
warchild:
Another important point. U. S. Laws and Legal Protections apply to United States Persons (Citizens and legal alien residents). None of the three were United States Persons.

The three terrorists were illegal combatants.

The Geneva III tests for legal combatant status are in no way a high bar. If you can't pass those tests, you are a wolf on two legs with precisely two legal rights: The right to become dead, and the right to remain dead. The only constraint applying to those who bring those rights to the illegal combatant is that they may not eat them after killing them.

Those who hold otherwise are the enemies of civilization.

In 1886 The Supreme court in Hick Wo v. Hopkins*, overturned the criminal conviction of a Chinese man living in California on the ground that the law in question violated his Fourteenth Amendment rights to due process and equal protection. Wo was not a U.S. citizen.

the supreme court always ruled that legal protections of the constitution apply to non citizens (although they have been deported on speech issues.)but in the case of criminal issues the law has been pretty clear.

Also, keep in mind our founding document the declaration of independence argued that men are born with these inalienable rights. they don't get them from the government.


Two reasos for that. The

retired military,T... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

retired military,

There you go trying to force them to be consistent...

"0bama is AWSOME"

"Bush is a stupid frat boy"

For them it's not about ethics, its demonstrably about partisan advantage.

The orders that 0bama [eventually] issued pass the tests of the Customary Laws of Warfare.

warchildYour Supre... (Below threshold)
retired military:

warchild

Your Supreme Court citing is not valid for this case due to the fact that the man was on US soil. Noone is disputing that someone on US soil is subject to US laws. Why do you think we had prisoners in GITMO and Eastern European prisons.

Two reasos for that. The... (Below threshold)
Evil Otto:

Two reasos for that. The

Warchild? Warchild?!?

Aah, Steve was right! Someone must have broken down his door in the middle of the sentence and hauled him off to be tortured often to confess to something he had no knowledge of! Those fiends!!!

Or maybe I'm just jumping to conclusions.

Rodney, gotta disagree with... (Below threshold)
warchild:

Rodney, gotta disagree with you.

I believe he's naive. Steve strikes me as the sort of sheltered liberal (like most of them) who thinks the world works according to his rules... that you can get captured terrorist leaders to spill their guts by being nice to them, that diplomacy can turn enemies into friends, and that greater global understanding can lead to Peace For Our Time. In other words, Steve is cut from the same cloth as Neville Chamberlain. He has no real understanding of evil, no real understanding of just how ugly the world can be, and what it takes to ensure him the safety to sit behind his computer bitching about the fact that we didn't capture bin Laden and give him a nice, civilized trial.

He's not "aligned with the enemies of civilization," he's an enabler.

--------------------------

That's not what any liberal thinks. Liberals think diplomacy should always be tried before force and that sometimes, it stops the need for force.

We agree with the FBI that standard interrogation works better and yields better more reliable information than torture.

As for evil we know it exists in the world but we are careful with that label as it can be an over simplification. Everyone thinks they are the good guy.

warchildYour Supre... (Below threshold)
warchild:

warchild

Your Supreme Court citing is not valid for this case due to the fact that the man was on US soil. Noone is disputing that someone on US soil is subject to US laws. Why do you think we had prisoners in GITMO and Eastern European prisons.
---
True. I misread his post.

Actually rm I should say tr... (Below threshold)
warchild:

Actually rm I should say true in that the particular cases I cited don't disprove anyhting.

However Boumediene v. Bush does.


The Court ruled in that case that it was unconstitutional for the Military Commissions Act to deny habeas corpus rights to Guantanamo detainees, none of whom was an American citizen or on American soil.

So the supreme has ruled on the matter regardless of which soil we are on.

Heh.Diplo... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Heh.

Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.

That from the man who also said:

I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat.

Diplomacy without the legitimate threat of force is wanking.

warchild talking about Libe... (Below threshold)
retired military:

warchild talking about Liberals

"As for evil we know it exists in the world but we are careful with that label as it can be an over simplification"

BAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA

That is the funniest thing I have read all day.

People have broke... (Below threshold)
warchild:
People have broken under waterboarding in as little as 15 seconds proving that it's effects are purely pschologoical and does not do physical or mental harm. You can hold your breath longer than 15 seconds.

But go ahead. Treat terrorists with kid gloves. I am sure they will appreciate it while they are cutting your head off.


It does do mental damage it creates severe post traumatic stress. Much like, If I broke into your home tonight, held you at gunpoint, took your wife and kids out into a field, lined them up in front of you, and said I was going to blow their brains out.

If I did that and then then aimed my gun at them while you pleaded for their lives while I pulled the trigger back and fired a blank.

I think you and any reasonable person would say I tortured you and your family. Even I didn't leave a mark. What's the difference?

Basically the whole argument that the right makes about what is and is not torture is just bull.

They know it's torture. The argument you guys are really making is that torture is necessary. That's the reality of your position. It's that we need to do it to win the war no terror.

Most of you are getting the... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Most of you are getting the vapors about getting the name of a courier, five years years ago, if that justifies the entire program, not only the water boarding but the whole culmination of harsh interrogation special rendition black site programs etc.

I asume most of would torture even Jack Bauer himself, to get a name of a courier. whereas I think with more cooperation pressure on Pakistan, we could have picked up bin Laden earlier but that is difficult given the extent of drone attacks, the torture of prisoners etc. It is viscious circle . We must be careful. When innocents are killed to secure a politica l objective that is normally called terroism.That is their perception, if you like.


This whole scenario is what bin Laden and the neocons both wanted.. two, to three expensive bloody wars later and you wonder why sections of the Pakistani military supported and protected him?

warchild talking about Libe... (Below threshold)
warchild:

warchild talking about Liberals

"As for evil we know it exists in the world but we are careful with that label as it can be an over simplification"

BAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA

That is the funniest thing I have read all day.
---------------------

Why? Iran thinks we are evil. Bin laden thought we are evil. It's such a moronic over simplication I can see why you subscribe to it.

RM @ 53,Indeed! N... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

RM @ 53,

Indeed! Note that the left routinely refers to those who express doubts as to AGW as "deniers" as in "holocaust deniers."

Pull the other one rawchild, it has bells on it.

rawchild,Rubbish. ... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

rawchild,

Rubbish. We waterboard our own people as part of SERE training in resistance to interrogation techniques.

crampless,Your par... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

crampless,

Your party's DCI does not agree with your position.

rawchild,Rubbish. ... (Below threshold)
warchild:

rawchild,

Rubbish. We waterboard our own people as part of SERE training in resistance to interrogation techniques
-------

Yes, Navy Seal Jessie Ventura says it's torture. And putting someone under controlled conditions where they can say stop anytime they want, is not the same as a person having no power to stop it. See the difference?

crampless,You didn... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

crampless,

You didn't read diplomad's primer on Pakistan, did you?

rawchild,And a lot... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

rawchild,

And a lot of other folks who have been subjected to waterboarding do not agree with Ventura.

Then again I'm fine with just killing unlawful combatants wherever we find them. And if we can't interrogate them effectively, there's no reason whatsoever to take any of them alive.

rawchild,And a lot... (Below threshold)
warchild:

rawchild,

And a lot of other folks who have been subjected to waterboarding do not agree with Ventura.

Then again I'm fine with just killing unlawful combatants wherever we find them. And if we can't interrogate them effectively, there's no reason whatsoever to take any of them alive.
----
Name one?
I'm fine court martialing anyone who is not able to prove that the unlawful combatant took arms against the U.S.

I'm sorry [indeed you are],... (Below threshold)
warchild:

I'm sorry [indeed you are], I was addressing you Yonder Mister Graves.

[Fixed those errors for you!]

rawchild,I believe... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

rawchild,

I believe you would.

Thank you for so ably demonstrating the incredible stupidity which is lawfare.

Yonder [Mister] Graves,... (Below threshold)
warchild:

Yonder [Mister] Graves,

You mean for demonstrating a respect for law in the face of war mongering stupidity.

rawboy,You might w... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

rawboy,

You might want to note that it was your party which went to war in Libya without an AUMF, and that it was your party which just ordered an unarmed man shot without recourse to surrender based on intelligence which you believe was ill gotten.

Time for you to demonstrate the courage of your convictions, boy. Your party is clearly in violation of your reading of the law. What are YOU going to do about it, boy?

Warchild"Much like... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Warchild

"Much like, If I broke into your home tonight,"

That would be your first mistake. The 2nd could be thinking the Glock is unloaded and the 3rd would be that I wont shoot. BTW in Texas they prefer you use Hollowpoints for home defense. Less chance of shooting through walls that way. Now if you break into my friends house he has a .50 cal handgun with hollowpoints. But I digress.

"It's such a moronic over simplication I can see why you subscribe to it"

Why I subscribe to it?

I dont think Islam is evil. I dont even think Radical islam or terrorists are evil. I think they are people who have their heads screwed on wrong and who dont care about human life. I dont think liberals are evil either. Just someone whose head isnt screwed on right (my mother is a diehard dem at that).

Liberals on the other hand see evil at every turn if it doesnt fit into their philosphy. Anti Global warmers are evil. Big oil is evil. GW BUsh Is evil. Rove is Evil. Cheney is evil. Profits are evil. Big companies are evil. Tobacco companies are evil. The list of evil things that liberals see is endless. About the only thing liberals dont think is evil is killing 30 million unborn children via abortion (now that I do consider evil. Not the people but the mindset that it is okay to murder unborn children). Nope. That is just fine and dandy.
Disagree with OBama and you are racists and being racist is evil.

"It's such a moronic over simplication"

About the truest thing you said all day warchild. Yet it is the left that overuses the word and oversimplifies it to mean everything against their belief system is evil. Sorta like OBL and Iran.

Is it sometimes nescessary to do things which we other wise wouldnt do in order to accomplish a greater good? Yes it is. Look at the soldier who throws himself on a grenade to save his platoon. Look at the MOH winners who repeatedly put themselves at risk in order to save lives or defeat the enemy. Look at dropping the bombs on Japan in order to save millions of lives. Some would say that any one of the above is wrong.


That's not what any libe... (Below threshold)
Evil Otto:

That's not what any liberal thinks.

I've got to go with Retired Military's response on that... BAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA! Seriously? I wonder who I've been arguing with all these years... liberals who believe EXACTLY that, and flat-out state it.

Apparently, I know more about your own side than you do.

Liberals think diplomacy should always be tried before force and that sometimes, it stops the need for force.

No, SOME liberals believe that. Others believe that force is never justified. I've argued with them. I've talked with them. I've been berated by them. Do I really need to go into detail about the anti-war movement on your side? Or would you like to pretend it doesn't exist?

We agree with the FBI that standard interrogation works better and yields better more reliable information than torture.

First, I do not accept that water-boarding and sleep deprivation are, in fact, torture. Argue all you like on it. Second, I note a weasel word in there... "better." I note that you do not use the word "always."

This is the problem I have with this whole argument. You on the left seem to think that we're resorting to your ill-defined "torture" all the time, when in fact it's a rare event and not resorted to on a whim (as Steve seems to believe). In other words, our interrogators actually do use standard interrogation. It doesn't always work. Do you understand that point?

Third, as has been stated, these evil bastards are not covered under the rules of warfare and enjoy no protection whatsoever save what we choose to give them. On a more personal level, I want you to understand this: I don't care at all about what happens to them. Not even slightly. As far as I'm concerned, if they need to water-board the bastards, that's fine. If they then decide to shoot them in the head and dump their bodies, that's fine. I recognize no value in the life of someone like KSM or any of his terrorist ilk. Pump them for information, then dispose of them.

As for evil we know it exists in the world

No. You don't. Again, this is a subject I've argued with MANY liberals about, and many of them do not recognize the concept of "evil."

but we are careful with that label as it can be an over simplification.

You're not "careful" with the label, it's a rare liberal who ever uses it.

...except when referring to conservatives.

Everyone thinks they are the good guy.

What's your point? Just because Hitler thought of himself as a "good guy" doesn't mean he actually was one.

Not sure if you followed the news lately, but have you followed Jimmy Carter's recent trip to North Korea?

“We are hearing consistently throughout our busy schedule here in Pyongyang that the North wants to improve relations with America and is prepared to talk without preconditions to both the US and South Korea on any subject.”

Now, do you think that North Korea actually wants to improve relations? Do you think the North Korean regime meets the definition of the word "evil?" Do you think that, when he blamed the US and South Korea for not helping with the food shortage, that he was correct? Will diplomacy work with North Korea?

The reason I bring this up is because Carter is a perfect example of the very sort of liberal you claim doesn't exist. And here he is, providing propaganda for what is arguably the most evil government on the planet. Would you like quotes from him?

Sorry, Warchild, but what you are arguing is "Who are you going to believe... me or your own eyes?"

Yes, Navy Seal Jessie Ve... (Below threshold)
Evil Otto:

Yes, Navy Seal Jessie Ventura says it's torture.

Do you consider Jesse Ventura to be an authority on anything?

Oh,And before some... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Oh,

And before someone brings up the Executive Order against Assassinations, that only applies to civilian leadership of nation states.

That would be your firs... (Below threshold)
warchild:

That would be your first mistake. The 2nd could be thinking the Glock is unloaded and the 3rd would be that I wont shoot. BTW in Texas they prefer you use Hollowpoints for home defense.

You know, I knew you would respond this way. I could have written that for you really. But as I'm sure you know it is an analogy to demonstrate that extreme terror and psychological damage can be done without leaving a mark. Let's say I showed up to your house with 100 guys armed and dangerous and disarmed you before you had a chance and then did the above scenario. The point of course is that it would be torture for you to think someone was going to kill your family, just like it would for any normal human being. And it wouldn't leave a mark. A mark is not necessary for torture. ( an no I wouldn't dream of that and yes you'd be right to shoot anyone dead who ever tried)

"I dont think Islam is evil. I dont even think Radical islam or terrorists are evil. I think they are people who have their heads screwed on wrong and who dont care about human life. I dont think liberals are evil either. Just someone whose head isnt screwed on right (my mother is a diehard dem at that)."


Well I'm glad you feel that away about liberals anyway.

"Liberals on the other hand see evil at every turn if it doesnt fit into their philosphy. Anti Global warmers are evil. Big oil is evil. GW BUsh Is evil. Rove is Evil. Cheney is evil. Profits are evil. Big companies are evil. Tobacco companies are evil. The list of evil things that liberals see is endless. "

Now be honest here for a second, when some on the right are calling Obama a terrorist, don't you think the implication is that he is evil? When they say he is a communist isn't the image you are trying to create one of Stalin? If you don't subscribe to that fine. But plenty on the right do.

For the record I don't think Big Oil is evil, I think they shouldn't be subsidized with tax money the same way you feel, health care shouldn't be subsidized with your tax money. I don't think Tobacco companies are evil, but they did lie about the addictive nature of their product. As for Rove and Bush and many here, I 'd offer the same thinking you do, that their head isn't screwed on right.


About the only thing liberals dont think is evil is killing 30 million unborn children via abortion (now that I do consider evil. Not the people but the mindset that it is okay to murder unborn children). Nope. That is just fine and dandy."

Now the counter to that argument is to say that the right-wing think it is evil to help that kid with health care once they are born, or to help him with education, or whatever. Force and unwanted pregnancy and then do nothing to help the child.

"Disagree with OBama and you are racists and being racist is evil."

Disagree with Bush and you are a traitor and traitors are evil. Both sides do this.

"About the truest thing you said all day warchild. Yet it is the left that overuses the word and oversimplifies it to mean everything against their belief system is evil. Sorta like OBL and Iran."

be real now. Both sides do it. Really they do.

"Is it sometimes necessary to do things which we other wise wouldnt do in order to accomplish a greater good? Yes it is. Look at the soldier who throws himself on a grenade to save his platoon. Look at the MOH winners who repeatedly put themselves at risk in order to save lives or defeat the enemy. Look at dropping the bombs on Japan in order to save millions of lives. Some would say that any one of the above is wrong."


I think it is dangerous, I think it is the kind of think that undermines the goodness of a democracy. I think it hurts our efforts to court allies and I think it adds to our enemies. If you don't fine, but I think by making the argument that we have do things we don't want to do you are acknowledging we have to do torture whether we want to. You are saying it is something we have to do to win the war. Much like we did some bad things to beat the Nazis or the Japanese in world war II.

I'm almost fine with that argument (not sure I agree, but I can accept it) what I have trouble with is the notion that it just not torture. I can't buy that.

The real torture here is re... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

The real torture here is reading through Wrothchilds convoluted logic..

Sep14 @ 73,Heh! H... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Sep14 @ 73,

Heh! He should surrender himself to the Hague for trial!

"Now be honest here for a s... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"Now be honest here for a second, when some on the right are calling Obama a terrorist, don't you think the implication is that he is evil?"

I havent heard anyone on the right call Obama a terrorist. Now folks on the left have called Bush one and yes the implication was that he was evil.


" When they say he is a communist isn't the image you are trying to create one of Stalin"

Actually I think they are trying to describe his economic way of thinking and of his thoughts on govt and its place in their lives. When I think of Stalin I think of the millions he killed and oppressed in very harsh manners. I dont see Obama in the same light as stalin. Do I know what image others are trying to convey? NO. As I stated in the other thread I am not the amazing Kreskin. Sounds you are trying to be though.


"Now the counter to that argument is to say that the right-wing think it is evil to help that kid with health care once they are born, or to help him with education, or whatever. Force and unwanted pregnancy and then do nothing to help the child. "

Nope. I cant think of anyone that things it is evil to help a kid with health care or to help babies from unwanted pregnancies. Arent you trying to establish republicans as evil when you conjure things up like that>?

"Disagree with Bush and you are a traitor and traitors are evil. Both sides do this. "

Nope. If you noticed people on this board have railed against numerous Bush policies. Immigration policies, Harriet Myers nomination, etc Yet disagree with Obama and you racist and hence evil.


" I think they shouldn't be subsidized with tax money the same way you feel"

Actually I am for ending all subsidies.

". You are saying it is something we have to do to win the war."

Nope. didnt say that. There are plenty of things we could do to win the war but most would be a whole lot worse. War is ugly and not nice. People (not saying you ) who want to make it antiseptic arent living in the real world. They think war is like you see on the old WW2 movies. YOu have bombed out cities but dont see any innocent bystanders bodies anywhere in the rubble do you. Collateral damage always has been a result of warfare. Always will be. TO think you can totally eliminate it is to decieve yourself. Ref Waterboarding, Your description of torture is much different than mine. If there is a way to get information any other way within a constrained time frame I am all for it. Waterboarding should be used as a last resort, closely monitored and with clear goals in mind. Despite some folks flippant remarks about using it all of them I dont think they sincerely mean it.

Again I believe my statement above holds true. Liberals tend to use evil at the drop of a hat and for anything that goes against their belief system. Conservatives not so much.

Liberals think diplomacy sh... (Below threshold)
warchild:

Liberals think diplomacy should always be tried before force and that sometimes, it stops the need for force.

No, SOME liberals believe that. Others believe that force is never justified. I've argued with them. I've talked with them. I've been berated by them. Do I really need to go into detail about the anti-war movement on your side? Or would you like to pretend it doesn't exist?
---------------
So I've argued with conservatives that think force is always justifed. What's your point?


yields better more reliable information than torture.

First, I do not accept that water-boarding and sleep deprivation are, in fact, torture. Argue all you like on it. Second, I note a weasel word in there... "better." I note that you do not use the word "always."

This is the problem I have with this whole argument. You on the left seem to think that we're resorting to your ill-defined "torture" all the time, when in fact it's a rare event and not resorted to on a whim (as Steve seems to believe). In other words, our interrogators actually do use standard interrogation. It doesn't always work. Do you understand that point?

Sure. do you understand how torture can get bad information? Quick What's the capital of Zaire? If I started waterboarding you I'd bet you'd start making up names to get me stop. (don't google zaire that's not the point. The point is you are going to give an answer whether you really know it or not under torture.)


As for evil we know it exists in the world

No. You don't. Again, this is a subject I've argued with MANY liberals about, and many of them do not recognize the concept of "evil."

All conservatives think all muslims are evil I know I argue with them. Do you see how ridcolously silly that is to say? I actually do know conservatives that think that. many in fact, I have argued with them Would you say that really represents what conservatives think? Just because you have argued with liberals on this blog means nothing. You are strawmanning the position of most liberals the same way I'd be if I accused you all of thinking all muslims are bad. I don't even beleive most liberals you've argued with think that way. I think you have read i to their position because you think their trying to understand why someone thinks the way they do is tan demount to excusing their behavior.

but we are careful with that label as it can be an over simplification.

You're not "careful" with the label, it's a rare liberal who ever uses it.

...except when referring to conservatives.

That's just bull.

veryone thinks they are the good guy.

What's your point? Just because Hitler thought of himself as a "good guy" doesn't mean he actually was one.
My point is most people are cable of great hypcroisy they always think of themself as the good guy,. You always think of yourself as the good guy. You think of democrats as the bad guys I do it as well, I'll cop to that but that is precisley why it is dangerous to use the label. Because everyone thinks they are inthe right

A man beat his kid He thinks he was in the right;

A man beats his wife. He thinks she provoked him

A woman cheats on man She thinks he should have paid more attention to her. Everyone thinks they are in the right. That is why I am careful calling anyone evil, because i could be justifying my hatred of them. I could be in the wrong deluding myself. I will periodically examine what i say to look for my own biases. I'm guessing you never do that. I bet you don't think you have biases. That's for the other guys. You think you are right.

Not sure if you followed the news lately, but have you followed Jimmy Carter's recent trip to North Korea?

“We are hearing consistently throughout our busy schedule here in Pyongyang that the North wants to improve relations with America and is prepared to talk without preconditions to both the US and South Korea on any subject.”

Now, do you think that North Korea actually wants to improve relations? Do you think the North Korean regime meets the definition of the word "evil?" Do you think that, when he blamed the US and South Korea for not helping with the food shortage, that he was correct? Will diplomacy work with North Korea?

The reason I bring this up is because Carter is a perfect example of the very sort of liberal you claim doesn't exist. And here he is, providing propaganda for what is arguably the most evil government on the planet. Would you like quotes from him?

Sorry, Warchild, but what you are arguing is "Who are you going to believe... me or your own eyes?"

Let me take the reverse course. "They are an axis of evil" What's the problem with that. you can't negotiate wit evil you destroy it.

What is more evil to kill a 100 million N. Koreans because their government is evil, or to feed 100 billion people and prevent a war?

I'm sorry to not buy into your categorization of me. I think it is complete bullshit.

BTW Warchild I answnered yo... (Below threshold)
retired military:

BTW Warchild I answnered yoru questions. You answer mine.

Do you think that liberals are trying to convey evil when they say things like

Bushhitler
Darth cheney
"republicans want seniors to eat dog food"
Signs of Bush with horns and a pitchfork.


Now be honest here for a se... (Below threshold)
warchild:

Now be honest here for a second, when some on the right are calling Obama a terrorist, don't you think the implication is that he is evil?"

I havent heard anyone on the right call Obama a terrorist. Now folks on the left have called Bush one and yes the implication was that he was evil.
----
Really, if I can find links here of Wizbangers calling Obama a terrorist will you admit you are wrong?

"Now the counter to that ar... (Below threshold)
warchild:

"Now the counter to that argument is to say that the right-wing think it is evil to help that kid with health care once they are born, or to help him with education, or whatever. Force and unwanted pregnancy and then do nothing to help the child. "

Nope. I cant think of anyone that things it is evil to help a kid with health care or to help babies from unwanted pregnancies. Arent you trying to establish republicans as evil when you conjure things up like that>?
--------------

Weren't you trying to describe liberals as evil by saying they are for killing babies? It's the same thing.

Again I believe my... (Below threshold)
warchild:

Again I believe my statement above holds true. Liberals tend to use evil at the drop of a hat and for anything that goes against their belief system. Conservatives not so much.
----------
Really? You really think liberals do it more than conservatives? I don't. I think both sides do it pretty equally. I think your refusal to admit your side does it is your way of always seeing your side as the "Good guys" Most people do that. Their group is good group opposing group bad or evil.

In fact, by arguing that liberals call conservatives evil at the drop of a hat, you are arguing that we are bad people for doing that or evil if you will.

I'd argue both sides demonize the other side. And when a Republican says, Obama is terrorist sympathizer (I've seen it plenty) and Democrats call Bush a terrorist they are both doing it.

rawboy,You haven't... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

rawboy,

You haven't answered as to what YOU are going to do about the elements of YOUR party who are acting in contravention of YOUR reading of the Law.

BTW Warchild I answnered yo... (Below threshold)
warchild:

BTW Warchild I answnered yoru questions. You answer mine.

Do you think that liberals are trying to convey evil when they say things like

Bushhitler
Darth cheney
"republicans want seniors to eat dog food"
Signs of Bush with horns and a pitchfork.
----------------------

Let me ask you a question as well (I will answer yours but answer me too)

When your side calls Obama "obamanation" Or "Obamamessa " "Obama bin Laden"

or say, "that the looters want to steal fro mthe earners"

or have sighns of Obama with a turbad and beard to look like he is bin laden.


Would you say that is trying to say the other side is evil?


Now to answer your question yes. If you are saying Cheney, "Darth Cheney" you are claiming he is evil.

Now will you answer my counter question?

Admittedly Barry has done m... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

Admittedly Barry has done more damage to the Country financially then terrorists have to date.


I have never called him a terrorist though. A fool,jive talking street hustler, con man, worstest president evah! sure.

warchild (really last poas... (Below threshold)
retired military:

warchild (really last poast or my wife is gonna go terrorist on me)

"Really, if I can find links here of Wizbangers calling Obama a terrorist will you admit you are wrong?"

I am sure you can find it. That doesnt mena I am wrong. I didnt say that it didnt happen now did I. I said that I didnt see it.

"Weren't you trying to describe liberals as evil by saying they are for killing babies"

I was saying and I thought I made it clear above . I find the mindset of it is okay to kill an innocent unborn child because of convenience is evil, not nescessarily the people. To fully explain that would take a LOT more time than I have right now. Yet some state that it is fine but you cant waterboard terrorists. I can see a disconnect there but some people cant for some odd reason.

Good vs bad or which side does it more.
Maybe both sides do it equally. Maybe I notice it more from the left. But I look at things like the death of the Fox newscaster and the left reaction to that vs say the death of Teddy Kennedy and the right's reactoin to that and from my limited exposure to reactions to both I find the left was WAY more out of bounds than the right.

Gotta go

"Admittedly Barry has done ... (Below threshold)
warchild:

"Admittedly Barry has done more damage to the Country financially then terrorists have to date.


I have never called him a terrorist though. A fool,jive talking street hustler, con man, worstest president evah! sure."


RM would you say, "fool" "Hustler" "con men" are implying evil? I mean con men are not good guys.

I was saying and ... (Below threshold)
warchild:
I was saying and I thought I made it clear above . I find the mindset of it is okay to kill an innocent unborn child because of convenience is evil, not nescessarily the people. To fully explain that would take a LOT more time than I have right now. Yet some state that it is fine but you cant waterboard terrorists. I can see a disconnect there but some people cant for some odd reason.

Good vs bad or which side does it more.
Maybe both sides do it equally. Maybe I notice it more from the left. But I look at things like the death of the Fox newscaster and the left reaction to that vs say the death of Teddy Kennedy and the right's reactoin to that and from my limited exposure to reactions to both I find the left was WAY more out of bounds than the right.

Gotta go

Don't get in trouble with the wife, it's never worth it.

I'd like to take you up on last point sometime. I bet you I can find ted Kennedy quotes to match your Fox news host quotes. I bet they both get pretty damn mean though. Politics doesn't seem to bring out the best in people and I think it goes both ways. Anyway, strangely, as mean as our fight got, I rather enjoyed arguing with you.

later.

The real torture here is re... (Below threshold)
warchild:

The real torture here is reading through Wrothchilds convoluted logic..
-----------------

That's just lack of education. Logic is often hard to follow for those who haven't really learned how it works. The wikipedia page is a good place for you to start and it can help you to better understand the basics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logic

It's no substitute for attending one of those university type thingies mind you, but it's a good place to start. onward in your quest to develop your brain. may the force be with you. It's a noble quest you are on and I promise, you'll look less like a fool if you endeavor to learn.


Just noticed another glarin... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

Just noticed another glaring factual error in chicka's #12:

The United States never ratified GENEVA IV. It would thus be improper for U. S. Government Attorney's to take any particular notice of GENEVA IV.

Lawyers are God's punishmen... (Below threshold)
ThomasJackson:

Lawyers are God's punishment for man's sins. Itis his way of giving us a preview of hell.

By the way, the world would be a better place if we tortured all lawyers.

.... First Thing We Do, Let... (Below threshold)

.... First Thing We Do, Let's Torture All The Lawyers ....

And after that, if one of them again acts the un-and-anti-American?

Shoot the basta*d!

The United States never ... (Below threshold)
Chico:

The United States never ratified GENEVA IV. It would thus be improper for U. S. Government Attorney's to take any particular notice of GENEVA IV.

Rodney, how many times can you be wrong? Wrong again. All four conventions were signed and ratified. The only reservation of the USA was to the use of the death penalty after trial, NOT the humane treatment of detainees part.

Three strikes you're out - next time, provide a source and a link to back up your statements or STFU. Not Free Republic, either.

Geneva I - Convention for the amelioration of the condition of the wounded and sick in armed forces in the field.* Dated at Geneva August 12, 1949. Entered into force October 21, 1950; for the United States February 2, 1956. 6 UST 3114; TIAS 3362; 75 UNTS 31.

Geneva II - Convention for the amelioration of the condition of the wounded, sick, and shipwrecked members of armed forces at sea.
Dated at Geneva August 12, 1949.
Entered into force October 21, 1950; for the United States February 2, 1956.
6 UST 3217; TIAS 3363; 75 UNTS 85.

Geneva III - Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war.*
Dated at Geneva August 12, 1949.
Entered into force October 21, 1950; for the United States February 2, 1956.
6 UST 3316; TIAS 3364; 75 UNTS 135.

Geneva IV- Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war.
Dated at Geneva August 12, 1949.
Entered into force October 21, 1950; for the United States February 2, 1956.

http://www.state.gov/s/l/treaty/tif/index.htm

http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/WebSign?ReadForm&id=375&ps=P

So ChicoYou never ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

So Chico

You never answered my question. On top of my question Obama seems to be in violation of the Geneva convention as well.

SHould Obama get prosecuted for War crimes?

A. He ordered an invastion of an ally country
b. He had no UN approval
c. he had no congressional approval
d. Apparantly there is an executive order stating to kill not capture Bin Laden
e. Last time I checked killing was a lot worse than torture and you have made it plain that you are against torture.
f. Bin Laden was apparanatly a guest of Pakinstan at the time.

I sit corrected.ch... (Below threshold)
Rdoney G. Graves:

I sit corrected.

chicka is correct with regards to adoption status of GENEVA IV. Mea culpa.

Sadly [for him], it makes no difference to his position. ObL was an active combatant who bore arms. We have his own videos as proof thereof, which places him back under GENEVA III as a combatant vice a civilian.

That's four times wrong for you in this thread, chicka. You're out of the game (not that you were ever in it an any meaningful way).

chicka,Please expl... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves:

chicka,

Please explain for us how ObL and the three captured terrorists who were waterboarded pass the tests of GENEVA III Article 4 to qualify as Prisoners of War vice unlawful combatants.

You can start by demonstrating their record for upholding the Customary Laws of Warfare in their operations.

retired,- The Cong... (Below threshold)
Chico:

retired,

- The Congressional approval was the Authorization of the Use of Military Force against Al Qaeda (AUMF)

- Show me the executive order ordering the killing.

- UN approval not required for sovereign self-defense - OBL declared war on the USA

OBL could have been running to trigger a bomb, was an immediate threat, the SEAL was right to shoot him.

Among the people tortured have been innocent guys swept up in operations, sometimes to death.

Rodney

That's classy, I promise to admit when I am wrong.

I don't get your points in 93 and 94 they seem to contradict each other. Are you saying that OBL should have been a POW? If so, the rest of those held are entitled to a lot more rights than they have been given, they would have the same Geneva III status. My point is that whether they are POWs or not, both, or either, Geneva III and/or Geneva IV require humane treatment of prisoners.

chicka the chickenshit agre... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

chicka the chickenshit agrees to start every post with a statement that he is wrong:

I promise to admit when I am wrong.

And then promptly is wrong...

GENEVA III pertains to Combatants.

GENEVA IV pertainst to non-combatant civilians.

ObL, KSM, and the other two who were waterboarded were combatants. We still await chicka the chickenshit's justification of these as legal combatants under the tests of GENEVA III Section 4.

Chico"The Congress... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Chico

"The Congressional approval was the Authorization of the Use of Military Force against Al Qaeda (AUMF)"

Oh wait you mean the same use of military force order which Bush used to justify Iraq which the left has declared an illegal and immoral war? YOu mean that Justification for war?


- Show me the executive order ordering the killing.
http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2011/05/05/saxby-chambliss-first-shot-at-osama-bin-laden-was-a-miss/

Note : The WH has not denied its existence and the Senator has not withdrew or clarified his statement.


- UN approval not required for sovereign self-defense - OBL declared war on the USA

Self defense?? Really? And what harm was OBL at the time. Earlier statements from Obama and his administration stated that OBL was no longer important. Are yo now saying that if I declared war on the US and was in CHina then the US could invade China to come get me?


OBL could have been running to trigger a bomb, was an immediate threat, the SEAL was right to shoot him.

Really? By all accounts he was dazed and confused. On top of everything else he was unarmed and the SEALs broke into the room 20 minutes after the raid started. He had an AK 47 and a pistol in the room with him. 20 minutes is more than enough time to have picked them up if he was going to try to do anything.

Sorry but your reasoning is way way off on all counts. But hey Just dont waterboard him.


retired, you must have been... (Below threshold)
Chico:

retired, you must have been one high-speed operator to be qualified to critique a SEAL raid and call them murderers and war criminals.

It was reported a long time ago that Bin Laden had rigged suicide bombs to detonate if he were attacked. All he had to do it get to a "panic button" and for all the SEALs knew there was a ton of HE in that building.

Self defense?? Really? And what harm was OBL at the time?

You should be ashamed of yourself.

ChicoI am not cal... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Chico

I am not calling the SEALs murderers. I am stating that Obama ordered the murder. THere is a difference.

Also please show me these reports that said Osama "rigged suicide bombs to detonate if he were attacked".

As I stated. I am merely using the left's standards for Bush against Obama. What's the matter dont like them? THe left can never stand having the same standards applied to them as they did to Bush.

You stated that Obama could go into Pakistan thanks to the Congressional order but yet the left stated that Bush could not go into Iraq and that it was an illegal and immoral war.

Answer the simple question I have asked (which you keep ignorning).

Was Iraq an illegal and immoral war? Remember to use the standard YOU HAVE stated of the congressional authorization.

Was Bush guilty of murder of civilians as the left have claimed? Remember to use the standard YOU HAVE stated of the congressional authorization.

Is Bush guilty of war crimes? Remember to use the standard YOU HAVE stated of the congressional authorization.


Simple easy Yes or no questions there Chico. Just either apply the same standard to Bush as you are applying to obama or apply the same standard to Obama as the left did to Bush.

It isnt hard. IT IS CALLED CONSISTENCY.
Dont you like being called out on your double standards?

I am not calling the SEA... (Below threshold)
Chico:

I am not calling the SEALs murderers. I am stating that Obama ordered the murder. THere is a difference.

Did you ever have a Law of War class? I had one in Basic Training, and periodically after that, too. Following an illegal order to murder is murder. The defense "I was only following orders" did not work at Nuremburg.

So if you say Obama ordered murder and the SEALs obeyed that order, you are saying the SEALs are guilty of murder, too.

The Authorization for the Use of Military Force was against the Al Qaeda terrorists. How Bush twisted it into authorization to attack Iraq is one of his nefarious deeds. Al Qaeda attacked us on 9/11, not Iraq.

Also, on the possible suici... (Below threshold)
Chico:
The Authorization for th... (Below threshold)

The Authorization for the Use of Military Force was against the Al Qaeda terrorists. How Bush twisted it into authorization to attack Iraq is one of his nefarious deeds. Al Qaeda attacked us on 9/11, not Iraq.

Chico was right on Geneva IV, but he's dead wrong here.

There were two distinct AUMFs passed after 9/11. The first, the AUMF Against Terrorists, was passed September 14, 2001.

The second, against Iraq, was passed October 16, 2002.

And this time, I did my homework, instead of simply presuming that Chico's wrong. That's usually the safe bet, but hey, broken clocks and all that.

J.

OK, JT, you're right on the... (Below threshold)
Chico:

OK, JT, you're right on the 2 AUMFs. What does that change? The mission against Bin Laden was authorized by the first one, whereever in the world it was.

Chico, this could almost me... (Below threshold)

Chico, this could almost merit its own post...

Hell, it does.

J.

chicka opines:<blockq... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

chicka opines:

retired, you must have been one high-speed operator to be qualified to critique a SEAL raid and call them murderers and war criminals.

So chicka, since you see fit to challenge someone's opinion on the basis of qualifications (yet again) what are your qualifications to opine? Since you have stated that one should be a "high speed operator" to have a valid opinion in this matter, what are YOUR "high speed operator" credentials?

Put up or shut up, chickenshit.

ChicoAnyone who ha... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Chico

Anyone who has read my posts for more than umm 2 weeks knows that I have no problem with the killing of Bin Laden or how it was done. What I do have a problem with is duplicity of hte left. The double standards which are glaringly obvious. If you missed the subtley of the irony in my posts about the situatino above than I apologize for your cluelessness and will try to bring things down to the 3rd grade level you appear to be operating on .

You have again Failed to answer the simple YES NO questions I have asked (on purpose and yes it is that obvious).

Please go to the thread about double standards that Jay Tea has started and try to do better.

Bugs Bunny - "What a maroon"

"People didn't commit to... (Below threshold)
bobby b:

"People didn't commit torture -- and if they did, they were punished for it. . . . And then the lawyers got involved."

Facile and trite and simplistic and wrong.

Nobody got punished for it until the lawyers got involved.

You're like one of those people constantly bemoaning advancement and progress and improvement because it messed up "the good old days." Yeah, the freeways were less crowded then, but that's because everybody's moms and brothers used to die of polio which left fewer drivers.

Lawyers played a great part in enforcing rights and morals and fairness. You probably liked them until the first time someone noticed that YOU were casually violating someone's rights.

"Yes, Navy Seal Jessie V... (Below threshold)
bobby b:

"Yes, Navy Seal Jessie Ventura says it's torture."

Navy Seal Jesse Ventura, number one, would kick your butt for calling him a girl's name.

But, number two, Jesse Ventura thought press conferences were torture. Jesse Ventura thought that listening to anyone he disagreed with was torture. The Rather Huge Jesse Ventura, who likes to stand up and fluff up his feathers and get real close to you and lean right over you and glare when he wishes you to stop speaking, thought that being unable to threaten physical violence in the course of a discussion was torture.

Please don't use my ex-mayor and ex-governor in any more of your examples. It brings back memories better left buried.




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