9.16.2009

The Tortuous Logic and Legalese of American Torture



Does America Torture?
Raw Story brings us some pictures to get the conversation started:
Torture Pictures

America waterboarded prisoners
The argument seems to have boiled down to whether or not waterboarding is torture or not. Some say yes, others say no. The question is not whether or not it was done. There are also conflicts regarding the value of torture - but illegal is illegal regardless of the monstrosity justified or beliefs held. Here is a review to help you follow this contorted path of cruelty.

Is this logic fair?
IF TORTURE IS NOT LEGAL IT IS THE JOB OF THE AMERICAN GOVT. TO PRESS CHARGES AGAINST TORTURERS BECAUSE THEY BROKE THE LAW WHEN THEY TORTURED

NO LEADERSHIP CAN BE RESPECTED WITHOUT CREDIBILITY

TO ASSUME A LEADERSHIP ROLE IN THE WORLD AMERICA MUST HAVE CREDIBILITY

AMERICA CANNOT HAVE CREDIBILITY AT HOME OR ABROAD IF AMERICA CANNOT ENFORCE ITS OWN LAWS AT HOME

IF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT IGNORES TORTURE AMERICA HAS NO CREDIBILITY SINCE AMERICA CANNOT ENFORCE ITS OWN LAWS

Human Rights Watch Explicates:
Go to Human Rights watch where you can read a lot more. Here's an excerpt specifically defining a set of standards that will restore the quality of America's character as a nation:

"If the United States is to restore its credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights, it should promptly, impartially, and thoroughly investigate and prosecute those officials, regardless of position or rank, who authorized or ordered torture and other mistreatment."

OBAMA AGREES:
Obama says in the video below: "We believe in a foreign policy that is based on - not just military might - but also by the quality of our moral character as a nation. "


Was waterboarding performed at the order of George W. Bush?
Video below but some paraphrased excerpts:

"I'm in the oval office, and we've captured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -
So I ask for a list of tools to get information-
and they hand me a list of tools-
and we asked if these tools are deemed to be legal-
and so we got legal opinions-
before any decision was made"

Who is the decider?
Although Bush never says he made the decision or gave the order to torture in this video, is it proper to deduce that since he was the person asking for the menu he intended to choose something from that menu? I guess if I were in a restaurant and were handed a menu, but I didn't like anything on the menu and decided not to order - I would not expect food to arrive.
In the case of Bush asking for a menu of "tools" and then one of those tools being selected because his legal counsel told him it was legal, and that information resulted as a result of the use of this "tool" is it safe to conclude he was the decider?

Does Waterboarding Work?
REGARDING Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (waterboarding) GEORGE BUSH SAYS
" Enhanced interrogation techniques were and are necessary, to be used on a rare occasion, to get information that is necessary to protect the American people. One such person is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (because) he was the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed 3,000 people on our soil and that we got good information from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in order to protect our country.
Q: How good how important (info) Brit Hume asks:
A: We believe that the information we gained helped save lives on American soil."

-----UPDATE OCT 8, 2009
The following video I had to re-link since the original got removed. Happens a lot when powerful people tell the truth on video I've noticed. "Terms of Use" violation is the reason. That's great I suppose - but doesn't the average American have a right to video of their president speaking? He seems to explain that he was told that this barbarism worked, was necessary because it works, and that it was legal.
----
<

American Interrogator says Torture costs American Lives


OBAMA SAYS IT IS ERIC HOLDERS JOB TO UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION AND LOOK AFTER THE INTERESTS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
In this video at time 2:00 Obama says "When it comes to my attorney general he is the "people's lawyer" Eric Holder's been nominated - his job is to uphold the Constitution and look after the interests of the American people - not be swayed by
my day-to-day politics."

---I had to relink below vid since last link deleted Nov 3, 2009--This Week G. Stephanopoulos


Jonathan Turley says Obama will "own" Bush's crimes by looking away:


Is Waterboarding Torture? Ask Jesse Ventura:


So......What's being done about it? Who is the Decider Now?
UPDATE OCT 8, 2009 Congress moving to block release of torture photos: ACLU

--------UPDATE OCT 13, 2009

--------------
UPDATE OCT 30, 2009 Lawyer: CIA kept detainees alive to keep torturing them
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UPDATE OCT 31, 2009 Allegations 9-year-old tortured in Gitmo
UPDATE NOV 3, 2009 Holder admits waterboarding is indeed torture



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