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Andrew S/Y Rocquette
01-10-2006, 04:54 AM
Courtesy of "The Sydney Morning Herald"... link here (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2006/01/09/1136771496819.html)

Ugly phrase conceals an uglier truth
January 10, 2006
Behind the US Government's corruption of language lies a far greater perversion, writes Salman Rushdie.
We are beginning to hear the names and stories of men seized and transported in this fashion: Maher Arar, a Canadian-Syrian, was captured by the CIA on his way to the US and taken via Jordan to Syria where, says his lawyer, he was "brutally physically tortured".
Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen of Kuwaiti-Lebanese origin, was kidnapped in Macedonia and taken for interrogation to Afghanistan, where he says he was repeatedly beaten. The Syrian-born Mohammed Haydar Zammar says he was grabbed in Morocco and then spent four years in a Syrian dungeon.
Lawsuits are under way. Lawyers for the plaintiffs suggest their clients were only a few of the victims, that in Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria and perhaps elsewhere the larger pattern of the extraordinary-rendition project is yet to be uncovered. Inquiries are under way in Canada, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.
The CIA's internal inquiry admits to "under 10" such cases, which to many ears sounds like another bit of double-talk. Tools are created to be used and it seems improbable, to say the least, that so politically risky and morally dubious a system would be set up and then barely employed.
The US authorities have been taking a characteristically robust line on this issue. On her recent European trip, the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, more or less told European governments to back off the issue - which they duly, and tamely, did, claiming to have been satisfied by her assurances.
At the end of December, the German Government ordered the closing of an Islamic centre near Munich after finding documents encouraging suicide attacks in Iraq. This is a club which, we are told, Khaled al-Masri often visited before being extraordinarily rendered to Afghanistan. "Aha!" we are encouraged to think. "Obvious bad guy. Render his sorry butt anywhere you like."
What is wrong with this kind of thinking is that, as Isabel Hilton of The Guardian wrote last July, "The delusion that officeholders know better than the law is an occupational hazard of the powerful and one to which those of an imperial cast of mind are especially prone … When disappearance became state practice across Latin America in the '70s it aroused revulsion in democratic countries, where it is a fundamental tenet of legitimate government that no state actor may detain - or kill - another human being without having to answer to the law."
In other words, the question isn't whether or not a given individual is "good" or "bad." The question is whether or not we are - whether or not our governments have dragged us into immorality by discarding due process of law, which is generally accorded to be second only to individual rights as the most important pillar of a free society.

We are beginning to hear the names and stories of men seized and transported in this fashion: Maher Arar, a Canadian-Syrian, was captured by the CIA on his way to the US and taken via Jordan to Syria where, says his lawyer, he was "brutally physically tortured".
Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen of Kuwaiti-Lebanese origin, was kidnapped in Macedonia and taken for interrogation to Afghanistan, where he says he was repeatedly beaten. The Syrian-born Mohammed Haydar Zammar says he was grabbed in Morocco and then spent four years in a Syrian dungeon.
Lawsuits are under way. Lawyers for the plaintiffs suggest their clients were only a few of the victims, that in Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria and perhaps elsewhere the larger pattern of the extraordinary-rendition project is yet to be uncovered. Inquiries are under way in Canada, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.
The CIA's internal inquiry admits to "under 10" such cases, which to many ears sounds like another bit of double-talk. Tools are created to be used and it seems improbable, to say the least, that so politically risky and morally dubious a system would be set up and then barely employed.
The US authorities have been taking a characteristically robust line on this issue. On her recent European trip, the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, more or less told European governments to back off the issue - which they duly, and tamely, did, claiming to have been satisfied by her assurances.
At the end of December, the German Government ordered the closing of an Islamic centre near Munich after finding documents encouraging suicide attacks in Iraq. This is a club which, we are told, Khaled al-Masri often visited before being extraordinarily rendered to Afghanistan. "Aha!" we are encouraged to think. "Obvious bad guy. Render his sorry butt anywhere you like."
What is wrong with this kind of thinking is that, as Isabel Hilton of The Guardian wrote last July, "The delusion that officeholders know better than the law is an occupational hazard of the powerful and one to which those of an imperial cast of mind are especially prone … When disappearance became state practice across Latin America in the '70s it aroused revulsion in democratic countries, where it is a fundamental tenet of legitimate government that no state actor may detain - or kill - another human being without having to answer to the law."
In other words, the question isn't whether or not a given individual is "good" or "bad." The question is whether or not we are - whether or not our governments have dragged us into immorality by discarding due process of law, which is generally accorded to be second only to individual rights as the most important pillar of a free society.

The White House, however, plainly believes that it has public opinion behind it in this and other contentious matters such as secret wiretapping. Cheney recently told reporters, "When the American people look at this, they will understand and appreciate what we're doing and why we're doing it."
He may be right for the moment, though the controversy shows no signs of dying. It remains to be seen how long Americans are prepared to go on accepting that the end justifies practically any means Cheney cares to employ.
In the beginning is the word. Where one begins by corrupting language, worse corruptions swiftly follow. Sitting as the Supreme Court to rule on torture last month, Britain's law lords spoke to the world in words that were simple and clear. "The torturer is abhorred not because the information he produces may be unreliable," Lord Rodger of Earlsferry said, "but because of the barbaric means he uses to extract it."
"Torture is an unqualified evil," Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood added. "It can never be justified. Rather, it must always be punished."
The dreadful probability is that the US outsourcing of torture will allow it to escape punishment. It will not allow it to escape moral obloquy.
Salman Rushdie is the author of The Satanic Verses, Fury and many other books.

Ian McColgin
01-10-2006, 07:43 AM
The cost to the US psyche of committing these crimes has thus far been for all too many denial and increasingly hysterical support of those responsible for these and other war crimes. It is exactly analagous to the cost in the south of people cloaking the murders of blacks and civil rights agitators in old southern honor. That was not honor. That was perversion. But it created an infection that lasts to this day.

I look forward to the day when justice will be meeted out for these violations of both international and US law.

I hope also that we can get past that to a sort of reconciliation and healing.

cedar savage
01-10-2006, 08:02 AM
A. edit out the duplicate paragraphs.

B. Oh dear, now Salman is on another hit list.

uncas
01-10-2006, 08:05 AM
Pissing off the Moslim world wasn't enough...He had to go against the "evil empire"...
I think I'd rather play Russian Roulette...
Guess he is now on the list to be wiretapped.... :D

[ 01-10-2006, 08:06 AM: Message edited by: uncas ]

Keith Wilson
01-10-2006, 09:32 AM
"Extraordinaly rendition" is completely illegal under treaties the US has signed and ratified (which are then equivalent to any US law - in fact, they supercede laws passed by congress). I look forward to the day when the criminals that are responsible for this are brought to justice.

From the Convention against Torture (http://www.hrweb.org/legal/cat.html)


Article 3

1. No State Party shall expel, return, or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.

[ 01-10-2006, 09:33 AM: Message edited by: Keith Wilson ]

Gonzalo
01-10-2006, 10:53 AM
From the US Constitution, Article 6


This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. As is often the case with the Constitution, the exact meaning of this sentence is open to interpretation. Essentially this paragraph asserts the supremacy of the Federal constitution, laws, and treaties over state constitutions and laws. The way it is worded doesn't seem to assert the superiority of treaties with respect to Federal laws. Keith, does anything else in the constitution or jurisprudence support that treaties supercede laws?

I admit to being surprised by the wording of this paragraph, because I have read of several cases in which treaties with Native Americans were honored because treaties supercede laws. I now realize that in those cases, it was state laws that were in question.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
01-10-2006, 11:01 AM
"When the American people look at this, they will understand and appreciate what we're doing and why we're doing it." Sadly, I doubt this will change. The very frightening thing about this practice of deception, torture, and war crimes is that they are done in secrecy, with little accountability for any of it.

The victims are painted as terrorists, with the information about them kept "secret" so that justice cannot be done.

The torture of detainees is done privately, or in ghost prisons, again, so justice and world opinion cannot prevail.

In a alarmingly accelerated process, the United States has become no better than many of the regimes it opposes. The world is in more danger as a result. Most Americans don't even see it. :( :(

cedar savage
01-10-2006, 11:21 AM
I wonder if one of Kurt Vonnegut's quotes is applicable here:


"There is no reason good can't triumph over evil, if only angels will get organized along the lines of the mafia."

lagspiller
01-10-2006, 11:26 AM
Extraordinary rendition is just the modern aphorism for Kidnapping. Playing academic games with the letter of the law can't change the simple fact of the matter. If you are not sure, look at how it has been practiced.

Officials from one country have enter a second country and, without the knowledge or consent of that country's legal or executive system, they 'detain' a foreign national and transport him to a third country for 'questioning'. He is held without charge or council for 'as long as necessary'. Neither he or anyone else knows what has happened or where he is.

It becomes painfully obvious to everyone except those who will not see that this is state run kidnapping. This exact senario has happened more than once and the world is talking about it. No one is fooled by giving the practice a fancy name.

Just imagine what would happen if Norway sent its secret police to Denmark to detain and transport an American to Finland for 'persuasive questioning' - grabbed on the street, drugged and wisked away. Sometimes it is the right guy. Sometimes it is the wrong guy. But nobody knows.

It is a nightmare.

cedar savage
01-10-2006, 11:33 AM
Just imagine what would happen if Norway sent its secret police to Denmark to detain and transport an American to Finland for 'persuasive questioning' - grabbed on the street, drugged and wisked away. Sometimes it is the right guy. Sometimes it is the wrong guy. But nobody knows.

It is a nightmare. Wish I had nightmares as pleasant as the one you're having. Maybe if we publicly beheaded those we kidnapped, I'd start to get a little concerned.

[ 01-10-2006, 11:38 AM: Message edited by: cedar savage ]

Keith Wilson
01-10-2006, 11:36 AM
Yep, as long as we're a little better than those who behead people on video, all's well. :rolleyes:

Cedar, read the text of the treaty. The current adminstration is breaking the law. It's as clear as if someone knocked you down and took your wallet.

cedar savage
01-10-2006, 11:47 AM
Keith: Read my lips: I don't care.

I wish I could care deeply about the civil liberties of those who are or who support or who are suspected of supporting terrorists. I tried once to put myself into the head of a suicidal mass murderer of Americans. Hatred at the deepest level you should be able to imagine (but I suspect cannot imagine). Insanity far surpassing that of rabid dogs.

Ian McColgin
01-10-2006, 11:53 AM
We are headed to a constitutional showdown on this.

How would Alito rule?

George.
01-10-2006, 12:18 PM
Originally posted by cedar savage:
Read my lips: I don't care... about the civil liberties of those who are ... suspected... And of course you blindly trust the government to only suspect those who are worthy of suspicion, and only do the wrong thing for the right reason.

It is ironic to see that some so-called "conservatives" have such deep faith in government's ability to do no wrong when it comes to war and torture, even as they deeply mistrust government when it comes to interfering in the economy or the environment...

Keith Wilson
01-10-2006, 12:32 PM
Read my lips: I don't care. I wish I could care deeply about the civil liberties of those who are or who support or who are suspected of supporting terrorists.Seriously, this is the sort of statement that makes me want to check out the Canadian immigration rules. If these opinions become general the US will no longer be a free county, but a capitalist authoritarian state, something like China.

So cedar, exactly how far could the government go in breaking US law before you would start to care? You are willing to ignore the civil liberties of “those who are or who support or who are suspected of supporting terrorists” and allow the government to do anything they like to them without even bothering to change the laws against it. How about if they start doing it to foreign journalists who are investigating US treatment of prisoners, (“threatening the secrecy necessary for the war on terror”,) making them disappear and shipping them to Syria? What if they start doing it to US journalists who are doing the same? What if US citizens who are protesting US government policies start disappearing (“threatening homeland security by giving aid and comfort to the terrorists”)?

Which of your civil liberties are you willing to give up? They are not the civil liberties of those who are “suspected of supporting terrorists”, they are YOUR civil rights. If they can pick up Meher Arar and ship him off to Syria with no charges, no public evidence, no review, no accountability, they can do it to YOU. He was no more guilty than you are. I thought conservatives had a fairly clear idea of government’s insatiable appetite for more power and less restraint. Apparently not.

[ 01-10-2006, 12:43 PM: Message edited by: Keith Wilson ]

cedar savage
01-10-2006, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by George.:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by cedar savage:
Read my lips: I don't care... about the civil liberties of those who are ... suspected... And of course you blindly trust the government to only suspect those who are worthy of suspicion, and only do the wrong thing for the right reason.

It is ironic to see that some so-called "conservatives" have such deep faith in government's ability to do no wrong when it comes to war and torture, even as they deeply mistrust government when it comes to interfering in the economy or the environment...</font>[/QUOTE]Wow, show me where I trust my government to do no wrong. I think I made it clear that I didn't care, in this specific instance, if my government did do wrong.

This is a thread about extraordiary rendition, not the economy or the environment. But you seem to feel a need to throw out a blanket when all is needed is a handkerchief.

Gonzalo
01-10-2006, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by George


And of course you blindly trust the government to only suspect those who are worthy of suspicion, and only do the wrong thing for the right reason.
Of course. Ed Meese, Reagan's attorney general, said (paraphrase) "If they weren't guilty, they wouldn't be under suspicion." As we know, the government's motives are always pure, and its judgement always correct. That's why civil rights don't apply to those under suspician.

TomF
01-10-2006, 12:47 PM
Originally posted by Donn:
...I see no actual evidence anywhere in this thread, nothing but the word of supposed victims' lawyers...Let's fix that. Here's a quote from the fact-finding report accepted and released by the Maher Arar Commission (http://www.ararcommission.ca/eng/):


“When I compare information available from public sources with the cross-referenced testimony of Messrs. Almalki, ELMaati, and Nureddin, I conclude that the stories they tell are credible. I believe that they suffered severe physical and psychological trauma while in detention in Syria. Mr. Almalki was especially badly treated, and for an extended period. When I compare all of this information to the story told to me by Mr.Arar, I am convinced that his description of his treatment in Syria is accurate.”Not just the words of someone's lawyer, but the facts as accepted by the Royal Commission set up by the Government of Canada. BTW, they've yet to rule on other areas of their mandate - including recommendations for restitution.

[ 01-10-2006, 12:51 PM: Message edited by: TomF ]

Keith Wilson
01-10-2006, 01:03 PM
Donn, you said this:


I see no actual evidence anywhere in this thread, nothing but the word of supposed victims' lawyers- implying that nothing actually happened - "no actual evidence" - "supposed victims".

What Tom posted is good evidence that in at least one case something actually happened. An innocent man was arrested while changing planes at Kennedy Airport. There was no warrant, no charges, no evidence, no judge, jury or any kind of oversight. Is there a difference between this and state-sponsored kidnapping? He was shipped to Syria where he was severely tortured over a period of months, and finally released. At least cedarsavage is honest about not caring.

[ 01-10-2006, 01:11 PM: Message edited by: Keith Wilson ]

TomF
01-10-2006, 01:06 PM
Unfortunate but true, Donn. But facts they are - introduced into the thread to give a respite from merely the words of "supposed victims' lawyers."

I don't think we can pretend that "extraordinary rendition" isn't simply a sweet term for state-sponsored kidnapping so a suspect can be questioned under torture. Folks got really upset in years past when similar practices were used in Argentina, or Brazil, or Chile, or ...

cedar savage
01-10-2006, 01:31 PM
Ahh Keith, don't go to Canada. Canada's boring. Trust me on this.

I'm not afraid of ever losing any of my civil liberties. I don't think this administration has gone too far, but it seems a majority might think that way, or at least enough to effect the next congressional elections, we'll see.

I have said, many times, that:

The pendulum swings right.
The pendulum swings left.
The terrorists will strike again.

Osborne Russel
01-10-2006, 01:34 PM
Let's not pretend to be scrupulous about facts. The red position, as we see articulated here, is that, assuming the allegations of torture to be true, we don't care.

If we do care, then there can be no facts shown until the process is made public.

Either way the secrecy is wrong. Right?

Osborne Russel
01-10-2006, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by cedar savage:
I'm not afraid of ever losing any of my civil liberties. Then you're not an American.

Meerkat
01-10-2006, 02:37 PM
Poll: 56% of Americans think the administration should have warrants to do wiretaps.

So much for the Whitehouses' notion that the American people are behind them on wiretapping.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-10-2006, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by cedar savage:
...
I'm not afraid of ever losing any of my civil liberties. ...Ye cannae tak the breeks aff a heilender.

George.
01-10-2006, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by Meerkat:
Poll: 56% of Americans think the administration should have warrants to do wiretaps.

So 44% do NOT think so. Scary. Hitler was made chancellor with less support than that.

Meerkat
01-10-2006, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by George.:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Meerkat:
Poll: 56% of Americans think the administration should have warrants to do wiretaps.

So 44% do NOT think so. Scary. Hitler was made chancellor with less support than that.</font>[/QUOTE]Nobody's blown up the Capitol yet!

And if Shrubbie had gotten 56% of the vote, he'd still be screaming about his landslide victory!

Oh yeah - only 28% didn't think so - the rest were undecided. Probably the kilt wearers... ;)

[ 01-10-2006, 03:07 PM: Message edited by: Meerkat ]

Meerkat
01-10-2006, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by cedar savage:
...
I'm not afraid of ever losing any of my civil liberties. ...Ye cannae tak the breeks aff a heilender.</font>[/QUOTE]Considering they don't wear them... ;)

PeterSibley
01-10-2006, 04:01 PM
Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen of Kuwaiti-Lebanese origin, was kidnapped in Macedonia and taken for interrogation to Afghanistan, where he says he was repeatedly beaten.

Cedar,this guy did absolutely NOTHING .His crime and the reason for his arrest was that he shared a name with someone on a wanted list.If I remenmber it too the US forces a couple of years to release him.

and you don't care :eek:

lagspiller
01-10-2006, 04:32 PM
Yeah, this is the nightmare part. It can happen to anyone and some don't care as long as it doesn't happen to them. Great advertisement for democracy. That is sure to win the hearts and minds.

I guess we should be happy they don't just resort to drive-by shootings.

Keith Wilson
01-10-2006, 05:02 PM
How is it that your suspension of due process is any better than what you accuse the government of doing? I talk and vote. They kidnap and torture. (As far as I can tell with the information available to me.) See the difference?

Again, as I have said before, what I want is due process. There is credible evidence that someone has committed a crime. I want to see Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney in court being tried for violations of federal law (I can cite the particular statutes if you like) where due process applies and their guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt for them to be punished.

[ 01-10-2006, 05:12 PM: Message edited by: Keith Wilson ]

Meerkat
01-10-2006, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by lagspiller:

I guess we should be happy they don't just resort to drive-by shootings.Pursuant to a presidential finding, they do that too.

Keith Wilson
01-10-2006, 05:29 PM
Yes, Donn, if I kidnapped Mr. Bush and had him tortured in a Syrian prison, I would most certainly be exceeding my authority. If I even ordered him locked up without a trial in a nice clean cell in a US minimum-security prison, that would also be denial of due process. I haven't done either of these, nor would I if I had the power.

What I have done is said that IMO there appears to be credible evidence that the current administration has violated federal law, and that this should be investigated. If a crime was actually committed, those responsible should be tried and punished if found guilty. Saying that by expressing my opinion I have somehow violated Bush’s right to due process is utter and complete nonsense.

[ 01-10-2006, 05:30 PM: Message edited by: Keith Wilson ]

Meerkat
01-10-2006, 05:42 PM
Originally posted by Donn:
[QUOTE]Citing statutes serves no purpose. You aren't a judge. In my opinion, there are circumstances under which the administration is within it's powers under the Constitution, to deny due process. There is never a circumstance which affords you the same power.You say that citing statutes serves no purpose and then you refer to the constitution? Seems a bit hypocritical.

You're not a judge either, which puts your opinion on precisely the same basis as Keith's.

Actually, there is a circumstance: when a person is acting in concert with the people, who are soverign! Only by consent of the governed and all that...

Ian McColgin
01-10-2006, 06:30 PM
The Constitutional show-down is perfectly feasible, but not on the issue of whether President Bush can be tried while President as a criminal. He can be impeached in the Senate and that is a matter upon which, as Alito correctly noted today in his hearing, no court has any jurisdiction.

However, acts of the Administration may come before a court to determine if they are in compliance with the law or not.

Over our history various parties have attempted, sometimes successfully sometimes not, to compel federal and state agencies to either do or not do something laid out in the law. The Constitutional crisis comes if an injunction is brought and maintained by the highest court that the President has an absolute obligation to obey - - - pick a law but I'll bet it comes first on FISA.

I believe that all responsible citizens should have read and reread the Constitution. We all should participate in the public debate on these matters as fully as they can wherever they can. I believe it most irresponsible for anyone to stop thinking just because he or she is not among the nine.

And one's opinion does involve making judgments based on available evidence, just as a prosecutor makes a judgment to even bring an indictment. We all learn in the process that sometimes we are right but we loose. Some times we are wrong but we win. And sometimes justice prevails.

Meerkat
01-10-2006, 06:32 PM
Ian; Where does the constitution grant the president immunity from criminal acts?

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-10-2006, 06:37 PM
The thread title is "Extraordinary Rendition", what is it, in this process which lifts it out of the ordinary?

The Brit print and broadcast media have been hinting at numbers in the high hundreds, suggesting that this is really very ordinary - if despicable.

[ 01-10-2006, 06:51 PM: Message edited by: P.I. Stazzer-Newt ]

Keith Wilson
01-10-2006, 08:16 PM
Donn, if it will make you feel better about my egregious violation of poor oppressed Mr. Bush's right to due process, feel free to insert the following phrases in my posts as you see the need:

In my opinion . . .
Based on what I have read . . .
I think . . .
It seems to me that . . .
As far as I know . . .
To the best of my knowledge . . .
I suppose . . .
It looks like . .
Based on the information I have . . .

Now back to the issue: This is US law, because according to the constitution, treaties signed and ratified are the law:


1. No State Party shall expel, return, or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.Please explain to us why deporting someone to Syria against his will is NOT a violation of this law? Or, like cedarsavage, do you simply not care if the administration breaks the law – in a good cause, of course, always in a very good cause.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
01-10-2006, 09:30 PM
Hitler was made chancellor with less support than that. You have the imaginary enemy.... the terrorist.The goverment determines the names and the genders. The intelligence is secret, so nobody can question it.
The "terrorist" can be assigned to any nation, and the subsequent military action take place based on that... Iraq is a perfect example...just like Poland.

You have the concentration camps... boy things are going marvellously.

...and here we have the gist of the situation.

The american public, by majority, has decided it will suspend international or constitutional law when it suits them. The Bush presidency knows that.

As long as Bush supporters recognize their own moral bankruptcy...

As I've said to international citizens before. DON'T TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES. ;)

[ 01-10-2006, 09:40 PM: Message edited by: Peter Malcolm Jardine ]

ssor
01-10-2006, 09:50 PM
If you want an opinion of the trustworthiness of the US government ask an Indian, at wounded Knee or from any of the southern tribes or the Cheyenne or anyone in the Souix nation.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
01-10-2006, 10:02 PM
SSOR, Canada has that problem too... although we've been settling some long overdue land claims issues with aboriginal peoples. Most of them we killed or starved to death. :(

Paul G
01-10-2006, 10:04 PM
its an Orwellian nightmare come true.

Jagermeister
01-10-2006, 10:14 PM
Looking at the signatories to the Convention on Torture ( Participants (http://untreaty.un.org/ENGLISH/bible/englishinternetbible/partI/chapterIV/treaty14.asp#N2) ), I see that the countries to which the U.S. is accused of rendering prisoners are all participants: e.g. Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, etc. Seeing as the U.S. renders prisoners to countries who have the U.N. seal of approval, I don't see what the fuss is about. If the U.N. accepts these countries' word that they won't torture people, should the U.S. presume to judge their judicial and penal systems as deficient? Wouldn't that be ethnocentric of the U.S.?

Peter Malcolm Jardine
01-10-2006, 10:19 PM
What about Gitmo?

PeterSibley
01-11-2006, 01:11 AM
SSOR, Canada has that problem too... although we've been settling some long overdue land claims issues with aboriginal peoples. Most of them we killed or starved to death. [Frown]

The current Australian Government still refuses point blank to admit that ANYTHING amiss happened in the good ol days of sturdy settlers and gentlemen.To suggest otherwise is a Black Armband View of History and therefore unpatriotic :(

George.
01-11-2006, 07:14 AM
Originally posted by Donn:
In my opinion, there are circumstances under which the administration is within it's powers under the Constitution, to deny due process. And yet you are not a judge, and pondering such matters is not "part of your job description."

Funny how some people tell others that expressing opinions on the legality of their government's actions is improper, even as they presume to express their interpretations of the Constitution. Whic are, by the way, completely unfounded. I challenge Donn or anyone to show the constitutional basis for the President to deny due process to anyone, under any circumstances.

Funny how some people whine about the Leader being treated unfairly merely because he is being accused of a crime, even as they defend the legality of accusing, imprisoning, and torturing others based on mere suspicion.

LeeG
01-11-2006, 07:35 AM
Originally posted by Jagermeister:
Seeing as the U.S. renders prisoners to countries who have the U.N. seal of approval, I don't see what the fuss is about. If the U.N. accepts these countries' word that they won't torture people, should the U.S. presume to judge their judicial and penal systems as deficient? Wouldn't that be ethnocentric of the U.S.?Well at least they aren't beheading people,right?

"Behind the US Government's corruption of language lies a far greater perversion, writes Salman Rushdie."

George.
01-11-2006, 08:26 AM
Looks like the Leader means to keep torturing, despite the recent law:

from today's Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/10/AR2006011001536.html)


... it might be concluded that the Bush administration has committed itself to ending the use of practices falling just short of torture that it has used on foreign detainees since 2002. But it has not. Instead, it is explicitly reserving the right to abuse prisoners, while denying them any opportunity to seek redress in court. Having publicly accepted the ban on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, Mr. Bush is planning to ignore it whenever he chooses. As a practical matter, there may be no change in the operations of the CIA's secret prisons...

The president made his intentions clear in signing the defense bill containing the McCain amendment last month. Mr. Bush issued a presidential signing statement saying his administration would interpret the new law "in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power." The language refers to the assertion by the president's lawyers that his powers allow him, in wartime, to ignore statutes passed by Congress. The White House has intimated that it has similar authority in justifying Mr. Bush's authorization of surveillance of Americans without court approval, in violation of another law. The signing statement also advanced the administration's view that the McCain amendment does not provide for any court review of a prisoner's claim of cruel treatment, and that all appeals by foreign prisoners before the courts should be dismissed.
...
Without aggressive monitoring -- and possibly further action -- by Congress, illegal abuse of foreign prisoners in the custody of the United States is likely to continue.

uncas
01-11-2006, 08:31 AM
Lawyers are gonna love this...
Are we at war...? Did we declare war? Was war approved by Congress?
Did GWB stand up in front of Congress and repeat FDR's speech." A day that will live in infamy" etc.
Has there been a formal declaration of war...? A written declaration I should add...
This is more of a police action....Vietnam wasn't a tech war....
So what are the lines...the boundaries....between war and a police action....?
The White House is using the term "war" pretty liberally....I think.
And the sad thing is people die regardless as to the correct definition of either.

oops I forgot...it is a war on terror....I'm fighting a war on complacency....I wonder if I need Congress' approval.

[ 01-11-2006, 08:36 AM: Message edited by: uncas ]

George.
01-11-2006, 08:41 AM
Apparently, uncas, it goes like this: the Leader may declare "war," in violation of the Constitution. Once the nation is "at war," the Leader may further violate the Constitution, as well as ignore any Congressional statutes he finds inconvenient.

Those suspected of terrorism may be kidnapped, made to disappear, and tortured with no legal recourse. The Leader and his underlings get to decide who is suspected of terrorism, and need not explain the basis for their decisions.

Bin Laden is winning. Thanks to the fear he generated, America is self-destructing.

LeeG
01-11-2006, 08:46 AM
nahh, Osama isn't winning. We could be in an orgy of pooch screwing without him.

Speaking of generating fear,,9/11 was major, the anthrax attacks continued the fear of the unknown and not just the unexpected, but the use of fear isn't confined to terrists. What Homeland Threat Level Color are we at today?

Heres' an excerpt of a few paragraphs from Scot Ritters book about UNSCOM work and the lead up to the Iraq war. As an aside it's interesting to find Charles Duelfers role representing US interests to UN ambasador during the UNSCOM investigations then later taking over for David Kays aborted search for WMD.

Ritter's book is best summed up by Ritter in these 4 paragraphs from the Epilogue;

"The notion of the war in Iraq resulting from an intelligence failure is very convenient for all parties involved. The intelligence community can simply say that intelligence is a tricky business, and sometimes you get it wrong. This, of course, provides a convenient excuse for the politicians, and compliant media, to contend that they were simply acting in the public interest based upon the information they were given...

...In the end, to accept the concept of Iraq as an intelligence failure, one must first accept the premise that the USA was implementing, as its primary objective for Iraq, the Security Council's resolutions on disarmament. This argument is simpy not sustainable. The behavior of the United States government and its intelligence agencies during my time as an inspector was not that of a government that was serious about disarmament. Support for UNSCOM's mission was, at best, tailored to the political imperatives at any given time. There was a total willingness to compromise the integrity of UNSCOM (and with it the whole notion of multilateral disarmament) for short-term tactical advantages in the battle between the US and Iraqi regimes. Towards the end of the inspections era, elements of the US government actively sought to make UNSCOM's job more difficult by cutting it off from intelligence sources. Disarmament was simply not the USA's principal policy objective in Iraq after 1991. Regime change was.

The CIA was designated as the principal implementer of this policy. Therefore, when one looks at the March, 2003 invasion of Iraq and the subsequent removal of power of the government of Saddam Hussein, the only conclusion that can be reached is that the CIA accomplished its mission. Iraq was, in fact, a great intelligence victory, insofar as the CIA, through its manipulation of the work of the UN weapons inspectors and the distortion of fact about Iraq's WMD programs, maintained the public perception of an armed and defiant Iraq in the face of plausible and plentiful evidence to the contrary. We now know that both the US and UK intelligence services had, by July 2002, agreed to 'fix the intelligence around policy'. But the fact remains that, at least as far as the CIA is concerned, the issue of 'fixing intelligence around policy' predates July 2002, reaching as far back as 1992 when the decision was made to doctor the intelligence about Iraqi SCUD missile accounting, asserting the existence of missiles in the face of UNSCOM inspection results which demonstrated that there were none.

As an American, I find it very disturbing that the intelligence services of my country would resort to lies and deceit when addressing an issue of such fundamental importance to the security of the USA. Intelligence, to me, has always been about the facts. When intelligence is skewed to fit policy, then the entire system of trust that is fundamental in a free and democratic society is put at risk. Iraq, and the role of the CIA in selling the war with Iraq, is a manifestation of such a breach of trust."

[ 01-11-2006, 09:03 AM: Message edited by: LeeG ]

High C
01-11-2006, 09:09 AM
Originally posted by George.:
...the use of practices falling just short of torture...

LeeG
01-11-2006, 09:14 AM
Originally posted by High C:
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Keith Wilson
01-11-2006, 09:52 AM
That isn't in my job description. Nor is it in yours.
If I try really hard not to think about it, that must mean it doesn't exist. Repeat after me: Our Leader is right, our Leader is right, our Leader is right . . .

http://talks.php.net/presentations/slides/debugging/evil.jpg

And Jägermeister, are you serious? Either that's a poor joke or the most disingenuous argument I've heard in years. The law I quoted specifies how one should make the determination if torture is likely, and Syria certainly fits that definition.

LeeG
01-11-2006, 10:36 AM
"The Supreme Court confirmation hearings are under way for Judge Sam Alito. Democrats want to know his position on privacy. Republicans want to know his position on prison terms for bribery."
---Jay Leno

-

"According to the Washington Post, Vice President Dick Cheney is limping today because he injured his foot. Cheney said, 'If you think my foot looks bad, you should see the old lady I was kicking.'"
---Conan O'Brien

-

"You know how sometimes during war time, civil liberties can take a back seat to national security? Well, I got good news and bad news. The good news is this: no Japanese people are being sent to any camps. The bad news is: that time you got hammered and drunk-dialed your ex-girlfriend who's studying abroad and sang her that WHAM! song that was 'your song?' The government's got that on tape."
---Jon Stewart

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"Indicted congressman Tom Delay has announced he is resigning as House Majority Leader. However, he's still going to run for re-election. So apparently he feels he is too corrupt to be a leader but not too corrupt to be just a congressman."
---Jay Leno

-

"Congressmen are actually now returning illegal gifts. I called the weather bureau and, sure enough, hell has frozen over."
---David Letterman

PeterSibley
01-11-2006, 03:57 PM
Didn't FDR say something like ,"we have nothing to fear but fear itself"? and that in the middle of the Depression,seems the current administration has learnt the uses of fear. :(