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Author Topic: America's shame, torture  (Read 13827 times)

mouse

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America's shame, torture
« on: May 09, 2009, 06:59:52 am »

This article, though archived already, about sums up the way things have got in US politically.  I must add, however, that the US is most certainly not the only country who has been complicit in this, other countries - UK, Canada and others must also admit their part in this.  I don't want to be seen to be picking on America, but I really don't think America can "move on" as a nation until this is, at least, faced up to.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/margolis/margolis145.html

Nations that use torture disgrace themselves. Armed forces and police that torture inevitably become brutalized and corrupted. "Limited" use of torture quickly becomes generalized. "Information" obtained by torture is mostly unreliable.

I learned these truths over fifty years covering dirty "pacification" wars, from Algeria to Indochina, Central and South America, southern Africa, the Mideast, Afghanistan, and Kashmir in which torture was commonly used.

In spite of all the historical evidence that torture is counterproductive, the Bush administration encouraged torture of anti-American militants (aka "terrorists") after the 9/11 attacks. The full story has not yet been revealed, but what we know so far is revolting and shameful. Britain and Canada were also complicit as they used information derived from torture and handed suspects over to be tortured.

Many Americans and human rights groups are now demanding that the Bush administration officials who employed and sanctioned torture face justice. President Barack Obama hinted his new attorney general, Eric Holder, might investigate this whole ugly business. But the Obama White House clearly wants to dodge this issue.

Republicans, who have become America’s champion of war and torture, are fiercely resisting any investigation, and lauding torture’s benefits. Just when it seemed impossible for the dumbed-down Republican redneck party to sink any lower, it has by endorsing torture as the American way.

So, too, some senior intelligence and Pentagon officials including, dismayingly, Obama’s new CIA chief, Leon Panetta. He should know better. Many senior Congressional Democrats who sanctioned torture, or did nothing to stop it, are equally reluctant that the torture scandal be further investigated.

Torture is a crime under US law. It is a crime under the Third Geneva Convention, and the UN’s Anti-Torture Convention, both of which the US signed. Kidnapping and moving suspects to be tortured in third countries is a crime. Torture violates core American values.

In 1945, the US hanged Japanese officers for inflicting "water-boarding" (near-drowning) on US prisoners, which were deemed war crimes. Yet this is exactly what the CIA inflicted on its Muslim captives. FBI agents rightly refused to participate in the torture of al-Qaeda suspects, warning that it violated US law and could make them subject to future prosecution.

(snip - go to link)

One thing worth noting is:  "President Obama actually told CIA personnel that he does not want to prosecute the torturers because they were only following proper legal advice and orders. So did Nazi officials who killed millions".

So with that mindset ............................
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MamaLiberty

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Re: America's shame, torture
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2009, 08:03:58 am »

I don't think anyone here is unaware of the problem (and a million others), or buys into the "just following orders" mindset.

"America" isn't going to face anything, do anything or learn anything as an entity - because it isn't. America is made up of 300+ million individuals. Some of them get it, and some do not - and everything in between.

I just wish this was the greatest problem facing the people of the US, or the world. It would be easily fixed. Heck, it would never have happened.  But this torture thing is just a symptom of the far greater evil that surrounds us.

When enough individuals understand and eliminate that evil from their lives, they can then eliminate all of the symptoms.
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I will not knowingly initiate force. I am a self owner.

Let the record show that I did not consent to be governed. I did not consent to any constitution. I did not consent to any president. I did not consent to any law. I did not consent to the police. Nor any tax. Nor any prohibition of anything. Nor any regulation or licensing of any kind.

Silver

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Re: America's shame, torture
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2009, 08:40:28 am »

Glen Greenwald at Salon hoists the NYTimes for an obituary of an American pilot who was tortured by the Chinese.  What the pilot endured was certainly horrible, and certainly torture, and just as certainly gentler than what the same NYTimes refuses to call torture when American government employees or contractors perform the acts.

Greenwald links two other articles that make important points about this blatant, long-standing hypocrisy:
Andrew Sullivan - The NYT finally prints "torture."
Digby - Exceptional Dissonance
Quote
It would be far better for this country to face the fact that we have never been morally superior and so desperately need to work to live up to the standards we set for the world and ourselves. A good first step would be putting and end to this nonsensical fiction that "America Doesn't Torture." We do.

Finally, Judge Andrew Napolitano connects the dots in a 4-minute video and concludes that if a recent NYT article is accurate then Bush is most certainly a criminal for RE-authorizing torture AFTER signing a law prohibiting torture AND losing a Supreme Court case regarding torture of detainees.

America employs torture. It is widely practiced at nearly all levels of our society. Police torture American residents with tasers literally every day; there's an entire section of this forum devoted to those incidents.  American prisons are rape pens by design;  prisoners in Sweden, in China, in Russia are all treated better.  The FBI boasted on national television, in advance, that they intended to torture the children at Waco with toxic gas so that their parents would see their suffering and "do the right thing."  We starved and denied medicine to Iraqi children for an entire decade until half a million of them died, then declared that our torture was "worth it."

Digby is right, America is not morally superior.  In fact, as a nation we're monsters.  Our nation has committed uncounted war crimes and massacred a million innocents in the past 20 years alone.  Our society condones torture of people who ingest the wrong plant and our most popular politicians posture and strut to see who can outdo the others in the barbarism and violence they promise to rain upon their victims.  We make and sell more weapons of destruction than the rest of the world combined, and we use those weapons to terrible effect against innocent people across the globe. 

We've got some serious explaining to do, many lifetime's worth of penance and restitution to perform, a long overdue housecleaning of criminal filth infesting the highest levels of our society to undertake, and a major attitude adjustment about our place on this planet to work through.  Unemployment?  There aren't enough hands to finish this job in 50 years.

Peace,

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MamaLiberty

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Re: America's shame, torture
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2009, 01:44:36 pm »

"America" isn't a single entity. "WE" don't do anything in particular. I have never tortured anyone or condoned it.

America is made up of many different individuals, who believe and do many different things. Each one must make their own decisions and be responsible for them.

SOME Americans have a great deal to answer for. Some of us are working on that answer, the best we can. But I will not be responsible for things I didn't do or for the actions/choices of someone else.
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I will not knowingly initiate force. I am a self owner.

Let the record show that I did not consent to be governed. I did not consent to any constitution. I did not consent to any president. I did not consent to any law. I did not consent to the police. Nor any tax. Nor any prohibition of anything. Nor any regulation or licensing of any kind.

ZooT_aLLures

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Re: America's shame, torture
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2009, 03:28:55 pm »

Quote
Some of us are working on that answer, the best we can.

In these dark times, that gives hope for the future...........
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Even some cowboy and indian outlaws in the 1800's eventually stopped sleeping under buffalo skins, and came to town to entertain paying customers. For some I imagine the bruising of their ego never healed.

We all have some scar tissue that never lets us completely forget the intent of the adventure.

DirtyLowDown

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Re: America's shame, torture
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2009, 08:35:33 pm »

Howdy, MamaLiberty!

You are so right here.

Fellow Forum Members, there is always the option of taking no prisoners.  If there is to be a war on Islamofascism, that is the route to take.

Until Islamofascists give up on attempting to impose Jihad and Sha'ria law on this Planet, freedom-loving people have no choice but to cut them when they stand and shoot them when they run.  Again, take no prisoners.

And besides, as of the advent of GoogleEarth and other far more advanced technologies, there are a million better ways of getting information about our Islamofascist enemies without taking prisoners, with all of the feeding, housing, clothing, and kow-towing to silly sensitivities that entails.

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ZooT_aLLures

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Re: America's shame, torture
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2009, 09:02:58 pm »

Well.........there's another dead end.............

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Even some cowboy and indian outlaws in the 1800's eventually stopped sleeping under buffalo skins, and came to town to entertain paying customers. For some I imagine the bruising of their ego never healed.

We all have some scar tissue that never lets us completely forget the intent of the adventure.

jamie

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Re: America's shame, torture
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2009, 09:47:10 pm »

Howdy, MamaLiberty!

You are so right here.

Fellow Forum Members, there is always the option of taking no prisoners.  If there is to be a war on Islamofascism, that is the route to take.

Until Islamofascists give up on attempting to impose Jihad and Sha'ria law on this Planet, freedom-loving people have no choice but to cut them when they stand and shoot them when they run.  Again, take no prisoners.

And besides, as of the advent of GoogleEarth and other far more advanced technologies, there are a million better ways of getting information about our Islamofascist enemies without taking prisoners, with all of the feeding, housing, clothing, and kow-towing to silly sensitivities that entails.




gag
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DirtyLowDown

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Re: America's shame, torture
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2009, 10:00:49 pm »

Howdy, Zoot!

As long as "take no prisoners" is a "dead-end" to Islamofascists and not to the innocents such as were massacred on 9/11, so much the better.

Please don't get me wrong.  I love the idea of a non-interventionist foreign policy on paper.  In fact, it's so good, every nation and every group of would-be coercers should practice non-interventionism whether they want to or not.  And the criticism of interventionism applies to Jihad and "wars of national liberation" just as much as it applies to "nation-building" Liberal Welfare Statism and Neo-Conservativism.

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break24

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Re: America's shame, torture
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2009, 10:06:12 pm »

Officially ignoring this member
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DirtyLowDown

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Re: America's shame, torture
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2009, 10:13:37 pm »

Howdy, Jamie!

Look, taking no prisoners with Islamofascists at least beats a stick in the eye...And last time I recall, the Geneva Accords were never applied against the Islamofascist murderers of Daniel Perl, Nick Berg, and others innocnets whom the Islamofascists captured, tortured, burned, or beheaded.
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DirtyLowDown

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Re: America's shame, torture
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2009, 10:17:56 pm »

Howdy Break24!

Sorry you feel that way.  All I'm saying is that if someone is coming to take your life and freedom, you have to respond in kind.

Nice quote from Huxley.  What he said applies equally to societies under Islamic Sha'ria law.

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livinright

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Re: America's shame, torture
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2009, 10:28:12 pm »

Officially ignoring this member

Ditto
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dogsledder54

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Re: America's shame, torture
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2009, 11:25:53 pm »

DirtyLowDown-   A short explanation is needed.  The prevailing attitude here is that 9-11 was an "inside job", and that Islam is the Religion of PeaceTM .  That is the reason for the reaction to your posts.
However, I don't agree. I subscribe to the Zero Agression Principle, I also believe in self-defense, and the "Don't Tread on Me" principle.
I am not "right-wing" or conservative, but a passivist-  in my own fashion. That is, be armed and prepared to fight if attacked. I feel that when this country was attacked, it had to respond with force. It did. But it also made mistakes. I give Bush credit for preventing another attack, which was not easy. And I don't necessarily condemn the torture of terror suspects in certain circumstances. They play rough, and we should too. But that's not the consensus here.
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Klapton Isgod

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Re: America's shame, torture
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2009, 11:43:25 pm »

Theocracy of ANY flavor is not condusive to liberty.  Fortunately the "islamofascists" have pretty much zero influence on American politics, except to provide an excuse for warmongers to enrich their buddies in the military-industrial complex.  I find that Christian theocrats are a much greater threat to individual liberty in America.
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