Vote on torture.

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Vote on torture.

Postby Okeefenokee » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:29 pm

http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/jun/16/senate-passes-torture-ban-republicans

More than 20 Republican senators rejected a ban on the use of cruel and degrading treatment of prisoners on Tuesday, voting against an ultimately successful measure...

The measure passed in the Senate, 78-21...All those who voted against the amendment were Republican...

The bipartisan amendment reaffirms President Barack Obama’s prohibition of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding and sleep deprivation...

The amendment would also turn into law a second component of the Obama order, which requires the Red Cross to have access to detainees in US custody, bringing America into line with the Geneva convention...

Florida senator Marco Rubio, regarded as Bush’s main rival in the Republican presidential contest, missed the vote but said he would have opposed the torture ban...

Other Republican senators running for candidate were split on the amendment: South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, a chief defense hawk, voted against it, while Kentucky senator Rand Paul and Texas senator Ted Cruz voted for it.


I heard this on NPR, but as of right now, there is nothing on their website about it. There was a hint in their report that there was a separate issue causing the opposition, but I can't find anything on it; just direct opposition to a ban on torture.
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Re: Vote on torture.

Postby Smitty-48 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:36 pm

Oh, they made torture illegal? That's good... oh wait... wasn't it illegal already?
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Re: Vote on torture.

Postby Okeefenokee » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:45 pm

yeah, "torture" was illegal.

all you need is a lawyer to write a memo stating a kick to the balls isn't "torture," and you're golden.

this bill limits "interrogation techniques" to those outlined in the army field manual on interrogation.

so, it has no bearing on actions taken outside of an interrogation.

"Yeah, we waterboarded him. We weren't questioning him though. Him spilling the beans was purely coincidental."
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Re: Vote on torture.

Postby Myrtok » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:47 pm

Smitty, what's your take on that other detail about the Red Cross visits bringing us into line with the Geneva Convention? Isn't the GC an accord between nations? Does treatment of prisoners who are not representing the military of a GC nation have any bearing on America's compliance with the Convention? I was under the impression that it doesn't apply to them.
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Re: Vote on torture.

Postby Okeefenokee » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:05 pm

Myrtok wrote:Smitty, what's your take on that other detail about the Red Cross visits bringing us into line with the Geneva Convention? Isn't the GC an accord between nations? Does treatment of prisoners who are not representing the military of a GC nation have any bearing on America's compliance with the Convention? I was under the impression that it doesn't apply to them.


You're talking about holding combatants in military facilities, contending that they are not civilians, so have no due process, and aren't soldiers, so don't fall under the protections of the GC. Should we just label them dogs and gas them already? How about we steal their identities, rack up thousands in credit card debt, and then throw them in debtor prisons?

Either we abide by it or we don't, but don't be so spineless as to try to legalese your way out of it.
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Re: Vote on torture.

Postby Smitty-48 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:06 pm

Geneva III pretty much extended EPW status, for all intents and purposes, to unlawful combatants, so you have to treat them like EPW's under Geneva, now, the problem with that, is that EPW's have obligations as well as privileges, and as unlawful combatants, they generally don't comply with their obligations, while at the same time they demand their privileges, so operationally, it is a paradox, the US is bound by Geneva to treat them as EPW's, but they won't act like EPW's, so when they know the Red Cross is coming, no doubt they will go into their hunger strike mode, which puts you back in the catch-22, if you don't feed them, Red Cross blows the whistle, if you force feed them, Red Cross blows the whistle, you're in a tight jam, once you take these people prisoner, if you ask me, I would take the hit on the intel loss and just fly the Black Flag, take no prisoners, but, you know, I'm old school.

You're probably not going to get much intel out of prisoners anyways, what you want is confidential informants, and they are not usually taken by force, they walk in willingly, you don't capture rats, they come to you, usually for money and protection from their own side.
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Re: Vote on torture.

Postby Myrtok » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:26 pm

Okeefenokee wrote:
Myrtok wrote:Smitty, what's your take on that other detail about the Red Cross visits bringing us into line with the Geneva Convention? Isn't the GC an accord between nations? Does treatment of prisoners who are not representing the military of a GC nation have any bearing on America's compliance with the Convention? I was under the impression that it doesn't apply to them.


You're talking about holding combatants in military facilities, contending that they are not civilians, so have no due process, and aren't soldiers, so don't fall under the protections of the GC. Should we just label them dogs and gas them already? How about we steal their identities, rack up thousands in credit card debt, and then throw them in debtor prisons?

Either we abide by it or we don't, but don't be so spineless as to try to legalese your way out of it.

Don't go all hyperbolic. It was a question about whether we were actually in violation of the Geneva Convention - not an argument for inhumane treatment.
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Re: Vote on torture.

Postby Smitty-48 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:29 pm

Ain't nothing inhumane about a quick and clean death on the battlefield, two in the chest, one in the mouth; problem solved.
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Re: Vote on torture.

Postby Okeefenokee » Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:00 am

"Humane" is not a standard I regard highly. "Humane" treatment is a pretty low bar. Assad dumping barrels of chlorine gas on civilians is par for the course, or typically "humane," if you will.

So yeah, a quick sweep to finish off the wounded is just as "humane" as gassing them.

You think John McCain wishes the NVA had treated him to a "humane" bullet to the head?
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Re: Vote on torture.

Postby Paulo » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:58 am

Smitty-48 wrote:Geneva III pretty much extended EPW status, for all intents and purposes, to unlawful combatants, so you have to treat them like EPW's under Geneva, now, the problem with that, is that EPW's have obligations as well as privileges, and as unlawful combatants, they generally don't comply with their obligations, while at the same time they demand their privileges, so operationally, it is a paradox, the US is bound by Geneva to treat them as EPW's, but they won't act like EPW's, so when they know the Red Cross is coming, no doubt they will go into their hunger strike mode, which puts you back in the catch-22, if you don't feed them, Red Cross blows the whistle, if you force feed them, Red Cross blows the whistle, you're in a tight jam, once you take these people prisoner, if you ask me, I would take the hit on the intel loss and just fly the Black Flag, take no prisoners, but, you know, I'm old school.

You're probably not going to get much intel out of prisoners anyways, what you want is confidential informants, and they are not usually taken by force, they walk in willingly, you don't capture rats, they come to you, usually for money and protection from their own side.



ON this topic, I did learn that prison has the objective to take you away from the rest of society, to put you in limited space to not cause harm. Is that right? Being in prison does not mean that you have to be abused, or treated like less human. You should have all other stuff like normal people.The punishment is to take away your freedom, not your humanity. Torture in any form is not acceptable.
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Re: Vote on torture.

Postby nmoore63 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:02 pm

One must be careful reading too much into votes that have no impact on reality.

There are plenty of votes cast to raise campaign stats and such. "Person X votes with team D Y percent of the time" bullshit, can distort the tea leaves so that they don't mean what you think they mean.
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Re: Vote on torture.

Postby Okeefenokee » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:01 pm

"The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire." ~Robert A. Heinlein
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Re: Vote on torture.

Postby Smitty-48 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:09 pm

Paulo wrote:ON this topic, I did learn that prison has the objective to take you away from the rest of society, to put you in limited space to not cause harm. Is that right? Being in prison does not mean that you have to be abused, or treated like less human. You should have all other stuff like normal people.The punishment is to take away your freedom, not your humanity. Torture in any form is not acceptable.


Prisoner of War has the objective of rendering you off the battlefield in a war, until the war is over. Geneva III lays out what is and is not acceptable, but it is also contradictory, as I said, allowing you to starve yourself, which is a violation of your obligations as a PoW, is prohibited, force feeding you to comply with that prohibition, is also prohibited; catch-22.
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Re: Vote on torture.

Postby coyo7e » Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:33 pm

I vote that all defendants of torture claims be subjected to the same methods used by them, and then they ought to be judged on by how well they ignored the discomfort. Then we can begin the trial.
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Re: Vote on torture.

Postby TheWaffle » Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:07 am

nmoore63 wrote:One must be careful reading too much into votes that have no impact on reality.

There are plenty of votes cast to raise campaign stats and such. "Person X votes with team D Y percent of the time" bullshit, can distort the tea leaves so that they don't mean what you think they mean.


I wouldn't dismiss it quite so quickly. Subordinates and onlookers love to snipe at mission statements, CEO speeches, and the like. But when you get people behind closed doors it is remarkable how often managers and coworkers use those items as motivators for new policies or to question existing ones. Similarly, it is much harder for an administration official to escape legal or moral culpability for their actions when Congress votes explicitly to ban those actions. The Bush torture program evolved by degrees out of interrogation to "enhanced" interrogation to torture. It's a lot harder to justify to the Deputy Secretary when Congress has explicitly said "follow the field manual."
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