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'Torture' Could Haunt Bush Officials

Posted by on Mar. 29, 2009 at 8:46 PM
  • 11 Replies

 

'Torture' Could Haunt Bush Officials

Spanish Judge Who Went After Pinochet Considers Charges for Gonzales, Others

In what may turn out to be a landmark case, a Spanish court has started a criminal investigation into allegations that six former officials in the Bush administration violated international law by creating the legal justification for torture in Guantanamo Bay.

PHOTO Spanish prosecutors may decide this week whether to press ahead with a probe into six former Bush administration officials, including  ex-U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
Spanish prosecutors may decide this week whether to press ahead with a probe into six former Bush... Expand
Spanish prosecutors may decide this week whether to press ahead with a probe into six former Bush administration officials, including ex-U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, shown in this file photo (inset), in connection with the torture of detainees at the U.S. military's Guantanamo Bay prison, court sources said. Collapse
(Reuters/Getty Images)

 

 

The officials named in the 98-page complaint include former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who once famously described the Geneva Conventions as "quaint" and "obsolete."

Others include John Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer who wrote the so-called "torture memo" that justified waterboarding and other extreme interrogation methods for terror suspects.

Also named are: former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith; former General Counsel for the Department of Defense William Haynes II; Jay S. Bybee, formerly of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel; and David S. Addington, former chief of staff and legal advisor to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

 

 

 


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by on Mar. 29, 2009 at 8:46 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Eilish
by on Mar. 29, 2009 at 9:20 PM

I have a problem with an International Court doing this. Not that I don't think it needs to be done, but we need to keep it in our country. If we let an International Court try Bush, does that mean that the International Court have jurisdiction over Americans? What happens when the laws are different? If I shoot a burglar in my home for threatening me, who happens to be from Mexico, and Mexico has a law against my liberty to do that, does that mean that I could be tried outside of the US under laws that I am not privy too.

Let's try Bush by all means, but We the People need to do it, not the International Court.

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Da1nOnlyDestiny
by Bronze Member on Mar. 29, 2009 at 9:30 PM

this is a slipper slope, a real slippery slope.

                                                                

         

hsteele
by on Mar. 30, 2009 at 1:14 AM

they're not actually trying Bush, or Cheney. Under what authority though are they trying these people. I read the article on Yahoo ealier but didn't see where Spain would have jurisdiction to bring to trial something to do with American crimes in Cuba.

Quoting Eilish:

I have a problem with an International Court doing this. Not that I don't think it needs to be done, but we need to keep it in our country. If we let an International Court try Bush, does that mean that the International Court have jurisdiction over Americans? What happens when the laws are different? If I shoot a burglar in my home for threatening me, who happens to be from Mexico, and Mexico has a law against my liberty to do that, does that mean that I could be tried outside of the US under laws that I am not privy too.

Let's try Bush by all means, but We the People need to do it, not the International Court.


Heather

Proud Pagan Mama

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin~

Eilish
by on Mar. 30, 2009 at 1:21 AM

Well, see here's the thing ... I took International Law in college and learned the International Courts not only have no jurisdiction but they also have no enforcing power for their "judgements." This is because no country ever takes them seriously ... however ....

The UN is becoming very big and influential and Obama has stated on numerous occasions that he has no problem with relinquishing some of America's sovereignty to a world government. He calls it "Responsible sovereignty." So that is why this makes me nervous, we have a President who may actually support it, and that could open up the flood gates.

Quoting hsteele:

they're not actually trying Bush, or Cheney. Under what authority though are they trying these people. I read the article on Yahoo ealier but didn't see where Spain would have jurisdiction to bring to trial something to do with American crimes in Cuba.

Quoting Eilish:

I have a problem with an International Court doing this. Not that I don't think it needs to be done, but we need to keep it in our country. If we let an International Court try Bush, does that mean that the International Court have jurisdiction over Americans? What happens when the laws are different? If I shoot a burglar in my home for threatening me, who happens to be from Mexico, and Mexico has a law against my liberty to do that, does that mean that I could be tried outside of the US under laws that I am not privy too.

Let's try Bush by all means, but We the People need to do it, not the International Court.



  • Help keep an eye on what Congress is doing. Stay informed and spread
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Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Mar. 30, 2009 at 2:56 AM

I'm one of those that doesn't have an issue with what went on in Gitmo...   so...


   Wife of a Marine - Mommy to a Little Prince
            
& Expecting a Princess in May!                

hsteele
by on Mar. 30, 2009 at 3:23 AM


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I'm one of those that doesn't have an issue with what went on in Gitmo...   so...

Some take exception to acting like those we condemn as being evil, in addition to the fact that the prisoners in Gitmo had no trials and were therefore never found guilty of any crime that would warrent torture (not that I believe there is ever a justification for torture).

Heather

Proud Pagan Mama

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ~Benjamin Franklin~

sassyandy124
by Bronze Member on Mar. 30, 2009 at 9:28 AM


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I'm one of those that doesn't have an issue with what went on in Gitmo...   so...


     Me either. We are at war. Whether or not it's been 'declared' that is what it is. War is not pretty, and there are soemtimes things that need to be done that aren't pretty. That's the reality. That's the reason it should be ANY countrie's last resort. IF torturing political criminals will hepl save American lives, frankly I am ALL for it. Even when Gitmo is closed, frankly it won't stop it. DO people honestly think that other countries don't do it? DO you honestly think that we are the only ones who do not follow the Genevea convention by the book? Wake up. Other countries are shooting our citizens on tv for God's sake. Yeah I dont think that's covered.

   Those who can't get behind our troops should feel free to stand in front of them!!!!!

Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Mar. 30, 2009 at 2:15 PM


Quoting hsteele:

 

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I'm one of those that doesn't have an issue with what went on in Gitmo...   so...

Some take exception to acting like those we condemn as being evil, in addition to the fact that the prisoners in Gitmo had no trials and were therefore never found guilty of any crime that would warrent torture (not that I believe there is ever a justification for torture).

That is the only thing I think should be changed.  They should be tried quicker and punished. 


   Wife of a Marine - Mommy to a Little Prince
            
& Expecting a Princess in May!                

Eilish
by on Mar. 30, 2009 at 2:26 PM


Quoting sassyandy124:


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I'm one of those that doesn't have an issue with what went on in Gitmo...   so...


     Me either. We are at war. Whether or not it's been 'declared' that is what it is. War is not pretty, and there are soemtimes things that need to be done that aren't pretty. That's the reality. That's the reason it should be ANY countrie's last resort. IF torturing political criminals will hepl save American lives, frankly I am ALL for it. Even when Gitmo is closed, frankly it won't stop it. DO people honestly think that other countries don't do it? DO you honestly think that we are the only ones who do not follow the Genevea convention by the book? Wake up. Other countries are shooting our citizens on tv for God's sake. Yeah I dont think that's covered.

Actually the problem with Gitmo is that there is no REAL definition of "terrorist" and the Patriot Act leaves it open to anyone who speaks out against the government. That could be me ... Missouri tried to identify a "domestic terrorist" and it included characteristics that encompass nearly 75% of Americans to some degree.

Should we protect our country against our enemies? ABSOLUTELY. But we cannot do it at the expense of our liberties.

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blondekosmic15
by on Mar. 30, 2009 at 3:39 PM


Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

I'm one of those that doesn't have an issue with what went on in Gitmo...   so...


A Firsthand Look at the Real Guantanamo

The truth about the facility bears little resemblance to the stereotypes peddled by media and politicians. (Also read Victor Davis Hanson: From Gaza to Guantanamo)

January 15, 2009 - by Gabe Ledeen

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I recently visited the detention facilities at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and was dismayed at what I saw. The place was nothing like what I expected, and I was struck by how little we Americans actually know about these facilities and the conduct of our personnel there. With every new interview and every new area walk-through I hoped to find some validation of the certainties I brought with me from the hundreds of articles, documentaries, and speeches presented to the American people by our intellectual superiors.

Instead, my experiences at Guantanamo Bay illustrate the thoroughness of the miseducation of the American people and our willingness to assume the worst about our men and women in uniform. Furthermore, the visit clearly demonstrated that there is a widespread ignorance of the complexity of the situation that we face in the current war against our terrorist enemies. This ignorance results in a focus on superficial issues instead of core questions, and a naive trust in false stories and an astonishing proclivity to be misled.

Our willingness to believe the worst about our servicemen and women is evident in the popular beliefs about Guantanamo Bay, despite the facts. There are quite literally too many examples to choose from to represent the overwhelmingly negative and sensational views on what occurs at the hands of American citizens under direct supervision. Here’s one attempt: “Guantanamo Bay, in addition to Abu Ghraib, is a national disgrace and international embarrassment to us, to our country’s ideals, and a festering threat to our security. It is a legal black hole that dishonors the principles of a great nation.” These inaccurate and deliberately misleading comments made by Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) illustrate the point nicely. Never mind that the incident at Abu Ghraib was never excused by a single military or civilian leader, and that it stands out as an extreme and isolated example of the unfortunate effects that a few anomalous individuals can produce. Instead, he deliberately links Abu Ghraib with Guantanamo in an effort to demonstrate to his audience that there is a pattern of immoral behavior perpetrated by members of our military.

What I found at Guantanamo Bay was that the American servicemen and women there are committed to standards well above those of the average citizen. For twelve hours a day, four days a week, for at least a year, these soldiers with a median age of 22 demonstrate inspiring discipline and dedication to duty. There are multiple assaults on guards every day, mostly verbal and sometimes physical. At least once a week, every week, at least one soldier is doused with a “body fluid cocktail” of feces and urine as they attempt to perform their daily routine. I asked one young female non-commissioned officer what happens after such an event. She explained that the soldier washes off and changes into a clean uniform, and after a medical evaluation is permitted to choose whether or not to return to the cell block.

The option is given so the soldier has the opportunity to calm down, process what happened, and seek out a chaplain or mental health professional if desired. Without my prompting, the NCO added that in the year that she had worked there, not one soldier had decided to take the rest of the day off. Instead, they return to the cell block to show the detainee that no level of provocation will be sufficient to break the soldier’s will or provoke a reaction. Indeed, every soldier is obsessed with performing their duty in a manner worthy of America’s praise and support. As the Joint Task Force commander, Rear Admiral David Thomas, put it, “Of course we’re doing it this way; we’re Americans, and we want Americans to be proud of their military and the way we conduct ourselves.” In order to confirm that the nasal feeding tubes were humane and effective, Rear Admiral Thomas instructed the medical staff to feed him with the device — for a week.

During a brief, Rear Admiral Thomas made a point that all Americans should understand. He said, “The debate about the right policy and the right legal framework for handling unlawful enemy combatants is extremely important and complicated, and should absolutely continue to take place. But Americans do not have to worry about the treatment of these detainees. We are committed to the safe and humane, legal and transparent care and custody of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and we do so in a manner that Americans can be proud of.” These soldiers are dedicated to upholding our highest values in their daily conduct, and are committed to their mission because they know that it helps to protect our nation.

As an Iraq veteran who led convoys transporting detainees, I know firsthand that these men and women represent the norm in our armed forces, not those involved in the Abu Ghraib incident. Due to time limitations on holding detainees at the battalion level, we would brave the roads of Anbar province in the summer of 2006 at all hours to make sure we met these expectations. Despite the frustrations of detaining the same individuals multiple times because of the slowly maturing Iraqi justice system, our Marines showed tremendous integrity and discipline and set an inspiring example. When faced with impossible split-second decisions, Marines would put themselves at incredible personal risk to avoid potential civilian casualties and collateral damage. These men and women volunteered to serve our country at a time of war, and all but a tiny minority are performing admirably in the most challenging of circumstances. They have proven themselves in the face of overwhelming adversity. They deserve our support and respect, not more doubt and disbelief.

 

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/a-firsthand-look-at-the-real-guantanamo/

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