Oh-KAY, Oh-KAY… No Torture

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The White House has apparently agreed to back McCain's anti-torture amendment.

NEXT: Into the Home Stretch!

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  1. I’m not sure whether to be relieved at this or embarassed that GWB was dragged, kicking and screaming, to what should’ve been a non-controversial position. In America, that is.

  2. If I were a cynical bastard I’d think that the administration had figured out a way to simply ignore the law.

    Oh, wait, I am a cynical bastard.

  3. I think the quick re-write of the Pentagon regs yesterday should probably answer your concerns, Isaac. In the negative, naturally.

  4. You know, I used to think Bush was a patriot, but now it’s obvious he’s really in Al Queda’s pocket

  5. I’m not sure whether to be relieved at this or embarassed

    Why choose? I’m going to savor a trace of relief, though.

  6. WHOO HOO
    I too have doubts and reservations (like, are we still outsoursing our torture?) But this is the best news on this topic I’ve read in a long time. And it’s a topic that I really care about. I sooooo want my country to be above torture, always and forever. So whatever disillusionment awaits me, for now I’m celebrating.

    Bong hits for everyone! 😀

  7. Say, “Uncle,” George, and we don’t mean Uncle Sam!

    AntiWar.com has an article about how even the ticking bomb excuse is bullshit.

  8. See, my strategy worked!

  9. Warren,
    Apparently you did not see the rewritng of the regulations done this past week to escape the scope of this law.
    I believe taking bong hits, or mentioning bong hits online is an offense punishable by torture.

  10. What kind of torture did McCain use on Bush to get him to cave?

  11. what’s all the hullabaloo about the parrot act? What have you got against parrots?

  12. Maybe McCain threatened GW with more campaign finance reform.

  13. Apparently you did not see the rewritng of the regulations done this past week to escape the scope of this law.

    Geez, and here I was starting to feel guilty about being such a cynical bastard. I don’t any more.

  14. theCoach
    You’re right, I did miss that. And this bothers me as well:
    The White House said it would make US interrogators and guards much more vulnerable to lawsuits filed by aggrieved detainees.

    So we’re still going to pin it all on a “few rogue enlistees”. That is the lowest scumbag play of any president ever.

    Anyway, I’m still packing the bong. Times being what they are, reasons are hard to come by, I’ll settle for an excuse.

  15. So Bush caved on torture, hey?

    I wonder why he hates America?

  16. Good thing there’s going to be this new piece of legislation… It’s not like torture and cruel or inhumane treatment wasn’t already a violation of several UCMJ regulations. Yep, I’m sure that this is going to be much more effective at keeping bored, unsupervised, sadistic jackasses like Graner from pulling weak-minded bone-heads into doing illegal things to prisoners they have complete control over.

    Yep – Good to hear that the US still doesn’t condone torture.

    How about determining and correcting the mistakes that allowed a sadistic loser like Graner to operate without adult supervision? Or ensuring that there’s enough supervision of guards and interrogators? The sad reality is that someone HAS to watch the watchers – or at least supervise them.

    Bottom line: This is BS legislation that changes nothing, because the policy has always been not to torture.

  17. Bottom line: This is BS legislation that changes nothing, because the policy has always been not to torture.

    Go ahead; pretend the Gonzales Torture Memo, which split hairs between torture on one hand and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment on the other…

    …just pretend the Memo, and all the policies the Department of Defense crafted using its logic never freakin’ happened…

    …You take Clintonian double-speak, jackassery to a new level. …Thanks for reminding me how to laugh at that again.

    Ha!

  18. As long as I’m still allowed to torture the English language in general and the word “nuclear” in particular, I’m fine with this here anti-torture amendment.

  19. Executive summary: torture already was illegal. Now it’s illegal again. But the Bush Administration thinks it has the inherent power to ignore or rewrite the law as it sees fit. (The Magna Carta is 9/10 thinking). So this provides some PR cover and we’ll keep beating people to death for freedom. Meh.

  20. Under the deal, CIA interrogators would be given the same legal rights as currently guaranteed to members of the military who are accused of breaking interrogation guidelines. Those rights say accused people can defend themselves by claiming they were obeying an order and did not know the actions were unlawful. The government also would provide counsel for accused interrogators.

    Ja. Sehr gut.

  21. rob’s funny.

    “because the policy has always been not to torture.” Tear down those banners, we have always been at war with East Asia.

  22. now — if only the law mattered to anyone.

  23. “Go ahead; pretend the Gonzales Torture Memo, which split hairs between torture on one hand and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment on the other…” -KS

    Go ahead and pretend that the Bush Memo, which is the DECISION memo, doesn’t settle the matter that the Gonzales Memo ADVISES the president on. Also pretend that it doesn’t dismiss the advice of the Gonzales Memo. Also try to continue to pretend that you haven’t been trying to ride the same dead horse that I executed and butchered a LONG time ago.

    “You take Clintonian double-speak, jackassery to a new level. …Thanks for reminding me how to laugh at that again.” – KS

    Says the guy who can’t face the fact that he’s been wrong from the start, and keeps trying to find a new way to re-attack an argument he lost 6 months ago. The same guy who tries to claim that documents prove things that they clearly REFUTE.

    Now THAT’S Clintonian double-speak comedy at its finest!

  24. joe – If your state legislature passes another law that makes it illegal to drive through a stop sign without stopping, and you point out that it changes nothing because there was already a law on the books preventing that, does that make you an Orwellian nut?

    Nice try, tho…

  25. Says the guy who can’t face the fact that he’s been wrong from the start, and keeps trying to find a new way to re-attack an argument he lost 6 months ago. The same guy who tries to claim that documents prove things that they clearly REFUTE.

    You’re like talkin’ to a wall. I’ve explained myself to you so many times. Does someone pay you to troll around with your fingers in your ears?

    The Bush Administration is ultimately responsible for the results of its policies; and Administration policy, according to the Schlesinger Report, resulted in our disgrace at Abu Gharib.

    In your comment above, you ignored the Torture Memo’s distinction between “torture” and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. You seem to pretend that the Bush Administration never rewrote interrogation policy in line with this false distinction, as detailed in the Schlesinger Report.

    And then you point to past discussions in which I’ve explained all of this to you before. …You point to past embarrassments, like a toddler standing next to a toilet bowl pointing to his turd. Congratulations, I’m amazed.

  26. “You’re like talkin’ to a wall. I’ve explained myself to you so many times. Does someone pay you to troll around with your fingers in your ears?”

    Wow. I know EXACTLY how you feel.

    “The Bush Administration is ultimately responsible for the results of its policies; and Administration policy, according to the Schlesinger Report, resulted in our disgrace at Abu Gharib.”

    Yep, the Bush administration is ultimately responsible every time military personnel do something illegal – IF the administration ordered it. That’s not the case at Abu Ghraib and whatever clever turn of phrase you try to use to make that leap simply doesn’t matter. The administatration is not responsible for military personnel who commit crimes unless the administration ordered it. There are plenty of things to complain about regarding this administration, but this just ain’t one of ’em.

    “In your comment above, you ignored the Torture Memo’s distinction between “torture” and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. You seem to pretend that the Bush Administration never rewrote interrogation policy in line with this false distinction, as detailed in the Schlesinger Report.”

    No, I simply actually read the memo AND the Bush Memo that essentially says, “regardless of the Justice Dept’s advice, the U.S. will not torture/will grant geneva protection to all detainees.” The Bush Memo is the POLICY SETTING memo, not the ADVISORY MEMO. Learn the difference, and you’ll be one step closer to the reality that the DoJ advises the President, but that the President is the one who sets DoD policy, not the Atty General.

    “And then you point to past discussions in which I’ve explained all of this to you before. …You point to past embarrassments, like a toddler standing next to a toilet bowl pointing to his turd. Congratulations, I’m amazed.”

    I’m amazed that you can’t figure out when you’ve lost. You remind me of boxers who get pummeled in every round, knocked down repeatedly, knocked OUT in the last round, and then jump up waving your arms after the bell expecting the judges to declare you the winner.

    Here’s a hint: every time you try to explain (or re-define) your position, you end up pointing to the very documents that make it an untenable position. Linking to documents that don’t support your statements is just silly (Gonzales and Bush Memoes, Schlesinger Report, etc).

    It’s like you honestly believe people won’t read the documents themselves. Or perhaps you just believe everyone has the same reading comprehension problem you have…

  27. No, I simply actually read the memo AND the Bush Memo that essentially says, “regardless of the Justice Dept’s advice, the U.S. will not torture/will grant geneva protection to all detainees.” The Bush Memo is the POLICY SETTING memo, not the ADVISORY MEMO.

    Link to it.

  28. Why would I have to link to something that you can Google for yourself? Why should I have to link to something I’ve linked to in numerous previous threads? Speaking of talking to a wall…

    You know what? Screw it. Here’s the link:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/documents/020702bush.pdf

    And here are the pieces that issue the marching orders regarding treatment of detainees – as opposed to the Gonzalez Memo, which merely advises the President regarding various options for treatment of detainees who do not normally within the protections of the Geneva Convention:

    “5. I hereby reaffirm the order previously issued by the Secretary of Defense to the United States Armed Forces requiring that the detainees be treated humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of Geneva.

    6. I hereby direct the Secretary of State to communicate my determinations in an appropriate manner to our allies, and other countries and international organizations cooperating in the war against terrorism of global reach.”

    So, in keeping with the boxing theme…

    Now that you have nothing to respond with (just like the last 12 times we’ve had this discussion) I’m going to consider this the 13th round knockout.

    Figuratively, this would be you getting knocked out in the 12th and normally final round, but you hopped up after the bell acting froggy and I knocked you out again.

    Sweet dreams, Ken.

  29. Previous post should have read “which merely advises the President regarding various options for treatment of detainees who do not normally/technically fall within the protections of the Geneva Convention:”

  30. Do you think of “waterboarding” as torture or as “cruel, inhuman or degrading”?

    The interrogation techniques, which Rumsfeld approved, were put in place in Guantanamo and, quite incompetently, were let to migrate to Iraq.

    …In spite of the President’s Memo.

    The Administration position was that the approved techniques did not constitute torture, that they were merely “cruel, inhuman or degrading”. That doesn’t mean that the policies didn’t take precedence. In the President’s view, apparently, the interrogation polices Rumsfeld put in place didn’t conflict with the President’s memo. …and McCain’s rider would legally destroy that false distinction (cruel and inhuman vs. torture). …upon which the Administration built their interrogation polices.

    See .pdf pages 111 and 112 of 126

    http://news.findlaw.com/wp/docs/dod/abughraibrpt.pdf

    You’re wrong on the facts.

  31. “Do you think of “waterboarding” as torture or as “cruel, inhuman or degrading”?” – Ken Shultz

    Nope.

    “The Administration position was that the approved techniques did not constitute torture, that they were merely “cruel, inhuman or degrading”.” – Ken Schultz

    I’d disagree. I’d say those techniques were harsh, but certainly don’t rise to the level of “cruel, inhuman or degrading.” I’ve discussed those techniques and why they’re not torture at length, as well as why they don’t rise to the level you claim in other threads.

    “You’re wrong on the facts.” – Ken Schultz

    I’ve pummeled you with the facts repeatedly, Ken, you just refuse to admit it.

    Remember “Link to it”???

    I did link to it. Then I cut and pasted the pertinent parts for you, since repeatedly linking to it didn’t seem to be enough evidence for you.

    Your response is to hide behind a generic link you hope no one will read – because it doesn’t support your position – and claim that I’m wrong.

    Essentially, you demand the facts (“Link to it.”) I hammer you with them, then you stick your fingers in your ears and chant that I’m wrong on the facts.

    Pitiful.

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