Is there a name for the phenomenon
Whereby you KNOW shit is fucked up, you KNOW that someone has commited HEINOUS, INTERNATIONAL crimes against humanity, and while you're willing to recognize the rights of the victims in an official manner, you're fully UNWILLING to bring accountability to bear on the perpetrators?
I don't get it. How can you on the one hand acknowlege Gitmo et al as utterly illegal torture centers, and on the other hand not impeach the administration that created them IN RECENT HISTORY?
I'm lost. We're all lost.
September 6th, 2006 8:58am
September 6th, 2006 9:17am
"the administration [wants to use court martial procedures] with changes such as admitting hearsay evidence, limiting rights against self-incrimination before a trial and limiting defendants' access to classified information"
None of that sounds so bad. Of course, this is the Boris and Natasha version of their original plan, slimmed down to only a cartoony evil.
I've never understood why hearsay is so bad. It can lean people, sure. But surely the defence can put up their own hearsay rebuttal? The net is 0.
Why shouldn't criminals be able to incriminate themselves? I doubt the guys at Gitmo were ever read their rights, but if some criminal is claiming guilt when taken into custody it should be used against them even if they didn't hear about their "right to remain silent". Keeping your mouth shut isn't so hard.
"Gonzales also told lawmakers the administration's plan might allow testimony obtained by coercion if it was reliable and useful."
Torture is bad. But ignoring the information gleaned from it just because of that fact makes it even more evil because it will have been fruitless. Sure, you can make people say things with bamboo shoots under the fingernails and little shocks to the testes, but you can't make them have stories that corroborate.
"Democrats have said those provisions would leave the new trial system vulnerable to another Supreme Court rebuke."
No wonder we're stuck with these assholes. The alternatives criticise them on the grounds that brother Supreme is not going to like their plans. Hey guys, what do you people have to say about them?
September 6th, 2006 9:50am
Ok, I'll bite
"I've never understood why hearsay is so bad… The net is 0."
Ever play Chinese whisper’s?? Where do draw the line?? "My wife told me that her friend heard her boss plotting to bomb the WhiteHouse!!!" wtf?
"Keeping your mouth shut isn't so hard."
Miss the bit about torture eh?
"Torture is bad. But ignoring the information gleaned from it just because of that fact makes it even more evil because it will have been fruitless. Sure, you can make people say things with bamboo shoots under the fingernails and little shocks to the testes, but you can't make them have stories that corroborate."
So hang on … torture a few people, and if the stories corroborate, then it is true. I don’t think I have heard anything this dumb in ages.
September 6th, 2006 10:26am
"I've never understood why hearsay is so bad. It can lean people, sure. But surely the defence can put up their own hearsay rebuttal?"
Muppet told me he saw you shoot a woman in cold blood. Should I be allowed to testify to that? Wouldn't you rather have *muppet* on the stand?
Regarding self-incrimination, it's not about using stuff someone happens to say against them (in fact an exception to the hearsay rule is that self-incriminating statements can be admitted). It's that you cannot be *compelled* to testify against yourself, and that's mostly because it simply opens the door for all kinds of government evilness. (for example, putting someone on the stand and just asking them what crimes they've committed - now their options are confession, contempt, or perjury)
And let's not forget something that's becoming a pretty good belwether - the Bush administration is asking for it, the safest course is to presume it's a Bad Idea.
September 6th, 2006 10:46am
"Where do draw the line??"
You don't. If you are the defense you say 'My brother's wife knows your wife and has information she is lying because she is screwing the husband of her friend's boss and wants her out of the picture.'
It's all crap, sure, but anyone can contribute crap. Maybe it doesn't belong because it wastes time...
"if the stories corroborate, then it is true. I don’t think I have heard anything this dumb in ages."
What does torturing have to do with putting information in your head that wasn't there already? You are talking about TV torture. "Say uncle!"...."Uncle!" That's not so much the way this works.
September 6th, 2006 10:47am
Sounds to me like the way it works. You are tortured actively and passively for days, you know that you have to sign confession or whatever to get out. after so many days or whatever you crack. That is a highly believable scenario to me.
September 6th, 2006 10:55am
Muppet is mad because I boned his sister and left her after we woke up and I realized that nose of hers wasn't a drunken hallucination afterall. He would say anything to hurt me.
People can say whatever they like, it means nothing. Which I guess means it has no place in court. It still isn't anything more than an inconvenient waste of a court's time.
They are saying pre-trial self-incrimination. I can see what you mean about why we have the fifth amendment. But I really don't see them over there with some detainee in a chair, socking him in the jaw until he says "Oh Allah, yes, I'm a terrorist!"
September 6th, 2006 10:56am
Torture is stupid. Actually, so is JoC
That anyone would condone it, nevermind advocate its use in the legal system is dumb.
Officer to Judge
John told us that he was on the bus, when he overhead Jane telling Julie that Jane's old boss's ex-Wife had been seen showing her kids how to make <strikeout>water</strikeout> bombs.
We brought her in for questioning.
After several days of torture, including sleep deprivation, the occasional electric shock and other such tactics, she signed this statement confirming that she had been guilty of terrorist activities, including the manufacture of bombs.
WTF kind of policing is that??
September 6th, 2006 11:18am
John McCain has said that torture is not effective. I'd call that an expert opinion.
September 6th, 2006 11:24am
Gee, we got a veritable jumping jackass jamboree here.
Do you guys smoke crack?
When did I condone torture? I despise Bush, and I despise most everything going on in the middle east. You guys are rampant witch hunters though. Any remotely sane objective commentary that doesn't paint our regime with swastikas means the commenter is obviously made of wood!
September 6th, 2006 12:29pm
Dude, you're arguing that hearsay should be admissable in a court of law, which is so patently ridiculous that it overshadows ANY other point you attempt to make in the same thread until you retract your assinine statement.
September 6th, 2006 12:30pm
"After several days of torture, including sleep deprivation, the occasional electric shock and other such tactics, she signed this statement confirming that she had been guilty of terrorist activities, including the manufacture of bombs. "
I find it very ironic that people fail to see the difference in reality and television. Have you seen or read any such account whatsoever, even remotely close to what you are saying here that suggests that is what is going on?
You all are bitching about the world of Jack Bauer, not reality.
September 6th, 2006 12:31pm
Muppet... did you miss me saying this?
"Which I guess means it has no place in court. It still isn't anything more than an inconvenient waste of a court's time. "
September 6th, 2006 12:32pm
but now you're going on to claim that torture of detainees is not going on at Gitmo or anywhere else?
September 6th, 2006 12:33pm
It's all about what the meaning of "is" is.
If "torture" is banned, but you redefine what you do so it's not TECHNICALLY "torture", then it COULD be legal. I don't think so, but Ashcroft did.
If the Geneva Convention is for "Soldiers", but the people you've captured are "Enemy Combatants", then TECHNICALLY the Geneva Convention doesn't apply to them. I don't think so, but Ashcroft did.
If attacking Iraq is part of the "War On Terrorism" because you've defined it that way, then TECHNICALLY anything you do in Iraq can be justified as being part of the "War On Terrorism".
It's all these "TECHNICAL" redefinitions and evasions which makes what Bush is doing not an immediately impeachable offense. However, I also find the secrecy and redefinitions of the Bush White House to be an attack on civil liberties. He thinks reducing civil liberties enough to be effective at attacking Terrorism to be worth whatever it takes. But that's not his call to make.
There's WAYS of reducing civil liberties in this country. You do it with laws. Doing it without changing the laws IS TECHNICALLY illegal. And these redefinitions his administration keep making will ultimately be self-defeating. I hope and pray.
September 6th, 2006 12:36pm
September 6th, 2006 12:36pm
No, I'm saying that they aren't over there telling them what to say to incriminate themselves and beating the shit out of them until they do so.
I'm saying that what is going on over there, wrong as it may be, is getting information we don't already have. Not what we want to hear, but information such as Abu's brother used to hang with Osama before he was forced into hiding.
There's a big difference in that and forced self-incrimination. One is TV, the other is real.
September 6th, 2006 12:37pm
"No, I'm saying that they aren't over there telling them what to say to incriminate themselves and beating the shit out of them until they do so. "
And you know this on what authority?
Sorry JoC, but you're completely full of shit. The idea of a "guided" interrogation is NOT fiction. You'd have to be crazy to claim that it is. We're talking about soldiers who are TEENAGERS, most indoctrinated to the hilt about glory, and honor, and patriotism, and defending the homeland against evil terrorists who hate our freedom. You don't think that it's even plausible, let alone very likely, that the interrogators might suggest a statement or two?
Give me a fucking break.
September 6th, 2006 12:41pm
Tapiwa, man.. WTF does Zimbabwe have to do with Gitmo?
Are you geopolitically "challenged"?
You're so blinded by the iniquities of the world that you don't even see the subject at hand. You want to rail against all that is evil. I understand. I hate that much of this is going on too. I'm just saying that the "adjusted military tribunals" don't sound terribly unjust to me.
At this point, I think getting any semblance of a trial is a damned far sight better than the injustice that has been allowed to go on thus far. This particular arrangement sounds like a better deal than what I had even expected them to get. Do you not agree? Or are you going to tell me about how some kids are starving in Ethiopia while corporate fat cats in the U.S. spend hundreds of dollars a day just feeding their pets?
September 6th, 2006 12:42pm
“It’s clear from their report that the UN Committee sees torture by law enforcement personnel in the US as on the same level as the torture in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.” Andrea Ritchie, a civil rights lawyer said. “It’s not just Guantanamo that needs to be shut down, it’s torture wherever it takes place.”
Tapiwa, you are still so far off the mark it is ridiculous. This is a railing against injust treatment of Americans. Some of that stuff is undoubtedly *worse* than anything at Gitmo. Those people latched to Gitmo because it's a much bigger political story on the world level. Wake up.
September 6th, 2006 12:45pm
We may as well just let them all go. We've made terrorists of many of their familes at this point anyway, I'd bet.
September 6th, 2006 12:45pm
"that the interrogators might suggest a statement or two?"
That's much different than saying that is primarily what is going on. Sure, that *may* go on. But tell me this, do you really think anyone is more concerned with keeping some guy in jail than they are in finding out where the supplies are that militants are using to make road side bombs? Or maybe where those militants might be? You can't "lead" that interrogation man. You can only coerce someone to say something if they know it. Putting words in their mouths will not gain you that sort of intelligence though, and that's a big part of what the better part of the torture is about.
September 6th, 2006 12:49pm
"You can only coerce someone to say something if they know it. Putting words in their mouths will not gain you that sort of intelligence though, and that's a big part of what the better part of the torture is about."
And you think that the hundreds of people in Gitmo are still being held for the sake of intelligence? Some of them have been there for YEARS. What the fuck good is any of their "intelligence?"
Also, do you REALLY have SO MUCH faith in our military that you staunchly believe that interrogations are carried out properly and for the correct reasons/goals even a majority of the time?
September 6th, 2006 12:50pm
...and I agree with every bit of what Somebody said.
September 6th, 2006 12:51pm
"Also, do you REALLY have SO MUCH faith in our military that you staunchly believe that interrogations are carried out properly and for the correct reasons/goals even a majority of the time?"
No, not necessarily, but it's jsut very clear that some people's idea is more what Hollywood put there than anything else.
People are basically saying that people are being tortured into confession, right?
Well, tell me, what is the motivation of getting innocent people to confess to things they didn't do?
What, so we can punish them? LOL Yeah, we sure haven't proven already that we can damned well imprison and punish all we like anyway. We need a confession! Start the inquisition! Yeah, right.
That is the authority I speak on when I say that is nowhere even close to the bulk of what is going on.
September 6th, 2006 12:56pm
How about: "Oh shit, we've rounded up a fuckton of people because we really don't know which ones are terrorists, and now we have to justify ourselves to an increasingly pissed off public back home."?
Sounds like a good justification to torture confessions out of as many of them as possible, to me.
September 6th, 2006 1:00pm
JoC, you are an idiot.
You say torture is bad.
Except where it provides information
And we know the confession is true, because it is corroborated by another torture victim.
You then go on to suggest that torture to extract confessions only exists in movies.
JoC, you are an idiot.
September 6th, 2006 1:12pm
Tapiwa, you are a big bundle of misguided empathy, and I cannot help but like you for it. Even if you are a moron. You don't even understand what I've said because you are wearing your iniquity blinders.
And muppet, I might buy that if this administration had shown any semblance of giving half a shit what the American people think about what it does.
September 6th, 2006 1:32pm
How about the draft legislation to cover their ass for war crimes in perpetuity?
September 6th, 2006 1:34pm
It isn't as if torturing confessions from people would accomodate the same goal as that legislation. If anything, that would just increase the likelihood of some sort of prosecution.
September 6th, 2006 1:38pm
Having a jail full of confessed terrorists is a LOT better than having a jail full of innocent detainees held for much longer than reasonable in deplorable conditions.
September 6th, 2006 1:40pm
While the ability to assimilate lessons learned from past mistakes does seem to be beyond their grasp, I'm just not seeing the motive of which you speak.
However, I do very much see that whatever the "true motivations" for our occupation, finding and eliminating the sources of the unruliness is without a doubt a motive to use less than savory methods of interrogation.
Any sort of world body turning an eye to their injustices is not going to look upon confessions and simply think, "Oh well, they were bad guys. Just look at the confessions!"
That's like saying if I take people hostage and demand a letter of reprieve from the president I will walk free after the fact. No, such a letter is rather obviously the fruit of coercion and duress.
September 6th, 2006 1:47pm
JoC, you would do yourself a serious favor by ceasing to reply to this thread. Your replies indicate a serious level of niavete about the world and a deplorable lack of information that is widely available in the news.
The very things you are denying happen are things that military personnel are currently on trial for doing, or serving sentences for doing.
The current coersive interrogation practices are being denounced by experienced interrogators in the media, on media sources that have a very strong reputation for providing accurate information, often more accurate information than civilian and military leaders have. They aren't even denouncing these techniques on humanitarian grounds, but the more practical grounds of "they don't work". The government is not getting actionable intelligence based on these coersive tactics. They're getting useless throw-away information that doesn't let them get at the core of things.
When they do get useful information, they're getting it by using the techniques they were taught in their training. You can't get information out of a guy who was ready to blow himself up by torturing him--he was already willing to die for his cause. You can get it by establishing some variety of common bond, something that feeds his own needs to be important, or human, or a good protector of his family/country/religion.
Whatever Clay, you too, seem afflicted by the iniquity blinder disease.
I am well aware of the accusations and even proof of torture, but your statements even back up what I am saying!
"The government is not getting actionable intelligence based on these coersive tactics. They're getting useless throw-away information that doesn't let them get at the core of things."
So they _AREN'T_ getting confessions under duress. Show me a news report that says they are. Show me, and I'll put my tail between my legs.
Until then, I'm forced to believe you guys are seriously misguided and so empathetic as to completely misconstrue my statements and turn them into whatever you see fit to criticize simply because they are objective commentary on the situation rather than rabid foaming-at-the-mouth criticism.
I don't like torture, I didn't condone it. The only remotely close thing to any sort of morality judgement I have made is to say that throwing the baby out with the bad bathwater is worse than throwing out the bathwater. No difference. I didn't say torture wasn't happening. I didn't even say it caregorically wasn't happening in any specific manner.
The vehement nature of (all of you guys') your criticisms gives way to the fact that you are indeed blinded by your own empathy for iniquity and tainted by a pop-media-culture where fictional events are modeled after reality.
Answer any of the questions I've asked. What's the motive?
Did you even read what all I said or did you just skin and find something to be critical about?
September 6th, 2006 2:55pm
"So they _AREN'T_ getting confessions under duress. Show me a news report that says they are. Show me, and I'll put my tail between my legs."
I think they are getting confessions but those confessions are useless.
September 6th, 2006 3:03pm
What rick said.
JoC, you're using semantics instead of logic. Whether they're getting TRUE confessions or not isn't the issue being debated in this thread.
September 6th, 2006 3:06pm
What I said was that the terms of the 'adjusted court-martial trials' did not sound very unjust to me.
One of those terms was allowing pre-trial self-incrimination.
If what you are going after is focused on information and not confessions through duress that is how it is applicable. I didn't make it a point of whether the confessions were 'real'. The point is that they aren't seeking confessions by duress.
The pre-trial self-incrimination is not so unjust because it stems from such information rather than any sort of "admit you did this, and repent! (or we beat you more)".
If a detainee tells you he witnessed bomb-making at a terrorist camp in Afghanistan then it is a reasonable assumption that he must have had terrorist ties. I do not see some gross miscarriage of justice in permitting such statements to be entered as evidence.
September 6th, 2006 3:22pm
>I find it very ironic that people fail to see the difference in reality and television. Have you seen or read any such account whatsoever, even remotely close to what you are saying here that suggests that is what is going on?
During the Stalin era, 98% of people arrested signed confessions after they had been tortured. If you want to read about actual accounts of torture and secret prison camps, you can read about the forerunners of the neocons - Stalinist Russia.
People don't use torture because "it works." Torture has been proven time and time again to be useless for gathering information. People use torture to punish, humiliate and ultimately murder their political opponents.
September 6th, 2006 4:24pm
Right, but I am not defending torture.
September 6th, 2006 4:29pm
Everyone think you are.
Again, what are you defending?
September 6th, 2006 4:30pm
Plus, Stalin's political opponents amongst his own country's population are different from today's terrorists.
Important because his motive of having those people arrested and obtaining confessions was to suppress an uprising against his tyranny.
Blowing up a couple soldiers and 20 Iraqi/Afghani civilians cannot be elevated to the level of opposing tyranny.
Again, my whole point was that the U.S. has no motive for beating people into confessions.
We don't need confessions from them any more than Israel needs Lebonese political figures to admit ties to Hamas before they bomb the hell out of Lebanon.
September 6th, 2006 4:37pm
"The pre-trial self-incrimination is not so unjust because it stems from such information rather than any sort of "admit you did this, and repent! (or we beat you more)".
If a detainee tells you he witnessed bomb-making at a terrorist camp in Afghanistan then it is a reasonable assumption that he must have had terrorist ties. I do not see some gross miscarriage of justice in permitting such statements to be entered as evidence."
Unless he made those statements under duress, and was told (or strongly advised) to make them. Do you know for a fact that he wasn't? The fact is that there is documented evidence of PRECISELY that sort of abuse in at least Abu Gharaib.
You're being deliberately obtuse.
September 6th, 2006 6:20pm
Habeas corpus. Heard of that?
The Administration has to either piss or get off the pot.
September 7th, 2006 4:35am
No not obtuse on purpose... We want to know about the bomb making camps. Yes, torture has occurred. But I still ask what the motive would be to lead someone to tell you about a camp that doesn't exist?
Granted, some people will make stuff up hoping to end their torture. But in the cases where it is easily proven that the information given was not false, why shouldn't it be used as proof against someone?
Anyway, this thread is getting so I have to scroll to it. And my pinky hurts. And it doesn't matter.
September 7th, 2006 10:54am