Sunday, February 21, 2010

Yoo, Bybee, Bradbury - Torturers Walk

The USDOJ Friday decided that being the enablers of torture isn't even negligent, it's just, well, being silly or something. Yes, there is a pot full of legislation, treaties, and precedence that contradicts the stuff they wrote and signed off on.

A bit different from Neuremberg. I guess things have changed...or something.


Chris Lowe said...

Disgusting. The times we are in continually remind me of when I used to teach Tacitus' Annals, which document the early period of the Roman Empire, in which many of the forms of the Republic were preserved while their content was eviscerated.

Too right about things changing since Nuremburg.

Zak Johnson said...

Part of what Neuremberg was about was to make the population that embraced and supported war crimes to take responsibility for their own complicity. We're not big on holding anyone accountable these days, least of all ourselves. Make no mistake--we're all complicit in allowing this to happen, as well as in sweeping it under the rug.

Anonymous said...

Everybody is an expert in Constitutional and International law. Particularly Chuck the Leftard's readers

Chuck Butcher said...

A bored troll who thinks anybody reading this will be impressed. Get a life (sorry, you're stuck with the brain you've got).

Anonymous said...

Actually "anonymous" has a point. Nuremberg was about prosecuting war criminals. Yoos memos were about interrogating war criminals.

The point of the Geneva Conventions was to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate force and thus between lawful and unlawful combatants. They gave incentives for combatants to treat non-combatants and honorable captives well. Unlawful combatants were not protected, in order to provide a disincentive to war crimes.

Terrorists — defined as those who are not merely indifferent to civilian non-combatants but who actually target them — forfeit their right to the normal protections of honorable prisoners of war, soldiers merely doing their duty. And so it should be.

What exactly that means in terms of how they may be interrogated and otherwise treated is debatable, but the distinction is critical. If not, then the spirit of the Geneva Conventions is a mistake and we remove important disincentives to targeting civilians.

-Anthony O'Donnell

Chuck Butcher said...

So Anthony, the accusation makes you a thing - in this case someone subject to torture? You've walked yourself out a branch you don't want to be on. You're proposing that the mere governmental assertion makes you subject to essentially any behavior that pleases them.

The Nazis tried that rationale ande got hung for it - thus the reference to Nueremberg. The Jews and etc were not combatants, though the assertion was secret dangers - ie terrorist or...

If you want to be out there on this, step up and say so, I offer you this consideration due to your behavior on this site. Anon is an asshole deserving mockery.

Chuck Butcher said...

BTW, Neuremberg was both war crimes and crimes agaisnt humanity. Judges and lawyers were successfully prosecuted for writing and following Nazi law in regard to their own civilians and other nation's civilians. Yes, this was after they managed to lose a war - maybe that's what it takes in regard to this crowd of pukes.

Anonymous said...

More of the same Chuck. Sorry pal, but if your brain is so far superior, why is it that you spouse Liberal views. Liberals by definition are (to quote a certain general) "stuck on stupid"
Progressives have to lie constantly in order to defend untenable positions.

Anonymous said...

Chuck, I appreciate your consideration.

There's nothing new about making determinations in the field about who is the enemy and who is a legitimate combatant or otherwise, though my main point was about the difference between legitimate and illegitimate combatants.

What constitutes due process differs according to the circumstances. Obviously there is a great practical difference between sorting POWs from unlawful combatants in the field, on the one hand, and identifying and processing unlawful combatants off the traditional battlefield and on home turf.

This is a very problematic question, but I think Nazis and Jews is a poor example. The Nazis rounded up people because they were Jews. It's akin to the round up of Kulaks because they're bourgeois or intellectuals because they are a potential threat to totalitarian control. These are political standards rather than security standards, per se, and they are so far off the map of what we're considering as to be absurd. Yes, there is always a danger to according special powers. Thus, we should take rigorous steps to objectively identify terrorists, steps that are subject to review and accountability for decision-makers.

This is a problematic question, but the ultimate goal is security against a genuine threat. One can't just throw up ones hands, one has to deal with the exigencies of the situation, including a serious discussion of the consequences of suspending any normal provisions of due process.

I'm certainly not proposing "that the mere governmental assertion makes you subject to essentially any behavior that pleases them." I'm saying that we may have to take special measures to deal with a special threat, and that being the case, we have to build in safeguards and accountability.

I would reemphasize that the distinction between lawful and unlawful combatants is critical, but one that many people seem to gloss over completely.

Chuck Butcher said...

Anon 6:43
In re: stuck on stupid, you bring only fact free insults, not a single point - a defacto definition of stupid bored troll. OTOH I disagree with Anthony, who also has the nerve to self-identify, but he brings points. While you are, in my opinion an ass; he it simply making a mistake. What ails you isn't curable.

It is easy enough to just go ahead and ignore you.