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United Sadists of America?

by Patrice Ayme Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 06:03:28 AM EST

Abstract: Why the new boss is in danger of getting worse than the old boss.



WHY VIOLATING INTERNATIONAL LAW IN A COVER-UP IS WORSE THAN VIOLATING IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

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Abstract: How the new boss is in danger of getting worse than the old boss.

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There is something worse than having a country practice torture. What is worse is when a country normalizes torture. What Obama and company are saying, in fact, is that torture is not prosecuted in the USA.

This statement is creating a legal precedent, and even worse, a new social contract for the USA. The United States of America does not just torture, it justifies the torturers, and sees no ground for their prosecution.

Then Obama can say: "we, the USA, do not torture". But look at what the USA does. Talk is cheap, and most of the time, of no consequence. Acts are definitive.

Forgiving all and any torturers on the outset, on the ground that it happened before, is a definitive act.

Obama always says that he looks forward, not backwards. Why was he a lawyer then? Do not lawyers have to look at acts and facts sometimes? Do not acts and facts happen in the past? And only in the past? Do not lawyers have to argue about what the acts and facts really were, before giving advice or passing judgment? I mean real lawyers, those who practice law, not just pontificate for mesmerized students.

Dear Obama, everything that happened, happened before. Learn. Nothing that happened, happened tomorrow. Learn. We only move forward because we have identified, examined and learned the mistakes we did in the past.

In the USA, the fact is, looking forward, from now on, thanks to dear Obama's position that the past divides us, that if government officials use torture, other government officials will come and justify the torturers. Such is the new social norm. As determined by Obama, the lawyer who does not learn from the past. Learn. That is what the examined life means. Learn.

When a French general revealed, 45 years later, that he had taken part, as a general, in torture in Algeria, and justified it, he was punished by the French State (although in theory there was legal prescription).

France knows there are lines not to be crossed, formally speaking. To forgive, forget, and refuse to examine yesterday's torturers is not normal speech. First it is action, by refusing to help the victims, past and future. And it is also hate speech against the victims, past and future. It is even hate speech against our civilization.

Al Qaeda will be happy to learn that Obama justifies torture. Something for the Taliban to meditate too, as they make American soldiers prisoners. (As the case of the Algerian war showed, torture can work for the torturers; not for civilization, though. See addendum.)

Republican, democratic Germany prosecuted the Nazi torturers. All and any of them that could it could detect, suspect, and find. Why? Because liberated Germany had become, and it is, a republic, and a democracy. Germany was not a torturing racist plutocracy anymore. It was not anymore the United Sadists of the Apocalypse. No more of this sort of USA.

Some deluded people in Germany tried State sadism and torture before, after they seized electoral power with propaganda tricks, claiming they were from the left, even "socialist" and "nationalist". But all those NAtional-soZIalists, those Nazis, were servants of an international plutocracy, most of which was based in the USA (and gave the Nazis their weapons and Wall Street financed military-industrial complex).

The Nazis, inspired by demented variants of Nietzsche and Darwin, proceeded to find reasons why civilization, as heretofore understood, was quaint. They did away with lots of it, most of it secretly, though, because their rule was based on consent, not terror (see the book "Hitler's Willing Executioners" for reference on this; the Gestapo had very very few officers inside Germany). Consent rested on ignorance, but was a delicate thing. The Nazis knew that the Germans would not have tolerated the reestablishment of official Middle Ages methods.

Thus, even those Nazis never came out as that creep who teaches law at University of California, Berkeley, came out, under Bush. The creep wrote an official USA memo justifying torture. That creep said that torture was good. No Nazi ever dare sink that low. It has been left to the USA to sink that low.

For years that anti civilizational creep was left to teach and pontificate, a respected alternative to reality.

Just as Hitler's book "Mein Kampf", this is the first act, the first warning, the first submission of the theory to the people: torturers are `cool'. Don't be alarmed.

The plutocracy taught us that greed was good. Now its obsequious servants are teaching us that torture is "cool". Well, it may be cool, but it's not tolerated in our civilization, or in international law. Like Nazi Germany, the USA is free to exit both, and we are free to oppose the USA. We will see who wins. We already know where morality won. We also know that the right ethics is most of the battle.

U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama's decision not to prosecute officials who practiced torture professionally on terrorism suspects amounts to a breach of international law, the U.N. rapporteur on torture said. "The United States, like all other states that are part of the U.N. convention against torture, is committed to conducting criminal investigations of torture and to bringing all persons against whom there is sound evidence to court," U.N. special rapporteur Manfred Nowak told the Austrian daily Der Standard.

At least the USA will not be able to come around and claim that nobody told them they went criminally insane. Because, simply put, that is what is going on.
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Patrice Ayme
http://patriceayme.com/

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Addendum: In Algeria, the FLN (Front National de Liberation) used torture against French civilians, and recommended to use it against small French children. Although the French army had won the war militarily, and although the Algerians had voted massively in favor of the new constitution that was uniting France and Algeria as a big democracy, everybody was disgusted, and the government in Paris suddenly just quitted, and gave the keys of the country to the FLN, without further elections. There had been so much bad blood, due to the usage of torture on both sides, that civilization got so damaged, that both societies were left in partial moral ruin to this day. Subsequent civil wars in Algeria (two and counting) killed hundreds of thousands of people, and the millions of Algerians and their descendants who found themselves on the other side of the Mediterranean from Algiers, were long treated with undeserved hostility by the French natives, no doubt in part to justify the bad outcome.

So it's a choice; torture and thrive the torturers, or examine what happened, examine and condemn the details of how one got there in the first place, to save civilization. Only a judicial, and civilizational inquiry can do this.

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Display:
although the Algerians had voted massively in favor of the new constitution that was uniting France and Algeria as a big democracy

Could you explain what you mean here? The law the French voted for looks like it was for full independence for Algeria.

Article premier.

Le président de la République peut conclure tous accords à établir conformément aux déclarations gouvernementales du 19 mars 1962, si les populations algériennes, consultées en vertu de la loi du 11 janvier 1961, choisissent de constituer l'Algérie en un État indépendant coopérant avec la France.

Article 2.

Jusqu'à la mise en place de l'organisation politique nouvelle éventuellement issue de l'autodétermination des populations algériennes, le président de la République peut arrêter, par voie d'ordonnances ou, selon le cas, de décrets pris en Conseil des ministres, toutes mesures législatives ou réglementaires relatives à l'application des déclarations gouvernementales du 19 mars 1962.

while the Algerians voted for
Voulez-vous que l'Algérie devienne un Etat indépendant coopérant avec la France dans les conditions définies par les déclarations du 19 mars 1962 ?
(the use of torture might explain the vote of 99,72 in favour).
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 08:00:02 AM EST
The refenrendum I was alluding to was prior to 1962. It allowed for the new French Constitution. For the first time, all Algerians voted as the part of france made of the four Algerian departments... of France.

Later, for what I boldly view as generalized racist reasons, and reasons of political convenience, both national and international, de Gaulle, the French president according to the new French constitution, decided to dump the four departments, according to a policy of apartheid.

The result was untold suffering, and a still unsolved problem. Be it only for national security reasons, Europe will never be able to tolerate non republican, non democratic countries just south.

Patrice Ayme  

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 04:37:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thus, even those Nazis never came out as that creep who teaches law at University of California, Berkeley, came out, under Bush. The creep wrote an official USA memo justifying torture. That creep said that torture was good. No Nazi ever dare sink that low. It has been left to the USA to sink that low.

I think you'll find theres quite a few Nazi memos justifying torture  for example.

Torture and Gonzales: An Exchange - The New York Review of Books

According to Gestapo Chief Counsel Werner Best, "So long as the police force carries out the will of the country's leadership, it acts legally."[*] What is the difference between the Gestapo lawyer's comment about the police force carrying out the "will of the country's leadership"--to justify torture, and Mr. Bybee's comment about the president's power to order any measure pursuant to his "core authority" as commander in chief--to justify torture?

Much of the argument about the Illegal actions of the Bush presidency are based on the similarity of justification of actions taken to that of some actions of Nazis.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 11:12:20 AM EST
The Nazis were nothing if not legalistic, as the Wannsee minutes show.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 04:33:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the language of the minutes themselves is highly euphemistic, unlike the Yoo opinion and the other documents we're seeing.

It is likely they fully understood the line they were crossing, and one could conclude that the Cheney, Yoo et. al. did not.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:45:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, what, the Bush Administration get off the hook for mental incapacity?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:57:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I'm talking about moral incapacity. The language that the Nazis used indicates that they understood that what they were doing was morally abhorrent, so they tried to cloak their perfidy in euphemism.

The most horrifying thing is that You et. al. probably didn't realize they were being perfidious.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 06:13:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are no statements or actions from the Reich Kanzler, Praesident and Guide, Adolf Hitler, justifying torture. strictly none, to my knowledge. I would be very happy if somebody found one.

Of course I am not so naive as to believe Hitler was an innocent sheep. He was a terrible criminal, but he did not flaunt his criminality. What we have now, from the USA, is the advocacy of torture. Or the advocacy of the torturers, whatever. No prosecution, wholesale approbation.

Professor Yoo from UCB made completely clear statements detailing which tortures were OK, and why. He should go to jail, and for many years. Civilization needs to punish such people.

There are some statements from Barack Hussein Obama, President of the USA, that torturers should not be prosecuted.

PA
 

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 04:46:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While I appreciate your essay, it is somewhat in denial of the history of american (and British) post WWII interrogation.

We may not have tortured germans, I don't think we tortured japanese. But America tortured Koreans and vietnamese, the British tortured Irishmen, Kenyans and Malayans.

The CIA founded the School of the Americas, a training camp for terrorism and insurgency that had far too much practical advice on the issue of asking questions under duress for it to be hypothetical (look at the manual, it's on the net somewhere). These were the wise words of somebody who knew what they were about.

The only difference between Bush and his predecessors is not what he did, it's that Bush flaunted it, publicised it, gloried in it.

guantanamo is a stain on the United States, but not as a departure from previous, more learned ways. Merely in degree. It's quantity, not quality that is the difference.

And that is Obama's real problem. He either cleans house back to 31st November '41, or he kinda talks about it till it goes away. and frankly, it's too difficult to clean without destroying every other item on his agenda. So he's talks and is talking still. He will continue to do so.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 03:23:18 PM EST
Indeed; Reagan flaunted it too...and Nixon.

What changed? reagan was just as much an idiot as bush, nixon just as much a criminal as either. All have millions of deaths on their hands...in our name [for us USians anyway.]


Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 05:35:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The French too used torture massively, during decolonization. On the picturesque side, some French troops in Vietnam, betrayed by a fake priest, who was truly a resistance fighter who caused some loss of life, would have even crucified him (it was reported by some perpetrator).

I myself see no problem with security forces using torture if they think they have to. That was the dilemma the French paratroopers had in Algiers, during the FLN bombing campaign. They had minutes to save the lives, and find the truth. I have no problem with some electricity circulating in delicate parts of dedicated assassins. And it pretty much worked, in this restrained context.

Then the torturers of the republic will have to justify themselves behind closed doors, and be prosecuted openly or not if they breached the law.

This does not differ in principle from the latitude given to security forces of the republic about using deadly force: they can do it, but, if they breached the law, they get prosecuted.

Giving death is worse than torturing.

But what Obama has been suggesting here is NO EXAMINATION WHATSOEVER. That is intolerable.

That comes down to saying USA government officials and employees are beyond the reach of the law and of civilization.

Intolerable.

PA

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:09:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Patrice Ayme:
I myself see no problem with security forces using torture if they think they have to.

????

I've felt for a long time that Jack Bauer-ism is a symbol of cultural rot.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 06:18:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That does not differ from "I see no problem with security forces using deadly force if they think they have to".

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 06:20:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Even that formulation is way too loose, imo.

By law, security forces are authorized to use deadly force in just a few clearly defined situations, in the course of protecting themselves or others from immediate harm. Such use is always subject to administrative and and/or judicial review. (The extent to which this system functions as it is supposed to might reasonably serve as an index for how well the justice systems in our respective countries function.)

That is true for military forces as well, btw.

Torture almost by definition is never about averting immediate harm (because if it's really immediate, who has the time?), but about destroying the will of the subject to make him or her more amenable. That's abhorrent.

Or it's about terrorizing the subject and the society. And that's more abhorrent.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 06:36:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
dvx:
Torture almost by definition is never about averting immediate harm (because if it's really immediate, who has the time?)
I guess that reduces the ticking bomb scenario to absurdity, doesn't it?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 06:39:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The ticking bomb scenario has always been a rationalisation, not a reality.

Aside from the obvious silliness - if someone plans to nuke a city, all they have to do is wait out some immediate pain for what is (for them) a very large pay off - it's based on a fantasy of being able to exert successful control over people.

The one thought the conservative mind cannot bear is the realisation that control is impossible.

So support for torture is really a kind of mental illness which is rooted in rage at the uncontrollable. It has nothing to do with intelligence gathering - it's distilled authoritarian hatred which creates an illusion of control where none exists.

Which is not to say you can't destroy people through torture. But breaking someone isn't the same as making them into what you want them to be.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 07:10:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
But breaking someone isn't the same as making them into what you want them to be.

another gem from the magus!

for that you need relentless, monolithic indoctrination, starting on the very young, alla 'young commies for christ,'aryan nation for the melanin-challenged'' or some such pretension, that to the outsider seems cognitively incoherent, but to those whose grooves have been appropriately locked to their inculcated norm, is PERFECTLY RATIONAL!.

Louis Theroux goes around interviewing, (in his inimitable style) some seriously kooky characters, f'rexample the fred phelps 'god hates fags' crowd. i re-watched that one in fascinated horror yesterday, and you can see how the disease takes hold. there are their own little kids they drag along to these demos, and when louis asked them if they understood, around 5-8 years old, why they were being 'asked' to participate in holding up obscene, insanely polemic and dementedly provocative signs, such as cartoons of u.s. military getting into buggering positions, and then wave them at 'middle america' at traffic stops and such.

they get planted in the middle of a shitstorm of hate, and gradually 'learn to believe' in the patent nonsense, because of the repetition, and because they need to eat and trust those who feed and care for them.

then by the time they become teens, they either drop away, (a minority) or become fully fledged cognitive monorailers like those who carefully 'made them into what they wanted to be'.

in other words the belief system dominates the identity to the point of intense focus. these teens were against dating, any non-marital sex, their full hormonal commitment was to the propagation of the hate message of their movement, and its abc lego mental architecture. they were shunned in school by their peers, yet were fine with that, because of the strong sense of connected caring their group provided, indeed they had no wish at all to be like their peers, as they were seen as 'deluded by satan' and the smile they displayed while gaily telling louis he was going to hell, and they were glad because it validated their beliefs entirely that he and the rest of us belonged there, glory and hosanna!

but then all cultures do it too, that i have observed. rubbernecking at the more cartoon extreme can distract one from analysing one's own present situation, however educational...

along with the mothers' milk comes the zeitgeist consensus that begins the turning of the trunk of what will be the personality.

it's as if we were all reaching for the sun of self-actualisation, and yet our growth starts off more or less twisted by the cultural winds that are ambientally woven into the process of species-specific socialisation.

this pressure to flow with the coercions and constraints that are the price of survival creates so much ignorance, it boggles the mind and daunts the brave, how to unwind armatures of self-reinforcing 'logic' that have created the certainty of absolute rightness, an impregnable defence-set, cemented into place with smells of mother and home?

i saw it in israel, where it was the most baffling and painful to see, how early the children were under the spell of hatred-for-other, gleefully acting out the killing games they would play later with real arms instead of plastic toys.

living expatriate most of my life, this has obviously been a source of great wonder, what is us, and what is cultural icing?

icing? hmmm. sweet and cold.... are some people all icing and hardly any cake? why are pie and pancakes iconic right now, maybe because there's no icing?

i always loved the marzipan best...

ET tastes like marzipan to me.

gotta go pick some mint for the peas...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 09:16:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the Battle of Algiers, hardened terrorists used quite a few naive souls who thought it was cool to carry bombs around. Those soft targets would break instantaneously under torture.

The real problem with torture is that it's not really a playing out of the soul (ex-anima-tion). So people will often say whatever to make the torture stop.

That is why information extracted under torture could not be used judicially (but the police, around 1300 CE, found that scientific torture, so to speak was extremely efficient). By 1600 CE, it had become too soft, though.

PA

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:19:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Patrice Ayme:
In the Battle of Algiers, hardened terrorists used quite a few naive souls who thought it was cool to carry bombs around. Those soft targets would break instantaneously under torture.

That doesn't mean that torture helped prevent any attacks:

Does torture work? - Salon.com

[...]What made the difference for the French in Algiers was not torture, but the accurate intelligence obtained through public cooperation and informants.

In fact, no rank-and-file soldier has related a tale of how he personally, through timely interrogation, produced decisive information that stopped a ticking bomb. "As the pain of interrogation began," observed torturer Jean-Pierre Vittori, "they talked abundantly, citing the names of the dead or militants on the run, indicating locations of old hiding places in which we didn't find anything but some documents without interest." Detainees also provided names of their enemies -- true information, but without utility to the French.

I also have problems with the following:

Patrice Ayme:

but the police, around 1300 CE, found that scientific torture, so to speak was extremely efficient). By 1600 CE, it had become too soft, though.

PA

"Scientific"? WTF? What does that mean? What sources are you quoting. "Police"? AFAIK "police" in the modern sense did not begin to emerge until the late 18th C.

Also, as to your larger argument: Are you saying that torture is sometimes morally justifiable, provided it is "scientific"? That would seem to run counter to the thrust of your diary.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 22nd, 2009 at 03:13:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree my diary may seem confusing, so is the truth, often. It is CERTAIN that torture, OCCASIONALLY works. So my position is subtle: do not legalize it (as Obama is trying to do), and, if it occurs, examine the facts (through a judicial process), with the understanding that, just as occasionally homicide is justifiable, so is torture. so I treat torture as any other violence.

Interesting the information on Salon. I will check sources. I proceed by memory traces inside my head, quite often.

Science means to know. State police achieved Gestapo like efficiency, or better under Philipe IV, Le Bel. Those tortures were quite bad, and judges frowned on them, while the police got better at informant science, so they fell in disuse.

PA

 

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Wed Apr 29th, 2009 at 06:03:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, that last remark is probably not entirely helpful.

What I mean to say is: I cannot conceive of any circumstances where a security force should be allowed to use torture; I find it simply immoral.

Also, the thought of any security force with that authority (either explicit or tacit) scares the shit out of me.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 06:22:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do we have to keep beating that equine carcass?

washingtonpost.com: The Torture Myth (Anne Applebaum, January 12, 2005)

"Liberals," argued an article in the liberal online magazine Slate a few months ago, "have a tendency to accept, all too eagerly, the argument that torture is ineffective." But it's also true that "realists," whether liberal or conservative, have a tendency to accept, all too eagerly, fictitious accounts of effective torture carried out by someone else.

By contrast, it is easy to find experienced U.S. officers who argue precisely the opposite.

On Torture: Nazi Germany's Greatest Interrogator « My Thinking Corner

Hanns-Joachim Schraff was the greatest German interrogator in world war 2.  He worked primarily on captured US airmen and he was so respected for ability to extract secrets that he was dubbed "The Master" by his peers.  What vicious tactics did he use to get this information?  What horrific torment did he inflict on US airmen?  Kindness and a respect for human dignity.

...

As a result, after the war Schraff wasn't tried for war crimes.  Instead he was invited to the US to speak to the military about his interrogation techniques.  These techniques have come to be used by trained interrogators worldwide.

...

The recent debate on torture highlights the fact that we still don't get it when it comes to torture.  By the end of September Congress passed the Terrorism bill backed by President Bush.  This bill will give the president broad powers to interpret the Geneva Conventions, while preventing individuals from protesting violations of Geneva standards in court.  In short, the CIA can go right on water boarding and humiliating detainees. 

I think at heart here is an issue of respect for the enemy.

WWII veteran Nazi interrogators denounced Bush's Torture techniques | Crooks and Liars

"We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture," said Henry Kolm, 90, an MIT physicist who had been assigned to play chess in Germany with Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess.
Germans had the respect of their American counterparts in WWII. Russians would probably have had it, too, had it come to that during the cold war. But Koreans, Vietnamese, Arabs, clearly don't. And that's why they get tortured.

An alternative explanation to plain old racism is simple moral rot. Both might be at play.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 06:34:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
Why do we have to keep beating that equine carcass?

I'm gonna start calling that carcass Jesus because it keeps coming back life, as in the sentence I cited upthread.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 06:40:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what scares me the most is the absence of legal review, legal appeal, and legal punishments of security forces having committed crimes.
PA

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
by Patrice Ayme on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 12:21:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - United Sadists of America?
WHY VIOLATING INTERNATIONAL LAW IN A COVER-UP IS WORSE THAN VIOLATING IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Strictly speaking, there has been no coverup, in the strict sense of an attempt to obstruct justice by concealing material facts. Particularly in recent weeks, the most damaging information has come from official government disclosures.

Instead, Obama is acknowledging (and seems to be condemning) acts of torture performed by US government personnel, but declining to prosecute them. Right now, no historical parallel occurs to me.

Though IANAL, this situation would seem to open the door for a transfer of jurisdiction:

International Criminal Court - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The court is designed to complement existing national judicial systems: it can exercise its jurisdiction only when national courts are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute such crimes.[12][13]


The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:32:36 AM EST
dvx:
Instead, Obama is acknowledging (and seems to be condemning) acts of torture performed by US government personnel, but declining to prosecute them. Right now, no historical parallel occurs to me.
It is even worse.

El fiscal rechaza investigar Guantánamo tras hablar con la EE UU · ELPAÍS.comThe public prosecutor rejects an investigation over Guantánamo after talking to the US - ElPais.com
(18/04/2009) La fiscalía de la Audiencia Nacional emitió ayer un informe por el que pide que se rechace una querella presentada contra el equipo jurídico de la Administración Bush que hizo posible el limbo jurídico de Guantánamo. La medida solicitada se produce días después de que el fiscal jefe, Javier Zaragoza, se reuniese en la Audiencia con el consejero político de la Embajada de Estados Unidos William Duncan y un miembro de su asesoría jurídica, según adelantó Cuatro.(18/04/2009) The public prosecution at [Spain's] National Court issued a report yesterday requesting the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against the Bush Administration legal team who made possible the legal limbo of Guantánamo. The request takes place a day after the head prosecutor [at the Audiencia Nacional], Javier Zaragoza, met in the Court with the political counsel of the US Embassy, William Duncan, and a member of his legal counsel, according to a [news] advance by [TV station] Cuatro.
This is a couple of days after the Attorney General made a similar demand.

Spain wants torture charges against Bush Six dropped - UPI.com (16 April 2009)

The attorney general of Spain has recommended dropping a yearlong attempt to bring six former senior Bush administration officials to trial on charges of authorizing torture practices at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But the final decision on whether or not to proceed with the case will lie with the daredevil judge prosecuting it. And he's never backed down yet.
The argument put forward by the Attorney General is patently absurd:

OpEdNews » Obama Protecting Bush from Spain?

We know that the top law enforcement official in Spain has made an argument for dismissing the case against the lawyers that an 8 year old would spot as an illegal absurdity, that was not a necessary argument for dismissing the case, but that would be a necessary argument for preventing a case against Bush.  While he could have argued, like Doug Feith, that those engaging in the torture or ordering it were more culpable than the lawyers (as they are indeed), he instead argued that ONLY those present for the torture are culpable, thus exonerating Hitler, Pinochet, and every other official who has ordered a crime from a distance.
Garzón has not yet acted on (or against) these prosecutors' opinions...

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 21st, 2009 at 05:56:45 AM EST
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