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Thread: Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag [W:508,759]

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    Re: Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag [W:508,759]

    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    I'll leave it to others to decide which of us is pretending, or harbors delusions about this subject. I doubt very much that my sense you are eager to run down the United States while holding out the crying towel for the jihadists who chose to make war on it is any delusion--you've made it all too clear.
    I doubt if anyone is crying for the jihadists. It is our country we're worried about.

    I'm not sure why it's impossible for right wingers to accept that there are people who fight and die for this country who disagree with you on torture, as well as many experts in interrogation who based on years of experience, thousands of hours interrogating terrorists, that brutal interrogation doesn't work and causes FAR more harm than the meager information gains it might produce. So embracing brutal interrogation doesn't make you a tough guy or a patriot, and opposing torture doesn't mean you hate America or support jihadists. It's an argument suited for a teenager.

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    Re: Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag [W:508,759]

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    So that those who did hold and keep the position drew the required legal boxes around their clients acts isn't surprising, and them saying what their client requires them to say doesn't make it so either.
    I have read those memos, and as a lawyer who has written research papers like that, I understand the legal arguments very well. I think they are correct. Not only do I not believe any of the enhance interrogation techniques, including the waterboarding technique as detailed, violated any law against torture, I don't believe any of them even came very close to the line. I've heard John Yoo discuss this work, and one thing that made the analysis especially difficult was that because section 2340 was so recent, there had been no cases interpreting it to go by. They had to look to every other source they could find--history, custom, legislative intent, and so on--for guidance. That is a damn hard thing to do, and someone is guaranteed to second-guess your conclusions.

    It is worth noting that U.S. negotiators did not agree to every term of the Convention Against Torture. The terms the Senate ratified and were then codified in section 2340 are not the entire CAT that some other nations may have signed on to, because the negotiators were instructed not to agree to restrictions it was felt might tie a President's hands too tightly in dealing with threats to national security.

    The OLC is part of the Justice Dept., and its main "client" for this work was the Defense Dept. They asked about the interrogation techniques being proposed because they wanted to make sure they were legal before starting to use them. Neither they nor anyone else had any way to require the OLC researchers to say anything. At that time, Mr. Holder had not yet created the most politicized Justice Dept. in our history. If Mr. Yoo, Mr. Bybee, or others had concluded that one or more of the techniques was not legal, there was nothing to prevent them from stating that conclusion, and possibly recommending changes to bring it within the law.

    The memos conclude that torture is only severe pain etc. which the analysis indicates is roughly something that leaves a permanent mark, and so waterboarding and all the rest doesn't meet the threshold. For the mental pain, we have to INTEND to inflict mental problems and so if it happens, and we don't intend that results, all's good.
    That's a reasonably accurate description of the gist of the memos, although they are far more complex than that. What of it? That's pretty much my own reading of section 2340A.

    And there was really no meaningful analysis of the effect of the program as a whole except mostly baseless or at best speculative conclusions.
    Do you have any evidence that the lawyers involved were asked to make any such analysis? My understanding is that that was not within their brief.

    And so, the treatments in part or as a program might/likely be 'cruel, inhuman and degrading' but definitely NOT "torture."
    It's basic to criminal law that every element of a crime must be proven to establish guilt. There are very few crimes for which intent does not need to be proven, and torture is certainly not one of them.

    Basically, the memos read like "A Guide in How to Achieve the Same Effect as "Torture" Within U.N./U.S. Statutory Guidelines."
    That's exactly what I would expect. Obviously the interrogators wanted to use as much coercion as possible without violating any laws regarding torture. The whole purpose of the enhanced interrogation techniques was to get results from Al Qaeda and Taliban jihadists who knew the regular U.S. interrogation techniques and had been trained to resist them.

    And now I'm waiting to hear why FDR broke the law by executing a U.S. citizen without a jury trial, by relocating people of Japanese descent away from the West Coast, by sending a ship carrying 100 tons of mustard gas to Italy, where it got blown up and killed our servicemen, and so on. Imagine the greatest American liberal ever being a war criminal!

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    Re: Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag [W:508,759]

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry David View Post
    Why has the US government been so gleefully pro-torture and anti-human? Riddle me that.
    If only it were more so, but thankfully our Nobel Peace Prize-winning, rule-of-law president knows how to use a missile. The latest:

    A senior al Qaeda commander and five other militants were killed in a drone strike in Pakistan, according to security officials. The strike comes a day after Pakistan said it had killed top al Qaeda commander Adnan el Shukrijumah, who was indicted in the U.S. over a foiled plot to bomb the New York subway.

    Pakistan Officials: Key Al Qaeda Commander Killed in Drone Strike - NBC News
    It would have been fitting had the attack occurred on September 11th, but I'll settle for December 7th.
    Нава́льный 2018

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    Re: Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag [W:508,759]

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    Yes, the simplest example stumps you.

    And I'm not aware that there is video of the treatment of the detainees in those black sites. Over 100 of them. Please point me to those videos so I can verify that the conditions for them were similar to what JoG faced here in America on some U.S. facility, with his friends or colleagues conducting the procedure.

    Here's how the CIA described the waterboarding of one detainee: Abu Zubaydah was described as "hysterical" and "distressed to the level that he was unable to effectively communicate."-^ Waterboarding sessions "resulted in immediate fluid intake and involuntary leg, chest and arm spasms" and "hysterical pleas . In at least one waterboarding session, Abu Zubaydah became completely unresponsive,with bubbles rising through his open,full mouth." Accordingto CIA records, Abu Zubaydah remained unresponsive until medical intervention, when he regained
    consciousness and expelled "copious amounts of liquid."


    And according to the records, this is the overall environment in which the waterboarding happened: "The use of the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques-
    including "walling, attention grasps, slapping, facial hold, stress positions, cramped confinement, white noise and sleep deprivation"—continued in "varying combinations, 24 hours a day" for 17 straight days, through August 20, 2002}^^ When Abu Zubaydah was left alone during this period, he was placed in a stress position, left on the waterboard with a cloth over his face, or locked in one of two confinement boxes. According to the cables,Abu Zubaydah was also subjected to the waterboard "2-4 times a day...with multiple iterations of the watering cycle during each application."'^^

    You're telling me anyone who did this voluntarily as a learning exercise faced anything like similar conditions? Give me a break - you don't even believe it.

    BTW, I also doubt if JoG got to experience this: "On November ,2002,a detainee who had been held partially nude and chained to a concrete floor died from suspected hypothermia at the facility." Or being kept awake for 180 hours, or sleeping in a small box, or on good days a coffin, always in solitary confinement. Etc.
    Great care was taken to ensure that that the detainees' health and well being were not permanently impaired. They were nonetheless unlawful enemy combatants with no right to Geneva Conventions protections. In that context, everything done to them that fell short of summary execution was an act of charity.
    "It's always reassuring to find you've made the right enemies." -- William J. Donovan

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    Re: Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag [W:508,759]

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hays View Post
    Great care was taken to ensure that that the detainees' health and well being were not permanently impaired. They were nonetheless unlawful enemy combatants with no right to Geneva Conventions protections. In that context, everything done to them that fell short of summary execution was an act of charity.
    This is incorrect.
    Many Trump supporters have lots of problems, and those deplorables are bringing those problems to us. They’re racists. They’re misogynists. They’re islamophobic. They're xenophobes and homophobes. And some, I assume, are good people.

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    Re: Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag [W:508,759]

    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    I have read those memos, and as a lawyer who has written research papers like that, I understand the legal arguments very well. I think they are correct. Not only do I not believe any of the enhance interrogation techniques, including the waterboarding technique as detailed, violated any law against torture, I don't believe any of them even came very close to the line. I've heard John Yoo discuss this work, and one thing that made the analysis especially difficult was that because section 2340 was so recent, there had been no cases interpreting it to go by. They had to look to every other source they could find--history, custom, legislative intent, and so on--for guidance. That is a damn hard thing to do, and someone is guaranteed to second-guess your conclusions.
    Right, because they adopted a standard that would sign off on anything that didn't leave a permanent mark. Once you do that the only way to fall into the 'torture' box is if the effect of the program as a whole produced significant psychological harm (and we know it did that), which they didn't really even try to analyze. The analyses just glossed over an entire element of 'torture.'

    And you're saying the process is difficult, and that's obviously true, then condemning anyone who comes to a different conclusion. And it wasn't and is still not a slam dunk determination.

    The OLC is part of the Justice Dept., and its main "client" for this work was the Defense Dept. They asked about the interrogation techniques being proposed because they wanted to make sure they were legal before starting to use them. Neither they nor anyone else had any way to require the OLC researchers to say anything. At that time, Mr. Holder had not yet created the most politicized Justice Dept. in our history. If Mr. Yoo, Mr. Bybee, or others had concluded that one or more of the techniques was not legal, there was nothing to prevent them from stating that conclusion, and possibly recommending changes to bring it within the law.
    I won't bother addressing that - you're just showing your partisan colors there because the Bush DOJ was plenty partisan, recall the USA firings... - except to note that the one OLC honcho who didn't sign onto the Yoo viewpoint had to resign as he couldn't serve in that position and NOT agree.

    That's a reasonably accurate description of the gist of the memos, although they are far more complex than that. What of it? That's pretty much my own reading of section 2340A.
    Of course, they were 60 pages or so. The point is the only way to fall into the "torture" box unless you cut someone or broke something was mental, which they more or less ignored.

    Do you have any evidence that the lawyers involved were asked to make any such analysis? My understanding is that that was not within their brief.
    Maybe not, but if the analysis didn't take the program as a whole, it wasn't much use in determining whether the program as a whole was "torture." You can't assume 1 application of the water board in isolation, because the program was done as a package and the effects will be as a package and we did dozens of applications of the water board, along with weeks of solitary, sleeping in a coffin, cold, etc.

    It's basic to criminal law that every element of a crime must be proven to establish guilt. There are very few crimes for which intent does not need to be proven, and torture is certainly not one of them.
    I get that, but "I didn't mean to" also isn't an excuse.

    That's exactly what I would expect. Obviously the interrogators wanted to use as much coercion as possible without violating any laws regarding torture. The whole purpose of the enhanced interrogation techniques was to get results from Al Qaeda and Taliban jihadists who knew the regular U.S. interrogation techniques and had been trained to resist them.
    Like I said, that's IMO a minor issue - whether we could do them and not have Bush on down prosecuted for a crime. The real question is whether a cruel, degrading and inhuman (if not torture) program is good for America, taken as a whole, reflects our values, keeps us safer, etc.

    And now I'm waiting to hear why FDR broke the law by executing a U.S. citizen without a jury trial, by relocating people of Japanese descent away from the West Coast, by sending a ship carrying 100 tons of mustard gas to Italy, where it got blown up and killed our servicemen, and so on. Imagine the greatest American liberal ever being a war criminal!
    Whether it broke the law isn't the point - slavery was legal, and morally repugnant, same with Trail of Tears, Jim Crow, etc.

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    Re: Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag [W:508,759]

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hays View Post
    Great care was taken to ensure that that the detainees' health and well being were not permanently impaired. They were nonetheless unlawful enemy combatants with no right to Geneva Conventions protections. In that context, everything done to them that fell short of summary execution was an act of charity.
    LOL - act of charity. Even those who committed no crimes I suppose and were detained and EIT'd.

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    Re: Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag [W:508,759]

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    In that case, we have no excuse as we were not, are not and will not face defeat from these insects.
    In this context another mass casualty attack in the US would constitute a defeat.
    "It's always reassuring to find you've made the right enemies." -- William J. Donovan

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    Re: Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag [W:508,759]

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    LOL - act of charity. Even those who committed no crimes I suppose and were detained and EIT'd.
    All were unlawful combatants with no claim on anything except death.
    "It's always reassuring to find you've made the right enemies." -- William J. Donovan

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    Re: Gitmo inmate: My treatment shames American flag [W:508,759]

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hays View Post
    All were unlawful combatants with no claim on anything except death.
    All were? Then why did we release some and pay them money for their troubles?

    It's curious the new right wing position is to embrace any atrocity, and a total disregard for human rights or due process. If we arrested them, they must be guilty...

    It is similar to what the Obama admin claims with the drone strikes - if we killed them, they are by definition apparently enemy combatants.

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