View Poll Results: Does the U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

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Thread: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

  1. #31
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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    This tendency of presuming the most arcane about the U.S. Constitution precepts needs to go. Very little about what was written in the U.S. Constitution is mysterious when you look at in context.

    The Western world during the onset of U.S. republicanism was a highly reactionary time period where the last vestiges of the medieval period (those that persisted past the Renaissance) were being swept away due to their association with aristocratic and monarchical privilege -- often in the fires of revolution. "Cruel and unusual punishment" means any of the classic torture devices and methods associated with the Old Order, including ripping off finger nails, inquisitorial style psychological harassment and manipulation techniques, and water boarding. Anything that runs contrary to the "enlightenment" in the Age of Enlightenment.

    Only thing mentioned in the report that might not pass as "cruel and unusual punishment" in the reckoning of the Founding Fathers would be solitary confinement, since forcing prisoners to live away from society like monks silently contemplating their sins was considered an ideal prison reform by the educated men of that time period.
    I'm not sure cruel and unusual punishment applies here since the 8th deals with crime and national defense. Torture is wrong because it's incompatible with who we are supposed to be as a people (not to mention any treaty obligations we have) but I'm not sure you can stretch the Constitution to make that case.
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by pbrauer View Post
    Yes

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    Other
    Not explicity, BUT it does prohibit cruel punishment. This isnt punishment though, its intelligence gathering. We dont cause discomfort to discourage a behavior to but to illicit information.

    Then again, we signed treaties prohibiting torture and treaties have equal weight to the constitution. SO, I suppose it depends on how you define torture.

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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Visbek View Post
    5th Amendment bars self-incrimination and requires due process prior to punishment (imprisonment).

    8th Amendment bars unusual punishment. 14th Amendment also guarantees due process.

    US signed the 1987 UN Convention Against Torture. The definition of torture stipulated by the US in the treaty reservations is:

    the United States understands that, in order to constitute torture, an act must be specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering and that mental pain or suffering refers to prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from (1) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering; (2) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality; (3) the threat of imminent death; or (4) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality.

    https://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDe...pter=4&lang=en

    This is basically the same language as the US Code.

    18 U.S. Code § 2340 - Definitions | LII / Legal Information Institute
    Whats due process in terms of war, though?

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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    There's nothing in the Constitution that I'm aware of that prohibits torture but that's the wrong question. The right question is "Do the American people want to accept that torture, a morally reprehensible and ineffective tactic, is being done in their name?"
    The answer would be appear to be yes. People generally seem to be ok with the idea of permanent imprisonment and harsh interrogation of foreign enemies, so long as it isnt TOO harsh.

  5. #35
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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    There's nothing in the Constitution that I'm aware of that prohibits torture but that's the wrong question. The right question is "Do the American people want to accept that torture, a morally reprehensible and ineffective tactic, is being done in their name?"
    That statement presumes that torture isn't "cruel and unusual", but rather common/normal and reasonable.

    Some get around this by simply refusing to categorize torture as such, hence we get spin like "enhanced interrogation".
    If you claim sexual harassment to be wrong, yet you defend anyone on your side for any reason,
    then you are a hypocrite and everything you say on the matter is just babble.

  6. #36
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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    That statement presumes that torture isn't "cruel and unusual", but rather common/normal and reasonable.

    Some get around this by simply refusing to categorize torture as such, hence we get spin like "enhanced interrogation".
    Not sure that clause applies here. The 8th deals with criminal justice, not national security.
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    There's nothing in the Constitution that I'm aware of that prohibits torture but that's the wrong question. The right question is "Do the American people want to accept that torture, a morally reprehensible and ineffective tactic, is being done in their name?"
    Just playing devil's advocate, but there are plenty of Americans who don't find torture morally reprehensible and couldn't care less if it's ineffective, they just want revenge on people who they think have done the nation or its people harm. What do you say to those people?
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  8. #38
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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    Just playing devil's advocate, but there are plenty of Americans who don't find torture morally reprehensible and couldn't care less if it's ineffective, they just want revenge on people who they think have done the nation or its people harm. What do you say to those people?

    I don't have a problem with putting a bullet in the bad guy's head. But making someone suffer for extended periods is sick.

    I'm sure many of the people who advocate for torture are really looking for revenge. Not so sure they'd be so quick to go for if if they were the ones inflicting the pain.
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    I don't have a problem with putting a bullet in the bad guy's head. But making someone suffer for extended periods is sick.
    Not according to many people, and again, I'm just throwing that out there, I'm not saying I agree with it.

    I'm sure many of the people who advocate for torture are really looking for revenge. Not so sure they'd be so quick to go for if if they were the ones inflicting the pain.
    I've talked to a lot of people who think that Osama bin Laden got off way too easily, they'd have stood in line for the opportunity to take their shot at him personally. I think you underestimate the rage that many people have toward terrorists that harm Americans.
    There is nothing demonstrably true that religion can provide the world that cannot be achieved more rationally through entirely secular means.

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    Re: Does The U.S. Constitution prohibit torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by pbrauer View Post
    see below.


    That's what prompted my question:

    Scalia: Nothing In The Constitution Prohibits Torture

    What about the 8th Amendment - cruel and unusual punishment?
    If the terrorists are American citizens.
    32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
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