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Author Topic: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!  (Read 4895 times)

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Offline NightBird

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2008, 02:04:33 PM »
All I will say in this forum (and I will not post in this thread again) is that the arguments in favor of harsh measures up to and including torture all presume that the person on the receiving end of this treatment 'deserves' to be there for some reason (such as confirmed, proven criminal actions) or does in fact have vital intelligence that s/he is refusing to relinquish. In fact, this is not always or even typically the case. Interrogation takes place with suspects more often than people who have already been proven to have vital information or to have committed a crime. Beyond the larger issues of ethics for the use of harsh measures ever on anyone, I cannot in conscience agree with putting any innocent person through this sort of treatment on suspicion that the person might know something, and there is no way to prevent it.

That any human being can accept, let alone condone a practice that can and likely will result in the torture of innocents saddens me deeply, but as an historian it does not surprise me.

Offline Elvi

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2008, 04:13:58 PM »
Post modified:

Firstly because I did not see NightBird's post and secondly because I do NOT wish to answer Ruby.....
« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 04:16:11 PM by Elvi »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2008, 04:46:35 PM »
But I'm still arguing attacking Bush for preserving one method of gaining information is not illegal And I was countering the point made by another writer here on the first part of the Ban on Torture. That the United States signed it with clear and considered protections of our right to use it in cases where its not contrary to our Consitution.

Elvi started it. I just pointed out that my country signed the treaty with provisions and conditions set by Congress.

Offline Elvi

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2008, 04:54:06 PM »
What?
Hell....I have NEVER heard anything so juvennile on this site as the above comment.

Go on Ruby.....please, tell me WHAT I started, that way I'll know whether to pull your pigtails in the playground or go tell Miss.....

Offline Trieste

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Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2008, 05:05:00 PM »
*cough* Adding to the ridiculousity doesn't actually lessen it ... ^^;

*wanders elsethread now*

Offline Jefepato

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2008, 05:18:56 PM »
That the United States signed it with clear and considered protections of our right to use it in cases where its not contrary to our Consitution.

The federal government of the United States is forbidden from inflicting "cruel and unusual punishment" by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Supreme Court confirmed in Wilkerson v. State of Utah that torture is cruel and unusual punishment.

Thus, no cases exist where torture isn't contrary to the Constitution.

It's not about valuing one foreign national over many American lives.  It's about not being the kind of country that commits atrocities.

(Besides, torture isn't all that great for obtaining information anyway.  People being tortured will say anything to make it stop, and that "anything" is frequently not the truth.)

Offline Hunter

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2008, 05:23:26 PM »
The federal government of the United States is forbidden from inflicting "cruel and unusual punishment" by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Supreme Court confirmed in Wilkerson v. State of Utah that torture is cruel and unusual punishment.

Thus, no cases exist where torture isn't contrary to the Constitution.

It's not about valuing one foreign national over many American lives.  It's about not being the kind of country that commits atrocities.

(Besides, torture isn't all that great for obtaining information anyway.  People being tortured will say anything to make it stop, and that "anything" is frequently not the truth.)

Agreed on all points.  Except that the Constitution doesn't apply to foreign nationals.  If it did, there wouldn't be a need for diplomatic immunity.

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #32 on: March 09, 2008, 05:31:58 PM »
It's not about valuing one foreign national over many American lives.  It's about not being the kind of country that commits atrocities.

Very True.
Conttitution is like a crotch protector. It protects the vital parts, but it doesn't cover everything.

Offline Jefepato

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #33 on: March 09, 2008, 05:37:39 PM »
Agreed on all points.  Except that the Constitution doesn't apply to foreign nationals.  If it did, there wouldn't be a need for diplomatic immunity.

The Constitution explicitly outlines, and limits, what the federal government can do.  There's no provision stating that the government's powers suddenly expand when a foreign national shows up.  The federal government of the United States is legally forbidden to torture, period.

Diplomatic immunity is necessary to safeguard diplomats in foreign nations.  I don't understand why you say the Constitution would eliminate that necessity.

Offline Hunter

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #34 on: March 09, 2008, 05:41:18 PM »
The Constitution explicitly outlines, and limits, what the federal government can do.  There's no provision stating that the government's powers suddenly expand when a foreign national shows up.  The federal government of the United States is legally forbidden to torture, period.

Diplomatic immunity is necessary to safeguard diplomats in foreign nations.  I don't understand why you say the Constitution would eliminate that necessity.

How can I explain this?  The federal government can't just deport someone who was born in the country.  To say that it's not an "expanded" power isn't technically true.  Visitors/foreign nationals simply don't have the same "rights" as those who are citizens.  Grated, it's splitting hairs....

Offline Jefepato

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #35 on: March 09, 2008, 05:52:31 PM »
Of course they don't have the same rights when it comes to, say, staying in the country; all sovereign nations have the power to deport foreign nationals.  That has little to do with the application of the Constitution -- there's no amendment forbidding the government to deport anyone.

Offline Hunter

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2008, 06:02:52 PM »
Of course they don't have the same rights when it comes to, say, staying in the country; all sovereign nations have the power to deport foreign nationals.  That has little to do with the application of the Constitution -- there's no amendment forbidding the government to deport anyone.

And that's where it starts to get blurry and where the issue is.  How much protection does someone not a citizen get?  How about someone who's actively taken arms against the citizenry?  Again, I don't believe that torture (however you define it) is really a useful interrogation technique.

Offline Jefepato

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2008, 06:22:44 PM »
The Eighth Amendment lists things that the government can't do, without qualification as to who they might want to do it to.  It makes no sense to question how much protection someone gets under it.

The Eighth Amendment doesn't say "the right of the people to not suffer cruel and unusual punishment shall not be infringed;" if it did, you could argue over whether foreign nationals or people taking up arms against the U.S. were part of "the people."  As written, though, there's no ambiguity to be found.

Offline Hunter

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2008, 06:32:27 PM »
Nor is there in the definition of "Treason" either.  Nor in the 2nd Amendment concerning the right to bear arms, yet many people would gladly see "arms" outlawed (inspite of said Constitutional protections but that's another subject).

But to counter your point, I refer you to the 11th Amendment. 
Quote
The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.

Again, I think it's a bit blurry.  You disagree.   I'll leave it at that, okay?

Offline Jefepato

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2008, 06:42:57 PM »
I'm familiar with the 11th Amendment, but I honestly have no idea what point you're countering with it.

Offline Hunter

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2008, 06:53:30 PM »
I'm familiar with the 11th Amendment, but I honestly have no idea what point you're countering with it.

Whether it applies to foreign nationals or not.  Does "The People" refer to citizens or every human being?

But then again, I'm not a lawyer either.  Probably the reason for my ambiguity on the subject.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 07:02:15 PM by Hunter »

Offline Jefepato

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #41 on: March 09, 2008, 07:21:01 PM »
Whether it applies to foreign nationals or not.

"It" being the Constitution?

It doesn't really make any sense to say "the Constitution applies to foreign nationals" or "the Constitution doesn't apply to foreign nationals."  The Constitution applies to the government.  It gives the government its powers, and the government doesn't have any powers that the Constitution doesn't grant it.

If anything, the fact that the 11th Amendment speaks separately of U.S. citizens and foreign citizens supports my argument: clearly, where foreign citizens are meant to be addressed differently, it says so!

(For the record, the effect of the 11th Amendment is that an individual can only sue a state if he's a citizen of that state; if not, federal courts can't hear his case, regardless of whether he's a citizen of one of the other 49 or of another country entirely.  It deals with the sovereign powers of the individual states, not the rights of foreigners in particular.)

But then again, I'm not a lawyer either.  Probably the reason for my ambiguity on the subject.

I'm not either, but in five more semesters I will be.  I have Constitutional Law tomorrow, so I'll see if I can get any insight from the professor on the Eighth Amendment prohibition.

Offline Hunter

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #42 on: March 09, 2008, 07:23:21 PM »
"It" being the Constitution?

It doesn't really make any sense to say "the Constitution applies to foreign nationals" or "the Constitution doesn't apply to foreign nationals."  The Constitution applies to the government.  It gives the government its powers, and the government doesn't have any powers that the Constitution doesn't grant it.

If anything, the fact that the 11th Amendment speaks separately of U.S. citizens and foreign citizens supports my argument: clearly, where foreign citizens are meant to be addressed differently, it says so!

(For the record, the effect of the 11th Amendment is that an individual can only sue a state if he's a citizen of that state; if not, federal courts can't hear his case, regardless of whether he's a citizen of one of the other 49 or of another country entirely.  It deals with the sovereign powers of the individual states, not the rights of foreigners in particular.)

I'm not either, but in five more semesters I will be.  I have Constitutional Law tomorrow, so I'll see if I can get any insight from the professor on the Eighth Amendment prohibition.

Yes.  I'm not going to disagree whether or not human beings should have those rights/protections.  THEY SHOULD. What I'm wondering is where the Constitution actually provides equal protection just because someone is human.  And what defines human....

Offline Schwarzepard

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #43 on: March 09, 2008, 08:56:33 PM »
Here's an interesting article about waterboarding.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=23199

Offline Jefepato

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #44 on: March 09, 2008, 09:22:42 PM »
Here's an interesting article about waterboarding.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=23199

Very interesting, yes.  I suppose we're to believe that 90 seconds of something that absolutely is not torture made this guy confess.

There are some means that no end can justify.

Offline Schwarzepard

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #45 on: March 11, 2008, 12:11:12 AM »
Very interesting, yes.  I suppose we're to believe that 90 seconds of something that absolutely is not torture made this guy confess.

There are some means that no end can justify.

Waterboarding and other forms of torture justify the end of saving my life, your life, the lives of people we care about, and many other people's lives.  The lives of the people who are getting waterboarded and tortured in other ways aren't worth shit because of what they've chosen to do with their lives.  Had they decided not to support or act on behalf of organizations dedicated to killing you, me and everyone else who won't obey them, they wouldn't be getting waterboarded.  As for the people who got waterboarded even though they were innocent, it's a damn good thing they got waterboarded which inflicts no physical injury rather than getting a more physical torture.

Seriously, these terrorist assholes are dedicated to ending our lives.  Waterboarding doesn't give them even 1% of the pain and suffering they have inflicted on other people.  Considering what they've done and what they are constantly trying to do, they're getting over. 

Offline kongming

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2008, 01:50:29 AM »
...that's just moronic.

If you're torturing someone who doesn't have the information you need - an innocent - then you are committing an atrocity for no good reason, and the only way they can stop it is by lying. You will cause mental trauma, possibly even drive them insane, and cause them to hate you. You have now just made a new enemy, possibly causing them to join "Team Terror".

You just lost the game, and let the terrorists win by doing that. That being said, when they turn your country into a dictatorship with a ruler who relies on fear, and people are too scared to live their lives normally, the terrorists have already won.

So, we get someone who does have the information. Let's use the same example that pro-torture people love to use: they hid an atom bomb somewhere below the city. So, you know for a fact that this person knows the location. In one hour, it's going to explode if you can't find and disarm it. What do you do?

That person is willing to blow a city up. They're probably insane at this point. They might very well be willing to die or undergo an hour of torture just for their goals to be achieved. So you still don't get the info - torture isn't helping you here.

But they don't even have to be willing to undergo that. They could, you know, lie. Seeing as an innocent you're torturing certainly will lie for it to stop - and let's face it, they will because it's the only option they have - an actual terrorist will do the same thing, both to end/pause the torture or to mess you around. So, time is ticking. They say the bomb is under the monument. Half an hour is wasted deploying people there and searching the area. You torture them some more and they say "Okay okay, it's under the primary school."
You waste another half hour, and guess what? It was under the hospital. Game over. Once again, your torture had zero effect.

Of course, if you are willing to torture people, then your enemies are also going to be willing to do it to you. Every time you commit an atrocity against them, you are fuelling their hatred, providing them with martyrs, proving to them that you actually are the bad guy they think you are, and also convincing the rest of the world that they shouldn't help you.

There are records and statistics that back up what I say, but frankly, I can't be bothered searching for them when the other person is likely to just say "Nah, I still think you're wrong, and those statistics are lies invented by communists!"

So, torture makes more enemies, and almost never succeeds. Most people know this, and yet a few countries still do it. There are really only two reasons this could be:
1. To be "the bad guys". To scare others just on principle - especially to control their own innocent populace with fear.
2. For their own sick pleasure. The people who order these things to be done? I just bet they're beating off under the table.

Offline Schwarzepard

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #47 on: March 11, 2008, 08:47:04 PM »
No, Kong, it's not moronic.  My life and the lives of others are more important than the wellbeing of a person intent on doing me and other people harm.

Waterboarding works, that's been established.  The argument is about whether or not the US government should do it.  I think it should for the reason stated above.

The enemies of the US already routinely torture.  It's standard for them.  Their hatred is fuelled by their religious and ideological teachings.  That's why they kill each other when they're not killing Westerners and Israelis.

I do think you're wrong, not because I cast doubt on the sources you didn't bother to provide but because your example was pointless and the logic on which I base my conclusions is sound.










Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #48 on: March 11, 2008, 09:19:27 PM »
So what about those people who were picked up and tortured and hadn't actually done anything? Do you remember this case?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/arar/

You say waterboarding works. I expect it does. I expect if you were waterboarded you'd confess to just about anything too. Doesn't mean much though, does it?

Do you think you can maintain any claim to moral high ground if you torture others? At that point you accept the rational of 'the end justifies the means', which is the same one that your enemies hold. At that point, how can you say you're better than them?

Offline Sherona

Re: President Bush Vetoes Legislation to Ban Waterboarding!!
« Reply #49 on: March 11, 2008, 09:37:06 PM »
The bigger picture, i think, is NOT whether or not people approve of torture...but whether waterboarding is torture..

Dont shoot me..I am not sayng its NOT...just saying that people's justification for supporting htis veto is that the do not believe that Waterboarding is Torture.

Ask most of the people supporting such measures if they aggree with not allowing a prisoner to have any form or water for 3 days, and then as dehydration really sets in hold a glass of water just out of reach until they confess, and they will say No, thats inhumane..

*shrugs* Not for waterboarding at all....So PLEASE don't call me moronic or what not....kind of a dont shoot the messenger, but there you have it.

The real debate is not SHould we torture or should we not...the real debate is ...IS waterboarding torture or isn't it?