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Author Topic: The Final Word on Gitmo  (Read 3241 times)

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Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

The Final Word on Gitmo
« on: March 31, 2009, 11:02:17 PM »
Reigning Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza of Venezuela on her trip to Gitmo:

"It was a loooot of fun!," Mendoza wrote.
"I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful," she added.

Miss Universe says had "lot of fun" in Guantanamo

Really, does anything more need to be said on this issue? As far as I'm concerned, its settled. Ms. Mendoza has spoken.

 :D

« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 11:12:13 PM by Zamdrist »

Offline Silk

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2009, 09:00:34 AM »
And you guys listen to a woman who made a career of sucking dicks why?

Offline Trieste

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Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2009, 09:07:38 AM »
Because she does it well is actually both beautiful and well-rounded, as is required to win a beauty contest.

Offline consortium11

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2009, 09:10:51 AM »
And you guys listen to a woman who made a career of sucking dicks why?

Outside of her naked shots, I don't think she's implicated in anything else.

She's no Riyo Mori or Zuleyka Rivera though...

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Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2009, 09:19:24 AM »
And here I was hoping that was an April Fools gag story.

Offline Maeven

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2009, 09:21:34 AM »
And here I was hoping that was an April Fools gag story.

*snickers quietly at the double entendre*

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Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2009, 09:23:18 AM »
*snickers quietly at the double entendre*

 :P

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Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2009, 12:19:58 PM »
One thing to realize is that she was talking about her experience on the military base.  Years before 9/11, I knew someone whose father had been stationed at that base - on base is much like any other military base, but off base, you do not wear your dress whites, because the US presence there isn't exactly desired.  I'm sure that after 9/11 and the founding of Gitmo, the atmosphere down there got even worse, and the base became more insular. 

Is a USO-style guest greeted warmly and shown every possible courtesy?  Of course!  Performers that visit Iraq come away with glowing tales about how nice everyone was, and how happy they were to see these entertainers from the outside.  This is no different.

Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2009, 09:17:43 PM »
And you guys listen to a woman who made a career of sucking dicks why?

Perhaps for the same reason some listen to what Barney Frank has to say?

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2009, 06:02:40 PM »
I can't believe anyone ever supported the idea of Gitmo. Terrible.

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2009, 07:56:04 PM »
 Hundreds of millions did and do. It should have been handled better. Faster trials rather than letting them linger for so long before being charged.

  I am bothered by the attitude of bringing those who offered advice on Gitmo and the methods of interrogation, to trial. For giving an opinion.

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Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2009, 08:25:31 PM »
It was slightly more than giving an opinion.

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2009, 10:45:50 PM »
Many people didn't seem to realize that many Gitmo detainees were random people, not terrorists. In Afghanistan they paid Northern Alliance guys to get Al Qaeda members, so they wanted the money and rounded up anyone, and everyone to get a big bundle o' cash.

The War on Terror is a joke, just like the War on Drugs.

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2009, 02:05:19 AM »
 Unless they were the ones making policy and enacting it, all they could give was advice and opinion. Which they should not be procecuted form. They were asked for advice and gave it.

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Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2009, 06:37:14 AM »
So, "I was just following orders" is their defense then?

Offline consortium11

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2009, 06:59:55 AM »
So, "I was just following orders" is their defense then?

I don't think that's what Zakharra is saying at all. That would be for those who, using Zak's terms, were "making policy and enacting it". What's being referred to here is those who offered advice or gave opinion on it without being directly involved.

For example, should the people who claim that federal income tax is unconstitutional and write academic pieces on the historical/constitutional situation regarding it be prosecuted for doing that. All they are doing is offering advice/support for an arguement, but people following that advice have broken the law and been prosecuted?

On the Gitmo point it's a tale of two halfs. The rewards based system meant there were no doubt dozens of innocents there who should never have been there. On the other hand, several of the people held there and later released have gone on to (re)turn to fight for the Taliban or the like. Whether this was because they actually supported them to begin with or because of their treatment is another question that has to be considered.

I never liked Gitmo and I never supported it, but I can see why it was created and I feel I could put together a decent Devil's Advocate arguement for the place. The real issue now is what happens to those left there when the camp finally closes.

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Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2009, 07:20:38 AM »
I suspect that anyone who was taken from their home to a prison in another country, treated harshly, tortured, and then released isn't going to have an awful lot of love for those responsible. I would not be surprised if that was enough to push someone into deciding to take revenge, and fight.

I can see the need for prisons. I can also see the need for due process. Trials should have been carried out. Torture should not. Those responsible for the torture, whether being the ones physically carrying it out, or those who signed bits of paper to say "Go ahead and do it." should be prosecuted under the law.

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2009, 09:46:36 AM »
 Part of the problem is the definition of torture has become very fluid. It can and to many people means that is the prisoners suffer any discomfort, it is called torture. Being captured falls under that description. Being questioned, held in a cell. Anything falls under that description.

 Should they be interrogated? Yes. I have no problem with that. I would like to see proof on both sides that torture does and does not work. And what constitutes torture.


 
Quote
So, "I was just following orders" is their defense then? /quest]

 No. That is the guards. I'm talking about the Defense and Judicial lawyers whos opinions were asked on matters of policy by the President, V. President and their staffs when they were formulating thoe policy. I've heard and read that those who offered advice should be prosecuted.

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Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2009, 10:05:53 AM »
Alright, let me ask you this then. Do you consider waterboarding .. the simulation of being drowned .. to be torture? I believe it is called such when its being taught as part of the SERE program that some US military forces go through. Or is it only torture when other people are carrying it out?

If it is not torture, and is a legal investigative procedure, why not use it everywhere? I suspect a lot of normal criminal investigations would come to a faster conclusion if that was used to gather information from those suspected of crimes.

Torture may produce results. It will certainly get answers, sooner or later. Of course, those answers may simply be the person being tortured saying anything at all to get the torture to stop. I suspect after sufficient torture anyone here would admit to being a terrorist, whether it were true or not. All you'd want is the pain to stop.

Being captured and held in a cell is not torture. Being made to think that you are going to drown ... a technique that is, IIRC, so dangerous that they need a doctor there with them the whole time ... is. And here's the thing ..  it's not going to be over after one or two demonstrations. It is going to be done again and again, and it's not going to stop until such time as those questioning are satisfied with the quality of the answers.

If the lawyers were simply asked "Is this torture?" then they probably shouldn't be prosecuted for giving an opinion. If it was more a case of "We want to do this. How can we justify it to make it just about legal?" then that's another matter.

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2009, 10:55:46 AM »
 I do not consider waterboarding torture. The area of psychological interrogation/torture is extremely vague. What some can tolerate, others cannot. Even physical interrogation (not necessarily beating) can be vague. What is the limit? Is sleep deprivation, loud music and tactics like that torture?

 
Quote
a technique that is, IIRC, so dangerous that they need a doctor there with them the whole time ...

 The doctor is there I think because the person might go into shock. If it's done properly there is no physical harm done to the person.

 
Quote
If the lawyers were simply asked "Is this torture?" then they probably shouldn't be prosecuted for giving an opinion. If it was more a case of "We want to do this. How can we justify it to make it just about legal?" then that's another matter.

 That is a VERY vague and dangerous precedent to set for prosecution. If they could find a legal way to do it, that is legal.  If they were asked how and gave an honest opinion, with precedent. that's leagal and should not be procecutible.

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Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2009, 11:29:28 AM »
I do not consider waterboarding torture. The area of psychological interrogation/torture is extremely vague. What some can tolerate, others cannot. Even physical interrogation (not necessarily beating) can be vague. What is the limit? Is sleep deprivation, loud music and tactics like that torture?

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/torture

"the act of inflicting excruciating pain, as punishment or revenge, as a means of getting a confession or information, or for sheer cruelty."

"  1. Infliction of severe physical pain as a means of punishment or coercion.
   2. An instrument or a method for inflicting such pain.

# Excruciating physical or mental pain; agony:"

Seems to me that drowning someone fits that definition pretty well.

From the following link

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/waterboarding

John McCain, in a debate, said he believed that waterboarding was torture. Given he'd been tortured himself as a PoW, I think that lends some credibility to his opinion.

 
The doctor is there I think because the person might go into shock. If it's done properly there is no physical harm done to the person.

Again, from the above link

Quote
Waterboarding is a form of torture that consists of immobilizing a person on their back with the head inclined downward and pouring water over the face and into the breathing passages. Through forced suffocation and inhalation of water, the subject experiences the process of drowning and is made to believe that death is imminent. In contrast to merely submerging the head face-forward, waterboarding almost immediately elicits the gag reflex. Although waterboarding does not always cause lasting physical damage, it carries the risks of extreme pain, damage to the lungs, brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation, injuries (including broken bones) due to struggling against restraints, psychological injury, and death.

No harm, eh?

Quote
Bent Sørensen, Senior Medical Consultant to the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims and former member of the United Nations Committee against Torture has said:

    It’s a clear-cut case: Waterboarding can without any reservation be labeled as torture. It fulfils all of the four central criteria that according to the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) defines an act of torture. First, when water is forced into your lungs in this fashion, in addition to the pain you are likely to experience an immediate and extreme fear of death. You may even suffer a heart attack from the stress or damage to the lungs and brain from inhalation of water and oxygen deprivation. In other words there is no doubt that waterboarding causes severe physical and/or mental suffering – one central element in the UNCAT’s definition of torture. In addition the CIA’s waterboarding clearly fulfills the three additional definition criteria stated in the Convention for a deed to be labeled torture, since it is 1) done intentionally, 2) for a specific purpose and 3) by a representative of a state – in this case the US.

 
That is a VERY vague and dangerous precedent to set for prosecution. If they could find a legal way to do it, that is legal.  If they were asked how and gave an honest opinion, with precedent. that's leagal and should not be procecutible.

I believe the precedent is already there

Quote
In addition, both under the War Crimes Act and international law, violators of the laws of war are criminally liable under the command responsibility, and they could still be prosecuted for war crimes. Commenting on the so-called "torture memoranda" Scott Horton pointed out

    the possibility that the authors of these memoranda counseled the use of lethal and unlawful techniques, and therefore face criminal culpability themselves. That, after all, is the teaching of United States v. Altstötter, the Nuremberg case brought against German Justice Department lawyers whose memoranda crafted the basis for implementation of the infamous “Night and Fog Decree.”

Quote
Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, several memoranda, including the Bybee memo, were written analyzing the legal position and possibilities in the treatment of prisoners. The memos, known today as the "torture memos," advocate enhanced interrogation techniques, while pointing out that refuting the Geneva Conventions would reduce the possibility of prosecution for war crimes. In addition, a new definition of torture was issued. Most actions that fall under the international definition do not fall within this new definition advocated by the U.S.

Changing the definition of the act in order to give it a veneer of legality may make it legal, but it does not make it right. And if the law can be changed once to make an act legal, it can be reversed to make it illegal again.

I also find it ironic that the US has in the past brought up on war crimes charges those who performed waterboarding against their soldiers.

But if they decide to do it, its now a legal interogation technique. Perhaps you can explain to me the difference there.

Oh, and if you check that link you'll find lots of other interesting material, plus source information too.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2009, 11:30:54 AM by HairyHeretic »

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2009, 02:03:51 PM »
I do not consider waterboarding torture. The area of psychological interrogation/torture is extremely vague. What some can tolerate, others cannot. Even physical interrogation (not necessarily beating) can be vague. What is the limit? Is sleep deprivation, loud music and tactics like that torture?

 
 The doctor is there I think because the person might go into shock. If it's done properly there is no physical harm done to the person.

 
 That is a VERY vague and dangerous precedent to set for prosecution. If they could find a legal way to do it, that is legal.  If they were asked how and gave an honest opinion, with precedent. that's leagal and should not be procecutible.

Waterboarding isn't about physical harm, it's about psychological torture. You are made to think you're going to drown, and feel that way as it's happening.

It doesn't work, that's shown by the fact that they waterboarded one "suspect" over 200 times. If it worked, they'd only need to do it a few times.

Furthermore, it is torture, regardless of how you feel. The Japanese waterboarded American soldiers and we villified them for it. Now, over 50 years later it's suddenly okay?

I don't believe in bending or breaking the rules in pursuit of a vague goal, e.g. terrorism. When will it end? Should we waterboard rape suspects?

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2009, 05:00:18 PM »
 
Quote
Furthermore, it is torture, regardless of how you feel. The Japanese waterboarded American soldiers and we villified them for it. Now, over 50 years later it's suddenly okay?

 If we did it to, then we should not have done so. In WWII. we condemned the Germans for bombing English cities, then we firebombed both German and Japanese cities.

 I thought they put a thin sheet of plastic over the face so the person did not breath in water. It's how it was described to me.

 Geneva Convention definition of torture, term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental,   It's somewhat vague in terminology since that constitutes suffering is subject to change.

 Heck, wether the detainees were even covered under the Geneva Conventions is an unknown. Both sides can point to parts of the Convention that supports their side.

 On psycological torture, I have less reservation on doing that. Physical shouldn't be done, but the mental is more.. fluid for me. ANY thing can be considered torture. It varies from person to person. Which is why I asked about sleep deprivation, loud music. that constitutes torture to some people. Hell, not getting 3 meals a day in the proper dietary manner is torture. ie, feeding muslims pork.

 Most of interrogation is breaking a person mentally. To get them to talk to you in one way or another. Wether through drugs, wearing them down or what have you. All of which can be considered torture.

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Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2009, 08:40:28 PM »
There are certain things that would constitute torture no matter who they were done to.  However, for a good example of psychological torture, there is a part of George Orwell's 1984 that will stick with me till the end of days.

Quote
'You asked me once,' said O'Brien, 'what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.'
     The door opened again. A guard came in, carrying something made of wire, a box or basket of some kind. He set it down on the further table. Because of the position in which O'Brien was standing. Winston could not see what the thing was.
     'The worst thing in the world,' said O'Brien, 'varies from individual to individual. It may be burial alive, or death by fire, or by drowning, or by impalement, or fifty other deaths. There are cases where it is some quite trivial thing, not even fatal.'
     He had moved a little to one side, so that Winston had a better view of the thing on the table. It was an oblong wire cage with a handle on top for carrying it by. Fixed to the front of it was something that looked like a fencing mask, with the concave side outwards. Although it was three or four metres
away from him, he could see that the cage was divided lengthways into two compartments, and that there was some kind of creature in each. They were rats.
     'In your case, said O'Brien, 'the worst thing in the world happens to be rats.'
     A sort of premonitory tremor, a fear of he was not certain what, had passed through Winston as soon as he caught his first glimpse of the cage. But at this moment the meaning of the mask-like attachment in front of it suddenly sank into him. His bowels seemed to turn to water.
     'You can't do that!' he cried out in a high cracked voice. 'You couldn't, you couldn't! It's impossible.'
     'Do you remember,' said O'Brien, 'the moment of panic that used to occur in your dreams? There was a wall of blackness in front of you, and a roaring sound in your ears. There was something terrible on the other side of the wall. You knew that you knew what it was, but you dared not drag it into the open. It was the rats that were on the other side of the wall.'
     'O'Brien!' said Winston, making an effort to control his voice. 'You know this is not necessary. What is it that you want me to do?'
     O'Brien made no direct answer. When he spoke it was in the schoolmasterish manner that he sometimes affected. He looked thoughtfully into the distance, as though he were addressing an audience somewhere behind Winston's back.
     'By itself,' he said, 'pain is not always enough. There are occasions when a human being will stand out against pain, even to the point of death. But for everyone there is something unendurable  --  something that cannot be contemplated. Courage and cowardice are not involved. If you are falling from a height it is not cowardly to clutch at a rope. If you have come up from deep water it is not cowardly to fill your lungs with air. It is merely an instinct which cannot be destroyed. It is the same with the rats. For you, they are unendurable. They are a form of pressure that you cannot withstand. Even if you wished to. You will do what is required of you.
     'But what is it, what is it? How can I do it if I don't know what it is?'
     O'Brien picked up the cage and brought it across to the nearer table. He set it down carefully on the baize cloth. Winston could hear the blood singing in his ears. He had the feeling of sitting in utter loneliness. He was in the middle of a great empty plain, a flat desert drenched with sunlight, across which all sounds came to him out of immense distances. Yet the cage with the rats was not two metres away from him. They were enormous rats. They were at the age when a rat's muzzle grows blunt and fierce and his fur brown instead of grey.
     'The rat,' said O'Brien, still addressing his invisible audience, 'although a rodent, is carnivorous. You are aware of that. You will have heard of the things that happen in the poor quarters of this town. In some streets a woman dare not leave her baby alone in the house, even for five minutes. The rats are certain to attack it. Within quite a small time they will strip it to the bones. They also attack sick or dying  people. They show astonishing  intelligence in knowing when a human being is helpless.'
     There was an outburst of squeals from the cage. It seemed to reach Winston from far away. The rats were fighting; they were trying to get at each other through the partition.  He heard also a deep groan of despair. That, too, seemed to come from outside himself.
     O'Brien picked up the cage, and, as he did so, pressed something in it. There was a sharp click. Winston made a frantic effort to tear himself loose from the chair. It was hopeless; every part of him, even his head, was held immovably. O'Brien moved the cage nearer. It was less than a metre from Winston's face.
     'I have pressed the first lever,' said O'Brien. 'You understand the construction of this cage. The mask will fit over your head, leaving no exit. When I press this other lever, the door of the cage will slide up. These starving brutes will shoot out of it like bullets. Have you ever seen a rat leap through the air? They will leap on to your face and bore straight into it. Sometimes they attack the eyes first. Sometimes they burrow through the cheeks and devour the tongue.'
     The cage was nearer; it was closing in. Winston heard a succession of shrill cries which appeared to be occurring in the air above his head. But he fought furiously against his panic. To think, to think, even with a split second left  --  to think was the only hope. Suddenly the foul musty odour of the brutes struck his nostrils. There was a violent convulsion of nausea inside him, and he almost lost consciousness. Everything had gone black. For an instant he was insane, a screaming animal. Yet he came out of the blackness clutching an idea. There was one and only one way to save himself. He must interpose another human being, the body of another human being, between himself and the rats.
     The circle of the mask was large enough now to shut out the vision of anything else. The wire door was a couple of hand-spans from his face. The rats knew what was coming now. One of them was leaping up and down, the other, an old scaly grandfather of the sewers, stood up, with his pink hands against the bars, and fiercely sniffed the air. Winston could see the whiskers and the yellow teeth. Again the black panic took hold of him. He was blind, helpless, mindless.
     'It was a common punishment in Imperial China,' said O'Brien as didactically as ever.
     The mask was closing on his face. The wire brushed his cheek. And then  --  no, it was not relief, only hope, a tiny fragment of hope. Too late, perhaps too  late. But he had suddenly understood that in the whole world there was just one person to whom he could transfer his punishment  -- one body that he could thrust between himself and the rats. And he was shouting frantically, over and over.
     'Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me!  Julia!  I  don't care  what  you  do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!'
     He was falling backwards, into enormous depths, away from the rats. He was still strapped in the chair, but he had fallen through  the  floor, through the walls of the building, through the earth, through the oceans,  through  the  atmosphere,  into outer  space,  into the gulfs between the stars -- always away, away, away from the rats.  He  was  light  years  distant,  but O'Brien  was  still  standing  at his side. There was still the cold touch of wire against his cheek. But through the  darkness that  enveloped  him  he heard another metallic click, and knew that the cage door had clicked shut and not open.

Offline Trieste

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Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2009, 09:08:03 PM »

 If we did it to, then we should not have done so. In WWII. we condemned the Germans for bombing English cities, then we firebombed both German and Japanese cities.

 I thought they put a thin sheet of plastic over the face so the person did not breath in water. It's how it was described to me.

No. Waterboarding is done over the face, directly to the face in most cases. It is, as mentioned, to simulate drowning. The very point is for the water to be inhaled and swallowed. Sometimes a cloth is applied to the face, but that is more to add the disorientation of a blindfold and the extra constriction (have you ever tried to breathe through wet cloth?). Additionally, the way the water is applied to the face? If plastic were applied, the pressure would - at least in some cases - press the plastic down across the mouth and nose, causing suffocation.

It has physical consequences; it can be the cause of muscle spasms that prevent you from breathing properly, which then causes suffocation. It hits your gag reflex, which can cause uncontrolled vomiting and aspiration. As always, the extreme stress can trigger a heart attack. And what if the victim is an asthmatic? That adds a whole new level of fun.

Lastly, addressing the fact that it simulates drowning, that's pretty much the same thing as holding someone face down in a basin of water, or physically squeezing off their airway by grabbing their neck. It establishes power, and only works if you can make your victim believe that you really will kill them. That is torture. It's pretty much the worst threat there is, on top of doing physical harm. While the argument could be made that the torture is necessary for the safety and security of our nation - and we do all sorts of things that are "wrong but necessary" in the name of safety - it should never be dismissed as not-torture. We, as a culture, need to remain aware of that.