Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

Torturing the English language

Miscellaneous Other Topics.

Postby gailr » Fri Dec 23, 2005 2:44 pm

Apoclima wrote: Volunteer? Please! How does one voluteer for rape and murder?

Either you missed the irony or you are engaging in jesuitical reasoning. To put it another way: hazing can tap the very worst in the person wielding power over another. It occurs in a variety of settings. Wherever group membership is not actively sought in exchange for hazing, victims are clearly unwilling; it is reprehensible for authority figures to turn a blind eye to the practice, willing or not.

In others (such as the greek system) part of the process is that victims cannot know ahead of time whether their hazing will be mild, severe, or permanent. Yet this social type persists because membership is seen as so desirable that pledges willingly relinquish all autonomy and power to strangers. (It also persists because those who have passed sadistic tests become colluders.) Successfully passing the ordeal grants fraternity and, depending upon the status of the organization, a far-reaching social and business network.

It follows that a society which (on the whole) tolerates the systematic brutalizing of some of its own citizens to "relieve stress" and impose social conformity (a concept neither invented nor monopolized by the US, I will add!) may not experience moral outrage over practices that brutalize outsiders in the interest of "relieving stress" and imposing social conformity where the stakes are even higher.

Whether in small groups or nation states, Lord Acton's observation rings true. Kneejerk punishing of a leader for the actions of an underling (while extremely uncommon) is as inherently unfair as punishing an underling for the actions of a leader (which is extremely common). At the same time, groups predicated upon a hierarchical structure are kept in line by the chain of command in that structure. When demagogues posing as confederates of authority (with no public arguments from those in authority) incite violence, their cowardly intention is for Joe Citizen to hear and act. When those in authority are on record for similar statements, their underlings do act. And the result is always the same: a few underlings are caught through their own ineptness, and punished for doing what they perceived as their duty. The demagogues and authorities may add their denunciations to the mix if those selected for scapegoating cause them personal embarassment. Then they carry on with business as usual, or at least, with what seems "usual" to those who approve of brutal hazing incidents (as both victim and abuser) in their own pasts.
-gailr
User avatar
gailr
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:40 am

Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Dec 24, 2005 7:41 am

William wrote:
Unfortunately, Mr Boot completely neglects the evidence that just such things [i e, «fingernails pulled, electric shocks applied, sharp objects put where they don't belong» is what the word "torture" commonly connotes. have been done by US operatives to prisoners, in addition to such pleasant things as various forms of rape


Henri, I would like to see your sources for that information.


William, you seem to place quite extraordinary demands upon what can be considered as a reliable source as a prerequisite for discussion. Neither the Guardian (which you claim has an «anti-American agenda which should be clear to anyone») nor the New York Times, (which, according to you, «has been publishing lies since the 1930s») nor Aljazeera (which you tell us «has shown footage of the aftermath of suicide bombings that have killed dozens of innocent Iraqis and then telling its viewers that it was the United States who set off those bombs») seem to meet your exacting standards, which prompts me to ask : what sources would you accept as reliable and unbiased, dedicated solely to determining the truth and making it know to readers, «without fear or favour» ? While I have nothing at all against discussing such questions as media reliability, about which there is much that needs to be said, I don't wish to divert this particular thread into that channel, as torture itself is so important a subject - both on its own and as a metre for civilisation in general - that the present subject of discourse should not be abandoned. That being said, let me point out the following : I attempt to keep à jour with the online versions of the above three sources, among others (with regard to Aljazeera I am unable, due to my lack of a proper education, to avail myself of their work in Arabic) ; is your dismissal of them based upon a similar, first-hand knowledge of their contents ? Or is it the case that, for the most part, you rather read, see, or listen to comments about these sources in other, predominantly hostile media ? Do you honestly believe that what I have called «US operatives» (i e, persons either working directly for US agencies, such as the military or the CIA, or indirectly, through private contractors have not, ever, committed the atrocities listed above in places like Iraq or elsewhere ? (Note that , e g, rape or the pulling out of finger nails would probably not even come under the heading of torture according to the egregious Mr - now Professor ! - Yoo, who, in contradistinction to the «outdated» Geneva Conventions, limits the term to the infliction of pain and suffering «equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death», cf, once again, Jane Mayer's article published in the 14 February issueNew Yorker (in your estimation another «anti-American rag» ?).)

I understand that it is painful to have consider that one's own country engages in practices which it justly condemns when performed by (certain) others. But to my mind, the consequences of acquiescing in them, either passively by ignoring reports, or actively by saying that all these reports arise from biased sources, are far more painful for those of us who, on one occasion or another, must look in the mirror. If these atrocities are to be stopped, it is necessary that we openly confront the fact that they do exist, and that we take upon ourselves the task of seeing to it that not only low-level perpetrators like Graner and England are punished, but also, and more severely, those responsible for allowing such things to go on in the organisations that do them in our names....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE

Postby Apoclima » Sat Dec 24, 2005 10:44 am

Quote:
By calling the Graner-England incidents at Abu Ghraib, frat pranks, no way diminishes the suffering of the prisoners, but neither does it suggest in itself State-sanctioned torture or even abuse [emphasis addedMHD].


I take it, Henri, that the addition of "Note the horrors and large numbers of deaths.." to the beginning of this quote was an honest technical error.

Now just quickly about "hazing":

Hazing is typically defined as the harassment or persecution of prospective "new members" or "pledges" of a group. In such practices, pledges are required to complete often (physically and/or psychologically) meaningless, difficult, or humiliating tasks.


Since at least the 1990s, if hazing was conducted at a local chapter, it was without the knowledge or consent of the national organization and outside the guidelines for their initiation rituals. If discovered, it usually results in the revocation of the local chapter's charter and probably expulsion of members from the organization.


This would seem to contradict Henri's statement:

...it is widely known that the presence of «hazing» in an organisation is largely dependent upon the degree to which the practice is tolerated by leading persons in the organisation.


Perhaps it is true, if one takes "leading persons in the organisation" to mean the officers at a particular frat house or the captain or an admired person of a particular team or such.

Hazing issues

Hazing Defined

Although I failed to find statistics on the subject, it looks to me like the most egregious acts of hazing are done by a few and that the witnesses are not many, except in the case of forced alcohol consumption, sometimes leading to death.

Henri:
...it would to my mind be far more appropriate to refer to them as (one set of) «the Cheney-Rumsfeld incidents», as those individuals, as is now publically known, played the defining role in lowering the standards for the treatment of detainees, a lowering of standards which influenced not merely the two individuals you mentioned, but whole organisations, as can be seen from e g, Captain Fishback's testimony.


I am assuming, Henri, that you are talking about enemy [unlawful] combatant status, and its lack of qualification for the protections under the Geneva Conventions. Well, the al-Qaida and the Taliban (and other terrorist groups) fail to fulfill the requirements that are outlined in the GC:

The short answer is that a prisoner of war is entitled to the protections set forth in the 1949 Geneva Convention. In contrast, an unlawful combatant is a fighter who does not play by the accepted rules of war, and therefore does not qualify for the Convention's protections.

The criteria are: "(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; (c) that of carrying arms openly; [and] (d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war."
Al Qaeda does not satisfy these conditions. Perhaps Osama bin Laden could be considered "a person responsible for his subordinates," although the cell structure of al Qaeda belies the notion of a chain of command. But in any event, al Qaeda members openly flout the remaining three conditions.
Al Qaeda members deliberately attempt to blend into the civilian population - violating the requirement of having a "fixed distinctive sign" and "carrying arms openly." Moreover, they target civilians, which violates the "laws and customs of war."
Thus, al Qaeda members need not be treated as prisoners of war.


Until recently the Taliban was the actual (though not recognized) government of Afghanistan, and it was attacked as such by the United States, albeit in justifiable self-defense. If Taliban members did not wear distinctive uniforms before we attacked, one might think that they should not be faulted for failing to don such uniforms immediately once the shooting started.
But in the end, this argument is unpersuasive. The requirement of a distinctive sign is no mere technicality. Its object, like many of the laws of war, is to enable the enemy to distinguish combatants from civilians, and thus to minimize civilian casualties. Yet the Taliban made clear that it was not interested in complying with the letter or spirit of the law of war.
For example, when it still controlled Kabul, the Taliban hid military equipment among the civilian population. Furthermore, as the war unfolded, it became increasingly difficult to distinguish the Taliban from al Qaeda - which, as we have seen, clearly does not qualify to have its members treated as prisoners of war.


WHAT IS AN "UNLAWFUL COMBATANT," AND WHY IT MATTERS:
The Status Of Detained Al Qaeda And Taliban Fighters

By MICHAEL C. DORF
The Schlesinger and Fay reports obviously haven't satisfied some critics, who are furiously spinning them for political advantage even though their accusations about alleged command failure have shifted drastically from "condoning torture" to poor supervision and planning. Some others are dismissing them altogether as a whitewash.
But Mr. Schlesinger and his fellow panelists, having already had long and distinguished careers, have no motivation to risk their own reputations for Mr. Rumsfeld's. They have produced what's to date the definitive assessment of what went wrong, and the bottom line could hardly be more clear: While the Abu Ghraib abuses deserve to be punished, like other wartime excesses, the allegations that they had anything to do with so-called "torture memos" and a Pentagon "culture of permissiveness" are nothing but a political smear.

A Rumsfeld Vindication
Abu Ghraib reports blow apart allegation of a "culture of permissiveness."

If I were able to follow the logic of your arguments about the Graner-England incident at Abu Ghraib, then all and any abuse perpetrated by American troops or interrogators would be the fault of the Bush Administration. And as much as that would please some, I’m not falling for that sort of propaganda. The vast majority of our military personnel know very well what “humane treatment” is, and that an enlisted person cannot obey an unlawful order.

Apo
'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
User avatar
Apoclima
Senior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 556
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:00 pm

Postby M. Henri Day » Sun Dec 25, 2005 1:03 pm

Apoclima wrote:
Quote:
By calling the Graner-England incidents at Abu Ghraib, frat pranks, no way diminishes the suffering of the prisoners, but neither does it suggest in itself State-sanctioned torture or even abuse [emphasis addedMHD].


I take it, Henri, that the addition of "Note the horrors and large numbers of deaths.." to the beginning of this quote was an honest technical error.


Alas, my proof-reading process does not always suffice to prevent error ; the phrase «Note the horrors and large numbers of deaths» was not of, course, due to Apo and should not have been included in the my citation of his posting - something which should have been clear to any careful reader, as the phrase, without any punctuation, simply hangs there, irrelevant to the following. In any event, I have added an editorial note to the posting above in which this error occurred, in order to avoid any possible misunderstanding. The error on my part was certainly inadvertent ; whether he who committed it is honest, Apo, I must leave to your judgement - protestations of innocence, are not, as we know, the same thing as proof, whether they are pro-offered to the benefit of your humble interlocutor, or such luminaries as Messrs Cheney and Rumsfeld....

Since at least the 1990s, if hazing was conducted at a local chapter, it was without the knowledge or consent of the national organization and outside the guidelines for their initiation rituals. If discovered, it usually results in the revocation of the local chapter's charter and probably expulsion of members from the organization.


This would seem to contradict Henri's statement:

...it is widely known that the presence of «hazing» in an organisation is largely dependent upon the degree to which the practice is tolerated by leading persons in the organisation.


On the contrary, the above, taken from Wikipedia's article tends to support my claim ; the reason such rules were adopted in the 1990s was to hinder sadistic and humiliating initiation procedures, which by that time had become a serious and widespread problem. The fact that strict guidelines from above were put into place in order to mistreatment of pledges shows that my theory was shared by the senior officers of these organisations. If, Apo, you wish to undermine my theory, what you have to do is introduce empirical evidence which shows that, despite the new guidelines, the incidence and severity of hazing has not decreased. Such evidence may exist, but until such time as it it produced, I shall continue to maintain that the attitude of senior persons has a great influence on the prevalence of such practices within an organisation....

Henri:
...it would to my mind be far more appropriate to refer to them as (one set of) «the Cheney-Rumsfeld incidents», as those individuals, as is now publicly known, played the defining role in lowering the standards for the treatment of detainees, a lowering of standards which influenced not merely the two individuals you mentioned, but whole organisations, as can be seen from e g, Captain Fishback's testimony.


I am assuming, Henri, that you are talking about enemy [unlawful] combatant status, and its lack of qualification for the protections under the Geneva Conventions. Well, the al-Qaida and the Taliban (and other terrorist groups) fail to fulfill the requirements that are outlined in the GC:

The short answer is that a prisoner of war is entitled to the protections set forth in the 1949 Geneva Convention. In contrast, an unlawful combatant is a fighter who does not play by the accepted rules of war, and therefore does not qualify for the Convention's protections.

The criteria are: "(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; (c) that of carrying arms openly; [and] (d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war."
Al Qaeda does not satisfy these conditions. Perhaps Osama bin Laden could be considered "a person responsible for his subordinates," although the cell structure of al Qaeda belies the notion of a chain of command. But in any event, al Qaeda members openly flout the remaining three conditions.
Al Qaeda members deliberately attempt to blend into the civilian population - violating the requirement of having a "fixed distinctive sign" and "carrying arms openly." Moreover, they target civilians, which violates the "laws and customs of war."
Thus, al Qaeda members need not be treated as prisoners of war.


Since this is a serious matter, let me give a somewhat longer answer, citing the text provided in your link above :

Geneva Convention (III) Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War; August 12, 1949

Article 4 [This article is so long that instead of reproducing it in its entirety, I provide a link.]


[Note the second paragraph of Article 5 :]

Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal [emphasis added[sub]MHD[/sub]].

[Note two things here - one, if persons have not committed a «belligerent act», they are to be regarded as civilians, and enjoy all the protections provided civilians under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which are no less strict than those afforded to prisoners of war, and, in the event persons have committed «belligerent acts» (such as, e g, defending ones home after the door has been kicked in by enemy soldiers), they are to be regarded as prisoners of war until such time as a duly constituted tribunal has decided that they are not. As Knut Dorrman, legal adviser to the Legal Committee of the ICRC notes in an essay well worth reading, entitled «The legal situation of "unlawful/unprivileged combatants"», such decisions cannot, for obvious reasons, be taken by the commander of the field units concerned.

[With regard to «bad apples», note also the first paragraph, Article 12 :]

Prisoners of war are in the hands of the enemy Power, but not of the individuals or military units who have captured them. Irrespective of the individual responsibilities that may exist, the Detaining Power is responsible for the treatment given them [emphasis added[sub]MHD[/sub]].

[And Article 13 :]

Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated [emphasis added[sub]MHD[/sub]]. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried out in his interest.
Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.
Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.

[Article 17 :]
Every prisoner of war, when questioned on the subject, is bound to give only his surname, first names and rank, date of birth, and army, regimental, personal or serial number, or failing this, equivalent information.


No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind [emphasis added[sub]MHD[/sub]]. Prisoners of war who, owing to their physical or mental condition, are unable to state their identity, shall be handed over to the medical service. The identity of such prisoners shall be established by all possible means, subject to the provisions of the preceding paragraph.
Article 25 :
Prisoners of war shall be quartered under conditions as favourable as those for the forces of the Detaining Power who are billeted in the same area. The said conditions shall make allowance for the habits and customs of the prisoners and shall in no case be prejudicial to their health.
The foregoing provisions shall apply in particular to the dormitories of prisoners of war as regards both total surface and minimum cubic space, and the general installations, bedding and blankets.
The premises provided for the use of prisoners of war individually or collectively, shall be entirely protected from dampness and adequately heated and lighted, in particular between dusk and lights out. All precautions must be taken against the danger of fire.



Until recently the Taliban was the actual (though not recognized) government of Afghanistan, and it was attacked as such by the United States, albeit in justifiable self-defense. If Taliban members did not wear distinctive uniforms before we attacked, one might think that they should not be faulted for failing to don such uniforms immediately once the shooting started.
But in the end, this argument is unpersuasive. The requirement of a distinctive sign is no mere technicality. Its object, like many of the laws of war, is to enable the enemy to distinguish combatants from civilians, and thus to minimize civilian casualties. Yet the Taliban made clear that it was not interested in complying with the letter or spirit of the law of war.
For example, when it still controlled Kabul, the Taliban hid military equipment among the civilian population. Furthermore, as the war unfolded, it became increasingly difficult to distinguish the Taliban from al Qaeda - which, as we have seen, clearly does not qualify to have its members treated as prisoners of war.


[For some reason, Michael C Dorf does not find it incumbent upon himself to discuss the question of the application of Article 4 above to the reality on the ground in a country like Afghanistan, in which the separation between civilian and soldier is less marked than in the societies in which most of us, including Mr Dorf, live. It is, however, here worth citing Section 1. 6 of the article :

Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.


The Schlesinger and Fay reports obviously haven't satisfied some critics, who are furiously spinning them for political advantage even though their accusations about alleged command failure have shifted drastically from "condoning torture" to poor supervision and planning. Some others are dismissing them altogether as a whitewash.
But Mr. Schlesinger and his fellow panelists, having already had long and distinguished careers, have no motivation to risk their own reputations for Mr. Rumsfeld's. They have produced what's to date the definitive assessment of what went wrong, and the bottom line could hardly be more clear: While the Abu Ghraib abuses deserve to be punished, like other wartime excesses, the allegations that they had anything to do with so-called "torture memos" and a Pentagon "culture of permissiveness" are nothing but a political smear.


If I were able to follow the logic of your arguments about the Graner-England incident at Abu Ghraib, then all and any abuse perpetrated by American troops or interrogators would be the fault of the Bush Administration. And as much as that would please some, I’m not falling for that sort of propaganda. The vast majority of our military personnel know very well what “humane treatment” is, and that an enlisted person cannot obey an unlawful order.


How very convenient ! It is not the US Government which is «spinning», but those nasty people (but don't worry, the NSA is listening to their conversations, so soon they will be able to taste less-than-divine vengeance !) who dare to question the propriety of torture. And Apo's resistence to my «propaganda» is gratifying, if surprising, considering my control over the mainstream media to which he is daily exposed and which represents a clear and present danger to democracy and his well-being ! But the «logic of my argument» is not at all, as any unbiased reader should know, that «all and any abuse perpetrated by American troops or interrogators would be the fault of the Bush Administration». What I said was the following :

Rather, it would to my mind be far more appropriate to refer to them as (one set of) «the Cheney-Rumsfeld incidents», as those individuals, as is now publically known, played the defining role in lowering the standards for the treatment of detainees, a lowering of standards which influenced not merely the two individuals you mentioned, but whole organisations, as can be seen from e g, Captain Fishback's testimony.


The present US administration has consistently worked to lower the standards for the treatment of detainees, rather than attempting to raise them, in a situation in which the need for clarifying certain aspects of the Geneva Conventions from 1949 was obvious, e g, standards of treatment for persons who fall outside the categories of prisoners of war on the one hand, or civilians on the other, as defined under the Conventions. Even for an Administration so intellectually handicapped as this one, that should not have represented a mission impossible ; in fact the work was already done, more than a quarter century ago and enshrined, inter alia in the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1), a part of which I cite below.

Article 75.-Fundamental guarantees

1. In so far as they are affected by a situation referred to in Article 1 of this Protocol, persons who are in the power of a Party to the conflict and who do not benefit from more favourable treatment under the Conventions or under this Protocol shall be treated humanely in all circumstances and shall enjoy, as a minimum, the protection provided by this Article without any adverse distinction based upon race, colour, sex, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, national or social origin, wealth, birth or other status, or on any other similar criteria. Each Party shall respect the person, honour, convictions and religious practices of all such persons.
2. The following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever, whether committed by civilian or by military agents:
(a) Violence to the life, health, or physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular:
(i) Murder;
(ii) Torture of all kinds, whether physical or mental;
( iii ) Corporal punishment ; and
(iv) Mutilation;
(b) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, enforced prostitution and any form of indecent assault;
(c) The taking of hostages;
(d) Collective punishments; and
(e) Threats to commit any of the foregoing acts.
3. Any person arrested, detained or interned for actions related to the armed conflict shall be informed promptly, in a language he understands, of the reasons why these measures have been taken. Except in cases of arrest or detention for penal offences, such persons shall be released with the minimum delay possible and in any event as soon as the circumstances justifying the arrest, detention or internment have ceased to exist.
4. No sentence may be passed and no penalty may be executed on a person found guilty of a penal offence related to the armed conflict except pursuant to a conviction pronounced by an impartial and regularly constituted court respecting the generally recognized principles of regular judicial procedure, which include the following:
(a) The procedure shall provide for an accused to be informed without delay of the particulars of the offence alleged against him and shall afford the accused before and during his trial all necessary rights and means of defence;
(b) No one shall be convicted of an offence except on the basis of individual penal responsibility;
(c) No one shall be accused or convicted of a criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under the national or international law to which he was subject at the time when it was committed; nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than that which was applicable at the time when the criminal offence was committed; if, after the commission of the offence, provision is made by law for the imposition of a lighter penalty, the offender shall benefit thereby;
(d) Anyone charged with an offence is presumed innocent until proved guilt according to law;
(e) Anyone charged with an offence shall have the right to be tried in his presence;
(f) No one shall be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt;
(g) Anyone charged with an offence shall have the right to examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;
(h) No one shall be prosecuted or punished by the same Party for an offence in respect of which a final judgement acquitting or convicting that person has been previously pronounced under the same law and judicial procedure;
(i) Anyone prosecuted for an offence shall have the right to have the judgement pronounced publicly; and
(i) A convicted person shall be advised on conviction of his judicial and other remedies and of the time-limits within which they may be exercised.
5. Women whose liberty has been restricted for reasons related to the armed conflict shall be held in quarters separated from men's quarters. They shall be under the immediate supervision of women. Nevertheless, in cases
where families are detained or interned, they shall, whenever possible, be held in the same place and accommodated as family units.
6. Persons who are arrested, detained or interned for reasons related to the armed conflict shall enjoy the protection provided by this Article until their final release, repatriation or re-establishment, even after the end of the armed conflict.
7. In order to avoid any doubt concerning the prosecution and trial of persons accused of war crimes or crimes against humanity, the following principles shall apply:
(a) Persons who are accused of such crimes should be submitted for the purpose of prosecution and trial in accordance with the applicable rules of international law; and
(b) Any such persons who do not benefit from more favourable treatment under the Conventions or this Protocol shall be accorded the treatment provided by this Article, whether or not the crimes of which they are accused constitute grave breaches of the Conventions or of this Protocol.
8. No provision of this Article may be construed as limiting or infringing any other more favourable provision granting greater protection, under any applicable rules of international law, to persons covered by paragraph 1.


Had the present administration decided to accede to this protocol and thereby send a powerful signal to all concerned that «persons who are in the power of a Party to the conflict and who do not benefit from more favourable treatment under the Conventions or under this Protocol shall be treated humanely in all circumstances and shall enjoy, as a minimum, the protection provided by this Article...», we can rest assured that the number and severity of incidences of abuse and torture of persons in US hands would have been much less than has been the case. In that case, they could indeed have been regarded as unfortunate incidents, due to human frailty and perpetrated by a few bad apples, rather than the responsibility of the highest leadership. Alas, alone among States considered to be democracies and in which the rule of law is paramount (it is, however, accompanied by Turkey), the United States, which never tires of proclaiming its commitment to human rights, has never ratified this protocol. Perhaps, Apo, as a US citizen (I presume), dedicated to the rule of law and human rights (I presume), you might wish to take it upon yourself to work for your country's accession to this Protocol....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE

Postby Apoclima » Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:32 am

Henri:
If, Apo, you wish to undermine my theory, what you have to do is introduce empirical evidence which shows that, despite the new guidelines, the incidence and severity of hazing has not decreased. Such evidence may exist, but until such time as it it produced, I shall continue to maintain that the attitude of senior persons has a great influence on the prevalence of such practices within an organisation....


What is hazing?

The following appear to be written sometime during 2004:

In recent years, some hazing rituals have become brutal and sexually degrading, as new recruits to fraternities and sororities, or as this website explores, new recruits to sport teams are forced to do more inhumane and traumatic initiations.


How Many Students are Hazed? Alfred University Study Aug. 2000

Percent of Students Hazed to Join Specific Organizations: Fraternity or Sorority 76%


Dying to Join: Hazing as Deadly Rite of Passage (written some time before 2003 statistics were in)

When are we, as a society, going to do something effective about the rising problem of hazing? How many deaths need to occur before we make a change for the better? Sure, there are laws against hazing, but somehow, thousands of people a year are getting away with inflicting these rituals on others.


Deaths due to hazing (includes hazing related to sororities, fraternities, high schools, and sports teams):

2003 (so far): 25

2002: 42

2001: 24


80% of college athletes victims of hazing

Concluded Coll: "This finding indicates that the positive activities we provide to our student athletes simply are not challenging enough to meet their needs for initiation rites."

Students either dismissed the hazing or felt they had no choice.

* 60 percent said they would not report hazing
* 48 percent said: "It's not a problem; sometimes accidents happen."
* 26 percent said: "Administration wouldn't handle it right and make it worse."
* 6 percent said they were "not comfortable talking to coach or athletic director, no one else to tell"
* 4 percent said: "Teammates would make my life so miserable, I'd have to leave school."


High School Hazing: An Initiation into Tragedy

Hazing is quickly becoming a quiet plague growing at epidemic proportions.

Halting this epidemic takes a multiple facet approach.


SHU student attacked for telling officials about underground frat

According to Thomas White, a spokesman for the university, the victim went to the student affairs office on Nov. 7 after he was allegedly paddled during a hazing incident at the fraternity. The day after, campus officials received “photographic evidence”of the incident.

“That information was given to Seton Hall officials when they advised the victim he would lose his position as a resident advisor if he did not comply with their request to provide information on the fraternity,” according to the report. White said he believed the fraternity, which was once active on campus, is no longer sanctioned by the university because of a prior incident. However, he couldn’t disclose whether or not that incident involved hazing.


It seems that not only are these hazing incidents become more frequent and brutal, but that doesn't seem to stop either the hazers or their victims from keeping silent.

I didn't want to make a big deal about the inadvertant "misquote." I just wanted to clear up any ambiguity about it. Thanks, Henri! I know it wasn't deliberate!

Al-Qaeda & Taliban unlawful combatant detainees, unlawful belligerency, and the international laws of armed conflict

III. POST-CAPTURE: AL-QAEDA & TALIBAN UNLAWFUL COMBATANTS

A. Non-Applicability of Geneva Convention III, art. 5 POW Status Tribunals

1. Purpose of art. 5 POW Status Tribunals

A capturing party convenes a "competent tribunal" under Geneva Convention III art. 5 (50) when it is necessary to resolve a material factual issue of doubt as to the legal status of captured combatants. Geneva Convention III art. 5 does not purport to dictate the nature of a POW status tribunal, deferring to the detaining power as to tribunal procedures and composition. Art. 5 does not specify how tribunals are to be structured or organized. Neither does art. 5 instruct whether the tribunals are executive or judicial in nature. (51) Art. 5 does not instruct that the detaining power establish a separate tribunal for each detainee who has "fallen into the hands of the enemy." Art. 5 merely directs that doubt as to a captured combatant's status should be considered and settled by a "competent tribunal."

Such individual art. 5 tribunals were designed to provide ad hoc on-the-scene minimal due process to rectify expediently the battleground front-line factual errors of combatant status. For example, individual art. 5 tribunals are meant to ensure that a few displaced civilians or other individual noncombatant captives rounded up by mistake and who are in the proximity of belligerent activity taking place in a combat zone, are then released promptly. Art. 5 tribunals are also meant to provide POW status to a deserter of an opposing armed force who has discarded his or her uniform, to confer timely POW status to a captured lawful combatant who lost an identification card or to a lawful combatant captured off-duty (or otherwise legitimately out-of uniform). (52) As stated earlier, art. 5 defers to the detaining power and does not indicate how individual competent tribunals should be organized or structured. Generally, however, an individual art. 5 tribunal would be non-adversarial and limited in scope.

2. Non-Applicability of Individual art. 5 POW Status Tribunals to Captured Al-Qaeda & Taliban Enemy Combatants


Al-Qaeda & Taliban unlawful combatant detainees, unlawful belligerency, and the international laws of armed conflict

In regards to captured al-Qaeda and Taliban irregular combatants captured out-of-uniform in armed conflict, there is no question, doubt, or ambiguity that they failed en masse to meet any of the four criteria of lawful belligerency and, subsequently then, equally no doubt as to their status as unlawful combatants. Generally, both the al-Qaeda and Taliban detainees now in Cuba were captured without responsible chains of command, without uniforms, with concealed weapons, and without any commitment to or history of compliance with international humanitarian law and LOAC. As a result of the lack of doubt as to both al-Qaeda and the Taliban's unlawful combatant status, art. 5 tribunals, in regards to individual captured al-Qaeda and Taliban combatants, would not be applicable.

A party to a conflict has never been expected to provide a summary art. 5 hearing to determine lawful or unlawful combatant status for every combatant it captures and holds. It would not be realistic or reasonable to do so. Further, individual art. 5 tribunals were never intended to contemplate complex interpretations of, and render consequent overarching legal and national policy decisions regarding LOAC. Such broad and weighty presumptive determinations at the political and strategic levels are quite properly reserved to, and may only be promulgated competently and uniformly by, the highest levels of military and civilian authority. (53)

As stated earlier, particularized art. 5 tribunals are only convened in extraordinary legitimate battlefield cases that involve specific questions of fact. When there is no doubt as to unlawful combatant status, when a competent authority has further legitimately established the presumption of unlawful combatant status, and when there is no further factual uncertainty or ambiguity of combatant status existing, any individual tribunal then convened gratuitously would be a waste of time and resources. It would provide Taliban and al-Qaeda detainees unnecessary and noncompulsory due process in the face of overwhelming evidence of their unlawful belligerency.

As stated earlier, art. 5 tribunals are designed to resolve individual cases of factual doubt as to combatant status. Yet, there is no doubt as to the following facts: that that both al-Qaeda and the Taliban en masse systematically and willfully failed to meet the four criteria of lawful belligerency; and, that al-Qaeda members en masse are stateless. As a result, art. 5 tribunals are unnecessary. Such individualized art. 5 tribunals in the case of the detained Taliban and al-Qaeda enemy combatants would yield little if any additional probative or relevant evidence as to the detainees' lawful/unlawful combatant status.

Instead, art. 5 tribunals would only serve to provide the detainees and their advocates with opportunities to misuse art. 5. The detainees and their appointed advocates would likely use art. 5 tribunals, not for any appropriate purpose of providing relevant factual testimony or other direct evidence exonerating the detainees from unlawful combatant status, but rather for illegitimate political and self-rationalizing theological pageantry. The same detainee advocates would then criticize the pre-determined outcomes of the tribunals, such pre-determined outcomes solidly based upon the manifest blatant misconduct of Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in armed conflict and al-Qaeda's classic unlawful combatant status. Ultimately, detainee advocates would describe the tribunals as gestures intended merely to allay the U.S.-perceived misdirected international concern surrounding the lawful preventive internment of Taliban and al-Qaeda detainees.

3. Executive Affirmation of Unlawful Combatant Status En Masse

In the circumstances in which an entire military organization as a matter of institutional policy and practice incessantly, egregiously, and openly fails en masse to comply with the four requirements of lawful belligerency, there is no requirement under LOAC to convene individual art. 5 tribunals. In such cases where there is no doubt or ambiguity as to the entire military organization's unlawful combatant status, LOAC does not prohibit a competent authority from also making a presumptive unlawful combatant status determination as a pertinent statement of fact that would be inclusive of all members of that military organization, thereby formally eliminating any need for individual art. 5 tribunals. (54) An informed, comprehensive, presumptive en masse determination as to the status of a group of captured, non-uniformed combatants, made by a competent authority who is the democratically elected and accountable civilian Chief Executive of the detaining power and the Commander-in-Chief of its armed forces, would be consistent with the principles and intent of customary LOAC. (55)

Notwithstanding the non-application of art. 5 to al-Qaeda and Taliban unlawful combatants, the President of the U.S., in orderly circumspection, exercised his discretion and personally reviewed in toto the evidence surrounding the unlawful belligerency of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The President, acting within his inherent authority as Commander-in-Chief, reviewed and weighed the wealth of relevant evidence including both classified and unclassified information, and considered the totality of circumstances surrounding the organizational stateless structure of al-Qaeda, the highly collusive relationship between al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and the Taliban and al-Qaeda's unlawful conduct in international armed conflict. After considerable review, the President made a pertinent statement of fact that the forces of al-Qaeda and the Taliban are presumptively unlawful combatants and, upon capture, are not entitled to POW status. (56)

It is important to note, however, that the President did not act as a "supreme art. 5 tribunal." As explained above, art. 5 tribunals were unnecessary. Rather, after examining the conclusive evidence of al-Qaeda and the Taliban's unlawful belligerency, the President simply confirmed that there existed no factual or legal doubt as to their presumptive unlawful combatant status. Concomitantly, the President decided that POW status would not be afforded to detained al-Qaeda and Taliban unlawful combatants. Because of the President's competent en masse determination and subsequent discretionary decision to not privilege captured Taliban and al-Qaeda members with combatant immunity and POW status, it was formally and uniformly affirmed that individual art. 5 tribunals were not applicable or necessary.

Some have claimed that these Presidential discretionary en masse determinations were improperly based upon al-Qaeda and the Taliban's amoral motives for attacking the U.S., and, hence, such determinations followed inappropriately a ius ad bellum (sovereign legal authority to use force in international armed conflict or more literally "just war") analysis. However, the factually-supported Presidential findings and conclusions were based not upon ius ad bellum or any other analogous international legal theory. The virulent motives of al-Qaeda and the Taliban as to why they waged armed conflict were not important when reaching the President's conclusions.

Instead, the President's finding that al-Qaeda and Taliban members are unlawful combatants and the decision not to grant them POW status followed a ius in bello (laws of conduct during international armed conflict) analysis. These executive military decisions were based upon al-Qaeda's stateless classic unlawful combatant status, the interdependent relationship between alQaeda and the Taliban; and, ultimately, the illegal belligerent conduct by alQaeda and the Taliban in international armed conflict; that is, how al-Qaeda and the Taliban waged armed conflict unlawfully.

Despite al-Qaeda and the Taliban's egregious unlawful conduct during armed conflict and al-Qaeda's classic unlawful combatant status, some have commented that the U.S. as the detaining power should have convened individual tribunals under Geneva Convention III, art. 5, to make case-by-case determinations as to "lawful combatant versus unlawful combatant" status and, subsequently, "POW versus battlefield detainee" status. (57) However, as a result of al-Qaeda and the Taliban's substantiated en masse unlawful belligerency, the President's formal presumptive factual affirmation and legal holding, and the absence of sufficient evidence to overcome the established presumption of unlawful belligerency, there is no legal requirement for the U.S. to convene any individualized administrative tribunals to reconsider pro forma what has already been determined accurately and lawfully.


Simply put: Art. 5 does not apply!

Apo
'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
User avatar
Apoclima
Senior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 556
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:00 pm

Postby William » Sun Jan 01, 2006 7:18 pm

William, you seem to place quite extraordinary demands upon what can be considered as a reliable source as a prerequisite for discussion. Neither the Guardian (which you claim has an «anti-American agenda which should be clear to anyone») nor the New York Times, (which, according to you, «has been publishing lies since the 1930s») nor Aljazeera (which you tell us «has shown footage of the aftermath of suicide bombings that have killed dozens of innocent Iraqis and then telling its viewers that it was the United States who set off those bombs») seem to meet your exacting standards, which prompts me to ask : what sources would you accept as reliable and unbiased, dedicated solely to determining the truth and making it know to readers, «without fear or favour» ? While I have nothing at all against discussing such questions as media reliability, about which there is much that needs to be said, I don't wish to divert this particular thread into that channel, as torture itself is so important a subject - both on its own and as a metre for civilisation in general - that the present subject of discourse should not be abandoned. That being said, let me point out the following : I attempt to keep à jour with the online versions of the above three sources, among others (with regard to Aljazeera I am unable, due to my lack of a proper education, to avail myself of their work in Arabic) ; is your dismissal of them based upon a similar, first-hand knowledge of their contents ? Or is it the case that, for the most part, you rather read, see, or listen to comments about these sources in other, predominantly hostile media ? Do you honestly believe that what I have called «US operatives» (i e, persons either working directly for US agencies, such as the military or the CIA, or indirectly, through private contractors have not, ever, committed the atrocities listed above in places like Iraq or elsewhere ? (Note that , e g, rape or the pulling out of finger nails would probably not even come under the heading of torture according to the egregious Mr - now Professor ! - Yoo, who, in contradistinction to the «outdated» Geneva Conventions, limits the term to the infliction of pain and suffering «equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death», cf, once again, Jane Mayer's article published in the 14 February issueNew Yorker (in your estimation another «anti-American rag» ?).)

I understand that it is painful to have consider that one's own country engages in practices which it justly condemns when performed by (certain) others. But to my mind, the consequences of acquiescing in them, either passively by ignoring reports, or actively by saying that all these reports arise from biased sources, are far more painful for those of us who, on one occasion or another, must look in the mirror. If these atrocities are to be stopped, it is necessary that we openly confront the fact that they do exist, and that we take upon ourselves the task of seeing to it that not only low-level perpetrators like Graner and England are punished, but also, and more severely, those responsible for allowing such things to go on in the organisations that do them in our names....


I note, Henri, that you didn't actually name any sources for your assertion that U.S. "operatives" engaged in the kind of torture (pulling off of fingernails, etc.) that Mr. Boot assures us they do not. Am I to assume, then, that the NYT and the Guardian are your sources?"

As for the credibility of the NYT, in addition to the lies of Walter Duranty published in the 1930s, their is the more recent case of Jason Blair. In this case the NYT belatedly admitted their error in trusting him. Even more recently the NYT published an article by one Joesph Wilson entitled as I recall "What I Didn't Find in Africa". It was later proven that Mr. Wilson lied about, among other things, Valerie Plame's (his wife) involvement in securing his assignment to visit Niger in search of evidence that Iraqi operatives were seeking to purchase yellow cake uranium from Niger.

As for Al Jazeera, my education in languages falls short of your own. So I have not read or viewed material regarding Al Jazeera's use of footage of the aftermath of suicide bombings and falsely attributing the atrocity to U.S. troops.
I must admit that my only source was a news report I saw on television.

I did read and view reports a few months ago of torture perpetrated upon Sunni Iraqis and perpetrated by Iraq's Shia dominated military and police services in Iraq. Are these the U.S. operatives you were referring to?

In the post in which I disparaged the credibility of the Guardian, the NYT and Al Jazeera, I failed to mention the Associated Press who published reports by one Jimmy Massey, formerly a U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant, who asserted that his unit had massacred demonstrators and commited other atrocities. The AP failed to research this story adequately before publishing his allegations, but discovered that neither Massey's fellow marines, nor any of the three reporters (including an AP reporter) who were embedded with Massey's unit at the time the atrocities were alleged to have been committed did not corroborate his reports. He is the only one who has made these allegations.

So, I ask again, what are your sources documenting the type of torture you quoted from Mr. Boot's article, and upon what evidence are those reports based?

By the way, Massey has written a book on the atrocities he alleges and I understand that this book is selling very well in Europe. If true then Mr. Massey is making a lot of money out of his allegations.

William.
William
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 6:48 pm

Postby KatyBr » Sun Jan 01, 2006 7:41 pm

I understand that it is painful to have consider that one's own country engages in practices which it justly condemns when performed by (certain) others. But to my mind, the consequences of acquiescing in them, either passively by ignoring reports, or actively by saying that all these reports arise from biased sources, are far more painful for those of us who, on one occasion or another, must look in the mirror.* If these atrocities are to be stopped, it is necessary that we openly confront the fact that they do exist, and that we take upon ourselves the task of seeing to it that not only low-level perpetrators like Graner and England are punished, but also, and more severely, those responsible for allowing such things to go on in the organisations that do them in our names....

Henri {what's all this "we?"}

*This, of course is condescending, but not unlike many statements made by Henri furthering his agenda.
However, My definition of torture is much broader than some, I include screaming, and threats.
That the US has sunk to using these tactics is deplorable if provable, and should be punishable. However I'm sure all the facts are not in yet. Rarely is anything quite as it is reported by the yellow press, and I include the loud Liberal rags as well as the Right wing cr@p.
Most things today are political.
One says, " I must compromise my ethics to keep myself from being buried, and rendered ineffectual." I do not condone any compromise that causes a person to lower their standards. That is if a person HAS standards.

Too bad we can't investigate the investigators(the real atrocity).....those crusaders for freedom and "humanity".

Kt
KatyBr
Senior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 959
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:28 pm

Postby William » Mon Jan 02, 2006 9:19 pm

I understand that it is painful to have consider that one's own country engages in practices which it justly condemns when performed by (certain) others. But to my mind, the consequences of acquiescing in them, either passively by ignoring reports, or actively by saying that all these reports arise from biased sources, are far more painful for those of us who, on one occasion or another, must look in the mirror. If these atrocities are to be stopped, it is necessary that we openly confront the fact that they do exist, and that we take upon ourselves the task of seeing to it that not only low-level perpetrators like Graner and England are punished, but also, and more severely, those responsible for allowing such things to go on in the organisations that do them in our names....


Henri, to add to my previous post, I am not so naive as to believe that the U.S. military has been free of atrocities. The My Lai massacre, for example, was well documented with dozens of witnesses, including two U.S. soldiers who, with a helicopter and a machine gun, interrupted and stopped the massacre while it was in progress.

But though the U.S. military is not squeaky clean in the pursuit of its mission, neither is it all bad as some would believe. The leftist media, including the Guardian and the NYT, seem only to publish reports, many of which are highly suspect as indicated in my previous post, that put the U.S. military in the worst possible light. This is a gross injustice to the many men and women who serve with integrity and selflessness.

William
William
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 6:48 pm

Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Jan 03, 2006 3:23 pm

KatyBr wrote:
... If these atrocities are to be stopped, it is necessary that we openly confront the fact that they do exist, and that we take upon ourselves the task of seeing to it that not only low-level perpetrators like Graner and England are punished, but also, and more severely, those responsible for allowing such things to go on in the organisations that do them in our names....
...


...

However, My definition of torture is much broader than some, I include screaming, and threats.
... I do not condone any compromise that causes a person to lower their standards.


That's more or less what I was trying to say, Katy, thereof the «we»....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE

Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:21 pm

William wrote:...

I note, Henri, that you didn't actually name any sources for your assertion that U.S. "operatives" engaged in the kind of torture (pulling off of fingernails, etc.) that Mr. Boot assures us they do not. Am I to assume, then, that the NYT and the Guardian are your sources?


Again, William, I note that you seem far more interested in impugning my sources beforehand, than in investigating whether their reports are valid ! In fact, I have in the above named other sources than the New York Times and the Guardian, but do you have any evidence which leads you to question the veracity of the reports regarding torture by US «operatives» (I know that word seems to bother you and I am willing to use another if you can suggest a single term that includes members of the US Armed Services, private contracters, and the so-called OGA (Other Government Agency)) to which I have referred ? The question here is not whether a century-old newspaper has on occasion been found to have published a faked or inaccurate article (here I must consider the case of Jason Blair a red herring ; he never wrote on anything vital. Why don't you mention instead the career of the egregious Judith Miller, who during recent years served as the mouthpiece of the present US administration at the Times and who wrote on matters of war and piece ? The problem at the Times is that it has far more Millers than Blairs, people who now are preparing the ground for another war in Southwest Asia (presumably Syria rather than Iran, as the Iranians are in a better position to defend themselves)) ; rather it is whether the US has committed and is committing torture and murder in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo (to add to a long list from Latin America ; the history of US intervention on that continent ever since Monroe's day is not a pretty one). Let us go back to what I wrote, to which you seem to object so strongly :

Do you honestly believe that what I have called «US operatives» (i e, persons either working directly for US agencies, such as the military or the CIA, or indirectly, through private contractors have not, ever, committed the atrocities listed above [i e, citing the excellent Mr Boot, «fingernails pulled, electric shocks applied, sharp objects put where they don't belong»] in places like Iraq or elsewhere ? (Note that , e g, rape or the pulling out of finger nails would probably not even come under the heading of torture according to the egregious Mr - now Professor ! - Yoo, who, in contradistinction to the «outdated» Geneva Conventions, limits the term to the infliction of pain and suffering «equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death», cf, once again, Jane Mayer's article published in the 14 February issue [of the] New Yorker (in your estimation another «anti-American rag» ?)


Note that I have not said that the US has used the technique you specifically mention «pulling out fingernails ...» (a phrase which, as noted above, was used by Mr Boots) ; my point was rather that according to Mr Yoo's definition, this would not even be considered torture (presumably, no one has ever performed this operation on Mr Yoo). But has it been used by US operatives or has it not ? I don't know ; I don't remember ever having run across references to this particular procedure in the sources available to me on the net. Electric shocks, definitely ; they appear not only in the testimony of those who claim to have been tortured, but also in the photographs from, e g, Abu Ghraib (check out the link above). But if you really want to get at what has been going on in your name (not that we Euro-weenies are any better ; by permitting those infamous «extraordinary renditions» to take place on our soil and with the help of our (in)security agencies, we share your guilt) instead of dismissing the evidence as malicious and unsubstantiated rumour, you might turn to the website of Human Rights Watch and in particular, to the article entitled New Accounts of Torture by U.S. Troops. Now you may, of course, choose to dismiss this source as well as a «left-wing, anti-American, Commie-led organisation», but in doing so I fear you would destroy your credibility entirely. My suggestion instead would be to treat the issue of torture with the seriousness it merits and remember that what you allow to be done to others may also come to be visited upon you....

Apo the article from which you cite, published by Joseph P. Bialke in the Air Force Law Review, Spring, 2004, is very long but can be conveniently summed up in two words : «special pleading». That captives, whatever their status, do not deserve humane treatment is a proposition I find unacceptable. As to whether or no the US is legally committed to extend such treatment to them, my understanding would be that it is, as it is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which Article 5 states unequivocally :

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.


According to Article VI of the US Constitution,

...

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

...


Quod erat demonstrandum (or, if you prefer, ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι).

Hot-shot lawyers like Mr Bialke (or Mr Yoo or Mr Gonzales) may attempt to prove otherwise, but the conclusion is clear : the United States is obligated to extend humane treatment to all under its control, no matter who they be. Consider : would you really have it otherwise ?...

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE

Postby Apoclima » Thu Jan 05, 2006 5:51 pm

Henri:
Now you may, of course, choose to dismiss this source as well as a «left-wing, anti-American, Commie-led organisation», but in doing so I fear you would destroy your credibility entirely.


Not in my book, he wouldn't! The fact that every allegation is considered an offense, and the constant conflation of a "State-sanctioned" policy of abuse and acts of individuals without authority is a mad and transparent propaganda campaign.

The idea that we would have to treat enemy combatants with the same protocol as legitimate combatants (ie GC) is ridiculous.

The constant expansion and inflation of the word "torture" is equally ridiculous.

There is no ground for agreement here! And I do not appreciate a pretended concern or sincerity.

The US is fighting a war against terrorism. Terrorists (enemy combatants) are not covered by the GC, and are open to interrogation beyond that which is allowed by the GC.

Someone who finds justification for the "insurgency" in Iraq is not worth the time of day to me.

I refuse to rehash my position over and over again, just to try to satisfy the Left's insatiable desire for American blood.

I can say with all truthfulness that the Left has never seen an allegation of abuse by the US that they didn't like!

Apo
'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
User avatar
Apoclima
Senior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 556
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:00 pm

Postby Apoclima » Thu Jan 05, 2006 8:59 pm

Human Rights for Whom? BY: Boris Ryvkin

Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t the only one who had a dream. I dream that someday organizations that espouse human rights stop vilifying those countries that uphold them the most. I dream that Israel and the US will emerge victorious over the enemies of democracy, justice, morality, and truth. I dream that the snakes of disinformation and the rats of fundamentalist tyranny will be subdued by the forces of freedom, equality, and decency. Such dreams can’t be realized through a vacuum approach, but must be spearheaded and nurtured by organized and committed groups of men and women who act as well as dream. It is a battle of hearts, a battle of minds, a battle of ideas, and a battle that we must win at all costs.


Apo
'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
User avatar
Apoclima
Senior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 556
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:00 pm

Postby Apoclima » Thu Jan 05, 2006 10:06 pm

Image

Stork was a core member of the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), described by B'nai B'rith as "a propaganda mill of the Far Left," which openly called for Israel's destruction. MERIP Reports carried laudatory interviews with terrorist leaders and other activists distributed literature (including PLO buttons, posters, and flags), and MERIP's anti-Israeli assault reflected the standard Marxist anti-imperialist analysis. Stork wrote repeatedly on "the origins of the State of Israel and its war with the people of the Middle East." After the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, MERIP issued a flyer stating: "Munich and similar actions cannot create or substitute for a mass revolutionary movement, but we should comprehend the achievement of the Munich action.... It has provided an important boost in morale among Palestinians in the camps."


Apo
'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
User avatar
Apoclima
Senior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 556
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:00 pm

Postby William » Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:50 am

Henri, I haven't yet had time to read the article you posted about Human Rights Watch. I really don't know much about that organization or whether they have a political agenda such as characterizes the NYT and the Guardian.

Frankly, Henri, the following made me chuckle. Thank you for the laugh:

Why don't you mention instead the career of the egregious Judith Miller, who during recent years served as the mouthpiece of the present US administration at the Times and who wrote on matters of war and piece ? The problem at the Times is that it has far more Millers than Blairs


I must correct you, Henri, the problem with the New York Times is not that it has more far more Millers than Blairs. The problem is that it is owned and run by a group of spineless, hypocritical elitists.

Before you condemn Judith Miller too harshly it might be helpful if you reviewed some recent history involving the New York Times, history from the late 1990s BEFORE George Bush was elected POTUS.

This article by Robert Kagan in the Washington Post might be of assistance to you.

Here are a couple of interesting paragraphs from the article:

There is a big problem with this simple narrative. It is that the Times, along with The Post and other news organizations, ran many alarming stories about Iraq's weapons programs before the election of George W. Bush. A quick search through the Times archives before 2001 produces such headlines as "Iraq Has Network of Outside Help on Arms, Experts Say"(November 1998), "U.S. Says Iraq Aided Production of Chemical Weapons in Sudan"(August 1998), "Iraq Suspected of Secret Germ War Effort" (February 2000), "Signs of Iraqi Arms Buildup Bedevil U.S. Administration" (February 2000), "Flight Tests Show Iraq Has Resumed a Missile Program" (July 2000). (A somewhat shorter list can be compiled from The Post's archives, including a September 1998 headline: "Iraqi Work Toward A-Bomb Reported.") The Times stories were written by Barbara Crossette, Tim Weiner and Steven Lee Myers; Miller shared a byline on one.


Note that, after a "quick search through the Times archives" Mr. Kagan lists headlines of five articles warning of danger from the Iraqi regime, that these articles appeared before 2001, and that Judith Miller had a byline on only one of the articles. Why the Times turned on Miller one can only guess. But their destruction of the woman in view of their previous warnings regarding Iraq smacks of the hypocrisy that I have come to associate with them.

In 1999 Weiner reported that "Iraq's chances of rebuilding a secret arsenal look good." Hussein was "scouring the world for tools to build new weapons." He might "be as close to building a nuclear weapon -- perhaps closer -- than he was in 1991." In 2000 Myers reported that Iraq had rebuilt 12 "missile factories or industrial sites" thought to be "involved in Iraq's efforts to produce weapons of mass destruction" and had "continued its pursuit of biological and chemical weapons."


One wonders why the Times did not crucify reporters Weiner and Myers as they did Miller. From the Times articles listed above one could easily conclude that Miller was doing just what her bosses wanted.

The difference of course is that from the late 90s until January 20, 2001, POTUS was William Jefferson Clinton and not George Bush.

The Times's sources were "administration officials," "intelligence officials," "U.N. weapons inspectors" and "international analysts." The "administration officials" were, of course, Clinton officials. A number of stories were based not on off-the-record conversations but on public statements and documentation by U.N. inspectors.


Interesting list of sources the Times reporters had, don't you think?

I think that the NYT is actually closer to a century and a half old, Henri. But of course its age is absolutely irrelevant.

The word "operative" in and of itself does not bother me, Henri. It is the lack of specificity that bothers me. Who exactly are these operatives?

William
Last edited by William on Sat Jan 14, 2006 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
William
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 6:48 pm

Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Jan 14, 2006 2:49 pm

Apoclima wrote:...

There is no ground for agreement here! And I do not appreciate a pretended concern or sincerity.

...


No, you seem to be right here - little ground for agreement exists. There are people who approve of torture (while often, at least in public, choosing to call it other names for tactical reasons) and there are those who do not. It is perhaps futile to expect members of these two disparate groups to agree. And given that you seem to have unequivocably placed yourself in the former category, Apo, I find myself as much concerned for what you «appreciate» or do not «appreciate» with respect to matters of torture, cruelty, and abuse as I do for the sentiments expressed by a certain HerrHeinrich Himmler in his well-known speech to Schutzstaffel officers in Poznan on 4 October 1943. But perhaps you would care to elucidate a bit more on what you refer to as «pretended concern or sincerity» - whose pretence, whose concern for whom, and whose sincerity about what ?...

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE

PreviousNext

Return to Res Diversae

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron