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 Mukasey won't say if "waterboarding" is torture
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 10/18/2007 :  16:47:41  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Michael Mukasey, President Bush's nominee to replace Attorney General Gonzales, says he's against "torture," but has evaded direct questions from senators as to whether "waterboarding," one of the most infamous and apparently common forms of torture used by the Bush administration, is torture.


Attorney General-nominee Michael Mukasey testifies
before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday.
Under tough questioning on torture policy on the second day of his confirmation hearings, the retired federal judge repeated his view that torture is unconstitutional, but he would not categorically declare any specific techniques to be prohibited.

"I don't think I can discuss techniques," Mukasey told the committee, as skeptical Democrats pressed on.

When asked by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, if waterboarding was constitutional, Mukasey responded "I don't know what's involved in the techniques. If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional."

Whitehouse continued, "'If it's torture.' That's a massive hedge, I mean it either is or it isn't. Do you have an opinion whether waterboarding -- which is the practice of putting someone in a reclining position, strapping them down, putting cloth over their faces and pouring water over the cloth to simulate the feeling of drowning -- is that constitutional?"

"If that amounts to torture, it is not constitutional," Mukasey said.

"I'm very disappointed in that answer," Whitehouse said.
Outrageous!

Mukasey looked to me to be a considerable improvement from that little sadistic bastard, Gonzales, when he was first nominated. Now I think his weaseling and refusal to answer the very most important questions totally disqualifies him from a position of trust in a democracy.

Judge Potter Steward once wrote on a different subject, pornography:
"I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that." (Emphasis supplied.)
I suggest the good senators ask Judge Makasey if he will volunteer as a subject in an experiment to discover if waterboarding is a torture. Perhaps Makasey then will be able to say, "I may not be able to define torture, but I know it when I feel it."


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.

Edited by - HalfMooner on 10/18/2007 19:09:14

chaloobi
SFN Regular

1620 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  07:44:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send chaloobi a Yahoo! Message Send chaloobi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
NPR played exerps from Bush's last 'news conference' and a reporter asked him point blank: "What is your definition of the word torture?"

Bush replied "as defined in US law. And we don't torture."

The reporter got a dig in: "You mean your version of it?"

Bush replied, "Yeah, whatever's in US law."

Anyone know how US law defines torture? I bet Bush doesn't. I looked for something in Wiki on it:

States that ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture have a treaty obligation to include the provisions into municipal law. The laws of many states therefore formally prohibit torture. However, such de jure legal provisions are by no means a proof that, de facto, the signatory country does not use torture.

To prevent torture, many legal systems have a right against self-incrimination or explicitly prohibit undue force when dealing with suspects.
...
The United States includes this protection in the fifth amendment to its federal constitution, which in turn serves as the basis of the Miranda warning, which law enforcement officers issue to individuals upon their arrest. Additionally, the US Constitution's eighth amendment forbids the use of "cruel and unusual punishments", which is widely interpreted as a prohibition of the use of torture. Finally, 18 U.S.C. 2340 [25] et seq. define and forbid torture outside the United States.
The US is a signatory of the UN Convention Against Torture. So our laws are obligated to define torture the same or more stringent. Here's what it says:

1. Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.
Does water-boarding cause severe pain or suffering? Clearly the administration will just declare water boarding does not meet this definition. It's a matter of opinion, right?

-Chaloobi

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  08:00:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for those details, chaloobi. Since it's gotten to the point where defining waterboarding as being or not being torture is just "a matter of opinion," then, in my opinion, we should be getting ready for a Nuremberg-type war crimes tribunal. The accused in such a tribunal should of course be put to the question, using whatever methods they have already certified as not being torture.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1265 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  08:06:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If the US stopped torturing people it would probably be the only country in the world who had EVER not tortured people during wartimes. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but lets face it, tortue CAN work, and this kind of torture is pretty tame. Now call me an optimist but I don't believe the US government tortures people for fun, or would be conducting anything like this unless they believe they would get results and I would guess that all psychological techniques would be attemped first. If you held a terror suspect how would you coerce information from him/her?

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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  08:11:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Perhaps Michael Mukasey should be waterboarded, then he could accurately determine if it is indeed torture.

On Fire said:

I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but lets face it, tortue [sic] CAN work, and this kind of torture is pretty tame.


References please.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1265 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  08:15:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
stands to reason. If someone has you hogtied and says tell me your pin number or I'll pull out your fingernails, and if you lie to me, I'll come back and pull out your toenails. You don't envisage that working? Sources, please, it's common sense.

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  08:18:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

stands to reason. If someone has you hogtied and says tell me your pin number or I'll pull out your fingernails, and if you lie to me, I'll come back and pull out your toenails. You don't envisage that working? Sources, please, it's common sense.
If it "stands to reason," then evidence must be plentiful. Do we have to waterboard it out of you?


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  08:25:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

stands to reason. If someone has you hogtied and says tell me your pin number or I'll pull out your fingernails, and if you lie to me, I'll come back and pull out your toenails. You don't envisage that working? Sources, please, it's common sense.


"Common sense" can get you into trouble, like believing psuedo-scientific lies and myths based on Mithra.

References please.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
Edited by - pleco on 10/19/2007 08:25:59
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1265 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  08:26:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Right yeah let me just do an internet search for 'information gained through torture that is genuine' that should link me directly to the Guantanamo bay top secret files.

Let me just clarify, are you two guys saying torture never works? Because the opposite of 'CAN work' which is the qualifier I used, is 'CANNOT work'. You are disagreeing with my statement that torture CAN work, which means you are saying it CANNOT work, implying a 100% failure rate.





Edited by - On fire for Christ on 10/19/2007 08:29:33
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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  08:29:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

Right yeah let me just do an internet search for 'information gained through torture that is genuine' that should link me directly to the Guantanamo bay top secret files.

Let me just clarify, are you two guys saying torture never works? Because the opposite of 'CAN work' which is the qualifier I used, is 'CANNOT work'. You are disagreeing with me stating torture CAN work, so you are saying it CANNOT work, implying a 100% failure rate.



Assertions of truth without evidence to back it up.

Here's some help:

Google

We aren't saying anything. You said it, back it up.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
Edited by - pleco on 10/19/2007 08:30:09
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1265 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  08:34:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No I don't think I need to. I said it can work, you can dispute that if you wish but I think we all know it's true.

In all human history torture has to work exactly once for me to be correct. So I'm satisfied to have a 'citation required' under my post. feel free to continue to ignore the elephant in the corner.

Edited by - On fire for Christ on 10/19/2007 08:36:00
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chaloobi
SFN Regular

1620 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  09:04:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send chaloobi a Yahoo! Message Send chaloobi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

Thanks for those details, chaloobi. Since it's gotten to the point where defining waterboarding as being or not being torture is just "a matter of opinion," then, in my opinion, we should be getting ready for a Nuremberg-type war crimes tribunal. The accused in such a tribunal should of course be put to the question, using whatever methods they have already certified as not being torture.
It really is unbelievable. The leaders of our nation are so without integrity, and we have grown so used to it, that the Executive Branch is torturing people more or less openly, covered only by wiley semantic dodges in public discourse, and we don't have the wherewithall to do anything about it.

It's the same thing with the war - the Bush Administration fucked up so bad and/or was so fucking dishonest (take your pick or mix and match) in conceiving and executing the Iraq war policy that our nation is bogged down in a no-win scenario, grinding our military into the sand, creating a mountain of debt, pissing away our international moral and political authority, and in the end, we literally have nothing we can possibly purchase with all that price. And We The People re-elected the dumb sonofabitch even as we watched the 'war of choice' go so wrong.

There is so much this Administration has done, I can't believe the guy's still in office! Torture, subversion of haebeous corpus, illegal wire tapping, politicising the justice system and science in general, and gutting everything the government might do effectively to prove their public hypothesis that the government can't do anything effectively (the private hypothesis being the government shouldn't be allowed to do anything effectively). How is it this Administration gets away with all this shit?!?!?!

-Chaloobi

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chaloobi
SFN Regular

1620 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  09:05:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send chaloobi a Yahoo! Message Send chaloobi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but lets face it, tortue CAN work, and this kind of torture is pretty tame.
...
If you held a terror suspect how would you coerce information from him/her?
What would Jesus do?

-Chaloobi

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chaloobi
SFN Regular

1620 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  09:07:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send chaloobi a Yahoo! Message Send chaloobi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

stands to reason. If someone has you hogtied and says tell me your pin number or I'll pull out your fingernails, and if you lie to me, I'll come back and pull out your toenails. You don't envisage that working? Sources, please, it's common sense.
What if you don't have a pin number? Oh oh, I know. You lose your fingernails. Either that or you make one up and lose your fingernails AND toenails. Sounds like justice to me.

-Chaloobi

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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1265 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  09:19:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
what if you DO have a pin number.

oh and Jesus probably wouldn't torture anybody.

Edited by - On fire for Christ on 10/19/2007 09:21:09
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chaloobi
SFN Regular

1620 Posts

Posted - 10/19/2007 :  09:39:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send chaloobi a Yahoo! Message Send chaloobi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

what if you DO have a pin number.
But we don't know if the people our government is torturing actually know anything or are even guilty of a crime. And since they've been denied habeus corpus and their detention is a matter of state secret, there's little way to find out. But they are being tortured anyway. Does that sound like the American Way to you???

oh and Jesus probably wouldn't torture anybody.
Probably? If the support for Jesus you've splashed all over your forum identity isn't tongue-in-cheek, how do you reconcile your Christianity with your support for torture and war???

-Chaloobi

Edited by - chaloobi on 10/19/2007 09:41:35
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