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July 28, 2006

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Congress won't pass any law that reinforces the Geneva Concventions because the American voter is either so ignorant of the history of the violations by this Administration, or
so convinced that the "terrorists" deserve torture that they will not press Congress to do so. Congress just can't afford to look less than "tough" on terrorism, and the public will enable this macho charade to continue.

OfT Rummy and DeadEye will be so pissed if this is accurate
"Report: First contacts made between Israel, Hizbullah"

"Al-Hayat reports that Germany, Red Cross mediated initial contacts between Israel and Hizbullah aiming towards agreement to end fighting in north and exchange prisoners. Hizbullah still refuses to reveal details on welfare of hostages"

There will never be any trouble finding jailors to carry out torture. Remember the Stanford expriments. Even with jail time a potential risk, people will still torture, using the "orders from above" excuse.

What I find most intersting about the torture debate is how little time is spent on the merits of the technique. As near as I can tell, torture seldom elicits truthful utterances; befriending and sympathizing with the subject seems to be the preferred method for that outcome.

Torture seems to be effective for two purposes: (1) deliberately eliciting false confessions (the tortured are pretty attuned to saying what the torturer wants to hear)--best illustrated by al Libi's confession of the link between al Qaeda & Saddam Hussein, which was intensely useful to W et al, until al Libi recanted; (2) satisfying basic human sadism.

So I'm almost completely opposed to torture. Only one exception: Alan Dershowitz.

Well, the joke of it all is that it was a Republican Congress that passed the War Crimes Act. So they're being asked to cover the "administration's" ass from a law of their own making. It passed on voice vote in the House -- the post-Contract with America, Republican Revolution House, by the way -- and by unanimous consent in the Senate.

Which the emptywheels of the world see as something that should, under normal circumstances (i.e., in a logical universe) translate into widespread opposition to the "administration's" position. The Kagro Xes of the world, however, know that the fact that it passed by voice vote and unanimous consent means that there's no record of who voted which way, so you can't make a "flip flop" charge stick, which is, of course, the bottom line for Republican policy-making. Not that they're afraid of flip flops, per se. It's just that they like to look for clean getaways when they can find them.

Walter Jones knows who the players were who are still there. And he appears to be fiding his conscience. We need to find ways to help him redeem himself, and find others who he can take with him.

And fast, too. Before the "special rights for terrorists" meme catches on, and sweeps even Jones away with the tide.

Not having a good understanding of the law, I may be asking a dumb question. Since Gonzoles expressed concern about independant concels, how would such a circumstance come about? Is there a path for the detainees to bring charges of War Crimes?

Isreal won't pay this:

War reparations refer to the monetary compensation provided to a triumphant nation or coalition from a defeated nation or coalition. The compensation is meant to cover damage or injury during a war. Generally, the term war reparations refers to money or goods changing hands, rather than such property transfers as the annexation of land.

Is there a path to future prosecution ???

Murder has no Statute of Limitation

and if you can meet the seven requirements to establish a criminal conspiricy, RICO has a 10 year statute of limitations

so all we need to do is restaff the upper levels of the Justice Department befor 2013 or so

Is there a path for the detainees to bring charges of War Crimes?

Not really as best I can tell. Prosecution would be criminal prosectuion, depending upon a Justice Department that uphold the law - that's just not a part of the equation right now.

Congress could revive the Independent Counsel statutes and go that route - but do you see that happening? A new adminsitration could do the same - but again, would it ever happen?

IMO, it is pretty clearly the case that it would be disingenous for anyone to rely on the OLC opinion, when there was such clear opposition (State and Powell originally) and where even the Gonzales 2002 memo says that War Crimes prosecution is a distinct possiblity (IOW - no one can claim that they truly did not think it was on the table) and that the whole concept of "enemy combatants" was to make it "less likely" that subsequent administration would pursue war crimes violations.

It was very clear from that memo that it was a matter of politics and administrative positions (a later administration that follows the law being listed as the "threat") and not purity of legal analysis supporting the position, that was behind the policy.

The inherent "Sophie's Choice" of the unethical decisions made (on this and wiretaps, etc.) has been that even though they were knowingly based on insupportable legal grounds - the country would have to choose to punish people who were trying hard, on the frontlines, in order to react to the illegal and immoral behavior. And the country doesn't have the stomache for that choice.

The lawyers who crafted it KNEW that it was other people - CIA agents, military interrogators, NSA employees, etc. - that they were shoving onto the frontline and that the lawyers were never going to be placed on that line themselves. SO it was a safe enough gamble from their perspective to leave the country with the choice of refusing to prosecute massive lawbreaking and becoming "that" country --- or punishing people who very likely include people we pretty much could never afford to lose.

It was the most awful part of what they did. We will never prosecute, criminally, the criminals they created with their memos.

That makes us, as a country, so much less than we were.


Wow. Well said, Mary. You're absolutely right.

You read this stuff and you want to throw up your hands. Or throw up. At every turn, admin officials have dealt in bad faith and with duplicity, saying one thing and doing another, announcing compliance out of one side of the mouth, and whispering no need to comply out of the other. And that is on the good days. The reality that so much of this continues in secret means we may never know what we don't know. So long as someone is willing to follow orders however dubious under color of executive authority, such bad acts will continue on in the darkness, no matter if they are declared "illegal." The sad irony that these moral lepers raise arms and such arguments to defend our "way of life" is sad commentary indeed. Go along to get along as we head on toward hell.

With this crowd, there's always some extra twist, or coloration, or measure of bland calculation that takes what they do from the merely awful to the truly horrifying. Thanks for explaining this part of the horror so clearly, Mary.

"President" Bush is a war criminal, from what I'm reading. The idea that he can Ex Post Facto himself out of it by decree shows that he obviously thinks of himself as a king. He must believe in The Divine Right of Kings in giving himself this power. By his own belief in this "Divine Right of the American President" then Bill Clinton could not have committed any crime or anything at all scurilous because Bill Clinton, too was above the law.
To Bill Clinton's credit, AT LEAST HE LIED, feeling that what he did was wrong. This shows that Bill Clinton believes in God, and had some fear of the law, which is based on the constitution (which was obviously from God.)
I have never heard of David Addington before today. I read comments alleging he does not respect the Constitution of the United States. If true, someone should remove him from office. Does he swear an oath,like the president?
Should we change the Motto, In God we Trust, to In Bush We Trust?
Nixon was breaking into the file cabinets of his political enemies. Bush MAY want to break into the computer files of everyone who seeks to check his power. Is this the reason for the warrantless wiretaps?
When Bush said "for us or against us, was he talking about us as a nation, or the republicans only? It seems that the United States now has a god for President. Are we not LUCKY?
I never thought that a god could be so paranoid.

P.S. Even the Pope apologized for the Sins of the Church and the Spanish Inquisition. Was it Peter the apostle who cut off the ear of a soldier arresting jesus? If you can't forgive the Pope and his Church, you can't forgive Peter. Peter A while back, didn't the pope say that if President Bush attacked Iraq with the evidence available at that time he would be considered a war criminal?

None of us are perfect. Would someone please elct me President for just 5 minutes so I can make everything I ever did that was sinful legal? I know it won't make it right, but, hey, I will sure feel a bit more comfortable knowing that I am righteous after the fact. Soory for the long post. It's my first post on anything in years. Probably the last.

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