18 US Code 2340 — Exception to Torture
“Torture means an act of a person acting under color of law to inflict severe physical and mental pain other than pain and suffering to lawful sanctions upon another person under lawful physical custody or control.”
This statute combined with the Justice Department memos seeking to define ‘enhanced interrogation’ as legal sanction are the method by which the Bush administration violated the US Constitution through the approval of cruel and unusual punishment on military detainees as part of lawful sanctions.
Many who use the word ‘torture’ on both sides of the argument fail to recognize this statute in it’s existence. I do not. Those who committed acts of torture as defined by US Legal Code should face prosecution for their acts no matter if they belong to an agency of US origin or not. The Nuremberg Defense is invalid. If your commanding officer orders you to commit torture you are bound by law to resign rather than accept the orders.
The US Supreme Court has rejected the argument that holding military detainees indefinitely is constitutional, stating that habeas corpus (the right to speedy trial) must be granted to terrorism suspects.
The United States Constitution applies as to persons and not exclusively to citizens nor exclusively within our borders. Wherever America goes, the Constitution follows.
Ours was the nation that defined specifically waterboarding as torture to be banned by the Geneva Convention, we proposed that their were to be no exceptions under the law for this method of interrogation to be lawful sanction. This nation once stood against the tactics of the communists who oppress freedom of opinion with fear and propaganda. When politically expedient such a review of history is rejected for the failed logic of ’enhanced interrogation’ being successful and vital to national security. All available credible information on the matter says otherwise and the FBI has warned of a ’blow-back factor’ from using such tactics from the beginning.
Not only do tactics like waterboarding endanger national security but they degrade our ability to conduct ourselves as a credible nation to other nations whom engage in human rights violations and nuclear proliferation. We have no weight in our stance while we allow illegalities to go unpunished within our own government and our own military.
Now somehow in these dark days we have a portion of the country who believe in using the very tactics of the communists that we rallied against so many years ago in a new battle where following this ideology will undoubtedly lead to yet another terrorist attack on the homeland and further the goals of global terrorism abroad. I contend if we listen to the perspective of former Vice-President Richard Cheney on the matter that we will provoke the national security situation to an irreparable state.
On Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a strong defense of his decision to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, an issue that has become increasingly political in recent weeks. On Wednesday, Congress had denied Obamas request for $80 million to close the detention facility.
In the speech, Obama largely repudiated the Bush administration policy on dealing with terror suspects — and declared again, in no uncertain terms, we do not torture.
Shayana Kadidal, a senior managing attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights who has represented a number of Guantanamo detainees, joins Martin Savidge to discuss how the president made his case, the next step and potential pitfalls of the Obama plan.
“When just one single piece of information could prevent a nuclear-armed terrorist [we can‘t take any chances.]”
Former-Vice President Dick Cheney continues to spread the myth that inhumane torture tactics, mislabeled as ’enhanced interrogation,’ are necessary to protect the nation from extremist violence. His continued use of fear-tactics by insinuation of nuclear attack on American soil is a throw-back to the selling of the Iraq War to the American People, which ultimately was proven to be based on bad intelligence. The use of these tactics will only produce more bad intelligence and not to mention legal ramifications of using techniques that are clearly ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’
I could only speculate if he is a man bereft of all humanity or simply a man of very strong and very flawed convictions, but the fact remains that putting our nation in danger and violating the US Constitution are all that is accomplished in following this destructive version of course of action proposed by both Cheney and Bush.
I continue to advocate investigation and prosecution based on any evidence gathered that can meet the standards of a courtroom. If sufficient evidence to convict Dick Cheney of war crimes exists then, we the American people, deserve to hear the facts out before a jury of his peers.
Wall Street Journal – May 14th 2009
“Pelosi is accessory to torture ..”
Translating from Rovian back to English: “I am smarter than you, America.”
This shameful man continues to use Political Science as tool to spread fear and misinformation in the public. Under the guise of journalism he continues to spread the Politics of Fear and the Tactics of Misdirection. For all his supposed intelligence he proves time and time again that is incapable of bipartisan commentary. Spreading political fear in place of political knowledge in all his critiques is proof enough for me.
Rove is an agent of inaccuracy in politics. A partisan, in full.
I wholeheartedly disagree with the statement that President Obama has made the country any less safe since entering office. The notion that immoral practices will make us any more safe from terrorism is counter-intuitive to my core beliefs.
The CIA Enhanced Interrogation Program was one of the most effective terrorist recruitment tools and a project expressly advocated by former-Vice President Cheney which is now noticeably absent from terrorist recruitment methods.
The approved torture methods of the Bush administration have presented one of the greatest threats to our continued national security to date.
Not only is it disgraceful for Cheney to criticize the current administration as a member of the former but also as to his own level of personal integrity to turn the issue of national security on it’s head by denying the immorality of torture tactics.
The Politics of Fear remain the only tool left to Neo-Conservative Americans.
I see a land of injustice where prosecutions of some order are not undertaken. Those who wrote the legal opinions used to justify these torture tactics must face consequences.
The Justice Department cannot dispense justice onto itself.
A Special Prosecutor must be appointed.
If anything, President Obama has yet to do enough to restore justice and security to our nation.
The CIA “enhanced interrogation” program being dismantled is a great weight and a seriously dangerous chapter of American History coming to a close, as does the proposed closure of Guantanamo Bay within one year’s time. President Barack Obama deserves commendation for these actions. He is showing a dedication to returning America to a nation more deserving of the title of “world super-power.”
Not only has the recent executive decisions under George W. Bush put our country in very real jeopardy in terms of possible blow-back from Guantanamo & Abu Ghraib but the fever of the nation to blame more than just nineteen hijackers for the tragedy of September 11th 2001 has lead to the jailing and detaining of individuals who would not be suffering such injustices under a more ethical and sane national government.
Jose Padilla received a travesty of American Justice in which the entire jury came into the courtroom wearing red, white and blue clothing among all twelve of the jury members. Even under request of the judge to be fair in their view of the evidence the jury remained favoring all prosecution arguments. I contend that the Bush Administration contributed to an environment to did not allow for Jose Padilla to receive a fair trial, and did so knowingly.