Romney: It's not torture unless you admit it - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Romney: It's not torture unless you admit it

I find myself in total agreement w/ Gov. Romney on this issue.

Citing "ticking time bomb" scenarios, Romney disagrees with the notion of admitting that a particular practice could violate the Geneva Convention, thereby preventing its utilization by the United States in the event of an urgent need to extract information to, for example, prevent a nuclear attack...

The Raw Story | Romney: It's not torture unless you admit it

Don't believe everything you think
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 01:40 PM
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Good to see 9/11 and the FUD of "ticking time bombs" is being used again to justify weak ethics.

Torture is wrong, PERIOD.

But way to let OBL win by making the US throw out the Constitution and our moral and ethical background as a country and get down in the mud with them.

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Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mcbear View Post
Good to see 9/11 and the FUD of "ticking time bombs" is being used again to justify weak ethics.

Torture is wrong, PERIOD.

But way to let OBL win by making the US throw out the Constitution and our moral and ethical background as a country and get down in the mud with them.
You DO go on... Too bad you do NOT make sense...

Don't believe everything you think
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 05:08 PM
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You DO go on... Too bad you do NOT make sense...
Like you do

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 05:24 PM
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CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer posed this question to noted author and Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz and Ken Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch.

BLITZER: Alan Dershowitz, a lot of our viewers will be surprised to hear that you think there are right times for torture. Is this one of those moments?

DERSHOWITZ: I don't think so. This is not the ticking-bomb terrorist case, at least so far as we know. Of course, the difficult question is the chicken-egg question: We won't know if he is a ticking-bomb terrorist unless he provides us information, and he's not likely to provide information unless we use certain extreme measures.

My basic point, though, is we should never under any circumstances allow low-level people to administer torture. If torture is going to be administered as a last resort in the ticking-bomb case, to save enormous numbers of lives, it ought to be done openly, with accountability, with approval by the president of the United States or by a Supreme Court justice. I don't think we're in that situation in this case.

BLITZER: Well, how do you know ...

DERSHOWITZ: So we might be close.

BLITZER: Alan, how do you know he doesn't have that kind of ticking-bomb information right now, that there's some plot against New York or Washington that he was involved in and there's a time sensitivity? If you knew that, if you suspected that, you would say [to] get the president to authorize torture.

DERSHOWITZ: Well, we don't know, and that's why [we could use] a torture warrant, which puts a heavy burden on the government to demonstrate by factual evidence the necessity to administer this horrible, horrible technique of torture. I would talk about nonlethal torture, say, a sterilized needle underneath the nail, which would violate the Geneva Accords, but you know, countries all over the world violate the Geneva Accords. They do it secretly and hypothetically, the way the French did it in Algeria. If we ever came close to doing it, and we don't know whether this is such a case, I think we would want to do it with accountability and openly and not adopt the way of the hypocrite.

BLITZER: All right. Ken, under those kinds of rare, extreme circumstances, does Professor Dershowitz make a good point?

ROTH: He doesn't. The prohibition on torture is one of the basic, absolute prohibitions that exists in international law. It exists in time of peace as well as in time of war. It exists regardless of the severity of a security threat. And the only other comparable prohibition that I can think of is the prohibition on attacking innocent civilians in time of war or through terrorism. If you're going to have a torture warrant, why not create a terrorism warrant? Why not go in and allow terrorists to come forward and make their case for why terrorism should be allowed?

DERSHOWITZ: Well, in fact, we've done that. Of course, we've done that. We have bombed civilian targets during every single one of our wars. We did it in Dresden. We did it in Vietnam notwithstanding these rules. So you know, having laws on the books and breaking them systemically just creates disdain ... It's much better to have rules that we can actually live within. And absolute prohibitions, generally, are not the kind of rules that countries would live within.

I want to ask you a question. Don't you think if we ever had a ticking-bomb case, regardless of your views or mine, that the CIA would actually either torture themselves or subcontract the job to Jordan, the Philippines or Egypt, who are our favorite countries, to do the torturing for us?

ROTH: OK, there is no moral or legal difference between torturing yourself and subcontracting torture to somebody else. They're equally absolutely prohibited.

DERSHOWITZ: But we do it.

ROTH: In the case -- the fact that sometimes laws are violated does not mean you want to start legitimizing the violation by getting some judge to authorize it. Imagine, you're always thinking about the U.S. Supreme Court, but any rule you apply to the United States has to be applied around the world. Do you want Chinese judges authorizing torture of say, Muslim dissidents?

DERSHOWITZ: It wouldn't make any difference. They just torture anyway. It wouldn't make any difference. They torture now.

ROTH: Once you open the door to torture, once you start legitimizing it in any way, you have broken the absolute taboo. President Bush had it right in his State of the Union address when he was describing various forms of torture by Saddam Hussein and he said, "If this isn't evil, then evil has no meaning."

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thatís what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 05:46 PM
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AH yes
DERSHOWITZ: Well, we don't know, and that's why [we could use] a torture warrant, which puts a heavy burden on the government to demonstrate by factual evidence the necessity to administer this horrible, horrible technique of torture. I would talk about nonlethal torture, say, a sterilized needle underneath the nail, which would violate the Geneva Accords, but you know, countries all over the world violate the Geneva Accords. They do it secretly and hypothetically, the way the French did it in Algeria. If we ever came close to doing it, and we don't know whether this is such a case, I think we would want to do it with accountability and openly and not adopt the way of the hypocrite.

It's ok as long as we tell that we're doing it...
Geneva what, you say??
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 06:08 PM
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AH yes
DERSHOWITZ: Well, we don't know, and that's why [we could use] a torture warrant, which puts a heavy burden on the government to demonstrate by factual evidence the necessity to administer this horrible, horrible technique of torture. I would talk about nonlethal torture, say, a sterilized needle underneath the nail, which would violate the Geneva Accords, but you know, countries all over the world violate the Geneva Accords. They do it secretly and hypothetically, the way the French did it in Algeria. If we ever came close to doing it, and we don't know whether this is such a case, I think we would want to do it with accountability and openly and not adopt the way of the hypocrite.

It's ok as long as we tell that we're doing it...
Geneva what, you say??
I've heard him expand on this on C-SPAN. I'll try to give my impressionof what he said but for assurance of the straight scoop, I'd do a detailed Google search.


---------------------

His point was this: There are circumstances under which an interrogator will use torture to get information. The interrogator will personally believe that the outcome of NOT torturing is so odious that the interrogator is willing to risk his own freedom to get the information.

Are you with me so far?

We continue: Everybody knows this to be true. From the lowest rural cop to the justices of the Supreme Court. Nobody acknowledges it but we, society, has the advantage of it by pretending it doesn't happen. This places the entire burden of torture on the least able to deal with the issue in anything approaching objectivity -- the beat cop or field intelligence officer.

His proposition is this: Create a public pathway or decision tree in which the chief executive alone must sign-off on any coercive method used. This takes the issue of defining torture completely out of the argument -- we have a clear and long-standing series of decisions from the Supreme Court defining acceptable techniques of interrogation. ANYTHING outside of that case law is coercive. This puts the burden of that decision squarely where it belongs: On an elected policymaker. They can no longer wear the fig leaf, "I had no idea" or "We don't send people to other countries for interrogation." The president must make each individual decision to authorize coercive interrogation knowing full-well that the decision puts Him in legal jeopardy instead of the lowest-rung.

B

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thatís what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 06:15 PM
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Wait a minute, giving the president or any elected idiot out there such power is just wrong. I don't care if it will even be public. What makes him an authority on human behavior or psychology? This is truly fucked up.
Dershowitz is an idiot, he thinks that this will bypass any moral test as to what torture is and relieve the torturer of responsibility is just the mark or a twisted mind. What's really his problem trying to sell us on this idea as if it's the right KY jelly to fuck our humanity with?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 06:25 PM
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Wait a minute, giving the president or any elected idiot out there such power is just wrong. I don't care if it will even be public. What makes him an authority on human behavior or psychology? This is truly fucked up.

Dershowitz is an idiot, he thinks that this will bypass any moral test as to what torture is and relieve the torturer of responsibility is just the mark or a twisted mind. What's really his problem trying to sell us on this idea as if it's the right KY jelly to fuck our humanity with?
Do you believe that coercion takes place, even if highly illegal and generally regarded as totally immoral?

Do you believe that people in power play with words and shades of meaning to avoid legal proscriptions to coercive measures?

Do you believe it is a fact of history that our culture has always done this?

Do you believe it is wrong that the people in power take advantage of the "little people" in law enforcement and intelligence, making them the scapegoats when it happens?

Do you have a solution?

B

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thatís what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 06:40 PM
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[quote=Botnst;2697910]Do you believe that coercion takes place, even if highly illegal and generally regarded as totally immoral?
Yes

Do you believe that people in power play with words and shades of meaning to avoid legal proscriptions to coercive measures?
Yes

Do you believe it is a fact of history that our culture has always done this?
Yes

Do you believe it is wrong that the people in power take advantage of the "little people" in law enforcement and intelligence, making them the scapegoats when it happens?
Yes

Do you have a solution?
I don't but we do
I understand that we pretend to live in a "civil" society but maybe if we believe it hard enough then we would evolve and enforce civility.
B, you raise some good points, did you watch the show 48 hours where a bunch of detectives try to solve murders on TV within 48 hours? Did you notice how many people taken into the interrogation rooms never called for a lawyer? My point is that most of the population has no idea what freedoms were bestowed on us and think that this is the world of da man What's wrong with educating people about their rights?

B
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