Patterico's Pontifications

2/16/2008

This Post is Not About Waterboarding

Filed under: Law,Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 4:10 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

I’m not sure if this has been covered in the numerous prior posts on this topic but I haven’t followed every conversation in detail. In any event, it seems to be a topic that is of widespread interest. In the interest of full disclosure, I believe waterboarding is like abortion … it should be safe, legal, and rare. Given that I may be in the minority in that regard, This Post Is Not About Waterboarding.

However, since ABC reported that waterboarding has only been used by the US in three cases, that means the vast majority of terrorism detainees are not subjected to waterboarding. Therefore, I think we should talk about the techniques interrogators actually use, and this recent report addresses that topic:

“Everybody in the world believes that they know how we do what we do, and I have to endure it every time I turn around and somebody is making reference to waterboarding,” [veteran interrogator Paul] Rester said. He insisted that Guantanamo interrogators have had many successes using rapport-building and said that technique was the norm here.

For security reasons, he would only discuss one of the successes, and that was only because his boss, Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, already had described it in a speech last month. Buzby said several detainees, using poster board paper and crayons, drew detailed maps of the Tora Bora area in eastern Afghanistan that enabled coalition forces to wipe out safe houses, trenches and supplies last summer as Taliban forces were returning to the stronghold they had abandoned more than five years ago.

Buzby, in a separate interview with the AP, said a U.S. commander in Afghanistan had requested the information on a Friday and it was obtained and sent to Afghanistan by the end of the weekend.

Rester indicated the interrogators casually asked the detainees about their knowledge of Tora Bora, not letting on that it was tactically important for a pending military strike. “And it may in fact, since it was five years old, have seemed totally innocuous to the persons we were talking to,” Rester said.

Buzby, the top commander of detention operations at Guantanamo, said the intelligence “had a very positive effect … for us and a very negative effect on the enemy operating in that area.” He declined to be more specific.”

I think we can all agree that it would be best if we could rely solely on rapport-building interrogation techniques or, as Rester calls them, normal techniques. Rester claims that more coercive (non-waterboarding) interrogation tactics were used on two detainees who refused to provide information using normal techniques. Lawyers for detainees scoffed at Rester’s statement, claiming there have been conflicting reports by detainees and FBI agents.

One detainee who Rester acknowledged was subjected to harsh interrogation has claimed that he was “beaten, restrained for long periods in uncomfortable positions, threatened with dogs, exposed to loud music and freezing temperatures and stripped nude in front of female personnel.” In other words, Abu Ghraib-type actions. If true, this is harsh treatment and while I doubt the more extreme tactics have been used much after Abu Ghraib, I’m unwilling to say these tactics should never be used. (But what do I know? I’m willing to waterboard in rare cases.)

Thus, I have two questions:

1. Do you support the use of harsh interrogation tactics like these and, if so, which ones and under what circumstances?

2. If you do not support the use of any harsh interrogation tactics under any circumstances, should military and CIA interrogations be subject to the same rules imposed on the police or do you support even more restrictive rules?

— DRJ

96 Responses to “This Post is Not About Waterboarding”

  1. “Lawyers for Guantanamo detainees, however, allege their clients have been subjected to temperature extremes, sleep deprivation and threats at this U.S. military base in southeast Cuba.”

    Temperature extremes in Cuba? Too funny!

    tmac (f985e6)

  2. like abortion … it should be safe, legal, and rare.
    DRJ, did you really just quote the Hillary?

    My impression is that a lot of people in this forum thikn waterboarding should safe, legal, and used a lot more than it is. Patterico, on the other hand, agrees with you. My own opinion is that it should never be legal, is not really safe, and should never be used by the US.

    As to the harsh techniques, some of them I think are fine (like the loud music) and some are not (like the beatings). There’s a whole variety of possibilities. Restraining them in uncomfortable positions, for instance, could be okay or not, depending on the position itself.

    But all these techniques could be subject to abuse. As mental food, here’s one “uncomfortable position” which the Nazis used, especially in the early years, at various concentration camps. Their name for it was the Saxon squat. I have no idea if the modern US military uses it, or what name they give it if they do use it. This is the position, as best as I can describe it.

    First, place your hands behind your head and interlock your fingers. Then kneel as far down as you can without allowing your buttocks to touch your heels or the back of your legs. Doesn’t sound too bad at first, does it? But then–
    Then stay in that position for several hours at a time, and see how your body feels about it.

    kishnevi (d50358)

  3. I’m just a hayseed from a small community north of Cincinnati. The average, non-intellectual types across America, e.g., the car mechanic, the appliance repairman, the landscaper, the corrections officer (of which I used to be one) do not put much stock in all this high-falutin discussion about whether to waterboard or not to waterboard. We believe in the Jack Bauer form of interrogation.

    Dan (642812)

  4. Shouldn’t the question be:

    What is the harshest method of interrogation that can be used against high-level al Qaeda detainees in a time of crisis?

    Check out How Personal Income and CIA Interrogation Techniques are Alike. Also, do you really believe the “detainee” when their rule book tells them to lie.

    Tanny O'Haley (54659c)

  5. Hey, if it isn’t a case of “we need the info NOW”, I’m all for the rapport-building method.

    Honest. I don’t LIKE the idea of having to waterboard, or the idea of going “more extreem”.

    But when it’s time-sensitive, Go for it. Do what you need to do.

    First, place your hands behind your head and interlock your fingers. Then kneel as far down as you can without allowing your buttocks to touch your heels or the back of your legs. Doesn’t sound too bad at first, does it? But then–
    Then stay in that position for several hours at a time, and see how your body feels about it.

    Here’s one… Get in the pushup position. do one pushup, and then lower yourself half-way down.

    Hold it for 30 second.

    That was common in Navy Boot. The RDCs loved it like a fat kid loves twinkies.

    Anyways, I think the idea of the ARMY not allowing it is so that billy, the 18 year old PFC, isn’t in charge of using any method on abdul the terrorist.

    The folks the CIA uses are actual trained professionals, trained not only to know what they are doing, but how to take what is said and evaluate it and know if it is truthful or just “talk to get them to stop”.

    What it comes down to is what do you consider ok to get information? The saxon squat is uncomfy, sure. But the soreness goes away, and leaves no lasting damage at all (ok, eventually there might be a pavlovian reaction to interlaced fingers, but come on…).

    I consider pretty much anything fair game for use against people who would, if given a gun and a bullet, shoot you without a second thought. Seriously Kish, these people we are talking about want to kill you, me, DRJ, Patterico, Aunt Mae, Uncle Jim, and everyone else in America that isn’t one of them.I really have a hard time thinking we owe them any special consideration.

    Heck, food beyond Bread, water, and vitamin pills is being lavish in my opinion.

    You disagree. You think they have an inherant right to be treated well (for varing values of “well”). That’s fine. It’s more philisophical than anything else.

    Just don’t demonize people who disagree, and who are willing to do more to keep us safe.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  6. I would oppose all of these except the interaction with female personnel.

    As I’ve pointed out before, you can tell a lot about the commenters from these threads. #1 pretends he has never heard of an air conditioner. Very witty, that! #3 reminds me that Cpl Graner of Abu Ghraib was a corrections officer in civilian life. And that as I said before, the Bush Remnant doesn’t distinguish reality from TV/Movie make-believe. And #5 might want to check out case histories of permanent damage from uncomfortable positions. Even worse, he still thinks that our CIA torturers have prescience that all the other countries’ torturers don’t. The story runs

    We’re good guys: we only coerce confessions out of bad people. The Communists (etc.) were bad guys: their confessions were bogus.

    You know, all those Communist, Nazi, Iranian, etc. interrogators thought they were patriots, too, and I bet most of them believed the “intelligence” their work obtained.

    I do not believe military and CIA interrogations have to follow the same rules as the police. For example, no right to counsel. No right to bail.

    DRJ, assuming that some of the practices that you condone would be widely taken as torture: do you regret that we signed the International Convention Against Torture (also Geneva Conventions, etc.)? Do you believe that we should withdraw from it? What algorithm will you use to decide when other countries get to have an exception.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (663b8c)

  7. Kishnevi – I thought that quote was from Bill Clinton. Was it really Hillary’s?

    Andrew – I support the Geneva Conventions when it comes to uniformed POWs and interned civilians, but I don’t understand why we extend them to unlawful combatants like insurgents and terrorists. Perhaps you are concerned that some civilians will be mistaken for insurgents or terrorists. That may happen but I think those instances are comparatively rare.

    DRJ (3eda28)

  8. At the present, I’m an agnostic about waterboarding and other “extreme” interrogation tactics.

    Before I can make up my mind, I would like some data that no one seems willing to discuss.

    1. Do these measures work?
    2. How does their success and failure rate compare to other methods?
    3. Are extreme methods capable of gathering truthful and actionable information in a more timely fashion than other methods?
    4. Can we properly separate the intelligence/military aspects from the law-enforcement side of the equation?
    5. What procedures are in place to ensure that a 19-year-old corporal doesn’t have to make these decisions?
    6. How do we ensure that extreme methods are only used to generate intelligence and are not used for extra-judicial punishment?

    I am uncomfortable with extreme methods, but I cannot offer a worthwhile opinion in the information deficit that we all operate in.

    Mike (63f9bd)

  9. Mike,

    Good questions and many (if not all) have been addressed in prior Patterico posts on this topic. You may want to use the search function to revisit them. In the meantime, I think it’s fair to say that coercive methods have worked in some cases and not in others, they are subject to substantial oversight, and it is difficult to use these techniques and thereafter obtain criminal convictions.

    DRJ (3eda28)

  10. As I’ve pointed out before, you can tell a lot about the commenters from these threads.

    We can tell much from your commentary, Andrew…such as, you are entirely comfortable with the deaths of millions for the comfort of one terrorist.

    I do not believe military and CIA interrogations have to follow the same rules as the police. For example, no right to counsel. No right to bail.

    Well, then, since you are all about following the rules, laws and treaties, you must be for following the Unlawful Combatants part in the Geneva Conventions…you know, simply line them up and shoot them as spies. Right?

    There’s a reason for such an inclusion. Unlawful Combatants violate the sanctuary of civiians in a time of war.

    What algorithm will you use to decide when other countries get to have an exception.

    By being Unlawful Combatants, terrorists and ‘insurgents’ already decided their own exception.

    Understand?

    Paul (bcc0a7)

  11. 1. Do you support the use of harsh interrogation tactics like these and, if so, which ones and under what circumstances?

    Of course I support them. Which ones? I don’t know how many there are. Waterboarding is fine by me, take that as a baseline.

    Should the techniques be used willy-nilly? No. I think Scott Jacob is onto the reason why the Army generally prohibits coercive techniques, while the CIA doesn’t. Not everyone needs to play with the same toolset. We’ve done the same things with weapons for years — some people get rifles, some get nukes, and guess which “techniques” come with a lot more oversight and control? And it works. Same-same with interrogation. When you have the time, use the rapport, build-up intel, establish a database. When things are hot, press harder, use the database to doublecheck validity as much as possible, and move on. Will you get perfect info everytime? No, of course not. You won’t with any method. Everything comes with risks.

    Lazerus, if you think Nazi and Communist and American interrogators are morally equal, then you are bankrupt beyond hope. Take your BDS and go elsewhere.

    We are at war. War is a fight for survival. It should not and cannot run by the same rules as a civilized society. Your local bank robber gets a stack of rules and judges and attorneys and presumptions of innocence, and search warrants and Miranda warnings, because, frankly, as a percentage of the population, bank robbers are rare enough we can afford to let a few bad guys go in order to make sure we don’t send up an innocent citizen. War is much less precise, and much more brutal. We smash things and people, and not all of them deserved it, but it is the nature of war. To engage in war, tie ourselve in knots over legal targeting issues, and then worry about roughing up some illegal combatants who show no discrimination in who is butchered, is insane. These clowns we have captured certainly have no regard for the precious Laws of Armed Conflict. In the case of war, applying civilian rules of interrogation is appalling.

    Eric

    p.s. Oh, and DRJ — when you are contemplating your next “safe,legal, and rare” analogy, remember that abortion is death by dismemberment and poisoning of the innocent, largely for the convenience of the guilty; waterboarding is discomforting the guilty for the benefit of the innocent.

    Eric (7ec1df)

  12. I would be happy if abortion were as rare as waterboarding – say 3 a year. How about that?

    DRJ (3eda28)

  13. Andrew opposes all of the listed actions except interaction with female personneln…

    The only one of the actions which actually violates the terrorists’ religious beliefs….

    The only one that will really piss off the terrorists and his friends….

    Andrew, read any newspapers from Norway lately???

    reff (99666d)

  14. Seriously Kish, these people we are talking about want to kill you, me, DRJ, Patterico, Aunt Mae, Uncle Jim, and everyone else in America that isn’t one of them.I really have a hard time thinking we owe them any special consideration.

    I actually agree with you on that. But my concern (I’ve tried to explain this on other threads) is not really with Abdul alQaedi from al-Khem. It’s with the hundred million other Abduls are not alQaedis.

    Abdul #1: These American devils do not beat up their prisoners like our police do! They treat them well, and still they can not be defeated.!”

    Abdul #2: They really believe in this human rights and rule of law business? Amazing! Then perhaps we should do things their way! At least then we won’t be beaten up by the police!

    In other words, the problem is not so much in getting rid of the jihadis as getting all the non jihadi Muslims to support us and not support them.
    Treating the jihadi prisoners better than they should be treated is one way to get that done. Ill treating the jihadis prisoners (whether or not they deserve it) is a good way of achieving the opposite result, the result we don’t want.

    kishnevi (d50358)

  15. kishnevi….

    Muslims won’t even speak out against the violence done in the name of their religion while speaking in America, where they actually have freedoms and some semblance of safety…

    They will take the idea that we are treating them nicely…

    As a sign of weakness…it is their religious beliefs, their religious convictions…

    Kindness is weakness….

    (and do not take this to mean that I believe we should abuse them either, that is not what I am saying…I am only talking about what MUSLIMS believe about us)

    reff (99666d)

  16. DRJ–did some googling. It turns out that you are right–the world’s most famous living sex addict did come up with the phrase. I first heard it coming from the lips of Hillary, so it stuck in my head that she was the one who came up with the phrase.

    But are you sure you really want to be on record as quoting His Mendacity?

    kishnevi (d50358)

  17. waterboarding is discomforting the guilty for the benefit of the innocent.

    Write that on a blackboard in any constitutional law lecture hall – Pepperdine, Chapman, whatever – and see if the definition survives five minutes.

    steve (b5c391)

  18. Eric, I can assure you that the Nazi and Communist interrogators thought they were far superior morally to the Americans. Why were they wrong? Talk about self-righteous! You say we can do acts that we consider depraved in other people because… well, because what, exactly? Because we do them less often? Because we’re a majority-Christian country? Because we live here and automatically wear the white hats?

    Paul, I have no problem shooting spies and saboteurs who have been given a chance to defend themselves before a tribunal. You must have missed the post where I showed many of our detainees were captured under conditions where they couldn’t possibly be described this way: in neutral countries. See also below.

    DRJ, let’s pretend Saddam did have some weapons of mass destruction, or at least a Stealth Bomber capable of destroying the Brooklyn Bridge, bombing American nuclear power generation plants, and wreaking other havoc identical to the threats of KSM. (Since we bombed Iraqi bridges and power plants, you can’t really argue that these acts are against the laws of war.) Maybe even deliver anthrax or something like that. We capture the general in charge of this counter-attack. He is in uniform. Are you and Paul really going to tell me that you won’t torture the general? You’re going to let Los Angeles and Brooklyn be destroyed rather than just waterboard him for a little and find out? Don’t bother denying it. The illegal combatant stuff is a red herring.

    Incidentaly, the ICAT doesn’t have any exceptions for terrorists or illegal combatants. So the question remains: if we find other countries (say, Iran) have tortured detainees, do we prosecute this as a crime, or do we recognize that they get to have the same exceptions, like on the Iranian version of 24.

    Underneath it all is just, as kishnevi suggested, Our Might Makes Right, isn’t it?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (663b8c)

  19. Eric, I can assure you that the Nazi and Communist interrogators thought they were far superior morally to the Americans.

    And you think you’re morally superior to whom, Andrew? I’ll bet there’s a list, and lots of us are on it.

    Pablo (99243e)

  20. Paul, I have no problem shooting spies and saboteurs who have been given a chance to defend themselves before a tribunal.

    Uh-uh, Andrew, the Geneva Convention doesn’t call for a military tribunal for Unlawful Combatants. Line them up and shoot them right then and there on the spot.

    Nice try.

    We capture the general in charge of this counter-attack. He is in uniform.

    Strawman. Nobody who is attempting or masterminding a terrorist attack puts on a uniform that brands the wearer a target.

    The illegal combatant stuff is a red herring.

    Then you shoud have no problem producing a link to photos of the insurgents and terrorsits and their generals wearing uniforms, right?

    Paul (bcc0a7)

  21. Write that on a blackboard in any constitutional law lecture hall – Pepperdine, Chapman, whatever – and see if the definition survives five minutes.

    Strawman. We’re not talking about US citizens here.

    Paul (bcc0a7)

  22. Andrew–can’t you learn to shut up while you’re behind?

    kishnevi (6273ad)

  23. kishnevi, he can’t help himself.

    Paul (bcc0a7)

  24. Andrew,

    I’m cold-hearted and, in my own way, principled because I would not authorize actions to be used on the General that violate the Geneva Convention. However, if I were in charge, I would consider a pardon for someone who used those techniques in your hypothetical. And if I was convinced waterboarding was the only way to get the information and I was in a position to act on it, I hope I would be as brave as the US Army officer (whose name I can’t recall) that Mike K commented on. In other words, I hope I would have the courage not only to get the information but also to turn myself in and sacrifice my career.

    DRJ (3eda28)

  25. Andrew, glad you brought up capturing illegal combatants in “neutral” countries…

    Because you never answer the question before, I’ll ask again…

    Where is the battlefield in the war on terror?

    As for “neutral” countries, if we/our allies captured someone in a neutral country, that country may not be considered “neutral” by the enemy any more….which again moves the lines in the battlefield, doesn’t it?

    reff (99666d)

  26. Andrew–can’t you learn to shut up while you’re behind?

    Well, we’ve found some common ground!

    Pablo (99243e)

  27. Andrew, glad you brought up capturing illegal combatants in “neutral” countries…

    There are no enemy countries in this conflict. At least none that are declared. The adversary in this war is stateless. There are also no countries that are (officially) neutral. No nation is (officially) passe about al-Qaeda.

    Pablo (99243e)

  28. Well, that was a nice diversion from the current topic…

    :)

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  29. Scott, too late. Somebody already deleted the comment.

    Paul (bcc0a7)

  30. Heh. Guilty as charged.

    DRJ (3eda28)

  31. Awwww… It’s gona already…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  32. Damnit DRJ!

    CENSORSHIP!!! RESPECT THE FIRST AMENDMENT!!!

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  33. CENSORSHIP!!! RESPECT THE FIRST AMENDMENT!!!

    LMAO!

    Paul (bcc0a7)

  34. Uh-uh, Andrew, the Geneva Convention doesn’t call for a military tribunal for Unlawful Combatants. Line them up and shoot them right then and there on the spot.

    This is simply untrue.

    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.

    The Bush Administration’s belief that it could declare entire classes of detainees unlawful combatants without a tribunal was rejected (quite rightly) by the Supreme Court and was completely outside historical practice. The Administration reluctantly retracted the infamous Yoo-Bybee memo in which they made this claim. And, Paul, I’d say that (again) your desire to line people up and shoot them on the spot says a lot more about you than international law.

    The idea that non-citizens have no Constitutional rights is also complete nonsense. If it were true, we could enslave non-citizens. We could confiscate their property without compensation (look how we cry if Hugo Chavez tries to do that to our guys—well, consistency has never been high on the list for the might-makes-right crowd). But the torture issue is not based in the Constitution: it is based on our adherence to the International Convention Against Torture, which we signed, it appears, with the intention it could be used against Iraqi or Iranian officials we might capture, but not abide by ourselves.

    I also, Paul. find it unfair that you are willing to present all manner of hypothetical to me (Los Angeles will be destroyed if you don’t waterboard. The sky is falling. And so on.) But you don’t dare to tackle mine of the Iraqi lawful combatant. And indeed reff and company have not dared to make explicit their apparent belief that in the War on Terror, battlefield rules must hold everywhere. Nor has anyone been able to explain why our torture is better than other countries’ torture, nor why Iran is not permitted to use the techniques that we are.

    You all need to relearn the goose-gander principle, not the debased morality of “We’re stil not as bad as Al Qaeda.”

    Andrew J. Lazarus (663b8c)

  35. 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.

    Are we a signatory to that, Andrew? And have we convened such tribunals and executed those found to be unlawful combatants?

    You all need to relearn the goose-gander principle…

    It’s both sad and hilarious that you should say such a thing, Andrew. And it’s pathetic that you would do so in the service of those who would gladly have your head.

    Pablo (99243e)

  36. Should any doubt arise

    That’s the key here.

    It means that if you catch them the day after the factory blew up, you should make sure with a tribunal…

    If you find them with the guns and they have tried to kill you with said guns moments ago, there IS no doubt, so you shoot them.

    You seem to be latching onto the wrong points, Andie…

    Paul isn’t saying we SHOULD… Just that we COULD, were we to adhere so closely to the international treaties you seem to worship over US interests…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  37. Yes, Pablo, we have signed the Geneva Conventions, which I quoted. Indeed, we encouraged other countries to sign them. It was a simpler time. You could have found that out yourself, if you really cared. And yes, we convened such tribunals to handle Germans caught behind our lines. I remember reading an excerpt from a contemporary journo writing how, at the end of WW2, the Germans were having trouble with replacement uniforms, and how much uniform was needed before they considered the captive an unlawful combatant. (Jacket over civilian clothes, good; under, bad.) The ones pretending to be civilians got a quick trial, and hen shot.

    Here’s an excerpt from The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations.

    12.7.1 Illegal Combatants. It is prohibited to kill, injure or capture an adversary by feigning civilian, non-combatant status. If determined by a competent tribunal of the captor nation to be illegal combatants, such persons may be denied prisoner-of-war status and be tried and punished. It is the policy of the United States, however, to accord illegal combatants prisoner-of-war protection if they were carrying arms openly at the time of capture.

    Notice, it doesn’t say the POTUS and the SecDef can make that determination for you. It says “tribunal”. And it’s sad that none of you have even thought about the acquittals of Gitmo prisoners (even under the unfair system we have), and how if we have acquittals, it means there should have been a lot of doubt. But, no, it’s easier to fantasize that these are the worst of the worst. Easier… maybe just necessary. The alternative is so embarrassing.

    Do you guys really not see how revolutionary your suggestions are in historical context? (Well, revolutionary for us.)

    Andrew J. Lazarus (663b8c)

  38. This is simply untrue.

    Where is the link to your quote, Andrew? Too many times when a quote isn’t linked to, there is something that the quoter doesn’t want discovered. And I have a long record on this blog of refuting liberals with their own links.

    And, Paul, I’d say that (again) your desire to line people up and shoot them on the spot says a lot more about you than international law.

    That’s not a desire, Andrew. I simpy stated what is written into Geneva and asked if you would adhere to it, since you demonstrated your willingness to adhere to every letter of rules, laws and treaties.

    That you cannot recognize the difference says plenty about you.

    The idea that non-citizens have no Constitutional rights is also complete nonsense.

    Since when did the US Constitution become international law? Funny how North Korea, China and Iran don’t recognize they are under US jurisdiction.

    If it were true, we could enslave non-citizens.

    We can…but we don’t. Unfortunately, such doesn’t fit the ‘Amerikkka is evil’ narative.

    We could confiscate their property without compensation (look how we cry if Hugo Chavez tries to do that to our guys—well, consistency has never been high on the list for the might-makes-right crowd).

    See above.

    I also, Paul. find it unfair that you are willing to present all manner of hypothetical to me (Los Angeles will be destroyed if you don’t waterboard. The sky is falling. And so on.)

    And what hypothetical did I present? Patterico presented the hypotheticals himself, or chose one from other sites. What I’ve done is simply ask you to stick to the one being discussed…which you have deftly avoided repeatedly addressing.

    I also have repeatedly pointed out that you are more willing to allow millions to die in a terrorist attack than make one terrorist uncomfortable for a few moments, demonstrated by your repeated evasions by changing the hypothetical. Which brings up…

    But you don’t dare to tackle mine of the Iraqi lawful combatant.

    I pointed out your scenario for what it is: strawman BS. Terrorists and insurgents don’t wear uniforms. I’m still waiting for you to prove to me that they do.

    And indeed reff and company have not dared to make explicit their apparent belief that in the War on Terror, battlefield rules must hold everywhere.

    You are still sidestepping the question, Andrew: where is the battlefield on the War on Terror? Which countries have declared neutrality?

    Nor has anyone been able to explain why our torture is better than other countries’ torture, nor why Iran is not permitted to use the techniques that we are.

    What, you think Iran is going to wait for our permission? As for why our is better that theirs, check out the Al-Qaeda Torture Manual, which speaks volumes about you and your BDS-driven moral equivalence.

    Paul (bcc0a7)

  39. You link in #37 bdoesn’t work, Andrew. What are you so afraid of me discovering?

    Paul (bcc0a7)

  40. Paul: Corrected link to Law of Naval Operations. Sorry for the error.

    Also, I think you don’t quite understand the purpose of hypotheticals. I didn’t say terrorists had uniforms. I was trying to show that the waterboard-the-terrorists arguments are also arguments for waterboard-the-lawful-combatants, to the extent that they are based on the awful consequences that will ensue without torture. DRJ gets credit for at least answering this question and was frank about the illegality of the procedure.

    Could someone take Paul aside and tell him his theory non-citizens have no Constitutional rights whatsoever is nearly insane? (Click here, Paul, so you can learn what you are talking about. Next time, clue up first and post later.)

    Andrew J. Lazarus (663b8c)

  41. A comment with correct link appears to be stuck in queue. Try Google until it’s approved.

    [Found it. Sorry about that. — DRJ]

    Andrew J. Lazarus (663b8c)

  42. Hey Andrew, how come you didn’t mention this part of the Third Geneva Convention:

    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.

    Terrorists don’t carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war, because, once again, that would make them a target.

    Understand?

    Paul (bcc0a7)

  43. Bullshit, Paul. If a jihadi manages to make his way into your house with the intent to castrate you and make you a eunuch in his harem, where your wife is his cleaning lady and your daughter is his concubine, will you really feel free to resist him only if you carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war?

    nk (6ef207)

  44. Andrew, you also didn’t mention this:

    12.7 FALSE CLAIMS OF NONCOMBATANT STATUS

    It is a violation of the law of armed conflict to kill, injure, or capture the enemy by false indication of an intent to surrender or by feigning shipwreck, sickness, wounds, or civilian status (but see paragraph 12.3.1). A surprise attack by a person feigning shipwreck, sickness, or wounds undermines the protected status of those rendered incapable of combat. Similarly, attacking enemy forces while posing as a civilian puts all civilians at hazard. Such acts of perfidy are punishable as war crimes.

    Such deception has been a favorite tatic of terrorists and insurgents fighting our troops…and such as these, who clearly violate and of the rules and laws of war to wantonly slaughter our forces, is who you want to grant all kinds of legal protections to.

    Do you guys really not see how revolutionary your suggestions are in historical context?

    Do you really not see how utterly without honor and respect for the laws you wish us to adhere to they are? Do you really not see how they have ignored a millenia of the rules and engagement of armed combat simply to gain an advantage by any means?

    Paul (bcc0a7)

  45. nk in #43: That’s exactly what I am talking about. :)

    Paul (bcc0a7)

  46. Do you really not see how they have ignored a millenia of the rules and engagement of armed combat simply to gain an advantage by any means?

    Have you ever been in a fight?

    nk (6ef207)

  47. Sorry, Paul, if we are both trying to make the same point, in different terms and I misunderstood you. There is only one rule in war — survival.

    nk (6ef207)

  48. We are making the same point, nk; no problem.

    Paul (bcc0a7)

  49. nk,

    You’re right, that IS the only rule.

    However, on top of that, there are “sub”-rules, which are there to limit to horrors of war.

    We could win easily by bombing every single home o the enemy country, but we don’t (Dresden not withstanding). Why not, since killing every single person in that country would mean no more people to fight, so we’d win, thus ensuring our survival…

    Partly because of that, we don’t put soldiers right in the middle of cities here in the US. Otherwise, bombing that city (and killing countless civilians) would be effective. It’s only “sporting” to seperate the combatants.

    Andie suggests that people who ignore that minor act of decency (and thus actively place in danger untold innocents) should be extended every single possible act of kindness.

    People who want to kill him and his family simply because they won’t fall down in worship and/or subjugation. And not just kill, but saw off their heads, burn their bodies, and then hang those bodies for everyone to see.

    That fact alone, even though I am single, and without children, is enough to make me willing to do whatever it takes – WHATEVER it takes – to keep us safe.

    He calls me a monster because I don’t wantto see his mother/wife/daughter slaughtered.

    We call him monster because he would sacrifice all of chicago because he doesn’t want to hurt the terrorists.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  50. Yes, Pablo, we have signed the Geneva Conventions, which I quoted. Indeed, we encouraged other countries to sign them. It was a simpler time.

    No, Andrew, the simpler time in which that passage was added to the conventions was 1977, and we have never ratified it. See Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977.

    You could have found that out yourself, if you really cared.

    I did, and you could have too…if you really cared.

    Pablo (99243e)

  51. Scott, Pablo:

    Well said.

    Paul (bcc0a7)

  52. Could someone take Paul aside and tell him his theory non-citizens have no Constitutional rights whatsoever is nearly insane? (Click here, Paul, so you can learn what you are talking about. Next time, clue up first and post later.)

    Could someone take Andrew aside an explain to him that the Bill of Rights applies to noncitizens who are subject to the American judicial system, in America, and that applying Constitutional rights to the enemy, abroad, in a war is completely insane?

    And could someone please have him actually read the piece he linked to, which actually explains the circumstances under which a noncitizen is or isn’t entitled to Constitutional protections? He should be directed specifically to the first graf and the first sentence in the second:

    Attorney General John Ashcroft wants the power to lock up immigrants suspected of terrorism and hold them indefinitely. Wouldn’t this violate the Constitution?

    Not necessarily.

    I know, it’s sort of hidden in plain sight there. Someone help a brother out, won’t you?

    Pablo (99243e)

  53. Could someone take Paul aside and tell him his theory non-citizens have no Constitutional rights whatsoever is nearly insane? Click here, Paul, so you can learn what you are talking about. Next time, clue up first and post later.)

    Could someone take Andrew aside an explain to him that the Bill of Rights applies to noncitizens who are subject to the American judicial system, in America, and that applying Constitutional rights to the enemy, abroad, in a war is completely insane?

    And could someone please have him actually read the piece he linked to, which actually explains the circumstances under which a noncitizen is or isn’t entitled to Constitutional protections? He should be directed specifically to the first graf and the first sentence in the second:

    Attorney General John Ashcroft wants the power to lock up immigrants suspected of terrorism and hold them indefinitely. Wouldn’t this violate the Constitution?

    Not necessarily.

    I know, it’s sort of hidden in plain sight there. Someone help a brother out, won’t you?

    Pablo (99243e)

  54. Andrew:

    So your post stuck in the spam filter showed up, and contained this line:

    I was trying to show that the waterboard-the-terrorists arguments are also arguments for waterboard-the-lawful-combatants, to the extent that they are based on the awful consequences that will ensue without torture.

    Exactly who is making the argument to torture uniformed combatants that follow the civility rules of war, Andrew? We are talking about jihadis that have completely abandoned those principals simply to gain an advantage by sacrificng the lives of their own people in order to win.

    Once again, you race out on a tangent and deflect what the discussion is about. If you aren’t going to answer the questions raised by the original hypothetical, why should I answer yours?

    Could someone take Paul aside and tell him his theory non-citizens have no Constitutional rights whatsoever is nearly insane?

    The relevant part:

    On the other hand, some immigrants who are suspected terrorists may not be allowed to confront the evidence against them. In 1996, Congress established the Alien Terrorist Removal Court, a secret tribunal that can examine classified evidence. (Interestingly, Congress mandated in the same law that an immigrant tried by the terrorist court would have the right to counsel at government expense.) But the Alien Terrorist Removal Court has never been used, and a Department of Justice spokesman said he isn’t aware of any plans to use the terrorist court any time soon.

    This is limited to US shores and military bases, not world-wide as you would have us believe.

    What’s more, this pertains to suspected terrorists plotting an attack…not ones that are shooting at US troops while not wearing uniforms in a surprise attack on the battlefield, as I outlined above.

    You do understand the difference?

    I make this distiction because you demonstrated that you are willing to follow to the letter any international treaty, so I decided to test that by asking you about Unlawful Combatant part.

    Understand?

    Paul (bcc0a7)

  55. Pablo, the article in question is part of the original 1949 GC (ratified by US), which is repeated in the Protocol that the US has not ratified. LINK to 1949 GC. You lose on this one. It’s that simple.

    Paul, 1, no one is disputing that jihadis commit war crimes. (I am disputing that all of the Gitmo prisoners are jihadis, and since some have been acquitted and released, I’d say that question is answered.) No one is disputing that war criminals may be punished, even unto death. All that is in dispute is whether suspected war criminals are entitled to a competent tribunal. You can see that the US Navy says “Yes” even though these war criminals may be perfidious. No amount of quoting other sections will make the section requiring a tribunal disappear.

    Paul, 2 your claim that non-citizens are without any Constitutional rights whatsoever appears in 21 and seemed to include non-citizens wherever they might be.

    Paul, 3 no amount of bluster hides your refusal to answer: could we torture a hypothetical lawful Iraqi combatant who had knowledge of plans similiar to those alleged of KSM? Is the enormity of the threat the only consideration, or is it enormity-plus-unlawful-combatant. Wishing away the lawful combatant is quite rich coming from the side which offered hypos in the first place.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (a37560)

  56. and seemed to include non-citizens wherever they might be.

    Well Andie, if they aren’t US Citizens, and especially if they aren’t even in the US, how is it you figure they get constitutional protections?

    I mean, what IS your metric for this?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  57. could we torture a hypothetical lawful Iraqi combatant who had knowledge of plans similiar to those alleged of KSM?

    Since you want an answer so much, Andie, how about this:

    In any world but the one you live in, we sure could, if we gave him over to the CIA.

    Sadly, you would rather Americans die than waterboard the man.

    WHy do you hate your fellow citizens so much, Andie?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  58. 1. You can see that the US Navy says “Yes” even though these war criminals may be perfidious. No amount of quoting other sections will make the section requiring a tribunal disappear.

    Oh, so you want the military to hold tribunals while being shot at by the enemy in a perfidious surpise attack.

    I see.

    2. your claim that non-citizens are without any Constitutional rights whatsoever appears in 21 and seemed to include non-citizens wherever they might be.

    If you allowed your projection skills to overrride your reading comprehension, that’s not my problem. That is yours.

    3. no amount of bluster hides your refusal to answer: could we torture a hypothetical lawful Iraqi combatant who had knowledge of plans similiar to those alleged of KSM?

    Giving the exact reason why I won’t is not bluster, Andrew. It’s simple, if you want me to answer, do so yourself first. I ask again: if you will not answer the questions raised by the original hypothetical as presented, why should I answer your tangental one?

    You still haven’t answered that one, among others posed to you on this thread (where is the battlefield in the GWOT, which countries have officially declared neutrality)

    You whine about unfairness, yet don’t practice it yourself.

    That, Andie Jo, is bluster.

    Don’t like the truth? Tough.

    Wishing away the lawful combatant is quite rich coming from the side which offered hypos in the first place.

    Pointing out what you refuse to face–that we are talking about jihadis that have completely abandoned principles you blindly adhere to to gain an advantage by sacrificng the lives of their own people in order to win–is not “wishing away.”

    Pointing out your evasion of the hypothetical in its original form, instead making bizarre substitutions (allowing a terrorist to sodomize a daughter in exchange for information like a casual goods transaction) is not “wishing away.”

    Cooperation and debate is a two-way street, Andrew. If you want people to agree with your pathetic rants, go to the Democratic Underground or Daily Kos. You are way out of your league here.

    Paul (236e0e)

  59. Sadly, you would rather Americans die than waterboard the man.

    Do the Nazis, Iranians, and Communists have the same right to torture in defense of the Fatherland?

    Should the US withdraw from the ICAT and Geneva Convention?

    Why are you such a dishonorable person, Scott, abandoning long-established laws and intending to commit capital war crimes?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (a37560)

  60. That, Andie Jo, is bluster.

    *snickers*

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  61. Do the Nazis, Iranians, and Communists have the same right to torture in defense of the Fatherland?

    And there’s our good friend Goodwin coming up the lane.

    Just admit you would rather see Americans die than waterboard one man, Andie. Just admit that someone who wants to kill you means more to you than the lives of countless citizens of your own country who have done nothing to you, and have never wished you harm.

    Go ahead. Admit it.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  62. [Comment by Andrew J. Lazarus — 2/17/2008 @ 8:43 am]

    While you are right in that the US has signed and right, by default, that the provision requiring a competent tribunal, you err in asserting that the tribunal is required to the extent you argue, particularly in your original use of it to refute Paul’s comment. To recap, Paul responded to a comment of yours (italicized):

    Paul, I have no problem shooting spies and saboteurs who have been given a chance to defend themselves before a tribunal.

    Uh-uh, Andrew, the Geneva Convention doesn’t call for a military tribunal for Unlawful Combatants. Line them up and shoot them right then and there on the spot.

    You excerpted but did not link the source which dragged it all out unnecessarily. Article 5 references and pertains to Art 4, so here is 4 and 5 together from ICRC, rather than HRW:

    Art 4. A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
    (1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

    (2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:[
    (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;
    (d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

    (3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power.

    (4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization, from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.

    (5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favourable treatment under any other provisions of international law.

    (6) 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.

    B. The following shall likewise be treated as prisoners of war under the present Convention:
    (1) Persons belonging, or having belonged, to the armed forces of the occupied country, if the occupying Power considers it necessary by reason of such allegiance to intern them, even though it has originally liberated them while hostilities were going on outside the territory it occupies, in particular where such persons have made an unsuccessful attempt to rejoin the armed forces to which they belong and which are engaged in combat, or where they fail to comply with a summons made to them with a view to internment.

    (2) The persons belonging to one of the categories enumerated in the present Article, who have been received by neutral or non-belligerent Powers on their territory and whom these Powers are required to intern under international law, without prejudice to any more favourable treatment which these Powers may choose to give and with the exception of Articles 8, 10, 15, 30, fifth paragraph, 58-67, 92, 126 and, where diplomatic relations exist between the Parties to the conflict and the neutral or non-belligerent Power concerned, those Articles concerning the Protecting Power. Where such diplomatic relations exist, the Parties to a conflict on whom these persons depend shall be allowed to perform towards them the functions of a Protecting Power as provided in the present Convention, without prejudice to the functions which these Parties normally exercise in conformity with diplomatic and consular usage and treaties.

    C. This Article shall in no way affect the status of medical personnel and chaplains as provided for in Article 33 of the present Convention.

    Art 5. The present Convention shall apply to the persons referred to in Article 4 from the time they fall into the power of the enemy and until their final release and repatriation.

    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.

    For insight to the purpose and intent of article 5 being added, ICRC, who proposed this to address deficiencies in the 1929 Convention, provides ICRCcommentary.

    In all, it doesn’t look as though Art 5’s provision for competent tribunal is mandatory regardless of circumstances, as you suggest it is. The operative phrase is “Should any doubt arise”, and more importantly applies to those circumstances defined in Article 4. Equaly important is the purpose and intent of Article 5 as you can see that without it, it detaining powers were able to treat POW’s that had surrendered at, for instance, war’s end differently than those who were detained during hostilities. Your point that “No amount of quoting other sections will make the section requiring a tribunal disappear” is mere bluster and your reading of the GC, if this Article is all you have, is faulty.

    That said, Bush and/or Congress is free, within the scope of their powers to act and regulate in ways more stringent for reasons other than to comply with the GC. They are also free to revise, relax and interpret as they see fit.

    Dusty (e28a9f)

  63. Yawn. Scott, your way of looking at the world is apparently that you must be the Biggest and the Baddest so that laws will not apply to you.

    I view laws (e.g., the GC) as a structure worthy of being maintained. We didn’t buy Defense of the Fatherland as an excuse from others; we shouldn’t offer it ourselves.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (a37560)

  64. Thanks, Dusty.

    Paul (236e0e)

  65. I view laws (e.g., the GC) as a structure worthy of being maintained.

    Must be hard to do, since you interpret them so wrongly.

    You never answered my question, either (not that I’m surprised).

    How do you arrive to the conclusion that non-citizens captured in places that are not the US have Constitutional Right?

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  66. A request for clarrification….

    “…status has been determined by a competent tribunal…”

    For those of you who are constantly back and forth on the various GC’s, where in those acts, and in what manner, is the definition of a “competent tribunal”?

    Is it anything more than a squad leader making a determination that a captured individual is an illegal combatant, and should be executed?

    Please inform this uninformed mind.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  67. I would suspect that for cases where it is Warneted, it would require 3 officers not involved in the events of capture.

    I think.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  68. Please note in that long excerpt from the GC the repeated phrase about adhering to the laws and customs of war. Al Qaeda does not–I think even Andrew Lazarus would have to admit that–so the GC is irrelevant when it comes to the Gitmo detainees.

    This may surprise Andrew, but non Citizens of the US don’t actually have any constitutional rights, except those they are given under treaties the US has signed or under laws that Congress has passed.
    (This could mean that citizens of one country may have different rights under US law than citizens of other countries, depending on the treaties we enter into with their home countries.) It might seem intuitive that we accord non citizens at least basic due process, but I don’t know of any specific law, treaty, or court decision that actually says that. (Extremely big caveat: I am by no means an expert in this particular area of law). That’s why, for instance, the “wet foot, dry foot” policy about Cuban refugees is valid law despite apparently discriminating against 1) Cubans who don’t reach dry land and 2)non Cubans.

    The only solid ground to argue that we should be treating the jihadi captives as something like regular POWs is a decent respect for the opinions of mankind–but I’ve already gone over what I think that requires in other comments, and if my reasons haven’t impressed you by now, they never will. But it boils down to this–the fact that they are immoral SOBs does not justify us acting as moral SOBs.

    kishnevi (e2eeba)

  69. kishnevi…
    (your last sentance)…
    a variation of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as they would do onto you, but do it first!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  70. On the contrary, Dusty, you will see I have also quoted the tribunal-required section of the Law of Naval Operations (see 37 and 40). And I point out that a great deal of doubt should have arisen about the status of Gitmo detainees, as several have been acquitted and freed.

    In reading the commentaries that you linked to, they suggest that the “doubt” in this case refers to possible soldiers who have deserted, lost their identity cards, etc. In that case, the relevant law would be the Fourth Geneva Convention (also ratified by the USA), which likewise anticipates a tribunal (Arts. 3D and 5).

    In each case, such persons [spies and saboteurs] shall nevertheless be treated with humanity, and in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed by the present Convention. They shall also be granted the full rights and privileges of a protected person under the present Convention at the earliest date consistent with the security of the State or Occupying Power, as the case may be.

    We also have the Hague Convention of 1907, which states

    A spy taken in the act shall not be punished without previous trial.

    The United States ratified this treaty in 1909.

    Summary execution without trial, even of spies, terrorists, jihadis, etc. is unlawful. Period. End of sentence.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (a37560)

  71. So, Andie Jo, you want the military to hold tribunals while being shot at by the enemy in a perfidious surpise attack.

    I see.

    Paul (236e0e)

  72. Is it anything more than a squad leader making a determination that a captured individual is an illegal combatant, and should be executed?

    In practice, there must be a certain number of officers of a certain rank. I don’t know the exact number (3?) and rank, but squad leader would be much too low.

    This may surprise Andrew, but non Citizens of the US don’t actually have any constitutional rights, except those they are given under treaties the US has signed or under laws that Congress has passed.

    This may surprise kishnevi, but he is completely wrong. In fairness, we may be talking past each other. When a foreign tourist goes to New York, he may not be enslaved, he may not have his property taken without just compensation, if he is arrested for a crime he must be Mirandized and allowed counsel, etc. That’s not because of a treaty with signed with Tommy Tourist’s home country (we may not even recognize his home government); this is all long-standing case law. In some cases, I believe the precedents date to the first Adams Administration. Now, does a random non-citizen with no connection to the United States located in his home country have Constitutional rights? No, but what would they be in any event?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (a37560)

  73. So, Andie Jo, you want the military to hold tribunals while being shot at by the enemy in a perfidious surpise attack.

    I take it Paul has lost interest in arguing against the statutes I’ve assembled. We’re really back at Commenter Number One, who pretends not to know about air conditioning. During the perfidious surprise attack, we should be shooting back. However, anyone we capture alive has to be given a tribunal. Period.

    (Just how many Gitmo detainees were captured during an actual attack, or even known to have participated in one?)

    Andrew J. Lazarus (a37560)

  74. So, Andie Jo, do you think that spies, terrorists, jihadis, etc. are going to follow any part of these treaties that you have quoted, linked and burn incense to?

    Paul (236e0e)

  75. I take it Paul has lost interest in arguing against the statutes I’ve assembled.

    Yes, because it’s obvious you are too obtuse to understand what you are quoting.

    Paul (236e0e)

  76. Another Drew,

    I like it. I would call that the Pessimist’s Golden Rule.

    Patterico (b82b74)

  77. You see Andrew, again and again throughout these treaties, the point is made that they are to be treaed as you say, only if they fit the description of lawful combatants. Jihadis do not fit the description, in fact, specifically operate outside of it because of people like you that blindly adhere to it.

    That they ignore any such treaties is lost on you; that is why you are obtuse.

    Paul (236e0e)

  78. I am disputing that all of the Gitmo prisoners are jihadis, and since some have been acquitted and released, I’d say that question is answered.
    Comment by Andrew J. Lazarus — 2/17/2008 @ 8:43 am

    Please name one that was acquitted by us. Many have been released to their own countries or other jurisdictions after the determination that they were no longer a danger to us or our allies. As far as I’m aware, none have been acquitted by us and then released.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  79. Yes, because it’s obvious you are too obtuse to understand what you are quoting.

    ROFLMAO. What part of

    A spy taken in the act shall not be punished without previous trial.

    do you think permits summary execution of spies? I’d say that is a remarkably simple declarative sentence. At this point, you’re reduced to the textual interpretation skills of the average tax protestor crank.

    I have never held that Al Qaeda will follow any sort of laws. I think, however, that using this as an excuse to ignore our own laws is perverse, and originates more in a desire to transgress civilized norms than any sort of defend-America belief. Perhaps you are jealous that AQ gets to conduct summary executions and we don’t?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (a37560)

  80. Hey Andrew,

    What about this?

    International Law, including the relevant Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, continues to recognize the fundamental distinction between lawful and unlawful combatants. Only the former are entitled to treatment as prisoners of war when captured, and even then are subject to prosecution by the capturing party for violations of the laws of war. Unlawful combatants, on the other hand, are entitled to no such protections.

    So how does international law define the two different categories? Lawful combatants, entitled to prisoner of war status, can be either members of the regular armed forces of a party to the conflict or members of other militias or volunteer corps they meet certain conditions that were initially adopted in Article I of the 1907 Annex to the Hague Convention, namely, that they are 1) commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; 2) have a fixed distinctive emblem recognizable at a distance; 3) carry arms openly; and 4) conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

    Clearly the Al Queda network does not meet these conditions. Osama Bin Laden may be commanding his subordinates, but he is certainly not taking responsibility to ensure that they do not violate international law and the laws of war. Its members do not have a fixed distinctive emblem. They do not carry their arms openly–unless one considers hidden box cutters and tennis-shoe bombs as “open” arms. And most fundamentally, they do not conduct their operations in accordance with the laws of war, particular the rule prohibiting deliberate attacks on civilian populations such as occurred in New York, without warning, on September 11. Individuals who join such an unlawful force, therefore, are not entitled to prisoner of war status even if individually they did not violate the laws of war. Rather, they are to be treated as unlawful combatants, essentially members of an international criminal conspiracy of terrorists, and can be prosecuted as such before a military tribunal. Indeed, the old rule in international law, which has not been fully abrogated, was that such individuals could even be subjected to summary execution. A 1977 Protocol to the Geneva Convention provides that unlawful combatants be afforded certain procedural rights that were not previously required by international law, but the United States is not a signatory to that Protocol.

    John Eastman, the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University School of Law, specializing in Constitutional Law and Legal History, says so. Andrew J. Lazerus says no.

    Who are you going to believe?

    Paul (236e0e)

  81. A spy taken in the act shall not be punished without previous trial.

    Spies have a specific category under the Geneva Conventions, separate from unlawful combatants. Spies have protections under the GC that are less than those for lawful combatants, yet more than those afforded to unlawful combatants. There is ample precedent for summary execution on the battlefield of unlawful combatants (however, the United States does not do this as a matter of policy) where there is no doubt about their status. When there is any doubt, then and only then is a tribunal required.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  82. Perhaps you are jealous that AQ gets to conduct summary executions and we don’t?

    No, I just find it interesting that you are more concerned with the comfort of one terrorist than the lives of milions of Americans.

    Paul (236e0e)

  83. Or, paul, why he isn’t concerned at all about AQ’s beheadings on internet video…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  84. Paul, there is no dispute here that Al Qaeda does not follow the laws of war and that members of AQ commit acts that make them illegal combatants. (On the other hand, the various goatherds whom we have released from Gitmo already were obviously not illegal combatants, or in most cases combatants at all.) Therefore only the last paragraph of your quote has any relevance. (The rest is just inflammatory, as if I invoked OJ Simpson over and over as a reason to ignore the twice-in-jeopardy clause.)

    You’ll notice your source (published in a mouthpiece of the Bush Remnant) uses the old weasel words “not fully abrogated”. You know why he doesn’t tell you the extent to which it has been abrogated? Because he doesn’t want to admit that the Administration’s position isn’t consistent with the law since at least 1909. Look at the sentences before:

    Individuals who join such an unlawful force, therefore, are not entitled to prisoner of war status even if individually they did not violate the laws of war. Rather, they are to be treated as unlawful combatants, essentially members of an international criminal conspiracy of terrorists, and can be prosecuted as such before a military tribunal.

    See the magic word there? Tribunal?

    Andrew J. Lazarus (a37560)

  85. (On the other hand, the various goatherds whom we have released from Gitmo already were obviously not illegal combatants, or in most cases combatants at all.)
    Comment by Andrew J. Lazarus — 2/17/2008 @ 6:45 pm

    Again, name one.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  86. Rather, they are to be treated as unlawful combatants, essentially members of an international criminal conspiracy of terrorists, and can be prosecuted as such before a military tribunal.

    See the magic word there? Tribunal can?

    There, FIFY.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  87. Rather, they are to be treated as unlawful combatants, essentially members of an international criminal conspiracy of terrorists, and can be prosecuted as such before a military tribunal.

    See the magic word there? Tribunal can?

    There, FIFY FIFM*.

    * Fixed it for myself (Forgot that the dang strike button here doesn’t really strike, even though it looks ok in the live preview)

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  88. I’m sure Stashiu3 will make this point but I have to leave so I’ll say it now: I don’t think anyone gets sent to GTMO unless there is a reasonable basis to believe they acted against coalition forces. In addition, 558 GTMO detainees have been through the tribunal process, and some of those detainees have been released to their home countries. Of the ones who were released, at least 30 former GTMO detainees have taken part in anti-coalition military activity since their release.

    DRJ (3eda28)

  89. I was going to let Andrew try to name one who was acquitted. Since that’s never going to happen (there isn’t one) I will confirm what DRJ just said. These are not just random guys picked up in the wilderness. Not one.

    To clarify though, those 558 detainees didn’t all go through the tribunal process. The majority were released by review boards which is a separate process.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  90. Thanks for that .pdf link DRJ, I had not seen that before. I see at least a couple of names on there that are very unexpected. To say the least.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  91. Ahh, I see now. That’s not a list of who was released… just who has been reviewed by CSRT and/or ARB. (Whew!)

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  92. It took US Army interrogators at Guantánamo Bay five years to reach the conclusion that Adel Hassan Hamad was exactly who he claimed to be: a hospital administrator in Pakistan. On Dec. 11, 2007, they put him back on a military cargo plane, hooded and handcuffed, and sent him back to his home to Sudan.

    You know, if Iran had imprisoned you for six years for nothing, my guess is you’d be pretty anti-Iranian once you were released. I’m afraid the post hoc ergo propter hoc list of released detainees who have enrolled in anti-American activities is pretty much a non-starter.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (a37560)

  93. That is not the characterization by the military (that he was exactly who he claimed to be) or he wouldn’t have been hooded and handcuffed. He was determined to no longer represent a threat which is different from being acquitted.

    The fact that he makes all the standard claims of abuse and desecration of the Koran which has been disproven tells me (and should tell you, although you will refuse to see it) that his claims are false.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  94. I believe harsh methods should be used and the determinent should be the situation. Approvals should be obtained at levels commensurate with the level of proposed harshness. The level of harshness should be determined by time factors and the reasonable belief that the person to be tortured has access to the required information and the information must be needed to avert a human calamity. OR, I believe in torture when common sense dictates it.

    George Saunders (300040)

  95. So, I give an example of someone who was innocent and released, but it isn’t good enough for Stasiu3. What are the rules of this game? George Bush sends him a “Get Well Soon” card? Just so I know what bar I have to reach.

    As a matter of fact, I think it’s time you-all had to do a little research.

    Find me the statute, section of an Armed Forces Field Manual, ratified treaty, etc. that allows summary executions. Presumably there’d be some regs, too: how many bullets, that sort of stuff. I’d like to see those.

    I’ll be waiting. But not holding my breath!!

    Andrew J. Lazarus (a37560)

  96. So, I give an example of someone who was innocent and released, but it isn’t good enough for Stasiu3.

    How many inmates, prisoners, detainees, felons, etc… claim they were innocent? All you gave was a story that took his claim he was innocent as fact. The only bar there is a Limbo bar and you still went under without a scratch.

    Please hold your breath waiting… pretty please. I’ll try to get to that research sometime this week. Of course, I’m not going to start until you answer the original questions you’ve been given, but please, continue holding your breath by all means.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.4500 secs.