Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Here’s your Clarification

Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions forbids “outrages upon personal dignity” and “humiliating and degrading treatment.”

President bush wants a clarification of Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions.

I believe I can do that for him. Common Article Three forbids the sort of treatment he would not want one of his daughters subjected to in the rare event that one of them should ever enlist and be taken captive by the enemy.

54 Comments:

Blogger Beach Bum said...

Bravo,very good point.

September 19, 2006 4:14 AM  
Blogger fallenmonk said...

"Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions forbids “outrages upon personal dignity” and “humiliating and degrading treatment.”"

I sure am having a problem understanding why the above needs "clarification".

September 19, 2006 4:31 AM  
Blogger BocaGuy said...

He doesn't want to be tried for war crimes when this thing in Iraq has ended.

September 19, 2006 4:37 AM  
Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

Excellent. I think we should ask Gonzales to volunteer to experience the treatment now given to detainees - make it a survival show thing. Then, when he is finished (if he survives) we can ask he was that a painful or humiliating?

September 19, 2006 5:17 AM  
Blogger BBC said...

Well, his coffee filter is defective. Would anyone want his daughters? Good little Christian girls that they are.

September 19, 2006 5:40 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

I would honestly like to hear what someone thinks is an acceptable interrogation tactic.

September 19, 2006 7:21 AM  
Blogger Karen McL said...

Haaahaaahaaa! "...in the rare event that one of them should ever enlist and be taken captive by the enemy."

Good Point!

Arrrgh!

September 19, 2006 7:28 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

Sorry but, don't think that would be clear enough for him. Can you explain it as if you were talking to a five year old?

September 19, 2006 7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sure am having a problem understanding why the above needs "clarification".

Apparently John McCain is, too:

"Clarify, modify, I mean please," he said with exasperation. "You are changing a treaty which no other nation on Earth has changed for the first time in 57 years." (as reported online in "McClatchy/Washington Bureau")

- oddjob

September 19, 2006 7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert, why don't you ask Gen. Colin Powell, or Gen. John Vessey, or any of the other 27+ high brass who oppose what you think is so terrific?

- oddjob

September 19, 2006 7:40 AM  
Blogger SB Gypsy said...

I would honestly like to hear what someone thinks is an acceptable interrogation tactic.

The CIA and all the other spooks all say that torture is not effective anyway. They've done studies, and proven that you cannot get good, reliable information by torturing people. The victim of torture says whatever they think you want them to say in order to make the torturing stop.

The best info is gotten by being friendly to the person who's being interrogated. It's been proven over and over.

Would you personally be capable of throwing away your honor and decency and empathy, in order to HURT someone, in the name of LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL?

The only one a torturer degrades is himself. The only one a torturer dishonors is himself.

September 19, 2006 7:50 AM  
Blogger SB Gypsy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 19, 2006 7:53 AM  
Blogger SB Gypsy said...

And the quickest way to destroy our credibility in the world is to stand up for torture (as the co-pretzeldents are doing)

September 19, 2006 7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The victim of torture says whatever they think you want them to say in order to make the torturing stop.

regardless of whether it's true and reliable or not.

- oddjob

September 19, 2006 7:56 AM  
Blogger L>T said...

It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

September 19, 2006 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McCain's stance puts him at risk of not being voted for in next pres. election by Repub. base. Stance isn't pro-torture enough. (Hat tip, Shakespeare's Sister.)


Bush's policies take innocent civilians of allies and subject them to months of torture with no recourse to anyone, anywhere.


No matter what the wingnuts think, they do NOT want to live in America, they are trying to create what Kafka wrote!

- oddjob

September 19, 2006 8:26 AM  
Blogger Haider Droubi said...

well....i am speechless.

September 19, 2006 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boston's conservative newspaper, the Boston Herald (yes it is conservative; there are more than a few Reagan Democrats in MA and the Herald targets them) trashes Bush's torture policies. (Hat tip, Sully.)

- oddjob

September 19, 2006 8:38 AM  
Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

Clarification is not his goal. It's his smoke screen. Justification is his goal.

And to Apologist Robert: I think you'll find reams of appropriate techniques right in the Pentagon, signed by past Presidents. In fact, I know you will. So asking for "dicusssion" is a smokescreen. There needs be none.

September 19, 2006 9:53 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Future, no apologist in my post. I wasn't asking what the Pentagon says, I am seriously asking what commenters think are appropriate tactics. Forget the definitions and policies and laws...what are the personal beliefs about acceptable tactics?

September 19, 2006 10:57 AM  
Blogger Time said...

Is this Bush's equivilant to "It depends on what the meaning of IS, IS."

My levity hides the fact that again in one case were talking about sex between two consenting adults; in the other were talking about American reputation worldwide. Do we really want to be the ones to define what is supposed GOOD torture?

September 19, 2006 11:08 AM  
Blogger bluegrrrrl said...

I love the way you clarify the issue, PoP! And this clarification would work quite well for most of us. However, I have no doubt that Bush's highly intelligent response would be "well, I just disagree..." Besides, I think all this torture talk titillates him. I can just hear him giggling every time Dick talks about applying electrodes to some detainee's genitals.

September 19, 2006 12:08 PM  
Blogger Chancelucky said...

Just have the president carry out the "program" personally and film him. Then let it be shown prior to November as an example of the President's commitment to "democracy" and "freedom".

Then let the people decide.
Chancelucky: The President's "Program" (the American Way of Torture)

September 19, 2006 1:32 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

Hello my precious...Just stopping in to let you know, in case you might have missed me (?), that "American Agenda" is officially dead (and taken over by some zit-cream pusher), but I am back and just the angry-queen you always knew at DECLARATIONS.

Stop in and say Hi...I've missed you!

http://declarationofpride.blogspot.com

September 19, 2006 1:46 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Thanks for reminding the country about this. The comment section discussion was interesting too. Thanks go out to anonymous for posting what McCain said according to McClatchy/Washington Bureau. At least McCain has some integrity and worries about our soldiers.

September 19, 2006 1:54 PM  
Blogger azgoddess said...

so very good!!!! now we need to email that to him - grin!!

September 19, 2006 2:52 PM  
Blogger Anon-Paranoid said...

Perhaps Robert would be so kind to tell us what type of interogation tactics on him would be considered acceptable and not torture.

Maybe if there was a picture book Titled Jenna and not Jenna showing our interogation tactics that he wants too use for the American people to read.

OOPS...Meant look at. LOL...LOL...

God Bless all.

September 19, 2006 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Adorable Girlfriend said...

Nicely said by all.

September 19, 2006 4:35 PM  
Blogger BBC said...

I said "Being the good little Christian girls they are." Oh... wait. LOL

September 19, 2006 5:09 PM  
Anonymous AJ said...

Hey Patricia,

It's pretty clear that Bush does what he damn well wants or is told to do.
The thing that should amaze us is that he is getting away with it.

That tells you something about blackmail in this country yes?

September 19, 2006 6:32 PM  
Blogger Human said...

Sadly this is nothing new. My own father tortured and murdered many Vietmanese. He took pictures. Called them his "Art Work". The CIA and other agencies have tortured people for decades. We shall surely reap what we have sown. People from all around the world have the right to defend themselves.

Robert - I'll answer your question.
For people who are to be charged with a crime, interrogate like the Police are supposed to do.

For POW's(and that is what most of them really are), question and get what one can, create a general populace, infil, divide and conquer.

Now just what tactics are acceptable to you?

Peace.

September 19, 2006 7:28 PM  
Blogger sumo said...

Exactly what I was thinking.

September 20, 2006 2:04 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Human, thanks for answering. You are the only one to venture into a conversation. I will be happy to answer your question, but first I would like you to expand on one of your statements if you will.

You said that we should question POWs, and get what we can. Please expand on the environment that you believe is acceptable for questioning. Should it be a simple conversation? Something intimidating?

For example, there are books and seminars on interviewing employees, and on creating the impression you wish to impose as "the boss." Such as where to place a desk to get the best psychological advantage, sitting across from the other person with a desk between, use of light to emphasize elemnts on the room, on the desk, or on a person.

If I am making sense, please apply those type of factors to the questioning of a detainee.

Also, do you draw a distinction in tactics between persons charged in a criinal justice system, and people who are known terrorists and being held?

September 20, 2006 6:28 AM  
Blogger Mimus Pauly said...

Robert:

Perhaps any tactic currently in use and any future tactic we may come up with in dealing with POWs (or detainees, or whatever one wants to call them) that doesn't patently violate one or more of the articles of the Geneva Conventions would be an appropriate way to do business. There's no reason the Bush administration couldn't adhere to the Conventions just for a change of pace. Intimidation is one thing. Handcuffing someone naked and in a stress position for twenty-four hours to a railing; or beating him; or waterboarding him, is another. As has already been noted here, torture a guy long enough, and he'll say whatever you want to hear to make it stop...

September 20, 2006 8:49 AM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

Wow.... I came here to visit the POP and her fine crowd...hell, maybe have a martini this lousy Wed...and what do I find Someone that wants to discuss Torture- "Tactics" ( Robert above)...POP- I do believe I need a stiffer drink- to clean the vomit out of my keyboard.....I am a nurse.....a mom...There is no friggin way that I am going to debate or even fucking politely chat about GOOD TORTURE TACTICS....WHY????? Because I have a Soul....a Conscience....a Brain...Dignity....I respect my fellow Humans- ALL.....

(and just for the sake of Dimbulbs -THERE ARE NO KNOWN TERRORISTS AT GITMO- THERE NEVER WERE....OR ABU GARAB EITHER...) The ONLY Blogs that are having nice chats supporting the War Criminal King are over on Blogs for Bush....

Enuf said....I NEED mine Shaken Not Stirred- no olives, no onions....I need my Truth Staight Up....

( and Robert just so you know POP runs a fine little cafe here- perfect cocktails and good hearted souls.....No Snakes on the POP Martini Plane....)

September 20, 2006 9:25 AM  
Blogger Human said...

Robert - The examples that you gave are in line with what I mean by questioning. As a supposed member of "Law Enforcement" I thought you would know what I mean.

I for one do not draw a distinction. There is no such thing as a terrorist. I agree with the adage that "One man's terrorist...."

If I would pretend that was a distinction I would not take the Bush Regime's word for it, or the MSM's. I would also label Bush and his cohorts Terrorists, since fear is their main weapon against the American people and at the very least aided and abetted the attacks on 911.

You have bought yourself time, now answer up.

September 20, 2006 11:17 AM  
Anonymous Montag said...

Brilliant post, P.O.P.

September 20, 2006 11:38 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Human, you are living in an alternate reality. Anyone who justifies 9/11 is insane. However, I will give an answer- something no one else will do.

In a sense of nationalism and patriotism, I place the lives of Americans above all others. The US has been forced to engage in a war that is outside the boundaries of conventional war and there must be tactics to address this.

Providing a suspect liquids to make him uncomfortable is acceptable. Making his environment extremely cold is acceptable. Ok, let me make this simple.

Whatever must be done to elicit the informatio needed is acceptable. There are of course, exceptions - Murder, hacking limbs off, complete abuse such as a broomstick up the rectum, etc should be off limits. Being cold or hungry or wet or sleep deprived or subjected to psychological harassment such as loud music for days is fine. None of this stuff endangers life.

All of these things are done to some degree or another in law enforcement questioning. I know the difference betwen and Interview and an Interrogation, do you?

Now, please answer this. If you believe that the sleep deprivation and loud music is torture, was it acceptable for the Justice Department to use the same tactics against the Branch Davidians in Waco? Military PsyOps units were used to do the same things that are being done to detainees. Did you become outrages at that? I suspect not.

September 20, 2006 3:09 PM  
Blogger Human said...

Robert - Then it's settled, you believe humans should be tortured and I do not.
Now be a Patriot and signup and go kill/die for your glorious leader ya sick bastard.

September 20, 2006 8:29 PM  
Blogger Auntie Roo said...

Also, do you draw a distinction in tactics between persons charged in a criinal justice system, and people who are known terrorists and being held?

They are suspected terrorists, not known terrorists. And even if they were what's that have to do with the price of tea in Sri Lanka?

Torture is wrong. Barbarians & sadists torture.

September 21, 2006 2:21 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

I have served both in uniform and in combat. Thankfully there are still people who believe in something larger than themselves.

Thee is the issue....the definition of torture. You consider anythig that doesn't involve peace pipes and may actually make someone uncomfortable "torture." I consider torture to be that which endangers life or incapacitates a person.

And you didn't answer the questions about Janet Reno and Waco.

September 21, 2006 5:29 AM  
Blogger Alice said...

In a sense of nationalism and patriotism, I place the lives of Americans above all others.

It's nice to know that my life is worth less than my husband's. Robert, are you going to draw your patriotic line right through the middle of my family?

September 21, 2006 8:48 AM  
Blogger Sewmouse said...

Robert's problem is that he places NationalISM and PatriotISM above all else.

He probably actually believes that he fought for "The Flag" of the United States.

Wake up and smell the Cappuccino, Robert. You weren't serving to protect the Flag. You were serving to protect something even more precious than the flag. More precious than your family's lives. You were serving to protect the Constitution of the United States. (That "goddamned piece of paper")

And that goddamned piece of paper says very clearly that prisoners of the government have RIGHTS, Robert. The right to confront your accuser. The right to examine the evidence against you. The right to a speedy trial. The right to a lawyer.

Let me ask you something, Robert. You say you know the difference between an interview and an interrogation. Have you ever brought in a suspect and interrogated him - and not received the information you thought you could/should/would recieve?

If so - did you continue to annoy, harass, make him uncomfortable?

Were you ever forced to admit that this individual was NOT lying, and did not have the information you wanted, or was not the perpetrator of the crime in question?

If so - when did you make that distinction? When were you able to put aside your own pre-conviction and admit you were wrong? Or did they always "crack in the end"?

If they always cracked in the end - is it not concievable that maybe they were just saying what they knew you wanted to hear - to get you to STFU?

Hmmm?

September 21, 2006 11:25 AM  
Blogger Auntie Roo said...

I consider torture to be that which endangers life or incapacitates a person.

So Robert, does that mean that ripping off someone's fingernails isn't torture? How about just breaking some bones? After all, neither of these things endangers someone's life, especially if you provide medical care to keep them going, & doesn't permanently incapacitate them.

Debating torture & what degrees of it are acceptable is merely mental masturbation.

Torture is wrong.

September 21, 2006 11:39 PM  
Blogger Sothis said...

Easy reason why--his butt was never in the line of fire where being taken as a POW was a possibility. McCain (who spent years as a POW) of course sees it differently. You'd expect a sane person to be able to put themselves in the hypothetical situation of being a POW and how important those treaties are, but W can't. He lives in a coccoon surrounded by "yes" men.

September 21, 2006 11:44 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Sewmouse - The world of law enforcement is much different than the world of terrorism. That is the reasonwhy treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue for 20 years has failed. It has to be a combination of approaches.

There is a difference here - rarely are suspects brought in without knoawing who committed a crime. There are good, old fashioned "whodunnits", but these are statistically rare. A casual interview, or even a formal one, will ususally confirm who did it or who is innocent.

These people are committed to killing as many people as possible. The knowledge they have isn't very useful AFTER an act, like a criminal who we are seekingto convict. They have information that is needed BEFORE an act, and there is often not enough time to gently pull the info from them.

You are in no position to question why someone serves. There are as many reasons as there are people. Yes, I took an oath to "...protect and defend the constitution..." but there is more to completethat sentence "...from all enemies, foreigh and domestic." I didn't take an oath that told me I could choose what the Constitution means, or how it should be applied. I took an oath to defend it, pure and simple. The left is hardly an appropriate source for Constitutional interpretations. When I read it, there is no word/phrase that includes: mother, fetus, conception, abortion,murder, or right to choose. Yet there are those who read it and "very clearly" see it.

Those who have served in combat will tell you that they don't fight for a flag, or for the constitution or anything else. They fight for their friends next to them. At that moment, it is that simple. They may have enlisted or been commissioned for another reason, but that is what they fight for when called upon to do so. I fought for my friends,for my honor, for the honor of the Marine Corps.

What is not so simple is the constitution that you choose to interpret. The rights that apply to people captured in war are very different than the rights you have when arrested for shoplifting or whatever. There is no guaranteed 4th, 6th, or 8th Amendment protections for POWs, detainees, or whatever they are labeled.

A broken finger in exchange for 3,000 lives? Works for me. They strap bombs to themselves to kill as many as possible. Do you think they are impressed by you sticking daisies in their weapon barrels?

September 22, 2006 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert continues to fail to grasp the point of all of this.

He fails to grasp that he wants us to be the Soviets........

Read....

Whether we torture or not isn't about what it does to them; it's about what it does to US.

I love my country more than that, you fascist idiot.

- oddjob

September 22, 2006 2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those willing to turn us into a torturing police state in order to be safe from an ancient human problem that won't go away because you use torture on it fail to realize that they are advocating the destruction of a 200+ year old experiment in human society known as the United States of America and replacing it with the same old shit the rest of the world has struggled to release itself from since the dawn of time.

NO THANKS!

- oddjob

Those willing to sacrifice essential liberty for a certain temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security.

September 22, 2006 2:21 PM  
Blogger Auntie Roo said...

Robert-
Pumpkin, your comments have a lot of misconceptions about liberals sprinkled throughout them. Since when did abhoring torture become a form of pacifism?

And when did torture become the preferred method of obtaining reliable intel?

I am saddened that there are Americans like you that are willing to give up so much of what makes America the great nation it has been in exchange for a false sense of security.

Pumpkin, you go ahead & hide under the bed (in your piss-soaked pants) from the Islamic bogeyman, whimpering & praying that Bush will protect you.

You have a higher probability of dying in a car wreck than from terrorism. But that doesn't keep you from driving or riding in a car does it? Didn't you ever wonder how some risks became more terrifying to you than others?

Torture is wrong!

On preview - excellent points Oddjob!

September 22, 2006 2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert's definitions are fundamentally out of sorts with international norms, and the experience of the world and its leaders, including Menachem Begin. (Hat tip, Andrew Sullivan.)

I agree with Sullivan, only weaklings clamor for torture.

- oddjob

September 22, 2006 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...much as a good hunter trains his hounds to bring the game to him rather than eating it, a good ruler has to restrain his henchmen from devouring the prey lest he be left empty-handed. Investigation is a subtle process, requiring patience and fine analytical ability, as well as a skill in cultivating one's sources.

When torture is condoned, these rare talented people leave the service, having been outstripped by less gifted colleagues with their quick-fix methods, and the service itself degenerates into a playground for sadists.


- Vladimir Bukovsky (via conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan)

- oddjob

September 22, 2006 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are now at least FIVE former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs who have publicly come out in opposition to Bush's policies.

But Robert & Pumpkin know so much better.............

- oddjob

September 22, 2006 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...why would democratically elected leaders of the United States ever want to legalize what a succession of Russian monarchs strove to abolish? Why run the risk of unleashing a fury that even Stalin had problems controlling? Why would anyone try to "improve intelligence-gathering capability" by destroying what was left of it? Frustration? Ineptitude? Ignorance? Or, has their friendship with a certain former KGB lieutenant colonel, V. Putin, rubbed off on the American leaders? I have no answer to these questions, but I do know that if Vice President Cheney is right and that some "cruel, inhumane or degrading" (CID) treatment of captives is a necessary tool for winning the war on terrorism, then the war is lost already.

- Vladimir Bukovsky (via Andrew Sullivan)

- oddjob

September 22, 2006 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I should add that it is essential to the integrity of language and law that the word torture not be defined out of existence. Waterboarding, hypothermia, long-time-standing, and various forms of stress positions are torture, have always been torture and always will be torture. What we must do is what Orwell demanded: speak plain English before it evaporates from our discourse, refuse to acquiesce to the corruption of language and decency.

- Andrew Sullivan

- oddjob

September 22, 2006 2:46 PM  

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