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Monday, April 20, 2009

Just So We're Clear

This song is terrible: I'm a little burnt out on the setting of quirky and/or willfully inappropriate texts in general, but I'm willing to forgive a lot on aesthetic grounds. Rock Cookie Bottom man, you get no mercy. BUT. He did draw my attention to this text, which is utterly insane. They define the ban on inflicting "pain and suffering" to mean that inflicting suffering is okay, as long as it's not accompanied by pain. But for that to make sense, the converse would also have to be true—that pain is okay, as long as it's not accompanied by suffering—which would mean what exactly? What's pain minus suffering? Is that when there are safewords? How are these people still practicing and teaching law? And what can I do, as an ordinary American, within the bounds of the law, to cause them personal harm?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

You have to understand that this was written at a critical time in our nation's history. The army field guide lays out the framework on how to treat prisoners captured on the battle field but could not foresee how the nature of battle has evolved. Asymmetrical warfare was not taken into account when the manual was written.

The prevailing notion was that the said instruction where to be followed when interrogating a uniformed soldier from an enemy nation-state. Our country's current conflict is absent of any such nation and potentially involves actors from nationalized citizens within our boarders. The decision was made to spell out exactly what was permissible in light of this new conflict to insure the nation's safety. In fairness those who induce this form of rendition are made to endure this form of "torture" so as to be prepared to use it with discipline and restraint.

It may not be popular but it is a necessary procedure to take in order to keep the country safe and it should be said that no deaths where caused as a result of it's use. Like Jack Bauer of the fictional TV series twenty four, these directives allow service men to use drastic but restrained measures to insure your safety and I'm positive that those detained are treated far better then if one of our own soldiers where captured by our enemies. You may not like it but it's the price we pay for our freedoms.

Dan Johnson said...

Your first 2 paragaphs don't make sense. Why would it be okay to torture an Al Qaeda agent, but not a Nazi agent? The only answer I can see is that when it's an Al Qaeda terrorist, we can more or less get away with it, as we have.

Paragraph 3: 24 is a fantasy; torture doesn't work. And if, as you argue, these tortures can and should be used against American citizens, what "freedoms" of ours, exactly, are being "protected"? Why should I pay any "price" to live in a country where I don't have the right not to be tortured by my government without even being charged with a crime? Do you really expect me to feel relieved to live in a country that treats its prisoners better than our worst, most despised enemies treat their prisoners? Couldn't America please aim a little higher?

Danny smells a troll.

Anonymous said...

The first two paragraphs do make sense because the rules of engagement where different in WWII then in our current conflict. Al Qaeda, a name I admit we had given to a wide net of Islamic extremists, do not adhere to a set of rules or to a code of conduct. They are at war with western civilization in general and not with a nations military. How you fail to see the distinction is beyond me. Would YOU really want to live under Shira law?

The sad reality is that torture does and has worked. More than 500 or so threats have been mitigated because of this sense 9/11 and this is according to government sources.

You do bring up a salient point about how this conflict with Islamofasciasts affects or changes the nature of our liberties. But this has nothing to do with "torture".

This is a point worth discussing because this current administration has not only endorsed the Bush wiretapping law but as sought to enlarge it's scope. Furthermore Obama has determined that no one in the government past or present can be sued for wrongful suspicion and surveillance. And remember, Obama has not stopped what is going on in our detainment centers and I suspect that he won't at this point. Why is no one in an uproar about this?

Oh, and what does my height have to do with this? How insulting!

Dan Johnson said...

Wait is this the same Anonymous, or a different Anonymous?

Anonymous said...

The two are the same person.

Dan Johnson said...

Wait, was THAT the same Anonymous, or yet a third Anonymous? Why are you asking if I want to live under Sharia law? (No.) What sources are you getting that "500 threats mitigated" number from? And if you don't see anyone in an uproar about Obama's failure to take action against the US' treatment of detainees and wiretapping of citizens, then sweetie, you're readin' the wrong blogs.

patrioticallyanonymous said...

The source comes from one close to the situation in one Richard B Cheney. He has subsequently filled for a freedom of information request in order to prove his assertion. Numerous other heads of states and chief clandestine officers corroborate his claim including former prime minister Blair, and Director Hayden.

I as why you would want to subject yourself to Sharia law because had we not used enhanced rendition methods, you could have very well been subjected yourself to it as the encroaching Islamofasists continue to establish a caliphate. These methods may be considered harsh but where deemed necessary in order to insure your freedoms. And no one has been severely harmed or perished due to the use of these methods.

As for Obama, the world is falling in love with him. His first 100 days in office will be sure to garner an A rating even though he is enacting policies introduced by his predecessor. This time his willing accomplices in the press are telling us that he is doing wonderful things. Whatever blogs you are reading must be at the fringe of even the most daft of leftist radicals.

Dan Johnson said...

Haha, Dick Cheney says that the reports Dick Cheney ordered to demonstrate the efficacy of Dick Cheney's torture program will exonerate Dick Cheney? Well then, I trust him—after all, those reports Dick Cheney ordered to demonstrate that Dick Cheney needed to invade Iraq, to mitigate the threat of WMDs, turned out to be TOTALLY ON THE UP-AND-UP, and he is COMPLETELY IMPARTIAL, here.

And yes, of course I only read the very fringe of the most daft of the leftist radicals (daftest leftist, dot com, look it up), because I, being a homosexual atheist civil libertarian, want to live under Sharia law. And the best way to do that is by banning torture.

patrioticallyanonymous said...

Your argument makes no sense. Cheney is filing for memos from various departments and not just the white house to validate his claim. These independent documents will show that the use of harsh interrogation methods have yielded accurate and useful intelligence. Why he would ask for independent verification is beyond me except that it proves that what he has said is true. And we know on the matter of WMDs that there were in fact such weapons at Hussain's disposal. We know this because he has used it in armed conflict before. Both the former Clinton administrators, and various other foreign heads of state, and high level officials inside the UN concluded the same thing for more then a decade preceding our liberation of Iraq. We do not know what happened to his stockpile because his various stalling tactics gave him more than enough time to smuggle them out of the country. We where at fault only for being too even-handed.

I was unable to locate the URL that you had referred to in you second paragraph. Still, as a straight, white, fundamentalist chrstian, male, I would still protect your right to live your life as you deem fit so long as you do not infringe on the freedoms of others. How you can treat the freedom's we have so valiantly fought to give to you so flippantly only shows why the left will never have a lasting presence on the american political scene. I can guarantee that had Palin or Keyes became president they would have both kept you safe and kept your freedoms. Give credit where credit is due. Bush wasn't perfect but he kept you safe!

Dan Johnson said...

You're the best. ("Keyes"!)