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Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?  
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1356 times:

Now that a UN panel has criticized the United States for allegedly violating the United Nations Convention Against Torture, should the U.S. do the honest thing and withdraw from the treaty on the basis that it is no longer applicable in the age of war against terror?

See coverage of the criticism in, e.g.,

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...le=/c/a/2006/05/20/MNGMFIVF4S1.DTL

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2763 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1350 times:

No

It would be more of a PR nightmare than the incidents mentioned in the UNCAT report. Many around the world would interpret it as the US giving its blessing to torture of prisoners. A move like that would do nothing but piss off more of the world, increase hatred of the US in the middle east, and give idiots like Ahmedinejad, Castro, and Kim Jong Il more fodder for their anti-American rhetoric.



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1349 times:

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 1):
No

It would be more of a PR nightmare than the incidents mentioned in the UNCAT report. Many around the world would interpret it as the US giving its blessing to torture of prisoners.

That's a good answer.

I do find it annoying that the U.S. is increasingly tied to some of these treaties that don't take into account the changes in the world that have occurred. Many treaties were written before anyone could believe that the vital interests of modern Western countries could be as threatened as it is today by guerilla warfare.

I would say that if the U.S. is going to be hated anyway, why not be hated for doing something that frees it from restrictions that it may deem unwarranted?

[Edited 2006-05-21 06:39:17]

User currently offlineDw9115 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 449 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1335 times:

The UN has become obsolete no one listens to them because they have no backbone and without the US or Great Britain the UN would cease to be.

User currently offlineNWA742 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1333 times:

Quoting Dw9115 (Reply 3):
The UN has become obsolete no one listens to them because they have no backbone

Blix: I'm sorry, but the UN must be firm with you! Let' me see your whole palace, or else!

Kim: Or erse, what?

Blix: Or else we will be very, very angry with you, and we will write you a letter telling you how angry we are.






-NWA742


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21654 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1322 times:

Well, if we're going to torture, then yes we should withdraw from it.

But I'm of the opinion that the best course of action would be to stay in the treaty, and not torture.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently onlineCPH-R From Denmark, joined May 2001, 6005 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1321 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 2):
I do find it annoying that the U.S. is increasingly tied to some of these treaties that don't take into account the changes in the world that have occurred. Many treaties were written before anyone could believe that the vital interests of modern Western countries could be as threatened as it is today by guerilla warfare.

I do hope you're joking - there's been terror in the world prior to 9/11 (RAF, IRA etc) so why the hell should the fact that the US was hit, suddently change the rules?


User currently offlineWe're Nuts From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5722 posts, RR: 19
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1316 times:

Quoting CPH-R (Reply 6):
why the hell should the fact that the US was hit, suddently change the rules?

Because We Are The World. Doesn't EuroDisney have a CD store?



Dear moderators: No.
User currently offlineDw9115 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 449 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1287 times:

Quoting CPH-R (Reply 6):
I do hope you're joking - there's been terror in the world prior to 9/11 (RAF, IRA etc) so why the hell should the fact that the US was hit, suddently change the rules?


Because we are not going to stand around and tell them that was not nice and they should stop it while they keep attacking us like a lot of other countries. Spain let them push them around. The US and Britian on the other hand said go F**k your self and now we are going to kill you because you should have never f**ked with us.


User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13120 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1282 times:

The USA cannot withdraw from USCAT, or else it's military forces will be subjet to torture by the 'enemy' as a standard part of their attack plans.
To me there needs to be an update to the convention to better deal with the growing situation of those with non-state organized terror groups like al-Queda. We must fill in the loopholes that the US Attorney General and his advisors found interpeting USCAT to as to the term 'illegal combantants' and believing that by inference that UNCAT didn't apply to them. You also need direction from the Civilian and Military leaders (Bush and Rumsfeld at the top) that will not tolerate any violations in the first place. Unfrotuntally, the common citizen in the USA after 9/11 essencally gave our government a free pass to use torture against those who committed the acts of 9/11, to prevent another 9/11 or worse terror attack or anyone who attacks our forces in the war on terror. Far too many politicans including Democrats and Republicans from the President on down wanting to be elected/re-elected talked 'tough and effectively encouaged torture as well. The common citizen must not accept such beheavor even after 9/11 or our problems in Iraq and Afganistan. They must call for investigations and criminal proceedings against our leaders by our judical and legisgature (Congress/Senate), to act upon those whom encouraged the anti-USCAT policy and in turn let lower level soldiers do acts like in the jails who commited such acts as felt they were allowed.


User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1280 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Now that a UN panel has criticized the United States for allegedly violating the United Nations Convention Against Torture, should the U.S. do the honest thing and withdraw from the treaty on the basis that it is no longer applicable in the age of war against terror?

Translation: if the U.N. doesn't like something we do, we should just withdraw from it.

You mean, like a child taking his ball home when the other kids don't like how he plays?

In other words, that's childish. Especially since the U.S. SHOULD be cricisized for Gitmo, and a few other incidents since 9/11. Things that are the anthesis of what the U.S. should be about.

The U.S. should take the criticism "like a man", as it were, and start acting like the nation it has been for 230 years, when it comes to this subject.


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1271 times:

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 9):
The USA cannot withdraw from USCAT, or else it's military forces will be subjet to torture by the 'enemy' as a standard part of their attack plans.

Interesting point. Then perhaps the solution is the propose a rider to the treaty to allow certain forms of physical pressure when truth is at a premium, as appears to be an exception in any event.

Let's examine this issue carefully. Should it be true that only one suspect knows the location of a deadly weapon of mass destruction about to detonate in five minutes, should treaty obligations prevent a government from doing all it can to extract this information? Arguably, the issues that confront governments in real life are different only in degree.


User currently offlineDw9115 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 449 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1266 times:

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 9):
The USA cannot withdraw from USCAT, or else it's military forces will be subjet to torture by the 'enemy' as a standard part of their attack plans.


Yes we can because the people we fight do not care about USCAT.


User currently offlineAerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1256 times:

Quoting Dw9115 (Reply 12):
Yes we can because the people we fight do not care about USCAT.

That's a pretty powerful response. Good show!


User currently offline11Bravo From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1720 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1243 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 13):
That's a pretty powerful response. Good show!

..., and it shouldn't stop there either. We should endeavor to do all the other things that our enemies do as well. I'm really tired of upholding the long standing traditions of due process, liberty, justice, and democracy. The world will be a much better place once we all realize that being barbaric terrorists should be our true aspiration.



WhaleJets Rule!
User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1237 times:

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 14):
Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 13):
That's a pretty powerful response. Good show!

..., and it shouldn't stop there either. We should endeavor to do all the other things that our enemies do as well. I'm really tired of upholding the long standing traditions of due process, liberty, justice, and democracy. The world will be a much better place once we all realize that being barbaric terrorists should be our true aspiration

Either that is full of sarcasm, or that's part of a resume to get into Bush's Inner Circle.  Big grin


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21654 posts, RR: 55
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1208 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 11):
Should it be true that only one suspect knows the location of a deadly weapon of mass destruction about to detonate in five minutes, should treaty obligations prevent a government from doing all it can to extract this information?

This is a hypothetical situation that people love to trot out there, but the truth is that the ticking time bomb scenario is flawed. Firstly, are you ever going to know for certain that one person has the information you want? How would you? Because another prisoner told you they did? How do you know that that prisoner is telling the truth? Do you torture that prisoner as well, to make sure that they're telling the truth about who you should torture? Secondly, there is no guarantee that torture will get that information out of anyone, particularly people who have been trained to resist it. Thirdly, this scenario never happens - either you pick up the signs of an attack in advance and stop it that way (not difficult for a skilled intelligence agency), or you don't, and it does happen. Fortunately, the latter case rarely results in loss of life on a large-scale. 9/11 was an anomaly, but had the FBI and CIA been on the ball with regards to terrorism, chances are very good that it would have been stopped.

Quoting Dw9115 (Reply 12):
Yes we can because the people we fight do not care about USCAT.

Yeah, and stooping to their level will really show them. Perhaps it will even make them like us more!  Yeah sure

It's not about who they are, it's about who WE are. (to quote Sen. McCain)

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineGreasespot From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 3084 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 1198 times:

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 11):
Should it be true that only one suspect knows the location of a deadly weapon of mass destruction about to detonate in five minutes, should treaty obligations prevent a government from doing all it can to extract this information?

Besides does anyone in here really think that if this situation ever truly presented itself that a piece of paper would prevent the gov't from doing every thing possible?

The treaty stops the gov't from resorting to torture just because they are fishing for information...

Part of what make/ made america great wa it's commitment to human rights. They were the leaders in the "we will not stoop to your level type of response"

Now the fact that people are even discussing what is torture and with drawing from a treaty because they get a scolding is disturbing....

GS



Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 1195 times:

Quoting Dw9115 (Reply 3):
The UN has become obsolete no one listens to them because they have no backbone and without the US or Great Britain the UN would cease to be.



Quoting Dw9115 (Reply 12):

Yes we can because the people we fight do not care about USCAT.

What nonsense is this? If the US withdraws from UNCAT, or even the UN, it lose all its allies over night. The EU would condemn it. Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Japan and all of the Middle East would condemn it. Here in the UK, we would condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

The people in the US who think the UN doesn't matter tend to be the ones who haven't even left their state, let alone left the country.

If the US becomes entirely isolationalist, regularly tortures people and don't seem to have any positive contribution to the climate change problem that at least the rest of the world acknowledges, then expect significant backlash, especially from countries who used to be allies. The US isn't invincible.


User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 1195 times:

Quoting Dw9115 (Reply 8):
Spain let them push them around. The US and Britian on the other hand said go F**k your self and now we are going to kill you because you should have never f**ked with us.

Spain has a great deal more direct experience of terrorism than US will ever have (with ETA) - so has the UK, with the IRA (financed from the US btw, but funnily enough the UK didn't launch Tomahawk missiles at Boston). Both of these countries have engaged and beaten their terrorist threats (beaten in the sense of these organisations are now no longer actively engaged in terrorist activities), via the due process of law, and by treating terrorists as criminals, and not "enemy combatants", without resorting to torture (well not much anyway, although I imagine nobody is 100% squeaky-clean on this). These are lessons the U.S. could maybe learn something from.


User currently offlineDw9115 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 449 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1179 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 19):
Both of these countries have engaged and beaten their terrorist threats (beaten in the sense of these organisations are now no longer actively engaged in terrorist activities), via the due process of law, and by treating terrorists as criminals, and not "enemy combatants",

And it only took 90 years while hundreds of people died.


User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1160 times:

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 9):
The USA cannot withdraw from USCAT, or else it's military forces will be subjet to torture by the 'enemy' as a standard part of their attack plans.

Has there been a single conflict since the US entered that treaty where our enemy hasn't tortured one of our POW's?

While I understand the argument of not sinking to their level, I don't buy the argument that if we don't do it, the other side won't.


User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1154 times:

Quoting Pope (Reply 21):
While I understand the argument of not sinking to their level, I don't buy the argument that if we don't do it, the other side won't.

Agreed. Torture happens, sadly, in any conflict. The U.S. record isn't squeaky clean in this regard-there isn't a nations on earth who's reacord is spotless in this regard, but the U.S.'s record is far better than most nations on this planet, I suspect.

There's always the urge to say "well, the other guy is doing it, so why don't we." Several reasons. 1. Two wrongs don't make a right, and 2. I don't think this nation, collectively, could live with itself if we were a nation that consistently and conciously tortured unarmed prisoners. Heck, Abu Gharib, as far as torture goes, was mild compared with the history of torture, and it sparked much outrage in this nation.

Imagine if we had a record like Pol Pot, Adopf Hitler, Josef Stalin or Idi Amin? then again, if we did, we wouldn't be a free nation.


User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1147 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 22):
There's always the urge to say "well, the other guy is doing it, so why don't we." Several reasons. 1. Two wrongs don't make a right, and 2. I don't think this nation, collectively, could live with itself if we were a nation that consistently and conciously tortured unarmed prisoners. Heck, Abu Gharib, as far as torture goes, was mild compared with the history of torture, and it sparked much outrage in this nation.

Suprisingly we seem to be on the same side of this issue. My concern is that in this day and age of terrrorism, treaties between countries mean less and less. For example HAMAS has never entered into a treaty with the US on this. Neither has Al-Quaeda, the Islamic Jihad or any of the other of hundred of terrorist groups around the world.

While I don't think the US should be proud when it has to resort to using torture, the fact of the matter is that in certain occassions it can lead to useful information. I know - many experts say that torture rarely leads to good intelligence because the person being tortured will say anything to get it to stop if enough torture is inflicted but sometimes that isn't the case.

IMO, and I'll note that I have the luxury of saying this while sitting behind my computer all safe in my home, torture is a choice between multiple evils. Sometimes, it must be used. We shouldn't be proud of it; we shouldn't want to use it; but sometimes we have to use it and we shouldn't take it off the table.


User currently offline11Bravo From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1720 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1127 times:

For me this op-ed piece by John McCain is the last word on the subject.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10019179/site/newsweek/

I've been asked often where did the brave men I was privileged to serve with in North Vietnam draw the strength to resist to the best of their abilities the cruelties inflicted on them by our enemies. They drew strength from their faith in each other, from their faith in God and from their faith in our country. Our enemies didn't adhere to the Geneva Conventions. Many of my comrades were subjected to very cruel, very inhumane and degrading treatment, a few of them unto death. But every one of us---every single one of us---knew and took great strength from the belief that we were different from our enemies, that we were better than them, that we, if the roles were reversed, would not disgrace ourselves by committing or approving such mistreatment of them. That faith was indispensable not only to our survival, but to our attempts to return home with honor. For without our honor, our homecoming would have had little value to us.

Sen. John McCain



WhaleJets Rule!
25 Doona : "No longer applicable"?! I hope you mean "no longer practical"... When you stoop to someone's level, you are no better than them. AFAIK, UNCAT was st
26 AerospaceFan : True, but withdrawing from the treaty does not mean stooping to anyone's level, any more than selling one's house and moving into a somewhat smaller
27 Doona : Of course practicality has virtues, but how practical is torture in the long run? I've heard loads of interrogation experts and high-ranking military
28 AerospaceFan : I don't know; I suppose that it would be up to the experts to provide any justification. That's one argument, but I don't believe I've raised it in t
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