AerospaceFan
Topic Author
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Sun May 21, 2006 1:19 pm

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Convention Against Torture, should the U.S. do the honest thing and withdraw from the treaty on the basis that it is no longer applicable in the age of war against terror?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
What's fair is fair.
 
Alias1024
Posts: 2224
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 11:13 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Sun May 21, 2006 1:34 pm

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.
 
AerospaceFan
Topic Author
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Sun May 21, 2006 1:38 pm

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]
What's fair is fair.
 
dw9115
Posts: 382
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 1:54 pm

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Sun May 21, 2006 1:46 pm

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.
 
NWA742
Posts: 4505
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 11:35 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Sun May 21, 2006 2:02 pm

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
Some people are like slinkies - not good for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs
 
Mir
Posts: 19092
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Sun May 21, 2006 2:48 pm

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
 
CPH-R
Posts: 6058
Joined: Thu May 03, 2001 5:19 pm

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Sun May 21, 2006 2:51 pm

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?
 
We're Nuts
Posts: 4723
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2000 6:12 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Sun May 21, 2006 3:02 pm

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.
 
dw9115
Posts: 382
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 1:54 pm

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Sun May 21, 2006 9:43 pm

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.
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12362
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Sun May 21, 2006 10:15 pm

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.
 
Falcon84
Posts: 13775
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:52 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Sun May 21, 2006 10:22 pm

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.
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
AerospaceFan
Topic Author
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Sun May 21, 2006 10:57 pm

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.
What's fair is fair.
 
dw9115
Posts: 382
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 1:54 pm

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Sun May 21, 2006 11:16 pm

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.
 
AerospaceFan
Topic Author
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Sun May 21, 2006 11:44 pm

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!
What's fair is fair.
 
11Bravo
Posts: 1678
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:54 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Mon May 22, 2006 1:11 am

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!
 
Falcon84
Posts: 13775
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:52 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Mon May 22, 2006 1:31 am

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
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
Mir
Posts: 19092
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Mon May 22, 2006 5:57 am

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
 
greasespot
Posts: 2955
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 10:48 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Mon May 22, 2006 6:36 am

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?"
 
777236ER
Posts: 12213
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 7:10 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Mon May 22, 2006 6:43 am

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.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
JGPH1A
Posts: 15080
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 4:36 pm

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Mon May 22, 2006 6:44 am

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.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
dw9115
Posts: 382
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 1:54 pm

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Mon May 22, 2006 9:32 am

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.
 
Pope
Posts: 3995
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 5:57 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Mon May 22, 2006 10:23 am

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.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
Falcon84
Posts: 13775
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2004 11:52 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Mon May 22, 2006 10:31 am

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.
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
Pope
Posts: 3995
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 5:57 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Mon May 22, 2006 10:58 am

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.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
11Bravo
Posts: 1678
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:54 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Mon May 22, 2006 1:27 pm

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!
 
Doona
Posts: 3382
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 9:43 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Mon May 22, 2006 4:09 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
no longer applicable in the age of war against terror?

"No longer applicable"?! I hope you mean "no longer practical"... When you stoop to someone's level, you are no better than them.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 2):
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.

AFAIK, UNCAT was started in 1987, and there were plenty of problems with guerilla warfare back then. And BTW, guerilla warfare and terrorism are not the same thing.

Cheers
Mats
Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
 
AerospaceFan
Topic Author
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Mon May 22, 2006 4:21 pm

Quoting Doona (Reply 25):
"No longer applicable"?! I hope you mean "no longer practical"... When you stoop to someone's level, you are no better than them.

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 one means that one has "stooped" to being declasse'. As you suggest, perhaps it's a matter of practicality; and yet practicality has its virtues.

Quoting Doona (Reply 25):
AFAIK, UNCAT was started in 1987, and there were plenty of problems with guerilla warfare back then. And BTW, guerilla warfare and terrorism are not the same thing.

It's not a particularly persuasive argument against withdrawing from the treaty to say that guerilla warfare has always existed in the past. Crime has always existed in the past, but this doesn't mean that current methods of addressing it aren't more useful than previous ones. Times do change, even though certain things stay the same.
What's fair is fair.
 
Doona
Posts: 3382
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 9:43 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Mon May 22, 2006 8:06 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 26):
As you suggest, perhaps it's a matter of practicality; and yet practicality has its virtues.

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 officials say that torture isn't a reliable source for information. Put starter-cables to a guy's nuts and he'll probably tell you anything to get you to stop.

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 26):
Times do change, even though certain things stay the same.

I totally agree with you on this, but when it comes to treating people inhumanly for the purpose of helping others I have to draw a line.And how can we dictate to others not to use torture if we do it ourselves? I read the argument "if they do it, why don't we?", and that's a reasonable point, but it does not solve anything. It just creates a spiral of violence.

We're never going to be able to win and kill everyone with whom we do not agree, so why not try to become a leader by example instead?

Cheers
Mats
Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
 
AerospaceFan
Topic Author
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

RE: Should The U.S. Withdraw From The Uncat?

Tue May 23, 2006 2:41 am

Quoting Doona (Reply 27):
Of course practicality has virtues, but how practical is torture in the long run?

I don't know; I suppose that it would be up to the experts to provide any justification.

Quoting Doona (Reply 27):
I read the argument "if they do it, why don't we?", and that's a reasonable point, but it does not solve anything.

That's one argument, but I don't believe I've raised it in this thread.
What's fair is fair.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: TheF15Ace and 7 guests