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US Condoned Torture According to NonPartisan Report

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rocketsjudoka, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/16/us-usa-guantanamo-idUSBRE93F00Y20130416

    U.S. condoned torture after 9/11, must close Guantanamo: report

    (Reuters) - An independent task force issued a damning review of Bush-era interrogation practices on Tuesday, saying the highest U.S. officials bore ultimate responsibility for the "indisputable" use of torture, and it urged President Barack Obama to close the Guantanamo detention camp by the end of 2014.

    In one of the most comprehensive studies of U.S. treatment of terrorism suspects, the panel concluded that never before had there been "the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody."

    "It is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture," the 11-member task force, assembled by the nonpartisan Constitution Project think tank, said in their 577-page report.

    The scathing critique of methods used under the Republican administration of former President George W. Bush also sharpened the focus on the plight of inmates at Guantanamo, which Bush opened and his Democratic successor has failed to close.

    Obama banned abusive interrogation techniques such as waterboarding when he took office in early 2009, but the military prison at the U.S. Naval Base in Cuba has remained an object of condemnation by human rights advocates.

    A clash between guards and prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay camp last weekend and the release of harrowing accounts by inmates about force-feeding of hunger strikers threw a harsh spotlight on the predicament of the inmates, many held without charge or trial for more than a decade.

    The task force deemed indefinite detention of prisoners at Guantanamo "abhorrent and intolerable" and called for it to be closed by the end of 2014 when NATO's combat mission in Afghanistan is due to end and most U.S. troops will leave.

    By then, the 166 Guantanamo prisoners should be tried in civilian or military courts, repatriated or transferred to countries that would not torture them, or moved to U.S. jails, the task force's majority recommended.

    But the 2014 goal will be hard to achieve because of legal, legislative and political obstacles Obama faces. While the White House says he remains committed to shutting Guantanamo, he has offered no new path to doing so in his second term.

    Panel members said they have offered to meet Obama aides to discuss their findings but had received no response so far.

    The release of the encyclopedic report comes in the midst of the latest round of allegations of abuse at Guantanamo, which has become an enduring symbol of widely criticized Bush-era counterterrorism practices. Military officials say 43 prisoners are currently on a hunger strike there.

    'TRUTH COMMISSION'

    Members of the task force described themselves as the closest thing to a "truth commission" since Obama decided early in his presidency against convening a national investigation of post-9/11 practices.

    The panel, which included leading politicians from both parties, two U.S. retired generals and legal, medical and ethics scholars, spent two years examining the U.S. treatment of suspected militants detained after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

    Panel members interviewed former Clinton, Bush and Obama administration officials, military officers and former prisoners, and the investigation looked at U.S. practices at Guantanamo, in Afghanistan and Iraq and at the CIA's former secret prisons overseas.

    The task force was chaired by Asa Hutchinson, a Republican former congressman and undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security during the George W. Bush administration, and James Jones, a Democratic former congressman who served as U.S. ambassador to Mexico.

    While acknowledging that Bush-era policymakers were driven by fears of further attacks, the panel insisted this was no excuse for resorting to torture, which it said "occurred in many instances and across a wide range of theaters."

    And the panel concluded there was no "persuasive evidence" that such techniques yielded "significant information of value."

    "The nation's highest officials bear some responsibility for allowing and contributing to the spread of torture," the report said, though it did not name names.

    While reserving most of its criticism for the former Bush administration, the report also accused Obama of not doing enough to ease official secrecy surrounding detentions.

    The task force, while concluding that U.S. and international laws were violated, did not recommend criminal action against anyone involved but it did press for tighter rules to prevent a recurrence of torture.

    "We as a nation have to get this right," Hutchinson told a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington.

    The panel urged the Obama administration to release as much classified information as possible to help understand what went wrong. "Publicly acknowledging this grave error, however belatedly, may ... help undo some of the damage to our reputation at home and abroad," the report said.

    The sweeping report cataloged interrogation techniques such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation and chaining prisoners in painful positions.

    The task force concluded that force-feeding hunger striking detainees is "a form of abuse and must end" and called on the United States to abide by international medical standards.

    The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross last week expressed opposition to the force-feeding of prisoners and said he urged Obama to do more to resolve the "untenable" legal plight of inmates held there.

    In a sign of divisions within the panel itself, Hutchinson was one of two members who dissented on the recommendation to close Guantanamo by the end of next year.

    The hunger strike began in February to protest the seizure of personal items from detainees' cells. About a dozen are being force-fed liquid meals through tubes.

    Guards swept through communal cell blocks at the camp on Saturday and moved the prisoners into one-man cells.

    "The action was taken to ensure the health and safety of the detainees not to 'break' the hunger strike," said Navy Captain Robert Durand, a spokesman for the Guantanamo detention center.
     
  2. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    Nothing new really. Bush sucks and screw you Cheney.
     
  3. Aceshigh7

    Aceshigh7 Contributing Member

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    There is nothing wrong with the use of non-lethal and non-maiming torture such as the U.S employed during the Bush years. It was and is absolutely necessary when dealing with the terroristic enemies we are facing in this age, who adhere to absolutely no conventions or levels of decency.

    The liberals who have cowered our government into disavowing enhanced interrogation methods have succeeded in making our country less safe, and empowered our enemies.
     
  4. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    Torture is torture and you obviously dont know **** about what you're talking about.
     
  5. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    You are incorrect that torture is needed to keep us safe. That isn't true and torture has been shown to be ineffective in gaining consistently reliable information.

    You are also incorrect that it's liberals who are gotten the govt. to shy away from using torture. The people who convinced the govt. to do it were many including those who fought for the nation in WWII. They include those who were tortured by the "non-lethal and non-maiming" torture such as water boarding that was done by the Japanese on American POW's. It was brought on by the armed services who felt that torturing our enemies would open more American prisoners up to torture themselves. It was brought on by interrogators who learned that there more reliable and efficient methods of getting accurate information.

    I'm glad that my own father who fought for the U.S. in the pacific during WWII fought for an America that didn't believe in torture. I would hope most people don't share your corrupted view of what this great nation stands for.

    You are misinformed or mission a lot of information on the subject.
     
  6. Aceshigh7

    Aceshigh7 Contributing Member

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    Such an intelligent reply... Please post more.

    I know if I was a combatant on either side I'd much rather be "tortured" by the U.S government than by Al Qaeda.

    Are you really so ignorant that you can't tell the difference between waterboarding which leaves no damage as compared to what islamist terrorist do to their prisoners? How many prisoners has the U.S killed? How many captives has Al Qaeda killed?

    If you're an American and you're captured by an Al Qaeda affiliated group you are pretty much as good as dead. If you're a terrorist captured by the U.S you'll endure some discomfort but you know you will not be maimed or murdered.
     
  7. Aceshigh7

    Aceshigh7 Contributing Member

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    You couldn't be more wrong. And you're reference to WW2 vets is not relevant to the current conversation.

    Your father and all those of the greatest generation fought against a conventional enemy. Not the terrorists that we face today. And while the Japanese were known to be ruthless and murderous to their prisoners, it's fairly safe to say that a prisoner had a better chance of making it out of Japanese captivity than Al Qaeda captivity.

    Without enhanced interrogation techniques, it is very likely that Bin Laden would still be alive at this time. But at least you could say you live in a country that "doesn't believe in torture".

    Sounds like a trade you'd be willing to make.

    You ****ing bleeding hearts make me sick. You people will be the downfall of this nation.
     
  8. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    It depends on which prisoners you're talking about. I know that early on in the war some prisoners of the Taliban were treated relatively humanely and not tortured. Others were murdered, and the different groups have treated their prisoners differently. It's hard to make a blanket statement about the treatment of the prisoners.

    What we do know is that Army and other armed forces have been in favor not waterboarding and not torturing because they believe that when we don't our prisoners have better chance at humane torture (among other reasons).

    I also want to point out that it is possible to die from waterboarding. There also other damage that can be done from waterboarding. It isn't likely but it is certainly possible. It was tactic that WWII veterans and POW's faced, and wanted to be sure it was labeled as torture.

    I'd also like to point out that as an American I would hope our nation sets it's sights a little higher than not treating prisoners quite as bad as Al-Qaeda. I don't think it's too much to ask our nation and our standards are a little higher.

    But even if they weren't, the fact that torture isn't as effective as other interrogation methods, I'd rather stick with what works.
     
  9. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    Once this nation trades in it's values it's already into the downfall. What you said about Bin Laden certainly isn't provable with what we know so I won't bother arguing with you about that. But we do know from interrogators that other high level Al-Qaeda members who were captured gave up all their relevant information without the use of torture. Once the CIA came in and started using the enhanced interrogation techniques the prisoners gave up the same information they'd already given up before that was accurate, but then continued to provide more information that turned out to be false, but they just kept talking to get the torture to stop. This caused the U.S. to waste manpower, resources, and supplies chasing false leads. Those men, resources and supplies could have been put use toward real threats, and thus torture endangered our troops more than they would have been without the U.S. using it. That's the main reason to not use it. So that we can fight smarter and better save our troops and dedicated men and women fighting.

    Please don't spout BS about people who disagree with you being the ruin of this nation. We can disagree on how to get there, but we both want to triumph over terrorism and terrorists.
     
  10. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    I thought Obama was going to shut this down? huh
     
  11. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    What is this thing where you post some idiotic bull**** and that somehow requires a reply other than calling it what it is?

    Waterboarding, sensory and keep deprivation are torture. This "enhanced interrogation" phrase is a specialty of modern conservatism where you guys take a word and then try to create a new bull**** meaning by simply using a new phrase. It's not torture, it's enhanced interrogation *wink**wink*. Give me a freaking break.

    Whatever Al-Qaeda does to people doesn't make it okay for us to do. We have a certain set of morals that we don't throw out the window when it's convenient.
     
  12. AXG

    AXG Member

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    Not sure if serious. If the enemy has no compassion, why should we? The ends justify the means.
     
  13. Pringles

    Pringles Member

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    USA have to set the leading example. Of course terrorists will treat their prisoners worse than we do. They have no morals.

    USA were founded on a set of principles. The downfall of this nation will be when we go away from those set of principles.
     
  14. Pringles

    Pringles Member

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    If I'm not mistaken, the US under the Bush administration have tortured suspects that may or may not be actually terrorists. Surely you wouldn't want that?

    "many held without charge or trial for more than a decade."

    If we were to ever torture terrorists, than they should go through a fair trial first.
     
  15. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    yeah, it's not like the United States violating its' own constitution, and brazenly violating its' own values and international values is an end to a means for say a terrorist organization.

    seriously, A-Q has been a major political force in the US. y'all are getting played. say goodbye to Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendment rights taken for granted, say goodbye to "America the moral leader", and for what, a bunch of people who wanted to damage America (and did more indirectly than they could ever hope to do directly?)
     
  16. tallanvor

    tallanvor Contributing Member

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    We need a non-partisan report to determine if this report is non-partisan.......
     
  17. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    Following our own laws is the minimum thats expected of us. That's not compassion.

    The mean is torture but you don't really know the ends because that's incalculable and that's the problem with your trite phrase.
     
  18. Nextup

    Nextup Member

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    This is the way it works. What would you prefer the government to do? Maybe instead of Guantanamo bay we should take the prisoners to the Hilton.
     
  19. brantonli24

    brantonli24 Member

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    To bring in an international perspective, it is precisely because the world knows of US's violation of human rights, that the US has lost all moral ground in pressuring other countries to do the same. If the US is doing the same, why can't other countries torture their dissidents?
     
  20. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    Too bad when he tried congress stopped him.
     

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