Sunday, November 20, 2016

Whew Boy, Here We Go Again: Old Issue, New View, Same Crime, Same Result

McCain Again Takes the High Road

If Anyone Knows Anything About Torture It is John McCain
(Trump, Pompeo, and others should ask him)

Updated after the below was originally posted earlier:

VP-in-waiting Mike Pence (R-IN) it seems is as sick as Trump on this issue: Making torture national policy once again.

Pence refused to say whether or not the new Trump administration would rule out water boarding of the nation's enemies. In an interview on CBS “Face the Nation” Pence was asked to respond to Sen. John McCain's fiery remarks (see above and again here:  “I don't give a damn what the president of the United States wants to do… We will not water board. We will not torture.”

Pence went on to say: 
What I can tell you is going forward, as he outlined in that famous speech in Ohio, that a President Donald Trump is going to focus on confronting and defeating radical Islamic terrorism as a threat to this country. And we're going to have a president who will never say what we'll never do. I think in President-elect Donald Trump, you have someone who believes that we shouldn't be telling the enemy what our tactics or our strategies are.”

Call this a Mike Pence WTF moment:

I interject: Torture is not a military strategy nor combat tactic used to gain valuable military ground intelligence from a detainee. Torture of any kind is not a good step… torture, and please keep in mind has but one purpose and that is NOT to glean good actionable intelligence: The purpose of torture is to inflict pain and agony… period.

Also, allow me to say again, for maybe the millionth time that “Torture, and yes, water boarding is torture, is illegal, unlawful, and a war crime and has been for decades. It does not work, period.” (reference cited below from Cornell law).

The GOP has to get over their sick fixation with torture as a valuable aid to gain information in intelligence gathering… that is a false and dangerous and quite frankly, a very sick premise with 100% no legal or logical basis…

I know, I was an active duty Marine Corps interrogator for 10 years and later as a DOD civilian for some time after that. I know what I am talking about, but more importantly, I know the legal rules.

Additionally, secret White House memos that were written for Geo. W. Bush to justify torture, written by lawyers and advisers John Yoo, Jay Bybee, David Addington, and a few others does not justify breaking the law against torture in any way, or any other law for that matter. 

We are governed by law and not memos written to give opinions on the law that otherwise need no legal opinion. 

Finally, this is related and added for reinforcement on this issue:

1.  Torture is a crime (and a felony) – from Cornell Law.
2.  Torture, George Washington told his troops in 1775, brings “shame, disgrace, and ruin” to the country.
3.  Sen. John McCain previously called the CIA’s enhanced interrogation (buzzword for torture) tactics “shameful and unnecessary” and decried their employment.
4.  The UN expressly banned torture in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and twice underlined the position in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (adopted in 1966) and Convention Against Torture (adopted in 1984).
5.  Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions (1949) prohibits “violence of life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture,” as well as “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.”
6.  In our own Constitution, the Eighth Amendment, it is brilliant in its brevity: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
7.  Torture is also implicated in the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments.


This post is pretty much of what I had previously predicted and actually kind of expected. So, here we are again back on ugly street with the GOP about to have total control of government and ready to tackle the worst stain on America ever: The Issue of Torture, and just like “Johnny said: I'm bacccccck.” Now about to enter thanks to Donald J. Trump and Mike Pompeo, or so they claim:

Now enter Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and his fiery warning to President-elect Donald Trump, and anyone else, on the subject of torture. He said clearly to Trump and his CIA-nominee, Mike Pompeo, and their desire to resume water boarding and other extreme examples of torture:

I don’t give a damn what the president of the United States wants to do. We will not water board. We will not torture people… It doesn’t work.” (McCain speaking to an audience at the annual Halifax International Security Forum in Canada).

BACKGROUND: Trump for his part has repeatedly said that he would use much harsher measures against suspected terrorists saying at times: “We have to fight fire with fire. We have to fight so viciously and violently” against the Islamic State (when asked about torture and water boarding he asked a crowd who cheered) “What do you think about water boarding? I like it too, a lot. I don’t think it is tough enough.”

Then at a Republican primary debate in February, Trump vowed that he would “bring back a hell of a lot worse than water boarding.”

Now enter McCain, who knows a bit about torture – he spent 5 years in the Hanoi Hilton and subject to all sorts of shit; he reminded the audience that torture remains illegal under the Geneva Conventions and was also banned by Congress last year. 

That law, signed by President Obama, restricts interrogation techniques to those outlined by the U.S. Army Field Manual — which does not permit water boarding as one of the so-called “enhanced techniques” the fav GOP buzzword for torture.

Some conservatives argue that water boarding, practiced on terrorist suspects by the Bush administration in the mid-2000s until Congress banned it in 2005, does not meet the definition of torture.

Former top national security officials, including some who served under Bush, have predicted insubordination and resignations from the military and CIA if Trump orders them to torture.

Trump just recently announced that he would tap GOP Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) to head up the CIA.

Pompeo for his part has defended Bush-era interrogation programs that included water boarding and other techniques widely defined as torture as “within the law, within the constitution.” 

Pompeo also in 2014, criticized Mr. Obama for “ending our (enhanced) interrogation program” adding: “[our] intelligence officials are not torturers, they are patriots.” 

McCain summarized in his speech by saying: “Anyone who tries to resume torture would find themselves in court in a New York minute.”

There is nothing I can add except the tons posted below for a long time on this subject.

As I have said a million times: Torture (and yes, water boarding is torture) is and has been for a very long time illegal, unlawful, and a war crime.

Stay tuned - think Mr. Trump will back down - hardly.  I think he will push this to the limits ... hopefully he will be shot down quickly and effectively.

No comments: