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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Registered: 11/29/01
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Re: Carry on torture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Re: Rono]
    #784221 - 07/29/02 03:10 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

In reply to:

Funny...Pinky seemed to think it was pretty important...now that it shows the personality of the rest of the countries that didn't sign (besides Japan and Australia) it doesn't matter so much? hmmmm....



It doesn't matter to me which countries voted which way.
For the same reason that it didn't matter which countries (including Japan or Austrailia) voted against or abstained, it doesn't matter to me if pinky has reasons to belive it does matter, even though I don't think he said exactly that it does. I believe he said it was interesting that the article didn't mention which other coutries voted which way and why the writer of the original article didn't see fit to mention that. There can be many reasons to vote against something. Just as my reasons may differ from yours, can't my country have different reasons as well? Imagine if you will a vote for the least favorite food. Liver and onions may be the least favorite... to me because the taste of liver sucks... to you because you may not like onions.... to a vegetarian because he doesn't eat meat. All voted against but for different reasons.

In reply to:

To imply that because we were on the same side of the vote means that we either agree or disagree with these other countries is absurd. "Why is that absurd?..please explain."



See the above.

In reply to:

Perhaps you're right...but it's also readily apparent that there are those that will follow blindly.



True enough, but in my opinion, most US bashing is wrong, and in a large part motivated by a desire to see the US "conform" to the wishes of others. I would be ashamed of my leaders were they to follow blindly along.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: Carry on torture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Re: Rono]
    #784410 - 07/29/02 04:29 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

I think it's pretty clear that the reason the US abstained from the vote is because the US doesn't want any form of international law impinging on its sovereignty. The business about "state's rights" is just a red herring designed to deflect blame coming from the world community. The federal government defiles state's rights left, right, and center when it comes to their own programs or priorities. And what kind of assault on state's rights is it to have observers after all? Observers are just that, observers. They observe. They don't have the authority to tell prison authorities how to run their prisons. If they witness acts that fall under the convention's definition of torture, all they can do is report it back to the UN which will then take the matter up with representatives of the US federal government. The whole thing will create a major brouhaha and a massive catastrophe of "image management" but even then the UN has absolutely no way to FORCE the US to comply with the convention. All it can say is "You're violating the convention!"

Is the US government doing this to try to cover-up widespread and systematic use of torture in US prisons? You'd have to be a pretty hard core conspiracy freak to think so. Isolated acts of torture may occur, but systematic torture is just too ham-fisted and obviously illegal to be a tactic of first resort. With so many ambulance-chaser lawyers running around looking for the next Rodney King, this country hardly needs UN observers.

Basically, in the case of the US, this is all about national sovereignty. The US has no use for international courts and international regulatory standards, unless of course it serves our own interest (as in the case of sending UN weapons inspectors into Iraq). I have no idea what Australia's reason is. In the case of Japan, it's a little known fact, but Japanese prisons are pretty inhuman places. Amnesty International has cited numerous rights violations in their prisons, so they, like Sudan and Nepal, have good reason to fear UN observers.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Carry on torture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Re: EchoVortex]
    #784990 - 07/29/02 08:52 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Echovortex writes:

It's no surprise that the United States didn't sign this one because the US never, repeat, never, allows itself to be submitted to the scrutiny of international law.

Nor do many other countries.

The federal government defiles state's rights left, right, and center when it comes to their own programs or priorities.

Correct. And it takes a lot of flack for doing so. A very large percentage of cases argued in front of the Supreme Court involve just that issue. How much more controversy would be generated if they also gave a foreign power the right to do so?

Basically, in the case of the US, this is all about national sovereignty.

I suspect that is the case not just with the US, but with most if not all of the other relatively free countries who opposed the protocol.

The US has no use for international courts and international regulatory standards...

Nor should it (or any other country, for that matter), when the international court in question allows the vote of such bastions of personal freedom as China and the Sudan to carry as much weight as the vote of Sweden and Switzerland.

Of the 150 or whatever member nations of the United Nations, how many come even close to respecting human rights to the degree that the US does? Probably a third, perhaps more, of the member nations are run by human butchers, hereditary despots, military juntas, or People's Politburos. Probably another third are either flyspecks somewhere in the South Pacific with a population half that of Bugscuffle Bottoms, Nebraska, or some chunk of ex-colonial scrubland in Africa torn by tribal feuds which has maybe eight working telephones.

How can any nation based on personal freedom take seriously an organization that not only ALLOWS Syria on its Security Council, but actually hands Syria the presidency of that council for two years?

I'm 100% behind Evolving on this one. The UN has had exactly zero credibility since before the start of World War II.

pinky


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OfflineRonoS
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Re: Carry on torture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Re: Phred]
    #785555 - 07/30/02 06:03 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

Nor do many other countries
Right you are...such countries like Bhutan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Zimbabwe, China, Cuba, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria and the Sudan...oh and of course the U.S.

Correct. And it takes a lot of flack for doing so. A very large percentage of cases argued in front of the Supreme Court involve just that issue. How much more controversy would be generated if they also gave a foreign power the right to do so?
So are you saying that the U.S. should be allowed to stick it's nose wherever it pleases, but no-one else is allowed to scrutinize the U.S.?...you don't see a problem with that?

Nor should it (or any other country, for that matter), when the international court in question allows the vote of such bastions of personal freedom as China and the Sudan to carry as much weight as the vote of Sweden and Switzerland.
Hmmm...sounds alot like a certain Republic we all know quite well, where every state gets a vote.

How can any nation based on personal freedom take seriously an organization that not only ALLOWS Syria on its Security Council, but actually hands Syria the presidency of that council for two years?
Now this I DO agree with Syria is hardly a beacon of light when it comes to human rights.




--------------------
"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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OfflineRonoS
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Re: Carry on torture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Re: Rono]
    #785698 - 07/30/02 08:14 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

On Friday, March 10, the State Department let an alleged Peruvian torturer go free. Under Secretary Thomas Pickering did so on the grounds that Anderson had diplomatic immunity.

There was simply no basis for this decision and it appears to have been driven more by politics than law. The decision not to arrest Anderson casts into doubt the U.S. commitment to adhere to the Convention Against Torture and its willingness to insure that torturers are brought to justice. The lack of a legal basis for not arresting and prosecuting Anderson is set forth below.

Tomas Ricardo Anderson Kohatsu, a major in Perus Army Intelligence Service, was sent by Peru in early March to testify before a hearing of the Organization of American States Inter-American Commission on Human Right in Washington, D.C. The commission was hearing allegations of Perus involvement in torture and wire-tapping. Anderson was sent voluntarily by Peru to defend its human rights record; he was not requested to appear by the Commission.
In the State Departments annual human rights report Anderson had been linked to "horrendous crimes."

The Center for Justice and International Law or CEJIL stated that "overwhelming evidence implicated Anderson in the torture of La Rosa Bustamente, also a former intelligence officer, who was left a paraplegic as a result of the torture." She was tortured in 1997.

Once Anderson was in the U.S. and human rights groups were made aware of his presence, pressure was put on the Justice Department to have him arrested. It was pointed out that under the Convention Against Torture the United States was obligated to arrest Anderson once it had information that he had committed torture in Peru. This is an absolute obligation under the convention.

U.S. officials recognized that the information they had provided a sufficient basis for arresting Anderson and did not dispute that there was probable cause to believe was a torturer. In fact, FBI agents were sent by Justice on Thursday evening, March 9th to the Houston airport where Anderson was awaiting a plane to leave the United States. At the airport the agents apparently detained and questioned Anderson. However after a few hours he was allowed to leave the country. He was permitted to do so by a decision of Under Secretary of State Thomas Pickering of the State Department.
Pickering apparently found that Anderson was entitled to diplomatic immunity and could not be arrested or prosecuted.

This decision by Thomas Pickering and the State Department raise a number of serious questions.

First, why did the State Department give Anderson a visa?

Second, on what legal basis did Pickering decide that Anderson had immunity?

Third, Why did Pickering allow Anderson to leave the country and not have the issue of his immunity decided by a court?

Fourth, what of the U.S. obligation under the Convention Against Torture to bring Anderson to justice?


--------------------
"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


Edited by Rono (07/30/02 08:18 AM)


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: Carry on torture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Re: Phred]
    #785760 - 07/30/02 08:50 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

"How much more controversy would be generated if they also gave a foreign power the right to do so?"

The right to do what? The protocol doesn't give the UN (not a "foreign power" as you call it, but an international organization to which the US nominally belongs) the right to do anything except simply to "observe." The UN is admittedly a ludicrous organization, and there iIS little reason to take it seriously--why then does the US belong to it and continue to belong? The US can withdraw its membership and boot the headquarters out of New York if it wants to. The problem arises when the US uses the UN to give its foreign interventions (that is, its violations of other nations' sovereignty) "credibility" and then turns around and then rejects the idea of even allowing UN observers in US prisons to check for instances of torture.

"I suspect that is the case not just with the US, but with most if not all of the other relatively free countries who opposed the protocol."

And which "relatively free" countries might those be? I addressed Australia and Japan. Would you like to add India to that list of "relatively free" countries? Who else? The fact is that the US wasn't voting alongside "Sweden and Switzerland" on this one. It was more or less on the same side as the "human butchers, hereditary despots, military juntas, and People's Politburos." These are the facts. You can put any spin on them you want to, no skin off my back. There's no doubt however that the rest of the world will see it as another instance of American hypocricy and double-standards. Once again, the US doesn't give a shit even if they do, because US foreign policy is based on the principle of "might makes right", with a lot of moralizing rhetoric to make it all seem legit. Power is power, and the US enjoys its power without apology. Fine, no problem. But there's no way that a thinking person should allow US policy makers to also enjoy the delusion that they occupy some kind of moral high ground. That's where the line has to be drawn.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: Carry on torture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Re: EchoVortex]
    #786036 - 07/30/02 11:27 AM (19 years, 2 months ago)

In reply to:

It was more or less on the same side as the "human butchers, hereditary despots, military juntas, and People's Politburos."



Oh really? How do you know that the US voted the same way as other countries for the same reason they did? Can not countries vote the same way for different reasons? Or are you saying that we should vote differently than the aforementioned countries did just on general principle? If thats the case how about providing a list of the countries we should always vote with? And then tell us what to do should if one of the countries on your list votes the opposite of the rest? What should we do then that would make you happy?

In reply to:

There's no doubt however that the rest of the world will see it as another instance of American hypocricy and double-standards.



Only if they are blind idiots.

In reply to:

Once again, the US doesn't give a shit even if they do, because US foreign policy is based on the principle of "might makes right", with a lot of moralizing rhetoric to make it all seem legit.



Or perhaps it's based upon whast the constitution allows or upon what is best for our country, rather than upon what makes other countries happy?


Your claim that since we abstained from a vote, then we are on the same "side" as the other countries who either abstained or voted against the protocol, is just plain silly. I hope you are smart enough to see the difference between agreeing and happening to vote the same way.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: Carry on torture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #786147 - 07/30/02 12:13 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

"Oh really? How do you know that the US voted the same way as other countries for the same reason they did?"

I never said the US voted the same way "for the same reason they did." If you would bother to read this thread carefully, you would see that I attributed the US's abstention to its refusal to recognize international authority, not because it actually carries out torture in its prisons. In the case of China, Sudan, Nepal, et al, it's clear that they actually DO carry out torture on a systematic basis in their prisons. Nonetheless, by voting (or, more precisely, abstaining) the way we did, we give those nations that DO practice torture a shield behind which to hide. "See! The US didn't support the protocols either! You can't single us out on this one!" It just gives them a clear signal that they can carry out such acts with impunity, and the world's most powerful nation isn't going to give a damn.

"Only if they are blind idiots."

Once again you abandon reason and evidence in favor of apoplectic insults. You're amusing when you constantly, hysterically pounce on people for posting on the wrong forum, or double posting, or doing any of those other completely harmless things that make you so enraged. Here, however, you're just wasting your breath.

"Or perhaps it's based upon what the constitution allows or upon what is best for our country, rather than upon what makes other countries happy?"

It's for the Supreme Court to decide what "the constitution allows", not for administration-appointed diplomats. The protocols simply call for observers to "observe" whether torture is being conducted in prisons or not. It does not give them any executive authority over the prisons in question. Torture is unconstitutional anyway, so what's the problem? Why is it "best for our country" to hide what's going on in prisons, as if we HAD something to hide?


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Anonymous

Re: Carry on torture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Re: EchoVortex]
    #786165 - 07/30/02 12:23 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

It's for the Supreme Court to decide what "the constitution allows", not for administration-appointed diplomats.

Actually, quite a few government jobs require that you pledge an oath of fealty to the constitution. It is part of their duty to be cognizant of the constitutionality of various laws, treaties and such. If a public servant fails in this regard or knowingly goes against the constitution he/she has broken their oath.


Edited by Evolving (07/30/02 12:28 PM)


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: Carry on torture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Re: EchoVortex]
    #786213 - 07/30/02 12:58 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

In reply to:

It was more or less on the same side as the "human butchers, hereditary despots, military juntas, and People's Politburos."



You used the words on the same side, not me. So no matter what our reasons, we should have voted differently because someone somewhere somehow might use it as an excuse for their actions?

In reply to:

If you would bother to read this thread carefully, you would see that I attributed the US's abstention to its refusal to recognize international authority



There is no international authority we are required to answer to.

And you failed to answer the question of what would you have us do if two countries, who generally vote the way you wish, split on an issue. Which one should we vote with so as to prevent giving a "shield" as you put it to a country which may use our vote as an excuse? And if we should abstain will you still find fault? I suspect you would. I don't know you, but the impression I'm left with is that you'd bash the US for almost anything we did.

In reply to:

Once again you abandon reason and evidence in favor of apoplectic insults. You're amusing when you constantly, hysterically pounce on people for posting on the wrong forum, or double posting, or doing any of those other completely harmless things that make you so enraged. Here, however, you're just wasting your breath.



My comment was not intended as an insult to you. And I have never been "enraged" by any post, for that would be foolish. As such, I stand by my blind idiot comment.

In reply to:

But there's no way that a thinking person should allow US policy makers to also enjoy the delusion that they occupy some kind of moral high ground.



While less blunt, this comment is no different from my blind idiot comment. Apparently, any one who differs from your opinion is not a person who thinks.

In reply to:

Torture is unconstitutional anyway, so what's the problem?



So is illegal search, if your pockets are empty then whats the problem?


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Invisibletoxick
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Re: Carry on torture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #786239 - 07/30/02 01:11 PM (19 years, 2 months ago)

In reply to:

We have a set of rules which determines what our government can do




LOL!!!!



--------------------
Janet Reno, if I do not go to jail, I will be in Orlando August 15 and you are not going to be elected to any damn thing. Nobody should fear our Government.
- James Traficant


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