News Flash: People Being Tortured Sometimes Confess to Anything to Stop the Torture

It is pretty amazing to me that 500 years after the Spanish Inquisition it is somehow a revelation that people who are being tortured will say about anything to make the torture (or the threats thereof) stop:

On Friday the government declassified an opinion in which U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the release of a Kuwaiti held at Guantanamo since 2002, saying he was imprisoned based on coerced confessions that even his interrogators did not believe. Fouad Al Rabiah, a 50-year-old aviation engineer and father of four, was captured as he tried to leave Afghanistan in December 2001. He said he came to Afghanistan that October to help refugees, an explanation the judge found credible....

Later four Guantanamo inmates made several implausible accusations against Al Rabiah"”claiming, among other things, that the engineer, who had worked at Kuwait Airlines for 20 years, suddenly became a leader of the fight against U.S. forces in Tora Bora. Kollar-Kotelly noted that the charges were either inconsistent or demonstrably false. The Pentagon eventually stopped relying on these wild claims to justify Al Rabiah's detention, but by then interrogators had used the charges, along with sleep deprivation and threats of rendition to countries where he would be tortured or killed, to extract confessions from him. In the end, the interrogators concluded that Al Rabiah was making up a story to please them. "Incredibly," Kollar-Kotelly wrote, "these are the confessions that the government has asked the Court to accept as truthful in this case."

I have argued for years that indefinite detention of anyone, citizen or not, is an affront to the principles on which this country was founded.  Just to make my position entirely clear, I am willing to risk letting 40 dangerous people go free (assuming we can't actually prosecute them) to avoid having one person detained wrongly.  If you think this is naive or wrong, then you need to ask yourself what you think about our entire legal system, which is predicated on a similar presumption, that we would prefer some guilty or dangerous people go free rather than tilt the system such that innocent people rot in jail.

Other posts from this topic here and here

  • dr kill

    Exactly.

  • NormD

    Of course torture works. Its silly to say it doesn't and it displays a complete ignorance of history. But by torture I mean real serious torture. Tell me where the money is our I am going to torture your child. If your info does not check out I will torture your second child. This bizarre idea that people will just babble anything assumes that the provided info cannot be checked out and many/most times it can and the result will be worse torture.

    Let me flip this around 180 degrees and ask you a question. If you were put into a situation where the rules of civilized behavior were suspended and you needed some information and you had a source that knew that information, couldn't you imagine ways that you would get what you need? You are leading your squad into a town, you capture a prisoner and you need to know where the sniper/machine gun is? Your child has been kidnapped by two people. You capture one but the other one will kill your kid if they don't get a call in an hour.

    I am suspicious that you are OK about the 40 people being released because you are rich enough to live in a neighborhood where such people won't be released.

    I would respect your belief in your principles if adherence to your principles cost you something. If you are willing to let your child die because you refuse to torture a kidnapper. If you are willing to see your men killed because you don't want to torture a prisoner. If you are willing to live in a neighborhood full of criminals that prey on you and yours because we let people go if under your release 40 to save 1 rule. If you are willing to do this, your squad/child/neighbors may not like you, but at least they will say that you are man of principle. If you are not willing to live by your rules then you are simply a hypocrite.

  • http://jeffreyellis.org/blog/ Jeffrey Ellis

    Nicely put, and entirely consistent, I believe, with the principles on which our justice system is (supposed to be) founded: that it is better to let many guilty parties go free than to convict an innocent person.

  • Michael

    Norm, what you are describing in your example is putting someone under duress. Neither the parents nor the children are being tortured. At this point the parents have a very strong motivation to provide accurate information. Once the child is being physically hurt, the parents motivation is to say anything to stop the harm to the child.

    Duress is a pretty reliable way to get accurate information. Causing physical harm or administering mind altering drugs is going to yield unreliable information. Ditto for plea deals for information. The Gitmo debate has been whether reducing access to food, sleep deprivation, empty threats to family members and water boarding cause physical harm or just puts the subject ever duress.

    I agree with Coyote that the people at Gitmo should be tried, but every left wing legal group was suing the Bush administration primarily to change constitution law which prevented the trials. Now with the Obama administration saying it isn't interested in victory, we might as well bring the boys home and return the people at Gitmo to the locations they were captured.

  • http://thebastidge.blogspot.com thebastidge

    Here lies the problem with trying to treat international hostilities ("WAR") like a criminal case- it will not work.

    First of all, harsh questioning is not torture. I believe in the right of a citizen accused of a crime (even treason) to be free of coercive questioning, and to have an attorney present. At least in the case of a criminal prosecution. There is no legally credible confession which can be obtained by coercive euqstioning, or torture. But that is a standard for prosecuting someone, with rules of evidence and an abstract justice which means to get at the truth of a crime that has already been committed, and which nothing can be done about.

    Second of all, I do not believe anyone at Guantanmo has been tortured. These bastards are mostly healthier than they were when picked up on the battlefield; deloused, well-fed, and provided with frigging mental health counseling, fer fuck's sake.

    On the other hand, coercive questioning and even questioning under torture of a battlefield prisoner does not have anything to do with punishment, cruel and unusual punishment or otherwise. It is about obtaining national intelligence to prevent acts of war. And torture in this case, to obtain information, is undoubtedly effective in some cases. In our own military, we train ourselves to withstand coercion and torture to the best of our abilities, with a code of conduct that explicitly acknowledges that everyone has their limits.

    Not a single one of the fighters taken to Guantanamo abided by the International Law of Warfare. It would be absolutlely legal and ethical to execute them at any point, without any process. Any of them. At any time. This is what has been done throughout all of history. I'm reasonably sure that some more-or-less innocent guys got swept up in that process, but I also believe most if not all of them were eventually let go, and I believe that is the kind of collateral necessity which cannot be avoided in a friggin' WAR. they are not citizens, accused of a crime. They have no right to counsel, they have no right to a court. That would require them buying into our implicit social compact, in which case they wouldn't be where they are now. If they were regular prisoners of war- meaning they had abided by the laws of war, they would not even be legally subject to questioning.

    The 3rd Geneva Convention is the controlling authority.
    Article 13 says in part:

    "prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity."

    Article 14 starts:

    "Section 1. Beginning of Captivity

    Art 17. Every prisoner of war, when questioned on the subject, is bound to give only his surname, first names and rank, date of birth, and army, regimental, personal or serial number, or failing this, equivalent information.

    If he wilfully infringes this rule, he may render himself liable to a restriction of the privileges accorded to his rank or status.

    {...}

    No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind."
    (emphasis added)

    It is NOT a trivial nitpick to take the stance that these guys do not get the Geneva treatment. The Geneva conventions are reciprocal agreements designed to limit the barbarity of warfare. There is an explicit quid-pro-quo there. Our enemies neither reciprocate nor limit their barbarity. We have been far too gentle with unlawful combatants.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy

    NormD,

    I missed something in there. When did you address the possibility of torturing an innocent?

    'Cause that's the case addressed in the article. We imprisoned an innocent man for seven years and tortured him (maybe by your measure it was torture-lite, but it did the job) until we extracted from him a confession to something that he did not do.

    Where is you justification for this? What moral rock do you stand on to claim that tearing a false confession from the unwilling lips of a bound man is acceptable behavior?

    The exigencies of the moment may sometimes merit a pass on acts that could never be condoned in times of peace, but we are talking here of teams of people acting with careful planning over days or weeks to pile fear on humiliation on exhaustion on pain on a man they hold in custody. Hardly an act committed in hot blood.

    Then, as the weeks and months and years pass, how do you stand by your "ticking time bomb" theory?

    Methinks you do not occupy the moral high ground, after
    all.

  • http://tarheelred.wordpress.com/ pino

    There is no equivalence between our domestic court of law and international crimes. Further, I think that somewhere between chopping of fingers one by one and offering a cup of coffee and a cigarette there is a reasonable line that can be approached with good reason.

    Can we detain these guys forever? No.
    Should we work harder at letting the innocent go? Yes.
    Are we saving lives because we don't read these guys Miranda? Yup.

  • Chembot

    Let me first say that I more or less agree that indefinite detention of these people is morally questionable at best and torture is even less defensible. I am also uncomfortable with arguments such as those proposed by NormD, primarily because we shouldn't base policy on the 5th standard deviation of possible scenarios. Too much tort law, warning labels, and chemophobia is already predicated on such nonsense.

    However, I do believe the definition of torture has been revised downward rather sharply from what would have been standard practice under the inquisition. Indeed, the word seems to generally mean "anything I wouldn't want done to myself", to include the loud playing of music, sleep deprivation, and uncomfortable stress positions, etc. rather than being reserved for the worst physical abuses. As for water boarding, I'm not sure. It has a real checkered history. The fact that protesters have been known to demonstrate the practice and the fact that it has been used as a training technique for our own special forces leads me to think that although it is probably quite unpleasant, it may not quite be at the level of torture. After all, nobody goes around demonstrating the rack or how to properly hook up electrodes to people.

    The only other point I would make is that much like prisoners of war these detentions are not punitive but rather preventative in nature. Captured soldiers are not held because they have committed or are necessarily guilty of a crime. They are held because to release them would return them to the field of battle against our own people. The difficulty is that these people are neither declared soldiers of another state and they also can't be treated as common criminals. This is an almost unique situation. The only comparable thing I can think of was old time piracy which generally wasn't political. Perhaps if we dealt with these people in much the same manner, our society would be less roiled with the ethics of indefinite detentions. Instead, we would likely be talking about preventative executions. I'm not sure that's better.

  • http://thebastidge.blogspot.com thebastidge

    The judge lost me when she said the interrogators violated the Geneva Convention of 1949.

    The relevant parts are Articles 2 and 4, which lay out the responsibilities of parties to the convention, in regards to treatment of prisoners of war and what constitutes a prisoner of war.

    I was in the USAF for over 13 years. Trust me when I say I would like all conflicts to be conducted according to the Geneva Conventions. But that is not happening, and there is no requirement to be unilateral about it: in fact it is counter-productive.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy

    Chembot,

    Of course captured enemies need not be released until the end of hostilities, and for some non-state entities that point may be hard to identify. But not all of the detainees were captured on the field of battle, many were turned in by "friendlies" for the reward, and just what should their status be? Without a decent truth seeking tribunal we can only guess. My preference would be to hold the detainees in Geneva Convention condition, though they don't rate it, because we are the good guys.

    I'd recommend trying some simple stress position for, say 30 minutes to an hour (most westerners have real trouble with the formal Japanese sitting posture called seiza, and it doesn't require any kit) and try to guess how you'd stand up to 8 hours of it. The one that doesn't bother me as much as the others is sleep deprivation out to a couple of days, or maybe 54 hours. I get punchy, but not permanently harmed past ~40 hours myself, so I suspect some real progress might be made with simple questioning at around two days of forced wakefulness.

    Pirates were given trials up to the standards of the time in most jurisdictions. They generally did not go well for the pirates, of course (because being captured on a pirate vessel pretty much clenched it, and there was limited due process in any case), but the tribunals were generally truth seeking affairs, and very young or recently pressed members of the crews were often granted clemency or sentenced to exile rather than hanged.

    My feeling is that our treatment of the gitmo detainees is only now starting to approach that standard. Alas.

  • http://http//www.tinyvital.com/blog John Moore

    The "indefinite detention" is because we are in an indefinite war that was declared upon us. It presents some serious problems as to how to deal with detainees, but I disagree that there is a simple answer.

    The "torture" that has been applied to people would not be recognized as torture by anyone in the past - only by modern, unrealistic sensibilities would this stuff be considered torture. Waterboarding is closer to the line, but still doesn't even fit the Geneva definition.

    We haven't "tortured" ANYONE for seven years. We have detained people under very humane conditions (far better than our prisons or normal POW camps) at GITMO for up to four years. We have also released a lot of them after trying to sort them out, and a number of those whom we released have since waged war on us.

    War is not a civilized activity, and we are at war, as are those in Guantanamo, except they are on the side that does real torture - like cutting off limbs, etc. Furthermore, in war you know you are going to harm innocents, and recoginize that all you can do is your best efforts to minimize that.

    When I went through SERE school, we knew that any enemy that caught us would apply real torture, not the boy scout stuff done at GITMO. We were taught that while we might try to get out of it by making stuff up, the enemy was going to get real, actionable good data from us. Period.

    Coercive interrogation works for the purposes of acquiring intelligence. It has throughout history. The reaction in the US to the controlled use of it, and the highly limited use of gagging (waterboarding) shows how disconnected form reality and history we have become.

    A very unfortunate logical fallacy has been intentionally used to cloud the debate - the conflation of torture used for repression or revenge or sadistic pleasure with torture or coercive interrogation used for intelligence gathering.

    There is nothing similar between these except some of the methods. They are not morally equivalent, as so many on the left and libertarian side would like us to believe. The waterboarding of 3 Al Qaeda leaders led directly to actionable intelligence that saved many lives - including stopping 9-11 west - a plan for 9-11 style attacks on the west coast in 2004. KSM, for months before the waterboardings mocked his interrogators. Afterwards, he started giving white board talks on Al Qaeda organization and tactics.

  • Craigo

    There is no moral position. Either it is right or it is wrong. If you treated a neighbor (read US citizen)in a similar manner, it would be wrong. If you have to write some dubious laws to retrospectively justify your position, you knew what you did was wrong.

    When you cross the divide, you become that which you claim to oppose. Your supposed enemies can hold your righteous moral/constitutional principles up to ridicule.

    As I see it - the USA made a few mistakes. Gitmo was an unnecessary and costly mistake. Leaving the supposed "enemies" in the country of origin and subjecting them to the laws in those countries would have made for a speedier more clinical resolution. Unfortunately the USA has a habit of stomping clumsily over those issues too like Abu Ghraib and making fools of themselves.

    The hamfisted desire for revenge after 9/11 makes you look like a world bully. Lets look at it. 42000 people die in auto accidents in the USA every year. About 3000 people died in 9/11. Now more American troops have died in Iraq than 9/11 and estimates of at least 100 000 Iraqi civilian casualties. Can someone make sense of what you have achieved?

    So why is it necessary to keep "future terrorists" in detention and how many lives have you saved?

  • Bill Nelson

    "I am willing to risk letting 40 dangerous people go free (assuming we can’t actually prosecute them) to avoid having one person detained wrongly."

    That's the easy part.

    How about letting 50 dangerous people go free? 100? 1,000? 100,000?

    I wonder where you draw the line, and why.

  • tehag

    "If you treated a neighbor (read US citizen)in a similar manner,"

    Now what would a U.S. citizen and my neighbor have do to be treated in a similar matter in WW2:

    travel to Nazi Germany
    declare allegiance to Nazi Germany
    fight out of uniform for Nazi Germany
    get caught fighting out-of-uniform for Nazi Germany.

    You're right. I'd never have tortured any of my 'neighbors' who did this. I would have shot the basterd outright. (And I'd wonder if it wasn't time to move to a new neighborhood.)

    "The hamfisted desire for revenge after 9/11 makes you look like a world bully."

    Let me correct that: a thirst for justice after an attack by terrorists make us look like the only country in the world who can fight back. The EU's too pussy strike back. Even India is too pussy to strike back at the real agent behind the massacres there.

  • Thom Moses

    You make some valid points. I have 3 (unrelated) thoughts on this mess.
    1. Quit blurring the line between torture & harsh interogation. There is a black & white difference in the motives. Torture requires evil intent. Intentionally causing long term physical & mental harm for self pleasure or satisfaction. If the intent is to SAVE innocent lives or keep your soldiers alive, then harsh interogation is warranted even if the subject has no information in the end. Why is ok to taser (2x) a 72 year great grandma in Texas for refusing to sign a traffic ticket when this would be considered torture to a detainee???

    2. I mentioned mental harm as a leg of torture. This includes brainwashing. The public and some private schools are causing severe mental harm to students through false propaganda. Scaring them with global warming, destroying them with socialistic views, undermining morality with issues of abortion (my daughter was taught abortion was not a problem, but a solution to a problem), homosexuality is normal and we should all explore are own sexuality to determine what we are. Now we see kinderkarten kids chanting BO songs, that my friends fits the definition of torture!

    3. Let's do a prisoner swap, let the forty go in exchange we get 40 politicians locked up & torture them with reading their own legislation.

  • Elliot

    John Moore has it right. All others are playing the Milton Bradly version of reality safely tucked in far away from any front or trouble.

    The networks get tape of people saying "Here's me about to murder your freind. Here's me cutting his head off. Here is your freinds head on a pike. Have a nice day." And on our side we have people worrying about the worst of the worst in Gitmo, whether they are being cared for properly, that is, this indicates a severe disconnect. They say everything starts with a sale. Looks like our world will be ending with one.

  • Reformed Republican

    Please explain how torturing an innocent to get a false confession enhances national security. I would assume it would do the opposite, because the responsible parties are still free.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy

    "we have people worrying about the worst of the worst in Gitmo"

    You have assumed your conclusion. The article is about a man we put through the wringer as "the worst of the worst" who---and pay attention here---didn't do it.

    And as long as we're OK with that we're putting ourselves on the same level as the guy with the cleaver.

    If we are to be the side of the angles we have to act like it. That doesn't mean we have to be a pure as the driven snow, but we have to care more for how we behave than for how they behave. This is the essence of civilization. It is what makes us better them them.

  • http://www.alfin2500.blogspot.com Al Fin

    Yes, Warren, on this topic you are incredibly naive -- beyond belief.

    The US was not founded in order to protect all the stateless pirates and brigands of the world. They were simply hung on the spot. If they possessed valuable information, they were tortured to death, and if they still didn't talk, then too bad.

    Execute pirates and stateless terrorists. If you can get anything from them, then delay execution until you get whatever information you can get.

  • Larry Sheldon

    "I have argued for years that indefinite detention of anyone, citizen or not, is an affront to the principles on which this country was founded."

    I agree and have long said that as quickly as possible after a war is over, the enemy combatants should be repatriated.

    But not a minute before.

  • http://thebastidge.blogspot.com thebastidge

    "The article is about a man we put through the wringer as “the worst of the worst” who—and pay attention here—didn’t do it."

    Even a full-blown court trial doesn't delcare people innocent, it merely finds them not guilty. So, according to the report (and that's significant) there wasn't evidence that would hold up in court.

    I'm even willing to concede that the guy may be innocent. I'd much rather have spent that time and energy on someone who was a real valuable target. But having been in military intelligence at one point, I know that you sort through a hell of a lot of chaff before you find the wheat. This guy was not a citizen of the United States. Though we acknowledge human rights in our Constitution rather than grant rights, it still only applies to people over whom the United States Constitution has jurisdiction. We do not derive our wartime powers as a nation, from the Constitution. Our sovereignty as a nation provides our war-making powers; the natural right of a people to defend themselves against aggression.

    We regulate our military and our politicians with the Constitution and the UCMJ, we even ratify our treaties such as the Geneva conventions under our Constitutional process. But the roots of the laws and customs of warfare vastly predate any modern government. We gain our authority to operate outside the Constitution's physical jurisdiction, for example in another country, not because of the Constitution, but because we are a sovereign nation. The ability and authority to execute or question a prisoner, we have because we are a sovereign nation, not because of the Constitution. Constitutional guarantees of rights simply do not apply to foreign prisoners in wartime. Constitutional rights are guarantees that the government cannot offend against US Citizens and other people with a right to be in the United States, they do not apply to the rest of the world.

    We could and do regulate our own conduct according to Constitutional principles, but the authority of our nation (not the president, or congress) to conduct war is not derived from the Constitution, but from the natural first prinicple that a soverign polity has the right to defend itself.

    So prisoners taken in war do not have a right to a court trial for their actions in the battlefield. Nor do they need one, if taken as a lawful combatant- they are not breaking any laws and are entitled to certain protections and treatment, but only legally entitled to such treatment if they and their state meets the criteria.

    They have a right under the Geneva conventions for a trial for any infractions of the laws of the detaining state or of their own state after capture. The only right to a tribunal an unlawful combatant has, is a competent tribunal to determine whether they are in fact a valid prisoner of war or an unlawful combatant. In commonly accepted practice, that means when captured, the soldiers who capture them have the right to determine it on the spot, and commence execution if necessary; this was done all the way through WWII at least.

  • Nick S.

    I don't think you guys get it. A bunch of these people were probably turned in because somebody just plain didn't like them.

    Imagine a horrible dictator was running your country, and somebody came in and overthrew him for you. Now they're going around trying to take care of his cronies, and asking people to turn them in.

    Now imagine a neighbor has a grudge against your grandmother, grandfather, mother, father, wife, husband, whatever- somebody you care about greatly. He says that person is a terrorist and gets him/her arrested. Now your innocent loved one is subjected to months or years of "enhanced interrogation", instead of a speedy trial based on facts. Are you OK with that? That's what we are talking about here.

    The point Warren is trying to make is that mistakes can be made, and IF they are made, the above situation can result quite easily. That's simply unacceptable to Warren, me, and many other people.

  • Jim Collins

    Wake me up when the US actually tortures somebody. I don't consider sleep deprivation, waterboarding or stress positions as torture. I have experienced all three multiple times in my life. To me sleep deprivation and stress positions were the norm in a little thing called "Boot Camp". Waterboarding came later in a thing called SERE school.

    From everything I have seen about the conditions at GITMO, I only have one thing to say. "Sign me up for about a two month stay. I can use a nice vacation about now.". Here's a novel idea. How about the SCOTUS making a descision on the definition of "enemy combatant". This would clarify alot of issues and greatly simplify how we deal with the GITMO detainees. If they are determined to be "enemy combatants", we lock them up in a POW camp and give them their rights under the Geneva Accords. If they are determined to be "innocent", then we lock them up in an Interrment Camp for the duration. If they don't fit either of these catagories, we line them up against a wall and shoot them. Problem solved. Well within the boundries of International Law and the Geneva Accords. Now do you see the problem?

    There is ample precedent for all of these actions to be taken. The US housed thousands of POW's during WWII, we interred thousands of Japanese and Japanese-Americans during WWII and we executed spies and saboteurs that came ashore from U-boats during WWII. I am quite sure that the POWs, spies and saboteurs were harshly interrogated before they were sent to their camps, or worse.

    Sounds kind of mean doesn't it? Compared to the treatment of US Citizens and POWs in WWII, these captives had it easy.

    Looking at how US captives have been treated in Iraq and Afghanistan, do you really expect me to be sympathetic with the detainees residing in Club GITMO?

  • Steve In Tulsa

    People captured on the field of battle bearing arms against us and out of any uniform should be shot. We should not detain them for any period because it makes us look bad. They should be summarily shot as outlined in the Geneva Conventions. Some people might argue that it is better to let them live incarcerated for a while until the end of hostilities but they would be wrong. Holding people who raised weapons against us makes us appear weak. We should not hold them: they should be killed at once.

  • Matt

    Is there a problem in claiming to support our justice system, which includes as a basic tenant that people are innocent until convicted in a court of law, by calling what happened in Gitmo torture? You are assuming that a statute has been violated even though there has been no trial. By presumptively calling what was done torture you skip the very important detail that in this debate torture has a specific legal definition. Torture is not just another word for "mean" or "bad", but is a legal term that cannot be applied to anyone who has ever worked at Gitmo.

    Further, since there is no punishment (8th Amendment) or incrimination (5th), there is absolutely no constitutional issue involved in the interrogation techniques authorized and used. All that is at stake is whether what was done violates or does not violate the statutory language on torture. I've read the statute and am not at all convinced that it was broken. At the very least, efforts were made to do as much as could be while staying inside the statute. To me, this is legally the equivalent of looking for legitimate tax exemptions: what can I do to stay inside the law while benefiting my cause the most.

    Disagreements with means aside, the Bush administration showed a real respect for the law by referencing the actual words of the statute on torture while deciding how to constrain their actions. Their actions were constrained, not by what they felt was moral or ethical or good, but by what was legal. This enhanced interrogation episode in our history should be a bright spot where an administration that felt threatened and wanted to do everything it could controlled its behavior by the constraints of the law.

  • http://http//www.obamabloopers.org/ John MooreIs there a problem in claiming to support our justice system, which includes as a basic tenant that people are innocent until convicted in a court of law, by calling what happened in Gitmo torture?

    Is there a problem in claiming to support our justice system, which includes as a basic tenant that people are innocent until convicted in a court of law, by calling what happened in Gitmo torture?

    yes, in a time of war, and when dealing with illegal combatants. How many "innocents" were tortured? The government has no desire to hold innocent people in GITMO, and plenty of incentive to ship them out of there.

  • http://homeownerinsurancehq.com/ HO

    Wake me up when the US actually tortures somebody. I don’t consider sleep deprivation, waterboarding or stress positions as torture. I have experienced all three multiple times in my life. To me sleep deprivation and stress positions were the norm in a little thing called “Boot Camp”. Waterboarding came later in a thing called SERE school.
    From everything I have seen about the conditions at GITMO, I only have one thing to say. “Sign me up for about a two month stay. I can use a nice vacation about now.”. Here’s a novel idea. How about the SCOTUS making a descision on the definition of “enemy combatant”. This would clarify alot of issues and greatly simplify how we deal with the GITMO detainees. If they are determined to be “enemy combatants”, we lock them up in a POW camp and give them their rights under the Geneva Accords. If they are determined to be “innocent”, then we lock them up in an Interrment Camp for the duration. If they don’t fit either of these catagories, we line them up against a wall and shoot them. Problem solved. Well within the boundries of International Law and the Geneva Accords. Now do you see the problem?
    There is ample precedent for all of these actions to be taken. The US housed thousands of POW’s during WWII, we interred thousands of Japanese and Japanese-Americans during WWII and we executed spies and saboteurs that came ashore from U-boats during WWII. I am quite sure that the POWs, spies and saboteurs were harshly interrogated before they were sent to their camps, or worse.
    Sounds kind of mean doesn’t it? Compared to the treatment of US Citizens and POWs in WWII, these captives had it easy.
    Looking at how US captives have been treated in Iraq and Afghanistan, do you really expect me to be sympathetic with the detainees residing in Club GITMO?