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View Diary: How the US Military Tortured Bradley Manning (227 comments)

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  •  First, know the law (12+ / 0-)

    The US has signed this UN convention, effective 26 June 1987, the United Nations Convention Against Torture, Article 1.1.
    Definition

    Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.
    The United States agreed by signing the convention to  enforce the prohibition against torture. There are no exceptions or justifications allowed for torture by a public official. No exceptions, period.
    *Article 2 of the convention prohibits torture, and requires parties to take effective measures to prevent it in any territory under its jurisdiction.
    *This prohibition is absolute and non-derogable.
    *"No exceptional circumstances whatsoever"[5] may be invoked to justify torture, including war, threat of war, internal political instability, public emergency, terrorist acts, violent crime, or any form of armed conflict.[6]
    *Torture cannot be justified as a means to protect public safety or prevent emergencies.[6]
    *Neither can it be justified by orders from superior officers or public officials.[7]
    *The prohibition on torture applies to all territories under a party's effective jurisdiction, and protects all people under its effective control, regardless of citizenship or how that control is exercised.[6]

    "I've got this pen. I'm ready to do it."

    by mrobinson on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:01:51 PM PST

    •  Absolutely (sort of) (8+ / 0-)

      Actually, when the treaty was confirmed in the Senate, the US added various"Reservations, Understandings, and Declarations" that significantly weakened the US stance, mainly by redefining certain terms.

      This was done under the Clinton administration, by Clinton-era government attorneys, and has never been changed under any administration, or various political party rule in Congress.

      It is an abomination that almost no other country engaged in, and has been protested by other signatories.

      War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

      by Valtin on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:24:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You make an interesting point. Which means that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Valtin, gerrilea

        the US is not really a party to this treaty. We have exempted ourselves out of this treaty. But we are still bound to international law. We can still be prosecuted for violating its terms. Because these are war crimes. We just do not get to claim that we are a nation that honors international law. We do not get to claim that we do not torture. We do torture and we believe that torture should be legal. At least for us. Payback can be a mutha. We had better watch our step. Because the patience of the international community may run out one day. What happens if we get slapped with international sanctions? We did it to Iran and Iraq what is to prevent the Chinese from doing this to us? If Iran is in contravention of international are we not also? If we accuse Iran of using weasel words about international law don't we also use those same weasel words? In other words Who the Hell do we think we are criticizing others for doing what we do?

        •  No, though I get your point (5+ / 0-)

          The US is a party to the treaty. It is the process of offering reservations as constituted currently under international law that allows for such functional vetos over portions of the treaty.

          But believe me, the US wouldn't have spent so much time justifying their torture as not being against the UNCAT treaty (in the Yoo/Bybee/Bradbury memos) if they really didn't consider themselves part of the treaty.

          War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

          by Valtin on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:51:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  "the patience of the international (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea, Kickemout

          community may run out some day."

          oh lord, that was hilarious.  I may forward that to friends.

          •  Hey, it could happen! But then what? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias

            They'd have the most powerful and advanced military machine in human history to go up against...dang it!

            Here's to hope!
            (as we clank & clink our champagne glasses together)

            ;)

            -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

            by gerrilea on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 06:24:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, gerrilea, happymisanthropy

      Now you know just how exceptional the United States is.

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