Bush seeking retroactive immunity for war crimes Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by Tej Uberoi, a resident of Los Altos, on Apr 14, 2008 at 10:55 am
The brutal treatment of prisoners is again in the public spotlight with the declassification of the 2003 torture memo.
According to British attorney Philippe Sands’s article in Vanity Fair (“The Green Light”), John Yoo and other high-ranking administration attorneys helped craft interrogation methods used at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and secret CIA prisons. Pentagon attorney Diane Beaver, stated that the interrogation techniques used were modeled on the TV program ‘24’.
It is extremely disturbing that John Yoo, a passionate advocate of torture, should be allowed to teach at students UC Berkeley. He should be fired, disbarred and tried on war crimes.
Many prisoners may well be innocent of any crimes such as German born who was kidnapped and brutally tortured (see March 31 ‘60’ Minutes). Bent on retribution, and ignoring the FBI and German intelligence who found Kurnaz innocent, this Darth Vadar administration tortured him and robbed him of 5 years of his life
The administration, recognizing the potential war crimes charges it could face, hastily adopted legislation in the Military Commissions Act granting immunity to those engaged in torture. Also, buried deep inside a bill currently before Congress, is a startling provision which would grant Bush and other members of his administration retroactive immunity from war crimes (Web Link).
Posted by Marty Cohen, a resident of Stanford, on Apr 14, 2008 at 12:54 pm
A fully functioning mind is like an umbrella - it only works when it is open! Let us stay the course and sink our nation in a mountain of debt (53 trillion in liabilities and counting . . .). Let the lawbreakers violate the law with impunity – sounds like a prescription for anarchy!
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2008 at 3:13 pm
"I was under orders to commit a war crime but didn't. Would this imunity cover me, too?"
That is an interesting question, Walter. On the one hand, you violated an order, thus you might be brought up on violations of orders; on the other hand, you could have followed orders (presumably some field executions or rough interrogations in your case), then you could be subject to charges for violating various codes. In the end, one needs to do what is required, in order to save the day. I don't know you, Walter, but, having read your posts, I don't think you would have had a big moral issue about putting lead in the head of your enemies, if required to do so, to save the day. Am I wrong?
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2008 at 3:53 pm
"We are engaged in a Global War on Terror"
Peace Through Victory, although I agree with your comments about WWII, Churchill, war crimes, generally, I must disagree with your comment quoted above.
We are NOT engaged in a war on terror, dispite what GWB (and many others) tell us. We are engaged in a war on jihadists, who push their religion with terror. It is an importatnt distinction.
Declaring war on terror is like declaring war on bombs and bullets. 'Terror' is a tool of unconventional warfare. Bombing is terror from above, but in a modern conventional sense. Can we all just get over this silly propaganda? War is war.
We are at war against Islamist jihadists, who want to force our conversion against our will. It really is that simple. All the arguments about oil are side issues, and largely distorted.
The U.S. has plenty of oil, and it can drill for it in ANWAR and off our coasts. The fact that we have been pushed into a corner by the green crowd is regreattable, and they will pay a price for it, but oil is not the real issue at hand with the jihadists.
Posted by Peace Through Victory., a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2008 at 4:02 pm
OK its a global war on jihadists-- for the time being-- but there are plenty of terrorist in Latin America waiting in the wings. The war is really against Western Civilization.
there are eco terrorists in the USA and do not forget those terrorists who appeared in Seattle a few years ago.
The war in Iraq is not about oil-- the oil companies wanted the prior sanctions removed and they certainly never lobbied for war, they will by and trade oil with anybody if there is a margin to be made, war messes up the balance sheet.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2008 at 4:08 pm
"John Yoo and GWB deserve a medal of freedom for protecting this country from another attack."
Yup. That's what it's all about. Those who have no faith in American resilience are quaking in their socks about another attack.
The most expedient way to end the "war on terror" - the solution of Yoo and Bush and their minions - is to become indistinguishable from the terrorists. Bush's friend bin Laden can't take away America's dignity and democracy if America throws them away first, can he?
And that's the backdoor cut and run surrender which the cowards in this otherwise brave country want. "Please Mr. bin Laden, don't hit us again. We'll give you what you want. We'll give away our freedom for safety. Here's our Bill of Rights. We don't want it anymore. Just don't hit us."
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2008 at 4:24 pm
"And that's the backdoor cut and run surrender which the cowards in this otherwise brave country want. "Please Mr. bin Laden, don't hit us again. We'll give you what you want. We'll give away our freedom for safety. Here's our Bill of Rights. We don't want it anymore. Just don't hit us."
Such typical leftist detritus.
What freedom have we given away, Paul? Bill of Rights...where have they been destoyed?
I am not opposed to the USA, and I haven't lost one ounce of freedom. In fact, my freedoms are increased by national security. Of course, if I was opposed to the USA, I would accept that I was under the microscope of our securtiny forces. Are you under the microscpoe, Paul? If so, please explain how you have been attacked (and why).
In the meantime, I celebrate all those thousands/ millions(?)Americans who are still alive, instead of dead, becasue John Yoo and GWB had the guts to protect us.
Posted by Peace Through Victory., a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm
A sermon last Friday by a prominent Muslim cleric and Hamas member of the Palestinian parliament openly declared that ''the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital, '' would soon be conquered by Islam.
The fiery sermon, delivered by Yunis al-Astal and aired on Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV, predicted that Rome would become ''an advanced post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread though Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, even Eastern Europe.''
Hope the Pope has word with Bush about this, Onward Christian Soldiers.
Posted by Peace Through Victory., a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2008 at 5:08 pm
Paul-- the sky may not be falling but without the vigilance of our security services our planes would be falling out of the sky cf the current trial in Londistan. If their attack had gone through around 1,500 air passengers would have died over the Atlantic in UK and USA planes.
Meanwhile--British police and security agencies are currently monitoring 30 terrorism plots, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said in extracts of a newspaper interview released on Saturday.
“We now face a threat level that is severe. It’s not getting any less, it’s actually growing,” she said in an interview to be published in Sunday’s News of the World.
“We task the police and the security agencies with protecting us ... There are 22,000 individuals they are monitoring. There are 200 networks. There are 30 active plots,” she said.
GWB deserves credit for the attacks that have NOT occurred
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2008 at 5:34 pm
"GWB deserves credit for the attacks that have NOT occurred"
GWB is no Neville Chamberlain. Barack sounds like him, though. Hillary sounds like whatever her pollsters tell her to sound like. McCain is solid.
I just wish he (GWB) would quit using the term "war on terror". It makes no sense. I know he is not the only one, and most other world leaders say the same thing, but GWB is the leader maximus, and he should tell the truth.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2008 at 5:53 pm
"British police and security agencies are currently monitoring 30 terrorism plots"
"GWB deserves credit for the attacks that have NOT occurred"
You really don't see the contradiction, do you? Hint: 30 terrorist plots show the bad guys are staying pretty active under GWB's watchful gaze. And they will be as long as Bush lets their main man stay open for business.
(Bumper sticker: "bin Laden still has his freedom. Why don't you?")
You forget that by far the biggest terrorist attack in the USA occurred on your hero Bush's watch. More precisely, it occurred as he declined to watch, or even to listen to the warnings. Watch him spring into decisive action that morning on Fahrenheit 911.
Posted by A Boomer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2008 at 6:45 pm
Here is something I just don't get. These Islamic Jiahdists, whom I agree we must harness, supress, eliminate for the safety of people all over the world:
We are fighting them because they want to impose their ideology on us?
I don't get it. If our leaders really believe that is why we need to go after these clowns, I can't help but wonder just what sort of value set they possess themselves. These people have an at best flimsy ideology that a fanatical few embrace. They no more could impose their belief set, such as it is, on us than the man in the moon.
Let's call this one right if we have any expectation of dealing effectively with these guys. There is a core faction of them that have a twisted set of beliefs, and will stop at nothing to do as much harm as they can to Western targets (remember Madrid and London, it is not just 9/11.) They are joined at present by numerous unhappy people, largely young Muslim men, who either live in countries where they cannot have a meaningful existence, or, of late, are angry at Bush and the US for the consequences of the Iraqi invasion. This second, larger in count group, is largely non-ideological around a jihad or Isalm, they are a set of Tim McVeigh types who are trying to get some attention and don't really have much hope.
The toxic little men at the core, the Osamas of the world, need to be taken out without regard to recourse or protocol. The second group needs hope, not warfare, and an opportunity to do something with themselves that gives them a sense of worth. Osama & Co. are giving them that, however twisted the message is.
The west and even mainstream Islam can provide the sort of opportunity that these folks that is truly worthwhile. But as long as Shrub and his minions expound the belief that we are fighting some sort of ideological battle and that the west's core values, going back thousands of years, are so fragile that they are succeptible to conquest by these Islamic Jiahadist's subjugation, we will never get to the point where we can take away the disillusioned followers who are doing the bidding of a twisted few. Or take out the poisonous handful who truly deserve to be eliminated.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Apr 15, 2008 at 4:21 pm
"The toxic little men at the core, the Osamas of the world, need to be taken out without regard to recourse or protocol. The second group needs hope, not warfare, and an opportunity to do something with themselves that gives them a sense of worth. Osama & Co. are giving them that, however twisted the message is."
Those toxic men are neither "little" nor very far out of the mainstream of Islam. Neither are they few in number. In fact, so-called "mainstream" Islam has been very reluctant to denounce them. Sharia law is on the march in the Muslim world. The 9-11 attackers were from relatively prosperous circimstances. They did not lack for hope, as you describe it. These jihadists are supported, financially and ideologically, by rich Arabs. This is not some marginalized population that is driving this war. It is ideology. Namely, Islam.
The way to beat this thing is to inject Western notions of democracy and individual freedom into the Muslim world. Osama cannot stand what GWB is trying to do in Iraq. However, the Iraqis seem to be catching on to it, and they are unlikely to want to give it up, once it gets going.
Posted by A Boomer, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Apr 15, 2008 at 5:31 pm
Your understanding and apparent fear of Islam is right up there with those who blamed the Jews for their lot in life. Read what you said, and replace the words Jewish and Judiasm for the words Muslim and Islam.
I am not Jewish, nor am I Muslim, but the words like you use are downright scary. I would be more afraid of the likes of you than most people who are Muslims, wearing as you do such a simplistic, homophobic view of a population that exceeds in total numbers the people who call themselves Christian in this world.
If you are incapable of seeing that the people who are truly terrorists are held in contempt by the vast preponderance of people of Islamic faith, and that these "Jiahdists" are a small number of people doing huge amounts of damage, and you actually believe that these terrorists are backed by the hundreds of millions of people who stretch from my next door neighbors in Palo Alto to Indonesia to Casablance, by virtue of the fact that they are Muslim, you are a very sick puppy.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Apr 15, 2008 at 5:59 pm
You are really booming now! Catch a breath.
You might want to start by reading "The Myth of Islamic Tolerance" by Robert Specner (who is under death threats from Muslims for expressing his views). Salmond Rushdie was (is?) under a fatwah because he expressed his own individual views of Islam. Newspaper publishers in Europe are driven to silence by threats from Muslims.
The relative silence from the great majority of Muslims about Osama and 9-11 is a testament to their real feelings. There are over 1 billion Muslims on this planet. If only 0.1% of them are active in the jihad, then that is still 1 million (with an enormous level of silent supporters in the background).
Your naivete about fundamentalist Islam is remarkable.
We need to hear OUT LOUD and very vigorous, and frequent deunciations of fundamentalist Islam from the Muslims. Instead, we get platitudes from front groups, with hidden agendas. Where are the so-called "moderate" Muslims? Tim McVey was hotly, and widely criticized by moderate Christians.
BTW, Boomer, did the Jews attack America on 9-11? I don't think so, although there are some anti-semites who beleive they did. Are you saying that they did? If not, I don't understand your comment about Jews.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Apr 15, 2008 at 8:46 pm
Good to hear that you will not be booming forth with more hate. I shall sleep more soundly. I will not confuse "blaming the Jews" with blaming jihadists for 9-11 (and much more). That one was disgusting, Boomer.
I often wonder if the hatiots are self-loathers. I cannot fathom any other rational explanation. Mid-life crisis aside, there is no rational reason to put the USA down, in order to put your own hatreds up. None.