Hey y'all. I didn't want to jump in and take that thread off tangent so I've started this one to continue what me and manu were discussing last night. There are many things the US is authorized to do that would fall under this, though. Keeping someone under water until they pass out, in other words, making them think they're dying and risking brain damage, is torture in my book. Chaining someone in the fetal position with a hood over their heads, leading to total sensory deprivation and loss of movement for upwards of 48 hours, is torture. Sensory Deprivation studies in the 50's and 60's confirmed that after less than 14 hours extreme mental disturbance and temporary insanity could occur in even less stringent conditions. http://www.fairgofordavid.org/pubdocs/AmnestyReport19August03.pdf While I know its hard to read such words against one's own country, the charges are valid. In the days after 9/11, hundreds of citizens and legal US residents were held without being charged or even publicly detained by our own gov. This is much like the events that occurred less than 60 years ago, after Pearl Harbor, to Japanese-American citizens in internment camps. Documents like the above by Amnesty International do show that the government officials do play the human rights card as a political tool when it is in the administration's favor, but refuse to abide by it when their interests are not being met by the rules. This is why US soldiers cannot be charged in international courts at present, as well as why torture occurs at places like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Is it naive to expect us to play by the same rules we charge others with breaking? Being idealistic is not the same thing as being naive. I think I have a fair amount of real world experience. I worked for my own car and insurance, I pay most of my tuition. I grew up in a warzone the first seven years of my life. I still remember sitting in bomb shelters while everyone looked at the ceiling and the ground shook and rumbled. I have travelled around both coasts of our country and to several other places in the world. I am definitely not anti-American or anti-Bush. I am pro-truth though. Given repeated attempts at deception and half-truth by this administration on multiple fronts, I tend to be somewhat skeptical after a time. The boy can cry wolf only so many times. I was so proud of my people for the generosity that governments corporations and private citizens alike showed the past few weeks after the tsunami. The President even personally wrote a check for $10,000, an admirable example by our leader. He is not an evil man, but he and his administration have a shameful record on all the important issues. I am proud to be an American, and proud to maintain the heritage of informed skepticism that is essential for a healthy democracy. Who watches the watchmen? - Juvenal, Satires, VI, 347 "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana (18631952), U.S. philosopher, poet Reason in Common Sense, ch. 12 (1905-6). I will try to post shortly on the discussion about hypothetical changes to US foreign policy.