White House expresses support for torture tactics

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Gabriella84, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. Gabriella84
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    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/07/25/national/w142937D61.DTL

    Senate Republicans pushed ahead Monday with legislation that would set rules for the treatment and interrogation of terrorism suspects in U.S. custody, despite a White House veto threat.

    The Bush administration, led by Vice President Dick Cheney, is working to kill the amendments that GOP Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina want to tack onto a bill setting Defense Department policy for next year.

    McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, and Graham, who spent 20 years as an Air Force lawyer, introduced the legislation Monday. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., has endorsed the effort.

    "What we're trying to do here is make sure there are clear and exact standards set for interrogation of prisoners," McCain said on the Senate floor.

    Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., shot back, "I reject the idea that this Defense Department and our Army and our military is out of control, is confused about what their powers and duties and responsibilities are."

    Republicans said the measures were not toned down even though White House lobbying against them intensified late last week.

    Cheney met with the three Republican lawmakers just off the Senate floor for about 30 minutes Thursday evening to object to detainee legislation. McCain said the meeting was the second in as many weeks between Cheney and top Armed Services members over administration concerns about the defense bill.

    The administration said in a statement last week that President Bush's advisers would recommend a veto of the overall bill if amendments were added that restricted the president's ability to conduct the war on terrorism and protect Americans.

    "They don't think congressional involvement is necessary," McCain said in an interview.

    Senate aides estimate that nearly a dozen Republicans could be on board — which would be more than enough for the amendments to pass if Democrats support them as well.

    Democrats have long criticized the administration on detainee treatment and have put forth their own amendments, including one by Sen. Carl Levin, the top Democrat on Armed Services, that would set up an independent commission to review detention and interrogation practices.

    The White House opposes it, and Senate Republicans say they are pushing their detainee legislation in part as an alternative to the creation of such an independent panel.

    "I think it's important to those who want to consider that commission to see that some members are taking very affirmative steps" on the detainee issue, Warner told reporters.

    Talk of legislation regulating U.S. treatment of terror suspects has percolated on Capitol Hill since last year, when the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal in Iraq surfaced.

    But the effort by leading Republicans to standardize treatment of terror suspects has gained steam over the past few months. Criticism by human-rights groups and lawmakers over the military's detainee camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, reached a fever pitch this spring amid fresh allegations of abuse and torture there.

    One of McCain's amendments would make interrogation techniques outlined in the Army field manual — and any future versions of it — the standard for treatment of all detainees in the Defense Department's custody. The United States also would have to register all detainees in Defense Department facilities with the Red Cross to ensure all are accounted for.

    Warner introduced a watered-down version of McCain's amendment that would give the defense secretary the authority to set standardized rules over detention and interrogation of terror suspects, but he denied that he offered the alternative because of administration pressure.

    Another McCain amendment would expressly prohibit cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody no matter where they are held.

    Graham's amendment would define "enemy combatant" and put into law the procedures the Bush administration already has in place for prosecuting detainees at Guantanamo. That framework includes the existance of military tribunals to determine who qualifies as an "enemy combatant" and parole-like boards to judge annually whether detainees continue to pose threats to the United States.

    The amendment would, in effect, provide a congressional stamp of approval to the Bush administration's legal policies, including those for holding detainees indefinitely.

    "This legitimizes what the courts have been telling us to do," Graham said.

    McCain's amendments have the support of 14 retired military officers, including former Rep. Douglas "Pete" Peterson, D-Fla., a Vietnam veteran and prisoner of war.
     
  2. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    This is why. Once that passes, every Democrat in the nation will attempt to stretch that to argue that you can't even hold terrorists prisoner. It's a feel good law that's being used to buy votes from ignorant voters, nothing more. We already treat those guys with kid gloves and those who don't are prosecuted. We don't need a new bill that will further cripple our ability to get potentially life-saving information from prisoners.

    Lemme put it this way. If this goes through, any interrogation technique that involves asking questions in anyplace that can remotely be defined as uncomfortable would quickly be banned. What if one of these terrorists had information on a bomb that would soon be detonated right in front of your home or workplace? Are you willing to sacrifice YOUR life in the name of being nice to our enemies? If not, then how come you don't think anyone should sacrifice their lives to be much nicer to the Iraqis, who are not our enemies?
     
  3. Gabriella84
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    Hobbit, consider this. Muslim extremists are people who willingly die for their religion. They are glad to be suicide bombers. Do you really think you can torture information out of them? They are just telling you what you want to hear.

    Also, if we torture prisoners, doesn't that make us terrorists? One of the main reasons the War in Iraq is losing credibility with people is because we are stooping to the same abysmal levels as the people we are portraying as evil heartless bastards.
     
  4. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    i disagree....we have not stooped to their level....fight fire with fire....piss on the koran...shoot them all...cut their heads off....hang them from bridges...drag them through the streest of mecca...blow up their buildings....the problem is that they don't think we are serious....we try and be polite as they kill us...pitiful
     
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  5. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    What we do now is not torture, it's interrogation. By denying them rest outside of meals and prayer times, insulting them, and verbally belittling them, we break down their psyche, making them more open to suggestion. It's harsh, but certainly not cruel. In fact, the Gitmo interrogation process is far gentler than boot camp, which has essentially the same goal of breaking down the psyche. Besides, these guys are nuts. I don't think they'd even respond to real torture.
     
  6. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    Another fine example of McCains attempt to make everyone happy (and get votes for his run for the presidency). This ranks right up there with his bullshit campaign finance "reform" that did nothing other than to get his name repeated often.
     
  7. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Oh yeah! I hear we exploded 10 car bombs this week already,
    cut off 6 heads, hung 5, and blew-up a few schools too..
    Yep, we're JUST LIKE THEM. You MORON!!!
     
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  8. Abbey Normal
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    Abbey Normal Senior Member

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    Dillo, I want to like MCain, I really do, but I see him as you seem to. He changes his mind on key issues, so if I vote for him and he wins, I don't trust that the man I vote for is the same man who will sit in the Oval Office.

    As for the torture laws, it's a different world and the old rules don't work with Islamist terrorists (sorry for the redundancy there). I am not in favor of torture, but I don't want our military to be hamstrung by a law that may or may not work in the field. And above all, I prize getting information that may hinder future terrorist attacks.
     
  9. ScreamingEagle
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    ScreamingEagle Gold Member

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    McCain gives me a severe headache. Just what is this "military hero" doing to help win this war exactly? Placating the left with kid glove treatment of the captured enemy? Take away military powers and procedures? That's supposed to stop the bombings? What a politically self-centered fool.

    I'll take Tom Tancredo any day!
     
  10. CSM
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    I read the entire article and nowhere did I see the White house expressing support for torture. The fact that folks even bother to reply to a post that is an onvious attempt at trolling truly surprises me. Either the responders did not read the article or they buy into the original statement made by the troller.


    I dont suppose the that the original poster has considered the possibility that there may be amendments attached to the bill (hinted at in the body of the article) which would cause the White House and specifically the President to threaten a veto. Not that the Congress of the United States would ever do anything to limit the powers of the executive branch of our government!
     

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