The Torture Memoes, and Obama’s Ridiculous Position

Yesterday, the Obama administration released four torture memoes. These memoes can be viewed here.

While these are awful, awful reads, particularly the bit where we put detainees with a fear of insects inside a tiny box with an insect they were told would sting them, they simply confirm what we already know: the US authorized waterboarding. Prisoners were waterboarded. Waterboarding, in all US and international precedent, is considered torture.

And under United States law, anyone legitimately suspected of torture must be investigated and prosecuted. No matter what.

“A superior told me to” is not a valid excuse.

Barack Obama says that there will be no prosecutions. He says that this is a time for “reflection, not retribution.”

Barack Obama is as wrong as he has ever been.

I don’t see this as a partisan thing. The Bush folks, in their widespread illegality (both torture and wiretapping), got pretty heavy cooperation from Congress. Investigations need to happen. Rule of law is not a luxury we can drop at any time.

About demredsox

  • care less about this non-torture “torture”.

    The argument that “we can’t use this non-torture “torture” because then our enemy can use the same tactics against our own troops” is asinine when “the enemy” is cutting heads off.  Now, instead of cutting the head off, they’re gonna subject our troops held prisoner to…..sitting in an uncomfortable position??????  THe HORROR!!!!

    …..and anyone that thinks torture doesn’t work…that it gets bad information…..well, step into my office and try to keep information from me while I torture you….really torture you, not the stuff we’ve been doing…..and see if you last 5 seconds without giving up the information.  Power drills are wonderful torture devices…..cordless too.

    The Bush folks, in their widespread illegality (both torture and wiretapping)

    Don’t spread nonsense.  The “illegal” wiretapping was most certainly not “illegal” and you’d know this if you actaully…..READ THE FISA LAW, paying particular attention to the definitions section 1801 of the Electronic Surveillance subchapter and what is considered “electronic surveillance” under the law.

    I’ll spoonfeed it to you.

    Under the FISA statute “electronic surveillance” that is considered illegal MUST BE

    (1) the acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any wire or radio communication sent by or intended to be received by a particular, known United States person who is in the United States, if the contents are acquired by intentionally targeting that United States person, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes;

    (2) the acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any wire communication to or from a person in the United States, without the consent of any party thereto, if such acquisition occurs in the United States, but does not include the acquisition of those communications of computer trespassers that would be permissible under section 2511 (2)(i) of title 18;

    (3) the intentional acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any radio communication, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes, and if both the sender and all intended recipients are located within the United States; or

    (4) the installation or use of an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device in the United States for monitoring to acquire information, other than from a wire or radio communication, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes.

    Tapping a phone outside the United States does not apply and is free game.  YEs, even if it’s an American citizen calling TO the phone.

    The intent of FISA is to protect communications INSIDE THE UNITED STATES…once your communications leave the United States, there is zero reasonable expectation of privacy.

    ….and I say this as a former communications chief of an infantry unit that used equipment to capture phone calls overseas.

    Next time read the law instead of buying the “warrantless wiretapping” rhetoric packaged for the ignorant masses.

  • Bull Shit!  

    US Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 113c, Section 2340 (18 USC 2340), took effect on Jan. 20, 2004, and defined torture as:      

    "(1) 'torture' means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;      

    (2) 'severe mental pain or suffering' means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from – (A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering; (B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality; (C) the threat of imminent death; or (D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality;"

    I can assure you from personal experience, having been waterboarded 3 times during SERE training that it is not torture.  I can also tell you that during SERE training we were also subjected to many of the other enhanced interrogation techniques that also do not meet the criteria of torture.  

    You continue to live in your liberal fantasy land and think as our President does, that somehow we are on the same level as the enemy who beheads, disembowels our dead soldiers and turns them into IEDs, and burns our dead and drags them through the streets.  

    And while your living in your fantasy land safe and sound remember it was through the use of these techniques that you continue to sleep in your comfy bed curled up with your Raggedy Ann doll and sucking your thumb.  The only thing Obama accomplished was to give the enemy another recruiting tool.

    Here is another opinion.  

    David Rivkin, a constitutional lawyer and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, released a statement Friday saying the release of four memos provides a "great benefit" to the former president.  

    "This data is analyzed in great detail to establish that the use of these techniques does not inflict either physical or psychological damage," said Rivkin, who served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. "The conclusions (the) memos reach — that the specific interrogation techniques used by the CIA did not constitute torture — are eminently reasonable."  

    …Rivkin said releasing the memos "rendered (the interrogation techniques) essentially unusable in the future," since U.S. enemies will train their operatives to "withstand" the techniques.

    There you go, the enemy can now train for waterboarding and other enhanced techniques, but how do we train for beheading?

  • Vote3rdpartynow

    I opened the first memo on the link and it looks totally fake.  There are spelling mistakes (tedniques instead of techniques) and fonts that don’t match.  

    Based on the facts you have given us, we understand each of these tedmiques to be as

    GJl!()ws. The attention. grasp consists of grasping the individual v”ith both hands, Qne hand on

    each side ofthe coHal’ opening, in a controlled and quick motion. In the same motion as the

    grasp, the individual is ara”vn tovar1 the interrogator.

    If this memo is ‘really’ from the department of justice then why can’t we hire people who can spell to the department of justice?  I think the memos are bullsh*t…