February 9, 2016

The Once Grand Old Party On Torture

This really happened last night:

Politico has the story:
At a rally on Monday night in Manchester, New Hampshire, Donald Trump repeated a woman’s shouted remark that Ted Cruz was a “pussy” for his comments about waterboarding during Saturday’s Republican debate.

The moment came when Trump, recounting that exchange, heard a shout from a woman in the audience, pointed to her and said, “She just said a terrible thing.”

“You know what she said? Shout it out because I don’t want to say it,” Trump continued, smirking. “OK, you’re not allowed to say and I never expect to hear that from you again. I never expect to hear that from you again. She said he’s a pussy.”
Yea, and the crowd of GOP faithful loved it.  LUUUUVDIT!

So what did the Toronto-borne Senator say about whether waterboarding is torture?  This:
Well, under the definition of torture, no, it’s not. Under the law, torture is excruciating pain that is equivalent to losing organs and systems, so under the definition of torture, it is not. It is enhanced interrogation, it is vigorous interrogation, but it does not meet the generally recognized definition of torture.
And, of course, he's wrong.

According to the recently popped "LawNewz" website:
During Saturday night’s ABC debate, Ted Cruz told the audience that waterboarding is not considered torture under any legal definition. His claim appears to be derived from a controversial 2002 Bush Administration Memo, which has been widely disputed and discounted. However, according to most other legal interpretations, waterboarding does meet the definition of torture.

We've written about waterboarding/torture many times before and in this case, why it should have been prosecuted by the Obama Administration - if only to make sure it never happens again.

Now front runner Trump is saying he's going to "authorize" stuff "beyond waterboarding" and runner-up Ted Cruz redefining the torture out of the waterboarding.  This is why Obama needed to prosecute the Bush era war crimes.

As a reminder, this is what the "generally recognized definition of torture" really is:
For the purposes of this Convention, torture means 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.
Frequent readers of this blog will remember that that was signed by Ronald Wilson Reagan.  It's the "Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment" and it was ratified in 1994.

And that makes it US Law.

I have a question: Since teh crazies have spent so much time saying Obama is ignoring the law and ruling by Executive Order, why are the silent at Trump and his supporters for cheering exactly what that same thing?  How could Trump "authorize" something so at odds with US Law?

And how could they cheer for it?

Waterboarding is torture.

Torture is against the law.

Bush authorized the torture.

Prosecute the torture, Mr. President.


Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

"And how could they cheer for it?

Waterboarding is torture."
It looks fairly simple to me: the antiwar movement has spent the last five or six years attempting to equate waterboarding to torture. They even more or less succeeded – but then they made a classic mistake: they assumed that stigmatization would inevitably follow. Their thinking presumably was that if you can define X as Y, and Y is bad, then it becomes inconceivable that people could possibly support X.

Apparently, what happened instead was that they got the American people to define X as Y… and then the American people decided that perhaps this meant that Y wasn’t so bad after all. This answer allows them to keep doing X, which was after all keeping us from losing any more national landmarks and innocent civilians to terrorist attacks. Men not being angels, that’s enough for a justification right then and there.

Bush authorized the torture.
Prosecute the torture, Mr. President.

Imagine the protests here, If Cruz or Trump wins and orders the release of all Fast and Furious and IRS tea-party targeting documents.

Ol' Froth said...


.The Village Elliot. said...

The ability to torture other apparently inculcates a sense of macho superiority in this generation. Did our people build our society around torture and evil? I don't believe so, but I admit that for the moment many of us seem to have lost our way.