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Win-Win-Lose The Constitution

It is being called a “compromise,” but that seems to be in name only. The “rebellion” by key Senate Republicans against Bush’s wishes for constitutional right to torture, hold prisoners without charges or access to courts, approve military tribunals and the use of “secret” and hearsay evidence, has essentially survived in tact.

The only compromise seems to be that it is being called one. It gives McCain, Warner, and Graham a nice political out, and casts a light of "reasonableness" for Bush. Beyond that it is a disaster - and it is likely to become law.

The "compromise" bills moved forward on September 22, 2006 are all titled the "Military Commissions Act of 2006":

H.R. 6054 "introduced by Mr. HUNTER (for himself, Mr. BOEHNER, Mr. SENSENBRENNER, Mr. CALVERT, Mrs. MILLER of Michigan, Mr. MILLER of Florida, Mr. SHUSTER, Mr. FRANKS of Arizona, Mr. WILSON of South Carolina, Mr. SAXTON, Mr. PORTER, Mr. KLINE, Mr. HEFLEY, Mr. HAYES, Mr. SWEENEY, Mr. CHOCOLA, and Mr. LOBIONDO)" (Bill Summary Status)

S. 3929 introduced by McConnell and Frist (Bill Summary Status)

and S. 3930 introduced by McConnell, Frist, and Warner. (Bill Summary Status)

Notes: I am assuming that S. 3930 supersedes S. 3929 as Warner is signed onto the former but not the latter. If the links to any of the above legislative documents do not work, you can access them through Thomas - Library of Congress, and search on the bill number or title.

See "Summarization of pertinent aspects of S. 3930" at then end of this article for specifics.

The proposed legislation pretty much gives the White House what they wanted in terms of "interrogation" issues, legality of detainee status, abridging the Geneva Conventions, utilizing coerced testimony and secret evidence, and placing all of this outside the bounds of review by the Supreme Court (see Sec. 3 Subchapter IV below).

According to analysts, for example Adam Liptak in the NY Times:

"It would impose new legal standards that it forbids the courts to enforce.

It would guarantee terrorist masterminds charged with war crimes an array of procedural protections. But it would bar hundreds of minor figures and people who say they are innocent bystanders from access to the courts to challenge their potentially lifelong detentions."

Caroline Fredrickson of the ACLU is quoted in a press release as stating:


"This is a compromise of America's commitment to the rule of law. The proposal would make the core protections of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions irrelevant and unenforceable. It deliberately provides a 'get out of jail free card' to the administration's top torture officials, and backdates that card nine years. These are tactics expected of repressive regimes, not the American government.

"Also under the proposal, the president would have the authority to declare what is - and what is not - a grave breach of the War Crimes Act, making the president his own judge and jury. This provision would give him unilateral authority to declare certain torture and abuse legal and sound. In a telling move, during a call with reporters today, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley would not even answer a question about whether waterboarding would be permitted under the agreement.

"The agreement would also violate time-honored American due process standards by permitting the use of evidence coerced through cruel and abusive treatment. We urge lawmakers to stand firm in their commitment to American values and reject this charade of a compromise."

This proposed legislation, if allowed to move forward, does not make us safer. What it does do is to overrule the Supreme Court decisions which have gone against the Bush administration in regards to the rights of detainees, the legality of Military Tribunals (renamed "Military Commissions" under this legislation), and allowing the use of testimony gained through torture and evidence which no one is allowed to see. It also would give the President the right under U.S. law to determine what the Geneva Convention means, and the authority to ignore it if he (she) so wishes.

It is alarming that the ruling of the commissions is placed beyond the review of the Supreme Court, and that the fitness of Commission Judges is also beyond challenge. The only oversight that I see in this legislation is a once yearly report to the various armed services committee.

The proposed legislation is also retroactive (as far as I can tell) as it removes any starting date from consideration. Previous versions had specified August 1, 2005. In this regard, it protects the administration, CIA, contractors, and others, from investigation or prosecution for war crimes. As far as I can tell from the legislation and various analyses, it is a buffer both internationally and domestically.

Of further note, it is not constrained to "alien enemy combatants," but expands to anyone who is suspected of aiding and abetting suspected "terrorists," or enemy combatants.

With the capitulation of McCain, Warner, and Graham, it seems highly likely that this bill will breeze through despite any resistance from the Democrats. So it is a (huge) win for the administration, a win for the political aspirations of McCain, Warner and Graham, and a huge loss for the citizens of the United States, and the international laws to which we have been a party for almost 60 years.


*******
Summarization of pertinent aspects of S. 3930:
Sec. 3 Authorization for Military Tribunals
a) the President has the right to establish them for the trial of "alien unlawful combatants;"
b) this does not limit the President's right to establish other military tribunals;
c) the tribunal has the authority to impose punishment - including death
d) the Secretary of Defense has the authority to carry out the penalties imposed by the tribunals.
e) the Secretary of Defense will give an annual report to the House and Senate armed services committee.

Military Commissions:
"(f) Geneva Conventions Not Establishing Source of Rights- No alien enemy unlawful combatant subject to trial by military commission under this chapter may invoke the Geneva Conventions as a source of rights at his trial by military commission."

Sec. 3 Subchapter IV - Sec. 950j. Finality of proceedings, findings, and sentences

(b) Provisions of Chapter Sole Basis for Review of Military Commission Procedures and Actions- Except as otherwise provided in this chapter and notwithstanding any other provision of law (including section 2241 of title 28 or any other habeas corpus provision), no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any claim or cause of action whatsoever, including any action pending on or filed after the date of enactment of this chapter, relating to the prosecution, trial, or judgment of a military commission under this chapter, including challenges to the lawfulness of procedures of military commissions under this chapter.

Sec 4, Subchapter 1 definitions c) "Inapplicability of Certain Provisions"
1) speedy trial not required
2) compulsory self-incrimination accepted
3) pre-trial investigation

(f)"GENEVA CONVENTIONS NOT ESTABLISHING SOURCE OF RIGHTS.--No alien enemy unlawful combatant subject to trial by military commission under this chapter may invoke the Geneva Conventions as a source of rights at his trial by military commission.

SEC. 5. AMENDMENTS TO OTHER LAWS.
(d) Review of Judgments of Military Commissions
(2) DETAINEE TREATMENT ACT OF 2005- Section 1005(e)(3) of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (title X of Public Law 109-148; 119 Stat. 2740; 10 U.S.C. 801 note) is amended--
(A) in subparagraph (A), by striking `pursuant to Military Commission Order No. 1. dated August 31, 2005 (or any successor military order)' and inserting `by a military commission under chapter 47A of title 10, United States Code';


SEC. 6. HABEAS CORPUS MATTERS.
(e)(1) No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who--

`(A) is currently in United States custody; and

`(B) has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.

SEC. 10. SEVERABILITY.
If any provision of this Act or amendment made by a provision of this Act, or the application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act and the amendments made by this Act, and the application of such provisions and amendments to any other person or circumstance, shall not be affected thereby.

Posted by Rowan Wolf at September 23, 2006 8:29 PM
Comments
Comment #183534

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/12681
Earlier Ruling:
http://www.ratical.org/radiation/DU/ICTforAatT.html#s10

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 10:01 PM
Comment #183536

My point in posting the two links above is to say that no matter how Mr. Bush wants to change the Genieva Convention of to re-interperate it; that the fact of the matter is that the United States has signed it, and is bound by it, no matter WHO is President.

And, although Bush may be taking measures to secure his legal standing in the United States, that does not protect him from International Law, and we can only hope for Justice to Prevail.

Because no one, and no country is above the law.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 23, 2006 10:07 PM
Comment #183548

Playnice, what nation on earth would seek to hold the leader of the greatest military power on earth accountable in international court if Bush chooses not to respond to a subpeona?

What President after Bush, seeking reelection would dare turn Bush over to an international court?

Bush’s handlers have thought this one through adequately. The only circumstance under which he may be handed over by the U.S. government for trial in international court would be by order of a lame duck president to follow him. But, there, Bush’s handlers are counting on such a President to have regard for his/her political party and the harm done it by such an action.

Politicians are a very self protecting lot. They have spent hundreds of years perfecting the system to be just so! One law for the people, quite another for politicians: except those who play outside the rules of the political system and besmirch their fellow politicians by their actions. (e.g. Abramoff - Ney - Jefferson - DeLay)

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 23, 2006 11:36 PM
Comment #183552

Rowan

An excellent analysis.

These machinations by the Bush Regime seem aimed more at protecting themselves from investigation and prosecution than at protecting the country. For example, they are screaming that if the Democrats get control of the House or Senate they will just try to impeach the President. They hope to use this to retain control in the mid term elections, but if they lose control in the mid terms they will have laid the political ground work to make it hard for the Dems to do anything. Brilliant. Evil. But Brilliant.

Posted by: Ray Guest at September 23, 2006 11:57 PM
Comment #183558

The war is within the USA—today, not the days after 911, but today- when McCain compromises the Geneva Convention, then it is not the terrorists we should fear, it is “us”.. We canabalize ourselves- if we do not protect our soldiers from torture by supporting the laws of the Geneva Convention, then we devour ourselves

Posted by: jj5 at September 24, 2006 12:22 AM
Comment #183561

David R. Remer

…what nation on earth would seek to hold the leader of the greatest military power on earth accountable in international court if Bush chooses not to respond to a subpeona?

If he has broken any International laws, I would hope that the PEOPLE of this COUNTRY would hold him responsible, and act on it.

jj5,
Nicely put.

Posted by: Linda H. at September 24, 2006 12:39 AM
Comment #183565

It seems that some people are seriously confused when they talk about “the Geneva Conventions,” as if the Geneva Conventions guarantees combatants, illegal combatants and outright terrorists the same rights as an American under the US Consitution.

It would be extremly helpful if, amidst all this puffed up moralistic outrage, somebody could actually point out what elements of the Geneva Convention would actually be contravened by the McCain/White House agreement.

Otherwise it looks a whole lot like people demanding that accused foreign terrorists are read their Miranda warning, given an attorney paid for by the American taxpayer, and then tried by a citizen’s jury composed, of say, residents of Berkeley, California.

The measure under discussion here, as John McCain who knows something about what torture actually is, conforms to both the spirit and the word of the Geneva Conventions and outlaws torture. So what more do you want?

Nothing we do is going to satisfy the so-called international community, as so many of them oppose the Iraqi intervention and would only be too glad to use “internataional law” as a means of political score settling. And I wonder how many of those in the US raising such a fuss are doing the same—campaigning against the Iraq war by fighting a diversionary battle over the human rights of terrorists.

Posted by: Pilsner at September 24, 2006 1:44 AM
Comment #183566

So for the entire duration of the cold war, fighting communist countries we honored the terms of the Geneva Convention but now that we have a group of Islamic fundamentalist to do battle with we have to stoop to this level. Seems the terrorist have won.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 24, 2006 1:49 AM
Comment #183569

Pilsner,

We do not expect our government to feed these guys milk and cookies. Please do not belittle torture or inhumane treatment.

John McCain who at first came out against the presidents position is now all for it. Why? What has he been promised? He is obviously the only Rep in a position (clean enough) to think about running for the white house in 08.

What do we want? We just want the truth. No one has had a problem with the Genieva convention in 60 years until Bush. But, now he has a problem and he cant understand it. I think he understands, that he has broken the law up until now quite well, and that is why he needs this passed. (Its as good as a self pardon).

You are wrong. There is a lot that will satisfy us. Just treat prisoners of war humanely and do not torture them and allow them their day in court so that they (and we) know, if they are really guilty or not. And, if they are, they can rot in jail for all I care.

But, there are people being let go, seams like every day now, that were not guilty of anything. What do we need to do to them? Cut their balls off? Will that satisfy your blood thirst? And what kind of information do you want to get from them? What will they have now …. 2-3 years after the fact? Their intel was out dated 2 years ago. None of it could possiably be relivant.

When our county wants to change the rules, what is to prevent all those other countries that signed it, from doing the same thing to our guys? Nothing.

By advocating torture, by refusing to abide by what we have already agreed to, and have adheared to for over 60 years, we put our soilders at risk and we make our principals of “freedom and justice” a laughing stock to the rest of the world.

Just ask yourself…If what Bush feels he needs to do by way of “torture”, if those things are done to Americans and we find out about it? How would we like it? Would it make us want to fight back? Just ask yourself that!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 24, 2006 3:22 AM
Comment #183571

The problem with the reciprocity argument is that our current enemies clearly DO NOT abide by any rules at all. We have managed to maintain a perfect head to body relationship among our prisoners. The same cannot be said for the bad guys. Our respect, or lack of it, has no impact on their actions.

The other problem is with the Geneva conventions. They were set up as agreements between nations. The enemy today does not represent a nation (at least not one that signed the agreement.) Under the convention, most of these guys would be spies or saboteurs and subject to summary execution.

Another important value of the Geneva convention is to protect civilians. It does not allow the targeting of civilian populations (which is what terrorists specifically do) AND it does not allow military units to hide among and as civilians. These things are the basis of the terrorist strategy. If they followed the Geneva convention, they would not be able to fight at all.

I know Mel Gibson is out of style, but some of you have probably seem Lethal Weapon (I think 3) where the South Africans are smuggling drugs and each time the cops catch them, the leader pulls out his wallet and claims diplomatic immunity. Of course, the law doesn’t really work this way, but that is what we are giving the bad guys. They murder our people and hide behind civilians and if they are caught, they suddenly claim special rights.

So let’s do Geneva right. When we catch the terrorists hiding among civilians, let’s do the battlefield interogation (allowed by the convention) and them immediately execute them as spies and saboteurs. We did it to the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. Seemed to be a good idea back then.

Posted by: Jack at September 24, 2006 3:39 AM
Comment #183585

The administration is trying its best to defend our country. Countries abroad and people inside the US are just trying to score political points. The Blame America First crowd is parroting what the terrorist are saying about us and that is, frankly, despicable. Remember that the terrorists will kill you, no matter what your politics are.

Posted by: JoeRWC at September 24, 2006 4:51 AM
Comment #183586

Jack,

Fine argument. This bill does nothing but define what is torture and what is not. A slap in the face or belly does no permanent damage. Neither does waterboarding. Having your head cut off does. When’s the last time the U.S. released a grainy video of some terrorist being beheaded?

Furthermore, giving these terrorists any protections fundamentally undermines the Geneva Conventions. The Conventions establish rules of war and try to frame war in such a way as to cause minimum death and destruction to civlians. The terrorist violate every article of the Geneva Conventions and are not entitled to any protections. Jack is right, they are liable for summary judgement and execution, and if I had the authority to do so, the only restriction I would impose is that the bullets had to rubbed over some pork first.

The idea that the Geneva Conventions are some sort of magic blanket of protection against foriegn abuse is nonsense as well. Senator McCain is very emphatic on the point that he was tortured by North Vietnam, the same North Vietnam that was also a signatory of the Geneva Conventions. What good did it do him? The only people likely to obey the Geneva Conventions today are nations like Britain that we wouldn’t go to war with anyways. All these high horse principles of the left would be thrown out the window if torturing a terrorist got back a kidnapped family member. JoeRWC said it right, thier behavior is despicable.

P.S. Jack, that was Lethal Weapon II.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 24, 2006 5:08 AM
Comment #183596

The three paper tigers, Senators John Warner, McCain and Graham in the senate actually had my hopes up about stopping this president from further damage to the morals and values of this great country. I used to have respect for these Republicican Senators.
I am an old paratrooper. I have been accused of being a coward, and unpatriotic because I believe we should have aimed all our military strategic and operative resources at the terrorists in Afganistan. The war in Iraq is a huge costly mistake.
I’m ashamed of the leadership in this country.

Posted by: john at September 24, 2006 8:50 AM
Comment #183599

I cant believe any poll would put Dems ahead of Reps. on National security or the war on terror. Those polls must have been conucted in New York and California. The truth is that Dems are weak on defense. When in Rome do as the Romans do. Dems are so concerned about torture,even when the enemy cuts off heads. Please explain to me how us not using strong methods to get information is going to effect what the terrorist do. The dems have tried to obstruct our efforts to get information from terrorsists at every turn ie Patriot Act, electronic survelance. The dems simply do not know how to keep our people safe. Clinton was a fine example of how dems execute war, Clinton treated the war efforts as though they were criminal investigations.

Posted by: Thomas at September 24, 2006 9:09 AM
Comment #183605

When the President, the vice-President, and the Congress no longer desire to uphold the law of the U.S.A. (which they have promised under oath to do), then they need to be charged with such crimes…if they don’t want to uphold the U.S. Constitution nor the country’s signing of the Geneva Conventions (treaties become part of U.S. law…of course, we’ve seen how well that worked out for the Native Americans)then they no longer deserve, nor under law should they be in, office pretending to “represent” this nation.

Impeach them, charge them with treason, vote them out, block them at every turn until we citizens have people who represent not just our views, but who uphold the U.S. Constitution and the treaties which we signed in good faith.

Otherwise we are nothing but one more terrorist nation if we let these people remain and controvert the law of our nation.

Posted by: Lynne at September 24, 2006 9:41 AM
Comment #183607


Shall we continue to tell the World that we are a Godly, Christian Nation who’s citizens try to hold themselves and their leaders to a higher moral standard than many of the other nations, or shall we prove to the World that we can be just as evil and despodic as the terrorists or rogue nations such as North Korea?

Although I am not a Christian, I hope we choose the former rather than the latter because once we start down that path, we will eventually become what we claim to detest.

Example: The new torture law will give the President carte blanche to deal with suspected terrorists and anyone suspected of aiding terrorists. I have heard it stated,many times on Watchblog, that anyone who disagrees with the Administration is aiding the terrorists. Does this mean that an American Citizen who protests what the Administration is doing could suddenly disappear never to be seen again? Could this new law be used in such a way in the future.

Posted by: jlw at September 24, 2006 9:52 AM
Comment #183608

While every inch of this legislation frightens me, it is the last bit that really chills me to the bone.

SEC. 10. SEVERABILITY.
If any provision of this Act or amendment made by a provision of this Act, or the application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act and the amendments made by this Act, and the application of such provisions and amendments to any other person or circumstance, shall not be affected thereby.

Basically this guts any attempt to change this legislation. Is it just me or does this blatantly disregard the idea of Separation of Powers that this entire government is built upon? Even if the courts strike down part, the rest still stands? This is, as a friend would say, “re-cock-ulous” (beyond ridiculous).

And I just have to ask, Pilsner, I have yet to see you have a single thought on this blog that didn’t begin life as a talking-point memo. Are you capable of independent thought, or do you just download them directly into your brain every morning? I just LOVE how every time this subject comes up, the GOP tries to change gears and start discussing how “aimless” the Dems are. Take Joe for example. He doesn’t try to discuss the legsislation at all, just how directionless the Left is. Well, on this subject, I can sum up our plan in two phrases. Nice and slow so I’m not misunderstood.

1)Stop…torturing…people
2)Give….them….a….real….trial.

That clear enough? Nuff said.

Posted by: leatherankh at September 24, 2006 9:53 AM
Comment #183613

Jack, your 3:28 am post presents a very good answer to the problem and keeps us in compliance with the geneva convention. So why the new bill?
As far as Iraq, how does the insurgents and those killing members of the other sects fit in? they are civilians in their own country.Maybe a police action is appropriate. Both armies (us and Iraq’s) are on the same side. The terrorist once identifed would of course be under the interrorgate and execute rule. The gitmo detainees would of course be a mess to deal with.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 24, 2006 10:23 AM
Comment #183618

Jack,
3:28 am is code for 3:39am.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 24, 2006 11:23 AM
Comment #183619

When we engage in torture, we no longer hold the moral high ground. If the US is going to battle terrorists, we must remain a civilized society enforcing the democratic principles upon which we were founded. How can Congress seriously think that changing the definition of torture makes torturing people acceptable? We should all fear a day the term “enemy combatants” is changed to include any person who disagrees with those in power.

This Michigan voter will be showing Candice Miller no love in November.

Posted by: Mc at September 24, 2006 11:25 AM
Comment #183625

The whole point of this legislation is to protect those who have or might in the future torture, from prosecution, from the administration on down.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 24, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #183628
Pilsner: It would be extremly helpful if, amidst all this puffed up moralistic outrage, somebody could actually point out what elements of the Geneva Convention would actually be contravened by the McCain/White House agreement.

I am not a legal scholar, but it seems as if the proposed legislation violates the following components of the Geneva Conventions. All of the following are quoted from Geneva Conventions - Society for Professional Journalists. Only pertinent components included.

access to prisoners of war

Captured medical personnel or members of the Red Cross or other aid organizations must be allowed to periodically visit prisoners of war in labor units or hospitals outside the camp. (Convention I, Art. 28a )

Representatives of the protecting powers shall have permission to visit all places where prisoners of war may be, particularly to places of internment, imprisonment and labor. They must be able to interview the prisoners without witnesses, either personally or through an interpreter. ( Convention III, Art. 126)

amnesty

No party to the Geneva Conventions can absolve itself, or another party, of liability for grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. ( Convention I, Art. 51; Convention II, Art. 52; Convention III, Art. 131; Convention IV, Art. 148)

attorneys

Prisoners of war must have the right to legal advice, particularly in the case of preparing powers of attorney and wills. ( Convention III, Art. 77)

Those children who do participate in hostilities do not lose their protections under the Geneva Conventions, including the right to an education. (Protocol II, Art. 4, Sec. 3d)

Children who have committed an offense related to the armed conflict before their 18th birthday cannot be subject to the death penalty. (Protocol I, Art. 77, Sec. 5)

If arrested, detained or interned, children must be held in separate quarters from adults, unless they are with their families. (Protocol I, Art. 77, Sec. 4)

baths

Prisoners of war must have access to baths and showers, as well as sufficient soap and water for personal toilets and for laundry. Women prisoners must have separate facilities. ( Convention III, Art. 29)

The above also applies to internees. ( Convention IV, Art. 85 )

censorship

Letters written by prisoners may be censored but a detaining power cannot use the excuse of not having enough translators to limit the number of letters that prisoners are allowed, unless the protecting power agrees. (Convention III, Art. 71)

The censoring must take place as quickly as possible by the dispatching state and the receiving state, and only once by each. The examination of packages must take place in the presence of a prisoner or a prisoner’s chosen representative. Any prohibition of correspondence must be temporary and as short as possible. (Convention III, Art. 76)

children

Parties to a conflict must respect children, provide them with any care or aid they require, and protect them from any form of indecent assault (Protocol I, Art. 77, Sec. 1).

Similar guidelines apply to internees’ mail. (Convention IV, Art. 112)

The same applies to civilian internees. ( Convention IV, Art. 113 )

Military commanders must have access to legal advisers to instruct them on the application of the Geneva Conventions. ( Protocol I, Art. 82)

civilian immunity

Civilians have special protections under Convention IV, Protocol I, and Protocol II.

They must be treated humanely, without discrimination based on race, color, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or other similar criteria.

Violence to life and person including murder, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture are prohibited.

The taking of hostages is prohibited.

Outrages upon personal dignity, including humiliating and degrading treatment are prohibited.

Sentences and executions without a judgment from a regularly constituted court and without benefit of the standard judicial guarantees are prohibited. (Convention IV, Art. 3)

civilian

A civilian is any person who does not belong to any of the following categories: members of the armed forces, militias or volunteer corps, organized resistance movements, and residents of an occupied territory who spontaneously take up arms. If there is any doubt whether a person is civilian, then he or she is to be considered a civilian. (Protocol I, Art. 50, Sec. 1)


clothing for prisoners of war

Prisoners must be supplied with clothing, underwear and footwear that is both sufficient and suitable for the climate. (Convention III, Art. 27)

Prisoners of war must not be forced to give up their own clothing, even if it is military issue. (Convention III, Art. 18)

coercion

Prisoners of war may not be tortured mentally or physically, and no other form of coercion may be used during interrogation. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer must not be punished in any way. (Convention III, Art. 17)

Prisoners of war may not be tortured or coerced into admitting guilt during a judicial proceeding. (Convention III, Art. 99)

Civilians must not be tortured or coerced, particularly to obtain information from them or third parties. (Convention IV, art. 31)

combatant status

Combatants have protections under the Geneva Conventions, as well as obligations.

Convention I offers protections to wounded combatants, who are defined as members of the armed forces of a party to an international conflict, members of militias or volunteer corps including members of organized resistance movements as long as they have a well-defined chain of command, are clearly distinguishable from the civilian population, carry their arms openly, and obey the laws of war. (Convention I, Art. 13, Sec. 1 and Sec. 2)

Convention III offers a wide range of protections to combatants who have become prisoners of war. (Convention III, Art. 4)

For example, captured combatants cannot be punished for acts of war except in the cases where the enemy’s own soldiers would also be punished, and to the same extent. (Convention III, Art. 87)

See prisoner of war for a list of additional protections.

Possible Exception, but then would fall under civilian However, other individuals, including civilians, who commit hostile acts and are captured do not have these protections. For example, civilians in an occupied territory are subject to the existing penal laws. (Convention IV, Art. 64)

But the above may possibly overridden by this The 1977 Protocols extend the definition of combatant to include any fighters who carry arms openly during preparation for an attack and during the attack itself, (Protocol I, Art. 44, Sec. 3) but these Protocols aren’t as widely accepted as the four 1949 conventions.

In addition to rights, combatants also have obligations under the Geneva Conventions.

Although all combatants are required to comply with international laws, violations do not deprive the combatants of their status, or of their right to prisoner of war protections if they are captured. (Protocol I, Art. 44, Sec. 2)

concentration camps

Concentration camps, though not mentioned explicitly in the Geneva Conventions, violate a number of provisions, including those concerning unlawful confinement and due process.

confinement

Prisoners of war may be confined as a disciplinary punishment, except where it would be inhuman, brutal, or dangerous to their health. (Convention III, Art. 88)

Prisoners of war may not be held in close confinement except for reasons of health, and then only as long as medically necessary. (Convention III, Art. 21)

A prisoner may be confined for no more than 30 days at a time, with a minimum of three days before any additional punishment. (Convention III, Art. 90)

No prisoner shall spend more than 14 days in confinement waiting the resolution of a disciplinary offense. (Convention III, Art. 95)

Women prisoners shall be confined separately and under the supervision of women. (Convention III, Art. 97)

Internees may also be confined as a disciplinary punishment, with similar limitations as for prisoners of war. (Convention IV, Art. 117, Art. 124 and Art. 125)

Unlawful confinement of civilians is a grave breach of the Geneva Convention. (Protocol IV, Art. 147)

crimes against humanity

War crimes are against the customary laws of war which are applicable in any conflict, regardless of whether the country in question is a signatory to the Geneva Convention. They include the rights listed in the common article 3 of the Geneva Conventions (Convention I, Article 3) and the basics of human rights law - freedom from torture, mutilation and rape, slavery, and willful killing. Customary law also forbids genocide, crimes against humanity, as well as war crimes.

death sentences

Prisoners of war and the protecting powers must be informed as soon as possible about which offenses are punishable by death. Other offenses may not be added to the list later without the agreement of the protecting power. (Convention III, Art. 100)

An occupying power may sentence civilians to death only if they are guilty of spying, serious acts of sabotage, or if they murdered one or more people Ñ but only if these offenses were punishable by death by local laws before the occupation began. (Convention IV, Art. 68)

If civilians in an occupied territory are charged with an offense that is punishable by death, their protecting power must be notified immediately. If the notification is not received at least three weeks before the first hearing, the trial shall not proceed. (Convention IV, Art. 71)

See also fair trials.

deportation

Individual or mass deportations from an occupied territory are prohibited regardless of motive. If evacuation is required, civilians may be moved within an occupied territory or outside if absolutely necessary, but must then be returned home as soon as hostilities in the area have ceased. (Convention IV, Art. 47)

Civilians in an occupied territory must not be transferred to a country where they have reason to fear persecution based on their political or religious beliefs. (Convention IV, Art. 45)

dormitories

Prisoners of war must be housed under the same conditions as the local forces of the detaining power. The premises must be dry, adequately heated and lighted, and secured against fire. Women must have separate dormitories from men. (Convention III, Art. 25)

If women who are not members of a family unit are interned in the same place as men, then they must have separate sleeping quarters and sanitary conveniences. (Convention IV, Art. 85)

due process

The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions are forbidden unless all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized people have been met and a regularly constituted court has pronounced a judgment. (Convention I, Art. 3, Sec 1d)

enemy aliens

Aliens in the territory of a party to a conflict have the right to individual or collective relief, medical attention, and the freedom to practice their religions. In addition, they must be allowed to leave danger zones to the same extent as nations. (Convention IV, Art. 38)

fair trial

The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions are forbidden unless all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized people have been met and a regularly constituted court has pronounced a judgment. (Convention I, Art. 3, Sec 1d)

Depriving combatants, prisoners of war, refugees, or medical or religious personnel of a fair trail is a grave breach of the Geneva Convention. (Protocol I, Art. 85, Sec. 4e)

grave breaches

Grave breaches of the Conventions and Protocols are war crimes.

Attacking a person who is hors de combat. (Protocol I, Art. 85, Sec. 3)

Any unlawful act which causes death or seriously endangers the health of a prisoner of war. (Convention III, Art. 13)

Unlawful transfer, deportation or confinement of civilians, willful killing, hostage taking and torture . (Protocol IV, Art. 147)

Depriving civilians who are under the control of an enemy power of the right to a fair trial (Convention IV, Art. 147)

Depriving combatants, prisoners of war, refugees, or medical or religious personnel of a fair trial. (Protocol I, Art. 85, Sec. 4e)

humane treatment of internees

Internees retain their civilian status and may exercise all attendant rights. (Convention IV, Art. 80)

Internees must be accommodated according to nationality, language and customs. Family groups must be lodged together and with facilities for leading a proper family life. (Convention IV, Art. 82)

Internees must not be housed in areas exposed to dangers of war. (Convention IV, Art. 83)

Internees must be housed in clean and healthy buildings, adequately heated and lighted, with suitable bedding, sanitary facilities, and separate accommodations for women who are not members of a family group. (Convention IV, Art. 85)

Internees must have access to premises suitable for religious services of any denomination. (Convention IV, Art. 86)

Internees must have enough food and drinking water to avoid nutritional deficiencies and in keeping with their customary diet, with additional food provided for pregnant and nursing mothers and young children. (Convention IV, Art. 89)

Internees must be provided with adequate clothing, footwear, and underwear. (Convention IV, Art. 90)

Internees must have access to adequate medical care. (Convention IV, Art. 91)

See also medical care for internees.

Identification by tattooing or imprinting signs or markings on the body is prohibited, and internees must not be subjected to prolonged standing and roll-calls, punishment drill, military drill and maneuvers, or reduction in food rations. (Convention IV, Art. 100)

In no case may disciplinary penalties be inhuman, brutal or dangerous to the health of the internees. (Convention IV, Art. 119)

Imprisonment in premises without daylight and all forms of cruelty without exception are forbidden. (Convention IV, Art. 118)

Internees may not be transferred to prisons to undergo disciplinary punishment there. (Convention IV, Art. 124)

See also internees, punishment of.

humane treatment of prisoners of war

Prisoners of war must be humanely treated at all times. Any unlawful act which causes death or seriously endangers the health of a prisoner of war is a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions. In particular, prisoners must not be subject to physical mutilation>, biological experiments, violence, intimidation, insults, and public curiosity. (Convention III, Art. 13)

Prisoners of war must be interred on land, and only in clean and healthy areas. (Convention III, Art. 22)

Prisoners of war are entitled to the same treatment given to a country’s own forces, including total surface and cubic space of dormitories, fire protection, adequate heating and lighting, and separate dormitories for women. (Convention III, Art. 25)

Prisoners of war must receive enough food to maintain weight and to prevent nutritional deficiencies, with account of the habitual diet of the prisoners. Food must not be used for disciplinary purposes. (Convention III, Art. 26)

Prisoners of war must receive adequate clothing, underwear and footwear. The clothing must be kept in good repair and prisoners who work must receive clothing appropriate to their tasks. (Convention III, Art. 27)

Also see clothing for prisoners of war.

Prisoners of war must have adequate sanitary facilities, with separate facilities for women prisoners. (Convention III, Art. 29)

Prisoners of war must receive adequate medical attention. (Convention III, Art. 30)

See medical care for prisoners of war.

Prisoners of war must receive due process and fair trials. (Convention III, Art. 82 through Art. 88)

Collective punishment for individual acts, corporal punishment, imprisonment without daylight, and all forms of torture and cruelty are forbidden. (Convention III, Art. 87)

indecent assault
Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, enforced prostitution and any form of indecent assault is prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever, whether committed by civilians or military personnel. (Protocol I, Art. 75)

internees, punishment of

All civil laws in a territory continue to apply to internees who commit offenses during internment. However, if an act is only punishable when committed by internees and not other civilians, then that act can only be punished by disciplinary punishments. (Convention IV, Art. 117)

These include fines totaling not more than two weeks’ wages, loss of special privileges, a maximum of two hours of fatigue duties a day, or confinement not to exceed thirty consecutive days. (Convention IV, Art. 119)

Imprisonment in premises without daylight and all forms of cruelty without exception are forbidden. (Convention IV, Art. 118)

Internees may not be transferred to prisons to undergo disciplinary punishment there. (Convention IV, Art. 124)

internment

If an occupying power considers it necessary for imperative reasons of security, it may restrict civilians to assigned residents or to internment. Due process must be followed and internees must have the right of appeal. In addition, cases must be reviewed regularly, every six months if possible. (Convention IV, Art. 78)

If the internee is no longer able to work, then the occupying power must provide employment opportunities comparable to those of other civilians or otherwise ensure the internee’s support. (Convention IV, Art. 39)

In addition, internees must be allowed to receive allowances from their home countries, from the protecting power, or from relief societies. (Convention IV, Art. 39)

interrogation of prisoners of war

Prisoners of war are only obligated to provide names, ranks, date of birth, army, personal or serial identification numbers or equivalent information. Failure to do so may result in loss of special privileges. (Convention III, Art. 17)

No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion may be inflicted. Prisoners who refuse to answer questions may not be threatened, insulted or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind. (Convention III, Art. 17)

Prisoners of war must be questioned in a language they can understand. (Convention III, Art. 17)

lawyers

Prisoners of war must have the right to legal advice, particularly in the case of preparing powers of attorney and wills. (Convention III, Art. 77)

The same applies to civilian internees. (Convention IV, Art. 113)

parcels

Prisoners of war must be allowed to receive parcels containing food, clothing, medical supplies, religious, educational and recreational objects. (Convention III, Art. 72)

Detainees in occupied territories must be allowed to receive at least once relief parcel monthly. (Convention IV, Art. 76)

Internees must be allowed to receive parcels containing food, clothing, medical supplies, as well as books and religious, educational or recreational objects. (Convention IV, Art. 108)

prisoners’ representatives

In all prisoner of war camps, except where officers are present, the prisoners must be allowed to freely elect representatives by secret ballot every six months and in case of vacancies. These representatives will lobby for prisoners’ interest before the military authorities, the protecting powers, and . (Convention III, Art. 79)

Prisoners of war must be allowed to freely consult with their representatives, and these representatives must be allowed to freely visit premises where prisoners are kept. (Convention III, Art. 81)

religious services

Adequate premises must be provided to prisoners of war (Convention III, Art. 34) and internees (Convention IV, Art. 86) for religious services to be held.

torture

Torture is forbidden by the Geneva Conventions, both in cases of internal conflicts (Convention I, Art. 3, Sec. 1A), wounded combatants (Convention I, Art. 12), civilians in occupied territories (Convention IV, Art. 32), civilians in international conflicts (Protocol I, Art. 75, Sec. 2Ai) and civilians in internal conflicts (Protocol II, Art. 4, Sec. 2A).


mane treatment of internees

Internees retain their civilian status and may exercise all attendant rights. (Convention IV, Art. 80)

Internees must be accommodated according to nationality, language and customs. Family groups must be lodged together and with facilities for leading a proper family life. (Convention IV, Art. 82)

Internees must not be housed in areas exposed to dangers of war. (Convention IV, Art. 83)

Internees must be housed in clean and healthy buildings, adequately heated and lighted, with suitable bedding, sanitary facilities, and separate accommodations for women who are not members of a family group. (Convention IV, Art. 85)

Internees must have access to premises suitable for religious services of any denomination. (Convention IV, Art. 86)

Internees must have enough food and drinking water to avoid nutritional deficiencies and in keeping with their customary diet, with additional food provided for pregnant and nursing mothers and young children. (Convention IV, Art. 89)

Internees must be provided with adequate clothing, footwear, and underwear. (Convention IV, Art. 90)

Internees must have access to adequate medical care. (Convention IV, Art. 91)

See also medical care for internees.

Identification by tattooing or imprinting signs or markings on the body is prohibited, and internees must not be subjected to prolonged standing and roll-calls, punishment drill, military drill and maneuvers, or reduction in food rations. (Convention IV, Art. 100)

In no case may disciplinary penalties be inhuman, brutal or dangerous to the health of the internees. (Convention IV, Art. 119)

Imprisonment in premises without daylight and all forms of cruelty without exception are forbidden. (Convention IV, Art. 118)

Internees may not be transferred to prisons to undergo disciplinary punishment there. (Convention IV, Art. 124)

See also internees, punishment of.

humane treatment of prisoners of war

Prisoners of war must be humanely treated at all times. Any unlawful act which causes death or seriously endangers the health of a prisoner of war is a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions. In particular, prisoners must not be subject to physical mutilation>, biological experiments, violence, intimidation, insults, and public curiosity. (Convention III, Art. 13)

Prisoners of war must be interred on land, and only in clean and healthy areas. (Convention III, Art. 22)

Prisoners of war are entitled to the same treatment given to a country’s own forces, including total surface and cubic space of dormitories, fire protection, adequate heating and lighting, and separate dormitories for women. (Convention III, Art. 25)

Prisoners of war must receive enough food to maintain weight and to prevent nutritional deficiencies, with account of the habitual diet of the prisoners. Food must not be used for disciplinary purposes. (Convention III, Art. 26)

Prisoners of war must receive adequate clothing, underwear and footwear. The clothing must be kept in good repair and prisoners who work must receive clothing appropriate to their tasks. (Convention III, Art. 27)

Also see clothing for prisoners of war.

Prisoners of war must have adequate sanitary facilities, with separate facilities for women prisoners. (Convention III, Art. 29)

Prisoners of war must receive adequate medical attention. (Convention III, Art. 30)

See medical care for prisoners of war.

Prisoners of war must receive due process and fair trials. (Convention III, Art. 82 through Art. 88)

Collective punishment for individual acts, corporal punishment, imprisonment without daylight, and all forms of torture and cruelty are forbidden. (Convention III, Art. 87)

indecent assault
Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, enforced prostitution and any form of indecent assault is prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever, whether committed by civilians or military personnel. (Protocol I, Art. 75)

internees, punishment of

All civil laws in a territory continue to apply to internees who commit offenses during internment. However, if an act is only punishable when committed by internees and not other civilians, then that act can only be punished by disciplinary punishments. (Convention IV, Art. 117)

These include fines totaling not more than two weeks’ wages, loss of special privileges, a maximum of two hours of fatigue duties a day, or confinement not to exceed thirty consecutive days. (Convention IV, Art. 119)

Imprisonment in premises without daylight and all forms of cruelty without exception are forbidden. (Convention IV, Art. 118)

Internees may not be transferred to prisons to undergo disciplinary punishment there. (Convention IV, Art. 124)

internment

If an occupying power considers it necessary for imperative reasons of security, it may restrict civilians to assigned residents or to internment. Due process must be followed and internees must have the right of appeal. In addition, cases must be reviewed regularly, every six months if possible. (Convention IV, Art. 78)

If the internee is no longer able to work, then the occupying power must provide employment opportunities comparable to those of other civilians or otherwise ensure the internee’s support. (Convention IV, Art. 39)

In addition, internees must be allowed to receive allowances from their home countries, from the protecting power, or from relief societies. (Convention IV, Art. 39)

interrogation of prisoners of war

Prisoners of war are only obligated to provide names, ranks, date of birth, army, personal or serial identification numbers or equivalent information. Failure to do so may result in loss of special privileges. (Convention III, Art. 17)

No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion may be inflicted. Prisoners who refuse to answer questions may not be threatened, insulted or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind. (Convention III, Art. 17)

Prisoners of war must be questioned in a language they can understand. (Convention III, Art. 17)

lawyers

Prisoners of war must have the right to legal advice, particularly in the case of preparing powers of attorney and wills. (Convention III, Art. 77)

The same applies to civilian internees. (Convention IV, Art. 113)

parcels

Prisoners of war must be allowed to receive parcels containing food, clothing, medical supplies, religious, educational and recreational objects. (Convention III, Art. 72)

Detainees in occupied territories must be allowed to receive at least once relief parcel monthly. (Convention IV, Art. 76)

Internees must be allowed to receive parcels containing food, clothing, medical supplies, as well as books and religious, educational or recreational objects. (Convention IV, Art. 108)

prisoners’ representatives

In all prisoner of war camps, except where officers are present, the prisoners must be allowed to freely elect representatives by secret ballot every six months and in case of vacancies. These representatives will lobby for prisoners’ interest before the military authorities, the protecting powers, and . (Convention III, Art. 79)

Prisoners of war must be allowed to freely consult with their representatives, and these representatives must be allowed to freely visit premises where prisoners are kept. (Convention III, Art. 81)

religious services

Adequate premises must be provided to prisoners of war (Convention III, Art. 34) and internees (Convention IV, Art. 86) for religious services to be held.

torture

Torture is forbidden by the Geneva Conventions, both in cases of internal conflicts (Convention I, Art. 3, Sec. 1A), wounded combatants (Convention I, Art. 12), civilians in occupied territories (Convention IV, Art. 32), civilians in international conflicts (Protocol I, Art. 75, Sec. 2Ai) and civilians in internal conflicts (Protocol II, Art. 4, Sec. 2A).

Posted by: Rowan at September 24, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #183644

Jack,

You wrote:

The problem with the reciprocity argument is that our current enemies clearly DO NOT abide by any rules at all. We have managed to maintain a perfect head to body relationship among our prisoners. The same cannot be said for the bad guys. Our respect, or lack of it, has no impact on their actions.

if they are caught, they suddenly claim special rights.

We faced much graver dangers during the cold war and did just fine with the Geneva convention and we had no guarantee that the Soviets would play fair with our guys. But we honored the Geneva conventions for two reasons: 1. Put pressure on the Soviets to play fair. They could either play fair or face international condemnation and isolation. 2. Honoring the Geneva conventions defined us as honorable. It defined us as the good guys - gave us the moral high ground - drew the support of world opinion to us. The same applies now. This isn’t about the terrorist. They are not going to honor the Geneva Conventions. That is bad news for any of our people that get caught by them, but it is the only good news that we have in the war on terror. The willingness to kill innocents - their savage ruthlessness is the only thing that swings world opinion our way. We cannot defeat an idea with a gun. We must defeat the idea with a better idea. perhaps the idea “that all men are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights” - not special rights - “inalienable rights” - yea - that might work…

The reciprocity argument does not apply to the terrorist, it applies to future enemies. It sets the bar and demands a certain minimal level of human decency among combatants. Some low life scum bags might not meet the bar - but the bar must be set - it must be a bright line - it is not a matter of convenience or utility - it is a moral standard - something that you Republicans were supposed to be so good at according to the idiot who need not be named.

Posted by: Ray Guest at September 24, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #183647

Jack,

There is no moral ambiguity here. You can’t be a little bit pregnant. You are either for inalienable human rights or you are against inalienable human rights. You are either with us or against us. Are with the real Americans that fight for real American values or not?

Posted by: Ray Guest at September 24, 2006 3:01 PM
Comment #183668

A week or so ago Democrats were celebrating a minor victory. Headlines suggested that the senate was revolting against the President’s position on torture because 4 senators had defected. Sound bites featured Lindsay Graham stating that he would fight to the death against such measures.

At the time my feeling was that this was no victory. Big deal if four senators had defected. To me, our country was in serious trouble if even ONE senator favored a bill that allowed torture. Our 100 senators are among our country’s top statesmen. They have each been elected by a majority of the citizens of their state. They do not represent some small county, but an entire state. They are people who presumably serve because they believe in this country—a nation of laws. If a single one of these elected officials votes in favor of a bill giving the president an unbridaled right to detain and torture prisoners, then our country has lost any moral high ground it may ever have had.

And now we see that those four senators that we were absurdly cheering for just a week ago are as immoral as the rest of the members of their party.

The Republicans fight for the “right to life”, whether it is a woman’s right to choose abortion so that she can get on with her life, Terri Shivo’s husband’s right to exercise her wishes and get on with his life, or the ability for scientists to use zygote’s destined for destruction anyway for stem cell research. These right to lifers are the very same people who mock the Geneva Convention’s “assault on human dignity,” and believe in the torture of their fellow humans.

Any church or organized religion that can support a party that condones such affronts to human dignity are comepletely hypocritcal. The fact is that of the hundreds of detainees whom we’ve tortured and continue to torture, a small fraction are actually guilty of anything. Is it really the Republican Party’s desire to torture innocents to determine if they are guilty?

Posted by: Stan at September 24, 2006 5:27 PM
Comment #183678

Let’s let Bush decide this…:

1) If he’s a “war” president, then we’re fighting a war and these prisoners are prisoners of war and they are due the protections enumerated above under the Geneva Conventions.

2) If Bush is NOT a “war” president, then we can get the hell out of Iraq and let these prisoners go…

His choice.

Posted by: Lynne at September 24, 2006 7:42 PM
Comment #183679

“Is it really the Republican Party’s desire to torture innocents to determine if they are guilty?”

It seems to be so Stan, sadly. They are willing to ignore the immorality of persecuting the innocent for their so-called “security”, all the while creating more who are willing to attack and terrorize.
This is like the Salem witch hunts, killing the innocent to see if they were guilty.

Posted by: mark at September 24, 2006 7:48 PM
Comment #183681

Rowan,

What’s your point?

The Neo-Con’s have blended in well with the last of the true “old-school” Republicans and we now have what appears to be a “one party” system that can’t be challenged.

We Democrats, whether it be the true liberals or the moderates, seem to have no voice whatsoever. Throughout this entire “torture bill” debate can you name one democrat that said a word and was actually heard.

I’m extremely dissapointed with my Democratic party. I’m ready to VOID the whole damn bunch of current Dems and see if we can’t find a few new Dems that still have some intestinal fortitude and don’t mind facing a fight head on.

As little as we Dems did to stop this we share at least half the blame. Unless we get a “second wind” we’re destined to lose again this November. And maybe we should!

The Green Party looks more and more desirable to me.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at September 24, 2006 8:05 PM
Comment #183691

Joe, I had to remove your quote of the article. Publishing copyrighted works from other publications is both illegal and violates our Rules for Participation.

Please comply with our Rules for Participation.

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at September 24, 2006 9:30 PM
Comment #183696

KansasDem,

I don’t know about Rowan’s points, but his posting of the basic Geneva Convention showed me just how hard it is to clarify what it means.
I wish there was some way to write sarcastically. I’m also Hoping he posted it correctly, because I tried to read through it and frankly got bored.

If Bush can’t understand this:

Torture is forbidden by the Geneva Conventions, both in cases of internal conflicts (Convention I, Art. 3, Sec. 1A), wounded combatants (Convention I, Art. 12), civilians in occupied territories (Convention IV, Art. 32), civilians in international conflicts (Protocol I, Art. 75, Sec. 2Ai) and civilians in internal conflicts (Protocol II, Art. 4, Sec. 2A).

BUSH must not be as “highly educated as some would claim” C student or not. He must need a refresher course in first through fourth grade reading.

Posted by: Linda H. at September 24, 2006 10:01 PM
Comment #183705

My intentions in posting the various aspects of the Geneva Conventions violated by both Bush (in relation to the detainees) and S. 3930 was that most people who think this is “no big deal” have no idea what is in the Conventions to which this nation is party. The violations are not just a “minor” thing.

I posted in detail (and sorry if it bored folks) because if I had summarized, there are those who would have said “that’s just your interpretation.”

Those were my intentions. Sorry if it wasn’t clear.

Posted by: Rowan Wolf at September 24, 2006 11:15 PM
Comment #183715

***THE BILL OF RIGHTS WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE A SUICIDE PACT***

It’s actually very simple folks. Contrary to hackneyed sayings, there are rules to war. Not wearing a uniform, not flying a flag, not properly identifying yourself, whimsical beheadings of unarmed personnel (to include non-combatants), and intentionally targeting teen hang-outs are against those rules.

Now, we could sit in stuffy college libraries and say things like “to keep the moral high ground it’s imperative we obey the Geneva Conventions even though our enemy doesn’t respect any rules to war at all”. Sure, and let’s also say to our sons playing college football that “Today’s adversary will be bludgeoning your knees with baseball bats as soon as every play begins, but don’t let that phase you. I want you to all play by the rules. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”

Get the picture now?

***THE BILL OF RIGHTS WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE A SUICIDE PACT***

Posted by: Ken Strong at September 25, 2006 12:48 AM
Comment #183720

all the while creating more who are willing to attack and terrorize.
This is like the Salem witch hunts, killing the innocent to see if they were guilty.
Posted by: mark at September 24, 2006 07:48 PM

Don’t you see mark? That’s exactly what it’s all about. Constantly creating more terrorists who resist constantly creates the need for endless war, which in turn means endless threat, endless fear, endless special circumstances which excuses “temporary” adjustments to constitutional rights. It’s a three card trick, keep the folks distracted while the sleight of hand tricksters get their hands in their pockets. That’s what it’s really all about. Money, and power. And keeping the citizens in a state of fear so that they will not question. And its working! Not enough people are questioning, and they’re probably going to win in Nov, and in 08. Who the hell is there who is getting through to the electorate to change things? Is there anyone?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at September 25, 2006 4:19 AM
Comment #183722
THE BILL OF RIGHTS WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE A SUICIDE PACT

So you mean that unless we give up our rights, we are committing suicide? Or that giving up our rights will keep us free? I don’t think the founding fathers meant for us to use the constitution just for special events.

College libraries are actually pretty comfy places. Have you ever been to one?

Posted by: Liberal Patriot at September 25, 2006 5:01 AM
Comment #183723

After watching John McCain on Face the Nation this weekend, I’ve decided how the Dems can beat him…He is the biggest pussy in America. He has no problem throwing out everything he stands for just to become GW’s lap dog, and hopefully they’ll let him become prez.

Posted by: Loren at September 25, 2006 5:40 AM
Comment #183732

Why is it that when I look at the leadership of OUR country, I see a pack of miniature poodles… barking and shaking at the same time? … and someone put the Constitution underneath them in case they have an accident.

Posted by: tony at September 25, 2006 9:28 AM
Comment #183747

combatant status

Combatants have protections under the Geneva Conventions, as well as obligations.

Convention I offers protections to wounded combatants, who are defined as members of the armed forces of a party to an international conflict, members of militias or volunteer corps including members of organized resistance movements as long as they have a well-defined chain of command, are clearly distinguishable from the civilian population, carry their arms openly, and obey the laws of war. (Convention I, Art. 13, Sec. 1 and Sec. 2

Can someone please tell me which of the above laws the insurgents in Iraq or any of these terrorist groups obey? By disobeying these rules, they forfeit all rights and protections of the Geneva Convention. Granting them any rights fundamentally undermines the Geneva Conventions by giving legitimacy to any group who violates these laws.

Lynne,

Since you are such the expert, please tell me what constitutes torture. Sleep deprivation? An open handed slap in the face or belly? Waterboarding? Being force-fed pork? The Geneva Conventions are vague, all Bush is trying to do is define torture so that we won’t do it while protecting our personell at the CIA who handle these interogations by giving them a clear-cut set of dos and don’ts.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 25, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #183749

tony,

Awesome visual. I can’t decide if I like the imagry better as W being what the poodles leave on the paper or as W being some lilliputian trying to hide under the paper. Too bad it’s the Constitution; maybe I’ll picture it as a picture of Bushie and go with scenario 1?

By disobeying these rules, they forfeit all rights and protections of the Geneva Convention…please tell me what constitutes torture…Posted by: 1LT B at September 25, 2006 12:07 PM
(a)Bull. Everyone gets equal protection under the law, even the law breakers. Otherwise there is no law. (b)So which interrogation technique would be OK to use on you? Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at September 25, 2006 12:25 PM
Comment #183750

Jack,

So let’s do Geneva right. When we catch the terrorists hiding among civilians, let’s do the battlefield interogation (allowed by the convention) and them immediately execute them as spies and saboteurs.

Well, at least I agree it will be less hypocrital than re-interpreting signed international laws of war, indeed. Resigning the Convention is even a better non-hypocrital solution, too.
Problem, still, is the genuine civilians catched on a globalized battlefield and executed. They’ve rights. The same as yours. Because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time they lost them? Now that’s siding with fate rights, not human rights!

We did it to the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. Seemed to be a good idea back then.

Skorzeny’s soldiers were wearing American uniforms and their german ones underneath, not civilian clothes. Never they were confused with civilians, aka non-combattants.
Does wearing civilian clothes in the wrong place at the wrong time an enough proof you’re a terrorist deserving instant execution these days???

Last but not least, the fact terrorists have no rules is not an enough argument to drop yours/ours. Plus, I’ll bet even terrorists have rules. Based on their own set of (radicalist) values.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 25, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #183751

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Investigation/story?id=1322866
CIA’s Harsh Interrogation Techniques Described
Sources say Agency’s Tactics Lead to Questionable Confessions, Sometimes to Death

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Investigation/story?id=1356870
History of an Interrogation Technique: Water Boarding

Some quotes:

The water board technique dates back to the 1500s during the Italian Inquisition.

Current and former CIA officers tell ABC News that they were trained to handcuff the prisoner and cover his face with cellophane to enhance the distress. According to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., himself a torture victim during the Vietnam War, the water board technique is a “very exquisite torture” that should be outlawed.
“Torture is defined under the federal criminal code as the intentional infliction of severe mental pain or suffering,” said John Sifton, an attorney and researcher with the organization Human Rights Watch. “That would include water boarding.”
On “Good Morning America” today, Goss told ABC News’ Charles Gibson that the CIA does not inflict pain on prisoners.
Yet, in response to Gibson’s inquiry if water boarding would come under the heading of torture, Goss simply replied, “I don’t know.”
Water boarding was designated as illegal by U.S. generals in Vietnam 40 years ago. A photograph that appeared in The Washington Post of a U.S. soldier involved in water boarding a North Vietnamese prisoner in 1968 led to that soldier’s severe punishment.
“The soldier who participated in water torture in January 1968 was court-martialed within one month after the photos appeared in The Washington Post, and he was drummed out of the Army,” recounted Darius Rejali, a political science professor at Reed College.
Earlier in 1901, the United States had taken a similar stand against water boarding during the Spanish-American War when an Army major was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor for water boarding an insurgent in the Philippines.
Posted by: Adrienne at September 25, 2006 12:38 PM
Comment #183752

1LT B,

Can someone please tell me which of the above laws the insurgents in Iraq or any of these terrorist groups obey?

None.


By disobeying these rules, they forfeit all rights and protections of the Geneva Convention. Granting them any rights fundamentally undermines the Geneva Conventions by giving legitimacy to any group who violates these laws.

Unfortunatly, granting NO rights to any civilian fundamentally undermines the Geneva Convention too, by suspecting every civilian to be a terrorist juts because terrorists are also civilians. By disobeying these rules protecting civilians, doesn’t US forfeit all rights and protections of the Geneva Convention?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 25, 2006 12:40 PM
Comment #183758

No one yet has explained to any real satisfaction, other than their own fears, why the U.S. should abrogate its laws and its treaties to behave in ways that the U.S. has firmly condemned when other countries do when it comes to torture.

Guess none of these upholders of torture ever had their Mom tell them “I don’t care if everyone else is doing it, you’re NOT going to do it!”…that old saw about “would you jump off the bridge if they jumped off?” also comes to mind…

Fear is so ingrained in certain Americans and our government is playing to fear, not to our best instincts, to the common good, nor to our laws.

Posted by: Lynne at September 25, 2006 1:45 PM
Comment #183759

1 LT B:

What doesn’t constitute torture in your humble opinion? Waterboarding? Imprisonment without hope of being charged with a crime and having a trial? Bombing civilians knowingly? Rape?

I believe that you are the one who needs to define torture…I know what torture is and I would hazard a guess if you were tortured you’d know what it is, too.

Posted by: Lynne at September 25, 2006 1:48 PM
Comment #183760
all Bush is trying to do is define torture so that we won’t do it while protecting our personell at the CIA who handle these interogations by giving them a clear-cut set of dos and don’ts.

Right…and he has no ulterior motives for making his actions retroactively off limits to his being brought before the International Criminal Court, either.

Bush has said that HE not the Supreme Court is the one who will tell us whether or not actions are constitutional…yup…he was was rejected by the U of Texas Law School, he who has no law degree nor passage of the bar exam nor any right to practice law in any state of the US…

The CIA knows what torture is and is not…and it is pretty clear that they knowing engage in torture…why else would Cheney, when McCain promoted his anti-torture law, want the CIA to be exempted from it???

Posted by: Lynne at September 25, 2006 1:52 PM
Comment #183761
I’m ashamed of the leadership in this country.

What leadership? We have a complete and totally absent vacuum of leadership in the Executive branch and in the Legislative branch of our federal government…even the 3 Republicans who stood up to Bush regarding torture have now wimped out…Bush seems more like a Mafia don than a president…he has the power/information to bring strong men to their knees to play ball (pun intented) with him…

It’s time someone stands up and becomes a real leader in the U.S. … it may mean political suicide or very real martyrdom, but it’s exactly what this nation needs to keep from total derailment of our ideals and our Constitution.

Posted by: Lynne at September 25, 2006 1:57 PM
Comment #183765

Lynn
As with torture, fear is in the eye of the beholder.
So why do you fear Bush?
He did not start the war on drugs, the war on guns, or the war on religion and he definetly did not start “renditioning.”
ALL of these issues are instances where our govt has used the fear of the people to pass questionable laws or to strip rights from the people.
Its been going on for a while now, but you have chosen to fear just one man and one party, President Bush and the Republicans. Why?

Posted by: kctim at September 25, 2006 2:30 PM
Comment #183769

“Contrary to hackneyed sayings, there are rules to war. Not wearing a uniform, not flying a flag, not properly identifying yourself”

You don’t think we send in ununiformed guys into places before during and after military incursions? We had guys in Afghanistan dressed as locals, making deals and doing recon. Should we, under your logic, assume they’ve relinquished their human rights if captured and not take offense if they’re tortured or indefinitely detained?

Posted by: Observer at September 25, 2006 2:36 PM
Comment #183771

“Its been going on for a while now, but you have chosen to fear just one man and one party, President Bush and the Republicans. Why?”

The level of abuse,
The frequency of abuse,
The arrogant, indignant replies when questioned,
ie: anyone who questions me “just doesn’t get it”.
Funny you mentioned the “war” on drugs. I think the war on “terror”, as it’s being waged, will be about as succesfull as the war on drugs has been. Taking out Al Queada’s “#2 guy” for the 10th time rings just like when we claim to have taken out the #2 drug lord in Columbia. Another springs up the next day to take his place.
I think you’ll find that the key to reducing terrorism can be accomplished in a similar way to reducing drug use. Education, expanded economic opportunities, fair treatment in society, fair justice. The only way your going to reduce terrorism, or drug use,is to take away the motivation. Were doing the opposite on both fronts.

Posted by: Observer at September 25, 2006 2:43 PM
Comment #183774

So basically, this is just a replay of the 90’s, right? Half the voters felt just as you posted above and the other half of the voters didn’t pay attention to their concerns.

“The only way your going to reduce terrorism, or drug use,is to take away the motivation”

We have been doing the opposite on the drug front for decades. Drugs are a personal matter and the govt has no business being in it.

Terrorists are a different matter. They have been around for many years. We have just now decided to fight back instead of letting them bully us.
Our opinions differ on terrorists. I prefer to just kill them all and you want to understand them. Truth is, neither of is totally wrong.

Posted by: kctim at September 25, 2006 3:13 PM
Comment #183777

kctim,

Its been going on for a while now, but you have chosen to fear just one man and one party, President Bush and the Republicans. Why?

Why, you ask? For the damage on US values and US’s foreign policy they did, does and, sadly, will continue to do in the future, no doubt.

You didn’t read this column since 5 years or what?!?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 25, 2006 3:35 PM
Comment #183781

Oh, I’ve been reading these columns Philippe.
You see, over here, about half the American voters were warning and screaming about abuse of power, corruption and our rights for much of the previous years before Bush. They were ignored by the other half of the voters. Its the exact opposite today. The ones ignoring are now the ones complaining and vice versa.

What good does it do to complain about one President authorizing “torture” but then not say a word when the President you support does it a few years later?
What good does it do to act like one President is the first to ever do this?
What good does it do this country, if people are so willing to let the rights they don’t care about be taken from them?

You know, it was widely said that if we let the govt use fear to take our guns, then govt will use fear to take our other rights.
Together, we could have won.
Divided we have fallen and will continue to.

Oh, and regarding US values, I too worry about those.
As far as worrying about what the rest of the world thinks of us, I could give a rats ass about that.

Posted by: kctim at September 25, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #183785

Lynne, In response to your post from yesterday at 7:42 p.m. Read the definition of combatant as described by the Geneva conventions(below)
These are not P.O.W’s they are WAR CRIMINALS and they should be treated as such!
President Bush is fighting to protect this nation and all our brave G.I’s at war .So I dont get why you Dems and Libs are trying so hard to protect these rats. and don’t give me that moral high ground B.S. If we dont take care of this scourge BY ANY MEANS NECCESARY there will be no
“high ground” These people have declared war on us and the sooner we stop bickering amongst eachother the sooner we can get down to business
BY ANY MEANS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!

DEFINITION BELOW;

Convention I offers protections to combatants, who are defined as members of the armed forces of a party to an international conflict, members of militias or volunteer corps including members of organized resistance movements as long as they have a well-defined chain of command, are clearly distinguishable from the civilian population, carry their arms openly, and obey the laws of war. (Convention I, Art. 13, Sec. 1 and Sec. 2)

Posted by: desert beef at September 25, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #183792

desert beef:

There’s a difference in calling someone as an enemy combatant and them actually being one…I no longer trust my country to be reliable signatories to any treaties…Bush has already backed out of two of them and has rendered the Geneva Conventions null…

Posted by: Lynne at September 25, 2006 6:02 PM
Comment #183794

kctim:

I don’t “fear” Bush…I fear what he is doing to our great country…in case you haven’t noticed, the president is not co-existent with the country…I do not like seeing all the ideals and values upon which our Constitution is predicated just nullified on the whims of a scarred personality or two.

Those who have fear are the ones who let Bush bully them into actually believing his lies and believing that the terrorists, like the boogeyman, will “get” them…

FDR said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…so why does Bush use this as his sole motivation for everything??? Bush is the one who is full of fear (probably all those years of his mommy Babs threatening “just wait until your father gets home!”) and who uses it to keep the sheep in line…

I refuse to be a sheep…I will do whatever I am able to uphold the law of our country…including its Constitution (which, by the way, is NOT just a goddamned piece of paper like your idiot president says) and the treaties to which it is a signatory.

Torture is wrong…it is wrong morally and legally…and yet you people are so scared and so fearful you’d let others (including many innocents) be killed and tortured in your name … be a man, be a woman … stop being a wimp.

You can split legal hairs all you want, but torture is and will always be morally wrong…and you know that in the depth of your soul (if you still have one)…so does every person in this country.

Posted by: Lynne at September 25, 2006 6:09 PM
Comment #183795

We have to take the high ground or we become the very thing that we are fighting, We become just like them. If we do as or enemy then they just use that to recruit more people to there cause. In the america I belive in we hold ourselfs to a higer standerd then our enemy. We did in past conflicts and we have to now.

Posted by: Jeff at September 25, 2006 6:14 PM
Comment #183838

“As far as worrying about what the rest of the world thinks of us, I could give a rats ass about that.”

I realize you guys love saying this, but really, it just makes you sound stupid and naive. YES, we DO need the rest of the world on our side. At least as many as possible. We wouldn’t have won the Cold War without the help and support and admiration of most of the free world.
To think we can go it alone is just daft.

Posted by: Observer at September 25, 2006 10:38 PM
Comment #183849

Rowan and Linda H.

I understood what you meant, but their had been so much focus on the “Republican Revolt” that it quite literally makes me sick. It’s all a bunch of BS. There is no longer even a “thin line” between the old school Republicans and the Neo-Cons.

Please excuse the foulness of this comment, but when I was going thru college I worked part time at a chicken processing company and the big joke was, ” What’s the white stuff in chicken shit”! The answer was “more chicken shit”.

That’s now the difference between the Republicans and the Neo-Cons, it’s all just the same old crap. And I don’t understand why any of us should be surprised now. The Republicans are obviously happy as skunks to turn the USA into a repressive nation that will accept torture as a common practice.

My grandfather served as a medic in WWI and my Dad served in the Army Air Corps in WWII and I expect they’re both turning over in their graves right now. We, as a nation, have lost our moral compass and the Republicans just keep leading us down the path to corruption and destruction.

Every time we allow ourselves to be fooled by some Republican “side-show” we’re aiding them in obtaining that outcome.

KansasDem
PS: Linda, Rowan is a woman. I made that mistake once, but I think she doesn’t mind much as long as we recognize her as an American.

Posted by: KansasDem at September 25, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #183854

Kctim:

“What good does it do to complain about one President authorizing torture but then not say a word when the President you support does it a few years later?
What good does it do to act like one President is the first to ever do this?”

You know just one day, just one day in my life time, from now on, Id like just once, Id give about anything, for people on the right to stop lying about Clinton.

OK, YOU HATE HIM…..WE FRICKEN GET IT!!!!!
Now, stop lying. Just stop it! You are making an azz out of yourself!

Clinton never tortured anyone, nor did he condone it, nor did he authorize it, nor did he encourage it, nor did he believe in it, nor did he support it.

As a matter of fact the only, O N L Y, President to ever, not only condone it, authorize it, encourage it, support it, believe in it, try to hide it, excuse it, but, also try to absolve himself, (and his hirelings) from it, is:

GEORGE W. BUSH

NO OTHER PRESIDENT HAS DONE IT. NONE, NOT ONE BLOODY PRESIDENT, UNTIL NOW!!

The United States of America signed the Genieva Convention over 50 years ago.

NOT 1 PRESIDENT HAS VIOLATED IT….UNTIL NOW!!!

If all you can offer here, is just a pack of lies, and another Clinton smear job, then you just ott to stiffle it.

And, for your information last week there was a woman arrested in California, she is 83 years old. She was deported to another country for trial for “war cimes”, in Germany, that she committed during the 1940s. She was a guard at a womans death camp in Germany, in charge of the womans barracks. During her rain some 10,000 woman died there. This woman was in charge of the dogs at the camp and in charge of “interrogations”.

(3-5 prisoners have died at Abu Grabe, during our occupation — by dogs)

SO MR. BUSH, YOU CAN NOT RUN, YOU CAN NOT HIDE, AND THERE IS NO TIME LIMIT - ON “WAR CRIMES” !!!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 25, 2006 11:17 PM
Comment #183857

desert beef ,

“These are not P.O.W’s they are WAR CRIMINALS and they should be treated as such!”

CRIMINALS, REALLY?

OK, when was their trial?
Were they allowed representation or a defense?
What was their sentance?
What were they found guilty of?
Was their guilt only established by way of a confession abtained by “torture”?

Because if that was the only evidence, it wont hold up, in a court of law.

No court of law? No due process?

Then why do you advocate holding people, torturing them, and denying them due process?
Is daddy Bush, (you higher power) the only “word” you need, to convict someone?

If so, you might find a place to hide right now.

Are those gastapo boots I hear?
They may be comming for you!!!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 25, 2006 11:34 PM
Comment #183861

“As far as worrying about what the rest of the world thinks of us, I could give a rats ass about that.”

Hi Neighbor,

I see observor already hit you on this but “really”, do you think that the USA is so all powerful that we can just rule the world? If we can then why are things going to shit all over the place.

Reagan is praised for ending Soviet Communism. Did he? How wise was his foreign diplomacy? How did he respond to the Marine Barracks bombing in Beirut? How about Iran-Contra? Look at Putin now!

We celebrated the quick overtrow of the Tailban in Afghanistan but where are we now? More and more reports keep pressing the point that our military is seriously overextended.

Bush and Co. are rattling the war sabers with Iran. Gary Hart predicts an October surprise where Bush will order the destruction of all Iranian military infrastructure and potential “nukular” development sites.

And somehow you seem to think that a “World Wide View” means nothing? Your logic, or lack thereof, simply astonishes me.

Please enlighten me!

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at September 26, 2006 12:00 AM
Comment #183862

Play Nice,

Good posts friend! Keep up the good work.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at September 26, 2006 12:09 AM
Comment #183880

kctim,

What good does it do this country, if people are so willing to let the rights they don’t care about be taken from them?

Indeed. Some value more liberty than security, some the reverse. From France, US was until recently this great nation of liberty (from free speech to individual capitalism). That was a model I liked.

Unfortunatly, US is becoming more and more this nation of security before everything. Securing americans lives at any price, up to eventually torture some innocents. Securing energy sources at any price, up to forge a smoke screen WMDs and other imminent and dramatic threats everywhere energy are spotted at risk.

US become energy-oolic and security-oolic.
Not anymore a great nation in my mind. Not a likable model.

You know, it was widely said that if we let the govt use fear to take our guns, then govt will use fear to take our other rights.
Together, we could have won. Divided we have fallen and will continue to.

Isn’t the charge of the President to take his people united? Afterall, he’s supposed to represent the will of all americans, not only the ones who voted for him (or the Supreme Court judges who ruled him the President for that matter). If a president and/or its government is the dividing factor, usually he resign.
In democracies.

Good leaders knows when they’re wrong. The best ones assumes it openly.

Oh, and regarding US values, I too worry about those.

Me too. Not for the same reasons and not the same set of values, though.

As far as worrying about what the rest of the world thinks of us, I could give a rats ass about that.

Then stop being shocked (Chavez bashing Bush! Oh My God!!!) like an old lady that the rest of the world give US the finger more and more.
And there about 12 billions of fingers non-americans could raise toward US. And i’m not talking metaphorically only here. Economically too. On the long term.

Check this: http://www.businessfordiplomaticaction.org/

And, finally, as I’m not american but french, indeed “together we could have won” but “divided we have fallen and will continue”. Ask yourself who actually “gave a rat ass about” the rest of the world opinions in the last 5 years and who from the rest of the world tried to warn the US about these division and flawed policies risks?

Yeah, I stand with the “We told you so” attitude.
To do something together, you have first to listen to others. In foreign policy terms, it means NOT give a rat ass to the rest of the world. You don’t want, okay, now don’t cry you’re alone trying to fix the mess you did. Alone.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 26, 2006 4:49 AM
Comment #183906

Playnice and Lynne……..
I see you are unable to think rationally and you miss my point COMPLETEY!!!!!!
And whoever wrote that Bill Clinton didn’t condone torture is WRONG He tortured this country for eight years !It’s torture to look at him and listen to his LIES
As far as War criminals It’s perfectly legal to hold them untill hostilities come to an end But I’m sure you believe that they are just innocent bystanders who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. PROTECT AMERICA NOT TERRORISTS.
I’m sure The men at Fallujah and our GI’s that were mutilated would have liked to be held as enemy combatants or even as war criminals But they never got that chance because the men you believe should be coddled cut their heads off and dragged or burned their bodies not to mention all the innocents they’ve tortured and killed again I say we need to wipe these rats out BY ANY MEANS NECCESARY!!!!!!!!!
Have a nice day!

Posted by: desert beef at September 26, 2006 8:23 AM
Comment #183908

Phillipe,

You make a point but I think you misunderstood me. We have plenty of people that we have captured either in Afghanistan or Iraq who were shooting at us or planting IEDs or a variety of other attacks against our personell. In my opinion, they are war criminals and should be subject to summary execution. I’m not talking about just shooting civilians, but if you attack our forces, you are no longer a civilian, you’re a combatant. If you do so without meeting the criterion above (wearing a uniform, having a chain of command, wearing arms openly, obeying the laws of war) you are an illegal combatant and subject to summary judgement and liable for execution.

Observer,

Regarding your question about our SF guys, from what I’ve heard, the SF guys etc in Afghanistan did indeed violate the Rules of War by not wearing uniforms, though they did carry their dog tags and military id. When told of this, their response was a brilliant example of obeying the letter of the law, if not the spirit. Most sewed American flags into their armpits, technically making them legal while not making their American identification obvious. Either way, they would probably be liable for summary execution as spies (military personel who infiltrate enemy areas in civilian clothing is the military definition), but I’m sure they recognize that this is but one and probably not the most severe danger they face in the execution of their missions.

Lynne,

The fact that we’re both asking what torture is demostrates why Bush was right to have it defined. For my part, I would draw the line at acts that can cause permenant mental or physical disability. Again, I don’t believe that the al Qaeda or Iraqi insurgent forces are entitled to these protections as they are, in my opinion, illegal combatants anyway. Also, I certainly hope when you were talking about bombing civilians you were talking about the insurgents and not the US military, we don’t do that.

Playnice,

For someone who frets about the Gestapo, you show a crazy sense of bravery. If America was anything like the police state you describe, you’d have been carted away long ago. Do you really believe all of this nonsense? The fact that you post to a public site through an internet that’s traceable leads me to doubt it.

Posted by: 1LT B at September 26, 2006 8:28 AM
Comment #183918

Lynne
Thank you, nice of you to explain your concerns.

“You can split legal hairs all you want, but torture is and will always be morally wrong…and you know that in the depth of your soul (if you still have one)”

Torture to you is not torture to others, its not that hard.
Oh, and about my soul? I don’t have one so…..

Observer
“We wouldn’t have won the Cold War without the help and support and admiration of most of the free world”

Its not a go at it alone attitude. We need the help and support of other countries, we do not need their admiration.

Posted by: kctim at September 26, 2006 9:09 AM
Comment #183920

Playnice
“NO OTHER PRESIDENT HAS DONE IT. NONE, NOT ONE BLOODY PRESIDENT, UNTIL NOW!!”

You really need to drop the blind partisan crap.
First of all, please read my quote you copied again, with an open mind:

—-“What good does it do to complain about one President authorizing torture but then not say a word when the President you support does it a few years later?—-

The right complained about “renditioning” and clintons support of it in the 90’s.

—-“What good does it do to act like one President is the first to ever do this?”—-

Read up on “renditioning” some ok. I did not mention names because it goes beyond your party line crap.

You really need to quit being so afraid of the evil Republican govt and start worrying about govt in general.
Alot more will get done then at least.

Posted by: kctim at September 26, 2006 9:17 AM
Comment #183922

1LT B,

You make a point but I think you misunderstood me. We have plenty of people that we have captured either in Afghanistan or Iraq who were shooting at us or planting IEDs or a variety of other attacks against our personell. In my opinion, they are war criminals and should be subject to summary execution. I’m not talking about just shooting civilians, but if you attack our forces, you are no longer a civilian, you’re a combatant. If you do so without meeting the criterion above (wearing a uniform, having a chain of command, wearing arms openly, obeying the laws of war) you are an illegal combatant and subject to summary judgement and liable for execution.

Then why these detainees were not executed since their capture? What’s the whole point about Gitmo?
What’s retaining Bush to pull the trigger? Human Rights? Or the tentation to use torture on them?

Sorry, not the tentation to use. The usage.

You do understand than if you, yes you 1LT B, happened to be captured by insurgents, instead of eventually die quickly beheaded, they will be tempted before to torture you. Just because US do it too. Not for intelligence. Militias in Iraq already do that AFAIK, why not on US soldier?
Even if US didn’t actually do torture (yet), the simple fact Bush just made laws ammendments relaxing torture ban is a wide political hot spot in world eyes, and an enough one for such backslap.

Plus, whatever its legal status, torturing is *morally* wrong. Doesn’t US moral ground matter to you?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 26, 2006 9:29 AM
Comment #183924

KDem
As I said to Observer, we do not need the world’s admiration or approval. I do not care about hurting their feelings or doing something they do not like. But that does not mean I believe we don’t need their respect.
I am tired of how the US must always be on egg shells trying to “understand” the world. It is time the world starts offering US the same understanding in return.

“If we can then why are things going to shit all over the place.”

Because that is all you guys care about. If a nuke goes off in a city and only ten people die, you guys would still be blaming the Reps for letting them die or for actually killing them themselves. Its grown old.

“We celebrated the quick overtrow of the Tailban in Afghanistan but where are we now? More and more reports keep pressing the point that our military is seriously overextended.”

Of course the only the negative reports are coming out, its election season.

“Bush and Co. are rattling the war sabers with Iran. Gary Hart predicts an October surprise where Bush will order the destruction of all Iranian military infrastructure and potential “nukular” development sites.”

Should we give them, lets say, 12 years?
You see it as a Republican conspiracy, I see it as something larger than petty partisanship politics.

“And somehow you seem to think that a “World Wide View” means nothing?”

TO ME, it means nothing. I put the lives of my fellow Americans over that of anybody else.

“Your logic, or lack thereof, simply astonishes me.”

It astonishes my wife also. She too worries more about what others think while I worry about doing whats best for my own family.

Posted by: kctim at September 26, 2006 9:36 AM
Comment #183926

Philipe
“Not anymore a great nation in my mind. Not a likable model.”

I don’t understand why. We are becoming less of a Constitutional Republic and more like a European country every year.

“Isn’t the charge of the President to take his people united? Afterall, he’s supposed to represent the will of all americans, not only the ones who voted for him (or the Supreme Court judges who ruled him the President for that matter). If a president and/or its government is the dividing factor, usually he resign.
In democracies.”

That is very true. And if he doesn’t resign, he and his party is voted out of power, like they were in 94, 2000 and 2004.

“Good leaders knows when they’re wrong. The best ones assumes it openly.”

Not when being a “good leader” is dependent on which party the leader belongs too.

“Me too. Not for the same reasons and not the same set of values, though.”

Obviously.

“Then stop being shocked (Chavez bashing Bush! Oh My God!!!) like an old lady that the rest of the world give US the finger more and more.”

Um, I’m not shocked nor do I care what Chavez says.
I think what most people have a problem with is that some Americans would rather agree or support Chavez over their own President.

“And there about 12 billions of fingers non-americans could raise toward US. And i’m not talking metaphorically only here. Economically too. On the long term.”

Yes, billions of non-American fingers pointing at us, criticizing us and wishing us ill will. While their other hand is wide open wanting more American money.

“Ask yourself who actually “gave a rat ass about” the rest of the world opinions in the last 5 years and who from the rest of the world tried to warn the US about these division and flawed policies risks?”

Yes, you all hate our policies but you love our money. I get it.

“You don’t want, okay, now don’t cry you’re alone trying to fix the mess you did. Alone.”

I wouldn’t one bit. My only wish would be that if we are to fix “our” mess, alone as you say, then that should mean everything. No more technology, no more handouts and no more American lives. Is that what the rest of the world wants? Wouldnt it be easier to just give the US the same respect and understanding that you demand we give you?

Posted by: kctim at September 26, 2006 9:51 AM
Comment #183932

OK, kctim, please describe 3 acts of torture which would be acceptable to everyone in the U.S….

Posted by: Lynne at September 26, 2006 10:19 AM
Comment #183935

Lynne, it really does depend on what one considers torture.
Sleep deprivation is torture to some, to me its not.
Same with subjecting prisoners to extreme temps.
Modern day waterboarding may be torture to some and others may believe it worthy if it gets intel.
There is no way “everyone” in the US would view them in the same way. Which gives credence in trying to define what may constitute torture.

When the left wins in 06 and 08, they will not redefine “torture” in a way that makes everybody happy. Think we will still hear lefty’s talking about how evil our torture is? No way.

Posted by: kctim at September 26, 2006 10:37 AM
Comment #183952

Phillipe,

These detainees weren’t executed because of the whining of the world about how we need to give them rights to which they are not and never have been entitled. I understand perfectly well that if I am ever captured that I will be tortured. They have been using torture over here long before America ever became involved. Further, Soldiers here have already been tortured, such as the two who were taken from their post and later found mutilated.

As far as the moral perspective goes, I find it moral to use whatever means necessary to defend the lives of my fellow Soldiers, our allies, and the citizens of the United States. Pretend, just for a moment, that the French intelligence service captures an al Qaeda operative who knows the location of a dirty bomb in Paris. I grant that this is not an actual circumstance, but bear with me. Do you think that Chirac would hesitate for an instant to use torture to get the bomb’s location in the hopes of defusing it? If you do, you should try to get him out of office. I have no moral qualms about using torture to save lives. Let’s remember that these a-holes chose the course of their lives, not us. If we have to fuck them up to prevent even one of our own people from dying, that’s a price I’m more than willing to accept.


Posted by: 1LT B at September 26, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #183954

kctim,

You are being as disingenuous as our current political regime, pretending to not know what constitutes torture…

Please, give us 3 methods of torture that would be universally acceptable…and don’t dance around the topic and say you don’t know what torture is…that’s just a way to get by using torture methods…if you have any conscience at all, you can easily recognize torture…

Please tell us when waterboarding is NOT considered torture…

Posted by: Lynne at September 26, 2006 11:44 AM
Comment #183967

kctim,

“Not anymore a great nation in my mind. Not a likable model.”

I don’t understand why. We are becoming less of a Constitutional Republic and more like a European country every year.

Oh, really?
No death penalty like in Europe?
Secular nation like in Europe?
Global Warming sensitive as in Europe?
Multilateralism like in Europe?
Close neighboors, not wide oceans, everywhere like in Europe?

From an European point of view, the Clinton US was way more european-like than Bush’s. If you think Bush make your country more like an europe nation, check your issue with him, not me. You re-elected him in 2004, not the EU.

Oh, BTW, France is a constitutional republic, so if you worry US become more like an european nation than a constitutional republic, pressure your government to become more like France. ;-)
I’m kidding, the World can’t support two France, one is already hardly supported…

“Good leaders knows when they�€™re wrong. The best ones assumes it openly.”

Not when being a “good leader” is dependent on which party the leader belongs too.

Whatever the party. From Historian point of view.

“And there about 12 billions of fingers non-americans could raise toward US. And i�€™m not talking metaphorically only here. Economically too. On the long term.”

Yes, billions of non-American fingers pointing at us, criticizing us and wishing us ill will. While their other hand is wide open wanting more American money.

or Chinese money. Or Indian money. Or Russian money. Or Japanese money. Overwall, yeah, capitalism rules the world. People want money. More and more. Doesn’t even American rent money from Chinese dollars in huge amount these days?

Yes, you all hate our policies but you love our money. I get it.

Hello! Welcome to globalized capitalism: everybody love money. But, please, be my guest, stop invest your money in Europe or anywhere who dare disagree with US foreign policy. I’m sure China, India and Russia will be more than happy to take your place the second latter, a few years before expected.

The reality is US needs the world flow of money as much as we, europeans do. Otherwise, indeed, many EU nations, even the french (well, maybe not, we love being soo irritating!) would have keep silent their disagreement about US foreign policy in the last 5 years, too fearfull of the economic fallout.

Your money can’t buy our agreement more than our could buy your. That’s a tie, a co-dependency.
And what’s good in an (or lack of) advice you pay for?

BTW, Europeans, thanks to euro-dollar change, love the euro as, clearly, we could buy our oil cheaper now, helped by the petrodollar parity.

I wouldn’t one bit. My only wish would be that if we are to fix “our” mess, alone as you say, then that should mean everything. No more technology, no more handouts and no more American lives. Is that what the rest of the world wants?

It may be suprising you but, simply, yes.

Wouldnt it be easier to just give the US the same respect and understanding that you demand we give you?

Yes. But so far none is given.
Just in your previous paragraph you implied arrogantly US alone subtains the rest of the world with handouts, given technology and americans lives. Do you understand its both wrong and insulting?

Worst, just after 9/11 and Katrina many western nations IIRC were given US respect, understanding and even help to a level never reached before except WWII. Unfortunatly, Bush ruined it going in Iraq War and proodly refusing Katrina foreign help.

Btw, “given” technology? Sold you mean!? Handouts? If by charity you hope to buy respect, it’s not charity anymore… Americans lives? Nobody ask you officially to be the world police. In fact many ask US to stop acting as the unique world police, but to share the burden (aka multilateralism). The reality is US want to be the world police because its the best way to protect its own interest worldwide.

Check New American Century again.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 26, 2006 12:21 PM
Comment #183972

Lynne
Just because we hold differing opinions does not make me disingenuous.
As an American, which I know does not count to many, I personally believe the same as LT does.

“I find it moral to use whatever means necessary to defend the lives of my fellow Soldiers, our allies, and the citizens of the United States”

- 1LT B

How can you know what constitutes torture when so many people have differing views on what torture is?
Sleep deprivation, extreme temps and isolation are three forms of torture. When used by Americans against her enemy, the majority of the world would probably be against them while the majority of Americans would be in favor.

So tell me. I just gave you three forms of torture that I believe would be accepted by the majority of Americans. And, since torture is so easy to define to you, could you explain to me how you KNOW for a fact that the majority of Americans would not be in favor of using them?

“Please tell us when waterboarding is NOT considered torture…”

When trying to get intel from an enemy of my country, in order to save my fellow Americans lives.
IMO of course.

Posted by: kctim at September 26, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #183985

Ah, Philipe

“Oh, really?”
Yes.

“No death penalty like in Europe?”
Not yet, give them time.

“Secular nation like in Europe?”
Getting there fast. I’m an atheist and even I can see how govt intrudes on peoples religious freedoms here.

“Global Warming sensitive as in Europe?”
Getting there too.

“Multilateralism like in Europe?”
Are you kidding me? Half of American voters believe the UN should control the US.

“Close neighboors, not wide oceans, everywhere like in Europe?”
Um, thats geological. Has nothing to do with govt.

“From an European point of view, the Clinton US was way more european-like than Bush’s.”

But yet, what exactly has changed? Bush went to war without your approval or without kissing the UN’s ass. But not to much more is all that different between the two.

“If you think Bush make your country more like an europe nation, check your issue with him, not me.”
You re-elected him in 2004, not the EU.”

Bush, clinton, it doesn’t matter who is President. There is large number of people here who wish to throw our form of govt out and bring in a more European form of govt.

“Oh, BTW, France is a constitutional republic, so if you worry US become more like an european nation than a constitutional republic, pressure your government to become more like France. ;-)”

What you consider a Constitutional Republic and what our Constitution defines it as are completely different.

“or Chinese money. Or Indian money. Or Russian money. Or Japanese money. Overwall, yeah, capitalism rules the world. People want money. More and more. Doesn’t even American rent money from Chinese dollars in huge amount these days?”

Weird isn’t it. We get money from them to give to all these countries that hate us.

“But, please, be my guest, stop invest your money in Europe or anywhere who dare disagree with US foreign policy.”

I didn’t say stop investing. I said stop giving it away for nothing.
And who cares if the world agrees with our policies or not. If the world disagrees with our policies, then don’t take our money.
Marching in the streets protesting how evil America is and then going home to what was paid for by American taxpayers is a pretty hypocritacal thing to do isn’t it.

“The reality is US needs the world flow of money as much as we, europeans do. Otherwise, indeed, many EU nations, even the french (well, maybe not, we love being soo irritating!) would have keep silent their disagreement about US foreign policy in the last 5 years, too fearfull of the economic fallout.”

I think you misunderstood PH. I don’t want to cut off all ties with other countries. I just believe we should quit giving our money away to those who do not like us.

“Your money can’t buy our agreement more than our could buy your. That’s a tie, a co-dependency.
And what’s good in an (or lack of) advice you pay for?”

Eh. I’m pretty extreme, sorry. We don’t need your agreement.

“BTW, Europeans, thanks to euro-dollar change, love the euro as, clearly, we could buy our oil cheaper now, helped by the petrodollar parity.”

Good for you guys. Seems you did what was best for your country. Wish all of Americans felt the same way about their own country.

“It may be suprising you but, simply, yes.”
No, its not surprising. Day to day average life, America and all its stuff is evil, but yet, when you need something, we aren’t.

“Yes. But so far none is given.”
Its not? Those in our govt bend over backwards to help or appease other countries.

“Just in your previous paragraph you implied arrogantly US alone subtains the rest of the world with handouts, given technology and americans lives.”

Um, no I did not say the US alone substains the world. I simply mean many country’s would be worse off without our help.

“Do you understand its both wrong and insulting?”
So is saying America is an evil empire bent on world domination. Tit for tat my friend.

“Worst, just after 9/11 and Katrina many western nations IIRC were given US respect, understanding and even help to a level never reached before except WWII. Unfortunatly, Bush ruined it going in Iraq War and proodly refusing Katrina foreign help.”

I was against going into Iraq.
Foreign help was not needed for Katrina. Thanks though. It was a nice offer.

“Btw, “given” technology? Sold you mean!?”

Either way is fine with me.

“Handouts? If by charity you hope to buy respect, it’s not charity anymore…”

And thats where our govt is wrong. They should worry about the respect of their own people, not others.

“Americans lives? Nobody ask you officially to be the world police. In fact many ask US to stop acting as the unique world police, but to share the burden (aka multilateralism).”

Thats always been a problem for us Americans, we love our country more than the “world.” But don’t worry, as I said above, that view is leaving and we are becoming more like the rest of the world. Thank god I will be dead before I have to witness that.

“The reality is US want to be the world police because its the best way to protect its own interest worldwide.”

Yep.

“Check New American Century again.”

Why? I’m one of the biggest conspiracy nuts on this site. LOL!

Posted by: kctim at September 26, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #183986

desert beef, Posted by: desert beef at September 26, 2006 08:23 AM

You say that Clinton tortured us with his lies? OMG, then we need to actually execute Bush cause hes told some major whoppers!!! Good Grief!!!

CLINTON LIED, AND NO ONE DIED! (cause he lied about a seaman stain, good grief, thats a little different than putting thousands of our young military at risk!! And, starting a never-ending war … with THE REST OF THE FRICKEN WORLD!!!!!!!).

“The Iraquis will welcome us as liberators”
“The opporation in Iraq is over” 2002
“I listen to my Generals on the ground, and not to politicians in Washington”
“Iraq has WMDs, we have no doubt of that” 2002
“We will ferret them out of their holes, there will be no rock to hide under.” 9/11
And, “we will not stop until you are brought to justice.” 9/11

Well, the list goes on and on and on, just read and educate yourself to the lies.

But, we are a little off track arent we? So, tell me, just who were the people that Clinton tortured? How many were water-boarded? Torn apart by dogs? Beaten? Made to stand for 40 hours without moving? How many Christians did he incarserate and pee on their Bibles and use the Bible as T P ? How many did he denied the right to councel, or even hearing the charges against them? Denied “due process”. Held without end, with no rights of defence?

Where were Clintons “Black Camps”, anyway? Somehow I missed that one. Did he have secret camps in Syria too?

You said, “As far as War criminals It’s perfectly legal to hold them until hostilities come to an end”

OMG, grow up. You know perfectly well that the “war on terror” will never end. THERE IS NO END! Because there will always be small band of raticals that hate us, and under this Administration, they are growing and growing stronger every day. GET REAL. And, “WAR CRIMINALS”? “WAR CRIMINALS”? You have to be tried and convicted in a court of law, to be a “CRIMINAL”, or are the laws of the United States Justice System also just so much bull poo, to you, like the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Genieva Convention??? !!! Ever hear of a little thing we happen to have in this country that “a person is assumed inocent, until proven guilty”?

See you people want it both ways. You just really cant make up your mind, can you? If they are commiting crimes against America, you need to give them their day in court. (Also comply to the Genieva Convention and the ethics of how you treat persons on trial = humaine treatment). If they are military combatants, then they still deserved to be contained under the Genieva Convention which demands humaine treatment, and no “torture”.

It is not up for debate. The Genieva Convention of more than 60 years is quite clear and has been quite well understood, UP UNTIL THIS PRESIDENT! (Whos only real liturature that he can understand is “my pet goat”)

Bottom line……….NO TORTURE! (Civilian, or Military — prisioners, no torture to anyone, EVER)!

The rest of your post is utter noncense. Yes, they dont play fair. Yes, they are animals. So that is reason in your mind, to be just aS awful as they are? To get down and dirty to make them suffer like “we” have? Just because Bush is too stupid to go underground in a true covert operation to catch the real villians here, your solution is to murder and torture as many Arabs as we can? For revenge? (Right! Good thinking that!)

BRILLIANT…..KEEP PLAYING INTO AL QUAIDAs HANDS !!!!

We are actually makeing more terrorists, and makeing more terrorists stronger by our efforts of occupation and torture…..than we are possiably preventing.

So, I hope your little crew in Washington knows how to cover their ass better than to redefine the Genieva Convention in accordance to their deffinition. That is not hardly going to work.

It didnt work in Nurenberg
It hasnt worked for Sadam
And, it wont work for Bush.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 26, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #183990

Posted by: 1LT B at September 26, 2006 08:28 AM

Playnice,

“For someone who frets about the Gestapo, you show a crazy sense of bravery. If America was anything like the police state you describe, you’d have been carted away long ago. Do you really believe all of this nonsense? The fact that you post to a public site through an internet that’s traceable leads me to doubt it.”

I know perfectly well where I am posting, and I know perfectly well what I am saying. And, I will say it, and scream the truth as along as there is breath in my body. Yes, I know that everything I say on my cell, on this blog and maybe even my movements are traceable by this government. Just like they are tracking all of us. But, if you think that this punnie sorry excuse of a dictatorship scares me?

NO FLIPPIN WAY!!!

I AM AN AMERICAN. I believe in free speach. I believe in the constitution. And, if I have to pay for it with my life? Why should I be any more special, than thousands of Americans that have gone before me???

At least, I have some pride. and…

I WILL GO AS AN AMERICAN!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 26, 2006 1:21 PM
Comment #183992

“Ever hear of a little thing we happen to have in this country that “a person is assumed inocent, until proven guilty”?”

Innocent until proven guilty, unless your trying to own a gun.

“just who were the people that Clinton tortured?”

See rendition.
Thank god clinton was one lib willing to do what was necessary to get intel.

“How many were water-boarded? Torn apart by dogs? Beaten?”

And just how many have been today?

“Made to stand for 40 hours without moving?”

Aw.

“How many Christians did he incarserate and pee on their Bibles and use the Bible as T P ?”

I can think of around 70 or so who were imprisoned and burned alive. Does that count? Probably not huh, you did say Christians didn’t you.

Posted by: kctim at September 26, 2006 1:29 PM
Comment #184009

“I can think of around 70 or so who were imprisoned and burned alive. Does that count? Probably not huh, you did say Christians didn’t you.”

Posted by: kctim at September 26, 2006 01:29 PM

Wow, under Clinton? The government of the United STates did this? Our military? Our CIA? And, the Dems were “OK” with that, huh??? And, it never hit the news?

And, the Reps who tried everything they could to discredit Clinton, hated his guts, and would have sold their very soles to get him out of office? THEY, never even mentioned it?

Very strange, indeed!

What else did Clinton do, besides WWI and WWII?

Posted by: PlayNice at September 26, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #184012

I loved reading the comments from most everyone. I was beginning to think I was just paranoid or something. President Bush is either being advised so wrong and convinced what hw\e is doing is right or just isn’t smart at all. Most of the politicians look out for themselves in every way and Bush did break the law and he does feel above it. If our soldiers were treated less than the provisions of the Geneva convention allow he would be up in arms It has been said by everyone in politics we know not who or what this enemy looks like yet, we send our children who signed up to defend our country over there to shoot and kill..who? and should they kill an innocent????and who says they are innocent bystander we want to crucify the teenager sent over there by us to fight who or what to the death penalty. The US is supposed to be civilized most of the higher ups in the military lie. Wake up America listen to the lyrics of some old Dylan songs. In his childhood they were scurrying under desks to protect themselves from the atom bomb..we’ve had communists and now we have some unknown ..entity known as the terrorists give me a break. The American citizens of our country are so much smarter than the politicians. They are smarter because they are struggling to get by in the land of the free and the brave. They for the most part are not corrupt with their hands out expecting everything. Let them live on $5.25 an hour and have a second or third job and still struggle. Let’s fund the illegals while our own go without. Where has common sense gone with all the technology nobody knows a thing it’s all double talk. Has a politician ever answered a question without trying to say something else first you know to preface it and never answer it?
America is disappearing at a rapid rate and I feel sorry for our children and grandchildren that will be put in the middle of the mess made by over zealous and possibly mentally ill persons.
Terrorists AKA communists atom bombs it’s all the same to me. Examine every container coming into our ports get rid of the drugs flowing in here and destroying the lives of Americans..forget about the money it generates for hospitals, drug rehabs, bogus boot camps..somebody is getting fat off the low lifes allowing our country to be destroyed drugs are something we can see, identify and stop unlike the elusive terrorists but we do nothing we chase around kids in a car with some pot video it and put it on tv. whoa isn’t that crushing the drug war?? America you need some help..You need a fresh start..you need a government all brand new with no hidden agendas
play for pay is out of control every relative of someone is hired for the cushy jobs
America where is your conscience?

Posted by: Mary at September 26, 2006 2:21 PM
Comment #184015

PS:

Oh, and Ken Starr, who spent 40 million investigation the Clintons to get them out of office, this just escaped him as well, huh?

Just, AMAZING!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 26, 2006 2:26 PM
Comment #184022

Phillipe,

If no one asked the US to be the world’s police, than why didn’t Europe do anything about the mess in the Balkans? Oh sure, you got upset and wrote letters on fancy stationary saying just how upset you were, but it wasn’t until America said it has to stop and America risked her Airmen to bomb the Serbs to the negotiating table that anything happened. And while I’m on that subject, why wasn’t France objecting to us not having an UN resolution? An even better question; where the fuck was the UN? Remember this. If, God forbid, a 9/11 scale attack is made against France, France does not have the power to do much of anything about it. The beauty of this is the very same military power of the US, that protected your nation from the Soviet horde for 40 years, that did your jobs in the Balkans, and that continues to be the guarantor of European freedom from foriegn attack, will be all you have to rely on. It is that very same power that France has flouted and undermined for years. Do you think China or Russia, or any of these other nations France allies itself with will help you in a time of crisis?

Playnice,

First, you don’t take a joke very well, do you? Jesus, lighten the hell up! The left loves to compare Bush to Hitler etc. You have no idea what you’re talking about. My future fiancee (I don’t trust the “diamonds” they sell here in Iraq) is Russian. Maybe someday when I get back to Germany I’ll have her write in about what life is like in a real police state. If Bush were even a 100th as bad as the left makes him out to be, you and most of these other liberals would already be wormfood. The fact that you’re not exposes your arguments for the political tripe it is. Second, have you ever heard of Waco?

Posted by: 1LT B at September 26, 2006 2:42 PM
Comment #184043

1LT

Ever heard of the attack on the Twin Towers in 1993, just 36 days after Clinton took office? Where are those people? All but Ben Lauden is in jail. WACO was our little home grown “terrorists”. And who is to say that Reno or that whaco set off that mess??? It was never really determined. But if Reno set it off, what is worse? The conspiracy theory that Reno killed women and children in Texas, some 100 (?) or so, or the conspiracy that building six on 9/11 was blown by us, while AWAX did circles in the Atlantic while the second plane was in the air? Or, that the levys in LA were blown deliberately by the ACE? (As a private contractors no-bid wet dream).

And, yes…I do know about Nazi Germany. Ive made it, a life study. Maybe you should spend some time on it yourself. I mean, how relatively “good” people allowed that monster to take control of their country, butcher its military in fruitless agression, and tortured and murdered its own citizens for the “war effort”. (While all the while he told the people what they wanted to hear, and used fear to stay in power)

A little reading and independant thinking, never hurt anyone.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 26, 2006 3:23 PM
Comment #184046

desert beef:

What point?

Posted by: Lynne at September 26, 2006 3:32 PM
Comment #184047

“What else did Clinton do, besides WWI and WWII?”

Hmmmm?
Attacked a country that was not a threat to the US. Where have I heard that before?

And regarding WWII: Thank god he wasn’t the one responsible for those or else you all would have been blaming Hawaii. You know, it wouldn’t have been the Japanese fault, it would be what did Hawaii do to make Japan act that way.

Oh, and 40 million by Starr? You all would spend 40 billion to get Bush, so don’t act like you really care about the taxpayers money being wasted.

Posted by: kctim at September 26, 2006 3:34 PM
Comment #184059

Kctim,

Oh you mean the “wag the dog” thing? When Clinton, at least tried, to get Ben Lauden?

Or, do you mean the “save the people from geocide” thing like the Iraq invasion? In 2002, to save the Kurds when the Kurds were actually gassed in 1988. (thing) ???

Under who? Who was President when the Kurds and Iranians were gassed? (BAAAAA, wrong. It was not when Bush II was president - It was the other 12 Republician years - Pre 1st Gulf War).

Its just a dirty rotten shame that the facts keep getting in your way.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 26, 2006 4:04 PM
Comment #184062

Oh yes, and Kctim?

It was the Japaneese fault, and BTW…
WE GOT THEM!

Posted by: PlayNice at September 26, 2006 4:06 PM
Comment #184064

1LT

Oh, and BTW, speaking of Germany, we never defeated the Germans. The Russians did. We never did stop the genocide of the Jews, even though we knew of it. The Russians defeated Germany. If you are going to marry a Russian, you should talk to her about it.

Posted by: PlayNice at September 26, 2006 4:14 PM
Comment #184067

Uh, no Playnice.
“Oh you mean the “wag the dog” thing? When Clinton, at least tried, to get Ben Lauden?”

Nope. Didn’t mention that at all. In fact, I actually approved with his decision to do those things. Even though I didn’t agree with him ignoring the Pentagon and generals about it, I believed in his choice.

“Or, do you mean the “save the people from geocide” thing like the Iraq invasion? In 2002, to save the Kurds when the Kurds were actually gassed in 1988. (thing) ???”

MMMM, nope. Ever hear of Bosnia?

“Its just a dirty rotten shame that the facts keep getting in your way”

Present a fact, any fact, that I have ignored.

The facts are there for you to see, you just prefer to ignore them in order to keep your little make believe world of “Evil Christian Republicans Taking Over the World” going on.

Posted by: kctim at September 26, 2006 4:22 PM
Comment #184141

If you are so concerned about the US Constitution, than why is there nothing on your site regarding impeaching Senator Harry Reid for his egrigious attack on the First Amendment of the Constitution. Harry Reid is an elected Senator, who took an oath to uphold the Constitution. He violated that oath when he threatened the FCC license of Disney over the P/911 debacle, placing a chilling effect on the Freedom of Expression.

I guess you really do not care about the US constitution.

Posted by: middleclassguy at September 26, 2006 8:16 PM
Comment #184142

If you are so concerned about the US Constitution, than why is there nothing on your site regarding impeaching Senator Harry Reid for his egregious attack on the First Amendment of the Constitution. Harry Reid is an elected Senator, who took an oath to uphold the Constitution. He violated that oath when he threatened the FCC license of Disney over the P/911 debacle, placing a chilling effect on the Freedom of Expression.

I guess you really do not care about the US Constitution.

Posted by: middleclassguy at September 26, 2006 8:17 PM
Comment #184150

1LT B,

If no one asked the US to be the world’s police, than why didn’t Europe do anything about the mess in the Balkans?

Europeans Blue Helmets where in the balkans under UN mandate since 1992 before US airstrikes under NATO happened in 1995. Under a very weak and terrible restrictive mandate, indeed. That’s not even up to debate and a lesson Europe had learned, believe me. Check their ROE and chain of command pre-requesites before commiting any large troops to expanded FINUL II in Lebanon to take mesure of it.

Oh sure, you got upset and wrote letters on fancy stationary saying just how upset you were,

Thanks for showing your lack of respect for the UN soldiers who found death between 1992 and 1995. Two french soldiers died, plus a Mirage 200 was shot down, killing its pilot. Oh, yeah, even french fighters participate too in NATO to the air control of the no-fly zones.

Pardon my french (pun intended), but writting upset letters, my ass.

French were on the balkans ground for years.
So were the brits. And many others nations who contributed troops to the UNPROFOR. Even during the Kosovo war’ Operation Allied Force in 1999, 4 years later, US were not alone driving the NATO action, putting their fellows at risk.

but it wasn’t until America said it has to stop and America risked her Airmen to bomb the Serbs to the negotiating table that anything happened.

Doesn’t make the UN Blue Helmets not risking their lives since years just “upset letters writers”.
In fact, our two french soldiers died while fighting back General Mladić assault against their UN observation post at the Vrbanja bridge, an assault made as retaliation to NATO airstrikes in an attempt to take UN troops in hostage. Guess some french actually do more than risking their lives: they lost them.

And while I’m on that subject, why wasn’t France objecting to us not having an UN resolution?

Because the UN mandate was already allowing NATO forces to do air control and, eventually, strikes.
Because it was, after 3 years of patience with every possible balkans parties and an shamefull amount of violation of cease-fires, human rigths and attacks targetting UN itself, the stronger step UN should have do a year before, instead of staying locked in “peace keeping force even if there’s no peace yet” mode.
And because we agreed about the overall issues to fix, french soldiers and officials *were* in the balkans to see the evidence with our own eyes. Our own president at this time, Mitterand, even goes see them on the ground, in Sarajevo.
During a conflict started by others. Not before a war he wanted to start himself in a region he only knew from memo and maps…

You can’t compare Irak War with 90’s Balkans wars, sorry. We still wait the Iraq WMDs evidence to show up in a next UN meeting, not all hope is lost… Meanwhile, civilians security in the Balkans is higher than in Iraq.

An even better question; where the fuck was the UN?

On the ground, since 3 years. Weaky as hell, trying to keep a peace that was not yet there. Again nothing really to debate here, I agree.
But still, the UN and Europe was not looking the other way. In fact, many europeans soldiers who were there still remember what they’ve to look without being allowed, lacking a stronger mandate, to stop what they saw then.

If, God forbid, a 9/11 scale attack is made against France, France does not have the power to do much of anything about it.

Should I’ve to say neither US? Afterall, 9/11 did happened to the most powerfull nation on earth. As perfect security is an utopia, it’ perfectly clear that a less powerfull nation like France can do nothing to stop forever such scale attack.

BTW, France is facing islamic terrorism since decades already. We had and will again have terrorist attacks on our soil. We just choose to NOT make our counterterrorism the center of our life, neither our political agenda. Terrorists don’t deserve that much public attention, it will be playing on their hands.

The beauty of this is the very same military power of the US, that protected your nation from the Soviet horde for 40 years, that did your jobs in the Balkans, and that continues to be the guarantor of European freedom from foriegn attack, will be all you have to rely on.

Yeah, the UK and France nukes stockpiles played no role here, sure. One may wonder why today UK and France are the most military nations in the EU then. Nothing comparable to US, with it defense budget being all others nations ones together, but MAD doctrine never required more than just the certainity that ONE nuke will be fired back at your fool enemy.

It is that very same power that France has flouted and undermined for years.

Undermined??? Since when public disagreement undermined a military power?! You just have to prove it false.

People don’t need to listen to France (and, for the most part, they don’t), they just have to watch the Iraq War aftermath and US failure since 3 years to secure the country they attacked and occupy since. They just have to watch US not going in Darfur because they can’t (and there is nothing/no oil to secure that worth it enough). They just have to watch US, even when supporting Somalian war lords, their former enemies, can’t stop islamists to take over Somalia. They just have to watch US still not finding the WMDs in Iraq they said they knew were they was. They just have to watch US not winning asymetrical conflicts, when clearly they’re on the stronger side each time.
They just have to watch US trying to resolve every world issue (the ones they care about) by violence or money again and again and again.

It takes more than weapons to have real world power. It take the will. Does americans have such will? Where is the draft? Isn’t USA at war, at war on terror? Where is the taxes raise, to fund war? Where are politicians’s son(s) in Iraq and Afghanistan and, next move, Iran?

Do you think China or Russia, or any of these other nations France allies itself with will help you in a time of crisis?

Nope. Not a minute. Hence our independent military defense doctrine since De Gaulle, our nuclear power status and our current effort to build a credible European defense. Which Chirac boosted a bit this summer by pushing many europeans nations to join France in FINUL II, BTW.

France is a small military power, no doubt. But underestimate it could still be an error.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 26, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #184168

kctim,

Ah, Philipe

“Oh, really?”
Yes.

Oh. Now I’m convinced!

“Multilateralism like in Europe?” Are you kidding me? Half of American voters believe the UN should control the US.

Any link to back such claim?

“Close neighboors, not wide oceans, everywhere like in Europe?” Um, thats geological. Has nothing to do with govt.

But it has to do with foreign policy. When your neighbors have just one step to do to enter your country, your foreign policy have to take this geological factor into account, because obviously it matter. As it did in WWI and WWII.
To share the european view on the world, you must keep this in mind: the rest of the world is your neighbor, and no ocean could protect you from everything coming from it.

Bush went to war without your approval or without kissing the UN’s ass. But not to much more is all that different between the two.

US moral ground worldwide. KIA.

What you consider a Constitutional Republic and what our Constitution defines it as are completely different.

You get a point. Want to enlight me on these difference?

I didn’t say stop investing. I said stop giving it away for nothing.

If you’re actually giving money away for nothing, then US is the most stupid capitalist nation ever.
Who are you kidding!?

And who cares if the world agrees with our policies or not. If the world disagrees with our policies, then don’t take our money.

Or worst, boycott US products.
Which I’m not doing. Not in a conscient way, at least. I confess I’m less willing to see US series or movies than before, though. Too much patriotism and black and whit world view in these lately. With some notable exceptions…

Marching in the streets protesting how evil America is and then going home to what was paid for by American taxpayers is a pretty hypocritacal thing to do isn’t it.

Tell me again my house was paid by american taxpayers, I will told you your independency was paid by french soldiers blood. That’s pointless. France is not an US property, neither is any sovereign nations. You show a very scary you-own-us-all superiority complex here.

I just believe we should quit giving our money away to those who do not like us.

Hey, I actually agree here!
Let’s start by stopping to buy oil from nations we should not support, would you?
Ouch! Energy price is climbing? Yeah, but nobody promised you that putting your money where is your mouth is never painfull.

Eh. I’m pretty extreme, sorry. We don’t need your agreement.

Indeed. You need a wake-up-call president. And more money. You need more soldiers, too. Maybe some more weapon?
No, wait! You need nothing but total security!
Damned.

No, its not surprising. Day to day average life, America and all its stuff is evil, but yet, when you need something, we aren’t.

Replace “something” by oil and “America” with Iraq, Iran or Venezuela and enjoy the irony in such sentence.

“Do you understand its both wrong and insulting?” So is saying America is an evil empire bent on world domination. Tit for tat my friend.

Nice way to start respecting each others diverging views. Beside, I think I said neocons wants an American empire. Not all americans wants it.

I was against going into Iraq. Foreign help was not needed for Katrina. Thanks though. It was a nice offer.

See, again we could agree here! Hurray.

Thats always been a problem for us Americans, we love our country more than the “world.” But don’t worry, as I said above, that view is leaving and we are becoming more like the rest of the world. Thank god I will be dead before I have to witness that.

Oh. Fearing globalization?
Why, afterall the Greatest Generation and 50 years of capitalim in the US create it. Why fearing its own creation?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 26, 2006 9:52 PM
Comment #184312

Sorry for ending unpaired quoting.
Should have been:

No, its not surprising. Day to day average life, America and all its stuff is evil, but yet, when you need something, we aren’t.

Replace “something” by oil and “America” with Iraq, Iran or Venezuela and enjoy the irony in such sentence.
Try with goodies and China communism, it works as well.

“Do you understand its both wrong and insulting?” So is saying America is an evil empire bent on world domination. Tit for tat my friend.

Tit for tat, nice way to start respecting each others diverging views. Beside, I think I said neocons wants an American empire, not all americans wants it. Hopefully.

I was against going into Iraq. Foreign help was not needed for Katrina. Thanks though. It was a nice offer.

See, again we could agree here! Hurray.

Thats always been a problem for us Americans, we love our country more than the “world”. But don’t worry, as I said above, that view is leaving and we are becoming more like the rest of the world. Thank god I will be dead before I have to witness that.

Oh. Fearing globalization?
Why? Afterall the Greatest Generation and 50 years of capitalim in the US create it. Why fearing its own creation?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 27, 2006 4:24 AM
Comment #184364

“Any link to back such claim?”

Yes, they are called liberals.

“To share the european view on the world, you must keep this in mind: the rest of the world is your neighbor, and no ocean could protect you from everything coming from it.”

Thats just it PH, we do not and should not share the European view.

“US moral ground worldwide. KIA.”

If its not a liberal type politician, most of the world will disagree with us.

“You get a point. Want to enlight me on these difference?”

Socialism.

“If you’re actually giving money away for nothing, then US is the most stupid capitalist nation ever.
Who are you kidding!?”

Kidding nobody, I agree with you 100%.

“Or worst, boycott US products.”

If thats how you feel, then do that. Patriotic Americans do that over here all the time.

“Too much patriotism and black and whit world view in these lately. With some notable exceptions…”

We love our country, I won’t apologize for that.

“Hey, I actually agree here!
Let’s start by stopping to buy oil from nations we should not support, would you?”

Yes and I do.

“Ouch! Energy price is climbing? Yeah, but nobody promised you that putting your money where is your mouth is never painfull.”

Actually, I don’t sit back and let govt take care of me. I have planned for such things and will be fine.

“Indeed. You need a wake-up-call president. And more money. You need more soldiers, too. Maybe some more weapon?”

Didn’t vote for him, why would I call him?
As far as the troops, I’m a vet and have many friends fighting over there. Letting them do what is best for their own country would help more.

“Replace “something” by oil and “America” with Iraq, Iran or Venezuela and enjoy the irony in such sentence.”

What irony? I totally favor ending oil ties with other countries.

“Nice way to start respecting each others diverging views. Beside, I think I said neocons wants an American empire. Not all americans wants it.”

Your still reaching with that.

“See, again we could agree here! Hurray.”

We agree on alot more than you think PH.

“Oh. Fearing globalization?”

Yep!

“Why, afterall the Greatest Generation and 50 years of capitalim in the US create it. Why fearing its own creation?”

Because it is not what our country was founded on.
Playing world police, catering to every other country’s needs, submitting to those who hate us and allowing foreign nations control over our military and way of life is what has ruined the US.

You see PH, I don’t want to play world police. Most of us don’t. I want the US to mind its own business and I want the rest of the world to mind theirs.

We really aren’t that different PH.

Posted by: kctim at September 27, 2006 9:38 AM
Comment #184422

kctim,

“Any link to back such claim?” Yes, they are called liberals.

Still not providing any factual proof that half american wants UN to control the US.

Thats just it PH, we do not and should not share the European view.

Damn, I wrote “share”. I mean “understand”.
But don’t bother reply, I know, you do not and should not understand the European view on the world. Get it.

“US moral ground worldwide. KIA.” If its not a liberal type politician, most of the world will disagree with us.

Tell me, then, why US conservatives have no (more?) moral ground worldwide?

“You get a point. Want to enlight me on these difference?” Socialism.

Nowhere in french republican Constitution “socialism” is written, implied or forced.
But I hope you enjoyed such little “anti-pinko” prejudice as your fellows did under McCarthism.

“Or worst, boycott US products.” If thats how you feel, then do that. Patriotic Americans do that over here all the time.

Hum, economic patriotism. So long for free trade paradigm US is promoting and pushing thru nations throats since decades, I guess.

“Too much patriotism and black and whit world view in these lately. With some notable “exceptions” We love our country, I won’t apologize for that.

That’s fair. I won’t apologize for refusing more and more to drink kool-aid.

“Replace “something” by oil and “America” with Iraq, Iran or Venezuela and enjoy the irony in such sentence.” What irony? I totally favor ending oil ties with other countries.

But not your current government. And I’ll bet many americans are not ready to drop many things from their current way of life to accomplish such goal.

“Why, afterall the Greatest Generation and 50 years of capitalim in the US create it. Why fearing its own creation?” Because it is not what our country was founded on. Playing world police, catering to every other country’s needs, submitting to those who hate us and allowing foreign nations control over our military and way of life is what has ruined the US.

Move to Switzerland. The world goes global and wont return as quite-isolated places spread on earth surface ever. Deal with it or ignore it, but you can’t do nothing about it, except living on a lost place hidden without any news from the real world. Refusing to go down from ivory towers was not a great idea in 9/11, it also applied to a country as a whole. Bottom line: you can’t isolate yourself forever from the world. Face it or be prepared to be hit in the back.

You see PH, I don’t want to play world police. Most of us don’t. I want the US to mind its own business and I want the rest of the world to mind theirs.

Many businesses are supra-national. Hence the globalization. Global economy. “Global” climate change. How do you stop climate change “foreign”, issue, like storms, at your border? How could you stop another Tchernobyl-like nuclear clouds to become an US issue? Many US wealth come from supra-national invests. Do you really think the current US wealth could self-subtain for long without having large free trade all over the world made in dollars? The world will stop buying so many dollars if US turns totally isolationist. What about US energy needs (25% of the world, consume by 5% of the world population)? Does the americans will warm their house from cows biomass or what?

Plus, nobody want to be the lone world policeman. Neither anyone want a single world policeman. Why not sharing the charge!?

We really aren’t that different PH.

Sure, we’re both human. But I feel being a world citizen before being french. You put your flag before, I’m not. I’m not a nationalist. Maybe because I’m not a war veteran, or maybe because I don’t mind the world changing.

Maybe I’m still a young utopian in my mind.
Who screw at writting in english, sorry.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 27, 2006 12:52 PM
Comment #184520

“Still not providing any factual proof that half american wants UN to control the US.”

PH, its no secret that the ones primarily anti-UN are the Republican type.

Thats just it PH, we do not and should not share the European view.

“I know, you do not and should not understand the European view on the world. Get it.”

Thats ok, I’ll reply anyways.
You are correct.

“Tell me, then, why US conservatives have no (more?) moral ground worldwide?”

IMO, its because they are more concerned with their own country’s moral ground. They are more apt to worry about what Americans think of them while the liberal Dems worry about what the world thinks of them.

“Nowhere in french republican Constitution “socialism” is written, implied or forced.
But I hope you enjoyed such little “anti-pinko” prejudice as your fellows did under McCarthism.”

Anti-pinko prejudice? I thought communist were the pinkos?
You all are well known for your “social” programs, are you not? A govt program for just about everything?
One of the freedoms Americans once had, was that of not being controlled by our govt.
Have you ever studied McCarthy? Or are you just going by what the left has said about him?

“Hum, economic patriotism. So long for free trade paradigm US is promoting and pushing thru nations throats since decades, I guess.”

I hear ya on that.

“That’s fair. I won’t apologize for refusing more and more to drink kool-aid.”

So tell me, how is loving ones own country more than others, drinking kool-aid?

“But not your current government. And I’ll bet many americans are not ready to drop many things from their current way of life to accomplish such goal.”

I totally agree PH. Good thing I am prepared though :)

“Move to Switzerland.”

Ew, thats still Europe my friend.

“The world goes global and wont return as quite-isolated places spread on earth surface ever.”

You are probably right.

“Deal with it or ignore it, but you can’t do nothing about it, except living on a lost place hidden without any news from the real world.”

But you see, that was the beauty of America at one time. People like me could have had a say in stuff like that. But since they have basically perverted our Constitution, it will be harder.

“you can’t isolate yourself forever from the world. Face it or be prepared to be hit in the back.”

You’re right, we can’t. But, Americans sure as hell could get back to putting their own country first and helping others only as a second thought.

“Plus, nobody want to be the lone world policeman. Neither anyone want a single world policeman. Why not sharing the charge!?”

IF we shared like other country’s share, then I could put up with that. But we don’t. Most of it comes from our taxpayers money and blood.

“But I feel being a world citizen before being french. You put your flag before, I’m not. I’m not a nationalist. Maybe because I’m not a war veteran, or maybe because I don’t mind the world changing.”

That pretty much sums alot of stuff up. I do put my country before others and I would die for my flag and country. Just one of the many reasons America is so different than the rest of the world.

“Maybe I’m still a young utopian in my mind.”

Maybe, but with all due respect, you are not an American so you have no idea how that feels to some of us.

I have no ill feelings towards Europe and I respect your choice of govt and stuff, I spent 10 years of my life there. And I don’t wish anything bad upon you guys either.
I just feel that our form of govt worked better for us and that our move to a more European style of govt will ruin what our country was founded on.

“Who screw at writting in english, sorry.”

I don’t mind at all my friend. Well worth it to me.
Besides, you should see my French, ugh.

Posted by: kctim at September 27, 2006 5:22 PM
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