Torture is not a “Policy” ….It Is A Crime

The Republicans have hijacked yet another issue with a meaningless deflection.

Actually two.

The first one is rather easily dealt with. One of their current deflections is rather easily dealt with, at least in theory.

They object that there was a ‘selective’ release of memos. They want more memos released.

U.S. Weighs Release of More CIA Memos

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has requested that the administration declassify additional CIA memos that he said would show the tactics worked.

It is of course, a bluff. How do we call that bluff? Easy!

Great, we say! Release em all! All the way back to the secret energy meetings Cheney held early on that led to Enron gaming the deregulated energy market. And that some have claimed was part of the slicing up of the Iraq oil pie, post invasion. Release the memos around manufacturing the evidence to invade Iraq.  Release the memos on the WTC site being environmentally safe after 9/11.  Release the memos on the Don Seigelman case. Release the memos on the US Attorney firings. Release the memos on Blackwater.  Release the memos on using white phosphorous in Iraq. Release the memos on the Katrina response.  Release the memos on illegal wiretapping. Release the memos on how the Black Sites were established and what went on there.  Release the memos on stalling on Climate Change and the political reasons for doing so. Release the memos about exposing Valerie Plame and an entire CIA nuclear counter-terrorism network.

Release the memos on Tora Bora and letting Bin Laden escape.

Release em all!

After all, we wouldn’t want to be ….selective…. now would we?

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The second one is even more corrupt and sinister.

“Criminalizing policy differences.”

If a policy is illegal…as torture is…it is already “criminalized. By being a crime, by being illegal.

You can’t ‘criminalize‘ a crime.

Both under International AND US law:

TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 113C > ยง 2340A

ยง 2340A. Torture

(a) Offense.- Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.

(b) Jurisdiction.- There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if-

(1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or

(2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.

(c) Conspiracy.- A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.

Yes yes you lawyers out there, I am absolutely positive that you can construct a defense for torture…..

….after all, Yoo, Bybee, and Bradbury did!

So knock yourself out, but if you are honest, you will admit that there are PLENTY of ways that torture is indeed…..a crime.

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Which leads to the upcoming argument that will be presented by the Repubs in their desperate ass-covering traveling circus. There next line of defense is that they methods used did not constitute torture. To which I say….great!

Let’s talk in detail bout everything you did. Let’s get you on the talk shows and have you defend in detail every single approved torture technique. Let’s get YOU to intimately define what torture is and is not. Let’s let YOU catalog publicly what techniques were used alone and in combination.

And then WE can point out that there is PLENTY of evidence that not only ARE those techniques torture….

But that the Bush Torture Policy was often EXCEEDED in actual practice.

And how exceeding them proves that at least some of the torturers were not torturing….”in good faith.”

Yes, bad faith torture occurred too!

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But…it was ALL criminal.

If a “policy” is illegal, it ceases to be policy and becomes ALL ON ITS OWN a crime.

To use an extreme example….You cannot declare a policy of killing the first born son of every terrorist. You cannot declare rape is a policy.

And then complain about Criminalizing Policy Differences. or use it as a defense.

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    • Edger on April 27, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Criminal???

    What? Are you some kinda far left retributionist, or something?

    We’re tryin’ ta move forward around chere, dontcha know? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • geomoo on April 27, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Good one, buhdy.  I’ll make it my new sig line for a while.

    The Republicans have limited playbook.  One of their most popular is to accuse the Dems of what they do, hence the accusation of cherry picking of released memos.  It seems to be one of their most consistent principles.

  2. Our president promised a more open government. I can’t imagine how the memos about the energy meetings relate to national security. Let’s see everything so that we can do more than speculate about what the Bushies did or did not do.

    • robodd on April 27, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    as to the second, it is semantically incorrect.  The policy was criminal by its implication.  It was illegal at the time it occurred, not subsequently criminalized.

    The latter is just another attempt to say the president can not break the law, because he is the law–but extends it to all “policy” decisions.  It is absurd beyond any credulity.

  3. The cries of the Repugs about all that exceedingly useful information extracted from the detainees using our wonderful “enhanced interrogation” methods justifies the use of torture — the blatant effort to completely bypass the illegality of torture to Americans, and there will be those stupid enough to support what they say.

    To debate the merits of torture one way or another is completely asinine and is without conscience!

    How can we scream loudly enough to get Americans to understand that TORTURE IS ILLEGAL, both by United States laws and all the appertaining International laws?

  4. a lot. My Sister #3 (I have 3, and Im the #4 youngest) who is a basic good person, did a lot of time with New Age and various others before she became a “committed Christian” abut ten years ago. I say that to stress that she is not a brain-dead fundie.  Plus, she’s my sister! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Anyway, she does not keep up with The News much, hardly even watches TV. so I consider it my godgiven familial duty to keep her informed…:-).

    So she calls me to tell me about something related to Being Frugal and Money stuff, (a whole sub-story there!)and the convo wanders. I start in on my stuff (of course). Now, Im saying this is the reaction of a person who is NOT paying attention, but her first thought, upon hearing my tirade re torture news, was just very straight forward and simple: “No. We are better than that. I mean, we have enough bright and brilliant people, we have resources, we dont HAVE to resort to that, ever. Thats just wrong.”

    And she votes either GOP or not at all, as far as I know.

  5. around and running errands so  Im all frustrated from being muzzled all day, lol. But I do some of my better thinking in the car. So here it comes… some of it at least.

    1. IF these bastards have been following along their evil scheme from the get-go (which most of us here believe they have), why would we think the Plot. Ends. Here.  …? That it ends with a Democrat elected to POTUS Office in Nov 2008? NO, they have a plan, and we see them rolling it out still, now, they are going to keep it coming. SOMEbody smarter than me should be examining this. We know They are diabiolical, greedy, and powerful and they “will not concede power easily”. (thats a BHO quote btw).

    2.

    Who is “selling” the Pro Justice side on all this? NOBODY. No.fuckin.body (except us of course lol). Dems are playing Defense on this issue, despite the fact that Dems are in the majority with the WH, Congress, etc… being “in the majority” does not mean they have all the power. They dont.  They we…sorry. Leahy, Whitehouse, Feingold?, a handful smattering are doing what they can, I guess, but they seem, to me, to be terrified of coming out too strong, for fear of being branded, of having THE ISSUE get branded as “partisan”. Which it is anyway. And certainly not Obama fer godssake, for whatever reason, we know he isnt and he probably wont, and maybe shouldnt.

    I am talking about the marketing of it, the PRO Justice stance. Media aint gonna do it, politicians cant b/c they are too bogged down with the politics of it, and trying to make it “not political”.

    Who’s left? Who will step up to the plate? who will also have credibility, influence, audience…? (that rules out Code Pink, IMHO.)

    Thoughts?

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