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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Abu Ghraib abuses to go before German court (Rumsfeld & Tenet face ?serious German investigation?)
Sydney Morning Herald ^ | December 1, 2004

A group of American civil rights lawyers filed a criminal complaint in Germany yesterday, asking for an investigation of top US officials including Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and former CIA director George Tenet, saying they are responsible for acts of torture committed at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Attorneys from the New York-based Centre for Constitutional Rights said US investigations of the Abu Ghraib abuses have not gone far enough and that they hope a German probe will keep the situation at the top of the US government's agenda.

"I expect a serious investigation by Germany and would want it to prompt the US government to say: 'We've got to seriously investigate this ourselves'," attorney Michael Ratner said at a news conference in Berlin.

The attorneys said since the United States is not a member of the International Criminal Court they could not take their case there, and chose Germany because it has legislation that allows for the prosecution of war crimes and human rights violations across national boundaries.

The complaint was filed yesterday morning with the German Federal Prosecutor's office in Karlsruhe, said spokeswoman Frauke Scheutin.

"We have received it and are looking into it," she said.

Scheutin said she could not comment on whether her office was likely to investigate the complaint.

Those charged in the complaint include Rumsfeld, Tenet, Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez - former commander of US Forces in Iraq who is now stationed in Germany - as well as other military leaders.

The Abu Ghraib scandal erupted last spring when photos became public that showed US soldiers abusing Iraqi inmates, causing worldwide outrage.

Four Iraqis who say they received electric shocks, beatings and sexual abuse, and that they were deprived of food and sleep are also part of the complaint file.
 

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What about the terrorists who have cut over 35 people's heads off and video taped it for Al Jazeera? A few of our soldiers got stupid and abused these guys by humiliating them and they have been prosecuted by our system and jailed for it.

Hmm? Geez! what a wacky world we live in!
 

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Custer, what's with the thread title? Whether filed in good faith or bad (I presume the former, but do admit that's but a presumption - just as the presumption that it was filed in bad faith is but a presumption), just how would this be treason? After all, Alberto Gonzales did rather famously document having looked into whether it would be legal for Rumsfield and Tenet to implement this authorization of torture in a memo/opinion in which he referred to the Geneva Convention restrictions as "quaint".

Are we Americans required to keep quiet about our leaders possibly having committed war crimes, since to speak their sins aloud, to even call for an investigation to determine whether they had sinned or not, would be providing aid and comfort to the enemy? Are we now required to be good Germans?

Maybe none dare call it treason because it would be stupid to do so.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Keep it in house. Not in a foreign jurisdiction.

Plenty of remedy potential in the US.

Why do you hate America?
 

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Code name: Felix
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Here we go again.

To get information from the enemy is not, repeat, it's not a war crime.

You do whatever it takes to break them down and get them to talk, it will save contless lives.

Just some stupid kids with a camera in the wrong place. Leave interrogation procedures to professionals.

Germany, unified or not, has no business in this, their record is not the prettiest in world history and they should decline to accept the case.
 

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I would think that going to a foreign power in a time of war as a US citizen to file a legal brief would fit under the realm of treason in some way.

If they (the lawyers) have lost that faith in our Government I do not see it. It sounds more like grand standing by these lawyers who I wouldn't be surprised if they were ACLU in some way.

Personally, I'm not against protest by these people in some form. They can protest it in our courts systems and our public forum. The Old media has shown themselves to be a very good friend of anyone or thing against the current admin. Why not go to Brokaw or Jennings and accuse the admin of war crimes?

Why not go to the SCOTUS in some way?

I don't see why they have to go over seas?
 

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Cephus said:
Maybe I missed the point here but I thought that we did investgate this and have in fact put some of the people involved in jail.
No and yes respectively.

The defense for at least one of the defendants at one or more of the prison-maltreatment courts martial tried to supoena Rumsfield to ask him under oath whether he had, in fact, authorized torture of detainees. The request for subpoena was denied.

Custer, you do make a good point, though about a call for a domestic investigation being more appropriate. But what investigatory agency isn't a part of the Executive Branch that is the accused? Until the existence of the tapes became known and backed him into a corner, Nixon rather famously and quite successfully quashed any Federal investigation into Watergate.
 

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Cephus, it was either grand-standing, or a legitimate attempt to determine whether Rumsfield had authorized torture. Astonishingly enough, I rather suspect it was the former.

But now that we've ruled out calling Rumsfield as a witness in a criminal trial as a means of getting to the bottom of this in a domestic setting, how then would we do it without filing in German court? [I rather do like the irony of it being only a German court in which charges of allegations of war crimes could be filed!]

Custer, you may know: Is there a US law that prohibits authorizing torture? In that event, seems that one could have tried to lean on a very brave or very stupid Deputy Attorney General to bring charges in Federal court. But I know of no such US law.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dzerzhinsky said:
No and yes respectively.

The defense for at least one of the defendants at one or more of the prison-maltreatment courts martial tried to supoena Rumsfield to ask him under oath whether he had, in fact, authorized torture of detainees. The request for subpoena was denied.

Custer, you do make a good point, though about a call for a domestic investigation being more appropriate. But what investigatory agency isn't a part of the Executive Branch that is the accused? Until the existence of the tapes became known and backed him into a corner, Nixon rather famously and quite successfully quashed any Federal investigation into Watergate.

These are American lawyers, American citizens, and members of some sort of non profit US Constitution organization under our tax code bringing an action in a foreign jurisdiction against their own government.

Pursue your remedy here. There are plenety of avenues but you don't always win. It never dawned on me that any American, especially an American lawyer would look beyond our judicial system for a remedy.

This is sick. What's next, file a petition in the World Court to overturn a SCOTUS ruling that upholds something like the death penalty?
 

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Custer said:
...What's next, file a petition in the World Court to overturn a SCOTUS ruling that upholds something like the death penalty?
Well, myself, I have filed a complaint with the Inter-Galactic Mind Police.

Anyway, do agree with you - seems they jumped the gun by filing in a foreign court, although I wouldn't call it treason. But I do think the US should be given the opportunity to deal with its dirty linen itself before it's sent out. I don't know what a domestic remedy would be, how one would go about pressing for a domestic investigation to see if torture had been authorized - but I also have heard nothing about anyone trying and failing to initiate such a domestic investigation.

Your death-penalty scenario is a very interesting hypothetical. The vast majority (almost 90%) of death-penalty executions take place in China, Iran, and Nigeria - placing us in rather despicable company.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So, if we think the death penalty is a bad thing, amend the Constitution. Don't find new meaning or go external to it.

If we can do that with the death penalty, as some "progressives" wish, then kiss the original intent of the 2nd goodbye.
 

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Custer said:
So, if we think the death penalty is a bad thing, amend the Constitution. Don't find new meaning or go external to it.

If we can do that with the death penalty, as some "progressives" wish, then kiss the original intent of the 2nd goodbye.
While I'm agin' the death penalty (although, gotta admit, some of the folks that have been executed were little better than cockroaches), I think the way it should be eliminated is by simply revising the penalty aspects of various laws. For example, no need in Nevada for an amendment to the State Constitution prohibiting the death penalty; just revise the laws that call for it and replace it with life-without-parole or having to listen to an hour of Michael Savage.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dzerzhinsky said:
or having to listen to an hour of Michael Savage.
You mean you don't beleive in protection from cruel and unusual punishment?
 

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No uniform? No Geneva Convention! Sorry guys but those prisoners are not soldiers under the law and what we do to them is no ones business but ours and they?re own. If they will put on uniforms then they can expect rights, but not until then. I?m not proud of what has been done to these men but I see the reason for it having been done. I feel that a lot more of our citizens would have died in other 9/11 style attacks if it hadn?t been done.
Maybe to make some of you idiots happy we should start treating the prisoners like they treat theirs! What kind of shit would hit the fan if we started cutting heads off? They do it and are given praise by the media. If we do the same we?ll be vilified and have the world turn against us saying it?s a horrible and cruel thing to do to innocent people. Innocent my ass! Wakeup people! They want us all dead! I?ll bet all those beheaded people would rather have gone through what those men did in Abu Ghraib than be where they are now. DEAD.
As for Dzerzhinsky, try going through what the survivors of a family member being murdered have had too, then see if you then think the death penalty isn?t right! I?ve had an Uncle brutally murdered and the three men let off and given drug-rehab when they should have been put to death. They all went on to kill again and again; one killed the sister of a girlfriend of mine. He raped her and slit her throat in front of her 5 year-old son and then set the apartment on fire to cover it up. He got 5 to 7 years in prison and came out and started pushing drugs again, till he was shot to death (About time) during a drug deal on a street in Chicago. I say yes to the Death Penalty.
 

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Oldgunner, just FYI, a full uniform isn't required for POW status under the Geneva Convention - anything that will identify you as a combatant from the opposing side will do. Upon reading that in the Geneva Convention I came to see why armbands are so popular among partisan soldiers.

Looked into that in the context of the Guantanamo detainees from Afghanistan. All of whom, to my understanding at that time (turned out I was wrong - see below), were unequivocally combatants.

But the situation in the Iraqi prisons was/is different because, unlike Guantanamo, not all were combatants. The prison that the pics came out of was used as a facility for sorting out the good guys from the bad guys from among those who had been picked up in street sweeps. Clearly some were identified bad guys, but not all.

Also FYI, when the military tribunals began in Guantanamo, the very first thing the military did was release many of the detainees because there was no evidence that they were, in fact, illegal (i.e. not readiliy identifiable) combatants.

Three other things to consider:
1. While the Geneva Convention may or may not apply, simple human decency certainly does. As does the necessity to hold the moral high ground if only to win the propaganda war (a laudable goal in my opinion), and the necessity to demonstrate that American values do not mean sinking to the depths of sadistic depravity to which our enemies have sunk.
2. Just who would be doing the torture? We ask our military to do enough alrady. Torture degrades and dehumanizes both the torturerer and the tortured.
3. We are signatories to at least two international treaties prohibiting torture. I should hope we do not consider a treaty as something that can be ignored as "a mere scrap of paper" as one fellow put it when he did so.
 

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Dzerzhinsky said:
A
1. While the Geneva Convention may or may not apply, simple human decency certainly does. As does the necessity to hold the moral high ground if only to win the propaganda war (a laudable goal in my opinion), and the necessity to demonstrate that American values do not mean sinking to the depths of sadistic depravity to which our enemies have sunk.
2. Just who would be doing the torture? We ask our military to do enough alrady. Torture degrades and dehumanizes both the torturerer and the tortured.
3. We are signatories to at least two international treaties prohibiting torture. I should hope we do not consider a treaty as something that can be ignored as "a mere scrap of paper" as one fellow put it when he did so.
Everything looks so beatiful while sitting outside in a utopian world, doesn't it?

I have values, I follow the words the Lord gave to Moses, I try to be ethical in business, but war is war.

When our enemies define their values according to the Geneva Convention, we too shall abide, in the meantime the job needs to get done, Sorry Dzerz, but there are times we must do what we must do in order to save lives. You and I have gone over this issue before and neither one will change our way of thinking.

Just ask any POW after WWII what kind of treatment they received, was it according to the G.C.? There are political prisioners in Cuba, are they being held in accordance to the G.C.? Venezuela, where does G.C.stand there? The souls that have been decapitated in Iraq, the G.C. didn't help them either, Ask the former Soviet Union if they ever interrogated anyone according to G.C., East Block Germany, Iran, Israel, Mexico, The Colombian rebels, Peru, and so on and on and on; All violators of the Geneva Convention, can you tell us why? Because it's a pretty piece of paper that after being wet, it's good to hang at the letrine, same as any UN resolution.

You must fight terror by any means possible, our only fault was having a kid there with a digital camera.
 

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aviator, on the face of it, your post is a declaration of surrender in the War on Terrorism.

However, I suspect that we're each presenting simplistic versions of our beliefs. I don't believe that you really believe in "any means possible" - that, for an exaggerated example, you likely (and hopefully) would be against fighting the war on terror by having US soldiers sodomize insurgent's infants to death. Nor do I believe that every transgression of the GC should be pursued by war crimes prosecution. But I do think we should do what we can to ensure that war crimes comitted by US troops remains an exception, not the rule.
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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aviator said:
Everything looks so beatiful while sitting outside in a utopian world, doesn't it?
That's the problem aviator. Too many people expect 100% absolute perfect perfection (what other superlative can I use) from our soldiers all of the time. Human nature being what it is, some will do things wrong. That doesn't mean that our country should encourage it or even tolerate it. But the bottom line is an old Army phrase "shit happens". And, that is what happened at Abu Ghraib.

It's happened, we are taking appropriate action against the offenders, move on. [email protected]#k the Germans, the French, and the ACLU lawyers.
 

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Pogo, amazingly enough I am largely in agreement with you. What you are saying is much, much different from saying that it's OK for us to engage in torture, or that the only wrongdoer among military personnel at that Iraqi prison was the fool who took photos.
 

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After having a meeting with buyers, sellers, Lawyers and myself and ironing things out on a deal, getting home and performed my daily culinary excercise....

Dzerz: How dare you tell me that my post is a declaration of surrender to International Terrorism?

What in my post, other than perhaps my lack of mastery of the English language has given you such an impression?

By "any means" I mean any logical war time action necessary to get information needed to conduct an operation with a maximum margin of safety to our guys and innocent civilians. If your liberal mind is playing tricks on you and all you can think of to debate me is our soldiers sodomizing enemy infants, I won't think our conversation will serve any point other than arouse your animal instintcs.

Because of the inexperience of the soldiers involved things may have gotten slightly out of hands and totally out of hands when the pictures were taken. Intelligence work is best left to the experts. Given the urgency and the number of detainees, those experts were not readily available. But I can asure that their treatment would have been no different and no one would have ever found out.

Now, I have to go watch the Emeril cooking show.
 
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