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PhonyTorture Debate-Elizabeth Holtzman: "Torture Can NEVER Be Used Because The Constitution BANS It"

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 04:34 PM
Original message
PhonyTorture Debate-Elizabeth Holtzman: "Torture Can NEVER Be Used Because The Constitution BANS It"
Edited on Wed May-20-09 04:37 PM by kpete
Elizabeth Holtzman
Posted: May 20, 2009 04:45 PM

The Phony Debate About Torture

............

But beyond that, in America, torture can never be used because our Constitution bans it. There are no exceptions -- not for heinous crimes or ticking bombs. The use of torture against a criminal defendant would only constitute another crime and immunize the defendant from conviction. Similarly, the Geneva Conventions prohibit the cruel and degrading treatment of detainees even in wartime.

................

The FBI rejected torture, our Constitution bans it, and we have ratified the Geneva Conventions as the law of our land, not because we are nation of wimps or bleeding hearts. Unlike former Vice President Cheney, who ran from the Vietnam War, and former President George Bush, who never saw a day of combat in his life, those who wrote the Bill of Rights fought a bloody revolution to win their independence from Britain. They weren't afraid to fight hard to create and keep this country. They rejected torture not out of weakness, but out of strength.

.............

Now it is important for Americans of all political persuasions to reaffirm the truth, as drafters of the Bill of Rights believed so deeply and etched so indelibly into our constitution, that torture is a moral and human atrocity that never makes us safer, and in the end only causes our nation incalculable harm.

It follows from this that we must hold government officials who ordered or engaged in torture accountable under our laws. Applicable US statutes make torture and other cruel and abusive treatment of detainees a federal crime. It's time we commenced investigations to determine if criminal charges should be brought under those laws. That's the vital question that the phony debate over torture's "efficacy" serves to obscure.

more at:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-holtzman/the-ph...
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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. That is the trump card in the whole torture discussion.
We signed on to the Geneva Conventions. Treaties become 'the supreme law of the land' and as powerful as our Constitution itself. No '24' bullshit scenario or misplaced hero worship overrides that. It is illegal. It is wrong.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Anyone supporting torture is advocating for the torture of our troops
if they are captured.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. Nicely succinct, but those doing it won't get it.
They just weasel around anything involving cause and effect. They have to, they are limited to their binary thought process.
They can't help themselves, thinking of present actions leading to future consequences is not binary because it considers time.
So it is not possible for them to get this without a whole lot of gentle handholding and coaching. And IMO it has to be done in person, verbally, with real handholding.
But it works for me. :hi:
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. Oh Silly Liberal American. Our Conserva-dems have made what's old, new again.
Edited on Wed May-20-09 04:46 PM by ShortnFiery
:(


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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. Liz Holtzman has a number of very good articles
concerning war crimes and torture.
:applause:
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. Yes, I like reading her articles too, n/t
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 03:00 AM
Response to Reply #3
15. Elizabeth Holtzman is a person I've admired since the Watergate era
She was one of the stars of the impeachment hearings chaired by Peter Rodino, and was a great feminist role model.

She was the senator New York should have elected in 1980, and I can never forgive Jacob Javits for staying in that race on the Liberal Party line after losing the primary to D'Amato(Javits stayed in for the sole purpose of stopping Ms. Holtzman).

I've always wondered why Bill Clinton didn't consider her for the AG post.
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ThirdWorldJohn Donating Member (525 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
5.  The Scalia 60 Minutes video where he disagrees
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 04:53 PM
Response to Original message
6. But I thought the loophole is that the constitution only applies to domestic citizens
and not non-combatants held overseas in other jurisdictions (hence, why the US outsources torture).
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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Ratified Treaties (like the Geneva Conventions) hold the same authority as our Constitution.
The supreme law of the land. That would be why we don't ratify too many treaties.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Ratifications and digital cameras are ruining this good nation.
:)
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
9. And you cannot conceal crimes just by labeling it classified.
"information cannot be deemed classified to "conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error; to prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency."

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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
10. K&R
:kick:
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-20-09 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
12. Elizabeth Holtzman is the calibre I'd like to see Obama nominating for his admin's positions.
And then actually using the bully pulpit of the Presidency to get approved.
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Senator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 02:41 AM
Response to Original message
14. Then it also follows that those who refuse to hold torturers accountable...
...are violating their oaths to defend the Constitution.

--
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 03:34 AM
Response to Original message
16. WIMPS and BULLIES Torture...they have no class no empathy and no clue as to what they are committing
Torture ruins our credibility and respect...it is CRIMINAL as the op states
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NC_Nurse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 05:05 AM
Response to Original message
17. It's sad that we even have to point it out, frankly. That anyone argues for
torture in this country is just pathetic. What have we become?
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 05:48 AM
Response to Original message
18. It's that simple
Well written.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-21-09 06:53 AM
Response to Original message
19. A very good argument.
Torture is for the weak. The strong do not resort to torture.
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