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A Senate Mystery Keeps Torture Alive — and Its Practitioners Free

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-27-07 11:51 AM
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A Senate Mystery Keeps Torture Alive — and Its Practitioners Free
The history of how torture issues were dealt with before the tapes scandal emerged now needs review with the benefit of hindsight.

What is revealed about "Who knew what when?" may shed light on more than one mystery.

======================
CQ HOMELAND SECURITY – SPYTALK
Nov. 22, 2006 – 7:08 p.m. - http://public.cq.com/public/20061122_homeland.html
A Senate Mystery Keeps Torture Alive — and Its Practitioners Free
By Jeff Stein, CQ National Security Editor

With all the lawsuits over kidnapping and torture marching toward the Bush administration, you might think the top officials running the global war on terror would be worried just a little about the prospect that some day they might end up in court — if not having nightmares about getting measured for orange jumpsuits at Danbury Federal Prison.

Alas, no. Thanks to the legerdemain of Bush administration lawyers, a provision quietly tucked into the Military Commissions Act (PL 109-366) just before it was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush on Oct. 17, would ease any worries they might’ve had. It not only redefines torture upward, removing the harshest, most controversial techniques from the definition of war crimes, it also exempts the perpetrators — interrogators and their bosses — from punishment all the way back to Nov. 1997.

The deft wording is the Bush administration’s attempt at bringing the United States’ criteria for defining a war crime into line with the Geneva Convention’s interpretation of torture.

The Supreme Court in June had declared the administration’s hastily assembled military commissions unconstitutional, saying all prisoners in U.S. custody had to be held in accordance with the Geneva Convention’s Article 3, which prohibits “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment.”

Renegotiating the Geneva Convention was out of the question. So the administration’s lawyers took what the president’s counselor, Dan Bartlett, later called “the scenic route.”

By way of the new Military Commissions Act, they effectively rewrote the U.S. enforcement mechanism .............
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 12:02 PM
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1. visibility kick. will this float?
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Letterman, is that you?
Is this even legal? Shame on any court that allows this to stand.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-30-07 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Whirled pants!
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Didereaux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-30-07 10:58 AM
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4. The truth is that no politician will go against the majority of his district...
The American public, the viewers of 'FOX', listeners of Limbaugh, admirers of Rambo, ad nauseum do not disapprove of torturing anyone they see as an enemy....THAT IS ABSOLUTE FACT! Since they are in the majority it is ludicrous for people such as ourselves to sit scratching our heads and wonder why the politicians do nothing about it!

Until such time as the American publics perceptions and beliefs are turned around nothing is going to change the present direction.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-30-07 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. This is so very important. Representative government forces this situation.
It is the very foundation of democracy, and essential to its function. If the representative element is removed, the system's success collapses in principle. How many DUers could do Senator Dorgan's job in red North Dakota, where about 2/3 of voters selected him and Bush? His job, literally, is representing the 2/3 of North Dakotans who voted for Bush.

Our representatives do not live on Mars. They are in families here on earth, just like everyone else. (If in ND, they practically all know each other too!) When the collective world view tide turns, they are in the same current as everyone, in most ways. I have not heard any Dem bashing saying, "But, they are not representing their district well!"
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-30-07 11:03 AM
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5. What Congress makes it can un-make....
There is a possibility that The Military Commissions Act may be re-written in near future and a different President may sign a new Act. Or even the elimination of the Act...But not this Congress nor this pResident....
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-30-07 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
7. A lot of people tried to explain how bad the MCA of 2006 was
...before it was passed

and yes, people were aware of the "quietly tucked" provision...I know I was
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