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PoliticalGround >> United States does not torture?


12/27/06 12:00 AM
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SirPrize
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Edited: 26-Dec-06
Member Since: 10/04/2002
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Have any US citizens been "extraordinary renditioned"?
12/27/06 12:10 AM
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Souljacker
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 34144
"Syria is doing the torturing, but the US sends the prisoners to these countries knowing full well that they will be tortured, and for that reason." I would agree with you that the blood is still on the US hands "In addition, there is some evidence that suggest that actual US federal employees are engaged in the torturing itself." of courese they are, they might not be the ones physcially doing it but they are in the room "How long it has or hasn't been going on has no bearing on my point, which is that this practice is contrary to American ideals and needs to stop." true but you think their are no necessary evils in the world? "No it's not. You're just flat wrong. I don't "hate" Bush and I didn't make this thread to bash him. You've completely misread the situation and my intentions. I don't know what else to tell you." OK I can't read your heart but it sure comes off that way from everything else you post here, maybe I am wrong "I'm getting frusturated because I've said several times that I would condemn these actions if they happened under a democratic president as well, and you've basically called me a liar." in your first post you make it seems as though this only started recently "Furthermore, your insistence on second-guessing my motives has changed this from a thread about the practice of rendition and torture to a thread about my personal politics, which are irrevelant. " personal politics are usually what drives these kinds of thread, maybe you are the exception "We assume they're doing it to try and help the country. And in this case you may be right, however misguided and negligent they were." I do not believe any president or administration does these things other than to try and protect our country, again that doesn't make it all OK "However, one of the purposees of a legal system is to allow the accused to see and respond to the evidence and charges against him or her. This is to prevent abuse of power, and in this case and many others it's simply not happening." the vast majority of the time these people being "tortured" are not american citizens, so they do not get the same rights, although that should mean they dont get any rights at all "There is nothing stopping government agents from imprisoning and torturing completely innocent people based on their personal agenda or views but their own sense of restraint. And no matter how admirable or well-developed their sense of restraint is, this is simply not an acceptable check on their power. Even a cursory study of history tells us that when the potential for abuse of power without any kind of oversight or check is there, the actual abuse is inevitable." I would be more concerned if he were a US citizen. Again I do not believe president does this kind of thing for laughs "What seperates the law enforcement and intelligence agencies of the US, which work for the public good, from those of a totalitarian country in which the "law enforcement"'s first job is to intimadate or dispose of rivals to the current politicians in power? The answer is checks, oversight, transparency, all the things that are being continuously chipped away at even as I type this." you are trying to compare regular crime with terrorims, that is a big reason why we are losing the war on terror, its not a police action "What standard do you hold our government to? Is anything better than "picking people at random to do this to or for their jollies" to be accepted? In this case the case against Arar was so thin as to be almost nonexistent according to the commission's report, and yet he was tortured for ten months in a foreign country without recourse to any legal system." I give my government the benefit of the doubt in a case like this until everything is proven, if its all proven, then he should be compensated its not all roses out their
12/27/06 12:22 AM
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Moke
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
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Let me be the first to say, if we in fact do not torture, I make a strong proposal that we start. ...right out in the open as far as policy. And if not in the open, then in dark decret places.
12/27/06 12:49 AM
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Yougottawanna
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
Member Since: 09/21/2001
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"I do not believe any president or administration does these things other than to try and protect our country, again that doesn't make it all OK" It's not the president or the administration, it's the SYSTEM. I doubt Bush is personally signing off on any of this. You may trust the president not to abuse his power, but what about a lower-level employee? Someone hired rather than elected? Are they incorruptible? Our current system seems to trust them to be. "the vast majority of the time these people being "tortured" are not american citizens, so they do not get the same rights, although that should mean they dont get any rights at all" Not the same rights, but if we are to be a modern country then we need to recognize that there are certain rights granted to you just by virtue of being a human being. A canadian citizen was arrested without charge and imprisoned for nearly a year, and tortured - imagine if Canadian police arrested an American citizen and did the same. Would you trust the canadians with the perogative to do that? Certain people we DO have reason to believe are working with terrorists, or are members of a terrorist organization themselves. Whether or not we have the moral authority to torture them is a seperate question, perhaps we do, I have my own views on that but they're for another thread. But currently the definition of "terror suspect" is being stretched so thin that it could easily encompass you or I if the right person decided it was so. If they come for the Arabs and you say nothing, then they come for the people who were photographed with Arabs and you say nothing, who's going to say something when they come for you? "you are trying to compare regular crime with terrorims, that is a big reason why we are losing the war on terror, its not a police action" Whether it's a police action, a conventional war, something in between, or something entirely different, this is not about them but about us. We need to continue to hold ourselves to the standards on which this country was founded, and the principle of due process is one of them. "I give my government the benefit of the doubt in a case like this until everything is proven, if its all proven, then he should be compensated" The government does not disclose who it takes, to where they are taken, or what is done to them when they get there. There could be a hundred cases just like this one and we would have no way of ever knowing. Given the number of abuses that have been brought to light so far, I do NOT give my government the benefit of the doubt.
12/27/06 1:01 AM
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Yougottawanna
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
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Conservatoro, this is not the thread for what you're trying to do, just take it elsewhere please.
12/27/06 1:17 AM
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Redneck
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
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Whoa!! The thread police are here. Like this thread is any more or less important than any other thread on the OG.
12/27/06 1:26 AM
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Yougottawanna
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
Member Since: 09/21/2001
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I never said it was more important, but if you want to do that you can always make your own thread, you shouldn't do it to other peoples' IMO.
12/27/06 3:20 AM
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metrocksncn
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
Member Since: 07/08/2005
Posts: 493
I think torture is a neccessary evil. We should acknowledge that it exists, when has anyone ever treated us fairly during a conflict. Fight fire with fire. If torturing a terror suspect saves this country from a terrorist attack, then I would say it was justified. "LOL @ the US torturing people, a couple of games of nude twister is nothing compared to kidnapping people and hacking there heads off with a blunt knife. Some of you whiny liberals have your prioritys messed up. " I agree 100% Conservatoro. "Conservatoro, this is not the thread for what you're trying to do, just take it elsewhere please" hey yougottawanna, why does he hsve to take it somewhere else, it sounds like a good counterpoint to me, although the "nude twister" comment was written in poor taste. With all things considered, if I was a captive and all that happened to me was that I was forced to pose nude and be intimidated by dogs I would consider myself lucky at the end of the day.
12/27/06 4:20 AM
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Information
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Edited: 27-Dec-06 04:30 AM
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So Ahmed Osman Saleh appears to be a rendered and tortured prisoner in 1998. My mistake. Noted. So you think that I'm lying, and if this happened during a democratic administration and I found out about I wouldn't criticize it, and this invalidates any objections I have to the current practice of rendition? IF this happened during a Democratic administration? I'm pretty sure I just provided you with a link that showed it did happen. What's with the hypothetical? Look, you're probably a young guy who is coming to some sort of political "revelation" at the moment. I can understand. However, you have to temper that with a little bit of realism. This shit isn't new. It isn't original. It isn't "shocking", nor is it "outrageous". It is business as usual. It is what prevents some seriously demented fucks from preventing you from surfing the OG. What is it, you don't think this type of action is "fair"? Maybe it isn't. Maybe it is ethically wrong. Who knows? But who are you to complain when the very system you use to criticize such actions is, in part, provided by the types of actions you are railing against now? Could you explain why you think I'm not ready to have what you consider to be a serious conversation? What can I do to be worthy of having my views validated by you as "serious"? How about doing some basic research into the topic? That would go quite some way towards convincing me you are serious about the issue.
12/27/06 5:35 AM
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Good Adam
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Edited: 27-Dec-06 05:43 AM
Member Since: 12/17/2003
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Information, what do you think he'll uncover in his research which changes his mind and makes it morally justifiable? I don't know that it's something that can just be reversed by looking into which Presidents implemented the policy, or who the people subjected to it were - because I don't think his problem lies with the ends (which criminals) or something as shallow as political parties (which Presidents). It's something which strikes him (and myself) as something that's just bad moral policy, and too bitter a pill to swallow regardless of its ends.
12/27/06 10:09 AM
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
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Information, what do you think he'll uncover in his research which changes his mind and makes it morally justifiable? Let's imagine we know he will find nothing that will change his mind. Is that really an excuse for not adequately researching the topic? I don't believe so. However, let me pose a hypothetical-- if in his research he discovered that in at least one case of extraordinary rendition, the practice uncovered information that saved the lives of hundreds of people. Does extraordinary rendition then become morally acceptable? If given the opportunity prior to 9/11, would you have Mohammed Atta extradited to Egypt in order to be tortured for information that would have helped prevent the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon? It's something which strikes him (and myself) as something that's just bad moral policy, and too bitter a pill to swallow regardless of its ends. C'mon, Adam. You're going to have a hard time convincing me that such protestations are not politically flavored. Maybe that's just my bias. However, I remember that there were exposes on the practice prior to Bush being in office, and the clamor of outrage we have today far exceeds anything we saw at that time. People want a reason to dislike this Administration.
12/27/06 10:30 AM
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Tidbits
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
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Torture is wrong, period. I don't care what adimistration is practicing it. Whether or not previous admins did it or not isn't the issue. The issue is, it is now common knowlwedge and should stop. hell in my opinion all people responsible for it from the President down to the lowest man on the totem pole need to be held accountable for it. As for what constitutes torture there is a simple litmus test really, If you would not want it done to a member of your immediate family (mom, dad, son, daughter etc) it's torture.
12/27/06 1:59 PM
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
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As for what constitutes torture there is a simple litmus test really, If you would not want it done to a member of your immediate family (mom, dad, son, daughter etc) it's torture. Would you want your son to be handcuffed? I wouldn't. So I guess putting handcuffs on a detainee is now torture.
12/27/06 2:10 PM
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Tidbits
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
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"Would you want your son to be handcuffed? I wouldn't. So I guess putting handcuffs on a detainee is now torture. " Nice way to use literal interpretation. You and everyone else here knew exactly what I meant. For the record no I would not want my son handcuffed for no reason, or water boarded or subjected to sleep deprivation or loud music for days on end or any number of other "acceptable" interrogation tecniques. So stick to the question, would you want or allow any member of your family subjected to any of the "acceptable" tecniques or unacceptable ones for that matter.
12/27/06 2:22 PM
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CPracer16
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
Member Since: 06/06/2006
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I love how you people are trying to make it a left or right issue. It is PROOF that it does not matter what NEO CON or NEO LIB is in office. They have the same agneda and it is not the will of the american people. You seem to be making excuses like the abuse and torture is ok because we have been doing it for a long time
12/27/06 2:35 PM
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
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Nice way to use literal interpretation. You and everyone else here knew exactly what I meant. Sorry I interpreted your standard literally. I mean, I can't believe I took something as trivial as the definition of torture and attempted to develop a concrete standard. For the record no I would not want my son handcuffed for no reason, or water boarded or subjected to sleep deprivation or loud music for days on end or any number of other "acceptable" interrogation tecniques. So stick to the question, would you want or allow any member of your family subjected to any of the "acceptable" tecniques or unacceptable ones for that matter. Irrelevant. If my son were a terrorist, it is more than likely that I would sympathize with his idealogical beliefs. So to say that "torture" is defined by what I would and would not want a loved one to go through completely misses the point of defining torture. As it stands, however, if my son were part of plot to murder innocent people, as much as it pained me I would support whatever measure it would take to prevent the attack. What would you do?
12/27/06 4:55 PM
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Floppy Divac
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
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"C'mon, Adam. You're going to have a hard time convincing me that such protestations are not politically flavored." wow, fucking wow.
12/27/06 5:18 PM
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MrFixit
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
Member Since: 09/09/2006
Posts: 1476
Nice to have you all on board. I've been bitching about American using torture since the Carter Admin. I really don't see who is in office at the time having much effect on the morality of it, or in the need to stop the practice now rather than letting it carry over to yet another administration.
12/27/06 5:24 PM
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Tidbits
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
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"As it stands, however, if my son were part of plot to murder innocent people, as much as it pained me I would support whatever measure it would take to prevent the attack. What would you do? " So what you are saying is if your child was "suspected" of being a terrorist you would support torturing him to gain information? Coz that is what this is really about. It is about the incarceration and torturing of those who are "suspected", not those who have had their association or guilt proven. I'm sorry but the ends NEVER justify the means. There is a standard and principle upon which the United States is built upon, and to use the methods of those we oppose or despise and call murderers, terorrists, despots etc demeans the legacy and the sacrifices of all those men and women who have given their lives in defense of the ideal.
12/27/06 5:37 PM
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Information
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
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So what you are saying is if your child was "suspected" of being a terrorist you would support torturing him to gain information? Coz that is what this is really about. It is about the incarceration and torturing of those who are "suspected", not those who have had their association or guilt proven. No, that isn't what this is about. If that were what this is about, then you wouldn't be questioning the practice of torture-- only the practice of torture as it is used on those who have not been proven "guilty". Or are you OK with torture for those that are proven "guilty"? Of course you aren't. So please, answer my question-- what would you do if your son was involved in a plot to murder innocent people? As an aside, how is one "proven" guilty? In a court of law? Wouldn't that essentially make the information gleaned from torture useless due to the time lapse? I'm sorry but the ends NEVER justify the means. There is a standard and principle upon which the United States is built upon, and to use the methods of those we oppose or despise and call murderers, terorrists, despots etc demeans the legacy and the sacrifices of all those men and women who have given their lives in defense of the ideal. This is historically incorrect, Tidbits. And as for "demeaning" those who have gone before me, there are plenty who would agree with my point of view. Don't pretend you speak for them.
12/27/06 5:39 PM
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Yougottawanna
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Edited: 27-Dec-06 05:40 PM
Member Since: 09/21/2001
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"Look, you're probably a young guy who is coming to some sort of political "revelation" at the moment. I can understand. However, you have to temper that with a little bit of realism." What is with all the amateur psychology on this thread? Is no one capable of actually responding to my posts? It doesn't matter who I am. I could be a five year old kid, an angry vegetarian hippie, a 50-year old congressional staffer, it doesn't matter. "How about doing some basic research into the topic? That would go quite some way towards convincing me you are serious about the issue." You think I'm not SERIOUS about the issue? You think I'm just PRETENDING to be against torture? This insistence you have that I somehow prove myself worthy of having my message, rather than your assumption of what my politics are, responded to is not only patronizing, it's downright bizarre. If you don't think I'm worthy of being responded to then just go to another thread. "C'mon, Adam. You're going to have a hard time convincing me that such protestations are not politically flavored. Maybe that's just my bias. However, I remember that there were exposes on the practice prior to Bush being in office, and the clamor of outrage we have today far exceeds anything we saw at that time. People want a reason to dislike this Administration." Once again the constant second guessing. Let me put it in capital letters: RENDITION AND TORTURE HAS HAPPENED UNDER BOTH DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS. Are you satisfied yet that this is more that partisan sniping? Or are you going to continue to address the messenger rather than the message? This is borderline surreal. "What am I trying to do? Im trying to put into perspective your whiny torture BS posts. We make them stand on chairs and play nude twister." We do more than that. Maher Arar was beaten with electrical cables, shocked, burned with cigarette butts, and imprisoned for ten months in sometimes below-freezing temperatures. Another prisoner, Binyam Mohammed, had his chest and genitals cut and mutilated with razor blades. There is more, much much more, happening than "nude twister." "They kidnap us and chop our heads off and video tape it. Please tell me, which one do you think is the worse "torture"?" Obviously getting your head chopped off is worse than "nude twister". Whether it's worse than some of the other torture is a matter of opinion. But just because what we do is slightly less barbaric than what they do is no excuse for it.
12/27/06 5:44 PM
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taba
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Edited: 27-Dec-06 05:58 PM
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You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Yougottawanna? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Maher Arar and you curse the CIA. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Maher Arar's imprisonment and torture, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty... we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. [edited for clarity]
12/27/06 5:45 PM
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MrFixit
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
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"Name ONE US Citizen who has been tortured by our goverment." How would citizenship affect the overall morality of the act itself?
12/27/06 5:55 PM
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Yougottawanna
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
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"No, that isn't what this is about. If that were what this is about, then you wouldn't be questioning the practice of torture-- only the practice of torture as it is used on those who have not been proven "guilty". Or are you OK with torture for those that are proven "guilty"?" In this thread, that IS what I'm questioning. Maher Arar was never charged with a crime and a later review of the evidence (conducted by the canadian government, see the link in my first post) suggesting him to even be peripherally associated with any terrorists was almost comically thin. Now you may be thinking "okay, this was a mistake, but USUALLY the people rendered and tortured must have a more concrete case against them, right?" Well, there's no way of knowing. Those rendering these suspects (we don't know who they are) haven't so far shown any inclination to wait for even the amount of evidence necessary to justify a warrant for surveillance, much less the kind of evidence necessary for a judge to justify torturing a suspect (and there is no established criteria for that anyways).
12/27/06 6:02 PM
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Yougottawanna
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Edited: 27-Dec-06
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"Name ONE US Citizen who has been tortured by our goverment. JUST ONE!!" I can't name one. But it is ENTIRELY possible that it has happened, even likely considering what little we do know about our government's use of rendition so far. What's the stop the people who flew a Canadian suspect to Syria to be tortured from doing it to an American one? The need for a warrant, or to charge him with a crime? As this and other cases illustrate, they don't need either. Approval from a judge, or some other type of approval from an overseeing agency? They don't appear to need that either. This is the point I made in an earlier post. Whether or not torture is ever justified is not an argument I'm trying to make in this thread. But anyone who shares something even remotely close to my, and many other people's idea of the ideals upon which this country was founded should agree that IF we are going to torture people, there needs to be a check on the authority of those doing the torturing, and right now there isn't.

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