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February 22, 2010



Heh. This is funny. Look at the lengths those clever Fatah guys went to to make it look like Israel was behind the Dubai assassination: Journalist describes strange twists of 'German' suspect in Dubai hit:

A man walked in to the interior ministry in Cologne, Germany on June 16, 2009, and claimed that he was Michael Bodenheimer, an Israeli citizen, descended of a German family that had been persecuted by the Nazis.

He applied for German citizenship, saying he wished to leave Israel and emigrate to Germany. He presented documents, including his parents' German marriage certificate, said he lived in the community of Liman and also gave an address in Herzliya.

The documents must have been convincingly authentic, and two days later, in a model of bureaucratic efficiency that seems atypical (even for Germany), the passport had been issued.

The photograph on the passport is the one now in the papers as one of the assassins, but it is most definitely not that of the Michael Bodenheimer who does live somewhere else in Israel.

The Israeli one is a yeshiva master, an ultraorthodox Jew living in Bnei Brak. His parents were, in fact, born in Frankfurt, Germany, but that's where the similarity ends. He has Israeli citizenship and evidently American too, but not German.

The new Bodenheimer gave an address in Herzliya. Bergman said the German authorities didn't check it out. But had they done so, they would have found that he had an apparent shell company in his name with offices in Herzliya.

"Michael Bodenheimer Ltd." belonged to a group of offices opened by a different company called "Top Office" located on the same floor.

Top Office, says Bergman, is apparently a company that provides individuals and small businesses with an office and secretary at a respectable location.

Bergman said he paid the business address a visit on Friday night, together with the Der Spiegel correspondent in Israel, he told the radio.

He took a picture of the sign saying "Michael Bodenheimer Ltd," and called the number for Top Office. An American-accented woman answered, sounded very surprised and hung up after saying she didn't work on the Sabbath.

By Sunday morning, says Bergman, both companies were gone. The signs had been removed.

And the guard -- the same one from Friday night -- was awfully jittery and tried to shoo them away.

No wonder Mossad didn't send 18 people to assassinate a Hamas operative in Dubai--they were too busy tracking down Fatah shell companies in suburban Tel Aviv!


TM, I must be unusually thick-headed today. I wish there were a timeline accompanying your post which I a having difficulty following..I guess I'll have to print it out and make one.


The WSJ's lead editorial is on this Yoo/Bybee matter, and it's a very good one.


C'mon. Well all know that when the Left says they have 'proved' something, all they really means is that they're totally not open to considering any possibility other than the one they like.

Sure must make their lives easier.


Spring. Summer. Both start with an "s", no?

Not proven.

Heh, we are all Mossad, now, anduril.

Buford Gooch

Well, hey, who ya gonna believe, Isikoff, or his lyin' former self?


TIP:People who don't work on the sabbath in Herzliya also don't answer the phone then.


TIP:People who don't work on the sabbath in Herzliya also don't answer the phone then.

See, I tolja it hadda be a Fatah front. No way that woman coulda been lyin'.

Thomas Collins

For anyone interested in publishing a piece on the legal aspects of intelligence gathering, see below for a description of a request for articles (passed along by the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Law and National Security):

"Publishing opportunity in the field of intelligence/law – (from Kel McClanahan) I am the Associate Editor of the American Intelligence Journal, a military intelligence trade publication put out by the National Military Intelligence Association. Our next issue has been set to have the theme "Intelligence and the Rule of Law," and I'm trying to get as many law-related submissions as possible. The scope is broad; if the essay has anything to do with the intersection between intelligence and law, we want it. We're especially interested in someone who can write an article on the art/science/practice/law of intelligence oversight. We're looking for articles about 4000-8000 words in length, from as wide a spectrum of authors as possible. If you are interested, please send an email to [email protected] with your background and what you'd like to write about. Deadline for manuscripts is flexible, but sometime in May or June ideally. Please feel free to forward this to any of your colleagues who might be interested. Thank you. Kel McClanahan."

The issues raised in the Yoo/Bybee proceedings might make an interesting topic for an article.


Might TC..I was up at 4 this a.m. to do a PJ piece on your last suggestion--the hearing tomorrow. It was the only uninterrupted time I could find to do it.


Listening to loud music in the nude doesn't seem like torture on the face of it, but a lot depends on the choice of music. Surely Abu Zubaydah was given a potential playlist?

Thomas Collins

I was hoping you might find the request from the American Intelligence Journal of interest, Clarice.

Up until 4 am? I'm going to have to find a topic to keep you up until 5 am to break the record!! :-))

I'm off to PJM to look for your piece on the SCOTUS hearing on the challenge to the constitutionality to the material support statute.

Charlie (Colorado)

Listening to loud music in the nude doesn't seem like torture on the face of it,....

Actually sounds like some of my best memories of college.


Free Republic notes the DoD's Missile Defense Agency is sporting a new logo that combines Obama's "O" with Islam's crescent/star. Hmm..


No--I got up at 4 to write it--It's not that great and probably won't be up until tomorrow..maybe even later.
Hard to do much in about 800 words except to explain the case and the law .

Thomas Collins

I'll be looking for it, Clarice.

OK, thanks for the correction. Change the goal from "up until 5 am" to "up at 3 am."


Where are the demonstrators protesting the torture of clarice?!?!?


Where, indeed, cathy?

Thomas Collins

Not torture of Clarice, cathyf. Just an illustration of the maxim that no good deed goes unpunished. Clarice publishes a fine piece, and her fans demand more. Another fine piece, and more demands.


this is typical leftist misdisinformation.

like how obama argued on the floor of the senate that military tribunals were good, then agreed with holder they were bad, and now argues that - with regard to the xmas bomber - there's no difference.

leftists always do this - argue inconsistently and hypocritically.

they do so for the same reason they committed almost all of the genocide in the last century: when you believe you hold the key to utopia, you are pretty motivated to do bad stuff to anyone and anything in yer way!

postmodernism and moral relativism and cultural relativism are excuses they give for arguing against the west, judeo-christianity, the usa, israel, and military tribunals and EIT's when it's convenient to do so.

as when obama argues for transparency and against lobbyists - he means it except for when they don't serve his socialist goals, his utopia.

this makes leftists seem especially unprincipled, but they are serving what is in their minds a higher principle: socialist utopia.

Who believes nothing, is nothing.  So they make up a belief for their made-up existence.

Right REL, the culture war is really sanity vs insanity.


Amusing blog entry: Rahm Emanuel Is Toast:

It looks Rahm Emanuel is done. Dana Milbank transcribed an article written by Rahm Emanuel today in The Washington Post. Never has an article been more clearly written to support a political benefactor.

As I was reading the article lavishing praise on Rahm Emanuel and throwing dirt on everyone else inside the White House, I kept thinking two things. First, how many leaks has Rahm given Milbank over the years? ...

My second thought was, "Wow, what a hatchet job on Jarrett, Gibbs and Axelrod!" Since Rahm is obviously feeding this to Milbank, that is very revealing. You don't throw these kinds of bombs unless you've already lost. This is an act of desperation. It's bound to make mortal enemies of these people inside Obama's inner circle. You can't really work with these people anymore. That means you're already finished there.

Follow the link above for a link to the Milbank transcription. It says in the article that:

Obama's problem is that his other confidants -- particularly Valerie Jarrett and Robert Gibbs, and, to a lesser extent, David Axelrod -- are part of the Cult of Obama. In love with the president, they believe he is a transformational figure who needn't dirty his hands in politics.

When Dana Milbank is saying stuff like that about Obama cultists I'd say Obama has a problem. It's like Susan Estrich and Ed Lasky were saying: it's to the point that we're discovering that people simply don't like the guy.

Lends new meaning to the term 'fishwrap'.

Oh, nice, anduril.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Good reading:

Friday Night Hack Attack

“Having seen OPR’s work and tactics up close, I would have a hard time choosing one dominant trait in their approach. It is probably a three-way tie between stupidity, rank incompetence, and partisan malignancy,”

Gen. David Petraeus

"I have always been on the record, in fact, since 2003, with the concept of living our values. And I think that whenever we have, perhaps, taken expedient measures, they have turned around and bitten us in the backside. We decided early on in the 101st Airborne Division we're just going to--look, we just said we'd decide to obey the Geneva Convention, to, to move forward with that. That has, I think, stood elements in good stead."

Love ya', Man.

Pete, it wasn't your decision.


Yep, what the Geneva Convention says are our obligations towards lawful combatants. We followed them when dealing with lawful combatants.


Speaking of clueless or worse, in the LUN


Narciso, I vote for worse.


Btw, Thiessen slaps them back, in the LUN, but I'm sure Spencer Ackerman won't evem realize it

Captain Hate

Speaking of clueless or worse

Just once I'd like to hear one of these spineless worms say "I take responsibility for this"; in the process removing their spineless wormhoodedness.


I usually dont' do this, imitating Mssr. Langdon, Lord of the Rings, but here goes:

Unfortunately for the critics, the OPR memos do not vindicate Soufan in the least. Quite the opposite. On page 33 (footnote 33), the final OPR report states: “Although CIA and DOJ witnesses told us that the CIA was waiting for DOJ approval before initiating the use of the EITs, the DOJ [Inspector General’s] Report indicates that such techniques may have been used on Abu Zubaydah before the CIA received oral or written approval from OLC.”

And what does the DOJ Inspector General’s Report say? In the October 2009 Report [PDF], the other agent involved in Abu Zubaydah’s interrogation (referred to by the alias “Agent Gibson”) explains that it was the CIA — not Soufan — that got the information on Padilla, and did so after applying the first coercive techniques.

According to the Report, before the CIA took over Zubaydah’s interrogation Agent Gibson got Zubaydah to identify “a photography of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as ‘Muktar,’ the mastermind of the September 11 attacks” using non-coercive techniques. (This has never been in dispute.)

After this, the Report states, “Within a few days, CIA personnel assumed control over the interviews, although they asked Gibson and Thomas [Note: “Thomas” is an alias for Soufan] to observe and assist. . . . Thomas described for the OIG the techniques that he saw the CIA interrogators use on Zubaydah after they took control of the interrogation. [REDACTED]. Thomas said he raised objections to these techniques to the CIA and told the CIA it was ‘borderline torture.’”

While the details are redacted, this begs the question: If some form of EITs were not in use at this point, what precisely was Soufan objecting to? The CIA’s approach to rapport-building?

The DOJ Report continues: “During his interview with OIG, Gibson did not express as much concern about the techniques used as Thomas did. Gibson stated, however, that during the period he was working with the CIA, the CIA shaved Zubaydah’s head, sometimes deprived Zubaydah of clothing, and kept the temperatures in his cell cold. [REDACTED]. Gibson said that the CIA personnel assured him that the procedures being used on Zubaydah had been approved ‘at the highest levels’ and Gibson would not get in any trouble. Gibson stated that during the CIA interrogations Zubaydah ‘gave up’ Jose Padilla and indentified several targets for future al-Qaeda attacks, including the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty [emphasis added].”

So according to Soufan’s own partner, the information on Padilla a) was obtained by the CIA, not Soufan; and b) after the CIA began to apply the coercive techniques.

Thomas/Soufan left in protest over the CIA techniques (which supposedly were not yet in use) around May 2002. But his partner, Agent Gibson, stayed behind and continued to work with the CIA.


OT, but Cheney is in the hospital. Say a prayer.


narciso, you did a great job on that. The whole topic is making my head spin, but you ought to submit a blog on that, incorporating TM's post.
OPR and Soufan both deserve our contempt.


--narciso, you did a great job on that--

I think narciso was just quoting Thiessen at length there, clarice.


True, ignatz, but narciso did a good job quoting. And he could get hired by the NYTimes, if he wanted to.


Now the kicker is that Gibson, the other agent had actually undergone SERE training, as part of his Army service. So he was quite cognizant about what was entailed. Soufan, not as aware, or just being more willing to trick the likes of Jane Mayer, of course provided the proper narrative

Cecil Turner

But his partner, Agent Gibson, stayed behind and continued to work with the CIA.

The part that stood out for me was this (p. 112/438):

Gibson stated that after he returned to the United States he told D'Amuro that he did not have a "moral objection" to being present for the CIA techniques because the CIA was acting professionally and Gibson himself had undergone comparable harsh interrogation techniques as part of U.S. Army Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) training. Gibson said that after a meeting with the CIA, D'Amuro told him that he would not be returning to the Zubaydh interview. [emphasis added]
Before I even knew the EIT was modeled after SERE, I thought it looked very comparable, and I can't see how training for US troops could possibly be considered "torture" when applied to enemy unlawful combatants. (Especially since the training evolved to introduce troops to the reality that even though they were lawful combatants, they could expect to be abused by those supposedly following Geneva. The disconnect from lefty talking points is even more stark when one realizes they've since modified SERE training to emphasize capture avoidance, since the POW murder rate by our enemies is so horrendous.)

The hand-wringing over Geneva is ridiculous, especially as our enemies aren't even paying lip service to it, and don't qualify for its protections under the most liberal interpretation. Extrapolating that to Mirandizing the enemy upon capture is an ahistorical exercise in shark hurdling. You'd think we could find a lefty (or journo) somewhere who was more excited about denying enemy propaganda than scoring points against the former Administration . . . but so far they're conspicuous by their absence. But don't question their patriotism ([you mean like "what patriotism?"] {yeah, that'd be bad}).


I can't be the only person, Cecil, who was so turned off by the Dems' outrageous behavior on this and other issues relating to 9/11 and the WOT, that I changed party affiliation and refuse to vote for them again.

Cecil Turner

Ah, I see we all liked the SERE part. (And Thiessen's response cited it too.)

Having done both the Navy and Marine schools (don't ask), I've got a bit of a clue about that part of this stuff. The Navy school was by far the worst, and the worst part of that was not eating for 5 days or so (except for one MRE at about day 3, IIRC). The "torture"? Don't make me laugh.

. . . I changed party affiliation and refuse to vote for them again.

Same reason I won't vote for 'em, but Vietnam was my wakeup call.


handcuffed to a gurney makes sense. This is standard in a hospital. In hospitals they have doctors and nurses and stuff like psychiatrists too and sometimes they give you shots and stuff to make you better.

The techniques are old and always effective. The difference is he didn't wake up the next day after a real cool dream in a current system. It's really imagination trending - Hopkins and Harvard or whatever doctors 'helped' prisoners in Iraq or Afghanistan; but some of those set ups are just gross, like smuggling, and AMATEUR HOUR.

Jim Miller

Correct me if I am wrong on this, but I believe that the last time we fought anyone who even came close to following the Geneva Conventions was in WW II. And even then the Japanese didn't follow them, and the Germans were not as good about following them as one would like.

So the idea that following them protects our troops, should they be captured, doesn't seem entirely plausible.

(Incidentally, I've read, though I can't remember where, that the Germans offered to follow the Geneva Conventions with Soviet prisoners in WW II, and that Stalin rejected the offer. Not that the Nazis would necessarily have lived up to the offer, but . . . . )


The tragic part of this, is by releasing the memos on said tactics, the enemy has the wherewithall to reverse engineer their own
version of SERE, so that next time, one would
have to resort to real violence, to break their will, needless to say, this will cost more lives.


Where are the demonstrators protesting the torture of clarice?!?!?

I've got it covered. Already cranked up the stereo. Getting nekked now.

I'll have the SOBs begging for mercy in a matter of minutes.


HEH..Narciso, the administration is simply (a) killing off the targets rather than arresting and interrogating them or (b) playing with rendition.Oooh oooh ooh no cold cells and Barney songs, just death or a round with interrogators in countries where the Soros- funded NGOs and the ACLU are not.

JM Hanes

LOL, MikeS!


Aryana Wireless

The point of the memo is that once your captured you might as well talk right away. CIA agents do.


I know it's OT, but...

Superman's Debut Comic Book Sells for $1 Million

The issue features Superman lifting a car on its cover and originally cost 10 cents.
A year ago they were the last, best hope of the world, a shining band of brothers (and sisters) who were saving the planet and taming the excesses of self-destructive capitalist greed. The Force was with them and the world lay at their feet. They were going to be greeted as liberators by a grateful world desperate to be saved.
Too funny .. liberators
Captain Hate

I can't be the only person, Cecil, who was so turned off by the Dems' outrageous behavior on this and other issues relating to 9/11 and the WOT, that I changed party affiliation and refuse to vote for them again.

9/11?? You mean you lived through Carter, Slick, Weird Al and all the commiecrats in Congress and thought the glass was 10% full?


Be fair, you left out Nixon.

What seems obvious now was just overlooked according to conventional wisdom for me until something bumped the scales from my eyes.


One of the starkest differences between left and right in America is that the left sees human rights as unalienable, whereas the right sees as privileges bestowed only upon those those the government, or some other authority, deems deserving of them.

So, naturally, the sides differ on things like the Geneva Convention, which the left sees as an extension of human rights, but the right sees as a moral convenience or, to use the more popular description, a "nicety."

I'm pretty sure America's founders -- though slaveowners and landed aristocrats -- were pretty big on rights being unalienable.



The Geneva Conventions are more like Marquess of Queensbury rules for boxing than "human rights". If one is attacked from behind by a mugger, one is not obligated to abide Queensbury in self defense.

The GC makes no sense as a unilateral set of rules. Pretending otherwise is so obviously delusional that agenda driven dishonesty seems the most likely explanation.


Bunkerbuster doesn't understand the concept of negative and positive rights whatsoever and completely turns around the positions of conservatives and the current regime of socialists.
Idiot is too kind a word.


God lord, who is the president eho was nattering on about 'negative rights' like the Bill of Rights, and who speaks of liberty
and freedom,


A little much needed perspective on the Mamdouh case, in the LUN


Indeed the Geneva Conventions are not a set of human rights, but an extension of them, as I explained. And they fully make sense as such.
And the same principle applies:
Americans oppose torture because torture violates inalienable human rights, not because we hope our enemies will choose to follow suit and not to torture us -- though that is certainly an important ancillary benefit. We uphold certain rights for POWs because POWs possess those rights as human beings, not because we expect our enemies to do the same.

We can see the same pattern with attitudes toward jurisprudence. American conservatives argue vehemently that terror suspects do not deserve trials that meet the full standard of fairness. Their reasoning is that only people deemed worthy by the government deserve fair trials, as defined for all Americans.
It is not uncommon to find conservatives who argue that terror suspects deserve no trial at all and should simply be executed or held without trial indefinitely.
My view is that a fair trial is a human right and therefore unalienable.
It really doesn't matter what you are charged with or where you come from. If you are going to be tried by the American government, your trial must meet all the standards of fairness, because those standards are based on your rights as a human.

I thank Boris for providing such a quick, clear demonstration of the principle I stated.


You're most welcome for the quick, clear demonstration of your delusional idiocy.


The left and the Paulite right, never seems to understand it, hence we have 70 year grandmoms from Iowa, inconvenienced while an AQ groundling slips through security, soldiers on an American army base, have to cower because diversity mandated that they could not remove the enemy in their midst.


Cecil writes: ``I can't see how training for US troops could possibly be considered "torture" when applied to enemy unlawful combatants.''

KSM was waterboarded 183 times. They don't do that in SERE, do they? And surely there's a difference between simulated techniques and the real thing. If I'm forced to stay in a cold room as a training exercise, it's an order of magnitude less cruel than forcing someone to do exactly the same thing as punishment when the victim has every reason to believe it may never end or may even end in death.

And why would it matter who the techniques are applied to? Torture is torture, whether it's applied to a Navy Seal, a Mossad Agent or bin Laden's limo driver.

Captain Hate

the right sees as privileges bestowed only upon those those the government, or some other authority, deems deserving of them.

The ignorance is this statement is beyond measurement.

Rob Crawford

The ignorance is this statement is beyond measurement.

It's bass-ackwards.


This is the view of Neal Katyal, the deputy solicitor general (attorney for Hamdan) Tony West, chief of the Civil Division (counsel to Suleiman Faris aka John Walker Lindh) partners from Jenner & Block, like Associate Atty General Perelli, whose firm defended
Abdullah Muhajir, Jose Padilla. bb, is just
a troll, but these make policy


Unfortunately, BB is representative of what our higher education turns out. They have turned the world upside down.


KSM was waterboarded 183 times.

I'm always curious when I read this. Do you think they took him into a room 183 different times?


If only Bush had been as smart as Obama and Clinton he could pretend he knew nothing about real torture while reaping the benefits of it. Damn the man for standing up and not pretending he knew nothing.


Looking at this page, J&B, also represented David Hicks, the 'Wallaby Taliban" as I like to call him, did snybody, (Buehler, Buehler)
ask any questions of these people. It as if Bruce Cutler, other names will come up, of famous mob mouthpieces, were running the Justice Department


Trust Me, I'm A Journalist: Trust In The Media Promotes Health

ScienceDaily (Jan. 26, 2009) — Trust in the media promotes health. A study of people from 29 Asian countries has shown that individuals with high levels of trust in the mass media tend to be healthier.
TM, this sounds like you are behaving unhealthy.


Idiots include people who confuse correlation with causation.

Scientific idiots produce studies that do that and journalistic idiots produce articles that report such nonsense.

Scientific idiots are not scientists and journalistic idiots are not journalists.


KSM himself said he was waterboarded 5 times. Seems that we should go by his count.

Calling it 183 times is about as inane as saying that you had 183 meals during your last lunch because that was how many times you chewed your food.

tea anyone

Well sure, but you know 183 SOUNDS way more awful than 5, don't you see how that works silly.


--One of the starkest differences between left and right in America is that the left sees human rights as unalienable, whereas the right sees as privileges bestowed only upon those those the government, or some other authority, deems deserving of them.--

What a f***** moron.
The left has at all times and in all places viewed individual human rights as a convenience granted at the state's whim.
The left is very apt to assert the doctrine of unalienable rights selectively when it needs to undermine the very free societies which protect them and which they loathe.
The left's attachment to unalienable human rights can best be seen in its apologias for, and outright support of, Fidel, Chavez, Ho, Mao, Stalin and a thousand lesser tyrants.
The left can't muster the tiniest shred of outrage about westerners having their heads sawn off and in fact blames it on their own country.
Please spare us that your self loathing and sanctimony somehow equals a concern for human rights.


``KSM himself said he was waterboarded 5 times. Seems that we should go by his count.''

Even then, they don't waterboard trainees 5 times in SERE, do they? So my point stands. To claim that training to endure torture is morally or physically the same as actually experiencing torture is just silly.

I'm loving this thread because half the ripostes to my comment nakedly assert that I've got it backwards, while the other half angrily demonstrate that I've got it right.

Cecil Turner

Even then, they don't waterboard trainees 5 times in SERE, do they? So my point stands.

So, once is okay, as is twice, but 5 times is "torture"? Compelling. As is the contention that doing exactly the same thing becomes torture because of a state of mind. I'd note the various folks volunteering for waterboarding, and suggest they wouldn't volunteer for anything I'd call torture.

To claim that training to endure torture is morally or physically the same as actually experiencing torture is just silly.

Not as silly as claiming two guys experiencing exactly the same physical sensations (and pretty much the same mental state, except I was hungrier) were training/being tortured, depending on what was on their Geneva Convention card (or lack thereof).

Cecil Turner

We uphold certain rights for POWs because POWs possess those rights as human beings, not because we expect our enemies to do the same.

Dumb. We all signed a treaty to treat POWs well in large part to ensure folks follow the laws of war. Treating non-POWs as POWs removes that incentive and is actively counterproductive. Our enemies are laughing at the law of war (and especially at those rights you claim all human beings possess). . . and I'm having a real hard time trying to figure out why they shouldn't.


Thanks Cecil, for making my point.

Again, people like you view the rights we give POWs as a pragmatic war strategy and moral convenience. I view them as inherent in POWs status as human beings. It's certainly no surprise that your views on the law of war are shared by our enemies.

The difference in our views -- and indeed the difference in the way I view the origins of the laws of war and the way you and our enemies do -- is pretty close to the center of why the world looks so different to me than to you.

Cecil Turner

I view them as inherent in POWs status as human beings.

You are totally clueless on the subject. Perhaps you could reconcile your "inherent rights" view with the requirements for POW status embodied in the treaty. Or Perhaps you could explain why mercenaries, also humans, are specifically denied POW status:

Art 47. Mercenaries

1. A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war.

Or, you could admit you never bothered to read Geneva, and simply cite it as a matter of dogma. The moral posturing is cute, but risible.


Thanks Cecil, for offering yet another demonstration of my point.

For you, the right to be free from government torture only belongs to those the government deems deserving, in this case to those the government decides qualify for POW status, with or without due process, I might add.

The right to be free from torture applies to all human beings, whether or not a government chooses to acknowledge or guarantee the right via a mechanism such as the Geneva Conventions.

The Geneva Conventions do not create the right to be free of government torture they are merely a mechanism for upholding rights that exist within the essential nature of man. Again, this is anathema to most conservative Americans who believe the Geneva Conventions are developed from privileges that can be granted or taken away by the government.

Mercenaries do not have exactly the same rights as POWs because they have no grounds to claim they acted in self-defense or by coercion. That should be obvious.

But here again, I am making a distinction based on the pre-existence of an intrinsic human right to self-defense, not on the legal text of the Geneva Conventions. The mercenary was never defending himself, so the Conventions correctly do not see a need to uphold the same rights for him as for POWs.
But the right to be free from torture is not derived from the right to self defense. Rather, it is tied to an absolute claim against any governments right to own any human's dignity. So even to the extent that the Geneva Conventions ban torture, the ban also applies to mercenaries or, indeed, terror suspects.

Rick Ballard

I wonder if it's undignified to be maimed for life by an Obama ordered Predator strike.

The Faith Changer.

bb, waterboarding should be safe, legal, and rare. It works, so it isn't torture; it's baptizing.

Or your child's?  This is a question hitting the news, finally.

bb, would you waterboard someone to save your own life?


``would you waterboard someone to save your own life?''

It would depend on the the precise circumstances, which is another way of saying it's certainly not out of the question.

Now, perhaps you can tell me why you believe that's a relevant question.


And thanks, Rick and Faith for supporting my view on this.


--Thanks (fill in the blank), for making my point.--

You say that a lot. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Melinda Romanoff


You are still missing the forest, for the trees.

The Geneva Conventions, by definition, govern the conduct of War. Any projection of rights from that is a recognition, and derivation, of the rights associated with the Nation/State.

Not unlawful, as defined by said Conventions, combatants.

And Conventions refer to conventional, as in agreed to by most during a convention, opinions of law.

Is every citizen of the world deserving of these rights?

Or are there more they are deserving of?

Side question: Was the dot-com boom due to Clintons actions, or the stripping away of regulations in the '80's, and how long did it last?

I've had enough to digest tonight.

G'night all.


Mel: Thanks for providing yet another virtually verbatim illustration of my point.

You say the rights protected by GC derive from government, I say they are endowed by our creator. Therein lies a defining difference in our worldviews.

And the most relevant example of that is that you believe it would be wrong for the government to torture someone, only in a case where the government decided that person shouldn't be tortured.

I say it's wrong to torture someone because doing so would violate unalienable rights endowed by our creator.

Why do you suppose the authors of our Declaration of Independence used the word "unalienable." What do you think they meant by it?

What rights do you, as a conservative, believe are "unalienable"? Any?

What Constitutional rights do you see as privileges that the government can relinquish without due process?

And you should take this up with all the conservatives here who claim I have this point "backwards."

And, yes, Mel, I agree. One of the salient causes of the dot-com "boom" was deregulation. As banks began to disregard Glass-Steagall, the businesses of investment banking and brokering began self-dealing apace. Specifically, analysts (does the name Henry Blodget ring a bell?) were bribed/coerced to falsify analysis about dot-com company prospects in order to assure the investment banking side of their company's access to IPO business.

And I'm sure even you know how that particular deregulation-driven "boom" ended.

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