Why does the CIA continue to surprise people?

Discussion in 'Other Discussions' started by Merc, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    Source: Sources: Report to detail alleged abuse inside CIA secret prisons - CNN.com

    Now, I'm not condoning methods of torture but I have a few questions.

    One, why does the CIA still surprise people? I thought it was common knowledge that the CIA does a lot of things most of us would rather not hear about. I mean, to me, the CIA represents the illegal activities that many governments take part in when it comes to interrogating international criminals. Once again, this doesn't make it right, but it just makes me wonder what people honestly expect out of our government. You think they're going to ask these guys nicely where their bombs are?

    Two and maybe I'm being heartless here, but why aren't we more concerned with the terrible state of our own prisons (in terms of prison programs and rehabilitation) rather than making such a big fuss about what the CIA does to suspected terrorists?

    Lastly, a rant

    threatened with a gun? Oh noes! Are you fucking kidding me? Should we start releasing criminals too because cops aim their firearms at them? Cry me a river. Of all the people to be oversympathetic with, why suspected terrorists? These fuckers are ready to blow themselves up in an attempt to get into paradise and fuck the brains out of virgins, or so it is promised and we're worried that they may be 'hurt' by being threatened with a gun? Go fuck yourself, ACLU, you lose again.
     

  2. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    Probably it's reasonable to be disillusioned, but considering we in the Western World hold ourselves to a higher standard than all the kind of dictatorships out there, that we want to be "the good guys" and defend values like freedom and democracy, a good dose of criticism and outrage is in order, i guess.

    The moment we stop being appalled by such blatant violations of our most basic values, we have stopped being any better than those other states and governments we criticize.

    I don't think it's an either-or problem. You can be concerned by both at the same time. There are many problems and we won't solve many when we focus on one at the time only.

    Also, for us non-Americans, America's behavior on the international scale is more important than internal American problems. That is because we are indirectly be held responsible for it too, since we are America's closest allies (as NATO members) and feel as a part of the "free world" America is supposed to lead with a good example. When the US government does something in the name of freedom, it does so as leading power of our entire Western civilization and the US President speaks in our name too.

    I don't think anybody, certainly not myself, neither the ACLU, would shed many tears about the harsh punishment of actual terrorists. I'm not in favor of torture, but I do believe actual terrorists deserve a harsh punishment and I don't care much if they get one punch too much, or if their prison is not cosy.

    But you seem to have missed one crucial word: Suspected.

    Last time I checked, in a free country, you are innocent until proven guilty. That's not only the case when it comes to theft, fraud or robbery, but also when it comes to murder or mass murder -- you are just a suspect, and thus you must not be punished unless you have been convicted in a fair trial.

    I wonder, if these terror suspects are really guilty, and the government has good evidence against them, why doesn't the government put them on a fair trial? If guilty, there is not the slightest doubt they will be convicted and face a harsh punishment.

    This makes me think there is a reason why the US government does not put them on trial: The evidence they got against them is very weak, likely clues only, maybe even fake -- and many of these suspects indeed are innocent. Why does the government detain and torture them anyway? Simply because they want to appear "tough against terror" and gain votes by creating the illusion they make progress in their "war against terror". Innocent people get their lives destroyed in the process? Shit happens, we still need these votes.

    I am deeply appalled and shocked by the fact that so many Americans (and other nationalities too, of course) don't even seem to know what freedom means, and let this happen. If you have even the slightest respect for freedom and the constitutional state, you would insist on fair trials and insist on the principle "innocent until proven guilty", no matter if the suspect is accused of petty theft or a much worse crime like terrorism. And you would never be so uncritical of the government that you easily take its word that it will never abuse its power, and its word that those who are held and tortured are guilty, although no court has proven them guilty.

    Ironically, many of those Americans who are in favor of extralegal detention and denial of fair trials, even torture, are "patriots" who claim America stands for freedom and democracy -- yet they call criticism of the government "treason", while it actually is the highest duty of the citizen of a free country to check, balance and criticize the government. They favor inhumane treatment of suspects, unaware that this kind of legal arbitrariness is exactly what the Founding Fathers loathed in the British monarchy and what they called "tyranny". And they embrace a war that allegedly brings these values to another people, yet they have no problem whatsoever with the fact the US government violates these principles at home.

    It's simply dangerous to give a government the power to arbitrarily detain suspects and to deny them a fair trial, when it is not responsible to anybody and its mere word is good enough. Being opposed to this has nothing to do with sympathy for terrorists, it has to do with love for freedom -- and a healthy fear of a government that will abuse its power sooner or later. It could be you or me one day, who gets suspected and detained, without the right to defend ourselves, and without the possibility to prove our innocence in a fair trial.
     
  3. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    It's the ACLU taking issue with the CIA and they should be more concerned about our country's prisons and their rights rather than bother with a super-secretive and sketchy group of spectres like the CIA.

    Obviously internal American conflicts don't matter to you, but the ACLU is an American group. Also, the "guilty by association" bit is unfortunate, but not a big concern. It's not like the CIA said, "Hey it was Europe's idea" or something along those lines.

    I did not miss any words, as a matter of fact I used that word in my first post.

    I would agree, I want to know to what extent they are "suspected" because you can have the murder weapon in your possession and still technically be a suspect.

    I think you're thinking far beyond a much simpler answer: Public relations. The CIA doesn't care what the US public thinks of it, they answer to the government higher ups and no one else. However, this means the US goverment has to do the talking for them so of course they aren't going to put these guys to trial because it would be a nightmare to deal with. Not to mention, it's arguable, once again based on how much of a degree they are suspected, what kind of rights these guys really have. Also, you say "many of these suspects are innocent."

    Do you have numbers showing this? Do you have numbers showing the US is more than 50% wrong when it comes to every person they've detained?

    In a society ruled by bureaucracy, there will always be lives lost and ruined. Doesn't make it right, it's just fact.

    That's a societal problem and it exists everywhere in the world. It speaks to the human condition and how it's natural to assume things about people but what makes us civil is the ability to stall judgment on said person until we have a more complete story. The example of this in action I always use involves a man who was arrested after a teenaged girl said he raped her. In the end, it turned out she made the whole thing up and had some serious mental instabilities.

    He was fired, never got his job back, and had to move because that label of "child rapist" albeit wrong, was never forgotten even though he was innocent. Simply being accused of it is enough these days it seems and that's truly depressing.

    Once again, you're making broad, irrelevant statements here (especially the whole "Patriots" bit). If you want to pick on the US, do it in sub-talk. Let's try and keep this thread civil, eh? I don't appreciate being grouped like that and I doubt many Americans would either. It's like someone saying "All Germans deep down are still Nazis". It's blatantly ignorant and wrong.

    It's simply dangerous to give power to the government, period. The government is afterall, a group of idiots picked by a group of idiots (AKA: the democratic process as seen by my cynical half) and thus can never be fully trusted and must be monitored at all times.
     
  4. viLky

    viLky ykLiv

    #2 - I agree. We have these Men In Black-like... sort of guys who do dirty jobs that we all know (or should know) about, and yet when there is a report about it we all get our panties in a bunch. Is it really a shocker? Like you said, the CIA isn't a bunch of Mary Poppins baking cookies for their interrogatees.
    This is what I hate, we are not this perfect utopia of a society that we are too good to torture somebody. No! I hate that way of thinking.

    Lastly, we usually can't wait for the suspects to go through the process of a trial before we harshly interrogate them and sometimes even torture them. The knowledge they MIGHT possess is crucial to the day's events, week's events, month's events or even year's events. We need to get that knowledge now before any lives are in danger, ect...

    Oh yeah, lastly, lastly, whatever happened to the truth serum? Was that stuff proven not to work, and is only effective in Hollywood movies? :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
  5. Nevyrmoore

    Nevyrmoore AKA Ass-Bandit

    Yeah, it's really only any good if you're in a game or a film.

    "According to information obtained by public disclosure, sodium amytal can be highly unreliable, with subjects apparently freely mixing fact and fantasy. Much of the claimed effect relies on the belief of the subject that they cannot tell a lie while under the influence of the drug. It has also been said that the use of sodium amobarbital does not increase truth-telling, but merely increases talking; therefore, truth is more likely to be revealed, but so are lies."

    In a way, it's a good thing. While we won't be able to get any good information from potential or suspected terrorists from it, they won't be able to easily get information out of anyone they capture by using it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2009
  6. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    Why? Any good reason for that, except that you don't like them?

    Well, when bombs by islamist terrorists go off in Madrid or London or maybe next time in Frankfurt, I guess this problem is a concern for us over here in Europe.

    You complained people care for the rights of terror suspects in your "rant", which implicates that you consider them guilty -- or, so the only other possible conclusion, that you believe there is nothing wrong with detaining and torturing innocent people. Since I don't assume you advocate the latter, I have to conclude you blurred the distinction between suspects and people who have been found guilty.

    I'm not saying all of these suspects are innocent, maybe not even a majority of them is. But that's not my point; my point is that the word of the government is not good enough to determine the guilt of a suspect. Only a court can determine that in a fair trial, and unless a fair trial has found a suspect guilty, the government (which is not above the law, and the executive separated from the judicative) has no right whatsoever to treat them as guilty.

    Separation of executive from judicative, a government not above the law and the rule "innocent until proven guilty" are basic requirements of a free society. A society that violates them is no longer free.

    Maybe you are right. In that case, this shows how necessary checks and balances against government power are, because a branch of government that is not properly checked will try to expand its power, even on the cost of the basic civil and human rights of people.

    It's in the nature of this problem that there is no reliable statistic about guilt or innocence of suspects who are denied a fair trial: Simply because they are denied a fair trial, and a fair trial is the only thing that could reliably determine guilt or innocence. This is shocking and appalling enough -- all we have is the word of the government these people deserve this treatment, nothing else.

    But there have been several cases of people who have been released from Guantanamo or other CIA sites, who have been officially confirmed innocent. Yet they had been held for months or even years, are not offered any compensation for the wrong the US government did to them, neither for their lost time, the psychological damage they suffered or for any other consequence arising from their long time detainment and/or torture.

    Former chief of staff of former secretary of state Colin Powell claims many innocent people have been held for 6 or 7 years:
    Most Guantanamo detainees are innocent: ex-Bush official

    According to a law professor and a defense attorney, who analyzed data about Gitmo inmates, only less than half of the detainees actually have committed hostile acts against the US:
    The Agitator Blog Archive Innocent in Guantanamo

    In April 2008 still, the Bush regime announced that even Gitmo inmates found innocent may still not be released, because they may "return to the battlefield", making their detainment a self-fulfilling prophecy -- kidnap innocent people, make them hate America because of the pain they have to suffer due to the US, and then claim they are too dangerous to be released.
    U.S. May Not Release Guantanamo Prisoners: Even If Found Innocent of Charges Against Them
    A quote:
    Innocent person held for 7 years at Gitmo -- proven to be innocent now, yet still not released:
    Innocent Yemeni Stranded at Guantanamo - CBS News

    17 Uighurs have been held in Guantanamo for 7 years, although innocent:
    17 Innocent Uighurs Detained at Guantánamo Ask Supreme Court for Release | Center for Constitutional Rights

    You can find dozens or further links on that subject. Also, you should note that alleged confessions by detainees are no proof of their guilt, since they may be wrong confessions pressured out of the prisoners by using torture (and you know that the safest way to get a person to confess, even if innocent, is torture).

    Well if it doesn't matter to you whether the most basic requirements of a free society are violated by the government, because innocent lives will be ruined anyway, I guess we don't need a constitution or law in the first place.

    I, for once, believe it does make a significant difference whether the government is above the law or abiding to it, whether the executive may easily punish suspects at free will without the need to justify this to anybody, and while ignoring the judicative, whether the government's word is considered enough -- or if all this is not the case.

    Agreed. I assume the lurid, sensationalist media is partly to blame for that -- a lurid, cruel story sells better than boring questions about "the whole story". Why not suggesting a suspect is guilty? The worst that can happen is that he sues you, and you have to pay a few bugs -- less than the gains by the sale of the story. Or you have to print a "correction" in a later issue, somewhere on the last page, in minor letters.

    Look, if you got the impression I was grouping you into that group of people who
    A) support the denial of fair trials to prisoners,
    B) the use of torture,
    C) the Iraq war, and
    D) who call themselves "patriots" (note the quotation marks),
    I am sorry if I didn't make clear enough that I don't think you belong to that group, unless you meet all criteria from A to D. But as far as I can tell, I made clear what kind of people I mean.

    I don't believe this group of Americans encompasses all Americans, probably not even a majority, but from what I can tell, it at least is a significant minority (of maybe between 20% or 30%). Just watch FOX News for a few hours, and you see this very mindset. Or read pro2A's postings here.

    It's a significant portion of the American right, which has no respect whatsoever for freedom and democracy, maintains a hollow jingoism that has become an end in itself and no longer is based on values, and has continously drifted into a parallel universe where obviously absurd claims every sane person would consider bonkers are actually considered talking points worth advancing -- claims like "Obama was not born in the USA", "Obama wants to kill our grandparents", "Obama is a socialist", or who confuse losing an election with tyranny (which they then advocate toppling by a coup). In any sane world, where the media had left even the slightest bit of ethos, journalists advancing this BS would immediately be fired. Just when you think the level of discourse has hit the lowest bottom, the advocates of that portion of the jingoist right like Limbaugh, Beck and the likes manage to pull an even dumber, more idiotic rabbit out of their hats. How fucked up is public discourse in America that so many people buy into this BS? For parts of the right, it's no longer about interpreting facts differently than the left -- but even simply inventing a new reality, when the actual reality no longer fits their ideology.

    So how large is the number of this lunatic right? Here a few indications:

    Americans Oppose Closing Gitmo and Moving Prisoners to U.S.
    More than 50% of the Americans oppose closing Guantanamo, according to Gallup.

    Poll results: Waterboarding is torture - CNN.com
    40% of the Americans considered the use of torture against suspects legitimate in 2007.

    Public Policy Polling: A deeper look at the birthers
    24% of the Americans believe Obama was not born in the US.

    Poll: Nearly Half Of Americans Believe “Death Panel” Falsehood | The Plum Line
    45% believe the obvious lie about alleged "death penals" in Obama's health care plan.


    These numbers make me believe this "lunatic right" (note: not the entire right belongs to the "lunatic right" sub-group) is somewhere between 20% and 30% of the voters.

    How is it possible so obvious lies and falsehoods get so much attention -- and are readily spread and multiplied by a certain news network, certain moderators, hosts and pundits, until such a large segment of the population actually buys it? How fucked up must public discourse be?

    If you find similar polls among Germans and the German population, feel free to provide them. If you manage to do that, I will gladly stand to the claim that a substantial portion of the German electorate is "lunatic" or, if the polls suggest so, "Nazi".

    Complete agreement.
     
  7. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    Why should I have to explain why the rights of our own people take precedent over the rights of foreigners? We should be concerned, yes, but our people should come first especially when they've needed that help for a long time.

    You know, I may be mistaken here, but it seems like you're suggesting that I said somewhere that the US shouldn't care about foreign relations or events. The funny thing is, I've been reading over my post and found nothing of the sort. Can we please stop with this faulty assuming? You're going to ruin the thread.

    To answer the question though, yes, it's Europe's problem but that doesn't mean others cannot help. However, it is your problem. Americans didn't bomb anything in your hypothetical situation so it's not directly our problem.

    Sorry, I was under the impression that you knew what a rant was. You know, an angry, incoherent and inconsistent ramble meant to help someone vent? That's why I wrapped it in spoiler tags yet here you are quoting (or at least I think you are, so far everything you've claimed I've said is fiction) it as if it was serious.

    I'm also trying to find where I said "I like when innocent people are tortured" and just like the previous statement you made, I'm just going to have to assume that you're making things up again. I'll ask nicely once again to stop, it's annoying and makes you look bad.

    I'm also curious as to how you would deal with a major suspect suspected of doing something heinous like a bombing. Would you ask politely? Let him sit in a cell until he decided to have a heart to heart? You do realize these guys train to take pain, to kill themselves, and to remain silent, right? I'm not condoning torture here but I wonder what other methods can be used on those who won't talk. A "gun threat" is still a pretty silly call for unnecessary acts if you ask me since criminals are threatened by cops on a daily basis. Should we start releasing prisoners because they were intimidated?

    So let me get this straight, you don't believe in the word of the government, okay, I agree. However, you're ready to put your faith in a court system that is so fogged, so bogged down and so suspect? I don't get it. I agree that the government is not the sole voice and a trial could be necessary but I think the problem with many people's thinking is they think the world is a civil enough place that we can treat everyone equally and fairly.

    Well, bad news, until everyone starts playing by those rules, no country will buy into that passive philosophy.

    Basic requirements, according to you. Now we're just delving into pure personal opinion. Not necessary here.

    Reliably? This is the same country that still believes the "Magic bullet theory" surrounding the murder of JFK, or the belief that one single indestructible bullet was responsible for several bullet wounds on two different men and was later found in perfect condition on a stretcher in Dallas. I'd severely doubt any country's court system that upholds that theory.

    People are flawed, the courts are far from the best solution and you should know this. Preferable to the government going it alone, but not by much.

    Okay, that guy is no longer president, now what?

    The key phrase here is "hostile acts". You don't need to take action to be a suspect or be a prisoner. It's a clever way to cover up the issue and repaint it to fit your political agenda which they have clearly done here.

    I'm surprised you of all people never heard this on the news:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/us/politics/22gitmo.html?_r=1

    Also you're also very elegantly ignoring the fact that ever since Obama started, he's been releasing prisoners to other countries in a continued effort to shut the place down. We all know it was a failure like our last president, is that all you have for arguing points, Sim? One fucked up presidential administration's problems?

    Also, you should note that alleged confessions of detainees are no proof of their innocence, since they may be wrong confessions pressured out of the prisoners by their psychotic military conditioning and loyalty to their country.

    People across the world are simply used to being lied to, end of story. We don't care if the news was wrong, we just move on. We live in a quick, judgmental world that prefers fantasy to reality.

    This is the exact kind of snobbery and sly sniping I'm talking about, I wasn't referring to you grouping me specifically, but I used me as a way of saying "Americans". I don't appreciate it and I doubt pro does either, so for the last time, cut that shit out. I can make broad sweeping generalizations and jabs at you as well but it's not relevant to the discussion nor is it constructive in the least.

    I'm sorry, but there was no way I was going to respond to that whole jumble of insults and sweeping generalizations about an entire group of people that is completely interchangeable with any political party. You represent a massive problem with the world Sim and that's this lame "my team is the best" mentality.

    Here's how the world currently works: Both the left and the right are convinced the other side is full of drooling, sloth-like idiots that want nothing more than to quash their freedoms and rape their babies. They build their entire political lives around assumptions fed to them by friends, family, media sources, and other mediums. As they progress, they begin to realize that not only are these "facts" about the opposing side mostly false and typically grossly exaggerated and some blatant lies yet their whole lives or at least good chunks of their lives have been dedicated to this intricate set of lies so they stick to it. In order to make it look legitimate and under the fear that their falsehoods may be challenged, they look deeper and deeper until they begin attributing ridiculous things to one side or the other in desperate attempts to continue to discredit them and make them seem wrong.

    The intelligent person is one who realizes that the ideal way to run the country will never be discovered by anyone who calls themself liberal, republican, conservative, or democrat.

    Take that, politics.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I was obviously exaggerating to prove a point but I guess along with "rant", you don't know what "exaggeration" means. I wasn't being factual, I was being hyperbolic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  8. MenInTights

    MenInTights not a plastic bag

    CNSNews.com - Blowing Smoke at Terrorists

    I am going to summarize what was done to this guy without putting any opinion into it:
    • Blew smoke into his face
    • Told his his children would die if America was attacked again
    • Shook unloaded gun near his face
    • Revved Power drill near him
    ------

    Hope I'm not sounding like I'm contradicting myself, but you do post some good links here Sim. I'll admit that I'm a conservative and I trust Bush on the war and there are a lot of things I may have overlooked. I also admit that I don't trust Obama with anything and so am especially watchful of him. So now that Obama's in, I see GITMO in a different light. I'm partisan I guess that makes me human.

    I don't really care about real terrorist that were/are slightly roughed up or scared. Many of the reports are lol funny such as the guy that was scared of spiders so they put a spider in his cell or someone tore the Koran, etc... But keeping people that you know are innocent because they may act against you in the future or detaining someone without cause is abhorrent. How often does that really happen? Well, I don't know..

    Just for the record, the 2nd half of your post was utter garbage, but I overlooked it and was only commenting on the f1st half.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  9. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    Cowards. Torture is counterproductive, and morally repugnant. It creates sympathy for terrorists, and creates terrorists, and results in more Americans dying. It leads to the CIA wasting their efforts, as they follow false leads they receive because of torture. It deters potential informants from ratting out those they know who wish to attack America and its allies. Only cowards and cocksuckers defend torture.
     
  10. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    I understand where you are coming from, but as far as I am concerned, a violation of human rights is always bad, regardless of the nationality of the victims.

    Look, it can be argued American policies do have influence on how islamist radicals react -- not just towards the USA, but also towards its allies. We all have to bear the consequences, not just America, which is why I think it's legitimate Europeans too have an opinion on these policies.

    If the consequences of your policies fell back on you only, sure, I couldn't care less.

    Ok well then, when your intention was not to discuss this topic, but only state your opinion which you know is factually wrong, I'm fine with that. But I was under the impression this is a discussion forum, and you are posting with the intention of discussing this topic. My fault.

    You know, I am convinced neither you, nor anybody else who expressed some sympathy for practizes like extralegal detention, denial of fair trials and the use of torture for suspects is in favor of torture for innocent people.

    I just wanted to make the point that by jumping to the conclusion these people must be guilty is most questionable, for the reasons stated above, and can easily be proven wrong by facts (which I did with the links above).

    So when someone, be it you or anybody else, considers these practizes legitimate, they imply that they are ok with innocent people getting in the wheels of a state that has too much power, even if that's not what they explicitly said. My point was to remind people of this problem.

    My point is that we must make sure no innocent people get detained, denied a fair trial and even tortured, even if that means less security for us. I'd rather live in a country where one guilty person gets away, before one innocent person gets raped by the state. That simply is the price of freedom.

    If we disable our constitutional process and legal system out of the mere fear of crime, we stop being citizens of free countries -- and I think the damage we would inflict on our way of life and freedom is much worse than any terrorist attack could ever be.

    Maybe the life in a police state where suspects no longer enjoy constitutional rights is indeed more safe and secure for the majority of the people, and such a state is more effective at curbing crime -- but I for once would rather take the higher risk of becoming victim of a crime, when this is the price for the protection of my rights in case I get suspected of a crime, and for having the right on a fair trial.

    And before you say again I am putting words into your mouth, let me make the statement that this "police state"-example is just an extreme example and I do not think you advocate a police state.

    Of course the legal system is far from perfect, both in the US or over here in Germany. But I feel still much better in a state where I enjoy the protection of basic civil and human rights, than in a state where the executive is above the law.

    In the former case, I may be wrongly convicted; but in the latter case, there is not the slightest chance for me to escape tyranny by the state. So the former situation is still considerably better than the latter.

    Now before you claim I am misinterpreting you again, let me ask you: Are you implying that because "the world simply is not fair" and never will be, no matter how many efforts we take to make sure there is the rule of law, we could do away with these efforts in the first place?

    That doesn't mean we, as the citizens of free countries, have no obligation to fight for our civil and human rights, in my opinion.

    Ok, now you said it, at least: Preferable to the government alone. That's exactly my point.

    In a free country, mistakes happen, and there will always be injustice. But at least we should take efforts to minimize it. If we approach this problem with a nihilist attitude as you display it, there is no good reason for not advocating a dictatorship, and there would be no reason why we would rather live in the West than in Iran, China or Venezuela.

    As much as I consider Obama an improvement, I neither believe he is the Messiah, nor that he is immune to the abuse of government power. Even without Bush in office, many of his laws remain and Obama has not taken real efforts to change them yet. That's unsettling, to say the least.


    Of course this decision by Obama is a good step into the right direction, but Obama's efforts have not been entirely satisfying yet:

    Like Bush, Obama has embraced military commissions.

    Like Bush, Obama has advocated preventative detention without trial, as well as in spite of a trial.

    Like Bush, Obama has abused the state secrets privilege in trying to quash litigation over detention, torture, and wiretapping:
    • The New York Times describes how Obama stunned several judges by picking up where Bush left off regarding state secrets.
    • Talking Points Memo: "Expert Consensus: Obama Mimics Bush on State Secrets"
    • Glenn Greenwald describes why Obama didn't have to rush into court using the legal flotsam Bush had left behind: "In each of the cases where the Obama DOJ embraced the Bush state secrets theory, the plaintiffs' lawyers were not only willing, but eager, to grant as much time as the Obama DOJ wanted in order for them to figure out what they should do. In response, Obama DOJ lawyers continuously indicated they needed no time, because they were convinced that they were right about the state secrets argument and had approval for their positions at the highest levels. When asked, Robert Gibbs explicitly said that Obama was consulted on the DOJ's positions in these cases and agreed entirely with them: 'absolutely, absolutely he does.'"
    Like Bush, Obama has striven to conceal information about questionable or illegal American activities.
    • Obama flip-flopped on the release of torture photos, deciding to cover them up instead, under the insipid rationale that the photos would increase the peril to our troops. CQ indicates no proof exists that would happen. Also, as Greenwald notes in the first linked article, "Obama's claim -- that release of the photographs 'would be to further inflame anti-American opinion and to put our troops in greater danger' -- means we should conceal or even outright lie about all the bad things we do that might reflect poorly on us." If evidence of torture would make our troops more of a target, that's reason to pull them out, not to hide the evidence. The latter is what a child or a criminal unwilling to accept responsibility would do.
    • Obama's Pentagon has placed "in limbo" a report on a US air strike that killed dozens of people "out of fear that its findings would further enrage the Afghan public."
    • Obama's CIA director has argued against the release of documents about CIA interrogations in secret prisons.
    Like Bush, Obama has resisted investigation of government officials and agents who approved or committed torture. As Greenwald outlines here and here, and Jonathan Turley does here, Obama's refusal violates multiple laws and treaties, such as the Torture Act, the Convention Against Torture, the Geneva Conventions, and the Charter of the International Tribunal at Nuremberg.

    True. Torture simply doesn't work, it floods the system with unreliable information.

    And you are happy with that situation?

    Listen, not everything I say is about you. In fact, I believe you don't belong to this group of people whose opinions I consider problematic. And by claiming I generalize all Americans, you are putting words into my mouth. I explicitly stated several times that I don't believe all Americans think that way, neither the entire political right.
     
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