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Rights Groups Sue Rumsfeld Over Prison Abuse

Schweddy

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Source: LATimes.com

WASHINGTON -- Seeking to link the U.S. military command to the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American Civil Liberties Union and a human rights organization sued Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and three Army commanders Tuesday on behalf of former detainees, charging that the military authorized illegal interrogation techniques.

The federal lawsuit charges that Rumsfeld ordered the "abandonment of our nation's inviolable and deep-rooted prohibition against torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of prisoners.

The legal action stems from some of the well-documented instances of prisoner mistreatment in the Abu Ghraib prison outside of Baghdad, Iraq. However, it also includes less-known examples of abuse at other sites in Iraq and in Afghanistan. The lawsuit was filed in on behalf of four Iraqis and four Afghanis by the ACLU and the group Human Rights First.

The civil liberties groups face considerable obstacles to success under the Alien Tort Claims Act -- among them establishing that Rumsfeld and the others are not protected by official immunity and that the former prisoners have grounds to sue in U.S. courts.

"The lawsuit is not frivolous. But it is unlikely to prove successful in the long run," said Jonathan Turley, an expert on international law at the George Washington University law school. "The Supreme Court has been extremely hostile toward the application of U.S. laws outside of our borders."

Nevertheless, if the federal courts allow it to proceed, the suit could bring further attention to the abuse of prisoners at the hands of U.S. soldiers and force the Pentagon to disclose additional details from its own investigations of the abuse.
Give me a flippin' break.
 

Hoot

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The problem is, we're supposed to be above this sort of thing.

We're supposed to be the great moral nation, yet with our prisoner abuse scandals can we blame the rest of the world if they look on us with doubt?

How can we expect fair treatment of our own soldiers taken captive, if we abuse and deny rights to those we have captured?

If the terrorists behead one of our own, do we turn the other cheek, or do we take revenge and behead and torture one of theirs?

There is no doubt in my mind that higher-ups, in both the civilian and military are behind this abuse...perhaps as far as Rumsfield, or even higher in their complicity.

I know terrorism is a different type of war, but we need to show moral clarity to the world and honor the Geneva Convention, or we become as low as the terrorists.

We're supposed to be above this sort of thing.
 

Schweddy

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Hoot said:
We're supposed to be above this sort of thing.
Absolutely. This is something that should not have been let out to the public. Before it broke, they were already taking action against it.

Now the perspective is complete opposite of reality.
 

Squawker

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How can we expect fair treatment of our own soldiers taken captive, if we abuse and deny rights to those we have captured?
How can you equate how we treat our prisoners with that of the terrorists? We can't expect them to treat our soldiers with respect no matter what we do. They chop off heads and if our soldier steps on some ones friggin toes, it is torture. :rolleyes:
If the terrorists behead one of our own, do we turn the other cheek, or do we take revenge and behead and torture one of theirs?
I vote for the latter. We will do them a favor, so they can meet their maker and find out the devil lied about those virgins.
 

Hoot

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Squawker said:
How can you equate how we treat our prisoners with that of the terrorists? We can't expect them to treat our soldiers with respect no matter what we do. They chop off heads and if our soldier steps on some ones friggin toes, it is torture. :rolleyes:
I vote for the latter. We will do them a favor, so they can meet their maker and find out the devil lied about those virgins.
The United States should not be torturing prisoners...period.

In WWII enemy soldiers surrendered to US troops because they knew they'd be treated fairly...and at least fed...something they probably weren't getting on the front lines.

In the first Gulf War, Iraqi soldiers surrendered to US troops.

What if the U.S. becomes mixed up in a conventional war in the future? Do you think the enemy will want to surrender if they know they face torture? Will any terrorist surrender if they know they face torture?

No...they will fight to the death, thus further risking extensive U.S. casualties.

I know it's difficult when beheadings are going on, but if the U.S. treats its prisoners fairly, we could regain some of the compassion, respect and trust of the world.

The United States is supposed to be the moral beacon of freedom. We'd better start getting our act together.
 

Batman

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Hoot said:
Will any terrorist surrender if they know they face torture?
No...they will fight to the death
They will fight to the death regardless of facing torture or not.

Suppose- Nuke is going to go off in New York in one hour. We caught the guy who knows where it is and how to disarm it. What is acceptable to getting the info in time?
 

Pacridge

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Batman said:
They will fight to the death regardless of facing torture or not.

Suppose- Nuke is going to go off in New York in one hour. We caught the guy who knows where it is and how to disarm it. What is acceptable to getting the info in time?
I think that may be a good point. However we've ended up on a slipperly slope. Did any of the prisoners abused have knowledge of any nukes? Were they suspected of having any such knowledge? From everything I've read regarding the scandal it was wide spread and many of these prisoners had little or no intel to begin with, then when tortured they end up making stuff up just to get the torture to stop. Recently I read a recent article where three British and Australian national were tortured. They all knew nothing and ended up inventing intel to get the torture to stop. Basically telling their captors what they thought they wanted to hear. That’s one of the biggest problems with intel gleaned from torture- it turns out to be faulty. So we end up chasing non-existent rabbits down holes that also don’t exist.

I think it’s a major problem when you begin torturing low level suspects such as most of the Abu Ghraib prisoners were/are. For the most part these men are not the master minds behind any terrorist plots. People like Ramzi Binalshibh, who reportedly had a major role in planning the 9-11 attacks, are not held or questioned by low level enlisted Army personnel at places such Abu Ghraib. The idea that you can scoop some guy up off the street, hook a car battery up to his nut sack and he tells you how to disarm a nuclear bomb that’s due to go off in Central Park can make a good Hollywood movie plot. But it isn’t reality.
 

GarzaUK

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Squawker said:
How can you equate how we treat our prisoners with that of the terrorists? We can't expect them to treat our soldiers with respect no matter what we do. They chop off heads and if our soldier steps on some ones friggin toes, it is torture. :rolleyes:
I vote for the latter. We will do them a favor, so they can meet their maker and find out the devil lied about those virgins.
It's quite nice to see the christain spirit hasn't left you Americans or your sense of humanity or decency.

I refuse to lower myself to that of a terrorist.

Like Pacridge says when someone is torturing you, you will say anything to make it stop, anything could be lies.
 
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