I don't much care what any government calls a war. If you have tanks, mines, guns and soldiers trying to kill eachother I call it war.
Doesn't a war imply that two rival governments are fighting each other? What rival government is the U.S. fighting in the war on terror?
The U.S. Civil War was a rebellion against constitutional government. It was not a conflict between two legitimate political entities. And since it was only a rebellion the U.S. Supreme Court later ruled that the U.S. military had no jurisdiction over U.S. civilian citizens. Normal legal due process in civilian courts had to be followed.
But the war on terror is not (usually) against U.S. citizens. But constitutionally it is still a law-enforcement operation. The closest parallel outlined in the Constitution would be piracy or an offence against the law of nations. The President has the power as commander-in-chief to deploy the military to enforce federal law. But this does not mean that the people the military captures are without constitutional due process rights.
I think Gitmo outlived it usefulness when the Soviet Union collapsed. There is something to be said for trials free of counter demonstrators or possible bombings but no one seems to want the guys held at Gitmo or our nuclear waste.
Hey BC, does Great Bear or Great Slave have an island we could borrow?
Fake out: Senators confused over bin Laden photos
By Kelly O'Donnell and Libby Leist
Not one U.S. Senator has told NBC News that they have seen the official Osama bin Laden death photo. Many, who attended the CIA Director Leon Panetta briefings, say they were not shown in those sessions. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein says no senators have seen the photos. Feinstein adds she believes a fake has circulated.
Here's the confusion: Three senators -- Sens. Scott Brown (R-MA), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), all Republicans on the Armed Services Committee, said they had seen a picture of the deceased bin Laden, but now are backing off.
Brown's office is backtracking and says the photo he referred to was not authentic. Brown agrees with President Obama and opposes the release.
Chambliss says he would make a judgment after he sees the picture but is concerned about the impact of distributing the death picture.
"I was shown a photo by an individual that was represented to be a photo of bin Laden after he'd been shot," Chambliss said. "It appeared to be an accurate photo. It was not an official photo."
Ayotte said she was shown a photo by another senator on an electronic device. Ayotte said she believed the photo depicted a deceased bin Laden. Now, her office says she is not sure if the image she was shown is legitimate.
"I was shown a photo," Ayotte said. "I don't know whether its authentic. It appeared obviously to look like Osama bin laden but I can't verify whether its authentic or not."
Ayotte differs from the president and supports the release of the official death photo. She is the former attorney general of her home state and her husband Joe Daley is an Iraq war veteran.
NBC's Chuck Todd reported on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams that, according to multiple administration sources, "No senator has been shown a photo."
Under the United Nations Torture Convention of 1984, torture involves intentional infliction of pain, by a public official, to obtain information.
The full definition of torture in the convention is: "Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity."
This definition excludes "pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions", which seems designed to permit the death penalty.
Torture is also an offence under English law. The International Criminal Court Act 2001 similarly defines torture as "the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, upon a person in the custody or under the control of the accused; except that torture shall not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to, lawful sanctions".
The Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture defines torture more broadly. It includes the "use of methods upon a person intended to obliterate the personality of the victim or to diminish his physical or mental capacities, even if they do not cause physical pain or mental anguish".
By Joshua Rozenberg 12:01AM GMT 09 Dec 2005
Torture is not acceptable, seven law lords agreed yesterday as Britain's highest court unanimously allowed an appeal on behalf of 10 suspected terrorists who were detained in the months after September 11.
They challenged their detention on the grounds that evidence against them might have been obtained by torture, carried out abroad by agents of a foreign state.
Lord Bingham said English common law had "regarded torture and its fruits with abhorrence for over 500 years, and that abhorrence is now shared by over 140 countries which have acceded to the Torture Convention".
As a result of yesterday's ruling, the cases of suspects still in detention will have to be reconsidered by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), the anti-terrorist court that hears evidence in the applicant's absence.
Lord Hope said that all a detainee needed to do would be to "point to the fact that the information which is to be used against him may have come from one of the many countries around the world that are alleged to practise torture" - an "easy" test.
If SIAC had reasonable grounds for suspecting that torture has been used in that case, he added, it would have to investigate the facts.
Human rights organisations said this would be sufficient to stop the Government relying on information obtained from states that use torture.
The law lords disagreed over the standard of proof before SIAC. Lord Bingham said that if SIAC thought there was a "real risk" that the evidence had been obtained through torture, it should refuse to admit the evidence.
Lord Nicholls said that anything else would put too high a burden on the detainee. They were outvoted on this.
Lord Hope, speaking for the majority, said SIAC should refuse to admit evidence only if the court could establish, on a balance of probabilities, that the information relied on by the Home Secretary had been obtained through torture.
But campaigners said cases would never get that far. Countries that practised torture would not be willing to share their sources of information with a court, even one that was regarded as secure.
Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, said the judgment would have no bearing on the Government's efforts to combat terrorism.
"The majority of their lordships have ruled that evidence should be admitted to SIAC hearings unless those acting for terrorism suspects can establish - on the balance of probabilities - that the evidence was obtained by torture," he said.
But Liberty, the human rights organisation that recently launched a campaign against torture, pointed out that Lord Hope had said detainees were not required to establish anything: that was a matter for SIAC.
"It would be wholly unrealistic to expect the detainee to prove anything, as he is denied access to so much of the information that is to be used against him," Lord Hope explained.
Contrary to what Mr Clarke said, Liberty added, the only thing required of suspected terrorists was to raise the issue by asking for the point to be considered by SIAC.
Accepting the judgment, Mr Clarke said the Government had always made clear that it did not intend to rely on evidence in SIAC that it knew or believed to have been obtained by torture.
But Liberty pointed out that the Government had fought the case to the House of Lords on the basis that it would be lawful for SIAC to receive evidence that might have been procured by torture.
As Lord Bingham pointed out, the Government's policy of not relying on torture could change at any time.
Shami Chakrabarti, Liberty's director, said the ruling meant the Government had to review all cases in which torture evidence may have been used, refrain from deporting individuals to countries that torture and investigate British involvement in alleged "extra-ordinary rendition" flights.
Dominic Grieve, the shadow attorney general, said the ruling appeared to be "a completely correct restatement of a law that has existed for hundreds of years".
He said: "We always knew that evidence obtained under torture was unable to be used in court. The question was whether such evidence was admissible in a SIAC case. The law lords' ruling echoes our own view that it is not."
Keir Starmer, QC, who was allowed to appear at the hearing on behalf of 14 human rights organisations, said that the ruling was a "great victory for those engaged in the campaign to end torture" and "a landmark judgment, in fact, the leading judgment in the world" on torture.
It would "ensure that the fruits of US rendition will never be admissible in British courts".
Describing the ruling as "momentous", Amnesty International said it had overturned the tacit belief that torture can be condoned under certain circumstances.
"This ruling shreds any vestige of legality with which the Government had attempted to defend a completely unlawful and reprehensible policy, introduced as part of its counter-terrorism measures," said a spokesman.
He called on the Government to drop the "memoranda of understanding on the basis of which it is seeking to deport alleged terror suspects to countries where they are at risk of torture"
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
Soooo...... Does that mean the GOP gets credit for the end result based on the means?
(I'm talking about the intelligence that led to finding osama.)
Even Bush had stopped most torture by 2005. That was the year they got the couriers code name but a name wasn't that useful or it wouldn't have required 6 years and additional intelligence to make the hit. Having Afghan Y Pakistani Intelligence Services point out the compound to the US probably drew drone surveillance.
Obama has not allowed torture nor should any president. We're at war with barbaric tribalist religious fundamentalists. No reason to act like them.
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost