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View Diary: Panetta Tells CIA Torturers They Won't Face Charges w/ Poll (49 comments)

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  •  Torture is not on par with 'gas showers' (1+ / 0-)
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    vc2

    Just saying. They were told it was legal. Could they believe that? Who knows, but had they been leading people to mass executions, there would be no grey area.

    [Conservatives are] engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy. That is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -JKG

    by You know me man on Thu Mar 05, 2009 at 04:13:55 PM PST

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    •  But where is the line? (4+ / 0-)

      Can just following orders be a legitimate defense for some crimes against humanity(and international law), but not enough for others? The slope doesn't get any slipperier than that.

    •  i have to agree with you (0+ / 0-)

      its very very different from a "just following orders" defense and why i agree with the admins stance on this.

      When DOJ, the attorney general, the white house counsel, your bosses and other sundry legal entities tell you that a practice is LEGAL, and you are not a historian or an attorney yourself in international law then it is not just a viable defense but in some ways necessary.

      Before I get jumped on, i say necessary because some can and imo rightfully say the electric chair is torture, that solitary confinement for years on end is torture etc. and at any time the government itself could say it is torture and outlaw the practice.  Waterboarding and some other practices are to me different kettles of fish but that doesn't make the premise different.  If the government and agency you work for has decreed something as legal, to punish those who carry it out not only is not fair, it is expecting soldiers to have xray vision into the law and how it will be viewed in the future but also have ramifications for many things most of us would say should not be considered punishable.

      It isn't a question of what "we" think on the left, or what "they" think on the right should be obvious. More complicated than that.  For example in saudi arabia it is legal to stone a woman to death for wearing a bathing suit.  Doesn't make it less barbaric but since it is legal the answer is to change the law, not arrest those who carry out the sentence.  That is why many things that we consider abhorrent are not dealt with by international courts. There would not be enough jails to keep all the interrogaters or executioners or public in.

      the problem is the higher ups, those who said it was legal

      Thats it. im a green dog democrat.

      by vc2 on Thu Mar 05, 2009 at 05:05:29 PM PST

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      •  I think you take my point too far. There are (0+ / 0-)

        certain practices, that a government's okay, is not enough to override your moral obligation to do what is right. Waterboarding is over the line yes, but much less so than stoning. We all know that is wrong, and no matter how many Yoo memos say it's okay, we are obligated not to participate.

        [Conservatives are] engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy. That is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -JKG

        by You know me man on Thu Mar 05, 2009 at 06:21:08 PM PST

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    •  Torture is a Class B war crime. (0+ / 0-)

      Class A crimes were defined as "crimes against peace" (war-mongering and such). Class B crimes included murder or mistreatment of prisoners of war.  The actual gassing of citizens, I think, was classified as Class C "crimes against humanity."  So, in the raw legal terms of Tokyo, torture was deemed worse than gassing per se.  At Tokyo, only the Class A criminals received death penalties.  

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