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  •  Yoo is not a "war criminal" (1+ / 0-)
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    Perhaps he should be, but he has not been charged, let alone indicted.

    You really should be more precise in your language.

    •  really? (7+ / 0-)

      So a person who murders another man, but isn't charged, isn't a murderer?  A person who robs a bank, but isn't charged, isn't a bank robber?

      •  You assume that what you must prove (1+ / 0-)
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        Yes, a person who murder's another is an alleged murderer.  A person who robs a bank is a suspect.

        The only way that your belief in War Crimes can be valid is if you believe in the Rule of Law. And the Rule of Law is predicated many things, one very important one which is the accused is innocent until proven guilty.

        You really should be more respectful of that premise. If you are not, then all your calls for War Crimes seem blithe and hallow.

        •  Ha! "hollow" (0+ / 0-)
          •  Innocent before a Court... (0+ / 0-)

            is quite different from innocence in fact.

            A murderer is a murderer from the moment that the victim dies.

            Or does Plubius understand what a fact is ???

            Poor fellow to make a silly law school argument, as though words make fact.

            Angry White Males + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians


            The GOPer Base

            by vets74 on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 01:29:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  if writing and authorizing memos (5+ / 0-)

          that allow the systematic torture of prisoners doesn't make John Yoo a war criminal, then I don't know what does.  Here's Glenn Greenwald, who makes exactly the same point:

          Since the Nuremberg Trials, "war criminals" include not only those who directly apply the criminal violence and other forms of brutality, but also government officials who authorized it and military officials who oversaw it.

          •  And yet again, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NY brit expat, MGross

            those are the allegations that must be proven before a court of law.

            You either accept these rules or you do not.

            Since you do not, then you have no ground on which to speak about War Crimes, because you have no legal basis to speak.  War Criminal is a legal, not a moral, category.

            •  except (2+ / 0-)
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              NY brit expat, dibsa

              the evidence is there.  Unless of course that you deny that John Yoo actually wrote those memos.  Which you shouldn't, because he there's written documentation proving that he wrote them and admitted that Bush and Cheney authorized its actions.

              Besides, that I am calling him a war criminal now does not mean I don't want him to be tried in a court of law.  That he hasn't been tried yet does not mean he isn't a war criminal.

              •  Yes, that is exactly what is means (0+ / 0-)

                Innocent until proven guilty.

                Mr. Yoo is not a war criminal until he is found guilty before a court of law.


                If you do not accept this essential premise to our legal system, you have no right to opine on who is criminal or not.

                •  more Greenwald, from the same article: (4+ / 0-)
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                  PeterHug, aliasalias, lineatus, dibsa

                  John Yoo's Memorandum, as intended, directly led to -- caused -- a whole series of war crimes at both Guantanamo and in Iraq. The reason such a relatively low-level DOJ official was able to issue such influential and extraordinary opinions was because he was working directly with, and at the behest of, the two most important legal officials in the administration: George Bush's White House counsel, Alberto Gonzales, and Dick Cheney's counsel (and current Chief of Staff) David Addington. Together, they deliberately created and authorized a regime of torture and other brutal interrogation methods that are, by all measures, very serious war crimes.

                  •  And yet again (0+ / 0-)

                    Innocent until proven guilty.  None of this proves his guilt.   You can make your case until the cows come home. And it furthers your contention not one bit.

                    •  you can keep saying (2+ / 0-)
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                      PeterHug, dibsa

                      "innocent until proven guilty" all you like, but that doesn't make the case against Yoo any less strong, and it doesn't mean I don't want him formally charged and tried in a court of law to prove what the evidence says.

                      You remember the Nuremberg Trials, right?  If your hang-up is that I shouldn't call John Yoo a war criminal until he's convicted of being one, then perhaps you should also be arguing that the Nazis weren't war criminals who committed serious war crimes until they were actually brought to trial.

                      •  That is actually the case (0+ / 0-)

                        The Nazis were not war criminals until they were indicted.

                        You really should familiarize yourself with this issue of war crimes, as you seem quite passionate about it.  But remember, passion is no substitute for knowledge.

                        •  well, at least you're consistent (0+ / 0-)

                          and I'm glad you want John Yoo to actually be prosecuted and face a criminal trial.  But I'm not going to stop calling him a war criminal when the evidence is as strong as it is, no more than I would have stopped to argue that the Nazis weren't war criminals when the evidence was clearly there that they systematically tortured and murdered millions of people in concentration camps.

                          And also, don't tell me to "familiarize" myself with the issue of war crimes.  I read about it every single day from a variety of sources who have vast legal knowledge and expertise, including Scott Horton, Digby, Brad DeLong, and Greenwald, as I mentioned above.

                          •  Well then read more (0+ / 0-)

                            Because you still don't get it.

                          •  of course (0+ / 0-)

                            and those legal bloggers don't "get it" either.

                            Got it.

                            Cheney can say that he doesn't believe that waterboarding should be a war crime but that doesn't mean it isn't one. And every Justice Department coming along behind him can cover up for his war crime by failing to charge him with it, but that doesn't mean that he didn't confess to signing off on waterboarding on national TV last week-end --- which, again, is a war crime. Therefore, Dick Cheney confessed to a war crime and just because our political system is too weak to prosecute him for it doesn't mean it's a lie to point that out.


                    •  You do have a point - (1+ / 0-)
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                      although public admission of the crime goes a long way towards guilt before trial in my book.

                      And some day in the future, he's going to go on a vacation - let's say to Cozumel, or to the Bahamas.  And he's going to be snatched and put on trial somewhere - Spain? - that will determine whether he's guilty or not.

                      Signatories to the United Nations Convention against Torture have a positive duty to try violations, when the government of the violators has demonstrated that they are unable to bring the offenders to justice.  And that is precisely what the recent DOJ whitewash of Yoo, Addington, and the rest of these bloody fucking bastards, murderers and enablers of torture has done. (not to mince words or anything...)

                  •  How is torture a war crime? (0+ / 0-)

                    The UN Convention Against Torture is not a treaty on the laws of war.  In fact, it only mentions war once, in Article 2, where it merely mentions that a war is not an instant waiver for torture.

                    There could be a Article 3 GC violation, but it only requires humane treatment of those taking no part in hostilities, which aren't the people allegedly tortured.

                    They might be criminals under US law (if convicted) but I don't see how they're war criminals any more than someone who commits securities fraud from an office in the middle of a war zone is a war criminal.

                    •  that is blatantly false (2+ / 0-)
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                      aliasalias, tardis10

                      There could be a Article 3 GC violation, but it only requires humane treatment of those taking no part in hostilities, which aren't the people allegedly tortured.

                      Wrong.  Neither the GC nor The U.N. convention makes any such distinction.  Plus, there have been Afghani citizens under U.S. custody who were completely innocent of all charges but were nonetheless brutally beaten and tortured.  Don't believe me?

                      Lakhdar Boumediene is an Algerian (and Bosnian citizen) who, while living in Bosnia and working for the International Red Crescent, was arrested by the Bosnian government (at the behest of the Bush administration) shortly after 9/11 on charges of plotting to blow up a U.S. and British embassy, but was then quickly cleared by Bosnian courts of any wrongdoing and ordered released.  But as he was about to be released -- in January, 2002 -- he was abducted by the U.S. military inside Bosnia and shipped to Guantanamo, where he remained without charges for the next almost 8 years, and was clearly tortured.


                      When, pursuant to that decision, Boumediene finally had a U.S. court review the accusations against him in November, 2008, a federal judge -- the far right, Bush-43-appointed Richard Leon -- ruled there was no credible evidence to justify his detention (as well as the detention of four other Algerian-Bosnian detainees) and ordered them all released immediately.  In other words, Boumediene spent almost 8 years in a Guantanamo cage, being brutally tortured, despite there being no evidence (as Bosnian courts had already found) that he had done anything wrong at all.


                      Boumediene described being pulled up from under his arms while sitting in a chair with his legs shackled, stretching him. He said that he was forced to run with the camp's guards and if he could not keep up, he was dragged, bloody and bruised.

                      He described what he called the "games" the guards would play after he began a hunger strike, putting his food IV up his nose and poking the hypodermic needle in the wrong part of his arm.

                      "You think that's not torture? What's this? What can you call this? Torture or what?" he said, indicating the scars he bears from tight shackles. "I'm an animal? I'm not a human?"


                      The prisoner, a slight, 22-year-old taxi driver known only as Dilawar, was hauled from his cell at the detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan, at around 2 a.m. to answer questions about a rocket attack on an American base. When he arrived in the interrogation room, an interpreter who was present said, his legs were bouncing uncontrollably in the plastic chair and his hands were numb. He had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days.Mr. Dilawar asked for a drink of water, and one of the two interrogators, Specialist Joshua R. Claus, 21, picked up a large plastic bottle. But first he punched a hole in the bottom, the interpreter said, so as the prisoner fumbled weakly with the cap, the water poured out over his orange prison scrubs. The soldier then grabbed the bottle back and began squirting the water forcefully into Mr. Dilawar's face.


                      The story of Mr. Dilawar's brutal death at the Bagram Collection Point - and that of another detainee, Habibullah, who died there six days earlier in December 2002 - emerge from a nearly 2,000-page confidential file of the Army's criminal investigation into the case, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times.

                      Like a narrative counterpart to the digital images from Abu Ghraib, the Bagram file depicts young, poorly trained soldiers in repeated incidents of abuse. The harsh treatment, which has resulted in criminal charges against seven soldiers, went well beyond the two deaths.


                      •  To quote Article 3 directly... (0+ / 0-)

                        In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

                        (1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
                        To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

                             (a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
                             (b) taking of hostages;
                             (c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;
                             (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgement pronounced by a    regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

                        (2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.

                        An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.

                        The Parties to the conflict should further endeavor to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.

                        The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.

                        •  funny thing about that (0+ / 0-)

                          is that you forgot to bold this part:

                          including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms

                          When prisoners get transferred to prison, they're no longer on the battlefield.  By definition, when they are captured and put in our custody, they are not taking part in the hostilities, and are therefore awarded the rights conferred by the Geneva Conventions.  For you to argue that there's nothing protecting them from being tortured just means your advocating that torture is okay.

                          •  They're not members of armed forces. (0+ / 0-)

                            The use of "armed forces" in the Geneva conventions is consistent, and not literal.

                            Sadly, the SCOTUS majority completely dodged this issue (in their defense, the government did not raise it) by addressing whether it was a conflict of international character or not.

                            The government pretty much screwed the pooch in Hamdan by making the following assertion:

                            "The court accepted the Executive's assertions that Hamdan was captured in connection with the United States' war with al Qaeda and that that war is distinct from the war with the Taliban in Afghanistan."

                            Thus asserting that Al Qaeda's personel were armed forces party to a conflict.  The SCOTUS didn't end up ruling on that, however.

                            No other clarifying case has shed light on the matter.

            •  You're an idiot (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PeterHug, dibsa

              even if it isn't proven in a court of law.

              Yoo is definitely a war criminal. Along with Bush,Cheney and the rest of the criminal cabal that Obama is allowing to avoid prosecution for war crimes.

              When war profiteering ends America will start winning its wars again.

              by saildude on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 10:39:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Again, no. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              These things must be proven in a court of law before he can be incarcerated for them.  They don't need to be proven in a court of law in order for them to be true.

              Let me ask you this - was Al Capone a murderer, bootlegger, and general crook?  Or was he just a tax dodger, since that's what he was ultimately convicted of.

              Or a more general example - if the cops catch you dealing heroin, but the evidence is thrown out as the result of an unlawful search, are you not still a heroin dealer?  Did your conduct become lawful just because you couldn't be convicted for it?  Of course not.

              There's a difference between committing a crime and being convicted of it.

              Clearly, I need to find a witty sig line.

              by libdevil on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 12:03:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Why are you trying to defend him? (0+ / 0-)

          "Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate accomplishments." - Napoleon Hill

          by dibsa on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 10:34:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I do not defend Yoo (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Nothing I say here is a defense of Yoo.  Yours is an unfair charge.

            •  Unfare to whom? (0+ / 0-)

              To Yoo and the others who justified torture to invade a country that has nothing to do with 9/11? And do you think that when we say that Bush is  guilty of torture is also unfair? Or do you think that rendition and other inhumane policies were fair? Or torturing people by the name of America and the American people was fair to the Americans themselves?

              "Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate accomplishments." - Napoleon Hill

              by dibsa on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 10:45:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Unfair to me (1+ / 0-)
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                You unfairly asserted that I am trying to defend Yoo.

                •  When a rapist say that he raped so and so (0+ / 0-)

                  that makes him a rapist, and a criminal even if his victims did not file a law suit and even if the law enforcement didn't come after him, he is saying it,  admitting it;  hence it  convicts him

                  "Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate accomplishments." - Napoleon Hill

                  by dibsa on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 11:04:02 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I've dealt with the difference between allegation (0+ / 0-)

                    and conviction and the primacy in our legal system in innocent until proven guilty.

                    But all  that is immaterial to your unfair assertion that I try to defend Yoo.

                    I am not.  Nothing I I have written here can be construed as such.  

          •  he is not, he is trying to make a specific (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PeterHug, Plubius

            point that Yoo is innocent until proven guilty under the law of the land; the same law of the land that Yoo has contempt for protects him. He is a suspected war criminal and if no investigation or trial occurs, he will formally remain only suspected. However, he is under investigation in Spain for these crimes exactly; if the investigation yields sufficient evidence for trial (cough, cough) and even if he is not extradited but a trial is held in his absence and he is convicted, then he will officially be a war criminal.

            No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable (Adam Smith, 1776, I, p. 96).

            by NY brit expat on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 10:38:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, he's "not guilty" until he's proven guilty (1+ / 0-)
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              NY brit expat

              it's are real stretch to say he's "innocent" until proven guilty.

              Now that *definitely* falls under the umbrella of being a Yoo apologist . . .

              •  I agree, I am using the formal term ... it is (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PeterHug, Roadbed Guy

                beyond a real stretch, we are trying to leap the grand canyon. :)

                No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable (Adam Smith, 1776, I, p. 96).

                by NY brit expat on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 10:58:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  IMO (IANAL) - the bit that sets him apart (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  NY brit expat

                  and also Cheney for that matter, is that they are freely admitting to conduct that is a war crime, crime against humanity, whatever - they haven't been tried (yet) but that day will come.  Unfortunately not in the United States as far as I can see.  But I think that it's nearly certain that eventually one of these bastards is going to make a mistake and either land themselves somewhere that will extradite them to a country that will try them, or be snatched and rendered (oh, the irony!) to their just deserts.

        •  Um not exactly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SuperBowlXX, dibsa

          One who murders is a murderer.

          One who commits war crimes is a war criminal.

          That's true regardless of whether or not they're ever actually tried for their crimes, or convicted.  There are plenty of guilty people walking the streets.

          Likewise, there are innocent people in jail.  Having been convicted of murder doesn't make an innocent man a murderer; murdering somebody would make him a murderer.  Being convicted just makes him wrongly imprisoned.

          Clearly, I need to find a witty sig line.

          by libdevil on Wed Mar 03, 2010 at 11:55:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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