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View Diary: An Executive Order Allowing for Indefinite Detention ? (311 comments)

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  •  Less than lethal. (7+ / 0-)

    It's an interesting moral concept.  What it argues is that since the state has the right to kill, as in warfare against terrorists, any behavior that's "less than lethal" is permitted as an "included defense"--i.e. justified under the laws of war.  Ditto for torture.

    It's all a logical consequence of our commitment to "capital punishment."  If killing in cold blood is legal, then anything less than lethal is, ipso facto, moral/legal.

    It's difficult to maintain that deprivation of rights is the essence of crime, if the deprivation of human rights is the norm. There's a reason why the U.S. has not ratified even the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the ERA is in limbo.  Humans are in a lower category than property--always have been.

    The conservative mind relies mainly on what is plain to see.

    by hannah on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 10:09:21 AM PST

    •  Yes, the norm (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hannah, Chacounne

      Please give a thought to Pfc. Bradley Manning when you read this 2009 New Yorker article on the norm of long-term solitary confinement that began with how we treated our own incarcerated citizens and which includes how we now ignore the Geneva Conventions:

      [In 2008] both the Republican and the Democratic Presidential candidates came out firmly for banning torture and closing the facility in Guantánamo Bay, where hundreds of prisoners have been held in years-long isolation. Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain, however, addressed the question of whether prolonged solitary confinement is torture. For a Presidential candidate, no less than for the prison commissioner, this would have been political suicide. The simple truth is that public sentiment in America is the reason that solitary confinement has exploded in this country, even as other Western nations have taken steps to reduce it. This is the dark side of American exceptionalism. With little concern or demurral, we have consigned tens of thousands of our own citizens to conditions that horrified our highest court a century ago. Our willingness to discard these standards for American prisoners made it easy to discard the Geneva Conventions prohibiting similar treatment of foreign prisoners of war, to the detriment of America’s moral stature in the world. In much the same way that a previous generation of Americans countenanced legalized segregation, ours has countenanced legalized torture. And there is no clearer manifestation of this than our routine use of solitary confinement—on our own people, in our own communities, in a supermax prison, for example, that is a thirty-minute drive from my door.

      I distinctly recall a diary not too long ago about Manning's treatment at Quantico, and I distinctly remember people saying solitary confinement isn't so bad, what's the fuss, you're making a big deal over this, it's not like it's Abu Ghraib. How can you have a civil discussion about human rights with people like that? With people who are inherently blind to the existence of human rights because violations of human rights are just normal and mundane to them and therefore there's tolerance and countenance for such violations to the extent they are treated almost as civic virtue to be defended from any criticism?

      (-8.50, -7.64) "Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal', must necessarily be 'inferior'." - Hans Asperger

      by croyal on Wed Dec 22, 2010 at 12:49:42 PM PST

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