Hilzoy on Obama’s Affirmative Obligation re: Torture

What Hilzoy said: Some facts for Obama to consider.

25 Responses to “Hilzoy on Obama’s Affirmative Obligation re: Torture”

  1. Steve Says:

    That’s exactly right. Although Obama’s promises to obey the law with regard to torture and indefinite detention are admirable. Positive steps need to be taken to hold those responsible for violating some of our most important laws need to be taken.

    If there are no penalties for breaking the law, is such a law enforceable?

  2. shcb Says:

    Here is you problem. If you dig down the through the links in JBC’s link you will eventually find the exceptions page of this UN resolution. In it you will find many of the countries took exception to this resolution, most are just housekeeping. Things like the US maintaining our right to use capital punishment. The United States has a bunch of them, one in particular more narrowly defines torture. I’m not a lawyer of course but it looks like there is enough wiggle room to justify the use of the techniques we authorized.

    Now this would be the most sensationalized trail in history, a sitting president putting his predecessor on trial only to find out he did nothing illegal. Imagine if in the middle of that trial the enemy got lucky and pulled off another attack. It wouldn’t even have to be that big an attack, say the hijacking of a cruise ship with 15 or 20 passengers killed, a school bombing, forty second graders burned to death, a truck bomb in Manhattan, dirty or otherwise. Can you imagine the political backlash if you were prosecuting the man that kept the country safe for keeping it safe at the same time a city were burning ? You can wish all you like but I think more practical political minds will win out.

  3. NorthernLite Says:

    That’s kind of like how the Republicans were going after Clinton for getting a bjob, all the while Bin Laden was planning 9/11. I see your point.

  4. shcb Says:

    they were actually going after him for lying in a court of law but let’s not let facts get in the way here. You could also spin that that Clinton was getting a bj (actually he was playing golf) when Bin Laden’s haed was offered on a silver platter.

  5. shcb Says:

    how exactly is congress going to go after Bin Laden, issue a subpoena?

  6. shcb Says:

    But we’re getting off topic

  7. NorthernLite Says:

    Congress was distracting the president over a BJ. Also, it was Bush who was on vacation 3 months prior to 9/11, when he also received a memo titled, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike the United States (August 2001)”.

    Now, back to the topic, if you’re all done being scared about hijacked cruise ships and terrorists blowing up the moon.

    I think Bush and his associates should be investigated and charged if they broke the law, just like every other American. Especially on the torture file.

  8. NorthernLite Says:

    And in case you’re wondering what I’m up to, I’ll tell you. Bush has been runinng around trying to define his legacy for the past few weeks. There has been a pact by progressives to keep reminding everyone what this idiot did over the last 8 years. If you pay close attention, you can see it everywhere.

    We will not foget. Nor will we let others foget.

  9. shcb Says:

    Then by all means go for it. On the matter of torture and whether they broke the law, I think it is close enough that you won’t have much of chance getting anything to stick. Regarding this article, the author is citing the text of the resolution and not including the exceptions even though links exist to them in his article. From what I have read both sides can make valid arguments. This isn’t an open and shut case as you think it is, but then you suffer from Bush derangement syndrome so you can’t see this rationally. The question then becomes is it smart politically and I personally don’t think it is worth the risk but hey I would love to have the D’s try it, but when they don’t just understand they are just doing what is prudent.

  10. NorthernLite Says:

    Not investigating possible crimes against humanity becuase “our country is going through a difficult time” is not a very good argument, in my opinion.

    But I do hear what you’re saying. Just one more thing we disagree on :)

  11. knarlyknight Says:

    Huffindon Post writes:
    “Robert Creamer: History will record that George W. Bush made one critically important contribution to our country — and to the entire world. He and his administration provided unquestionable proof of the bankruptcy of radical-conservative ideology, and set the stage for a qualitatively different progressive era in American politics. By actually putting into practice the Neo-Conservative theories of pre-emptive war and unilateralism, George W. Bush demonstrated their failure more persuasively than could the most articulate progressive critic.

  12. shcb Says:

    well, you guys own it all, I guess we’ll see

  13. knarlyknight Says:

    what the hell does that mean?

  14. shcb Says:

    What I mean is that whenever one side wins it all there is someone out there that thinks the body politic has finally come to their senses and are embracing that pundit’s philosophy wholeheartedly when in actuality a very small minority of the most uninformed voters had a brain fart that day. People grew tired of the war, a war 70 or 80 percent of them supported shortly after 911, but the success of defeating the enemy over there, the objective of those 70 or 80 percent a few years ago turned sour in their stomachs as time passed. This isn’t uncommon, many times success breeds complacency.

    This person seems to think the vast majority of Americans now believe the left is correct in its philosophy, well, you own it all, the presidency, the senate, the house. In a few months or a couple years you may own the Supremes, the appeals courts may be expanded to give an artificial boost there too, we’ll see about that. So you own it all, there are no excuses, there is no cover, no rock to hide under, no boogy man to point to. Now reality sets in. Obama won’t be able to deliver his campaign promises because they were unreasonable and this person from Huffington will be mad as hell. Unions are really pushing for card check, there are adds on TV for it like it were an election year. It will be passed because that is one coalition that WILL be served. if Obama vetoes it his career is over, if he signs it soon the public will realize they have voted people in with their sacred secret ballot the just took that away from them, and the Republicans will be there pointing that out in two and four years. Union membership will go up either forcing business overseas making the economy worse or they will be paying more for stuff. Remember all it takes is the turning a very few percent of voters for yet another sea change.

    And that is just one little piece of legislation among thousands, not to mention the ever present threat of an enemy attack. If that happens comparisons will be drawn, this didn’t happen when Republicans were in charge, why did we let those guys go in Gitmo? We could have stopped this if the Patriot act hadn’t been repealed, you know how it works.

    So enjoy your day in the sun, clouds are in the forecast. But this is your chance, if your ideology is so great maybe The Messiah can part them like Moses parting the Red Sea.

  15. NorthernLite Says:

    I bet you were the type of kid that lost all his marbles, then went home and cried to mom to make her get them back for you. The election was over months ago and you still seem like you can’t accept it.

    You’re in for a long eight years, you need to come to terms with the fact that the world is changing. It’s moving to the… left. Ack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. shcb Says:

    Oh I’ve accepted the fact that the US is turning to the left but other parts of the world seem to be turning to the right, Canada for instance, and the US has turned to the left before, and back to the right, remember Reagan?

    Only once did I send my mom to get my marbles, I traded two prize pigeons for a model airplane with visions of me at the end of the those strings doing loops with my shining plane, when I got it home I found it was no more than a sack of balsa wood, no motor, no instructions, nothing. So my mom marched down to the kid’s house and with his mother there tried to get him to give me my birds back, the kid said a deal was a deal and the kid’s mother backed him up. So my mom came back to the house and said “a deal is a deal, let this be a lesson”. I used that wood for school projects and such for years and every time I did I was a little disgusted and yet a little proud that I had learned a deal is a deal.

    I have no hard feelings for Obama, I’m not crying that the election was stolen or that he lied to get into office, he won fair and square, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it and it doesn’t mean I won’t speak my mind. Just as you did for the last eight years.

  17. knarlyknight Says:

    8 yrs in 8 minutes – a lot to fix: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtnE4C9Gv5U

  18. NorthernLite Says:

    Wow. Just… wow. I mean I knew it was bad, but when 8 years is condensed into 8 minutes, it really kind of hits you hard. What a terrible, terrible leader.

    Less than one day to go and he’s gone forever! Well, maybe not forever. I still look forward to seeing him in a courtroom wearing an orange jump suit.

  19. NorthernLite Says:

    Oh, and just to quickly debunk shcb’s assertion that Canada is “moving to the right”…

    165 of our parliamentary seats are held by a left, left-of-centre or extremely leftist party. 143 are held by the Conservative Party (down there this party would be known as the Democratic Party) :)

    Our “left” vote is split between 4 parties (Liberal (77), NDP (37), Green/Ind (2) , Bloc Quebecois (49)).

  20. shcb Says:

    but which way has it been trending? I think I remember a discussion you guys had bemoaning a right turn

  21. knarlyknight Says:

    That was then, this is now. Plus I think you misinterpreted: generally the bemoaning is that the conservatives get to speak for Canada as the governing party when in fact they represent a minorty of voters.

    The right vs. left “trend” has been volatile. Since December when the Liberals replaced their leader with the more charismatic Ignatieff, and a feasible working alliance of parties against the conservatives was formed we may have a strong trend away from the conservatives – I’d like to see a poll, but none have been published recently (or at least I can’t find any) . We will get yet another election call next week if the government collapses which it probably will if if the new conservative budget contains any conservative idealogy at all.

    So the Canadian conservatives hold the reigns of power but are forced to act more like the chauffeur while the other parties plot our course.

  22. NorthernLite Says:

    It’s been pretty much dealocked at this level since 2004. However, the Liberal Party just got themsleves a shiny new leader, very strong out of the gate so far.

    The next election will tell a lot. I’ll keep you posted.

  23. knarlyknight Says:

    what he said.

  24. knarlyknight Says:

    Torture? So what… http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20090117/EDIT02/901170330

  25. knarlyknight Says:


    New poll – recent trend in Canada has been a shifting toward Liberals:


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