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Thread: Torture in India

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    Torture in India

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7474656.stm

    Seems to be a huge problem for the Indian government yet we never seem to hear much about it. We are more likely to hear about the Iraqi prisoners who were forced to wear underwear on top of their head and get outranged at that.

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    Frenzied Member oceanebelle's Avatar
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    Re: Torture in India

    It takes about 25-30 years to prosecute somebody. And by that time many of the accused are dead, or possibly the relatives that have filed a complaint are dead.
    That system alone is rather harsh.

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    Re: Torture in India

    I think it's a state of affairs rather than a system. They must have a heavily bogged down bureaucratic and legislative system in place which causes such delays.

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    Re: Torture in India

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanith
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7474656.stm

    Seems to be a huge problem for the Indian government yet we never seem to hear much about it. We are more likely to hear about the Iraqi prisoners who were forced to wear underwear on top of their head and get outranged at that.

    X
    Oh, so now you are only judging your own morality compared to the worst offenders.

    So basically you are saying...."As long as we're not the worst human rights offenders in the world, then it's okay."

    Sorry, but you have a government that tortures people and advocates/encourages other nations to torture people. How do you not find that dispicable and repulsive?... or have you completely given up your moral values out of fear and cowardice....?
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    Re: Torture in India

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanith
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7474656.stm

    Seems to be a huge problem for the Indian government yet we never seem to hear much about it. We are more likely to hear about the Iraqi prisoners who were forced to wear underwear on top of their head and get outranged at that.

    X
    Why don't you just search the BBC for Guantanamo Bay? I am sure you will find some interesting stuff about your own government

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    Re: Torture in India

    The prison system in alot of developing countries needs improvement/change. As the country develops, so does everything else
    OrdinaryGuy

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    Re: Torture in India

    Quote Originally Posted by honeybee
    Why don't you just search the BBC for Guantanamo Bay? I am sure you will find some interesting stuff about your own government

    .
    Hmmm I cant seem to find anything about anyone being tortured to death at Gitmo. Perhaps you have some links I might have missed?

    From what I have heard and read about the prisoners at Gitmo are treated rather well. Well at least 5000 people were not tortured to death there like they were in India anyway. Perhaps the UN should apply sanctions to India and the world community can call for boycotts until Indian atrocities of such magnitude are stopped?

    If you are outraged at Gitmo you must be livid at the Indian government.

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    Re: Torture in India

    I'm perfectly capable of being livid at both, thanks.

    The price of Gitmo and Abu Graib is that America as a nation (and, by extension and however unfairly, Americans as individuals) really don't have the moral high ground left to criticise other governments' human rights abuses.

    That's a real shame. You are the single best placed nation to make our world a better place. You have the resources. More importantly, you have the will and sense of moral purpose required to influence the world for the better and intervene where it counts. Sadly, since you were so ready to abandon the principles of democracy and human rights, you no longer have the platform. What chaps my ass most of all is that my government were so damn keen to follow suit that the platform has been removed from under my feet too.

    I was really surprised to read that India had this problem. India is often held up in the West (and I imangine around Asia) as a paragon of what an ex-subject nation can do with it's independence given good governance. Usually that achievement is viewed as an economic one but I've always imagined it went hand in hand with decent treatment of it's citizens.
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    Re: Torture in India

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanith
    From what I have heard and read about the prisoners at Gitmo are treated rather well.


    So, that young lad (what was he twelve? who was crying "please kill me now" on the video was just joshing then..... Yes, you should be proud of torturing untried prisoners.....).
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    Re: Torture in India

    Yes, you should be proud of torturing untried prisoners.....
    Yeah, come on. You really should give 'em a trial before you torture 'em. Fair's fair.
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    Re: Torture in India

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter
    Yeah, come on. You really should give 'em a trial before you torture 'em. Fair's fair.
    I would have less of a problem with the torture if they had each had a fair trial and had been found guilty. If people elect to live their lives in a criminal fashion, then I have no sympathy for the fate that awaits them (when they are found guilty). As it is, the one defining thing about all the prisoners of Gitmo (both current and released) is that they have not had a chance to confront their accusers (apart from the one American prisoner, who had his day in court relatively promptly....). The US government is acting exactly like the terrorists it condems i.e. Kidnapping people and torturing them.

    As it is, holding people without trial is plain and simple wrong. Torturing those same people is disgusting.
    Last edited by SurfDemon; Jul 18th, 2008 at 11:39 AM.
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    Re: Torture in India

    Quote Originally Posted by SurfDemon


    So, that young lad (what was he twelve? who was crying "please kill me now" on the video was just joshing then..... Yes, you should be proud of torturing untried prisoners.....).
    You mean the one that threw a grenade at US soldiers and killed one? Yea, poor kid.
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    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: Torture in India

    No, he means the one that's accused of throwing a grenade at American soldiers.
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    Re: Torture in India

    Talk about head in the sand.

    That kid should have been shot many, many times in the field after throwing the grenade that killed one and blinded another, then firing his pistol at troops before being captured, medically treated, and imprisoned. The fact that he is able to sit in a cell and cry for his mommy (daddy was a terrorist killed in Pakistan) is a credit to U.S. troops.
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    Re: Torture in India

    Oh my lord, do you actually believe that?

    So, during the war, if any American, killed any Iraqi, for whatever reason, then it would be okay for the enemy to kidnap that American, hold them indefinetly without trial and torture them.....? I'm pretty sure you would be the first to decry those people as terrorists... yet, when it's America doing it, it's all okay?
    Last edited by SurfDemon; Jul 19th, 2008 at 05:45 PM.
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    Re: Torture in India

    Thanks to the way USA handles prisoners the US no longer has any right to pressure China over human right abuses.

    I can't wait to see the hypocritical TV journalists at the Beijing olympics talk about Asia's well documented abuses. It will be laughable in a very unfortunate way.
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    Re: Torture in India

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter
    America as a nation (and, by extension and however unfairly, Americans as individuals) really don't have the moral high ground left to criticise other governments' human rights abuses.
    Quote Originally Posted by Foxer
    the US no longer has any right to pressure China over human right abuses.
    That's funny, as the exact same things were being said about America long, long before anyone ever heard of Guantanamo Bay.

    Personally I believe the biggest mistake America made (besides making Gitmo public knowledge) was granting Constitutional rights to people who are willing to do anything to kill us all without requiring the corresponding responsibilities that go along with those rights.

    There are many people who will never be satisfied no matter what America does. I sometimes wonder why we even bother to try anymore...

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    Re: Torture in India

    Quote Originally Posted by homer13j
    Personally I believe the biggest mistake America made (besides making Gitmo public knowledge) was granting Constitutional rights to people who are willing to do anything to kill us all without requiring the corresponding responsibilities that go along with those rights.
    Ah, but here's the whole point, who decides who gets human rights and who doesn't? Is it a court of law?... well almost all of the Gitmo prisoners (including the ones who have been released) never got their day in court.... so, I guess it's down to the army commander in charge. So do you honestly believe that it's okay that army commanders can decide what prisoners of war get treated like slaves and which ones get to keep their human rights... is that the kind of military you want representing your country?

    As for your comment about it being a mistake making Gitmo public knowledge... would you prefer a government where enemies of the government get "vanished"... spooky but that's been done lots of times before, and people don't really have a high respect for that type of government either.

    It astounds me that one of our allies actually believes in torture and imprisonment without trial.... but what really disgusts me is the fact that a large portion of it's citizens seem to think that it is acceptable behaviour. They are no better than the terrorist scum they claim to be imprisoning...
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    Re: Torture in India

    Quote Originally Posted by homer13j
    There are many people who will never be satisfied no matter what America does. I sometimes wonder why we even bother to try anymore...
    Er, once again. Torture, imprisonment without trial.... do you really think the world should turn a blind eye to such things????
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    Lively Member homer13j's Avatar
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    Re: Torture in India

    Quote Originally Posted by SurfDemon
    Ah, but here's the whole point, who decides who gets human rights and who doesn't? Is it a court of law?...
    These things used to be decided by a treaty called the Geneva Convention. It was an agreed upon set of rules for wartime engagement and the treatment of prisoners of war. It was the terrorists who have expressed utter contempt for these rules, not the United States. Yet these same terrorists are given a pass and never, ever held responsible for their actions. Only the United States is ever taken to task for not keeping our end of an agreement that our enemies have a blatant disregard for.

    Quote Originally Posted by SurfDemon
    would you prefer a government where enemies of the government get "vanished"...
    Nobody has "vanished" - we know exactly where our enemies are. I consider this to be a good thing. If American citizens were being locked up without trial I would have a problem with this. But we are talking about terrorists who's sole purpose in life is to kill as many infidels as possible. Women, children, all are legitamate targets in their eyes. Insisting that people like these should "get their day in court" assumes that they can be rehabilitated and become productive members of a society that they want to destroy...

    You may have sympathy for these people, but I do not.

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    Hyperactive Member Foxer's Avatar
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    Re: Torture in India

    Quote Originally Posted by homer13j
    ... Only the United States is ever taken to task for not keeping our end of an agreement that our enemies have a blatant disregard for.
    Do you really want the US military to think and operate on the same level as lawless terrorists? Do you want the military to be operating in the same mindspace as those that murder and torture indiscriminately?

    Surely the purpose of the US military is to install law and order? To uphold righteousness and to set an example for the rest of the world? Surely you want your military to act in a manner such the US citizens could be proud of?

    The US is fighting terrorism with terrorism. How is that a step forward? Lets all abandon all rules and rights. Let every world military lock anyone up for as long as they feel. Let the US lead us to that fantastic new world order. I can't wait for China to say "They imprison people on a whim so why can't we?" Hurrah - what a joyous state that would be.

    All the government had to do was grant a fair trial in a timely manner but that was too much of a stretch for some reason. Shame.

    There are US military personel risking and giving their lives everyday. I begrudge them nothing and wish them a safe and speedy return home.
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    Re: Torture in India

    Quote Originally Posted by Foxer
    All the government had to do was grant a fair trial
    And then what? Do you want us to give them a few years in a US prison so they can count the days until they finally regain the freedom to indiscriminately kill and maim more non-Muslim infidels? This is what it sounds like to me...

    You cannot have rights without responsibilities. You want us to grant these terrorists all the rights of US citizenship without bothering with the corresponding responsibilities required of American citizens who enjoy those rights.

    Pity the poor, sadistic murderers all you want, but I firmly believe the world is a safer place as long as these animals remain locked up. They'll get their 72 virgins eventually - we are just making sure they don't intentionally snuff out a bunch of innocent lives in the process.

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    Re: Torture in India

    How does not giving them a fair trial change that?

    The punishment that is given (based on the trial) could presumably be equivalent to what they are getting anyway - so why not have a trial?

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    Re: Torture in India

    That's funny, as the exact same things were being said about America long, long before anyone ever heard of Guantanamo Bay.
    There are many people who will never be satisfied no matter what America does. I sometimes wonder why we even bother to try anymore...
    True and true... but it used to be extremists and nutters who were saying that. The rest of us just thought it was funny to poke fun at the fact you can't pronounce cofee and that guys carry purses in America (I wish I had that gay smiley to hand right now ). The vast mass of us might occasionally have been a bit jealous and we might have disagreed with the occasional policy but ultimately we respected you. Now we fear you.

    That might sound melodramatic but it really isn't - I, as a middle class, white, christian (well, nominally christian, it's what I write on forms anyway), Englishman actually fear you. Particularly when you extradite our StarTrek Geeks for hacking and our bankers for embezzlement instead of allowing them to be tried in this country - that tells me that one day your eye may turn on me and, if it does, I have, in recent years, had an extremely disturbing vision of the justice system I might find myself being tried (or not) under.

    Now, if I feel that way, imagine how a perfectly respectable muslim living in, for example, Pakistan, must feel about you at the moment; they must be absolutely terrified! If I were them I probably would be reaching for the nearest weapon of specifically localised destruction right now and doing all I could to put a stop to you. American foreign policy and the siorts of opinions you're expressing has been the single greatest recruiting sergeant for anti Americanism the BinLadens of this workld could possibly have hoped for. Terrorists aren't the greatest threat to America right now, America is.

    ...decided by a treaty called the Geneva Convention... It was the terrorists who have expressed utter contempt for these rules, not the United States
    No, it was the United States. You declared that the prisoners at Guantanamo wouldn't be covered by the convention or any other human rights law. At the same time you decided they weren't covered by your domestic law either. They therefore had no rights at all. This was probably the single most Orwellian piece of double speak I have encountered in my entire life and was condemned by Amensty International along with just about every other significant human rights organisation in the world. Even your own supreme court has raised serious questions about it (I seem to remember they declared it illegal but I'm a little hazy and can't bothered to look it up right now so take that with a pinch of salt). Not to mention that the vast majority of people who were originally locked up in Guantanamo have ultimately been found to be innocent and released with no compensation for their wrongful and illegal imprisonment.

    I find it utterly ridiculous that the US has undertaken it's recent actions in the name of democracy while suspending human rights law and the presumption of innocence, two of the most basic principles of democracy. The US has, throughout most of it's history, had a very real claim to being the most democratic nation in the world. No more, I'm afraid.
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    Lively Member homer13j's Avatar
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    Re: Torture in India

    Quote Originally Posted by si_the_geek
    The punishment that is given (based on the trial) could presumably be equivalent to what they are getting anyway - so why not have a trial?
    In America prison sentences are not handed down arbitrarily. We have sentencing guidlines and laws against excessive punishment - laws meant to protect American citizens - not enemy soldiers.

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter
    guys carry purses in America (I wish I had that gay smiley to hand right now ).
    Only in New York, San Fransisco, and a city we affectionately refer to as "Flakewood." Most places in America a guy carrying a purse would be looked at as a total freak.

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter
    No, it was the United States. You declared that the prisoners at Guantanamo wouldn't be covered by the convention or any other human rights law.
    You conveniently edited out my comment about the Geneva Convention's rules of engagement - the treaty specifically says the Geneva Convention does not apply if you are captured in battle without a uniform or purposefully targeting civilians. You should read the document - its very interesting.

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    Re: Torture in India

    Quote Originally Posted by homer13j
    In America prison sentences are not handed down arbitrarily. We have sentencing guidlines and laws against excessive punishment - laws meant to protect American citizens - not enemy soldiers.
    It's the same in many countries, and what I had expected there too.. I don't know whether or not apt sentences could be introduced, but even if not it doesn't mean that it is OK to not have a trial.

    There are various other options rather than US law, such as a proper war crimes trial, or using the law of a different country (perhaps the one where they supposedly committed the offence), or something else.

    Refusing a trial doesn't make sense to me, and seems to be against the principles that your country is trying to spread.

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    Re: Torture in India

    homer13j, what worries me about this is that you repeatedly refer to the people held in Gitmo as terrorists, despite the following facts:
    - Most of them have been released
    - Almost none of them have had a trial to find them guilty of terrorism

    You have become judge and jury for these people, without giving them a chance to argue their case. It's not about sympathy for these people (hell, for all I know half of them may be terrorists), it's about America acting like the terrorists that they are fighting against (kidnapping and torture) and having lost the moral high ground with countries like China and North Korea. Really, are you proud that you're country is now compared to those two nations.....?

    I also find it hard to believe that if someone was truelly guilty of terrorism (with solid proof), then they couldn't be locked up for life (or death) Timothy McVeigh? So I don't really buy that argument.

    If there isn't sufficient evidence to prove that they are terrorists, then doesn't that seem a bit wrong/racist for you to assume that they are....

    As a total aside: Do you consider the local militia in the American war of Independence to be terrorists... because arresting people for attacking US soldiers during a war doesn't seem very terrorist to me..... it seems, well, like war.... oh, sorry, boo hoo, the Taliban didn't buy everyone who wanted to defend their country a nice shiney new uniform... is that what you are really locking people up indefinately for?
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    Re: Torture in India

    I applaud Homer for defending his viewpoint so consistently.

    It's clear his opinion can't be swayed.
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    Re: Torture in India

    It seems to me that what particularly gets at the rest of us in the world about the justice system meted out by the United States is that it just isn't fair. For a start there is the blatant discrimination between American citizens and everybody else; if you're American you get to quote your Constitutional Rights but everyone else can just get put on the shelf. That's OK, insofar as it's the system of justice that you operate, but a fundamental of a system of justice is that it must be seen to be fair. That this allows certain people in positions of power to feel that they can then behave exactly as they like towards people without an American passport is denigrating to your whole society. Even if the rules don't say you should give foreigners the same rights as under your Constitution, you should do so anyway if you gave a fig about what anyone else thought. Unfortunately, you don't and that lack of respect for the rest of the world is pretty apparent, and only becomes more so as every instance of American justice is displayed.
    In any case, a fundamental part of any justice system is that the outcome of the trial forms the decision of whether somebody is innocent or guilty. It is the examination of evidence in a public arena with adequate representation such that both sides can express their point of view clearly. Assuming that somebody with a beard and brown skin called Mohammed is a terrorist because some high-school dropout of a customs thug says he is surely was not what the founding fathers intended? And they had to deal with immigrants and terrorists as well...
    I dread to think what will happen when I try to get into the US with a Pakistani visa in my passport...

    On a slightly different point, George Bush coined the term "War on Terror" to try to swing the country behind him in his choice of policies. It's not a bad idea in theory; it's well documented that war is a unifying factor for the people of nations in troubled times. Unfortunately it's not quite so clear how you go to war with something that doesn't really exist. Ultimately, America is not "at war" with Al-Qaeda, or Osama, or terrorism. Acts of terrorism on American soil by individuals or groups are cases of mass-murder, which can be dealt with under criminal legislation. Only if such individuals are working on behalf of foreign governments can it be described as an act of war. If they are, then such captured agents need to be treated under the Geneva convention (the exemptions mentioned earlier are intended to apply to spies, who necessarily don't carry ID). If not, and their treatment to date suggests that the US acknowledges that they aren't, then all this sabre-rattling in foreign countries is surely the opposite course to that which you would wish to take? And on top of that, there is already legislation in place to determine how to deal with such cases. To accuse somebody of mass murder or conspiracy to mass murder is a dreadful thing, but seems to be taken far too lightly by the present administration who are secure in the knowledge that since they don't care what everybody else thinks, it doesn't need to be a problem.
    Last edited by zaza; Jul 23rd, 2008 at 04:20 AM.
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    Re: Torture in India

    Quote Originally Posted by Foxer
    It's clear his opinion can't be swayed.
    No more than yours...

    Did you guys honestly think you could sway my opinion?

    Keep in mind I grew up in a city totally infested with leftist political types and spent most of my 42 years living in cities (Cleveland, Chicago, Youngstown) under complete and total control of far left-wing Democrats and/or the mob - which are quite often one in the same these days.

    I'm just glad nobody felt the need to resort to insults and name-calling (at least this time). A very refreshing change of pace from the usual discussions I have with those less conservative (translation: almost everyone) than me.

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    Re: Torture in India

    Quote Originally Posted by homer13j
    No more than yours...

    Did you guys honestly think you could sway my opinion?
    Not really, but hey, I'm stuck in an airport with nothing better to do....


    Quote Originally Posted by homer13j
    Keep in mind I grew up in a city totally infested with leftist political types and spent most of my 42 years living in cities (Cleveland, Chicago, Youngstown) under complete and total control of far left-wing Democrats and/or the mob - which are quite often one in the same these days.
    So, it's leftist to expect that everyone gets a fair trial?

    The absurdity of this whole situation is that if these people had been shot on the battlefield, there would be little problem. War is hell and all of that.

    The problem arises when, once they have been captured and are defenseless, to torture and imprison such people in your control, shows a basic inhumanity.

    If a dog attacks me and I punch it, then no one would see any harm in that. If I then tie the dog up and torture it, then I would be the kind of evil person who doesn't deserve to be in the human race.

    Now, part of your argument is that these people don't deserve to be in the human race... but without a fair and open trial how can you say that?

    I noted that Bin Laden's driver is up on charges for war crimes... funny, but when I look up war crimes, there's a section on torture.....

    Way to go U.S.A. you're right up there with China.
    "I'd rather have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy!"

  32. #32
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Torture in India

    Nobody who has been around here for more than a month or so is in any doubt where I stand on this issue, so I will add just these points that are somewhat new to the discussion:

    Many of the people at Gitmo are there because warlords turned them in for cash bounties. We did no vetting of the process. If you were willing to pay me thousands to denounce a variety of people who would then vanish with no questions asked, I could make a tidy profit. However, you aren't talking about just anybody, you are talking about warlords, who are far more motivated than most people to make that tidy profit, as money would be directly translated into power for them.

    Locking up people for years on THAT kind of evidence is about as reprehensible behavior as anybody can think up...unless you also torture them. To say that they are being treated rather well is total crap. We locked people up on no evidence for years. Even if we locked them into cells that were nice and clean, we locked them up in cells...in Cuba, where it is hotter than hell for 13 months out of the year. Indefinite detention on no evidence is unjustifiable by all but the greatest coward (there is a chance that they might hurt me, so I'll just ignore all decency and lock them up in a hell hole just in case).

    The second part was the recently released Justice Department memo to the CIA which delivered the opinion that any means of interrogation was acceptable as long as it could be plausibly argued that the interrogator didn't desire to harm the individual being interrogated. That granted the right to use any form of torture as long as the torturer was able to say with a straight face that they didn't actually want to hurt anybody.

    These actions are shameful on the part of any government. They stink of cowardice, since it is only very fearful people who would go to those lengths, and only very fearful people who would support those actions. It's not the reasoned response of a stable individual, but the panicky overreaction of someone striking out blindly in fear.

    Fear is a big motivator, but it almost never results in anything good or noble. If we want to be a moral society, we can never do it by hiding under the bed and striking out at all who wander by, nor can we do it by going out and threatening random people with violence just in case they might have thought about doing harm to us. If you want to be moral, you have to act moral, and live with the consequences (since this world kills everybody who does that, even though they are revered later, the consequences are not insignificant).
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