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ABUSE CRISIS: ACLU Sues Rumsfeld over U.S. Policies

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posted on Mar, 1 2005 @ 05:05 PM
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The American Civil Liberties Union, along with Human Rights First and certain military leaders, filed suit in US federal court today, claiming that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld "bears direct responsibility" for the abuse and torture of detainees in American custody.
 



www.humanrightsfirst.org
“Secretary Rumsfeld bears direct and ultimate responsibility for this descent into horror by personally authorizing unlawful interrogation techniques and by abdicating his legal duty to stop torture,” said Lucas Guttentag, lead counsel in the lawsuit and director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “He gives lip service to being responsible but has not been held accountable for his actions. This lawsuit puts the blame where it belongs, on the Secretary of Defense.”

“Since Abu Ghraib, we have vigorously campaigned for an independent commission to investigate U.S. policies that have led to torture and cruel treatment of detainees. These calls have gone unanswered by the administration and Congress, and today many of the illegal polices remain in place,” said Michael Posner, Executive Director of Human Rights First. “We believed the United States could correct its policy without resort to the courts. In bringing this action today, we reluctantly conclude that we were wrong.”

According to the complaint, Secretary Rumsfeld “authorized an abandonment of our nation’s inviolable and deep-rooted prohibition against torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees in U.S. military custody.” The complaint further charges that brutal and illegal interrogation techniques were personally approved by Secretary Rumsfeld in December 2002. Those techniques included the use of “stress positions,” 20-hour interrogations, the removal of clothing, the use of dogs, isolation, and sensory deprivation.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


It is unacceptable for US forces to abuse and torture POWs. But do the actions stated in this lawsuit truly constitute torture? These types of psychological punishments, while unsavory, are hardly in the same league with the physical abuses suffered by American POWs in SE Asia, for example.


Related News Links:
www.aclu.org

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Torture in Iraq still routine, report says
Rumsfeld cancels trip to Germany after accusations
More Made Public!!!!

[edit on 1-3-2005 by Banshee]




posted on Mar, 1 2005 @ 06:15 PM
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Originally posted by sandge


It is unacceptable for US forces to abuse and torture POWs. But do the actions stated in this lawsuit truly constitute torture? These types of psychological punishments, while unsavory....





The torture went well beyond psychological:

" Those techniques included the use of “stress positions,” 20-hour interrogations, the removal of clothing, the use of dogs, isolation, and sensory deprivation."


Torture is illegal - we fought two World Wars to create humane and humanitarian laws for ourselves and others.

...But we should throw out all our international laws and treaties because we have a few bullies in power who think they're beyond the law? I don't think so.


.

[edit on 1-3-2005 by soficrow]



posted on Mar, 1 2005 @ 06:46 PM
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" Those techniques included the use of “stress positions,” 20-hour interrogations, the removal of clothing, the use of dogs, isolation, and sensory deprivation."


Wow.
Other than the dog act, reminds me of boot camp and Pararescue training.




seekerof

[edit on 1-3-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Mar, 1 2005 @ 07:01 PM
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Another example of over zealous lawyers. They lost the only chance they had in Germany. What makes them think they will win in US courts?



posted on Mar, 1 2005 @ 07:54 PM
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The torture went well beyond psychological:

" Those techniques included the use of “stress positions,” 20-hour interrogations, the removal of clothing, the use of dogs, isolation, and sensory deprivation."


Torture is illegal - we fought two World Wars to create humane and humanitarian laws for ourselves and others.

...But we should through out all our international laws and treaties because we have a few bullies in power who think they're beyond the law? I don't think so.


.

Let me tell you something friend. If I was trying to get information from some terrorist to keep a cell of the scum bags from blowing up your family - I would cut off his ears and if that didn't work - he would be minus a few other body parts. But it being your family - you wouldn't want me to get the information to save your family's life, would you?

It's people who think like you and the ACLU that's destroying the military and most everything else that's related to America's heritage.

The ACLU has been on a major crusade to destroy Christianity in America, promote filth under "freedom of speech and expression," destroy the military and of course, vigorously defend the homosexual culture of death.

On Jan. 10, 1963, Congressman Albert S. Herlong Jr., D-Fla., read a list of 45 communist goals into the Congressional Record. Below are the communist goals being implemented by the ACLU in their quest to destroy America's culture and traditions:

www.worldnetdaily.com...

ACLU fulfilling communist agenda, their objective is the destruction of the liberties they purport to protect. Since it's founding in 1920 by Roger Baldwin, the ACLU has has but one goal in mind, to bring communism to America, and to slowly over many years implement it into the American cultre.

www.freerepublic.com...

www.angelfire.com...

Anything that can be brought up against Bush and his administration is being tried by lawyers and every other socialist and communist organizations in America - including a few liberal socialist in Washington who actually represent a segment of population.

For the life of me I can't understand how anyone-who is trying to kill you-should be treated like they are on holiday. I haven't read a post by you objecting the be-headings. If you posted one, reference it.

Chief



posted on Mar, 1 2005 @ 08:10 PM
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Well is about time that somebody shows our elected leaders that is ramifications for the decisions they make, they are not omnipotent and they are not beyond the law.

Regardless of what some may think, we are a civilized nation and we are at the center stage in the world, regardless of some may think, we can not be the leaders of the “Free world” and comint acts that only third world countries will do specially terrorist and radicals.

Yes the leaders of our country are not beyond the law.



posted on Mar, 1 2005 @ 08:47 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
we can not be the leaders of the “Free world” and comint acts that only third world countries will do specially terrorist and radicals.


Only third world countries? You gotta be kidding right? You talk about this stuff like you read it in a book.
Last I saw China has been questioned mulitiple times for human rights violations. What do you think that means? You think China is third world? Liston I live in a third world country and I think many people that do so would be seriously offended by such a statement. This stuff goes on around the world way more then you or I will ever know. It just so happens America is on top and everyone watches her. This case against Rumsfeld will never hold.



posted on Mar, 1 2005 @ 08:53 PM
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Originally posted by Cebu
This case against Rumsfeld will never hold.



Why not, if he is found to be the person who authorized practices that are against the law of the land?

In the judicial process he will not find protection under Executive Orders attempting to remove the Iraq "war" from consideration under international law, nor under the stupid opinions expressed to the Bush administration and the Pentagon by now new Attorney General Gonzales.

But at least the paper trail will surface, and responsibility will be centered upon the criminals where it ought to be centered.

[edit on 1-3-2005 by MaskedAvatar]



posted on Mar, 1 2005 @ 08:54 PM
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Originally posted by Cebu
Only third world countries? You gotta be kidding right? You talk about this stuff like you read it in a book.
Last I saw China has been questioned mulitiple times for human rights violations. What do you think that means?


Spare me the outrage, obviously you missed the sarcasm.



posted on Mar, 1 2005 @ 09:45 PM
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Originally posted by Seekerof
Other than the dog act, reminds me of boot camp and Pararescue training.


Nicely stated, Seek. No one wants our armed forces to be torturing enemy combatants, but the procedures named in this lawsuit are a far cry from "torture." Unpleasant, yes; unseemly, perhaps. But as I've stated in other threads: if depriving a suspected terrorist of sleep for a few days can help prevent another 9/11, then so be it. "The needs of the many," and all that.


Originally posted by shots
What makes them think they will win in US courts?


I don't imagine these groups expect to actually win the lawsuit; it's more of a symbolic act.



posted on Mar, 1 2005 @ 10:04 PM
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Originally posted by sandge

Originally posted by Seekerof
Other than the dog act, reminds me of boot camp and Pararescue training.


Nicely stated, Seek. No one wants our armed forces to be torturing enemy combatants, but the procedures named in this lawsuit are a far cry from "torture." Unpleasant, yes; unseemly, perhaps.





Then WHY are foot soldiers going to prison for these very crimes?

You are supporting one law for the troops, and another for management? Good grief!



.



posted on Mar, 1 2005 @ 10:39 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
Then WHY are foot soldiers going to prison for these very crimes?


The soldiers court martialed over the mess at Abu Ghraib (I assume these are the "foot soldiers" to which you're referring?) were charged with conspiracy, dereliction of duty, assault, and indecent acts: not exactly "these very crimes."


You are supporting one law for the troops, and another for management?


Hardly. I'm a member of the ACLU; that's how I knew about the lawsuit. I don't personally think that soldiers should face court martial for following orders; I think the responsibility should lie with their superiors who *gave* those orders. However, this lawsuit frankly is the ACLU's now-typical Quixotic effort to "right the wrongs" that have been committed. No one seriously thinks that Rumsfeld will be found guilty of war crimes; what kind of precedent would *that* set?



Good grief!


Indeed.



posted on Mar, 1 2005 @ 10:53 PM
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The bad thing about all this is the bad influence in the moral of our troops.

While our enlisted gets burn, none of the higher up ranks gets punished for any wrongs.

That is a slap to the enlisted personnel. Somebody gave the order from high above and followed the change of command, but only the lower ranks got the blame.

That is a shame.

Even went the law sue will get nowhere at least the issue will not die down and the pressure will keep on building.



posted on Mar, 1 2005 @ 11:02 PM
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I question why torture is continuing in the face of the issues with bringing cases involving torture to trial and the inaccurate information that has been revealed via torture. There have never been formal studies, but there are many old-school FBI agents who believe that torture will more often yield junk and false confessions.

Consider the case of Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, the first high-ranking al Qaeda captured after 9/11. The FBI advised interrogating him using traditional techniques and had established a rapport with him, with the goal securing testimony against Zacarias Moussaoui and Richard Reid. The process was just starting when the CIA, anxious for a rapid confession, took over interrogation and rendered him from Afghanistan to Egypt, where he was tortured. The torture led to a false confession that Colin Powell used as part of his testimony to the U.N. Security Council linking Iraq to al Qaeda. Libi later recanted and it was proven that there was no link---leaving the U.S. with egg on its face. Libi has since disappeared and will most likely never be available to testify at the Moussaoui trial--not that you would want a prisoner who has been tortured on the witness stand running his mouth about how he is nearly drowned three times a week and sexually assaulted... and not that Moussaoui will ever see a courtroom...

In another instance, 3 British detainees at Guantanamo Bay confessed during torture sessions to appearing in a blurry video of a meeting with Osama bin Laden--however British officials later proved that these men were living in Britain at the time the video was made and these prisoners were released.

Maher Arar, the innocent Canadian citizen abducted by the CIA and rendered to Jordan and Syria also confessed to crimes he didn't commit while he was being tortured. He was proven innocent and later released.

Torture is effective at getting prisoners to talk--but most of what is revealed is useless. Uzbekistan has particularly brutal techniques--boiling body parts to secure confessions, but it is widely known in the intelligence community that information obtained this way is "rubbish."

And then you have the issue that any suspect that has been tortured can never be tried and convicted of any crimes. Suspects detained because of information collected via torture or who will call other suspects that are detained and being tortured as witnesses at their trial will never be tried or convicted either. Is this really getting us anywhere?

www.newyorker.com...

The U.S. government should answer for the torture of innocents, as well as "cruel and unusual punishment" of criminals and denial of due process. It appears that the interrigation techniques used at Guantanamo have resulted in deaths of some prisoners--that sounds a little more invasive that sensory deprivation and removal of clothing.

And then there is the practice of rendition of "enemy combatants" to countries that endorse brutal torture, such as Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia, is clearly beyond the pale. As demonstrated by the Jose Padilla case, enemy combatants can be U.S. citizens who can be held indefinitely without being charged and denied the Constitutional rights guaranteed every U.S. citizen-- just at the governments whim. Innocent until proven guilty.... even if he is guilty, now that his rights have been trampled on the prosecutions job with be much more difficult.

Democracy is surely on the march-- all over the Constitution. That is why the ACLU is pressing this case.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 05:51 AM
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Ya know ...

I probably have a jaded view of what America is and stands for. I grew up on John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Lash LaRue and the like. I expect my country to stand for right and do it within the confines of what it is trying to put out on the rest of the world.

I agree that getting the information is paramount and necessary, as I don't want Americans I do not know, much less my family, involved in another tragedy. However, if we are going to be the light of democracy, and freedom, then we have to show that it works. Otherwise, we are only a caricature and ought to sit down, shut up and let the rest of the world do its own thing.

If we are trying to make the world a better place by eliminating the bad guys then being a bad guy just like them makes no sense. If it's for the oil, then let's take it and run. But sending mixed signals and "do as I say, not as I do" doesn't really cut it.

Rumsfeld is scary. He is above the law, as many folks appear to be who are in the current administration, or ancillary to it.

There are many problems involving ethics and morality in our political society, and it is about time, if it's not too late, to take the government back and remind them all, all the way to the top, that they work for us and not we for them.


I don't hate Bush, but he has proven that you don't have to be a particularly brilliant person to have a vision, goal, and be President. Average people, such as myself, or you, could run the country ... If we do it with the common good of the people in mind, and not just the big money dawgs.

Let's take it back. Make the politicians get off their overpaid butts and get back to work. Save the future for our kids, grandkids, and great grandkids.

I guess the Rumsfeld, in my mind, is a single symptom of a much larger, nefarious, issue.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 07:06 AM
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-------------------------------------
-----------------------------------

"Let me tell you something friend. If I was trying to get information from some terrorist to keep a cell of the scum bags from blowing up your family - I would cut off his ears and if that didn't work - he would be minus a few other body parts. But it being your family - you wouldn't want me to get the information to save your family's life, would you? "
--------------------
--------------------


and gee, what if, after you have degraded the person to just a torsal, head and mouth, and then find out he had nothing to do with it....just what kind of injustice would you have accomplished?


--------------------
--------------------

"It's people who think like you and the ACLU that's destroying the military and most everything else that's related to America's heritage.

The ACLU has been on a major crusade to destroy Christianity in America, promote filth under "freedom of speech and expression," destroy the military and of course, vigorously defend the homosexual culture of death.

-----------------------------------
----------------------------------



there's many in the military, and retired military that have spoken out against the idea that we shouldn't be abiding by the geneva convention, even if we don't give them that status....

we just might have SOME of these personal now sitting in jailcells, for just following orders that were passed down from the top. the fact that they are sitting in jails tells me that the acts were illegal. The question is....were they following orders like some of them claimed, and if so, where did they originate at?
nothing will do more to destroy our military that have someone in the chain of command issuing illegal orders, insisting that they be followed, but then, not accepting the responsibility for the actions when they are discovered!

-------------
The ACLU has been on a major crusade to destroy Christianity
------------


It seems to me that some are chosing to interpret the christian religion in such a way that it directly collides with our constitution.
It is our constitution that says that there should be due process of law, is it not? Speedy trial, so one isn't sitting in a prison cell forever being held on bogus charges that he doesn't know enough as to what they are, let alone being given a chance to defend his innocence.
doesn't it also give the Court system the responsibility of hashing out the facts and determining the guilt or innocence or an individual, usually by a trial by jury? Not to mention the responsibility of interpreting the constitution and it's intent.
And, doesn't that constitution seem to say that we are all created equal, and endowed with the same rights....life, liberty, the persuit of happiness?
can't that be interpreted to mean that our GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE TREATING ALL PEOPLE IN ABOUT THE SAME MANNER, WITH NO PREFERENCES OR DISCRIMINATIONS?
And, isn't there also something in there saying we should honor the treaties that have been signed in our name by our elected presidents?


I'm sorry, but it seems to me, that SOME CHRISTIANS want preferential treatment here....if not their religion made into our laws....... and they are willing to tear down the constitution to get it.



[edit on 2-3-2005 by dawnstar]



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 08:41 AM
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Originally posted by dawnstar


there's many in the military, and retired military that have spoken out against the idea that we shouldn't be abiding by the geneva convention, even if we don't give them that status....

we just might have SOME of these personal now sitting in jailcells, for just following orders that were passed down from the top. the fact that they are sitting in jails tells me that the acts were illegal. The question is....were they following orders like some of them claimed, and if so, where did they originate at?
nothing will do more to destroy our military that have someone in the chain of command issuing illegal orders, insisting that they be followed, but then, not accepting the responsibility for the actions when they are discovered!


It seems to me that some are chosing to interpret the christian religion in such a way that it directly collides with our constitution.
It is our constitution that says that there should be due process of law, is it not? Speedy trial, so one isn't sitting in a prison cell forever being held on bogus charges that he doesn't know enough as to what they are, let alone being given a chance to defend his innocence.
doesn't it also give the Court system the responsibility of hashing out the facts and determining the guilt or innocence or an individual, usually by a trial by jury? Not to mention the responsibility of interpreting the constitution and it's intent.
And, doesn't that constitution seem to say that we are all created equal, and endowed with the same rights....life, liberty, the persuit of happiness?
can't that be interpreted to mean that our GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE TREATING ALL PEOPLE IN ABOUT THE SAME MANNER, WITH NO PREFERENCES OR DISCRIMINATIONS?
And, isn't there also something in there saying we should honor the treaties that have been signed in our name by our elected presidents?


I'm sorry, but it seems to me, that SOME CHRISTIANS want preferential treatment here....if not their religion made into our laws....... and they are willing to tear down the constitution to get it.



[edit on 2-3-2005 by dawnstar]


I don't know how to reply to your ramblings. Pick a topic and stay with it. I will say.... The first amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." The words: "separation", "church", and "state" do not even appear in the first amendment. The ACLU wants you to think the words are there.

Chief



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 09:03 AM
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the term "separation of church and state" has been used to express the idea that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." as long as I can remember.....this is the way it was taught to me, way back in the early 60's, before the "radical leftest" removed prayer from the schools even.
What I think it means is that our government, which is formed by the people, for the people....should be structuring their laws, and deciding what is "moral" according to the consensus of the people.....not according to any particular religous beliefs, nor can they force you (or try to) to believe in any particular religous doctrine or creed....and well, they can't tell you to beleive any particular beleif system, or force you to act in a way in which you believe to be immoral.


if you don't understand the rest of the post, I don't know what to tell you....maybe try reading it again.

arar.essortment.com...

[edit on 2-3-2005 by dawnstar]

[edit on 2-3-2005 by dawnstar]



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 09:26 AM
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I agree dawntar, some “terrorists” would rather die than to given away information that is how much they believe in their cause. And “others” if they are innocent will said anything and sign anything just to stop the pain.

It’s a difference “terrorist” and conditioned to die anyway.

Torture or terrorism has the same roots, to prove a point or to enjoy the feeling that the torturer holds the victims life in his hands and to make sure they know about it all the time.

Our administration punishes others for violations of the same issues that it violate itself but the master minder goes unpunished..

I agree dawnstar, all US citizens had the right under the constitution to do process but our government wants to take that away from Jose Padilla.

Religious fundamentalist will love to shred our constitution for their bible laws, and they are working hard to rob the US citizens of their civil rights and constitutional rights in order to control the masses in the name of their God and Jesus but I will like somebody to show me where in the bible it said that god or Jesus wanted torture and the take over of the world and to commit atrocities in his name, since when God or Jesus wants to run for office.

W555hc you missed dawnstar whole post point of view in your rant.



posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 09:28 AM
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The argument of "It's ok to torture them, they were terrorists" is spoken by those who just are not intellectually curious. There were very few "terrorists" being tortured in Abu Gharib. By the Army's own admission, the majority were innocent Iraqi's caught up in round-ups or imprisoned for petty crimes. Some were turned in by their neighbours for money (those who refused to give in to extortion). So can we please stop to "terrorist" charade and admit GOSH that the US was wrong and made a mistake?

Want to torture Iraqis? Let's accuse someone of a crime, then maybe a trial, then we can talk about it.



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