Skip to comments.What is the law that congress passed regarding torture
Posted on 04/25/2009 8:25:03 AM PDT by airedale
The media and the DemoRats like to bring up the Geneva Conventions when the issue of torture comes up and give its protections for lawful combatants to unlawful combatants. Those that disagree with them point to something that congress passed which defines torture and the legal definition is substantially different than the everyday meaning of the word torture. Does any one know and could post the actual law in question so we can read it. Also when it was passed so we can determine who was in charge in congress when it was passed. I suppose we also should know who sponsored it and who voted for it as well. I know the MSM will never ever provide us with this if the Republicans are right. It will hurt the meme they are using so it would have to be suppressed.
The Geneva conventions outline what are valid military targets. Not how to treat POWs, banning weaponry, or anything like that.
I’ve asked the same question. No one seems to know.
A very large portion of these documents deals with who IS and who IS NOT covered by the Conventions.
If everyone is covered, why doesn't this treaty simply say, “every living human being on the face of this Earth is covered?”
The truth is, when you argue with an informed liberal, for any length of time, they end up saying something like, “Cheney and the neo-cons carved out exceptions—” Blah Blah Blay -—
They KNOW they do not have the law behind them, at least not yet.
They count on an activist judge or some international Court, even though their case, that their was any “crime” is very weak.
In September 2006, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., authored the amendment to the military tribunals bill that would have effectively defined waterboarding as torture and made it subject to Common Article 3 under the Geneva Conventions.
The amendment itself focused on conduct of other countries, but said: “should any United States person to whom the Geneva Conventions apply be subjected to any of the following acts, the United States would consider such act to constitute a punishable offense under common Article 3 ... .”
The amendment listed “forcing the person to be naked, perform sexual acts, or pose in a sexual manner; applying beatings, electric shocks, burns, or other forms of physical pain to the person; waterboarding the person; using dogs on the person; inducing hypothermia or heat injury in the person; conducting a mock execution of the person; and depriving the person of necessary food, water, or medical care.”
The amendment failed to gain the needed 50 votes, failing 46-53. Specter and then-Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island were the only Republicans to vote in favor. Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., was the lone Democrat to oppose the measure.
Can you locate any of this in The US Constitution or The Federalist Papers?
Oh, you haven’t READ The US Constitution, Congressperson??? And Why The H3ll NOT?
Both houses of congress passed a torture bill but it wasn’t enough to beat Bush’s veto.
The Geneva Conventions Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 1949.
And this was in 2006. I noticed right after the 9/11 attacks it seemed even the dims were supportive of what was being implemented to get information. The dims felt the same fear, uncertainty, and resolve against terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11 as we all did. At a later point the dims decided fighting terrorists was not nearly as important as fighting President Bush. As if that wasn’t bad enough- now with the Obama dims in power they think conservative Americans and especially Veterans are more dangerous than muslim extremists. Talk about out of touch with reality.
If there is no law, there is no problem and no reason to keep anything secret.
“To whom the Geneva Conventions Apply” -—
A United States Citizen who joined a terrorist organization, and attacked another country, while NOT wearing a uniform or being attached to any recognized government, would NOT be covered by the Geneva Conventions, and therefore, would NOT have been covered by the Kennedy waterboarding definition, even if Kennedy had gotten his way!
And those out of uniform can be shot as spies.
Those not in uniform are illegal combatants.
The Geneva Conventions spell out what is legal. You must be in uniform to be legal.
Big News! The Terrorists are not signatories to the “Geneva Convention”.
Actually it does talk about prisoners of war and their treatment along with the treatment of civilian non combatants. It defines what’s a combatant, non combatant and unlawful combatant. Each are treated differently. SCOTUS in its infinite wisdom totally changed the meanings of the accords when it comes to unlawful combatants but that’s a different issue.
Obama is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
Obama is helping the enemy train against our methods.
Obama is putting American lives in danger.
Obama is a traitor.
Obama is not an American.
The issue isn’t the Geneva Conventions it’s the law passed by congress that the Republicans are hanging their hats on regarding the definition of torture. If the law is what the former WH and its lawyers claim then there will be some real problems for the Dems who voted for it and any case against them.
If there is no law why the fear of being prosecuted?
There are several problems with the liberal position.
I agree that the Geneva Conventions do not apply.
However, the ignorant members of the far left do not agree with us on that point, so it is important to keep repeating ourselves on this issue:
The Geneva Conventions do NOT apply to terrorists! (At least terrorists do not get the full POW protection granted by the Geneva Conventions).
No it’s not in the constitution or the federalist papers. Never thought it was. What is the law that the Bush WH and its lawyers are hanging their hats on to say what was done wasn’t legally torture. Simple question but a very important answer. It’s one that I’d like to know the answer.
NOBODY was ever charged with “outing” Valarie Plame as a CIA agent. That charge would have been impossible to prove, since political hack Plame’s blowhard husband, Wilson, had already bragged to the whole world about his wife's CIA status, since Plame parked her vehicle in an open CIA parking lot for several years, and since the woman who WROTE the law in question said Plame was not covered.
Prosecution is punishment in and of itself. Even if found innocent, the cost of being prosecuted by the Federal Government is huge.
Libby was prosecuted for conflicting statements about dates and times.
Even with the help of cell phone records and a calendar, I can not tell you everyone I talked to at this time last year. That is, basically, what happened to Libby.
Also, a TRIAL will give our mortal enemies even more intelligence information about our methods.
That would be STUPID!
But a traitor like Obama does not care about the destruction of the United States.
There probably isn’t something they can do under current criminal law if the act is committed in a foreign country by a foreign national. The laws of that country would probably be the ones that applied. But you could sue them but again I’m not sure the US courts would have jurisdiction unless the actions were done by a government and then you’d have to get the permission of the federal government to proceed with your civil lawsuit since it affects foreign relations. There might be a way to sue them, but then how would you collect? How would you serve them with legal papers? Any volunteers to be the process server (other than with a bullet to their head or a hellfire missile hitting where ever they are as a means of serving the papers).
That was a response to the stuff becoming public. I’m looking for the law(s) that the Bush WH hung their hat on originally.
My question is: If someone NOT covered by the United States Constitution, NOT covered by the Geneva Conventions, captured on foreign soil is truly “tortured” -— what United States Law could be brought against any American for such “torture”????
There well may be professional or military punishments, but -— I do not think that any American who actually puts cigarettes out on a terrorists eyeballs, in a foreign country, can be tried in a civilian United States Court, as long as the terrorist is out of uniform when captured, is NOT a US Citizen and is not covered by POW protections.
I did not post a link to the bill, I posted the amendment to the bill that failed.
Remarks by Senator Edward M. Kennedy on Military Tribunals
Mr. President, I send to the desk Amendment No. 5088 and ask for its immediate consideration. I yield myself ten minutes.
Mr. President, in times of war, we have a special obligation to protect those men and women who risk their lives to defend us. This bill fails that duty. By failing to renounce abusive interrogation techniques, this bill inflames an already dangerous world.
But the bill in its present form poses a very specific risk to those who serve our nation without putting on a uniform. The Fourth Geneva Convention offers special protection for our men and women in uniform. But what about those who serve our nation without a uniform? What about our Navy SEALS and other Special Forces? What about our CIA personnel abroad? What about civilian contractors and aid workers?
All of these brave men and women are given legal protection by Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Unfortunately, this administration has recklessly undermined that protection by refusing to take a tough stand in defense of Common Article 3. There has long been consensus that abusive practices like waterboarding and induced hypothermia are forbidden under Common Article 3. And I agree with Senator McCain and others that they continue to be illegal under the present legislation. But this administration has failed to make that fact clear to the world.
Instead, this administration has engaged in a long string of abhorrent practices that have made the world doubt the United States commitment to the Geneva Convention.
There were the horrors at Abu Ghraib, in which photos depicted members of our own armed forces engaging in barbaric practices.
There was the use at our base at Guantanamo techniques so harsh that the FBI and Navy Criminal Investigators objected.
There was the discovery of the infamous Bybee memorandum, in which a high-ranking Justice Department official went so far in justifying torture that even this administration had to eventually reject his conclusions.
There was the administrations admission that they had operated secret prisons and engaged in alternative methods of obtaining informationeven though our Army tells us that such methods simply do not work.
Most recently, the National Security Advisor and others in the administration have refused to answer the simple question of whether the United States considers practices like waterboarding to violate the Geneva Conventions.
The failure of this administration to be clear on issues of torture has weakened the protection of Americans who work or travel abroad. Our enemies may now mistakenly or cynically conclude that the United States no longer stands behind the guarantee of humane treatment set forth in Common Article 3. Such confusion imperils the millions of Americans who work or travel overseas.
Mr. President, this amendment is a straightforward attempt to make clear that Americans around the globe must be afforded the full protections of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. It would require that the State Department notify other countries of our continuing commitment to Common Article 3.
The notification would remind the world of the United States long history of enforcing Common Article 3 to prohibit a wide range of cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment of Americans. It would warn countries that we will aggressively seek to punish any person who subjects an American citizen to treatment that violates Common Article 3.
Of course, such a warning must be clear. This administration has repeatedly told us that clarity is essential so that those in charge of detention and interrogation understand what can and cannot be done. That statement applies with equal force to those in other countries who detain and interrogate Americans. For that reason, the amendment is specific, and adopts the list of abusive practices set forth in the US Army Field Manual on Interrogation. That Manual was adopted by this administration, and this Senate voted 90-9 to require that all Department of Defense personnel adhere to it.
Today, my amendment seeks to ensure that other nations renounce these same abusive practices. They include:
forcing a detainee to be naked, perform sexual acts or pose in a sexual manner;
beatings, electric shock, burns, or other forms of physical pain;
inducing hypothermia or heat injury;
conducting mock executions;
depriving the detainee of necessary food, water or medical care.
I ask my colleagues: Who here is unwilling to demand that other nations refrain from inflicting these types of practices on Americans?
In demanding that other nations refrain from these practices, we will be reaffirming our historic place in the world. After World War II, the United States learned that the Japanese had engaged in cruel interrogation practices that sound all to familiar today. They had forced captive Americans to endure stress positions for hours, sometimes in the nude or while exposed to severe cold. They also deprived Americans of sleep, food and medical treatment. In some cases, Japanese captors forced water into the mouths and noses of their captives to simulate drowning, a technique that we now call waterboarding.
On the basis of those practices, the United States tried and convicted Japanese war criminals, who were sentenced to prison at hard labor.
This kind of international leadership continued through a decade ago, when Congress enacted the War Crimes Act to authorize prosecution of individuals who violate the Geneva Conventions. Like todays amendment, the War Crimes Act was designed to authorize prosecution of individuals who abused Americans. It passed the Senate with unanimous consent.
This amendment should pass by an overwhelming margin as well. It has been made necessary by an administration that has sown confusion about our commitment to the Geneva Conventions. This amendment will serve as a much-needed reminder to our enemies, today and in the future, that the United States will hold them accountable for any mistreatment of Americans.
In the end, I can conceive of only one reason why any Senator would vote against an amendment to protect Americans. It would be out of fear that if we reaffirm our commitment to enforcing Common Article 3, we will be expected to live up to it ourselves. That kind of thinking is enormously mistaken. It should be our great hopenot our great fearthat other nations act as we do. If we cannot live up to the principles we rightfully expect from others, then it is our conductand not our principlesthat must change.
This vote will tell us all we need to know about whether this Republican Congress has become a rubber stamp for this administration.
The proposed amendment would simply tell the world that we will not stand for the abuse of any American anywhere. Similar legislation the War Crimes Act was proposed by a Republican Congressman in 1996, and passed without opposition. Likewise, this Congress passed, 90-9, legislation prohibiting our armed services from using certain practices. All the present amendment would do is tell the world that they cannot use the practices that this Senate has already renounced.
I believe that if every Senator voted his or her own conscience, this measure would pass unanimously. For that reason, I believe a vote against this amendment is a vote of blind loyalty to the party and the President who negotiated this legislation in secret and then had the nerve to tell the United States Senate that it must not add or subtract a word. It would show that this Republican Congress is so focused on providing our President with unlimited authority that it would open the door to tyrants abroad who would claim the same authority over American citizens. I fear not only for Americans, but for this great institution, if this Senate can no longer agree to the simple proposition that the United States will not tolerate the abuse of Americans overseas.
Ah, you’re right. I misspoke, it’s the “banned under the Geneva convention” argument that pisses me off a lot... guess I jumped the gun a bit.
But the reason we have the “Gitmo Problem” is because, like you said, the USSC pulled something outta its ass.
Thanks. They’ve got a pretty good case since the definition is:
” As used in this chapter -
(1) “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under
the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical
or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering
incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his
custody or physical control;
(2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged
mental harm caused by or resulting from -
(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of
severe physical pain or suffering;
(B) the administration or application, or threatened
administration or application, of mind-altering substances or
other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or
(C) the threat of imminent death; or
(D) the threat that another person will imminently be
subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the
administration or application of mind-altering substances or
other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or
(3) “United States” means the several States of the United
States, the District of Columbia, and the commonwealths,
territories, and possessions of the United States.
I see what you are posting but how could a person be brought into a court trial if there was no law that he violated? He would have to be charged with violating some law.
TITLE X--MATTERS RELATING TO DETAINEES
12/30/2005: Became Public Law No: 109-148.
Investigate, ask lots and lots of questions. Trip them up on their answers.
Prosecute for some “derivative crime” like obstruction or lying to prosecutors.
After what happened to Libby, I would advise everyone to STFU!
I would not say a word.
As far as I can tell #35 is the latest. Someone may find something newer though.
This is the wrong act since it was passed long after the incidents in question.
But the incidents in question occured long before 2005 that’s why the earlier laws were the ones the White House used in 2001-2004. Laws can’t be made retroactive in the US.
But it’s what we’re operating under now, as far as I can tell.
Not lecturing you and I appreciated your finding the code section in effect before 2005. You also keep bringing up the 2005 law which made substantial changes and it’s not applicable to my question. If the incidents in question occurred after 2005 then it would be which is my point.
You're wrong. Read the statute:
18 U.S.C. § 2340A. TortureNote that torture is defined in section 2340 as "an act committed by a person acting under the color of law [...]"
(a) Offense.-- Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.
(b) Jurisdiction.-- There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if--
(1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or
(2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.
(c) Conspiracy.-- A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.
“As used in this chapter
(1) torture means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control; “
Waterboarding those NOT covered by Geneva Conventions and NOT covered by the US Constitution (non citizens) was LAWFULLY SANCTIONED by the United States Government!
Any pain or suffering these animals felt was “incidental” to the task of GAINING INFORMATION WHICH SAVED AMERICAN LIVES!
Sandy, wimps like you will force Presidents, in the future, to issue Presidential Pardons to all all CIA and intelligence agents, on a regular basis.
We MUST do what we did.
Cowardice on this issue will likely mean that radical Islam will kill all of us, or in slave all of us, very soon.
You think we put cigarettes out on people's eyeballs? Because that's what your question was about, remember?
Waterboarding those NOT covered by Geneva Conventions and NOT covered by the US Constitution (non citizens) was LAWFULLY SANCTIONED by the United States Government!
So what? The Geneva Conventions have nothing to do with the torture statute, which was written to enforce the torture treaty we signed only about twenty years ago. And btw, "under color of law" and "lawful" do not mean the same thing. You're begging the question.
If someone planted a nuclear device, ready for detonation, and was later captured, I do think that the President has the duty, right and ability to “sanction” whatever it takes to get information vital to protect life, thousands of lives. The pain is not the point, the pain is “incidental” to gaining vital information. The President, who can “sanction” the launch of a nuclear missile, which will kill millions, SURELY has the right and duty and ability to “sanction” a cigarette in an eyeball, to PREVENT the death of millions!
YES Geneva is important, primarily because the brain dead leftists bring it up constantly, and treaty obligations are FAR more important than any act of Congress.
The Geneva Conventions do NOT give POW protection to terrorists!
The statute that YOU rely upon also has very broad exceptions.
That would seem to make the Clinton administration guilty of torture, since Clinton handed terrorists over to foreign countries, had THEM do the dirty work, with REAL torture, and then Clinton benefited from the information that was obtained!
That is the very definition of “under color of law” lol.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.