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turnea
QUOTE(Asia Africa Intelligence Wire @ July 24, 2002)
If you think UN peacekeepers are angels read on:[...]The blue helmets put hoods over Somali heads, then tied their legs and hands, and left them in the scorching sun without food or water for God knows how long. 
 
If the International Criminal Court had been there the so-called peacekeepers would have been charged. 
 
Luckily, a clever lawyer said that the UN was not a signatory to the Geneva Convention on war crimes and the soldiers were tried in their respective countries with little coverage of the cases and few got to know about them. 
 
There was also the case of two Belgian paratroopers - privates Claude Baert and Kurt Coelus - who were caught on camera roasting a Somali youth over a flaming brazier. There were also reports that at a UN base in southern Somalia some Belgian troops locked a child in a metal container, in the blazing sun, after he was caught stealing food from the base. The child did not survive the ordeal.


Prisoner abuse and torture are nothing new. We have an excellent contemporary example in the UN peacekeeping mission in Somalia in the mid nineties.
Photo's Reveal Belgian Paratroopers' Abuse
In the most publicized case we have a lot of the same factors.
QUOTE(Maclean's; 3/28/94 @ Vol. 107 Issue 13, p24)
For Canadians, torture is something that happens in Chile, or Iran, or almost anywhere else. The idea that young men with Maple Leaf shoulder patches on their khaki jackets would systematically beat and burn a bound and helpless youth for hours, while others watched and did nothing to protest, violates the country's strongest images of itself. The fact that the torture and death of 16-year-old Shidane Arone on the night of March 16, 1993, was the most serious blemish on Canada's long and much-cherished record of peacekeeping only made it worse.

The story was broken by the media, not the military, there are allegations of coverup and scapegoating. Low-ranking soldiers were the only parties convicted etc...
Commission Report on Somalia Abuse
Sentencing was rather light, Elvin Kyle Brown served one third of his five year sentence for manslaughter and torture. That was the longest sentence. The main soldier in the incident was found unfit to be tried after suffering brain damage from a suicide attempt while in custody.

In comparison Staff Sgt. Ivan "Chip" Frederick of Abu Ghraib infamy was sentenced to eight years Charles Graner caught ten years.
... and they didn't kill anybody...
The details of the murder of Arone and the situation surrounding it put Abu Ghraib to shame.
Questions that arise include:

Are parallels between Somali and Iraqi prisoner abuse useful?

Is even that enough? Is the US too lenient on abuses in the military?


Finding information of these cases was more difficult that it should have been. There were a deluge of stories on Abu Ghraib which leads me to ask
Did the international press unevenly target the US in comparison which the abuses by Canadian, Belgian, and Italian troops in Somalia?

It is often argued that prisoner abuse could not have taken place without sanction from above.

Did the UN sanction or at best overlook torture by peacekeepers in Somalia?

Given the current allegations of sexual abuse in Congo and Liberia are they doing so now?
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Hugo
I think it is about time that we accept 1) the fact that torture will occur in war 2)That torturing the enemy is a morale booster and a stress relief device 3) Torture can prodeuce information key to accomplishing your mission and conclude with 4) The Geneva Convention Treaty is hopelessly idealistic. It's time America withdraws from such a hopelessly idealistic treaty.

Yes, the international press tends to keep a sharper eye on US violations.
turnea
Hugo:
I disagree I think it's time the US and the international community as a whole recognize that torture can happen in anyone's military, that is entirely unacceptable and that addressing the situation with cover-ups helps no one.

Preventative measures, better training, and close supervision can tackle the torture problem, but not if those in charge insist on deceit and denial.
Sevac
I think this is just a topic to draw away attention from the current debate about the trial of those who are responsible for torture in Iraq.

I come to this conclusion, because the report is 8 years old. So the recommendations of the report could have been used to prevent torture and abuse of prisoners during the invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq.

I find Hugos remarks very disturbing, though his recommended action is similar to the neoconservative thinking: "Don't obey treaties that don't help us".

No, it is important to focus on the illegal and horrible acts of American soldiers, and to prevent those acts in the future.
turnea
QUOTE(Sevac @ May 10 2005, 02:54 PM)

I think this is just a topic to draw away attention from the current debate about the trial of those who are responsible for torture in Iraq.

I figured this would be a likely reaction and would like to assure you this is not the case.

Personally, I've started a few threads on Abu Ghraib itself and am more eager than most to see the guilty punished in that case.

As I said in my previous post post I reject torture categorically anyone found participating in it should be imprisoned.

QUOTE(Sevac)

I find Hugos remarks very disturbing, though his recommended action is similar to the neoconservative thinking: "Don't obey treaties that don't help us". 

No, it is important to focus on the illegal and horrible acts of American soldiers, and to prevent those acts in the future.
*


I agree but that doesn't mean that other perspectives on the issue aren't worth consideration.

I did intend to dispel the notion that prisoner abuse in somehow a uniquely American problem, clearly it is not.

The questions address both past and current issues in the US and the larger international community, instead of making assumptions about their purpose how about attempting an answer huh.gif
lederuvdapac
QUOTE(Sevac @ May 10 2005, 03:54 PM)
I think this is just a topic to draw away attention from the current debate about the trial of those who are responsible for torture in Iraq.

I come to this conclusion, because the report is 8 years old. So the recommendations of the report could have been used to prevent torture and abuse of prisoners during the invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq.

I find Hugos remarks very disturbing, though his recommended action is similar to the neoconservative thinking: "Don't obey treaties that don't help us".

No, it is important to focus on the illegal and horrible acts of American soldiers, and to prevent those acts in the future.
*



But what about UN Peacekeepers raping young girls in the Congo and then leaving those young girls with children to survive on their own? Havent heard about it? Well no surprise there. When the US abuses prisoners in Iraq with dogs and sleep deprivation it gets front page news for a month and constant use as a talking point against the government. But UN Peacekeeping forces forcibly rape young women and run a sex trade and you would be lucky to get a mention of it in the New York Times. Everyone was saying how we should listen to the UN and only proceed with UN approval. But with the Oil-for-Food scandal where millions went into Saddams pocket and where our supposed allies sabotaged us and now with the Rape scandal...is this organization truly an example to follow?

The UN has its problems and its coverups just like any other organization. The difference is that people rarely criticize it because they must keep up the charade of legitimacy. Of course there is a double standard with how people view both situations.
Dontreadonme
Did the UN sanction or at best overlook torture by peacekeepers in Somalia?
I'll address this question for now, as I'm trying to escape work........

According to Human Rights Watch in 1995:
QUOTE
In addition to the destruction of large areas of Mogadishu through aerial rocketing and shelling, the troops of several UNOSOM contingents were also found to have tortured or murdered Somali captives. Although Canadian military disciplinary procedures resulted in prosecutions and convictions of troops from their contingent that were responsible for gross abuses, no single UNOSOM office took effective responsibility for ensuring that uniform standards of discipline and accountability were enforced.31 Similarly, as this report goes to press, no single U.N. source has issued a comprehensive balance sheet of complaints made of abusive treatment by UNOSOM troops or of remedies offered in the form of criminal proceedings or compensation. U.S. Defense Department officials contacted by Human Rights Watch in March 1995 did not, in turn, identify any central repository of such information as it concerned the U.S. contingent in Somalia.

Although the body of humanitarian law is binding on the armed forces of all member states of the United Nations, provisions to monitor compliance with these standards by U.N. troops were notoriously absent under UNOSOM and UNITAF. Ironically, the U.N. has made no explicit commitment binding its own forces to observe the terms of humanitarian law, even though its component forces are so bound. Human Rights Watch has stressed that the U.N. itself is obliged to observe these standards in that humanitarian law has assumed the status of customary international law.

Link

The Somali incident, under UN auspices, led to the disbanding of the famed Royal Canadian Parachute Regiment. After numerous violations of the Rules of Engagement, lack of leadership and accountability, the regiment furled it's colors in 1995.
The Somali Inquiry Report is available here
The entire ordeal, to my recollection was not widely covered at all. The only way I knew about it at the time was because of my employment in the US Airborne community, news like that travels fast!
Arguably, the surge of internet news sources and pundits will blow even minor stories wide open these days, I would have expected the Canadian/Somalia incident to garner more attention.

I can divine a certain overlooking of this incident by the UN.
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(Hugo @ May 10 2005, 12:25 PM)
I think it is about time that we accept 1) the fact that torture will occur in war 2)That torturing the enemy is a morale booster and a stress relief device 3) Torture can prodeuce information key to accomplishing your mission and conclude with  4) The Geneva Convention Treaty is hopelessly idealistic. It's time America withdraws from such a hopelessly idealistic treaty.


Well, that approach certainly throws away all concepts of morality. I wonder if torture is a Judeo-Christian value?

You suggest that we accept the fact that torture will occur in war. The frequency of an undesirable event does not justify it. There are tens of thousands of fatal automobile accidents in this country every year. Would you recommend that we just accept that fact and stop trying to prevent these accidents?

You suggest that torturing the enemy is a morale booster and a stress relief device. This would be correct if soldiers were sadistic monsters. Yes, there are some sadistic monsters in any army, but I suspect that, were you to tell an American soldier to his face that he is a sadistic monster, he might beg to differ. Soldiers who are not sadistic monsters would enjoy no morale boost from torture. Moreover, armies forbid torture, rape, and pillage not so much because they are bad but because they lead to breakdowns in discipline. If you give the troops the impression that the rules don't apply anymore, then they won't follow the rules -- even the ones you make. It's an old military truism that the combat troops aren't as nasty to the civilians as the less-disciplined rear-area troops.

Your suggestion that the various Geneva treaties are hopelessly obsolete and should be withdrawn from will surely not gain any support from the military. It is also remarkably short-sighted. Such treaties protect Americans just as much as they protect others. At this moment we may not be engaged in hostilities likely to produce American POWs, but when we do, everybody in the military (and their families) will be much better off with some treaty protections for POWs.
Lesly
QUOTE(turnea @ May 10 2005, 01:50 PM)
The details of the murder of Arone and the situation surrounding it put Abu Ghraib to shame.
*

We can ask the families of nine Afghan detainees who died in U.S. custody and families of the twenty Iraq dead (currently under investigation) if Arone’s murder lifts some of the personal loss and grief. If the dead could speak one Afghan detainee who froze to death three years ago might dispute your claim, but a Ouija board won’t help in his case. He wasn’t important enough to even be logged as a ghost detainee and the CIA case officer who was in charge is not about to throw his promotion away from a sudden bout of guilt.

Finger-pointing other countries only works if it is decided it’s necessary to marginalize the ideals that once made the U.S. the exemplar nation so that the "benefits" from operating Salt Pits are possible.

Are parallels between Somali and Iraqi prisoner abuse useful?
Yes. It could be argued that no matter what a country/organization’s intentions may be placing one armed group in charge of a (relatively speaking) unarmed or inferiorly armed group invariably results in abuse of power.

Is even that enough? Is the U.S. too lenient on abuses in the military?
I think no military eagerly investigates “systemic abuse” allegations. As far as sexual assault goes I wish our military did a better job of reporting figures and leave very little for conjecture.

Did the international press unevenly target the US in comparison which the abuses by Canadian, Belgian, and Italian troops in Somalia?
Somalia was never under the radar. Had the press paid more attention to the atrocities taking place on the ground to begin with the coverage disclosing the abuses by “peace keepers” may’ve been proportionately greater.

It is often argued that prisoner abuse could not have taken place without sanction from above.
It’s possible for prisoner abuse to happen with or without higher up sanctions.

Did the UN sanction or at best overlook torture by peacekeepers in Somali?
Probably overlook for PR’s sake.

Given the current allegations of sexual abuse in Congo and Liberia are they doing so now?
If no one’s looking, why not? It amuses me when people of such and such a country unwaveringly defend the guys with guns because they're wearing said country's uniform (or in the UN's case, an international body) as if cotton and stitching have the power to fundamentally alter the wearer.
carlitoswhey
Are parallels between Somali and Iraqi prisoner abuse useful?

Is even that enough? Is the US too lenient on abuses in the military?

I'm going to say no. While the US has found (and disciplined) many excesses, this happens in every conflict. And the main reason the abuses in Iraq garnered so much attention was due to the sexual nature of the offenses - those pictures were much more interesting than some dry testimony. And even in this vein, the most graphic / sexual abuse appears to be on the watch of the UN, who has really botched it in Haiti, Congo, Liberia, Bosnia... The US example at least seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

In the NY Times, there is a very sad article on Lynndie England. Excerpts indicate that the perversion she initiated with prisoners had absolutely nothing to do with the chain of command. Just someone with a lack of moral compass and bad decision-making.
QUOTE
Just after the 372nd received orders to go to Iraq in February 2003, Private Graner, Private England and another soldier had a last party weekend in Virginia Beach. They drank heavily, and when their friend passed out, Private Graner and Private England took turns taking photographs of each other exposing themselves over his head.

In Iraq, Private England was disciplined several times for sleeping with Private Graner, against military rules. She flouted warnings to stay on the wing where she worked as a clerk, and spent most of her nights in the cellblock where he worked the night shift.

One night in October, he told her to pose for photographs holding a leash tied around the neck of a naked and crawling detainee. He e-mailed one home: "Look what I made Lynndie do." The now infamous pictures of detainees masturbating, he said, were a birthday gift for her.
<snip>
Prosecutors advised defense lawyers against putting Private Graner on the stand, but they did it anyway. He testified that he had ordered Private England to remove a prisoner from a cell by a leash and that it had been a legitimate military exercise. This presented what seemed to be a contradiction - a defendant pleading guilty but presenting a witness who testified that she was innocent. The military judge threw out her plea agreement and ordered that the court-martial process start over.

"It's nothing you did," the judge, Col. James L. Pohl, told her, "It's what he did."

Private England turned to Ms. Morris. "Well, he screws everything up, doesn't he?" Ms. Morris recalled Private England saying.

"I have to agree with you," Ms. Morris replied.

The father of her baby (Grener) married the other woman in the bizarre love triangle and England didn't find out until the trial. The whole thing is a soap opera
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DaffyGrl
While I won't defend UN human rights abuses, even if they happened 8 years ago, it irks me that there are many who categorize the abuses at Abu Ghraib (and other locations) as using "barking dogs and keeping prisoners up at night". Prisoners have died while in US custody.
QUOTE
Prisoner deaths investigated as involving criminal homicide or abuse by U.S. personnel:

_Mohammed Sayari, Afghanistan, April 28, 2002. Army Special Forces captain reprimanded.

_Mullah Habibullah, about 28, Bagram, Afghanistan, Dec. 3, 2002. Sgt. James P. Boland, 377th Military Police Company, charged with dereliction of duty; more charges possible against others.

_Dilawar, 22, Bagram, Dec. 10, 2002. Pfc. Willie V. Brand, 377th Military Police Company, charged with involuntary manslaughter, according to documents obtained by Human Rights Watch. Boland charged with dereliction, assault and maltreatment, more charges possible against others.

_Unidentified person, Wazi Village, Afghanistan, January 2003. Under investigation.

_Jamal Naseer, 18, Gardez, Afghanistan, March 2003. Under investigation.

_Unidentified person, Camp Bucca, Iraq, May 12, 2003. Soldier reprimanded for not using warning shots before killing someone trying to enter the camp.

_Abdul Wali, 28, Asadabad, Afghanistan, June 2, 2003. CIA contractor David Passaro charged with assault.

_Dilar Dababa, Baghdad, June 13, 2003. Died of head injury. USA Today reported he died during interrogation.

_Obeed Hethere Radad, Tikrit, Iraq, Sept. 11, 2003. Soldier discharged for voluntary manslaughter for not warning escaping prisoner before shooting him.

_Manadel al-Jamadi, Abu Ghraib, Iraq, Nov. 4, 2003. Died during interrogation. Several Navy SEALs charged; and two CIA personnel under investigation.

_Abdul Wahid, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Nov. 6, 2003. Badly wounded man dies in U.S. custody. No U.S. charges The Denver Post reported he died at interrogation facility while shackled and gagged.

_Muhamad Husain Kadir, Taal Al Jal, Iraq, Feb. 28, 2004. Pfc. Edward Richmond, 25th Infantry Division, received three years in prison for voluntary manslaughter.

_Karim Hassan, 36, Kufa, Iraq, May 21, 2004. Capt. Rogelio Maynulet, 1st Armored Division, facing court-martial over what he described as mercy killing of wounded Iraq militiaman.

_Unidentified person, 16, Sadr City, Iraq, Aug. 18, 2004. Staff Sgt. Johnny M. Horne Jr., Fort Riley, Kan., sentenced to three years in prison in another purported mercy killing. Staff Sgt. Cardenas J. Alban, also from Fort Riley, convicted and sentenced to one year confinement.

_Three unidentified people, Sadr City, August 2004. Sgt. Michael P. Williams and Spc. Brent May, from Fort Riley, facing murder charges.

_At least 6 more investigated by U.S. Army.

Sources: U.S. Army, Navy, and other U.S. government officials and documents. SF Chronicle

And a very long list of “justified homicides” follows.
QUOTE
How did this culture of filth start in America's "war on terror"? The institutionalised injustice which we have witnessed across the world, the vile American "renditions" in which prisoners are freighted to countries where they can be roasted, electrified or, in Uzbekistan, cooked alive in fat? As Bob Herbert wrote in The New York Times, what seemed mind-boggling when the first pictures emerged from Abu Ghraib is now routine, typical of the abuse that has "permeated the Bush administration's operations".

Amnesty, in a chilling 200-page document in October, traced the permeation of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's memos into the prisoner interrogation system and the weasel-worded authorisation of torture. In August [2003], for example, only a few months after Bush spoke under the "Mission Accomplished" banner, a Pentagon report stated that "in order to respect the President's inherent constitutional authority to manage a military campaign, [the US law prohibiting torture] must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to his Commander- in-Chief authority." What does that mean other than permission from Bush to torture? Occupation Watch

Regardless of who is wielding the instrument of torture, they should be appropriately tried and punished. It would be nice to know that Americans are above this sort of thing, but that is obviously not entirely true.
turnea
QUOTE(Lesly @ May 10 2005, 04:03 PM)

QUOTE(turnea @ May 10 2005, 01:50 PM)
The details of the murder of Arone and the situation surrounding it put Abu Ghraib to shame.
*

We can ask the families of nine Afghan detainees who died in U.S. custody and families of the twenty Iraq dead (currently under investigation) if Arone’s murder lifts some of the personal loss and grief.
*


I agree that it wouldn't and that was not the point of the remark. I was merely commenting (without the grisly details) that the story wasn't under-covered for lack of sensational appeal
...Arone died painfully... let's leave it at that.
QUOTE(Lesly)
Yes. It could be argued that no matter what a country/organization’s intentions may be placing one armed group in charge of a (relatively speaking) unarmed or inferiorly armed group invariably results in abuse of power.

I don't believe prisoner abuse is inevitable, just as there are examples of abuse there are examples of exemplary service by guards.

I believe the value in the comparison is that we cannot allow the international furor or lack thereof to dictate the response to abuse. That justice must be sought in all cases whether or not the media feels it's a front-page story.
QUOTE(DaffyGrl)
It would be nice to know that Americans are above this sort of thing, but that is obviously not entirely true.

Exactly. One of the points of this thread is to explain that no nation is....
moif
QUOTE
Are parallels between Somali and Iraqi prisoner abuse useful?
In the context of judging one nation's actions, or lack of reaction, then it it is useful to draw comparisons to other nations, but otherwise, no. In the case of abuse by civil servants then each nation must be judged by its own laws and actions.


QUOTE
Is even that enough? Is the US too lenient on abuses in the military?
In my opinion the US military is very lenient on its soldiers, most especially those not highlighted by the media and especially officers and high ranking officials.


QUOTE
Finding information of these cases was more difficult that it should have been. There were a deluge of stories on Abu Ghraib which leads me to ask
Did the international press unevenly target the US in comparison which the abuses by Canadian, Belgian, and Italian troops in Somalia?
No. I was aware of these actions at the time. The fundamental difference between these earlier incidents and the Abu Graib/ Guantanamo scandal/s is that the latter have far greater significance to the progression of world peace.


QUOTE
It is often argued that prisoner abuse could not have taken place without sanction from above.

Did the UN sanction or at best overlook torture by peacekeepers in Somalia?
Yes. Very much so. The UN is rife with corruption and is in dire need of reform.
There have been many incidents which were allowed to happen and in which senior UN officials were not held accountable.


QUOTE
Given the current allegations of sexual abuse in Congo and Liberia are they doing so now?
It may well be so. I have seen several stories regarding abuse carried out by UN peacekeeping soldiers. I believe the reason why this has largely been ignored is because the UN itself has become marginalized by the USA and in the light of US global dominance the media chooses to focus on the exploits and antics of US civil servants and politicians and turns a blind eye upon the rest of the world.

This voluntary blindness towards criminal actions carried out by UN peacekeepers, in the name of the global community is intolerable and should not be excused. Our contemporary media is failing in its task to inform the public and without information our political processes, and the methods by which we choose our leaders are undermined and we fool ourselves if we think we are democratic under such delusion.

As nations we chose our laws. If we fail to uphold them, then we have violated ourselves.
turnea
QUOTE(moif @ May 10 2005, 05:07 PM)
 
In my opinion the US military is very lenient on its soldiers, most especially those not highlighted by the media and especially officers and high ranking officials. 
*
 

Do you have any examples you would point to that typify this behavior?

I am perplexed by what I see as short sentences for some offenses. However these sentences are short measured by my own scale of justice. As I pointed out in the opening post offenders in Abu Ghraib who humiliated prisoners suspected of being enemies in a war are being punished far more than Canadian soldiers who beat a 16-year old boy (who, at worst, stole from their camp) to death.

Comparatively speaking I don't see the US as lenient at all...

QUOTE(moif)
No. I was aware of these actions at the time. The fundamental difference between these earlier incidents and the Abu Graib/ Guantanamo scandal/s is that the latter have far greater significance to the progression of world peace.

How so exactly?

The main reason as it seems to me is because the media made it so, with the amount of coverage (which I feel was appropriate by the way) which discounts it as a reason.

Is it the proximity to the Middle East?

Abu Ghraib was frontpage news the world over. for days on end. I only found one news source that ran it front page in my research, Canada's "Maclean's". They ran it as a cover story twice.

I can't be sure as I don't remember the coverage (I was eight) but the brevity of the articles in non Canadian sources leads me to believe that the murder of Arone was undercovered in comparison.
Lesly
QUOTE(turnea @ May 10 2005, 05:02 PM)
QUOTE(Lesly @ May 10 2005, 04:03 PM)
QUOTE(turnea @ May 10 2005, 01:50 PM)
The details of the murder of Arone and the situation surrounding it put Abu Ghraib to shame.
*

We can ask the families of nine Afghan detainees who died in U.S. custody and families of the twenty Iraq dead (currently under investigation) if Arone’s murder lifts some of the personal loss and grief.
*

I agree that it wouldn't and that was not the point of the remark. I was merely commenting (without the grisly details) that the story wasn't under-covered for lack of sensational appeal.

...Arone died painfully... let's leave it at that.
*


When is beaten to death not painful, and how can dying during interrogations be anything except painful? At least in Arone's case we have the grisly details that led to disbanding a regiment. As for sensational appeal, maybe you're right, though I doubt we'll be "lucky" enough to come across grisly details in our own investigations. However, since we're not on a peace keeping mission, it's an all out good guy v. bad guy, you're with us or against us war, I'm not sure an American Arone would have the same impact.

QUOTE(turnea @ May 10 2005, 05:02 PM)
QUOTE(Lesly)
Yes. It could be argued that no matter what a country/organization’s intentions may be placing one armed group in charge of a (relatively speaking) unarmed or inferiorly armed group invariably results in abuse of power.

I don't believe prisoner abuse is inevitable, just as there are examples of abuse there are examples of exemplary service by guards.
*


I like giving people the benefit of the doubt but not when it comes to charging someone with the care of others--especially when the others are trying to kill you and your friends. The U.S. military does go through pains to minimize casualties, but the main objectives of war and peace keeping have never and never will perceive the care of insurgents and criminals as high priority items. Without public pressure/transparency exemplary and unbecoming service are possible.

QUOTE(turnea @ May 10 2005, 05:02 PM)
I believe the value in the comparison is that we cannot allow the international furor or lack thereof to dictate the response to abuse. That justice must be sought in all cases whether or not the media feels it's a front-page story.
*


I agree, but sadly, I think the Western media reflects public disinterest and/or prejudice when Somalia, Rwanda, and Darfur go largely uncovered.
ralou
Are parallels between Somali and Iraqi prisoner abuse useful?

Depends on whether parallels are being drawn in an effort to stop torture and other war crimes from happening anywhere, to anyone, under any flag, or whether it's just another, "They did it, so we can, too" parallel.



Is even that enough? Is the US too lenient on abuses in the military?

I concur with moif. I add, "The US is far too lenient."




Did the international press unevenly target the US in comparison which the abuses by Canadian, Belgian, and Italian troops in Somalia?


To be honest, I don't know. I don't remember. But if they did, it doesn't excuse what happened there, and it doesn't excuse what happened in Iraq, and it excuses no present and future war crimes.



Did the UN sanction or at best overlook torture by peacekeepers in Somalia?



Again, I don't know. Probably.



Given the current allegations of sexual abuse in Congo and Liberia are they doing so now?


Again, probably, just as the US regime is doing in many places around the world. I hope everyone responsible, whether Iraqi, American, UN peacekeeper or official, pays very dearly someday for these things. There is no justification, there is no excuse. A few things are relative, including murder (that's why there is no 'self-defense' law in my state, it's called, 'justifiable homicide'). But rape (including that which the Taguba report states happened in Abu Ghraib), is never justifiable. Neither is torture, nor is the deliberate targeting of civilians.


Personally, I think the behavior of the UN in various places (including its current support for a brutal, US installed regime in Haiti), is a very good reason for Americans to never look for outside help, should the worst happen, and a dictatorship topple our liberties. Keep your Second Amendment handy, and don't look to the blue helmets to save you.
moif
QUOTE
Do you have any examples you would point to that typify this behavior?
Yes, and I believe I have made mention of them plenty of times in multiple other posts. I am refering to the lack of any accountability for the human rights injustices at Guantanamo as much as in Afghanistan or Iraq, as well as older examples of Vietnam war atrocity's which were covered up or brushed over.


QUOTE
I am perplexed by what I see as short sentences for some offenses. However these sentences are short measured by my own scale of justice. As I pointed out in the opening post offenders in Abu Ghraib who humiliated prisoners suspected of being enemies in a war are being punished far more than Canadian soldiers who beat a 16-year old boy (who, at worst, stole from their camp) to death.
Yes. The US political/legal system, when it does impose a sentence can be very hard on the convicted person but I believe this is a hypocrisy that is endemic in the US political/legal system.

Graner is the perfect example. He has been given a charge of 10 years for abusing prisoners which I find rather a severe, but necessary, sentence. At the same time, his superior officers have not been punished in a similar fashion. Karpinski has been punished, yes, but no one who gave the orders for the abuse to happen has been brought to account. I believe Graner and Karpinski are scape goats and the severity of Graner's sentence is a punishment for being caught, not for having committed the crime.


QUOTE
Comparatively speaking I don't see the US as lenient at all...
Compared to who?

If you compare the USA with other nations then you have to specify which nations you are using as a basis for comparison. For my part I see nothing special about the way the USA holds its soldiers to account.


QUOTE
How so exactly?

The main reason as it seems to me is because the media made it so, with the amount of coverage (which I feel was appropriate by the way) which discounts it as a reason.
Yes, the media carries a responsibility for its lack of objectivity in what it chooses to tell us, but the truth is, even today's global media is not omnipresent and due to the nature of our profit fuelled world, only the most 'important' story's will get the air time needed.

In comparison, the UN does not have the media significance to shift global geo politics in any one direction where as the USA, by virtue of its power and size can do much damage by even the slightest wrong movement because all eyes are upon it.

This is the fundamental lesson of global hegemony that the people of the USA do not seem to want to come to grips with. With power comes responsibility and it seems, to me, that the majority of Americans are not interested in that responsibility. Laying the blame on the media for focusing only on US matters is a form of denial where by people are killing the messenger for bearing bad news but ignoring those responsible for the bad news.

That the messenger does not bring us other messages, those pertaining to the actions of non American forces, is a clear indication of how little any one cares about these other actions in this greedy world of consumerism and profit.

I constantly ask myself, why don't people care? And the only answers I have are that most Americans don't care because they shun the guilt of being so privileged and most every one else doesn't care because they have allowed the USA to carry the burden of responsibility for so long that they have absolved themselves of any share in the responsibility.


QUOTE
Is it the proximity to the Middle East?
No, I don't think the middle east is so great a factor in this regard. Its just the current hot spot. The main factor is the participation of the USA. For as long as America is the axis around which global attention spins then its actions will continue to be regarded as more important than any other powers.

As much as I hate to admit it, I think Chirac is correct in that the world needs a multipolar world. Neither the world, nor the USA is best served by this unipolar world where by the USA carries a burden of responsibility its people don't really want.


turnea
QUOTE(Lesly @ May 10 2005, 06:28 PM)
When is beaten to death not painful, and how can dying during interrogations be anything except painful? At least in Arone's case we have the grisly details that led to disbanding a regiment. As for sensational appeal, maybe you're right, though I doubt we'll be "lucky" enough to come across grisly details in our own investigations. However, since we're not on a peace keeping mission, it's an all out good guy v. bad guy, you're with us or against us war, I'm not sure an American Arone would have the same impact.

Actually the last straw against the regiment was a videotaped hazing scandal which again wasn't lacking in sensational appeal. Racial overtones violence, the whole nine yards.

You assume that grisly details are being hidden of at best overlooked in our own investigations, if your going to accuse Americans of like behavior we'll need evidence.

...and I think if US soldiers beat a 16 year old boy to death for stealing and took pictures posing with his bloodied body is would have the same impact, yes.

QUOTE(Lesly)

I like giving people the benefit of the doubt but not when it comes to charging someone with the care of others--especially when the others are trying to kill you and your friends. The U.S. military does go through pains to minimize casualties, but the main objectives of war and peace keeping have never and never will perceive the care of insurgents and criminals as high priority items. Without public pressure/transparency exemplary and unbecoming service are possible.

Did you mean impossible?

The fact is that the "extenuating circumstances" are just an excuse. Military discipline is worthless if it cannot prevent such behavior.


QUOTE(moif)
Graner is the perfect example. He has been given a charge of 10 years for abusing prisoners which I find rather a severe, but necessary, sentence. At the same time, his superior officers have not been punished in a similar fashion. Karpinski has been punished, yes, but no one who gave the orders for the abuse to happen has been brought to account. I believe Graner and Karpinski are scape goats and the severity of Graner's sentence is a punishment for being caught, not for having committed the crime.

...and who pray tell, "gave the orders for the abuse?"
QUOTE(moif)
Compared to who?

If you compare the USA with other nations then you have to specify which nations you are using as a basis for comparison. For my part I see nothing special about the way the USA holds its soldiers to account.

So far in my research compared to Canada, Belgium, and Italy.
QUOTE(moif)
In comparison, the UN does not have the media significance to shift global geo politics in any one direction where as the USA, by virtue of its power and size can do much damage by even the slightest wrong movement because all eyes are upon it.

This is the fundamental lesson of global hegemony that the people of the USA do not seem to want to come to grips with. With power comes responsibility and it seems, to me, that the majority of Americans are not interested in that responsibility. Laying the blame on the media for focusing only on US matters is a form of denial where by people are killing the messenger for bearing bad news but ignoring those responsible for the bad news.

I hope you don't think that's what I'm doing here....

As I explained before I do not blame he media for reporting on Abu Ghraib, I applaud it.

I do blame them for what I see as undereporting abuses against Somalis and I suspect it is because the prospect of (justifiably) criticizing America was much more attractive.
Vermillion
The premis of this post was that 'Torture takes place and is not dealt with very seriously', and as an examnple the case of Canadian soldiers torturing a boy to death in Somalia was cited.

However, the facts presented about the case were vastly distorted.

The reality is, two men on their own initiative captured and tortured to death a young boy they found creeping around inside the base. There was no 'interrogation', there was no military policy or command, this was two guys getting their kicks by torturing a young boy for fun. They did not even report the captive, the intrusion or the incident to their supreriors. It was in every way a case of two evil men acting entirely on their own initiative. One did the majority of the torturingm the other took pictures and watched.

The two men were arrested and brought to trial. The main torturer hanged himself in his cell, unsuccessfully, but the attempt left him with severe brain damage resulting in the IQ of a 4 to 5 year old and extremely limited motor control of his limbs. Given his condition, his prosecution was halted. The other man was given 5 years in military prison then kicked out of the military.

The commander of the unit, even though it was demonstrated in the inquiry that he had no knowledge of the events as they ocured was given a reprimand and reduced in rank regardless, for failing to properly command his troops, for whose actions he is in the end responsible as their commander. The mission leader in Somalia was removed from his post and sent back to Canada, his career essentially over. The government then DISBANDED THE ENTIRE COMMANDO UNIT and retired the name, stating that the shame of this group had shames the entire Canadian military.


So you were saying something about it not being taken too seriously? One can only wish that the US military had treated the Abu Graib scandals with one-tenth the seriousness that Canada did when dealing with a scandal of one-onehundreth the importance.
aevans176
QUOTE(Vermillion @ May 11 2005, 09:09 AM)
So you were saying something about it not being taken too seriously? One can only wish that the US military had treated the Abu Graib scandals with one-tenth the seriousness that Canada did when dealing with a scandal of one-onehundreth the importance.
*




I disagree, my disgruntled Canadian friend.
One tenth the seriousness? A boy was totured then killed... none the less by your country men, and you denounce this as 1/10 as serious as some Muslims being harassed? We didn't kill anyone, sir. Not to mention one of the men that killed a young boy and hid it from his officers only got a few years in jail. Had this soldier been American... I'm confident that a child murderer in a American federal prison would've proven fatal in itself.

Frankly, if your logic applies to two Canadian soldiers, then it would apply to a handful of American soldiers. Secondly, the prisoners at Abu Gharib were captive insurgents. These men and their associates had killed Americans, etc. They were only humiliated... not killed or physically tortured. Finally, they were grown men as opposed to a young boy. Your "Canadian-ness" sir, does not make you a pillar of moral fortitude, nor does it insert logic into your post.
DaffyGrl
QUOTE(aevans176)
We didn't kill anyone, sir.

Absolutely wrong! As I pointed out here. (Oh, and check out some of the victims' ages.) I agree with Vermillion. The Canadians took far more decisive action than the US has taken on any of the abuse/torture/murder cases in Iraq. Have any US units been disbanded in Iraq? No. Have any high-rankiing officers been held to account for abuse/torture/murder in Iraq? No, with the except of Karpinski.

Lesly
Turnea, I wish I shared your optimism.

QUOTE(turnea @ May 11 2005, 08:12 AM)
QUOTE(Lesly @ May 10 2005, 06:28 PM)
When is beaten to death not painful, and how can dying during interrogations be anything except painful? At least in Arone's case we have the grisly details that led to disbanding a regiment. As for sensational appeal, maybe you're right, though I doubt we'll be "lucky" enough to come across grisly details in our own investigations. However, since we're not on a peace keeping mission, it's an all out good guy v. bad guy, you're with us or against us war, I'm not sure an American Arone would have the same impact.

Actually the last straw against the regiment was a videotaped hazing scandal which again wasn't lacking in sensational appeal. Racial overtones violence, the whole nine yards.

...and I think if US soldiers beat a 16 year old boy to death for stealing and took pictures posing with his bloodied body is would have the same impact, yes.
*


We’ve had incidents of hazing and rape in the mlitary. The Navy’s crossing-the-line ceremony may’ve been what gave officers the idea of groping women filing down the Las Vegas Hilton hallway. We (hopefully) prosecute everyone responsible, retire or demote a few officers.

But you can’t be certain we’d go as far as dismissing a regiment. Our culture is pro-military. We’d rather prosecute peons and replace officers than shut down the Air Force Acadamy. We’d weigh the good against the bad and salvage the good.

QUOTE(turnea @ May 11 2005, 08:12 AM)
You assume that grisly details are being hidden o[r] at best overlooked in our own investigations, if your going to accuse Americans of like behavior we'll need evidence.
*


I don’t assume everything is being overlooked thanks to anti-American figures like Moore, the ACLU, and others. This ties in with what I said about transparency. Hateful talking heads may be, but even (gag) Coulter servers a purpose when the opposition has control of government.

However, it’s not in the military’s/intelligence agencies’ best interests to keep the public abreast of the details.

QUOTE(turnea @ May 11 2005, 08:12 AM)
QUOTE(Lesly)
I like giving people the benefit of the doubt but not when it comes to charging someone with the care of others--especially when the others are trying to kill you and your friends. The U.S. military does go through pains to minimize casualties, but the main objectives of war and peace keeping have never and never will perceive the care of insurgents and criminals as high priority items. Without public pressure/transparency exemplary and unbecoming service are possible.

Did you mean impossible?

The fact is that the "extenuating circumstances" are just an excuse. Military discipline is worthless if it cannot prevent such behavior.
*


You’d be correct if everyone was shaped out of the same mold, held themselves to the same standards when no one is looking, and share the same convictions/beliefs. Discipline doesn’t have the same impact on every soldier or there wouldn’t exist a need for NJP and three different types of court martial. Extenuating circumstances isn’t an excuse, but bad civilians aren’t reborn into good military people when they leave Paris Island or the Marine I was sharing a beer with at my first duty station wouldn’t have stupidly admitted to raping a passed out girl in high school and laughed.
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(DaffyGrl @ May 11 2005, 07:34 AM)
QUOTE(aevans176)
We didn't kill anyone, sir.

Absolutely wrong! As I pointed out here. (Oh, and check out some of the victims' ages.) I agree with Vermillion. The Canadians took far more decisive action than the US has taken on any of the abuse/torture/murder cases in Iraq. Have any US units been disbanded in Iraq? No. Have any high-rankiing officers been held to account for abuse/torture/murder in Iraq? No, with the except of Karpinski.
*


Exactly how would disbanding an entire Military Intelligence unit or Military Police unit do anything but make the problem worse? These abuses took place in large part due to drastic undermanning of those facilities. Are you interested in combatting the actual problem or making things infinitely worse? I see little difference in the levels of accountability between the Canadian military and ours, with the exception of dispanding the entire unit, which they had the luxury of being able to do and we do not.

Edited to add: I disagree with Lesly about the Airforce academy incidences. The vast majority of those involved extremes of alcohol and fraternization, both of which are absolutely prohibited at the academy.
aevans176
QUOTE(DaffyGrl @ May 11 2005, 09:34 AM)
QUOTE(aevans176)
We didn't kill anyone, sir.

Absolutely wrong! As I pointed out here. (Oh, and check out some of the victims' ages.) I agree with Vermillion. The Canadians took far more decisive action than the US has taken on any of the abuse/torture/murder cases in Iraq. Have any US units been disbanded in Iraq? No. Have any high-rankiing officers been held to account for abuse/torture/murder in Iraq? No, with the except of Karpinski.
*



Wow.
I applaud your fervor, but disagree completely with your logic. You're comparing apples to grapefruit.
Firstly, the Canadians tortured and killed a young boy. This is no where similar to captives dying in the hands of Americans. Secondly, your post doesn't deliniate how the captives died. If these men were wounded, resisted arrest, etc... we don't know according to the short account of men that have died in American custody. Finally, but most importantly, known murderers of a young boy only got a few years in prison. Can you imagine what a media blitz it would've been had these been Americans?

Your references to superior officers, responsibility, etc are pure conjecture. We weren't there. And... if you remember... I'm a Marine reservist and an officer. I can tell you with complete assuredness that there may not be culpability at the officer level. There undoubtedly is an NCO somewhere that isn't being prosecuted, as it's their job to run units at the operational level. Do you really think that these things were happening while Colonels were walking around? I sincerely doubt it... abuses were happening during late hours of the night, when boredom and frustration set in. Consider how you would feel in their shoes... sleeping in cots, eating awful food, being hot during the day and cold at night. Thousands of miles away from loved ones, and now everyone expects us to treat insurgent captives as expected guests. It's hard not to dehumanize the enemy. How else do you think soldiers are able to pull the trigger when necessary?

I'm not condoning the actions. I'm just stating that Canadians torturing and killing a child is nowhere nearly as benign as some harassment to muslims. (and yes... ref your post a thousand times... it's completely non-objective and doesn't discuss details in any form/fashion)
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 11 2005, 07:20 AM)
I disagree, my disgruntled Canadian friend.
One tenth the seriousness? A boy was totured then killed... none the less by your country men, and you denounce this as 1/10 as serious as some Muslims being harassed? We didn't kill anyone, sir.

On the contrary, a previous correspondent has listed 23 deaths of Muslims in US custody, so if those are the only deaths that actually occurred, then the ratio should be 1/23 as serious, not 1/10 as serious. It's even worse than he stated it to be.

QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 11 2005, 07:20 AM)
Secondly, the prisoners at Abu Gharib were captive insurgents. These men and their associates had killed Americans, etc.

You don't know that. The process that brought people to Abu Ghraib was not the strictest of judicial processes; people were picked up for all manner of reasons, and many were released for lack of any evidence of any wrongdoing. And indeed, most who did have some evidence against them were accused of car theft and other civilian crimes. Moreover, to justify torture and murder on the grounds that the victims were criminals is a fundamental rejection of the very concept of justice. It is revenge, not justice.

QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 11 2005, 07:20 AM)
They were only humiliated... not killed or physically tortured. Finally, they were grown men as opposed to a young boy.

Again, there have been many deaths and injuries in US custody. And at least one of the victims listed above was 16 years old -- the same age as the victim of the Canadians.

QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 11 2005, 07:20 AM)
Your "Canadian-ness" sir, does not make you a pillar of moral fortitude, nor does it insert logic into your post.


That's a cheap shot. Shame on you.
aevans176
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 11 2005, 10:05 AM)
QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 11 2005, 07:20 AM)
I disagree, my disgruntled Canadian friend.
One tenth the seriousness? A boy was totured then killed... none the less by your country men, and you denounce this as 1/10 as serious as some Muslims being harassed? We didn't kill anyone, sir.

On the contrary, a previous correspondent has listed 23 deaths of Muslims in US custody, so if those are the only deaths that actually occurred, then the ratio should be 1/23 as serious, not 1/10 as serious. It's even worse than he stated it to be.
[


I deplore your lack of objectivity. Frankly, your citing one of Daffy's posts, which does not deliniate the terms of the deaths. Did they die of polio or at the hands of the soldiers? hmmm... we don't know. Were they wounded prior to us taking them into custody? Did they attack soldiers while in custody? Talking points don't prove anything. Arguments like these are what make people like Ann Coulter famous. If the post showed a report of how the soldiers took a defenseless boy and beat him to death unbeknownst of his superiors, then we're talking. Give me an objective story... like "Canadian soldiers beat defenseless boy to death and get just a couple of years in the clink"
DaffyGrl
QUOTE
Exactly how would disbanding an entire Military Intelligence unit or Military Police unit do anything but make the problem worse? These abuses took place in large part due to drastic undermanning of those facilities. Are you interested in combatting the actual problem or making things infinitely worse? I see little difference in the levels of accountability between the Canadian military and ours, with the exception of dispanding the entire unit, which they had the luxury of being able to do and we do not.

I never said that it would; I merely stated that the Canadians took far more drastic steps than the Americans. As for what I’m interested in; I’m interested in not making our young men and women into sadistic thugs whose abhorrent behavior is not only tolerated, it’s encouraged.
QUOTE
Edited to add: I disagree with Lesly about the Airforce academy incidences. The vast majority of those involved extremes of alcohol and fraternization, both of which are absolutely prohibited at the academy.

I disagree with your assessment of the incidents at the AFA. I started a thread about the problems at the USAFA, but it didn’t generate much interest.
QUOTE
Abuse of power was a major factor in the sexual assaults. According to the director of clinical services at the Colorado Springs rape crisis center, several cadets were ordered out of bed at night by upperclassmen, who have command authority over younger cadets, and then gang-raped. One alleged rapist was a priest serving as a counselor at the academy; another worked as a counselor on the academy’s hot line for reporting sexual assaults.

How would you feel if this were your sister/daughter/friend?
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 11 2005, 08:12 AM)
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 11 2005, 10:05 AM)
On the contrary, a previous correspondent has listed 23 deaths of Muslims in US custody, so if those are the only deaths that actually occurred, then the ratio should be 1/23 as serious, not 1/10 as serious. It's even worse than he stated it to be.
[


I deplore your lack of objectivity.

That's a cheap shot. Shame on you.

QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 11 2005, 08:12 AM)
Frankly, your citing one of Daffy's posts, which does not deliniate the terms of the deaths. Did they die of polio or at the hands of the soldiers? hmmm... we don't know. Were they wounded prior to us taking them into custody? Did they attack soldiers while in custody?

The deaths listed were being investigated as involving criminal homicide or abuse by US personnel. The sources for that list were US government documents. I really don't think that the Army is stupid enough to launch a criminal investigation into a polio death. And DaffyGrl adds that there is also a long list of "justified homicides". If the two lists are separate, then clearly the government does not consider the first list to be "justified homicides".

QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 11 2005, 08:12 AM)
Talking points don't prove anything. Arguments like these are what make people like Ann Coulter famous.

Please speak to the points rather than provide gratituitous labels.

QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 11 2005, 08:12 AM)
If the post showed a report of how the soldiers took a defenseless boy and beat him to death unbeknownst of his superiors, then we're talking. Give me an objective story... like "Canadian soldiers beat defenseless boy to death and get just a couple of years in the clink"
*


If you need reports of American personnel torturing people to death, there are plenty of those available. If your concern is that the boy was defenseless, may I ask as to whether any prisoner in US custody is not defenseless? And lastly, your final sentence spins the truth. The Canadian soldier who beat the boy to death got a very severe comeuppance. The soldier who observed got the prison term. Your representation of the events is deceitful.
aevans176
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 11 2005, 10:30 AM)
QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 11 2005, 08:12 AM)
Frankly, your citing one of Daffy's posts, which does not deliniate the terms of the deaths. Did they die of polio or at the hands of the soldiers? hmmm... we don't know. Were they wounded prior to us taking them into custody? Did they attack soldiers while in custody?

The deaths listed were being investigated as involving criminal homicide or abuse by US personnel. The sources for that list were US government documents. I really don't think that the Army is stupid enough to launch a criminal investigation into a polio death. And DaffyGrl adds that there is also a long list of "justified homicides". If the two lists are separate, then clearly the government does not consider the first list to be "justified homicides".


**Urg**!!
The reality is that many of the deaths listed on Daffy's post happened over 3 years ago (if not longer). If the media makes a newsworthy story about naked muslims lying in a pile, then don't you think American soldiers torturing prisoners would be on CNN 24/7? These actions were probably swept under the rug, lacked sufficient evidence, or decided to be justified.

Being a Military officer, I understand that American soldiers abroad walk a fine line. If one whistle blower comes up with a statement about abuse, it's very similar to a discrimination or sexual harassment suit in the civilian world.... nearly guilty until proven innocent. The military sends plain-clothed investigators in and all of a sudden you're arguing actions in a war zone. You'd be hard pressed to find a field officer that feels differently.

Daffy's post doesn't discuss any convictions, deliniate objective accounts of the deaths, doesn't have eye-witness accounts, etc. If we treated minority youths in urban settings this way in reference to crimes, liberal organizations would have republican heads on sticks... and if you don't think that a man standing by while a young boy is murdered is nearly as culpable, then your understanding of at least American justice is skewed. 5 Years for a soldiers actions is a far cry from what an American would've gotten in Leavenworth. Not to mention what would've happened to the man while in prison...

The bottom line is that the world wants to hold American military to the fire now that Bush is in office. They seem to have an innate need to lay blame. The irony is that while Clinton was in office... things like Asprin factories in the Sudan were bombed and nothing happened. It didn't even make network news. A few people die in a war zone while in US custody, without specific accounts, and people are up in arms... go figure.



Dontreadonme
QUOTE(DaffyGrl @ May 11 2005, 10:27 AM)

I never said that it would; I merely stated that the Canadians took far more drastic steps than the Americans. As for what I’m interested in; I’m interested in not making our young men and women into sadistic thugs whose abhorrent behavior is not only tolerated, it’s encouraged.

I feel safe in saying that I'm firmly in the camp of wanting justice dealt to those who abuse and torture. The actions at Abu Ghraib are abhorrent in the fact that they did not occur under fire, or in the confusing, emotional period following battle, but were in my view, symptoms of power-mad-lust committed by young, undersupervised and immature soldiers.
But can you, since you seem to make the charge, exhibit exactly where and how abhorrent behavior is systematically encouraged in the military?
turnea
QUOTE(Vermillion @ May 11 2005, 09:09 AM)
 
The reality is, two men on their own initiative captured and tortured to death a young boy they found creeping around inside the base. There was no 'interrogation', there was no military policy or command, this was two guys getting their kicks by torturing a young boy for fun. They did not even report the captive, the intrusion or the incident to their supreriors. It was in every way a case of two evil men acting entirely on their own initiative. One did the majority of the torturingm the other took pictures and watched.

That doesn't mesh with the reports I've read on the incident. First of all Arone was captured by an eight-man patrol wandering around the base. According to Sgt. Joseph Hillier (The leader of the patrol that captures Arone) Capt. Micheal Sox (a platoon leader) told soldiers earlier that very day that beating intruders was acceptable.

he was quote as saying:
QUOTE
If you have to, you can beat the *expletive* out of them


Sox, of course, denies this but in turn claims a senior officer told him soldiers could abuse intruders.

While Master Cpl. Clayton Matchee, did the majority of the damage the other (Pte. Elvin Kyle Brown) was convicted of manslaughter and torture.


Not only was the patrol aware of Arone's presence his screams were heard by other soldiers. Master Cpl. Jaques Alarie also witnessed some of the abuse he remarks "You've got a good trophy there."

Cpl. Lee Bibby who gave Brown the film for the photos witnessed some of the beating as well.

The list goes on and on. For a play-by-play try Maclean's story "A night of terror". (Maclean's, March 28, 1994 v107 n13 p26)

It was hardly just two men....
QUOTE
While the military initially claimed Matchee and Brown had acted alone, it was later revealed that sixteen others had visited the tent while Arone was captive, including superior officers. Also, Arone's screams were revealed to have been sufficiently loud as to be audible throughout the camp.

Shidane Arone

QUOTE(Vermillion)
 
The two men were arrested and brought to trial. The main torturer hanged himself in his cell, unsuccessfully, but the attempt left him with severe brain damage resulting in the IQ of a 4 to 5 year old and extremely limited motor control of his limbs. Given his condition, his prosecution was halted. The other man was given 5 years in military prison then kicked out of the military.

He served only a third of that sentence of course.

QUOTE(Vermillion)
 
The commander of the unit, even though it was demonstrated in the inquiry that he had no knowledge of the events as they ocured was given a reprimand and reduced in rank regardless, for failing to properly command his troops, for whose actions he is in the end responsible as their commander. The mission leader in Somalia was removed from his post and sent back to Canada, his career essentially over. The government then DISBANDED THE ENTIRE COMMANDO UNIT and retired the name, stating that the shame of this group had shames the entire Canadian military.

The dissolution of the unit did not come directly after the murder of Arone....
QUOTE( World Press Review @ April 1995 v42 n4 p18)
Canadians were horrified in November by photographs, taken during the 
Canadian Airborne regiment's 1993 mission in Somalia, that showed "elite" 
soldiers at their base torturing a teenage intruder to death. As that scandal 
seemed to die down, chilling videotapes surfaced this year that appeared to 
testify to endemic brutality in the regiment. After months of controversy, it 
was disbanded in January[...] 
[...] 
t might have ended there--a brief burst of appalling footage, followed by 
promises of an inquiry by military authorities--but the story got bigger and 
uglier. The national news aired portions of a second videotape. This one 
showed a hazing ritual of the regiment's 1 Commando unit, taken at a base in 
Petawawa, Ontario, shortly before the group was shipped out to Somalia. If the 
first tape had been disturbing and offensive, the second was stomach-churning. 
 
Troops were shown vomiting or being forced to eat the vomit of their fellows; 
being fed bread soaked in urine; being smeared with feces. The lone black 
soldier in the group was seen on all fours, being led around on a makeshift 
leash. "I love the KKK" was written on his back in excrement. These were the 
images Canadian Television (CTV) producers felt they could air in good 
conscience, along with a suitably strenuous warning to viewers. Not shown was 
footage of soldiers defecating or simulating sodomy. [Canada's Prime Minister 
Jean Chretien, questioned about the regiment, told reporters: "If we have to 
dismantle it, we'll dismantle it. I have no problem with that at all." WPR

That is what killed the regiment.
QUOTE(Vermillion)
 
So you were saying something about it not being taken too seriously? One can only wish that the US military had treated the Abu Graib scandals with one-tenth the seriousness that Canada did when dealing with a scandal of one-onehundreth the importance. 
*
 

Oh but it gets worse....

The Minster of Defense resigned after admitting to doctoring documents related to the murder. The commission of the incident was hampered left and right by deliberate cover-ups...
QUOTE(Commission Report)
It is clear that rather than assisting with the timely flow of information to our Inquiry, SILT adopted a strategic approach to deal with the Inquiry and engaged in a tactical operation to delay or deny the disclosure of relevant information to us and, consequently, to the Canadian public. 
 
Perhaps the most troubling consequence of the fragmented, dilatory and incomplete documentary record furnished to us by DND is that, when this activity is coupled with the incontrovertible evidence of document destruction, tampering, and alteration, there is a natural and inevitable heightening of suspicion of a cover-up that extends into the highest reaches of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces.


The Commission was, inexplicably, cut short. shifty.gif

As I was saying....
Edited to Add:
Note to self.. always check Wikipedia....
Somalia Affair
DaffyGrl
QUOTE(Erasmussimo )
The deaths listed were being investigated as involving criminal homicide or abuse by US personnel. The sources for that list were US government documents. I really don't think that the Army is stupid enough to launch a criminal investigation into a polio death. And DaffyGrl adds that there is also a long list of "justified homicides". If the two lists are separate, then clearly the government does not consider the first list to be "justified homicides".

QUOTE(Aevans176)
The reality is that many of the deaths listed on Daffy's post happened over 3 years ago (if not longer). If the media makes a newsworthy story about naked muslims lying in a pile, then don't you think American soldiers torturing prisoners would be on CNN 24/7? These actions were probably swept under the rug, lacked sufficient evidence, or decided to be justified.

The two lists are indeed separate. I didn’t want to post the entire article because of AD restrictions on copyrighted material, so a visit via the link provided will display them. And as for the torture being on CNN, please. Our media is so cowed it only airs pabulum it is sure won’t offend anyone’s tender sensibilities.

From the proverbial “horse’s mouth”:

US Army CID Report
Navy NCIS Reports*

(*Fear not, ACLU-phobics, it isn’t “ACLU propaganda”, but links to the actual NCIS documents. thumbsup.gif )
turnea
QUOTE(DaffyGrl @ May 11 2005, 01:50 PM)
The two lists are indeed separate. I didn’t want to post the entire article because of AD restrictions on copyrighted material, so a visit via the link provided will display them. And as for the torture being on CNN, please. Our media is so cowed it only airs pabulum it is sure won’t offend anyone’s tender sensibilities.
*


Which is why the coverage of Abu Ghraib was so minimal... huh.gif

If you implying that the US media wouldn't run stories of abuse by American troops evidence is going to be needed to buy that line.

That view doesn't even consider the international press which also has every opportunity to air stories on American torture.
moif
turnea

QUOTE(turnea)
...and who pray tell, "gave the orders for the abuse?"
Exactly thumbsup.gif


QUOTE(turnea)
I hope you don't think that's what I'm doing here....

As I explained before I do not blame he media for reporting on Abu Ghraib, I applaud it.

I do blame them for what I see as undereporting abuses against Somalis and I suspect it is because the prospect of (justifiably) criticizing America was much more attractive.
You ask very good questions turnea and I do not mean you at all. I think I agree with you in the regard of the media and its base motivations.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


aevans176

QUOTE(aevans176)
Wow.
I applaud your fervor, but disagree completely with your logic. You're comparing apples to grapefruit.
Firstly, the Canadians tortured and killed a young boy. This is no where similar to captives dying in the hands of Americans. Secondly, your post doesn't deliniate how the captives died. If these men were wounded, resisted arrest, etc... we don't know according to the short account of men that have died in American custody. Finally, but most importantly, known murderers of a young boy only got a few years in prison. Can you imagine what a media blitz it would've been had these been Americans?
In my opinion what happened at Abu Graib was far worse than the Canadian incident on every level but the personal.

Abu Graib is but one symptom in an American disease that now stretches far across the globe, from Cuba to Afghanistan and while your president makes bold statements regarding freedom and democracy in Georgia, US soldiers, under his command, are detaining human beings without legal rights at Guantanamo Bay.


QUOTE(aevans176)
Your references to superior officers, responsibility, etc are pure conjecture. We weren't there. And... if you remember... I'm a Marine reservist and an officer. I can tell you with complete assuredness that there may not be culpability at the officer level. There undoubtedly is an NCO somewhere that isn't being prosecuted, as it's their job to run units at the operational level. Do you really think that these things were happening while Colonels were walking around? I sincerely doubt it... abuses were happening during late hours of the night, when boredom and frustration set in.
Then why did Rumsfeld offer his resignation?


QUOTE(aevans176)
Consider how you would feel in their shoes... sleeping in cots, eating awful food, being hot during the day and cold at night. Thousands of miles away from loved ones, and now everyone expects us to treat insurgent captives as expected guests. It's hard not to dehumanize the enemy. How else do you think soldiers are able to pull the trigger when necessary?
These people volunteered for their military service. Every single last American in Iraq put him/ herself in that nation and yet you expect me, or any one else to feel sorry for them because it turns out that Iraq is hot!?

Well I'm sorry, but I have no sympathy for them or the predicament they placed themselves into. If they were/are unable to deal with the reality of their situation then they should have considered this before they signed the dotted line!

That the USA might place them in the line of fire, in a hostile and dangerous place, far removed from their families can hardly have come as a surprise given the US military track record of the last sixty years.

There is no excuse for what the US military and government has done with regards to human rights violations, up to and including kidnapping, blackmail and murder by torture and no amount of clever wording regarding obscure or contested details is going to change the fact that over 11,000 people are currently detained in Iraq by US forces without trial or that tens of thousands of Iraqi's have died in a war that serves no purpose but the promotion of US global authority.


QUOTE(aevans176)
The bottom line is that the world wants to hold American military to the fire now that Bush is in office. They seem to have an innate need to lay blame. The irony is that while Clinton was in office... things like Asprin factories in the Sudan were bombed and nothing happened. It didn't even make network news. A few people die in a war zone while in US custody, without specific accounts, and people are up in arms... go figure.
I can assure you that it most certainly did make the head line news and was debatted at length by most western media.

That you did not see it in the USA makes no difference to what the rest of us saw.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


turnea

QUOTE(turnea)
That view doesn't even consider the international press which also has every opportunity to air stories on American torture.


It does.



ralou
I think now would be an appropriate time to add:

My tax dollars didn't pay for the torture of that boy (or not as directly as my tax dollars paid for Abu Ghraib). I have no control over the UN. But darned if I wasn't raised with the delusion that the power in America is with the people. And somewhere, deep down in my American child heart, where reality hasn't reached, apparantly, I believe that we the people do have the power, and therefore, when these things are condoned, permitted, ignored, or carelessly not noticed by our public servants, we are the ones with the blood on our hands.

If all that happened was the humiliation of a few Iraqis, why haven't the other thousands of photos and videos been released? And why did officials permitted to see more than what we, the oh so powerful people, were allowed to see, say:

QUOTE
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told reporters, "The American public needs to understand we're talking about rape and murder here. we're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience." He did not elaborate.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/08/...ain616338.shtml



The UN criminals who carried this out and those who covered it up deserve far worse than demotion or five years in prison. So do every last one of the officials and soldiers who are carrying out or covering up the war crimes my tax dollars paid for. That goes doubly for the ones at the top, especially everyone involved in the rendering of captives for torture in other countries. That is the most horrendous disgrace I can imagine, and it is on our hands, thanks to the war criminals who order and carry it out.

Regime change begins at home. We can deal with the UN after we have dealt with our own. And the Canadians who are horrified by the behavior of some of their people can, of course, bring their own to heel, as well.
turnea
QUOTE(ralou @ May 11 2005, 09:17 PM)

Regime change begins at home.  We can deal with the UN after we have dealt with our own.  And the Canadians who are horrified by the behavior of some of their people can, of course, bring their own to heel, as well.
*


First of all this is a debate site, not a political action group, we don't have to pick our battles. We can, quite easily, criticize the UN the US at once.


Secondly you do have some measure of control over the UN as a citizen of the most powerful member state.


To the larger question:

I still see the assumption that the abuses at Abu Ghraib must have resulted from some order from an official. Why insist on such an assumption?


Another reason for the comparison is that the Somali incident did not uncover higher up ordering violence against intruders. Certainly not to the highest levels of the ministry of defense.



Accusations are still being made without proof, if this is Rumsfeld's or Bush's fault, if you believe they ordered the abuse, then provide some evidence or solid reasoning to that effect.
moif
turnea


QUOTE
I still see the assumption that the abuses at Abu Ghraib must have resulted from some order from an official. Why insist on such an assumption?
Because there is a clear pattern of human rights violations being carried out that extends beyond just the known incidents at Abu Graib. People have been detained in Cuba, kidnapped from Europe and 'disapeared' in Afghanistan, and yet the US military/ government, and its ever loyal supporters would have us believe that Graner & co. despite their testimony, acted on their own impulses.

How does any one expect us to believe that this abuse continued from months without any sort of control or sanction? Especially given that those few soldiers held to account have all indicated that they were following orders, and especially in that the US military has taken special steps to exonerate its officers.

The assumption is clear. In any military organisation, systematic practice can only come about as a direct result of the command structure.


QUOTE
Another reason for the comparison is that the Somali incident did not uncover higher up ordering violence against intruders. Certainly not to the highest levels of the ministry of defense.
The 'Somali incident' did not happen against the background of a far larger pattern of events that involved the entire Canadian military & government.

Canada has not started any wars in foreign countries, nor maintains any concentration camps where human beings are held, illegally, without trial. Canada does not abduct people and usbject them to torture in third party nations with dubious human rights records.

Canada is not subjagating the rest of the planet to its political will for its own reasons, or expanding its military resources to do so.


QUOTE
Accusations are still being made without proof, if this is Rumsfeld's or Bush's fault, if you believe they ordered the abuse, then provide some evidence or solid reasoning to that effect.
What do you want? a signed confession?

Rumsfeld already indicated that he himself understood the part he played in the chain of responsibility by offering his resignation. That he was then let off the hook by GW Bush doesn't change the fact that he made the offer and thus must have had a clear understanding of his own share in the burden of responsibility.

That GW Bush has a moral code that allows him to disassociate himself and his government from the actions it carries out doesn't change the nature of hose actions.

Vermillion
QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 11 2005, 02:20 PM)

I disagree, my disgruntled Canadian friend.
One tenth the seriousness? A boy was totured then killed... none the less by your country men, and you denounce this as 1/10 as serious as some Muslims being harassed? We didn't kill anyone, sir. Not to mention one of the men that killed a young boy and hid it from his officers only got a few years in jail. Had this soldier been American... I'm confident that a child murderer in a American federal prison would've proven fatal in itself.


The fact that you refer to the incident as 'some Muslims being harassed' speaks volumes, as though the US had forgotten to deliver their newspaper or something. Torture is not 'harassment', it is far worse. And as to claims that 'you did not kill anyone', you should keep up on the news. At the moment there are 37 suspicious deaths under investigation by US troops and interrogators in prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One of the men did not participate directly in the killing, just witnessed it and did not intervene, and so recieved 5 years in prison, perhaps too light I might even agree, but hardly vastly so.

Lastly, you entirely missed my point. The US military courts may take this very seriously, we don;t know until some of these suspicious deaths cases finish. They may take it just as seriously as the Canadian military did. However the US GOVERNMENT has done its best to dissemble, ignore and diminish the problem, while the Canadian government felt this incident was such a stain on our honour that the entire unit was disbanded and anyone in the chain of command, directly involved or not was reprimanded.

QUOTE
Frankly, if your logic applies to two Canadian soldiers, then it would apply to a handful of American soldiers. Secondly, the prisoners at Abu Gharib were captive insurgents. These men and their associates had killed Americans, etc.


Really? After their interrogation, most of these men were released without charge. Are you SURE they 'killed and tortured Americans', or is that something you just made up?

turnea
QUOTE(Vermillion @ May 12 2005, 09:42 AM)

One of the men did not participate directly in the killing, just witnessed it and did not intervene, and so recieved 5 years in prison, perhaps too light I might even agree, but hardly vastly so.

Not exactly. Again he was convicted of manslaughter and torture the trial found he did kick the prisoner several time along with Matchee.

..and of course many of his fellow soldiers witnessed the abuse.

QUOTE(Vermillion)
Lastly, you entirely missed my point. The US military courts may take this very seriously, we don;t know until some of these suspicious deaths cases finish. They may take it just as seriously as the Canadian military did. However the US GOVERNMENT has done its best to dissemble, ignore and diminish the problem, while the Canadian government felt this incident was such a stain on our honour that the entire unit was disbanded and anyone in the chain of command, directly involved or not was reprimanded.

It is quite possible you overlooked my post, things got a little hectic in between so I don't blame you.

But as I've said before this is categorically untrue. The Canadian government participated in an active coverup that resulted in the resignation of the head of defense.

The Somalia inquiry noted all of this.

The US government handled the problem much more openly.

A link to the previous post below.
Link


Edited to Add: Link fixed! biggrin.gif
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(turnea @ May 12 2005, 05:40 AM)
I still see the assumption that the abuses at Abu Ghraib must have resulted from some order from an official. Why insist on such an assumption?

Another reason for the comparison is that the Somali incident did not uncover higher up ordering violence against intruders. Certainly not to the highest levels of the ministry of defense.

Accusations are still being made without proof, if this is Rumsfeld's or Bush's fault, if you believe they ordered the abuse, then provide some evidence or solid reasoning to that effect.
*


Your case rests on the use of the term "orders". You are correct that President Bush did not sign any order requiring US personnel to rape prisoners, threaten them with electrocution, force them to pile naked into human pyramids, feign sodomy, and so forth. He did, however, approve broad policies recommending the denial of the protection of US law or the Geneva Conventions to prisoners. He also approved broad policies recommending the use of harsh treatment of prisoners. Moreover, he did not accompany these policy directives with provisos against the use of raping prisoners, threatening them with electrocution, forcing them to naked into human pyramids, feign sodomy, and so forth.

The administration explicitly encouraged its personnel to engage in immoral behavior. It failed to provide any explicit limitations on that immoral behavior. When it emerged that personnel engaged in grossly immoral behavior, the administration disclaimed all responsibility. I consider that disclaimer to be morally disingenuous. It's rather like the mob boss who tells his lieutenant, "Explain it to him, Vito" and then feigns innocence when Vito beats the victim to a pulp.
aevans176
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 12 2005, 12:45 PM)
The administration explicitly encouraged its personnel to engage in immoral behavior. It failed to provide any explicit limitations on that immoral behavior. When it emerged that personnel engaged in grossly immoral behavior, the administration disclaimed all responsibility. I consider that disclaimer to be morally disingenuous. It's rather like the mob boss who tells his lieutenant, "Explain it to him, Vito" and then feigns innocence when Vito beats the victim to a pulp.
*



WOW
This is the most absurd notion that I've ever heard. It's like saying that a manager has to tell the employees not to steal money, surf porn on the net, and smack women on the behinds in order to hold them accountable for doing so.

It "encouraged immoral behavior"? ? Lord. I know for sure neither you nor any of your close friends are vets. I can tell you first hand, that the fear and anger of young soldiers often times causes situations to escalate into violence. This had nothing to do with Executive directives or orders from High Level Military officers. Because they explicitly didn't say not to rape or sodomize captives... doesn't mean that they encouraged it. Good Lord.

The prison scandal was an interesting look into the American media and the psyche of the American populus. Think for a second that this would've never been newsworthy 30 years ago during Vietnam. I know for a fact these types of things were common place during previous conflicts. Deaths during interrogation, from a Military Officer's standpoint, is unfortunate but easier to explain than soldiers dying due to a lack of intelligence. The people that are so outraged are the same people that turned a blind eye to all of the things that happened during the Clinton years, the same people that blame Bush for 9/11, etc. The whole notion that the administration is sitting up at night sending out secret emails discussing how much to beat prisoners, etc is just plain ludicrious. Rape/abuse/murder don't need official documents to be prevented.
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 12 2005, 12:17 PM)
WOW
This is the most absurd notion that I've ever heard. It's like saying that a manager has to tell the employees not to steal money, surf porn on the net, and smack women on the behinds in order to hold them accountable for doing so.

Actually, that is the universal standard, respected by everybody except this administration. It's even legally required of corporations. Every corporation that wants to shield itself from liability for the actions of its employees must have documentation specifying their code of behavior. Furthermore, they must be able to show that they enforce that code of behavior to the extent reasonably possible. For the most part, the personnel manual says little more than "Don't break any laws" and then adds some minor things like, "if you're the last person to have coffee, you have to clean up the coffee station." But companies that do not have such personnel manuals or cannot show that they enforce them are generally held liable for the misdeeds of their employees committed in the line of work.

Moreover, the same principle is used by most democratic governments. When somebody screws up badly, the guy in charge offers his resignation, and the boss regretfully accepts it. This has happened in Japan, South Korea, Britain, Germany, France, and Italy, but never here in the US. Mr. Rumsfeld was honorable enough to offer his resignation when the torture scandal broke out, but President Bush violated this principle by refusing to accept Mr. Rumsfeld's resignation.

QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 12 2005, 12:17 PM)
It "encouraged immoral behavior"? ? Lord. I know for sure neither you nor any of your close friends are vets. I can tell you first hand, that the fear and anger of young soldiers often times causes situations to escalate into violence. This had nothing to do with Executive directives or orders from High Level Military officers. Because they explicitly didn't say not to rape or sodomize captives... doesn't mean that they encouraged it. Good Lord.

You seem to be claiming that abuse of prisoners is not immoral behavior, hence the official policy approving such behavior could not have been immoral in the first place. I do not accept your assumption that abuse of prisoners is moral. Nor do I give American soldiers a blank check to commit any atrocities they wish merely because they are under stress.

QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 12 2005, 12:17 PM)
The prison scandal was an interesting look into the American media and the psyche of the American populus. Think for a second that this would've never been newsworthy 30 years ago during Vietnam. I know for a fact these types of things were common place during previous conflicts. Deaths during interrogation, from a Military Officer's standpoint, is unfortunate but easier to explain than soldiers dying due to a lack of intelligence.

Yes, but we're not discussing this from the point of view of the officer, we're discussing this from the point of view of the nation as a whole. We the people are the boss here, and we're ultimately responsible for his actions. We therefore have every right to specify the policies under which he will operate. The Bush administration established policies prejudicial towards torture. They are therefore responsible for the consequences of their actions.

QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 12 2005, 12:17 PM)
The people that are so outraged are the same people that turned a blind eye to all of the things that happened during the Clinton years, the same people that blame Bush for 9/11, etc.

I'm sure such people exist, and you're welcome to take this up with them, but I'm not one of them.

QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 12 2005, 12:17 PM)
The whole notion that the administration is sitting up at night sending out secret emails discussing how much to beat prisoners, etc is just plain ludicrious. Rape/abuse/murder don't need official documents to be prevented.
*


I don't think it's terribly important whether they did it at night or during normal working hours; my claim for their responsibility is based on the fact that they did it, not when they did it.
aevans176
QUOTE(Erasmussimo @ May 12 2005, 02:41 PM)
QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 12 2005, 12:17 PM)
WOW
This is the most absurd notion that I've ever heard. It's like saying that a manager has to tell the employees not to steal money, surf porn on the net, and smack women on the behinds in order to hold them accountable for doing so.

Actually, that is the universal standard, respected by everybody except this administration. It's even legally required of corporations. Every corporation that wants to shield itself from liability for the actions of its employees must have documentation specifying their code of behavior. Furthermore, they must be able to show that they enforce that code of behavior to the extent reasonably possible. For the most part, the personnel manual says little more than "Don't break any laws" and then adds some minor things like, "if you're the last person to have coffee, you have to clean up the coffee station." But companies that do not have such personnel manuals or cannot show that they enforce them are generally held liable for the misdeeds of their employees committed in the line of work.


Oh my gosh... we're getting awfully close to ridiculous.
The funny thing about your logic is that it portrays our society's need to lay blame. The Bush administration never set up doctrine that established it appropriate to torture anyone. Never.
Secondly, I manage a large portion of an international company and all inbound sales for the US division. In our handbook, it never mentions:
Spitting on people
Urinating in the parking lot
Playing football in the sales center.
etc, etc, etc.
This is because any logical employee of legal age knows that these things are inappropriate. It doesn't need to be discussed... and on the other hand, if there were some policy, do you think that people would consider it if they were in the mood to urinate in the parking lot? Come on...

Conversely, the company does have doctrine that is violated, and it still happens. If the administration had concoted such paperwork, what would've changed? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. You're attempting to lay blame while the end result wouldn't have been any different? How does a paper trail stop actions such as these? If the CID and NCIS are pursuing legal action, regardless of the "lack of administration's asenine doctrine"... what would've some forward statement from the President have done?

There are so many Americans that have a need to blame the Bush administration for all of the ailments of the nation. I would be surprised to see a commercial that blames the President for their arthritis, cancer, or for being overweight.

The notion that the gov't condones abuse of prisoners is absolutely ludicrous. For someone with no military or combat experience to make blatently absurd claims that memos would admonish battlefield conditions is beyond comprehension.

In summation, most people on this board blaming the administration for not "stopping" the actions of these soldiers is like me blaming Clinton for the poor performance of my 401K during his tenure. Seriously... just far fetched.
Erasmussimo
QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 12 2005, 02:35 PM)
Oh my gosh... we're getting awfully close to ridiculous.
The funny thing about your logic is that it portrays our society's need to lay blame. The Bush administration never set up doctrine that established it appropriate to torture anyone. Never.

The trick here is that they simply redefined "torture" so that it didn't include all manner of activities that the dictionary defines to be torture. The infamous Gonzalez memo (which I agree was not used as the basis for policy) went so far as to define torture as only that degree of pain comparable to killing the victim. Anything else wasn't torture and therefore was legal. The Administration did not, as I said, use the Gonzalez memo for its policy but it did send out instructions that approved a number of activities that, again, a dictionary definition of torture would apply to. So whether they approved torture depends on whose definition of torture you want to apply: their own or the dictionary's.

QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 12 2005, 02:35 PM)
Secondly, I manage a large portion of an international company and all inbound sales for the US division. In our handbook, it never mentions:
Spitting on people
Urinating in the parking lot
Playing football in the sales center.
etc, etc, etc.
This is because any logical employee of legal age knows that these things are inappropriate. It doesn't need to be discussed... and on the other hand, if there were some policy, do you think that people would consider it if they were in the mood to urinate in the parking lot? Come on...

You might want to have a conversation with HR about your corporation's legal liabilities in this regard. The concern is not how nice the asphalt in your parking lot looks but whether somebody does something that could generate a lawsuit. If one of your employees urinated in the parking lot, it would be difficult finding somebody who could bring a significant lawsuit against the company. If one of your employees spit on another, this would not by itself provide much basis for a suit, but if it were part of a demonstrated pattern of harassing behavior, you better believe you'd have liability there -- and if your company did not have a written policy in place forbidding such harassment, and the ability to show a serious intent to enforce that policy, your company would be on the hook for a lot of money. Check it out with your HR person.

QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 12 2005, 02:35 PM)
There are so many Americans that have a need to blame the Bush administration for all of the ailments of the nation.

I can't speak for others, but I myself would like to see some good old American responsibility and taking the consequences of one's actions. The Administration created an atmosphere conducive to torture and now refuses to accept responsibility for its actions.

QUOTE(aevans176 @ May 12 2005, 02:35 PM)
The notion that the gov't condones abuse of prisoners is absolutely ludicrous.

Ludicrous perhaps, but still true:
QUOTE
Porter J. Goss, the director of central intelligence, said Thursday, March 17th, that he could not assure Congress that the Central Intelligence Agency's methods of interrogating terrorism suspects since Sept. 11, 2001, had been permissible under federal laws prohibiting torture. Under sharp questioning at a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Mr. Goss sought to reassure lawmakers that all interrogations "at this time" were legal and that no methods now in use constituted torture. But he declined, when asked, to make the same broad assertions about practices used over the last few years.

QUOTE(New York Times @ Feb 26)
There is widening unease within the Central Intelligence Agency over the possibility that career officers could be prosecuted or otherwise punished for their conduct during interrogations and detention of terrorism suspects, according to current and former government officials. . . . [O]fficials confirmed that the agency had asked the Justice Department to review at least one other case, from Iraq, to determine if a C.I.A. officer and interpreter should face prosecution. In addition, the current and former government officials said the agency's inspector general was now reviewing at least a half-dozen other cases, and perhaps many more, in what they described as an expanding circle of inquiries to determine whether C.I.A. employees had been involved in any misconduct.
. . . Of particular concern, the officials said, is the possibility that C.I.A. officers using interrogation techniques that the government ruled as permissible after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks might now be punished, or even prosecuted, for their actions in the line of duty.

QUOTE(ACLU)
source  The memorandum, dated September 14, 2003, was signed by Lt. Gen. Sanchez and laid out specific interrogation techniques, modeled on those used against detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for use by coalition forces in Iraq. These include sleep "management," the inducement of fear at two levels of severity, loud music and sensory agitation, and the use of canine units to "exploit [the] Arab fear of dogs."

During sworn testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Lt. Gen. Sanchez flatly denied approving any such techniques in Iraq, and said that a news article reporting otherwise was false.

The ACLU has filed suit against Secretary Rumsfeld and other officials for the torture they inflicted upon a number of Iraqi civilians. That suit includes such allegations as:
QUOTE
On December 2, 2002, Defendant Rumsfeld personally approved a list of illegal  interrogation techniques (the “December Rumsfeld Techniques”) for use on detainees at  Guantanamo.  As set forth below, the December Rumsfeld Techniques included techniques later  used by subordinates in Afghanistan and Iraq with Defendant Rumsfeld’s knowledge and  approval.  These techniques were contrary to the established rules and military standards  governing detention and interrogation as set forth in Army Field Manual 34-52.  The December  Rumsfeld Techniques included the following:  the use of “stress positions,” 20-hour  interrogations, the removal of clothing, playing upon a detainee’s phobias to induce stress (such  as through the use of dogs), deception to make the detainee believe the interrogator was from a  country with a reputation for torture, the use of falsified documents and reports, isolation for up  to 30 days, and sensory deprivation.

QUOTE
On January 15, 2003, Defendant Rumsfeld rescinded his blanket authorization of  only some of the techniques in the December Rumsfeld Techniques.  However, he failed to take  any meaningful action to prevent, investigate, or punish the use of these unlawful techniques.  Instead, in an order to the commander of the U.S. Southern Command, Defendant Rumsfeld  stated that he personally could authorize the continued use of the otherwise-rescinded  techniques, and that he wanted to be involved in the formulation of a plan to use them:  “Should  you determine that particular techniques in either of these categories are warranted in an  individual case, you should forward that request to me.  Such a request should include a thorough  justification for the employment of those techniques and a detailed plan for the use of such  techniques.” 


The suit includes a great deal more material documenting this behavior and has resulted in the release of some 30,000 pages of internal government documents, many of which are now available on the ACLU website.
ralou
QUOTE(moif @ May 12 2005, 09:01 AM)
turnea


QUOTE
I still see the assumption that the abuses at Abu Ghraib must have resulted from some order from an official. Why insist on such an assumption?
Because there is a clear pattern of human rights violations being carried out that extends beyond just the known incidents at Abu Graib. People have been detained in Cuba, kidnapped from Europe and 'disapeared' in Afghanistan, and yet the US military/ government, and its ever loyal supporters would have us believe that Graner & co. despite their testimony, acted on their own impulses.

How does any one expect us to believe that this abuse continued from months without any sort of control or sanction? Especially given that those few soldiers held to account have all indicated that they were following orders, and especially in that the US military has taken special steps to exonerate its officers.

The assumption is clear. In any military organisation, systematic practice can only come about as a direct result of the command structure.


QUOTE
Another reason for the comparison is that the Somali incident did not uncover higher up ordering violence against intruders. Certainly not to the highest levels of the ministry of defense.
The 'Somali incident' did not happen against the background of a far larger pattern of events that involved the entire Canadian military & government.

Canada has not started any wars in foreign countries, nor maintains any concentration camps where human beings are held, illegally, without trial. Canada does not abduct people and usbject them to torture in third party nations with dubious human rights records.

Canada is not subjagating the rest of the planet to its political will for its own reasons, or expanding its military resources to do so.


QUOTE
Accusations are still being made without proof, if this is Rumsfeld's or Bush's fault, if you believe they ordered the abuse, then provide some evidence or solid reasoning to that effect.
What do you want? a signed confession?

Rumsfeld already indicated that he himself understood the part he played in the chain of responsibility by offering his resignation. That he was then let off the hook by GW Bush doesn't change the fact that he made the offer and thus must have had a clear understanding of his own share in the burden of responsibility.

That GW Bush has a moral code that allows him to disassociate himself and his government from the actions it carries out doesn't change the nature of hose actions.
*



Thank you, Moif. You saved me a lot of typing!

Let me add that the rendering of prisoners to countries where they have been and are being tortured is illegal and there is no doubt it has been ordered at the highest levels. Bush knows about it, even if he didn't directly order it, and he has made no move to stop it. Therefore, all other crimes and their origin on the chain of command aside, this practice is enough to impeach Bush, dissolve his administration, impeach any and all members of Congress who refuse or block these impeachments, and elect new officials who respect our Constitution and the international treaties America is signatory to. Not easy to do, admittedly, but necessary before we point fingers and crusade about policing the rest of the world. Otherwise, it's like giving a Charles Manson a police uniform and sending him out to catch a Jeffrey Dahmer!
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