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Torture and the Presidential Campaign

Torture and the Presidential Campaign

By Y. (10/2/12)

President Obama says that waterboarding is torture, while his opponent Mitt Romney argues that it’s not.

Which one is it? Is it torture or is it not?

What we have here is the equivalent of what Dennis Loo has recently referred to as the good cop/bad cop routine being played out in the presidential race. Romney and the people he represents are the bad cops, who must be restrained by the good cop, played by Obama. While Obama has publicly decried waterboarding, he has refused to prosecute people who have either admitted to torturing people (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, John Yoo and Jay Bybee, et al) or who were caught red-handed torturing people, including torturing them to death. As a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. is obligated to ferret out and prosecute those guilty of torture and other war crimes.

But has media, let alone any public officials, told anyone this inconvenient fact in the U.S.?

As summarized by Wikipedia:

The most serious crimes [under the Geneva Conventions] are termed grave breaches, and provide a legal definition of a war crime. Grave breaches of the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions include the following acts if committed against a person protected by the convention:

  • willful killing, torture or inhumane treatment, including biological experiments
  • willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health
  • compelling someone to serve in the forces of a hostile power
  • willfully depriving someone of the right to a fair trial if accused of a war crime.

Also considered grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention are the following:

  • taking of hostages
  • extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly
  • unlawful deportation, transfer, or confinement.[17]

Nations are also obligated to search for persons alleged to commit these crimes, or ordered them to be committed, and to bring them to trial regardless of their nationality and regardless of the place where the crimes took place.

Note, then, that the U.S. has been and is currently in violation of committing “grave breaches” under the Geneva Conventions, particularly the items boldfaced by me above.

Though Obama says that waterboarding is torture, and decried torture as illegal, he has allowed those who admit it to go unprosecuted. He has admitted that waterboarding is torture but what about other forms of torture, like rendition, sleep deprivation, intimidation, drugs, or extended solitary confinement - these are just some in a big list – that Obama has either ordered continued or has allowed to continue under his watch?

Most Americans are blind to this fact, in part because of the media. Is it possible to make Americans see that former president Bush and President Barack Obama have more in common than people think? If so, what will it take to do this?

What is very clear is that what those who are siding with the good cop in Obama have in common with those who align themselves with the bad cop in Romney is their treating American lives are more precious than anyone else’s.

As long as you continue to go along with this logic, that anything done in the supposed defense of your people’s lives is ok, then you are on a slippery slope to tolerating any number of atrocities, as long as those committing those atrocities can successfully claim that they are doing so to protect you.

The fact, of course, that these acts are no more defensible than the Germans telling their people that killing millions of Jews, Communists, trade unionists, homosexuals, the handicapped, and Roma (Gypsies) was to protect and defend the Aryan nation, is something that needs to be brought to people’s attention. All too many people so far have been roped in by this fascist(ic) logic.


0 # princessDah 2014-03-26 07:44
torturing is wrong and should not be allowed. yet torture is happen til this day. Obama felt water-boarding is torture well maybe because he prefer to drone kills them faster. the us torture religious people who beliefs are "different than the norm" they torture people who look a certain way. the violates the amendments that were written for citizens. freedom justice for all; unless you look or belief something different then your freedom is taken away and you will be punished.
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0 # jessica Rodriguez 2014-06-09 05:07
the media does have a great part in letting the American people know what happens around the world and what the US does. now in 2014 Obama says that its torture, yet he still has closed GAt. and people still water boarding and do other things. The more Americans watch Fox new and other popular news channel, they will not find out the truth.
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