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Well, do you suspect the German government of tacit approval of Bundeswehr soldiers torturing and abusing their own subordinates. If yes, what could be the motivation? To get information to be used in the WoT?

Note from David: Well, the German military doesn't have a lot of prisoners these days, so they have to rely on their own folks as training ground for torture and abuse, right? Further motivation might be to have German troops getting used to rough conditions in the never ending quest Germany's for world domination. And, of course, we can safely assume that all this was done with the tacit approval of Mssrs. Schroeder and Fischer.
Not that I would actually believe this crap - I just copied the typical speculations of the German media vs. the U.S. government.

Be a little creative, Martina...

Wait!

I thought these guys just did torch light tattoos.

How can this be?????

Well there was no photographic evidence so it never happend of course.

Abu Ghraib. Many are now serving long term, hard labor in prison. 2 NCOs are now in prison. 5 Specilists are also serving time as is England. Karpinski was removed from duty. Contrast this to a case in the 90s. Belgian troops ROASTED a Somali boy! These troops were sentenced to a month in jail and a fine of 200 pounds. Others in the same unit were investigated for sadism and torture. Defense Minister Jean-Pol Poncelet gave assurances that any soldier convicted would be dishonorably discharged. I sure that will make Didier Bourguet relax a bit, IF he ever is brought to trial!
I have no doubts that Europeans would throw our people in jail for life, if they could get them in front of the ICC, without possibility of parole for their roll in Abu Ghraib. It is just difficult to understand the mindset. Abu Ghraib vs. roasting a young boy…….years of prison vs. 2 months.
Do Europeans even know about these things? Rape, murder, sex rings?

A Bit OT But…. German military.

It seems the new thinking in Germany is if NATO and the US will not guarantee protection of Germany in today’s WMD environment, Germany needs seriously to consider going nuclear.

I am sure this is going to make all the euros feel much more secure knowing Germany will have its own nuclear arsenal.

Think of all the high tech jobs such a project will create. Besides why should the US, UK, France, Russia, India, etc have these and the Germans not?

"I am sure this is going to make all the euros feel much more secure knowing Germany will have its own nuclear arsenal."

This. Will. Never. Happen. In. My. Lifetime.

By the way: It would be very interesting to hear, how successful German elite KSK units have been in Afghanistan. Did they make prisoners? And what was their fate? Where are they now? In Guantanamo? When, if ever, did the KSK (and other German troops involved in Enduring Freedom) stop the extradition of Taliban and AQ-terrorists to the USA? After Abu Ghraib? Really?

'A german soldier does not torture' - Peter Struck

In order to salvage her own reputation Karpinski has signed up with the Moonbat Left to attempt yet again to trash Bush. http://www.bushcommission.org/

This is just one of the countless examples of double standards in Germany. Americans are constantly criticized for not living up to the (german) standards while Germans are just human, prone to mistakes and failures. Then you have German Besserwisser who claim they criticize America more then China or Iran only because the US are "one of us", from whom they expect a lot more. Right...

In fact it does make sense to expect more from the US and other democracies, but obviously those high expectations apply only to the US. Where is the outrage in the newspapers day after day after day, where are the early morning shows, the late night shows, analyzing the viciousness of those deeds and questioning a society that breeds such violence against powerless people ?

The hypocrisy of the German media is disgusting. The indifference of the German people is amazing. The media offers the people at best just a few headlines and the people don't want to know more. Perfect symbiosis. But, remember, the Germans are one of the best informed people on the planet. Surely better informed than clueless Americans. Ask anyone on a German street. It's only the few deluded people like David who stir up the harmony.

P.S. Very good point made by jlwb: how could Americans trust the ICC when it is obvious that the highest standards apply only to Americans?

We throw our people in jail. We even destroy the careers of US Marines who use corporal punishment on their men (I am against that, but still that's what we do). When US servicemen are convicted of crimes in other countries, we try and convict them. Yet these enlighted people do nothing to their troops who break the law.

These people get nothing, and then they turn around and lecture us. I am so sick of Europeans lecturing me (I work in theater so I hear it a lot), when they are as bad if not worse. Every time I read about something horrible happening in Africa, French, Belgian, and sometimes German troops are not far away. And their media will barely report on it.

Not that this is in any way representative either, but:

A military jury recommended a simple reprimand Monday for an Army officer who killed an Iraqi general by stuffing him headfirst into a sleeping bag and sitting on his chest during an interrogation.

As soldiers applauded in the courtroom, Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr. hugged his wife after hearing the surprisingly light sentence, which will be reviewed by Fort Carson's commander, Maj. Gen. Robert W. Mixon.

The commander cannot order a harsher sentence, defense attorney Frank Spinner said.

Welshofer, 43, was charged with murder, but was convicted over the weekend of negligent homicide and negligent dereliction of duty that carried a penalty of up to three years and three months in prison, a dishonorable discharge, loss of pension and other penalties.

The murder charge carried a potential sentence of life in prison. Instead, Welshofer faces no jail time, the forfeiture of $6,000 in salary and what amounts largely to a restriction to his barracks for 60 days.

Note from David: No, Mr. Welshofer's case is indeed not in any way representative.
The military prosecutor - as a representative of the U.S. military - had asked for a much harsher penalty for Mr. Welshofer. That's my point - the attitude of the U.S. military vs. the German military's attitude.
Thanks anyway for trying to steer the discussion away from the main topic.

Ralf,

And your point would be.

I have to assume you are following this in the media.

Are you now also an expert on the UCMJ?

What bothers me is the ever lowering definition of abuse. Beating someone with a cable, and the locker and broken glass is one thing. But I'm sure the painful head-lock didn't exactly leave him scarred for life. And being forced to do pushups? Struck on the arm? Kicked in the backside? Oh boo hoo. What are they going to do when someone starts shooting at them? Run away like the little babies they are, like as not.

“A german soldier does not torture” - Peter Struck

Does that include former members of the Volksarmee? I wrote before in this blog that I witness a torture/murder during the late 70s committed by a unit of the illustrious Grenztruppen der DDR.

A young man tried to climb the metal fence that separated West and East Germany. He was shot by East German border guards. The East Germans called an ambulance. The nearest city, Eisenach, was only 10 Km away. The ambulance took 2.5 hours to arrive at the scene. The young man, whose only crime was to have the desire to live in freedom, bled to death.

I am not an expert on German law, not to mention, German military law. But I would think that murder has no statute of limitations. Someone intentionally arranged for the ambulance to arrive 2 hours too late. An intent to kill is murder, not manslaughter. When is Mr. Stuck going to arrange for indictments or Article 20 hearings (Military probable cause hearing) for members of the German military that Germany inherited from the DDR?

Amazing. We have heard about Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo daily in the German media for years now, but the story cited by David has essentially been under a German media blackout since December of 2004 when Bild ran a report on the matter (http://www.bild.t-online.de/BTO/news/2004/12/09/bundeswehr__folterdetails/bundeswehr__folterdetails.html).

At the time, the German Secretary of Defense called the alleged activities at the German Army training camps "violation of human rights, but not torture." He went on to say that "...comparisons to the torture activities of the U.S. Army in Iraq are not allowable." My emphasis, his words. (http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,330715,00.html)

There were also reports around this time that German soldiers in Afghanistan were handing out poisoned candy to children there, but I can't find them on the Internet anymore. If anyone has some old copies of "Bild", it would have been on or just prior to December 10, 2004. I don't believe the story of course, but you can bet that we would still be hearing about it if American soldiers had been accused of such behavior.

Although I really do appreciate this site, this entry is nonsense for at least two reasons:

1) There was a debate of these cases in Germany and this comes as no surprise: Young, innocent etc. Germans were the victims. (So you would better look at what's happening in the areas in former Yugoslavia or in Afghanistan where German troops are.)
2) While there is obviously no reason for Schroeder etc. to approve torture of German soldiers, the US government seems to see good reasons to approve torture of their sworn or suspected enemies.

While it's very important to strengthen "anti-anti-americanism" in Germany, some dramatic changes in the US should not be overlooked, changes that can also be seen in Germany and other European states: First, what the US (and other Western governments) always let their secret service men, soldiers, or soldiers of their puppet states do in secret (just remember the role of the US in Latin America in the 70s and 80s, for example), is now done more and more openly and justified in public. David just pretends to be naive when he says that Bush and Rumsfeld might have not known about what happened in Abu Ghraib: They didn't need to know details about locations, but they certainly have to know that people are tortured by their men and that they use information that was produced by torture in their vassal states. Most of the governments have these dark "secrets" and the US a lot of them, because it is the self-declared only superpower of the world. That brings me to my second point: I would perfectly agree that Germany (and probably most of the other states) would have at least a violent, successfully greedy, murderous, and irresponsible government as the US if it were in the position of the US. I would think, given the historical evidence, that Germany as the only superpower would be far more horrible. So I prefer the US to Germany in this position. (But if I could freely choose among states I would probably take Costa Rica or Trinidad and Tobago.) But nevertheless one should not be blind to the fact that the US (and with the US most of the West) is moving in a direction away from democracy, human rights, reason, and liberty.

@Christoph
>> the US government seems to see good reasons to approve torture of their sworn or suspected enemies.

Back up that assertion with evidence.

>> First, what the US (and other Western governments) always let their secret service men, soldiers, or soldiers of their puppet states

Name one puppet state of the U.S. or any other Western gov't.

>> David just pretends to be naive when he says that Bush and Rumsfeld might have not known about what happened in Abu Ghraib: They didn't need to know details about locations, but they certainly have to know that people are tortured by their men and that they use information that was produced by torture in their vassal states.

Really? Do you have any evidence that rises above rumor? If so, the United States Military would like to interview you. Also, 'vassal states' is a term that is so loaded it requires evidence to support the assertion.

>>the US a lot of them, because it is the self-declared only superpower of the world.

No, I think that was some asshole in France that 'declared'.

Let's go back to that sentence.
>>Most of the governments have these dark "secrets" and the US a lot of them, because it is the self-declared only superpower of the world

The U.S. has alot of dark secrets because it self-declared as a superpower. The logic escapes me. Actually, the logic is running away from me like a scalded cat. A country declares itself to be the only superpower in the world which means - or causes - the possesion of dark secrets.

>> (just remember the role of the US in Latin America in the 70s and 80s, for example)

I venture to wager you remember none of this. For if you did, you would be - assuming you had any integrity intellectual or otherwise - commenting on Latin America as the battlefield of a proxy war between the West (not just the U.S.) and communisim's champion, the USSR. Yes, the benevolent spawn of Lenin and Uncle Joe were just off somewhere bringing healthcare and literacy to the great unwashed.

Like Cuba maybe.

>>But if I could freely choose among states I would probably take Costa Rica or Trinidad and Tobago.

So go live there. Let me know how it goes.

>>(But if I could freely choose among states I would probably take Costa Rica or Trinidad and Tobago.)

Do you know what the word "utopia" means? It means "no place". It doesn't exist.

Oh, before I forget, I can name about 25 vassal states of a western government.

That western gov't is the EU and Germany is one of the vassal states.

Good luck with the Services Directive, the EU arrest warrant, subsidiarity, competencies, etc.

Euro? Oh. Never mind.

"That western gov't is the EU and Germany is one of the vassal states."

Apparently, Germany and France do not know their proper place as subjects of the EU government. They routinely violate EU regulations.

Btw, you get a gold star if you can guess "what" (or, rather, "who") the EC partly blamed the Euro zone slowdown on in 2003. (Here's a hint: "It's ______ fault!")

An Atomic Bundeswehr might be fun... we could give it radiological bombs and make it believe it were nuclear bombs, just as in the Rainer Karlsch thriller... yet on the second look not a good idea, because if a suitcase with $ 5 mio can go to the terrorists that easily a weapon of mass destruction can too. Just kidnap a Bundeswehr scout from Afghanistan and demand a handover of such a device in Iraq.

But seriously... I would be the first to admit that the German institutions are a pain in the neck, be it the inferiority-fearing soldier failing to play hazing rituals among comrades in a safe, sane and consensual manner or the coming-out-challenged cop stalking intellectuals after work at the local club. With authorities like this, who needs Hogan's Heroes?

@Pamela

>> the US government seems to see good reasons to approve torture of their sworn or suspected enemies.

>>>Back up that assertion with evidence.

It even explicitly stated what they deem to be appropriate means for interrogation and these means are in the view of international law torture. I'm confident that the US democracy will be strong enough to change that course after this government, probably the worst in US history, is out of office. I hope it will be strong enough to end illegal imprisonment of suspects and to restore the civil liberties of its citizens. (Hopefully, the European and other governments will then do the same.)

>> First, what the US (and other Western governments) always let their secret service men, soldiers, or soldiers of their puppet states

>>> Name one puppet state of the U.S. or any other Western gov't.

You probably know that the US, Germany and others send people (and, at least in case of Germany, even their citizens) to "allied" countries in which torture is widespread? Most of the states in the Near and Middle East are puppet states of the West, economically, politically, militarily

>> David just pretends to be naive when he says that Bush and Rumsfeld might have not known about what happened in Abu Ghraib: They didn't need to know details about locations, but they certainly have to know that people are tortured by their men and that they use information that was produced by torture in their vassal states.

>>> Really? Do you have any evidence that rises above rumor? If so, the United States Military would like to interview you. Also, 'vassal states' is a term that is so loaded it requires evidence to support the assertion.

For the states: see above. Self-evidently torturers are normally not ordered to document their cruelties, but just contact refugees, amnesty international, solidarity groups of the church... Some of the most important Western vassals on the Arabian peninsula even have legal forms of torture (so-called sharia). Why not bomb and democratise them?

>>the US a lot of them, because it is the self-declared only superpower of the world.

>>> No, I think that was some asshole in France that 'declared'.

Just read the military doctrines of the US government. It is much more open and honest than their misled defenders.

>>> Let's go back to that sentence.
>>Most of the governments have these dark "secrets" and the US a lot of them, because it is the self-declared only superpower of the world

>>> The U.S. has alot of dark secrets because it self-declared as a superpower. The logic escapes me. Actually, the logic is running away from me like a scalded cat. A country declares itself to be the only superpower in the world which means - or causes - the possesion of dark secrets.

To discuss the logic, we would have to clarify our political theories and assumptions about the relations between political power and violence. I would be happy, if I could say that the Western democracies never use or approve cruelty and murder, but historical and recent evidence is different

>> (just remember the role of the US in Latin America in the 70s and 80s, for example)

>>> I venture to wager you remember none of this. For if you did, you would be - assuming you had any integrity intellectual or otherwise - commenting on Latin America as the battlefield of a proxy war between the West (not just the U.S.) and communisim's champion, the USSR. Yes, the benevolent spawn of Lenin and Uncle Joe were just off somewhere bringing healthcare and literacy to the great unwashed. Like Cuba maybe.

That's precisely the logic that escapes me! "The Soviets, terrorists etc. did/do this and that, so we have do it too" goes the mantra. The historical Nazis and the new Hamas-Nazis want to kill all jews, so we kill all members of another scapegoat group? This twisted logic is the main reason why people who think like you are destroying our democracies. By the way: It's not a sign for any kind of integrity to make jokes about Western crimes in Latin America (in this world region definitely led by the US; yes, I know about Algerie and GDR, too.) I would ask you to talk for example to the many Latin American women who were tortured as teenagers because they helped the poor in the slums. It's fairly probable that communist governements in Latin America would have behaved in a cruel way, but - with the exception of Cuba - there were no communist governments in this region. I cannot justify the murder and torture of people who believed in communism, socialism or just social justice, just because of hypothetical consequences. You are a first-class example for a (presumably) Western individual who is blind to the many facets of reality because of her desire for a simple "Good vs. Bad"-logic (see below). Another dramatic change that took place in US politics (because of the irresponsible GWB-government) is the extreme dominance of this stupid logic in US politics.

>>But if I could freely choose among states I would probably take Costa Rica or Trinidad and Tobago.

>>> So go live there. Let me know how it goes.

Brings me to another aspect: Although it's important to look extremely closely at what Germany is doing, we should not forget the historical legacy of Western world dominance. I meant the mentioning of CR and TaT to be a joke, but I think that a crude "Us-and-them", confrontative logic is part of the Western tradition. Our societies seem not to be able to function without a demonized arch-enemy. The same can be said, of course, about our Islamic sister societies with whom we share most of our traditions. Other societes whose states are able to compete under the rule of this logic (e.g. Japan) will probably have similar twisted logics.

>>(But if I could freely choose among states I would probably take Costa Rica or Trinidad and Tobago.)

>>> Do you know what the word "utopia" means? It means "no place". It doesn't exist.

I know, but you seem to think that the US is a realised Utopia.

Posted by: Pamela | January 27, 2006 at 02:38 AM

>>> Oh, before I forget, I can name about 25 vassal states of a western government. That western gov't is the EU and Germany is one of the vassal states.

My only comment: If it would be like this, I would probably be happy about it.

>>> Good luck with the Services Directive, the EU arrest warrant, subsidiarity, competencies, etc. Euro? Oh. Never mind.

Never mind, indeed; I don't like the directive or the warrant; subsidiarity/competencies is a difficult issue (but again: no "Good-Bad"-logic here); the Euro is okay.

@Christoph

>> "I hope it will be strong enough to end illegal imprisonment of suspects and to restore the civil liberties of its citizens."

You are just joking here I hope. In the USA you can compare the President to Hitler without fear of reprisal. In Germany, you can't even talk about the (former) Chancellor's hair. Try carrying a Schroeder=Hitler or Merkel=Hitler poster around Berlin for a few hours.

@christoph

"It even explicitly stated what they deem to be appropriate means for interrogation and these means are in the view of international law torture."

Name the document and also which statute of international law are we breaking? Good luck being articulate, but please come back when you have the answer.

"I hope it will be strong enough to end illegal imprisonment of suspects and to restore the civil liberties of its citizens."

Would you elaborate where these "suspects" were found when they were "illegeally" imprisoned? Just curious, whose civil liberties were violated? A couple of names and specifics would be nice instead of across-the-board generalizations.

"You probably know that the US, Germany and others send people (and, at least in case of Germany, even their citizens) to "allied" countries in which torture is widespread?"

The only evidence presented so far, after 4-6 weeks, of "secret prisons in far away lands" are articles from newspapers. It makes great headlines and is red-meat for the hate-America-crowd, but we will show concern if more substantial evidence turns up besides articles written by leftist hacks.

"Most of the states in the Near and Middle East are puppet states of the West, economically, politically, militarily"

Really?! Which ones? I would like to pique your knowledge of this issue and how you arrived at your conclusion, but my guess you are bereft of the facts.

"Just read the military doctrines of the US government. It is much more open and honest than their misled defenders."

I've read a few, could you point which journals relate to your assumption? I'm a soldier who served in the ME 91', we were not misled as to what we were doing or what we preparing for nor do those who are there now. Thanks for revealing yourself (mislead defenders = stupid American soldiers).

"we would have to clarify our political theories and assumptions about the relations between political power and violence."

This sentence is pure bullshit.

"It's fairly probable that communist governements in Latin America would have behaved in a cruel way, but - with the exception of Cuba - there were no communist governments in this region."

Liar.

Off the top of my head:

Chile - Salvador Allende (70-73), Communist "Unidad Popular" coalition
Nicaragua - Ortega and the FSLN

Do some reading about todays populists leaders in Venzuela and Bolivia. The communists movement never left Latin America [even after that murdering sociopath Che Guevra was killed in Bolivia].

"Another dramatic change that took place in US politics (because of the irresponsible GWB-government) is the extreme dominance of this stupid logic in US politics."

The catalyst of that dramitic change was 9-11. The status quo was no longer acceptable and to be honest no one in America cares if this upsets the world. I still don't. Seeing our fellow citizens throw themselves off buildings was enough to get some of us to react, but unfortunately not all, to counter the actions of terrorists and their supporters [and cheerleaders]. War is a necessity if a society wants to survive and in this case war is the right choice. Projecting your values onto other nations or societies thinking that everyone is rational and just goes against the grain of the obvious. I doubt you understand, but I don't think you want too. Its easier to critcize and morally equivocate big, bad America to the lowest than to honestly and intellectually address the issues.

"The same can be said, of course, about our Islamic sister societies with whom we share most of our traditions. "

Name those aspects islam shares with the west. I have been to Saudi Arabia and saw little association between Germany and Saudi Arabia, but I will leave that to you to clarify as you made the claim.

"I know, but you seem to think that the US is a realised Utopia."

Utopia is a socialist dream, historically killing millions in the process, that manifests itself across the world out of its birthplace- Europe. Standard of living, GDP per head, wealth generation and other compartive statistics show the US is ahead of the world, but whats facts compared to your opinion. "Love it or leave it", no one will force you to stay in America. No walls to keep you in "utopia" unlike other places in recent history [cough].

From your posts I surmize you are young, probably a student, who has his opinion spoonfed and reinforced by your surrounding environment. Good luck to you.

Christoph,

I do hope you are German and under the age of 35.

If you are, then you are the future of your nation and this makes me feel a lot better.

Thank you for your interesting position and thoughts. Your university professors should be proud of you.

Joe - is that sarcastic? I cannot tell - because in fact Christophs University ( or Gymnasium? ) professors would surely be proud of him - after all - he's hitting all the right notes

The US is an arrogant superpower - what else is new

The Bush Admin is the "worst in US history"
As an aside it staggers the mind to even imagine how many US Admins Christoph could name - I would guess apart from a slavering love for all things Clintonian and a vague childhood memory of Reagan it won't be many. lets find out how he rates Buchanan - or Wilson - who certainly joined a war of choice
This seems like the standard "Bush is the worst ever" from the ignorant
See - even if he's so awfully bad - since you know little to nothing of US history maybe you should be more carefull : )

The obligatory mention of Latin America is the 70's/80's - although I am a little dissapointed in the lack of specific Pinochet reference
Sometimes I get the feeling there is a bust of Allende in every German school in the place once reserved for that bavarian corporal
Suffice to say - do a little learning about latin america, the cold war, communist rule and the 100M dead from same before you sling around accusations
Maybe the people in Central and S America were just as worthy as you in the 70's and 80's of US assistance in preventing communist rule from taking over their futures
Of course they had darker skin so maybe not right....

and the best of all

"But nevertheless one should not be blind to the fact that the US (and with the US most of the West) is moving in a direction away from democracy, human rights, reason, and liberty. "

What Christoph is blind to is that the exact opposite is the hallmark of the Bush Admin ( the so called worst in history as he says)
Democracy, human rights, reason, liberty? It is the effort to EXTEND these things to other parts of the world that Chrisoph and his fellow travellers most object to

Again - these rights are being extended to dark skinned sorts so maybe it doesn't count

But its exactly this kind of thing that makes me want to vomit - some self indulged child of the West pontificating about how we are moving away from freedom while he protests the extention of same to millions of people in the Middle East as none of our business

Chrisoph - you are blind to any concern apart from your own personal happiness - you don't give a shit if Saddam ran his rape rooms and shredded opponents for decades longer - and yet YOU think that you are standing up for liberty and freedom

Don't you get it

PM,

No I was not.

Chrisoph serves a very useful purpose over the near term (5-10 years).

In fact, I wish him success. Hopefully he will enter politics in Germany and become one of the new leaders. There he can add true meaning to what he believes.

Equally hopefully by that time, if there is not already, a new relationship will be in place between Germany and the US. This relationship will be much narrower than the current one which will serve the citizens of both nations better than the present one.


"Don't you get it"

Nope, he never will.

America got the same garbage vomited at it when it was a small and powerless confederation of 13 states, as documented in The Empire of Reason: How Europe Imagined and America Realized the Enlightenment by Henry Steele Commager, Chapters 4 & 5.

This pro-totalitarian, anti-Enlightenment humanism filth is the same old tripe on a "new" plate.

Oh good. A pinata party!

Christoph
>>It even explicitly stated what they deem to be appropriate means for interrogation and these means are in the view of international law torture

What international law would that be? And what means are you referring to?

>>You probably know that the US, Germany and others send people (and, at least in case of Germany, even their citizens) to "allied" countries in which torture is widespread?

I don't know any such thing. And neither do you. And neither does that idiot Marty who is supposedly investigating this for the EU.

The statements made by Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, during and before her European visit of December 2005, and by her predecessor, Colin Powell, who said that the US had always respected the national sovereignty of its allies, are taken by some as both a reprimand and a warning: “stop being hypocritical”, and “do you really want us to say what happened?”.

The strongest evidence for any abduction was an Egyptian from Milan. And he is suspected to be at Gitmo.

And guess what else? No, the European governments do not want Condi to say what really happened because if she did, this is what she would say.

The European Union secretly allowed the United States to use transit facilities on European soil to transport "criminals" in 2003, according to a previously unpublished document. The revelation contradicts repeated EU denials that it knew of "rendition" flights by the CIA.

And you can holler 'torture' all you want but until I see some evidence, you're not getting the benefit of the doubt.

>>Most of the states in the Near and Middle East are puppet states of the West, economically, politically, militarily

Gee. I guess they've all stopped giving money to the Islamofacists, shut down the madrassahs, made forced marriages illegal, stopped shipping illegal weapons to the Palis, given equal rights to women, and corrected all the maps to show Israel exists. Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera. All because of those puppet strings we pull.

>>That's precisely the logic that escapes me! "The Soviets, terrorists etc. did/do this and that, so we have do it too" goes the mantra. The historical Nazis and the new Hamas-Nazis want to kill all jews, so we kill all members of another scapegoat group? This twisted logic is the main reason why people who think like you are destroying our democracies

You missed my point. Allow me to clarify. When under existential threat, America goes to war. Latin America was a battlefield in the Cold War which did indeed comprise an existential threat to the U.S. Wars are not won with diplomatic niceties in embassy drawing rooms. Although they can be lost there. And my democracy is just fine, thanks, hows yours?

>>I would ask you to talk for example to the many Latin American women who were tortured as teenagers because they helped the poor in the slums.

I've talked to many of their children. They're here in the U.S. For some reason neither Moscow nor Havana held any charms for them.

>> with the exception of Cuba - there were no communist governments in this region.

Well, you've already been called on liar, but for the sake of civil discourse, I'll just chalk this up to profound ignorance.

>> You are a first-class example for a (presumably) Western individual who is blind to the many facets of reality because of her desire for a simple "Good vs. Bad"-logic (see below)

You know nothing about me, my eyesight, or my desires. You are correct in assuming I'm first-class but I think you just got lucky on that one.

>>Another dramatic change that took place in US politics (because of the irresponsible GWB-government)

I do recall there was a dramatic change around here a few years back. I seem to recall watching planes fly into towers in New York. While I was watching I heard the plane hit the Pentagon. Since then there are children from 5 families in my neighborhood that trick-or-treat at my house every year with just one parent. I don't recall GWB having anything to do with it.

>>The same can be said, of course, about our Islamic sister societies with whom we share most of our traditions

Are you on drugs? Is there medication you should be taking and have forgotten? Please enlighten me as to these 'traditions'. While you're doing that, I'll go reload.

>> know, but you seem to think that the US is a realised Utopia.

That's just a picture you drew in your own head all by yourself. Nothing in my post supports such a conclusion.

>>subsidiarity/competencies is a difficult issue

I don't know how you intend 'difficult issue'. Do you mean it is difficult to understand? Or presents difficulties politically? Would you mind clarifying your meaning please?

@Christoph

>>"1) There was a debate of these cases in Germany and this comes as no surprise: ..."

Thanks, Christoph, for a classic example of the double standard. We've seen this MO before, haven't we? First pretend that what happens in Germany "isn't so bad," and then divert attention from the point of the post by harping about all the usual "sins of the US" talking points.

Maria Zitterbart tries a slightly different version of the same gambit:

>>"Well, do you suspect the German government of tacit approval of Bundeswehr soldiers torturing and abusing their own subordinates. If yes, what could be the motivation? To get information to be used in the WoT?"

In fact, things like this couldn't happen without the tacit approval of the German government. I went through "beast barracks" at West Point in 1966. The psychological pressure and physical stress were as harsh as the Army could make them within the regulations, but no upperclassman or officer ever struck me or any of the other new cadets. They were well aware that, if they did strike us, it would not be swept under the rug by those "on high," and the consequences for them would be much worse than they were willing to bear. They invariably asked our permission if it was necessary for to so much as touch us.

If things like this happen, it is the fault of the German government and the high command of the Bundeswehr, period! I know, because I've been there, and I know it can't happen without their benign neglect or approval. Why is it that those who are so quick to criticize the US can't simply admit that their government was wrong when the facts are so glaringly obvious? Strange, isn't it, that it never occurs to them to rationalize away all the evils they see in the US in similar fashion, or to suggest that its OK because, after all, things are worse in Yugoslavia. Just a coincidence, I guess.

Pamela,

For an in-depth examination of the torture topic, I would refer you to Andrew Sullivan's site. (Presumably Medienkritik's authors hold him in some esteem since his is the lead testimonial over on the right hand margin.) Unfortunately, with Sullivan's shift to "Time", his archives now only go back to 1 January 2006. But he posted at length in November and December with link-rich text.

Here's something he quoted today:

"It is past time for evangelical Christians to remind our government and our society of perennial moral values, which also happen to be international and domestic laws. As Christians, we care about moral values, and we vote on the basis of such values. We care deeply about human-rights violations around the world. Now it is time to raise our voice and say an unequivocal no to torture, a practice that has no place in our society and violates our most cherished moral convictions."

This comes from an article in the February edition of the evangelical magazine, Christianity Today. It's called "Why Torture Is Always Wrong."

You may have some points regarding the issues Christoph raises, but the issue of torture is nothing concocted by the left-wing fringe as a zinger for Bush and Co. There have been serious, if not serial, abuses, and folks like Sullivan, John McCain and at least part of the evangelical community, among many others, obviously think there's substance in the charges.

Cheers,

@beimami
Paraphrasing, "Of course you can stand in front of the White House with a Bush=Hitler sign, without fear of reprisal. I assure you, you can just as well stand in front of the Bundestag with a Bush=Hitler sign, equally without fear of reprisal." Old joke, but I had to say it.

"In order to salvage her own reputation Karpinski has signed up with the Moonbat Left to attempt yet again to trash Bush."

Jabba, there is no way Gen. Karpinski can salvage her reputation. She was incompetent in her job and has done nothing since her name became public but to blame others for her faults and mistakes. I remember the first time I saw an interview with her and all I could think of was how could a person get to her level without a clue about what the words "leadership" and "responsibility" mean.

Contrast her with the story of Lt. Col. Allen West of the 4th ID to see what a real leader is and what a person does that understands the meaning of responsibility.

Hi Rofe, how are you?

>>There have been serious, if not serial, abuses, and folks like Sullivan, John McCain and at least part of the evangelical community, among many others, obviously think there's substance in the charges.

I know of one case in which an Iraqi general was killed during interrogation. The American responsible has been convicted. People responsible for Abu Gharib have been convicted.

That people have been tried and convicted gives the lie to 2 memes: the U.S. gov't considers torture legal; and the U.S. gov't uses torture as a matter of policy.

No one is disputing abuses have happened. The context for them however, is the focus of the debate.

>>"Why Torture Is Always Wrong."

Awhile back, Querdenker, I and a few others had a really fun knock-down, drag-out about that.

Pamela,

You silly woman! Don't you read the newspapers like Marty?

It was in the newspapers therefore it must be true. An you know it was because it was in the German papers and they have the highest standard of any profession in all of Europe.

Pamela, Please get with the program.

Thank you,


Ralf,

Did Sully ever define what he was moaning about? I have yet to see him define this term.

I do like the reference to McCane. He seems to be of the school - if there is important information to be gained then do it - BUT - if you are wrong we are going to hang you.

I think that is a very European position he has taken. Something the folks in Paris and Berlin could even sign up.. .. BUT YOU BETTER BE RIGHT.

@othercoast
An old one but a good one.

Hi Pamela,

Other than the prospect of having to work on Sunday, I'm fine and dandy. I did, in fact, read quite a few of the knock-down, drag-out comments.

I think that the convictions - and, convictions or not, the investigations that started internally - say worlds about the integrity of our military, not that I ever doubted it. I also think, however, that there are some in power who are willing to put our service people between a rock and a hard place when it comes to what's acceptable and what's not. I hope that those folks will eventually be held accountable, too.

And I'm afraid that there are some who would be willing to push the envelope quite far regarding torture as a matter of policy. I'm hopeful that they're being reined in.

Cheers,

FranZ,

Why did you not tell me that the EU Battle Group might deploy? Here I have to read it from a primary source and not from you.

Please keep up with these important military developments.

@joe
>>You silly woman! Don't you read the newspapers like Marty?

Ok, lordie, joe, that report is so lame. Pathetic. Risible. What was most telling, I think, is that if he's going to use media reports as evidence, he just might want to include the ones that nail European gov'ts for complicity. Ah. Maybe it's just me.

Not.

@Rofe,

>>I also think, however, that there are some in power who are willing to put our service people between a rock and a hard place when it comes to what's acceptable and what's not. I hope that those folks will eventually be held accountable, too.

I've never been in the military, but at least 40% of my family has (nephew just got back from a year in Iraq actually).

None of them understand how this happens. And they're not terribly patient with 'where's the leadership?' thing either. As my brother-in-law - who was career Army - put it: Since when does anybody need 'leadership' to tell them you don't stuff a person headfirst into a sleeping bag and sit on them?

I just shake my head and wonder what they were thinking.

This whole - "Let em torture when needed - but if they are wrong hang em from the yardarm" compromise is really sickening

The only people who should take such a position are those who volunteer for the job - and take that risk - and by the way - should an attack happen and its found later that they didn't waterboard Sheik Yabooti then they should ALSO be hung from said yardarm

Its only fair that I demand perfection in prevention of attacks as long as McCain demands perfection on severe interrogation


As for Andrew Sullivan - I lost interest in him when he decided that while the War on Terror was important - it really was minor compared to his right to marry his boyfriend

>>"Its only fair that I demand perfection in prevention of attacks as long as McCain demands perfection on severe interrogation"

I guess it all depends on your attitude towards Liberty.

@Pogue Mahone

"As for Andrew Sullivan - I lost interest in him when he decided that while the War on Terror was important - it really was minor compared to his right to marry his boyfriend."

Isn't that the truth. That was one issue he simply wouldn't let go and it damaged his credibility. Then backing Kerry in the 04' election. Oy!

With the exception of Pat Robertson, who are these "evangelical christians" people always comment on? Pat doesn't have that big of a following. I came to the conclusion awhilie ago that "evangelical christians" are nothing more than a boogey man the left use to keep their followres back in rank or scape goat. Sort of like the "vast rightwing conspiracy" or "secret zionist plots" that are thrown about. The infamous "them" lurking in the shadows.

My attitude about liberty Helian is that it comes in different values

My first and most important liberty is life - and since I work in midtown Manhattan - and used to work at the WTC - I don't consider this a hypothetical exercise.

So my attitude about liberty is one of realism

I can sympathise with the fate of an innocent subjected to stress positions or the open-handed belly slap - or even up to waterboarding

I am sure it will happen - just as I am sure innocent men are in prison all over the world today getting beaten and sexually assualted

The justice system is, like all human endeavors, imperfect

This does not mean I want to remove from the police the power to detain suspect in holding cells. Of course there will be innocents thrust into the cells from time to time - there was just a case like that in NJ last week - but the value of a safe society demands that the police do their job and remove the really dangerous from the street. And honest people will understand this and understand errors are part of human activity.

Now you could say - "without a trial how can you allow that - whats your attitude about liberty"

But that would sound absurd wouldn't it

Rofe,

I just finished reading that article "5 Reasons Why Torture is Always Wrong". There's enough moral vanity in that piece to choke Cindy Sheehan.

As Christians, we care about moral values, and we vote on the basis of such values. We care deeply about human-rights violations around the world.

When you care more about what you care about than you do about innocent lives, I've just stopped listening.

We are tempted to follow the logic of a July 11, 2005, Time magazine cover story that said, "In the war on terrorism, the personal dignity of a fanatic trained for mass murder may be an inevitable casualty."

The personal dignity of someone bent on murder is of absolutely no concern to me whatever. I could give a rip.

I could go on, but I don't want to abuse the bandwidth. Thanks for the article, tho'. I've bookmarked it for reference.

>>"My first and most important liberty is life - and since I work in midtown Manhattan - and used to work at the WTC - I don't consider this a hypothetical exercise."

Fortunately our forefathers had a somewhat different attitude. I suspect they would not have condoned torture, promoted illegal searches, and built a new Bastille at Guantanamo because of one successful terrorist attack. We are all strong enough to bear the misfortunes of others, right Pogue? In this case, the "others" are Sheik Yabooti, and anyone else you consider "obviously guilty." Of course, you yourself are above suspicion, and are quite sure you will never have to suffer any of the arbitrary punishment you are so cheerfully willing to mete out to others.

As for "hanging on the yardarm" people who don't agree with you, you should, perhaps, reflect on the fact that your neck can also be stretched.

I have just come across the most cogent explanation for the war in Iraq ever.
---------------
Beard envy. On a deeply subconscious level George W Bush and most American men are jealous of the fullsome beards that Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi men can grow. This deep rooted envy is projected via the vast war machine. Notice how they haven't waged war upon the Canadians and nobody can say they don't deserve it but the Canadians, due to their race being diluted by the French, have the facial hair of a mangy dog. The same with the Mexicans, their wispy half-taches don't warrant military action. The greater the beard the more the beard envy and the greater chance their is of war."

"Interesting theory, Dave, I have to say. It's a wonder they didn't invade East Germany when you think about the women athletes they used to send to the olympics."

The real reason behind the war in Iraq

(Don't go here if foul language offends you)

The yardarm I refer to Helian is the one from which Sen McCain and his supporters want to hang the interrogators who make a mistake from.

( sorry to end a sentence in a preposition : ) )

Try to read the comments and understand the context

As for the lovely paean to the Founding Fathers and liberty - while quite enjoyable it completely misses the point and is filled with errors

"Fortunately our forefathers had a somewhat different attitude."

Actually they did - they wouldn't have spent 5 min debating the ethical question of stress-positioning a foreign enemy in custody for information.

"I suspect they would not have condoned torture, promoted illegal searches, and built a new Bastille at Guantanamo because of one successful terrorist attack."

Lets begin with the last point first - your dismisive comment about 9/11 is frankly revolting. And its to prevent the NEXT attack that these efforts are underway. Had they been used after the 1993 bombing of the WTC maybe 9/11 could have been prevented.
As for condoning "torture" you should really do some research on the US penal system and its history. Perhaps you could tell us what forms of punishment were meted out in say Leavenworth in the 19th C - or prison barges during the Rev War ( flogging ring a bell? )

Don't pontificate about what the Founding Fathers would or would not do in these cases unless you first understand that everything the US has done as officially permitted ( and 99% of what was done and then punished as illegal! ) would not have raised an eyebrow among the FF


"We are all strong enough to bear the misfortunes of others, right Pogue?"

Well you are certainly strong enough to bear the deaths of the innocents murdered because you decided that the open-hand belly slap and confinement in Gitmo were too much to bear. Of course you assume it will be others who die - maybe you, or your family, will be unlucky next time. Do you fly?

" In this case, the "others" are Sheik Yabooti, and anyone else you consider "obviously guilty." Of course, you yourself are above suspicion, and are quite sure you will never have to suffer any of the arbitrary punishment you are so cheerfully willing to mete out to others."

Try reading comprehension again and read the part about Police power to arrest people and detain them in holding cells. Certainly this is something that could happen to me sometime - if I met a description or matched a profile. And I understand this - and accept this risk in life as the alternative of denying the police the power to detain ANYONE is far far worse.

Every time you suggest I don't care about the liberties of others because I favor these tactics just understand in my view YOU don't care about the lives of others because you don't.

>>"Lets begin with the last point first - your dismisive comment about 9/11 is frankly revolting. And its to prevent the NEXT attack that these efforts are underway. Had they been used after the 1993 bombing of the WTC maybe 9/11 could have been prevented."

I'm not at all dismissive about 9/11. I know precisely what happened. I would also gladly take my chances in 100 more 9/11's rather than sell out the liberties so many have died to defend. About 40,000 people die in the US in traffic accidents every year, and about 25,000 are killed by firearms, and we accept it without declaring a "war" on motor vehicles or firearms, yet somehow we have been so traumatized by the deaths of 3,000 that we are willing to throw liberty out the window.

>>"Don't pontificate about what the Founding Fathers would or would not do in these cases unless you first understand that everything the US has done as officially permitted ( and 99% of what was done and then punished as illegal! ) would not have raised an eyebrow among the FF"

If you think the founding fathers would not have raised an eyebrow because of torture, illegal searches, and indefinite suspension of habeus corpus as long as a President and/or his Attorney General quite arbitrarily decided we were at "war," I can only say I beg to differ. No doubt we value life rather more highly now than we did in those days when it was not quite so certain that we would live to a ripe old age, or even survive childhood. Still, it's sad to think we have become such a nation of rabbits.


Helian, may I interject myself into your discussion with Pogue, please?
>> I would also gladly take my chances in 100 more 9/11's rather than sell out the liberties so many have died to defend.

Exactly what liberties are you referring to? Is this solely about torture?

If I correctly read your posts, your argument falls into the 'slippery slope' category. Please correct me if I misunderstand.

So - assuming I understand - I would ask you:

If 9/11 could have been prevented using torture, do you think it would have been the right thing to do?

@Rofe:

"You may have some points regarding the issues Christoph raises, but the issue of torture is nothing concocted by the left-wing fringe as a zinger for Bush and Co. There have been serious, if not serial, abuses, and folks like Sullivan, John McCain and at least part of the evangelical community, among many others, obviously think there's substance in the charges."

I respectfully have to disagree with you on this one. First of all, there's the definition of the word "torture", which we've discussed before. The Left's definition is that when the U.S. takes prisoners, that is in itself torture (even though it's okay for other countries to do it). Therefore, the U.S., alone among all nations that have ever existed on Earth, is uniquely barred from holding POWs -- a recognized practice of warfare since time immemorial. Further, insults and embarassment are not and cannot be regarded as torture. To say otherwise makes a mockery of the word, in the same way that radical feminists have devalued the concept of rape by using the term to describe anything they don't like.

Further, your sources are not exactly unimpeachable. Sully has been fact-checked any number of times, and a lot of his sources found wanting (he gives full credibility to trained al-Q terrorists who have since been released and then captured again). Even more to the point, over the past two years Sully has demonstrated that his moral convictions can be and have been bought. As for McCain, he's well-known in Washington as a media whore who will say absolutely anything to get his name in the papers. Ever since he stirred up his ruckus with the torture bill, he has been backtracking because he's beginning to see the repercussions of his behavior. Don't forget that he is a co-author of a bill which authorizes -- in fact, demands -- that the U.S. government censor blogs like Medienkritik if their words should happen to threaten the re-election bids of incumbent Congressmen such as himself. His moral unimpeachability is in fact very shaky at this point.

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