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  • U.N., Guantanamo and the torture question

    Has anyone else been dismayed by the recent (16 Feb) U.N. Commission on Human Rights call for the U.S. to shut down the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay for multiple legal and ethical reasons? Has anyone been dismayed by the Bush Administration's response? While I can understand there are legitimate problems with the organization (as there are problems with the American government as well), who are we to flatly reject the findings of a jointly independent report like this, and yet expect the U.N. Defense Council to take our word for it when it comes to providing evidence to attack another country? The level of hipocracy here is simply mind boggling, yet the American press hardly covers it. Run a Google News search on the story and you'll find this on hundreds of headlines around the world, but only marginally covered in the U.S. American public interest and awareness of this issue is low - global interest is high. Once again, the American government is not doing itself any favors by holding hundreds of men without charges for up to three years running - and, according to the evidence thus far, is clearly torturing some of these men for information that is most likely fabricated.

    The entire point of International human rights is the establishment of a core set of values - that every human on Earth has a right to explain their actions and be able to defend themselves against whatever charges are being brought upon them. According to the U.S. these values do not apply to terrorism suspects. Aside from whether or not you agree with that - what gives America the right to make that judgment? This is yet another clear case of the sad state of International politics at this point.

    Also notice that even Great Britain is siding with the U.N. on this. Once again we are alone in this - with the exception of Israel. Again, this does not serve to further any improvement in U.S. foreign relations. Bullying will only serve to make more enemies in the long run.

    I urge you to read the actual U.N report (E.CN.4/2006/120) for yourself and post comments. Please do not post propaganda stating that this is a necessary tool in the new war on terror. The question here has to do with basic human rights, torture, and the present U.S. response to U.N. allegations. The report linked below contains documented elements of International law - do not refute it unless you have legal evidence to back it up.

    The full report:
    http://www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/....2006.120_.pdf

    The U.N. press release
    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.as...E1namo&Cr1=Bay

  • #2
    Re: U.N., Guantanamo and the torture question

    My belief that someone should be overseeing the way the US handles these situations is marred by my other belief that the UN is a pile of garbage.

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    • #3
      Re: U.N., Guantanamo and the torture question

      I stopped reading here:

      The U.S. constantly thumbs their nose at the United Nations and the various agencies it houses with such contempt that it parallels the behavior of Saddam Hussein at the Iraq war crimes trials.

      Proposterous.
      New to TG?

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      • #4
        Re: U.N., Guantanamo and the torture question

        Originally posted by USN_Squid
        I stopped reading here:

        The U.S. constantly thumbs their nose at the United Nations and the various agencies it houses with such contempt that it parallels the behavior of Saddam Hussein at the Iraq war crimes trials.

        Proposterous.
        Removed. You're right, it's an egregious comment.

        Though I would be interested in how you would explain the differences in contempt - I am talking about contempt, not the differences between the U.S. and Hussein. The differences in behavior in the face of a 'foreign' body of judgement are few, in my opinion. Both are essentially proclaiming 'who are you to pass judgement on me - you have no authority over me' - are they not?

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        • #5
          Re: U.N., Guantanamo and the torture question

          IIRC, they didn't even go to Guantanamo, they just based the report on interviews with former detainees. That sounds really objective.

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          • #6
            Re: U.N., Guantanamo and the torture question

            The U.N. is also stating that they refused the offer to visit Gitmo becuase the U.S. would not allow them to talk to detainees.
            "Umm Deputy these aren't my pants" - Common alarm cry of the North American Crackhead
            [tg-c1][ma-c1][defense]

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            • #7
              Re: U.N., Guantanamo and the torture question

              Originally posted by TheFeniX
              My belief that someone should be overseeing the way the US handles these situations is marred by my other belief that the UN is a pile of garbage.
              My personal belief is that the UN is a pile of garbage largely because the US makes it so.

              "We won't stand for a country violating UN regulations, thus, we're going to violate UN regulations and invade that country in order to make it stop violating the regulations." (this is a paraphrase from an actual US official shortly before the invasion of Iraq. wish I still had the link, but I don't; it was from a CNN article)

              From what I've seen, the US follows international rules so long as those rules don't hamper us in any way. Until someone actually stands up to the US and lays the smack down, that is exactly how things will continue.

              With regards to the original topic, it doesn't matter what any report or findings are made, the US won't be letting those prisoners go or have better access to courts any time soon. Sad, but it's the truth.
              [squadl]
              "I am the prettiest african-american, vietnamese..cong..person." -SugarNCamo

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              • #8
                Re: U.N., Guantanamo and the torture question

                Well, the UN refused to show any teeth after Iraq told them to screw off, and the US decided at that point that the UN had made itself irrelevant. I feel that they are right. The UN is truly a waste of effort for everyone involved if they refuse to take action when they are challenged. Being FOR peace doesn't mean that you fold up whenever someone threatens to destroy peace.

                So now the toothless UN comes along and tries to tell the US what to do? I can accept the US government giving them some grief.

                But of course ultimately I do agree that the US needs to do something about their "enemy combatants". When this mess started, they needed to quickly deal with the enemy prisoners, and it didn't bother me that they went outside the realm of existing laws, because it was a new kind of war. But now they have had time to solve this and they have not. In the time that has passed, they could easily have created new laws to give them legal reasons to hold these guys, but from my point of view, they have done nothing.

                I do not think they can just let these guys go. I hope they can come up with a solution, because it's a tough spot.
                Peace through fear... since 1947!

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                • #9
                  Re: U.N., Guantanamo and the torture question

                  Originally posted by SmokingTarpan
                  "We won't stand for a country violating UN regulations, thus, we're going to violate UN regulations and invade that country in order to make it stop violating the regulations." (this is a paraphrase from an actual US official shortly before the invasion of Iraq. wish I still had the link, but I don't; it was from a CNN article)
                  This has been an issue since WAAAAAY before Iraq or Afganistan. If anything, it's more akin to vigilante justice.

                  From what I've seen, the US follows international rules so long as those rules don't hamper us in any way. Until someone actually stands up to the US and lays the smack down, that is exactly how things will continue.
                  Which just isn't going to happen anytime soon.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: U.N., Guantanamo and the torture question

                    Originally posted by TheFeniX
                    My belief that someone should be overseeing the way the US handles these situations is marred by my other belief that the UN is a pile of garbage.
                    I tend to agree with this. Something does need to be done about all the folks being held in Guantanamo, that's for sure.

                    At the same time, the corrupt United Nations is becoming more and more irrelevent every day. They do the world more harm than good at times, and the good that they do spread around the world could easily be replaced by national or private charitable organizations...
                    Become a supporting member!
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                    Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
                    TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

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                    • #11
                      Re: U.N., Guantanamo and the torture question

                      It's difficult to argue against the notion that the U.N. is both flawed (due to corruption and mismanagement) and relatively ineffective (some would say irrelevant).

                      I'm interested in the question of why the model is flawed, how it got to this point, and what role the U.S. plays in all of it. I'm not saying that America should blindly embrace the U.N. and its recommendations in the name of making it a success, nor am I arguing that the success of failure of the U.N. solely lies on U.S. shoulders. However, American contempt for the organization is clearly detracting from its overall effectiveness. I am still not convinced that the appointment of John Bolton, a hard-line U.N. reformer, is a good idea. Apparently the U.S. Congress isn't convinced either - his appointment is still temporary pending approval.

                      The history of the U.S. and its disregard for the U.N. is quite lengthy, so I don't accept the argument that we can't accept it's judgement because the organization is flawed. I believe that historical evidence clearly shows that the U.S. contributed to the failure of the U.N. more than any other one nation - a look at their veto record shows a consistent pattern of more than 30 vetos stretching back to 1972. Looking closer you'll find that on many of these resolutions, the U.S. and Israel were the only dissenters.

                      Given the pattern of American dissent and the current attitude that the U.N. is useless, what hope do we have for a true International governing body? As much as I know there most definitely are criminals being held at Guantanamo Bay, I am uncomfortable in knowing that by disregarding International laws (as suggested by this current U.N report), the U.S. is setting a bad precedent for future global conflicts.

                      This is a fantastic debate, though, and something that more and more people (especially Americans) should become aware of, so thanks for checking out this post and writing your thoughts.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: U.N., Guantanamo and the torture question

                        Originally posted by icky
                        Well, the UN refused to show any teeth after Iraq told them to screw off, and the US decided at that point that the UN had made itself irrelevant. I feel that they are right. The UN is truly a waste of effort for everyone involved if they refuse to take action when they are challenged. Being FOR peace doesn't mean that you fold up whenever someone threatens to destroy peace.

                        .

                        question, you are not still waiting for the weapons of mass destruction that actually the UN said were not there are you?

                        they refused to show their teeth because acording to the inspectors there was not a sufficient threat to do so,

                        we, went against that and found, oops actually the UN was correct not to act further because there were no weapons...

                        not saying i am totally anti war, i would have supported a war to bring sadam to trial for the gassng of the kurds or any number of other things he has done... but the argument of WMD's is well and truely shot,


                        www.TeamElement.com

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                        • #13
                          Re: U.N., Guantanamo and the torture question

                          i personally don't see how the US or any other country involved in the UN can take it seriously. Considering its corrupt all the way to the top. I see this as a ploy for them to make themselves look good, they have no credibility or real power.

                          But on the other hand these "prisoners" are getting the royal treatment. These men are getting 3 hot meals a day, the food their religion says is good. Better housing and have a better life in our prison system then they would in their countries.

                          I'm not supporting the fact these men have more then likely been beating and tortured. We should commission some Swedish lawyers and such to look into it. Swedish cause they are neutral and hopefully couldn't be bought
                          that sounds like a good idea trooper.
                          -Vulcan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: U.N., Guantanamo and the torture question

                            Originally posted by AMosely
                            Given the pattern of American dissent and the current attitude that the U.N. is useless, what hope do we have for a true International governing body?
                            Personally, I think there is no hope. No matter what the world decides to do on a large-scale effort, if the US doesn't like it, we won't do it. Certainly, the current UN is corrupt; but I ask for a display of any government that is free of corruption.

                            People laugh and say the UN is useless, that every country out there just thumbs their nose at their regulations and sanctions. Well, what do people expect? All a country facing sanctions has to do is look up and see that the US disregards the UN, so why bother following the rules themselves? Funniest part is, Iraq actually followed the UN regulations and still got invaded for it, heh.

                            Unless the non-US countries band together and actually get the balls to put sanctions on us, there will be no international governing body; short of WW3 that ends with a domination, that is. Those sanctions are never going to happen, though. When it comes to international politics, it tends to be the US way or the highway. :(
                            [squadl]
                            "I am the prettiest african-american, vietnamese..cong..person." -SugarNCamo

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: U.N., Guantanamo and the torture question

                              Originally posted by Pickle
                              The U.N. is also stating that they refused the offer to visit Gitmo becuase the U.S. would not allow them to talk to detainees.
                              Right...and what pray tell would the detainees say?....perhaps, "I am innocent and the evil americans are torturing me, please help me o' great UN'. Give me a break.
                              |TG-1stMIP| Ransack



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