US judge steps in to torture rowJeebus, I'm so sick of these morons and their fantasies about Jack Bauer. It is "extraordinary" for a justus of the US Supreme Court to try to justus-ify torture. We've signed treaties, we've passed laws, and regardless of what scaliawag sez, waterboarding is water torture.
In the interview with the Law in Action programme on BBC Radio 4, [Justice Scalia] said it was "extraordinary" to assume that the ban on "cruel and unusual punishment" - the US Constitution's Eighth Amendment - also applied to "so-called" torture.
"To begin with the constitution... is referring to punishment for crime. And, for example, incarcerating someone indefinitely would certainly be cruel and unusual punishment for a crime."
Justice Scalia argued that courts could take stronger measures when a witness refused to answer questions.
"I suppose it's the same thing about so-called torture. Is it really so easy to determine that smacking someone in the face to determine where he has hidden the bomb that is about to blow up Los Angeles is prohibited in the constitution?" he asked.
"It would be absurd to say you couldn't do that. And once you acknowledge that, we're into a different game.
"How close does the threat have to be? And how severe can the infliction of pain be?"
"To begin with the constitution... is referring to punishment for crime." Actually the 8th amendment says: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
INAL, but I don't see anything in the 8th that says only punishment for the guilty falls within its guidelines. It seems to me to also incorporate people just charged with a crime, (that 'excessive bail' terminology is the key.)
Besides the fact that when the CIA tortured suspects there was no ticking bomb! And they didn't torture them to find out about the future but about their past. And guess what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confessed to after they water tortured him:
* The February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York CityBTW, he also shot Lincoln and both Kennedys. Confessions obtained thru torture are not trustworthy. It is impossible that KSM was involved in all those events.
* A failed "shoe bomber" operation
* The October 2002 attack in Kuwait
* The nightclub bombing in Bali, Indonesia
* A plan for a "second wave" of attacks on major U.S. landmarks to be set in the spring or summer of 2002 after the 9/11 attacks, which includes more hijackings of commercial airlines and having them flown into various buildings in the U.S. including the Library Tower in Los Angeles , the Sears Tower in Chicago, the Plaza Bank building in Seattle and the Empire State Building in New York
* Plots to attack oil tankers and U.S. naval ships in the Straits of Hormuz, the Straits of Gibraltar and in Singapore
* A plan to blow up the Panama Canal
* Plans to assassinate Jimmy Carter
* A plot to blow up suspension bridges in New York City
* A plan to destroy the Sears Tower in Chicago with burning fuel trucks
* Plans to "destroy" Heathrow Airport, Canary Wharf and Big Ben in London
* A planned attack on "many" nightclubs in Thailand
* A plot targeting the New York Stock Exchange and other U.S. financial targets
* A plan to destroy buildings in Eilat, Israel
* Plans to destroy U.S. embassies in Indonesia, Australia and Japan in 2002.
* Plots to destroy Israeli embassies in India, Azerbaijan, the Philippines and Australia
* Surveying and financing an attack on an Israeli El-Al flight from Bangkok
* Sending several "mujahideen" into Israel to survey "strategic targets" with the intention of attacking them
* The November 2002 suicide bombing of a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya
* The failed attempt to shoot down an Israeli passenger jet leaving Mombasa airport in Kenya
* Plans to attack U.S. targets in South Korea
* Providing financial support for a plan to attack U.S., British and Jewish targets in Turkey
* Surveillance of U.S. nuclear power plants in order to attack them
* A plot to attack NATO's headquarters in Europe
* Planning and surveillance in a 1995 plan (the "Bojinka Operation") to bomb 12 American passenger jets
* The planned assassination attempt against then-U.S. President Bill Clinton during a mid-1990s trip to the Philippines.
* "Shared responsibility" for a plot to kill Pope John Paul II
* Plans to assassinate Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf
* An attempt to attack a U.S. oil company in Sumatra, Indonesia, "owned by the Jewish former [U.S.] Secretary of State Henry Kissinger"
* The beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl
"incarcerating someone indefinitely would certainly be cruel and unusual punishment for a crime" How interesting. The Gitmo detainees are incarcerated indefinitely. Without charges, without trials, except for these 6 detainees they're 'prosecuting' ... just in time for the election.
"courts could take stronger measures when a witness refused to answer questions" Uhh no! Not if it would incriminate them, and I tend to think telling where you planted a bomb would be self-incriminating.
"how severe can the infliction of pain be?" Pain = torture. That's simple enough. There can be no infliction of pain.
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak