If waterboarding is illegal by treaty and Cheney authorized it's use, why has he not been prosecuted?


Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, considers waterboarding a form of torture. McCain has been quoted as saying that waterboarding is "no different than holding a pistol to his head and firing a blank." CBS NEWS

Update 2:

After World War II, U.S. military commissions prosecuted several Japanese soldiers for subjecting U.S. soldiers to waterboarding, according to Human Rights Watch. In 1968, a U.S. soldier was court-martialed for water boarding a Vietnamese prisoner.

But in October 2006, Vice President Dick Cheney confirmed the United States had used the controversial technique to interrogate senior Al Qaeda suspects, and he said the White House did not consider waterboarding a form of torture.

Update 3:

"The Bush administration continues to astonish," said Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA's executive director. "Its own State Department has labeled water boarding torture when it applies to other countries. Yet in President Bush's legal wonderland, water boarding is renamed an enhanced interrogation technique. President Bush continues to assert that his administration is complying with U.S. and international law, yet every available fact has proven the contrary."

Update 4:

"If you look at the history of the use of that technique, " Holder replied, "we prosecuted our own soldiers for using it in Vietnam. . . . Waterboarding is torture." -US Attorney Gen'l Eric Holder

Update 5:

The U.S., under Ronald Reagan, legally obligated itself to investigate and prosecute any acts of torture committed by Americans (which includes authorization of torture by high level officials and also includes, under Article 3 of the Convention, acts of "rendering" detainees to countries likely to torture, as the Bush administration unquestionably did).

Update 6:

Righties are totally void of qualties that distinguish us from apes.

Update 7:

In actuallity, being beheaded is probably more humane than the electric chair.

How can you say being drowned to the point of near death is NOT torture?

Try it and tell me what you think.

Update 8:

Bush administration officials from Vice President Dick Cheney on down signed off on using harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists after asking the Justice Department to endorse their legality, The Associated Press has learned.

17 Answers

  • justa
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is a serious question, one that may have the former President and VP staying out of some countries that do not have a hands off policy for torturers.

    The Bush administration perpetrated the idea that the president during war had infinite powers. Of course that's not going to fly now, not here, not overseas where they are quite sticky about those things.

    Basically hes getting away with it because of the lack of desire to further embarrass the US. That may not hold up in all countries.

    We are signatory to the Geneva Conventions, we promised to abide by certain behaviors. Al Qaeda is an outlaw, terrorist loose organization, not a nation or state.

    When we stoop to torture, which waterboarding is, unless you think serial drowning is a day in the park, we lose face, much as any leader would if throwing a tantrum. If we don't behave with a modicum of dignity we lose influence.

    We can't been seen to behave like them, they are less than human.

    Men who were present at that the torture sessions, have said that there was no valuable information obtained, and no plans were disrupted. Given the use of small cells with no one knowing what the other cell had planned, its understandable.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Humans who don't have money to buy nice looking uniforms, and have no representative to send to the "Treaty Table", are NOT allowed to defend their homeland against invaders with nice uniforms and good representation. <sarcasm>

    McCain was right; waterboarding simulates drowning, which simulates death. Anyone who has never been close to death can not speak about whether or not waterboarding is torture.

    Being close to death, as a captive at the hands of a calculating adversary, is a psychological torture that fractures the mind and temporarily displaces the soul. If you haven't experienced it, you can't speak on it.

    John McCain did (and is not the only one). I will listen to him, over the Keyboard Commandos here on Y/A

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  • KarenL
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Some much disinformation, so much Bush/Cheney hatred remaining -- it is a sad state of affairs.

    Beheading is not illegal --- unless you are a citizen committing murder of an citizen. Saudia Arabia, a UN member and signature to the Declaration of Human Rights beheads convicted individuals nearly weekly.

    Waterboarding is not torture or else I would have to have my brothers arrested since they often held me down while spraying water on my face. (I learned how to resist and I became better at Karate).

    Becareful of what you proclaim as torture for a weak definition may affect you --- people have called spanking ones child Torture/abuse. People have called denying food to ones child "Torture". Some City governments have even rules that faternal twins cannot share a bedroom as this is denial of someone' rights.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Because - as Vice President - Cheney did not have the authority to either approve or ban any practice or policy. (I suggest that you read the Constitution and find out just how limited the authority of a Vice President is.)

    In addition - if you charged Cheney, you would also have to charge the members of Congress who approved this (Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi both approved this). In addition you will also have to prosecute every single person who knew of the activity.

    BTW - are you aware of the circumstances that caused both the President and these members of Congress to approve this procedure 'as an exception to policy' on this person? (We knew that AQ was planning a terrorist attack and we knew that this man knew where and how.)

    And what decision would _you_ have made given the fact that water-boarding of this person allowed us to prevent a terrorist attack that would have killed hundreds of American civilians?

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  • 1 decade ago

    What treaty do you cite as reference? Are al-Qaeda members a party to this treaty? If you answer no to the last question, then there is nothing to prosecute; we did not break a treaty by waterboarding a signatory.

    Edit: Again, where is al-Qeada a signatory of that treaty? If they are not, then no treaty has been violated and no prosecution is possible. For a treaty to be invoked in prosecution, both sides must be signatory's.

    You have every right to believe waterboarding is immoral, and yes, the USA has signed treaties that ban its use against other signatories. That alone does not make the waterboarding admitted to against KSM and two others illegal, no matter how much you may want it to be so.

    Edit2: Again, where is al-Qaeda a signatory to these treaties? They aren't. For it to be prosecutable, BOTH sides of the treaty must sign it. al-Qaeda did NOT sign anything. Right or wrong, it is not a prosecutable action.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Maybe because it isn't. If you mean the Geneva conventions, it doesn't apply to these guys. And just curious, why do you against breaking people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was the mastermind of 9/11? Why is you primary concern making sure these guys are comfy? If you were ever caught by them, you could scream "Geneva conventions!" til you're blue in the face, and all you'd get is your head lopped off.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Which treaty made waterboarding illegal? I'm not aware of any that specifically addresses waterboarding. Usually treaties only refer to "torture." Cheney authorized waterboarding out of a belief that it wasn't a form of actual torture.

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  • 1 decade ago

    get off it. waterboarding is not torture as defined in the applicable treaties.

    persons captured bearing arms who do not wear uniforms are not soldiers under the Geneva convention -- they are spies. The prescribed punishment for spying is death.

    [btw, a uniform is defined as a set of clothing that is both easily identifiable as different from normal civilian garb and regular across reasonably large groups of combatants. thus, combatants' uniforms may not be such a hodge-podge of garb as to defeat the ability to easily identify them as soldiers.]

    Source(s): you might want to read the applicable conventions and treaties instead of simply regurgitating MSM and/or leftist nonsense.
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  • 1 decade ago

    I think be heading would be a good substitute for water boarding. I believe water boarding is a waste of water.

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  • VC
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Because the Obama Administration is still using these tactics!

    Dont be fool with the Guantanimo thing! This administration is good at baiting and switching!

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