I don't see a whole lot of difference between these pictures and the ones taken by the soldiers that captured Saddam Hussien. There are two differences that I do see. First, the relative importance of the prisoner. Two, Saddam surrendered peacefully, the idications I've gotten about this story is that there was fighting and death shortly before the pictures were taken.
The actions of some of the Americans at Abu Gharib were wrong and reprehensible. I see no indication that these pictures show anything other than the normal unpleasantness of war. It isn't pretty, but that doesn't make it wrong.
Posts: 704 | Registered: Sep 2003
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quote:but if you can't even acknowledge these actions as crimes or see that any wrong has been committed, then there is a big disconnect.
Thats just it. I DON'T know that a crime was commited from just these pictures and the associated news article. And neither do you. You DON'T know. Yet you have already in your mind found these men guilty of a crime.
There is a very distictive difference between the photos of prisoner abuse in Abu Gharib and these pictures of POSSIBLE abuse by the SEALS. The diffence is HUGE. The prisoners in Abu Gharib had been in custody and in the prison for some time. The prisoners in the photographs in this case were part of the immediate aftermath of raids where combat had been involved. I'm led to believe that only minutes prior to the pictures being taken these prisoners were armed combatants firing AK-47s at the SEALS question. In that context the pictures are NOT pictures of abuse or torture. They are of SEALS in the process of capturing and securing combantants for transfer to a military prison.
If the ongoing investigation finds that that is not the case that these prisoners had in fact been in custody for a considerable amount of time after the end of the raids, THEN it becomes a different issue. If the pictures were in fact taken hours after the battle, and the SEALS were in fact "yukking it up" for some trophy shots then yes by all means punish them for conduct unbecoming and abuse. But that has yet to be proved. I've seen so many posts in these forums about due process, and how people have to be presumed innocent until proven guilty but you are all a bunch of hypocrits when it comes down to it because here you are finding them guity before all the facts have been presented. I find that very discusting.
Posts: 754 | Registered: Nov 2003
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This is crazy, of COURSE they were posing, of COURSE it wasn't during combat. If someone were shooting at them do you think they'd have time to pull out a camera and have some "fun?"
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Tom: You had your say with your vote. Elected officials of both parties have approved of the way these men are trained. What's your point?
Sanc: Most of your posts cause me severe mental aguish. In fact, just knowing you think the way you do, even if I don't read your posts, offends me and fills me with righteous indignation. Can I have you arrested for torturing me? If not, why not?
Answer: There is a clear definition of torture. The fact that you choose to play with the definitions of words to force square pegs into round holes does nothing to advance your point. It simply makes it difficult for you to communicate in any meaningful way with others who do not resort to such hyperbole.
Psy-ops need not be fake to be of use. Furthermore, there are matters of recordkeeping, of demonstrating the state of prisoners when combat was concluded, etc.
Posts: 594 | Registered: Jul 2004
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Koner, The context of my remark was the idea that sitting on a prisoners chest and joking about it was ok, because we did that to our younger brothers. You are correct that as yet no abuse has been PROVEN, but if we assume that it took place then we must condemn it, which was my point. I would appreciate it if, before you label me a hypocrit, you show where I said thet we should assume guilt in this case, as well as where I argued for avoiding condemnation before due process. Since I have never done the latter, I assume you are lumping me in with the rest of the "lefties" or whoever you percieve "us all" to be, something I would also appreciate you not doing. Adam
Posts: 4823 | Registered: Jul 2003
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stayne, I can't believe you would attempt to make the argument that it's impossible to come to a consensus on what offends the common man, vs. what is mental torture to them: the courts have been doing this for a long time. Also, I think we can all agree that being beaten and then having a loaded gun stuck to your head while someone is taking your picture qualifies as mental AND physical torture. I dare anyone to dispute this.
quote:stayne, I can't believe you would attempt to make the argument that it's impossible to come to a consensus on what offends the common man, vs. what is mental torture to them: the courts have been doing this for a long time.
Seems to me that what you can't believe is that anyone could possibly disagree with you.
quote:Also, I think we can all agree that being beaten and then having a loaded gun stuck to your head while someone is taking your picture qualifies as mental AND physical torture. I dare anyone to dispute this.
Roughing up an enemy combatant who is quite probably not cooperating and behaving as a prisoner should is simply not torture, any more than whacking an unruly civilian prisoner is torture. Threatening the use of lethal force against a combatant who is himself not cooperating with the standards for prisoners _is not torture_. The military is permitted to use whatever force is necessary to detain and ensure the peaceful behavior of prisoners who have surrendered, as they are in capturing or recapturing them. News flash: when they're fighting back, the military can _kill_ them.
Even if these men _had_ surrendered, you have no idea of the circumstances in which the photographs were taken. The simple fact is that prisoner of war is a voluntary status, and can indeed be renounced by actions not in keeping with the responsibilities of a prisoner of war. When you decide to fight or escape, you are once again an active combatant. You can surrender again, if you're still alive, but you're quite likely to have gotten a few more wounds in the process. We have seen the terrorists repeatedly violate the Geneva convention by feigning death and attacking, feigning surrender and attacking, surrendering and then attacking, ad nauseum. There is ample reason to believe that this is more of the same.
You have _zero_ evidence that the men in the photographs were abused as prisoners. You have _zero_ evidence that then men being detained at gunpoint were not previously violent, or attempting to escape. You have _zero_ evidence that the photographs were not taken as a demonstration of the state of the prisoner when he was captured. You have _zero_ evidence that the men being sat upon were not being sorted as to their status, and being kept as incapacitated as possible while their status and destinations were determined. You have _zero_ reason to side with the enemy, and yet you do, choosing to believe, with _zero_ evidence, that our own armed forces are most likely villains.
Let's not mince words here, Sanc: that's a treasonous mindset.
Posts: 594 | Registered: Jul 2004
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quote:Let's not mince words here, Sanc: that's a treasonous mindset.
Yikes. I think it's time for someone to take a yoga class or to get a smoothie. I hate it when the word "treason" is levelled against someone who disagrees with the policies of or the action of the agents of the government because it cheapens what actual treason is. While you are correct as there is no hard evidence, and I think Sanc is rushing to judgment, "treasonous" is not a word that applies to his point of view.
From Law.com dictionary:
quote:treason n. the crime of betraying one's country, defined in Article III, section 3 of the U.S. Constitution: "Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." Treason requires overt acts and includes the giving of government security secrets to other countries, even if friendly, when the information could harm American security. Treason can include revealing to an antagonistic country secrets such as the design of a bomber being built by a private company for the Defense Department. Treason may include "espionage" (spying for a foreign power or doing damage to the operation of the government and its agencies, particularly those involved in security) but is separate and worse than "sedition," which involves a conspiracy to upset the operation of the government.
If Sanc had a treasonous mindset, I would think he, given the opportunity, would commit an overt act against the government of the United States. Are you willing to go that far and make that statement?
Moreover, it seems you are implying a very sinister motive to Sanc, that he is siding with the enemy. Based upon his postings, it seems as if A) he has a much broader definition of "torture" than anyone else here and B) he is holding our soldiers to a much higher standard than is possible in a war. I do not agree with his conclusions whatsoever because his conclusions are based on his assumptions and the "evidence" lacks context.
That being said, "deludedly idealistic" may be a proper term for his mindset, but treason? I don't think so. Let's save that term for people who commit real crimes against our country, not folks who criticize it unjustly.
Posts: 1771 | Registered: Oct 2004
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It's not deludedly idealistic to have a mindset that our most highly trained troops shouldn't beat up people, point guns at their heads and get a few kicks in while taking pictures of them in an obviously-non combat situation.
Like I said, these are not official pictures, these are personal pictures of the soldiers. Soldiers, especially SEALs do NOT snap photos during combat when they are in danger, nor do they do so immediately after combat before they have secured the area and are sure there is no residual threat. You seem to fail to understand this crucial point.
Repeat after me: NO CIRCUMSTANCES CAN MAKE THIS SITUATION LEGITIMATE. Well, except if maybe these weren't our troops and were just the enemy impersonating a SEAL team, which I seriously doubt.
As to stayne's ridiculous attempts to mitigate what these soldiers have done, lets look at the facts, these prisoners are bloody, they have loaded guns pointed at their heads, and soldiers are taking turns getting memerobilia. Sounds pretty frivilous to me. Maybe instead of wasting time threatening them with loaded guns while they get a few snapshots, they should be getting them to a safe location where any injured soldiers or prisoners can be secured and taken care of.
You don't think it's torture? How about I beat you up pretty bad, maybe shoot you a few times and then haul you off the ground, bleeding and beaten, point a loaded gun to your head and take a picture. If you doubt that it is torture then try and imagine someone you cared about in their shoes. Remember, this was a civilian raid. Your definition of torture seems limited in that it doesn't seem to include everyone.
As to your treason nonsense, your logic is laughable at best. In no way am I siding with the "enemy," I am siding with the decent troops in our military and with the civilians that our military did this to in the raid. stayne if you want people to take you seriously anymore it's not wise to make statements like accusing someone of not being able to handle dissagreement, or having a treasonous mindset.