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It's interesting. Conservatives argue that the government is too large and incompetent to run big domestic programs, but when it comes to defense and foreign wars it's almost an act of disloyalty for some to question that the government can do anything wrong.

"That's a leading argument".
However I'll go down that road. Conservatives sees government too large because it is.
It's not that the government can't do anything wrong. It is about honoring the commitment made once the decision to support has been declared.

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The Geneva Convention is nothing which can really be enforced.. it's more of a guidelines for countries to follow. I personally don't have a problem with the U.S. government violating those 'rights' of people who are not American citizens... because as I stated earlier: better safe than sorry. Perhaps it is in violation of the convention, but our constitution doesn't actually say all rights are extended to non-citizens.

The Geneva Convention is applicable only to armed combattants who are part of an organised military force (which under the Geneva Convention means national armed forces or uniformed militia and mercenaries under the control of such armed forces).
This clearly does not include terrorists. In Afghanistan it include(d)(s) members of the Afghan armed forces but not AQ members or Taliban thugs (especially those not part of the organised armed forces).
In Iraq it included members of the Iraqi armed forces but not members of AQ or other terrorist cells (what are now given the politically correct name "insurgents" but really are thugs and terrorists).

Therefore the US is violating nothing when not treating these thugs as indicated by the Geneva Convention.
And remember they're being treated a lot better than those thugs would treat any American (civilian or military) they get their grubby hands on!

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The Geneva Convention is applicable only to armed combattants who are part of an organised military force (which under the Geneva Convention means national armed forces or uniformed militia and mercenaries under the control of such armed forces).
This clearly does not include terrorists. In Afghanistan it include(d)(s) members of the Afghan armed forces but not AQ members or Taliban thugs (especially those not part of the organised armed forces).
In Iraq it included members of the Iraqi armed forces but not members of AQ or other terrorist cells (what are now given the politically correct name "insurgents" but really are thugs and terrorists).

Therefore the US is violating nothing when not treating these thugs as indicated by the Geneva Convention.
And remember they're being treated a lot better than those thugs would treat any American (civilian or military) they get their grubby hands on!

Researching further so editing in future. Sorry.

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Well, I tried to edit my message but timed out or something. This is what I meant to say after I thought about it:

The Geneva Convention is applicable only to armed combattants who are part of an organised military force (which under the Geneva Convention means national armed forces or uniformed militia and mercenaries under the control of such armed forces).
This clearly does not include terrorists. In Afghanistan it include(d)(s) members of the Afghan armed forces but not AQ members or Taliban thugs (especially those not part of the organised armed forces).
In Iraq it included members of the Iraqi armed forces but not members of AQ or other terrorist cells (what are now given the politically correct name "insurgents" but really are thugs and terrorists).

Therefore the US is violating nothing when not treating these thugs as indicated by the Geneva Convention.
And remember they're being treated a lot better than those thugs would treat any American (civilian or military) they get their grubby hands on!

That may be an argument against applying it, but the U.S. Supreme Court has a different opinion for the reasons stated: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/05-184.ZS.html

They go ahead and apply this to "enemy combatants" as Hamdi was, though a U.S. citizen as well. Yet very specifically, they say that the Geneva Convention applied to the detention without due process. If they can't detain him, I suppose you "might" argue that they can still torture them . . . Heh.

Furthermore, in Rasul v. Bush the U.S. Supreme Court said that foreigners at the least had to have an opportunity to challenge the designation of Enemy Combatant under the Geneva Convention. If the government tortures somebody and the foreigner wins his case concerning Enemy Combatant designation, then they will have violated the Geneva Convention for torturing the person as well as his detention without due process.

For more in depth analysis of this exact question you might want to look at the article: http://http://papers.ssrn. com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=916684 and then download one of the full text links near the bottom of that page.

Now remember why we got into this discussion in the first place. We were talking about the quote from above:

Uhhh.. if the U.S. government has deemed it necessary to use torture tactics such as waterboarding on you, then you probably have given them some reason to believe that you are a terrorist.. and you deserve whatever they do to you.

Some of the folks allegedly tortured may have been the innocent victims of the bounty system we used to encourage people to turn in suspected terrorists. We allegedly took them in and tortured them before we really knew if they belonged to AQ or were really thugs, etc. We just suspected they were, and allegedly for not very good reasons at all.

To take it the extreme, surely you would have a problem with the government just randomly selecting a number of foreigners, designating them "enemy combatants" for no particular reason, not giving them the opportunity to say, "I'm not an enemy combatant," and then torturing them.

That's where the Geneva Convention and International Law steps in. They have to have some kind of opportunity with basic protections to contest at the very least, the enemy combatant label even if the enemy of the U.S. is not a signatory to the convention. As the Supreme Court quoted from the Geneva Convention in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld saying it applied at a minimum to any persons in a signatory country "placed hors de combat by … detention,” including a prohibition on “the passing of sentences … without previous judgment … by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees … recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.”

Now you point out that AQ certainly wouldn't treat us with so much respect. However, you are just thinking of this conflict. What about the next conflict with a power that would have given certain protections to prisoners but now, since the U.S. has taken this position, will presume that when the U.S. captures prisoners they will be tortured? Will the power in the next conflict decide that they are free to torture U.S. prisoners without giving them any chance to argue their case?

What will happen to a U.S. journalist whose laptop is searched when he enters country A? What if they find a story unfavorable to that government on the laptop. Will we decide that since the foreign government suspected, due to the story, that he was a terrorist rebel and therefore an enemy combatant that it is OK to torture that U.S. citizen without any kind of trial or appeal?

This is a two way street, and it's not just AQ that lives down the street. There are all sorts of neighbors looking at how we apply our rules to other people. They might be good neighbors or they might be nasty neighbors, and it a good bit of that depends on how we act in front of them.

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"That's a leading argument".
However I'll go down that road. Conservatives sees government too large because it is.
It's not that the government can't do anything wrong. It is about honoring the commitment made once the decision to support has been declared.

Well, that was only half the "leading argument," and I was speaking in broad generalities about reconciling both liberal and conservative views that seemed to contradict. But first lets deal with what you are saying. You say it's about honoring commitments once the decision to support has been declared, but you know, even before the decision to support had been declared, anybody that questioned what the administration wanted was considered by conservatives to be somehow disloyal. Further, there are plenty of commitments that we have decided not to honor, there's the question of who the commitments were made to, and then exactly how big the commitments are anyway. Even some conservatives now feel free to ask questions like that now, though I'm not sure that the commitment has technically changed except that a lot of time has passed.

And there are the cases where commitment has nothing to do with it. For instance, there's no question of honoring a commitment when we are talking about searching a laptop (well commitment to keep people safe as opposed to commitment to the rights of citizens but not like the commitment you were alluding to, right?) Conservatives tend to be tougher on crime and generally push back on the rights of accused (before we have proven anything). There's an assumption there, again, that the government, when it acts this way, is usually right and does its job well. When the government decides whether to torture a person or not, conservatives seem to feel like the government is probably right to do that. Like our friend said above, "they must have done something to deserve it." We aren't committed to torture people, are we? If we chose a different tactic, would that be dishonoring a commitment? Why is the government looked on by conservatives as being right and above question when it involves the military, law enforcement, etc. but a bumbling bureaucracy that can't do anything right when it comes to something like providing health care? (E.G. I've heard about cases where there have been mistakes with sexual predator registrations, but conservatives don't seem to much think about the incompetence of the government in administering a function like that).

But really that's all beside the point. Why are conservatives going to suppose that because the U.S. government decides a person is an enemy combatant then they must indeed be an enemy combatant when those same conservatives don't trust the government to run a soup kitchen effectively? On the other hand, if the liberals are so afraid of the government's ability to determine who is an enemy combatant, why are they so sure the government can run a soup kitchen? (and by government I mean executive branch--when the courts get involved and question the status of enemy combatants, well, for some reason folks see that differently)

Seems like the government does OKl at both to me so don't get me wrong, but it has its problems. With going after people and taking away freedoms, I like the idea of courts being involved just to check that we are doing the right thing. I'm not so sure torture is a good idea either if only because we might be doing it to the wrong people and somebody might decide to do it to us that wouldn't have before. But I acknowledge that there are lots of liberal problems too. There are certainly arguments about the right way to help people that liberals like to ignore in favor of bigger and more programs. So don't think I'm saying the conservatives are right or the liberals are right. I'm just trying to reconcile BOTH attitudes here where both sides distrust the government in one case and declare it an infallible savior in the other the seeming difference only being in what action the government is taking.

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Oh my, we are down to liberals vs. conservatives, young vs. old, smart vs. not-so- smart, think vs. force again!

What was this thread all about?

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Does someone have a direct link to the text of the Geneva Convention and/or the GC1, GC2, GC3 and GC4 agreements? Those present (myself included) are bandying the thing around, or referring to others bandying it around, but I'm not certain what it actually states; my own earlier statements were drawn from reading the Wikipedia entry on the Convention. (Or, more precisely, the GC3 and GC4 agreements.)

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It's interesting. Conservatives argue that the government is too large and incompetent to run big domestic programs, but when it comes to defense and foreign wars it's almost an act of disloyalty for some to question that the government can do anything wrong. On the other hand, Liberals seem to want huge programs run by the government domestically but are absolutely certain that the government is out to subvert the rights of everyone when it comes to defense and foreign affairs. It's a curious love/hate relationship that both liberals and conservatives have with the U.S. government. I have a hard time reconciling it all.

I don't think it's all that much of a mystery.

We don't really have a two party system in that "two" means much. What we have effectively is a one party system where the liberals and conservatives simply act as the boundaries of one channel of thought. What our two party system does is to ensure that there is no action outside of those boundaries.

The two party system has become little more than a mechanism which insures that a reasoned approach will not upset the apple cart. while it is true that individuals seek the truth, en-masse, "we" do not want upheaval if it means giving up our comforts or making a change to our way of conduction our business.

We do not employ a reasoned approach to our problems. There is reason put forth, but the system is designed to squelch it if it creates discomfort. Each side reigns in the other side so that "we" can stay focused on our entertainment and material pursuits.

BTW, this is not a description of a "conspiracy theory" it's just the manifestation of human nature.

"Screw the future, it will take care of itself." is our working premise.

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http://www.cnn.com/2008/TRAVEL/02/11/laptop.searches/index.html

This is my favorite part from the page you linked above:

[ The Customs and Border Protection defends the searches, saying the agency does not need to show probable cause to look inside suitcases or laptops.

"We have broad search authority at the borders to determine admissibility and look for anything that may be in violation of criminal law," says agency spokeswoman Lynn Hollinger. ]

(italics were mine)

Gee, that's swell. They need no probable cause to look for anything anywhere, anytime. No suspicion, not even an idea of what they might be looking for.

"Badges? We don't need no stinkin badges."

This reminds me of the BATF sweeps that were occuring 15 years ago. Ah well, they had exactly the effect intended at the time, I suppose this might as well. Human rights is, after all, only a concept held in the mind of man.

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i dont care

its like being pat-searched when you enter a large event, its for your own good.

This "pat search" you speak of is all good and well. It's not an invasion of your privacy. Some people carry some deeply personal stuff on their computers, their very lives are invested on them. It's one thing that someone is looking and sees your pictures of you and your wife doing whatever it is you do ... you can blush and be embarrased, and that's that... you get on the plane and work on getting over the violation.

But what about when the computer is taken from you, you're forced to give them your passwords, and you don't get it back?

There's often someone in an organization engaged in illegal activity for their personal gain. Now it is possible that they might get their hands on your computer because their employer, the Government, has absolutely no restraints as to how they handle your private life.

That's like a pat-search?

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Guess you need to upload all your confidential stuff before you leave, shred it, and then download it when you arrive. Encrypted of course.

Bet that there will be some kind of legislation before that particular lawsuit is resolved.

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They do mandate that you reveal all passwords to them....even if you encrypt the data, they have softwares/programs that can decrypt the info...

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They do mandate that you reveal all passwords to them....even if you encrypt the data, they have softwares/programs that can decrypt the info...

Just park it all on Google. It'll be safe there ... ;)

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As for the terrorist thing, it is more likely that a non-white, non-citizen would commit an act of terror. I'm not saying that others do not or could not commit acts of terror... but just by what I've experienced, and generalizations I have made based on logic.. The Taliban and other islamic terrorist organizations use their faith as a means to attract people, and then use it to justify murder. I believe this is inherently wrong; Religion should not be a justification for murder and terror (which is why the world would be a better place without religion).

wrong. Not all terrorists are muslims. In fact, they were a much smaller threat in the past compared to other terrorist groups. over here, we were under attack from (mainly white) irish terrorists for the best part of ~30+ years, on the basis of religion and independance - predominantly white terrorists like the IRA are no different from other terrorists groups like Hamas, or even al quaeda - in fact, the past situation in ireland, and in israel/palestine and iraq/afghanistan is fairly similar, as theys hare the same set of aims - removing opressors, and religion.

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