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[] idav's Blog - Waterboarding and the Nuremberg Principles

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If I haven't said it before on this forum I'll say it now: I don't really care if we waterboard people if they have actionable intelligence that can save lives and prevent atrocity. The only moral damage that can be done by torturing men like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is the collateral damage done to ourselves through the allowance of such actions.

What makes waterboarding wrong is the same as Obama's decision to not follow through with the prosecutions of the people involved. It's hypocritical. The USA has publicly condemned other nations for using this interrogation technique and even prosecuted individuals that have employed it as war criminals. We have also withheld charitably from sovereign nations for employing these techniques. And most pragmatically, we have a lot of good research that shows that these efforts to find the truth usually do anything but.

I think there has already been an international precedent set for dealing with this violation of humanity, of law and reasonability. After WWII he highest ranking officials of the Nazi regime were made to stand trial before an international court in Nuremberg, Germany. Before the trails, the international community came to a consensus on the principles that constituted a war crime. These are known as The Nuremberg Principles (not to be confused with the Nuremberg Laws).


Principle IV: The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.

We despise Muslim extremists for their irrational doctrines of war mongering and violence. We are told that Islam is a religion of peace, that the Que'an denounces violence, injustice, suicide, murder, and all these horrible things we see in the news every day, but just like the bible the Qur'an can be quote mined to fit any doctrine or agenda. And just like the Muslim extremists, the "terrorists", the enemy, we are able and willing to throw out our ideals of morality and justice for results that seem paramount to our values. The Muslims have conditions in their Qur'an and Hadith, and spoken by contemporary and past clerics -- its called Taqiyya that makes this irrationality permissible. Sin and heresy is permitted in order to deceive the infidel in the spirit of jihad. We have no such things in our laws, but we do it anyways. What does that say about us? What does it say about them?

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