Talking Points: 17 April

cia-pic5President Obama banned terror interrogation methods like sleep deprivation and simulated drowning in his first week in office. Now he’s released more details of the ‘torture’ techniques used during the Bush administration. But he says CIA agents who used them, won’t be prosecuted. Should the US punish those responsible? Professor David Cole thinks so. But are certain types of interrogation necessary?

The men who run The Pirate Bay (TPB), the world’s most famous file-sharing website have been sent to jail in Sweden for breaking copyright law. They also have to pay 30m kronor (about £3.5million US dollars). Is this a victory for artists? The industry says it is. But others say file sharing is good. Should we have to pay for internet downloads?

In these difficult times… Who should you trust? The Queen has been voted the most trusted person in Britain. The majority in the survey do not trust each other and maybe with good reason… almost half admitted lying in the work place. How do you know who to trust?

Pakistan is to get more than $5bn to help fight Islamic extremism. The United States and Japan each pledged $1bn. In return, President Zardari has promised Pakistan will do its best to stop militants in its border areas. Should we bail out Pakistan? This is what some of you think.

14 Responses to “Talking Points: 17 April”

  1. 1 Opere Ferdinand
    April 17, 2009 at 12:56

    I do not agree with the decision of not pressing for charges against the agents. If one has been found of having violated another beings rights all in the name of national security and fighting terrorrists, the best option is to face the courts.

    By shying away from prosecution is setting a bad precedent, for it may be construed that in as much as there is belief in democratic space and rights, violators will be absolved of their abuses.

    Taking a look from Kenya, which apparently is where am writing from, there is a strong debate on what to do about the perpetrators of the post poll violance and lately the police on allegations and report by Prof. Philip Alston, the Un special raporteur on extra-judicial killings. On the fore front for accountabilty and prosecution is the US ambasador to Kenya. Clearly not prosecuting those who have been found to have participated in the torture of suspects in the US detention camps, is telling the police in Kenya that ” stay put for they do not prosecute their own and are just making noise”.

    America as one of the major donors to Kenya and a country that really calls for reforms in Kenya should set a good precedent. A violation of a right should not be seen to be condoned in this world of today especially from the US president having istened keenly to his inauguration speech.

  2. 2 Paul Chidwick
    April 17, 2009 at 13:00

    The CIA should not be punished, orders are orders, but those in the Bush administration, and perhaps Bush himself, and the Pentagon should be brought to account as they were at least aware of the practices of torture and probably gave the orders and signed off on the SOP for torture methods.

  3. 3 gary
    April 17, 2009 at 13:08

    Torture is a crime and those responsible should be be punished. The difficulty is that “those responsible” are perfectly able to avoid indictment. Underlings share responsibility; but I’d be most dissatisfied to see them take all the heat for these outrageous violations of common morality. Either the correct names in the book, or none, is my position.

  4. 4 Ikesome
    April 17, 2009 at 13:34

    The Zambian Minister lied about Mosquito nets. We buy them, we don’t get for free.

  5. 5 Steve in Boston
    April 17, 2009 at 15:16

    Torture is a necessary evil, and in the long run, there’s no avoiding it. Murphy’s Law tells us that eventually we’ll be in a position where torture will be the only way to extract information that will save millions of lives.

    If Obama banned these practices but Bush didn’t, how can you prosecute people for doing something that was legal at the time? Or at least not clearly illegal?

    People, let’s get real and stop with this muddled thinking–it only leads to a dead end. Literally.

  6. 6 globalcomedy
    April 17, 2009 at 16:10

    Torture is never necessary. It doesn’t work. And it never will work.

    But once again, the govt. is manipulating people’s fears to “justify” their actions. Obama is continuing the neocon rubbish. And what’s worse? This will be analzyed to death by various “experts”. And NOBODY’s going to do anything.

  7. 7 globalcomedy
    April 17, 2009 at 16:12

    You’ll never stop file sharing. The main reason? The sheer number of people involved.

    To stop it would mean monitoring EVERYONE online 24/7. Who’s got that kind of money to do that? Also, who’s got the money to handle the resulting lawsuits (form both users and the corporations)?

  8. 8 globalcomedy
    April 17, 2009 at 16:14

    If we bailout Pakistan, how long will this continue? Look at how the Bailout in th States is going. Who decides how much is enough? It’s Iraq all over again.

  9. 9 S Rochea - New York City
    April 17, 2009 at 17:47

    Respectfully President Obama has a fundamental legal, and moral duty to undertake an aggressive investigation in the alleged crimes of human rights abuses against the Bush Adminsitration to include President Bush as well. It is astonishing that he would arbitrarily make a decision not to here. The letter of the law – the Constitution, and the Geneva Convention requires this. One cannot pretend to wash the blood off the hands of the alleged perpetrators and make a wrong right. There should be an investigation conducted to the highest level of the Bush Administration to include Bush, and Chaney.
    We owe this to this country, and our children. I view President Obama’s decision not to take such action as a cowardly posture. I voted for President Obama base on his strong position on human rights, and his serious discussion to pursue charges against Bush, and Chaney. His failure to act on this matter has now resulted to my decision not to vote for him in the next Election. We cannot reclaim our position in the eyes of the world as a true democracy by failing to administer the hammer of justice. This is not personal against Bush, and Chaney. It is simply applying the full measure of the law. How can we be taken seriously when it comes to foreign governments commiting similar infractions, and autrocities? President Obama is wrong, and he will loose respect, and integrity in the eyes of the world, the victims, and our future children. Where is the accountablity?

  10. 10 Peter SC
    April 17, 2009 at 18:05

    The whole crime can involved a former President and the whole Capitol Hill. Can Americans stomach that much.

  11. 11 archibald in Oregon
    April 17, 2009 at 20:41

    Steve in Boston,
    Brutality is never necessary, though it is quite evil…………Violence begets more violence and if that is the world we wanted, look at what we have wrought. If I was tortured, I would have a very hard time not hating those responsible, for the rest of my life, I bet that I would want revenge and would do whatever it took, I would hurt other people they cared about , possibly innocent civilians from their country of origin and I would become a suicide bomber and rationalize that it is, “a necessary evil” as I blew myself up, proving nothing and creating more hate and fear. That does not sound necessary……..

  12. 12 globalcomedy
    April 20, 2009 at 05:24

    What’s the sickest thing about this? Not prosecuting these people is the ultimate slap in the face for torture survivors.

    I’m a torture survivor. I’ve had PTSD for years. It took me 20 years to finally find a proper therapist to help me. I’ve lost jobs and relationships because of this. My “family” laughed in my face and disowned me a long time ago. Aside from my therapist, nobody’s ever put their arm around me or said, I’m sorry this happened to you.

    What kind of long-term effects does this have on a survivor? My experience says that 99% of people think you’re their worst nightmare. Unless they can spin it for ratings, the MSM will NEVER touch this. If I tried to speak at an Obama rally, I would be censored by the MSM. And if Obama DID respond, it would be some “standard” meaningless response.

    If so many people say prosecute them, how come they’re not bombarding the White House and Congress w/messages? Sorry for the long post here. But apparently nobody cares.

  13. April 21, 2009 at 07:32

    Scapegoating the tools does not correct the cause. Unless Bush et al are tried, there is little point to holding the CIA and others to account.

  14. 14 Dennis Junior
    April 27, 2009 at 03:42

    Should the US punish those responsible? (Yes)
    But are certain types of interrogation necessary? (NO)
    Should we have to pay for internet downloads? (No)
    Who should you trust? (I trust the Queen of England)

    Pakistan is to get more than $5bn to help fight Islamic extremism. (Yes)

    Should we bail out Pakistan? (Yes)

    ~Dennis Junior~

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