Donald Trump And Waterboarding: Does The Geneva Conventions Apply?

If you have not been living under a rock of indifference you will know the heat that the Progressives and MSM have been giving Trump over his advocating a return to the use of waterboarding as an interrogation technique for captured terrorists.   They loudly scream that it would be a violation of the Geneva Conventions if we were to do so.

Does it?  No! The Geneva Conventions applies only to signatories countries of the Conventions For a complete list of them click here, you will note that ISIS is not on the list.

When one speaks of the Geneva Conventions, they are usually referring to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, which was ratified in the aftermath of World War II.

There were actually four Geneva Conventions. The First Geneva Convention was agreed to in 1864. The agreement provided for the protection of all medical facilities, their personnel and any civilians aiding the wounded. It also gives the Red Cross international recognition as a neutral medical group.

The First convention was originally signed by 12 nations (The United States was not one of these). The United States signed the Second Convention, which occurred in 1882. The second convention extended the protection of the first convention to wounded combatants at sea and shipwrecked sailors.

The Third Geneva Convention was convened in 1929 and resulted in specific protections for prisoners of war. The Fourth Geneva Convention was signed in 1949. This convention reaffirmed the requirements of the first three conventions and provided protections for civilians during wartime.

LINK:

In 1988, U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment, or Punishment of 1984.  It was ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1994.  To this treaty the U.S. put the following exceptions:

Upon signature :

Declaration:
       “The Government of the United States of America reserves the right to communicate, upon ratification, such reservations, interpretive understandings, or declarations as are deemed necessary.”

Upon ratification :

Reservations:
       “I. The Senate’s advice and consent is subject to the following reservations:
       (1) That the United States considers itself bound by the obligation under article 16 to prevent `cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’, only insofar as the term `cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’ means the cruel, unusual and inhumane treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and/or Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
       (2) That pursuant to article 30 (2) the United States declares that it does not consider itself bound by Article 30 (1), but reserves the right specifically to agree to follow this or any other procedure for arbitration in a particular case.
II. The Senate’s advice and consent is subject to the following understandings, which shall apply to the obligations of the United States under this Convention:
(1) (a) That with reference to article 1, the United States understands that, in order to constitute torture, an act must be specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering and that mental pain or suffering refers to prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from (1) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering; (2) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality; (3) the threat of imminent death; or (4) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality.
(b) That the United States understands that the definition of torture in article 1 is intended to apply only to acts directed against persons in the offender’s custody or physical control.
(c) That with reference to article 1 of the Convention, the United States understands that `sanctions’ includes judicially-imposed sanctions and other enforcement actions authorized by United States law or by judicial interpretation of such law. Nonetheless, the United States understands that a State Party could not through its domestic sanctions defeat the object and purpose of the Convention to prohibit torture.
(d) That with reference to article 1 of the Convention, the United States understands that the term `acquiescence’ requires that the public official, prior to the activity constituting torture, have awareness of such activity and thereafter breach his legal responsibility to intervene to prevent such activity.
(e) That with reference to article 1 of the Convention, the Unites States understands that noncompliance with applicable legal procedural standards does not per se constitute torture.
(2) That the United States understands the phrase, `where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture,’ as used in article 3 of the Convention, to mean `if it is more likely than not that he would be tortured.’
(3) That it is the understanding of the United States that article 14 requires a State Party to provide a private right of action for damages only for acts of torture committed in territory under the jurisdiction of that State Party.
(4) That the United States understands that international law does not prohibit the death penalty, and does not consider this Convention to restrict or prohibit the United States from applying the death penalty consistent with the Fifth, Eighth and/or Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, including any constitutional period of confinement prior to the imposition of the death penalty.
(5) That the United States understands that this Convention shall be implemented by the United States Government to the extent that it exercises legislative and judicial jurisdiction over the matters covered by the Convention and otherwise by the state and local governments. Accordingly, in implementing articles 10-14 and 16, the United States Government shall take measures appropriate to the Federal system to the end that the competent authorities of the constituent units of the United States of America may take appropriate measures for the fulfilment of the Convention.
III. The Senate’s advice and consent is subject to the following declarations:
(1) That the United States declares that the provisions of articles 1 through 16 of the Convention are not self-executing.

I draw you attention to the fist exception, “(a) That with reference to article 1, the United States understands that, in order to constitute torture, an act must be specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering and that mental pain or suffering refers to prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from (1) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;”  The US Armed Forces subject their own troops to waterboarding in training so they cannot believe that it would do any of the above. Thus an appeal to this treaty to stop Trump from reintroducing waterboarding as an interrogation technique falls short,

The United States Central Intelligence Agency defines waterboarding as a procedure where the individual is bound to an inclined bench. Then a cloth is placed over the forehead and eyes and water is applied to the cloth in a controlled manner. During this process the cloth is lowered until it covers both the nose and mouth and the air flow is slightly restricted and water is continuously applied from a height of twelve to twenty-four inches. After this period, the cloth is lifted, and the individual is allowed to breathe unimpeded for three or four full breaths.

18 U.S. Code Chapter 113C – TORTURE

As used in this chapter—

(1)

“torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;

(2)“severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—

(A)

the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;

(B)

the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;

(C)

the threat of imminent death; or

(D)

the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality; and

(3)

“United States” means the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the commonwealths, territories, and possessions of the United States.

(a)Offense.—

Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.

(b)Jurisdiction.—There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if—

(1)

the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or

(2)

the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.

(c)Conspiracy.—

A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.

Torture is defined by US Law, and any law the government can make it can unmake and can be rewritten to exclude waterboarding.

 

Advertisements

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://carolinacowboy.wordpress.com/2016/03/27/donald-trump-and-waterboarding-does-the-geneva-conventions-apply/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. As you indicated, the Geneva Convention applies only to those entities who are signatories to the Convention. You furthermore stated that as ISIS is not a signatory to the Convention, Trump’s advocacy of torture is no violation of the Treaty.

    Sir, with all due respect, that viewpoint is simply wrong. The United States is a signatory to the Convention and is therefore both morally and legally responsible in adhering to it’s provisions. That is true notwithstanding whether any other entity with whom we deal is a signatory or not. Period.

    Too, it’s seriously worth noting that not only is torture a reprehensible practice per se, it’s notoriously ineffective in gathering actionable intelligence.

    The United States of America should and can do better.

    • You are wrong in your assertion, the Geneva Convention applies only to state actors’ whose countries have agreed to its terms. ISIS, as well as all other stateless terrorist are outside of its protection. The Convention only binds a signatory to it, legally responsible in adhering to its provisions with other members of the treaty. Show me in the Convention it says otherwise. You cannot, for it does not exist.

      However, the Senate passed the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act 78-21, that banned harsh CIA interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation and electric shock, passed in the Senate Tuesday. So, while the Geneva Convention does not cover ISIS, et al., U.S. Law does.

  2. I¡¯ve been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or weblog posts in this kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this website. Reading this information So i¡¯m happy to show that I’ve a very excellent uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I most surely will make certain to do not fail to remember this web site and provides it a glance regularly.

  3. I happen to be writing to make you understand of the remarkable encounter my friend’s daughter experienced visiting the blog. She figured out such a lot of things, not to mention how it is like to possess an excellent teaching mindset to have a number of people without difficulty learn certain tortuous things. You truly did more than our expected results. Thanks for coming up with these insightful, trusted, explanatory not to mention unique tips on this topic to Julie.

  4. Thank you for every other informative website. Where
    else may just I am getting that type of information written in such an ideal manner?
    I’ve a undertaking that I am just now working
    on, and I’ve been at the glance out for such info.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: