U.S. Loses New Bid to Block U.N. Anti-Torture Pact
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Thread: U.S. Loses New Bid to Block U.N. Anti-Torture Pact

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    U.S. Loses New Bid to Block U.N. Anti-Torture Pact

    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A U.N. committee dealt the United States a heavy defeat on Thursday in its bid to block or cripple a draft anti-torture treaty that has been a decade in the making, paving the way for the pact's final approval next month.

    Overriding opposition from Washington, the U.N. General Assembly's Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee approved the draft treaty by a vote of 104 to eight, with 37 abstentions.

    Joining Washington were China, Cuba, Israel, Japan, Nigeria, Syria and Vietnam.

    The pact next goes to the full 191-nation U.N. General Assembly, where routine approval is expected next month, as the assembly and the committee have identical memberships.

    To come into force, the pact must be signed and ratified by at least 20 governments, a number set by the treaty itself.

    The treaty, which the United States has opposed since the drafting process began 10 years ago, would set up an international system of inspections for all sites where prisoners are held to insure that torture was not taking place.

    Washington argued the pact would divert limited U.N. resources from other, more effective, anti-torture mechanisms and enjoyed only limited support from the U.N. membership.

    It has also argued that opening state prisons to international inspection would violate states' rights under the U.S. Constitution .

    But it has also been stung by widespread criticism of its embrace of the death penalty and its treatment of alleged al Qaeda and Taliban detainees at a base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    The campaign against the anti-torture pact was the latest in a wave of go-it-alone actions that have infuriated many of Washington's closest allies at the United Nations , including rejection of the Kyoto pact on global warming and the new International Criminal Court aimed at combating genocide and war crimes.
    Entire article on Wired.com
    \"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.\" -- Dom Helder Camara

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    Senior Member The Old Man's Avatar
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    .... Yeah, that's the news views. i have not researched the "prisoner inspection" debate, however i am familiar with the considerations regarding the ICC which the U.S. opted out of. There were two choices; 1. stop sending our service members to foreign lands, because we the people will not hand over court authority of our military citizens to any foreign nation as a matter of policy, although we have done so voluntarily in certain events such as a couple recently in the Far East, or, 2. refuse the ICC treaty and withdraw the presidential signature that had previously been granted. Seems (if memory serves) that the Kyoto treaty on global warming was aimed primarily at the U.S., while emerging 3rd world entities could go balls-to-the-wall with whatever development and manufacturing techniques they could get into gear. Pretty close to that anyway, it's been awhile since i read it.
    The bottom line is, there is a considerable amount of pressure on our legislators and President against giving up our sovereignty or the security of our citizens in any way whatsoever to the U.N.
    If you'd like a quick lesson on how the U.N. likes to claim control over you and your property and the property within your state, that could be the subject of another discussion. And i'm not even a U.N. basher!

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    What right has the un to bring anyone onto our military bases? none! If we want somebody brought there we'll invite them. this is not about torture, it's about who gets to tread on our soil and when.
    Bukhari:V3B48N826 “The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.’”

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    Both of you are right. But THEN, if we won't listen to the UN or the ICC, what right do we have to ask other countries around the World to accept the mandate of the UN? Why should Iraq(for one) obey the UN, when we ourselves won't?
    \"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.\" -- Dom Helder Camara

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    it was in their terms of surrender. if they arn't accepting the mandate they havn't surrendered. theirs another case of UN stupidity. We should have just gone right on threw and finished the job then. un mandates, my ass
    Bukhari:V3B48N826 “The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.’”

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    Sorry for taking the thread off course...but what is so wrong about having anti-torture consensus around the World? About what is allowed and what is not? Granted no country wants their Soveriegnity taken away from them, but why not have dual monitors? Like the Geneva Conventions...
    \"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.\" -- Dom Helder Camara

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    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    but what is so wrong about having anti-torture consensus around the World?
    And why is it that the ones pushing hardest for an anti-torture
    treaty are the ones doing most of the torturing?
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

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    Quite frankly...I don't care about what other countries' motivations are. I'm only concerned about mines. What justifies us siding with countries like China, Syria and Nigeria?

    Originally posted here by rcgreen


    And why is it that the ones pushing hardest for an anti-torture
    treaty are the ones doing most of the torturing?
    \"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.\" -- Dom Helder Camara

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    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    What justifies us siding with countries like China, Syria and Nigeria?
    I don't know about Syria and Nigeria, but China is very touchy about its
    national sovereignty, and with good reason, having been dominated
    by foreign interests most of the 19th century. This is why they are
    so resistant to our nagging about human rights.

    Yes, we should side with them on this issue because those pushing it
    (including the Europeans) have ulterior motives, namely, to establish
    the principle of a unitary world government, conveniently
    centered in Belgium, or maybe The Netherlands.

    It's the resurrection of European colonialization. The main obstacle
    to this plan is the USA, which has (admittedly), a rival plan for
    world hegemony, based on commercial and trade strength.
    While I don't want to see anyone rule the world, I think the
    US position is the lesser of two evils, and more consistent with
    my view, that the UN and other similar organizations would take
    more rights away from the common people than they could possibly
    give.
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

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    The main obstacle
    to this plan is the USA, which has (admittedly), a rival plan for
    world hegemony, based on commercial and trade strength.
    While I don't want to see anyone rule the world, I think the
    US position as the lesser of two evils
    hegemony

    n : the domination of one state over its allies
    I think a unitary world government sounds like a noble goal. Of course, the world would be much better off dominated by the US .

    On the torture issue, I think the US' arguments for not supporting the pact are fairly weak. It really looks as if they've got something to hide. And with the second argument, which comes first: the UN or the US Constitution? Which of these in reality would the US government follow if the two were not in agreement on an issue? I am fairly certain it would be the constitution, which leads me to wonder whether other countries could declare something in their constitution (or similar document) and have it take precedence over a UN decision. Hmm...

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