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Comment: Re:From Jack Brennan's response (Score 1) 767

by Hydian (#48562809) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

and left middle-east affairs completely, would ISIS/Al-Qaeda/Taliban call off their aggression?

Not the same things and can't be treated the same way. Thinking that you can just lump everything together and treat them all the same is how you get into these kinds of situations.

But to your point, no, you can't just leave them alone at this point. We created (or at the very least contributed to) a situation through our actions and it is where we are now. The world is not black and white though. Everything is not on or off. There are varying degrees to things. Do we just pull out of the middle east completely? No, we made a royal mess of it and pulling out completely at this point is only going to make it worse if such a thing is possible. But we can start doing some sensible things like stopping the drone strikes. I know, we need to act when we think we have a guy in our sights and blah blah blah...that's not how a nation of laws acts. We don't assassinate people and we don't fire missiles into civilian areas. There is no justification for it. Are we really that scared of some guy sitting in a mud hut in the middle of the desert on the other side of the world? If we really think that the guy is engaged in criminal activity, then put him on trial. There is no excuse for blowing up his neighborhood because he might be mad at us and mean us harm.

It is time for us to get on the ball and stop acting like scared little children. We've been using a hammer to work on a problem that isn't a nail. It's past time to stop wildly swinging and beating the shit out of everything in reach because no matter how many times we swing it, we can't hammer two pieces of paper together.

Look up their policies on women, religious tolerance, and free speech for more info. But hey, I guess we're supposed to tolerate intolerance.

We tolerate it in this country, so why should we care about it in other countries? More to the point, this country was founded (at least partly) on freedom from being told what to say, do, and think. So who are we to go into someone else's country and tell them what to say, do, and think? Yeah, the entire middle east is socially behind the 1st and 2nd world by at least 100 years (as is most of christian Africa). Sending our troops over and making them play nice with each other isn't going to suddenly make their society advance 100 years in a couple of months.

Comment: Re:From Jack Brennan's response (Score 1) 767

by Hydian (#48562717) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

From a statistical standpoint, he is right. We've had a few dozen such events in the history of this country and this was the first of such magnitude. But it was one event and the number of deaths, while enormous on the scale of a single event, was actually tiny on the scale of the number of deaths over the year. It had a huge impact for the symbolism, but that was due more to a series of lucky breaks than a master design. You are busy fearing people half a world away with very few resources that managed to get lucky once when the vast majority of the successful incidents have been perpetrated by people like Tim McVey and Eric Rudolph. You worry about the wrong people. Even at that, you are statistically more likely to die at least 100 other ways than in a terrorist attack in the US. You worry about the wrong things.

I'm sure that they have stopped other attempts since 9/11 just as they have stopped other attempts before then (and not just the plots that the FBI made up to "catch" people they recruited either). It isn't like this was some new thing that suddenly materialized and had never happened before. None of this new security theater has done much, if anything, to increase our actual security. Armored cockpit doors has increased security...bunching up several hundred people outside of a security checkpoint where a suitcase full of ammonium nitrate and ball bearings can take them all out, not so much.

As far as the shoe bomber (and the underwear bomber for that matter)...even if they had top notch RDX in their shoe/underwear, the worst damage that they would have done would have been to splatter themselves all over everybody around them and potentially hurt people in a 10-20 foot radius. They weren't carrying enough to blow a large hole in anything except themselves. They would have needed Hollywood explosives for anything more.

Comment: Re:From Jack Brennan's response (Score 4, Insightful) 767

by Hydian (#48562599) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

The question is, were the Americans tortured with the intention that they should reveal knowledge they possessed about plots against the state of the captors? If that's the case then sure, it sucks, but it's war. We hate them, they hate us, and the gloves are off. If they are torturing certain Americans completely unrelated to the military, as a form of collective punishment, then no *fuck that* we are still on the high ground and we are good to go on dropping a few thousand more bombs on those barbarians.

No, you're not. The justification for doing evil doesn't make it ok or even a little less evil. It is still just as evil. The attempt at justification simply makes you an even worse person because you aren't even enough of an adult to own up to your actions. Believe me, the other guys have their own justifications too...you just don't like theirs in the same way that they don't like yours.

Comment: Re:Really? .. it comes with the job (Score 1) 767

by Hydian (#48562537) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

However, because they aren't playing by the Big Powers rules, that means the Big Powers don't technically need to follow those rules either.

This is so horribly wrong that I don't even know how you came to this conclusion. There is nothing in law anywhere that says that if someone else is breaking the law that you are released from your obligations to follow it. Specifically in terms of the Geneva Convention and wartime conduct, you are *not* allowed to ignore the law even if your opponent is. Doing so will just cause both of you to potentially end up on trial.

So if these insurgent groups wore a uniform of some sort, and followed a normal command structure, and didn't hide in civilian populations, they could be lawful enemy combatants

Why would they do all of that when they are already lawful combatants? They weren't hiding in civilian populations...they were/are civilian populations. Al Quadia (as an example) is not a nation state and as such it is not bound by the Geneva Convention. The US Military (for example) is part of a nation state and is always bound by the Geneva Convention (specifically the 3rd Convention dealing with prisoners...the rest don't have to apply if the conflict doesn't involve another nation state, though they should be followed anyway and UCMJ is in line with that). The Geneva Convention does not apply to insurgent forces, civilians, homegrown militias, or other forces that are not affiliated with a nation state (this is where Blackwater gets hairy.) So if you send your military to fight a criminal organization, you still must respect the rules of war while they are free to disregard them as they please. It is up to you to try them in a court of law for any criminal acts that they commit.

Comment: Re:Really? .. it comes with the job (Score 2) 767

by Hydian (#48562333) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

You are, of course, specifically referring to the section commonly known as the Bill of Rights. These amendments do not grant rights to anyone. The constitution does not grant rights to anyone. Doing so would make them privileges and not rights as rights are inherent and not something that can be granted. The Bill of Rights specifically limits the ways in which the government in allowed to infringe upon our rights. This is true both in intent and in wording. Further, those amendments do not make a distinction between citizens and non-citizens. You should try actually reading it sometime.

As far as "unlawful enemy combatants" goes, there is no such thing in international law. That is a term that was manufactured to make people feel better about denying folks their due process and to make torture easier to stomach. The people who created and support that sort of thing are cowards who lack any sort of honor or dignity. It is a stain on the country that will take decades or longer to wash off.

Comment: Re:NO. This is not about "foreigners." (Score 2) 335

by Hydian (#48093351) Attached to: US Says It Can Hack Foreign Servers Without Warrants

The subject's citizenship is irrelevant as is the location of the information and what it is contained within. A warrant is needed with very few exceptions.

The FBI *can* do whatever they want to get whatever information they want. Any halfway competent judge should throw it all out along with any evidence that they find based upon anything found in this manner. By making these statements, they're pretty much ensuring that they can't get a conviction in this case which leads me to believe that they have him on something else. More importantly, I think that there is a pattern here like the with Kim DotCom case in that they are more interested in destroying the infrastructure and scaring people than getting a conviction in these particular cases. A little bit of "See how bad we can mess your life up even if we don't take you to court!"

Comment: Re:So what they are saying... (Score 2) 335

by Hydian (#48092817) Attached to: US Says It Can Hack Foreign Servers Without Warrants

But that isn't how the constitution functions mechanically. It doesn't apply to people. It applies to the government's behavior.

Every person has the same rights no matter who they are, where they are, what country they belong to, etc. The constitution restricts how our government may infringe upon those rights. Those restrictions are universal except in the few cases where an exception is carved out.

So when trying to figure out how it is applied, you simply look at it without considering who the subject is. Then you see if there are any exceptions that would apply in that case to allow the government to behave differently. If not, then there is no difference and you act accordingly. If there is an exception, then you can move in that direction. It is fairly simple stuff.

Comment: Re:So what they are saying... (Score 2) 335

by Hydian (#48092665) Attached to: US Says It Can Hack Foreign Servers Without Warrants

Maybe you need to read the entire thing? The constitution originally left voting rights up to the states to sort out individually. It was the 14th amendment adopted in 1868 that universally set the male, 21, born or naturalized citizens standard. Technically, that doesn't stop the states from still doing what they want though. They could allow non-citizens to vote if they really wanted to. It is a right and there is nothing in the constitution that prohibits it.

The full list of protections from Wikipedia:

These extensions state that voting rights cannot be denied or abridged based on the following:

Birth - "All persons born or naturalized" "are citizens" of the United States and the U.S. state where they reside (14th Amendment, 1868)
"Race, color, or previous condition of servitude" - (15th Amendment, 1870)
"On account of sex" - (19th Amendment, 1920)
In Washington, D.C., presidential elections (23rd Amendment, 1961)
(For federal elections) "By reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax" - (24th Amendment, 1964)
(For state elections) Taxes - (14th Amendment; Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, 383 U.S. 663 (1966))
"Who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of age" (26th Amendment, 1971).
Requirement that a person reside in a jurisdiction for an extended period of time (14th Amendment; Dunn v. Blumstein, 405 U.S. 330 (1972))[3][4][4]

Comment: Re:Ellsberg got a fair trial (Score 1) 519

So what you're basically saying is that they didn't submit to the rule of law as it existed because they didn't agree with it. There was no "American justice system" as a distinct entity because America was a part of the British Empire. They ended up making their own justice system...with blackjack and hookers.

I get what you think you are trying to say, but the truth is that Snowden does not get a fair trial. If he's lucky, he'd be shot "trying to escape" and if not, he'd be shoved into a dark hole for the rest of his life where he might be let out for a few minutes to allow for the appearance of a trial. Why should he submit himself to a lifetime (however short it may be) of torture just to make a bunch of bloodthirsty sheep happy?

Comment: Re:Light pollution? (Score 1) 311

by Hydian (#47135575) Attached to: Solar Roadways Project Beats $1M Goal, Should Enter Production

Hmmm...Good point...but if they can make it smart enough to detect animals on the road and warn drivers, then they could design them to only light up the sections of roadway that are in use, which would presumably make them even more energy efficient. Side effects of this methodology would be that it would alert cross traffic that vehicles were coming and it could dovetail into smart intersections, autonomous cars and traffic flow, but that is jumping a few steps further ahead into that general direction than this product is currently positioned at.

Comment: Re:Math, do it. (Score 1) 1043

by Hydian (#45941401) Attached to: Doctors Say Food Stamp Cuts Could Cause Higher Healthcare Costs

Pack of hot dogs + Mac and Cheese = roughly $2 to feed four people.

Chicken Breast + Frozen veggies = at least $10 for four people.

Things like milk, eggs, butter, fruits and fresh meat are not cheap. And this doesn't even get into the argument about availability/convenience of grocery stores and transportation.

"You don't go out and kick a mad dog. If you have a mad dog with rabies, you take a gun and shoot him." -- Pat Robertson, TV Evangelist, about Muammar Kadhafy

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