Talk:President Bush may veto amendment that bans detainee mistreatment

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Frist opposing?[edit]

How could Frist "led the unsuccessful opposition to the ammendment" and still vote in favor? --Deprifry|+T+ 15:51, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

yes; it is confusing.It seems that Frist and 8 others changed their vote to make it unanimous. 64.229.185.124 17:41, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Why would they do that if they opposed it? If I don't like a bill, I'd see that it gets as little support as possible. --Deprifry|+T+ 18:00, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

If you read the article carefully you would notice that the anti-torture legislation is attached to a big military spending bill. It makes a lot of sense to oppose parts of a bill and still vote for the whole package.--vonbergm 20:21, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Ok, I removed the questionable part.The sources say the vote was 90-9. Neutralizer 23:17, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Biased[edit]

Uh... That is ONE biased headline!

  • And very matching article. Tagging with {{npov}} for obvious reasons. --Mrmiscellanious 17:20, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
The only real bias I see is in the inclusion of the Washington Post editorial. Everything else seems ok. The headline is accurate. --Wolfrider 17:26, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
  • That and the subsequent paragraph, as well as using 'torture' as the terminology - as many officials do not seem to see the treatment as torture. --Mrmiscellanious 17:33, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
  • From about.com: "The subject is strapped to a board and lowered into the water until the subject believes that they will drown. The subject is then taken from the water and resuscitated. If necessary it is repeated." Sorry, but whether certain government officials consider this torture is besides the point: It is torture. Whether is is even happening is besides the point; this bill prevents it from happening. The most you can say is that the headling is sensational, not that it is POV. --Sdfisher 21:58, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Right on Sdfisher, but to some,the US can do no wrong; perhaps those are the officials the editor is referring to. I'm with you; we can't start giving nonsense equal time because someone says it's not nonsense. Neutralizer 23:46, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
well,have you read the wikipedia description of waterboarding????? Neutralizer 17:38, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Why should I? Half the items on Wikipedia are either incorrect or biased as it is. --Mrmiscellanious 17:43, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Mr Miscellaneous, I'm sure that a good many torturers would deny that what they are doing is "torture", just as many rapists deny that what they are doing is "rape", and many genocidal killers deny that they are committing genocide. Denying that something is true doesn't stop it from being true. Neither does it mean that anyone who "calls it how it is", is biased. Furthermore, whether or not you, or anyone else, agrees that torture has, in practice, taken place at the hands of US forces, the stated intention (see here: [1]) of John McCain in making this amendment is to make it crystal clear that torture is forbidden. It is, therefore, anti-torture legislation. I find it very unfortunate that you have been so obstructive over this article.

Rcameronw 10:10, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Then,why not just edit out the word torture if you find it pov?? Why try to subdue the article?Neutralizer 17:38, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

I'd like to npov the title[edit]

But I don't see the "rename" link? Please advise how to re-title this for the people who think it is biased. Neutralizer 17:48, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

The "Move" tab is what you are seeking -- perhaps it should be called "Rename", but it can also be used to move articles to another namespace. --Chiacomo (talk) 17:51, 8 October 2005 (UTC) Nevermind. I'm an idiot... :D I don't know why you don't see the "Rename" tab on the article. Are you logged in? --Chiacomo (talk) 17:52, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Thanks Chiacomo; got it done. Neutralizer 17:58, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

NPOV tag still warranted?[edit]

If anyone other than the tagger feels the tag is still warranted, please speak up as the story is becoming dated. Neutralizer 18:25, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

I'd simply remove the paragraph in regards to the editorial. It doesn't add anything of value to the story, and makes it more combative than it needs to be. When referring to torture either use a different term or place it in quotation marks. Also, awknowledge the fact that there is a debate surrounding whether or not detainee treatment constitutes torture. I think that should clear up any issues people may have. --Wolfrider 19:23, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Yet again this article has been tagged as NPOV and moved back to Developing. I believe this is a bias in itself, and the addition of the tag is inherently POV. It openly invites people to muck about and bias the thing in their favour. When I categorised it this morning it was very tame, nothing bold about it. I think it has swung too far the other way, particularly with the title change again.
The story is one branch of the government setting out to try and put the abuse/torture issue to rest and the blundering president and advisors threatening to throw their toys out the pram if they get this slap on the wrist. Torture has happened, and people have been successfully prosecuted for it. Pictures are available on the Internet, and more are being released as time goes on. What is debatable is if this has been isolated incidents, or promoted by the environment and lack of clear instructions and standards. My vote is that the word torture should be used somewhere, but not in both the title and the article. Brianmc 16:22, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Removing term "torture" leads to bias[edit]

It was argued that describing waterboarding (for example) as "torture" does not reflect a neutral point of view. This is outrageous, as ANY definition of torture (except the one the Bush administration is using, and possibly that of a select few states like Saudi Arabia where these practices are still in use) includes waterboarding. Considering waterboarding not as torture is a minority point of view, I am sure even in the United States. Relabeling it as "interrogation technique" merely because the Bush administration chooses to refer to it in this way is bias. Wikinews is not a spin zone!

The base of the arguments for NPOV given above are groundless and merely reflect (narrow) US American bias.--vonbergm 20:14, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. Waterboarding is torture. Article should either use word "torture" or use "waterboarding," but should not use "prisoner treatment." --Sdfisher 21:26, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Quote from the United States Reservations, Declarations and Understandings to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment:
(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. [2]
So waterboarding is in fact torture by definition of the United States Federal government. --Deprifry|+T+ 21:38, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
I think that using 'torture' in the article itself is certainly acceptable. The acts that the ammendment is attempting to address are commonly referred to as torture. The title is another matter however, and I'll address that below.--Herda05 23:30, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Change title back to original[edit]

I suggest changing the title back to the original "Bush administration threatens to veto 'anti-torture' legislation". Reaons: 1) The current title is incorrect as it is not clear that the White house will veto the legislation, or even have the opportunity to veto it as it might not pass in congress. The original term "threatens" instead of "will" is much more appropriate as the only reason to suggest a possible veto is to put pressure on congress to change the legisation in order to prevent a possible veto of an important bill.

Keep in mind these are two ammendments to a defense appropriations measure, and not standalone legislation. It's incorrect to characterize a defense appropriation bill as 'anti-torture' legislation. To be accurate, Bush is threatening to veto an appropriation bill that contains 'anti-torture' or 'detainee treatment' ammendments. The reason newspaper headlines are calling it 'anti-torture' legislation is becuase it sounds catchier than the last three-quarters of my previous sentence.--Herda05 23:30, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

2) The term "prisoner treatment" is too vague in the title. As the article makes clear, the point of objection from the perspective of the White House is that the legislation will tie their hands as they will not be able to use cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment on prisoners -- which is commonly referred to as "torture".

If there are no objections, i will change the title back in a couple of hours.--vonbergm 22:15, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

I think that the ammendments should be referred to in the title as they are by Senator Mccain who proposed them in the first place. Mccain is calling the ammendments 'detainee ammendments'[3]. Most would commonly call them 'anti-torture ammendments', but I think we should stick with the horse's mouth when it comes to the title.--Herda05 23:30, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I think it was better where it was, under "Bush may veto...". It certainly sounded more professional. --Mrmiscellanious 23:37, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Quote of Editorial[edit]

I agree that quoting an editorial might raise some NPOV concerns. Looking at the above comments, this seems to be the only possibly valid objection. If there are no strong proponents for the paragraph quoting the Washington Post, I will remove it.--vonbergm 22:21, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

  • I've removed it and the NPOV tag accordingly, as the consensus seems to show. But I'm still sketchy on the proof of waterboarding accounts, as this article seems to claim the US has done to the detainees. For this reason, I haven't put it back to Publish status. A few sources (at least two, please) will have to be provided that shows the statement's validity. --Mrmiscellanious 23:32, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
I think we now need to change the title back to how it originally was. The purpose of the amendment is to outlaw torture, therefore it is an "anti-torture" amendment.

Rcameronw 10:14, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Tag was never justified[edit]

and the overwhelming consensus against it, proves it. I will now,finally,remove it. Too bad the tagger didn't remove it himself. I also agree the original title was the best so I will put that back as well. Please read the water cooler and express your feelings about the way this and other articles which happen to not reflect positively on the US government have been unjustifiably delayed and subdued[4] I will also remove the paragraph from the editorial and publish. Perhaps vonbergm will keep an Eye on this article as it is quite possible I will be blocked for freeing this story. Neutralizer 23:31, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

Need help to get this published[edit]

The lone tagger is holding up publication(reverted back to develop)even with the editorial info out. Others need to revert back to "publish" as I have already done it once.(most editors can do it 3 times without being blocked,but not me) Neutralizer 23:42, 8 October 2005 (UTC)

  • I am withholding PUBLISH status because of comments above. The removal of NPOV was consensused; moving it back to PUBLISH was not. If there is no proof that this "waterboarding" ever occured, it will have to be more specific in the article that it is only providing an example. --Mrmiscellanious 23:44, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Waterboarding is from the sources and has been admitted to by the USA. Neutralizer 23:50, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Then provide proof of it. The one source the term was shown was a statement of what it prohibited, the terminology used in this article makes it seem as if it actually DID happen (in which, there are no sources to prove that) --Mrmiscellanious 23:51, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Another red herring; why not just edit out that word and publish??? In the meantime I'll get your "proof". Neutralizer 23:53, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Boy that was tough; "The administration has walked a fine line, claiming that techniques such as "waterboarding," forced nudity, "stress positions" and mock executions are legally permitted because they're not technically "torture" (a conclusion shared by few experts) and because they're still "humane" (a conclusion shared by practically no one)."[[5]]Neutralizer 23:57, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Find a CREDIBLE source (Government document, etc.) - not anything from the LA Times nor NY Times nor Washington Post, etc. --Mrmiscellanious 00:05, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
  • It is also an opinion/commentary piece, not even a real news story --Cspurrier 00:08, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
Aren't you being somewhat biased in stipulating that a government official is intrinsically more "credible" than the editors of the LA Times, NY Times and Washington Post? Is Wikinews now longer allowed to quote anyone other than the US government?! This New York Times article [[w:http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/18/politics/18intel.html?ex=1129003200&en=59d3fa6caa0248e7&ei=5070&th%7C]](not an op-ed, this time), reports on a congressional hearing at which Senator McCain specifically asked Peter J Goss, an intelligence official, about the waterboarding allegation: 'Mr. Goss replied only that the approach fell into "an area of what I will call professional interrogation techniques.". He vigorously defended "professional interrogation" as an important tool in efforts against terrorism, saying that it had resulted in "documented successes" in averting attacks and capturing important suspects.'. In other words, faced with a grilling by the Senate Armed Forces Committee, Goss was unable or unwilling to give a straight answer on the issue, although he did describe waterboarding as a "professional interrogation technique", and he did confirm that "professional interrogation techniques" had been used by US Intelligence. This answer has led many to suspect that US Intelligence were using the "waterboarding" technique, but were also unwilling to admit that they'd been doing it. At the very least there's a big question mark over why Goss could not clarify, to the satisfaction of the US Senate, whether or not the people under his command were engaging in such a controversial practice. If Goss wasn't even able to say to the US Senate whether or not the practice was being permitted, how on earth were his agents on the ground supposed to know what was and wasn't permitted? This ambivalence and ambiguity is exactly what the McCain amendment is trying to clear up. Waterboarding is a perfect example of the kind of practice that McCain is trying to get ruled out. It seems a shame that you're not allowing us to make this clear in the article.
Please note that the reference to waterboarding is no longer in the article. Neutralizer 00:11, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Article is almost sanitized now[edit]

I have removed reference to waterboarding and the tagger has removed references to torture.Unless the rest of you get involved, this will end up being a fox news report..IF it's ever published. Please start editing to get the truth back into this article. Neutralizer 00:03, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

  • If by "truth" you mean editorials, then please - falsify it. We are not an editorial service. If you want to write where no one will be opposed to you submitting biased text or wanting to promote an agenda, PLEASE join indymedia. WN isn't about that. --Mrmiscellanious 00:07, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
PLEASE get a job with fox news;WN isn't about delaying and subduing stories about US government misdeeds or attempts to deal with them(like this story is about). Neutralizer 00:15, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
  • It is if the way the information is presented is unprofessional and has to be tied up with editorials. And I would love a job at Fox News, but it wouldn't mean that I would stop editing here. Whammy for you, I suppose. --Mrmiscellanious 00:18, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

"Amendment"[edit]

Amendment is spelled with two m's. You may not agree that the Senate legislation is "anti-torture" in nature, but I would hope that no one doubts the spelling of this word. Since my renames keep being reverted, will someone else please fix this? And why is everyone so up in arms about keeping "anti-torture" in the title? The legislation prohibits torture. This is why the Bush administration wants to veto it - statements have been released to this effect. The facts there are clear. - McCart42 (talk) 00:20, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Point of clarification: my statement regarding keeping "anti-torture" in the title of the article was meant to ask a question of those who are NOT in favor of keeping the phrase in the title - I personally think it should be in the title as it's fairly descriptive of the issue at hand. - McCart42 (talk) 00:21, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
Please see the links here[6]In my opinion, the only possible reason someone would want to keep the phrase out of the title (and the article)is to conceal the fact that the issue being reported is all about the US govern. torturing prisoners. Neutralizer 00:30, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
  • For the LAST TIME before I consider it a personal attack, I AM NOT EMPLOYED BY THE GOVERNMENT(S) OF THE FOLLOWING NATION(S): UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITIAN AND NORTHERN IRELAND, NOR ANY DENOMINATIONS RESULTING IN STATE NOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT POSITION ADHERING TO THE FOLLOWING NATIONAL LEVELS. I am here to help Wikinews weed out the ones like you who insist that editorials are more correct than actual news items, and I am here to make sure that NO VIEW is favored. You are just making my job more enjoyable. One more claim of this sort, Neutralizer, and I will block you for making personal attacks against me. Heads up. --Mrmiscellanious 00:39, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Please stop the threats, at least on the article talk pages.Please use my talk page for threats,warnings etc. Neutralizer 00:41, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Why should I, when you attack others on article and community pages? --Mrmiscellanious 00:44, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Noone really cares who you work for, but we do care about small minorities of 1 or 2 people delaying and subduing articles they do not like against the wishes of the majority; and we are mostly smart enough to realize that you could have made a few small edits to deal with your concerns rather than impose tags and repeatedly push the story back to "develop". Neutralizer 00:41, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Please concentrate on the article[edit]

ok, the title is "torture" free; the article is"torture" free and editorial free and waterboarding free. What's the next hurdle to publishing? Neutralizer 00:51, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

I don't understand the reason for these changes. I know you are working hard on getting his news article out, but why sanitize this down until it almost sounds like a White House press release. The issue about waterboarding and other torture procedures is not wheather or not it happened but wheather or not it is illegal or the president wants to allow for the possibility. I am republishing this as it is and hope that some of these changes will be reverted to its original language.--vonbergm 01:27, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

You're absolutely correct.Thanks for the wake-up. Neutralizer 11:29, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Tagging War[edit]

This article has been sanitized almost beyond recognition. Amgine, if you still see npov issues, discuss them here instead of taging the article without comment. On an article that has been discussed and change quite extensively, taging the article as npov without leaving any comment, let alone raising an issue that has been previously overlooked is simply vandalism. I am reverting this back to publish.--vonbergm 04:50, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

The article is not and was not tagged, NPOV or otherwise. It is also not complete, missing appropriate categories at the least. I'm leaving it published for the moment though I can't address the shortcomings myself. - Amgine/talk 05:25, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Sorry, you are right. You did not tag it NPOv but reverted the status to DEVELOP without making any comments and the above criticism applies just the same. I am glad to see that you are making constructive comments now. Going to sleep, so maybe someone else can pick up and add categories. Funny though how this seems to be only an issue with "controversial" articles.--vonbergm 06:13, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm rarely asked to look at non-controversial articles these days. - Amgine/talk 06:15, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

I've added some more detail regarding the amendment, and corrected the statement regarding what the uniform standard for interrogations would be (Army Field Manual, not the Geneva Convention). Sorry, I'm not as familiar with categorizing so I'll leave that to better hands. I also cleaned up the second paragraph a little and linked directly to the floor statement by Mccain, which is public domain. Hope that helps.--Herda05 08:17, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Torture[edit]

This article is incomplete, and biased, without a reference to the central issue here: torture.

It's not possible to make sense of the McCain amendment without an explanation of WHY 90 US Senators were so concerned about the treatment of prisoners that they decided to support changes to a funding bill so that it also outlawed the use of torture.

I'm sorry if this is a hard fact to accept, but there is a wealth of evidence suggesting that the US armed forces have been engaging in the torture of detainees in Iraq and elsewhere, and significant evidence that this torture is systematic. Please see this Human Rights Watch report for more details: [7]. There are many more examples available on the HRW and Amnesty International websites.

I also think it's unfortunate that the author has been slammed as "biased" for using the word "torture" in the title of this piece. Many, perhaps most, other articles on this story have also used the word "torture" in the title. The legislation is intended to ban the use of torture. It is, therefore, "anti-torture" legislation. Rcameronw 09:40, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Anti-torture back in the title per consensus[edit]

Deprifry|Sdfisher vonbergmRcameronwMcCart42 and myself feel the story is about an "anti-torture" amendment. In case I get blocked for 3 rv; please note this is not 3 rv because 2 of my title changes were grammatical corrections and 1 was actually to take the word torture out as we tried to accomodate the npov tag. Neutralizer 11:26, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

I will re-add the NPOV tag with the 'anti-torture' term in the headline. IT IS a biased terminology. Unless you have CREDIBLE INFORMATION that the US has condoned torture, it should be left out and the headline and article should say "detainee treatment" bill, as it incorporates more items such as living quarters and such. On a side note, PUBLISH status is only recieved when an item is COMPLETE. The continuation of rapid editing makes me think otherwise. Also on a side note, the date SHOULD NOT BE CHANGED. I have reverted these two items. If someone wants to bring credible information (not editorials, not articles from other news sources) that shows these items occured - then produce it. Otherwise, it's back to develop and the title changes. --Mrmiscellanious 15:26, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
1. You're going over old ground, Mr. Miscellaneous, and abusing your administrative powers. As we've explained above, whether or not it's true that the US government has condoned torture, this is, uncontroversially, an "anti-torture" amendment, because it is an amendment designed to make it crystal clear, just in case anyone was in any doubt, that torture is forbidden. To say that the amendment outlaws torture is not to say that torture has, or has not occurred. It merely states that this is an amendment designed to make torture illegal IF it did occur. If we ignore that fact we're ignoring the central point of the story.
  • I am not abusing any admin powers. Neutralizer was blocked because of personal attacks. The article, in it's present form, implies that the US HAS condoned torture. That's why it's still in development stage. Please, provide SPECIFICS on how I have abused my ADMIN powers and list me for desysop'ing. --Mrmiscellanious 16:30, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
2. The New York Times article I quote from above outlines an exchange in which a US government official admits to Senator McCain that what he calls "professional interrogation techniques" have been used by the intelligence services. He also describes the method of coercion known as "waterboarding", (a method widely used, incidentally, in South African during the Apartheid-era) as a "professional interrogation technique". Are you saying that the New York Times made these comments up?
  • They have before - in fact, the NY Times has a long history of getting the story wrong or skewing it to sound better. Therefore, they will not be used as a credible source - neither will a Senator's comments. I want a government document acknowledging there has been torture before this article can be published, either that or change the tone to something that isn't accusing the US of condoning torture, of which it hasn't been proven in the sources yet. --Mrmiscellanious 16:30, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
So let me just get this clear - you're saying that the New York Times fabricated those comments from Mr. Goss? You're right that they've made mistakes before - no source of information (even a government!) is infallible - that doesn't mean that they can't ever be "credible". Being credible isn't the same as being infallible...

Rcameronw 16:42, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

  • The NY times has fabricated before. So yes, I do not see them as a credible source. If a government, which can be placed under charges of perjury, doesn't acknowledge it and the NY Times does... I'm definitely going to trust the government. --Mrmiscellanious 16:45, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Fair point about perjury - but newspapers are similarly open to prosecution (libel etc.) if they simply make stuff up... If you're so convinced that the NYT fabricated their reporting of Goss's comments, then maybe you should start a court action?! Rcameronw 17:03, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
3. Please also see below for a detailed report from Human Rights Watch on the use of torture by US forces. Please also see the Wikinews story about three serving US soldiers (keyword "Fishback" should bring it up for you) who have also reported that torture is widespread. The fact that US government officials have not admitted it (such an admission would almost certainly lead to criminal prosecution, so I don't entirely blame them) does not stop it from being true.
  • The report is an EDITORIAL. It's THEIR opinion. I want a CREDIBLE SOURCE, not an organization's opinion. --Mrmiscellanious 16:30, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
That wasn't the report I was referring to. This is the report I was referring to: [8]
  • That's still an editorial; it says items without proving them, and was made to make a political point. --Mrmiscellanious 16:46, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
It's not an editorial; it's a detailed report, citing eyewitness testimonies, from a well-respected human rights organisation. Their only "political point" is that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (which forbids torture) should be respected and upheld. To that end, the same organisation recently issued a similarly detailed report documenting and condemning abuses by the Iraqi insurgency. The onus is on you to prove what they say lacks credibility. Rcameronw 17:03, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
4. You might do well to take a good look through Senator McCain's detailed statement outlining his concerns about torture. I hope you accept that this, at the very least, amounts to a "credible" source.

Rcameronw 16:23, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

  • No, it doesn't. Senators often get the wrong information. I want a government document. --Mrmiscellanious 16:30, 9 October 2005

(UTC)

Mrmiscellanious I think there are a couple of things wrong with your argument:
  1. Senator Mccain's statement is a government document, it was said on the floor of the Senate and entered into the proceedings Senate, which gets recorded and published. It becomes part of the record of the Senate. John Mccain is also a representative of the government.
  2. Simply becuase a document is a government document does not make it any more credible a source than an editorial or a weblog. The same biases can exist in any document, regardless of the source. The key is getting as many source documents as possible, expecially when dealing with a controversial subject. By limiting your sources your reducing the liklihood of finding out what actually occurred.
  3. Any rational government is not going to write in documents stating they 'torture' anybody. They will not do it both for political reasons and moral reasons. You will only be able to gather evidence of torture from NGO's, indivdual government officers who have made charges, whistleblowers, and others who have witnessed the events or interviewed those who witnessed the events.--Herda05 20:27, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
Maybe someone else can help me out on this, but in my understanding it is not wikimedia policy that only a "government document" counts as a credible source of information. Rcameronw 16:42, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
    • Mrmisc: You have said that you will refuse to acknowledge the New York Times as a news source; rather, you believe that the government is the principal authority on these matters. If we only report what the White House tells us is the truth, there is no freedom of the press. We must search for objective truth, not merely what is acceptable to the White House. I say "White House" and not "government" because the Senate is a large part of our government, and you consider their words to be not valid as well. The issue here is how we describe the amendment: McCain, the author, has discussed it as anti-torture. That is the legislation's purpose, whether or not torture or merely the concern of torture currently exists. - McCart42 (talk) 16:40, 9 October 2005 (UTC)


Proposal to revoke Mr. Miscellaneous' admin powers[edit]

I'm concerned that Mr. Miscellaneous is allowing his political leanings to affect his judgement on this one, and particularly concerned that he is unilaterally trying to block this story against the wishes of the majority. I feel that this has now gone on for long enough, and I therefore now propose that we revoke his administrative powers for a limited period of time. Rcameronw 16:19, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Even if there is a majority, it doesn't make it right. The story has issues - and some users are ignoring them. List me for de-sysop'ing if you think you have reasoning. Let the voters decide. --Mrmiscellanious 16:34, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

One more thought[edit]

Thanks for doing that, Neutralizer. If Mr. Miscellaneous has any further objections, I'm happy to discuss them either here or on my discussion page. Discussion is good. Heavy-handed admin shenanigans (eg. repeatedly moving an article back to "develop" when the consensus is against you, blocking users who disagree with you etc.), on the other hand, only wind people up. In a collaborative project like this there will be inevitably be honest disagreements about content and it's surely better to resolve these with discussion rather than threats?Rcameronw 12:17, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Is there a system of complaint when it comes to admins? I feel this is a particularly ugly case in which an admin let personal views (both politically and toward a user) get in the way of a story. For the record, after reading the rebuttals about excluding the word torture I'd have to agree. It does seem more appropriate than something like "prisoner treatment". --Wolfrider 12:48, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
If necessary, we can take a vote on revoking a particular person's admin status, although I'd hope we wouldn't need to go that far. One for the watercooler discussion page?Rcameronw 13:22, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
I don't think it's necessary at the moment, but it case it is in the future I wanted to know if anything could be done. --Wolfrider 14:29, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Neutralizer was blocked for personal attacks. I have never blocked anyone just because I don't agree with them. And yes, I do have objections (see my comments above). Editorials will NOT be allowed on Wikinews if not in the User space. The consistent biased terminology of 'anti-torture' (when there are no records of the US condoning torture provided in the sources) is present; it is more professional and more correct (as the legislature includes items about the detainee's living areas, etc.) to use 'detainee treatment amendment'. NPOV is not the same as DEVELOP. PUBLISH status makes sure that the article is complete without any errors - so far, based on the edits, this has yet to be achieved. --Mrmiscellanious 15:33, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
The article doesn't say anywhere that the US condones torture, nor does it imply that. Whenever the word torture is used, it is in the context of the legislation, and the legislation is without a doubt tasked with eliminating torture in interrogation methods. Whether torture currently occurs or the amendment is pre-emptive, the phrase "anti-torture" is completely appropriate in the article and title. That's what the legislation is about. - McCart42 (talk) 16:26, 9 October 2005 (UTC)


detainee abuse chronic, systematic[edit]

this commentary by John Sifton lists details showing abuse is chronic, and it should be considered systematic. needs to be teased out and added to the article. http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/10/07/usint11839.htm Doldrums 13:01, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

  • No, it should NOT. We are NOT an editorial service. --Mrmiscellanious 15:27, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Mrmiscellanious, I understand one can tag an article NPOV for things written in the article. But it is a clear abuse of administrative powers to flag and article NPOV for a suggestion made on the discussion page! Please revert this immediately!--vonbergm 16:32, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

  • It is not an abuse of Admin powers - nor is it an abuse at all. Neutralizer was the one who sent it back to develop, I did not. However, upon reviewing the article - I feel as if it still needs to be in development stage. There was no consensus to move it back to Publish. --Mrmiscellanious 18:26, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Can Neutralizer confirm this or has he been blocked? I was under the impression that it was Mr. M who'd been repeatedly NPOVing this thing/moving it back to "develop". Rcameronw 19:32, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
You should be able to confirm this yourself, looking at the history of the article. - Amgine/talk 19:59, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Just checked the history page. Go to

http://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=President_Bush_may_veto_amendment_that_bans_detainee_mistreatment&diff=149732&oldid=149714 to find the change MrM made at 9:27 shortly after posting the "reason" above. His changes were to set both NPOV and DEVELOP flags. Although it might very well have been Neutralizer who reveted the article the first time, this is not what we are talking about in this context. I note that MrM's comment above is worded in a way that implies that he did not flag the article at the time specified by the context of this discussion, but does not explicitely state this. I cannot help but interpret this as deliberately milseading behaviour. Another eample of examplatory behaviour by a Wikinews editor/administrator! It just gets worse...--vonbergm 23:42, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Later addition. The first NPOV was in fact cast by MrM and Neutralizer changed it to DEVELOP shortly after. Looking at MrM's comments above again, I am still amazed by the clear inted to mislead. Commenting on questions about NPOV he responds by talking about DEVELOP and tries to imply that someone else did it. Since he apparently will not even stand up to his own actions, I guess that means that he himself agrees now that his behaviour was problematic. These misleading statements do raise some ethics issues. I do not believe that there shold be room for this behaviour in Wikinews, not even on the discussion page!--vonbergm 23:57, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I am not, and will never, admit to any wrongdoing on this article. Let me say what I am thinking, alright? It'll be a lot less confusing. Furthermore, let this be my last message on this talk page. I advise others to do the same, after all - it's 45kb long. That's too much. --Mrmiscellanious 00:03, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
  • No more messages on this talk page? But this discussion (or "argey-bargey", as we say in London) has been so much fun! Admit it, you've been enjoying the scrap, haven't you? Rcameronw 00:39, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Possible compromise[edit]

I've posted a modified version of the article at User:Deprifry/President Bush may veto amendment that bans detainee mistreatment, where I tried to address the various issues people here have about the story. I admit, the title is not very sexy, but I would still appreciate your input whether that is a viable compromise :). --Deprifry|+T+ 16:25, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Much better, Deprifry. Thank you for taking my recommendations seriously in the rewrite. --Mrmiscellanious 16:50, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

I could live with this. I still believe though that Mrmiscellaneous' reason for NOPV given above is absolute bogus as i just oulined below his comment. How can we deal with this continuing abuse of administrator power?--vonbergm 16:35, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

  • The admin has no more power than you do when editing an article. The actions were made by me as an EDITOR. The only thing you can list as an "abuse of Admin power" is if I blocked, deleted, or protected something that shouldn't have happened. Neutralizer was blocked for personal attacks. Nothing was deleted. Nothing was protected. I haven't abused my admin powers. --Mrmiscellanious 16:41, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Point taken. I guess I should have called your action an act of vandalism instead of abuse of administrative power. You have not addressed this issue yet, please explain why you choose to continue to make changes that only reflect your personal opinion and go against the concensus that was achieved in this discussion. Also please explain why you NPOV for comments on the discussion page.--vonbergm 16:57, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for that helpful suggestion, Deprify - I could live with it too. BUT, personally, I'm very reluctant to let one person bully us all into removing the word "torture" (which is, after all, the central issue of the piece) from the title, just by being stubborn. In addition to the abuse of his admin powers, Mr. Miscellaneous has also, effectively, "reverted" this article, repeatedly, against the wishes of the majority. So I think there's also an issue of his status as an "editor" here, too.

Rcameronw 16:47, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Mrmiscellanious, this is not about us (the editors that work constructively on this article) to form a petition, but about you to act responsibly. I am still looking forward to hear an answer to my questions above. Please explain how the reasons you gave for your last NPOV are valid.--vonbergm 17:16, 9 October 2005 (UTC)
  • I'm happy with the compromise version. I made a minor wording change where I thought it was a little awkward. There's now a real context that identifies someone as categorising prisoner mistreatment as torture so the use of the word is backed up. The title is no longer sensationalist which was the one change that I suspect really bugged Mrmiscellanious. "detainee mistreatment" is just a polite euphemism for torture anyway and repeated use of the term will establish it as such - same as organisations like the BBC do labelling attackers as "insurgents" - each side in the debate sees them in a different way and glosses over the fine print in the word's definition. You have your neutral point of view, but two people can arrive at different conclusions by concentrating on different parts of the article. Brianmc 16:59, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Made the changes[edit]

Since everybody seems to be happy with the compromise, I've edited the article accordingly. :)--Deprifry|+T+ 17:23, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

+T+ I think you've done a good job on the article.--Herda05 20:27, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

mccain's statement on the amendment [9]. note the statement "This amendment would [...] (2) prohibit cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of persons in the detention of the U.S. government." and that the bush administration's "legal determination [...] that the prohibition in the Convention Against Torture against cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment does not legally apply to foreigners held outside the U.S." has also prompted to this amendment being drafted.

is cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment which the amendment addresses "torture", "abuse", "mistreatment" or "treatment"? are there legal or literary definitions which answer this? Doldrums 18:14, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Doldrums, for various definitions look at the sources. In particular, I recommend that you read Senator McCain's original statement which is linked. The term "torture" is used throughout.--vonbergm 19:16, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Petitioning (reluctantly) to de-admin / block Mr. Miscellaneous for a limited time[edit]

I agree with Mr. M that we should now put it to the vote, and go with whatever the majority decides. I've set it up here:

http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikinews:Administrators#Requests_for_de-adminship

1 vote in favour so far...

Rcameronw 17:25, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

User: Rcameronw has been blocked for requesting de-admin vote and alleged "trolling"[edit]

Just wanted to let people know that, following yesterday's discussion, user rcameronw has been blocked for 24 hours. It was decided that rcameronw's request for a de-admin vote constituted "site disruption".

Just a couple of concerns:

  • 1. I can see nothing on the blocking page about de-admin requests (controversial or otherwise) being against the rules.
  • 2. According to the blocking page, "Users should be warned that they are violating policy before they are blocked.", and "Admins should only do this as a last resort - efforts to educate must be made first, followed by warnings.". No such warning was given.
  • 3. Although rcameronw allegedly admitted, on this discussion page, to "trolling", the word "trolling" does not actually appear on this page, except for in this sentence, which had not been written at the time that rcameronw was alleged to have "admitted to trolling"!
  • 4. Rcameronw initiated the de-admin request following a long discussion here. Several other users supported the move. The decision to block could be seen as an attempt to suppress discussion and debate within Wikinews.
  • I don't understand that line of thought at all. It's quiet clear from the article that a single user, MrM was consistently holding up the story in the face of overwhelming consensus. Also, I warned MrM by email about his behaviour, with no reply. In my opinion Rcameronw was merely responding to my request for information about dealing with problem admins [check the timestamps, I suggested it first], and as you say the move was supported by several users including MrM himself. This looks like an absolutely unacceptable action toward a user who was trying to help the community by bringing an issue to a vote. This is highly damaging to the project and should be looked into more deeply. If an admin would like to explain his actions to me I urge them to post on my talk page. --Wolfrider 13:51, 10 October 2005 (UTC)


Thanks for taking the efford to make this public. I fully agree with your concerns and your characterization of the discussion. There were several actions of administrators that were quite disturbing during that discussion.

  • MrM repeatedly taged the article NPOV and DEVELOP citing dubious reasons, although there was an overwhelming feeling on the discussion page that the article was fine.
  • MrM made deliberately misleading comments on the discussion page (see "detainee abuse chronic, systematic" section)
  • Amgine taged the article DEVELOP without having any prior involvement in the article and without given any reasons on the already extensive discussion page.
  • Amgine alledged that the appearance of concensus of everyone except MrM on the discussion page was due to sockpuppets, but has not provided any support for this claim dispite numerous requests. Looking through the discussion it seems highly unlikely to me that sockpuppets were used (I might be wrong on this of course), so at this point I must interpret Amgine's statement as a deliberate attempt to manipulate sentiments in favour of MrM.

I do not know who bloked Rcameronw, but I surely hope it was neither MrM nor Amgine, as I feel that their actions in the discussion and the de-admin vote were highly dubious. My sympathies go to Rcameronw, who I believe did an excellent job in the discussion. The request to de-admin might have been premature, but I believe MrM should have been blocked as an editor) for his actions and MrM specifically asked to have a petition to de-admin him. In light of this I find the "trolling" charges quite ridiculous and the block of Rcameronw completely unjustified.--vonbergm 16:34, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

  • While I understand the reason for the block (there was technically no abuse of administrative power) I am concerned about the following quote from MrM: "Even if there is a majority, it doesn't make it right. The story has issues - and some users are ignoring them. List me for de-sysop'ing if you think you have reasoning. Let the voters decide." It would seem to me that as an admin MrM would have previous knowledge of the rules regarding de-sysop'ing and would have known that such an action would have been considered a disruption of the Wiki. It is my concern that MrM was baiting Rcameronw into doing something he knew was against the rules. If it was me, I would have taken the above quote as a go-ahead to call for a vote, given that the admin in question said it was alright. I'm not trying to be anti-admin here, nor am trying to pick a fight. This is, unfortuneately, how it looks to me. --Wolfrider 16:04, 10 October 2005 (UTC)


Fully agreed. I am relatively new here and have not internalized all the rules of Wikinews. Also, as you pointed out, just looking at the rules might give a too narrow perspective on the events here. Is there some person within Wikinews who could offer some insight of what went wrong here and how it should be avoided in the future. I would have suggested having an admin look at this, but in light of my experience with admins (see above comment) I am not convinced that this will receive fair treatment.--vonbergm 16:34, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

I will be glad to address any issues as to interpretation of policy -- if you trust me.. :D I have traded some email with Rcameronw and I think he understands the events as they have transpired. --Chiacomo (talk) 16:57, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Yes, thanks for the offer. Most importantly I do not understand the Wikinews policy implications in the four points I raised above and how the blocking of Rcameronw, while maybe consistent with Wikinews rules (which one?) can be jsutified in view of the preceding discussion as detailed by Wolfrider.--vonbergm 17:56, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Any editor at any time is permitted to edit any page so long as the edit is in good faith (not vandalism). When one tags an article, it is helpful and expected to note the reason for the tag in either the edit summary or on the talk page (for longer comments). You mentioned "... the appearance of concensus of everyone except MrM ..." in your comments -- if everyone was in agreement except MrM and he did not accept the article as it was at that time, you had NOT in fact reached consensus. Consensus does not mean that the majority wins -- it means that there is a majority (or, rarely, a minority) view that is acceptable to everyone (not just almost everyone). As I said in an email to Rcameronw, a single editor can prevent the publishing of an article if he is acting in good faith (not just trolling) and if the other editors involved truly respect the idea of consensus as it is manifested on Wikinews. Let's take this conversation elsewhere -- perhaps the Water Cooler under Miscellaneous (not reference to MrM! Heh heh). This talk page is far too long and is straying away from the work of creating a better article. --Chiacomo (talk) 18:07, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
  • My statement was true. Just because there is a consensus doesn't mean it follows our policies or regulations. Tagging a story with NPOV is because a single user thinks it is biased. Communication should be made with that user to amend the story to get rid of the questionable item(s). That doesn't mean you can ignore those who are trying to explain why he tagged the story. I had credible claims that some users chose to reject as credible and later form them into personal attacks. That is not how our site runs. Everyone gets a say on our site - not just the majority of people. These issues were addressed and fixed in Deprifry's version, which I thank him for taking some of my concerns seriously. I called for some credible sources - which excluded any form of media (especially editorials) or Senator's comments (as Senators often get incorrect information, or base it on hearsay) and provided examples (government report) - in which none were provided. Refusing a user's comments or concerns on an article is not acceptable here. --Mrmiscellanious 17:17, 10 October 2005 (UTC)


MrM, I agree that Deprifry's change was a good compromize. I also agree with your general statements on bias and NPOV, even if it is about the concerns of a single user. Looking at the discussion I must note that your concerns were addressed extensively and by several users. After a long discussion the users argued that the word "torture" should be in the article as its omission constitutes bias. As a consequence, your edits removing the term were reverted. Your claims that the sources given are not redible was also extensively addressed. The users felt that your claim that the only acceptable source are "official government documents" was deemed unacceptable. Even the statement of Senator McCain, a serving member of the armed services committee and initiator of the amendment is not close enough to an "official government document" to be acceptable to you. The artile seemed well-sourced to most of the participants of the discussion, whereas you (and probably Chiacomo, as implied by his comments on in the de-admin discussion) have the opposite point of view. It was already suggested above, maybe there is a possibility to set up a discussion page or the like to talk about Wikinews policy on acceptable sources?--vonbergm 17:56, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Many thanks to Wolfrider and vonbergm for those supportive comments, and to Chiacomo for your help in resolving this. I'm very sorry if Mr. M feels that there have been any personal attacks. Nonetheless, while there were obviously strong feelings on both sides of this discussion I felt that it had actually been quite a constructive one, because it brought out some important issues about general policy.
I was, I admit, a bit sarcastic about the conspiracy-theory accusations. Sorry about that. But I would like to go on record and state categorically that I am not a sockpuppet! Neither do I think that Mr. M, or anyone else here, is a secret government agent... I would like to say, however, that I'm a bit disappointed about the "baiting" issue, and that I was blocked without any kind of warning.
When I mentioned, perhaps a little flippantly, that I'd been enjoying the argument and thought that Mr. M might have been too, I was actually trying to be conciliatory! Unfortunately I think this may have been interpreted as an admission that I'd been arguing-for-the-sake-of-arguing (eg. "trolling"). What I actually meant was that, given that I felt that a discussion/argument was necessary, I'd been enjoying the process of trying to get things straightened out. I did, in fact, find many of Mr. M's comments interesting and thought-provoking, even though I still disagreed with him on a number of points.

Rcameronw 18:13, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Focussing on the positive - policy questions[edit]

I do think that this debate has brought out some useful and interesting policy questions for Wikinews.
My feeling yesterday was that the debate was becoming less and less about the article itself and more about general principles -

eg. the principle of whether or not the New York Times (among others) should EVER be admitted as a "credible source" for a Wikinews story, and if so under what circumstances. Obviously some would say yes and others no - but I do think it would help if we looked for a community consensus on such principles, and then tried to apply them consistently. My thinking is that agreeing a few general guidelines like this will help us save time, and pre-empt future disagreements!

Maybe the water cooler would be a good place for such a discussion, and any other matters arising. There are some interestingly divergent views here and I'd be really keen to know what people think.

Rcameronw 18:13, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Focusing on the negative - MrM's minor edits[edit]

the following substantial (especially given the extensive discussion going on at the time) edits have been tagged as minor by MrM and are missing edit summaries in some cases [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17]. an innocent "minor edit by default" set in his preferences? (the user contributions page can lend some evidence of that). when the discussion generates this much heat, even innocent mistakes are to be avoided, MrM.

Doldrums 18:41, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

  • Doldrums, state your reasoning for this posting. It'll be like me having to answer you why I made those edits 'minor'. --Mrmiscellanious 18:44, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
This article is published and this discussion is over. If MrM needs to provide better edit summaries, please address that on his talk page. --Chiacomo (talk) 18:45, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
the reason for posting is to bring the edits to MrM's notice, to the notice of other editors of this page and to provide an opportunity for MrM to explain his/her actions. i'm not particular about where this discussion is continued. Doldrums 19:01, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
MrM should not explain his actions as that will perpetuate the conflict here. Please don't fan the flames. --Chiacomo (talk) 19:11, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. Please let the subject drop, Doldrums. --Wolfrider 19:31, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Kiss and make up[edit]

I think this issue has really gotten out of hand. It seems that all of us have taken an overly personal view on a relatively small and inconsequential issue. We should keep in mind that Wikinews is the product of all our efforts and this really is hurting the legitimacy of it. MrM, I'd like to extend an apology to you as well as to the users and admins who have had to watch a rather embarressing display of childishness by all of us. I do think a discussion page on what constitutes an acceptable source is a good idea. Given that none of us suffered a particularly terrible fate we should take the blocks and the de-sysop'ing in stride and try to make an effort to get along with each other. Ego could easily kill this project, and given the corporate dominated media we all have to deal with that would be a terrible thing indeed. --Wolfrider 18:24, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
o/~ I second that emotion... o/~ --Chiacomo (talk) 18:30, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Third! Apologies, all! --Mrmiscellanious 18:33, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Fourth! Glad it's all been sorted out. Rcameronw 18:50, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Fifth! I did get a little worked up about this. --vonbergm 19:01, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Would it be possible to lock/archive this discussion, and present it to new users as an example of what NOT to do during a debate? Maybe we can make something useful out of all this. --Wolfrider 18:55, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Awww - not sure I'd go that far. I'm sorry it got quite so heated, but I do think a lot of good points came out of this, on both sides! 212.139.33.129 19:55, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
I have one question before I'm prepared to let this lie. Who changed the Human Rights infobox after it was added to this article? I can't find it in Recent changes. I am positive it used to list Amnesty International Brianmc 19:05, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Amgine edited the links out. Not sure why he did it, but I would've removed them as an endorsement of the two(?) organizations. --Mrmiscellanious 19:10, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Amnesty and Human Rights Watch are linked to from the referenced WP article, I can live with that. Initially not finding the edit and seeing it was someone outside this spat made me suspicious. Brianmc 19:43, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
I just want to go on record quickly as saying that I think this was handled very poorly by Mrmiscellanious and Amgine. If this was not an abuse of power, albeit a minor one, I'm not exactly sure what one would consider an abuse of power. Mrmiscellanious should have had a temporary ban following what amounted to repeatedly editing the article to apply a particular POV. That said, I think I'm going to just let it rest as it seems an isolated incident. --Sdfisher 22:01, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

Policy discussion on "credible sources"[edit]

I've set up some initial questions here: http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikinews:Water_cooler/policy#Policy_discussion:_What_should_be_acceptable_as_a_.22credible_source.22_for_Wikinews.3F - Let's get discussing (politely)! Rcameronw 20:43, 10 October 2005 (UTC)