I am not too fussed about him (as I have an idea of who he is). He has appeared here under other guises as well, which is not nice and has seen some of his aliases blocked (I prefer tracking IPs to blocking them just to see who is using proxies). Since he has not gone full troll (as of yet), I can tolerate his presence. Heck, I allow Paul Scott and Redbaiter to comment here so ole Ataturk pales in comparison!]]>
I suspected it earlier, but it was clear to me as from Ataturk’s posting at 1738 hrs yesterday, that he (or maybe she) was just being a jerk. Thank you for putting him in his place.
All he had to do was wait until he got home from work yesterday and then start communicating with you on his home PC/private e-mail address. But, oh no, he had to be a pretentious prat, as particularly evidenced by his post at 2200 hrs.]]>
I would ask that at a minimum you provide a valid email address, even if you only use it to communicate with KP.]]>
And yes, I monitor every IP that comes across KP. So you are not special, just persistent in your dishonesty.]]>
I’m curious do you routinely look up the IP address of every commenter, or just the ones who disagree with you?]]>
I guess if the ambassador nominee states his opposition to torture and it is not “official” policy, all should be good. Or the NZ govt could adopt its version of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” I like the idea of leaving the position vacant if the US officially adopts torture as an interrogation method, but that could be akin to cutting your nose to spite your face since most of the embassy work is done by the N.2 person in the embassy (Deputy Chief of Mission or Charge d’Affairs) anyway. Refusing to accept an ambassadorial nominee would just piss Trump off and lead to needless confrontation and possible retaliation since he is clearly not dealing with a full deck.
But I do not think that will happen. The US military certainly will not, and the US intelligence community very likely will not, return to torture. Mr. Trump may want it, Mr. Brown may like it, but better people than them will refuse to commit criminal acts on their behalf, if for no other reason than to protect their own skins.
So the issue returns to the matter of whether NZ should accept a pro-torture ambassadorial nominee in the person of Mr. Brown. I say no, just to make the point to the Trump administration that even little countries know the difference between right and wrong and will stand on principle when necessary even in then face of “heavying” but a larger ally (to say nothing of the fact that doing so reaffirms NZ’s commitment to all of its other international obligations).
You have not addressed the issue of the IG’s investigation into SIS complicity in extraordinary rendition, black sites and torture by the US during the Bush 43 years. That could be a game changer if it turns out that NZ assets were complicit and could force the NZ government’s hand one way or the other (i.e. the government either lets it slide as a bygone of an unhappy era or uses her findings to punish those involved). Depending on how it resolves that question (again, assuming that the IG finds out that there was NZ involvement), then the issue of what to do with Mr. Brown or another pro-torture nominee becomes clearer.
One housekeeping matter. You have now given three different IP addresses and a false email address and website information on this thread. One of the IPs is a European shell or mask IP that I have seen before, one is a Singtel address from Singapore (rather than Starhub SG addresses that also provide easy IP covers) and the other presumably is your home computer or some other non-work device here in NZ.
I do not have any issue with discussing matters with you on the blog with you using a pseudonym. But I do have issue with violations of our policy on comments. If it turns out that your work is such that you must disguise your IP address, then just use a personal IP for commenting, and provide a real email address. You should not be reading blogs at work anyway.
Otherwise I will be forced to block you.]]>
But would you agree that, should Trump reverse the Obama era rulings and return to a practice of torture (or for that matter, should it just go ahead with torturing despite its own rules), NZ must, to meet its Geneva obligations, reject all US ambassadors?
Note that I am not talking about ending diplomatic relations with the USA, just leaving the position permanently vacant, as the position of NZ ambassador to the USSR was in the 80s (although admittedly that wasn’t the Soviet’s initiative but Wellington’s).]]>
Thus, the US can nominate an ambassador who is not a supporter of torture or Brown can disavow his earlier comments, but NZ does not have to accept someone who advocates for or supports the use of torture. And it should not.
It is very possible that the media reports about Brown are a trial balloon flown to gauge reaction to the possibility of his nomination. I say this because I understand that other names are being floated as well.]]>
Let’s imagine Brown was replaced with somebody who didn’t have his personal record of support for torture. This hypothetical replacement would still be a pro-torture ambassador, because they’d be bound to represent the views and policies of the US government, which is now pro-torture (or at least the Executive branch is, and that’s the most relevant branch).
The only way for New Zealand to meet its obligations under the Geneva Convention would be to refuse any US ambassador until the US changes its stance.
(And probably a bunch of other countries too; after all, the US is hardly unique in practicing and advocating torture).]]>
The ex-centerfold model, Fox News commentator and lawyer apparently ignorant of the law is also facing a possible Federal Trade Commission investigation over his financial interest in a product he endorsed, and sexual harrassment lawsuit (according to Wikipedia. On that basis, he’ll certainly represent the Trump administration pretty well, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing for New Zealand.]]>
Of course, actual NZ government will do nothing of the sort.]]>
The difference being that we expect representatives of liberal democracies, especially those from the self-proclaimed greatest democracy on earth, to adhere to some basic standards of decency, to say nothing of international norms. Plus, saying that it is all good because Trump likes torture is not exactly the same as offering a reasoned defense of the case for torture (such as the so-called “ticking bomb” scenario).]]>
If we refused foreign representatives based on the fact that they believe things abhorrent to us, we would have diplomatic relations with very few nations. Certainly not China, most Asian and most Middle Eastern countries.]]>