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Thread: Interrogation & Torture

  1. #1

    Interrogation & Torture

    Continues to be a Hot Topic as the next Attorney General Nomination moves on towards a Confirmation Vote.....

    So my question to you is this: What actions and activities should U.S. Interrogators be allowed to utilize?

    Please, if you choose to answer, please do not insult our collective intelligence by stating some simplistic "just don't torture" answer. Such generalities are meaningless.

    I want to know how you suggest we get information out of captured enemies. Be specific. We all know the activities you want disallowed, and that you feel "torture" doesn't work.

    So what does work? And what should be allowed then?

  2. #2
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2186608]Continues to be a Hot Topic as the next Attorney General Nomination moves on towards a Confirmation Vote.....

    So my question to you is this: What actions and activities should U.S. Interrogators be allowed to utilize?

    Please, if you choose to answer, please do not insult our collective intelligence by stating some simplistic "just don't torture" answer. Such generalities are meaningless.

    I want to know how you suggest we get information out of captured enemies. Be specific. We all know the activities you want disallowed, and that you feel "torture" doesn't work.

    So what does work? And what should be allowed then?[/QUOTE]

    Very simple. Dont use techniques that you would have a problem with if used on our soldiers.

  3. #3
    [QUOTE=kennyo7;2186633]Very simple. Dont use techniques that you would have a problem with if used on our soldiers.[/QUOTE]

    Ok. So then give us an example of what you WOULD be okay with, when done to our soldiers. What way would you feel was ok for enemies to use on our Soldiers to extract information.

    I'm looking for more than just rhetoric Ken.

  4. #4
    here ya go Warfish

    [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Conventions[/url]

    if we don't live by it, how do we expect others to live by it?

    how can we maintain moral high ground when we don't abide by the geneva conventions?

    by the way you talk about empty rhetoric this administration has re-defined the word torture several times to meet their wants, that's a problem.

  5. #5
    [QUOTE=bitonti;2186819]if we don't live by it, how do we expect others to live by it?

    how can we maintain moral high ground when we don't abide by the geneva conventions?

    by the way you talk about empty rhetoric this administration has re-defined the word torture several times to meet their wants, that's a problem.[/QUOTE]

    I don't know if you've heard Bit, but others don't live up to it. And beyond that, the very nature of those we're fighting specificly do not qualify for it.

    Ok, so I took a quick look, and I would assume the point you were making was this one:

    [QUOTE](Article 17): "No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind."[/QUOTE]

    And again, that tells you what you CANNOT do. I'm asking what, then, CAN we do to extract information. Are you saying that the only possible option is to ask them once, and leave it at that?
    Last edited by Warfish; 10-31-2007 at 02:24 PM.

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=bitonti;2186819]here ya go Warfish

    [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Conventions[/url]

    if we don't live by it, how do we expect others to live by it?

    how can we maintain moral high ground when we don't abide by the geneva conventions?

    by the way you talk about empty rhetoric this administration has re-defined the word torture several times to meet their wants, that's a problem.[/QUOTE]

    Didn't see anything about beheadings being OK listed there.

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=HDCentStOhio;2186833]Didn't see anything about beheadings being OK listed there.[/QUOTE]

    Is that the standard you think we should be living up to? The fact that there are barbarians out there behaving in this despicable manner means we should emulate them? Why do you hold America to such low standards that you want us compared to terrorists and murderers??

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2186810]Ok. So then give us an example of what you WOULD be okay with, when done to our soldiers. What way would you feel was ok for enemies to use on our Soldiers to extract information.

    I'm looking for more than just rhetoric Ken.[/QUOTE]

    Lock them up in isolation and use psychology to get them to squeal on each other. Have them answer questions 12 hours/day. repeat the questions over and over again. Carch them in lies/inaccuracies. Hold them in isolation w/o light, and the most basic food/water. No physical violence period. Using torture methods has consistantly provided unreliable and inaccurate information.

    My God i cant believe a civilized society like ours is actually having a dialogue about what kind of torture is acceptible. None of it is

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=kennyo7;2186886]Is that the standard you think we should be living up to? The fact that there are barbarians out there behaving in this despicable manner means we should emulate them? Why do you hold America to such low standards that you want us compared to terrorists and murderers??[/QUOTE]

    No, but it is very naive for you libs to say we should honor the Geneva convention but ignore or downplay our enemies transgressions. You get more upset by a pile of naked men at Abu Grave than by the beheading of Daniel Pearl. Now THAT is despicable!
    This is a unique and different enemy, one like we never fought before. We may have to treat them differently than our prior battles. If "waterboarding" will save American lives, go for it. Our enemies will not treat us any better or worse than they already are.

  10. #10
    We have people running all over the U.S. who do not obey our laws and yet we don't lower all of law enforcement to their level.


    [QUOTE=HDCentStOhio;2186909]No, but it is very naive for you libs to say we should honor the Geneva convention but ignore or downplay our enemies transgressions. You get more upset by a pile of naked men at Abu Grave than by the beheading of Daniel Pearl. Now THAT is despicable!
    This is a unique and different enemy, one like we never fought before. We may have to treat them differently than our prior battles. If "waterboarding" will save American lives, go for it. Our enemies will not treat us any better or worse than they already are.[/QUOTE]

  11. #11
    [QUOTE=HDCentStOhio;2186909]No, but it is very naive for you libs to say we should honor the Geneva convention but ignore or downplay our enemies transgressions. You get . Now THAT is despicable!
    This is a unique and different enemy, one like we never fought before. We may have to treat them differently than our prior battles. If "waterboarding" will save American lives, go for it. Our enemies will not treat us any better or worse than they already are.[/QUOTE]

    Who says we are more upset by a pile of naked men at Abu Grave than by the beheading of Daniel Pearl??? My god , do you have any original thoughts??They are both despicable acts. And Abu Ghraib is more than piling up naked men. The difference is we hold America up to infinitely higher standards than some terrorist organization. I know , in your mind we should nt.

    This is a unique and different enemy one like we never fought before??? Are you for real?? Are they more dangerous than say , Nazi Germany?? How about The Soviets/Communists? Or what about Imperial England?? This enemy is not much different except in the fact that they are dirt poor, have a ragtag army and rely on propoganda (which we are providing for them) to convince individuals to carry out suicide missions as their only means of an offensive.

    Torture does not provide reliable information. All the experts confirm this. Ask Republican John McCain. The notion that torturing prisoners might save lifes has no truth to it. Its a statement designed to appeal to weak minded people's emotions but is factually wrong.

  12. #12
    I have posted many many times on this topic here already.

    I think the view above --don't do what you wouldn't want done to our soldiers-- is a pretty good one, as is the constitution's prohibition on "cruel and unusual" punnishment. Is waterboarding cruel and unusual? Yes, to me. (It was the favorite interrogation technique of Pol Pot, by the way.) Keeping people in freezing rooms, sleep deprivation, infliction of pain -- all plainly illegal under both Geneva Conventions and clearly counter to our own traditions.

    Don't take it from me, take it from Ronald Reagan:

    [QUOTE]"The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiations of the Convention [Against Torture]. It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today," - president Ronald Reagan, 1988. [/QUOTE]

    Beyond the obvious moral and legal issues, there is another problem with torture: It does not reliably generate accurate information (although it occasionally does). Historically, it was a tool used primarily to get people to "confess" to stuff they never actually did, like witchcraft (or, if you ever saw the penultimate scene in Braveheart, treason). If you torture someone, they will eventually say something, but there's a good chance it'll just be whatever they think you want to hear.

    So what do we do instead? How about the standards we used during the Cold War, when our intelligence worked well enough to succeed without torture. There are ways to play a prisoner without torturing him. There was a great story in the Atlantic Monthly not too long ago about how the intel used to kill Zarqawi was generated without torture. Basically they had these midlevel AQ guys in custody and they played off their egos and got them essentially into a pissing contest to prove who was more senior and knowledgeable. Eventually they gave up Zarqawi.

    [url]http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/prem/200705/tracking-zarqawi[/url]

    These psychological techniques have been staples in the U.S. interrogation arsenal for a long time, and, when the practitioners are trained properly, they work. (Even better than stacking a bunch of naked dudes on top of one another.) And they are also allowed under both our constitution and the Geneva Conventions, and --better yet-- information derived from them can be used in trials.

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=kennyo7;2186886]Is that the standard you think we should be living up to? The fact that there are barbarians out there behaving in this despicable manner means we should emulate them? Why do you hold America to such low standards that you want us compared to terrorists and murderers??[/QUOTE]

    No, it means the U.S. Government should be compelled to do everything in its power to stop them. Hint, giving them driver's licenses is not the answer.

    When you're the ONLY country in the world held to the standards of abiding by the rules, then clearly the rules need to be re-defined. WTF has the "moral high ground" ever gotten us anyway? We're damned if we do and damned if we don't by a world full of jealous wannabes. If you knew for CERTAIN that waterboarding would lead to info that could save the life of just a SINGLE innocent American, would you be for it?

    This is bleeding-heart utopian naive pussification at its WORST, and guys like you will be the death of this great country of ours.

  14. #14
    That higher moral ground has made us the envy of the world and a great place to want to live.



    [QUOTE=shakin318;2187034]No, it means the U.S. Government should be compelled to do everything in its power to stop them. Hint, giving them driver's licenses is not the answer.

    When you're the ONLY country in the world held to the standards of abiding by the rules, then clearly the rules need to be re-defined. WTF has the "moral high ground" ever gotten us anyway? We're damned if we do and damned if we don't by a world full of jealous wannabes. If you knew for CERTAIN that waterboarding would lead to info that could save the life of just a SINGLE innocent American, would you be for it?

    This is bleeding-heart utopian naive pussification at its WORST, and guys like you will be the death of this great country of ours.[/QUOTE]

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=shakin318;2187034] WTF has the "moral high ground" ever gotten us anyway? We're damned if we do and damned if we don't by a world full of jealous wannabes. If you knew for CERTAIN that waterboarding would lead to info that could save the life of just a SINGLE innocent American, would you be for it?

    This is bleeding-heart utopian naive pussification at its WORST, and guys like you will be the death of this great country of ours.[/QUOTE]


    First of all, please describe a scenario not involving Jack Bauer or some other fictional character where one could know "for certain" that torturing somebody would save lives. Failing that, please point to one single real terrorist attack where the attacked government --or any official, current or former, within it-- pointed to inability to torture as the reason the attack happened.

    Second, since you are so concerned about a single innocent life, what do you have to say to the innocent guy who gets tortured by mistake, which will happen over and over again if torture is legal?

    Third, what the "moral high ground" has gotten us is the greatest democracy the world has ever seen. The constitution is at the heart of what you call "this great country of ours." The eagerness of people willing to tear it up all of the sudden is a far greater threat to it's contiunuing to remain great than Al Qaeda is.

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=kennyo7;2186941]Who says we are more upset by a pile of naked men at Abu Grave than by the beheading of Daniel Pearl??? My god , do you have any original thoughts??They are both despicable acts. And Abu Ghraib is more than piling up naked men. The difference is we hold America up to infinitely higher standards than some terrorist organization. I know , in your mind we should nt.[/QUOTE]
    Now you can read my mind? Do you have any original thoughts? Where did I once advocate that the US behead or kill enemy unlawful combatants?
    And in your words you say Abu Grave and Daniel Pearl are "both despicable acts". If you don't see what happened to Daniel Pearl as being more heinous, then there is no sense in continuing this conversation.

    [QUOTE=kennyo7;2186941]This is a unique and different enemy one like we never fought before??? Are you for real?? Are they more dangerous than say , Nazi Germany?? How about The Soviets/Communists? Or what about Imperial England?? This enemy is not much different except in the fact that they are dirt poor, have a ragtag army and rely on propoganda (which we are providing for them) to convince individuals to carry out suicide missions as their only means of an offensive.[/QUOTE]
    History, Kenny. This is a different enemy that relies on attacks upon civilians, does not wear military uniforms, and follow the "rules of war". You used the word "dangerous" , not me. Being a different enemy we must consider alternative ways of combating them.

    [QUOTE=kennyo7;2186941]Torture does not provide reliable information. All the experts confirm this. Ask Republican John McCain. The notion that torturing prisoners might save lifes has no truth to it. Its a statement designed to appeal to weak minded people's emotions but is factually wrong. [/QUOTE]Am not advocating torture at all. Certain techniques, however, should not be ruled out in all circumstances, however. And where is your "proof" that torture may not save lives? You have none. While I can't prove that it has saved lives, you also can not say it has not. Your track record for "facts" on this board, by the way, is suspect.

  17. #17
    One must remember we are not fighting against a traditional enemy here. But as a civilized nation we must put a limit on the tactics we use to get information.

  18. #18
    [QUOTE=HDCentStOhio;2187061]

    Am not advocating torture at all. Certain techniques, however, should not be ruled out in all circumstances, however. And where is your "proof" that torture may not save lives? You have none. While I can't prove that it has saved lives, you also can not say it has not. [/QUOTE]

    So, here's a question: If, as you say above, there is no proof that torture works, and our traditions and laws say it is illegal, why do it?

  19. #19
    You would think that someone would have invented some type of "Tell Us Everything You Know Pill" by now. A reliable drug with no long term side effects. So, to make everyone happy :rolleyes: give them a comfortable chair, a movie of their choice, a cigar or cigarette and then the "Pill". Sit back and take notes.

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2187069]So, here's a question: If, as you say above, there is no proof that torture works, and our traditions and laws say it is illegal, why do it?[/QUOTE]

    First, I am not advocating "torture", ala Casino when Joe Pesci puts that guys head in a vice. However, non-lethal techniques such as "waterboarding" and sleep deprivation I would not consider torture. "Waterboarding" would probably be as extreme as I would like to get, and I would not use it indiscriminantly. However, it may be helpful in the armamentarium of our intelligence officers, and to hamstring them by banning it would be wrong.

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