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post #51 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElCapitanAmerica View Post
That would be my guess, but there are still a lot of grey areas allowed under that definition. For example, you could consider the threat of a long term of "solitary confinement" be a type of psychological torture. I can see others making the argument that it is not.
I think the statute addresses this fairly well a couple of lines down:

Quote:
It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
Long term imprisonment is part of a lawful sanction. Therefore, any phobias arising from the threat of that wouldn't count as torture.
post #52 of 143
The fact that the man was waterboarded so repeatedly proves it does not work. And in the "ticking timebomb scenario" it's going to work even less because the person being tortured has a clock to run out.
post #53 of 143
We had this sort of unlikely "timebomb" scenario a couple years back in Germany:
A young man had abducted the child of wealthy parents and the police commissioner thought it to be necessary to threaten the suspect with torture if he would not give up the location of the boy.
When they found the victim, the boy was already long dead and the commissioner had a trial before court for his actions. He admitted doing the wrong thing for the purpose of saving the child. He got a mild fine, no prison sentence.

And that's the way you do it:
If there is the highly unlikely event of a potential ticking timebomb. Just let the officers in charge of a suspect decide if they want to go OUTSIDE the system to try to get them to talk. But they must face scrutiny and legal consequences for their actions. A court (and with it the public) then can decide if their actions were justified in the heat of the action and only give them a mild sentence or fine.

It has to be OUTSIDE the system, or otherwise this shit creeps into every corner of a democracy.
post #54 of 143
I remember when the info about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed being tortured was starting to dribble out, and I was arguing about torture on a right-wing message board. They used KSM as an example of a "ticking time bomb" because there had been a claim made that he'd given them info that helped them disrupt a major terrorist attack.

Which they couldn't tell us any more about, because it was classified. Or something. This was in fact reported on the ABC news website, so it wasn't a complete confabulation. It just sounded really, really, really dubious.

Never heard anything more about this. And now it seems pretty much confirmed as bullshit, as if it needed it.
post #55 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Prankster View Post
Which they couldn't tell us any more about, because it was classified. Or something. This was in fact reported on the ABC news website, so it wasn't a complete confabulation. It just sounded really, really, really dubious.

Never heard anything more about this. And now it seems pretty much confirmed as bullshit, as if it needed it.
Is it this?

http://www.cnsnews.com/public/conten...x?RsrcID=46949

Quote:

CNSNews.com
CIA Confirms: Waterboarding 9/11 Mastermind Led to Info that Aborted 9/11-Style Attack on Los Angeles

(CNSNews.com) - The Central Intelligence Agency told CNSNews.com today that it stands by the assertion made in a May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that the use of “enhanced techniques” of interrogation on al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) -- including the use of waterboarding -- caused KSM to reveal information that allowed the U.S. government to thwart a planned attack on Los Angeles.

Before he was waterboarded, when KSM was asked about planned attacks on the United States, he ominously told his CIA interrogators, “Soon, you will know.”

According to the previously classified May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that was released by President Barack Obama last week, the thwarted attack -- which KSM called the “Second Wave”-- planned “ ‘to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into’ a building in Los Angeles.”

KSM was the mastermind of the first “hijacked-airliner” attacks on the United States, which struck the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Northern Virginia on Sept. 11, 2001.

After KSM was captured by the United States, he was not initially cooperative with CIA interrogators. Nor was another top al Qaeda leader named Zubaydah. KSM, Zubaydah, and a third terrorist named Nashiri were the only three persons ever subjected to waterboarding by the CIA. (Additional terrorist detainees were subjected to other “enhanced techniques” that included slapping, sleep deprivation, dietary limitations, and temporary confinement to small spaces -- but not to water-boarding.)

This was because the CIA imposed very tight restrictions on the use of waterboarding. “The ‘waterboard,’ which is the most intense of the CIA interrogation techniques, is subject to additional limits,” explained the May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo. “It may be used on a High Value Detainee only if the CIA has ‘credible intelligence that a terrorist attack is imminent’; ‘substantial and credible indicators that the subject has actionable intelligence that can prevent, disrupt or deny this attack’; and ‘[o]ther interrogation methods have failed to elicit this information within the perceived time limit for preventing the attack.’”

The quotations in this part of the Justice memo were taken from an Aug. 2, 2004 letter that CIA Acting General Counsel John A. Rizzo sent to the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

Before they were subjected to “enhanced techniques” of interrogation that included waterboarding, KSM and Zubaydah were not only uncooperative but also appeared contemptuous of the will of the American people to defend themselves.

“In particular, the CIA believes that it would have been unable to obtain critical information from numerous detainees, including KSM and Abu Zubaydah, without these enhanced techniques,” says the Justice Department memo. “Both KSM and Zubaydah had ‘expressed their belief that the general US population was ‘weak,’ lacked resilience, and would be unable to ‘do what was necessary’ to prevent the terrorists from succeeding in their goals.’ Indeed, before the CIA used enhanced techniques in its interrogation of KSM, KSM resisted giving any answers to questions about future attacks, simply noting, ‘Soon you will know.’”

After he was subjected to the “waterboard” technique, KSM became cooperative, providing intelligence that led to the capture of key al Qaeda allies and, eventually, the closing down of an East Asian terrorist cell that had been tasked with carrying out the 9/11-style attack on Los Angeles.

post #56 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueharvester View Post
We had this sort of unlikely "timebomb" scenario a couple years back in Germany:
A young man had abducted the child of wealthy parents and the police commissioner thought it to be necessary to threaten the suspect with torture if he would not give up the location of the boy.
When they found the victim, the boy was already long dead and the commissioner had a trial before court for his actions. He admitted doing the wrong thing for the purpose of saving the child. He got a mild fine, no prison sentence.

And that's the way you do it:
If there is the highly unlikely event of a potential ticking timebomb. Just let the officers in charge of a suspect decide if they want to go OUTSIDE the system to try to get them to talk. But they must face scrutiny and legal consequences for their actions. A court (and with it the public) then can decide if their actions were justified in the heat of the action and only give them a mild sentence or fine.

It has to be OUTSIDE the system, or otherwise this shit creeps into every corner of a democracy.
This.

If you really think the person has this information, the threat of jail should be nothing compared to the desire to save some human lives and then we get to decide if you acted reasonably or not.

You have any other info on that case? I'd like to read about it ...
post #57 of 143
Yeah, regardless of how ridiculous the Time Bomb scenario is (and it requires a spectacular configuration of a half dozen individually unlikely factors to be internally consistent in a single instance), the fact that they kept waterboarding the guy after the 100th time really takes the wind out of the arguments for both its effectiveness and urgency.
post #58 of 143
183 and they STILL don't know how many licks it take to reach the tootsie roll center of a tootsie roll pop.
post #59 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElCapitanAmerica View Post
The arguments are, are these methods torture?

We can all agree water boarding is, but there are more methods outlined in the memos which are far from water boarding and I'm curious what people think (like exploiting phobias).
I think this:

Quote:
§ 2340. Definitions

As used in this chapter—
(1) “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
(2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—
(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
(B) 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;
(C) the threat of imminent death; or
(D) 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;
http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/pIch113C.html

Quote:
Then the other argument is, what do you do in the "ticking bomb" scenario.
You torture him, he lies, and the bomb goes off. As if you'd be in a position to know there is such a bomb and where to find the guy who knows what you need to know but not where the bomb is. It's an imaginary situation. Might as well ask "what if unicorns invade?" It has nothing to do with what is actually going on.

Quote:
What do you use to save hundreds if not thousands of lives while still adhering to your values.
Interrogation techniques that work.

Quote:
Part of the problem is, this scenario did not seem to be the "ticking bomb" one, so that question was never really tested.
There is no such question. If torture is not consensual, it is wrong.
post #60 of 143
Just to clarify, I don't think torture should be made legal by the government. The "it doesn't work" argument is always brought up, but I'm not sure that's always true. At least in this case many people are obviously claiming they got good intel. From my point of view though, that doesn't justify torture so debating the quality of the information is kind of useless.

I am curious as to cases and situations like the one Blueharvester brought up though.
post #61 of 143
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/66622.html

Quote:
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration put relentless pressure on interrogators to use harsh methods on detainees in part to find evidence of cooperation between al Qaida and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, according to a former senior U.S. intelligence official and a former Army psychiatrist.

Such information would've provided a foundation for one of former President George W. Bush's main arguments for invading Iraq in 2003. No evidence has ever been found of operational ties between Osama bin Laden's terrorist network and Saddam's regime.

(snip)

A former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that intelligence agencies and interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq collaboration.

"There were two reasons why these interrogations were so persistent, and why extreme methods were used," the former senior intelligence official said on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity.

"The main one is that everyone was worried about some kind of follow-up attack (after 9/11). But for most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there."

(snip)

"There was constant pressure on the intelligence agencies and the interrogators to do whatever it took to get that information out of the detainees, especially the few high-value ones we had, and when people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people to push harder," he continued.

"Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies."

Senior administration officials, however, "blew that off and kept insisting that we'd overlooked something, that the interrogators weren't pushing hard enough, that there had to be something more we could do to get that information," he said.
More in the link.

Does anybody really believe that these assholes don't belong in jail? I mean, I'm sympathetic to the notion that pursuing prosecutions runs a serious risk of derailing Obama's agenda. But from a moral standpoint, is there any question that the people who were authorizing this stuff don't deserve to be charged with war crimes?
post #62 of 143
Yeah, somebody needs to be punished for this. I don't blame Obama for at least trying to thread the needle here, but for the Bush administration to use torture to bolster a political agenda is deeply frightening. It can't be allowed to stand.
post #63 of 143
Joe Klein posted this: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...ley_96098.html

What I love is that it suggests that the CIA is inherently amoral, and that its amorality is a good thing. DOES NOT COMPUTE.
post #64 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Dellamorte View Post
Joe Klein posted this: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...ley_96098.html

What I love is that it suggests that the CIA is inherently amoral, and that its amorality is a good thing. DOES NOT COMPUTE.
Quote:
Put yourself in the shoes of the people who were asked to interrogate al- Qaeda prisoners back in 2002. One former officer told me he declined the job, not because he thought the program was wrong, but because he knew it would blow up. "We all knew the political wind would change eventually," he recalled. Other officers who didn't make that cynical but correct calculation are now "broken and bewildered," says the former operative.
BOO FUCKING HOO.
post #65 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Ignatius
But by Tuesday, Obama was deferring to the attorney general whether to prosecute "those who formulated those legal decisions," whatever that means.
What it plainly does not mean is that the grunts who carried out the illegal orders will be criminally charged. Which is what he bases his entire "chilling effect" argument around.
post #66 of 143
Ari Fleischer is a sociopath. I normally don't cast aspersions like that, but all the spinning he does in this CNN appearance, topped off by his craven retreat to "Democrats knew about it!" as a defense of the torture memos, just made my head spin.
post #67 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt M View Post
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/66622.html



More in the link.

Does anybody really believe that these assholes don't belong in jail? I mean, I'm sympathetic to the notion that pursuing prosecutions runs a serious risk of derailing Obama's agenda. But from a moral standpoint, is there any question that the people who were authorizing this stuff don't deserve to be charged with war crimes?
Agree. This revelation is extremely telling as to why Cheney's out there spinning so furiously.
post #68 of 143
Cheney and Rove.
post #69 of 143
Christ, to live in a country that would actually hold these people accountable.

A man can dream.
post #70 of 143
post #71 of 143
Yeah, saw that earlier, pretty funny.

It's as if for a couple of seconds he had a moment of clarify, like the direct connection to the FOX hive mind experienced some packed loss and he became unplugged for that one moment.

Funny watching the non-reaction from the other guys.
post #72 of 143
http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennt...ng_in_02_.html

Apparently Nancy Pelosi was briefed on waterboarding way back in 2002.

Huh.
post #73 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElCapitanAmerica View Post
Yeah, saw that earlier, pretty funny.

It's as if for a couple of seconds he had a moment of clarify, like the direct connection to the FOX hive mind experienced some packed loss and he became unplugged for that one moment.

Funny watching the non-reaction from the other guys.
Oh, it's happened to him a few times already. He went off on Joe the Plumber after the latter remarked that a vote for Obama was a vote "for the death of Israel".
post #74 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomic Ross View Post
http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennt...ng_in_02_.html

Apparently Nancy Pelosi was briefed on waterboarding way back in 2002.

Huh.
That's not really surprising. Lots of senior members of Congress were briefed. But their options for what to do with that info were pretty limited: it was a classified briefing.

This is only "news" (read: getting pushed by Drudge) because it's another flailing attempt to push accountability for these crimes away from where it belongs.
post #75 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt M View Post
That's not really surprising. Lots of senior members of Congress were briefed. But their options for what to do with that info were pretty limited: it was a classified briefing.

This is only "news" (read: getting pushed by Drudge) because it's another flailing attempt to push accountability for these crimes away from where it belongs.
And she did vote against the Iraq War Resolution as a House rep.
post #76 of 143
I just have to comment on how strange it is, not really in this forum but elsewhere on the web and certainly among the right wing talkers, how extraordinary it is that so many people are willing to cheerlead for a violent, immoral, criminal and anti-American act because a handful of powerful people put them in that position. Is this the result of 24's popularity? People I encounter on the internets seem so weak-minded to me in using this leap of logic that ties ticking clock scenarios like a child abduction to the craven torture of detainees to get false confessions out of them to help shore up the case for war against Iraq. I have to step outside of the times a bit and just marvel at how this small number of people are able to pull off a reverse of 200+ years of policy and character in America. It's truly Alice in Wonderland.
post #77 of 143
To put it mildly, they lack perspective. To put it bluntly, I hope those who defend these "enhanced interrogation techniques" get imprisoned in some gulag with no hope of a trial or release and are subjected to the full suite of not-really-torture for 8 years, because they is fucking ig'nant.
post #78 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by yt View Post
I just have to comment on how strange it is, not really in this forum but elsewhere on the web and certainly among the right wing talkers, how extraordinary it is that so many people are willing to cheerlead for a violent, immoral, criminal and anti-American act because a handful of powerful people put them in that position. Is this the result of 24's popularity? People I encounter on the internets seem so weak-minded to me in using this leap of logic that ties ticking clock scenarios like a child abduction to the craven torture of detainees to get false confessions out of them to help shore up the case for war against Iraq. I have to step outside of the times a bit and just marvel at how this small number of people are able to pull off a reverse of 200+ years of policy and character in America. It's truly Alice in Wonderland.
And those same people are claiming that Obama is an authoritarian fascist who will turn America into a (I am not making this up) "Banana Republic."

It's mind-boggling. And completely disheartening to see the media pretend that these views deserve to be treated as part of the rational discourse.
post #79 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt M View Post
And those same people are claiming that Obama is an authoritarian fascist who will turn America into a (I am not making this up) "Banana Republic."

It's mind-boggling. And completely disheartening to see the media pretend that these views deserve to be treated as part of the rational discourse.
The media seems to be ground zero on this mass insanity syndrome. Yet more evidence that media consolidation and corporate control (coupled with the terrible decline in public education) is probably the greatest crisis we face right now. All other issues-the economy, international relations, global climate change- they all hinge on this central flaw in our system.
post #80 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElCapitanAmerica View Post
Yeah, saw that earlier, pretty funny.

It's as if for a couple of seconds he had a moment of clarify, like the direct connection to the FOX hive mind experienced some packed loss and he became unplugged for that one moment.

Funny watching the non-reaction from the other guys.
I wonder if he can expect a call from Larry Fishburne.

As for the other guys, I'm guessing it takes a lot more than an occasional "fucking" to unnerve reincarnated Amt IV bureaucrats who want to play devil's advocate in discussing torture.


On the other hand, ElCapitan, I wouldn't put a little bit of Orwellian theater past FOX. They have a very low regard for the intellect of their viewership. And rightly so.
post #81 of 143
If you're not sure waterboarding is torture in the legal sense of the word, I get to say I'm smarter than you. Because, you know, back in the day, waterboarding was an executable offense.
post #82 of 143
Another fun fact: Waterboarding (or the tortura del agua as they called it, but who knows what that could mean?) was neck-and-neck with the rack as the most popular interrogation method of the Spanish Inquisition.
post #83 of 143
Nice. I do hope there are very public, very open investigations, hearings and prosecutions in this case because the dittoheads are out in force expounding about how "torture is not a crime."
post #84 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
Another fun fact: Waterboarding (or the tortura del agua as they called it, but who knows what that could mean?) was neck-and-neck with the rack as the most popular interrogation method of the Spanish Inquisition.
I'm going through Tuchmann's book on the hilariously happy 14th century and while the Black Plague offered a nice alternative between inquistional movements, nothing holds a candle to the efforts a single-minded and dogmatically driven church can cook up to win friends and influence people.

You have to hand it to those determined monkeys, though. The auto-da-fe was both an expedient way to avoid appeals and a pretty unmistakable way to send a message.
post #85 of 143
"Hey Torquemada, whaddaya say!"

"I just got back from the auto-da-fe!"

"Auto-da-fe? What's an auto-da-fe?"

"It's what you oughtn't to do but you do anyway!"
post #86 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt M View Post
And those same people are claiming that Obama is an authoritarian fascist who will turn America into a (I am not making this up) "Banana Republic."
What is more disturbing is that it seems "torture" has a lot of support in this country even from people who don't think Obama is a secret communist and actually voted for him. Just had that argument with such a guy last week, it was very surreal.

I don't think it's the fault of 24, but I think yt is onto something here. My friend kept bringing up "ticking bomb" like scenarios, I think more than 24, maybe we've been condition by action movies to accept that as a valid scenario.

BTW props to Shepard Smith ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCWN9UWtWkc
post #87 of 143
I'm also not sure you should go after the lawyers with this. Seems to me the people who a really responsible are the ones who made the decision and ordered these things to be done.
post #88 of 143
The lawyers are among that class.
post #89 of 143
I don't know the answer to this but what I mean is, what is your criminal liability as a lawyer if you give the wrong interpretation to the executive. It almost seems like a clear case for disbarment, but I'm not sure about the criminal side of it. I'm sure there's some good precedent on this, but INAL of course.

I also see some people saying they shouldn't go against the low level CIA operatives or whoever was doing this, but it if they can't use the "I was just following orders" defense it seems they are prime targets for prosecution as well.
post #90 of 143
Quote:
The Daily Beast has learned that senior Justice Department lawyers were "incensed" at the Emanuel and Gibbs statements, as one put it—not because they disagreed with Obama’s apparent opposition to an investigation and prosecution, but because the statements violated well-established rules separating political figures in the White House from decisions about active criminal cases. The statements were viewed as a frontal assault on the autonomy and independence of the criminal-justice system. "Emanuel got far ahead of the process and described it in a way that clearly suggested that political judgment was driving the entire process," one senior Justice official told me. "It was depressing and amateurish."
Ugh.
post #91 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElCapitanAmerica View Post
What is more disturbing is that it seems "torture" has a lot of support in this country even from people who don't think Obama is a secret communist and actually voted for him. Just had that argument with such a guy last week, it was very surreal.

I don't think it's the fault of 24, but I think yt is onto something here. My friend kept bringing up "ticking bomb" like scenarios, I think more than 24, maybe we've been condition by action movies to accept that as a valid scenario.

BTW props to Shepard Smith ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCWN9UWtWkc
Right? Sometimes I feel at a disadvantage because I don't (i.e. can't bear to) listen to Limbaugh/Hannity/O'Reilly/Beck so consequently don't know what rancid trails of bread crumbs they're dropping, but maybe it's coming from there?
post #92 of 143
I think you can say the media plays a big part of it, but many of the people who I've talked to regarding this issue don't watch much of the talk shows let alone pay attention to talk radio.

I think your first instinct is probably the more correct. Again, not exactly 24, but in movies and novels we've gotten used to this idea of imminent danger that can be averted at the last second by playing rough against the bad guys.

Not trying to build a "TV/movies are evil" argument here but I would bet something more casual and benign like that coupled with other cultural factors is more at play. Remember, most people don't even know much about talk radio too.

I haven't seen the latest polls but what's the support for "torture" (I hate to ask)? I wonder what numbers we're talking about here.
post #93 of 143
Maybe. The thing about 24 (which I watch and love in spite of its odious politics) is that the earlier seasons may have been conditioning or softening prey for the kill, but this season is an explicit case for torture.
post #94 of 143
Gallup's got something coming out in the next day or two, supposedly.
post #95 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
Another fun fact: Waterboarding (or the tortura del agua as they called it, but who knows what that could mean?) was neck-and-neck with the rack as the most popular interrogation method of the Spanish Inquisition.
Yes, it was originally designed to get false confessions. It was used extensively by the Khmer Rouge, Old School Communist China, etc.
post #96 of 143
Quote:
Then the other argument is, what do you do in the "ticking bomb" scenario.
That Bullshit doesn't happen in real life.
post #97 of 143
Let me just play devil's advocate here . . .


Why don't we, as a nation, have nearly as much problem with capital measures in dealing with terror suspects abroad in the field as we do with torturing them for information but allowing them to live?

I honestly want to be that guy, pounding his fist in rage and screaming, "America does not torture!," but I have to admit some hypocrisy in doing so when still, even under Obama, engagement protocols in the field are just as happy as larks to let our soldiers blow suspected militants to a dozen pieces from long range.

I mean, during the action of O:IF we sent bunker-busters to surface targets, many of which missed targets and killed and maimed bystanders. We regularly kill dozens of alleged civilians in our continuing operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I certainly won't try to justify our interrogation techniques by comparing them to the atrocities performed by our aggressors on their captives, but at the end of the day, our detainees come out alive and in one piece. Yet we harp and crow about waterboarding them or emasculating them or denigrating their religion. But when an 18-year old Marine blows a carfull of militants to pieces with a 50-cal, we do very little other than congratulate the boy on his bravery.

Bottom line, I'm fairly torn on the issue. Not as to whether or not torture is wrong, but why we're making such a big deal out of it when it's still our policy to shoot suspected militants on sight. We're likely to spend the next six months arguing on whether Bush should be prosecuted or how strongly torture should be punished or who knew what an for how long, but guess what? Just like Uday and Qusay and Saddam and al-Zarqawi, when (and if) Bin Laden is finally killed, there will be parades in the streets and medals given out.


So forgive me for not engaging with full hyperbole in the face of such mass dissonance.
post #98 of 143
Can I ask you something (and I mean no disrespect), I was confronted with a similar (though much less articulate) argument today by someone else on the internets. Was there a discussion somewhere taking this line of reason?

On your point, I'm not a fan of war and can't justify the brutality done by poor young men and women often solely for the gain of rich older people but the difference is that killing is killing and torture is cruel and unusual, inhumane treatment. Killing is an accepted component of the laws of war. Torture is a banned practice from George Washington onward, and into our treaties as part of the UN.
post #99 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by yt View Post
Can I ask you something (and I mean no disrespect), I was confronted with a similar (though much less articulate) argument today by someone else on the internets. Was there a discussion somewhere taking this line of reason?

On your point, I'm not a fan of war and can't justify the brutality done by poor young men and women often solely for the gain of rich older people but the difference is that killing is killing and torture is cruel and unusual, inhumane treatment. Killing is an accepted component of the laws of war. Torture is a banned practice from George Washington onward, and into our treaties as part of the UN.
I guess, from my point of view, I see no higher achievement or privilege than being alive. I'm aggressively anti-religious (though not necessarily anti-spiritual), so the argument to me that torture is a crueler and harsher fate than dying simply doesn't ring true. There's every chance, with all evidence supportive, that there isn't anything beyond this life. So yes, torture is wrong, and cruel, and everything that is said about it, but stopping short of torture that permanently maims, disables, or kills, I honestly cannot say that government-sanctioned torture is a more wrong practice than government-sanctioned murder.
post #100 of 143
I don't disagree with you. I'm about the same as you spiritually, as well as anti-death penalty (but pro-choice), and while you and I may not accept killing enemies as moral, it's legal under the laws of war (not civilians though) and an accepted "necessary evil" according to the precepts of our government and the traditions of our country. Torturing is not.

But are there discussions along these lines going on anywhere? I'm not kidding that someone brought up this exact argument (though less gently and well stated) in another, unrelated forum, and when that happens, I become desperate to know if there's a discussion going on somewhere in the ether--be it radio, TV, print or the internets--that I'm not aware of.
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