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Thread: 'Waterboarding is torture,' says Obama

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    Re: 'Waterboarding is torture,' says Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    Of course waterboarding is torture. I remember when this was a constant source of discussion here a couple of years ago. All definitions and information that I read and looked up designated waterboarding as torture. Whether it is or it isn't really is not the issue, though, and that's the point that always got overlooked during these discussions. Waterboarding is torture... the issue is, should we use it or not? Now, we know from research that torture is not a reliable method of extracting data. Does it work? Sometimes, but not reliably. However, the question still remains, should we use torture during interrogations?
    It should be an option, used rarely, and only on people who have information vital to saving lives and are... uncooperative.
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    Re: 'Waterboarding is torture,' says Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    Waterboarding for information is not torture. Waterboarding prisoners as punishment IS.
    Interesting. So essentially you're saying that it's not the method that determines whether or not it's torture, but that it's intent? Sorry, but that's a load of bull****. Ripping someone's fingernails out or breaking their fingers on purpose is torture, period, regardless of why you're doing it.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
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    Re: 'Waterboarding is torture,' says Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    Waterboarding for information is not torture. Waterboarding prisoners as punishment IS.
    What definition of torture makes that distinction?
    I don't think that US laws do that.
    I may be wrong.

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    Re: 'Waterboarding is torture,' says Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    Of course waterboarding is torture. I remember when this was a constant source of discussion here a couple of years ago. All definitions and information that I read and looked up designated waterboarding as torture. Whether it is or it isn't really is not the issue, though, and that's the point that always got overlooked during these discussions. Waterboarding is torture... the issue is, should we use it or not? Now, we know from research that torture is not a reliable method of extracting data. Does it work? Sometimes, but not reliably. However, the question still remains, should we use torture during interrogations?

    Being honest about it, I would say that depends on the severity of threat, and immanence of attack. Also, the conventional nature of the enemy we face. If our enemy in this war declared on us were a conventional enemy then methods for intel gathering would be a clear violation, however we don't fight a conventional enemy in this war, more like lying cowards that hide behind women and children, use no identifying characteristics like uniform, and are signatories to no conventions or treaties that govern their actions in civil warfare. In fact they are called to lie, cheat, or torture themselves in order to achieve their own ends, and those that argue that we are to tie our hands behind our backs in order to be 'better', do not understand the first thing about what war is, or how it is won.

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    Re: 'Waterboarding is torture,' says Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    Of course waterboarding is torture. I remember when this was a constant source of discussion here a couple of years ago. All definitions and information that I read and looked up designated waterboarding as torture. Whether it is or it isn't really is not the issue, though, and that's the point that always got overlooked during these discussions. Waterboarding is torture... the issue is, should we use it or not? Now, we know from research that torture is not a reliable method of extracting data. Does it work? Sometimes, but not reliably. However, the question still remains, should we use torture during interrogations?
    I think it should be on the table. In fact, I think all forms of torture should be on the table, the same way military action should be an option when all other diplomatic options are exhausted. But we should also recognize that they should be the last line of defense, and are in general ineffective. If, as an interrogator, you feel like you have to resort to torturing someone, then chances are that you didn't do your homework up until that point and screwed up elsewhere along the line.

    In general, I believe that violence should be the option of last resort, but it should be an option. Doesn't make torturing a smart thing to do, though.
    Last edited by StillBallin75; 11-15-11 at 12:17 AM.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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    Re: 'Waterboarding is torture,' says Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    It should be an option, used rarely, and only on people who have information vital to saving lives and are... uncooperative.
    Thank you for your honesty on this matter. I have mixed feelings on the use of torture. Firstly, I do have concerns on the impact, psychologically, the procedure would have on the one administering the torture. Next, it's reliability is not proven, though admittedly, even the threat of torture can be a great information gathering tool... though only for specific types of people. I'm not sure how efficient it is, consistently, with those who are willing to die, anyway. I also question whether it is used to gather information or as retribution. Any kind of interrogation that is emotionally laden will be less than effective. This is a complex issue and it really don't see it as being black/white.
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    Re: 'Waterboarding is torture,' says Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    I think it should be on the table. In fact, I think all forms of torture should be on the table, the same way military action should be an option when all other diplomatic options are exhausted. But we should also recognize that they should be the last line of defense, and are in general ineffective. If, as an interrogator, you feel like you have to resort to torturing someone, then chances are that you didn't do your homework up until that point and screwed up elsewhere along the line.

    In general, I believe that violence should be the option of last resort, but it should be an option. Doesn't make torturing a smart thing to do, though.
    We might do better if we concentrated our medical and psychological resources on figuring out a better way...psychological warfare...bribery...telling their fellow prisoners they've ratted them out (or threatening to do so if they don't talk)...contacting their families and exerting pressure there (psychological)...finding a real truth serum...bribery (money for them or for their families)...something else. When people use torture, do they really believe what the person tells them and stop?? I don't know the answer to that. Some of these people must have weaknesses...desecrating their bodies when they die...something. My real question is what do we need from them? Names? Locations? We ought to have easier ways to get that information besides pulling out someone's fingernails. Especially when we're dealing with people who will strap explosives to their bodies and blow themselves up...
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    Re: 'Waterboarding is torture,' says Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    We might do better if we concentrated our medical and psychological resources on figuring out a better way...psychological warfare...bribery...telling their fellow prisoners they've ratted them out (or threatening to do so if they don't talk)...contacting their families and exerting pressure there (psychological)...finding a real truth serum...bribery (money for them or for their families)...something else. When people use torture, do they really believe what the person tells them and stop?? I don't know the answer to that. Some of these people must have weaknesses...desecrating their bodies when they die...something. My real question is what do we need from them? Names? Locations? We ought to have easier ways to get that information besides pulling out someone's fingernails. Especially when we're dealing with people who will strap explosives to their bodies and blow themselves up...
    Yes, generally psychological methods are the most effective form of interrogation - playing a mental chess game with the prisoner. In most cases of physical torture, the individual will simply say whatever it takes to get you to stop torturing him, which is why it's so notoriously unreliable. That's what most CIA case officers will tell you.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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    Re: 'Waterboarding is torture,' says Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    The WWII example is a fail, as usual with you. What were the Japanese officers hoping to accomplish with waterboarding? Getting vital information in a timely manner under strict controls or punishing American's for being the enemy?

    There in is the definition of "torture", and the one the Progressives are so dishonest about.
    It's not the only example. We punished our own soliders in VN for waterboarding. We've punished civilian authorities here. if anyone is being dishonest, it would be those who pretend we don't know that waterboarding is torture.

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    Re: 'Waterboarding is torture,' says Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by j-mac View Post
    Being honest about it, I would say that depends on the severity of threat, and immanence of attack. Also, the conventional nature of the enemy we face. If our enemy in this war declared on us were a conventional enemy then methods for intel gathering would be a clear violation, however we don't fight a conventional enemy in this war, more like lying cowards that hide behind women and children, use no identifying characteristics like uniform, and are signatories to no conventions or treaties that govern their actions in civil warfare. In fact they are called to lie, cheat, or torture themselves in order to achieve their own ends, and those that argue that we are to tie our hands behind our backs in order to be 'better', do not understand the first thing about what war is, or how it is won.

    j-mac
    There is really no realistic chance of a hypothetical in which there si a ticking time bomb. We are unlikely to know of such a threat. Even less likely to have the one guy who knows exactly who and where and when. I think TV has created in us unrealistic views of things. Getting real information requires something other than torture. Torture is most effective at getting confessions, as even the innocent will confess. Getting information requires much more skill and effort.

    StillBallin75 is quite correct when he says this:

    Yes, generally psychological methods are the most effective form of interrogation - playing a mental chess game with the prisoner. In most cases of physical torture, the individual will simply say whatever it takes to get you to stop torturing him, which is why it's so notoriously unreliable. That's what most CIA case officers will tell you.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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