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Thread: Senate panel releases scathing report on CIA interrogation...

  1. #361
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    Re: Senate panel releases scathing report on CIA interrogation...

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    You're changing the subject, but I'll address the point.

    1) Whether we should torture suspected terrorists or not is a valid question. As I said, if we decide as a country that we should officially sanction torture as a valid interrogation technique, then we should do that with open eyes, and admitting that's what we have decided to do. Denying we engaged in torture, to avoid making that decision, is just the coward's way of avoiding making that tough moral decision. My own view is torture is a counterproductive technique, and I believe that because the people who spend careers interrogating people have found that to be the case - that information derived from torture is unreliable - they tell you what they think might stop the torture, period. If that's a confession, you'll get a confession, no matter what they actually did. If they believe the torture will stop by implicating others, they'll implicate anyone they can think of if they believe it will stop the torture. It's also morally repugnant but frankly so is war and killing people so I can't with a good conscience object to torture but be OK with sending drones, etc.

    2) Our drone program and how it is sometimes used is as morally repugnant and, in my somewhat uninformed opinion, as self defeating as our torture program. I don't support it.
    Did not mean to change the subject.

    Regarding torture, my feeling is that as a nation we should reject it. That being said, to another one of your points I would not go back and prosecute the folks who were told that what they were doing was legal and the country probably would have voted for torture in 2002.

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    Re: Senate panel releases scathing report on CIA interrogation...

    Quote Originally Posted by MMC View Post
    Well lets move past the left wing talking points.....Altogether.

    Not one Democrat would say anything about Intel that came thru torture if it prevented a major attack and certainly not one that involved a nuke.

    So how you looking now with all that preaching of morality.....while not giving a **** about how many lives you put in danger over a report that is old news and doesn't change any policy?
    You're right of course (it introduces two highly unlikely events as givens, 1) torture, that 2) led to information that prevented a catastrophic nuclear attack) but what's the point? That if some means MIGHT eventually at some point prevent some unknown number of deaths that we cannot object to that technique? If so you're just saying that there is no moral/ethical/practical line for state action - torture, murder, whatever, is fine so long as we think it MIGHT prevent some unknown event. I can't see how a society draws any bounds around behavior by the state in that case.

    At home we accept that our justice system WILL allow murderers and rapists etc. to go free, but we do so because we respect human rights. If you're willing to disregard human rights if the ends justify those means, then what restraint is there on acceptable behavior by a state?

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    Re: Senate panel releases scathing report on CIA interrogation...

    A brilliant essay on this despicable report ,done by despicable Democrats( and they wonder why America just threw them out out office?)
    Torturing the Truth | National Review Online

    An accounting of mistakes made during the CIA’s interrogation program is necessary and desirable — as are recommendations for how to improve the CIA’s programs and prevent mistakes in the future. The Senate Democrats’ report includes no such recommendations, as their former colleague Bob Kerrey of Nebraska has pointed out. That lacuna alone reveals the shallowness and bias of the Senate Democrats’ work. Those who want America to be defended responsibly and ethically should be ashamed of this report, not exulting in it.

    Between this , and the amnesty thing, and all the Ferguson 'hands up ' stuff, most of America is just disgusted with liberals right now.

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    Re: Senate panel releases scathing report on CIA interrogation...

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    You're right of course (it introduces two highly unlikely events as givens, 1) torture, that 2) led to information that prevented a catastrophic nuclear attack) but what's the point? That if some means MIGHT eventually at some point prevent some unknown number of deaths that we cannot object to that technique? If so you're just saying that there is no moral/ethical/practical line for state action - torture, murder, whatever, is fine so long as we think it MIGHT prevent some unknown event. I can't see how a society draws any bounds around behavior by the state in that case.

    At home we accept that our justice system WILL allow murderers and rapists etc. to go free, but we do so because we respect human rights. If you're willing to disregard human rights if the ends justify those means, then what restraint is there on acceptable behavior by a state?
    You then forget that the Demos report is based on 20 cases out of hundreds and hundreds, where they say these techniques provided no intel that would have changed anything. Their reasoning for the report, remember? That torture does not work.

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    Re: Senate panel releases scathing report on CIA interrogation...

    Quote Originally Posted by washunut View Post
    Did not mean to change the subject.

    Regarding torture, my feeling is that as a nation we should reject it. That being said, to another one of your points I would not go back and prosecute the folks who were told that what they were doing was legal and the country probably would have voted for torture in 2002.
    I agree with that, but not because the "country probably would have voted for torture in 2002." The South "voted for" slavery and lynchings, etc. for a long time, but those acts remain morally repugnant and are a stain on our national history.

    But you're right about the prosecutions - the guys following orders should IMO not have careers any longer in government, but I also wouldn't support their prosecution. They were pawns and a decision to prosecute them unless you prosecute everyone up to the very top of the chain of command who signed off on what they did - which would likely include going all the way to the WH - is just letting the little people be the fall guys for the people responsible.

    You mentioned the drone program - the guys with the joy sticks in Nevada aren't the problems. It's Obama and his key deputies.

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    Re: Senate panel releases scathing report on CIA interrogation...

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    It's a form of drowning that is repeatedly stopped before the person actually dies. If the person controlling the water flow doesn't stop, the person WILL die. It's torture. The entire purpose is to inflict enough pain/fear/both on a person to get them to tell you something - not different in substance than pulling out a fingernail, beating them, using cattle prods, etc.

    It's pretty shocking that we'd try to redefine a type of torture as something else (getting someone to talk by infliction of immense pain and fear of death would be called what alternative term?) just because we did it and generally 'we' don't 'torture' so what we did must be something short of it. Think of it this way - if a domestic police officer interviewing your son waterboarded him and got a confession, what would you label what the police did to him? Torture! To call it any kind of "interrogation" is to prove Orwell correct.
    Actually, I know rather exactly how waterboarding works, why it feels as it does and how it feels. Have you ever tried it?
    I am quite sure it might be categorized as torture,if carried to extremes. As it was legally analyzed and permitted it is unpleasant enough, but it is not torture.

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    Re: Senate panel releases scathing report on CIA interrogation...

    Quote Originally Posted by MMC View Post
    You then forget that the Demos report is based on 20 cases out of hundreds and hundreds, where they say these techniques provided no intel that would have changed anything. Their reasoning for the report, remember? That torture does not work.
    First of all, you ignored the main point - just because it works or might work means it's OK for us to do? There is no line at all? Should we extend that philosophy to dealing with suspected criminals at home? You OK giving the Obama administration the power to torture militia members they suspect MIGHT BE domestic terrorists because some day one of them might in fact blow up the WH?

    The CIA has been asked to provide examples where the torture program did get actionable intel and have basically come up empty. So it's not that the report examined only 20, it's that the top guys have been asked to provide the intelligence committees with examples of it working and can't or won't do so, and when they do provide examples, they are found to be at best doubtful, and in many ways fabricated, with key information coming in fact from sessions or sources that did NOT involve torture.

    Furthermore, if we are to objectively evaluate the torture program, you cannot cherry pick one or a handful out of the "hundreds and hundreds" where some worthwhile information was obtained and ignore 1) the MANY times we got better information through traditional interrogation and 2) got crap intel from tortured prisoners, or got false confessions etc. And you also can't ignore what the torture program does do our overall national security picture - does being a country that openly tortures suspects increase our national security, all things considered? I can't see how that's the case.

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    Re: Senate panel releases scathing report on CIA interrogation...

    Quote Originally Posted by joG View Post
    Actually, I know rather exactly how waterboarding works, why it feels as it does and how it feels. Have you ever tried it?
    I am quite sure it might be categorized as torture,if carried to extremes. As it was legally analyzed and permitted it is unpleasant enough, but it is not torture.
    First of all, I assume you were or are a member of the military who was subjected to it as part of training? If so, surely you recognize the difference in a case where you KNOW the person doing it wishes you no harm, WILL stop well before you are at risk, definitely HAS a medical team on hand should anything go wrong versus if you were in a cell in Iraq and the waterboarding was being done by Iraqi forces with no such guarantees? That you were pretty sure you'd be almost killed, over and over, until you said what they wanted to hear? And that if you did die, they'd shed no tears for you?

    Second, so what is torture? A cattle prod is unpleasant, but not generally deadly, so that's OK and not-torture I guess? Hooking a battery up to your genitals OK and not-torture? How about pulling out fingernails. I'm not aware of anyone dying from it, so is that not-torture?

    Edit to add that the entire PURPOSE is to make it "rather unpleasant" enough that a hardened killer (allegedly) who wants death to America overcomes that desire to harm us and in fact gives us valuable information to prevent some attack. It's just laughable that we expect a technique that is merely "unpleasant" to work on such a person. If we don't in fact inflict SEVERE pain AND discomfort AND fear of dying, which is after all what torture is all about, then why would we expect it to actually work? We wouldn't, which is why we in fact waterboarded the key guys not three times but roughly 100 and 200 times for each of the two most notorious suspects we waterboarded.

    One more point - sure, the legal restraints were on "3 times" or some such BS, but a country that justifies 3 times doesn't even have to take a step, just a slight shuffle is all, to justify 100 times or 200 times or 300 times (if they thought it might work) or causing hypothermia or beatings or any number of techniques because you've obliterated the moral line against torture with the first time you waterboard someone. After that it's nothing but effectiveness which is at question.
    Last edited by JasperL; 12-10-14 at 06:23 PM.

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    Re: Senate panel releases scathing report on CIA interrogation...

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    I agree with that, but not because the "country probably would have voted for torture in 2002." The South "voted for" slavery and lynchings, etc. for a long time, but those acts remain morally repugnant and are a stain on our national history.

    But you're right about the prosecutions - the guys following orders should IMO not have careers any longer in government, but I also wouldn't support their prosecution. They were pawns and a decision to prosecute them unless you prosecute everyone up to the very top of the chain of command who signed off on what they did - which would likely include going all the way to the WH - is just letting the little people be the fall guys for the people responsible.

    You mentioned the drone program - the guys with the joy sticks in Nevada aren't the problems. It's Obama and his key deputies.
    Poor use of words on my part. For the record, I have always hated the idea of torture. Feeling we should never cross that line. That being said, I think it would be hypocritical to go after the folks who actually did this stuff, versus the folks in the past and the current who order them to do it.

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    Re: Senate panel releases scathing report on CIA interrogation...

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperL View Post
    First of all, I assume you were or are a member of the military who was subjected to it as part of training? If so, surely you recognize the difference in a case where you KNOW the person doing it wishes you no harm, WILL stop well before you are at risk, definitely HAS a medical team on hand should anything go wrong versus if you were in a cell in Iraq and the waterboarding was being done by Iraqi forces with no such guarantees? That you were pretty sure you'd be almost killed, over and over, until you said what they wanted to hear? And that if you did die, they'd shed no tears for you?

    Second, so what is torture? A cattle prod is unpleasant, but not generally deadly, so that's OK and not-torture I guess? Hooking a battery up to your genitals OK and not-torture? How about pulling out fingernails. I'm not aware of anyone dying from it, so is that not-torture?
    No I am not military, but wanted to know, what I was talking about.

    Yes, I have thought about the difference between knowing and not knowing, if you are to die. Without wanting to go into it, I do not think that it makes the difference. In the case of the prisoners of whom we know, we are talking of ones that were well briefed on American methods. They would very probably have known the going would be very bad but not deadly.

    As far as I presently know, the CIA had medical teams on hand.

    We are not talking about Iraqi interrogation. That is a discussion we can have, but it is one that needs to be separated.

    Yes, you are quite right. We as a nation and as a community of nations need to talk about what torture is. We got it wrong in the UN Charter and have demeaned the term. Take your cattle prod. Using it on a person can be torture, but it need not be. This has been long overdue and
    is why I thought it so good a step, when the Bush White House asked it to be looked at, analyzed and defined. It was only a first step, but more than most countries have had the sense and courage to do. It is very unpleasant a topic. Politically a nightmare. But we should demand the discussion.

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