And also to the testimony that they agreed to all kinds of things that were false because they wanted the torture to stop. I cited a link above that includes a story about a guy who admitted to being a Catholic priest, son of a king, a Buddhist monk, and a dozen other untrue things to get the water torture to end.Well then I would refer you to the testimony of those who have been tortured, who have generally agreed that everyone eventually breaks and gives the information the questioner is looking for.
OK, so we're back to it's OK because it works. Except you can't bring yourself to admit waterboarding is torture.Traditional interrogation techniques have severely degraded performance against those who are trained or especially motivated to resist them (which is why we train the people who might be captured in how to do so), which is why we used the Enhanced Interrogation Technique program. As for torture, I imagine that it would also be effective against that populace. I myself have only seen it work against mid-level AQI leadership.
If you're justifying the U.S. intentionally killing civilians in war, we need to get over the notion that we're somehow different than a terrorist. I don't think that's your point, but if not I can't see what it is. We're not accidentally torturing people, so comparing that to the inevitable collateral damage to civilians in a war is nonsense.well, we've been killing innocent civilians in warfare for a couple of centuries now - would you say that is morally superior to slapping a terrorist in the face in order to shock his sensibilities (that was an EIT) or wrapping a towel around his neck to protect him from whiplash before throwing him into a fake wall that would make a loud sound, making him think he'd been thrown harder than he had been (that was also an EIT)?
So, a procedure that leaves you unable to breath, and if continued will result in you losing consciousness and eventually in your death by asphyxiation, isn't torture because in a training situation all that is very controlled with personnel examining you before, during and after to make sure nothing bad happens?Generally speaking, if the military can do it to me, I'm a little skeptical with the idea that it's torture.
That's a good description of, among other things, torture and why it's effective.Now, it's still not nice. It's still application of pain and discomfort and fear and all of those things in order to break someone's mental barriers and put them in a situation where they feel completely controlled by an omnipotent/omniscient interrogator.
And if waterboarding fails, what's next on the list? Shoot him in the knee? Or as suggested above, torture his child, rape his daughter, and if that works, it's OK because it works? If you're OK with torture, then the moral reasoning that allows that would allow all those things. What's different about a shattered kneecap versus stopping an attack? His daughter can survive rape, many children in America are raped every day and survive...Well, let's take a single reduced-complexity example. Let us say that Mokhtar Belmokhtar has just been brought in, and we think he has just approved a plan to bomb a series of trains in France in retaliation for France's actions in the Sahel. We really need that information, and we don't have weeks or months to build up a rapport and hope that the feel-nice program works. However, if we waterboard the guy, later al-Murabitun might target US soldiers in the region in order to retaliate above what they already would do in order to retaliate against us for capturing him in the first place and being the evil Americans etc. (so that's the differentiation, not 0 risk to risk).