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Thread: Obama Rules Out Charging C.I.A. Agents in Interrogations

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    Re: Obama Rules Out Charging C.I.A. Agents in Interrogations

    That is different
    No, it's not different. I don't want my troops to befall a gruesome battlefield death - just as you do not want them to be water boarded (oh no!) - so that means we must disallow such a possibility. Your logic, not mine.

    that is part of the battlefield necessities of war
    Extracting actionable intelligence from terrorists hell-bent on murdering innocent civilians is also a necessity of war.

    It is not unusual, it does not happen to those who are already in the custody of their enemy and is pursued, or can be, within definite constraints and boundaries.
    This is preposterous. Men are disemboweled, blown up, killed with nerve agents, burned alive, shot to pieces, heads smashed in, run over by tanks, etc. Hell, I once saw an Iraqi police officer get crushed to death by a giant slab of concrete. The only constraint on the battlefield is the human imagination.

    That is a very broad category.
    How is it broad? To what portion of a given population can that definition conceivably apply?

    Ah enemies of state can be disposed of as we wish.
    Only if they meet the aforementioned criteria and the intended purpose of their disposal is to protect innocent civilians.

    Where you captured by the enemy and submitted to extreme pain and distress like that that takes place in waterboarding?
    1. Your idea of "extreme pain" is a joke. It's obvious you've never experienced "extreme pain" otherwise you wouldn't use to term so loosely. Having your fingernails pulled out with pliers is extremely painful. Being subjected to a simulated drowning is really unpleasant. There is a difference.

    2. You are moving the goal posts. You said torture was defined by "extreme distress." Now you're inserting irrelevant qualifiers like being captured by the enemy. I was forcibly subjected to periods of "extreme distress" while in the military, so according to you I've been tortured numerous times.

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    Re: Waterboarding Used 266 Times on 2 Suspects

    Quote Originally Posted by talloulou View Post
    War isn't civilized and that's just a god damn fact of life. When there is no more war I will agree that we ought not to do anything untoward to anyone and we all shall live as one.

    But we're more than a mile from that and in the meantime it's fairly stupid to talk about prisoners of war and civil behavior. Human rights go out the freaking window when strangers who don't know each other are ready and willing to kill one another at the bequest of their government.
    You're absolutely right, and when a terrorist is pointing a gun at a US Marine, I'll be the first to agree that the marines should open fire on him. Having someone helpless in a prison cell where they don't pose any immediate threat to anyone is a different matter entirely. In that situation, there are a wide range of options available that DON'T abuse human rights.
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    Re: Obama Rules Out Charging C.I.A. Agents in Interrogations

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    No, it's not different. I don't want my troops to befall a gruesome battlefield death - just as you do not want them to be water boarded (oh no!) - so that means we must disallow such a possibility. Your logic, not mine.
    That pressuposes those are both acceptable and in the same context I'm afraid.

    Extracting actionable intelligence from terrorists hell-bent on murdering innocent civilians is also a necessity of war.
    No it isn't. This is not a 24-like situation for the last time. Torture can get controversial results in very specific situations only. The question is is it worth loss of honour and power given to the state.


    This is preposterous. Men are disemboweled, blown up, killed with nerve agents, burned alive, shot to pieces, heads smashed in, run over by tanks, etc. Hell, I once saw an Iraqi police officer get crushed to death by a giant slab of concrete. The only constraint on the battlefield is the human imagination.
    You prove my point. It is the battlefield.

    How is it broad? To what portion of a given population can that definition conceivably apply?
    Well it applies to the allies in WWII for a start.

    Only if they meet the aforementioned criteria and the intended purpose of their disposal is to protect innocent civilians.

    So broad.


    1. Your idea of "extreme pain" is a joke. It's obvious you've never experienced "extreme pain" otherwise you wouldn't use to term so loosely. Having your fingernails pulled out with pliers is extremely painful. Being subjected to a simulated drowning is really unpleasant. There is a difference.
    Have you ever experienced waterboarding? It is generally considered to be extremely distressful and has been cited as torture including the US AG.

    2. You are moving the goal posts. You said torture was defined by "extreme distress." Now you're inserting irrelevant qualifiers like being captured by the enemy. I was forcibly subjected to periods of "extreme distress" while in the military, so according to you I've been tortured numerous times.
    Of course it is being captured by the enemy, I thought that went without saying. I did not move the goalposts, it is just that when you got out the tennis rackets I was forced to remind you this is football laddy.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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    Re: Obama Rules Out Charging C.I.A. Agents in Interrogations

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    Then I'll make it simple for you. A "terrorist" is anyone who deliberately targets innocent civilians while purposely neglecting the rules of war.
    That is a very broad category.
    Not at all. Deliberately targeting civilians makes the category very narrow and specific.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    A person who deliberately targets innocent civilians while purposely neglecting the rules of war is still a human but that doesn't mean we have to treat them like one.
    Ah enemies of state can be disposed of as we wish.
    Wrong term. Not "enemies of state", but "my enemies".

    One is a term of political contrivance. The other is a term of moral perspective.
    Last edited by celticlord; 04-22-09 at 02:01 AM.

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    Re: Obama Rules Out Charging C.I.A. Agents in Interrogations

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    Not at all. Deliberately targeting civilians makes the category very narrow and specific.
    Actually it is a very broad term, particularly if you list the wanton endangerment which is similar to it as manslughter is to murder. Damn we should of arrested bomber Harris and Truman.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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    Re: Obama Rules Out Charging C.I.A. Agents in Interrogations

    That pressuposes those are both acceptable and in the same context I'm afraid.
    I was merely highlighting the illogical premise you formulated earlier, i.e. that we shouldn't do something to others if we wouldn't want it done to our own troops. The fact that you wouldn't want our troops to get water-boarded is irrelevant to whether or not it is an acceptable practice.

    No it isn't.
    Stop being so obtuse. The whole point of having a military is to protect innocent civilians. Obtaining actionable intelligence from terrorists helps protect those civilians; therefore it is a military necessity.

    This is not a 24-like situation for the last time.
    Is this supposed to mean something?

    Torture can get controversial results in very specific situations only.
    It can also prevent terrorist attacks.

    The question is is it worth loss of honour and power given to the state.
    There is nothing dishonorable about protecting my family and my country. As for giving the state the power to torture known terrorists, I'm perfectly comfortable with that. If your rebuttal is that the government could conceivably label anyone a "terrorist" and start torturing people with impunity you might as well give up. I mean, the government could conceivably label anyone a "criminal" and start imprisoning them with impunity too. Does this mean we need to get rid of the justice system?

    You prove my point. It is the battlefield.
    There is no defined "battlefield" in asymmetrical warfare.

    Well it applies to the allies in WWII for a start.
    The Allies wore uniforms and acted at the behest of a nation-state. These are crucial distinctions one must ignore in order to equate them with terrorists.

    So broad.
    So obtuse.

    Have you ever experienced waterboarding?
    No, I've never been water-boarded, but I know others who have and they never spoke of being tortured.

    Had I been given the opportunity, I would have gone to SERE school though.

    It is generally considered to be extremely distressful
    So are a lot of things. Ever been pepper-sprayed in the eyes?

    and has been cited as torture including the US AG.
    How in the world is this relevant?

    Of course it is being captured by the enemy, I thought that went without saying. I did not move the goalposts, it is just that when you got out the tennis rackets I was forced to remind you this is football laddy.
    Contrary to popular opinion, I cannot read people's minds. You said extreme distress - I've been forcibly subjected to periods of extreme distress numerous times. Why doesn't your argument apply to people like me?
    Last edited by Ethereal; 04-22-09 at 03:09 AM.

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    Re: Waterboarding Used 266 Times on 2 Suspects

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    You're absolutely right, and when a terrorist is pointing a gun at a US Marine, I'll be the first to agree that the marines should open fire on him. Having someone helpless in a prison cell where they don't pose any immediate threat to anyone is a different matter entirely. In that situation, there are a wide range of options available that DON'T abuse human rights.
    Agreed. Like pouring water on them! I think I'd rather be waterboarded than undergo sleep deprivation. Seriously I think sleep deprivation can be a far worse thing to endure. That really messes your head up after a time.

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    Re: Waterboarding Used 266 Times on 2 Suspects

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Having someone helpless in a prison cell where they don't pose any immediate threat to anyone is a different matter entirely. In that situation, there are a wide range of options available that DON'T abuse human rights.
    Human rights are not absolute. Simply confining someone in a prison cell is a violation of human rights, yet you find that perfectly acceptable in certain circumstances.

  9. #249
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    Re: Obama Rules Out Charging C.I.A. Agents in Interrogations

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    I was merely highlighting the illogical premise you formulated earlier, i.e. that we shouldn't do something to others if we wouldn't want it done to our own troops. The fact that you wouldn't want our troops to get water-boarded is irrelevant to whether or not it is an acceptable practice.
    No you're simply cutting off these actions from their contexts. It is not irrelevant when you do not pressupose equal context and acceptability of the procedeures.


    Stop being so obtuse. The whole point of having a military is to protect innocent civilians. Obtaining actionable intelligence from terrorists helps protect those civilians; therefore it is a military necessity.
    Here you miss out the key point that we still need to be restrained in how we do it. Hence I do not advocate attacking any nation that poses even a small risk.


    Is this supposed to mean something?
    Yep, your side is relying on 24-like scenarios that are very unrealistic.


    It can also prevent terrorist attacks.
    Nope, it has gained a little info then helped to prevent some plans from moving forward.


    There is nothing dishonorable about protecting my family and my country.
    Contextless assertion. Meaningless.


    As for giving the state the power to torture known terrorists, I'm perfectly comfortable with that. If your rebuttal is that the government could conceivably label anyone a "terrorist" and start torturing people with impunity you might as well give up. I mean, the government could conceivably label anyone a "criminal" and start imprisoning them with impunity too. Does this mean we need to get rid of the justice system?
    That makes no sense. The justice system takes place in broad daylight, it is not supposedly secret and without due process. The jutice system is supposed to work with limits, balances and the rule of law, none of this is there for this torture.



    There is no defined "battlefield" in asymmetrical warfare.
    There are still boundaries. You cannot normally burn down the villages of those you suspect of

    The Allies wore uniforms and acted at the behest of a nation-state. These are crucial distinctions one must ignore in order to equate them with terrorists.
    Oh so now they must not wear uniforms. Now it is going from broad to arbitrary. If you wear a uniform and murder civilians you aren't a terrorist then it is fine. Got it.

    You seem to making this up as you go along.






    So are a lot of things. Ever been pepper-sprayed in the eyes?
    It would be in the same contexts. If you are warded away as a member of crowd by the riot police with a smack across the face you aren't being toertured but in a cell having it repeatedly done to you then you are.

    How in the world is this relevant?
    Well it seems that at least one senior figures disagrees with you.


    Contrary to popular opinion, I cannot read people's minds. You said extreme distress - I've been forcibly subjected to periods of extreme distress numerous times. Why doesn't your argument apply to people like me?
    Context, context. It is pretty simple. We are obviously talking about people in custody being forcibly being exposed to great distress, distress far beyond discomfort.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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    Re: Waterboarding Used 266 Times on 2 Suspects

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    Human rights are not absolute. Simply confining someone in a prison cell is a violation of human rights, yet you find that perfectly acceptable in certain circumstances.
    Now you talk of context or circumstances.

    None of this means everything is acceptable such as torture. It simply means some rights can be retracted if certain behaviour takes place with the consent of due process.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

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