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

  1. #41
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    Re: Obama Rules Out Charging C.I.A. Agents in Interrogations

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    When we did the whole "If you could end all human suffering in the world by torturing an infant for eternity, would you?" bit in class, I was the only one who said yes. Not sure what that says about me.
    If the parameters of the question changed, I suspect your answer would as well.
    I may be wrong.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon W. Moon View Post
    If the parameters of the question changed, I suspect your answer would as well.
    What, you mean like TWO babies? Shiiiiiit....
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon W. Moon View Post
    Even if you thought the only way to crack a hardened aQ operative and get him to reveal the info that would prevent thousands of deaths was to torture his infant child, you wouldn't condone it.
    What I am asking you is why you wouldn't.
    When you do that, it becomes obvious that the simple mathematics of one life vs thousands of live is an insufficient guide.
    The answer is OBVIOUS unless you are attempting to be obtuse and avoid REALITY, honesty and intellectual thinking; the infant child is an innocent and has nothing to do with what occurred, the terrorist isn't innocent and was captured trying to kill troops or innocents.

    What an absurd game you play, but typical from those who want to avoid substantive intellectually honest debate and instead enter into the never ending circle of absurdity.

  4. #44
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    Re: Obama Rules Out Charging C.I.A. Agents in Interrogations

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon W. Moon View Post
    So a hardcore guy like that might need something really shocking to get him to crack.


    You're getting warmer. Hang in there.
    Of course, you don't condone them. What I am asking you is to consider why not.
    Even if you thought the only way to crack a hardened aQ operative and get him to reveal the info that would prevent thousands of deaths was to torture his infant child, you wouldn't condone it.
    What I am asking you is why you wouldn't.
    When you do that, it becomes obvious that the simple mathematics of one life vs thousands of live is an insufficient guide.
    No, I wouldn't. I'm not a Kantian consequentialista and since that situation would never present itself in reality, it's irrelevant.

  5. #45
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    Re: Obama Rules Out Charging C.I.A. Agents in Interrogations

    Quote Originally Posted by Truth Detector View Post
    The answer is OBVIOUS unless you are attempting to be obtuse and avoid REALITY, honesty and intellectual thinking; the infant child is an innocent and has nothing to do with what occurred, the terrorist isn't innocent and was captured trying to kill troops or innocents.

    What an absurd game you play, but typical from those who want to avoid substantive intellectually honest debate and instead enter into the never ending circle of absurdity.
    You kind of missed his point.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

  6. #46
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    Re: Obama Rules Out Charging C.I.A. Agents in Interrogations

    Quote Originally Posted by BulletWounD View Post
    The world of intelligence gathering is not all roses you know. In Russia they'd shove a soldering iron up your butt and turn it on. In China they'd beat you with electric batons.

    If you knew that a guy was a terrorist with information on an imminent terrorist attack and you only have 48 hours to get it out of him before the attack goes forward, what are you going to do? Give him a box of chocolates?

    Waterboarding isn't exactly "humane" but neither is killing 3000 people. It could have been a lot worse. War is hell.
    These situations are extremely improbable, the world isn't 24.

    I would never countenance torture because it would be stooping to the level of your enemy and would, in my opinion, sour any victory. It also sets a dangerous precedent.
    "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
    These situations are extremely improbable, the world isn't 24.

    I would never countenance torture because it would be stooping to the level of your enemy and would, in my opinion, sour any victory. It also sets a dangerous precedent.
    Right, but the only thing in the memos that really resembles torture is waterboarding, in which the subjects were pre and post-screened for possible psychological difficulties by a doctor and the whole process was monitored by a doctor. Importantly the memo instructed them to stop if the subject started showing outward manifestations of severe distress during any of the procedures, presumably including waterboarding, which ostensibly means they would draw the cloth if he started struggling violently (fear of imminent death). Importantly, the procedure was only used when they had very high confidence that the subject possessed information regarding an imminent attack. According to the memos, these techniques ACTUALLY DID prevent terrorist attacks including a plan to detonate a dirty bomb and a plan to crash airliners into a building in Los Angeles.

    I hate to burst your bubble, but counter-intelligence is a dirty job. Always has been, always will be. The CIA took extraordinary precautions to insure the physical and psychological safety of the detainees during interrogation. In the context that this is a foreign intelligence agency and in consideration of the treatment of our adversaries both historically and in the present day, this document is anything but shocking.

    And 24 sucks.
    Last edited by BulletWounD; 04-17-09 at 11:38 PM.

  8. #48
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    Re: Obama Rules Out Charging C.I.A. Agents in Interrogations

    Quote Originally Posted by BulletWounD View Post
    Right, but the only thing in the memos that really resembles torture is waterboarding, in which the subjects were pre and post-screened for possible psychological difficulties by a doctor and the whole process was monitored by a doctor. Importantly the memo instructed them to stop if the subject started showing outward manifestations of severe distress during any of the procedures, presumably including waterboarding, which ostensibly means they would draw the cloth if he started struggling violently (fear of imminent death). Importantly, the procedure was only used when they had very high confidence that the subject possessed information regarding an imminent attack. According to the memos, these techniques ACTUALLY DID prevent terrorist attacks including a plan to detonate a dirty bomb and a plan to crash airliners into a building in Los Angeles.
    If it didn't cause distress they would not have used Chinese water torture. It doesn't really matter that doctors are standing by, torture is toture. Any information gained, apart from being suspect, is tainted with the dishonour of how it was gained. And it sets a dangerous precedent, what happens when it is an American citizen suspected of planning such acts next time?


    ]
    I hate to burst your bubble, but counter-intelligence is a dirty job. Always has been, always will be. The CIA took extraordinary precautions to insure the physical and psychological safety of the detainees during interrogation. In the context that this is a foreign intelligence agency and in consideration of the treatment of our adversaries both historically and in the present day, this document is anything but shocking.
    I know that the US and others in the West have been involved in such activity in the past, it still does not make it right. It sours any victory and the honour of the individuals and nations involved, including my own of course.
    "It is written in the eternal constitution that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." - Edmund Burke

  9. #49
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    Re: Obama Rules Out Charging C.I.A. Agents in Interrogations

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    If it didn't cause distress they would not have used Chinese water torture. It doesn't really matter that doctors are standing by, torture is toture. Any information gained, apart from being suspect, is tainted with the dishonour of how it was gained. And it sets a dangerous precedent, what happens when it is an American citizen suspected of planning such acts next time?
    American citizens are already tortured routinely. Both our military and our intelligence operatives are trained to resist these techniques. Covert operatives are given the option to carry suicide pills because they face much, much worse treatment in hostile countries than these guys got.

    I know that the US and others in the West have been involved in such activity in the past, it still does not make it right. It sours any victory and the honour of the individuals and nations involved, including my own of course.
    I think the intelligence community has a different definition of the word "honor" from us normal folks. They have to by the very nature of their job. And this not a conventional military conflict with a clear definition of "victory," and in this case our adversaries do not resemble anything close to "honorable." They helped thwart attacks that could have killed thousands of innocent people.
    Last edited by BulletWounD; 04-17-09 at 11:51 PM.

  10. #50
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    Re: Obama Rules Out Charging C.I.A. Agents in Interrogations

    Quote Originally Posted by BulletWounD View Post
    American citizens are already tortured routinely. Both our military and our intelligence operatives are trained to resist these techniques. Covert operatives are given the option to carry suicide pills because they face much, much worse treatment in hostile countries than these guys got.
    They are not tortured by Americans though or the American gov't. One must not stoop to the base level of an enemy, it is still a stain on one's honour.


    I think the intelligence community has a different definition of the word "honor" from us normal folks. They have to by the very nature of their job. And this not a conventional military conflict with a clear definition of "victory," and in this case our adversaries do not resemble anything close to "honorable." They helped thwart attacks that could have killed thousands of people.
    I very much doubt that. The CIA are hardly the most reliable and trustworthy of organisations. Remember the WMD?

    Torture is rarely required or easily useable, these 24 situations are rare if not basically non-existent in the real world. It is a stain on the honour of these individuals and on the nations involved to stoop to such levels.
    "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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