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Thread: CIA Confirms: Waterboarding 9/11 Mastermind Led to Info that Aborted 9/11-Style Attac

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    Re: CIA Confirms: Waterboarding 9/11 Mastermind Led to Info that Aborted 9/11-Style A

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    I think the government does a lot of **** that doesn't work. It's a given that there is a possibility waterboarding is not effective simply because the government is doing it.

    you didn't have to say all that, you could have just typed... "DMV"


    True, which is why I think a study is necessary. I don't really need to know the details so long as I know that it is effective.

    I agree, I also agree that if they are going to release some of this information as Obama has, they need to release it all.
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    Re: CIA Confirms: Waterboarding 9/11 Mastermind Led to Info that Aborted 9/11-Style A

    One of the problems facing those who are trying to evaluate this issue, regardless of their perspective, is the contradictory nature of many of the written reports. The highly redacted nature of many of the key reports lends further confusion. For example, Steven G. Bradbury then the Justice Department's principal deputy assistant attorney general, wrote in a May 30, 2005 memo, one of four released last week by the Obama administration,

    "It is difficult to quantify with confidence and precision the effectiveness of the program."

    This memo has been quoted rather extensively by those opposed to the enhanced interrogation treatment. Those that do so conveniently ignore the fact that Bradbury concluded in his May 2005 memos that the program had been effective.

    Partisan politics also plays its accustomed role in the debate. According to Politico's web site, Nancy Pelosi is pushing back hard against against charges that she was aware of -- and acquiesced in -- the CIA's harsh interrogations of terrorist detainees nearly from the moment the practice began.

    Unfortunately for Pelosi, the Washington Post reported in 2007, that, "For more than an hour," "the bipartisan group [which included Pelosi] . . . was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

    "Among the techniques described," the story continued, "was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder."

    Combine incomplete information with partisanship and a potentially emotional issue and you have a subject ripe for (sometimes vitriolic) debate!

    FWIW, as a survivor of both WTC bombings (I worked on the 96th Floor of 2 WTC in Feb '93 and the 43rd floor in Sep '01), I view these so-called enhanced interrogation techniques - if they are as described and implemented as described - not as torture but as legitimate techniques to gather information that could potentially save lives.

    These techniques focus on psychological impact; no blood is shed; no body parts are removed or even threatened (e.g., no decapitations); families are not threatened; innocents are not knowingly and deliberately targeted; the interrogations are documented and strictly supervised according to strict guidelines. The principal physical effects appear to be from sleep deprivation and general exhaustion. Debilitating but hardly life-threatening.

    The psychological impact is clearly illustrated by KSM. According to George Tenet, writing in his book, "At the Center of the Storm,"

    "I believe none of these successes [in foiling terrorist plots] would have happened if we had had to treat KSM like a white-collar criminal -- read him his Miranda rights and get him a lawyer who surely would have insisted his client simply shut up. In his initial interrogation by CIA officers, KSM was defiant. 'I'll talk to you guys,' he said, 'after I get to New York and see my lawyer.' Apparently he thought he would be immediately shipped to the United States and indicted in the Southern District of New York. Had that happened, I am confident that we would have obtained none of the information he had in his head about imminent threats to the American people."

    Imagine KSM's shock when he didn't get to visit the scene of his crimes.

    Thats just my opinion. Others having different life experiences may, understandably, differ.

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    Re: CIA Confirms: Waterboarding 9/11 Mastermind Led to Info that Aborted 9/11-Style A

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    I'm of the belief that this whole debate on waterboarding needs to undergo a paradigm shift. From what I can tell, yes, it has yielded some high value information. What I'd love to know is the rate of valuable information it yields in comparison to non-torture techniques.

    An independent comprehensive study, devoid of emotionality and politics, is necessary to determine first it's efficacy, and then it's efficacy in comparison to more standard interrogation techniques. Then we need to determine the "value" of the data gleaned form each method.

    Until we know these comparative data, there is no way to argue for or against it in any substantial way.

    Let's say that all other techniques yield a higher rate of actionable intel, but most of it is very minor in nature. Now let's say that waterboarding yields a much smaller rate of actionable intel, but the stuff it does yield is hugely important. Then we could have a serious debate on the value of waterboarding.

    Conversely, if the rates are the same, and the value is the same, we would have to conclude that waterboarding is extraneous and totally unnecessary.

    Finally if the rates are lower for waterboarding and the value is at best equal, then we could say that it is detrimental to gathering valuable intel.


    Right now, no one can say any of these scenarios are the correct one because there has yet to be such an independent, unemotional, apolitical study performed.
    If I need to find out which little brother did what, I have to trick them into telling me. If you get all mad they all lock up and don't tell you anything. Although when wrestling you can get them to say things they don't really want to say. Like "uncle". Or "I am a big baby that wants my ankle twisted more". And guess what.... They say it.
    But then again my lil' bros aren't hardened Jihadists.
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    Re: CIA Confirms: Waterboarding 9/11 Mastermind Led to Info that Aborted 9/11-Style A

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    I have no idea if it ever existed in reality. I've never been faced with it myself, but there's a lot of **** I've never been faced with.

    All I know is that if the hypothetical were real, and I were facing it, I'd use torture. I cannot in good faith denounce others for using what I myself would use if they are faced with such a situation in reality.

    And neither one of us can offer anything but conjecture regarding the actual existence or nonexistence of such scenarios nor can we offer anything substantial regarding how the terrorists would respond to being tortured in such a scenario.

    Like I said, I'm undecided on it. I'd need actual evidence one way or the other to support or denounce the practice.

    If you could somehow make an actual argument based on more than your questioning of the scenario's likelihood, perhaps I could be swayed. But if all you can put forth is the fact that you question it, or cannot see the situation where it would work, I will obviously remain undecided. What you can or cannot see as plausible has no bearing whatsoever on my decision-making. The fact that it works for you is all well and good, but it isn't exactly a persuasive argument.
    What you seem to be saying Tucker is, that in a moment of desperation you would turn to desperate measures without the confidence that those measures would work. It's a bit like belief in god. Are you going to pray right before you torture someone just so you cover your bases?

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    Re: CIA Confirms: Waterboarding 9/11 Mastermind Led to Info that Aborted 9/11-Style A

    Quote Originally Posted by P/N View Post
    Funny, I never considered you, WillRockwell, the "centrist", a thinker.

    You're handpicking your quotes. Funny, I seem to recall other "centrists" jumping all over Bush for handpicking intelligence. So what do you have to say about those "conductors of torture techniques" who claim that it does and has yielded useful information? Could they be right and the ones you cling to be wrong? Nah, anything that contradicts your emotions has to be a lie, right?
    I haven't heard of any "conductors of torture techniques" who claim that it does and has yielded useful information. Perhaps you could quote some of them.

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    Re: CIA Confirms: Waterboarding 9/11 Mastermind Led to Info that Aborted 9/11-Style A

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/us...detain.html?hp




    I'd say that's a trustworthy source that the information gathered has been of "high value" given the fact that it's Obama's guy that's the source.

    At best, an honest person can only say that the reviews of waterboarding's efficacy are mixed.
    One person who wrote in a memorandum to his staff last week that “high value information came from interrogations in which these methods were used,”....
    What are "these methods"? Are they more than just waterboarding? This doesn't say, WATERBOARDING PRODUCED HIGH VALUE INFORMATION. The FACT that no one will come out and say that specifically should give you pause.

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    Re: CIA Confirms: Waterboarding 9/11 Mastermind Led to Info that Aborted 9/11-Style A

    Quote Originally Posted by Slippery Slope View Post
    One person who wrote in a memorandum to his staff last week that “high value information came from interrogations in which these methods were used,”....
    What are "these methods"? Are they more than just waterboarding? This doesn't say, WATERBOARDING PRODUCED HIGH VALUE INFORMATION. The FACT that no one will come out and say that specifically should give you pause.
    You seem to misunderstand, Slippery. Unlike most people, I'm actually undecided either way (read: giving pause).

    Do you have conclusive evidence to suggest that it was not waterboarding that he was referring to? If so, please present it. I would love to see it.

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    Re: CIA Confirms: Waterboarding 9/11 Mastermind Led to Info that Aborted 9/11-Style A

    Quote Originally Posted by Slippery Slope View Post
    What you seem to be saying Tucker is, that in a moment of desperation you would turn to desperate measures without the confidence that those measures would work. It's a bit like belief in god. Are you going to pray right before you torture someone just so you cover your bases?
    No. It's nothing like religion. That drum should be beaten elsewhere.

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    Re: CIA Confirms: Waterboarding 9/11 Mastermind Led to Info that Aborted 9/11-Style A

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    You seem to misunderstand, Slippery. Unlike most people, I'm actually undecided either way (read: giving pause).

    Do you have conclusive evidence to suggest that it was not waterboarding that he was referring to? If so, please present it. I would love to see it.
    I would say that the lack of specifics is enough evidence. If you don't come right out and say what people are asking, there's probably a reason.

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    Re: CIA Confirms: Waterboarding 9/11 Mastermind Led to Info that Aborted 9/11-Style A

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    No. It's nothing like religion. That drum should be beaten elsewhere.
    Yes it is, it's faith of a sort. You have no evidence that it works yet you're willing to give it a try, just in case. Like prayer.

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