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Thread: Banned Techniques Yielded ‘High Value Information,’ Memo Says

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    Re: Banned Techniques Yielded ‘High Value Information,’ Memo Says

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    High value is a matter of opinion. Torture has specific uses, it is sometimes good for getting info on specific plans and only if you have other info to back it up and enough knowledgbe to trawl through the usual large amount of dubious info thrown in.

    But whether it gives decent info is something very different to whether it should be used, whether it is worth the dishonour and the precedent.
    The difference is the man with the opinion has the expertise to know whether the information was valuable, while you don't.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
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    Re: Banned Techniques Yielded ‘High Value Information,’ Memo Says

    Quote Originally Posted by WI Crippler View Post
    Sure there are societies where murder and rape is acceptable. Hell Hitler had a powerful Empire going, and he was shoveling Jews into fireplaces. So to say that a society cannot exist, if it violates some kind of set of universal morals you argue exists, you would be wrong. They can exist, and they can become quite powerful.
    No, there has never been a society where murder and rape are commonplace and endorsed policy. Such societies cannot exist. There have been societies where the government has committed atrocities upon its people up to and including murder, but those societies did not have murder as an endorsable policy for the citizenry.

    Hitler-controlled Germany is an excellent example of this. Hitler could kill whoever he wanted to among his citizenry, but it was not commonplace practice endorsed by law. Hitler and the government could kill who they wanted to. The average citizen could not. The policy of murder was not endorsed, although it was practiced by those in charge. Such examples of government cruelty are commonplace throughout our history, but murder or rape has never been endorsed.

    Can you think of a society that has ever existed where murder or rape was commonplace, and adopted as policy? In other words, can you think of one society in our history where the population could slaughter or rape others within that group without any legal consequence?

    No. It's impossible. No such society has ever existed, nor could it.

    Quote Originally Posted by WI Crippler View Post
    I personally don't have a problem with torturing enemy combatants. Its war. I personally feel that our society is spending too much time trying to turn our military and its system into some kind of civilian like court system. I think it weakens us on the battlefield. We are supposed to be fighting and winning wars and doing whatever it takes to be successful. If we are willing to subject our own men to these methods of torture, for training purposes, then there is no loss of morals to be willing to do it to enemy combatants who likely deserve it.
    That would actually be incorrect from a philosophical standpoint. Torture is torture. If you are barbaric enough to practice it on your own citizenry - including military citizenry - then you are most certainly not taking the moral high road. But assuming your argument is correct about practicing these techniques on our soldiers, keep in mind that, although the practice may be barbaric, if one becomes hurt or injured, the process halts immediately. Not so with enemy combatants. This is carried out until the goal is reached. There is no halting due to injury.


    Quote Originally Posted by WI Crippler View Post
    I think a Commander in Chief needs to quit worrying about others perceptions, and just worry about taking care of his country, whatever the cost. Victory, by any means, is much more paletable to me, than losing for some intangible ideal. I am odly enough reminded of Woody Harrelson in White Men Can't Jump. Where he states "You'd rather look pretty and lose, than look ugly and win". Me, I embrace victory, and I see torture as a tool that we can use, when necessary, to ensure victory.
    Then you favor shoving morality out the door on the issue, plain and simple. And that is exactly what I said above. You would be willing to put morality aside in order to achieve victory, even if that means torture. The problem arises when you attempt to reconcile this belief as being moral, when it most certainly is not.

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    Re: Banned Techniques Yielded ‘High Value Information,’ Memo Says

    Quote Originally Posted by Singularity View Post
    No, there has never been a society where murder and rape are commonplace and endorsed policy. Such societies cannot exist. There have been societies where the government has committed atrocities upon its people up to and including murder, but those societies did not have murder as an endorsable policy for the citizenry.

    Hitler-controlled Germany is an excellent example of this. Hitler could kill whoever he wanted to among his citizenry, but it was not commonplace practice endorsed by law. Hitler and the government could kill who they wanted to. The average citizen could not. The policy of murder was not endorsed, although it was practiced by those in charge. Such examples of government cruelty are commonplace throughout our history, but murder or rape has never been endorsed.

    Can you think of a society that has ever existed where murder or rape was commonplace, and adopted as policy? In other words, can you think of one society in our history where the population could slaughter or rape others within that group without any legal consequence?

    No. It's impossible. No such society has ever existed, nor could it.



    That would actually be incorrect from a philosophical standpoint. Torture is torture. If you are barbaric enough to practice it on your own citizenry - including military citizenry - then you are most certainly not taking the moral high road. But assuming your argument is correct about practicing these techniques on our soldiers, keep in mind that, although the practice may be barbaric, if one becomes hurt or injured, the process halts immediately. Not so with enemy combatants. This is carried out until the goal is reached. There is no halting due to injury.




    Then you favor shoving morality out the door on the issue, plain and simple. And that is exactly what I said above. You would be willing to put morality aside in order to achieve victory, even if that means torture. The problem arises when you attempt to reconcile this belief as being moral, when it most certainly is not.
    Let me ask you, is war moral or not? And who decides if it's moral or not. If the Congress supports a war, then the people have spoken. The morality is moot. When war is the selected option, then everything that goes with it. Now it's obvious that the purpose of your moral argument is not national security. Your purpose is to hinder victory. Basically you want Bush to fail.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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    Re: Banned Techniques Yielded ‘High Value Information,’ Memo Says

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    It's better to let people die then offend the weak by using "torture".
    What a portrait of your morals was painted by your post! Thank God people who think like you are on the outside looking in and sanity, honor and dignity are being restored in the USA.

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    Re: Banned Techniques Yielded ‘High Value Information,’ Memo Says

    Quote Originally Posted by Singularity View Post
    Then you favor shoving morality out the door on the issue, plain and simple. And that is exactly what I said above. You would be willing to put morality aside in order to achieve victory, even if that means torture. The problem arises when you attempt to reconcile this belief as being moral, when it most certainly is not.
    Conducting war on strictly moral grounds results in defeat--every time.

    War is at best morally neutral, and most likely morally repugnant. War is organized violence and butchery on a grand scale; this is the nature of war. No widely accepted system of morality approves of violence and butchery on even a small scale. There is no "moral" way to conduct war.

    What war sometimes is, in the course of human events, is necessary. It is the quintessential necessary evil. Being intrinsically and inherently evil, the most moral thing one can do it prosecute war in such fashion as to bring it quickly and decisively to an end--paradoxically obtaining a veneer of morality by working to minimize the partaking of immorality.

    Which thus leaves us with a most utilitarian and effective justification for the methods of war--including harsh interrogation/torture techniques--if it produces usable results, if it leads to victory, if it serves to reduce war by so much as a day, it is justified, for no other reason than it is the least evil of options.

    Is that shoving morality out the door? Perhaps. Is it how wars get won? Definitely.

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    Re: Banned Techniques Yielded ‘High Value Information,’ Memo Says

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    I feel so much safer knowing people like you are in the WH right now. I mean, who cares if I and my family happen to die... I can die knowing my country didn't water board some guy who COULD have saved my life.


    Seriously, Al-Quada needs to stopmucking around and nuke New York City so the world can see what's really at stake. Beter yet, Nuke New York and we find out that the USA had a man in custordy that KNEW of the attack and could have stopped it, but we were too "nice" and didn't do anything.
    You seriously need to seek out help! Wanting anyone to use nuclear weapons is pure evil and makes you, Mr Vicchio the equal in evil of Al Qaeda.

    Your post is one of the most offensive that I've ever read here or anywhere.

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    Re: Banned Techniques Yielded ‘High Value Information,’ Memo Says

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Let me ask you, is war moral or not?
    By war, I am assuming you mean the defender, as the aggressor is obvious. No, for reasons that you and I would both agree on. Since we are chatting about philosophy, i'll quote one of my personal fave's, John Stuart Mill, as I believe he summed it up much nicer than I could.

    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse."

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    If the Congress supports a war, then the people have spoken. The morality is moot.
    That would be incorrect on two counts.

    1. When Congress speaks, it is the representatives of the people, not the people themselves, that have spoken. If we do not like what they say, we overthrow the current governmental regime every few years in the form of elections.

    2. The morality is not moot simply because the Congress, the White House, or even the majority of the citizenry endorse it. Morality is not a utilitarian issue, nor is it based upon the mere actions of a governmental body's decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    When war is the selected option, then everything that goes with it.
    Not true. Take Abu Graib or Guantanamo, for instance. Or the Japanese internment camps during WWII. War was certainly "the selected option" by Congress and our President, but would you say that these issues were 100% morally correct? I wouldn't, because many of the activities that went on there are morally suspect. The only real debatable thing in these examples was the necessity of doing them - not the issue of morality here (for example, it was morally wrong to imprison the Japanese American citizenry in internment camps during WWII, but was it necessary?)

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Now it's obvious that the purpose of your moral argument is not national security. Your purpose is to hinder victory. Basically you want Bush to fail.
    That would be an incorrect assumption. Furthermore, i'd be interested to know where you came to such an off-base conclusion. Last I checked, we were discussing the morality of torturing enemy combatants, which I oppose because it is immoral. Can you show me where I said or even implied that I wanted to "hinder victory" and "want Bush to fail"?

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    Re: Banned Techniques Yielded ‘High Value Information,’ Memo Says

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    Conducting war on strictly moral grounds results in defeat--every time.

    War is at best morally neutral, and most likely morally repugnant. War is organized violence and butchery on a grand scale; this is the nature of war. No widely accepted system of morality approves of violence and butchery on even a small scale. There is no "moral" way to conduct war.

    What war sometimes is, in the course of human events, is necessary. It is the quintessential necessary evil. Being intrinsically and inherently evil, the most moral thing one can do it prosecute war in such fashion as to bring it quickly and decisively to an end--paradoxically obtaining a veneer of morality by working to minimize the partaking of immorality.

    Which thus leaves us with a most utilitarian and effective justification for the methods of war--including harsh interrogation/torture techniques--if it produces usable results, if it leads to victory, if it serves to reduce war by so much as a day, it is justified, for no other reason than it is the least evil of options.

    Is that shoving morality out the door? Perhaps. Is it how wars get won? Definitely.
    I agree entirely, with the exception of "perhaps". Change that to "yes" (although the most hardcore moral subjectivists would disagree with that).

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    Re: Banned Techniques Yielded ‘High Value Information,’ Memo Says

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    The difference is the man with the opinion has the expertise to know whether the information was valuable, while you don't.
    Exactly, it is only useful in certain situations, sometimes, to fill in the gaps.
    "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: Banned Techniques Yielded ‘High Value Information,’ Memo Says

    Quote Originally Posted by Wessexman View Post
    Exactly, it is only useful in certain situations, sometimes, to fill in the gaps.
    You don't know that either.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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