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Thread: Republicans scold Liz Cheney

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    Re: Republicans scold Liz Cheney

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    Wha?

    It's ineffective because they resist it. And even if they don't. They can just lie.
    This entire line of reasoning is patently dishonest. Torture is an effective interrogation tool. It's been used throughout history to extract actionable intel. It wasn't too long ago that people (who disgust me) were impugning John McCain's service for giving the VC information.

    How long do you think you'd last, MM, if I was pulling your fingernails out with a plier? You'd probably give up the intel before I started torturing you, just from pure fear. And it's not like I can blame you either because torture works...

    Do you know what the training is, exactly?
    SERE School. I never went but I know what the deal is.

    And I'm sure the CIA has its own training program as well.

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    Re: Republicans scold Liz Cheney

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    This entire line of reasoning is patently dishonest. Torture is an effective interrogation tool. It's been used throughout history to extract actionable intel. It wasn't too long ago that people (who disgust me) were impugning John McCain's service for giving the VC information.

    How long do you think you'd last, MM, if I was pulling your fingernails out with a plier? You'd probably give up the intel before I started torturing you, just from pure fear. And it's not like I can blame you either because torture works...



    SERE School. I never went but I know what the deal is.

    And I'm sure the CIA has its own training program as well.
    .... and this insight is based upon what???? Sorry, but my understanding is the prevailing wisdom is that torture does not work. Then, there is the whole issue of having the moral high ground, which we once enjoyed, but have no more.

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    Re: Republicans scold Liz Cheney

    Quote Originally Posted by upsideguy View Post
    .... and this insight is based upon what????
    Humans feel pain. They will attempt to avoid or lessen it. Basic human psychology, I'm afraid.

    Sorry, but my understanding is the prevailing wisdom is that torture does not work.
    According to who, and based upon what evidence?

    Then, there is the whole issue of having the moral high ground, which we once enjoyed, but have no more.
    Torture is sometimes morally justified, same as killing. Not that it matters, since morality is purely subjective; at least, that's what I've been told...

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    Re: Republicans scold Liz Cheney

    Quote Originally Posted by upsideguy View Post
    Then, there is the whole issue of having the moral high ground, which we once enjoyed, but have no more.
    Exactly when did we have that high ground?

    Was it when we were firebombing Dresden or dropping nukes on Japan?
    When we were executing German sabateurs via half-organized military tribunals?
    When we were bombing villages in Vietnam?
    When we were funneling arms and money to insurgent groups to combat communism?

    The idea that the US used to be some paragon of perfect moral virtue before Bush dragged us into the gutter is one of the most ridiculous yet pernicious myths of recent years. The world is a dangerous and deadly place, and American foreign policy has always reflected that.
    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: Republicans scold Liz Cheney

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    This entire line of reasoning is patently dishonest. Torture is an effective interrogation tool. It's been used throughout history to extract actionable intel.
    Prove it.

    How long do you think you'd last, MM, if I was pulling your fingernails out with a plier? You'd probably give up the intel before I started torturing you, just from pure fear. And it's not like I can blame you either because torture works...
    What if I didn't have any intel? I'd make something up.

    SERE School. I never went but I know what the deal is.
    What is the deal?

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    Re: Republicans scold Liz Cheney

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Exactly when did we have that high ground?

    Was it when we were firebombing Dresden or dropping nukes on Japan?
    When we were executing German sabateurs via half-organized military tribunals?
    When we were bombing villages in Vietnam?
    When we were funneling arms and money to insurgent groups to combat communism?

    The idea that the US used to be some paragon of perfect moral virtue before Bush dragged us into the gutter is one of the most ridiculous yet pernicious myths of recent years. The world is a dangerous and deadly place, and American foreign policy has always reflected that.
    Nobody said we were a paragon of virtue. But we were better than torture. We have ideals. That's what we're about. We're supposed to be special.

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    Re: Republicans scold Liz Cheney

    A couple of interesting items on the ineffectiveness of torture. Things to ponder that you might not think of:

    So far, the debate has largely used anecdotes as evidence, but a new paper looks to neurobiology to end the debate. Writing in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Shane O'Mara, a behavioral neurophysiologist at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, claims that torture like waterboarding is specifically designed to interfere with the same part of the brain responsible for memory and decision making.

    According to O'Mara, repeated high levels of stress can shrink the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex regions of the brain. Those regions control memory recall and higher level decision making. By attacking those regions of the brain, torture makes the victim more supple and less cagey, but also prevents the detainee from recalling accurate memories and picking the right information to tell interrogators.

    Additionally, as those region undergo changes in reaction to torture, the brain becomes more likely to fix false memories. Thus, repeated waterboarding and questioning, like that applied to 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad, increases the likelihood of false information.
    New Study Shows That Torturing People Makes Them Forget the Facts You Want Them to Confess | Popular Science

    Koppl argues that torture is useless for intelligence gathering, because governments cannot get around a basic problem. "They cannot make a believable promise to stop torture once the victim tells the truth. Victims know this perfectly well and therefore say anything and everything except what the torturers want to know." Two problems prevent governments from making a "credible commitment" to stop torture once victims tell the truth. First, "they use torture because they don't know the truth already. But that means that they can't recognize the truth when the victim speaks it." Second, "even if they know they've got the truth, the victim is afraid they will keep torturing him anyway."
    Torture Does Not Yield Useful Information

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    Re: Republicans scold Liz Cheney

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    First, think about when the Geneva Conventions were enacted and then compare that to Quirin.
    *sigh* I'm not going to spin off into a discussion of Quirin. Begin another thread if you'd like.
    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Second, you're missing the point. The entire argument is over your claim that the military tribunals are somehow so dastardly that a lawyer who opposes them pro bono is somehow acting more on principle than a lawyer who merely defends a white supremacist. That's demonstrably false, for the reasons I've already showed you.
    No, emphatically I have not and have stated the opposite the whole way through including the post you just replied to:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina View Post
    Indeed, that was the starting point, but as I hadn't directly addressed lawyers for White Supremacists with regard to principles, I guess you assumed a difference.

    Going back to the starting point:

    Almost by definition, issues that split the Supreme Court can be argued either way. But these lawyers felt so strongly about these arguable principles that they sacrificed paying work and instead went to work without charge for people they loathed Ė just to turn their principles into law. Doesnít this tell us something about the strength and content of their principles? And isnít it fair for Liz Cheney to ask whether the rest of the country shares those principles?

    The author questioned the lawyers' principles. I was arguing that they were fighting to "vindicate a principle, not to help a particular client". Cheney's attacks them as terrorist lovers.

    Going back further in the thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina View Post
    No, I havenít said at any point there was a difference in legal principles between the terroristsí lawyers and the hypothetical defenders of White Supremacists, since Iíve only addressed the terroristsí lawyers in that respect. The quoted text above, doesnít mention White Supremacists, so Iím not sure how you drew that conclusion.

    As for a lawyer who would defend White Supremacists under the premise of preserving and important principle, bravo to them. Iím with John Adams on this.
    Further still:


    Quote Originally Posted by Gina View Post
    As far as the White Supremacists, I never said they weren't important, they just are not equivalent (at this time anyway) to prosecuting terrorists in the desire to meet a global political goal.
    Further....:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina View Post
    It's different because the grievances I cited, would help a Presidential administration obtain global political goals; the conviction of terrorists that will then,indirectly, justify the detention of those prisoners (which they had been harshly criticized for) and then additionally, the treatment of those prisoners. White Supremacists do not rise to that level, politically, not even close.
    The beginning:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina View Post
    Cutting against this analysis is the argument that lawyers often defend even unpopular and unlikeable clients in order to preserve an important principle. In that well-worn narrative, lawyers bravely stand against the tide of popular opinion to vindicate a principle, not to help a particular client.


    I believe this is their true motivation due to the Bush administrations penchant for propagandizing the war on terror. (They are still touting the Los Angeles Library Tower as proof water-boarding is effective when it has been totally debunked.) Given that, lawyers strongly believing in the rule of law would not want to see the Bush administration run these kangaroo courts, obtaining guilty verdicts, in order to justify how they prosecuted the WOT. Their involvement would assure that any guilty verdict was rendered according to law not because:


    So, for example, the rules for Hamdan's trial admit hearsay evidence in ways that American courts (both civilian and military) do not. The New York Times reported over the weekend, moreover, that the detainees have not been given access even to the names of the people who will testify against them.
    A real Guantanamo trial begins. - By Neal Katyal - Slate Magazine

    This is completely different from representing White Supremacists.
    And though I stated poorly, initially, I clarified my position from that point forward. See above.


    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Which means what, exactly? He's still following procedures that these lawyers were fighting against.
    No, because the lawyers, such as Kaytal, were successful in forcing Bush into compliance, as I said in the post before:


    Quote Originally Posted by Gina View Post
    Obama is following policies setup AFTER the Bush Administration was forced to come into compliance by the Supreme Court.
    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    I assumed a difference because you said:
    See above quotes.



    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    If you're now saying that the two situations are the same, then that's fine.
    They are different in political ramification, not on principle.



    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    And lawyers who represent white supremacists are fighting to vindicate principles as well. That's the point.
    They are different politically, not on principle.



    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    So the question of whether or not you would consider these lawyers to be good people or not would hinge on whether they won the case? That's a bit absurd.
    That is a tricky idea to articulate because some arguments are made, just to make them and keep appeals going rather than moving the case forward. I was trying to quantify the difference. So let me amend, if they are arguing on demonstrably sound principles, rather than the above example, and that is a judgment call, then I wouldn't object to them out of hand.


    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    All of which is entirely irrelevant to the point.

    I think that lawyers should be able to represent whoever they want without being labeled as terrorist-lovers. However, that doesn't mean they should be immune from criticism. Much like the majority of the country would be furious if Alberto Gonzales were to appoint lawyers who had done pro bono work for white supremacists to run the civil rights division, I think it's perfectly fair to be critical of Eric Holder for appointing lawyers who had done pro bono work for terrorists to run the detainee division. The fact that Liz Cheney's criticism was so far over the top that it spurred a backlash doesn't change any of that.

    No, that is exactly the point of the OP, Cheney's over the top attack and it is completely the point. Criticize Holder, fine. Demonizing, equating the lawyers and Holder's hiring them with supporting terrorism, is as you just said, so far over the top.

    Now, I've restated and clarified my positions for the third or fourth time. If you insist on misunderstanding or misstating them again, I'm done.

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    Re: Republicans scold Liz Cheney

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    Prove it.
    I'm not sure how I can prove basic human psychology. I do think, however, it's common knowledge that torture has been used to extract information throughout history. Like I said, John McCain was just one example of someone who "broke". And why, do you suppose, does our intelligence apparatus hand over terrorists to countries with no qualms about "torture"?

    I'm not saying torture should be used in every single circumstance no matter what. I'm just saying it should be an option made available to our intelligence operatives; I believe they should be given discretion in such matters.

    What if I didn't have any intel?
    Assume you did. Is it so hard to answer a damn question?

    I'd make something up.
    This could happen without torture, too. You people seem to think there is some kind of perfect interrogation method or tool. There isn't.

    What is the deal?
    Military members who attend SERE (mostly special forces) are trained to withstand certain certain interrogation techniques, "torture" among them. They're also trained in survival and evasion methods.
    Last edited by Ethereal; 03-17-10 at 12:54 PM.

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    Re: Republicans scold Liz Cheney

    Gina, I'm still waiting for you to explain which law the Bush administration was violating. If you could cite the specific clause in the Constitution or provision in the Geneva Conventions that applies I would be most appreciative.

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