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Thread: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    The CPT thought he had good evidence aginst the 12 men ie the cell phone activity which I feel justifies his actions and I would have probably done the same. No if he had no other evidence than a gut feeling than that might be different.
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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Let's say it turns out he was wrong. Nobody knew anything. It was just some clever tracking by the enemy.

    Still doing the right thing?
    Mistakes happen and hindsight is 20/20. No system is perfect, not even the criminal justice system. I'd rather give the military wide discretion in intelligence operations than hamstring them with silly PC laws.

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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    I've thought about it more, and I believe that the ends don't justify the means. I think of equivalent situations in the civil realm, where police enter homes without warrants and collect damning evidence. The judges can potentially toss it out because legal procedures were not followed. If exceptions to the rule become the norm, then the norm becomes the rule being abandoned altogether.

    Just because the soldier ended up acquiring useful information at the end does not mean what he did was any less abhorrent or illegal. There is due process, even in the military, and it must be followed. I've often heard it said that if we pull out of Afghanistan then the terrorists have won; but isn't it also true that if we abandon our principles in pursuit of them, then they are also winning on a different front? The whole reason why we are after them is because we perceive them to be non-state actors that have immoral values; so what does it say when we show a lack of values?

    We have to preserve our integrity and principles as a Western bloc, otherwise any victory will be meaningless. If we are reading about this then so are the Afghani people, and we are basically there to be their protectors and reformers. If we can't live according to our own standards then it's only going to work against us. Half of our battle there is a propaganda war where we are trying to convince the locals that we are the better side, and what this soldier did is totally working in our disfavor.

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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    I've thought about it more, and I believe that the ends don't justify the means. I think of equivalent situations in the civil realm...
    But there aren't any equivalent situations in the civil realm. It's warfare.

    Just because the soldier ended up acquiring useful information at the end does not mean what he did was any less abhorrent or illegal. There is due process, even in the military, and it must be followed. I've often heard it said that if we pull out of Afghanistan then the terrorists have won; but isn't it also true that if we abandon our principles in pursuit of them, then they are also winning on a different front? The whole reason why we are after them is because we perceive them to be non-state actors that have immoral values; so what does it say when we show a lack of values?

    We have to preserve our integrity and principles as a Western bloc, otherwise any victory will be meaningless. If we are reading about this then so are the Afghani people, and we are basically there to be their protectors and reformers. If we can't live according to our own standards then it's only going to work against us. Half of our battle there is a propaganda war where we are trying to convince the locals that we are the better side, and what this soldier did is totally working in our disfavor.
    He did what was necessary to protect the lives of his men. I think he extolled the highest virtues of Western civilization.

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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    What is so surprising about the scenario? Threatening murder would obviously invalidate any confession given and failure to follow military protocol would obviously result in dismissal. The only thing I'd consider surprising is that we aren't still keeping tabs on them. I think the 96 hour limit is too short and the 14 day limit reasonable given the circumstances, but that still doesn't excuse the man's actions.
    I agree with you. Sure, information can be obtained by using these kinds of tactics, but as has been demonstrated before, the intel is no good, as all they are trying to do is keep from being killed, so will say anything.

    It's not about the legality of it. It is just a dumb thing to do.

    And I agree with the longer limit. Interrogators need more time to do what they do.
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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    I agree with you. Sure, information can be obtained by using these kinds of tactics, but as has been demonstrated before, the intel is no good, as all they are trying to do is keep from being killed, so will say anything.

    It's not about the legality of it. It is just a dumb thing to do.

    And I agree with the longer limit. Interrogators need more time to do what they do.
    That's easy to say sitting behind your computer. Try that logic in Afghanistan and see how far it gets you...

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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    That's easy to say sitting behind your computer. Try that logic in Afghanistan and see how far it gets you...
    Those who got the bad intel in the past already know that logic.
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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    Those who got the bad intel in the past already know that logic.
    Name a method that is guaranteed to obtain good intel every time it is used. Go ahead, name one.

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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    But there aren't any equivalent situations in the civil realm. It's warfare.
    I know that... but it's equivalent in that allowing exceptions to be made to rules leads to such ignorance becoming the norm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    He did what was necessary to protect the lives of his men. I think he extolled the highest virtues of Western civilization.
    He didn't extol anything of the kind. He showed the Afghani people that Americans can't follow their own rules and so the virtues they extol can't be trusted.

    He was only looking out for his own ass. If he can't handle following military protocol then maybe he should go home.

    All this said... I wasn't in his shoes, so I don't know how I would've handled it. But the core theme here is rules being violated with no repercussions just because the end result worked in our favor. What happens when the exceptions eventually cause increased threats to those in active combat?

    We can pat him on the back this time but what he did shouldn't become a habit.

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    Re: U.S. to end 96-hour rule for Afghan detainees

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Let's say it turns out he was wrong. Nobody knew anything. It was just some clever tracking by the enemy.

    Still doing the right thing?
    If it was the right thing in situations when it worked, then it has to be the right thing even when it doesn't work. The validity of a policy cannot be outcome-dependent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    I've thought about it more, and I believe that the ends don't justify the means. I think of equivalent situations in the civil realm, where police enter homes without warrants and collect damning evidence. The judges can potentially toss it out because legal procedures were not followed.
    I don't see how that really applies here. Think about your example - the punishment for the police who improperly collect evidence is merely that the evidence collected improperly is excluded. The only reason that that policy even exists is because of the bill of rights, which is entirely inapplicable in war.

    Just because the soldier ended up acquiring useful information at the end does not mean what he did was any less abhorrent or illegal. There is due process, even in the military, and it must be followed. I've often heard it said that if we pull out of Afghanistan then the terrorists have won; but isn't it also true that if we abandon our principles in pursuit of them, then they are also winning on a different front? The whole reason why we are after them is because we perceive them to be non-state actors that have immoral values; so what does it say when we show a lack of values?

    We have to preserve our integrity and principles as a Western bloc, otherwise any victory will be meaningless. If we are reading about this then so are the Afghani people, and we are basically there to be their protectors and reformers. If we can't live according to our own standards then it's only going to work against us. Half of our battle there is a propaganda war where we are trying to convince the locals that we are the better side, and what this soldier did is totally working in our disfavor.
    I just don't see why we should be modeling our wartime conduct after our domestic civilian conduct, especially where our wartime conduct is already far outside the spectrum of what is permitted here.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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