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Thread: Former President George W. Bush: We waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed,

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    Re: Former President George W. Bush: We waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed,

    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    Boo,

    No one thinks torture is the best and only option is every circumstance. Sometimes there will be no need to employ it while other times there might be. It shouldn't be our decision, though. We should leave that up to the discretion of the experts.



    The "most effective way" is situational. There is no singular method or tactic that will be "the most effective way" in every situation, which is why limiting our options is "the least effective way".

    And could you provide proof that "almost across the board the experts agree torture isn't the most effective way"? If that's true, then why did our intelligence and military apparatuses resort to waterboarding so frequently? Seems the experts actions speak louder than their alleged words.
    No, I think you're wrong about that. The problems with torture are well documented. It is very good at getting confessions, but not so good at getting information. Gina above is correct that the ticking time bomb senario simply wouldn't ever really exist. To have the right person, with exactly the right iinformation, at exactly the right time is too much to ever expect. Instead, you're likely to have the wrong person who will say something to get you to stop and you will go chasing your tail, wasting time and effort. And we do have one example of misinformation that was costly, see al Libi and run up to the Iraq war.

    Now, over the years I have posted a lot on torture, and a lot is written, but todays search provides this:

    But what does the scientific literature say? A 2006 Intelligence Science Board flatly noted that there was no data supporting the claim that torture produces reliable results. The 372-page report would be summed up by this passage: “The scientific community has never established that coercive interrogation methods are an effective means of obtaining reliable intelligence information. In essence, there seems to be an unsubstantiated assumption that ‘compliance’ carries the same connotation as ‘meaningful cooperation.’ ” In other words, waterboard someone or smack his head against the wall, and sure enough, he’ll open up and talk. But does that mean you’ll get reliable info that you couldn’t have gotten using more conventional techniques? Absolutely not. Dick Cheney insisted that two CIA analytical reports (that he apparently pressed to have prepared) concluded that his torture techniques rendered positive results. But these reports were declassified and published, and lo, they don’t say what he claimed they do.

    Torture Doesn

    By contrast, it is easy to find experienced U.S. officers who argue precisely the opposite. Meet, for example, retired Air Force Col. John Rothrock, who, as a young captain, headed a combat interrogation team in Vietnam. More than once he was faced with a ticking time-bomb scenario: a captured Vietcong guerrilla who knew of plans to kill Americans. What was done in such cases was "not nice," he says. "But we did not physically abuse them." Rothrock used psychology, the shock of capture and of the unexpected. Once, he let a prisoner see a wounded comrade die. Yet -- as he remembers saying to the "desperate and honorable officers" who wanted him to move faster -- "if I take a Bunsen burner to the guy's genitals, he's going to tell you just about anything," which would be pointless. Rothrock, who is no squishy liberal, says that he doesn't know "any professional intelligence officers of my generation who would think this is a good idea."

    Or listen to Army Col. Stuart Herrington, a military intelligence specialist who conducted interrogations in Vietnam, Panama and Iraq during Desert Storm, and who was sent by the Pentagon in 2003 -- long before Abu Ghraib -- to assess interrogations in Iraq. Aside from its immorality and its illegality, says Herrington, torture is simply "not a good way to get information." In his experience, nine out of 10 people can be persuaded to talk with no "stress methods" at all, let alone cruel and unusual ones. Asked whether that would be true of religiously motivated fanatics, he says that the "batting average" might be lower: "perhaps six out of ten." And if you beat up the remaining four? "They'll just tell you anything to get you to stop."

    The Torture Myth (washingtonpost.com)

    An excerpt from the full document, which can be downloaded here:

    The requirement to obtain information from an uncooperative source as quickly as possible -- in time to prevent, for example, an impending terrorist attack that could result in loss of life -- has been forwarded as a compelling argument for the use of torture. Conceptually, proponents envision the application of torture as a means to expedite the exploitation process. In essence, physical and/or psychological duress are viewed as an alternative to the more time consuming conventional interrogation process. The error inherent in this line of thinking is the assumption that, through torture, the interrogator can extract reliable and accurate intelligence. History and a consideration of human behavior would appear to refute this assumption. (NOTE: The application of physical and or psychological duress will likely result in physical compliance. Additionally, prisoners may answer and/or comply as a result of threats of torture. However, the reliability and accuracy information must be questioned.)


    2002 military memo: CIA tactics "torture," ineffective - War Room - Salon.com

    Despite fearful anecdotal claims, the effectiveness of torture in generating intelligence is questionable at best. But we do know that torture produces many false confessions and new enemies, and distracts from more effective, legitimate techniques of interrogation and intelligence-gathering. We also know that democracies that have turned to torture in counterinsurgency – for example, the French in Algeria – have lost, while the British found a solution in Northern Ireland after they gave up abusive tactics.

    Torture doesn't work / The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com

    This is just a few trhat any search will yeild, not to mention many good books on the subject that can't really be linked here for review. The litature is very clear on this.

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    Re: Former President George W. Bush: We waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed,

    Quote Originally Posted by ADK_Forever View Post
    Any that he did?
    Sorry, Im not privy to all the government's findings and special operations.

    Any evidence that he didnt?
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    Re: Former President George W. Bush: We waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed,

    Quote Originally Posted by Caine View Post
    Any evidence Bush did not save lives with torture?
    The burden of proof is on him. He said he did, so he has to shwo he did. That's the way it works.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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    Re: Former President George W. Bush: We waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed,

    Quote Originally Posted by RyrineaHaruno
    So doing the same acts as our enemy will not set us apart.
    Waterboarding is not even close to the same acts as our enemy. If you think that by waterboarding we are stooping down to the terrorists level, then you are lacking information about what the terrorists have done. Waterboarding is like a tea party compared to what "our enemy" does.

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    Re: Former President George W. Bush: We waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed,

    Quote Originally Posted by LaMidRighter View Post
    There is quite a big difference between waterboarding and sawing someone's head off.
    Yeah. One is torture. One is murder. So basically, I agree.
    No men are anywhere, and Im allowed to go in, because Im the owner of the pageant and therefore Im inspecting it, Trump said... Is everyone OK? You know, theyre standing there with no clothes. Is everybody OK? And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.

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    Re: Former President George W. Bush: We waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed,

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    I think this is great, I support water boarding and KSM certainly deserved it. He is a non US citizen terrorist that most definitely has vital and secret information about our enemies. I'd rather make that animals uncomfortable than have more innocent Americans die.
    It's a rough world out there and sometimes the "black ops boys" just need to do what they gotta do. When the other "team" is chopping off heads and targeting innocents for mass suicide bombing murders, it wouldn't be too bright for us to try and maintain The Queensbury Rules. Not really rocket science coming to that conclusion.

    One of our challenges is dealing with the recent phenomenon which suggests "total transparency" in the ways our Intelligence Agencies operate. Not implying that there should be no oversight. But also believe that some things don't need to be (and shouldn't) be getting published. "Self righteousness" needs to have a limit when it is undermining the overall well being/safety of the nation...


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    Re: Former President George W. Bush: We waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed,

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    I support our guys killing the enemy, so according to your logic, I shouldn't complain when our guys are killed by the enemy. Do I have that right?
    Right. You shouldn't scream bloody murder when you're involved in a war. It's expected for both sides to have casualties, no?

    So again I say that if you're okay with your guys committing torture, then you should be okay with torture being committed to your guys.
    Last edited by Middleground; 06-03-10 at 03:31 PM.
    No men are anywhere, and Im allowed to go in, because Im the owner of the pageant and therefore Im inspecting it, Trump said... Is everyone OK? You know, theyre standing there with no clothes. Is everybody OK? And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.

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    Re: Former President George W. Bush: We waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed,

    Quote Originally Posted by Caine View Post
    Sorry, Im not privy to all the government's findings and special operations.

    Any evidence that he didnt?
    Nice disengenuous way to wiggle out of an absurd claim.
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    Re: Former President George W. Bush: We waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed,

    Quote Originally Posted by soccerboy22 View Post
    Nope I could not physically or mentally bring myself to waterboard some one. It just is not part of me.
    If anyone, family or not,was in a life or death situation and if I thought I could help them by torture, there is no limit to what I would do. Anything from pulling out fingernails to indian methods of torture. Waterboarding is a walk in the park. They all live through it!

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    Re: Former President George W. Bush: We waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed,

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina View Post
    Well said, both posts. They will say anything to make it stop and what better way to do that than to lie their butts off, causing misdirection of resources and wasting of valuable time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    Quite right. There are more effective ways than torture. The point is to get the information. We should seek themost effective way, and almost across the board the experts agree torture isn't the most effective way.
    Is your objection to "torture" based on the argument that its not useful or that it's morally wrong? Or both?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina
    The "ticking time bomb" scenario is ridiculous. The likelihood of snagging a bad guy with "only hours" in which to act to prevent an attack, is very far fetched.
    Again, it's not so much an actual scenario as it is a thought exercise used to help people examine the logic behind their support for or opposition to torture in some or all circumstances.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina
    There are other ways to get information. There are many other stories like this from interrogators, but I find this one the most poignant.

    Lest anyone start laughing that I propose to give all terrorists cookies, that isn't the point, that was the bait this terrorist took. Smart interrogators know how to find a weakness and exploit it. Sugar free cookies was this guy's, so the joke was on him.
    That's exactly what our interrogators did. They found the detainees weaknesses (whether it was female interrogators, insects, or embarrassment) and exploited it. I seem to remember a bit of an uproar when that information was released.

    Quote Originally Posted by Middleground View Post
    If you condone torture, then you shouldn't complain about your own getting the same treatment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Middleground View Post
    Right. You shouldn't scream bloody murder when you're involved in a war. It's expected for both sides to have casualties, no?

    So again I say that if you're okay with your guys committing torture, then you should be okay with torture being committed to your guys.
    If after capturing our troops, the Taliban/AQ provided them with medical assistance, brought them before a CSRT, gave them a chance to challenge their status as detainees, provided them with counsel, and just generally treated them as humanely as we treat our detainees, then I can't say I'd be outraged.
    Last edited by RightinNYC; 06-03-10 at 03:48 PM.
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