View Poll Results: Is the CIA patriotic and trustworthy?

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  • YES

    10 27.03%
  • NO

    13 35.14%
  • Patriotic, not trustworthy

    11 29.73%
  • Trustworthy, not patriotic

    0 0%
  • Torture is illegal and they're hiding everything

    6 16.22%
  • Like Cops, they protect their own

    10 27.03%
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Thread: The CIAs Poisonous Tree

  1. #101
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    Re: The CIAs Poisonous Tree

    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Contrarian View Post
    As has been noted already, we would not and should not be told of the CIA's successes.

    But I'll give you a few in which the CIA played - had to play - a crucial part. The capture of bin Laden, for one. Another one would be JFK's stare-down of the USSR over the missiles in Cuba, since they had to be the ones who told him what the Soviets had and did not have.

    When we keep nations like Pakistan from falling apart and radicalizing, the CIA is almost certainly a part of that. When Egypt's American-supported dictator Morsi fell, did Egypt start hating America? No. Almost certainly because of the CIA, we were able to know who to contact within the new regime there in order to keep them on our side. It's the CIA that's letting us know who's the good guys and the bad guys in the protests going on in Thailand, which Chinese bigwigs are angling to improve their standing in the Party, and which South American dictator is being supported by drug lords. And they work with other nations around the world - like Englands MI-5 and Israel's Mossad - to try to advance our nations' different interests.

    What the CIA does is for the most part the grunt work that gets the State Department (and other government agencies) the information it needs in order for America's diplomatic efforts to be more effective. The CIA does some things that are very wrong and no mistake - but that's not a symptom of the CIA being a grand failure. Instead, failures by the CIA are much more often instances of failures by the Executive Branch.
    The successes you list are all examples of the CIA's intelligence gathering activities, which are not particularly controversial. It is when the CIA and other intelligence agencies go beyond intelligence gathering and into covert assassinations, political manipulation and sabotage, military operations etc. that they exceed their authority, undermine democracies and create hostility towards the USA and unpredictable, but not surprising, blowback.

  2. #102
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    Re: The CIAs Poisonous Tree

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    The successes you list are all examples of the CIA's intelligence gathering activities, which are not particularly controversial. It is when the CIA and other intelligence agencies go beyond intelligence gathering and into covert assassinations, political manipulation and sabotage, military operations etc. that they exceed their authority, undermine democracies and create hostility towards the USA and unpredictable, but not surprising, blowback.
    Thing is, the intelligence gathering is the lion's share of the CIA's job. It's wrong to list the CIA's failures as proof against the CIA, since in almost every case, those failures were done with the knowledge and approval of (and often under the aegis of) the Executive Branch.
    To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what hes doing is good" - Solzhenitsyn

    "...with the terrorists, you have to take out their families." - Donald Trump

  3. #103
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    Re: The CIAs Poisonous Tree

    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    Ticking time bomb, known terrorists at the top of the organization that attacked the US, verifiable info - not confessions. Yes, I support that.
    1. The ticking time bomb is an absurd fallacy. When the terrorist's plan is setting into motion at that moment, there's nothing to stop him from lying until the bomb explodes. Additionally, the "ticking time bomb" argument eliminates any ethical limits on what may be done. If waterboarding doesn't work, why wouldn't castration, branding, thumbscrews, and other more horrendous tactics be accepted?

    2. "Everyone in CIA captivity is a terrorist" is an unfalsifiable claim. Of course they're going to say that all the prisoners are terrorists. You don't think they've apprehended and waterboarded a single innocent person?

    3. If they are terrorists, then they must either be considered criminals or prisoners of war. If you go the criminal path, you have to try them and punish them in a court of law, and no cruel or unusual punishment may be applied. If they are POWs, they are entitled to not be tortured whilst in captivity. There's no in-between.
    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
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  4. #104
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    Re: The CIAs Poisonous Tree

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveFagan View Post
    If the CIA has 200,000 employees and only 10,000 in crappy sections of the World and the remaining 190,000 desk jockeying in the DC/Virginia area, then you are only speaking for a very small minority of the Agency.
    You really have a nave militia view The majority of work of the CIA is keeping up with what is going on around the world similar to being reporters gathering information, which they do by translating newspapers, foreign country's television and economic factors such as their stockmarket, government stability and so forth.

  5. #105
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    Re: The CIAs Poisonous Tree

    Quote Originally Posted by MadLib View Post
    1. The ticking time bomb is an absurd fallacy. When the terrorist's plan is setting into motion at that moment, there's nothing to stop him from lying until the bomb explodes.
    You're missing the idea. The person is tortured until they give the code or location of the bomb. If they lie, the information is discovered to be false and the torture gets worse. Eventually, they tell the truth - it works every time, just ask the mob.

    Additionally, the "ticking time bomb" argument eliminates any ethical limits on what may be done. If waterboarding doesn't work, why wouldn't castration, branding, thumbscrews, and other more horrendous tactics be accepted?
    In a ticking time bomb scenario, torturing for verifiable information that will save lives is, of course, ethical. Whatever the form may be.

    2. "Everyone in CIA captivity is a terrorist" is an unfalsifiable claim. Of course they're going to say that all the prisoners are terrorists. You don't think they've apprehended and waterboarded a single innocent person?
    Again, I only support torture in a ticking time bomb scenario and for verifiable information. I agree that torture for confession does not work. None of the waterboarding conducted by the US was for confession. It was conducted on (3) absolutely known terrorists and for verifiable information. This was done in the immediate aftermath of 911 and represented a ticking time bomb scenario.

    3. If they are terrorists, then they must either be considered criminals or prisoners of war. If you go the criminal path, you have to try them and punish them in a court of law, and no cruel or unusual punishment may be applied. If they are POWs, they are entitled to not be tortured whilst in captivity. There's no in-between.
    Again, I only support torture in a ticking time bomb scenario, for verifiable information.



    I hope you're not going to fall for absolutist fallacy in regard to torture. There are no absolutes.
    Last edited by ecofarm; 04-02-14 at 01:08 AM.

  6. #106
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    Re: The CIAs Poisonous Tree

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    You really have a nave militia view The majority of work of the CIA is keeping up with what is going on around the world similar to being reporters gathering information, which they do by translating newspapers, foreign country's television and economic factors such as their stockmarket, government stability and so forth.
    Not nearly as naive as your view of the CIA as paper shufflers.
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  7. #107
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    Re: The CIAs Poisonous Tree

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    You really have a nave militia view The majority of work of the CIA is keeping up with what is going on around the world similar to being reporters gathering information, which they do by translating newspapers, foreign country's television and economic factors such as their stockmarket, government stability and so forth.
    I know you figure a link has something to do with sausage. Pray tell, my good man, how many of these "paper shufflers" are there? Links please.

  8. #108
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    Re: The CIAs Poisonous Tree

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    You really have a nave militia view The majority of work of the CIA is keeping up with what is going on around the world similar to being reporters gathering information, which they do by translating newspapers, foreign country's television and economic factors such as their stockmarket, government stability and so forth.
    I'm linking a well written and short report on the CIA and its' Executive Branch inspired Torture Program. Have a read.

    The CIA and the Moral Sunk Costs of the Torture Program

    The CIA and the Moral Sunk Costs of the Torture Program

    "This morning, The Washington Post has a blockbuster story about that 6,300-page Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA's torture program. The part that will likely get the most attention is the conclusion that torture produced little if any useful intelligence, which is extremely important. But even more damning is the picture the committee paints of a CIA that all along was trying to convince everyone that what they were doing was effective, even as it failed to produce results. I have a post on this over at the Post this morning, but I want to elaborate on this aspect of the story. This is a tale of moral sunk costs, and how people react when they've sold their souls and realize that they won't even get paid what they bargained for.

    In case you're unfamiliar with the economic idea of sunk costs (here's a nice summary), it's basically the idea of throwing good money after bad: once you've gone down a particular path, what you've already invested (money, time, effort) acts as an emotional tug preventing you from abandoning that path even if a more rational assessment would dictate that you change course.

    In the case of the CIA (and the Bush administration), they had a moral sunk cost in the torture program. They had made an extraordinary ethical choice, to make torture the official policy of the United States (and renaming it "enhanced interrogation" wasn't going to fool anyone, not even themselves). Once that decision was made and the torture began, it had to be effective, and not just effective but fantastically effective, in order to justify the moral compromise they had made. When the torture program failed to produce the results they hoped for, they could have said, "This stuff isn't working; let's focus on what does." But by then they couldn't retreat; the only hope of balancing the moral scales was to go forward. They were probably hoping that if they just kept on torturing, eventually it would produce something helpful and the whole program could be justified. But in the meantime, they'd try to fool people into thinking it was working splendidly:"snip.....

    "So over and over, the CIA is attributing information they got through ordinary interrogation to torture. If the torture program was even marginally effective, there would be no need to do so; it wouldn't be threatened by the fact that some information came from other means, so long as torture was producing some other information as well. Only if the torture program was useless would it become necessary to lie about it."

  9. #109
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    Re: The CIAs Poisonous Tree

    If it was useless why would anyone do it?
    The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.
    -GK Chesterton

  10. #110
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    Re: The CIAs Poisonous Tree

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    If it was useless why would anyone do it?
    I guess that proves it works, then.
    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    Hah. If someone put me in their sig, I'd never know. I have sigs off.

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