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Bush-era interrogation may have worked, Obama official says

 
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 01:37 pm
@roger,
I should've scrolled down.. you beat me to it.
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  3  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 01:48 pm
I think the entire argument about whether or not torture can produce information completely misses the point.

It's like saying "Hey, forced labour actually can increase productivity!"

Slavery wasn't abolished because it didn't work. It was abolished because it's morally wrong.
Debra Law
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 01:52 pm
@old europe,
old europe wrote:

I think the entire argument about whether or not torture can produce information completely misses the point.

It's like saying "Hey, forced labour actually can increase productivity!"

Slavery wasn't abolished because it didn't work. It was abolished because it's morally wrong.


BRAVO!!!!
0 Replies
 
Woiyo9
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 01:54 pm
@roger,
Mis-statement, you got me.

Aggressive interrogation techniques was what I meant to type.

My bad.
0 Replies
 
Woiyo9
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 01:59 pm
@FreeDuck,
Quote:
That wasn't the argument. You said the Constitution didn't prohibit torture. I said it does. International law applies to these prisoners, and it does not allow torture.


The US Constitution does not apply to Non US Citizens.

International Law prohibits torture. Correct. We disagree on what constitutes torture.

You agree with Obama that waterboarding is a form of torture. I disagree.

I believe the CIA when they say waterboarding helped stop an attack on US soil. You and Obama do not believe the CIA or would rather the CIA did not waterboard. Therefore, it is logical to assume that if the CIA did not waterboard, we would have been attacked and many Americans would be dead. You and Obama must be OK with that. I am not.

So the real problem here is what exactly is torture?

Face Slapping? - no
Sleep Deprevation? no
Waterboarding? - no
Breaking a body limb? - yes
Any action causing one to bleed? - Probably

Care to examine?
FreeDuck
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 02:16 pm
@Woiyo9,
Woiyo9 wrote:

I believe the CIA when they say waterboarding helped stop an attack on US soil. You and Obama do not believe the CIA or would rather the CIA did not waterboard. Therefore, it is logical to assume that if the CIA did not waterboard, we would have been attacked and many Americans would be dead. You and Obama must be OK with that. I am not.


Logical. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Quote:
Care to examine?

The argument that it isn't actually torture has come and gone. You've been shown that we prosecuted people for water boarding as torture in WWII. It's pretty well accepted now that the "techniques" authorized do constitute torture. So, just to recap, the order of the arguments kind of went like this:
1. we don't torture, but we reserve the right to and can't tell you what we're doing, but it's not torture
2. ok we do torture but it was just a couple of bad apples who weren't authorized to do those things -- bad soldiers!
3. ok we did authorize those "enhanced interrogation techniques" but they don't constitute torture
4. ok they do constitute torture but it turns out that torture is a pretty handy way to get information -- torture works!
0 Replies
 
Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 02:22 pm
@Woiyo9,
Woiyo9 wrote:
. . . it is logical to assume that if the CIA did not waterboard, we would have been attacked and many Americans would be dead. You and Obama must be OK with that. I am not. . . .


Waterboarding is torture. That was determined by our courts and military tribunals long ago. You cannot diminish the evil of torture nor escape its illegality by giving it a new name.

It is not logical to assume that torturing people somehow saved lives. We know, however, that the torture of detainees was exploited by terrorists to recruit more terrorists. We know that Bush destroyed our moral standing and credibility throughout the entire world when he took the international stage and repeatedly lied when he said, "we do not torture." Torturing people, and thus abandoning our core principles as a country, made us LESS safe rather than more safe.

Perhaps you should examine the wise words of Justice Brandeis when he wrote that the ends do not justify the means:

Justice Brandeis wrote:
. . . Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding. . . .

Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means-to declare that the government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal-would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this court should resolutely set its face.


OLMSTEAD v. U.S., 277 U.S. 438 (1928) (J. Brandeis, dissenting).






engineer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 02:38 pm
@Woiyo9,
Woiyo9 wrote:

Since these prisoners are not American citizens, they are not entitled to any rights granted under the US Constitution.

I thought the founders of our country and the authors of the Constitution thought that human right were self evident and that all men were created equal. Are you ok with US soldiers being tortured by other countries?
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  3  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 03:53 pm
@old europe,
Quote:
I think the entire argument about whether or not torture can produce information completely misses the point.

It's like saying "Hey, forced labour actually can increase productivity!"

Slavery wasn't abolished because it didn't work. It was abolished because it's morally wrong.


Exactly. Forgive the repetition but it bears repeating as the above says so it simply but accurately.
0 Replies
 
Advocate
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 05:51 pm
The Bush administration was bound and determined to find the (nonexistent) link betweeen 9/11 and Iraq, even if it took torture to do it.



TORTURE -- BUSH ADMINISTRATION APPROVED TORTURE TO FIND IRAQ-Al QAEDA LINK: The Senate Armed Services Committee released an unclassified version of its November, 2008 report on detainee interrogations -- "the most detailed evidence yet that the military's use of harsh interrogation methods on terrorism suspects was approved at high levels of the Bush administration." The report singles out former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, whose "authorization was cited by a United States military special-operations lawyer in Afghanistan as 'an analogy and basis for use of these techniques.'" Buried in the report are accounts from a former senior U.S. intelligence official and a former Army psychiatrist claiming that the Bush administration "put relentless pressure on interrogators to use harsh methods on detainees in part to find evidence of cooperation between al Qaida and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime" in order to justify an invasion of Iraq (no such link has ever been established). "[E]veryone was worried about some kind of follow-up attack [after 9/11]," the former intelligence official said. "But for most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that [former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed] Chalabi and others had told them were there." "Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA...and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam," the official said, adding that senior administration officials "blew that off and kept insisting that we overlooked something." "The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link...there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results," the former Army psychiatrist said.

-- americanprogressaction.org
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 06:46 pm
@Debra Law,
Tell me something,are your principles worth dying for?

If your principles tell you that killing is wrong, would you abandon those principles to defend yourself or your kids?
Or would you let your kids dies for the sake of your principles?
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 07:31 pm
Assume we gleaned some intelligence from torture. There is no way of proving that we would not have gleaned the intelligence from some other means.

Having been a party to them, we are bound by the Geneva Accords, and we are breaking our law when we don't abide by them.
0 Replies
 
DontTreadOnMe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 08:50 pm
@Woiyo9,
Woiyo9 wrote:
..

Since these prisoners are not American citizens, they are not entitled to any rights granted under the US Constitution. ...


so i guess it's also a good thing that bush and cheney **** canned the geneva convention too, huh?

i can't say that there is never a time and situation to get heavy, but what bugs me the most about all of this is, that by acting so cavalier about it, we will have not a foot to stand on regarding abuse of pows (our guys) in the next conventional armed conflict (i.e., with a country and not a congregation).

of course, if you "have other priorities", like dick cheney did with his 5 deferments, i guess you don't really have to worry about it happening to you.

way to Support the Troops, dick.

kuvasz
 
  2  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 09:33 pm
I said a long time ago that the American Right Wing has no discernable moral center except sheer expedience and, as a lot, have the social conscience of cannibals. The comments on this thread by these denizens of the Dark Side of the human race reinforce my conclusion of their inherent lack of humanity.

Torture is morally wrong. That you consider it justifiable as a data collection method makes you a sick and twisted human being. When you side with a position that the ends justify the means that act defines you as a psychopath and mentally ill human being who has sided with the worst that human beings can do to others. This is not an intellectual or political exercise but a profound step backwards in human civilization.

You are a disgrace to the human race and any attempt to justify such barbaric behavior should be met with the highest reprobation society can render.

A philosophy that bases itself on the ends justifying the means hurls us back centuries in human social development.

It is beyond the Pale of human behavior to torture another human being and rises to a sacrilege of the human spirit to do so. It is not a tool to obtain information., and I believe that these people were tortured by the Bush administration in order to punish them.

Orwell said the same thing in 1984, when O'Brien was explaining the motivations and nature of the Party to Winston Smith:

Quote:
"...The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power."


This is the slippery slope we tread upon as a nation. If torture "works," then by all means we should never hesitate to use it, regardless of what the law, the Constitution, or our own consciences tell us.

And if so, we owe the defendants at Nuremburg a big presidential pardon, because torture sure "worked" for them.

So did Zyklon B. There's no question that Europe had a lot fewer Jews after the Holocaust.

The Soviet people couldn't have been safer than they were under Josef Stalin, a visionary who wasn't afraid to use a "technique" if it worked. There is literally no way to know how many terrorist conspiracies were foiled by his brave interrogators operating in complete secrecy. If the Soviet people had known what kind of "techniques" he was using, the enemy (us) could have used that information to undermine his authority.

One would also think that every bank robber, rapist, murderer and petty thief should be allowed to demonstrate that his crime "works" in some fashion to make him and his or her family "safe." I know a lot of people in prison who think the world is a lot safer because of their "crimes."

If you REALLY feel that waterboarding "is not all that torturous after all", then you should immediately apologize, on behalf of the entire US, to all those Japanese military personnel we convicted of torturing our troops with waterboarding during WWII and then executed.

And then make sure you tell those US military survivors who were waterboarded that you don't think they were actually tortured.

Sorry, but there's NO way that torture is justified in some cases, but vile and evil in others, it's either always wrong or always permissible.

I see no difference, AT ALL between the bizarre chirpings of the mental cripples who applaud having our government torture fellow human beings with those who supported the Third Reich’s “Die Endlösung.“

Quote:
"We raised our voices in warning to our German people and the world, hoping to awaken Western humanity from the paralysis of will and spirit into which it had fallen. We tried to open their eyes to the horrible danger from Eastern Bolshevism, which had subjected a nation of nearly 200 million people to the terror of the Jews and was preparing an aggressive war against Europe."

--Joseph Goebbels, 1943


Replace Jew-Bolshevik with Muslim and you arrive at the rhetoric of the supporters of American torture.

Frankly, I think that those who support torture are moral cowards.

I am saying flat-out that I’m willing to fight with any handicap placed upon me and my nation by not using torture. I know it has risks and sometimes puts us at a temporary disadvantage, but that's okay, because it is the most progressively human feature of national security values one can express. It's totally unapologetic. There's no conditionality about it. It's okay to fight this way precisely because fighting this way is what allows us to take pride in being American.

THIS IS THE ALTERNATIVE.



0 Replies
 
Always Eleven to him
 
  3  
Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 12:52 am
@Debra Law,
Well said, Debra. Bravo. I add only the beginning of your quote.

Quote:
Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.


Bush, et. al. would have us all believe that the government's purposes were to do good, beneficent. As Justice Brandeis warned, that is when we must most be on our guard to protect our liberties.

Torture does not protect our liberties. It does just the opposite. It is the ultimate deprivation of a fundamenal constitutional and human right -- the right to bodily integrity and autonomy.
0 Replies
 
Woiyo9
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 06:23 am
@DontTreadOnMe,
Well, my priorities started when I enlisted in the Navy in 1968 to do my part to defend this Nation, Dick.

My priorities remain the same now given the unusual "war" we are engaged in and the feeble attempts by the Bush and now Obama administration in what steps to take to defend this Nation from future attacks, Dick.

The Left is not concerned with defending this Nations borders. The left want to me "liked" and blame Bush for everything including bad weather.

The Right wants to scare everyone into believing we must attack "everything and anything that moves", and infringe on our personal freedoms in order to "keep us safe".

Just remember this , Dick, there can be no freedom when your borders are out of control.
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 08:34 am
@Woiyo9,
Woiyo9 wrote:

Just remember this , Dick, there can be no freedom when your borders are out of control.

So torture is ok if its purpose is to stop illegal immigration? Shocked

As an ex-serviceman, do you believe that foreign countries would be justified in torturing US servicemen and women in order to get information that would promote the defense of their countries?
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 08:35 am
@mysteryman,
mysteryman wrote:

Tell me something,are your principles worth dying for?


You're Goddamned right they are.

This torture issue is going to keep blowing up in the right wing's face for some time. More and more will leak out, showing just how morally bankrupt we've been, and who has been behind it.

Cycloptichorn
revel
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 08:37 am
Like others have said the end does not justify the means; however, it is not even clear if the end was successfully reached, it is really murky despite Obama saying some of the 'harsher interrogations' worked.

Quote:
Many intelligence officials, including some opposed to the brutal methods, confirm that the program produced information of great value, including tips on early-stage schemes to attack tall buildings on the West Coast and buildings in New York’s financial district and Washington. Interrogation of one Qaeda operative led to tips on finding others, until the leadership of the organization was decimated. Removing from the scene such dedicated and skilled plotters as Mr. Mohammed, or the Indonesian terrorist known as Hambali, almost certainly prevented future attacks.

But which information came from which methods, and whether the same result might have been achieved without the political, legal and moral cost of the torture controversy, is hotly disputed, even inside the intelligence agency.

The Justice Department memorandums released last week illustrate how difficult it can be to assess claims of effectiveness. One 2005 memorandum, for example, asserts that “enhanced techniques” used on Abu Zubaydah and Mr. Mohammed “yielded critical information.”

But the memorandum then lists among Abu Zubaydah’s revelations the identification of Mr. Mohammed and of an alleged radiological bomb plot by Jose Padilla, the American Qaeda associate. Both those disclosures were made long before Abu Zubaydah was subjected to harsh treatment, according to multiple accounts.

On Mr. Mohammed, the record is murkier. The memorandum says that “before the C.I.A. used enhanced techniques,” Mr. Mohammed “resisted giving any answers to questions about future attacks, ‘Simply noting, ‘Soon, you will know.’ ”

But the same memorandum reveals in a footnote that Mr. Mohammed, captured on March 1, 2003, was waterboarded 183 times that month. That striking number, which would average out to six waterboardings a day, suggests that interrogators did not try a traditional, rapport-building approach for long before escalating to their most extreme tool.

Mr. Obama paid his first visit to the agency this week, and his reference to the interrogation issue made for an awkward moment in which he sounded like a teacher gently correcting his pupils.

“Don’t be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we’ve made some mistakes,” he said. “That’s how we learn.”



source
0 Replies
 
Woiyo9
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 10:25 am
@engineer,
Is that what you got from my post? You are a ******* dummy!!! Evil or Very Mad

 

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