9
   

Torture No More

 
 
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 07:12 am
Quote:
Tortured and killed: Hamza al-Khateeb, age 13

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/05/201153185927813389.html

warning: graphic content



On Torture: After reading about the death of Hamza al Khateeb, aged 13



I see hypocrisy in violent 'revenge', but when I read about 13 year old Hamza al-Khateeb's murder, I didn't care (for a while) what happened to those who tortured him to death.

'I hope the mob gets them,' was the first thought to run through my mind.

I'm not saying I wanted to see those torturers tortured, but shot dead sounded fine to me. Such an end, after all, would have been a kindness to Hamza.

Only later, after I'd cooled off a bit, did I decide that I still believe violent revenge isn't the right way.

Maybe it's not exactly and completely wrong (being partly instinctive) to want to react physically to something as grotesquely cruel as this, but it's not the best move in the long run, I don't think. The criminals (in uniform) who did this, should be (in a sane world) arrested and tried in an open court. Publicly, in front of the world's media - and if found guilty sentenced to life imprisonment. I believe that would do far more to help bring an end to the arrogant and complacent use of torture worldwide by those who choose to take part in the physical, mental and sexual abuse of another (defenceless) human being, under the cover of authority.
What better way to honour Hamza and others who have suffered and died in such a dark, hellish place.

But justice and the law shouldn't only be something wheeled out after the event, in order to punish. Justice and the law should surely be about protecting children, who are owed (by us) their human rights. And not just children, but all people.

I don't believe in any 'gods' – but I recognise human wisdom when I hear it.
To me, Jesus (real or imagined) was just a man. He said: What you do to the least of them, you do also to me.

I believe that torture is not only the abuse of another human – but a vile crime against the whole of humanity.



The Joker Scenario


According to a recent survey over half of US citizens think torture is okay to use in certain situations.

Quote:
2011 -The Red Cross survey found that 59% of the 502 teenagers and 51% of the 1,019 adults polled believed that it was sometimes acceptable to torture enemy fighters to obtain important military information.

41% of teenagers and 30% of adults also accepted the logical corollary that it might therefore sometimes be acceptable for enemy forces to torture captured American POWs.

http://blog.amnestyusa.org/waronterror/new-survey-finds-tolerance-of-torture-in-the-us/


This blows my mind.

Especially when you consider the poll below, taken in 2004-

Quote:
Two-thirds of U.S. citizens believe their government should "never use physical torture" against detainees, and 90 percent reject sexually humiliating prisoners, as was done by U.S. soldiers at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib jail.

The poll poll was conducted by the University of Maryland's Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA)


What the hell happened in seven years?

What suddenly made torture acceptable to so many more people?

If it wasn't acceptable to torture or execute without trial, Nazi Germans back in 1945, why would it be acceptable now?

A main argument seems to be that sometimes torture should be used as a last resort, if it is for 'the greater good'.

I'm bothered by the term 'the greater good' – it sounds like something Hitler's Nazis might have called themselves. Certainly we British at the height of Empire. 'The greater good in man...'
The Norwegian killer who exterminated those kids on that island told his lawyer he felt he had done the right thing for his country. Do you see where I'm coming from? There is a global responsibility here.
I find the greater good argument just a bit too easy. Did Hitler think, in his twisted mind, that what he was doing was 'for the greater good'?

But to return to the Joker Scenario....

If one man holds the code to disarm the bomb that will kill thousands of people, what can you do?

Well, for a start, this really isn't probable outside Hollywood, and certainly not something I've seen in reality before, but I'm willing to imagine it. Secondly, most killers can be brought – but let's take a character like the joker in Batman. Let's imagine that the man with the code cannot be brought,

Or tricked into giving up the code.

Or pleaded with.
(Come on, if we're willing to swallow enough pride to use torture, we can get a trained psychologist/actor to try appealing to his better side, just in case he has one).
You never know.

But let's imagine that the Joker just grins his grin, and tells us to go f*ck ourselves and meanwhile the clock is ticking.

There is no denying that torture doesn't cough up instant reward. It's not a thing that can be rushed.

On top of that, there is huge evidence that torture doesn't help extract information at all, even in the long run.

If you've got a strong stomach, consider this testimony by women, (including one 13 year old) who were tortured by the notorious Nazi Klaus Barbie during WWII.
One woman, working for the French Resistance was badly tortured for many days, including being subjected to Barbie's own brand of simulated drowning. She didn't talk.

http://writing.upenn.edu/~afilreis/Holocaust/barbie.html


And then, there's plenty of this:

"Using torture is worthless if the aim is to produce reliable information" says former CIA Interrogator Glenn Carle (read his article).


And anyway, if he wanted to, the joker could send people on a wild goose chase, leaving the seconds to tick down. Hell, torturing him may even (from his point of view) validate his reasons for hating humanity enough to kill innocent life. It may prolong his silence. Or just destroy any hope of extracting the information a different way. (See the interrogation-of-a-German-prisoner scene in The Desert Rats).

Better to try and draw/trick a rough location out of him and start mass evacuations.
Why? Because in my opinion, that it the only sane thing to do.

Some people say that refusing to torture a prisoner in this scenario basically amounts to cowardice. A selfish refusal to corrupt oneself – even to save thousands of lives.

But putting aside the fact that torture doesn't work - with respect, I think they fail to see beyond the thousands. Fail to comprehend the reach of their own 'greater good' argument. Torture isn't something that can be confined or controlled. It can't be contained within a set of rules. If those who wear a badge of authority torture people, don't they validate the use of torture? And if we legitimise torture by using it and give ourselves (and any other person) the right to decide when torture is acceptable, couldn't we basically be condemning an infinite number of humans to the type of death Hamza al-Khateeb was subjected to? Why make torture a part of this world's future? If we create some kind of hell, doesn't that make us some kind of evil?
Is that the gift we want to leave here for future generations?

If we fail to look at the repercussions of our actions, if we deny that responsibility, don't we make torture a weapon of terror, which could be used to silence opposition and criticism of any government that chooses to normalise its use in the minds of its own citizens?

Dr Martin Luther King said, "Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal."

To use torture is to legalise it and promote it's use (Check out the surveys above). To put it into the hands of those who would do most harm. People like Klaus Barbie.
There for, nothing can justify the use of torture, ever.



The Ultimate Scenario

As for the 'personal situation' – one in which the joker has someone I care for personally held hostage and they will be blown up unless I get the code off him – the truth is this: I don't know what I would do.
My experience of dealing with **** situations is that I can't possibly know what I will do until the very moment, when all things are weighed up.
Yes, there will be times when people feel obliged to step outside the law and take the consequences, of course, but how often would such a personal dilemma arise? For most of us – never.

All I can say is that I would not want someone to torture someone else, in order to try and save my life.

Torture is a weapon that promotes violence and perversion. The use of it destroys the good in us and empowers our enemies. It's blatant hypocrisy is an insult to human intelligence.

Its rubbishing of those who have gone before and fought and died to bring an end to such cruel and inhumane practices, its betrayal of all the men, women and children who have suffered torture and died, or survived it and gone on to live with it's scars, and its rejection of international law and the Geneva conventions is a shameful betrayal.

As as well as all that, it's barbaric, As long as there is torture there can be no peace. As long as there is torture there can be no harmony and as long as there is torture there can be no healing – for us or the planet. Surely we have it in us to believe in ourselves a bit more than that?

I believe we have a moral obligation to mark torture the vilest crime against humanity and to do our utmost to eradicate it.

We owe it to the past, and to future generations who depend on our integrity. And we owe it to ourselves, because humanity deserves better. Hamza al-Khateeb aged 13, deserved better.



Endymion 2011
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 09:30 am
@Endymion,
The red cross survey was absolutly correct... It is how we pose the problem: Is it okay to torture human beings??? Well, no... Is it okay to torture objects, like enemies or farm animals or people of an antagonistic faith??? Well, sure... If you put it that way, and are willing to label everyone first, then it is okay, even proper, and enjoyable...

Life is torture because it involves labor without reward and effort without meaning... It is the process of removing people from their meaning which leads to profit, and to extremes of property and poverty, wealth and hopelessness... You can hang a guy on a cross, and he will begin asking god to forgive them all, but give him long enough and he will have to admit that god has forsaken him and stood as always with those who have the loot to buy his affection...Ask why so many old are shriveled up with hate, and bile... It is that in the end they see what they have slaved for, and still wish their miserable existences upon others for relief... Courage, nor love, nor none of the virtues attend them because they have been demoralized...

We all only have one life, and when ever you can make another person so miserable that they will wish a minute of it away, you have won a great, and perhaps the greatest victory a person can know... It is not the sort of torture inflicted upon native Americans by other natives that made a spectacle of their pain for days on end in some instances that are victory because that showed winner and loser alike the quality of their morals... The experience of death can be so profoundly painful that it can demonstrate to even the most hardened what life is before it is surrendered... That is not torture like we have it today... Most torture today would make torture as it is practiced by governments and serial killers seem only an interlude of entertainment before death takes hold...

It is the demoralizing torture of endless drugery in labor, slavery by its kinder name of employment, that robs us all of our lives for pennies, and subjects us to every indignity -that is true torture because in the end we are demoralized husks of people willing to see others fall into line, and take our places, or worse, to know the absolute zeneth of pain and humiliation so we can keep what we have though little it be, and not know even worse...

All we have is humanity, and all we have holding us to humanity is our moral fiber, and when that is gone, we are done, and our lives are over, and we are zombies driven from one task to the next...If we cannot care for ourselves and demand our rights we will never be able to stand for another or others, and we will not... We will wash our pain away with their blood if given the opportunity, but their loss will not fill us up..

A demoralized people is incapable of freedom and this people has never been so demoralized... A wise man would see how our government treats the people of this world, and what madness they support with their treatment of others, and realize that the torture of others is but a threat to ourselves; and that the military that should protect us would, if ordered to turn its weapons against us, and lay waste to this people and land... People would do it on principal because in their demoralized hearts they want to... They would do it for their ideologies because their ideologies, while impossible to accept through reason, are easier to accept and understand than are the variety of humanity walking this earth...

When it comes down to it, nature causes us little pain, and we cause almost all the pain associated with life, but to kill is easier than to cure humanity, and to cure the disease external to us that we can see clearly in others is more simple that curing the disease that drives us to injury that we are blind to... You cannot teach morals nor give them, and once a person has given up their morals only they can get them back... And I would say they are hreder to get back than to hold, but they are nearly impossible to hold in this world or hate..
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 12:10 pm
@Endymion,
This is the first time I've seen a fairly reasonable response to the "greater good" argument. It may very well have been raised by someone else at some other time, but I've just seen it now.

To paraphrase your argument, a moral authority that accepts the torture of one to prevent the suffering of thousands may actually be paving the way for the torture and suffering of many more thousands.

The problem with this argument is that there is even less certainty that thousands of future tortures will follow the one done for the "greater good," then there is that the torture of the individual will actually work for the "greater good," and since the uncertainty of the success of the "greater good" torture is a main element of your argument against all forms of torture, you can't simply dismiss it when it gets in the way of your rationalizing.

A couple of points:

1) You and others rely heavily on the efficacy of torture to bolster your argument. Set aside the reality that it is not settled fact that "torture doesn't work," the core of your argument against torture is morality not efficacy. You really can only make this aspect of the argument if you believe it never works, because what if sometimes it does work? If you move into a debate over what circumstances justify torture or how effective it has to be to even think about using it, or how many people need to be at risk, then you are no longer arguing from the absolute moral position you've chosen to embrace. So unless you can prove it never works you would be wise not to introduce the efficacy issue no matter how much it tempts you.

2) I think your suspicion of the concept of "the greater good" is convenient and a weak attempt to cast aspersions against those who hold an opinion in opposition to yours and to nullify any claim that they may have about the morality of torture. Surely there are plenty of instances wherein you believe the good of the whole is more important than the good of one or a few persons. I won't call you a liar if you say there aren't any, but I will suggest that you didn't give the matter much thought before you answered.

Quote:
All I can say is that I would not want someone to torture someone else, in order to try and save my life.


No, all you can say is that right now, when your life is not in danger you believe (or would like to believe) you would not want anyone to be tortured to save your life.

You already admitted that you can't say with certainty what you would do in a "**** situation" where a loved one's life was on the line, how can you be so certain of your commitment when the **** situation involves the loss of your life?

Unless you have already lived through such an experience, and you are being honest, you can't say what you would do in this particular "**** situation."

Let's take it a step further though because once again you seem to acknowledging cracks in the absolute nature of your moral rejection of torture only to hastily and ineffectively attempt to patch them up.

Quote:
Yes, there will be times when people feel obliged to step outside the law and take the consequences, of course, but how often would such a personal dilemma arise? For most of us – never.


The frequency of the dilemma is meaningless in terms of the morality of the possible decisions. I would never say that torture is an almost unheard of practice that only rarely appears in the human scene, but neither would I say it is a practice we see occurring across the entire world on a broad and daily basis. It doesn't really matter though in terms of whether torture is morally unacceptable.

You have come close in the line cited above to acknowledging not only that you or others might resort to torture under the right circumstances, but that you would not, without exception, denounce each and every such a decision.

If the argument is how bad does it have to be to resort to the bad deed, then an absolute judgment on torture is out the window.

There are plenty of people who abhor the notion of torture and are affected just as deeply as you by the story of Hamza al-Khateeb, but who don't share what you believe to be your absolute certainty on the immorality of torture. People who would agonize over whether or not to torture someone who they believe has the knowledge necessary to save thousands or millions of lives, but still order it done.

What do they have to say or do to demonstrate to you that they are not simply sociopaths or sadists; that the good faith they focus on the dilemma is every bit as strong as yours? Do they have to vote Democrat, or have denounced the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Do they need to believe the rich aren’t taxed enough and that the Palestinians are being oppressed by Israel? Or is there nothing they can do or say to convince you?






Fil Albuquerque
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 01:24 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
In my opinion Finn you are placing far to much importance on uncertainty there to judge the matter...Human being is a "meme" copycat machine, an animal of habits or do you really believe jurisprudence or legal realism is just a "civilizational" pretentious delusion ?...I would reason common sense is of essence here...that an outcome is uncertain does n´t mean that an outcome is improbable in the foreseeable future...
Finn dAbuzz
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 02:11 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
I'm not placing importance on certainty or uncertainty as it relates to the issue of whether or not torture can be considered morally acceptable. I am attempting to point out the contradictions in Endymion's argument as they relate to certainty.

It is a feature of his argument in opposition to torture that the uncertainty of it's efficacy renders it outside the consideration of a decision based on morality. He does, I suspect unintentionally, seem to suggest that if we could be 100% certain that torture would successfully serve the "greater good" it might be morally acceptable, but he's not admitted to that. Instead, he argues that while an instance of torturing for the "greater good" may be enticing, it's promise is hollow. Since the accpetance of torture by a moral authority as a possibly necessary action will, in fact, open the door to further instances and allow the unambiguously bad guys the opportunity to rationalize their sadistic crimes, whatever "greater good" is achieved, in the short term, by torturing the guy who knows the location of the ticking nuke in NYC will be overwhelmed by the "greater evil" it leads to in the longer term.

I am arguing that the theorized long term "greater evil" is even less certain than the hoped for short term "greater good," and if degrees of certainty are as important an ingredient of the decision making process as Endymion proposes, his counter-argument to the "greater good" justification is even shakier than the justification itself.

Certainty also comes into play, although in a different fashion, when Endymion places himself directly in the role of the person who must decide if torture can serve a greater good. He clearly acknowledges that he cannot be certain of how he will react if he were put in the "**** situation" of having to decide whether torture should be ordered in the hope of it serving a greater good. That honesty or rather that degree of self-awareness is admirable, but in short order it escapes him when he insists that he knows without a doubt that he would not want anyone to torture another person in an attempt to save his life.

In essence he is saying that he can't be certain of what he would do if someone else's life were on the line, but he can be certain if the only life at risk was his own. In other words, while the depth of his compassion for the lives of others could cause him to opt for an action he knows to be morally wrong, a selfish concern for his own safety never could.

I've no doubt that Endymions passionate abhorrence for torture comes from a sincere regard for human life and dignity, but for whatever reason it is he who is requiring an extraordinary degree of certainty of his position. What is the OP other than a passionate effort to demonstrate just how absolutely certain he is that his position is right, while nevertheless allowing his uncertainty to sneak out.
Rockhead
 
  3  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 02:23 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
you can just imagine my shock when I found out you are an advocate of torture, finn.

Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 02:33 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
Since the accpetance of torture by a moral authority as a possibly necessary action will, in fact, open the door to further instances and allow the unambiguously bad guys the opportunity to rationalize their sadistic crimes, whatever "greater good" is achieved, in the short term, by torturing the guy who knows the location of the ticking nuke in NYC will be overwhelmed by the "greater evil" it leads to in the longer term.


In the case I would suggest secretive torture instead...(which is what happens) Wink

Quote:
I am arguing that the theorized long term "greater evil" is even less certain than the hoped for short term "greater good," ...


If such course of action proves functional in the short term the odds of it becoming standard procedure will surely increase in the long run...
igm
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 03:57 pm
I like simple language so I’ll continue to say things as simply as possible:

In Buddhism we take the long view. It’s about what will torturing others do to your mind? Short-term it makes others fear you either openly or secretly. Long-term (in future lives) you grow accustomed to harming others which means you live lives filled with misery.

On a more practical note: if you torture then the person and the family and others connected to the tortured person develop hatred towards the torturers and their country which will probably lead to more acts of hatred towards that country. So one act of terrorism may be stopped using torture but it may cause many more attacks to be attempted.

If you don’t torture then the reverse is true in the respect of torture i.e. one less reason to hate and one more reason to give up terrorism against e.g. Americans.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 03:59 pm
It's torture to read defense of torture.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 04:43 pm
@igm,
I was not defending torture...and I was straight simple on explaining why...
In general terms I agree with what you said.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 04:57 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

Quote:
Since the accpetance of torture by a moral authority as a possibly necessary action will, in fact, open the door to further instances and allow the unambiguously bad guys the opportunity to rationalize their sadistic crimes, whatever "greater good" is achieved, in the short term, by torturing the guy who knows the location of the ticking nuke in NYC will be overwhelmed by the "greater evil" it leads to in the longer term.


In the case I would suggest secretive torture instead...(which is what happens) Wink

You'll have to suggest that to Endymion since it's his argument that accepted torture leads to greater instances, but somehow I don't think he's looking for a way around that problem.

Quote:
I am arguing that the theorized long term "greater evil" is even less certain than the hoped for short term "greater good," ...


If such course of action proves functional in the short term the odds of it becoming standard procedure will surely increase in the long run...

True, but, again, it is an important feature of Endymion's argument that torture doesn't work and that it won't prove functional in the short or long term. This runs contrary to the fact that it has been used for centuries, but I suppose one could explain that away by still claiming there's never been a time when it worked and only stupidity and sadism have made it so popular for people who really want to uncover secrets. Afterall, magic has never worked either but people have been trying it for ages..
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 05:05 pm
@Rockhead,
Rockhead wrote:

you can just imagine my shock when I found out you are an advocate of torture, finn.




Well, I'm not at all shocked that you've interpreted what I have written as advocating torture. At least Endymion entertains the notion that the "greater good" argument may be somewhat well intentioned, although horribly wrong.

It always amuses me when liberals make it clear that they need a dose of their professed favorite medicine: Problems are not always as simple as we may like them to be and trying to apply absolute standards can be a tricky affair.

I know, I often try.
0 Replies
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 05:10 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Agreed Finn...it is a fair reply.
...just one small remark :
...things work when they work...sometimes they do, sometimes they don´t...
...but all in all torture is just a stupid way of sorting things out...
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 05:43 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

...but all in all torture is just a stupid way of sorting things out...


Yes indeed, and if it is used as anything but an exceptional measure for exceptional circumstances it's hideously damaging as well.
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 05:46 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
If you torture someone, they won't tell you the truth, they'll tell you what you want to know. That's why they said Iraq had WMDs.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 05:49 pm
@igm,
igm wrote:

I like simple language so I’ll continue to say things as simply as possible:

In Buddhism we take the long view. It’s about what will torturing others do to your mind? Short-term it makes others fear you either openly or secretly. Long-term (in future lives) you grow accustomed to harming others which means you live lives filled with misery.

On a more practical note: if you torture then the person and the family and others connected to the tortured person develop hatred towards the torturers and their country which will probably lead to more acts of hatred towards that country. So one act of terrorism may be stopped using torture but it may cause many more attacks to be attempted.

If you don’t torture then the reverse is true in the respect of torture i.e. one less reason to hate and one more reason to give up terrorism against e.g. Americans.



Well it's a good thing you're using simple language igm, because what you have to say is always so profound that many of us less enlightened souls have trouble following you.

There are different reasons why people torture. All of them are unpleasent and many, if not, most are an indication of how bent the torturer is, with one possible exception being torture conducted for "the greater good." The classic hypothetical of having captured a person who knows where a ticking nuclear bomb is located in Manhattan, but refuses to reveal its whereabouts. If torturing results in his revealing the location, millions of innocent people can be saved, and there is a very short period of time before the bomb is set to detonate.

While admittedly this is a far cry from the way torture has been practiced over the centuries, it is an appropriate dilemma to consider when arguing whether or not torture is ever justified. Particularly since the current debate on torture is not whether or not there is any justification for the secret police in some god forsaken hell hole to rip the nails off of a reporter who has written an unflattering piece about El Presidente, but whether or not there is a limit to the ends to which a government should go in attempting to prevent a large scale terrorist attack against innocent civilians.

To his credit, Endymion has addressed the argument of torture for the greater good without claiming those who hold it are just loking for feeble excuses to satify their sadism, and he has presented what I've said was, in my opinion, a fairly reasonable response to it. Clearly I don't believe he made a convincing response or we wouldn't be having this discussion

One doesn't need to be a Buddhist to appreciate cause and effect, but I don't think anyone who will have to make the decision about torturing someone to save hundreds of thousands of people is going to be concerned (nor should they) about whether or not the man's family issues a vendetta.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 05:57 pm
@izzythepush,
Which very often happens to be the same thing as was the case with KSM.

The effectiveness of torture is not strictly binary:

It always works

or

It never works.

That it is not 100% reliable isn't a reason to not employ it in extra-ordinary circumstances. Surely that's not what you are arguing is it?

Assume for a minute that it could be 100% reliable. Would that make it worthwhile to employ?
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 06:14 pm
@Endymion,
As I see it, you can't have it both ways.
If countries are signatories of the UN convention against torture, (see list of countries in the UN link, directly below) then surely they can't then argue that there's "good" torture & "bad" torture? And condone the use of torture when it is for "good" purposes? Then cry foul when torture is used for "bad" purposes, against their own citizens by other countries?
Surely that just perpetuates the abhorrent practice of torture?

Quote:
The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is an international human rights instrument, under the review of the United Nations, that aims to prevent torture around the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_Against_Torture

The most recent example of torture I'm aware of from my own country is Mamdouh Habib, who endured both "extraordinary rendition" & torture in Egypt at the hands of the CIA , followed by detention at Guantanomo Bay ..... apparently with the knowledge & approval of the (then Howard) government & ASIO (The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation). Though both denied knowledge at the time.
After a long, hard battle, Mr Habib's claims of torture have been vindicated & he has has been compensated by the Australian government & has had his citizenship rights returned to him.

Quote:
MAMDOUH HABIB

Mamdouh Habib, an Egyptian-born Australian citizen, was arrested in Pakistan in October 2001.

At the end of the year, after interrogation in Pakistan, where he was thinking of settling with his family, Mr Habib was flown to Egypt.

He told the BBC that he did not know who had held him, but had seen Americans, Australians, Pakistanis, and Egyptians among his captors.

He said he had been beaten, given electric shock and brainwashed.

After signing confessions of involvement with al-Qaeda, which he has now retracted, Mr Habib was transferred to the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay. He was released without charge in January 2005.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4502986.stm
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 09:51 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:


MAMDOUH HABIB

He told the BBC that he did not know who had held him, but had seen Americans, Australians, Pakistanis, and Egyptians among his captors.

He said he had been beaten, given electric shock and brainwashed.



Did he tell the BBC how he knew the nationalities of his captors?

Did they have their national flags tatooed on their foreheads?

Did they wear colorful badges adorned with smiley faces that read:

"Hi, I'm an American. Ask me about water-boarding!"

or

My name is Ramses. So let it be written; so let it be done."

I think I would have a hard time telling the difference, on sight, between a Pakistani and an Indian or a Pakistani and an Afghan, and I know I would have a hard time telling the difference between an Australian and an American.

Maybe the Americans were all wearing Uncle Sam outfits, the Australians were dressed in kangaroo costumes, the Egyptians wore Pharaonic robes and Jackal masks, and the Pakistanis all had on 7-11 ball caps and aprons.

How did he know he was brain-washed? Did it wear off. They didn't do a very good job with it if he spilled his guts the first chance he got.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2011 11:32 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
Did he tell the BBC how he knew the nationalities of his captors?


How he knew the nationality of his captors, Finn?
Honestly!
You are clutching at straws.

That BBC report I quoted was a record of Habib's & others experience of extraordinary detention. You can easily check any number of updates about him since then, from a variety of "respectable:" media organizations.
You can find out what actually happened to him through perfectly legitimate news reports. The Washington Post, for one, amongst many others, if you don't trust Australian government's official findings ....

In any case, let's not get bogged down with the details of just one case of torture, which is now on record as having occurred ....

Let's get back to the subject of torture in a more general sense: Do you believe that the US agents of torture, or any other such agents, from any other countries, are justified in their actions, if they are signatories to the UN convention against torture?

That's what you are avoiding answering.





 

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