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Old 04-18-2009, 01:25 AM   #16
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Transparency+Prosecution=what this average citizen wants.

I'm NOT OK with this.
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:31 AM   #17
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Has Cheney said for the 100th time that Obama's endangering us all?

I guess that will happen on the Sunday morning shows. At least Bush has had the class to keep his mouth shut. Maybe Cheney needs a hobby.
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:59 PM   #18
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^But, he... he... he loves his country so much, too.
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Old 04-18-2009, 05:20 PM   #19
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I think your average citizen is ok with this.

I guess if the accused is declared an enemy of the state and poses a threat,
then detention, interrogation, trial and sentencing is reasonable.




An Iranian American journalist accused of spying for the U.S. was sentenced by an Iranian court Saturday to eight years in prison.


Iran sentences Roxana Saberi to 8 years; Washington reacts - Los Angeles Times
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Old 04-18-2009, 07:31 PM   #20
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What's the position of the average citizen regarding the child rape and torture?
Ok, I'll bite. I was unaware of the child rape. Source?
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Old 04-19-2009, 02:58 AM   #21
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Distinctions: Torture Versus War

by SCOTT SHANE
New York Times, April 18



When the Central Intelligence Agency obliterates a dozen suspected terrorists, along with assorted family members, with a missile from a drone, the news rarely stirs a strong reaction far beyond Pakistan. Yet the waterboarding of three operatives from Al Qaeda—one of them the admitted murderer of 3000 people as organizer of the 9/11 attacks—has stirred years of recriminations, calls for prosecution and national soul-searching.

What is it about the terrible intimacy of torture that so disturbs and captivates the public? Why has torture long been singled out for special condemnation in the law of war, when war brings death and suffering on a scale that dwarfs the torture chamber?


...The hands-on nature of torture lends it particular power, said Andrea Northwood, a psychologist who has treated hundreds of people at the Center for Victims of Torture in Minneapolis. Even when the victim is a figure like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the 9/11 plotter, torture carries a vicarious chill. “It’s a profoundly affecting tool in evoking primal terror,” Dr. Northwood said. “We can easily put ourselves in that situation, and that terrifies us.”

Darius Rejali, the author of Torture and Democracy, a massive 2007 history of the myriad ways humans have tormented other humans, said he had often been struck by the disproportionate emotional response to death and torture. “What’s fascinating to people about torture is it gives one person absolute power over another, which is both alluring and corrupting,” said Dr. Rejali, a professor of political science at Reed College. Torture, like slavery, corrupts both individuals and societies, he said.

But what about the absolute power of the CIA “pilot,” thousands of miles from his unmanned aerial vehicle, who pushes a button and unleashes distant death? As a different former CIA official said, “Imagine a Hellfire missile coming through your roof. You die in a burning pile of rubble. Isn’t that torture?” Not quite, Dr. Rejali responds. “The people you’re killing with a Predator,” he said, “are not detained and helpless.”

Ever since word leaked that the CIA subjected Mr. Mohammed and two other prisoners in 2002 and early 2003 to waterboarding, the near-drowning method with a pedigree stretching back to the Spanish Inquisition and beyond, that fact has resonated powerfully in American politics. In 2007, long after the events, Michael B. Mukasey’s nomination as attorney general almost faltered when he refused to call waterboarding torture. Mr. Obama’s choice to head the Justice Department, Eric H. Holder Jr., swiftly and strongly declared what to many people was the obvious, as did Leon E. Panetta, the new CIA director.

What the episodes showed is what Senator John McCain, perhaps this country’s most famous torture victim, has often said about why the United States must not use it: “It’s not about the terrorists,” he says. “It’s about us.”
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:25 PM   #22
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General Hayden interview on Fox News Sunday (as long as it's available on youtube):

YouTube - Michael Hayden Slams Obama Calls Gibbs "A Really Inconvenient Truth"
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:28 PM   #23
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I think your average citizen is ok with this.


was your average German okay with rounding up the Jews?

yes, extreme example -- though the Bush administration used Gestappo-approved techniques -- but i think that general popular will and lack of sympathy for brown-skinned people isn't the best way for a country to formulate it's policy, especially when said policy violates international law.
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:32 PM   #24
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Ok, I'll bite. I was unaware of the child rape. Source?


my understanding -- and i could be wrong -- was that there was discussion as to whether or not it was acceptable to tell a detainee that they were aware of where his children lived and worked and they would tell said detainee that if he didn't produce whatever information then they would send people to his home and kidnap his child and then crush that child's testicles because his father was refusing to cooperate and give up said information.

no child's testicles would actually be crushed, but the detainee would believe that it was possible, or even that it did happen.

the only other thing i will say is that, apart from dropping insects into a box with a detainee, i had heard of absolutely everything else in these memos. to say that their release somehow will make future detainees more resistant to torture is absolutely preposterous. all this information is known. what we now know, however, is the lengths that Bush lawyers -- particularly Yoo and Bygbee -- went to in order to justify and enable torture.

both men should be in jail.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:43 AM   #25
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just how effective is waterboarding?



Quote:
Is waterboarding effective? CIA did it 266 times on two prisoners
The number, much higher than previously reported, comes out as President Obama visits CIA headquarters today.
By Liam Stack

posted April 20, 2009 at 9:05 am EST

The ongoing debate over the ethics and usefulness of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding received new fuel on Sunday night, with a New York Times report that two Al Qaeda suspects were subject to the method, which simulates drowning, a combined 266 times.

That number is higher than previously reported, and will no doubt cast a long shadow over President Obama's first scheduled visit to CIA headquarters today, where he will publicly address employees.

The New York Times reports that, according to a recently released May 2005 interrogation memo, Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah was subjected to waterboarding 83 times in August 2002.

Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, who has confessed to planning the September 11, 2001, attacks as well as personally beheading Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, was subjected to waterboarding 183 times in March 2003.

That version of events is starkly different than the one reported by ABC News in December 2007, when former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who was involved in the interrogation of Mr. Zubaydah, claimed he had only been waterboarded once for 35 seconds.

Quote:
"The next day, he told his interrogators that Allah had visited him in his cell during the night and told him to cooperate," said Kiriakou in an interview...

"From that day on, he answered every question," Kiriakou said. "The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks."
The sheer frequency with which waterboarding was apparently used on these two suspects may cast doubt on past Bush administration assertions that they were strictly obeying guidelines on the use of the practice, says the Times. It also notes that "a footnote to another 2005 Justice Department memo released Thursday said waterboarding was used both more frequently and with a greater volume of water than the CIA rules permitted."

The new information came out over the weekend thanks to the investigative work of bloggers like Marcy Wheeler, who found it in the footnotes of Bush administration interrogation memos released last week and posted it to her blog emptywheel.

Information on the frequency of the practice, and the amount of water used each time, was redacted from some copies of the memos but not from others. The numbers were not included in initial reporting on the release of the memos.

Writing on her blog, Ms. Wheeler points out that it is unclear how the CIA could use the method on these suspects so many times and still mange to abide by its own guidelines.

Quote:
The same ... memo passage explains how the CIA might manage to waterboard these men so many times in one month each (though even with these chilling numbers, the CIA's math doesn't add up).

"...where authorized, it may be used for two "sessions" per day of up to two hours. During a session, water may be applied up to six times for ten seconds or longer (but never more than 40 seconds). In a 24-hour period, a detainee may be subjected to up to twelve minutes of water application. See id. at 42. Additionally, the waterboard may be used on as many as five days during a 30-day approval period."

So: two two-hour sessions a day, with six applications of the waterboard each = 12 applications in a day. Though to get up to the permitted 12 minutes of waterboarding in a day (with each use of the waterboard limited to 40 seconds), you'd need 18 applications in a day. Assuming you use the larger 18 applications in one 24-hour period, and do 18 applications on five days within a month, you've waterboarded 90 times–still just half of what they did to [Khalid Sheikh Mohamed].
The new information is certain to invigorate critics of the practice who say it is an ineffective way of obtaining information from detainees.

Last week, The New York Times made a similar claim in an article on the interrogation of Zubaydah, who was mistakenly believed to be a high ranking "lieutenant" in Al Qaeda before interrogators realized he was just "a helpful training camp personnel clerk," the Times reported.

Interrogators, who spoke to the Times on condition of anonymity, said they believed Zubaydah told them everything he knew before waterboarding began. They communicated this to agency higher-ups in Washington, who nonetheless insisted on the use of the practice, and asked to watch it take place.

Quote:
"You get a ton of information, but headquarters says, 'There must be more,' " recalled one intelligence officer who was involved in the case. As described in the footnote to the memo, the use of repeated waterboarding against Abu Zubaydah was ordered "at the direction of C.I.A. headquarters," and officials were dispatched from headquarters "to watch the last waterboard session."

evidently, the answer is: not very.

seems to fly in the face of the stories that surfaced about KSM who suddenly coughed up all sorts of info after being waterboarded just once.

you see the problem? when you start to torture, those who are charged with it's practice have a vested interest in lying.
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:28 PM   #26
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just how effective is waterboarding?
What difference does it make? Should supporting or rejecting torture be based on its relative effectiveness?

How far do you take self defense before it crosses ethical, moral and legal lines enough that you'd be willing to accept potential sacrifice?

Is there anyone with the balls to say they're willing to put potentially thousands of American citizens at risk to stand behind a principle and international law?

These questions also blur the distinction between torture and (pre-emptive) war.
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:33 PM   #27
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Of course it's a rhetorical question, but proponents of torture just like to bring up the perceived effectiveness and create these hypothetical "We only have 10 seconds left to save the world and need to torture the hell out of this guy" scenarios.
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:24 PM   #28
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I get that - what I'm suggesting is that it's no more valid for opponents of torture to argue the ineffectiveness of the particular techniques to support their position.

It reminds me of a few years ago when a number of people who had initially supported the invasion of Iraq felt duped when the WMD truth came out and knee-jerked justification for their position by denouncing Saddam as an evil dictator who needed to be taken down for the sake of Iraqis.
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:44 PM   #29
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What difference does it make? Should supporting or rejecting torture be based on its relative effectiveness?
the argument being put forward is that waterboarding was used rarely, and on only a few subjects, and that once they were waterboarded, they coughed up big time information. the hypothetical "ticking time bomb" is often put forward as well to justify the use of waterboarding.

the new information that Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in a month after lots of information was acquired from him using legal interrogation method let's us know that the point of torture is, always, to torture.


Quote:
How far do you take self defense before it crosses ethical, moral and legal lines enough that you'd be willing to accept potential sacrifice?

Is there anyone with the balls to say they're willing to put potentially thousands of American citizens at risk to stand behind a principle and international law?

These questions also blur the distinction between torture and (pre-emptive) war.

i'm afraid i don't understand the rest of these questions.
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:46 PM   #30
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I get that - what I'm suggesting is that it's no more valid for opponents of torture to argue the ineffectiveness of the particular techniques to support their position.

It reminds me of a few years ago when a number of people who had initially supported the invasion of Iraq felt duped when the WMD truth came out and knee-jerked justification for their position by denouncing Saddam as an evil dictator who needed to be taken down for the sake of Iraqis.


i don't understand this at all either.

i oppose torture for a variety of reasons that i've outlined over the years in here, and one of those reasons is the fact that torture doesn't work because it gives you bad information. what's invalid about that position? i don't see any shift like the one you've described where people said, "yeah, well, bummer about the WMDs, but Saddam was a menace with or without WMDs, and a menace especially to his own people, so glad the fucker's gone."

can you explicate?
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