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Old 04-23-2009, 06:09 PM   #91
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well, not electing Bush would have been a good step
This might be the most profound thing ever written on this entire subject.
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:12 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post
So just how were we supposed to get intelligence?
By shining a bright light in their eyes. Or sitting them down with a latte and a scone. It makes our enemy companions much more likely to give us good information.


The Obama administration really is ruthless. They are learning to manipulate intelligence reports just as well as the Bushies used to.
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:17 PM   #93
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the terms of torture were clear. Cheney obfuscated them. we knew what was legal, and we knew what was illegal. the whole point of these memos was to undermine language itself in order to justify what was clearly already illegal.
Not under our laws (Jay Rockefeller and Nancy Pelosi raised no objections when briefed) and traditionally international treaties have not applied to these type combatants.

And again you take our actions and remove them from context. The Bush Administration didn't green light these procedures to punish, reeducate political dissidents, or to force these guys to renounce their religion or join the GOP. No, it was to save the lives of innocent civilians after the worst attack on American soil.

Take the shooting of 3 guys on a boat out of the context of -- they were 3 armed pirates holding an American hostage -- and President Obama is guilty of accessory to murder.
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:22 PM   #94
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This might be the most profound thing ever written on this entire subject.
Until being sobered up at the idea of "President John Kerry."
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:33 PM   #95
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Not under our laws (Jay Rockefeller and Nancy Pelosi raised no objections when briefed) and traditionally international treaties have not applied to these type combatants.
What exactly do you mean "traditionally international treaties have not applied to these type of combatants"?

How long does this tradition go back?
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:26 PM   #96
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And again you take our actions and remove them from context. The Bush Administration didn't green light these procedures to punish, reeducate political dissidents, or to force these guys to renounce their religion or join the GOP. No, it was to save the lives of innocent civilians after the worst attack on American soil.
Report: Abusive tactics used to seek Iraq-al Qaida link | McClatchy
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Report: Abusive tactics used to seek Iraq-al Qaida link
Jonathan S. Landay | McClatchy Newspapers

last updated: April 22, 2009 07:42:11 PM

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration applied 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, according to a former senior U.S. intelligence official and a former Army psychiatrist.

Such information would've provided a foundation for one of former President George W. Bush's main arguments for invading Iraq in 2003. In fact, no evidence has ever been found of operational ties between Osama bin Laden's terrorist network and Saddam's regime.

The use of abusive interrogation — widely considered torture — as part of Bush's quest for a rationale to invade Iraq came to light as the Senate issued a major report tracing the origin of the abuses and President Barack Obama opened the door to prosecuting former U.S. officials for approving them.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and others who advocated the use of sleep deprivation, isolation and stress positions and waterboarding, which simulates drowning, insist that they were legal.

A former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq collaboration.

"There were two reasons why these interrogations were so persistent, and why extreme methods were used," the former senior intelligence official said on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity.

"The main one is that everyone was worried about some kind of follow-up attack (after 9/11). 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."

It was during this period that CIA interrogators waterboarded two alleged top al Qaida detainees repeatedly — Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid Sheik Muhammed 183 times in March 2003 — according to a newly released Justice Department document.

"There was constant pressure on the intelligence agencies and the interrogators to do whatever it took to get that information out of the detainees, especially the few high-value ones we had, and when people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people to push harder," he continued.

"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, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies."

Senior administration officials, however, "blew that off and kept insisting that we'd overlooked something, that the interrogators weren't pushing hard enough, that there had to be something more we could do to get that information," he said.

A former U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, told Army investigators in 2006 that interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility were under "pressure" to produce evidence of ties between al Qaida and Iraq.

"While we were there a large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between al Qaida and Iraq and we were not successful in establishing a link between al Qaida and Iraq," Burney told staff of the Army Inspector General. "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."


Excerpts from Burney's interview appeared in a full, declassified report on a two-year investigation into detainee abuse released on Tuesday by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., called Burney's statement "very significant."

"I think it's obvious that the administration was scrambling then to try to find a connection, a link (between al Qaida and Iraq)," Levin said in a conference call with reporters. "They made out links where they didn't exist."

Levin recalled Cheney's assertions that a senior Iraqi intelligence officer had met Mohammad Atta, the leader of the 9/11 hijackers, in the Czech Republic capital of Prague just months before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The FBI and CIA found that no such meeting occurred.

A senior Guantanamo Bay interrogator, David Becker, told the committee that only "a couple of nebulous links" between al Qaida and Iraq were uncovered during interrogations of unidentified detainees, the report said.

Others in the interrogation operation "agreed there was pressure to produce intelligence, but did not recall pressure to identify links between Iraq and al Qaida," the report said.

The report, the executive summary of which was released in November, found that Rumsfeld, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and other former senior Bush administration officials were responsible for the abusive interrogation techniques used at Guantanamo and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rumsfeld approved extreme interrogation techniques for Guantanamo in December 2002. He withdrew his authorization the following month amid protests by senior military lawyers that some techniques could amount to torture, violating U.S. and international laws.

Military interrogators, however, continued employing some techniques in Afghanistan and later in Iraq.

Bush and his top lieutenants charged that Saddam was secretly pursuing nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in defiance of a United Nations ban, and had to be overthrown because he might provide them to al Qaida for an attack on the U.S. or its allies.

(John Walcott and Warren P. Strobel contributed to this article.)
Or, that despite all emperical evidence to the contrary of no Iraq/AQ link, these stains on America tried to make their own narrative for war through torture and false confessions.
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Not under our laws (Jay Rockefeller and Nancy Pelosi raised no objections when briefed) and traditionally international treaties have not applied to these type combatants.
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The underlying absurdity of the administration's position can be summarized this way. Once you get to a substantive compliance analysis for "cruel, inhuman, and degrading" you get the position that the substantive standard is the same as it is in analogous U.S. constitutional law. So the OLC must argue, in effect, that the methods and the conditions of confinement in the CIA program could constitutionally be inflicted on American citizens in a county jail.

In other words, Americans in any town of this country could constitutionally be hung from the ceiling naked, sleep deprived, water-boarded, and all the rest -- if the alleged national security justification was compelling. I did not believe our federal courts could reasonably be expected to agree with such a reading of the Constitution.
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:30 PM   #97
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So just how were we supposed to get intelligence?
Are you saying that torture is the only way to get viable information, because if so, I have this interesting thread that you should read, it's right... oh wait, we're in it.
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:26 PM   #98
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Until being sobered up at the idea of "President John Kerry."
President Al Gore > President John Kerry > President George W. Bush > Vice President Dick Cheney.

In summary.
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:37 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post
Until being sobered up at the idea of "President John Kerry."
Yes, and clearly no one ever regretted that decision. Oh wait...
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:50 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by U2isthebest View Post
Yes, and clearly no one ever regretted that decision. Oh wait...

John Kerry as a modern day John the Baptist... maybe. But as president...
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Old 04-23-2009, 11:28 PM   #101
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Are you saying that torture is the only way to get viable information, because if so, I have this interesting thread that you should read, it's right... oh wait, we're in it.

No, but who has been lamenting about Executive Branch power grabs and loss of privacy with each Bush policy meant to gather information electronically post 9/11? From the Patriot Act to the NSA's Terrorist Surveillance Program to the The Protect America Act. Who didn't even want to grant immunity from lawsuits to telephone companies simply engaged in a good-faith effort to help the government prevent future attacks on the country.

The Left of course.

Not to mention the seizures of rage that Guantanamo Bay brings out in y'all. Mucho on the rage, poco on any feasible alternatives.
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:00 AM   #102
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By shining a bright light in their eyes. Or sitting them down with a latte and a scone. It makes our enemy companions much more likely to give us good information.

this is part of the problem and i expect more from you.

are you saying that either you waterboard them, or you bake them cookies?

aren't we through with the false choices presented to us by the Bush administration?



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The Obama administration really is ruthless. They are learning to manipulate intelligence reports just as well as the Bushies used to.

i do think there's a level of political calculation here. Obama has very effectively made Cheney and Rush the two doughy faces of the GOP. and he's forced the GOP to defend the undefendable.
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:08 AM   #103
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And again you take our actions and remove them from context. The Bush Administration didn't green light these procedures to punish, reeducate political dissidents, or to force these guys to renounce their religion or join the GOP. No, it was to save the lives of innocent civilians after the worst attack on American soil.


they waterboarded in part in order to gain information that would retroactively help them justify the invasion of Iraq. go back and read. this program was an extension of Cheney's M.O. to increase the scope and powers of the presidency after he thought it was neutered post-Watergate. he gave himself the power to do all of this to YOU, and he stated that when the president does things, it is by definition legal. it's shocking, and terrifying, and exactly how democracies die and it's the exact blueprint of every totalitarian regime in history. and torture becomes self-justifying, it creates an alternate reality where there is no objective truth, there is only the "truth" that's created (and tortured into existence) in order to increase and expand power and then to justify that power.

we impeached Clinton over a blow job because he, the soverign, committed perjury. Clinton still had to obey perjury laws. and you're going to excuse torture? really?

was there an inkling of "preventing another attack"? yes, that is one component, but don't forget, everything that they've offered up has turned out to be totally false. KSM didn't start speaking about plots after being waterboarded once as they said. they said that KSM told them about the LA tower plot that was foiled in 2002 ... but KSM wasn't arrested until 2003!

the real panic here is that the great, enduring, perhaps only accomplishment of the Bush administration is that there wasn't another attack after 9-11. they're trying to say that it was because of torture that one was prevented.

and while this will be impossible to prove or disprove, the fact remains that not only to the practitioners of torture have an incentive to lie in order to justify their tactics, but they cannot point to a single, clear link between, say, a waterboarding and a piece of intelligence that prevented an attack.

and the "ticking time bomb" theory is just that -- a theory, a hypothetical, and something that exists only on "24."
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:31 AM   #104
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I don't know about torture preventing another 9/11. Wouldn't torture just make people more angry against their torturers, more determined to get revenge? That would be my gut feeling-especially when I consider the type of torture and the frequency.

I saw on CNN last night that the ACLU filed a FOI suit and that more photos of prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan (other than Abu Ghraib) will be made public as a result. I can only imagine..
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Old 04-24-2009, 09:35 PM   #105
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they waterboarded in part in order to gain information that would retroactively help them justify the invasion of Iraq. "24."
Sorry, but thats total rubbish. They already had the authorization of Congress on October 13, 2002 and another UN resolution authorizing force in November of 2002. They did not need anything to "retroactively" justify the use of military force against Saddam. It became the policy of this country to remove Saddam's regime during the Clinton Administration and the Bush administration successfully accomplished that goal.


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this program was an extension of Cheney's M.O. to increase the scope and powers of the presidency after he thought it was neutered post-Watergate. he gave himself the power to do all of this to YOU, and he stated that when the president does things, it is by definition legal. it's shocking, and terrifying, and exactly how democracies die and it's the exact blueprint of every totalitarian regime in history. and torture becomes self-justifying, it creates an alternate reality where there is no objective truth, there is only the "truth" that's created (and tortured into existence) in order to increase and expand power and then to justify that power.
Do you find the following statement by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War to be "shocking and terrifying"?

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"measures otherwise unconstitutional might become lawful by becoming indispensable to the preservation of the Constitution through the preservation of the nation"

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we impeached Clinton over a blow job because he, the soverign, committed perjury. Clinton still had to obey perjury laws. and you're going to excuse torture? really?
The only question here is whether the tactics used to get intelligence were effective or not. There are conflicting reports about whether such tactics are effective or not. I've also heard that intelligence has been gained from things as simple and unrelated like, playing a game of chess, drinking coffee, and discussing Hollywood movies.

Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, and Powell were not experts in interrogation techniques. Their most important task is defending the country, and based on what they knew at the time, they allowed such techniques to be used.

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the real panic here is that the great, enduring, perhaps only accomplishment of the Bush administration is that there wasn't another attack after 9-11. they're trying to say that it was because of torture that one was prevented.
Successfully defending the United States from another 9-11 style attack is one of many accomplishments the Bush administration had in 8 years in office. Its interesting to note that Barrack Obama is following Bush Administration Policy in both Iraq and Afghanistan. 2 years ago, Barack Obama was demanding that ALL US combat brigades in Iraq be withdrawn by March 31, 2008. By March 31, 2010 with Obama in office for over a year by that point, most of those Brigades they he demanded be withdrawn by March 31, 2008 will still be there.

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and while this will be impossible to prove or disprove, the fact remains that not only to the practitioners of torture have an incentive to lie in order to justify their tactics, but they cannot point to a single, clear link between, say, a waterboarding and a piece of intelligence that prevented an attack.
Well, a lot of this is still classified so you actually can't say that. Also, it does not appear that certain techniques were used that often which makes it even more difficult to assess their effectiveness.
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