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Old 06-28-2010, 11:11 AM   #1
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Obama General Discussion II

Diemen, I'm not advocating carpet bombing civilians because that situation doesn't apply here. I'm talking mobilizing the other half of the U.S military twiddling their thumbs in America. We are stretching thin forces in Afghanistan. I'm talking about lowering the ROE so US forces can actually not have to get permission through a very lengthy and stubborn chain of command just to fire back., or capture the insurgent seen fleeing an IED. if you need to blow out a wall to make an entry point because the enemy is watching the entrance and you have no air cover because the weather is bad , BLOW THAT FUCKING WALL.

The enemy isn't dumb. They watch everything. If you disadvantage yourself, then they will no doubt take the advantage.

If you won't make the war easier for yourself, then you shouldn't be there. Period.

Oh, and one more thing. If you think we are holding a higher moral standard, tell the people in the certain american intelligence agencies, that shoot a line of prisoners one by one until somebody talks. There is so much more going on in the war that you don't know until you talk to those that have been there.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:00 PM   #2
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you realize that the military is overstretched as a whole, right? that many people have been rotating in and out of Afghanistan and/or Iraq since 2001 or so, right?

are you an advocate of torture?
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:19 PM   #3
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I enjoy the idea that you're either overseas fighting or "twiddling your thumbs in America," one or the other. Now, that's funny.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:43 PM   #4
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you realize that the military is overstretched as a whole, right? that many people have been rotating in and out of Afghanistan and/or Iraq since 2001 or so, right?

are you an advocate of torture?
US troops in Iraq: 90,000
US troops in Afghanistan: 78,000

US active personnel: 1,473,900
US reserve personnel: 1,458,500

Percentage wise overseas: 5.7%

Yes, not all branches are suitable for fighting in deserts and moutains....namely the Navy. Yes, I am aware the US rotates...sometimes unfairly. Ask my 25 year old brother. Five tours of duty in six years. Denied medical claims with veteran affairs office after being diagnosed with several disorders after prolonged combat. I'm acutely aware of how Uncle Sam takes care of his own.

Advocate for torture? No, I hate human suffering. I hate war. I hate the fact that we are over there. I wish everyone was safe and sound at home. But people, no one is coming home until the job is done. Not until some president steps up and says no more. Frankly, I don't see Obama doing it. He's a great guy through and through, but he is no general. But even when I hate torture, I know it can save lives. To deny that is ignorance. It's a horrible thing, but it can save lives in an immediate outcome. But don't forget this. American soldiers get really tired of their buddies getting killed by potshots. Eventually, the enemy prisoner will get an angry soldier's hands on him, and officers will look the other way. You better not think that it doesn't happen.

Let's be practical. It's hard to build that kind nation out of a bunch of tribes with tribal leaders who swing wherever the money goes. It's too unstable. It can only be done if you hit the Taliban infrastructure hard. The Pakistanis need to push harder on their end. America, if they want to win, will have to do the same. Predator air strikes are great for assassinations, but they don't break the infrastructure. Only a show of force will do that.

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I enjoy the idea that you're either overseas fighting or "twiddling your thumbs in America," one or the other. Now, that's funny.
My apologies. That was out of line. Way out of line.

To sum things up: War sucks. We aren't making progress. I don't see the government stepping up priority because they are little too busy with unemployment figures, too busy for concern for American boy's lives. Let's pack and leave.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:41 PM   #5
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To sum things up: War sucks. We aren't making progress. I don't see the government stepping up priority because they are little too busy with unemployment figures, too busy for concern for American boy's lives. Let's pack and leave.
Amen .

Why exactly are we responsible for building nations, anyway? I'm all for getting involved if, say, a genocide is happening-we should definitely go and help stop that, because that's a human rights issue and we should never stand for that kind of atrocity. But when did we decide we were the almighty power that needed to build other nations? We have enough issues with our own, how can we go over and expect to run other countries smoothly? And it just seems awfully patronizing to me-"Oh, these poor people, they don't know how to create a nation on their own, we must help them (read: occupy them)". The citizens know the area better than we do. They know what kind of government they would like. Why do we feel we have the right to dictate that stuff to them? Would anyone like it if another country came in and tried to change our nation or felt we needed an overthrow or a change in regime or whatever?

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Old 06-28-2010, 09:52 PM   #6
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Amen .

Why exactly are we responsible for building nations, anyway? I'm all for getting involved if, say, a genocide is happening-we should definitely go and help stop that, because that's a human rights issue and we should never stand for that kind of atrocity. But when did we decide we were the almighty power that needed to build other nations? We have enough issues with our own, how can we go over and expect to run other countries smoothly? And it just seems awfully patronizing to me-"Oh, these poor people, they don't know how to create a nation on their own, we must help them (read: occupy them)". The citizens know the area better than we do. They know what kind of government they would like. Why do we feel we have the right to dictate that stuff to them? Would anyone like it if another country came in and tried to change our nation or felt we needed an overthrow or a change in regime or whatever?

Angela
Exactly. We came for Al-Quaida. CIA director Panetta says there are only 50-100 Al-Quaida left in Afghanistan...most of them have moved into Pakistan. The goal has transformed into nation building...again. The people of Afghanistan, if they want democracy, will get democracy. Maybe not immediately, but in due time. But only if they really want it. We cannot do it for them.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:38 PM   #7
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But people, no one is coming home until the job is done.

could you describe what that looks like?



Quote:
Not until some president steps up and says no more. Frankly, I don't see Obama doing it. He's a great guy through and through, but he is no general.
correct. the elected civilian branch of government controls the armed forces. this is why we're not a junta like Burma. generals highly respect the chain of command, even when they slag off their bosses (as we all do).


Quote:
But even when I hate torture, I know it can save lives. To deny that is ignorance. It's a horrible thing, but it can save lives in an immediate outcome.

maybe you can be the first person in FYM to describe a specific instance when torture provided us with information otherwise unattainable that saved lives. they waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammad 183 times -- can you point to the minimum 183 lives that were saved because of that?


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Let's be practical. It's hard to build that kind nation out of a bunch of tribes with tribal leaders who swing wherever the money goes. It's too unstable. It can only be done if you hit the Taliban infrastructure hard. The Pakistanis need to push harder on their end. America, if they want to win, will have to do the same. Predator air strikes are great for assassinations, but they don't break the infrastructure. Only a show of force will do that.

we've had 10 years. what's taking so long?
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:05 AM   #8
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could you describe what that looks like?





correct. the elected civilian branch of government controls the armed forces. this is why we're not a junta like Burma. generals highly respect the chain of command, even when they slag off their bosses (as we all do).





maybe you can be the first person in FYM to describe a specific instance when torture provided us with information otherwise unattainable that saved lives. they waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammad 183 times -- can you point to the minimum 183 lives that were saved because of that?





we've had 10 years. what's taking so long?
OK, multiple questions.

A) When the job is done? Whenever the goal is complete. Whatever that maybe. Capturing or killing Osama, or building a stable nation. Eradication of the Taliban and Al-quadia. When province officials won't be assassinated and random citizens' heads chopped off. Those kind of things. A little bit more like the current Iraq, even though it's not perfect. More stable. People can go on their way. Those type of things.

B) Yes, we aren't a junta. The advantage is that the military doesn't decide when to attack. One man can't start a war (oh wait, one man isn't supposed to start war, only Congress can declare a war, but hell, how are we in two wars?). The fallacy in that is inexperienced commander in chiefs making decisions regarding American lives.

C) I can't be specific. I don't have that information. But I can't prove it didn't happen, but it's likely. I know of instances of where soldiers would fire their muzzles every time next to an insurgents head, almost like a mock execution, enough for the insurgent to piss himself. They talked. I know where a soldier dragged a prisoner and interrogated a prisoner while a medic stands by with a scapel and syringes, pointing to areas of the body where he is threatening to chop off. Or make a prisoner holds a 2x4 between their legs, using only their legs to hold it. They are told if they drop it, they get shot. But I don't think you've read my previous post. Ever hear of Taskforce Orange. Yeh, they are a little government run army, very secret, black ops shit, that go around assassinating people. They don't torture. They kill. Did you think I was kidding when they made prisoners stand in line, shooting one by one in the head until someone talked?

Now Khalik Sheik Mohammed. There are some persons that are so infatuated with their ideology, they won't talk at all. No matter what. But Khalik Sheik Mohammed knew A LOT. That's why someone like him is waterboarded 183 times. It didn't work great after a 100 times, but afterwards he gave up Zubair, and then to the capture of Hambali, leader of Jemaah Islamiyah (South East Al-Quaida), and his brother "Gun Gun" which also led to the capture of 17 South East terrorists. The little fish. They talk if they are scared enough. And it's ignorance to assume there hasn't been any information that has saved lives.

How about former Attorney General Michael Mukasey?

Quote:
As late as 2006, fully half of the government's knowledge about the structure and activities of Al Qaeda came from those interrogations." Former CIA Director George Tenet has said, "I know that this program has saved lives. I know we've disrupted plots. I know this program alone is worth more than [what] the FBI, the [CIA], and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us." Former National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell has said, "We have people walking around in this country that are alive today because this process happened."
D) You tell me. Probably because the war isn't really on people's mind. I say it again and again. You hear about oil spills, tarballs on beaches, empty 401k's, healthcare reform, finance reform, yada yada yada, money, money, money.

Oh, there is a lot of money in war profiteering.
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:18 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=Moser;6819424]
Quote:
A) When the job is done? Whenever the goal is complete. Whatever that maybe. Capturing or killing Osama, or building a stable nation. Eradication of the Taliban and Al-quadia. When province officials won't be assassinated and random citizens' heads chopped off. Those kind of things. A little bit more like the current Iraq, even though it's not perfect. More stable. People can go on their way. Those type of things.
Very simple reason why we don't have the job done now. The job=Al Qaeda gone and reasonably stable Afghanistan with little chance of Taliban returning to power.

We are there now despite Panetta's very true claim that AQ has moved out of Afghanistan almost entirely, because as it stands now, there is a good chance the Taliban will take over significant portions of Afghanistan. Many of these areas are strategically located near mountain passes to Pakistan or along drug smuggling routes rich with Opium fields. Anyone think the Taliban won't let AQ right back in?

The very simple reason the job is not done now is the initial force sent in by Bush/Rumsfeld was nowhere near large enough to do the job. From a military and reconstruction standpoint. It was Rumsfeld who had an ideological zeal for cutting down the number of forces needed to do a job regardless of the facts. In late 2001, Powell, joined by the entire Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, pushed forcefully for more troops to capture AQ leaders, secure Bin Laden and begin rebuilding Afghanistan. The centerpiece of the rebuilding effort was going to be converting the opium crop into a civilian use that was both profitable and not related to producing illegal drugs. Turkey had great success with a similar program in the 70s with the strong support of Nixon and Kissinger.

Not so much October 7 at the commencement of bombing Afghanistan, but as the war progressed and ground troops were moved in with the goal of getting the Karzai government in place, capturing AQ and rebuilding, is where we dropped the ball. Bush's own intelligence people said there were over 100K Taliban. Joe Biden met Bush in the oval office in December 2001 and he dismissed the Taliban with the wave of a hand. Biden flipped out and asked him how many body bags he counted. 5, 6K maybe? Where are the rest of the Taliban? We found out in later years, they came right back and Karzai may even join them.



Quote:
I can't be specific. I don't have that information. But I can't prove it didn't happen, but it's likely. I know of instances of where soldiers would fire their muzzles every time next to an insurgents head, almost like a mock execution, enough for the insurgent to piss himself. They talked. I know where a soldier dragged a prisoner and interrogated a prisoner while a medic stands by with a scapel and syringes, pointing to areas of the body where he is threatening to chop off. Or make a prisoner holds a 2x4 between their legs, using only their legs to hold it. They are told if they drop it, they get shot. But I don't think you've read my previous post. Ever hear of Taskforce Orange. Yeh, they are a little government run army, very secret, black ops shit, that go around assassinating people. They don't torture. They kill. Did you think I was kidding when they made prisoners stand in line, shooting one by one in the head until someone talked?

Now Khalik Sheik Mohammed. There are some persons that are so infatuated with their ideology, they won't talk at all. No matter what. But Khalik Sheik Mohammed knew A LOT. That's why someone like him is waterboarded 183 times. It didn't work great after a 100 times, but afterwards he gave up Zubair, and then to the capture of Hambali, leader of Jemaah Islamiyah (South East Al-Quaida), and his brother "Gun Gun" which also led to the capture of 17 South East terrorists. The little fish. They talk if they are scared enough. And it's ignorance to assume there hasn't been any information that has saved lives.

How about former Attorney General Michael Mukasey?
I don't disagree with your "get going, get it done right or get the hell out" (we needed a lot of that in 2001)conclusions or your overall opinion on the wars, but this is factually complete nonsense.

Not trying to be harsh, but I had to point that out since the answer is right there with one click on google.

General Petraeus: Torture is Unnecessary, Hurts Our National Security and Violates Our American Values → Washington's Blog

Top Interrogation Experts Agree: Torture Doesn't Work → Washington's Blog

I lifted this passage from the above link that I think addresses your main claims:

And - according to the experts - torture is unnecessary even to prevent "ticking time bombs" from exploding (see this, this and this). Indeed, a top expert says that torture would fail in a real 'ticking time-bomb' situation
And Dick Cheney's claim that waterboarding Khalid Shaikh Mohammed stopped a terror attack on L.A.? As the Chicago Tribune notes:
The Bush administration claimed that the waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed helped foil a planned 2002 attack on Los Angeles -- forgetting that he wasn't captured until 2003.
(see this confirmation from the BBC: "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed ... was captured in Pakistan in 2003").

Indeed, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed himself said:
During the harshest period of my interrogation I gave a lot of false information in order to satisfy what I believed the interrogators wished to hear in order to make the ill-treatment stop. I later told the interrogators that their methods were stupid and counterproductive. I'm sure that the false information I was forced to invent in order to make the ill-treatment stop wasted a lot of their time and led to several false red-alerts being placed in the U.S.
And "the CIA inspector general in 2004 found that there was no conclusive proof that waterboarding or other harsh interrogation techniques helped the Bush administration thwart any 'specific imminent attacks,' according to recently declassified Justice Department memos."


Torture does not work. Period, end of story.
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:42 AM   #10
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The people of Afghanistan, if they want democracy, will get democracy. Maybe not immediately, but in due time. But only if they really want it. We cannot do it for them.
Precisely. I always like to point this simple fact out: you cannot FORCE democracy on people. That goes against the whole definition of what a democracy is.

Well said on the rest of your post, too.

Angela
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:53 AM   #11
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I don't disagree with your "get going, get it done right or get the hell out" (we needed a lot of that in 2001)conclusions or your overall opinion on the wars, but this is factually complete nonsense.
What is factually complete nonsense?

Quote:
Torture does not work. Period, end of story.
Now that is an oversimplification. I agree torture has more harm than good in the long run. Yes, a lot of people joined the Taliban because of torture of innocent civilians. But your above statement is ideology. To say it doesn't work, at one point or another. I hate torture, but even I am honest enough to face the harsh truth that can such a horrible thing can save lives in the immediate run. Overall, it isn't a tactic that should be used frequently because everything has diminishing returns.

Another thing: You get a lot of reports of false info in the press, but you never hear of the valuable information that is obtained illegally by soldiers in the field. Like I said before, what officer wants to turn his own men in?

Well, there are no factual reports.

Yeah, because it is illegal. You don't report that to the brass. It only goes around by word of mouth. But I said it once, I'll say it again. Soldiers get really tired of their buddies getting killed. They don't always play nice with the enemy.

Sad? Yes. So what exactly are you trying to say? Torture doesn't work? Ever? Go ahead and believe what you want to believe.

P.S: Why are even discussing this? Other than "You said torture works. Here's a bunch of articles saying it doesn't. You are proved wrong" motif.

Quote:
The very simple reason the job is not done now is the initial force sent in by Bush/Rumsfeld was nowhere near large enough to do the job. From a military and reconstruction standpoint. It was Rumsfeld who had an ideological zeal for cutting down the number of forces needed to do a job regardless of the facts
Yes, and yes! Occupying a country takes a lot of manpower!
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:40 AM   #12
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The problem is that abandoning a country after fighting a war there has been American foreign policy for -- what -- at least two dozen years. America is great at coming into a situation and mucking around with the insurgents and the dictators -- terrible at winning the hearts and minds of the people. One only has to do a cursory reading of our Afghan policy in the 80s to realize that what we did there actually created the environment in which we find ourselves today -- and it's because we went in guns a-blazing, and then went home, leaving behind a resentful people who were easily corralled by local and regional chiefs who eventually united behind Osama.

We're there, and we're not going anywhere. What I'd like to see is a policy shift away from simply fighting -- although you can't get away from the need for that, at least in the short term -- to a hearts-and-minds strategy that would involve building schools, establishing infrastructure, engaging the culture on its terms (not ours) etc. In my mind that would be a longer-term success than simply holding an offensive line.
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:16 AM   #13
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The problem is that abandoning a country after fighting a war there has been American foreign policy for -- what -- at least two dozen years. America is great at coming into a situation and mucking around with the insurgents and the dictators -- terrible at winning the hearts and minds of the people. One only has to do a cursory reading of our Afghan policy in the 80s to realize that what we did there actually created the environment in which we find ourselves today -- and it's because we went in guns a-blazing, and then went home, leaving behind a resentful people who were easily corralled by local and regional chiefs who eventually united behind Osama.

We're there, and we're not going anywhere. What I'd like to see is a policy shift away from simply fighting -- although you can't get away from the need for that, at least in the short term -- to a hearts-and-minds strategy that would involve building schools, establishing infrastructure, engaging the culture on its terms (not ours) etc. In my mind that would be a longer-term success than simply holding an offensive line.
It's been tried Nathan, it surely has. We destabilize a region, and move onto the next leaving no one to guard the villages. The Taliban move right back in. Schools have been hit hard. Girl schools especially. The Taliban kidnap the teachers, threaten parents, and burn the schools down. And while winning hearts and minds by engaging in their culture is a great idea, the tribes tend to prefer money and protection instead. The Taliban in Pakistan also do the same. 500 schools burned down.

Whoever has the most guns and money will sway tribal leaders minds. NATO knows this, because as soon as they regain control of a village, the people suddenly start cooperating. The problem is that if there aren't enough troops to cover villages, then your efforts in re-controlling regions is fruitless. And American lives are lost doing so.
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:45 AM   #14
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[QUOTE=Moser;6819591]
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Now that is an oversimplification. I agree torture has more harm than good in the long run. Yes, a lot of people joined the Taliban because of torture of innocent civilians. But your above statement is ideology. To say it doesn't work, at one point or another. I hate torture, but even I am honest enough to face the harsh truth that can such a horrible thing can save lives in the immediate run. Overall, it isn't a tactic that should be used frequently because everything has diminishing returns.

again, examples. with all the debate around torture over the Bush years, you'd think someone would be thrilled to present an example that clearly connected the prevention of some attack with the acquisition of that information from a specific torture technique made legal by Bush.

but that hasn't happened.

perhaps because we know that torture doesn't work -- that the reason we had 183 waterboardings of KSM was because he wasn't giving up the information they wanted -- regardless of whether or not that wanted information was actually true.

people will say anything to get you to stop torturing them. anything.
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:40 PM   #15
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again, examples. with all the debate around torture over the Bush years, you'd think someone would be thrilled to present an example that clearly connected the prevention of some attack with the acquisition of that information from a specific torture technique made legal by Bush.

but that hasn't happened.
I'm not talking about waterboarding, buddy. I'm talking about coerced interrogations in the field. Someone else brought up waterboarding. But that's not my point. Anybody can make what I said into a torture debate, but waterboarding and Bush is the not the point, nor am I interested in turning what I said into a political science issue.

Quote:
perhaps because we know that torture doesn't work -- that the reason we had 183 waterboardings of KSM was because he wasn't giving up the information they wanted -- regardless of whether or not that wanted information was actually true.

people will say anything to get you to stop torturing them. anything.
Back to coerced field interrogation, where you don't waterboard the prisoner, just scare the crap outta him to talk. Yes, I find that even borderline torture, but it's war, and soldiers will go far to protect themselves and their friends.

Terrorists will lie

So will criminals. Criminals don't fess up on the spot. They lie. They lie a lot. They lie to place blame on others and whatnot. Interrogators know most of what they hear is lies.

Do you really think soldiers are stupid? The whole point of interrogation is to piece together information. Do you see cops stop interrogating criminals because they lie? No. You get the suspect to commit to a story, prove the the story is wrong, make the criminal revise the story that is somewhat closer to the actual truth. And you go on and on and on? You also interrogate other suspects independently, to figure out what is truth and what is tartar sauce.

In war, you don't have time to play court. You get the information you need to save immediate lives. You can't be civil. You may not have time to be thorough. You will have to be very rough to scare the information out of them, because you don't have time. The enemy may be dropping mortars on your position. "Where is the mortar team?" Those kind of questions. You may have to get very mean about it.

Which brings me back to my original point a way back ago. You have to get mean in this war. You can't play the US justice system with enemy combatants in the field, because the system has more loopholes that you can wrap your head with. Also, it's dangerous. In Iraq, if you detain a prisoner, even if you caught him redhanded, you have to go back out into the field to collect evidence. Going back into the field is dangerous. And you have to unless you want the terrorist to go free.

Now, go back to your torture debate and waterboarding. Oh, yeh, it was you that brought up waterboarding. I've only been focusing on interrogations in the field. Like three times I had to reiterate this. But yet, you still try to make me look like I'm defending Bush torture techniques. Big sigh.

Now if you want really specific examples, go out and talk to boys who had the best of times and worst of times overseas. They have tons.
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