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Old 01-16-2005, 12:44 PM   #46
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OK, let me be clear on this for those of you who support torture in some cases.

1. Who gets to decide the torture and under what controls?
Who are the torturers and to whom are they accountable?
2. Exactly what tortures are allowable and what are not?
3. Would you sanction the same allowable tortures to be done
to American soldiers to obtain information?
4. Will there be full disclosure to Congress?
5. What justice will be given to those people wrongly imprisoned
and tortured?

If we torture, then we admit to it and give up that moral highground.

And to answer you, I don't know how far I would go to save a loved one. I'm not all that pure. But I'll accept the blood on my personal hands and go to hell for it if I have to. But I'm not pretending to be some moral beacon. America is. Wish we lived up to the myth we've surounded ourselves with.

Some of the accused abusers (before the prison scandal) came from my area, so this subject is close to me.
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Old 01-16-2005, 01:50 PM   #47
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Not condoning torture, but the point needs to be made that as long as our enemy is sawing off people's heads and intentionally killing it's own people, we'll always have the moral high ground.
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Old 01-16-2005, 02:45 PM   #48
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OK, but I don't want to be the lesser of two evils. Torture is wrong, period. We should be condemning this stuff.
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Old 01-16-2005, 05:05 PM   #49
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Yes. Just trying to cool the over the top rhetoric.
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Old 01-16-2005, 09:37 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally posted by drhark
Not condoning torture, but the point needs to be made that as long as our enemy is sawing off people's heads and intentionally killing it's own people, we'll always have the moral high ground.
I'm not sure if you wish to claim the "moral high ground" you should be terribly happy to be merely the lesser of two evils. And many people do feel that the US has killed it's own people (intentionally), so I wouldn't be too quick to claim victory in the moral department.
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Old 01-16-2005, 09:42 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
should we grant the same dignity and respect to the captured barbarians who kill, maim, decapitate and, yes, torture innocent men, women and children as we do to soldiers of a soverign nation?

probably... but i won't shed a tear if we don't.
Cruel and unusual punishment was unconstitutional last time I checked.


Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
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Old 01-16-2005, 10:10 PM   #52
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Torture should not be conducted out of sadism or want of punishment, it should only be reserved for very specific cases of top operatives who simply refuse to give any information and all other means have been exausted or time is a factor. Any action must be non-lethal, non-maiming and can be stopped at any time. Medical records must alse be known to the interrogators or else the risk of the target dying makes any action untenable.

If a terrorist is captured then they can refuse to answer any questions whatsoever, it is the purpose of the interrogators to weaken the targets mind but not "crack" them. For this bright lights, change in tempreture, sleep modification (again NOT sleep deprivation, deprivation is torture but modification is disconcerting), loud music all seem to be legit. But if time is an issue and you have a captured individual who is definitely connected then pulling a finger backwards until they talk will happen and I happen think that that is a good thing. Is it not better to have a guilty individual suffer a brief period of pain that they may stop at any moment by giving out the information that could possibly save lives than to not act and allow people to die.

To those that argue torture never gives out any useful information I suggest that you consider the quality of information obtained by other means, if they will lie when under the threat of violence consider what will be given when there is no risk to their persons at all.

I would not justify such action in comparison to the deeds of the enemy, it is a matter where innocent lives are at risk and I would cite situations where paedophile murders who have locked up young children are made to feel very uncomfortable to get the information about where the child is. Not a massive well orchestrated campaign to inflict torture upon every individual suspected of terrorism offences, this would not be done to very many people, it would be reserved for those like Ramzi Yousef - established operatives who were in the process of planning attacks or the Khalid Sheik Mohammeds or Hambali's - the top leadership who posess a lot of relevent information about the actions of terror networks in the region, these men are mass murderers, the immorality of causing them pain must surely be outweighed by the number of lives that could be saved - and it would only be done as a last resort and with full oversight by government with records and accountability.
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Old 01-16-2005, 10:42 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
Cruel and unusual punishment was unconstitutional last time I checked.


Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
I think this applies to those within the US justice system
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Old 01-17-2005, 04:56 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Torture should not be conducted out of sadism or want of punishment, it should only be reserved for very specific cases of top operatives who simply refuse to give any information and all other means have been exausted or time is a factor. Any action must be non-lethal, non-maiming and can be stopped at any time. Medical records must alse be known to the interrogators or else the risk of the target dying makes any action untenable.

If a terrorist is captured then they can refuse to answer any questions whatsoever, it is the purpose of the interrogators to weaken the targets mind but not "crack" them. For this bright lights, change in tempreture, sleep modification (again NOT sleep deprivation, deprivation is torture but modification is disconcerting), loud music all seem to be legit. But if time is an issue and you have a captured individual who is definitely connected then pulling a finger backwards until they talk will happen and I happen think that that is a good thing. Is it not better to have a guilty individual suffer a brief period of pain that they may stop at any moment by giving out the information that could possibly save lives than to not act and allow people to die.

To those that argue torture never gives out any useful information I suggest that you consider the quality of information obtained by other means, if they will lie when under the threat of violence consider what will be given when there is no risk to their persons at all.

I would not justify such action in comparison to the deeds of the enemy, it is a matter where innocent lives are at risk and I would cite situations where paedophile murders who have locked up young children are made to feel very uncomfortable to get the information about where the child is. Not a massive well orchestrated campaign to inflict torture upon every individual suspected of terrorism offences, this would not be done to very many people, it would be reserved for those like Ramzi Yousef - established operatives who were in the process of planning attacks or the Khalid Sheik Mohammeds or Hambali's - the top leadership who posess a lot of relevent information about the actions of terror networks in the region, these men are mass murderers, the immorality of causing them pain must surely be outweighed by the number of lives that could be saved - and it would only be done as a last resort and with full oversight by government with records and accountability.
I appreciate the well thought out reasoning, the intelligence, the willingness to address difficult questions, the very interesting take on the situation. A civilized mind, not swayed by the emotions of either side. I enjoyed this post.
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Old 01-17-2005, 05:31 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint

1. Who gets to decide the torture and under what controls?
Who are the torturers and to whom are they accountable?
2. Exactly what tortures are allowable and what are not?
3. Would you sanction the same allowable tortures to be done
to American soldiers to obtain information?
4. Will there be full disclosure to Congress?
5. What justice will be given to those people wrongly imprisoned
and tortured?
1. Good Question. I would prefer the CIA conducting the interrogations of the ununiformed combatants of foreign nationals verses the military. I would say accountable to the DCIA.

2. I am all for sensory dprivation and sleep deprivation. Pretty much, I agree with the rough draft of the Gonzo memo.

3. American Soldiers in Uniform should be treated with the same respect as anyone under the Geneva Conventions. The reason I feel that the people in Guantanomo do not is because they were not fighting under the flag of a governement that agreed to the geneva conventions, nor do they wear uniforms identifying themselves as soldiers.

4. No more or less than there has been in the past.

5. Best question of the bunch.
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Old 01-17-2005, 06:28 AM   #56
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There are honest disagreements here. I think we have the disagreements because we're *all* against terrorism.
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Old 01-17-2005, 09:16 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally posted by drhark
Not condoning torture, but the point needs to be made that as long as our enemy is sawing off people's heads and intentionally killing it's own people, we'll always have the moral high ground.
I don't think you have the higher moral ground by comparing it to others, you have the higher moral ground by comparing it to your own principles, beliefs and morals. If we do that and you see what we're doing and proposing now, we've lost all higher moral ground. If we keep comparing ourselves to the enemy the bar will continually get lower.
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Old 01-17-2005, 10:43 AM   #58
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Correct. So let's stop making this a higher moral ground contest. I have no problem examining our behavior and questioning whether we're holding up to our moral standards.

Its just that I think some people out there actually do believe we're as bad as them. Now that's scary.
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Old 01-17-2005, 12:35 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
do we not need to rethink some aspects of the Geneva Conventions?

should Al-Qaeda soldiers/terrorists -- who are young men from a variety of Muslim nations from Chechnya to Yemen to Morocco and have no national loyalty, are not conscripts, and do not wear the uniform of any particular nation, and are not working to advance the military goals of a nation but the advancement of a rather apocalyptic worldview -- be treated to the same standards laid out to protect members of the German army during Wolrd War 2?

this is not to say that because someone is an Al-Qaeda member, you can do whatever you want -- no one should exist in a legal netherworld with no rules regarding their treatment (which, come to think of it, sounds like GITMO). but do we need to rethink these old rules to apply to 21st century threats?

just some food for thougth ....
That's a really great question. All I know is the Geneva Convention deals with peoples of nations behind enemy lines (captured men fighting for a specific nation, etc) and Al-Qaeda and the like do not qualify technically. But in terms of revisions being made I wouldn't have the first clue about what they should be and how or if it would be possible.

But no, just because they are Al-Qaeda members does not mean they should be subjected to say, religious humilation (being fed pork) or sexual humiliation, or well really anything of that nature. There is a line that should not be crossed.

Another thing that should be considered is devising new methods of "cracking these people". Again, something I would not be in any position to put forth an opinion on, but I have to wonder if there are other ways to get people to break.

Anyway great post. Indeed food for thought.
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:57 AM   #60
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Just dawned on me that there are still some unanswered questions about Abu Ghraib. Who took the pictures? Why? Who gave them to the press? Why? Is there not an outlet for airing dirty laundry within the DOD? We should all agree that if this matter could have been handled internally, justly and swiftly, it would be better for our country. If warning was given and not heeded, so be it. But if this was a partisan plot to destroy the president, shame! We'll never know.
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