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Old 01-13-2005, 01:44 PM   #1
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Torture - Does anyone support it??

With all the reports/stories of how the White House tried to ease sanctions on Torture techniques, I wanted to ask if anyone on this forum actually supports torture as a means of getting information to help prevent a terrorist attack or to capture a well-known terrorist.

And if the White House did ease sanctions (someone in there does support torture, whether it be Gonzalez or Rumsfeld), did they actually think they could get away with this without anyone knowing? I mean come on...

So, whether your right or left, do you support this? And my god, why?
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Old 01-13-2005, 01:55 PM   #2
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Certainly not, it has no place in a decent government.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:05 PM   #3
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an argument like this cannot proceed without a commonly accepted definition of torture. There are psychological interrogation techniques, sexual and religious humiliation, physical abuse, sleep deprivation.

Another question up to debate is what works and what doesn't. The goal is to extract valuable information about what the detainee knows.

Of course nobody agrees we should engage in gratuitous torture or punishment. But there is a damn good reason for utilizing techniques for obtaining information. So a discussion is in order as to where the line is drawn
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:09 PM   #4
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id define torture as anything that brings harm to an individual's psychological or physical integrity. that definition obviously includes sexual, religious humiliation and physical abuse.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by drhark
an argument like this cannot proceed without a commonly accepted definition of torture. There are psychological interrogation techniques, sexual and religious humiliation, physical abuse, sleep deprivation.

Another question up to debate is what works and what doesn't. The goal is to extract valuable information about what the detainee knows.

Of course nobody agrees we should engage in gratuitous torture or punishment. But there is a damn good reason for utilizing techniques for obtaining information. So a discussion is in order as to where the line is drawn
I agree a definition of where the line is, is needed for this debate to go further.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by drhark
an argument like this cannot proceed without a commonly accepted definition of torture. There are psychological interrogation techniques, sexual and religious humiliation, physical abuse, sleep deprivation.

Lucky for us, we have a pretty good definition. From the Geneva Conventions:
Quote:
To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons: (a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; (b) taking of hostages; (c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment; (d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgement pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:33 PM   #7
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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 ....
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:36 PM   #8
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I see the word torture within in the definition, so it can't be the definition itself. If it were a definition, it's pretty vague and open to a broad interpretation. like the Bible, Koran or Constitution
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:46 PM   #9
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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 ....
So are you saying the definition of torture depends on the enemy?
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:49 PM   #10
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Originally posted by Do Miss America


So are you saying the definition of torture depends on the enemy?

i'm not saying much of anything, other than that we need to ask ourselves if the Geneva Convention is applicable to the 21st century.

it might be, i just think it's something to be discussed.

and perhaps it does depend on the enemy -- is there a difference between a German farmer who was drafted, and Yemeni who voluntarily joined a roving group of international terrorists?

are these important distinctions to be made?

discuss. that's all i'm saying. i have no idea what to think -- i wouldn't venture an actual opinion just yet.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:52 PM   #11
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The enemy may be different but our moral code and humanity shouldn't change.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:53 PM   #12
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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 ....
No, I don't think they need to be rethought. Any questions we have now about their viability were just as relevant when they were adopted. These rules were set to protect human dignity; questions about the official status of prisoners are merely academic and beside the point.

But that's not the point I was trying to make. I was merely providing a commonly accepted definition of torture.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by drhark
I see the word torture within in the definition, so it can't be the definition itself. If it were a definition, it's pretty vague and open to a broad interpretation. like the Bible, Koran or Constitution
It's not really open to broad interpretation unless you're very eager to find loopholes. It says no violence, no humilation, no hostages and no executions. Seems clear enough to me.
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Old 01-13-2005, 02:56 PM   #14
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I agree that the application of the Geneva convention is not the same for all combatants.
Our moral code and humanity is not one and the same as the Geneva Convention. So I believe we can abide by our moral code and humanity outside the jurisdiction of the Geneva Convention
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Old 01-13-2005, 03:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by drhark
I agree that the application of the Geneva convention is not the same for all combatants.
Our moral code and humanity is not one and the same as the Geneva Convention. So I believe we can abide by our moral code and humanity outside the jurisdiction of the Geneva Convention
Well, the problem is that since it was ratified by Congress, the Geneva Conventions carry the full weight of US law. It's not like we can just decide not to abide by them, or throw out the parts we don't like.

If we want to change it, that's a case we have to make to the world.
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