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Old 11-04-2005, 12:47 PM   #76
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
I doubt there is any room for discussion on this topic. While no one has said, "torture is good" the judgments being levied on those who fail to toe the zero tolerance line is unfortunate, yet not unexpected. We have even seen judgments that, in any other discussion, would not be tolerated by most on this board.

No one likes the idea of torture, but there may be a degree of freedom we have today because someone did some unspeakable acts in our past.
.


no, no one has said that torture is good, but they have said that it is necessary.

there's not as much of a distinction between the two statements as you seem to think.

as for the judgements, i think you'd find similar condemnation on this board of things like child pornography and the international sex trade where, as with torture (to most minds), it really is a right vs. wrong issue.
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Old 11-04-2005, 01:22 PM   #77
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Joyfulgirl--thanks for your post. I agree and I don't think it was a "picky" point at all.

NBC--thanks for engaging this thread. It's an important discussion. I am struck, though, but your language in your last post especially. It's, if I may say so, tentative, hedging, vague. "some unspeakable acts" --who are you referring to, the 9/11 hijackers? There "may be" more freedom now to torture? I find "flirting" with a clear statement typical of people who are uncomfortable with torture (go figure) but who are also unwilling/unable to clearly condemn it.

As I said above, I think for Christians, the scriptures I referenced above, as well as an overall pro-life ethic, make it necessary for me to clearly and loudly condemn torture--which again does not mean terrorists go free. If "love your enemies" doesn't mean "don't torture them", what in the world does it mean in any sort of concrete, practical sense? For non-Christians, Joyfulgirl and others' "its just wrong" approach works for me, too.

And I still haven't seen anyone here who supports the use of torture or flirts with supporting it respond effectively to the point that it's not effective as an intelligence gathering measure anyway. Lots of articles to this effect have been posted in the past, but I can try sometime this weekend to dig one up if folks would like.
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Old 11-04-2005, 01:43 PM   #78
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Another reference to Cheney. this is from Powell's second in command that spoke out last week. Totally Disgusting!

Another Thunderbolt from Wilkerson

By Dan Froomkin
Special to washingtonpost.com
Friday, November 4, 2005; 12:45 PM

Another shocking accusation by former administration insider Lawrence Wilkerson appears to be going under the media radar today.

On NPR yesterday, the former chief of staff to the secretary of state said that he had uncovered a "visible audit trail" tracing the practice of prisoner abuse by U.S. soldiers directly back to Vice President Cheney's office.

Here's the audio of Wilkerson's interview with Steve Inskeep. The transcript is not publicly available, but here are the relevant excerpts:

"INSKEEP: While in the government, he says he was assigned to gather documents. He traced just how Americans came to be accused of abusing prisoners. In 2002, a presidential memo had ordered that detainees be treated in a manner consistent with the Geneva Conventions that forbid torture. Wilkerson says the vice president's office pushed for a more expansive policy.

"Mr. WILKERSON: What happened was that the secretary of Defense, under the cover of the vice president's office, began to create an environment -- and this started from the very beginning when David Addington, the vice president's lawyer, was a staunch advocate of allowing the president in his capacity as commander in chief to deviate from the Geneva Conventions. Regardless of the president having put out this memo, they began to authorize procedures within the armed forces that led to, in my view, what we've seen.

"INSKEEP: We have to get more detail about that because the military will say, the Pentagon will say they've investigated this repeatedly and that all the investigations have found that the abuses were committed by a relatively small number of people at relatively low levels. What hard evidence takes those abuses up the chain of command and lands them in the vice president's office, which is where you're placing it?

"Mr. WILKERSON: I'm privy to the paperwork, both classified and unclassified, that the secretary of State asked me to assemble on how this all got started, what the audit trail was, and when I began to assemble this paperwork, which I no longer have access to, it was clear to me that there was a visible audit trail from the vice president's office through the secretary of Defense down to the commanders in the field that in carefully couched terms -- I'll give you that -- that to a soldier in the field meant two things: We're not getting enough good intelligence and you need to get that evidence, and, oh, by the way, here's some ways you probably can get it. And even some of the ways that they detailed were not in accordance with the spirit of the Geneva Conventions and the law of war.

"You just -- if you're a military man, you know that you just don't do these sorts of things because once you give just the slightest bit of leeway, there are those in the armed forces who will take advantage of that. There are those in the leadership who will feel so pressured that they have to produce intelligence that it doesn't matter whether it's actionable or not as long as they can get the volume in. They have to do what they have to do to get it, and so you've just given in essence, though you may not know it, carte blanche for a lot of problems to occur."

Addington, incidentally, was promoted this week to the position of vice presidential chief of staff, replacing his indicted former boss, Scooter Libby. (For more on Addington, read my columns from Tuesday and Wednesday .)

The only news service I have found that covered Wilkerson's comments on NPR was Agence France Presse .

But if past is prologue, it will get picked up by more people soon.

In my October 20 column , I expressed surprise that Wilkerson's last thunderbolt hadn't made the front pages.

The previous day, he had given a speech in which he declared that a secret cabal led by the vice president has hijacked U.S. foreign policy and crippled the ability of the government to respond to emergencies.

But it's gotten a lot more attention since


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Old 11-04-2005, 01:55 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sherry Darling
And I still haven't seen anyone here who supports the use of torture or flirts with supporting it respond effectively to the point that it's not effective as an intelligence gathering measure anyway. Lots of articles to this effect have been posted in the past, but I can try sometime this weekend to dig one up if folks would like.
The effectiveness (positive or negative) of torture can only be established through an analysis of classified data. We can theorize why it is not effective and collect various anecdotal tales, but as for controlling, conclusive evidence - it would appear to be out of our reach. Further, I would highly doubt that there is a body that would openly publish torture "success rates". Opposition articles, on the other hand, should be easily found.

We want national security. We want terrorist plots discovered before they are acted out. But, if given a person who may or may not know of such plots, how do you expect the information to be obtained? How far along the path of questioning will we go to prompt a response? We simply have no background or expertise in this area.

I'll pass on the "true Christian" statements that have been floated by others in this thread. Historically, if such statements were made in FYM, they were deemed reprehensible and judgmental.

Applying a Romans 12:20-21 (or Luke 6:27) standard to our government (instead of applying the standard to our own behavior) raises a multitude of issues from use of military or police force to broad principles of governing by Biblical standards.
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:10 PM   #80
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There are many things in life where we enjoy the benefits and look the other way regarding the consequences. Enjoy a hot dog at the ballgame? Do we really want to know what went into its production? Enjoy buying new clothes? What did people go through to make those clothes for you? We face these choices all day long.

(Now, please don't make the ridiculous post that I'm "equating" hot dogs with torture - you've missed my point if that is the response)

If we place a value on obtaining information about future bad acts, then I think it would be better to outline the limits of the practices employed to obtain this information than to drive it back to the "black ops" hole from which it came.
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:15 PM   #81
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Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
[B]
MCCAIN: No, we don't, Larry. If you inflict enough physical pain on someone they'll tell you anything that they want to know to relieve it. It's interesting to me that the Israelis, who deal with acts of terror all the time, their Supreme Court ruled against torture and they don't use that against the prisoners that they take.

In fact, they use a lot of psychological kinds of techniques and so if the Israelis don't have to do it, certainly it seems to me that we don't have to either.
I think it's interesting that those who say we have no data on the effectiveness of torture blow off John McCain--who, I would think, would know more than any of us.

He's right. There are psychological methods--not neccessarily mental torture that are effective. My dad used to be a Denver detective--surprise, cops don't use tortures to obtain confessions, they use bargains or psychological methods. One of their favorite tricks for obtaining a confession was to bring in a folder stuffed with papers, and a videotape. There was nothing in the file, nothing on the tape. But it made the person think there was piles of evidence against them, so they would confess. Granted, it's not exactly kosher, if a DA or a jury found out there would probably be some questioning.

John Douglas described the same techniques in "Mindhunter" when catching a serial killer--blowing the photos up of the crime scene and putting them all over the walls, putting the murder weapon out on display and having that greet the suspect as they sat down...it has the right effect.

Terrorists are not inhuman killing machines, not anymore than a serial killer is. The same mind games will work on any human being--and result in more accurate information than smashing someone's foot.

But then again, it takes planning and brains and our CIA is lacking in both areas.
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:52 PM   #82
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
If we place a value on obtaining information about future bad acts, then I think it would be better to outline the limits of the practices employed to obtain this information than to drive it back to the "black ops" hole from which it came.


but the Bush administration is opposing precisely this. through Gonzales, they have deliberately obfuscated the rules of detention. and Cheney is still *refusing*, despite pressure from McCain and others, cruel and inhuman and degrading treatment of suspects.

why? perhaps because of this:

[q]The secretary of defense under cover of the vice president's office," Wilkerson said, "regardless of the president having put out this memo" - "they began to authorize procedures within the armed forces that led to what we've seen." He said the directives contradicted a 2002 order by President George W. Bush for the U.S. military to abide by the Geneva conventions against torture.

There was a visible audit trail from the vice president's office through the secretary of defense, down to the commanders in the field," authorizing practices that led to the abuse of detainees, Wilkerson said. The directives were "in carefully couched terms," Wilkerson conceded, but said they had the effect of loosening the reins on U.S. troops, leading to many cases of prisoner abuse, including at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, that were contrary to the Geneva Conventions.

"If you are a military man, you know that you just don't do these sorts of things," Wilkerson said, because troops will take advantage, or feel so pressured to obtain information that "they have to do what they have to do to get it." He said that Powell had assigned him to investigate the matter after reports emerged in the media about U.S. troops abusing detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both men had formerly served in the U.S. military.

Wilkerson also called David Addington, the vice president's lawyer, "a staunch advocate of allowing the president in his capacity as commander in chief to deviate from the Geneva Conventions.

http://iht.com/bin/print_ipub.php?fi...ews/cheney.php

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Old 11-04-2005, 03:30 PM   #83
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Originally posted by nbcrusader

No one likes the idea of torture, but there may be a degree of freedom we have today because someone did some unspeakable acts in our past.
.
So it's revenge?
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Old 11-04-2005, 03:32 PM   #84
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Quote:
Originally posted by randhail




It's nice to look at the world through rose colored glasses,
And you would know.

Quote:
Originally posted by randhail

but people need to be out there protecting us even if this is how it's done. Colonel Jessep's speech in A Few Good Men pretty much sums it up -

And you pretty much missed the whole point of that movie.
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Old 11-04-2005, 03:35 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader

No one likes the idea of torture, but there may be a degree of freedom we have today because someone did some unspeakable acts in our past.
No one likes the idea of TERROR, but there may be a degree of freedom we have today because someone did some unspeakable acts in our past.



have you done a mind-melt with those you oppose?
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Old 11-04-2005, 04:04 PM   #86
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Applying a Romans 12:20-21 (or Luke 6:27) standard to our government (instead of applying the standard to our own behavior) raises a multitude of issues from use of military or police force to broad principles of governing by Biblical standards.
Instead? There is no instead in Luke 6:27 so it applies to every level, not only the personal, but also the military and governmental one.

----> Luke 6:41
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Old 11-04-2005, 04:19 PM   #87
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And you pretty much missed the whole point of that movie.
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. Maybe we can break the film down sometime and share some popcorn too. I'd like that, how about you?
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Old 11-04-2005, 04:37 PM   #88
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Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. Maybe we can break the film down sometime and share some popcorn too. I'd like that, how about you?


i'm sorry, but you really did miss the whole point of that film. it really is about how wrong Colonel Jessup was to order a Code Red.

remember the end of the film when, you know, Jack Nicholson is arrested? seems like the message was pretty obvious:

[q]Downey: What did we do wrong? We did nothing wrong.

Dawson: Yeah, we did. We were supposed to fight for the people who couldn't fight for themselves. We were supposed to fight for Willie. [/q]
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Old 11-04-2005, 05:17 PM   #89
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Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. Maybe we can break the film down sometime and share some popcorn too. I'd like that, how about you?
Sure.
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Old 11-04-2005, 05:25 PM   #90
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Sure.
Awesome
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