Memeorandum


Powered by TypePad

« Was It "Stupid Day" In The Media? | Main | Mark Foley Thread - Blurt Out Your Thoughts »

September 29, 2006

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b2aa69e200d83466ea0969e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Torture:

Comments

TexasToast

My understanding is that the CIA will be employing "coercive interrogation" only with high value prisoners.

I always thought that conservatives hated moral relativism.

clarice

Well, we know Corn's a liar, and Sullivan has a peculiar thing about "torture". Did he go to one of those British boarding schools?

SteveMG

I always thought that conservatives hated moral relativism.

Indeed, we are. No relativism involved here since we believe that the treatment involved here is not immoral.

Let me ask you Toast, as a lefty, do you think FDR's incarceration of 75,000 Japanese Americans was equivalent to the Nazi's roundup of millions of Jews and other "untermenschen"?

SMG


MayBee

TT, you're right. Equating a cold room or loud music with torture is the worst kind of moral relativism.

MayBee

The fun will begin when Larry "Some of my best friends are assassins" Johnson weighs in with how awful this bill is.

SteveMG

Equating a cold room or loud music with torture is the worst kind of moral relativism.

Bingo.

The moral relativism here is by those who equate the US's treatment of a few dozen terrorists who've declared war on us with the imprisonment and slaughter of tens of millions by the Soviet Union.

Now, there's moral relativism.

SMG

boris

TT's confusion may be the result of growing up without any moral relatives.

cathyf

One of my coworkers once posted a link to a page describing medieval torture techniques. I made the mistake of clicking on it and reading it. Nothing that has been officially approved by the US government has been even remotely close to torture.

There have been cases of torture against enemy prisoners. There have also been cases of Americans torturing their children. Other Americans have tortured their wives. Real, horrific torture. The Sullivans of this country and their puerile braying attempting to "define torture up" is an insult to all of the victims of real torture.

clarice

OT:The House version of the bill approving and funding the building of a U.S./Mexico border wall has overwhelmingly passed the Senate, according to KFI News.

Terry Gain

Poor Andrew. He wrote one of the best, if not the best justifications I have seen for the humanitarian intervention in Iraq, but then lost his mind when Bush came out against homosexual marriage.

clarice

Exactly.

Pofarmer

Torture has basically been redifined as forcing somebody to tell you things that they'd rather not. It's funny in a sad sort of way. It kind of fits though, the left would really rather not know what's coming. That way they can't be blamed if something happens. The less you know.......

clarice

I used to think a good torture would be to make the detainees watch Oprah 24/7 but I read the other day they love her in Gitmo.

GO figure.

clarice

It seems some bodyguards of the Sunni bloc were working for the terrorists and were planning a multiple suicide bombing extravaganza in the green zone.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/30/world/middleeast/30sunni.html?_r=1&oref=slogin


The Iraqis (not us) will undoubtedly be questioning the suspects.
Those rounded up will wish it were otherwise.

MayBee

I once emailed Andrew Sullivan to ask if it would be abusive to our prisoners to read pro-gay marriage literature to them, or to tell them their guards were gay men.

Pofarmer

ask if it would be abusive to our prisoners to read pro-gay marriage literature to them,

Well, it would certainly be torture for me.

TexasToast

Lets score the reactions to "moral reletivism"

Everyone knows how fair the scorekeeper is!

Clarice - ad hom on Sullivan -2
SMG - the Nazis were worse! -5 (Godwin - mega moral relativism)
MayBee - its not that bad -3 (I would also defame the reputation of cheap suitcases)
MayBee - Larry Johnson? -1 (ad hom or Huh)?
SMG - the Soviets were worse! -2
Boris - ad hom on the scorekeeper! -27
CathyF - its not that bad - -0 (I liked the medeval bit - but we really don't know, do we?)
Terry Gain - Faggots - -52 (that is why Sully went nuts!)
Clarice - Exactly ????????
Pofarmer - the left is silly - -3

Total?
drumroll

I'm afraid it is rather negative - I will spare you the results.

Thanks for playing! ;)


Bradford DeLong

Now it would be one thing if we were talking about Khalid Sheik Mohammed only people like Khalid Sheik Mohammed being tortured by professionals--like those who worked in the Tower of London for James I & VI and broke Guy Fawkes.

But that's not what we're talking about, are we? We're talking about torturing Khalid Sheik Mohammed and perhaps a thousand others, low-value targets some of whom are like Maher Arar. And we're talking about them being tortured by amateurs desperate to produce things that coincide with what their political masters like Dick Cheney want to hear.

And everyone we torture has relatives.

And we are strongest when we are the good guys, not B-movie heavies, or worse.

Torture: it's not just an international crime, it's a bad idea.

SteveMG

We're talking about torturing Khalid Sheik Mohammed and perhaps a thousand others, low-value targets some of whom are like Maher Arar. And we're talking about them being tortured by amateurs desperate to produce things that coincide with what their political masters like Dick Cheney want to hear.

Hey, Tom, can you delete this like DeLong does regularly at his site?

Because we're in deep fantasy land here.

SMG

SteveMG

I'm afraid it is rather negative - I will spare you the results.

You need to "cc" a copy to Sullivan.

So, FDR isn't Hitler and Bush isn't Stalin, right?

Hmm, what's the Soviet/Stalin equivalent of the Hitler analogy/Godwin's law?

SMG

Soylent Red

a cold room or loud music

Careful MayBee. We don't want anyone to cry or suffer from lowered self esteem. We'd better order them some more Subway and try to be more understanding.

But perhaps we could make some lemonade out of all of this. Openly admit gays to the military but only as MPs or HUMINT Collectors. Turn Guantanamo into a year round Pride Parade.

Everything these people eat, sleep on, what have you will have been touched by homosexuals. Everytime they take a shower, they are being watched by homosexuals. Reinstitute periodic strip searches.

And every interrogation starts with the words, "You know, I've been checking you out..."

topsecretk9


The fun will begin when Larry "Some of my best friends are assassins" Johnson weighs in with how awful this bill is....

He did not say this, did he?

I dunno, I do not buy the torture - secret prison (NSA or swift, for that matter) BS has any moral grounding on the part of the Dems, it's all about undermining, lying scratching their way into power, fed to them by self-interest protecting rogues who realize it's much easier to be bad when Dems are in power...

CIA rendition, torture and worse has always happened via CIA and will continue just the same, regardless of this feel-good legislation....and we will only hear someone breached it when the LEAK-O-crats decide it might hurt a republican and throw the person under the bus in order to hurt the politician.

The only thing the leak-o-crats didn't realize is Bush is right, the enemy has figured out they can exploit our fubar ACLU liberal legal system and "SUE" - yeah, this option is available to all the prisoners nursing the fingerless hands in some skank prison cell in those free societies of Iran or Syria. -- and so they help the enemy again


topsecretk9

Openly admit gays to the military but only as MPs or HUMINT Collectors. Turn Guantanamo into a year round Pride Parade.

HEH!

Tutti McFruity

I think the "one reason" why Andrew 'light in the loafers, not that there is anything wrong with that' Sullivan "became a conservative" was so he could start out his GOP bashing stories (99.9% of his repertoire) with "One reason I became a conservative was..."

Was doesn't he just disavow his so-called conservative credentials so he can be happy with the rest of the America-hatin' lefties?

Soylent Red

Oh! and we could rename Guantanamo to:

The Birdcage.

topsecretk9

You know, we could ask Andrew Sullivan to the Detainee Czar!

Neo

Perhaps, as a PR tool, the CIA should offer a "pool" reporter the option of undergoing "waterboarding."

But why should the reporters have all the fun. Maybe 6 Flags or Disneyworld could offer a "waterboarding" ride.

Soylent Red

Neo:

Disneyland is worse than waterboarding.

Soylent Red

But it would make for an interesting "Muslim Day".

Sweetie

Pol Pot killed 3 million Cambodians but its the waterboarding that demonstrates the evil of the bastard?

I haven't gotten that deep into the onion yet.

clarice

The military appropriations bill passed 100-0. What do you think that does to the NYT's "bucking the President" theme? To the cut and run message? LOL

MayBee

Sorry, TS. I should have been more accurate about Johnson's descriptions of his friends. They hunted down and killed Pablo Escobar and ME terrorists.

Orson

Waterboarding works because without gills, one cannot breath underwater. If one lacks oxygen, you die.

Thus, waterboarding IS torture. The question isn't "is this necessary?' but "is it effective?" Having answered this in the affirmative, the next question is "how can it only be used rarely?" Eliminating military use, which has been done, is a good step.

But how does this bill and its resoluation make its use rarer still? I hope it does, but still allows its occaisional use. War forces us to accept a utilitarian "for the greater good" standard of morality. It is anothr reason why wars ought to waged only reluctantly.

Honesty makes me accept this.

While there are "slippery slope" concerns, I hope this battle between executive and congressional views makes torture rarely used.

topsecretk9

Disneyland is worse than waterboarding.

NO COME ON RED...your worse than this when it comes to joy and merriment and leetle childrens!!!

Terry Gain

TexasToast

Where did I say anything about faggots? I was simply noting something that is obvious to someone who read Andrew carefully, both before and after.

Faggot is your word, not mine. I happen to believe sexuality is innate and not a matter of choice or environment. I have never used derogatory terms to describe a person's God-given sexuality. So, TT you're just acting like a liberal: jumping to conclusions.

And on that score Delong does you one better when he says we are talking about torture and low value targets. Perhaps under a Democratic administration that's what we would be talking about, but right now we're talking about the most effective way to interrogate terrorists in order to learn information so we can disrupt and destroy the enemy, win the war and and save lives.

It's not clear to me why liberals think they can fool us into thinking they are concerned about terrorists rights when we know they are just playing politics.

topsecretk9

They hunted down and killed Pablo Escobar and ME terrorists.

Oh, yeah..that's right...rendition and murder! They were WAY above a chapter or 2 of Harry Potter!

Soylent Red

TSK9:

Six words–

It's A Small World After All

I rest my case.

In fact, if I were running Guantanamo, that song would be piped in 24/7.

Neo

I wonder if the outlawed the "comfy chair"

Ximinez: Confess! Confess! Confess!
Biggles: It doesn't seem to be hurting her, lord.
Ximinez: Have you got all the stuffing up one end?
Biggles: Yes, lord.
Ximinez [angrily hurling away the cushions]: Hm! She is made of harder stuff! Cardinal Fang! Fetch...THE COMFY CHAIR!

MayBee

TT: MayBee - its not that bad -3 (I would also defame the reputation of cheap suitcases)

Who says it's not "that bad"? I think it'd be tremendously uncomfortable to be sleep deprived, and it would be awful to be cold and terrifying to be waterboarded. But we're not playing a game of "Let's not be that bad". What I find comfortable, unpleasant, or even awful shouldn't be the standard by which we define torture.

For the record, yes, I would be an embarrassment to cheap suitcases. Which is why I don't plan on engaging in any terrorist activities.

TT: MayBee - Larry Johnson? -1 (ad hom or Huh)?

ad hom. Taking away my ad hom Larry Johnson attacks would be torture.

MTT

TM,

Has Mr. Sullivan ever explicity answered the question asked of him by many others as to what forms of coercion he would sanction to obtain actionable intelligence from a known enemy or combatant?

Is the argument that no coercive measures may ever be taken, by anyone, at any time?

If this is true I believe it only fair for Mr. Sullivan, Mrs. Clinton, Mrs. Pelosi, Mr. Reid, Mr. Kerry, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Biden, Mr. Levin, et al to come right out and loudly proclaim so.

If not, then it is equally necessary and appropriate, as the President has asked Congress as those in the position of making law, and those that feel themselves in a position to comment, to explicity determine what is and what is not allowable.

topsecretk9

In fact, if I were running Guantanamo, that song would be piped in 24/7.
I see your vays...although..."What I got I got to get it put it in you...not stop please continue" is simply devilishly devine too!


THE COMFY CHAIR!

Neo, it was the "BIG comfy couch", and it was so very teh lame, wasn't it?

Neo

The truth of it boils down to whether any of the detractors of some sort of reasonable "coercive interrogation" would ever act to recind their use if they were the POTUS at war with a bunch of suicidial nutcases.

topsecretk9

Neo...my bad, forgot about monty python...sorry. The Big Comfy couch did suck, though.

Neo

Once we have got the Comfy Chair, imagine a suicidial version of the "Blues Bothers" (on a mission from God) is in the chair.

MayBee

Soylent- hilarious!

Soylent Red

I see your vays...although..."What I got I got to get it put it in you...not stop please continue" is simply devilishly devine too!

Particularly if played in a camp run entirely by homosexuals with an enormous sign over the gate saying "The Gayest Place on Earth".

Yep. I'd break before lunch.

topsecretk9

Red

I do believe you have just written an entire episode of South Park my friend...EN-Kaay!

Another Bob

Orson

If I'm not mistaken, waterboarding does *not* result in drowning as you suggest. It apparently creates a very effective *feeling* that one is drowning due to triggering of the gag reflex. I will be happy to be corrected if this isn't the case.

One of the reasons we cannot rationally discuss this is extreme, emotional and unsubstantiated assumptions like this.

clarice

Soylent--that is truly diabolical.
Maybe we could get the Manolo to do the new prison uniforms and footgear..

Soylent Red

All done in black vinyl and rubber?

Talk about a policy that causes terrorism. We might see a distinct uptick in terrorist activity by readers of The Village Voice.

Just hoping they'll get caught.

topsecretk9

It apparently creates a very effective *feeling* that one is drowning due to triggering of the gag reflex. I will be happy to be corrected if this isn't the case.

YOU know...I watched the entire Navy Seal series and so people are predisposed to gag reflex, in that the scuba crap they have to put on makes them gag, panic, feel like they are drowning without their nose plugged (or some configuration).

Anyhow, they rather strenuously hounded, hollered and scolded this guy and tested the crap out of him -- WHICH I GUESS IS TORTURE NOW -- in order to A- ensure he was capable because if not, he would endanger himself and the rest of his guys

Anyways, the point I am making is that even in a controlled environment this fellow had the feeling, and they were pressuring for good reason and I get the feeling boot camp --under Andrew Sullivan's lameass view - is torture.

God help up us.

barrydauphin

Well, I wonder what David Corn thought of Clinton's rendition policy and whether he even thought about it when Clinton was in office. Andrew practices torture, i.e., tortured logic in equating this law with the USSR, a law endorsed by St. John "been really tortured" McCain.

clarice

SOylent--that might be too hot in Cuba--Something more like this.
http://us.tnpv.net/2006/NTA200607/NTA2006070564705_pv.jpg

topsecretk9

God help up us?

Hmmm...Freudian I suppose.

(I hate my new keyboard, BTW - have I mentioned that? OH, I have...well I also hate that in less than one month there is a key that is bent and crooked - and I know I noticed it on day one but talked myself out of it! Grrr)

Soylent Red

Yeah TSK9:

Gas mask training. Forced PT. Sleep deprivation. All elements of basic training, none pleasant.

Or SERE training. Aside from the unpleasantness of it, if the whole damn world is so squishy and lovey when it comes to human rights of prisoners, why do we bother with it?

Oh yeah. Because we're the only country in the world who actually has these kinds of debates.

topsecretk9

Have to give Andy credit for one thing...a long time ago he linked to the flipping funniest article written by some gal who was SO SICK of metro-sexual mushies...it was HILARIOUS...she longed for the days of walking in on her dude-de-jour embarrassed for looking at a porn mag whilst on the toilet vs. saving his legs ...or the days when you went into your boyfriends scummy bathroom and all to be found was an 7 year old piece of ivory with a pub stuck to it!

I don NOT why guys want to groom like chicks and why chicks like them...I have a boy who takes 2 minute showers and somehow his hair is dry when he swears he washed it, and yet desires and sprays ALOT of every flavor of TAG and AXE -- HEY now that's torture!


OH...hmmmm...not really, i guess.

topsecretk9

Oh yeah. Because we're the only country in the world who actually has these kinds of debates.

Jimminy, isn't that the truth...in essence, we DO do all the hard work for the world.

Soylent Red

Oh man Clarice...

I looked at that link and immediately pinched up half a seat cushion. Shame on you.

I was thinking more like an entire camp full of Arabs dressed like this

Soylent Red

Zone "Cop". Zone "Construction Worker" Zone "Brokeback".

You get the idea.

topsecretk9

OK...UM...well...gee....Andy in a thong doing a Hannibal Lector impersonation...aka...I mean sleep apnea equipment demo really seems like a viable option on the effective coercive procedures!


MayBee

I have a boy who takes 2 minute showers and somehow his hair is dry when he swears he washed it, and yet desires and sprays ALOT of every flavor of TAG and AXE --

Get outta my house!

clarice

Soylent--that Zone stuff is so old--

Try something this year--
http://nymag.com/fashion/fashionshows/2006/fall/splash/mens/dsquared_210.jpg

topsecretk9

Get outta my house!

See MayBee...I know, maddening....however, I just gave away a techinique the terrorists could use to drive us crazy, because I have on good authority (my own nose) this is not something that bothers them


ALL good people should vote in Ace's POLL

clarice

TS--The hair thing is crazy with boys 10 to about 13 years old.My son's always looked the same to me no matter how much stuff he put on it.But until he was about 13--he'd ask me every morning how it looked. If I said, "fine" he'd complain I always said this and go back to work on it. If I suggested maybe something needed some work, we couldn't get out the door because another hour 's work was called for (*rolleyes*).Here's how you can tell he's -um--got a girlfriend. You won't be able to get him out of the shower.

topsecretk9

Clarice...exactly...unfortunately he wants "long" hair (everything old is new again!) and NO gel, he's embracing "skateboarding" and getting real with it all ---(OK not to get all Foley, but he did tell me he was getting --ahem -- "growth" down yonder and I just said GREAT - even though in heart I thought - he's not my boy anymore)

Here is a funny story...he came in today and said he and his friends were goofing off at the High School about 2 blocks away and one of his friends nutted up enough to impress his friends and ask a High School Girl if she would "go out with him" -- tee hee heee!...when son relayed the story I fully expected to hear she LOL'd and said "yeah right"...her response? A quick, matter-of-fact "I am a lesbian"

5 -- 11 year old boys were just like STUNNED!

But, I am in California -- my son's B-Ball coach was distressed because his gorgeous and tiny freshman daughter was cavorting and kissing with her girlfriend at the games!

clarice

It's awful when you live with that adolescent craziness but worse when they grow up.

I think I'm going to have to set up a school in L.A. I've looked and everything in L.A. is dreck..

clarice

(School for my granddaughter who lives there.)

topsecretk9

One word - PRIVATE...

I am actually looking into it, because my Grandfather went to Jesuit apparently that qualifies...I know it will be a hardship and it's a bummer with a decent highschool blocks away, but I am O V E R public schools.

topsecretk9

And Clarice...I went to my fair share of really decent CA public schools, but that was before everyone sued.

clarice

Yeah--well LA has terrible public schools and generally really batty private ones. My son says she can go to primary school there and then he'll send her here so she can go to the same private school he went to here.

I don't think his wife is big on that idea.

Daddy

TM,
FWIW 25 years ago I underwent military waterboard training. It was a valuable experience. It was an immediate frantic sensation of drowning. Very effective. To young invulnerable military bucks who had NAFOD (No apparent fear of death) it was a good psychic slap in the face about one's vulnerabilities and limitations. It helped you know yourself. Probably 75 percent of the guys I currently fly with are ex-military aviators, so they've undergone similar training. Being stuck for a week or 2 in hotels and cockpits with folks you have to rely on you get a pretty decent read on each other. Liberal/Conservative-wise these 300 guys/gals I'm talking about probably break out about 10% hard left, 35% hard right, and the rest fluxing in-between. They are a pragmatic bunch. My totally unscientific, unverified sense of this group (who have undergone waterboard training) is that their overall opinion is:
1) that it is idiotic to not be using this technique to get info out of the terrorists.
2) that it is idiotic in a time of war to even be having this discussion about giving these non-uniformed terrorists Geneva Convention rights.
3) that the argument that treating these terrorist prisoners politely will prompt them to reciprocate kindly to our soldiers is fatuous nonsense. Even the one's who truely hate Bushes guts don't use that as an argument tool.

Let me also say that I had 2 CO's who both spent 5 plus years in the Hanoi Hilton, and have flown since with a few others. Of those guys who actually had been tortured, (excepting the one's at POW training who's job was to share their experiences with us), none of them ever said word one about any of it at all.

Patton

The biggest problem we have here is that the left simply refuses to recognize that we may use some techniques that are used by other countries, BUT, there is a huge difference in the reason for it, the degree to which it is used and the oversight.

It is like saying kissing you girlfriend is the same as kissing a five year old.


It is like saying what was done to Khalid Sheikh Muhammed is the same as what Ted Kennedy did to Mary Joe Kopeckne.

PeterUK

The left discusses the whole issue of coercive interrogation in terms of moral abstracts,and/or power corrupts,at no time does theleft put foreward alternatives which they would find acceptable.
It appears that to salve their consciences the left is willing to deny intelligence derived from any coercive techniques,since the opposition has proved most resourceful in extending the boundaries in defining torture and liberal lawyers most inventive,this ,in practical terms,means no coercion whatsover,ergo no intelligence which is not volunteered.
This raise a second question,to what extent is the left willing to accept that this will undoubtedly result in casualties on their own side, what level of casualties will they accept as being worth paying the price for their principles.
It is unlikely that any will answer this,after all it comes down to how many of their kith and kin they would see perish rather than one jihadi discomfitted.
Those that will not answer these questions are either political opportunists or on the other side.

Sue

They have become what they once fought.

I have a hard time following the line of reasoning. When we are discussing torture, how to try terrorists, etc., the argument is we are the greatest country on earth. When we are discussing why terrorists target us, we are an evil empire. I have come to the conclusion that what we argue doesn't matter. Those opposed to Bush, and that is the argument, will say anything and hope those listening don't pay attention.

Sue

Torture, the US version of torture, has been used by the CIA since its creation. Everyone knew how the CIA got information whether it was acknowledged or not. Clinton had a secret rendition program (that wasn't leaked to the press) where the target was taken to a foreign country that Clinton knew practiced real torture. As long as he could maintain plausible deniability he was okay with it. Clinton would not sign an order to kill bin Laden. Again, plausible deniability. If something went wrong, he wanted a way to say it was the fault of the CIA. I don't know if Bush would have acted differently had 9/11 not happened. Most presidents operated under the plausible deniability clause. But 9/11 did happen and Bush did act differently. And in doing so brought out those who hate Bush, for many reasons, not just Iraq...

The argument against torture did not occur under other presidents even though it was known. In order to hurt Bush the left brought it out into the sunshine. They preferred it when they could claim plausible deniability.

jerry

I'm beginning to think that this year will turn the "values election" concept on its head.

boris

Sue, they have constructed for themselves a form of voluntary psychosis to protect themselves from the reality of their utter failures. Even comparison to cargo cultists falls short. The cargo cult sincerely believed their mock constructs would deliver their fair share of heavenly cargo. These clowns just want to confuse the gods, sabotage cargo delivery and take over the whole racket.

boris

I'm beginning to think ...

Try harder.

Jane

It's A Small World After All

Actually that has its origons in the NY World's Fair in the 60's - which I actually attended. I remember it as mesmerizing. Never been to Disney so I can't comment on it as a means of torture, but it sounds right.

Do we still have world fairs?

TexasToast

"... in practical terms,means no coercion whatsoever, ergo no intelligence which is not volunteered."

The officers writing the army field manual would disagree with you. The asked for no clarification - thinking that "clarifying" the rules to cover these "coercive interrogation" techniques would be counterproductive. Dont forget - first we torture, then we use the "intelligence" to convict. As illegal non-combatants, we don't have to try these detainees. So, is the purpose intelligence - or something else?


"... to what extent is the left willing to accept that this will undoubtedly result in casualties on their own side, what level of casualties will they accept as being worth paying the price for their principles."

Order vs freedom? How important is it to us that the trains run on time?

I would suggest that our turning into monsters will also undoubtedly result in casualties on our side. We are going to have more casualties as a result of Islamic terrorism until the things that give rise to it in Islamic society change. Lets not let the terrorists win by changing what we are in hysterical reaction to what they do. Boris suggested yesterday that if SCOTUS interfered where our national security was concerned, they should be ignored. Congress already has the power to restrict their jurisdiction, but Boris seems to want to do away with inconvenient judges altogether.

Whew! What value do we dispose of as "inconvenient" next?

The slope seems a bit slippery with this administration. If it isn't so bad, why did they try to hide what they were doing from the congress and from us? GWB didn't go to congress until SCOTUS and the CIA interrogators seeking retroactive immunity from prosecution made him. Even then, the administration waited to time the debate for maximum political benefit by bringing "security" front and center as an issue before the election. As someone said above - smart politics, bad governance.


Sue, we are the greatest country on earth precisely because we don't do things like torture or terrorism - or so I thought.


Sweetie

The beauty (and the horror) of waterboarding is that the 'board' is at an angle so that the fluid cannot collect in the lungs so there is no actual danger of drowning. However, the effect is supposed to take you to the edge of drowning and then it just continues and continues....

A pilot that experienced SERE outside of San Diego (going back about two decades so this might have changed) described it as 48-72 hours in a desert with no food and only some water (given at the start) being chased by 'the enemy'. At that point you are 'captured' and waterboarded. Everybody cracks (understandably, given the severity of the experience and that it is training) - and I think that's part of the point: if the enemy really wants to get information from you they can so the best you can realistically do is delay.

I believe there's more to SERE training but I think that's the most difficult stretch.

verner

Patton:The biggest problem we have here is that the left simply refuses to recognize that we may use some techniques that are used by other countries, BUT, there is a huge difference in the reason for it, the degree to which it is used and the oversight.

The biggest problem with the left is that they are a bunch of freaking hypocrites who will do anything to pull down Bush. It's all talk. They courld give a flip about "human rights."

Just go read what the left was saying about Pol Pot in the 1970s. People like William Goodfellow, husband of Dana Priest were writing op-eds in the NYT about how Pol Pot was sending the urban population into the countryside because there was more food there! I have always thought that a fabulous documentary would be film clips of the killing fields transposed with the statements of people like Fonda, Hayden, McGovern, Chomsky etc. David Corn is a pathetic loser who knows no shame. And he is an idiot if he thinks we don't know the left's record on Pol Pot.

And then there's Cuba, where dissidents are currently suffering from torture and neglect in Castro's "secret" prisons. Where's the outrage?

Patton

Since the left wants to turn enemy combatants into US citrizen criminals with a rights and privileges, how far away could they be from also opposes the use of combat, in combat?

I mean, if we stop blowing up terrorists, maybe they will stop blowing us up, right Senator MCain.

Doesn't Senator MCCain feel the same way about pre-capture of terrorists? Has he no concern for the troops in the field? If we use snipers on them, doesn't that give them every right to use car bombs on civilian targets?

Should we not make it illegal to engage in IEDs? That way the enemy will stop using them, RIGHT? Senator MCCain?

Isn't some Al Queda lawyer going to OK beheading of hostages since we use smart bombs?

Sue

Sue, we are the greatest country on earth precisely because we don't do things like torture or terrorism - or so I thought.

Because you were able to practice plausible deniability? Nothing has changed. You have just had to acknowledge it. And weren't you lucky the acknowledgement happened under a republican president?

Are you also of the opinion we have caused terrorism?

SunnyDay

I'm with Sue - suddenly how we interrogate is an issue because it is a way to get Bush. It's pure political posturing. The moral equivalence arguments are the best the left can come up with.

Their reasons change from post to post - we are selfish evil colonialists intent on wagin war for oil in one post; we are the pure of heart who must show the world how moral we truly are on another post.

Whatever works at the moment will do. That's why dems can't get elected. We're not that stupid.

There's an article on Townhall from last week, where the author makes the point perfectly. It's about pushing old ladies: If you push an old lady out of traffic to save her life, it is not the same as pushing the old lady into traffic so she gets hit by a bus.

The libs say we shouldn't push old ladies at all. pfffffffffft

PeterUK

"Dont forget - first we torture, then we use the "intelligence" to convict. As illegal non-combatants, we don't have to try these detainees"
This isn't a criminal justice issue it is war,prevention not conviction is the key element here.


"Order vs freedom? How important is it to us that the trains run on time?"

I knew I could rely on you Texas Taqiya to elide the question - you will not answer the question,descending into your partisan smokescreens.

What level of casualties are you willing to accept to preserve ypur principles? As McCain,Do it,but take responsibility for it".
So just answer the question Texas,are you willing to let people die for your principles?
Even Professor Hobsbawm was honest enough to say that, "even if millions died it would be justifiable if the Socialist Utopia was created".Surely the modern left are not so intellectually and morally degenerate that they will not enunciate the consequences of holding to their principles?
Come on Texas Taqiya,what are you a moralist, or a mere partisan hack?

Patton

We should pass a law that says:

When engaging in combat, it is illegal to hurt, kill, damage or destroy any people or property by any manner.

I mean, if we are concerned that our soldiers will be killed by future, unknown/unnamed ememies, this law will protect them down the road so no enemy will ever get the idea of actually hurting some one.

But, you right wing radicals say, what do we do if an enemy is so mean, so distastely, so vile that they actual kill, maim and torture our soldiers anyway?

WELL, DUH! Then we whip out the ultimate weapon - - The UN Resolution!

Bammm!

Sweetie

TT: "we don't do things like torture or terrorism"

You can't get thar from har.

You can, but you have to go through 'physical mutilation' and 'summary execution' first. Do you really think the torture techiques approved are neighbors with terrorism? There may be an angle to peel off 'torture' supporters but suggesting that sleep depravation supporters are kinda sorta like the terrorists probably isn't it.

TT: "Lets not let the terrorists win by changing what we are in hysterical reaction to what they do"

It seems to me that Congress (and the citizenry) has thought about this quite a bit over the last few years. You might not like where Congress (and the populace) has landed on the issue but to suggest the policy is born of 'hysteria' is a stretch. But if you're right you have to be impressed with Rove's ability to keep the entire country in a state of hysteria since Abu Ghraib.

Sue

Congress already has the power to restrict their jurisdiction

They already did. SCOTUS ignored it.

Patton

""""Lets not let the terrorists win by changing what we are in hysterical reaction to what they do"""

Ohh, you mean like the Japanese changed us into people who drop atomic bombs on civilian populations?

Or, like the Nazis changed us into people that fire bomb cities?

This is moronic thinking. It is a war, by definition you do things in war that you don't do normally in a civilized society, but the first imperative is to do what is necessary to win so you can still return to that civilized society.

Did Truman and Roosevelt make us sub-humans?, less civilized? because of the acts they engaged in during WWII??

Patton

I guess Bush could say, when it comes to torture, he just couldn't help himself, Roosevelt made him do it. He so turned us into sub-human animals with the viciousness in which he fought those innocent little Nazis, we just can't help ourselves anymore.

Don't even get me started with how Roosevelt used flame throwers on people!!
It made me pull the legs off flies as a child.

Sue

Just to clarify the issue, as far as I'm concerned, I don't condone torture. My definition of torture differs from those that claim we are turning into uncivilized human beings for using coercive techniques against those that are deemed high value. Which is why congress should have defined what is torture so there is no doubt. The McCain argument merely gives him plausible deniability and that is what I find disgusting.

Sue

I guess Bush could say, when it comes to torture, he just couldn't help himself,

No, what Bush did was put his signature on the document that ended his plausible deniability of CIA techniques. Anyone thinking those techinques began with Bush ignores the AQ manual that taught them how to withstand the techniques already in place before the country even thought about a GWB presidency.

BumperStickerist

Quick question:

Has anybody pointed out to Sullivan that the helmets worn by US troops in Iraq look a lot like those worn by the Waffen SS during WWII?

and don't give me any of that 'form follows function' reality-crap - it's TINFOIL TIME - did Bush 41 approve turning our forces into stormtrooper lookalikes (from the neck up) or was it Reagan?

.

boris

... plausible deniability and that is what I find disgusting.

Revisionism and politics of facade have done lots of damage to free and open society. Much of it has become so institutionalized that some degree of pretense is necessary to even work with the system.

US culture will have to shake off the delusions from the bottom up.

Chuckg

I wonder when they're going to start demanding NYPD Blue reruns be taken off the air because Andy Sipowicz was popularizing 'torture'. My goodness, in addition to all the harsh language and bullying attitudes, he actually slapped people occasionally.

Neo

Contrary to most, I believe that the Military Commissions Act acts to stop the slippery slope.
In the early stages of the negotiation between the Senate and the White House, the Senate, in the person of Sen. Graham, was perfectly happy to say certain techniques were illegal, but that a "wink-wink" would be given to any prosecution.
That kind of slippery slope is much more dangerous than the final language which goes further to lock down a definition than that position or the status quo.

Neo

As for the Signing Statement, each of these statements allows all to see whatever interpretation the Executive branch will apply to the law. The Signing Statements impart no authority, but rather only represent a position of interpretation. Previously, these positions were understood within the Executive branch as internal policies that were unseen by the public and these positions were made public only when a statue was put up for judicial review.
The Signing Statements represent a level of transparency by the Executive branch. If all bills had a Signing Statement, we would all be better served.

The downside of a Signing Statement is that it removes the ability to flip-flop or in most cases even be flexible. It has the real effect of starting the judicial review process without even filing a suit, as it locks in many aspects of the Executive branch position.

While many will view a Signing Statement on the Military Commissions Act as an "evil" act. It will be even more "evil" if there is no statement. The opponents of the Military Commissions Act should be waiting with baited breath to see what clarifications the Executive branch considers important enough to put into a Signing Statement, as this is the minimal test they will have to clear to have the court consider any reversals.


TexasToast

I knew I could rely on you Texas Taqiya to elide the question - you will not answer the question,descending into your partisan smokescreens.

Actually PUK, the framing of the "question" is a very large part of the argument. You obviously frame it as war!!!!! - which, as you know, carries with it a whole host of legal, emotional, ethical and political consequences. Patton, for example, doesn't see any constraints on what we do in wartime - despite the fact that the law of war is the very justification for holding these "high value" detainees. We seem to be "at war" with a concept (terrorism) and want to apply the laws of war to people not found on any battlefield - depending of course, on how one defines that term.

The President goes further, however, and seeks to "amend" the laws of war to allow these "coercive interrogation techniques" by "clarifying" common article 3 against the wishes of his own military and contrary to their understanding of the "law" as set forth in the army field manual. Even if we are at "war", one country doesn't get to unilaterally change the rules that all must abide by. Until now.

I happen to think he is very wrong and that this could really come back to bite us. If I were the "partisan hack" you suggest, I certainly wouldn't be arguing this issue a month before the election. It is one of the most effective "wedge" issues ever - and your boy Karl realizes it. The democrats are on the spot - they are "weak on terror" or they are "spineless empty suits" who don't stand up for their principles. The only thing "better" for Republican political purposes would be an actual terror strike.

As to your specific "question", I think the damage we do to our reputation (both the cost to the esteem of others and our own self esteem) will also "inevitably" increase the amount of casualties we take in this "war".

The comments to this entry are closed.

Amazon

  • Lee Child, Kindle short story
  • Lee Child
  • Gary Taubes

Traffic

Wilson/Plame