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September 29, 2006

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boris

increase the amount of casualties

Funny how that consideration is strangely missing when subjects like Abu Graib and Gitmo can be exploited for politics.

Tom Maguire

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 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.

Maher Arar was a Candian/Syrian citizen deported back to Syra, where he was tortured by the Syrians. The rendition/extradition issue strikes me as different from US torture.

I doubt the CIA is using "amateurs".

We are the good guys whether we torture or not - look at the popularity of Jack Bauer (who will star in an UPDATE to this post if I ever add it).

I happen to think that most Western nations take the gloves off with certain prisoners - if the US loses moral standing by doing so explicitly, well, maybe this national debate has been a poor idea (but I do not question the patriotism of those who launched it!) But I am not losing sleep believing that neither the French nor Germans ever torture anyone.

And talking about whether torture is a "bad idea" is (my guess) a tactically poor decision for opponents - there does seem to be evidence that coercive interogations are effective, in which case we are having a utilitarian rather than moral argument.

PeterUK

Answer the question Texas Taqiya,

Do you adjure coercive interrogation techniques even if it costs the lives of your fellow Americans?
Presuming of course,you are American.

No more of this "It depends on what the meaning of "is is" obfuscation.

narciso

A minor point, but Andrew was aware of the
techniques of interrogation, employed by
the British Army, MI-5, their urban para-military allies in the RUC; in their
colonial bailiwick, at the time, no?

boris

the law of war is the very justification for holding these "high value" detainees

Actually not. They're not "arrested" for breaking the "law of war". They're captured unlawful enemy combatants. They're being dealt with outside the law of war because the law of war does not and can not apply to them.

If two parties agree to rules for a duel those rules do not thereby become "high moral ground" to be observed even if one is later attacked by brigands.

"We should observe the rules for duelling even though brigands won't lest we become like them"

No. When attacked by brigands there are no rules but fight for your life. Dueling rules are irrelevant and attempting to invoke them would be idiotic.

Neo

one country doesn't get to unilaterally change the rules that all must abide by

What was the last country that the US fought that was a signatory to the Geneva Conventions ?

All, my foot.

PeterUK

TM,
"there does seem to be evidence that coercive interogations are effective, in which case we are having a utilitarian rather than moral argument."

It is also a moral argument,the left are unwilling to inflict harm on those who without doubt harm their fellow citizen,the left is too mealymouthed to be honest with those fellow citizens for the left upholding their principles.
Standard leftism,the cost of a principle is never spelled out.This has brought most of the political ills which beset the 20th century.

paulv

But is AQ a country and did it sign Geneva convention? We know they do not abide by it.

George

It's pretty obvious that there is a lack of clarity as to what torture actually is. I know folks who think that torture is being caught in traffic and having to pee. Come to think of it, the Brits, during WWII used exactly that device when interrogating German officers. It would start out as some pleasant conversation, in perfect German, of course, along with a nice cuppa and a cigarette. Then, maybe, a second cuppa and more conversation; then more conversation, especially if the officer was gullible enough to have a third cup. All the time the bladder pressure meter would be heading for the red line.

Was that torture? Nah. On the other hand, some of the stories that emerged from the Gulag, employing similar techniques, were closer to torture: feed salt herring to starving prisoners, but give no water. Withhold water till the prisoners beg for it,then provide water aplenty. Then watch and laugh as the body uses the water to purge the excess salt from the body via the bladder.

Other Tom

Near the end of World War II, a group of German prisoners held in the US hanged in their barracks a colleague suspected of collaboration. About a half dozen prisoner supects were transported to a secret prison in Oregon, where they were tortured until they confessed. All were sentenced to hang. The hangings were carried out shortly after the war ended, with the express approval of President Truman. Just thought you all would like to know.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'...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.'

That's the voice of a former official in the first Clinton Administration. You know, the one that withdrew from Somalia because our troops were being killed, giving increased incentive to Osama bin Laden to kill more Americans.

Being an economist you'd expect the professor to know about incentives.

Old Dad

I think the moral high ground argument is misleading, set aside that it is damnably difficult to identify the moral high ground under the best of circumstances.

Suppose we capture Prisoner A. We have reasonable cause to believe that Prisoner A has information that, if divulged, would save American lives. Prisoner A has no inherent right to this information. By withholding it, he is contributing to the death of Americans. He must give it up.

Assuming coercive interrogation works, then it must be used. Calling it torture is a red herring. Why not call it life saving interrogation? The key, in my view, is that it actually save lives.

Semanticleo

Let me see if I understand the Apologists here;

What is your definition of torture? Please give examples of what you consider torture, but refrain from any medeival implements such as the rack.

Does actual tissue damage have to occur? Need it be visible? What about organ damage?
You know, like the bag of oranges method which separates internal organs from connective tissue, but shows no outward signs except you can't shit right anymore.

Just let us know how far you would go.

Cecil Turner

You obviously frame it as war!!!!!

I'm having a hard time taking this one seriously. Per the AUMF, Congress obviously frames this as war. SCOTUS apparently agrees, based on Hamdi, Hamdan, et al, and anyone citing the Geneva Conventions must also. As a practical matter, the training camps and military-style organization and operations support that framing, as does the relatively impersonal violence for strategic aims. I'd thought this part of the debate was over, but apparently not . . . in any event, if that's a central part of your argument, it probably won't be very persuasive to the electorate.

The President goes further, however, and seeks to "amend" the laws of war to allow these "coercive interrogation techniques" by "clarifying" common article 3 . . .

Seems to me those trying to apply Common Article 3 to what's clearly an international conflict are the ones doing the "amending." As are those who suggest Al Qaeda types qualify for lawful combatant status under Article 4. And if that silly interpretation is going to be approved by SCOTUS, then perhaps a little "clarifying" is in order.

clarice

Look at who Reuters uses as "experts" arguing the law is unconstitutional

Jenny Martinez is the attorney for the "dirty bomb" terrorist José Padilla.

Eugene R. Fidell is defending accused spy the Muslim Chaplin James Yee.

Michael Ratner is the head of the Communist front America-hating group that is defending almost all of the terrorists detained in Guantanamo.

Which of course makes them all perfect choices for "unbiased experts."

http://www.sweetness-light.com/archive/new-terror-trial-rules-open-door-to-court-challenges

The Wa Po used Erwin Chemerinsky.

LOL

danking70

Red, you can't leave out the boat ride.

Round and Round with the song blasting.

I'd give up the goods toute suite.

danking70

How many of our own soldiers have been water-boarded as a part of their training exercises?

Cecil Turner

Just let us know how far you would go.

I think there's a consensus that the worst thing on the menu is waterboarding. (Which, by the way, at least Corn managed to get about right. I heard Gary Solis on NPR--who really ought to know better--describe it as "drowning followed by resuscitation, and the obviously wrong "cellophane" description persists in some quarters.) ISTM that if waterboarding doesn't qualify as "torture," then the term is inappropriate to the discussion.

How many of our own soldiers have been water-boarded as a part of their training exercises?

It's a subset of each SERE course. At least in the hundreds, I'd guess low thousands.

danking70

Cecil,

I had an inkling of that answer but the fact that our soldiers are subjected to it as a training exercise is more than enough information to decide whether it is an allowable interrogation form for breaking non-cooperative terrorists.

topsecretk9

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

Whoever said this is profoundly naive...Son you don't even want to know what the got'v does - HAS DONE FOR YEARS - like when you were in diapers, ---to ensure your sweet little life.

And you are naive to think it will EVER change -- the legislation is touchy feel good --political warfare. Dems used this as a wedge and hit and know that while we will still provide the bad guys a better existence detained that could ever hope to get in their crusty homeland,--in the dark of night the good guys will snatch the bad guys and do whatever it takes to save lives.

Bob

You know, like the bag of oranges method which separates internal organs from connective tissue, but shows no outward signs except you can't shit right anymore.

So cleo, we finally know what happened to you... You've been tortured and your "major" organs have been separated and now you can't shit "right". Now we know why you shit "left" and out of of your mouth.

Now stop torturing us...

Semanticleo

"Now stop torturing us..."

I had no idea being that speciic would result in such intense pain.

JM Hanes

TT:

"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".

Could you please explain how you arrive at this conclusion? Frankly, I'd say that the US habit of claiming the moral highground annoys the rest of the world more than almost anything else about us, and that self-esteem is really the driver here. Be that as it may, I have yet to hear anyone explain how this actually translates into increased casualties -- let alone why this result would necessarily be inevitable.

I'm asking in all seriousness, because as a practical matter, I just don't see the basis for this assertion. I think it says more about how folks would like to think things work than about they really do.

danking70

Bob, ROTFLMAO!!!

Semanticleo

SMG;

More good cartoons......l..even on topic.

http://www.thepoorman.net/2006/09/29/keyboard-kommando-komix-presents-4/

Cecil Turner

. . . the fact that our soldiers are subjected to it as a training exercise is more than enough information to decide whether it is an allowable interrogation form . . .

I agree. The counter-argument is that they volunteered (and know they won't be injured significantly). I don't find it persuasive, but would allow it makes a difference. Speaking of which, I just got around to reading The Interrogators: Inside the Secret War Against al Qaeda (good book), wherein one of the interrogators applies some stress techniques to a prisoner out of frustration, and is quickly corrected . . . the guy doing the stressing said it was boot camp stuff, and the NCO doing the correcting makes the point of "you volunteered for boot camp." So that viewpoint is held fairly widely, even if I don't buy it.

Semanticleo

My search here for an honest man is finally
over.

Thanks Cecil.

The rest of you....well.....
let's leave it unsaid.

PeterUK

"Just let us know how far you would go."

Well,Cement,or should I call you Nell Gwynne? Not as far as tying them to you and throwing you both in the river in a Republican Wedding,but certainly having you take them of their first date.

boris

"you volunteered for boot camp."

Unlawful combatants volunteer for interrogation.

Bob

Septic...

I hear Daniel Perl was an honest man... to bad your charming friends al qaeda lose so much sleep worrying about the Geneva convention.

In my book water boarding to too kind... Disneyland... well even for a westerner that's over the top.

Soylent Red

Law of war?

The first law of war is: Don't lose. All other laws of war must derive from that.

I have no problem taking it right to the wall with these people, if in doing so we are moving toward victory.

Lots of people think torture doesn't work, isn't effective. Maybe it isn't effective on the guy you're torturing. But I damn well guarantee it works on his cell mate listening to him howl.

Bob

"water boarding to too kind"

water boarding is too kind

Semanticleo

"In my book water boarding to too kind... Disneyland... well even for a westerner that's over the top." Joseph Mengele

danking70

Thanks for bringing that counter-argument to my attention.

Whether someone volunteers for boot-camp or not still doesn't change my view on water-boarding those few unlawful combatants that don't break.

Semanticleo

Bob; You need to give attribution to your quotes. I mean since you like to give journalism credence and pay tribute to Perl.

PeterUK

Isn't that romantic,Sematicleo has found an henest man at last,just like a fairy story - Grimm

Neo
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore warned hundreds of U.N. diplomats and staff on Thursday evening about the perils of climate change, claiming: Cigarette smoking is a “significant contributor to global warming!”

...

Gore summed up the briefing by walking away screaming is a girly voice “I’m telling you we’re all going to die.. we’re all gonna die… Ahhhhhh..", a common occurrence according to those close to Gore sources reported.


Listening to this kind of drivel is torture.

Neo

OK, that last paragraph was made up, but who could tell the difference.

JM Hanes

TM:

"And talking about whether torture is a "bad idea" is (my guess) a tactically poor decision for opponents - there does seem to be evidence that coercive interogations are effective, in which case we are having a utilitarian rather than moral argument."

That evidence was certainly a serious blow to the BDS crowd's spin (not that they've noticed, of course) which comes in two basic flavors:

We know torture doesn't work. What kind of sick people would endorse gratuitous pain and suffering and humiliation? You guessed it!

We know torture victims only tell you what you want to hear. What kind of sick people would try to "fix" intelligence that way? You guessed it!

We're lookin' at you Rummy/Cheney/Gonzales/Rethuglicans!

Pofarmer

Ya know, all these lefties want to say that the coercive techniques don't work.

Have any of you read Michael Yon? Granted, he's become somewhat of an alarmist lately, and kinda leans left. But, anyway. He has lot's of stories about busting a terrorist cell, interogating the members, and getting the locations of one or two more, busting them, getting the locations of another one, then finally wind up with a bomb factory or weapons cache. Theirs no question whether the bad guys need to be interrogated. Do you think the guys got the info by showing their loving admiration for the detainee's?

Neo

PeterUK:
Perhaps someone should inform Diogenes.

Bob

Thank you Septic for proving my point!

Shouldn't you be at the http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=407693&in_page_id=1770>Chinese Animal Olympic protest.

Chimpanzees are forced to play basketball and apparently lift huge weights, while a docile brown bear is dressed in a tutu while navigating a makeshift obstacle course in one of the strangest events ever to be staged.

Maybe we should dress up the terrorist in a tutu... oh yeah I forgot that's torture too!

clarice

Once again Gore is a hypocrite. I remember his campaign workers giving away thousands of cigarettes to homeless people in Milwaukee in 2000 to get them to the polls.


***

JM Hanes

Jane:

"Do we still have world fairs?"

24/7! They call it globalization now.

Barney Frank

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

Following this logic, missing a couple of meals qualifies as torture.
Scaring someone without intent to harm is de riguer and legal for extracting info. Thus waterboarding is NOT 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?"

The next question should be "how can it be used more widely".


Patton

Next week Gore will unveil his,

FLATULENCE CAUSES GLOBAL WARMING campaign!

Patton

I think it can be best explained to the leftists this way:

Yes, we will water board since it can be done fairly safely with no permanet damage and gives the detainee the sensation of drowning, not actual drowning.

No, we will NOT Kopeckne under any circumstance.

Yes, we will make detainees stay awake for long hours in order to help with interrogation, no, we will not use the Democrat Roosevelt technique of flame throwers on human skin.

Yes, we will make them listen to loud music, NO, we will not use the Democrat Truman technique of summary execution.


Yes, we will cause time confusion, and NO
we will not use the Democrat Kerry technique of burning their innocent villages.

Yes, we will raise our voices if required, No, we will not use the Kennedy/Johnson technique of rape, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks.

So relax liberal, what I am trying to say is we won't act like you guys do when your in power.

azredneck

Since waterboarding causes no lasting damage of any kind and KSM only lasted 2 1/2 minutes be4 he spilled everything (and he set the terrorist record), we should immediately waterboard all of them and then they can live happily everafter, while listening to It's a small, small world.
Problem solved without prolonged argument. The Dems can then find something important to pound Bush with. Maybe even a solution or two if they work till midnite!

Old Dad

Semanticleo raises an important point. "Tissue damage" can be a useful metric.

For example, death results in and can be caused by severe tissue damage. Ergo, when faced with death, administration of severe tissue damage in self defense only makes common sense.

For examples of severe tissue damage, one might consider the WTC jumpers on 9/11.

Semanticleo

Ah, yes I think we can promounce OLD DAD guilty of 'Pre-crime'. Why bother with
due process.

Oh, you say 'what crime is he guilty of?'.

Doesn't really matter using his metrics, does it?

Old Dad

Semanticleo,

Self defense is "Precrime"?

Semanticleo

Using your metrics, it doesn't matter, does it?

Old Dad

Semanticleo:

We're using your metric. Remember?

SteveMG

we can promounce OLD DAD guilty of 'Pre-crime'. Why bother with
due process.

Like Rove? Jeez, folks (some) on your side were ready to string him up for treason. Bush, too. Cheney? A given. Only had the formality of a indictment and trial.

You'd be against waterboarding him, right?

Tongue in cheek but not too firmly planted there.

See, if you folks were 1/10 of 1% as pissed at the terrorists as you are with the dreaded neocons or those scary Christianists, you might win an election or two. Until then, no dice.
SMG

Patton

Isn't it ironic that Ted Kennedy was the first to waterboard someone...old school style that Teddy.

To be fair I guess you could say he didn't cause any tissue damage, while she was alive....

Patton

I myself think most of the Republicans have been cowards on this issue.

To allow Ted Kennedy to stand on the floor of the senate and complain about people
having the feeling that they are drowning, without ONE republican bringin up Mary Joe is pretty cowardly.

Even if they just wore a pin that said:

"I can tell the difference between waterboarding and being drowned, can Teddy?"

Old Dad

Patton,

Chivas Regal has been scotchboarding Teddy's liver for years. Talk about tissue damage.

PeterUK

"Isn't it ironic that Ted Kennedy was the first to waterboard someone...old school style that Teddy."

That's because he went to waterboarding school.

"without ONE republican bringin up Mary Joe is pretty cowardly."

I agree they could have sung the so "Ode to Mary Joe"

" Today Mary Joe and Kennedy,went off the Chappaqiddick Bridge".

clarice

I've always thought it a tribute to Ted's ability to "compartmentalize"(psych talk for burying self-knwledge) that he could make those drowning statements without shame.

PeterUK

Clarice,
A dangerous ability in an ambitious politician.

Paco Wové

So, just curious... have we ever gotten a list of the actual techniques & procedures under discussion here? Because that would make it a whole lot easier to discuss what is and is not acceptable.

boris

So far it's waterboarding and the comfy chair.

PeterUK

There is also "Killing Them With Kindness Mark Steyn who has recently visited Guantanamo,talking to Hugh Hewitt.
This is obviously a cunning ploy to instil lifelong disatisfaction in the Jihadis,"How You Gonna' Keep 'em Down On the Farm After They've Seen Paree?"

PeterUK

MS: Yes, I did, actually. (laughing) I spoke briefly to a rather lovely female interrogator. As you know, Muslim young men often have complicated attitudes to women. And they...and she, in fact, found that although Saudi males were incredibly hostile to her the first couple of times she interrogates them, that they've been deprived of female company for so long, that actually, they warm up to her by about the third or fourth meeting. So I found the interrogation, I think...I had the opportunity to kind of eavesdrop on a couple of interrogations, which are certainly surreal, if you're used to this sort of anti-American propaganda, where the guys are in dungeons and chains, chained to these little, wooden chairs under the bare light bulb, or some guys beating the information out of them. In fact, they're interrogated in a La-Z-Boy recliner, which is this oddly surreal point. It's a very unusual set up down there.

From the link

narciso

On yet another note, many critics suggest that the Detainee bill, will make American
'dissidents' like Chomsky, Moore, or even
Howard Dean, subject to be characterized as
UECs, and subsequently sent to Gitmo or Bagram. Ignoring that point, unless the former develop an arsenal in the Berkshires, have they forgotten about Suleiman Faris aka John Walker Lindh aka Hamza Lindh, Adam Gadahn, or even Yasir
Hamdi; the American born southern Louisiana
(you see where I'm going with this, right)
citizen of Saudi extraction. If they or others of that persuasion are intercepted;
should they get a trial.

Paco Wové

Thank you, Peter. So, so far we have:

  • Waterboarding
  • "Comfy Chair" for want of a better term)
I can say that, unequivocally, I am in favor of the Comfy Chair. Waterboarding – at least in the form described by its 'proponents', if they can be termed that – I think is close to the borderline - I wouldn't want it to be standard procedure, but I don't think it qualifies as 'torture'.

So - Semanticleo? TexasToast? Where do you stand re: the Comfy Chair? Waterboarding (non-lethal form)? What other specific interrogation techniques would you consider permissible?

Paul Zrimsek

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

Yep-- if only the Swedes would quit torturing people they could be as great as we are.

I thought liberals hated dopey jingoism.

Paul Zrimsek

Damn. We'll see if the close ital tag works.

PeterUK

The Sunday Times has a">http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060930/ap_on_re_eu/sept11_video;_ylt=AruuLwUbO9ZDMq4QVCZIBI5vaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTA0cDJlYmhvBHNlYwM-"> martyrdom video made by Mohammed Atta on the 18 January 2000.

Neo

I thought I've seen it all. Now a new torture photo turns up.
Eat your heart out Seymour Hersh.

PeterUK

The martyrdom video sorry link didn't work.

maryrose

I still like the Woody Allen idea of torture in " Take the Money and Run". Put a prisoner in a solitary confinement cell with an insurance salesman.

Buck Smith

I guess I am pro-torture /coercive interrogation with the limit at waterboarding. But I certainly understand the concerns of some of the the people who are posting against. It makes sense to give some overall limit to the government, such as this bill authorizes coercive techniques to be used on only 512 people each year.

I have a question about trials for the detainees. Say we have a trial and convict Khalid Sheik Mohammmed and sentence him to death. Is it against the Geneva Convention or this bill if we feed him to pigs?

Sara (Squiggler)

OT ... for those interested in following the DEFEAT of JACK MURTHA and Diana Irey's run for his seat, I have a new post up with the latest happenings regarding Irey's request for a DOJ probe on Murtha and the newly released ABSCAM video. Catching">http://www.squiggler.com/2006/09/catching_up_on_.html">Catching up on Jack Murtha

If you live near Johnstown, big ralley tomorrow. See post for details.

PeterUK

Buck South,
"Say we have a trial and convict Khalid Sheik Mohammmed and sentence him to death. Is it against the Geneva Convention or this bill if we feed him to pigs?"

Before or after?

cathyf
For examples of severe tissue damage, one might consider the WTC jumpers on 9/11.
They were "waterboarded" first. Having nothing to breathe other than toxic smoke is very similar to drowning. The "jumpers" probably didn't actually jump. They broke the windows to get fresh air, and then they leaned further and further out, and in their panic to do anything to get a breath, they fell.

So, yeah, I think waterboarding is very appropriate. I also think that firing squad is too good for KSM. I think we should rig up a little concrete room on the top of the sears tower, with an opening in it just big enough to fit a body through, and holes so that the air in the room forms a cloud right around the opening. Then pump the room full of highly toxic smoke, and leave KSM a choice -- die of asphixiation, or keep leaning out the hole trying to get fresh air until eventually he falls 110 stories.

I also have a plan for Richard Reid. It involves strapping him into a remote-controlled drone aircraft all by himself with a shoe bomb and flying him out over the Atlantic and detonating it...

(Can you tell I'm a mom who practices the theory of Natural Consequences Discipline?)

DRF

Durant in Our Oriental Heritage informs me
that one thing nature people have in common is their love of torture.

The debate is pointless depending on who
or how many will die. If it is your child
or a nuclear bomb any and all means will
be approved.

Only the American left will joyfully
use the word torture simply to feel better about themselves.

Sara (Squiggler)

I think we should go back to putting people in public stocks and letting the public throw rotten tomatoes or something. :: rolling eyes ::

Charlie (Colorado)

To allow Ted Kennedy to stand on the floor of the senate and complain about people
having the feeling that they are drowning, without ONE republican bringin up Mary Joe is pretty cowardly.

And almost as funny as Bill Clinton says "now tell the truth!" to Chris Wallace.

section9
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?

I can't believe you actually posted this. The Fritz helmet was actually tested out by the Army in the late seventies. It was first introduced into the Army in the early eighties.

Oh. My. God.

Neo

To allow Ted Kennedy to stand on the floor of the senate and complain about people having the feeling that they are drowning, without ONE republican bringin up Mary Joe is pretty cowardly

Bring up a subject, like the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, only has any impact with someone who can fell shame and disgrace.
Ted Kennedy is absent those qualities.

Neo

I see that Patterico has flushed out the Comfy Chair story.

Patton

The Republicans could at least change the name from 'waterboarding' to 'Mary Jo'ing'.

Paco Wové
"It's a shame that the Left has focused so much misplaced energy and capital in trying to prove that Gitmo and CIA overseas interrogation are secretly Treblinka. Abuses and atrocities are, regrettably and rarely, committed by our side in cases like Abu Ghraib and Haditha, and a decent, principled Left would have saved its outrage for these cases when it counted, and thus acted as a conscience to check our worst martial impulses. Instead, their cries of "torture!" and "Gulag!" have faded into one long undifferentiated drone that lulls us to sleep instead of waking us up.

The Left has cried nothing but Wolf since the war started, and it's hard to take their outrage seriously anymore..."

Neo

The Republicans could at least change the name from 'waterboarding' to 'Mary Jo'ing'.

'waterboarding' (you live) isn't as bad as 'Mary Jo'ing' (you die).

'waterboarding' would be more like "'Mary Jo'ing with a pullback".

Neo

Actually to put a positive spin on it, 'waterboarding' would be more like 'Saving Mary Jo'.

Tom Maguire

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

If we don't see the results of some fraternity brothers waterboarding their pledges posted on YouTube this fall, I will question the valor of Amrica's youth.

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

My guess is that the real tension will be at a key border - I think the military will be fine with a general ban on coercive interogtion, and the CIA will do what is has always been doing, but what about Delta/SEALSs/Green Berets? One might think they would want CIA tools, even though they are in the military.

That tension helped lead to Abu Ghraib, IIRC.

From jerry:

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

Wait'll he gets a load of Foley...

It's A Small World After All

Actually that has its origins in the NY World's Fair in the 60's - which I actually attended. I remember it as mesmerizing.

You and me, babe. I have since heard it at Disneyland and have never hated it as much as everyone else - first impressions die hard.

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.

Ihave read that post-Vietnam the military assessed the psychology of the folks who did well in prison versus those who did not.

Briefly, everyone cracked. The prisoners who did well had what we might call a baseball player's mentality - "OK, they won yesterday, let's see who wins today" (I doubt any of them said "Let's play two!")

The prisoners who did badly seemed to believe that, in breaking once, they had forever relinquished their manhood, pride, and motivation. Sort of, once beaten, forever a loser (pay attention, Red Sox fans...)

So the point to the revised training was, yes, everybody breaks - its what you do *after* you break that shows what kind of soldier you are. Tomorrow is another day!

Fortunately, this is all abstract for me.

...how far away could they be from also opposing the use of combat, in combat?

LOL.

Cecil Turner

So the point to the revised training was, yes, everybody breaks - its what you do *after* you break that shows what kind of soldier you are. Tomorrow is another day!

That is, in fact, one of the main themes of resistance training. And it's also worth noting:

  1. Interrogators are high-priced talent: they have limited amounts of time, and wasting it is a laudable exercise (though likely to earn a beating); and
  2. The first law of thermodynamics (when the heat's on somebody else, it ain't on you): if you make 'em work to get low-value info from you, they're likely to focus elsewhere.

boris

if you make 'em work to get low-value info from you, they're likely to focus elsewhere

That's why you should never answer troll questions.

srp

The best arguments against coercive methods are 1) they may reduce the incentive of enemies to surrender if they fear unpleasantness (making life harder on our troops), 2) it's bad to create a cadre of people on our side who have to do this stuff, and 3) it's probably only more effective than well-developed non-coercive methods when you a) are in a hurry AND b) have partial information unknown to the prisoner which can deter him from lying.

These arguments suggest that coercive methods should be restricted to small sets of well-defined bad guys in clearly defined circumstances with some kind of command accountability. To the extent that the current bills embody such a compromise, the outcome strikes me as reasonable.

Cecil Turner

These arguments suggest that coercive methods should be restricted to small sets of well-defined bad guys in clearly defined circumstances with some kind of command accountability.

According to the pros, the main consideration in effectiveness is uncertainty on what measures will be applied. So I'd add that to your reasons for applying them rarely. Other than that . . .

Bruce Moomaw

Of course, there IS also the embarrassing fact -- as pointed out several times by Sullivan -- that the US tried several Japanese interrogators for war crimes on the grounds that they waterboarded American POWs... But, hey, what's that worth when you can emulate Rush by making jokes about it as a frat-house activity?

ttp://time.blogs.com/daily_dish/2006/03/is_waterboardin.html

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If you have loved ones or friends that have survived breast cancer, it’s time for celebration. Your friend or loved one has been through a very stressful time and lots of procedures. And no matter which procedure they had, they must be emotionally and physically drained.

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For those days when your friend is tired and doesn’t feel like doing much, give her one of the following gifts:

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And don’t forget to give yourself a gift too: the gift of health. Make sure you take care of your own body, by living a healthy life, resting and eating nourishing food. And get a mammogram this year: be pro-active!

Don't forget to remind all your friends about the importance of monthly breast self-exams.

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