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View Full Version : Interrogations ... thought provoking



Gerry Clinchy
12-08-2012, 09:25 AM
Recently watched a "Law and Order" episode that was very thought-provoking. They always disavow that their episodes are directly related to "real" people ... but this one certainly did seem to do so.

The DA decided to prosecute a case about waterboarding interrogations (it also cited other methods of physical abuse such as hanging people by their wrists, as was done to McCain in Viet Nam). It revolved around a detainee who died from the interrogation methods. The suit filed by the DA cited as co-conspirators several members of the Bush administration, including Cheyney.

Nobody wanted the DA to tread on this ground, but he went ahead anyhow. The show explored the varied emotions of those involved in the prosecution. Keep in mind the show's setting is NYC, and those staff members had watched the Towers burn on 9/11.

The Fed govt also wielded their power to prevent the local DA from moving forward. The political implication cited was that a sitting administration would not allow the trial to proceed, because it would set a precedent for allowing prior administrations to be held legally liable in civilian courts; and, obviously, that also meant that a present administration would then have the same exposure under a new administration. A new twist to an old adage: "The enemy of my enemy is also my enemy"?

The episode carried through the legal arguments of both the prosecution and the defense ... a thought-provoking summary of the reasoning behind both sides of the argument. The episode ended: the jury had just returned to the courtroom with its verdict, but the verdict was never heard, because at that moment, a Federal marshall entered the courtroom with an order from a Federal court that ended the trial. That Federal court order ended the trial, period, so that the jury's verdict could not even be heard, even though it had already been decided.

When we have discussed this issue of these interrogation methods in the past, they have centered on the waterboarding. Whether other injurious methods are also involved has never been approached. Are things done that go beyond waterboarding? If so, will we ever know?

I really feel non-partisan about this. As we have all often mentioned, both political parties (and their adherents) have plenty of dirty laundry in their closets. It is not more right for one or the other party to ignore the laws of the country ... yet, it appears that both parties do that more often than we may know.

Does war really wipe out our belief in human rights and rule of law, even when the particular human is obviously reprehensible? Even the worst murderers in our society, totally reprehensible humans, will get a trial in our courts before punishment is inflicted. Our laws don't make distinctions WRT whether the criminal is a citizen or not. The laws are supposed to be applied equally to citizens or non-citizens. Even the Nazi war criminals got trials. Even Sadaam Hussein got a trial.

I don't confuse this issue with whether these potentially dangerous people should remain confined at Gitmo or not; or whether trials should be brought to the mainland. Those are separate issues.

BonMallari
12-08-2012, 10:17 AM
when my dad was writing his memoirs, he documented some of the atrocities that he witnessed inflicted the Japanese, even my mother recounted how they would interrogate her and try to get her to divulge the whereabouts of my dad and his band of guerilla warfare scouts...my mom was subjected to taunts with a bayonnet, being hit with the butt end of a weapon,and obvious threat of a bullet to the head, and it wasnt just her, it was done to all the people in the barrio..

War is brutal, its ugly...I don't condone any form of torture or interrogation technique, but am not naive enough to think it doesn't happen on both sides..it happens and I am sure it happens under the cloak of, for the love of country and to save countless human lives...sleep deprivation,water boarding..where do you think we learned these techniques

HPL
12-08-2012, 01:11 PM
Were your folks in the Philippines?

BonMallari
12-08-2012, 01:48 PM
Were your folks in the Philippines?

Yes they are Filipino...my dad was well educated so they commissioned him as an officer when WWII broke out , his original outfit was the 26th Calvary Filipino American Scouts, he and his group were credited for retrieving a couple of downed American pilots, including one operation where they got one back that had been captured,for that my dad was awarded the Silver Star w/gallantry

M&K's Retrievers
12-08-2012, 02:24 PM
Yes they are Filipino...my dad was well educated so they commissioned him as an officer when WWII broke out , his original outfit was the 26th Calvary Filipino American Scouts, he and his group were credited for retrieving a couple of downed American pilots, including one operation where they got one back that had been captured,for that my dad was awarded the Silver Star w/gallantry

Small world. My dad was in the Philippines with the Sea Bees Battalion. Left there for the invasion of Japan. By the time they got Japan, they got off the ship in dress whites.

road kill
12-08-2012, 02:25 PM
Yes they are Filipino...my dad was well educated so they commissioned him as an officer when WWII broke out , his original outfit was the 26th Calvary Filipino American Scouts, he and his group were credited for retrieving a couple of downed American pilots, including one operation where they got one back that had been captured,for that my dad was awarded the Silver Star w/gallantry
Do you mean US personnel were in danger and Mr Mallari went and got them??


For you Mr Mallari!!
http://i704.photobucket.com/albums/ww42/sbx1/salute.jpg

BonMallari
12-08-2012, 03:01 PM
Do you mean US personnel were in danger and Mr Mallari went and got them??


For you Mr Mallari!!
http://i704.photobucket.com/albums/ww42/sbx1/salute.jpg

Yes he got the credit since he led the raid but he wasnt alone, but the reports were that he zapped/killed a couple of the enemy in the process..not something he was proud of, but it was war....he used to get Christmas cards from the pilots families for some time...my uncle who is now 94 and living in Killeen TX was also in that unit, I actually get an invitation every year to attend their reunion, only a handful of them left

huntinman
12-08-2012, 03:57 PM
Yes he got the credit since he led the raid but he wasnt alone, but the reports were that he zapped/killed a couple of the enemy in the process..not something he was proud of, but it was war....he used to get Christmas cards from the pilots families for some time...my uncle who is now 94 and living in Killeen TX was also in that unit, I actually get an invitation every year to attend their reunion, only a handful of them left

Very neat story Bon... Did they use the same ranks as the US military and if so, what was your dad's rank back then?

BonMallari
12-08-2012, 04:25 PM
Very neat story Bon... Did they use the same ranks as the US military and if so, what was your dad's rank back then?

with the Filipino scouts he was a Lt, but ended his career as a Captain with the Armored Division out of FT. Hood in Texas, also was a awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart

huntinman
12-08-2012, 05:05 PM
with the Filipino scouts he was a Lt, but ended his career as a Captain with the Armored Division out of FT. Hood in Texas, also was a awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart

Very cool... Would have liked to have heard some of the stories he had to tell.

charly_t
12-08-2012, 11:31 PM
Bon, is there someplace where we can buy what your Dad wrote about his experiences ? Is it in book form ?

BonMallari
12-09-2012, 03:44 AM
Bon, is there someplace where we can buy what your Dad wrote about his experiences ? Is it in book form ?


We decided as a family that it would not paint anyone including my dad in a good light...My dad's use of certain terms to depict the enemy was not what you would call politically correct, in fact in many ways it was somewhat offensive, but changing the text would not have been fair to my father or his memory either....There was a book written by one of his Army superiors called "Colonel Ramsey's War", it was very complimentary to all,but cleaned up a lot for public consumption...but in my dad's memoirs some things are better off left dead and buried since they benefit no one any longer

the Movie "The Great Raid" (2005) is very accurate in that members of his unit were part of that raid...

There is a film project called "Forgotten Soldiers" the history of the US Army's Phillippine Scouts - narrated by Lou Diamond Philips, it has been shown in limited release but I have not seen it yet

charly_t
12-09-2012, 01:09 PM
We decided as a family that it would not paint anyone including my dad in a good light...My dad's use of certain terms to depict the enemy was not what you would call politically correct, in fact in many ways it was somewhat offensive, but changing the text would not have been fair to my father or his memory either....There was a book written by one of his Army superiors called "Colonel Ramsey's War", it was very complimentary to all,but cleaned up a lot for public consumption...but in my dad's memoirs some things are better off left dead and buried since they benefit no one any longer

the Movie "The Great Raid" (2005) is very accurate in that members of his unit were part of that raid...

There is a film project called "Forgotten Soldiers" the history of the US Army's Phillippine Scouts - narrated by Lou Diamond Philips, it has been shown in limited release but I have not seen it yet

Thanks, Bon. I like "real life" stories. Had an Uncle shot down during WW2. He hid out for a while but was captured and spent a while in a German prisoner of war camp. For many years he did not talk about his experiences but a while before he died he did share some things. He said that the t.V. show Hogan's Heros was actually based at times on some things that went on in that prisoner of war camp. The show about the radio where they used the set out of a guy's ring was more or less true. They did make a radio that way and used it.

HPL
12-09-2012, 06:33 PM
We decided as a family that it would not paint anyone including my dad in a good light...My dad's use of certain terms to depict the enemy was not what you would call politically correct, in fact in many ways it was somewhat offensive, but changing the text would not have been fair to my father or his memory either....There was a book written by one of his Army superiors called "Colonel Ramsey's War", it was very complimentary to all,but cleaned up a lot for public consumption...but in my dad's memoirs some things are better off left dead and buried since they benefit no one any longer

the Movie "The Great Raid" (2005) is very accurate in that members of his unit were part of that raid...

There is a film project called "Forgotten Soldiers" the history of the US Army's Phillippine Scouts - narrated by Lou Diamond Philips, it has been shown in limited release but I have not seen it yet


Screw Political Correctness. Your dad was a decorated hero. From what I have read, the Pacific campaign in many ways made the European campaign look cushy. The Germans were pretty awful, but for truly excessive brutality, you pretty much have to look to the Japs (that's what they called em). Everyone who wants some historical insight should read "The Rape of Nanking", or read about the Bataan death march. Watch some of the interviews with veterans of the two campaigns on the history channel and look at the contrast. Many of those who fought in the Pacific clearly haven't, and never will, forgive and forget. Almost to a man, they still refer to the enemy as "Japs" completely un-repentantly. In some of those interviews I have seen seemingly normal, good guys talk about going out on their own and "hunting" Japs after seeing what they had done to prisoners and civilians. I say "be proud of what your father did, don't worry about PC nonsense. People should remember just how tough things were in the Pacific. Don't forget, the last Japanese soldier only finally surrendered in 1974, 29 years after the end of the war.

Marvin S
12-09-2012, 10:56 PM
We decided as a family that it would not paint anyone including my dad in a good light...My dad's use of certain terms to depict the enemy was not what you would call politically correct, in fact in many ways it was somewhat offensive, but changing the text would not have been fair to my father or his memory either....There was a book written by one of his Army superiors called "Colonel Ramsey's War", it was very complimentary to all,but cleaned up a lot for public consumption...but in my dad's memoirs some things are better off left dead and buried since they benefit no one any longer

the Movie "The Great Raid" (2005) is very accurate in that members of his unit were part of that raid...

There is a film project called "Forgotten Soldiers" the history of the US Army's Phillippine Scouts - narrated by Lou Diamond Philips, it has been shown in limited release but I have not seen it yet

One of my uncles fought in the island campaigns, other than the souvenirs he never wanted to discuss it. He brought 3 rifles home, same caliber but the parts were not interchangeable.

I went to the Phillipines as a consultant, the Executive VP of the mining company had been in the "Death March", other than showing me a picture of how emaciated he was there was no forther discussion. All the pilots for PAL were WWII AF pilots. The company pilot was a former Army Air Corps pilot, fortunately he was very good as that is the preferred method of transport.

I was supposed to stay as the Mine Super but opted out of my contract as the corruption & the security were not at the level I would expect for my family. If one of my little guys had been kidnapped, I'm not sure I could have dealt with that. Though one of them would have probably been returned post haste :).

Dustin D
12-10-2012, 07:10 AM
Does war really wipe out our belief in human rights and rule of law, even when the particular human is obviously reprehensible?



War is brutal, its ugly...I don't condone any form of torture or interrogation technique, but am not naive enough to think it doesn't happen on both sides..it happens and I am sure it happens under the cloak of, for the love of country and to save countless human lives


Have either one of you served overseas in Combat? Nothing personal, just asking.

Without dabbing too much beyond OPSEC I can personally attest that Water boarding as well as all other enhanced interrogation techniques have their place and do indeed save lives.

Here's the time from such techniques;
-22 yr old Taliban member PUC'd at a VCP.
-Waterboarded/Interrogated for 48 hours on site
--Info given up was a 2nd largest weapons cache in Afghan War History and the location of a Med. Dr sewing up injured Insurgents.
-Cache found and destroyed.
-Dr. was PUC'd from his dinner table. The Dr. gives up 3 HVT locations as well as as word of an ambush on local trucks carrying supplies to a near-by Allied Base who was being escorted by US Forces.
--ambush was indeed set up but never happen due to a very strategic Warthog Run called in by US Forces.
-2 of 3 HVT's were also PUC'd the 3rd ended up being a high speed projectile receiver.

--The other two received similar treatment and gave up similar information and so on and so fourth the story goes. All from one young insurgent who gave up information extracted by enhanced interrogation techniques. This tiny piece of info led to a Country wide Spider web of information where by US Forces we able to put a HUGE dent in Insurgent procedures and numbers all around.

You can do the same thing backwards in seeing how we came to find out where OBL was hiding.

You're right. War is ugly and it's not for the faint of heart. It also shouldn't be judged by those who have never had a hand in it and especially those who have never directly benefited from those interrogation techniques. Not saying that’s either one of you I don’t know your background.

As Ol' Col. Jessup once said what most of us feel should be said to many in Washington and abroad;


I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it!


Funny how that works out.

BonMallari
12-10-2012, 08:21 AM
Have either one of you served overseas in Combat? Nothing personal, just asking.

Without dabbing too much beyond OPSEC I can personally attest that Water boarding as well as all other enhanced interrogation techniques have their place and do indeed save lives.

Here's the time from such techniques;
-22 yr old Taliban member PUC'd at a VCP.
-Waterboarded/Interrogated for 48 hours on site
--Info given up was a 2nd largest weapons cache in Afghan War History and the location of a Med. Dr sewing up injured Insurgents.
-Cache found and destroyed.
-Dr. was PUC'd from his dinner table. The Dr. gives up 3 HVT locations as well as as word of an ambush on local trucks carrying supplies to a near-by Allied Base who was being escorted by US Forces.
--ambush was indeed set up but never happen due to a very strategic Warthog Run called in by US Forces.
-2 of 3 HVT's were also PUC'd the 3rd ended up being a high speed projectile receiver.

--The other two received similar treatment and gave up similar information and so on and so fourth the story goes. All from one young insurgent who gave up information extracted by enhanced interrogation techniques. This tiny piece of info led to a Country wide Spider web of information where by US Forces we able to put a HUGE dent in Insurgent procedures and numbers all around.

You can do the same thing backwards in seeing how we came to find out where OBL was hiding.

You're right. War is ugly and it's not for the faint of heart. It also shouldn't be judged by those who have never had a hand in it and especially those who have never directly benefited from those interrogation techniques. Not saying that’s either one of you I don’t know your background.

As Ol' Col. Jessup once said what most of us feel should be said to many in Washington and abroad;



Funny how that works out.


Have not served in the military...but I come from a military family and am fully aware of what the benefits of interrogation are

Gerry Clinchy
12-10-2012, 09:30 AM
Dustin, no, I have not served ... but I know that many on this Forum have ... and that's why I presented this: to see the opinions of those who may have the first-hand experience and how that influences their beliefs. And, also, where do they think the line is drawn between what they feel they can countenance and what they could not.

Absolutely, as Bon alluded, means of torturing our fellow man seems to be as old as our species. Other species kill their own. Some even kill without the need for food or defense. Yet, it appears that only humans (perhaps some of the higher apes?) are capable of torture.

I would think that it is easier to countenance murder and torture for a culture that does not value each individual life. Since most of our Western culture places value on each individual, it is more difficult for us to accept, I believe. Yet, even our Western culture recognizes the principle of killing another human in self-defense; capital punishment for certain criminals; and even killing in war (which could be interpreted as an extension of self-defense).

Use of some level of force in interrogation in times of war seems to be somewhere along the continuum. Civilized countries have even come to the agreement that POWs deserve certain humane considerations ... though even then we know those "rules" may be stretched or ignored by some countries. Terrorism abides by none of those rules.

As the title of the thread indicates: a topic that is thought-provoking.

BonMallari
12-10-2012, 11:31 AM
One can try and justify interrogation based on the info received and the benefit of that info....but there is a fine, make that a blur between interrogation and torture...and just because we do it does that make it ok, whereas when the enemy does it , that makes it reprehensible....what happens when someone dies as a result of interrogation techniques?

HPL
12-10-2012, 12:13 PM
One can try and justify interrogation based on the info received and the benefit of that info....but there is a fine, make that a blur between interrogation and torture...and just because we do it does that make it ok, whereas when the enemy does it , that makes it reprehensible....what happens when someone dies as a result of interrogation techniques?

If it's one of them that ends up dead, then, well, just the fortunes of war, if one of us, clearly a war crime.

Dustin D
12-10-2012, 12:14 PM
and just because we do it does that make it ok, whereas when the enemy does it , that makes it reprehensible....what happens when someone dies as a result of interrogation techniques?

Why would it be reprehensible when the enemy does it? In fact we train to be interrogated b/c we know that if captured that's likely to happen.

If someone dies as a result or in the process, oh well, Wars Hell! and I'd salute that person b/c he/she obviously held out and died with honor not giving up. Assuming of course the interrogators were not amateurs and there was no foul play. Either way dying as a POW is 2nd only to being rescued. Living is the ultimate pain.

Dustin D
12-10-2012, 12:16 PM
If it's one of them, then, well, just the fortunes of war, if one of us, clearly a war crime.

Example?

///

charly_t
12-10-2012, 01:50 PM
.................................................. .................................................. ...............Yet, it appears that only humans (perhaps some of the higher apes?) are capable of torture.

..........................................

Sorry, Gerry, the devil made me do this. I know this is a serious thread but I've been forced to be serious too much lately !

TIC
Cat with mouse it has caught ? ;-)

menmon
12-10-2012, 03:19 PM
Bon...great story about you dad.

Some form of torture as an interogration method on either side is wrong. Like someone already mentioned...it happens and will happen no matter what the law is. After 911, torture interogation was used very much and not kept secret...so it made us look as bad as our enemy in this regard. Modern day information makes it had to keep secrets.

Franco
12-10-2012, 04:30 PM
We decided as a family that it would not paint anyone including my dad in a good light...My dad's use of certain terms to depict the enemy was not what you would call politically correct, in fact in many ways it was somewhat offensive, but changing the text would not have been fair to my father or his memory either....There was a book written by one of his Army superiors called "Colonel Ramsey's War", it was very complimentary to all,but cleaned up a lot for public consumption...but in my dad's memoirs some things are better off left dead and buried since they benefit no one any longer

the Movie "The Great Raid" (2005) is very accurate in that members of his unit were part of that raid...

There is a film project called "Forgotten Soldiers" the history of the US Army's Phillippine Scouts - narrated by Lou Diamond Philips, it has been shown in limited release but I have not seen it yet

I've seen it on the Military Channel. Check the listing for any future airings. There was a lot of material on Ferdinand Marcos.

I have a book at home that I read along time ago, "Santo Thomas Story" about the Spanish university turned prison in Manila where American and Bristish civillians were imprisoned during WW2 and the liberation of Manila.

P S

Another awesome read is, "Sea Of Thunder". The biggest Naval battle fought in WW2 was in Leyte Gulf when the Japs tried to halt the American liberation.

starjack
12-10-2012, 04:30 PM
Bon...great story about you dad.

Some form of torture as an interogration method on either side is wrong. Like someone already mentioned...it happens and will happen no matter what the law is. After 911, torture interogation was used very much and not kept secret...so it made us look as bad as our enemy in this regard. Modern day information makes it had to keep secrets.Sorry bon liked your story about were dad. But mr menmon does not care about americans

murral stark
12-10-2012, 06:13 PM
interrogation/torture have been part of war forever. It is a necessary evil to gain information about the activities of the enemy. I am sure it is not a pleasant experience, because it is not supposed to be. When in a fight/war, you win by whatever means are necessary to succeed. there is an old saying, "all's fair in love and war". I laugh when I hear someone say they lost a bar fight because the other guy cheated, it wasn't a fair fight. there's no such thing as a fair fight, as long as the fight is one on one. the only fair fights are the ones that occur in a ring or octagon where there are established rules with a referee to enforce them.

HPL
12-10-2012, 09:44 PM
Bon...great story about you dad.

Some form of torture as an interogration method on either side is wrong. Like someone already mentioned...it happens and will happen no matter what the law is. After 911, torture interogation was used very much and not kept secret...so it made us look as bad as our enemy in this regard. Modern day information makes it had to keep secrets.


In the immortal words of the Duke: "Not hardly". It is perhaps possible that we have on some rare occasions used techniques that resulted in the deaths of captured combatants, (I say perhaps because I haven't read anything official to that effect) but I haven't read anything that comes even close to what our GI's endured at the hands of the Viet Cong and NVA (not to mention the Germans and Japanese).

HPL
12-10-2012, 09:47 PM
Example?

///


Perhaps it was not worded explicitly enough. I went back and fixed that. See if that clarifies it for you.

Dustin D
12-11-2012, 06:53 AM
Perhaps it was not worded explicitly enough. I went back and fixed that. See if that clarifies it for you.


Nah, I'd still like an example of what you're talking about.

HPL
12-11-2012, 07:43 AM
Nah, I'd still like an example of what you're talking about.

Well, really, that's easy: we're the good guys.

road kill
12-11-2012, 07:46 AM
Why would it be reprehensible when the enemy does it? In fact we train to be interrogated b/c we know that if captured that's likely to happen. Have you done this?
If someone dies as a result or in the process, oh well, Wars Hell! and I'd salute that person b/c he/she obviously held out and died with honor not giving up. Assuming of course the interrogators were not amateurs and there was no foul play. Either way dying as a POW is 2nd only to being rescued. Living is the ultimate pain.

Where did you get this training?

Dustin D
12-11-2012, 08:50 AM
Where did you get this training?

Parris Island & Camp Lejeune.

There is also the more extensive and prestigous training called SERE School.

HPL
12-11-2012, 09:03 AM
All the newly designated Naval and Marine Corps pilots report to SERE (Survive, Evade, RESIST, Escape) soon after getting winged. I'm not military, but live in a navy town and have been photographing the winging ceremonies for about 20 years. A really great shoot. Have heard some about sere. Doesn't sound even a little bit fun.

menmon
12-11-2012, 09:12 AM
Sorry bon liked your story about were dad. But mr menmon does not care about americans

How did you get from what I said I did not like americans?

I also agreed that torture interrogation was neccesary.

My point was don't publize it.

Apparently you guys like FOX and CNN to be your action thriller channel.

I think you do what you need to do and don't tell anybody. Out of sight out mind.

Same position I have on guns...keep it out of sight out of mind. In other words don't send Christmas Cards with children holding assault rifles

coachmo
12-11-2012, 09:34 AM
Menmon, so you are good with our government conducting covert and clandestine operations which may or may not be illegal as long as we don’t know about them. Wow!!!! Doesn’t this go against your progressive stance on almost everything?

HPL
12-11-2012, 09:41 AM
How did you get from what I said I did not like americans?

I also agreed that torture interrogation was neccesary.

My point was don't publize it.

Apparently you guys like FOX and CNN to be your action thriller channel.

I think you do what you need to do and don't tell anybody. Out of sight out mind.

Same position I have on guns...keep it out of sight out of mind. In other words don't send Christmas Cards with children holding assault rifles

Man, I believe that that is the closest we have ever come to completely agreeing on this forum!!! You are a puzzle!

HPL

Dustin D
12-11-2012, 10:28 AM
Have heard some about sere. Doesn't sound even a little bit fun.

As the late great Justin Wilson would say;

'I don't like dat' nope-nun-uh-tall-any' - with a strong cajun twang.

menmon
12-11-2012, 11:10 AM
Menmon, so you are good with our government conducting covert and clandestine operations which may or may not be illegal as long as we don’t know about them. Wow!!!! Doesn’t this go against your progressive stance on almost everything?

I surely hope you don't agree with everything the conservatives want either.

But to answer your question, if it is truly about national security, I want them doing what they need to do. Problem with this is that I don't trust this anymore....it is apparent that war of some level is desired whether it is about our security or not.

I would much rather be a country without as many enemies...but the way we play the game, we make enemies that we shouldn't have.

Stop policing the world...quit spending trillions on defense and providing foriegn aid to people who hate us, but if to keep me and you truly safe means taking a pliers to their nuts I'm fine with it.

Dustin D
12-11-2012, 12:39 PM
Stop policing the world...quit spending trillions on defense and providing foriegn aid to people who hate us, but if to keep me and you truly safe means taking a pliers to their nuts I'm fine with it.

While I agree we could be doing a much more efficient job at policing the world, if we don't do it at all, someone will. Someone always has, that is the nature of the world.

Someone will always be attempting to run the show. There might be lull's in that fight, but you can bet it's always raging in someone's head.

coachmo
12-11-2012, 01:04 PM
Menmon, we actually have a few ideas in common. Who'd a thunk it!!

pat addis
12-11-2012, 01:49 PM
when my dad was writing his memoirs, he documented some of the atrocities that he witnessed inflicted the Japanese, even my mother recounted how they would interrogate her and try to get her to divulge the whereabouts of my dad and his band of guerilla warfare scouts...my mom was subjected to taunts with a bayonnet, being hit with the butt end of a weapon,and obvious threat of a bullet to the head, and it wasnt just her, it was done to all the people in the barrio..

War is brutal, its ugly...I don't condone any form of torture or interrogation technique, but am not naive enough to think it doesn't happen on both sides..it happens and I am sure it happens under the cloak of, for the love of country and to save countless human lives...sleep deprivation,water boarding..where do you think we learned these techniques

please thank your dad for me for his service you must be very proud

menmon
12-11-2012, 02:35 PM
Menmon, we actually have a few ideas in common. Who'd a thunk it!!

We actually have a lot in common....you just think that they will be accomplished by republicans and I don't believe them

coachmo
12-11-2012, 03:00 PM
Menmon, That's where you are wrong. I don't have much faith in republicans; however, I have none, zero, nada, zip in the democrats. I have posted on numerous occasions that I don't believe in the big-government republicans at all or their ideology. I have very conservative values and ideals some of which you may or may not agree.

BonMallari
12-11-2012, 03:03 PM
please thank your dad for me for his service you must be very proud

my dad was only a hero in his military life....its my mother who was the real HERO in the family...but thats a whole different subject...but Thank you for the sentiment

menmon
12-11-2012, 03:32 PM
Menmon, That's where you are wrong. I don't have much faith in republicans; however, I have none, zero, nada, zip in the democrats. I have posted on numerous occasions that I don't believe in the big-government republicans at all or their ideology. I have very conservative values and ideals some of which you may or may not agree.

I'm not an advocate of Big Government. I do believe that there are things that government needs to control, because it will not get done if not.

I'm for helping the underdog. I think the rules have been overly done to corporations and the rich, therefore I would like to see the playing field move back towards the working man.

Socially I personally do not believe in abortion and gay marriage...but it is not my place to tell either what to do with their lifes nor do I think it is the governments.

I'm for reduced spending but I think people need to pay more taxes because if we don't the elderly on fixed income will bear the burden.

coachmo
12-11-2012, 09:26 PM
Yes but who gets to define rich? There's always someone better off and worse off than you. You make it seem like all rich people are evil and all poor people just drew the short straw. That's not reality and it's called class warfare.

HPL
12-11-2012, 09:31 PM
I'm not an advocate of Big Government. I do believe that there are things that government needs to control, because it will not get done if not.

I'm for helping the underdog. I think the rules have been overly done to corporations and the rich, therefore I would like to see the playing field move back towards the working man.

Socially I personally do not believe in abortion and gay marriage...but it is not my place to tell either what to do with their lifes nor do I think it is the governments.

I'm for reduced spending but I think people need to pay more taxes because if we don't the elderly on fixed income will bear the burden.

Define "working man".

Dustin D
12-12-2012, 07:25 AM
Interrogations to the definition of Rich in less than 2 pages. Awesome.

road kill
12-12-2012, 07:28 AM
Define "working man".

The 47% that don't work?????


Just a guess.............

menmon
12-12-2012, 09:35 AM
Yes but who gets to define rich? There's always someone better off and worse off than you. You make it seem like all rich people are evil and all poor people just drew the short straw. That's not reality and it's called class warfare.

No it means folks that can afford to pay more with out putting their family in distress should.

Tell me do you just want the Bush Tax cuts to expire and then everyone pays more or would you rather the folks that can afford to pay more pay more?

I'm fine with it either way. The Bush tax cuts were not needed to begin with and have just made our hole bigger

menmon
12-12-2012, 09:37 AM
Define "working man".

Someone that's compensation comes from an employer

coachmo
12-12-2012, 11:04 AM
All of the liberals want to point out that everyone should pay their "fair" share and I'm fine with that. I'll pay my fair share and everyone can pay theirs. No ifs, ands or buts!

HPL
12-12-2012, 11:22 AM
Someone that's compensation comes from an employer

Does that include the $1,000,000.00/yr CEO, how about the $500,000.00/yr upper management, or the $250,000.00/yr middle management, and so on?

HPL
12-12-2012, 11:30 AM
The 47% that don't work?????


Just a guess.............


Once and for all, I'd like to separate out the folks who receive earned benefits (social security, medicare, veterans' benefits) from those "entitlements" like medicaid and welfare. I believe that the 47% would go down substantially. I have no problem with folks collecting what they supposedly put in for all their lives. I hope to collect my SS and be eligible for medicare (if they still exist). I feel that it is reasonable to feel "entitled" to those benefits. No one is really entitled to "charity" which is what welfare really is.

menmon
12-12-2012, 01:05 PM
Does that include the $1,000,000.00/yr CEO, how about the $500,000.00/yr upper management, or the $250,000.00/yr middle management, and so on?

That is his point...if you are one of those people earning that level of income you should pay more.

To answer your question, given the structures of large companies that have manager that manage large budgets and staffs, basically the same as a large company, these folks are the equivalant of stand alone companies and thus I don't consider them as working men.

menmon
12-12-2012, 01:07 PM
All of the liberals want to point out that everyone should pay their "fair" share and I'm fine with that. I'll pay my fair share and everyone can pay theirs. No ifs, ands or buts!

Bush redefined fair share....Clintons fair share was more properly aligned...and we need to return to it.

road kill
12-12-2012, 01:51 PM
Once and for all, I'd like to separate out the folks who receive earned benefits (social security, medicare, veterans' benefits) from those "entitlements" like medicaid and welfare. I believe that the 47% would go down substantially. I have no problem with folks collecting what they supposedly put in for all their lives. I hope to collect my SS and be eligible for medicare (if they still exist). I feel that it is reasonable to feel "entitled" to those benefits. No one is really entitled to "charity" which is what welfare really is.
It was a JOKE!!!!!

GEEZ......:rolleyes:

Eric Johnson
12-12-2012, 02:34 PM
Bush redefined fair share....Clintons fair share was more properly aligned...and we need to return to it.

I've read the thread and many others but I still haven't found, "What's a fair share?" I've seen figures that indicate that some upper income level folks now pay more than 50% of their income in texes (Federal, state, local). Is that a fair share? Should it be increased?

menmon
12-12-2012, 02:39 PM
I've read the thread and many others but I still haven't found, "What's a fair share?" I've seen figures that indicate that some upper income level folks now pay more than 50% of their income in texes (Federal, state, local). Is that a fair share? Should it be increased?

They don't pay anywhere near that. I'm ok with the Bush tax cuts expiring...either way I have to pay more...at least Obama's plan keeps folks that make less than $250,000 from going up

Eric Johnson
12-12-2012, 02:56 PM
They pay close to it and it's a heck of a lot closer to 50% than the folks who don't pay any tax on their income at all.

I just checked. Millionaires have about $11.4 trillion in income this past year. That means a 1% increase in "fair share" would be what....$11.4 billion? That's a pittance in terms of Federal spending. (Of course the argument can be made that I'm talking taxes for all levels but talking only Federal expenditures.) Suppose the rate was adjusted so that they paid 10% more. That's still only $114 billion. How much? give us a number. Rather than just waving your hands around, tell us how much is a "fair share"?

The millionaire in the US is somewhat an endangered species. The number here declined about 125,000 while the number world-wide grew by 175,000.

menmon
12-12-2012, 03:01 PM
They pay close to it and it's a heck of a lot closer to 50% than the folks who don't pay any tax on their income at all.

I just checked. Millionaires have about $11.4 trillion in income this past year. That means a 1% increase in "fair share" would be what....$11.4 billion? That's a pittance in terms of Federal spending. (Of course the argument can be made that I'm talking taxes for all levels but talking only Federal expenditures.) Suppose the rate was adjusted so that they paid 10% more. That's still only $114 billion. How much? give us a number. Rather than just waving your hands around, tell us how much is a "fair share"?


The millionaire in the US is somewhat an endangered species. The number here declined about 125,000 while the number world-wide grew by 175,000.

No they don't...Romney only paid 14%. Go ahead and take this position and everyone under $250,000 taxes will go up too. Does not take a vote for that. If you make more than $250,000 you should be like me indifferent, but if you make less then your position is going to make your taxes go up

Down East Labs 217
12-12-2012, 04:12 PM
No they don't...Romney only paid 14%. Go ahead and take this position and everyone under $250,000 taxes will go up too. Does not take a vote for that. If you make more than $250,000 you should be like me indifferent, but if you make less then your position is going to make your taxes go up

Indifferent, Apparently you are so loaded so you don't care if the Government takes a little more. I take it personally when they take one red cent because, every time they waste a dollar I take it personally because that is my money they are wasting. Every time someone lies about their income and steals from welfare I take it personal because that is my money. Every time someone works under the table and draws unemployment I take it personal because that is my money. The government waste alone would help pay down the deficit. Add to that a clean up of entitlements and fiscal responsibility of our elected officials (both parties) and you have a balanced budget. Oh, wait we haven't had that in four years.

My opinion

Richard

menmon
12-13-2012, 09:21 AM
I get mad everytime they give a billionaire an advantage. I get mad when folks like you would rather this mess fall on the heels of a old person or a poor person. We get a lot for our taxes and no one likes paying them. But if we don't pay more, the elderly will be footing the bill when inflation goes through the roof and everyone will pay more then, we need to pay more now. Waste and fraud are nothing new...it is just an excuse because you want someone else paying for you

Franco
12-13-2012, 09:30 AM
How can anyone advocate raising taxes when the government is so wasteful of the peoples money? The 53% that pay Federal Income Tax should be talking about a tax revolt and not simply accepting the theft by the Feds!

How about the government downsizing and getting out of areas that they have no business in rather than continuing to allow them to steal the peoples' money? If our government were not so out-of-control, tax payers would only be paying a small fraction of what we pay now!

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/s480x480/523676_457605984298209_1556072771_n.jpg

road kill
12-13-2012, 09:39 AM
How can anyone advocate raising taxes when the government is so wasteful of the peoples money? The 53% that pay Federal Income Tax should be talking about a tax revolt and not simply accepting the theft by the Feds!

How about the government downsizing and getting out of areas that they have no business in rather than continuing to allow them to steal the peoples' money? If our government were not so out-of-control, tax payers would only be paying a small fraction of what we pay now! http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/s480x480/523676_457605984298209_1556072771_n.jpg

BAM.....head shot!!!!!

menmon
12-13-2012, 09:59 AM
How can anyone advocate raising taxes when the government is so wasteful of the peoples money? The 53% that pay Federal Income Tax should be talking about a tax revolt and not simply accepting the theft by the Feds!

How about the government downsizing and getting out of areas that they have no business in rather than continuing to allow them to steal the peoples' money? If our government were not so out-of-control, tax payers would only be paying a small fraction of what we pay now!

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/s480x480/523676_457605984298209_1556072771_n.jpg

You sound like the guy that ordered all the most expensive stuff on the menu and then says he forgot his wallet.

Or the guy you take deer hunting on a friends ranch and he kills a big buck and then wants to split the $20 lunch bill.

The spending is out of control...no question, but mainly because of two wars and a massive defense budget....I'm for cutting defense spending and bringing our troops home and I'm ok paying more tax to fix the governments mess. But I not for cutting old folks retirement and medical so I don't have to pay more tax

Franco
12-13-2012, 10:09 AM
You sound like the guy that ordered all the most expensive stuff on the menu and then says he forgot his wallet.

Or the guy you take deer hunting on a friends ranch and he kills a big buck and then wants to split the $20 lunch bill.

The spending is out of control...no question, but mainly because of two wars and a massive defense budget....I'm for cutting defense spending and bringing our troops home and I'm ok paying more tax to fix the governments mess. But I not for cutting old folks retirement and medical so I don't have to pay more tax

I've have always advocated a sane Foregn Policy which means cutting Military spending and keeping our Defense the strongest in the world! I have been against the two Wars and Nation Building from the get go and have stated so on RTF since 03. !

The government has repeatedly demonstarted that they are not capable of fixing anything. The more they tax, the more they waste. Sending them more money won't fix a damn thing! No one is advocating abandoning the elderly. But, when the tax payer continues to be abused, the elderly and everyone else's welfare is in trouble!

The President and Congesses' only solution to problems is throwing more money at it rather than fixing it at the core. It is long overdue for all tax payers to say they have had enough!!!

All tax payers need thier tax liabilites cut drasticlly and that is the best way to jump start a sagging economy. Not the additional stimulus packages that Obama and Bernake want.

menmon
12-13-2012, 10:16 AM
I've have always advocated a sane Foregn Policy which means cutting Military spending and keeping our Defense the strongest in the world! I have been against the two Wars and Nation Building from the get go and have stated so on RTF since 03. !

The government has repeatedly demonstarted that they are not capable of fixing anything. The more they tax, the more they waste. Sending them more money won't fix a damn thing! No one is advocating abandoning the elderly. But, when the tax payer continues to be abused, the elderly and everyone else's welfare is in trouble!

The President and Congesses' only solution to problems is throwing more money at it rather than fixing it at the core. It is long overdue for all tax payers to say they have had enough!!!

All tax payers need thier tax liabilites cut drasticlly and that is the best way to jump start a sagging economy. Not the additional stimulus packages that Obama and Bernake want.

We agree...but the folks making more than $250,000 need to pay more...they did not need the bush tax cuts...and they cause the hole to get bigger

Franco
12-13-2012, 10:25 AM
We agree...but the folks making more than $250,000 need to pay more...they did not need the bush tax cuts...and they cause the hole to get bigger

All tax payers are paying too much already! Targeting the $250,000 plus is nothing more than political posturing and won't fix a thing.
Spending is out-of-control and the Government is wasteful!

Gerry Clinchy
12-13-2012, 10:29 AM
I get mad everytime they give a billionaire an advantage. I get mad when folks like you would rather this mess fall on the heels of a old person or a poor person. We get a lot for our taxes and no one likes paying them. But if we don't pay more, the elderly will be footing the bill when inflation goes through the roof and everyone will pay more then, we need to pay more now. Waste and fraud are nothing new...it is just an excuse because you want someone else paying for you
A good piece in American Thinker yesterday ... facts ... using IRS and CBO figures for 2009 & 2012.
The fact is that to balance the budgetary expenditures of 2012 with income taxes, it would take an income tax rate of 100% on everyone earning down to $100,000. If the govt then spent more, the tax would have to move down to lower incomes ... that is JUST for Federal expenditures. That does NOT include costs of running state and local govts.

I keep mentioning, but no one seems to notice, that in addition to the income tax, we pay TONS of other taxes that are hidden in other ways we don't notice. I have my cell phone bill in front of me to pay. The program I have is $40 for 700 minutes. (It's amazing how cheap that is, since I "upgraded" from a plan of $39.99 for 450 minutes). On that bill are Fed tax of $1.72 and PA gross receipts tax (sounds a bit like the tax proposed on medical devices) of 2.25. There is also a "regulatory charge" of .16 (I suspect that is another tax passed through the utility from the govt). Total: $4.13. That comes to 10% of the original bill. We would be very upset if the Fed proposed a 10% sales tax on phone service ... but this tax is there, but nobody ever talks about it, or the legislation that imposed that tax on EVERY cell phone bill.

EVERYBODY pays that tax who pays their own cell phone bill ... even the family of 4 earning a lot less than most of those on this forum. Those who get social services that provide them with a free cell phone don't have to worry about that 10% "tax". Cell phones were once considered a luxury. Today they are practically a necessity for most working people. As a Realtor, if I didn't have a cell phone, it would be unthinkable that I could conduct my business today. So, if we were complacent when these taxes were enacted because they would only apply to "the rich", we were snookered. The same is true of your land-line, except the percentage is even higher.

Obama and the Dems continue to add in their speeches that we ALL have to sacrifice ... are you really willing to believe that they will stop at $200,000 earners? Unless we take a very serious attitude toward cutting spending, there is simply NO WAY that we will ever balance a budget, much less get out of debt.

Look at where Susana Martinez started at cutting expenses ... with govt expenses that favored elitism for the high-level govt employees over the taxpayers. Just imagine the savings that could be made if ALL Fed employees, including the legislators!, were made to join the SS program. That, alone, would make a big dent in the expenditures; and if all the funds in that retirement program were put into the SS program, it would solve a large part of SS funding ... and if those legislators were dependent upon SS, just think how fast they would find a way to make it secure for the future.

Franco
12-13-2012, 10:38 AM
A good piece in American Thinker yesterday ... facts ... using IRS and CBO figures for 2009 & 2012.
The fact is that to balance the budgetary expenditures of 2012 with income taxes, it would take an income tax rate of 100% on everyone earning down to $100,000. If the govt then spent more, the tax would have to move down to lower incomes ... that is JUST for Federal expenditures. That does NOT include costs of running state and local govts.

I keep mentioning, but no one seems to notice, that in addition to the income tax, we pay TONS of other taxes that are hidden in other ways we don't notice. I have my cell phone bill in front of me to pay. The program I have is $40 for 700 minutes. (It's amazing how cheap that is, since I "upgraded" from a plan of $39.99 for 450 minutes). On that bill are Fed tax of $1.72 and PA gross receipts tax (sounds a bit like the tax proposed on medical devices) of 2.25. There is also a "regulatory charge" of .16 (I suspect that is another tax passed through the utility from the govt). Total: $4.13. That comes to 10% of the original bill. We would be very upset if the Fed proposed a 10% sales tax on phone service ... but this tax is there, but nobody ever talks about it, or the legislation that imposed that tax on EVERY cell phone bill.

EVERYBODY pays that tax who pays their own cell phone bill ... even the family of 4 earning a lot less than most of those on this forum. Those who get social services that provide them with a free cell phone don't have to worry about that 10% "tax". Cell phones were once considered a luxury. Today they are practically a necessity for most working people. As a Realtor, if I didn't have a cell phone, it would be unthinkable that I could conduct my business today. So, if we were complacent when these taxes were enacted because they would only apply to "the rich", we were snookered. The same is true of your land-line, except the percentage is even higher.

Obama and the Dems continue to add in their speeches that we ALL have to sacrifice ... are you really willing to believe that they will stop at $200,000 earners? Unless we take a very serious attitude toward cutting spending, there is simply NO WAY that we will ever balance a budget, much less get out of debt.

Look at where Susana Martinez started at cutting expenses ... with govt expenses that favored elitism for the high-level govt employees over the taxpayers. Just imagine the savings that could be made if ALL Fed employees, including the legislators!, were made to join the SS program. That, alone, would make a big dent in the expenditures; and if all the funds in that retirement program were put into the SS program, it would solve a large part of SS funding ... and if those legislators were dependent upon SS, just think how fast they would find a way to make it secure for the future.

I've noticed;-)

Not to mention all the other consumer taxes.

A Tax Revolt by the people is in order!

Eric Johnson
12-13-2012, 11:06 AM
No they don't...Romney only paid 14%.

A false issue.

From "Savings2Invest"...

>The bulk of Romney’s 2010 income came from long-term capital gains ($12.6 million) and dividends ($8.2 million). This was really why his effective tax rate was so much lower than it should have been, since the highest tax rate on income from long-term capital gains and dividends is typically only15%, considerably less than the top rate of 35% levied on regular salary income.This lower rate on investments was instituted as part of the Bush-era tax cuts to spur investment.

You see he paid taxes on income and then used that income to invest. The 15% tax rate is on investment, not salary and wages. Most of his income was investment.

Then from Forbes Mag...

>PWC’s (Price Waterhouse Coopers) letter said the Romneys’ effective state tax rate during the period had averaged 8.36%, while they had donated an average of 13.45% of their AGI, for a total of an average of 38.49% of their AGI going to federal and state income taxes and charitable giving.

Note that I'm including charitable giving. However, as a benchmark, Joe Biden... (again Forbes)

>In 2011,Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, paid at an effective tax rate of 22.9%...

You could add the $500 in charitable giving to the Biden's if you want to make it "even".

I simply don't understand why the Democrats are holding the middle class hostage in order to invoke a tax hike on the upper class that won't make a bit of difference. If the desire is to control the deficit, you'll have to cut spending. Increasing the revenue by further taxing those who do pay the taxes won't really accomplish anything.

I note that elsewhere you've cited DoD and Bush as the cause of the issue. Do you know how much has been added to the deficit by President Obama by non-DoD programs? I'll venture a guess that the growth in entitlement spending over the past 4 years exceeds marginal DoD spending by a bunch.

menmon
12-13-2012, 11:24 AM
So just work at making all your earning capital gains and you only have to pay 15%...trust me I know the game. The capital gins tax will go back to 20% when the bush tax cuts exprire. They were 33% when Reagan was president and 28% when the first bush was president. Suppose to increase revenue by cutting them...has not worked

Gerry Clinchy
12-13-2012, 11:35 AM
LOL!I missed another $2.80 on the phone bill (on the reverse side of the last page) ... that's the PA sales tax. So, we end up paying the company's "gross receipts tax" (sounds a lot like the medical devise tax in Obamacare) and ALSO the sales tax! Total $6.77 on a $45.91 in services = 14.7%

Menmom, don't forget the $250,000 figure is for a married couple, which would mean they are paying the tax on earnings of $125,000 each, even if one of them earns $70,000 and the other $180,000. I suppose the govt is figuring that they both live in the same house, so their living expenses are not as much as two individuals maintaining in separate houses. And their adjusted gross may also then include children, though not all might have the same exemptions.

The tax code is not "fair". Increasing the rates without revamping the tax code doesn't make sense if fairness is the goal. The Dems keep saying that we need a fairness.

Gerry Clinchy
12-13-2012, 11:48 AM
So just work at making all your earning capital gains and you only have to pay 15%...trust me I know the game. The capital gins tax will go back to 20% when the bush tax cuts exprire. They were 33% when Reagan was president and 28% when the first bush was president. Suppose to increase revenue by cutting them...has not worked
Yes, it did. When the cap gains taxes were reduced, revenue increased.

When income taxes become confiscatory, people try harder to conceal income: paying "under the table" and bartering. In theory even bartering is taxable ... but you have to find it first.

If you work hard enough to save and invest, you have contributed to the welfare of the entire economy. A senior with sufficient investment income will not be using Medicaid or welfare. They'll be able to pay for their own nursing home, not be dependent on Medicaid. What they pay for their nursing home will allow the nursing home to use those excess funds toward their Medicaid residents :-)

BonMallari
12-13-2012, 12:12 PM
what does this have to do with interrogations.....oh I forgot where I was..

Golddogs
12-14-2012, 09:25 AM
Recently watched a "Law and Order" episode that was very thought-provoking. They always disavow that their episodes are directly related to "real" people ... but this one certainly did seem to do so.

The DA decided to prosecute a case about waterboarding interrogations (it also cited other methods of physical abuse such as hanging people by their wrists, as was done to McCain in Viet Nam). It revolved around a detainee who died from the interrogation methods. The suit filed by the DA cited as co-conspirators several members of the Bush administration, including Cheyney.

Nobody wanted the DA to tread on this ground, but he went ahead anyhow. The show explored the varied emotions of those involved in the prosecution. Keep in mind the show's setting is NYC, and those staff members had watched the Towers burn on 9/11.

The Fed govt also wielded their power to prevent the local DA from moving forward. The political implication cited was that a sitting administration would not allow the trial to proceed, because it would set a precedent for allowing prior administrations to be held legally liable in civilian courts; and, obviously, that also meant that a present administration would then have the same exposure under a new administration. A new twist to an old adage: "The enemy of my enemy is also my enemy"?

The episode carried through the legal arguments of both the prosecution and the defense ... a thought-provoking summary of the reasoning behind both sides of the argument. The episode ended: the jury had just returned to the courtroom with its verdict, but the verdict was never heard, because at that moment, a Federal marshall entered the courtroom with an order from a Federal court that ended the trial. That Federal court order ended the trial, period, so that the jury's verdict could not even be heard, even though it had already been decided.

When we have discussed this issue of these interrogation methods in the past, they have centered on the waterboarding. Whether other injurious methods are also involved has never been approached. Are things done that go beyond waterboarding? If so, will we ever know?

I really feel non-partisan about this. As we have all often mentioned, both political parties (and their adherents) have plenty of dirty laundry in their closets. It is not more right for one or the other party to ignore the laws of the country ... yet, it appears that both parties do that more often than we may know.

Does war really wipe out our belief in human rights and rule of law, even when the particular human is obviously reprehensible? Even the worst murderers in our society, totally reprehensible humans, will get a trial in our courts before punishment is inflicted. Our laws don't make distinctions WRT whether the criminal is a citizen or not. The laws are supposed to be applied equally to citizens or non-citizens. Even the Nazi war criminals got trials. Even Sadaam Hussein got a trial.

I don't confuse this issue with whether these potentially dangerous people should remain confined at Gitmo or not; or whether trials should be brought to the mainland. Those are separate issues.

Interesting article:
Senate report finds harsh CIA interrogations were ineffective

By Greg Miller

Washington Post

After a contentious closed-door vote, the Senate Intelligence Committee approved a long-awaited report Thursday, Dec. 13, concluding that harsh interrogation measures used by the CIA did not produce significant intelligence breakthroughs, officials said.

The 6,000-page document, which was not released to the public, was adopted by Democrats over the objections of most of the committee’s Republicans. The outcome reflects the level of partisan friction that continues to surround the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other severe interrogation techniques four years after they were banned.

The report is the most detailed independent examination to date of the agency’s efforts to “break” dozens of detainees through physical and psychological duress, a period of CIA history that has become a source of renewed controversy because of torture scenes in a forthcoming Hollywood film, “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Officials familiar with the report said it makes a detailed case that subjecting prisoners to “enhanced” interrogation techniques did not help the CIA find Osama bin Laden and often were counterproductive in the broader campaign against al-Qaida.

The committee chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., declined to discuss specific findings but released a written statement describing decisions to allow the CIA to build a network of secret prisons and employ harsh interrogation measures as “terrible mistakes.”

“I also believe this report will settle the debate once and for all over whether our nation should ever employ coercive interrogation techniques,” Feinstein said.

That conclusion has been disputed by highranking officials from the George W. Bush administration, including former vice president Dick Cheney and former CIA director Michael Hayden. Both of them argued that the use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other measures provided critical clues that helped track down bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader who was killed in a U.S. raid in Pakistan in May 2011.

Largely because of those political battle lines, Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee refused to participate in the panel’s three-year investigation of the CIA interrogation program, and most opposed Thursday’s decision.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the committee’s ranking Republican, said in a statement that the report “contains a number of significant errors and omissions about the history and utility of CIA’s detention program.” He also noted that the review was done “without interviewing any of the people involved.”

The 9-6 vote indicates that at least one Republican voted in favor of the report, although committee officials declined to provide a breakdown.

Golddogs
12-19-2012, 05:47 PM
Recently watched a "Law and Order" episode that was very thought-provoking. They always disavow that their episodes are directly related to "real" people ... but this one certainly did seem to do so.

The DA decided to prosecute a case about waterboarding interrogations (it also cited other methods of physical abuse such as hanging people by their wrists, as was done to McCain in Viet Nam). It revolved around a detainee who died from the interrogation methods. The suit filed by the DA cited as co-conspirators several members of the Bush administration, including Cheyney.

Nobody wanted the DA to tread on this ground, but he went ahead anyhow. The show explored the varied emotions of those involved in the prosecution. Keep in mind the show's setting is NYC, and those staff members had watched the Towers burn on 9/11.

The Fed govt also wielded their power to prevent the local DA from moving forward. The political implication cited was that a sitting administration would not allow the trial to proceed, because it would set a precedent for allowing prior administrations to be held legally liable in civilian courts; and, obviously, that also meant that a present administration would then have the same exposure under a new administration. A new twist to an old adage: "The enemy of my enemy is also my enemy"?

The episode carried through the legal arguments of both the prosecution and the defense ... a thought-provoking summary of the reasoning behind both sides of the argument. The episode ended: the jury had just returned to the courtroom with its verdict, but the verdict was never heard, because at that moment, a Federal marshall entered the courtroom with an order from a Federal court that ended the trial. That Federal court order ended the trial, period, so that the jury's verdict could not even be heard, even though it had already been decided.

When we have discussed this issue of these interrogation methods in the past, they have centered on the waterboarding. Whether other injurious methods are also involved has never been approached. Are things done that go beyond waterboarding? If so, will we ever know?

I really feel non-partisan about this. As we have all often mentioned, both political parties (and their adherents) have plenty of dirty laundry in their closets. It is not more right for one or the other party to ignore the laws of the country ... yet, it appears that both parties do that more often than we may know.

Does war really wipe out our belief in human rights and rule of law, even when the particular human is obviously reprehensible? Even the worst murderers in our society, totally reprehensible humans, will get a trial in our courts before punishment is inflicted. Our laws don't make distinctions WRT whether the criminal is a citizen or not. The laws are supposed to be applied equally to citizens or non-citizens. Even the Nazi war criminals got trials. Even Sadaam Hussein got a trial.

I don't confuse this issue with whether these potentially dangerous people should remain confined at Gitmo or not; or whether trials should be brought to the mainland. Those are separate issues.


Another opinion from someone who's been there:

McCain rejects torture scene in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Senator brutalized in Vietnam War


By Donna Cassata

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The movie “Zero Dark Thirty” suggests the CIA’s harsh interrogation techniques led the U.S. to Osama bin Laden. Sen. John McCain watched the movie Monday night and says it left him sick — because it’s wrong.

McCain, who spent 5½ years enduring brutal treatment by his captors during the Vietnam War, has insisted that the waterboarding of al-Qaida’s No. 3 leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, did not provide information that led to bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

The movie, a copy of which McCain said he received Monday, indicates that’s how the United States found the al-Qaida leader. The filmmakers fell for it hook, line and sinker, McCain, R-Ariz., said Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Last year, McCain asked then- CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and he said the hunt for bin Laden did not begin with fresh information from Mohammed. In fact, the name of bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed al- Kuwaiti, came from a d e t a i n e e held in a n o t h e r country. “Not only did the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed not provide us with key leads on bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed, it actually produced false and misleading information,” McCain said in a speech on the Senate floor.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, backed up McCain’s assessment that waterboarding of Mohammed did not produce the tip that led to bin Laden.

McCain has said he opposes waterboarding, a technique that simulates drowning, and any form of torture tactics.

“I do not believe they are necessary to our success in our war against terrorists, as the advocates of these techniques claim they are,” he

said.