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Thread: The politics of torture

  1. #21
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    My definition of torture: If it is used to save ONE American life, its not torture.

    In my eyes, THEY (being Al-Queda and other islamic exrememists) brought it upon themselves.

  2. #22
    Senior Member cotts135's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by subroc View Post
    To those that think like cotts anything beyond a few calm questions constitutes torture. Asking several questions in a row would be badgering and that would constitute torture and to raise your voice would be form of vicious and severe intimidation and that is clearly torture.
    Your making some pretty big assumptions on what I am thinking. Your also exaggerating and misrepresenting situations that I am sure very few people would agree, Including myself but that's what you people do when you can't win an argument on it's merits.
    My contention has always been that torture is illegal and that waterboarding is torture. You have stated your opinion that you don't think waterboarding is torture. Fine enough, I disagree. You don't think drowning someone is physical harm I do.
    I also find that these red herring and straw man arguments I hear are ridiculous. Like the one that we obtained information that has saved lives because we tortured. Even if we have it is still illegal.The mafia used to kill people to keep them quiet, that was effective, but it was still against the law. Now we are hearing that Bush and Co. might have used waterboarding to further there political cause of going to war with Iraq. Is it OK to use it then?
    Finally I think it is also important that we keep our promises when we sign treaty's. Keeping ones word is a trait I admire.

    Here is just a counterpoint to the article you referenced in a previous post.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/op...=1&ref=opinion
    That article had many straw men arguments in it. One of my favorites being "Our special forces, pilots and Navy SEALs have themselves been waterboarded in training for decades, without adverse affects." It is not illegal to do that.
    Last edited by cotts135; 05-24-2009 at 07:44 PM. Reason: additional info

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cotts135 View Post
    Your making some pretty big assumptions on what I am thinking. Your also exaggerating and misrepresenting situations that I am sure very few people would agree, Including myself but that's what you people do when you can't win an argument on it's merits.
    My contention has always been that torture is illegal and that waterboarding is torture. You have stated your opinion that you don't think waterboarding is torture. Fine enough, I disagree. You don't think drowning someone is physical harm I do.
    I also find that these red herring and straw man arguments I hear are ridiculous. Like the one that we obtained information that has saved lives because we tortured. Even if we have it is still illegal.The mafia used to kill people to keep them quiet, that was effective, but it was still against the law. Now we are hearing that Bush and Co. might have used waterboarding to further there political cause of going to war with Iraq. Is it OK to use it then?
    Finally I think it is also important that we keep our promises when we sign treaty's. Keeping ones word is a trait I admire.
    cotts, I bet your parents put you in time out instead of spanking you, didn't they.

    If I was a soldier you would be the LAST one I would want watching my back.

    War is Hell regards,

  4. #24
    Senior Member subroc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cotts135 View Post
    Your making some pretty big assumptions on what I am thinking. Your also exaggerating and misrepresenting situations that I am sure very few people would agree, Including myself but that's what you people do when you can't win an argument on it's merits.
    I am willing to debate this issue on the merits. There is disagreement on what constitutes torture. I agree, torture is illegal. I listed things I consider torture and things I don't. will you do the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by cotts135 View Post
    My contention has always been that torture is illegal and that waterboarding is torture. You have stated your opinion that you don't think waterboarding is torture. Fine enough, I disagree. You don't think drowning someone is physical harm I do.
    Drowning someone is but the threat of drowning which is what waterboarding is, isn't. See, you made a leap here. Not stating a truth but making a leap to further your position.

    Quote Originally Posted by cotts135 View Post
    I also find that these red herring and straw man arguments I hear are ridiculous. Like the one that we obtained information that has saved lives because we tortured. Even if we have it is still illegal.
    I find your position a straw man argument as well. You have to believe that waterboarding is torture to believe the stated position by the past administration that torture saved lives. I say interogation saved lives and waterboarding is little more than interogation with the "threat" of harm (drowning) not actual harm.

    Quote Originally Posted by cotts135 View Post
    Finally I think it is also important that we keep our promises when we sign treaty's. Keeping ones word is a trait I admire.
    Me too, except if the security of the nation hangs in the balance.
    Last edited by subroc; 05-24-2009 at 09:04 PM.
    subroc

    Article [I.]
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    Article [II.]
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Cotts135 wrote
    That article had many straw men arguments in it. One of my favorites being "Our special forces, pilots and Navy SEALs have themselves been waterboarded in training for decades, without adverse affects." It is not illegal to do that.
    I was listening to a radio discussion on this aspect of torture ... "specific intent" v. "general intent".

    For example, our military are subjected to rigorous physical and mental stress during training. That is amplified, I believe, in the special forces and military academies. And, it is not considered illegal in those circumstances because the specific intent to cause severe injury is not a factor.

    If we are going to talk about torture as distinguished from acceptably rigorous interrogation, then there have to be definitions that we can deal with more objectively than what I've seen so far mentioned.

    I keep returning to the thought of would you, or anyone, give away information to an enemy just because they asked? Where is the line drawn?

    I would also present, that it matters not if Gitmo remains open or is closed. What matters is how the inmates are treated. It doesn't matter where they are located geographically. Why incur the expense of moving those Gitmo inmates just to incarcerate them somewhere else? That makes zero sense to me.
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  6. #26
    Senior Member cotts135's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by subroc View Post
    I am willing to debate this issue on the merits. There is disagreement on what constitutes torture. I agree, torture is illegal. I listed things I consider torture and things I don't. will you do the same?
    Sure, everything you mentioned in your previous post I would also consider torture. Of course waterboarding I also think is torture. As for some of the other techniques used such as sleep deprivation, stress positions, exposure to cold, I will grant you that taken individually they might not be considered torture, but used collectively as they were with some detainees and as a way of life I would consider them torture.



    Drowning someone is but the threat of drowning which is what waterboarding is, isn't. See, you made a leap here. Not stating a truth but making a leap to further your position.
    Let's reduce this to it's simplest terms. You breathe in water that goes into your lungs you are drowning. This is not even debatable. While this is happening the idea that this is a threat is laughable. Your drowning plain and simple and you want it to end. Check out the video where Matt Mancow a Chicago radio host was waterboarded. This guy was and is a die hard conservative who previously felt like you do that waterboarding is not torture.
    http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local...and-Loses.html

  7. #27
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    Cotts
    This is simple to figure out.
    1 question,

    How would you you personally extarct life saving imformation from a known terrorist or someone you know has info of the where abouts and condition of one of your loved ones.?

    List a couple of techniques you consider appropriate.

  8. #28
    Senior Member subroc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cotts135 View Post
    Sure, everything you mentioned in your previous post I would also consider torture. Of course waterboarding I also think is torture. As for some of the other techniques used such as sleep deprivation, stress positions, exposure to cold, I will grant you that taken individually they might not be considered torture, but used collectively as they were with some detainees and as a way of life I would consider them torture.
    As a way of life?

    Are you asserting that these werent used as active interigations meant to extract information but something else?

    I see you agree that many of the meathods that are used are not torture. It appears you agree with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by cotts135 View Post
    Let's reduce this to it's simplest terms. You breathe in water that goes into your lungs you are drowning. This is not even debatable. While this is happening the idea that this is a threat is laughable. Your drowning plain and simple and you want it to end. Check out the video where Matt Mancow a Chicago radio host was waterboarded. This guy was and is a die hard conservative who previously felt like you do that waterboarding is not torture.
    http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local...and-Loses.html
    I have no need to view this video (I believe you can find one with maddow as well), there are plenty of them around. That waterboarding is unpleasant is undisputible. It is meant to extract information. It isn't meant to be pleasant. You need to fear that will drown to believe that stopping will save you. The fact that the threat is real is the whole reason it has a place in an arsenal of meathods.

    I find it interesting that we agree on most points except waterboarding although this "way of life" thing has me confused...
    subroc

    Article [I.]
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    Article [II.]
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Art Geddes's Avatar
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    Perhaps the first paragraph of this testimony is the most telling:

    "You’ve asked me to talk about the legal ethics of the torture and interrogation memos written by lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel. Based on the publicly-available sources I’ve studied, I believe that the memos are an ethical train wreck."

    "Based on the 'publicly-available' sources I've studied" kind of states it all. Since the current administration chose to release documents that can be used to paint the previous administration in a bad light, and refuse to release other documents former higher-ups have requested, any testimony based on these should be suspect.

    Just have to state this -- Dick Cheney in 2012.

    Art

  10. #30
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cotts135
    Sure, everything you mentioned in your previous post I would also consider torture. Of course waterboarding I also think is torture. As for some of the other techniques used such as sleep deprivation, stress positions, exposure to cold, I will grant you that taken individually they might not be considered torture, but used collectively as they were with some detainees and as a way of life I would consider them torture.
    Would this mean that each interrogation would have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis? Would this mean that the interrogators would have to lay out their plan for what methods they intended to use; how long stress methods would be used; what combinations of methods to be used ... so that someone could then give "approval" as to whether the planned interrogation constituted torture? Or would it be a committee of people who would have to approve the planned interrogation? Would that committee be made up of members of Congress? (we know how long they can take to make a decision ... unless it has to do with spending taxpayer $).

    Or can there be a definition that can be used "in the field", without the interrogators being worried about whether they will later be court-martialed?



    Gerry
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