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Thread: Bin Laden's death and the debate over torture

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    Default Bin Laden's death and the debate over torture

    By John McCain, Published: May 11
    Osama bin Laden’s welcome death has ignited debate over whether the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques used on enemy prisoners were instrumental in locating bin Laden, and whether they are a justifiable means for gathering intelligence.
    Much of this debate is a definitional one: whether any or all of these methods constitute torture. I believe some of them do, especially waterboarding, which is a mock execution and thus an exquisite form of torture. As such, they are prohibited by American laws and values, and I oppose them.
    .I know those who approved and employed these practices were dedicated to protecting Americans. I know they were determined to keep faith with the victims of terrorism and to prove to our enemies that the United States would pursue justice relentlessly no matter how long it took.
    I don’t believe anyone should be prosecuted for having used these techniques, and I agree that the administration should state definitively that they won’t be. I am one of the authors of the Military Commissions Act, and we wrote into the legislation that no one who used or approved the use of these interrogation techniques before its enactment should be prosecuted. I don’t think it is helpful or wise to revisit that policy.
    But this must be an informed debate. Former attorney general Michael Mukasey recently claimed that “the intelligence that led to bin Laden . . . began with a disclosure from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who broke like a dam under the pressure of harsh interrogation techniques that included waterboarding. He loosed a torrent of information — including eventually the nickname of a trusted courier of bin Laden.” That is false.
    I asked CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and he told me the following: The trail to bin Laden did not begin with a disclosure from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times. The first mention of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti — the nickname of the al-Qaeda courier who ultimately led us to bin Laden — as well as a description of him as an important member of al-Qaeda, came from a detainee held in another country, who we believe was not tortured. None of the three detainees who were waterboarded provided Abu Ahmed’s real name, his whereabouts or an accurate description of his role in al-Qaeda.
    In fact, the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on Khalid Sheik Mohammed produced false and misleading information. He specifically told his interrogators that Abu Ahmed had moved to Peshawar, got married and ceased his role as an al-Qaeda facilitator — none of which was true. According to the staff of the Senate intelligence committee, the best intelligence gained from a CIA detainee — information describing Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti’s real role in al-Qaeda and his true relationship to bin Laden — was obtained through standard, noncoercive means.
    I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners sometimes produces good intelligence but often produces bad intelligence because under torture a person will say anything he thinks his captors want to hear — true or false — if he believes it will relieve his suffering. Often, information provided to stop the torture is deliberately misleading.
    Mistreatment of enemy prisoners endangers our own troops, who might someday be held captive. While some enemies, and al-Qaeda surely, will never be bound by the principle of reciprocity, we should have concern for those Americans captured by more conventional enemies, if not in this war then in the next.
    Though it took a decade to find bin Laden, there is one consolation for his long evasion of justice: He lived long enough to witness what some are calling the Arab Spring, the complete repudiation of his violent ideology.
    As we debate how the United States can best influence the course of the Arab Spring, can’t we all agree that the most obvious thing we can do is stand as an example of a nation that holds an individual’s human rights as superior to the will of the majority or the wishes of government? Individuals might forfeit their life as punishment for breaking laws, but even then, as recognized in our Constitution’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, they are still entitled to respect for their basic human dignity, even if they have denied that respect to others.
    All of these arguments have the force of right, but they are beside the most important point. Ultimately, this is more than a utilitarian debate. This is a moral debate. It is about who we are.
    I don’t mourn the loss of any terrorist’s life. What I do mourn is what we lose when by official policy or official neglect we confuse or encourage those who fight this war for us to forget that best sense of ourselves. Through the violence, chaos and heartache of war, through deprivation and cruelty and loss, we are always Americans, and different, stronger and better than those who would destroy us.
    The writer is a Republican senator from Arizona.
    Washington Post
    Last edited by Losthwy; 05-12-2011 at 11:05 AM.
    What its prominence suggest, and what all science confirms is that the dog is a creature of the nose- A. Horowitz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Losthwy View Post
    By John McCain, Published: May 11
    Osama bin Laden’s welcome death has ignited debate over whether the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques used on enemy prisoners were instrumental in locating bin Laden, and whether they are a justifiable means for gathering intelligence.
    Much of this debate is a definitional one: whether any or all of these methods constitute torture. I believe some of them do, especially waterboarding, which is a mock execution and thus an exquisite form of torture. As such, they are prohibited by American laws and values, and I oppose them.
    .I know those who approved and employed these practices were dedicated to protecting Americans. I know they were determined to keep faith with the victims of terrorism and to prove to our enemies that the United States would pursue justice relentlessly no matter how long it took.
    I don’t believe anyone should be prosecuted for having used these techniques, and I agree that the administration should state definitively that they won’t be. I am one of the authors of the Military Commissions Act, and we wrote into the legislation that no one who used or approved the use of these interrogation techniques before its enactment should be prosecuted. I don’t think it is helpful or wise to revisit that policy.
    But this must be an informed debate. Former attorney general Michael Mukasey recently claimed that “the intelligence that led to bin Laden . . . began with a disclosure from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who broke like a dam under the pressure of harsh interrogation techniques that included waterboarding. He loosed a torrent of information — including eventually the nickname of a trusted courier of bin Laden.” That is false.
    I asked CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and he told me the following: The trail to bin Laden did not begin with a disclosure from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times. The first mention of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti — the nickname of the al-Qaeda courier who ultimately led us to bin Laden — as well as a description of him as an important member of al-Qaeda, came from a detainee held in another country, who we believe was not tortured. None of the three detainees who were waterboarded provided Abu Ahmed’s real name, his whereabouts or an accurate description of his role in al-Qaeda.
    In fact, the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on Khalid Sheik Mohammed produced false and misleading information. He specifically told his interrogators that Abu Ahmed had moved to Peshawar, got married and ceased his role as an al-Qaeda facilitator — none of which was true. According to the staff of the Senate intelligence committee, the best intelligence gained from a CIA detainee — information describing Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti’s real role in al-Qaeda and his true relationship to bin Laden — was obtained through standard, noncoercive means.
    I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners sometimes produces good intelligence but often produces bad intelligence because under torture a person will say anything he thinks his captors want to hear — true or false — if he believes it will relieve his suffering. Often, information provided to stop the torture is deliberately misleading.
    Mistreatment of enemy prisoners endangers our own troops, who might someday be held captive. While some enemies, and al-Qaeda surely, will never be bound by the principle of reciprocity, we should have concern for those Americans captured by more conventional enemies, if not in this war then in the next.
    Though it took a decade to find bin Laden, there is one consolation for his long evasion of justice: He lived long enough to witness what some are calling the Arab Spring, the complete repudiation of his violent ideology.
    As we debate how the United States can best influence the course of the Arab Spring, can’t we all agree that the most obvious thing we can do is stand as an example of a nation that holds an individual’s human rights as superior to the will of the majority or the wishes of government? Individuals might forfeit their life as punishment for breaking laws, but even then, as recognized in our Constitution’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, they are still entitled to respect for their basic human dignity, even if they have denied that respect to others.
    All of these arguments have the force of right, but they are beside the most important point. Ultimately, this is more than a utilitarian debate. This is a moral debate. It is about who we are.
    I don’t mourn the loss of any terrorist’s life. What I do mourn is what we lose when by official policy or official neglect we confuse or encourage those who fight this war for us to forget that best sense of ourselves. Through the violence, chaos and heartache of war, through deprivation and cruelty and loss, we are always Americans, and different, stronger and better than those who would destroy us.
    The writer is a RHINO senator from Arizona.
    Washington Post
    There, fixed it for ya!!

    Are you so insecure on your position that you need John McCain to validate it??


    Just askin'.......


    RK
    Last edited by road kill; 05-12-2011 at 11:46 AM.
    Stan b & Elvis

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    Why would Leon Panetta have lied when initially asked about it after the capture??? Given his past positions on Bush policies one would think his naturally inclination would not be to let GWB off the hook or give him credit?

    Do you believe his initial off the cuff response or his response after being taken to the woodshed by his boss and handlers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by IowaBayDog View Post
    Why would Leon Panetta have lied when initially asked about it after the capture??? Given his past positions on Bush policies one would think his naturally inclination would not be to let GWB off the hook or give him credit?

    Do you believe his initial off the cuff response or his response after being taken to the woodshed by his boss and handlers?
    Or could it be that he did not have all the information presented to him at the time of the interview?????????????????

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    If Panetta as CIA Director didn't have all the info, who did?

    Sorry Roger, I think you've lost it. I think its more then an Obongolo "Man Crush". You ought to get one of those Obongolo action figures.

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    I watched a couple of interviews with GITMO interrogators last week. One verified the story in part by recalling KSM was being misleading when asked about a certain courier. The name of which had come another source. His deception raised red flags.
    Here is a link to a story about inside working of GITMO.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15361458...-over-tactics/
    What its prominence suggest, and what all science confirms is that the dog is a creature of the nose- A. Horowitz.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gman0046 View Post
    If Panetta as CIA Director didn't have all the info, who did?

    Sorry Roger, I think you've lost it. I think its more then an Obongolo "Man Crush". You ought to get one of those Obongolo action figures.
    Bush kept the information from Panetta

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    "Simply put, waterboarding is another name for Chinese water torture. It is a drowning simulation that involves strapping a person to a table or device and tilting the head downward. Then water is poured onto the person's face which fills the mouth and nose causing suffocation.

    According to Wikipedia, waterboarding causes extreme pain, lasting psychological difficulties, brain damage, lung damage and even death.

    The practice has been internationally condemned.

    According to a poll released by CNN, the majority of Americans oppose waterboarding. When asked if the military should be allowed to use this Chinese water torture, 60% still said no."

    Technique

    Waterboarding was characterized in 2005 by former CIA director Porter J. Goss as a "professional interrogation technique". According to press accounts, a cloth or plastic wrap is placed over or in the person's mouth, and water is poured on to the person's head. As far as the details of this technique, press accounts differ – one article describes "dripping water into a wet cloth over a suspect's face", another states that "cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him".
    The United States's Office of Legal Counsel stated the CIA's definition of waterboarding in a Top Secret 2002 memorandum as follows:

    Dating back to the Spanish Inquisition, the suffocation of bound prisoners with water has been favored because, unlike most other torture techniques, it produces no marks on the body. CIA officers who have subjected themselves to the technique have lasted an average of 14 seconds before capitulating.
    According to at least one former CIA official, information retrieved from the waterboarding may not be reliable because a person under such duress may admit to anything, as harsh interrogation techniques lead to false confessions. "The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law", says John Sifton of Human Rights Watch. It is "bad interrogation. I mean you can get anyone to confess to anything if the torture's bad enough", said former CIA officer Bob Baer.

    http://reference.findtarget.com/search/waterboarding/

    So did the Bush administration changed the name of Chineese Water Torture to Waterboarding so the term would not sound so bad???????????????

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    Senior Member road kill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Perry View Post




    "Simply put, waterboarding is another name for Chinese water torture. It is a drowning simulation that involves strapping a person to a table or device and tilting the head downward. Then water is poured onto the person's face which fills the mouth and nose causing suffocation.

    According to Wikipedia, waterboarding causes extreme pain, lasting psychological difficulties, brain damage, lung damage and even death.

    The practice has been internationally condemned.

    According to a poll released by CNN, the majority of Americans oppose waterboarding. When asked if the military should be allowed to use this Chinese water torture, 60% still said no."

    Technique

    Waterboarding was characterized in 2005 by former CIA director Porter J. Goss as a "professional interrogation technique". According to press accounts, a cloth or plastic wrap is placed over or in the person's mouth, and water is poured on to the person's head. As far as the details of this technique, press accounts differ – one article describes "dripping water into a wet cloth over a suspect's face", another states that "cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him".
    The United States's Office of Legal Counsel stated the CIA's definition of waterboarding in a Top Secret 2002 memorandum as follows:

    Dating back to the Spanish Inquisition, the suffocation of bound prisoners with water has been favored because, unlike most other torture techniques, it produces no marks on the body. CIA officers who have subjected themselves to the technique have lasted an average of 14 seconds before capitulating.
    According to at least one former CIA official, information retrieved from the waterboarding may not be reliable because a person under such duress may admit to anything, as harsh interrogation techniques lead to false confessions. "The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law", says John Sifton of Human Rights Watch. It is "bad interrogation. I mean you can get anyone to confess to anything if the torture's bad enough", said former CIA officer Bob Baer.

    http://reference.findtarget.com/search/waterboarding/

    So did the Bush administration changed the name of Chineese Water Torture to Waterboarding so the term would not sound so bad???????????????
    Man Crush!!!!!

    ( I have done a little rersearch, in the past year, Roger, easily 1/3rd of your posts reference the Bush administration)



    RK
    Stan b & Elvis

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    Quote Originally Posted by road kill View Post
    Man Crush!!!!!

    ( I have done a little rersearch, in the past year, Roger, easily 1/3rd of your posts reference the Bush administration)



    RK
    When the subject ot the thread is WATERBOARDING and Bush's name is synomous with WATERBOARDING, how can his name not be mentioned??????????????

    Oh, and just so you have a clue, this sub forum is POTUS and I believe Bush was a POTUS.

    But talking about a man crush, you must have one on me if you took the time to do research on me. However, the feeling is not mutual, I don't swing that way.
    Last edited by Roger Perry; 05-12-2011 at 12:56 PM.

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