Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Ticking Bomb Scenario

The British version of the Supreme Court just ruled that torture induced evidence cannot be used in court. I like the way one of the judges put it: “If the police were to learn of the whereabouts of a ticking bomb, it would be ludicrous for them to disregard this information if it had been procured by torture. It is an altogether different matter for the judicial arm of the state to admit such information as evidence.”

That's the kind of common sense you'd expect from the British, and I think most Americans would agree with it.

But it just kills me that the President of the United States is so adamant that the executive branch must have the ability to secretly snatch and torture for evidence anyone they deem a threat. Beyond being un-American, torture is an unreliable source of information as President Bush knows all too well.

One of the BIG LIES leading up to the invasion of Iraq was the Iraq/al Qaeda link provided by Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, a terrorist suspect "rendered" to Egypt for questioning. The President was informed by the CIA that al-Libi was just telling interrogators what they wanted to hear, but Bush told us the link was a fact. Al-Libi later recanted, and now it turns out the CIA deemed his testimony unreliable because it was obtained by torture.

Not only did President Bush know that one of his reasons for invading Iraq was probably false, but the "bad intelligence" was obtained under duress.

There's a lesson there if the Republican Party leaders who run this country want to learn it, so I hope Senator McCain can talk some sense into his colleagues. Perhaps the British ruling can be used as a model for US policy: If there's no evidence of a "ticking bomb", then there's absolutely no justification for cruel or inhumane treatment of suspects.

Posted by American Pundit at December 10, 2005 2:11 AM
Comments
Comment #100807

I find it hard to believe. That nobody has thought of giving hold outs methadone in large dosses for 1 or 2 months then stop for 3or4 days and continue this for amonth or two. i don’t know a man alive who would not betray his beliefs and brain washing which enables him to experience torture with out a peep a behavior easily inplanted over several months of intence torturous training.in the medrasa’s and foriegn camps for terrorist.I can guarentee success if for each bit of relyable intel he would be given a dose large enoughto begin a deeper form of animal training i.e. there are no virgins or paradice to transfix ons mind to withstand water board treatment and other low level torture they must get before being unleashed on the world. sorry for spelling but i believe this would be a great tool as aposed to draconion methods developed in civil war. i you don’t think it is a good way i invite you to try your own alligance against this chemical. purely a mountain nobody can fight thank you

Posted by: jeff sawyer at December 10, 2005 4:01 AM
Comment #100842

AP

While agreeing with both your post and McCain’s position,I think a distinction need to be aired.

There is a differnce in presenting coerced testimony in a court of law and coercing information on the battlefield.

Obviously coerced testimony should never be used and will be suppressed in court,as it should properly be suppressed.

However,since time immemmorial,coerced confessions on the battlefield have been used to gather intelligence on where the enemy positions are ect in order to defeat that enemy.

When the two are lumped together is where the lines get blurred.

A month ago I engaged you and others over the hidden nuke in a suitcase scenario…the doomsday scenario…where I said that torture in that one example would ,in my mind be justified.

I was referring to getting intel on where the bomb would be,but I think that the oral coerced testimony would and should still be supressed in court.

A distinction should be made here.

If rendition takes place or if the CIA uses torture tactics(and here I am not all that sure that they do),they would be foolish to try to introduce that evidence in a court of law.

If they use that information to say find the location of those four hostages about to be beheaded, and then try to kill the bad guys and save those hostages with that intel then why not?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at December 10, 2005 6:54 AM
Comment #100864

Real evidence torture doesn’t provide truthful, nor even particularly helpful, information:

«New York Times reporter Douglas Jehl discusses the case of Libyan captive Ibn al-Shaykh al Libi, an al Qaeda member who told investigators about ties between al Qaeda and Iraq while he was held in Egyptian custody under the process known as rendition.

Jehl says that Libi later recanted his story — that al Qaeda members had been sent to Iraq for weapons training — and told U.S. authorities that he had fabricated his accounts to avoid harsh treatment.

The Bush Administration cited much of Libi’s original story in the run-up to the war in Iraq, according to Jehl»

Torture-derived information help the U.S. get into this awful, illegal “war” in Iraq…

Posted by: Lynne at December 10, 2005 10:05 AM
Comment #100869

AP

The British compromise makes sense. I have not heard that we have used torture coerced testimony in any criminal cases.

What I worry about is that American lawyers are not as reasonable. Our court system is designed for ordinary criminals where we give extraordinary protection to defendants. It doesn’t work well against organized crimes. Gangs can intimidate witnesses. Russian Mafia can make people disappear. Terrorists can destroy. These situations don’t fit in well with our current system.

Let me give a mundane example of a different application of law. If you are out hunting when it is not hunting season and the game warden catches you with hunting gear, he doesn’t have to prove you were hunting. That would be almost impossible unless he caught you literally red handed with the dead deer. So the burden of proof is lower and on you. You are assumed to be hunting if you are equipped to hunt.

We will need to develop sensible laws like this. Many people will consider it unfair. The key to success will be if we consistently apply the laws we create. If people are equipped to terrorize (with training, weapons etc) we should treat them as we do hunters who are equipped to hunt.

Posted by: Jack at December 10, 2005 10:42 AM
Comment #100886

It really disturbs me that discussions on the “pros” and cons of torture center on whether or not it works. Doesn’t anybody in America care that it’s just plain WRONG to torture people? Whether it works or not is the least important aspect of the discussion. Is there no sense of morality left in this country? If there was ever proof that America is undeniably NOT a Christian nation, it is this very discussion. Let’s pose the hidden nuclear bomb conundrum to Jesus Christ, and find out his answer. I promise you, it wouldn’t be “pass me the electrodes.”

Torture is pure evil. People who use it are evil. People who promote its use are evil. People who make excuses and think up fantasy scenarios to give it a gloss of acceptability? Yeah, still evil.

Posted by: Synonymous at December 10, 2005 11:48 AM
Comment #100899

Jack and SE, I’m not aware of the government introducing torture-induced evidence at a terrorist trial — because the Bush administration isn’t giving any of the detainees a trial.

The Padilla case is interesting though. Once the Supreme Court slapped President Bush’s wrist for holding US citizens in secret gulags without a trial, the administration backed off on many of the charges against Padilla. Torture-induced, perhaps?

Posted by: American Pundit at December 10, 2005 12:18 PM
Comment #100901

Synonomous:

Well said.

Somehow too many still are at that rock bottom level of morality (?) where an “eye for an eye” suffices.

Somehow, Americans seem to cling to the chimera that if the Muslims torture, it’s evil; but if the U.S. does it, it’s not really torture, because we’re not an “evil” country.

That the U.S. has filthy hands is well known all over the world…Chile comes to mind immediately; then there’s the Iran-Contra affair; Guatemala; El Salvador; Nicaragua…and that’s only within our own hemisphere…God knows what the U.S. has wrought in its citizens’ names in other areas of the world.

We’re no better and no worse than other countries…U.S. arrogance and hubris is precisely what leads the U.S. to think it’s above all others in “morality” (?)…considering that the U.S. keeps spending and spending on death measures (military, weapons, foreign military aid) and lets its own citizens scramble for food and do without basic medical care clearly shows that the U.S. values power more than it does democracy. Other countries can see this clearly…

Posted by: Lynne at December 10, 2005 12:20 PM
Comment #100915

Many people have asked and, it has been posted many times “What is the definition of torture”. I don’t recall what version, if any, were accepted.

If “torture” is the obtaining of information from a detainee/prisoner by interrogation that is assisted by any means that inflicts pain to body and/or mind, humiliation, deprivation of physical needs or, in any way causes the individual to share information that he or she would not normally share of their own free will, then is it not true that any interrogation of a prisoner at all is a form of “torture”.

Administration of chemicals (certainly less painful than battery cables hooked to body parts)is not something that a person would enjoy. He would be revealing information against his will. He would be “tortured” knowing that he has sold out his cause.

In spite of the pacts and agreements regarding the use of torture, it is something that is done and virtually impossible to prove, prosecute and punish.

Posted by: steve smith at December 10, 2005 12:51 PM
Comment #100919

Ridiculous. There are international treaties that define what torture is. Which is precisely why Bush will not allow the US to join the International Court. It is quite easy to prove torture, and this Administration is all too aware what would happen if they faced a court of law.

Posted by: Synonymous at December 10, 2005 1:03 PM
Comment #100920

——
Torture is pure evil. People who use it are evil. People who promote its use are evil. People who make excuses and think up fantasy scenarios to give it a gloss of acceptability? Yeah, still evil.
—-

I agree. I think many on the CON side of this argument agree, but their ‘torture is ineffective’ is aimed at those who seem to feel that the end justifies the means. It doesn’t. We corrupt ourselves by engaging in immoral and deplorable behavior for results that are, at best, extremely suspect…

The people on the PRO side of things seem to be enthralled with the ‘ticking time bomb’ argument without consideration that the obtained information is more likely to lead investigators away from the ticking time bomb rather than directly to it. Think on it this way: if you are torturing me to gain info on a bomb my collaborators are going to set off in a crowded area - I can tell you just about anything that will 1, send you in the wrong direction and give more time to carry out the action and 2, make the torture stop. After the bomb goes off, you can’t torture anymore unless it’s just for revenge, and no one feels that torture for revenge is a positive.

I, for one, think it’s completely sick to try and conjure up definitions for torture.. or acceptable excuses to commit torture. Torture is the most concentrated form of terrorism, and we’re either against terrorism or we’re for it.

Posted by: tony at December 10, 2005 1:03 PM
Comment #100924

greetings all
this subject truly shows we as americans, (dems and reps) need to wake up and study our enemys tactics and respond in a simalar way ,while they release vidios of innocent americans tied up blind folded and slowly sawing there heads off i for one do not understand what the big deal is .are we going to have to suffer another major attack before we wake up and truly understand that these are animals not people.and should be treated like wise ,perhaps if and when terrorists explode a nuclear weapon and destroy an entire city killing millions…yes millions we shall stop this foolish politicaly correct talk of tortureing detaines i personally believe nothin repeat nothing should be off limits when it comes to protecting our country from these radical inhumane murderers.i spent 4 years as a chemical bio nuck specialist in the military with a top secret security clearance and believe me when i say there are many ways that these people can infiltrate our free society and unless all possible means of locating and stoping them occurs they will strike again probibly much more devestating than the first time .few people realize that an illegal alien /terrorist implant can easily locate and buy a small farm in any where usa and then make an easily distrbuted biological weapon so for all your good intentions i ask this if authoritys apprehend one of a terrorist cell do not torture him and then the rest of his cell uses what they have been doing to kill 1000s of americans are we not doing precisly what the terrorists want ?……they are using our freedoms and way of life against us and if we dont smarten up quickly we all shall pay a price.I believe we need a new stance one that would be practiced throughout the world with as many other nations as possible ,when ever one of these rabid killers blow them selfs up and kill innocents vidio of the scene shold be taken with all remains of killer gathered up then filmed as they place them inside the belly of a pig and bury the remains in a pig pen ,,,i believe this would make it very difficult for the terrorists to continue to recruit suicide bombers as well.whether we use chemicals torture any thing else does not matter as long as they are stopped ,least every one forget we DID NOT START THIS WAR THEY KILLED 3000 of us …and the only reason that we responded was because this time unlike the 90s we had a very couragous leader who saw what thay did and responded by ending there bloody regime in afganistan as well as iraq ..and any one who says iraq was not a part of this does not have the correct info ,,amazing that the 2000 palastinian uprising has ended now that the familys of each murdered is no longer paid 25,000 dollars by saddam ,,,,

Posted by: rylee at December 10, 2005 1:25 PM
Comment #100928

—-
need to wake up and study our enemys tactics and respond in a simalar way
—-

Nothing could be further from the truth, unless you feel that the only real difference between us and the ‘terrorists’ should be a country of origin or religious preference. We are either against the terrorists and their practices or we are just a different faction of the same group.

If you feel comfortable in making such a ludicrous statement as ” these are animals not people” then I know which faction you belong in. Do not soil our flag by pretending to believe in what it stands for.

Posted by: tony at December 10, 2005 1:41 PM
Comment #100933

Tony
to question my patrtism and or beliefe in america is the typical reponse of your party and followers however i have proved myself by serving in the military 10 to 1 says youve never evan been in a uniform of any kind .perhaps a dose of reality would do you and all your liberal hate america first types go to www.michealsavage.com watch a few vidios he has stored there then tell me these people are not hate mongering animals that should be shot on site.

Posted by: rylee at December 10, 2005 1:53 PM
Comment #100935

Rylee,
Where to begin?

“… Iraq was not a part of this does not have the correct info ,,amazing that the 2000 palastinian uprising has ended now that the familys of each murdered is no longer paid 25,000 dollars by saddam ,,,,”

That is wrong, and you know it. The implication connecting the end of the Palestinian uprising was connected with Iraq is absurd. First, the biggest break came with the death of Arafat; second, walls arounds the West Bank and Gaza play huge roles. It’s apartheid, it’s Berlin, Israeli style. Finally, how sure are you that it’s over in the first place?

Ugh. Inaccuracies in almost every sentence. Let’s get to the gist of it.

Get over your fear. Get a grip. The Bush adminstration has terrified you, yes, terrified you. No one is coming to get you. No one is going to blow up a nuclear bomb in this country. I used to have a high clearance too while serving as a B-52 bombardier, and really, it is extremely difficult to detonate a nuke. There are so many factors that need to be in place, the odds of a terrorist successfully detonating one are negligible.

Come on, Rylee. It’s a beautiful day. Forget the fear. Forget the Bush administration nightmare. Come out and play.


Posted by: phx8 at December 10, 2005 1:59 PM
Comment #100944

—-
to question my patrtism and or beliefe in america is the typical reponse of your party
—-

No - that has been the exclusive domain on the Republican party. If you can suspect my patriotism because I question the war and rally against the war, then I can question your patriotism for not promoting or following the American belief.

You served in the military, yet you do not follow the core beliefs of what you signed up to protect. That sounds more like mercenary than patriot.

Posted by: tony at December 10, 2005 2:20 PM
Comment #100945

rylee,

“to question my patrtism and or beliefe in america is the typical reponse of your party and followers however i have proved myself by serving in the military 10 to 1 says youve never evan been in a uniform of any kind .perhaps a dose of reality would do you and all your liberal hate america first types go to www.michealsavage.com watch a few vidios he has stored there then tell me these people are not hate mongering animals that should be shot on site.”

Michael Savage? Reality?
You’re joking, right?

I am soooo tired of hearing that I need to don a uniform to prove my patriotism, I could just puke.

I mean, no offence meant, I appreciate your service, but jeeeze….

A true patriot is just like a true hero, you wouldn’t know them if you ran into them on the street because they don’t need to wear it on their sleeve.
They are ordinary people thrown into extraordinary circumstance.

Posted by: Rocky at December 10, 2005 2:27 PM
Comment #100947

phx8
hmmm wonder if some of the innocent americans like mr armstrong share your ideas ,,,ah yes in case youve forgotten mr armstrong had his head slowly sawed off and vidio taped ….perhaps if some of you anti bushys were to go to www.micheal savage.com and watch the treatment some of our innocent americans have recieved at these rabid animals hands it might change your mind a little ,as far as your other comment i have the knowledge and have scene first hand how easy it would be for the terrorists to attack us and when they do i for one will bet it will be multiple attacks ,on nuke plants as well as chemical plants ,know anything about red worm castings >?….easy to grow unregulated and the castings once created contan micro organisms that can be infected with multiple types of biologly harmful ingredients then planted into water sytems who would stop a farmer dumbing what likes like dirt into say sacandaga lake in new york ..? why is that signifagent you ask ,,,? because sacandaga lake provides much of the water used by new york city …..its truly a miracle we have not been hit again yet….but primary reason for that is george bush attacking not sitting back and doing nothing to defend america as the last adminastration did.i find it truly amazzing the liberals want all these rights for people who do these terrible things i believe your wrong and some day when weve been attacked again maybe just maybe some of our democrats will stand up and be men and attempt to protect our nation ,,your party truly needs some one like john f kennedy who was not afraid to defend america…until your party decides it will take these threats seriously you will continue to lose seats in congress and the senate its almost to the point the we need a 3rd party to adiquitly represent average americans ie
moderate republicans /moderate dems and perhaps if senator lieberman continues to be dogged by your party he should begin one ….at least it can be said that the democrats have one true american in senator lieberman….

Posted by: rylee at December 10, 2005 2:28 PM
Comment #100951

This is the definition

For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

Not the adjective severe. Note also that is doesn’t include those things arising from lawful sanctions.

The U.S. abides by this. When someone does not, we investigate. If we find the person guilty, we punish.

Posted by: Jack at December 10, 2005 2:45 PM
Comment #100959

Rylee,
Calm down. Take a deep breath. No one is going to videotape you getting your head sawed off. However, if you go to Iraq for personal profit, the odds of something bad happening do increase. So use this simple preventative, Rylee. Don’t go running around in other people’s countries with a gun. If you must go to other people’s countries with a gun, don’t stay any longer than you have to. They don’t like it. They can be such animals, you know. Finally, if you absolutely, positively must stay in their country, brandishing a gun, at least learn the language.

Savage. Lol. The borders are open, Rylee, illegal immigrants pour across by the thousands. Now, how do you reconcile the fact that our borders are so porous with the fact that no terrorist attacks have occurred in the US?

Let me guess. Luck. Hopefully you can do better than that usual lame, pathetic explanation. I look forward to hearing it.

Posted by: phx8 at December 10, 2005 3:15 PM
Comment #100960

—-
The U.S. abides by this. When someone does not, we investigate. If we find the person guilty, we punish.
—-

How do you feel about Cheeney working to exempt the CIA from these laws and treaties?

Posted by: tony at December 10, 2005 3:17 PM
Comment #100962

—-
Now, how do you reconcile the fact that our borders are so porous with the fact that no terrorist attacks have occurred in the US?
—-
I agree.

My point is that it was, what?… 8 years between the first and the second OBL attacks on US soil. It’s been just 4 years the last one. So, going by their track record, we have about 3 or 4 more years to feel safe.

Why does everyone feel so vulnerable to attacks, having just 2 in the past 100 years or more?

How do they see such success since we don’t have attacks every other day? (We’ve never had attacks every other day… so I think their fear is misplaced… as is their belief that anything has been put in place to prevent other attacks.)

Posted by: tony at December 10, 2005 3:23 PM
Comment #100971

Prediction:
Bin laden is a VERY good engineer and after looking at all aspects of this and his overall goals i believe within the next 2 years an attack utilizing these parameters will occur.because of our poruos borders that have allowed these sleeper cells to come here multiply and eventually attack us.attacks will probibly take place between august and oct will begin by team memebers of cells in each state taking flares they have purchased legally over last several years ,several members will drive through dryest areas of each state lighting flares and starting emense fires all coridnated to accur at same time ,next group will be farmers who have been cultavating cheap mans biological weapon and distributing these into as many water sytems as they can again on a state by state basis,next youll have 2 man teams per state that will do actions simalar to washinton dc attacks using truck with sniper holes cut in bed liner ,next youll have the operational arm or main thugs with teams of 10 men they will sabatoge and attempt to gain entrence to all nuke sites for the purpose of shutting off flow of water ….we all know what happens if one is succesful THE CHINA Syndrom.with magor fires started snipers sniping and waterguys trying there deal will tend to tie up virtually all hospitals and emergancy personel.now there pilots of small crop dusters will use some of the chemicals that were not found in iraq ,(because the terrorists have them) on our us citys,and then the outside the country teams activate and crash as many airliners as they can using stinger missles that we gave to bin laden in the 80s.these will all be started by one or two events and the release of new vidio,i truly hope i am wrong about all of this but if all of you put politics aside for a moment,,,,and consider bin laden what he wants is to destroy the US (the great satin) to him and with his record of co-ordinated attacks i do not beleive any of this is far fetched,.

Posted by: rylee at December 10, 2005 3:46 PM
Comment #100973

Cheney is probably worried about the details. He is voicing his opinion and his opinion counts, but what he says now still is not the policy of the U.S.

Posted by: Jack at December 10, 2005 3:49 PM
Comment #100976

—-
Cheney is probably worried about the details. He is voicing his opinion and his opinion counts, but what he says now still is not the policy of the U.S.
—-

??? Isn’t he the VP? Only a fool would believe that Cheney has no input into our US policy.

Posted by: tony at December 10, 2005 3:51 PM
Comment #101001

Sicilian Eagle,

And then and then they kill all the bad guys and rambo shoots ‘em all down and then they get there in the nick of time and run out of the building and then some stuff blows up and then they roll the credits…and..and..

How much tv are we watching there Sicily? Is that what republicans base their policies on? Well they did it on Dukes of Hazzard so I figure…

Posted by: Elephant wrestler at December 10, 2005 5:10 PM
Comment #101008

rylee,

wake up and truly understand that these are animals not people

It could surprised you, but every people is *also* an animal. Me and you included.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 10, 2005 5:57 PM
Comment #101014

Once you begin to allow torture you will never be able to control it. It will be used for an unknown variety of reasons.
If it seems reasonable on the battlefield to pluck out some enemy’s eye because you think that will give you information, then it will also seem reasonable to torture dope dealers who have successfully evaded your dragnets for a decade.
It’s a pandora’s box. One thing will lead to another.
We have the Geneva Convention. It tells us how far we can go. Better to find and prosecute our enemies who violate these conventions than to ask to be allowed to violate them ourselves.

Posted by: Eddie Bryan at December 10, 2005 6:36 PM
Comment #101020

i spent 4 years as a chemical bio nuck specialist in the military with a top secret security clearance

Posted by: rylee at December 10, 2005 01:25 PM

Man, that’s scary shit!!! That scares me much more than OBL or Saddam or a bagload of shrieking fanatics with ak47’s screaming vengeance on the West…..you mean such people have access to WMD’s??

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 10, 2005 8:01 PM
Comment #101021

during world war 2 the germans did not follow the geneva convention and niether did the japanese korea same story vietnam same story why is it we continue to follow this when everytime we have a conflict we soldiers get to experience the torture while playing this political corectness,,???when will we learn that some times you must obtain information regardless the cost,,however i dont feel you need painful torture simply using a doctor and different drugs…why not condone and let our enemys know if you are going to kill americans theres a cost A BIG ONE…

Posted by: rylee at December 10, 2005 8:01 PM
Comment #101022

Paul in uroland…
yes paul i worked for a colonel Full bird…
provided all training of officers NCOs and enlisted personel and some of the things i learned scare me to this day….. yet to hear the majority of the democrats say that bush lied because we have not found any weapons yet…yikes think about it because of absolute incompetitence from the last administration who allowed saddam 4 years with 0 inspections and they wonder why we cant find them yikes …the terrorists already have them and once they use them every one of the dems claiming pres bush lied about weapons will then want to impeach him for not finding them.

Posted by: rylee at December 10, 2005 8:09 PM
Comment #101023

Rylee, have you stopped taking the tablets?

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at December 10, 2005 8:11 PM
Comment #101025

hey paul
you heard the latest tape ?
calls for attacks on oil frieghters and refinerys how many attacks do u think it will take before oil gets to 100 a barrel ?
and yes i took my pills heheheh ….. at least i wont sit here and say we should not torture these radical murderers ,,,,have you ever watched the vidio of these wonderful people who took mr armstrong with a hood on his head his arms tied behind his back and slowly sawed his head off ….. go to micheal savage.com and watch a few of these tapes that have been released from these people then come back and tell me they desrve rights ….and just so u understand the pictures of the 4 contractors they murdered then dragged through the streets and hung from a bridge in falluga one of them was my uncle…so ive had the oppurtunity to see these peoples actions up close…and personel.

Posted by: rylee at December 10, 2005 8:21 PM
Comment #101031

Tony

Should I write slower or what?

Cheney is an important voice, but he doesn’t have the last word.

Condoleezza Rice is talking American policy in Europe. Maybe she is just freelancing, but what seems to be the U.S. policy is to follow the CAT.

Read about the actual policy. Then you can complain that it is all lies, but at least you will be hitting the right target.

A consistent pattern on the left is to make a big thing of preliminary reports or discussions and then forget when they don’t come out.

Eddie

If we applied the Geneva Conventions to many of the terrorists, they would be executed summarily as spies or saboteurs, since they don’t wear uniforms. They target civilians populations and hide among them. Under the Geneva Conventions prisoners have to respect the rank of the captors and generally behave according to military discipline. The Geneva Conventions have responsibilities on both sides. You are looking only at ours. They also apply only signatories. I don’t recall that either the Taliban or Al Qaeda were signatories.

Posted by: Jack at December 10, 2005 8:56 PM
Comment #101045

—-
Should I write slower or what?
—-

Come on, Jack. Really. That was pathetic. If you want people to listen to you points of view, then insulting them is not the best way to go. Using lame insults only demeans your comments even more. Or are you here just to add banter and insult?

Not exactly sure what the rest of the comment is referring to… You stated “Cheney is probably worried about the details. He is voicing his opinion and his opinion counts, but what he says now still is not the policy of the U.S.” This is a bizarre statement. Do you honestly feel that US policy is only some document? US Policy is a living thing, that comes from our leaders… the paper is only a guideline at best. It’s the practice of policy that matters.

Posted by: tony at December 10, 2005 10:25 PM
Comment #101052

Okay, so, if I understand correctly, the position of pro-torture folks is that when an enemy kills your people, does terrible things to them, doesn’t follow the rules, threatens you, then it’s acceptable, necessary, even commendable, to torture them.

Let’s follow this line of reasoning. The U.S. invades Iraq, unprovoked, on false premises (call it an honest mistake if that helps you feel better about your president.) We drop cluster bombs in residential neighborhoods, round up people without evidence, hold them without trial, torture them, humiliate them, kill them in captivity. Shoot families at checkpoints, destroy homes, infrastructure, pretty much everything.

Since it’s okay to torture and kill people who do these things to your own people, then you pro-torture types must agree that the Iraqi resistance is perfectly justified in killing, torturing, beheading Americans.

If whether or not its okay to torture comes down to who did what to whom first, then we can trace out an endless line into the ancient past to try to find out who committed the first atrocity. We have good arguments that it was “them,” “they” can come up with good arguments that it was us. This can also spin out into the future indefinitely. We have to keep doing it because they keep doing it. They have to keep doing it because we keep doing it.

The ultimate result of all this, of course, is the end of civilization. Right and wrong are determined by nothing more than who holds the biggest stick, who manages to insert the last knife in the last back.

This is the world you’re arguing for if you argue for torture. Might makes right. The biggest, strongest, most ruthless rules. Evil wins, because it works.

Seems to me that’s a pretty good description of the outlook of the people we’re supposedly fighting against. Are they right? Do we agree with them that this is how the world should work? If so, why are we fighting them? Why don’t we team up and kick the hell out of the rest of the world that doesn’t think this way?

We claim to be fighting evil, but it seems like evil has already won.

Posted by: Synonymous at December 10, 2005 11:14 PM
Comment #101055

Tony

Sorry if I overreacted. Your post with the “only a fool” part made me think it was a provocation.

I will repeat, however, Cheney is a very important voice, but he is not the last word.

Also when you are talking about the secret prison in Europe, do you know how many people we are talking about? According to news reports - eleven Al Qaeda suspects, not much of a Gulag when you can almost count all the inmates on your fingers. As for all the others, we give the Red Cross access to prisoners in Guantanamo and Afghanistan.

A couple things we should keep in mind. Many of the accusations against the U.S. are still just that. We have investigated many when found guilty we punished the offenders. Anything we have done pales in comparison to what the adversaries have done. This is no excuse, but it is useful to remember that one of our adversary’s strategies is to make accusations. They need not be true. Remember the Koran flushing story? Finally, the information we have received from some of these guys has certainly saved American, European and Iraqi lives.

Ask yourself why we want to hold these guys. Do you really believe we don it for fun or spite? If we were doing it to make an example of how tough we were, we would have to let people know. It might be gratifying to torture Saddam or Osama, but if you did you would want to tell others.

Speaking of that, does it look like anyone tortured Saddam? Personally, I think we should treat him with a little less respect, more like Nuremburg and less like the Hague.

Posted by: jack at December 10, 2005 11:42 PM
Comment #101056

Rylee, our observance of the Gen. Conventions is what made us the good guys and them the bad guys. Under Bush, it is getting hard for the rest of the world to tell the difference.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 10, 2005 11:45 PM
Comment #101057

For once, I actually agree with McCain about something.

99% of the accusations and outrage surrounding torture is nothing but hype and anti-American propaganda, but the congress and the administration should just go along with all the proposed bans, no matter how unrealistic. And then, if and when the necessity arises (as in the ticking time bomb scenario) they should just do what’s necessary, illegal or not.

Most Americans, I think, don’t want anything “on the books” allowing torture even if they’re very willing to let it happen, when necessary, off the books. Not everything can—or should be—codified in law.

Posted by: sanger at December 10, 2005 11:49 PM
Comment #101059

David
yes we follow the geneva conventions evan though no one weve ever fought does ,and then we get to listen to how we are not doing the right thing ,geez does any one doubt that if we were an evil nation wed simply use nukes and level the place instead of freeing 25million people …seems like a lot of people have forgotten the fact that ubder saddam people were taken from there homes and murdered nightly or think back to the taliban destroying the buddah shrine killing and enslaving women ,,yikes so instead of appreating the fact that the women are free and now allowed to go to school and learn and vote ,,all we hear is how evil the us is ….saddam paid 25,000 to the familys of any willing to blow them selfs up and kill innocents ,,amazzing most of the uprisings now done with out the financial incentive they seem to have lost the stomach ,,,

Posted by: rylee at December 11, 2005 12:00 AM
Comment #101070

Torture has gotten us nowhere, and worse it’s created some problems:

1. Iraqis don’t trust us.
2. We lost the moral high ground.
3. We’ve gotten some terribly wrong info from it.
4. We’ve lost support and respect around the world.
5. Possibly, we’ve lost what we were fighting for.

If we’re going to win this war, we have to convince Iraqis that we are different. That our government stands for something.

I’m amazed that anyone still supports torture. It’s led so far to terribly erroneous information, including getting us into this mess, and clearly, from the pictures we’ve been allowed to see, has gone horribly, horribly wrong.

I’m a results oriented person. I want to use what works, and, in this case, what must be done since we are in a position where we must lead by example.

I wouldn’t expect Republicans to understand the results orientation. If they did they wouldn’t be able to support the failure we have in office.

Posted by: Max\ at December 11, 2005 3:11 AM
Comment #101072

Rylee,

Friends don’t let friends post drunk. At least, I hope you’re drunk.

By the way, you’re so outraged by the attack, but believe me not half as outraged as the people of NYC at seeing how it was spun and used as a platform by Bush to do whatever the hell he wanted.

Posted by: Max at December 11, 2005 3:16 AM
Comment #101074
Ask yourself why we want to hold these guys. Do you really believe we don it for fun or spite? If we were doing it to make an example of how tough we were, we would have to let people know. It might be gratifying to torture Saddam or Osama, but if you did you would want to tell others.

Jack,

You mean like sending home videotapes and pictures of yourself beating the shit out of someone while giving the camera the thumbs up?

Posted by: Max at December 11, 2005 3:20 AM
Comment #101154

Max

Yes. That illegal behavior would be prosecuted and punishd. We punished the people at Abu Ghraib who took pictures of humiliated prisoners even though they had not been beaten. That shows that we don’t tolerate even a milder sort of behavior.

Posted by: Jack at December 11, 2005 9:38 AM
Comment #101205

—-
Yes. That illegal behavior would be prosecuted and punishd. We punished the people at Abu Ghraib who took pictures of humiliated prisoners even though they had not been beaten. That shows that we don’t tolerate even a milder sort of behavior.
—-

Hey - and having electric wires attached to your testicles is kind of a mild sort torture? Attack dogs on the verge of attacking (just good clean fun?)

Posted by: tony at December 11, 2005 12:55 PM
Comment #101209

Jack,

If everyone’s been punished why won’t the administration open up the thousands more pictures and videos they have to the public? Furthermore, if you really believe that everyone’s been punished, you must believe that this was the work of a couple “bad eggs”, soldiers that were off doing their own thing rather than obeying orders. Tell me, do you really believe that? Everyone on our side was brought to justice here?

Posted by: Jack at December 11, 2005 1:03 PM
Comment #101242

Why do you think it was under orders? What purpose would it serve? I do believe that everyone guilty was brought to justice. Do you have reason to believe it was not the case?

Releasing more pictures would serve only as a PR exercise for the bad guys. Like the bogus Koran flushing incident.

Pictures are sometimes worth a thousand years, but they don’t always speak truthfully.

Posted by: Jack at December 11, 2005 2:13 PM
Comment #101247

A thousand words. Sorry

Posted by: Jack at December 11, 2005 2:31 PM
Comment #101252

Jack,

Clearly there is a policy of torture condoned by this administration, and if you don’t think so, you’ve been living on the moon. Read any of the first hand accounts of the prisoners suing our government or the soldiers that were indicted. Many, many, many of our soldiers were torturing many, many, many prisoners indiscriminately, sometimes to the point of death.

Since obviously that many soldiers do not autonomously decide to begin torturing people, someone or many in command ok’d this. That person’s head should be on a plate.

Why don’t you answer for me why this administration even now is pushing back on restricting torture from being one of the methods it’s allowed to use? There’s not even a question they want to use it. This is something Cheney states on a regular basis.

I expected to see arguments in this thread about whether or not the use of torture was necessary in this war, but not a complete denial that it was even happening. Read a newspaper.

Posted by: Max at December 11, 2005 3:20 PM
Comment #101273

Cheney is probably trying to protect people who make what seem like reasonable decisions but turn out not to be. If I am out in the field and someone tells me that he knows where some of my friends are held captive and they will be dead in five minutes, if I have a knife, his testicles are in danger if he doesn’t tell me. What if it turns out he doesn’t know? What if he was lying to deceive me in another way. Or it was too late? Or maybe my passion in attempting to say my friends was misplaced. All I know is that this decision will look a lot different to those not in the heat of the moment.

There are also a lot more allegations than proven cases. I don’t think people who eagerly blow themselves up to murder women and children would be adverse to faking injuries or making false accusations. We investigate them. The Red Cross has access to prisoners in Cuba and Afghanistan. That is what I read in newspapers.

If you read the press reports of the secret prisons, you know that the total number of secret prisoners is supposed to be 11. I think there are something like 500 prisoners in Guantanamo. We have taken hundreds of thousands of prisoners and released most of them after a couple of days.

War is hell anyway. It hurts to get shot. You get injured when a wall falls on you. We should not be surprised by some of the results.


Posted by: Jack at December 11, 2005 4:41 PM
Comment #101362
eleven Al Qaeda suspects, not much of a Gulag when you can almost count all the inmates on your fingers.

Jack, you still don’t get it. The problem is that these American gulags (it’s still hard for me to believe those two words could ever go together) even exist at all.

our observance of the Gen. Conventions is what made us the good guys and them the bad guys. Under Bush, it is getting hard for the rest of the world to tell the difference.

Forget the rest of the world. It’s getting hard for decent Americans to tell the difference.

All I know is that this decision will look a lot different to those not in the heat of the moment.

That’s fine Jack. But knowing you’ll be prosecuted will make you think twice about whether torturing a person is the only way to get the intelligence you need. If it really is the only way, then that’s what juries and Presidential pardons are for. It should never be acceptable under US law for anyone to torture another human being.

Posted by: American Pundit at December 12, 2005 2:19 AM
Comment #101473

Has it occured to those supposed Christians out there that torture just might be one of those things you go to Hell for?

Posted by: Bill at December 12, 2005 12:40 PM
Comment #101477

rylee,

I’ve never known anyone with such clearence to admit in a public venue that they had such clearance.

jack,

“War is hell, anyway?” Now that’s deep. I always said “It don’t mean a thing” We all die in the end after all…

Posted by: Dave at December 12, 2005 12:49 PM
Comment #101480

Thanks, Synonymous , for putting it so clearly:

Torture is pure evil. People who use it are evil. People who promote its use are evil. People who make excuses and think up fantasy scenarios to give it a gloss of acceptability? Yeah, still evil.

Torture was historically used as a form of public entertainment, preceding executions. Now it’s used for the entertainment of sick people who use it to vent their rage against unfortunate persons who have fallen into their power. Anyone who advocates its use in any way, shape or form should be excluded from employment by our governments in any capacity.

Posted by: ray at December 12, 2005 12:52 PM
Comment #101513

—-
Has it occured to those supposed Christians out there that torture just might be one of those things you go to Hell for?
—-

Didn’t Jesus say ‘Love thy enemy.’? Don’t think torture fits too well with that… but just a guess.

Posted by: tony at December 12, 2005 2:01 PM
Comment #101729

AP

I don’t think you can have a Gulag with only 11 (or even the 500 in Guantanamo)people. It is a bit of lack of perspective. Beyond that, the Gulags were usually death camps or at least destructive labor camps.

I met people who had been in the camps. They didn’t have access to books. They didn’t have good food. The Red Cross never visited. Not only that, most of the people in the Gulags had done nothing wrong.

Posted by: Jack at December 12, 2005 11:13 PM
Comment #102927

Jack, if the Bush administration had secretly detained and tortured only one person it would still be wrong and an affront to every American and Christian value. Why are you defending secret abductions and torture?

Posted by: American Pundit at December 15, 2005 8:15 PM
Comment #102958

I disagree with torture in every way shape or form, it is against everything american that i love. BTW it’s also against wiccan values, “harm none.” is one of our core precepts.

Posted by: MagikJester at December 15, 2005 10:34 PM
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