Democrats & Liberals Archives

Recreational Water Sports With Dick Cheney

When Cheney said that dunking terror suspects was a “no brainer”, he meant what?
Waterboarding? No, according to Tony Snow “A dunk in the water is a dunk in the water.”
Huh?

"Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?" Scott Hennen of WDAY in Fargo, N.D., asked Cheney on Tuesday. "Well, it's a no-brainer for me," Cheney responded.
Are we to believe Cheney is taking the folks at Guantanamo Bay out for canoe rides?
Maybe Donald Rumsfeld has set up one of those dunk tanks that you see at the fair.

Scenario 1(Dunk Tank)
Rumsfeld: "Where is Bin Laden, you terrorist?"
Terror suspect: "I don't know, I didn't think you guys were still looking for him."
Rumsfeld: "Go get the balls."


Scenario 2(Canoeing)
Cheney: "Where is Bin Laden you terrorist? and stop saying we're not looking for him, it just seems that way."
Terror suspect: "I'm not a terrorist, I'm just Middle Eastern and from Canada."
Cheney: If I have to ask you again I'll tip this canoe. and do I have to remind you which one of us has no life vest?"
Could someone tell this administration that the American people are not idiots. It just looks that way when we vote.

Posted by Andre M. Hernandez at October 30, 2006 2:47 PM
Comments
Comment #191520

Sadly, this is exactly what this administration thinks of American voters. Up until now they’ve been right. Let’s hope us morons are a little smarter than they think.

Posted by: gergle at October 30, 2006 3:25 PM
Comment #191522

How about deleting all the duplicates?

Posted by: womanmarine at October 30, 2006 3:26 PM
Comment #191527

I saw Lynn Cheney say the war is going as planned a couple nights ago. Swell, really. All the bad stuff you hear is media bias.

Amazing. Rumsfeld said the war would only last a few months but everything is going as planned? The genuis of the Bush crew is that they discovered their 51% base has a memory span of one-minute and will swallow any story, no matter how stupid or contradictory to previous things they’ve said.

Posted by: Max at October 30, 2006 3:31 PM
Comment #191528

Andre:

The proper logic in this whole thing is to first ask the questioner what he meant by his question. Did he mean waterboarding, and if so, why did he not use that term?

The second thing is to ask Cheney what he meant by his use of the term “dunking”. We can then choose to believe his comments or not.

The absolutely WRONG thing is to assume that we know what “dunking” meant, and that our thoughts on it are more important than those of Cheney or Hennen. Of course, that’s precisely where intellectual laziness, mixed with partisanship, takes us.

If we simply assume that we know what the words mean, then we don’t need to bother thinking. We just institute our own little code words into someone’s speech, and voila….they say what we wanted them to say.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 30, 2006 3:32 PM
Comment #191533

Stay the Course Oh wait, I’m sorry, what was that? Oh, OK
Time table to Cut and Run

jbod, Oh come on! Seriously?

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 30, 2006 3:56 PM
Comment #191534
if it can save lives?

Can somebody tell me what this is supposed to mean if not waterboarding? And if anyone should have clarified, it should have been Cheney.

To me, it seemed pretty clear that it was about torture?

Posted by: womanmarine at October 30, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #191535

It was obviously clear to Cheney too.

Posted by: womanmarine at October 30, 2006 3:59 PM
Comment #191539

Waterboarding in no way involves a “dunk in the water”. So, why would Cheney assume that the interviewer was indeed asking about waterboarding? In fact why would you assume that the interviewer was asking about waterboarding? Could it be that you are looking for any and all opportunities to slam the administration even if it means twisting speech and jumping to conclusions? Conclussions that you have no evidence to back-up.

Posted by: Kirk at October 30, 2006 4:22 PM
Comment #191540

Kirk:

So, I will repeat my question. If not waterboarding, what does it mean?

So why did Cheney not clarify what the questioner was referring too?

And if it doesn’t mean waterboarding, isn’t this just a little disingenuous? What dunk in the water would save lives? Was it supposed to be a joke? Sorry, not a bit funny.

And why would you give this administration, which has admitted to torture by any stretch of the imagination, a pass?

Posted by: womanmarine at October 30, 2006 4:26 PM
Comment #191546
And why would you give this administration, which has admitted to torture by any stretch of the imagination, a pass?

Please by all means, provide some independent confirmation of your claims.

Even if it did mean waterboarding would it not be a no brainer to save American lives?

I don’t know if you have kids or not but just for the sake of arguement I base my arguement on the fact that you do. If not you can simply substitute your brother, sister, niece, nephew, mom, dad I think you get the picture.

Now lets say that some low life gang banger Kidnaps your beautiful little girl and has her hidden in a storm cellar somewhere. If you don’t find her she will die. The police arrest the low life who snatched her.

The police are nearly 100% certain they have the right guy. As the time ticks away and the impending demise of your beautiful daughter approaches are you telling me that you would be against the police using waterboarding to get the information they need to save her life?

Posted by: Kirk at October 30, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #191558

Kirk is right. Waterboarding is placing someone on an incline and pouring water over their mouth and nose to induce an involuntary panic response. It is not dunking.

It was reportedly done to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9-11 for two and a half minutes before he broke down and spilled the information he was withholding. This supposedly impressd his interrogators because the average time someone holds out is 14 seconds. This led to numerous subsequent arrests of others directly involved in 9-11.

It causes panic, not physical injury, and it’s equally as effective when someone is told before-hand that they’re not going to be injured in any way.

You have to decide first and foremost if you think terror suspects can be interrogated at all. If you think that it’s only okay to ask them politely for information, and then give up if they refuse (as they will), then our soldiers can simply stop engaging in risky operations in order to take prisoners alive.

Rather than, say, entering a building and engaging in risky arrests, they can just bomb the place flat and shoot everybody in sight. They have every right to do just that, and it’s actually the going above and beyond in order to spare life that leads to this whole debate.

A tool like waterboarding actually saves lives—and not just the lives of potential terror victims, but the arrestees themselves. Better they’re subjected to a couple minutes of panic with no actual threat of death or injury than lose all their intelligence value and simply not be taken alive in the first place.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 30, 2006 5:27 PM
Comment #191564

Kirk:

“The police are nearly 100% certain they have the right guy.”

The police, in this case, are Bush & Co. They may be nearly 100% certain they have the right guy. They were 100% certain about WMD’s in Iraq too. And about a link between Hussein and al Queda. Unfortunately, their track record is not that great. The fact is, of the hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo, only a small fraction are still believed, even by the most ardent in the administration, to be guilty of anything.

“Even if it did mean waterboarding would it not be a no brainer to save American lives?”

Sorry, no. It would not be a “no-brainer.” It would be a very difficult question. Let’s assume, based on your example, that they police have rounded up 100 suspects, any one of whom may be the culprit. Is it truly a “no-brainer” from your vantage point, to do whatever is required of the 99 inocent people in order to find the 1 guilty person (assuming that even one of them happens to be the guilty person). If it was your loved one that had been kidnapped, would you really suggest torturing 99 inocent people to find the lone culprit?

Suppose, on the other hand, that your loved one was one of the 99 innocent people? Would you feel that their torture was justified in finding the actual culprit?

No-brainer? Sorry, sometimes the price is too high, even if it can result in saving lives.

Posted by: Stan at October 30, 2006 6:01 PM
Comment #191566

How easy it is to say any degree of torture is justified in the end. KIRK, “nearly 100% certain” is not certain without a doubt. The U.S. torture mongers were “nearly 100% certain” that a certain German citizen and Canadian citizen were terrorists. Sending them to be tortured was a what? “OOPS, we screwed that one up, but nonetheless, we were nearly 100% certain”.

How easy it is to say torture is OK just so long as you or your loved ones are not the object of that torture.

The Geneva Convention forbids torture for good reason. It doesn’t work. How do you and I know anybody is giving up correct information. If someone is pouring water down my nose, I’ll come up with 20 names quickly to stop the torture. Why should I care if the 20 are really guilty of anything? What did you say your name is? Just in case I need names for the torture mongers so they will quit.

Do all you inhumane types think McCain is lying when he tells you torture does NOT work. Maybe he needs to be tortured a little more so he will tell the truth to you experts on torture.

Posted by: Scott at October 30, 2006 6:06 PM
Comment #191568

“No-brainer? Sorry, sometimes the price is too high, even if it can result in saving lives.”

Posted by: Stan at October 30, 2006 06:01 PM

Stan…your comment above really sums up what many of us feel about staying in Iraq and not running when the going is tough. Running from Iraq would temporiarily save American lives…but, the price is too high!

Posted by: JIm at October 30, 2006 6:10 PM
Comment #191570

Even Bush is trying hard to deflect the backlash from what Cheney said. If it wasn’t “misunderstood” why does Bush keep reiterating “we don’t torture”?

JIm:

Nice way to change the subject.

Posted by: womanmarine at October 30, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #191571

Jim,

“Running from Iraq would temporiarily save American lives…but, the price is too high!”

That is one of the biggest twists on an argument I’ve ever seen. In fact I would have to call the comment borderline moronic.

Regarding your point however, I’m not aware of anyone who has argued that we should withdraw from Iraq in order to save some American lives. Those who have suggested getting out of there have pointed out that whatever the goal may be, we are not succeeding. If you think the goal is to reduce terrorism in the world, try reading the Intelligence Index which concludes that our presence in Iraq has resulted in an increase in terrorism in the world.

Is the goal to bring democracy to Iraq? According to the Bush Administration, we have succeeded in doing that. So why not call it mission accomplished and leave?

Is the goal to train Iraqi forces to take over from us? Take over what? The sterling job we are doing of securing the country and its people? The excellent job we have been doing at rebuilding their infrastructure? When will we be convinced that the Iraqis can do the same great job that we have been doing so that we can turn it over to them?

Posted by: Stan at October 30, 2006 6:23 PM
Comment #191575

Sorry for allowing the discussion to be put off track. Hopefully we’ll get it back on track now. Torture is unAmerican. It is uncivilized. It is unproductive. It is being used on innocent people. It is an abomination. We signed the Geneva Convention because we, as a country, believed there was a civilized and humane way to treat prisoners. When did we become a culture of “do whatever it takes?” Jack Bauer is a fictional character.

Posted by: Stan at October 30, 2006 6:34 PM
Comment #191577

The crux of the torture debate is whether or not American lives are more important than the values that make America what it is. If you believe we are a country of men, then it is obvious that we should do whatever is necessary to preserve the lives of those men. If you believe we are a country of laws, then it is obvious we should do whatever is necessary to preserve the sanctity of those laws. Unfortunately, we cannot be both.

Its a realist vs. idealist argument. Realistically, you can worry about the “sanctity of laws” once the threat is eliminated. Ideally, we can defeat the threat without compromising that which makes us what we are. Is either side ready to live with the long lasting consequences of their position? Do Republicans want to live the rest of their lives under a Federal government with unheard of powers to imprison and torture with zero oversight from the courts? Do Democrats want to watch another 9/11 unfold on television and have to live with the possibility that it could have been averted?

I thought long and hard about this, and it was a quote from Benjamin Franklin that best sums up where my thoughts took me: “They that would give up essential liberty for a little security deserve neither liberty nor security.” To me, this means that the rule of law must be preserved above all else.

The laws of this country are what make us what we are. For all of the criticism we hear about our materialism, our ignorance, our selfishness, America is the country which most nations want to model themselves after. This is because we represent something greater than human pursuits. We represent ideals that revolutionized the world. These ideals need to be cherished, and held above all else. I think of the British during WWII. They could have surrendered and abandoned their country, and would have probably preserved thousands of lives by doing so. But the idea of Great Britain was so important to them that they were willing to die fighting to preserve it. They knew that their country was not made up of the bricks and mortar that were crumbling around them, or even of the flesh and blood of their fellow citizens. I will not be a part of a generation of Americans who choose the comfort of our empire over the preservation of the ideals we built the empire upon. Torture is not an American ideal. Imprisonment without charge or possibility of defense is not an American ideal. It is the preservation of the American ideal that must take precedence over all things. If not, what will we have left to defend?

Posted by: David S at October 30, 2006 6:40 PM
Comment #191578

More Dick Cheney at his best:

Cheney Links Iraq Violence, U.S. Elections

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/10/30/politics/main2138005.shtml

What’s next? Bush or Rove saying that a vote for Democrats is a vote for terrorists?

Sheeeeeesh.

Posted by: KansasDem at October 30, 2006 6:41 PM
Comment #191579

The only problem with that Jim, is that your presence in Iraq now makes you part of the problem, not part of the solution. Common sense tells us that if what we’re doing isn’t working, then we have to do something else. It seems likely to me that the situation has moved past the point where the US can positively influence the outcome in Iraq. When you’re in a hole, stop digging.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at October 30, 2006 6:43 PM
Comment #191580

I can’t believe we actually have to debate torture. The Geneva Conventions were an amazing step forward for mankind, but we feel, when it suits our needs, we can dispense with them. And let’s not have any legalistic quibbles about the Conventions; we all know their intent, and even in the case of “enemy combatants,” they specify that we treat prisoners humanely. As far as water boarding goes, we apparently have already killed at least one person using that method. Who knows what we don’t know.

We have to guess what Cheney means by “dunking” since this administration won’t tell us; interrogation techniques are “classified.” Apparently it’s the word those in the business use for waterboarding. If the administration wanted to dispell the obvious understanding of the term, they could have. It didn’t.

When before 9/11 other countries used the technique, we rightly screamed about a violation of human rights. We’ve lost the high ground, and stupidly so.

Consider this:

A Japanese military officer, Yukio Asano, was tried in 1947 for carrying out a form of torture waterboarding on a U.S. civilian during World War II, and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. The charges against Asano included other abuses of prisoners.

“On the issue of waterboarding, the United States charged Yukio Asano, a Japanese officer on May 1 to 28, 1947, with war crimes. The offenses were recounted by John Henry Burton, a civilian victim: After taking me down into the hallway they laid me out on a stretcher and strapped me on. The stretcher was then stood on end with my head almost touching the floor and my feet in the air. They then began pouring water over my face and at times it was impossible for me to breathe without sucking in water. The torture continued and continued. Yukio Asano was sentenced to fifteen years of hard labor.

It was a technique employed by the Khmer Rouge. In 2005, the U.S. State Department condemned Tunsia’s use of the technique as torture. But in 2005 former CIA director Peter Goss characterized it as a “professional interrogation technique.”

We are talking war crimes here.

Except for the material linked above, all quotes are from this Wikipedia article.

Posted by: Trent at October 30, 2006 6:43 PM
Comment #191583

Duh, it seems perfectly clear that Hennen’s question to the VP regarded water-boarding:

“I’ve had people call and say, please, let the Vice President know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we’re all for it, if it saves American lives.”

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/10/20061024-7.html

Posted by: KansasDem at October 30, 2006 6:52 PM
Comment #191586
The Geneva Convention forbids torture for good reason. It doesn’t work. How do you and I know anybody is giving up correct information. If someone is pouring water down my nose, I’ll come up with 20 names quickly to stop the torture. Why should I care if the 20 are really guilty of anything?

Scott, the Geneva Convention does not forbid torture because “it doesn’t work.” The Geneva Conventions aren’t there to help interregators figure out what works and what doesn’t but to set minimal standards of humane treatment for POWs.

Torture (which the Bush administration has banned) is not a good means of getting information, that’s true, but that’s not the reason its banned by the Geneva Conventions.

In any case, we’re not talking here about “torture” but a specific technique which is actually quite merciful precisely because it’s effective without doing any physical harm.

There are few cases when this would be used, and there’s no reason to use it as your only means.

That is because you’re right—randomly applying it could result in lists of useless information. Interrogators are not idiots, though. They’re highly trained in psychology and law enforcement techniques, and any specific approach is applied as part of a mutlt-layered interrogation strategy in which you corroborate evidence, try to trap a subject in lies and contradictions, cross-check what he says against what you already know, and over time break down his resistance. A good interrogator knows when his subject has been tapped out and there’s no reason to go further.

When waterboarding is useful is when and only when there is a specific piece of information which is being withheld. It’s not as though they’d say “Hey, let’s waterboard this guy Omar and see what he says!”

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 30, 2006 7:03 PM
Comment #191588

TERRORISM is unAmerican. It is uncivilized. Sadly, it is unproductive. It is being used on innocent people. It is an abomination. Do you have any other ideas on how to stop it Stan?

Posted by: Glen at October 30, 2006 7:07 PM
Comment #191591

Correction on the last statement: Sadly, terrorism is productive.

Posted by: Glen at October 30, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #191594

Torture is fine for any non-citizen combatant! Case closed. Your all a bunch of phony left wing whiners who would be the first to complain if news came out of a suspect who had information that could have saved thousands of American lives, but they did not find out until it was too late, because they did not torture the info. out of him. Then, you would find some other way to blame the Bush administration. I find it so amusing that every complaint about this administration still stems from people, deep in the back of their warped little minds, still mad about the last two elections. AND THAT IS THE TRUTH…SORE LOSERS!

Posted by: Maxcroft Squire Muhldoon at October 30, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #191599

Squireboy,

“Your all a bunch of phony left wing whiners who would be the first to complain if news came out of a suspect who had information that could have saved thousands of American lives, but they did not find out until it was too late, because they did not torture the info. out of him.”

Sorry, that already happened, it was called Sept. 11th.
Moussaoui was arrested on Aug. 16th. The FBI wanted to search his laptop but was turned down.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zacarias_Moussaoui#Capture

“On August 16, 2001, Moussaoui was arrested by Harry Samit of the FBI in Minnesota and charged with an immigration violation. Some agents worried that his flight training had violent intentions, so the Minnesota bureau tried to get permission to search his laptop computer, but they were turned down. Other materials he had when he was arrested included two knives, 747 flight manuals, a flight simulator computer program, fighting gloves and shin guards, and a computer disk with information about crop dusting.”

Posted by: Rocky at October 30, 2006 7:32 PM
Comment #191600

Max, that’s absurd. When Bush does something I support, such as his take on immigration reform, I say it. For that matter, when fellow liberals here say things I don’t like, I say it too.

Perhaps you are blindly partisan, but don’t paint everyone with that brush.

Posted by: Trent at October 30, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #191605

Neo-Con

“In any case, we’re not talking here about “torture” but a specific technique which is actually quite merciful precisely because it’s effective without doing any physical harm.”

You’ve convinced me. In fact, I think it’s such a great technique, why waste it on the arabs. How about applying it to American citizens as well. Who knows how much we’ll learn when we can do what we want without those pesky lawyers getting in the way. How about started with Scooter Libby regarding the Valerie Plame incident. We’ve got some people at Worldcom, Enron and other such places as well that we would love to see name names.

When you have a great interrogation technique, why not use it?


Posted by: Stan at October 30, 2006 7:46 PM
Comment #191606

On another note…this posting appears five times in a row in the Democrats and Liberals blog section…I think four of those should be removed.

Posted by: Jacob in SC at October 30, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #191608

Glen,
Nope. Sorry, I’m plum outta ideas. I guess that’s the only way to stop it.

Posted by: Stan at October 30, 2006 7:49 PM
Comment #191611
I think it’s such a great technique, why waste it on the arabs. How about applying it to American citizens as well. Who knows how much we’ll learn when we can do what we want without those pesky lawyers getting in the way.

From my point of view, you make an excellent point. Why not use it on a convicted serial murder who refuses to tell where he’s hid the bodies, or a kidnapper who won’t tell authorities where his victim is tied up and starving?

My opinion on that doesn’t matter, though, because the way authorities conduct themselves during war is completely different from domestic law enforcement. Did you really not know that?

Do you suppose that a marine has to serve papers issued by a judge before he kicks down a door in Fallujah? Do you suppose that someone captured trying to set a roadside bomb is read his Miranda warning and given a lawyer?

This is war, and we still conduct war and treat our prisoners with standards hundreds times higher than not only our enemy but any other civilized nation.

If you actually cared about the well-being of those we capture (instead of just trying to sling arrows at the American war effort), you’d support something like water-boarding. It’s far more humane to see prisoners as potential intelligence assets and try to keep them alive than it is to simply shooting them on sight.

The Geneva Conventions do NOT require that you risk you own life by attempting to take a prisoner alive.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 30, 2006 8:04 PM
Comment #191612

Haha, scenario 1 made me laugh :)

Yes, it is quite obvious what they meant, but realistically the argument for quasi-torture interrogations is not changed by the use of euphemisms. The pro-torture people are still going to argue that the methodology is justified and provides some degree of results.

Posted by: Zeek at October 30, 2006 8:05 PM
Comment #191613

Neo-Con Pilsner,

I’ve read enough of your posts to know you’re a thoughtful guy. That said, I realize the red herring in your last post wasn’t accidental.

Posted by: Trent at October 30, 2006 8:08 PM
Comment #191615

Zeek, yup, you’re right. It comes down to this: We don’t torture, and if we did, it’s justified.

Posted by: Trent at October 30, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #191621

Maxcroft:

It’s obvious you are the unwitting follower of anything Bush. Try using your brain for yourself and you will see it has nothing to do with “loosing two elections” or having “warped little minds”, Rather people feel the urge to spend time informing themselves & others of important issues. Most are not here to whine, but rather stand up for what the administration fails to recognize as popular thought because, like you they only see their veiw as correct. This my friend is how change occurs because everyone knows knowledge triumphs talking points anyday of the week (or at least it should). Try viewing “Charlie Rose” to see a fair debate on most issues and avoid “Fox & Rush” type shows as they tend to separate rather than unite.

Posted by: David-Independant at October 30, 2006 8:15 PM
Comment #191626

In September, waterboarding was explicitly banned in military manuals anyway, so military interrogators won’t be allowed to use it.

The CIA, however, still can.

Trent, if it comes across as a red herring the way I put it, I’m still quite serious about the underlying point. Our armed forces have suffered many fatalities and casualties as a result to trying to take prisoners alive.

When Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was captured, it was a very dangerous operation. If our forces know that a high value target is holed up in a building, they could easily reduce it to rubble, but they don’t. The reason they don’t is not because doing so is not permitted under the Geneva Conventions or any other rules of engagment.

It’s ONLY because they want to capture enemies alive so they can be interrogated. Take away the tools of interrogation, then the likes of of those currently in Guantanomo and elsewhere will simply be dead in the future.

Now you tell me. Would you rather be dead or undergo a couple of minutes of involuntary panic during a non-lethal, non-injuring interrogation?

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 30, 2006 8:24 PM
Comment #191638

Um, Uh, in case you want to know, when a person thinks that telling you what you want to hear will save his/her life, they will say anything(usually false) to live. Also, what’s all this talk of ‘cut and run’? From what? Our fearless (cheer)leader declared “Mission Accomplished”, three or so years ago. The war is long over people!

Posted by: Ralphy D at October 30, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #191643

JBOD, sure. We should assume that Cheney and the interviewer were talking about a vacation at Splashtown, USA.

I see you are now completely convinced of David’s conspiracy theory. Dick is just a poor misunderstood soul. Nobody gets him. It’s just a plot to misunderestimate him. You almost twisted my spine with that turn of logic.

Posted by: gergle at October 30, 2006 9:24 PM
Comment #191650

Someone needs to dunk Cheney and Bush maybe that will get them to tell the truth since they are the real terrorists. They know the American public is a bunch of idiots thats why they say and do the things they do. They know they can get away with it and there’s not a darn thing we can do about. We have to suffer until they leave office. I just hope this November makes a real difference and we can begin to reverse the damage done by the criminals the American people “elected”.

Posted by: lefty at October 30, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #191652

Neo-con Pilsner-
One problem is that once we’ve justified it, and made exceptions, we send the message that the means we employ are fair game for others to use.

Visualize one of our soldiers under this treatment.

Another problem with your argument is that torture is not defined by the presence or absence of physical injury, but the use of pain and suffering to break a person’s will. It’s not the body you’re trying to break. That’s just incidental. You can strip a person, paint them with menstrual blood, expose them to sexual humiliation, blast them with deafening loud music, keep them awake with Sleep Deprivation until the worms come out of the walls.

And since these people mostly will be suspects, the breaking of that person’s will is likely to produce false positives, as nobody will trust a terror suspect’s professions of innocence. Torture’s moral and practical problem is that you can inflict whatever suffering you do on a person until they agree with you.

If you’re seriously trying to investigate things, this means you’ll often get sent on wasteful wild goose chases. Why? Because tortured people are suggestible. The wrong wording of a question can end up leading the suspect’s responses, even if they really are terrorists. The torturer’s prejudices get reflected in the facts discovered.

If all you want is answers, torture will provide plenty of those. If you want right answers, torture might just take away what it seems to give so easily. Memory is reconstructive, and it’s been shown that people in suggestible states can be made to accept these false memories as if they are true. Result? You not only foul them up at the time of the interrogation, you put their future reliability to paid as well.

torture might save a life, but only after destroying many others, and helping to create ignorance and complancency that will get people killed.

Torture is a devil’s bargain, and like many of those, you’re giving up a part of your soul for something that’s far better looking before you make the deal than after.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2006 9:40 PM
Comment #191653
Is it truly a “no-brainer” from your vantage point, to do whatever is required of the 99 inocent people in order to find the 1 guilty person

Stan,

Did I say that it was a no brainer to do whatever is required? No, I did not. We were discussing waterboarding not whatever. And no I did not say they should waterboard 100 people. I said they should be able to waterboard (again a non-leathal, no real physical harm) a person they feel nearly 100% certain is the right one.

So, yes if it is going to potentially save my loved one I would not only accept it I would expect it. If as you say it was my loved one who they felt nearly 100% certain that they were the kidnapper (terrorist) I would not only accept it I would expect it.

Posted by: Kirk at October 30, 2006 9:45 PM
Comment #191657
How easy it is to say any degree of torture is justified in the end.

Scott,

Please give me your definition of torture.

Posted by: Kirk at October 30, 2006 9:50 PM
Comment #191660

Stephen:

One problem is that once we’ve justified it, and made exceptions, we send the message that the means we employ are fair game for others to use.

Visualize one of our soldiers under this treatment.

I would be only to happy to visualize our captured soliders under this treatment.

I would be beside myself with joy to know that the absolute worst thing that could happen to any one of our captured soldiers was that they’d be waterboarded for a couple minutes with no danger of death or injury.

That when they weren’t being waterboarded, they’d also be given top-flight medical attention, exercise, access to books, and three square meals a day.

As it so happens, Stephen, when one of our soldiers is captured you need just wait a couple days for a video on the internet that shows them having their heads sawed off with a crude knife, their intestines wripped out, their bodies burnt and dragged behind a truck. This will all be accompanied by cries of feral joy and thanks to Allah.

And Stephen, the people who you are defending against a couple of minutes of waterboarding are exactly the same people who do that to our soldiers. And if the day comes, they’d gladly do it to you and me.

Waterboading is too good for these monsters. But our supreme decency makes such a thing the maximum we will ever deliberatly to them. And yet, even that is too much for you. Sad.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 30, 2006 10:02 PM
Comment #191661

Well, a lot of you guys have just justified the methods used by many repressive regimes: “If torturing this guy can help break the back of the resistance to my dictatorial rule, and thus save some lives, then by all means, torture him.” Remember, no one considers himself the bad guy. The power of human rationalization once again astounds me. I suspose mock executions, threatening to rape the wife of a prisoner, and all the other things we reportedly have done are just fine with you clowns as well. Certain principles are embeded in our founding documents. The prohibition against cruel and inhuman punishment is one. It is sheer sophistry to say that principles that this country was founded on do not, morally, apply to those not of this country as well. Never forget that it is people like you who are on the wrong side of the long long historical struggle toward social justice. My God, you people even support the suspension of habeas corpus on legalistic grounds. You dismiss the truth that not all of our prisoners were our enemies.

And yes, I know, our enemies have done murderous things to our citizens. I expect better behavior from ourselves.

Posted by: Trent at October 30, 2006 10:05 PM
Comment #191662

I will not be a part of a generation of Americans who choose the comfort of our empire over the preservation of the ideals we built the empire upon. Torture is not an American ideal. Imprisonment without charge or possibility of defense is not an American ideal. It is the preservation of the American ideal that must take precedence over all things. If not, what will we have left to defend?

David, again please let me know your definition of torture.

Imprisonment without charge or defense? A little unfair, seeing as how the administration did have plans in place for military tribunals which many on the left objected to. Now you can argue the legality or merits of the plans, but to say that there was no mechanism for charges or defense when your side along with a few on our side took major steps to block them is disingenuous.

I agree that the American ideal must take precedence. The ideal of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happyness. So, the protection of an American’s Life and Liberty should take precedence over a terrorists discomfort or temporary panic caused by waterboarding.

Posted by: Kirk at October 30, 2006 10:14 PM
Comment #191664

Dead Eye Dick meant Waterboarding. We all know this. It is as plain as the nose on your face covered with cellophane and subjected to a steady stream of water until you chatter like a monkey to make it stop.
They also say “we don’t torture,” and yet we all know that this is just another lie from these lying liars.

lefty wrote:
“Someone needs to dunk Cheney and Bush”

To quote Andre: “Go get the balls.”
Which is Hilarious!

gergle also cracked me up with this:
“We should assume that Cheney and the interviewer were talking about a vacation at Splashtown, USA.”

Posted by: Adrienne at October 30, 2006 10:16 PM
Comment #191668

Trent, we haven’t just justified “the methods used by many repressive regimes.” We’ve justifed signficantly less than the methods used by any nation ever.

Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Truman, etc. wouldn’t have batted an eye over waterboarding. In the past, we didn’t have mock executions for people like those we’re discussing.

We had real ones, without trial, on the battlefield, immediately after they were captured.

Read a little history and you’ll know this.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 30, 2006 10:30 PM
Comment #191674

Neo-Con,

There is no need to be condescending. I do know much of our history. Some of it makes me proud, some of it doesn’t. We are signatories to the Geneva Conventions, but now when certain politicians see fit, we trash the document. Remember, we are the country who most loudly protests against human rights violations. Well, guess what. We are doing some of the things we have protested against, as is clear to everyone and which I addressed with specifics in an earlier post.

To address something you said in an earlier post. When we are at war, we use lethal combat means in fighting the enemy. If an enemy surrenders, different rules apply. If we risk our lives to capture an enemy alive, that is the choice of the commanding officers, but it doesn’t mean you treat that prisoner inhumanely. Now, I know you will say that simulating drowning and mock executions are not as bad as actually killing prisoners, and I agree, but that’s not the point. I also know that other countries and we ourselves have done worse than waterboarding, but that’s not the point. The point is that as a human race we decided certain activities are war crimes, and we signed on, and we protested when other countries committed war crimes, and now we are doing the same ourselves. I’ve read the Geneva Conventions; the prohibitions do apply to torture that does not cause actual physical damage. You know this.

Let’s not forget that much of the rationale for the present war was reportedly gained through torture, and it turned out to be fabrication. But my belief that torture is evil does not rest on its efficacy or lack thereof.

Posted by: Trent at October 30, 2006 10:47 PM
Comment #191678

Has any one brought up that this is now, technically, an approved interrogation tactic for use on citizens of this country who may now legally be detained for any/no reason on American soil?

Yale Law Professor Bruce Ackerman writes that the MCA, “which is racing toward the White House, authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights.” (L.A. Times, Sept. 28, 2006)

Under the MCA, people can be labeled ‘‘unlawful combatants’’ for supporting hostilities against brutal regimes considered ‘‘co-belligerents”—i.e., U.S. allies in the so-called ‘‘war against terror.’’ Could someone who protested against or exposed the government of Israel, Turkey, or Saudi Arabia disappear into a CIA torture camp? Under the MCA, the definition of “purposefully and materially supported hostilities” is up to Bush to define. Link

Thus, my question: Does it alarm any of you that this is now legal to do to you here? Second, to those who answer no. Would you feel different if Hillary were President and it were up to her to decide?

Posted by: jrb at October 30, 2006 11:00 PM
Comment #191679
If an enemy surrenders, different rules apply. If we risk our lives to capture an enemy alive, that is the choice of the commanding officers, but it doesn’t mean you treat that prisoner inhumanely.

That doesn’t contradict what I’m saying at all.

As I’m sure you know, the kinds of battlefields we’re fighting on now are not like those of the past, where massive divisions encircled and cut off forward-deployed enemies, and where smaller units became isolated and surrounded by superior enemy forces on the front lines.

We’re talking about very small cells of hit-and-run insurgents who don’t wear uniforms, who hide among and melt back into the civilian population very quickly.

You don’t capture such people because they’re worn out, surrounded, without supplies, and probably conscripts anyway who are very willing to wave the white flag and put down their arms.

You capture these types when they make a mistake within a rapidly developing situation, revealing their position, or when an informant tips you off to their location. And unlike traditional POWs, these insurgents, because of how they operate, have a lot of info about such things like safe-houses, lines of communication, and the current deployment of their fellows, as well as the leadership structure they work under.

Now, no military commander worth his salt is going to spare these people and risk those under his command if higher-ups haven’t commanded him to take those people alive. And no one is going to command them to be taken alive if they can’t be subjected to even non-lethal interrogation.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 30, 2006 11:06 PM
Comment #191681

Kirk-
Torture is the use of pain and suffering to break a person’s resistance to the will of their torturer. That simple. It doesn’t have to be open wounds and blood and guts.

Neo-Con Pilsner-
The story on our torture system is that it was reverse engineered from a course we taught on how to resist Russian torture, which itself was reversed engineered from the actual article.

The worse thing isn’t having cellophane over their faces, with water poured over their faces until they feel like drowning. The worse feeling will be their feelings of betrayal as their captors break them with our methods.

The thing to consider will be that we won’t always choose such violent enemies. Some of our enemies will be quite cultured, and all that head-cutting will just seem so just ick. They’ll want to do what we’ve been doing, leaving no marks or lasting injuries. We’ll just see them put through our brand of torture instead. Our soldiers will pay for it, because our more civilized enemies will feel comfortable sinking to our level.

As for who I’m defending? Let’s try suspects. Let’s try people who may have just been shipped in from God knows where, with just the word of some bounty hunter or something that the person is really a terrorist.

You know who else I’m defending? The average American, whose lives can be cut short as a result of the false leads occupying the efforts of our defenders.

On the subject of what’s too good for them, first you have to clearly establish who “they” are. Then you have to establish whether or not our loss of integrity gains more than it takes away. with the doubts about torture’s validity as an interrogation methodology, the gain is quite unclear. And then, we have to ask ourselves just precisely who or what we can avenge by inflicting pain on our enemies.

Torture’s an empty cause to support. It harms the innocent, degrade our reputation, does nothing to set an example for the world on our behalf, besides endanger our soldiers. Torturing a terrorist will not bring anybody back, and has no guarantees of saving a soul. It corrupts information, corrupts those who engage in it.

Let our enemies be sadistic bastards. All the more easier to define them as the real barbarians to the world at large.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 30, 2006 11:12 PM
Comment #191682

When we dunk Cheney and Bush we’ll just tell them its baptism.

Posted by: lefty at October 30, 2006 11:14 PM
Comment #191702

Stephen, nobody is defending torture. Someone (your side) is trying to retrofit the very idea of torture and stretch its definition beyond recognition.

The thing to consider will be that we won’t always choose such violent enemies. Some of our enemies will be quite cultured… They’ll want to do what we’ve been doing, leaving no marks or lasting injuries. We’ll just see them put through our brand of torture instead. Our soldiers will pay for it, because our more civilized enemies will feel comfortable sinking to our level.

Ridiculous. Your scenario is a total absurdity. What war is that going to be? Our war with Canada? Our war with Belgium? In this war, are our troops going to be shirking around out of uniform, plotting and carrying out suicide bombings, planting IEDS, murdering, raping and beheading civilians for the cameras?

If our soliders start doing that, then hell yes. Hell, yes. Waterboard them, whatever “civilized country” you are. Waterboard them like you mean it!

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 31, 2006 12:19 AM
Comment #191709

neo-con Pilsner

Don’t hold your breath waiting for a reply. Stephen is good at trying to get the last word in.

Posted by: Keith at October 31, 2006 12:45 AM
Comment #191716
Torture is the use of pain and suffering to break a person’s resistance to the will of their torturer. That simple. It doesn’t have to be open wounds and blood and guts

So, since my doctor has advised me to consume caffeine to help prevent my migranes (believe me it is painful) if I was held captive and refused my morning pot of coffee until I told them what they wanted to know I am being tortured?

If a terrorist suspect is claustrophobic and is placed in a small holding cell (mental suffering) until he is ready to talk he is being tortured?

A reporter who refused to name their source and is placed in jail (mental suffering) until they talk is being tortured?

When I spank my kids to make them tell me where the runaway neighbor kid is going, they are being tortured?

Absurd aren’t they and yet all would fit your definition of torture.

So are we limited to “Mr. terrorist suspect will you tell me what plans you know about to kill Americans? Pretty please with sugar on top.”

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 1:25 AM
Comment #191723

Maxcroft said,

I find it so amusing that every complaint about this administration still stems from people, deep in the back of their warped little minds, still mad about the last two elections. AND THAT IS THE TRUTH…SORE LOSERS!

Excuse me. Ever hear of Colin Powell, Lindsay Graham, or Mc what’s his name, the Vietnam Vet who was actually tortured?

Posted by: chris2x at October 31, 2006 1:37 AM
Comment #191725

Hey, I didn’t know neo-con light beer was sitting in on torturing Khalid! Where’s Don to blow smoke about how the hell can we really know about state secrets?

Posted by: chris2x at October 31, 2006 1:39 AM
Comment #191727

I find it funny when anyone uses the term “no-brainer”. It is so apt. If anyone, especially Dick Cheney, ever tells you something is a no-brainer you might want to check your wallet.

I would practically pee my pants when Rush would get people to call in saying they were “ditto heads”.

Posted by: chris2x at October 31, 2006 1:43 AM
Comment #191729
I would practically pee my pants when Rush would get people to call in saying they were “ditto heads”.

Funny, I had nearly the same reaction to Sorros, Franken and their buddies at Airhead America filing for bankruptcy.

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 2:06 AM
Comment #191730

Boy, you Cons want it both ways.

If waterboarding is so great why doesn’t the administration just say so instead of running around without brains talking about dunking terrorists in water. I mean, come on, who’s the party that is going to give the terrorists a bath or have a little splash fight?

Dick sure is tough, ain’t he? I’m sure glad he had “other priorities” during Vietnam otherwise he might not have sought all those deferments and he might have dunked somebody.

Posted by: chris2x at October 31, 2006 2:20 AM
Comment #191732

Kirk,

Are you a ditto head? Don’t tell me you bought one of his ties.

Posted by: chris2x at October 31, 2006 2:23 AM
Comment #191734
If waterboarding is so great why doesn’t the administration just say so instead of running around without brains talking about dunking terrorists in water.,/blockquote>

No one has said waterboarding is great, only that it is not torture and is an acceptable interrogation technique.

As to the administration running around talking about dunking, you need to go back and look at things again. Cheney was not the one to use “dunking” during the interview. It was the reporter. Once again the leftists are grasping and twisting, twisting and grasping.

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 2:30 AM
Comment #191735

Kirk, it’s a “no-brainer”! What the hell are you equivacating about?

Posted by: chris2x at October 31, 2006 2:39 AM
Comment #191751

Sooo…let me get this straight:

Waterboarding isn’t torture even though the United States has condemned other countries for practicing it and a Japanese soldier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for using it against an American civlian.

The worst thing that America does to prisoners is waterboarding, even though multiple prisoners have died in our custody and even though one was forced to stand naked outside all night after being doused with cold water and slowly succumbed to hypothermia.

Source (Thanks Trent!)

All the people in custody who have been abused are guilty, even though we never bother to prove it and there is ample evidence that we have both detained and abused innocent people for years at a time. Also, we don’t ship people off to be tortured by foreign entities, we merely relocate them to ‘less than friendly’ places where they’ll be ‘harshly interrogated’ for ‘long periods of time.’

Tipton Three

Maher Arar

I think I’m getting it now…euphemisms and the denying of facts change reality! Republican Party, here I come!

Posted by: Liberal Demon at October 31, 2006 7:42 AM
Comment #191756

Kirk,

The police are nearly 100% certain they have the right guy.

Like every innocent ever arrested, police is always more than 50% certain they had the right guy. Nealy 100%, huh? What that mean? 99%?
Still 1% of (bad) luck the suspect guy you’re ready to submit to strong interrogation methods called everywhere in civilized nations tortures is totally 100% innocent. You know, this extreme 1% doctrine does work there too, not only when he appeal your instinct of pre-emptive self-protection.

Better live with guilty guy free than any innocent in jail (or worse).

There is a difference between one, in a specific stressfull context, will agreed to resort on and what a nation people should agreed.

As the time ticks away and the impending demise of your beautiful daughter approaches are you telling me that you would be against the police using waterboarding to get the information they need to save her life?

Bad luck, this guy was not the right one (even 1% is still a possibility it’s true) and police wasted its time trying to first interrogate him, then torture him then checking whatever he agreed to claim under torture.

Meanwhile:
- the victim died;
- police have no idea about who the real bad guy is;
- an innocent was tortured;
- a nation moral ground dive deeper;
- your enemy low moral ground seams less low.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 31, 2006 8:52 AM
Comment #191762

One has to wonder at the mental stability and capability of the current vice president of the United States of America when he has to have his wife “clarify” what he said…

Weak, very weak.

Posted by: Lynne at October 31, 2006 9:30 AM
Comment #191764

Kirk:

Funny, I had nearly the same reaction to Sorros, Franken and their buddies at Airhead America filing for bankruptcy.

Then you most certainly had the same reaction to Bush when he declared bankruptcy 3 times and screwed the citizens out of a new ballpark!

Posted by: Lynne at October 31, 2006 9:35 AM
Comment #191767

Kirk,

If it’s an acceptable interrogation technique, why is the Bush administration trying to get out from under the interview by claiming Cheney wasn’t referring to “waterboarding?”
The point of the post is to ask that question.
Why is Tony Snow saying “dunking means dunking.” Why not say what they are doing is acceptable?
Why is G.W. repeating the mantra, “we don’t torture?”
Pretending to know what is really going on during the questioning of terrorists does not help your argument.
Using made up 24 scenarios does not help your argument.
Torture is torture. Torturing those who are innocent in order to find the guilty creates terrorists. It undermines our credibility and reputation.
Feel free to live in fear and isolation. Some of us refuse to buy into the politics of fear and deceit that has been the cornerstone of this inept and corrupt administration.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at October 31, 2006 9:53 AM
Comment #191769


Kirk, it’s a “no-brainer”! What the hell are you equivacating about?

Equivocating:
1) To use equivocal language intentionally.
2) To avoid making an explicit statement.

Equivocal:
1) Open to two or more interpretations and often intended to mislead; ambiguous.
2) Of uncertain significance.
3) Of a doubtful or uncertain nature.

Now lets look at my statement and see if I am equivocating.

No one has said waterboarding is great, only that it is not torture and is an acceptable interrogation technique.

1) No one has said waterboarding is great - Looked back and don’t see that anywhere so no equivocating there.

2) only that it is not torture - Lets see, that is not of 2 or more interpretations, not of uncertain significance or a doubtful or uncertain nature. So, no equivocating there.

3) and is an acceptable interrogation technique - Only one interpretation, is significant and not doubtful or uncertain. No equivocating here either.

Sorry, chris2x but it is very clear that there was no equivocating on my part. Maybe just trying to spin my statement on your part.

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 9:57 AM
Comment #191771

Neo-Con Pilsner-
No one’s defending torture? When Torture is defined as being the infliction of pain equal to organ failure and impairment of bodily function, and when mental torture has to last months and years to be called what it is.

You have to come close to killing somebody before you fit that definition. Nobody has to go that far to inflict torture. You can inflict torture by restraining a person’s head and monotonously dripping water on it. You can do it by putting a person into sensory deprivation, letting their own nervous system drive them crazy trying to stimulate itself. You can even do it by putting a person in solitary confinement for weeks on end. It’s not the magnitude of the pain and suffering that’s important so much as the continuation of it.

The scenario that we may end up fighting a hostile power that is not so depraved as our current enemy is ridiculous? It’s inevitable. At the very least, we’re going to get folks justifying their tactics against us on the premise that we use them. Before, we could easily decry their inhumanity. Now we have to think twice. You underestimate how much of a problem that is, especially given our mission to spread democracy.

The trouble is, you think we really have anything to gain from matching their ruthlessness. The trouble is, they can spin their ruthlessness from the necessity of David fighting Goliath, Good fighting evil. We have the problem of a reputation to maintain. We can’t compete with their anger, their hatred, their cruelty without serving their ends.

We can’t compete with them on their own ground. We have to play from our strengths.

Kirk-
1)If they withheld your coffee, you would likely have the willpower to simply tell them no.

2)Yes. If you put a claustrophobe in a very small space and left them in there, you would be trying to use their intense fear in order to break their will.

3)Not really. The key component is will. With torture, you’re abusing a person until such point that they will do anything you want to end their suffering.

You can be exposed to unpleasantness, and decide on your own to end it. But as the case of Susan McDougal and Judith Miller illustrates, people under such conditions have their choices.

You see, that’s the trouble with word games you and Neo-con Pilsner are playing: Your premise depends on the ability of the methods to break people’s will to keep silent. Supposedly the superiority of such interrogation methods is that it forces the person under the treatment to give answers. That’s torture. But Americans don’t want to be torturers. So you come up with a bunch of equivocations to justify it.

The failure is one of imagination. Al-Qaeda may have a fearsome image, and justifiably so, but its members are human, and like all humans, there are ways to get to them. Some have a weakness for pornography. Others for money. Some you can get to talk out of disillusionment. Others out of frustrated ambition. There was even one guy we got to talk by giving his mother an operation.

We’ve had major breakthroughs based on non-torture methods, not the least of which because such methods preserve the most valuable pieces of information: those we don’t know about. A torturer often ends up getting exactly the information he wants. Which is typically what they already suspect, or what they want to believe. The victim takes their cues from their torturer, and elaborates on that false story the way we elaborate on our memories. Nontorture interrogation lets people tell us what we wouldn’t think to ask them, allows the person under questioning to come out and contradict us when we’re wrong.

The guy who gave up Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, had been tortured for an extensive period of time, sending FBI agents on wild goose chases to shopping malls and other places, with nothing real coming from that. Then we sit him down with some interrogator who knows the Qu’ran, and who plays on his sense of destiny, and the guy volunteers the identity of the guy we’re after.

This was recounted in the book The One Percent Doctrine by Ron Suskind, and it basically lays out the reason why most CIA agents and analysts prefer non-torture methods.

Torture may give us the opportunity to inflict pain on a cruel enemy, but it fails to be a reliable tool for us. It’s better to ask the right questions and offer the right temptations and motivations to them. It’s better to get them to volunteer the information than to try and force it out of them, and muddy the waters.

The trouble is, you folks have something to prove: that you are tougher than everybody, enemy or friend, and that you are the only ones tough enought to win. Unfortunately, stubbornness and willfulness is only part of winning a war like this, and it can lose it if you’re so busy being tough that you forget to be smart.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 31, 2006 10:14 AM
Comment #191774

No Kirk, you conveniently avoid the issue or what was said.

As to the administration running around talking about dunking, you need to go back and look at things again. Cheney was not the one to use “dunking” during the interview. It was the reporter. Once again the leftists are grasping and twisting, twisting and grasping.

Cheney refers to a dunk in the water as a “no-brainer” if it saves lives (as if dunking in water saves lives). The reporter makes the statement using “dunk in the water” twice. The reporter clearly isn’t refering to anything else when Cheney parrots back “it’s a no-brainer to me”.

Now look at your statement again and tell me your not equivocating.

Posted by: chris2x at October 31, 2006 10:18 AM
Comment #191776
Waterboarding isn’t torture even though the United States has condemned other countries for practicing it and a Japanese soldier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for using it against an American civlian.

So, he was sentenced to 15 years for waterboarding only? Or were there possibly much more damning charges of true torture brought against him? Take a look at the review by the U.C. Berkley (about as far from conservative as you can get) War Crimes Study Center.

Defendant: Asano, Yukio

Docket Date: 53/ May 1 - 28, 1947, Yokohama, Japan

Charge: Violation of the Laws and Customs of War: 1. Did willfully and unlawfully mistreat and torture PWs. 2. Did unlawfully take and convert to his own use Red Cross packages and supplies intended for PWs.

Specifications:beating using hands, fists, club; kicking; water torture; burning using cigarettes; strapping on a stretcher head downward

Verdict: 15 years CHL

To say that Asano was sentenced to 15 years for waterboarding is completely disingenuous.

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 10:25 AM
Comment #191777

Kirk,

I’m still waiting for your response.
I’ll ask again.

If it’s an acceptable interrogation technique, why is the Bush administration trying to get out from under the interview by claiming Cheney wasn’t referring to “waterboarding?”
The point of the post is to ask that question.
Why is Tony Snow saying “dunking means dunking.” Why not say what they are doing is acceptable?
Why is G.W. repeating the mantra, “we don’t torture?”

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at October 31, 2006 10:27 AM
Comment #191781
If it’s an acceptable interrogation technique, why is the Bush administration trying to get out from under the interview by claiming Cheney wasn’t referring to “waterboarding?”

Pretending to know what is really going on in someones mind during the questioning of terrorists by a reporter does not help your argument.

Torture is torture.

I agree 100%, but waterboarding does not rise to the level of torture.


Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 10:52 AM
Comment #191784
and screwed the citizens out of a new ballpark!

The citizens voted to build the new ballpark. So, how in the world do you conclude that they were screwed?

If that is the case and the Leftists gain control of the House on Nov. 7th then we were screwed!

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 11:00 AM
Comment #191798
You can be exposed to unpleasantness, and decide on your own to end it. But as the case of Susan McDougal and Judith Miller illustrates, people under such conditions have their choices.

As does anyone being faced with the possibility of waterboarding. They can decide on their own right up to the moment that the water is poured to end it before it ever starts.

It’s better to ask the right questions and offer the right temptations and motivations to them. It’s better to get them to volunteer the information than to try and force it out of them

I agree 100%.

I never even hinted that someone should be brought in straight off the street and waterboarded and no you don’t do it to every Tom, Dick and Harry you capture.

Of course you go through with questioning, inducements and other techniques first. However, if a point is reached where he will not cooperate and you have a near certainty that he has information critical to saving innocent American, British, Iraqi, Afghan you name it lives, he is getting some water poured in his face.

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 11:22 AM
Comment #191801
If they withheld your coffee, you would likely have the willpower to simply tell them no.

You ever had a migrane? Believe me you will do just about anything to make it stop.

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 11:25 AM
Comment #191806
The citizens voted to build the new ballpark. So, how in the world do you conclude that they were screwed?

Because they had to pay for it…duh!

Posted by: Lynne at October 31, 2006 11:43 AM
Comment #191817

Chris2x,

Still no equivocating.

1) It was not the administration “running around talking about dunking” it was the media and left wing bloggers.

2) No where does the VP or reporter use the term waterboarding.

3) No where does the VP use the term dunking.

No equivocating, just facts.

Below is from Carter Wood of the National Association of Manufacturers, a friend of Hennen who was present for the interview with VP Cheney. Mr. Wood’s comments are in italics.

Q [I’ve] had people call and say, please, let the Vice President know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we’re all for it, if it saves American lives. Again, this debate seems a little silly given the threat we face, would you agree?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I do agree. And I think the terrorist threat, for example, with respect to our ability to interrogate high value detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, that’s been a very important tool that we’ve had to be able to secure the nation. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed provided us with enormously valuable information about how many there are, about how they plan, what their training processes are and so forth, we’ve learned a lot. We need to be able to continue that….

Q Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: It’s a no-brainer for me, but for a while there, I was criticized as being the Vice President “for torture.” We don’t torture. That’s not what we’re involved in. We live up to our obligations in international treaties that we’re party to and so forth. But the fact is, you can have a fairly robust interrogation program without torture, and we need to be able to do that.

Two points:
1) Hennen was relaying the vox populi from North Dakota and Minnesota, the commonsensical notion that if terrorists have valuable information about a pending attack or mass murder, physical coercion is a reasonable course of action. A “no brainer,” if you will.
2) Seemed clear from the context the question about “dunking” was a reference to waterboarding (which actually doesn’t involve “dunking” so much as “pouring.”) But, to be sure, the question did not refer specifically to the practice.

But one reporter from the Washington Bureau of McClatchy News Service picked up on the transcript. Jonathan S. Landay wrote a story Wednesday featuring this introduction:

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney has confirmed that U.S. interrogators subjected captured senior al-Qaida suspects to a controversial interrogation technique called “water-boarding,” which creates a sensation of drowning.

Cheney indicated that the Bush administration doesn’t regard water-boarding as torture and allows the CIA to use it. “It’s a no-brainer for me,” Cheney said at one point in an interview.

Nowhere in the interview did the Vice President confirm the use of waterboarding. It’s a reasonable assumption, but an assumption it is — a reporter’s assumption that somehow became news.

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #191819

Kirk,

“Specifications:beating using hands, fists, club; kicking; water torture; burning using cigarettes; strapping on a stretcher head downward …To say that Asano was sentenced to 15 years for waterboarding is completely disingenuous.”

Do you mean like these photos?

Posted by: jrb at October 31, 2006 12:10 PM
Comment #191822

Andre,

I’m still waiting for your response. I’ll ask again.

I think Tony Snow sums it up nicely.

Let me give you the no-brainers here. No-brainer number one is, we don’t torture. No-brainer number two: We don’t break the law, our own or international law. No-brainer number three: The Vice President doesn’t give away questioning techniques. And number four, the administration does believe in legal questioning techniques of known killers whose questioning can, in fact, be used to save American lives. The Vice President says he was talking in general terms about a questioning program that is legal to save American lives, and he was not referring to water boarding.

You see, the VP does not talk about specific interogation techniques because to do so would give the enemy the ability to train to resist those techniques. It would be akin to discussing troop movements of operational strategy.

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #191824
The citizens voted to build the new ballpark. So, how in the world do you conclude that they were screwed?

Because they had to pay for it…duh!

They willingly agreed to pay for it with their vote DUH!

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #191831

jrb,

So now the left goes to the Revolutionary Communist Party as their trusted supplier of information?

Much of what went on at Abu Graib was above and beyond waterboarding and did indeed rise to the level of torture. I did not/do not condone such acts. Those responsible for those acts have faced the legal consequences of their actions as they should.

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #191837

Some interesting things here:

My opinion on that doesn’t matter, though, because the way authorities conduct themselves during war is completely different from domestic law enforcement. Did you really not know that?

So it’s not torture in war but it is in peace? What?

I agree 100%, but waterboarding does not rise to the level of torture.

If it is not torture, why can’t the police in the US use the same technique for interrogation? Or can they?

Posted by: womanmarine at October 31, 2006 12:57 PM
Comment #191842

I await the day a Truth Commission is formed and we learn more of what this administration has been up to. Any chance of that under Republican rule?

Undoubtedly, in the years to come, many of you proponents of torture will silently forget the things they have said.

Time for another topic? How about a post that will inspire more comments excusing/denying this administration’s violation of the Constitution.

Posted by: Trent at October 31, 2006 1:08 PM
Comment #191847

Kirk,

It is a very reasonable assumption and the equivocating continues. Are you going to tell me next that it depends on the definition of what “is” is?

Our leaders need to be called on their rhetoric, vox populi or not. If Cheney is going to go along with “dunk in the water” “in order to save lives” he is clearly refering to waterboarding.

As you and Neo-con Pilsner have made some well-thought if not completely cogent arguments regarding waterboarding I would suggest that is the dialogue with the American people this administration should have, that waterboarding is not torture. However, this administration continues to talk tough while equivocating on the subject just to score some political points. This time, it backfired big time.

Posted by: Chris2x at October 31, 2006 1:13 PM
Comment #191851

Kirk,

If you read the watermark on the photos, you will see they are Rueters’ photos. Nice try at discrediting the source though.

“Those responsible for those acts have faced the legal consequences of their actions as they should.”

—This was a policy decision! Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld all approved of these tactics. They are not in jail. Yet, I am glad to hear you agree they should be.

Now, I know you will argue the whole few bad apples B.S. However, the administration feeling the need to pass the MCA, including their requirement of full amnesty for any past wrongdoing, proves this was illegal policy that needed to be made legal inorder for them to avoid future prosecution.

Posted by: jrb at October 31, 2006 1:23 PM
Comment #191882
This was a policy decision! Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld all approved of these tactics. They are not in jail. Yet, I am glad to hear you agree they should be.

Please post any independent back-up for your assertions.

As for discrediting the source, I was just asking if the Revolutionary Communist Party is now a trusted source of information for the Left.

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 2:36 PM
Comment #191890

chris2x

No, I would not stoop to the level of the meaning of “is”.

I pointed out the facts that neither used “waterboarding” and the VP did not say “dunking”.

So the only way we get to that point is to make an assumption. That assumption is very likely correct but an assumption none the less.

American Heritage Dictionary
Assumption: Something taken for granted or accepted as true without proof; a supposition

How many times have you made an assumption based on what someone says to you only to find out later you were incorrect?

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #191893

I for one would love to be proven wrong in my belief that this president condones/approves/authorizes torture. It would make me feel better about my country.

Posted by: Trent at October 31, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #191895

Kirk,

“As for discrediting the source, I was just asking if the Revolutionary Communist Party is now a trusted source of information for the Left.”

Rueters is a trusted source of information for the majority of the World. Your comment would be analagous to me saying I could reasonably question if Clinton is white because National Review had posted a picture of him on their website. Where the photo is posted doesn’t change the legitimacy of the photo itself.

“Please post any independent back-up for your assertions.”

Sh!t, are you telling me they have been arested and no one told me? ;)

Be honest with yourself and me. If no one did anything wrong, why make the law retroactive? Why is this needed? Why in a speech did Bush say that we needed to pass this law or a future Democratic congress might try to come after him? If the adminisrtation didn’t approve this, if there is no existing proof, why do they think they must protect themselves and what need they protect themselves from? In the absence of proof no court would hold them liable even if Democrats tried. So what are they affraid of? Their actions provide the requiste proof—acting guilty. Why is it O.K. for any President to be above the law?

Posted by: jrb at October 31, 2006 3:05 PM
Comment #191898

Kirk,

Definitions of assume? Now you are just being condescending and disingenious.

Just answer this PLEASE. Why doesn’t Cheney just come out and clarify what he means?

Posted by: Chris2x at October 31, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #191924

Kirk:

Willingly voted and paid for it? Yeah, Milwaukee did that too…nice little 0.1% added indefinitely to the sales tax…it was supposed to have a limited life…now it’s unknown as to how long it will last. And in Texas, the people were fed a line of BS so they’d vote for the stadium…absolutely NO reason for tax money to pay for baseball stadiums…not with the money paid to players and managers and the profits therefrom…

Posted by: Lynne at October 31, 2006 4:22 PM
Comment #191960

jrb,

You are playing 6 Degrees of Separation with this.

Just because some low ranking MP’s half a world away torture some prisoners in no way proves or suggests that Bush, Cheney or Rumsfeld approved of the tactics.

If you want to make that leap then I guess we can say that Tip O’Neill approved of pedophilia since was the House Majority leader while Democratic Congressman Gerry Studds was having an afair with a 17 year old male page.

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 5:41 PM
Comment #191962
Just answer this PLEASE. Why doesn’t Cheney just come out and clarify what he means?

I already have. Just in case you missed it here it is again.

The administration does not discuss interogation techniques. For the very simple reason that to do so would give captured terrorists an advantage when it comes to interogations.

Discussing interogation techniques would be akin to publishing troop movements or operational strategy.

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 5:45 PM
Comment #191964
absolutely NO reason for tax money to pay for baseball stadiums…not with the money paid to players and managers and the profits therefrom…

Lynne I agree with this part of your statement. However, to say the citizens who freely voted in favor of building a stadium thereby agreeing to pay for the construction were screwed is totally false. Those same citizens could just have easily voted NO but choose to vote for the stadium instead.

So, if they somehow did get screwed they screwed themselves.

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 5:49 PM
Comment #191998

kirk,

“Just because some low ranking MP’s half a world away torture some prisoners in no way proves or suggests that Bush, Cheney or Rumsfeld approved of the tactics.”

—I never said it did. I said if all the guilty parties were already convicted as you suggest here

Much of what went on at Abu Graib was above and beyond waterboarding and did indeed rise to the level of torture. I did not/do not condone such acts. Those responsible for those acts have faced the legal consequences of their actions as they should.

then what does the administration fear?

Again, if no one did anything wrong, why make the law retroactive? Why is this needed? Why in a speech did Bush say that we needed to pass this law or a future Democratic congress might try to come after him? If the adminisrtation didn’t approve this, if there is no existing proof, why do they think they must protect themselves and what need they protect themselves from? In the absence of proof no court would hold them liable even if Democrats tried. So what are they affraid of?

Posted by: jrb at October 31, 2006 7:46 PM
Comment #192012

Kirk-
Torture breaks the will and makes people susceptible to suggestion. The fouling up of memory of people in suggestible states is quite well documented, especially in torture cases.

The whole point is to get good information. Traditional interrogation methods do that better. Good information saves lives, Bad information gets people killed. You might need a longer time to crack people, but how much time do you want to waste on false leads?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 31, 2006 8:44 PM
Comment #192035

Kirk,

That is a disingenuous argument. Anyone who cares to know already knows the standard torture methods. Perhaps the administration has developed some new ones, but I doubt it — most likely it’s all variation of standard methods. At any rate, do you think our enemies don’t already know about waterboarding?

This stuff is classified because the administration knows that many, but not all as some of you have proved, would find these methods of torture to be despicable and un-American.

Posted by: Trent at October 31, 2006 10:03 PM
Comment #192070
I never said it did.

Oh yes you did.

This was a policy decision! Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld all approved of these tactics.
Why in a speech did Bush say that we needed to pass this law or a future Democratic congress might try to come after him?

I can’t answer that because I don’t know which speech you are talking about. Post a link and I will be happy to respond.

Posted by: Kirk at October 31, 2006 11:10 PM
Comment #192090
Again, if no one did anything wrong, why make the law retroactive?

The paragraph below from the Detainee Treatment Act explains it very clearly. Since within the Act acceptable “specific operational practices” were defined, the “retroactive” provision protects individuals from prosecution for using the practices that fall outside the acceptable definition. When the use or these practices occurred before the definitions were in place.

Protection of United States Government Personnel- In any civil action or criminal prosecution against an officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent of the United States Government who is a United States person, arising out of the officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent’s engaging in specific operational practices, that involve detention and interrogation of aliens who the President or his designees have determined are believed to be engaged in or associated with international terrorist activity that poses a serious, continuing threat to the United States, its interests, or its allies, and that were officially authorized and determined to be lawful at the time that they were conducted, it shall be a defense that such officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent did not know that the practices were unlawful and a person of ordinary sense and understanding would not know the practices were unlawful. Good faith reliance on advice of counsel should be an important factor, among others, to consider in assessing whether a person of ordinary sense and understanding would have known the practices to be unlawful. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or extinguish any defense or protection otherwise available to any person or entity from suit, civil or criminal liability, or damages, or to provide immunity from prosecution for any criminal offense by the proper authorities.

Now you can argue all you want that this is the administrations way of protecting themselves when what it actually is, is Congress’ recognition that individuals should not be punished for doing something that was not clearly defined as unacceptable or against the law before the documents defining them as such were in place.

Posted by: Kirk at November 1, 2006 12:31 AM
Comment #192134
is Congress’ recognition that individuals should not be punished for doing something that was not clearly defined as unacceptable or against the law before the documents defining them as such were in place.

Gosh, does this apply to the soldiers that are currently and have been/will be on trial for the abuses? Probably not.

Funny, that it’s only now, after how many years that these things need to be defined. How stupid we have been for so long.

I don’t buy it for a minute.

Posted by: womanmarine at November 1, 2006 8:38 AM
Comment #192168

Kirk,

“American Heritage Dictionary
Assumption: Something taken for granted or accepted as true without proof; a supposition

How many times have you made an assumption based on what someone says to you only to find out later you were incorrect?”

If someone(An armed robber) says that they “pulled a hold-up” would you think lifting things or armed robbery?
If someone(Who has advocated for torture) says dunking some one to save lives, any reasonable person has to use common sense and therefore the assumption made is not the ass out of you and me type but reasonable deduction based on the charactor of the person making the statement and the statement made.
Nice try though.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 1, 2006 10:03 AM
Comment #192188
If someone(Who has advocated for torture)

Andre,

I await the posting of the link to the independent back-up for your accusations.

Posted by: Kirk at November 1, 2006 10:38 AM
Comment #192191
Funny, that it’s only now, after how many years that these things need to be defined. How stupid we have been for so long.

Boundaries of the law are defined and redefined on a daily basis. That is the job of the Congress.

Posted by: Kirk at November 1, 2006 10:43 AM
Comment #192196

Kirk,

You said,

Just because some low ranking MP’s half a world away torture some prisoners in no way proves or suggests that Bush, Cheney or Rumsfeld approved of the tactics.

Then you tried to imply that is what I said. In fact, this is not what I said. I never said that simply because it was done proves it was a policy decision. In fact sir, what I said from the beginning was

—This was a policy decision! Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld all approved of these tactics. They are not in jail. Yet, I am glad to hear you agree they should be.

Now, I know you will argue the whole few bad apples B.S. However, the administration feeling the need to pass the MCA, including their requirement of full amnesty for any past wrongdoing, proves this was illegal policy that needed to be made legal inorder for them to avoid future prosecution.

You, sir, have been disingenuous throughout our discussuion, first misattributing a source then purposefully mischaracterizing my comments all to “win” the debate. Sir, if you cannot debate honestly, then stop trying. Your methods only serve to make you look bad.

Finally, you said,

Now you can argue all you want that this is the administrations way of protecting themselves when what it actually is, is Congress’ recognition that individuals should not be punished for doing something that was not clearly defined as unacceptable or against the law before the documents defining them as such were in place.

To that I say, NO Sir, you are wrong. This was a CYA move. If this was not policy—tell me, how were the same acts being commited at Abu Graib and Guantanamo, simultaneously, often by reservists with no interrogation training prior to placement at those facilities, under the supervision of the CIA and civillian contractors? This was policy! And, your assertion that it was not is pure ballyhoo!

P.S. My wife wants to know how tall you are. From the way you argue she thinks you are short. [she’s a clinical psychologist]—just wondering.

Posted by: jrb at November 1, 2006 11:00 AM
Comment #192197

Kirk said “That is the job of the Congress.”

No, that is the role of the courts. Congress writes the laws, the courts interpret the law.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at November 1, 2006 11:00 AM
Comment #192200

Kirk,

Additionally, your arguement regarding the need to define terms blah blah blah. B@LL S#!T!!!

The administration didn’t NEED to redefine anything if they abided by the law! However, they realized that under long agreed to international law they could be held accountable. That, sir, is why they CHOSE to REdefine terms—to avoid prosecution.

Posted by: jrb at November 1, 2006 11:07 AM
Comment #192203

oops,

sorry- “arguement” should read: argument

Posted by: jrb at November 1, 2006 11:11 AM
Comment #192254

Kirk,

link text

link text

link text

link text

link text

There are hundreds more. Just GOOGLE cheney and torture or Gonzales and torture.


Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 1, 2006 12:42 PM
Comment #192309

jrb,

To make this easier to follow for you I have laid out our discussion for you in a single post. Emphasis was added to your quotes so you can clearly see that you did indeed say what you now claim not to have said.

Kirk

Much of what went on at Abu Graib was above and beyond waterboarding and did indeed rise to the level of torture. I did not/do not condone such acts. Those responsible for those acts have faced the legal consequences of their actions as they should.

JRB

- This was a policy decision! Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld all approved of these tactics. They are not in jail. Yet, I am glad to hear you agree they should be.

Now, I know you will argue the whole few bad apples B.S. However, the administration feeling the need to pass the MCA, including their requirement of full amnesty for any past wrongdoing, proves this was illegal policy that needed to be made legal inorder for them to avoid future prosecution.

Kirk

This was a policy decision! Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld all approved of these tactics. They are not in jail. Yet, I am glad to hear you agree they should be.

Please post any independent back-up for your assertions.

Your response was a flippant “Sh!t, are you telling me they have been arested and no one told me? ;)”. No mention of a possibility that what you said was misenterpreted.

Now you once again assert that the crimes at Abu Graib were in fact administration policy.

This was policy! And, your assertion that it was not is pure ballyhoo!

You can Puff, Bluster and throw up a Smoke-Screen with your little lecture while you try to crawdad away from your remarks if you want. Unfortunately for you, your assertions are right here in black and white.

Posted by: Kirk at November 1, 2006 2:33 PM
Comment #192323

Kirk,

You are either a complete imbecile who cannot comprehend a single full sentence from beginning to end. OR, you are again being disingenuous.

Personally, I believe the latter.

From your previous post:

However, the administration feeling the need to pass the MCA, including their requirement of full amnesty for any past wrongdoing, proves this was illegal policy that needed to be made legal inorder for them to avoid future prosecution.

So, what is the proof I offered? That, as you wrote, “… some low ranking MP’s half a world away torture some prisoners … suggests that Bush, Cheney or Rumsfeld approved of the tactics.” NO. Not what I said.

The proof I offered again is: ” … the administration feeling the need to pass the MCA, including their requirement of full amnesty for any past wrongdoing, … ” does what? what did I say? Oh, Yes, ” …proves this was illegal policy …” In case you missed that again, I said it is their own actions that damn them, NOT the actions of some “low ranking MP’s”

Additionally, I asked:”If this was not policy—tell me, how were the same acts being commited at Abu Graib and Guantanamo, simultaneously, often by reservists with no interrogation training prior to placement at those facilities, under the supervision of the CIA and civillian contractors?”

Finally, I apologise if you felt my “sh!t, are you telling me they have been arested and no one told me? ;)” comment was flippant. However, it was meant as a joke. Hence the “;)” symbol winking at you at the end. It was supposed to bring lightheartedness to the discussion.

So, “You can Puff, Bluster and throw up a Smoke-Screen with your little lecture while you try to crawdad away from your remarks if you want. Unfortunately for you, your assertions are right here in black and white.”

Posted by: jrb at November 1, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #192335

Andre,

I asked for independant sources and I get

1) A Washington Post editorial

2) A Washington Post news story that does not say the VP advoacted for torture. It does however, explain why the VP fought passage of the McCain amendment. The amendment originally used “vague and open ended” language from Art. 3 of the Geneva Convention. It also included a prohibition on “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” Please define that for me.

3) Clinton News Network

4) Clinton News Network

5) Michael “Quran Flush” Isikoff of Newsweek and The Huffington Post fame.

Posted by: Kirk at November 1, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #192345

Andre,

Give him a FOX source, or a National Review source—We all know they’re independent.

Posted by: jrb at November 1, 2006 3:23 PM
Comment #192358

Silly me. I get it now.

Why didn’t you just tell me that I was supposed to read your second paragraph and then your first paragraph?

You see I was reading it in the order it was written on the page. So, naturally I just assumed that when you said in your first paragraph “This was a policy decision! Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld all approved of these tactics. They are not in jail.” That it was in direct response to me stating that “those responsible for those acts have faced the legal consequences of their actions as they should.”.

That is the way things typically work in the English language Top to Bottom and Left to Right. Congratulation though, the smoke is getting thicker and you are picking up speed. Just be sure to look behind so you don’t run over anything.

Additionally, I asked:”If this was not policy—tell me, how were the same acts being commited at Abu Graib and Guantanamo, simultaneously

You mean like these heinous acts? Wow, thanks for opening my eyes. Now I see your point.

The Department of Defense, responding to an AP query made nearly two months ago, this week provided details of the eight Guantanamo abuses cases Schlesinger cited. No names were given.

In one case, a female interrogator took off her uniform top to expose her T-shirt to a detainee, ran her fingers through his hair and climbed on his lap in April 2003. A supervisor monitoring the session terminated it, and the woman was reprimanded and sent for more training, the military said.

The same month, an interrogator told military police to repeatedly bring a detainee from a standing to kneeling position, so much that his knees were bruised, the government said. The interrogator got a written reprimand and Miller reportedly stopped use of that technique.

Also that month, a guard was charged with dereliction of duty and assault after a detainee assaulted another guard. After the detainee was subdued, the guard punched the prisoner with his fist. He was demoted.

In a separate case, a guard was charged with assault after he sprayed a detainee with a hose when the prisoner allegedly tried to throw water from his toilet at him in September 2002. The guard was reduced in rank and reassigned.

Another female interrogator wiped dye from a red magic marker on a detainee’s shirt, telling him it was blood, after he allegedly spat on her. She received a verbal reprimand in early 2003.

In March 2003, a military policeman used pepper spray on a detainee allegedly preparing to throw unidentified liquid on an officer. The policeman was acquitted by a court martial.

Incidents this year include a military policeman who squirted a detainee with water in February, and a camp barber who gave two “unusual haircuts.” The haircuts were reverse Mohawks, according to a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity.


The barber gave the cuts to frustrate detainee efforts to wear their hair the same way to demonstrate unity, the government said. The barber and his company were reprimanded.


Posted by: Kirk at November 1, 2006 4:03 PM
Comment #192384

Kirk,

Why didn’t you just tell me that I was supposed to read your second paragraph and then your first paragraph?

You see I was reading it in the order it was written on the page. So, naturally I just assumed that when you said in your first paragraph “This was a policy decision! Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld all approved of these tactics. They are not in jail.” That it was in direct response to me stating that “those responsible for those acts have faced the legal consequences of their actions as they should.”

WOW. Where to begin? First, from all the “⦣x20AC;™” action going on in your post, I can tell that you cut and pasted your response from a previous use. Did it, at least, work the last time you tried this BS?

Really, I had only written 6 sentences in a row. If you read them in order, they make sense. [anyone else think they didn’t?]

Is it really that difficult for you to read and comprehend 6 sentences in a row? I can’t believe it is. Is this whole disingenuousness kind of a “thing” with you?

Additionally,

That is the way things typically work in the English language Top to Bottom and Left to Right.

Being patronizing doesn’t make you seem any smarter.

You mean like these heinous acts? Wow, thanks for opening my eyes. Now I see your point.

No, I meant like this stuff:

The report’s findings are the strongest indication yet that the abusive practices seen in photographs at Abu Ghraib were not the invention of a small group of thrill-seeking military police officers. The report shows that they were used on Qahtani several months before the United States invaded Iraq.
From the Washington Post
Recently, former Abu Ghraib General Janis Karpinsky went public to directly finger Donald Rumsfeld as the architect of a worldwide torture program.

“The orders came right from the top, filtered down from the secretary of defense, with the endorsement of the President, the Vice President, whatever advisors are surrounding them, filtered down through the Commanders in the field, these practices were not only endorsed, but were in use at Guantanamo bay and in locations in Afghanistan. And when General Miller visited Iraq he brought those techniques with him. And then he sent contract interrogators who had ‘performed well’ at Guantanamo Bay to Iraq as well.”

A recent PBS documentary highlighted the case of Brig. Gen. Rick Baccus, a former Commander at Guantanamo Bay, who was fired for refusing to torture detainees.

From ITN News via Prison Planet
At the request of military intelligence officials who complained of tenacious resistance by some subjects, Mr. Rumsfeld approved a list of 16 techniques for use at Guantanamo in addition to the 17 methods in the Army Field Manual in December 2002. But he suspended those approvals in January 2003 after some military lawyers complained they were excessive and possibly unlawful.

In April 2003, after a review, Mr. Rumsfeld issued a final policy approving of 24 techniques, some of which needed his permission to be used.

But the approved techniques did not explicitly cover some that were used, according to the new accounts.

From the New York Times via truthout

Is it clear now?

Posted by: jrb at November 1, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #192407
WOW. Where to begin? First, from all the “⦣x20AC;⦣x201E;?” action going on in your post, I can tell that you cut and pasted your response from a previous use. Did it, at least, work the last time you tried this BS?

No kidding.

Yea, I cut and paste in the exact order the statements were made in the previous posts. Now I shouldn’t need to spoon feed you by giving you the exact number of posts from the top or the exact time of day so that you can go back and get it straight, but I can if that is what you need. You just let me know.

As for the articles you post, I can cherry pick as well. From the Washington Post article.

The techniques, approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld for use in interrogating Mohamed Qahtani — the alleged “20th hijacker” in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — were used at Guantanamo Bay in late 2002 as part of a special interrogation plan aimed at breaking down the silent detainee.

Military investigators who briefed the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday on the three-month probe, called the tactics “creative” and “aggressive” but said they did not cross the line into torture

While Rumsfeld approved a list of 16 harsh techniques for use at Guantanamo on Dec. 2, 2002, most of the techniques were general and allowed for interpretation by interrogators. Many of the techniques involving humiliation were part of a standard “futility” or “ego down” approach.
The investigation at Guantanamo Bay looked into 26 allegations by FBI personnel that military interrogators had mistreated detainees. It found that almost all the tactics were “authorized” interrogation methods and by definition were not abusive.

Investigators found only three instances of substantiated abuse, including short-shackling detainees to the floor in awkward positions, the use of duct tape to keep a detainee quiet, and a threat by military interrogators to kill a detainee and his family.

In the case of Qahtani, who endured weeks of sleep deprivation and many of the harshest techniques, Lt. Gen. Mark Schmidt and Brig. Gen. John Furlow found that the cumulative effect of those tactics “resulted in degrading and abusive treatment” but stopped short of torture. Military commanders have said the techniques prompted Qahtani to talk.
Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, said it is not appropriate to link the interrogation of Qahtani — an important al Qaeda operative captured shortly after the terrorist attacks — and events at Abu Ghraib. Whitman said interrogation tactics in the Army’s field manual are the same worldwide but MPs at Abu Ghraib were not authorized to apply them regardless of how they learned about them.

With the NYT there are no named sources in order to verify any of the claims. I don’t think I need to remind you that there has been more than one instance of the NYT inventing “news”.

Posted by: Kirk at November 1, 2006 5:58 PM
Comment #192409

Hi Kirk,
This is your mother speaking. Quit foolin around on that computer and do your schoolwork! Everyone can tell your just a naive kid without a clue!

Posted by: Mum at November 1, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #192414

Kirk,

So, which one of your cherry picked quotes is supposed to refute that authority came from the top?

This one?
“The techniques, approved by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld”

or, this one?
“While Rumsfeld approved a list of 16 harsh techniques for use”

or, this one?
“Whitman said interrogation tactics in the Army’s field manual are the same worldwide but MPs at Abu Ghraib were not authorized to apply them regardless of how they learned about them.”

Actually, this last one implies that the tactics used at Abu Graib were in the Army field manual. Can you get any closer to policy than that?

See, I can do it too.

Seriously though, I really don’t have anymore patience for you. This experience with you has shown that you either possess an infantile education or you are utterly disingenuous. Either way, this exchange ceased to be productive long ago. Good day, sir.

Posted by: jrb at November 1, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #192428

I did not say that any of them refuted that authority came from the top. What they refute is that authority to torture prisoners came from the top.

Seriously though, I really don’t have anymore patience for you. This experience with you has shown that you either possess an infantile education or you are utterly disingenuous. Either way, this exchange ceased to be productive long ago. Good day, sir.

And there you have it. You have managed to crawdad all the way out.

Posted by: Kirk at November 1, 2006 6:48 PM
Comment #192429

jrb,
Kirk has been tucked in for the night. Kindergarten starts early!

Posted by: Mum at November 1, 2006 6:48 PM
Comment #192607

Kirk,

Charge: Violation of the Laws and Customs of War: 1. Did willfully and unlawfully mistreat and torture PWs. 2. Did unlawfully take and convert to his own use Red Cross packages and supplies intended for PWs. Specifications:beating using hands, fists, club; kicking; water torture; burning using cigarettes; strapping on a stretcher head downward

To say that Asano was sentenced to 15 years for waterboarding is completely disingenuous.

You do realize that under the list of charges you posted, that waterboarding was referred to as “water torture” don’t you?

Also: In its 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the U.S. Department of State formally recognizes “submersion of the head in water,” as torture in its examination of Tunisia’s poor human rights record.

I would still like your opinion on the rest of my comments in that post you responded to; i.e. the fact that we have both abused innocents and sent innocents off to be tortured by countries with deplorable human rights records. This is especially prudent considering that these situations are an inevitability now that Habeas Corpus has been suspended.


All,

Here’s a sickening exchange, from a debate between Notre Dame professor and international human rights scholar Doug Cassel and John Yoo, co-author of the PATRIOT Act, author of the “torture memos” and White House advisor:

Cassel: If the president deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him?

Yoo: No treaty.

Cassel: Also no law by Congress — that is what you wrote in the August 2002 memo…

Yoo: I think it depends on why the President thinks he needs to do that.

Audio here

I’m going to go throw up now…

Posted by: Liberal Demon at November 2, 2006 5:58 AM
Comment #192616

Kirk,

I commend you for your effort.
It’s hard to make shit look like pancakes.
You gave it the “college try.”

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 2, 2006 7:26 AM
Comment #192638
You do realize that under the list of charges you posted, that waterboarding was referred to as “water torture” don’t you?

Also: In its 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the U.S. Department of State formally recognizes “submersion of the head in water,” as torture in its examination of Tunisia’s poor human rights record.

Demon,

Does is say that the “water torture” referenced was waterboarding? NO. There are indeed forms of water torture. For you to extrapolate waterboarding from water torture with no specifics or background presented is presumptious.

The State Department recognizes submersion of the head in water as torture. Waterboarding does not involve submersion of the head.


Posted by: Kirk at November 2, 2006 9:42 AM
Comment #192641
I would still like your opinion on the rest of my comments in that post you responded to; i.e. the fact that we have both abused innocents and sent innocents off to be tortured by countries with deplorable human rights records. This is especially prudent considering that these situations are an inevitability now that Habeas Corpus has been suspended.

Demon,

Sorry, missed responding to this one before hitting the post button.

Just this week a man here in the Dallas area was released from jail after 25 years for a brutal sexual assault that he did not comit. An innocent man spent 25 years in jail.

So, does that mean we should stop prosecuting sexual assault suspects?

Posted by: Kirk at November 2, 2006 9:57 AM
Comment #192642
I commend you for your effort. It’s hard to make shit look like pancakes.

Well Andre, if it took me eating a shit pancake to save an American life (and that includes even you folks here on the left) I would do it regardless of how inhumane or degrading some may find it.

Posted by: Kirk at November 2, 2006 10:06 AM
Comment #192858

Kirk,

Does is say that the “water torture” referenced was waterboarding? NO. There are indeed forms of water torture. For you to extrapolate waterboarding from water torture with no specifics or background presented is presumptious.

The Wikipedia article that all of this information came from has an account of the American civilian being subjected to waterboarding. In the list of charges, this term is absent even though we know that one of the offenses was this particular brand of interrogation. Therefore, the closest reference we have to it in the listed charges is “water torture.”

I will have to look into this case further before saying any more.

But also, why then have we condemned other nations for engaging in waterboarding?

So, does that mean we should stop prosecuting sexual assault suspects?

Actually, that (just and legitimate prosecution) is what most of us want in this situation. At least give suspects the rights to contest their detention, rather than just ship them off to camps or even hostile nations to be tortured.

Mistakes do happen, a condition of reality which happens to be a large portion of the basis of the creation of our legal system. The goal is to minimize and prevent these mistakes as much as is humanly possible. All of this is why we used to offer the benefit of the doubt, why civilized nations offer the benefit of the doubt; innocent until proven guilty, rather than innocent until assumed guilty.

In the case you mentioned, when a gross mishandling of justice occurs, I would hope that we do everything in our power to make amends (as much as is possible anyway). Thus far, this administration refuses to even apologize to Maher Arar for knowingly sending him off to Syria to be tortured.

Arguing for the indefinite detention of suspects is arguing for the indefinite detention of innocent people, simply because, without the rights granted by the Writ of Habeas Corpus, there is no way to positively discern guilt.

It’s a sad day when our government claims both omniscience and omnipotence, that it can label people guilty, and in so doing, make them guilty.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at November 2, 2006 5:35 PM
Comment #192880

Demon,

Concerning Habeas Corpus, I will agree that there is a fine line we are trying to straddle here. On one hand we do need to be as sure as possible that we are not detaining innocents while at the same time protecting classified information. That is the reason the Administration instituted the policy of trials in the Military Courts.

Most everyone on the left and some on the right objected to the Military Tribunals the way the Administration originally had them established. Therefore cases could not go forward while the issues were being resolved.

I believe that you can see the very reasons that these cases cannot be tried within the civilian justice system. Classified information would be made opened to the masses. We have seen how well judge’s gag orders work so that is not an option. We have also seen how organizations like the NYT is more than willing to print stories of classified information to the detriment of the war on terror.

The problems we face with releasing the detainees is shown below.

WASHINGTON (AFP) Oct 22, 2004 About 10 former detainees have rejoined the fight against US forces after being released from a US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in the belief they no longer posed a threat, Pentagon officials said Friday. Some have been recaptured, others reportedly killed and an unknown number remain at large, the officials said.

“From the beginning, we have recognized that there are inherent risks in determining when an individual detainee no longer had to be held at GTMO and that the assessment process is not risk free,” said Lieutenant Commander Alvin Plexico, using the military acronym for Guantanamo.

Military reports indicate that “about 10 of the 202 detainees that were transferred from GTMO have taken part in anti-coalition activities,” he said.

They include an Afghan teenager who was a minor at the time of his first capture in the wake of US-led offensive that toppled the Taliban regime, a Pentagon official said, asking not to be identified.

He and two other minors captured in Afghanistan were separated from other inmates at Guantanamo and schooled in English and other subjects until their release in January.

But rather than reintegrate to Afghan society as US officials had hoped, he rejoined the Taliban.

“He was recaptured participating in an attack” near Kandahar, the official said. “At the time of his recapture he was carrying a letter confirming his status as a Taliban in good standing.”

Another former detainee made headlines in Pakistan earlier this month with the kidnapping of two Chinese engineers working on a dam in Waziristan.

One hostage was freed and the other killed in a Pakistani rescue attempt. However, the alleged mastermind, Abdullah Masud, a 29-year-old militant tribal leader who was released from Guantanamo in March, remains at large.

Plexico said other released detainees include one who reportedly killed a judge as he left a mosque in Afghanistan, another who was recaptured in a raid on a suspected training camp in Afghanistan after firing on US forces, and yet another who was killed by Afghan security forces in a raid.

The US military weighs whether a detainees have intelligence value or continue to pose a threat before releasing them.

Detainees have often concealed their roles in the Taliban or Al-Qaeda by trying to pass themselves off as farmers, or cooks or low level combatants.

“We’ve said from the beginning, it’s not a risk-free process,” said the Pentagon official.

“The reports of detainees returning to the fight, unfortunately, have proved what we knew all along to be true: There are risks,” he said.


Posted by: Kirk at November 2, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #192927

Kirk,

Concerning Habeas Corpus, I will agree that there is a fine line we are trying to straddle here.

Exactly, there is a very fine line between security and tyranny; many of us wish to always err on the side of caution, especially when the threat posed has killed far fewer people than even over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen.

As to security, rushing headlong into the realm of Habeas Corpus and Geneva Convention disputes before simple common-sense measures-such as those which the 9/11 Commission recommended-are enacted, shows that those in power are more interested in the consolidation of that power than they are in real safety and concern for the American people.

I believe that you can see the very reasons that these cases cannot be tried within the civilian justice system.

In some instances, yes. However, our justice system is fully capable of handling cases involving even the most egregious of our homegrown mass-murderers and serial killers; I think it would take much to convince me that it is now not capable of handling most of these cases in a fair and expedient manner. If one were to argue for increased security and confidentiality, that would make sense in a pragmatic fashion; however, to argue an overall failure of our system to the point where it is outdated or nonfunctional is to disregard a millennia of mankind’s eternal quest for justice and civility.

As you posted, we have released hundreds of detainees and while some have gone on to commit crimes, the vast majority have not.

Everyone has heard the phrase “It is better to let 10 guilty men go free than to imprison even one innocent.” I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment. As it stands now, we are (eventually) releasing less than one guilty for every ten innocent.

The fact that we are both detaining innocents and releasing the guilty speaks volumes about the failure of leadership that this country now faces.

We have seen how well judge’s gag orders work so that is not an option.

To me, this seems to be an argument that, because the law is not being properly enforced, the law is inherently invalid and insufficient. Again, I would rather that we work within the confines of what already existed, fixing it where it falters, rather than scrap the entire system and try to start anew.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at November 2, 2006 7:57 PM
Comment #192992
As to security, rushing headlong into the realm of Habeas Corpus and Geneva Convention disputes before simple common-sense measures-such as those which the 9/11 Commission recommended-are enacted, shows that those in power are more interested in the consolidation of that power than they are in real safety and concern for the American people.

So, are we to move forward with clearing the cases of detainees or wait until we have implemented all the commission recommendations? I think we are capable of doing both.

However, our justice system is fully capable of handling cases involving even the most egregious of our homegrown mass-murderers and serial killers

Prosecuting mass murders and serial killers does not require introduction of classified intelligence or intelligence operatives. Prosecution of terrorists will. How many civilian judges, lawyers or jurors have the proper security clearances to view the classified information?

to argue an overall failure of our system to the point where it is outdated or nonfunctional is to disregard a millennia of mankind’s eternal quest for justice and civility.
I have not argued a failure of the system and to suggest that I have is totally disingenuous. What I have argued is we need to use the correct system to best handle the suspects and classified information. The correct system to use in these cases is the Military Tribunals.
To me, this seems to be an argument that, because the law is not being properly enforced, the law is inherently invalid and insufficient. Again, I would rather that we work within the confines of what already existed, fixing it where it falters, rather than scrap the entire system and try to start anew.

The civillian law is insufficient to handle the classified information. Therefore we cannot work withing the confines of the civillian system. No one suggested scrapping the civillian system or starting anew. Just as digging a swimming pool with a T-Spoon is possible its not the best tool for the job the civillian courts are not the right tool for terrorist suspect trials.

Posted by: Kirk at November 3, 2006 12:38 AM
Comment #193011

Kirk,

So, are we to move forward with clearing the cases of detainees or wait until we have implemented all the commission recommendations? I think we are capable of doing both.

Then why, five years after 9/11, has this administration failed to implement so many of these reforms?

My argument is that the emphasis of this administration is on garnering executive power and expanding their own influence, often to the exclusion of common sense, real security and our nation’s needs.

I believe we should be (are) capable of doing both as well; the sad fact is that we are not doing so.

Prosecuting mass murders and serial killers does not require introduction of classified intelligence or intelligence operatives. Prosecution of terrorists will. How many civilian judges, lawyers or jurors have the proper security clearances to view the classified information?

And who exactly is the terrorist? Is it the poor Afghani who was handed over by a warlord in order to receive American money in compensation for his efforts? Is it the Sunnis? The Shia? The Wahhabi? al-Dawa? Hezbollah? The Tamil Tigers?!? Perhaps it was Maher Arar or one of the members of the Tipton Three… I could go on, and this emphasizes the inherent problems with declaring “War” on multiple different groups all around with the world, all with different (and sometimes diametrically opposed) goals, and all simply because they use the same tactics of terrorism (which is nothing more than armed conflict being engaged by those without the proper means of government and military).

Or maybe the argument is that the “terrorist” is meant to encapsulate everyone who wishes us harm; a perfect grab-bag label, a boogeyman to keep us awake and clamoring for protection. Perfect safety would then be the goal and we may as well just toss ourselves into the nearest solitary confinement cell, as that is the only place where such is attainable.

Like I said, some cases may require stricter classifications, but most do not. Proper intelligence gathering, generally done beforehand, will alert us to the identities of those who will require special clearance and enhanced security.

The vast majority of those we capture seem to be either innocent (hence all of the detainees released over the years) or will inevitably be merely low-level grunts (as in all conflicts), who do not hold any valuable intelligence and pose no overarching threat to anyone outside of their immediate vicinity.

I have not argued a failure of the system and to suggest that I have is totally disingenuous. What I have argued is we need to use the correct system to best handle the suspects and classified information. The correct system to use in these cases is the Military Tribunals.

Are you talking the newly-formed tribunals, where hearsay and coerced evidence is allowed? Where someone can be sentenced to death for confessing under extreme duress?

That is not justice; it is a perversion of such and degrades all those who practice in its dark, seductive arts.

The civillian law is insufficient to handle the classified information. Therefore we cannot work withing the confines of the civillian system.

Since when, exactly? I do not remember ever hearing about the need for reformation of our military and/or civilian court systems, a rethinking of our views on detention and “clarification” of the Geneva conventions during any war or conflict at any time over the last 50 years.

Mostly, I fail to comprehend the argument that small groups of vile men with evil intent rise to the level of national emergency. 9/11 was a tragedy, of course, but in overall American and global terms of lives lost, terrorism rises to the level of a nasty flea bite, somewhat below animal attack fatalities.

What classified information is even a high-ranking terrorist going to have, other than the location of more who share his views? If we have done our job right, securing nuclear fissile material around the world (that means properly securing the prior Soviet State and not allowing men like A.Q. Khan to go free simply because his parent nation is an “ally”), securing our own vulnerabilities such as chemical and nuclear plants, airlines and so on, then the answer is simple: nothing. We have nothing to fear and they have nothing we want. Eliminate the ones who harmed us, with brutal force (that means Osama) and ridicule and marginalize the rest as the fear-mongering, gun-toting fanatics that they are while garnering the support (and supporting) the moderates within those societies in order to empower them. Anything else is simply playing up the egos of and into the hands of those who mean us harm, boosting their standing among their brethren and pandering to the basest desires and fears within our own country.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at November 3, 2006 4:59 AM
Comment #193109
Mostly, I fail to comprehend the argument that small groups of vile men with evil intent rise to the level of national emergency. 9/11 was a tragedy, of course, but in overall American and global terms of lives lost, terrorism rises to the level of a nasty flea bite, somewhat below animal attack fatalities.

Finally we have reached the true issue where you are concerned. America is the great evil that the Terrorists proclaim us to be and we got what we deserved.

Posted by: Kirk at November 3, 2006 2:24 PM
Comment #193118

Demon,

I must apologize for the last post.

After I had sent it I went back and read your post again not understanding how based on your earlier posts how you came to this position. I must say that I misread your post and misunderstood your position.

That being said, I do believe that terrorism does indeed rise to a national emergency much of it because of the fact that they target innocents. We must take the fight to them and not hide under the bed and hope that they will just go away.

Posted by: Kirk at November 3, 2006 2:34 PM
Comment #194833

Rocky said:
““Your all a bunch of phony left wing whiners who would be the first to complain if news came out of a suspect who had information that could have saved thousands of American lives, but they did not find out until it was too late, because they did not torture the info. out of him.”

Sorry, that already happened, it was called Sept. 11th.
Moussaoui was arrested on Aug. 16th. The FBI wanted to search his laptop but was turned down.”

Rocky - how can you say this - Moussaoui was a wannabe at best - al Qaeda kept this nut at arms length - if he was to nutty to be a martyr for Bin Laden that is saying something. He never had any information about 9-11 - he lied to the government to make himself look more important than he was.

Torture doesn’t yield reliable information. Hell, we could torture you until you confessed to being a 9-11 co-conspirator even though you are not. Americans should not ever lower ourselves down to that level - it makes us just as bad as the terrorists we are trying to stop.

When we make choices out of fear we choose poorly. We do things like torture (it is a fact that the US has tortured innocent people), invade countries that have done nothing to us, remove our most protected liberties all because the Bushies have made you afraid, so afraid that you forgot that you are an American and what that means.

America should be the shining example to the rest of the world that this great experiment called democracy can work and people can live free no matter what the outside world tries to do to us. Our democracy is strong enough to weather even horrible things like 9-11 without sinking down to the level of people meaning to do us harm. When we do things like torture we become no better than people like Bin Laden. If our democracy cannot survive with our liberties intact we do not deserve to continue.

Kinky Friedman ran for governor of Texas on a “de-wussification” of Texas platform. Maybe someone should take this to a national election because we have become a nation of scared wussies. I, for one, am not afraid of any terrorist. It doesn’t mean that we stop fighting against them, it means that when we do fight we fight like Americans or any free people should - with honor. There is no honor in torture, in Gitmo, in Abu Gharaib, in wiretapping w/o a warrant, in suspending habeas corpus, in George W. Bush, and in Dick Cheney.

It is not patriotic to be afraid. As Ben Franklin once said “those that are willing to sacrifice their liberties for a little temporary security deserve neither.”

Posted by: tcsned at November 13, 2006 7:55 AM
Post a comment