Dead & Suffering Bad Guys

Evidently information that started us on the road to killing that old pervert Osama bin Laden was harsh interrogation of three of his fellow murders. Some people don’t like that for humanitarian reasons. Personally, I am a barbarian on this. It bothers me not at all that these bad guys suffered. Sorry. Another argument is that harsh methods don’t work. I don’t know. I just think that I would be more likely to talk if I feared worse would happen to me. I have also noticed that people do things under threat that they would not do otherwise, but I guess that some academic studies say this is not true.

The other argument is that if we treat these bad guys poorly, they will treat our people badly. How much worse can they treat us? Seriously. These guys kill innocent people more or less for fun. When they captured Americans, they cut off their heads. Since all of our prisoners enjoy a perfect head-body ratio, I don’t see how we could have provoked that. Beyond that, as I recall when they hit us on 9/11 we were not at war with any of these guys, at least we didn't think so.

So Osama bin Laden sleeps with the fishes. The world is a better place w/o him. We are safer; the local farm animals and little boys near his abode are safer. Anybody who is sad at his demise is misinformed or a miscreant. Yes, my view is fairly clear on this.

Everybody has enemies. Some enemies can be placated; others are implacable. Indeed, we have to understand our enemies enough to tell the difference and take appropriate actions. But the implacable enemies must be neutralized, removed from the battlefield. There is no reason for very much soul searching about this. We celebrated when we shot down Admiral IsorokuYamamoto, who was a much more honorable man than bin Laden. When terrible psychopaths like bin Laden, Khadafy or Robert Mugabe die or are killed, why should we pretend to feel bad about that? I don’t. When I heard bin Laden was killed, I took out a beer & some pork rinds and I celebrated. My only regret is that he didn’t suffer very long. If you believe in a just god, the old pervert is in hell right now, but I would prefer a little more earthy suffering, but that is just me.

Yes, I am a barbarian in that respect, too human to be fully civilized by the standards of some. And you know, today I am proud of it. Sometimes you just have to win.

I like how John Stewart called the episode to kill a mockingturd . If you feel joy at the death of bin Laden, you are a good human being. Don’t let anybody tell you differently. And let's not pick it apart. The President did the right thing. We did good.

Posted by Christine & John at May 5, 2011 8:53 PM
Comment #322888

Evidently? No. There’s no proof that any reliable information came from the folks who got Waterboarded, and even Bush Administration officials will admit that.

Torture isn’t about getting information, it’s about forcing compliance. But as folks who recall being abducted by aliens demonstrate, if you get people in a suggestible state of mind, it proves detrimental to their ability to remember things right. Add in the fact that it’s been scientifically proven that such high stress always degrades memory, and you get a recipe for a bad interrogation, with bad results.

In fact, the claim here is that these men pointed towards the courier by giving false information when we asked about who he was, and how important he was.

Bit of a stretch, since evidently both lied about a lot, despite the Waterboarding.

Torture doesn’t prevent people from lying, it just encourages people to get better at lying to us in a way that pleases us.

Me? I like to think that we’re smarter than they are, that we’re in control, that like Henry Czerny’s character in Mission: Impossible, we look for each person’s pressure points, and we squeeze.

But we should the person tell it to us, themselves, of their own free will, because that is the method that preserves information best, when they decide to tell us the truth. It’s also what keeps our options open, in terms of prosecuting and asking for extradition from countries that don’t like the idea of enabling torture or mistreatment of Muslims and Arabs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 6, 2011 10:14 AM
Comment #322893

Stephen, The head of the CIA even said inhanced interrogation DID play a roll in the take down of OBL.

Posted by: KAP at May 6, 2011 12:11 PM
Comment #322898

SD writes; “There’s no proof that any reliable information came from the folks who got Waterboarded, and even Bush Administration officials will admit that.”

Baloney. You have got to stop filtering your information thru the liberal cheesecloth if you wish to discover the truth.

Posted by: Royal Flush at May 6, 2011 1:30 PM
Comment #322901

For conservatives, the greatest mystery surrounding this incident, has to be, why would a unpatriotic Muslim socialist liberal who isn’t even a citizen of this country order such an attack on those he loves so dearly.

Posted by: jlw at May 6, 2011 2:40 PM
Comment #322903

It’s no mystery jlw, Socialist liberals eat their own. He will throw anyone under the bus for the chance to be re-elected

Posted by: tdobson at May 6, 2011 3:33 PM
Comment #322916


It would be really great if these guys would tell us what we need to know “of their own free will.” But why do you think they would ever do that? Presumably these guys who have killed thousands of innocent people in the service of their ideology, really do believe in it. After they are captured, do you think they will suddenly change their minds about this, see the error of their ways and “of their own free will” betray their erstwhile comrades?

People like me actually have a lot more respect for this culture than you do. You evidently thing these guys are just stupid or misguided and that they will come around when told the truth.

Of course, they will try to lie. The harsh techniques are not supposed to get them to tell the truth immediately. They are meant to break their will and weaken their resolve.

As I wrote, we have all sorts of people telling us this does not work. But I think this is looking at it the wrong way. Coercion is NOT a good way to enhance cooperation among those inclined to cooperate. But if we were dealing with such people, we would not have a problem.

Re the Muslim world - A recent Freedom House report indicated that there in not one country in the Arab-Muslim world that has a free press. Among majority Muslim countries, only one – Mali – has a free press, although some are semi-free. What this means is that the “true” story is filtered by the propaganda.Do you think the Syrians or the Iranians care what we REALLY do? They produce the stories full of lies. The precise details of our actions are unimportant to them.

It is pathetically naive for us to assume that they are watching our every move. Our every move is being monitored,but only with the intent of creating propaganda. It is like civil rights news as relayed by the KKK. We can never be perfect enough to satisfy our enemies and even if we were perfect, they would report something else.

Finally – let’s talk about being culturally sensitive. Bin Laden’s culture is one of violence and revenge. His people do not respect softness. I recall a very interesting encounter in Iraq. One of our Marine officers was well known as a fighter in the battle of Fallujah. One time we met an Arab man who told us that his brothers had been killed in the battle. I remember his words. He said, “Maybe you killed them. They were men and so are you.” It doesn’t make sense in the context of our American sensibilities, but to people who consider themselves warriors, this is how it should be.

Posted by: C&J at May 6, 2011 8:37 PM
Comment #322917

And fascist S-B’s Would not know the truth if it hit them in the arse.

Posted by: Jeff at May 6, 2011 8:41 PM
Comment #322919


You are right. They wouldn’t. We need to understand the nature of the systems that they live under, however. Most of the Muslim would is not fascist. Syria is organized along fascists/communist lines, so was Iraq under Saddam. Iran uses many methods perfected under fascism, but is not itself that.

Fascism is a specific type of political organization. The word has been used as a pejorative by many who don’t understand that.

Posted by: C&J at May 6, 2011 9:01 PM
Comment #322961

I would like to see Bush and Cheney waterboarded to find out the real reason the US invaded Iraq.

Justification: That may save thousands of innocent lives in the future if we could limit our military actions to those of real and actual national security issues.

Posted by: LibRick at May 8, 2011 3:44 PM
Comment #322962

OK.. that was uncalled for… but seriously, we need to do something about the lying and I’m not talking about foreign terrorists. “News media personnel”, talking heads, radio loudmouths,… lying is everywhere… and some of these ‘mavens’ of malinformation are, in fact, quite dangerous.

It is easy for some to call for torture. I’m not positive that it works, but I know it makes us (the US) less human and puts us on the level of the terrorists.

I’m agin it.

Posted by: LibRick at May 8, 2011 3:49 PM
Comment #322971

I know it,s controversal, but I don’t consider waterboarding to be torture. I’ve seen it firsthand used in the field in VietNam and it DID save American lives. It was administered by The Vietnamise unit I was working with again’t a Viet Cong soldier. It didn’t do any physical harm to him and it didn’t take but a few minutes to find out where his comrads were and their strenth in numbers, the kind of weapons they had and who his leaders were among other things. As a result, we were able to launch an operation that basicly eliminated the oposing force. It saved several American lives. IT WORKS.

Posted by: tdobson at May 8, 2011 8:22 PM
Comment #322972

” but I know it makes us (the US) less human and puts us on the level of the terrorists.” We had the option of killing the Viet Cong instead of capturing him. Would that have been better? Torture is finding a fellow soldier’s genitals cut off and hanging on a stick for you to find. That also happened to my unit.

Posted by: tdobson at May 8, 2011 8:28 PM
Comment #322973


I do not believe that aggressive techniques work in situations where you have some common ground or even when you have lots of time. It seems to work to get information quicker and break the will of people who really have no reason to help at all.

I can speak from personal experience that if I was in a situation where people I opposed wanted me to help, I would certainly never to it is they didn’t have a credible threat.

Frankly, as a barbarian in some ways, it bothers me not at all if they waterboarded KSL, just as it doesn’t bother me (in fact it makes me happy) that President Obama ordered our guys to kill Osama bin Laden.

tdobson & librick

I agree that if it saves lives it is immoral NOT to use harsh tactics.

I will also say that an American life is worth more to me than a terrorist’s comfort or even a terrorist life.

I understand that in our PC world we have to claim to treat all this things equally, but I sure don’t and I am sure the terrorists themselves don’t.

One more thing, kind of a moral question. Would you be willing to risk your comfort or even your life to save thousands of innocent people? If so, why would you be unwilling to force terrorist to make that same choice?

Posted by: C&J at May 8, 2011 8:46 PM
Comment #322974


re Bush & Cheney - I assume that they felt important security issues were at risk. Since they obviously did not benefit personally or politically from the action, we have no reason to think otherwise.

Maybe they were in error. History indicates that almost all decisions of war and peace are make in an atmosphere of significant misunderstanding and error. Not taking action is also a choice with consequences.

Imagine if the Bush administration has carried out a successful operation to kill those nineteen terrorists who carried out the attacks, but on 8/11. All the usual people would have said that he killed innocent men, overreacted to a “bogus” threat and acted in an anti Muslim way.

Posted by: C&J at May 8, 2011 8:54 PM
Comment #323029
if it saves lives it is immoral NOT to use harsh tactics.

Does this mean America’s enemies are morally justified water-boarding captured Americans if they are able to use the info to save the lives of their people?

Posted by: Warped Reality at May 9, 2011 10:00 PM
Comment #323032


America’s enemies will kill and maim captured Americans. We WISH they would treat captives with the respect that we do.

The measure of intelligence is the ability to make reasonable distinctions. They are wrong.

If the bad guys capture an American and they honestly believe that harsh techniques will give them information that will save hundreds of civilian lives, I would say that they are justified. The operative word is IF.

The important distinction is that the U.S. does not target civilians. In fact, we risk our own lives to minimize civilian deaths. IF the terrorists behaved in similar fashion, we would not have the same sort of problem. IF terrorists behaved as civilized people, they would not have had the destruction of the World Trade Centers; we would not have to protect airports and civilians facilities. In short, if the terrorists behaved in a civilized way, they would not be terrorists.

In a war, there is legitimate warriors and others. We have to make reasonable distinctions.

Posted by: C&J at May 9, 2011 10:16 PM
Comment #323036
The important distinction is that the U.S. does not target civilians.

I’m talking a bit more abstractly. In past conflicts the US has targeted civilians (WWII comes to mind). In future conflicts, we may have to target civilians once again. Are our enemies justified in waterboarding Americans to prevent us from killing their civilians?

Posted by: Warped Reality at May 9, 2011 11:45 PM
Comment #323071


If the enemy wants strictly to protect civilian lives (and not in that silly abstract way but concrete such as the World Trade Center) they would be justified.

If I had information like that and I fell into enemy hand, I would expect to be treated harshly.

I hasten to add that it really doesn’t matter what we do. Our enemies torture and kill for the ideology or PR. They are NOT responding to us. If they were to treat prisoners with the same respect we treat ours, there would be no problem.

I know we don’t like to be judgmental, but we really are just better than they are.

Posted by: C&J at May 10, 2011 8:56 PM
Comment #323089
If the enemy wants strictly to protect civilian lives (and not in that silly abstract way but concrete such as the World Trade Center) they would be justified.

If I had information like that and I fell into enemy hand, I would expect to be treated harshly.

Well, you certainly are consistent. However, your opinion differs from longstanding US policies. After WWII, we convicted many Japanese for waterboarding American and other allied POWs. Many of these people were executed or served long prison sentences. The US targeted Japanese civillians with our firebombing raids and our nuclear weapons; so civillian lives were certainly at stake when the Japanese interrogated our prisoners. Were we wrong for condemning the Japanese who did this?

I hasten to add that it really doesn’t matter what we do. Our enemies torture and kill for the ideology or PR.
Are you talking concretely about today’s enemies or are you talking abstractly about tomorrow’s enemies. The US will certainly need to wage war again in the future, and there are many groups out there who will look to our conduct as a template. In the War of 1812, the British burned Washington DC to the ground, which wasn’t a common feature of wars at that time. The reason the British committed such an autrocity was the fact that the Americans had already burned York (the precursor to Toronto and the capital of British Canada) to the ground. Sometimes the things we do come back to bite us. I don’t want the same thing to happen with this waterboarding issue. Posted by: Warped Reality at May 11, 2011 5:56 PM
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