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BS: Obama and torture

dick greenhaus 05 Jun 09 - 08:34 PM
Riginslinger 05 Jun 09 - 02:23 PM
dick greenhaus 05 Jun 09 - 01:08 PM
CarolC 04 Jun 09 - 11:32 PM
Riginslinger 04 Jun 09 - 10:04 PM
dick greenhaus 04 Jun 09 - 06:13 PM
Riginslinger 04 Jun 09 - 12:38 PM
dick greenhaus 04 Jun 09 - 12:24 PM
Amos 04 Jun 09 - 12:01 PM
CarolC 27 May 09 - 06:59 PM
Riginslinger 27 May 09 - 06:18 PM
Bobert 27 May 09 - 05:38 PM
CarolC 27 May 09 - 01:30 PM
ard mhacha 27 May 09 - 01:11 PM
Riginslinger 27 May 09 - 12:08 PM
Bobert 26 May 09 - 09:17 PM
dick greenhaus 26 May 09 - 08:54 PM
Bobert 26 May 09 - 06:24 PM
ard mhacha 26 May 09 - 01:14 PM
CarolC 26 May 09 - 01:07 PM
GUEST 26 May 09 - 01:00 PM
Riginslinger 22 May 09 - 04:48 PM
Peter T. 22 May 09 - 03:55 PM
Amos 22 May 09 - 10:27 AM
Riginslinger 22 May 09 - 07:59 AM
Bobert 22 May 09 - 07:42 AM
CarolC 22 May 09 - 12:03 AM
Riginslinger 21 May 09 - 10:03 PM
Bobert 20 May 09 - 06:34 PM
dick greenhaus 20 May 09 - 01:25 PM
pdq 20 May 09 - 12:56 PM
CarolC 20 May 09 - 12:36 PM
Riginslinger 20 May 09 - 12:16 PM
CarolC 20 May 09 - 11:48 AM
Peter T. 20 May 09 - 11:28 AM
pdq 20 May 09 - 11:12 AM
CarolC 20 May 09 - 10:39 AM
beardedbruce 20 May 09 - 07:52 AM
Bobert 20 May 09 - 07:51 AM
CarolC 20 May 09 - 02:13 AM
Teribus 20 May 09 - 01:06 AM
Riginslinger 19 May 09 - 11:42 PM
Bobert 19 May 09 - 10:30 PM
Peter T. 19 May 09 - 09:32 PM
Riginslinger 19 May 09 - 09:20 PM
dick greenhaus 19 May 09 - 07:52 PM
CarolC 19 May 09 - 04:54 PM
CarolC 19 May 09 - 04:46 PM
beardedbruce 19 May 09 - 04:21 PM
Riginslinger 19 May 09 - 04:01 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 08:34 PM

sure. Enforce them, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Riginslinger
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 02:23 PM

Great - Then I wish they'd start enforcing the immigration laws so the economy could recover.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 01:08 PM

The law may well sway with opinion. And with political realities.
This is not a good thing. And, Rig, the laws that are often broken when public officials look the other way do not involve treaty obligations and international law.

I'm all in favor or applying the law when it exists. Otherwise, it ceases to exist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: CarolC
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 11:32 PM

One of the best things Obama could possibly do to mend relations with the Muslims of the world would be to enforce our laws against torture and the Geneva Conventions. The political elites in the Islamic countries might not be too thrilled with that (because many of them use torture themselves), but the majority of Muslims in the world would take it as a huge sign of the US' desire for healed relations with Muslims around the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Riginslinger
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 10:04 PM

dick - It doesn't really, but the law anymore seems to sway with opinion. And given Obama's effort to reach out to Islamic nations, dragging all of this stuff up in public now would probably be more detrimental to the country and the world than ignoring it.
             Besides, look at all the laws that are broken where elected public officials happily look the other way. On my list of priorities, this one would certainly take a back seat to a number of others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 06:13 PM

I suspect that you're right. What does that have to do with enforcing the law?


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Riginslinger
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 12:38 PM

I suspect the great majority of the American public aren't really concerned about this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 12:24 PM

Bobert-
You've explained why the Chief Executive shouldn't push the matter--but he shouldn't impede the DOJ. Prosecution for an alleged war xrime isn't optional--it's legally mandatory.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Amos
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 12:01 PM

Thirteen People Responsible for Torture and some insight as to what and who they worked for.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: CarolC
Date: 27 May 09 - 06:59 PM

To fabricate a connection between al Qaeda and Saddam that didn't exist. If we could torture people into saying such a connection did exist, Cheney would have a pretext to wage war against Iraq for oil, for the further enrichment of his cronies, and to establish a hegemonic presence in the region complete with enormous permanent military bases. Another reason is to have people to point to and say, "Look, see those dangerous people who admitted to doing these bad things? We need to have endless war so we can protect you from them."


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Riginslinger
Date: 27 May 09 - 06:18 PM

"We tortured people for other reasons."

            What other reasons could there possibly be?


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Bobert
Date: 27 May 09 - 05:38 PM

If, as many experts say, torture does not make us more safe but less safe then it seems counterproductive to use it... This is clear thinging and not emotive and vengefull thinking of Dick Cheney...


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: CarolC
Date: 27 May 09 - 01:30 PM

But the point is that we didn't need to torture people in order to get whatever information we needed to catch the perpetrators. We were able to get that information without the use of torture. We tortured people for other reasons.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: ard mhacha
Date: 27 May 09 - 01:11 PM

Right you are Riginslinger, lynch the the nearest towel-head.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Riginslinger
Date: 27 May 09 - 12:08 PM

Hopefully this entire thing will blow over before any more people get all worked up over it. When somebody attacks your country, you do what you have to to catch the perpetrators.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Bobert
Date: 26 May 09 - 09:17 PM

Consider the choices, Dick...

It hasn't been all that long since we heard the Bush folks blaming everything on Clinton... Might of fact, that phase lasted about the entire first Bush term... It was eventually seen as ducking the issues...

Obama is smarter than to fall into that trap... He is letting others (with no protest) go after Bush and Cheney... That is what is known as wisdom... Why should he do all the heavy lifting and put himself in brawls that he clearly doesn' need...

Yah, the Repubs would love nothin' more than to drag him into the fray... Why??? I think it is obvious...

Obama has never said that he would let the real bad guys- you know, the ones who ordered up torture- get off scott free... He has said that those folks who thought they were foloowing orders aren't in his sights...

That is refreshing... The Bush people wnated to make these folks out to be just a few "bad apples"... That was a complete an total coop out...

Obama is saying, "Hey, let's not blame the grunts"... What is wrong with that???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 May 09 - 08:54 PM

There's something about politics: can you imagine anyone, contemplating an accused thief or murderer, saying "....but that was in the past. We should look forward...."


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Bobert
Date: 26 May 09 - 06:24 PM

We know what the Cheney/Bush administration did... Heck, Darth Vader is going around the country braggin' about what they did saying that it saved thousands of lives... Problem is that he offers not one instance where torture saved so much as one life... Just noise and more Cheney noise... Just like during the Mad-Dash days... Noise and more noise!!! No facts!!! No evidence!!! No nuthin'!!! Just noise and more noise...

Dick Cheney should be committed to a state-run mental hospital and kept there until he can prove that he is not insane... Maybe waterboard the sumabich a couple hunert times, to boot!!!

I'm sick of the Bush/Cheney/Lie/Scare Machine... We have had ebough... Only the most rabid lunies find any entertainment value in it...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: ard mhacha
Date: 26 May 09 - 01:14 PM

I seen this half hour programme last night, quite an eye-opener for anyone in the US, three former inmates gave their account of the torture they went through, not only in Guantanamo but also in Afghanistan.
Amazing that the US never acknowledged this as torture, sorry you cannot view this programme, any wizards aboard able to help out?.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: CarolC
Date: 26 May 09 - 01:07 PM

The BBC report can only be viewed by people in the UK. Is there a synopsis or a summary that can be provided for those of us outside of the UK?


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: GUEST
Date: 26 May 09 - 01:00 PM

an interesting report in the BBC news last night




http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00l26mf/Reporters_Life_Inside_Guantanamo/


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Riginslinger
Date: 22 May 09 - 04:48 PM

So are Schumer's aliens, but they're still here!


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Peter T.
Date: 22 May 09 - 03:55 PM

One simply has to repeat, wearily, that none of the people tortured has appeared in a court of law, or even in a military commission subject to standard rules of evidence, etc.   They were tortured on the sayso of people who refuse to do anything other than talk on TV shows. The basic working assumption throughout (and it is one that Obama has now embraced) is that America is of course working with the best of intentions, so what it does is ok, if a little over the top: a few more rules here and there, and they can do on doing this.

BUT ALL OF THIS IS ILLEGAL ACCORDING TO AMERICAN LAW.


yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Amos
Date: 22 May 09 - 10:27 AM

The Real Path to Security, NYT, offers some good insights about Obama's position.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Riginslinger
Date: 22 May 09 - 07:59 AM

"Schumer's a neocon."

               And now he wants to provide amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, producing more human fodder to fight for Israel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Bobert
Date: 22 May 09 - 07:42 AM

Waterboard Schumer!!!

BTW, anyone also thinking that the new- 'n'improved Dick Cheney Show is very reminisent of the Mad-Dash-to-Attack-Iraq Dick Cheney Show??? Seems all proclamation with no evidence...

(Evidence, Bobert??? What's that have to do with anything???)

My point, exactly... Here the Bush administration, even after it is over, thinks that if they lie loud enough and often enough that will turn their mythology into reality... Reality is that they haven't provuded one shread of evidence (there's that word again) that torture saved so much as one life, let along the thousands that Dick Cheney is proclaimin'...

I'm ready for the Bush administartion to just go the heck away... We had 8 years of their lies and the country grew sick of it and we don't need Darth Vader/Dick Cheney running around the country further pssing off his rabid little fringe right wing radical nutballs... This is how people come to feel it is their duty to assasinate leaders... Dick Cheney should be gagged in the interest of national security...

Serious business... Free speech ends when it is used to imflame lunies...

B!


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: CarolC
Date: 22 May 09 - 12:03 AM

Schumer's a neocon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Riginslinger
Date: 21 May 09 - 10:03 PM

So now there are clips on television of Senator Schumer addressing the Senate after 9/11 telling public that "Toture may be necessary," and a follow up clip that took place in the last week or so telling the public that "Torture should never be used."

                I would agree that Senator Schumer is somewhat less credible than Nancy Pelosi, but...


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Bobert
Date: 20 May 09 - 06:34 PM

Quoting Michael Gerson as some expert is a joke... He is a shill for the Republican Party and uis a former speech writer for the Repubs... He is not the least bit believable because of his hostory of supporting every dumbass thing the Repubs have done... The Washington Post should be ashamed to waste ink on this blowhard partisan mythologist...

But nevermind Gerson...

Seems that a "Truth Comission" might get around to answering some of these questions and set the record straight and...

...I'm all for one being set up!!!

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 May 09 - 01:25 PM

Any commission is probably doomed to be as ineffective as the Warren Commission and the 9-11 commission have been--politicians aren't very trustworthy in investigating themselves. Appoint an independent prosecutor; run a thorough investigation (of Repubs and Dems alike) and let's see what really happened.

The treaties we signed really don't give us the option of sweeping alleged war crimes under a rug,


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: pdq
Date: 20 May 09 - 12:56 PM

About George Tenet:

"Tenet was appointed Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in July 1995. After John Deutch's abrupt resignation in December 1996, Tenet served as acting director...Tenet was then officially appointed Director on July 11, 1997, after a unanimous confirmation vote in the Senate. While the Director of Central Intelligence has typically been replaced by an incoming administration ever since Jimmy Carter replaced DCI George H. W. Bush, Tenet served through the end of the Clinton administration and well into the term of George W. Bush."


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: CarolC
Date: 20 May 09 - 12:36 PM

More from FBI interrogator, Ali Soufan...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30721458/

Soufan countered that his personal experience showed that the harsh interrogation techniques did not work even when there was not a lot of time to prevent an attack.

"Waiting 180 hours as part of the sleep deprivation stage is time we cannot afford to wait in a ticking bomb scenario," he said.

Soufan said the harsh techniques were "ineffective, slow and unreliable and, as a result, harmful to our efforts to defeat al-Qaida."

Soufan testified that "many of the claims made" by the Bush administration were inaccurate or half-truths.

He cited these examples:

    * The administration said Abu Zubaydah was not cooperating before Aug. 1, 2002, when waterboarding was approved. "The truth is that we got actionable intelligence from him in the first hour of interrogating him" before that date.
    * The administration credited waterboarding for Zubaydah's information that led to the capture of Padilla, who received a 17-year, four-month sentence, although prosecutors did not present any dirty-bomb information. Padilla was arrested in May 2002, months before waterboarding was authorized, Soufan said.
    * Bush officials contended that waterboarding revealed the involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks of al-Qaida mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Soufan said the information was discovered in April 2002, months before waterboarding was introduced.


http://politics.theatlantic.com/2009/05/the_agent_in_place_torture_didnt_work.php

The Senate Judiciary Committee hears testimony from former lead FBI counterterrorism agent Ali Soufan. Soufan calls "enhanced interrogation techniques" "ineffective, slow, unreliable" and therefore harmful, "aside from the important considerations that they are un-American and harmful to our case and reputation." Soufan describes the successful non-coercive interrogation of Al Qaeda terrorist Abu Jandal, who "identified many terrorists who we later successfully apprehended." Soufan describes an interrogation method he calls the "Informed Interrogation Approach," which seeks to capitalize on the natural fear that a detainee feels as a result of his custody by adopting a posture of openness and respect.

Soufan presents an interesting challenge to the Ticking Time Bomb Scenario. Noting that it took 83 waterboardings to force Khalid Shake Mohammed to cough up information, he describes that technique as "slow" and therefore unreliable when information needs to be obtained quickly. Soufan also provides an unclassified chronology of the joint FBI-CIA efforts to question Abu Zubaydah. He says that his early efforts to coax information out of the Al Qaeda operate were successful, and CIA director George Tenet prepared a congratulatory telegram. As soon as Tenet learned that FBI agents -- not his CIA team -- had taken the lead role in the interrogation, he withdrew the congratulations and sent a team from the CIA's counterterrorism center to the interrogation site. That team was assisted by a contractor who "instructed" the new CIA operatives in tougher interrogation techniques. According to Soufan, the new team began to use the EITs. Zubaydah stopped cooperating. Soon, the FBI was brought back in. Zubaydah opened up like a book.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Riginslinger
Date: 20 May 09 - 12:16 PM

Assuming Pelosi is right, and she pushes ahead with this to the point of forcing Rumsfeld or Rove or somebody into court, Obama would be put in the position of having to defend Rumseld and Rove.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: CarolC
Date: 20 May 09 - 11:48 AM

Actually, even Panetta has said that the CIA documents are not proof of anything, and some of the other people who were supposed to have been briefed are supporting what Pelosi has said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Peter T.
Date: 20 May 09 - 11:28 AM

um, "bleeding morale"? (what about bleeding people?).

But in any case, Obama's reception at the CIA didn't exactly strike one as coming from a demoralized place.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: pdq
Date: 20 May 09 - 11:12 AM

Nancy Pelsoi was briefed on September 4th, 2002. The document showing precicely what Pelosi was told was supplied by Leon Panetta, current CIA director.

Panetta and CIA agents confim that contents of the breifing documents were eplained to Pelosi in person and that she had no problems with any of the harsh interrogation practices.

Porter Goss was there in person and agrees that both he and Pelosi were told specifically of waterboarding Abu Zubaydah.

The CIA agents who did the briefing, Leon Panetta and Porter Goss all tell the same story. Only Nancy Peolsi says differently.

There were numerous briefings over several years about interrogation at Gitmo with different people present and differents information passed along. What was said in those briefing is irrelevant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: CarolC
Date: 20 May 09 - 10:39 AM

We know for a fact that the CIA is lying, because one of the people they said they briefed, and they listed the dates of those briefings, has proof he was somewhere else at the time the CIA said some of the briefings took place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: beardedbruce
Date: 20 May 09 - 07:52 AM

Democrats' Assault On the CIA
By Michael Gerson
Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In a little over 100 days, the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress have delivered a series of blows to the pride and morale of the Central Intelligence Agency.

It began with the release of the Justice Department memos -- a move opposed by CIA Director Leon Panetta along with four previous directors. Then, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. did not rule out Justice Department cooperation with foreign lawsuits against American intelligence operatives. Then, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the CIA of lying to her in 2002 about waterboarding, which she admitted learning about five months later anyway but did nothing to oppose because her real job was to "change the leadership in Congress and in the White House."

To stanch the CIA's bleeding morale, Democrats have tried reassurance. President Obama, speaking at CIA headquarters, took the Fred Rogers approach: "Don't be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we've made some mistakes. That's how we learn." Yes, children, hypocritical congressional investigations and foreign kangaroo courts are really our friends. House intelligence committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes sent a sympathy note to Langley: "In recent days, as the public debate regarding CIA's interrogation practices has raged, you have been very much in my thoughts." There should be a section at Hallmark for intelligence operatives unfairly accused of war crimes.


The only effective reassurance came from Panetta, who pointed out to Pelosi and others that the CIA actually keeps records of its congressional briefings. "Our contemporaneous records from September 2002," Panetta wrote, "indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaida, describing 'the enhanced techniques that had been employed.' " A primary advocate of the "truth commission" has apparently misplaced her own supply.

Is there any precedent for a speaker of the House of Representatives seeking political shelter by blaming national security professionals? Or for a commander in chief exposing intelligence methods at the urging of the American Civil Liberties Union? Actually, such treatment has precedents. In 1975, the Church Committee nearly destroyed the human intelligence capabilities of the CIA. In the early 1990s, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan urged closing the agency entirely. The Clinton administration imposed massive budget cuts, leaving behind a demoralized institution.

And now Obama has described the post-Sept. 11 period as "a dark and painful chapter in our history." In fact, whatever your view of waterboarding, the response of intelligence professionals following Sept. 11 was impressive. Within days, the CIA had linked up with the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan and begun preparations to remove the Taliban. The counterterrorism center run of out CIA headquarters was the war on terror in the months after the attacks, making daily progress in capturing high-value targets. Now the president and his party have done much to tarnish those accomplishments. So much for the thanks of a grateful nation.

Contrast this affront to Obama's treatment of the military. When Gen. Ray Odierno argued that the release of military abuse photos would put American troops at risk, Obama quickly backed down. By one account, Odierno told the president, "Thanks. That must have been a hard decision." Obama replied: "No, it wasn't at all." Obama has deferred to his military commanders on the timing and strategy of American withdrawals from Iraq. And he has proposed an escalating military commitment in Afghanistan and Pakistan -- leading 51 House Democrats last week to vote against a military funding bill.

Defense writer Tom Ricks claims that Obama is being "rolled" by the military. Perhaps it is just an appropriate respect by the commander in chief for the troops at his command.

This obvious difference in treatment between military and intelligence is both paradoxical and hypocritical. Traveling recently in Iraq, Pelosi noted, "If we're going to have a diminished military presence, we'll have to have an increased intelligence presence." This has been the main Democratic argument against the whole idea of the war on terror -- that guns and bombs are no substitute for timely information. "This war on terror is far less of a military operation and far more of an intelligence-gathering, law-enforcement operation," Sen. John Kerry once claimed.

But this object of praise -- intelligence-gathering -- is again the object of liberal assault. "To put the matter at its simplest," writes Gabriel Schoenfeld, "American elites have become increasingly discomfited over the last decades by the very existence of a clandestine intelligence service in a democratic society."

But our democratic society still depends on intelligence officers -- just as surely as it depends on our men and women in uniform.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Bobert
Date: 20 May 09 - 07:51 AM

Well, there has to be some reason that the Bush administration bungled foriegn policy so badly and why it left US not one, but two, unwinable stupid wars... That reason is bad intellegence... Beating the crap outta people certainly hasn't made US safer... Quite the contrary... It not only has provided US with lousy intellegence but also pissed off alot of folks enough to join in with the jahidists...

Purdy stupid!!!

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: CarolC
Date: 20 May 09 - 02:13 AM

Based on how they conducted the program, and what they were trying to get out of it. They were already getting actionable intelligence that was saving lives using non-coercive methods, which the experts on interrogation say are the most effective methods. The reason they shifted into the coercive methods was to "establish" (create) a connection between al Qaeda and Saddam, and to coerce those being tortured to confess to other things that were not true.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, for instance, was waterboarded 183 times, and one of the things he confessed to, was planning, training, surveying, and financing for the second wave of attacks after 9/11, that were supposed to take down a number of sky scrapers, including Plaza Bank in Washington state. Plaza bank wasn't founded until four years after Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's arrest.

This is what one of the FBI interrogators had to say about the coercive techniques and their shortcomings as compared to the effectiveness of the non-coercive techniques (from a link in an earlier post in this thread)...


"One of the most striking parts of the memos is the false premises on which they are based. The first, dated August 2002, grants authorization to use harsh interrogation techniques on a high-ranking terrorist, Abu Zubaydah, on the grounds that previous methods hadn't been working. The next three memos cite the successes of those methods as a justification for their continued use. It is inaccurate, however, to say that Abu Zubaydah had been uncooperative. Along with another FBI agent, and with several CIA officers present, I questioned him from March to June 2002, before the harsh techniques were introduced later in August. Under traditional interrogation methods, he provided us with important actionable intelligence.

There was no actionable intelligence gained from using enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah that wasn't, or couldn't have been, gained from regular tactics. In addition, I saw that using these alternative methods on other terrorists backfired on more than a few occasions – all of which are still classified. The short sightedness behind the use of these techniques ignored the unreliability of the methods, the nature of the threat, the mentality and modus operandi of the terrorists, and due process.

Defenders of these techniques have claimed that they got Abu Zubaydah to give up information leading to the capture of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a top aide to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and Mr. Padilla. This is false. The information that led to Mr. Shibh's capture came primarily from a different terrorist operative who was interviewed using traditional methods. As for Mr. Padilla, the dates just don't add up: the harsh techniques were approved in the memo of August 2002, Mr. Padilla had been arrested that May."


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Teribus
Date: 20 May 09 - 01:06 AM

"the fact that the Bush administration's torture program was explicitly for the purpose of getting people to say things that weren't true." - CarolC

This is based on what??

"Biological weapons such as they are require a closed space (Tokyo subway) and dissipate really easily."

So how long was it before the island of Guinard deliberately infected with anthrax (A biological agent) during the Second World War was given the "all clear"?? IIRC it was some forty odd years and guess what the island was far from being an enclosed space.

"Biological weapons are very difficult to control, spread vaguely, and take time. Chemical weapons are a problem, but they too require very specific conditions to do serious damage."

Threat lectures delivered on the capabilities of Soviet Chemical and Biological weapons indicated that they had weaponised agents that had definite "active lives", i.e. they could be used to saturate a target area to deny, destroy or disrupt, 12 hours later the attackers troops could pass through quite safely. NATO abandoned Chemical and Biological weapons because at that time they were indiscriminate and unreliable, the broadcast NATO response to the use of Chemical and Biological weapons by the Soviets or Warsaw Pact nations in Europe was immediate escalation to the use of tactical nuclear weapons, making use of the C & B weapons pointless - no use preparing the ground for a mass attack if your troops massed for that attack are wiped out by a tactical nuke.

On the "ham sandwich" thing it has nothing to do with religion, it is a "law" on food hygene going way back in time, which is why it is common to both Muslim and Jews, very hard to keep pork safe to eat in a climate like that of the middle-east.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Riginslinger
Date: 19 May 09 - 11:42 PM

When they make these laws, they ought to make provisions for amendments. When they originally entered into these treaties, nearly everyone was addicted to some ancient superstition or another, now many more people are not. In a few years, hardly anybody will be. We could be nearing the end of the need for war.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Bobert
Date: 19 May 09 - 10:30 PM

Exactly, Dick G-house...

The reason that countires enter into treatiies is because in doing so they are protecting their own citizens...

Duhhh!!!

Breaking such a treaty endangers both sides or mutii-sides... Thatnis what internation law is all about...

We either respect international law or we don't...

No middle ground...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Peter T.
Date: 19 May 09 - 09:32 PM

Actually, you made my point better than I could. Biological weapons are very difficult to control, spread vaguely, and take time. Chemical weapons are a problem, but they too require very specific conditions to do serious damage. Nuclear weapons and nuclear material are the only weapons of mass destruction of real concern. Except for television of course.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Riginslinger
Date: 19 May 09 - 09:20 PM

"Definition of torture from earlier in the thread. Under this definition, the ham sandwich would be considered torture, because forcing someone to eat it might cause them to believe their soul could be endangered."

                      Here is where all the signed treaties go out the window. If I thought I could get information that would save lives or change the course of a battle by simply forcing somebody to do something that wouldn't harm them, I'd do it in a New York minute, and feel good about it.

                      The funny part is, this is the one thing George W. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al decided not to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 May 09 - 07:52 PM

Teribus-
the point is that torture of captured personnel is against US law, and violates treaties that the US signed. Whether or not it works is wholly irrelevant. So is that fact that some individual US citizens may volunteer to be tortured.

It's really not very complicated.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: CarolC
Date: 19 May 09 - 04:54 PM

The idea of people using biological weapons is a tricky one, because the populations related to those using the weapons would be just as vulnerable to being wiped out by them as those they were trying to wipe out. That makes them a lot less likely to be used. The smallpox bio-weapons were effective because Europeans tended to already have some degree of immunity to smallpox, and the indigenous Americans did not, and the indigenous populations were fairly isolated from the other populations. This is not the case with modern bio-weapons, although we did see that someone (someone employed by the US government) was able to use anthrax to kill a small number of people through the mail in 2001.


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: CarolC
Date: 19 May 09 - 04:46 PM

Definition of torture from earlier in the thread. Under this definition, the ham sandwich would be considered torture, because forcing someone to eat it might cause them to believe their soul could be endangered. I realise this might seem like a laughing matter to some people, but to those who are brought up in strict religious contexts, it is anything but.


Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: CarolC - PM
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 10:14 PM

Here's the definition of torture according to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to which the US is a signatory, which makes it a law of the land...

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cat.htm

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


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: beardedbruce
Date: 19 May 09 - 04:21 PM

"Biological weapons such as they are require a closed space (Tokyo subway) and dissipate really easily. No one has thought of a plausible way of doing it."

Sorry, but biological weapons would include ANY contagious disease. Since we have pandemics, naturally, I fail to see how you can dismiss the possibility of planned disease as a weapon.

Yes, it is probably easier to spread in inclosed spaces, such as aircraft, subways, and convention centers. But unless you prevent contact with other people, it can be spread easily. Worst case would be to use some other vector. A well known short story had a disease spread by contamination of the glue that is put on stamps.


BTW, the Tokyo Subway was ricin, a chemical agent.


And are you aware of how many tons of clorine are passing through major cities every day?


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Subject: RE: BS: Obama and torture
From: Riginslinger
Date: 19 May 09 - 04:01 PM

"The Chinese ham sandwich torture is simple....but insidious."


                   It might be insidious, but think of the possibilities. First you have a subject that abhores the idea of eating a ham sandwich, but you keep coaxing and coaxing, and then, when he finally gets hungry enough, he takes a nibble. After a sandwich or two, he discovers he likes them.

                   After a while, the interrogation subject begins to feel he can't get through the day without a ham sandwich or two. His dependancy increases. Finally, you let him have all the ham sandwiches he wants, until one day you suggest that he might want to cut down on them.

                   In the end, you have the National Security Advisor develop a 12 step program to help break the addiction to ham sadwiches. The subject shows up at group therapy one day, and he tells you everything.


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