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BS: US torture

GUEST,JTT 27 Dec 02 - 02:11 PM
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Subject: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 02:11 PM

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2607629.stm

Interesting BBC story about the US in Bagram using torture and the sleep deprivation and psychops that drove people crazy in Northern Ireland.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 02:17 PM

Here's the link as a blue clicky - and note that story was picked up from the Washington Post - as evidenced by this quote from a US official: "We don't kick the [expletive] out of them. We send them to other countries so they can kick the [expletive] out of them." (I suspect that there aren't too many places where "expletives" are seen as more obscene to print than stories of torture.)


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 02:35 PM

An aside- McGrath, that reminds me of something I read. A woman steps into a mess on the sidewalk and yelps, "Oh, shit. I stepped into some doggie doo doo."


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Gareth
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 02:42 PM

Errr ! Who used/uses torture in Northern Ireland ?

Oh Sorry, I was forgetting suspected informers are beyond protection.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 02:46 PM

Fair point, Gareth.

Doesn't make what the USA are doing right though.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Gareth
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 02:49 PM

Dear Anon Guest, for once I agree with you !!!

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: ard mhacha
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 03:00 PM

Gareth, If you can obtain The Guinea Pigs by John McGuffin, it will explain your question on who used torture in Ireland. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Gareth
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 03:03 PM

Ard Mhacha, I think torture by Terrorists of both sides is well documented.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: ard mhacha
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 03:40 PM

The European Court of Human Rights found the British Government guilty of Cruel and Degrading treatment, this consisted of Hooding, white noise, spreadeagled for hours against a wall by their fingertips, deprieved of food and sleep, whilst hooded pushed from helicopters hoovering a few feet from the ground, made to run the gauntlet between soldiers with guard dogs.
There is much more, the men who survived this ordeal were never the same, they were all interned by the British without any charge.
As I said Gareth found guilty on two occasions by The European Court of Human Rights in Ireland in the early 1970s.. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 03:52 PM

The thing is, as the guy quoted in that story comments, torture is not a good way to get accurate information.

But then that's not really what it's about. The real purpose is to break the people who are tortured, and to terrorise their possible sympathisers, and to create a kind of bond of blood brotherhood between the torturers and those who authorise them.

When the torturers in Chile tried out all the techniques they had been taught in the School of the Americas, they weren't primarily trying to get information; and nor were the torturers in the Castlereigh, or in the Securité, or Putin's friends in the KGB...And the list goes on. They were engaged in terror, licensed by those above them.

Essentially, torture is a form of terrorism, whoever does it - just as terrorism is a form of torture. Sometimes it's individuals who are tortured, sometimes it's communities, sometimes it's whole peoples.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Greg F.
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 05:56 PM

Torture is terrorism? Can't be! Say it ain't so!! The U.S. is the champion in the War Against, Terrorism!


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 06:58 PM

Do they really expect those who were let go from Guatanomo to say they were beaten? Imagine the threats to them and their families before they were let go.

We've got to stop this collision course the Shrub has our country on!!


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 07:16 PM

Maybe too late, Kat. Looks like Junior has just deployed the hospital ships to the Persian Gulf. This is usually a prelude to an attack. No opne is gonna be able to stop Bush's thirst for war except the American people and right now they are a tad comfy with Bush.

I hate to say it but the American people must have that morbid curiosity that allows a people to sit by and watch events unfold that will surely bring about the DEATHS of many people. Well, I hope they get the *jollies bag* filled this time because this is the most avildable war in the history of the US yet some folks just need to see a few of their kids or neighborhood's kids come home in body bags.

And it doesn't matter if Saddam just gives up tomorrow because Bush *will find* some country to have a *hot war* with so that the American sheep can get their jollies and be entertained. Hey, it does take the focus away from Bush's other shortcomings.

The man is in over his head on every front. He equates peace with killing! He equates economic health by deficits.

He may not be an idiot but he is definately EVIL!

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Raedwulf
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 07:44 PM

Calm down, Bob. I'm English - do you think I'd not be cynical about the Shrub?! If Saddam rolled over & died (figuratively or literally) tomorrow, The Almighty Ignorance wouldn't go to war with Iraq. If he goes to war with N.Korea, which is at least looking plausible if not yet possible, it won't have anything to do with whether or not he's fighting Saddam.

He's an idiot of monumental proportions, perhaps (probably). I don't believe he "equates peace with killing". I wouldn't say he was evil. An idiot, yes. Evil? No!


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 08:32 PM

It isn't really worth speculating whether a statesmen is "evil" or not. That's between them and God I suppose, and noone else can really judge those things, and paying any attention to it distracts from what matters. In any case evil men can do good things and good men can do evil things. What we can judge, and have to judge, is whether what is being done is evil or not - and what's happening here looks pretty evil to me (as it does to the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury - and, I was pleased to note, to the Parish Priest when he gave the sermon for the Mass attended by Tony Blair and his family this Christmas).

There are so many echoes of Kaiser Bill and the inexorable rolling out of the Great War. And all the evidence seems to show how popular that was with his subjects, and how proud they felt, and how justified in what they were doing.

I don't know whether it's really true that most Americans are gung-ho for this - I can't really believe it. But one thing's for certain - even if Tony Blair succeeds in dragging us into it, it won't be a popular war here in any way.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: smallpiper
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 09:24 PM

except with the arms manufacturers


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Bobert
Date: 27 Dec 02 - 09:52 PM

Raedwulf: I'm calm. Just realistic. And if Bush wants my son to fight his f**kin' war, he won't get him! I'll have him in Canada in a New York Minute! No, make no bones about George Bush! He is a servant of the Devil! He serves Satan! He is no more a Christain than Herod! He has made *HIS* deal with the Devil. He will kill people for his own glory. It doesn't matter if it's one person or 100,000. The fact that he has made a decision that's *his* image is worth more than the life of one single human being makes him a *servant* of the Devil!

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Gareth
Date: 28 Dec 02 - 04:08 AM

Ard' - What a pity that the IRA never wer tken to the Court of Human rights.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: ard mhacha
Date: 28 Dec 02 - 07:29 AM

Gareth, I never realised the IRA were in control here!, this is a so-called democracy being castigated for their brutality, and this is very relevant to this Thread, as the methods used were taken from the CIA`s handbook. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: MARINER
Date: 28 Dec 02 - 11:05 AM

Who was it said that "Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Dec 02 - 12:50 PM

"I don't know whether it's really true that most Americans are gung-ho for this. . . ."

Kevin, I keep hearing on the news that the polls say that Bush has a general approval rating of about 60%, and that the vast majority of Americans back him all the way on the Iraq war. Nevertheless, I have yet to meet anyone, be it friends, relatives, or casual acquaintances who don't think that Bush is way off base and is using the war thing to divert people's attention from his fouled-up domestic policies and his attempts to get his agenda passed under the radar. If the polls are true, then I really should run into someone (besides DougR) who thinks Bush is just fine. Where are all these people who think Bush is the bee's knees? Could it be that I lead a sheltered life?

Or could it be that (as CBS newsman Dan Rather implied a brief time ago) there is a lot of news that isn't allowed to make the news?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Amos
Date: 28 Dec 02 - 01:01 PM

You're right on the dime there, Don. One way to subvert the rule of democracy is to invent a fictitious majority, which of course can only be done by lying, and using mass media. You can use it to pose as a leader when you are actually just being a thief.

Wish Bob Woodward would remember who he used to be!



A


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: SINSULL
Date: 28 Dec 02 - 03:00 PM

I work in a pro-Bush environment yet none of them "support" war. They do however "support" their president. Not mine - I voted for Gore (or against Bush, I don't remember). At least the younger people listen when I tell them about Viet Nam and real people who died horrible deaths or lived worse lives as a result. I know hundreds who openly oppose a war with Iraq but none who enthusiastically support one. Maybe they are all on the west coast?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: ard mhacha
Date: 28 Dec 02 - 03:23 PM

What a strange, strange, Country the land of the free and the home of the naive.
Who voted for the scum-bag?. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: DougR
Date: 28 Dec 02 - 03:44 PM

Enough to elect him Mhacha.

Bobert: there you go again. I'll bet Bush's ears are beet red! You sure aren't saying very nice things about him.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Dec 02 - 04:09 PM

All right, there is room for a lot of disagreements about politics - but is there anyone who does not think that torture of captives is intolerable, whoever does it?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Dec 02 - 04:39 PM

Katherine Harris voted for George W. Bush. Some are more equal than others.   

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Dec 02 - 04:43 PM

Torture is an atrocity, and anyone who perpetrates it, or authorizes it--all the way to the top--should be held accountable.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: ard mhacha
Date: 29 Dec 02 - 05:46 AM

If that were only true Don, the perpetrators in northern Ireland were promoted. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 29 Dec 02 - 06:52 AM

Isn't asking the Bush administration to investigate these allegations just a bit like hiring an alcoholic to tend bar? How reliable is a US Goverment investigation likely to be?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Gareth
Date: 29 Dec 02 - 09:27 AM

Ard Mhacha - Yes they were promoted - I understand at least two of them served as ministeres in the Northern Ireland Government.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Dec 02 - 09:32 AM

I'd think any "Goverment investigation" into these kinds of allegations - any Government - should be treated the same way as a declaration by Saddam Hussein about his arms holdings. In other words, as material to be included in the scope of a proper investigation to be carried out by dispassionate and trustworthy international observers.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 29 Dec 02 - 10:16 AM

If torture was not expected at some level or part of a "War Process" why do so many countries train their military (special forces)to resist it?

In reality if torturing one person within a mm of their life results in intelligence that save many lives who is to say which is the greater evil. Having the means to obtain such info or doing nothing and letting others die so some one can live in a sanitised world.

I look at it like this those in Guatanomo were quite happy to terrorise/torture people in Iraq we can see the evidence of such people, blowing the brains out of a mother on a football pitch in front of her children to hanging people from goal posts. Taliban, Al qaeda,all the same people who have shown they are not beyond using torture on a massive scale.

Since Sept 11 Bin Laden is torturing the world with the threat of terrorism, if torture gets info to stop this I for one will not complain.

We have in N.Ireland many examples of torture, a widowed mother taken from her young family by the IRA and disposed of.The purpose of such acts, to stop people doing the right thing and reporting the illegal activities of others, who were intent on handing out their brand of torture,punishments shootings, bombing and maiming innocents.

I have had friends in Castlereagh who were beaten, totally innocent people, so I have no argument with condemning such acts, but when it is carried out on those who are known terrorists, either side, I have no pity for them at all. These people were not worried about the pain they would inflict on innocent people out trying to get on with their life, why should I worry about such scum.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Dec 02 - 12:55 PM

The people in Guantanamo Bay are by no means all "known terrorists". For example in October three men who had been held there for a year were released without any charge. Why, they were even paid compensation. $500 dollars between them. I suppose, since they were, after all, Afghans, the US authorities thought that was a generous payout for a year locked in a cage.

If it's all right to torture terrorists, and I'm right in my assertion that torture is a form of terrorism, that would mean that it's all right to torture the people who aid and abet a government which goes in for that kind of terrorism... That way it never stops.

Torture is not a good way of getting accurate information. It's a good way of ensuring that your side has a supply of people who have been corrupted and degraded into becoming torturers. A useful enough resource I suppose. People who will do anything you ask them to do.

Here's a link to a piece in today's Observer about this, focussing on the case of an English Muslim teacher from Birmingham who's been held in Bagram since February, after being kidnapped in Pakistan and taken into Afghanistan. No representative of the British Foreign Office, let alone a lawyer, a Red Cross official or a member of his family has been allowed to see him so far. "We are still pressing the Americans, but as yet we have been allowed no access" said the Foreign Office spokesman.

One thought-provoking element in the story is this quote:

It is believed that some, who had battle wounds when captured, are denied painkillers as a further way of coaxing information from them.

"Pain control is a very subjective thing" one US official said, deadpan, to the Washington Post last week.


The Nazis used to go in for that too. That sounds like a Nazi official talking to the Washington Post there. Why aren't we surprised?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 29 Dec 02 - 01:51 PM

Corrupted and degraded, who corrupted people to take such degrading actions as flying an aeroplane into a building? If action is taken which turns a person around from being part of such actions to being part of preventing them I am all for it.

How can we lead by example when we live in a world that see's such as a weakness?

We have people on both sides who think their way is their Gods way, one crowd is relying on humanity to prevail and the other is using the threat of their might to keeps everyone in line.

If we do not want to live by the Law of Islam and others want to make us what do we do? Who has an answer?

We have extremes on both sides, Bush gets slammed for using the word Crusade, but others can keep using the word Jihad, where is the difference? The difference I see is that Jihad can have many connotations, including the right to spread Islam through the use of violence, that is kill off everyone who does not accept Islam or corrupt or degrade them into Islam. Taleban is the example of how people are tortured into following the law of Islam, women are degraded into denying their education and corrupted men/followers uphold such laws.

We have those on the Christian side just as bad, and one sure thing is, those who are meek Christian or Muslim, who rely on goodness to prevail will be the ones who sit back and watch the extremists ruin what we have.

People are willingly following security checks at airports etc, they have given up part of their freedom, worry free travel etc etc, why? some nut took it into his head the notion to put fear into peoples lives because they do not follow his way of life. No way do I feel sorry for those guys, they brought it on themselves. I feel sorry for their innocent victims and the degredation some of them may go through.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: NicoleC
Date: 29 Dec 02 - 02:10 PM

Ireland, we are not talking about toturing guilty people. We are talking about torturing people that are SUSPECTED of something. The problem with suspicion is that's it often wrong -- one reason why we have trials instead of one person arbitrarily meeting out judgement.

Secondly, what if they are guilty? Shall we be as inhumane as they? Shall we commit the same acts which we so loudly decry? On one hand, you suggest the average, ordinary people who are prisoners in Guantanamo were forced into their acts by the Taliban, then you say they brought it upon themselves. Which is it? People who live lives of limited choice and less information on which to make those choices may not be able to make the same choices we do.

It is a convenient fiction that there is one accepted code of behavior for all humans regardless of culture. Children learn only what they are taught. If you are taught that it is right to kill others when your leader says so -- whether it be in a terrorist training camp or at a US military installation, that does not mean you deliberately make an evil choice -- you simply make the one that's available to you based on what you have been taught.

If we resort to the same evil acts when we DO have a choice, then we are no better than our "enemy," and the enemy has won. We also teach our children, and our enemy's children, that we only pretend to denounce these acts -- in truth they are an acceptable way to live.

Is that what you want to teach a new generation? More blood?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 04:20 AM

After reading the other Gaurdian article (29-12-02, or for my countrymen 12-29-02) I am somewhat ashamed to say that I'm not especially surprised.

The lesson in all of this may be to beware of any leader who tells you that you MUST be afraid of anyone. They are not leading you to anywher that decnt, caring, intelligent people want to go. They are only trying to solidiy and consolidate thier power.

Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 09:27 AM

"On one hand, you suggest the average, ordinary people who are prisoners in Guantanamo were forced into their acts by the Taliban, then you say they brought it upon themselves. Which is it?"

NicoleC, not a bit of it,I really do not give a fig for those who executed people and enforced the Taleban rule, they have brought it on themselves.

It was the people who were forced to live under the taleban rule not enforce it are the people I'm referring to and I think you know that.

The "can't we all get along" sentiment does not work, too many justify their actions for taking life, from freedom fighters to religious zealots, or those who want everyone to toe the party line.

"If we resort to the same evil acts when we DO have a choice, then we are no better than our "enemy," and the enemy has won."

What are you suggesting here, if we say took up the same tactics as our enemy then the enemy has won? Adaptation and playing the enemy at their own game won many conflicts,the torturing of prisoners is not a new phenomenon,and is not a useless as some say it is.

"CIA director George Tenet has said that interrogations overseas have yielded results.
"Almost half of our successes against senior al-Qaeda members have come in recent months," he said in a speech earlier this month"

If you read the report you will have noticed the last paragraph, harsh conditions but not beaten, Which is it harsh or tortured?

I agree that it is barbaric to torture people, but if it has to be done and if it saves lives then it is worth it. In the context of the War on Terror when we have Bin Laden terrorising the World any method to get intelligence is all right by me.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Gareth
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 10:59 AM

Nichole C, I agree with your sentiments. May the time come when the Republican/ Loyaalist element acknowledge that the Provisional/Real IRA / Assortd Protestants
have no right to the moral high ground on this. And I just wonder how much of the troubles are due to " freedom fighters" or money leaching bastards who seek status and wealth at the expense of the inocent population.

Answers on a postcard please to G Adams c/o Stormont Building, Belfast, United Kingdon of Great Brittain and Northern Ireland, and Ian Paisley of the same address.

Gareth - who is sick of the patriot game.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: NicoleC
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 11:28 AM

"I agree that it is barbaric to torture people, but if it has to be done and if it saves lives then it is worth it."

Ahhh, but whose lives? Only the ones you think are worthy of saving? That's the problem with that argument. The terrorists use it too to justify the lives they say they are trying to save in the West Bank and Iraq. Are their lives worth less because you don't know them or share their culture?

I don't believe that self-proclaimed better motives justify the same actions one is condemning. Someone else always thinks their motives are better than yours.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Don Firth
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 12:08 PM

And how can you be so sure beforehand that it will save lives?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: ard mhacha
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 12:40 PM

Aren`t we all sick of patriotism, wouldn`t the two B`s warmongering make anyone sick. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 02:28 PM

"Ahhh, but whose lives? Only the ones you think are worthy of saving?"

Where do you get that impression, I do not agree with the 2B's and their wanting to go to war. I do not agree with our security being reliant on good will towards man, it's a nice sentiment but not all people share that.

As you have reiterated what I said, that both sides can use the argument to justify their action, we have to acknowledge the fact the one side has to be the aggressor and in such cannot moan when they get a taste of their own medicine.If the side I'm on happens to protect my interests and freedoms that the aggressor wants to take away I have no pity on them when they are put in their box. Rather Al Qaeda get put in their box by any means than any innocent person anywhere in the world.

We have people who do live their lives in the manner you want, which is something we all should aspire to do, problem is there are too many on all sides who see that as a weakness and are willing to use force to impose their will, any ideas how you could stop that?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Melani
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 03:09 PM

I think there is considerable question as to whether enough people voted for Bush to get him elected, and I certainly wasn't one of them. I agree with Bobert--I would not be surprised to find three tiny 6's tatooed on the guy's scalp.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: DougR
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 04:16 PM

Ireland: I think you make some good points.

McGrath: "it is believed that those who were wounded were denied treatment (or words to that affect). The statement, "It is believed", is evidently sufficient proof to you that it happend (else why would you provide us the quote?) Since it is a quote from "The Guardian" I, for one am not convinced.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 04:28 PM

I wrote this right after Ireland's post at 29 Dec 02 - 01:51 PM, as a reply to it and the Mudcat went down before I posted it. So I'll post it now anyway:

I'd suggest that the reason why Bush was criticised for using the word "Crusade" in this context was that in doing so he was implying that the line of conflict was between Christians on one side and Muslims on the other.

I'm not an Arabic speaker, but my understanding is that Jihad essentially means "holy struggle". In which case in a sense a Crusade is just a special Christian version of this concept. In both cases the term has been used to cover many kind of non-violent activity as well. But also some horrible things, both in the Middle Ages and more recently - for example the code name for Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union was "Operation Barbarossa", referring to a Crusading Emperor.

Only a very very stupid person could have used the term in the context of trying to build a coalition which has to include Muslims - most of whom were appalled by what happened on September 11th, and see it as an act of blasphemy for those responsible to have associated it with the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

It is clear that "these guys" whom Ireland casually indicates that it is all right to torture (though I am sure he doesn't actually mean that) include innocent people. Equally clearly, the guys who are doing the torture are themselves terrorists, engaged in a terrorist activity, which degrades everybody who consents to it or approves of it.

Real true believing terrorist don't tend to crack under torture - the people who crack are the fringe people pulled in, and the totally innocent, who have no accurate information, but say whatever they think might stop the torturers. It's a lousy way of getting accurate information. It's a great way of getting false information and false confessions.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 04:49 PM

Doug - that quote from The Guardian was actually a quote from The Observer. That's not much difference (though I did indicate this in the post, so you must have been speed reading). More to the point though, as the story indicates, the allegation is taken from the Washington Post, as also is the quote from an unnamed US Government official which appears to substantiate it.

A conscientious paper indicates when an allegation is not proven by the use of expressions such as "it is believed", and the Guardian and the Observer are conscientious papers. There are plenty of papers which fudge this kind of thing, and I don't put much stock by them. I believe the Washington Post is another conscientious paper, which tries to indicate what's fact and what's comment. (The Tory Daily Telegraph is another, and personally I wouldn't disparage a story - as opposed to an editorial or comment column - just because it appeared in a paper whose politics I did not share.)

The actual facts in this business are open to investigation and it'd be wrong to jump prematurely to conclusions. There is room for different beliefs and suspicions about whether torture is being permitted and encouraged by agents of our Governments. My view is that the previous records of the agencies under suspicion have to be taken into account, and unfortunately there is clear evidence of the sue of torture by both our countries. But that still just adds up to suspicion.

However when people assert that torture is a permissible thing to do, that goes too far. It's the kind of disagreement that breaks off communication.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 07:02 PM

"Real true believing terrorist don't tend to crack under torture - the people who crack are the fringe people pulled in, and the totally innocent, who have no accurate information"

McG of H you give too much credit to terrorists who sneak up on people and blow their brains out or fly people into buildings. Terrorists are human, the course they take in life does not make them any more immune to torture than the ordinary person on the street, it does make them less sensitive to violence though which when used on them may seem harsh to the average bystander.

Those on the fringe may not have a lot of accurate intelligence but they still have some. This info could have been gleamed from many or a few of the prisoners, a good intel collator can make use of the given details, that's were the advantage lies. At the ending of the original Article it was said useful intelligence was obtained.

I am glad you realise I do not advocate torturing innocent people in any way shape or form, but I do realise that, as terrorist spokesperson's in N.Ireland point out that there are innocent people killed in all wars, those on the fringe of terrorism as such run the same risks. M.McGuiness said in the past that those killed or maimed in an IRA atrocity had only themselves to blame for being there in the first place. Not word for word but the just of his statement.

I would rather have a world were we have no such decisions to make but I look at the terrorist strikes anywhere in the world as torture. If we do not do what terrorists of the world want they torture us by bombing and shooting innocent people. If you pick up victims who are mince meat or just slices of skin that is real torture, knowing if we do not do what is demanded then the same is going to happen.

We have to realise that war is dirty and vile, fought with many means and torture is one such way, tying our hands by not taking terrorists on at their own game makes the job all the harder. I have no problems with terrorising the terrorist they brought it on by doing what they did.

Nowhere have I seen people asking to be victims of a terrorist attack so where is the need for terrorists, what is their worth or reason for being?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 07:26 PM

Torture is a form of terrorism. To deplore terrorism, but condone the use of torture means essentially that you are nlot deploring terrorism as such, but merely terrorism which is carried out by other people.

If the suggestion is that, since war is cruel and innocent peiple get killed in it, it is acceptable to use any and every method, including torture of people who are suspected of having some kind of information that might be useful - that is precisely the way that terrorist actions are justified. But of course, what is being justified here is a terrorist action. Terrorism dressed up as a response to terrorism and atrocity - but then terrorism normally is dressed up as a response to terrorism and atrocity.

The kind of people who kill in cold blood, and explode bombs at the risk of their own life, whether terrorists or members of Special Forcres Units, do not in practice crack easily under torture. Whether that is giving them "credit" is arguable. Call, it fanaticism, call it dedication, it's a very unusual state of mind which requires preparation and training, and that is what it gets. The fact that one despises the things people have done does not in any way mean that they are less liable to resist torture.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Gareth
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 07:40 PM

Mmmmm ! time to get back to objectivity.

Historical Perspective - If I read M R D Foot's history of British support to resistance movements correctly the official view was that even the best and most resiliant agent would talk after 48 hours "interogation" by the Gestapo of the French "Milice". That was the time scale to run and hide for those members of the underground who could be compromised. From this we can believe that torture works. If it did not, why put a 48 hour deadline ???

I must in fairness add that post war many official (ie Gaullist) French claimed as hero's, resistance members who did not talk, or named collaberaters as resistance stalwarts. But never confuse official french views on this matter with reality.

Secondly, in the Irish context, I wonder to what extent continued violence, knee cappings etc, are for the "cause", and to what extent they continue to provide status and income for a bunch of saddistic physcopaths ??? Financed by collecting tins being rattled in American bars.

Thirdly I would never, never claim that the London "Gaurdian", or it's sunday companion the "Observer" are accurate or objective when discussing the US of A - Sorry Kevin, if I want accurate reporting I reach for the "Telegraph".

Torture is torture, and should not be encompassed by any civilised nation. I would question wether phycological pressure is torture, other wise interogation scripts may read like this :-

Interogator "Where were you and your mates going to plant this bomb ??"

Suspect " I am innocent "

Interogator " Ok you can go "

Suspect "Can I have my Semtex back ???"

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,colwyn dane
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 07:58 PM

Regarding information from prisoners:
Mark Clark in his autobiography "Calculated Risk" revealed at the wars end,in Italy, they 'bugged' a villa and stuffed it with captured German generals. After a two days of near silence they sent in to their captives some crates of Scotch; about two hours later the shorthand writers were working their heads off as the German generals gushed forth a torrent of information.

There are many ways to skin a cat and if you can't skin then hold a leg - this quote owes a lot to A. Lincoln.


"Crusade in Europe" was the title of Eisenhowers autobiography - I don't believe it had any religious significance.



CD.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Dec 02 - 08:13 PM

But then the war in Europe wasn't open to being seen as Christian versus Muslim. Context is everything.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: ard mhacha
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 06:53 AM

I don`t know if Gareth, McGrath, and all of the other lads and lassies that are contributing to this thread, realise, that the Protestant=Unionist terrorists have continued to slaughter each other in their drug war.
This is going on on a daily basis, and as the IRA are not involved the British press tends to overlook this.
Their has been 12 deaths in the past few months, i`m sure Ireland will give you more details as he is closer to the action. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 08:29 AM

I would not know as much about that as you Ard, not being rude but I do not get involved with the loyalist thing, don't fly flags,have no time for the OO or any organisation which divide my community. And definitely have no time for terrorists or their human rights.

Have time for a peaceful non terrorist linked united Ireland so we can all get on with life.

I do not see giving people a taste of their own medicine or using their tactics the same as becoming like them. WHY? Because no terrorist voluntarily holds themselves accountable to anyone but themselves. When has anyone taken the IRA or any loyalist crowd to the European Court of Human rights? Compare that to governments who abide by rules.

The harsh conditions that are being complained about would be nothing compared to those on the battle field in a strung out war and all that entails.Using whatever means to prevent this is fine by me,especially when the nut cases involved are among those who started this situation.

BTW McG of H I think it is disgusting that you compare the terrorists who carried out the Enniskillen Bomb, the Omagh Bomb, Claudy, Bloody Friday, with those of special forces, people who try and do prevent such atrocities. (ARD, Bloody Sunday was wrong also no excuse for it)

You hold terrorists up as some equivalent to special forces etc,complete nonsense, do you think Martin McGuinness took anti interrogation training, did he heck, for being second in command and all that he did not have the confidence of all the people he commanded. This person is one example of the so called hard terrorist, many many more like him on both sides.

You should know that those people who filled the H block were teenagers when they were caught, the good old terrorists recruited youngsters to murder people, are they hardened or just on the fringe?

These people would have to know the quarter master and have a plan of attack, who would give them that and the weapons to carry out such attacks. Popular phrase the Godfathers, these aren't hardened terrorists either as they hid behind the youth and sent them to do the dirty work.

Link that with Bin Laden, he sends others to do the dirty work and that's not a hard thing to do.

With all this fair play and not reducing ourselves to the terrorists level, how do you combat terrorism, Bin Laden in particular? If the world gives in to Bin Laden, how long would the moderates last, considering the radical would be in charge?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 08:37 AM

"I do not see giving people a taste of their own medicine or using their tactics the same as becoming like them."

That's terrorist talk. Seriously.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 08:48 AM

"...it is disgusting that you compare the terrorists ..."

A point about logic here, because that kind of thing keeps coming up, you point out some similarity between two different things, and are accused of suggesting that they are identical in other ways.

If I point out that an elephant and a kangaroo are both mammals, and that they both have two eyes and a tail, that does not mean that I am trying to insinuate that an elephant has a pouch or that a kangaroo has a trunk.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 08:59 AM

At the time of the War of independence,formations were used, from Squares to lines, the British were experts at it,standing facing the enemy and blasting away. Americans would have lost if they kept this up,playing the British at their own game.

It was the tactic of skirmishes, hit and run which prevailed, the British seen this as unfair and did not employ such methods, would only make em like the rebels. Who won?

Improvisation the best tool in any soldiers arsenal, adapt and improvise, that's how wars are won. Worry about the niceties when we have peace and security and the luxury to do so.

How would you combat Bin Laden?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 09:07 AM

"That's terrorist talk. Seriously. "

I would agree with you if such actions were taken by people who hold themselves accountable to no one but themselves. How many referendums have been held by any terrorist group into which atrocity would be carried out next? Have we ever seen coverage of what terrorists are going to do in the media or any accountability or seeking of approval or justifying their actions. No need for it if you are only accountable to yourself and your own self imposed morality.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 09:18 AM

So if you have some kind of authority structure and you are obeying orders that makes it OK? The things done by Hitler don't count as terrorism?

(And don't go saying "how dare you compare so and so to Hitler" - remember the elephant and the kangaroo.)


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 09:37 AM

Would not bother me if Bin Laden was sent on his way with any of the methods Hitler used, you must understand I am talking about those who are terrorists, not innocent people, sort of negates your concerns.

We have an amazing set of people in N.I. who call themselves the silent majority, setting themselves apart from the "troubles" not being terrorists or trying to stop them but cries foul when certain sensitivities are offended. Who is it that gives these people the choice of doing so? Certainly not the terrorist as they do not care who they kill or terrorise to their way of thinking.

If the silent majority is left to deal with the terrorist how long would it be before they set their sensitivities aside? I am in no way making a case for any war, but I understand certain things have to be done, and if it was not for the likes of Bin Laden we would not have to do them. So I place no blame on those who do them, I place it on those who make them to have to be done TERRORISTS.

(And don't go saying "how dare you compare so and so to Hitler" - remember the elephant and the kangaroo.) HaHA Good one.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: ard mhacha
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 11:17 AM

On a previous Thread Ireland panicked when a Container Van was left on the Sprucefield roundabout.
He would not be my ideal companion in a crisis, and he still ignores his fellow Unionists turf war.
Remember that you are not the only one who desires peace here and in the rest of the Worlds trouble spots, but your notion that tortures is ok I can understand, as the internees in 1972 were all Catholics, 90% of whom were not involved in anything, just the fact that they were Catholics was sufficent.
Also when this sick counties was banged together in 1922 it`s first Prime Sinister Lord Craigavon decreed "that this is a Protestant Parliment for a Protestant people".
And damm little has changed. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 12:00 PM

Did not panic vented frustration. Your the worst type of bigot there is ARD, a real reason why we will never see peace in Ireland. I condemn all terrorists make no pathetic excuses for any of them can't say the same for you. Your right dam little has changed, when people like you try to take the high moral ground, you are not as above it as you like to think or give the impression that you are, absolute disgrace.

I still ignore fellow unionists turf war,where do we go from here, my accusing you of ignoring that one of the worlds worst terrorist organisation the IRA are still re-arming recruiting and training.

Here's the difference I realise that you have as much to do with this as I have which is nothing, your slimy attempt at making me out to be part of the turf war , clearly shows the type of bigoted person you are. I'm protestant so I must be a loyalist thug, as I said your a disgrace and the perfect example of whats wrong with the country.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 12:49 PM

Presumably we're working on different definitions of "terrorist". I'd define a torturer, and someone who colludes in torture by a subordinate or agent, as a terrorist. I'd define someone who carries out reprisals against civilians as a terrorist. I'd define someone who sets off bombs directed at non-combatants as a terrorist.

That would apply whoever was giving them their own orders. What you seem to be saying, Ireland, is that if they were working for a government, especially one which had some underpinning of constitutionality, they wouldn't count as terrorists.

I suspect that isn't quite what you mean, since you appear to class Taliban supporters as terrorists, and the Taliban constituted the de facto government of Afghanistan, recognised as legitimate and supported by the government of its neighbour Pakistan.

I believe that there are certain acts which are criminal whoever does them, and that is what I mean by terrorism. That's a different definition from the one which would see terrorism as simply meaning any activity which is carried out by particular groups which are defined as terrorist organisations. It is both wider and narrower - it would include some actions carried out by otherwise legitimate governments, and exclude certain activities carried out by illegal organisations.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 01:30 PM

The Taleban was not democratically elected, those in Afghanistan have spoken of their resentment of Taleban members from surrounding countries coming to Afghanistan to enforce the Talebans rules based on the various Islamic Laws. Who elected them to control the country in such a way?

We can look at the situation like this, the governments of countries that allow terrorists to get away with what they want to do, are torturing it's own people, simply because the do not intervene.

What I'm saying is simple I have no qualms in torturing terrorists,and no it does not have any ramifications for me as no one has came up with an alternative. How would you combat Bin Laden? Are you happy to live under his rule and a regime like the Talebans? Again if not what would you do? stoop to their level to stop them.

I can do as you do and be ultra liberal but that does not defend the weak or stop the terrorists of this world, of all the injustices one group or another feels that a country has done to them, it does not justify the death of one innocent person. If torturing a terrorist which combats such actions I for one would loose no sleep, and that does not make a bad person. What does though is sitting back wringing my hands and saying well you know.... and doing nothing.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 03:41 PM

No the Taliban weren't elected, any more than the present government in Afghanistan, and in large numbers of other countries round the world.

Hitler of course was elected. Is that really a significant difference?

What you wrote there about being willing to accept, when carried out by a government which you recognise, what I would define as terrorist acts, doesn't make you a "bad person", Ireland. I think though that it does make you a terrorist sympathiser.

I would strongly suspect that the use of torture by its opponents is far more likely to help Al Qaeda and all it stands for than significantly damage it.

The alternatve to torture is simple. It is to refuse to torture. There are other ways of carrying on a struggle.

In any case, within our legal system the use of torture is outlawed. It is a criminal act to torture a priosner, or to collude in torture on our behalf. If it is to be permitted, along with other acts of atrocity, it is our right as citizens of a democracy to be allowed to approve this change in our legal system, and in the case of most countries, to withdraw from the treaty obligations which confirm and underpin this outlawing of the practice.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 05:15 PM

I am a terrorist sympathiser because I agree with using their own tactics against them, well lets look at this bit of logic.

Not too long ago you were extolling the ability of the German Army during WW2, Hitler's Army, many lessons were learnt from this army and used by other countries, does that make them Hitler supporters?Are the soldiers who fought Hitler's army now to be classed as murderers? What way would you have handled Hitler and his Army?

Now take into consideration your elephant and kangaroo logic, it would indicate you want it both ways.

Words come easy principles come easy the people who pay for them are usually the innocent, not the terrorist as they do not care for words or principles otherwise they would be using other means to advance their cause.

When we have people who are willing to use any means to murder children, mothers and fathers, how are you going to combat that? Bin Laden has no respect for life or limb, how much do you think he will have for your way of life? How do you suggest that the American Government defends it people against Bin Ladens threats, he is quite happy to have children murdered just because they are American, what harm have they done to him?

We can all take the moral high ground but that's all it is high morals, what use are they to a dead child and grieving parents, is telling them at least we are not stooping to their level going to cut it?

Here is the frustrating part you condemn but have no answers,you want principles applied and adhered to distinguish us from terrorists who in the meantime do not care if you fight them honourably or not. Where is the logic in that?

"No the Taliban weren't elected, any more than the present government in Afghanistan, and in large numbers of other countries round the world."

Does that justify the Taleban,it's ok for them to do it because other places are also at it. Big flaw in your logic, Al Quaeda and the Taleban used torture what is wrong with it being used against them?

In your accepting the principle and justifying of the above would that make you a terrorist sympathiser?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 05:38 PM

I wasn't "justifying" the Taliban, just pointing outr tat its constitutinbal status wasn't that much duifferent from a lot of other regimes. The reasons for being opposed to its actions does not rest on that, but on the actions themselves.

Adopting terrorist tactics because the people you are fighting use them does not stop them being terrorist tactics. Everybody who uses terrorist tactics would justify it on the ground that this is the only way or the best way to fight an opponent which cannot be beaten in any other way.

"People who are willing to use any means to murder children, mothers and fathers" - there is no shortage of these on any side in a modern war. Whether it is actually an effective way of waging war in the long run is questionable, as is the question of whether torture is an effective technique. For example, it seems highly likely that carpet bombing of German cities lengthened the last war by stiffening resustance. Bombing atrocities by the IRA probably had the same effect on the British Government and people.

The same is true about torture. Even on purely pragmatic grounds it does more harm than good to those who go in for it.

You justify torture, you justify terrorism. Facilis descensus Averno.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 06:21 PM

"Adopting terrorist tactics because the people you are fighting use them does not stop them being terrorist tactics. Everybody who uses terrorist tactics would justify it on the ground that this is the only way or the best way to fight an opponent which cannot be beaten in any other way."

Do what it takes to eliminate the problem as soon as possible, as principles are paid for by innocents,who when dead have no use for them. But that is the problem when we are not directly affected we can afford to have such principles.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Dec 02 - 06:52 PM

"Do what it takes to eliminate the problem as soon as possible" - and I'm sure that is essentially what Bin Laden would say.

Principles are there for a reason, to defend ourselves against ourselves. Without principles there is no depth to which we cannot sink. They are not luxuries.

Happy New Year anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 01 Jan 03 - 07:56 AM

What do a mean anyway, you can have your views and a Happy New Year and without any anyways, ha ha

I agree with what you say on principle but unfortunately princples do no protect lives when the other side has none. On principle people would not have shot a mother in the head while witnessed by her children, but it happens.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Jan 03 - 08:23 AM

Happy New Year means Happy New Year, with the implication that disagreements shouldn't get in the way of that.

Atrocities happen in conflicts, and they always get used to justify counter atrocities. It's always possible to point to something that has been done by the other side, and use it as reason for doing something you know you shouldn't do, and then forget about that when the other side comes back with another counter atrocity.

That doesn't mean saying everything balances out and both sides are as bad as each other, because that isn't always true - maybe it isn't even true most times, though I'm not sure about that, in the long run.
It means refusing to allow yourself to do certain things, full stop. It means refusing to allow the enemy to determine your actions.

In practice the evidence seems to be that the effect of adopting atrocity tactics is to cause greater harm to innocent people, even to innocent people on your own side, whatever side that may be. I'm sure that has been the case in Ireland.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 12:20 AM

Torture is not terrorism, at least not as the U.S.A practices it. Only if the threat of torture were being used against a populace would it truly be terrorism. Notwithstanding, the American government's use of torture is utterly abominable. Not only does it violate the Constitution and a number of international treaties, it destroys the meaning behind the ideals on which the nation was founded. As to "principles are paid for by innocents," they are also the ones who pay for lack of principles. If terrorism is combated with unacceptable methods, there will no longer be any reason, moral or practical, to prefer our government to Al Qaeda. We were all taught "two wrongs don't make a right." In fact, two wrongs make three, then four, then five . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 06:09 AM

Whose lack of principles, the terrorists, their supporters, the people who stand back and allow it to happen?

Far too simplistic, Al Qaeda were not elected, so who are they accountable to? governments are elected and are accountable for their actions, it is easier to vote people out of office than get rid of any terrorist who decides to run your country.

All very fine and humanitarian but not one practical solution as how to combat the threat of Bin Laden.

Noriaga had what could be torture techniques used on him, methods described in the first post,US in Bagram using torture and the sleep deprivation and psychops.

Would people prefer the alternative method of arresting Noriaga, that is sending in a person who has volunteered to protect and serve his country with the real possibility of getting killed?

My opinion is this if any method to prevent the loss of life of those who choose to serve their country it is used it is fine by me. Why? I'm not the one with the prospect of getting injured or killed and at least they are doing something other than moralising.

I do not agree with the electrodes to the genitals type torture, sleep deprivation,white noise etc is a walk in the field compared to being caught up in a fire fight or in battle field conditions.

We need to define what is torture in it's true sense and how valuable it is to saving lives on all sides of the equation especially those of our own armed forces, and take into account they did not ask Bin Laden to organise the flying of aeroplanes into buildings. But have the burden of defending their country with what looks like one hand behind their back.

And if it happens again who will get the blame? The very same people who are being criticised now for using modern interrorgation techniques.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: NicoleC
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 12:25 PM

No one said having ethics and principles was easy.

If you abandon them at the first sign of hardship, you never had them.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 04:09 PM

If the abandoning of ethics and principles that people uphold is seen as easy then many have no idea about the position we ask our security forces to put themselves in.

What would make people think that a soldier does not have the same angst about abandoning their ethics,principles and religous beliefs as anyone else?

It is easier for people to accept that a soldier gives up his/her life while defending the right for people to have such ethics and principles,take the soldier out of the equation and who is left with the dilemma? The people who see themselves above the messy business and do not want to come out of their comfort zones..


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 05:01 PM

And all those justifications can be offered up by anyone engaged in terrorism.

As for elections and so forth, the people who control the world and who make life and death decisions that shape and often threaten the louves of millions were never elected by the people of the world. We haven't got that kind of system.

The point I make is here is, don't judge the morality of actions by the political status of the people doing them. Judge them by what they actually involve doing to other human beings.

Hitler was no better for having being elected. Gandhi was no worse for never having been elected.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 05:12 PM

A lady is being raped
by men who claim they love her
How is that a hate crime
by a hero and protector?

They must love her more than you
She cracked at her foundation
and tumbled to the ground.
Raped for the good of the nation.

So you may be safe and sound.



http://www.angelfire.com/md2/customviolins/statueoff.jpg


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 05:32 PM

Then again those who fought Hitler became Hitler.

The policeman who kills the murderer becomes the murderer.

So whats the difference we are all terrorists anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 07:36 PM

A policeman who took the law into his own hands, and intentionally and unnecessarily killed a murderer (or someone he believed to be a murderer), would of course himself be guilty of murder.

We may well all be capable of being terrorists, true enough. It depends on what we do, not on the nature of the command structure under which we are operating.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 10:02 AM

How about this, a group of people walks into your home, kills members of your family in doing so kill some of their own group. You manage to overpower them, one of the group who lies dying, laughs at you, saying, it is not over, we have planted bombs every where aimed at your loved ones. Bang one goes off killing more family, the rest of the group praise their god for allowing them to murder their enemy,your family. What do you do?

Bit simplistic I admit but pretty much the same scenario terrorist put us in today.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 01:48 PM

In that scenario, you already have 1) clear proof of guilt on the part of the terrorist and 2) clear proof of an immediate threat which can clearly be prevented through the obtaining of information from the terrorist. In such clear circumstances, one can argue that it is moral to torture the terrorist if (and only if)it is necessary to obtain the information in time to save as many lives as possible. However, it cannot be argued that one can torture a suspected terrorist in order to hopefully gain information that may prevent possible threats, when it is believed that the information will probably not be gained through other methods.

Also, there seems to be a bit of confusion about the role of the armed forces nowadays. The U.S. military is made up entirely of volunteers who were presumably informed as to what being in an army entailed prior to volunteering. This means that each and every one of them has agreed to risk their lives if it is deemed necessary for the interests of the American nation or people. They cannot be granted special permission to violate human rights, or the laws of the nation they have sworn to serve, to avoid the risk they voluntarily assumed.

Finally, it is not always as easy to remove an elected official from office as you make it out to be, Ireland. The task is made particularly hard when said officials have already been granted extraordinary powers over their own citizenry.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 02:53 PM

"They cannot be granted special permission to violate human rights, or the laws of the nation they have sworn to serve, to avoid the risk they voluntarily assumed."

Would this apply to your first paragraph FL? Or would it be acceptable to use modern interrorgation methods, to gain such info? I do not agree with using such methods on innocent people in any way.

In the UK they throw politiians out at the drop of a hat it seems, I accept it would be different for American politicians.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Amos
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 07:01 PM

As Supreme Court justice Robert Jackson wrote
in 1944, when he dissented in one of the Japanese-detention cases:

"The chief restraint upon those who command the physical forces of the country, in the future as in the past, must be their responsibility to the political
judgments of their contemporaries and to the moral judgments of history."



A


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 04 Jan 03 - 12:12 AM

Well, if you don't approve of using them on innocent people, where is the argument? You certainly can't argue that everyone the CIA questions is guilty, so if they are ever used, innocents are bound to suffer. It seems pretty clear that no method can be used in an interrogation, the purpose of which is in part to determine guilt, unless that method is acceptable to be used on the inevitable innocent subjects.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 04 Jan 03 - 07:38 AM

But you can argue that like those in the simple scenario, which we know are involved in the terrorist act, to save lives, using such methods would be acceptable.

At what point do we determine the surviving terrorists do not know anything or are just saying they know nothing, while the latest bomb goes off. Would you be more resolved to gain the intelligence?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Dreaded Guest
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 09:20 PM

I was going to start a thread about torture and noticed this one...so I'll just add my two cents worth here. America is being conditioned to accept torture:

The link below goes to an image of one of the people who is acclimating you to torture:

Brought to you by...

And if you don't believe it is her job, go to the link below and type in 'Sawyer'. Look at the top of the page, too...at the FUNCTIONS of the groups mentioned:

Her real job

And the piece below is the type of thing her company is selling you nowadays:

"According to Pakistani and U.S. officials, Mohammed became more inclined to cooperate after three days of unspecified rough treatment by Pakistani interrogators....

One possible wedge to pry information out of Mohammed could be his 7- and 9-year-old sons. Pakistani authorities detained the boys in a raid last September, and it's been suggested that the CHILDREN could be used as a form of leverage, although their current whereabouts are unconfirmed...."

'Torture Questions' article

Meanwhile, on co-conspirator CNN (an admitted army psychological-operations station), the 'liberal' Dershowitz is calmly discussing needles under fingernails:

DERSHOWITZ: ...My basic point, though, is we should never under any circumstances allow low-level people to administer torture. If torture is going to be administered...it ought to be done openly, with accountability, with approval by the president of the United States or by a Supreme Court justice.... I would talk about nonlethal torture, say, a sterilized needle underneath the nail, which would violate the Geneva Accords, but you know, countries all over the world violate the Geneva Accords. They do it secretly and hypothetically, the way the French did it in Algeria. If we ever came close to doing it, and we don't know whether this is such a case, I think we would want to do it with accountability and openly and not adopt the way of the hypocrite."

Dershowitz Interview

Sure, they're talking about a 'foreign' terrorist, but don't forget the new definition of 'domestic terrorist', from the recently-passed USA PATRIOT Act:

SEC. 802. DEFINITION OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM.
(a) DOMESTIC TERRORISM DEFINED- Section 2331 of title 18, United States Code, is amended--
`(5) the term `domestic terrorism' means activities that--
`(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
`(B) appear to be intended--
`(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
`(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
`(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
`(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.'.

And the following is from an analysis of the upcoming Patriot Act 2, which will be passed after the U.S. govt sponsors another 'terrorist event' in order to galvanize people behind a rush of abusive legislation:

SECTION 501 (Expatriation of Terrorists) expands the Bush administration's "enemy combatant" definition to all American citizens who "may" have violated ANY provision of Section 802 of the first Patriot Act....

Under Section 501 a US citizen engaging in lawful activities can be grabbed off the street and thrown into a van never to be seen again. The Justice Department states that they can do this because the person "had inferred from conduct" that they were not a US citizen. Remember Section 802 of the First USA Patriot Act states that any violation of Federal or State law can result in the "enemy combatant" terrorist designation.

Patriot Act 2 analysis

And in case you've forgotten, the US govt asked for bids for 3 million new concentration camp beds last summer:

Camps to be completed in January 2003

Which brings us back to where this 'debate on the appropriate use of torture' all began. This is what the people in charge of the US govt want to do to you:

Camp X-Ray detainees = You


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 06:09 AM

A lot of good points here. Certainly the IRA should face the Court of Human Rights for its actions (though I think only governments *can* be brought to that court.

But my initial thought was to wonder wether it's legitimate to use torture at any time.

Is it all right to torture someone you know is planning to kill?

Is it all right to torture someone who *might* be planning to kill?

Is it all right to torture someone who supports those who kill?

What is the effect of torture on the tortured?

What is its effect on the torturer?

What is its effect on the society of the tortured? And of the torturer?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 10:46 AM

Interesting link here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2825575.stm


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 11:04 AM

I'd go with the consequentialist view: it is only acceptable to torture when you know absolutely that you will prevent more suffering than you cause.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Dreaded Guest
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 01:18 PM

No information which comes out of torture is dependable. None.

And Hitler tortured. Stalin tortured. Were they right to do so?

Under the new Patriot Acts you are a 'domestic terrorist' if you break a law (Act # 1), and, soon, if it 'appears' you 'may' break a law (Act # 2). So, should YOU be tortured as a terrorist if you 'might' break a law?

Torture is not an option. Ever.

And while the govt media is conditioning you to accept torture of humans (first foreigners, then your children), stories like this appear...

Torture of animals

The US govt is dehumanizing us. Suddenly there are hundreds of stories actually DEBATING whether torture of humans is alright, while torture of animals is forbidden. You are LESS THAN AN ANIMAL TO YOUR GOVT! Don't help them cut your throat.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Frankham
Date: 06 Mar 03 - 07:34 PM

Hi Ireland,

Looking at your statement,

"I agree that it is barbaric to torture people, but if it has to be done and if it saves lives then it is worth it. In the context of the War on Terror when we have Bin Laden terrorising the World any method to get intelligence is all right by me."

It has to be asked what is being gained here? Reliable intelligence? If you were being tortured, would you tell the truth to stop the torture? Or would you say anything you could to stop it?

You ask for alternatives. How about giving up torture as a means to an end? What is the result? A more humane society that can effectively recognize terrorism when it sees it. I understand your passion at injustice and wanting to solve the problem of the bin Laden's of the world. We all share in that.
How to go about it? Well, becoming like them is not the way to do it. That's what the torturer becomes.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 07 Mar 03 - 12:37 PM

I read an interesting book years ago about torture by the French authorities in the Algerian conflict - not un-analogous to the current US situation.

Two points stayed with me:

1) Torture started in Algeria - it was all right, apparently, to torture black Muslim terrorists - but it quickly leaked back to the French judicial system.

2) The torturers themselves - and their families and friends - were severely affected by their experiences for years afterwards; the book had contemporary interviews with people who had tortured others 20 years before, and were still suffering nightmares and personality disorders.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Dreaded Guest
Date: 07 Mar 03 - 12:50 PM

The CIA has used "stress and duress" techniques on al-Qaida suspects held at secret overseas detention centres, as well as contracting out their interrogation to foreign intelligence agencies known to routinely use torture, said a report published yesterday....

Dec 27 article

Two Afghan prisoners were killed while in US custody at their base at Bagram, a military coroner has concluded.

The report said "blunt force trauma" had contributed to the deaths....

The above being reported now...blunt instruments


In the past six weeks, the wives of four Fort Bragg soldiers have been slain. In all four cases, investigators said, their husbands were the killers....

Consequence of engaging in torture while in Afghanistan


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Beccy
Date: 07 Mar 03 - 03:40 PM

Bobert- You said, "No, make no bones about George Bush! He is a servant of the Devil! He serves Satan! He is no more a Christain than Herod! He has made *HIS* deal with the Devil. He will kill people for his own glory. It doesn't matter if it's one person or 100,000. The fact that he has made a decision that's *his* image is worth more than the life of one single human being makes him a *servant* of the Devil!"

I must have missed the thread where you stated your qualifications for performing the divine task of knowing a man's heart (no matter how much you hate him- which is an unChristian precept if ever there was one...)

Beccy


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: toadfrog
Date: 07 Mar 03 - 03:59 PM

McGrath: I agree torture is an unmitigated evil. I agree that if Americans use it, they are doing wrong. I agree they are probably using it, so those persons or groups of Americans who are problably using torture are probably guilty of serious misfeasance. If they are torturing people, or authorizing torture, they should be made to stop. And punished.

But they are not "terrorists." Not all bad things are identical to all other bad things. You are using a metaphor, as if the only real meaning of a word were its metaphorical meaning. Thats a debating tactic; should not be used in a discussion where people are actually trying to persuade, rather than merely score poings.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: DougR
Date: 07 Mar 03 - 05:26 PM

Wow, Beccy! Good job! I might even lay off Bobert for ahwile to give you a shot at him! Well done, I say! :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: harvey andrews
Date: 07 Mar 03 - 05:28 PM

It was also reported in "The Independent" after the news of the two killings through torture by US forces that women soldiers were being used to kick male Moslem prisoners to humiliate them. These women will then come back to society someday.How sad can all this violence begetting violence get?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Hrothgar
Date: 07 Mar 03 - 09:19 PM

Who gets to select the people who are to be tortured?

Who selects the people who are going to do the torturing?

How do you train a torturer?

If somebody has been found guilty of a crime, should they be tortured? It's a bit late then.

If somebody has not been found guilty of a crime, should they be tortured?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: DougR
Date: 07 Mar 03 - 11:25 PM

Harvey: "The Independent!" Wow! What's that?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: harvey andrews
Date: 08 Mar 03 - 03:50 PM

The Inependent is a British national newspaper unaffiliated to any particular party. It's a proper newspaper as opposed to the tabloid press and does not feature celebrities, female breasts etc. it is not owned by Rupert Murdoch as is the rest of the world. It has its own website you can visit.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: toadfrog
Date: 08 Mar 03 - 11:58 PM

Well, Beccy and Doug R.:
There is something to be said for not mixing theology and politics. It doesn't shed much light on the subject to say somebody is "evil." But it seems to be the in thing these days. If it is o.k. for GWB to relegate people to the "axis of evil," why shouldn't Bobert? Has this stopped being a free country?

I personally would say, it's worse for a President to sling that kind of abuse around, in public, than for some otherwise ordinary guy to curse a bit in a private argument. Because when the President says stuff like that, it has consequences that may be haunting us for years to come. A lot of people may yet suffer and die as a direct or indirect result of his saying that. Why shouldn't Bobert blow off a little steam.

And it seems to me, Bobert is as qualified to discuss good and evil as GWB is. Perhaps even a bit better qualified.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 09 Mar 03 - 12:55 PM

People cite Hitler to substantiate the theory that, No information which comes out of torture is dependable. None.

I am not being argumentative, are people honestly saying that the torture of covert operatives by the Gestapo etc. did not yield results. Of course it did,how many resistance groups were hunted down through intelligence gained from torture.

"These women will then come back to society someday.How sad can all this violence begetting violence get?"

They may not come back to society,if they die in the line of duty, protecting their country or trying to stop some ass who takes it into his head to beat women with a stick for no real reason.

I think this is one of the most crass and disgusting post I have read, it casts aspersions on these soldiers,who happen to be women. What do you think they are they going to do when they return to civvy street? I'll say no more, and treat your statement with the distain it deserves.

In the UK a Moslem cleric was jailed for 9 yrs for preaching hatred, he teaches the killing of non believers, Americans, Jews, Hindi, who he says can be robbed and killed out of hand. He teaches that those sending these people to hell is at the same time securing their own salvation.

So when we have some nut cases,say Al-Qaeda,who actually follow these teachings,who will their victims,Americans,call on to protect them?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: harvey andrews
Date: 09 Mar 03 - 01:17 PM

I think this is one of the most crass and disgusting post I have read, it casts aspersions on these soldiers,who happen to be women. What do you think they are they going to do when they return to civvy street? I'll say no more, and treat your statement with the distain it deserves.

Sorry Ireland, I thought America saw itself as a civilised and civilising country, fighting against people less civilised than itself.
Seems it's okay to you that violence begets violence. That inhumanity begets inhumanity. That you turn into the very thing you're fighting against.
The Muslim cleric was rightly jailed for preaching exactly what you are supporting. Two uncharged prisoners murdered. Women being brought in to physically attack unarmed men. That's a war crime like any other. Do it, but don't then come the moral highground with the world.
Christian, Muslim,what's the difference? Brutality rules.
Mai Lai here we come again!


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 09 Mar 03 - 02:02 PM

Christian, Muslim,what's the difference? Brutality rules.

Far too simplistic, could you have saved 3000 Sept 11 victims with your logic? Would the terrorists have listened to you? Would you offer them a greater reward than their version of salvation?

When someone buys into the idea that if they die in the course of murdering non believers they go straight to heaven and all its rewards, they certainly do not give a fig about your views.

They have already declared their intentions to the world and have carried out their acts of destruction and murder which indicates to the world they do not care for the welfare of the non believer.

These people do not care for you, your religion nor your welfare, as they believe killing you is doing you a favour. So what do you really have to offer? Nothing!

I do not come the moral high ground,I am truthful enough to say I have no problem with the torture of those who are responsible for presenting the world with 3000 dead Mai Lai, so people like them do not do it again.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Mar 03 - 02:16 PM

"I have no problem with the torture of those who are responsible for presenting the world with 3000 dead Mai Lai, so people like them do not do it again " But since My Lai was an American atrocity who would have been the appropriate person to torture - the President as Supreme Commander, on the principle "the buck stops here"? Colin Powell for being involved in the attempted cover up?

I note, though, that it's moved on from the idea that torture is OK in a fancied situation where it might be a way of stopping a bomb going off, to it being as as an appropriate way of punishing people guilty of an atrocity. The slippery slope in action.

I'd say that one of the basic requirments for calling a society civilised is that it does not tolerate torture. No matter what.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: harvey andrews
Date: 09 Mar 03 - 03:15 PM

Ah McGrath, the madness is upon us. If you do not learn from history you are fated to repeat it. The saddest lesson of all I think. Here's a couple of quotes from apst history;


"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the
citizenry into a patriotic fervour, for patriotism is indeed a
double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind.... And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded with patriotism, will offer up all their rights unto the leader, and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar."
Julius Caesar
Of course the people don't want war... that is understood. But, after
all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and
it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a
democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist
dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to
the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell
them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of
patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
Hermann Goering

--


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Mar 03 - 03:32 PM

And I take toadfrog's point about there being a distinction between torture and terrorism - the distinction not being between who does it, but between the purpose. A government agent engaged in torturing a prisoner is not necessarily engaged in a "terrorist" act, if the purpose is extracting information; nor is an operative of Al Qaeda or the IRA who is engaged in the same charming activity from the same reasons. That isn't a moral distinction, but a logical one - a torturer who believes that any means are acceptable to achieve the goal in view, has essentially the mindset of a terrorist.

And if the aim is to break the morale of sympathisers with the enemy, and so forth, that is terrorism. No matter who does it. And that is the way that torture has very often been used - for example in Chile, or Apartheid South Africa or in the French war in Algeria, and by both sides in Vietnam.

"Terrorist,n. One who favours or uses terror-inspiring methods of governing or of coercing government or community" (Concise Oxford Dictionary."

So when the Israeli governments, for example, punishes the communities and families of identified terrorists, by bulldozing homes, more especially when there are civilian non-combatants inside them, that is an act of terrorism. Bombing campaigns aimed at breaking the will of the enemy to resist is terrorism whether the bombs are carried in satchels or by guided missiles. It's not whom you are that defines you as a terrorist, it's what you do, and why you do it.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Beccy
Date: 09 Mar 03 - 04:38 PM

Toadfrog- you said: "Well, Beccy and Doug R.:
There is something to be said for not mixing theology and politics. It doesn't shed much light on the subject to say somebody is "evil." But it seems to be the in thing these days. If it is o.k. for GWB to relegate people to the "axis of evil," why shouldn't Bobert? Has this stopped being a free country?"

There is nothing wrong with Bobert blowing off a little steam.

...The problem comes in when Bobert uses statements like "No, make no bones about George Bush! He is a servant of the Devil! He serves Satan! He is no more a Christain than Herod! He has made *HIS* deal with the Devil. He will kill people for his own glory. It doesn't matter if it's one person or 100,000. The fact that he has made a decision that's *his* image is worth more than the life of one single human being makes him a *servant* of the Devil!" to justify his disapproval of a foreign affairs policy. Bobert is preaching Christianity and then in the same sentence going against the fundamental principles of the religion in which he claims to have faith. Christ taught love.

I was simply pointing out that Bobert was being a touch hypocritical.

Now- You may dislike George W. Bush until the cows come home. But I would hazard an educated guess that he's probably getting much more complete security briefs than are you. He may be more justified than we will ever know in making statements like the "Axis of Evil" one.

Man- you folks are a bunch of Calvinists with your fatalism and self-fulfilling prophecy business.

Beccy


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Troll
Date: 09 Mar 03 - 09:57 PM

Roll on, Beccy. Roll on.
Ok Kevin, so we're not civilized.
Next question?

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 09 Mar 03 - 10:09 PM

Beccy-Bush could only be justified in calling Iraq, Iran, and North Korea an "Axis of Evil" if they were both united in a common goal and the absolute incarnations of evil on earth. Since neither of these is true, I think it can be safely stated that the phrase "Axis of Evil" is just as much propaganda as Bobert saying "He serves Satan!"

McGrath-Why is torture unacceptable? For that matter, why is terrorism unacceptable? Just about every justice sytem from time immemorial has relied at least in part on deterrance through punishment. This is basically the idea that the punishment should be sufficiently weighty that one will not commit crime out of fear of said punishment. This is in principle quite similar to your definition of terrorism, in that it relies on fear of commiting certain actions to convince people not to undertake them. On an ethical standpoint, it seems untenable to claim that under no conditions is torture acceptable. If it is never acceptable, then it would be unethical to pull one person's fingernail in order to save the universe. I think that's a much harder position to support than thinking of it as an unpleasant means which is sometimes necessary for a greater end.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Beccy
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 09:20 AM

Lurker- I'll restate myself. The main difference between Bush's "Axis of Evil" statement and Bobert's "He serves Satan" statement is that Bush is receiving MUCH better intelligence regarding this situation than is Bobert.

...And besides that, he never said, "Axis of absolute Evil Incarnate on Earth." He said "Axis of Evil". I would also suggest that the named members of the Axis of Evil DO have a common goal- the decimation of Western Culture by one means or another.

Again, Bobert may detest Bush's foreign policy, but to say that he worships the devil BECAUSE of his foreign policy is hyberole at best, and assuming to know the contents of a man's heart at worst.

Do you think evil exists?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Dreaded Guest
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 10:37 AM

You people have no idea what is about to hit you. Evil is about to crush you like a jet-powered die press. GWBush's grandfather had to be arrested to stop him from running Hitler's steel industry, and then after WW2, the Bushes REALLY got busy with the Nazis. You are all going to be dead in ten years. Compliments of the Bushes and your unwillingness to confront them in any real way. (And voting for Clinton didn't count, because he's just their #1 cocaine runner). I'd pity you folks, but it'd be like feeling sorry for the deer in the headlights. GWBush is the murderer of Sept 11, and the only way to stop your deaths is to tell everyone you know that GWBush is the murderer of Sept 11. There is no other way. His most open crime has to be broken out of congressional committee and exposed to the light of day. Forget about the Iraq diversion...focus on Sept 11. The Bushes were the masterminds, and they cannot survive an investigation. If you do not do this, you will all be dead in ten years, and your children will be working in govt whorehouses.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Beccy
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 10:42 AM

He's hhheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrreeeeeeeeee!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 11:19 AM

How does the fact that Bush may be getting "much better intelligence" than Bobert have any relevance whatsoever to whether he is evil or not? I'm sure that Adolf Hitler received much better intelligence than Bobert.

And that isn't meant to imply that Adolf Hitler and Bush are spiritual twins - I'll leave that to TDG.

(Of course receiving more "intelligence" doesn't mean it's all good stuff, or that the person receiving it is able to distinguish reliably between the good stuff and the crap, and use only the former, rather than doing it the other way round. Moreover there is a certain tradition in these matters of finding out what the boss wants to be told, and tailoring the information supplied to him to match that. But all that is another matter entirely.)

And Lurker, while you're getting into magical thinking about fingernails and universes, why stop at a fingernail? How about saving the universe when it means two fingernails...or perhaps that it requires killing someone's children as slowly as possible in front of their eyes? The whole universe remember...?

My point is, once you start talking in magical hypothetical terms like that, there's no telling where it ends. Maybe the people who planned September 11th sincerely thought that what they were doing was the only way to save the universe, to bring about the Kingdom of God and to destroy the Evil Empire. Magical thinking.

In the real world every action we take has so many possible consequences that it's pretty well impossible to add up and calculate them - you stop this particular bomb going off, and another bomb somewhere else goes off as a consequence...My belief is that you have to turn your back on trying to work out the sums, and make an existential decision. Draw a line and say "No further, no matter what."


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 11:31 AM

Beccy-I seriously disagree that those countries have the decimation of Western culture as their primary goal, but even if they did, how would that make them an "Axis of Evil?" The United States hopes to destroy the current Iraqi culture, and is generally opposed to cultures which do not inclue the principles of equality and majority rule; does that make us evil? To declare a country "evil" is so massive a generalization that it can never be true so long as the inhabitants of that country are even remotely human.

McGrath-I don't believe in existential decisions. General policy is a different matter; I make it a general rule not to kill, torture, or drive more than ten miles an hour over the speed limit, but I can see circumstances under which those actions might be not only allowable. but necessary. I don't think that the current intelligence situation warrants the use of torture, but I don't rule it out in all possible cases.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Beccy
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 11:44 AM

Lurker- I think we all know that when Bush refers to North Korea, Iran and Iraq as being the "Axis of Evil" that he's referring to the governing bodies and people in positions of power- NOT the populace.

If you don't believe that the militants in North Korea, Iran and Iraq have decimation of our culture as their goal, go to

Memri (Middle East Media Research Institute)

and have a look. These are direct translations of broadcasts from Al Jazeera and debriefs of defectors.

For instance:

On Iranian - North Korean Relations The London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsatreported that senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards official Hamid Reza Zakiri recently defected. In an interview with Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Zakiri disclosed information regarding the cooperation of the Revolutionary Guards and Iranian intelligence apparatuses[1] with Saddam Hussein's regime, terror organizations such as the Palestinian and Egyptian Jihad organizations, Al-Qa'ida, and Hizbullah. Zakiri also discussed the 1998 political murders in Iran, which were committed by the Iranian security apparatuses, and stated that Iran has nuclear installations.[2]


According to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Zakiri had worked as a supervisor and director of intelligence for the Revolutionary Guards, and had then moved to the Security Ministry, where he served in several positions for a number of years. Later, he joined the security apparatus of the Leader's Office, where he was a supervisor in charge of the apparatus's secretariat, and learned of the secret links between the Revolutionary Guards and Iranian security apparatuses, and revolutionary forces in the region.

In the interview, conducted outside Iran, Zakiri said that Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri, leader of the Egyptian Jihad organization and Osama bin Laden's deputy, established close ties with current deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Brigadier-General Muhammad Bakr Dhu-Al-Qadr, and with current commanders of the Iranian and Al-Quds Forces, part of the Revolutionary Guards; commanders include Ahmad Vahidi and Hussein Muslih, who was former commander of the Revolutionary Guards in Lebanon. Zakiri told of bin Laden's stay in the Sudan, during the period when the Iranian Revolutionary Guards maintained an extensive presence there. According to him, Hizbullah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, under the leadership of Fathi Shiqaqi, had a massive presence in the special training camps supervised by Guards officers such as Dhu-Al-Qadr.

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat further noted that Zakiri said he was shocked when he read the political assassination file and learned of the security personnel's part in committing these and other acts.[3]

The paper also said that Zakiri revealed details of Imad Mughnia's (leading Hizbullah operative stationed in Iran with connections to Al-Qa'ida) role in some of the joint operations funded by Iranian intelligence and carried out by Islamic Jihad and other fundamentalist organizations.

The following is Al-Sharq Al-Awsat's entire interview with Hamid Reza Zakiri, as well as a response by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, and news reports about other top-ranking Iranian defectors


Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: "You said that you participated in teaching and training courses abroad. Where was this?"

Zakiri: "I went to North Korea twice, as our relations with it are special. Over the years, we sent a number of groups of Revolutionary Guards personnel and security [forces personnel] to North Korea. Among those who received combat training were Revolutionary Guards Commander Rahim Safavi and his deputy Dhu-Al-Qadr. Among the personnel of the [Revolutionary] Guards were units of pilots who received training in flying and parachuting operations, among them Brigadier-General Kalibaf (now military forces commander). Our group included intelligence officers. The first time I went for 40 days and participated in special courses on psychological warfare and counter-espionage, and the second time, I stayed in North Korea again for 40 days and participated in a special course for protecting nuclear and other secret installations."

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: "What are the nuclear installations for? Are there really nuclear installations?"

Zakiri: "I don't intend to talk about them. These are matters relating to the security of my country. I am against the [conservative] minority but I am not against Iran. Iran is a great country and there is no doubt that its defense needs demand a solution that will prevent external aggression against it. We have sacrificed half a million Shahid [martyrs] and there are hundreds of thousands of cities… destroyed by Iraq."

For full background on and text of this interview go to:

interview with Iranian defector


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 11:46 AM

Lurker - "I don't believe in existential decisions" is surely in itself an existential decision.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Beccy
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 11:49 AM

"Lurker - "I don't believe in existential decisions" is surely in itself an existential decision."


Amen, McGrath!


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 12:06 PM

I think it's a very pragmatic decision. To believe that there are absolute right and wrong requires that there is some source of those concepts which is unalterable by humans. Whether that's God, the nature of rational beings, or anything you choose to believe in, it's still something you have to take on faith.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Beccy
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 12:44 PM

So, Lurker- You're saying its pragmatic to believe that oneself is the only power in the universe?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 01:19 PM

No, I'm saying that it's pragmatic not to believe in any power that cannot be shown to exist. If I had evidence of such a source of morality, I would consider the possibility that it might exist. However, the weight of the evidence is against it.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Beccy
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 01:26 PM

Actually, Lurker, I would say that everything around you and in you proves that the external power DOES exist. We are not self-generating, and when you look at the amount of things that could but do not go wrong with biology, humanity, ecology, et al on a daily basis, the preponderance of evidence is on the side of a higher power.

Do you believe that there is right and wrong? Do you follow a moral or ethical code (even one of "your own" design?) Is one person's life worth less, or more than yours? Or is every life of equal worth? To me, these are all questions that can only be explained using a higher standard that has been set out for humans. Sic, there must be a higher power.

Beccy


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 02:10 PM

The trouble is that, once you decide that the only ground for your actions is a utilitarian judgement about the balance of consequences, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that any action can be justifiable in some circumstances.

That would be how Hitler would have claimed to justify the Holocaust.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Dreaded Guest
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 05:20 PM

You know, what's really pathetic is that the man who was used to spark this debate in America regarding torture is dead. Dozens of sources reported it last year. Just type 'Khalid killed 2002, or Khalid dead 2002 into google':

Khalid Dead

The govt of the US has so little regard for us they trot this bogus story out and then IMMEDIATELY start steering the debate in the direction of torturing children...is it right or wrong? And you moral relativists give these monsters CREDENCE by saying there is no such thing as evil. Not really. It's all relative...it depends.

Your morals are being destroyed incrementally by crap like this, and when the time comes for YOUR torture, you will have brought it on yourself. Torture is wrong. Period. There ARE absolutes in the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 05:52 PM

I don't think I have ever read anything so full of hate as the kind of stuff Dreadful Guest keeps posting. One sick puppy! I wonder what kind of childhood he/she/it had?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: harvey andrews
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 06:28 PM

when you look at the amount of things that could but do not go wrong with biology, humanity, ecology, et al on a daily basis, the preponderance of evidence is on the side of a higher power.

But for others Beccy the amount of things that DO go wrong with biology, humanity, ecology et al on a daily basis provide a preponderance of evidence against there being a higher power.

You has yer choice, you takes yer pick!


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Dreaded Guest
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 07:00 PM

Geez, Don. Did I hit another nerve? I say there is such a thing as absolute morality and you have to attack the messenger? You need to rethink your long life, it appears. The things you believed in are no longer valid, unless you've believed in torturing children all along. The US govt is threatening to torture the seven and nine year old kids of 'suspects', and Senate bill 22, when it passes, will make YOU a suspect if you 'infer from action' that you are going to commit a crime. You'll be a 'domestic terrorist' under Section 802 of the PATRIOT Act. So...you will be subject to torture before you can run to your closet again to hide from the WTO protestors. You're damn right I'm full of hate. The childhood I had taught the Constitution and civic responsibility, and now you're going to let all that go down the drain. And I'm going to kick you in the head with that over and over and over until they kill me. You may not LIKE freedom of speech, but I'm going to make damn sure you have to deal with it while we have it. You'll have your Nazi state soon enough if you continue to do nothing.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 07:10 PM

Sparrownoid, thanks for the gift. Keep on keepin' on.

I am constantly reminded of the millions of rational, intelligent, and well-meaning Germans who enthusiastically supported Hitler in 1933-45, died for him, gave away their civil rights to him, and believed his incredible propaganda while his armies invaded and brutalized small countries (and large ones) on every side. The rest of the World watched in astonishment, thinking "How can they possibly believe this maniac?"

Most of those Germans were most certainly not what I would call "evil" people...just people who were seriously misled by the people at the top.

As for good and evil...they constantly reside as great potential forces within the heart and mind of EVERY human being, and therein lies the great challenge of mastering life and acting on behalf of what benefits not only one's own life but also the lives of others.

And that is why Jesus advised that we treat others as we ourselves would wish to be treated. Every other great spiritual teacher has advised the same, not surprisingly. It is the crux of good character.

Accordingly, it would be most wise not to ever torture people. Not on any excuse. What goes around most definitely does come around...in due time. Furthermore, torture is a very cowardly act, in my opinion...and is not justified as a response to previous cowardly or otherwise heinous acts by the ones being tortured.

Torturers are people who are too morally weak and too wrapped up in themselves and their own fear to have the vision or the fibre to behave like decent human beings. Those who order them to torture are even worse than that. Those who argue in its defence on the basis of pragmatism have lost their bearings.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 07:59 PM

Beccy-As Harvey said, there are innumerable things that DO go wrong with everything. I have seen considerable evidence for evolution, and it seems a logical theory to explain the diversity and nature of life, civilization, ecology, etc. I have never seen any evidence that could be most easily interpreted to indicate a creator, or any other source of vitality or morality. The only sensible morality to me is contract morality: you should only undertake actions that significantly affect other people if they agree that that action should be taken, or if they are infringing upon your right to self-determination. Without clear evidence that a higher morality exists, and an incontrovertible statement of that higher morality, any belief in absolute morality is not only misguided, but quite likely to result in unpleasant consequences.

McGrath-It's true that utilitarianism allows for the possibility that any action may in some circumstances be justified. I consider that a strength, rather than a weakness. If actions exist which can never be justifiable, then you can have logical dilemmas, where no action nor inaction is permissible.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 08:16 PM

No dilemma, but a hard choice, and living with the consequences. If an action can't be justified, you have to do something else instead, even without expectation of achieving the end you would prefer.

A position that accepts that any action - including, for example, the Holocaust - may in some circumstances be justified is in my view fatally flawed. That is what I meant by an existential decision. Essentially, I'm with Gandalf.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Troll
Date: 10 Mar 03 - 10:50 PM

Hypothetical question.
You have a captive whom you believe has information which can save thousands of lives. But he/she refuses to talk.
If you torture him/her, you may get the information.
If you do not get the information, thousands die horribly.
Is there any moral justification in favor of torture?
Is there any moral justification against torture?
For the sake of preventing end runs, you have only 24 hours before the cataclysm occurs, and this is the only link you have. You know that it will happen but not what or where.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 12:19 AM

But what if neither option is acceptable at all, such as torture juxtaposed with allowing a loved one to die? It must be possible to justify AN action, otherwise you can neither act nor fail to act.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: DougR
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 12:48 AM

Beccy: you're on a roll. Right on!

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Troll
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 02:09 AM

I simply posed a question. I will niether protest or defend either action. Inaction is one of the choices. It allows the death of thousands.
Is torture or the lack of it justified? And why? Just that. No end runs to escape the moral quandry.
Action MAY save thousands of lives. Inaction will allow you to escape the stigma of torture but you must then live with the knowledge that you might have saved many, many lives.
There is no easy answer.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Wolfgang
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 06:04 AM

A very fine discussion (if you skip the usual suspects). For instance, reading McGrath and Forum Lurker brings me the best possible arguments for or against utilitarian judgement. Both point very convincingly to weaknesses of the respective other position. To cite troll, there is no easy answer.

I'm with Forum Lurker in this basic decision but at the same time I agree (in the sense of 'valid points', not in the sense of 'ultimatively convincing for me personally') with most of McGrath's arguments against such a decision. There are situations in a life in which there is no possible decision without guilt. I know what I would do but I wouldn't blame anybody else for a different decision.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 06:07 AM

Any action has many consequences. It seems likely that the widespread use of torture by the French in Algeria, for example, was a major factor in getting us to where we are today. And I think very few people woudl even seek to claim that even in the Algerian War it reduced the numbers of people killed. An action that, in the short run, looks as though if will have a good result that outweighs the harm it does, may in a longer perspective turn out to have been the seed of catastrophe. Doing those kinds of sums gets you nowhere.

If we turn back to a time when torture was accepted as something our agents were entitled to do, the price paid by our society will be enormous. I believe that, in spite of the short-term arguments that can be raised to justify it, which are the same ones which could always be raised to justify it in the time of our ancestors, most people will reject going down that road.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 08:04 AM

Clever minds can always fashion clever questions and scenarios to seemingly justify the unjustifiable.

Reminds me of the times people have said things to me like "Suppose you're driving down this narrow mountain road and you come around a hairpin turn and there's this huge truck bearing down on you. You could turn left, but if you do you run over a little girl with a puppy in her arms. You could turn right and fly off the cliff, killing yourself. You could plow straight ahead into the truck and kill yourself, and maybe the trucker too. What is the right thing to do?"

Like I said..."clever" minds come up with these things...in order to justify some line of reasoning which they have already invested their ego in defending, so they've gotta keep defending it.

Such arguments are in fact complete BS, are spurious, have nothing to do with anything, and usually posit a situation which is never going to arise anyway. Furthermore, one cannot concoct perfect solutions ahead of time for hypothetical extreme situations which may (and probably will) never happen. One can only deal with each unique circumstance in a fresh and creative way as it arises.

Accordingly, I am about as impressed by arguments in favour of torture as I am impressed by bullies who explain to me why it's a great idea and a REALLY GOOD THING for them to beat the hell out of smaller people, given certain "special" circumstances....or to put it another way, I'm about as impressed as I would be by a turd lying in the middle of the road.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 08:24 AM

Can we look at the situation this way,and it does refer to my simple scenario. If your immediate family was under threat, and you have those responsible, what would you do to prevent the next killing?

I ask this to illustrate the dilemma that faces people who are responsible for the security of their country.

Really what would you do?

There is no use saying I wouldn't have let things get this far or any such arguments, fact is we have let it get this far and some one has to do something.

I believe that if the group that the prisoners belong to indicated that no more attacks would happen, all threats lifted,a different emphasis would be put on the intel gathered from the prisoners. That is no lives would be at risk. But as it is we have Bin Laden and his threats, and those threatened are your family friends and fellow country men and women.

The remit of the terrorist is to attack the vulnerable, murder those who can least defend themselves. At present the people who are carrying out interrogations at G.Bay are not doing any of the above and in my opinion the tarring them with the terrorist brush is disengenuous. The terrorist is the instigator of evil deeds who cry foul when exposed to some of their own medicine.

As I said the horse has bolted and we have to deal with the issues at hand, if it is your mother,father,child or friend that is to be the next victim, what do you do?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 08:41 AM

Difference with your BS mountain road and the other scenarios LH is simple, one is chance,the other is a real threat, which has been backed up by the Sept 11 atrocity and threats of more from Bin Laden.

Who would have thought people would fly aeroplanes into the twin towers? Real threats real situations,but no real solutions.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,viet vet '67
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 10:19 AM

An effective form of phycological torture used in Vietnam was to take a group of blindfolded prisoners (bound hand and foot) aboard a helicopter and go up 10 to 20 feet and start asking them questions. The prisoners were told that the altitude was, for example, 2,000 feet. If the 1st refused to talk, his/her ass was pushed out of the chopper where he/she landed on a pile of old mattresses and silenced. The interegators were very vocal and descriptive of the "fall". After a few moments to let all this soak in and rattle the now terrified prisoners the questioning began again. I rarely saw or heard of a case where this method was not effective and we gained a wealth of knowledge utilizing this procedure.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Dreaded Guest
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 12:26 PM

March 10 — Years before George W. Bush entered the White House, and years before the Sept. 11 attacks set the direction of his presidency, a group of influential neo-conservatives hatched a plan to get Saddam Hussein out of power...

And in a report just before the 2000 election that would bring Bush to power, the group predicted that the shift would come about slowly, unless there were "some catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor."

http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/nightline/DailyNews/pnac_030310.html

The hijackers were trained by the CIA at Pensecola Naval Air Station and in Pakistan. They created the 'new Pearl Harbor'. Clinton and the Bushes are the terrorists. Then after the attacks, you were declared to be a 'domestic terrorist' if you break a Federal or State law (PATRIOT Act). And the next round of legislation will define terrorist as anyone who 'looks' like they might break a law. You people are legitimizing your own torture, and THE TERRORISTS THEMSELVES ARE DUPING YOU INTO THIS. I can understand uneducated people falling for this, but YOU people? Amazing.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Troll
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 01:05 PM

L.H. kindly tell me what position I am defending with the scenario that my "clever" mind conjured up. I'd be interested to get your perspective.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 01:13 PM

Dreadful Guest, I'm fascinated by the glee with which you describe what you think will be the eventual fate of those (such as myself) who think you're just sick. It amply demonstrates just how sick you really are. Get a grip!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 01:30 PM

We have been well warned by DG about how we are being duped, not one solution to the problem though.

Everyone remember's Tibet, do we follow their example?

The daft part of the G.Bay situation is that these prisoners can go free in the end,3000 victims in their grave cannot. Who is being duped?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Dreaded Guest
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 02:08 PM

Don...you need to get a grip. On the new reality. It's hard to break conditioning even at my age, so it'll be harder for you. A lifetime living a governmental lie. I know you know your stuff on the Constitution and so forth, but the Constitution is being circumvented and will soon be eliminated altogether. By the people who bombed the WTC. And meanwhile, we're being accustomed to the thought of torturing our neighbors while everyone wants to return to the comfortable old routine of electioneering. But we CAN'T fall back into comfortable old diversionary ways, or it's all over.

Last year the CIA (whose job is to assassinate, distribute arms and topple govts) was legally authorized to operate within the borders of the U.S. for the first time in our history. The pro killers have been directed inwards now, and there won't be any more free elections, then no free speech, then no constitution, then concentration camps. It is here, and I certainly don't take glee in it.

The price tag for a 5-year occupation of Iraq was just announced. 1.7 to 1.9 trillion dollars, US. The largest beneficiaries will be the corporations who ARE the Bushes and Cheneys....Haliburton, Westinghouse, Wackenhut. And the major defense contractor now is the Carlyle Group. Bush Sr and the bin Ladens work for the Carlyle Group, and they've already SPENT the bonus money they will make from the 'occupation' of Iraq. They bought Universal Studios last week. An Armaments Contractor bought Universal studios. So...tell me exactly HOW I can ignore this stuff. Next year you will have a universal service bill (not just a draft...but ditch digging for those not in the military), and torture will be affecting your neighborhood, and the definition of domestic terrorist will be 'anyone who infers from conduct they might break a law'...etc. And Universal studios will be making pictures about how this is all GOOD. TELL ME why I shouldn't be upset.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 02:41 PM

Those who get sucked in by conspiracy theories and swallow them to the gills invariably accuse those who don't join them in their panic of being either brainwashed or part of the conspiracy. They never acknowledge that anyone but themselves is capable of independent thought. A form of solipsism. Very comforting to the victim of the condition because it allows him the feel that he is the only one in the know, hence more intellegent than everyone else.

Like I said: sick.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 03:32 PM

And that kind of crap the "viet vet" was gloating over is one of the things that made sure the USA lost that war.

What I might do or might not do in a hypothetical situation is a matter of individual psychology and ethics and all that. What is the right thing for a civilised society to authorise to be done by its agents might well be something comnpletely different.

The logic that justifies torture is the very same logic that justifies an atrocity such as September 11th. "Do whatever is necessary to achieve this goal".


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Beccy
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 04:02 PM

Don- I do believe you're encouraging him...

Beccy


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,viet vet '67
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 04:10 PM

McGrath...your elected officials lost the vietnam abortion and it looks like the US will lose its financial ass in Iraq. Aw man, what am I saying...Dubya says this economy is "real strong" and we can afford as much as he wants to spend...sorry.

I agree with DG...the rich get richer, the poor get broke and dead.

Some of you "lifers" need to have a plate glass window installed in your stomach so that you can see where you are going and what is going on...that is how far your heads are up your collective asses.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 05:24 PM

There is nothing hypothetical about Bin Ladens threats,he has shown what his crowd is capable off,and has promised more attacks. What should we do to stop it?

We can apply all the logic we want, fact is Sept 11 happened, more acts like it are promised and logical brinkmanship will not solve the present threats.

Next we will hear if we breathe through our mouths like terrorists etc etc.

To look at this in a humane way, that is the terrorist giving intelligence freely,what happens to the "tout"?

What happened in N.I., the tout was beaten and interrogated, by his own side btw, shot in the back of the head, in such a way the family could not view the body. Viscerated, the cavity filled with explosives so the tout's body served the terrorist one last time to kill people in a booby trap.

Terrorists are terrorist, their gift to the world is murder, and any means to prevent this has to be considered.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 05:52 PM

You're right, Ireland - terrorists are terrorists. In or out ff uniform, and whoever gives them their orders, and whoever takes orders from them.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 07:41 PM

Yeah, Beccy, you're undoubtedly right. But it's so much fun to tweak his nose because of the way he overreacts. Kinda childish of me, though, I admit that (I hope it doesn't constitute torture).

Anyway, I do have a serious question to pose to the Dreadful One.

It is characteristic of those who subscribe to any given conspiracy theory that they get there kicks by predicting Death, Doom, and Destruction to the whole world (it's always a world-wide conspiracy—publishing companies call that "high concept," like the novels of Tom Clancy or Robert Ludlum, in which the hero has to stop the villain(s) in the nick of time or the whole world goes up in a ball of fire). But the list of evil-doers and the dire prediction of their foul deeds is all they have to offer. They probably regard themselves as akin to Paul Revere, alerting people to the impending disaster. But when Paul Revere galloped through town yelling "The red-coats are coming! The red-coats are coming!" he had an idea that the people he was warning could actually do something about it provided he warned them in time. Otherwise, his legendary ride would have been an exercise in futility. So far, all the Dreadful One has done in thread after thread is spread his Gospel of Horrors to Come.

So. I ask the Dreadful One this:— Assuming that all of what you say is true,

1. what do you think we should do about it?
2. what do you think can do about it?

I sit at your feet, O Dreadful One, with ears cocked and notebook and pencil at the ready. I wait your instructions.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Dreaded Guest
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 07:53 PM

The bin Ladens and Bushes are business partners. The Bushes and Hussein were business partners. The Bushes (front men for the CIA) give the orders to the bin Ladens and Husseins of the world. The Bushes are the terrorists.

Don...independent thought is what will get us out of this mess. The two-party system in America is a carefully-contrived lie. You need to think outside that paradigm, amd that requires effort. The govt of the US is now the CIA. Any thoughts ANY of us have on how to re-establish the Constitutional Republic are needed. Personally, I just try to throw facts at people to break their rigid view of the world. Look at how you've been strung along by TV lately (television is the mouthpiece of the US govt)...you've accepted Afghanistan as the perpetrator of Sept 11 though not one bit of evidence was presented, now you're being led into a war with a dozen contradictory 'causes'. You're being conditioned to accept torture and the absolutely insane 'we need to trade liberty for security'. Perpetual war, loss of liberties and totalitarianism. All I know is information is the way out of the mess...information available to all on the internet...so I point out the unpleasant over and over and over and over and hope people will be able to latch onto SOMETHING that will spark their own voyage of discovery. The destruction of America and the switch to tyrannical world govt has been scripted, and the script is playing out. It can only be stopped by enough people becoming aware of the script.

I suggest you quit attacking me and go back to your pre-occupation with the Constitution. I'll make people aware of how bad things are becoming, and you can make people aware of what they stand to lose.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 08:09 PM

I thought he said "The British are coming" But then the troops would quite likely have been German anyway, so maybe you're right.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: toadfrog
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 12:55 AM

Beccy: Doubtless Bush has better "intelligence" than we have. That is also completely irrelevant. Everyone knows there are lots of bad things to be said about the governments of Iraq, and North Korea, and Iran. And also about numerous other governments that Bush is not going to bad-mouth, for reasons of his own.

"Evil" does not have a precise meaning, to be derived from "intelligence." When President Bush says, Iraq and North Korea are in the "Axis of Evil," it does not establish an objective fact. Taken in context, it means, "I, George W. Bush, am going to start a war to conquer Iraq. And when it is over, I am going after those other people, too. And everyone acts shocked when North Korea goes out and starts work on atomic bombs. What else do you expect them to do, curl up and die.

So we are facing the prospect that the government of North Korea, which is desparate and unstable, is going to have atomic bombs. And may use them, or sell them to other desparate and unstable persons. And the guy who brought all these things about is GWB. The same person who wants to start the most expensive war in history, while cutting taxes for the people who financed his election. Who waded into Afghanistan, set up a puppet government, and left it in the lurch, so that that country will soon relapse into the anarchy from which we allegedly saved it. Soon, Iraq will get more of the same. Anyone who think the Iraquis will be better off should look at other countries where we imposed "regime changes" since 1945. In a word, GWB is a person who would deluge the world in blood to secure the bubbah vote, and ruin his own nation into the bargain. And screw up the environment so as to assure our grandchildren as slow and horrible extinction. And impose something that looks increasingly like a police state on his own people.

When Bobert says GWB is "evil," it is not all that bad. It does not amount to a threat to kill Bush. It pm;u means he is horrified by what GWB is doing. His "intelligence" is quite good enough to determine that horrifying things are afoot. And I think you ought to seriously consider whether you really want to endorse all those things, because the world is in for some "hell." It really is.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: DougR
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 01:31 AM

Toad: for the umpteenth time (and this can be validated)the Korea problem did not begin on Bush's watch. It came on Clinton's watch and was caused by Jimmy Carter's brokering an agreement with the North Koreans that they broke the moment he left the country. Just the facts, man, the facts!

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: can torture ever be justified ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 02:13 PM

Wasn't it actually the US that failed to fulfill the terms of that agreement?

But what's that got to do with this thread anyway? We seem to be wandering all over the place (and I've done my share of wandering, I admit it).

Here is a link about the legal position as regard torture, and how it's defined and so forth, whcih seems relevant enough - COMPILATION UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW - DEFINITION OF TORTURE

Since USA seems to be backed out of most agreements on international law, it'd be interesting to know what the legal situation is under your constitution when it comnes to torture, more especially when it comes to non-citizens.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Beccy
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 02:37 PM

McGrath- Are you talking about Paul Revere? Because what he said was, "The Regulars are coming..." and "The Red coats are coming..."

At that time, we were still subjects of the British Crown. Saying "The British are coming" would've been akin to saying, "I'm coming."

The poem from which most people draw the quotation took a little poetic license with the actual cry to make it a little more pleasing to the ear, meter-wise.

Beccy


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 03:21 PM

Just the facts, man, the facts!

From a CNN article:
The [non-proliferation] treaty went into effect in 1970, and today only four other countries -- Cuba, India, Israel and Pakistan -- are not signatories. (NPT Factbox)

North Korea announced in 1993 that it was withdrawing from the treaty, but later suspended the decision and entered talks with the United States.

Under a separate pact, the 1994 Agreed Framework with the U.S., Pyongyang agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons program in return for aid from the United States, Japan and South Korea.

However, North Korea announced in December (2002) it was reactivating nuclear facilities frozen under the pact, maintaining it was forced to produce energy after Washington stopped sending fuel shipments to North Korea, which it said was a violation of the agreement.
This, of course, was after the "Axis of Evil" speech. We let George do it, and he did it.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: toadfrog
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 05:14 PM

Doug R: As I understand it, Clinton's agreement with North Korea was that if they mothballed their Plutonium reactor, we would provide alternative nuclear reactors, so that they could generate power without producing fissionable material. We did not provide the alternative reactors, so that in fact, it was the United States which appears to have broken the agreement.

But the basic fact is, Clinton was right in negotiating. It was not the agreement that caused the present problem with North Korea. It was the wrong-headed theory, which you apparently share, that a good foreigen policy is to beat up all potential enemies and run the world. The trouble with that idea is, every time you seek out an enemy and beat it up, you make two more enemies. Reagan proved that. Osama Bin Laden and Sadaam were both his proteges, in the age of the "evil empire."

McGrath: Hey, threads do creep! If you have a problem with that, go complain to Max!


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,viet vet '67
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 05:37 PM

Speaking of "homeland" torture. Do you think dubya

1. Buys groceries?
2. Buys gasoline?
3. Checks his 401K or IRA?
4. Is concerned whether social security will be busted?
    (You know retired congressmen and senators and the like dip into
    this fund without contribution.
5. Wonders if he can eat AND buy medication?
6. Cares about veteran's concerns?

Feel free to add to this list...I have to quit thinking about it!

If YES to any of the above...please justify you answer.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 09:01 PM

"At that time, we were still subjects of the British Crown. Saying 'The British are coming' would've been akin to saying, 'I'm coming.'"

I'd question that assumption. I mean,in Northern Ireland they are all, legally speaking, subjects of the British Crown, but I think that if you said "The British are coming" in the Falls Road, they wouldn't think that meant "We are coming."

Which continues the thread drift of course. A thread builds up its own momentum, and its own temporary group of posters. However I still thin that the topic of torture deserves to be addressed. This is the first time in my life, and probably many years longer, when there have been people seriously defending, in cold blood, the idea that there should be a place for torture in a civilised society. Yikes!


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 10:48 PM

One thing most of us discover in life as time goes by...any rule that we think is absolutely ironclad is best waived under certain unusual circumstances. For instance, a good rule to follow as a general thing is: "don't run a red light", but there are rare situations where it's probably the only wise thing to do (I'll let you figure what situations those are...).

Likewise, there are a few rare situations where:

It may be best to kill another human.

It may be best to steal a loaf of bread.

It may be best to lie.

And so on....

People are now theorizing certain rare situations where it is justifiable to torture other people. Hmmmm.

The reason I greet that with skepticism (and some contempt) is this: Governments do not excuse torture on the basis of a few very rare and unusual situations. They excuse it because they want to feel free to use it on people whenever and wherever they like. It then becomes a general policy which is NOT reserved for rare and unusual situations. This has happened again and again in corrupt and/or dictatorial regimes...and in war.

That is why I am categorically opposed to a government sanctioning torture under any circumstance. What individuals may do in the heat of extraordinary situations is a unique individual circumstance and may be judged on its particular merits or demerits afterward by the law or the community, but it is not a national or organizational policy which necessarily perpetuates itself and may affect thousands of people through a hierarchical command structure.

No government should ever be officially allowed to commit torture on anyone, and those who argue for such legalized allowance are consenting to the establishment of a dictatorship.

And that is why it is against the Geneva Convention.

Simple.

That is also why it is illegal for any country to make a pre-emptive military strike on another country which it thinks may hypothetically attack it someday. On that basis, in fact, there would be a long list of countries which would be justified in attacking the USA immediately with all the means at their command, since the USA is in the almost perpetual habit of threatening and attacking other countries whenever it feels like doing so. The USA is like a rogue cop who claims the right to kill upon suspicion, to kill upon mere dislike, to blackmail and bribe, to torture...and then expects the general community to praise him, support him, and thank him for "rescuing" them from evil. This is in itself...evil. Either that or it's a form of self-absorption bordering on insanity. Where does such moral blindness end and true criminality begin? Or are they one and the same? That could provide much ground for philosophical debate, if you're so inclined.

Nighty, night...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 11:25 PM

LH-You make a very good point. A government does not make exceptions without those exception becoming rules in their own right.

McGrath-The Northern Irish probably don't consider themselves first and foremost as British, where the colonists did. On topic, I find it interesting that pure sadistic pleasure is not included in the definition of torture.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 10:36 AM

I do not think anyone is condoning torture on innocent people. What I am saying is simple I can understand the use of it on people in G.Bay or underlings of Bin Laden.

That is,it is acceptable to me to use such methods to gain intelligence,to prevent another atrocity. What is not acceptable is people staying within their comfort zones, postulating and giving no real solutions to the present threats from Bin Laden.

We have a person in custody who knows the in's and out's of many attacks by Bin Laden, any suggestions how intelligence information is got out of him?

In intel terms not getting information from him is a waste of a valuable resource and I suggest it could be argued that those who are against modern day interrogation techniques will be among those who allow another attack to happen.

My views are in relation to the Sept 11 murders and the threats Bin Laden has made against the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Bagpuss
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 10:47 AM

But Ireland, one question is how do you know a person has information that could prevent an attack? You aren't going to find that out till you have tortured him. And it seems most likely that, regardless of what was first told to the world, those people being held in Guantanamo Bay are mostly nothing more than foot soldiers in Afghanistan with very little info about any future plans of al-Quaida (and surely the plans get changed as soon as anyone with any knowledge is captured....). So should we torture them all just to be sure they don't know something?

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 11:23 AM

Are you saying that the guy just caught (sorry forgot his name) knows nothing about Bin Laden.

Every one has a modicum of useful intelligence,whether they know it or not. Such as who are the people giving them orders,giving them weapons training,quarter master, safety houses, money, all valuable information.

What use is a terrorist to his unit if he does not know at least one of the above. This could lead to identifying up to four people involved in the organisation. Any one of those four could be walking the streets of Washington or N.Y. plotting their next atrocity, the stakes are too high to rely on pure chance to weed these people out. We have too much to lose not to take any or all advantages.

Your point in principle is right, but lets not lose sight of what these people and their comrades are capable off, as I said before it is the proven terrorist/aggressor I would have no problems with people using modern day interrogation against.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Bagpuss
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 11:31 AM

Ireland - I would say that anyone seriously advocating torture needs to look at themselves as see what *they* are capable of...


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 01:29 PM

Ireland-the people in Guantanamo aren't members of terrorist cells. Most likely, the people in a cell will not know enough to compromise another cell if their capture is known; that's the point of a cell setup. Torture is notoriously unreliable; most people will tell their interrogators what they want to hear, regardless of the truth. Most importantly, if the government can torture a suspected terrorist, what stops them from carrying the principle on to material witnesses who don't want to talk?


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 02:30 PM

I think there are some things which can never be justified, period, and torture is one of those.

Imagining what the results might be if you did go over that line is just irrelevant. Perhaps the good consequences might outweigh the bad consequences in some complicated calculus, or it might be the other way round - but, once again, it's irrelevant.

For citizens of all countries which have ratified the international convention against torture, this means that it is a criminal act to take part in torturing anyone or to collude in others torturing anyone on their behalf.

I'm very glad to see that both the UK and the USA have ratified this. And so far as the UK is concerned at least, the newly set up International War Crimes Tribunal has jurisdiction. So far as the USA is concerned it has to be its own legal system that deals with any cases that arise. That's maybe some protection at any rate. If we go down the road that accepts and authorises torture, I think we've had it as a society.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: toadfrog
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 06:43 PM

There are probably times when use of torture could be justified, morally at least. Just as there are times when cannibalism has been justified. But as the liklihood of abuse of torture is so much greater than the right to commit cannibalism when necessary, I think the rule has to be, torture is never permissible, and if someone uses it, even under circumstances so extreme as to justify it morally, that person must still take thc consequences.

So I agree with McGrath. Torture should never be tolerated. Where I disagree is with his belief that someone is actually going to be able to enforce such a rule. It would be nice, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 06:53 PM

Did I say that toadfrog? I somehow don't think it's too likely, except maybe for very low-level operatives, or of course people from the other side in any conflict.

Even when there's a change of regime, and our friendly dictators get replaced by friendly politicians who aren't quite dictators (touch wood), the normal pattern is for there to be an amnesty about that kind of stuff, especially for the high-ups.

I'd like to see those senior politicians, in any country, who talk openly in ways which clearly encourage and welcome torture, charged and brought to court. But it won't happen in our time.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: DougR
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 07:05 PM

Well and good. No torture. That is the good guys can't use torture. How about the bad guys? Who is going to enforce that rule on them?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 08:01 PM

Anybody who uses torture are the bad guys. Even if they are up against other bad guys.

I'm sure, Doug, you wouldn't say "No rape. That is the good guys can't rape. How about the bad guys? Who is going to enforce that rule on them?" (And of course rape is one widespread method of torture.)


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: DougR
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 12:45 AM

You forgot to add a little tag to your last message, Kevin. "IMO."

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 08:51 AM

DougR- McGrath isn't saying that all rapists are torturers ( though they are, IMO). He's pointing out that one of the most common methods of torture used by interrogators is rape.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 09:31 AM

What a load of emotional crap, who said that anyone involved in the G.Bay has been raped, get your terminology right people, modern interrogation methods.

No way would I sanction the rape of any person male or female, try keeping to the point of modern interrogation techniques,not the crap meted out to people in S.American countries, as the introduction of such nonsense takes us away off the point.

The start of this thread referred to, sleep deprivation and psychops that drove people crazy in Northern Ireland.

What drives people crazy is seeing their loved ones lying in the gutter with their brains scattered all over the place, seeing young children reduced to nothing more than mince meat,no imo,unfortunately fact in my experiences. Pick up a victims arms and legs and ask what you would do to prevent the next person ending up like this.

I have personally seen people shoveled into black bags, watched as their families were emotionally tortured by the sight of their loved ones blood splattered all over the place.

Step this murdering up a scale and what came next Sept 11 murders, I blame those who whine because they are the very people giving impetus to such action,they are indirectly condoning it.

Terrorists thrive on the notion if your doing nothing to stop us then your for us, they suck up all this human rights crap to throw it right back in our faces. They are the ones who take away the right of life,over 3000 lives in one go,and threaten more such acts.

Still not one solution is put forward.

And yes certain interrogation methods have paid off so lets get off the no real information band wagon, it has already be pointed out that useful intel has been gathered.

So rather than equate one to the other why not put the blame were it truly lies at the feet of the terrorist.

But then it could be said the torturer/terrorist past or present was doing what he/she thought was right at that time.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Troll
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 11:11 AM

In the perfect world, the view from the ivory tower is always beautiful. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world. I earlier put forth a hypothetical situation and was accused of being "clever" and of possibly trying to use that scenario to back up my own position on the subject of torture.
Both accusations were 100% wrong.
What I tried to do was to set up a situation where there was no right answer; a situation where either way a man could go, his soul would be stained.
I hoped to spark some discussion about this grey area. Instead, we have simply gotten more of the same absolutist crap.
So once again: it isn't always black and white, folks. There are times (witness my scenario) where the lesser of two evils MUST be chosen.
This was my scenario.

Date: 10 Mar 03 - 10:50 PM

Hypothetical question.
You have a captive whom you believe has information which can save thousands of lives. But he/she refuses to talk.
If you torture him/her, you may get the information.
If you do not get the information, thousands die horribly.
Is there any moral justification in favor of torture?
Is there any moral justification against torture?
For the sake of preventing end runs, you have only 24 hours before the cataclysm occurs, and this is the only link you have. You
know that it will happen but not what or where.

As I said, I have no position on the subject. Each situation stands on its own merits and a decision must be made each time. There should be no set policy.
THAT I would object to very strongly.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 11:11 AM

Ireland-we've been over this many, many times. Just because the terrorists are bad people doesn't mean that we can torture suspects so that hopefully, if we ren't being lied to, we might get intel which could lead to the apprehension of more suspected terrorists. You can't claim that the responsibility for government-sanctioned torture belongs to the terrorists one hopes to catch through said torture. Claiming that because the methods of torture currently admitted to by the government aren't as bad as the methods other people are known to use doesn't change the fact that it's still our government torturing suspects.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 01:46 PM

Likely scenario:

Okay, Troll, so you torture your terrorist, and after a long and grueling session for all concerned, he finally spills the beans. The Statue of Liberty, he tells you, is going to be blown up in a symbolic gesture. Simultaneously, a dirty bomb, smuggled into New York harbor in a cargo container, will detonate, scattering radioactivity over a large area of the city.

While the Statue of Liberty is being searched from head to foot and the waterfront is being scoured in an attempt to find which of the thousands of cargo containers contains the bomb, a smallpox-laden aerosol is released, quietly and unnoticed, in Chicago's O'Hare airport.

There was no dirty bomb and no explosives in the Statue of Liberty. The terrorist sits in his cell and laughs uproariously at those who had tortured him. "Gotcha!!"

Torture is not a reliable way of getting accurate information. Never has been.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: GUEST,Forum Lurker
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 01:55 PM

Don-It's true that torture is usually not accurate. If you had a perfect lie detector, though, what would your answer be? The question is whether it would be acceptable to torture him if you knew that it would help you prevent an atack.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 02:33 PM

I know the question, FL.

Lie detectors are not reliable either. All a "lie detector" measures is level of anxiety, determined by breath rate, heart rate, and galvanic skin response. If you are being tortured or threatened with torture, your anxiety level would be high enough to swamp out any of the minute differences needed to infer that you might possibly be lying. They're not like they portray them on TV.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 02:38 PM

Follow-up. If you had a perfect lie detector (which we don't), then torture would not be necessary.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 03:26 PM

Second follow-up:

In many classes and in many coffee-klatsches back when I was at the UW and taking philosophy courses, discussions abounded, as is the nature of the university environment. On the question "Is murder ever justified?" a hypothetical situation often comes up: "If you had a time machine, would you be justified in going back to the early Thirties and murdering Adolf Hitler?" On the face of it, one would think "Absolutely!" You would save the lives of millions of people and stop a devastating war. Of course, you would be justified!

Now, here comes a pair of wet blankets that render the argument irrelevant to the real world:
1. You don't have a time machine, so the situation would never occur.
2. Even if you did have a time machine, you don't really know what the results of your action might be. Suppose you killed Hitler, and Goebbels took over in his place. Goebbels was reputed to be even more rabid than Hitler, and it's conceivable that he might have been even worse (several Star Trek plots have a lot of fun with the possible results of altering the "time line.").

Theoretical discussions like this are lots of fun, but other than maybe opening one's mind to various possibilities and honing one's debating skills, it is theoretical, and generally inapplicable in the real world.

Fun, but ". . . full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Torture is not only morally unacceptable, it is highly unreliable as a source of information.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 08:16 PM

"You forgot to add a little tag to your last message, Kevin. "IMO."

Well, I said "I'm sure" in that post at the one point where I could have said "in my opinion". (I never write IMO - everything I say is my opinion, or I wouldn't say it, and I don't use those "acronyms" anyway.)

But is there really anything in that post that you would you disagree with, Doug? Your question suggests that there is, but try as I can, I really can't see what.

I wasn't asserting that, to my knowledge or belief, rape is being used as a method of torture by the US, if that is what you jibbed at, and there's nothing in my post that even suggests that.

My mention of rape was to bring out the point that, just because your enemy engages in an evil practice, that does not mean that it is a good idea to go in for it yourself. Rape is, I still believe, an example of a case where most people would agree that is true, and I'd be surprised if that didn't include you. (And then I reminded us that rape is in fact quite widely used as a method of torture - it was for example in Chile under Pinochet, using German Shepherd/Alsatian dogs.)


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 08:37 PM

Don- I know that polygraphs are only semi-reliable stress detectors, not lie detectors. That's why I said perfect. You would need torture to get the information at all, not to get true information. No lie detector, even one that could directly extract the veracity of a statement from your mind, can tell what the truth is when you don't say anything. The purpose of hypotheticals is to test the limits of a general rule, not to find the best course of action in that hypothetical situation. Just because a situation MAY never arise doesn't mean that the situation can't invalidate a maxim.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Mar 03 - 07:24 AM

"Just because a situation MAY never arise doesn't mean that the situation can't invalidate a maxim."

Interesting logical point there. I'm not sure it's true. If it had been "Just because a situation COULD never arise doesn't mean that the situation can't invalidate a maxim", I'm pretty sure it would have been an invalid statement, but perhaps with MAY it is valid.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Mar 03 - 09:02 AM

Guys....there isn't any rule you can make up that will fit ALL situations or make things perfect or "stop evil in the world". There just isn't. So stop trying to concoct bizarre lines of reasoning to prove a painfully constricted point about something that can't be pinned down and held still in the first place.

It's still a generally good idea not to torture people, not to rape people, not to kill people, and not to EVER give a government legal authority to do so...because when you give them that authority they will sooner (not later) use it when and where they should not.

troll - As you say, there can (in real life) be no set policy that is always adhered to by all concerned. Extraordinary situations must be (and are) dealt with by the people on the spot, in whatever way they can best work it out on their own best judgement. That is what happens in the real world. The lawyers and cops and judges can argue about it later. Just don't give cops or the military legal authority to torture people, that's all I'm asking.

They do it frequently enough without legal authority.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 15 Mar 03 - 09:59 AM

Little Hawk-In order for anything to be a maxim, it must be valid in all situations. If no maxims exist, then morality must be relative (a view I subscribe to). In that case, you can only worry about what's moral in one particular situation, not general rules. I agree with you that one shouldn't ever give a fallible government the ability to abuse its power, such as authorizing torture or holding persons without evidence, without charging them and without releasing their names and locations. I can only defend it in particular instances, though, because it is possible that a situation might arise where it would be necessary.

McGrath-If a situation MAY never arise, but is still possible, then it means that the possibility exists that the maxim will be contradicted. If that possibility exists, it is not a valid maxim. If the invalidating situation is impossible, then it certainly can't be used in any kind of argument.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Mar 03 - 05:57 PM

If a situation is possible that means it may arise. If it can never arise, that means it is impossible. Just two ways of saying the same thing.

And if it may arise that's also the same as saying it may never arise. Two ways of saying the same thing once more.

It's a great language we've got.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 12:26 AM

Hey, Lurker...

I'm trying hard to come up with something (other than certain basic natural laws) which is valid in ALL situations... :-)

Ummm...even the natural laws may be questionable, given certain unusual situations.

Still trying....

Ummmm...

Ha! Ha!

I think I must say that there are probably no real maxims, given your definition.

Morality is something people make up or learn from other people who made it up, and they constantly revise it as they go along, influenced powerfully by their culture, their religion, changing circumstances around them, emergencies, and so on.

Which is not to say that morality is not valuable and vital to human development. It is both.

That's because through forming our morality we decide and define who we ARE and hardly anything could be more important than that.

But anyone who thinks his particular versions of morality are the ultimate truth, infallible, and written in stone is suffering mental-emotional rigor mortis as far as I'm concerned. Or to put it another way, he's probably a fanatic.

Life is a continuing process of discovery and adaptation, not a blind adherence to a rigid set of rules passed on by one's elders.

I would rather decide to be merciful and just and forgiving, than decide to be a torturer, a vengeance-seeker, and an oppressor. But that's just me...


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 02:02 PM

Rape is a pretty hard one to work out a situation where it might be ok.

And whatever the consequences, I'd say torture is as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 16 Mar 03 - 02:45 PM

Little Hawk-I agree entirely that valid maxims are rather hard to come by. In fact, that was somewhat of my point. Morality is a human construct, and while that doesn't invalidate it, it gives perspective.

McGrath-I think that rape could only be justified in a situation deliberately contrived to make rape the moral option. Even then, I imagine that most people would be sufficiently horrified by the prospect that they might not do the rationally "better" thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Teribus
Date: 17 Mar 03 - 07:19 AM

I think that "Ireland" has quite correctly put things into context well when he differentiates between interrogation methods and out and out physical torture.

Those who state that interrogation may not produce reliable or accurate information are correct up to a point.

What is the diffence between the sort of interrogations going on in G.Bay and Bagram, as opposed to say the torture being inflicted on supporters of Robert Mugabes opponents in Zimbabwe, or by Saddam's internal security forces in Iraq.

The former are being conducted on a large scale to draw out information with regard to Al-Qaeda, its organisation, means of communication and capabilities, past and future. The latter is to get people to "confess", to say what the authorities want them to say in order to further the repression and eliminate possible opponents.

If you are interrogating a large number of people using such methods as sleep deprivation, etc, to put them under stress. Results obtained are not of the major break-through type. The interrogation teams are conducting a large number of interviews and while their subjects may give false and misleading information - it is well nigh impossible, given the circumstances under which such interviews are conducted, for the subjects to come up with a "uniform lie". There will be discrepancies and inconsistancies, slowly, but surely, over a period of time the collators sort out the wheat from the chaff, they will identify those of their subjects who know little or nothing and those who may be able to tell them more. It does take time, but in general, I would say that the technique is effective.

The techniques for interrogation are very different to those of torture. In my time in the armed forces we were taught and trained to withstand interrogation, not torture. Even then, the degree to which your training extended, recognised the fact that after you had been "in-the-bag" for a certain amount of time - any information you may have had with regard to operations - was useless, no longer relevant. Therefore your use as a source of information had a very limited shelf life. That is not the case with a captured member of a terrorist organisation (a la Guitanamo Bay prisoners) they have to be kept on hand for further interrogation as part of the information gathering process. Unlike their counterparts in the jails of Harare or Baghdad, these people, by and large, are not subjected to systematic physical abuse to the point of permanent injury and death (the two instances at Bagram are already under investigation).

If you are engaged in a war, that was not a war of your own chosing. If you are engaged in a war, forced upon you by a group of international terrorists, your only real defence is intelligence - If you are serious in your efforts to protect yourselves - then you get the information you require from whatever source is available - there are no absolutes and there are no nicities - hard fact and the way of the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Forum Lurker
Date: 17 Mar 03 - 10:56 AM

Teribus-very good points for the most part. The only thing I disagree with is the consistent use of the word "war" to describe our attempts to defend ourselves from and destroy terrorist organizations. War used to have a distinct legal meaning, and it is the elimination of that meaning which allows Bush to treat anyone from an Afghanistani villager to a second-generation Pakistani immigrant as an "enemy combatant," denied both civil liberties and POW status under the Geneva Accords.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Teribus
Date: 17 Mar 03 - 12:04 PM

Forum Lurker,

Good point - I was using "war" as the terrorists term - In Malaysia, Borneo and in Northern Ireland. The terrorists described their activities as a war, we on the other hand used the the terms "counter-insurgency", conflict, aid to the civil power. In Malaysia, Borneo and in Northern Ireland at no time was the military in control of the conduct of operations against the terrorists - Templeton in Malaya was extremely emphatic on that point - he was the man responsible for showing the importance of winning "Hearts and Minds". He succeeded - his testament was the the only instance of a communist inspired, and backed, insurrection being defeated during the period of the "cold war". Malaysia became fully independent during the course of that war and survives today as a democratic state.


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Subject: RE: BS: US torture
From: Ireland
Date: 17 Mar 03 - 06:45 PM

Teribus has said in his post what I wanted to, and I'm glad to see other people understand the difference between, modern interrogation techniques, and how they actually work,and torture.

Put bluntly the name of the game is confusion, and the trick is how to bring that confusion about. People can be beaten/injured into a confused state, which I do not agree with. Sleep deprivation etc can also bring about the same results, after the interrogation people can always catch up on sleep.

Don, there is one simple flaw in your, There was no dirty bomb and no explosives in the Statue of Liberty. The terrorist sits in his cell and laughs uproariously at those who had tortured him. "Gotcha!!", theory.

The small pox was going to happen any way, do you want people to accept the inevitable and do nothing? Bit defeatist do you not think?

In general interrogators and collators are not stupid, yes some may run off on wild goose chase's, but in general only if that fits the M.O. of the group that person who was interrogated belongs to.

Such an example could be the arms smuggling to Ireland, popular method was shipping, so if some one says arms are going to be flown over, it would raise alarm bells.

Information,name,places,times and dates all details given out during interrogation,collators use this, simple example, if A say's he and B were at a place at X time, compare that to other statements from the rest of the people.

That may not be useful to the man on the street, but many a terrorist from N.I. got caught by the police using the same collated intelligence. It does work,it either eliminates or confirms the suspect from a line of inquiry.

Because there is no great arms find or bombs uncovered do not be fooled into thinking that this is because the interrogation methods do not get vital info. It is the info that such interrogation gets that prevents the arms being shipped or bombs planted in the first place.

Do not forget human nature,piss the prisoner off enough and he may spill the beans without realising it. To use your example the prisoner may say F--- you if the bombs don't get ya the small pox will. Not all terrorist are brain boxes or hardened men, they do make mistakes.

My argument is this I would rather have modern day interrogation methods used, I do not agree with the use of torture techniques of the past. The questions put are not clever they are the dilemma that faces those in charge of our security every day. Which are backed up by the real threats from Bin Laden, a man who says there will be more Sept 11 atrocities. Quite possibly the next could involve the release of small pox, any ideas how we prepare for that or how to stop it?

A good start would get as much intelligence as you can.


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