Poll: Is torture acceptable?
No, torture is never acceptable
No, but keeping terrorists awake for 2 days straight isn't really torture
Yes, but permanent damage should be avoided
Yes, let them lose their teeth and a finger or two if they refuse to talk
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Torturing terrorists: acceptable?
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09-05-2011, 01:13 AM
Question Torturing terrorists: acceptable?
Dick Cheney on Fox news:

Quote:Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday that President Barack Obama should put waterboarding back on the table.

Intelligence derived from the Bush-era enhanced interrogation program "probably" contributed to the of death Osama bin Laden, Cheney told Fox News' Chris Wallace.

"Which raises the question, if we were to now capture another new high value target, which is certainly more likely given this apparent trove of information that they recovered in bin Laden's compound, should the president reinstate enhanced interrogation including waterboarding?" Wallace asked.

"Well, I certainly would advocate it," Cheney replied. "I'd be a strong supporter of it."

"We went to a lot of trouble to find out what we could do, how far we could go, what was legal and so forth. Out of that emerged what we called enhanced interrogation. It worked. It provided some absolutely vital pieces of intelligence."

"It was a good program," he continued. "It was a legal program. It was not torture. I would strongly recommend we continue it."

I wonder what you boys&girls think about it. Is torturing terrorists acceptable when it can save lives or help world peace?

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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09-05-2011, 10:48 AM (This post was last modified: 09-05-2011 10:53 AM by Observer.)
RE: Torturing terrorists: acceptable?
I seriously doubt whether you can get real information out of your victim. Besides, that makes you just as disgusting as them.

If Dick wants to continue this program I think he should sign himself up for "the Christopher Hitchings treatment" and have himself voluntarily water-boarded after 2 days or sleep deprivation to show its not a real torture. (Hold on while I get the popcorn)


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10-05-2011, 01:02 AM
RE: Torturing terrorists: acceptable?
Pakistan grants U.S. interrogators access to Bin Laden's captured wives

- U.S. can finally interview three wives captured during Bin laden raid
- Intelligence service says those held giving 'valuable information'
- Wife claims she and Al Qaeda leader stayed in the same room for five years

The complete article

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10-05-2011, 02:57 AM
RE: Torturing terrorists: acceptable?
(09-05-2011 01:13 AM)Thammuz Wrote:  Is torturing terrorists acceptable when it can save lives or help world peace?

Kind of reminds me of the themes present in the short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin - I do not think I would want to live in a utopia that comes at such a filthy cost.
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10-05-2011, 08:44 AM
RE: Torturing terrorists: acceptable?
Well, torture works very well in fiction. When Jack Bauer shoots a man's wife in the kneecaps, he becomes much more willing to talk about his terrorist plans.

But I'm just not certain that it works in reality. After all, magic works in fiction too.

For God so loved the world that he arranged for everyone to both have free will and to suffer the terrible consequences of making the wrong choice. Kind of a dick move, God.
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10-05-2011, 08:48 AM
RE: Torturing terrorists: acceptable?
People where willing to admit they where witches under torture...


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10-05-2011, 09:04 AM
RE: Torturing terrorists: acceptable?
The question evokes reminders of the United Nations peace keeper force...who are armed to the teeth with automatic weapons and tanks!
We're here to keep the peace. And if you disagree, we'll kill you!
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"rattattatatatatatatatata" Hey! Lookie there! After the smoke clears and all those bodies fall down, it's peaceful.
Big Grin Confused

Right after 911, as in September 12th, if you'd have asked most Americans about torture they'd have said, hell yeah! Fuck 'em.

In truth, less than three weeks after the dust cleared over NYC, Americans fell under the jurisdiction of the United States Patriot Act. (USPA) (Former full title reads as: "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001.") A document that threatened our protections under the U.S. Constitution. It made a blanket statement that anyone could be considered a "person of interest" as a potential "suspect".
A document well over 500 pages at it's inception, whittled down through the process to over 300 in the final draft. Passed through the House and the Senate and from the time it was allegedly inked unto signing into law by Bush43, we the people were led to believe all that transpired in less than three weeks after the most devastating terrorist attack in the history of America.

Contractors, like myself, received calls a week after passage, from the Department of Homeland Security. We were told, if we happened on any job and felt there was something suspicious there in an office, in a residence, anywhere we had occasion to serve in the performance of our duties, and of course the inference was we could also keep this in mind off the clock, that we thought was suspicious or may be a sight of terrorist activities, we could make an anonymous report to 1-800...
and the proper authorities would be contacted so as to check things out.

The U.S Patriot Act put under threat the U.S. Bill of Rights. No longer was a suspect, like someone a contractor turned in for suspicious activity, all subjective right after the trauma afforded virtually every American witnessing media saturation coverage of the horrors of 9-11, able to demand and receive their phone call immediately after arrest. No longer were they entitled to council, or arraignment. Authorities could hold a citizen for 3 days without letting them see the light of day, much less a phone, an attorney or a judge.

There's an old episode of Law & Order that mimics those times. Where citizens are being held in the bowels of a Federal Prison in New York, just as suspects and for months at a time. Tortured, deprived of basic necessities, and all civil liberties. Sure, that was TV fiction, but the fact was it was based on real life.
As investigative journalists learned and reported months after 9-11 when family members told how their son's, who happened to be Muslim or were Indian but looked Arab, had disappeared. And no one knew where they were after they were seen being taken into custody by men in dark attire driving dark cars.

The "Men in Black" legend, was transpiring on American streets. Where were our sons, our brothers, our husbands, our friends?

A woman made the news, her name now is lost to those on the fringe watching TV and being distracted by new news as the years have passed by. However, she'll never be forgotten by three Arab medical students, who happened into a Diner one afternoon on their way to their new campus, towing a tag along moving trailer to continue their medical education. They were descended upon on the other side of a toll booth, after having paid, by helicopters and countless police. Guns drawn they were ordered from their car as it and the tag along were ripped apart in a search for anything suspicious. Their lives were ripped apart shortly after, when the college they were bound for revoked their permission to attend and continue their quest to become Doctors in America.
Why? Because a woman at that former Diner claimed she'd overheard these three young men laughing about what transpired on 9-11, and then she heard them planning something big that was going to occur to support the terrorist act on that September day. And then she heard them speaking in Arabic and as soon as they left, she ran and got their license tag number and called authorities.

The fact was she was many booths away from these three young men. And only one of them spoke Arabic. So who could he have been speaking to?

Profiling, paranoia, ruined three lives on top of all those lost to terror in September.

A woman on the street, approached by a reporter asking what people thought of the newly passed USPA, asked a woman if she objected to the infringement of civil rights in the name of national security.
She said, if she had to surrender a few of her rights and freedoms in order to feel safe in her home country, she was OK with that.

The "sneak a peek" warrant, admires her compliance. Because under the USPA, all someone has to do, like that aforementioned contractor for instance, is alert authorities about something suspicious in a persons home. And the proper Federal authorities can show up, when the homeowner is away, gain access into that home and sneek a peak around to see if there is indeed anything they need to be worried about.
The law says they can't move anything, they can't open drawers and closets and search by touch. All they can do is simply look and see if the report has merit. If they find something, they can leave with that visual evidence, obtain a paper warrant and come back when the home owner is there and conduct a more thorough search.
It's one of those cases where a Che Guevara poster may best be removed for the sake of your personal security. And if a person happened to be Muslim, and let's say a legal immigrant from Iraq or Iran but had a flag tacked to their wall in remembrance of their former homeland...well you can imagine that may well be one of those cases where family and friends have occasion to later say; have you seen ...? I keep calling and he's not there!

In 2006 Bush43 made history again, having made it the first time as the second President seated by "election" of the United States Supreme Court. Because he, like Lincoln before him, suspended the writ of habeas corpus (Latin for "We have the body") by signing into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

In a country wherein the 2nd amendment is an inalienable right, it bodes ill for anyone who may own a gun and not be in lockstep with everything Uncle Sam says is right, good, and fully Patriotic.

Suffice to say, "Terrorist" or "Armed enemy combatant" is relative. As is, "person of interest".

Now, while those who know me know I could talk the ears off corn, hence the many bald fields in Nebraska Tongue , I've taken this long road to answer this simple OP question for a reason.

It's nearly 10 years since September 11th. Many of us can still recall what we were doing when we got the news. Many, like myself, were watching TV and that morning show wherein a lady hostess was on the street in Manhattan when the first plane made history right behind her.
Personally, I thought it was a horrific freak accident. Until the second plane struck the second tower shortly after and then the first thing that ran through my mind was it looked like a Hollywood special effect. I just wasn't ready to accept that was real. And I remember thinking, hoping against hope, knowing how foolish it was but grasping for anything that would break through the tears streaming down my face as the wind was knocked right out of me. That maybe, the towers were empty just after 9 a.m. Maybe there was construction that shut down the bridges and tunnels and no one was yet inside towers 1 & 2.
It's amazing what you'll find yourself praying for, when you're an atheist watching planes turned black for flying before the light of the sun, cut through iconic towers that render the skyline of NYC rich and famous and seemingly eternal, like a hot knife through butter.

And right after that, I'd venture to say a great number of devastated Americans would have applied the torture to terrorist suspects themselves, if it would have led to the answer as to why!

Now we're approaching the 10th anniversary. The man responsible for 9-11 is dead and feeding sharks in the north Arabian sea. And we the people remain vigilant and on alert, because now months before September 11th we're again at risk of the reprisals Al Qaeda may want to exact against us, because our U.S. Navy SEAL team 6 shot Bin Laden in the head.
Now, we're told plans to attack the U.S. rail system were found in Osama's compound in Pakistan. For anyone that saw just the trailer to the movie, "Unstoppable", the imagination doesn't need to venture far as to the impact yet again something like a train attack would have on America.

It's the fear paradigm. It worked for a slave faith for over 2000 years and now it's able to be programmed in high definition and on cable and through satellite transmission. They're out to get us! Lion's, tigers, bears, terrorist Muslims, oh my!

We don't want to see 9-11 re-run. We don't want to live with the aftermath that falls on us as suspects, because everyone holds potential now to be a terrorist. And so as to insure that doesn't happen, we're willing to go along with just about anything.

So how about torture?

What makes us different from terrorists, if we act like the enemy in order to save ourselves from the enemy? Torture, as people I know who work for certain government agencies tell me, is largely ineffective. Make someone suffer enough and they'll say anything in order to get it to stop.
Compromise the human senses, put under siege the flight or flight response of a captive person while asking them questions and that person's subconscious which is always recording everything that happens, even when we sleep, will file away that information and turn it around so that at a later time, during the same siege of the senses, the victim regurgitates that information as an answer, a means of survival, telling their captor what they want to hear just to make the pain stop.

And Cheney, who along with his accomplice Bush43 many think got off light leaving the White house under their own volition after serving two terms, when they should have been escorted out by Capitol police and wearing handcuffs under arrest for war crimes and even treason, can easily say he supports torture being re-activated under the present Administration. Because he's never suffered it.

While the U.S. Patriot Act guarantees any one of we the people could be a suspect terrorist. A person of interest. Because the designation as enemy combatant is relative. The war on terror isn't something that is waged abroad. It's waged right here at home too. Any one of us who says of torture of an enemy, hell yeah! Do it. Could just as easily be the one it's done to.

National security.

How do we insure that, when we the people are all made potential terrorist suspects by the laws that we believe are there to keep us safe? Simply because "terrorist" is a designation, a profile, that can be as broad reaching as politics itself.
When we the people are already under surveillance in every arena both public and private, as "Big Brother" watches.And it's all legal!

How then do we approve torture, thinking that will keep us safer? When we're not even safe as regular citizens from the ink on the paper that make the laws that lead to the custody, that can lead to the chamber where the suffering transpires, asking what do you know that can make all this stop?!

You can't fight terrorism, by becoming the enemy.
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10-05-2011, 11:12 AM
RE: Torturing terrorists: acceptable?
My thought is, pull out universalized ethics in this one.
1. When coming up with "treatment of detainees" policy, imagine one of your own citizens as a detainee of a foreign government or militaristic force.
2. Now imagine that detainee being tortured, water boarded, etc, whatever you are thinking of doing to those you have detained.
3. Are you outraged? Is it wrong for them to torture your citizen?
4. If the answer to #3 is "Yes, that is a wrong, immoral act that I would condemn," then no, you cannot torture your detainees. Under ethical obligation, you cannot hold yourself above ethical ideals, not to cheat on your spouse and not to fight terrorism.

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10-05-2011, 11:27 AM
RE: Torturing terrorists: acceptable?

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10-05-2011, 05:43 PM
RE: Torturing terrorists: acceptable?
We have people in America who believe that we need to mentally destroy some people in order to gather information. Is that really ethical? Does waterboarding really gather information. If all that really worked why did it take ten years to capture Osama Bin Laden?

This is the United States of America. For years we have preached that we are not tortures and do not do any evil like our enemies has. Yet, that is hypocrisy. We have been torturing people for years and it was mostly secretly. The United States is not the good guys. We are now the bad guys because we thought in order to fight the bad guys we must become the bad guys.

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