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Author Topic: John McCain to Bush apologists: Stop lying about Bin Laden and torture  (Read 5780 times)

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Offline VekseidTopic starter

So it's absolutely undisputed certainty that bad interrogation questioning was performed in both instances?

I also have to ask, is good humane interrogation that yields no information better than bad interrogation that leads to some good and some faulty information?

Good interrogation works because it's really hard not to let your guard down amongst people who treat you as friends.

Bad interrogation doesn't work because it prevents the subject from humanizing their interrogators.

This isn't new.

Offline Lyell

You asked, I answered, and I'm happy to discuss - but if you try to debate it with me, I'm going to ignore you. There are some values that can be evaluated, discussed, and examined, but sometimes they really do come down to "I believe this is just wrong."

This is exactly why this subject and audience falls outside of the 'debatable forums' for me. Everyone is so absolutely entrenched in "This is just wrong" that there can be no actual debate or discussion. Anything even slightly suggesting the contrary is also wrong, invalid, and unacceptable. That's not discussion. That's "Group Think."

The only satisfaction I got out of posting in this thread was the irony of a politician getting praise for voicing an unpopular opinion in the same page that my unpopular opinion got so much negative reaction.

Offline Trieste

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It's not a case of group think or stonewalling, but you've chosen to ask about a subject that is not always based in logic. Humans are not strictly logical human beings, and that's not necessarily a fault.

It is an illogical choice to hold the lives and health of strangers sacrosanct. There have been countless papers published on the seeming paradox of altruistic and egalitarian cultures turning out to be the most evolutionarily successful.

If you'd like to read my reaction as being negative, that's fine, but when you misconstrue people who give you answers that you apparently don't like, you're not going to get a lot of sympathy from other posters and you're certainly not going to be seen as the victim of some anti-intellectual conspiracy. You honestly didn't answer a single thing in my post except to pat yourself on the back for being so persecuted.

I didn't persecute you.

I disagreed with you.

There is a significant difference.

Offline Lyell

It's not a case of group think or stonewalling, but you've chosen to ask about a subject that is not always based in logic. Humans are not strictly logical human beings, and that's not necessarily a fault.

What part of 'torture is evil and never permissible is not stonewalling?
 
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It is an illogical choice to hold the lives and health of strangers sacrosanct. There have been countless papers published on the seeming paradox of altruistic and egalitarian cultures turning out to be the most evolutionarily successful.

And can such a culture successfully survive in the face of an adversary that would kill them simply for being of that culture?

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If you'd like to read my reaction as being negative, that's fine, but when you misconstrue people who give you answers that you apparently don't like, you're not going to get a lot of sympathy from other posters and you're certainly not going to be seen as the victim of some anti-intellectual conspiracy. You honestly didn't answer a single thing in my post except to pat yourself on the back for being so persecuted.

What is there to answer? You adamantly believe this particular subject has no grey area and I do. You've already said you'd ignore any such message so I didn't see a point in posting it.

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I didn't persecute you.

But you are replying for those who did, or hinted at it.

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I disagreed with you.

There is a significant difference.

This much I am willing to agree with.

Offline Shjade

What part of 'torture is evil and never permissible is not stonewalling?
The rest of it I can't - or, rather, won't - speak on, but this part at least seems sorta easy to answer: a stone wall wouldn't respond or have an opinion. Stonewalling would be "no comment, no discussion." "Torture is evil and never permissible" isn't really stonewalling so much as it is stating a position and refusing to be swayed from it. It's giving you something; it's just not opening the door for you to argue against that something.

If you get stonewalled, you get nothing.

As to torture: if it produces useful results, okay. If it doesn't, then what has it accomplished other than damage to everyone involved? Given you can't know whether it's produced useful results until after you've used it and then tested what it gave you, I'd say it's pretty near useless and far too costly as gambles go, all morality aside.

Offline Lyell

The rest of it I can't - or, rather, won't - speak on, but this part at least seems sorta easy to answer: a stone wall wouldn't respond or have an opinion. Stonewalling would be "no comment, no discussion." "Torture is evil and never permissible" isn't really stonewalling so much as it is stating a position and refusing to be swayed from it. It's giving you something; it's just not opening the door for you to argue against that something.

If you get stonewalled, you get nothing.

Quote from: Trieste
I'm going to ignore you.

Sounds pretty nothing to me.

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As to torture: if it produces useful results, okay. If it doesn't, then what has it accomplished other than damage to everyone involved? Given you can't know whether it's produced useful results until after you've used it and then tested what it gave you, I'd say it's pretty near useless and far too costly as gambles go, all morality aside.

I posted a snip from an article that listed six arrests made from the information provided by one man through torture. I'd put a value on the lives it saved, but it might offend someone.

Offline Shjade

If they got six arrests from him through torture, I have to imagine they could have done the same through other means. One case in which it works does not ensure it will work all the time, or even a majority of the time.

She said she'd ignore you if you try to debate the point after having given you her position. Like I said, she gave you something and refuses to be swayed from it.

Offline Lyell

If they got six arrests from him through torture, I have to imagine they could have done the same through other means.

From the same article, just before the arrests are mentioned,

After U.S. and Pakistani authorities captured KSM in March 2003, he stayed mum for months, often answering questions with Koranic chants. Interrogators eventually water-boarded himĖfor just 90 seconds. KSM "didnít resist," one CIA veteran said in the August 13 New Yorker. "He sang right away."

Ofcourse, this assumes that the CIA can be trusted. I don't know what your feelings are twords them.

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One case in which it works does not ensure it will work all the time, or even a majority of the time.

John McCain publicly admitted that torture worked on him. He wrote such in his 1999 autobiography. That it is a gamble is pretty much understood, but like most high stakes gambles sometimes the payout is tempting, sometimes worth it. 

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She said she'd ignore you if you try to debate the point after having given you her position. Like I said, she gave you something and refuses to be swayed from it.

Then further dialogue is pointless because unless it's in-line with her views, it is invalid. "You're wrong. I'm not going to discuss why, but you're wrong. Oh, by the way, I won't pay attention to anything you say to the contrary." Can we get away from this?

Stonewalling: Verb: Delay or block (a request, process, or person) by refusing to answer questions or by giving evasive replies.

I'm sure that word means what I think it means.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 10:09:22 PM by Lyell »

Offline Xandi

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Isn't part of the reason we value being an American because we have the right to state our opinion in an open forum? It is for me anyway. Being an American for me means that I don't have to agree with you and you don't have to agree with me. No one has to be wrong or right. What is right for me may not be right for you and so on. We each have a right to our opinion and we as individuals don't have to fight for or debate that right in a forum such as this. We have a government that provides a military that fights for our rights everyday. What we do have to do is stand behind the men and women who fight for our rights and give them and their families the support they deserve.

I have read this thread, since making my comment, and each side has good points. If this was an easy task there would be no need to debate it. It is my opinion that this is one of those subjects that can, and most likely will, be debated until the end of time and we will be right where we are today. Each person has a right to their own opinion. Majority has nothing to do with that. My opinion is not a popular one but I did not feel, nor do I feel today, that I could not express that opinion.

It is my vital hope that when things like this come to light, as they have here, that we as individuals look inward and find how it affects our own personal view of the world. It isn't our job to change the mind of someone with a different opinion. I will say it again, just because someones opinion does not agree with our own that does not make them wrong, just as it does not make me or you or anyone else right. Living in a free society means that we have the right to have opposing opinions. What feels right for you may not feel right for me. The one thing we have in common is that we all get to have an opinion.

I value the freedom our men and women in the armed forces fight for, and if for no other reason than that I value each individuals right to voice their personal beliefs.

Thank you for allowing me to voice my opinion once again.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 05:13:33 AM by Xandi »

Offline ReanimateMagnus

Torture for information, in my opinion, isn't really that bad. I mean it's not like someone is going to torture you for information since the average American doesn't really have anything valuable to say. The guy that was tortured on the other hand, does. Why should he keep secrets that put American lives at risk?

Offline TheGlyphstone

I've never been a huge fan of torture, but when someone brings up the 'moral high ground' argument - that we shouldn't torture because we're better than the enemy, I'm compelled to remind them that when the enemy takes prisoners of ours, they behead them and release video footage of the execution on the Internet. That doesn't make waterboarding good by any means, but if I was forced to pick a side to be captured by, my decision is easy.

Online HairyHeretic

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Torture for information, in my opinion, isn't really that bad. I mean it's not like someone is going to torture you for information since the average American doesn't really have anything valuable to say. The guy that was tortured on the other hand, does. Why should he keep secrets that put American lives at risk?

How do you feel about granting the police the right to torture suspects? After all, they likely have information that would be useful in solving crimes. And if they're violent criminals, lifes might be at risk too.

Offline Jude

Torture for information, in my opinion, isn't really that bad. I mean it's not like someone is going to torture you for information since the average American doesn't really have anything valuable to say. The guy that was tortured on the other hand, does. Why should he keep secrets that put American lives at risk?
That assumes that the average American couldn't ever be mistaken for someone who has information that needs to be tortured out of them -- which isn't really a safe assumption.  When officials are under pressure and it's basically up to them to decide the entry point on torture, lots of bad things can and will happen in the name of the American people.

The question is actually very simple:  do you really want someone to experience cruel, inhumane treatment in your name based on other people's determinations?

Offline ReanimateMagnus

do you really want someone to experience cruel, inhumane treatment in your name based on other people's determinations?

I would sacrifice a few to save many. I'm sure this isn't the first time this decision has been made. I'm looking at you Truman.

But to answer your question more directly: If I don't know about inhumane treatment of people then I don't mind. When it comes to parading it around, that's why I say "hold on a minute let's know everything before we go pointing fingers."

Offline Shjade

But to answer your question more directly: If I don't know about inhumane treatment of people then I don't mind. When it comes to parading it around, that's why I say "hold on a minute let's know everything before we go pointing fingers."
There's a city by the name of Omelas you might want to look into, then, as it seems to suit your sensibilities.

Offline ReanimateMagnus

How do you feel about granting the police the right to torture suspects? After all, they likely have information that would be useful in solving crimes. And if they're violent criminals, lifes might be at risk too.

Like how they might threaten and punch a suspect or whatnot? Like in the tv shows. Yeah that seems to get results faster than the traditional system of "oh please tell us or you're going to jail"

Offline Shjade

Like how they might threaten and punch a suspect or whatnot? Like in the tv shows. Yeah that seems to get results faster than the traditional system of "oh please tell us or you're going to jail"
Because it's in the script.

Offline Falanor

Like how they might threaten and punch a suspect or whatnot? Like in the tv shows. Yeah that seems to get results faster than the traditional system of "oh please tell us or you're going to jail"

Having watched police interview tactics and discussed them with police in real life at a past job, you'd be amazed at how off tv is.  Most of the time a suspect is so ready to get out of the police's hands he's already willing to talk.  The rest of the time it takes convincing of the likes of "Tell us what you know or you go to jail for crimes X and Y for ten to fifteen years".  A lot of information is bartered for in lieu of a loss of freedoms.  Most of the time when a cop commits violence to get information it comes out, and looks bad as a whole for all police, which is why they generally look down on it now.

Offline ReanimateMagnus

Because it's in the script.

True, but then again I've never witness or seen it tried in real life so I wouldn't know if it works or not. So really I'm just guessing that it would be more effective on certain individuals.

Having watched police interview tactics and discussed them with police in real life at a past job, you'd be amazed at how off tv is.  Most of the time a suspect is so ready to get out of the police's hands he's already willing to talk.  The rest of the time it takes convincing of the likes of "Tell us what you know or you go to jail for crimes X and Y for ten to fifteen years".  A lot of information is bartered for in lieu of a loss of freedoms.  Most of the time when a cop commits violence to get information it comes out, and looks bad as a whole for all police, which is why they generally look down on it now.

See this person probably would know more than I would on the topic of police interviewing tactics. I'm just giving a shot out in the dark.

But what if the cops are bluffing and the criminal knows it. Or knows that they wont catch him unless he talks?

Offline Falanor

See this person probably would know more than I would on the topic of police interviewing tactics. I'm just giving a shot out in the dark.

But what if the cops are bluffing and the criminal knows it. Or knows that they wont catch him unless he talks?

Knowing that they're bluffing is a possibility but most of the time police push hard on things when they know they have evidence enough to cause problems for the person that has information.  Plus a lot of criminals are willing to work with police simply because it's a favor that they could owe you.  Doesn't mean that the police will turn a blind eye to something you did, but they won't throw the book at you if you cooperate with them.

There's always a possibility that they might not catch the guy without the information that another criminal has, however, most don't like to play with the odds as they tend to be really bad on the police not eventually figuring things out.  Then you have obstruction charges heading your way.  Then whatever information you may or may not have on other people becomes worthless because they don't know if they can trust the info.  All-in-all it becomes a dangerous and slippy path to take, with few upsides.

Offline ReanimateMagnus

Yeah but the more high profile criminals are less likely to cooperate because they could always just pay the bail. Right?

Offline TheGlyphstone

The high profile criminals are also less likely to be even considered for violence, because that same status and money could easily kill a cop's career (or the cop) the instant they got out of the station.

Offline ReanimateMagnus

The high profile criminals are also less likely to be even considered for violence, because that same status and money could easily kill a cop's career (or the cop) the instant they got out of the station.

I guess you are right, but what about those FBI agents who really just don't care what kind of threat they could give to him or her.

Offline TheGlyphstone

I guess you are right, but what about those FBI agents who really just don't care what kind of threat they could give to him or her.

The hard-bitten federal agent who only cares for justice, and isn't worried about having themselves, their families, or their friends targeted by mob hitmen in retaliation for beating up the boss in an interrogation room? I'm pretty sure those only exist in movies, or 24.

Besides, high-profile criminals with money can also get high-profile lawyers, usually on retainer. Our theoretical beat cop (pun intended) would have a very small amount of time to rough the bad guy up before his sleazy lawyer showed up demanding access to the client.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2011, 10:43:09 AM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline ReanimateMagnus

The hard-bitten federal agent who only cares for justice, and isn't worried about having themselves, their families, or their friends targeted by mob hitmen in retaliation for beating up the boss in an interrogation room? I'm pretty sure those only exist in movies, or 24.

Besides, high-profile criminals with money can also get high-profile lawyers, usually on retainer. Our theoretical beat cop (pun intended) would have a very small amount of time to rough the bad guy up before his sleazy lawyer showed up demanding access to the client.

I guess I either watch too much or too little cop dramas on TV.