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Author Topic: The Final Word on Gitmo  (Read 3243 times)

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Offline MercyfulFate

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2009, 11:29:00 PM »

 If we did it to, then we should not have done so. In WWII. we condemned the Germans for bombing English cities, then we firebombed both German and Japanese cities.

 I thought they put a thin sheet of plastic over the face so the person did not breath in water. It's how it was described to me.

 Geneva Convention definition of torture, term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental,   It's somewhat vague in terminology since that constitutes suffering is subject to change.

 Heck, wether the detainees were even covered under the Geneva Conventions is an unknown. Both sides can point to parts of the Convention that supports their side.

 On psycological torture, I have less reservation on doing that. Physical shouldn't be done, but the mental is more.. fluid for me. ANY thing can be considered torture. It varies from person to person. Which is why I asked about sleep deprivation, loud music. that constitutes torture to some people. Hell, not getting 3 meals a day in the proper dietary manner is torture. ie, feeding muslims pork.

 Most of interrogation is breaking a person mentally. To get them to talk to you in one way or another. Wether through drugs, wearing them down or what have you. All of which can be considered torture.

Well condemning Germany for being the aggressors, and bombing to stop them is not exactly comparable.

Interrogation generally can't be considered torture, unless they're crossing the line.

Offline Zakharra

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2009, 01:39:27 AM »
 
Quote
term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental,

 That is being used to cover a wide range of methods of interrogation. My mate's oldest daughter thinks that doing anything other than politely asking the detainees things is torture. She truely believes that therte should be no coheresion at all used. Physical (sleep deprivation and such), mental or even drugs, is torture. I've seen news reports from several years ago that the writers suggest that being detained is torture.

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2009, 02:31:34 AM »

 That is being used to cover a wide range of methods of interrogation. My mate's oldest daughter thinks that doing anything other than politely asking the detainees things is torture. She truely believes that therte should be no coheresion at all used. Physical (sleep deprivation and such), mental or even drugs, is torture. I've seen news reports from several years ago that the writers suggest that being detained is torture.

Definitions of torture on the Web:
anguish: extreme mental distress
unbearable physical pain
agony: intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain; "an agony of doubt"; "the torments of the damned"
torment: torment emotionally or mentally
distortion: the act of distorting something so it seems to mean something it was not intended to mean
subject to torture; "The sinners will be tormented in Hell, according to the Bible"
the deliberate, systematic, or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons in an attempt to force another person to yield information or to make a confession or for any other reason; "it required unnatural torturing to extract a confession"
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Or:

Torture, according to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, is: "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him, or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in, or incidental to, lawful sanctions."[1]
« Last Edit: May 10, 2009, 02:32:51 AM by MercyfulFate »

Offline setojurai

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2009, 09:04:29 PM »
I think some people tend to forget that soldiers have a code of conduct to adhere to by law, and that we are also required to follow all lawful orders given to us.  Of course, this code of conduct requires us to disobey and report any unlawful orders.  The "They say they where just following orders therefor they are evil" schtick is horribly unfair.  Does the cop that is told to gun down a dangerous criminal get tried for murder?  No.  The DO go under investigation to make sure that the killing was justified, but they aren't criminals for doing their duty.  Yes, Gitmo was badly handled by the Government, but those who Serve should not be held responsible for those who give the orders in the first place's decisions to act in such a fashion.  Should they be held accountable for acting outside of orders, or committing acts that flagrently fly in the face of the Code of Conduct and the Laws of Warfare?  Yes indeed.  That's part of what's called the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which all soldiers serving the United States are required by Federal law to follow.  If a Politician says "Go Do" then the Soldier at the end of that chain of orders must Go Do.  Why then should the soldier be punished for doing his duty?  Why then, should the politician be allowed to get away scott free?  Before you decree someone to be evil because of what they do, walk a mile in their shoes.  Find out what they are obligated and prevented from doing by that Duty.

Punish not those who, in good faith, willingly Serve, regardless of that capacity, be it Military or Law Enforcement, or even Public Safety.  Punish those, who in self interest decide that Such Must Be Done when there are better, and perhaps even more efficient ways.  It took 30 years for those who Serve to trust those who do not after their treatment Post Vietnam.  Please let's not make it another 30 before they're trusted again.  Please let's not again go down that dark path of Us versus Them.  Too much hatred and evil came from that on both sides.

Offline Salernine

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #29 on: May 13, 2009, 11:51:18 PM »
Last I checked, most information obtained by torture was to be discarded anyway because the validity of said information would be questionable at best, downright fallacious at worst.

Offline setojurai

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2009, 11:56:52 PM »
Good point.  Torture may be a fairly grey area in world politicis, but using it is still a pretty dumb move to gain intel.

Offline Scott

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2009, 03:23:53 AM »
I was stationed in GTMO, and damnit she's right. The base is a really laid back and relaxed command to be stationed at. I remember cookouts, outdoor movies, group car washes, banana rats, cheap alcohol, the best fishing anywhere, and soaking in the "hot tub" which was runoff water from the desalinization plant.

The sunsets were beautiful, and after you got use to the fact that it was a zillion degrees and you couldn't go anywhere, it was a great lifestyle... it felt more like a family than a duty station, and honestly I miss it.

The island changed a lot when the Cuban and Haitian exoduses happened. The families were evacuated and the command was absorbed into a joint task force. The base housed thousands of Cuban and Haitian detainees, as well as hundreds more from all branches of the military. Even then though the place retained it's laid back feel, and I'd hate it if they close that base.     

There were 240 prisoners that were there when she was. They could be housed in an area no bigger than, a couple of double wide trailers. I doubt they kept her in the detainee area long, so I'm sure what she saw was a beautiful base. 




 

Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2009, 07:17:31 PM »
Last I checked, most information obtained by torture was to be discarded anyway because the validity of said information would be questionable at best, downright fallacious at worst.

Good point.  Torture may be a fairly grey area in world politicis, but using it is still a pretty dumb move to gain intel.

I make the argument that why is it smart to disclose to the world, more importantly our enemies and potential enemies, what we will or wont do?

Keep them guessing, let them think the worst. We can let our allies know via back-door diplomatic channels what is really going on.

But to announce to the world we will do 'A' and 'B' but not 'C' is just down right foolish in my opinion.

Offline Vekseid

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2009, 08:07:22 PM »
I make the argument that why is it smart to disclose to the world, more importantly our enemies and potential enemies, what we will or wont do?

Because it keeps our soldiers safer.

Quote
Keep them guessing, let them think the worst. We can let our allies know via back-door diplomatic channels what is really going on.

And when an American soldier has his eyelids removed and acid poured on, his testicles burned off and a hot poker driven up his rectum, he has people like you to thank for setting that standard.

Quote
But to announce to the world we will do 'A' and 'B' but not 'C' is just down right foolish in my opinion.

Comparing the treatment of prisoners to military tactics is, at best, an attempt to shift the purpose of the topic.

Treating prisoners of war well, with respect, and making your enemies aware of this, is one of the most brilliant military tactics that we ever learned from World War II. Even a child can comprehend the reasons.

First there is the matter of political will. Supporting a widely-disdained practice - especially those we actually brought people up on war crimes for saps political will and sabotages the effectiveness of our military.
Second torture is only effective when you know you have two people who are aware of the same bit of information that you are not aware of. It is otherwise useless. In addition, enemies are generally aware of this and structure their cells accordingly, not only for torture but also the third point.
Third a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere where prisoners are treated with respect is far more conducive to gaining information. Hanns Scharff was by far the most effective interrogator of World War II, and he never so much as raised his voice.

Torture does not gain information. In fact, given Scharff's success, all evidence points to torture actually losing us information, and time.

And if people have confidence that we won't use torture, even given that, then they will likewise be less inclined to take needless risks of themselves or others.

Torture does not work, torture sabotages our political will, torture hinders our ability to gather information, torture endangers our troops. Opposing it is perfectly rational, from all grounds.

Supporting it, misleading people, or hiding our practices regarding the treatment is not just foolish or idiotic in my opinion.

In my opinion, because it hinders our capacity as a nation to defend ourselves on multiple levels,

I consider torture to be an act of treason.

That is my opinion.

Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #34 on: May 15, 2009, 08:54:48 AM »
You miss my argument completely Vekseid. I'm not saying you torture detainees. I'm only saying, don't announce to the world what you will or wont do. It is the threat of what we may do that would be useful.

Offline Vekseid

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #35 on: May 15, 2009, 06:34:42 PM »
You miss my argument completely Vekseid. I'm not saying you torture detainees. I'm only saying, don't announce to the world what you will or wont do. It is the threat of what we may do that would be useful.

Except it isn't.

Ignore for a moment that the reason we sign the Geneva convention is to keep our troops from being tortured, and the reason we abide by it is to ensure that more nations abide by it themselves.

The fact is, torture is an empty threat. Even if you perform it, at best you gain nothing. At worst, you lose valuable political will.

Torture is a fundamentally lose-lose situation.

Offline ZeitgeistTopic starter

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #36 on: May 15, 2009, 06:45:48 PM »
Except it isn't.

Ignore for a moment that the reason we sign the Geneva convention is to keep our troops from being tortured, and the reason we abide by it is to ensure that more nations abide by it themselves.

The fact is, torture is an empty threat. Even if you perform it, at best you gain nothing. At worst, you lose valuable political will.

Torture is a fundamentally lose-lose situation.

Well I simply disagree. In the toolbox of options it wouldn't be the first one I chose, but I would still keep it in reserve on those rare occasions nothing else worked and time was of the essence.

I think it is imminently naive to think our opponents or enemies will treat our soldiers better based on the Geneva Conventions, or that the world would look more favorably upon the United States because we've supposedly ruled out that option.

Extremists have no interest in 'playing fair'.

That's my opinion, of course, and I realize its neither a popular one nor one many agree with. And that is okay by me.

Offline Vekseid

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #37 on: May 15, 2009, 07:20:07 PM »
Well I simply disagree. In the toolbox of options it wouldn't be the first one I chose, but I would still keep it in reserve on those rare occasions nothing else worked and time was of the essence.

I think it is imminently naive to think our opponents or enemies will treat our soldiers better based on the Geneva Conventions, or that the world would look more favorably upon the United States because we've supposedly ruled out that option.

Extremists have no interest in 'playing fair'.

I think you missed my point.

Extremists, don't. You are probably well aware of our early successes in Afghanistan due to roadbuilding. Like I said, the goal of adhering to and promoting the Geneva conventions is to get more communities to agree with its principles. If we torture, or give the appearance of condoning it, more potential enemies will decide to.

Offline Caeli

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #38 on: May 16, 2009, 05:00:10 AM »
Well I simply disagree. In the toolbox of options it wouldn't be the first one I chose, but I would still keep it in reserve on those rare occasions nothing else worked and time was of the essence.

I think it is imminently naive to think our opponents or enemies will treat our soldiers better based on the Geneva Conventions, or that the world would look more favorably upon the United States because we've supposedly ruled out that option.

Extremists have no interest in 'playing fair'.

That's my opinion, of course, and I realize its neither a popular one nor one many agree with. And that is okay by me.

I don't usually dive into P&R because my knowledge isn't nearly as in-depth or learned, and my wording not nearly so eloquent or concise as others who frequent this board. However, I don't think it is naive to think that our opponents or enemies will treat our soldiers better based on the Geneva Convention, just because we (the United States) follows it.

The United States has signed and agreed to the principles in the Geneva Convention precisely because it is a public statement that the government will not torture foreign prisoners of war and soldiers captured in combat. We rule it (torture) out because if our enemies (too ambiguous a term; something more specific, or at the very least soldiers of a foreign military) know that we will not torture their soldiers, then they have more reason not to torture ours. Basically, it's a guarantee of safety for our soldiers if they become POWs.

You mention extremists, and you're right - they could probably care less if we said we followed the principles written on a piece of paper. However, if more communities in the world begin thinking of torture as morally reprehensible, there are fewer hostile groups that would utilize torture as an option, as it drastically decreases their credibility and potential support from widely recognized states.

Was the idea of morality in war always so prominent an issue? No. But its presence in international politics has definitely increased in the past decades. The principles of the Geneva convention might very well similarly follow that path.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2009, 05:01:21 AM by Caeli »

Offline Lavaske

Re: The Final Word on Gitmo
« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2009, 02:56:03 AM »
I make the argument that why is it smart to disclose to the world, more importantly our enemies and potential enemies, what we will or wont do?

Keep them guessing, let them think the worst. We can let our allies know via back-door diplomatic channels what is really going on.

But to announce to the world we will do 'A' and 'B' but not 'C' is just down right foolish in my opinion.

I think it is a necessity that the U.S.A. states loudly that it does not, in any way shape or form, condone torture.

To think that I pay taxes to a nation that does not explicitly state that such things are wrong is utterly abhorrent to me, and it's enough to make me consider whether or not sending money in to the government is an act of evil, knowing full well what they might do with it.

Taking people from their homes and detaining them in a run down facility without trial for the better part of a decade is not a "Good" thing to do, in fact, it's down right f**'ed up.

The fact of the matter is that these people are just as human as we are, and for as strongly as they hate us, we hate them back.  Sometimes I think that the only difference between us and them is that we are bigger and stronger, and that we can hit back harder.  The United States needs to treat its prisoners better.  Imprisoning people is only going to make the situation worse.