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Author Topic: Talk about reframing the debate!  (Read 3096 times)

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LucasJamison

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Talk about reframing the debate!
« on: April 22, 2009, 09:40:20 AM »

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/04/22/memo-obamas-intel-director-said-interrogations-yielded-high-value-info/

Because, of course, it's cool to torture people as long it's USEFUL.

Not like the whole point is that you don't do this shit because you DON'T DO THIS SHIT, regardless, or anything.
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Re: Talk about reframing the debate!
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2009, 07:57:47 AM »

The problem with that is the tactics in question include, depriving people of sleep, waterboarding, depriving people of basic hygene, etc. All of these tactics are used on special forces during their training. They are ultimately not damaging in the long run. They give temporary discomfort. I think providing some discomfort without permanent damage is acceptable as long as it is effective. It was also only used on very limited (3 individuals) high priority targets. Compared to what is done to our soldiers when captured by Al-Quida (cutting off body parts, death, etc.) this is a very small issue when compared to the amounts of lives the information gained saved. I also will add that these methods were shown to all pertinent members of congress, including the current speaker of the House and nothing was said against it back in 2001 when they first started the practices. It has now become a gotcha issue so many of these same members that said nothing then, now are screaming about how it is so horrible. Where was their outrage at the time?
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LucasJamison

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Re: Talk about reframing the debate!
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2009, 09:43:57 AM »

The problem with that is the tactics in question include, depriving people of sleep, waterboarding, depriving people of basic hygene, etc.


For a minute, I almost hoped we'd agree on this. Because this sentence, out of context, is basically what I said: it IS a problem that these tactics include these things.

All of these tactics are used on special forces during their training.

That some military personnel are abused regularly during the course of their training does not support your argument the way you think it does.

They are ultimately not damaging in the long run.

That's a strong statement to make. Can you support it?

They give temporary discomfort. I think providing some discomfort without permanent damage is acceptable as long as it is effective.

You know... even IF torturing someone is demonstrably necessary in order to save the lives of millions from imminent demise? Still not okay. Still not justified, appropriate, acceptable, or right. So, fuck the 'effectiveness' argument, that's not what this is about. 's what I meant about reframing: making this about efficacy shifts the debate away from "is it right?" (NO!) to "did it work?" (debatable, which just adds to the tragedy of it). Bullshit. IT IS NOT OKAY. Period. No further discussion required.

Compared to what is done to our soldiers when captured by Al-Quida (cutting off body parts, death, etc.) this is a very small issue when compared to the amounts of lives the information gained saved.


"You did worse to me so it's okay for me to do this to you" isn't even okay when toddlers try it. It's REALLY not okay when adults do it, especially not those in positions of significant authority or responsibility.

I also will add that these methods were shown to all pertinent members of congress, including the current speaker of the House and nothing was said against it back in 2001 when they first started the practices. It has now become a gotcha issue so many of these same members that said nothing then, now are screaming about how it is so horrible. Where was their outrage at the time?

Anyone who signed off on this shit, and anyone who "just followed orders", is culpable, and believe me: my outrage has been there since the start. That some assholes who signed off on torture are now trying to put it on someone else when it's coming back on them is unsurprising. I mean, such a person obviously has no moral qualms about anything.
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Frigemall

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Re: Talk about reframing the debate!
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2009, 07:58:14 AM »

What IS reframing the debate is talking about this as if it were being done to innocent men who simply were in the wrong place. These men are killers who are fighting a war where they would happily exterminate us in a second. Under normal circumstances it would not be OK to bomb someone's property, nor shoot at people. Which is better, killing someone, or depriving them of sleep for a short time? For Pete sake, it is war. There are certain things that would not be acceptable under any other reasons that become necessary when you balance the cost of lives that it will save. Certainly it should be used as a last resort, and should never be used lightly, but sometimes it IS necessary. Sometimes when dealing with true evil, you have to use tactics that normally would not be acceptable. I certainly would not consider it acceptable to use these methods on a shoplifter, or even a serial killer, but when we are talking about a terrorist who has no regard for the deaths of millions that he would happily exterminate, sometimes stronger methods need to be used as long as they are producing results. If they gave us bogus intell, or were being authorized simply to punish, you are darn right, I would be outraged.
 What bothers me most is this is being used as a political thing. People are running from stances they took earlier where they approved of the methods because they felt they were necessary at the time, so they can pile on to an administration that though they made some wrong decisions, I believe honestly were trying to protect the American people. I would hope that is this administrations goal as well. Winning elections is not as important as serving the people they were elected to protect.
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LucasJamison

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Re: Talk about reframing the debate!
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2009, 09:32:25 AM »

What IS reframing the debate is talking about this as if it were being done to innocent men who simply were in the wrong place.

And who's doing that?

These men are killers who are fighting a war where they would happily exterminate us in a second.

?

Under normal circumstances it would not be OK to bomb someone's property, nor shoot at people.

Shooting at people who're shooting at you is a far cry from torturing prisoners.

Which is better, killing someone, or depriving them of sleep for a short time?

Because those are, of course, the ONLY choices on has when a prisoner is in a highly secure detention facility, thousands of miles from anywhere they recognize and completely cut off from anyone they want to contact. Kill, or tortue. NO OTHER OPTION!

Right...

For Pete sake, it is war. There are certain things that would not be acceptable under any other reasons that become necessary when you balance the cost of lives that it will save.

I don't agree with this statement.

Certainly it should be used as a last resort, and should never be used lightly, but sometimes it IS necessary. Sometimes when dealing with true evil, you have to use tactics that normally would not be acceptable

That's a suck fucking way of looking at the world, and people. 'true evil'? What're the criteria for that?

I certainly would not consider it acceptable to use these methods on a shoplifter, or even a serial killer, but when we are talking about a terrorist who has no regard for the deaths of millions that he would happily exterminate, sometimes stronger methods need to be used as long as they are producing results.

Ah, so it's the 'terrorist' part that makes it okay? Because otherwise I'm missing how this differentiates people it's okay to torture from sociopaths who murder only a dozen or so people, or any asshole with an army who thinks it's okay to start killing because someone else has something he wants, who you exclude explicitly and implicitly, in turn.

What bothers me most is this is being used as a political thing. People are running from stances they took earlier where they approved of the methods because they felt they were necessary at the time, so they can pile on to an administration that though they made some wrong decisions, I believe honestly were trying to protect the American people. I would hope that is this administrations goal as well. Winning elections is not as important as serving the people they were elected to protect.

What bothers me most is that our President said, for even a second, that he was going to take prosecutions for a coordinated conspiracy to violate US and international law reaching to the highest level of government, as well as of those who carried out these violations (who were, of course, only following orders...), and maybe not investigate further. Anyone who was FOR torture before they were against it? Can go right on the block with the rest - on that we agree.
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Frigemall

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Re: Talk about reframing the debate!
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2009, 11:32:53 AM »

Shooting at people who're shooting at you is a far cry from torturing prisoners.
So it is OK to shoot, bomb, maim and wipe out people who are doing the same to you, but it is not alright to deprive someone of sleep for a while???? You have some unusual ethics. You agree that during a war it is OK to do some things that would not be considered acceptable, but not others. Where you draw you line is puzzling.

Because those are, of course, the ONLY choices one has when a prisoner is in a highly secure detention facility, thousands of miles from anywhere they recognize and completely cut off from anyone they want to contact. Kill, or tortue. NO OTHER OPTION!
In a detention facility, which by the way is only for the worst of the worst terrorists, they actually recieve pretty good treatment. They live better there than they did in their own countries. In three cases, only because the terrorists had a great deal of information that could save many American lives, they were subjected to medically supervised interrogation techniques where they were made somewhat uncomfortable. Hardly a situation where fingernails were pulled out or electrical leads are connected to various body parts. These men are never in any serious danger, yet there is a time frame where the information has to be extracted before it becomes useless. The interrogators do not have time to play nice and coerce it out of the prisoners. It is war. Sometimes you have to make tough choices. You should thank God daily you never have to make these kinds of decisions. You have the ability to sit back in a country others have secured for you with their blood, and critisize those who keep it safe for you. If you were in the position to actually save lives by making tough decisions, I would hope you were willing to make them. Until then you have no clue.

That's a suck fucking way of looking at the world, and people. 'true evil'? What're the criteria for that?
If you can't even agree that there are truely evil people who want to kill you simply because you exist and hate you not because you have done something to them, but because someone taught them to hate from birth so that that leader can be wealthy and can hold complete control over others lives and deaths, then you will never understand why things need to be done. Open your eyes and look out at the world. Some people are simply evil.
Ah, so it's the 'terrorist' part that makes it okay? Because otherwise I'm missing how this differentiates people it's okay to torture from sociopaths who murder only a dozen or so people, or any asshole with an army who thinks it's okay to start killing because someone else has something he wants, who you exclude explicitly and implicitly, in turn.
It comes down to the sheer amount of lives at risk. Though we hate to see even one loss of life, and I personally think all life is precious, the government is forced to look at what are acceptable losses. When the amount of lives that are at risk go above that level, action is taken. That is how it is defined.
What bothers me most is that our President said, for even a second, that he was going to take prosecutions for a coordinated conspiracy to violate US and international law reaching to the highest level of government, as well as of those who carried out these violations (who were, of course, only following orders...), and maybe not investigate further. Anyone who was FOR torture before they were against it? Can go right on the block with the rest - on that we agree.
Should we go back and take a close look at history? Should we go after Lincoln for suspending Habius Corpus (sp?), Should we go after FDR for the Japanese internment camps? Decisions are made during war time that others can critisze forever after, but it is pointless to try to go after an administration after the fact, because you did not agree with their decisions. What they can do is set standards and do what they can do and try to get them into law. The Geneva convention does not apply, because it only deals with two countries fighting, these were judgement calls that had legal justification, change it for the future if you can, but going after a previous administration when many that are trying to do so were in on the decisions is pointless. Unless you were there at the time it is hard to make judgements. The situation called for it. Does that mean we should do it every time, no. To sit back almost 8 years after, and try to apply other standards is pointless and stupid. The only reason for doing it is political. Pres. Obama would be playing politics in the foremost if he did this. Pres. Bush is no longer there leave him alone. I know you hate him and desperately want to see him pay for daring to enact policies you did not like, but if they do this it would open a can of worms that could bite him if the next administration doesn't like something he does.
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LucasJamison

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Re: Talk about reframing the debate!
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2009, 02:24:14 PM »

So it is OK to shoot, bomb, maim and wipe out people who are doing the same to you, but it is not alright to deprive someone of sleep for a while???? You have some unusual ethics. You agree that during a war it is OK to do some things that would not be considered acceptable, but not others. Where you draw you line is puzzling.

The one nearly universally recognized instance where it is just barely forgivable (note the difference between acceptable and forgivable) to kill is in defense of oneself or others who are in imminent danger of death or serious harm, when no other options are available. Note that this is not the 'ticking timebomb' scenario, but rather the 'OMG he's got a gun!' scenario. There are slight but important differences.

I did not say that it was "okay to shoot, bomb, maim and wipe out people who are doing the same to you". I think that on the battlefield, the 'OMG he's got a gun!' scenario may apply in some cases. I don't differentiate between 'war' time and 'peace' time because the terminology is essentially meaningless in the modern day (and may always have been, really).

In a detention facility, which by the way is only for the worst of the worst terrorists, they actually recieve pretty good treatment. They live better there than they did in their own countries.

Really? I mean, I know some folks develop faster than others, but I have a hard time buying that the 15 year olds that got sent there were the 'worst of the worst'.

WRT treatment, I'm pretty sure that we got some low, low marks for how the Guantanamo Bay facility was run from the ICRC, but I suppose if your standard of comparison is whether or not the torture leaves marks, then they would be better off than the alternative.

WRT 'better than they lived in their own countries' - you gonna go there, for serious? Okay, choose: three hots and a cot in a Cuban jail or destitute w/ no prospects in the US. Let me know when you book your flight to Cuba to distribute anti-Castro political fliers, and I'll buy this.
 
In three cases, only because the terrorists had a great deal of information that could save many American lives, they were subjected to medically supervised interrogation techniques where they were made somewhat uncomfortable. Hardly a situation where fingernails were pulled out or electrical leads are connected to various body parts. These men are never in any serious danger, yet there is a time frame where the information has to be extracted before it becomes useless.

I have so far been willing to grant, for sake of argument, that your unsupported statements about the efficacy, necessity, and scope of these practices is true, because even IF that is the case, you are still wrong. However, I do want to point out that 1) without further investigation it is impossible to accept at face value the claims of people who said that torture was not torture when they then say "and even if it was, we only did it a little"; 2) any doctor willing to supervise this kind of thing needs to be drummed out of the professio; 3) WTF w/ the 24 shit? There is no ticking time bomb!

The interrogators do not have time to play nice and coerce it out of the prisoners. It is war. Sometimes you have to make tough choices. You should thank God daily you never have to make these kinds of decisions.

It would be somewhat hypocritical of me to give thanks to mythological figure worshipped by certain religious sects, when I am not a member of any of those sects and happen to think the whole business is a lot of nonsense, wouldn't it?

But I don't think it's that hard a choice. I think it's really much easier to say 'maybe I can have an easier time of it if I do the wrong thing' than to say 'shit, this is going to really suck, but I have to do the right thing anyway'. But maybe that's just me?

You have the ability to sit back in a country others have secured for you with their blood, and critisize those who keep it safe for you.

Yes, I do. I find it odd that people can simultaneously praise torturers for protecting my rights and condemn me for excercising them. But people are weird like that.

If you were in the position to actually save lives by making tough decisions, I would hope you were willing to make them. Until then you have no clue.

Well, perhaps with your own extensive experience as a war planner, interrogator, and official charged with overseeing intelligence operations or the military, you can put it in terms mere naive lefties such as I can understand?

If you can't even agree that there are truely evil people who want to kill you simply because you exist and hate you not because you have done something to them, but because someone taught them to hate from birth so that that leader can be wealthy and can hold complete control over others lives and deaths, then you will never understand why things need to be done.

There are people who believe things wholeheartedly and let their lives become consumed by these things. Some for the good, some for the bad. There are very many folks who use their power over others to great ill, and few who use it for any good at all. But an ACT is evil. A THOUGHT or BELIEF is pernicious. A person may do evil things, but a person is person, regardless. Othering folks as 'true evil' is a dangerous oversimplification that, as in this case, is so often use to justify one's own evil acts.

Also, it is worth noting that the same sort of rich dude teaching people to hate that you posit in describing the poorly defined group you stick under the terrorist label? Would be pretty well justified in saying the same shit, the same way, to justify the hate he preached. Which is funny, for me.

Should we go back and take a close look at history?

There's some famous quote people like to use that says we should. Something about repetition?

Should we go after Lincoln for suspending Habius Corpus (sp?), Should we go after FDR for the Japanese internment camps?

Given that both are long dead, as are repectively all and if not all, then damn near so, the others complicit in their actions, it would be difficult to 'go after' them. The dead can't stand trial. Would it be useful to re-examine their decisions, try to learn the best moral lessons from them, to avoid making such mistakes in the future? Of course! And we have, for the most part, inch by inch.

Decisions are made during war time that others can critisze forever after, but it is pointless to try to go after an administration after the fact, because you did not agree with their decisions.

In a case where reasonable people acting in good faith might say there is room for disagreement on something, it might be useful to make this argument. This is not such a case. That certain practices constitute torture and that torture is illegal are long settled points of fact and law. The... unbelievable claim that laws prohibiting torture pose an unconstitutional limitation on executive power? Come on now.

What they can do is set standards and do what they can do and try to get them into law.

You mean if someone did something wrong that wasn't actually illegal, you might have no recourse to go after them, no matter how bad that shit was, because it was legal when they did it? So you have to make laws so that no one can get away with it again?

Shit, you're right! It's too bad we didn't have any laws like these on the books six years ago:

United Nations Convention Against Torture - http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/h_cat39.htm (even with the noted reservations)
United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 113C - http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/usc_sup_01_18_10_I_20_113C.html

these were judgement calls that had legal justification, change it for the future if you can, but going after a previous administration when many that are trying to do so were in on the decisions is pointless.

1) the legal justification was bullshit, 2) it is not only not pointless, but completely necessary 3) like I've said a few times now - just because some people were spineless assholes about this crap this first time around doesn't mean it's all in the past - get those fuckers too, I say

Unless you were there at the time it is hard to make judgements. The situation called for it. Does that mean we should do it every time, no.

It is, in fact, surprisingly easy for me to make these judgements. I have shockingly little trouble concluding that torture is wrong, that engaging in a conspiracy to undermine the rule of law so as to justify and perpetrate torture is as bad or worse, and that to in doing so disgrace one's office and the country is also a bad thing. To do so and then whine about getting called on it? Come on!

To sit back almost 8 years after, and try to apply other standards is pointless and stupid. The only reason for doing it is political. Pres. Obama would be playing politics in the foremost if he did this. Pres. Bush is no longer there leave him alone.

You know... I honestly don't care how self-serving, politically motivated, or otherwise impure the motives are: so long as a thorough investigation is carried out, the law is applied correctly, and justice is done, it doesn't matter too much WHY it was.

But there are plenty of good apolitical reasons for wanting to investigate and prosecute high crimes and misdemeanors. And to say it's BS because the investigation started only AFTERWARD? WTF again? Of COURSE no investigation will take place when those responsibile both for the crime and the criminal justice system are still in power.

I know you hate him and desperately want to see him pay for daring to enact policies you did not like, but if they do this it would open a can of worms that could bite him if the next administration doesn't like something he does.

That's a... queer way of putting it, if I may say so. I've never met President Bush (either one). It's hard to hate someone you don't know. I suppose you can hate the construct of them that you have in your head, and there's plenty of navel-gazing to be done about what the difference would then be, but regardless, I don't hate these people. I do hate that the USA is (not sure whether it's appropriate to say 'has become' or 'remains', though I suspect the latter is more accurate) a place where we have people who think torture is okay and that you can justify ANYTHING in the name of some nebulous concept of presidential authority or national security. That's saddening, maddening. I hate that a LOT.

And I certainly hope that if President Obama or any member of his administration is complicit in the slightest scandal or illegal activity, that those responsible pay dearly. I hope the same for every administration, past and future.
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Re: Talk about reframing the debate!
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2009, 09:09:29 AM »

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

(1) “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
(2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—
(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
(B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
(C) the threat of imminent death; or
(D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality

These aree the definitions given. I would seriously doubt that waterboarding, sleep deprivation, etc would fall under these definitions. Our own troops undergo these procedures as part of their training. I would wholeheartedly agree with you if we were placing people on racks, using thumb screws, etc. It is a huge stretch to in any way define these practices as torture. As I said before, to do so would be a huge stretch.
The one nearly universally recognized instance where it is just barely forgivable (note the difference between acceptable and forgivable) to kill is in defense of oneself or others who are in imminent danger of death or serious harm, when no other options are available. Note that this is not the 'ticking timebomb' scenario, but rather the 'OMG he's got a gun!' scenario. There are slight but important differences.
I did not say that it was "okay to shoot, bomb, maim and wipe out people who are doing the same to you". I think that on the battlefield, the 'OMG he's got a gun!' scenario may apply in some cases. I don't differentiate between 'war' time and 'peace' time because the terminology is essentially meaningless in the modern day (and may always have been, really).
So by this definition, the only way you can fight in a war is if they are shooting at you first?

WRT 'better than they lived in their own countries' - you gonna go there, for serious? Okay, choose: three hots and a cot in a Cuban jail or destitute w/ no prospects in the US. Let me know when you book your flight to Cuba to distribute anti-Castro political fliers, and I'll buy this.
There is a big difference between destitute with no prospects in America, (remember I work in a homeless shelter and am very aware of this life) and how others in countries in the Middle East live. Many have no food, no place to live, except if they are lucky, in a tent, in a system where they are forced to do all sorts of things that would be considered torture by your definition, if you consider lack of sleep and discomfort torture.

I have so far been willing to grant, for sake of argument, that your unsupported statements about the efficacy, necessity, and scope of these practices is true, because even IF that is the case, you are still wrong. However, I do want to point out that 1) without further investigation it is impossible to accept at face value the claims of people who said that torture was not torture when they then say "and even if it was, we only did it a little"; 2) any doctor willing to supervise this kind of thing needs to be drummed out of the professio; 3) WTF w/ the 24 shit? There is no ticking time bomb!
And you have been using the term torture very loosely without a clue. The strongest interrogation technique they used is waterboarding, which is a far cry from what most would consider torture.


But I don't think it's that hard a choice. I think it's really much easier to say 'maybe I can have an easier time of it if I do the wrong thing' than to say 'shit, this is going to really suck, but I have to do the right thing anyway'. But maybe that's just me?
I think they did the right thing. By using techniques that made some uncomfortable without causing any real pain or lasting damage they were able to potentially save thousands, maybe millions of lives. I would call that a good decision.


Yes, I do. I find it odd that people can simultaneously praise torturers for protecting my rights and condemn me for excercising them. But people are weird like that.
Again you throw around the term torturers unduly, and noone is condemning you for stating your opinion. I am simply saying you are misguided.


Well, perhaps with your own extensive experience as a war planner, interrogator, and official charged with overseeing intelligence operations or the military, you can put it in terms mere naive lefties such as I can understand?
I actually served in the military, and as an NCO I had to train to make difficult decisions that could potentially save or condemn lives. On this I do believe you are Naive and sit safe in your home or place of buisiness only because others do make those decisions.

There are people who believe things wholeheartedly and let their lives become consumed by these things. Some for the good, some for the bad. There are very many folks who use their power over others to great ill, and few who use it for any good at all. But an ACT is evil. A THOUGHT or BELIEF is pernicious. A person may do evil things, but a person is person, regardless. Othering folks as 'true evil' is a dangerous oversimplification that, as in this case, is so often use to justify one's own evil acts.
Again you are niave. Some have been raised from a very young age to simply hate. Everything they do is defined by this hatred. They have no regard for human life if it fits into the catagory of those they hate. They will kill, degrade and treat others worse than I would consider treating an animal simply because they have been consumed with this hatred. These people are evil. Is there no hope for them? No, I believe people can change, but the more ingrained the hatred is the harder it is to change them. When it gets to the point where they become a major threat to all around them, they need to be confined, or in some cases utterly removed from any chance at hurting others.
Also, it is worth noting that the same sort of rich dude teaching people to hate that you posit in describing the poorly defined group you stick under the terrorist label? Would be pretty well justified in saying the same shit, the same way, to justify the hate he preached. Which is funny, for me.
This is simply Bullshit.


It's too bad we didn't have any laws like these on the books six years ago:

United Nations Convention Against Torture - http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/h_cat39.htm (even with the noted reservations)
United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 113C - http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/usc_sup_01_18_10_I_20_113C.html
I placed these definitions at the top. They have been defined and ruled on by the Supreme Court. The lawyers defined waterboard as not torture. If they now want to define it as torture, fine. I think they are misguided, but this can be added if they want now and make it very clear for future generations.

It is, in fact, surprisingly easy for me to make these judgements. I have shockingly little trouble concluding that torture is wrong, that engaging in a conspiracy to undermine the rule of law so as to justify and perpetrate torture is as bad or worse, and that to in doing so disgrace one's office and the country is also a bad thing. To do so and then whine about getting called on it? Come on!
I agree with you that torture is wrong and should not be used. However, I don't believe what they did to be torture.

You know... I honestly don't care how self-serving, politically motivated, or otherwise impure the motives are: so long as a thorough investigation is carried out, the law is applied correctly, and justice is done, it doesn't matter too much WHY it was.
Of course it matters, because if it is for the wrong reasons, they will make wrong decisions and turn something into a witch hunt instead of looking at it objectively. I think even you are all up in arms because you misunderstand what torture is and believe politically motivated people that tell you what was done is torture. So you are up in arms without knowing much of what you are talking about.
That's a... queer way of putting it, if I may say so. I've never met President Bush (either one). It's hard to hate someone you don't know. I suppose you can hate the construct of them that you have in your head, and there's plenty of navel-gazing to be done about what the difference would then be, but regardless, I don't hate these people. I do hate that the USA is (not sure whether it's appropriate to say 'has become' or 'remains', though I suspect the latter is more accurate) a place where we have people who think torture is okay and that you can justify ANYTHING in the name of some nebulous concept of presidential authority or national security. That's saddening, maddening. I hate that a LOT.
And yet you make these assumptions on wrong premises because someone with an axe to grind told you what happened in their colored way (ie. press and politicians). It is easy for you to paint a picture of what you think Pres. Bush was and hate all he stood for. He was a flawed individual, but I think he did what he thought was right to protect us. He is gone now so let it go.
And I certainly hope that if President Obama or any member of his administration is complicit in the slightest scandal or illegal activity, that those responsible pay dearly. I hope the same for every administration, past and future.
Any action taken by an administration could be defined as wrong by the next administration. Things can be twisted and manipulated and misinterpreted to make it seem really bad. It is dangerous to start prosecuting for these. If you remember, Pres. Bush glossed over alot of what Pres. Clinton did, just to get past them and move on in an effort to not damage the country and office of the Presidency. Pres. Obama would be wise to do the same.
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SigmaCaine

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Re: Talk about reframing the debate!
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2009, 12:08:58 PM »

Some have been raised from a very young age to simply hate. Everything they do is defined by this hatred. They have no regard for human life if it fits into the catagory of those they hate.

Just like you do?

Just because they have done bad things does not mean they are not people. Perhaps they are too dangerous to allow into society unchecked, but is it not our responsibility to try and teach them something beyond hate? Considering them as an "other", as somehow deserving of pain, only justifies their hate.

I am not so naive as to believe that there will ever be a day without war or people hurting each other. But if we have a choice - and here, with this issue, we most definitely have a choice - and we do not choose the high road, we are just as guilty.
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cattana423

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Re: Talk about reframing the debate!
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2009, 09:27:17 PM »

I t always amazes me how " white hats" can justify shit the would make the most allegedly evil person blanch. If you want to claim water boarding isn't evil  and was necessary then why lie about it to begin with. making the difficult choice means standing by that choice. None of the people in question did that. they denenied it ever happened and then ok it happened but only once or twice ... OK more then once or twice but only because it was absolutely  necessary. that sounds like a child caught in a lie and trying to talk his way out of it bit by bit. I agree difficult choices have to be made. I even agree that torture and other "evil" things are sometimes needed but the difference is I never claimed to be a white hat. I know a lot of my views are considered evil or cruel and wrong . I admit it and stand by it .Lot of "white hats " have held that against me without actually ever even meeting me .Lot of them then felt justified in behavior that even some one as allegedly F'ed up as myself would find small minded, petty cruel  and idiotic. A lot of the prisoners we are talking about come from a place where religion is seen as being a driving force and there religion tells them to be murderous hateful bastards to those who don't agree with their god . they do lots of horrible things thinking they are doing what is right and moral. The bitch of it is the same thigns can be said about us. can we please stop playing "my invisible sky god can beat up your invisible sky god. ".If you thinks politics sometimes requires hard and morally tricky questions then fine own up to it and be proud but don't  wear a white hat while you shoot the Indians in the back that's just false advertising but even that is better then actually believing your not doing anything questionable
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Frigemall

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Re: Talk about reframing the debate!
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2009, 08:32:15 AM »

Just like you do?
This is now the second time you have made this type of accusation. I am getting very tired of being called these kinds of names simply because I do not agree with your opinion. Either argue on the issues or don't post, but if you continue to accuse people of being prejudiced or hatemongers simply because you disagree with them, it will seriously put a strain on my dealings with you. I think you are better than petty namecalling. I will ask you one more time to please refrain from it, if you value our interaction. You did this before when I disagreed with you on illegal immigration. It has to stop. I am asking you again to please refrain from this.
Just because they have done bad things does not mean they are not people. Perhaps they are too dangerous to allow into society unchecked, but is it not our responsibility to try and teach them something beyond hate? Considering them as an "other", as somehow deserving of pain, only justifies their hate.

I am not so naive as to believe that there will ever be a day without war or people hurting each other. But if we have a choice - and here, with this issue, we most definitely have a choice - and we do not choose the high road, we are just as guilty.
Noone in any way claims them to be not people. For the most part, almost everyone who has gone down and looked into how the detainees are being treated in 'Gitmo', they have found that those there are treated pretty well. They are given medical treatment, good food, provided with what they need to worship, etc. The interogation techniques that were used were not inhumane, nor were they life threatening. The prisoners at 'Gitmo' are all those who were involved in terrorist activity, and those who were more intensely interrogated were those involved in what at the times were future activities. What our government did was in the most humane way possible, extracted information necessary to save thousands of lives. It was medically supervised and in noway fitting the defination of torture. If our government was engaged in actual torture, I would be one of the most vocal against it. The fact is that it was an action that was not taken lightly, nor was it done to punish. It also was used only when absolutely necessary. Lawyers were consulted on the legalities, and the advise given was that it was not what is defined as torture. Unfortunately now, several years after most that are screaming in congress now were fully briefed on these methods, they are trying to go after the previous administration out of a vindictiveness because they blocked their policies for 8 years. This is the true crime here.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 08:44:32 AM by Frigemall »
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cattana423

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Re: Talk about reframing the debate!
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2009, 05:41:41 PM »

again if they didnt do anythign wrong why deny it  to begin with? Or do simply concede that everything I said was right and true and logical?
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LucasJamison

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Re: Talk about reframing the debate!
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2009, 10:55:49 AM »

These aree the definitions given. I would seriously doubt that waterboarding, sleep deprivation, etc would fall under these definitions.

You know, I went back and read the Bybee memos. I have not been able to source out all the relevant case law, because the government makes you pay for most of it and the companies that put out the big compendiums charge even more for it but at least they also annotate and collect it in ways that make it easier to find what you want. That makes it a bit harder to rebut the legal arguments made. I've seen such rebuttals, but I don't have any from a source I think you would accept. I'll keep working on that.

It does seem that in addition to laws against torture (which are written so broadly that they allow you stick a guy with a pathological fear of bugs in a small box with bugs so long as it's reasonably clearly a bug that isn't of the deadly / harmful type, of all things!), there need to be laws about not doing fucked up shit to people. I'll begin writing to my legislators on that one.

Apparently it all comes down to how severe the pain or anguish one feels when subjected to these techniques is? I suppose that means if you're interrogating Superman even the rack or the pendulum don't count.

As a non-punitive measure, the is no difference save degree between what you'd call torture and what you'd call 'harsh interrogation tactics'. You basically have two ways to get someone to talk (because, apparently, the whole bribing or convincing or otherwise entirely non-violent and generally more moral methods take too much time or just don't work): inflicting pain/discomfort, or drugging people or doing other things to disorient them and fuck up their whole world. The pain/discomfort thing is largely about getting people to the point where they'll do anything to make it stop because they just can't take it anymore. The drugging and disorientation stuff is to get them so twisted around that they don't know what to think anymore so they're more likely to let something slip.

In our civilized age, we can, for the most part, agree that damaging and killing people who do not pose a direct, imminent threat to others is not acceptable. At least, I hope that's the case. Please tell me it's so? Because the things that normally cause human beings pain and discomfort to the point where they will sell out their people or their beliefs ALSO do the kind of damage to people that makes it hard for them to ever be right and whole again, this stuff is universally agreed on as being torturous and unacceptable. Drugging people is also apparently outright banned, I guess for similar reasons of severity in terms of its affects on one the health of the drugged? I'm not sure why water-boarding is more acceptable than drugging, but drugs are out. Thank goodness! But not sure on the reasoning there.

So what about all the shit you can do to someone that they can generally walk away from and only causes extreme discomfort or pain in a very acute way? Or better yet, just fucks with their heads, but definitely not in ways that make it easy for them to prove later on that their ongoing problems thereafter can be directly attributed to what you did?

The argument you make is that that shit? All good. Go hog fucking wild with that shit, right?
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LucasJamison

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Re: Talk about reframing the debate!
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2009, 05:51:42 PM »

You know, I went back and read the Bybee memos. I have not been able to source out all the relevant case law, because the government makes you pay for most of it and the companies that put out the big compendiums charge even more for it but at least they also annotate and collect it in ways that make it easier to find what you want. That makes it a bit harder to rebut the legal arguments made. I've seen such rebuttals, but I don't have any from a source I think you would accept. I'll keep working on that.

http://pecunium.livejournal.com/395572.html - former interrogator's take on the subject (link is to an entry about the memos, but his other postings on this and related subjects cover his general impressions about torture)
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Frigemall

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Re: Talk about reframing the debate!
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2009, 08:50:21 AM »

again if they didnt do anythign wrong why deny it  to begin with? Or do simply concede that everything I said was right and true and logical?
Part of the reason you do not reveal your interogation techniques is that they become much less effective. If the detainee knows everything that is going to happen they can prepare themselves for it. You deny to keep from having to do what this administration has done, release the memos on what you are doing. I would never agree with you on everything Pippin, that would be admitting I had slipped into madness =P.
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