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Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden

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  • Re: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden

    Originally posted by AdamKadmon View Post
    I have a few problems with this argument. One is purely philosophical, which is that I do not have nearly the same level of trust in government — especially when it's opaque and unaccountable — as you have professed above. I suppose this is just a matter of opinion... although your opinion seems to require you to ignore some rather troubling facts.

    Also odd, and somewhat related, is your belief that there are people who can finely calibrate when, and how, to use torture... especially since there are many experts in the field who do not think it is helpful at all. Consider that Abu Zubayda was tortured 83 times and divulged no useful information. Consider, too, that this was done after his previous interrogators had said he already told them everything he knew. This does not inspire confidence, in my opinion.

    Past that, though, I don't think your Colin Powell quote is applicable. We aren't talking about soldiers in the battlefield making snap decisions in the middle of combat. We are talking about incarcerated detainees at "black sites" and deliberate policy decisions often made at the highest levels of government and carried out over months.

    The quote from Powell speaks to this issue, and other issues, on several levels:
    • Rather than back seat second guessing from your armchair, which is something the those of the liberal persuasion seem to love to do, you should trust the judgement of the people on the ground, in the situation.
    • This also speaks to the foolishness of zero tolerance policies, which is just another example of the above. The Sheriff is elected, start by trusting him and his judgement rather then burying him in rules and regulations an minutia. This also goes for other elected officials.
      • Put brain in park, we have a zero tolerance policy on that

    • Specific to the case, there is no replacement for the judgement of the people with the practical, hands on experience.
    • This also goes for all those alleged 'drive while black' accusations, which, as far as I can recall, has yet to stand up and be real



    It is speculation on my part, to be sure. But your refutation does not hold up, since I was arguing that it would have been used more frequently over time as its continued use made it seem more acceptable (the slippery slope, if you will). Obviously, since Bush shut down the program after a couple of years, we cannot know if my assumptions were correct. But it seems to me that if torture can become acceptable, there is no reason to think it cannot become prevalent.
    However, the fact of the matter appears to be that torture has not become prevalent, nor is it likely that it will. Of all the detainees, look at miniscule fraction that were actually subjected to torture. Look how it was used on, 3, maybe 4 detainees, and no more. Are you sure your not chasing ghosts here? Creating an issue of a situation that won't be recurring? I don't think that water boarding is going to be used ever again.

    מה מכילות החדשות?


    • Re: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden

      Originally posted by eohrnberger View Post
      However, the fact of the matter appears to be that torture has not become prevalent, nor is it likely that it will. Of all the detainees, look at miniscule fraction that were actually subjected to torture. Look how it was used on, 3, maybe 4 detainees, and no more. Are you sure your not chasing ghosts here? Creating an issue of a situation that won't be recurring? I don't think that water boarding is going to be used ever again.
      3 or 4 were waterboarded, but thousands more were subjected to other forms of torture, including the raping of their children outside their cells, others were beaten to death, the vast majority of these were found to be innocent of any wrong doing, unless you believe the US official version, that any and all misconduct was caught on camera, and if there isn't photographic proof, the denial stands.....

      Now I suggest the sworn testimony of Ali Soufan, who actually was an interrogator, who actually knows what he's talking about, and was under oath, for anyone who wants to, you know, understand the issue. Senate Torture Hearing pt 10 - Ali Soufan - YouTube

      מה מכילות החדשות?


      • Re: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden

        Originally posted by goober View Post
        3 or 4 were waterboarded, but thousands more were subjected to other forms of torture, including the raping of their children outside their cells, others were beaten to death, the vast majority of these were found to be innocent of any wrong doing, unless you believe the US official version, that any and all misconduct was caught on camera, and if there isn't photographic proof, the denial stands.....

        Now I suggest the sworn testimony of Ali Soufan, who actually was an interrogator, who actually knows what he's talking about, and was under oath, for anyone who wants to, you know, understand the issue. Senate Torture Hearing pt 10 - Ali Soufan - YouTube
        I listened to it, I hear nothing about raping of children or anyone beaten to death.

        מה מכילות החדשות?


        • Re: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden

          Originally posted by eohrnberger View Post
          The quote from Powell speaks to this issue, and other issues, on several levels:

          Rather than back seat second guessing from your armchair, which is something the those of the liberal persuasion seem to love to do, you should trust the judgement of the people on the ground, in the situation.
          It is no exaggeration to say that you are arguing that everybody should shut up and blindly trust the government. Given that you are generally suspicious of government, it is strange, indeed, that you would make an exception for‚ of all things — the use of torture.

          It is doubly strange because there is plenty of evidence that the government was both willfully deceitful and incompetent.

          It is triply strange because these decisions that you suggest I should blindly support were not made by "the people on the ground" but by the higher-ups in the government (just like Obama's drone strikes).

          This also speaks to the foolishness of zero tolerance policies, which is just another example of the above. The Sheriff is elected, start by trusting him and his judgement rather then burying him in rules and regulations an minutia. This also goes for other elected officials.

          Put brain in park, we have a zero tolerance policy on that
          We are a nation of laws, not men. I didn't want to trust Bush with torture; likewise, I don't want to trust Obama with the assassination of American citizens abroad. Oversight, due process, safeguards. I am astonished that you don't believe in any of these things.

          Specific to the case, there is no replacement for the judgement of the people with the practical, hands on experience.
          This also goes for all those alleged 'drive while black' accusations, which, as far as I can recall, has yet to stand up and be real
          But "the judgment" of many of "the people with the practical, hands on experience" — including experts and interrogators with intimate knowledge of the detainees — was that torture was a bad idea. Is there any logical reason that I should only trust the pro-torture "people on the ground?"

          However, the fact of the matter appears to be that torture has not become prevalent, nor is it likely that it will.
          It hasn't become prevalent because the program was discontinued. My argument was if it had not been discontinued, it would have become more prevalent.

          Of all the detainees, look at miniscule fraction that were actually subjected to torture. Look how it was used on, 3, maybe 4 detainees, and no more. Are you sure your not chasing ghosts here? Creating an issue of a situation that won't be recurring? I don't think that water boarding is going to be used ever again.
          To be precise, there were 3 or 4 detainees (that we know of) who were waterboarded. There were more who were tortured, in some cases to death. You are correct that, since Bush discontinued the program in 2005 and Obama said he would not continue it, waterboarding is no longer occurring. But that, of course, could change with the next election.

          מה מכילות החדשות?


          • Re: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden

            Originally posted by AdamKadmon View Post
            It is no exaggeration to say that you are arguing that everybody should shut up and blindly trust the government. Given that you are generally suspicious of government, it is strange, indeed, that you would make an exception for‚ of all things — the use of torture.

            It is doubly strange because there is plenty of evidence that the government was both willfully deceitful and incompetent.

            It is triply strange because these decisions that you suggest I should blindly support were not made by "the people on the ground" but by the higher-ups in the government (just like Obama's drone strikes).



            We are a nation of laws, not men. I didn't want to trust Bush with torture; likewise, I don't want to trust Obama with the assassination of American citizens abroad. Oversight, due process, safeguards. I am astonished that you don't believe in any of these things.



            But "the judgment" of many of "the people with the practical, hands on experience" — including experts and interrogators with intimate knowledge of the detainees — was that torture was a bad idea. Is there any logical reason that I should only trust the pro-torture "people on the ground?"



            It hasn't become prevalent because the program was discontinued. My argument was if it had not been discontinued, it would have become more prevalent.



            To be precise, there were 3 or 4 detainees (that we know of) who were waterboarded. There were more who were tortured, in some cases to death. You are correct that, since Bush discontinued the program in 2005 and Obama said he would not continue it, waterboarding is no longer occurring. But that, of course, could change with the next election.
            Where are you getting these allegations that people were tortured to death?

            מה מכילות החדשות?


            • Re: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden

              Democrats jump on the anti-torture bandwagon, but they forget, their favorite wife cheating president Clinton, admitted to "out-sourcing" torture to other countries. Two big Democrat no nos. You mean Clinton outsourced and tortured? Ohhh noo! Bush Sr. must have made him do it!

              מה מכילות החדשות?


              • Re: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden

                Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
                Where are you getting these allegations that people were tortured to death?
                Stuff like this:
                Military Police at Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison dubbed him the Iceman; others used the nickname Mr. Frosty. Some even called him Bernie, after the character in the 1989 movie Weekend at Bernie's, about a dead man whose associates carry him around as if he were still alive. The prisoner is listed as Manadel al-Jamadi in three official investigations of his death while in U.S. custody, a death that was ruled a homicide in a Defense Department autopsy. Photographs of his battered corpse -- iced to keep it from decomposing in order to hide the true circumstances of his dying -- were among the many made public in the spring of 2004, raising stark questions about America's treatment of enemy detainees. For most of the horrors shown in those Abu Ghraib photographs, there has been some accounting. Although no officers were court-martialed, a soldier who held a prisoner on a leash got three years in prison; another who repeatedly hit detainees got 10 years. But those prisoners were held by members of the military, which has a relatively transparent system of punishing errant behavior. Al-Jamadi was a prisoner of the far more secretive CIA.

                Haunted by The Iceman - TIME

                In all probability, you actually saw the pictures.

                מה מכילות החדשות?


                • Re: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden

                  Originally posted by AdamKadmon View Post
                  Stuff like this:
                  Military Police at Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison dubbed him the Iceman; others used the nickname Mr. Frosty. Some even called him Bernie, after the character in the 1989 movie Weekend at Bernie's, about a dead man whose associates carry him around as if he were still alive. The prisoner is listed as Manadel al-Jamadi in three official investigations of his death while in U.S. custody, a death that was ruled a homicide in a Defense Department autopsy. Photographs of his battered corpse -- iced to keep it from decomposing in order to hide the true circumstances of his dying -- were among the many made public in the spring of 2004, raising stark questions about America's treatment of enemy detainees. For most of the horrors shown in those Abu Ghraib photographs, there has been some accounting. Although no officers were court-martialed, a soldier who held a prisoner on a leash got three years in prison; another who repeatedly hit detainees got 10 years. But those prisoners were held by members of the military, which has a relatively transparent system of punishing errant behavior. Al-Jamadi was a prisoner of the far more secretive CIA.

                  Haunted by The Iceman - TIME

                  In all probability, you actually saw the pictures.
                  Typical Time article. Lots of speculation and no facts.

                  מה מכילות החדשות?


                  • Re: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden

                    Originally posted by goober View Post
                    They waterboarded 3 people, maybe 4 and then stopped.
                    It couldn't have been because the information they got was garbage, could it?
                    I mean they had one guy tortured in Tunisia (razor blades to the scrotum), who gave up Saddam Husseins chemical weapons program and his nuclear program.
                    I mean without that information, Darth Cheney couldn't have persuaded junior to invade Iraq, and the 2004 election would have been about the economy, and Kerry would have won, and taxes would have been increased on the real people. As it worked out, no real people suffered at all, just the common clay, whose only purpose is to serve their betters.
                    I used to believe that you were just a misguided leftist ideologue.

                    But that bizarre, ranting post (and others like it) have me leaning more towards believing that the difference between reality and fiction might be difficult for you to discern.

                    I mean, I mean, did you hear that "Darth Cheney" had fdr's grave secretly dug up, and now he uses fdr's skull as a pencil holder on his desk?

                    מה מכילות החדשות?


                    • Re: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden

                      Originally posted by AdamKadmon View Post
                      It is no exaggeration to say that you are arguing that everybody should shut up and blindly trust the government. Given that you are generally suspicious of government, it is strange, indeed, that you would make an exception for‚ of all things — the use of torture.
                      You may read it as such, but no, that's not what I'm saying.

                      Originally posted by AdamKadmon View Post
                      It is doubly strange because there is plenty of evidence that the government was both willfully deceitful and incompetent.
                      Middle management screws it up, and seemingly every layer management above that, unless they approach leadership with a modicum of humility. Most don't, and get arrogant. That's when they start going badly off course.

                      Originally posted by AdamKadmon View Post
                      It is triply strange because these decisions that you suggest I should blindly support were not made by "the people on the ground" but by the higher-ups in the government (just like Obama's drone strikes).
                      No, not blindly support, but some support of the folks doing the difficult jobs in the trench is due them.

                      Originally posted by AdamKadmon View Post
                      We are a nation of laws, not men. I didn't want to trust Bush with torture; likewise, I don't want to trust Obama with the assassination of American citizens abroad. Oversight, due process, safeguards. I am astonished that you don't believe in any of these things.
                      Comes to question how much we can hobble those that are conducting this conflict on our behalf and they still will be able to win it, i.e keeping the US citizens safe from further attacks. There's a balance here, some is good, too much is bad.

                      Originally posted by AdamKadmon View Post
                      But "the judgment" of many of "the people with the practical, hands on experience" — including experts and interrogators with intimate knowledge of the detainees — was that torture was a bad idea. Is there any logical reason that I should only trust the pro-torture "people on the ground?"
                      I'd be of the opinion that you should trust the folks in the trenches. The rear echelon, not so much. Power corrupts. Albsolute power corrupts absolutely.

                      Originally posted by AdamKadmon View Post
                      It hasn't become prevalent because the program was discontinued. My argument was if it had not been discontinued, it would have become more prevalent.
                      There's no real way of knowing this. Either way.

                      Originally posted by AdamKadmon View Post
                      To be precise, there were 3 or 4 detainees (that we know of) who were waterboarded. There were more who were tortured, in some cases to death. You are correct that, since Bush discontinued the program in 2005 and Obama said he would not continue it, waterboarding is no longer occurring. But that, of course, could change with the next election.
                      Doubtful. Public policy on the matter appears to have been settled against, which is fine, as long as it doesn't jeopardize security, and again, there's a balance to be struck. Give up too much liberty fr security, you'll get neither. Don't give a little on innovative engagement tactics, and you'll lose security as well as potentially your life.

                      Do you, or do you not believe that militant fundamentalist Islam poses a threat to pretty much all western nations and societies? And, if so, how much of a threat do you perceive it to be?
                      Last edited by eohrnberger; 02-08-2013, 08:45 PM.

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                      • Re: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden

                        Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
                        Typical Time article. Lots of speculation and no facts.
                        Typical head-in-the-sand response.

                        Here's a piece on the topic from The New Yorker: A Reporter at Large: A Deadly Interrogation : The New Yorker

                        Here's a copy of a piece on the topic from The Associated Press: Iraqi Died While Hung From Wrists

                        But I suppose you'll just believe what you want to believe.

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                        • Re: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden

                          Originally posted by eohrnberger View Post
                          You may read it as such, but no, that's not what I'm saying.
                          I am pleased to hear that.

                          Middle management screws it up, and seemingly every layer management above that, unless they approach leadership with a modicum of humility. Most don't, and get arrogant. That's when they start going badly off course.
                          Clearly, you have convinced yourself that the people who engage in torture are smart, moral, competent people who know exactly what they're doing. I disagree... and the evidence bears me out. Once you start torturing people to find out what they might know, you are in dark territory.

                          No, not blindly support, but some support of the folks doing the difficult jobs in the trench is due them.
                          As I keep saying, the decision to engage in torture wasn't made by the people in the trenches (nor do I think it would have mattered if it was). In fact, many of the people in the trenches didn't want it. And I don't understand why you have turned a blind eye to the dishonesty that the government has engaged in vis-a-vis torture, up to and including destroying evidence of what they've done.

                          Comes to question how much we can hobble those that are conducting this conflict on our behalf and they still will be able to win it, i.e keeping the US citizens safe from further attacks. There's a balance here, some is good, too much is bad.
                          Flexibility is fine. But legitimizing torture is not. Keep in mind, even the Bush administration was split over whether to allow it... and Bush changed his mind pretty quickly.

                          I'd be of the opinion that you should trust the folks in the trenches. The rear echelon, not so much. Power corrupts. Albsolute power corrupts absolutely.
                          You mean the folks in the trenches like this woman?

                          cia-interrogation-pro_lea_s267x200.jpg

                          All sorts of evil regimes have engaged in torture (and as I already pointed out, we've executed Japanese for waterboarding our soldiers). Anyone who is looking for rationales for torture will never run out of them.

                          There's no real way of knowing this. Either way.
                          Agreed. As I said, it was speculation.

                          Doubtful. Public policy on the matter appears to have been settled against, which is fine, as long as it doesn't jeopardize security, and again, there's a balance to be struck. Give up too much liberty fr security, you'll get neither. Don't give a little on innovative engagement tactics, and you'll lose security as well as potentially your life.
                          "Innovative engagement tactics" is another nice euphemism for torture. I agree that we need flexibility, but to simply let our executive branch and the security agencies run wild, without oversight or accountability, is a recipe for disaster.

                          Do you, or do you not believe that militant fundamentalist Islam poses a threat to pretty much all western nations and societies? And, if so, how much of a threat do you perceive it to be?
                          I believe they pose a threat. I believe they pose far less of a threat than did Nazi fascism and Soviet Communism. I believe that a policy that permits torture goes against everything this country stands for and, from a pragmatic standpoint, is counterproductive.

                          Have you ever read about the Phillip Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment? If not, let me humbly recommend the book The Lucifer Effect. When you start permitting sadistic behavior, things can get out of control really fast.
                          Last edited by AdamKadmon; 02-08-2013, 09:41 PM.

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                          • Re: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden

                            Originally posted by AdamKadmon View Post
                            Typical head-in-the-sand response.

                            Here's a piece on the topic from The New Yorker: A Reporter at Large: A Deadly Interrogation : The New Yorker

                            Here's a copy of a piece on the topic from The Associated Press: Iraqi Died While Hung From Wrists

                            But I suppose you'll just believe what you want to believe.
                            So, you have one guy who died in custody and this suddenly translates to prisoners who were tortured to death.

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                            • Re: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden

                              Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
                              So, you have one guy who died in custody and this suddenly translates to prisoners who were tortured to death.
                              That "one guy" was ruled a homicide. You know what that word means, yes?

                              He's not the only one, either.

                              The suppressed fact: Deaths by U.S. torture - Salon.com

                              Wait, let me guess: You're going to dismiss this because it's Salon... even though they have copies of official autopsy reports. Am I right? I bet I'm right.

                              OK, here's more info:

                              http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/200...n-afghanistan/

                              Happy reading!

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                              • Re: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information from Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden

                                Don't forget the innocent man whose legs were pulpified due to the torture he received in Afghanistan. He died from the torture.

                                http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/20/in...anted=all&_r=0

                                The findings of Mr. Dilawar's autopsy were succinct. He had had some coronary artery disease, the medical examiner reported, but what caused his heart to fail was "blunt force injuries to the lower extremities." Similar injuries contributed to Mr. Habibullah's death.

                                One of the coroners later translated the assessment at a pre-trial hearing for Specialist Brand, saying the tissue in the young man's legs "had basically been pulpified."

                                "I've seen similar injuries in an individual run over by a bus," added Lt. Col. Elizabeth Rouse, the coroner, and a major at that time.
                                Last edited by Disillusioned_1; 02-08-2013, 11:22 PM.

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