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Obama's defense of the torturers is indefensible

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  • #16
    Does torture work better than less violent interrogation techniques? The army field manual is based on "less" torture, and seems to get very good results. If anyone is interested, here is one article on prohibition of physical torture, as practiced by the US army:
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...y-field-manual

    Of course, it would be critical to see a comparison of violent vs. non-violent interrogation. An independent review could test and compare 100 sessions in each category. Although that would go a long way in resolving the debate, I seriously doubt the public will ever see such a study.

    It follows that presidents will not be held responsible for crossing the line, since "the line" is either classified or left undefined.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Commodore View Post

      Really?

      Well, the most recent would be the blanket amnesty order. The most egregious would probably be the Bergdahl "Prisoner" Swap, which is at best an open and shut case of violating the Congressional notice requirement, and at worst aiding and abetting the enemy in a time of war. Then of course there is every fudging of the Obamacare deadlines. The Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS Targeting of the political opposition Scandals are still in play, which automatically tells you there is a mountain of obstruction of justice and probably a fair amount of perjury.

      I'm sure I'm missing a few.
      Commodore, those are not real scandals, those are called Fox News "scandals". The right misinforms you, drums up a bunch of nonsense and leaves you angry at the President when none of it is true. Why do you think when each "scandal" was invesitgaed by the GOP, they found nothing? Issa and his crew aren't exactly in the business of excusing the president so unless Issa is a Democratic plant, his lack of any prosecution proves my point doesn't it.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Danny View Post

        Commodore, those are not real scandals, those are called Fox News "scandals". The right misinforms you, drums up a bunch of nonsense and leaves you angry at the President when none of it is true. Why do you think when each "scandal" was invesitgaed by the GOP, they found nothing? Issa and his crew aren't exactly in the business of excusing the president so unless Issa is a Democratic plant, his lack of any prosecution proves my point doesn't it.

        Issa has no prosecutorial powers. The committee has referred several people to the Justice Department for prosecution but they have declined to prosecute. The worst of the scandals is the IRS scandal where the IRS interfered with the tax status of Tea Party associated groups. That has now been traced back to the White House. Changes in Obamacare violated the law. Not enforcing our immigration laws when sworn to uphold the laws of the country is an impeachable offense, which will not happen because Obama is black and Biden is vice President. Fast and Furious was an illegal operation. Operation Choke Point has been used against legal businesses that are objectionable to the President. Obama has abused his power as President against Americans, not the terrorists.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post


          Issa has no prosecutorial powers. The committee has referred several people to the Justice Department for prosecution but they have declined to prosecute. The worst of the scandals is the IRS scandal where the IRS interfered with the tax status of Tea Party associated groups. That has now been traced back to the White House. Changes in Obamacare violated the law. Not enforcing our immigration laws when sworn to uphold the laws of the country is an impeachable offense, which will not happen because Obama is black and Biden is vice President. Fast and Furious was an illegal operation. Operation Choke Point has been used against legal businesses that are objectionable to the President. Obama has abused his power as President against Americans, not the terrorists.
          As long as you will always point out the republican abuse of power when in the oval office, I am on your side. But most ideologues are blind to what their own tribe does, and then it becomes partisan hypocrisy. And that is about all I see today with the left and the right and those average people who have turned them into celebs.

          It is always the opposition party that notices the abuse of power, yet they mysterioiusly vanish and keep mum when their own tribe does it. Yet Issa is simply following through with what McConnell claimed in 09 was to be the job of the republicans when it came to Obama. So, they told us early on what they were going to do. So, this makes it harder for some people to accept Issa and company are anything but low down bums, trumping up anything they can to meet their set goals. It gets to the point where average people have no clue what the truth is, due to the hyper partisanship that don't know what ethics consist of. The repubs are like the boy who cried wolf. So when people ignore them, it is completely understandable. Their hyper ideological partisanship has made them powerless to actually point out abuses. But it may all just be political theater, to fool their constiuents so they can do the bidding of their special interests, and no one will catch on.

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          • #20
            Where is the independent prosecutor, then? That person could be neutral, outside either political party (at least hypothetically). Nowhere to be seen, however. We're about as likely to see an independent prosecutor as we are to see a comparison between US Army and CIA interrogation results. It will be played for political gain, no one (except a patsy or two) will go to jail or lose their job, and the option of forced confessions (pretty much useless except for political gain) will remain on the table to "protect" what's left of the Republic.

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            • #21
              We 'tortured' no one. It takes a torture of language to make it so.

              --------------------------------------------


              Language, that contract that we make with the members of our society, holds our society together; without it we can accomplish nothing. Nor can we function without the protection of good and selfless people who step forward to face the evil that always threatens successful nations.


              Diane Feinstein’s release of the enhanced interrogation technique documents is, on both national and linguistic fronts, an act of treason.

              Torture is a concept way out on the edges of cruelty and evil. It is not merely making a person uncomfortable. Torture causes screaming, mind-destroying agony. It is not merely scaring or even terrifying a person. It is not humiliation, nor is it mere confinement. Nor is it the same as irritation, or annoyance, or frustration. It’s not merely causing distress or anxiety. Torture leaves physical scars -- twisted limbs, missing fingernails, missing fingers, toes, eyes, tongues. It drives people permanently mad.


              To think that pouring water on a prisoner reaches that level is to demonstrate a complete lack of knowledge about what man is capable of doing to his fellow man. It is ignorance of history. When the CIA waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed they followed strict guidelines, allowing breaks every few seconds; they had doctors and minders and interpreters in the room with him. There were strict limits. With torture there are no limits.

              .........

              Liberal fantasies notwithstanding, man has not evolved into a pussycat -- not by a long shot. Many Americans have, however, become so removed from reality that they think they can just call things by different names and thereby change what-is into what-ought-to-be.




              http://www.americanthinker.com/artic...n_maiden_.html

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              • #22
                I think the guy who was found dead after being left half naked and shackled in an interrogation cell when he was later found to be innocent anyway would likely say this was more than simply annoying or distressing.

                http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...t-9913901.html

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by PeterUK75 View Post
                  I think the guy who was found dead after being left half naked and shackled in an interrogation cell when he was later found to be innocent anyway would likely say this was more than simply annoying or distressing.

                  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...t-9913901.html

                  What would Baha Mousa have said, if he hadn't been beaten to death in British custody?

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                  • #24
                    Hello Peter. Some righties in the US might well respond to your article by musing. "How did that prisoner kill himself thru exposure and self-shackling? They were probably a spy on a suicide mission to discredit our 'enhanced interrogation' techniques".

                    Torture is not defined as 'enhanced interrogation' with limits ("Hey, we confined him in a room, he died of exposure. How were we to know that the room would get cold and damp? The Geneva Convention doesn't require us to keep track of room temperature.") Torture damages the person to get whatever information the interrogator wants, as opposed to imposing discomfort on the person to get the truth. I believe our righties would find this distinction if they bothered to look up the debate between the army field manual on interrogation, vs. what some rogue agents are claiming is intelligence-gathering interrogation. It is ironic in a way. The army might well defend a position to maim and kill prisoners in the field of battle, if that is what they have to do to in order to break out of a massive, no prisoners-taken, attack. The intelligence agency nearly always has it's prisoners in controlled conditions, where they can extract more complete, truthful information. Yet, they are the among the group that is pushing hardest for 'enhanced interrogation'. The reason should be obvious: The military officer wants accuracy, which he can act on to save the maximum number of his own troops (and ensure victory). The spy wants to get the most material which he can act on to leverage against the enemy. "Material" includes a useful mixture of truth, gossip and weak links associated with the group being targeted. It gets results in the propaganda front, but I don't see where it does much good in cutting off heads of multi-headed snakes.

                    I'll say it again, and again we'll get silence from the right: Where are the studies to compare the quantity and quality of intelligence gathered, "spy" vs. "military manual" style interrogation?

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by CYDdharta View Post


                      What would Baha Mousa have said, if he hadn't been beaten to death in British custody?
                      ...Also relevant, did the British meet their objectives because they used brutal techniques? In some cases, and for a few years. Are they more prosperous now, because they gave up empire maintenance in favor of good international relations and business ties? Decidedly, yes.

                      ...Or were you trying to make some other point?

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by radcentr View Post
                        ...Also relevant, did the British meet their objectives because they used brutal techniques? In some cases, and for a few years. Are they more prosperous now, because they gave up empire maintenance in favor of good international relations and business ties? Decidedly, yes.

                        ...Or were you trying to make some other point?


                        Really?? You think the UK is significantly more prosperous than they were in 2003?

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                        • #27
                          Whoops! You got me. I assumed Baha Mousa was a case from GB's late empire period. During their attempt to hold onto India, for instance. I was wrong. Here's a link:
                          http://www.theguardian.com/books/201...ath-baha-mousa

                          It is the 2003 case of British Army staff beating a hotel employee to death while under detention at one of their bases in Basra, Iraq. That being the case, your point - that the GB forces also violated the Geneva Convention on torture and murder- is noted.

                          Peter's point is still valid, however. Best to keep interrogation within the bounds of discomfort and accuracy. Keep it well away from revenge, inflicting damage, and getting a confession that seems truthful.

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