Friday, April 24, 2009

Torturous Torture Debate

I present here two articles describing two different notions of torture. This one I got from Townhall.com, and this one through the racist and poorly written AmericanThinker.com.

The subject of torture, more specifically, the U.S. torture of detainees and prisoners at Gitmo and elsewhere, has gotten new life with the release of memos that detail the enhanced interrogation techniques our people have been using. Of course, as indicated by Dick Cheney, those who are lamenting our "crimes against humanity" (*gack*) chose not to supply info regarding the effectiveness of using those techniques. Many have advised on the wisdom, rather, the lack thereof, of releasing these memos, but such advice was ignored. Now, or enemies know how to better prepare themselves in the event of capture.

But what is glaringly obvious is that this "horror" at the thought of a Kalid Sheik Muhammed being waterboarded is a fraud. Those who whine about "war crimes" perpetrated at the order of George W. Bush aren't concerned at all about the techniques themselves. I have yet to hear of anyone who will take the time to define what constitutes torture, but will only say that what our people have been doing is torture. No doubt those same people will be aghast at the suffering of our enemies as they endure the agony of abdominal distress while laughing uproariously at what our lefty chuckleheads consider torture.

No, it's not about torture per se. It's about using whatever possible to attack the Bush administration. They won't be satisfied until he pays for fairly and legally winning two elections against two equally buffoonish Democratic candidates. The shock and dismay they so fraudulently display at the thought of some Arab losing sleep or living with the heat dialed down is only to generate negative emotion in support of their quest to punish Bush & Co.

Now for those who insist on trying to make us believe they're concerned with our standing in the world, that we must take the high road, the moral high ground, I accuse these people of dishonesty as well. MY concern is for the safety of our people and our allies. I have little concern for those who would seek to cause us harm. Like anyone else with a brain, and a heart and sense of Christian goodwill to all, I'd prefer our enemies would prefer our friendship rather than our deaths. I'd much rather we have the means and ability to cause them to lay down their hatred once and for all and join the brotherhood of man. I believe we should do all we can to promote that paradigm shift in their hearts.

But while that's yet to be discovered and while they continue in their hatred, I will part company with those who think the lives of our people are of less importance than the comfort of those we have incarcerated. I would suffer not one simple scratch on another American or American ally at the hands of our enemies and if they have to weather some inconvenience in their living conditions at Gitmo, if they have to endure a freakin' swirly for every question unanswered, then so be it. Our techniques do not rise to the level of torture.

So the release of these memos have accomplished two things. It shows our enemies that we won't engage in activities that most people could endure with a little spine, and it shows that we haven't been engaging in the level of savagery that they do routinely. Now there is no reason to fear us at all. Now there's no point in taking prisoners at all. They won't talk. They've no fear to encourage it. Our troops can now just kill everyone they suspect of being at war with them.

It would have been far better for the lefties to just shut the hell up, protest if they must quietly through channels, instead of publicly for the world to see. It would be better if our enemies fear we are capable of worse than they could invent themselves, because we keep everything on the table, at our disposal should we decide to employ any of it, than for them to think we have limitations for which they can prepare. We don't have to employ true torture. Our enemies only have to believe we will. Then the world can judge us if they so choose, but we can stand tall when they are unable to prove that we are actually using real torture.

Of course that's all moot now, thanks to those who are more concerned with political points and world opinion than the protection of America and her allies. Their false piety has put us at risk.

46 comments:

Dan Trabue said...

Of course, as indicated by Dick Cheney, those who are lamenting our "crimes against humanity" (*gack*) chose not to supply info regarding the effectiveness of using those techniques.

Is it your position that IF torture works to save a life, then it is okay? If so, are there limits to what torture you find acceptable? For instance, is it okay to cut off a child's hand in front of their parent in order to get information that will (perhaps) save a life?

I say that we are a nation that does not and will not abide the use of torture (ie, the infliction of physical pain upon a captive). To do so goes against our best ideals and we who are opposed to it are opposed to it because it's wrong, not because Bush sanctioned it.

That would be yet another example of a wrong and wrong-headed conclusion on your part.

It amazes me that our "moral crusaders" on the Right are so stridently opposed to our opposition of torture. Is it any wonder that you all are becoming more and more marginalized, casting yourselves in the dustbin of history?

Dan Trabue said...

It would be better if our enemies fear we are capable of worse than they could invent themselves, because we keep everything on the table, at our disposal should we decide to employ any of it, than for them to think we have limitations for which they can prepare. We don't have to employ true torture. Our enemies only have to believe we will.

I would suggest that a house built on sand and lies is ready for a fall. Our strength is in our ideals. I think saying, "The US is a city on a hill, a leader in right-living. We will NOT embrace evil to overcome evil and you can count on it. If individuals representing us should succumb to fear and embrace evil, they will be prosecuted...." goes a whole lot further towards protecting us than using the tools of the enemy.

I repeat, it is our ideals themselves that make us strong. I hope America unites behind that notion and not behind the tools of the cowardly and fearful.

God bless our best ideals!

Marshall Art said...

Of course you express pie-in-the-sky nonsense. Truman dropped the bomb. Twice. From that point on, at least until our lack of resolve in Viet Nam, the world knew we were capable and willing to do the worst to protect our own against the darker forces on the planet. And though some, like the USSR tried to arm themselves in a like manner, knowing that we had already used atomic weapons left them with the knowledge that it was not beyond real possibility that we'd do it again if provoked.

When we look at crime statistics, we find the worst of them are higher in states that do not allow concealed carry. The bad guys aren't so cocky when they think the rest of us might shoot back.

In schools, when that homosexual kid fights back and kicks the crap out of the bully, he pretty much is left alone from that point on.

The knowledge in the mind of evil people that their own safety is at risk when they act in an evil manner deters them from acting. It is only when they think they can succeed pain free will they act. This is a fact of human nature. Obama's proclamation that we will not engage in what dishonest Bush-haters want to call "torture" has but a bull's eye on the backs of Americans everywhere. It's like he taped a "kick me" sign on every one of us. It's like announcing to the neighborhood that you only store you car keys in the ignition of your new Cadillac that you park in the drive-way.

In your first comment you ask about cutting off the hand of a terrorist's child to get info. Well remember my post and if you think that's about as bad a technique that you can imagine, imagine that we are capable of even far worse. What would you be willing to do for us? I insist that if a captive is sufficiently fearful, he will talk without being asked, indeed, our people would need say nothing.

Buy YOU, and those like you, have created the exact opposite situation for us. Now, they'll say nothing. People will lose lives because of an image you wish to project, an image of complete weakness and submission. This makes you not worthy of heavenly brownie points, but instead makes you complicit in the deaths of any who could have been saved through harsh interrogation techniques that you irresponsibly call "torture".

We as a nation can be kind. Indeed, we show we are with every tragedy that befalls others around the world with out donations of time and money. You fear our neighbors will think poorly of us because we will not tolerate that evil visits it's malevolence upon our people and our friends. Instead, you should be pointing out all the many ways we have been a blessing to the world and how our power is only used when our patience has been tried, tested and abused.

Advertizing the extent to which we will "torture" an asshole with knowledge of further threats has done us no service. And now, advertizing that we will no longer use techniques that don't even qualify for the term "torture" is even worse. I can handle being marginalized by the evil and the stupid of the world. What I can't handle is being exterminated.

You say we shouldn't repay evil with evil. We wouldn't be in extracting info that saves lives. But evil is letting lives be lost so that an evil person isn't made uncomfortable. Any who would do that I hold in great contempt.

Marshall Art said...

Oh, and keep in mind: the evil one is the one making the call. Work with us, the good guys, and no suffering will be inflicted. And we ARE the good guys. It doesn't matter what the bad guys think, it doesn't matter what the world thinks. I assure you that if I thought our leaders were acting out of evil intent, I would fight them myself.

Marshall Art said...

And still another thing:

It must be said that there is no "desire" to inflict suffering. The desire is what makes it evil. Instead, it is a willingness to do what's necessary, even if it is repulsive, in order to save lives. That's what leaders endowed with the responsibility to protect their people do.

Dan Trabue said...

What would you be willing to do for us?Do whatever I could to destroy you, if I were not a pacifist.

Someone who'd cut off the hands of a child is a monster. Whether they hail from Iraq or from the US.

You place way too much faith in the worst sort of violence, I'd suggest.

Those who embrace torture are not "the good guys."

Fortunately for us, I think you are in the minority on this point. You and a few others may well believe that torture used for a "good cause" is a moral good, but most of us recognize it for the evil it is.

Dan Trabue said...

You fear our neighbors will think poorly of us because we will not tolerate that evil visits it's malevolence upon our people and our friends.

No, you truly, truly don't understand. I don't care nearly as much about what other nations think as I do about doing what's right. Torture is wrong. No candy-coating it with good intentions makes it a moral good.

I'm sure the terrorists believed they were doing a moral good, too.

4simpsons said...

People can have some honest debates about whether waterboarding qualifies as torture. But what is interesting about Obama's soon-to-backfire political approach of appeasing the far Left is that the more the facts come out the worse the Dems will look (i.e., those who knew of the waterboarding).

Side note: I find it endlessly interesting that virtually all the people who scream "Oh, the humanity" over waterboarding a few terrorists are equally zealous about advancing unlimited abortion "rights."

Quick quiz: Would you rather be waterboarded or crushed and dismembered without anesthetic? I'll take the former.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Again, I don't care what the terrorists believe about good and evil. They're wrong as a given. So it doesn't matter.

But intentions have everything to do with the subject. More importantly are the consequences of choosing one route over the other. Take it for granted that I oppose any harm being perpetrated upon another being, human or otherwise, as a starting point. Obviously, there are times when I cannot hold to that desire to abstain from inflicting harm. To defend another against an attack, for instance. Heck, a doctor has to inflict harm on patients routinely, either by something like inserting a hypodermic needle into human flesh, or taking a limb to prevent the spread of disease.

Inflicting harm is not evil in and of itself. Thus, it isn't always wrong to do so. I could inject a needle into someone's arm and just force air into his bloodstream. That would be a bad thing. Until the air bubble does it's job, he felt only the same pain as he would if I had injected medicine. I could amputate his leg, and even using anesthetic, if he had no spreading disease, then to cut off his leg would be a bad thing. Either way the guy is lacking a leg. One reason saves him, the other just pisses him off, but in either case he suffers for the loss.

To say that I candy-coat it with good intentions is really no different than what you're doing yourself. You won't "torture" because you think it's wrong and good people just don't do that. But you've just candy-coated the deaths of all the people you could have saved by dunking the scumbag's head.

In almost every aspect of civil law, intentions, or "motive" is considered and separates murder from self-defense. The very same judgements must be made in instances of interrogation of subjects who think dying for the cause is an automatic ticket to Heaven.

Marty said...

Those who practice or justify the use of torture usually claim that it is necessary to defeat an enemy or to win the “war on terrorism.” Some in the intelligence community who work directly with interrogation, however, report that the use of torture often does not lead to reliable information and therefore cannot be useful to national security --Quoted from United Methodist Women Talking Points on Torture.

Marshall: "I have yet to hear of anyone who will take the time to define what constitutes torture, but will only say that what our people have been doing is torture."

Someone has take the time. Read the report: Broken Laws, Broken Lives - Medical Evidence of Torture by the US

Craig said...

Two words Dan, Daniel Pearl.

Dan Trabue said...

?

What the hell does that mean?

Daniel Pearl was killed by terrorists therefore it is good to torture? Is that your logical position?

Two words: Jesus Christ.

Erudite Redneck said...

It's not piety. It's shame.

Jim said...

Perhaps you should acquaint yourselves with the JPRA memo of 2002. "JPRA ran the military program known as Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE), which trains pilots and others to resist hostile questioning."

"The military agency that provided advice on harsh interrogation techniques for use against terrorism suspects referred to the application of extreme duress as 'torture' in a July 2002 document sent to the Pentagon's chief lawyer and warned that it would produce 'unreliable information.' [emphasis added] "

Marshall Art said...

Thanks for nothing, Jim. Many say torture produces no reliable intel. Yet, if Barry releases the rest of the the documents to which Cheney referred, then we can see whether it produced good intel or not. Claims are in place saying we got plenty of good stuff from the two or three we waterboarded. But anyone who believes that it NEVER produces good intel is a false prophet. There's no way to know who will break, and my point is that the mere fear of harsh techniques can be enough to crack true cowards. Of this there is no doubt to anyone who's ever paid attention to their fellow man.

Marshall Art said...

ER,

You're right if you mean it's shameful that anyone would allow their fellow citizens to perish rather than treat harshly an enemy with info that would save them. THAT is evil and shameful. Once again, the prisoner doesn't have to force our hand. He's totally free to be a stand up guy and cough up the intel that will save those people. The position you guys are taking is perfectly comparable to punishing anyone for their crimes or to treat anyone well when they withhold info to prevent further criminality. It's insane, not holy.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

I'll get to your links in time. I'm not up for irrelevant or biased opinion at the moment. If it's good stuff, I'll say so.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

I could be wrong, but Craig's comment might have been in reference to what real torture looks like. We can group all sorts of activities under the umbrella of torture. But if we are going to be honest, and if we are going to deal in the real world, we can't say yelling or slapping is something we won't do because it falls under that heading of "torture".

One more thing for all to keep in mind. There is no evidence that the harsher forms of interrogation are used without cause. That is, they have reason to believe a given prisoner has the type of intel that must be had. Now you're dealing with someone who is actually more worthy of greater scrutiny and harsher techniques. Once again, it is contemptable that anyone would have more concern for the comfort of a known scumbag than for the lives of the people his knowledge would save. That's the true evil and you folks sadly can't see the obvious.

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "He's (the one being tortured) totally free to be a stand up guy and cough up the intel that will save those people."

He, or she, is "free" to meet the evil of torture with the evil of a lie. Wonderful.

Keep watchin' the news.

Erudite Redneck said...

Really.

Erudite Redneck said...

How would Jesus torture? Would He change waterboarding into wineboarding? Would he make the walk lame? Would he make the seeing blind?

Tell me again what it is that makes you a follower of Christ. I don't give a damn what you "believe."

What is it you do that defines you as a followe of Christ? Torturewise, I mean.

Craig said...

Marshall,

Thanks for clarifying for me. I would also point out that when these interrogation techniques are used, the point is to keep the prisoner alive and able to talk. So that would seem to rule out any kind of physical damage. I also await the calls for the terrorists to renounce torture.

Erudite Redneck said...

Talking to save one's life, or to avoid pain, is not speaking truth.

Watch the news. Read it. Better yet, read it and weep. Former Vice President Cheney put the "vice" in the vice prewidency.

What the terrorists do is of no matter whatsoever. What would Jesus recommend?

Jim said...

There is no evidence that the harsher forms of interrogation are used without cause. That is, they have reason to believe a given prisoner has the type of intel that must be had.This is pure nonsense, gibberish, really. If they have intel that must be had, you use the best methods available. And the best methods available are legal and non-torture.

Torture has been used for centuries. The Spanish Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials. What do these have in common? Torture wasn't used to get "intel". It was used to get confessions. Any confession. False confessions.

Ask John McCain if his captors were trying to get intel from him. Nope, they wanted to get him to confess that he was a war criminal-a false confession.

It has been reported that the reason for torturing KSM 6 times a day for a month was to get a false confession-namely that Al-Qaeda was tied to Iraq and therefore Iraq was connected to 911.

It all fits.

Marshall Art said...

Jim,

Do you practice being that naive, or does it come naturally? You do realize that the average detainee is a committed Muslim, don't you? One who looks upon his captors with not too slight a degree of indifference? What techniques have been used to break the will of someone who lives to serve the will of allah? Has anyone at the Daily Koz told you what those techniques are that has provided actual actionable intel?

And who has been reporting that KSM was tortured "6 times a day for a month was to get a false confession-namely that Al-Qaeda was tied to Iraq and therefore Iraq was connected to 911."? Jeanine Garafalo? Oh jeez! What's that smell? Oh yeah, BULLSHIT!!!

Marshall Art said...

ER,

Are you purposely being a jerk? I'm certain I described a specific context and you act as if the interrogators are just going fishing. Exactly what purpose is served by torture for fun? I cannot express the level of shame I feel for you and Dan and others on your side of this issue, that hold our people in such contempt as to assume they eagerly engage in torture for sport. That they can't wait for the oppotunity to fart around trying to get someone who hates them & is willing to die trying to kill them to talk if there's no possibility that the scumbag even knows anything of value. That our people are that stupid and inexperienced in the science of extracting intel from captives that they would go beyond what is needed for a given captive to talk. What have these people, who have forsaken a life in the private sector in order to serve, at the risk of their very lives and limbs, done to deserve such contempt by their fellow citizens?

Marshall Art said...

Now for ER's Jesus question: How would Jesus torture?

First we have to determine which Jesus is at issue. Is it the hippy, Willem Dafoe Jesus of ER's wild imaginings, or the Jesus of the Bible? For all ER's failed attempts to explain himself, I really don't think they're the same Jesus. I sincerely pray that your time in seminary will make things more plain to you.

So I'll go with the Jesus of Scripture of whom we pray that He will return to judge the living and the dead. The one who said that even some who say to Him, "Lord, Lord" will not enter heaven. He will not know them. So He will judge us all. That means that some of us won't be pleased with His Holy verdict. Some say lake of fire for sinners. Others say eternal damnation in hell. In any case the options will be eternity with God or without Him. Without Him has to be some level of suffering if He is truly Just. But let's move on.

We also have to remember the context. It has been determined by the professional interrogators that a given suspect has actionable intel of which he refuses to devulge, intel that means lives hang in the balance.

Of course with Jesus on the team, we'd know all we need without asking any prisoner a thing. But that's not what ER means.

Of course with Jesus on the team, there'd be no doubt the cat knows what we need to thwart the attack. But of course that's not what ER means.

Of course with Jesus on the team, He could advise as to the limits of the dude's ability to endure so that our guys don't have to go beyond only what's needed to procure the intel. But I doubt ER means that, either.

Of course with Jesus on the team, His very presence would inspire the jerk to repent, atone and ask Jesus to be his Savior and all would be well, or being Jesus, He'd know just the right words to say that would elicit the intel desired. But of course...

No, ER, and Dan for that matter, likely think that Jesus would just hope the guy comes clean and if not, then those who die will be just that much closer to their individual judgement, whether they were believers or not, sinners or not.

No. Not at all. Jesus would know the intentions of the captive are malevolent and He would weigh his comfort against the lives of the people who's lives are endangered and would do what He could to save those people and send the unrepentent Islamic radical to hell for daring to believe he had a right to murder anyone for his false god.

You know, maybe it's there in those memos, but I haven't heard of any technique that is worse than the non-lethal waterboarding. Thus, if we still insist on using the term "torture", I have absolutely no problem using such techniques if the pros think they're necessary. None of us knows what it's like to be there dealing with these guys. None of us knows the quality of personnel doing the work there. None of us has the right to assume anything about them and how they do their jobs. But I prefer to think better of our own people until there is solid evidence of wrongdoing, rather than to make nasty assumptions because I don't like the president to whom they were subordinate at the time. And what's more ER, you've made nasty comments about Cheney often and have never provided any justification. That falls under the heading "Judge not lest ye be judged". But then, that's what lefties do, isn't it?

Erudite Redneck said...

LOL. Well, I did, in fact, mean Jesus of Nazareth, whose exemplary humanity was not diminished by his divinity. Not the Superhero Christ from Space who, as you apparently are saying, was omniscient, when scripture shows him plainly being surprised by things he didn't expect.

As for intel: Call it that if you want to, but truth will out: They weren't looking for intel, and they weren't fishing; they were looking for "confessions" they could use to tie the Taliban to Iraq, to justify the war in Iraq. And it looks like that's what they got.

Erudite Redneck said...

Oh, wow. I forgot. MA, you think Allah and God are different, don't you? And that all Muslims are evil, right?

Jim said...

You do realize that the average detainee is a committed Muslim, don't you?Meaning what? Muslims should be tortured because they are Muslims? Or all Muslims have "actionable intel"?

Has anyone at the Daily Koz (sic) told you what those techniques are that has provided actual actionable intel?No, but there are plenty of sources about what techniques have worked. The best information gained from Zubaydah was obtained through non-torture techniques. This has been stated by his chief interrogator.

Jim said...

And who has been reporting that KSM was tortured "6 times a day for a month was to get a false confession-namely that Al-Qaeda was tied to Iraq and therefore Iraq was connected to 911."?Um, the Senate Armed Services Committee in a report signed UNANIMOUSLY by all the Republicans on that committee.

According to Ron Suskind:

"The quote, in fact, inside of the Senate report from a major said that as frustration built inside of the White House, that there was no link that was established—because the CIA told the White House from the very start there is no Saddam/al Qaeda link. We checked it out. We did every which way. Sorry.

"The White House simply wouldn't take no for an answer and it went with another method. Torture was the method. “Get me a confession, I don‘t care how you do it.” And that bled all the way through the government, both on the CIA side and the Army side. It‘s extraordinary."

"This is not about an impetus to foil an upcoming potential al Qaeda attacks. The impetus here is largely political diplomatic. The White House had a political diplomatic problem. It wanted it solved in the run-up to the war."

Marshall Art said...

Jim,

You'll have to do better than to use Ron Suskind as a source. I'm sure he likely sends a tingling up your leg with his Bush-bashing ways, but he has a major credibility problem. Bob Novak tells of following up with a few of his interviewees who say Suskind doesn't take notes or use a recorder.

As for Zubaydah's "chief-interrogator", a name or link would've been nice, as well as an explanation as to how this dude can read minds. Had Zubie already been subject to harsher techniques, his lips might have already been loosened, his judgement already affected to the extent that "nicer" methods came off as a ruse, a calm before a storm. So unless there's proof there was further techniques applied after he spilled, we can't know for sure.

In addition, don't waste your time giving me the "plenty of sources" routine without listing one or two. It's absolutely illogical to assume that "nice" methods work all the time with every suspect, or that "torture" (whatever the hell that means in a given situation) never works with anybody.

Marshall Art said...

ER,

"Well, I did, in fact, mean Jesus of Nazareth, whose exemplary humanity was not diminished by his divinity."Exemplary even with name-calling and that whole trashing the Temple thing.

"Not the Superhero Christ from Space who, as you apparently are saying, was omniscient..."Setting aside the numerous miracles, He knew the woman at the well was married several times. He knew when the Pharisees were trying to trap Him in His teachings. He knew Peter would deny Him. These just to list a few omniscient episodes during the ministry of Christ.

"...when scripture shows him plainly being surprised by things he didn't expect."Where?

"...they were looking for "confessions" they could use to tie the Taliban to Iraq, to justify the war in Iraq..."Please link to official reports that spell this out. Thus far, it sounds like opinion or a twisting of words. To say they were looking for confessions doesn't necessarily imply that they were ready to content themselves with bullshit. But then, you have such a grand opinion of your fellow Americans.

Look. I'm not married to either George W. Bush, Dick Cheney or the Republican party. Show proof and I'll support their hangin' from the front of the line. There's been nothing but wild speculation regarding the the actions of any of the Bush Admin or we'd be swimming in the shit. So like any good American, I'll defend the innocence of him, his admin and those who interrogated detainees until they've been proven guilty.

"Oh, wow. I forgot. MA, you think Allah and God are different, don't you?"Not at all. I absolutely KNOW that they are not the same and true torture would be the level of uncontrollable laughter I would endure while you haplessly try to explain otherwise. Oh, wait. I forgot. You think that God is still speaking and saying things only liberals can hear, like a freakin' dog whistle. I fervently pray that you'll be attending a real seminary with real Bibles and real scholars.

"And that all Muslims are evil, right?"OK, my friend. For this line I'm going to holster my snark gun and ask you straight up, can you honestly say that I've ever said anything that would indicate I feel this way? Particularly after numerous times expressing exactly the opposite? C'mon, ER, I've never given you call to try a line like that on me. That's gotta be the Dickel talkin'.

Marshall Art said...

Just stumbled upon this WaPo article regarding the interrogation of Zubaidah. A couple of quick points.

-Though the ex-CIA agent now opposes waterboarding, he defended it's use considering the circumstances.
-The article states that the FBI opposes enhanced techniques, saying they don't work, while the intelligence community considers them valuable.
-Nowhere in the article does it state that "nice" techniques procured intel from Zubaidah.
-Nowhere in the article does it say anything like what Jim said. While one article doesn't seal the deal, it is the Washington Post and one would think they'd put everything they could that is anti-Bush.

Jim said...

OK, here's one that DOES say what "Jim said". It is an op-ed by FBI agent ALI SOUFAN:

"It is inaccurate, however, to say that Abu Zubaydah had been uncooperative. Along with another F.B.I. agent, and with several C.I.A. officers present, I questioned him from March to June 2002, before the harsh techniques were introduced later in August. Under traditional interrogation methods, he provided us with important actionable intelligence.

"We discovered, for example, that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Abu Zubaydah also told us about Jose Padilla, the so-called dirty bomber. This experience fit what I had found throughout my counterterrorism career: traditional interrogation techniques are successful in identifying operatives, uncovering plots and saving lives.

"There was no actionable intelligence gained from using enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah that wasn’t, or couldn’t have been, gained from regular tactics."

Jim said...

"can you honestly say that I've ever said anything that would indicate I feel this way?"

Um, yeah: "You do realize that the average detainee is a committed Muslim, don't you?"

Marshall Art said...

Jim,

Great. Now we've got a "he said-she said". And Cheney then is one the right track requesting further memos be released to show what was gained by the harsher techniques. But as to the "he said-she said", I'll stay with my "he", because he speaks as one who doesn't care for the harsher techniques. That adds to his credibility in my opinion.

As to your last comment, you must have been a pole vaulter because it's a bit of a leap to take one comment and decide it means I believe all Muslims are evil. A typical stretch for one such as yourself.

Mark said...

Interrogator: Now, Mr. Khalid Sheihk Mohammed, Please tell me anything you klnow that might possibly be helpful to us in helping us prevent further Terrorists attacks on America. Pleeeeeease?

KSM: You will see soon enough, Pig!

Interrorgator: Aw, c'mon Khalid, pretty please?

KSM (grinning): Nope!

Interrogator: I'll give you a cookie if you tell us.

KSM: With sprinkles?

Interrogator: Uh...sorry, Mr. Mohammed, we only have chocolate chip.

KSM: Then....no!


Interrogator: OK, OK, OK, we'll get cookies with sprinkles. Someone get Mr Mohammed a cookie with sprinkles! But remember, if I give you a cookie with sprinkles, you'll tell us when the next attack is coming, OK?

KSM: It depends on if I like it. It better be good. If it's good, I'll tell you. I promise.

Interrogator: Here. Here's a cookie with sprinkles. Would you like some milk to wash it down?

(Hands KSM a cookie)

KSM: Yes, thank you. (eats cookie, and washes it down with a cup of milk)

Interrogator: OK, now. Tell us what we want to know.

KSM (grinning ever wider): Ha Ha ha! You will know soon enough! Ha Ha Ha!

Interrogator (slams his palms down on desk, exasperated): Darn! Now what can we do?

Interrogator 2: I don't know. I guess we'll have to let him go.

Interrogator: Darn. I really thought we were close.

CNN news in background: A 747 jet airliner has just crashed into the Federal building in Los Angeles. Estimates are that there are as many as 5,000 people inside So far there is no word on who's responsible but CNN analysts suggest it was an attack perpetrated by former President George W Bush, in retaliation for John McCain losing the election to our revered Messiah Barack Obama. Now, for a word from our sponsors.

KSM: He he he he he!

(Cross posted on my blog)

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

Finally checked out your links. I found the talking points link a waste of time as it is merely the opinion of one group of people not necessarily qualified to be taken as experts. In addition, they never quote from where in Scripture it says that governments should not use enhanced or harsh interrogation techniques in order to protect the lives of its people. If Dan can argue from silence, so can I. At least in this instance, the teachings to which the Methodist group refers are teachings directed toward the behavior of individuals, and not governments.

You other link you've offered in the past and I wasn't impressed then either.

I appreciate your efforts.

Dan Trabue said...

In addition, they never quote from where in Scripture it says that governments should not use enhanced or harsh interrogation techniques in order to protect the lives of its people.

Are you serious? Are you trying to make the case that the Bible (in its silence) supports the notions of Christians (or anyone else) using torture?

Mark said...

Why not, Dan? You constantly are trying to make the case for sodomy because Jesus never said anything about it. (To your knowledge)

If you can do it, why not Art?

Marshall Art said...

"Are you trying to make the case that the Bible (in its silence) supports the notions of Christians (or anyone else) using torture?"I've far better support for such a contention than you could ever hope for with your support for homosexual marriage. Such as Rom 13:4--

For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.This shows some support for the notion that a government is justified in doling out some level of suffering to those deemed worthy.

Once again, torture is in the eyes of the beholder, or more accurately, in the experience of the punished. For whatever reason, a given technique is labeled as "torture", and from then on, folks like yourself no longer think. Is it torture if it can be endured? What if a suspect actually enjoys the experience and looks forward to another round? You elevate a man-made definition of a given technique to the equal of a commandment of God, when I consider the situation in which the technique is considered. Is it appropriate to "humiliate" a suspect in order to save lives? I believe it's a no-brainer, but the law speaks of "humiliation" as a prohibited technique. I simply don't see anything Christian in sacrificing lives in order to avoid making a known scumbag uncomfortable. If that's the way America rolls, a Smith and Wesson to the temple is much quicker, because America is then lost anyway. Lay down your own life for the sake of the scumbag's comfort, not the lives of others. How dare you.

Marty said...

Marshall you already have your mind made up. 'Tis a pity really.

Marshall: "You other link you've offered in the past and I wasn't impressed then either"

I suppose if physicans can't convince you that torture happened, no one can.

Perhaps you didn't peruse the entire website. So I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Physicians for Human Rights are experts on what constitutes torture.

"PHR (Physicians for Human Rights) has successfully organized and mobilized thousands of health professionals and helped to secure the leadership of the major health professional associations to develop ethical guidelines related to interrogation, that protect against medicine and science being employed to aid the abuse of prisoners. PHR’s work contributed to the adoption of ethical standards by the American Medical Association, the World Medical Association, and the American Psychiatric Association, prohibiting direct participation of physicians in interrogations. PHR has helped move the American Psychological Association (APA) to prohibit the involvement of its members in the Central Intelligence Agency’s “enhanced” interrogation techniques and has supported a movement within the APA to end the direct participation of psychologists in interrogations."

"PHR is renewing its call to Congress and the White House to immediately create a non-partisan commission to investigate the Bush Administration’s use of torture, with a specific focus on the role that psychologists and medical professionals played in its design, justification, supervision, and use."

Craig said...

Sorry Dan,

Mark's got you on this one. You can't continue to argue that Biblical silence on what you continue to imprecisely refer to as "gay marriage" De Facto equals endorsement, while Biblical silence on what you refer to as torture equals condemnation. The whole argument from silence is just silly. But you do love it so.

Mark said...

Craig, I have Dan on every subject. I am smarter than him.

That fact drives him crazy.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

They are free to call themselves experts if they like. What I found in my perusal of your links was no explanation for how they certify that anyone was tortured by our people. Are they taking the word of alleged victims, or are they themselves witnesses to abuses by our people? The article doesn't say. It is common practice for the terrorists to claim torture whenever they gain release. Terrorists are well versed in what buttons to push with certain members of our own population. With so much America bashing by Americans, I'll need something more than what you've presented.