Is Torture Acceptable?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Seacowboys, May 25, 2009.


  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I have heard all the arguments that waterboarding is only a "little" torture, as if there are degrees of fear for ones life and health. Maybe it is more acceptable than say, pulling finger-nails or shocking testicles...but if it saves just one American Life? And look what they do to us? It isn't as bad as beheading, is it? The problem with it is that once something becomes acceptable on any level, then it tends to escalate with time and circumstance, take SWAT teams and DUI arrests for example. There are always ways to show the end justifies the means and it does keep us safer, doesn't it? I can truly justify a man flaying someone that intentionally harmed his family; revenge is something that I beleive we are entitled to but I do not condone our acceptance of Our elected government torturing people to further any agenda; period!
    Dr. Ron Paul just released ahis weekly "Texas Straight Talk" on this subject and I tend to agree, as usual, with this insightful man. WHere is our common sense?
    Torturing the Rule of Law


    While Congress is sidetracked by who said what to whom and when, our nation finds itself at a crossroads on the issue of torture. We are at a point where we must decide if torture is something that is now going to be considered justifiable and reasonable under certain circumstances, or is America better than that?<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O /></O:p>
    “Enhanced interrogation” as some prefer to call it, has been used throughout history, usually by despotic governments, to cruelly punish or to extract politically useful statements from prisoners. Governments that do these things invariably bring shame on themselves. </O:p>
    In addition, information obtained under duress is incredibly unreliable, which is why it is not admissible in a court of law. Legally valid information is freely given by someone of sound mind and body. Someone in excruciating pain, or brought close to death by some horrific procedure is not in any state of mind to give reliable information, and certainly no actions should be taken solely based upon it. </O:p>
    For these reasons, it is illegal in the United States and illegal under Geneva Conventions. Simulated drowning, or water boarding, was not considered an exception to these laws when it was used by the Japanese against US soldiers in World War II. In fact, we hanged Japanese officers for war crimes in 1945 for water boarding. Its status as torture has already been decided by our own courts under this precedent. To look the other way now, when Americans do it, is the very definition of hypocrisy.</O:p>
    Matthew Alexander, author of “How to Break a Terrorist” used non-torture methods of interrogation in Iraq with much success. In fact, one cooperative jihadist told him, "I thought you would torture me, and when you didn't, I decided that everything I was told about Americans was wrong. That's why I decided to cooperate." Alexander also found that in Iraq “the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq.” Alexander’s experiences unequivocally demonstrate that losing our humanity is not beneficial or necessary in fighting terror.</O:p>
    The current administration has reversed its position on releasing evidence of torture by the previous administration and we must ask why. A great and moral nation would have the courage to face the truth so it could abide by the rule of law. To look the other way necessarily implicates all of us and would of course further radicalize people against our troops on the ground. Instead, we have the chance to limit culpability for torture to those who were truly responsible for these crimes against humanity.</O:p>
    Not everyone who was given illegal orders obeyed them. Many FBI agents understood that an illegal order must be disobeyed and they did so. The others must be held accountable, so that all of us are not targeted for blowback for the complicity of some.</O:p>
    The government’s own actions and operations in torturing people, and in acting on illegally obtained and unreliable information to kill and capture, are the most radicalizing forces at work today, not any religion, nor the fact that we are rich and free. The fact that our government engages in evil behavior under the auspices of the American people is what poses the greatest threat to the American people, and it must not be allowed to stand.
     
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Pretty much agree. Torture should be saved for post conviction of rapists, kidnappers and similar criminal acts. Including those that torture in the first place.

    In the meantime, the Gitmo "detainees" should be treated as POWs. As long as the "war" goes on, repatriation is out of the question. (But I could make a case for a barracks barge lost at sea for those that cannot be sent home for whatever reason.)

    And just exactly, would someone please explain, how long we are going to have to put up with euphemisms that would seem to soften the reality? "Enhanced interrogation techniques" for one. "Ill behaved child" as a substitute for brat. And so on ---
     
  3. BAT1

    BAT1 Cowboys know no fear

    Alex has a article on his site where a shock jock that said it was not torture but only lasted 4 seconds before he changed his mind.
     
  4. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Ron Paul says it well, as usual.

    I believe that we cannot,ever, allow the government to torture people. I have to believe that are better than that.

    We not only prosecuted Japanese officers after WW2, we also prosecuted a Texas sheriff (James Parker) and 3 of his deputies for waterboarding a prisoner. That was Reagan's Dept of Justice in 1994.

    Honestly, I can't even believe that we have had to have this discussion in the United States. Truly disturbing!
     
  5. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    (but I'll hear:"Its Okay;.only if, torture is only used against "terrorists"to save American lives"?).

    Either we are a nation under the rule of law or we are not.
    changing the definition of words to fit the law is neither morally nor logically right,and smacks of Orwellian newspeak..changing laws to fit the situation is more of the same.

    Our government has shown it has every intention to widen the definition of "terror"and thereby who is a "terrorist" to grab and wield political power stifling dissent. So who is guilty of "creating terror" here?? The hired servants in government civil service.
     
  6. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    That was Mancow.... I watched the video.


    On May 22, 2009, Muller had himself waterboarded during his morning radio program,having lost a listener poll determining whether he or co-host Pat Cassidy would be the one waterboarded. The talk show host had previously claimed calling the practice "torture" was wrong, something he had hoped his reenactment would prove. Lasting only 6 seconds ("8 seconds less than the average person", according to program guest Marine Sergeant Clay South), Mancow afterward changed his opinion, saying, "It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that's no joke", and described waterboarding as "absolutely torture".
     
  7. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Yes and No ..... That said, why are we armchair quarterbacking this? War is Hell!!! Anyone disagree with that? I think not. How many of us have actually been in a kill or be killed situation? Now consider, how many of us have been in a life or death situation with ones we love at immediate risk. Torture as an institutionalized government sanction is morally wrong. If I needed a MZB to answer questions to save the lives of family members, would I torture or murder to achieve my families safety? PARDON MY FRENCH but, YOU BET YOUR ASS !!! Am I going to fly over to the Hague and turn myself in? Hell no!!! Deny Deny Deny. Prove it! There is little that man won't do if he feels there is no other way, all is lost, and he has nothing left to lose but his soul. None of us are perfect and God will forgive our sins even when we ourselves can't. All you have to do is believe in him and ask.seesaw
     
  8. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    The simple equation is that effective challenges the moral high-road and the need to have our diapers changed by big brother in the name of homeland security forces the choice of being no different than Hitler or taking our licks and meeting the enemy head-on with some collateral damage. The short-term verses the principals that founded our country. Do we stand tall or do we all buy a pair of jack-boots? I wfind it difficult to defend our Constitution when we blatently pretend it doesn't matter in terms of protecting the population.
     
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    As un-nice as it is, war has collateral human damage; unintended, but part of war. Not deliberate, but unavoidable. However, it has to be an acceptable consequence if the battle is to be won. "Enhanced" techniques are a deliberate thing that can be avoided simply by not using them. There is your moral choice, unavoidable vs. deliberate. I will not choke on "collateral damage" (another gussied up euphemism) but putting someone on the rack is another story.
     
  10. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    War is hell, yes. Collateral damage happens, yes. Emotions run high in violent situations and it's easy to get carried away, I've been guilty of that myself, and I agree, if the ONLY option I had to save my family was to put some pain to a bad guy, of course I would.

    But that is a far different thing than instituting torture as a policy by our government.

    We are "armchair quarterbacking" this because it goes against the very core of what this country was founded on, and is an affront to the liberty we claim of paramount importance, and is, and has been for a long time, illegal and immoral to pretty much all of humanity excepting the few, very evil people among us!
     
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I would argue it is more in the way of an after action analysis. What I see on this forum is a universal distaste for torture, no matter how it is defined. Bravo.
     
  12. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    I do not condone instituting torture as a policy by our government. I also do not consider waterboarding as carried out with regard to enemy combatants from Irag and Afghanistan (and please note, it is my understanding that this has not occured at all at Guantanamo) to be torture. The same technique has in the past been used for years in training our military personnel at SERE school. Is it terrifying? Yes I believe it is. Does it cause any real physical harm? No it does not. Is it still being used to train any members of our military? Quite frankly, I don't know, but In todays political climate, I seriously doubt it. I myself have had 3 violent occasions in my past where "the Wolf" was completely loose. All control seemed to be lost. Someone probably was going to die. I was unarmed. Only after somehow realizing all action except my own had ceased, did I realize my enemy was no longer moving. The "red veil" disappeared from in front of my eyes, and I pulled back, some what shocked and afraid because of my actions. It was a place where I didn't want to be. I got no real satisfaction for what I had done. I don't believe any sane person would. Could it happen again? [dunno] Does what happened make me crazy? [dunno] Last but not least, when did my government put anyone on the rack?
     
  13. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Torture is wrong.
    Period.

    With that having been stated, I feel there is a fine line in some areas, not black, not white, and a weird shade of some unearthly grays, that says to me "define torture".
    It has many shapes and forms.
    Isolation is a form, and you are NOT treated to any drugs, or threats of death, or mistreated physically.
    It is a mental form, and yes it is torture, but on what "level" ?
    Are there different and even "acceptable" forms/levels of what is referred to as torture?
    I mean, it is used in many penal institutions.....So, can/could isolation or what we once called "AAC", OR, "attitude adjustment cells", be considered as torture as well?
    It gets pretty deep here in so many variables....
    I don't have the answers, I can only hope some one does.
     
  14. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Question remains: If you threaten to pound my bare toes flat with a ball peen hammer, one at a time: I am quite likely to tell you anything you want to hear. Never mind actually doing it.
    waterboarding is not physical damage; but we are stepping through a doorway looking down that road by okaying thegovt "just a little" mental torture taser1
    Inflicting severe physical trauma; "you" are in effect murdering somebody restrained in shackles slowly and with as much pain as possible...I have to believe even "your" God has a special place in hell for souls that do that...to either animals or fellow human beings .
     
  15. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    this will be my last post on this thread. Our enemies abroad in Afghanistan and Irag do not play by anybodies rules! Not even their own (the Koran). They do not wear uniforms. Our poor military volunteers, our protectors of freedom and liberty, are hampered at every turn. They are second guessed by all including probably 90% or greater of the media which is biased against them. Its no wonder militaty suicide rates are so shockingly high and growing. I am long retired from the military but solidly support them. I will not second guess them, or arm chair quarterback the wars in Irag or Afghanistan. War is Hell! You do what you have to do to survive, and hope you can live with it. Dead is dead. Stupid is stupid. You got to do whatever is neccessary to get the job done. I have said my peace. That's my vote / my opinion. With that I am done.
     
  16. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Just because we can't (shouldn't, anyway) use it doesn't mean it won't be used against us. SERE does training so that our folks know ahead of time what might be used on them. No problem with that here. So far as the rack goes, just extend the idea to any form of torture.
     
  17. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Nobody is disrespecting your opinions tac,certainly not your experience and service. I am retired military also and support any service member who is doing their job. This is well out of the hands of the military and has become a public policy debate. I admit I certainly don't have the stomach for the nasty parts. Forgive me if I don't know a single afghani I want to even punch in the nose. My freedoms are endangered by .gov reacting to idiots in a cave. So my 76 yr old mother in law has to take off her shoes in the airport?? We have lost plenty of freedom already.If our troops are to defend freedom they can start from the gallery of the house and Senate. Or the southern border.
     
  18. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    If it saves one American life I would do it for free and sleep fine.
     
  19. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Just because our enemy does something, does not make it ok for us to do it. We didn't set up concentration camps during ww2 just because the Germans did. We have to be better than that.

    Because we waterboard as part of SERE training does NOT make it ok to do to prisoners, and I doubt any serviceman has had it done to him 183 times in a month. People have sex voluntarily, that does not make it ok to do to prisoners.

    I can forgive a soldier for crossing the line in a heated situation, I cannot forgive a government for instituting it as policy. And there is no way to know if it saved any lives or not, there's a whole lot of evidence that says it cost us more lives.

    Our laws, and our standards of treatment regarding prisoners of war are not ideals that we aspire to achieve, they are the floor beneath which we cannot sink.
     
  20. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    If it saves one American life I would do it for free and sleep fine.
     
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