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  #61  
Old April 27th, 2009, 10:21 pm
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Re: Torture in today's world

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Originally Posted by Grymmditch View Post
Exactly the point I wanted to make.
I also think it varies on the person - some people will give up the truth under moderate discomfort, other's have stronger wills. "Light" torture - or even simply discomfort, depending on your definition, I suppose - might actually get you real information, but strong torture is worthless, IMO.
The thing is, you don't know at which point you're getting truth and at which point you're just getting what you want to hear because the interrogated can't take it anymore. People have very varied pain thresholds.
The Witch trials of medieval times are a great example of the faux results torture can produce.
I completely agree. It's really a no win street with the people being tortured sometimes. If they speak the truth and its not what the interrogator wants to hear, they get tortured more. which by the way i find rather pointless. if the interrogator already knows that they think is true and false, they might as well go to the victim "Say blahblahblah and you won't get tortured". But continuing, if they say what the interrogator wants to hear and it gets proven false, they're still in trouble.

Quote:
Actually, I wonder if the reverse environment wouldn't work better for getting information.
Give interogatees some kind of super happy drugs - make them so comfortable and happy, so full of love and puppies, they'd share anything they know with you, spill their guts. It becomes a reward system, in fact - the more they talk, the more the get to take the happy drugs and to feel good and talk more.
It bears research, anyway. One possible caveat - I'm sure causing addiction - and that's only if the drugs did that - some would still constitute "torture" to some people. Another caveat of addiction is the same as torture - interogatees might invent information just to get to take the drug again. So pretty clearly, it can't be addictive, or used to the point of addiction.
that's an interesting concept actually, but i see it as the same as bribing. Its like buying information really, but with happy drugs instead of cash. It still wouldn't get you legit information though, unless you were sure it acted as like a veritaserum type thing. But then again, we might be able to combat that with a lie detector, but its also possible that the overflowing happiness could fool the lie detector. but still slightly more morally sound than torture. I just have qualms with rewarding people for bad behavior

Quote:
Besides that though, I just sorta doubt the people we have in gitmo - generally the worst of the worst of mankind - have anywhere near the level of "love" inside them to make this possible with ANY kind of drug..
But it's worth a shot.
Your idea gave me an idea actually. Human brains have different areas for like different thought processes. And in like brain scans you can figure out if someone's feeling happy, sad, angry, truthful, decietful, etc. Could it be possible to stimulate the brain to be more truthful with something like very light electrical impulses or something?


And just curious, but does anyone know if they use lie detectors to figure out the truthfulness of statements discovered through torture?


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  #62  
Old April 27th, 2009, 11:05 pm
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Re: Torture in today's world

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Originally Posted by Pox Voldius View Post
An interesting idea, though it does remind me somewhat of JKR's description of how Harry felt under the Imperius Curse...

But still better than torture, IMO.
I think using drugs - like Rowling's veritaserum - is a form of torture. Chemical torture, that is. Anything that would chemically alter an individual's right to refuse to incriminate himself is, and should be, considered as both illegal and a twisted form of psychological torture.

I also think this "debate over torture" is itself a form of torturing the truth. This is an issue in which there are no gray areas. Torture is always a case of either you did, or you didn't. Look at this:

President George W. Bush, urging the investigation and prosecution of prisoner abuse and torture under his command, June 26, 2003."The United States is committed to the world-wide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example. I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture and in undertaking to prevent other cruel and unusual punishment. I call on all nations to speak out against torture in all its forms and to make ending torture an essential part of their diplomacy."


Bush Calls Torture "an Affront to Human Dignity Everywhere", June 26, 2003

This begs the question of why Bush's standards shouldn't also apply to him, and to Dick Cheney, David Addington, Scooter Libby, Jay Bybee, John Yoo, Alberto Gonzales and so many others? They have tortured the very essence of democracy and shamed everything this country is supposed to stand for.

More comments to ponder:

Lynndie England: "We didn't kill them. We didn't cut their heads off. We didn't shoot them. We didn't cut them and let them bleed to death. We just did what we were told to soften them up for interrogation, and we were told to do anything short of killing them."

Jonathon Fredman, the Senate Armed Services Committee report: "If the detainee dies, you're doing it wrong."

John Yoo, speaking through his torture authorization memo that was approved by George W. Bush: "In order to qualify as illegal torture, physical pain must be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death."

Politico has a story about a conference call set by the Federalist Society today to strategize a defense for the Bush "torture lawyers." Andy McCarthy of National Review had one of the more bizarre gambits.

McCarthy"As far as mental suffering is concerned that involves the creation on the part of the person the tactic is used on of a fear of imminent death. The few people that waterboarding was actually used on were actually told that they were not going to be killed by the tactic. Even if they didn’t tell you they weren’t going to kill you, after the first or second time you sort of get the point that there is not imminent death to be feared. That's not a prosecutable case."


I'm interpreting his point to be that, if the detainee did not think he was about to be killed, whatever they did to him wasn't torture. That's not going to fly in light of Geneva and the UN Convention on Torture, which President Ronald Reagan signed and championed.


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  #63  
Old April 27th, 2009, 11:07 pm
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Re: Torture in today's world

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Originally Posted by Voldemorts8thHorcrux View Post
And just curious, but does anyone know if they use lie detectors to figure out the truthfulness of statements discovered through torture?
I'm not sure that would even work.

The most common lie detectors, like the polygraph & voice stress analysis, rely on physiological signals like heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rhythm -- things that would probably be set off by pain, fear or panic from the torture, regardless of whether the person was telling the truth.


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Old April 27th, 2009, 11:34 pm
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Re: Torture in today's world

I am trying to find a good source to quote - but I am unsure of which sources could be deemed reliable: this isn't my field, and there is a bewildering amount of stuff out there, surpassed only by the number of interested parties on both sides.

I just googled 'polygraph reliability' and I can find lots of links which suggest that polygraph testing isn't sufficiently reliable, and just a few (usually interested ones, such as companies offering polygraph services) which don't. Have a look - but I am not confident to say whether any of these links is academically and politically kosher.

In any case, - I have always thought that polygraph testing (lie detectors) aren't reliable enough to produce evidence admissible in court in most western countries. Which means that just as with torture, you have answers, and you can't tell whether they are true or not.


Anyway - lie detectors clearly aren't infallible, although they work sometimes.



But I do wonder, following from what V8 said, whether in future we will be able to tell whether someone is lying if you put them into an MRI scanner while you interrogate them.

If this isn't overdone in some perverse fashion, I'd say that could be an OK method which wouldn't qualify as torture?

And the sort of things they can already tell by looking at the brain scans - perhaps there'll be a chance. Although lying is presumably a very complex sort of activity, one of those which may trigger a bewildering set of activities in the brain. Still - wouldn't that be worth researching?


I bet someone somewhere is already at it!


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Last edited by Klio; April 27th, 2009 at 11:37 pm.
  #65  
Old April 28th, 2009, 12:08 am
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Re: Torture in today's world

i think any test can be "cheated" but it certainly MRI's would lessen the possibility of someone lying.

i've actually met a detective who has a license to do polygraph testing and he says that there are ways to cheat a lie detector but usually the interrogator can figure it out. but obviously it would be a bit twisted with torture

MRI's are supposed to be more conclusive, but again, i think any test can be cheated. The only way i can think of an MRI as torture is that it makes the victim uncomfortable or claustrophobic but we have to draw the line somewhere. I mean just interrogation, asking questions, could be considered slightly nerve racking


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  #66  
Old April 28th, 2009, 12:59 am
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Re: Torture in today's world

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
I think using drugs - like Rowling's veritaserum - is a form of torture. Chemical torture, that is. Anything that would chemically alter an individual's right to refuse to incriminate himself is, and should be, considered as both illegal and a twisted form of psychological torture.
I agree. While giving someone a drug that makes them feel good does not seem harmful on the surface, the idea of controlling a person's seems scary and 1984-ish to me. Our greatest freedom, the thing that sets us apart from other animals, is our capability to reason and have some independent thought and will. I'm not comfortable with robbing someone of their will, even if it's done in an apparently humane way. I think in some ways, use of drugs such as that would be more invasive than what we would typically think of as torture.

I also believe that people should have the right not to incriminate themselves.

There's also the question of reliability. As far as I'm aware, there are no true "truth serums" in existence today. Drugs that calm prisoners and make them more compliant (such as sodium pentathol) are just that--they don't force the prisoner to start telling the truth, they just make it harder to lie because the prisoner will be less guarded and more chatty.

The suggestion of doing brain scans to tell if a person is lying is interesting. I can see how that could be viable as a means of a lie-detector test, provided it be done safely and not in conjunction with torture.


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Old April 28th, 2009, 1:18 am
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Re: Torture in today's world

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Originally Posted by Voldemorts8thHorcrux View Post
i think any test can be "cheated" but it certainly MRI's would lessen the possibility of someone lying.
.....
MRI's are supposed to be more conclusive, but again, i think any test can be cheated. The only way i can think of an MRI as torture is that it makes the victim uncomfortable or claustrophobic but we have to draw the line somewhere. I mean just interrogation, asking questions, could be considered slightly nerve racking
I can't quite see how you can cheat an MRI scanner - well, it depends how good we are at reading the signals, and I don't know that. But whatever you do to cheat, the mental effort of cheating will leave a different trace from a normal response.

I can't imagine a way of stopping any additional brain activity created by simply producing the lie.


So, I'd say that lying definitely has to produce an MRI picture which is different from giving the same answer and telling the truth. I just have no idea whether there would be ever a chance to actually identify those differences accurately.



Concerning MRI scanners as torture - I think that 'a bit nerve racking' isn't torture. I wasn't thinking of something specific when I added the disclaimer - but I don't know.... keeping someone in there for hours or something could be pretty bad? I don't know. It was more or less just a disclaimer because I think that people could probably turn almost anything into torture, if they put their minds to it.


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  #68  
Old April 28th, 2009, 2:04 am
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Re: Torture in today's world

Last I heard, the fMRI scanner method was still at most only 90% accurate, and possibly only 76% accurate. And part of that is probably because everyone's brain is a little bit different. They've got to run irrelevant verifiable questions to get a baseline for each person before they can ask questions about what they really want to know.

Found some articles about it:
http://www.burneylawfirm.com/blog/20...ence-in-court/ (2009)
http://scienceline.org/2008/11/03/as...ri-brain-scan/ (2008)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1130235442.htm (2004)

edit:

I wonder what kind of results they get for pathological liars, people with various mental disorders, and people who can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality? Or if they've even tested those scenarios yet...


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  #69  
Old April 28th, 2009, 2:11 am
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Re: Torture in today's world

76% is probably still a much higher percentage than whatever percentage accuracy torture has


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Old April 28th, 2009, 2:14 am
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Re: Torture in today's world

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Originally Posted by Pox Voldius View Post
Last I heard, the fMRI scanner method was still at most only 90% accurate, and possibly only 76% accurate. ....


Oh wow - thanks!
The whole thing just sort of occurred to me, but I assumed that someone would have thought of it a long time ago.

Thanks for the links.


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  #71  
Old April 28th, 2009, 3:15 am
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Re: Torture in today's world

One of the important things to understand about torture is why it was done. The greatest pressure for using torture came from the White House (not from agents on the ground, some of whom were opposed to using it) during to the run-up to the Iraq War. In the words of one medical professional involved in interrogation "We were focused on trying to establish a link between al Qaeda and Iraq and we were not being successful in establishing a link between al Qaeda and Iraq. The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish this link… there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results."

This is a near-constant in the use of torture over history: it is not used to gain new information; it is used to verify conclusions that have already been drawn. In this case, it resulted in a false confession from al-Libi that Hussein had trained al-Qaeda members in using chemical weapons; this false information was then used a central point in Colin Powell's presentation to the UN regarding the invasion of Iraq.

The pressure to use torture did not come from interrogators: it began before there were any prisoners to interrogate:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Busting the Torture Myths
The Bush administration went to great lengths to fabricate a narrative under which it agreed to demands from interrogators on the ground to allow the use of harsher methods, effectively “removing the shackles” on their interaction with prisoners. But the Senate Armed Services Committee report shows that the effort to introduce these techniques dates from 2001, before there were any prisoners.
Moreover, neither the writing of the torture memos or the pressure to authorize torture were undertaken in good faith; instead, dissenting opinions were hushed up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Busting the Torture Myths
[M]ilitary law experts and others repeatedly warned the Bush administration, and particularly its lawyers, that the techniques being introduced constituted torture and that torture was a federal crime, punishable with penalties up to capital punishment in cases in which death occurred (and it did).

In addition, a senior military lawyer tells me that he directly confronted one of the torture memo writers advising him that the techniques proposed would be viewed by most experts as criminal in nature. He insisted that the memo be rewritten to reflect this risk. But the memo writer refused, he states. Phillip Zelikow, a senior counselor to Condoleezza Rice at the State Department, also described a memorandum he wrote warning of risks associated with the torture memoranda. He explained last week that an extraordinary effort was launched by the Bush White House to round up and destroy all copies of his memo. Prosecutors would probably characterize all of this as reflecting mens rea—a state of guilty mind—a realization by the torture memo writers that they were engaged in a criminal act.
A similar situation occurred with Matthew Alexander, a military interrogator responsible for gaining the information that led to the death of Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. The military took strenuous action to suppress Alexander's views that torture was both ineffective and - through aiding terrorist recruitment - the primary cause of military deaths in Iraq, which led Alexander to write a book.

Finally, evidence suggests that torture wouldn't work even in a "ticking bomb" situation, given that KSM was waterboarded over 100 times over a period of months.

The foundation of my opposition to torture is that it is immoral and unChristian. Even if it could be proved to be of superior effectiveness to traditional techniques, which it has not been in any way, I would still oppose it; a core value of Christianity is that we must be willing to suffer evil done to ourselves rather than do evil to others. But given that these principles are insufficient for many, and given the widespread misinformation on torture, an understanding of the reasons torture was used - and who decided it should be used - is essential.

There need to be prosecutions of those who were responsible for authorizing torture. This is not a partisan matter - in fact, given that apparently senior Democrats were also involved in the torture program, it is deeply nonpartisan - it is a matter of whether we believe first, in decent standards of human conduct and second, in the rule of law. The United States has laws forbidding torture. A fundamental principle of democracy is that nobody is above the law. It is perverse to say that it is good, and a sign of strength, to apply the law to the common person, but that it is wrong and indicative of vengefulness to apply the law to the elite and powerful. And it states above all that Nixon was correct when he proclaimed the President - like the absolute monarch of medieval times - is above the law: "If the President does it, it's legal." No wonder the current President is quite content to let that idea stand.


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  #72  
Old April 28th, 2009, 12:00 pm
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Re: Torture in today's world

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No wonder the current President is quite content to let that idea stand.
That's a bit of a stretch. Content he is not. The concern is, I think, that the shockingly unrepentent right-wing would use the torture commissions and trials to derail an agenda the country desperately needs. Defending against torture trials is a fight the right is willing to undertake. If that fight means health care and the rest of Obama's agenda get short shrift, all the better for them.


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  #73  
Old April 28th, 2009, 8:33 pm
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Re: Torture in today's world

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Originally Posted by chparadise View Post
Throughout history, torture has been used as a weapon and interrogation technique by a wide variety of individuals and nations. In this thread, we'll attempt to examine the use of torture in today's world.
I will add that what many have defined as "torture" has been used in military and police situations to quell violence and end stand-off as well as to facilitate apprehension of enemy/criminal elements.

1. How would you define torture?

Inappropriate use of force or intimidation/threats in the interogation, apprehension or detention of a person. This is based on "reasonable" being defined in accordance with circumstance and environment.

2. What are some examples that you can think of where a nation-state crossed the line?

All nations have examples of crossing the line.


3. Are there any circumstances under which you would condone torture? If so, what are they?

I wouldn't condone torture. I do believe that the over-use of the word torture is common at current. Some techniques and actions are being called "torture" when they are in fact not, IMO. There seems to be an anxiousness to attach the term on the part of some and an aversion on the part of others. I personally have used physical force and what some have termed torture to force a cease of fire and to facilitate apprehension and do not believe that it was either immoral or torture.


I believe the blanket attachment of the term is inappropriate and definitely negates the mitigating circumstances that may accompany some actions. I also believe that the standard is too loose in other ways. I have had duty cycles of longer than 90 hours where I did not sleep in the line of my duty. Was that torture?

4. Do you think that confessions made under extreme duress and / or torture are reliable?

Confessions aren't, nor are they of any real value if they were. Information of pending actions, locations and units strengths are generally confirmable, repeatable and eventually reliable, but this technique doesn't translate to civilian use. The point is, duress and/or discomfort are not necessarily torture in any environment, but they are only applicable in a larger intelligence gathering efforts, not in police activities. Undue or excessive application of these without immediate goal of eliminating threat or minimizing iminent risk is on the other hand torture by my definition. Controlled environment and minimal discomfort/duress can be sucessful in interogation by military operators but should not be used in the civil arena. Its use by military operators should only be in conjunction with wartime operations and limited to detained persons of importance, IMO.


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  #74  
Old April 28th, 2009, 10:04 pm
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Re: Torture in today's world

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I agree. While giving someone a drug that makes them feel good does not seem harmful on the surface, the idea of controlling a person's seems scary and 1984-ish to me. Our greatest freedom, the thing that sets us apart from other animals, is our capability to reason and have some independent thought and will. I'm not comfortable with robbing someone of their will, even if it's done in an apparently humane way. I think in some ways, use of drugs such as that would be more invasive than what we would typically think of as torture.
Well, if the government captured a terrorist who they knew had information on an upcoming terrorist attack like the date or where or people involved, would you rather invade their thoughts and will or have a few people, to a hundred and possibly a thousand people die? Maybe another 9-11 or a nuclear bomb attack or just a regular attack could be avoided. I think torture is unnecessary since it wouldn't gain reliable information but i don't think a real life truth serum in the future would be bad.


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  #75  
Old April 28th, 2009, 10:19 pm
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Re: Torture in today's world

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Originally Posted by DancingMaenid View Post
I agree. While giving someone a drug that makes them feel good does not seem harmful on the surface, the idea of controlling a person's seems scary and 1984-ish to me. Our greatest freedom, the thing that sets us apart from other animals, is our capability to reason and have some independent thought and will. I'm not comfortable with robbing someone of their will, even if it's done in an apparently humane way. I think in some ways, use of drugs such as that would be more invasive than what we would typically think of as torture.
I don't.
This is confusing torture with coercion. They're two different things, though related. "Torture" is getting way too wide of a definition here. Is everything "torture" now? Coercing someone to talk by making them feel good is not torture (whatever it's effectiveness) unless it causes addition.
At this rate, a 3rd grader calling another schoolmate a "doo-doo head" is going to be defined legally soon as "torture" due to emotional distress, as will fraternity pranks, etc..

As to not incriminating one's self, that's certainly a right accorded to citizens of the US in a civil criminal trial ( and other nations, as they see fit); but in a military/intelligence/war context, it's not the same. On top of that, terrorists have never signed or abided by the Geneva convention themselves. Why should they get all the benefit of it with none of the responsibility? Why should we get saddled with all the responsibility of it and none of the benefit? That was supposed to be a mutual agreement.
Additionally, those people have already been brainwashed and indoctrinated - they've already cast off any semblance of reason and rational thought long ago, if they're engaging in terrorism.

They say an ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of cure. Well, intelligence is the prevention. There really is no cure to speak of, people killed in a terrorist attack stay dead no matter what you do.


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  #76  
Old April 28th, 2009, 10:23 pm
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Re: Torture in today's world

i think the argument there is that they're still human

I'll just say that while i think torture is wrong and pointless, there's still a dark part of me that thinks that some people deserve it


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Old April 28th, 2009, 11:00 pm
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Re: Torture in today's world

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Originally Posted by Voldemorts8thHorcrux View Post
76% is probably still a much higher percentage than whatever percentage accuracy torture has
You sure about that? How about something to back that up......


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  #78  
Old April 28th, 2009, 11:04 pm
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Re: Torture in today's world

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
That's a bit of a stretch. Content he is not. The concern is, I think, that the shockingly unrepentent right-wing would use the torture commissions and trials to derail an agenda the country desperately needs. Defending against torture trials is a fight the right is willing to undertake. If that fight means health care and the rest of Obama's agenda get short shrift, all the better for them.
I don't think so; his determined defense of a very expansive (even more so than Bushs') idea of state secrets power suggests he thinks otherwise about executive power.

If ensuring the basic principle of the rule of law makes it harder to pass health care legislation, so be it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldLupin
I personally have used physical force and what some have termed torture to force a cease of fire and to facilitate apprehension and do not believe that it was either immoral or torture.
There is a clear and obvious difference between things that are done while someone is free in order to capture them, and what is done after they are in custody. If someone is shot in the leg during a firefight while they are being apprehended, that does not mean it is all right to shoot them when they are imprisoned and handcuffed. It is the difference between combatants - who are considered to pose an immediate threat - and noncombatants, who are not. Even if someone has valuable information, once captured they are a noncombatant. It is not legitimate to torture them for information, any more than it would be so for enemies of the US to torture captured American soldiers who had knowledge of an impending air strike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldLupin
I have had duty cycles of longer than 90 hours where I did not sleep in the line of my duty. Was that torture?
No. You're free and signed up for it and not in enemy hands. I have willingly gone without food for 30 hours as part of a fundraiser; when done to captives that qualifies as mistreatment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldLupin
Undue or excessive application of these without immediate goal of eliminating threat or minimizing iminent risk is on the other hand torture by my definition.
By your definition, the US government has used torture. It has employed those methods in non-battlefield situations without knowledge that the captives had information relevant to imminent risk.


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  #79  
Old April 28th, 2009, 11:36 pm
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Re: Torture in today's world

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Originally Posted by monster_mom View Post
You sure about that? How about something to back that up......
well, for one, look at the Salem Witch Trials. Maybe some of them really believed they were witches and possibly some really were witches, but really, all those people being prosecuted as real life witches worthy of burning?

I can't remember the exact Supreme Court Case but i distinctly remember learning in class that a Mexican man immediately confessed to the police of something he did (i forgot whether or not it was false0 in fear of beating because the Mexican police were very harsh. Does anyone know what i'm talking about?

And i can't dig up any statistics about false confessions because all i keep finding is stuff about mental disorders and that kind of thing of torture victims....

http://gripernews.blogspot.com/2009/...-in-false.html

this is at least a story, but again, i can't find specific statistics


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  #80  
Old April 29th, 2009, 1:50 pm
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Re: Torture in today's world

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Originally Posted by WarriorEowyn View Post
There is a clear and obvious difference between things that are done while someone is free in order to capture them, and what is done after they are in custody. If someone is shot in the leg during a firefight while they are being apprehended, that does not mean it is all right to shoot them when they are imprisoned and handcuffed.
I am speaking of placing a gun to the head of a captive to inspire his fellows to cease fire. I am also speaking of the threat of death or wounding to encourage the pleading for his fellows to cease fire and surrender or flee. Posibly even the physical injuring of a captive to inspire the required result. The policy of the U.S. military is to capture and safeguard captured combatants immediately. While that is the policy, it is definitely unrealistic to expect me to watch my out-numbered team get killed off when the possession of this one asset can and will save us and stop the cross-fire. Is my not safeguarding that man torture? Is my threatening to injure or kill him torture? Is my scaring him into ordering the enemy firing to cease torture? If it is, then I have to admit there is serious merit to that use of torture.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WarriorEowyn View Post
It is the difference between combatants - who are considered to pose an immediate threat - and noncombatants, who are not. Even if someone has valuable information, once captured they are a noncombatant. It is not legitimate to torture them for information, any more than it would be so for enemies of the US to torture captured American soldiers who had knowledge of an impending air strike.
Enemies of the U.S. routinely use torture, the difference is, no one seems to care that they do. If a person has valuable enough information or influence, then the methods can be more concentrated and aggressive without there being a moral issue, especially if they are representative of a group or nation that has already used torture and death as interogation techniques against the U.S. If the assertion is "If you use it on others, they can use it on you", why can't the use against us be covered in that assertion?


Quote:
Originally Posted by WarriorEowyn View Post
No. You're free and signed up for it and not in enemy hands. I have willingly gone without food for 30 hours as part of a fundraiser; when done to captives that qualifies as mistreatment.
In your opinion, it qualifies. No one signs up for 90 consecuative hours of duty, so that is a specious assertion. It is an unexpected, but demanded obligation. As for it being mistreatment because they didn't "sign up" for it, what would we consider being a combatant in a war?
This idea that we owe comfort and ease to captured enemies is something I don't agree with at all. Basic provision, yes, but some discomfort is not mistreatment, especially when it is still a higher standard than either our field troops or our captured can expect. On the contrary, our captured can expect to come home in two pieces.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WarriorEowyn View Post
By your definition, the US government has used torture. It has employed those methods in non-battlefield situations without knowledge that the captives had information relevant to imminent risk.
By my definition, every nation has used torture and every nation that the U.S. has fought in the last century has used it against us in heavy measure. The only nation thus far that seems to be under any scrutiny for it is the U.S., though. The indignation, IMO, is therefore a bit mitigated by the lack of it for any other nation, most of whom use execution through torture routinely, when in armed conflict with the U.S.
The day the Vietnamese, Korean, former Iraqi, Cuban, Soviet and Somali, to name a few, and other torturers are prosecuted and punished, by all means use whatever resources and indignation internationally to single the U.S. out. Until all entities are subjected to the same pressure and prosecution, I would submit that it is simply hypocritical for anyone to point a single finger at the U.S. and ignore the rest of the world.


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