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  1. #1
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    My first challenge

    (singing) Do you see what I see ?

    Dark deeds have been conducted in the name of the United States government in recent years: the gruesome, late-night circus at Abu Ghraib, the beating to death of captives in Afghanistan, and the officially sanctioned waterboarding and brutalization of high-value Qaeda prisoners. Now demands are growing for senior administration officials to be held accountable and punished. Congressional liberals, human-rights groups and other activists are urging a criminal investigation into high-level "war crimes," including the Bush administration's approval of interrogation methods considered by many to be torture.

    It's a bad idea. In fact, President George W. Bush ought to pardon any official from cabinet secretary on down who might plausibly face prosecution for interrogation methods approved by administration lawyers. (It would be unseemly for Bush to pardon Vice President Dick Cheney or himself, but the next president wouldn't allow them to be prosecuted anyway—galling as that may be to critics.) The reason for pardons is simple: what this country needs most is a full and true accounting of what took place. The incoming president should convene a truth commission, with subpoena power, to explore every possible misdeed and derive lessons from it. But this should not be a criminal investigation, which would only force officials to hire lawyers and batten down the hatches.
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/145842
    A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.
    - Wayne Gretzky

  2. #2
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    Re: My first challenge

    I see a Newsweek article - what do you see?
    While laughing at others stupidity, you may want to contemplate your own comedic talents. (link)
    Disclaimer: This information is being provided for informational, educational, and entertainment purposes only.

  3. #3
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    Re: My first challenge

    Under this line of reasoning, we should not prosecute serial murderers either. Instead, we should grant them immunity and then hope that the removed threat of criminal prosecution will motivate them to confess all the specifics of their crimes so that we can learn from them and try to prevent any future serial murders from taking place.

    Also, we shouldn't prosecute or attack any Al Qaeda terrorists because unity is more important than deterrents and justice.

    Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.

  4. #4
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    Re: My first challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by AliceLiddell View Post
    Under this line of reasoning, we should not prosecute serial murderers either.

    Pretty much Alice. You'd be willing to peg a name on the fallacy being commited ? (I suppose a few comes to mind)


    _________________________________ Post Merged _________________________________


    Clue

    Informal fallacy of presenting an argument that may in itself be valid, but does not address the issue in question.
    Last edited by Vandaler; July 19th, 2008 at 04:10 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.
    - Wayne Gretzky

  5. #5
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    Re: My first challenge

    Well, you're going for Red Herring, but I see a lot of problems here, like false dilemma and slippery slope.

    Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.

  6. #6
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    Re: My first challenge

    My own answer below, only look if you care to know what I had in mind at this point.

    Ignoratio elenchi primarely but I agree that other description apply. But this one is rarely talked about and it seem a good specimen.
    A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.
    - Wayne Gretzky

  7. #7
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    Re: My first challenge

    I see a logically sound, although unsubstantiated, article.

    I see no Ignoratio Elenchis or Red Herrings. The activists claim that the officials should be "punished"; the Newsreport counters that they should be "pardoned". Further, while the activists argue for a "criminal investigation", the Newsreport explicitly says: "...this should not be a criminal investigation", but rather a "truth commission".

    I'm unsure where the "False dilemma" exists, as Alice claims. What alternative is there to being "pardoned" or "punished" that the Newsreport fails to consider? What alternative to a "truth commission" or a "criminal investigation"?

    Last, what Slippery Slope are you talking about, Alice?
    "Are you coming to bed?"
    "I can't. This is important."
    "What?"
    "Someone is wrong on the internet."
    -- from xkcd comic strip "Duty Calls": http://xkcd.com/386/

  8. #8
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    Re: My first challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by Muse View Post
    I see a logically sound, although unsubstantiated, article. I see no Ignoratio Elenchis...
    Fair enough, but let me try and make my point further.

    From what I read above in your comment Muse, you seem to read a simple disagreement between the best course of action to take. I see rather that the U.S. is a Nation of laws. If there is indeed grounds for criminal prosecution (as is normally determined by a pretrial) why would there not be a fair criminal trial knowing full well that the administration would have access to the best defense possible ?

    What argument is being made to wave away the rule of law ?
    A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.
    - Wayne Gretzky

  9. #9
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    Re: My first challenge

    I see rather that the U.S. is a Nation of laws.
    The article doesn't actually say that. One can find other interpretations, such as: "the government should do what the people demand.", or "the U.S. is a Nation of morals".

    If there is indeed grounds for criminal prosecution (as is normally determined by a pretrial) why would there not be a fair criminal trial knowing full well that the administration would have access to the best defense possible ?
    According to the article, a "fair" trial is less necessary than a "full & true accounting of what took place"; the latter is what we should focus our attention on. Consequently, a "fair" trial becomes irrelevant in this context.

    What argument is being made to wave away the rule of law ?
    Again, the argument being made is that the "rule of law" is less necessary than what the "country needs most": i.e. a "full & true accounting of what took place". The way to obtain that "accounting", according to the article, is through the "truth commission". The "rule of law" will fail to obtain that "accounting" because it "would only force officials to hire lawyers and batten down the hatches".

    [Note: all this assumes that the "rule of law" will lead to a "criminal trial", which is another claim that is never argued in the article]
    "Are you coming to bed?"
    "I can't. This is important."
    "What?"
    "Someone is wrong on the internet."
    -- from xkcd comic strip "Duty Calls": http://xkcd.com/386/

  10. #10
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    Re: My first challenge

    Double whammy Muse,

    I concede that my contention is debatable.
    A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.
    - Wayne Gretzky

  11. #11
    I've been given a "timeout"
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    Re: My first challenge

    This one doesn't seem that hard, if you zoom in at the right point:

    "The reason for pardons is simple: what this country needs most is a full and true accounting of what took place."

    The argument, then, is that getting all of the facts is so important, that bringing perpetrators to justice can be tossed aside if need be.

    Or in simpler terms, knowledge is more important than justice.

    And that is where the proponent of the argument starts to see quicksand around his ankles.

    First of all, the knowledge-over-justice has an element of False Choice in it.

    Second, even if the false choice is in fact the choice that faces us, the notion that it would be better to know everything while setting the guilty free, rather than lose some of the factual details in our quest to punish the guilty, would need to be substantiated or defended in some way.

    Third, it would need to be defended with particular care, because in some cases the utility of gaining more knowledge would be greater, or the utility of punishing the guilty would be less, than in other cases.

  12. #12
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    Re: My first challenge

    Quote Originally Posted by newsweek
    Congressional liberals, human-rights groups and other activists are urging a criminal investigation into high-level "war crimes," including the Bush administration's approval of interrogation methods considered by many to be torture.
    Here's what I see. I see Newsweek using literal quotation marks much in the same way you or I would use the index and middle fingers of each hand to make them when we speak - ostensibly indicating that the words "war crimes" are questionable.

    I also see an admission that the interrogation methods in question are "considered by many to be torture". That's very different than saying they are "completely prohibited by U.S. Law".

    These admissions are at the heart of the entire issue. While the American people may demand sweeping changes in how we treat prisoners in the future, that doesn't mean that we want the U.S. Army Intelligence officer who waterboarded Sheikh Khalid Mohammed for 23 seconds and revealed valuable intelligence prosecuted the same as an ignorant redneck weekend warrior who made Abu Graihb prisoners pose in naked cheerleading pyramids simply because he's a cruel bastard.

    I'm all for investigation and prosecution into the happenings at Abu Graihb, but any "truth commission" would be a political witchhunt and an intelligence nightmare.

    We have a new administration. If Obama wants to change the policy on interrogation methods, all he has to do is sign an executive order.

 

 

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