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  1. #1
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    Post Torture and interrogation...

    There's a poll on CNN.com right now on whether torture is right during interrogation. For the record, I voted yes, because I do believe it is necessary sometimes.

    If "beating down" a criminal, terrorist, etc. is going to save innocent lives, then I have no mercy for the guilty. I.E. if torturing Saddam Hussein reveals the whereabouts of Usama Bin Laden, I believe it valid. I know that's not going to happen, just using a hypothetical situation.

    Not suprisingly, about 58% of voters said "no". :rolleyes:

    Thoughts?
    Cranky old guy.

    =>Andacanavar<=

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  2. #2
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    "necessary sometimes". I can see interrogators now looking through their "possible torture" scenarios book as they glare at a prisoner.

    I'm no expert on torture, but defining torture to me seems like the "porn" defintion. You know it when you see it.
    Once established as torture, how would you judge the degree? Would Ultimate information warrant ultimate, horrific torture?
    I guess it kind of comes down to how one views their fellow humans.

  3. #3
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    Defining torture

    Quote Originally Posted by Warmonger

    Not suprisingly, about 58% of voters said "no". :rolleyes:

    Thoughts?
    What constitues torture? The US never signed Geneva Convention but non-the-less has alwys tried to abide by it. The Geneva Convention though places people who inetntionally target civilians, wear civilian clothes, and do other things we assoictae as terrorists outside of most of its scope though.

    So when it comes to terrorists we are really treading on what is for America new ground.

    I have no problem with sleep deprivation. Sensory deprivation, sensory overload, exposure, humiliation, discomfort, fear and trickery being used. I do though have a problem with anything that would cause actual physical damage. Except for the alleged sodomy commited on the Iraqi prisoners I really have no problem with forcing them to wear hoods, being made to stay awake endlessly, stripping them naked, dousing them with cold water, all in preparation for being questioned. These are techniques that have been proven to yield good information in the past when dealing with terrorists.
    It is worth noting that the prisoners in the photographs were in a section of the prison for people thought to be in possession of useful information -- people being interrogated.

    The fact that someone photographed this treatment is absolutely ridiculous. When one reads the words, it does not sound so bad -- to actually see it though is rather disturbing.

    So I guess my question is: how does one define torture in this regard?

  4. #4
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    Perhaps "torture" is defined as what you would *NOT* be willing to have happen to a member of your family if they were caught by the enemy.

    If your son/daughter/brother/sister were caught by the Iraqis and photographs of them were released showing them in simulated sex positions and being pointed out by grinning guards, would you find this acceptable?

    If your family member said they were deprived of sleep for 76 hours and had Sesame Street blasted into their heads with white noise, would you find this acceptable?
    ~ le prime di di mont la vacja no fas formadi ~

  5. #5
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    To me it is a matter of the greater good. If torture would save the lives of Americans then ok but if you are just getting your jollies with a cattleprod then no.

  6. #6
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    How do you deal, though, with the innocent victims of torture? (Cf the 7 illegal immigrants who were shot by the Macedonian police who pretended they were terrorists in order to ingratiate themselves with the US authorities.)
    ~ le prime di di mont la vacja no fas formadi ~

  7. #7
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    I don't think it is reasonable to equate family members with terrorists. I don't want family members being imprisoned...that doesn't mean that terrorists should not be.

    The sorts of "torture" we have given to these prisoners, is probably the most mild possible forms of all torture. That being what it is, we still find it to be wrong and still want those to be brought to justice who should be (as of course, it should be). I find it almost laughable that this is making such a newsworthy story to run it 24/7. The enemy's definition of torture far surpasses that which we employ here. In fact, I'd wager to say that the enemy would laugh for us even calling this "torture". The scene of a squad of captured US GI's comes to mind...in a dirty room, most blindfolded, beaten to a bloody pulp, all shot in the groin, some then shot in the head, others the chest. Video footage of the event with smiling and laughing Iraqi's...but let's not forget, then only do this for "peace".

    What one considers to be torture in a civilized society...is much different than the nations of the ME still living in the 15th century.

    While still wrong (by western philosophy), the acts committed by the US Soldiers are non-comparable to their counter-parts.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by WatsonGlenn
    To me it is a matter of the greater good. If torture would save the lives of Americans then ok but if you are just getting your jollies with a cattleprod then no.
    Yep, same thing I think.

    Obviously, it depends on level of enemy/criminal as well. If it were someone on the level of UBL, on Hitler back in the day, than to me any amount of torture is ok. To me, they are enemy of an extreme nature, ones who have very valuable information.

    But the common foot solider? Probably not.
    Cranky old guy.

    =>Andacanavar<=

    "Comedy & Tragedy, wrapped into one."



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
    I don't think it is reasonable to equate family members with terrorists. I don't want family members being imprisoned...that doesn't mean that terrorists should not be.
    But... terrorists, insurgents, what you will, are family members themselves.

    The problem with torture is that those who have their bollocks electrocuted are not necessarily as guilty as they should be. It isn't a clear cut black and white issue on who should be tortured and what the criteria are for torturing someone.
    ~ le prime di di mont la vacja no fas formadi ~

  10. #10
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    Torture should only be used when it is usefull.

  11. #11
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    In many cases you won't know it's useful until after the event.

    And who is to define useful? Torture to work out where a bomb is on the metro? Torture to find out where the enemy solderis are located? Torture to find out if someone might plant a bomb in the future? Torture to make sure someone makes the right decision in an election? Torture of an innocent person because their brother is wanted?
    ~ le prime di di mont la vacja no fas formadi ~

  12. #12
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    I'm in absolute agreement with Spart's reply, (post #3) with the one provision that the humiliation should not be sexual........................................:O)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjjs
    But... terrorists, insurgents, what you will, are family members themselves.
    Yes. It is true that perhaps most terrorists are family members. However, it is not true that most family members are terrorists. This is the fallacy of undistributed middle.

    The problem with torture is that those who have their bollocks electrocuted are not necessarily as guilty as they should be. It isn't a clear cut black and white issue on who should be tortured and what the criteria are for torturing someone.
    Then extraction of information through questionable means should never be used because one cannot be 100% certain that those being questioned are guilty of the charge? We ought to live our lives through "beyond a shadow of a doubt" as opposed to "beyond a reasonable doubt"?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
    Yes. It is true that perhaps most terrorists are family members. However, it is not true that most family members are terrorists. This is the fallacy of undistributed middle.
    It would be if I'd said that, but I didn't.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
    Then extraction of information through questionable means should never be used because one cannot be 100% certain that those being questioned are guilty of the charge? We ought to live our lives through "beyond a shadow of a doubt" as opposed to "beyond a reasonable doubt"?
    I'm not sure on this one. Torture is a sliding scale; for some it's being left a few hours in a cell, for others it's having their fingernails pulled out.

    I think if the correct checks and balancs were put in place, there isn't necessarily anything wrong in easing up the temperature a little.

    But, we must be prepared to face the consequences. During the war America complained bitterly when US POWs were paraded on TV and yet they did the same themselves. My point here is do unto others I guess.

    If the US or UK government is prepared to torture prisoners in some way, both nations should not complain when their own citizens are tortured in the same way by some other nation.

    Having said all this I think this discussion is probably academic. It would not surprise me if levels of torture were already in place.
    ~ le prime di di mont la vacja no fas formadi ~

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjjs
    It would be if I'd said that, but I didn't.
    Wait, let's clarify....you said that the acceptable treatment of terrorist prisoners, is what we would find acceptable to our own family members.

    If that is the case, then my statement concerning your reasoning: I do not want my family members to even be imprisoned stands, and if I do not want my family to be imprisoned, then I do not want terrorists to be imprisoned, stands (by your own logic). As pointed out, this is flawed...which is why I stated it is not reasonable to compare terrorists to family members (in what we expect, accept or want to happen to them). I have higher expectations of treatment concerning my family, than I do of terrorists.

    But you followed with "But terrorists are family members too". The problem is, they are not equittable. Simply because they may share a common trait, does not mean that they are one and the same part of the whole. That is, they are separate groups even though they share a common property. In order for your argument to hold up, they cannot be separate groups (what is expected of family members, must also be true and expected of terrorist groups). This is a fallacy of undistributed middle...it denies they are separate groups. In otherwords, for your argument to be valid, most family members would have to be terrorists, which of course, they are not.

    Perhaps you meant something different? But the line of argument that you HAVE submitted, is a logical fallacy. Please clarify.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjjs
    In many cases you won't know it's useful until after the event.

    If torture does not prevent violence in the future then it is useless.

    Torture to work out where a bomb is on the metro?

    Yes

    Torture to find out where the enemy solderis are located?

    Yes

    Torture to find out if someone might plant a bomb in the future?

    Yes

    Torture to make sure someone makes the right decision in an election?

    No

    Torture of an innocent person because their brother is wanted?

    No.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjjs
    I'm not sure on this one. Torture is a sliding scale; for some it's being left a few hours in a cell, for others it's having their fingernails pulled out.
    The type of torture is not dependent upon the probability of guilt. We do not operate in a "beyond a shadow of a doubt" world...but rather a "reasonable doubt".

    If the US or UK government is prepared to torture prisoners in some way, both nations should not complain when their own citizens are tortured in the same way by some other nation.
    Agreed. So tell me...when have we beat the prisoner to a bloody pulp, shot him in the groin, forced him to watch his family be executed 1 by 1, ior raped his wife and daughter in front of him...all to extract information?

    When you can show this, you have made your case. Until then, the types of interrogation and "torture" are completely noncomparable.
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
    Wait, let's clarify....you said that the acceptable treatment of terrorist prisoners, is what we would find acceptable to our own family members.
    No, I made no mention of terrorists. The reason behind this being that - as we've often said here - one man's terrorist is another man's hero. So whilst you may believe someone to be a terrorist, another person will disagree.

    Thus we have to look at torture in itself.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
    If that is the case...
    It isn't.


    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
    But you followed with "But terrorists are family members too". The problem is, they are not equittable.
    Open to debate. You may well regard a person as a terrorist whilst that person's family may well regard him as a hero and a good man. And of course the opposite applies.
    ~ le prime di di mont la vacja no fas formadi ~

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by WatsonGlenn
    If torture does not prevent violence in the future then it is useless.
    That's the problem. Until we torture someone we won't know what they know. And what they know may be nothing useful to us.

    We may torture someone and prevent a terrible massacre, but we may torture someone and prevent nothing at all.
    ~ le prime di di mont la vacja no fas formadi ~

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
    The type of torture is not dependent upon the probability of guilt. We do not operate in a "beyond a shadow of a doubt" world...but rather a "reasonable doubt".
    Who said it should?


    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
    Agreed. So tell me...when have we beat the prisoner to a bloody pulp, shot him in the groin, forced him to watch his family be executed 1 by 1, ior raped his wife and daughter in front of him...all to extract information?
    There are many documented cases in the past.

    My stance here is that torture is not necessarily wrong. But you must be prepared to get what you give.
    ~ le prime di di mont la vacja no fas formadi ~

 

 
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