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Torture, what Torture?

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posted on Nov, 5 2005 @ 09:01 AM
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After reading William Pfaff's article in the November Harper's Magazine titled

"WHAT WE'VE LOST, George W. Bush and the price of torture",

I feel compelled to again raise the issue with the board in this forum of what the outcome of torturing detainees is, and whether it accomplishes meaningful goals in the WOT or exacerbates the hostility and desperation that is driving the terrorists.

I believe the latter to be true, surprise, surprise. Obviously VP Dick Cheney doesn't agree with me, and neither does the CIA. They've asked him to go to Congress and get an exemption from a proposed ban on the torture of terror suspects in U.S. custody.



Washington — U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney made an unusual personal appeal to Republican senators this week to allow CIA exemptions from a proposed ban on the torture of terror suspects in U.S. custody, said participants in a closed-door session.

Mr. Cheney told his audience the United States doesn't engage in torture, these participants added, even though he said the administration needed an exemption from any legislation banning "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment in case the president decided one was necessary to prevent a terrorist attack.


Cheney asks for CIA torture exemption

Did you get that? Cheney said we are not using torture, but the CIA needs an exemption just in case, to prevent terrorists from attacking us again.

The CIA isn't using torture? The U.S. isn't torturing 'detainees'? I think it is pretty clear that the U.S., most probably through the CIA and other intelligence services like the DIA and NSA, is torturing detainees, often using rendition to other countries that have more lax laws and oversight of interrogation procedures, like Uzbekistan, for instance. These allegations of rendition are on the verge of being proven with the recent revelations regarding a certain airfield in Poland used in the process.

Why do they want the exemption? Mr. Pfaff knows.



The CIA was aware, if no one else seemed to be, that the new White House policy authorized American officers to commit acts for which the Second World War Allies had hanged Gestapo and SS officers and Japanese prison-camp commanders.


The reality, to me, and to Mr. Pfaff, is:



The Bush Administration, the CIA, and the U.S. Army now seem addicted to torture, useful or otherwise. People are tortured because this has become the practice. Generalized abuse of captives seems to be thought useful to spread dismay, disorientation, and apprehension among those resisting occupation by foreign troops....... Confirmation of all these practices has come from dozens of reports, witnesses, participants, and from leaked Red Cross, FBI, U.S. Army, and other official documents....... The reports are so numerous, consistent, and mutually supportive as to put the existence of these practices beyond doubt........ (Yet) In response to an Amnesty International demand for an independent inquiry into abuse at U.S. detention centers, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said: “The United States is leading the way when it comes to protecting human rights and promoting human dignity.”


Sorry Scott, but you just can't have it both ways.

WHAT WE'VE LOST




posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 12:23 AM
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Great Thread!

Infact, here in Australia there was recently more allergations of torture used on Australian Citizens held by US Troops, though the two these concerned later ended up in Guantanamo Bay. One was quickly released once the US realised if he went public with his Torture Claims, the 'military-trials' would not be seen as fair in the publics eyes.

Well Duh, they're not. But i'm getting sidetracked. I think you are too right, that the US DOES torture people, to get 'information' or whatever. The main problem I have with this is that, none of them have been PROVEN GUILTY of doing anything, and yet they are tortured and treated worse than many serial killers.

Apart from that, when you torture someone until they confess to something, they are eventually going to confess, people can only take so much torture, so anything said under torture should be completely inadmissable as evidence, regardless of weather torture is seen as 'legal' or 'illegal'. We have to realise that nothing said under torture can ever be considered 'truth'.



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 12:34 AM
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The US government has arrested thousands of people in the war and detained them in these prisons, and we have no idea where these prisons are or what they look like on the inside. Bleh, makes me all yucky feeling inside.



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 01:29 AM
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Originally posted by cownosecat
The US government has arrested thousands of people in the war and detained them in these prisons, and we have no idea where these prisons are or what they look like on the inside. Bleh, makes me all yucky feeling inside.


Yup, the fact that I don't know what goes on in those prisons makes me sick. And living in a country that is a member of the 'Coalitian' or whatnot, i must say.. I am ashamed..



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 06:48 AM
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I won't even go down that well-trodden road that leads to the town of "At least we're not beheading anyone and videotaping it".

Nor will I comment on the apparent need of a Senator to blab his mouth at what was supposed to be a confidential exchange:

In this case, the room was cleared of aides before the vice-president began his remarks, said by one senator to include a reference to classified material. The officials who disclosed the events spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the confidential nature of the discussion.

Although I will be expected to jump on the "indict the entire administration" bandwagon for poor liitle Valerie "I'm coming out now" Plame (outing doesn't apply to blabbermouth Senators).

And I won't ask for a definition of torture.




Originally posted by Icarus Rising
I feel compelled to again raise the issue with the board in this forum of what the outcome of torturing detainees is, and whether it accomplishes meaningful goals in the WOT or exacerbates the hostility and desperation that is driving the terrorists.

I believe the latter to be true, surprise, surprise. Obviously VP Dick Cheney doesn't agree with me, and neither does the CIA. They've asked him to go to Congress and get an exemption from a proposed ban on the torture of terror suspects in U.S. custody.

And I'll counter by saying that each case is unique. Remember the US commader in Iraq that fired a pistol next to the ear of a detainee because the officer knew that the detainee wasn't telling all?

What happened? The detainee (I hate that word) wet his pants, and will have to cock his head to one side to catch what you are saying from now on, but he gave up what he knew and many American lives were saved as a result.

How much does that count for? Or should we have allowed the troops to be ambushed and killed just as long as we can say we hung onto some theoretical psycho-babble tenet, and didn't discomfort the poor litle scumbag?





Why do they want the exemption? Mr. Pfaff knows.

Note that from here on out, statements, conclusions, etc, are not coming from the administration, but from it's critics and foes:



The CIA was aware, if no one else seemed to be, that the new White House policy authorized American officers to commit acts for which the Second World War Allies had hanged Gestapo and SS officers and Japanese prison-camp commanders.



The reality, to me, and to Mr. Pfaff, is:



The Bush Administration, the CIA, and the U.S. Army now seem addicted to torture, useful or otherwise. People are tortured because this has become the practice. Generalized abuse of captives seems to be thought useful to spread dismay, disorientation, and apprehension among those resisting occupation by foreign troops....... Confirmation of all these practices has come from dozens of reports, witnesses, participants, and from leaked Red Cross, FBI, U.S. Army, and other official documents....... The reports are so numerous, consistent, and mutually supportive as to put the existence of these practices beyond doubt........ (Yet) In response to an Amnesty International demand for an independent inquiry into abuse at U.S. detention centers, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said: “The United States is leading the way when it comes to protecting human rights and promoting human dignity.”


Let's make sure we don't mistreat them, because we all know that they have turned a new leaf and merely want to get back to their life as a simple goat herder:


At least 10 detainees released from the Guantanamo Bay prison after U.S. officials concluded they posed little threat have been recaptured or killed fighting U.S. or coalition forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to Pentagon officials.

One of the repatriated prisoners is still at large after taking leadership of a militant faction in Pakistan and aligning himself with al Qaeda, Pakistani officials said. In telephone calls to Pakistani reporters, he has bragged that he tricked his U.S. interrogators into believing he was someone else.

www.washingtonpost.com...



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 11:09 AM
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If you are in favor of torturing detainees, you might as well be a terrorist yourself, for you are no better than one.

Torturing detainees is practicing terrorism. The WOT is supposed to be about confronting and ending terrorism. Instead, it seems to be encouraging and exacerbating it.

When you look at things in terms of outcomes, you have to question the stated motives of the WOT.

The end does not justify the means. The end result will occur regardless of the means used to attain it.

The means being used to prosecute the WOT are detrimental and counterproductive to its stated objective. Therefore, the stated objective of the WOT must be false, and there is a subterfuge being perpetrated and other motivations and objectives being pursued. It isn't difficult to think of what those other objectives and motivations might be.

It is really about control of resources that start with O.



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by Icarus Rising
If you are in favor of torturing detainees, you might as well be a terrorist yourself, for you are no better than one.

You are free to hold whatever opinion you want. Remember I said every case is unique. I can't see using the same methods on each and every detainee.


Torturing detainees is practicing terrorism. The WOT is supposed to be about confronting and ending terrorism. Instead, it seems to be encouraging and exacerbating it.

I can only say that this is not a normal war. We are not fighting a nation, a people, or a uniform. This necessitates different thinking.


The end does not justify the means. The end result will occur regardless of the means used to attain it.

An end. Not necessarily the same end. Or the desired end.


The means being used to prosecute the WOT are detrimental and counterproductive to its stated objective. Therefore, the stated objective of the WOT must be false, and there is a subterfuge being perpetrated and other motivations and objectives being pursued.

I disagree. Using the same methods over and over without achieving your objective is one definition of insanity.

It isn't difficult to think of what those other objectives and motivations might be.

It is really about control of resources that start with O.

How much oil have we brought home from Iraq? If it were all about the oil, why didn't we attack Saudi Arabia? After all, 19 of the hijackers were Saudi. Or we could have saved ourselves a lot of travel time by invading Canada or Mexico or Venezuela. ( sorry, my Canadian friends - I'm just making a point here. )

What about the US officer that saved lives through a judicious applicaion of torture? The one that discharged his firearm; I mentioned him in my previous post.



posted on Nov, 6 2005 @ 06:42 PM
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This war is insane, and the same failed methods are being used over and over, imo.

Crazy things happen in combat, torturous things, and not knowing the specifics of the incident to which you are referring, I can't say if it is justifiable or not. Not everything happens in the heat of the moment, though. Soldiers are trained to detect and foil ambushes with or without torturing prisoners to find out where the ambushes are set.

The cold, calculated, pre-meditated torture in the difficult to define torture genre that has emerged with the smiling guards in the Abu Ghraib photos is what I'm talking about. The deprivation, alienation, mutilation, the claustrophobic techniques, the snarling dogs, the helicopters dumping bodies.

It all ends up a big black eye for America, a stain on her proud heritage of upholding moral decency no matter what she's faced with. Its intolerable, and it needs to stop.

Controlling things that start with O doesn't necessarily mean cheap oil and gas for the average American here at home. That is where the subterfuge comes in. Abuse the great moral values of the American people, using lies to justify military action and torture to control vital resources, then charge those same loyal citizens up the ying for the privilege. Its all market forces and natural disasters affecting production and blah, blah, blah. They have a million more lies ready and waiting to become the nightly news. It makes me sick.

Thanks, btw, for your measured tone and willingness to parlay over this. I meant you no personal disrespect with my comment about those in favor of torture being no better than terrorists. I should really say those who practice torture are little more than terrorists.

[edit on 6-11-2005 by Icarus Rising]



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