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Is Torture A Valid Means of Interregating Terrorism Suspects?

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posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 02:54 PM
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...Or does it just ruin our credibility with the rest of the world?

For more than 250 years The United States of America has prided itself as a bastion of freedom and liberty and has continuessly and consistently condemned any violation of the Geneva Convention when it comes to the treatment of prisoners of war and other detainees. The Bush Administration has always maintained that it does not condone torture under any circumstances, however, it has become widely accepted as true that the CIA has been using torture in the questioning of terrorist detainees for quite some time. source

My question to you is this: Is the use of torture ever justified and if so, how can we pretend to be a country that stands for human rights and how can we have any credible voice in decrying human rights abuses elsewhere in the world?

Your thoughts please.

Supporting sources on the use of torture by the USA
www.npr.org...
www.usafa.af.mil...

[edit on 9/12/2006 by Stormrider]

[edit on 9/12/2006 by Stormrider]




posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 03:01 PM
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This is an interesting question on a lot of levels...

I pesonally feel torture is justified IF the person being tortured is a criminal and the end result will save lives.

Who decides If the suspect is a criminal ... well that should be the courts but sometimes there is not time for this and that is when people in power should make the decision.As long as they are held accountable if it is the wrong decision,the problem arises when people arn't held accountable as is the case right now.

Just my opinion on the matter.



posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 03:01 PM
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It's not a reliable means of extracting useful information anyway.
Torture someone enough and they'll just tell you whatever they think you want to hear, be it true or false.

IMHO torture's primary purpose is not to gain information, but to cater to the psychological needs of the torturers and those giving them their orders.



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 02:50 AM
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One of the things you almost never hear talked about is the destinction between "interrogation" and "torture." If you bother to dig, you'll find that the best books written on the subject of psy-ops devote a number of pages to the difference between the skills involved in interrogation and torture.

Interrogation is a skill unto itself. The essential interrogatory tactic is to simply talk your subject in to giving up information. Those of you who study public speaking in a University setting may have taken a class or two which taught some ofthe more basic skills of recontoure.

Skilled interrogators can employ any number of verbal and visual deceptions to 'break' a subject. The objective is to tell THEM what they need to hear so that they will tell you what YOU need to hear. Some interrogators may choose to imply the threat of torture, but the very best don't actually resort to it.

The very threat of torture is it's own "incentive." Prisoners who know that you won't torture becuae it's illegal in your country, will be much harder to manipulate, coerce, or trick, in to telling you what you want to know. To that extent, it's a risky thing to take it off the table by passing laws that forbid it.

Those of you who work in very political environments know what I'm talking about. The idea is to get more information out of the other guy without making any committments of your own. the only time you make any threats at all...is when...you know just what to insinuate to the other guy. If he knows you can do what you implied...he's got a lot to think about.

Torture as a means in and of itself is already known to be of very limited use. It only tends towork against physical cowards, or people who have religious issues with having their body made no longer whole before dying. It's been glamourized in the media for years as something you see in certain movies. "You tell me wherthe bomb is, or I'll paint the wall with your brains!" Too many people expect too much out of torture because they don't really know what it actually is.



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 03:50 AM
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No not the way our govt. does it.


Grave breaches would include torture, cruel or inhuman treatment, biological experiments, murder, mutilation or maiming, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, rape, sexual assault or abuse and taking hostages


Did you see some of these words? Do you Understand these words? BIOLOGICAL EXPERIMENTS, MURDER, MUTILATION, RAPE, ETC....COME ON. NO WE DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT. Look at the guy from Canada who was torture he had NOTHING to do with anything. It may be one of us one day, whose totally innocent and have not done anything wrong, dosnt matter you've already had a biological experiment done to you or one of the other crap they want to do.

ex]The bill also expands legal protection for CIA agents, military personnel and U.S. government employees by prohibiting detainees from invoking the Geneva Conventions in court.


The agreement says that statements made by detainees under coercion would be allowed as evidence if the presiding judge determined they were reliable.


Seriously, who would not confess to something done like this for hours and days and weeks and months or years.

www.cnn.com...



[edit on 24-9-2006 by Shar]



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 04:45 AM
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There can be no excuse for torture, its counter productive and usually ends with any useful imformation extracted, its more about vengeance and fear. If we have a situation like internment without trial as we had in the UK during The IRA issue, people were just rounded up of the streets for next to no reason, no lawer, no phone call, no family, no day in court, torture etc. how can that be a good thing even in times of war dure process should take place. And yes how can you claim the moral high ground whilst engaged in such practices. To me it just shows that we are not civilised and have progressed very little in thousands of years.



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 12:28 AM
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I'll stand by my previous remarks. Torture should be an absolute last resort. It's important to make the destinction between verbal interrogation and physical manipulation. Any prisoner who goes in to captivity knowing that he/she will not be pressed to give up what they know will only be encouraged to resist because that resistance will be undertaken with such ease.

Detainment and intern are also options, but they ashould only be looked upon as escalations in a larger and lengthier process. A skilled interrogator can often gain information from a candidate by means of sophisticated conversaton techniques. A slight esacalation may involve the promise of creature comforts, favorite food, etc. You'd be surprised what some 'civilized' people will give up for a cup oftea or a spare blanket.

Torture must always be see as undesireable and a certain last resort. The public needs to be better educated about just what "torture" actually means. If they knew what went in to soft interrogation, most would be surprised. It's true that the worst and most tyrannical of regimes skip the simple stuff and go right to the thumb screws. We shouldn't be so barbaric, but we shouldn't take so many options off the table that our enemies have no fear of us.



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 12:56 AM
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Most in the militery are trained how not to give up info and if you wanted to know where my unit was or what our plans are Milk and Cookies and eight hours of sleep is not going to help you. Maybe some of you can not understand what dying for you country means but some of us will, and many have, right or wrong in the end. Lets just hope some of you are never put in the position of being a trader to your country because we would soon fall.



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 01:05 AM
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As a practical matter, you'd be surprised how many people would give up some very surprising information in exchange for what they regard as important things. It's true that military personnel are trained in basic evasion of interrogation, but we now live in a world where many of the people likely to be taken hostage are NOT military.

I appreciate your sentiment, Factfinder, and I'm glad to know that you're out there. I just did a one hour segment on radio a few hours ago in I talked about civilian militia planning. I hope none of it is ever needed, but....



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 01:36 AM
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Originally posted by magicmushroom
There can be no excuse for torture, its counter productive and usually ends with any useful imformation extracted, its more about vengeance and fear. If we have a situation like internment without trial as we had in the UK during The IRA issue, people were just rounded up of the streets for next to no reason, no lawer, no phone call, no family, no day in court, torture etc. how can that be a good thing even in times of war dure process should take place. And yes how can you claim the moral high ground whilst engaged in such practices. To me it just shows that we are not civilised and have progressed very little in thousands of years.


So are ther any other options to get usefull information that could prevent an attack?



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 07:36 AM
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Torture Victim Had No Terror Link, Canada Told U.S.




A Canadian report offers rare insight into the flimsy evidence used by the U.S. to deport a Canadian man for his alleged ties to Al Qaeda.



www.nytimes.com...


Like I said it could be you or me one day. For no reason whatsoever.



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 10:19 AM
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Originally posted by LoKito
So are ther any other options to get usefull information that could prevent an attack?


When it comes to prisoners, there's a lot more to be done than most people know. Long before torture becomes a factor, most prisoners in a terrorist scenario are interrogated. that means they go through several different forms of questioning. Skilled interrogators are trained to find soft and subtle ways of manipulating their subjects. Threats don't come until much later in the process.

Truth be told, 90 percent of prisoners give up during interrogation. Roughly five percent give up during the threat phase, and another 4 percent give up what they know during narco-interrogation. It's that special one percent who may require what is called torture.

Bear in mind that there's a big difference between having your fingernails torn off and not being allowed to pee. It's a little known fact that quite a few prisoners give up what htey know because they don't want to wet themselves. Perhaps a cold room does the trick. Some prisoners have been known to give up what they know to avoid small discomforts.

It's true that we do face some real problems. The finesse needed to avoid over-use of torture is lacking in our policies today. We should be outraged by this. We should be mad enough to write letters nad make phone calls. We should be upset enough to vote for the other guy when this happens. Torture should always be the absolute last resort.



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 12:36 PM
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Originally posted by Justin Oldham

Originally posted by LoKito
So are ther any other options to get usefull information that could prevent an attack?
.

Torture should always be the absolute last resort.


Not the kind of torture I quoted above. Murder, Rape, Biological experiments, MUTILATION, If any human thinks this is ok theres a major problem. How does the man who does such things to another human even sleep at night. How does that man even eat. How does that man even live.



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 12:45 PM
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A Female giving an interrogation could be considered torture to a Muslim.

What the Bush Administration is looking for is a clear definition of torture.

Sleep deprivation, alternate hot and cold, female interrigators, threat of being sent back to homeland authorities, all could be considered torture, even though they are obviously not.

Remember Al-Queda is trained to cry "torture". It is in their field manuel.



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 12:54 PM
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What do you have to say to the torture I quoted to you above? Seems to me everyone is shutting their eyes. Pretending that we the US can never do such means of torture! Its written down to be able to do. Read the link I provided, you will see.



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by Stormrider
...Or does it just ruin our credibility with the rest of the world?


Well, it certainly does that.


For more than 250 years The United States of America has prided itself as a bastion of freedom and liberty


True, though not necessarily accurate, as Mark Twain pointed out in his writings on the subjugation of the Phillippines.


... and has continuessly and consistently condemned any violation of the Geneva Convention when it comes to the treatment of prisoners of war and other detainees.


True when it comes to the actions of its enemies - when the US itself perpetrates war crimes, it just tends to bluster about liberty democracy etc etc., and keep schtumm about its own crimes. I think it was Gore Vidal who said that if the US were subject to the rulings of the International Criminal Court, there wouldn't be a President over the whole of the last century who wouldn't have been judged a war criminal.


The Bush Administration has always maintained that it does not condone torture under any circumstances,


Well... they've been kind of slippery about how you define torture; and it's widely known that there was a memo up on the wall of Abu Ghraib describing some torture practices with "make it happen" in Rumsfeld's handwriting.


... however, it has become widely accepted as true that the CIA has been using torture in the questioning of terrorist detainees for quite some time.


It goes back farther than this. The school of the Americas trained torturers for decades, and the CIA is known to have assisted the torturers of SAVAK, the Shah of Iran's secret police - and that was in the sixties and seventies. It has been long known that the level of US aid to a country is a good correlate with human rights abuses, including torture.

Simply, torture doesn't work, certainly not enough for it to become standard practice. It's a barbarous practice that simply brings the practiioner into contempt. One of the cliches about Nazis is that they tortured people, and this was one of the things that made them the bad guys. Now Bush and his blind followers want to revive this practice as an instrument of statecraft... horrific. And very,very stupid. (No surprises that they want to do it then.


...how can we pretend to be a country that stands for human rights and how can we have any credible voice in decrying human rights abuses elsewhere in the world?


To anyone with a knowledge of US foreign policy over the last fifty years and beyond, the idea of the US having a "credible" voice in these matters is laughable. All Bush is doing is making it plain, for which I think he should be applauded.



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 02:18 PM
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Originally posted by rich23

Originally posted by Stormrider
...Or does it just ruin our credibility with the rest of the world?


All Bush is doing is making it plain, for which I think he should be applauded.



So, President Bush should be applauded for the torture I stated above? I do not think so. I think its horrible.

Am I alone here? Am I the only one that thinks the type of torture stated above is uncalled for? Where is humamity?

[edit on 25-9-2006 by Shar]



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 03:06 PM
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I don't think anyone is disputing you when it comes to the more extreme actions that you cited. I think it would be a good idea to have it on record that we cannot rape, experiment on, or mutilate, our prisoners. Even so, as others in this thread have pointed out, you still won't satisfy everyone.

If I don't let you sit down or get to a bathroom, you may say that's torture. If I force you to watch a Tom Cruise movie, you may say that is torture. THIS is why we need this debate. I've met a few peole who would rather die than be questioned by a woman. I've met others who would give up their own mothers to avoid the smallest inconvenience.

Before we can deal with the hard stuff, we need to acknowledge hte softer options. If we decide to NOT interrogate and simply detain, we need to be comfortable with what that means, too.



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 03:59 PM
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I know we have moved on from not just physical torture but now use orther forms of interogation, drugs etc. but lets be clear if you mention the word torture to most people they interpret that to mean actual physical harm. What Bush is trying to do sounds like what can he get away with and I think its silly to believe that a professional soldier or hardened insurgent is going to crack just because he cannot have his favourite cookies.

What we are talking about is means of torture that render another human being dead, mutilated, missing limbs, or a basket case or all of these things so not's let pretend what we really mean. A woman interogator may make a Muslim feel degraded but since many Muslims (not all) have such a low opinion of woman I cannot really see them cracking up somehow.

This type of torture is for the knuckle dragging neaderthals who use it to spread fear and act out vengeance and that all important ingredient they enjoy doing it, so to me these people are sub human.

How do we go about getting the intel we want, well we are fast aproaching big brother status, we have more spy satelites looking down on us than looking into space, we have surveilance camera's everywhere, spy planes, spy drones, wire taps, phone/mobile taps, e-mail taps, massive intel budgets, CIA, NSA, FBI, MI5, MI6, Mossad, people spying on each other, ratting out neighbours to the police, the list is endless yet you still think there is a need to torture people. Lets face it either the aformentioned is crap and a complete waste of money so we have to torture people or our intel is realy good and we just like torturing people.



posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 04:53 PM
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The nub of the problem that the Bush administration is having can be summed up in just one word. Lawyers. They can't reach any legislative compromise because the lawyers who advocate for either side in this battle remain so utterly intractible.

I don't think that anyone who is rational would disagree with the notion of forbidding mutilation...as one example. Trouble is, they are dealing with laywers who will hang everything else on that compromise...so that...there is no compromise. If you don't cut 'em up, that should mean that you don't inconvenience them in any other way. The logic is infinitely frustrating.

This is why I say that we, as citizens, need to write letters and make phone calls. We need to tell them what we think. Ifthe kids in Congress hear from enough of us, they will have to act on the input of the majority...or...risk losing their jobs.



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