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bush finally uses his veto
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DigitalVirtuoso



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: Houston, TX

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fine, fine!

Some things are more humane then others, do you disagree?

Is it more humane for someone to blow themselves up killing say 20 innoncent people, or to Torture 1 man to death to find the man who is going to blow the 20 innocent people up?

What if that Terrorist cell was in your State, and known to blow up at schools/Malls/grocery stores, how would you feel about torturing someone if you knew or had a really good idea they knew where the cell was located?

There are shades of grey when you go into what is an is not humane.

More to come later, when I am less busy!

Adieu for now,
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Lasairfiona



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whether or not torture is effective is not the issue and shouldn't be. We have gone in there because we want them to be more civilized. If we are no better than them, why are we there? Splitting hairs about the degree of humanity is barbaric. If we are good enough to police the world, we need to act like it. If we are good enough to go in there, then we need to be good enough to be effective without torture.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DigitalVirtuoso wrote:
Some things are more humane then others, do you disagree?

of course.

DigitalVirtuoso wrote:
Is it more humane for someone to blow themselves up killing say 20 innoncent people, or to Torture 1 man to death to find the man who is going to blow the 20 innocent people up?


neither one of these is in the least humane. just because it is possible to place _some_ things on a scale (is it more humane to donate an embryo to research, which may or may not be effective, or to donate it for implantation in another couple, where it may or may not come to term, and may or may not grow up to be a worthwhile member of society?) - does not mean _everything_ has some level of humanity. murder and torture are murder and torture; neither one is acceptable as a humane practice.

and it's a bad analogy in any event. you assume that torture will produce the information you want. in fact, the military is very much opposed to torture, because a) it does _not_ produce reliable information and b) it exposes our own troops to the possibility of being tortured "because _they_ did it first".

murder is murder. you could argue that the suicide bomb is actually more humane, because most of the victims died quickly.

and you still haven't addressed why you think this war is "the most humane". you admit you think torture is ok, you make a point about how nasty the other side is - how does all this contribute to a humane war? why is this war more humane, than (for example) the korean war, where there was no terrorist activity and at least one side followed the geneva convention?
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

neither is humane - get over it.


there is no 'try'
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E-boy



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

humans, have never been terribly "humane" historically.

It's a lovely, and attainable aspiration though.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:47 pm    Post subject: but but i thought life worked just like in that show 24 Reply with quote

DigitalVirtuoso wrote:
Some things are more humane then others, do you disagree?

Is it more humane for someone to blow themselves up killing say 20 innoncent people, or to Torture 1 man to death to find the man who is going to blow the 20 innocent people up?

What if that Terrorist cell was in your State, and known to blow up at schools/Malls/grocery stores, how would you feel about torturing someone if you knew or had a really good idea they knew where the cell was located?

There are shades of grey when you go into what is an is not humane.


Well, then. For the purpose of this subject, I'll drag up old news, and old figures, and rephrase an old argument I made.

We'll talk about John McCain, a man who was himself tortured, and now legislates against it. In this audio interview, he talks about the 'usefulness' of torture. I listened to this interview right after I'd read three articles from other sources. I originally picked them up out of our state newspaper; one after another, after another.

The first mentioned Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, an al-Qaeda captive who had been outsourced to the Egyptians by the United States. This was for the purpose that he could be tortured while the CIA monitored and periodically questioned, while keeping their hands technically 'clean.' This is a practice known as extraordinary rendition. In 2001, he gave a torture-extracted confession to the CIA that Saddam Hussein had trained al-Qaeda to use WMDs. Apparently, it now appears that this one confession (which al-Libi recanted in 2004) was the sole piece of information that the administration was relying upon to support the late-2002 claim that 'credible evidence' existed for terrorist ties between the two organizations.

(this claim and conclusion came from the administration, despite the fact that even the CIA interrogators themselves reported that al-Libi's statements were unreliable.)

al-Libi has since disappeared into classified U.S. detention. He's a human being in cold storage.

The second story was the outrage over Manadel al-Jamadi, an Iraq citizen who had been deemed a 'high value' target by the CIA. Long story short, he was pulled from the streets, he was beaten severely, and he died of the injuries sustained. The abuse gave him several broken ribs before he ended up being subjected to a Palestinian Hanging. His death became public in November of 2003, when pictures went public of Americans giving the thumbs up over his bruised corpse.

Then another story, number three: I read about a British detainee being tortured at Guantanamo Bay by being subject to the 'strappado,' a method apparently common in unsavory Latin American dictatorships. He was suspended from a bar with handcuffs, until they cut into his wrists. Apparently, this was punishment for reciting from the Koran.

There was some more involving allegations of continued abuse at Guantanamo, and then something about the further legitimacy of secret CIA prisons in Places Abroad, but they all start to mesh into the same old story. They made for me, that day, the perfect conclusion to McCain's points, especially considering that these few stories were merely a microcosm of sentiment in a short timeframe, and I was getting them all in a barrage in one day as a barometer of the image situation we faced, then and now.

McCain's points were learned, and elegant.

Torture isn't reliable, it isn't effective. He talks about war heroes and generals and long-time military associates, his friends, people who knew what they were talking about and who would talk about how it wasn't worthwhile or acceptable to torture people. People who still, in this civilized day and age, make armchair arguments to support the use of torture? They have to twist and contort to come up with hypothetical situations where torture is assumed to be effective, much less tolerable in principle. McCain, himself, talks about Soviet torture that led to prisoners condemning themselves to death in court, admitting to crimes that were simply impossible for them to have committed. He talks about how he, as a prisoner in Vietnam, would be tortured into naming names, simply to get the torture to stop. Interestingly, the names he gave were the names of the starting lineup of the Green Bay packers.

He mentions a quote he got from a long-time military friend of his, General Jack Vessey:

    "Any information that could be gained as a result of cruel, inhumane treatment or torture could never counterbalance the damage done to the United States of America when we do these things."

He says he agrees fully with this statement. Our present situation acts as a perfect example of the consequence of torture. The credibility of the administration continues to reach ridiculous low points as they attempt to deny things that they'll probably regret ever attempting to deny, all the while, simultaneously, committing to actions that provide the greatest arguments for the existence of the actions and facilities they've attempted to hide -- Cheney's bargaining for the removal of the anti-torture rider, Bush's threat to veto the appropriations containing the rider that prohibits the torture that he once claimed we've never used, .. It's bad P.R., bad intel.

The consequences in Iraq provide the most stark examples: for even isolated incidents, such as the Abu Ghurayb scandal, there is an observable emergence of provoked outrage and resistance within the national population, that solidifies America's status as The Enemy in the eyes of the Iraqi culture. Now that most people in that part of the world (already inclined to a fully negative view of the United States) will easily believe that we are torturers who operate secret torture prisons in Eastern Europe, we've effectively fed the beast.

No magically useful information we could ever acquire from some hypothetical magical silver-bullet eleventh-hour torture opportunity (should one come about) seems like it could ever compensate for the damage that the administration has already incurred from its misguided torture-friendly policy. At best, we'll be discovering that we've simply made more people willing to die to try to kill us in our own nation.

More likely, though, they'll be feeding us the useless bullshit that you really get when you torture people: the impossible confessions, the Green Bay lineups, the imaginary ties between Iraq and Al-Qaeda. The ultimate position I have on torture is "Well, it's morally repugnant, but it's a fairly useless tool in extracting actionable information! What a dilemma!"

It's a losing game.
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Uncle Taylorbell



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:57 pm    Post subject: Re: but but i thought life worked just like in that show 24 Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
DigitalVirtuoso wrote:
Some things are more humane then others, do you disagree?

Is it more humane for someone to blow themselves up killing say 20 innoncent people, or to Torture 1 man to death to find the man who is going to blow the 20 innocent people up?

What if that Terrorist cell was in your State, and known to blow up at schools/Malls/grocery stores, how would you feel about torturing someone if you knew or had a really good idea they knew where the cell was located?

There are shades of grey when you go into what is an is not humane.


Watching too much 24 makes you blind.
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Bodhisattva



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:39 pm    Post subject: Re: bush finally uses his veto Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
now, i get he has a moral objection to destroying embryos (leaving aside the fact that these would most likely eventually be destroyed anyway), and doesn't support using taxpayer dollars to do something morally objectionable.

but i have a moral objection to the iraq war, which also kills thousands of innocents, including small children. and yet he continues to support this, and to funnel ever-increasing amounts of my tax dollars into killing both americans and iraqis, as well as torturing and maiming others (all of which i find morally reprehensible). so i'm having a little trouble with his logic, here.

i guess the difference is that the people dying in iraq are real people, and the embryos are only potentially people. and somehow the fundamentalists value potential people more than real people.

From the brain (such as it is) of Bush: Simply put, if we destroy all the embryos, they won't be able to grow up and become soldiers for me to send off to die.
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DigitalVirtuoso



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had my response all typed up until I hit the backbutton on my browser >.< ARGH!!!!

Thus, this next response will be dramatically shorter, as I am still angry at my mouse's pageback button lol.

Quote:
neither is humane


Totally, but given the situation. What is the right decision?

I'm of the opinion that given certain situations, there good interigative methods to extract information from a certain person that should be used. If one of those methods (which had been proven useful) is infact "torture", I think it is justified in its use. I don't think we should just openly try all sorts of shit on people. I don't think it is something we should rely on at all, but I think there exists a situation where it is something which need be considered and possibly used.

That is my take on Torture.

As for this being the most humane war ever, I for one cannot think of a war in the history of human existance (that was this large in scale) which was more humane. It is my opinion that this is the most humane war. Some of this stuff we hear on the news is blown out of proportion.

Humane really wasn't the right word for what I posted earlier. To me, there is a difference between killing Military combatants on purpose, and killing Non-combatants on purpose (civilians). It really bugs me that those people can do that without conscience.

Quote:
Watching too much 24 makes you blind.


I don't watch 24.

I really do enjoy talking about controversial issues, I like being able to see everyone's views on things and expand my own. Excellent post Sam Smile
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Last edited by DigitalVirtuoso on Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DigitalVirtuoso



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:49 pm    Post subject: Re: bush finally uses his veto Reply with quote

Bodhisattva wrote:
mouse wrote:
now, i get he has a moral objection to destroying embryos (leaving aside the fact that these would most likely eventually be destroyed anyway), and doesn't support using taxpayer dollars to do something morally objectionable.

but i have a moral objection to the iraq war, which also kills thousands of innocents, including small children. and yet he continues to support this, and to funnel ever-increasing amounts of my tax dollars into killing both americans and iraqis, as well as torturing and maiming others (all of which i find morally reprehensible). so i'm having a little trouble with his logic, here.

i guess the difference is that the people dying in iraq are real people, and the embryos are only potentially people. and somehow the fundamentalists value potential people more than real people.

From the brain (such as it is) of Bush: Simply put, if we destroy all the embryos, they won't be able to grow up and become soldiers for me to send off to die.


Nice observation! LOL!
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thewaitersitsondown



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DigitalVirtuoso wrote:
I had my response all typed up until I hit the backbutton on my browser >.< ARGH!!!!

Thus, this next response will be dramatically shorter, as I am still angry at my mouse's pageback button lol.

Quote:
neither is humane


Totally, but given the situation. What is the right decision?


If I may just jump in here, I'd like to point out that you are making an assumption. There is no situation in real life that has only two possible choices. That sort of binary thinking is a human construct, and doesn't exist in the real world. It is entirely valid to answer "neither," or even "both." The same is true regarding stem cells. The trouble is that American culture in particular is so geared toward polarized discussions that it becomes extremely difficult to come up with any ideas outside the bounds of the two established sides. This "yes or no" mentality is what results in the extreme degree of political polarization we're seeing today.
If one decides that a thing is inhumane, one should stand by that, and not make exceptions. To decide something is right or wrong is to limit yourself, and that consequence has to be accepted and dealt with.
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DigitalVirtuoso



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like seeing how people respond to hypothetical situations *shrug*

And for the record, calling a war Humane is really an Oxymoron. Just like the deafing silience of the whole conundrum. LOL.

What a day =)
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Froggums



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DigitalVirtuoso wrote:
If one of those methods (which had been proven useful) is infact "torture", I think it is justified in its use.


Do you have any sources regarding torture being "proven" useful?

I'm not trying to nitpick, but everything I have ever heard has said that torture is not at all useful. As has already neen stated, people will make names up and confess to things they could not have done, just to make the torture stop. If there has been a valid study proving that torture is indeed useful, please enlighten us.
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trustedfaith



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DigitalVirtuoso wrote:
That is my take on Torture.

As for this being the most humane war ever, I for one cannot think of a war in the history of human existance (that was this large in scale) which was more humane. It is my opinion that this is the most humane war. Some of this stuff we hear on the news is blown out of proportion.


Warring for peace is like fucking for virginity.

*shrug*
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DigitalVirtuoso



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Froggums wrote:
DigitalVirtuoso wrote:
If one of those methods (which had been proven useful) is infact "torture", I think it is justified in its use.


Do you have any sources regarding torture being "proven" useful?

I'm not trying to nitpick, but everything I have ever heard has said that torture is not at all useful. As has already neen stated, people will make names up and confess to things they could not have done, just to make the torture stop. If there has been a valid study proving that torture is indeed useful, please enlighten us.


I've never heard of any. Even in that event, I've never seen or heard of a list of what is and isn't considered torture. So I padded what I said with if the method of gathering useful information actually worked, have at it. If it was something that was/ or might be compromised, it just isn't worth it.
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