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The secret CIA prisons are real, it's Official!ô
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Agamemnon



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
Agamemnon wrote:
Mizike, I'm talking about those doomsday circumstances sometimes argued, like there's a nuke set to go off in a US city in 12 hours and we have the person who set the device.

It's a very extreme situation where I'd...condone is too strong a word...maybe reluctantly support? *shrug*


so, let's see. you've got a guy with the cojones to set up a nuclear device in the u.s. somehow, with only 12 hours to do and no idea where the device is, we manage to capture they one guy that we know, knows where it is.

and this guy knows that he only has to endure whatever we throw at him for 12 hours. he also knows that he can throw out phony information which will stop the torture, at least until that information can be checked.

all he has to do is endure, and he will go down in history.

and you think there is a way to torture him to get the information?


Possibly moreso than other possibilities. Who knows.

Quote:
in any event, it's a bogus scenario. the situation where torture is apparently being used is one in which we _think_ something may be going to happen, we _think_ we've got someone who knows what will happen, or who is involved, and we want to get that information.

from what was in the article dogen presented, the fbi, using standard interrogation techniques, got answers. the cia, using "harsher" methods, did not - in part because the guy did not, in fact, know anything.


so: torture cannot produce information that the informant doesn't have. and the relationship you end up with, between the tortured and the torturer, is such that the torturer will never believe the torturees protestations that he knows nothing. with standard interogation techniques, the interogator can get the respect of the person he is questioning, and can get to the point that he can judge whether the guy knows anything or not. he can judge whether or not there is further information.

someone being tortured is likely to give you false information, just to stop the pain. and then you have to take time and resources to find out that the information is, in fact, false - time and resources that could be better used.[/quote]

No argum,ent from me here.

Quote:
no, any number of people with a great deal of experience, from law enforcement officials to military figures (including those who have actually been tortured) say that torture is at best ineffective, and at worse counterproductive. the administration has been spending too much time reading comic books and watching 24 to accept the reality of the situation - that no matter how satisfying it may seem to cause your enemies real physical pain, you aren't getting anything usable out of the exercise.
That's pretty dismissive of the Admin and their so called experts.

I'm not disputing the need to stay the hell away from torture. Really, the only value I see in torture at this point is in the threat of using torture, not the actual torture itself.

Throw out the extreme circumstances argument, and we are definitely on the same page.
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agamemnon wrote:
That's pretty dismissive of the Admin and their so called experts.


so very justifiably so
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mouse



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kame wrote:
Matt Lauer grows a pair.

I especially love how Bush, not once, either confirmed or denied anything to do with torture, but maintained that what they did was 'legal'. If these are the same people who told him all of his signing statements were constitutional, then I'm worried.


what a smug bastard he is. the way he kept smiling the whole time, like lauer was such an idiot, and he was just having such a good time putting him in his place.

and by the way - isn't his job (the one he swore to) to uphold the laws of the united states? he seems to be spending all his time subverting them.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agamemnon wrote:
mouse wrote:
Agamemnon wrote:
Mizike, I'm talking about those doomsday circumstances sometimes argued, like there's a nuke set to go off in a US city in 12 hours and we have the person who set the device.

It's a very extreme situation where I'd...condone is too strong a word...maybe reluctantly support? *shrug*


so, let's see. you've got a guy with the cojones to set up a nuclear device in the u.s. somehow, with only 12 hours to do and no idea where the device is, we manage to capture they one guy that we know, knows where it is.

and this guy knows that he only has to endure whatever we throw at him for 12 hours. he also knows that he can throw out phony information which will stop the torture, at least until that information can be checked.

all he has to do is endure, and he will go down in history.

and you think there is a way to torture him to get the information?


Possibly moreso than other possibilities. Who knows.



So let's torture him just to be on the safe side?
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Sam



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 11:01 pm    Post subject: "N" Reply with quote

I know that it's totally in vogue to play the BAUER POWER HOUR card and say "Well, maybe torture should be left as an option for X"

value of X being any one of a number of wildly implausible ticking-clock eleventh-hour situations.

Sadly, torture is next to useless for even those situations, making it a terrible practice even if one discounts the fact that America torturing people in its custody makes us a giant flaming hypocritical shitfuck of a nation that's willing to discard the supposed sanctification of human rights at convenience.

Also, nations that leave the door open for X cannot have the fellows in power be trusted not to use it for other things, as they seem to always inevetably do.

So, basically, torture is almost entirely useless, but it's morally reprehensible! WHAT A DILEMMA, DO WE USE IT OR NOT
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agamemnon wrote:
mouse wrote:
so, let's see. you've got a guy with the cojones to set up a nuclear device in the u.s. somehow, with only 12 hours to do and no idea where the device is, we manage to capture they one guy that we know, knows where it is.

and this guy knows that he only has to endure whatever we throw at him for 12 hours. he also knows that he can throw out phony information which will stop the torture, at least until that information can be checked.

all he has to do is endure, and he will go down in history.

and you think there is a way to torture him to get the information?


Possibly moreso than other possibilities. Who knows.

I find this an odd argument. Maybe torture works and maybe it doesn't, so let's keep it on the table, despite the fact that we all think it's horrible?

As for the Admin's experts, I don't trust them any farther than I can throw them - and not because they're Bush appointees, but because they're all part of a political machine that has two motives: do their job (protect people, get information from terrorists, etc.) and protect their job (get re-elected, don't go to jail, secure promotions, etc.). If the two clash, and they still intend to perform their job, then they must lie to protect their jobs. The same is true of any administration, or any person, really. The rest of us just rarely have this much press coverage.

Of course, I had always read for years and years that torture was a waste of time because it gained you more false information than not-torture. That was when we were on the Human Rights Council, though. Who knows what prevailing theory is these days.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:36 pm    Post subject: it saves time but it came from hatrack originally rilly Reply with quote

I've recycled a lot of this text, now.

The prevailing theory is still "torture is a waste of time." Unless, of course, you're an ARMCHAIR PRO-TORTURIST, the likes of which were disgustingly common in the wake of the vice president's assertion that we absolutely need to have it available as an option.

The administrative sycophants just fucking oozed out of the woodwork to assure all of us anti-torture guys that we were being terribly stupid and foolhardy to ever, ever, ever give the terrorists the 'benefit of the doubt.' That they could be concretely assured that there was ample justification for torture as a last-ditch tool. Why couldn't we ever concede that?

Burden of proof, fuckers. I'd like to see validated evidence that torture produces reliable evidence! Yet, amazingly, the only stories we get are intelligence disasters like al-Libi.

I don't play the plausible hypotheticals game ("Well, what if there was a NUKULEAR BOMBS IN TEH BIG CITIES AND WE CAUGHT THE AHMED EL-TERROR WHO KNOWS TEH CODES AND YUO HAVE TEH ONE HOURS AND ..") very well because you can find 'plausible' utilitarianist hypotheticals for everything. I once listened to a guy talk for hours about how glassing the terrorist-harboring nations of the Middle East with nukes a.s.a.p. was the only path that would lead to a brighter, sun-shinier, world-peace scenario in as little as twenty years. To hear him talk about it, we were drowning ourselves in a contemporary ethic which was sacrificing long-term good for the sake of not mass murdering the populations of entire nations with nukes.

With the pro-torture arguments, it's sort of the same idea, albiet cleaner and neater, without the element of communal sacrifice. We apparently have to be willing, when pressed by crisis, to do something repulsive because it can be assumed that it would play to the greater benefit of others. Human beings in cold storage? Five year plus stays in Guantanamo, sans charges? Secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe? Extraordinary rendition to Saudi kneecappers? It's all emerged as tools For The Greater Good.

So far, as demonstrated by real life outside of network television shows, torture is sketchy and unreliable. There's lots of articles about it, journalistic, editorial, peer reviewed ... Fascinating psychological insights into the process of interrogation. Everything I'm talking about has to do with how our government's torture-friendly policy has done us no good, but the psychological study of torture shows that it probably isn't even worth keeping around just for the hypothetical last-minute scenarios.

Which isn't how it stays, either. The Israelis tried and later abandoned a program involving the specific allowance of "torture-lite," where they reserved the right to use torture as an interrogation tool in any 'ticking bomb' circumstance.

Despite the policy not helping them whatsoever, it wasn't long before approximately 85% of Palestinian detainees were being qualified and subject to 'ticking bomb' treatment. Craig Murray, an ambassador who exposed human rights abuses under Islam Karimov and went on to become an expert study in all things torture, noted that the capability to finely calibrate torture has eluded every democratic government which has tried it.

While these pro-torture folks will frequently make the claim that torture saves lives (or at the very least, that they assume it will save lives in hypothetical scenarios), it absolutely must be recognized that expert assessment of torture will completely deflate the issue.

A declassified FBI email from 2004 indicates that the experts on torture have maintained, based in part from experiences at Guantanamo, that physically abusive interrogation produces information that is always suspect. Always. The Judge Advocate General for the Navy, John Hutson, noted "All the literature and experts say that if we really want usable information, we should go exactly the opposite way and try to gain the trust and confidence of the prisoners. Torture will get you information, but it's not reliable. Eventually, if you don't accidentally kill them first, torture victims will tell you something just to make you stop. It may or may not be true. If you torture 100 people, you'll get 100 different stories. If you gain the confidence of 100 people, you may get one valuable story."

With hypothetical ticking-time-bomb scenariocrafting, the issue descends into reducto territory, especially given that time is not on the side of the torturers, and the torturers have to investigate claims made by the tortured party, since it cannot be assumed that they are true. Especially, based on all knowledge we have about torture, because the claims were made under torture. Since a severe time constraint won't transform torture-extracted confessions into not being suspect, then there's no payoff. If you don't have enough time to go about things the 'nice guy' way -- this being assumed to be the only time where torture becomes an option -- you're hosed anyway.

As an extra special bonus, we're essentially required to assume that the government is going to be allowed nigh-immediate rubber-stamp approval of torture, to make it useful in the dire hypothetical timeframes presented. If we've got to wait for a warrant of some sort, the excercise in theorycraft is already over, since we're probably gunning for a mysterious timeframe where, hypothetically, torture is the 'only way.' Anywhere between an hour and fifteen minutes is assumed, regularly.

I would venture to guess that the burden of proof lies with a standpoint that wishes to demonstrate that there is any benefit whatsoever behind the alteration of current international conventions against the use of torture.

You've heard of the One Percent Doctrine, I'm sure; a person playing this game is playing the 0.0001% doctrine.

That, or perhaps they've watched too much 24.
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:49 pm    Post subject: Re: it saves time but it came from hatrack originally rilly Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
I once listened to a guy talk for hours about how glassing the terrorist-harboring nations of the Middle East with nukes a.s.a.p. was the only path that would lead to a brighter, sun-shinier, world-peace scenario in as little as twenty years. To hear him talk about it, we were drowning ourselves in a contemporary ethic which was sacrificing long-term good for the sake of not mass murdering the populations of entire nations with nukes.


this might actually work --- but he missed a step:
1) we bomb a bunch of normal people and do that a few times, until
2) someone (or three) bombs us big enough to make ready for to pave over the remains and then
3) everybody left alive gives a big sigh of relief and has a party.

when the party ends, it starts all over...

...from where we left off around 1100, AD
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Sam



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 11:55 pm    Post subject: teh globel warmangs Reply with quote

Well, he may have had a point: the nuclear winter would end our grousing about global warming.
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Mizike



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:12 am    Post subject: Re: it saves time but it came from hatrack originally rilly Reply with quote

Major Tom wrote:

this might actually work --- but he missed a step:
1) we bomb a bunch of normal people and do that a few times, until
2) someone (or three) bombs us big enough to make ready for to pave over the remains and then
3) everybody left alive gives a big sigh of relief and has a party.

when the party ends, it starts all over...

...from where we left off around 1100, AD



How many more steps until profit?
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

underwear didn't come into vogue til about 1350
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
A declassified FBI email from 2004 indicates that the experts on torture have maintained, based in part from experiences at Guantanamo, that physically abusive interrogation produces information that is always suspect. Always.


this is the bit i wish people would get. because whatever you get from torture, you _still_ have to check out - except most of it is bogus, so you have wasted time and effort running it down. so stupid.

as speaking of stupid: bush is of course defending his torture-followed-by-secret-trials plan - but i liked this little bit:
Quote:
ďThatís like saying, can you work with a Democratic Congress, when I donít think a Democratic Congress will be elected,Ē Mr. Bush said, twice declining to answer directly when asked if he would exercise his veto power.


please, please, please let him be as wrong about this as he has been about everything else....
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What always astounds me when talk of torture comes up is SENATOR JOHN FUCKING MCCAIN. The man was tortured in a POW prison for more than five years. Did it work? No. What did McCain, after so much abuse, give away? He signed a bogus confession of war crimes after beatings that left him permanently crippled. He eventually confirmed that he had targetted a power plant, and gave away his ship's name and his squadron number, information which was of no use to the Vietnamese. Yet we still have all these yahoos saying that we SHOULD torture terrorism suspects to get information, in a timely manner of an eleventh hour New York Ticking Timb Bomb scenario?
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ah, but he's an amurican. we all know amuricans stand up to the evil enemy, throwing taunts and jokes in their faces, even when subject to extreme pain.

the people we would be torturing are rag-head furrin bullies. everyone knows they just collapse like wet cardboard.
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Agamemnon



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 4:32 am    Post subject: Re: it saves time but it came from hatrack originally rilly Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
I would venture to guess that the burden of proof lies with a standpoint that wishes to demonstrate that there is any benefit whatsoever behind the alteration of current international conventions against the use of torture.


Yeah, I can completely agree with this. As I have mulled this over in what little free time I've had over the last couple of days, I keep coming back to the same question. If torture does not work, ever, why is the Bush admin asking for it to be considered? Why keep on with such a politically damaging track? Is there actual value to torture?

At this point, I have to throw in with the rest of you. Hypotheticals aside, there needs to be justification from the admin.


Legit justification that makes sense.
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