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View Full Version : Believe Me, Itís Torture



hampshirebrit
07-27-2008, 01:39 PM
Hitchens on waterboading.

Give the guy some credit. He submitted to it in researching the article.

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/08/hitchens200808

He didn't hold out that long, but I wonder how many of us would have held out longer.

Not that many, I reckon.

I'm ambivalent on the subject. There is nothing I would like more than to see Osama 'n' friends undergo this, provided they are the real deal, and provided it means they give up quality information.

But I think we need to be sure that they really are the real deal, that they really are Osama 'n' friends beyond a reasonable doubt, first.

Phillygirl
07-27-2008, 01:46 PM
Hitchens on waterboading.

Give the guy some credit. He submitted to it in researching the article.

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/08/hitchens200808

He didn't hold out that long, but I wonder how many of us would have held out longer.

Not that many, I reckon.

I'm ambivalent on the subject. There is nothing I would like more than to see Osama 'n' friends undergo this, provided they are the real deal, and provided it means they give up quality information.

But I think we need to be sure that they really are the real deal, that they really are Osama 'n' friends beyond a reasonable doubt, first.

I view this a tad differently than as appeared to be stated by you. I don't want to see anybody go through this procedure as a form of punishment (okay...maybe I do, but I don't want to see it as official U.S. policy). I view waterboarding as a form of potential evidence gathering. If it is believed by a preponderance of the evidence that the information will lead to information vital to our national security, then do it.

hampshirebrit
07-27-2008, 01:57 PM
I view this a tad differently than as appeared to be stated by you. I don't want to see anybody go through this procedure as a form of punishment (okay...maybe I do, but I don't want to see it as official U.S. policy). I view waterboarding as a form of potential evidence gathering. If it is believed by a preponderance of the evidence that the information will lead to information vital to our national security, then do it.

Then I would say that our views are not divergent, in that case.

Just make sure the perp really is the perp first, by non-extreme means.

In other words, just because you pick up some auslander raghead who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, don't use such techniques on him, not at least without some other probable cause.

Also keep in mind what Hitch says... any confession thus obtained is highly likely to lead to junk evidence, or shaky evidence, at best.

lacarnut
07-27-2008, 02:19 PM
I would say that anything that a Navy Seals endures would not be considered torture by our military and prisoner standards. Comparatively, a Seal that goes thru frigid waters for several hours in training would gladly trade that for a water-boarding exercise.

Hitchens is an old fart; the muzzies that have gotten water-boarded are much younger. A 30 or 40 year age differential makes a big difference don't you think?

hampshirebrit
07-27-2008, 02:30 PM
I would say that anything that a Navy Seals endures would not be considered torture by our military and prisoner standards. Comparatively, a Seal that goes thru frigid waters for several hours in training would gladly trade that for a water-boarding exercise.

Hitchens is an old fart; the muzzies that have gotten water-boarded are much younger. A 30 or 40 year age differential makes a big difference don't you think?

Both you and I are old farts. Let's face it, we both drive old fart cars.

And you're right, a 30-40 age differential does make a big difference.

But the bigger differential is presumed guilt or lack of it.

If I knew beyond a reasonable doubt that the 20 y/o wannabe I'd just detained was in posession of good grade intel then I would work him thoroughly to get that intel.

I would work him if he was 30, or 40, or 50, or 60 or beyond, if I thought it would futher my cause, if it would save British or American lives, or Iraqi lives, for that matter.

As old a fart as Hitchens is, he makes the valid point that this "work" should only be undertaken when you have good, probable cause that you will get results.

If you have good cause, then it's interrogation. If you do not, then it is torture.

Phillygirl
07-27-2008, 02:44 PM
Both you and I are old farts. Let's face it, we both drive old fart cars.

And you're right, a 30-40 age differential does make a big difference.

But the bigger differential is presumed guilt or lack of it.

If I knew beyond a reasonable doubt that the 20 y/o wannabe I'd just detained was in posession of good grade intel then I would work him thoroughly to get that intel.

I would work him if he was 30, or 40, or 50, or 60 or beyond, if I thought it would futher my cause, if it would save British or American lives, or Iraqi lives, for that matter.

As old a fart as Hitchens is, he makes the valid point that this "work" should only be undertaken when you have good, probable cause that you will get results.

If you have good cause, then it's interrogation. If you do not, then it is torture.
Do you agree with that standard? Or do you require beyond reasonable doubt?

lacarnut
07-27-2008, 03:00 PM
Both you and I are old farts. Let's face it, we both drive old fart cars.

And you're right, a 30-40 age differential does make a big difference.

But the bigger differential is presumed guilt or lack of it.

If I knew beyond a reasonable doubt that the 20 y/o wannabe I'd just detained was in posession of good grade intel then I would work him thoroughly to get that intel.

I would work him if he was 30, or 40, or 50, or 60 or beyond, if I thought it would futher my cause, if it would save British or American lives, or Iraqi lives, for that matter.

As old a fart as Hitchens is, he makes the valid point that this "work" should only be undertaken when you have good, probable cause that you will get results.

If you have good cause, then it's interrogation. If you do not, then it is torture.

I agree with that plus this type of interrogation should be used by trained experts in that field.

hampshirebrit
07-27-2008, 03:06 PM
Do you agree with that standard? Or do you require beyond reasonable doubt?

You're the attorney, not me.

As far as I know, in the US, probable cause is applied when detaining a suspect, and reasonable doubt is applied when convicting one, once detained. The two are not interchangable.

But from my limited knowledge, in layman's terms, if I had good reason (and it better be good) to think that Johnny Wannabe has high level intel, then I would waterboard him to extract it from him, to the point where either I got the intel, or he required de-fib.

In return for my government's largesse in allowing me to make such a judgement, I would make sure that my grounds for thinking he has this intel were sound, and were likely to stand up in a court of law.

In other words, for me, waterboarding would be the very last resort, i.e. something I would not go to first, and something I would go to last, reluctantly.

I guess I would not be a good waterboarder.

Phillygirl
07-27-2008, 03:13 PM
You're the attorney, not me.

As far as I know, in the US, probable cause is applied when detaining a suspect, and reasonable doubt is applied when convicting one, once detained. The two are not interchangable.

But from my limited knowledge, in layman's terms, if I had good reason (and it better be good) to think that Johnny Wannabe has high level intel, then I would waterboard him to extract it from him, to the point where either I got the intel, or he required de-fib.

In return for my government's largesse in allowing me to make such a judgement, I would make sure that my grounds for thinking he has this intel were sound, and were likely to stand up in a court of law.

In other words, for me, waterboarding would be the very last resort, i.e. something I would not go to first, and something I would go to last, reluctantly.

I guess I would not be a good waterboarder.

I asked your thoughts only because you've referenced two different standards. I think your understanding of the the two terms is correct. I just wanted to see where you fell on the standard to be used in order to engage in torture. (Actually, I don't know the standard that is used in convicting terrorists in our military courts, but you've certainly articulated properly the standard to be used in regular criminal courts.

I'm find with preponderance of the evidence standard...more likely than not he is a terrorist with possession of intel that would directly benefit our cause and which may either save lives, or bring to justice those responsible for the taking of lives in the context of terrorism. I'm not necessarily comfortable with using that intel in a court of law...but I am comfortable with using it in the context of prosecuting a war and using any info gathered from that to help in that endeavor.

lacarnut
07-27-2008, 03:14 PM
You're the attorney, not me.

As far as I know, in the US, probable cause is applied when detaining a suspect, and reasonable doubt is applied when convicting one, once detained. The two are not interchangable.

But from my limited knowledge, in layman's terms, if I had good reason (and it better be good) to think that Johnny Wannabe has high level intel, then I would waterboard him to extract it from him, to the point where either I got the intel, or he required de-fib.

In return for my government's largesse in allowing me to make such a judgement, I would make sure that my grounds for thinking he has this intel were sound, and were likely to stand up in a court of law.

In other words, for me, waterboarding would be the very last resort, i.e. something I would not go to first, and something I would go to last, reluctantly.

I guess I would not be a good waterboarder.

The probability that reasonable doubt had crossed that threshold would make all systems go for me.

hampshirebrit
07-27-2008, 03:25 PM
I asked your thoughts only because you've referenced two different standards. I think your understanding of the the two terms is correct. I just wanted to see where you fell on the standard to be used in order to engage in torture. (Actually, I don't know the standard that is used in convicting terrorists in our military courts, but you've certainly articulated properly the standard to be used in regular criminal courts.

I'm find with preponderance of the evidence standard...more likely than not he is a terrorist with possession of intel that would directly benefit our cause and which may either save lives, or bring to justice those responsible for the taking of lives in the context of terrorism. I'm not necessarily comfortable with using that intel in a court of law...but I am comfortable with using it in the context of prosecuting a war and using any info gathered from that to help in that endeavor.

Then we truly do agree on this issue, while both finding it abhorrent, and something that one should hope we will never be called upon to engage with.

My thought is that application of the lower (probable cause) standard should be the determining agency. By the time the higher one (beyond reasonable doubt) was applied legally, it could be too late to prevent loss of life, in the current environment.

But the standard of determining probable cause should be set far higher than that which would be applied in civil cases.

Goldwater
07-27-2008, 05:55 PM
Of course it's torture, we all know it is, even the people who say it isn't, they just want the legal loophole.

As for whether it should be done, I don't exactly have sympathy for the guy who masterminded 9/11 and beheaded soldiers.

Theophilus
07-27-2008, 11:28 PM
I would say that anything that a Navy Seals endures would not be considered torture by our military and prisoner standards. Comparatively, a Seal that goes thru frigid waters for several hours in training would gladly trade that for a water-boarding exercise.

Hitchens is an old fart; the muzzies that have gotten water-boarded are much younger. A 30 or 40 year age differential makes a big difference don't you think?

That's a bit of a stretch don't you think? Gladly :confused:

marinejcksn
07-28-2008, 12:26 AM
Waterboarding is not torture. It sucks, but it's leagues away from bamboo shoots under the fingernails. I'm so f'ing sick of this stupid arguement.

YupItsMe
07-28-2008, 09:10 AM
For Islamofacists I have no problem with waterboarding, but for myself I would prefer the panties on the head and the brushing of breasts against me.

marinejcksn
07-28-2008, 09:28 AM
For Islamofacists I have no problem with waterboarding, but for myself I would prefer the panties on the head and the brushing of breasts against me.


OH THE HUMANITY!

expat-pattaya
07-28-2008, 09:34 AM
Water boarding is torture and should not be part of the standard interrogation procedure of the USA. Yeah, I know they do worse, but we aren't them.

And what Seals go through is something they can always quit at any time. The difference is the prisoner is not allowed to quit. That is what makes it torture.

Now, if a captain in the field is pretty certain he just nabbed a guy who set a nuclear weapon on a timer in downtown USA and uses torture to find and disarm it - I will want him tried, and cleared for extenuating circumstances. No black mark. Sometimes the situation simply isn't covered by rules of engagement in the conflict between the west and radical islam. But he better be right and not torture the wrong person.

Goldwater
07-28-2008, 10:29 AM
Waterboarding is not torture. It sucks, but it's leagues away from bamboo shoots under the fingernails. I'm so f'ing sick of this stupid arguement.

How can it not be torture? So it isn't as bad as other forms of torture, you're still being drowned.

Theophilus
07-28-2008, 12:31 PM
Water boarding is torture and should not be part of the standard interrogation procedure of the USA. Yeah, I know they do worse, but we aren't them.

And what Seals go through is something they can always quit at any time. The difference is the prisoner is not allowed to quit. That is what makes it torture.

Now, if a captain in the field is pretty certain he just nabbed a guy who set a nuclear weapon on a timer in downtown USA and uses torture to find and disarm it - I will want him tried, and cleared for extenuating circumstances. No black mark. Sometimes the situation simply isn't covered by rules of engagement in the conflict between the west and radical islam. But he better be right and not torture the wrong person.

Tried?? :eek: What are you smoking? I want him given the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Odysseus
07-28-2008, 03:02 PM
Water boarding is torture and should not be part of the standard interrogation procedure of the USA. Yeah, I know they do worse, but we aren't them.

And what Seals go through is something they can always quit at any time. The difference is the prisoner is not allowed to quit. That is what makes it torture.

The prisoner can quit any time that he wants to. He just has to spill what he knows. The critical issue is why we're using the technique. Remember that a lot of the liberals who are apalled by waterboarding terrorists would have no problem if Karl Rove or Dick Cheney were strapped down.


For Islamofacists I have no problem with waterboarding, but for myself I would prefer the panties on the head and the brushing of breasts against me.

I can only hold out against that treatment for a few years, at most, but then, I'm getting old.


How can it not be torture? So it isn't as bad as other forms of torture, you're still being drowned.

It depends on the medium. With water, it's certainly torture. With single-malt scotch, it's nirvana.

Seriously, the use of waterboarding is not to gain evidence in a criminal proceding, but to gain immediate tactical information on current operations that will otherwise result in death to American citizens. By the time someone is on the board, their identity as a terrorist is already known . The results of a waterboarding would be used to intercept a terror attack, but not to convict a terrorist. Information gained under duress should never be admissable in a court.

LogansPapa
07-28-2008, 03:03 PM
I have no qualms about any technique the military or intelligence community want to use - to gain information, or even just so they have something to do (aka "training"). What I do have a major problem with is the publicity of such practices. Filming such things - other than in an official capacity, as in the case of trophies to show your buddies back home: Stupid.

expat-pattaya
07-28-2008, 08:17 PM
The prisoner can quit any time that he wants to. He just has to spill what he knows. The critical issue is why we're using the technique. Remember that a lot of the liberals who are apalled by waterboarding terrorists would have no problem if Karl Rove or Dick Cheney were strapped down.



Actually, the prisoner can NOT quit when he wants. What if the interogator doesn't believe him? What if they think there is more? Sorry, doesn't float.

But I'll help with the single malt scotch ;)

expat-pattaya
07-28-2008, 08:19 PM
Tried?? :eek: What are you smoking? I want him given the Congressional Medal of Honor.

I quit smoking years ago :D

As for the CMH, OK with me. But after the hearing to determine if he acted in accordance with military procedure and in the best interests of the USA.

Sometimes you need to have the hearing just to prove the SYSTEM is working as advertised. :cool:

marinejcksn
07-29-2008, 12:56 AM
How can it not be torture? So it isn't as bad as other forms of torture, you're still being drowned.

The technique applied isn't actual drowning. It's the feeling of drowning, the person is in no actual danger of being drowned. No water actually flows into the lungs, merely over the face. Trust me, it FEELS like you're going to drown and die. It's very scary. But you're not in real danger of death, at least if it's applied properly.

Odysseus
07-29-2008, 07:51 PM
Actually, the prisoner can NOT quit when he wants. What if the interogator doesn't believe him? What if they think there is more? Sorry, doesn't float.
But I'll help with the single malt scotch ;)

I prefer Glenfiddich, the 18-year-old is the best. Drop me a PM for the mailing address. :D


The technique applied isn't actual drowning. It's the feeling of drowning, the person is in no actual danger of being drowned. No water actually flows into the lungs, merely over the face. Trust me, it FEELS like you're going to drown and die. It's very scary. But you're not in real danger of death, at least if it's applied properly.

It's certainly a psychological torture, but so is sitting through most reality shows, and nobody calls the ACLU over Wife Swap.

Ree
07-29-2008, 08:32 PM
Hell just put em in a small room, play that damned Barney song over and over...Pretty soon anyone would tell ya anything ya want to know...

Goldwater
07-29-2008, 08:59 PM
Hell just put em in a small room, play that damned Barney song over and over...Pretty soon anyone would tell ya anything ya want to know...

That's if they haven't lost their sanity before so.

expat-pattaya
07-29-2008, 09:43 PM
Hell just put em in a small room, play that damned Barney song over and over...Pretty soon anyone would tell ya anything ya want to know...

Now that is cruel and unusual torture. ow would you like it if they did it to our guys :D

MrsSmith
07-29-2008, 09:50 PM
Hell just put em in a small room, play that damned Barney song over and over...Pretty soon anyone would tell ya anything ya want to know...
Isn't that one of the "torture techniques" that has drawn criticism?

Ree
07-29-2008, 11:46 PM
Isn't that one of the "torture techniques" that has drawn criticism?
Really???:D

Ree
07-29-2008, 11:48 PM
Now that is cruel and unusual torture. ow would you like it if they did it to our guys :D
If they've ever spent any time with a 2-4yr old....They've already been thru it...;)

Odysseus
07-30-2008, 12:04 PM
Really???:D

There are lots of techniques that are, shall we say, culturally specific, in the realm of torture. For example, during the Panama invasion, US troops surrounded the Vatican See with speakers and blasted hip hop to try to get Noriega to surrender, but it wouldn't have had the same effect in South Central LA. Similarly, the US used to use pork as an interrogation tool during the Moro Insurrection, where Moslem tribesmen would cheerfully divulge information rather than be denied entry into heaven after contact with the other white meat. By that standard, a bag of Jimmy Dean sausages could be considered a WMD. Then, there are the individual variations in personality and outlook. Paris Hilton was unable to cope with just a couple of days in the LA County Jail, while most people would consider being locked up with her to have been torture ("Is she still whining?"). Even the application of pain is subjective. Being beaten with a whip by a government-employed thug is torture, but the same treatment from a woman in a leather bikini is simply foreplay to some people, which may be an argument against privatization. My question is, what happens when they try to waterboard someone with a drowning fetish? Khalid Sheik Mohammed lasted two minutes, but a real affectionado might last a little longer, if only by memorizing baseball stats.