Thread: Politically Correct Torture
#1 Politically Correct Torture05-06-2009, 02:27 PM
This should stir the pudding!
Choose your side!
Is waterboarding torture? If it is, we’ve been torturing our service members for years. As a United States Naval Aviator, I attended SERE school in the California desert in 1985. SERE (which stands for Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape) prepares combatants for the possibility that they might be taken prisoners of war.
While many aspects of the training remain classified, I can say that we received treatment far more challenging and uncomfortable than anything the terrorists ever experienced at Gitmo or Abu Grab. As has been reported elsewhere, waterboarding was common at SERE school as it was in my class. It was done to help us resist giving up sensitive information in the event we were interrogated by the enemy. SERE is probably the most impactful training I’ve ever experienced.
Now, despite decades of its use on American service members, President Obama declares that waterboarding is torture when used on terrorists. Is it? Reasonable people cannot disagree whether scalding a person’s skin, dismembering him, or beheading him constitutes torture. Those are undeniably torturous acts that our enemies have inflicted on Americans. But since waterboarding leaves no permanent physical damage, reasonable people can disagree over whether or not it’s actually torture and should be used on terrorists. I’ll address that question in a future column.
What I’d like to address in this column is the shocking inconsistency of the President’s position. Despite being against waterboarding, President Obama does not seem to think that scalding, dismembering, or beheading is torture in all circumstances. In some circumstances, the President actually approves of such treatment, so much so that he is now exporting it to other countries with our tax dollars. He’s even thinking of forcing certain Americans to inflict it on the innocent.
In fact, the President along with most in his party and some in the Republican Party, think that such brutality is a Constitutional right, which they cleverly disguise with the word “choice.” Choice in these circumstances actually means scalding, dismembering, or de-braining a living human being—which is literally what saline, D&C, and partial birth abortions respectively accomplish. (Before anyone labels me an “extremist” for making this point, realize that I’m just factually describing what these procedures literally do. In my opinion, the “extremists” are those who deny these verifiable truths.)
The President might say that the comparison doesn’t work because we’re not sure about the humanity of the unborn. He said as much in the Rick Warren debate when he declared that the question of life’s beginning was “above his pay grade.” Well, if there’s any doubt about when life begins, shouldn’t you err on the side of caution and protect what may be a human being? If you’re not sure whether the rustling in the bushes is a deer or your daughter, won’t you get a certain ID before shooting?
Actually, there is no doubt about the humanity of the unborn. We are sure that an unborn child is a human being, and we know this not by religion, but by hard scientific data. The President knows this. If embryonic life is not human, then why does he insist on using taxpayer dollars to harvest embryonic cells? Answer: because they are human. Moreover, human bodies and body parts are extracted from the womb by abortion, not just “tissue.” Finally, it’s a scientific fact that at the moment of conception a new genetically unique human being exists. You haven’t received any new genetic information since the moment you were conceived. Only four things separated you from adulthood—time, air, water and food. Those are the same four things that separate a two-year old from adulthood. We don’t allow the killing of two-year old humans; why should we allow the killing of humans just a little bit younger who happen to be in a womb—especially those at full term?
But the legality of abortion is not the main point here. That’s bad enough, but the President is advocating something even worse. He isn’t just allowing abortion to continue, he seeks to promote and subsidize it through the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). That deceptively-named bill will end the choice of certain doctors to conscientiously refuse to do abortions, and it will end the choices millions of Americans have made to restrict abortion through parental notification laws, informed consent laws, and even bans on partial birth abortion. All of those restrictions freely chosen by the people of this country will be invalidated by FOCA. The President also wants to force taxpayers to pay for abortions right here in America
: “It's all shits and giggles until someone giggles and shits.”
” I wondered why the rock was getting larger. Then it hit me.
05-06-2009, 03:39 PM
Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
– Convention Against Torture, Article 1.1
Does waterboarding impose "severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental?"
Obviously, the sensation of drowning is certainly mental suffering, but is it worse mental suffering than being forced to sit through a Barbra Streisand film festival? (One word: Yentl. :eek:) That may seem frivolous, but many of the things that people consider torture are actually considered stimulating by others. Now, if liberals can (and do, with a straight face) make the claim that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter," then certainly we can make a similar claim, that one man's torture is another man's pleasure. For example, while the thought of several hours of Barbra Streisand's signature nasal whine fills me with existential dread, it's obvious that there are those who, perhaps due to improper potty training or some other childhood trauma, are willing to pay for the experience. What, then, constitutes torture in view of the infinitely variable tastes, orientations and perversion of which the human animal is capable? If being whipped or otherwise beaten and humiliated by someone in a tight leather outfit is torture, then anyone who's ever been in a Madonna video has grounds for humanitarian intervention (even if they paid for the privilege). If someone has a waterboarding fetish, is it no longer torture? Or is it only torture if it's continued past the safe word? Was being made to participate in a naked human pyramid in front of Lyndie England torture, or was not being permitted to participate?
Try that argument on a liberal sometime and see what happens. :D
05-06-2009, 04:46 PM
Consent makes the difference.
I've heard about some of the things they do in military training, involving near drowning experiences. If enlistment wasn't voluntary, I'd consider it torture.
Personally, if someone was pouring water down my throat and causing me to believe they are going to continue until I die or blackout, I'd consider it torture. It might not be as bad as electrical wires to the genitals, like the Khmer Rouge were famous for, but it's still bad. Stress positions could be torture-if I were forced to put all my weight on my bad knee for hours on end, I'd consider it torture.
05-06-2009, 07:40 PM
Stress positions are specifically not meant to cause pain so much as fatigue. They wouldn't make you put weight on a bad knee, but they might make you keep your hands on your head until your deltoids began to burn.
Now, let's talk about what our enemies do, shall we? First, a reminder that non-signatories to the Geneva Conventions and combatants who violate their precepts are specifically not protected by the conventions. Now, here are some images from an Al Qaeda manual on their "enhanced interrogation techniques," which include amputation, burning with an acetylene torch, removal of eyes, suspension, electrocution, drilling through hands and a host of other horrors:
So, care to explain to me why waterboarding known terrorists in order to prevent atrocities is wrong while our enemies commit atrocities for their own pleasure?
05-06-2009, 09:13 PM
- Join Date
- Apr 2009
I thought having to hold a canteen straight out in front of me during bootcamp was torture. Maybe they should try that on the terrorists.
05-07-2009, 12:40 PM
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