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  1. #1 We can't afford moral certainty about torture. 
    Senior Member hampshirebrit's Avatar
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    As a diversion from remonstrating with his Chinese hosts over their lapses on human rights, David Cameron took a moment last week to bring the subject closer to home. Responding to George Bush’s claim that the practice of waterboarding was justified because it had averted major terrorist attacks on British targets, Mr Cameron said that he thought torture was wrong and that “we ought to be very clear about that”. Then he added, “And I think we should also be clear that [the information you get from torture] is likely to be unreliable.” He elaborated on these points by explaining that “there is both a moral reason for being opposed to torture – and Britain doesn’t sanction torture – but secondly, I think there’s also an effectiveness thing…”

    So Mr Cameron’s repudiation of Mr Bush rested on two propositions: that a) the British government was unequivocally opposed to torture (of which waterboarding was a form), and that b) torture didn’t produce anything useful. But why, if you maintain the first part as an inviolable principle (“Torture is never acceptable”), should there be any need to argue for the second? What point is there in discussing what Mr Cameron calls the “effectiveness thing” at all?

    It is not only the Prime Minister who has issued this peculiar, two-pronged rejection of the Bush claims. Official British spokesmen have been jamming up television studios over the past week to reiterate the message that, in the words of Sir John Sawers, the head of the Secret Intelligence Service: “Torture is abhorrent and illegal under any circumstances and we have nothing to do with it.” But these forthright moral assertions were inevitably followed by an insistence that no terrorist plots against London were ever proved to have been prevented by evidence derived from such techniques. (Note in passing: it would be almost impossible to prove that an attack had been averted in this way. Even the confession by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of 9/11, that he had planned attacks on Big Ben and Canary Wharf of exactly the kind that Mr Bush described, is dismissed as unreliable by those who espouse this position.)
    This is part of a thought-provoking op-ed piece by the Telegraph's Janet Daley. Full article here.
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    CU's Tallest Midget! PoliCon's Avatar
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    Its all about repeating the lie often enough. They have to repeatedly state that it is ineffective. If not people will look at the facts and realize that waterboarding (which I do not for a second consider torture) produced effective and actionable results.
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  3. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoliCon View Post
    Its all about repeating the lie often enough. They have to repeatedly state that it is ineffective. If not people will look at the facts and realize that waterboarding (which I do not for a second consider torture) produced effective and actionable results.
    What criteria do you use to determine whether or not something is torture? (just curious)
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    Quote Originally Posted by m00 View Post
    What criteria do you use to determine whether or not something is torture? (just curious)
    If your body parts are all intact and undamaged afterward, it ain't torture. If the worry is that our enemies might use waterboarding against our soldiers, then I would say that our soldiers should take comfort in that. I am pretty sure that they would prefer it to having their limbs amputated with an acetylene torch or being skinned alive or any of the other methods the enemies we currently face would use without hesitation.
    "Our president delivered his State of the Union message to Congress. That is one of the things his contract calls for -- to tell congress the condition of the country. This message, as I say, is to Congress. The rest of the people know the condition of the country, for they live in it, but Congress has no idea what is going on in America, so the president has to tell 'em." ~ Will Rogers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Articulate_Ape View Post
    If your body parts are all intact and undamaged afterward, it ain't torture. If the worry is that our enemies might use waterboarding against our soldiers, then I would say that our soldiers should take comfort in that. I am pretty sure that they would prefer it to having their limbs amputated with an acetylene torch or being skinned alive or any of the other methods the enemies we currently face would use without hesitation.
    Low level electric shocks leave body parts intact and undamaged. Do you consider that torture?
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    Quote Originally Posted by m00 View Post
    Low level electric shocks leave body parts intact and undamaged. Do you consider that torture?
    Nope, I call it an incentive.
    "Our president delivered his State of the Union message to Congress. That is one of the things his contract calls for -- to tell congress the condition of the country. This message, as I say, is to Congress. The rest of the people know the condition of the country, for they live in it, but Congress has no idea what is going on in America, so the president has to tell 'em." ~ Will Rogers
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    Senior Member hampshirebrit's Avatar
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    Look, I do think that waterboarding is a little bit more than harsh words with some added liquid refreshment, but if that's what it takes to save me and mine from having our limbs torn asunder in some bomb attempt (and I have already, relatively narrowly, escaped one such incident, and have met, thankfully on nodding terms only and thus entirely ignorant of his ambition, someone who ended up succeeding, only too well, in his own attempt), then I am all for it.

    The whole point, I think, of the article I posted above, is that discussions about torture in academic and theoretical fora are all well and good, but in practical terms, we depend almost entirely on allowing our security forces the ability to persuade some very unpleasant (usually religiously inclined) people to give up information to prevent loss of innocent life.

    If someone gets a bit wet and inconvenienced, and as a result of that wetness and that inconvenience, me and mine and you and yours get to live our lives out in peace, then so be it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hampshirebrit View Post
    Look, I do think that waterboarding is a little bit more than harsh words with some added liquid refreshment, but if that's what it takes to save me and mine from having our limbs torn asunder in some bomb attempt (and I have already, relatively narrowly, escaped one such incident, and have met, thankfully on nodding terms only and thus entirely ignorant of his ambition, someone who ended up succeeding, only too well, in his own attempt), then I am all for it.

    The whole point, I think, of the article I posted above, is that discussions about torture in academic and theoretical fora are all well and good, but in practical terms, we depend almost entirely on allowing our security forces the ability to persuade some very unpleasant (usually religiously inclined) people to give up information to prevent loss of innocent life.

    If someone gets a bit wet and inconvenienced, and as a result of that wetness and that inconvenience, me and mine and you and yours get to live our lives out in peace, then so be it.

    Precisely, Hamp.
    "Our president delivered his State of the Union message to Congress. That is one of the things his contract calls for -- to tell congress the condition of the country. This message, as I say, is to Congress. The rest of the people know the condition of the country, for they live in it, but Congress has no idea what is going on in America, so the president has to tell 'em." ~ Will Rogers
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  9. #9  
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    I don't really know why torture is considered “immoral.” How is it immoral to chop off the hands of a rapist, or a murderer, or a terrorist? It's only immoral if you do it to an innocent person.

    That said, we pretty much have no need to torture, since there are good ways to extract information other than torture, such as enhanced interrogation techniques.

    PS: And yes, there's really no objective definition of torture. It all seems to be very subjective and arbitrary.
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by hampshirebrit View Post
    Look, I do think that waterboarding is a little bit more than harsh words with some added liquid refreshment, but if that's what it takes to save me and mine from having our limbs torn asunder in some bomb attempt (and I have already, relatively narrowly, escaped one such incident, and have met, thankfully on nodding terms only and thus entirely ignorant of his ambition, someone who ended up succeeding, only too well, in his own attempt), then I am all for it.

    The whole point, I think, of the article I posted above, is that discussions about torture in academic and theoretical fora are all well and good, but in practical terms, we depend almost entirely on allowing our security forces the ability to persuade some very unpleasant (usually religiously inclined) people to give up information to prevent loss of innocent life.

    If someone gets a bit wet and inconvenienced, and as a result of that wetness and that inconvenience, me and mine and you and yours get to live our lives out in peace, then so be it.
    It's more a question of common sense to me .If some Islamic critter is willing to blow himself and a bunch of civilian people to kingdom come then I'm fine with water boarding captured terror suspects,Israeli style profiling, searching all Arabic looking critters and full body searches for any who refuse scanning.They, the TSA searchers, should be fully screened to cull out any Queers or ' free feel' Critters,The alternative is to shut down all air travel.

    As far as I can tell the only critters who are blowing up other people are Arab Terrorists and they are all Muslims so whats the problem with profiling all Arab looking critters?

    Playing nice with a critter who wants to put your head on a stake seems to me insanity.The UK has become an net exporter of terrorists because of their insanity of PC tolerance over common sense. Islam have taken advantage of the UK's fixation with all things PC and have run 'Rough Shod' over the countries law abiding citizens.

    Muslim preachers are in the streets calling for overthrow of the countries legal system and replacing it with an old Muslim Desert Tribal rules.

    Islam is attempting to take over all of Europe by way of stealth and has had it's best results in the UK.
    The French ,Swedes and to a lesser extent the Germans have been 'pushing back' trying to stem the Arab hordes with mixed results.Islam has no interest in adopting a host countries culture and becoming a citizen but rather they are intent on changing it into an Islamic country.

    Whether we realise it or not this is an invasion of our very culture by a primitive tribal mentality intent on conquest who are willing to slaughter us if we chose not to obey..
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