Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Would torture be acceptable if it prevented something? Would it

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
Raven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:36 AM
Original message
Would torture be acceptable if it prevented something? Would it
be OK if it prevented an terrorist attack or provided valuable information about the enemy?

It seems that Cheney's argument is that torture is an acceptable practice if it saves US from something bad.

Are there any circumstances which would justify torture? I say NO but I'm not sure where they country is on this.

And...the lawyers, like Bybee, who wrote a detailed memo outlining which torture methods were OK and how intense they should be...how the hell is he trained to give such advice? He's a lawyer, not a Doctor or a Shrink. How was he even qualified to render advice on this?

Back to Cheney. He's on a slippery slope but he's a smart, diabolocal guy and he may be leading US into a hair splitting debate that will lead nowhere. The question is whether torture is EVER an acceptable practice, not, as Cheney would prefer, under what circumstances can it be used. If we lose this debate, I fear the country will lose its soul.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:38 AM
Response to Original message
1. One correction.
"Cheney's argument is that torture is an acceptable practice if it saves US from something bad, even if the probability of that bad thing happening is 0.000001%."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sweettater Donating Member (674 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
2. It is NEVER acceptable
as it produces information that is by all accounts WRONG!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
randr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. The opposite side of the coin is as relevant to the discussion
We know that several prisoners died under interrogation.
What if one of them held the key to a ticking time bomb?
Who then would be responsible for senseless deaths?
Speculation of imagined scenarios is purely fantasy.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
4. delete
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 07:51 AM by CJCRANE
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:47 AM
Response to Original message
5. Never is torture ok
under any circumstances it is criminal at worst, cruel at best or vice versa
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Raven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Exactly! And that's where the debate should be, not where Cheney
wants to take it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
obiwan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. Agreed.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TWiley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:49 AM
Response to Original message
7. Lets nail the balls of the undecideds to a plank and ask that question.
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 08:00 AM by TWiley
just to be "safe" of course. We do want to be safe.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Raven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. I think you may have misunderstood the point of my post. There is no
question in my mind that torture is wrong under any circumstances but I think Cheney is cleverly leading the country away from that conclusion to one that makes it acceptable to split hairs.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TWiley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:59 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Yes, I did catch that .... my response was not clear.
I did not know how to word my thoughts outside of a direct reference. I will try to clarify it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
C_U_L8R Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:49 AM
Response to Original message
8. Would bank robbery be okay
if the money was going to be used to save the life of a kid with cancer?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:50 AM
Response to Original message
9. Sort of like defending armed robbery with "But look at the great stuff I got!"
The means do not justify the ends and nothing justifies the meanness of Cheney.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:51 AM
Response to Original message
10. Yes
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 07:52 AM by HamdenRice
Only under the most extreme hypothetical situation -- say, preventing a 9/11 attack, where you had to balance the deaths of 3000 people against hurting one person.

But then the torturer would have to face the consequences of his act and be prosecuted and convicted. If what he did was, ultimately right, then he could be pardoned after being convicted.

Of course, "preventing attacks" in this case was just an excuse and I am in no way suggesting that Cheney et al are telling the truth when they say their torture prevented anything. The "preventing attack" scenario is just used as a convenient excuse.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:54 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Good point.
But by the time you have someone in custody like that you would probably have their bank, phone and computer records, list of known associates etc. and would probably not risk garbling the intelligence by torturing them.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:03 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. That hypothetical situation only happens on TV, not in the real world.
And the torturee wouldn't care if they were tortured and died in order to achieve the greater goal.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. That's why I said only under the most extreme hypothetical situation
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 08:08 AM by HamdenRice
It's almost impossible to imagine one. As CJCrane pointed out upthread, if you have the person in custody, you can probably get the information other ways. The entire discussion of the scenario is intended to get the public to endorse torture, and it hasn't just been spouted by Cheney. I think within academia, Alan Dershowitz was the main person floating the idea.

That said, I was in lower Manhattan on 9/11, and am a New Yorker. On purely hypothetical terms, if I had to balance torturing one person against what happened that day and the number of people who died, I'd choose the torture.

As I said, the torturer would have to accept the consequences of his choice, and society would have to speak through the legal system to condemn it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TorchTheWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #20
40. Don't even go there
Discussing it in purely hypothetical terms is disingenuous because the hypothetical has no merit. There's no point in choosing sides in a hypothetical that has no merit. This hypothetical is based on the theory that torture works. Since it doesn't work and other non-abusive methods do work, there is no premise for the hypothetical and therefore it has no merit.

Just don't go there. Choosing sides in a hypothetical that has no merit justifies it and gives it merit. Rather than do that, point out that there is no point to choosing sides in a hypothetical that has no merit, and you won't justify such a hypothetical by choosing a side, and if need be explain why it has no merit and is unworthy of answering.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #40
44. I think that's a valid point of view
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 12:55 PM by HamdenRice
The entire "debate" is designed to legitimate torture in less clear circumstances, and torture had not in fact been used to get valid information. I acknowledge that. It's fair to say that engaging in the debate will make torture possible in cases where it won't work, by focusing on extremely theoretical cases in which it might.

That said, I don't think it's factually correct to say torture never works in eliciting valid information.

In fact, as I wrote here, the torture memo that started this whole disgraceful episode, the memo that enabled harsh and deceitful interrogation techniques to be applied to Abu Zubaydah, actually elicited information that was considered the "Rosetta Stone of 9/11."

But once you give a government the power to torture, they will abuse it, and in Zubaydah's case, it seems the government didn't like the fact that the truthful information elicited from Zubaydah implicated the Saudis and Pakistanis in 9/11, so it seems they decided to torture him to get himm to spout wrong information.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TorchTheWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #44
48. There ya go
That's what torture is for and has been for centuries... forcing a false confession. It's also used to terrorize a people and keep them cowed (see Saddam and the old Soviets).

Zubaydah spewed information when he believed he was SAVED not when he was tortured, further emphasizing that non-abusive psychological methods work reliably. And since historically torture is used to force a false confession, it's apparent why Zubaydah was tortured AFTER giving the reliable information... they wanted him to give false information.

Certainly truthful information can be had by torture, but because it is so unreliable since someone being tortured will say ANYTHING to make the torture stop, it's worthless... information that can't be determined to be useful or not is worthless. Why torture as a means to get truthful information when what information gained can't be relied on when other non-abusive methods gain information that CAN be relied on? That's what is meant when we say torture doesn't work... it doesn't work because any information gained is worthless because it can't be relied on to be truthful.

Once torture is considered acceptable against enemies it is only a small step to consider it acceptable for the "bad apples" within the society... and then only another small step to being considered acceptable for anyone within the society. Accepting torture on ANY level is the first step down that evil path to acceptance for ALL level within a society.

Accepting torture on any level is like an acoholic believing that just one drink strickly for medicinal purposes is acceptable... that one drink leads down a path that inevitably ends in being shitfaced lying in a pool of puke.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #48
51. Very well said! nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TorchTheWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 07:12 AM
Response to Reply #51
54. thanks - and it's that evil path of small steps that's so frightening
because it's human nature. It may be unbelievable to think that we could go from torturing only selected enemies only in vital circumstances to torturing anyone within our own society for the most infantismal reason, but it's human nature to be lead one step at a time from here to there. We give ourselves reasons why that one step needs to be taken, and once there we give ourselves reasons for the next step, and the next, etc. until you suddenly arrive at the ugly end not even really understanding how you got there.

The state of our government is the same, and only now is the average person just beginning to wake up and wonder how in the world did we get to this. We did it one small step at a time, each step having reasons to be taken and went hardly noticed or not noticed at all or even cheerleaded. There are always a relatively small group of society that is smart enough and educated enough and aware enough to see early on where taking the first small steps evenually lead, but on the whole society is by human nature oblivious until they've been drawn down to the seamier depths.

There's a plethera of reasons to refrain from torturing in all circumstances aside from it being barbaric and repugnant - legal, moral, logistical, etc., but this is the one that I think is the most important and the most frightening especially considering it's the one usually completely overlooked.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
safeinOhio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #10
21. Yes? Then
would the allowing of the anal rape of your child or grandchild be alright if it stopped another 9/11? It is your choice.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Irrelevant and non sequitur
In no circumstances could raping a child prevent 9/11.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
safeinOhio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. The same could be said
about preventing another 9/11 with the use of waterboarding. The point is, do the ends justify the means. Now the argument is where do we draw the line. I draw the line at the rule of international law, no exceptions.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. It doesn't violate international law
Edited on Sun Apr-26-09 08:51 AM by HamdenRice
if the torturer is prosecuted. It vindicates and upholds the law.

Do the ends always justify the means? No. Does that mean the ends never justify the means? Of course not.

Having witnessed the carnage of 9/11, I can say in the abstract that if I had to balance torturing one conspirator against the horrible deaths of 9/11 -- obliteration, burning, smoke inhalation, jumping from the 90th floor, crushing under debris -- I'd say the torture is justified in that case.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
safeinOhio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. Yes it was terrible
I would never wish that ever. I would also never wish the death of over 4 thousand U.S. soldiers or over 87 thousand Iraqis. That also was done in the name of stopping another 9/11. Yet no one has ever shown that torture has ever stopped a ticking time bomb.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. "Yet no one has ever shown that torture has ever stopped a ticking time bomb"
I agree. That's why I said it was purely hypothetical, which is what the OP was asking.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #30
69. what it has done
What torture has been effective at is breaking and destroying resistance movements.

In actual practice, that is what torture is used for. Those promoting it always claim some other motive - ticking time bombs and such - to get the public to support it, to create confusion and ambiguity around the issue.

Would we have told the French Resistance leaders to not worry when one of their comrades was captured by the Germans because "torture doesn't work," or were they prudent to quickly respond and hide people and change routines and codes and contacts?


...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #22
33. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #33
36. Do you know what inverse and converse are?
Just because rape is torture, doesn't mean the only form of torture is rape.

The question is, could torture ever be justified. In a theoretical circumstance where it could stop a 9/11, I'd say yes. That doesn't mean that the rape of a child would be justified. Nor would the pulling out of fingernails. Nor the wrack. Nor the iron maiden.

It's depressing to see that this kind of logic has to be pointed out to some people.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #10
46. that is a defense of torture
There are two false premises here. First, the notion that torture doesn't "work." If torture didn't work, then no one told the people in resistance organizations throughout history. when one of their comrades is captured, they assume (correctly) that there is a danger of the organization being compromised. You are saying that if it worked - and that if it saved lives - it could be OK.

Then this idea that the torturers would then be prosecuted. If they were private citizens operating on their own they would be prosecuted regardless. If they were working for the state, what expectation is there that the state that authorized torture could be depended upon to prosecute torturers? That makes no sense.

So, you are saying, that if "preventing attacks" was not just an excuse (who decides that?) and if torture worked (which it does) and if we saved lives (and who decides that?) then torture is OK. Adding that this is all merely hypothetical, and saying that you would only approve it if the perpetrators were later prosecuted, does not mitigate the fact that your argument is a defense of torture. The scenario you outline is common, not hypothetical, and no government that authorizes torture can be relied upon to prosecute torturers.



...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. Sorry, but I can't parse this. It's too confused and confusing. Could you restate it? nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #47
52. parsed
You said that torture might be hypothetically justified under certain conditions -

If it worked, which you claim it never does.

If it saved lives.

If the perpetrators were prosecuted.

I said that your disclaimers are all false. It does work, there is no way to know if lives were saved or not and that could always be used as a justification, and governments that authorize torture are not likely to prosecute people for it.

What we are then left with is a statement in support of torture.


...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 05:07 AM
Response to Reply #52
53. Your premises are all wrong then
Edited on Mon Apr-27-09 05:19 AM by HamdenRice
Just upthread, I said it could work. I never claimed it never works. Here are my exact words in post 44:

That said, I don't think it's factually correct to say torture never works in eliciting valid information.

In fact, as I wrote here, the torture memo that started this whole disgraceful episode, the memo that enabled harsh and deceitful interrogation techniques to be applied to Abu Zubaydah, actually elicited information that was considered the "Rosetta Stone of 9/11."


Where on earth did you get the idea I was saying it doesn't work but it's use could be justified? So your first premise is exactly wrong.

Your second premise is also wrong. It is possible to tell if it saved lives. The Clinton administration, for example, foiled the millenium bomb plot without torture. It's pretty obvious that if someone had blown up a bomb in Times Square on New Years Eve, many lives would have been lost. The administration bragged that they saved many lives. If we can tell that an operation that doesn't use torture saved lives, why couldn't we tell that an operation that did use torture saved lives?

If the feds had tortured 20th hijacker Zacarias Mousaoui into providing the names and flight numbers of the 9/11 hijackers and we then learned that they had planned to fly planes into the twin towers, we could know that lives were saved.

Your third premise is also wrong. Governments prosecute government officials for torture and abuse all the time -- especially police departments and prison officials. When the torture of detainees and prisoners isn't prosecuted, the crime is transformed from an individual crime to a state sponsored human rights abuse.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #53
57. right here
Edited on Mon Apr-27-09 10:19 AM by Two Americas
Hard to tell what you are saying. You are arguing both sides of the issue.

The OP asked "Would torture be acceptable if it prevented something?"

Your answer: "yes."

You then qualified it with these statements:

- "Only under the most extreme hypothetical situation..."

- "But then the torturer would have to face the consequences..."

You even say that if what the torturer did was later proved to be right, he could be pardoned.

Granted, other statement you made contradict what you are saying in the post to which I responded. So who knows where you stand?

But there is nothing ambiguous about this:

Question "is torture ever acceptable?"

Your answer: "yes."

Hence, I said "you are defending torture." I also said that a government that authorized torture is unlikely to prosecute torture, That doesn't preclude a subsequent regime prosecuting torture, and your examples of rogue and illegal actions by individuals being prosecuted is not relevant. Although you do say that even if they broke the law they could be pardoned if "what they did was right."

You are defending torture.



...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #57
58. Another confused post
You wrote:

other statement you made contradict what you are saying


Can you provide an example?

As for the overall issue, I am not "defending torture." I am saying that I can imagine a hypothetical situation in which it could be justified if the balance were hurting one person versus 3,000 people dying horrible deaths.

Are you saying that you would rather see 3,000 people die that see one person waterboarded?

That said, I don't think we have faced that hypothetical situation.

I don't know how much clearer I can make it for you.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #58
59. ok
And how does that differ from any other defense of torture?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #59
61. Uruguay Rugby Team
In 1973 Uruguay flight 571, carrying a Uruguay Rugby Team, crashed in the Andes mountains, stranding the survivors at 10,000 feet where there was no natural food source. Eventually the survivors resorted to eating the flesh of their dead comrades, until they were rescued 72 days after the crash.

I can imagine this as an example of when eating your friends is justified.

That does not mean that I defend cannibalism in general.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #61
63. that makes no sense whatsoever
The torture you are talking about has not happened yet.

The survivors of that crash did not "eat their friends," they ate their already dead bodies.

I find your relentless blurring of moral lines, and your refusal to speak in clear and straightforward terms about moral issues, very disturbing.

No one defends torture "in general." They make up specifics and hypothetical scenarios, and introduce confusion and ambiguity into the discussion. That is the way people defend torture, the only way. There is no other defense of torture, so your distinction here between real defenders of torture - those who do it "in general" - and you, who are merely innocently posing hypothetical scenarios and rationalizations, does not hold water.

You defended torture. If you did not mean to do that, it should be an easy matter to clear up any misunderstandings. "Winning" an argument with me does not clarify anything.



...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #63
65. Whatever dude
Edited on Mon Apr-27-09 01:08 PM by HamdenRice
Your reasoning remains confused. Hard to get through your fog.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #65
66. Makes perfect sense to me.
:shrug:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:00 AM
Response to Original message
15. Using that argument then we would have been justified in torturing the
US Supreme Court in order to stop the granting of George W. Bush a seat in the Oval Office...

We all knew it was going to be a disaster.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
baldguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:01 AM
Response to Original message
16. Would genocide be acceptable if it prevented something?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:04 AM
Response to Original message
18. It comes back to another point
I've been making...

Pro-torture apologists should also support it being used on suspected RW terrorists, as the latest intelligence estimate shows them to a threat to national security.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:07 AM
Response to Original message
19. Forget the morality question. Torture gives unreliable information, so it's wrong on that account
alone.

Then, the damage it does to our reputation and the danger it puts our armed forces in?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
24. Perhaps torture could work...
if we told someone who had information that if they talked we would torture Cheney we might get great intel.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #24
42. Now that's a great idea. I bet people would give up their granny to see Cheney tortured. nm
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
kitp Donating Member (182 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
26. I only rape woman who "deserve" it.
(Obviously sarcasm, for those who don't get it)

For at least 60 years the U.S. has tortured, raped and murdered, either directly or indirectly, people of the Middle East. We have subverted governments, installed dictators, assassinated elected officials. We have stolen natural resources and enslaved entire populations.
This policy and practice is because of people like Dick Cheney.
It is also the reason 9/11 took place.

If we wish to prevent bad things like 9/11 from happening, imprison people like Dick Cheney, do not continue their policies because it might prevent retaliation.

Torture is wrong not because it fails to provide reliable information, although it does so fail.
Torture is wrong not because the end goal immoral, although if the end goal is to continue to subjugate the Middle East, that end goal is immoral.
Torture is wrong because it is inhumane. Period.

Think about the actuality of torture. Image yourself standing there beating and kicking another human being. That person is chained and weak, unable to defend themselves. They are weeping and vomiting and bleeding and begging for mercy. You continue to beat them, you kick them, you hit them, you throw them into walls, you electrocute them, you scream obscenities at them.
Seriously, think of yourself in that position. If you realize that you could not do that, you could not treat another person like that, then think of the people who did, and still do, that. Think about their moral character. Think about what type of person they must be that they CAN do that.
Now, let's stop arguing about who should be punished. Everyone from Bush down to the doctors who stood by helping.
Every last one of them should be imprisoned.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. Thank you and Welcome to DU!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
CaptJasHook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #26
35. I'm more pessimistic than you. I would say torture is Very human.
Definitely not humane, but very human.

That is why I believe we must hammer away at the rational consequences of torture. I firmly believe that the vast majority of humankind is humane at their core. Unfortunately, there are too many who are willing to abstract the "other" into a form that is easily tortured, raped, killed, etc. We must hold a sharp line against there use of these crimes and we must teach our children why love and compassion are the more rational choices.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dkofos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
27. I say we torture cheney and show everyone how effective it is or is not.
I'm sure he won't have a problem with it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
31. Perhaps. In this case the Army,Navy,Marines,AirForce and CIA said it would not work AND
the Bush Admin ignored ALL this advice.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
32. TORTURE IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE!!! NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
and besides, your "question" is false from the start...there is NEVER a condition where torture "prevented" something...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
CaptJasHook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
34. If I beat the crap out of my kid to prevent him from running in traffic
I have possibly saved his life that day.

And now he gets to walk through life with fear of his father, never open up to me about issues that may be difficult, never trust figures of authority, possibly grow up to beat his own children, etc. etc.


Or I could have just pulled him from traffic, sat down and had numerous rational discussions about the dangers of cars, then told him that I love him.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Gidney N Cloyd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
37. That line of reasoning presumes there's no alternative means of preventing the disaster.
That I can get to work on time by driving like a maniac and risking other drivers lives doesn't mean I couldn't also get to work on time by leaving home earlier and following the rules of the road.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TorchTheWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #37
41. Exactly - it's a hypothetical that has no merit
and is therefore unworthy of answering.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Jim__ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
38. No!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
39. The susan boyle threads were torture
And yet people kept posting them :rofl:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
43. The question is way too general. How many would we torture to get a minute piece of evidence?
The chance of getting good intelligence from torture is so remote that the question is mute. Kinda like, "would you kill your children to save New York City?".

My criticism here is aimed at the question and not the poster.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
45. torture works
If torture didn't "work" - elicit useful information - then why is it that every resistance organization throughout history goes into emergency damage control mode when one of their comrades is captured? They know that names and addresses and other information can be coerced from a person using torture.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #45
60. no it doesn't.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Two Americas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #60
68. depends
Depends on how we define "works." What about my example?

I hope you did not think hat my remark was in defense of torture, btw.


...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
49. Stop watching 24.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
GoneOffShore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
50. Simple answer - NO.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 07:14 AM
Response to Original message
55. No, but the M$M keeps framing the question as such, and focuses on waterboarding only
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
nuxvomica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 07:21 AM
Response to Original message
56. It is acceptable as any crime would be if there are...
..extenuating circumstances. If the mythical ticking time-bomb scenario ever actually occurred, the interrogators' fates would be in the hands of a jury. If they indeed behaved reasonably for an extreme situation, a jury wouldn't convict them. That's what I don't understand about this debate. The extreme case often cited as justification for sanctioning torture is already accommodated by our trial system just as there's no need to legislate murder in self-defense.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bottomtheweaver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
62. The ticking time bomb is a bullshit CIA gag line.
The only bombs we have to worry about are the ones our own intel guys are running around the world tossing so it's a moot point to begin with. Torture is a crime, period, as if we don't have five thousand other ways of finding out anything we'd care to know.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
lefthandedlefty Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
64. If it`s OK for The U.S.
Then why did we prosicute Germans
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-27-09 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
67. Fascists torture, that is all. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-28-09 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
70. The only appropriate response to "does it work" is. . .
. . .to unequivocally reject the implied premise. (e.g., "We are America! I don't give a rat's ass if it helps! We are America! We do not f***ing torture!!!" --Shepard Smith, FauxNews)

You only ask "does it work?" if you are interested in the question "should we do it?" The implied premise is that "it" (whatever it may be) could be done. When it comes to torture, the notion "could be done" is criminal lunacy.

But if the question "does it work" is so far off the reservation, how come pro-torture propagandists have managed to drag so many into this immoral "debate." What's the problem?

The problem is Obama.

The problem is that actions speak louder than words. And inaction and evasion on torture speaks volumes. Every time Obama asserts that there is some doubt about whether or not the war crimes committed in plain sight warrant prosecution, he is saying "Cheney is right; As far as we know, no prosecutable crimes occurred."

Cheney is beating the pants off Obama, Holder, and the rest of the "won't say it's a crime; can't say it's not" crowd because they have ceded the field.

As long as Obama refuses to unequivocally state that it is our duty as a nation to identify and prosecute all the perpetrators; the message is loud and clear: In the USA, officially-sanctioned degradation and torture of persons in state custody is tolerated.

Not "policy" today? So what? It was "policy" for six years. It could be policy again. So let's talk about whether or not it "works" (in other words, whether or not it is "good policy.") Game Over; Cheney, once again, wins the day!

Unless we enjoy watching this spectacle, it is time to forget about the pro-torture faction. Stop arguing with them. Stop making excuses for Obama's failure. Stop assuming "he'll do the right thing real soon now" and start doing something to make sure he does.

We owe it to him, if we truly support him. More importantly, we owe it to ourselves and to future generations.




Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Sep 25th 2020, 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC