As I’ve stated above, I’m not here to tell the United States how to conduct foreign policy. However, if you want my opinion, I’m happy to share…I’m never said strip citizen’s of their constitutional right’s, however if they are caught commiting or planning to commit an act of Terrorism, then the glove’s are off. I never implied that we should only do it to foreigner’s. I’m all for it happening to a Canadian that commit’s an act of Terror here or abroad. As for your belief that because the gov’t of the US is conducting interrogation’s or torture on enemy combatant’s. And that is why US Soldier’s are being tortured or beheaded, then you need to either open your eyes or further educate yourself. These savages were commiting these atrocity’s long before the American’s became involved. I watched a very sick video of these Islamic Extremist’s beheading a Russian Soldier from back in the early ninties, in Afganistan. He couldn’t have been 20 year’s old. They don’t play by Western rule’s, they have no honour, which is quite apparent by the fact they they consider women and children viable target’s that pave the path to Martyrdom. They attack and mutilate dead bodies. I’ve seen many New’s program’s and documetary’s showing their savagery. Be it Isreali or American Soldier’s. So if you think what the American’s are doing to suspected Terrorist’s is why American Soldier’s are being killed so brutually over in the Middle East, well then I’m here to tell you that they don’t need anymore reason’s. It would and does happen regardless. I don’t condone torture, unless it stop’s innocent people from being killed, by coward’s be they American or Muslim’s. I give no individual the right to kill women babies or civilian’s. It’s true that innocent civilian’s get killed in Iraq and other places in the Middle East, and it doesn’t make it right, but the Western Nation’s don’t target them as enemies. They don’t walk into cafe’s where families are eating and detonate bomb’s to kill everyone and everything. Only a coward that is deluded by the cult of religion could rationalize a baby as the path to a paradise with 72 virgin’s. And that is a very sad fact indeed.
As for joad saying that all torture is sexual sadism, that’s the most ridiculous statement one could make. It is true that some sick individual’s get off on torture, but to say all form’s of torture is sexual sadism is clearly nonsense. Torture is done for several reason’s. Once it was to persecute none believer’s by religious zealot’s. As for the US doing it to Terrorist’s, that is to obtain information, to say otherwise is just ignorance or a repressed personality. It’s like saying that all people that commit assault on women are rapist’s. Wow, it’s almost sad…
And Goerge W., well, as I said, that is for American Citizen’s to decide or comment on. I have my own Country to concern myself with.
As for the US doing it to Terrorist’s, that is to obtain information, to say otherwise is just ignorance or a repressed personality
I haven’t been able to find a thread that discussed torture in regards to Sam’s article. I have hesitiated to begin such a thread if it has already been thoroughly discussed.
Torture as an interrogation method has been thoroughly discredited.
If anything, it is counter-productive as an interrogation method.
When you torture a terrorist, you just reinforce his opinion that you are evil.
CDN, how much torture would you endure to prevent a terrorist from obtaining a nuclear weapon?
First, did I quote Sam Harris? I don’t speak for anyone but myself. I’ve made that clear. How much torture would I endure? As much as humanly possible. However contrary to movies and television, I know that everyone break’s eventually, sooner than later. I’m not naive in my thinking to believe that I would do otherwise. As for torture being discredited, that’s just wishful thinking. Are you in the Military or Gov’t, that you know so much about it? I am in the Military and am privy to experience, information or people that conduct interrogation’s on enemy’s. My information and knowledge comes from fellow soldier’s from Canada and Britain that are very good friend’s of mine. They not only catch and “interrogate” the enemy in the field, they do what is necessary to obtain information, as they are ordered to do. Perhap’s you’ve heard of ‘intelligence gathering?’ That intelligence gathering has saved the live’s of many Soldier’s and civilian’s alike, whether they were considered friendly’s or not. Your vast knowledge on book’s and article’s give’s you nothing in the way of knowledge. Unless you are CIA or have friend’s or collegue’s that can tell you first hand, then I’d say I am far more learned on the subject than you are. I understand what is really happening because I’ve seen War first hand, have you? Are you a Reservist? Served your Country? Or do you just sit back like an armchair quarterback and sermonize? I bet if there as an attack that directly affected you or your’s, you’d want your gov’t to protect you. Or wonder what it was why your home could have been attacked in the first place and what your Gov’t had done to prevent it. Your Countrymen and women are fighting and dying and doing whatever is necessary to protect their Country and families. Yet you have the nerve to expect their protection, but question the way in which they do it. Do you ever listen to yourself? I suggest you either sign up and do something about it, rather than wax poetic on here. And if you’re not even an American, then you have nothing to say on the matter. I can’t wait for another of your witty comeback’s, anything you have had to say on here tell’s us nothing and mean’s nothing, unless you can back up those word’s with action’s. If it bother’s you so much, join the Gov’t, join the Military or do something productive to change the thing’s you do not like. Otherwise, get off your soapbox, because, clearly if you don’t back up your belief’s then you are all talk and no action. Just another mouth running off. If nothing else, like me or hate me, atleast I picked up a rifle and defended my belief’s for my Country. How about you Joad?
Do you think President Bush’s daughters should join the military and serve in some capacity in Iraq? If not in combat, at least in the Green Zone - maybe in the cafeteria, or in the hospital? If not in the operating room, at least visiting the wounded in the ward, etc. Wouldn’t this be a great moral booster for the troops to see the Commander in Chief’s daughters there in uniform? I ask this because you are challenging people who don’t believe this invasion was wise to join up and do their part. Isn’t it better to challenge the people who ordered and planned this war? Isn’t it better to challenge the people who sent you and your fellow troopers into harm’s way, asking you to kill and torture to avenge 9/11? Asking you to kill and torture to prevent further attacks on the Homeland?
As you know, when people see their homes destroyed, their family members killed, maimed, tortured - they become filled with a terrible resolve to seek revenge. Do you really think the Iraq War is making us safer? Almost all of the people tortured by the U.S. have many friends and family members. Is there any part of you that suspects we are creating more terrorists than we destroy?
Killing terrorists in battle is very different than sweeping up suspected terrorists in other contexts with the intent to torture information out of them. It is not acceptable in my view to methodically inflict pain on people so that they tell us what we want to hear in order to be left alone, regardless of who they are or who we believe them to be.
In my opinion we should not be torturing people, period! If they are foreign terrorists, we should kill them or inprison them, NOT torture them. If they are American citizens, denying them due process is criminal according to our Constitution.
The reason we should now be more fearful for our troops, is that we are establishing a precedent for conflicts everywhere, regardless of whether they involve Islamic terrorists. Again, the world’s only superpower, my own country, has established that it is okay to torture. Why this fact fails to disturb many people is completely beyond me.
Just to clarify….
I only mentioned Sam because I wasn’t sure that this topic hadn’t been talked to death already on another thread.
Perhaps when you get to be my age and have my background in Military Intelligence, you will change your opinion.
I was working on Top Secret Crytopgraphy computer codes for the US Army in 1968.
You ever seen a friend after they have been wrapped in barbed wire and electrified? I served with soldiers who had been in real combat, and who had been tortured by experts.
Using torture, suspending habeas corpus and wire-tapping without a warrant are all unconstitutional. If we are violating our own constitution and turning our country into a facist state then what exactly are we defending?
We’ll never know if Jose Padilla is guilty of breaking any laws because he is incompetent to stand trial because we tortured him until he was crazy.
None of what George W. or the fundamentalist Christian neocons advocates makes any sense unless you understand what they are really interested in accomplishing. The war on terror has no end so these rights of ours that have been suspended we have lost indefinitely. If you are trying to replace the constitution with bibilical law this is a good thing and that is the goal of Reconstructionist Christians.
Terrorism is an excuse, not a reason, for the assault we’ve been seeing on our constitutional rights.
It is a sad thing and such disillusionment for me to see this happen in the US.
When I was young my parents, who are both Dutch, would tell us how after 5 years of Nazi occupation the Canadians and the Americans came and liberated us from a murderous regime that cared nothing for the rights of individuals and would use torture without blinking.
Even the ‘regular’ Germans would be afraid of the Gestapo.
It would serve us well to remember that the first people to wind up in Nazi concentration camps were German citizens.
I always had a special place in my heart for America and many Europeans still do.
The US represented hope for a better and just world.
After reading way too much Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn I have come to realize that this sentiment was a bit naive, to say the least.
But emotionally it is still devastating to me that the US now condones torture and worse than that, few people here seem to give a damn.
Ok Joad, you’ve proven me wrong about you, atleast you’ve served your Country and I can respect that. I do not, however share your opinion’s. You’ve also never qualified any of your statement’s with why you feel the way you do. Now I will qualify mine. I’ve served 8 month’s in Afganistan, I’ve been in serveral cqb’s. I’ve seen my fellow Soldier’s come back in Bodybag’s. Mutilated from ied’s. These men that you know that were tortured, were their captor’s all sexual sadist’s? You felt there was no need to find the one’s that commited the torture and stop them? Perhap’s just having a talk with the Vietnamese would produce the desired result’s? You and I both know that’s not true. I’m honestly surprised, knowing what you know about War, seeing what can happen to friend’s, that you think torture is not part of any and all War. It has been with us since men could attack and kill men. And will be with us long after we are gone. I’m not saying that it’s right, I’m saying that it’s necessary. No one but the naive or the sanctimonious should imagine otherwise. You Joad, most of all should understand that. Even if you don’t support it.
Ok Forest, you’re not getting it. Again I never said that torture was the only method, I said to do whatever it take’s to stop the killing of innocent’s. You can agree with your Gov’t or not about it’s tactic’s, that’s your perogative. You think that torturing is the only reason Muslim’s need to torture and kill American’s or Nato Soldier’s? It’s the fact your gov’t occupies foreign Countries, that is an affront to the Islamic extremist’s. There are many, many reason’s to do with foreign policy that cause Nato Soldier’s to be attacked or killed. Torture is just a small facet of the problem, but to think that either side will cease it’s use is asinine. Right or wrong, it has and alway’s will serve a function of intelligence gathering.
As for unsmoked, wow, did you actually think it through before you wrote about Bush’s daughter’s? Of course it would be a moral booster if they joined their Father’s cause. But you are implying that they some how planned or are a part of the Gov’t and it’s policies. They are the children of the President, not his Military advisor’s. Are you saying that ever Soldier should induct his children into the Military? It boggles the mind??? Are Bush’s daughter’s challenging me in some way I don’t see? I think not. I never said that the American’s should have invaded Iraq, that’s not for me to decide. I’m Canadian and I’m glad my Gov’t went in to Afganistan. I will be going back in August for my second tour. As for whether I think more Terrorist’s are being created? You give me too much credit. I don’t care about what those people think or believe. They are the same family and friend’s that were dancing in the street’s when the Twin Tower’s went down. They are not worthy of my concern or care. If you think they care about you or your fellow American’s then you are sadly mistaken. Death or subjagation is all they desire for you. Your higher moral’s will affect nothing in their resolve to see your way of life destroyed. Am I wrong here Joad? Or do you think that they wish the West peace and hapiness?
[quote author=“CDN”]They are not worthy of my concern or care.
You scare me CDN.
I assumed that people here had read Sam’s article on torture and the responses. I don’t have the material at hand, but I know it was thoroughly discussed on the Huffington blog.
I was trying to avoid a 100 page restatement of old arguments.
If anyone can refer me to a similar thread on this site, I would be appreciative.
First of all, you can’t use the word torture as a blanket description.
Torture, in and of itself, is nothing more than sexual sadism.
Another form of torture is as a demonstration of state power. In that case, the victim can be randomly selected. It is just sending a message to the general population. We have seen that countless times in Fascist Military regimes.
Then there is torture as an interrogation technique. That is a difficult propostition. There are too many variables.
If I was a battlefield commander and I caught you torturing a POW, I’d have you court-martialed. Imagine that you had captured an enemy who actually had some vital information. You start torturing him, and he dies.
Now the information is lost. Way to go.
So, if you even want to propose torture as an interrogation method, you have to create a situation where the interrogators are not only competent, but are aware of the larger picture. How do you decide whether the immediate need for information is more important than the accuracy of that information?
Any information obtained by torture fails the accuracy test. It has to be independently confirmed. The person being tortured will say whatever he thinks will stop the torture. You might as well write his statement for him before you begin the torture.
The list of problems is endless. What if the person doesn’t have any real information? There is no way for the torturer to determine if he is encountering resistance or ignorance.
Another problem is that the person being tortured must trust the torturer to be ethical. You can promise to stop torturing me if I provide information. But why would I trust the word of a torturer? You might torture me worse once I give up my information.
We have proven interrogation techniques. They involve killing the person with kindness. The Good Cop/Bad Cop method works. But only the Good Cop ever gets any information.
Even if your torture technique could make the person want to talk, he has no Good Cop to talk to.
Joad, do you hear yourself? Killing with kindness? You think that with kindness you are going to get someone to talk? They are driven by the belief in a life after this one, you can not reason or debate with a zealot. The good cop/bad cop is for movies. It only work’s on the weak minded. Pain is the only driving factor to compel someone to tell you what you want to know. How do you determine what is correct and what is them just trying to tell you what they think you want to hear? By continued interrogation. Trail and error. There are proven method’s to torture that yield fruitful result’s. A trained interrogator will know the difference. A nice bedtime story, a mint on the pillow will give you nothing but lie’s. The movie’s you are watching are distorting your reality, perhaps it is your age that’s allowing you to be more forgiving in your view toward’s Mankind. Sexual sadism? Why can’t you let that go? One article or footnote about sexual sadism describing torture encompasses the entire topic? You’re telling me that when a Soldier, mostly the Special Forces, that are out capturing and obtaining information from enemy combatant’s are doing so out of the base desire for sexual gratification? It’s a simple matter of life and death for these guy’s. What sexual sadism do these guy’s derive from torturing or interrogating the enemy? Let it go or do some more reading. Either way adjust your thinking to encompass the entire spectrum of torture and it’s motivation’s. As for Court-Martialing any of these guy’s as their Company commander? Who do you think it is who send’s out these guy’s with their order’s? Very few if any do so without following direct order’s. And if one is tortured and dies before any information can be had, then the one’s commiting the torture were not properly trained now were they? It is an art, not just a bunch of guy’s playing doctor. As for the trust issue, that is clearly irrelevant. It is the increase in pain that is the factor in speaking, not the promise that it will stop. It only stop’s when the interrogator want’s it to stop. Most that are tortured are begging to die long before it is over. A trained interrogator know’s A, the information he want’s to obtain from the subject. And B, what the subject is likely to know based on his capture or history. No one is picked a randomly out of a hat. That is why organization’s like the CIA are so adept at it. Training, trial and error make’s the best interrogator’s. Not your good cop/bad cop movie crap. It is as much a science as it is an art. Or am I making that up? If you were in Intelligence, then you might not want to admit it, but some of the intelligence that was gathered and proved useful was from torture. That is a well documented fact in the Vietnam War. And any War prior or since for that matter. Just because people view it as unexceptable doesn’t make it anyless effective. If that will save just one innocent woman or baby, then so be it. I do not choose to look at the world through rose coloured glasses. The rest of you do as you like, say as you like, but it change’s nothing about the truth of the matter.
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.
Something to think about CDN.
You are entitled to your opinion. I only ask that you be consistent.
Please refrain from any criticism of the methods that others use to extract information from US or Canadian soldiers or civilians.
Their need for information is as vital as ours. You want to know where they may have planted a suicase bomb. They want to know where the next bomb will be dropped from a B-52.
I’m sure that you, of all people, understand why they use such seemingly cruel methods.
Do you think President Bush would ever be willing to attend some of your torture sessions? Why, or why not?