Club PA 2.0 has arrived! If you'd like to access some extra PA content and help support the forums, check it out at patreon.com/ClubPA
The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Liberalism, culture and torture: what legitimizes torture for Americans?

ChopperDaveChopperDave regularRegistered User regular
edited May 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
Inspired by this thread over in H/A. (For those who are worried, I'm steering this in a different direction than that thread. Don't want to be committing intellectual theft, after all).

Let me start us off with a few quotes, taken from David Luban's "Liberalism, Torture, and the Ticking Bomb."
We can see why liberals abhor torture. Liberalism [note: liberalism with a capital L, i.e. the sort of Enlightenment political philosophy espoused in the West from John Stuart Mill onward] incorporates a vision of engaged, active human beings possessing an inherent dignity regardless of their social station. The victim of torture is in every respect the opposite of this vision. The torture victim is isolated and reduced instead of engaged and enlarged, terrified instead of active, humiliated instead of dignified. And, in the paradigm case of torture, the victor’s torment of defeated captives, liberals perceive the living embodiment of their worst nightmare: tyrannical rulers who take their pleasure from the degradation of those unfortunate enough to be subject to their will.
However,
Liberalism’s insistence on limited governments that exercise their power only for instrumental and pragmatic purposes creates the possibility of seeing torture as a civilized, not an atavistic, practice, provided that its sole purpose is preventing future harms... The ticking time bomb is proffered against liberals who believe in an absolute prohibition against torture. The idea is to force the liberal prohibitionist to admit that yes, even he or even she would agree to torture in at least this one situation. Once the prohibitionist admits that, then she has conceded that her opposition to torture is not based on principle. Now that the prohibitionist has admitted that her moral principles can be breached, all that is left is haggling about the price...

The ticking time-bomb scenario serves a second rhetorical goal, one that is equally important to the proponent of torture. It makes us see the torturer in a different light—one of the essential points in the liberal ideology of torture because it is the way that liberals can reconcile themselves to torture even while continuing to “put cruelty first.” Now, he is not a cruel man or a sadistic man or a coarse, insensitive brutish man. The torturer is instead a conscientious public servant, heroic the way that New York firefighters were heroic, willing to do desperate things only because the plight is so desperate and so many innocent lives are weighing on the public servant’s conscience. The time bomb clinches the great divorce between torture and cruelty; it placates liberals, who put cruelty first.

Since the English Bill of Rights 1689, English Common Law has been pretty adamant about protecting people against "cruel and unusual" punishment. In the United States, we have this nice little derivative of that idea in the Eighth Amendment, which the Supreme Court (excepting wacky old Antonin Scalia) has pretty plainly interpreted as meaning "don't torture people under any circumstances."

In many senses, torture is fundamentally incompatible with the Liberal tradition which Americans hold dear: it is the embodiment of violent, tyrannical power over the free, independent individual; it is the absence of due process of law, innocence until proven guilty; it is the "nasty, brutish and short" part of human nature at its very worst. And yet if there's anything that the hub-bub on the torture memos proves, it's that the American moral revulsion at torture is pretty shallow. Americans, by and large, seem rather tolerant of the idea of torture—as long as it's used on the right people, at the right times.

Consider American television and film (see this thread for a good list of recent films and shows). Overwhelmingly, when torture is displayed in the media, it is NOT used to demonstrate state power, or to terrorize, or even to extract confessions. It is almost always used to gather intelligence. And not just this: the majority of this media gives us the "ticking time bomb" scenario—a situation where one man has the information to stop a major catastrophe, and only torture will get that information out of him—even when in real world conditions such a situation is functionally impossible. Of course, when an American tortures, he gets the information he wants almost instantaneously; when a foreigner tortures an American, the American is usually able to resist. (Interestingly, this reflects Liberal conceptions of free will and responsibility: the American, naturally, is able to maintain his free will even in the face of forces trying to break it, while the criminal/terrorist chooses to give information to stop pain). The American media has increasingly come to portray torture as the ubiquitous last resort: paradoxically, defenders of the law must ultimately break the law in order to protect the greater good.

What the hell is going on here? Why is it that Americans (and Britons, I suppose—we do share the same law philosophy after all) are so willing to torture despite the fact that our legal and moral philosophies should find torture abhorrent? Is there something built in to our Liberal (or Common Law) traditions that allows us to find torture okay in some circumstances, and impermissible in others? And what is the media's role in this? What is it about film and TV that makes it easier (or harder) for us to tolerate torture?

(Bonus questions for those who support torture under any circumstances, even "ticking time bomb:" why? How do you reconcile this with your American values?)

3DS code: 3007-8077-4055
ChopperDave on
«13

Posts

  • zakkielzakkiel regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    The desire for torture has nothing to do with utilitarian necessity, or indeed with the English common law tradition. It is a pure and universal desire for revenge. The ticking time bomb scenario is invoked in television precisely to give moral cover to our desire for revenge on whatever evil man Jack Bauer is busy mutilating. The critical fact that makes so many Americans applaud waterboarding isn't that they think it's an essential intelligence tool; it's that they think the victims deserve it and enjoy the thought of them suffering.

    The only way to eliminate that joy is to build a better human. Good luck.

    zakkiel on
    Account not recoverable. So long.
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I don't know if saying we're "so willing" to torture is fair. The fact that the popular media has to invent a massively improbable scenario in order to even make it a discussion of last resort methods implies that our collective bias against torture is still pretty high.

    It is really that hard to believe that people don't really muster massive outrage about something that happened to someone far away and who is different from them? And, when authority figures told them it was necessary and produced results?

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
  • jothkijothki regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Now that the prohibitionist has admitted that her moral principles can be breached, all that is left is haggling about the price...

    There really hasn't been any haggling over price, though. Torture isn't necessarily always a moral evil, but what has been done recently is somewhat the equivalent of cutting off the hands of first-time offenders. If there had been any public debate whatsoever about whether we should be conducting torture, this probably never would have happened in the first place.

    jothki on
  • monikermoniker regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Since it just dropped:

    jcnehdwhq0c_py78nxp9la.gif

    mwewezfxl027bys6kgypzq.gif

    cqlekchlu0yoqr2u3w0ouw.gif

    lkghppp6_ew5ifat8pbseg.gif

    tfbta7udiuemspvzjlptdq.gif

    gvyze_twjustjrhyomrvnw.gif

    moniker on
  • HamHamJHamHamJ regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    What the hell is going on here? Why is it that Americans (and Britons, I suppose—we do share the same law philosophy after all) are so willing to torture despite the fact that our legal and moral philosophies should find torture abhorrent? Is there something built in to our Liberal (or Common Law) traditions that allows us to find torture okay in some circumstances, and impermissible in others? And what is the media's role in this? What is it about film and TV that makes it easier (or harder) for us to tolerate torture?

    Because no one cares if "bad peoples" rights are violated.

    HamHamJ on
    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • CouscousCouscous regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I wonder how different the poll would have been if they used the word "torture."

    Couscous on
  • EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2009
    Enhanced interrogations were used following this event that I posted from Youtube. Discuss!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Epo8Zv5xA24&feature=related

    Emanon on
    Treats Animals Right!
  • Robos A Go GoRobos A Go Go regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Honestly, if torture was ever a necessity, I'd expect the person in charge of making that decision to be confident enough in his decision to face the consequences of his or her actions. Yes, torture might be necessary at one point or another, but I'll never believe that making it easier to get away with torture can ever be necessary.

    Robos A Go Go on
  • CouscousCouscous regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Enhanced interrogations were used following this event that I posted from Youtube. Discuss!
    I don't get it. What is your point? It doesn't make sense for one tragic event to legitimize something they are supposed to find completely against their principles. If principles were easy as hell to hold on to, there wouldn't be any point to them. It is like saying you are against the death penalty except when someone deserves it or that you believe in the freedom of speech except when someone says something you don't like.

    Couscous on
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Couscous wrote: »
    Enhanced interrogations were used following this event that I posted from Youtube. Discuss!
    I don't get it. What is your point?

    I think the point is that he's admitting that he's willing to give up his morals the moment he feels threatened.

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • HamHamJHamHamJ regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Couscous wrote: »
    Enhanced interrogations were used following this event that I posted from Youtube. Discuss!
    I don't get it. What is your point?

    I think the point is that he's admitting that he's willing to give up his morals the moment he feels threatened.

    So... if we just threatened to kill everyone who supports torture we could get them to stop supporting torture?

    HamHamJ on
    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • monikermoniker regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    Enhanced interrogations were used following this event that I posted from Youtube. Discuss!

    So...you're saying the terrorists should win?

    moniker on
  • ChopperDaveChopperDave regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    zakkiel wrote: »
    The desire for torture has nothing to do with utilitarian necessity, or indeed with the English common law tradition. It is a pure and universal desire for revenge. The ticking time bomb scenario is invoked in television precisely to give moral cover to our desire for revenge on whatever evil man Jack Bauer is busy mutilating. The critical fact that makes so many Americans applaud waterboarding isn't that they think it's an essential intelligence tool; it's that they think the victims deserve it and enjoy the thought of them suffering.

    The only way to eliminate that joy is to build a better human. Good luck.

    I won't dispute that torture appeals to the human desire for revenge, or that many Americans enjoy the idea of foreign suffering.

    What I am asking is this: why is it that we are more willing to tolerate torture, both in our media and in our foreign policy, than other Western countries? Why is it that the United States, at this point in time, is the only (or one of the only) modern first-world countries that allows for (or, looking at movies like Hostel and Saw, fetishizes) torture?
    jothki wrote: »
    There really hasn't been any haggling over price, though.

    Yeah there has. In the last eight years we've made the jump from "only a little violence, and only when necessary" to systemicized, brutal shit like waterboarding, Gitmo, and Abu-Ghraib. We've definitely ratcheted up our torture policies as more and more people come to tolerate the idea.

    ChopperDave on
    3DS code: 3007-8077-4055
  • Delicious Toad!Delicious Toad! __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2009
    I think a large part of the perception that torture is OK in these situations is the dehumanization of those who are being tortured. I mean, the "war on terror" means that our enemy is usually depicted as nation-less, with no family or cause aside from "destroy America rawrr!" The rights and history of our nation are about those rights and histories of humans; the linguistic battlefield is depriving those opposed to America of their humanity, and denying them human rights then does go over better with the public.

    Delicious Toad! on
    frogsig.png
  • monikermoniker regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    What I am asking is this: why is it that we are more willing to tolerate torture, both in our media and in our foreign policy, than other Western countries? Why is it that the United States, at this point in time, is the only (or one of the only) modern first-world countries that allows for (or, looking at movies like Hostel and Saw, fetishizes) torture?

    Cite? How much worse do horrifically violent movies do overseas?

    moniker on
  • EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Enhanced interrogations were used following this event that I posted from Youtube. Discuss!

    So...you're saying the terrorists should win?

    They didn't win. We fought Al Queda severely using the enhanced interrogation and by invading Afghanistan, both prevented new attacks. Did they just give up after 9/11, how did we actually stop the new planned attacks on US soil??

    Emanon on
    Treats Animals Right!
  • ChopperDaveChopperDave regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    What I am asking is this: why is it that we are more willing to tolerate torture, both in our media and in our foreign policy, than other Western countries? Why is it that the United States, at this point in time, is the only (or one of the only) modern first-world countries that allows for (or, looking at movies like Hostel and Saw, fetishizes) torture?

    Cite? How much worse do horrifically violent movies do overseas?

    Not really paying attention to how well they do in the box office, but who's writing and producing these movies, i.e. Americans. But then I guess it's not a great basis for comparison, seeing as we're far and away the biggest movie-producing country out there.

    ChopperDave on
    3DS code: 3007-8077-4055
  • CouscousCouscous regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    We fought Al Queda severely using the enhanced interrogation and by invading Afghanistan, both prevented new attacks.
    What? [citation needed]

    Couscous on
  • monikermoniker regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Enhanced interrogations were used following this event that I posted from Youtube. Discuss!

    So...you're saying the terrorists should win?

    They didn't win.

    The moment we abandoned our foundational values and freedoms by torturing people they did. Only Americans can destroy America, not some two-bit criminal in a cave. Sadly we were far too obliging.
    We fought Al Queda severely using the enhanced interrogation and by invading Afghanistan, both prevented new attacks. Did they just give up after 9/11, how did we actually stop the new planned attacks on US soil??

    Actually we got nothing out of the torture programs that were implemented. All useful and actionable intelligence gleaned from prisoners was gotten through interrogation methods rather than the water board.

    I find it rather telling that you immediately ignore international cooperation between intelligence agencies against a state-less and transcendent threat such as terrorism, as well. The fact that our deteriorated partnerships with other nations due to the torture program most likely hurt any possibility of saving lives in London and Madrid just don't even enter the picture this way.

    moniker on
  • HamHamJHamHamJ regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    zakkiel wrote: »
    The desire for torture has nothing to do with utilitarian necessity, or indeed with the English common law tradition. It is a pure and universal desire for revenge. The ticking time bomb scenario is invoked in television precisely to give moral cover to our desire for revenge on whatever evil man Jack Bauer is busy mutilating. The critical fact that makes so many Americans applaud waterboarding isn't that they think it's an essential intelligence tool; it's that they think the victims deserve it and enjoy the thought of them suffering.

    The only way to eliminate that joy is to build a better human. Good luck.

    I won't dispute that torture appeals to the human desire for revenge, or that many Americans enjoy the idea of foreign suffering.

    What I am asking is this: why is it that we are more willing to tolerate torture, both in our media and in our foreign policy, than other Western countries? Why is it that the United States, at this point in time, is the only (or one of the only) modern first-world countries that allows for (or, looking at movies like Hostel and Saw, fetishizes) torture?

    Because half the country takes pride in stupidity and cognitive dissonance?

    HamHamJ on
    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • durandal4532durandal4532 regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Torture demeans all of us every time and every place it is used. It's uses are limited to inducing terror and punishing those you think are subhuman. We entertain scenarios with ticking clocks because we like to think of ourselves as barely pent-up hardasses, able to flip to Jack Bauer mode in a second if shit gets real. We can't imagine that the true test of will is not taking the way that seems easy. It's taking a shortcut through quicksand. The more you struggle to justify it, the more useless you get.

    edit: Why does no one ever ask New Yorker's opinions of the response to 9/11?

    They're still liberals, assholes.

    durandal4532 on
    Take a moment to donate what you can to the International Rescue Committee, the National Immigration Law Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union. There has never been a more urgent moment to do so.
  • werehippywerehippy regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    Enhanced interrogations were used following this event that I posted from Youtube. Discuss!

    [url] url][/url]

    I've been sitting here for the last 15 minutes trying to think of any response to this shameful display that doesn't boil down to "fuck you for trying to play that card" and I can't.

    There is literally not a single decent or tasteful way you can gleeful slap down a video of people dieing and then skip off to cheerlead committing crimes against humanity. Even in this tiny and informal venue, you lose any pretense of respectability or decency for pulling that. If there was any moment in recent US history that shouldn't be exploited, that's it, and it's all the worse that pretty much every political action the victims families have taken have been in direct contradiction of sinking to the level of the people who committed the attacks.

    It's rare that things are perfectly cut and dry, but this is one of those times. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    werehippy on
  • Typhoid MannyTyphoid Manny regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Enhanced interrogations were used following this event that I posted from Youtube. Discuss!

    So...you're saying the terrorists should win?

    They didn't win. We fought Al Queda severely using the enhanced interrogation and by invading Afghanistan, both prevented new attacks. Did they just give up after 9/11, how did we actually stop the new planned attacks on US soil??

    They have won, specifically because they've made it so people like you think that motherfucking torture is both acceptable and effective

    Call a spade a spade. Enhanced interrogation? really?

    Typhoid Manny on
    Don't mess with me, lady. I've been drinking with skeletons.
    hitting hot metal with hammers
  • eHeroeHero Registered User
    edited April 2009
    There are a billion ways you can rationalize torture but very few ways to justify it. Slavery looks good on paper too. Why not bring that back? Times are tough, and we need people who won't get paid to work in the factories so us regular folk can get goods at lower prices and save our economy.

    Torture isn't 100%. And what a horrible thing to do to someone who doesn't know anything. At what point do we say, "Hey, we've tortured 100 people now and they haven't known anything. Maybe we should stop?" Or is getting information from one person worth everything else?

    We're supposed to be above this. The America I grew up believing in was supposed to be a beacon of hope for the entire world. I understand there are histories revised, and horrible things still being done, but to officially sanction the use of torture. That's just insane to me.

    The worst argument I've heard so far was on O'Reily. The woman he had on was talking about how these techniques are a great tool "at the moment" because the threat to America is so real. Okay. So when everything's peaceful and we have no enemies, then torture isn't cool? Great to know that we should only torture people if someone doesn't like us. Way to take a stand.

    eHero on
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Enhanced interrogations were used following this event that I posted from Youtube. Discuss!

    So...you're saying the terrorists should win?

    They didn't win. We fought Al Queda severely using the enhanced interrogation and by invading Afghanistan, both prevented new attacks. Did they just give up after 9/11, how did we actually stop the new planned attacks on US soil??

    We used interrogation methods that, you know, fucking work. Methods like building rapport with the suspect and getting him to willingly divulge the information. There as yet to been shown any actionable intelligence garnered with torture (and fuck it, man the fuck up and admit the truth, what we did was torture, plain and simple) that couldn't be garnered using real interrogation methods. None whatsoever.

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon I find your use of WTC imagery to cover for terrible decisions both offensive and disgraceful

    Kindly go fuck yourself

    I do not care if I get infracted for this post. Either you're a shameless troll or a horrible human being.

    nexuscrawler on
  • monikermoniker regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    eHero wrote: »
    The worst argument I've heard so far was on O'Reily. The woman he had on was talking about how these techniques are a great tool "at the moment" because the threat to America is so real. Okay. So when everything's peaceful and we have no enemies, then torture isn't cool? Great to know that we should only torture people if someone doesn't like us. Way to take a stand.

    It's really more demeaning to past administrations and leaders who were actually facing a far more immediate and dangerous threat than what piddly crap we have facing us now and who continued to refuse to torture people. It's literally saying that Churchill had it easy with bombs raining down on London every night. They had the luxury during The Blitz of not needing to torture zee Germans because that barely registers on the imminent threat-o-meter.

    The fact that this conversation even exists is a disgrace. And I had such hopes for starting out this new millennium well.

    moniker on
  • durandal4532durandal4532 regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Hell, I'll go further. Our use of torture undermined the goals we were trying to achieve. It sent us on costly, useless, dangerous wild goose chases because we believed obvious lies that were said under influence of torture. It's a dangerous, stupid technique if you're trying to do anything but terrorize.

    durandal4532 on
    Take a moment to donate what you can to the International Rescue Committee, the National Immigration Law Center, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union. There has never been a more urgent moment to do so.
  • DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I think "enhanced interrogations" is the most pathetic euphemism I've heard in a long time. "Enhanced" with beating the shit out of people/simulation drowning, I suppose. If there were hot irons or the rack involved would it still be "enhanced"?

    If the people defending these practices had any stones they'd just call it for what it is. It is torture. There is no way around it. If you can't defend it when it's called what it really is then you can't defend it. Don't try to dodge out of it with weasel words.

    Duffel on
  • ShadowfireShadowfire regular Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Couscous wrote: »
    Enhanced interrogations were used following this event that I posted from Youtube. Discuss!
    I don't get it. What is your point? It doesn't make sense for one tragic event to legitimize something they are supposed to find completely against their principles. If principles were easy as hell to hold on to, there wouldn't be any point to them. It is like saying you are against the death penalty except when someone deserves it or that you believe in the freedom of speech except when someone says something you don't like.

    Comparing freedom of speech to the death penalty or torture is not a fair comparison. Freedom of speech is one of those things that you really can't find an emotional reason to inhibit. I mean yea, "that guy said mean stuff about me" makes you upset, but you can certainly get over it. On the other hand, some asshole shoots your wife/friend/child/whoever, and you want them to fucking suffer. A bunch of assholes fly a plane into a building and kill a lot of people, you want to fuck up their shit.

    What I'm trying to say is, it may not be right, but it is very natural to feel the way many people do about torture (and the death penalty).

    The question for me is... what sort of "enhanced interrogation techniques" should we allow? I'm not a fan of waterboarding, or "walling," but what about sensory deprivation and the like?

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2009
    werehippy wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Enhanced interrogations were used following this event that I posted from Youtube. Discuss!

    [url] url][/url]

    I've been sitting here for the last 15 minutes trying to think of any response to this shameful display that doesn't boil down to "fuck you for trying to play that card" and I can't.

    There is literally not a single decent or tasteful way you can gleeful slap down a video of people dieing and then skip off to cheerlead committing crimes against humanity. Even in this tiny and informal venue, you lose any pretense of respectability or decency for pulling that. If there was any moment in recent US history that shouldn't be exploited, that's it, and it's all the worse that pretty much every political action the victims families have taken have been in direct contradiction of sinking to the level of the people who committed the attacks.

    It's rare that things are perfectly cut and dry, but this is one of those times. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    I have some more till you get it through your head.






    Try to remember, if you're old enough, that day only eight years ago. How people felt... especially about those that committed that horrible act. How important it was to prevent it from happening again and still is to this day. This is the FOG OF WAR.

    Emanon on
    Treats Animals Right!
  • monikermoniker regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Duffel wrote: »
    I think "enhanced interrogations" is the most pathetic euphemism I've heard in a long time. "Enhanced" with beating the shit out of people/simulation drowning, I suppose. If there were hot irons or the rack involved would it still be "enhanced"?

    If the people defending these practices had any stones they'd just call it for what it is. It is torture. There is no way around it. If you can't defend it when it's called what it really is then you can't defend it. Don't try to dodge out of it with weasel words.

    It isn't simulated drowning as you physically cannot simulate water entering the lungs. It is controlled drowning.

    moniker on
  • MarathonMarathon regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I don't know how anyone can try to assert that things like the waterboard were even remotely effective when we did it to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times in the span of a month and gained no useful information.

    Marathon on
  • DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    I have some more till you get it through your head.


    *videos*

    Try to remember, if you're old enough, that day only eight years ago. How people felt... especially about those that committed that horrible act. How important it was to prevent it from happening again and still is to this day. This is the FOG OF WAR.
    Are you actually trying to pretend your argument isn't shitty by posting a bunch of gratuitous (and disrespectfully used) video of people dying? Have you got any shame at all?

    Duffel on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I think you have to start with looking at the long-term consequences for the subject in defining what torture is. Stuff where there's a risk of death is obviously out, but things like longterm solitary confinement should be, too.

    I mean, you basically take it back to the Geneva convention. If you capture enemy fighters, you're required to humanely confine them while you end the conflict and set up a process to hold them accountable for whatever they've done. Interrogating them is fine, but it can't contradict your primary responsibility.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    Try to remember, if you're old enough, that day only eight years ago. How people felt... especially about those that committed that horrible act. How important it was to prevent it from happening again and still is to this day. This is the FOG OF WAR.

    This is dumb, because the goal of our law is to armor ourself against doing bad things in difficult circumstances. It's very easy to say "don't torture" when the only crime that gets committed is jaywalking. The "FOG OF WAR" isn't a convenient excuse, it's a blinder that we should be aware of and try to minimize the influence of.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
  • monikermoniker regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    werehippy wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Enhanced interrogations were used following this event that I posted from Youtube. Discuss!

    [url] url][/url]

    I've been sitting here for the last 15 minutes trying to think of any response to this shameful display that doesn't boil down to "fuck you for trying to play that card" and I can't.

    There is literally not a single decent or tasteful way you can gleeful slap down a video of people dieing and then skip off to cheerlead committing crimes against humanity. Even in this tiny and informal venue, you lose any pretense of respectability or decency for pulling that. If there was any moment in recent US history that shouldn't be exploited, that's it, and it's all the worse that pretty much every political action the victims families have taken have been in direct contradiction of sinking to the level of the people who committed the attacks.

    It's rare that things are perfectly cut and dry, but this is one of those times. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    I have some more till you get it through your head.






    Try to remember, if you're old enough, that day only eight years ago. How people felt... especially about those that committed that horrible act. How important it was to prevent it from happening again and still is to this day. This is the FOG OF WAR.

    The programmatic implementation of a policy of torture took place years after the immediate aftermath of September 11th. Numerous OLC memos are from as late as 2005. OLC memos completely ignoring and overruling people who know what the fuck they're talking about in regards to useful interrogation methods that would actually help prevent an attack rather than make one more likely. Which is what the torture program has done.


    So bravo. Your 'enhanced interrogation techniques' have actively made us less safe all while actively harming the very foundation of what makes us America.

    moniker on
  • EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2009
    Duffel wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    I have some more till you get it through your head.


    *videos*

    Try to remember, if you're old enough, that day only eight years ago. How people felt... especially about those that committed that horrible act. How important it was to prevent it from happening again and still is to this day. This is the FOG OF WAR.
    Are you actually trying to pretend your argument isn't shitty by posting a bunch of gratuitous (and disrespectfully used) video of people dying? Have you got any shame at all?

    If I was the one who caught Osama Bin Laden I doubt I'd read him his Miranda right. Would you?

    Emanon on
    Treats Animals Right!
  • eHeroeHero Registered User
    edited April 2009
    Try to remember, if you're old enough, that day only eight years ago. How people felt... especially about those that committed that horrible act. How important it was to prevent it from happening again and still is to this day. This is the FOG OF WAR.

    Seriously? We should react based on all those feelings of fear, hatred, confusion, etc? That's what you're espousing? That's your argument? I respect, kinda, the fact you're representing every knee-jerk reactionary in this country and are giving everyone a target.

    I remember how I felt. And it's still important to prevent things like that from happening again. But there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. And this is the wrong way.

    eHero on
  • werehippywerehippy regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Don't feed the troll.

    werehippy on
Sign In or Register to comment.