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

2

Posts

  • EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    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.

    Releasing the memos and the soon to be released photos WILL make us less safe. It'll only serve as propaganda for the Islamic fascists.

    Emanon on
    Treats Animals Right!
  • PhantPhant 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?

    Fear and the growing trend of 'me'ism. The growing sentiment that 'nothing matters as long as I'm safe.'
    To put it more simply, selfishness. Of course, I'm speaking of a specific sort of selfishness. Many people are happy to chip in a few bucks here and there to help out folks who need it. Fewer and fewer are willing to belly up to the bar when it means possibly something more drastic than that however. "Ethics" and "Morals" are pretty ethereal things when weighed against "my comfort" or "my life". Especially when the unpleasantness is happening to people who are not at all like yourself, who one can lazily dismiss as 'deserving it'.

    [Edit]Forgot to add the Goering quote that more or less sums up the entire point.

    “Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

    Phant on
    steam_sig.png
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    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?

    Prolonged sensory deprivation and solitary confinement leads to psychological damage that constitutes torture. Look at Jose Padilla who suffered under those circumstances during his years of detention without charge. It is actually one of the reasons that he was incapable of standing to defend himself when he finally did get a trial on completely unrelated grounds to his arrest and he's pretty much going to require being institutionalized for life due to that treatment.

    Just because something doesn't leave a mark doesn't mean it can't be torture.

    moniker on
  • DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    If I was the one who caught Osama Bin Laden I doubt I'd read him his Miranda right. Would you?
    This is a total nonsequitur, but since you ask...

    I hope that whoever catches Osama Bin Laden does everything by the book so we can put him on trial, punish him in a court of law, and show the rest of the world that we are a nation dedicated to and structured upon a firm respect for the law.

    Duffel on
  • zakkielzakkiel 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?

    For three reasons. The immediate reason is that we suffered a huge terrorist attack. Foreign terrorism is a problem that uniquely appeals to the torturing instinct. They are clearly evil people and clearly distinguishable from the majority population of the country, so that the majority can have confidence that the precedent will never be turned against them. Moreover, the terrorist's strength lies in secrecy, to which torture - so the theory goes - is the fitting counter. Indeed, it is only with terrorism that one can even imagine a ticking time bomb scenario.

    The second reason is that we had leaders - in particular Karl Rove and Dick Cheney - willing to embrace and publicly defend torture, although not (yet) by that name. This in turn engages large swathes of media in defending torture and gives cover and encouragement to people who might otherwise suppress their vindictiveness. If there were a united consensus among all heads of government, present and past, that torture was anathema, then only a fringe would embrace it and many of those out of pure contrariness.

    The last and largest reason sets the stage for the other two. The U.S. is, if not an empire, far closer to an imperial position in the world than any other country. This gives it the ability to seize foreigners from distant lands and transport them to legal gray areas. More importantly, the very fact of wielding vast international power seems to me to foster a tendency towards brutality. I can't prove this rigorously, but I can't shake the idea that if some other Western country were in a similar position that it might find itself faced with the same temptation.

    zakkiel on
    Account not recoverable. So long.
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    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?

    0LOD7ELvfkb7ceppKRSsR1epo1_500.jpg

    moniker on
  • MarathonMarathon Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »

    Releasing the memos and the soon to be released photos WILL make us less safe. It'll only serve as propaganda for the Islamic fascists.

    The solution to this is to not do it in the first place. Not to just cover it up so no one finds out.

    Marathon on
  • jothkijothki 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.

    I prefer to think about how many of us realized that were acting on irrational emotions, and eventually pulled ourselves back to sanity. That time that we all spent staring at the news was one of the least proud moments in our history, and we should be acting to prevent ourselves from that kind of failure of rationality, or at least to protect ourselves from ourselves should that kind of thing happen again.

    jothki on
  • EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2009
    Duffel wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    If I was the one who caught Osama Bin Laden I doubt I'd read him his Miranda right. Would you?
    This is a total nonsequitur, but since you ask...

    I hope that whoever catches Osama Bin Laden does everything by the book so we can put him on trial, punish him in a court of law, and show the rest of the world that we are a nation dedicated to and structured upon a firm respect for the law.

    Interesting how you side stepped my question. I asked what would YOU do?

    Emanon on
    Treats Animals Right!
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    If I was the one who caught Osama Bin Laden I doubt I'd read him his Miranda right. Would you?

    Yep. And I'd make sure he got a fair and speedy trial. Because see, I'm one of the good guys, and that's what good guys do - they follow the rule of law, which is the basis of modern society. We don't get to pick and choose which laws we will abide by or which laws we will ignore.

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    Releasing the memos and the soon to be released photos WILL make us less safe. It'll only serve as propaganda for the Islamic fascists.

    That is patently false on numerous levels. Levels which have been documented by the Department of Defense, no less. It also just goes to prove the point that we shouldn't have been acting in such a horrifically barbaric manner in the first place.

    moniker on
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    jothki wrote: »
    I prefer to think about how many of us realized that were acting on irrational emotions, and eventually pulled ourselves back to sanity. That time that we all spent staring at the news was one of the least proud moments in our history, and we should be acting to prevent ourselves from that kind of failure of rationality, or at least to protect ourselves from ourselves should that kind of thing happen again.

    You think that's the least proud moments in our history? Really? Again, I think it is natural... a good number of the people were in shock. I sure as hell was... I was woken up as the fighter jets from Burlington took off screaming towards New York to provide overwatch. I had no idea what was going on until then... and the rest of the day, I (along with most of the nation) watched, listened, and read what I could to get a handle on what was going on, and convince myself it was real.

    It wasn't irrational.. it was human.

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • eHeroeHero Registered User
    edited April 2009
    This is an example of why you should treat your enemies as you would your friends (albeit with more barbed-wire).

    http://www.traces.org/germanpows.html

    I've heard these stories before, I'm sure I can find more. These techniques we're applying now are not going to produce the result we got from the Germans. But we're certainly far safer from Germans than we were. Especially in their cars.

    eHero on
  • DuffelDuffel jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    Interesting how you side stepped my question. I asked what would YOU do?
    It's not my job. If it were my job - as a Interpol/CIA operative or whoever it is that actually ends up catching him - then I would assume that the legal outlines on how to catch a dangerous international fugitive would be well known to me and they should be followed to the letter.

    In any case it's kind of laughable for you of all people to talk about sidestepping the question. I'm taking WH's advice, you're not worth responding to.

    Duffel on
  • agoajagoaj Now is the time of my revengeRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Marathon wrote: »
    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.

    That's just because he was a water/grass type.

    agoaj on
    qnu0EMk.png
  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    Duffel wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    If I was the one who caught Osama Bin Laden I doubt I'd read him his Miranda right. Would you?
    This is a total nonsequitur, but since you ask...

    I hope that whoever catches Osama Bin Laden does everything by the book so we can put him on trial, punish him in a court of law, and show the rest of the world that we are a nation dedicated to and structured upon a firm respect for the law.

    Interesting how you side stepped my question. I asked what would YOU do?

    Ok, I know this quote is overused, but... Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.

    Raiden333 on
    steam_sig.png
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    Duffel wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    If I was the one who caught Osama Bin Laden I doubt I'd read him his Miranda right. Would you?
    This is a total nonsequitur, but since you ask...

    I hope that whoever catches Osama Bin Laden does everything by the book so we can put him on trial, punish him in a court of law, and show the rest of the world that we are a nation dedicated to and structured upon a firm respect for the law.

    Interesting how you side stepped my question. I asked what would YOU do?

    Miranda rights only apply to persons on US soil. Are you saying that you have evidence locating Osama bin Laden in the territorial United States?

    moniker on
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    He's most likely conflating miranda rights and the Geneva convention, for whatever odd reason.

    Fencingsax on
    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    He's most likely conflating miranda rights and the Geneva convention, for whatever odd reason.

    No, he's using the common talking point that 'liberals are more concerned with reading terrorists Miranda rights than keeping us safe.' Completely ignoring what the decision in Miranda actually entails and that it has nothing at all to do with the discussion of how we should not torture prisoners but should, instead, interrogate them so we can become more safe as a nation.

    moniker on
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I'm not disagreeing that it was stupid.

    Fencingsax on
    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
  • EmanonEmanon __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2009
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Duffel wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    If I was the one who caught Osama Bin Laden I doubt I'd read him his Miranda right. Would you?
    This is a total nonsequitur, but since you ask...

    I hope that whoever catches Osama Bin Laden does everything by the book so we can put him on trial, punish him in a court of law, and show the rest of the world that we are a nation dedicated to and structured upon a firm respect for the law.

    Interesting how you side stepped my question. I asked what would YOU do?

    Ok, I know this quote is overused, but... Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.

    Yes, we are that monster. When the US starts flying airplanes loaded full civilians into sky scrapers, cut westerners heads off while they are alive and screaming, and use suicide bombers then yes we are that monster. No, Mothra vs Mecha-Godzilla comparisons please.

    Ok, that's it. I'm off to bed, good night.

    Emanon on
    Treats Animals Right!
  • agoajagoaj Now is the time of my revengeRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    41865018.gif

    agoaj on
    qnu0EMk.png
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Duffel wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    If I was the one who caught Osama Bin Laden I doubt I'd read him his Miranda right. Would you?
    This is a total nonsequitur, but since you ask...

    I hope that whoever catches Osama Bin Laden does everything by the book so we can put him on trial, punish him in a court of law, and show the rest of the world that we are a nation dedicated to and structured upon a firm respect for the law.

    Interesting how you side stepped my question. I asked what would YOU do?

    Ok, I know this quote is overused, but... Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.

    Yes, we are that monster. When the US starts flying airplanes loaded full civilians into sky scrapers, cut westerners heads off while they are alive and screaming, and use suicide bombers then yes we are that monster. No, Mothra vs Mecha-Godzilla comparisons please.

    Ok, that's it. I'm off to bed, good night.

    Or when the United States starts torturing human beings being held without charge or trial after abandoning the 1st, 5th, 8th, 14th, amendments and the Great Writ. We become that monster then, too.

    moniker on
  • CorbiusCorbius Shepard Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Duffel wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    If I was the one who caught Osama Bin Laden I doubt I'd read him his Miranda right. Would you?
    This is a total nonsequitur, but since you ask...

    I hope that whoever catches Osama Bin Laden does everything by the book so we can put him on trial, punish him in a court of law, and show the rest of the world that we are a nation dedicated to and structured upon a firm respect for the law.

    Interesting how you side stepped my question. I asked what would YOU do?

    Ok, I know this quote is overused, but... Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.

    Yes, we are that monster. When the US starts flying airplanes loaded full civilians into sky scrapers, cut westerners heads off while they are alive and screaming, and use suicide bombers then yes we are that monster. No, Mothra vs Mecha-Godzilla comparisons please.

    Ok, that's it. I'm off to bed, good night.

    Yeah, because the US has never ever conducted terrible, abhorrent actions that resulted in the deaths of innocents.

    Oh, wait....

    Corbius on
    wrexsig1.jpg
    PSN: Corbius
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Corbius wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    Duffel wrote: »
    Emanon wrote: »
    If I was the one who caught Osama Bin Laden I doubt I'd read him his Miranda right. Would you?
    This is a total nonsequitur, but since you ask...

    I hope that whoever catches Osama Bin Laden does everything by the book so we can put him on trial, punish him in a court of law, and show the rest of the world that we are a nation dedicated to and structured upon a firm respect for the law.

    Interesting how you side stepped my question. I asked what would YOU do?

    Ok, I know this quote is overused, but... Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.

    Yes, we are that monster. When the US starts flying airplanes loaded full civilians into sky scrapers, cut westerners heads off while they are alive and screaming, and use suicide bombers then yes we are that monster. No, Mothra vs Mecha-Godzilla comparisons please.

    Ok, that's it. I'm off to bed, good night.

    Yeah, because the US has never ever conducted terrible, abhorrent actions that resulted in the deaths of innocents.

    Oh, wait....

    I'd say that it was just this platoon of troops that pulled it off, but the Congressmen and civilians that were spiteful toward the men who tried to stop it... yeah. I'm glad we're not that country anymore.

    Henroid on
    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Henroid wrote: »
    Corbius wrote: »
    Yeah, because the US has never ever conducted terrible, abhorrent actions that resulted in the deaths of innocents.

    Oh, wait....

    I'd say that it was just this platoon of troops that pulled it off, but the Congressmen and civilians that were spiteful toward the men who tried to stop it... yeah. I'm glad we're not that country anymore.

    You're joking, right? Read up on what happened to the guy who blew the whistle on Abu Ghraib. They had to put him into protective custody because he was getting death threats. Meanwhile, the soldiers on trial were being supported publically.

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    Yes, we are that monster. When the US starts flying airplanes loaded full civilians into sky scrapers, cut westerners heads off while they are alive and screaming, and use suicide bombers then yes we are that monster. No, Mothra vs Mecha-Godzilla comparisons please.

    But see, that's not terrorism, that's just enhanced guerrilla warfare! So stop complaining about it, hippy!

    Lawndart on
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Henroid wrote: »
    Corbius wrote: »
    Yeah, because the US has never ever conducted terrible, abhorrent actions that resulted in the deaths of innocents.

    Oh, wait....

    I'd say that it was just this platoon of troops that pulled it off, but the Congressmen and civilians that were spiteful toward the men who tried to stop it... yeah. I'm glad we're not that country anymore.

    You're joking, right? Read up on what happened to the guy who blew the whistle on Abu Ghraib. They had to put him into protective custody because he was getting death threats. Meanwhile, the soldiers on trial were being supported publically.

    That wasn't my experience. Me and everyone I was surrounded by was condemning those guys who pulled that shit.

    I didn't know the guy who exposed it was put into protective custody though.

    And stop contradicting my lack of knowledge. D:

    Henroid on
    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
  • SurikoSuriko AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    Yes, we are that monster. When the US starts flying airplanes loaded full civilians into sky scrapers, cut westerners heads off while they are alive and screaming, and use suicide bombers then yes we are that monster. No, Mothra vs Mecha-Godzilla comparisons please.

    Ok, that's it. I'm off to bed, good night.

    "As long as we aren't as bad as those guys, we're totally rockin'."

    Suriko on
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    Yes, we are that monster. When the US starts flying airplanes loaded full civilians into sky scrapers, cut westerners heads off while they are alive and screaming, and use suicide bombers then yes we are that monster. No, Mothra vs Mecha-Godzilla comparisons please.

    Ok, that's it. I'm off to bed, good night.
    When the U.S. starts torturing people they are the monster, yes. Because that's what it is, torture. And torture is not acceptable. Other people being horrific monsters doesn't mean we should be. Now I understand that you hate America. You don't like the idea that there are people that aren't petty, cruel, and fearful like you and actually have a fucking pair to stand for what's right. Don't act as if you're any better than a terrorist when you act exactly like one.

    Quid on
  • ChopperDaveChopperDave Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Here's the thing: torture isn't new, and it's pretty bipartisan.

    For example, the CIA was already practicing extraordinary rendition and torture during the Clinton Administration. Granted, there's no evidence that anyone on the cabinet-level approved of these operations, but still.

    And again, look at 90s pop culture. Reservoir Dogs. Payback. The Siege. Hell, every other action film has a "bad cop" who's willing to break a few fingers to get some information.

    While I think our torture culture has been ratcheted up considerably following the events of 9/11 and the Bush Presidency, I think that American society has always been oddly comfortable with employing torture—or at least, rooting for fictional protagonists who torture "the bad guys"— as long as it is used "appropriately." If I recall correctly, there's evidence that Rumsfeld, Cheney, et al were already prepared to implement harsher "interrogation" practices even before 9/11 gave them an excuse.

    Torture seems to have been lurking beneath the surface in American culture well before 2000. To me, it seems that 9/11 just pulled off the mask.

    ChopperDave on
    3DS code: 3007-8077-4055
  • StericaSterica Wow! That was shit.Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 2009
    Emanon wrote: »
    Yes, we are that monster. When the US starts flying airplanes loaded full civilians into sky scrapers, cut westerners heads off while they are alive and screaming, and use suicide bombers then yes we are that monster. No, Mothra vs Mecha-Godzilla comparisons please.

    Ok, that's it. I'm off to bed, good night.
    Do you think it happens overnight? That we just vote to become evil or make a declaration of it? It's a gradual process. You start by justifying this shit, and once that works you continue to stretch it until we are lopping off heads.

    And even if we never become as evil as Islamic terrorists, I'm not satisfied by being just a few notches less evil.

    Sterica on
    YL9WnCY.png
  • MarathonMarathon Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    There is a world of difference between cheering for some jerk in a movie when he gets roughed up and our own government designing a program to torture people.

    Marathon on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Torture seems to have been lurking beneath the surface in American culture well before 2000. To me, it seems that 9/11 just pulled off the mask.

    You keep saying that, but I don't see how it's Anglo-centric and not a factor of human nature. Hell, considering the places where torture is an accepted aspect of the 'justice' system there it would seem to imply that this is pretty universal.

    moniker on
  • DrakeDrake Edgelord Trash Below the ecliptic plane.Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    Torture seems to have been lurking beneath the surface in American culture well before 2000. To me, it seems that 9/11 just pulled off the mask.

    You keep saying that, but I don't see how it's Anglo-centric and not a factor of human nature. Hell, considering the places where torture is an accepted aspect of the 'justice' system there it would seem to imply that this is pretty universal.

    Yeah, these kinds of barbaric yearnings seem to be part of the human condition. Exploring these ideas in fictional settings can even give a cathartic release to our inner caveman and also allow us to explore the fact that there really is no setting where this kind of behavior is warranted in reality.

    Also, the best societies have had their criminals and psychotics working in the fringe. Some politician or bureaucrat will always eventually allow their activities because it's expedient to their own agenda. Whenever these instances come to light, then that culture is obligated to excise these people and practices and place them where they belong. First in a court, and if convicted they should bear the full weight of their guilt as dictated by the law. I hope we (America) can pass this test, or I fear where the precedent may lead us.

    Drake on
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    And again, look at 90s pop culture. Reservoir Dogs. Payback. The Siege. Hell, every other action film has a "bad cop" who's willing to break a few fingers to get some information.

    ...

    Torture seems to have been lurking beneath the surface in American culture well before 2000. To me, it seems that 9/11 just pulled off the mask.

    I don't think it's weird or wrong that a liberal society would continually be having an (implicit) discussion of where boundaries are and how far you can push them. It seems a pretty natural thing.

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
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  • ChopperDaveChopperDave Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    Torture seems to have been lurking beneath the surface in American culture well before 2000. To me, it seems that 9/11 just pulled off the mask.

    You keep saying that, but I don't see how it's Anglo-centric and not a factor of human nature. Hell, considering the places where torture is an accepted aspect of the 'justice' system there it would seem to imply that this is pretty universal.

    I'm not saying that torture is a product of the English moral/legal tradition (or that other traditions don't practice or fetishize torture), but I am suggesting our system of Common Law might make us more likely to practice torture than other First World countries.

    In a lot of ways I'm borrowing from Austin Sarat (see When The State Kills) and James Whitman (see Harsh Justice) when I make this argument. Sarat and Whitman argue that the United States' use of capital punishment reflects the harshness and emphasis on individual responsibility which lies at the center of Common Law jurisprudence. In other words, they try to demonstrate that the death penalty reflects cultural and jurisprudential values that are unique to the United States, and that our skyrocketing rate of executions is tied to that.

    Granted, to take my argument seriously you have to entertain the idea that culture can exert a power over human behavior equal or above that of "human nature." But I still think it's an interesting idea, and I do think that—like our unique status as the only First World country (aside from, I think, Japan) to practice capital punishment—our unique status as one of the only First World countries to practice torture might be tied to our cultural values.

    ChopperDave on
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  • Dis'Dis' Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    Torture seems to have been lurking beneath the surface in American culture well before 2000. To me, it seems that 9/11 just pulled off the mask.

    You keep saying that, but I don't see how it's Anglo-centric and not a factor of human nature. Hell, considering the places where torture is an accepted aspect of the 'justice' system there it would seem to imply that this is pretty universal.

    I agree, this bbc poll (in 2006) seems to put America roughly where the world average of opinion on torture is:

    bbctortureoct06graph1.jpg

    Of course thats when you include countries not generally considered paragons of morality, when compared to the usual states you match the US to (Western Europe and the rich bits of Asia, especially those who have also faced terrorism recently) it seems somewhat more pro-Torture.

    @ChopperDave, considering Australias and the UKs numbers trend with Germany and France I don't think its Common Law systems pushing for torture.

    Dis' on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    Torture seems to have been lurking beneath the surface in American culture well before 2000. To me, it seems that 9/11 just pulled off the mask.

    You keep saying that, but I don't see how it's Anglo-centric and not a factor of human nature. Hell, considering the places where torture is an accepted aspect of the 'justice' system there it would seem to imply that this is pretty universal.

    I'm not saying that torture is a product of the English moral/legal tradition (or that other traditions don't practice or fetishize torture), but I am suggesting our system of Common Law might make us more likely to practice torture than other First World countries.

    In a lot of ways I'm borrowing from Austin Sarat (see When The State Kills) and James Whitman (see Harsh Justice) when I make this argument. Sarat and Whitman argue that the United States' use of capital punishment reflects the harshness and emphasis on individual responsibility which lies at the center of Common Law jurisprudence. In other words, they try to demonstrate that the death penalty reflects cultural and jurisprudential values that are unique to the United States, and that our skyrocketing rate of executions is tied to that.

    Granted, to take my argument seriously you have to entertain the idea that culture can exert a power over human behavior equal or above that of "human nature." But I still think it's an interesting idea, and I do think that—like our unique status as the only First World country (aside from, I think, Japan) to practice capital punishment—our unique status as one of the only First World countries to practice torture might be tied to our cultural values.

    Then explain Britain, Canada, and other Commonwealth nations which do not and have not tortured people since around the Enlightenment, which is when torture became frowned upon. You seem to be suggesting that Jamaica is more likely to torture people than France and I just cannot imagine that being the case.

    moniker on
  • ChopperDaveChopperDave Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Dis' wrote: »
    Of course thats when you include countries not generally considered paragons of morality, when compared to the usual states you match the US to (Western Europe and the rich bits of Asia, especially those who have also faced terrorism recently) it seems somewhat more pro-Torture.

    @ChopperDave, considering Australias and the UKs numbers trend with Germany and France I don't think its Common Law systems pushing for torture.

    Great Britain, Canada, and Australia all maintain a ban on capital punishment. Therefore, Common Law jurisprudence has no influence on our use of capital punishment? Maybe. Like I said, quite a few authors have convincingly argued otherwise. I suggest checking out part of Whitman's book, I think it's up on Googlebooks and you can look at some sections for free.

    My point isn't that it's JUST Common Law or JUST Liberalism or JUST American individualism or whatever that induces us to torture. But I do think that a combination of these things and others may be giving us a system of moral/cultural/jurisprudencial values that makes us more willing than other First World countries to torture. This in addition to our universal "human nature" which desires revenge and pain for our enemies, mind you.

    ChopperDave on
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