Timing of Obama Release of Bush “Torture” Memos Now Clearer as Investigation and Prosecution of Bush Officials Looms by Former Author | Apr 21, 2009 | ACLU, American Intelligence, Barack Obama, Bush Derangement Syndrome, CIA interrogation program, Congress, Politics, Uncategorized, War On Terror | 124 comments Posted by Former Author on 21 April, 2009 at 12:46 pm. 124 comments already! [DELETED BY AUTHOR] 124 Comments drjohn on April 21, 2009 at 12:50 pm “If we are attacked again on Obama’s watch the first question we need to ask is how did Obama’s reckless political witch hunt of successful Bush Administration efforts to protect us contribute to our failure to protect ourselves?” No, it will be because Bush angered the rest of the world with this terrible treatment and incited the attacks. Nothing will ever be Obama’s fault- and that’s why he put it in Holder’s hands- to distance himself from untoward consequences. Reply MataHarley on April 21, 2009 at 2:06 pm Thanks for posting this and saving me the trouble, Mike. Reeling from the loss of a dear friend at the moment. But the motives behind releasing this has been bothering me. Obama knew that these methods have resulted in success. There was nothing good that could come out of this. Exposure of techniques to the enemy, increased danger to our service personnel if captured (not that they were facing Geneva Convention treatment anyway…), and a disaffected CIA, leary of any pressure for fear they step over Obama’s line. Then we have the POTUS/TOTUS himself… proclaiming from the onset he wasn’t going to be investigating the Bush admin. He then releases this and proclaims he won’t be prosecuting the operatives acting under order. Like Pontius Pilate, he washes his hands to absolve his soul and conscience, and lets his minions go on the attack – do the dirty work – and take the responsibility instead. “It wasn’t me”, he will solemnly avow in the future. What has he gained but increased risk to our security and soldiers, demeaning the US on the world stage, and making the CIA nervous about their already daunting tasks? (he made a special trip to Langley to reassure them he really *did* support their efforts…. okay) And all for what? To throw a bone to his leftist supporters, out for vengence on an American administration. I could not be more disgusted with this administration. Respect from him? He’s worn out that welcome mat with me. Reply Ike on April 21, 2009 at 2:17 pm If we are attacked again, after being protected for 7 years, and Obama allows those who protected the nation by gleaning information using “heavy” interogation to be prosecuted then Obama et al should be tried for treason. The first job of a US President is to protect as best possible the citizens of this nation. The one thing I feared during this past election was having a President who did not put this country first. I hope I am wrong. Reply Mike's America on April 21, 2009 at 2:58 pm @MataHarley: Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I had wondered where you were. Thanks for dropping in. @Ike: Right you are. The Oath of Office for President is: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” You can’t protect the Constitution if the citizens protected by it are DEAD! But I suppose if your first obligation is to appease America haters around the world you are less likely to defend the safety and security of your own citizens. Reply TammyL on April 21, 2009 at 3:17 pm I too am worried about his motives. There seems to be no logical reasons to put out these memos. Is he so vindictive and hateful towards a Republican administration that he would through the troops and the CIA over a barrel. If he signs onto the treaty that forces the United States to belong to the International World Court, then he has opened up a pandora box for lawsuits and witch-hunting prosecutions. It clearly said on the memos that these memos were highly classified. P.S. Mata, sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. Part of me is questioning whether he really does want an attack against us, so he can seize on another crisis to seize power. I don’t trust him or anyone in the administration. And the way that congress is just cutting under the table deals with lobbyists and private contractors to secure some of that stimulus money, I think he might be trying to distract America from the greedy congressmen/women who are shamelessly scarfing up goodies. It is like a feeding frenzy in congress. He has no vision except one that will lead this country to hell (socialism) so he is focusing on the past. Lets see if his interrogation efforts will produce better results that BUsh’s. Four years is a long time for Obama. Reply Okies Kid on April 21, 2009 at 3:29 pm Referring to Mike’s America’s comment, Barry’s actions speak to his so called abilities and faithfulness to the USA. He appears to be amoral. His actions speak louder than all the words he spewed before being elected as president. His actions SHOW his lack of ability or interest in protecting and defending our precious Constitution. The United States today is not the same United States that existed before January 2009. What were voters thinking back in November?! Reply John ryan on April 21, 2009 at 3:44 pm gee there really does seem to be a lot of divergent views about all of the “torture” business doesn’t there ? Perhaps we need to bring in a special prosecutor to clear things up. My view is that torture is illegal and that all illegal acts should be prosecuted. If Obama decides to grant clemency to any found guilty I would have no problem with that. But we are a nation of laws. Reply Tom in CA on April 21, 2009 at 4:12 pm Thanks for your view John. Gee, perhaps since we are a nation of laws we should start with investigating Senator Feinstein and the steering of political favors to CBRE. You know, her husbands firm. Think that might be illegal? How about Senator Dodd, and his ‘special’ mortgage? No favors there uh? So Mr. Obama, start with the trials, just remember, you’ll be out of office one day. Reply Scrapiron on April 21, 2009 at 4:27 pm The O’Dumbo regime will record an American first. First entire regime ,aka Hitlers brown shirt imitators, to be arrested, tried, convicted and executed. Reply Uncle Jefe on April 21, 2009 at 4:37 pm John Ryan, nothing that we did constitutes ‘torture’. These are not state actors, who would be covered under the Geneva agreements that we signed with other signatory nations (states). They are terrorists. Period. Reply Uncle Jefe on April 21, 2009 at 4:44 pm By the way, here’s Eric Holder’s view on all this, on CNN back in 2002 (via Jonah Godberg at The Corner)… “One of the things we clearly want to do with these prisoners is to have an ability to interrogate them and find out what their future plans might be, where other cells are located; under the Geneva Convention that you are really limited in the amount of information that you can elicit from people. It seems to me that given the way in which they have conducted themselves, however, that they are not, in fact, people entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention. They are not prisoners of war. If, for instance, Mohamed Atta had survived the attack on the World Trade Center, would we now be calling him a prisoner of war? I think not. Should Zacarias Moussaoui be called a prisoner of war? Again, I think not.” Reply suek on April 21, 2009 at 4:46 pm This is off topic – sort of. Please consider it if you are not already a member. It’s only off topic if you consider that Obama has no intentions of somehow regulating gun ownership out of existence. “The NRA is giving FREE 1-yr memberships to everyone who wants to join. They are trying to build up their membership to fight pending legislation that impacts our right to keep and bear arms. It is very important that anti-gun congressmen see how many people they will have to fight to get their legislation through. This is your opportunity to join the NRA at NO COST to you. This is a free One-Year membership. Please take advantage of this opportunity and support our “Second Amendment” by joining today. Just click here https://www.nrahq.org/nrabonus and sign up now. This is for new members only I believe. If you know someone who might be interested, let them know how to take advantage of this one-year membership.” Reply Patvann on April 21, 2009 at 4:51 pm Bring it on. I want to hear (from their own mouths) from Pelosi and Rockefeller. WHO WERE IN THE DAMN ROOM BACK THEN, ASKING IF THESE METHODS WERE TOUGH ENOUGH!!!! Reply xformed on April 21, 2009 at 4:56 pm Does Obama even understand the negative consequences of that for our democratic system of government? My belief: No. This man sees only the necessity of keeping his popularity intact. HOw many knifes he will stick in the backs of others is irrelevant, but, that’s my opinion, having seen his poor international relations skills, and his steamrolling of the economy to gain control for when the masses figure out he duped them. At that point, it will get ugly. Strange indeed, that Lincoln freed the slaves and Obama seems set on enslaving us all. Read into that what you will, but it’s a scary thought, with all too many puzzle pieces being passed into law. Final thought: If you destroy the democratic attibutes of the system, then it’s a moot point anyhow. He will be in charge by his own hand, much like Chavez was elected, then made himself president for life A reason to cozy up with Hugo to get some really good ideas on how to make go ffaster and more smoothly here. Reply TammyL on April 21, 2009 at 4:58 pm The Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorists. It is a treaty that governs the conduct and warfare between legitimate armies of legitimate nations. It does not cover rogue individuals who are waging Jihad. Reply ObamaIsASadJoke on April 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm ugh- john ryan, you get tired of being slapped around at Ace of Spades? That why you come over here to lay out your weak krep? Nice to see the locals here giving you the respect you deserve…which is to say, none. Nation of laws, yes indeed. Let’s start the clock ticking on Sandy Berger, and move forward from there, okay sport? Reply DocMartyn on April 21, 2009 at 7:02 pm “Today we were unlucky, but remember we only have to be lucky once. You have to be lucky always” PIRA statement to Thatcher govt after Brighton bomb, 1984 The British government responded to IRA terrorism by infiltrating the IRA and killing the more intransigent ones. The left-wing press shrilled about the ‘shot to kill policy’; but in the end the IRA was defeated, despite funding and political backing from Democratic Senator Teddy Kennedy. However, it took 30 years, and many dead civilians. I personally witnessed the Downing St mortar bombing, a friend was at Kings Cross when the bomb went off, and other was at Victoria Station when that bomb went off. The IRA blew up my rail line one morning, but missed the train. Defeating Al-Queda will take at least as long, and there will manage the kill hundreds of civilians in the coming decades. However, the same people who think it is better for the Israelis to pick up body parts after a nail bombing on a bus rather than building and patrolling a wall, also think it better that genocidal, gay-hating, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, murderers kill American men, women and children rather than getting their hair wet. They will support the terrorists, rather than law enforcement authorities, because they hate society as much as Al-Queda. Reply Hard Right on April 21, 2009 at 7:13 pm John, I’ll use small words for you. 1) No one was tortured. 2) The “harsh” interrogation methods worked. Harsh in this case means more than just politely asking questions and less than torture. Reply Mike's America on April 21, 2009 at 7:25 pm @John ryan: Do we need to appoint a special prosecutor to determine whether Bill Clinton or any of his aides violated the law in the bombing of that aspirin factory in Sudan? @Uncle Jefe: Do you have a link to those Holder remarks? I checked the last few days at the Corner and didn’t see it. Reply Marion Valentine on April 21, 2009 at 7:26 pm Obama just castrated all branches of U.S. intelligence services, and like Clintoons wall between intel services, and the financial cutbacks that virtually crippled our intelligence, it will come back to bite Obama in the ass. Reply Mike's America on April 21, 2009 at 7:30 pm @Marion Valentine: Correction Marion. It will bite US in the ass. Obama will be as blameless as Clinton. Remember ole Bill had the 1889 PDB warning of attacks and he did nothing. Bush got blamed for failing to connect the dots. The same thing will happen if we boot Obama out in less than four years and we are attacked when a Republican is in office again. Reply Marion Valentine on April 21, 2009 at 7:41 pm Yeah you’re right Mike, but if Obama isn’t stopped America is destroyed anyway, but the lives lost in a terrorist attack would just further demoralize the American people and hasten their enslavement under a One World Socialist Government. Giving up liberty for safety wouldn’t be such a hard sell for the master snake oil salesman. Reply Marion Valentine on April 21, 2009 at 7:46 pm BTW Mike did you see the “leaked” list of banks that failed the stress test? I have it and will post if you haven’t seen it. Reply Mike's America on April 21, 2009 at 7:50 pm @Marion Valentine: I haven’t seen it Marion.. Please drop the link here. Reply Marion Valentine on April 21, 2009 at 7:55 pm http://dprogram.net/2009/04/20/bank-stress-test-results-leaked/ I am listed as a columnist for Canada Free Press now, I write an article about once a week, don’t know if you all read CFP or not. Reply Mike's America on April 21, 2009 at 8:01 pm @Marion Valentine: From your link: Bank of America`s total credit exposure to derivatives was 179 percent of its risk-based capital; Citibank`s was 278 percent; JPMorgan Chase`s, 382 percent; and HSBC America`s, 550 percent. It gets even worse: Goldman Sachs began reporting as a commercial bank, revealing an alarming total credit exposure of 1,056 percent, or more than ten times its capital! YIKES! I have read CFP from time to time. Drop us a link when you have something up there. Reply Marion Valentine on April 21, 2009 at 8:09 pm Will do Mike, have 4 recent articles on CFP now…. http://canadafreepress.com in upper left click on columnist archives, then find my name. I also have a new grand daughter born at 1:40 today, am crowing like an old rooster…LOL Reply MataHarley on April 21, 2009 at 8:32 pm Mike, Tammy.. thank you for your condolences. I swear, so much easier on those that depart than those they leave behind. Having a hard time wrapping my arms around this one. Marion, congrats on your CFP status. And of course we not only read, but many times post their articles as references and post fodder. But what really struck me was the continuation of life… my friend exits after midnight, your granddaughter arrives within the hour. God called home one of his very precious creations in Alia/Pam…. but he left another in the care of your family. It gave me one of my rare smiles today. Thank you. John Ryan… lumping everything into the vague “torture” category, eh? You are a gullible fool. How many did they waterboard? What were the other serious offenses? Sleep deprivation? Listing to Brittany 24/7. But no… you just ASSume everything was “torture” because that works for your argument. Perhaps you should do more reading of all that heinous “torture”… like forced nudity and slamming against a wall… then compare it to genuine torture these cockroaches do to citizens and soldiers alike. I have no patience with your mentality today. You are but a bug on life’s windshield. Reply Murphy on April 21, 2009 at 8:34 pm Does this mean we can prosecute the global warming cult in 2013? Reply Mike's America on April 21, 2009 at 8:35 pm @Marion Valentine: Thanks. Found your archive here: http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/members/1/Marion%20Valentine/ I had a racoon problem a few years ago too. Some nutty neighbor was feeding them and we were overrun. I trapped enough in Havahart traps to make a coat. Congratulations on the new arrival in your family. I hope you teach her right. Don’t leave it up to the public schools. Reply Mike's America on April 21, 2009 at 8:46 pm @Murphy: It would be nice if we could prosecute the globaloney fraudsters, including Al Gore. But sadly, we all know that Republicans will never dare to do anything as blatantly vicious as what Obama and the Dems are considering. @MataHarley: They say the pain grows less with time. That may be true but it never goes away. Just continuing to vent on John Ryan if that helps. Reply Marion Valentine on April 21, 2009 at 8:48 pm Thanks Mike, However I have two teenagers who are among the top students in the country, yet they attend a little country school that is supposed to be nearly the worst in the country, but true history and values are taught at home, regardless of where the school is,all schools have books and reasonably qualified teachers, but schools and teachers cannot teach children anything, they can only give them an opportunity to learn, and every child in America has that opportunity….some just wont pay the price to take advantage of it. Reply Marion Valentine on April 21, 2009 at 8:50 pm +Good Night everyone Reply Mike's America on April 21, 2009 at 9:33 pm @Marion Valentine: There is no substitute for parent’s passing their values along to their children. I was introduced to politics at a very young age when my parents took me to see a presidential candidate visit in our area. It all started there. But we also had discussions around the dinner table. Reply mooseburger on April 22, 2009 at 1:47 am http://www.sptimes.com/2006/10/22/Columns/We_sentenced_Japanese.shtml http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201170.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeBTg_Jrab8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bO2p0KHyzpw&feature=related http://civilliberty.about.com/od/waronterror/p/hamdan.htm Obama didn’t criminalize the actions of his predecessor, these things were already illegal. I am always struck by the often repeated use of the phrase ” successful Bush Administration efforts to protect us” This is not true at all. Not only did we get attacked on Bush’s watch, there was also the Anthrax mailings right after that. I’m grateful that no attacks happened since then, but 911 happened on Bush’s watch. You can say,” that can happen to any President,” but to keep saying over and over that Bush kept us safe is not a true statement. He kept us safe after the worse attack on American soil on his watch. To top all that off, the scumbag mastermind Bin Laden who bragged and taunts us to this day is still free, still plotting, and still a threat. He has not been brought to justice. This on Bush’s watch. Mata: First, very sorry to hear about your friend. The release of those memos revealed little that was not already known as far back as 2006. This is probably why Bush also inserted some language to retroactively protect himself in the Military Commissions Act in 2006 http://alaskafreepress.com/news/224 http://www.rense.com/general74/mil.htm http://shadowpress.org/military_commissions_act.52.htm This was after the Supreme court ruled in Hamdan VS Rumsfeld that the Geneva Convention did indeed apply to the War on Terror Detainees. A summary of the decision’s impact: “This is, without question, the single most significant Supreme Court ruling to date dealing with the war on terror. The ruling’s most substantial point is that all non-citizen prisoners are protected by the Geneva Conventions. This essentially renders illegal the Bush administration’s program of indefinite detention, mild torture, and extraordinary rendition, calling on the administration to treat all detainees in a manner consistent with international human rights standards.” The Military Commissions act gave the President the right to: “It authorizes the suspension of habeas corpus for non-citizens, including legal permanent residents, in U.S. custody · It authorizes the President to detain anyone, including U.S. citizens, without charge by designating them enemy combatants or unlawful enemy combatants · It authorizes the President to determine what constitutes torture. · It authorizes the use of evidence obtained by coercion · It authorizes the use of hearsay · It authorizes retroactive immunity for U.S military and intelligence officials for abuses that occurred at sites such as, Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, Bagram and secret CIA facilities. · The definitions of rape and sexual assault are narrower than under international law and have higher thresholds for proof.” If we are compromising our values and behaving more like our enemy in order to win the fight against them, then we are losing much more in the long run. The Congress is every bit as guilty for passing this into law, and condoning any illegal activities. Their hands are not clean either. When we grant one man the right to suspend habeas corpus, we undermine our Constitution to our peril. ALL of the Guantanamo detanees who have been released and have been cited as having gone back to the field of battle were released during the Bush administration. There is concern that those who are guilty as hell in Guantanamo cannot or will not be tried because of the evidence against them being tainted. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/13/AR2009011303372.html Basically, as prosecutor of the War on Terror, Bush has bungled the case. Not only has he not brought Bin Laden to justice, he has diminished the chances of bringing these terrorists to justice without them introducing the methods used to get their confessions as evidence in their trials, compromising the case against them. This may be ok with some Conservatives, but it does great harm to our country, and undermines support for the war we wage against Radical Islam. I hear some Conservatives say sometimes, “who care who likes America overseas?” My father told me once, it takes your whole life to build up a good name for yourself, and you can lose that good name in a matter of minutes. America is a great country deserving of a good name, Bush has done his part to tarnish that good name. I’m sorry, but you don’t get to just grab up people and lock them away 7 years, or forever with no trial here in America. The Supreme Court agrees the Geneva Convention does apply. Back in the day, enemy caught in war might be caught, interrogated, and when no longer useful, exterminated and left on the field of battle, and the media was non the wiser for it. Sounds bad, but war is war, and perhaps preferable to the system Bush set up. Mr. Bush is responsible for allowing enemy caught on battlefields to become Supreme court cases. He didn’t let a good crisis go to waste either, he launched the Iraq war instead of going after and bringing Bin Laden to justice. Letting the facts see the light of day will keep this from happening again. Those who fault Obama should be glad he is exposing this to the Nation, and not sweeping it under the rug, lest he do the very same in ways that you find objectionable, and use the powers given to him from the Bush Administration to bad ends. To me, the granting of ANY President the right to declare an American citizen an Enemy Combatant and therefor he/she can be detained indefinitely with no right to ask a Judge why he/she is being held, by the word of the President alone goes well beyond the rights the Constitution grants. Even in times of war. When this was proposed is when we should have had our Tea Parties every single day. Those who would give up freedom in order to gain safety deserve neither If Obama is as bad as what I hear many of you here say he is, he was certainly handed the keys to the Kingdom to do as he will by Mr. Bush and the previous Congress. Obama has continued extraordinary rendition, continues the wiretapping and broken other promises already. I hope he has the wisdom and character to not dig into that Military Commissions act toolbox that Bush left him and use it for purposes of evil. And yes, let the Country find out what happened, so it can be rectified and never happen again. Reply Russell on April 22, 2009 at 8:00 am Water-boarding, enforced hypothermia, and stress positions have long been recognized as torture. The US has prosecuted those acts as torture, both when done by our own wayward soldiers, and also when done by foreigners. After WW II, Japanese officers who used water-boarding were tried and found guilty of torture. I don’t know whether the Japanese who practiced this thereby gained any information that saved Japanese lives. Would that have been a valid defense? Reply Gee Had I Known on April 22, 2009 at 8:01 am This witch hunt is just absolutely Hussein. Reply Aye on April 22, 2009 at 8:06 am @Russell: Source? Reply Ron on April 22, 2009 at 8:21 am Russell is accurate with his assertion that Japanese officers were prosecuted for Water-boarding: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201170.html Ron Reply Desenzano on April 22, 2009 at 8:52 am @Tom in CA: @John ryan: . . . regardless of the quality of the “laws”? How can “torture” be “illegal” if “torture” isn’t precisely defined? Reply Ron on April 22, 2009 at 8:58 am If water-boarding was once considered torture, and those who used it were prosecuted for torture, then how can you say torture isn’t defined? Ron Reply MataHarley on April 22, 2009 at 9:01 am Moose, you may wish to spread your accusations, guy. First of all, at the heart of Hamdan… and ultimately Boumediene… was whether the stateless thugs captured on the battlefield had habeus corpus rights, and access to our courts instead of the military trials set up (and consistently fought down… which is why most never got a conviction… hampered at every turn by ACLU lawyers). Hamdan’s decision found that the administration first had to prove that Hamdan was not a prisoner of war, and was classified as an enemy combatant. This was in June of 2006. MCA was introduced in Sept 2006, and enacted in Oct 2006 that gave powers to the admin to suspend habeaus corpus rights of non citizens. They were held in Gitmo because it was not considered US sovereign territory. Boumediene, in June of 2008, resulted in the SCOTUS redefining Guantanamo as US sovereign territory, which then granted habeaus corpus and Constitutional rights to the detainees. Now, all that said, Moose, the problem is you don’t want to give these critters Constitutional rights and they should be tried via military tribunals instead. Even the current POTUS understands this… which is what brings me to my first sentence about “spreading the accusations”. Bagram is Obama’s new Gitmo. It was late February when Obama’s justice department did a “Bush”, and declared that the Bagram Airfield detainees could be held indefinitely because of ongoing military actions, and that they did not have access to the US court system. Sound familiar? Same story, same intent, just different soil. Reply Warpublican on April 22, 2009 at 9:09 am “John, I’ll use small words for you. 1) No one was tortured. 2) The “harsh” interrogation methods worked. Harsh in this case means more than just politely asking questions and less than torture.” If what you say is true – no torture – what is everyone so worried about? No faith in American justice? Let’s get this into the open! I want to find out if the non-torture worked – what – exactly – did this non-torture do to help America? We already know there was no ticking-bomb scenario – so this non-torture looks like it was used for getting other information. Just like the Bushies used to say: if you’re innocent, you’ve got NOTHING to fear… Reply Mike's America on April 22, 2009 at 9:17 am @MataHarley: I’m glad you gave Mossy the time of day. Frankly, I am a bit irritated with massive dumps of cut and paste material which Mossy denies he gets from his favorite lefty web sites. And as for the moral equivalence of US waterboarding to that of the Japanese such specious arguments totally ignore the standards which the U.S. set to prevent these techniques from being misused. Go and read the DOJ/CIA memos if you need a clue. And once again, in case anyone missed it, these techniques WERE USED ON ONLY THREE OF THESE MONSTERS! Why is it ok for Obama to bomb villages in Pakistan killing God knows how many innocent civilians and not ok for Bush to waterboard these three monsters? Do I need to post this photo on every thread? That’s KSM holding the gun to Daniel Pearl’s head just before he saws it off. Answer me this Mossy, Russel and Ron: Would it make you feel better if members of your family had died in the “second wave” because we had not waterboarded? That’s a YES or a NO question. No equivocating. The issue is just that stark. We either waterboarded those three monsters or people would dead. Finally, Funny how Democrats have endless hours to puff up the evil of “torture” and distort the facts and yet they didn’t even have 24 hours to read the most massive pork spending bill of all time. Seems to me their priorities are out of whack. They have all the time in the world for lies and distortions and no time to govern. Reply MataHarley on April 22, 2009 at 9:19 am Russell #35: Water-boarding, enforced hypothermia, and stress positions have long been recognized as torture. The US has prosecuted those acts as torture, both when done by our own wayward soldiers, and also when done by foreigners. Really, Russell? Ever hear of SERE training? (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) For in fact, the methods you consider “torture” are part of our own military’s training tactics. Perhaps we should be prosecuting military training instructors, eh? For those of you who prefer Hollywood’s version of reality, you may remember GI Jane, with the trainer holding her head underwater to get her fellow unit to break in order to save her life. Not such a far fetched reality when you consider what thousands of troops have undergone as part of their SERE training…. the Resistance part of which is spent in a simulated POW camp with coercive interrogation techniques. That includes waterboarding, forced nudity, etc. In fact, when defining the interrogation methods, the Bush admin used this training as a guideline. But yeah… let’s coddle the human scum. Don’t forget to deliver their MickeyD’s happy meals on time, three times a day. Yet for all the “torture”, they walk away with intact bodies… unlike any POW in the enemy camp. This demented vision of the “moral high road” may make you feel better about your self, but will you feel the same way when innocents die for your smug morality? Frankly, I think shooting on the battlefield is the way to go. Reply Mike's America on April 22, 2009 at 9:23 am @MataHarley: Let’s prosecute Code Pink whackos. They waterboard people in their demonstrations all the time. @Warpublican: ” We already know there was no ticking-bomb scenario” WRONG! We knew a second wave of attacks was on the way. It is an indisputable fact that the Bush Administration used intelligence, some of which was garnered from waterboarding JUST THREE TERRORISTS, to foil multiple attacks. Democrats objected to nearly ALL the advanced intelligence operations only AFTER the NY Times disclosed them. Dems were fully informed of ALL these methods. I’ll ask you the same question: Answer me this Mossy, Russel and Ron: Would it make you feel better if members of your family had died in the “second wave” because we had not waterboarded? And again, that’s a yes or no answer. Reply MataHarley on April 22, 2009 at 9:27 am Warpublican… the day the courts start micromanaging our intel/military, and our methods are a part of public record, is the day American begins the downslide of an efficient military and counterintelligence entity. Such matters are not a “need to know” for you merely so you can pompously cast aspersions about national security, of which you know nothing of the details and potential risks of unsuccessful interrogation methods. Reply Aye on April 22, 2009 at 9:33 am @Mike’s America: If I may continue your theme of pictures being worth a thousand words, I’d like to add these: To those who are opposed to the use of waterboarding to prevent horrors like those pictured above, a challenge for you. Find for me one legal expert, or one politician, just one, who went on record in the days following 9/11 saying that we shouldn’t do what we needed to do to prevent another attack on our soil. Just one. It’s so easy to look back now, nearly eight years later, and say “Oh, we shouldn’t have done that.” Find me one person who said that in Sept 2001. I’m with Mata. Shoot ’em in the head. That is, after all, prescribed by the Geneva Conventions as appropriate. Reply Ron on April 22, 2009 at 9:59 am To Mike: Whether or not they were water-boarded to obtain information or stop an attack would NOT make me feel better or worse about losing my family Mike. Sorry if that isn’t a yes or No answer but that is my answer. Some questions don’t have yes and no questions. Yes or no Mike does it bother you that INNOCENT people could and have been tortured? You and Mata are missing the point entirely. I could care less about the terrorists who were water-boarded. But when you institute polices that are defined as torture, and use them, you run the risk of innocent people getting tortured as well as wide spread abuse. We didn’t torture Nazi officers during World War II and yet we were still able to gather intelligence from them. And why is it illegal for the FBI and ALL other domestic law inforcement to water-board or torture? Let’s ask Curt if it would be okay to water-board a suspect to gather a confession. I bet he says it’s illegal. This isn’t about some”lefty” position it’s about the letter of the law. In “My America” Mike everyone has to obey the nation’s law….NO EXCEPTIONS. And even though those men are not legal citizens, it is hypocritical of us to use techniques on others that we are not allowed to use on ourselves. Ron Reply Ron on April 22, 2009 at 10:07 am I have a question for you Aye…….did we water-board Timothy McVeigh or Terry Nichols to gather information about who else might of been involved in the Oklahoma City Bombings? Did we use any “Enhanced interrogation techniques” on suspects in one of the worst domestic TERRORISM acts in US history? Why didn’t we on them but we can on some foreigner? I know McVeigh and Nichols were US citizens….but how are they different from the 9/11 terrorists as far as intent? Genuinely curious. Ron Reply Ron on April 22, 2009 at 10:21 am And Mata: The SERE training you are referring to is used to train our soldiers in the event that they are held by captures that don’t abide by the Geneva conventions….which by the way, we are to adhere to. And I know you’re going to say that those apply only to soldiers in an Army….but somehow I think this Jihadis do consider themselves to be some sort of soldier for Allah and shit. So you or Mike or Aye would have no qualms with being water-boarded or undergoing “harsh interrogation techniques” by a foreign government if you were ever swept up accidentally and accused of terrorism? Once they released you you would go on your merry ways and would never once accuse them of torture? And I’m still waiting for a logical response to why Japanese soldiers were convicted for torture when they water-boarded US soldiers but then we turn around and do it and it’s legal. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201170.html Ron Reply MataHarley on April 22, 2009 at 10:41 am Ron, I don’t care what the Jihad scumbags consider themselves to be. Rules of engagement for any military (under Geneva Convention) does not include deliberate targeting of civilian innocents… as they do at every opportunity. So if you want to give their self-perception as warriors of Allah credibility, you’re standing on that pinhead alone, and way off the mark of reality. You are thinking emotionally only. Have no clue about your “no qualms being waterboarded” by a foreign government question. Like what power do we have over a foreign goverment, and what’s the point of your question? Again, with you, it’s all emotional. If I am suspected of being a terrorist operative, I’m quite sure they’ll do everything they can to get info out of me in other countries. And rightly so. And you wonder if I’m innocent, will I whine and take action with what legal means? Maybe. On the other hand if I got out of an oppressive foreign prison, I’m not likely to skirt their territory again…. legally or physically. What you advocate is let everyone else have harsh interrogation techinques, but not us. You also think it’s okay to put our soldiers thru it, with suffering NO irreparable harm, but gasp at the thought of doing it to a suspected terrorist. Huh? Tell you what. If you want clean hands, how about we ship ’em to places that will get results, and the nanny terrorist coddlers can sleep better at night. Me? I still say shoot ’em, or leave those they think can provide intel in Obama’s Gitmo. Funny how that’s a subject few of you “anti-Gitmo/anti-terror/give the detainees rights” types don’t want to address. That’s a tangible subject, not some silly, emotional school girl hypothetical of how I’d “feel” if I were waterboarded in a foreign country. MataHarley on April 22, 2009 at 10:22 am Ron: You and Mata are missing the point entirely. I could care less about the terrorists who were water-boarded. But when you institute polices that are defined as torture, and use them, you run the risk of innocent people getting tortured as well as wide spread abuse. This is true of any law or practice, Ron. I didn’t like the creation of the financial czar via TARP under Bush because it concentrated too much power in one man, and an unelected one to boot. The potential for abuse is not only readily apparent, the power grab is expanding daily with under this czar heavy admin and their self-appointed powers. So yes… abuse of any policy or law is always a potential. But it’s good know know your sympathies are *not* lying with those “victim” human scum. But with the exception of the sadistic few that will pop up in any particular circle, the majority of interrogators are not likely to use such extremes merely to find out if the neighbor has a pot farm growing…. which seems to be what you may be alluding to. But this leads me to your next comment about how we didn’t torture Nazi officials, and (per the interrogators of that era) got more info out of them over a game of ping pong, a steak dinner or chess. Totally irrelevant. These were soldiers by career (short term or long) and not ideologues. You cannot compare a German soldier (who’d probably rather not be on the battlefield, but it’s his job), to a rabid Islamic jihad fighter, fanatical to his cause. Completely different critters. Another difference is a German soldier was acting under state orders… not a gang, thug wacko owing allegiance only to their revered terrorist leaders and cells. I suspect that the difference between most of us is how you view the enemy. I don’t see them as POWs, but enemy combatants. I don’t think they should have Constitutional rights, and I think we should hold them as long as intel and military officials deem. And frankly, I don’t care what they do to them in order to gain the inside skinny on who and what they know. Just don’t take pictures, fer heavens sake. Reply Aye on April 22, 2009 at 10:26 am @Ron: Your argument has truck sized holes in it but I will try to be gentle with you. does it bother you that INNOCENT people could and have been tortured? Where’s the documentation that says that INNOCENT people have been tortured? The CIA used the technique on THREE people. THREE. Where are the innocents in that trio? I could care less about the terrorists who were water-boarded. Why do your knickers seem to be all in a twist then? when you institute polices that are defined as torture, and use them, you run the risk of innocent people getting tortured as well as wide spread abuse. Who is defining these techniques as “torture”? The use of EIT is strictly limited to last resort, ticking bomb type situations. Read the memos that have been released. Does the application of EIT sound routine to you? We didn’t torture Nazi officers during World War II and yet we were still able to gather intelligence from them. We could go into an extended discussion here of what went on in WWII and what our techniques were but I don’t have ready access to my research materials or the time to do that now. I will tell you this much though. The techniques were not as kind, gentle, and understanding as you may like to believe they are. And why is it illegal for the FBI and ALL other domestic law inforcement to water-board or torture? Let’s ask Curt if it would be okay to water-board a suspect to gather a confession. I bet he says it’s illegal. This isn’t about some”lefty” position it’s about the letter of the law. Ummm….sorry to break it to you but US law is a much different animal than the laws of warfare. The comparison doesn’t work. You’re bringing apples to a pear festival. What you need to understand is that there is no law against EIT. And even though those men are not legal citizens, it is hypocritical of us to use techniques on others that we are not allowed to use on ourselves. Again, another hole in your argument. Our servicemen and women(?) are waterboarded as part of their specialized (SERE) training procedures. So, no, we don’t use techniques on others that we are not allowed to use on ourselves. Now, let’s revisit Mike’s question. I’ve taken the liberty of rewording it a bit to see if I can elicit a yes or no answer. “If a terror plot were imminent, and a terror suspect was in custody who had the information to save thousands of lives, including those of some of your family, would you be willing to allow the use of EIT’s to save those lives?” Reply Aye on April 22, 2009 at 10:50 am @Ron: I have a question for you Aye…….did we water-board Timothy McVeigh or Terry Nichols to gather information about who else might of been involved in the Oklahoma City Bombings? Did we use any “Enhanced interrogation techniques” on suspects in one of the worst domestic TERRORISM acts in US history? Why didn’t we on them but we can on some foreigner? I know McVeigh and Nichols were US citizens….but how are they different from the 9/11 terrorists as far as intent? Another apples / oranges comparison Ron. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I’m guessing that you’re not being deliberately obtuse but it’s very difficult to say for sure. The US Constitution gives protections to those like McVeigh and Nichols but, of course, you already know that. Furthermore, the US Constitution does not give protections to foreigners captured on a foreign battlefield. I expect that you know that too. Would I have approved of some really harsh techniques for the likes of vermin like the OKC duo….perhaps…IF…and you’ll notice that is a big “if” there was evidence that these two were part of an extended plot and that more lives were going to be lost? Yes, absolutely. I wouldn’t think twice about it and I would take my chances in front of a jury. However, just as the Constitution protects speech that we don’t like, it also provides protections for the most vile criminal defendants. Fortunately, there was never any evidence that other lives were in danger though, so the point is moot. Reply Ron on April 22, 2009 at 10:55 am Thanks for going easy on me as you realize that this isn’t personal, we just disagree on the fundamental question of what is and isn’t torture. So to answer your question, No Aye I wouldn’t allow them to be water-boarded. Because if I said yes I’d be a hypocrite now wouldn’t I? Let me ask you a question then. A US citizen just blew up the pentagon, and there are other bombs he planted. Do you water-board him or used “enhance interrogation” techniques to get info? Even though it violates US law and his constitutional rights, it could save thousands of lives…do you torture him? I’m trying to understand the difference if it’s just about saving lives and laws are irrelevant. And again the SERE training is used to train our soldiers to resist captors who don’t adhere to the Geneva conventions which we do. And my comparison does work Aye because we are both talking about a detainee. I’m not talking about what happens on the battle field Aye. Once a person is captured and are no longer a threat, why is it okay to water-board a foreigner and not a US citizen? I’m speaking morally here Aye. Why is the standard for a US citizen higher than that of a non US citizen when it comes to how thet are treated? Oh and innocent people? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vL3__pxKUkI Ron Reply Aye on April 22, 2009 at 11:08 am @Ron: A US citizen just blew up the pentagon, and there are other bombs he planted. Do you water-board him or used “enhance interrogation” techniques to get info? Even though it violates US law and his constitutional rights, it could save thousands of lives…do you torture him? As I said to you in post 55, I would do whatever was necessary to protect the thousands of innocent lives hanging in the balance. I would opt to save those lives if possible and then take my chances with a jury if necessary. Even if I was found guilty of some “crime” the thousands saved would still have been saved and I wouldn’t have their blood on my hands. And my comparison does work Aye because we are both talking about a detainee. I’m not talking about what happens on the battle field Aye. Once a person is captured and are no longer a threat, why is it okay to water-board a foreigner and not a US citizen? I’m speaking morally here Aye. Why is the standard for a US citizen higher than that of a non US citizen when it comes to how thet are treated? I highlighted the key phrase in that segment. The EIT’s are reserved for those who ARE still considered a threat or high-value. The EIT’s are ONLY used in cases of a ticking-bomb pending plot type scenario. These techniques are not routine. You continue to try and mix and match US law, the Constitution, and peacetime legal practices and standards with those of the battlefield. They don’t mesh together and were never intended to be one and the same. Reply Ron on April 22, 2009 at 11:13 am Mata I’m not giving them any credibility or validating how these men view themselves Mata…which is why I said “and shit” at the end. Sarcasm. And you entirely missed to crux of my question. This isn’t about emotional thinking Mata..is about consistency. If you are water-boarded and subjected to harsh interrogation by a foreign government would you consider yourself to have been tortured? I’m honestly trying to understand the mindset that’s all. And abuses have happened as a result. If you like I can do a bunch of cutting a pasting but i know that annoys you guys. Ron Reply MataHarley on April 22, 2009 at 11:24 am If you want to address “consistancy”, Ron, perhaps you should reconcile your own first. You have repeated a couple of times that the SERE training is part of our military captive training. But if you want to be consistant, “torture” (which you consider waterboarding to be) is torture. It’s either legal or it’s not… whether used on our own military, or on detainees. You either prosecute the military trainers for inflicting the same “torture” on soldiers as they do prisoners, or you don’t. As far as your persistent hypothetical goes, I would consider being forced into any treatment or situation I don’t want “torture”. And sometimes that includes debates here on FA…. LOL Now that’s pretty broad. Shall we then start proscuting students for hazing? Obviously a form of “torture”. However were I in the position of being waterboarded by a foreign government, I’d likely be happy to be free with my head and limbs still intact, and able to go on my merry way in life. But who knows how people react to such situations. It is not a question that could be answered with any viability. Thus it is “emotionally” based. Ron on April 22, 2009 at 11:26 am To aye: I don’t mean as a private citizen. You are a police officer who has a person detained who may have knowledge about another attack. Do you violate his constitutional rights and torture him? I’m assuming your answer is still yes. So my question is what’s the point of having any laws or standards for that matter if you are willing to violate them when you feel it’s warranted? You see that’s what doesn’t make since about your argument. On the one hand you say US law and the laws of warfare are different and that US citizen’s should be treated differently because of our Constitutional rights and yet you also say that you would violate someone’s Constititional rights if it were warranted. I’d say you views are pretty much about changing the rules as you go where I believe in adhering to the Constitution and any treaties signed by the US. That’s the basic difference seems like Ron Reply Ron on April 22, 2009 at 11:39 am Mata Generally speaking torture is something done against your will. And the SERE program is used on people who volunteered. Christopher Hitchens volunteered to be Water-boarded for an article in Vanity Fair. Should we prosecute the people who did it? Obviously not. But had Mr. Hitchens been kidnapped and water-boarded by force, then yes. You can’t see the difference in that argument? And he said that it was in fact torture…based on his experience. And I’m still waiting for an answer as to why water-bourding was considered torture when performed on US soldiers during World War II, but now it’s not. Seriously when did the laws change? Ron Reply MataHarley on April 22, 2009 at 12:25 pm @Ron #61: I understand you may not reappear here until a more opportune time, but I needed to address your “voluntary” vs “involuntary” argument as it relates to torture (i.e. waterboarding, but not limited solely to that act). To use your reasoning, anything done to me that I consider “torture” then opens up a realm of possibilities for litigation and legislative interference, based strictly on whether one “volunteered” or not. And what constitutes the degree and harshness of torture? Shall we have a list? Is it based on how I am affected emotionally/mentally? Boy does that “pain and suffering” leer it’s ugly head in our judicial system at every turn. I’d consider it torture to be locked into a room listening to loud hip hop music. (i.e. the “torture” of 24/7 loud music) Will that make “the list” of torture that I may litigate? If that loud music were being played in my workplace, commencing post my initial employment date, (say a retail clothing store), does that mean I “volunteered” for the torture? Was I properly advised I may be exposed to the “torture” of 24/7 loud hip hop music on the job? And in that vein, were soldiers in the SERE program advised prior to knowing they would be waterboarded, how often and how long? How about an actress who takes a part, and the screenplay’s rewritten to include a nudity scene that she doesn’t want to do. Torture? Afterall, according to the report, “forced nudity” is torture. Her choices are to do the part, or get fired. She gets fired, then sues for “torture”? Students who haze… both physically and mentally… torture? Or because the students “voluntarily” are being initiated into whatever organization does the hazing, does that mean the “torture” is now voluntary? What’s the sentencing for torture? Does it have a direct bearing on the physical and/or mental state of the person post “torture”? Has McCain gone back to sue the Vietnamese for his physical torture, leaving him limited movement? Nope… but the Abu Ghraib scum are suing contractors for “inhumane” treatment. Last I knew, they are all in quite good physical condition for their treatment. You’ve just entered the infinite realm of PC nanny crap here, Ron. Cutting off one of my limbs is torture. Can it be argued that if I volunteer for such, I was in a questionable mental state and charges should be brought anyway for requesting to be – by definition – “tortured”? Certainly a justifiable argument for the Code Pink wackos… mentally instable is somewhat a kind assessment, IMHO. This has nothing to do with volunteering. An act is either considered torture, or it’s not. To go anywhere else is a bottomless Pandora’s Box. And frankly, when it comes to our national security and intel, I don’t want to micromanage what our interrogators do as a citizen merely to give me the sense of moral high ground. Simple as that. Ron on April 22, 2009 at 11:43 am To Mata and Aye: I would love to continue this debate but as I have mentioned before I am at work….and well I’m not getting much work done. So if I don’t respond the rest of today..I’m not ducking any questions or anything of that nature, it’s because I’ve got to get some work done. I’ll try and respond tomorrow. Take Care Ron Reply Mike's America on April 22, 2009 at 11:52 am @Ron: Even if I agreed that waterboarding is torture, and I do NOT, I would point out that ONLY THREE TERRORISTS HAVE BEEN WATERBOARDED! Are you saying the man who sawed off Daniel Pearl’s head and planned 9/11 is innocent? Can you point to ONE EXAMPLE of where an innocent person was waterboarded? NO! Get some perspective Ron. P.S. I have already explained the difference between U.S. waterboarding and the Japanese. Did you not bother to read the DOJ-CIA memos? Yes, go back to work. We’re obviously wasting our time trying to inform you. Reply Aye on April 22, 2009 at 12:01 pm @Ron: Plant me firmly in the do whatever it takes to protect thousands of lives camp Ron. If that bothers you well, quite frankly, I have no problem with it. My responses to your queries have been completely consistent. Whether on the battlefield, or here at home, if we have someone in custody who holds the information we need to prevent blood from flowing in the streets again then do whatever is needed to get the information. As I said to you before, I’ll hold my head high, take my chances with a jury, and take whatever punishment that comes my way with the knowledge that thousands are alive because I was willing to take that risk. Ultimately, I answer to a higher authority than US law. I can guarantee you that I will never stand before Him with the lame excuse that the Constitution prevented me from doing what I could to save all those people. Speaking strictly from a moral point of view, I value the lives of thousands of innocents more highly than the life of someone who would willingly, eagerly, saw my head, or your head, off in service to his moon god. I’d say you views are pretty much about changing the rules as you go where I believe in adhering to the Constitution and any treaties signed by the US. The US Constitution was never intended to be a suicide pact. A study of the founding fathers will teach you that. The founders never intended for the US to be so strictly bound by our laws so as to be unable to even protect ourselves. The US is a signatory of the Geneva Conventions. Japan was too. Hence the prosecution of the Japanese soldiers you asked about earlier. Al Queda is NOT a signatory of the GC, hence they are not covered or protected by it. Furthermore, they are not protected because their jihadis fight out of uniform and hide among civilians. The people we are talking about are specifically excluded from GC protections. Ron, I’ve got to get back to work too. I’ve got a ton of things calling my name, none of which I’ll admit, are nearly as much fun as FA. Be back later….after dark EST since it’s gardening season. Reply Aye on April 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm @Ron: Generally speaking torture is something done against your will. Great news! Thousands of inmates within the US prison system will be happy to know that being held against their will now fits your definition of torture. Congratulations. Reply Aye on April 22, 2009 at 1:03 pm @Ron: One more and I’m done for a bit. And my comparison does work Aye because we are both talking about a detainee. I’m not talking about what happens on the battle field Aye. Once a person is captured and are no longer a threat, why is it okay to water-board a foreigner and not a US citizen? Should all captives on the battlefield be Mirandized? If not, why not? Reply Russell on April 22, 2009 at 1:07 pm The stated purpose of SERE training is precisely to prepare our own soldiers to the torture that various enemies might inflict on them, if they are captured. The techniques used in SERE were not invented from broadcloth, but were taken in part from what the Chinese did to prisoners during the Korean war. Techniques that the US then considered illegal torture. The fact that our own soldiers voluntarily subject themselves to a degree of that, performed by their comrades in arms, as a training exercise, doesn’t mean that those techniques therefore are not torture when performed with real intent to break a prisoner. Reply Ron on April 22, 2009 at 1:53 pm Ok…I’m done here at work but I have a question. If I’m so way off base in my arguments against torture or enhanced interrogation techniques, then why have the FBI and numerous military lawyers objected to the use of such techniques: See link below: http://documents.nytimes.com/report-by-the-senate-armed-services-committee-on-detainee-treatment#p=20 Also, I’m going to read the latest Senate Armed Services Committee Report…so perhaps that will shed some light on the subject. Ron Reply Ron on April 22, 2009 at 1:56 pm Also SERE training is performed under the strictest of conditions and the person undergoing the treatment can stop it at anytime, and students are subjected to extensive medical and Psychological pre-screenings. And the schools impose strict limits to how long such techniques can be performed. and again it’s voluntary. Ron Reply Ron on April 22, 2009 at 2:00 pm Oh and Aye incarceration and torture are two different things….come on man! If you took the uS prisoners and used enhanced interrogation techniques, then that would be torture. Okay now I’m going home but I’ll check back tomorrow. Have a good evening. Ron Reply Mike's America on April 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm @Ron: Ron has apparently not read anything any of us have said. He just keeps moving the goalpost. Sorry Ron. But when the next attack comes and a member of your family is killed don”t come here whining about how it’s Bush’s fault. Reply MataHarley on April 22, 2009 at 3:10 pm Russell and Ron, have either of you gone thru SERE training? Did either of you bother to read the link I gave from one who did? Ron says: SERE training is performed under the strictest of conditions and the person undergoing the treatment can stop it at anytime, The military trainers subject them to the techniques not to kill them, but to find their breaking point. Pray tell, how will they “stop it at anytime” and still find their breaking point? Rather moot for the training exercise, don’t you think. If you both to read from those who have experienced it, very few come out of it without finding their breaking point. Guess they didn’t “stop at any time”. What makes you think that waterboarding detainees is any different? Do you assume they waterboard them to kill them? Or to take them to the breaking point? What physical damage is done by waterboarding? Perhaps you’d like to use the three that were waterboarded in the CIA report… one over 260 times. Guess it still didn’t physically damage him, and they must have stopped *well* before the breaking point. And I don’t give a whit about whether it is or was legal or illegal in the past. The Japanese did far more heinous torture than waterboarding. The Vietnamese did far worse as well… did anyone sue? Is that how you guys want to make your judgment calls instead of considering both the results and the perfectly fine health of the detainees following the interrogation? This voluntary vs involuntary is utter BS, so unbelievably effeminate and emotional an assessment, and a Pandora’s box of nanny legislation. Torture is torture. Period. If you believe these techniques are torture, you should be railing about the military using them on our guys. If US special forces soldiers can gut it out for training, the detainees… who manage to live thru it just fine with limbs and body parts intact… can tough it out too without sustaining irreparable harm. And they do give up info. Personally I’m tired of this PC crap. Let’s make it easy… there’s a bunch of homeless Gitmo types. How about we just send ’em to your houses for adoption and/or boarding, and you can coerce them over KFC hot wings and a NFL game? I’m sure they won’t feel “tortured”… unless the spicing gives them an ulcer. Reply Aye on April 22, 2009 at 3:12 pm @Ron: Oh and Aye incarceration and torture are two different things….come on man! It’s called illustrating absurdity by being absurd. You presented the “against your will” definition of torture so I ran with it. See how that works? Reply Mike's America on April 22, 2009 at 3:28 pm Again: Ron, Russell et al. have spent far more time hand wringing about the methods used to SAVE AMERICAN LIVES than any of them, or their Democrat representatives in Congress have reading the monster pork spending bills so recently signed by their savior Obama. I’m looking forward to the prosecution of Obama officials and Democrats who have so clearly abdicated their duty here. Reply Aye on April 22, 2009 at 3:35 pm @Ron: SERE training is performed under the strictest of conditions Strict conditions apply to the administration of EIT. I learned that from reading the newly released memos. And the schools impose strict limits to how long such techniques can be performed. Strict limits are applied not only to the duration of each individual session but also to the total number of sessions allowed within a specified period. The maximum number of minutes is also mandated regardless of the number of sessions. I learned that from reading the newly released memos too. Reply Mike's America on April 22, 2009 at 4:00 pm @Aye Chihuahua: Apparently the only memos Ron is reading come from Moveon.org. Reply Russell on April 22, 2009 at 7:43 pm Sorry, guy, but budget issues just don’t compare to a sweeping change in American political tradition that sanctions torture and war crimes. If I have the regrettable choice to to leave my grandchildren with more government debt and also the American tradition of respect for law and condemnation of torture, or less debt and the turning of our law into a charade, I have to choose the latter. Reply Aye on April 22, 2009 at 7:58 pm @Russell: a sweeping change in American political tradition that sanctions torture and war crimes. See, Russell, there’s the rub. The prevailing legal opinion is that waterboarding is not torture and it most certainly is not a war crime. The leftists and the statists get their pretty pink panties all in a twist and type out the word “torture” when the definition of the word doesn’t even cover what they’re sniveling about. Sorry things didn’t work out better but the facts are clearly not in your corner on this one. I’ll tell you what, cite for me the laws that you contend were broken and I’ll take another look. Reply Mike's America on April 22, 2009 at 8:28 pm @Russell: “If I have the regrettable choice to to leave my grandchildren” You won’t have to worry about it. Your grandchildren may very well die in a terrorist attack which we were unable to prevent due to your absurd moralizing over the waterboarding OF JUST THREE TERRRORISTS! Reply Russell on April 23, 2009 at 6:12 am It wasn’t just waterboarding. And it wasn’t just three. There were hundreds who were tortured. Some of whom died. You are the ones whose panties are in a twist. I don’t expect the world to be perfectly safe. I expect thousands of Americans will die from mayhem and intentional violence every month. I expect thousands more to die in accidents caused by recklessness. I have no doubt that there will be future acts of terrorism, if not from foreign jihadis, then from home-grown extremists. Despite that, I prefer to live in a free nation, one where people may own guns, where we have the freedom to travel and own boats and planes, where government is transparent, and where the president doesn’t have the power to torture anyone it claims is suspected of conspiring with terrorists. You’re not going to dissuade my commitment to personal liberty by explaining there is an increment of risk in it. I know that. This issue is showing clearly the cleavage in the right between those who favor increasing state power to keep them safe, and those who really do have some commitment to American law and personal liberty. Reply Missy on April 23, 2009 at 6:17 am @Russell: So, who’s doing the sweeping changes? Certainly not the democrat packed Congress. They want show trials, make a lot of noise, but they aren’t creating a law to permanently ban waterboarding. What’s stopping them? Who’s going to veto legislation banning the enhanced interrogation techniques they are all raging about? Obama? You people are all hat and no cattle in a pathetic sort of way. Congress’s Phony War on Torture Why not ban waterboarding once and for all? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123362332302441815.html Nope, they don’t want to permanently change the law, they want to play games and BTW, let it be known that Obama is the first president of this country that is threatening to adopt policies of second rate countries. So much for changing our image abroad. Policy disputes, often bitter, are the stuff of democratic politics. Elections settle those battles, at least for a time, and Mr. Obama’s victory in November has given him the right to change policies on interrogations, Guantanamo, or anything on which he can muster enough support. But at least until now, the U.S. political system has avoided the spectacle of a new Administration prosecuting its predecessor for policy disagreements. This is what happens in Argentina, Malaysia or Peru, countries where the law is treated merely as an extension of political power. If this analogy seems excessive, consider how Mr. Obama has framed the issue. He has absolved CIA operatives of any legal jeopardy, no doubt because his intelligence advisers told him how damaging that would be to CIA morale when Mr. Obama needs the agency to protect the country. But he has pointedly invited investigations against Republican legal advisers who offered their best advice at the request of CIA officials. “Your intelligence indicates that there is currently a level of ‘chatter’ equal to that which preceded the September 11 attacks,” wrote Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, in his August 1, 2002 memo. “In light of the information you believe [detainee Abu] Zubaydah has and the high level of threat you believe now exists, you wish to move the interrogations into what you have described as an ‘increased pressure phase.‘” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124044375842145565.html Note the intensity above when the CIA approached the assistant Attorney General requesting advice in regards to that little pussy cat, Zubaydah. Jay Bybee is now on the hook because of the politics of the current administration, democrats in Congress and you. He will be forced into preparing for an expensive defense and his career ruined, depending on what way the wind blows with Obama, Congress and you. Now, do tell us how the interrogation methods used permantly harmed the three terrorists physically or mentally and keep in mind that enhanced interrogation thwarted 60% of the attacks that were in the works against our country, our troops and our allies. Reply Russell on April 23, 2009 at 7:17 am I would oppose any law to ban water-boarding, for the same reason I would oppose any law that bans armed robbery with revolver pistol. Writing law at that level of specificity is stupid. It serves only to tell miscreants how to modify their practice to stay inside the law (“it’s a semi, see?”) and it falsely supposes that juries cannot decided the elements of crimes. We have laws against torture. We have applied them in the past, for both acts abroad and acts here. There is no need for new law, but only for the application of existing law. Reply Aye on April 23, 2009 at 7:30 am @Russell: It wasn’t just waterboarding. Really? What else was it? I know that sleep deprivation is on the list, but what else? And it wasn’t just three. Really? How many then? Where’s the reliable source for your presumptuous assumption? There were hundreds who were tortured. Wow! Hundreds? Where’s the list of names? Some of whom died. Who died? What caused them to die? Who killed them? Where’s the list? Another presumptuous assumption. Where’s the source? You should know by now that you cannot come to the pages of FA and make arguments sans factual backing and not be challenged. You’re yet to cite the laws that you allege were violated. Until you can do that, you’re just pontificating. You keep bringing up past prosecutions, ie Japan, but you fail to note that those prosecutions were for things above and beyond waterboarding. You also fail to note that some of the defendants charged with waterboarding were found not guilty. I spent some time reading up on those prosecutions last night. I suggest you do the same. The facts don’t stack up in your favor. Slinging around reckless, unfounded arguments to see what might stick to the wall is not the way to debate. If you’ve got the facts, bring ’em. If not, then you’re wasting your time and filling our space with useless drivel. ************** The remainder of post 81 and all of post 83 is one of the finest examples of pretzel logic I have seen in a long time. Congratulations! Reply Mike's America on April 23, 2009 at 7:36 am I do so look foward to Russell answering Aye’s questions with specifics. And I want to make sure he provides links to the sources of his information that are not attached to left wing sites. What we have here is another example of the lefty loon mindset of swallowing the big lie so many times for them it becomes the truth. Sort of like the one million Iraqis killed by George Bush. I don’t have the delusional state of mind where I can manufacture facts and simply repeat them over and over. I have to have a comprehensive set of objective mainstream sources to back me up. That level of documentation is something that the Kool Aid drinkers dispensed with long ago. Reply Ron on April 23, 2009 at 7:42 am To Mike: Your sensationalistic responses are really pathetic. You said: “Sorry Ron. But when the next attack comes and a member of your family is killed don’t come here whining about how it’s Bush’s fault” Where to even begin. First of all I’m not blaming Bush for anything so I think that is just you projecting. Mentioning one of my family members getting killed not only proves what a lunatic you are, it also proves that you are someone who has to resort to scaremongering to try and win an argument. I’ve never talked to someone so utterly entrenched in an atmosphere of fear and authoritarian paranoia. You should come down to where I live Mike, we have shootings and murders every day. In fact I heard gun shots while sitting on my back porch just the other night. I’d say I have a better chance of being robbed or murdered by one of my fellow citizens than I do by a terrorist, but guess what Mike; I sleep just fine at night. And that’s not because I don’t recognize the threat outside my door, or the threat from Islamic terrorists. No Mike unlike you, I don’t live my life in a constant state of fear. I don’t allow my fears, unlike you, to run my life and formulate my opinions. I’ve really tried to like you, to listen to you, but I’ve come to the conclusion that you are a jerk. You are narrow minded, rude and a confrontational jackass. You’re such coward that you have to resort to censorship when people don’t agree with you or confront you in a manner you find displeasing. Real tough there Mike. I don’t like you Mike not one bit. And you can take your opinions and shove them up your ass. Ron Reply Missy on April 23, 2009 at 7:56 am @Russell: Well then it’s best the democrats stop their yammering because none of the 6 methods of enhanced interrogation used constitute torture. These methods were necessary at a time when we did not know when or where our next attack would come from and as I mentioned earlier it worked, stopping 60% of planned attacks. 911 was an unprecedented attack on our own soil, leaving over 3000 dead, many more scarred mentally and physically for life. We now have another president using unprecedented methods in this country’s economy. Many believe that he is bankrupting our children and grandchildren. If his programs fail do we then seek to ruin the lives of all those put in place to implement his policies. Or if this country is attacked do we then seek to ruin the lives of those tasked to keep this country safe as is being done now? I have never experienced anything as mean and devisive as what this Congress and this president are doing to this country, it’s unprecedented. We all lose. Reply Russell on April 23, 2009 at 7:59 am I guess now that the IRCC is considered “left wing,” there’s no point in telling people to read its report. The torture issue has never been just about waterboarding. As I wrote above, practices such as stress positions and enforced hypothermia are classical modes of torture, and have been a large part of the issue since news of “enhanced interrogation” first leaked out. Reply Mike's America on April 23, 2009 at 8:07 am @Ron: I wanted to avoid the kind of petty insults that you apparently find so offensive, but since you seem to have dropped any pretense of civility let me say that while you find my views “sensationalist” or even “lunatic” I find yours to be simplistic and devoid of the advanced reasoning skills which are so essential to a full understanding of a complex problem like the issue being discussed. If you are unable to understand the very personal nature of terrorism and the cost in human lives and the family tragedy that ensues I recommend you go visit some of the families of firefighters in New York. Kids are growing up without a Dad and wives left to raise them and keep the family together all on their own. I too have lived in neighborhoods where gunfire and criminal activity were common. You ever lived in the heart of the nation’s capital Ron? Rather than react with fear as you seem to suggest, I went out and joined the neighborhood watch group and became a block captain for my street. Maybe that would be a better use of your time as thus far I fail to find much in your comments of a substantive nature. The problem we are discussing here isn’t suited to someone with a bumper sticker mentality for problem solving. And your last remark reminds me of something a child would say. Sort of like the rest of your remarks. Simplistic, ill-informed and immature. Reply Aye on April 23, 2009 at 8:09 am @Russell: Under international law, anything documented by the IRCC is not admissible in court, so what they say is irrelevant. What else ya got? PS…. You still haven’t cited the laws that were supposedly violated. Reply Ron on April 23, 2009 at 8:56 am Hey Mike: You are as juvenile as they come. Your comment was that of a six year old, and you started this shit storm with that comment about my family being killed you ass. Own your words Mike and then I might at least have a little respect for you. Ron Reply Ron on April 23, 2009 at 9:01 am Your words again Mike: “Sorry Ron. But when the next attack comes and a member of your family is killed don’t come here whining about how it’s Bush’s fault” Own your words Mike…..are you assuming one of my family members will be killed or are you wishing for it Mike? Yeah you show real maturity and complex reasoning kills with a comment like that Mike. You are such an asshole and a coward. Ron Reply Ron on April 23, 2009 at 9:05 am Mike’s words again: “The problem we are discussing here isn’t suited to someone with a bumper sticker mentality for problem solving”. “And your last remark reminds me of something a child would say. Sort of like the rest of your remarks. Simplistic, ill-informed and immature”. You mean comments like this Mike: “Sorry Ron. But when the next attack comes and a member of your family is killed don’t come here whining about how it’s Bush’s fault” Ummmm…yeah again you make childish sensational comments like this but I’m being the child? Besides didn’t I tell you to shove your opinions up your ass? Ron Reply Mike's America on April 23, 2009 at 9:10 am @Ron: Your continued diarrhea of the keyboard destroys whatever credibility you had left. No where did I ever suggest that I wished for your family members to be killed. You obviously have nothing substantive to contribute here and getting into a pissing contest with you is not how I choose to spend my time. You sound more and more like this: Any further comments from you on this thread will be deleted. Reply mooseburger on April 23, 2009 at 7:13 pm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEYzli8nY4U and about 2:20 into this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEYzli8nY4U In the first link of Holders confirmation hearings, he cited waterboarding as having been prosecuted as a war crime, and stated waterboarding is torture. In the second link, he states in a hearing today: “If I see evidence of wrongdoing I will pursue it to the full extent of the law, and I will do that in an appropriate way.” This is going to heat up right fast, and it’s not hard to see where Holder is going to come down in the matter, Waterboarding = Torture =Prosecute based on his already sworn testimony. I know I posted my beliefs already in this thread, and I still stand by them, but this make even me a bit queasy to think we are about to go through this as a country…. Reply MataHarley on April 23, 2009 at 7:46 pm So moose, if the act of waterboarding is “torture”, when do you suggest we start prosecuting the US military SERE trainers? Missy on April 23, 2009 at 7:53 pm @mooseburger: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StSMMPFWpNc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdznv9Q6o9s At this point I say screw the candy assed Eric Holder and Patrick Leahy. Wonder if any one of those who took their lives rather than burn to death in that inferno would have exchanged a waterboarding session instead of what they chose that day. You are grasping because of politics. Sad, very sad. Reply Mike's America on April 23, 2009 at 8:36 pm Mossy: This is what happens when you eat rodents. It effects your ability to reason complex issues. You haven’t been sharing any of that roadkill with Ron have you? Go and read the DOJ/CIA memos. It’s abundantly clear that our side bent over backwards to prevent any injury or lasting emotional damage to JUST THREE OF THE WORST TERRORIST MONSTERS! Do I need to go back through those memos and list the steps we took to prevent any injury or abuse of THESE THREE MONSTERS? Again, I need to repeat that we are talking about THE THREE WORST TERRORIST SCUM!!! You do understand that don’t you? As I have said before, if Dems had taken a fraction of the time they’ve wasted wailing about the waterboarding of JUST THREE TERRORISTS and spent it on reading the bills Obama is trying to ram through Congress we wouldn’t be wasting trillions. Reply mooseburger on April 24, 2009 at 3:57 am Mata said: So moose, if the act of waterboarding is “torture”, when do you suggest we start prosecuting the US military SERE trainers? I suggest we don’t, and no matter where you are in this argument, most people will make the distinction between volunteers and detainees. Missy: Every single one would have traded places in order to see their families again. Mike: You have to at least be smarter than a Squirrel in order to get to eat them. I read thru some of those memo pages, but not all of them. What I read was very detailed, and it looked to me to be a CYA document as much as a guideline to memorialize proceedures after the fact. Look, there is just no way to overstate how horrible 911 was, and how badly justice and righteous vengance cries out for the victims, their families, and our country. We all get that. We all knew the world was going to change on that day, and to a person, we looked to President Bush for leadership and wisdom, and believe me or not, I am telling you now, at that time, I was so glad we had him as our President then. He said and did all the things that we as a country needed to hear, and we were comforted by his leadership. I was at a bar when he gave a speech to the nation, and told us it was a group called Al Qaeda who did this to America. You could have heard a pin drop during that address, and the whole bar went into a standing ovation and big grown hairy Squirrel eatin’ men had tears in their eyes and the fire of vengence in their guts. You would drive down the streets and Old Glory was everywhere, when we went into Afghanistan, we were fully supporting that war, as a country, and practically as a whole world. All political crap aside, it is hard to fathom how we as a country lost sight of winning the war in Afghanistan, not focusing on getting Bin Laden, keeping the borders open while a threat of another attack exists, and getting sidetracked with Iraq. It is hard to look back and understand how President Bush lost the support of most of the country. The list is too long, but many mistakes were made, downplaying the capturing Bin Laden while most people hold Osama personally responsible, the Harsh Interrogations, warrantless wiretapping, poor planning and execution of the war in Iraq, lack or armoured vehicles to protest against road side bombs, lack of bullet proof vests, a steady drip of things that gave people pause and wonder if the guy is focused on the important parts of the mission, the mission to get those bastards who are personally responsible and attacked us. I know many blame the MSM, but a narrative will not stick unless there is a bit of truth to back it all up. Bush had an obligation to effectively keep support for this righteous cause front and center in the minds and hearts of the people. Agree or disagree with the wisdom of the decision to go to war in Iraq, it certainly put more on Bush’s plate to deal with, more than he had the ability to keep focus of the people on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PGmnz5Ow-o&feature=related Now all this stuff starts getting released, and I heard last night that more photos like the ones from Abu Garhab are coming out soon. I can’t help but think that the truth is important, and we the PEOPLE deserve the truth, but also, how do you keep the politics out of something like this???? I really wonder if this is being used as a scare tactic to get Republicans back in line and supporting some of Obama’s agenda because of the mixed signals being sent from Holder and the President. Bush and company probably authorized some things that shouldn’t have been done, and it was stupid to do this and expose the country to whatever political, ethical, whatever you want to call it, scrutiny and payback that he surely knew would happen. But I do think it is very important to understand the circumstances surrounding some bad decisions, and dragging the country thru prosecutions is something only radical zealots would want who are less concerned about their country than themselves. I do not want our country to torture ever, but I admit I feel a bit weird taking up for the DAMN Fu**ing Terrorists and their human rights while few are stepping up and speaking for those who died on 911. That doesn’t seem right. I doubt I’m the only “Lefty” that feels this way either….sorry for the rant…. Reply Mike's America on April 24, 2009 at 7:25 am @mooseburger: That’s right… if ONLY we had not waterboarded JUST THREE TERRORISTS the world would be a better place. Other nations would love and respect us, Al Queda would stop sawing the heads off us infidels and the peaceful squirrel eaters at your bar could feel proud to be American again! Obviously eating road kill has effected your mind. If you think the Bush Administration memos are CYA (and everything in government is, I can tell you from experience) then read the memo in the post above prepared by Obama’s Attorney General. It lays out the step by step process by which government officials at the highest level, including members of Congress, approved these practices. You will also note from the DOJ/CIA memos how much effort was made to protect JUST THREE MONSTERS from any real harm during the procedures. I’ve already linked a condensed version from the WSJ in a post below: Interrogations were to be “continuously monitored” and “the interrogation team will stop the use of particular techniques or the interrogation altogether if the detainee’s medical or psychological conditions indicates that the detainee might suffer significant physical or mental harm.” It seems to me if you want to wail and moan about the loss of American support in our fight against terrorism you should direct your ire at the people who manufactured the mass public hysteria about “torture” of JUST THREE MONSTERS who were directly responsible for the killing of innocent Americans. Yet, you continue to act as the willing or unwilling agent of that ill-informed hysteria all for some political benefit. It’s a shameful sight to see. Reply Missy on April 24, 2009 at 7:49 am @mooseburger: I heard last night that more photos like the ones from Abu Garhab are coming out soon. I can’t help but think that the truth is important, and we the PEOPLE deserve the truth, but also, how do you keep the politics out of something like this???? I really wonder if this is being used as a scare tactic to get Republicans back in line and supporting some of Obama’s agenda because of the mixed signals being sent from Holder and the President. We already know the truth, those participating in prisoner abuse were punished, strict policies were adapted and are strictly enforced. Now, that “forward looking” president is shamelessly playing politics with something that should remain in the past. Like the ones at abu Gharibe? about 20 of the photos are abu Gharibe prison scandal photos DOD did not release way back then, the other half are from DOD investigations of other Iraqi and Afghanistan prisons way back then. So, how much of a division does Obama need to create within our society, how much more hate does he need to manufacture? and, for what? Reply Mike's America on April 24, 2009 at 8:07 am @Missy: Missy, Obama is well on his way to becoming the most divisive President of my lifetime. His continued campaign to criminalize and devalue the efforts the previous Administration took to keep us safe are disgusting. And what would he put in their place but his own good intentions? As Rev. Wright said, the chickens come home to roost at some point and I just hope that doesn’t mean another attack on the U.S. because of Obama’s weakness, naivete, inexperience and deeply flawed personal outlook towards this country. Reply mooseburger on April 24, 2009 at 12:58 pm Mike: Waterboarding three terrorists was only one of a list of reasons Bush lost support for the war and for his Presidency. All us Rodent Roasters around here are still proud to be American. When a State like Indiana goes from Red to Blue, believe me, you must have done something to cause that to happen, and that’s no easy feat. Mike said: “It seems to me if you want to wail and moan about the loss of American support in our fight against terrorism you should direct your ire at the people who manufactured the mass public hysteria about “torture” of JUST THREE MONSTERS who were directly responsible for the killing of innocent Americans.” Appropriate amount of ire directed and duly noted. More to my point, there are and were always those who would try to undermine Bush and manufacture outrage against him. That’s a given, then as now with Obama. Bush had all our support in an unprecedented way by modern standards, Does Bush bear any blame for the loss of support Mike, or is it just most everybody else who is wrong? Bush gave them way more ammo than required to shoot down his support level. The issue we are discussing in this thread is just one small portion of what caused Bush to lose support from his countrymen, from both the Left and the Right. I don’t think I stand alone on that one, my Rodentphobic friend. Reply Missy on April 24, 2009 at 1:17 pm Hmmm, this conversation reminds me of a recent post by one of my favorite bloggers. Drawing the legal line is the job of our elected representatives. That’s why I consider George Bush to be a serious participant in this debate and consider most Democrats to be nonserious hysterics. From the beginning, George Bush has been clear that he supports the use of harsh interrogation techniques like this, that he does not consider these techniques to be torture, that he understands how others could disagree, and that he wants congress to clearly draw the line so that CIA interrogators would know what techniques they could use without placing themselves in legal jeopardy. Until now, however, Democrats were much more interested in pointing the accusing finger at Bush and portraying him as supporting “torture.” They wanted to apply the word “torture” to waterboarding so they could then accuse Bush of being “no better than the terrorists.” That political game works (i.e., in a time of war, the Democrats succeeded in their effort to tarnish their own president in the eyes of the nation and the world), but it is not a serious approach to the problem. Obviously, drawing the line at waterboarding is infinitely better than drawing the line at “severing limbs.” What would a more serious approach involve? It would involve defining the harshest interrogation techniques that the CIA is permitted to use. That is, it would involve drawing a different line than the line that was drawn during the Bush administration. We already have the memos that clearly describe where the CIA drew the line during the Bush years. The line was drawn to allow harsh interrogation techniques that fell light years short of al Qaeda’s torture methods, but many think they were still too harsh (and they jump at the chance to label those techniques “torture,” as if they should be in the same category as applying a hot iron to a detainee’s skin). Wouldn’t you love to see the new memos detailing what the CIA can and cannot do in the aftermath of a mass-casualty attack on US soil (when fear is running high that another — perhaps even worse — mass casualty attack is right around the corner)? That memo (the one that guides CIA interrogators today, I suppose) would allow us to have the debate that we should have: where do you draw the line? But Democrats will never take that step because, the moment they do, they will be accused of condoning torture by the far left elements of their own party. And accusing others — Republicans in particular — of condoning torture is an essential part of the liberal experience (which, as a said before, requires a villain). http://engram-backtalk.blogspot.com/2009/04/defining-torture.html Reply MataHarley on April 24, 2009 at 5:31 pm Mata said: So moose, if the act of waterboarding is “torture”, when do you suggest we start prosecuting the US military SERE trainers? Moose said: I suggest we don’t, and no matter where you are in this argument, most people will make the distinction between volunteers and detainees I see… so “torture” is now defined by what the detainees do “voluntarily” as opposed to the act. So why don’t you tell us what the detainees will “agree” to in giving up intel info, Moose. Of course, it follows, that anything they don’t volunteer for is “torture”. If our guys are subjected to it, and are not permanently harmed, it is not “torture” by any definition. If you want to name it so, take the consequences and Pandora’s box you open by the “voluntary” argument. i.e., they dont want MikeyD’s happy meals that night, or it’s torture. They don’t want to read this or that book because it’s available in the library , or it’s torture. They don’t want to be confined in their cell on a sunny day, or it’s torture. Your willing suspension of disbelief INRE waterboarding/torture-only-if-involuntary is nothing less than absurd. Reply Marion Valentine on April 24, 2009 at 5:47 pm Moose. watching some of the Hollywood filth where the “stars” only talent is to Curse, sweat, take of their clothes, screw, wreck cars, blow up lots of stuff, and kill people in hideous ways is torture, I avoid that at all cost. I have been water boarded, it’s not pleasant, but it is not torture Reply mooseburger on April 24, 2009 at 6:07 pm Mata: The training our guys go thru was specifically designed to aid them in resisting torture interrogations that may be employed by an enemy who would not abide by the Geneva convention. The training was not designed to extract confessions or intel, but to train our troops in how to deal with a situation where torture was unlawfully applied. Your statement: “I see… so “torture” is now defined by what the detainees do “voluntarily” as opposed to the act. So why don’t you tell us what the detainees will “agree” to in giving up intel info, Moose.” This twists and blurs the distinction. I didn’t say or imply that detainees get to define what they will agree with in order to give up intel. The fact that this training is for the very purpose of resisting torture from an enemy who would not follow the Geneva Convention guidelines should tell you something about what these procedures, when applied to detainees, could reasonably be concluded to be. If we use it our guys for training, it is not to extract info or obtain cooperation. If on the other hand, it was used on our guys as a punishment or during interrogation after arrest for a crime while they were in the Brig or something, then it does become quite another thing, does it not? Reply Mike's America on April 24, 2009 at 9:08 pm @Marion Valentine: Perhaps you could expand on your personal experience with waterboarding. Apparently, Mossy missed it when you mentioned it. Probably the kind of attention deficit thing we could expect from someone on a diet of road kill. Reply Marion Valentine on April 24, 2009 at 9:20 pm Mike, I was water boarded in 1959, didn’t think it was too big of a deal then, and don’t think it is now, not much more than kids playing around and ducking each other in the swimming pool, the only really uncomfortable thing I remember is being restrained, course i have never liked having my arms held or restrained in any way. Only 3 terrorists were water boarded, that’s a lot easier than they deserve, and since valuable Info was gotten with out any loss of limbs, organs, or internal injuries to the terrorists, all well and good. Reply Mike's America on April 24, 2009 at 9:29 pm @Marion Valentine: My neighbor teaches courses in counter terrorism and we were discussing the subject today. I was shocked at how ill-informed he was on the subject of waterboarding. He did not even know the basic facts of how many of these monsters were waterboarded. The only thing he did know is the left wing distorted talking point about the “180” waterboarding incidents. I had to inform him that referred to the number of times water was poured on the terrorists, not the number of sessions. All these folks like Mossy get their information from “news” sources with a bias that is so glaring they can’t even present the basics of journalism 101 and answer the who, what, where, when, why or how. It’s all manufactured mass hysteria based on willful ignorance designed to serve a defeatist, anti-American ideology. Meanwhile, there is real trouble in the world that is not going away and we have all wasted weeks discussing something that Democrats previously agreed was a good idea. When we are hit again and people ask why we didn’t find the information in time that could have prevented it, they will want to know why Dems wasted so much time on a non story. And why they handcuffed the very people who could have stopped it. Reply Marion Valentine on April 24, 2009 at 9:39 pm Yeah Mike like I said in a couple of my articles,,,this crap cam out, and will hold the peoples and the media attention for a few days, already something else to take it’s place, “Cap And Trade”, Global warming fraud, before that it was the union vote, all just smoke and mirrors, so folks won’t notice O and his cronies, getting control of Banking, businesses, production, and everything else, their only agenda is CONTROL. What do you think the “created” crisis will be that will be the trigger for Obama to declare national martial law? Complete collapse of the economy? Biological Terrorist attack Pandemic or Famine Reply Mike's America on April 24, 2009 at 9:45 pm @Marion Valentine: I was just commenting on Wordsmith’s latest post on the release of photos supposedly showing harsh treatment of Iraqis: http://www.floppingaces.net/2009/04/24/transparency-or-self-loathing-of-the-american-soldier/#comment-195665 Obama is playing lefty games and not doing his job. Real problems are going unaddressed while he throws his bones to the lefties. Speaking of pandemics, watch out for that outbreak in Mexico. If that hits here we may be living under martial law. Reply Marion Valentine on April 24, 2009 at 9:51 pm Mike, martial law is the nest step for Obama, mimicing the footsteps of his hero Hugo Chavez, over a year ago i wrote, “Can Obama pull off a Hugo Chavez, you can bet your assets” Reply mooseburger on April 24, 2009 at 10:21 pm Mike said: All these folks like Mossy get their information from “news” sources with a bias that is so glaring they can’t even present the basics of journalism 101 and answer the who, what, where, when, why or how. I been gettin’ some of my news here too, Mke. I don’t make any claim to be a journalist. In my book, folks who at least care, get involved enough to try and be informed as best they can, and engage in discussion with even those they disagree with are a couple notches above folks who don’t get involved, don’t vote and don’t care. You should be able to admit, Mike, that glaring bias knows no party or ideology, Hannity is a case in point. About releasing the photos of more harsh treatment, bad idea, as I mentioned this earlier in the thread. This will inflame Americans, Muslims, and stir up more crap than it will solve. For all the talk about Bush and Radical Islamic recruiting tools, releasing those photos goes against that argument. About that waterboarding Marion, doesn’t sound much worse than kids playing around in the water…I wonder why the Bush DOJ spent all that time and effort into writing those lengthy memos on something that is no more of a big deal than that? Reply GaffaUK on April 24, 2009 at 10:25 pm Mike said: All these folks like Mossy get their information from “news” sources with a bias that is so glaring they can’t even present the basics of journalism 101 and answer the who, what, where, when, why or how Yep I’m still waiting for a list of non-bias news sources…. Reply Mike's America on April 24, 2009 at 10:27 pm @GaffaUK: So Gaffa, where did YOU learn about how many terrorists were waterboarded? I’m assuming you know the answer by now. @mooseburger: Mossy, all those lawyers in the Bush Administration were doing their job. Which is more than I can say for Obama. Meanwhile, I doubt any of you are really informed about what is happening in Pakistan. Reply mooseburger on April 24, 2009 at 11:09 pm Mike: Taliban has about taken over Pakistan. All those lawyers had nothing better to do than write memos for splashin’ and dunkin’ and a bit of water fun? That sounds like fun too…. BTW..sorry for the bit off topic, but here’s some news that’s not from one of those shrill partisan sources, this comes from the horses mouth, the second in command on the boat the pirates seized the Captain from; http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/19273935/detail.html Reply Mike's America on April 25, 2009 at 9:06 am @mooseburger: If you are going to be pointing fingers at the Bush Administration lawyers you need to ask why Obama is wasting all his time throwing bones to the left wing haters. I’d rather see a roomful of lawyers twiddle their thumbs than a President sit by and watch while Pakistan burns. Remember what happened in Iran? Oh, that reminds me… who was President when we lost Iran because we were too busy with a bunch of left wing foolishness? Reply MataHarley on April 25, 2009 at 10:17 am Moose: The training our guys go thru was specifically designed to aid them in resisting torture interrogations that may be employed by an enemy who would not abide by the Geneva convention. The training was not designed to extract confessions or intel, but to train our troops in how to deal with a situation where torture was unlawfully applied. ~~~ If we use it our guys for training, it is not to extract info or obtain cooperation. Incorrect, Moose. The SERE training imprisons troops, puts them thru known coercive methods commonly used with the attempt to get them to sign papers and give up information. It’s not just a “here’s what it feels like”. The trainer/interrogators do indeed have the goal of breaking them for info. From the link above I provided from a SERE training grad: SERE is Survival, Evasion, Resistance & Escape training and is a course for those in high possibility of enemy capture i.e. Special Forces, SEALS, Rangers, Force Recon etc. The course starts with Survival which is self-explanatory, many bunnies die so we may live, then comes Evasion where the students attempt to evade capture while being pursued, they are eventually scarfed up and then comes the fun part, Resistance. Students are transported to a prison facility and then get the Full Monty of coercive interrogation techniques in order to get them to sign a paper admitting to war crimes. All students know going in that they would spend less than a week in the prison, and that they couldn’t actually be damaged permanently, yet virtually everyone of these macho studs “Signs Ze Papah” (Remember him stupeed one?). All of the students go in talking smack about how they will hang on and tough it out and in the end, I have only heard of one time when a group of Rangers banded together and fought their way out, all the rest of our biggest tough guys caved. Odd that you don’t whine about other coercive methods they are also put thru.. just waterboarding. What if it were the steady drip of Chinese water torture? Forced nudity? Yet you continually fall back on your “voluntary” vs “involuntary” argument as the difference. Yet when I ask you what you may deem appropriate coercive methods that detainees may “volunteer” for, thereby making it “okay” in your opinion, you merely say: This twists and blurs the distinction. I didn’t say or imply that detainees get to define what they will agree with in order to give up intel. The fact that this training is for the very purpose of resisting torture from an enemy who would not follow the Geneva Convention guidelines should tell you something about what these procedures, when applied to detainees, could reasonably be concluded to be. Well now, it all comes down to what one considers “torture”. In fact, the wussy Geneva Convention pretty blocks out everything except a chit chat over a game of chess with their prohibitions on murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture” (not defined) as well as outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment. Doesn’t leave much, eh? But then, the Geneva Convention never envisioned for stateless thugs/idealogues and jihad. Our intel would suffer tremendously, but if people like you get their way, I say shoot ’em on the battlefield and eliminate the debate. Reply mooseburger on April 26, 2009 at 2:49 am Mata said: “Incorrect, Moose. The SERE training imprisons troops, puts them thru known coercive methods commonly used with the attempt to get them to sign papers and give up information. It’s not just a “here’s what it feels like”. The trainer/interrogators do indeed have the goal of breaking them for info.” Point taken regarding the details of the training, Mata. But, for the sake of argument lets take your position as complete and true, our troops get the full whack that any detainee gets, there is little if any distinction to be made between what we do to our own troop in training as we do to terrorist detainees. If we define treating detainees with the “enhanced interrogation methods” as torture, then we must define our training of our troops as torture as well. That it is absurd to suggest that we torture our own troops, so therefore since we don’t see the training as torture, we must also see the treatment of those detainees as not being torture. Do I understand your point of view correctly? If your argument were taken a step further, then if other countries were to capture our troops or even civilian reporters on the scene and employ the same methods to get false confessions of war crimes, we shouldn’t be to worked up about it because this is just acceptable treatment, heck, we even do it to our own troops when we train them, so, no big deal? If they have doctors there, and monitor our guys so that their blood pressure, pulse rate, body core temperature, making sure the shackles holding them up for days so they can’t sleep don’t cut too deep into their skin, locked up in tight cramped spaces under controlled conditions for only a mere 8 hours or so at a time, keep them naked and humiliate them around a bunch of women in 68 degree temperature rooms…. as long as they follow the strict guidelines we established in the Bush DOJ memos, we should have no problem with that? One other point Mata, You mentioned: “the wussy Geneva Convention pretty blocks out everything except a chit chat over a game of chess with their prohibitions on murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture” (not defined) as well as outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment. Doesn’t leave much, eh? But then, the Geneva Convention never envisioned for stateless thugs/idealogues and jihad.” This may be true enough, but, a very true principle applies, one that Conservatives typically embrace, and one that reasonable Americans do as well: If you have a law, treaty or rule, your enforce it. If it’s a bad law, bad treaty or bad rule, you change it or get rid of it. It’s never an acceptable defense at work, in a court of law, or as a Country to just say that’s a bad rule, so that’s why I did not abide by it. I will grant you that 911 was an extraordinary circumstance, one not considered when the convention was written. But the guiding principle of how we treat our prisoners we scoop up in war time should not be vastly different that what we expect for our troops that are captured. That is, unless you are still making the argument that our Troops training and detainees treatment is essentially the same, so, if our troops receive similar treatment upon capture, then that’s Ok too. Reply MataHarley on April 26, 2009 at 10:17 am I’ll take your middle section first, Moose…. ala your “… then if other countries were to capture our troops or even civilian reporters on the scene and employ the same methods to get false confessions of war crimes, we shouldn’t be to worked up about it because this is just acceptable treatment…” comment If??? I am suggesting that the SERE training… which is called “resistance” training, not “torture” training, BTW… prepares our troops for what they have met, and continue to meet, when captured and pressed for intel via coercion. We didn’t make this stuff up as the first offenders. It’s based on what our troops and civilian detainees have been subjected to in the past. This renders your point about us not being “worked up” or expecting essentially the same reciprocal treatment for our detainees as moot. Being a signatory to the Geneva Convention all sounds well and good. But like Obama and his lofty rhetoric, it sure loses in translation to reality. Take for example the detainees at Gitmo, where everyone is up in arms about not sending them back to their nations of origin because of risk of torture. These nations include Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Individual suspected terrorists have claimed they have been tortured at the hands of the Syrians (Maher Arar). Uzbekistan is another “high risk” country for torture. And what do all those above named countries have in common? Each are signatories to the Geneva Convention. Aside from that striking dichotomony, as Aqua points out on another thread, AQ and the jihad movements are not signatories. They aren’t even a standing state army. They are an international association of idealogues on the quest for territory and oppressive rule. As we agree, the Geneva Convention did not envision stateless murderers/thugs who deliberately target citizens as part of their warfare. Thus it’s a one way street for them…. as detainees of a signatory state – and since the SCOTUS now wants to define them as POWs and not enemy combatants – they suddenly win the protections of the Convention merely because they are a citizen of a nation member. BTW, I don’t know if you are aware of this, but according to the 1949 agreement, if a detainee is *not* a citizen of a member state, the protections do *not* apply. Wonder how SCOTUS missed this when considering they fight not as Saudis or Pakistanis, but jihad movements. Conversely, when this enemy captures civilians or military personnel, they are not bound by it… nor would they recognize it if they were. They are not capturing their enemies as a state army, nor holding them in state facilities. Then, outside of warfare, there is the treatment of US citizens when imprisoned in foreign jails. Mexico and Turkey come immediately to mind… both with many documented stories of “torture” while detained for breaking that nation’s laws, including being beaten to death. (that, I’ll concede easily, is “torture”). Many nations have severe penalties and harsh sentencing. Yet both the above countries? Also signatories to the Geneva Convention. Hundreds to thousands annually are detained in this condition/status. Where’s the outrage? Even if they broke laws, they are superior humans to terrorists and deserve more hand wringing than you give these scumbags. What becomes apparent is, in reality, the only one who gets called out on Geneva Convention violations is the US. And only then, for a political agenda. ~~~ As far as “torture” and it’s definition, I think that’s as vague a term as the liberal/progressives see the phrase, “the war on terror”. We’ve already had enough discussions in these threads to note that something can be torturous to one, and not to another. i.e. 24/7 loud Brittany music, bugs, etc. I tend to look at torture as something leaving physical disabilities. McCain’s lack of mobility from beatings. I also see the Geneva Convention as being absurdly restrictive. “humiliation”? “degrading treatment”? puleeeeze. The Gitmo whiners include in their complaints “sexual degradation, forced drugging and religious persecution”. Talk about taking PC to the nth degree. My point INRE the SERE training is that you appear determined to call EITs “torture”. If you do that, you have to also say we “torture” our troops. There is no getting around that fact. I don’t call it torture. Our soldiers endure this treatment with few, if any, lasting effects. And so do the detainees. If it works, and they aren’t permanently maimed and disfigured, I say go for it. Just stop taking photos for the NYTs and ACLU to use for their political agenda. This then puts us on a par with what most other countries already do, but just don’t advertise to their public for political fodder. Reply Wordsmith on April 26, 2009 at 11:27 am I don’t know if you are aware of this, but according to the 1949 agreement, if a detainee is *not* a citizen of a member state, the protections do *not* apply. Other than perhaps Common Article 3, provisions of the GC as it relates to treatment of soldiers as POWs should not be extended to terrorists. To do so is to disrespect the GC as it would remove the incentive for fighting out in the open in uniform rather than to hide out amongst civilians and endanger them. Reply MataHarley on April 26, 2009 at 12:05 pm But of course they should not be entitled to either GC protection, nor US Constitutional rights, Word mon pal. But then, tell that to SCOTUS… The robed ones blundered thru, making stuff up as they go along to construe situations not considered by the GC or the framers. Until challenged again, their opinion is something we have to live with it as that’s the way our government was constructed. Guess Obama will just have to stick to his Bagram/Gitmo. If he can keep his faithful distracted with other stuff, they’ll never notice Obama’s “new” Gitmo where detainees have no Constitutional rights. Aqua on April 26, 2009 at 11:59 am Moose, Mata said it perfectly. SERE isn’t where you sit in class and decide what you will and won’t participate in. I was very lucky during the evasion part and made it all the way to the safehouse. Some people get picked up the first day and have to spend a lot more time in camp. I made it to the last day of evasion and found the safehouse. Inside was a feast; hamburgers, hotdogs, mac -n- cheese. My buddy and I were getting ready to chow down and the Op Force came in, slapped us in restraints and off to camp we went. No feast for us. That was torture. I’ve never heard of anyone breaking out. We weren’t allowed to. Maybe it was a new rule they put in place after the Rangers broke out. An escape was going to the front gate and standing there. If you escaped, they were supposed to give you a peanut butter samich. I saw a couple of people make it to the gate, and they usually got to stand there for a few hours. Then the Op Force would beat the crap out of them and put them back in the box, no peanut butter samich. The detainees in Gitmo have better healthcare than any of us do. They have meals served per their religious beliefs, prepared by chefs and muslim overseers to make sure it is in accordance with their beliefs. They are treated better than any other prisoners of war in the known world. Poor things get a waterboarding every once in a while, threatened to get thrown in a box with an insect. So what? If they didn’t want to suffer the consequences of war, they shouldn’t have started it. I think they should be tossed in a box with a coffee can, a cup of rice a day and some mystery meat twice a week. People that fight wars are warriors. Warriors know the cost of getting captured. Quit watching Hogan’s Heroes reruns. Reply Trackbacks/Pingbacks Defining “torture” | Flopping Aces - [...] I wouldn’t be so quick to pass judgment on Hitchens as a wimp, either; not unless you’ve personally experienced…Click to Edit – SaveCancelDelete The Torture Memo Witchhunt | Flopping Aces - [...] Torture Memo Witchhunt By: Curt Mike wrote about the release of those torture memo’s earlier today and described the…Click to Edit – SaveCancelDelete Submit a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. 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