I’ve known about Christopher Hitchens’ Vanity Fair article where he changed his tune regarding whether or not waterboarding constitutes torture; but I hadn’t realized there’s also a video that shows the session he had.
He lasts for only about 5 or 6 applications.
I wouldn’t be so quick to pass judgment on Hitchens as a wimp, either; not unless you’ve personally experienced the same, yourself (I know some of our readers have).
Regardless of whether it’s applied to our own soldiers in SERE training to develop coping mechanisms to resist, or whether it’s being inflicted on enemy combatants to go beyond their breaking points….can we or should we concede that waterboarding does in fact fit into the categorical definition of “torture”?
After all, I could potentially classify such things as tickling and most hip hop music as torture, so why not waterboarding?
Conceding the language and calling the “harsh interrogation methods” as “torture” without a distinction is politically damaging to those of us who have defended the Bush Administration and CIA decision to engage in “enhanced interrogation” to keep us safe.
How should we define “torture”? And how effective were the “harsh interrogation” methods in extrapolating actionable intelligence?
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.
[adopted from the French torture (12th century Dictionnaire général de la langue français Hatzfeld & Darmesteter, 1890-1900), adaptation of Latin tortura twisting, wreathing, torment, torture; from torquēre, tort- to twist, to torment]
1. The infliction of excruciating pain, as practised by cruel tyrants, savages, brigands, etc. from a delight in watching the agony of a victim, in hatred or revenge, or as a means of extortion; specifically judicial torture, inflicted by a judicial or quasi-judicial authority, for the purpose of forcing an accused or suspected person to confess, or an unwilling witness to to give evidence or information; a form of this (often in plural). To put to (the) torture, to inflict torture upon, to torture. …
historical examples of usage omitted
2. Severe or excruciating pain or suffering of mind or body; anguish, agony, torment; the infliction of such. …
figurative meanings omitted
—Oxford English Dictionary, 1971, p. 3357.
-It was done to me a dozen times (I was stubborn) during training. At worse, it was “torturous.” IMO, It needs to leave a mark to be torture. Also keep in mind that what they now call torture includes the forsed listening to bad music, so the definition used by “them” is meaningless.
I agree with Patvann. Hitchens just proved why it is an effective interrogation technique. It causes no physical marks. As to “If they had the wrong guy” I am sure the folks skilled in this area would know if the target had broken, and if they had anything to tell. This is not done by beginners, or sadistic people. It is a applied as accurately as a accomplished surgeons blade.
I too have had this technique done to me. I can vouch that it is effective. Is it torture in my opinion? No.
Go read the memo everyone is up in arms about.
It reviews at length what constitutes torture and why certain interrogation methods can or cannot be used. They strived to make sure they did not break US Code 2340A…
“Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.” [ http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode18/usc_sec_18_00002340—A000-.html ]
US Code 2340 defines torture…
““torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control; ” [ http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/usc_sec_18_00002340—-000-.html ]
The memo concluded waterboarding does not meet the definition of torture for several reasons. 1) No pain is inflicted. 2) The subject is not under the threat of drowning (no water enters lungs). 3) Throughout the history of using waterboarding during SERE training, no one has suffered lasting physical or mental effects.
To redefine waterboarding as torture effectively moves the goal-posts in an attempt to retro-actively turn the Bush administration into criminals.
The Bush administration did everything it could, within the confines of law, to protect the United States from terrorism. That’s exactly what the current president should be doing, rather than endangering the nation for political gain.
I’m with Patvann,
Torture is to injure either the body or the mind of a person.
Discomfort is NOT injury. Pain in and of itself, is not injury. Panic is not injury.
Which is not to say, that intentionally causing discomfort, pain, or panic, intentionally, is not inhumane. But not every inhumane act rises to the level of “torture”.
Also, the purpose of the injury is critical to the definition. There are a million things that people do to each other and to themselves that will cause injury (dependent on who now defines injury) both physically and mentally, which is clearly NOT torture. So any logical person will have to agree that the mere presence of injury is not sufficient to delineate torture from far too many other lawful or otherwise expectable activities. As an example, if someone grabs my lady’s ass in a bar, and I punch them in the face, it isn’t torture. I may want to torture them, but beating them down isn’t torture. If later on during an intimate physical encounter with the same lady, she scratches me, it isn’t torture. If while paying sports, or working out, I dislocate a shoulder, it isn’t torture. All of these things far exceed anything done to our terrorist house guests, and you would be hard pressed to get a cop to quit laughing long enough to let you file a police report if you tried. But if I take a prisoner, beat him with my fists, dislocate his shoulder, and scratch of layers of his skin, while demanding he confess to something he did not do, or to exact retribution, that clearly IS torture.
And Patvann, a dozen times? I don’t know if I call that stubborn. More like, slow to get the lesson. I only needed about 1/4 of that before I expressed a full understanding of the course material.
Go 100% by the Geneva convention rules. Captured on the battlefield without a uniform, battlefield trial, shot within minutes No prisoners, no problems.Waterboarding, a U.S. military training tactic that democrat wimps fail. No wonder they hate the military, they don’t have the balls to be part of it so it must be downgraded. Reduced standards in education, work, and the military is 100% to satisfy the failures, aka democrats.
Last count, three (3) detainees were waterboarded. Three. I’m not inclined to get all worked up for those murderous thugs. I, for one, will not allow the left to redefine the language of the dialogue. Christians, veterans, and citizens who know illegal immigration is a crime are not “right-wing radical extremists”. A little negative encouragement to find out what mass murderers know about their like-minded evil associates and their plans is not, I repeat, NOT torture. America uses force with great reluctance, with care for non-combatants. Talk a few hours with my son, who did two tours in Iraq with the infantry, and he will tell you about this enemy who redefines “torture” to the other extreme. Waterboarding is to Torture as Nuggie is to Beheading. The Islamist enemies deserves no quarter, no relief, no comfort. They deserve that what they pray five times a day for America be given to THEM, with my blessings.
@ B Ciz.
It took a dozen for a few reasons…
I was and still am a smartass, and after the first time he took the towel off the Younger and Stupider version, I spit a mouthful of water at him…he didn’t think it was funny as I did, so the 15-sec “bath” got extended a bit.
-But I could hold my breath for over 3 min. (if relaxed)
So it became a game of who will stop first, and the slient but everwatching medics, never let him go over 45 seconds or so.
-But these guys had seen my type before, so it was fast-paced pushups in-between “sessions”, and by the end of a few of these, and an “upgrade” to saran-wrap, I was too tired to play anymore.
I grew up in a swimming pool, and had more “torture” done to me by the coaches at the Santa-Clara Swim Club and countering water-polo players, (not to mention my brothers in the backyard) than the P/O-1 at Coronado ever did.
Let’s say that Saddam Hussein had captured CIA agents and waterboarded them and used the same “harsh interrogation measures” used by the USA over the past 8 years. And let’s say that we hadn’t used these procedures ourselves. Let’s say that it was done by a Somalia warlord. Or a Taliban tribal chief.
And then we captured Saddam, Somalia warlord, Taliban tribal chief.
Question: would we have accused them of torture?
Well, we used waterboarding as exhibit A in our prosecution of Japanese WWII war crimes against our soldiers.
– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA
Well duh, Larry W. Notice that the successful prosecution required “witnesses”?
Did it ever occur to you that the reason the US had witnesses available to prosecute the Japanese for “torturing” allied soldiers for waterboarding is because they – only being waterboarded – returned home alive? Those that endured Japan’s other methods did not…
Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion… that’s all that could be proved beyond a doubt with our evidentiary standards. Any witnesses to his more heinous crimes weren’t alive to testify.
In the same vein, we takes what we can get with survivors testifying about so-called “torture”. Tho, in the realm of genuine Japanese torture during WWII, waterboarding is tandamount to a pinprick on the finger by comparison. But, like Capone, we takes what we can get.
Everything has context such as threat, past actions of the terrorist, expected value of information to be gained. We cannot give up our right to self defense to the terrorist. Water boarding a low level grunt is a waste of everyone’s time but a high level Al Quida operative needs to be milked dry of every ounce of information that he or she has. I don’t believe that it should be only a few times. It should be may times in order to detect lies–the common excuse for not doing it. If you ask the same question intermittently over a three week period lies will be obvious. Question: Did the FBI torture the Waco residents with the loud music and lights and tear gas. Should Janet Reno and Bill Clinton be prosecuted?
“CIA agents” “waterboarded”
Question: would we have accused them of torture?
no problem, CIA agents, including Americans, were tortured by the USSR on a number of occasions.
As they were illegals, no problem; I am sure that the same thing happened to KGB guys before they did the exchange across the bridge.
“Let’s say that it was done by a Somalia warlord. Or a Taliban tribal chief”
A CIA interrogator was killed in a Afghan prison by the revolting Taliban, he was killed by being bitten to death.
The Taliban were not prosecuted for murder.
“Well, we used waterboarding as exhibit A in our prosecution of Japanese WWII war crimes against our soldiers.”
Soldiers are members of an honorable profession and are to be treated with respect. The GC’s make a clear distinction between lawful and unlawful combatants.
Mistreating POW’s is a war crime.
In comparison to what they actually do….
Pales in comparison:
Big difference between “us” and “them” (*warning*: Graphic video).
Contrast that with how much care and deliberation was taken to “not cross a line” on our part. You might not agree with where the line is drawn, but the “what if they did it to us” line of reasoning doesn’t move me very much in light of what they actually do to their prisoners, irregardless of how we treat detainees (which is with kid gloves).
And no, they don’t recognize humane treatment given them; they could care less if we provide them with the best medical care, honey-glazed chicken and rice pilaf; wear gloves to not defile their Koran;in fact, all it does is validate in their minds that we are inferior and unworthy to touch their holy book. Our humanity is a sign of weakness to al Qaeda, the Taliban and Islamists. Not something to be respected.
As far as I’m concerned, we’ve extended more than sufficient humane treatment toward these detainees than is warranted and deserved.
Fact of life is that our soldiers/military have over the course of two world wars and Korea and Vietnam have done things to the enemy that are considered “illegal”.
Whether through stress of battle or hatered of the enemy due to watching their friends die they killed POWs, tortured them etc..
This whole “what is torture” thing and releasing the memos is just a politcal BS move by the cowards who now inhabit the white house.
It takes good hard men and women to keep our Republic safe from our enemies so that you and I can live our lives of lesiure.
If it takes pulling the finger nails off a terrorist to save my family I’ll do it.
What would you do to save the ones you love??
If you are not prepared for the truth and the answers you receive from the questions about what it takes to keep our country safe then perhaps you should cease asking questions.
@ Larry Weisenthal:
You bring up a point that I’ve heard many times, but is usually weakly countered. I will strive to clarify why this point completely misses the mark, and can not be used to compare with what we did to those 3.
First of all, the Japanese use of waterboarding was only the tip of the iceberg is so far as their use of torture (the true meaning). In some cases, the Japanese officer targeted was known to have committed MANY horrific acts, but because the American victims had either died, or was not available, or for a myriad of other reasons could not specify or give testimony to those “other” acts, the prosecution went with what they had, and waterboarding was sometimes the only act left open to that prosecution, so they used it. If your examples had the same sort of constraints that they did against the Japanese, then I would imagine we would attempt to try them for torture.
-But you and I both know that those groups/people you listed would never stop (or even start) at waterboarding….Want pictures and/or video proving this? Write me and I’ll send them, but be sure you have an empty stomach first.
For you to compare what we did, with something that would never happen is disingenuous, and bad form. We fathers of Marines HOPE and PRAY a waterboarding is the worse they’ll see if they are captured by the Taliban, or Somali’s.
Second of all, those Americans were under the auspices of the Geneva Convention, and should have been treated accordingly by the Japanese (Name-rank-ser#) given that both the soldier, and the Japanese were uniformed. (Unlike the terrorists.)
Thirdly, I doubt a doctor was there to moderate and temper the “treatment” the Japanese gave our boys, as our CIA had during what was being doled out, let alone have very SPECIFIC methodology and permissions for said doling in order to prevent any chance of injury.
Your “Exibit A” means nothing compared to the Batann Death March….More like “Exibit W”.
I’m sad to see you guys missing the point.
The memo itself is evidence that the Bush administration was in compliance with US Code 2340A — that we did not torture. To violate 2340A, you must commit an act “specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering.” (See my previous comment.)
Unless you feel the conclusions of the memo are in error, you must conclude waterboarding is legal. To conclude the memo is in error you must prove that waterboarding inflicts pain, the subject is at risk of drowning, or that officials falsified the records of SERE training that show there are no lasting physical or mental effects.
If waterboarding is indeed legal, how can Barack Obama justify releasing this information, thereby providing material aid to terrorists?
Naw, Richard. On the other threads (there’s only about a bajillion of them going here now….) most of us have said we don’t consider waterboarding torture, and for those that do… they’d better cop to a belief that the US military tortures our own forces during training.
When faced with that, a few tried the “but it’s voluntary” argument… LOL
But it’s always good to hear it said again. Waterboarding is a coercive method that, apparently, has yielded tangible results. The only “torture” associated with waterboarding is having to watch the uninformed, nanny gullible types take the bite, and toss it around as a political football in the name of “human rights”.
Something I found…Written by a rare survivor of the Japanese POW “system”. It was also known that the Japanese Command had given the order to kill any and all prisoners if the Americans had invaded the mainland…
O, fortunate man:
Wrists bound, knees bent, head bowed,
Staring into the shadowed trench;
The blade is swift, the slice is sure.
Sightless, he sees what might have been.
Crushed into a basket, the wicker constrains
The drowning man’s despairing, hopeful struggle,
While the clear salt water scalds his lungs.
. . . Or,
Trailed behind the boat as sharkbait,
Leaking blood to attract the sport
And excite the laughter.
Perhaps, at dusk,
Strung by his thumbs to a branch,
(His toes, even with the rocks attached,
Yet still failing to reach the ground)
He awaits the morning’s bayonet drill.
His friends had had it worse. Old Joe,
Trussed with barbèd wire, mouth stopped,
Pumped through his nose with water,
Died beneath the boots that jumped and split
His distended stomach open
To their wearers’ laughter.
But the destruction of the body is nothing.
The ritual is spiritual. They do it for the pain;
And, yet, better, for the agony
And for the ecstasy the agony gives them.
O, how they love their cruelty,
These little yellow men.
Thank God: he hadn’t been a woman,
A pleasured nurse, gang-raped through the long night hours,
Tortured near to death,
Taken to the beach to wash
From broken body,
And machine-gunned standing in the surf.
Or, disembowelled to win a bet:
The soldier won (it was a boy);
The woman lost (the child, her life)
As God’s blood dripped into the gutter.
And now, in the last few seconds of a lifetime,
Deep inside that shadowed trench
He sees his children playing in the sand,
Their mother, mourning, watching.
The blessèd blade sings its dirge:
The blood spurts, mushrooms,
Driven by the final heartbeat.
The trench is black. His head
Falls into the abyss.
All of the prosecutions of the Japanese soldiers was done under the GCs. In the case of the creatures we have captured on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, the GCs specifically don’t apply thus comparing the two is most obviously apples/oranges.
What I find more than a tad amusing is the eagerness of those who trot out the Japanese prosecutions as proof that waterboarding is “torture”.
The people who do that have never read up on the prosecutions and thus have never discovered that only two Japanese soldiers were actually prosecuted for waterboarding alone.
Of those two, only one, Yukio Asano, was found guilty. He was found guilty because he practiced waterboarding on a US civilian, a clear violation of the GC.
The others who were charged with waterboarding were also charged with additional offenses. We do not know what offenses the soldiers were actually found guilty of.
So if a soldier holds a piece of fruit – it’s an apple and if he’s not in uniform then it becomes an orange because it’s not covered by the Geneva Convention? lol. If the same method of ‘interrogation technique’ is used on a human then it remains the same ‘interrogation technique’ – it doesn’t suddenly not become torture. I think some of you on here don’t want to face the fact that the US and other western countries conduct torture – and so it becomes a debate on semantics. I for one have no problem with the US conducting torture when and where necessary.
As I’ve noted elsewhere,
I don’t think waterboarding is illegal. And the false argument that the Japanese were executed for doing so is false. The very man the Teddy (talk about waterboarding) Kennedy, said was executed for waterboarding wasn’t. He was sentences to 15 years hard labor and not for waterboarding. Read it quick before UC Berkley scrubs their site: Don’t See No Waterboarding in the Charges
Is waterboarding torture? Everything can be considered torture. Someone on the left needs to specifically define “torture” for me. If someone offered me 20 seconds of waterboarding or 8 hours of Olbermann…20 seconds ain’t so bad.
So let’s use the ticking bomb/Jack Bauer-esque scenario…
A nuclear bomb has been placed somewhere in downtown LA.
1. You have 2 suspects – one is in uniform, is a captured POW from a small African country that has recently declared war on the US. The other is believed to be a member of a known terrorist group. One or both of them are believed to involved in the nuclear bomb plot.
A) Use waterboarding on the POW but do not waterboard the terrorist even if you don’t gain any info from the POW?
B) Use waterboarding on the Terrorist but do not waterboard the POW even if you don’t gain any info from the Terrorist?
C) Waterboard them both?
D) Waterboard neither?
2. After waterboarding them you still don’t get the location of the bomb. Clearly this isn’t working. Millions of lives are at stake and time is running short. At your disposal you have knives and needles filled with nasty chemicals.
A) Use torture on the POW but do not torture the terrorist even if you don’t gain any info from the POW?
B) Use torture on the Terrorist but do not torture the POW even if you don’t gain any info from the Terrorist?
C) Torture them both?
D) Torture neither?
I’m be interested to see whether you make any difference in POW/terrorist and Waterboarding/Torture….
I didnt see any bloody nose, broken limbs,swollen lips,cuts, scratches, large hematomas, excuse me these people cut off heads with dull knives. I mean we hurt their feelings laying them naked together embarresing them by commenting on the size of there manhood. Do we want to win and stop future attacks they are killers and we were kind a enough we didn’t kill them.
Yep that really helped the GWOT – way to go in winning hearts and minds in the Middle East.
an easy way to define torture.if people volunteer to have it done to them,like hitchens,it is not torture.a drill through the knee,thats torture,no one volunteers for that.
Funny thing. First that you are the first to offer an intelligent argument from the apparent liberal side. Second, that it is virtually the exact same paradox offered in one of my military leadership classes. The answer we came to was simple. In the case where you are dealing with a soldier, you will be legally culpable. Where you are dealing with the terrorist you are not legally culpable. In both instances you are morally culpable. Especially in the event of the death of several thousand or even million people.
You are entitled to shoot the terrorist for engaging in hostility while out of uniform. There is no provision requiring where you shoot him, how many times you shoot him and whether the first or 6th shot is fatal.
The real conundrum is when the bomb isn’t so big. Like a bomb on a rail line that could be meant to prevent the movement of war supplies. Or the bombing of the power grid to knock out communications. Then a unknown, but not exactly catastrophic number of people and assets are at risk. In such a situation one really has no basis legal or moral for any extraordinary interrogation of the soldier. But where exactly that line exists,,, that is the dilemma.
Still, water boarding is NOT torture. And if water boarding doesn’t get the information you want, you aren’t going to get it. Sure you could do more grievous things, but the bad thing about real torture is how it ruins the subject. You can only cut off a finger 10 times, and long before you get to the last finger, the subject adjust mentally and physically. Do too much damage and the subject resigns to certain death or disfigurement and the information you want is locked away in their personal hideaway as their last act of retribution. But when you do something as uncomfortable, yet harmless as water boarding, the subject knows that they will not deteriorate into the place of not caring anymore. They will not escape into the untouchable place of martyrdom and sympathy. They will endure and persist, and the only thing that will bring relief from their discomfort is the verifiable truth.
According to Brigitte Gabriel, “Gitmo is a joke as far as Arabs are concerned. Let me tell you what some of the prisoners call Guantanamo, ‘Al muntazah al-dini lilmujaheden al Muslimin,’ The Religion Resort for Islamic Militants.”
Where the hell were you when I created the moral puzzles and dilemma post?
If there is a Jack Bauer race against the clock scenario with a large number of lives on the line and absent the luxury of time for conventional interrogations, then it might be possible I would go “as far as it takes”, dependent upon the specifics. And I would expect to suffer the consequences of the law and conscience too; but it’s a sacrifice worth it if it means saving a large number of people and those I care for. In some cases, the end justifies the means. I think it’d be ridiculous to allow the world to be blown to smithereens if I could prevent it by “getting my conscience dirty”; to refuse to do so because “we’re better than that” and smugly declare, “But at least I stuck to principle and not compromised my morals.”….screw that.
There are always exceptions to rules and extraordinary situations can call for extraordinary responses; but doing “whatever means necessary” to save innocent lives should have a price to be paid. I think Mark Bowden wrote a couple of the best articles (here and a clarification) regarding why torture should be kept illegal (lest it become the norm), yet why it may be morally justified in certain situations. There are always exceptions to the rule and one size never fits all.
I think when we ask soldiers to kill for us, it has the potential to damage them psychologically and spiritually- yet killing is a job that sometimes needs doing. Men of good conscience should not hesitate to act on behalf of the greater good by killing an evil man or torturing a terrorist in order to prevent millions from dying.
Of course it’s easy for me to sit here and say what I’d do without actually living out the stress of the scenario; I can think of hypotheticals that would seriously screw with my conscience on what’s right and what’s “going too far”.
How would you respond to your scenario? Just how far would you go?
I offer in return the “Jack Ryan”-esque scenario.
A nuclear bomb has been placed somewhere in downtown LA. You have 2 suspects – one is in uniform, is a captured POW from a small African country that has recently declared war on the US. The other is believed to be a member of a known terrorist group. One or both of them are believed to involved in the nuclear bomb plot.
Question: What would President Jack Ryan do?
Answer: President Jack tells the intelligence officials to use their own discretion, then walks back to the oval office and signs a few pardons for them while he waits for the call telling him the situation has been resolved.
Rule of thumb: the answer to complex moral questions, is NEVER “what would Jack Bauer do”. It’s a t.v show. T.V. is not reality.
It’s natural that when people feel angry and impotent they want to inflict some pain on those they perceive as enemies – that’s why we need strong legal protections to defend ourselves from descending into barbarism.
And the truth is, that’s all that most torture justifiers want – to dance on the head of a pin performing whatever semantic contortions they deem necessary to justify, in their own minds at least, the infliction of pain that they feel somehow will redress the pain they feel themselves.
Torture, so far as I know, has never been about getting at the truth. It’s about getting the tortured to say what you want them to say, to confess to whatever you want them to confess. If there is proper, peer reviewed scientific evidence suggesting otherwise, let’s have it.
gaffa uk Im am not concerned about winning the minds and hearts in the middle east of terriosts, these extremist do not allow their own kind piece of mind Im sure if the fasist were destroyed the others would in time appreciate it, the freedom from the muslim fasicts would in it self allow the people left to live free and prosper. I can not believe true muslins really except this voilent perversion of the Koran. I do not believe any of the prescribed inhanced methods used to gain information are illegal including waterboarding.
word smith The arabs think we are a joke because we can not even unite behind self presevation
the politicians are fools and the media is running the fooools erron
I decided to have a look at proper expert’s opinion… and so, I checked on one of more serious BDSM sites, and found this take on the situation:
“It’s not every day the Washington Post publishes a list of fun things to do with your favorite sadist or masochist, but that’s what they did today, and on the front page, above the fold. Of course, their intention was to describe the US justice department’s guidelines for torturing prisoners, but they sound like fun to me.
Ignoring the political aspects (This is sadists and masochists, not a political forum), how do these strike you? i’ve done (had done to me) 6 of the 9 listed, and enjoyed most of it. Copied exactly from the Washington Post:
Approved Techniques As approved in a May 10, 2005, Justice Department memo.
* Dietary manipulation: Substituting liquid meal replacements for solid food.
* Nudity: Used to cause psychological discomfort.
* Walling: Slamming detainee into a wall.
* Facial Slap: Slapping detainee’s face with fingers slightly spread.
* Abdominal slap: Striking the abdomen with the back of an open hand.
* Wall standing: Forcing detainee to stand with feet spread, arms outstretched, fingers resting on the wall, not permitted to move.
* Water dousing: Cold water is poured on detainee.
* Sleep depravation: Detainee is deprived of sleep for more than 48 hours.
* Waterboarding: pouring water over face of detainee, who is lying at an angle on his back, head lowered.”
Original post was found here: http://fetlife.com/groups/124/group_posts/146990
I reckon this just about says it all, US ‘torture’ is basically BDSM lite — it’s not that this stuff is cruel, it’s just that the terrorists appear to be prize wimps.
Edit: Waterboarding may be unpleasant for Mr. Hitchins, but he won’t have the goals, mindset and training of a terrorist(or a BDSM affinado) and so it’s no comparison, all it shows is that Mr. Hitchins is not suitable to be a terrorist who has to keep secrets 😉
Real torture leaves the victim physically affected for forever, water boarding and whatever else is practiced on the above list is serious bullying, but not torture.
Somebody should try waterboarding Hitchens with whiskey.
That was good, fit fit.
Who said anything about doing what Jack would do? Question posed was the unlikely bauer scenario of racing against the clock. Of course the whole show is fantasy. My belief is that in drastic moments, drastic actions might be called for, where the end justifies the means.
Yeah, they probably laughed their butts off at what wimps we for not REALLY hurting them.
I see you are still, and probably will remain, an idiot.
LOL! I may not like your politics, but you do have a heck of a sense of humor.
The Japanese did not routinely use various forms of torture on American POWs in order to stop the next attack on their homeland from happening. It was often done to extremes for punishment and humiliation, to break the men down and defeat them totally. The torture was a means to an end in and of itself.
The Viets didn’t routinely use torture for years on POWs for information either (how much more info can you get from a man that’s been a POW for years?). It was used for propaganda, ie..to coerce staged confessions to war crimes, for media efforts, etc.
In otherwords…there is a context to the such things.
Gaffa, the western infidel is incapable of winning the “hearts and minds” of the global jihad movements, short of standing back, allowing them to take their territory of desired Caliphate under Shariah law (and that includes their overthrowing apostate Muslim governments including – but not limited to – Egypt, UAE, Jordan and what’s left of Pakistan). Let them have that, and they increase the territorial demand.
What you suggest as a quest for any infidel western nation is impossible. It is only possible for what is commonly termed the “moderate Muslim”. They have turned not by hearts and minds being won, but by hearts and minds being turned off by the AQ and ilk un-Muslim warfare demonstrated in Iraq.
Considering the entire sentence, you could have stopped at “… as far as I know…”, which apparently is little.
“They have turned not by hearts and minds being won, but by hearts and minds being turned off by the AQ and ilk un-Muslim warfare demonstrated in Iraq.”
In other words, it’s not the we have won them over, but that the jihadis have lost them – at least for now. The question is, though, how long before they forgive their fellows, and turn on us? Are they capabable of being good in spite of their “religion” (which at least some are)? Because they certainly aren’t good because of it.
Yon, I’m not worried about the majority of Muslims. Most have become acclimated to a mix of Islam and western benefits… more modernized. They need not ever “forgive” us, nor turn on us. They will simply out multiply us… This is already happening in Europe, and will do so here as well in the future.
Yeah, like a friend who spent a fair amount of time in the M.E. said, they’re like weeds.
I wasn’t clear in your answer as to whether you waterboard the uniformed soldier. As for torture vs waterbaord – I wonder if waterboard is so effective then why was it used over 80 times on the same suspect? And say if waterboard wasn’t effective and traditional torture (and I’m sure their are plenty of ways to injure someone without taking out fingers or killing them) was more effective – would you allow it on both suspects?
Yeah must have missed that post – but looking at it briefly – I think you didn’t actually include the typical nuclear bomb/torture scenario. I would agree with you – in that I would allow whatever it takes – but it must be such a situation. Otherwise that makes torture become routine. And who decides whether such a situation is warranted etc. Ideally there needs to be a quick and effective change of command and guidelines for such use – although that’s unlikely. My point being that in such situations – the Geneva Convention and whether waterboarding is torture doesn’t really matter. In such situations I believe governments to a degree need to operate in the dark.
Perhaps, Gaffa, you missed Patvann’s comment to John Ryan as to what waterboarding “80 times” may mean on another thread. Not hard to do, mind you… We have so many threads going on this subject, it’s like carrying on the same conversation in four corners of a crowded room.
Personally, I’m waiting for the omnipotent John Ryan to pick up on the bet.
Patvann, as one of our military who have been “tortured” (as you can see in his comment above), says it’s very effective… even on his smartass self. And apparently, for the three who did get waterboarded, they gave up intel.
Perhaps you should consider that if they can endure it thru 80+ pours, it just not that horrendous of treatment afterall. You’d be out of finger and toe nails long before that.
But wasn’t that what Dubya wanted? You are never going to win the hearts of minds of extremists but there are plenty of other people in the middle east who aren’t extremists. Of course such stupidity doesn’t compare to torture – but if you are the ‘good’ guys then letting off steam like that unpicks thousands of pictures of US soldiers giving sweets out to children and Iraqi women voting. Of course those acts weren’t condoned by the US government but netherless those dumb ‘pranks’ may have cost US lives if it incitated more Iraqis to rebel.
I see you are still unable to hold an intelligent debate without being the first to resort to personal insult. How dull you are.
So you are saying that all Muslims are extremists? If you want to win a war and the peace then you are going to need more than guns. Look at Hitler’s mistake when he invaded Soviet Union – the people in Ukraine etc loathed Stalin and would have gladly helped Hitler – but has he lumped all Slavs together he soon persecuted them as well and so instead they helped Stalin to beat Hitler. Now the US isn’t persecuted the Muslims (although some loonies may say this) but however you dislike the religion you got to seperate the extremists from those humans who just want a quiet life and hate Saddam, Al Qaeda etc. If you lump them all together then you will get more resistance. No one country has individuals that think alike.
Are you suggesting that Muslims are justified in their damnation because of what you think is “dumb pranks”? And if you say yes, perhaps you will then reconcile why many condemn Islam because of their “pranks”, aka murder and oppression.
Frankly, anything the worst US soldier has done, in your particular view, cannot compare with what the worst Muslim has done… not only to western infidels, but to fellow Muslims.
Kindly point out where in your inability to translate Colonial English to the Queen’s English you come up with that?? Especially since I said quite the opposite.
I see you are still unable to hold an intelligent debate without being the first to resort to personal insult. How dull you are.”
It’s because I’m sick of your childish stupidity. You throw mud at evertything, then pretend it’s some kind of joke. You pretend to youreself you are “debating” but you can’t fool us. You have nothing positive to contribute. You ARE an ass with whom I’ve been fed up with for some time.
As I said, I would bookmark that comment and suggest anyone who wants to see what an idiot you are can go and read the exchanges between you and others there. You are, and remain, a jerk.
Perhaps this is even more to the point?
(but the whole picture there is one of how imature and pointless the Gaffer’s comments are)
And, since you can’t see it, I first criticized the clearly idiotic point you thought you were making prior to calling you an idiot. It’s like pointing out to you that as a “debater” you suck by identifying the weak drivle you mistakenly thought was a powerful take down of our side, with added editorial comment. Naturally you missed the point, or tried to pretend it was never made. But that’s what you always do, so no surprise there. You are just one of those silly little bratty children who think they are always right because they never admit they are wrong. And that would be fine, if only you were occaisionally right, but you are not. Now, as Mike said in a previous exchange, go back to your video games. Reality just isn’t your thing.
I’m sure the devil’s in the comments. Just take a sift through; I’m sure you can see where things are headed, each time the implausible situation gets tweaked. The nuclear bomb kinda thing has gotta be there somewhere (too lazy to revisit, at the moment).
Whether it was 83 pours or 83 times is immaterial to the point am I making. Besides is there any conclusive evidence either way? My point was IF torture was found to be more effective than the ‘non-torture’ method of waterboarding would you in a hypothetical situation be prepared to have a suspect (soldier or non uniformed terrorist) tortured?
Excuse me whilst a do a retranslation of post #37;)
Hey – here’s a revolutionary idea for you – if my posts so upset you – how about not reading them? Ignore them. Not hard y’know. People can make their own minds up and can choose whether to answer me or not. Lol – and thanks for the link where you pretty much ended up accusing me of somehow mentally abusing you! It’s a forum discussing politics – why don’t you grow a pair, stop crying and go back to the shallow end of the pool and let the adults discuss torture.
In regards to #37 I’m not sure why you are refering to the western infidel. That is the language of terrorists and/or religious extremists. I’m not talking about winning their hearts and minds but the majority (at least I believe it is a majority) of citizens within the Middle East who aren’t extremists. I think it is possible to win their hearts and minds – in the same way the Allies did in Germany and Japan after WWII. If I accidentally miscontrued your post then I apologise.
Not suggesting that one iota. Even with those stupid photos – that doesn’t excuse killing allied troops. I’m saying it made matters worse and was entirely unnecessary and unhelpful to the allied cause of trying to stabilise Iraq.
I’m not comparing them. I was replying to Duke’s comment. However does that give the ‘good’ guys freedom to do what they want as long as it’s not as bad as Al Qaeda? I think Westerners should condemn such incidents rather than try to brush it away. But also I think the media made to big a thing of it at the time.
Well, maybe there’s hope for them, yet.
In another 200 years, they’ll be having the debate over gay marriage; if not for George W. Bush, the world’s progressives would be waiting another 2000 years, still protesting against wars.
I think that was the point. Where did Mata say or imply…
That reminds me of a muslim speaker at a liberal politics conference who took offence at those danish cartoons and wanted them banned. I was part of the audience and I told him that I took offence at the Koran and should we ban that too? He replied that I had to understand Islam is 400 years behind Christianity and that they haven’t had their reformation yet. I told him I’m not going to wait 400 years as I won’t be here then.
So although some on here might think the UK is overun by muslim population who are terrorist sympathisers and devout to their religion – what I have found is that it is quite mixed – that some are ‘westernized’ and modern thinkers. So even in the middle East I believe the populace will have a mix of views and it is important that the US attempts to get through to the moderates.
Gaffa, now you may comprehend my “they will out multiply us” comment that you had trouble translating from Colonial from Queen’s English. Those that you disagree with may not be those bent on instilling jihad via violence. But when they are the majority population, and in control of the reins of Parliament, they will have no bad conscience inflicting their superior Islam beliefs in the form of legislation with that power.
For the beginning, you need only look at your now parallel judicial system… with your British laws, and the Shariah law today, side by side. Over time, as their numbers increase, so will their legislative influence. ala, if they are patient and have the desire, they have no need for jihad.
All that remains to be seen over time is if the Islam masses prefer oppressive Shariah law over western democracy/republics.
LOL. Touchy, aren’t we?
Thanks for the advice, oh wise in one’s own eyes. But you’re the one who needs to grow up.
No one is “crying,” little feller, just “debating” as you say.
And no, I am not going to leave baby Gaffer alone when he throws his little tantrums if I don’t want to. You don’t have to come here, you know. But, if you do, expect some criticism, especially if you persist in mocking people, spewing nonsense, and acting like a jerk.
Now, about those video games. They don’t talk back, nor do they interfere with your bloated ego. You can be a star, where all but the bad guys love you. If what you want is to nurture that superior feeling, or at least for no one to point our your many faults, go back to them until you grow up.
So what do you do for a living?