November 7, 2007

"Michael Mukasey... is absolutely correct... that the issue of 'waterboarding' cannot be decided in the abstract."

Writes Alan Dershowitz.
Under prevailing [constitutional law] precedents--some of which I disagree with--the court must examine the nature of the governmental interest at stake, and the degree to which the government actions at issue shock the conscience, and then decide on a case-by-case basis. In several cases involving actions at least as severe as waterboarding, courts have found no violations of due process.

The members of the judiciary committee who voted against Judge Mukasey, because of his unwillingness to support an absolute prohibition on waterboarding and all other forms of torture, should be asked the direct question: Would you authorize the use of waterboarding, or other non-lethal forms of torture, if you believed that it was the only possible way of saving the lives of hundreds of Americans in a situation of the kind faced by Israeli authorities on the eve of Yom Kippur? Would you want your president to authorize extraordinary means of interrogation in such a situation? If so, what means? If not, would you be prepared to accept responsibility for the preventable deaths of hundreds of Americans?
Dershowitz's point is that the Democrats will lose the next election if they're perceived as soft on national security.

194 comments:

christopher said...

Would you authorize the use of waterboarding, or other non-lethal forms of torture, if you believed that it was the only possible way of saving the lives of hundreds of Americans in a situation of the kind faced by Israeli authorities on the eve of Yom Kippur? Would you want your president to authorize extraordinary means of interrogation in such a situation? If so, what means? If not, would you be prepared to accept responsibility for the preventable deaths of hundreds of Americans?

If you believed that, you would ipso facto be an idiot who thinks that real life is like "24."

Dershowitz is either loosing it, or he's always been an idiot and used to hide it better.

Fen said...

Would you authorize the use of waterboarding, or other non-lethal forms of torture, if you believed that it was the only possible way of saving the lives of hundreds of Americans in a situation of the kind faced by Israeli authorities on the eve of Yom Kippur?

Of course the Dems would. This is whats so hypocritical about their "complaints" re waterboarding:

/begins: Hillary and Obama want exceptions to torture

Barack Obama responded by declaring that we cannot "have the president of the United States state as a matter of policy that there is a loophole or an exception where we would sanction torture." He then shifted, in the very same breath, to state that "there are going to be all sorts of hypotheticals, an emergency situation, and I will make that judgment at that time." In other words, he wants to preserve the very same loophole for which he lambastes President Bush.

Hillary Clinton was seemingly much clearer, declaring that "As a matter of policy, [torture] cannot be American policy, period." But buried in this unequivocal statement is a lawyerly loophole, evident in the carefully constructed caveat, "as a matter of policy." But still, she came close to standing her own previous position on its head. On an earlier occasion, she had held that there were "very rare" instances in which severe interrogation methods might be necessary and that the United States needs "lawful authority" to engage in them in cases involving an "imminent threat to millions of Americans."

/ends, via Instapundit

And yes - waterboarding is torture. The perps lungs actually take in water. Its not just psychological, its a "controlled drowning".

However, in short, Dems would deny my platoon the use of waterboarding to save themselves from an IED attack, but when its a Blue city-state at risk, the Dems* want an exception.

*except for Freder, the only Dem on this board who believes waterboarding should be illegal in ALL scenarios. Hat tip to him for having the balls to stick to his principles, however idealistic they may be.

Trevor said...

Would that you could get as upset about this administration's human rights abuses as you could a paper fucking cup at Starbucks.

Maxine Weiss said...

National Security won't trump the economy.

As long as people have jobs and the economy is fine, the Republicans win the election on a National Security platform.

If people don't have jobs, and the economy tanks, Democrats win.

Hey, I'm good, huh?

Love, Maxine

Fen said...

christopher/Cyrus: If you believed that, you would ipso facto be an idiot who thinks that real life is like "24."

Never followed "24". I think their split-screen format reveals poor director skills [and its annoying]. If you can't capture the moment with one screen alone, you shouldn't be in the business.

Having said that...

What do you think are the odds of terrorist proxies sponsored by Iran trying to slip a nuke into one of our harbors aboard a Yemenese freighter? You made a big deal about "risk assessment" awhile back, but failed to detail the "low probability, catastrophic damage" scenario. Would you allow waterboarding to prevent such an attack? [Hint: burying your head in sand and pretending it could never happen is not a valid response]

Fen said...

Would that you could get as upset about this administration's human rights abuses

Huh?

Hoosier Daddy said...

If not, would you be prepared to accept responsibility for the preventable deaths of hundreds of Americans?

Well the counter to that argument is that most opposed to torture of any kind dismiss the ‘ticking time bomb’ scenario out of hand. To a certain extent there is some plausibility to that argument since you would have to have some basis to believe a massive attack is imminent.

The perception out there is that we’re water boarding every jihadist we catch which simply is not true. The whole problem I have is that we have dumbed down what torture is in terms of deeds and in what context it is being done.
There were international complaints when the first jihadists captured in Afghanistan were shown bound with hoods over their heads. Then it was sleep deprivation, loud music and female breasts pressed in their face which offended their misogynist sensibilities. When a sizable faction of the populace ends up deeming anything short of providing them a court appointed attorney and free hallal meals as torture, the discussion is pointless.

Fen said...

The perception out there is that we’re water boarding every jihadist we catch which simply is not true.

Correct. The tally is THREE to date.

Bob said...

Personally the more interesting question is "Would you authorize use of waterboarding if it would provide us with the location of Osama Bin Laden?" I think its much less a "24" scenario and gets at use of extrodinary measures to extract actionable intelligence.

christopher said...

Cue the idiot regular who constantly insists here that waterboarding is no worse than the fraternity hazing he went through in college.

A man who can't tell the difference between "Animal House" and "Saw," apparently.

B said...

Trevor,

You know, I'm glad that you are so concerned about "this administration's" human rights abuses. Perhaps you can do some good.

But, if I ask you which of your personal freedoms has been curtailed during Bush's years in office, could you give me one?

The last loss of rights that personally affects me occurred before Bush, and occurred because of liberals who want to impose their views on the rest of us.

The rights I and other American parents lost came about under court approved decisions from Democratic-administration appointed judges who told me that my daughter could have a highly dangerous medical procedure - an abortion - at any age without me ever being notified by doctors or any authority. In fact, even if I asked, they couldn't tell me whether or not my daughter even had the procedure. Every other medical decision about my child falls under my concern - in fact, I can be tried and convicted of medical neglect for not taking care of my child - but because there may be a few minor girls who might be restricted from having an abortion by some parents, the left in this country decided to make the right to non-parental approved abortion apply to all parents. The left went to judges who still in some states deny this basic parental right and responsibility.

Thank God for the changes in the courts during the Bush administration that have allowed states to restore the right of parents to make decisions about their child's medical needs.

So, I what I see looking ahead is parental rights and business owner rights and religious freedom restricted under a Hillary administration.

Which may make you happy, trev.

So, again, which of your rights has been taken away again?

B said...

"Saw" was funnier.

AllenS said...

christopher--

A lot of us commenters are veterans and we know that real life is not like 24, which, is as stupid as tv can get. There are, and I think even Obama and Hillary know, that there are situations where you have to have all options open to keep this nation safe. You, sir, are not in any type of leadership, and are at best, a juvenile.

B said...

Dershowitz's point is that the Democrats will lose the next election if they're perceived as soft on national security.

From your lips to God's ears.

Palladian said...

"From your lips to God's ears."

Does God have ears?

Palladian said...

"From your lips to God's ears."

God doesn't endorse political candidates.

Palladian said...

B, don't forget about Kelo, a terrible contravention of every citizen's rights that happened during (but not because of) the Bush administration.

former law student said...

1. Dershowitz lost it years ago -- witness his gratuitous interference in the Finkelstein tenure case, the Palm Beach butterfly ballot fiasco(We need a DO-OVER!!!! No Jew would EVERRR vote for BUCHANAN!!!) etc. etc.
2. Waterboarding is torture.
3. Torture is prohibited by US and international law; making a policy of torture would affect our national self-image as well as encourage others to torture US citizens.
4. In extreme cases, torture may well be the reasonable and prudent thing for the US to do. So no one should absolutely rule it out in advance.

Fen said...

christopher/Cyrus: Cue the idiot regular who constantly insists here that waterboarding is no worse than the fraternity hazing he went through in college

Who are you referring to? I already admitted that waterboarding is torture in my 10:45 post: And yes - waterboarding is torture. The perps lungs actually take in water. Its not just psychological, its a "controlled drowning".

Want to address the issue, or continue to stroke your strawman? Would you accept "exceptions" to torture? ie, would you beg for its use when your family, your city was at risk of becoming a valley of glass?

Luckyoldson said...

Dershowitz has always been one to tout the "if the suspect knows of an impending bomb being detonated...we should do anything we can to get the information" argument.

It makes perfect sense...if we know for sure that the suspect knows what we THINK he or she knows.

If not, it's merely torture, hoping to get information.

*I'm for waterboarding Fen so we can see if he actually knows anything about anything.

Fen said...

3. Torture is prohibited by US and international law; making a policy of torture would affect our national self-image as well as encourage others to torture US citizens.

4. In extreme cases [emph added], torture may well be the reasonable and prudent thing for the US to do. So no one should absolutely rule it out in advance.


No. Its either illegal or its not. You cannot give a wink/nod to our military that they have the "promise" of immunity for violating the law to save "x" number of lives. They deserve better than that.

Windbag said...

People would waterboard their grandmothers if it meant moving up in the line to purchase a Wii, iPhone, or X-Box360.

Luckyoldson said...

Fen said..."Never followed "24". I think their split-screen format reveals poor director skills [and its annoying]."

Yeah, you can be sure he "never followed" the show...being so familiar with the screen formatting and director skills.

Fen thinks he's Jack Bauer.

Luckyoldson said...

Maxine,
Do you think the economy is going well for most Americans?

christopher said...


Want to address the issue, or continue to stroke your strawman? Would you accept "exceptions" to torture? ie, would you beg for its use when your family, your city was at risk of becoming a valley of glass?


Torture doesn't work, so the question is a non sequitur.

It's like saying "you'd be cute if you had a different face."

AllenS said...

Here's a hypothetical:

Police pullover/arrest a foreign national from (name a country), driving a delivery van. Upon inspection of man, he sets off a geiger counter indicating contact with a large of amount of radiation. He refuses to answer questions about how he became radioactive. Get the board out, and someone go get the water.

Trevor said...

B, did I say that I had been abused or that my rights had been violated? I guess I could talk about what it's like to live in a potential police state in its infancy, where I have to fear my phone calls and emails are being monitored without cause or warrant. But this isn't about me, and it's not about you and your belief that your children's bodies are your property. That's a red herring.

What I said was that Althouse can't seem to muster more than a couple dozen words in response to an editorial arguing in favor of torture, but spends a few hundred bitching about the fact that her $4 coffee comes in a paper rather than ceramic container.

Par for the course, I guess. The direct juxtaposition of the two posts merited comment, though.

Luckyoldson said...

Fen said..."The perception out there is that we’re water boarding every jihadist we catch which simply is not true.
Correct. The tally is THREE to date."

Fen...how would YOU possibly know this???

Up until a few months ago, the administration wouldn't even admit they were doing it...much less on how many they'd used the methods.

You talk right out of your ass.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

God doesn't endorse political candidates.

Well, not directly. That's why he has Pat Robertson.

Fen said...

I'm for waterboarding Fen so we can see if he actually knows anything about anything.

You'll be happy to know that I was already waterboarded at SERE school.

I'm against torture to save a blue city-state American city. The liberals believe the war on terror is a bumper-sticker, they believe the threat of terrorist WMD proxy attacks sponsored by Iran are "one in a billion". Fine. Terrorist targets are metropolitan "blue" zones. Let them experience a WMD attack firsthand, then maybe they'll pull their head out of their ass.

President Fen: "We've learned today that Iran has targeted an American city with a nuke, to be delivered by oil tanker in the next few hours. We have a "Saddam Mohammed" under arrest who knows the location and time of the attack. However, since "liberals" have expressed their disgust with waterboarding, we will ask him nicely to divulge the targeted American city... In the meantime, I ask that Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and New York begin immediate evacuation. You have 2 hours until detonation."

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Cyrus/christopher: Torture doesn't work, so the question is a non sequitur.

Thats a lie. Torture does indeed work. Try again please.

Luckyoldson said...

Where are all of the big time CHRISTIANS on this blog??

Does anybody here think Jesus would waterboard someone?

Many Christians are against a woman's choice...because it's "murder," stem cell research...because it's "murder," yet they support torturing someone to the point they think they're going to drown...because they HOPE that person knows something.

H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E-S...

Palladian said...

"Well, not directly. That's why he has Pat Robertson."

You're going to get struck by lightning for saying that.

Fen said...

LuckyTroll: Yeah, you can be sure he "never followed" the show...being so familiar with the screen formatting and director skills.

Geez you ARE an idiot. I caught the formating errors while channel-surfing, and moved on.

christopher said...


Fen said...

Cyrus/christopher: Torture doesn't work, so the question is a non sequitur.

Thats a lie. Torture does indeed work. Try again please.


Right...that's why we tortured all those Nazi's during WWII.

Fen said...

LuckyTroll: yet they support torturing someone to the point they think they're going to drown...because they HOPE that person knows something.

Another lie. Please identify the Christians on this board who support torture.

Palladian said...

"Does anybody here think Jesus would waterboard someone?"

Well, he's going to send billions of people to eternal fiery damnation come the Last Judgment, which makes "waterboarding" seem mild by comparison.

Fen said...

Trevor: I guess I could talk about what it's like to live in a potential police state in its infancy, where I have to fear my phone calls and emails are being monitored without cause or warrant.

Wrong again. The only reason your calls would be monitored is if you are accepting international calls from suspected terrorist cells overseas. Guess what? If thats the case, I hope the NSA, CIA and NSA are all over your ass.

And don't forget that international calls us the US as a hub. A terrorist in Afganistan emails a terrorist in London and his message is routed through a server in the US. You really have a problem with that?

Luckyoldson said...

Fen said..."You'll be happy to know that I was already waterboarded at SERE school."

Right.

Being waterboarded during a training exercise...isn't quite the same as having people do it with the intention of never allowing you to know when they will stop...or that you may well drown. (Police/FBI also do rescue training exercises with human cutouts but the cutouts aren't shooting back.)

The Drill Sgt. ran that one by us a few days ago...and I don't believe either of you had it done...or we would have heard about it months ago.

*A Navy Seal was on the radio a few days ago and said it was a specific training exercise that has been used from time to time, but ONLY with top of the line people who are actually NAVY SEALS or SPECIAL FORCES...that it indeed makes one think they are going to drown.

christopher said...


Wrong again. The only reason your calls would be monitored is if you are accepting international calls from suspected terrorist cells overseas. Guess what? If thats the case, I hope the NSA, CIA and NSA are all over your ass.


You think the Bushies are only monitoring international calls from suspected terrorist cells?

MWHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

Seriously -- you can't be that stupid...

former law student said...

You cannot give a wink/nod to our military that they have the "promise" of immunity for violating the law to save "x" number of lives.
Then we can never torture anyone. Redefining a method of torture as non-torture does no good to anyone. Where would it end? Similarly, redefining nerve gas as non-poisonous wouldn't make gassing our enemies legal under the laws of war.

Luckyoldson said...

Palladian said this about Jesus:

"Well, he's going to send billions of people to eternal fiery damnation come the Last Judgment, which makes "waterboarding" seem mild by comparison."

What Bible are YOU reading?

DUH.

joe said...

There is no doubt that the dems ARE soft on national security, or the term has no meaning at all.
What is needed is a workable definition of torture in order to create a bright line as to what is permitted or not. Temporary discomfort and fear - which would include waterboarding - is not torture. Extreme physical pain, permanent disability - torture. And if it is necessary to save innocent lives, I have no problem with it.

Too many jims said...

So if the N. Vietnamese used non-lethal torture on U.S. servicemen because they thought it was the only way to save the lives of hundres of N. Vietnamese and/or VC, it is ok?

I found it odd that Dershowitz uses the Yom Kippur incident. If we are facing the kind of situation of the kind faced by Israeli authorities why would we think that torture is the only way to get the information if the Israelis didn't have to? Is Dershowitz saying Israelis are better interrogators because they can get the information without torture or that the Israelis are lying about not engaging in torture.

Luckyoldson said...

christopher said..."You think the Bushies are only monitoring international calls from suspected terrorist cells?"

Chris...Fen believes ANYTHING the Bushies say. (Remember when Bush said they NEVER did anything without warrants and court approval?)

You're wasting your time with this idiot.

Trevor said...

Right on cue, Fen. Do you think that now that this right to privacy (even for abhorrent people) has been violated that there won't be future violations? "Well, we know there are probably terrorists talking to each other INSIDE the U.S. so we better start listening to those calls too." Who gets to define someone as suspicious? Doesn't any of that bother you?

But you've gotten me off my point. I'm talking about the kinds of abuses we saw at Abu Ghraib and the indefinite detentions for innocents at Gitmo, not fears for myself. I want to know why Althouse cares more about a coffee mug than that her government wants to sanction immoral acts like torture.

christopher said...

I want to know why Althouse cares more about a coffee mug than that her government wants to sanction immoral acts like torture.

Because she's deeply shallow and has serious issues.

Not really a mystery....

Luckyoldson said...

Joe says: "Temporary discomfort and fear - which would include waterboarding - is not torture."

And you base this on what? (Thinking you're going to drown...is merely a form of "temporary discomfort"??
Your leg going to sleep is a form of temporary discomfort.)

Read this:

Nov. 2, 2007

A senior Justice Department official, charged with reworking the administration's legal position on torture in 2004 became so concerned about the controversial interrogation technique of waterboarding that he decided to experience it firsthand, sources told ABC News.

Daniel Levin, then acting assistant attorney general, went to a military base near Washington and underwent the procedure to inform his analysis of different interrogation techniques.

After the experience, Levin told White House officials that even though he knew he wouldn't die, he found the experience terrifying and thought that it clearly simulated drowning.

Levin, who refused to comment for this story, concluded waterboarding could be illegal torture unless performed in a highly limited way and with close supervision. And, sources told ABC News, he believed the Bush Administration had failed to offer clear guidelines for its use.

christopher said...

Look, the whole torture issue re: Mukasey is a red herring.

What we really should be discussing is the fact that he's nothing but a better spoken, slicker version of Gonzales. Which is to say he's being hired for the specific purpose of providing legal cover for the boundless illegality and crimes of the Bush Administration.

He's going to be a consiglieri not an honest AG.

If the Dems can't see that -- and stop him -- they're more pathetic than I already think they are...

Palladian said...

"What Bible are YOU reading?

DUH."


Well, the 1611 KJV, to be exact:

"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world... Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels...And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

Matthew 25:31-46

"And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

Matthew 3:10-12

"And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him."

Luke 12:4-5

I'm not necessarily defending the practice being discussed, merely warning you that dragging the Bible into a political argument when it suits you is a good way to get your ass burnt. Jesus was not a liberal or a conservative, if one wants to attempt to apply those silly labels to someone who lived several thousand years ago. If anything, he was an authoritarian, and the authority was God. Take from that what you will.

Cedarford said...

Lucky - *A Navy Seal was on the radio a few days ago and said it was a specific training exercise that has been used from time to time, but ONLY with top of the line people who are actually NAVY SEALS or SPECIAL FORCES...that it indeed makes one think they are going to drown.

No, that was yet another Lefty claiming he was a Navy SEAL to boost his credibility. There is an epidemic of Lefties claiming to have been SEALs. They are easy to trip up. It is amusing that phony soldiers always pick the most Elite outfits. Jassim al-Zayed (Jesse MacBeth) claimed he was a Ranger.

Any real SEAL would know that SERE is not confined to Navy SEALs or Special Forces because

1. SEALs are part of Spec Ops.
2. Any legitimate SEAL knows that pilots, Marines posted in certain ME countries, and certain Army specialties also know the joy that is SERE.

********************
Fen is on mark. After all the pissing and moaning the Left has done about SIGINT & interrogations - mainly to sabotage stab Bush in the back - after spending 2 years pissing and moaning about how the US failed to get intelligence to stop the 9/11 plot? It would be quite fitting to have a blue city struck by Islamoids just to hear them piss and moan about how the US failed to stop it with good SIGINT and interrogations.
I'd give the unlawful enemy combatants extra credit if the ACLU in NYC, the NYTimes HQ in NYC, San Fran City Hall, or Hollywood got smoked in Jihad.

********************
If a nations combatants wage war in accordance with Geneva and Hague Conventions, they are entitled to it's protections. But radical Islamists do not fight that way - and I don't care about how Stevens and Ginsburg dreamed up how AQ deserve "terrorist civil liberties" because they are not "engaged in a conflict that is international in scope". Stevens and his enablers are idiots.

Troops should be free to interrogate away to save lives from a car bomb ring that not only kills a few dozen Americans but thousands of civilians. We should be able to interrogate a courier that could lead us to bin Laden. We should be able to interrogate and get SIGINT to stop major terrorist attacks.

***********************
Christopher - let me guess. You are 19, go to a community college, and live at home?

Luckyoldson said...

christopher said..."What we really should be discussing is the fact that he's nothing but a better spoken, slicker version of Gonzales."

That's true, and he'll only be there for about a year...and that's why I think the Democrats gave it up.

Not that I support what their doing...it's rather gutless...but...it's also politically expedient.

Fen said...

Trevor: But you've gotten me off my point. I'm talking about the kinds of abuses we saw at Abu Ghraib

Those abuses were not sanctioned by this government; in fact, the government was investigating those abuses before the media uncovered them, and the perps were punished accordingly.

and the indefinite detentions for innocents at Gitmo, not fears for myself.

"Innocents" captured on the FEBA? Please name them. Bu the Law of War, enemy combatants can be detained until the end of hostilities, regardless of whether they are illegal or not.

Fen said...

Do you think that now that this right to privacy (even for abhorrent people) has been violated that there won't be future violations?

No. Unlike you, I don't believe that foreign nationals have any protection under our Bill of Rights.

And if YOU are talking to suspected Al Queda cells overseas, I would demand that my government monitor your conversations.

Luckyoldson said...

Cedarford said..."No, that was yet another Lefty claiming he was a Navy SEAL to boost his credibility."

Oh, really?

Provide a link to the Seal and include his political affiliations.

Hoosier Daddy said...

making a policy of torture would affect our national self-image as well as encourage others to torture US citizens.

You mean like Nick Berg, Daniel Pearl, every US soldier who has had the misfortune to fall into the hands of jihadists…

Wait

Actually I think our self image has been in the compost heap for about the last 50 years. The benevolent leadership of Carters and Clinton didn’t seem to do much in the way of diminishing Islamic hatred toward us and I am pretty sure they didn’t water board anyone.

Fen asked Who are you referring to?

That would be me. I equate torture with things like having your fingernails ripped out, electric shocks to your genitals, flaying, that kind of stuff. Your opinion on water boarding is noted and as far as I am concerned it’s simply a relative opinion. As I said, there were complaints that some female interrogator squishing her boobs in a jihadists face was ‘psychological torture’ so once one gets to that level, the bar is pretty darn low in terms of defining what constitutes it. Essentially I think the ultimate goal is a reading of Miranda rights, court appointed attorney’s and bail hearings.

You think the Bushies are only monitoring international calls from suspected terrorist cells?

Heh..well we certainly know Hillary wasn’t.

Fen said...

Any real SEAL would know that SERE is not confined to Navy SEALs or Special Forces because

Echo. As a School's NCO for the Marines, I routinely sent Marines to SERE and Ranger School.

And be highly suspicous of any Lefty claiming to be in an elite unit [Force Recon, SEAL, Ranger, etc]. The use of force to defend Arthur's Dream is not in the Left's nature.

steve simels said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luckyoldson said...

Cedar:

Kaj Larsen, a journalist for Current TV and a former Navy Seal, decided to give people a chance to decide for themselves... by having himself waterboarded on video, and making it available to anyone who wants to see what the debate is about.

You can see it below at Current.com -- be warned, though, it's not much fun to watch, and the images are disturbing.

Fen said...

That would be me.

Fair enough. I'm basing my change of opinion [waterboarding = controlled drowning] entirely on an article by a former SERE instructor on the net. I used to believe as you do, and there's always the possibility that this "instructor" is another Jesse MacBeth. I simply haven't had the time to confirm his bonafides.

We had a former military guy on this board who confirmed that waterboarding was merely psychological, not controlled drowning... I forget his name... If you're out there, please elaborate?

Luckyoldson said...

Hoosier Daddy, in response to this: "...making a policy of torture would affect our national self-image as well as encourage others to torture US citizens."

Says this: "You mean like Nick Berg, Daniel Pearl, every US soldier who has had the misfortune to fall into the hands of jihadists…"

And that is the perfect response from a right wing nutcase.(See Fen, SLoan, Cedar, b, Drill Sgt., etc.)

Unless of course, you ALL feel Americans should be no different than the very terrorists you condemn.

Is that your point Hoosier??

christopher said...

Look, here's the bottom line.

The Bushies aren't advocating the use of torture because they think it will result in actionable intelligence. They're advocating it because they get off on it, and given the tone of several of the posters here, so do they, obviously.

Memo to Cedarford: Get back to me when your testicles have descended.

TMink said...

I really appreciate the question about Christianity and torture, while I am not sure if I qualify as a big time Christian, I will share my views on the issue.

As background, I am pro life. Anti-abortion, anti-death penalty. I am not anti-war as I see that as a regretable but sometimes necessary tragedy. There is certainly room to argue about the consistency of those positions, but let me move on.

I agree that waterboarding is psychological torture. I bet that there are people who know how to use torture to get accurate information and that it can be used effectively.

Having said that, it sickens my heart to think of it being used. I could not do it to someone. Now I could kill an intruder in my house or someone else who puts my family at danger. That includes self-defense as killing me puts my family in danger. Thankfully, I have not had to even threaten anyone in order to protect my family, but I would without a second thought if I believed it necessary to protect my family.

I guess with that background, I can say that I abhor torture such as waterboarding but I could accept it if it were necessary and rare, extremely rare. But it is still on shakey ground for me.

What do the bigger time Christians think?

Trey

Fen said...

/echo

President Fen: "We've learned today that Iran has targeted an American city with a nuke, to be delivered by oil tanker in the next few hours. We have a "Saddam Mohammed" under arrest who knows the location and time of the attack. However, since "liberals" have expressed their disgust with waterboarding, we will ask him nicely to divulge the targeted American city... In the meantime, I ask that Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and New York begin immediate evacuation. You have 2 hours until detonation."

Luckyoldson said...

Fen said..."...there's always the possibility that this "instructor" is another Jesse MacBeth. I simply haven't had the time to confirm his bonafides."

Yeah...we should believe Fen, from the Althouse Blog Site...versus an ex-Navy Seal who can be Googled in about ten seconds.

Kaj Larsen:

By April of 2006 the debate about coercive interrogation and its most controversial technique, water-boarding, had started to spill into the headlines. I was in graduate school at the time. As I watched the debate unfold, and listened to both pundits and policymakers give their opinion on whether this technique constituted torture, I was struck by the strangeness of the debate.

All of these people were lobbying opinions about a subject they had never seen or witnessed, and that struck me as problematic in a healthy democracy. See, in full disclosure I had a unique knowledge of water-boarding. I had the technique performed on me during my time in the service as part of my SERE training (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).

I, like all Special Forces operatives who deploy overseas, was sent to a training camp where we learned to resist interrogation and survive captivity, god forbid that ever happened to us overseas. Ironically, one of the many techniques we learned during this training was to assert our rights as told under Article III of the Geneva Convention. So, because I was familiar with water-boarding, I was intrigued by this national conversation that was going on about this thing that few people really understood.

But, like many Americans, the pre-occupations of everyday life, for me the pressure of mid-terms and exams, pushed the controversy to the back of my mind.

Then, in mid March I traveled to Cambodia for Spring Break. While there I visited the Tuol Sleng (also known as S-21) prison in Phnom Penh. The Tuol Sleng prison had been converted to a museum and memorial for the victims of the Cambodian Genocide under the Pol Pot regime.

As I walked through the museum and saw the photographs of the victims of the genocide, I was shocked to see a picture of the Khmer Rouge Water-boarding a Cambodian villager. At that moment I saw a throughline between the debate we were having domestically and the picture I was standing in front of.

I was spurred into action, and upon my return to the United States, I decided to have myself water-boarded, this time on national TV, as a public service, so that this controversial technique could be judged in the court of public opinion.

Fen said...

Christopher/Cyrus: The Bushies aren't advocating the use of torture because they think it will result in actionable intelligence. They're advocating it because they get off on it

Uh-huh. Thanks for disqualifying yourself re any discussion of torture.

Please feel free to chime back in with your 9-11 conspiracy that Bush Made It Happen On Purpose [MIHOP, as per Dem Underground].

Moonbat Idiot. Please go fuck yourself.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...there were complaints that some female interrogator squishing her boobs in a jihadists face was ‘psychological torture’...

In the spirit of Daniel Levin,I'm willing to undergo this procedure to inform my analysis of different interrogation techniques.

You can thank me later.

christopher said...


President Fen: "We've learned today that Iran has targeted an American city with a nuke, to be delivered by oil tanker in the next few hours. We have a "Saddam Mohammed" under arrest who knows the location and time of the attack. However, since "liberals" have expressed their disgust with waterboarding, we will ask him nicely to divulge the targeted American city... In the meantime, I ask that Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and New York begin immediate evacuation. You have 2 hours until detonation."


You think Saddam is gonna tell you what you want to know if you torture him for two hours?

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Yup...you really are that stupid.

It's breathtaking...

Luckyoldson said...

TMink said..."I agree that waterboarding is psychological torture."

I appreciate your reasonable response, but exactly why do you consider waterboarding to be "psychological" versus physical torture?

Wouldn't the person have to know for sure that they weren't going to be drowned?

Fen said...

LuckyTroll: Yeah...we should believe Fen, from the Althouse Blog Site...versus an ex-Navy Seal who can be Googled in about ten seconds

Idiot. Your "ex-Navy Seal" is NOT the same person as the SERE instructor who's article I'm accepting in good faith. Given the Left's history of impersonating milatary peeps, its not unreasonable to demand a confirmation of his status.

christopher said...

Here's another one, Fen.

The reason the Bushies needed to go around the FISA laws (when there was no pressing need whatsoever for them to have done so, what with the three day grace period and the compliant FISA judges)...

is that they were spying on their domestic political enemies. Like Nixon and company....

In the immortal words of Tom Friedman, suck on that.

Thank you.

Fen said...

Christopher/Cyrus: You think Saddam is gonna tell you what you want to know if you torture him for two hours? MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Yup...you really are that stupid.

No dumbass. And I DO know that I could get whatever info I wanted from you within 5 minutes. You would give up your mother's maiden name in 15 secs, coward.

Luckyoldson said...

Palladian said..."Well, the 1611 KJV, to be exact..."

Are you sure you're not confusing what Christians believe to be GOD with...JESUS?

And didn't God also say something like this: "thou shalt not kill...?"

*Let me guess: YOU only believe what you want to believe.

christopher said...


No dumbass. And I DO know that I could get whatever info I wanted from you within 5 minutes. You would give up your mother's maiden name in 15 secs, coward.


I'm sorry, Fen, but you're posting from where in Baghdad?

Fen said...

Christopher: when there was no pressing need whatsoever for them to have done so, what with the three day grace period and the compliant FISA judges)

THREE DAYS? If anything, that comment is indicative of the cluelessness of the Left re this war against radical Islam. Christopher and his ilk beleive that THREE DAYS is more than enough time to act on actionable intelligence.

Cyrus/Christopher, what city do you live in? I want to taunt when you discover you're about to be incinerated and discover that THREE DAYS is too late.

Really, we need a good culling. Else, people like Lucky and Christopher will be the death of all of us.

Luckyoldson said...

Fen said..."And I DO know that I could get whatever info I wanted from you within 5 minutes. You would give up your mother's maiden name in 15 secs, coward."

WOW...YOU must really be a big tough guy!!!

*Fen's threatening to torture people now...as if his inane comments aren't torture enough.

Fen said...

Cyrus/Christopher: I'm sorry, Fen, but you're posting from where in Baghdad?

I've already served in Iraq. And my point stands: you claim waterboarding is ineffective, but I maintain I could get whatever info I needed from you in under 30 seconds.

Hell, a punk like you would likely piss his pants at our first introduction.

Go suck off OBL, you supplicant appeasement weasel.

christopher said...

I find it interesting that as soon as I asserted that the people advocating torture here do so because it gets them off our sociopathic buddy Fen immediately threatens to torture me.

Thanks for living down to my expectations...

christopher said...


THREE DAYS? If anything, that comment is indicative of the cluelessness of the Left re this war against radical Islam. Christopher and his ilk beleive that THREE DAYS is more than enough time to act on actionable intelligence.


No, I believe three days is more than enough time to retroactively get a warrant to cover your wiretapping.

You get stupider by the minute...it's really kind of fun to watch.

Fen said...

Christopher/Cyrus: I find it interesting that as soon as I asserted that the people advocating torture here do so because it gets them off

You made an assumption based on your own prejudices. You deserve to be called out for that.

our sociopathic buddy Fen immediately threatens to torture me.

Nice spin, weasel. You claimed "torture doesn't work" and I merely countered that if waterboarded, you would give up everything.

Sad attempt to spin your shame.

Fen said...

Christopher/Cyrus: No, I believe three days is more than enough time to retroactively get a warrant to cover your wiretapping. You get stupider by the minute...it's really kind of fun to watch.

Ironic. We've already had a case where THREE DAYS was too late. Honestly, you and your kind deserve whats coming. What city again? I will abide by your "three day" limit for a warrant while the clock counts down...couldn't happen to a more deserving weasel.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I’m going to throw this question out there now so it’s record for our liberal friends (and you know who you are).

In all seriousness, do you honestly think Hillary will end all of the ‘police state’ operations that Bush has implemented? I want to see how many LOS, Freders, Cyrus, Chrstophers come out with as much vehemence and self righteous anger if Gitmo is still operating, we find out some poor sod was water boarded, NSA wiretapping is moving along with full vigor and US combat troops are still fighting and dying in Iraq in 2013.

I think all of the above will be untouched because I believe Hillary is more of a grown up than her husband is and certainly more of a realist than the crop of empty suits that are trying for her nomination. Should she remove any of those things and Fen’s Yemeni freighter scenario occur, she will be finished. There won’t even have to be any direct correlation because Hillary knows that perception is reality and that is how she will be judged.

christopher said...


Ironic. We've already had a case where THREE DAYS was too late. Honestly, you and your kind deserve whats coming. What city again? I will abide by your "three day" limit for a warrant while the clock counts down...couldn't happen to a more deserving weasel.


Sweet jeebus, you're an idiot. FISA doesn't stop the Feds from wiretapping at will, it just means that after they do it they have to get a warrant. Which they do in apparently every case. FISA does absolutely nothing to slow down the gathering of intelligence.


Nice spin, weasel. You claimed "torture doesn't work" and I merely countered that if waterboarded, you would give up everything.


And you would know exactly how, pray tell, that what I was telling you was the truth, rather than what you wanted to hear?

What are you -- fucking Kreskin?

Nah, just another fake tough guy with sociopathic tendencies.

christopher said...


In all seriousness, do you honestly think Hillary will end all of the ‘police state’ operations that Bush has implemented?


No. And I desperately hope that she's not the nominee. I'm not looking forward to another Clinton administration on any level...

former law student said...

However, since "liberals" have expressed their disgust with waterboarding, we will ask him nicely to divulge the targeted American city

hell, fen, go crazy with the guy. Stick a broomstick up his ass, electrify his testicles, start slicing off his fingers and toes. Just don't try to tell yourself: We're the good guys; we would never torture, therefore what we're doing is not torture.

joelr said...

Dershowitz's point is that the Democrats will lose the next election if they're perceived as soft on national security.

I think that's his point, and I trust it's yours, too -- but I think he (and, presumably you) are being hopeful. I think being perceived as soft on national security (although not packaged quite that way) is the Democrat game plan, judging by the way that Clinton, Edwards and Obama are campaigning.

I dunno. Speak loudly, and carry a toothpick doesn't seem to me like it ought to win, but . . .

Liam said...

Well, all the troll baiting aside, I have noticed this about the "torture" conversations I have witnessed.

I have seen 3 rough descriptions of waterboarding presented:
1) Subject inclined head down, mouth/nose covered with plastic/cellophane
2) Subject inclined head down, mouth/nose covered with cloth
3) Subject inclined head down, mouth/nose not covered

Of the three, No. 1 would seem to be mostly psychological, and No. 3 would be mostly physical.

I have also noticed that most of the descriptions of waterboarding used by US personnel are of the No. 1 type. Additionally, these sessions were allegedly overseen by medical personnel, etc. I hasten to add there have been no reliable releases of this info from the government, only "I heard from my brother's son's wife thru a reporter" type descriptions, so all this is suspect.

Now, as I think No. 1 could be described as psychological torture at best, this begs the question: if causing discomfort to a prisoner is torture, then how is incarcerating them not torture? How is forcing Islamic fundamentalists who clearly hate and wish to kill western Christians to be held prisoner by them not torture? Indeed, how is doing anything less than giving these people knives and exposing your throat to them *not* torture?

What I see here is a twofold problem: in the past, we have dealt with 2 kinds of enemies: westerners and easterners. In both cases they were in structured armies and commanded by leaders of nation/states. In these cases precedent existed for following the Geneva conventions (as I understand them). We had cultural and indeed familial ties to the fascists during WWII, and at least some sort of cultural ties to the Japanese as well. Our current conflict has none of those trappings.

The other part seems to be that we are drawing a mighty fine line here between “humane” and “barbaric” behavior. In as much as war is the process of killing enough of our enemy to make them want to surrender, arguing about how we do it is somewhat absurd.

I cannot imagine that maiming someone with cluster munitions is somehow less civilized than maiming them with a bayonet or rifle. Drawing a fine line between “psychological” torture and “physical” torture would seem to be the same thing. Either you use it judiciously or you don’t. However don’t get all righteous about it when you don’t. And make damned sure you only use it when you need to.

christopher said...

And make damned sure you only use it when you need to.

And you would trust this administration to only use it when they need to exactly why?

Liam said...

Well, clearly Chrisptopher you don't, so your question is moot.

christopher said...

Liam said...

Well, clearly Chrisptopher you don't, so your question is moot.


No, seriously, do you?

I just find it almost impossible to believe that anybody could in good faith.

Liam said...

That is actually the point of my commentary.

Since these forms of torture have been stood up as some sort of absolutly prohibited behavior, we've lost sight of the the point of these wars. Not their initial intenet, but their current intent.

We are where we are killing an intractable foe whom even their allies have now abandoned due to their barbarity. You want to argue the level of "trust" one can have in Bush? Very well.

I have more faith in Bush than I have in AQ or the Taliban. Which are you inclined to trust more, Christopher?

christopher said...


I have more faith in Bush than I have in AQ or the Taliban. Which are you inclined to trust more, Christopher?


Why is that an either/or?

AQ and the Taliban are evil. So what? I mean, how does that have the slightest fucking thing to do with the perfidy of the Bush administration?

The fact is, to paraphrase Mary McCarthy, that everything that comes out of the Bushies mouths, is a lie, including the punctuation.

That would be true even if 9/11 hadn't happened and AQ didn't exist.

Cedarford said...

Fen - *except for Freder, the only Dem on this board who believes waterboarding should be illegal in ALL scenarios. Hat tip to him for having the balls to stick to his principles, however idealistic they may be.

Disagree. Freder is an enemy-lover who says that he would prefer his family, thousands of Americans die rather than harm a single hair on a captured terrorist's head - if the interrogation caused any physical or psychological discomfort to the Jihadi.
Freder also insists that all the treaties do not require reciprocity, but unilateral, blind compliance by America no matter how much radical Islamists flout the laws of War.

That is not only offering the enemy perverse incentives to flout all laws of war and prisoner treatment because we "can't, just can't!!" treat them the same way - Freder also talks of the need to sacrifice his family or thousands of innocents, even whole cities rather than "cause a terrorist discomfort". That makes Freder a sick, twisted American.

********************
Junior College Sage "Christopher" opines:

FISA doesn't stop the Feds from wiretapping at will, it just means that after they do it they have to get a warrant. Which they do in apparently every case. FISA does absolutely nothing to slow down the gathering of intelligence.

It is just so special that this young twit has determined a warrant that Director Mueller says of a warrant that requires aproximately 60 pages and 120-150 hours of legal dept, spec agent time to prepare does nothing to slow down the gathering of intelligence. From billions of calls screened and filtered that the Left claim EACH require a warrant so the HOLY FISA Act is honored.
Despite the 4th having 33 exceptions that non-liberal, non-Jewish Lefty judges in the past said were "reasonable" searches not requiring warrants.
Among those reasonable ones is that every person, every person's belongings, every mail package can be searched when it crosses America's Borders w/o warrant. Something the Left claims is "unreasonable" when it comes to phone calls to or from foreigners crossing our Borders. Even a Lefty Idiot FISA judge saying that the Law was intended to protect a known terrorist in Saudi Arabia talking to a Talibani in Pakistan if the call is routed though the USA.
The utter bitch of this is that the main intent of this faux rage for more terrorist civil rights is not from people that really care about them - but who are out to politically damage non-Leftists.

**********************
Hoosier Daddy - I’m going to throw this question out there now so it’s record for our liberal friends (and you know who you are).

In all seriousness, do you honestly think Hillary will end all of the ‘police state’ operations that Bush has implemented? I want to see how many LOS, Freders, Cyrus, Chrstophers come out with as much vehemence and self righteous anger


Of course they won't, because we have seen the same sort of people create other Leftist fronts, with the same progressive Jewish lawyer leadership - displaying the same tactics of vehemence, outrage, self-righteous anger - until the mechanisms they set up to discredit & destroy political opponents happen to affect one of their own political allies - Jews or Gentiles.

The most famous case was Steinham, Allred, Freidan, Goldman, Wolf - after bringing down Senators and CEOs for sexual harassment - all compliantly falling on their lacy feminist swords like the good little Party Line compliant daughters and grand-daughters of Jewish Bolsheviks they were - to save Bill Clinton.

The Human Rights NGOs led by Roth, Asher, Levy of Human Rights Watch, Stroessen, and Soros - of Amnesty, and Doctors w/o Borders, ACLU, and Open Society - were notorious for giving some Leftist and progressive terror-sponsoring peoples a pass - (Vietnam, the Palestinians, Cuba, Russia outside it's mistreatment of Jewish elites) - on "violations". While hitting conservative nations hard, and either hammering "repressive Republicans" or letting the US mostly slide from condemnation when a Democrat is in (Children died in Iraq from Clinton's sanctions? Who knew!)

Pogo said...

Why is that an either/or?

Ranking AQ and the US as moral equivalents is reprehensible, and evidence why I cannot trust the Democrats to fight.

christopher said...


Of course they won't, because we have seen the same sort of people create other Leftist fronts, with the same progressive Jewish lawyer leadership


I was going to actually eviscerate this idiot over the FISA stuff, but since he's just outed himself as a garden variety old school anti-Semite of the Pat Buchanan/Father Couglin variety I'm not even gonna bother.

Ann must be really proud you're a regular, pal.

christopher said...


Ranking AQ and the US as moral equivalents is reprehensible, and evidence why I cannot trust the Democrats to fight.


That's such a stupid argument I can't believe your brain generated enough energy to type it.

Pogo said...

If so, one would have expected a reasoned rejoinder, rather than a schoolyard bark.

joelr said...

I think a little more sympathy to Buchanan is in order. I don't know if you were aware of this, but he lost his favorite uncle in the Holocaust -- he fell out of a guard tower.

Caroline said...

"The Bushies aren't advocating the use of torture because they think it will result in actionable intelligence. They're advocating it because they get off on it,"

LOL! End of discussion.

Simon said...

christopher said...
"A man who can't tell the difference between "Animal House" and "Saw," apparently."

I'm knocking 100 points off the score on any regular commenter here who has ever watched any of the "Saw" movies, and awarding ten points to anyone who's lucky enough to have no clue what it is.

Trevor said...
I guess I could talk about what it's like to live in a potential police state in its infancy...."

Really? What country do you live in? I'm going to give you a little credit and assume it isn't the United States, because anyone who suggests that this country is a "police state in its infancy" is really living in cloud cukoo land. Unless of course you mean that point only to the extent that all government that isn't strictly limited are potential police states, but that can't be your point given the total contempt liberals show towards limited government in all instances except where they can assail this President with it. I see far more danger of a police state from the environmentalist left than anything extant under this President.


Fen said...
"I'm against torture to save a blue city-state American city."

I'm for it to save New York City. Well, I will be until the end of next semester, at any rate.

Pogo said...

1. Never saw Saw.
Can't even watch the commercials.

2. England, not the US, seems well on its way to adopting a soft fascism.

3. Being anti-torture is easy in the cocoon of safety provided by the military and police, and its use is largely mythical, limited to the pages of the Nation's fevered bleat. But watch those votes shift when we identify thousands of jihadists on our soil, as Britain has recently done.

christopher said...

I see far more danger of a police state from the environmentalist left than anything extant under this President.


Right. It's those pesky environmentalists who have asserted that the current president can literally do anything he wants because we're at war.

Oh, wait...that was the Bush justice department...

TMink said...

Lucky asked: "exactly why do you consider waterboarding to be "psychological" versus physical torture? Wouldn't the person have to know for sure that they weren't going to be drowned?"

That is a really interesting question.

My understanding of waterboarding is that it does not drown the victim, but it makes the victim absolutely believe that they are being drowned. It triggers deep psycho/physiological responses and induces panic.

Physical torture would involve pain, pure and simple.

Now from what I have seen, waterboarding is certainly physically uncomfortable, but it is not painful or physically damaging and what I would call physical torture would be.

But the distinction is thin, and your question points that out.

Trey

Simon said...

Pogo said...
"1. Never saw Saw. Can't even watch the commercials."

By the rules, you don't lose any points, but you can't gain the ten bonus points, which is such a shame because you're only nine points away from getting the shot glass!

"2. England, not the US, seems well on its way to adopting a soft fascism."

It is, at a minimum, engaged in a fifty year performance art project -- briefly interrupted by Margaret Thatcher -- aimed at demonstrating Hayek's thesis.

christopher said...
"It's those pesky environmentalists who have asserted that the current president can literally do anything he wants because we're at war."

It's those pesky environmentalists who want to impose draconian restrictions on the population in the name of limiting our "carbon footprints."

christopher said...

Simon said...

It's those pesky environmentalists who want to impose draconian restrictions on the population in the name of limiting our "carbon footprints."


Last time I looked those pesky environmentalists weren't in positions of power in the Bush administration. You know, the same Bush administration that has asserted that the president has the power to do literally whatever the fuck he wants -- making people disappear, let's say -- if he feels like it in a time of war.

And yet the environmentalists give you nightmares about creeping fascism?

Get a very large clue, pal.

Pogo said...

"the president has the power to do literally whatever the f*** he wants -- making people disappear, let's say"

That's just insane and could never hap

jeff said...

"The Bushies aren't advocating the use of torture because they think it will result in actionable intelligence. They're advocating it because they get off on it, and given the tone of several of the posters here, so do they, obviously."
Clearly instead of torture, they should use Christopher to just read their minds. Since he is so good at it and all.

Also there seem to be two methods of water boarding. One used by the Japanese that is clearly torture, and one used in training for our military which seems to be pretty effective, but is nothing near the other one. Which one did we use those three times and which one are we arguing about?

Simon said...

christopher said...
"Last time I looked those pesky environmentalists weren't in positions of power in the Bush administration ... [a]nd yet the environmentalists give you nightmares about creeping fascism?"

"Nightmares" might overstate it, but yes, we live in a democratic society where they're potentially only one election away from being in positions of power in the next administration. Arguments about what the Bush administration may or may not do are fairly triffling next to what a movement wants to do, given that the latter will cease to exist in about 440 days and the latter will be with us - under one guise or another - for quite some time.

Simon said...

I mean really, try looking past the end of your nose....

Luckyoldson said...

tmink & Liam,
Why not just watch waterboarding itself.

There are videos all over the net showing someone havingit done.

And by the way, as I said before...it certainly would be considered "psychological"...if the person knows they won't drown, and of course...they don't.

I find it hard to believe the method has been used for such a long time...and nobody's ever actually died.

Does anybody here think it's done...but never results in death?

Trooper York said...

Gittel “Mosca” Moscawitz: Who are you Jerry Ryan?
Jerry Ryan: Just a simple lawyer from Nebraska who has lost his way and lost his wife.
Gittel 'Mosca' Moscawitz: So you came to New York to get away?
Jerry Ryan: Not really, I came for the excitement of the big city. Maybe in city full of life, I can start living.
Gittel 'Mosca' Moscawitz: I am sorry that you wife passed away.
Jerry Ryan: I should be so lucky. We just got a divorce.
Gittel 'Mosca' Moscawitz: We call that a mitzvah.
Jerry Ryan: What do you call living in Nebraska?
Gittel 'Mosca' Moscawitz: Under the Geneva Convention, tourture.
(Two for the Seesaw 1962)

Luckyoldson said...

former law student said..."...hell, fen, go crazy with the guy. Stick a broomstick up his ass, electrify his testicles, start slicing off his fingers and toes. Just don't try to tell yourself: We're the good guys; we would never torture, therefore what we're doing is not torture."

And that really says it all.

The armchair "warriors" here all think waterboarding, etc. is just fine...because we'll get all of the information we need...JUST IN TIME!! (Jack Bauer agrees)

And of course, Americans aren't like those horrible terrorists, because we don't actually "torture," we only waterboard (at least we think that's all we do)...and waterboarding really isn't torture.

And the local "warriors" know this because...well...there's the problem.

NOBODY HERE has ever been held captive and had it done to them...(without the benefit of a training supervisor) telling the waterboarders to stop...you know...before you actually drown.

Not that that could happen...because...well...

Simon said...

Luckyoldson said...
"it certainly would be considered 'psychological'...if the person knows they won't drown, and of course...they don't."

I hate to say it, but my instinct is to side with Lucky on this point, although maybe Fen can help bring me back to the dark side. ;) I don't understand how it's really comparable for a journalist or an assistant AG or a trainee in our military to go through waterboarding when he is safe in the knowledge - on a visceral level - that he is safe, that he isn't going to die, and that the people performing this procedure are not going to let him die. Indeed, they will go out of his way to ensure his safety. These are luxuries that would not seem to apply to prisoners. Of course, saying I don't understand it doesn't make it so - perhaps someone could shed some light?

Pogo said...

NOBODY HERE has ever been held captive

Probably because nobody here is trying to blow up buildings in the US.

If you can't do the torture, don't do the terror.

Trooper York said...

That's a double word score since I saw the Seesaw without having seen Saw. (I did cheat by misspelling torture, but I think that is the official spelling of a tour in the Midwest: Tourture). Just kidding cornhuskers, Go Team.

jeff said...

"Just kidding cornhuskers, Go Team."

Oh boy. Bringing up football to those poor folks just days after my team scored 76 points on them? Not very nice.

The Drill SGT said...

Liam,

count me as having had type 1 at Ft Lewis Washington in late April of 1970 prior to going to Vietnam.

I would list a 4th type as well. Hose down the throat and multiple gallons of water added. its a pain infliction method, not a drowning psych method. favored by Asians I believe.

Luckyoldson said...

Jeff,
How do you or Fen or any of the other supporters of waterboarding...know how it's done?

Unless you're actually there, watching it or experiencing it...how would you possibly know how the Japanese, Americans, Russians, Islamists or anybody DO IT??

You're merely speculating, based on whatever information you can glean from the internet or the Bush administration or whoever else you're listening to.

*Read what I posted at 12:32 or read this:

A senior Justice Department official, charged with reworking the administration's legal position on torture in 2004 became so concerned about the controversial interrogation technique of waterboarding that he decided to experience it firsthand, sources told ABC News.

Daniel Levin, then acting assistant attorney general, went to a military base near Washington and underwent the procedure to inform his analysis of different interrogation techniques.

After the experience, Levin told White House officials that even though he knew he wouldn't die, he found the experience terrifying and thought that it clearly simulated drowning.

Levin, who refused to comment for this story, concluded waterboarding could be illegal torture unless performed in a highly limited way and with close supervision. And, sources told ABC News, he believed the Bush Administration had failed to offer clear guidelines for its use.

Luckyoldson said...

We can still waterboard 2 out of three of these assholes:

In light of Pat Robertson's endorsement today of former NYC Mayor and Churchillian 9/11 hero Rudy Giuliani, it seems worth recalling that even as the smoke was still rising from the site a few days later, Robertson had this to say about the disaster in a TV appearance with Jerry Falwell:

"God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve," said Falwell, appearing yesterday on the Christian Broadcasting Network's "700 Club," hosted by Robertson.

"Jerry, that's my feeling," Robertson responded. "I think we've just seen the antechamber to terror. We haven't even begun to see what they can do to the major population."

Falwell said the American Civil Liberties Union has "got to take a lot of blame for this," again winning Robertson's agreement: "Well, yes."

Subsequent to that, Falwell placed some of the blame for 9/11 squarely on a range of Americans -- civil liberties groups, feminists, homosexuals, abortion rights supporters -- who have tried to "secularize" America. Robertson didn't disagree. Today Rudy gladly accepted his endorsement.

*Jerry's out of reach, but we can still take on Pat and Rudy...you know, since it's not really torture.

jeff said...

Well, Lucky that would be the reason I am asking. I have no idea. Neither do you. Hence my question.
I found a couple versions of this.

"Waterboarding, if conducted properly, has the head and face lower than the chest, in a Trendelenburg position, normally a steep one, thus the probability of the lungs filling with water isn't going to happen. The gag reflex is indeed engaged, to repel water in the mouth and nose and just past the epiglottis."
AND
"KempeiTai water treatment-There are two forms of water torture.
In the first, the victim was tied or held down on his back and a cloth placed over his nose and mouth. Waters was then poured on the cloth. Interrogation proceeded and the victim was beaten if he did not reply. As he opened his mouth to breathe or answer questions, water went down his throat until he could hold no more. Sometimes he was then beaten over his distended stomach, sometimes a Japanese jumped or sometimes pressed it with his foot.
In the second,
The victim was tied lengthways on a ladder, face upwards with a rung of the ladder across his throat and his head below the ladder. In this position he was slid head first into to a tub of water and kept there until almost drowned. After being revived, interrogation continued and he would be re-immersed."

In the first example, which I imagine is what our military is put thru, I can fully understand the insistence from people who have been thru it that it is uncomfortable but is not torture.

The second paragraph is the water treatment the Japanese used in WWII. Clearly this is torture. I would be very uncomfortable in this being policy of the US.
So back to my question. Does anyone know which was used by us?

garage mahal said...

If you can't do the torture, don't do the terror.

What if we torture, and they're innocent? Should the torturer be prosecuted? What if the detainee dies? We've already cut half the people in Gitmo loose. Too bad mofo, sorry that Paki sold you for $25?

We can't even get reliable intelligence from people we don't torture -- in fact, people are our payroll, but we're supposed to believe our Constitution, international treaties, and Geneva Convention will all kill us because there is a ticking time bomb in New York set to go off if we don't.

I just can't believe it's 2007 and this is seriously being debated.

former law student said...

This guy: http://www.intelligencesummit.org/speakers/MalcolmNance.php says waterboarding is torture. I don't think he rented the uniform for Halloween. From the number of hashmarks, I'd say he'd been in the service for the 25 years specified.
http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2007/10/waterboarding-is-torture-perio/

Liam said...

Just as a note, I am neither for "torture" nor against it. I think it needs to be placed into context and evaluated like any other weapon of war.

Torture for torture's sake is clearly indefensible. Torture as we have defined it, more psychological than physical is not in the same league with the sort of thing the Drill Sgt. described.

However as I said before, we don't really know who did what to whom and how many times. Until then, this is just chin music.

Luckyoldson said...

Pogo says: "...because nobody here is trying to blow up buildings in the US. If you can't do the torture, don't do the terror."

Pogo, where do you come up with this silly crap?

Are you saying that everybody who's being waterboarded...is trying to blow up buildings in the U.S.??

We're in Iraq and Afghanistan, Dude...remember? We're not doing this to Osama (where is that guy anyway??), we're not doing it to his terrorist crew (they were Saudis and are either dead...or
we're selling them new weapons and buying their oil.)

Oh...wait!

We're not back to the "Saddam had something to do with 9/11" bullshit...are we??

Luckyoldson said...

Liam said..."Just as a note, I am neither for "torture" nor against it. I think it needs to be placed into context and evaluated like any other weapon of war."

Liam...semantics aside...it's torture, pure and simple.

If it wasn't, we would have heard about it a long time ago and our new A.G. would have flatly said it wasn't...but he didn't.

jeff said...

Former law student:
that guy your referring to specifically describes the Japanese method of waterboarding. You might do a little more research on him also.

Perhaps the media and/or Congress could do a little work and find out what method we used to see if we agree or disagree on this.

Luckyoldson said...

garage mahal said..."What if we torture, and they're innocent? Should the torturer be prosecuted? What if the detainee dies? We've already cut half the people in Gitmo loose. Too bad mofo, sorry that Paki sold you for $25? I just can't believe it's 2007 and this is seriously being debated."

Right on the nose.

Nobody here knows what we're doing or who we're doing it to, yet people like Fen rant and rave about how they could torture people and make them talk, others say it might be "psychological"...as if that makes it all good.

And of course, you have Pogo saying: "If you can't do the torture, don't do the terror."

As if everybody we're torturing is a terrorist.

Trevor said...

"I just can't believe it's 2007 and this is seriously being debated."

Thanks, Garage. And to return to my initial point, instead we're treated to a rant about how messed up it is that Starbucks can't always offer ceramic mugs.

Lawgiver said...

Lucy dreamed. But her name wasn’t Lucy now. It was Luck, no, it was Luke and he was being held prisoner in Gitmo. Cheney and Bush had tortured him all day by only allowing him to drink water. No diet Coke, no diet Dr Pepper, no diet Sprite. It was pure hell. He had to escape and expose the evilness that was Bush/Cheney/Halliburton. Luke plugged the sink then rinsed the gel out of his hair. MacGyver like, he would use the gel as a bonding agent for his weapon. Taking 4 sheets of toilet tissue, a crumpled Styrofoam cup and some pencil shavings Luke crafted a combo lock pick and ninja throwing star. “Idiots, did they really think they could hold me?” he whispered as he carved D-U-H on the wall above his bed. He picked the lock and……..

From Chapter Fourteen of “Hate Me, Hate You, A Tale of Despair and Loathing in The 21stCentury.)

Liam said...

LOS.

Conjecture. In the absence of truth, you're just projecting what you think.

As I pointed out, once you take the physical damage out of it, you get into a very gray area as to what to call it.

Think of it this way - if I hold you in a clean cell and give you your Koran, halal meals, let you comingle and exercise, it's "humane".

If I put you naked into a cold box thats too small to stand or lay down, feed you bread and water, have, piss on your Koran, that's... Torture?

What if I do all the nice things in the first scenario but make you watch reruns of the PTO club interspersed with porn. What would that be?

I think that'd make a nice Jihadi from Afghanistan a burbling basket case in short order.

Now, is that torture?

christopher said...

yet people like Fen rant and rave about how they could torture people and make them talk

That was pretty astounding when he started carrying on about how he could make me confess anything in 15 seconds. The sadism was palpable.

Nice breed of sociopath Althouse attracts. I hope she's proud. Particularly of Cedarford, who I had not previously realized is a classic old school Jew hater a la Pat Buchanan/Father Coughlin, and not ashamed to admit it.

Luckyoldson said...

jeff said..."Perhaps the media and/or Congress could do a little work and find out what method we used to see if we agree or disagree on this."

Jeff, up until a few months ago the Bush administration wouldn't even admit that we were even doing it.

The new AG still won't even say it's a form of torture, psychological or otherwise.

Now why would you think Americans will ever know what the hell's going on without a full on investigation of the military and administration?

And how would it be implemented?

The Democrats don't have the votes to push any kind of Special Prosecutor and the Republicans sure don't want to open any doors.

The Drill SGT said...

Simon said... hate to say it, but my instinct is to side with Lucky on this point, although maybe Fen can help bring me back to the dark side. ;) I don't understand how it's really comparable for a journalist or an assistant AG or a trainee in our military to go through waterboarding when he is safe in the knowledge - on a visceral level - that he is safe, that he isn't going to die, and that the people performing this procedure are not going to let him die.

Simon, having had it done to me, I disagree. The reason is that the reaction is NOT a rational decision. The waterboarding gets you by attacking a primal drowning reflex. Thus I don't think that there is a big difference between the response decision of a recipient of waterboarding if he is a trainee or a prisoner. trust me, I was a trainee and it was a nasty experience, your convulsive reaction doesn't have a rational component based on whether "they really wont drown me"

Luckyoldson said...

The Drill SGT says...with a straight face: "...I don't think that there is a big difference between the response decision of a recipient of waterboarding if he is a trainee or a prisoner."

Get real.

Whether you've had it done to you or not, are you actually saying that you, at any point in time during the "training"...thought you were going to be killed?

Comparing someone during a training exercise to someone being held who-knows-where or for how long...under who knows what kind of conditions...is just plain ridiculous...and you know it, too.

Simon said...

Luckyoldson said...
"And how would it be implemented?"

You mean a bar on waterboarding? I guess it happens by Congress passing a law specifically and unequivocally barring waterboarding by any method (and it's "any" not "either" - I don't understand why Jeff assumes that we must be using one or the other of the techniques he discusses?), or anything like it. There's no scope for the executive to assert a credible inherent executive power claim to the contrary, it seems to me, since making rules for interrogations seems to be a quintessentially executive function that the Constitution consciously and expressly gave to Congress rather than the President ("The Congress shall have power ... [to] make rules concerning captures on land and water," Art. I, §8, cl. 11). In the absence of Congressional rules, the President can doubtless make such rules, but when Congress legislates specifically, I'd be quite dubious of any kind of inherent power getout.

Simon said...

Luckyoldson said...
"[Sarge,] Whether you've had it done to you or not, are you actually saying that you, at any point in time during the 'training'...thought you were going to be killed?"

I think he's saying that the reaction to it is reflexive rather than conscious, and if that's so, even in view of my concession above, I don't think it's quite the absurd position you suggest. I mean, I don't know if it's right or not, but the whole point of a reflex is that it's acontextual, right? So are you disputing that it's a reflexive response, or disputing that it makes no difference to the knowledge of the recipient if it's reflexive, so to speak?

Hoosier Daddy said...

You know, the same FDRadministration that has asserted that the president has the power to do literally whatever the fuck he wants -- like locking up Americans in detention centers soley based upon their race, let's say -- if he feels like it in a time of war.

/fixed

History lesson: FDR brought this nation closer to a police state than Bush can probably think of.

Revenant said...

Cedarford, who I had not previously realized is a classic old school Jew hater a la Pat Buchanan/Father Coughlin, and not ashamed to admit it.

How did you avoid realizing that Cedarford hates Jews?

A few other pointers to things you might have missed -- Lucky dislikes George Bush, Simon likes Scalia, downtownlad is gay, and Ann likes to take pictures of flowers.

former law student said...

Reading some more about the Geneva Conventions on line reveals that John McCain once was considered an illegal enemy combatant -- the North Vietnamese believed themselves to be the legitimate government of Vietnam fighting the rebel South Vietnamese. To the North Vietnamese, US forces had no standing under the Geneva Conventions.

What comes around goes around, I guess.

The Drill SGT said...

yes simon. you get it.

there are two phases to consider.

1. the actual waterboarding. the instinctive response is gagging/drowning. you have no conscious choice over how long you endure the water. they pour and you spasm.

2. once you surface, clearly a trainee can say, they wont really drown me, so give me 5 more doses. where a prisoner may think that he will be drowned the next time, so which of those 2 persons, trainee or prisoner says, I wont talk, you'll have to give me more? one has more expectation of safety yet less at stake, the other doesn't trust the boarders, but is hiding information. I think it is a wash as to who holds out for another dose. lucky seems to think that the trainee will undergo waterboarding longer than a prisoner because the trainee is "safe".

I have been there and disagree.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Reading some more about the Geneva Conventions on line reveals that John McCain once was considered an illegal enemy combatant --the North Vietnamese believed themselves to be the legitimate government of Vietnam fighting the rebel South Vietnamese.

that was a crock. Revisionist history by somebody. There was a peace conference that divided North and South.

McCain was a serviceman in a signatory to the GC. Vietnam signed the GC, therefore they were bound to comply with it. The requirement was to treat him under GC3. They completely failed to comply, the US generally did.

jeff said...

"I don't understand why Jeff assumes that we must be using one or the other of the techniques he discusses?), or anything like it."

You misread me. I dont assume we are doing any of those. I just am questioning what exactly we are arguing about. How is waterboarding defined as we are using it? Seems silly to get bent out of shape based on......what?

jeff said...

Christopher-"That was pretty astounding when he started carrying on about how he could make me confess anything in 15 seconds. The sadism was palpable.
Nice breed of sociopath Althouse attracts. "

So can we assume everything you say has been taken as far out of context as this?

TitusVK said...

I'm horny.

I am not really into waterboarding but I have tried water sports a couple of times and it just wasn't my cup of tea.

christopher said...

jeff said...

Christopher-"That was pretty astounding when he started carrying on about how he could make me confess anything in 15 seconds. The sadism was palpable.
Nice breed of sociopath Althouse attracts. "

So can we assume everything you say has been taken as far out of context as this?

And your point is?

jeff said...

Pretty much what the comment says. Which part are you having difficulty with?

former law student said...

The North Vietnamese argued that Vietnam was a civil war (Article 3), i.e. not an international conflict (Article 2). The U.S. argued otherwise, and eventually all parties agreed.

christopher said...

Jeff:

You're saying I took Fen out of context?

jeff said...

"You're saying I took Fen out of context?"

You said torture was worthless.

He said that if you underwent waterboarding as described by the military people here that they went through, you would break.

You said the sadism was palpable and mentioned the sociopaths this blog attracts.

Yes, you took him out of context.

christopher said...

What Fen actually said.

No dumbass. And I DO know that I could get whatever info I wanted from you within 5 minutes. You would give up your mother's maiden name in 15 secs, coward.

Note the "I."

Simon said...

jeff said...
"You misread me. I dont assume we are doing any of those. I just am questioning what exactly we are arguing about."

Apologies; just to clarify, I (mis)inferred the suggestion of either/or from your 3:50 PM comment ("there seem to be two methods of water boarding. One used by the Japanese that is clearly torture, and one used in training for our military which seems to be pretty effective.... Which one did we use those three times ...?")

Revenant said...
"[Chris, h]ow did you avoid realizing that Cedarford hates Jews? A few other pointers to things you might have missed -- Lucky dislikes George Bush, Simon likes Scalia, downtownlad is gay, and Ann likes to take pictures of flowers."

...And of course, Titus is horny. ;)

Rev, you'd be surprised by how many people think it's Steven Seagal in that picture! :p

jeff said...

"Apologies; just to clarify, I (mis)inferred the suggestion of either/or from your 3:50 PM comment"

Yes, your right. Lazy writing on my part. I should have put in there somewhere that those were the two versions I had seen referred to most often. My fault.

TitusVK said...

I would be open to waterboarding if the guy was really hot and the board we used was comfy, but if I said stopped we would have to stop.

I do like doing it in water though. I have done it in a pool, whirlpool, ocean, lake, pond, trout stream, geyser, waterfall and I think that is it.

TitusVK said...

I do enjoy experimenting but no does mean no so if I was dunked once and said no immediately we would have to stop.


But....if I was dunked once and then said more and started to like it and wanted it faster and faster then slower then harder then softer then then then excuse me...

Simon said...

TitusVK said...
"I would be open to waterboarding if the guy was really hot and the board we used was comfy, but if I said stopped we would have to stop."

Well, that's why you have a safety word, and if it's "stop," that's no fun.

jeff said...

Christopher 11:28
Torture doesn't work, so the question is a non sequitur.

fen 11:32
Thats a lie. Torture does indeed work. Try again please.

Christopher 11:34
Right...that's why we tortured all those Nazi's during WWII.

Christopher 12:27
The Bushies aren't advocating the use of torture because they think it will result in actionable intelligence. They're advocating it because they get off on it, and given the tone of several of the posters here, so do they, obviously.

fen 12:29
President Fen: "We've learned today that Iran has targeted an American city with a nuke, to be delivered by oil tanker in the next few hours. We have a "Saddam Mohammed" under arrest who knows the location and time of the attack. However, since "liberals" have expressed their disgust with waterboarding, we will ask him nicely to divulge the targeted American city... In the meantime, I ask that Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and New York begin immediate evacuation. You have 2 hours until detonation."

Christopher 12:33
You think Saddam is gonna tell you what you want to know if you torture him for two hours?

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Yup...you really are that stupid.

It's breathtaking...

fen 12:38
No dumbass. And I DO know that I could get whatever info I wanted from you within 5 minutes. You would give up your mother's maiden name in 15 secs, coward.


I left out most of the insults between the two of you. Essentially, as I said, you said torture doesn't work, he said it does, you called him stupid thinking it would work. He (who previously had stated he had gone thru waterboarding) said that you would crack in 15 seconds.

Nothing in there about wanting to waterboarding you. Just a statement that you would crack. Hence my comment.

TitusVK said...

Jeff used the word "crack" in his posting.

I like the word Crack-it makes me horny-and no not referring to the drug crack but the human crack. It is so crass but yet delicious.

jeff said...

Good evening titusvk. How are you? Keeping with the titusvk topic, its time I hit the bar and hang with the hot female folk singers. Well, not exactly the titusvk topic, but its as close as I go.

christopher said...

Jeebus, Jeff, that was an awful lot of cut and paste work to make a very feeble point.

Okay, typical commie/leftist that I am, I've got Environmentojihadofascist seminars to attend.

I'm outta here...

jeff said...

The feeble point that you take things out of context? Seems very relevant when talking about....well anything with you.

The Drill SGT said...

Which GC are you citing. Look at 3GC article 2: In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.


both Vietnam (1957) and the US 1949 apparently signed. McCain was shot down while attacking Hanoi, obviously that seems to me to be a war of international character, between signatories.


Or your 3GC3 Article 3

In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.



McCain had clearly "laid down his arms" as he lay there with 2 broken arms and a broken leg, regardless his shoulder was crushed and bayoneted in the leg and stomache. Over 5.5 years he: as a result of vigorous torture methods, which to this day have left him incapable of raising his arms above his head. His captors tried to force him to sign a second statement, and this time he refused. He received two to three beatings per week because of his continued refusal.

christopher said...


Nothing in there about wanting to waterboarding you. Just a statement that you would crack. Hence my comment.


Again, here's what he said.

No dumbass. And I DO know that I could get whatever info I wanted from you within 5 minutes. You would give up your mother's maiden name in 15 secs, coward.

The very clear implication is that he, personally, is going to torture me. And that he's going to enjoy it.

That's not me taking it out of context at all.

And you're being, to put it politely, deliberately disingenuous to suggest that I am.

And now, thorougly bored with your bullshit, I'm gone till the next time.

Feel free to have the last word.

Luckyoldson said...

CIA Rendition: The Smoking Gun Cable

November 06, 2007 2:33 PM

Ibn al Sheikh al Libi, the former al Qaeda camp commander described by former CIA director George Tenet in his autobiography last year as "the highest ranking al-Qa'ida member in U.S. custody" just after 9/11.

In this secret facility known to prisoners as "The Hangar" and believed to be at Bagram Air Base north of Kabul, al Libi told fellow "ghost prisoners," an incredible story of his treatment over the previous two years: of how questioned at first by Americans, by the FBI and then CIA, of how he was threatened with torture. And then how he was rendered to a jail cell in Egypt where the threats became a reality.

In his book, officially cleared for publication, Tenet confirms how the CIA outsourced al Libi's interrogation. He said he was sent to a third country (inadvertently named in another part of the book as Egypt) for "further debriefing."

The Bush administration has said that terrorists are trained to invent tales of torture.

Yet, on this occasion, the CIA believed al Libi's tales of torture -- an account that has proved to be one of the most serious indictments of the agency's practice of extraordinary rendition: sending suspected Islamic terrorists into the hands of foreign jailers without legal process.

In a CIA sub-station close to al Libi's jail cell, the CIA's "debriefers," who had been talking to al Libi for days after his return from Cairo, were typing out a series of operational cables to be sent Feb. 4 and Feb. 5 to the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Va. In the view of some insiders, these cables provide the "smoking gun" on the whole rendition program -- a convincing account of how the rendition program was, they say, illegally sending prisoners into the hands of torturers.

Under torture after his rendition to Egypt, al Libi had provided a confession of how Saddam Hussein had been training al Qaeda in chemical weapons.

This evidence was used by Colin Powell at the United Nations a year earlier (February 2003) to justify the war in Iraq. ("I can trace the story of a senior terrorist operative telling how Iraq provided training in these [chemical and biological] weapons to al Qaeda," Powell said. "Fortunately, this operative is now detained, and he has told his story.")

But now, hearing how the information was obtained, the CIA was soon to retract all this intelligence. A Feb. 5 cable records that al Libi was told by a "foreign government service" (Egypt) that: "the next topic was al-Qa'ida's connections with Iraq...This was a subject about which he said he knew nothing and had difficulty even coming up with a story."

Luckyoldson said...

simon says: "I don't think it's quite the absurd position you suggest. I mean, I don't know if it's right or not, but the whole point of a reflex is that it's acontextual, right? So are you disputing that it's a reflexive response, or disputing that it makes no difference to the knowledge of the recipient if it's reflexive, so to speak?"

Simon...it's torture.

Luckyoldson said...

Although the practice of “extraordinary rendition” did not originate under Bush, after Sept 11 “the program expanded beyond recognition—becoming, according to a former C.I.A. official, “an abomination.”

What began as a program aimed at a small, discrete set of suspects—people against whom there were outstanding foreign arrest warrants—came to include a wide and ill-defined population that the Administration terms “illegal enemy combatants.”

Luckyoldson said...

On January 27th, President Bush, in an interview with the Times, assured the world that “torture is never acceptable, nor do we hand over people to countries that do torture.”

Maher Arar, a Canadian engineer who was born in Syria, was surprised to learn of Bush’s statement. Two and a half years ago, American officials, suspecting Arar of being a terrorist, apprehended him in New York and sent him back to Syria, where he endured months of brutal interrogation, including torture.

When Arar described his experience in a phone interview recently, he invoked an Arabic expression. The pain was so unbearable, he said, that “you forget the milk that you have been fed from the breast of your mother.”

former law student said...

Drill SGT: Which Viet Nam signed the Geneva Conventions? The North? or the South? If the US treated North Viet Nam as the legitimate government of Viet Nam, i.e. a High Contracting Party, then what were we fighting for?

We were butting into a civil war, where we had no business. Korea was different because we had been the occupying power after defeating their colonizer, the Japanese.

tc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Trooper York said...

Dean Martin: Hey Frank I hear you are dating that cute little vixen Mia Farrow.
Frank Sinatra: Yeah, she’s a doll. Cute, sweet and great in the sack. A little too interested in my cook Hop Sing’s kids, sez she might wanna adopt a cute little chink kid, the crazy little hippie.
Dean Martin: Isn’t she a little young for you?
Frank Sinatra: Yeah, but I want to stay in touch with the young people, so I am touching a young person.
Dean Martin: Well, that’s amore I guess.
Frank Sinatra; Yeah, she's teaching me about this new sex game.
Dean Martin: I can’t believe you haven’t done everything under the sun twice Frank, what’s it called.
Frank Sinatra: Water bedding.
Dean Martin: What in the name of Joey Bishop is that?
Frank Sinatra: Well she made me buy one of these new water beds, you know with a big bag of water for a mattress. We get naked and oiled up and we roll around like a couple of seals. Then I take her mouth and, well ya know, I try and see how long she can hold her breath without breaking.
Dean Martin: Water bedding, sounds like torture to me.
Frank Sinatra; Well it just depends on how you look at it.
Dean Martin; Or which end of the hose your on.
Frank Sinatra; Hey Scooby Dobie Do baby, I gotta do it my way.
(Oceans 12 on the Waterbed , Sands Hotel 1966)

Simon said...

TC, such things aren't up to me but if they were, I'd say you just wore out your welcome.

Lawgiver said...

Lucy’s eyes vibrated beneath her lids. Deep in REM sleep she wasn’t Lucy now but Luke who had attempted an escape from Gitmo. Recaptured and strapped to an inclined table the interrogation began. “So how’d ya git out?” Bosh asked. “BLOW ME!” Luke spat in Bosh’s face. Calmly Bosh used the kitchen shears to remove the first digit of Luke’s left pinky. “Tis a mear flesh wound,” Luke laughed. “OK dagnabit, that does it,” Bosh fumed. “Let’s begin the waterboarding,” Bosh grated. “AAAAGGGHHHHHHH! I’LL TALK, NO WATERBOARDING PLEAAAASSSSEEE!” Bosh approached her with that maniacal idiot grin on his face……..

From Chapter Fifteen of “Hate Me, Hate You, A Tale of Despair and Loathing in The 21stCentury.)

Simon said...

LOS - sure, well, let's say that it is for sake of argument, and for sake of argument, let's pretend I don't care. The question of the moment is whether it's different for the acting head of OLC or a FoxNews journalist to undergo it vs. someone who's actually interred at GitMo or wherever we're storing them this week. I think Sarge's point - he's kind of confirmed this, but I don't want to sound presumptuous - is that the reaction is reflexive, involuntary. If so, why doesn't that refute the position that you and I took upthread?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"The very clear implication is that he, personally, is going to torture me. And that he's going to enjoy it."

After reading all this crap....I would enjoy it too.

Luckyoldson said...

A reporter asked Bush where he stood “on Iraq and your domestic debate on Iraq,” and whether he had a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops. In response, Bush insisted that “freedom’s happening” and Iraq isn’t in a “quagmire”:

I don’t — you know quagmire is an interesting word. If you lived in Iraq and had lived under a tyranny, you’d be saying: God, I love freedom, because that’s what’s happened.

And there are killers and radicals and murderers who kill the innocent to stop the advance of freedom. But freedom’s happening in Iraq. And we’re making progress.

Luckyoldson said...

Simon,
Training session versus captivity?

I don't think so.

reader_iam said...

Sickening.

reader_iam said...

Sickening.

This was, proximately, in response to dust bunny queen's comment.

But it works more generally, for the record. Which is why I've bothered.

Trooper York said...

Dean Martin: Hey Frank what did you do last night?
Frank Sinatra: Oh I had another session of water bedding with Mia up in my suite. Boy can that koo-koo chick go man, she’s the best. She can hold her breath better than that frog scuba diver, coma se gamma, Jack Cuesto or whatever.
Dean Martin: I bet you wished you would have heard about that earlier, huh Frank?
Frank Sinatra; Nah, this shit would never have worked with Ava Gardner. That bitch never shut up. She only used her mouth for yapping and drinking. Water bedding would never have been fun with her.
Dean Martin: I guess it doesn’t work with everybody.
Frank Sinatra: Nah, but you know, it might be fun trying. Let me give Momo a call and have send over the Lennon sisters, and we can water bed the crap out of them.
Sammy Davis: Can I come too Frank.
Frank Sinatra: Sorry kid, those broads are Irish, they just don’t like Jews. Besides you can’t put a sheet with a hole in it over a water bed. You probably spring a leak. Why don’t you give Peter Lawford a call, those Kennedy’s always have some loose bacala hanging around. But whatever you do, don’t let Pete drive, let little Teddy do it. He’s the best diver of the bunch.
(Oceans 69, Sands Hotel 1966)

reader_iam said...

Shit: Stands are cheap for you people; if not for all (and for sure, it isn't all), than for a significant majority;--and that absolutely crosses partisan lines.

In fact, it's all about those particular lines, for the majority of commenters here: "I'm here, because you're there. You're there because I'm here. I'm there because you're here. You're here because I'm there."

What's up with choosing that context? What's the attraction?

In short: Why?

After all this time, and all the time spent, this is what what I'm supposed to come up with/against?

***

Oh, and:

Is there where I'm supposed to apologize for not hating the guts of whatever commenter whom others hate? Or more important: apologize for not hating the guts of people in IRL whose political positions I adamantly oppose, or even dislike?

You guys all know better than I, or so you profess:

Advice, please?

(And, while you're at it, would you mind giving me a primer about whom I should I take to enjoying the idea of torturing. You know, while I'm at it.)

Luckyoldson said...

Sehr interessant.

reader_iam said...

Words matter.

For all the words you flush, that's still true--when it counts. The secondary problem is that we don't know when it counts.

The primary problem is that people tend to think they don't really count, regardless, and no matter what they say, in whatever torrents, again whomever or whatever.

Maybe they don't. Maybe they do.

For myself, I'd like to know the stance of every commenter here on THAT point ... in order to calibrate.

Wouldn't you?

reader_iam said...

Sehr interessant.

We've already established that you think I'm an asshole, and that I've copped to that, and in a number of ways, in response to that.

Been there, done that. It's behind, so to speak.

Next!

Luckyoldson said...

Das ist, auch sehr interessant.

Luckyoldson said...

I hereby DENOUNCE anybody not in favor of this:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 — The House on Wednesday approved a bill granting broad protections against discrimination in the workplace for gay men, lesbians and bisexuals, a measure that supporters praised as the most important civil rights legislation since the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Especially in the Mideast.

Simon said...

Luckyoldson said...
"I hereby DENOUNCE anybody not..."

Let me stop you there and save you the embarrassment. You've not built up a sufficient cachet of respect and goodwill here for your denunciation to matter to anyone. You're like an empty water pistol in this regard.

Luckyoldson said...

Simon,
Why would I care what you think about anything?

You swing left and right like a fucking wrecking ball, trying desperately to suck up to everybody on both sides of the aisle, love everything conservative, yet say you're an "independent"...which we both know is bullshit.

*By the way...my "denouncement" was in response to Fen using the term about 3,000 times over the past five days...and had absolutely nothing to do with YOU.

Simon said...

Luckyoldson said...
"You swing left and right like a ... wrecking ball, trying desperately to suck up to everybody on both sides of the aisle...."

It's a funny image, but I don't think I "swing left and right" at all. It only seems that way to you because you have this stereotypical idea of what Republicans think, so any time I take a position that isn't what you think is the GOP position, I suppose it seems like I'm "swinging left." But needless to say, your ignorance don't get to define the sphere of GOP policy, and I'm right here in the same spot - I just call them as I see them. If that happens to seemingly cut across party lines, that's fine by me, and the idea that I vacillate according to what seems to be popular is just laughable.


"[You] say you're an "independent"...which we both know is bullshit."

Well, something's bullshit here: I don't think I've ever called myself an independent. That's another lie on your part.

Luckyoldson said...

Simon,
Buzz off.

Simon said...

I'll take that as a concession you lied about the "independent" claim.

Luckyoldson said...

Simon,
You're nothing more than a suck ass, trying to be everybody's buddy.

I don't care what you are or what you have to say.

You're a punk (and if you're not lying in your profile, you're only 27 years old and live in Indiana), which tells me you haven't lived long enough or experienced enough to understand damn near anything.

Get back to me after you've actually accomplished something in your life.

Simon said...

Pathetic. Keep trying, Lucy, keep trying.

Luckyoldson said...

Simon,
Like I said: "Get back to me after you've actually accomplished something in your life."

You're a punk.