February 16, 2010

"Mullah Baradar has been in Pakistani custody for several days, with US and Pakistani intelligence officials both taking part in interrogations..."

"Though Barack Obama has banned US agencies from using forms of torture such as waterboarding, Pakistani questioning techniques are frequently brutal."

So, Baradar is being tortured now?

122 comments:

garage mahal said...

Alternative forced confessions.

Brian Day said...

I guess that is why US forces have not taken physical custody of Baradar. You can't violate policy if you don't control possession.

Synova said...

A forced confession is useless or worse than useless.

But apparently 90-some percent of persons arrested in Japan confess to their crime and are sentenced without a trial.

Too bad the US is so evil.

Balfegor said...

So, Baradar is being tortured now?

Wink's as good as a nod. I understand we never formally took possession of him. I guess this is the way the Obama administration wants to get around the whole rendition problem.

Harsh Pencil said...

So, Baradar is being tortured now?

Of course, and BHO has no problem with it. It is a matter of ritual purity. Since we are not the ones doing it, we are still clean.

Same thing happens with global warming. If you point out that if a U.S. carbon tax causes a U.S. factory to close, but another one to open in China that will emit even more carbon pollution, to a true believer, that is ok, because at least we didn't do it. We are clean. We can enter the temple.

Synova said...

It's no different from domestic drilling...

Can't do it, got to protect the environment... so we'll buy our oil elsewhere.

flenser said...

The important thing is that liberals get to feel morally superior. Everything else is negotiable.

2yellowdogs said...

"So, Baradar is being tortured now?"

We can only hope so. He most likely has information we've only dreamed of getting until now. Pretty sure Eric Holder's Mirandizing and his court appointed lawyer's advice won't yield as much actionable intelligence.

Looks like extraordinary rendition (in practice, if not in name) is alive and well.

MadisonMan said...

I can't tell: Who is complaining that he's being tortured? Are these the same people who were complaining 4 years ago?

Or is the complaint that the people who were complaining aren't now complaining? And the people who weren't complaining now are? Is that the complaint?

We are all complainers now.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Balfegor said...

We can only hope so.

Eh, actually, I kind of hope not. I'm fine with coercive interrogation, but I suspect Pakistan goes well beyond "coercive interrogation," and well into the zone of mere brutality. I would feel more comfortable with him in American custody being interrogated under full American control. But then, of course, we'd be responsible in a way we can pretend not to be right now.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Didn't you get the memo, Althouse? We don't torture. Bush said so.

Come on, you fucktards (the ones in our government, I mean; not necessarily the ones in this here comment section)... if you want to torture terrorist suspects, then just fucking say so so we all can talk about it and come to some resolution about it.

If you are torturing terrorist suspects, then fucking say so.

If you are giving terrorist suspects to Pakistan to torture when you stand by and watch, then fucking say so.

But nooooo! Not for Bush and not for Obama. They've both gotta say that "we don't torture".

We are doomed – not by the terrorists, but by our own lies.

Sixty Grit said...

Impeach the war criminal Obama now.

WV - billyg - Obama's brother who will put his name on a brand of beer.

Tom Spaulding said...

Wait'll they photoshop his make-up off him to prove what a fake he is.

Montagne Montaigne said...

How can the US have given Baradar over to the Pakistanis for torture (extraordinary rendition) if we never had him in the first place? The Pakistanis caught him, now they have him, how could this have been different? Must we always pretend to lack even a basic grasp of facts in order to make partisan hay? Are you saying the US should demand he be handed over in order to prevent his possible torture?

The US neither has that kind of authority over the sovereign nation of Pakistan, nor should it.

SteveR said...

Can we stop pretending now?

Joe said...

Will not Adm. Mullen make a Citizen's Arrest of this War Criminal Obama, who allows "torture" in our name and is merely air-raiding villages and killing civilians? Are there not members of our Armed Forces who do not have access to Giant Papier Mache Puppets that can end this Horror!?!?!?!

flenser said...

How can the US have given Baradar over to the Pakistanis for torture (extraordinary rendition) if we never had him in the first place? The Pakistanis caught him, now they have him, how could this have been different?



Three letters for you.

KSM.

Maguro said...

Oh, it's all good now, the Pakistanis are putting his nuts in a vice while our guys stand off to the side and take notes. Thank god Obama has restored our moral standing in the world.

Synova said...

"I'm fine with coercive interrogation, but I suspect Pakistan goes well beyond "coercive interrogation," and well into the zone of mere brutality. I would feel more comfortable with him in American custody being interrogated under full American control."

Me too.

The problem, Julius, is that some people want to call anything coercive or unpleasant, anything traumatic or frightening, torture. So we *can't* talk about it. But that's not the fault of those who think that being not-nice is acceptable. That's the fault of those who think that putting an Israeli flag on someone is "torture", or think that providing a Koran, prayer mat and halal meals isn't doing enough because someone had to sit shackled to a chair for the better part of a day.

"But then, of course, we'd be responsible in a way we can pretend not to be right now."

Exactly.

I'm hoping that having Americans there, participating and watching, reduces some of the brutality because the locals don't want to look bad in front of us.

John Thacker said...

"The Pakistanis caught him, now they have him, how could this have been different?"

It was a joint operation:
"Barader was seized in a secret joint operation by Pakistani and US intelligence forces." Since it was a joint operation, the natural assumption is that we let him be taken into Pakistani hands to avoid the problems of having him in our hands. (Just like we intentionally left captured terrorists in Gitmo, since it isn't US territory, in order to avoid the legal issues.)

"Must we always pretend to lack even a basic grasp of facts in order to make partisan hay?"

Apparently you must, Montagne Montaigne, or either pretend to lack of even a basic grasp of reasoning.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Also, what beyond the line "Pakistani questioning techniques are frequently brutal" suggests THIS particular prisoner is being brutally interrogated?

Know-nothings, have anything?

garage mahal said...

Nuts in a vice is torture now? WTF

Synova said...

"Are you saying the US should demand he be handed over in order to prevent his possible torture?"

Yes.

That is... if torture actually matters more than trashing the US for being mean to terrorists.

It might not work, but yes, we absolutely should have demanded it.

Michael said...

Hey, we "tortured" three, 3, people using waterboarding. The left went insane. This guy will wish he was being waterboarded by Americans, you can bet on that. So, lefties, how does it feel? Still smug? But at least he is not in that dreaded Gitmo where evil bubbles from the very walls. At least he is in the hands of some nice brown people, the other, who will ....

Joe said...

Also, what beyond the line "Pakistani questioning techniques are frequently brutal" suggests THIS particular prisoner is being brutally interrogated?

Know-nothings, have anything?

I have it on reliable authority that they ahve flushed a Koran down the toilet, in front of him! TORTURE!

Daniel Fielding said...

"nuts in a vice" is torture? I thought that is what gay guys in San Fran did for fun at weekend gay orgies/parties.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

"Shoot him in the head.

"We've just captured the second most wanted guy in Al Qaeda. The first thing out of my mind – shoot him in the head. Shoot him in the head before it goes into a court and we're doing all this nonsense back and forth. He's a bad guy. Shoot him in the head."

That's Glenn Beck.

I have to say that I am with him on this one.

Actually, I would prefer something a little more graphic that shooting him in the head.

Maybe we can spike him up with stimulants and cut him open – slowly – while we force him to watch the start of his own disembowelment. Then maybe we can have a couple of good Christian soldiers rape and murder his family while he watches, slowly dying. When his family is dead, and before he is, we can gorge out his eyes and cut out his tongue. Why not cut off his penis too and stuff it in his mouth now that there's room for it? Then, after all that, we can shoot him in the head.

If we don't do all these things, then we are just implicitly supporting another terrorist attack on American soil.

Scott M said...

@MadisonMan

Or is the complaint that the people who were complaining aren't now complaining?

This. Actually, it's more like slightly amused annoyance.

@theotherMM

How can the US have given Baradar over to the Pakistanis for torture (extraordinary rendition) if we never had him in the first place? The Pakistanis caught him, now they have him, how could this have been different? Must we always pretend to lack even a basic grasp of facts in order to make partisan hay? Are you saying the US should demand he be handed over in order to prevent his possible torture?

What part of joint CIA-ISI operation don't you get? Do you seriously think our guys are just standing there shaking their heads like the Romans in "Life Of Brian"?

Is it just a matter of "assume the best behavior for US personnel and actions" because of the current resident at 1600 Penn Ave?

Maguro said...

Yeah, I'm sure this is all Glenn Beck's fault. Good one, Julius.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

@Synova-

The problem, Julius, is that some people want to call anything coercive or unpleasant, anything traumatic or frightening, torture. So we *can't* talk about it.

So the leaders of our country can fight two wars as well dealing with the general threat of terrorism in places all over the world, but they are cowered by language?

Seems pretty pathetic to me.

Balfegor said...

Maybe we can spike him up with stimulants and cut him open – slowly – while we force him to watch the start of his own disembowelment.

Drawing and quartering has not been employed as a penalty in the English-speaking world since the 18th century (I can't tell from Wikipedia, but I think subsequent applications of the penalty did not involve drawing while the man was alive, but drawing and quartering after he had already been hanged from the neck until dead). And, you know, there is a reason for this. It's awfully brutal.

Michael said...

Julius Ray Hoffman: Shoot him in the head is what the Obama adminsitration has been doing with the taliban via drones. to avoid this very problem of having to deal with an actual human being caught outside the U.S. I say we read him his rights, bring him over here and try him in N.Y. We could put him in Gitmo if it wasn't closed.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Uh, no. Just because there were two CIA agents there doesn't mean America can just snatch the guy. Presumably the ISI is working with us now because their pets the Taliban are now seen as threats to PAKISTANI national security.

I still don't get what the US admin could do in this situation to placate your petty charges of hypocrisy. PS we get it... the lefties terrorized you for years by criticizing Bush... you're still crying about it... get a life.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

@Balfegor-

Maybe it's awfully brutal, but I'm sure that our government could still manage to do it and say that "we don't torture".

EDH said...

Though Barack Obama has banned US agencies from using forms of torture such as waterboarding, Pakistani questioning techniques are frequently brutal.

I'm not sure that will exonerate US interrogators from liability.

New Standard for Aider and Abettor Liability

Hoosier Daddy said...

Maybe we can spike him up with stimulants and cut him open – slowly – while we force him to watch the start of his own disembowelment. Then maybe we can have a couple of good Christian soldiers rape and murder his family while he watches, slowly dying. When his family is dead, and before he is, we can gorge out his eyes and cut out his tongue. Why not cut off his penis too and stuff it in his mouth now that there's room for it?

Interesting. Thought all that up on your own did ya?

Michael said...

MM: I don't remember Bush being criticized. Was that before or after the election of 2008 and the closing of Gitmo? As I recall, GWB was the delight of the left, the very person that gave them their much needed superiority, that gave them utter joy.

Moose said...

If you'll pardon mind me for saying so, leaving him in Pakistan for questioning by US and Pakistani agents is a clever, legalistic move.

They Pakistanis can torture him ("we were out for coffee!") and Obama can plausibly say he was neither under our juristiction nor under our control - therefore no harm, no foul.

Maguro said...

I still don't get what the US admin could do in this situation to placate your petty charges of hypocrisy.

They could refuse to have anything to do with such an interrogation. That would at least be intellectually consistent.

And why would the Obama administration be interested in anything this guys says under duress, anyway? Don't they claim that torture doesn't work?

Triangle Man said...

Wow! I completely did a double take when I read that headline.

Michael said...

Julius Ray Hoffman: You have a very graphic, almost pornographic, fascination with torture. Do you thrill to it the way Andrew Sullivan does? You seem to have given it a lot of very specific thought.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I still don't get what the US admin could do in this situation to placate your petty charges of hypocrisy.

Monty, you need to crank up your irony meter up a wee bit more because I think you're missing the snark.

You see, The Won preached about restoring our standing in the world. Well its going to be hard restoring our standing in the world if we're participating in joint snatch and grab operations with savage Pakistani Intel types who like to torture. Personally I have no problem turning the POS over to them. Kind of how our GIs turned a blind eye to the payback dished out to collaberators in France, Belgium Holland.

The right aren't the ones suffering from consistency problems here.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

@Hoosier Daddy-

Interesting. Thought all that up on your own did ya?

Yup! I tried to work a Bronze Bull in there too, but there wasn't enough time.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Wow, for some people hating Obama remains the center of their world. It's bigger than the US winning the war. It's bigger than national security. Everything is about hating Obama.

And there are magic evil leftist elves everywhere controlling everything.

This arrest has so little to do with Obama. This is a silly discussion.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Yup! I tried to work a Bronze Bull in there too, but there wasn't enough time.

I recommend therapy.

flenser said...

I still don't get what the US admin could do in this situation to placate your petty charges of hypocrisy.




They could do the same thing we did when the ISI captured KSM.

I'm not sure what the point is in your asking questions if you just ignore the answers.

Nomilk said...

I still don't get what the US admin could do in this situation to placate your petty charges of hypocrisy.


See, you actually have to believe something, you actually have to have some standards to be vulnerable to the charge of hypocrisy. That's why that charge never works against the left.

Chip Ahoy said...

Reading them this thread would be a form of torture denounced by international convention.

Hoosier Daddy said...

This arrest has so little to do with Obama.

Huh? Are you saying that Obama didn't approve of the CIA operating with the ISI? Are you implying that the CIA is running rogue operations and Obama is powerless to stop it?

What exactly are you saying?

flenser said...

Wow, for some people hating Obama remains the center of their world. It's bigger than the US winning the war. It's bigger than national security. Everything is about hating Obama.




Ah, projection. And an exceptionaly fine example.

Balfegor said...

Wow, for some people hating Obama remains the center of their world. It's bigger than the US winning the war. It's bigger than national security.

Pish posh. People have already told you what they think should be done -- at least try to get him transferred to US authority so he can be interrogated in an American facility, like we did with KSM. And of course, other commenters think it's just fine to have the Pakistanis handle the messy bits of the interrogation process, and are just pointing fingers and laughing at Obama's hypocrisy.

flenser said...

Pakistan doesn't give a damn about Baradar. He was arrested at the insistence of the US. And if the US insisted, Pakistan would be happy to give him to us as they've done with so many other similar figures.

He's staying in Pakistan because, for political reasons, the Obama adminstration can't put him in Gitmo.

Kev said...

(the other kev)

At some point, the CIA and the ISI agents will both step out for coffee and Baradar will find himself alone with Batman. And then it's on!

Montagne Montaigne said...

Ahh Balfegor, I see. We should do Baradar like KSM! See, KSM WAS tortured by the Pakistanis before they handed him over to us. They even interrogated his children! Then we got him. He was kept in black sites and tortured in US custody for two years before Bush even acknowledged we had him, then transferred to Gitmo.

Obama admin confirms Baradar is in custody less than a week after his capture. You ASSUME he is being tortured, which I highly doubt. Eventually he'll be turned over to the US.

If the Obama admin sends him to black sites for two years and then to gitmo, then the hypocrisy charges will have weight. Until then, it's just another round of incoherent blabbing from the right.

edutcher said...

The CIA apparently had a couple of advisors along, but this was an ISI op. Part of this is the necessary ego-stroking of the host country when the US is involved, the other part is because we know what we're doing and are better than they are at this sort of thing (the Pak military is a joke compared to even India). A similar situation occurred in the 80s when Italy got the credit for rescuing USAF General Dozier, but it was the Army's ISA that did the heavy lifting.

The Paks have a mounting number of scores to settle with the Taliban (even though this is a monster they created) and we would have had to catch this sack of slime on the other side of the border to have it an all US op. How much say the Company has in how he's being treated is up for grabs, but the Pashtuns, who are the backbone of the Taliban, are viewed in Pakistan the way the Palestinians are viewed when they live in an Arab country.

flenser said...

You ASSUME he is being tortured, which I highly doubt.



LOL!



Eventually he'll be turned over to the US.




Wait a minute - what about all that pap you were giving us just a few comments ago about Pakistans inviolable sovereignty? How can he be turned over to the US? And if he can be, why hasn't he been turned over already?

Joe said...

The thing IS Monty, I don’t recall anyone giving Boooosh/Chimpy McShrubHitler the benefit of the doubt, from your side. Goes around comes around….they’re torturing him. Even after it comes out that only three dudes were water-boarded under Bush, we “tortured” and I don’t recall Moulitsas or Reid or Obama saying, “Now, hold on a minute, we don’t know for CERTAIN anyone is being tortured by Bush.” Sorry dude we just get to laugh and point at you now.

paul a'barge said...

Yes, he is being tortured. And since it's the Pakis who are doing it, he is being tortured to the point of losing his mind.

Congratulations Liberal mutts.

EDH said...

Let's see how consistent the human rights activists are with the Obama administration:

Maher Arar filed a claim under the Torture Victims Protection Act, adopted by the United States Congress in 1992, which allows a victim of torture by an individual of a foreign government to bring suit against that actor in a US court. Arar's claim under the Act against Ashcroft and the INS directors is based upon their complicity in bringing about the torture he suffered...

A year after the case was filed, the US government invoked the rarely-used “State Secrets Privilege” in a motion to dismiss the suit... “the considerations involved in the decision to remove him to Syria” would damage national security interests.

In a 7-4 decision dated November 2, 2009, the 2nd Circuit United States Court of Appeals upheld the ruling by the district court. In dismissing Arar's claim, Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs wrote "Our ruling does not preclude judicial review and oversight in this context. But if a civil remedy in damages is to be created for harms suffered in the context of extraordinary rendition, it must be created by Congress, which alone has the institutional competence to set parameters, delineate safe harbors, and specify relief. If Congress chooses to legislate on this subject, then judicial review of such legislation would be available". Following the court's decision Maher Arar made the following statement,

“After seven years of pain and hard struggle it was my hope that the court system would listen to my plea and act as an independent body from the executive branch. Unfortunately, this recent decision and decisions taken on other similar cases, prove that the court system in the United States has become more or less a tool that the executive branch can easily manipulate through unfounded allegations and fear mongering. If anything, this decision is a loss to all Americans and to the rule of law.”

The Center for Constitutional Rights, who represents Maher Arar, petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on February 1, 2010 to hear the Arar Case.


From amicus brief filed in Arar:

I. The TVPA Encompasses Aiding and Abetting and Conspiracy Liability

II. The TVPA’s “Custody or Physical Control” Requirement Can Be Met By Constructive Custody, and Does Not In Any Event Require Aiders, Abettors, or Co-Conspirators to Personally Have Custody of the Victim of Torture

III. TVPA Liability Extends to Anyone Who Works in Concert with Foreign Officials in Subjecting an
Individual to Torture

IV. Non-Citizens As Well As Citizens May Sue Under the TVPA

V. The Absence of a Cause of Action Under FARRA Does Not Undercut TVPA Liability on the Facts Alleged by Mr. Arar

Balfegor said...

Obama admin confirms Baradar is in custody less than a week after his capture. You ASSUME he is being tortured, which I highly doubt.

Er, why would you doubt it?

Eventually he'll be turned over to the US.

The sooner the better. Black sites are fine too.

Scott M said...

@Montagne

There you go again with the fundamental attribution error.

He was kept in black sites and tortured in US custody for two years before Bush even acknowledged we had him, then transferred to Gitmo. Obama admin confirms Baradar is in custody less than a week after his capture. You ASSUME he is being tortured, which I highly doubt.

You ASSUME that this capture wasn't leaked and that everything is being done by the numbers because Obama sits in the oval office, by the way you're characterizing this. For all of the info you actually have...

Know-nothings, have anything?

And further...

Eventually he'll be turned over to the US.

What's your statute of limitations on that statement? I'm not saying he'll not be given to us eventually, but I'm not assuming he will be either.

And finally...

If the Obama admin sends him to black sites for two years and then to gitmo, then the hypocrisy charges will have weight. Until then, it's just another round of incoherent blabbing from the right...

...as opposed to blabbing about something you know nothing more than we do about? You're making all kinds of assumptions that are very positive for your guy and negative to the last guy for no other reason than the current guy is your guy. Could be the whole "keeping a lid on it" thing was botched by a horribly micromanaging White House. How would you or I know at this point?

Montagne Montaigne said...

So Scott, in this as in pretty much everything out of the right these days, your big point is "you did it so we can do it too" and "what goes around comes around."

Great... point taken. Or rather, "stupid, infinitely repeated point taken. Next!"

Fred4Pres said...

Obama engaging in torture?

Andrew Sullivan will weep.

Or he will ignore it and pretend it never happened.

Fred4Pres said...

No Miranda warning? No attorney?

EDH said...

Montagne Montaigne said...

This arrest has so little to do with Obama. This is a silly discussion.

We'll remeber that when Obama takes credit for the "arrest."

As for the subsequent detention, the NYT admits the nearly week long embargo of their story was orchestrated from the White House:

The New York Times said it had learned of Baradar's capture on Thursday but delayed reporting it at the request of White House officials, who told the newspaper making it public would end a hugely successful intelligence-gathering effort.

Balfegor said...

See, KSM WAS tortured by the Pakistanis before they handed him over to us.

This sounded unsurprising, given the reputation of the ISI, and their involvement in KSM's capture, but not quite right to me. I don't have a clear chronology, but from what I can tell, he was captured March 1, 2003, and was being interrogated by the US within that same month. The transfer to US custody seems like it took place almost immediately, if not immediately, given that he was transferred to a facility in Afghanistan "within days." True, the ISI must have its own sites in Afghanistan, given their heavy involvement there, but his transfer to a black site in Poland followed immediately after, suggesting that he must have been turned over to us extremely quickly.

Joaquin said...

This is rendition..........Obama style.

Scott M said...

@Montagne

So Scott, in this as in pretty much everything out of the right these days, your big point is "you did it so we can do it too" and "what goes around comes around."

No, not at all.

I'm trying to reserve judgement until I have more facts, as I did all through the last administration. What I'm marveling at, on this particular thread, is your quickness to defend what you cannot possibly know because it's not your guy, and by extension, you, who's ass is on the line.

flenser said...

[KSM] was kept in black sites and tortured in US custody for two years before Bush even acknowledged we had him, then transferred to Gitmo.




Now you're just making stuff up.

Montagne Montaigne said...

OK Scott M. But now that the facts are out about how KSM was handled, what is your judgement?

Mine is that keeping him in secret prisons and torturing him was a travesty and made a mockery of America all over the world, for no apparent gain.

traditionalguy said...

I say we test out the new larger anti-mosquito laser in the room where Baradar sleeps to protect him from Malaria.

Maguro said...

Mine is that keeping him in secret prisons and torturing him was a travesty and made a mockery of America all over the world, for no apparent gain.

But standing by and taking notes while the Pakistanis torture him makes us moral exemplars?

Really?

flenser said...

If the Obama admin sends him to black sites for two years and then to gitmo, then the hypocrisy charges will have weight.



He's being "tortured" at a "black site" right now, you dope.

Or are secret locations only to be described as "black sites" while Republicans are in office?


Mine is that keeping him in secret prisons and torturing him was a travesty and made a mockery of America all over the world, for no apparent gain.



Barandar is currently being kept in a secret prison and tortured. Is that a travesty as well?

traditionalguy said...

The noblest thing Monty can do now for this Baradar character is volunteer to be exchanged for him so that no more dishonor will fall on this country.

Balfegor said...

Now you're just making stuff up.

The part about black sites is true, I think -- between 2003 and 2006 (when Bush had everyone moved to Guantanamo or something), he was at various secret CIA facilities. The "torture" bit is a matter of definitions. I think MM thinks waterboarding is torture -- and KSM was certainly waterboarded. So from his perspective, he's being entirely truthful.

The bit I don't know about is whether we intentionally let Pakistan have their way with him before taking him into our custody, and my impression, from the timeline, is that we probably did not, since we took over very quickly, if not immediately.

Paul said...

Related parody: Leaked Voicemail from Overseas Customer Support Technician Reveals Frustrations Associated with Outsourcing Terrorist Interrogations http://optoons.blogspot.com/2009/05/exclusive-leaked-voicemail-from.html

From Inwood said...

More Liberals as “virtuecrats”.

Whatever the topic, a Liberal's subset is that he/she is a morally superior person. (“Hey, at the end of the day, I care more than others about your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore….”)

So far, I see a strange stillness so far from the usual gaggle of Loony Left apologists for all Obamaexcess, Obamisms, & Obama doing what Bush did, but in a kinder, gentler way so that "we don't torture" or even use the Bush EITs."

When they recover their "virtue glands", I suspect they will adopt the “offense is the best defense” approach, with the subset “ridicule helps”. So, they'll attack.

Like this: “Get a life; you can’t be serious. You have no evidence, nada, zip, zilch that any one in The The Anointed ╬Ćne's Administration is countenancing or condoning torture. Grow up. There you go again, attacking Obama for everything (translation: “you’re stealing a page from our BDS attack book; unfair; we hold the patent on that tactic”.) Let’s deal with the important issues facing us like when the members of The BushChimpyHitlerHaliburtonCheney Regime are gonna be put on trial & bought to justice for their War Crimes.” Or whether we’re gonna address the still-settled science of Climate Change crisis. Or, something.

Montagne Montaigne said...

I'm done trying to reason with liars and fools. Peace out.

Balfegor said...

Re: flenser

Or are secret locations only to be described as "black sites" while Republicans are in office?

The difference is that when we say "black site," we're usually referring to the secret CIA facilities under US control. Here, Baradar is in some prison under Pakistani control, so whether it's secret or not, I would generally not call it a "black site."

MnMark said...

It's important to have a consistent set of principles to apply to these sorts of situations so that we can be assured we're behaving justly, humanely, and also effectively and without naivete in our war with Islamic fundamentalists like Al Qaida.

Fortunately the principles have long existed. We should formally declare war against Al Qaida and any other muslim fundamentalist organizations or persons engaged in hostilities with us, including the Taliban. And then we should treat captives exactly as we treated captives in WWII. If they are adhering to the rules of war - wearing a uniform, not committing war crimes, etc - then they will be kept in a prisoner of war camp until the war is over (which may well not be in their lifetimes). But if they are not respecting the laws of war, we interrogate them and then either put them against a wall and shoot them, or hang them - I'm not sure what the protocol is. And it is a purely military matter and has nothing to do with civilian courts.

And we insist that our soldiers be treated with the same respect. Al Qaida won't do that, of course. But we'll have the well-establish moral high ground, having formally declared war and treating the enemy according to all long-standing protocols of war.

Would torture be allowed? I don't know - look it up in the rules that were followed up through WWII.

Original Mike said...

So I don't know whether to be relieved that Obama is starting to act like an adult vis-a-vis "torture" or to be angry at the hypocrisy.

I guess the answer is: relieved.

gk1 said...

wow, even the house liberals are too embarassed to try to explain this one away. "Peace out" What a liberal pussy. There must make up a term for an "arm chair liberal" who creates moral standards of fighting terrorists that exist only in their own virtuous minds, but do not exist here on planet earth

MnMark said...

Further, in the prison camps, we should treat Islam just as we treated Nazi ideology in our camps holding German prisoners. It was not permitted, and the "true believers" were separated from the more moderate Germans. No giving them Korans, or prayer mats, or telling them where Mecca is, or any of that. Islam is not a pure religion, but a totalitarian religious/political ideology. It has no place in any camp we would maintain.

flenser said...

The difference is that when we say "black site," we're usually referring to the secret CIA facilities under US control. Here, Baradar is in some prison under Pakistani control




You're guessing, not stating facts. And you are phrasing your guesses to disguse that you are doing that. There is no such thing as a secret CIA facility in Pakistan under CIA control. By definition everything outside the US embassy buildng (and a lot inside it) is under Pakistans control.

"Secret" in this context means "secret from the Western media" and not "secret from the Pakistani government". Unless the Taliban are running them, there are no "secret prisons" in Pakistan which are a secret to the Pakistanis.

garage mahal said...

I remember one of the reasons proudly given for going to Iraq was the existence of those horrific torture rooms run by Saddam. Haven't heard that one in a while. Now they just have new owners.

Lem said...

I'm all broken up inside to learn an enemy of the US is getting tortured ;)

Scott M said...

I remember one of the reasons proudly given for going to Iraq was the existence of those horrific torture rooms run by Saddam. Haven't heard that one in a while. Now they just have new owners.

Ah, the moral equivalency fairy has finally roosted in a nest of liberal pablum. Very well crafted, garage.

flenser said...

I remember one of the reasons proudly given for going to Iraq was the existence of those horrific torture rooms run by Saddam. Haven't heard that one in a while. Now they just have new owners.




That was an inane remark the first time some puffed-up-with-his-own-moral-vanity lefty said it.

What does it say about you that you're reduced to recycling it in the current context? A context which is not set in Iraq?

Balfegor said...

You're guessing, not stating facts. And you are phrasing your guesses to disguse that you are doing that. There is no such thing as a secret CIA facility in Pakistan under CIA control. By definition everything outside the US embassy buildng (and a lot inside it) is under Pakistans control.

I'm not sure I quite follow what the factual issue here is. Right now, it's my understanding that Baradar is in Pakistan, being interrogated primarily by Pakistani agents, in a Pakistani prison. At least to start with, KSM was interrogated by Americans, in a secret American facility in Poland (the "black site"), after being captured in a joint CIA-ISI operation in Pakistan and transferred to US custody. I don't know whether the Polish government knew we had the CIA facility there. I assume they did, but I vaguely recall that they denied any knowledge, which is what you'd expect them to do anyway. It's subject to Polish law, since it's Polish territory, but I view the CIA facility in Poland as effectively under "American control." In the press it's that kind of facility that's generally been referred to as a "black site" (this probably isn't official terminology). I don't think the situation with Baradar, as I understand it, matches, since he's not being held by Americans at all. I'm sure there's assumptions in there (some of them mine, some of them whatever came out of the news articles I looked at). Which ones seem most suspect to you?

Maguro said...

Very cryptic comment, garage. Tell us how you really feel about Obama and Holder's complicity in bringing about the torture of this alleged terrorist.

Tell us the truth, your heart bleeds for this guy, does it not?

I bet Freder is outraged.

Steven said...

Nothing new here.

The progressive standard is that it's perfectly acceptable that people are subjected to severe torture at the behest of the United States, as long as it's done by foreign torturers on foreign soil. We can sit back and have our people just take notes on the information extracted by torture.

On the other hand, if Americans directly subject anyone to unpleasant conditions mild enough that we're willing to inflict them on our own military personnel, it is a great crime, and anyone who so much as came up with a legal analysis that suggested that such techniques are legal should be considered a war criminal.

That this combination of standards actively encourages the U.S. to leave people in transfer them to foreign custody so they can be tortured is, of course, perfectly acceptable. After all, we're not actually trying to protect the rights of suspects, we're just trying to keep America's hands clean. Hiding them in the rubber gloves of foreign torturers does that just fine.

And, of course, it's only sheerest coincidence that this combination of standards means members of the Clinton and Obama Administrations are in the clear even as they benefit from information extracted by torture, while Bush Administration officials are criminals.

flenser said...

At least to start with, KSM was interrogated by Americans, in a secret American facility in Poland


I don't know where you get that information from. I hope you're not believing what you read in the New York Times.


It's subject to Polish law, since it's Polish territory, but I view the CIA facility in Poland as effectively under "American control."



My point about CIA "black sites" in Pakistan applies equally to those in Poland or anywhere else. They are secret from the media. Nobody else.


I don't think the situation with Baradar, as I understand it, matches, since he's not being held by Americans at all.



Are you channeling Montagne now? Pakistan has zero reason to hold him. Anybody being held in Pakistan is being held in some sense by the Pakistanis, just as anybody being held in Poland is beng held by the Poles, but Baradar is an American captive in fact, whatever legal fictions are being employed.

garage mahal said...

Tell us the truth, your heart bleeds for this guy, does it not?

No, and I'm real happy where I'm at on the issue of torture. Can you name one great figure in American history who agrees with you and Dick Cheney's position? Did Ronald Reagan weep for terrorists when he signed the U.N. Convention on Torture? That was a year after 200 Marines were killed in their barracks in Lebanon. Terrorism isn't new, he coined the term. It goes to show how far off the rails the right has gone.

SMGalbraith said...

This is the problem once you go down the path of waterboarding or aggressive interrogation.

Things that can be defended as necessary because of exigent circumstances become routine or accepted. I accept the former reluctantly but not so reluctantly reject the latter.

Not to be holier-than-thou, but I find it, well, disturbing that some folks believe that this individual should be tortured.

Include me out.

Yeah, sometimes in defending civilization - as Reinhold Neibuhr observed - you have to do morally questionable acts. But there are limits.

Balfegor said...

I don't know where you get that information from. I hope you're not believing what you read in the New York Times.

I generally do. Particularly given that I haven't heard that people dispute the sequence -- that KSM was apprehended in March 2003, transferred to American custody, waterboarded by American interrogators after he proved resistant to their initial interrogation efforts, and then sang like a canary. The timing of the initial US interrogation seems fairly certain, as it comes from internal documents since declassified by the Obama administration. Is it the location of the CIA facility in Poland that you disagree with?

My point about CIA "black sites" in Pakistan applies equally to those in Poland or anywhere else. They are secret from the media. Nobody else.

Um, okay. But my issue was the use of "Black Sites" to describe a prison operated by foreign governments, rather than sites operated by the US government. I don't think the term is usually used for a government's facilities in its own country. Even if they're not public knowledge. And I'm not sure that people use the term to describe non-US facilities at all. In any event, I was just explaining why MM wasn't lying by his lights. This looks like another definition disagreement.

Baradar is an American captive in fact, whatever legal fictions are being employed.

This part, at least, I can get behind. But the problem I have is the degree of control we are exerting over his treatment. Right now, it seems from news reports as though we're being extremely hands off and letting the Pakistanis handle the interrogation, so we can pretend it's not our business. I'd prefer that he be more directly under our control, largely because I think we have better protections against abuse.

Joe said...

SMG, sure it's happened to Israel...they aggressively interrogate and now it's a Fascist Police State...oh wait, my bad....

I believe there is a VAST difference between water-boarding, large numbers, much less only three indviduals, or slapping them or grabbing their lapels and shaking them and the Lubyanka or the basements at Prinz Albrect Strasse. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

Joe said...

you have to do morally questionable acts. But there are limits.
and we haven't even gotten close to them yet. This is one of the most lawyered and measured wars I've seen or read of...it's nothing like WWII or the War(s) in Algeria or Indochina.

SMGalbraith said...

SMG, sure it's happened to Israel...they aggressively interrogate and now it's a Fascist Police State...oh wait, my bad....

Israel is a small country surrounded by enemies out to destroy it.

We're not threatened to such a degree by this Baradar fellow. Threatened? Yes. Existential threats? No.

As I said, exigent circumstances, yes. If not, nope.

Balfegor said...

and we haven't even gotten close to them yet. This is one of the most lawyered and measured wars I've seen or read of...it's nothing like WWII or the War(s) in Algeria or Indochina.

People do, for various reasons, see a moral difference between what you do to people who are entirely within your power and people who kind of aren't. Thus, it's still a "good" war if we and our allies incinerate hundreds of thousands of civilians (Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, etc. etc. etc.), all of them utterly unable to escape the doom that awaits them, but considered bad or evil if we shoot a man in our custody without the formality of a military tribal. I can see the reason for the distinction, but I think some people take it to an absolutely ludicrous extreme. At the most basic level, you are causing suffering and/or death in either case, and when the one "good" case occasions devastation so much more comprehensive, with victims so much more numerous, and their suffering so much more terrible, it is difficult to see why those extraneous contextual factors should render the violence against a single man automatically evil, while excusing the violence against so many. You (we) intend the violence in either case, after all.

flenser said...

Is it the location of the CIA facility in Poland that you disagree with?




It seems to be up in the air where the first episode of waterboarding took place, yes.


I don't think the term is usually used for a government's facilities in its own country.


I don't know how it is usually used. I'm just pointing out that these sites, whatever we want to call them, operate under the juristiction and with the knowledge and consent of the country in which they are located. It's not correct to suggest, as some people do, that these sites are under US government control. Indeed, the entire reason for these sites to exist as they do (or did) is precisely because they escape the definition of being under US government control. This is important in the context of some recent US Supreme Court rulings.



But the problem I have is the degree of control we are exerting over his treatment. Right now, it seems from news reports as though we're being extremely hands off and letting the Pakistanis handle the interrogation, so we can pretend it's not our business.




Yes, I'd also like to see us stop pretending to be uninvolved. The proper scenario here would be to bring him to the US and waterboard him if neccessary here. That would assme that that the American political and legal debate on this issue is not completely politicized though.

Maguro said...

No, and I'm real happy where I'm at on the issue of torture.

I'm sure you are. But where you're at is morally untenable if you think Cheney is a war criminal for having CIA agents waterboard KSM, but Obama having CIA agents stand by while Pakistan tortures Baradar is hunky-dory.

I, for one, would very much prefer to be waterboarded by the CIA than "interrogated" by the ISI and I suspect you would, too. The notion that we're advancing human rights by outsourcing this to Pakistan is the furthest thing from the truth.

c3 said...

We could just politely ask him some questions and if he refuses to answer release him....

and then promptly blow him up with a missle from the circling drone.

That would be ok wouldn't it.

orbicularioculi said...

Quite frankly I don't care if the Pakistanis or CIA interrogate this scumbag. The interrogation would undoubtedly be more physically "pain free" if done at GITMO.

Just goes to show you that so long as Obama can vote PRESENT he will. He just wants to cover his ass and not assume the responsibility of CIC.

Allan said...

In any country East of the Bosphorous
with the exception of Israel
anyone arrested for anything can expect to be tortured.

Almost Ali said...

The Taliban has been hiding in broad daylight in Karachi since its inception. Including Mullah Baradar, their supposed leader, arrested for jaywalking.

Sounds more like a negotiated set up, rather than daring agents executing a capture. Because if they really wanted to smash the Taliban, they would snatch all the upper echelon right off the Karachi streets.

Bring me the head of Osama bin Laden, and Mullah Omar - then I'll be a believer.

traditionalguy said...

Orb. ...That is a great comment. The One is turning out to be the None when a decision needs to be made that is not a decision to think about it until it goes away. Did we ever grant him tenure???

dahamilton said...

The US can't interrogate him!!

The FBI team to do that does not exist.

Obama said that only the FBI High Value Interrogation Team can do that sort of thing in early 2009. Almost nothing has been done to create such a team.

Until the FBI HVIT exists the US will just have to have other countries interrogate for us.

You can thank Obama. It realy is his fault this time.

Shotshell said...

I'm sure the Paki's wouldn't torture him. Joe Biden says its not effective, so they wouldn't have any use for it.

varifrank said...

He will only be truly tortured when he is forced to read Andrew Sullivan.

mbecker908 said...

Well gosh, if the Pakistanis aren't torturing him, I'd be willing to.

Patm said...

Half rendition, half lies.

Remember all that "fierce moral urgency" that required Obama to remove the stink of Bush? Remember when the NY Times Gail Collins had a temper tantrum wondering why Obama couldn't just "take over" after November, instead of waiting until January?

I remember. I forget nothing.

clindsey said...

Maybe we can spike him up with stimulants and cut him open – slowly – while we force him to watch the start of his own disembowelment. Then maybe we can have a couple of good Christian soldiers rape and murder his family while he watches, slowly dying. When his family is dead, and before he is, we can gorge out his eyes and cut out his tongue. Why not cut off his penis too and stuff it in his mouth now that there's room for it? Then, after all that, we can shoot him in the head.
Julius, I like your thinking. Sometimes the sadist is right.

Synova said...

Me: The problem, Julius, is that some people want to call anything coercive or unpleasant, anything traumatic or frightening, torture. So we *can't* talk about it.

"So the leaders of our country can fight two wars as well dealing with the general threat of terrorism in places all over the world, but they are cowered by language?"

Yeah.

It goes like this. Torture is, always no matter what, very bad, no good, evil and horrible.

We all agree.

All of us.

So someone tries to start a conversation... what should we do, what is appropriate, what is legal, what is useful and effective, how much is too much... and it's impossible to have that conversation because *everything* short of a teddy bear and down comforter is "torture." Being wrapped in an Israeli flag is torture. Humiliation is torture. Being lied to about what will be done to you is torture. Being shown pornography or having fake menstrual blood wiped on your face is torture. Being restrained, being shackled, being made uncomfortable... anything coercive is torture. So of course, being made to think that you're drowning when you're really not is absolutely torture.

So what had you suggested, that we just go ahead and say, "Hey, we're going to torture this guy. We need to decide what sorts of torture we're going to do and what sorts of torture we're not going to do." Is that it?

It's BS. That conversation could have happened at any time and the reason it didn't happen isn't because people who favor coercive interrogations weren't willing to talk about it.

Towering Barbarian said...

Hm! So doubtless, by the exalted standards put forth by our liberal and leftist friends in the years 2003-2008, it is now legitimate to demand that Mr. Obama be impeached and everyone who was ever a member of the Obama administration now be put on trial for "war crimes"? o_O

And we doubtless can expect all out liberal friends to be in the very forefront of demanding these things happen if they are *not* hypocrites? I mean, who among us would *not* expect Richard Durbin to denounce Mr. Obama now every bit as vehemently as he had previously denounced President Bush were Mr. Durbin at all opposed to torture? O_o

Very well. Let it never be said I do not accommodate and assist our Democrat friends. ^_^

[Picks up megaphone].

Altogether, everyone! OBAMA LIED, PEOPLE DIED! OBAMA LIED, PEOPLE DIED! ^_~

Synova said...

"I remember one of the reasons proudly given for going to Iraq was the existence of those horrific torture rooms run by Saddam. Haven't heard that one in a while. Now they just have new owners."

I know who I'd rather be prisoner of.

In a heartbeat.

I honestly think that (some) liberals have a severe inability to empathize and are cognitively handicapped in abstract reasoning and matters requiring imagination.

Because they can say utterly moronic things like *anyone* has just taken over Saddam's torture rooms.

I mean... a person can point out, again, the sorts of things found in Iraq when we got there and it just doesn't penetrate. Entire prisons to hold children in Kurdistan (now a memorial museum), the mass graves full of women and children, hundreds upon hundreds dug from the ground, the building at Abu Ghraib that was so blood soaked that it couldn't be rehabilitated for our use due to the trauma involved to our soldiers who'd have had to clean it... and it means utterly nothing.

It's not real. The people aren't real.

But it just sounds so *good* to say some fatuous idiocy like Saddam's torture rooms having new owners. Because when you say stuff like that you're brave and willing to speak hard truths.

Yay, you!

Julius Ray Hoffman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julius Ray Hoffman said...

@Synova- You fool! You keep on writing those thoughtful and insightful and reasonable comments... You're taking all the fun out of it, you know! Kinda hard to follow up something like that with a fantastical trollish tirade. Jeesh!

Synova said...

:-P

Sorry. I'll try to do better.

richard mcenroe said...

'red is positive, black is negative, and make sure his nuts are wet...'

wellington said...

The Excitable Andrew---or one of his underbloggers---has this to say about how the Pakistanis "clamped down" on Baradar:

"Amazing what can happen when you have a foreign policy that includes diplomacy and force and sophistication."

Clamped down! Yeehaa!

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/02/cutting-out-the-middle-man.html

Fred said...

Man-caused confessions?