February 3, 2013

Leon Panetta admits that enhanced interrogation was part of locating bin Laden.

On "Meet the Press" today:



"Yes, some of it came from some of the tactics that were used at that time, interrogation tactics that were used. But the fact is we put together most of that intelligence without having to resort to that."

264 comments:

1 – 200 of 264   Newer›   Newest»
edutcher said...

As I've said before, the Demos were all for it when their asses were on the line.

Once they thought they were safe and had to cut into Dubya's 90% approval, only then did it become "torture".

machine said...

And just because you say it doesn't make it so...

This is all yours....

EDH said...

"That was bad intelligence. Very bad intelligence."

"I'm Sorry."

garage mahal said...

If torture were so effective Bush and Cheney wouldn't have stopped using it.

Michael said...

Garage. No. It was very effective as the men, the silent survivors, of Benghazi would tell you were they permitted to talk.

Phil 3:14 said...

War criminal.

Michael K said...

The CIA story is that EIT was used not to get information but to weaken resistance to interrogation. The prisoners actually felt that it allowed them to volunteer information and not be committing a sin because they had resisted until EIT, which they believed could not be resisted. That way, Allah would not punish them for informing. They actually showed a bit of that in ZDT when they told a prisoner that he had given information, although he hadn't. After that, he cooperated.

YoungHegelian said...

I'm sorry, but, duh!

And machine & garage, to assuage your sweet, gentle, consciences, we don't do that shit anymore. We just blow people up with drones. Along with any civilians who happen to be around around them. But since a NYT reporter isn't there in the Pakistani outback to see it and report on it, I guess it really doesn't cost any civilian lives.

A good read on the matter can be found here.

Lem said...

If torture were so effective Bush and Cheney wouldn't have stopped using it.

The Justice Department approved the method call "enhanced interrogations"... once it appeared that Al Qaeda's 9/11 type attacks were unlikely and Bush ran for re-election, the War on Terror was politicised... and the Justice Dept approved interrogations became "torture".

mesquito said...

It's a good thing that our policy is now solemnly understood to mean that we shall never ever ever capture alive any terrorists, even if that means we vaporize anyone in a 200' radius. That way we keep our hands clean, you see. It's how you impress Norwegians who distribute peace prizes.

Sim said...

"let's remember it was movie" i like how he started off to say that it wasn't true. When military and torture are used in the same sentence i just remember the details of this documentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX0MPcN08Zc

Original Mike said...

We've got plenty of intelligence. No problem throwing "some" of it away.

Maguro said...

We're not using enhanced interrogation on terrorists anymore under the Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama, we just take care of 'em with one of these. To protect their human rights and stuff.

Original Mike said...

And just because you say it doesn't make it so...

I think it's the Secretary of Defense that's saying it.

Chef Mojo said...

If torture were so effective Bush and Cheney wouldn't have stopped using it.

Once you've extracted the information you need from the subject of interrogation, why would you continue to use enhanced interrogation? What was done in the previous administration was for a very specific reason and within a certain timeframe.

Believe me, if there had been a good reason, Bush and Cheney would have continued those techniques. Just like Obama and every president after him will. What? You don't think a cold blooded bitch like Hillary wouldn't waterboard if it would get her the information she needed. You're a naif, garage.

Face it. enhanced interrogation helped get Bin Laden. And it was Bush's folks who did it.

Bush had waterboarding. Obama has his drones. Big fucking deal. As long as the policy results in dead tangos, I could give a shit.

garage mahal said...

False confessions from detainees of torture that linked al Qaeda and Iraq were part of the "intelligence" that we used to invade Iraq.

Unknown said...

I hear the production cost on those drone missiles is really dropping. Death from above is definitely the way to go. Are we getting the right guys? At this point, what difference does it male?

Unknown said...

I hear the production cost on those drone missiles is really dropping. Death from above is definitely the way to go. Are we getting the right guys? At this point, what difference does it male?

YoungHegelian said...

garage,

False confessions from detainees of torture that linked al Qaeda and Iraq were part of the "intelligence" that we used to invade Iraq.

Do you have source for that?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Hope! Leon Pannetta has given us hope!

Hope in torture!

Torture gives us HOPE!

Never surrender! Never give up hope in the utility of being like Torquemada!

Hope and torture. Torture and hope.

They go together like Obama and a Hitler mustache!

kentuckyliz said...

and people are hassling the director of ZDT...she is presenting a historical story of actual events. to leave it out would be dishonest.

I side with the director over the Victorian ninny prudes.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

So does this mean that we can use torture on labor unions?

Maybe conservatives can torture America with class warfare and depression-era economic theories.

They can torture the electorate with voter restriction legislation.

Watch as conservatism makes itself into a slow, steady metaphor for torture.

Original Mike said...

"Torture gives us HOPE!"

Killing terrorists gives us hope. That we get to torture them first is just a side benefit.

Sim said...

It is a big deal because more than half of detainees were innocent and they were forced to confess and link themselves to Al Qaeda so fellow soldiers "look good" in front of their senior offcials.

garage mahal said...

Do you have source for that?

See here from emptywheel.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

The push to whitewash the practice of torture is a funny hill to watch Republicans die on.

In what other ways do they wish to makes more like a banana republic?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Killing terrorists gives us hope. That we get to torture them first is just a side benefit.

Either that or a perversely weird form of overkill.

It begs the question of which you like better: Being rid of terrorists or being able to torture.

America thinks you use the former as an excuse for enjoying the latter.

Original Mike said...

"America thinks you use the former as an excuse for enjoying the latter."

No, America doesn't believe that. Only misguided lefties do.

BTW, it was a joke. But most people get that, too.

Chef Mojo said...

So does this mean that we can use torture on labor unions?

Why bother? The unions are already weak shadows of their former selves. We're just engaged in a mopping up operation now.

Maybe conservatives can torture America with class warfare and depression-era economic theories.

Obama's already got a lock on that, Ritmo. As usual, it's not working. No reason conservatives would go that route.

They can torture the electorate with voter restriction legislation.

Yes. Asking to see ID to ensure you're eligible to vote is tantamount to torture. Well, aren't you the bright one, Ritmo. Here. Let me give you a gold star for showing up in class today.

Watch as conservatism makes itself into a slow, steady metaphor for torture.

Oh, my. Ritmo comes out of the closet as Miss Drama Queen, 2013.

cubanbob said...

The push to whitewash the practice of torture is a funny hill to watch Republicans die on.

In what other ways do they wish to makes more like a banana republic?


They don't have to. Obama is doing a splendid job of turning us into a banana less banana republic.

Glen Filthie said...

I gotta laugh at these dummies that advocate against torture. If it weren't effective nobody would use it. If the Donks start torturing terrorist sonsabitches it would be one of the few things those f-knuckles did right!

As far as terrorists go - I blame you lawyers for this too - either come up with effective laws in dealing with them or STFU. As it is these murderous pigs are hiding behind bad law and that is going to stop one way or another.

The law belongs to we the people, not you the slimey lawyers and lickspittle judges.

YoungHegelian said...

@Garage,

Do you read the articles that you post?

From YOUR link:

This is the first report from Ibn al-Shaykh [al-Libi] in which he claims Iraq assisted al-Qa’ida’s CBRN efforts. However, he lacks specific details on the Iraqi’s involvement, the CBRN materials associated with the assistance, and the location where the training occurred. It is possible he does not know any further details; it is more likely this individual is intentionally misleading the debriefers. Ibn al-Shaykh has been undergoing debriefs for several weeks and may be describing scenarios to the debriefers that he knows will retain their interest. Saddam’s regime is intensely secular and is wary of Islamic revolutionary movements. Moreover, Baghdad is unlikely to provide assistance to a group it cannot control

Egypt may have obtained the information via torture. But notice that the Defense Intelligence Agency didn't believe the information that was obtained was legitimate.

There's no evidence in your article that shows that the information that was extracted from Al-Libi by torture was ever used or believed or even authorized by American authorities. The article rather shows that DIA quickly discredited the information.

Is there something else in that article I'm not seeing?

CEO-MMP said...

Shit. Actual torture should be used. Waterboarding ain't nothin.

Actual torture...extract information and put the living fear of fucking God in those who need it.

Walk softly. Big stick.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Must be the form of "America" that Karl Rove defines (as he does mathematics) as a Republican to make himself feel better, Mike.

Do tell us of how America clamors for a return of Dick Cheney, complete with his strange and ethically questionable habits and fixations, to its political culture.

Chef Mojo said...

The push to whitewash the practice of torture is a funny hill to watch Republicans die on.

Nope. Not the Republicans. They'e not the ones dying on the hill.

The terrorists are.

Ah, Ritmo's vaunted moral outrage.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Mojo assumes the role of fact-denying pundit-in-chief today. Sure beats serving up a dish of the same old crap. Oh wait...

Talk about all presentation and the taste of a shit sandwich. I'd love to see how the judges would wipe the floor with him on Chopped.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Nope. Not the Republicans. They'e not the ones dying on the hill.

While you go after Obama for retaining and accelerating what's actually working re: drones.

What are you trying to do to yourself today with all this twisting, Chefie? An impersonation of a pretzel?

Try to leave the food impersonations to the edible ingredients. Do not try to make yourself into the dish, as tempting as it must somehow be to you...

Original Mike said...

You think the majority of America is opposed to waterboarding the likes Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ritmo? Maybe you're right, but I doubt it.

Achilles said...

O Ritmo Segundo is a great example of someone who makes this discussion less. You take everyone who disagrees with you and you project your own disgusting images on them. Your hatred is apparent. This is the type of comment that makes me want to stop reading a blog Ann. I havent seen a single good faith post from him yet. He is disparaging much better people who died over there. Just a suggestion.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I think it's at least questionable or a wash, Mike.

In any event, I think the Republicans don't have the credibility for prosecuting any war on any form of terror, least of all ethically. I think that's what really pisses them off. They banged their drums and beat their chests and it wasn't clear to America that their noise and outrage gained us any more for it.

The Republicans are plenty pissed about that, I'd suspect. And I don't even think that they were as great a bunch of failures as the country does when it came to their massive diversion into Iraq.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

O Ritmo Segundo is a great example of someone who makes this discussion less. You take everyone who disagrees with you and you project your own disgusting images on them. Your hatred is apparent. This is the type of comment that makes me want to stop reading a blog Ann. I havent seen a single good faith post from him yet. He is disparaging much better people who died over there. Just a suggestion.

This from someone trying to rehabilitate a thread on how torture is underappreciated. Oh irony!

Chef Mojo said...

I love how Ritmo sees Chopped as the reality of the business I've been engaged in for nearly 30 years.

I'm sure his perception of reality is similar for the rest of his world.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

He is disparaging much better people who died over there.

If this is a "good-faith" comment, it's about the most ignorant, ill-informed and expedient bunch of bull I've ever heard.

If it's informed by any kind of faith at all, then it must be blind faith.

CEO-MMP said...

Ritty:

What or how would the war on terror (or any war, really) be prosecuted "ethically"?

The point of war is to convince the other side they need to stop what they're doing and sit the fuck down.

German civilians were targeted in WW2. Do we need to talk about the Japanese (what they did and what was done to them...by democrats)....

I mean...come on. Be a little intellectually honest for a change.

CEO-MMP said...

Ritty, better people than you died in Iraq and A-stan.
Better people than me, even.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

What's your beef with Chopped, Chef? I'm familiar with some of the chefs who've done well there, and have no reason to think the judges are doing a bad job vis a vis their assessments.

McTriumph said...

Let's all pretend Obama isn't continuing Bush's policies. Let's pretend rendition doesn't take place anymore. Let's pretend we don't do regime change anymore. Let's pretend we don't out source real torture. Only a cock sucking liberal blue stater would try to convince you otherwise.

Rabel said...

Althouse, I wish you could recruit a few liberals commenters who were willing to engage in an honest discussion of the issues you raise with your posts.

The current crop is disappointing.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

What or how would the war on terror (or any war, really) be prosecuted "ethically"?

Abiding by the treaties we sign which govern said prosecution. Just a suggestion... At least not be so brazen about violating them.

The point of war is to convince the other side they need to stop what they're doing and sit the fuck down.

Or just convincing ourselves of that, right?

German civilians were targeted in WW2. Do we need to talk about the Japanese (what they did and what was done to them...by democrats)....

If it helps you feel better to review the history, fine. Some of which reflects standards that, by necessity, change and improve over time - as they're supposed to.

I mean...come on. Be a little intellectually honest for a change.

I'll ask you to tell me what I've said in this post, a reply to your own challenges to me, that's in the least bit intellectually dishonest.

garage mahal said...

Is there something else in that article I'm not seeing?

Colin Powell used false confessions from al-Libi’s torture to justify invading Iraq. Even when they knew the confession was bullshit to stop the torture.

Chef Mojo said...

While you go after Obama for retaining and accelerating what's actually working re: drones.

LOL! Yes, Ritmo. Let's get an opinion from the hundreds of "innocent" people who've been subject of collateral damage from drones, shall we? The one's who may have suffered the torture of dying slowly while being buried under the rubble of the building filled with people and maybe one or two targeted tangos?

Oh. Wait. They're dead.

I'm laughing at Ritmo's superior intellect.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Well, Rabel, declaring what is "honest" and what is "dishonest" before engaging something at all must be an incredible task - for those of us who aren't clairvoyant, anyway.

CEO-MMP said...

So, Ritty...war is war except when it isn't war because you don't think it's war or should be war, and standards only apply when you want them too--like when it's republicans in charge?



Is that essentially it?

YoungHegelian said...

@Rabel,

The current crop is disappointing.

+1

There are intelligent liberals & lefties in the world. Out there. Somewhere.

Besides, I'm tired of being the guy who quotes Marx.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

LOL! Yes, Ritmo. Let's get an opinion from the hundreds of "innocent" people who've been subject of collateral damage from drones, shall we? The one's who may have suffered the torture of dying slowly while being buried under the rubble of the building filled with people and maybe one or two targeted tangos?

Fine. If you prefer the much more extraordinary expenditure of blood, treasure and collateral damage of military spectacles much greater than drone attacks, make the case. You know, to the people.

But see, it's comments like this that let me know your concern is neither expediency, efficiency or ethics. It's political and nothing more.

Rabel said...

Ritmo, you're here with a mission. And honest discussion is not a part of that mission.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

If you want to get slippery with the language and definitions, Mr CEO, then I guess you'll have to take up your concerns with the previous administrations.

Are you saying we should torture as long as its in the prosecution of an action that falls short of the definition of "war"?

YoungHegelian said...

@Garage,

Colin Powell used false confessions from al-Libi’s torture to justify invading Iraq. Even when they knew the confession was bullshit to stop the torture.

That's not in your source, garage!

Where's that coming from? Are we having a discussion or are we playing 20 Questions?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Rabel, let me be the first to tell you that anything logical, insightful or engaging isn't the first part (or any part) of any mission that you'd have anything to do with.

But go ahead with the guessing of motives. It's a part of the conspiratorialist mindset, no? Declare motives bad, then proceed with reducing others to actors in a grand conspiracy. It's easier that way, right?

garage mahal said...

Here’s how al-Libi’s tortured lies appeared when Colin Powell used them to justify the Iraq War, 10 years ago this week.

That's not in my source?

CEO-MMP said...

Ritty, I've already said (more than once) that ACTUAL torture should be used.

Waterboarding isn't torture. Torture is torture.

CEO-MMP said...

And torturing one or two individuals is a heck of a lot more humane than dropping a cruise missile on an aspirin factory.

YoungHegelian said...

@Garage,

The word "Powell" doesn't appear in your source.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

And torturing one or two individuals is a heck of a lot more humane than dropping a cruise missile on an aspirin factory.

I'm sorry. I thought the discussion concerned whether torture was used to get bin Laden, and if so, whether it was ethically or legally proper.

I didn't realize that the conversation was instead about how all actions committed by any Democrats from the beginning of time were and shall forever be bad. But I guess I don't have the "good faith" for seeing how that would be substantive contribution or motivation.

furious_a said...

False confessions from detainees of torture that linked al Qaeda and Iraq were part of the "intelligence" that we used to invade Iraq.

What differece -- at this point -- does it make?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

If it was just one or two individuals, then I'd be more forgiving. Was it?

Is this the argument that was (or is being) made? Forgive me if I'm really that ignorant about it, but is this the stance that the previous administration took?

I know I kept hearing the words "high value target". So it makes it sound more rational if it was just him. But it doesn't make it any trickier a stance to take.

The burden of defining what they want to legalize and how is on the parties committing (or wanting to commit) it, and I don't think that Cheney did that -either to the people or to anyone with passing familiarity with the relevant laws.

Original Mike said...

"I think it's at least questionable or a wash, Mike."

It's the smart thing to do, and half the people approve. That's enough for me.

CEO-MMP said...

Bill Clinton is a democrat from the beginning of time?

I assure you--it only seems like it.

furious_a said...

Speaking of torture and promises with an expiration date and such...

Obama Closing Office that was Supposed to Close Gitmo

Suckers.

garage mahal said...

Ugh, sorry about that YoungHeg. I was wondering why you weren't seeing it. See here.

Here is Powell, talking about al-Libi’s false confessions from torture.

"His information comes first-hand from his personal involvement at senior levels of al-Qaida. He says bin Laden and his top deputy in Afghanistan, deceased al-Qaida leader Muhammad Atif (ph), did not believe that al-Qaida labs in Afghanistan were capable enough to manufacture these chemical or biological agents. They needed to go somewhere else. They had to look outside of Afghanistan for help. Where did they go? Where did they look? They went to Iraq."

Original Mike said...

"Was it?"

Hard to resist such a compelling argument as that.

elkh1 said...

"we put together most of that intelligence without having to resort to that"

That is called bull crap.

CEO-MMP said...

So, Ritty...you want to go on and on about Cheney, but when I mention Clinton you go all apoplectic and rant about every democrat ever?

Intellectual honesty?

Chef Mojo said...

What's your beef with Chopped, Chef?

No beef at all. But like all the other cooking contest shows, it is not a reflection of the reality of cooking professionally, any more than Survivor is a reflection of reality. I've only watched it a few times, and found it rather dull. A busy night on a hot line is far more engaging, interesting and rewarding. An extremely small minority of my peers engage in competitive cooking. Like I said, it's not a reflection of reality.

I got my bones long, long ago, through a very rigid apprenticeship. Iron Chef comes closest to showing the "mystery box" method of training I engaged in, and that I still pass down. When I was judged, I was judged by my Chef, for the purposes of training me to be the best at what I do, not to eliminate me in some contrived culinary gladiatorial contest for the edification of the masses. I do the same thing now that I'm the judge.

That people might clean up the floor with me on Chopped is probably true. But I could out-cook any one of them in the reality of a professional kitchen, and then drink them under the table after service.

Achilles said...

For the people here arguing for and against torture maybe some firsthand. When you capture someone that short window where they are in shock is very valuable. This is not specifically germain to this discussion but it may help you understand why we have to be mean to people. We weren't able to do much in the field before but we could rough them up a bit. We learned a lot about them and it made us much more effective. Then as things went on things changed and people started getting thrown under the bus. Without anything except loud voices we got very little. When detained they get better food and more sleep than before we caught them.

We learn little from them so it is cheaper to use drone strikes. But when we caught them I guarantee there were fewer civilian deaths. Catch and interrogate is much more precise. We were able to meet with the locals who more often than not were glad we took the people we caught because in general they act like criminals when not trying to kill us. Now a missile comes from the sky and kills a bunch of people. We learn less and know less. At least the bad guys don't get released.

To be honest I don't really care that we are using more drones now. These enemies are really quite pathetic. If you tell us to take them out then support us and let us be as effective as possible. But if we face an enemy in the future that is more dangerous I really hope that we allow ourselves to do what it takes to win. The alternative will not be a bunch of posts in a completely philosophical discussion on a law profs blog. Nobody else in the world except the vassal states in Europe we protect will hold anything back on us when we are captured. And by us I am referring to the people that protect your right to bitch on a message board. We knew what to expect if we were captured.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Mike, if information - or a request for more of it - bothers you, I guess that tells me how honest a discussion you're interested in. But at least learn to distinguish the difference between information and an argument. They are two separate things.

pm317 said...

Obama = Bush III, suckers who voted for him thinking otherwise.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...

So, Ritty...you want to go on and on about Cheney, but when I mention Clinton you go all apoplectic and rant about every democrat ever?

Intellectual honesty?


Clinton had absolutely nothing, zilch, nada to do with the torture of individuals on account of their having been alleged to have taken part in the events of 9/11 and the ensuing Great Never-Ending War on Terror.

So where is the intellectual honesty in what you're saying here?

Even if you want to say that Clinton's bombing of an aspirin factory was an act against al Qaeda in the pursuit of ending terrorism, that's a stretch. One of the things Scalia's done that might help you is to distinguish between "punishment" and "torture".

Bombing an aspirin factory, accidentally or intentionally, is not a form of torture.

Amazingly, I'm not sure you had the presence of mind to understand this.

So perhaps you're being honest, even intellectually honest, in that you believe what you are arguing despite it having nothing to do with the truth as anyone knows it.

n.n said...

Actually, torture is an extremely effective tool to accelerate change. Not only did they use a non-lethal form to gather intelligence, but they are supporting and using an extremely lethal form in Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Syria, etc, in the so-called "Arab Spring".

The Left-wing Europeans have also put it to good use in Norway, Britain, France, Greece, and other nations where native populations protest their displacement by illegal and legal immigrants who are imported to cause shifts of democratic leverage. Norway, in particular, where native Norwegian women are raped in the great majority by the Left's noble causes.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

But you are still wrong.

And that's not to say that Clinton was right.

It's to say, "In what universe does it have anything to do with this thread?"

CEO-MMP said...

I know it's not, Ritty. But you can't seem to get off the "DICK CHENEY!" dime.

That's the point.

Despite how you want to churn and be colossal cocksucker.

pm317 said...

Oh, Ritmo showed up to do damage control..I wonder how much he gets paid..

Original Mike said...

"Mike, if information - or a request for more of it - bothers you,"

I don't know to what you are referring.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

"Torture to End Terror" has a nice, if nonsensical ring to it.

I'll come right out and admit that I'm agnostic about torture - at least ethically. Maybe it could have at one point been argued to be effective, and Panetta's comments (haven't listened to them yet) notwithstanding - I'd have heard that out.

But that largely didn't appear to be the case. If Panetta's comments mean we can rethink that, ok.

But the concerns are:

1. Ethics
2. Efficacy
3. Credibility

And on that last score, the idea that torturers will end the similar, and equally politically dubious practice of terror is outright laughable.

It's on that score that the previous administration loses uncontestably.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I know it's not, Ritty. But you can't seem to get off the "DICK CHENEY!" dime.

That's the point.


No it's not the point. And now we know who's being intellectually dishonest.

Dick Cheney authorized and vigorously defended, to the public, his program of torture. In pursuit of the very people that Panetta discussed.

Clinton did not.

Any correlation between the two is utterly insignificant, unless your purpose is political and/or diversionary.

But intellectual honesty demands something more than those things.

CEO-MMP said...

Waterboarding isn't torture you dumb lying two faced cocksucking asshole.


How's that? Is it clear enough for you?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Chef - your concern with the sensationalism of "Survivor"-type shows is noted.

I like the reality of that show "Dual Survival" better, myself. It shows how much ingenuity and cooperation between a tighter-knit group of two actually enhances the likelihood of survival that a group of fame-seeking and bickering douchebags like on the Survivor series would utterly fail at, IRL.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Waterboarding isn't torture you dumb lying two faced cocksucking asshole.

How's that? Is it clear enough for you?


No. It's a slippery language game. Not unlike your needless use of vulgar invective.

It's a language game, and you do not get to opportunistically define things as you see fit just because they suit you (or Cheney's) argument.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Sorry - imperatives. Not argument. Cheney is hardly offering an argument with the language game you deploy on his behalf.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Gotta go. Enjoy the torture show according to how you see fit. It is Superbowl Sunday, after all!

YoungHegelian said...

@Garage,

Thanx for the right link!

I can see now why you think what you do.

Let me propose another view of the matter. Your first link states that al-Libi revealed that:

[he] came up with a story that three al-Qa’ida members went to Iraq to learn about nuclear weapons. Al-Libi said that he used the names of real individuals associated with al-Qaida so that he could remember the details of his fabricated story and make it more believable to the foreign intelligence service.

Notice I bolded nuclear weapons.

But your second link links to a Guardian reprint of Powell's speech itself: in which Powell says the following:

His information comes first-hand from his personal involvement at senior levels of al-Qaida. He says bin Laden and his top deputy in Afghanistan, deceased al-Qaida leader Muhammad Atif (ph), did not believe that al-Qaida labs in Afghanistan were capable enough to manufacture these chemical or biological agents. ...... Where did they look? They went to Iraq.

The support that (inaudible) describes included Iraq offering chemical or biological weapons training for two al-Qaida associates beginning in December 2000. He says that a militant known as Abu Abdula Al-Iraqi (ph) had been sent to Iraq several times between 1997 and 2000 for help in acquiring poisons and gases. Abdula Al-Iraqi (ph) characterised the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as successful.


There's no mention of nuclear weapons --- a "scare word" that Powell would have used if he had evidence to do so. I think Powell had multiple sources for his Iraq/Al Qaeda association and he is deliberately conflating multiple sources into one identity known to Al Qaeda in order to hide his sources.

Now, does that mean some of those sources may have been from torture? Well, maybe, but I think the guy at emptywheel is reading his sources with an unimaginative & non-critical eye.

YMMV

Original Mike said...

"...and you do not get to opportunistically define things..."

Yeah, you reserve that unto yourself, don't you?

My opinion, waterboarding is a good balance between permanently injuring a person and sitting around sucking your thumb, hoping for the best.

bagoh20 said...

" But the fact is we put together most of that intelligence without having to resort to that."

"that" being scaring people by pouring water on their faces, followed by a nice meal, dry pajamas, a warm bed, and a Koran.

Oh, the horror! How could we? Have we no decency?

McTriumph said...

Anyone who has experienced a fraternity's hell week knows enhanced interrogation works.

bagoh20 said...

I think God invented water boarding to give us a moral alternative to torture, drone killing or just allowing innocents to die. Doesn't mean we have to use it.

Achilles said...

Ritmo, you talk about torture from the perspective of a coddled American who takes for granted living a peaceful and easy existence. You are afforded this luxury by people who fight for you. The least you could do in your ignorance is not disparage the people who probably have a lot more experience than you because they have faced it.

The stupid thing about this argument is that it is partisan. The liberals are using this as some sort of wedge issue. The republicans don't torture anyone. They just support the people who defend them. To say enhanced interrogation is ineffective is ignorant of how intelligence gathering works. You learn things even when people lie. When you gather intel you are taking information from multiple sources and compare it all to form a picture. You know things from other sources and when confronted they have to give at least a partial truth. It may take 5 sessions or 30. But eventually we get a pretty accurate picture. And magically we know when they are lying too.

You can discuss whether or not to send us in. But once you do send us in, letting us do our job with the tools we need to use should not be a partisan issue. If you want to do random drone strikes and let us stay home go for it. You won't get much of a quibble from me. But you own the civilians that are dying and the eventual backlash In those countries this will cause. Talk about creating more enemies than you kill... But once you have a real fight on arguing that enhanced interrogation is ineffective or unnecessary is wrong.

Michael K said...

"Maybe conservatives can torture America with class warfare and depression-era economic theories. "

No, Obama beat them to it.

whoresoftheinternet said...

Remember when RobertCook lied and claimed that Dick Cheney's methods never saved his ass, and that, instead, Cheney belonged in prison for them?

Good times, good times.

'Course, to Althouse, a liar like Robert Cook or Inga the Lying Obama Whore is a "valuable" commentator, whereas I am a moby/troll (does Althouse even know the difference?) because I dare bring up facts about black people and use a word that shatters them to pieces.

Enjoy the decline, morons!

tim in vermont said...

Thank goodness we have drones to keep garage's conscience spotless!

jr565 said...

Garage Mahal wrote:
If torture were so effective Bush and Cheney wouldn't have stopped using it.

Imbecile.
Lets go all the way back to AL Gore and Bill Clinton discussing extraordinary renditions with one of his advisors.
Clinton was of two minds and his advisor argued that it would be illegal.
In walked Al Gore and said ": “That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass.”

And grab his ass they did.
See, Al Gore and Bill Clinton both knew that exraordinary renditions worked, and that technically they might violate international law. But they didn't care. And so they did them anyway.
Al Gore in particular, being the hypocrite he is WOULD turn around and argue that Bush doing an extraoridnary rendition was Betraying Us. But we all know that the dems are some of the biggest hypocrites that ever lived (and that is not hyperbole).

Obama is still allowing for extraordinary renditions (and not closing Gitmo and drone strikes and military tribunals etc ad infinitum). Do you that worse thingas than waterboarding arent being done to those people when they are shipped overseas?

jr565 said...

by the way Garage, when "speaking truth to power" only occurs when a Republican is in office, it kind of makes it hard for us to view your arguments vis a vis waterboarding with any degree of seriousness.
If for example it came out tomorrow that Obama did allow waterboarding it would get nary a peep from you guys. Just as increased drone strikes, not closing Gitmo, extraordinary renditions, etc ad infinitum similarly got nary a peep from you guys.
Matt Damon will make movies where his assassin character has a problem with waterboarding, yet I don't see alot of Matt Damon movies about innocents being killed in drone strikes. Selective morality at work? Or is it simiply because a D is in power and not an R?

jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote:
It's a language game, and you do not get to opportunistically define things as you see fit just because they suit you (or Cheney's) argument.

Ok, we waterboard our troops when they undergo SERE trainig. Thousands of soldiers have been so waterboarded. When we waterboard them are we torturing them?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Achilles, this is not a partisan issue. And frankly, I don't like your idea of framing it as a military-versus-free citizens issue, either. If you truly believe that every American is free only because of others, then you shouldn't at all resent those of us who make ample use of our 1st amendment rights. If it weren't for the opinions of those who spoke out, then there wouldn't have been anything to fight for.

Neither is there any reason to believe that service personnel are being singled out and blamed for what Cheney directed from the highest levels on down. No service personnel is being denigrated because of what he is responsible for. Not you. Not anyone else.

That said, it's not a partisan issue either. I know this because Republican Senator John McCain, who served no less admirably than you, also opposes torture - including the form of "non-torture" or "torture-light" that some here would like to classify waterboarding as. And I think that as someone who served, was captured, was subject to torture and who later went on to return home, admirably serve and lead his country and its foreign policy in Congress, his opinion should carry some weight.

And to my mind, his opinion, as partisan as you think it might be, outweighs the opinion voiced by Dick "Multiple Deferments" Cheney.

Maybe McCain is wrong and Dick Cheney was right. But it's hard to see how you might think that trusting McCain over Cheney is somehow "partisan" or demeaning to the military.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Oh boy.

Here comes junior.

Just what the thread needed - to be turned into mulch.

Lem said...

Rabel said...

Ritmo, you're here with a mission. And honest discussion is not a part of that mission.

I second that.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

If for example it came out tomorrow that Obama did allow waterboarding it would get nary a peep from you guys. Just as increased drone strikes, not closing Gitmo, extraordinary renditions, etc ad infinitum similarly got nary a peep from you guys.

It does and it will continue to do so.

But Obama's simply not as creepy and snarling as Cheney is. People trust Obama to care about whether or not he respecting people's rights and their dignity. They don't feel this way about Dick Cheney.

Dick Cheney just doesn't seem like a very humane guy, in comparison. And then there was the Althousian the other day who pointed out that Dick Cheney "deserved" an apology for shooting his hunting buddy in the face.

These behaviors and patterns do not inspire trust in the minds and hearts of Americans when it comes to government officials who are in a position to order and execute violence.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Lem said...

Yip-yip-yip-yip-yip!

I liked it better when you drunk-posted, Lem.

But the little doggie avatar is cute. Yip yip yip!

bagoh20 said...

McCain: the lefts favorite Republican. It's not partisan to side with him when he lines up with the left. I mean he has that R behind his name and everything.

Freder Frederson said...

Waterboarding isn't torture you dumb lying two faced cocksucking asshole.

Just because you add a lot of obscenities to your invalid opinion doesn't make it true. Look up the definition of torture in the convention against torture or the U.S. statutory definition of torture and explain how waterboarding does not fit the definition of torture.

Don't feel bad though. Better men than you (e.g., John Yoo) have ignored the statutory definition of torture to justify the use of it.

bagoh20 said...

" People trust Obama to care about whether or not he respecting people's rights and their dignity."

Unless he chooses to blow them and their whole family up on a tip. That's known as bad luck with a side order of compassion.

jr565 said...

By the way the Clinton apparatus oversaw renditioning terrorists to Egypt to be tortured and killed as part of its war on terror:

Under the control of Richard Clarke, the CIA's Counter-Terrorism Center (CTC) had established a specal bin Laden unit in 1996, and by 1998 had over one hundred case officers and intelligence analysts.

" With the help of the CTC, forty terrorists from the former Yugoslavia were captured and turned over to Arab governments, usually Egypt. Egyptian security is believed to have tortured, tried, and executed many of them. In this way, al Qaeda cells were quickly smashed in Albania, Bosnia, and elsewhere."

-- Losing Bin Laden, by Richard Miniter

So, is it better to outsource torture to countries where people will likely be REALLY tortured and/or murdered, or to oversee a "torture" that is less intensive actually and is only performed under the most extreme and limited cases and with safeguards in place that protect the safety of the person being waterboarded.
Believe me, when we sent them to Egypt waterboarding would be a blessing in comparison.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

It's not partisan to side with him when he lines up with the left. I mean he has that R behind his name and everything.

He also served, survived capture and was tortured. So I think his credibility might hinge on that as well. As is his willingness to buck partisan convention.

I can see why that bothers you.

So McCain might actually know something about that of which he speaks.

But feel to take the word of Dick "Multiple Deferments" Cheney over his, instead. And talk of honoring the military while you do this.

Completely honest agenda you got there. And well-grounded in experience over theory.

jr565 said...

O ritmo wrote:
But Obama's simply not as creepy and snarling as Cheney is. People trust Obama to care about whether or not he respecting people's rights and their dignity. They don't feel this way about Dick Cheney.

THat is more a comment on the utter idiocy of your side rather than the difference between Cheney and/or Obama. And it also undercuts the argument that you and your side would continue to speak out about things that you haven't while Obama has been in power for close to 5 years.
All you are about is "feelings" Ritmo, not actual results. ANd you make the same arguments when it comes to the economy. If Obama increases drone strikes after saying "We have to stop air raiding villages" but is "Nice" why then that shuts up all the speaking truth to power from the idiots. Because Obama is nice.

bagoh20 said...

"Look up the definition of torture in the convention against torture or the U.S. statutory definition of torture and explain how waterboarding does not fit the definition of torture."

Unless you are calling for the arrest of the current President of the U.S., you don't really care what the U.N. rules say either. So maybe we have common ground.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Unless he chooses to blow them and their whole family up on a tip. That's known as bad luck with a side order of compassion.

Pisses you off that Obama's decimated al Qaeda's leadership at a fraction of the collateral damage caused by our lil' Iraqi adventure, don't it?

Yep, you're here to be a rank partisan. Arguments, experience and reality be damned. You've got an axe to grind and no shortage of non-believers in your cause to try to sharpen it on.

Somehow, I don't see America sleeping more soundly at night because of that.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Unless you are calling for the arrest of the current President of the U.S., you don't really care what the U.N. rules say either. So maybe we have common ground.

The left criticizes Obama plenty. Plenty more than the right ever criticized their "Deciders".

But it's good to see Bag O' come right out and admit that he really has no use for any principles in the matter. That's progress. At least we know that now.

bagoh20 said...

"So McCain might actually know something about that of which he speaks."

I don't doubt that, but if he said the opposite of what the left likes to hear on this, you'd say he was wrong, so stop with the non-partisan crap. The point is that YOU think: 1) it's torture, 2) it's so terrible it should not be used to save lives. Make your case, and stop hiding behind McCain's bloody shirt.

Freder Frederson said...

Ok, we waterboard our troops when they undergo SERE trainig. Thousands of soldiers have been so waterboarded. When we waterboard them are we torturing them?

Because I know you are too lazy to look it up (heck even Althouse can't be bothered to research the statutory definition of torture before defending its use). Here are two pertinent definitions:

First from the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (to which the U.S. is a signatory): "For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions. "

And from U.S. law (18 U.S.C. 2340):
"(1) “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
(2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—
(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
(B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
(C) the threat of imminent death; or
(D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality; "

Now let's test your reading comprehension. Using the above definitions do you now understand that while waterboarding is torture, waterboarding incident to SERE training is not.

Your argument is akin to saying that the Superbowl is a three hour long battery and each member of both teams should be arrested.

Lincolntf said...

Never look for consistency from Liberals. They have no principles beyond accruing power to the Government and mooching off their neighbors.
Talking to a lib about anything as "real" as wartime interrogation techniques is like talking to an infant about Astrophysics. The infant just wants his blankey and his bottle, and couldn't understand you even if he quit his crying.

Lem said...

yip

A derogatory term.... Often used as a racist name to encapsulate English arrogance, ignorance and sense of entitlement.
Mostly used in reference to public school educated people.


Ok... its good to know where you are coming from... what animates you.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

I don't doubt that, but if he said the opposite of what the left likes to hear on this...

- [SNIP] -

Objection, Your Honor! Speculative!

Stick to the facts, Bag. If you can stand to.

jr565 said...

O ritmo wrote:
Pisses you off that Obama's decimated al Qaeda's leadership at a fraction of the collateral damage caused by our lil' Iraqi adventure, don't it?

So, now you're making arguments about the efficacy of drone strikes based not on the morality but the cost benefit analysis. Why not make that same argument then about torture?
Since you are ok with dropping bombs on people and innocent people who may be close to them when said bomb drops who may not in fact be guilty of any crimes.

What if waterboarding a few led to a decimating of a large chunk of Al Qaeda. Why would you have an issue?
Hypocrite.

jr565 said...

So Freder, you dont think waterboarding our troops is in fact torture?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Lem, are you trying to take the sounds that little terriers make out to be racist terms or something?

Lincoln: Don't forget unreasonable! Liberals are very unreasonable! The never look to reason to guide their principles!

Such meanies!

bagoh20 said...

I think we both know exactly what water boarding is. The facts are:

1) It scares the crap out of a person only while it’s being done.
2) It does no damage, short or long term.
3) It can get people to relinquish information against their will.

Now what’s the reason we should not use it when we believe it can prevent deaths, short and long term suffering of thousands, or serious strategic setback that would result in the same?

Freder Frederson said...

Talking to a lib about anything as "real" as wartime interrogation techniques is like talking to an infant about Astrophysics.

Actually, my argument has always been that we should stick to the Army Field Manual on Interrogation. And by the way, when the Manual was revised in 2006, it specifically prohibited waterboarding and was very little changed from the prior Field Manual.

jr565 said...

Lets take two scenarios, one involving a drone strike and one involving waterboarding.
If you were the recipient of either, which would you prefer? I'd prefer the waterboarding personally but that's just me.

But lets weigh the costs. If you waterboard one person and they are innocent (not that we are waterboaridng your everyday combatant, so the idea that it would happen with any regularity is ludicrious) you'd be waterboarding one man.
Whereas if you drop a bomb, not only might you get the wrong guy but you might also get the wrong guys kids.
ANd lets talk about the aftermath of waterboarding versus a drone strike. Well after waterboarding, they go back to their cell. After a drone strike, they're lucky if they live and aren't missing limbs, or are bleeding out in the middle of rubble with the remains of their families who's body parts are all over the place.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

It's pointless arguing with jr (usually because he doesn't understand the points being made), but not difficult. I'm happy to oblige these ones:

So, now you're making arguments about the efficacy of drone strikes based not on the morality but the cost benefit analysis.

O contraire! There is absolutely a moral argument to be made about a better cost-benefit analysis when it comes to collateral damage. Only someone who thinks human life has no value won't say that less lives lost (with drone attacks) won't consider a cleaner drone attack to be morally superior to the conventional attacks that leave many more dead and wounded.

Why not make that same argument then about torture?

Because the argument didn't favor it. Torture was not shown to be effective, and its benefits, at least until now (and perhaps still) were all speculative. You might not know the difference between speculation and evidence but the rest of us do.

Since you are ok with dropping bombs on people and innocent people who may be close to them when said bomb drops who may not in fact be guilty of any crimes.

Favoring a policy does not make one guilty of carrying it out. You must know almost nothing of the law. But yes, favoring a policy that kills less innocents comparatively than the alternative to drone attacks is not a war crime and it means favoring less collateral damage. Which must piss you off for some reason (I guess, hating human life?).

Freder Frederson said...

So Freder, you dont think waterboarding our troops is in fact torture?

Not as a part of training on how to resist torture. It is not carried out for the purpose "obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person,"

Didn't you bother to read what I posted?

jr565 said...

O RItmo wrote:
Because the argument didn't favor it. Torture was not shown to be effective, and its benefits, at least until now (and perhaps still) were all speculative. You might not know the difference between speculation and evidence but the rest of us do.

That is a cost benefit argument not a moral one. And as the title of this post shows, Panetta says that it was used to help get OBL. Meaning it was effective.
Since you've already given up the moral argument, you should now give up the cost benefit argument. Since there too you lose. Because morally it is worse to blow someone up then pour water on their face. And you've justified blowing somone up in a drone strike as leser evil than going into all out war.

Freder Frederson said...

1) It scares the crap out of a person only while it’s being done.
2) It does no damage, short or long term.


Your first point is actually included in the statutory definition of torture and your second point is not relevant to deciding what is or is not torture.

bagoh20 said...

"Using the above definitions do you now understand that while waterboarding is torture, waterboarding incident to SERE training is not."

None of it applies to water boarding except the threat of imminent death. But everyone in the world knows nobody ever dies from it, so that can't apply either. I happen to think that provision is stupid anyway, but threat of death is not why it works. It's a psychophysiological response that duplicates the feeling of fear of death, even though a person rationally knows they will not die. Nobody can resist it, even when they know they are safe.

It's freaking miracle gift from God, and I'm serious. He built it right in.

Lem said...

The mission is to drive people away.

The fierce tenacity of a meat-puppet like Ritmo leads me to believe he is a payed recruit.

Everybody gets them... seminar callers.

If you don't... it means you are not any good... you are not a threat.

bagoh20 said...

I'd prefer to be water boarded 4 times a year rather than pay my taxes. I am not kidding. Is taxation torture, or is it worse?

Freder Frederson said...

But everyone in the world knows nobody ever dies from it, so that can't apply either. I happen to think that provision is stupid anyway, but threat of death is not why it works. It's a psychophysiological response that duplicates the feeling of fear of death, even though a person rationally knows they will not die. Nobody can resist it, even when they know they are safe.

Threatening to kill or rape your family or putting someone in front of a firing squad armed only with blanks is torture under the statute, yet neither directly physically harms the victim.

If you don't like the definition of torture, get Congress to change it, not just say "I think the provision is stupid."

bagoh20 said...

1) It scares the crap out of a person only while it’s being done.
2) It does no damage, short or long term.

Your first point is actually included in the statutory definition of torture and your second point is not relevant to deciding what is or is not torture."


So I guess a good roller-coaster is torture. Nice definition you got there.

jr565 said...

Freder wrote:
Not as a part of training on how to resist torture. It is not carried out for the purpose "obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person,"

You are describing intent not effects. But I could completely follow the army field manaul and obtain a confession using the presribed methods and punish someone for an act or intimidate them or coerce them (and you can see this in any police interrogation today) and yet we wouldn't describe that as torture.
But tell me Freder, what about the physical effects that someone undergoing SERE Traing goes through when they go through waterboarding. Like the ones you mention which you say apply to enhanced interrogation, namely:

“severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—
(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
(B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
(C) the threat of imminent death; or
(D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality; "



Whatever the intent of the person pouring water over your face, the actual act will feel the same to the person who is having the act performed on him. No?

How then, could you not call SERE training torture, whatever the intent of the trainee.

bagoh20 said...

"Threatening to kill or rape your family or putting someone in front of a firing squad armed only with blanks is torture under the statute, yet neither directly physically harms the victim."

Your missing the point. If you knew they really wouldn't do it, how can it be torture by this (bad) definition?

bagoh20 said...

C'mon guys, make a decent argument. I'm just a rube.

Freder Frederson said...

Whatever the intent of the person pouring water over your face, the actual act will feel the same to the person who is having the act performed on him. No?

No. If I punch someone in the face as part of a boxing match or tackle the ball handler in a football game, I have not committed battery, and you can get just as badly hurt.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

That is a cost benefit argument not a moral one.

If you do not understand that more lives saved as opposed to less lives saved is a moral argument, then you do not merit further discussion.

And as the title of this post shows, Panetta says that it was used to help get OBL. Meaning it was effective.

That's a claim. It is not yet evidence.

Since you've already given up the moral argument, you should now give up the cost benefit argument.

Again, because you are too much of a silly, stupid dipshit to understand that it is morally preferable to save more lives than less lives, then it is absurd to even dignify your absurdly undignifiable comment here.

Since there too you lose. Because morally it is worse to blow someone up then pour water on their face. And you've justified blowing somone up in a drone strike as leser evil than going into all out war.

No one is comparing drone attacks to torture except for someone too stupid to understand the difference between a target in your custody and a target that you have not taken custody of, who is actively plotting to kill others.

That stupid person would be you.

O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...

Lem,

Time to get your bowl filled with more kibble. Did you need a treat? Good doggie!

Now roll over and fetch the partisan Kool-Aid. And stop being a bitch.

Freder Frederson said...

Your missing the point. If you knew they really wouldn't do it

If you really didn't think you were going to drown while being waterboarded, it wouldn't work. But when water is poured over your face, your instincts take over, and you really will believe you are dying. If it was just unpleasant, like holding your breath, it simply wouldn't work.

Brennan said...

I notice that George Stephanopolous spoke to Harry Reid this morning for 15 minutes of camera time, but more than likely an hour of straight talk. Not once does George ask the Senate Majority Leader if the US Senate plans to pass a budget.

jr565 said...

We would not actually torture our troops when they underwent trainig. We're not going to pull out their fingernails or break their limbs or do things you would find on a Sadaam Hussein video (they're out there on the internet if you want to see what REAL torture looks like).
And the army couldn't get away with torturing troops even if they just said it was "training" because again, we can't torture our troops. Therefore, if we simply kept our interrogation methods to that we would do to our own troops anyway if they wanted to graduate, how are we calling it torture?
IF we said as part of our trainig that we would cut the skin off of our troops and pour salt on the wounds and crucify them, would we be able to get away with it, even if we said it was "trainig" Of course not. Because that would shock the conscience. Again, if we use it for our training then it's not too extreme to use for interrogations.
Look at the moral argument. If we actually had to get information from someone to the point where life was on the line how far would we go? Well, the Bush administration still wouldn't cut peoples skin off and pour salt on the wounds. But they would do the same thing that we routinely do for SERE trainig.

jr565 said...

Freder wrote:
If you really didn't think you were going to drown while being waterboarded, it wouldn't work. But when water is poured over your face, your instincts take over, and you really will believe you are dying. If it was just unpleasant, like holding your breath, it simply wouldn't work.


So are you saying that SERE cadets don't have that same instinct? We know they're not going to die, the people pouring water over their face know it, yet instinct takes over.
Sounds like therefore you believe that SERE trainig would have to be considered torture.

Lem said...

Who is your paymaster?

I'm guessing George Soros.

Freder Frederson said...

Again, if we use it for our training then it's not too extreme to use for interrogations.

No matter what you think, that is not what the law says.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Lem -

Lay off the Glenn Beck. He's not much better than alcohol.

Brennan said...

General Mike Hayden doesn't strike me as a guy that would do something if it didn't provide value. Every speech I have seen him give shows he is quite sharp and doesn't like to waste time.

As evidence I would point to his response to the White House memo stating that all enhanced interrogation techniques would cease and the Army Field Manual would apply going forward. It took General Hayden 1 minute to respond to the White House to add "unless authorized by the President of the United States."

This man is always gathering options. And he's rarely using those that are most lethal at his disposal.

Freder Frederson said...

Sounds like therefore you believe that SERE trainig would have to be considered torture.

Don't you understand there are two components to torture?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Also, is anyone else actually listening to the clip?

Panetta doesn't admit that the tortured evidence was useful. He just said it was used. His comment in no way leads me to believe that they got anything from torturing that they couldn't have gotten legally.

Lem said...

You have time to watch Glenn Beck?

Now I know you are definitely being payed.

bagoh20 said...

"If you really didn't think you were going to drown while being waterboarded, it wouldn't work"

You don't understand it. People who know they are safe will still do whatever it take to get you to stop. I know it's counterintuitive, but that's the way it works on your body. In a way it something like being tickled. Hey maybe they should try that, but I have a suspicion that even making someone laugh against their will is just to scary to use to prevent actual death and suffering.

Freder Frederson said...

It took General Hayden 1 minute to respond to the White House to add "unless authorized by the President of the United States."

He said that as director of CIA. The CIA is not bound (unfortunately) by the Army Field Manual.

Freder Frederson said...

You don't understand it. People who know they are safe will still do whatever it take to get you to stop.

No, you are the one who doesn't understand.

bagoh20 said...

I bet I could get you lefties to volunteer to be water boarded at a relatively low price, and you know I could. One pair of Barack's dirty undies maybe? Now, if it was torture, would I be able to do that?

jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote:
If you do not understand that more lives saved as opposed to less lives saved is a moral argument, then you do not merit further discussion.

I do recognize that argument. As do all the people advocating enhanced interrogations. Why do you see the point when it comes to drone strikes versus all out war but not when it comes to enhanced interrogation.
If you can break KSM through waterboarding you can find out about other people who are in AL Qaeda other attacks that may be forthcoming and deal with them on a covert basis rather than engaging in all out war.
Like suppose KSM revealed the location of a compound that housed a few high level Al Qaeda trainig camps which we could then use a drone strike (which you are ok with) to take out that target RATHER than sending in troops to fight it out.

I would think, since you are supportive of the lesser evil approach that getting the info from a technique that we use on our troops would be more efficacious than sending someone to Egpt to be REALLY tortured to provide that same info.

bagoh20 said...

"No, you are the one who doesn't understand."

Oh, when you put it that way with such a clear, powerful argument, then I have no choice but to agree.

Matt said...

So, it isn't the "what" that is the torture, it's the "why". Waterboarding for training is not torture because it is for training but waterboarding to get information from a captive IS torture. Therefore, waterboarding is not OBJECTIVELY torture; it is SUBJECTIVELY torture.

Thus, when the claim is made that "waterboarding is torture" we know that is not to be true as it is not the act of waterboarding that makes it torture.

bagoh20 said...

"Why do you see the point when it comes to drone strikes versus all out war but not when it comes to enhanced interrogation."

Look, someone has to die, or you just aren't doing it right. You can't have a guy just wipe off his face and be fine afterward. We need some kaboom, blood & guts. That kind of thing.

whoresoftheinternet said...

@ Freder Frederson said...

Just because you add a lot of obscenities to your invalid opinion doesn't make it true. Look up the definition of torture in the convention against torture or the U.S. statutory definition of torture and explain how waterboarding does not fit the definition of torture.

---Liar

Considering the Yoo memos specifically argue how it's now because it doesn't cause "prolonged" or "Severe" and other very specific points, it doesn't.

The problem is you lefties are trying this in the court of left, where all of your fellow fasicsts are salivating to find any obscure legal hook to arrest and imprison Bushitler, Cheney, etc. With any opposition immediately discounted.

You forget that if you lefty scum ACTUALLY tried it in court, you'd have , like a real jury of people who aren't always as fascistic as you'd like, AND real defense attorneys who get to argue all these points you just hand wave away.

Definitions of words matter, as is the exact wording of a law.

Like when feminists claim it's a "rape culture" , by changing the definition of rape, you try to change the definition of torture under the law.

You lose, liar.

Matt said...

The interrogator could tickle them relentlessly to get intel so long as the intent meets the UN's definition of torture.

jr565 said...

Freder wrote:

No. If I punch someone in the face as part of a boxing match or tackle the ball handler in a football game, I have not committed battery, and you can get just as badly hurt.
Well actually a punch in the face will still feel like a punch in the face even if the person giving the punch is a boxer and not an interrogator. in fact it wlll probably hurt MORE.
I didn't ask you about the intent of the person who is going to train/torture his pupil. I asked about what the person is feeling when he undergoes the waterboarding. It's going to FEEL the same whether the person feeling it is KSM or some guy going through SERE training.
WHy is that guy in SERE traning not being tortured?
It sounds like the only difference is that in one case we are calling it training and in the other case it torture.

bagoh20 said...

You can tickle them as much as you want, you just can't threaten to tickle them to death. That's torture.

Crimso said...

"Torture was not shown to be effective, and its benefits, at least until now (and perhaps still) were all speculative."

Kiriakou contradicts your assertion, and he was in a position to know (having taken part in EIT). He also thought we shouldn't have been doing it.

Kiriakou's revelation is not remembered by most. It stuck in my mind because he thought it was unethical, and he insisted it was effective and did provide intel that saved American lives.

I'd consider Kiriakou's opinion much more significant than McCain's, in the same way that I'd consider a neurosurgeon's assessment of the efficacy of a particular procedure considerably more important than the patient's.

bagoh20 said...

I'm sure our interrogators don't do it because they want results. They just like doing it, and taking the risk of going to jail as a war criminal is just part of the excitement, or they are sadistic evil bastards top to bottom.

bagoh20 said...

The only way I would be against water boarding is if it could be proven to never work. I think the chances of that are near zero.

O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...

I do recognize that argument. As do all the people advocating enhanced interrogations. Why do you see the point when it comes to drone strikes versus all out war but not when it comes to enhanced interrogation.

Because leaving a terrorist incapacitated yields immediate, tangible benefit.

Gaining information from him that may or may not be accurate because you didn't abide by the laws of war yields speculative benefit.

I don't know about you, but I value tangible things above speculative things.

This is not to say that torture might not have any value. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. The evidence til now - Panetta's weaksauce, mealy-mouthed clarifications notwithstanding - was that it didn't. But even if it does, the benefit is still speculative. The information may help, it may not. Neutralizing an active, recalcitrant, committed terrorist is much more definitive.

jr565 said...

Freder, explain why SERE training isn't torture. Does SERE training shock your conscience? Are SERE trainers War criminals?
is the goal of subjecting our own citizens to SERE training such that we could get away with calling torture non torture?

Is that goal, the training of troops, somehow more important to a society than say, preventing a terrorist attack that kiils thousands?

Or are you going to show us how SERE training water boarding is somehow different than the waterboarding KSM underwent.

If instead of calling it enhanced interrogation we called it "trainig" would you suddenly be ok with it?
If we called SERE training "enhanced interrogation" would we somehow have to then call it torture?

jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote:
Because leaving a terrorist incapacitated yields immediate, tangible benefit.

Gaining information from him that may or may not be accurate because you didn't abide by the laws of war yields speculative benefit.

I don't know about you, but I value tangible things above speculative things.

So then why capture terrorists or suspected terorrists on the battlefield? Rather than put then through any interrogation a bullet to the head. Whats' the problem there?
Also, dropping a bomb on someone doesn't necessarily provide benefits. A bomb was dropped on Zawahari and he lost a leg, but continued fighting us.
But there may be times when capturing someone is more valuable than killing them. Capturing KSM for example is more valuable then just blowing him up.
At any rate, you are now totally arguing the benefits of dropping bombs on people. Why then would you have any problem with us not waterboarding ALL people we capture (before putting a bullet through their heads).
I mean, if you want to go all utilitarian then there is a great case to be made for torture, and final solutions for that matter.

Freder Frederson said...

Considering the Yoo memos specifically argue how it's now because it doesn't cause "prolonged" or "Severe" and other very specific points, it doesn't.

The statute and the convention defined "severe and prolonged"(and under the convention, the pain merely needs to be severe), which Yoo ignored.

Freder Frederson said...

Freder, explain why SERE training isn't torture.

I already have. You are apparently too dense to read the statutory definition.

Does SERE training shock your conscience?

Where in any statute or convention defining torture is shocking the conscience included in the definition of torture?

Are SERE trainers War criminals?
No

jr565 said...

Freder wrote:
The statute and the convention defined "severe and prolonged"(and under the convention, the pain merely needs to be severe), which Yoo ignored.


Again, this is why you are so full of it. Waterboarding is waterboarding is waterboarding. If it is severe and prolonged pain, then that means that those we waterboard for SERE training are being tortured, whether we call it training or not.Because the act produces results that would be considered severe and prolonged pain.
If you truly thought it were torture you wouldn't allow for it, even if the army said it was just "training". It would still be torture.
Uless you are saying that SERE traning waterboarding isn't severe and prolonged. In which case what's the differene between the two techniques. What if we said that we could waterboard KSM but only if we used the exact same techniques we used on our troops.

Since they're the same techniques it would make little sense. Which again gets back to the point about why then you don't think SERE traiing is torture since it amounts to subjecting our troops to severe and prolonged pain?


O Ritmo Segundo said...

So then why capture terrorists or suspected terorrists on the battlefield? Rather than put then through any interrogation a bullet to the head. Whats' the problem there?

If you can capture, then you do capture. If they present no present danger to capture, then that's the procedure. What's the deal? Do you wish to revisit and rewrite the whole book on how war is conducted?

jr565 said...

How about if the standard for enhanced interrogation was, everything is permissible so long as we subject our military personnel to the same thing when they go through training?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

How about if the standard for enhanced interrogation was, everything is permissible so long as we subject our military personnel to the same thing when they go through training?

That's not how the conventions read.

We signed a treaty. Treaties have the force of constitutional law (read the constitution on that). If the bodies that are party to that treaty agree, then all is fine. But you don't want to subject the interpretation of the conventions to a body comprised of every signatory, do you? Did you want to ask them this question?

Just honor your commitments. It shouldn't be a hard thing to ask.

jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote:
If you can capture, then you do capture. If they present no present danger to capture, then that's the procedure. What's the deal? Do you wish to revisit and rewrite the whole book on how war is conducted?

You seemed to be suggesting we should just drop bombs on people as the best course of action. Bullets to the head would just as easily suffice no?
Or, as they put down their guns another drone strike. Till no one moves any more.
What's the problem?

jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote:
We signed a treaty. Treaties have the force of constitutional law (read the constitution on that). If the bodies that are party to that treaty agree, then all is fine. But you don't want to subject the interpretation of the conventions to a body comprised of every signatory, do you?

Did KSM sing the treaty? What army did he serve under again?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

The convention against torture applies to any individual under any signatory's jurisdiction. There is no exemption for detainees who are "bad", "yucky", "evil", fighting for an un-uniformed force, etc.

You are mixing up your FOX News Nation Talking Points. Tell Roger you demand a retraction in your defense.

Geez.

jr565 said...

UN lawful combatants are allowed to be hung according to the Geneva Convetion.
They do not have the rights of lawful combatants, being that they are saboteurs.
THat doesn't meant that we should therefore draw and quarter them, but it does mean that they are not subject to the same laws and rules as lawful combatants.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Bullets to the head would just as easily suffice no?

That's what a drone attack is. From very far away.

Stop being coy and cute.

jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote:
The convention against torture applies to any individual under any signatory's jurisdiction. There is no exemption for detainees who are "bad", "yucky", "evil", fighting for an un-uniformed force, etc.

and im still trying to get one of you guys to explain why waterboarding in SERE training isn't torture.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Combatant status has nothing to do with the laws against torture.

Tell Roger that he prepped you on the wrong "anti-UN" talking point.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

If a trainee wants to bring forward a claim, let him.

You are not being serious.

jr565 said...

O Ritmo you might want to read this:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/21/drone-strikes-international-law-un

"Drone strikes threaten 50 years of International Law!!!!!!!!" so says the UN.
So, you and your utilitarianism threaten 50 years of international law and you have no problem with it. Wherefore are citing Geneva Conventions when you obviously have no problems flouting 50 years of international Law?

Freder Frederson said...

Uless you are saying that SERE traning waterboarding isn't severe and prolonged. In which case what's the differene between the two techniques.

SERE training is not conducted for the "purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person", therefore it is not torture.

Torture has to be both severe and for the purpose of obtaining information or punishment. SERE training fails the second half of the test.

jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote:
If a trainee wants to bring forward a claim, let him.

You are not being serious.

Im not asking what a trainee feels. I'm asking you to answer the question.

Freder Frederson said...

UN lawful combatants are allowed to be hung according to the Geneva Convetion.

While the Convention doesn't ban the death penalty, it does not permit the torture of anyone, regardless of their status.

jr565 said...

Freder wrote:
SERE training is not conducted for the "purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person", therefore it is not torture.

What if the SERE training is in the context of withstanidng an interogation. Meaning you have to be interrogated as part of the "training"
Those things you say don't apply pretty much happen to those going through the training. Yes, it's a mock interrogation in the sense that we aren't interrogating them for actual information we need on a life or death basis.But we are interrogating them nonetheless. Then were are "torturing them".

Rusty said...

Freder Frederson said...
UN lawful combatants are allowed to be hung according to the Geneva Convetion.

While the Convention doesn't ban the death penalty, it does not permit the torture of anyone, regardless of their status.

But Freder. If it saves just one child, it's worth it.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Im not asking what a trainee feels. I'm asking you to answer the question.

Unlike you, I don't fancy myself a judge, jury, executioner and plaintiff. I actually recognize that these are separate parties to a dispute in the law.

I also, unlike you, recognize that what someone writes in a magazine, like The Guardian, is none of these things.

Bring forward your defense of torture to the U.N. Tell them that you think that you are also violating conventions with the drone attacks. You know, because Obama did it and all.

jr565 said...

Here's an example of SERE traing and what they go through:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ben-sherwood/waterboarding-101-inside_b_190318.html


Throughout the experience, they wear you down with sleep deprivation, semi-starvation, and blaring music, including Sesame Street songs around the clock. They interrogate you constantly, employing enemy techniques copied from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. (According to The New York Times, those techniques include fake-drowning or waterboarding) They say they don't use excessive force, but it can be physically rough. No one likes to admit it, but bones and eardrums have been broken in the service of preparing American men and women for the reality of captivity.

Hungry, exhausted and under relentless physical and psychological pressure, many trainees lose track of time and some begin to believe they're experiencing the real thing. That's the ultimate goal: to make you crack and fail in your mission and then show you how to put yourself back together again.


So, its not just waterboarding even.

Rusty said...

War, by it's nature, is immoral. There never has been and there never will be a moral war.

jr565 said...

O Ritmo wrote;
I also, unlike you, recognize that what someone writes in a magazine, like The Guardian, is none of these things.

Bring forward your defense of torture to the U.N. Tell them that you think that you are also violating conventions with the drone attacks. You know, because Obama did it and all.

Bring forth your defense of Obama's targeted killings and drone strikes to the UN and see what they say there?

O Ritmo Segundo said...

Bring forth your defense of Obama's targeted killings and drone strikes to the UN and see what they say there?

Probably something more favorable than they will to your half-ass weaksauce defenses of torture.

But Obama did it! Not fair!!!

Yeah, we see your point, little man.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 264   Newer› Newest»