March 28, 2016

"Brussels attacks were a terrorist interrogation failure..."

"When Salah Abdeslam, believed to be the logistics chief for an Islamic State terror cell, was captured, Belgian officials followed law enforcement procedures with precision. They provided Abdeslam a lawyer, told him he had the right to remain silent and put him into the Belgian criminal justice system. Four days later, the terror cell carried out bombings in Brussels that killed 35 people — including at least four Americans — and injured hundreds more. Astonishingly, officials did not question Abdeslam at all for his first 24 hours in custody. He spent Friday night in the hospital recovering from a leg wound sustained in the raid. When he was finally returned to the police on Saturday, he was questioned by authorities for a grand total of . . . two hours – and then was not questioned again until after the attacks. Why? 'He seemed very tired and he had been operated on the day before,' a senior Belgian security official told Politico. He seemed tired? That’s precisely when they should be interrogating him. The CIA used sleep deprivation as one of its most effective interrogation tools. But for Belgians, a terrorist’s exhaustion is a reason to stop questioning, not intensify it. But here is the most incredible part: During those two hours of questioning, The Post reports, 'investigators did not ask... about his knowledge of future plots.'"

119 comments:

rcocean said...

So, Belgians believe in politeness. You gotta problem with that?

Curious George said...

Is Hillary Belgian? Is Obama half Belgian?

Kansas City said...

Does anyone have any doubt that the same thing could happen here under the Obama administration?

All the nonsense about "enhanced interrogation" will disappear the first time that we have a similar situation here, i.e., a terrorist in custody with knowledge of an upcoming attack who is not aggressively interrogate and then the attack happens.

What amazes me is how politicians (and others) get away with saying "torture does not work." Of course it works. It would not have been around for thousands of years if it did not work. It may be technically true that it does not work every time, but so what? Nothing works every time.

Another variation is that a person under torture will tell you whatever you want him to tell you (as though that is a bad thing). It is an illogical extension of the proposition that an innocent man will confess under torture. That is true, but irrelevant. We are not interrogating a terrorist for a confession, but for information about planned further attacks.

Are politicians and others who say these things really that dumb? I previously had assumed that guys like Obama would pretend to be against torture, but in reality have not problem with it being done when necessary. But now I think that is not true. Obama really would prohibit "torture" even if he was told it was necessary to prevent an upcoming terrorist attack.

Rob said...

It's no surprise to learn that the Belgians waffle.

Michael K said...

This is the recapitulation of the "underwear bomber" who was read his rights first.

"Suicide of the West" is the name of this movie.

readering said...

The right to bear arms is so important that the US puts up with a rate of death from firearms that bears no resemblance to the rate in any other Western Country. Yet the right not to be tortured is not worth the risk of a small fraction of the firearms deaths we live with without blinking?

n.n said...

Brussels attacks were a failure to separate church and state.

The confusion can be understood to stem from the establishment of a pro-choice cult with its selective and variable moral principles given by emanations from a penumbra and that follow prevailing special and peculiar interests. The anti-native policies in liberal societies only serves to exacerbate the consequences of this modern quasi-religion.

Curious George said...

Jack Bauer: By the time I'm finished with you, you're gonna wish you felt this good.

amielalune said...


Kansas City: You are absolutely right. Torturing someone to obtain a confession is said to "not work" because eventually the person, even if innocent, will figure out that it's better to confess and face the consequences than to continue the pain. That leads to the arrest of the wrong person, while the true culprit is still free. However, torturing for information works a great deal of the time, and always has.

But it's all B.S., because nothing that we do including waterboarding, sleep deprivation, etc., etc., rises to the level of actual torture. Those things are only considered torture by leftists when Westerners do it.

Douglas said...

Torture is irrelevant to the question here. This perp could and should have been questioned relentlessly, hour after hour after hour, without waterboarding or putting splinters under his fingernails or electrodes to his gonads. Just plain, ordinary, in-your-face questioning would have been nice.

pm317 said...

The world needs a Trump if not the Donald.

coupe said...

Two of the Americans are suspected of being CIA agents. Which means the rest of the people were collateral. The USA does not want to identify them, but the press has hundreds of reporters trying to find out the names.

There will be a leak. There always is.

The Drill SGT said...

Joe Friday questioning. In shifts...

Kansas City said: What amazes me is how politicians (and others) get away with saying "torture does not work." Of course it works. It would not have been around for thousands of years if it did not work. It may be technically true that it does not work every time, but so what? Nothing works every time.

The dirty secret is that torture always works if you ask questions that build on existing knowledge and ask questions that can be verified.

Bad question: Who is your accomplice?

Good question: Where are your guns buried?

The Army know that torture works and that even the strongest break.. What they has of the troops is that you try not to reveal operational details until they become OBE.

coupe said...

If I was the President, I would do to Muslims in Belgium what the French King and the Pope did to the Knights Templar.

Yep, they no longer exist. Most died, the smart one fled.

Tarrou said...

Better dead than impolite, mirite? MIRITE?!!!

coupe said...

When I went to POW school, they said that most of us would not last 5 minutes. I lasted about 3 minutes.

They tricked me into holding a board up that was real heavy. I thought it was some kind of stress test. After a few seconds he said I could put it down.

Then he flipped it around, and it was Chinese or Vietnamese writing, with English at the bottom, and I was admitting to be a war criminal.

They moved me to the camp for war criminals, which had no protections of the Geneva Conventions. We were given execution dates, and put in hard labor chopping down trees and making firewood for the big pot of stew we ate from every day.

Every day the guards would pee in the stew and laugh.

The Drill SGT said...

coupe said...
When I went to POW school, they said that most of us would not last 5 minutes. I lasted about 3 minutes.


For me it was the bamboo cage, sized just right. no laying down, no sitting, no standing, just a contorted hunched over position

holdfast said...

If one uses torture to extract a "confession", then of course it doesn't work - the person being tortured will say anything to make the pain stop.

If you use it to extract specific information - i.e. what is the address of the main ISIS safehouse in Lahore - you can verify whether the info is correct - and if it is, you reward; if not you punish. OK, you may not get the MAIN safehouse but you will get a safehouse.

Bob Ellison said...

Whether torture "works" is in the mind of the torturer. If the goal is propoganda, it almost always works. If the goal is useful information, then methods matter more.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
coupe said...

In the end, the west is going to have to get serious if they want to win.

No one thinks we are serious when we use lawyers to fight a war.

Take these people to the gas chambers and dispatch them. Take their whole family to the gas chambers.

Then burn their bodies for electricity.

YoungHegelian said...

I thought Europeans were supposed to be so much smarter than us Uhmerican cowboys.

I'm sorry, but, what the hell is the matter with these people?

Curious George said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TCom said...

All the pantywaist responses to this state of emergency just continually remind me of 1930's Europe. They were so scared of war that they appeased their way right into one.

They really think it takes two sides to fight a war, not just one.

Curious George said...

Salah Abdeslam: "Do you expect me to talk?"

Belgian Interrogator: "No Mr. Abdeslam. I expect you to get a good nights sleep! There is nothing you can tell me that can't wait 48 hours."

buwaya said...

" However, torturing for information works a great deal of the time, and always has."

Yes it does. The Japanese in the Philippines used torture on an enormous scale, on Luzon anyway, to suppress the underground and guerrillas. They would begin by grabbing people nearly randomly, demanding that the victim denounce someone/someones. These they picked up and tortured in turn, until they got a genuine hit. Then on they went. It worked extremely well. Of the active guerrilla or resistance leaders in 1942, 90% were dead by 1945, killed or captured then executed, or died under torture. They never did suppress the resistance though. For every one they got, another popped up.

AprilApple said...

Did they at least offer him a cup of tea?

Laslo Spatula said...

"Farook!"

"Yes, Amir?"

"I think Our Brothers' actions in Belgium might have hurt us."

"Belgium? I thought we had bombed France again."

"No, no Farook: Belgium is a separate country."

"And it is in Europe?"

"Yes, Farook: it is in Europe."

"Do they at least SPEAK French?"

"Oh, fuck: they speak a little of everything: Dutch, French, German..."

"Do they speak Arabic?"

"More so every day, Farook, more so every day."

"So what is the problem?"

"We are being looked at closer than ever."

"Amir, we are constantly being looked at closer than ever, but they never actually see us."

"You know, Farook? That is SO True. Let's go get some Schwarma!"

"From the place that rubs their dicks in all the Jewish students' food?"

Of course, Farook my Friend: of course!"


I am Laslo.

Paul said...

This is what the feminization of a culture looks like. Weak, soft, naive, idealistic, and doomed to be culled on the Darwinian playing field.

madAsHell said...

Two of the Americans are suspected of being CIA agents.

I hope someone, somewhere is building a chain of evidence showing that Hillary's email server compromised their identities.

traditionalguy said...

What's a matter. They were politically correct to the man. Doing that and ending Global Warming is all our military is allowed to do anymore. Why do we expect more from the EU???

traditionalguy said...

I know what . We turn anti terrorism in Europe over to Fidel Castro. He knows how to get it done.

Big Mike said...

Can the Belgian police sleep at night knowing that they should have interrogated Salah Abdeslam more forcefully and about future plots, and didn't? Actually I imagine that they sleep very well. They did everything by the book; so what if 31 people died?

This, BTW, is why imagining that a government can treat terrorism using normal criminal procedures is ridiculous.

narciso said...

neither did they turn over the tip of where saleh was hiding, heck the fellow who shot massoud was hiding in plain sight there,

Drago said...

""Brussels attacks were a terrorist interrogation failure...""

Nonsense.

The Belgian interrogation techniques and outcomes were precisely as expected and planned for.

Now, if we are talking about twitterers or westerners who are concerned about the islamification of Europe and mass slaughter of Christians, Jews and secular humanists, well, all bets are off.

Again, precisely as the left has designed it all to "work".

Paul said...

I'd have called Jack Bauer up to have a chat with Abdeslam. A long chat with Mr. Cattle Prod and Miss Rubber Hose as helpers.

Cause when you are fighting evil, you have no choice but to meet it half way.

mccullough said...

This was their 9/11. They now know that they need to greatly build up their intelligence and military capabilities and to cut off Muslim immigration. Hopefully they will improve.

The US let the same group hit the WTC twice. After the Feb 1993 bombing, we didn't do enough. After the 2001 WTC, we did more but then invaded Iraq, which was stupid. We're still nation building in Afghanistan, which is a shithole we should have left within 1 year of toppling the Taliban and telling them the next attack will be nuclear and we'll send you to Allah by the millions. So our advice should be to learn from our mistakes and get up to speed quicker

Henry said...

The entire article is built upon a false premise -- that faster, more pointed interrogation would have caused the terrorist to spill the beans.

Consider this paragraph: In the CIA’s experience, two-thirds of detainees cooperated without any enhanced interrogation techniques at all. Just the experience of disappearing into secret detention — with no idea where they were and no lawyer present — was enough to get them talking.

On the surface this sounds authoritative, but the first sentence needs a footnote. Based on what? The second sentence is pure supposition. According to whom? And frankly, the use of the word disappearing is either cynical or appalling.

Thiessen does make one good honest point: ...law enforcement officials are in no hurry to extract answers from a detainee, because they are questioning terrorists after an attack has occurred. Their goal is to extract a confession in order to secure a conviction. In such circumstances, patience is a virtue.

This points not to some kind of magical extortion of information in lieu of human rights protections. It calls for a clear set of expectations for terror-plot law enforcement. Assume the crime is always in progress.

Johnny Lanctot said...

Drill SGT, I was put in that cage - pinched a nerve - never told anyone -- they might not have let me fly. When it is acting up, I can stick a needle in my thigh and not feel a thing. I went to survival school in 1982...

James Pawlak said...

Use "Water Boarding" as it does NOT cause permanent physical harm.

Sam P said...

Almost immediately after the arrest, I was wondering why the Belgians announced his arrest and claimed that he was talking. That seemed rather stupid to me.

Eric said...

The entire article is built upon a false premise -- that faster, more pointed interrogation would have caused the terrorist to spill the beans.

I don't think it's a false premise to say "faster, more pointed interrogation may have caused the terrorist to spill the beans." He certainly isn't going to tell you much if you don't even ask.

JCC said...

Most people are conflating torture with questioning suspects without benefit of counsel, or without allowing them to remain silent for fear of self-incrimination. This is what happens when the government confuses criminal procedure with asymmetric warfare. If one decides that you don't care if what a suspect says is admissible in a court of law, then question away. Don't let them sleep, who cares if they demand a lawyer, so what if they are on medication or under a doctor's care.

Torture as a tactic is barbaric. But there certainly is room between torture and acceptable for some unpleasantness and some coercion when we're addressing the needs of discovering an immediate threat. And anyone who says that the intelligent application of coercion to encourage cooperation doesn't work is just wrong. It does.

MaxedOutMama said...

I think Thiessen is being more than a bit naive, here.

I think what the Belgian police really did was loudly announce to the whole world that he was cooperating (and the French said so too) and then quietly tell him that if he didn't want to be extradited they would just put him in a prison unit with all his Muslim buddies locked up for terrorism. Then let him sit and think about just what his buddies would have done to him. It wouldn't have been pleasant, it wouldn't have been quick and he wouldn't have survived.

For that to work, they had to leave him alone - if he got the idea that he had info they desperately wanted, he wouldn't have believed the threat.

I also think the French and the Belgians had enough confidence in their electronic surveillance to believe that they could watch the reaction and gain some clues to other wanna-bes.

In any case, the guy is now begging to be handed over to the French.

John said...

Last century we spent a lot of American blood and money fighting 2 of Europe's wars for them. We had no dog in either fight and should have stayed out of both.

I am convinced that Europeans learned approximately nothing from either 1914 and 1939. I will be very surprised if there is not a major war in Europe in the next 10 years or so.

I hope we don't get involved for a 3rd time. I hope but would be surprised if we did not.

Fuck Europe and their puppy dog countries. Let them pound each other to death.

Trump has the right idea of either withdrawing our troops or making them pay us for protection. I say we should withdraw.

John Henry

David said...

Hard to know if the article is accurate. There is a long list of reasons why an article like this might be planted. The only thing we really know is that we don't know much.

Mike Sigman said...

Ermmmm ... so the Belgians who totally screwed up the Rwanda Attacks and couldn't stop any of it ... you're surprised that they couldn't handle these next big attacks? Seriously?

Owen said...

The solution is obvious but very distasteful. As always it is to find the thing about which the other side truly cares. Maybe it's family. Maybe it's neighborhood. Or school, countryside, whatever.

Identify that countervailing value and tell the other side that it will be annihilated if they don't quit.

Then, if they don't quit, annihilate it. Rinse; repeat.

Eventually they will absorb the lesson. Or you will annihilate them all.

Simple!

Harold said...

If we're at war with islam, and we are, not with radical islamists or misunderstanders, but with islam, then the captured terrorists are unlawful combatants under the Geneva Convention and have no rights. None. At all. Nor should they. Islam is not a signatory to the Geneva convention, and there is no one who can sign for islam, so they will always be non-state actors without Geneva Convention protection. And they should be treated as if they have no rights, for they have none.

If you treat them as ordinary civilian criminals with rights to a lawyer and decent food and housing (in the west, not so much in North Korea or Mexico- or anywhere in Sharialand...)then you're playing a game where one side has rules and the other doesn't. In that type of game, people who play by the rules ALWAYS lose.

The Roman way works. Find out where the terrorists were born. Bomb and strafe their village until (at least) 10% are dead. Warn them next time it will be 100% with every building leveled. Terrorism in the west will eventually stop if we do that.

Paul said...

Notice we played by rules in Vietnam and lost. We played by rules in Korea and as a result we are still stuck there. Yes we played by rules in WW2 but we also leveled whole cities and even nuked a few.

We are fighting an enemy that does not play by rules, so we shouldn't either.

William said...

I would guess that the threat of torture is almost as effective as the use of torture. The authorities should be allowed to credibly play that card. Hence waterboarding.......,I just hope that they give this bastard the full twenty one years. If it was up to me, I would take away his microwave as well.

Kaiser Derden said...

there was a time when the term "Belgian mercenary" was understood to mean hard men who would do hard things to get the job done ... no more ... they literally had a ticking time bomb scenario and they played nice ... 35 people dead because he was "tired" ... anyone who says that harsh interrogation doesn't work is a fool ... anyone can be broken ... this man should have been made to reveal everything ... of course people can try to lie to their interrogators to make them stop ... but only once ... then after the lie is exposed they are right back in the bad place they tried to lie their way out of ... and they won't lie again because they then understand just how bad the punishment is for lying ... anyone can be broken , even someone who is willing to die for their cause ... and this guy wasn't ...

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

The Belgians played Russian roulette and lost... several dozen people and injured several hundred more. The casualties would be tolerable, except that they occurred in the public space where abortions and torture disturb the sheep. They chose poorly.

The Drill SGT said...

Kaiser Derden said...
there was a time when the term "Belgian mercenary" was understood to mean hard men who would do hard things to get the job done


From '45 to '65 that was true. Those mercs came generally from 2 or 3 sources.

- ex Belgian Commandos, originally trained by the Brits in the process that produces the SAS today
- ex German Soldaten
- ex London Poles, who had no place to return to after WWII

example, the '65 campaign against the Simba cannibals

"Gentle folk sleep peaceably in their beds at night, because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf"

The Drill SGT said...

n.n said...
The Belgians played Russian roulette and lost


LOL, they played with a 9mm automatic pistol

Jon Ericson said...

readering said... [hush]​[hide comment]

The right to bear arms is so important that the US puts up with a rate of death from firearms that bears no resemblance to the rate in any other Western Country. Yet the right not to be tortured is not worth the risk of a small fraction of the firearms deaths we live with without blinking?

3/28/16, 6:22 PM

English much?

Gahrie said...

Has anyone proposed targeted assassinations at the Imams who are preaching jihad?

Kansas City said...

Ann attracts an interesting, smart and conservative crowd in her comments. Always wondered why since she is, more or less, a liberal.

I got in early with the "torture" works argument and, to my surprise, not a single commenter objected based on the left wing (in this country) talking points about how torture does not work and how the person will tell you whatever you want to hear. Smart realistic crowd.

Water boarding always seemed to me be the perfect enhanced interrogation technique, when necessary. It works, it easy to do and causes no permanent damage.

Quaestor said...

The Roman way works.

The Jews played the terrorist game against the Romans for more than a century. For most of that time they treated the problem of the Sicarii (literally "dagger men") as a criminal matter. If a Zealot was caught they'd give him a trial and usually nail him to something. The Zealots considered that martyrdom, which only encouraged more back stabbings. Finally the legate Gessius Florus decreed extreme measures. Whenever a Zealot was captured his home village would be attacked by an auxiliary cohort. All the adult males would be crucified (12 years and older) and all women and children would be deported as slaves. This policy led to open rebellion, which in turn led to the First Jewish War. Roman won, and the Jews lost the Temple and their capital city. Things were quiet for three generations. The Jews recovered most of their prosperity, but they still could not live or worship in Aelia Capitolina, formerly Jerusalem.

Then came the Bar Kohkba rebellion (AD 132) which started out the same way as the original Zealot terror campaign — nighttime stabbings of Roman citizens and Jewish pacifists (collaborators from the Zealot perspective) — but quickly morphed into open warfare. As usual God favored the side with the military muscle. Palestine became essentially Judenrein, and the Jews lost their independence for 1900 years.

One of the reasons why the Romans treated the Zealots as common criminals was that the Jews had been allied with Roman against Antiochus IV Epiphanes, so they inclined to treat Judea gently. If the they had brutally crushed the Sicarii at the outset, perhaps Judea would have become a pacified and assimilated province like Gallia or Hispania with the whole tragic diaspora avoided. Perhaps future historians will wonder why the West didn't deal with ISIS decisively before things got out of hand, and Syria became a radioactive wasteland.

Sammy Finkelman said...

The leak that he said that there would more attacks is said now to be untrue. He was asked if he knew some people whose pictures he was shown, and denied knowing them.

When he was finally returned to the police on Saturday, he was questioned by authorities for a grand total of . . . two hours – and then was not questioned again until after the attacks. Why? 'He seemed very tired and he had been operated on the day before,' a senior Belgian security official told Politico.

That's what you do with a willing witness. You make it easy for them, and don't press them too much, so they won't be tempted to be careless or lie.

Of course, hey should have assumed he knew a lot about the Belgian terror ring - it was, after all, headquarters, even if he had been sidelined. And he should have bene threatened with teh death penalty, or a quicker application of one - except that the EU doesn't have the death penalty - if anything happened as a result of him not telling something. It was known he didn't want to die - he ad discared his suicide belt or bomb. Maybe that actually was the idea all along.

And he also should have been offered better prison conditions, ad more freedom as long as he was co=operating. They probably don't do things like that, either, there.

Salah Abdeslam has now stopped co-operating.

Sammy Finkelman said...

The Belgian police have made all kinds of errors and misstatements. Or somebody has.

They said they were led to the hideout by the taxi driver. But the taxi driver said he only came forward after the pictures had been published, and the police were there before. And is that the same taxi driver who identified who identified the very wrong person (a journalist) who was released after 3 days. And what about this story that the terrorists ordered a minivan, but they got a regular car, and so they had to leave one of their 4 bombs behind?

Sammy Finkelman said...

@Quaestor said...

62 years isn't three generations - it's slightly more than 2. And theer was something in between, too.

Quaestor said...

62 years isn't three generations

That's only true in our 21st century urban civilization. In the ancient world a generation was reckoned as twenty years.

Fen said...

"We are fighting an enemy that does not play by rules, so we shouldn't either"

Its interesting how that window has shifted. There was a time when it was clearly understand that nation states operate under the Rules of War and could expect others to follow those same rules. And that those who refused to obey those rules were no longer protected by them.

Jonathan Silber said...

The Marines are now looking for a few good men to save the polar bears while earning money for college.

Original Mike said...

This is no different than the approach of our current administration. It's despicable.

Terry said...

It should be clear that any reasonable reading of the fourteenth amendment requires that, if a self identified Muslim terrorist person is tortured by the authorities to gain information about possible future terrorist attacks, several hundred randomly selected non-Muslim Americans must be tortured as well.
Why? Because this is America! We believe in civil rights in this country! If we did not torture innocent, non-Muslim people at random, we would be as bad as the terrorists!

sdharms said...

to readering: do you actually know how many of those firearms deaths are intentional homicides by CRIMINALS? and if they are deprived of guns they will use a knife or baseball bat.

Jason said...

Yes, even illegal combatants have rights.

Chris N said...

Well, there you go.

Brussels is kind of dirty and a bit chaotic, with a particularly disgruntled, criminal group of Muslims among other Muslims. Some have been to Syria and back.

Belgium a bit of a mess with the ol' multi-lingual, multi ethnic jurisdictional and organizational problems. Low trust

Syria, though is a near absolute mess,

What's the plan, here?

tim in vermont said...

Imagine how well a gun prohibition would go, after the alcohol one went so swimmingly.

tim in vermont said...

If you look at how the Belgians behaved in Africa, theirs were as brutal as western colonies get.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Johnny Lanctot,
"I went to survival school in 1982"

Navy?

tim in vermont said...

Apocalypse Now is based on Heart of Darkness which was based on Joseph Conrad's experiences in the Belgian Congo. They used to be hard men. I have been saying it all along, Europe is so soft because they are still in shock at the horror, "the horror" they released on the world over the past two centuries. My advice to the jihadis is to not press their cause too hard.

Kansas City said...

Also, in addition to pretty smart, the crowd her is late night. I tossed in some thoughts at 12:07 a.m. on a post from six hours earlier and, when I got up at 6:00, there were about 16 more comments.

Johnny Lanctot said...

exhelodrvr1, I was Air Force

Robert Cook said...

"All the nonsense about 'enhanced interrogation' will disappear the first time that we have a similar situation here, i.e., a terrorist in custody with knowledge of an upcoming attack who is not aggressively interrogate and then the attack happens."

Why mince words? Say what you mean: "...a terrorist in custody with knowledge of an upcoming attack who is not tortured and then the attack happens."

Holding My Nose said...

They should have used "the comfy chair". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnS49c9KZw8

Robert Cook said...

"But it's all B.S., because nothing that we do including waterboarding, sleep deprivation, etc., etc., rises to the level of actual torture."

Of course it does, and is, no matter how much you may deny it. Man up, bub; if you advocate torture, say so outright; don't mealy-mouth around and say "we don't torture" when we all know we do. Shit, cops torture people all the time; prison guards do too. Torture is a common, everyday act in America.

Robert Cook said...

"Take these people to the gas chambers and dispatch them. Take their whole family to the gas chambers.

"Then burn their bodies for electricity."


Sounds like a capital idea, Herr Coupe!

Robert Cook said...

"We're still nation building in Afghanistan...."

That's an awfully fancy way of saying "ain't doing jack!"

tim in vermont said...

Robert's right of course, Belgium can absorb a few hits like this. All they need is an electorate with the steely resolve to accept attack after attack until the jijadis get tired.

virgil xenophon said...

Terry@2:10am/

LOL. I've always said that types who argue this way today (and you can find them everywhere) would have been the first to insist that, in retaliation for Pearl Harbor, we bomb Mexico and Canada as well in order to bring other skin colors into the mix just to prove we weren't racisss!

tim in vermont said...

Robert Cook's sainted Soviets destroyed the nation of Afghanistan. Just sayin'.

Curious George said...

"Robert Cook said...

...cops torture people all the time...

...prison guards do too....

...Torture is a common, everyday act in America."

Robert Cook rises to a new level of stupidity. I didn't think it was possible. The funny think is that Cookie is all about big government. And yet he fails to see that the entities that torture are those of government.

Yes, more of that please! Moron.

Robert Cook said...

"Notice we played by rules in Vietnam and lost."

You obviously haven't read your history of Vietnam, or else your idea of "playing by the rules" is uniquely your own.

Millie_Woods said...

re. "Torture doesn't work"

Who cares?

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook's sainted Soviets destroyed the nation of Afghanistan."

Nope. They lost and left just as we eventually will.

virgil xenophon said...

What Harold @10:46pm 3/28 SAID!!!

tim in vermont said...

If you change the definition of words, you can make any argument you want seem logical, viz Humpty Dumpty, Robert Cook.

What that judge actually found to be torture was making the prisoner stand for extended periods of time, because he caught a sniffle from it or something. Waterboarding was only found to be torture incidental to an election that turned on the 2008 financial crisis.

tim in vermont said...

Nope. They lost and left just as we eventually will.

Holy crap you are stupid. So when they went in and destroyed a functioning government and culture in order to impose communism and were drven out, Afghanistan bounced right back to where it was before they invaded?

Just humor me and tell me if that's what you really think? That just because someone loses a war, they can't have inflicted great damage on their enemy.

Robert Cook said...

"The funny think is that Cookie is all about big government."

Of course, you're wrong, as usual, a typical outcome of poor reading comprehension. But, the real "funny think" is that you who advocate torture as perfectly acceptable official policy are the ones normalizing it and who are responsible for the increasingly brutal treatment of Americans by our authorities. You who think of yourselves as sentinels of liberty are the bringers of tyranny.

tim in vermont said...

History is path dependent Robert, like golf. Afghanistan couldn't take a Mulligan on the Soviet Invasion of 1979 and pretend it didn't happen any more than Obama could pretend the Iraq War never happened. But you thought Obama could just take a mulligan there too, didn't you. I am beginning to see a huge flaw in your thinking.

tim in vermont said...

Of course, you're wrong, as usual,

You tell us then, Robert, how you are going to take so much shit from so many people to give it to other people who "deserve it more" without a big government? I guess I know your answer, unicorns shit cotton candy.

hadley said...

The more and more I read about Europe, the greater the sympathy I have for the Japanese concentration camps in the USA, Germany and the Gestapo during WWII, and the Allies after the war.

Can you stop partisans/terrorists with nice polite human-rights-respecting questioning?

What collective punishment do you use when a village is harboring partisans/terrorists who violate the rules of war?

Perhaps we should bite the bullet, convene a new Potsdam Conference and come up with a Western plan for forced expulsion/ethnic cleansing (aka "population transfer") and slave labor (aka "reparations in kind") like Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin did for after WWII. Europeans could set up new Muslim ethnic cleansing camps (aka "displaced person camps") in the Rhine Meadows to hold them for interrogation and further processing back to Muslimlandia like General Eisenhour did with Germans after WWII.

New times require creative measures. Playing "Officer Friendly, the nice policeman" clearly doesn't work.

Robert Cook said...

"You tell us then, Robert, how you are going to take so much shit from so many people to give it to other people who 'deserve it more' without a big government?"

Big government is here and is not going away. The idea that we will shrink the federal government until it is some sort of ancillary county office is fantasy, and would also result in collapse of the country. The point is to take control of the government away from the plutocrats who currently own it and run it for their own further enrichment and aggrandizement of power, and make government serve, and be responsive to, "we, the people."

(Do I think that's possible? Frankly, at this late date, no. We've lost. The country is already a de facto police state--helped along tremendously by our ruinous "war of terror"--and will become more overtly so going forward.)

hadley said...

My Jewish Israeli friends tell me Israel is positively drenched in schadenfreude watching Europe and America squirm and wriggle. European goyim are now getting a mere taste of what Jews experience in Israel.

The Drill SGT said...

Robert Cook said...
"The funny think is that Cookie is all about big government."


Though Cookie is clearly on the left, I read him as a more classic Liberal with a strain of Libertarian. Yesterday about Hillary's email crimes, he said:

Robert Cook said...
Well, shit, if a high-level government official violates the law in favor of "personal comfort," that official should leave office.

Tom said...

We keep treating something like a crime that is really an act of war. We're witnessing the most complex, large scale invasion of Europe in History. It's a gigantic unholy mix of a Trojan Horse and Saul Alinsky tactics. It's an an invading army which uses rape and terror as tactics. At some point, we must plan and respond accordingly.

tim in vermont said...

Do I think that's possible? Frankly, at this late date, no. We've lost. The country is already a de facto police state--helped along tremendously by our ruinous "war of terror"--and will become more overtly so going forward.)

Your party is the only party that is planning to run candidate with a track record of war mongering. Doing it by freezing out all other candidates except one who had nothing to lose though the power of controlling the press and the big money. Even Bernie has suffered media blackouts, like the two weeks leading up to Super Tuesday, that didn't just happen by accident.

hough Cookie is clearly on the left, I read him as a more classic Liberal

You should google "classical liberalism" and come up with some other term to describe him. I know what you mean, but that term is taken. It's bad enough that we let them have the term "liberal" when they are for anything but freedom. They are for the freedom for everybody to to do whatever "liberals" think they should want to do, like any other power crazed group.

Anglelyne said...

TCom: They really think it takes two sides to fight a war, not just one.

If we fight back and reclaim our cities and our culture, the terrorists will have won.

Paco Wové said...

"Cookie is clearly on the left, I read him as a more classic Liberal with a strain of Libertarian."

I don't think so. He seems firmly in the Chomsky-Zinn fantasyland camp. No earthly government will every be pure enough for Cook.

Robert Cook said...

"Your party is the only party that is planning to run candidate with a track record of war mongering."

"My" party?

Shit, I haven't voted for a major party candidate in 20 years. I'm voting for Jill Stein, (Green Party), as I did in the last election.

Freder Frederson said...

but with islam, then the captured terrorists are unlawful combatants under the Geneva Convention and have no rights. None. At all. Nor should they. Islam is not a signatory to the Geneva convention, and there is no one who can sign for islam, so they will always be non-state actors without Geneva Convention protection. And they should be treated as if they have no rights, for they have none.

This is simply a lie. Even non-state actors have rights under the Geneva Conventions, just not the same rights as uniformed combatants.

And the Convention against Torture covers everyone.

If you all want to argue that we need to torture people, then you need to call for withdrawing from the Geneva Conventions and Convention Against Torture, repeal U.S. laws against torture and probably repeal the Eighth Amendment.

You are collectively little better than the terrorists.

EDH said...

He spent Friday night in the hospital recovering from a leg wound sustained in the raid. When he was finally returned to the police on Saturday, he was questioned by authorities for a grand total of . . . two hours – and then was not questioned again until after the attacks.

Dirty Harry knew how to deal with this situation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkLpJNkYy8U&feature=youtu.be&t=1m51s

Robert Cook said...

Life is not a DIRTY HARRY movie.

My name goes here. said...

if I have to choose between the Trump and the Belgian techniques for interrogation. I would choose the trump version. Every time.

I think the voters would too.

Just sayin'

Henry said...

If I had to choose between an open society and a police state I would choose an open society. Every time.

virgil xenophon said...

PS: As serious as this thread has been about a serious subject I FEEL COMPELLED TO SAY in passing that Rob@6:21pm 3/28 and L-Man @ 7:57pm 3/28 are in a dead heat for thread winnahs.. :)

JCC said...

A hypothetical:

Assuming an individual, in government service, is willing to place his or her life at genuine hazard for - a hackneyed term I grant - the country, it's not much of a reach for that same individual to look at a terrorist (for lack of a better use) inside a room, and think, I need the info to save lives even if it means I risk my position or even prosecution, and then the individual does what has to be done. Hopefully done with some discretion and common sense, and with the intent to avoid detection, personal morality norms notwithstanding.

I suspect more than one reader of this forum has faced this decision, perhaps more than once, involving the safety of your own people or larger, more anonymous groups. So stop judging so harshly until you have to actually make a hard choice with real consequences in the immediate future. After you do, you can come back and preach to me.

grackle said...

But here is the most incredible part: During those two hours of questioning, The Post reports, 'investigators did not ask... about his knowledge of future plots.'"

Why “ask” when you know the answer is going to be a big “fuck you?” Does the Post believe merely asking one of these monsters to answer some questions is going to result in anything actionable? Aren’t the Belgium police doing what the Post has editorialized as the way to deal with terrorists? Which is to treat them with the same rights American citizens enjoy – right to counsel, rules of evidence, right to not answer when questioned about terrorism, etc., and NO waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques. What’s so “incredible” about it – aren’t they following the admonishments of every Lefty(and some Righties) in America not to, as they put it, “torture” terrorists?

The CIA used sleep deprivation as one of its most effective interrogation tools.

Is this the same “sleep deprivation” that has been condemned as torture? Isn’t it against the law?

I’ve always maintained that waterboarding is NOT torture. It almost is – but not quite. Ditto sleep deprivation, isolation, etc.; none of it is torture. If no physical harm is involved then for me it is NOT torture.

grackle’s dictum: Ruthlessness must be opposed ruthlessly or the ruthless win.

One of the things I like about Trump is that he does not hesitate to put the safety of Americans ahead of the “civil rights” of terrorists. Trump would have waterboarded the captured terrorist – of that we can be sure of.

The Drill SGT said...

JCC said...
I suspect more than one reader of this forum has faced this decision.


I think most leaders in ground combat have.

The Dude Abides said...

None of this is surprising.
Liberals the world over have always cared more about the perps than the victims.
Exhibit A are the Clintons.

jr565 said...

We shouldn't at all be surprised that the interrogators dind't ask him about other attacks. We removed all the ability of interrogators to actually gather information by being tough with people. And we treat it like a law enforcement issue. In standard law enforcement if they lawyer up, thats the end of the interview. So, when you tie our hands, expect results like this.
Brussells also had rules in place like 'no raids after hours" how stupid is that? But that's how they have turned anti terorrism policy into a joke. And the result, terorrist attacks get through that should have been caught early on.All those dead people sacrificed to political correctness and laziness.
And you wonder why Donald Trumps' or Ted Cruz's suggestion that we torture people or monitor muslim neighborhoods gain traction. NEither is a great solution, but the larger point is NEITHER IS WHAT WE ARE DOING NOW. All the libs want to go after Ted Cruz for daring to suggest we monitor muslim neighborhoods. But he wouldnt' have to, if our way of doing it now wans't completley ineffectual.

jr565 said...

Freder Frederson wrote:
And the Convention against Torture covers everyone.

If you all want to argue that we need to torture people, then you need to call for withdrawing from the Geneva Conventions and Convention Against Torture, repeal U.S. laws against torture and probably repeal the Eighth Amendment.

You are collectively little better than the terrorists.

Not saying we need to torture people. But I wouldnt say that waterboarding WAS in fact torture. So we can waterboard people in limited circumstances.

But what are the rules for terrorists and saboteurs? Geneva does not in fact cover them (or may not)

"According to Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949, irregular forces are entitled to prisoner of war status provided that they are commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates, have a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance, carry arms openly, and conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war. If they do not meet all of these, they may be considered francs-tireurs (in the original sense of "illegal combatant") and punished as criminals in a military jurisdiction, which may include summary execution.

Soldiers who are wearing uniforms of the opposing army after the start of combat may be considered illegal combatants and subject to summary execution. Many armies have performed this kind of false flag ruse in the past, including both German and U.S. special forces during World War II. However, if soldiers remove their disguises and put on proper insignia before the start of combat in such an operation, they are considered legal combatants and must be treated as prisoners-of-war if captured. This distinction was settled by a military tribunal in the post-World War II trial of Otto Skorzeny, who led Operation Greif, an infiltration mission in which German commandos wore U.S. uniforms to infiltrate U.S. lines during the Battle of the Bulge.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summary_execution

jr565 said...

"(2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfill the following conditions: (a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; (c) that of carrying arms openly; (d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war."
Terrorists fail most of these points. And so, are they still covered by Geneva?

JCC said...

@ Freder -

Convention IV...Article 4

"...Nationals of a State which is not bound by the Convention are not protected by it. "

I think it safe to assume the Islamic State of the Levant is not a signatory nor does it feel bound by the Geneva Conventions. Even the most generous reading of the Conventions do not grant cambatant status to "saboteurs and spies" which arguably would include terrorists wearing civilian clothing and who plant bombs aimed at unarmed civilians.

We have people with knowledge of imminent attacks and we're giving them rest breaks? We're not even close to waterboarding yet. We're still at the denying-them-HD-cable-TV stage. Get back to me when we take away their Pop-Tarts and we can talk.

Rusty said...

You are collectively little better than the terrorists.

I never said I was Except that what I'm fighting for is superior to Islamic terrorists want to tear down. So in that vein the ends justify the means.
Does that make you morally superior to me? Not at all. In fact your even worse because you would let someone else die for your principals.
So. Torture away. It's justified if it saves just one American life.