HGervais wrote:Or how can anyone support something that is...ineffective as a method of gathering reliable information
HGervais wrote: And why is it that the Christian-right seem to be torture's biggest cheerleaders?
How about ignoring that some of the greatest torturers in history were employed by the Catholic church to root out heretics?IChiWawa wrote:Ignoring or being unaware that the greatest practitioners of torture and murder in the last century were all atheists is certainly the equivalent of having one's head buried somewhere.
IChiWawa wrote:HGervais wrote: And why is it that the Christian-right seem to be torture's biggest cheerleaders?
What an incredible bait statement. This is a board moderator? Ignoring or being unaware that the greatest practitioners of torture and murder in the last century were all athiests is certainly the equivilant of having one's head buried somewhere.
This is the same sort of 'tortured' thinking that makes criminals such as August Pinochet and Fidel Castro experience completely different legacies based on how favorable they were towards socialism.
TemporalWisdom wrote:How about ignoring that some of the greatest torturers in history were employed by the Catholic church to root out heretics?IChiWawa wrote:Ignoring or being unaware that the greatest practitioners of torture and murder in the last century were all atheists is certainly the equivalent of having one's head buried somewhere.
IChiWawa wrote:I recognize that certain posters here hate religion. I also find it funny that they are also the ones who most often post religious discussion threads. While this thread is about torture the fact that someone could not resist claiming christians (but only right wing ones, and now suddenly only the ones Harold speaks to) were its greatest advocates required my response.
HGervais wrote:IChiWawa wrote:I recognize that certain posters here hate religion. I also find it funny that they are also the ones who most often post religious discussion threads. While this thread is about torture the fact that someone could not resist claiming christians (but only right wing ones, and now suddenly only the ones Harold speaks to) were its greatest advocates required my response.
Oh good lord...blah, blah, blah. I speak to a lot of people. I participate in at least a dozen message boards & forums of both political stripes and it doesn't change that the fact that most of the people who support our current policy are on the right side of the aisle and many claim to be devout Christians. For better or worse, that is in large part today's Republican base. I wish that it were not so and I'm sorry if my calling attention to that fundamental hypocrisy offends you but that doesn't make it not true. And frankly, as I have already noted, the silence coming from many areas of the Democratic party is just as offensive & sickening to me. Again, at its core this should not be a right/left issue. It is just about the most black & white thing I can think of. We either accept these actions, which I see as fundamentally un-American as anything I have ever heard of, or you don't. So if you would actually like to talk about why you think the policy is, you know, a good idea....which, because you have decided to avoid talking about the issue and instead decided to go after the usual suspects in your own special way, you have not....and I'm sorry links to places such as the Weekly Standard don't really do the trick...and maybe you can drop your usual smug & superior I'm-a-independent act and try talking to people instead of talking down to them.
Still, Gobear raises the point that, no surprise there, you don't address. What we are talking about is today. The treatment of assets in our control. What it does to America's moral authority & standing as a leader in the world. We are not talking about Hitler, Chavez, Castro or Pinochet and that you feel the need to direct the conversation in that area lets everyone know just how clearly you have nothing to stand on. And believe me, that there is the possibility that one day George Bush might well be on that same list and that large numbers of people allowed him to do it without saying a word makes me sadder for our country than you can know.
HGervais wrote:"We are not talking about Hitler, Chavez, Castro or Pinochet and that you feel the need to direct the conversation in that area lets everyone know just how clearly you have nothing to stand on. And believe me, that there is the possibility that one day George Bush might well be on that same list and that large numbers of people allowed him to do it without saying a word makes me sadder for our country than you can know."
Whoa, there. I was just giving a single example. I don't condemn the Catholic Church, just those who tortured and murdered heretics. It was meant as a pointed comment about IChiWawa sidestepping the question re: the Christian right supporting torture, by talking about what atheists had done. If you wanted me to post something with more depth, sorry. I'm not an historian. What's your problem? We're arguing the same side.Gobear wrote:First. Temporal Wisdom is one-sided in his condemnation of the Catholic Church. Yes, the Holy Inquistion tortured people suspected of heresy, but they did so with the cooperation of local governments. In fact, the Spanish Inquisition rooted out secret Jews and Muslims who falsely professed to be Christian at the behest of the Castilian monarchy.In the same way, the Catholic church exterminated the Cathars in 13th-century France with the active assistance of Louis VIII and Louis IX, because the French kings wanted to annex Languedoc, where the Cathars were located. The rooting out of the Cathar heresy was as much a political action as it was a religious one. Moreover, after the Reformation, Protestants in their turn persecuted and burned Catholics for heresy.
Right. Because there's a 100-year statute of limitations on torture.IChiWawa wrote:Temporal Wisdom's need to go back to the inquisition to find something comparable to 20th century communism actually makes my point.
Chris_Sax wrote:...it's not like we created a network of secret prisons where we do things to people whether or not we have any idea if they are actually guilty of anything, it's just waterboarding and putting underpants on their heads, right?
Dan Mancini wrote:Chris_Sax wrote:...it's not like we created a network of secret prisons where we do things to people whether or not we have any idea if they are actually guilty of anything, it's just waterboarding and putting underpants on their heads, right?
Right. Dudes used to get drunk, waterboard, and put underpants on their heads all the time when I was in college. It was fun. And the chicks dug it.
Chris_Sax wrote:guys, I don't see what the big problem is, we've just waterboarded a few really bad guys, right? No one's died in US custody, it's not like we created a network of secret prisons where we do things to people whether or not we have any idea if they are actually guilty of anything, it's just waterboarding and putting underpants on their heads, right?
HGervais wrote:A history of torture and the refinement of various techniques by western democratic states. Not comfortable reading but as the author notes, a hopeful one because as a democracy we can demand the end to those kinds of practices. The surprising force behind torture: democracies
HGervais wrote:And yet still more blah, blah, blah where you say a lot without really saying anything at all. And I know, I know. I'm stupid and naive where you are open-mined & independent and so much smarter than everyone else here. Whatever. You ever reach a point where you actually want to discus this with people and talk about where you stand & why...I'll be happy to talk right back but until that point all you are trying to do is change the subject and frankly that act of yours has grown both tiresome & boring.
HGervais wrote:Torture doesn't work.
HGervais wrote:Erick...honestly..don't you think we would be hearing all about this plot & that plot that had been foiled from information gotten the "enhanced interrogation" route?
HGervais wrote:It's easy to find military & intelligence officers who will tell you why torture doesn't work, and honestly the answer why is just common sense....people will tell you what they think you want to hear to make the pain stop...then you can find military & intelligence officials who will tell you torture does work and provide examples. The myth here, which some people are willing to easily accept, is that torture does work.
HGervais wrote:Torture corrupts and undercuts our moral authority...
HGervais wrote:It isn't silence on my part Dan. You can do the same web searches I can. Start looking for specific instances where torture has provided information that saved lives. If torture worked, we would know about it.
HGervais wrote:So in a case where the positives are dubious at best, I'm going to side with the group that can point to something that is on solid footing and not with the side that can't.
HGervais wrote:Torture as a form of information gathering doesn't work and isn't as effective as "softer" questioning methods is perhaps simple. if accurate but the thing we don't talk about is that really isn't the point of torture, is it? The point has always been the pain it inflicts and the message it is designed to send...fear us because there isn't anything we won't do. Still, we are both reasonable people and if we were both presented with compelling evidence that as a practice torture worked, you & I would both probably have to at least consider it as a viable option. That the evidence isn't out there, that a case cannot be made speaks volumes to me. Perhaps it is a case of me being hopelessly simple & stupid but I don't think so. The move to allowing torture is such a radical shift for us as a country it would seem to me that the administration and its allies would be falling over themselves to find a way to prove to people that they are right and that they know what they are doing if they could. As it is there are a lot more cases like Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, then there are validated success stories. The absence of proof in this matter is just too damning and can't be ignored.
chamucamel wrote:Harold, I'm a bit troubled/confused by the fact that you have so vehemently argued against the morality of torture, going so far as to say that the endorsement of the practice is destructive to the soul of American values, but go on to say that, were there proof that it was an effective technique, you would have to consider it as an option. It seems to me that you must either be in one camp or the other. Either stand against it because of its ineffectiveness, or because it is inherently immoral and ultimately destructive to the society you are trying to preserve.
HGervais wrote:As I have said several times now, I'm in the fortunate position to have both the moral & the practical positions compliment each other. It is wrong and it is ineffective but it were proven to be effective then I would have a moral dilemma to consider.
That's an interesting point. Some people likely do have a skewed perception of torture's effectiveness based on their own personal beliefs.Dan Mancini wrote:I want to believe it's ineffective because then the moral implications are very clear and simple.
The racial inequality and other such problems with the death penalty are much more well documented. No reasonable person, who knows the facts, supports the death penalty and yet it still stands - a notable part of Bush's legacy in Texas. Best not to assume that the CIA isn't staffed by idiots. And you just know what would happen to a non-idiot who opposed torture.Erick Harper wrote:People at CIA, regardless of your opinion of their methods and motives, aren't stupid. Why would they expend this much time and effort doing something if it didn't produce results, i.e. actionable intelligence?
That's probably true. I'd love to hear some honest and intelligent discussion about the questions you raise, but the Bush administration isn't much on two-sided dialogue.Dan Mancini wrote:I'm guessing torture's effectiveness is more complex than you're making out, which is why there's debate about it in the first place.
Gobear wrote:As a side-issue, I just called Sen. Webb's office to express my disappointment that he voted to preserve legal immunity for the telcos that helped Bushco engage in warrantless wiretapping.
What's the point of voting for Democrats when they act just like Republicans?
Future Man wrote:Are we talking wiretapping of criminals or those engaged in acts of war? I'd like to think we can handle the latter a bit differently. Or perhaps we should require our soldiers to give 'knock and notice' prior to bursting into an overseas terrorist hideout?
chris_mcclinch wrote:Future Man wrote:Are we talking wiretapping of criminals or those engaged in acts of war?
Warrantless wiretapping refers to those suspected of criminal activity, including treason.Future Man wrote:I'd like to think we can handle the latter a bit differently.
Why? If sufficient evidence of treason exists to justify a wiretap, that evidence can be summarized to a judge with a security clearance. If such evidence doesn't exist, then it's clearly unconstitutional to wiretap.Future Man wrote:Or perhaps we should require our soldiers to give 'knock and notice' prior to bursting into an overseas terrorist hideout?
The one has nothing to do with the other. That said, I would have a major problem with our soldiers bursting into suspected terrorist hideouts based on evidence that wouldn't convince a federal judge that there was probable cause. This is really all about establishing that law enforcement (or the military) takes reasonable precautions not to act against the truly innocent.
Gobear wrote:We're talking about the electronic surveillance of the general citizenry, even though Bush's original executive order authorizing warrantless wiretapping (itself a violation of the 4th Amendment) specifically targeted electronic communications with foreign contacts suspected to be Al Qaeda agents. We already have FISA, a court authorized to check off on this sort of surveillance which it almost always approves, but Bush felt that even that minimal oversight was too hindering.
Then we found out that the feds had requested that the major telcos like Verizon and AT&T hand over access to all of their customers' telephone and Internet records for massive data-mining on the offchance of catching terrorists. That means the government is asserting the right to read your e-mails and listen in to your phone conversations whenever it pleases, and you cannot sue the companies that cooperate with the government.
Future Man wrote:Well I applaud all the measures have been employed to keep us safe since 9-11. And I shudder to think of what might have befallen us had all of the left's desired hand-tying been implemented.
Gobear wrote:Future Man wrote:Well I applaud all the measures have been employed to keep us safe since 9-11. And I shudder to think of what might have befallen us had all of the left's desired hand-tying been implemented.
Remind me to introduce you to the post hoc fallacy someday.
First, there is no such critter as "the left" in this country. We have the far right extremists (the GOP) and the right of center (Democrat) parties. If "the left" actually existed, Kucinich wouldn't be the fringe figure that he is.
Moreover, Bush hasn't done jack to keep America safe because that would mean inconveniencing his corporate pals. Why don't we check shipping containers that enter this country? That would be a concrete measure that would be far more effective at stopping an attack on US soil. Why hasn't Bush sufficiently funded rail security when far more people use subways and trains than airplanes every day? Why haven't we leaned harder on Pakistan to give up Abdul Qadeer Khan, the founder of their nuclear program who sold nuclear materials to North Korea and Iran?
Installing the framework of a police state does not equate to making America safe. We are as vulnerable to a devastating attack now as we were in 2001.
Wake up--the government is playing you.
Chris_Sax wrote:How thoroughly must Gobear devastate Future Man's arguments?
Future Man wrote:Au contraire. Gobear has committed the rarely encountered post hoc fallacy-fallacy, thus: Just because something has not occurred, it does not mean that it has not occurred because of the efforts to make it not occur.
Gobear wrote:Mr. G and I voted for Obama here in Northern Virginia, so we're happy with the result (and we're celebrating with Indian takeout and Jacob's Creek Shiraz). BTW, I called Sen. Webb's office today to express my disappointment that he voted for the telcos' immunity from prosecution for handing over consumer records to the government.
HGervais wrote:Reverse the parties and have a President Gore putting out signing statements that ignore laws which he has signed on a regular basis, have a President Gore authorizing torture & warrantless wiretaps, ahve a President Kerry disregarding basic constituitional principles and how happy would you be with your percieved safety then? Wrong is wrong Mike no matter where you sit on the fence. Right, left, liberal, conservative, Democrat or Republican, Bush has taken this country on a road which has sacrificed the soul of our nation for some false sense of security and I hope to god that which ever person is elected president can return our country to the ideals & principles that has always defined us as a nation. It is the single biggest failing of George Bush. At the point where this country most needed a leader who could bring us together as a nation we instead found ourselves with a coward who used the greatest tragedy this country has ever seen to divide us. At the end of the day it is why I think Obama is going to win. Most people are simply tired of the steady diet or fear & distrust we have been fed since 9/11. Most people know we can do better, most people know we have to do better to survive as a nation. Obama offers that hope in a way that neither McCain or Clinton does.Future Man wrote:Au contraire. Gobear has committed the rarely encountered post hoc fallacy-fallacy, thus: Just because something has not occurred, it does not mean that it has not occurred because of the efforts to make it not occur.
So yeah, big night for Obama. That is what, 8 straight primaries & caucuses he has taken?...most by huge numbers. With the way the Democrats are dividing up delegates Clinton is going to have to post some huge numbers to even come within spitting distance of closing the gap Obama now enjoys. Like I said a dozen or so posts ago, yeah, I think she is done. The corpse still has a lot of fight left in it but a corpse is still dead even if it doesn't know it yet.
There. I've transferred the entirety of this argument to a different thread. Don't splash on the other one.Chris_Sax wrote:Future Man wrote:Au contraire. Gobear has committed the rarely encountered post hoc fallacy-fallacy, thus: Just because something has not occurred, it does not mean that it has not occurred because of the efforts to make it not occur.
Chris_Sax wrote:So this thread is WORSE than waterboarding? Because waterboarding isn't torture. It's only torture if it causes permanent physical harm. That never used to be the definition of torture, but it is now.
Chris_Sax wrote:Also, it is acceptable to do anything that might be morally questionable as long as your opponent has done things that are worse. As long as the US is not as bad as Saddam/The Taliban/The Insurgency, then everything it does is ok. This is not a simplistic, terribly flawed argument, and anyone who disagrees is an appeaser who should have his or her loyalty questioned.
Single dumbest, most ignorant, most insulting post we will see here, well at least today. Sad & pathetic.Future Man wrote:It is such a shame that because of Bush, Muslim extremists have gone from loving the U.S. to hating us so much. He squandered so much good will! In fact, until they became distracted by planning 9-11, they were planning a big 'thank you' celebration for our helping their fellow Muslims in Bosnia! Oh, why can't we be more like France, and just count on someone else to provide for our national defense, get rid of any vestige of personal morality and simply live for pleasure.
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