I am a better human being than Pres. Bush and Dick Cheney because I oppose torture

I am also a better human being than those who support Bush, Cheney and their minions in the use of torture. If you support torture, you’re a blight on the species, it’s virtually your civic duty to off yourself.

I just thought some of you would like to know that.

Just for the sake of playing devil’s advocate, and not because I agree with them…

What if torturing a known or suspected terrorist were the fastest, or only, way to gain information needed to thwart a terrorist attack? What if the torture of one or two people could prevent the death and suffering of hundreds in a 9/11-type incident? Does preferring the former to the latter automatically make one a morally reprehensible person?

The old “worst case scenario” eh? Is this a basis on which to build one’s ethics? There may be rare circumstances in which torture might preven the death of hundreds or thousands, or even tens of innocents, but that doesn’t make it right. I think in those instances people should make the decision to torture or not torture and live with the consequences.

Really, Thudlow, how often do you think this kind of shit comes up? If you look at how torture is ACTUALLY practiced by evil dictatorships like we currently have in the US, such circumstances are rare enough to be nonexistent. I think anyone who approves torture on a flimsy basis like that actually has different reasons, whether they know it or not, and are in fact inferior human beings who should etc., etc.

Can you define torture so we’re all on the same page?

I would have to disagree. I don’t really see how doing the same thing (Keeping people prisoner against their will) is any better when done one a small scale.

Now, Bush is keeping captive one hell of a lot of people. However, every time I see the poster named “Evil” in a thread, you inevitably burst in, prove him wrong, then you chase him from the thread and lock him up in your basement. True, I think his statements are often wrong, but he has broken no law, and so it is quite wrong for you to hold him captive. :wink:

According to some article I read yesterday, that argument is called “slicing the salami”. The article (or editorial) called this a false argument because, the first small slice sounds reasonable. So does the next. And so on. The only reasonable thing to do, is to reject the entire argument.

http://www.slate.com/id/2132195/nav/tap1/

My definition of torture would be anything that falls outside the OLD Uniform Code of Military Justice rules. Most everything that Bush and Cheney approve of would be outside the rubric: waterboarding, pulling out fingernails, beatings, prolonged stress positions, sleep, food and water deprivation, etc.

I don’t understand what you mean by this. Could you elucidate?

Now, Bush is keeping captive one hell of a lot of people. However, every time I see the poster named “Evil” in a thread, you inevitably burst in, prove him wrong, then you chase him from the thread and lock him up in your basement. True, I think his statements are often wrong, but he has broken no law, and so it is quite wrong for you to hold him captive. :wink:
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I’m not following thise either. I know you have a point somewhere in there …

“Madam, we have already decided what kind of women you are. Now we are murely hagling over the price.”

What if someone is about to set off a nuclear bomb in Manhattan and the only way you can prevent it is by raping a baby? Would you do it?

These kinds of extreme hypothetical scenarios are pointless because you can contrive some sort of hypothetical situation to justify just about anything.

Israel has been torturing people for years. They’ve got a lot of false confessions but they haven’t stopped any terrorism. All they’ve done is create more enemies.

I’m completely OK with sleep and food deprivation as an interrogation tactic. Should I “off” myself?

Also, can we have a cite that Bush and/or Cheney approve of pulling out fingernails?

Are you saying that, in our current government, torture is rare enough to be nonexistent?

If so, what’s the point of this thread?

No point, just a compliment. However, I got the name wrong. The poster in question is named “Evil One”, not simply “Evil”

I often see you debunking his points, so posted that with the conceit that I actually believed that your name meant you were in charge of rounding up and subduing the Evil One, taken to the comedic extreme of your actually keeping him captive in person.

Ah well, it didn’t work.

I’d like to make a comment as all over the news there has been discussion at great lengths about “torture”

The intelligence gathering agencies are light years ahead of “torture” as a method of gathering information. **The idea that the CIA or any agency ties somebody up and threatens physical harm unless the person gives information, is nothing more than a movie fantasy.
**

One method (very, very outdated) was to give people with potential valuable information a cocktail of drugs that made them speak (akin to being very very drunk) freely about anything and everything. There are many other ways. IBM sold a huge amount of “brain wave readers” (if you can believe that) back in the 90s to the CIA and FBI, which essentially when placed around the head of an individual can identify brain signals. and certian patterns.

If I were to walk up to you off the street, put a knife to your back and start cutting unless you told me where your “alien spaceship” was I’m pretty sure I could get you to tell me all about it immediately. EVEN though you DON’T have a spaceship!

All torture does is get people to talk, to say anything, but usually they do say things to make the pain stop…

**Does torture happen? Yes. **But rarely does it happen by the CIA or other agencies looking to gather credible information. If you do research you’ll see that most of the torture allegations are against grunts (regular soliders) who are often angry because their friend or somebody they know was killed by the enemy and it feels good to rough up the guy, it feels good to exact revenge.

Torture is not a crediable way to gather any evidence, (unless of course it’s on a tv series)

I think that falls into the salami slicing category. And some women will slice a salami for a VERY reasonable price …

Thudlow Boink, can you provide us with a few examples of this “ticking time bomb” scenario of yours that seems to accompany most pro-torture arguments? So far, no torture fan I’ve read about can provide any concrete examples from the past century. Perhaps you can enlighten me

Depends on how much sleep and food deprivation you’re talking about. I believe that both can kill or severely injure if carried to extremes. (I’m not sure about sleep deprivation’s effects in extremis.) If you’re willing to take someone to the point of death with these techniques, maybe you should get that hara-kiri knife sharpened. Now, if you’re talking the equivalent of a college cram session weekend of sleep deprivation, or two weeks on a fat farm, that’s not so bad. But aren’t we just doing a more sophisticated species of salami-slicing here?

I’m not sure if they have specifically approved of fingernail pulling, but they’ve definitely enabled a system whereby men have been tortured to death. Fingernail pulling is a moot point. I think they’re still going with the old Gonzalez definion of torute – pain like that which would be experienced via death or organ failure. Seems pretty consistent with what human rights groups and victims are reporting.

I’m talking about using food as a reward process. Give us some useful information and you get some yummy treates. Don’t give us anything, and you get “gruel”. If I don’t have to “off” myself as long as I don’t condone taking these techniques to the death, then that’s a meaningless definition of torture.

As for sleep deprivation, I’m unsure where I’d draw the limit. But for non-POW status prisoners, I’d be willing to go pretty far. POWs, of course, get much better treatment. In fact, you’re not allowed any retribution at all if a POW refues to give you more information than Name/Rank/Serial No.

So, are you withdrawing that statement? You claimed those were approved techniques. I’d like a clear yes or no answer (and ve have ways of getting zat info out of you… :slight_smile: ).

[QUOTE=John Mace But for non-POW status prisoners, I’d be willing to go pretty far. POWs, of course, get much better treatment. In fact, you’re not allowed any retribution at all if a POW refues to give you more information than Name/Rank/Serial No.[/quote]

There’s the rub, isn’t it? There is no such thing as a “non-POW,” non-criminal which allows you to ignore all the rules. The White House has attempted to invent a new category of prisoner completely out of its ass. A category which has absolutely no process or definition and which allows the prisoner no forum or procedure for proving his innocence. Essentially, you’re sayng that it’s ok to torture POWs if you make up a different word to call them.

We already had “discussions” about the definition of torture, just recently. Let’s not derail or deflect (for once).