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  1. NRG
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       #1  
    Now we are talking, a little check and balance.

    Source: RawStory
    Dem judiciary leader seeks torture documents

    Brian Beutler
    Published: Friday November 17, 2006

    In a letter addressed to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, soon to be chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has requested the release of documents that outline the Bush Administration's interrogation policies.

    If the request is not met, the Democratically-controlled judiciary will have the option to subpoena when the new congress begins in January.

    The documents, which have long been thought to exist by observers and critics of America's national security policies, were confirmed to exist as the result of a still-pending Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the ACLU.

    One of those documents is believed to be a companion piece to the now-infamous August 2002 memorandum which redefined torture and, as a result, broadened the range of interrogation tactics permitted in the field.
  2. #2  
    WHOA!

    Prepare yourselves for endless blogs from the both the right and left wing pontificators of the world!

    This is gonna get good!
  3. vw2002's Avatar
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    #3  
    hot damn!
    I gotta have more cowbell
  4. #4  
    The Dems immediately play to their constituency....the terrorists.
  5. #5  
    Apparently the Democrats have never watched 24. Sometimes you have to let Jack Bauer do his thing without asking too many questions.
  6. NRG
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       #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1911sforever View Post
    The Dems immediately play to their constituency....the terrorists.
    So a majority of Americans are terrorists?
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG View Post
    So a majority of Americans are terrorists?
    Nah, just the ones who defend terrorists. We must not distinguish between terrorists and those who support them!
  8. #8  
    And harmony did not last too long, did it? Support a terrorist by supporting the democrats in Congress. Ben
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1911sforever View Post
    The Dems immediately play to their constituency....the terrorists.
    Are you SURE everyone being tortured/interrogated (or will be tortured/interrogated) is a terrorist?

    Have you NO concept of oversight or checks and balances?

    Should we abolish the Congress or replace it with a big rubber stamp?
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  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by samkim View Post
    Apparently the Democrats have never watched 24. Sometimes you have to let Jack Bauer do his thing without asking too many questions.
    ah fiction, of course.

    Reality is quite different... between 9/11 and now, can you give one example where torture was really necessary, at least in terms of a '24' scenario? An ex-FBI agent says it doesn't happen:

    [Former FBI agent and interrogator Jack] Cloonan dismissed the notion of the "ticking time-bomb" scenario in which interrogators must beat information out of someone quickly to prevent an attack.

    "Let's deal with the reality of the situation: Generally speaking, that's not going to happen," he said. "It doesn't happen in the real world, so we don't need to go to that level."
  11. NRG
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       #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by bclinger View Post
    And harmony did not last too long, did it? Support a terrorist by supporting the democrats in Congress. Ben
    It does not matter, the Dems are the majority and the investagations (oversight) will begin.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG View Post
    It does not matter, the Dems are the majority and the investagations (oversight) will begin.
    I think sometimes we worry so much about democracy in Iraq, that we forget how wonderful democracy in the United States is. The American people voted overwhelmingly to have this oversight, and to determine what mistakes are being made in our foreign policy. This is a good thing, to acknowledge and correct mistakes.
  13. #13  
    The last two years will be dealing with the politics of Iraq instead of local issues. Why not just go for the jagular? If Bush is guilty, proceed with the impeachment, but don't let this whole process drag on for two years.

    We need to move on.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by ronbo2000 View Post
    The last two years will be dealing with the politics of Iraq instead of local issues. Why not just go for the jagular? If Bush is guilty, proceed with the impeachment, but don't let this whole process drag on for two years.

    We need to move on.
    I do not see this attempt to fix our current foreign policy as an impeachment. I personally feel that this next congress will address domestic policy too, in fact I think it will be an area of emphasis for them.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by g-funkster View Post
    Reality is quite different... between 9/11 and now, can you give one example where torture was really necessary, at least in terms of a '24' scenario?
    The beauty of their pretzel logic is that they will claim such examples do exist but cannot be disclosed in the interest of national security.
    Palm m505 -> Treo600 (GSM ATT) -> Treo650 (Cingular) -> BB8700g -> BB Pearl
    "The point of living and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come."
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by g-funkster View Post
    ah fiction, of course.

    Reality is quite different... between 9/11 and now, can you give one example where torture was really necessary, at least in terms of a '24' scenario? An ex-FBI agent says it doesn't happen:
    The point of the 24 scenario is that people's lives are at stake, and information that a terrorist has can save those lives.

    A real example of that is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. He was a senior al Qaeda member who was involved in 9/11, the Bali club bombing, the attempted shoe bombing, and Daniel Pearl's murder. He was captured in 2003. As a result of waterboarding, he revealed names of many terrorists and described dozens of planned terrorist plots.

    In addition, he was the source of a wealth of information on the al Qaeda network and its inner workings. Intelligence officials say that a lot of what he's told us has been corroborated with other sources. A lot of what we know about the 9/11 plot comes from him. Apparently, he withstood the waterboarding for a couple minutes - much longer than most people.

    The ticking bomb is a distraction from the real argument - whether the key information could be obtained through other means in a timely manner. The notion that he would have given up his whole organization without harsh interrogation techniques is just not credible. Cloonan suggests that terrorists will be cooperative by just "building rapport." Please tell me you don't believe that.


    Also, we should be clear what techniques we're talking about. The article mentions "beating," which isn't even up for discussion. The Administration defends "harsh interrogation techniques" which would include (if they admitted it) waterboarding and sleep deprivation, but they refuse to call it torture. The problem with the word is that it is associated with sadistic practices like cutting off body parts and causing extreme pain. It's useful for those who oppose harsh interrogation to lump it together with bloodier practices, but it's also a distraction from the main issue. The debate should be about what practices should be permitted for captured terrorists.
  17. #17  
    Personally, I am all for torture IF (these are big IF's)

    1. You are ABSOLUTELY SURE that the people being tortured are actual culprits with vital time-sensitive information. OBL and Zawaheri would be on my list.

    2. Torture will produce good information. This is more open to debate. Does it?

    I am amazed that with all the science, we don't have a "truth serum" that will chemically breakdown the defenses and we have to use physical force at this day and age ...
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  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad View Post
    Personally, I am all for torture IF (these are big IF's)

    1. You are ABSOLUTELY SURE that the people being tortured are actual culprits with vital time-sensitive information. OBL and Zawaheri would be on my list.
    We know before we engage in any war that many innocent people will die. We know that our justice system sends many innocent people to jail for 20+ years. Why the insistence on making zero mistakes for waterboarding - something we do to our own soldiers and even some journalists volunteer for?

    2. Torture will produce good information. This is more open to debate. Does it?
    There's an oft-repeated argument that torture just produces false confessions. But the key value is not getting confessions; we shouldn't be using it for that. It's about getting information that can lead to capturing terrorists and stopping terrorist attacks. We can follow up on the extracted information to determine whether it's accurate.


    I don't object to harsh interrogation on a moral basis (We kill people, so what's wrong with preventing them from sleeping for 72 hours?); and I don't question the practical value of it.

    I used to think it was illegal, but I'm not convinced anymore that it violates the Geneva Conventions or US law.

    My main concern about our interrogation policy is what it means for captured US soldiers.

    If it's established publicly that the US "tortures" as a matter of policy, then will our soldiers be subject to real torture when they're captured? Well, we know the answer to that. Al Qaeda announced its torture policy after Abu Ghraib, and that's when the beheadings began. Many dead American bodies have been found showing clear signs of having been tortured.

    This is why holding these types of public hearings will just hurt us. Democrats insist on using the word "torture" for political purposes, and if it's confirmed that the US practices waterboarding, they'll ensure the headlines read, "Bush Approves of Torture".

    Congressional oversight is fine, but just keep it secret. If the objective is to do the right thing, you don't need to put out press releases. Bob Baer, the former CIA agent, described the CIA as a government-sanctioned criminal organization (or words to that effect). They do things in other countries that are illegal in those countries, such as killing, bribing, kidnapping, smuggling, and spying. We all agree that it makes no sense for Congress to publicize those activities. Why the need to make public the CIA's interrogation techniques?


    I am amazed that with all the science, we don't have a "truth serum" that will chemically breakdown the defenses and we have to use physical force at this day and age ...
    Some people can blur the distinction between truth and lies. Drugs can't break past that today. I imagine you'd have to rewire how the brain works.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1911sforever View Post
    The Dems immediately play to their constituency....the terrorists.
    does anyone who questions the government automatically a supporter of terrorism? Are we such a fragile nation that democratic dissent makes us weak in our fight against terrorism? And as the most powerful and righteous nation on earth are we so terrified and in such great danger that we have to abandon our principles and moral high ground and resort to torture?

    It is always easy to justify evil acts in the name of greater good - but it is much harder to stick to principles and act righteously even in the face of great evil.
    Palm m505 -> Treo600 (GSM ATT) -> Treo650 (Cingular) -> BB8700g -> BB Pearl
    "The point of living and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come."
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by aprasad View Post
    Personally, I am all for torture IF (these are big IF's)

    1. You are ABSOLUTELY SURE that the people being tortured are actual culprits with vital time-sensitive information. OBL and Zawaheri would be on my list.

    2. Torture will produce good information. This is more open to debate. Does it?

    I am amazed that with all the science, we don't have a "truth serum" that will chemically breakdown the defenses and we have to use physical force at this day and age ...
    I agree that theoretically torture may be justifiable if BOTH situations 1 and 2 apply. However it should never be legitimized, even in the above cases. Legitimizing torture would significantly reduce or remove accountability and allow most interrogators an easy (and lazy) way to quickly extract information without having to worry about the consequences if they turned out be wrong.

    I would say the debate can be resolved very easily. Make torture illegal, no matter the circumstances. If however an interrogation officer is absolutely sure that the prisoner has vital time-sensitive information, then he can take the personal responsibility and resort to torture if necessary to save the day. If he was right, then I don't see how anyone would actually prosecute him for his illegal actions, but even if he was convicted, he could easily be pardoned (e.g. - by the president). If it turns out he was wrong, then he would be held fully accountable and punishable for his actions of torture.
    Palm m505 -> Treo600 (GSM ATT) -> Treo650 (Cingular) -> BB8700g -> BB Pearl
    "The point of living and of being an optimist, is to be foolish enough to believe the best is yet to come."
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