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Being that the documents are classified, and some videotape footage was actually destroyed under Hayden of the CIA, you will not get that answer, so Midnight Judges is very well insulated. His argument is one that cannot fail, because we will never know if other interrogation techniques would have worked. He's arguing events that never happened.

Here's what we do know about waterboarding, anyway.

1) The CIA has admitted to using it on three individuals. (Keep in mind that the US military has classified waterboarding as torture since the Spanish-American War, so everyone knew what it was)

a) Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks;

B) Zayn Abidin Muhammed Hussein Abu Zubaida, a senior al-Qaeda member and Osama bin Laden associate captured in Pakistan in March 2002 and

c) a third detainee who has not been publicly identified.

2) We have no information about the interrogation techniques used on Abu Zubaida in the Spring of 2002, only that he was uncooperative. We do have information outlining the interrogation techniques starting in Sept 2002. Now they started using "harsh" interrogation techniques in the spring, we just don't know the details. We know for certain that waterboarding was used starting in Sept. of 2002. Did the harsh techniques work? Well, yes. Would other methods have worked as well? We will never know. They moved pretty quickly to the harsh techniques.

This wasn't that far removed from 9/11/2001, so you can understand why the administration would be inclined to take the advice of the CIA. The thing is, there was no moral compass with this. They knew torture was wrong, but they decided the ends justified the means. That is the real failure of leadership, in my mind, by President Bush. He was convinced to do something he knew was wrong by his advisers.

Hubbs, you are talking about different events. Alexander arrived in Iraq in 2006. Waterboarding had long since been abandoned by the CIA. The original article states that we got information directly from waterboarding techniques, which we did. Could it have been oobtained other ways? Possibly. Alexanders accounts outline some of those ways, but it doesn't change the fact that we did get actionable information from torture techniques.

When you say "original article," are you talking about the Washington Post article? If so, that's an editorial with an agenda.

The reports I've seen are that no good intelligence has been gathered from torture techniques, including waterboarding.

I'll happily read and re-evaluate if you say there are reports (not editorials) to the contrary.

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This wasn't that far removed from 9/11/2001, so you can understand why the administration would be inclined to take the advice of the CIA. The thing is, there was no moral compass with this. They knew torture was wrong, but they decided the ends justified the means. That is the real failure of leadership, in my mind, by President Bush. He was convinced to do something he knew was wrong by his advisers.

Or maybe, being able to actually see and know all of the available Intel, he came to realize it was possibly the fastest way to get information, with the clock ticking. And, as a leader, made it so it would be his cross to bare. He would be willing to take the hit, as his country's security meant more to him than bad press from the rest of the world.

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The reports I've seen are that no good intelligence has been gathered from torture techniques, including waterboarding.

I'll happily read and re-evaluate if you say there are reports (not editorials) to the contrary.

Well, this is an article, but names names. Not sure if this helps.

http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2007/12/waterboarding_worked_wonders_e.html

Water-boarding worked wonders in the case of one al-Qaeda leader, according to a former CIA agent who has made the rounds of some television news interviews as CIA director Mike Hayden prepares to testify before a congressional committee today about his agency’s destruction of videotapes of interrogations.

The controversial interrogation technique that simulates drowning also was approved at the highest levels of the government, former agent John Kiriakou, a leader of the team that captured al Qaeda’s Abu Zubaydah, has told network news interviewers. And that water-boarding, Kiriakou has said, produced instant results: Abu Zubaydah started talking in less than 35 seconds.

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Let's see who is against torture:

Petreaus:

http://www.poligazette.com/2007/05/12/general-petreaus-writes-letter-condemning-torture/

"Our values and the laws governing warfare teach us to respect human dignity, maintain our integrity, and do what is right. Adherence to our values distinguishes us from our enemy. This fight depends on securing the population, which must understand that we—not our enemies—occupy the moral high ground. This strategy has shown results in recent months. Al Qaeda’s indiscriminate attacks, for example, have finally started to turn a substantial portion of the Iraqi population against it."

Colin Powell:

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/09/14/powell-letter/

Jack Vessey (served in WWII and was chaiman of Joint Chiefs of staff)

http://www.mnlegion.org/paper/html/vessey.html

http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/library/news/2008/080212-letter_ret-mil-ldrs.htm

How about Anthony Zinni (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Zinni)? (He's one of the guys in the link above.)

I won't go through them all, but clearly these are all unpatriotic Americans that want to see us lose the war on terror.

If we ignore the people that work in the Bush administration (and even more specfically Rumsfeld), essentially everybody that has thought about this in a big picture sense since WWII has said this is a bad idea.

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Did Hayden testify on whether it worked?

I thought so. But he at least said so.

http://kezi.com/news/national/80619

CIA Director Michael Hayden strenuously defended the effectiveness of the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques Thursday, only moments after Attorney General-designate Eric Holder said the use of waterboarding was torture. Though U.S. officials say interrogators have not engaged in waterboarding in the past five years, Hayden said the coercive techniques and other harsh tactics were useful in the war on terror.

"These techniques worked," said Hayden, who is due to replaced by Leon Panetta as President-elect Obama's CIA director.

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Let's see who is against torture:

Petreaus:

http://www.poligazette.com/2007/05/12/general-petreaus-writes-letter-condemning-torture/

"Our values and the laws governing warfare teach us to respect human dignity, maintain our integrity, and do what is right. Adherence to our values distinguishes us from our enemy. This fight depends on securing the population, which must understand that we—not our enemies—occupy the moral high ground. This strategy has shown results in recent months. Al Qaeda’s indiscriminate attacks, for example, have finally started to turn a substantial portion of the Iraqi population against it."

That's a powerful quote

Don't forget George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

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First of all, the "widespread use of torture" is a fantasy created by our very own media. And the enemy has seized on it, instructing every detainee to claim "torture" and "violation of human rights". They launched an operation to use te American and international media to work for them. They published this is an SOP-style document.

Second, the loosely defined "torture" that so many rant and rave about isn't really torture:[quote name=USC

TITLE 18 PART I CHAPTER 113C § 2340](1) “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;

(2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—

(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;

(B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;

© the threat of imminent death; or

(D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality; and

(3) “United States” means the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the commonwealths, territories, and possessions of the United States. By these definitions, the very definitions that this country is held to, what happened at Abu Ghraib wasn't "torture", for the most part (any acts of sodomy and homicide excluded from this claim). Having a dog bark at you is not torture. Being forced to stand naked is not torture. Being forced to stand naked with womens underwear on your head is not torture. Forming a naked pyramid is not torture. I know many will disagree, but USC is on my side.

Thirdly, if it happens outside the US as defined in USC 198 above, and is perpetrated by non-US personel, is it torture by us? Because we have allies who are not part of the Geneva convention and do not recognize international treaties. A weak argument, but we are not subject to US laws on foreign soil. Again, many will disagree with me, but even Clinton's administration does.

Lastly, quoting a human rights .org site is akin to quoting a politically biased site. Like Ann Coulter or Rush. They have an agenda. They are noticeably silent on many nations that have zero respect for human rights, but absolutely hammer the US and Israel constantly. Even accepting doctored photos and quotes with agendas as proof. Their "estimates" of a million-plus Iraqis dead since the invasion was off by at least a factor of 10. Real reliable

All in all, I think the majority of detainees (99%+) are treated with more respect than they receive at home. Most of the detainees at Gitmo add weight because this is the first time in their lives that they eat 3 squares and get 8 hours of sleep. Even Congress and Senate agree on this. Most of this hullabaloo is caused by capitalism, trying to sell "news" .

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First of all, the "widespread use of torture" is a fantasy created by our very own media. And the enemy has seized on it, instructing every detainee to claim "torture" and "violation of human rights". They launched an operation to use te American and international media to work for them. They published this is an SOP-style document.

Second, the loosely defined "torture" that so many rant and rave about isn't really torture:By these definitions,

yes it is.

the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;

I'm not going to say common sense dictates a dog barking = torture, but according to the legal definition you provided, it is. Having an angry dog in your face absolutely imples a threatened infliction of severe physical pain.

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I'm not going to say common sense dictates a dog barking = torture, but according to the legal definition you provided, it is. Having an angry dog in your face absolutely imples a threatened infliction of severe physical pain.
No, they don't. Allowing a dog to maim a prisoner while others watch and then threatening to allow the same. That would be torture. Having a dog bark at you in close proximity does not.
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Well, like I said in the OP, I hope President Obama will use all the tools in place, and any new ones that can be added, to try and discover, and therefore, thwart any and all plots against us, or our allies.

If that means torture, by any definition, ease dropping on phone calls, etc, I'm all for it. I think it's dumb to go to a gunfight with a half loaded weapon. If it doesn't take the whole clip to make the kill, fine.

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No, they don't. Allowing a dog to maim a prisoner while others watch and then threatening to allow the same. That would be torture. Having a dog bark at you in close proximity does not.

So you are saying they can't theaten anyone unless they actually torture someone else first in front of that guy.

I just don't agree with that interpretation. The law is very clear.

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Not at all.

Bush didn't keep us safe, he single handedly got 4000 Americans killed. His reaction to 9/11 was worse than 9/11 itself in terms of human life.

Torture doesn't prevent terrorist attacks or get reliable/actionable intelligence.

waterboarding is torture

Terrorist attacks are not the fault of the President. There is absolutely nothing that can stop terrorists from coming to the USA legally, buying a bunch of guns and shooting up a bunch of shopping malls. If they did this, the fault lies solely with the people who perpetrated the crime, the people who assisted them, and the people who knew about it and said nothing.

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So you are saying they can't theaten anyone unless they actually torture someone else first in front of that guy.

I just don't agree with that interpretation. The law is very clear.

I will take your interpretation to mean you are inherently opposed to any prison structure as well? The law is clear, if you consider mud clear. There are so many loopholes that can be exploited it is ridiculous. And I will stand behind the claim that 99+% of the detainees were in no way tortured, even using your all-inclusive definition.
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If this gets me banned so be it! You are an absolute Idiot. Why is it OK for Americans to be tortured for simply getting caught, but when we point at the dongs and laugh all of our peace, love and dumbasses get upset. Their human rights are being violated. **** their humanj rights. You need to learn and learn fast. Love doesn't rule the world. Animals rule the world and the hardest, coldest, most determined will win the world. You need to get your head out of your ***. There are no gum drop rivers and candy smiles. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I can not believe what I just read. :doh: God I wish you could be deported for treason. In some countries you'd hung for your words like that. **** ***!

Personally, I appreciate the passion, understand the point of view, and as staff also respect the "I don't care of this gets me banned" position whenever anyone takes it. But yes, regarding our rules, given Midnight Judge's post gives you no legitiamte context for the first highlighted phrase, period, and the other two are very risky.

Just on the first one alone you would normally be banned for a week.

The ONLY reason you are not is because MJ PM'ed me and specifically asked not to ban you.

I choose to grant him his request. So you get a break from me and the guy you insulted.

Had he posted "you are an absolute idiot" with whatever standard rationale supports his point of view on the topic, he would have been banned too. I'm sorry to say I wonder if it would have been to your cheers instead of your assistance in prevention of it.

BTW, just per the topic, MJ has a point of view that many good Americans, including prominent military leaders and more than a few conservatives, have in the debate about torture/interrogation techniques. I know many experts in interrogation feel it's not the most effective way to get realible info, but I'm also aware of chemical methods combined with certain forms of deprivation and harsh treatment that can be effective in skilled hands.

If you know beyond any doubt that a guy is guilty of planning terrorist attacks, it's easier for many people, and for me, to suspend caring about any of his human rights for him.

But it's the "knowing what he deserves" for sure that can be very tricky for a person or a nation that claims to be devoted to principles to the core, and not just when it's convenient.

When it is ok, if ever, to do the kind of stuff I'm talking about, or even the milder forms usually discussed which still fall within such conversations, is a hard debate for people of principle who believe deeply in the the very way of life, inclduig many of those actively engaged in the fight to protect that way of life and the lives of their fellows.

Behave, Cap'n Amigo.

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Does torture give you actionable information? The CIA seems to think so.

John Kiriakou, former CIA operative, says yes. Now do we believe him? I would think that you give the retired guy the benefit of the doubt, because he actually did it.

But here's the thing...

He's talking about breaking Abu Zubaydah, in like 35 seconds with waterboarding. Here's what we know about Abu Zubaydah. He was nuts. Crazy-time. Every time he gave a piece of information, it sent everyone scurrying in motion. So yeah, it was actionable information, because we investigated every little thing he said. But most, some would argue all of it, was crap.

Was Abu Zubayday a different man after the waterboarding? All accounts say yes. He acted differently, and was much more talkative. But what did he talk about? He talked about Allah visiting him in his cell telling him to cooperate, etc. Kiriakou says the information he gave disrupted future attacks. It all comes down to whether you believe him or not. People have examined the same information and said the information obtained was crap.

I tend to think that the information probably did have some value, but

1) There are better ways of obtaining that information, in a much more reliable, maybe even faster (based on Alexander) way and

2) It furthers the war, because we become exactly what the enemy thinks we are. In that sense, it makes us less safe in the long run.

I'm talking about torture where the prisoner thinks he will die, like waterboarding. The fear of physical harm with a dog is another argument. I'm talking about strictly harsh techniques, where an enemy combatant will say anything just to get you to stop killing him.

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I'm sorry for my temper. That post caught me off guard and enraged me. It was wrong of me to say those things. Everyone has a right to their opinion.

I just wish more people could see that other people, bad people, are hiding behind our constitution.

I agree that bad guys use our freedoms to their benefits (and that's a long discussion), and thank you for cooperating with what minimal order we try to maintain in the "special room." :D

Here's another thought, too: would 99% of these enemies covered under the topic (actual, true terrorists and their supporters) behave any different, as in less destructive, if we junked our consitution? I don't think so. Our motive for such techniques is to get intel, not to project a deterrent.

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Our motive for such techniques is to get intel, not to project a deterrent.

Even if this is true (which I disagree with) there are compelling arguments that the information obtained from an enemy combatant who thinks he will die is unreliable at best, bogus at worst.

The reason I disagree with it is the same reason Patreaus disagrees. If the general public of Iraq begins to disagree with the methods used by terrorist factions, then that's less recruiting for the terrorists, and eventually will make them far weaker than any waterboarding technique will. You choose the way you wage war wisely, and if the techniques you use, like torture, eventually make you LESS safe, then you scrap them. Plain and simple.

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Even if this is true (which I disagree with) there are compelling arguments that the information obtained from an enemy combatant who thinks he will die is unreliable at best, bogus at worst.

The reason I disagree with it is the same reason Patreaus disagrees. If the general public of Iraq begins to disagree with the methods used by terrorist factions, then that's less recruiting for the terrorists, and eventually will make them far weaker than any waterboarding technique will. You choose the way you wage war wisely, and if the techniques you use, like torture, eventually make you LESS safe, then you scrap them. Plain and simple.

why do we have to follow rules that the enemy doesnt? You see the people that are videotaped while having their heads cut off and you believe we should adhere to rules that they dont?

I have argued this before but I think it sends a discouraging message if we let those guys (who may be innocent) go in Gitmo and they go back and tell their ******* terrorist friends "dude, you do NOT want to get caught because A, B and C will hapen".

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wasnt there a bunch of crap that Al-Qaeda was going to attack us, more specifically the states, that voted for mccain if he won. implying they didnt want mccain, they wanted obama as our president.

now obama is president and they still want to attack. whats their reason this time? make up there turban wearing minds.

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why do we have to follow rules that the enemy doesnt?

Because it makes us less safe?

Read the links PeterMP posted. Read accounts of American military personnel.

It looks like it makes sense. "They torture, why shouldn't we?" But it really doesn't according to some of the top minds in the military.

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Because it makes us less safe?

Read the links PeterMP posted. Read accounts of American military personnel.

It looks like it makes sense. "They torture, why shouldn't we?" But it really doesn't according to some of the top minds in the military.

I have read several books and know personally a lot of people who have gone over to Iraq and most of them dont care what happens to those who are captured for being war criminals and who may know something.

Ask Nick Berg's father if he agrees with it or not. I would trust his opinion over a military leader.

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