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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.

Using it as SOP isn't what I think most of us are talking about. But if and when it becomes necessary, it should be another available tool.

I also believe that most of our enemies will torture our people whether they knew we did, or not. And, they have always told their people they will be tortured or killed if captured, long before Gitmo, and the likes. Makes them fight harder.

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

Those types of questions do not answer anything. It's like asking Michael Dukakis if Kitty were raped and murdered, would he favor the death penalty.

History is there for a reason. It's there for us to learn from. If we choose to ignore it, then we do so at our own peril. There's a reason we outlawed torture. Because it makes us weaker in the long run.

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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.

The "by all means necessary" crowd is lonely and scorned by history. It includes facists, communists and dictators. It is usually populated by those who lack a long-term vision, a sense that precedent and laws are meaningful, the fearful and paranoid, and the weak.

Our nation is great because we respect the rule of law, the importance of procedure and order, and we generally refuse to toss aside our principles and convictions because we are afraid of one enemy or another. Our strength can be found in our ability to uphold our traditions in the face of difficulty. We don't buckle to our enemies, we tell them "**** you, you're lame and we're not going to change because you threaten us."

Torturing prisoners and tossing out constitutional protections is for weak ****** who are afraid of their own shadows.

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Those types of questions do not answer anything. It's like asking Michael Dukakis if Kitty were raped and murdered, would he favor the death penalty.

History is there for a reason. It's there for us to learn from. If we choose to ignore it, then we do so at our own peril. There's a reason we outlawed torture. Because it makes us weaker in the long run.

Ignore what? I dont get what you think we are ignoring by treating the enemy the same way they treat us. I am not for beheading on camera but I am also not afraid to inflict some pain on these jerks if they decide to attack my brothers or sisters.

I also dont agree with us getting weaker. I cant even think of the last time that America's military was considered weak.

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Ask yourself a simple question: WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE COMMODITY IN THE WORLD? ANSWER - INFORMATION.

You misspelled the correct answer: LIBERTY. Without it, your INFORMATION may be virtually worthless to 99.9% of people on Earth.

I put it in all caps to make sure you'd recognize it. Whether you understand it is another issue entirely.

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Torturing prisoners and tossing out constitutional protections is for weak ******* who are afraid of their own shadows.

Please do not circumvent the language filters.

It's part of the ES Constitution, tough guy.

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The torture topic brings out the best of the "I'm above that" crowd. They are better then the enemy because they don't stoop to their level. It's easy for the folks in this crowd to make these comments because the likelihood of them being "called out" on it is slim. Considering it happens very rarely, by very few people, they will never have to make the decision to torture or not torture someone.

The beauty is when you make it personal by giving them a situation closer to home. Bush made the decision because he is responsible for protecting the nation. Some kid losing his life in LA may not personally hit home to us someone in VA but it does to him. He took an oath to protect all citizens. Midnight or Tulane how far would you go to protect your child, wife, sister, ect. I'd like to hear one of you would respond to this situation.

A family member has been kidnapped by two guys, you capture one but the other gets away with your family member. You know the odds are your family member will lose his/her life very soon without your action. Do you simply continue to ask the person, maybe even yell a little? What if they don't answer and it's been a few hours. Your family member could be in another state by now.

Midnight/Tulane/ or anyone else for that matter. Would you waterboard the captured kidnapper to try to get info on the other one and where he may be heading? If you don't, are you ready to live with yourself if your family member dies and you did nothing but yell to help them?

I don't want to hear "I'd call the police" because like Bush, it's up to you to make that decision. You don't have the out of having someone else make the decision.

Would you waterboard or not? Simple yes or no will do. I know it's tough to answer. If you answer yes , everything you wrote in this post is hypocritical. If you answer no, you just admitted that NOT putting a kidnapper through waterboarding is MORE important to you then using EVERY option available to protect your family.

I've tried this on ES before and everyone dodged the question. Yes or No guys?

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The "by all means necessary" crowd is lonely and scorned by history. It includes facists, communists and dictators. It is usually populated by those who lack a long-term vision, a sense that precedent and laws are meaningful, the fearful and paranoid, and the weak.

Our nation is great because we respect the rule of law, the importance of procedure and order, and we generally refuse to toss aside our principles and convictions because we are afraid of one enemy or another. Our strength can be found in our ability to uphold our traditions in the face of difficulty. We don't buckle to our enemies, we tell them "F you, you're lame and we're not going to change because you threaten us."

Torturing prisoners and tossing out constitutional protections is for weak p***ies who are afraid of their own shadows.
See, this is where this side of the issue is gray. These enemy combatants are not offered Constitutional protections. They are afforded Geneva Convention protection. Constitutional protection would prevent us from holding them without a trial. POW camps would be illegal.

As to the rest of your post, how is the view for that horse?

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The torture topic brings out the best of the "I'm above that" crowd. They are better then the enemy because they don't stoop to their level. It's easy for the folks in this crowd to make these comments because the likelihood of them being "called out" on it is slim. Considering it happens very rarely, by very few people, they will never have to make the decision to torture or not torture someone.

The beauty is when you make it personal by giving them a situation closer to home. Bush made the decision because he is responsible for protecting the nation. Some kid losing his life in LA may not personally hit home to us someone in VA but it does to him. He took an oath to protect all citizens. Midnight or Tulane how far would you go to protect your child, wife, sister, ect. I'd like to hear one of you would respond to this situation.

A family member has been kidnapped by two guys, you capture one but the other gets away with your family member. You know the odds are your family member will lose his/her life very soon without your action. Do you simply continue to ask the person, maybe even yell a little? What if they don't answer and it's been a few hours. Your family member could be in another state by now.

Midnight/Tulane/ or anyone else for that matter. Would you waterboard the captured kidnapper to try to get info on the other one and where he may be heading? If you don't, are you ready to live with yourself if your family member dies and you did nothing but yell to help them?

I don't want to hear "I'd call the police" because like Bush, it's up to you to make that decision. You don't have the out of having someone else make the decision.

Would you waterboard or not? Simple yes or no will do. I know it's tough to answer. If you answer yes , everything you wrote in this post is hypocritical. If you answer no, you just admitted that NOT putting a kidnapper through waterboarding is MORE important to you then using EVERY option available to protect your family.

I've tried this on ES before and everyone dodged the question. Yes or No guys?

As you can tell by my posts in this thead, my answer is yes. Starting with fingernails and toenails and some salt and a scalpel.
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dockeryfan--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.

Yes. :)

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.

And this is one example (and the topic of interrogation is a very deep well) of what I meant when I wrote this in my previous post:

"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."

This is a topic where I have more than "general" (even by my standards)knowledge and find solid arguments pro and con, and that doesn't make the call any easier.

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A family member has been kidnapped by two guys, you capture one but the other gets away with your family member. You know the odds are your family member will lose his/her life very soon without your action. Do you simply continue to ask the person, maybe even yell a little? What if they don't answer and it's been a few hours. Your family member could be in another state by now.

Good question overall, not a good analogy IMO. The answer could quite possibly be based purely on emotion. This differs from torture policy of the most powerful country in the world in that our policy should be based entirely on laws, principles, and perhaps data. Not emotion.

Me personally, I don't waterboard anyone. I detain them and let the professionals do their job in finding my family member. Besides, who's to say they know where the other guy is going, or that they're going to tell me the truth, or that they're not leading me into a trap? Also, being an individual and not a Government, I don't risk the possibility of blowback in the form of my friends being tortured, my allies breaking treaties in the future, or my adversaries refusing to come to an agreement with me because I cannot be trusted.

BTW, there was a fantastic episode of law and order dealing precisely with this issue where Detective Fontana repeatedly dunked this guy's head into the toilet because the guy knew where a kidnapped girl was being held.

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Good question overall, not a good analogy IMO. The answer could quite possibly be based purely on emotion. This differs from torture policy of the most powerful country in the world in that our policy should be based entirely on laws, principles, and perhaps data. Not emotion.

Me personally, I don't waterboard anyone. I detain them and let the professionals do their job in finding my family member. Besides, who's to say they know where the other guy is going, or that they're going to tell me the truth, or that they're not leading me into a trap? Also, being an individual and not a Government, I don't risk the possibility of blowback in the form of my friends being tortured, my allies breaking treaties in the future, or my adversaries refusing to come to an agreement with me because I cannot be trusted.

BTW, there was a fantastic episode of law and order dealing precisely with this issue where Detective Fontana repeatedly dunked this guy's head into the toilet because the guy knew where a kidnapped girl was being held.

Midnight you know that was a total dodge of the question. If the decision was 100% up to you to waterboard or not, would you. Since they were in on the kidnapping together, you obviously have to assume he might know where to find the other one with your family member.

The question is, assuming he MAY know where he is, do you waterboard to even have a chance at finding your family member? If not, are you willing to admit to your other family members and to yourself that you did NOT do everything at your disposal to find your loved one? We all know the odds of finding a kidnap victim gets smaller with every second. It is your decision alone. YES or NO?

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Also, being an individual and not a Government, I don't risk the possibility of blowback in the form of my friends being tortured, my allies breaking treaties in the future, or my adversaries refusing to come to an agreement with me because I cannot be trusted.

While I agree that someone may use it as the excuse to do any and all of your listed "blowbacks", the reality is, they would have done them anyway. Giving them an out is a minimal result.:2cents:

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While I agree that someone may use it as the excuse to do any and all of your listed "blowbacks", the reality is, they would have done them anyway. Giving them an out is a minimal result.:2cents:

I agree, our actions a unlikely to influence committed terrorists. But our actions do influence their recruitment efforts.

But the larger point, IMO, is our obligation to our allies-to uphold the agreements we have entered into.

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I agree, our actions a unlikely to influence committed terrorists. But our actions do influence their recruitment efforts.

But the larger point, IMO, is our obligation to our allies-to uphold the agreements we have entered into.

I think we do, and will.

I also have to believe that, we have in the past, and will in the future, use what some consider torture, AND, what everybody considers torture, in the name of national security. Whether the world knows about it or not, to me, isn't that important. Given similar options, they have, and will, do the same things.

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Midnight you know that was a total dodge of the question. If the decision was 100% up to you to waterboard or not, would you. Since they were in on the kidnapping together, you obviously have to assume he might know where to find the other one with your family member.

The question is, assuming he MAY know where he is, do you waterboard to even have a chance at finding your family member? If not, are you willing to admit to your other family members and to yourself that you did NOT do everything at your disposal to find your loved one? We all know the odds of finding a kidnap victim gets smaller with every second. It is your decision alone. YES or NO?

I thought I said no. Anyway, your scenario assumes waterboarding works let alone with any degree of reliability, and I have yet to see any evidence that this is the case.

Regardless, I'm not sure I even believe in the perfect scenario/Jack Bauer theory and that it actually occurs in real life. What are the chances that you catch a guy and you know that he knows the current details of an imminent terrorist plot, and you know you cannot get this information any other way, but somehow without knowing other details you have obtained their schedule, AND you know that the benefits of advocating torture over this one case or the fairly unique cases like it outweigh the drawbacks of being known as an international criminal and treaty breaker.

Chances of this happening seem rather slim to me.

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I thought I said no. Anyway, your scenario assumes waterboarding works let alone with any degree of reliability, and I have yet to see any evidence that this is the case.

Regardless, I'm not sure I even believe in the perfect scenario/Jack Bauer theory and that it actually occurs in real life. What are the chances that you catch a guy and you know that he knows the current details of an imminent terrorist plot, and you know you cannot get this information any other way, AND you know that the benefits of advocating torture over this one case or the fairly unique cases like it outweigh the drawbacks of being known as an international criminal and treaty breaker.

Chances of this happening seem rather slim to me.

I never said you were sure it would work. I said you were running out of time. I said your family member has been gone for 2 hours while you were asking the kidnapper politely. So we are clear, if it came down to taking additional action that included waterboarding or any other act considered "torture" to protect your family member you would not do it. You would be more concerned about the terrorist and the opinion of others then you would your family members life.

Well the good news is that you are not a hypocrite. The president has been put in a quick action situation and made the decision to waterboard. He may not be protecting your family members life but he's protecting the Americans that will suffer in the attack.

By the way, I don't care what President Obama says, he would do ANYTHING to protect his little girls. I'm hoping you are trying to save face by saying you wouldn't. Otherwise Midnight, good luck explaining your politically correct decision to your family.

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Well the good news is that you are not a hypocrite.

If there is someone else on this board who would torture under your scenario but is against our Government doing so, that would not make them a hypocrite. The rules that apply to individuals are completely different than those that apply to Governments.

As for my loved ones, I hope they will forgive me LOL.

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As for being partisan, I'm an independent who has voted for Republicans and Dems. I'm also an attorney who believes that the "rule of law" is very meaningful. I just find it ironic that so many "law and order" conservatives throw out their concern for "law and order" when their butts are potentially on the line. Sounds an awful lot like some people lack principles.

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If there is someone else on this board who would torture under your scenario but is against our Government doing so, that would not make them a hypocrite. The rules that apply to individuals are completely different than those that apply to Governments.

As for my loved ones, I hope they will forgive me LOL.

Again so I'm clear. If the gov't is aware of a terrorist plot that could happen at anytime. You would be against the interrogator using waterboarding if a terrorist, that you are pretty sure knows when it will happen will not answer your questions? Asking nicely is not working and the attack is imminent.

How about if you and your family are in the area the attack is about to happen. Would you tell the govt to just keep asking nicely and hope the other terrorists don't act?

Why is it OK for a civilian to "torture" to protect their family but not the gov't to protect someone elses family? Midnight, it's OK to admit that "torture" may be needed under dire circumstances.

Now that is hypocracy.

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Again so I'm clear. If the gov't is aware of a terrorist plot that could happen at anytime. You would be against the interrogator using waterboarding if a terrorist, that you are pretty sure knows when it will happen will not answer your questions? Asking nicely is not working and the attack is imminent.

How about if you and your family are in the area the attack is about to happen. Would you tell the govt to just keep asking nicely and hope the other terrorists don't act?

Why is it OK for a civilian to "torture" to protect their family but not the gov't to protect someone elses family? Midnight, it's OK to admit that "torture" may be needed under dire circumstances.

Now that is hypocracy.

I'll answer for him. Because the government has to be concerned about the long term safety of all Americans and even future generations.

If you go back and read the quotes I gave from Generals Petereaus, Zinni, and Powell, they don't even really care if you can get actionable intelligence from it. Their point is basic: the long term cost of torture is not worth the short term gain.

Again, essentially anybody that has looked at this with the big picture in mind have concluded the same thing, it isn't something worth doing. The ONLY people that have looked at and concluded differently are the same people that told that Iraq was an imminent threat AND that we could displace Saddam and install a democracy there on the cheap.

I'll take the side of the people that have a history of actually being right on somethings.

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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.

I also happened to catch a radio interview with Alexander (it's how I heard about the book in the first place). I don't recall what he said about waterboarding specifically, but he said that when he got there, the style of interrogation that had been used for several years was "very aggressive" and involved "enhanced" techniques. He was part of a change in that style - not just because of morals, because because the change worked. Quite dramatically.

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I'll answer for him. Because the government has to be concerned about the long term safety of all Americans and even future generations.

If you go back and read the quotes I gave from Generals Petereaus, Zinni, and Powell, they don't even really care if you can get actionable intelligence from it. Their point is basic: the long term cost of torture is not worth the short term gain.

Again, essentially anybody that has looked at this with the big picture in mind have concluded the same thing, it isn't something worth doing. The ONLY people that have looked at and concluded differently are the same people that told that Iraq was an imminent threat AND that we could displace Saddam and install a democracy there on the cheap.

I'll take the side of the people that have a history of actually being right on somethings.

Do you believe President Obama would not take ANY action necessary to protect his family if they were in danger? Do you really believe that President Obama would not use waterboarding to prevent an imminent attack on American soil? If you answered yes to either you are not living in reality. You can talk "the long term cost is not worth the short term gain" all you want but it's not accurate.

The govt hasn't waterboarded 99.9 % of the people they capture. Theye waterboard terrorists who they are fairly certain know something that is vital to the security of the country. I'll take a 25% chance that the terrorist knows something and waterboard to prevent an imminent attack that could kill another 3,000 Americans. So would you, so would Obama, Generals Petereaus, Zinni, and Powell. They can say they wouldn't publicly all they want.

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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?

Because if we don't, what makes us different from them?

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