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Torture! (Here we go)

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http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/10/world/senate-torture-report-world-reaction/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Anyone want to touch this one? My preliminary thoughts: If true, I'm disturbed that we would stoop to this level. It also guarantees that no captured U.S. citizen will be treated even semi-humanely when captured for a long time. OTOH, if it gave us good intel to get some bad guys, then more power to 'em.

Additionally: Anyone notice that the two Dr's running the camps were the ones who designed USAF SERE school?

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I'm not sure U.S. hostages are treated humanely anywhere anymore.

Count me among those who don't care that KSM was waterboarded 183 times.

If it were up to me I would hold more in-the-field trials and executions of the enemy.

The rules of Geneva just don't apply like they used to.

I guess I just don't consider sleep deprivation and writing fake letters saying family members have been captured to be torture. No, I wouldn't like it if the enemy did that to me. But the enemy is more like to just cut my head off with a dull knife anyway.

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It also guarantees that no captured U.S. citizen will be treated even semi-humanely when captured for a long time.

Name one adversary that has treated a captured U.S. citizen even semi-humanely when captured. Ever. The best that you'll find is probably the germans in WWII, and that was no Club Med.

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Other than an attempt at political posturing I am not sure why it was released. Everyone pretty much knew about it anyways. For a long time now there has been a perception that the United States sanctions torture and that it was commonplace practice during the Global War on Terror, but this is not what the facts suggest. Since the end of 2001 there have been 300 cases of alleged detainee abuse across the entire Joint Operations Area. 155 of those cases have undergone a complete investigation, 66 of those were determined to have been abuse of detainees under American control. If the same rate holds for the remaining 145 cases, you can add another 64 instances.Stacked against the total number of detainees (over 50,000 stated by a DoD panel on Detention Operations) the percentage of abused detainees under control of the United States is 0.26 percent.

Do not get me wrong, anything over 0.00 percent is not acceptable, but 99.74 percent of interrogators and soldiers conducted themselves according to a higher moral standard. This hardly grants credence to the media's constant reports of how the United States abuses its detainees or any drive to swing the pendulum at another political party to claim they advocate abuse.

From what I gather, the largest grey area fueling them is a time period between January 15 and April 16 of 2003 when there were approved "additional" interrogation techniques approved only for use at GTMO that never appeared in the FM 34-52. Somehow that list of approved additional techniques ended up in Afghanistan in February of 2003 and to Abu Ghraib in July of 2003. Other than that, the government has relied on a fairly strong standard to keep the conduct of interrogators away from grey areas that can be interpreted as torture.


I'm not sure U.S. hostages are treated humanely anywhere anymore.

Count me among those who don't care that KSM was waterboarded 183 times.

If it were up to me I would hold more in-the-field trials and executions of the enemy.

The rules of Geneva just don't apply like they used to.

I guess I just don't consider sleep deprivation and writing fake letters saying family members have been captured to be torture. No, I wouldn't like it if the enemy did that to me. But the enemy is more like to just cut my head off with a dull knife anyway.

No, they are most certainly not but it does not mean we should sacrifice the morals and values we hold just because the enemy has no value for human life. That is what separates us from them.

Edited by Masshole

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No, they are most certainly not but it does not mean we should sacrifice the morals and values we hold just because the enemy has no value for human life. That is what separates us from them.

I honestly only found one or two things objectionable. The USA Today listed the torture as: Sleep deprivation, Transport by plane (the horror! and shackled!), stress positions ("including slapping al-Nashiri multiple times on the back of the head during interrogations; implying that his mother would be brought before him and sexually abused; blowing cigar smoke in al-Nashiri's face; giving al-Nashiri a forced bath using a stiff brush; and using improvised stress positions that caused cuts and bruises resulting in the intervention of a medical officer"---well boo hoo), nudity (I would actually consider this torture for the CIA honestly), waterboarding (the closest thing to "torture"), and "rectal feeding." Okay. that might be torture.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/12/09/worst-horrors-cia-torture-report/20146081/

I'm just not very sympathetic at this point, what with 3,000 american civilians dead (9/11), thousands of American soldiers dead, and most recently innocent civilian journalists cruelly beheaded. Which is why this is all much simpler if the Rangers, SEALs, and bombers just kill the enemy when they find them.

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Am I the only one who thinks we shouldn't have done this, but that the much bigger foul is talking about it? Anyone could get out of hand while "questioning" a Talibanimal, but poor OPSEC is inexcusable.

Edited by guineapigfury

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Here are three truths:

1) Physical abuse is inhumane and unlawful. It destroys our principles of justice and equity.

2) Torture creates false confessions, with the tortured person willing to say anything, regardless of their original actions or convictions.

3) We strongly desire to torture suspects because we are angry and afraid. However, torture does not make us more secure. We need the truth to fight and win our wars. Because torture is secretive, it denies the American public of justice.

Sen McCain Floor Statement on 9 Dec 2014

http://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=1a15e343-66b0-473f-b0c1-a58f984db996

I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence. I know that victims of torture will offer intentionally misleading information if they think their captors will believe it. I know they will say whatever they think their torturers want them to say if they believe it will stop their suffering.

Sen McCain was tortured as a POW for five and a half years in North Vietnam from Oct 1967 to March 1973.

David Frost's interview of Director of Central Intelligence, Richard Helms in 1978

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol44no4/html/v44i4a07p_0023.htm

Q: When Nosenko was given a new identity, after three years of hostile interrogation, had you decided on his bona fides?

A: By this time, the issue was what to do with him. Obviously, I recognized we couldn't keep him in durance vile, as we had, against the laws of the United States. Lord knows what would happen if we had a comparable situation today, because the laws haven't been changed, and I don't know what you do with people like Nosenko.

We sought guidance from the justice Department at the time. It was clear we were holding him in violation of the law, but what were we to do with him? Were we going to release him and then a year later have it said "Well, you fellows should have had more sense than to do that. He was the whole key to who killed President Kennedy."

The controversy has been bad enough without our having done that, but everything would have come down on our heads, I am sure, if we had released him before we did, and we would have been bitterly criticized. So, we did the best we could, but eventually it became necessary to give him a chance to go on about his life.

The KGB operative Yuri Nosenko defected from the USSR in Apr 1964, six months after the JFK assassination in Nov 1963. "The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy" (AKA "The Warren Commission") was completed in Sep 1964. Though the KGB temporarily considered Lee Harvey Oswald for inclusion in espionage activity, but he was quickly determined unfit and refused admittance to any USSR programs. The Committee conclusively determined there was no reason to suspect that the KGB or Nosenko had actually aided or orchestrated the killing of JFK by Lee Harvey Oswald. Despite these facts, the CIA still interrogated Nosenko for another four and a half years, until March 1969. Instead of a desire to follow the law, the extended and illegal detention of Nosenko was primarily due to the CIA's fear of reprisal if they were wrong, and from disinformation from the KGB saboteur "Fedora," who had infiltrated the UN.

Confessions

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/507/transcript

Saul Elbein: In her confession, Kim came across as cold and unrepentant. [...] But then after a few months in jail, Kim recanted the whole thing. She said Jim and the other interrogators had told her what to say. [...]

Det. Jim Trainum: [W]hy would she have confessed? How did she know all these details? [...]

Saul Elbein: Watching the tape, he suddenly understood how she seemed to know so much. [...] Kim's interrogation started around 8:00 AM and went until 1:00 AM the next day. And as the day wore on, the interrogators started to get tired and sloppy. Sometimes they just came out and told her actual details. At one point, one of the interrogators got so frustrated trying to convince Kim that they knew what she did, that he told her. [...] Watching the interrogation, he saw that it had gone down like a long game of 20 Questions. She'd tell him something that didn't fit his theory and he'd say, no, that isn't right. What really happened? And she'd offer something else. And if that worked, Jim would be really approving, and then that's the detail that he'd write down. And they'd move on until she'd given him a confession that totally fit his pre-existing theory of the crime. [...] But no one at the DC police did the math. They didn't feel like they had to. Kim had confessed.

Anatomy Of A Bad Confession

http://www.wbur.org/2011/12/07/worcester-coerced-confession-i

[A] growing number of scientifically proven false confessions [...] demonstrates the brute force of psychological pressure detectives can apply against suspects, especially when they cross the line established by the courts. [...] “Their interrogation was designed not to determine the truth, not to get at the facts,” [Ryan] says. “Their intention was designed to force her to confess to doing it in the way they figure she did it. They are the ones that force-fed her the word ‘suffocation’ ” — and the word “smother.” [...] One way to extract a confession is to make it seem like an easier way of escaping the anxiety and stress of interrogation than continued denial.

Proof that even harsh verbal interrogation without physical torture frequently results in false confessions, particularly when the interrogators are impassioned.

Finally, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Brown v. Mississippi way back in 1936 that convictions based on confessions under duress are unlawful.

Torture is morally wrong, it is illegal, and it fails in its’ goals. The new “The Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program” (aka the “CIA Torture Report”) again supports these truths. Why do we continue to pursue torture?

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the issue here is that:

1. we are stooping to their level and when we do that we lose sight of what ideals we are fighting for

2. this program has been run by people who are in fact their own oversight and in turn have produced misleading information as to the efficacy of these programs.

and finally 3. the fact that non of the supposed cases where they said torturing led to information that stop terrorism actually did that. in fact none of the torture led to any information that stopped terrorism and that is what most people have a problem with.

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2) Torture creates false confessions, with the tortured person willing to say anything, regardless of their original actions or convictions.

The FEAR of torture is very effective. Telling the enemy that they will not be tortured is flat out stupid. Of course, there's also no need to risk taking prisoners. ;) Just one Army 11B's opinion.

LS

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Am I the only one who thinks we shouldn't have done this, but that the much bigger foul is talking about it? Anyone could get out of hand while "questioning" a Talibanimal, but poor OPSEC is inexcusable.

"2"

And the #1 rule of Fight Club?

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Watching members of Congress on the House and Senate floors saying this isn't torture, but then feeling the need to justify the actions with "we were dealing with uncertain times following 9/11 and didn't know if there were additional imminent attacks to come" makes me sick that I'm represented by them.

If it's acceptable behavior, then it's acceptable behavior...you don't have to qualify it. Not to mention that even if there were imminent attacks to come, it's still no justification.

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3. the fact that non of the supposed cases where they said torturing led to information that stop terrorism actually did that. in fact none of the torture led to any information that stopped terrorism and that is what most people have a problem with.

Not according to John Brennan today. But yeah, he's probably a liar...

Watching members of Congress on the House and Senate floors saying this isn't torture, but then feeling the need to justify the actions with "we were dealing with uncertain times following 9/11 and didn't know if there were additional imminent attacks to come" makes me sick that I'm represented by them.

If it's acceptable behavior, then it's acceptable behavior...you don't have to qualify it. Not to mention that even if there were imminent attacks to come, it's still no justification.

I find it hard to believe that the Senate Intelligence Committee was so out-to-lunch that they had no earthly idea that this was going on. This report is just a CYA job. I'd love to know what Feinstein knew and when she knew it. Too bad the CIA didn't have $40M to drop on a "report."

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Not according to John Brennan today. But yeah, he's probably a liar...

lol i always find it funny when people in intelligence agencies want us to just believe them.... like subterfuge isnt their job or something

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Not according to John Brennan today. But yeah, he's probably a liar...

Because no one else in the IC has committed perjury lately when discussing a controversial program...

Brennan, along with everyone else in the IC that is defending torture, is full of shit. If there really was some instance where torture definitively stopped an attack, they would be crowing it from the rooftops. That doesn't exist, so they're forced to utilize the standard tactic of "no seriously guys, just believe me on this, it really happened but don't ask me for specifics."

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If there really was some instance where torture definitively stopped an attack, they would be crowing it from the rooftops.

I don't doubt that is true, but it would be even more disgusting than just trying to claim that the 'enhanced interrogation' wasn't torture.

For all the congressmen arguing that the information garnered from the program saved lives: I take that to mean that you believe torture is acceptable when it's convenient for us. Go ###### yourselves. Whether it works or not (it doesn't) isn't even a conversation we should be having.

Edited by Mark1
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Because no one else in the IC has committed perjury lately when discussing a controversial program...

Brennan, along with everyone else in the IC that is defending torture, is full of shit. If there really was some instance where torture definitively stopped an attack, they would be crowing it from the rooftops. That doesn't exist, so they're forced to utilize the standard tactic of "no seriously guys, just believe me on this, it really happened but don't ask me for specifics."

So was the CIA just incompetent (thinking that torture would work when it supposedly didn't) or were they just evil--ie they knew it wouldn't work but they just wanted to do it anyway? If they were incompetent then why didn't they know better and should they have known better? And if they were just being evil and just wanting to inflict harm, then why were they so evil and why couldn't they control themselves? Is the CIA (at least in this capacity) filled with a bunch of guys who don't know what they are doing end just enjoy hurting people for the fun of it? And if its the later, why won't there be any prosecutions?

...or is there more to the story somewhere?

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This is always an impossible debate...interrogation methods that work for us aren't going to end up on CNN, this smells like a big distraction.

J_B__Interrogation_Technique_by_Kersey47

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Not gonna lie... When I clicked on this thread, I was expecting more sentiments along the lines of "fuck 'em" than the "evil/immoral" comments I'm seeing.

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For the analytics/data folks: was the cost worth the benefit?

For the non-data. ethics/morals folks: was the cost worth our national ethos?

I would argue no in both case. I am not convinced of this but thus far I am leaning towards no. It was not worth our reputation or our resources.

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"Gray. The world is gray, Jack."

"Sorry, Mr President: I don't dance."

Any time any evidence like this comes out about torture, it doesn't exactly help us win "hearts and minds" in the Middle East. The insurgency extends beyond Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Am I the only one who thinks we shouldn't have done this, but that the much bigger foul is talking about it? Anyone could get out of hand while "questioning" a Talibanimal, but poor OPSEC is inexcusable.

"2"

And the #1 rule of Fight Club?

Yep - not for torture or EITs as an SOP for any run of the PUC but the biggest problem is that we know about it.

I have no doubt that during WWII which is generally the least morally ambiguous conflict we reflect on, intel was gathered in tactical and controlled environments in ways that then and now we would find distasteful but was necessary, like bombing civilian population centers, it is an unfortunate aspect of conflict to be kept to a minimum and used with great discretion and then to not be discussed openly. Not to subvert democracy or the general principle that as a rule we should treat others, even our enemies with some restraint, but some of our enemies by their actions have foregone that restraint.

Torture, coercive interrogation, EITs, whatever you want to call it can be justified not against uniformed military personnel nor the average jihadist but when it is determined by people we trust with knowledge and access that there are prisoners that don't wear a uniform, who don't conform their operations to recognized LOACs, and/or do not make ANY attempt to not target non-combatants then the limits of treatment are pretty much void as they have no limits on their behavior.

We don't lose our values by fighting with seldom used tools/methods/weapons against those who have no values.

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Not gonna lie... When I clicked on this thread, I was expecting more sentiments along the lines of "###### 'em" than the "evil/immoral" comments I'm seeing.

i think more of us would have sided that way if the torturing actually led to anything usefull other then furthering some peoples careers running the program

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i think more of us would have sided that way if the torturing actually led to anything usefull other then furthering some peoples careers running the program

Wow.

UFB.

Just wow.

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