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(SFGate)   In WWII, the U.S. military used such torturous interrogation techniques such as spas, steam rooms and cocktail parties to get enemy operatives to divulge information   (sfgate.com) divider line 125
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7823 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Nov 2008 at 4:11 AM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-11-10 05:11:51 AM
thatguyfred

Conveniently using arbitrary definitions that have existed for less than a decade that basically amount to the international relations equivalent of:

i23.photobucket.com
 
2008-11-10 05:13:54 AM
SemperLieSuckah: thatguyfred: Try not going to bed. Locking yourself in a dark room, having someone come in and throw cold water on you until its the 54th hour. Then do a standing sit against the wall with your arms out with super bright lights in your face and "music" being played at awful levels. When you need to go the restroom don't forget to poop and pee in the same bucket. After that is all done put a sheer fabric over your face and have someone dump water over it while they hold your nose forcing you to take breaths of the water.

Nah, that isn't torture. It is just another week at GITMO or what ever other prisons they have around Europe and Africa.

Ok, I'll picture that. Now you picture the victims of terrorists attacks. The ones that don't have the option of confessing some time, location, or identity to save their skin. The mutilated people who've lost limbs, capacities, friends, and family members because some douche bag in a cave in Pakistan thinks it'd be a swell idea if all western influences were removed from and all governments toppled in the Muslim world. Toppled and replaced with Sharia theocratic dictatorships.

That's what's going on. The game here is a pretty high-stakes one. They can't win, but they can sure as fark bleed everyone for as long as they can play.

So yes, having seen these things first hand and thought deeply about the price of both options I've decided that waterboarding, forced standing, temperature manipulation, sensory deprivation, intimidation, and sleep deprivation are acceptable means.

These things don't happen lightly because teh neoconz r ghey. There's a real world most bureaucrats and citizens this side of the Mediterranean don't get to see. And it's got consequences worse than temporary misery.


International law doesn't say "no torture or ill-treatment, except when you really, really want to". It says "no torture or ill-treatment, no exceptions, especially if your justification is supposedly to protect against or prevent terrorist attacks. The UN already saw this attempt at justification for torture coming, and specifically and categorically forbade it.
 
2008-11-10 05:17:03 AM
Alien Robot: thatguyfred: Next you'll probably try and argue that they aren't classified as prisoners of war but "enemy combatants" and therefore aren't entitled to the same rights.

It's been debated over and over and combatants are not awarded the privileges afforded to status prisoners unless they adhere to the rules by which those privileges are awarded. The whole purpose of withholding those privileges is to encourage soldiers, leaders, and armies to follow those civilizing rules in the GC in order to gain access to them. Awarding PoW privileges to combatants who don't abide by the GC rules disincentivizes combatants from following them as much military advantage can be gained by ignoring them.


America shouldn't recognize human rights because she must, she should recognize human rights because she can. The attitude of considering human rights a hindrance is disgusting.
 
2008-11-10 05:22:38 AM
INTERTRON: International law doesn't say "no torture or ill-treatment, except when you really, really want to". It says "no torture or ill-treatment, no exceptions, especially if your justification is supposedly to protect against or prevent terrorist attacks. The UN already saw this attempt at justification for torture coming, and specifically and categorically forbade it.

And you are still not grasping that while YOU have decided as a foregone conclusion that these things constitute torture, the judiciary, the legislature, and the executive have NOT. And if you haven't been paying attention, we do not listen to the U.N. on a lot of issues because their interests do not line up with OURS. Real politik.

Personally, I am for withdrawal from the UN. They cost too much, they do nothing but criticize and lose to guerrillas in Africa, and they need us far more than we need them for protection. I hold the U.N. personally responsible for the deaths in Darfur and partially responsible for the events in Zimbabwe due to the ability of the Chinese to hold veto sway over any decisions to do anything about problems in countries with Chinese oil wells. But meanwhile, simply calling bullshiat and acting unilaterally will have to suffice. Maybe Barack Obama can figure out a better way.

Ok, really off to bed now.
 
2008-11-10 05:23:17 AM
SemperLieSuckah:
Actually our victory over the Germans was more due to the fact that we breeched ENIGMA.


I assume by "we", you mean "the Allies".
 
2008-11-10 05:25:46 AM
thatguyfred: SemperLieSuckah: INTERTRON: SemperLieSuckah: Great...another thread where Farkers pretend to know more about interrogation than the CIA.

More about the constitution than them, anyways.

Where in the constitution does it even touch waterboarding?

The Geneva Conventions prohibit it.


I will be sure to mention that next time I am captured. I will also mention that they need to provide me with mail, medical care, food, non military work for pay, a copy of the convention and camp regulations posted in my language, and housing, not to mention provisions for me to practice my religion.
 
2008-11-10 05:26:08 AM
INTERTRON:
America shouldn't recognize human rights because she must, she should recognize human rights because she can. The attitude of considering human rights a hindrance is disgusting.


Think about this for a second: does the named terrorist's immediate potential for having his "human rights" violated outweigh the effect that tens, hundreds, or thousands more will have theirs violated by his associates if you don't violate his. I see the custodian of the terrorist as every bit as responsible for the outcomes of the situation as the actual terrorist. THIS is how you climb out of the ivory tower and deal with the world on a real level. Ideological purity rarely saves anyone's ass.

//ok, shutting down, srsly. Goodbye.
 
2008-11-10 05:29:08 AM
SemperLieSuckah: Ideological purity rarely saves anyone's ass.

Anyone, that is, except a bureaucrat who wants to remain blameless and innocent.

//OK, GONE, SRSLY.
 
2008-11-10 05:30:39 AM
SemperLieSuckah: And you are still not grasping that while YOU have decided as a foregone conclusion that these things constitute torture, the judiciary, the legislature, and the executive have NOT.

And you are still not grasping that it is not simply ME who has decided that this is torture, but the United Nations, which the United States agrees to abide by. Moreover, even if it were not considered torture, it is nonetheless considered ill-treatment, inhuman treatment, or degrading treatment, which is banned on the same level.

Don't like the UN? Love it or leave it, but until then, the United States needs to abide by international law that it helped write and agreed to abide by, or possibly face international consequences and lose the moral high ground. In case you haven't noticed, you no longer have it. As for realpolitik? We've seen how well defying international law has improved international relations, and thus trade and defense.
 
2008-11-10 05:32:26 AM
Alien Robot: Whatever we learned didn't work or was of no value because we ended up having to drop nuclear bombs on them to get them to stop.

What did you expect from interrogating Japanese soldiers? Deactivation codes to the hivemind? Perhaps we were meant to find the choreographed fight sequences for all potential combat?
 
2008-11-10 05:38:56 AM
Yes Sound: thatguyfred: SemperLieSuckah: INTERTRON: SemperLieSuckah: Great...another thread where Farkers pretend to know more about interrogation than the CIA.

More about the constitution than them, anyways.

Where in the constitution does it even touch waterboarding?

The Geneva Conventions prohibit it.

I will be sure to mention that next time I am captured. I will also mention that they need to provide me with mail, medical care, food, non military work for pay, a copy of the convention and camp regulations posted in my language, and housing, not to mention provisions for me to practice my religion.


Sorry your argument that "because they're doing it to us, we get to do to them" doesn't hold up in international crimes courts. Next.
 
2008-11-10 05:45:18 AM
SemperLieSuckah: SemperLieSuckah: Ideological purity rarely saves anyone's ass.

Anyone, that is, except a bureaucrat who wants to remain blameless and innocent.

//OK, GONE, SRSLY.


Saves the ass of the citizenry from the government and potential backlash from extremist groups due to prior, foreign military action.

Notice, fighting for moral causes via immoral methods is not merely hypocritical but actualizes the point of the enemy, might makes right. This is not an argument on what we may find in the real world to be immoral methods on this 'war on terror', but the hollowness of your rhetoric. You simply have the position of self-serving, nothing more.
 
2008-11-10 05:52:59 AM
thatguyfred: Sorry your argument that "because they're doing it to us, we get to do to them" doesn't hold up in international crimes courts. Next.

Where did I say that? I was pointing out the things that the Geneva conventions are supposed to provide. As far as I know the ven diagram has a very small overlap between things they do to us and things we do to them. On the operational end of things the military has to be meticulously careful about treatment of epws or detainees or whatever name you want to call them today. As far as I can see they seem to be providing all of the things I listed to the detainees.
 
2008-11-10 05:57:57 AM
Yes Sound As far as I can see they seem to be providing all of the things I listed to the detainees.

The problem is they are providing all of the things listed, including those they are specified not to, such as torture. This is a bit akin to bringing radioactive material, chlorine, a cartoon bomb with fuse, guns, fireworks, etc., in your luggage because the TSA listed em.
 
2008-11-10 06:06:52 AM
If the CIA said it relied heavilly on a practice to get intelligence, then that in itself would be a good reason to avoid it.
Q: How do we know the CIA was not behind the Kennedy assasination?
A: He didn't die of old age....
 
2008-11-10 06:17:09 AM
Vangor: The problem is they are providing all of the things listed, including those they are specified not to, such as torture.

I guess it depends on your definition of torture. Waterboarding and the like seem to be things that our military trains our personnel to endure, or at least are something that they expect our pilots and others to encounter when captured and have been for quite some time. That seems to indicate that there are various grades of interrogation. I think we can all agree that strapping someone onto a rack is barbaric and inhumane and that we should not do it. As is the purposeful breaking of limbs and other methods of inflicting severe pain a-la the inquisition. Torture of this sort is of dubious value because they are just going to tell you what you want to hear anyway. But what about things that are in the grey zone, sleep deprivation or intentional disorientation, or drugging. Techniques to trick prisoners into giving up information. That's what we are talking about here right? Many of these things are encountered in a battlefield anyway, not through enemy or friendly action, but because of the nature of combat. Is it unethical to continue subject a person to conditions that they are willing to put themselves into with the aim of destroying you?
 
2008-11-10 06:25:36 AM
Yes Sound: Is it unethical to continue subject a person to conditions that they are willing to put themselves into with the aim of destroying you?

That depends; Is it torture or ill treatment or inhumane treatment or degrading treatment? If so, then yes, it is unethical, and illegal, too.
 
2008-11-10 06:40:49 AM
INTERTRON: Yes Sound: Is it unethical to continue subject a person to conditions that they are willing to put themselves into with the aim of destroying you?

That depends; Is it torture or ill treatment or inhumane treatment or degrading treatment? If so, then yes, it is unethical, and illegal, too.


Of course, but sadly they are very vague on what what comprises. Is it degrading to march somone around in handcuffs? As currently written interpretation leaves a huge range for behavior. On one end you have the cia's and on the other end you have any number of human rights groups that rightfully squawk at any possible violation.
 
2008-11-10 06:41:11 AM
What about the dreaded COMFY CHAIR?



(didn't even check to see if that obvious joke has already been used here)
 
2008-11-10 06:46:35 AM
Swampthing in Korea:
Well, Muslims would consider alcohol and scantily clad women to be torture.

You do know what the 9/11 operative spent their last days doing, right? I heard "partying with strippers". (Maybe they thought they were due a lot of forgiveness, or maybe it's just an urban legend). But decent conditions and guards/interrogators who respect their humanity could make even the toughest jihadis open up a bit.

SemperLieSuckah:
Think about this for a second: does the named terrorist's immediate potential for having his "human rights" violated outweigh the effect that tens, hundreds, or thousands more will have theirs violated by his associates if you don't violate his. I see the custodian of the terrorist as every bit as responsible for the outcomes of the situation as the actual terrorist. THIS is how you climb out of the ivory tower and deal with the world on a real level. Ideological purity rarely saves anyone's ass.

I thought this viewpoint was largely restricted to "little green footballs" these days. Torture is evil, no matter who you do it to, or why, or what information you are trying to get. It's a vile, largely useless activity and it makes everyone involved into worse human beings.
 
2008-11-10 06:59:48 AM
The British actually used this technique quite effectively against German Generals they had captured.

There was a book due out called "Tapping Hitler's Generals" that had transcripts and information that was attained using this method... but sadly I think the book was shelved because I've never been able to find it except in articles... bummer...
 
2008-11-10 07:06:11 AM
INTERTRON: SemperLieSuckah: INTERTRON: SemperLieSuckah: Great...another thread where Farkers pretend to know more about interrogation than the CIA.

More about the constitution than them, anyways.

Where in the constitution does it even touch waterboarding?

The 8th amendment, though waterboarding is banned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the Geneva Conventions.

I was referring more to things like the right to a trial by jury, right to a public trial, right to a speedy trial, and right to a legal council, right against deprivation of liberty without due process, right against being compelled to be a witness against onseself, right against cruel & unusual punishment, and maybe a few others.


I'd be lying if I said I knew a whole lot about how the constitution and international war law, but are POWs subject to constitutional rights?

I can't really imagine a nation trying and releasing enemey combatants while the war is still on. I don't see how enemy combatants are exempt in this war. Even civilian combatants, isn't a guy waging battle (no matter how guerilla) against US forces is still an enemy whether or not he wears a uniform?
 
2008-11-10 07:10:31 AM
Credy:
I can't really imagine a nation trying and releasing enemey combatants while the war is still on.

POW's are held to prevent their rejoining the fight, not to try them. If any are guilty of war crimes, that's a whole separate matter. This whole "enemy combatants" thing was of course specifically engineered by the Bushiates to avoid having any specific obligation to try OR release their detainees.
 
2008-11-10 07:11:44 AM
Credy:
I'd be lying if I said I knew a whole lot about how the constitution and international war law, but are POWs subject to constitutional rights?

I can't really imagine a nation trying and releasing enemey combatants while the war is still on. I don't see how enemy combatants are exempt in this war. Even civilian combatants, isn't a guy waging battle (no matter how guerilla) against US forces is still an enemy whether or not he wears a uniform?




POWs are afforded rights under the Geneva Convention and are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. They are not, by definition, afforded US Constitutional Rights...
 
2008-11-10 07:16:54 AM
jpawlikowski: Alien Robot: "In WWII, the US military used such torturous interrogation techniques such as spas, steam rooms and cocktail parties to get enemy operatives to divulge information"

And they still didn't stop fighting.

Then we dropped two nuclear bombs on them and then they did.

Lesson learned.

And yet, we did the same with German prisoners, got information from them, and without resorting to nuclear weapons. And what do you know, we beat them too.


If I had the Soviet Union running up my backside, I think I would run into the open arms of anyone in front of me.

The Soviets murdered millions of their own people. What's a few million dead Germans to them?
 
2008-11-10 07:24:02 AM
That's exactly what I thought, holding enemy combatants and POW indefinetely is more a matter of quarantine from conflict, not a means of conviction.

I'll avoid the whole torture issue, because unlike most farkers I don't pretend to know what I'm talking about. I'm sure most of the posters in this thread have significant experience in interrogation to determine whether or not it's effective.

This thread reads like a debate between internet psychologists and internet Jack Bauers.
 
2008-11-10 07:26:44 AM
Scaryduck: What about the comfy chair?

The comfy chair and the soft, soft cushions.


I was hoping this would be in here.
 
2008-11-10 07:35:02 AM
Alien Robot: "In WWII, the US military used such torturous interrogation techniques such as spas, steam rooms and cocktail parties to get enemy operatives to divulge information"

And they still didn't stop fighting.

Then we dropped two nuclear bombs on them and then they did.

Lesson learned.


In fairness, very few Japanese prisoners got this treatment because very few Japanese soldiers ever surrendered or were captured.
 
2008-11-10 07:40:54 AM
The point of Gitmo is to have a hell to threaten people with. Those people are suffering for no reason other than that. 'Ooogy boogy! Tell me the truth or you'll go to Gitmoo0o0oo!'
 
2008-11-10 08:09:52 AM
If I ever come down with a terminal illness, and if I know about it before symptoms get too bad, I'm going to find me an outspoken torture advocate and "take him with me."

/Anyone else wanna the pledge too?
 
2008-11-10 08:10:45 AM
Betacamman: Alien Robot: "In WWII, the US military used such torturous interrogation techniques such as spas, steam rooms and cocktail parties to get enemy operatives to divulge information"

And they still didn't stop fighting.

Then we dropped two nuclear bombs on them and then they did.

Lesson learned.

In fairness, very few Japanese prisoners got this treatment because very few Japanese soldiers ever surrendered or were captured.


And the reason that very few Japanese soldiers (and civilians, for that matter -- see Suicide Cliff) surrendered was because they thought they would be tortured / raped. Which is what they did to the civilians they captured. Oh and by the way, the US suffered about 40% more casualties in the Pacific theater than in the European theater.

So let that be a lesson -- if your enemy thinks they will be tortured, they will be less likely surrender.
 
2008-11-10 08:12:01 AM
politicians are doing it wrong then. They're supposed to torture us with those things, not speeches
 
2008-11-10 08:21:39 AM
But did they offer them cupcakes in a suitcase on their way out?

That's the clincher.
 
2008-11-10 08:35:40 AM
Arkanaut:

So let that be a lesson -- if your enemy thinks they will be tortured, they will be less likely surrender.


There are some opponents for whom surrender just isn't an option.

When you have a culture that glorifies death in battle as the highest standard of honor (like the Japanese), or you have a deep religious conviction that dying in battle against the infidels will assure you the highest rewards in Heaven (like Al Qaeda), then there really is not incentive to surrender.

Sure, there will always be exceptions. Humans are, after all, still human, with weaknesses that we all share.

Treating your prisoners exceptionally well will not help against those kinds of soldiers. People prepared to give their lives to the point where suicide attacks are an attractive military tactic do not really care about how they will be treated after capture, because they don't plan on ever being captured.

That's not to say you should have free range to beat the living dog feces out of them, or even waterboard them. But don't expect that making nice-nice with ideologues who want to kill you for (misguided) religious reasons is going to get much in the way of timely, accurate information either.
 
2008-11-10 08:42:27 AM
Lets think about taunting.
 
2008-11-10 08:53:42 AM
No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Sheesh. He set it up and I'm the first one to knock it down? You guys are slipping.
 
2008-11-10 08:58:38 AM
"No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to LIE comfortably on this plush sofa." just doesn't have the same ring to it.
 
2008-11-10 09:05:58 AM
If you think waterboarding is an acceptable form of interrogation, then you'd have to be okay with it being added to the bag of tricks for your local police station.

I'm sure we'll solve plenty of crimes and get confessions if we waterboard suspects.
 
2008-11-10 09:08:14 AM
SemperLieSuckah: Define severe, then find away around that "lawful sanctions" bit. It's not black and white. Until blood flows, it's all a gray area. And personally, I see waterboarding as within reason for the threat it can potentially avert.
If its going to make them talk, its severe. Simple enough? If you think that the punishment is so severe that it will make an enemy agent reveal information its illegal
 
2008-11-10 09:09:08 AM
Well, isn't it nice to read a forum and learn that people are, in fact, basically evil, and will gladly hurt each other for their own gain. If torture is saving us from all these enemy plots, why are we not hearing about all the plots averted?

And where are the Christians in this thread? I'll drop one, real quick. I'll bet Jesus would be pretty sternly against torture.

Who the Hell advocates torture? I couldn't even begin to torture somebody.
 
2008-11-10 09:12:15 AM
WWII - get intelligence to win war.
Gitmo - revenge for 9/11.

When the motives are different, yeah, different tactics are used.
 
2008-11-10 09:19:26 AM
gund: WWII - get intelligence to win war.
Gitmo - revenge for 9/11.

When the motives are different, yeah, different tactics are used.


That's not entirely fair, and shows a very shallow understanding of intelligence in WWII and in modern times, not to mention the strong urge to get revenge for Pearl Harbor, combined with a pretty racist attitude towards the Japanese.
 
2008-11-10 09:24:05 AM
Credy: I'd be lying if I said I knew a whole lot about how the constitution and international war law, but are POWs subject to constitutional rights?

I can't really imagine a nation trying and releasing enemey combatants while the war is still on. I don't see how enemy combatants are exempt in this war. Even civilian combatants, isn't a guy waging battle (no matter how guerilla) against US forces is still an enemy whether or not he wears a uniform?


If our judges didn't drop their brains out of their skulls the moment the administration says the words "national security" then yes they are.

But its not quite the same, they still need to be tried if your accusing them of committing war crimes. The tribunal which tries them needs to be "regularly constituted". Which is a pretty simple concept it means you need to have one court which tries war criminals. Not one for your soldiers and a separate court which tries the enemy. If a US soldier was accused of shooting a civilian, he'd stand trial in a court martial. Same goes for the enemy.

Court martial proceedings provide for rights of the accused, they also don't allow cruel and unusual punishments.

Now if they're POWs and not war criminals, then you can hold them until the end of the war, without trial, and you have to treat them with the utmost of care.
 
2008-11-10 09:25:20 AM
imgs.sfgate.com

Shadows are all wrong.
 
2008-11-10 09:25:43 AM
gund: WWII - get intelligence to win war.
Gitmo - revenge for 9/11.

When the motives are different, yeah, different tactics are used.


Oh, I can already tell that when I come back this evening this thread will be an absolute gem to read...
 
2008-11-10 09:55:55 AM
SemperLieSuckah: Great...another thread where Farkers pretend to know more about interrogation than the CIA.

Yeah, because the CIA has such a great track record.

Invade the Bay of Pigs! Genius!
Castro? He'll be dead in a year!
Ayatollah? He's a nobody!
The Berlin Wall will never come down!
The USSR will never collapse!
Pfft, India and Pakistan won't develop nukes for decades!
Al Qaida? No threat, nothing to see here.

/Fark the CIA. Bring back the OSS.
 
2008-11-10 09:57:10 AM
Bad_Seed: SemperLieSuckah:
Actually our victory over the Germans was more due to the fact that we breeched ENIGMA.

I assume by "we", you mean "the Allies".


You forgot Poland...
 
2008-11-10 10:07:28 AM
SemperLieSuckah: INTERTRON:
America shouldn't recognize human rights because she must, she should recognize human rights because she can. The attitude of considering human rights a hindrance is disgusting.

Think about this for a second: does the named terrorist's immediate potential for having his "human rights" violated outweigh the effect that tens, hundreds, or thousands more will have theirs violated by his associates if you don't violate his.



No. That was an easy one. Here is a question for you:

Does the harm that was caused to United States' image by the US supporting/exporting people to be tortured result in more US citizens being placed at risk?
 
2008-11-10 10:18:15 AM
But how can you sway fundamentalists with the very wealth and comfort that they rage against?
 
2008-11-10 10:24:17 AM
TheWizard: Does the harm that was caused to United States' image by the US supporting/exporting people to be tortured result in more US citizens being placed at risk?

That is a tricky question. In a way it has already been dealt with from one angle. From an international law point you cannot justify torture with the eye for an eye line, but the court of public opinion is a different matter...

Remember that the people that we are fighting against routinely behead people on video so their standards of behavior are very different.

Do they think we are monsters for what we do now?

Do they think we are weak because of how little we do now?

Our missile strikes on the Taliban training camps during the reign of Clinton convinced them that we were impotent, not that we could shoot at them anywhere on the planet. What kind of message are we sending to the people we fight.

Then there is the question of our allies. If by the way we treat people we loose allies and thus numbers, are we hampering our efforts? Does this work constructively or destructively with the effects of our behavior on our enemys.
 
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