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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 10:26:33 AM
dittybopper: 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.


A few thoughts come to mind:

1) Deep religious convictions? Are we talking about the same people who, the weekend before the 9/11 attacks, got drunk at a strip club, as Atta and company did? I seem to remember that Islam is pretty strict both against consuming alcohol and interacting with women who are not your wife.

2) If our enemies have such deep convictions that they would rather die than surrender, what makes you think they will tell us anything useful under torture?

3) If torture is targeted at breaking those whose convictions are less deep, then wouldn't the ol' spa 'n' steam room trick do also?

Look at it this way. Would you help someone who you see is a good person who is trying to save lives, or someone who is trying to cause you pain?

Your answer, I'm sure, will be "the first one, but they're different." I disagree. We're accustomed to regard our enemies as somehow essentially different from us -- we thought the Commies were cold-eyed killers with no regard for human life during the Cold War, but then after 1991 we found out they like to buy fancy cars and listen to rock 'n' roll just like us. Same thing with the Japanese -- look at how their society changed once they were free from the military dictatorship.

In the same way, each person's motivations are similar. If we come off as friends, or at least someone with good intentions, then they will cooperate; if we come off as bullies, they will rather die.
 
2008-11-10 10:27:00 AM
www.dvdbeaver.com
/wonders if they gave them a grasshopper
//linked like its hot
 
2008-11-10 10:40:08 AM
Arkanaut: We're accustomed to regard our enemies as somehow essentially different from us

American extremists and Muslim extremists were made for each other.
 
2008-11-10 10:41:45 AM
Sounds like the generals in charge of fighting WWII were a bunch of terrorist-coddling commie wussies.

Does Sarah Palin know about this?
 
2008-11-10 10:52:15 AM
If I got to set interrogation policies, it would be more effective.

"What now? Well let me tell you
what now. I'm gonna call a couple
pipe-hittin' nubians, who'll go to
work on homes here with a pair of
pliers and a blow torch.
... I'm gonna git Medieval on
your ass."
 
2008-11-10 11:08:36 AM
9/11 changed everything!
9/11 changed everything!
9/11 changed everything!
9/11 changed everything!

Here's hoping 11/04 changed everything back.
 
2008-11-10 11:14:47 AM
Oldiron_79: If I got to set interrogation policies, it would be more effective.

Problem is, that just makes them want to say somthing, not necissarily somthing usefull. Who is your cell leader. (hiss of hot irons). "dont hurt me anymore, his name is muhammed"

I mean its not like there are not 300,000 variations on the prophets name in your average city of 1 million.

Therion: 9/11 changed everything!
9/11 changed everything!
9/11 changed everything!
9/11 changed everything!

Here's hoping 11/04 changed everything back.


To the way things where before that lead to 9/11? I would settle for something a little different than that that would still make other country s sympathetic to us if we got hit.
 
2008-11-10 11:40:19 AM
Its kind of sad that in the last 500 years or so we haven't really improved on the art of interrogations. What kind of new stuff had we invented besides jumper cables to the genetals(tucker's telephone)?

Look at all the cool stuff the Medieval torturers had....

the pear of anguish, the rack, the iron maiden, thumb screws, the strappado, the Judas chair,the heretic's fork, the liars chair, the crocodile shears, the scavenger's daughter , not to mention good old fashioned clubs, whips, and hot pokers...
 
2008-11-10 11:52:30 AM
Swampthing in Korea: Well, Muslims would consider alcohol and scantily clad women to be torture.


No they don't. It's part of their pre-flight checklist of things to do before slamming planes into tall buildings.
 
2008-11-10 12:06:11 PM
INTERTRON:

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.

Not only that, but Articl VI of the Constitution states that "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."
This means that the Geneva Conventions have Constitutional authority in the U.S., and their stand on Torture is that of the constitution.
 
2008-11-10 12:12:13 PM
PC LOAD LETTER: Scaryduck: What about the comfy chair?

The comfy chair and the soft, soft cushions.

I was hoping this would be in here.


NOONE EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!!!
 
2008-11-10 12:13:17 PM
cardinal fang, fetch THE COMFY CHAIR!
 
2008-11-10 12:18:07 PM
No Such Agency: 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.


He knows this. Everybody knows this. The question is whether you care.

Torture IS useless and even counter to war aims. Yet it happens, and will keep on happening, for-farking-ever. Why? Because it feels good.

Torture feels good, and loyal and manly and right, to the people who do it. It empowers you over The Enemy and helps settle the score for those on your side who have died.

No one will admit to that, of course, but they will use any rationalization they can. And follow it up with "if you didn't serve, you can't understand," which, to most of us, is unanswerable.

/so it goes.
 
2008-11-10 12:25:29 PM
UndeadPoetsSociety: INTERTRON:

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.
Not only that, but Articl VI of the Constitution states that "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."
This means that the Geneva Conventions have Constitutional authority in the U.S., and their stand on Torture is that of the constitution.


The U.S. NEVER signed the Geneeva conventions.
 
2008-11-10 12:40:46 PM
Oldiron_79: The U.S. NEVER signed the Geneeva conventions.

Meere leegalism. Worth about as much as your speeling.

/a good test of a loyal American is whether he can type his native language correctly
//if he can, he fails the test
 
2008-11-10 01:29:03 PM
Yep. There's nothing Al-Queda loves more than a day at the salon followed by a cocktail party.
 
2008-11-10 01:47:38 PM
www.vh1.com

That's almost as bad as the Chinese sexing the info out of you.
 
2008-11-10 01:49:14 PM
Bagelox-99: Oldiron_79: The U.S. NEVER signed the Geneeva conventions.

Meere leegalism. Worth about as much as your speeling.

/a good test of a loyal American is whether he can type his native language correctly
//if he can, he fails the test


When I'm sober I can spell good, I just don't feel like trolling fark to start flamewars while sober.
 
2008-11-10 02:18:14 PM
thatguyfred: SemperLieSuckah: thatguyfred: The Geneva Conventions prohibit it.

Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

- Convention Against Torture, Article 1.1


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.

Geneva Convention Article 17

"...No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind."

I think waterboarding falls under mental and physical. I don't believe for there to be a gray area there.

Tell me the specific threat they are averting with each specific prisoner. Actionable intelligence is hard to extract if the person has been confined for a long period of time.

I'm just as willing as the next soldier to do what is necessary but it needs to be within reason and within the law.


That law sounds, uh, a bit broad.
 
2008-11-10 02:52:39 PM
SemperLieSuckah: Actually our victory over the Germans was more due to the fact that we breeched ENIGMA.

I doubt it was anything that subtle.

While cracking Enigma was definitely a great achievement, and almost certainly helped in some specific battles and saved lives, the overall reason for allied victory was primarily the ability to fight along multiple fronts and keep up the pressure...

And I say that as someone who lives in a country that fought "on the other side"...not because we supported the Nazis, but because we were forced into the conflict by being attacked by the Soviets... In the end, we held some ground, but we had to give up territory to the USSR, pay war reparations etc., but the most important thing is that we managed to hold on to our independence.
 
2008-11-10 04:08:09 PM
 
2008-11-10 11:46:39 PM
category_five: Oldiron_79: The U.S. NEVER signed the Geneeva conventions.

Incorrect.
Geneva Convention State Parties / Signatories


We signed the treaty and our government is subject to it.
...and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby...


FFS, way to misquote the US Constitution.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

It has been established that treaties are NOT greater than our constitution.
Don't make posts alluding to that fallacy^. Treaties are not an end run around the Constitution.
 
2008-11-11 01:25:09 PM
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.


Actually... your wrong.

8th amendment is specific and limited to "cruel and unusual punishments". The P word being the big deal here. Interrogation is not punishment. Punishment is for a specific act. Interrogation is an attempt to extract information. It's state law that prohibits police (and federal law for FBI) from waterboarding you for shoplifting. Not the constitution. And yes, that can easily be waved.

Geneva conventions only apply during war, as you know, the US hasn't been to war since Vietnam, and never will again. We simply have "sustained military action".

You are correct however regarding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, though the US violates many parts of that, and it's unenforceable. As an example Article 16 pretty much clears the way for gay marriage since it only refers to adult persons, it's not limited to a man and a woman. Article 24 gives you paid holidays (most Americans don't get that since they are paid hourly). Also has stuff for equal pay, right to unionize, etc. etc. Many things in there took 30 years to comply with (civil rights act etc.), some things we still don't.
 
2008-11-11 07:31:26 PM
Torture is the best way to put words into people's mouths. Not so much for getting actual reliable information, which is what they were interested in during WW2.
 
2008-11-12 03:46:56 PM
Bagelox-99: He knows this. Everybody knows this. The question is whether you care.

Torture IS useless and even counter to war aims. Yet it happens, and will keep on happening, for-farking-ever. Why? Because it feels good.

Torture feels good, and loyal and manly and right, to the people who do it. It empowers you over The Enemy and helps settle the score for those on your side who have died.

No one will admit to that, of course, but they will use any rationalization they can. And follow it up with "if you didn't serve, you can't understand," which, to most of us, is unanswerable.

/so it goes.


I heard this absurd argument from a hippy girl at a party once, almost verbatim. It makes no sense whatsoever, but i'm interested to know what your common source is.
 
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