It's not torture when Americans do it

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by it5five, May 8, 2009.

  1. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #1
    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/05/the-nyt-finally-prints-torture.html

    I thought this was a pretty good critique of the media coverage of torture. In almost all of the American media, "harsh interrogation" is still the preferred name for what the Bush administration "authorized".

    Do you think the media should drop the "harsh interrogation" name and call it torture, like it is? I read somewhere that an overwhelming majority of Americans are opposed to prosecutions/investigations, and I think that incredibly weak media coverage might be a reason for that.
     
  2. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #2
    I think you'd see the poll numbers shift if they started using the "t" word in the questions rather than calling them EITs.
     
  3. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #3
    No. This is going to burn back on the dems just as much as the republicans. I still don't consider it torture.
     
  4. Kashchei macrumors 65816

    Kashchei

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    #4
    Translation: I have no rational reason to think what I do, only blind party loyalty.
     
  5. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #5
    I am not loyal to the republican party, I didn't even vote for Bush or Mccain. The topic is about whether torture should be used instead of EIT.
     
  6. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #6
    No, the topic is whether we should allow political correctness to dictate an aversion to calling these EITs what they are - torture.
     
  7. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #7
    Your opinion, as far as I know torture is illegal and I have yet to hear anyone be put in jail. You also just pretty much reiterated exactly what I said (except for the part about EITs being torture)
     
  8. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    #8
    What are the criteria for torture and enhanced interrogation techniques respectively? How do they differ?
     
  9. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #9
    We use/test the techniques on our own people, much like police officers are required to get tazed before they can use one.

    Do you think we would chop fingers, limbs, electrocute our own people? Seems to put them on a different level to me.
     
  10. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #10
    "What are the criteria for torture and enhanced interrogation techniques respectively? How do they differ?"

    Generally accepted language among real people? Or government speak?

    SFAIK, torture means physical pain and agony, and can include physical damage. If enhanced interrogation is limited to waterboarding--and I don't know if it is or isn't--then I guess you could call it "Torture 101: Introduction". If what I read is correct, it allegedly only induces a fear of drowning rather than doing any actual bodily harm.

    In defense of the US solely on a comparison basis, it's about the gentlest form of physical abuse of which I've ever heard. I know of no other country which limits itself to this degree of gentleness. Well, possibly the Low Countries and Scandinavia, maybe, and I'll guess Switzerland. I'm dubious about all the rest.

    'Rat
     
  11. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #11
    Torture being illegal is a fact. It is not my opinion. Do you not believe torture to be illegal? :confused:

    As for your assertion that torture is not illegal since no one has gone to jail for it, that's completely false. In fact, the US has executed people for torture in the past.

    Not at all. What you said was that this discussion was about whether EITs constitute torture. That is not the case. Did you read the quoted piece? The author is decrying the political correctness that forces major media outlets to call the behavior they call torture when conducted by the Chinese EIT when conducted by Americans.

    This discussion is NOT about whether waterboarding is torture or not. It's about why a major American newspaper -- supposedly the queen of theliberalmedia, BTW -- routinely calls prolonged isolation, sleep deprivation, and stress positions torture when committed by the Chinese, but they call those same techniques "EIT" when committed by Americans.
     
  12. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #12
    You'll have to point me to which of our own people have had their head slammed into a plywood-covered CMU wall.

    Torture, as defined by legal authorities, also recognizes mental anguish as torture.

    Things like mock executions are considered torture for this reason. No harm is done to the detainee, yet an extreme amount of mental anguish is induced.

    As an aside, if there is no chance of bodily harm from waterboarding, why were crash teams of physicians always present during these sessions? So they could get their jollies? I doubt that...

    Again, would you describe hard slapping and having your head slammed into a plywood-covered CMU wall as "gentle" if done to a US soldier?
     
  13. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #13
    Well your opinion doesnt match reality then. Waterboarding is legally torture.
     
  14. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #14
    i wonder how you would react if another country would kidnap those torturers and trialed them in another country

    like italy which wrote out european arrest warrants for 22 CIA agents because of torture and kidnapping
    or in US English: "harsh interrogation" and "extraordinary rendition"

    and let's not forget the CIA using other "interrogation facilities" in other countries


    this double standard is ridiculous ... the real sadness is how the 1998 Hollywood Movie The Siege was prophetic beyond scary ...
     
  15. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #15
    "Again, would you describe hard slapping and having your head slammed into a plywood-covered CMU wall as "gentle" if done to a US soldier?"

    Not particularly. I make no effort to claim it didn't happen; I've read of allegations--but I'm unsure as to their credibility. For one thing, I don't see the point of that particular action. Which is my problem with a lot of this furor.

    Look: It doesn't matter if I approve or disapprove, but I can undertand waterboarding in the context of making someone talk. The slap-and-slam seems to me to be a punitive measure, which seems to me to have no value in interrogation. But, I lack any experience with torture or torturers--for which I give thanks.
     
  16. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #16
    Now, you were in Korea, as I recall. Was the talk at the time that the man that was the subject of the article linked to in this thread was being treated "gently" by the Chinese, or was the talk of torture?
     
  17. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #17
    I didn't say torture wasn't illegal, I said it was your opinion that waterboarding is torture, and if waterboarding was torture we would surely have someone from the last admin. in jail right now for it, no?


    Exactly what I said, it was a discussion about whether the media should use the word torture instead of EIT.

    Which is why I said it was a discussion on whether the media should call our EITs torture.

    I personally don't think waterboarding is torture whether its chinese or Americans doing it so my answer is still no.
     
  18. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #18
    It wouldn't be the first time one of our field personnel was captured and interrogated, but I would consider it interrogation none the less until they stepped over the line.

    These people aren't operating under a country, they are radicals. If you captured US troops/CIA personnel and interrogated them I would suggest you build up your country's defenses.
     
  19. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #19
    If it was legally torture people from the last administration would be in jail or at least in a court room, including anyone who was in charge of over site.
     
  20. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #20
    Well, considering we haven't had a trial yet, I'd say it's no surprise that no one is in jail for it yet. You seem to think it's a walk in the park to try and convict high government officials.

     
  21. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #21
    No, I think they are on the deep end of interrogation right before you cross the line, keep in mind that I don't think these should be used lightly or anywhere near a first resort.

    You said something about smashing a guys head into a wall and I would not agree with that, I don't agree with beating the piss out of them, cutting limbs, electrocution, gassing and the like.
     
  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #22
    If waterboarding isn't legally torture, why have people been sentenced to prison or worse by US authorities for doing it?
     
  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #23
    So are you saying that Col. Harold E. Fischer Jr. was just a traitor who sold out his country under regular questioning? Do you dispute his claim that his mentality was reduced to "mental putty" by these techniques?

    That was also an approved EIT.

    Unless and until we get a full and independent investigation of what was authorized and what was used, we'll never know the extent of the torture program.
     
  24. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #24
    Not sure what cases you are talking about, if it were carried out by civilians or unauthorized then it would be a crime.
     
  25. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #25
    Your complacency is astounding. "Enhanced Interrogation", otherwise known as "Torture", is not limited to "waterboarding", otherwise known as "drowning", but includes the whole gamut of extreme and barbaric abuses recorded at Abu Ghraib, Bagram and elsewhere. As for being "the gentlest form of physical abuse of which I've ever heard", you really have to ask yourself why Japanese soldiers were condemned by the US amongst others for being so gentle with Allied troops. Curious, isn't it?
     

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