Just How Useful Is Torture?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by skunk, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #1
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...y-killed-more-americans-than-911-1674396.html

    Well, I never!
     
  2. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

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    #2
    It doesn't take a rocket science if you torture someone they'll tell you anything to make it stop even if they dont' know a thing....
     
  3. iPhoneNYC macrumors 6502a

    iPhoneNYC

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  4. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #4
    Is that serious or sarcastic?
     
  5. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Major "Alexander" is certainly correct insofar as his big picture view. No doubt. What's not said is whether or not torture was effective on a case by case basis for getting information which was useful. Anybody can eventually be broken; that's been demonstrated worldwide for eons.

    In this case, aside from the inhumanitarian aspect, the unintended consequence was a form of Hydra. The unanticipated result was the creation of more hostility and opposition.
     
  6. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #6
    Well, actually it has not.
     
  7. magamo macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Torture may be a quick method to get information, but it will eventually come back on you. You torment enemies, and you get another bunch of enemies. It seems to me that the current situation the US is in proves it doesn't pay off.

    I'm skeptical that relationship building is any better than torture when it comes to ferreting out what you want to know right now. But the US shouldn't lose sight of the larger picture.
     
  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #8
    i know id speak....
     
  9. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #9
    You and me both, probably, but there have always been some who did not.
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #10
    More to the point, the idea that torture produces lots of erroneous information that wastes time is pretty well established. The information by torture is not systematically reliable -- that's a different thing from saying it's never true, but it's enough to say it's an inefficient mechanism.

    Which, one would think, would be enough for sensible people to not use it. But then again, the argument that capital punishment has no ROI is also well established and seems to convince almost no one....
     
  11. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #11
    <aside>

    Capital punishment, as currently handled, does not pay a ROI.

    </aside>
     
  12. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #12
    Almost everyone in the civilised world can see that... ;)
     
  13. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #13
    Pardon me if I don't totally buy into this.

    "oh, my buddy was tortured in Iraq? Well let me go over there and blow myself up! That should help."

    I think its safe to say that Fundamentalist Islam had something to do with recruitment of suicide bombers. This style of attack notoriously kills more civilians than soldiers so what could these recruiters possibly be telling these folks to make them think it would help. Praying on desperate, idle, young men, with a promise of a few thousand dollars to sustain their families? "Allah will bless your descendants for 100 years!"

    Torture may work, it may not, either way its bad. These articles seem to be more interested in where the buck stops and finding someone to blame than actually solving a problem.
     
  14. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #14
    Well, as one was talking about Americans torturing people, one was talking about Americans accepting capital punishment as well. Although, incidentally, my place of birth (Michigan) was the first English-speaking governance in the world to abolish capital punishment.
     
  15. Burnsey macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    People who join these groups, if they do it out of religious fanaticism, do it because they believe they are fighting for some cause. "Allah will bless your descendents for 100 years if you fight against..."

    So yes, torturing does play a major role, because it plays into the cause. Of course in the context of Iraq it is the US that is at fault, because the war was pointless and lie based. To assume anyone who interferes with an illegal and lie based war as a terrorist is first assuming that the US can do no wrong and that it is superior. How dare anyone interfere with our illegal occupation of a foreign country!
     
  16. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #16
    But people are more likely to become fundamentalist Muslims if the Americans aren't playing fair and torturing their friends/family/countrymen over in the US.
     
  17. bruinsrme macrumors 601

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    #17
    which strikes me as odd.

    What are the odds allied forces captured in iraq weren't tortured?

    Effectiveness of torture? No idea i have never been tortured but i have been married.
     
  18. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #18
    As would I. I would give them some false info and hope they would stop.
     
  19. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

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    #19
    After being tortured do you think an american that provides false information has a better chance of not being killed than an Iraqi prisoner that does the same?
     
  20. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

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    #20
    People hold information. Sometimes the information is very important to a larger number of people than said individual. The needs of the many almost always outweighs the few. Therefore, if torture can extract that info, it's justifiable. And torture doesn't always have to be physical pain.

    ^And I'm pretty sure most torturers are never going to let you go before they confirm your usefulness. Or if you ever get into such situation, it's highly unlikely you'll come out alive.
     
  21. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #21
    So... since the basis of this article is the statements of a military officer who was in charge of an interrogation program for several years, who found through his work and experiences that he did not find torture to be efficacious (which is also what psychologists had been saying for decades now), pray tell, what is your experiential basis to make this conclusion?
     
  22. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #22
    So the ends justify the means? Even if the means used disqualify you from claiming that you are defending any worthwhile principle? Even if the means are of such proven unreliability that you are entirely unsure whether you are simply inflicting gratuitous pain for no good purpose? Even if the use of torture is liable to corrupt the torturers? Even if torturing someone requires you to view them as subhuman?
     
  23. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #23
    Well, how many Americans joined the armed forces after 9/11? Radical Islam represents the armed forces in Iraq.
     
  24. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #24
    Why? The americans aren't a direct threat to the people in these countries, playing badly just makes them look bad.

    The problem with this is that torturing is unreliable.
     
  25. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #25
    That's probably the biggest perversion of western democratic thought, I've ever heard.
     

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