Trump apparently thinks water-boarding works

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by VulchR, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #1
    Trump has said in an interview that he thinks water-boarding is an effective interrogation technique (source). This is why it is dangerous to elect an official who plays so fast and loose with evidence. Water-boarding and other 'enhanced interrogation techniques' were initiated by two private contractors, psychologists, who knew nothing about interrogation and who profited (or is it 'profiteered'?) considerably as a result (source). The problem is that these two idiot consultants decided that inducing 'learned helplessness' was the best way to approach extracting information. It's not. It is an excellent way of inducing compliance, but under those conditions a detainee will tell you anything that they think you want to hear.

    For the record, I view Al-Qaeda, ISIS, etc. as a bunch of war criminals who do not deserve the protection of the Geneva Convention because they flagrantly violate it. What does concern me is whether the US government is using effective techniques to extract information from suspects who might have information that would prevent terrorist atrocities. Hopefully, the intelligence community will point out to Trump the pitfalls of water-boarding and similar techniques and he'll listen to that advice. However, so far his actions and attitude toward evidence and rational thought don't inspire confidence.
     
  2. pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

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    #2
    I'm the opposite. He needs to listen to his generals and I believe very strongly he will. IMO his attitude and own words convey he will too.
     
  3. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #3
    Just spotted this story reported in the Guardian, and came here to start a thread on it.

    Thank you for doing so.

    The drawbacks - moral, political, legal, ethical, reputational - of this course of action will far outweigh any possible advantages, and will sow serried rows of enemies in places where the US currently lacks them.
     
  4. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    You read the Guardian? Now that's torture ! ;)

    As for waterboarding, I'd like to see more definitive proof that it works before allowing the Government the utilization of this information gathering method.
     
  5. AlliFlowers Contributor

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    Ah, but you forget - he knows more than the generals. He said so.
     
  6. RedOrchestra, Jan 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017

    RedOrchestra Suspended

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    #6

    Nothing quite like the world's leading left-wing tear sheet to start off your morning . outta my way, I'm going to throw.
     
  7. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    That sentence is so misquoted. The context is that generals were gagged by the administration and couldn't do their job effectively. He tried - unsuccessfully because how he said it was yes stupid - to make the point that generals need to be able to do their job.
     
  8. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    No. The context was he was running for office, and he knew everything. That particular quote is what it is.
     
  9. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #9
    Absolutely not, but I ain't going to spend more time on this.
     
  10. Scepticalscribe, Jan 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #10
    It doesn't work - and it shouldn't even be considered for practical and ethical reasons.

    Rule of law should govern how we conduct ourselves in domestic and foreign and international relations, precisely because we hold ourselves to a higher standard of conduct than some - such as ISIS - do.

    Not only is it immoral and unethical, it doesn't work, and using it on those who have been snatched up but who are not terrorists radicalises alienated youngsters and further fuels their sense of outrage.




    At least they reported this.

    Contemplating the legalisation of torture - which is a morally bankrupt and legally extremely dubious act - is a lot more important than the President's tantrums over how many attended a march he disliked.
     
  11. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #11
    I have a slight disagreement on the moral standards. Meaning that (and here again, I am going into the hypothetical) IF we verify that it works (probably doesn't) and IF it can lead to substantial information, it would be immoral to use it.
    The moral mission of a government is to protect its citizens and any action contrary to that is immoral. If we had found out - again, hypotetical - that the Bush administration arrested one of the masterminds of 9/11 the week before it happened and it didn't use water boarding (supposing that it works) to find out about the incoming terrorist plot, the government would've done something very Immoral as it would've not defended its citizens. I am not disagreeing with what you're saying in the grand scheme of things, I am just saying that it's not a black and white issue.
     
  12. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #12
    Four issues with water boarding/torture:
    • Water boarding is torture which can cause brain damage and death due to lack of O2. If anyone tells you they were waterboarded as part of POW training and it's no big deal, this may be true except they went through water boarding-light. It was not equal to no-**** waterboarding. I experienced the training version of water boarding while in the Navy which was enough for me to recognize it as torture..
    • Torture is against the Geneva Convention which the US is a signatory of.
    • Although our soldiers have been tortured, the U.S. has always held the high ground on this issue, and if we engage in torture, we open up our POWs to more extreme treatment by our adversaries.
    • Evidence is that being nice to POWs results in more accurate intel, than torture where you hear what you coherse out of the victim which is not necessarily accurate.
     
  13. RedOrchestra Suspended

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    #13
  14. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #14
    Points taken - as I do not disagree with you - except for the geneva Convention. Terrorists are not part of it, only state players.
     
  15. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #15
    I don't support the British Government's complicity in matters relating to torture, and never have.

    Morally, ethically, politically, and practically, it is indefensible.

    The fact that others - including non-state actors - engage in it is no excuse or justification to do so. We should be better than that, and adhere to an ethical code of conduct in politics and conflict. Otherwise, we become little better than our enemies.

    Excellent, well written and well argued post, @Huntn.

    But merely because they are not signatories does not free us from our obligations as signatories. We have to adhere to - and be seen to adhere to - the standards - legal, moral, political, ethical - we set for ourselves.
     
  16. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #16
    I disagree with this. International documents and treaties are signed for very specific reasons, and you're free to act (within the legal framework) when they do not apply. Gosh it would be a mess if that is opened for interpretation. We can certainly discuss of the moral issue, but an international treaty that does not apply... does not apply, should not apply, and should not be applied.
     
  17. Huntn macrumors G5

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    #17
    My point was that it's a standard we uphold because it's our morality. Granted some politicians, countries, and terrorist outfits don't have the same morality shared by the civilized world.
     
  18. mudslag macrumors regular

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  19. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

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    #19
    If I knew that it worked - and again, I don't think it does - I would have no problem in using it in some extreme circumstances.
     
  20. Scepticalscribe, Jan 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #20
    Let's agree to differ, and I respect that you are not coming from the rabid perspective of some who - I suspect - would support the use of torture on these threads.

    Well said, and this is my position, too.

    I disagree with your stance, - but do agree with you to the extent that I do not believe that - as a practical tool - torture works.

    Worse, the use of it debases and degrades the person, or body, or government that uses it.
     
  21. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #21
    As someone in the Armed Forces I did not want to be tortured and at the time we did not condone it. Regarding if torture works sometimes yes, sometimes no. There are many people who believe more info is extracted when prisoners are treated decently. Besudes the moral issue is the accuracy of the extracted info.

    Does Torture Work? The C.I.A.’s Claims and What the Committee Found
     
  22. pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

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    #22
    you're welcome to continue to mis-understand how he communicates and read too much into things. he's a very dry sarcastic communicator when he wants to be and says lots of crap to garner reaction and stir pots of specific groups in this he prodded the media and even called them out during that town hall.

    while they were off creating more lies and trying to dig up dirt he was behind the scenes meeting with and garnering support from some of the best military advisors and generals we have; many of whom Obama didn't listen to.

    agree.
     
  23. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #23
    In general I would see it as a last resort tool for very extreme circumstances in which everything else was tried and there is no more time left. Jack Bauer stuff, like there's a nuclear warhead in London ready to explode tomorrow and the mastermind that you captured last month hasn't said a thing yet. For all intent and purposes it would be a circumstance so rare that it's borderline impossible in real life. In other words, it would be an act of desperation.
     
  24. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #24
    The sad thing is that the Bush Administration approved of torture and practise it, so we fell off whatever standard we pretended to have long ago. I believe Obama stopped it, but honestly don't know for sure. With Trump, he knows more than the experts and if I'm not mistaken, he has already signaled his openness to the idea. :oops::(
     
  25. Scepticalscribe, Jan 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2017

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #25
    Jack Bauer?

    There is a thread that can be started on how such programmes introduced - or helped facilitate - a cultural climate where such conduct became more normalised - and therefore has been considered increasingly acceptable.

    The trouble with "exceptions" is that stuff kicked under this mattress - or lodged in this ledger - expands exponentially - as the numbers of permitted exceptions grow, and "emergency" and "exceptions" are used as a justification.

    In such settings, oversight is always inadequate, and often discreetly discouraged.

    Moreover, the use of torture - especially if it is done under an ambiguous legal umbrella with uber flexible ribs - unleashes, enables, and empowers the sadist, - a sadist given free rein because they think they have a right to do what they are doing, and believe that they are protected by their own authorities.

    In such a climate - where excess and exceptions become a new norm - it becomes very hard to make such conduct answerable to the rule of law, and ethical norms, and anyone who enters a protest at the deliberate and degrading infliction of pain and humiliation on another human being may be deemed a wimp. In other words, the culture of torture encourages silence and sadism; it doesn't encourage oversight, responsibility and humanity.
     

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