Waterboarding: is it ever ok?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Unspeaked, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #1
    Is it ever OK for the US government to resort to waterboarding, or is it wrong under any circumstance?

    I believe the stand the current administration is trying to take is that it should only be used in a last resort, "ticking time-bomb" scenario.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Kashchei macrumors 65816

    Kashchei

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    #2
    I strongly believe that waterboarding is acceptable under two conditions: first, that it is only done by Americans; second, that it is done while a Republican is in office. I think the logic of my argument will stand up to anything any leebrul can throw at it.
     
  3. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #3
    hasnt there been a thread or two on this already?
     
  4. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #4
    I did a quick search and nothing came up; did I miss something?
     
  5. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #6
    Yeah, I noticed that one - sort of was interested in waterboarding specifically, but if this thread seems to overlap, then just ignore it...
     
  6. CortexRock macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I believe that physical torture of any kind is pointless, because the human body will always have a breaking point (regardless of resistance training or religious fervour) beyond the control of the mental faculties. Torture victims have quite often admitted to confessing to crimes they didn't commit just to make the pain stop. If that's the case, I'm not sure how useful it is.

    How far is too far? I'm just glad I'm not in a position where I have to make that choice - but Winston Churchill said something in 1930 which resonates in me:

     
  7. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #8
    no. unacceptable under all circumstances, as with all torture.
     
  8. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #9
    Would Jesus Torture? then why are we Mr Bush? uncalled for and unconstitutional in my view. People will say anything under torture meaning its unreliable.
     
  9. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #10
    No,never. Not only for the US, but for all humans.

    Its not effective and not how we should treat our fellow human.
     
  10. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #12
    The biggest argument against torture is the fact that the information gained could either be incorrect or just plain false.

    I'm not sure of any situation were I would feel comfortable with torture.

    Part of the price we pay living in a liberal society is that we accept increased risk by letting people live their lives as they choose. I'm not about to ask for any constraint to personal liberty even if it is in the name of protection. It is just another risk we take if you have a liberal political outlook. If you want to have a hard line outlook why bother fighting the terrorists? You both want the same thing.
     
  11. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #13
    Yeah, kinda thought this was covered under my other thread, but that's ok. No, it isn't. Because it doesn't work for one. But the more obvious should be that it's deplorable. Ends not justifying the means and all. We criticize and even have prosecuted others for doing this, but we do it, and the media barely covers it. It's a war crime, admitted to by the higher ups who at the very least ok'ed it, at the worst made it gave the actual orders themselves. You'd think someone would care, but we don't, so that makes it ok.
     
  12. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #14
    I guess I'd have "situational ethics" in a very limited fashion. While my basic answer is No Torture, let me offer a couple of hypothets.

    Were I a combat leader in the field and my unit captured an enemy who knew where his own unit was setting up an ambush, he'd probably be subjected to some sort of torture. I wouldn't ask any of my men to do anything. I wouldn't really want to. But the lives of my men are very much more important to me than anything else.

    The other is on the far-fetched side. Say I had custody of someone who knew the whereabouts of some major explosive device. Say I had knowledge that it would explode within some short-ish period of time, killing many non-combatant people. I'd do whatever I thought would inform me of the location of the device.

    But I don't see that getting names and addresses is as important as staying as close to our own ideals as is possible.

    'Rat
     
  13. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    It is never ok. Not even to save the lives of others. Torture of any kind is dispicable.
     
  14. Prof. macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #16
    Any form of torture is okay. If it means protecting the United States and its ppl from harm then damn right it's okay.
     
  15. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #17
    One of the major problems we face in opposing torture is the number of people who do not realize just how far-fetched this scenario is. You have to suppose that you already have access to an unimpeachable source of intelligence that can tell you:

    - That there is a bomb.
    - When the bomb is scheduled to explode.
    - Who is involved in the plot.
    - What pieces of information each member of the plot knows.

    Whether obtained a single source or many, this is detailed, intimate access to the inner workings of a plot, and yet you must assume that your source(s) can reveal all this to you, but does not know the one, single fact that would allow you to stop it: the location of the bomb.

    Further, you must suppose that you know where to obtain a conspirator who knows that one piece of information, you know for certain that he knows it, and you just happen to apprehend him at a time when a bad filmmaker would be tempted to overlay a countdown on the corner of the screen.

    Okay, let's allow for a moment that this incredibly unlikely series of events actually comes to pass. If I am the conspirator in that case, my goal isn't to hide the location from you permanently. It's just to run out the clock. To that end, I would "crack" fairly easily (make it just hard enough to not entirely disappoint the sadists) and provide you a rehearsed false location that would take longer to search than the amount of time remaining. For instance, I might claim the device was buried in concrete at a large construction site. It would take you an hour just to get ground-penetrating radar equipment on-site, and many more just to establish that I was lying.

    In the meantime, what, do you keep torturing me "just in case?" For that matter, if you manage to search the entire false lead before time runs out, you figure out I'm lying and come back. Then what? Time is even shorter. You don't have a lot of time to waste with me, but I don't have to kill much more time either. The lack of time you have to coerce me is also a lack of time to verify anything I say. Next time I tell you something, what do you do?
     
  16. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #18
    If you could provide one single instance of either of these scenarios actually happening, let alone of torture producing a result, your "hypothetical" might be of some value. As it is, I suspect you cannot, and it is not.
     
  17. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #19
    Torture should be illegal, if it is actually a "bomb ticking" scenario then it should be so plain that its the best course of action that you should do it anyway regardless of the legal penalties, and you can deal with the mess afterwards.

    Otherwise it should never be used it dehumanises you, it makes you look bad in the eyes of everyone else in the world and the information gathered by it is often inaccurate.
     
  18. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #20
    i wish this was sarcasm, but sadly its probably not.


    what good does torture do? at all?

    none. end of story.
     
  19. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

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    #21
    Contentious...

    But it doesn't protect. That's been said so many times.
     
  20. Prof. macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #22
    If terrorists have pertinent info about an imminent attack on the US, isn't it our duty to do anything and everything to get that info to stop the attack?
     
  21. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #23
    sure, but torture isn't going to help at all.
     
  22. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #24
    But it the process we cause 5 billion people in the world to hate/dislike us, that is a good way forward :rolleyes:.
     
  23. Prof. macrumors 601

    Prof.

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    #25
    Then what do you suggest?
    The US does not torture. We send them out to other countries to be tortured.:cool:
     

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