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View Poll Results: Should we torture US terrorists if needed?
Yes - Saving innocent lives is worth it 9 21.43%
No - Torture is a moral line we cannot cross 23 54.76%
I'm not sure 1 2.38%
Only in the most dire of circumstances 8 19.05%
I don't want to know about it! 1 2.38%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-25-2013, 10:28 AM   #51
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Once upon a time we used the fact that our enemies (Nazis, Viet Cong, etc) tortured for clear moral high ground and moral supremacy.
I was basically playing Devil's advocate earlier.

It's like we're not even trying to hide that we're being complete hypocrites who set ourselves above the moral standards we demand of everyone else, to view Klaus Barbie as a war criminal (as well he should be) for (among other things) waterboarding French Resistance agents, and then turn around and do the same thing and justify it.

The rules either apply to everyone, or they don't apply. For that matter, waging aggressive war without provocation against a sovereign nation (like, you know, we did to Iraq) was also declared a war crime at the Nuremberg Trials. German Generals served ten years or more in prison for it, and Nuremberg was not meant to simply punish the Nazis, but also to establish a precedent of what was unacceptable international conduct going forward.

It was never intended to only apply to the Nazis. And the really sad question I have to ask is, when did we stop believing we were better than them?

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Old 04-25-2013, 06:16 PM   #52
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Default Re: Torture of US Citizens - Yes or No?

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Originally Posted by Schlosser85 View Post
I was basically playing Devil's advocate earlier.

It's like we're not even trying to hide that we're being complete hypocrites who set ourselves above the moral standards we demand of everyone else, to view Klaus Barbie as a war criminal (as well he should be) for (among other things) waterboarding French Resistance agents, and then turn around and do the same thing and justify it.

The rules either apply to everyone, or they don't apply. For that matter, waging aggressive war without provocation against a sovereign nation (like, you know, we did to Iraq) was also declared a war crime at the Nuremberg Trials. German Generals served ten years or more in prison for it, and Nuremberg was not meant to simply punish the Nazis, but also to establish a precedent of what was unacceptable international conduct going forward.

It was never intended to only apply to the Nazis. And the really sad question I have to ask is, when did we stop believing we were better than them?
You couldn't have said it any better.

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Old 04-25-2013, 08:37 PM   #53
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Because everyone doesn't have the same opinion or beliefs as you.
What the hell was that then?

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Old 04-25-2013, 09:00 PM   #54
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Default Re: Torture of US Citizens - Yes or No?

Expecting everyone in a thread to respect each other's opinions?

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Old 04-25-2013, 09:15 PM   #55
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How do you respect an immoral position?

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Old 04-25-2013, 09:20 PM   #56
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Yeah I support people's freedom of speech but if they advocate pedophilia, for example, I don't have to respect it.

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Old 04-25-2013, 09:30 PM   #57
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Also only God or an omniscient being knows if someone deserves to be tortured.

The CIA ”interrogator” could be more evil than the ALLEDGED terrorist.

Why people don't consider such things as possible in the present or the not-so-distant future, I don't know.


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Old 04-26-2013, 12:56 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Spider-Who? View Post
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/2...rican-citizen/



This isn't a Right or Left issue. This isn't a big government versus small government issue. This is a question asking, what are we prepared to do in order to save innocent lives.

Should having a piece of paper stating one is a US citizen save a domestic terrorist from torture if it's deemed necessary in the retrieval of life-saving information?
Its interesting that you vigorously defended the second Amendment on the gun control thread, but you seem to be throwing out parts of the constitution in this thread.

Are you picking and choosing which parts of the constitution you like? Because the constitutions bans cruel and unusual punishment.

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Old 04-26-2013, 01:32 AM   #59
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Default Re: Torture of US Citizens - Yes or No?

Well to be fair, don't we all do that?

The constitution isn't the Holy Bible. It's subject to change. Even the people who wrote it had no problem changing it.

Still, I thought we all agreed after World War II that torture was bad.

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Old 04-26-2013, 05:30 AM   #60
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Default Re: Torture of US Citizens - Yes or No?

Just a guess, but I bet a lot of people who are anti-gun control are also pro-torture. It's all cool stuff they have seen on TV.

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Old 04-26-2013, 08:49 AM   #61
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Default Re: Torture of US Citizens - Yes or No?

Well after WWII we also thought we were better than the Nazis, and we don't seem to anymore, considering how much of their actions we've also committed in recent years.

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Old 04-26-2013, 09:53 AM   #62
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Well to be fair, don't we all do that?

The constitution isn't the Holy Bible. It's subject to change. Even the people who wrote it had no problem changing it.

Still, I thought we all agreed after World War II that torture was bad.
Well the problem is, you have a lot of conservatives talking about how much they love constitution and yet they seem to ignore most of it besides the second Amendment.

This happens a lot with the people on Fox News. Its the same problem I have with the religious right, they talk about much they love the bible, yet they pick and choose the parts they like and don't like, just like everyone else.

Gun Violence kills way more Americans then terrorism, so why is any sort of gun regulation bad, yet torturing suspected terrorists is okay?

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Old 04-26-2013, 09:57 AM   #63
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Default Re: Torture of US Citizens - Yes or No?

Fox News anchors and pundits are just talking heads. The Daily show did a little segment where they showcased some of their craziness such as allowing torture, holding and executing people without due process, jailing women who wear headscarves, and amending the Constitution so we can call anyone an enemy combatant in order to deny them rights. They have no idea what the Constitution says and are commonly ripped apart by their own law panels.


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Old 04-26-2013, 11:42 AM   #64
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Default Re: Torture of US Citizens - Yes or No?

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How do you respect an immoral position?
Respecting the fact that someone "can", "may", and "is allowed to have" a different opinion from you has nothing to do with whether you agree with their opinion.

It is all in the tone of your retort. I can disagree with you on ANYTHING, without degrading you in the process, or calling names, or be downright rude....

Anyone that has the ability to debate an issue should be able to differentiate between the 2.

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Old 04-26-2013, 11:45 AM   #65
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Default Re: Torture of US Citizens - Yes or No?

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Yeah I support people's freedom of speech but if they advocate pedophilia, for example, I don't have to respect it.
Well, honestly, if someone came on here advocating pedophilia, I would suspect they would not be on here long....so that is one you don't have to worry about.

But you damn good and well, that there are those on here that if you disagree with them they are going to go full out on the disrespect, namecalling, degrading ,etc....and that is what is not tolerated...and then we they get called on it, they use the strawman argument that "I don't have to respect their stand...." well duh, but you do have to act in a manner on here that is respectful.

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Old 04-26-2013, 11:50 AM   #66
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Default Re: Torture of US Citizens - Yes or No?

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they use the strawman argument that "I don't have to respect their stand...." well duh, but you do have to act in a manner on here that is respectful
Put it better than I managed to, I think.

You can think whatever you want about someone's opinion, think it's immoral, ignorant, whatever, but they have as much right to express it as you have yours, and these discussions have to stay civil, all the way around, or they just aren't going to work.

The door swings both ways, or it doesn't swing.

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Old 04-26-2013, 01:33 PM   #67
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What if one of your new friends had secret plans to bomb some place? Would it be okay if you were black-bagged, dragged from your home, and tortured for hours for information you had no clue about?
I'm really glad you mentioned this. Police cannot arrest you without sufficient cause. They can have you come in and answer questions, but that's it. I am in NO WAY advocating torture to be used flippantly like in the situation you suggest. Like during the iraq war, there were strict regulations about who, when, and how torture was used, specifically, it was used on KNOWN TERRORISTS whom the government KNEW had information, who steadfastly REFUSED to cooperate in any way.

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Even if you were fine with such a scenario in the name of security I still wouldn't wish it on you. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
"Fine" isn't the word I would use. Despite what some may think, I do believe that the concept of torture is appalling. Unfortunately, the world is far from black and white. I certainly call for absolutely exhaustion of every other possible means of getting required information before torture even enters the picture, but in some cases, torture very well may be the only way to get a terrorist to talk. It's in those situations where I feel its a necessary evil.

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The "saving lives" argument only works if it has been demonstrated that torture saves lives. It hasn't.
That's factually incorrect. Yes, without the ability to view all the currently classified documents pertaining to it, we don't have a perfect view of the use of torture in its entirety, but it is a fact that information gleamed from torture has helped stop attacks. Whether or not torture was "needed" is what is up for debate. The following is a good, unbiased article on the subject. I'm admittedly quoting portions pertaining to my opinion of the topic, but it addresses points from all sides.
Quote:
But there is a body of evidence suggesting that brutal interrogation methods may indeed have saved lives, perhaps a great many lives -- and that renouncing those methods may someday end up costing many, many more.

Former CIA Director George Tenet has said, "I know that this program has saved lives. I know we've disrupted plots. I know this program alone is worth more than [what] the FBI, the [CIA], and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us." Former National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell has said, "We have people walking around in this country that are alive today because this process happened."

Dennis Blair, Obama's own national intelligence director, who said in an April 16 memo to his staff that "high value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding" of Al Qaeda.
http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmag...90425_8738.php
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As a matter of legal principle, there has to be an uncrossable line. Relativity is extremely dangerous. Few people would instinctively object to shaking and shouting intended to reveal the location of a ticking bomb, but most would object to prisoners being kept without charge and deprived of their senses while being subjected to demeaning interrogation for years on end, just so that we can get the address of someone we want to kill. The fact is that the torture the US uses is always of the latter and never of the former type, probably because the former scenario never happens.
Shouting and being physically aggressive during interrogations does happen, far more than it seems like you give credit. As far as your second example, that's not what I accept as "reasonable" (for lack of a more appropriate word) use of torture. But in any case, it seems like a number of people here consider even shouting and shaking to be forms of torture. Where would you draw the line? When does basic "aggressive" interrogation become "torture"?

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The concept of justified torture is a myth that appeals to armchair CIA agents, fans of 24 who can't distinguish fact and fiction, and unscrupulous politicians who want to pander to a bloodthirsty and cowardly populace.
Well, I'm none of those. Never even saw a single episode of 24.

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That's the risk you take. You don't throw your principles away because they're inconvenient.
Regardless of one's opinion of torture, it really bothers me that you consider the deaths of innocent lives as inconvenient.

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First it's minor maltreatment, then it's waterboarding (which is torture), now, people are calling for outright torture.
No one here is calling for outright torture. I asked you this before, but you didn't answer...We've traded the arrest and (occasional) torture of terrorists for outright execution without due process (the collateral of which is death of innocent people near by). So, which is worse?

Purposefully capturing/arresting terrorists, and using torture on some to capture more terrorists
OR
Not capturing/arresting them, and simply dropping bombs on suspected terrorists (and killing civilians in the process, which only fuels more contempt for the US and passion in the terrorists)

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Old 04-26-2013, 01:46 PM   #68
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Sometimes you have to fight terrorism with one hand tied behind your back so you don't lose your moral credibility and integrity.

That means respecting people's civil liberties and human rights no matter what.

We were willing to sacrifice millions of lives on both sides to stop a fascism from spreading around the globe, but we aren't willing to simply risk the lives of a few thousand people to preserve America's sarcred code of honor and justice.

Torture is evil. Some things are black and white. And that's one of them.

You don't cross some lines or you blur the line between villains and heroes in irreversible ways. The lives you save by torturing people ins't worth losing our credibility as a superpower who deserves to be entrusted with that responsibility and title.

If you destroy your values to fight the terrorists, they still win ideologically.

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Old 04-26-2013, 01:57 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Spider-Who? View Post
That's factually incorrect. Yes, without the ability to view all the currently classified documents pertaining to it, we don't have a perfect view of the use of torture in its entirety, but it is a fact that information gleamed from torture has helped stop attacks. Whether or not torture was "needed" is what is up for debate. The following is a good, unbiased article on the subject. I'm admittedly quoting portions pertaining to my opinion of the topic, but it addresses points from all sides.
In which case that is certainly not a "fact". To call it a "fact" you need to have empirical proof that torture saves lives. You seem to be resorting to a "government knows best and knows what we don't need to know" view, which, along with a casual endorsement of torture, is another step along the road to a fascist state.

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(1)Shouting and being physically aggressive during interrogations does happen, far more than it seems like you give credit. (2)As far as your second example, that's not what I accept as "reasonable" (for lack of a more appropriate word) use of torture.(3) But in any case, it seems like a number of people here consider even shouting and shaking to be forms of torture. Where would you draw the line? When does basic "aggressive" interrogation become "torture"?
(1) You have missed my point. I am pointing out that relativity cannot be allowed, precisely because matters of this type become a blurred spectrum.

(2) Well, that is what your government does, in prison camps. So, it seems you do find torture unacceptable. Good.

(3) I'm alright with shouting, but not shaking. Physical abuse is contrary to the Geneva convention, to which your government is subscribed. It is torture, by definition. Torture is not just thumb screws and red hot iron. Making it a relative term is extremely unwise, because new devices and methods will constantly be designed to remain within the bounds of the rules. This is exactly what has been attempted with water boarding.

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Regardless of one's opinion of torture, it really bothers me that you consider the deaths of innocent lives as inconvenient.
Any loss of life is a tragedy. But you don't make it less likely by appearing loathsome and fascistic to the rest of the world. You just create more enemies, and more bombs under cars. My country tried this out in Northern Ireland. It ended in dialogue and peace, after thousands of lives were lost needlessly.

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(and killing civilians in the process, which only fuels more contempt for the US and passion in the terrorists)
Actually, I think you are wrong on this. The scenes from Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo have done much more to create equivalence between the US and, for instance, the Taleban than anything else. Torture is the most visible and disgusting symptom of a lack of honour, humanity or principle.

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Old 04-26-2013, 03:07 PM   #70
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The problem with being okay with the "other guy" being tortured is these things become a slippery slope once you open Pandora's Box.

It started as "America respects due process for all people"

Then it became, "America respects due process for Americans only"

But we still had the fact that, "America doesn't torture"....

But then that became, "America doesn't torture Americans and non-terrorists"...

which later became, "America tortures Americans who are definitely terrorists"

How long until, "America tortures anyone who might be a terrorist without due process"???


We lost all these rights within 11 years after 200 years of keeping them sacred. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of them being stripped away further for the sake of false security.

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Old 04-26-2013, 04:10 PM   #71
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Respecting the fact that someone "can", "may", and "is allowed to have" a different opinion from you has nothing to do with whether you agree with their opinion.

It is all in the tone of your retort. I can disagree with you on ANYTHING, without degrading you in the process, or calling names, or be downright rude....

Anyone that has the ability to debate an issue should be able to differentiate between the 2.
Are you people serious? The man condones torture, and you go after me for a perceived lack of tact?

I think I will take my leave after all.

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Old 04-26-2013, 04:12 PM   #72
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There is no need for that- just tell the guy that his opinion is idiotic rather than him himself. Same effect, but etiquette is observed.

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Old 04-26-2013, 04:14 PM   #73
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In which case that is certainly not a "fact". To call it a "fact" you need to have empirical proof that torture saves lives.
We don't know ALL the facts, yes. But that doesn't negate what we do know. For instance:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...18.html?sub=AR

Quote:
You seem to be resorting to a "government knows best and knows what we don't need to know" view, which, along with a casual endorsement of torture, is another step along the road to a fascist state.
I have neither a casual endorsement of torture, nor a "government knows best, so lets ride this train to Fascist Town!" belief system. Please don't insult me.

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Well, that is what your government does, in prison camps. So, it seems you do find torture unacceptable. Good.
I find Guantanamo Bay to be a separate (but linked) issue. I accept methodical and heavily regulated, short term torture of key individuals in a controlled environment ("enhanced interrogations" even had doctors on hand) for a specific and urgent purpose. I do not, however accept the persistent misuse of authority and perpetual mistreatment of prisoners such as in Guantanamo Bay. There's a difference between momentary discomfort due to indefatigable reticence in extreme situations and a prison where basic living conditions were unacceptable to say the least, and the (mostly) unlawfully imprisoned were at the daily mercy of unrestrained malcontents.

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Making it a relative term is extremely unwise, because new devices and methods will constantly be designed to remain within the bounds of the rules....This is exactly what has been attempted with water boarding
Well, we agree on that, at least. I've made a point to refer to is as torture (only using more "PC" terms for specific purposes), as I am aware that it is what it is...giving it a less controversial name doesn't change that, it only insults the gravity of the situation.

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Physical abuse is contrary to the Geneva convention, to which your government is subscribed....You don't make it less likely by appearing loathsome and fascistic to the rest of the world.
It's a misconception that the US is the only democratic country that has used torture, and that the rest of the world looks down their noses with clean hands. Despite the fact that the UN bans torture, it still occurs in other democratic countries, who oppose it on paper. In fact, between 1981-1999, 80% of the worlds countries have used torture techniques, and over 98% have the propensity to do it again if the need arises.

http://www.newsdesk.umd.edu/sociss/r...ArticleID=1562

That being said, the use of torture is hardly the most prominent issue that points to America assuming fascist sensibilities. There's a hell of a lot more wrong with this country than water-boarding some terrorists.

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Torture is the most visible and disgusting symptom of a lack of honour, humanity or principle.
Torturing uncooperative terrorists is worse than killing civilians? I would greatly disagree with that. 98% of every person killed by drone strikes are innocent people. That's 50 civilians killed for every 1 terrorist...and the government wants to INCREASE drone warfare. THAT is the most disgusting symptom of a lack of honor, humanity, or principle.
http://www.policymic.com/articles/16...-drone-warfare

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Old 04-26-2013, 04:14 PM   #74
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Oh how I wish I could speak my mind. Alas.

Anywho, I'm staying out of this one, since I get the sense I'm already treading on thin ice.

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Old 04-26-2013, 04:20 PM   #75
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I'm afraid you're probably right. It is probably wrong to dignify the proposition by engaging with it. Better to wait quietly for a more enlightened age, where those who participated in torture will be brought to trial.

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