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Oh the horror!

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Dissident Heart

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The Proper Context

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GN: It is a fact that there is a relatively small group of Americans who are directly responsible for the safety of their countrymen. Responsible in the same way that the rest of us are responsible for the safety of friends, family, co-workers, employees, or what have you. They take an oath of utmost seriousness to protect the US, and (despite conspiracy theories to the contrary) the vast majority of them are good, brave, smart, and honest people who genuinely want to serve their country and protect its citizens.I don't see this as a fact, but as a large dose of ideological hope and political faith. I don't think they are my representatives in their supposed quest for protecting the rest of us. They may truly, sincerely and with complete honesty think their tortruring is done in the name of protecting their fellow citizens: but that doesn't make it so. People don't reach the level of special operations torture crew without undergoing years of crucial ideological retraining. The structure is geared to weed out skeptical minds unwilling to follow orders or doubt the dependability of their leader's pronouncements. This process of hunting, finding, torturing and killing the enemy demands that any doubt of moral veracity and just cause be eliminated. These men must believe their cause is right and their victim deserves his punishment. In essence, they are brainwashed: and must be. Therefore, any claims they make toward serving, protecting, keeping their fellow countrymen safe are dubious at best, and deadly at worst.By the way, the worst offenders in history all claimed their heinous acts were done to protect their homeland and were in self-defense and were necessary to keep civilization safe from barbarians and other terrorists.I don't think the US Military, or any Military, work for altruistic ends, nor are they created for simply defense reasons. They are offensive structures designed to conquer and control property and minds. They serve domestic elites, not the common good. They certainly don't serve the good of those they invade and attack.The domestic elite create narratives that terrify the primary enemy into submission: their own domestic population. This submission then provides the tax monies and cannon fodder to make the "defensive conflicts" or "humanitarian wars" possible. These offensive activities (we call it "terror" when its done to us; but "self-defense" when we do it to others) create profound chaos and disarray around the globe; and many enemies.These enemies will find their way, eventually, into the homeland and use whatever means available to stop the terrorist (as they see us) from invading, bombing, inteferring in their homeland ("potential markets" for domestic investors).Thus, we have the proper background for understanding the torture scenario you provide. We are all in a terribly f-ed up situation, full of terrible choices and impossible decisions: let's at least rid ourselves of the delusion that "our Leaders" are engaged in noble missions to protect us and enlighten the world.
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Dissident Heart

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Torturing Eschaton

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Chris: I'm sure the fear that we'll torture them or kill them will be an incentive to tell the truth.I'm not so sure about this. As I stated in an eariler post, these men are not simply terrorizing folk for the hell of it; they are participating in an eschatological fantasy that transcends physical reward or punishment. Betraying this sacred mission and dishonoring yourself, your fellow soldiers, your family and all of Islam...this is far more painful than any amount of temporal discomfort- no matter how perverse.Death is not the determining factor, nor is physical pain: they are participating in something larger than both of those components. They would rather be mutilated than abandon their cause. Actually, their being tortured would harden them further: it would confirm that they were right.
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Frank 013
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Re: Torturing Eschaton

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[Luck: That which you are attempting to promote is if one act of torture is justifiable then all are.]Not at all, not all forms of torture are justifiable. We have already been through this. Torture for information used on known terrorists leaders, all good. Torture for the sake of hate, bad.[Luck: In that case just one justifiable lie condones all types of lies.]You have never lied to spare someone's feelings? Does that make all lies justifiable? Of course not, but I can see the benefit of a little white lie to save someone some grief. If I told a similar lie that saved thousands of people mental anguish is that a bad thing? [Dissident: We don't know if torture will produce the needed information. We do know it breaks international law, thus it is unconstitutional as far as we are bound to the treaties we have signed, and is thus illegal.]Treaties are contracts between governments, if one side violets the agreement the treaty is no longer valid, in addition if we are fighting with a group that never singed the treaty it is not valid in that situation either. [Luck: Then how do you account for the deaths of POWS in our possession?]The other inmates got hungry? [Luck: Autopsies showed some had been abused/tortured repeatedly.]First of all torture like wounds can be caused by fighting inmates, another possible source is torture by another party before capture by the US, struggling with the guards. there are many possibilities.[Niall: the principles on which torture is based show that it can't work. The principles of associative, operant conditioning have been tested time and time again.]So aside from the several thousands of lives saved in the last diverted terror attack, torture never works. Later Edited by: Frank 013 at: 2/15/06 11:06 pm
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Re: Oh the horror!

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Quote:Precisely. So they are kept in confinement until it can be verified that the information they provided is accurate. If it is not the torture can continue.Nope. That doesn't work. Ask any psychologist. Humans just don't work that way.I'm not making claims here, I'm just summarising over 60 years of research. Torture does not work as an effective behaviour modification technique. Let us agree, there is no one single reality. Not upon this stage, not in this world, all is in the mind... imagination is the only truth. Because it cannot be contradicted except by other imaginations - Richard MathesonThere are no conclusive indications by which waking life can be distinguished from sleep - Rene Descartes
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Oh the horror!

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I'm not following you. Do you have any sources that support the claim that extreme pain isn't a motivator?
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Frank 013
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Horror?

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Here is where you guys are getting mixed up.If you care about getting statistics, you need to try out a variety of methods a statistically-significant number of times and then verify how good and how timely the information is each time, and do statistics. The CIA has done this but they haven't published the results in the open literature.The CIA has always known that torture works. According to declassified CIA interrogation manuals, the CIA has taught others how it's done, in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and other Latin American countries. The manuals refer to using "deprivation of sensory stimuli," "threats and fear," "food and sleep deprivation," and pain to extract information.Torturing for admission is pointless; the person being tortured knows the answer the torturer wants and will in time say what they want to hear. This is the type of torture the experts are sighting, because it is the only type that civilians have hard data to support.Torturing someone to reveal the location of a safe house is a bit different, because it can be independently verified - Special Forces raid the house - if it's filled with Judaists and Semtex, then torture worked in that case. Or if it's filled with geraniums, then torture did not work. Moreover, the torturee KNOWS that the results can be verified, and the torture redoubled if he lies. Examples...Philippine intelligence agents tortured Abdul Hakim Murad, whom they arrested after he blew up his apartment making bombs. The agents threw a chair at Murad's head, broke his ribs, forced water into his mouth, and put cigarettes out on his genitals, but Murad didn't talk until agents masquerading as the Mossad threatened to take him back to Israel for some real questioning. Murad named names. His confession included details of a plot to kill Pope John Paul II, as well as plots to crash 11 U.S. airliners into the ocean and to fly an airplane into the CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. His co-conspirator Ramzi Yousef was later convicted for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Similarly unappealing methods helped the CIA uncover the millennium bomb plot of 1999, after al-Qaida terrorists were questioned in Egypt and Jordan. Countless lives were saved.One interrogator kept a prisoner in a booth for 29 straight hours. It was worth it, Mackey reports: the prisoner had been a translator for Osama bin Laden and disclosed a Qaeda plot to use the chemical agent Rican. Again, countless lives were saved.Saudi National Mohammed al Qahtani, suspected of being the "20th hijacker" who was refused entry into the US in Aug 2001 and picked up on the Afghan-Paki border pretty much exemplifies Gitmo. Interrogators tried to build "rapport" with him with zero success. Things were kicked ALL the way up to Rumsfeld, and 20 hour interrogations with loud music, a spotlight to disorient him went on for 42 days until he broke and provided details about Al Qaeda's inner workings. He is now awaiting military trial. Another detainee questioned in this manner by Rumsfeld's personal approval provided additional information.Is torture illegal?Prior case law (Harbury v. Deutch ) holds that noncitizen's rights are violated only in cases of: 1) physical presence in the United States at the time; 2) their mistreatment in a country where the United States exercises de facto political control; or 3) abuse in the course of abduction for trial in an American court.Imagine if you will...If torture is removed from our arsenal the interrogators will simply back off, asking name, rank, and serial number, under the Geneva Convention, and that's it. Then a bomb goes off, killing hundreds/thousands/millions of Americans, it is later determined that prisoner(s) knew enough to stop the attack but interrogators were not able to question them.After a great many dead Americans are mourned, pretty much ALL prohibitions against torture will be ended, and the American public will simply not listen to anyone who complains about it. Is this better?Later
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Re: Horror?

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Of course, all those fanciful plots that Murad et al blurted were verifiable, as you state? Of course not. This is propaganda to keep you supine as your rights are stripped away and your Constitution is raped, as you cheer and wave a tattered flag. _________________________________________________________Il Sotto Seme La Neva
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Re: Oh the horror!

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Quote:I'm not following you. Do you have any sources that support the claim that extreme pain isn't a motivator? Have you ever read a book on parenting? The reasons that torture doesn't work are the same reasons that slapping a kid doesn't work. Of course, when I say that it doesn't work, I mean that it doesn't work reliably because it can work on occasion. If you're looking for support of this, well just go to your library and take our any book on applied behaviour analysis or behaviourism in general. You'll find countless examples. It seems counterintuitive to suggest that torture wouldn't work, but that is what research shows. It is also why Frank's examples are not really relevant. I mean, the US military might have aeroplanes that I know that they don't have aeroplanes that violate the laws of physics.Extreme pain can motivate, but what it motivates you to do is another question. You can't use positive punishment to get somebody to tell you the truth. They'll tell you everything and anything, whatever makes the pain stop or they'll endure.Well actually, I lie, you could use torture to get somebody to tell the truth, but you'd have to know what the truth was in the first place in which case something like torture is not justifiable or useful.And of course, there are certain individuals that when presented with torture would fold immediately, but these are the people who would probably have told you what you wanted had you just left they to rot for a time. That is why torture is not justifiable. It is not necessary except in situations where there is an immediate serious grave threat to human life. Let us agree, there is no one single reality. Not upon this stage, not in this world, all is in the mind... imagination is the only truth. Because it cannot be contradicted except by other imaginations - Richard MathesonThere are no conclusive indications by which waking life can be distinguished from sleep - Rene Descartes
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Oh the horror!

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Later, when I have some time, I'll respond to your post. But you're entirely wrong, in my opinion, and the majority of people that have experienced torture up close and personal.Atlantic Monthly, January 2002Quote:Terrorism, he believed, could be fought only by thoroughly "terrorizing" the terrorists
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Dissident Heart

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Some Axioms

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Crucial to my rejection of Torture as a tool of State control are the following:1. I do not believe the noble sentiments of any Military (US or otherwise) who argue they must torture, break international law, commit war crimes for a greater good. I do not trust them with any license to torture, and expect it to be misused and abused for criminal goals.2. Once given license to torture, the torturers are not trusted to stop themselves or monitor their venal behavior. I do not believe a person can simply turn this behavior "off" and "on". In other words, the interrogator steps over the edge into sick perversities they are unable to manage or control.3. I do not trust any anecdotal references to instances where torture "worked". I do not trust torturers to tell the truth, any more than I trust them to monitor their own behavior.
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