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The Torture Thread (Bush vetoes bill banning waterboarding)

Old 03-08-08, 01:51 PM
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The Torture Thread (Bush vetoes bill banning waterboarding)

From CNN:
Bush vetoes bill banning waterboarding

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush said Saturday he vetoed legislation that would ban the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods such as waterboarding to break suspected terrorists because it would end practices that have prevented attacks.


President Bush waits to speak to the Heritage Foundation
about waterboarding and terrorism in November 2007.


"The bill Congress sent me would take away one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror," Bush said in his weekly radio address taped for broadcast Saturday. "So today I vetoed it," Bush said. The bill he rejected provides guidelines for intelligence activities for the year and has the interrogation requirement as one provision. It cleared the House in December and the Senate last month.

"This is no time for Congress to abandon practices that have a proven track record of keeping America safe," the president said.

Supporters of the legislation say it would preserve the United States' ability to collect critical intelligence while also providing a much-needed boost to country's moral standing abroad.

"Torture is a black mark against the United States," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California. "We will not stop until [the ban] becomes law."

The bill would limit CIA interrogators to the 19 techniques allowed for use by military questioners. The Army field manual in 2006 banned using methods such as waterboarding or sensory deprivation on uncooperative prisoners.

Bush said the CIA must retain use of "specialized interrogation procedures" that the military doesn't need. The military methods are designed for questioning "lawful combatants captured on the battlefield," while intelligence professionals are dealing with "hardened terrorists" who have been trained to resist the techniques in the Army manual, the president said.

"We created alternative procedures to question the most dangerous al Qaeda operatives, particularly those who might have knowledge of attacks planned on our homeland," Bush said. "If we were to shut down this program and restrict the CIA to methods in the field manual, we could lose vital information from senior al Qaeda terrorists, and that could cost American lives."

The legislation's backers say the military's approved methods are sufficient to any need.

Those 19 interrogation techniques to which the bill would have restricted CIA personnel include the "good cop/bad cop" routine, making prisoners think they are in another country's custody and separating a prisoner from others for up to 30 days.

Among the techniques the field manual prohibits are hooding prisoners or putting duct tape across their eyes, stripping them naked, forcing them to perform or mimic sexual acts, or beating, electrocuting, burning or otherwise physically hurting them.

They may not be subjected to hypothermia or mock executions. It does not allow food, water and medical treatment to be withheld. Dogs may not be used in any aspect of interrogation.

But waterboarding is the most high-profile and controversial of the interrogation methods in question.

It involves strapping a person down and pouring water over his or her cloth-covered face to simulate and create the sensation of drowning. It has been traced back hundreds of years to the Spanish Inquisition and is condemned by nations around the world and human rights organizations as torture.

Some argue it must be banned because, if torture, it is illegal under international and U.S. law. The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 includes a provision barring cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment for all detainees in U.S. custody, including CIA prisoners, and many believe that covers waterboarding.

Others say that, even if legal, there are practical arguments against waterboarding: that its use would undermine the U.S. when arguing overseas for human rights and on other moral issues and would place Americans at greater risk of being tortured when captured.

"President Bush's veto will be one of the most shameful acts of his presidency," Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, said in a statement Friday. "Unless Congress overrides the veto, it will go down in history as a flagrant insult to the rule of law and a serious stain on the good name of America in the eyes of the world."

He noted that the Army field manual contends that harsh interrogation is a "poor technique that yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say what he thinks the (interrogator) wants to hear."

The U.S. military specifically prohibited waterboarding in 2006. The CIA also prohibited the practice in 2006, and says it has not been used since three prisoners encountered it in 2003.

But while some Bush administration officials have questioned the current legality of waterboarding, the administration has refused to rule definitively on whether it is torture. Bush has said many times that his administration does not torture.

The White House says waterboarding remains among the interrogation methods potentially available to the CIA. Its use would have to be approved, on a case-by-case basis, by the president after consultation with the attorney general and the intelligence community. Among the acceptable situations for approving it could be belief of imminent attack, according to the White House.

"Because the danger remains, we need to ensure our intelligence officials have all the tools they need to stop the terrorists," Bush said.
First of all, the claim that waterboarding may or may not be a form of torture is just preposterous. It's been considered a form of torture since the Spanish Inquisition, and is specifically recognized as such by the US State Department. The US has tried military personnel for waterboarding in the Spanish American War, World War II, and Vietnam, and has also lead to civilian prosecution in this nation and others.

Secondly, calling it "one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror" is not only sickening, but factually inaccurate. Study after study, expert after expert, has found that the use of torture is not effective, and does not lead to accurate confessions. There's a reason that "third-degree interrogations" are not allowed by police departments in the United States, and why coerced confessions are not allowed in any court of law -- in the vast majority of cases, the information obtained through torture is worthless and inaccurate, as the subjects often times will simply make up information that he thinks his captors want to hear.

Lastly, torture is detrimental to our standing with the rest of the world. It is impossible for us to stand as a beacon of freedom and democracy when we engage in these kind of reprehensible practices. And because we are officially sanctioning torture, we encourage our enemies to do the same.

Actually, I can't believe I am typing all of this out. Of course waterboarding is torture, and of course we shouldn't be doing it. It's incredible that we live in a day and age where our President can smirk and wave while giving a speech advocating torture, that our presidential candidates compete to see who can be the most macho, who can double or triple or quadruple Guantanamo, that we can have lily white Ivy Leaguers mince semantics every Sunday morning and insist, "The US does not torture".

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Old 03-08-08, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
I agree with your assertions that waterboarding is torture and that it diminishes America's standing in the world. But I'm also fairly sure it has saved countless American lives.
How exactly do you know this?
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Old 03-08-08, 03:09 PM
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you know the idea that the things, the measures and efforts it takes to keep America safe is best censored from the press was truly wisdom...

if you feel troubled by 'waterboarding'?...

you should dedicate the rest of your life to exposing what actually happened in WW2 to win the war, and protesting that... after you educate yourself on the truth of it that is... things the OSS engaged in for only one instance...

you'll look back on 'waterboarding' as a pleasant daydream... the stuff that would fill a cream puff...

i wonder... if CNN had covered the realities of our entrance into North Africa... would we have continued in the war?... if months and months of coverage was given to Eisenhower knowing full well, in fact being reminded directly as he took the stage for the last address to the troops before D-Day... that 7 out of 10 men he addressed would not come back... all to fight a nation that never fired a shot a the US... how would Eisenhower be remembered?... would he have ever been president?...

if there were graphic images, and hourly updates on the realities on the ground at Bastogne... i could go on...

i never expected to see our country go the way of all great nations so quickly... it's still surprising to me how this has sprung up over the last 15 years and become so prevalent...

for the near future, the better men, spoken of by Mills, will still keep the lesser men free... but i think it won't last that long considering today's America...
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Old 03-08-08, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
if you feel troubled by 'waterboarding'?...

you should dedicate the rest of your life to exposing what actually happened in WW2 to win the war, and protesting that... after you educate yourself on the truth of it that is... things the OSS engaged in for only one instance...
If you're bothered by a wrong being committed now, you should dedicate your life to talking about a completely different wrong that may have been committed 60 years ago? Sure, why not.
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Old 03-08-08, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
If you're bothered by a wrong being committed now, you should dedicate your life to talking about a completely different wrong that may have been committed 60 years ago? Sure, why not.
i guess i can see how that might appear a 'clever retort' to some...

it's an infinitely 'worse', to you i guess, 'wrong' from 60 years ago i was talking about...

a 'wrong' that is the only reason the whiners of today are FREE to complain about waterboarding... if you understand the context that is... that's always the trick isn't it?... knowing history and placing things in context with it...

otherwise i suppose your post appears 'clever' or something...

if you feel being free and safe today is 'wrong'?, many do, you'd have plenty of company, you might look into the facts of the American revolution that established this nation... maybe the troubles around the turn of the 19th century... 'wrongs' galore there that kept us free...

it takes ugly things to keep America free... hard, sometimes ugly things have to be done... it's always been that way... for any nation...

it's also very clear in history... a nation kept too safe becomes a nation of weak people... naive, weak minded idealists... they grow up in safety and begin to think foolish ideas about their own nation and world at large... and they are soon conquered... history shows that over and over...

i'm just surprised it has come upon America so quickly...
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Old 03-08-08, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
Obviously it is only an opinion, as one cannot prove what would have happened in an hypothetical future, just as you cannot prove either that an impending or actual terrorist attack could not have been prevented by the use of waterboarding. But that it has proven to be effective is the impression I get from my readings on the subject and interviews I have seen of officers and officials. I'm sure you and the OP have different views and can provide the links to "back them up", and that is OK.
Actually, it isn't an opinion at all, but rather a statement of fact (or non-fact). Either waterboarding has caused lives to be saved or it hasn't. Its effectiveness relative to other measures may be difficult to quantify, but it is certainly not opinion-based.
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Old 03-08-08, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
i guess i can see how that might appear a 'clever retort' to some...

it's an infinitely 'worse', to you i guess, 'wrong' from 60 years ago i was talking about...

a 'wrong' that is the only reason the whiners of today are FREE to complain about waterboarding... if you understand the context that is... that's always the trick isn't it?... knowing history and placing things in context with it...

otherwise i suppose your post appears 'clever' or something...

if you feel being free and safe today is 'wrong'?, many do, you'd have plenty of company, you might look into the facts of the American revolution that established this nation... maybe the troubles around the turn of the 19th century... 'wrongs' galore there that kept us free...

it takes ugly things to keep America free... hard, sometimes ugly things have to be done... it's always been that way... for any nation...

it's also very clear in history... a nation kept too safe becomes a nation of weak people... naive, weak minded idealists... they grow up in safety and begin to think foolish ideas about their own nation and world at large... and they are soon conquered... history shows that over and over...

i'm just surprised it has come upon America so quickly...
why are you typing ... like big brother meets ... stevie from malcolm ... in the middle?

Anyway, I didn't buy the "You Need Me On That Wall" speech when Jack Nicholson did it in A Few Good Men and I don't buy it from you, either.
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Old 03-08-08, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
why are you typing ... like big brother meets ... stevie from malcolm ... in the middle?
I thought he was doing a bad captain kirk.
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Old 03-08-08, 04:43 PM
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When we come out as publicly supporting waterboarding (which is what Bush's actions do in my opinion), it just gives the US a further black eye in the eyes of our allies and the world community.

This administration can't get out of office fast enough.
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Old 03-08-08, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
When we come out as publicly supporting waterboarding (which is what Bush's actions do in my opinion), it just gives the US a further black eye in the eyes of our allies and the world community.

This administration can't get out of office fast enough.
I couldn't agree more.
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Old 03-08-08, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
why are you typing ... like big brother meets ... stevie from malcolm ... in the middle?

Anyway, I didn't buy the "You Need Me On That Wall" speech when Jack Nicholson did it in A Few Good Men and I don't buy it from you, either.
i don't think you understood the speech, from a movie btw, tells me a lot about your knowledge base in these things... nor did you understand my post...

Originally Posted by cinten
I thought he was doing a bad captain kirk.
i thought neither of you could respond to my ideas, so you went after my typing style...

that's what i thought...
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Old 03-08-08, 05:06 PM
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It's not a typing style. It's a misuse of ellipses and it takes away from anything you are trying to say.

(Captain Kirk comment is spot on)
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Old 03-08-08, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by The Cow
It's not a typing style.
Typing: is the process of inputting text into a device, such as a typewriter, computer, or a calculator, by pressing keys on a keyboard.

Style: The way in which something is said, done, expressed, or performed: a style of speech and writing.

Style: A customary manner of presenting printed material, including usage, punctuation, spelling, typography, and arrangement.

i see... you're sure about that?...

Originally Posted by The Cow
It's a misuse of ellipses and it takes away from anything you are trying to say.
i suppose...

especially when what i have to say can't be intelligently responded to... yes?...
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Old 03-08-08, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse
i guess i can see how that might appear a 'clever retort' to some...

it's an infinitely 'worse', to you i guess, 'wrong' from 60 years ago i was talking about...

a 'wrong' that is the only reason the whiners of today are FREE to complain about waterboarding... if you understand the context that is... that's always the trick isn't it?... knowing history and placing things in context with it...

otherwise i suppose your post appears 'clever' or something...

if you feel being free and safe today is 'wrong'?, many do, you'd have plenty of company, you might look into the facts of the American revolution that established this nation... maybe the troubles around the turn of the 19th century... 'wrongs' galore there that kept us free...

it takes ugly things to keep America free... hard, sometimes ugly things have to be done... it's always been that way... for any nation...

it's also very clear in history... a nation kept too safe becomes a nation of weak people... naive, weak minded idealists... they grow up in safety and begin to think foolish ideas about their own nation and world at large... and they are soon conquered... history shows that over and over...

i'm just surprised it has come upon America so quickly...
What does waterboarding enemy combatants have to do with the expected casualties from the invasion of Normandy?

Btw, we prosecuted a Japanese officer for waterboarding a US civilian.
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Old 03-08-08, 06:46 PM
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Good for him.
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Old 03-08-08, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
When we come out as publicly supporting waterboarding (which is what Bush's actions do in my opinion), it just gives the US a further black eye in the eyes of our allies and the world community.

This administration can't get out of office fast enough.
I couldn't agree more.

Another dose of typical Bush administration arrogance:
But while some Bush administration officials have questioned the current legality of waterboarding, the administration has refused to rule definitively on whether it is torture. Bush has said many times that his administration does not torture.
I think I get it now; waterboarding isn't torture because the administration says it doesn't torture. So therefore, how could waterboarding possibly be considered torture, correct?
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Old 03-08-08, 07:23 PM
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The next terrorist attack on US soil will effectively invalidate and embarass those who support the Waterboarding Is Necessary To Protect US Lives argument.
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Old 03-08-08, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
When we come out as publicly supporting waterboarding (which is what Bush's actions do in my opinion), it just gives the US a further black eye in the eyes of our allies and the world community.

This administration can't get out of office fast enough.


In fact I plan to throw a no more W party with some of my Bush hating friends on January 20th next year when the bastard leaves office
of course if McCain is elected (parish the thought) it'll be less sweet but still a nice day
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Old 03-08-08, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Canadian Bacon


In fact I plan to throw a no more W party with some of my Bush hating friends on January 20th next year when the bastard leaves office
of course if McCain is elected (parish the thought) it'll be less sweet but still a nice day
But at least McCain is a bit more certain of what waterboarding is-- it's torture:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/26/us...6giuliani.html

Rudolph W. Giuliani’s statement on Wednesday that he was uncertain whether waterboarding, a simulated drowning technique, was torture drew a sharp rebuke yesterday from Senator John McCain, who said that his failure to call it torture reflected his inexperience.

“All I can say is that it was used in the Spanish Inquisition, it was used in Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia, and there are reports that it is being used against Buddhist monks today,” Mr. McCain, who spent more than five years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, said in a telephone interview.

Of presidential candidates like Mr. Giuliani, who say that they are unsure whether waterboarding is torture, Mr. McCain said: “They should know what it is. It is not a complicated procedure. It is torture.”



http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/...n3441067.shtml

McCain, the decorated Vietnam War veteran who spent 5˝ years as a POW, said the U.S. should not engage in torture and there was no need for waterboarding.

"If you inflict enough physical pain on anybody, they will tell you anything you want to know," said McCain, who was starting a three-day campaign trip through South Carolina.


Not too many other people can share McCain's perspective on this issue, so I think I'll take McCain's word for it, over Bush.
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Old 03-08-08, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
The next terrorist attack on US soil will effectively invalidate and embarass those who support the Waterboarding Is Necessary To Protect US Lives argument.
No it won't. It will most likely be unrelated, just like the last terrorist attack on US soil.
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Old 03-08-08, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave7393
I think I get it now; waterboarding isn't torture because the administration says it doesn't torture. So therefore, how could waterboarding possibly be considered torture, correct?
Don't forget that whenever one declassifies information at the convenient time, it doesn't count as a leak.
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Old 03-08-08, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
The next terrorist attack on US soil will effectively invalidate and embarass those who support the Waterboarding Is Necessary To Protect US Lives argument.
No, it will be blamed on all the people who don't support waterboarding.
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Old 03-08-08, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Jason
No, it will be blamed on all the people who don't support waterboarding.
And why would that happen.

Since waterboarding is now permitted, how could an administration come back and blame a group of people who weren't for it? Seems like an innocuous argument, and I'm sure the American Public wouldn't go for it. The American Public would want to know why current laws didn't work.

The Bush Administration, and future administrations which use this sort of tactic, are running on borrowed time. Because once another attack happens, it will invalidate all their whining and screaming of needing the "necessary tools" to protect America.

And the American Public will fight back and say, "We gave you all this power and yet you didn't prevent an attack. So, having this power or not having it, makes no difference."

And then maybe we'll get our nice fences and real security.

In addition, the next attack might be more homegrown, so this will add yet another twist in who we should actually be targeting, and where we should be fighting and using our intel.
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Old 03-08-08, 08:45 PM
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Just like seat belts and condoms. Both have been proven to be less than 100% effective, much to the embarrassment of their proponents.
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Old 03-08-08, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by wmansir
Just like seat belts and condoms. Both have been proven to be less than 100% effective, much to the embarrassment of their proponents.
I see what you did there.

I think.
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