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DUer Gets Waterboarded to Prove It's Torture

A DUer and his brother waterboarded each other to prove that it is torture. The first time, he lasted 9 seconds and he said it was terrifying. But then he went back three more times to see if he could last longer and longer. In his fourth final go around he lasted 20 seconds. His brother lasted even longer.

Do we really need to explain to this guy that waterboarding isn't torture if he kept voluntarily going back for more for the purpose of challenging himself. Lordy, what an idiot.

Hat tip: Hot Air

Note: Hot Air link fixed.


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Comments (80)

It is really torture, 'do i... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

It is really torture, 'do it to me again'. Let me bring a half inch hammer drill and some bits and show them what torture is. Bet they won't want a do over. We now have the most stupid population in the history of the world. Hey folks, it was designed as a training tactic and never harmed anyone. Get a life and don't let any politician that opposes using the tactic to get information that will save thousands of lives near the white house. Goodbye McCain, you whimpering, back stabing POS. The NVA broke him bad.

You can't make up shit like... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

You can't make up shit like this. Unbelievable.

No logic, no rationality, no thought with that crowd.

Al Quedain Iraq are known t... (Below threshold)
Chris G:

Al Quedain Iraq are known to use: Blowtorches, pliers on teeth, fingers, and toes; electric shock to the nads, scourging, garden variety beatdowns with fists/feet, drills to the knees/shoulders; hammers, etc.

When the person getting tortured pleads he will tell the secrets to what the torturers are seeking, they (the torturers) look at each other like "Secrets?... what secrerts? Nobody said anyting about trying to get secrets out of these mopes"

"Do we really need to e... (Below threshold)
marc:

"Do we really need to explain to this guy that waterboarding isn't torture if he kept voluntarily going back..."

That was a rhetorical question wasn't it?

There are people having don... (Below threshold)
ijosha:

There are people having done to themselves or doing to others exactly the things y'all have listed, and oh so much more, just for sexual gratification. Does that mean none of it can be considered torture, just because insane assholes keep coming back for more? I would think that this kind of "fun" can still be torture to a sensibly rational human being.

ijosha:"...bec... (Below threshold)
marc:

ijosha:

"...because insane assholes keep coming back for more? I would think that this kind of "fun" can still be torture to a sensibly rational human being."

And of course we know all jihadist-cut-throats all fall under the category of "sensibly rational human beings."

OH WAIT! They're not.

Did they also bring in some... (Below threshold)

Did they also bring in some chicken wire to prove fire can't melt steel?

Sorry for the double post, ... (Below threshold)

Sorry for the double post, your hat tip to HotAir brings you to the DU.

I-josh-ya. I get it.... (Below threshold)

I-josh-ya. I get it.

The "torture" aspect for mo... (Below threshold)
Master Shake:

The "torture" aspect for moonbats is that it is too close to bathing....

A better man than I might t... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

A better man than I might tell them that waterboarding was recently made illegal.

Well, I'd hate to spoil their fun.

Quick, somebody call Lindse... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Quick, somebody call Lindsey Graham's office and tell him we've got some domestic torturin' goin' on. Shamesful, absolutely shmaeful. What will the rest of the world think of us. /sarc off

"The first time, he lasted ... (Below threshold)
jim:

"The first time, he lasted 9 seconds and he said it was terrifying. But then he went back three more times to see if he could last longer and longer. In his fourth final go around he lasted 20 seconds. His brother lasted even longer."

My brother and I had the same experience on a tilt-a-whirl in 1960.

Try underwater egress train... (Below threshold)
epador:

Try underwater egress training. Much more scary and you really are deep underwater and risk drowning. 20 Seconds - HA! Baby times.

Wimps.

I'd like to prove that elec... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:

I'd like to prove that electric shock is torture. First, I'll need a few volunteers from the DU.

What I consider torture is ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

What I consider torture is listening to lefties justify their positions. Maybe we should send about 3 of the trolls on this board to Guantanimo Bay to explain their political and life positions. The terrorists will be yelling for us to stop them. They will tell us all. ww

"...waterboarding was recen... (Below threshold)

"...waterboarding was recently made illegal."

You just can't make this stuff up, Eric.

Abuse of prisoners by any n... (Below threshold)

Abuse of prisoners by any nation or organization to get information is both immoral, unethical and unreliable. A prisoner will often say anything to stop the abuse, leading to useless information. And abuse of prisoners reflects poorly on a society and only encourages abuse by other ruthless rival nations or organizations.

I know that many Palestinian prisoners began to feel some empathy with their Israeli captors, and this mutual respect often results in an open dialogue of information. In hostage situations, captives often began to feel some empathy with their captors known as "The Stockholm Syndrome" and begin to share their feeling once fear leveles have decreased. Many of these examples give better clues into gaining more information in more humanitarian ways that is more likely accurate than information gained under prisoner abuse where any answer to avoid more pain is often the rule.

Scrap,I agree. Ma... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Scrap,

I agree. Maybe next time, in an effort to illustrate the "we're no better than they are" moral equivalence argument, they'll decide to try burning the skin off each other's back with a blowtorch, or gouging each other's eyeballs out with a rusty screwdriver. Or at least the tried-and-true car battery to the genitals. I wonder how many times they would subject themselves to that one.

The accuracy of information... (Below threshold)
civildisobedience Author Profile Page:

The accuracy of information obtained from terrorist prisoners can be evaluated as reliable or not. However, as shown in Iraq, it has produced a lot of useful and actionable information that has lead to many terrorist deaths.

Morality is an intangible point that should not be used in regards to interrogation techniques that could be considered abusive, but not meet the definition of torture. There is a hell of a lot the USA allows that many consider immoral and unethical, but that is not stopping liberals from allowing it and doing it. Think of abortion, the ultimate immoral/unethical abuse of unborn American life. If that is ok, water boarding terrorist prisoners is sure ok.

What the USA does or does not do with regards to prisoners makes no difference in what its enemies have done for the last 50 years with American prisoners. Water boarding terrorists has little if no impact on the treatment of American prisoners.

We could only pray that jih... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

We could only pray that jihadists would waterboard our guys.

It would be a step up.

Abuse of prisoners by an... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Abuse of prisoners by any nation or organization to get information is both immoral, unethical and unreliable. A prisoner will often say anything to stop the abuse, leading to useless information. And abuse of prisoners reflects poorly on a society and only encourages abuse by other ruthless rival nations or organizations.

Yeah, well, you'd be able to figure that out soon enough, would you not? The info you get is either good or no good. I cannot imagine that this practice would continue if it did not yield useful results.

OK, so here it is again- if some badass has information that could save your kid's life and waterboarding was the only way you would get it from him, would you or would you not condone it?

That is the only question one need ask.

Abuse of prisoners... (Below threshold)
Abuse of prisoners by any nation or organization to get information is both immoral, unethical and unreliable.

Without any kind of definition of "abuse", this statement is just sanctimonious blather.

A prisoner will often say anything to stop the abuse, leading to useless information.

Perhaps. On the other hand, we waterboarded KSM for about 2 minutes and he coughed a royal boatload of actionable intelligence. So this is another empty statement.

And abuse of prisoners reflects poorly on a society and only encourages abuse by other ruthless rival nations or organizations.

What an utterly incompetent claim. Newsflash: A-Q and its allies already torture its enemies and in far worse ways than we would ever dream of doing. And that's not anything they started because of Gitmo, that's just who they are. In fact, outside of the US, Europe, and Australia, that's just about all who anybody is.

You have a silly and naive view of the world.

Kim, you don't get to decid... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Kim, you don't get to decide when to stop when you're being waterboarded.

Anyway, I think I'll defer to an expert of the subject:

In fact, waterboarding is just the type of torture then Lt. Commander John McCain had to endure at the hands of the North Vietnamese. As a former Master Instructor and Chief of Training at the US Navy Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School (SERE) in San Diego, California I know the waterboard personally and intimately. SERE staff were required undergo the waterboard at its fullest. I was no exception. I have personally led, witnessed and supervised waterboarding of hundreds of people. It has been reported that both the Army and Navy SERE school's interrogation manuals were used to form the interrogation techniques used by the US army and the CIA for its terror suspects. What was not mentioned in most articles was that SERE was designed to show how an evil totalitarian, enemy would use torture at the slightest whim. If this is the case, then waterboarding is unquestionably being used as torture technique.

The carnival-like he-said, she-said of the legality of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques has become a form of doublespeak worthy of Catch-22. Having been subjected to them all, I know these techniques, if in fact they are actually being used, are not dangerous when applied in training for short periods. However, when performed with even moderate intensity over an extended time on an unsuspecting prisoner - it is torture, without doubt. Couple that with waterboarding and the entire medley not only "shock the conscience" as the statute forbids -it would terrify you. Most people can not stand to watch a high intensity kinetic interrogation. One has to overcome basic human decency to endure watching or causing the effects. The brutality would force you into a personal moral dilemma between humanity and hatred. It would leave you to question the meaning of what it is to be an American.....

There is No Debate Except for Torture Apologists

1. Waterboarding is a torture technique. Period. There is no way to gloss over it or sugarcoat it. It has no justification outside of its limited role as a training demonstrator. Our service members have to learn that the will to survive requires them accept and understand that they may be subjected to torture, but that America is better than its enemies and it is one's duty to trust in your nation and God, endure the hardships and return home with honor....

Read it all, as they say.

The problem is defining tor... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

The problem is defining torture and what's acceptable. The point I believe Kim was driving at is where waterboarding falls in the range of things you're lumping in with 'torture'. I'd lump waterboarding in the same range as the treatment of nerdy, pimple faced middle school kids by their peers... or stupid college hazing stunts (i.e. inducing mental stress). Although, I'd guess that more have died or suffered permanent injury as result of the latter two. A drill through the knee cap or shoulder or beheading would fall at the other end of the range.

Whether water boarding is o... (Below threshold)
civildisobedience Author Profile Page:

Whether water boarding is or is not defined as torture is irrelevant. It is an ok method to get terrorists to divulge useful information. What is a good reason not to use it on terrorists?

read it, mantis. A real exp... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

read it, mantis. A real expert would be able to define why waterboarding, which is disorienting and short-term in effect, is equivalent to actual torture, i.e severely painful and potentially long-term in effect. Instead we get a bunch of appeal to emotion, ad hominem, and flag-waving.

If that's all you got for a real expert, I suggest you don't use the same technique to pick your family doctor or mechanic. The shady ones are always better at making an emotional case, but likely to leave you in the lurch, much as this guy did.

The people against water bo... (Below threshold)
KB:

The people against water boarding are the same that thinks it is cruel and unusual punishment not to mention very painful to inject a needle to a person (ask any 3 year old who has had a shot) that has hacked, raped, tortured and murdered innocent people.

In both instances it is a measure to help right a wrong and is only used in extreme cases.

Foreigner, I'm predicting t... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Foreigner, I'm predicting that either your vowels or you will be gone soon, so I'll make this a general observation.

Torture is not identified as something no typical person would undergo voluntarily. Then interrogation, imprisonment, paying taxes, or getting a speeding ticket would all be thereby defined as torture.

However, the converse isn't necessarily false. If even a sufficient minority of rational people are willing to undergo an ordeal, it should not, if it does not otherwise impinge on the narrowest definition of torture as physical harm with long-term effects, be considered torture.

There are websites dedicated to people who play with water bondage, which often includes scenes similar to waterboarding. The difference is only in the consensuality, as any interrogation of a prisoner would lack, but continues to carry the safety and rationality, as the technique is used to disorient to extract actionable intelligence, something you cannot obtain from a deceased prisoner.

Madame, you're an idiot.</p... (Below threshold)
Bruce:

Madame, you're an idiot.

It's good to have a discuss... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

It's good to have a discussion on just what defines torture, but people like Foreigner and Bruce quash such discussion. It's pretty sad, since I'm sure they'll also claim in Orwellian ways to be the ones who wish to ~promote~ discussion.

On one hand, Kim's point is clear: With torture, you don't go back for seconds. You don't say, "Hey, pulling that tooth hurt like hell -- do it three more times so I can make sure."

On the other hand, Chinese water torture may seem innocuous at first, but (I understand) eventually becomes maddening.

Debate is something we should have. Misogyny and name calling are not.

I actually enjoy the name-c... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I actually enjoy the name-calling. It's our electronic version of "don't taze me, bro!"

Right, so the foremost expe... (Below threshold)
Ashamed:

Right, so the foremost expert on waterboarding in America writes a detailed, reasoned plea to classify waterboarding as torture, and none of you even seem to read it. You just hand wave away that A. It is torture. And B. It is the US surrendering the moral high ground, so we can get questionable intelligence and expose our troops to greater risk.

Waterboarding is torture. If the guy in charge of teaching SERE, says waterboarding is torture, IT IS!!!!! No amount of handwaving from armchair, chickenhawk, keyboard commandos will change that.

You people make me ashamed to be an American.
Sincerely,
ashamed

Sorry folks but waterboardi... (Below threshold)
tballou:

Sorry folks but waterboarding is torture. I saw the video and had to turn it off even before they really got going. Paying someone to do this in a completely controlled setting is not even vaguely close to the real thing. Any nation that claims to aspire to some higher calling, some greater good would never do this.

Having the moral high groun... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Having the moral high ground got us bombed in Pearl Harbor. Having the moral high ground had us lose Vietnam. Having the moral high ground got the World Trade Center, Beirut Marines, the USS Cole, Somalia and the like killed. So, where did having the moral high ground achieve anything? HOw about beheading our citizens? Did we cause that? No, but in the Middle East, they have the "moral" high ground. Seems like a relative term to me.

Paul Hooson, the Stockholm Syndrome has more to do with the complete helplessness of the victim and the total power the person has over the victim that effects the victim. You putz. How could you use that for an example? ww

Irving, you are an insult t... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Irving, you are an insult to your namesake.

WW : "Having the moral high... (Below threshold)
Ashamed:

WW : "Having the moral high ground got us bombed in Pearl Harbor."

So by your logic, we should be torturing people all the time, even when not at war. Sweet. Have you ever read 1984? Have you ever lived in Soviet Russia, because you are advocating a totalitarian regime on par with these. Who could we have tortured to avoid Pearl Harbor? The Japanesse Embassador? Japanesse Americans?

You are a psychopath.

Also, I seem to remember the moral high ground was elemental in our winning the Cold War and WWII. I seem to recall stories of KGB defectors and Nazi troops, being in awe of the honor with which the US conducted itself, so much so that is caused these enemies of ours to changes sides and provide us information.

Regan said : "Tear down this wall" He didn't say it because the wall was ugly, he said it because it was a tool of an evil totalitarian regime that practiced torture kept secret gulags, and suspended habeous corpus. Remind you of anyone?

Lastly, isn't it great that after six years of surrendering the moral high ground, we've won the war on terror. Our cup runneth over with allies, our homeland is safe and secure.

Glad to see that we traded away our nation's soul for so much in return.

As before,
ashamed

Ahshamed, with hyperbole an... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

Ahshamed, with hyperbole and misstatements like that, you very well SHOULD be "ashamed".

Mistatements like what? I d... (Below threshold)
Ashamed:

Mistatements like what? I didn't say that not torturing people caused Pearl Harbor. Now that is a misstatement.

As for hyperbole? Anyone who can advocate that we adopt the tactics of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot, aught to be able to stomach a littl hyperbole. Afterall, it's not like I held your head underwater until your gag reflex failed, causing your stomach to fill with fluid and your brain to accpet death, repeatedly, for days, with no access to the rule of law, no summary of charges, and no hope of escape.

You think that's not turture, but you got a problem with hyperbole.

Poor you.

ashamed

You people are animals. Co... (Below threshold)
Singularity:

You people are animals. Congratulations on surrendering your humanity to the terrorists.

boy, you torture supporters... (Below threshold)
prozacula:

boy, you torture supporters are really disgusting.

yes, it does make it easier to stomach torturing someone if you've managed to dehumanize them with statements such as those I've seen on this thread.

you are the subhuman ones. I'm so glad I'm getting out of this country. you people make baby jesus cry.

Congratulations on surre... (Below threshold)
Gilty:

Congratulations on surrendering your humanity to the terrorists.

The only ones surrendering their humanity are the yellow conservatives who seem to see bogeymen around every corner. I find it ironic that liberals are the ones taking flak for being "weak."

I find it ironic that li... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

I find it ironic that liberals are the ones taking flak for being "weak."

Yeah, cuz hiding under your covers is much more brave than fighting back.

And torturing people for in... (Below threshold)
Ashamed:

And torturing people for information is the definition of bravery, right? That's why John McCain, George Washington, Dwight Eisenhower, and George Patton were against torture. They were gutless pussies. I distincly remember Eisenhower hiding under his covers on D-Day and George Washington changing his mind so he could hook up Ben Franklin's kite to some Red Coats genitals.

Thanks for showing me the true meaning of courage.

ashamed

Dude, I'm against torture t... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Dude, I'm against torture too.
I just have a different definition than you.

"Dude, I'm against torture ... (Below threshold)
Ashamed:

"Dude, I'm against torture too.
I just have a different definition than you."

A definition that also differs from the one used by George Washington, John McCain, Patton, Ike, The Geneva conventions, the Nurenburg Commision, Amnesty International, Jesus, Pope John Paul, Mother Theresa, and every US President prior to Bush II, and so on, and so forth.

People who agree with your definition. Hitler, Pol Pot, the VC, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Saddam, Osama, the Taliban...

What fine, heroic company, you've cast your lot with. Good luck with that, tell me how it works out for you.

Meanwhile, I will assume that if the people in the US military who study torture call waterboarding torture, then their definition carries more weight than yours. You may have a different definition of what rain is, but that doesn't mean you're not pissing on my leg.

ashamed

Eric Forhan, I'm not "quash... (Below threshold)
Bruce:

Eric Forhan, I'm not "quashing" anything, you little dick, I simply stated that the lady is an idiot. I'm not calling for anyone to stop expressing their opinions. So try sitting on your straw man and rotating.

"Dude, I'm against torture ... (Below threshold)
Jody:

"Dude, I'm against torture too.
I just have a different definition than you."

And here I thought you were just a sociopath. I mean, what with waterboarding being classified as torture up until literally George Bush decided he wanted to do it to people.

Irving, you are an insul... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Irving, you are an insult to your namesake.

mantis, you have no idea who I was named after, and once again digress from reasonable debate to spout ad hominem.

You've been steadily working on ending your reputation as a reasonable dissenter. Makes me curious as why you've swung leftward and downward into Wizblue-level territory.

Oregon Muse: "Perhaps. On t... (Below threshold)
Guy in Jersey:

Oregon Muse: "Perhaps. On the other hand, we waterboarded KSM for about 2 minutes and he coughed a royal boatload of actionable intelligence. So this is another empty statement."

Is that really how it went? No. Everything KSM "confessed" to everything was in the past. He's been in custody for years. Actionable, therefore? No. Grandiose, perhaps. Here are some references. Try to refine your thinking on these matters:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IC23Ak02.html
http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/03/exclusive_pearl.html

People like Ashamed, prozac... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

People like Ashamed, prozacula, Jody et al demonstrate that you can't have a serious conversation about this. Not to mention the brazen misrepresentation of the previous history on the issue by those who are only in this debate because of BDS.

Let me know when Foreigner ... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

Let me know when Foreigner has been banned and the namecalling and hyperbole die down. I'd sure like to have an honest discussion about this.

god, foreigners are envious... (Below threshold)
vespasio:

god, foreigners are envious.

PJ O'Rourke did a riff explaining why foreigners acted like jerks in a desperate attempt to be noticed by americans: he compared it to the wild longings of a 13-year-old boy frantic to get the attention of a magnificent 24-year-old babe.

not a bad analogy. foreigners will of course angrily deny this. "we're GLEDD we don't hevv as much money and powwair as you stupid americans! we LAHK being impotent and ignored!"

SPQR:"People like ... (Below threshold)
Ashamed:

SPQR:

"People like Ashamed, prozacula, Jody et al demonstrate that you can't have a serious conversation about this. Not to mention the brazen misrepresentation of the previous history on the issue by those who are only in this debate because of BDS."

This is my favorite all the world. A person makes a real argument about something that is obviously wrong with USG policy, and a bush supporter says it's just Bush derangement syndrome. HA!

For the record, SPQR, I made a number of salient points above that had little to do with Bush. You can address them or not, but you can't ignore them and then act like I just scream BUSH SUCKS over and over. I didn't do that. You know it. Therefore you are dodging the issue.

If your torture is really so great, then defend it. But you didn't. If you want a real discussion, join on in. But you don't need to address my arguments. Start with this.

http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2007/10/waterboarding-is-torture-perio/

It's the definiative argument on them matter and it is unaddressed anywhere on this thread. That means you guys dont' care at all about a real discussion.

Game set match.

Now go watch Anne Coulter complain about how uncivil those Libs are in the same breath that she calls Edwards a fag.

What color is the sky on your planet?

ashamed

wow you have got to be one ... (Below threshold)
joe:

wow you have got to be one of the stupidest people in the world.

if anyone ever does anything painful voluntarily, that means it's not painful?

"lordy what an idiot" i couldn't have said it better myself.

Yeah, cuz hiding under y... (Below threshold)
Gilty:

Yeah, cuz hiding under your covers is much more brave than fighting back.

I really shouldn't bother responding to the yelping monkey, but I can't seem to look away.

You and your ilk are like the kid in The Sixth Sense, except you see imaginary enemies all around, which I guess is more Quixotian, actually. I don't feel compelled to hide under covers, because the "monsters" under your trundle bed aren't visible to me.

The lesser animals on the planet also lash out when they perceive danger and their fear instinct kicks in. Congratulations...you've graduated to the status of rabid mutt.

For all the "waterboarding ... (Below threshold)
Bill Templeton:

For all the "waterboarding is not torture" people, show some guts behind that statement and submit yourself to waterboarding, with the agreement that 1) you cannot control when it will be done to you, 2) you cannot control how long it will be done to you, and 3) you cannot control how many times it will be done to you.

Any takers, tough guys?

Yeah Bill, I have been thro... (Below threshold)
civildisobedience Author Profile Page:

Yeah Bill, I have been through a version of it in SERE training. I can see where some could consider it torture and I don't have a problem with their point of view. That said, I have no problem with it being applied to terrorists. There is no "good" reason for not using it against terrorists when critical information is needed from them. The quality of the info can be confirmed, it does not change how American prisoners will be treated, and issues of morality/ethics are not material.

Also, Petty Officer Nance i... (Below threshold)
civildisobedience Author Profile Page:

Also, Petty Officer Nance is entitled to his opinion. I respect his service, but disagree with his opinion that water boarding should not be applied to terrorists. Terrorists are not soldiers of another nation and they are not criminals. They are terrorists, and they have no rights of any kind except those we are willing to bestow them. I am willing to not allow cutting them up, beating them, or killing them, but water boarding is ok.

For all the "waterboardi... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

For all the "waterboarding is not torture" people, show some guts behind that statement and submit yourself to waterboarding

I'll bite, as stipulated. You get to volunteer for a real form of torture, though, to demonstrate the equivalency.

What will you choose, electric shocks, bamboo shoots under the fingernails, beating, flaying, branding, broken fingers, etc?

John Irving, the problem wi... (Below threshold)
Sarah:

John Irving, the problem with your proposition is that your opponent is not advocating for the other forms of torture, the way you are advocating for water boarding. If you think water boarding is ok, then you should be willing to submit to it without your stipulations. Are you?

If you think water board... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

If you think water boarding is ok, then you should be willing to submit to it without your stipulations. Are you?

Yes, and would so even without the stipulations.

However, as the definitions being given here by the opposition are simply "torture is torture" and "volunteering makes it not torture," then my willingness to undergo one such procedure opens up all the others to be voluntarily tried, which none of the 'brave' souls of the opposition seem to be willing to do.

civdis: "That said, I have ... (Below threshold)
Ashamed:

civdis: "That said, I have no problem with it being applied to terrorists."

Now that is an answer worth discussing. And I would say that you provide the best counter argument in your next comment.

civdis: "Terrorists are not soldiers of another nation and they are not criminals. They are terrorists, and they have no rights of any kind except those we are willing to bestow them."

And how do we know who are the terrorists? With information coerced via the water boarding of other "terrorists?" Are all the Iraqi insurgents terrorists? Are all the suspects we pick up anywhere in the world automatically terrorists? Are American suspects eligible for torture? So far the term terrorists seems to be decreed by an unaccountable, secret bureaucrat. Is that really the kind of power you want government to have? Will you be okay with Hillary having the power to torture anyone she says, with no oversight?

The "we must torture them because they're just that bad" argument falls apart when subjected to this test. We have rules against water boarding and torture, not because we feel that our enemies are too good for it, but because the world is imperfect, and we can never be certain who our enemies really are. Moreover, under the present USG policy, terrorist is an intentionally vague, shifting definition. A policy of torture presupposes that innocent people will be tortured.

The world isn't like 24. The interrogators at Abu Grhaib weren't trying to stop a bomb in Times Square with that human pyramid. Torture as policy means people are being water boarded every day, without an urgent threat. Some of whom are innocent, all of whom are human beings.

Lastly, the studies on torture show that it is of limited value. The information gleaned is weak. People will say anything in those situations.

It may seem like the terrorists are a perfect evil, deserving of such treatment, but the truth is that the perfect evil is torture itself. If we commit ourselves to using it we turn our backs on the shinning light to the world that America used to be and, I believe, should be.

I'm sorry that you don't feel the same way.

But I'm glad you posted a substantive comment.

Respectfully,
ashamed

Lastly, the studies on t... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Lastly, the studies on torture show that it is of limited value. The information gleaned is weak. People will say anything in those situations.

Well said. Since waterboarding has been documented as being extremely effective at producing accurate information, as the disorientation makes it harder to dissemble than severe pain does, you have just provided yet another solid reason why waterboarding should not be considered a torture technique.

Of course, you basically admitted this with the statement We have rules against water boarding and torture. Even you acknowledge the distinction.

Wow, such dim-bulbery among... (Below threshold)
Jody:

Wow, such dim-bulbery among the torture apologists.

Do me a favor, no, do yourselves a favor, and go read:

http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2007/10/waterboarding-is-torture-perio/

Pay careful attention to his bullet points.

Now go hang your head in shame for dragging our country into that moral sewer in which you dwell, you despicable people.

Thanks, Jody, you should ha... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Thanks, Jody, you should hang your head in shame for linking to that tripe, it's been linked already, read, and accurately identified as a mishmash of ad hominem, appeal to emotion, and phony flag-waving.

If you actually find a link to a rational article on waterboarding, and why it, with all that makes it distinct from the classic definition of torture (lack of physical injury, lack of long-term consequences, high accuracy, low mortality), still qualifies as torture, then feel free to link it.

Otherwise, thanks for the token effort, save the appeals to emotion without reason, but really we need you to get off the cross, we need the wood for something useful.

Ashamed, thank you for the ... (Below threshold)
civildisobedience Author Profile Page:

Ashamed, thank you for the rational reply. A few points in response.

A foreign AQ fighter in Iraq or Afghanistan could rationally be seen as a terrorist. For example, an armed Saudi national caught in a raid of a site with enemy explosives and containing AQ materials could be considered a terrorist. Someone identifies the Saudi as a cell leader who communicates with higher ups. Water boarding him if necessary would be ok. But an Iraqi Shia milita member we are fighting would be not be considered a terrorist, they are actually more like criminals or gangsters.

Water boarding has been rather effective at getting useful information from terrorists. Plus, it does not cause physical damage, just pain and panic.

I never said "we must torture them because they're just that bad". I said it is ok to use water boarding on terrorists. As you state, the next issue is getting a good understanding of terrorist vs. enemy military combatant vs. criminal. I would support that any member of a declared terrorist organization could be considered a terrorist, such as AQ.

Abu Ghraib was not about terrorists or water boarding. It was a case where soldiers untrained in any techniques, unsupervised by their local leadership, abused non-terrorist prisoners through humiliation and some physical acts for no apparent reason or objective. It was stupid, wrong and an embarrassment, but has nothing to do with this discussion.

I am ok if the whole world knows we water board terrorists, but not enemy military combatants or common criminals. They are relatively easy to distinguish.

Finally, morality doesn't have a role in this decision process. America legally protects a number of acts many consider immoral and even cruel. This is no different.

CivilD:... abus... (Below threshold)
Kluster:

CivilD:

... abused non-terrorist prisoners through humiliation and some physical acts...

I recall that a few prisoners where abused and humiliated to death at AbuGrape. The Yoo memos punted the GCs and redefined torture as organ failure or death (unless it was accidental!). The policy put in place by the admin (and the existing policies that the admin punted) led to confusion as to what is acceptable treatment. I dont believe you can argue that the AbuGrape treatment happended in a bubble.

There are people having ... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

There are people having done to themselves or doing to others exactly the things y'all have listed, and oh so much more, just for sexual gratification. Does that mean none of it can be considered torture, just because insane assholes keep coming back for more?

Steve Martin as the Dentist in the movie Little Shop of Horrors!!!

No wait, that was Bill Murr... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

No wait, that was Bill Murray's character as his patient.

Funny stuff, though.

god, foreigners are envi... (Below threshold)
Anonymous:

god, foreigners are envious.

PJ O'Rourke did a riff explaining why foreigners acted like jerks in a desperate attempt to be noticed by americans: he compared it to the wild longings of a 13-year-old boy frantic to get the attention of a magnificent 24-year-old babe.

not a bad analogy. foreigners will of course angrily deny this. "we're GLEDD we don't hevv as much money and powwair as you stupid americans! we LAHK being impotent and ignored!"

When we want to be noticed by Americans, we'll blow up your soldiers with IEDs. If you don't like it, stay out of our countries.

And we know who has the money and power these days - the Chinese and the Saudi Arabians respectively. The first has Wall Street and the latter has your President dancing to their tune. You are such rubes.

So what if waterboarding is... (Below threshold)
moseby:

So what if waterboarding is torture? We need to be doing more than that to get these bastids. "They're animals anyway--they can afford to lose their souls."

BTW: Does DU stand for Dipshit Underground?

Goalpost-moving DS Moseby:<... (Below threshold)
Kluster:

Goalpost-moving DS Moseby:

If its torture, then its a crime... so you cant move the goalposts as you suggest. Persons authorizing & conducting torture would be subject to legal actions as a result (until Shrub, his rubberstampers, and the spineless Dems again passed retroactive legislation to precluded those who participated in the illegal actions from being responsible for their actions.)

mantis, you have no idea... (Below threshold)
mantis:

mantis, you have no idea who I was named after, and once again digress from reasonable debate to spout ad hominem.

A namesake isn't necessarily the person you are named for, but can simply be someone with whom you share a name. As for reasonable debate, it is very clear you're not interested in such. To wit,

read it, mantis. A real expert would be able to define why waterboarding, which is disorienting and short-term in effect, is equivalent to actual torture, i.e severely painful and potentially long-term in effect.

First of all, Nance is a "real" expert, and your claim that he is not with absolutely no basis and totally ignores his qualifications. Reasonable debate, my ass. Second, your claim that something can't be torture because it doesn't fit the definition of torture that you just invented is ridiculously stupid. Third, the idea that waterboarding is not painful reveals an extremely limited view of what is and is not pain. Fourth, waterboarding is "potentially long-term in effect" in at least one way: the person being waterboarded could drown to death. I guess that's not long-term enough for you.

Instead we get a bunch of appeal to emotion, ad hominem, and flag-waving.

Total bullshit. Nance gives a very detailed explanation as to why waterboarding should not be allowed based on his personal experience, the history of the procedure, and research. It's a worthy argument from a person with unique insight into the matter. That is not to say that it can't be debate, but you don't bother to do that, do you. You dismiss it because your arguments are weak, when they exist at all.

As for my supposed "leftward" turn, I am and have always been a liberal; I have not turned left at all. The fact that I'm critical of the arguments that come from the left and that I find the Democratic Party to be full of idiots does not have anything to do with my opposition to US use of torture, in any form. This is not a liberal position, it is a civilized one. We will not defeat barbarian enemies by becoming barbarians ourselves.

JI: Instead we get a bunch ... (Below threshold)
ashamed:

JI: Instead we get a bunch of appeal to emotion, ad hominem, and flag-waving.

MANTIS: Total bullshit.

Well put. But I would go a step further. It calls into question whether or not JI can read, or knows the definition of Ad-hominem.

As to CIVDIS. I find your perfect world formulation of good vs. evil unrealistic. But what is downright incorrect is your description of Abu Graib. What we saw there was the USG torture aparatus at work. Or do you believe that a group of borderline illiterates (I've seen Lyndie England interviewed) could have come up with a group of techniques specifically target at Arab men, simultaneously, but separate from the group at GITMO. It's an assertion that is self evidently false.

Indeed, that's why the ADMIN is so keen to not define waterboarding as torture. They have been practicing it and the "enhanced interrogations" at Abu Graib as policy. There is not clean, safe, or moral way to torture.

Fianlly, I don't know where yall get your data, but the stuff I see says that torture doesn't produce good results, waterboarding included. I have yet to see a study that demonstrates otherwise. However, given the ADMIN's utter failures at convicting terrorists in court, their terrible record at getting OBL, their disastrous WMD intel, and most of all, their failure to provide even one real example of data derived from torture that saved lives, despite the fact that they are defending the use of torture tooth and nail... I find those thing terribly compelling evidence that our experience with torture has reaffirmed what people said in the past. It doesn't work.

AND PLEASE, DON'T BRING UP KSM. As far as anyone can tell the data retrieved from KSM was historical, of low value, and it required a prolonged period of outright TORTURE. And again, the ADMIN has never released even one chickenfeed detail of a vital piece of INTEL coerced from him. Until they do, and given the thrashing they've received in congress, they have every reason to, I won't buy.

Finally, have you guys looked at our record of getting terrorists? It SUCKS. And yet every Jose Padilla (an Al Queda wannabe, with nil operational potential) or Airline Liquid Bomb (An utter fantasy that a trained chemist in a lab would have a hard time making, let alone a layman in an airplane bathroom) that they uncover, they hype like it's the second coming. If torture really worked so well, that wouldn't happen. They would have better Tango's to parade in front of us.

ashamed

I'm not watching this conve... (Below threshold)

I'm not watching this conversation as closely as I am my own threads, but I got two full postings out of Nance's article -- and I have found at least one discrepancy with his description of the waterboarding procedure with what I've read elsewhere.

And we actually managed to have a serious discussion about the subject, in the thread called "Troubled Water."

J.

Thanks for the reply. Most ... (Below threshold)
civildisobedience Author Profile Page:

Thanks for the reply. Most of the stuff still has nothing to do with water boarding terrorists.

I still don't see a good reason why we should not use water boarding against terrorists if necessary to gain important information.

mantis, the trouble with yo... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

mantis, the trouble with your link, and your attitude, is summed up very well in a comment in JT's "Troubled Waters" post.

If waterboarding is so bad, why can't you make an argment against it without using loaded words like "torture?"

And no, mantis, you have been liberal in past threads, but now you're taking a turn for the leftroid, using the commenting styles of the trolls instead of a reasonable person.
You, and "ashamed," read something confirming your beliefs, and ignore the flaws. Nothing in that essay was a rational discussion of why waterboarding should be considered torture, it was all "it's bad, mmkay, unAmerican, against mom and apple pie, we're better than this, if you disagree with me you're a bad bad person." Sure, that's how you wish it to be, but wishing doesn't make it so.

If a former expert speaking out against something was all it took to convince you, then very belief you claim to hold is subject to the random whims of individuals, rather than your personal judegment. Maybe you recognize that yours is lacking, but if you don't have the judgement to make the determination for yourself, you lack the judgement to determine who to trust on the matter as well.

Oh, and by the way, according to the American Heritage dictionary:
Namesake n. One that is named after another.

Maybe you should reconsider making commentary on my name until you have the guts to use your own. Of course, your complete lack of ability to rationally debate this topic leaves you with no choice but to make ignorant personal attacks, doesn't it?

Good one John Irving. ... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Good one John Irving.

Put your money where your m... (Below threshold)
Hieronymous Coward:

Put your money where your mouth is, Kim. Undergo waterboarding. A blogger of your stature should have no difficulty finding a competent, qualified team who can do it safely. Record it on video, and when it's done, smile and declare you'd have no problem doing it again.

If it's not torture, if it's no more than mildly unpleasant, then PROVE IT.




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