« Will You Answer What Congress Won't? The Top 20 Questions pt 3 | Main | Robert Goulet Dead At 73 »

Troubled Waters

(Author's Note: I am invoking the "special rules" portion of our comments policy for this posting. Comments must be polite, composed, and non-hysterical. This is for a serious discussion on the matter of waterboarding specifically and the nature of torture in general. Empty invective, gibbering tirades, and insulting comments will be unpublished at the earliest opportunity. Repeated offenses may result in temporary or permanent banning.)

This article about the practice of waterboarding has generated a lot of discussion about the practice, as well as just what defines "torture" and how it should be regulated or banned by our government.

My first reaction was surprise. I'd never had any real problems with waterboarding, as I understood it worked by simulating drowning. To my mind, "torture" has to involve an element of severe pain or bodily injury -- and as I understood it, the experience of waterboarding tricked the subconscious into thinking one was drowning -- but NOT ACTUALLY DROWNING. According to the article, though, it actually involves a partial drowning -- water in the lungs and all that.

If that is the case, then I have to admit I was wrong. I'm not so certain, though, because this guy -- an old blog-buddy -- has some rather unpleasant things to say about the author's credibility. I put a bit of trust in Boyd's word, so I have my doubts about Mr. Nance's description.

The details of that particular practice, however, are a good launching point for a serious discussion, one we ought to be holding: just what defines torture, and what sorts of controls ought to be placed on their use?

I've had a few ideas about torture that have been bouncing around in my head. First up, we ought to find a working definition of torture. The elements I've always considered part of the definition is the deliberate infliction of injury or extreme pain. In the cited definition of waterboarding, water is deliberately introduced into the lungs -- and to me, that's injury.

I'll also toss in "reasonable fear of same." Putting a gun to someone's head would not cause pain or injury -- as long as it isn't loaded and no one pulls the trigger -- but it's still a form of torture to me.

On the other hand, I have few problems with fear and humiliation. That was the crux of waterboarding, as I understood it -- it was spelled out beforehand "you will not die from this," and repeated as necessary (with the subject not dying as the result). There was no injury to anything beyond the subject's composure.

I've also put a great deal of thought into how to put legal restrictions on these techniques, to put some checks and balances that would act to restrain those licensed by the government to extract information from uncooperative subjects. And I have a couple of ideas that might curb abuses:

First, no information obtained through -- well, let's call it "rigorous interrogation" -- can be used directly in any criminal trial. Period. It might be used to develop other evidence, that which can be obtained under more traditional means, but since it's debatable just how reliable information obtained this way is, let's just keep it out of court entirely. And if it can't be verified by other means, then it wasn't worth that much anyway. This ought to cut back on the "tortured confessions" pretty thoroughly.

Second, there should be some sort of investigation by a disinterested party or body after any "rigorous interrogation" case. The people who decided that "rigorous interrogation" was merited, and those who carried it out, must go before some panel that will review the facts and the decisions -- and they WILL have the authority to sanction (or refer to legal authorities) cases where they decide that the decision or conduct was wrong. This will demand that those who are responsible for actually carrying out the "rigorous interrogation" policy will be held accountable for their actions every single time.

This might seem cumbersome, but one of the arguments on behalf of "rigorous interrogation" is that it is so rarely needed. Therefore, there shouldn't be too much effort to add in a mandatory after-the-fact review for each instance.

Finally, we need to come up with some solid rules on just what constitutes "torture." This usually provokes the hysteria I warned about in the introduction. "Torture is obscene, and even trying to come up with a precise definition is obscene, and you're psychotic for wanting to parse the definition!" is a fairly decent summation of the sort of thing I've heard before, and don't really think I need to hear again.

The problem is that we are a nation of laws, of details, of minutiae. Witness the whole unpleasant issue of abortion. We've decided that it's legal based solely on the amount of time that passes from conception, and a difference of a single day can move the action from legal to questionable to illegal. We need to spell out just what is and what is not torture beforehand, or we end up with a situation like so many others -- where the rules are hacked out by a series of confusing and often contradictory decisions, and the people we entrust with the responsibility of "rigorous interrogation" end up having to deal with "go ahead and do what you want, and we'll decide after the fact whether or not it was legal -- and punish you if it wasn't." And that is just not fair.

So, where do we draw the line? Where do we set the limits? What overarching principles and rules do we set?

Naturally, I think my own ideas are a good starting point -- "the deliberate infliction of serious bodily injury or extreme pain." Humiliation, fear, uncertainty, anxiety -- those are all fair game. Breaking limbs, electrical shocks, or threatening to toss someone out of a helicopter from a couple thousand feet in the air -- those are way, way out of bounds.

But between those two extremes are a world of gray. We need to shine a bit of light on the matter, to help find the line between the black and the white.


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/25150.

Comments (121)

You have some good ideas, b... (Below threshold)

You have some good ideas, but to me the country will continue to wallow.


Look at the death penalty, 3 strikes rule, and even sex with a minor. It seems the more we define a rule or law, the more wiggle room either side will take.

Look at the young man back east that spent 2 years in prison(of a 10 year sentence) for sex with a minor when HE was a minor.

I think that although it seems good, someone somewhere will think that the case in front will rise him to the top, then the very intention of the rule(definition) or law will cease to exist.

Again there are tons of examples that support me(sadly) Scott Peterson getting the death penalty in a state that performs abortions, needed 2 deaths to get the death penalty...and all the sudden the unborn(or fetus) now has worth.

OJ Simpson...reverse the challenge and attack the credibility of the other side.

Prisoners at Gitmo...challenge that their religious rights have been violated...

I must be old fashioned, because I really think that the solution is not in the laws, but in regulating the attorneys and the wayward agenda setting judges.

Just my thoughts.

The real, 100% unadulterate... (Below threshold)
Franco:

The real, 100% unadulterated panic that occurs when a person is involuntarily deprived of oxygen for any amount of time is torture.

Torture is not so much what... (Below threshold)

Torture is not so much what is done but the reason it is being done. Thus, the "deliberate infliction of injury or extreme pain" for the purpose of amusing oneself is torture, doing the very same thing for the purpose of gaining information to save lives is not torture and is OK by me.

As for what is and isn't allowed, I'd rather our side err on the side of doing too much rather than too little. Unlike the adage relating to criminal law that it is better for 10 criminals to get away than it is for one innocent to be jailed, here it is better for 10 terrorists who don't know anything to be worked over than let the one with information sit smugly in his cell awaiting the results of the terrorist attack.

Yes, there ought to be rules for establishing just when these tactics are permissible in order to make sure that coercive interrogation tactics are being done only the right way and at the right time to the right people. But in no way should these tactics be taken off the table. They are a weapon that, if used properly, can be very helpful and just as I would never want to take a soldier's rifle away from him, I want to give our intelligence folks every weapon possible that helps them do their job. If ripping someone's fingernails out can prevent the attack that kills my family, friends and neighbors, then someone is going to have to learn to live without fingernails.

I know this runs counter to all the bleeding hearts here, but I guess I'm just one of those who is less concerned with being nice to terrorists or worrying about what our so-called allies think of us than doing what is necessary to prevent terrorist attacks from killing Americans.

"I transmit herewith the Co... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"I transmit herewith the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. ..."

"The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention . It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment...."

"By giving its advice and consent to ratification of this Convention, the Senate of the United States will demonstrate unequivocally our desire to bring an end to the abhorrent practice of torture..."
Ronald Reagan 4/88

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1079/is_n2137_v88/ai_6742034

Even Reagan supported a ban on torture AND cruel, degrading or inhuman practices. Waterboarding is clearly cruel if not torture.

Let's compare two forms of ... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

Let's compare two forms of "simulated drowning. In one, a clamp is placed on the nose and a seal over the mouth. The person is then placed under water for x minutes (x being a variable depending on the person but intended to invoke the bodies reaction/fear of drowning but not sufficient to actually drown or cause brain damage). So your objection to waterboarding alowing some water to enter the lungs has been met and the simulation of drowning is achieved to encourage the asking of questions.

But if I was subjected to this, I would know absent a mistake, no matter how much I felt like I was drowning, they would pull me out in time. Would this make it less likely it could break me? Since the idea is to get the person to talk, not to subject them to distress for the sake of distressing them, this would seem to render the reason for doing this moot.

Now consider the waterboarding. My understanding (not having participated in either role) is that this can be continued for quite some time with the brain gibbering that the person is drowning. Further, you can talk to the person receiving this treatment, so as to apply psychological pressure at the same time. At the same time, my understanding is that it would be very hard to accidentaly drown someone doing this. Contrast this to the other method where accidental drowning is possible.

The only difference between these two methods is that the first won't put water in the lungs, but may cause death by accident. The second may put water in the lungs, but is not likely to cause death by accident. As a third example, imagine putting a plastic sheet over the persons head to deprive them of oxygen, same issue. So are you sure that water getting in the lungs in non-lethal amounts is the right dividing line.

I agree that evidence obtained directly from torture should not be allowable in court. But I would go a step further. The "rigorous questioning" should ony be allowed in national security situations. Every event should be recorded and shown to the congressional intelligence oversight committee (sans staff). Congress critters can never reveal the names, information obtained, etc. If they think the administration has gone to far, they can resign their seat, not be elgible to run in the next election cycle and then speak out (though still not reveal information that could harm national security). This would prevent people taking political cheap shots. If it is serious enough to complain about, then show that you are willing to make a personal sacrifice to bring the point out.

Your idea of a review runs the danger of prejudiced views tainting the review. As an example, imagine each death penalty being reviewed by a panel of anti-death penalty people. Or alternatively, the death penaltys being reviewed by a "kill them all and let God sort them out" type. Neither is going to get you a truly effective review.

I agree that we should have clear regulations on this. The one question is that by clearly stating how far you are willing to go, you hand the enemy a trainng manual outline for what they need to train the agents to resist. I would suggest that you set up the regulation and present them before the congressional intelligence committees. Again, they can vote up or down as a committee on each item. After the votes, they can resign and complain about specific methods publicly or it is allowed.

Putting a gun to someone... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Putting a gun to someone's head would not cause pain or injury -- as long as it isn't loaded and no one pulls the trigger -- but it's still a form of torture to me.

I don't see how you can define a gun to the head as torture, but involuntary deprivation of air is not. Assume it's your best friend promising that you won't be killed, and you believe him 100%. Which would you rather he do... hold a gun to your head, or forcefully hold your head under water past the point when your body requires air?

Now, as far as waterboardin... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Now, as far as waterboarding goes, I tend to lean towards, "not torture" in that it doesn't significantly harm the body (as I understand it anyway), but freaks you out instead (HUGE psychological response). In that case, it's an interrogation technique.

For other forms of "torture", as in the ones that cause/caused all the hubbub in Gitmo and Abu Ghraib, I hold an even lower opinion of the techniques.

I have a hard time believing some of the things done in those facilities consitute "torture" when I was subjected to many of the same techniques in my own training for the US military. Sleep deprivation? Check. Stress positions? Check. Doing things that are degrading and/or emotionally taxing? Check.

And I'm no worse for it.

So if we use similar techniques to toughen up our own troops and sailors WILLINGLY, it hardly rises to the level for being deemed "torture".

My $0.02 anyway.

Even Reagan supported a ... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Even Reagan supported a ban on torture AND cruel, degrading or inhuman practices. Waterboarding is clearly cruel if not torture.

Interesting point, Barney. I disagree with Reagan, not for the first time, because that sets the bar far too high, and enshrouded in vagueness, for reasonable expectations of interrogation and intelligence gathering.

Assume it's your best friend promising that you won't be killed, and you believe him 100%. Which would you rather he do... hold a gun to your head, or forcefully hold your head under water past the point when your body requires air?

Also a very good statement, Brian. In my case, I'll take the "holding head under water." Any gun is considered loaded, and only pointed at something you want shot, because even with an expertly maintained and held weapon there is always a chance of an accidental firing. The potential for drowning is much lower risk, and CPR is much easier to perform than gathering and replacing scattered brain matter and skull fragments.

Brian,Waterboardin... (Below threshold)
Franco:

Brian,

Waterboarding is not being dunked. It is completely sealing off a persons access to air by closing off their nose and throat. It's not "holding your breath." You can't prepare for it by taking a deep breath.

Waterboarding is not bei... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Waterboarding is not being dunked. It is completely sealing off a persons access to air by closing off their nose and throat.

Most (~100%) versions of the technique do not close off a persons nose and throat, they immerse them in water.

It is certainly unpleasant to undergo, panic-inducing, and, most of all, disorienting. But none of those conditions make it a form of torture.

Brian,Waterboardi... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian,
Waterboarding is not being dunked. It is completely sealing off a persons access to air by closing off their nose and throat. It's not "holding your breath." You can't prepare for it by taking a deep breath.

Uh, yeah. I didn't say it was being dunked, nor that it was "holding your breath". I said "forcefully hold your head under water past the point when your body requires air". Did you mean your response to be directed at someone else, or did you just not bother to read my comment?

Most (~100%) versions of... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Most (~100%) versions of the technique do not close off a persons nose and throat, they immerse them in water.

And being immersed in water doesn't close off your nose and throat from a source of air?

It is certainly unpleasa... (Below threshold)
Brian:

It is certainly unpleasant to undergo, panic-inducing, and, most of all, disorienting.

More or less so than having a gun held to your head, which Jay believes is a form of torture?

It should probably be said ... (Below threshold)

It should probably be said that coercive interrogation (even the sorts that everyone agrees on aren't torture) shouldn't be used to obtain confessions. I realize that this is what was alluded to by saying the information shouldn't be admissible to court, but, sans confessions, I don't see why any information obtained legally shouldn't be information relevant to a court trial.

We occasionally hear about criminal trials where improper confessions, because the questions ranged to cases the person hadn't been arrested for or mirandized for, weren't admissible even when the confession was freely given and the victim found buried where the guy said he buried her. I think that's silly, too.

But in the case of national security and interrogating terrorists (who really *don't* have the same legal status as uniformed combatants) and eventually having some sort of trial for the terrorist... why not admit information given during interrogations? Not as confessions but as "this is how we knew to go here and this is what we found"?

In a sense that would even lend a certain amount of openness to the process, an element that "no admittance" I feel would constrict. I'm concerned that keeping the results of interrogation out of the legal process would put interrogation in a dark and secret place and that this would be bad.

Just no confessions. People can be made to confess to *anything*. They can't be made to know information that they didn't know.

Allow me to agree with Stev... (Below threshold)
Chuck:

Allow me to agree with Steve Sturm. Let us err on the side of America NOT being terrorized instead of erring on the side of terrorists and allowing them to terrorize America through death and mayhem.

If waterboarding works (however one describes it), I say go for it. Yeah, I know, Sen McCain and Lindsay Graham say it's torture so it must be bad.

Not in this veteran's view. I was not a POW, but I was a bit more than a judge advocate.

Fine, call it torture. Howe... (Below threshold)
civildisobedience Author Profile Page:

Fine, call it torture. However, it produces results and does not kill or cause permanent physical injury, so it should be ok to use on terrorists. Is there a good reason to not use it on terrorists?

More or less so than hav... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

More or less so than having a gun held to your head, which Jay believes is a form of torture?

Less so, Brian. Much less so, in fact.

And being immersed in water doesn't close off your nose and throat from a source of air?

Strictly speaking, at no point are your nose and throat closed during waterboarding. They are removed from a source of air, which is what you were trying to state, but your statements are not 100% accurate. People holding their breath do tend to close their mouths, but that is not what you stated.

And yes, it's nit-picking, but it gave me a good starting point to rebut your initial statement.

To torture or to not tortur... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

To torture or to not torture. It all comes now to this--if it means protecting the life of my kids, guess which way I go. And it will not be with milk and cookies. To hell with what some "foreignor" thinks.

Re: McCain's torture. He c... (Below threshold)

Re: McCain's torture. He claims absolute moral authority because of his experience. But, unless I'm mistaken, he wasn't tortured because he had secrets to share, but rather as an intimidation tactic and because it was fun (to his captors). I'm not advocating doing what was done to him, but the sadistic treatment he was given doesn't give him credibility to speak on all things related to prisoners any more than Scott Beauchamp's experiences give him the moral authority on how one should deal with burn victims in a war zone.

In fact, his experience keeps him from looking at this as one should, and has led to him taking some rather stupid and harmful positions, just as his experience as being one of the Keating Five has led him to do some rather stupid things in campaign finance...

Waterboarding is not immers... (Below threshold)
Franco:

Waterboarding is not immersing a person in water.

It's not a breath holding game.

It is sealing off a person's airway with a wet cloth pressing down into their throat while their nose is sealed off from air. The absolute panic of facing death involuntarily ensues.

A few thoughts on:... (Below threshold)
Mike:

A few thoughts on:

1. "the deliberate infliction of serious bodily injury or extreme pain"

I would add "for the sole purpose of permanent disfigurement and degradation." Classic torture scenarios are generally played out purely for sadistic purposes. The victim is tortured in such a way as to ensure that he is permanently physically and psychologically degraded to a state of being less than human, and to ensure that all who see him afterward instantly recognize the extent of this degradation. Blindness, severe burns, mutilation, and amputation work well to achieve this gruesome goal.

2. Voluntary versus involuntary participation

In my opinion, the terrorists held at Gitmo are there "voluntarily"; after all, they willingly joined a terrorist organization, willingly planned and carried out acts of terror against civilians, and willingly took up arms against the United States military. As far as we know, no one in Gitmo is simply an innocent bystander who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. (I am not saying that the process is 100% mistake-proof, just that we try very hard not to make those mistakes, even at the risk of our own personnel.)

I find it amusing that these "holy warriors" who have pledged their very lives in the service of Allah seem to be such wimps, particularly considering the shockingly cruel punishments and tortures that they themselves inflict on their own prisoners.

3. Safety of the prisoners

I would say that the prisoners in Gitmo are probably safer than most of our domestic prison inmates. Really, has there ever been a group of prisoners with more watchdogs and advocates monitoring even the most minute details of their treatment than the Gitmo detainees?

4. Trustworthiness of information

Jay Tea is correct in suggesting that information gained through coercive or enhanced interrogation techniques should never be entered directly as evidence in civilian or military criminal proceedings. We're smart enough to know when they are bluffing and when they are not. When no useful information is recovered, enhanced interrogation should cease.

We should also remember that al-Qaeda trains its members to scream "torture! torture!" and to magnify the smallest infractions into major scandals (e.g. the "Koran flushing" episode) while they are being held in detention. A-Q knows that such claims will immediately turn terrorists into victims and uniformed military into villains. It is an obvious PR stunt, but this fact seems lost on the Gitmo apologists.

Barney, there's one little ... (Below threshold)

Barney, there's one little detail to those conventions you mentioned:

Further, both the ICCPR and the UNCAT prohibit cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment (CID). Here, however, there is an important qualification. In consenting to both treaties, the Senate added a caveat: CID was to be understood in the U.S. as the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment prohibited under the aforementioned Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. That is, CID would be controlled by governing American constitutional law -- not what activist NGOs, international law professors, and foreign regimes decided terms like "degrading treatment" might mean.

Source

In other words, Barney, the Constitution is the test of "torture," not the treaties. And as Mr. McCarthy outlined in the linked article, the courts have had some rather... um... "liberal" interpretations of just what that entails.

Sorry to blindside you with this article; I read it in formulating my piece, but didn't actually link to it or cite it. It's slightly unfair to use it now, but I honestly didn't think it would become so relevant.

J.

"...there should be some so... (Below threshold)
Socratease:

"...there should be some sort of investigation by a disinterested party or body after any 'rigorous interrogation' case." Sounds nice in theory, but any such review panel will undoubtedly become political, and pacifists will seek to place people on it who believe any discomfort at all constitutes "torture". (Maybe the judge who decided making convicted criminals sleep on mattresses placed on the floor was unconstitutional would be a good candidate.) The Left has had decades of practice in corrupting such "independent" power structures.

Imagine having your throat ... (Below threshold)
Franco:

Imagine having your throat and nose completely sealed off at the same instant you breathe out.

It is sealing off a pers... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

It is sealing off a person's airway with a wet cloth pressing down into their throat while their nose is sealed off from air. The absolute panic of facing death involuntarily ensues.

First off, as the cloth technique is only one of several, you are still somewhat inaccurate in your statements. Second, even your description of that technique is inaccurate, as the cloth is placed over the face, covering the mouth and nose, not pressed "into the throat."

"Absolute panic at facing death" would describe a conscious judgement, not an involuntary reflex.

Imagine having your thro... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Imagine having your throat and nose completely sealed off at the same instant you breathe out.

Interesting. I'm imagining it done to a terrorist cell leader for information on his contact network and operations. He's likely to give up useful information, and he remains alive and well in a secure facility.

No down side, really.

The first item that needs t... (Below threshold)
engineer:

The first item that needs to be addressed is what is the precise method of 'waterboarding' that we are talking about. I have read of several descriptions here in the responses. If you look at Jay's earlier article, it talks about a couple of DU'ers who tried it multiple times. If it is so horrible, once would have been enough. But, perhaps the 'method' they used isn't even close do what we are talking about here. So a balnket definition that 'waterboarding is torture' may not apply.

Second, what is 'degrading' or 'cruel' to one person, may not be to another. Calling somebody a 'queer', or even a "momma's boy', may hurt somebody's feeling and be considered 'degrading' to them, but to another it isn't. Vague terms make for horrible rules.

When you have a set of ambiguous parameters, the range of reactions can be vaired based upon how one wants to interpret those parameters.

I'm all for any form of 'en... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

I'm all for any form of 'encouragement' offered to jihadists that will help keep our troops, and our homeland safe.

If cutting off the supply of air is torture, than shouldnt all abortion clinics, and George Tiller's torture chamber, be shut down way before Gitmo?

It is interesting that a fe... (Below threshold)
WorldCitzen:

It is interesting that a few people here have commented that it would be okay to torture a few terrorists that didn't know any vital information to get at the one who does. What about a few innocent people to get at the one terrorist? There have been a number of cases of our government using extraordinary rendition on the wrong people. And these people end up in a place where the United States lets other people do the torturing for us. I think it is probably the same with many torture advocates that as long as someone else is doing the torture it is okay by them.

I am continually surprised at the people who once thought government agencies were evil incarnate and now that we have a bigger enemy they are showered with trust and good will.

I am continually surprised at the people who once thought government agencies were evil incarnate and now that we have a bigger enemy they are showered with trust and good will.

As you struggle for air, at... (Below threshold)
Franco:

As you struggle for air, attempting to breathe in, the cloth presses down on your throat.

You cannot tell yourself, or teach yourself, to go without air . . . nor can you tell yourself to be calm and just wait a minute or two because you trust that your captors will lift the cloth and you'll get air . . .

A person being deprived of air will say anything to make it stop, or pass out, or have a psychological break with reality, or die.

Interesting discussion. It... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Interesting discussion. It is enlightening that we are now defining torture down and seriously discussing what is the least amount/style of torture that is now acceptable in a civilized society.

I have looked at the water boarding issue and decided for myself that it is torture and should not be used. Men of principle have to draw lines and make stands, whether popular or not, whether easy or not. Mine is torture. It is never acceptable, whatever the reason, means or desired end goal. It should never be acceptable for a civilized society.

One of the problems with waterboarding is the assumption that it would be conducted by trained individuals in sterile controlled envrionments, only for eliciting information. Is it acceptable if done by amatueurs in field conditions using dirty/polluted water which could introduce disease into the persons lungs? If torture is condoned for "informational" purposes it would soon be used for punishment, keeping a prisoner(s) in line, general entertainment etc. We have plenty of former POW in the U.S., american and foreign and refugees from cruel regimes. How about we poll them?

If water boarding is not torture and so easy on the body/mind, do we have any volunteers to particpate as the water boardee? Care to be waterboarded, repeatedely until you answer questions to the satisfaction of the facilitator? Not until you think you answered enough, but until someone else that doesn't like you has decided. Care to have it recorded for you-tube?

Volunteers?

I'm all for waterboarding. ... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

I'm all for waterboarding. The subject panics as they subconciously believe they are going to die? Perfect. People can learn to control conciousness - Gordon Liddy had an appendicitis without anesthesia - so toying with the subconcious is far more effective.

Of course, I'm very "liberal" when it comes to interrogating terrorists. A rifle butt between the shoulder blades or broken nose don't bother me. So a person might experience brief periods of intense panic, then be able to walk out of the room and back to their cell is no worry.

"Cruel" is a very subjective word. Ever seen the show Taboo on National Geographic? Many cultures willingly endure excruciating pain as a right of passage. It may outrage our Western sensibilities and would rightfully be considered torture if we routinely did it during the course of interrogations - but it wouldn't universally be considered cruel.

As long no permanent disfigurement or grievous bodily injury is involved there is no debate. As Americans we shouldn't condone electrocution, extreme physical abuse, or sexual abuse (although a naked man pyramid is more funny than cruel). But physical discomfort (stress positions, naked in a cold cell, endless playing of KFed's CD), psychological stress, and fear/panic should be fair game. If a good waterboarding saves one US soldier's life it's a grand bargain.

Jay Tea, the reservations a... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Jay Tea, the reservations attached to our ratification of the treaty are important and completely undermine Barney's point. This is something that the people who conflate this kind of high pressure interrogation with torture deliberately misrepresent.

Oh, and as to the "any volu... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

Oh, and as to the "any volunteers" question. Considering when it's over I'd be able to walk away, eat a sandwich, and go to bed that night I'd do it.

If waterboarding is universally wrong would you actively try to prevent a suspect from being waterboarded if doing so would quickly obtain the info that would save the lives of your wife and kids?

Torture HAS to be defined i... (Below threshold)
Nosmo:

Torture HAS to be defined in a legal and ethical sense. and limits set.
Paraphrasing the mock argument given by the hystericals would yield:

"Rape is obscene, and even trying to come up with a precise definition is obscene, and you're psychotic for wanting to parse the definition!"

"Murder is obscene, and even trying to come up with a precise definition is obscene, and you're psychotic for wanting to parse the definition!"

Yet we have legal definitions of Rape and Murder that sets the limits on civilized behavior and enables the legal system to punish the criminals.

I say if we can do it to our troops in SERE training, then it is not torture. Hell, I went through worse than water boarding in WOC-D in Ft Rucker in 79 before we got to survival training. Fleet-Deer exercises, The RAF water survival school.... Many sanctioned "tortures" perpetrated on willing Students in the name of staying alive!

The Antis would scream if we did anything, that made a terrorist give up information that would help the USA.

Less so, Brian. Much les... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Less so, Brian. Much less so, in fact.

I accept your detached analysis that having a gun to your head represents a greater risk of accidental death than being waterboarded by a friend.

I find it hard to believe that a gun to your head would be more "unpleasant to undergo, panic-inducing, and, most of all, disorienting" than having your head held underwater past the point that your body is involuntarily starving for air.

Strictly speaking, at no point are your nose and throat closed during waterboarding.

Gimme a break. "Strictly speaking?" The point of "closed" means cut off from a source of air. If I pinch your nose with my fingers or stick your face under water, the result is the same. I can board up the front entry to your house, and "strictly speaking" you can open the door, but you still can't walk through it.

And yes, it's nit-picking, but it gave me a good starting point to rebut your initial statement.

No need to tell me. It's quite obvious that your arguments are now based on nit picks and word parsing.

If it's voluntary then it's... (Below threshold)
Franco:

If it's voluntary then it's not waterboarding.

Those two things are mutually exclusive.

Gordon Liddy had an appe... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Gordon Liddy had an appendicitis without anesthesia

It would be interesting to know where you heard this obvious myth, since a quick Google search shows it not repeated even once anywhere on the inter tubes.

Oh, and as to the "any v... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Oh, and as to the "any volunteers" question. Considering when it's over I'd be able to walk away, eat a sandwich, and go to bed that night I'd do it.

If waterboarding is universally wrong would you actively try to prevent a suspect from being waterboarded if doing so would quickly obtain the info that would save the lives of your wife and kids?

I have always considerd the wife/kids argument as a red herring, kind of like if it saves the life of one child. The premise of needing to save my personal wife/child is pretty weak since the odds of that happenig and me having the "right" terrorist and a waterboarding facility is pretty slim.

Since a person can walk away, eat a sandwich, and go to bed, what guarentees they will not lie to you? I am pretty sure the well prepared terrorist would know that waterboarding isn't instantly fatal. How many times and how often would it be okay to waterboard someone? What defines right answer? Answers can be verified if given enough time, but most can't be verified fast enough to save the proverbial wife and kids, or bus full of orphans etc.

First up, we ought to fi... (Below threshold)
Brian:

First up, we ought to find a working definition of torture.

How about this one?

For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
And there, Franco, you help... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

And there, Franco, you help define the crux of this issue.

You have your set definition of what constitutes torture, and myself and others have ours.

I find the practice to be "acceptable" as it does no permanent physical harm. You find the practice "unacceptable" for your own reasons. For every reason I (or others) give to explain why it's acceptable under our values and life experiences, you can throw it back as being insufficient, and therefore abhorant.

Is it a pleasant experience? No. Would I volunteer to do it? Probably not. If it happened to me (for whatever reason) and I live to tell about it, I'd thank my lucky stars that it were the US doing it and I can walk away, and not AQ in Iraq and now have a few less fingers.

So there. There's my principled line. No permanent physical harm. Psychological harm and distress is fine. But no physical harm. And if it happens that someone is subjected to this and dies, due to heart attack or some other pre-existing physical ailment, then find out WHY this was authorized on them. If they die due to some fluke reaction. I'm willing to accept that.

I find the practice to b... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I find the practice to be "acceptable" as it does no permanent physical harm.

So bamboo under the fingernails isn't torture now. And I'm sure Torquemada would be pleased to know that "the rack" and most of his other techniques weren't torture either.

No permanent physical ha... (Below threshold)
Matt:

No permanent physical harm.

Since Electrocution can be done with "no permanent physical harm," is it okay? How about beating with bamboo or other hollow instruments since the bruises, swelling etc is temporary and will go away? Can we pull fingernails/toenails since if done neatly they will grow back? If we can clean up scars with reconstuctive surgery is it okay?

If the psychological harm renders the person permanently deranged is it okay?

If we happen to "accidently" drown somebody, or cause a heart-attack or anyeurysm of some kind and they die during water-boarding, it's no harm/no foul as long as they needed a good wetting?

When you cut off a person's... (Below threshold)
Franco:

When you cut off a person's air it's not a "fluke" when they die.


So much for non hysterical ... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

So much for non hysterical commentary.

Since waterboarding seems t... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Since waterboarding seems to be considered "non-torture" torture, or torture light, etc. to many people, a grassroots movement needs to be started to get it formally defined and allowed in legislation.

How about a movement to allow our state and local police to use it for recaltricant suspects? If they've done nothing wrong, they have nothing to fear.

What happens when a terrorist resists waterboarding? Do we then move on to something else?

I'm not so certain, thou... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I'm not so certain, though, because this guy -- an old blog-buddy -- has some rather unpleasant things to say about the author's credibility. I put a bit of trust in Boyd's word, so I have my doubts about Mr. Nance's description.

Of course the efforts to defame Nance were predicted, and are proceeding per usual. Your link to Boyd's comment is bad, but here's one that works. His comment boils down to: 1) Nance's job prior to being a SERE instructor was boring, 2) Boyd's friends don't remember Nance being in Beirut (very convincing), 3) Nance must have been pushed out of his (boring) Cryptologic job for doing something wrong because, well just because (also very convincing), 4) when Boyd went through SERE school ten years before Nance was an instructor there it was not as bad as Nance describes, and 5) Nance bases some of his claims on classified information. This last one is the worst of the bunch, as you can see by reading Nance's post that he mentions having read classified reports among a list of other evidence that American POWs have been tortured in previous wars. He revealed absolutely no classified information, and said nothing that wasn't already public knowledge. Boyd is clearly trying to dishonestly defame Nance by implying he has broken the law in revealing classified information.

Given that, I have my doubts about Boyd's comments about Nance. The fact that you are willing to immediately question Nance on such dubious reasoning reveals a lot about you.

Jay, if you're such an independent, how come you are so quick to follow the right's playbook of dishonestly defaming anyone who questions the policies of the current administration? Couldn't you have had your "polite, composed, non-hysterical" and serious discussion of torture without starting it off by dismissing the opinion of someone who has unique insight on the subject, on no evidence whatsoever? One would find your appeals for serious and polite discussion more convincing if you hadn't.

How do you know th... (Below threshold)
Franco:

How do you know there is no permanent physical damage?

Have physical therapists test people before waterboarding and then after waterboarding? And maybe follow up tests every 5 years?

Or do you just mean no readily apparent physical marks and that all that matters?

So much for non hysteric... (Below threshold)
Eric Forhan:

So much for non hysterical commentary.

No kidding. Reasonable discourse in America is pretty much dead. I'd love to have a discussion on this that doesn't fall into hyperbole, but obviously we're past that stage in this thread.

I truly am sad for America.

Bamboo under the nails will... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Bamboo under the nails will leave scars. So will electrocution (I've been burned by electricity in my business a couple of times).

Waterboarding... not so much.

You also sidestep the issue of the seering, shooting and excruciating pain that goes along with bamboo and electrocution. Waterboarding causes panic. I'm fine with that.

Assail it all you want. In my opinion (which probably isn't worth much) that is acceptable. You don't have to agree with me. And to be honest, I don't care if you do.

JT, I thank you for a thoug... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

JT, I thank you for a thought provoking post. I will say that there are now two kinds of citizens in the world. Pre 9/11 and post 9/11. When you have a people that would gladly die for their belief in the destruction of this country and its' citizens, what do you do? How do you protect yourself from such an enemy? I think at times all of us have taken their eye off the ball. We need to do whatever possible to prevent our enemies from killing innocent people.

Now we are talking about sensations, hurt, pain, emotional stress, like it is worse then dying a horrific death. Come on. I know 3000 US citizens would trade their place right now to have water boarding done to them for a short period. I know 3000+ families of those lost that would endure water boarding to get them back.

I say to my government, DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO KEEP IT'S CITIZENS SAFE. PERIOD.

All this other stuff is just white noise.

I did not like spanking my son when he was growing up. I did not like punishing him to teach him a lesson. But I knew it was good for him. I didn't have to like it. Things are just plain necessary.

Some times I think I am in bizarro world when I read the concerns of how we treat terrorists. It is a new day. A new world. We should adjust.

Now I am getting off my soap box. ww

Jay, if you're such an i... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Jay, if you're such an independent, how come you are so quick to follow the right's playbook of dishonestly defaming anyone who questions the policies of the current administration?

I love projection, it makes me laugh.
According to the left, if you dispute their arguments, you're defaming them. But if they call you a nazi? That's perfectly okay.

Sorry, I meant to hit "clea... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Sorry, I meant to hit "clear" instead of "submit" as I don't really want to get into side issues with mantis so just pretend I didn't say that. I will ignore any responses as I don't want this thread to get sidetracked.

I'll say, use waterboarding, it's not torture.

Check out these two Democratic Underground types, they keep trying to beat each other's time.
It doesn't sound like torture to me. Unpleasant, yes. Torture? No more than hot and cold rooms, nekkidness, fake, menstrual blood or barking dogs.

I'll agree with Jay's bit about mock executions, that's cruel and unusual. But waterboarding? It's used to train our troops. Tell me when we start pulling fingernails and I'll scream "Torture" with the rest of you.
Also, these interrogation techniques aren't used for confessions or anything, they're for getting actionable intelligence to stop terrorist attacks.

AFAIK, they are much like the "warrantless wiretaps" in that they are used to get information to stop terrorists from killing people and cannot be used to convict.

There was an article by Gab... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

There was an article by Gabriel Schoenfeld called "Torture Logic" in the Weekly Standard last Friday. In the article he addresses the question whether or not "torture" is ever acceptable in the war against Islamofacism. He was examining the positions of Dimmie candidates, and was clearly annoyed with the moral grandstanding and hypocrisy of their absolutist positions on the matter unless it helped them:

But what is galling is the sanctimony and the moral grandstanding of those who would ban harsh interrogation methods absolutely--except in those instances when they would authorize them themselves.

I'm all for waterboarding Khlaid Sheik Mohammad, short of causing him physical or bodily harm (though that temptation would be great to resist). I even think the same treatment can be done to OBL's "chauffeur"; he's close to bin laden and knows how he moves, what locales he likes to frequent, etc. He may be low level, but he likely has valuable info. As for the "shepherd" caught in the field of battle, probably doesn't have enough info to even warrant harsh interrogation.

What annoys me greatly about these conversations is when someone says "torture never works" and that the tortured only say what the torturer wants to hear. Rubbish. Look, no one here is a professional, well-trained and experienced interrogator, or probably even knows one, so how can they possibly know that? Pardon the pun, but it beats me.

Yes, I've read the Times report where psychologists allege that "harsh methods" (undefined) that involved "pressure and pain" don't work. I agree with Jay Tea's definition of torture as "the deliberate infliction of injury or extreme pain". Is waterboarding that? No. Is loud music that? No. Harsh light? No. Breaking someone's fingers, denying medical treatment, beatings, slappings,etc.? Yup. Without a doubt.

But to morally grandstand and paint these terroists as somehow being today's version of Steven Biko, and granting them immunity from harsh interrogations, is preposterous and highly un-serious.

I would object to loud musi... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

I would object to loud music though. Hearing damage is a bad thing in the long run. Loud enough annoying music (Spice Girls, Aqua, Enya, etc...) is fair game).

Jay, at the risk of being a... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Jay, at the risk of being a smart ass, we have a legal definition of torture already.

The CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to which the United States and United Kingdom are signatories, defines it thusly:

For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.

The key word is "severe".

Mantis, I realize what I've... (Below threshold)
Boyd Author Profile Page:

Mantis, I realize what I've written about Malcolm can read like baseless ad hominem. And to be honest, my statements have nothing to do with the position Malcolm takes regarding waterboarding. I've known him for over 20 years, and in that time, I've learned to look with a jaundiced eye at anything he says.

Regardless, I completely appreciate your point. Please trust me when I say my reaction has nothing to do with Malcolm's politics. I've just learned over the years that when Malcolm says something is so, even if I agree with it, I need to find another source to substantiate the information.

I don't want to argue aroun... (Below threshold)
Matt:

I don't want to argue around and around if waterboarding is/isn't torture, I understand it is something that most people will decide for themselves and won't be readily disuaded from, myself included.

Final thought. Would it be okay for the government of Mynmar to waterboard foreign journalists (declared illegal and personna non-grata) in order for them find out where Budhist Monks or pro-democracy leaders might be hiding? Remember, Myanmar is a recognized government and they percieve the pro-democracy movement as a legitmate threat?

All too often is see writer... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

All too often is see writers claiming that "torture doesn't work" according to the experts.
So if a procedure works is must not be torture ?

We are interrogating these guys for information we know they have i.e. names of cell members, unit/cell operational methods, contacts, phone numbers, emails, etc. not for them to admit they are a terrorist (we kind of already know that). Anyone under enough duress would admit to being a terrorist (especially since we don't march you out and shoot/behead or otherwise kill you).

Since we are at war with these guys as opposed to rounding them up for criminal trials methods that would be morally or legally suspect in a criminal investigation have to be on the table.

I think its simple, the Geneva Convention says we are allowed to executed nearly everyone of the Gitmo guys for being an unlawful combatent. I think everyone of them would opt for waterboarding instead.

For those that claim our servicemen captured by AQ will be treated more severly. Are you kidding me ? Mr. Berg and Mr. Perl might beg to differ.

One of the countries we are... (Below threshold)
Franco:

One of the countries we are occupying, Iraq, is exporting terrorism to Turkey right now.

This brings up a few questions.

Just about everyone I've ev... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Just about everyone I've ever heard on BOTH sides of this discussion gets it wrong. Not because they are idiots (in most cases, at least) but because they have no understanding of interrogation.

Any 'confession' or information obtained from someone through the infliction of pain or threat of injury/death is highly suspect and useless. OF COURSE most people will tell you what they think you want to hear, true or not, to save themselves pain or worse. And there are those, dedicated and conditioned, who CAN hold out or provide false but believable information. Our own military trains certain of its members in how to do this.

Interrogators know this. The purpose of 'harsh interrogation' is not to get them to say what you want to hear in order to make it stop. The purpose is DISORIENTATION. Through stress, fatigue and confusion a person's will and ability to resist divulging information is compromised. THAT is the purpose of ALL the various techniques. Not to get someone so scared they tell you what you want to know but to get them disoriented to the point that they do so even though they try to avoid it.

? Remember, Myanmar is a... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

? Remember, Myanmar is a recognized government and they percieve the pro-democracy movement as a legitmate threat?

Sorry, I don't do moral equivalence. You can't compare dictatorships to free nations.

But to answer your question, yes, I think it would be perfectly okay for Myanmar to waterboard journalists as oppposed to what they usually do to dissidents.

As a matter of fact, I would prefer they waterboarded the monks to what they did, slaughter them like chickens and use the real kind of torture, the kind that leaves the walls splattered with blood.
Myanmar does the real kind of torture, just like China, Iran, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sudan and all the other totatilarian states out there. If you don't believe they torture, go there and spout off against their gov't.
Count your fingers, toes and limbs before you go so you'll know how many you've lost.

Paul,Thanks for em... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Paul,

Thanks for emphasing severe pain or suffering in the definition. That would pretty much put the discussion of waterboarding to rest since from everything I've read about it the odds of severe physical pain and suffering etc is small.

what about the sever mental pain and suffering part? Could triggering a persons psyiological reaction to almost drowning be considered severe mental pain and suffering? Even if they know you won't drown them, they're body should react like it is being drowned.

Reading through Mr. Nance's... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Reading through Mr. Nance's article, I found the final piece in the puzzle as to why I find that Waterboarding isn't torture.

Mr. Nance states in the 2nd paragraph of point 2, that "Waterboarding... in the American model, occurs under the watch of a doctor, a psychologist, an interrogator and a trained strap-in/strap-out team."

I ask a simple question? If the health and wellbeing of the detainee being interrogated via waterboarding were NOT paramount... why do they have a doctor, psychiatrist, and team to strap them off (quickly I would imagine) on hand? Of all the people he lists, there's only 1 person there asking the questions and conducting the "torture".

I submit that the waterboarding perpetrated by the North Vietnamese to Adm. Stockdale, or Sen. John McCain is NOT the waterboarding we conduct. We use it to gain information and show the utmost care for the health of the subject. The North Vietnamese (and others)? Not so much.

Veeshir,You are ri... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Veeshir,

You are right, I should of not used a moral equivalency argument. I would agree that waterboarding would be a significant improvement over the normal forms of torture used by many countries.

I was trying to illustrate that sometimes methods that are acceptable/not acceptable are a matter of perspective.

Interesting discussion. I h... (Below threshold)
patrick:

Interesting discussion. I have not commented on here for awhile but still read. I have a hard time with the concept of torturing. As was said earlier most of us have a predetermined point of view so we probably won't dissuade anyone's beliefs but I view the question as where do we draw the line. Someone said if waterboarding saves one US soldier then it's ok. Does that put all items on the table? If we are a nation of laws and draw the torture line further and further toward true cruelty then we are no better than governments who condone this activity. If we have sent people to be interrogated by governments that do this does that wash our hands of being animals? The enemy combatants in Gitmo by the way are not convicted so they are not necessarily there by choice.

Does anybody have a link to... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Does anybody have a link to a reasonably formal or widely accepted definition of waterboarding, and how it should be done in order not harm the subject?

Is the description in Nance's article accurate?

Oh, hogswallop patrick.... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Oh, hogswallop patrick.

They're not "enemy combatants." They're "unlawful combatants" and should be thankful the US isn't following through with what they're legally able to do and execute them.

I was trying to illustr... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

I was trying to illustrate that sometimes methods that are acceptable/not acceptable are a matter of perspective.

ExSubNuke exploded that theory as well, they don't do the same things in the same way. Just because I think Saddam's election was a farce and the vote was a waste of time doesn't mean I think you shouldn't vote in America as it's a waste of time.

Totatitarian societies don't view the individual as being important (unless you're the ruler), free nations do.

If it does not intentionall... (Below threshold)
Just Plain Bill:

If it does not intentionally cause permanent injury, as far as I am concerned, it is fair game.

As to the oft quoted definition of torture carried in the UN Treaty, the terrorists are not covered in that definition, as they do not fall into the definition covering armed, lawful combatants.

A jihadist is found in a US... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

A jihadist is found in a US city, along with pics of your home, your office, your kids, their school, etc. Also found are some guns, multiple IDs and passports for him, in different names, maps to get up into Canada, a bunch of cash, etc.

Do you ask him liberally, err, nicely, or, do you do what needs to be done to figure out what his intentions are.

Physiological point:<... (Below threshold)
epador:

Physiological point:

Hypercapnea, not hypoxemia, likely the panic driving stimulus to the individual.

So nix all the arguments about depriving oxygen.

Truly putting water into lungs would cause physical damage unless it was isotonic saline.

"Does anybody have a link t... (Below threshold)
Ken:

"Does anybody have a link to a reasonably formal or widely accepted definition of waterboarding, and how it should be done in order not harm the subject?"

His description (water entering the lungs) is the first time I have heard of that happening. A Fox reporter actually was waterboarded on camera and NO water entered his mouth, let alone his lungs. When our spec ops guys go through the procedure no water enters the lungs. I think that reporter embellished the story to make it sound worse than it is.

"A Fox reporter actually wa... (Below threshold)
Franco:

"A Fox reporter actually was waterboarded on camera"

If it was voluntary it wasn't waterboarding.

"if it was voluntary it was... (Below threshold)
Ken:

"if it was voluntary it wasn't waterboarding."

Explain please. The procedure is straightforward and apparently not too difficult (see the DU dunderheads). The procedure tricks the brain into thinking you will drown, and whether voluntary or not the result is the same.

It's treated as being the s... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

It's treated as being the same if differing methods and health support functions are used.

Yet if the exact same methods (and results) are used (and obtained), if it's administered to a volunteer... it's different.

How odd.

Whether it is physical or m... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Whether it is physical or mental it is torture.

Every time you see an expert on TV discussing interrogation tactics they all end-up saying the same thing that torture leads to unreliable intelligence.

Dems? Unreliable intelligen... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

Dems? Unreliable intelligence?

Hmmmm,

Every time you see an ex... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Every time you see an expert on TV discussing interrogation tactics they all end-up saying the same thing that torture leads to unreliable intelligence.

"They" who, Barney? Which "experts"? Names, sources, background. Provide them.

I don't have an issue whats... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

I don't have an issue whatsoever with anything deemed coercive or harshly interrogated someone provided that there is sufficient evidence that the individual knows information or that the person has an absolute connection to a terrorist organization.

I agree with what someone said up above about motive defines what is and isn't torture. Or at least what should and shouldn't be allowed. The same act done for different reasons is obviously completely different. Using extreme methods on a person against their will to extract information is not wrong. Possibly bringing harm to one person that has connections to dangerous organizations in order to save many other innocent lives is nothing to be ashamed of doing. Bringing harm to someone for purely personal and sadistic reasons is another story entirely.

What is quite simply amazing to me is that this is even a debate here. I highly doubt al-qaeda is debating whether the latest beheading was taking it a little too far, or maybe that next car bombing with women and children around was immoral.

People too readily grant our enemies a moral equivalence where none exists.

Not to mention i wouldn't want our enemies to know how harsh or how soft we go on our prisoners. It gives them a chance to prepare mentally, as well as if the measures aren't all that extreme, they know they can endure it and they won't be harmed. These people we are dealing with need to be severely frightened into giving up information and when the imagination is running wild at what might happen next, that could be the best tactic at our disposal.

Maybe the right answer to w... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Maybe the right answer to whether waterboarding is/is not torture is to compare it to other common compliance techniques widely used in our society.

If it is about the same or less dangerous, debilitating, painful and mentally stressful than being hit with a taser or sprayed full on with high quality pepper spray, than it might not qualify as torture.

"........experts on TV........ (Below threshold)
Ken:

"........experts on TV............. torture leads to unreliable intelligence."

Yeah, except for the data we got from KSM and who knows who-else that have in fact proved to be vital in our war with these fanatics. Those "experts" tend to be State Dept. cronies who are against this administration and the war itself.

What is quite simply amazin... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

What is quite simply amazing to me is that this is even a debate here. I highly doubt al-qaeda is debating whether the latest beheading was taking it a little too far, or maybe that next car bombing with women and children around was immoral.
-------------------------------------
In fact, it doesn't seem to bother liberal left at all. They were completely silent even when AlQ cooked children to intimidate the parents. That 's how much these folks care about torture.

Oh, and KSM dropped the dim... (Below threshold)
Ken:

Oh, and KSM dropped the dime on his entire network specifically because of waterboarding. So that proves false the "doesn't work" argument. And he is no worse for the wear from the procedure.

"Yeah, except for the data ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"Yeah, except for the data we got from KSM and who knows who-else that have in fact proved to be vital in our war with these fanatics." ken

Ken that is not true or least not supported by know reports. Khalid has confessed to dozens of AQ operations real or imagined. I think he confessed to killing Anna Nicole. His confessions could be used against the prosecution or investigation of the real ring leaders if he is lying.

Army Col. Stuart Herrington... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Army Col. Stuart Herrington, a military intelligence specialist who conducted interrogations in Vietnam, Panama and Iraq during Desert Storm, and who was sent by the Pentagon in 2003 -- long before Abu Ghraib -- to assess interrogations in Iraq. Aside from its immorality and its illegality, says Herrington, torture is simply "not a good way to get information." In his experience, nine out of 10 people can be persuaded to talk with no "stress methods" at all, let alone cruel and unusual ones. Asked whether that would be true of religiously motivated fanatics, he says that the "batting average" might be lower: "perhaps six out of ten." And if you beat up the remaining four? "They'll just tell you anything to get you to stop."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A2302-2005Jan11.html

So what, Barney? You don't... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

So what, Barney? You don't seem to understand that the claim of the unreliability of the information gleaned from pressure interrogation is a red herring argument. Sorting through information to discover what is useful and what is not is a common intelligence function.

And your claims about KSM are just fevered inventions on your part.

You are just continuing to embarrass yourself Barney.

From the article below:... (Below threshold)
Ken:

From the article below:

"A current CIA official says that KSM actually told interrogators the only reason he confessed was because of the water-boarding."


http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/09/how-the-cia-bro.html

If it was voluntary it w... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

If it was voluntary it wasn't waterboarding.

But you claimed earlier the "absolute panic of facing death" was an involuntary result. How can it be an involuntary reflex, yet a volunteer does not experience this?


I agree with what someon... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I agree with what someone said up above about motive defines what is and isn't torture. Or at least what should and shouldn't be allowed. The same act done for different reasons is obviously completely different.

Well, the Bush Justice Department disagrees with you. At least on paper.

There is no exception under the statute permitting torture to be used for a "good reason." Thus, a defendant's motive (to protect national security, for example) is not relevant to the question whether he has acted with the requisite specific intent under the statute.... Thus, for example, the fact that a victim might have avoided being tortured by cooperating with the perpetrator would not make permissible actions otherwise constituting torture under the statute. Presumably that has frequently been the case with torture, but that fact does not make the practice of torture any less abhorrent or unlawful.
"A current CIA official say... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

"A current CIA official says that KSM actually told interrogators the only reason he confessed was because of the water-boarding."
-------------------------------------
And that 's why liberals are trying to make it "torture" so that we can talk nicely to terrorists again. If we cannot glean any more useful information, we can always blame Bush.

Would this discussion have ... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Would this discussion have even taken place 6 years ago? 10 years ago? 15 years ago?

Good Grief people, we are the United States of America. Any 3rd rate country can and maybe does conduct this in the name of "national security."
Go see the movie "Rendition"
or for real life...
The French in 1957..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXA8ob5jlRc

We all support this..until we all demand it ends..
Our enemies in WW II used it
http://lawofwar.org/what's_new.htm

How long..has this been going on
How long will will pretend it is needed
for "national security?"

Editor's note: This is precisely the sort of thing I was expecting when I posted the "special rules." Nogo's whole statement boils down to "(e)mpty invective, gibbering tirades, and insulting comments." Note that nogo's "evidence" is a piece of fiction and similar -- similar -- techniques. In both cases the subjects aspirated water; in waterboarding (as I've heard it defined by most people), no water is inhaled. The differences are significant; a good comparison might be a guy who gropes a grown woman on the subway with a child rapist.

That it took over six hours and nearly 100 comments for anyone to trigger the rules (Tom, LoveAmericaImmigrant, if you wonder where your comments went, they ended up in the bit-bucket) was a very pleasant surprise. My thanks, folks, for a thoughtful and intelligent discussion.)

J.

So, I've yet to read or hea... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

So, I've yet to read or hear fromt anti-torture crowd what are acceptable harsh interrogation methods that can be implemented in order to coerce information from a stubborn subject. Would any of you care to elaborate and what methods might be acceptable, or are you just going to keep spouting your absolutist and untenable rhetoric?

Nogo -- try to be a little ... (Below threshold)
Ken:

Nogo -- try to be a little more concise there. A question for ya - in your world, how would you recommend we deal with people who want nothing more than our destruction?

"If it was voluntary it was... (Below threshold)
Proof:

"If it was voluntary it wasn't waterboarding."
I think Franco is on to something! If it's voluntary, it isn't torture!
Therefore, we ask the detainees, "Would you rather be waterboarded or shot?"
When they choose waterboarding-- no problem! It's voluntary!

An interesting thread....an... (Below threshold)

An interesting thread....and good choice of topic Jay.

At the end of the day, I'm with WW and ExSubNuke on this. Historical and legal precedent is important, but we live in a post 9/11 world.
FDR ate civil liberties for breakfast every day in WWII...we are in the same type of emergency today.

Silly debate. The enemy re... (Below threshold)
LenS:

Silly debate. The enemy refuses to sign or abide by the Geneva Convention. Therefore, neither should we. They haven't earned honorable treatment. We should return what they do 100-fold until they're dead or broken and willing to do whatever we tell them to do. Until Americans start acting like this is a war to the knife, this war will go on forever. Or until the left surrenders us

There is great truth in th... (Below threshold)

There is great truth in the old saying that "ALL IS FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR". To define war as other than the attempt by one group to totally destroy another is a symptom of the folly of the age. Our enemies have no such caveats in their procedure manuals and to take the "high road" when your sworn and numerous and well funded and savvy enemy does not is suicidal not civilized! the 'ol Perfessor

Hello. Did anyone read Mik... (Below threshold)
epador:

Hello. Did anyone read Mike's comment way above?

Its all about disorganizing, confusing and disorienting the individual to break down their normal defense mechanisms.

It doesn't make someone hypoxic or deprive them of oxygen.

It doesn't put water in the lungs.

It works, too.

Now perhaps the naysayers would prefer a TV show "Mission Impossible" scenario to fool and disorient our enemies into giving away their secrets. THAT would be a fantasy that doesn't come true.

I agree with the sentiment ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I agree with the sentiment that this is a silly debate. If it involves real torture like pulling finger nails, driving nails into fingers, chopping up fingers, burning, etc..., then we can get worked up about it. Waterboarding? Let the MediaMatters liberals worry about that.

exsubnukeI disagree ... (Below threshold)
patrick:

exsubnuke
I disagree with you about the unlawful combatants, there is evidence that some were just sold out, even if the evidence is false they deserve a day in court. I didn't pay attention to the name of the person who parroted Michael Savage's challenge I just heard on the radio "what would I do if there was a dirty bomb in my town and we caught the guy, etc. is that the situation that we have? Do we all squat down to savagery from our civilized intellect? I am a eteran and I understand the feelings of the military, but last night Oriellly was talking about Cuba releasimg video that might put our soldiers in jeopardy, doesn't torture do that? To quote Oriely :ypu can't have it both ways.

patrick, the terrorists beh... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

patrick, the terrorists behead anyone that they capture already, how could "torture" put our soldiers in jeopardy? Does anyone think before parroting that thin argument?

Thank you epador. I was be... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Thank you epador. I was beginning to think no one at all read it.

Again, we don't 'torture' people until they tell us what we want to make it stop. Skilled interrogators break down their defenses until they give away the information despite themselves.

It keeps coming back to thi... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

It keeps coming back to this moral equivalence the left places on us to the terrorists. Because they have a gripe, no matter how illegitimate, we are supposed to accept that. We are so much stronger and therefore supposed to back down and give them the same rights as our own citizens.

This is absurd.

We are fighting a war where geneva conventions are irrelevant based on the style and the substance of the war al-qaeda wages against us. We don't have the luxury to sit back and afford these people rights that do not belong to them.

Let me put it this way. Say you're playing a game of poker with friends and one of your friends just lost everything. You decide to be a nice guy and give your friend a few chips to stay in the game. Next thing you know your friend and you are the only two left and he is handing you your behind on a platter.

This is what the left wants to do with this war. We are too strong so we need to hand these guys some chips to make us look like "good people" at the expense of our national security.

Remember the hezbollah and israel conflict recently? remember the "disproportionate use of force"? this is the same kind of thing the left wants to do in this war to the US. They need a quagmire in order to make Bush look like a failure. I wonder how broken down and destroyed al-qaeda would be if this country appeared to the outside world as a united unsurmountable force. Instead we have people like Pelosi meeting with dictators, Bill Clinton trash talking our country overseas, Murtha calling our troops murderers and any number of democrats, Harry Reid included, declaring this war lost and calling our number 1 general a liar. Now what would you think if you were Osama? Obviously thats the side you buddy up to if you are going to win the war.

I think part of the problem... (Below threshold)
AkBigBoy:

I think part of the problem, all alluded by Jay, is that we want to drill down to some level of detail so that we might prepare a detailed rule book along the lines of A is permissible and B is not. The distinction between the fear of being drowned and actually killing someone in this fashion is obvious. The utility of telling the bad guys up front where we are willing to go and where we are not is far less so. We cannot say that this particular technique does not work (we know that it did at least once on an ALQ big), we cannot say that upholding an outright ban on the practice provides a measure of protection for our troops (We're not fighting the Germans in this war). About the only thing we can say is that we don't want to because we either want to feel morally superior to our enemy, or else we just don't want to win bad enough to pay this particular price.

Much of this is also situational, and rule books are not generally logic trees. Things that might be very horrible indeed may be acceptable, and even moral, if the tradeoff prevents something worse, say the Jack Bauer scenario. Save 9 million people at the cost of torturing one, or allow them to die and say you were right to do so? The big problem is: it is very unlikely that you will know that the given person strapped to the chair at any given time has the actual information that you need. It is quite likely that many mistakes will be made.

So maybe we have to answer some other hard questions, like is our desire to avoid inflicting this kind of suffering on someone worth the lives of many millions of Americans. On the other side: Is the fantastically small chance that any given person might have information that can only be obtained in this way, worth the inevitable price of performing these techniques on many of the wrong people?

Dave W I have a few issues ... (Below threshold)
stanvan:

Dave W I have a few issues with what you wrote and I really am not trying to flame or be rude but instead I'm just trying to present the otherside. it's cool if I don't convince you.

The first thing about what you wrote that inspired me to reply was the idea of granting rights to terrorist. First off I would like to point out that these are, accused terrorst. They have not been convicted.

I think this is a crucial distinction because as a nation we have always beleived in innocent 'till proven guilty. The reason is because the power for abuse is there. For example, what if the government accused you of being a terrorist? In a rational society you would have a right to stand up in court to your accusers and say "prove it, Show me whyyou think I am a terrorist!"

Under what you are proposing they have the right to whisk you away and torture any information out of you, without you getting a chance to demonstrate you might be innocent. Even if their motives are purely trying to avoid disaster for this country, it is not a lot of fun if you actually are innocent and someone is pretending to drown you.

Secondly, I think it this really hurts our reputation in the world. We hated Saddamm and Hitler and Stalin because they were the kind of people that whisked away their enimies to to secret prisions to be tortured. Do we really want to emmulate that?

Finally, I think it leads to bad information.
When people are being tortured they will tell you anyhting to make it stop. Anything.

Lets say again you were being tortured and someone asked you to name the capital of austrailia. (In this absurd example the people torturing don't know that infomration) You will scream out anyhting you know about Austraila. You might scream melbourne instead of Canberra the actuall capital.


A better example lets say we have a guy named Youssef, who just for the sake of argument happens to be innocent an innocent man is accused of being a terrorist we made a mistake and don't know it, so we torture him. before long he is telling us his cousin Achbid is planning to blow up the golden gate bridge. in the example Achbid is a just a family man, but Youseef who really knew nothing about terrorism is willing to say anyhting or blame anyone. John McCain, who knows a bit about torture has said it leads to bad information.

My point is that torture is a bad way to get good info.

In fact just recently, world war 2 interogaters have come out against this because they were able to gets good information out of the nazis without torture. One ex soldier said he got more info with a friendly game of chess and well placed questions than any of this torture crap we are doing now.

Anyhway I doubt i changed any minds but I wanted to get my two cents in.
Just my two cents. If you don't agree don't flame I'm just trying to show the other side.

THE BEACH BOYS never record... (Below threshold)

THE BEACH BOYS never recorded any fun surf songs about "Waterboarding", therefore you can assume that it's not a pleasant practice to the victims.

You cannot compare WWII wit... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

You cannot compare WWII with today. That is apples an oranges. The Nazi's for the most part treated our prisoners according to the conventions. Not todays enemy. They will take a sword and cut the soldiers head off while being wide awake. But if we catch that terrorist, we must not let him have the "sensation" of drowning? Come on. Wake up. ww

"...torture...torture...... (Below threshold)

"...torture...torture...torture..."
Posted by Brian | October 30, 2007 6:15 PM

That's the whole point of this post, Brian. Is waterboarding "torture"? Or is it a technique that does not cause permanent damage, severe pain or extensive suffering, but can and has produced solid results? The most common sense statement I've read here (and I've read all the comments) is Mike's (Posted by Mike | October 30, 2007 3:38 PM) as follows:

The purpose of 'harsh interrogation' is not to get them to say what you want to hear in order to make it stop. The purpose is DISORIENTATION. Through stress, fatigue and confusion a person's will and ability to resist divulging information is compromised. THAT is the purpose of ALL the various techniques. Not to get someone so scared they tell you what you want to know but to get them disoriented to the point that they do so even though they try to avoid it.

It would be utterly stupid to take any technique to a degree that would produce a confession to anything just to make it stop. The desire is to glean actionable intelligence for the purpose of saving innocent life.

For any other purpose, many 'techniques' would indeed be defined as torture as it denotes evil intent. Al Qaeda often uses torture to get the person to confess to 'sins' in order to justify their eventual killing of that person. They use torture on a subject and then film them saying things they don't believe or wouldn't normally say for propaganda purposes. And they use torture for the mere sadistic pleasure of it.

I don't know about some of you, but I don't believe we have ever sanctioned the use of any technique for these purposes.
---------------
On a side note, I'm surprised that nogo was the only one flagged for his comment. I would have booted Barney just for his Anna Nicole comment. And a couple others just for thoughtless blanket statements.

I tend to be legalistic abo... (Below threshold)
Weegie:

I tend to be legalistic about "torture". It is defined in the Geneva Conventions as the infliction of "severe pain or suffering, physical or mental".

However, there is no international agreement that specifically defines what is and is not torture. That is left up to the signatory nations to define. This is the gray area.

Obviously, waterboarding does not inflict severe physical pain or suffering.

And it is also questionable whether it causes severe mental pain or suffering.

Because it's true effect is in creating intense panic and fear, without causing any lasting effects.

As I said, it's a very gray area. But when it comes to high profile jihadist targets, I have no problem with using it, or any of the other aggressive interrogation techniques.

This is because by their own actions, they've placed themselves outside the protections of the Geneva Protocols.

Patrick,I apprecia... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Patrick,

I appreciate the point you make. However, having served in the military, and knowing the kind of people who are still in the service, I tend to believe in a certain amount of compitence and decency.

If there does happen to be some errant goat-herder who was sold out by his brother-in-law Khalid, his case will be getting looked at. There will be someone looking at his case file and determining what's what. It's not going to be a simple case of "Welcome to Gitmo. Now, strap him down boys, and don't forget the bucket." I have to believe, taking my own experiences into account, that there are progressive steps. If all it takes is a hot coffee and ham sandwich for him to spill his soul on what he does (or doesn't) know in the first 10 minutes, I have a hard time believing that he'd be a candidate for waterboarding. And even if he is, use our waterboarding techniques (the one that has a medical team standing by), not the local dictator's.

Discussions like this are tough, and decisions based on them are even tougher. I don't envy the President and his staff for having to make them all the time. And sometimes, all the choices suck in one form or another. So, taking all that into account, as cold as it may seem, I'm still a firm believer in what I learned from Star Trek 3. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one."

If mistakes are made in the earnest pursuit of information to keep our soldiers and citizens safe, try to learn from them, and prevent those mistakes from happening again. If that means refining your methods. Do that. If that means never taking guys in for questioning that Khalid (the goat-herders brother-in-law) fingers. Do that too.

Think of me or my beilefs what you will, but I sleep sound at night, and I'm not ashamed to look in the eyes of that guy in the mirror.

Brian,Did you actu... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Brian,

Did you actually read the position paper from the Justice Department you cite? Or did you stop when you got to the part you agreed with?

Some observations, however, are appropriate. It is clear that the specific intent element of section 2340 would be met if a defendant performed an act and "consciously desire[d]" that act to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering. 1 LaFave, Substantive Criminal Law § 5.2(a), at 341. Conversely, if an individual acted in good faith, and only after reasonable investigation establishing that his conduct would not inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering, it appears unlikely that he would have the specific intent necessary to violate sections 2340-2340A. Such an individual could be said neither consciously to desire the proscribed result, see, e.g., Bailey, 444 U.S. at 405, nor to have "knowledge or notice" that his act "would likely have resulted in" the proscribed outcome, Neiswender, 590 F.2d at 1273

So the question becomes, do the interrogators intend to cause pain and lasting mental harm (which they define in the paper as well, to which a short term "ordeal" isn't considered lasting.) Do they intend death?

More plainly, if they don't "intend" prolonged mental pain (as I think we've all agreed waterboarding doesn't fit into the "physical pain" portion of "torture"), as the end result, or as the most likely result, then it's not torture. If they "intend" to cause disorientation for the purposes of further interrogation (to break them down, if you will), while always under the watchful eye of a medical team to prevent physical and mental harm/pain... then you don't meet ANY of the definitions of "torture" put out thus far.

Basically, you have to be a sadistic bastard, looking to cause physical or mental pain as the intended or likely end result, for it to be deemed "torture."

Forgot to add in the last p... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Forgot to add in the last post,


It's, admittedly, a VERY fine line to walk between with "intent" and waterboarding.

In a time of war when infor... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

In a time of war when information can make the difference between 1 person dying or many, if that SOB has intell I need they're going to give it up or suffer until they do.

I also liked Jennifer's last statement:

"I must be old fashioned, because I really think that the solution is not in the laws, but in regulating the attorneys and the wayward agenda setting judges."

I may have missed something... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I may have missed something, but waterboarding has definitely been described as torture when it was used on Americans in the past. There seems little doubt about its effectiveness, but it is still torture.

It's treated as being th... (Below threshold)
sean nyc/aa:

It's treated as being the same if differing methods and health support functions are used.

Yet if the exact same methods (and results) are used (and obtained), if it's administered to a volunteer... it's different.

How odd.
ExSubNuke

The voluntary examples vs. the real thing are unquestionably quite different. In all the voluntary examples, the person undergoing the waterboarding has the free will of when to make it stop. Once they squeeze their hand or tap their foot, the activities cease. Yes, they may submit themselves to it over and over again, but once they're done, they can get up and just walk away.

Our prisoners do not have this option. If they can only withstand it for 10 seconds, it's done for 20. If they're mentally broken after 10 minutes, it's done for 20 or 30 or an hour. That feeling of helplessness is undoubtedly mental torture.

I loved your link there Ste... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

I loved your link there Steve.
I'll quote it, since you don't.
There are different procedures that all appear to be called "Waterboarding". First, there is the one Mike was talking about, no water breathed in.
Another one of our methods U.S. soldier supervising the questioning of a captured North Vietnamese soldier who is being held down as water was poured on his face while his nose and mouth were covered by a cloth....snip...technique induced "a flooding sense of suffocation and drowning, meant to make him talk."
So, no water breathed in.
Another of ours Subjects were suspended in tanks of water wearing blackout masks that allowed for breathing. Within hours, the subjects felt tension and so-called environmental anxiety
Several hours, somehow, I don't think he was breathing water.

Now, on to the one we called a "war crime"
The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.
See the difference? He was in danger of drowning. He was breathing water.

See the difference?

The khmer rouge were fond o... (Below threshold)
runtum:

The khmer rouge were fond of waterboarding while doing genocide in Cambodia.

The Spanish inquistion was where it allegedly started. the called it tortura del agua. Don\'t speak spanish but I think that means a form of torture.

The victim while not suffering actual physical damage thinks they are going to Die. If thinking you are going to die does not cause incredible torment I\'m not sure what does.

I did a google on whether drowning is painful the annswers that came back suggest it is extremly painful I imagine in order to make you feel you are drowning can\'t be fun.

Make no mistake waterboarding is torture. If you are for it at least call it what it is and say the U.S. should torture.

I still have not seen anyon... (Below threshold)
civildisobedience Author Profile Page:

I still have not seen anyone provide a good fact why we should not be allowed to water board terrorists if they have important information we need. No physical damage, good information, no impact on how American prisoners are treated, and issues of morality are not applicable. QED.

Runtum, the technique that ... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Runtum, the technique that the Spanish Inquisition used was not the same as waterboarding so its name is hardly proof of anything. Yours is not the most impressive logic we've seen.

Here's a simple exercise, i... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Here's a simple exercise, if waterboarding is so bad, it should be possible for an opponent of it to make a coherent and persuasive argument against it without using the word "torture".




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy