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Regarding Those Claims About WWII Waterboarding

A former Wizbang blogger passed along some research he did regarding Paul Begala's recent claim that the U.S. executed Japanese prisoners after WWII for waterboarding. The first thing he learned in his research is that the people in question where not -- as Begala and some lefty bloggers claim -- executed for waterboarding. (National Review had a good post addressing that this weekend citing the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, a.k.a. Tokyo Trials, in which "only seven Japanese war criminals were executed. Every one of them was convicted of either being complicit in or directly committing atrocities and murder on a grand scale.")

In his research he found that not only was no one executed for waterboarding, but no one was prosecuted for waterboarding either:

There were 5 cases where Japanese citizens (one was a Japanese civilian) were prosecuted for torture that INCLUDED as part of the torture charges "water torture." The first problem is they were also charged with much worse things along with "water torture." The second is that the "water torture" that took place then is not the same as CIA "waterboarding."
http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~warcrime/Japan/Yokohama/Reviews/Yokohama_Review_Sawamura.htm

Specifications: beating using among others hands, sword scabbard, saber belt, belt buckle, bamboo sticks, rifle butts; kicking; subjecting PWs to ju-jitsu; forcing PW to stand at attention for a long period of time, sometimes in cold weather without sufficient clothing and on one occasion, in the nude; throwing a bucket of ice cold water over PW in cold weather;water treatment which entailed forcing water down PWs throat and nostrils using among others a hose, tubes; picking up and throwing PW to the ground; banging head against a wall; raising and lowering a sword on a PWs neck in an effort to make him give information.
------------------------------------
http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~warcrime/Japan/Yokohama/Reviews/Yokohama_Review_Minemo.htm

Specifications: beating, kicking, water torture, burning using wood, lighted cigarettes and burning pokers, forcing to stand/kneel in snow w/out adequate protection
------------------------------------
http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~warcrime/Japan/Yokohama/Reviews/Yokohama_Review_Kita.htm

Specifications: beating using hands, fists, stick, rifle; water torture; burning using cigarettes
-----------------------------------
http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~warcrime/Japan/Yokohama/Reviews/Yokohama_Review_Hata.htm

Specifications: beating using among other things belts, fists, bamboo sticks, rifle butts; kicking; water torture; burning using cigarettes; forcing sick PWs to work, refusing to properly treat PWs.


The 5th case he cites is the one Ted Kennedy mentioned in 2006 -- the case of Yukio Asano who got 15 years for torturing prisoners.

From an October 2006 Washington Post report:

Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. "We punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II," he said.

Well, if anyone in the Senate knows about drownings simulated or otherwise, it's Ted Kennedy.

But there are two holes in Kennedy's statement... The first is the charges list many activites, including water torture:


http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~warcrime/Japan/Yokohama/Reviews/Yokohama_Review_Asano.htm

Specifications:beating using hands, fists, club; kicking; water torture; burning using cigarettes; strapping on a stretcher head downward

The second problem with Kennedy's statement is that the "water torture" wasn't the same as CIA waterboarding.... Here are the actual charges....

Specification 1: That in or about July or August, 1943, the accused Yukio Asano, did willfully and unlawfully, brutally mistreat and torture Morris O. Killough, an American Prisoner of War, by beating and kicking him; by fastening him on a stretcher and pouring water up his nostrils.

Specification 2: That on or about 15 May, 1944, at Fukoka Prisoner of War Branch Camp Number 3, Kyushu, Japan, the accused Yukio Asano, did, willfully and unlawfully, brutally mistreat and torture Thomas B. Armitage, William O Cash and Munroe Dave Woodall, American Prisoners of War by beating and kicking them, by forcing water into their mouths and noses; and by pressing lighted cigarettes against their bodies.

He was pouring water DIRECTLY into their nose and mouth... When the CIA waterboards people, a rag is placed over the face to PREVENT water from entering the nose and mouth. This is a much harser and dangerous act. -- In some of the other Japanese cases, the "water torture" included strapping people to ladders and dunking them face down into swimming pools until they passed out. This is not the same as waterboarding.



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Comments (53)

"A former Wizbang blogge... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

"A former Wizbang blogger..."

He who shall not be named. lol

Why let the truth interfere... (Below threshold)
mpw280:

Why let the truth interfere with the narrative you want the press to publish? Certainly not the cretins in DC.

So in conclusion:<... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

So in conclusion:

Anonymous can parse the words of Ted Kennedy so let's drop the subject of torture.

Facts to extreme lefties me... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Facts to extreme lefties means "Whatever we think helps our argument". ww

So in conclusion:... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:


So in conclusion:

Anonymous can parse the words of Ted Kennedy so let's drop the subject of torture.

No.
In conclusion:
The phony claim of people being punished in the past for waterboarding is not a credible claim.
Therefore, if you want to prove that waterboarding is torture, you'll have to come up with a better argument.

The main problem with your ... (Below threshold)
galoob:

The main problem with your (already weak) argument is that most of the other things the Japanese were hanged for are also on the list of Yoo and Bybee approved "enhanced interrogation techniques" -"stress positions" (forced standing) low temperature, sleep deprivation, beating ("insult slaps" wall slamming).

True, there was no burning with cigarettes, but Bybee did approve locking in a box with insects, something the Japanese did not do.

Hey galoob: they dropped a... (Below threshold)
epador:

Hey galoob: they dropped a few firebombs on our coast and we burned Tokyo. Same thing, right?

Lorie...real facts and real... (Below threshold)

Lorie...real facts and real research are so hard for the Left to swallow that your presentation of them COULD be considered "torture".

jus' sayin'

:)

Is Anonymous sayin... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Is Anonymous saying that if Person A is convicted of robbing a bank and brandishing a firearm during a robbery that if Person B JUST robs a bank then the whole subject of his bank robbery should be dropped?

Should the case be dropped if Ted Kennedy said "waving a firearm" instead of "brandishing a firearm?"


Adrian Browne, (a)... (Below threshold)

Adrian Browne,

(a) Ted "The Swimmer" Kennedy has ZERO creds on ANY issue...but especially on anything even remotely associated with "ethics" or "morality"
(b) the subject of THIS thread is the propensity of people like Paul Begala to just make sh*t up! And then have the other networks report what one of their own made up...AS NEWS!!

It's like when the stock market crashed. and President Roosevelt went on TV to reassure all Americans...

Guess the quote:"G... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Guess the quote:

"Governments that must answer to their peoples do not launch wars of aggression. That's why the American people cannot close their eyes to abuses of human rights and injustice, whether they occur among friend or adversary or even on our own shores. "

A. Al Sharpton

B. Janeane Garofalo

C. Ronald Reagan

D. None of the above

The Japanese form of waterb... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The Japanese form of waterboarding is a controlled drowning of the victim. The CIA form of waterboarding is a simulation of a controlled drowning of the victim. Putting a person in a tight box with a deadly insect is torture. Putting a person in a tight box with a harmless insect is simulated torture. Making people stand in the hot sun until they pass out may be torture, but it is (or was) also done in basic training to teach discipline (been there done that). All of the techniques used by the CIA against the masterminds of terror are also used on our own elite troops to better prepare them in case they are captured. However, you can't prepare anyone to have their head cut off with a dull blade, which is what our foes do.

Career military men have this quaint idea about "rules of war", that if the Unites States plays by those rules then so will our foes. However, in all our history only Nazi Germany consistently followed those rules. It's unlikely that any future foe is going to be a party to those rules let alone follow them. Rather than binding ourselves with some pipedream about civilized warfare, we should accept reality and use enhanced interrogation techniques (simulated torture) for the purpose of gaining information that can save American lives.

Well said Mac. The extreme ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Well said Mac. The extreme left has taken their eye off the ball. They lose. ww

The 1983 convictions of Tex... (Below threshold)
JC Hammer:

The 1983 convictions of Texas sheriff James Parker and three of his deputies were wrong? John McCain calls waterboarding a horrible torture technique. Is he wrong? You completely miss the point here. Torture is Torture. It doesn't matter whom who, or whatever the rational is for it does it to. It's Torture, and its Illegal.

well gee, Adrian. lemme tak... (Below threshold)

well gee, Adrian. lemme take a stab at this...Ronald Reagan? What do I win?

Now, of course, let's parse this...

- "...do not launch wars of aggression." Saddam DID, but WE didn't. See 17 U.N. resolutions, as well as the failure to comply with the cease-fire conditions from the 1st Gulf War.

- "abuses of human rights and injustice"
I firmly believe that EVERY human being has an inherent right to be FREE!! Free from confinement, free to go where they want to and do what they want to...so long as they live within the basic guidelines of civilized society! OOPS! So just CONFINING the alQueda scumbags would be a violation of their "human rights" and a grave "injustice" IF they had not strayed from the guidelines of civilized society!

But, of course, plotting and/or carrying out plans to kill THOUSANDS of people, beheading those you capture, raping and pillaging and terrorizing people to attempt to force them to your belief system may not seem to be outside "the guidelines of civilized society", Adrian.

You liberals crack me up. M... (Below threshold)
MPR:

You liberals crack me up. McCain was wrong about "meaningful campaign finance reform". The irony there is that he helped Obamalala get elected. He is wrong about "comprehensive immigration reform". A fighter that gets beat every fight is not an expert on how to "win" fights. Nice try.

Adrian #3, straw man<... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Adrian #3, straw man

Adrian #9, attempt to change the subject

Adrian #11, attempt to change the subject

At what point, Adrian, are you going to post an actual arument on this topic? Is that above your pay grade, or is that not why you are here?

JC Hammer,Is it to... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

JC Hammer,

Is it torture to pick up a someone and dangle them by their legs? I've done that when playing with small kids and they ask for more. Dangle a prisoner by their legs from the top of a building and some will say it's torture, but there's no physical pain involved. If mental distress is torture, then our civilian justice system is full of it. Think of the distress the Duke lacrosse players suffered at the hands of a rogue prosecutor who, by the way, got only one day in jail. Obviously, mental distress is not torture under U.S. law, and thus, simulating torture is not the same thing as torture. Only 3 year-olds go around saying torture is torture as if that had any meaning.

The real problem people have with torture and even simulating torture is one of ethics. However, it's lunacy to claim that protecting the united states justifies stealthily lobbing hellfire missiles into homes where women and children are often present, yet claim it's a crime to even slap the face of one of the masterminds of terror. Obama has ordered the former and ascribes to the later, which means he's a lunatic. Question is, are you also a lunatic?

JC -I'm sure any o... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

JC -

I'm sure any of our soldiers captured by the enemy would prefer to be stacked in a pile and have women point at their genitals and laugh. And that they be 'waterboarded' rather than have their heads (or genitals) cut off.

But go ahead and pay silly semantics games. They're seemingly SO important to the left - like theological discussions on how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Radical Islam doesn't play those same games. And you try to play the 'Is it torture or not?' game with them - they'll hand you your head in a basket.

Would you REALLY rather see 9/11 type events in LA or Washington rather than save it through info gotten by waterboarding?

Do you REALLY believe the American PEOPLE would?

17,"At what point, A... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

17,
"At what point, Adrian, are you going to post an actual arument on this topic? Is that above your pay grade, or is that not why you are here?"

What IS the topic of this post? Lorie doesn't make it clear. There isn't any conclusion -- there isn't anything to argue unless as Justrand says "the subject of THIS thread is the propensity of people like Paul Begala to just make sh*t up!"

If that is the topic of this post then I would have to agree. People like Paul Begala go on tv and say anything they want whether it's true or not.


Adrian,Sooooo, wha... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Adrian,

Sooooo, what you're saying is that you made 2 comments (#3 & #9) on this post before having any freaking clue what the topic of the post is about? And then after Justrand cleared it up for you, you still make another comment (#11) that has nothing to do with the topic.

Seriously, why DO you comment here? It clearly isn't to ADD anything to the conversation.

What IS the topic ... (Below threshold)
What IS the topic of this post? Lorie doesn't make it clear. There isn't any conclusion -- there isn't anything to argue unless as Justrand says "the subject of THIS thread is the propensity of people like Paul Begala to just make sh*t up!"

If that is the topic of this post then I would have to agree. People like Paul Begala go on tv and say anything they want whether it's true or not.

After making multiple posts on this particular topic, Adrian then takes a step back and says "Uhhhhh...what's the point of this post?"

Ladies and gentlemen, that right there is a stunning example of concentrated stupid.

Heh, thanks for the laugh Adrian.

I think Adrian comments her... (Below threshold)
max:

I think Adrian comments here solely for the purpose of cracking me up. And if that's the case he has my eternal gratitude.

Sometimes the only response to idiocy is mockery.

I don't know that in any of... (Below threshold)

I don't know that in any of these reports or blog postings has the actual substance of the Japanese "water torture" been discussed. Comparing it to waterboarding is laughable.

The Japanese water torture was used by the Imperial Japanese Army and the Kempetei on political dissidents (particularly Chinese) and Allied POWs, not to gain information but as punishment, often arbitrarily. A type of funnel, usually formed from a towel, was placed over the victim's mouth and nose. At the same time, a 5-gallon can was filled with water and usually urine and kerosine. The concoction was poured into the funnel, and the victim had to either swallow all 5 gallons of this mixture or drown.

Having swallowed 5 gallons of this liquid, the victim's stomach would stretch and swell. The victim would then be bound, often with barbed wire, and the stomach would be struck, either with a rod of some sort or soldiers would even jump on it, depending on how the prisoner was bound. This pressure could easily cause the bloated stomach to burst. If not, the victim was then hanged by his ankles and the liquid would drain out through his mouth, risking drowning once again. The process could then be repeated.

Those out there comparing waterboarding to the Japanese water torture have no idea what they are talking about, and once again reveal their ignorance of history.

Just for the record, I was ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Just for the record, I was NOT Lorie's source for this article. I like it, agree with it, and wish I could take credit for it, but it wasn't me.

J.

No conspiracy Jeff, I maile... (Below threshold)
Paul:

No conspiracy Jeff, I mailed the Wizbang crew at like 2-3AM and told them whoever wanted it could have it. (I had done the research for my own use and it seemed a shame to waste it)

Anyway, I went to bed after I mailed and Lorie mailed backing asking me why I didn't post it myself and if I didn't post it, did I want credit.

I was sleeping when she ran it and she made the decision to not drop my name just in case. (which is always the default in blogging)

I sent her a follow-up this morning and told her she could use my name or not, I have no preference either way. (as I often told Kevin, until a mention puts money in my pocket it really is meaningless)

FYI- On the follow-up, the short version is that Begala changed his story but that only dug him deeper. If she does not update this post or make another, I'll probably post it but really, I don't have the time to get involved, I'd rather just hand her the work...

But bottom line, no conspiracy here, just typical (boring)blogging work flow.

Paul

Comparing it to wa... (Below threshold)
Comparing it to waterboarding is laughable.

Pro Cynic,

I'd like to think that you were kidding in your description, or perhaps stretching the truth a bit, but I know that you're not.

Having read about what happened during the Bataan Death March nothing the Japanese did during the remainder of the WWII time period surprises me anymore.

"He was pouring water DIREC... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"He was pouring water DIRECTLY into their nose and mouth... When the CIA waterboards people, a rag is placed over the face to PREVENT water from entering the nose and mouth."-lorie

Placing rag over the face DOES NOT prevent water from entering the nose and mouth. It prevents fresh air (oxygen) from being inhaled by the victim, making the drowning sensation more acute. This refinement was developed by the Dominican inquisitors of the 16th century.

Waterboarding used to be referred to a "water torture" and it remains a form of torture.

P.S. National Review is ALWAYS WRONG. From Jim Crow to WMDs. ALWAYS WRONG. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Hey Mac!I see you'... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Hey Mac!

I see you're still around...

Since you have a brain, I'll give you my thoughts on the whole subject...

(VERY VERY VERY SADLY) I think the way we did it BARELY crosses the line to being LEGALLY considered torture... (but not morally or ethically)

(notice the qualifiers in that statement)

And the pisser is the ACT ITSELF is not torture but the CONTEXT IS...

Read this by Ed for the reason.

Sadly the morons broke 2c when they did not need to. (or let me say that's what I infer from the memos)

ASSUMING they did not tell the subjects they where not about to kill them, it crosses the legal line.

----IF THEY DID TELL THEM THEY WHERE NOT GOING TO BE KILLED no torture.----

Shouting fire in a crowded theater is legal if there really is a fire... it's not the act but the context.. same here.

Bybee's reasoning is more tortured than any of the terrorists. (what the hell was he thinking?) All he had to do was say that we had to inform them it was a controlled situation and he was legal... sigh.

============================

Politically, I think this might be a nightmare for Obama. - If it comes down to the fact that we saved thousands of lives but these folks go to jail because they didn't give the terrorists the right legal disclaimer, the American public goes postal.

Paul,Thanks for al... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Paul,

Thanks for all your hard work on this. I had actually just assumed it was Jay, so thanks for disabusing me of that notion.

P.S. National Revi... (Below threshold)
Paul:
P.S. National Review is ALWAYS WRONG. From Jim Crow to WMDs. ALWAYS WRONG. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

28. Posted by bryanD | April 27, 2009 12:47 PM |

And intellectual replies like that are why I'm a "former" blogger. sigh.

heh- to show you how out th... (Below threshold)
Paul:

heh- to show you how out the loop I am, I didn't know Jay was former?!?!?!?

Of course the account I use for Wizbang email has 10,313 unread emails so I bet it is in there somewhere.

This was covered by numerou... (Below threshold)
jp2:

This was covered by numerous blogs already fyi. Even kos.

Paul: "If it comes down ... (Below threshold)

Paul: "If it comes down to the fact that we saved thousands of lives but these folks go to jail because they didn't give the terrorists the right legal disclaimer, the American public goes postal."

I sure as hell HOPE the American public goes "postal" over this.

The Left has a taken a term, "Torture", and decided that THEY can define it to mean anything they want! Thus ANY discomfort we foist upon these terrorists is, by their definition: TORTURE!

Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain in 1964 what "hard-core" pornography was or wasn't. He came up with this classic statement:
"I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . but I know it when I see it"

Applies to "torture". I know it when I see it!
- Gouging eyeballs out and gang-raping children in front of their parents: IS torture.
- water-boarding under the clinical conditions we established to ensure NO ONE was harmed: IS NOT!

nuff said

"- Gouging eyeballs out and... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"- Gouging eyeballs out and gang-raping children in front of their parents: IS torture."-justrand

Would having to watch your (hypothetical!) children being gang-raped be torture?

I think we all know the answer to that question.

(What we all need to do is crack open a dictionary then meet back here tomorrow!)


The extreme left is wanting... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

The extreme left is wanting to score big political points while jeopardizing our national security. So typical. ww

Based on the score, I think... (Below threshold)
max:

Based on the score, I think my last comment may have been misunderstood by some.

. . . or perhaps it's the w... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

. . . or perhaps it's the work of ACORN.

Mac Lorry - "The Japane... (Below threshold)
marc:

Mac Lorry - "The Japanese form of waterboarding is a controlled drowning of the victim. The CIA form of waterboarding is a simulation of a controlled drowning of the victim."

In part false, while what the CIA has done is a simulation, the Japanese form as practiced on many during WW2 is the furthest thing from it.

In fact it's so far removed from the CIA practice the only thing in common was the use of water.

The practice was called the "Water Treatment" or the "Water Cure" and it was plainly described during International Military Tribunal for the Far East (section 1058) held in 1948.

"The so-called 'water treatment' was commonly used. The victim was bound or otherwise secured in a prone position; and water was forced through his mouth and nostrils into his lungs and stomach until he lost consciousness. Pressure was then applied, sometimes by jumping upon his abdomen to force the water out. The usual practice was to revive the victim and successively repeat the process."
Other examples as outlined during the the Tribunal occurred in the Japanese-occupied Dutch East Indies:
"A towel was fixed under the chin and down over the face. Then many buckets of water were poured into the towel so that the water gradually reached the mouth and rising further eventually also the nostrils, which resulted in his becoming unconscious and collapsing like a person drowned. This procedure was sometimes repeated 5-6 times in succession.
There's a legitimate debate to be had over interrogation methods, both on what type and when they should be used, but misinformed or flat out lying bastards like Belgala and a legion of similar hacks that have paraded themselves on any media outlet that will have them (including the "unfair and unbalanced" Fox News I might add) are just that, misinformed or lying bastards that haven't clue #1 what the Japanese did and only care to muddy the waters of debate.

Paul,The torture s... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Paul,

The torture statute uses the term "severe physical or mental pain", but obviously there's some level of physical pain that's less than severe and some level of mental distress that's less than severe mental pain. I don't subscribe to the idea that the act of telling a prisoner that they are going to be tortured is in itself torture. Thus, simulating a torture technique is not torture.

Reading the statute it strikes me that many kids in school detention could claim they were tortured, particularly when they are told the incident will go on their permanent record. At least that was the threat when I was in school.

Furthermore, the torture statute flows from career military men who have this quaint idea about "rules of war" and "civilized warfare". I believe we should use reality based thinking and repeal this pipedream based law.

Ted Kennedy has room to tal... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Ted Kennedy has room to talk about others 'getting off'. Thanks to Daddy's money, Teddy 'got off'. Mary Jo is unavailable for comment.

WB Paul. Good to see you'r... (Below threshold)
epador:

WB Paul. Good to see you're still willing to fight the fight.

In part false, whi... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
In part false, while what the CIA has done is a simulation, the Japanese form as practiced on many during WW2 is the furthest thing from it.

As I said, the Japanese form of waterboarding is a controlled drowning of the victim. You can call it water treatment, or water cure, or whatever, but it actually involved water entering the victim's body to the extent that they suffered the symptoms of drowning. The CIA form of waterboarding is a simulation of a controlled drowning because, while the victim experiences the sensation of drowning, little if any water enters their body, and that's the fundamental difference. I know we're on the same page with the politics surrounding this, but I disagree that what I wrote was "in part false" as you said.

The definition of torture i... (Below threshold)
sturn:

The definition of torture includes emotional trauma. Thus the waterboarding described qualifies.

Let's not mince words here. Either you have morals and ethics or you do not.

If you condone waterboarding, "a little torture is ok," "they are only Arabs", then you haven't an ethical or moral leg to stand upon.

LaurenceJarvikOnline, http://laurencejarvikonline.blogspot.com/2007/11/us-government-prosecuted-water-torture.html, also states: "In 1983, federal prosecutors charged a Texas sheriff and three of his deputies with violating prisoners' civil rights by forcing confessions. The complaint alleged that the officers conspired to "subject prisoners to a suffocating water torture ordeal in order to coerce confessions. This generally included the placement of a towel over the nose and mouth of the prisoner and the pouring of water in the towel until the prisoner began to move, jerk, or otherwise indicate that he was suffocating and/or drowning."

The four defendants were convicted, and the sheriff was sentenced to 10 years in prison."

This establishes the precedent in law.

Now if any of you are Christian, I seriously advocate that you get on your knees and pray for revelation about how you became such a low, degraded, and miserable human being. And while you are at it, pray to God that you do not become subject to waterboarding. You really don't want to find out for real just how torturous it truly is.

As for the rules of land warfare, you really must be a civilian without any participation in a real, protracted and viciously fought war. Those quaint ideas, are just as quaint as the idea of habeas corpus. You don't want really want to experience life without these quaint concepts.

JLawson,You have b... (Below threshold)
sturn:

JLawson,

You have been watching too many episodes of 24.

You obviously don't have a clue how intelligence work is done either. In many respects it has similarities to good detective work.

The one thing that torture is very effective at is breaking a persons will, during the process of brainwashing.

Congratulations, all of you who subscribe to the notion that torture is ok. You have great company. The SS, the Gestapo, and the Soviets, all use torture.

Some how, you being Americans doesn't fill me with pride, or confidence.

I really do want to know why people on the right-wing want to be associated with the worst monsters in history, the very people they loudly declaim as evil?

I think it is also germane ... (Below threshold)
sturn:

I think it is also germane to the debate to remember that the SERE program instructors were consulted about the methods, and waterboarding is a method they use in their training of USAF pilots.

Note that SERE stands for Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape. And the methods they use on their students, are torture, and other extreme actions that USAF pilots who are shot down over enemy territory and captured, may face.

They don't do these things to them because they aren't extreme, or because they aren't torture. They do these things to allow these pilots to harden themselves to what may occur. Sometimes the known is easier to face than the unknown.

I swear, the semantic games... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I swear, the semantic games are getting more and more idiotic. Sturn - you're apparently saying it's okay to torture our own folks, yet arguing against it on our enemies.

"If you condone waterboa... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"If you condone waterboarding, "a little torture is ok," "they are only Arabs", then you haven't an ethical or moral leg to stand upon."

I was more than willing to read what you had to say until you engaged in making some absurd accusation that anyone's argument here is based on the fact that "they are only Arabs". I immediately realized then it was more important for you to cast aspersions on those around you rather than explain your own position.

So I'll be moving on.

Sturn,The... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Sturn,

The definition of torture includes emotional trauma. Thus the waterboarding described qualifies.

That actual wording is "severe physical or mental pain" which means that less than severe physical or mental pain is NOT torture. I don't subscribe to the idea that just telling a prisoner that they are going to be tortured is in itself torture and there's no legal precedence to the contrary. If you think about it you'll see than that simulating torture is not torture. The CIA techniques simulates torture, but are not themselves torture. You need to be careful because if you drop the threshold of what's torture any further than kids in school detention can claim torture on the basis of "emotional trauma" when they are told the incident will go on their permanent record.

Let's not mince words here. Either you have morals and ethics or you do not.

It's not as simple as you would like it to be. What does your morals say about stealthily lobbing hellfire missiles into homes where women and children are often present, particularly when those homes are located in Pakistan, a nation that is our ally? Does your morals allow you to snuff out the life of the innocent in hopes of killing the guilty? Obama has ordered such attacks, yet he ascribes to the idea that the very masterminds of terror can't be subjected to simulated torture even when doing so in the past has saved American lives on American soil. Obama's position is one of lunacy, not high morals.

If protecting the United States justifies stealthily lobbing hellfire missiles into homes where women and children are often present then it also justifies subjecting the very masterminds of terror to enhance interrogation techniques for the purpose of gaining information that saves American lives on American soil. That was Bush's position, which I would argue is not only sane, but better grounded on moral values than Obama's position.

The four defendants were convicted, and the sheriff was sentenced to 10 years in prison."

This establishes the precedent in law.

It establishes the precedent in CIVIL law, but if we are going to bind the military with civil law then we need to bring our troops home right now because civil law doesn't allow the government to drop bombs on anyone, nor spray bullets and shells into buildings where innocent people may be present. It's pure lunacy to think the military can operate under civil law either in the field or in dealing with prisoners.

Now if any of you are Christian, I seriously advocate that you get on your knees and pray for revelation about how you became such a low, degraded, and miserable human being. And while you are at it, pray to God that you do not become subject to waterboarding. You really don't want to find out for real just how torturous it truly is.

If you're a Christian then you know this nation is guilty of far worse atrocities than subjecting the masterminds of terror to enhanced interpretation techniques. If you continue in your quest to bind the military with civil law than you have in effect disarmed this nation, either because you are ignorant, a lunatic, or working to overthrow this nation. You need to prepare yourself for living under Islamic law, get a pray rug and figure out what direction Mecca is. You really don't want to find out for real just how torturous having your head cut off truly is.

As for the rules of land warfare, you really must be a civilian without any participation in a real, protracted and viciously fought war. Those quaint ideas, are just as quaint as the idea of habeas corpus. You don't want really want to experience life without these quaint concepts.

Once again you make the error of confusing civil law with warfare. The treatment of military prisoners in the past has never had anything to do with habeas corpus. The torture statue does not server this nation well as history shows that, with the sole exception of Nazi Germany, our own troops are tortured regardless of how we treat our foe's prisoners. Had not Bush used enhanced interrogation techniques you might not be experiencing life at all if you live in one of the areas that terrorists were planning to attack.

Why is this article on page... (Below threshold)
rita Gallagher:

Why is this article on page 2 and not on page 1

@rita Gallagher, it is time... (Below threshold)
Paul:

@rita Gallagher, it is time based... it started at the top of page one and gets pushed down as new stuff is posted. Eventually it goes to the top of page two and so forth... welcome to the blogosphere. ;-)

@Mac if you;re still around, My point was not emotional distress... it was 2c.. You can't use "the threat of imminent death"

Which if you didn't know the what WB was or you did not know this version of it was controlled would qualify... All we had to do is tell the terrorist we where not going to kill them with the WB and it is legal again...

But did we do that? dunno The memo suggests not. But it would take an after action report to know for sure.

If waterboarding is amoung ... (Below threshold)
gener7:

If waterboarding is amoung the tools that a torturer uses, would one reach the conclusion that it is not torture?

Huh? Rags prevent water fro... (Below threshold)
gerald:

Huh? Rags prevent water from passing thru? What do you have? Magic rags?




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