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By All Means Necessary

"Torture".

There are some evil, dangerous people in this world. Some more evil than others, but no less dangerous when it comes down to it.

They live in the sewers of humanity. They have an indifference to the lives of others, and their own, which boggles the mind of compassionate, decent people.

Sometimes, in order to figure them out, to deal with them, and help to make the world a safer place, we need to crawl down in the gutters and sewers with them.

Is it something deemed desirable in a perfect world? No. Is it due more to situational reality than anything else? Yes.

Waterboarding seems to be at the crux of the "torture" argument.

Waterboarding is not torture. It is a form of interrogation. It's not a discussion. It's not an action to be considered "civilized", normal behavior. But, it is the kind of action which gets a necessary response from those who otherwise would like to see you and me dead.

If "other means" of obtaining actionable information were able to do the job, those means would have worked. I hardly think that our operatives are sitting there, rubbing their hands together, waiting eagerly to subject others to uncomfortable measures.

All that said, I'm damn glad we do it.

I don't care if that takes a bit of luster off our virtues. Our virtues are strong enough and shine bright enough to the rest of humanity that we can afford to bend that light alittle. I don't care if other nations, which have done alot worse to their own people, don't look at us in such a distinguished, untarnished manner. Especially since we do most of the heavy lifting defending them.

I care if we are safe.

I care if we are able to live our lives in the way in which we want and have become accustomed to.

And if running some water up the snout of some moral-less scumbag who has intentions of slaughtering as many good people as possible gets the info we want, than I say let it fly.

Righteous bleeding-heart do-gooders who think everything can be solved with dialog and raps on the wrists refuse to acknowledge that there is a deep and dark world out there, full of monsters their mommies said didn't exist. They are the ones who are demonizing techniques and the people who employ them which should not be part of the public knowledge to begin with.

Actions which we have taken to ensure the safety and security of this country have been leaked, analyzed, debased and condemned for the sake of political expediency. And for no other reason.

So lets have it out. If all of the techniques we have used over the last 8 years were deemed intrinsically beneath us, then lets hear what is acceptable. Secrecy be damned. If entities like the New York Times deem fit to release classified information about one, than the rest should be public knowledge for all. Or are there certain rules for certain people?

I'm sick of hearing that we've been the boogie-men of the world for the steps we've taken. Steps which should never have seen the light of day in the first place..

Demonizing people who have done the hard work of getting their hands dirty for the sake of the protection of our country is not noble. It's not thoughtful analysis, and it's not going to protect us from the evil that plans to inflict a larger, truer torture on us.

It only serves to hurt and humiliate us in the eyes of the world. It's going to decimate the will, morale, and honorable motives behind the important work that they preform on our behalf.

That, in itself, is its own torture.


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Comments (30)

"People sleep peaceably in ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." George Orwell

I don't say that to encourage or praise violence; I state it as fact. Many squeamish people don't like to be reminded of said fact.

A Supreme Court Judge once noted that 'people want criminals out of their faces, out of their homes and out of their neighborhoods. They just don't want to see how it's done.'

So what's the downside to u... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

So what's the downside to using enhanced interrogation techniques to extract information?

There's the moral argument, but if defending the United States justifies stealthily lobbing hellfire missiles into homes where women and children are often present it also justifies using enhanced interrogation techniques on the very masterminds of terror.

There's the argument that if the United States uses torture, then so will our foes. Well, history shows it's a pipedream to think that our foes won't use torture if we don't use torture. It's time for some reality based thinking.

There's the argument that no valuable information can be gained from enhanced interrogation techniques or that such information can be gained without using enhanced interrogation techniques, but witnesses say that's just not so.

Obama said that the British didn't use enhanced interrogation techniques in WW2, but that's been debunked. The British used enhanced interrogation techniques and obtained vital information in the process.

Obama says that torture is a shortcut, but information about an emanate attack must be gained quickly.

Obama said Wednesday night that waterboarding authorized by former President George W. Bush was torture. The next President may say that stealthily lobbing hellfire missiles into homes where women and children are often present as authorized by former President Obama was a war crime.

Shouldn't we prosecute in o... (Below threshold)
RicardoVerde:

Shouldn't we prosecute in order of events? Truman is dead so that is out. Johnson and Nixon are dead too. Clinton is still around. He launched cruise missiles into a 'baby milk factory' in a country we had not notified we were in a state of war. I'll agree we should prosecute the Bush folks but only after we prosecute Clinton since Clinton's actions actually meet the conditions of war crimes and caused physical harm and even death.

"Clinton is still aroun... (Below threshold)
marc:

"Clinton is still around. He launched cruise missiles into a 'baby milk factory'"

And bombed a Chinese embassy during the Serbian misadventure, a war crime in itself.

I have to say this again: W... (Below threshold)
RicardoVerde:

I have to say this again: We are being played. Why is the news full of cries for torture investigations and overhyped scares about swine/Mexican flu?

The government is smack in the middle of a huge wealth redistribution scheme, government power grabs, and we worry about whether someone scared a terrorist?

We are being played.

The fact that conservatives... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

The fact that conservatives can't defend the values of their country without resorting to condoning torture or in many cases praising it, reveals that you think the real values of democracy are fragile, expedient and disposable.

I suspect many authoritarian conservatives (very few don't seem authoritarian) have more in common with Stalin, and his Minister of State Security, Beria than they have with small 'd' democracts, or even an enligntened early 18th century ruler like Peter the Great, who abolished torture, or tried to, in Russia.


If 'ironclad' security is so important to American conservatives, it is wonder that you don't understand that Saddam's ruthless security forces rationalized torture the same way, indeed the same way every despot or autoritairian regime has since history began.

As to the efficacy of torture, Torture's Long Shadow .

One nasty morning Comrade Stalin discovered that his favorite pipe was missing. Naturally, he called in his henchman, Lavrenti Beria, and instructed him to find the pipe. A few hours later, Stalin found it in his desk and called off the search. "But, Comrade Stalin," stammered Beria, "five suspects have already confessed to stealing it."

As we have discovered this week, the compelling and insistent White House pressure to torture the Al-Queda suspects was to force them confess to phantom ties with Saddam's Baath regime in order to make the Bush administration's case more palatable to go to war in Iraq.. Yes, who is being played and by whom?

Yep, Steve, ol' Stalin's wa... (Below threshold)
epador:

Yep, Steve, ol' Stalin's waterboarding techniques were just as controlled as ours, and we've shipped off millions to the Gulag recently as well. Yep, great comparison. You are playing with yourself. Please, keep the door closed next time.

Yuuccch!

Crick no more ... (Below threshold)
914:

Crick no more

If your "torturers" were as deceptive as you imply they would not have to torture at all. They would simply say you confessed and carry on to their next diabolical undertaking.

Epador, I notice you in the... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Epador, I notice you in the past delightedly have compared Obama to Osama bin Laden and talked about Obama's 'final solution.'

The water boarding techniques were not so controlled, just as the Bush administration preference for 'extraordinary rendition' for scores of perfectly innocent people they couldn't deal with here, while assuring the world
"torture is never acceptable, nor do we hand over people to countries that do torture."

America's moral standing th... (Below threshold)
syn:

America's moral standing the world?

Well, America just elected a leader who advocates forcing the baby to die without interference from doctors and nurses after the baby survives the initial execution.

Sure, ending the practice of dripping water down an enemy's nose will bring about moral standing in the world.

I suggest sending the enemy over to American S & M clubs, they have all the equipment and are experienced at getting the job done.

President Obama could place his personal Dominatrix in charge of things.... title the job Dominatrix Czar; this would thrill Chris Matthews to no end.

We had to use enhanced inte... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

We had to use enhanced integration Techniques because the CIA and DIA were crippled due to laws by past administration. Some laws restricted who US could use for Human Intelligence. The US deiced we would not deal with bad people because it would reflect badly on the US, however bad people are the ones with the data we need. Instead they thought that all our SIGINT and COMMINT were al that would be needed. This combined with made up laws that resteiec4ed information that could be shared between intelligence agencies and law enforcement. So now take away humane means of extracting information from high valued and determined hostiles.
The more PC we get the more viscous future conflicts will become as options are taken away.

These terrorist are dangerous men and women who want to kill us all. That is why even after closing Gitmo BHO may have to release them into the US because other countries do not want them or will really torture and kill them. We lock people up to protect society and we will release people who sole goal in life it to kill people so they can die and have wild monkey sex with virgins in heaven.

We have not harmed them.
They are alive, healthy and whole unlike their victims and people who are in there custody

Stevc Crickmore, You... (Below threshold)
maggie:

Stevc Crickmore,
You are broad brushing all conservatives
with the same accusation.

All liberals, including you, are genocidal
statists.

Did you enjoy that? Does making a broad
statement make it true? Unless you personally
have questioned every conservative in this
country to affirm your above statement,
you need to stop doing so.

You live in a glass house too.

The fact that cons... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
The fact that conservatives can't defend the values of their country without resorting to condoning torture or in many cases praising it, reveals that you think the real values of democracy are fragile, expedient and disposable.

The fact is that Obama has ordered hellfire missiles to be stealthily lobbed into homes where women and children have been killed. The fact is that some of those homes were in Pakistan, an ally of the United States. That's the real values of this democracy, and condemning using torture on the very masterminds of terror while ignoring the far more despicable act is lunacy. Obviously, the left has been driven mad by BDS.

As we have discovered this week, the compelling and insistent White House pressure to torture the Al-Queda suspects was to force them confess to phantom ties with Saddam's Baath regime in order to make the Bush administration's case more palatable to go to war in Iraq

None of the memos showing what was learned have been released yet. People who were in a position to know what was learned have called for release of those memos knowing they will expose the lies being propagated by the left. Watch Obama scramble to prevent the release of such information. Once again the left trembles in fear of the truth being revealed.

I wish we lived in a world ... (Below threshold)

I wish we lived in a world where these things didn't have to happen, but we do.

I wish we could take the moral high ground and not have done things that even bring up the question of our integrity, but we couldn't.

This is life and we are in a war. This isn't a hollywood movie where the good guys win through sheer moral power. There are men and women out there who have to get their hands dirty to protect us and I thank God for each and every one of them.

Folks here is the truth. I am a Christian. I believe torture is wrong, but if saving one of my children's lives of the life of another innocent person required it, I would do it in a heartbeat and take the ramifications later.

The terrorist will show us no mercy. They will torture and kill us all if given the chance.

"As we have discovered this... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"As we have discovered this week, the compelling and insistent White House pressure to torture the Al-Queda suspects was to force them confess to phantom ties with Saddam's Baath regime in order to make the Bush administration's case more palatable to go to war in Iraq."

Oh, and just what is your 'source' for that nugget of information? Last I heard, The Obamassiah has refused to release the memos concerning what we learned. Guess he thinks it would "be a distraction" from the discourse.

Steve, nothing like ignorin... (Below threshold)
epador:

Steve, nothing like ignoring the argument and dragging in others. Osama's and Obama's final solution is to bankrupt our nation. You obviously don't agree with that. Why don't you pay any increase in taxes, fees and surcharges imposed by the Federal government in the next two decades for me?

But to get back on topic, i... (Below threshold)
epador:

But to get back on topic, if we don't take extraordinary measures in times of great threat to our security, we will have no security at all. This is not a "conventional war" as if there ever has been one. Many past wars were won by the side willing to find new ways to destroy the will to fight in their adversaries, regardless of the methods used. Some were lost by those unwilling to adapt to the changing techniques of their enemies. There is no moral high ground on the battlefield, and right now, the entire world is a battleground. The weapons include words, media, radioactive weapons of mass destruction and short scimitars. Their use and their threat is to erase our resolve to fight. You can pontificate all you want and you can not change that. But by your pontifications (or masturbations) you are working to reduce our resolve to fight.

I believe a study recently ... (Below threshold)
Herman:

I believe a study recently came out showing that religious fundies are more inclined to mete out torture than others are, certainly more so than atheists. Doesn't surprise me. Their god is a god of perpetual hellfire, isn't he/she/it? Bible is full of torture -- animals, humans getting whacked.

Fortunately, the antiquated, primitive religious beliefs of the fundies are slowly dying off.

Welcome to a brave, new world.

Herman, You believe ... (Below threshold)
maggie:

Herman,
You believe what. Where are your sources
showing a minority, or a majority of fundies
are more inclined tomete out torture.
Who are these religious fundies? Are they buddist? Are they muslims?
Or are they christians?
The broad brushing of any group by vague
accusations grow tiresome Herman.


I believe a study ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
I believe a study recently came out showing that religious fundies are more inclined to mete out torture than others are, certainly more so than atheists. Doesn't surprise me. Their god is a god of perpetual hellfire, isn't he/she/it? Bible is full of torture -- animals, humans getting whacked.

That's because us religious types put the simulated torture in context with stealthily lobbing hellfire missiles into Pakistani homes where women and children are often present. In that context subjecting the very masterminds of terror to simulated torture for the purpose of gaining information to save American lives seem downright benign and prudent.

Leftist Atheists blind themselves to the real atrocity so they can feign outrage at a far less offence for purely political reasons. Luckily the BDS is wearing off those who have not totally abandoned reason.

"Oh, and just what is yo... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Oh, and just what is your 'source' for that nugget of information?"

I think it was Paul Hooson's secret contact "Deep Shit".

"Sometimes, in order to fig... (Below threshold)
Jake:

"Sometimes, in order to figure them out, to deal with them, and help to make the world a safer place, we need to crawl down in the gutters and sewers with them."

Yep, totally agree. But the moment we become them, moving ourselves to their level in our actions, we fail. Undercover cops have to hang out with some pretty unsavory characters too, but we don't ask them or allow them to do the same things those characters do. If we did, those cops would be nothing more than criminals like those they are trying to investigate.

"Waterboarding seems to be at the crux of the "torture" argument."

It has, you're right. And that's unfortunate. The real issue here is not whether or not waterboarding is torture (it is), but whether the US was justified morally and/or legally in creating an PROGRAM of ongoing disappearing and torture of citizens and non-citizens alike, based often on nothing more than executive declaration of someone's "terrorist" status.

"I care if we are safe."

Good, then on this we agree too. My question to you is this: Based on the information we've seen released about what was gained from our torture of prisoners vs. the recruitment that has certainly occurred because of said torture, do you think we have more or less enemies and risk in the world today vs. pre-torture?

Sorry, one more question. Y... (Below threshold)
Jake:

Sorry, one more question. You said: "Steps which should never have seen the light of day in the first place."

This is the most confusing part of your (and others) argument. You're clearly proud of the tactics used by the government in your name as an American citizen. But if you are, in fact, such a strong believer that a) our country has such an amazing luster that we can afford to take a theoretically big hit and still come out fine, and b) that these tactics were perfectly acceptable, why not shout from the rooftops that this is what we're doing?

It seems an odd argument to say that we should hide something that's not at all wrong.

Maggie, this is the Pew stu... (Below threshold)
Jake:

Maggie, this is the Pew study Herman is referring to:

http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1210/torture-opinion-religious-differences

I'm not adding a personal opinion about the results, just providing the link you requested.

Jake, Thanks for the... (Below threshold)
maggie:

Jake,
Thanks for the link.


Data from a Pew Research Center survey conducted April 14-21, 2009, among 742 American adults. Other religious groups are not reported due to small sample sizes.

Pretty small representation, and the other
religious groups are so small their numbers
aren't reported. I could assume by this
survey christians were targeted.

Houston said: "This is life... (Below threshold)
Jake:

Houston said: "This is life and we are in a war. This isn't a hollywood movie where the good guys win through sheer moral power."

Absolutely agree. Nor is this is a Hollywood TV show where Jack Bauer can save the world in 10 minutes by smacking a guy across the face to extract that single crucial bit of needed info.

"There are men and women out there who have to get their hands dirty to protect us and I thank God for each and every one of them." Absolutely agree. I want to see them safe too, both on and off the battlefield. I don't want their superiors creating difficulties on the battlefield and mental anguish back home by developing PROGRAMS of torture that creates more enemies, more concern about capture, and a lowering of the bar of what we consider (and prove) to be acceptable behavior in this conflict.

"Folks here is the truth. I am a Christian. I believe torture is wrong, but if saving one of my children's lives of the life of another innocent person required it, I would do it in a heartbeat and take the ramifications later."

I too believe torture is wrong, as anyone here can clearly tell from my comments. But like I've said before, if someone had info about my little girl, I'd beat the holy hell out of them in a heartbeat to protect her. But there are several caveats to that statement:

1. I don't expect the laws to be rewritten to allow me to beat said information holder with legal blessing.
2. I'd fully expect to go to jail (or at least be brought up on charges) after such brutalization, and you know, I'd probably be fine with that if my girl survived.
3. If saving my own daughter inherently put someone else's daughter(s) into harms way, I'd like to hope that I'd have the moral fiber to accept that my saving mine at the costs of others isn't an acceptable decision.

"The terrorist will show us no mercy. They will torture and kill us all if given the chance."

First of all, we have to define what you mean by "terrorist". I know this is a well beaten question, but nobody ever seems to be able to define it, despite using it. Did you know that many of the "terrorist" in Iraq went to work for al-Quaeda in Iraq because there was simply no other way to feed their families? Given a chance to work for someone else, they would take it. Are they terrorists, who would "torture and kill us all if given the chance"? Probably not. Your statement is so broad and sweeping, it's simply not correct. To be sure, there are such people and I want them eliminated. But the question of who the "terrorists" are is not a simple answer, and therefore can't require a single, simple blanket statement about what they would do.

And more importantly, as mentioned in the previous comment - it's not about them, it's about us. It's not about what they consider to be acceptable behavior, it's about what we do.

Maggie, first, as mentioned... (Below threshold)
Jake:

Maggie, first, as mentioned, I wasn't and am not supporting this particular survey, just passing the link along.

But now that you've asked, here are a few random points:

1. Any survey can be baked in a particular way for a particular bias. That's the magic and the foolishness of surveys.
2. As someone who does deal with research to some extent for a living, I'm convinced that all research has problems, but research CAN create a decent picture of reality, given appropriate research methodology and additional, non-survey research.
3. Sample size alone doesn't necessarily mean that the research is invalid. A small sample doesn't equate inherently to less valid results, and larger sample sizes don't equate to more valid results. It's in the methodology for both the research, the questions, and the participant selection.
4. Generally over the years, I've found Pew to be pretty decent at delivering a picture of reality (as best as any research can get there) vs. being some partisan hack group.

Not saying you're doing this, necessarily, but don't dismiss the results out of hand simple because you don't like their findings.

Jake,The fact that I... (Below threshold)
maggie:

Jake,
The fact that I made a response about the
sampling does not indicate like or dislike
on my part.
Certainly not dismissing the survey results,
just questioning the sampling.

Thanks again for posting the link.

Jake, I think the lefties d... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Jake, I think the lefties define terrorists as "friends". We define them as enemies. Do you actually need the word terrorist defined? Are you a mental midget? ww

@WildWillie said: "Jake, I ... (Below threshold)
Jake:

@WildWillie said: "Jake, I think the lefties define terrorists as "friends". We define them as enemies. Do you actually need the word terrorist defined? Are you a mental midget?"

Ah, there it is. The blind rage hatred of "lefties". It's so reliable it's almost comforting.

"Enemy" is not a definition for "terrorist", it's an adjective OF the word terrorist.

I am, sir, no "mental midget". Being able to clearly define WHO we are supposed to be killing is more than a little important.

But for someone who regularly (always?) simply brands those who don't agree as "lefties", regardless of their politics, positions, or opinions, I hardly believe you'd be able to define "terrorist" as anything other than "enemy". And I doubt you'd be able to define "enemy" as anything other than "the bad guys".




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