Waterboarding is torture

Discussion in 'Non Sci-fi Debates' started by The Norseman, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. So says SERE graduate and counter-terrorism expert Malcolm Nance in this article. In case you wonder the Small Wars Journal doesn't seem like a liberal rag.

    I won't really quote from it, the link is there, if you're interested you ought to read it all, AND the discussion that follows.
  2. Leo1

    Leo1 Vicious Attack Dog Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    Waterboarding is torture by any reasonable standard, this is just more wood on that particular fire. The only people who dispute same are the American Exceptionalism Fucktards (TM) who insist that if the US does it, then it mustn't be torture, by definition.

    Like the President. (Recently he was asked if he even knew the definition of torture. He didn't, but insisted all the same that the US didn't do it. Moron.)

    It's sort of like when President Nixon asserted that if the President does it, by definition it's not illegal.
  3. Es Arkajae

    Es Arkajae God Emperor of Earth

    Terrorists aren't soldiers, a legitimate government can do whatever the fuck it wants to them as far as I'm concerned.

    I expect my government to use intimidation, torture and extra-judicial killings to protect my safety, as long as they're doing it cleverly and not to Australian citizens (although I'll make rare exceptions for that too) then all is as it should be.
  4. Weyoun the Dancing Borg

    Weyoun the Dancing Borg Now 11% zombified

    It's odd that when we do it, it's "a professional interrogation technique" but when they do it, it's torture.

    Funny, that.
  5. white_rabbit

    white_rabbit Shadow Cabal Berserker

    When we start beheading our prisoners of war, dripping acid on them, shooting them in the head etc etc.

    Then I'll start being upset.
  6. Lokan

    Lokan Nish Hayati

    I would love to have the kind of blind, unquestioning faith in my government to believe that they would only ever do that kind of thing to people they knew to bel terrorists. :) But then again, I'm not such a coward who is so terrified that Osama is going to jump out of my closet in the middle of the night that I'm willing to just accept everything my government tells me as long as they claim it will somehow make me 'safer'.

    Considering that our President felt the need for a law absolving the Administration of any need to present any kind of evidence that the people being held and questioned actually have any connection to terrorism, and further deciding that they will only face secret military tribunals where the government can just mumble 'national security' and present evidence to said tribunal that the defense can never see or attempt to rebut.

    Or more recently the news that the FBI is now scrambling around trying to gather actual evidence against these people because the Government has determined that they'll actually lose any trial due the failure of the 'professional interrogation technique's' to provide useful or viable evidence.

    So the far the evidence seems to point to the fact that Government has no fucking clue what it is doing and is just hoping that as long as they keep screaming "WAR ON TERROR!!" at the top of their lungs, people like you will never think to ask questions and realise it. :D

    Ahh, so as long as we only use 'Torture Lite' it's okay. And if we need the hard stuff we can just send them to our dear friends and allies in Syria, who our government continuously praises for it's human rights record. It's so nice to have the moral high ground in this war. :)
  7. blast flame

    blast flame How far will we go if it means lighting the way?

    Remember that they will not always be real terrorists, sometimes they will be innocents. Can you justify even one innocent person being tortured? I can't.
  8. MT

    MT MT

    Yes, well, terror suspects still qualify for basic human rights even if they aren't covered by the laws of war.
  9. Sh33p

    Sh33p Wants to be the little red Tachikoma

    Originally, I was pretty well for it. Then I actually learned what it was. I'm okay with sleep deprivation, screwing around with the thermostat, total isolation, and general headgames all around (up to and including the total desecration of holy items and anything that can be used to intimidate psychologically), but the moment you cross the line to physical abuse like that is the moment you lose whatever moral highground you want to claim. Torture does not work. People will say anything to get out of it. You can bring up the What if the Terrorist has a Nuke, HUH HUH? question, but even that's just faulty logic: What if the Terrorist in question is a guy they misinformed and threw at you with the direct intention of having him unknowingly give you the wrong answers while you're half-murdering him for information?

    Incidentally, if you're going to use these methods anyway, be smart about it and don't tip off the fucking media. Christ, it's like the global intelligence and counterterrorism communities woke up one day and decided to play happy nice-nice and give everyone frilly bunnies and hugglesome Hello Kitty! dolls.
  10. white_rabbit

    white_rabbit Shadow Cabal Berserker

    Yes, the only issue I might have with the more calculated torture methods is that you can't always be sure the person you are interrogating knows anything. Torture as standard isn't something I feel is required or helpful. Torture as a tool isn't something that should be ruled out, but used as part of an interrogation process, and certainly I don't believe, however appealing it is to my more shall we say, right wing ? tendancies, that we should start and finish interrogation of terrorists with the removal of non-vital body parts, etc etc. The key thing here is that you make sure the people you are interrogating with physical coercion and other forms of torture ARE terrorists or have been proven to be involved in whatever your current problem is. Not that you start out with the mental perception that poor Akbar IS a terrorist, and thus requires his nipples getting hooked up to a car battery.

    Another issue with the current policy is of course too much media attention and presence is permitted, allowing the development of the media furor over torture.

    Obviously, like the rest of us, I don't have a fucking clue what I'm talking about, but if torture is used by our goverments to extract information, and is continuously used by trained professionals and so forth, I don't believe it is something that should be ruled out, as long as the approach to it is sensible, logical and has a valid purpose.


    As for the Syrians, I'm finding it difficult to be tolerant of them at the moment, particularly when their arsehole of a King starts his state visit with " You british suck, and don't do enough to fight terrorism compared to Saudi Arabia...BTW, senior members of my goverment are directors of religious facilities in your country that want non-muslims decapitated...Peace?"
  11. Palp

    Palp Not badass enough.

    I am actually rather surprised that anyone would doubt that it is torture. And yes, torture using it is negative in so many ways, all it does is create more terrorists. If someone I knew had been subjected to it id certainly would want to blow up americans as well. Being a terrorist does not remove your human rights.
  12. Janusi

    Janusi Irregular updater

    I have cleared that up for you.

    You are right that terrorists aren't soldiers, they're criminals. But I still don't see why we need to torture criminals or suspects. And were do you draw the line?

    Is it okay to force confessions out of people that are suspected of murder, rape and the like or is dissent a heinous enough crime to warrant such treatment too?
  13. Damar

    Damar They hate you if you're clever and despise a fool

    I'm agreeing with the Teacher rule.

    When it becomes physical beyond a mere grab, it becomes wrong. And unreliable, since I would say anything to stop the torture. Which than would lead to lost time and spilled resources, or in the worst case, lost lives.
  14. E1701

    E1701 Core High Commander

    You do have to be careful of definitions like that - remember, our own CIA operations people and special forces get waterboarded as part of their *training*... so is that government sponsored torture of citizens, or is it simply a particularly harsh interrogation technique? It certainly qualifies by dictionary definition... but legal definitions are by nature a greyer area.
  15. Since they havent had a trial yet, all of them are innocent.

    You dont think its wrong to inflict pain?
  16. sdjsdj

    sdjsdj Unaussprechlichen

    Nice try, but it's voluntary torture then. Big difference. No, sorry; BIG difference there.

    Waterboarding sets one hell of a bad precedent; it basically means that anyone suspected (a very flexible term) of involvement (again, all too wide) in terrorism (once again, a broad term where one shouldn't be) can be hauled off the streets and be partially drowned, have the crap beaten out of them, that sort of thing. I just don't think there's enough of a threat to justify it.
  17. Weyoun the Dancing Borg

    Weyoun the Dancing Borg Now 11% zombified

    I would guess that they sign a waiver for it.

    Incedently, according to the wiki article on waterboarding, the average CIA dude lasts about 14-15 seconds before they stop.
  18. Alyeska

    Alyeska Beast Slayer Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    Its telling that the US government has tried defining torture as causing death or physical harm to internal organs. Meaning if it doesn't fit those qualifications, its not torture. Thats clearly a bullshit definition.
  19. Es Arkajae

    Es Arkajae God Emperor of Earth

    Terrorists, traitors, foreign nationals trying to weaken my country or who present a threat etc.

    Only pea-brains (i.e. you:p) think that this issue begins and ends with terrorism or Osama Bin Laden, that man is an irrelevence to the matter.
  20. Optimus

    Optimus Delightfully Evil

    As long as they aren't Americans i see no problem with toturing or other means.
  21. blast flame

    blast flame How far will we go if it means lighting the way?

    And the plot of land they happened to be born on matters why?
  22. Lokan

    Lokan Nish Hayati

    No, only pea-brains and cowards blindly take the Government at it's word when they say they need to able to use torture, but pinky swear they will only ever use it against 'the bad guys'. :D
  23. Primer

    Primer Valar Morghulis Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

  24. Es Arkajae

    Es Arkajae God Emperor of Earth

    People inflict pain on eachother all the time, provided theres a good reason for it I'm not going to condemn it out of hand. I trust my government and its intelligence agencies to run things including any covert or extra-judicial affairs in an overall competent enough manner and to use such heavy measures for good reasons.

    And despite would some arrogant know-it-alls may like to say, Western states tend to do a pretty damned good job keeping their people safe from external threats.
  25. Es Arkajae

    Es Arkajae God Emperor of Earth

    As I believe I've made clear, I'm against a government using torture against its own citizens except in extreme cases (such as traitors who should be executed anyway). What happens to foreigners is another matter.