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Author Topic: Survey: Support for terror suspect torture differs among the faithful  (Read 13854 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 01, 2009, 12:45:59 PM »

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http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/04/30/religion.torture/

WASHINGTON (CNN)  -- The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a new survey. More than half of people who attend services at least once a week -- 54 percent -- said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is "often" or "sometimes" justified. Only 42 percent of people who "seldom or never" go to services agreed, according to the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified -- more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.

The analysis is based on a Pew Research Center survey of 742 American adults conducted April 14-21. It did not include analysis of groups other than white evangelicals, white non-Hispanic Catholics, white mainline Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated, because the sample size was too small.

The president of the National Association of Evangelicals, Leith Anderson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The survey asked: "Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified?"


Roughly half of all respondents -- 49 percent -- said it is often or sometimes justified. A quarter said it never is.

The religious group most likely to say torture is never justified was Protestant denominations -- such as Episcopalians, Lutherans and Presbyterians -- categorized as "mainline" Protestants, in contrast to evangelicals. Just over three in 10 of them said torture is never justified. A quarter of the religiously unaffiliated said the same, compared with two in 10 white non-Hispanic Catholics and one in eight evangelicals
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2009, 12:54:58 PM »

Depends on the definition of torture.  Certainly without interrogation in WW2 we would have been severely handicapped.  Sadists will always get in on the act.  I remembering reading how two Jewish sisters tortured Orthodox Christians in Russia - they did at a public performance aided by the Bolsheviks.  May be bring back the birch in certain cases?  If you are an enemy combatant then expect the worst... not something personally I would do.  In wartime I would hope to be a stretcher bearer.
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2009, 12:57:36 PM »

 Shocked

Are you justifying torture observer?
Is anyone in the US actually sane any more?
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2009, 01:07:57 PM »

Coercive interrogation does not equal torture.


I think most people simply don't know the difference and there is a difference.
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2009, 01:29:38 PM »

Coercive interrogation does not equal torture.


I think most people simply don't know the difference and there is a difference.



Would the techniques recently discussed in the media and in government (eg waterboarding, nudity and humiliation, banging heads into break away walls, mock executions, etc) be considered coercive interrogation techniques or torture?
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2009, 01:32:05 PM »

Coercive interrogation does not equal torture.
Doesn't it? What is the difference between that and the "coercive interrogations" of the Spanish Inquisition and the value of the "confessions" and "information" such "coercive interrogations" extracted?

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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2009, 01:43:21 PM »

Is this likely to be moved to politics, or can this topic be hashed out here?
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2009, 01:47:05 PM »

Is this likely to be moved to politics, or can this topic be hashed out here?


Seems less a political issue than an ethical one, IMO.
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2009, 01:51:59 PM »

I heard an interview on NPR last year with a man who had been an interrogator during WW2 and he explained that interrogations were far more effective (as in more reliable information was offered) when this man would sit down and have a beer with whomever he was interviewing and talk about sports or girlfriends or whatever else.  He emphasized that getting to know the person he was talking to made that person feel more at ease with him which made him let down his guard.  I know that interrogating a German soldier is far different than, say, a Saudi but it seems to me that showing some interest in the humanity of the person in custody would be much better than automatically torturing or even forcefully interrogating them and proving their assumptions about Americans true.
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2009, 02:03:33 PM »

The culture of the Mid-East won't tolerate kindness because kindness=weakness. In that culture the stuff mentioned above is tame compared to what their friends, family and themselves have been thru on a regular basis. Read about what Sadaam did just as a punishment for DISAGREEING with him. The stuff he did to actually interrogate is abhorrent. So no matter whether we as people in "civilized" societies think about the techniques used, it is NOTHING compared to what these terrorists do to each other on a regular basis.
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2009, 02:06:49 PM »

The culture of the Mid-East won't tolerate kindness because kindness=weakness. In that culture the stuff mentioned above is tame compared to what their friends, family and themselves have been thru on a regular basis. Read about what Sadaam did just as a punishment for DISAGREEING with him. The stuff he did to actually interrogate is abhorrent. So no matter whether we as people in "civilized" societies think about the techniques used, it is NOTHING compared to what these terrorists do to each other on a regular basis.

Even so, I don't think that makes it ok to mistreat people because they won't understand anything otherwise.  I admit I don't have the answer to the problem but what makes us any better than the dreaded terrorists when we use their same techniques?
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2009, 02:07:55 PM »

Is it permissible for one who calls him/herself Christian to support the use of torture?
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2009, 02:19:24 PM »

Is this likely to be moved to politics, or can this topic be hashed out here?


Seems less a political issue than an ethical one, IMO.

But not necessarily not mutually inclusive measurements. Νεκτάριος is right.
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2009, 02:21:12 PM »

Is it permissible for one who calls him/herself Christian to support the use of torture?

IMO, according to the witness of the saints, yes: someone who calls him/herself a Christian can support the use of torture on themselves, for God's glory alone.  In all other cases, I'd have to say "probably not."
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2009, 02:22:56 PM »

Is it permissible for one who calls him/herself Christian to support the use of torture?

IMO, according to the witness of the saints, yes: someone who calls him/herself a Christian can support the use of torture on themselves, for God's glory alone.  In all other cases, I'd have to say "probably not."
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2009, 02:42:21 PM »

Is this likely to be moved to politics, or can this topic be hashed out here?
Seems less a political issue than an ethical one, IMO.

I think this argument is only partially ethical, as in extreme situations regular ethics become subordinated to some greater good.  In the immediate post-9/11 era, further and more devastating attacks seemed imminent.  Decades of poor intelligence practices (basically being played the ISI and Saudis) left the US in a pretty vulnerable state.  Supposing torture were effective - it is a much tougher ethical dilemma than you are making it here.  If another major attack had occurred while people who knew actionable intelligence were being held in US custody, you full well know that heads would be rolling in the CIA, FBI and military.  It is very comfortable to have an academic discussion on topic - but I don't think it serves any purpose to infuse it with such moralism (which looks like thinly veiled partisanship) nor to call for witch-hunts against those whom even our current President has described as acting in good faith.  Although I do think a public discourse on how to improve policy is an inherently good thing.

From the released memos it does look like a certain level of control was lost.  Torture continued even after it was believed the subjects had given all the information they had known.  This falls into the bombing of Dresden category - while bombing of German industry was essential to the war effort, excesses that served no strategic purpose occurred.  On the whole though, if it is permissible for a Christian to kill in war how is that categorically different than torturing?  Extracting intelligence is a vital part of war effort.  

On the practical side, the ultimate question is whether these policies benefit the US in the long term.  A fairly convincing argument has been made from a number of sources (I'm seen articles on the topic from the New York Review of Books, The Economist, Foreign Policy and others) that by normalising torture, torturing low to mid level operatives and filling Gitmo with hundreds of low level and even innocent people has caused tremendous harm to US interests by eroding popular support for the US in Islamic countries.  The current administration's Nixonian smoke and mirrors is likely a better approach.  Gates came out with a statement today that there is a core group (50-100) of Gitmo detainees who aren't going anywhere.  Instead of using Gitmo whish is a public policy disaster, President Obama is doing the exact same thing (although with just higher level subjects) at Bagram - which is much, much further from any international oversight than Gitmo ever was.  

I'd sum up my position as saying it's not inherently unethical to torture.  I think there are serious practical problems with it (i.e whether the intelligence obtained is valid, the cost in terms of public diplomacy).  But there needs to be a definite objective and firm oversight.  For instance, I think it would be unethical to torture some Pashtun teenager who's involvement with the Talaben was limited to holding a gun - torturing in such a case would purely be punitive and sadistic, he has nothing to offer.  On the other hand, someone who is a high ranking member of either the Talaben or a Jihadist group and posses actionable intelligence is a different story.  There is even some buzz going around that leaking all of the waterboarding information to the press initially was an intentional leak by the CIA.  Brining somebody to the table when they very well know that the CIA has no qualms about using torture can change someone's willingness to talk.  

    
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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2009, 02:59:49 PM »

Coercive interrogation does not equal torture.
Doesn't it? What is the difference between that and the "coercive interrogations" of the Spanish Inquisition and the value of the "confessions" and "information" such "coercive interrogations" extracted?

Yawn.  Useless and ridiculous comparison.

And I reiterate that there is difference between coercive techniques and torture. 

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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2009, 03:01:27 PM »

Coercive interrogation does not equal torture.
Doesn't it? What is the difference between that and the "coercive interrogations" of the Spanish Inquisition and the value of the "confessions" and "information" such "coercive interrogations" extracted?

Yawn.  Useless and ridiculous comparison.

And I reiterate that there is difference between coercive techniques and torture. 



As I asked above:



Would the techniques recently discussed in the media and in government (eg waterboarding, nudity and humiliation, banging heads into break away walls, mock executions, etc) be considered coercive interrogation techniques or torture?
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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2009, 03:05:16 PM »

The last scenes in Gibson's Braveheart....THAT was torture. Threatening a terrorist with a caterpillar is not.
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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2009, 03:21:53 PM »

The last scenes in Gibson's Braveheart....THAT was torture. Threatening a terrorist with a caterpillar is not.

But when the suspect has been lead to believe that the insect is a stinging insect, does that not qualify as torture?  If I go rob a bank using a water pistol, does that mean I can't be charged the same way as if I had used a real gun?
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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2009, 03:36:20 PM »

I heard an interview on NPR last year with a man who had been an interrogator during WW2 and he explained that interrogations were far more effective (as in more reliable information was offered) when this man would sit down and have a beer with whomever he was interviewing and talk about sports or girlfriends or whatever else.  He emphasized that getting to know the person he was talking to made that person feel more at ease with him which made him let down his guard.  I know that interrogating a German soldier is far different than, say, a Saudi but it seems to me that showing some interest in the humanity of the person in custody would be much better than automatically torturing or even forcefully interrogating them and proving their assumptions about Americans true.

I would tend believe this could work if we used interrogators who were fluent in Arabic and understood Muslim Arab culture (Arab-American Muslim interrogators). Then, the terrorist might let his guard down because he would feel more at ease with him than he would with some WASPY, all-American, guy.
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« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2009, 03:42:08 PM »

Personally, I would never, ever approve or support torture (or whatever you call it), under any circumstances.

I also completely, totally "un-support" the US military bases in the Middle East (and elsewhere), and the unilateral support of Israel (the root of the problem with the Muslim world).
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« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2009, 04:17:07 PM »

Personally, I would never, ever approve or support torture (or whatever you call it), under any circumstances.

I also completely, totally "un-support" the US military bases in the Middle East (and elsewhere), and the unilateral support of Israel (the root of the problem with the Muslim world).

I agree.
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« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2009, 04:20:27 PM »

Coercive interrogation does not equal torture.
Doesn't it? What is the difference between that and the "coercive interrogations" of the Spanish Inquisition and the value of the "confessions" and "information" such "coercive interrogations" extracted?

Yawn.  Useless and ridiculous comparison.

And I reiterate that there is difference between coercive techniques and torture. 


No there isnt. And even if there were, what kind of idiot would put any trust in information obtained by "coercion"?
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« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2009, 04:35:53 PM »

I heard an interview on NPR last year with a man who had been an interrogator during WW2 and he explained that interrogations were far more effective (as in more reliable information was offered) when this man would sit down and have a beer with whomever he was interviewing and talk about sports or girlfriends or whatever else.  He emphasized that getting to know the person he was talking to made that person feel more at ease with him which made him let down his guard.  I know that interrogating a German soldier is far different than, say, a Saudi but it seems to me that showing some interest in the humanity of the person in custody would be much better than automatically torturing or even forcefully interrogating them and proving their assumptions about Americans true.

I would tend believe this could work if we used interrogators who were fluent in Arabic and understood Muslim Arab culture (Arab-American Muslim interrogators). Then, the terrorist might let his guard down because he would feel more at ease with him than he would with some WASPY, all-American, guy.

I heard an NPR interview just the other day about a former interrogator (or maybe he's still one?).  He was saying something like what you and EofK are saying; he spoke Arabic and quoted from the Qur'an before the interrogation began as well as showed the suspect pictures of his (the interrogator's) wife and children.  He said the difference was the type of information he would get.  For example, the suspect might tell you where a terrorist' house is under torture, but when a report was established, the suspect would not only tell you where a terrorist' house is but that it is booby trapped.  

As a Christian, this would obviously be the best option.  BUT, there are shades of nuances that would change my mind.  For example, if I knew that I had the right person in custody, and that this person not only knew when, where, what and how people would be murdered ... better know I'd make him talk.  But let's make this more personal for the sake of argument; what if a member of your immediate family would be firebombed and the only way you could save their life would be to extract information out of a known terrorist?  I keep going back to 9/11 and seeing those people jumping out of windows; I keep hearing husbands and wives explain through tears how much they miss them; I keep hearing how children cry for a mommy or daddy that will never be able to hold them again.  So, yes, it's better if you can get people to talk without hurting them, but by God you better know I fully 100% support mere torture rather than more deaths.

So while all y'all pontificate whether you do or don't support torture, think about what you would do to protect your wives, husbands and children from being murdered.  You may say you wouldn't, but I dare say that seeing your child in flames screaming for you would change your mind in heartbeat!
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« Reply #25 on: May 01, 2009, 04:41:34 PM »

 BUT, there are shades of nuances that would change my mind.  For example, if I knew that I had the right person in custody, and that this person not only knew when, where, what and how people would be murdered ... better know I'd make him talk.  But let's make this more personal for the sake of argument; what if a member of your immediate family would be firebombed and the only way you could save their life would be to extract information out of a known terrorist?  I keep going back to 9/11 and seeing those people jumping out of windows; I keep hearing husbands and wives explain through tears how much they miss them; I keep hearing how children cry for a mommy or daddy that will never be able to hold them again.  So, yes, it's better if you can get people to talk without hurting them, but by God you better know I fully 100% support mere torture rather than more deaths.

So while all y'all pontificate whether you do or don't support torture, think about what you would do to protect your wives, husbands and children from being murdered.  You may say you wouldn't, but I dare say that seeing your child in flames screaming for you would change your mind in heartbeat!

Good point. The problem that arises when I think about this type of scenario is just how exceedingly rare it is. Just how often did our interrogators, for example,  find themselves in situations where a threat was imminent, and was derailed by reliable information gathered from torture? I'd imagine that these instances are incredibly rare. That being the case- if I have to come down on the side of 1.) should we torture, or 2.) should we not torture, I will side with not torturing.
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« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2009, 04:58:50 PM »



 Just how often did our interrogators, for example,  find themselves in situations where a threat was imminent, and was derailed by reliable information gathered from torture? I'd imagine that these instances are incredibly rare. 
Agreed, but since this information is classified and will be for a long time, we have no way of knowing.  Regardless though, I'm simply trying to show that there are nuances to each situation.
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« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2009, 05:25:46 PM »

The whole "waterboarding" is torture thing is hard for me to swallow.  All the CIA agents who waterboarded were waterboarded themselves as part of their training.  Everyday american servicemen in SERE training are waterboarded.  I personally know many people who were waterboarded that while they would say it was horrible, never called it torture. I have personally experienced things in military training many people would consider worse than waterboarding.  Is it tough, yes.  But is it also far from what I would call torture, in my opinion yes.  And while I'm sure it elicits false confessions, this is war, I'm sure interrogators assume any confession by any means is false until it can be verified.  Considering how little we actually waterboarded people compared to the thousands of men we have interrogated since 9/11, and the fact we got intelligence from it that saved lives, I would say the "waterboarding" hit rate is pretty good.
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« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2009, 05:36:18 PM »

the fact we got intelligence from it that saved lives,
Such as?
And even if such "intelligence" exists, what have you become if you think nothing of torturing fellow human beings to obtain it? If torture is OK by you guys, then your lives are not worth saving in my book.
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« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2009, 05:49:42 PM »

the fact we got intelligence from it that saved lives,
Such as?
And even if such "intelligence" exists, what have you become if you think nothing of torturing fellow human beings to obtain it? If torture is OK by you guys, then your lives are not worth saving in my book.

An attack on Los Angeles was averted after "enhanced techniques" including waterboarding were used on Sheikh Mohammed in 2005. Until that point he gave little to no intelligence, he was one tough dude.

I don't think waterboarding is torture.

What's this OzGeorge, "your lives are not worth saving"?  I thought you were mister, "don't judge lest ye be judged." Wink I'm sorry you probably don't think my life is worth saving.  Of course, considering I was a US Marine, I must be just pond scum to you.
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« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2009, 06:11:07 PM »

What's this OzGeorge, "your lives are not worth saving"?  I thought you were mister, "don't judge lest ye be judged." Wink I'm sorry you probably don't think my life is worth saving.  Of course, considering I was a US Marine, I must be just pond scum to you.
Emotive but illogical.
I know some wonderful people in the armed forces. But torturers are not wonderful people. They are torturers, crucifiers.
Those who accept torture as a valid means to an end have surrendered their souls to the demons.
And what disgusts me the most is that people get all pious about people living with their betrothed before marriage but see no problem with torturing human beings created in the image of God so long as it suits their "purposes". This is pure, unadulterated, diabolical evil. 
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« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2009, 06:16:00 PM »


And what disgusts me the most is that people get all pious about people living with their betrothed before marriage but see no problem with torturing human beings created in the image of God so long as it suits their "purposes". This is pure, unadulterated, diabolical evil. 
Emotive but illogical.  Kiss  Wink  I might add that just having to sift through this topic for some semblance of balance is torture.
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« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2009, 06:28:07 PM »


And what disgusts me the most is that people get all pious about people living with their betrothed before marriage but see no problem with torturing human beings created in the image of God so long as it suits their "purposes". This is pure, unadulterated, diabolical evil. 
Emotive but illogical.

You think so? Lets try an experiment:

Livefreeordie, is extramarital sex morally acceptable?
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« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2009, 06:32:26 PM »

Quote
Those who accept torture as a valid means to an end have surrendered their souls to the demons.
And what disgusts me the most is that people get all pious about people living with their betrothed before marriage but see no problem with torturing human beings created in the image of God so long as it suits their "purposes". This is pure, unadulterated, diabolical evil.


If we are talking about betrothal according to the biblical model, then, there is absolutely nothing wrong with living with one's betrothed. In biblical times, betrothal was as binding as marriage and technically speaking,  betrothed couples had every right to live together before the marriage celebration proper (if I understand correctly). A mere modern-day "engagement" is not the same as the betrothal of old.

And I do agree with you, torture is abominable, and I would never support it.
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« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2009, 06:38:00 PM »

Personally, I would never, ever approve or support torture (or whatever you call it), under any circumstances.

Suppose the Great Russians decided to reclaim the Ukraine since the little Russians obviously haven't been able to administer it properly themselves, would it be permissible in your eyes to raise any sort of military resistance?

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« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2009, 06:47:02 PM »


And what disgusts me the most is that people get all pious about people living with their betrothed before marriage but see no problem with torturing human beings created in the image of God so long as it suits their "purposes". This is pure, unadulterated, diabolical evil. 
Emotive but illogical.

You think so? Lets try an experiment:

Livefreeordie, is extramarital sex morally acceptable?
Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-
A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...
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« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2009, 06:52:54 PM »

Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-
A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...

The problem is that situation has never occurred in real life, nor is it likely to happen.  The way real intelligence gathering works is more slower and works with tiny bits. 
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« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2009, 06:53:02 PM »


Livefreeordie, is extramarital sex morally acceptable?

Do you mean morally acceptable like some good old fashioned waterboarding?! Did you ask this because you somehow think it's relevant to the discussion on waterboarding, or do you just like to think about sex a lot! Wink

Seriously, I know lots of people who have been waterboarded.  I was about 9 months from getting waterboarded myself before I was in my jet crash and saw nothing unusual about the prospect.  Waterboarding was something we saw as a training excercise. I have no reason to think waterboarding is torture.  If you disagree and as a result think I'm some monster, I'm sorry you feel that way about me.  I do find it ironic that you can pontificate endlessly on "not judging" people and then turn around and seem to damn me and other people who have very logical reasons for not thinking waterboarding is torture.  Neither myself nor anyone I knew in the Marines would advocate "torture", but none of us would have called waterboarding torture.
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« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2009, 06:57:33 PM »


Livefreeordie, is extramarital sex morally acceptable?

Do you mean morally acceptable like some good old fashioned waterboarding?! Did you ask this because you somehow think it's relevant to the discussion on waterboarding, or do you just like to think about sex a lot! Wink
Cheesy Actually, OzGeorge asked this; not me.  Wink
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« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2009, 07:00:14 PM »

Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-
A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...

The problem is that situation has never occurred in real life, nor is it likely to happen.  The way real intelligence gathering works is more slower and works with tiny bits. 
I actually agree with you, Nek.  But some of us want to encapsulate this into a tidy, moral black and white issue.  Unfortunately, it ain't that easy.
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« Reply #40 on: May 01, 2009, 07:05:50 PM »


Livefreeordie, is extramarital sex morally acceptable?

Do you mean morally acceptable like some good old fashioned waterboarding?! Did you ask this because you somehow think it's relevant to the discussion on waterboarding, or do you just like to think about sex a lot! Wink
Cheesy Actually, OzGeorge asked this; not me.  Wink

My bad, had my 2 year-old scrambling around in my lap and quoted wrong!
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« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2009, 07:09:54 PM »

Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-
A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...

The problem is that situation has never occurred in real life, nor is it likely to happen.  The way real intelligence gathering works is more slower and works with tiny bits. 

Exactly right, we had spec ops on the ground long before the initial invasion gathering intelligence and we have enormous intelligence centers that gather literally millions of pieces of intelligence and try to piece them together coherently.  That being said, there have been plenty of raids where "on the spot" intelligence was gathered seeking information on safe houses, hostages, suicide bomber locations, etc.
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« Reply #42 on: May 01, 2009, 07:19:38 PM »

Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-
A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...

The problem is that situation has never occurred in real life, nor is it likely to happen.  The way real intelligence gathering works is more slower and works with tiny bits. 

Exactly right, we had spec ops on the ground long before the initial invasion gathering intelligence and we have enormous intelligence centers that gather literally millions of pieces of intelligence and try to piece them together coherently.  That being said, there have been plenty of raids where "on the spot" intelligence was gathered seeking information on safe houses, hostages, suicide bomber locations, etc.

As you well know, acting solely based on intelligence gathered in an ad hoc, unverified manner is a good way to walk right into an ambush and get a dozen special forces killed. 

And that is what I am getting at.  I don't see any ethical reason to say torture (and let's cut with the euphemisms) is inherently wrong during war, especially consider that the alternative is to simply kill the subject on the battlefield.  While it might be honourable and romantic to fight with one hand behind your back, I hardly see how it is more ethical in any real sense.  On the otherhand, to torture merely for the sake of torture or to do so to those who have no real information to give is unethical.  In the heat of battle the lines blur, but that is why it is important to have some form of independent review. 
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« Reply #43 on: May 01, 2009, 07:22:21 PM »

Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...
Well only an idiot would think that someone who wants your family dead because he hates you will stop hating you and want your family to live if you torture him.
But you see, once someone surrenders to the "logic" of demons- they become just as idiotic as they are and believe all kinds of stupid things.
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« Reply #44 on: May 01, 2009, 07:33:46 PM »

Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...
Well only an idiot would think that someone who wants your family dead because he hates you will stop hating you and want your family to live if you torture him.
But you see, once someone surrenders to the "logic" of demons- they become just as idiotic as they are and believe all kinds of stupid things.
Completely missed the point. No points awarded.  Sad
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« Reply #45 on: May 01, 2009, 07:36:57 PM »

Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...
Well only an idiot would think that someone who wants your family dead because he hates you will stop hating you and want your family to live if you torture him.
But you see, once someone surrenders to the "logic" of demons- they become just as idiotic as they are and believe all kinds of stupid things.
Completely missed the point. No points awarded.  Sad
Fine by me. Just so long as you know that I hold the opinion that torture is never justifiable, is pure evil, is the work of demons, is subhuman, is abominable, is contrary to Christianity and completely irreconcilable with it. Smiley
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« Reply #46 on: May 01, 2009, 07:44:13 PM »

Fine by me. Just so long as you know that I hold the opinion that torture is never justifiable, is pure evil, is the work of demons, is subhuman, is abominable, is contrary to Christianity and completely irreconcilable with it. Smiley

But why, if it is part of a war effort that is in self-defense?  How is it any different than the other ugly aspects of war?
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« Reply #47 on: May 01, 2009, 08:06:22 PM »

But why, if it is part of a war effort that is in self-defense?  How is it any different than the other ugly aspects of war?

Dear God! That you should even have to ask that question!
Torture serves no purpose but to satisfy sadism and bloodlust. There is nothing self-defensive about it (see above).
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« Reply #48 on: May 01, 2009, 08:10:07 PM »

Fine by me. Just so long as you know that I hold the opinion that torture is never justifiable, is pure evil, is the work of demons, is subhuman, is abominable, is contrary to Christianity and completely irreconcilable with it. Smiley

To clarify, you think waterboarding is torture.  You think someone who tortures is subhuman. Thus you believe someone who waterboards is subhuman.

If so, would you call this person who waterboards and whom you believe to be subhuman a monster?
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« Reply #49 on: May 01, 2009, 08:14:59 PM »

If so, would you call this person who waterboards and whom you believe to be subhuman a monster?
I consider them to be among the most pitatble creatures.
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« Reply #50 on: May 01, 2009, 08:16:36 PM »

Dear God! That you should even have to ask that question!
Torture serves no purpose but to satisfy sadism and bloodlust. There is nothing self-defensive about it (see above).

Dear God back at you!  So, you are okay with say a Marine sniper putting a bullet in someone's head at 1500m, or a B-52 carpet bombing a division of men as they sleep, or teenage conscripts getting blown up in an ambush, or any number of common acts of war I could mention, but if a known, self-confessed mass murdering terrorist gets some water poured over his face in order to interrogate him you cry sadism and bloodlust?

Again, just to clarify.



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« Reply #51 on: May 01, 2009, 08:16:59 PM »

If so, would you call this person who waterboards and whom you believe to be subhuman a monster?
I consider them to be among the most pitatble creatures.

But would you call them a monster?
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« Reply #52 on: May 01, 2009, 08:18:23 PM »

Dear God back at you!  So, you are okay with say a Marine sniper putting a bullet in someone's head at 1500m, or a B-52 carpet bombing a division of men as they sleep, or teenage conscripts getting blown up in an ambush, or any number of common acts of war I could mention, but if a known, self-confessed mass murdering terrorist gets some water poured over his face in order to interrogate him you cry sadism and bloodlust?

Again, just to clarify.

Strange. I thought we were talking about self defense, not revenge.
Do you consider revenge to be a Christian virtue?
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« Reply #53 on: May 01, 2009, 08:21:29 PM »

If so, would you call this person who waterboards and whom you believe to be subhuman a monster?
I consider them to be among the most pitatble creatures.

But would you call them a monster?

They have fallen into a trap of the Evil One. They are to be pitied.
Pity....now there's something a torturer lacks....so I guess they wouldn't understand what I mean.
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« Reply #54 on: May 01, 2009, 08:23:06 PM »

Oz, let me ask you a question. When I was doing my basic in Great Lakes, was it torture to force the entire company to exercise until one or more of the recruits either passed out or threw up? As far as I know none of the Gitmo detainees had to suffer a face full of tear gas either, which is another requirement of Navy boot camp, which is pretty soft compared to Marine Corps training. Not to mention the Special Forces. Does every last man who ever served have a civil case against the government?

These men do not suffer any broken bones, burns, or any other permanent damage to their body. There are doctors on hand the entire time to prevent any serious trauma. The fact that anyone should even put these interrogation techniques in the same category as the Spanish Inquisition might be humorous if the potential for destruction were not so great. I'm sure many of our Greek and Serbian ancestors would be downright insulted to see all the ridiculous crybaby moralizing about this issue after what they had to endure under the Ottoman yoke.

I fear that the media has performed its partisan brainwashing all too well.
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« Reply #55 on: May 01, 2009, 08:27:10 PM »

Did they do so willingly, Cyril of New York? Or was their liberty taken from them and these trials inflicted on them against their will?
You Americans hold your liberty to be a sacred thing I believe, why do you have no qualms about taking away the liberty of others and torturing them?

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« Reply #56 on: May 01, 2009, 08:32:12 PM »

At least one good thing has come out of this: the truth.
At least you are no longer claiming that "the United States does not torture", but are admitting that the United States does torture and thinks its OK to do so.
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« Reply #57 on: May 01, 2009, 08:41:04 PM »

As a Christian, I firmly oppose all torture under any circumstances.  Also, my official Christian position is that all violence is wrong and that all war is inherently evil.

While I affirm these truths as the standard Christ has set, I realize that war is a great evil that can not be avoided in some cases, and even those who have to kill in self defense should do so with fear and trembling, and pray for God's forgiveness.  We can not say these things are acceptable, or that they are not worthy of confession.

I think ozgeorge's problem here is that some of you are saying that some torture is acceptable, permissible, or whatever else.  But it is not.  However, sometimes it might indeed be necessary.  But that doesn't make it OK.  It doesn't mean that if one of you were up against a wall and somehow had to do something like this that your conscience would be clear, and that you wouldn't have to bring the act to your confessor.

Torture is a great evil, as is all war and killing.  Sometimes we Christians engage in these things out of necessity, but they are never acceptable.  They are never a part of the call that Christ himself has placed upon us.  But life is complicated, and so is the defense of widows and orphans.
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« Reply #58 on: May 01, 2009, 08:53:13 PM »

Dear God back at you!  So, you are okay with say a Marine sniper putting a bullet in someone's head at 1500m, or a B-52 carpet bombing a division of men as they sleep, or teenage conscripts getting blown up in an ambush, or any number of common acts of war I could mention, but if a known, self-confessed mass murdering terrorist gets some water poured over his face in order to interrogate him you cry sadism and bloodlust?

Again, just to clarify.

Strange. I thought we were talking about self defense, not revenge.
Do you consider revenge to be a Christian virtue?

I am talking about self-defense, are you having a conversation with some imaginary boogy man?

If we were talking about torture as a means of getting revenge, I would agree with you, I'm against torturing out of revenge.
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« Reply #59 on: May 01, 2009, 08:57:05 PM »

I think ozgeorge's problem here is that some of you are saying that some torture is acceptable, permissible, or whatever else.  But it is not.  However, sometimes it might indeed be necessary
So then is the United States word of promise worth nothing? Isn't the United States of America a signatory to the Geneva Convention? Even if you think torture is "necessary" (which I can't see it ever being), you promised that you wouldn't. If you don't keep your promises why make them? Why pretend to defend international law when you flagrantly break it?
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« Reply #60 on: May 01, 2009, 09:00:00 PM »

I think ozgeorge's problem here is that some of you are saying that some torture is acceptable, permissible, or whatever else.  But it is not.  However, sometimes it might indeed be necessary.  But that doesn't make it OK.  It doesn't mean that if one of you were up against a wall and somehow had to do something like this that your conscience would be clear, and that you wouldn't have to bring the act to your confessor.

I've not once said that I believe "torture" is acceptable, permissible or whatever else.  I just don't think waterboarding in the particular cases we are talking about is torture.

Where I probably would agree with OzGeorge and many here is that when someone is hurt, intimitated, pressured, waterboarded, etc. for fun, sick thrills or whatever even in time of war, even if it's something short of actual torture, there is no place for it and I'm against it.  I think abu ghraib was horrific and truly reprehensible.

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« Reply #61 on: May 01, 2009, 09:04:39 PM »

So then is the United States word of promise worth nothing? Isn't the United States of America a signatory to the Geneva Convention? Even if you think torture is "necessary" (which I can't see it ever being), you promised that you wouldn't. If you don't keep your promises why make them? Why pretend to defend international law when you flagrantly break it?

Fortunately I am not a US ambassador, but even if I was, I have personally stayed faithful to this promise.  I have never tortured anyone, unless you count my wife putting up with my long tirades about whatever is upsetting me any particular day.

Fine, I'll agree.  The USA should not engage in torture as outlined in the international agreement.  Are you happy now?
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« Reply #62 on: May 01, 2009, 09:05:11 PM »

I think ozgeorge's problem here is that some of you are saying that some torture is acceptable, permissible, or whatever else.  But it is not.  However, sometimes it might indeed be necessary.  But that doesn't make it OK.  It doesn't mean that if one of you were up against a wall and somehow had to do something like this that your conscience would be clear, and that you wouldn't have to bring the act to your confessor.

I've not once said that I believe "torture" is acceptable, permissible or whatever else.  I just don't think waterboarding in the particular cases we are talking about is torture.

Where I probably would agree with OzGeorge and many here is that when someone is hurt, intimitated, pressured, waterboarded, etc. for fun, sick thrills or whatever even in time of war, even if it's something short of actual torture, there is no place for it and I'm against it.  I think abu ghraib was horrific and truly reprehensible.

I don't understand how you can claim that waterboarding done for fun is torture but waterboarding done for another purpose isn't torture.
As far as I can see, torture is defined by the act, not the motive. The best you can possibly claim is that waterboarding is torture which is sometimes "justified" and sometimes isn't "justified". But its always torture.
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« Reply #63 on: May 01, 2009, 09:18:12 PM »

So then is the United States word of promise worth nothing? Isn't the United States of America a signatory to the Geneva Convention? Even if you think torture is "necessary" (which I can't see it ever being), you promised that you wouldn't. If you don't keep your promises why make them? Why pretend to defend international law when you flagrantly break it?

Fortunately I am not a US ambassador, but even if I was, I have personally stayed faithful to this promise.  I have never tortured anyone, unless you count my wife putting up with my long tirades about whatever is upsetting me any particular day.

Fine, I'll agree.  The USA should not engage in torture as outlined in the international agreement.  Are you happy now?

I know I'm like a greyhound with a steak about this issue, but perhaps I should tell you that for six years I worked with "STATS" ("Sydney Torture and Trauma Survivors") and I saw the unbelievable human brokenness- often irreparable- in people who had been tortured in places like Latin America, Communist Romania, Egypt etc and had sought asylum in Australia. I also saw the other side of it as well when I met a man who had tortured "The Disappeared" in Chile under Pinochet- and he was the most broken of all. Fredrica Mathews-Green wrote an article entitled "The Wounded Torturer" about this phenomenon: http://www.frederica.com/writings/the-wounded-torturer.html
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« Reply #64 on: May 01, 2009, 09:27:32 PM »

So then is the United States word of promise worth nothing? Isn't the United States of America a signatory to the Geneva Convention? Even if you think torture is "necessary" (which I can't see it ever being), you promised that you wouldn't. If you don't keep your promises why make them? Why pretend to defend international law when you flagrantly break it?

I know you are going to hate this answer George, but 'unlawful combatants' (who are in their own ways violating Geneva and Hague conventions) are not subject to POW status.  Geneva is moot then.  I'm not stating my support or condemnation, but just pointing it out.
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« Reply #65 on: May 01, 2009, 09:44:35 PM »

I know you are going to hate this answer George, but 'unlawful combatants' (who are in their own ways violating Geneva and Hague conventions) are not subject to POW status.  Geneva is moot then.  I'm not stating my support or condemnation, but just pointing it out.

You are absolutely right.
I hate that answer. And the reason I hate it is because it is the lie used to convince the US public that torture of unlawful combatants is justifiable.
The torture of unlawful combatants is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.

Here is what the Geneva Conventions actually say about unlawful combatants who are not subject to POW status:
Quote
Article 45(3)
"Any person who has taken part in hostilities, who is not entitled to prisoner-of-war status and who does not benefit from more favourable treatment in accordance with the Fourth Convention shall have the right at all times to the protection of Article 75 of this Protocol. In occupied territory, any such person, unless he is held as a spy, shall also be entitled, notwithstanding Article 5 of the Fourth Convention, to his rights of communication under that Convention.”

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts1995/ukpga_19950027_en_3

OK, now here is what Article 75 of the Protocol (which article 45-3 guarantees to unlawful combatants) says:

Quote
Atricle 75
Fundamental guarantees

1 In so far as they are affected by a situation referred to in Article 1 of this Protocol, persons who are in the power of a Party to the conflict and who do not benefit from more favourable treatment under the Conventions or under this Protocol shall be treated humanely in all circumstances and shall enjoy, as a minimum, the protection provided by this Article without any adverse distinction based upon race, colour, sex, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, national or social origin, wealth, birth or other status, or on any other similar criteria. Each Party shall respect the person, honour, convictions and religious practices of all such persons.

2 The following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever, whether committed by civilian or by military agents:

(a) violence to the life, health, or physical or mental well-being of persons, in particular:

(i) murder;

(ii) torture of all kinds, whether physical or mental;

(iii) corporal punishment; and

(iv) mutilation;

(b) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, enforced prostitution and any form of indecent assault;

(c) the taking of hostages;

(d) collective punishments; and

(e) threats to commit any of the foregoing acts.

3 Any person arrested, detained or interned for actions related to the armed conflict shall be informed promptly, in a language he understands, of the reasons why these measures have been taken. Except in cases of arrest or detention for penal offences, such persons shall be released with the minimum delay possible and in any event as soon as the circumstances justifying the arrest, detention or internment have ceased to exist.

4 No sentence may be passed and no penalty may be executed on a person found guilty of a penal offence related to the armed conflict except pursuant to a conviction pronounced by an impartial and regularly constituted court respecting the generally recognised principles of regular judicial procedure, which include the following:

(a) the procedure shall provide for an accused to be informed without delay of the particulars of the offence alleged against him and shall afford the accused before and during his trial all necessary rights and means of defence;

(b) no one shall be convicted of an offence except on the basis of individual penal responsibility;

(c) no one shall be accused or convicted of a criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under the national or international law to which he was subject at the time when it was committed; nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than that which was applicable at the time when the criminal offence was committed; if, after the commission of the offence, provision is made by law for the imposition of a lighter penalty, the offender shall benefit thereby;

(d) anyone charged with an offence is presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law;

(e) anyone charged with an offence shall have the right to be tried in his presence;

(f) no one shall be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt;

(g) anyone charged with an offence shall have the right to examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;

(h) no one shall be prosecuted or punished by the same Party for an offence in respect of which a final judgement acquitting or convicting that person has been previously pronounced under the same law and judicial procedure;

(i) anyone prosecuted for an offence shall have the right to have the judgement pronounced publicly; and

(j) a convicted person shall be advised on conviction of his judicial and other remedies and of the time-limits within which they may be exercised.

5 Women whose liberty has been restricted for reasons related to the armed conflict shall be held in quarters separated from men’s quarters. They shall be under the immediate supervision of women. Nevertheless, in cases where families are detained or interned, they shall, whenever possible, be held in the same place and accommodated as family units.

6 Persons who are arrested, detained or interned for reasons related to the armed conflict shall enjoy the protection provided by this Article until their final release, repatriation or re-establishment, even after the end of the armed conflict.

7 In order to avoid any doubt concerning the prosecution and trial of persons accused of war crimes or crimes against humanity, the following principles shall apply:

(a) persons who are accused of such crimes should be submitted for the purpose of prosecution and trial in accordance with the applicable rules of international law; and

(b) any such persons who do not benefit from more favourable treatment under the Conventions or this Protocol shall be accorded the treatment provided by this Article, whether or not the crimes of which they are accused constitute grave breaches of the Conventions or of this Protocol.

8 No provision of this Article may be construed as limiting or infringing any other more favourable provision granting greater protection, under any applicable rules of international law, to persons covered by paragraph 1.

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts1995/ukpga_19950027_en_5

So torture of unlawful combatants is a war crime.
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« Reply #66 on: May 01, 2009, 10:02:54 PM »

I think ozgeorge's problem here is that some of you are saying that some torture is acceptable, permissible, or whatever else.  But it is not.  However, sometimes it might indeed be necessary.  But that doesn't make it OK.  It doesn't mean that if one of you were up against a wall and somehow had to do something like this that your conscience would be clear, and that you wouldn't have to bring the act to your confessor.

I've not once said that I believe "torture" is acceptable, permissible or whatever else.  I just don't think waterboarding in the particular cases we are talking about is torture.

Where I probably would agree with OzGeorge and many here is that when someone is hurt, intimitated, pressured, waterboarded, etc. for fun, sick thrills or whatever even in time of war, even if it's something short of actual torture, there is no place for it and I'm against it.  I think abu ghraib was horrific and truly reprehensible.

I don't understand how you can claim that waterboarding done for fun is torture but waterboarding done for another purpose isn't torture.
As far as I can see, torture is defined by the act, not the motive. The best you can possibly claim is that waterboarding is torture which is sometimes "justified" and sometimes isn't "justified". But its always torture.

I didn't claim waterboarding for fun is torture.  I just said there is no place for doing it or anything else intimitating, hurtful, etc. for sick games or fun whether it rises to the level of torture or not.
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« Reply #67 on: May 01, 2009, 10:08:43 PM »

I didn't claim waterboarding for fun is torture. 
Can you explain to me how waterboarding under any circumstances conforms to article 75 of the Geneva Conventions? (see above)
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« Reply #68 on: May 01, 2009, 10:10:49 PM »

Coercive interrogation does not equal torture.
Doesn't it? What is the difference between that and the "coercive interrogations" of the Spanish Inquisition and the value of the "confessions" and "information" such "coercive interrogations" extracted?

Yawn.  Useless and ridiculous comparison.

And I reiterate that there is difference between coercive techniques and torture.  



As I asked above:



Would the techniques recently discussed in the media and in government (eg waterboarding, nudity and humiliation, banging heads into break away walls, mock executions, etc) be considered coercive interrogation techniques or torture?

That's an easy one...no. If you're merely inflicting psychological hardships, that's what an interrogation is. If one is too weak to hold up psychologically, that's their own moral failing, not the moral failing of the interrogator. The line between torture and interrogation is the line between physical and psychological hardship. Simply messing with someone's head is hardly torture, when you start putting in the thumb screws and applying hot irons or the rack, that's torture. Not that torture is always wrong, but it should certainly be very limited in its use...interrogation on the other hand should not be taboo in time of war.
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« Reply #69 on: May 01, 2009, 10:11:55 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7u-Wk1aU-E
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« Reply #70 on: May 01, 2009, 10:14:34 PM »

"Waterboarding is a form of torture that consists of immobilizing the victim on his or her back with the head inclined downwards, and then pouring water over the face and into the breathing passages. By forced suffocation and inhalation of water, the subject experiences drowning and is caused to believe they are about to die."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterboarding

And here's a picture:
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« Reply #71 on: May 01, 2009, 10:22:42 PM »

I didn't claim waterboarding for fun is torture. 
Can you explain to me how waterboarding under any circumstances conforms to article 75 of the Geneva Conventions? (see above)

Yes, if it was done with a thimble full of water dropped delicately on their chin and then quickly wiped up by a really good looking nurse! Followed by a qualified psychologist offering an apology and counseling.  Then in the midst of this kindness, in a truly heartfelt way, asking them to please tell us when the next terrorist attack they planned is going to occur. I'm sure that would have gotten the same results and conformed to the spirit of article 75 of the Geneva Convention!

We waterboarded at most a handful of top terrorists who admitted to being part of ongoing terrorist plans. There is NO evidence of us using it any other way.  I have no problem "interrogating" them, as GIC so ably explained, in order to find out whatever we can to protect ourselves.
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« Reply #72 on: May 01, 2009, 10:25:58 PM »

"Waterboarding is a form of torture that consists of immobilizing the victim on his or her back with the head inclined downwards, and then pouring water over the face and into the breathing passages. By forced suffocation and inhalation of water, the subject experiences drowning and is caused to believe they are about to die."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterboarding

And here's a picture:

Yeh, it's so horrible that every day dozens of americans volunteer to have it done to them as part of their training.  In fact, I'd wager that at least half the apartments of people spending time on this board probably look more alarming than this picture! Wink

And Christopher Hichens volunteered to have it done to him, twice! Try real torture, i.e. broken bones, screws, etc. and see if he volunteers twice.
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« Reply #73 on: May 01, 2009, 10:28:56 PM »

I have no problem "interrogating" them, as GiC so ably explained, in order to find out whatever we can to protect ourselves.

greekischristian has also renounced any Christian convictions on these matters, so to so readily affirm the position of one who is apostate is not exactly a point in your favor.

Whatever we must do to protect ourselves...
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« Reply #74 on: May 01, 2009, 10:29:34 PM »

Yeh, it's so horrible that every day dozens of americans volunteer to have it done to them as part of their training.  In fact, I'd wager that at least half the apartments of people spending time on this board probably look more alarming than this picture! Wink

And Christopher Hichens volunteered to have it done to him, twice! Try real torture, i.e. broken bones, screws, etc. and see if he volunteers twice.

Then try it on your kids.
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« Reply #75 on: May 01, 2009, 10:31:59 PM »

I have no problem "interrogating" them, as GIC so ably explained, in order to find out whatever we can to protect ourselves.
I see. So GiC is now your standard for Christian ethics.
Good luck with that. Cheesy
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« Reply #76 on: May 01, 2009, 10:40:55 PM »

Yeh, it's so horrible that every day dozens of americans volunteer to have it done to them as part of their training.
One of them wrote an article about it:
"I know waterboarding is torture - because I did it myself"

But you go ahead and sugarcoat it any way that makes you feel better.
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« Reply #77 on: May 01, 2009, 10:44:19 PM »

I didn't claim waterboarding for fun is torture. 
Can you explain to me how waterboarding under any circumstances conforms to article 75 of the Geneva Conventions? (see above)

when it works?
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« Reply #78 on: May 01, 2009, 10:45:21 PM »

I didn't claim waterboarding for fun is torture. 
Can you explain to me how waterboarding under any circumstances conforms to article 75 of the Geneva Conventions? (see above)

Can you show us where the Geneva Conventions are applicable?
See reply 65.
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« Reply #79 on: May 01, 2009, 10:45:48 PM »

I didn't claim waterboarding for fun is torture. 
Can you explain to me how waterboarding under any circumstances conforms to article 75 of the Geneva Conventions? (see above)

Can you show us where the Geneva Conventions are applicable?
Do you expect the Geneva Conventions to speak directly to the specific issue of waterboarding?
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« Reply #80 on: May 01, 2009, 10:46:52 PM »

I have no problem "interrogating" them, as GIC so ably explained, in order to find out whatever we can to protect ourselves.
I see. So GiC is now your standard for Christian ethics.
Good luck with that. Cheesy

Man, you got me. As a result of his persuading commentary on interrogation that I was proud to quote I have now decided to convert my standard of Christian ethics to that of GIC.
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« Reply #81 on: May 01, 2009, 10:51:58 PM »

Yeh, it's so horrible that every day dozens of americans volunteer to have it done to them as part of their training.
One of them wrote an article about it:
"I know waterboarding is torture - because I did it myself"

But you go ahead and sugarcoat it any way that makes you feel better.

You like to make up stuff.  Where did I sugarcoat and imply it was a nice thing, or nothing seriousness.  Waterboarding sucks.  I just don't think that the way it was administered by us was "torture" in the sense you do.
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« Reply #82 on: May 01, 2009, 10:53:55 PM »

I didn't claim waterboarding for fun is torture. 
Can you explain to me how waterboarding under any circumstances conforms to article 75 of the Geneva Conventions? (see above)

Can you show us where the Geneva Conventions are applicable?
Do you expect the Geneva Conventions to speak directly to the specific issue of waterboarding?

Well, under Aticle 75 of the Geneva Conventions (see reply 65), if warterboarding is not a form of “torture of any kind, whether physical or mental;” nor an “outrage upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment” nor  “a threat to murder” then you should be OK. But I think you might run into problems with a practice which involves trying someone to a board against their will with their head downward and pouring water into their breathing passages to threaten them with drowning.
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« Reply #83 on: May 01, 2009, 10:58:17 PM »

I know you are going to hate this answer George, but 'unlawful combatants' (who are in their own ways violating Geneva and Hague conventions) are not subject to POW status.  Geneva is moot then.  I'm not stating my support or condemnation, but just pointing it out.

You are absolutely right.
I hate that answer. And the reason I hate it is because it is the lie used to convince the US public that torture of unlawful combatants is justifiable.
The torture of unlawful combatants is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.

Here is what the Geneva Conventions actually say about unlawful combatants who are not subject to POW status:
Quote
Article 45(3)
"Any person who has taken part in hostilities, who is not entitled to prisoner-of-war status and who does not benefit from more favourable treatment in accordance with the Fourth Convention shall have the right at all times to the protection of Article 75 of this Protocol. In occupied territory, any such person, unless he is held as a spy, shall also be entitled, notwithstanding Article 5 of the Fourth Convention, to his rights of communication under that Convention.”

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts1995/ukpga_19950027_en_3

That's nice, George.  But they had a revolution here a while ago, and Acts of the British Parliament are not binding on the U.S.
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« Reply #84 on: May 01, 2009, 10:59:06 PM »

I didn't claim waterboarding for fun is torture. 
Can you explain to me how waterboarding under any circumstances conforms to article 75 of the Geneva Conventions? (see above)

Can you show us where the Geneva Conventions are applicable?
Do you expect the Geneva Conventions to speak directly to the specific issue of waterboarding?

Well, under Aticle 75 of the Geneva Conventions (see reply 65), if warterboarding is not a form of “torture of any kind, whether physical or mental;” nor an “outrage upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment” nor  “a threat to murder” then you should be OK. But I think you might run into problems with a practice which involves trying someone to a board against their will with their head downward and pouring water into their breathing passages to threaten them with drowning.

So in your opinion, what is an acceptable interogation technique for a known, self-confessed terrorist in our custody?
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« Reply #85 on: May 01, 2009, 11:09:45 PM »

That's nice, George.  But they had a revolution here a while ago, and Acts of the British Parliament are not binding on the U.S.

Just let the man have his impassioned, impractical position on the matter.  It's personal for him, and he's not going to budge.
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« Reply #86 on: May 01, 2009, 11:16:03 PM »

Yeh, it's so horrible that every day dozens of americans volunteer to have it done to them as part of their training.  In fact, I'd wager that at least half the apartments of people spending time on this board probably look more alarming than this picture! Wink

And Christopher Hichens volunteered to have it done to him, twice! Try real torture, i.e. broken bones, screws, etc. and see if he volunteers twice.

Then try it on your kids.

I wouldn't slap my kids but slapping isn't torture.  I wouldn't call my kids names, but calling someone names isn't torture.  You are a trip.
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« Reply #87 on: May 01, 2009, 11:16:25 PM »

So in your opinion, what is an acceptable interogation technique for a known, self-confessed terrorist in our custody?
Well it isn't torture or threat of death.
People will say anything, agree to anything to avoid suffering and death, so what's the point? The information is useless.
Espionage is a much more effective and reliable way of gathering data.
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« Reply #88 on: May 01, 2009, 11:20:09 PM »

Lock them in a room, and blast Roseanne Barr singing the National Anthem for a solid 12hrs, it will bring anyone to tears of insanity...
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« Reply #89 on: May 01, 2009, 11:22:28 PM »

I have no problem "interrogating" them, as GiC so ably explained, in order to find out whatever we can to protect ourselves.

greekischristian has also renounced any Christian convictions on these matters, so to so readily affirm the position of one who is apostate is not exactly a point in your favor.

Whatever we must do to protect ourselves...

I affirmed his position on "interrogating".  It's a good one.  Surely you don't discount everything someone says just because they're not a card carrying Orthodox Christian or you don't like some position they hold? Or do just like the opportunity to use the word apostate?

And obviously my sentence was not intended to mean "do whatever we can to protect ourselves."  If I wasn't clear, I meant that we should find out whatever we can via "interrogation" to protect ourselves.    
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« Reply #90 on: May 01, 2009, 11:24:06 PM »

So in your opinion, what is an acceptable interogation technique for a known, self-confessed terrorist in our custody?
Well it isn't torture or threat of death.
People will say anything, agree to anything to avoid suffering and death, so what's the point? The information is useless.
Espionage is a much more effective and reliable way of gathering data.


Man, you like answering questions I didn't ask and commenting on statements I didn't make.  I didn't ask what you found unacceptable, I asked what interrogation techniques do you find acceptable.  I would say that is a reasonable question in light of the discussion.
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« Reply #91 on: May 01, 2009, 11:26:31 PM »

Lock them in a room, and blast Roseanne Barr singing the National Anthem for a solid 12hrs, it will bring anyone to tears of insanity...

Or lock them in a dark room for hours with The Doors "This is the end" blaring over speakers.  It works on pledges, or at least 15 years ago it did! Wink
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« Reply #92 on: May 01, 2009, 11:29:41 PM »

So in your opinion, what is an acceptable interogation technique for a known, self-confessed terrorist in our custody?
Well it isn't torture or threat of death.
People will say anything, agree to anything to avoid suffering and death, so what's the point? The information is useless.
Espionage is a much more effective and reliable way of gathering data.


Man, you like answering questions I didn't ask and commenting on statements I didn't make.  I didn't ask what you found unacceptable, I asked what interrogation techniques do you find acceptable.  I would say that is a reasonable question in light of the discussion.
And I answered quite clearly that torture is a useless form of "interrogation" and espionage is much better at obtaining useful information. Get someone on the inside. Use con tricks, tracking, bugging etc. But torture is useless because you'll never be able to trust the information for the reasons I outlined many times (and you have even quoted them!)
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« Reply #93 on: May 01, 2009, 11:32:33 PM »

But why, if it is part of a war effort that is in self-defense?  How is it any different than the other ugly aspects of war?

Dear God! That you should even have to ask that question!
Torture serves no purpose but to satisfy sadism and bloodlust. There is nothing self-defensive about it (see above).

It is very easy and comfortable to make that moralistic condemnation.  Put until it has been your individual and personal responsibility to collect intelligence and prevent future attacks, to claim such a black and white moralism seems entirely out of place.  

Supposing we agree that a defense war is at least morally permissible as a lesser of two evils - is a sniper shooting an off duty soldier while he's urinating any better?  What I'm getting at is that a war effort is not some romanticised thing of honourable actions - a lot of dirty things must be done.  I'm not saying they should all be seen as normative, nor should they not be subject to an independent review (and like I said, I disagree for the most part with how the Bush administration has been using torture).  
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« Reply #94 on: May 01, 2009, 11:33:00 PM »

So in your opinion, what is an acceptable interogation technique for a known, self-confessed terrorist in our custody?
Well it isn't torture or threat of death.
People will say anything, agree to anything to avoid suffering and death, so what's the point? The information is useless.
Espionage is a much more effective and reliable way of gathering data.


Man, you like answering questions I didn't ask and commenting on statements I didn't make.  I didn't ask what you found unacceptable, I asked what interrogation techniques do you find acceptable.  I would say that is a reasonable question in light of the discussion.
And I answered quite clearly that torture is a useless form of "interrogation" and espionage is much better at obtaining useful information. Get someone on the inside. Use con tricks, tracking, bugging etc. But torture is useless because you'll never be able to trust the information for the reasons I outlined many times (and you have even quoted them!)

Are you listening or lost in anger.  I know you think torture is useless.  What forms of interrogation do you feel are not torture and would be acceptable.  Or do you think prisoners shouldn't be questioned for intelligence at all?
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« Reply #95 on: May 01, 2009, 11:34:35 PM »

So in your opinion, what is an acceptable interogation technique for a known, self-confessed terrorist in our custody?
Well it isn't torture or threat of death.
People will say anything, agree to anything to avoid suffering and death, so what's the point? The information is useless.
Espionage is a much more effective and reliable way of gathering data.


Man, you like answering questions I didn't ask and commenting on statements I didn't make.  I didn't ask what you found unacceptable, I asked what interrogation techniques do you find acceptable.  I would say that is a reasonable question in light of the discussion.
And I answered quite clearly that torture is a useless form of "interrogation" and espionage is much better at obtaining useful information. Get someone on the inside. Use con tricks, tracking, bugging etc. But torture is useless because you'll never be able to trust the information for the reasons I outlined many times (and you have even quoted them!)


Which is why you acquire multiple subjects with knowledge of similar information and you grant relief based on verification with other subjects and general logical consistancy, not based on giving information that you want to hear. Yes, all information gained by torture is dubious, but there are ways to verify.
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« Reply #96 on: May 01, 2009, 11:49:29 PM »

So in your opinion, what is an acceptable interogation technique for a known, self-confessed terrorist in our custody?
Well it isn't torture or threat of death.
People will say anything, agree to anything to avoid suffering and death, so what's the point? The information is useless.
Espionage is a much more effective and reliable way of gathering data.


Man, you like answering questions I didn't ask and commenting on statements I didn't make.  I didn't ask what you found unacceptable, I asked what interrogation techniques do you find acceptable.  I would say that is a reasonable question in light of the discussion.
And I answered quite clearly that torture is a useless form of "interrogation" and espionage is much better at obtaining useful information. Get someone on the inside. Use con tricks, tracking, bugging etc. But torture is useless because you'll never be able to trust the information for the reasons I outlined many times (and you have even quoted them!)

Are you listening or lost in anger.  I know you think torture is useless.  What forms of interrogation do you not feel are torture and would be acceptable.  Or do you think prisoners shouldn't be questioned for intelligence at all?
I'm not angry, I just can't see the point of torturing prisoners to get information if it does not add veracity to their answers, and I don't understand why you can't see that. You'll get much more accurate information out of them by winning their trust. The question to ask is: "what would you be prepared to say or agree to under torture or threat of torture?"  If you were prepared to die to defend the US and your fellow Servicemen, would you give information under "interrogation" which placed them at risk?
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« Reply #97 on: May 02, 2009, 12:03:22 AM »

So in your opinion, what is an acceptable interogation technique for a known, self-confessed terrorist in our custody?
Well it isn't torture or threat of death.
People will say anything, agree to anything to avoid suffering and death, so what's the point? The information is useless.
Espionage is a much more effective and reliable way of gathering data.


Man, you like answering questions I didn't ask and commenting on statements I didn't make.  I didn't ask what you found unacceptable, I asked what interrogation techniques do you find acceptable.  I would say that is a reasonable question in light of the discussion.
And I answered quite clearly that torture is a useless form of "interrogation" and espionage is much better at obtaining useful information. Get someone on the inside. Use con tricks, tracking, bugging etc. But torture is useless because you'll never be able to trust the information for the reasons I outlined many times (and you have even quoted them!)

Are you listening or lost in anger.  I know you think torture is useless.  What forms of interrogation do you not feel are torture and would be acceptable.  Or do you think prisoners shouldn't be questioned for intelligence at all?
I'm not angry, I just can't see the point of torturing prisoners to get information if it does not add veracity to their answers, and I don't understand why you can't see that. You'll get much more accurate information out of them by winning their trust. The question to ask is: "what would you be prepared to say or agree to under torture or threat of torture?"  If you were prepared to die to defend the US and your fellow Servicemen, would you give information under "interrogation" which placed them at risk?

This isn't a trick question.  It's very clear you don't see the point of torture and believe it results in useless information. It's clear as day.  I see it like I see the moon hanging in the sky.  But that's not what I asked you.

What do believe is an appropriate way to get information from prisoners?  Now to be really clear so you understand, I didn't say "what's a good way to gather information on terrorist activities" to which one good answer might be "espionage".

Or maybe if I ask in a different way it will make it easier for you.  You have the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks in custody.  He has information on impending attacks, some of which only he knows.  How would you gather information from him without crossing your "torture" line. Or another way, you say we shouldn't have waterboarded him.  Then what should have we done to get information from him personally? Or do really think it would have been as simple as gaining his trust?
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« Reply #98 on: May 02, 2009, 12:28:03 AM »

Don't remember the VC or North Koreans playing by the Geneva Rules...

Don't expect that Muslim extremists will...

When it comes to protecting my or a brother in arms 6 I do what needs to be done...

Some need a taste of combat...
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« Reply #99 on: May 02, 2009, 12:57:31 AM »

I know you are going to hate this answer George, but 'unlawful combatants' (who are in their own ways violating Geneva and Hague conventions) are not subject to POW status.  Geneva is moot then.  I'm not stating my support or condemnation, but just pointing it out.

You are absolutely right.
I hate that answer. And the reason I hate it is because it is the lie used to convince the US public that torture of unlawful combatants is justifiable.
The torture of unlawful combatants is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.

Here is what the Geneva Conventions actually say about unlawful combatants who are not subject to POW status:
Quote
Article 45(3)
"Any person who has taken part in hostilities, who is not entitled to prisoner-of-war status and who does not benefit from more favourable treatment in accordance with the Fourth Convention shall have the right at all times to the protection of Article 75 of this Protocol. In occupied territory, any such person, unless he is held as a spy, shall also be entitled, notwithstanding Article 5 of the Fourth Convention, to his rights of communication under that Convention.”

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts1995/ukpga_19950027_en_3

That's nice, George.  But they had a revolution here a while ago, and Acts of the British Parliament are not binding on the U.S.
You do realize that the Geneva Conventions are a product of the 20th Century, that they follow the American Revolution by a good 200 years, and were agreed upon by much more than just the British Parliament?  (Why do I even need to remind you of this? Huh)
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« Reply #100 on: May 02, 2009, 03:14:43 AM »

The last scenes in Gibson's Braveheart....THAT was torture. Threatening a terrorist with a caterpillar is not.

But when the suspect has been lead to believe that the insect is a stinging insect, does that not qualify as torture?  If I go rob a bank using a water pistol, does that mean I can't be charged the same way as if I had used a real gun?
No. And your robber might be convicted of armed robbery but merit a much lighter sentence.
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« Reply #101 on: May 02, 2009, 07:38:27 AM »

I know you are going to hate this answer George, but 'unlawful combatants' (who are in their own ways violating Geneva and Hague conventions) are not subject to POW status.  Geneva is moot then.  I'm not stating my support or condemnation, but just pointing it out.

You are absolutely right.
I hate that answer. And the reason I hate it is because it is the lie used to convince the US public that torture of unlawful combatants is justifiable.
The torture of unlawful combatants is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.

Here is what the Geneva Conventions actually say about unlawful combatants who are not subject to POW status:
Quote
Article 45(3)
"Any person who has taken part in hostilities, who is not entitled to prisoner-of-war status and who does not benefit from more favourable treatment in accordance with the Fourth Convention shall have the right at all times to the protection of Article 75 of this Protocol. In occupied territory, any such person, unless he is held as a spy, shall also be entitled, notwithstanding Article 5 of the Fourth Convention, to his rights of communication under that Convention.”

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts1995/ukpga_19950027_en_3

That's nice, George.  But they had a revolution here a while ago, and Acts of the British Parliament are not binding on the U.S.
You do realize that the Geneva Conventions are a product of the 20th Century, that they follow the American Revolution by a good 200 years, and were agreed upon by much more than just the British Parliament?  (Why do I even need to remind you of this? Huh)

I believe the part George exerpted has not been ratified by the U.S. Senate.  Every country can ratify it (and practically all have, the U.S. being part of some notable exceptions), but that won't make it binding on the U.S. (I don't recall that the original protocol had an activation clause after a certain number ratified, but I could be wrong).

Of course, that often leads to interesting tales: like the U.S. bombing Libya and going into the Gulf of Sidra to enforce provisions of a treaty that the U.S. did not ratify.
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« Reply #102 on: May 02, 2009, 08:01:38 AM »

Don't remember the VC or North Koreans playing by the Geneva Rules...

Don't expect that Muslim extremists will...

When it comes to protecting my or a brother in arms 6 I do what needs to be done...

Some need a taste of combat...

Combat is and always has been an unfortunate part of human history.
But torture is not combat. It is subhuman, evil, demonic. It is not self defence but an extraction of revenge which the US has sunk to and has become just as evil as those it "combats" and in the process has lost any high ground.
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« Reply #103 on: May 02, 2009, 01:46:36 PM »

I cannot understand how any person of Christian faith can justify the use of lies and deceit, and bringing mental anguish upon a fellow human, as a defense of the christian way of life.
regardless of information that might be obtained, i see this as advocating evil and propagating it as well. Use of military power to go and get those who have physically attacked us is one thing, The use of torture  (which is what these techniques are, no matter how you try to justify it) to further an offensive strategy, or try and prevent another attack from those who would wish you harm is blatantly wrong. And I believe it's an affront to the Lord.

There are so many other ways of getting intelligence without the use of evil acts, which i see as mimicing those who we are afraid of. ( The more we justify it, the further we are from God) 

Just to pose a query, if you were driving along a crowded moutain pass, following a long line of cars, and you saw everyone ahead of you suddenly veer of the road and go off a cliff, would you do the same? No, because you know where it leads. Why would you advocate evil if you know where it leads?

IMO We don't belong where we are not wanted. Did the Apostle's continue to preach in cities or lands that would not listen or believe? No they left them for the Lord to judge. And i believe we should follow their lead.

George's 2cents
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« Reply #104 on: May 02, 2009, 04:28:15 PM »

I know you are going to hate this answer George, but 'unlawful combatants' (who are in their own ways violating Geneva and Hague conventions) are not subject to POW status.  Geneva is moot then.  I'm not stating my support or condemnation, but just pointing it out.

You are absolutely right.
I hate that answer. And the reason I hate it is because it is the lie used to convince the US public that torture of unlawful combatants is justifiable.
The torture of unlawful combatants is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions.

Here is what the Geneva Conventions actually say about unlawful combatants who are not subject to POW status:
Quote
Article 45(3)
"Any person who has taken part in hostilities, who is not entitled to prisoner-of-war status and who does not benefit from more favourable treatment in accordance with the Fourth Convention shall have the right at all times to the protection of Article 75 of this Protocol. In occupied territory, any such person, unless he is held as a spy, shall also be entitled, notwithstanding Article 5 of the Fourth Convention, to his rights of communication under that Convention.”

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts1995/ukpga_19950027_en_3

That's nice, George.  But they had a revolution here a while ago, and Acts of the British Parliament are not binding on the U.S.
You do realize that the Geneva Conventions are a product of the 20th Century, that they follow the American Revolution by a good 200 years, and were agreed upon by much more than just the British Parliament?  (Why do I even need to remind you of this? Huh)

I believe the part George exerpted has not been ratified by the U.S. Senate.  Every country can ratify it (and practically all have, the U.S. being part of some notable exceptions), but that won't make it binding on the U.S. (I don't recall that the original protocol had an activation clause after a certain number ratified, but I could be wrong).

Of course, that often leads to interesting tales: like the U.S. bombing Libya and going into the Gulf of Sidra to enforce provisions of a treaty that the U.S. did not ratify.
But then we're not talking about the Geneva Conventions as if they are the acts of British Parliament; rather, we're talking about the role of the U.S. Senate in agreeing to international treaties such as the Geneva Conventions, as this role is detailed in the Constitution.

Then again, this tangent between you (Isa) and me addresses the politics of torture and U.S. ratification of the Geneva Conventions, which really has nothing to do with the larger debate of how we view torture in the light of Christian ethics. police
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« Reply #105 on: May 02, 2009, 06:00:30 PM »

Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-
A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...
Now imagine this, Gabriel. That man is your godson. What do you do?

After having worked with children, I see everyone as though they were my students. All of us were children once, and some still are. No one blames a child for acting without thinking, for retaliating instead of making peace. Those adults who still do are merely people who have not grown up yet. We should have compassion on them, for the life of a child is difficult indeed. We should, when circumstances allow it, to guide them to better decisions. But it is a serious error to behave ourselves in a juvenile manner, thinking they will understand it. Children learn from adults, whose way of thinking and acting is sometimes beyond their comprehension. Is it not also reasonable to believe that those who behave like juveniles will, if their minds are open, learn from those who act in a nobler way? Unfortunately, we understand that many are not willing to learn, in which case we have nothing to teach. Yet their attitude does not stop us from having compassion on them, and that does not stop us from doing what we know to be a better way. So let us have compassion, though it may indeed kill us, rather than embrace violence, which will not quell the violent.
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« Reply #106 on: May 02, 2009, 10:07:10 PM »

Not relative to the topic at hand; if you want a scenario, how about this one-
A man has a bomb that he's strapping to himself and and plans on detonating it at a crowded market filled with women and children.  In fact, all of your God-children will be there OzGeorge.  If he gets there, almost all will die and/or be horribly maimed; both physically and psychologically.  Two blocks away, you and another interrogator have captured a man whom you know can stop this by disclosing the bombers location.  Unfortunately, he ain't talking and he wants your God-children dead.  What will you do OzGeorge?  What will you do...
Now imagine this, Gabriel. That man is your godson. What do you do?

After having worked with children, I see everyone as though they were my students. All of us were children once, and some still are. No one blames a child for acting without thinking, for retaliating instead of making peace. Those adults who still do are merely people who have not grown up yet. We should have compassion on them, for the life of a child is difficult indeed. We should, when circumstances allow it, to guide them to better decisions. But it is a serious error to behave ourselves in a juvenile manner, thinking they will understand it. Children learn from adults, whose way of thinking and acting is sometimes beyond their comprehension. Is it not also reasonable to believe that those who behave like juveniles will, if their minds are open, learn from those who act in a nobler way? Unfortunately, we understand that many are not willing to learn, in which case we have nothing to teach. Yet their attitude does not stop us from having compassion on them, and that does not stop us from doing what we know to be a better way. So let us have compassion, though it may indeed kill us, rather than embrace violence, which will not quell the violent.

^This.  As much as it bothers me to think of my own family in danger, I can't help but think of the people who are recruited to be suicide bombers.  They're someone's sons and daughters too and they've been influenced to believe what they are doing is a noble thing for the good of the many (sound familiar?).  I don't expect war to be an easy thing or a black and white issue and that's my point:  I think we're finally beginning to realize that we can't approach war as Us versus Them anymore.  It's not a matter of "shoot the guy who looks like this" it's now having to discern which person in the market place is likely to have a bomb strapped to them. 
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« Reply #107 on: May 02, 2009, 10:41:40 PM »

Um...if my son was in that situation mentioned above I would quickly and without remorse use waterboarding to get him to give up the information. There is no permanent harm and it would save lives.

But then I spank on occasion so I must be evil anyway Roll Eyes
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« Reply #108 on: May 03, 2009, 10:09:47 AM »

Um...if my son was in that situation mentioned above I would quickly and without remorse use waterboarding to get him to give up the information. There is no permanent harm and it would save lives.

But then I spank on occasion so I must be evil anyway Roll Eyes


Is your child under the impression that he is going to die when you spank him? Hardly the same thing. Sad you would torture your own child without remorse, let alone another human being.
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« Reply #109 on: May 03, 2009, 10:53:55 AM »

Um...if my son was in that situation mentioned above I would quickly and without remorse use waterboarding to get him to give up the information. There is no permanent harm and it would save lives.

But then I spank on occasion so I must be evil anyway Roll Eyes


Is your child under the impression that he is going to die when you spank him? Hardly the same thing. Sad you would torture your own child without remorse, let alone another human being.
So you define waterboarding as torture?  Is this an absolute definition, or just your opinion?
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« Reply #110 on: May 03, 2009, 11:48:16 AM »

Um...if my son was in that situation mentioned above I would quickly and without remorse use waterboarding to get him to give up the information. There is no permanent harm and it would save lives.

But then I spank on occasion so I must be evil anyway Roll Eyes


Is your child under the impression that he is going to die when you spank him? Hardly the same thing. Sad you would torture your own child without remorse, let alone another human being.
So you define waterboarding as torture?  Is this an absolute definition, or just your opinion?

Any painful coercive technique that simulates dying and was employed by the Spanish Inquisition, the Japanese during WWII, and the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War, sounds quite a bit like torture.
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« Reply #111 on: May 03, 2009, 12:13:28 PM »

Um...if my son was in that situation mentioned above I would quickly and without remorse use waterboarding to get him to give up the information. There is no permanent harm and it would save lives.

But then I spank on occasion so I must be evil anyway Roll Eyes


Is your child under the impression that he is going to die when you spank him? Hardly the same thing. Sad you would torture your own child without remorse, let alone another human being.
So you define waterboarding as torture?  Is this an absolute definition, or just your opinion?

I as an individual, cannot state this an an absolute definition, No, That is for the church to decide. I've stated what i feel, so if thats considered my opinion, then Yes on that front.

Whether it's Physical, or Psychological, using deceitful means (giving a FALSE impression of death, etc.) to get what you want, or think they have, from an individual, regardless of the situation, amounts to Torture, no matter how you try to justify it as necessary. Since FALSE, is the opposite of TRUTH, Truth being the Lord's way,  Falsehood Being that of Satan, I would think this would be clear to more people.

Just because we fear Death and Persecution, at the hands of those who would have it brought upon us, does that give us The right to use Falsehoods to prevent it? Or bring persecution, And fear of death at our hands to them?

Again George's 2cents (My opinion)
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« Reply #112 on: May 03, 2009, 03:06:59 PM »

^ Whomever said that those being waterboarded are told they will be killed? It is a coercive technique. As in- we will stop doing this thing you don't like once you tell us what we want to know. The BODY thinks it is dying, but typically the person doing the interrogation lets them know that they will not be killed- but VERY uncomfortable. And to boot- waterboarding is NOTHING compared to what our elite military forces go thru VOLUNTARILY in training.

Out of curiosity, do any of you people calling this torture have any experience in the military?
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« Reply #113 on: May 03, 2009, 03:13:38 PM »

^ Whomever said that those being waterboarded are told they will be killed?
Those who experienced it (read the examples & videos of those who voluntarily went through it given on this thread.)
Before you willingly try it on you son to get information, perhaps you should have it tried on your self first to find out what its like.

As in- we will stop doing this thing you don't like once you tell us what we want to know. And to boot- waterboarding is NOTHING compared to what our elite military forces go thru VOLUNTARILY in training.
The fact that people "VOLUNTARILY" go though things proves nothing other than the fact that they voluntarily go through things. People voluntarily (and even pay) to be tortured (eg S&M prostitution)- does that mean it doesn't hurt and you can do it on your kids?

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« Reply #114 on: May 03, 2009, 03:26:06 PM »

^ Whomever said that those being waterboarded are told they will be killed? It is a coercive technique. As in- we will stop doing this thing you don't like once you tell us what we want to know. The BODY thinks it is dying, but typically the person doing the interrogation lets them know that they will not be killed- but VERY uncomfortable. And to boot- waterboarding is NOTHING compared to what our elite military forces go thru VOLUNTARILY in training.

Out of curiosity, do any of you people calling this torture have any experience in the military?


Being forced to stand in one position for days a la the Gulag techniques doesn't necessarily lead to death either. Neither do starvation, the rack,  electric shock, or the techniques portrayed in 1984 and A Clockwork Orange,  if monitored and administered "correctly".
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« Reply #115 on: May 03, 2009, 03:39:34 PM »

^ Whomever said that those being waterboarded are told they will be killed? It is a coercive technique. As in- we will stop doing this thing you don't like once you tell us what we want to know. The BODY thinks it is dying, but typically the person doing the interrogation lets them know that they will not be killed- but VERY uncomfortable. And to boot- waterboarding is NOTHING compared to what our elite military forces go thru VOLUNTARILY in training.

Out of curiosity, do any of you people calling this torture have any experience in the military?


I never stated they were told they were being killed. Their mind and body were, by the acts themselves. Even if you tell them they won't die, Do they not suffer, if the body thinks it's dieing, does not the mind respond the same? regardless of foreknowledge? Have you yourself been through this?

the original topic was, " Support for terror suspect torture differs among the faithful " Not military. while you may have military experience, defining a thelogical argument based off it, is not Theologically sound.
while political and military needs may arise for the use of coercion, condonement of it, in the name of God, is wrong IMO

George's 2cents
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« Reply #116 on: May 03, 2009, 03:53:20 PM »

I usually don't tell anyone this, because of the secret nature of the job, but I find Jack Bauer to be a source of inspiration whenever I engage in torture:

Quote
Jack Bauer: But I'm the man with the gun.
Kevin Carroll: If you kill me, how are you going to find your family?
Jack Bauer: Who said anything about killing?

After I get my information, I take out my handy Ronald Wilson Reagan calling card, which says: "Trust, but verify".

That usually does the trick.


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« Reply #117 on: May 03, 2009, 04:08:13 PM »

So, basically this question is really, "Is psychological duress torture"? Absent permanent harm, no, it is not.
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« Reply #118 on: May 03, 2009, 04:33:12 PM »

So, basically this question is really, "Is psychological duress torture"? Absent permanent harm, no, it is not.

It's often difficult to measure permanent psychological harm. It's doubtful suspected terrorists will be asked back to Gitmo, for example, for follow up visits.


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« Reply #119 on: May 03, 2009, 05:21:20 PM »

So, basically this question is really, "Is psychological duress torture"? Absent permanent harm, no, it is not.

How do you decide what is permanent harm in another individual? Ask them?  How do you decide what constitutes permanent harm? How is temporary harm any different from permanent harm?
Again, I personally feel this is a Flawed viewpoint, expressed from a secular point of view not a Christian one.

While a Secular Government may feel the need to use these techniques to protect the innocent, That dosen't make it right, condemning it is all i can do.

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« Reply #120 on: May 03, 2009, 08:30:48 PM »

Um...if my son was in that situation mentioned above I would quickly and without remorse use waterboarding to get him to give up the information. There is no permanent harm and it would save lives.

But then I spank on occasion so I must be evil anyway Roll Eyes


Is your child under the impression that he is going to die when you spank him? Hardly the same thing. Sad you would torture your own child without remorse, let alone another human being.
So you define waterboarding as torture?  Is this an absolute definition, or just your opinion?

I as an individual, cannot state this an an absolute definition, No, That is for the church to decide. I've stated what i feel, so if thats considered my opinion, then Yes on that front.

Whether it's Physical, or Psychological, using deceitful means (giving a FALSE impression of death, etc.) to get what you want, or think they have, from an individual, regardless of the situation, amounts to Torture, no matter how you try to justify it as necessary. Since FALSE, is the opposite of TRUTH, Truth being the Lord's way,  Falsehood Being that of Satan, I would think this would be clear to more people.

Just because we fear Death and Persecution, at the hands of those who would have it brought upon us, does that give us The right to use Falsehoods to prevent it? Or bring persecution, And fear of death at our hands to them?

Again George's 2cents (My opinion)
So you're willing to judge Quinault because you define waterboarding as torture and she doesn't?
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« Reply #121 on: May 03, 2009, 08:42:03 PM »

In the scenario presented my son has endangered numerous people with a bomb. The life of my son is not worth more than the lives he endangers with a bomb. So if in order to save other peoples lives I have to threaten my (theoretical once again since he isn't even 2 yet) son with coercive techniques, then I would do so.
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« Reply #122 on: May 03, 2009, 08:44:55 PM »

In the scenario presented my son has endangered numerous people with a bomb. The life of my son is not worth more than the lives he endangers with a bomb. So if in order to save other peoples lives I have to threaten my (theoretical once again since he isn't even 2 yet) son with coercive techniques, then I would do so.

And then why don't expand it to branding with hot iron, cutting toes one by one, etc.? Your son's life is still the priority...
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« Reply #123 on: May 03, 2009, 08:55:59 PM »

No, the situation mentioned was using a COERCIVE method on my son. Coercive techniques do no physical long term harm or scarring. Waterboarding feels like drowning but you don't drown the person. Worst case scenario someone might end up with pnemonia if you were to do it alot and in the right conditions. Cutting off apendanges or burning someone obviously does long term physical harm. I don't think techniques that cause scarring of the body to be coercive techniques, that is actually torture in my opinion. And in the case of coercive techniques the person under interrogation is monitored by a doctor and psychologist the entire time to make sure there is no permanent harm.

And if my child was to endanger other innocent people's lives for a political ideology then I would be willing to do anything possible to keep them from doing that. I would rather have a child scarred permanently than have a child with the deaths of others on their conscience for the rest of their lives.

Afghani's like to inflate their death counts by the US because we PAY THEM money for each civilian death that occurs by our forces. A lot of the time they will KILL EACH OTHER to get the money. That culture sees kindness as weakness to be taken advantage of period. So why wouldn't the people come out of the interment centers complaining? It isn't supposed to be fun! And with all the money we dole out to these people when we are wrong (or it is politically incorrect and the French/British don't like us) there is no incentive for honesty. Do you really think that anyone would come out of being interrogated and say "it wasn't that bad"?
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« Reply #124 on: May 03, 2009, 09:00:56 PM »

No, the situation mentioned was using a COERCIVE method on my son. Coercive techniques do no physical long term harm or scarring. Waterboarding feels like drowning but you don't drown the person. Worst case scenario someone might end up with pnemonia if you were to do it alot and in the right conditions. Cutting off apendanges or burning someone obviously does long term physical harm. I don't think techniques that cause scarring of the body to be coercive techniques, that is actually torture in my opinion.
Torture is by definition coercive; what I read you saying is that there are means of coercion that don't count as torture.

IOW, ALL torture is coercion, but not all coercion is torture, or so I read you saying.
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« Reply #125 on: May 03, 2009, 09:03:18 PM »

No, the situation mentioned was using a COERCIVE method on my son. Coercive techniques do no physical long term harm or scarring. Waterboarding feels like drowning but you don't drown the person. Worst case scenario someone might end up with pnemonia if you were to do it alot and in the right conditions. Cutting off apendanges or burning someone obviously does long term physical harm. I don't think techniques that cause scarring of the body to be coercive techniques, that is actually torture in my opinion.
Torture is by definition coercive; what I read you saying is that there are means of coercion that don't count as torture.

IOW, ALL torture is coercion, but not all coercion is torture, or so I read you saying.

Yes that is right.
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« Reply #126 on: May 03, 2009, 09:50:18 PM »

Considering the vengeance of angry Yahweh in the Old Testament or even the tactics of many of the Orthodox rulers who have since been canonised, the Bush administration was quite restrained and waterboarding is child's play.  It's slightly amusing to me that some posters seem to think such an issue is black and white, whereas other issues (take homosexuality - to pick a topic at random) that have been 100% consistent in Orthodox history are presented as if they were ambiguous. 
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« Reply #127 on: May 03, 2009, 09:52:16 PM »

Um...if my son was in that situation mentioned above I would quickly and without remorse use waterboarding to get him to give up the information. There is no permanent harm and it would save lives.

But then I spank on occasion so I must be evil anyway Roll Eyes


Is your child under the impression that he is going to die when you spank him? Hardly the same thing. Sad you would torture your own child without remorse, let alone another human being.
So you define waterboarding as torture?  Is this an absolute definition, or just your opinion?

I as an individual, cannot state this an an absolute definition, No, That is for the church to decide. I've stated what i feel, so if thats considered my opinion, then Yes on that front.

Whether it's Physical, or Psychological, using deceitful means (giving a FALSE impression of death, etc.) to get what you want, or think they have, from an individual, regardless of the situation, amounts to Torture, no matter how you try to justify it as necessary. Since FALSE, is the opposite of TRUTH, Truth being the Lord's way,  Falsehood Being that of Satan, I would think this would be clear to more people.

Just because we fear Death and Persecution, at the hands of those who would have it brought upon us, does that give us The right to use Falsehoods to prevent it? Or bring persecution, And fear of death at our hands to them?

Again George's 2cents (My opinion)
So you're willing to judge Quinault because you define waterboarding as torture and she doesn't?

I've passed no judgement on anyone to my knowledge, if you wish to clarify where you think i have please do, for that is not my intent. And i apologize if it was so, or if it was taken as such. I was saddened by her own said ability to do this to her own child without any remorse.

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« Reply #128 on: May 03, 2009, 10:04:50 PM »

Um...if my son was in that situation mentioned above I would quickly and without remorse use waterboarding to get him to give up the information. There is no permanent harm and it would save lives.

But then I spank on occasion so I must be evil anyway Roll Eyes


Is your child under the impression that he is going to die when you spank him? Hardly the same thing. Sad you would torture your own child without remorse, let alone another human being.
So you define waterboarding as torture?  Is this an absolute definition, or just your opinion?

I as an individual, cannot state this an an absolute definition, No, That is for the church to decide. I've stated what i feel, so if thats considered my opinion, then Yes on that front.

Whether it's Physical, or Psychological, using deceitful means (giving a FALSE impression of death, etc.) to get what you want, or think they have, from an individual, regardless of the situation, amounts to Torture, no matter how you try to justify it as necessary. Since FALSE, is the opposite of TRUTH, Truth being the Lord's way,  Falsehood Being that of Satan, I would think this would be clear to more people.

Just because we fear Death and Persecution, at the hands of those who would have it brought upon us, does that give us The right to use Falsehoods to prevent it? Or bring persecution, And fear of death at our hands to them?

Again George's 2cents (My opinion)
So you're willing to judge Quinault because you define waterboarding as torture and she doesn't?

I've passed no judgement on anyone to my knowledge, if you wish to clarify where you think i have please do, for that is not my intent. And i apologize if it was so, or if it was taken as such. I was saddened by her own said ability to do this to her own child without any remorse.
But if YOU didn't view waterboarding as torture, would you have such a problem with Quinault's ability to "do this to her own child without any remorse"?  You see, the REAL issue is not that she would torture her child without remorse, but that you define waterboarding as torture and she doesn't, thus making her out to endorse the torture of her own child, something no sane mother would ever do.  Now, if she were to say that she has no problem using on her own child methods SHE would define as torture, then maybe you'd have good reason to judge her as a sadist and be saddened by her point of view.
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« Reply #129 on: May 03, 2009, 10:44:56 PM »

Um...if my son was in that situation mentioned above I would quickly and without remorse use waterboarding to get him to give up the information. There is no permanent harm and it would save lives.

But then I spank on occasion so I must be evil anyway Roll Eyes


Is your child under the impression that he is going to die when you spank him? Hardly the same thing. Sad you would torture your own child without remorse, let alone another human being.
So you define waterboarding as torture?  Is this an absolute definition, or just your opinion?

I as an individual, cannot state this an an absolute definition, No, That is for the church to decide. I've stated what i feel, so if thats considered my opinion, then Yes on that front.

Whether it's Physical, or Psychological, using deceitful means (giving a FALSE impression of death, etc.) to get what you want, or think they have, from an individual, regardless of the situation, amounts to Torture, no matter how you try to justify it as necessary. Since FALSE, is the opposite of TRUTH, Truth being the Lord's way,  Falsehood Being that of Satan, I would think this would be clear to more people.

Just because we fear Death and Persecution, at the hands of those who would have it brought upon us, does that give us The right to use Falsehoods to prevent it? Or bring persecution, And fear of death at our hands to them?

Again George's 2cents (My opinion)
So you're willing to judge Quinault because you define waterboarding as torture and she doesn't?

I've passed no judgement on anyone to my knowledge, if you wish to clarify where you think i have please do, for that is not my intent. And i apologize if it was so, or if it was taken as such. I was saddened by her own said ability to do this to her own child without any remorse.
But if YOU didn't view waterboarding as torture, would you have such a problem with Quinault's ability to "do this to her own child without any remorse"?  You see, the REAL issue is not that she would torture her child without remorse, but that you define waterboarding as torture and she doesn't, thus making her out to endorse the torture of her own child, something no sane mother would ever do.  Now, if she were to say that she has no problem using on her own child methods SHE would define as torture, then maybe you'd have good reason to judge her as a sadist and be saddened by her point of view.

I'm sorry, but you've obviously misunderstood my statements, and now are telling me what I meant, in your view.(But thank you for bringing it to My attention) My viewpoint differs from hers yes. I do not judge her for holding to it. And my being saddened by what she said, was in no way meant as judgement of her. I was saddened, because I feel it's not right. I fail to see how my disagreeing and being saddened by her comment, can arrive at what you've come up with, Which is far and away, from what I felt at the time I wrote the response. Again if it was received this way, I offer my heartfelt apologies, for it was not meant to be. I often have a hard time putting my thoughts and feelings in written form as it's still new to me, so mistake prone I be.

Again My Apologies to you Quinault if i offended

George
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« Reply #130 on: May 04, 2009, 11:38:34 AM »

Don't remember the VC or North Koreans playing by the Geneva Rules...

Don't expect that Muslim extremists will...

When it comes to protecting my or a brother in arms 6 I do what needs to be done...

Some need a taste of combat...

Combat is and always has been an unfortunate part of human history.
But torture is not combat. It is subhuman, evil, demonic. It is not self defence but an extraction of revenge which the US has sunk to and has become just as evil as those it "combats" and in the process has lost any high ground.
really? The US is evil? That's news to me. Thanks for setting my country straight.  Roll Eyes Should I come on here and claim that Aussies are Lazy (and just to be clear, I do not subscribe to that view and and not claiming they are; I am just making a point about how in appropriate your coment is)? I think not. Such would be inappropriate. In fact, I would be moderated for such. But you come on here claiming that the US is evil. disgusting.
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« Reply #131 on: May 04, 2009, 11:42:25 AM »

Don't remember the VC or North Koreans playing by the Geneva Rules...

Don't expect that Muslim extremists will...

When it comes to protecting my or a brother in arms 6 I do what needs to be done...

Some need a taste of combat...

Combat is and always has been an unfortunate part of human history.
But torture is not combat. It is subhuman, evil, demonic. It is not self defence but an extraction of revenge which the US has sunk to and has become just as evil as those it "combats" and in the process has lost any high ground.
really? The US is evil? That's news to me. Thanks for setting my country straight.  Roll Eyes Should I come on here and claim that Aussies are Lazy (and just to be clear, I do not subscribe to that view and and not claiming they are; I am just making a point about how in appropriate your coment is)? I think not. Such would be inappropriate. In fact, I would be moderated for such. But you come on here claiming that the US is evil. disgusting.
Actually, George has established that torture is evil, which provides context for his argument that because the US engages in torture, the US must be evil. This is according to the logical progression A=B, B=C, A=C. You may disagree with him, but it is indeed a logical argument and not an ad hominem.
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« Reply #132 on: May 04, 2009, 11:58:42 AM »

Don't remember the VC or North Koreans playing by the Geneva Rules...

Don't expect that Muslim extremists will...

When it comes to protecting my or a brother in arms 6 I do what needs to be done...

Some need a taste of combat...

Combat is and always has been an unfortunate part of human history.
But torture is not combat. It is subhuman, evil, demonic. It is not self defence but an extraction of revenge which the US has sunk to and has become just as evil as those it "combats" and in the process has lost any high ground.
really? The US is evil? That's news to me. Thanks for setting my country straight.  Roll Eyes Should I come on here and claim that Aussies are Lazy (and just to be clear, I do not subscribe to that view and and not claiming they are; I am just making a point about how in appropriate your coment is)? I think not. Such would be inappropriate. In fact, I would be moderated for such. But you come on here claiming that the US is evil. disgusting.
Actually, George has established that torture is evil, which provides context for his argument that because the US engages in torture, the US must be evil. This is according to the logical progression A=B, B=C, A=C. You may disagree with him, but it is indeed a logical argument and not an ad hominem.
Abortion is evil; therefore, every country that practices abortion is evil.
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« Reply #133 on: May 04, 2009, 12:01:21 PM »

Abortion is evil; therefore, every country that practices abortion is evil.
Not the same thing, actually. Torture is an act of the government, whereas abortion is an act of a private citizen, allowed by the government. The government is no more responsible for abortion than the people are for torture.
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« Reply #134 on: May 04, 2009, 12:02:21 PM »

Abortion is evil; therefore, every country that practices abortion is evil.
Not the same thing, actually. Torture is an act of the government, whereas abortion is an act of a private citizen, allowed by the government. The government is no more responsible for abortion than the people are for torture.
The government is responsible for allowing, legalizing, and, at times, financially supporting infanticide.
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« Reply #135 on: May 04, 2009, 12:02:49 PM »

Don't remember the VC or North Koreans playing by the Geneva Rules...

Don't expect that Muslim extremists will...

When it comes to protecting my or a brother in arms 6 I do what needs to be done...

Some need a taste of combat...

Combat is and always has been an unfortunate part of human history.
But torture is not combat. It is subhuman, evil, demonic. It is not self defence but an extraction of revenge which the US has sunk to and has become just as evil as those it "combats" and in the process has lost any high ground.
really? The US is evil? That's news to me. Thanks for setting my country straight.  Roll Eyes Should I come on here and claim that Aussies are Lazy (and just to be clear, I do not subscribe to that view and and not claiming they are; I am just making a point about how in appropriate your coment is)? I think not. Such would be inappropriate. In fact, I would be moderated for such. But you come on here claiming that the US is evil. disgusting.
Actually, George has established that torture is evil, which provides context for his argument that because the US engages in torture, the US must be evil. This is according to the logical progression A=B, B=C, A=C. You may disagree with him, but it is indeed a logical argument and not an ad hominem.

Except that it's not.  I'm the first to say these types of things are unpleasant, but let's get a bit of perspective.  For all the problems and moral failings of the US and Western nations that cooperated with its torture programme, the grass is a lot greener on this side of the fence.  All moralistic hyperbole aside, daily life in the US is not even comparable to Uzbekistan.  
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« Reply #136 on: May 04, 2009, 12:09:06 PM »

Don't remember the VC or North Koreans playing by the Geneva Rules...

Don't expect that Muslim extremists will...

When it comes to protecting my or a brother in arms 6 I do what needs to be done...

Some need a taste of combat...

Combat is and always has been an unfortunate part of human history.
But torture is not combat. It is subhuman, evil, demonic. It is not self defence but an extraction of revenge which the US has sunk to and has become just as evil as those it "combats" and in the process has lost any high ground.
really? The US is evil? That's news to me. Thanks for setting my country straight.  Roll Eyes Should I come on here and claim that Aussies are Lazy (and just to be clear, I do not subscribe to that view and and not claiming they are; I am just making a point about how in appropriate your coment is)? I think not. Such would be inappropriate. In fact, I would be moderated for such. But you come on here claiming that the US is evil. disgusting.
Actually, George has established that torture is evil, which provides context for his argument that because the US engages in torture, the US must be evil. This is according to the logical progression A=B, B=C, A=C. You may disagree with him, but it is indeed a logical argument and not an ad hominem.

So as long as we follow this "logic" we can say what we want? Good to know the proper way to call people names.

Would the following then be okay (hypothetically of course Wink)?  Pacifists are illogical fools.  Australians engage in pacifism.  Australians are illogical fools.

While you may disagree, according to your guidelines, I am clear that this wouldn't qualify as an ad hominem attack?

Of course, just like not all US citizens engage in torture, not all Australians engage in Pacifism. But I would wager that there are more Australians who engage in Pacifism than US citizens who engage in torture.  So from that I guess we could say that Australia has more illogical fools than the US has evil torturers!

It's all so logical. Roll Eyes

 Wink
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« Reply #137 on: May 04, 2009, 12:11:39 PM »

Don't remember the VC or North Koreans playing by the Geneva Rules...

Don't expect that Muslim extremists will...

When it comes to protecting my or a brother in arms 6 I do what needs to be done...

Some need a taste of combat...

Combat is and always has been an unfortunate part of human history.
But torture is not combat. It is subhuman, evil, demonic. It is not self defence but an extraction of revenge which the US has sunk to and has become just as evil as those it "combats" and in the process has lost any high ground.
really? The US is evil? That's news to me. Thanks for setting my country straight.  Roll Eyes Should I come on here and claim that Aussies are Lazy (and just to be clear, I do not subscribe to that view and and not claiming they are; I am just making a point about how in appropriate your coment is)? I think not. Such would be inappropriate. In fact, I would be moderated for such. But you come on here claiming that the US is evil. disgusting.

Our country being as diverse as it is, to say that it is wholly evil, is folly to me. while I agree some aspects of governmental policie tend towards evil, our country as a whole is not evil per se, based on the fact that so many disagree with these policies, and desire to rid us of them. While others fight tooth and nail to further them. denying the U.S. is evil does not make it so.  Admitting it tends to use evil to further it's agendas, seemingly more and more, would be a more accurate statement in my eyes.


George
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« Reply #138 on: May 04, 2009, 12:12:00 PM »

Abortion is evil; therefore, every country that practices abortion is evil.
Not the same thing, actually. Torture is an act of the government, whereas abortion is an act of a private citizen, allowed by the government. The government is no more responsible for abortion than the people are for torture.

Then you might want to add the word Government to your equation. In the spirit of keeping everything logical. Wink
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« Reply #139 on: May 04, 2009, 12:15:22 PM »

Oz, let me ask you a question. When I was doing my basic in Great Lakes, was it torture to force the entire company to exercise until one or more of the recruits either passed out or threw up?

When I did my basic in Great Lakes (1999), we successfully got one of our instructors dismissed for making one guy exercise until he threw up. You all should have talked to the officer in the building and the base inspector general.
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« Reply #140 on: May 04, 2009, 01:15:12 PM »

"Abba Anthony said that the time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will rise up against him, saying: 'you are mad, because you are not like us'."
- Sayings of the Desert Fathers,
Amen.
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« Reply #141 on: May 04, 2009, 02:27:08 PM »

So, basically this question is really, "Is psychological duress torture"? Absent permanent harm, no, it is not.

How do you decide what is permanent harm in another individual? Ask them?  How do you decide what constitutes permanent harm? How is temporary harm any different from permanent harm?
Again, I personally feel this is a Flawed viewpoint, expressed from a secular point of view not a Christian one.

While a Secular Government may feel the need to use these techniques to protect the innocent, That dosen't make it right, condemning it is all i can do.

George
George, There are lots of relative moral decisions in this life. Permanent harm to me including having 3000 fellow citizens, including among them 65 Orthodox Christians, pulverized to dust on 9-11-2001.
To save even ONE of them, there is no telling how many caterpillars or other enhanced interrogation techniques I would use. I would do it for them, I'd do it for you, I'd even do it for Bogo, even if the sentiment or favor would not be returned; and gladly take my chances in the hereafter.
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« Reply #142 on: May 04, 2009, 03:17:42 PM »

Don't remember the VC or North Koreans playing by the Geneva Rules...

Don't expect that Muslim extremists will...

When it comes to protecting my or a brother in arms 6 I do what needs to be done...

Some need a taste of combat...

Combat is and always has been an unfortunate part of human history.
But torture is not combat. It is subhuman, evil, demonic. It is not self defence but an extraction of revenge which the US has sunk to and has become just as evil as those it "combats" and in the process has lost any high ground.
really? The US is evil? That's news to me. Thanks for setting my country straight.  Roll Eyes Should I come on here and claim that Aussies are Lazy (and just to be clear, I do not subscribe to that view and and not claiming they are; I am just making a point about how in appropriate your coment is)? I think not. Such would be inappropriate. In fact, I would be moderated for such. But you come on here claiming that the US is evil. disgusting.

Our country being as diverse as it is, to say that it is wholly evil, is folly to me. while I agree some aspects of governmental policie tend towards evil, our country as a whole is not evil per se, based on the fact that so many disagree with these policies, and desire to rid us of them. While others fight tooth and nail to further them. denying the U.S. is evil does not make it so.  Admitting it tends to use evil to further it's agendas, seemingly more and more, would be a more accurate statement in my eyes.


George


To sit in the face of evil and not only do nothing, but actually encourage it does not make a Nation righteous, it is a collective sin.
"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34)
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« Reply #143 on: May 04, 2009, 03:29:51 PM »

Don't remember the VC or North Koreans playing by the Geneva Rules...

Don't expect that Muslim extremists will...

When it comes to protecting my or a brother in arms 6 I do what needs to be done...

Some need a taste of combat...

Combat is and always has been an unfortunate part of human history.
But torture is not combat. It is subhuman, evil, demonic. It is not self defence but an extraction of revenge which the US has sunk to and has become just as evil as those it "combats" and in the process has lost any high ground.
really? The US is evil? That's news to me. Thanks for setting my country straight.  Roll Eyes Should I come on here and claim that Aussies are Lazy (and just to be clear, I do not subscribe to that view and and not claiming they are; I am just making a point about how in appropriate your coment is)? I think not. Such would be inappropriate. In fact, I would be moderated for such. But you come on here claiming that the US is evil. disgusting.

Our country being as diverse as it is, to say that it is wholly evil, is folly to me. while I agree some aspects of governmental policie tend towards evil, our country as a whole is not evil per se, based on the fact that so many disagree with these policies, and desire to rid us of them. While others fight tooth and nail to further them. denying the U.S. is evil does not make it so.  Admitting it tends to use evil to further it's agendas, seemingly more and more, would be a more accurate statement in my eyes.


George

Yes, with the new leadership it is making more and more evil choices but no less evil than the choices made by other liberal nations through out the world.
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« Reply #144 on: May 04, 2009, 03:30:40 PM »

Don't remember the VC or North Koreans playing by the Geneva Rules...

Don't expect that Muslim extremists will...

When it comes to protecting my or a brother in arms 6 I do what needs to be done...

Some need a taste of combat...

Combat is and always has been an unfortunate part of human history.
But torture is not combat. It is subhuman, evil, demonic. It is not self defence but an extraction of revenge which the US has sunk to and has become just as evil as those it "combats" and in the process has lost any high ground.
really? The US is evil? That's news to me. Thanks for setting my country straight.  Roll Eyes Should I come on here and claim that Aussies are Lazy (and just to be clear, I do not subscribe to that view and and not claiming they are; I am just making a point about how in appropriate your coment is)? I think not. Such would be inappropriate. In fact, I would be moderated for such. But you come on here claiming that the US is evil. disgusting.

Our country being as diverse as it is, to say that it is wholly evil, is folly to me. while I agree some aspects of governmental policie tend towards evil, our country as a whole is not evil per se, based on the fact that so many disagree with these policies, and desire to rid us of them. While others fight tooth and nail to further them. denying the U.S. is evil does not make it so.  Admitting it tends to use evil to further it's agendas, seemingly more and more, would be a more accurate statement in my eyes.


George


To sit in the face of evil and not only do nothing, but actually encourage it does not make a Nation righteous, it is a collective sin.
"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34)

Exactly, which is why we should be opposing the evils committed by all liberal nations throughout the world, including your own.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2009, 03:30:56 PM by Papist » Logged

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« Reply #145 on: May 04, 2009, 03:35:55 PM »

Exactly, which is why we should be opposing the evils committed by all liberal nations throughout the world, including your own.
I do oppose the evils of my Nation Papist. In fact, I have been arrested for doing so.
Being "liberal" has nothing to do with it. "Liberal" as you guys in the US understand it does not carry the same political meaning outside of the US (as I have said many times before). "Liberal" is a US political term, so lets keep US politics out of this thread.  Smiley
This is about Christian morality in regards to torture, not "liberals".
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« Reply #146 on: May 04, 2009, 03:42:52 PM »

Don't remember the VC or North Koreans playing by the Geneva Rules...

Don't expect that Muslim extremists will...

When it comes to protecting my or a brother in arms 6 I do what needs to be done...

Some need a taste of combat...

Combat is and always has been an unfortunate part of human history.
But torture is not combat. It is subhuman, evil, demonic. It is not self defence but an extraction of revenge which the US has sunk to and has become just as evil as those it "combats" and in the process has lost any high ground.
really? The US is evil? That's news to me. Thanks for setting my country straight.  Roll Eyes Should I come on here and claim that Aussies are Lazy (and just to be clear, I do not subscribe to that view and and not claiming they are; I am just making a point about how in appropriate your coment is)? I think not. Such would be inappropriate. In fact, I would be moderated for such. But you come on here claiming that the US is evil. disgusting.

Our country being as diverse as it is, to say that it is wholly evil, is folly to me. while I agree some aspects of governmental policie tend towards evil, our country as a whole is not evil per se, based on the fact that so many disagree with these policies, and desire to rid us of them. While others fight tooth and nail to further them. denying the U.S. is evil does not make it so.  Admitting it tends to use evil to further it's agendas, seemingly more and more, would be a more accurate statement in my eyes.


George


To sit in the face of evil and not only do nothing, but actually encourage it does not make a Nation righteous, it is a collective sin.
"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34)


So you judge a nation collectively, then pontificate whenever you can on how a christian should "judge not lest ye be judged." Interesting.

So which is greater, the sin of Americans "doing nothing" as you put it, or the sin of someone proclaiming judgement on people they don't even know?
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« Reply #147 on: May 04, 2009, 03:50:29 PM »

So which is greater, the sin of Americans "doing nothing" as you put it, or the sin of someone proclaiming judgement on people they don't even know?
Oh please!
If thats the case, then you are "passing judgement" every time you say the Lord's Prayer:
"Forgive us our trespasses...." How dare you presume anyone else has trespasses?
The reality, livefreeordie, is you have your convictions and I have mine, and mine are that torture is an evil practice which must be stopped. I also hold that the madatory detention of asylum seekers in my own country is evil and must be stopped, and I was arrested for helping asylum seekers escape detention. So I'm also prepared to be ridiculed and condemned for my beliefs about torture too.
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« Reply #148 on: May 04, 2009, 03:53:02 PM »

Exactly, which is why we should be opposing the evils committed by all liberal nations throughout the world, including your own.
I do oppose the evils of my Nation Papist. In fact, I have been arrested for doing so.
Being "liberal" has nothing to do with it. "Liberal" as you guys in the US understand it does not carry the same political meaning outside of the US (as I have said many times before). "Liberal" is a US political term, so lets keep US politics out of this thread.  Smiley
This is about Christian morality in regards to torture, not "liberals".
This has nothing to do with politics. I am using the term "liberal" as I understand it from my national background.
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« Reply #149 on: May 04, 2009, 03:58:47 PM »

So which is greater, the sin of Americans "doing nothing" as you put it, or the sin of someone proclaiming judgement on people they don't even know?
Oh please!
If thats the case, then you are "passing judgement" every time you say the Lord's Prayer:
"Forgive us our trespasses...." How dare you presume anyone else has trespasses?
The reality, livefreeordie, is you have your convictions and I have mine, and mine are that torture is an evil practice which must be stopped. I also hold that the madatory detention of asylum seekers in my own country is evil and must be stopped, and I was arrested for helping asylum seekers escape detention. So I'm also prepared to be ridiculed and condemned for my beliefs about torture too.

Oh please back at you! Wink  I'm sorry your apparent emotion and anger is clouding the issue, IMO. Realizing we all have tresspasses is a little different than calling people subhuman and all the other colorful, damning adjectives you have been throwing around.  If this was simply a matter of, you don't agree with waterboarding and I do, this thread wouldn't have gotten this far.

I have no beef with someone who thinks waterboarding is torture and is against it.  I would disagree, but I have lots of friend who are vehemently against waterboarding and never once when discussing it has it gotten ugly.  Of course, they can end the discussion with, "Obama won" and a smile. But when someone starts using this belief to pass judgement and spout hateful rhetoric it becomes a different issue. What's funny is that this is exactly the kind of namecalling and judging liberals accuse evangelical christians of.  How ironic.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2009, 04:01:55 PM by livefreeordie » Logged
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« Reply #150 on: May 04, 2009, 04:40:26 PM »

In the end, I believe we've essentially proven the Op's original point and the title of the thread:

Support for terror suspect torture differs among the faithful.

OzGeorge has his opinions and he's entitled to them, we all have our opinions and we're all entitled to them, My opinion differs from OzGeorge's, but at the same time, he's seen things from a different perspective. So, the US may be evil and OzGeorge may be way out there and have no clue what he's talking about but at the end of the day what we do in the US is what we do in the US. What George and the Aussies do in Australia is what they do in Australia. We really don't need to start attacking each other as visciously as we have been. Now I'll step aside and accept the ridicule from both sides.

-Nick
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« Reply #151 on: May 04, 2009, 04:54:21 PM »

So, basically this question is really, "Is psychological duress torture"? Absent permanent harm, no, it is not.

How do you decide what is permanent harm in another individual? Ask them?  How do you decide what constitutes permanent harm? How is temporary harm any different from permanent harm?
Again, I personally feel this is a Flawed viewpoint, expressed from a secular point of view not a Christian one.

While a Secular Government may feel the need to use these techniques to protect the innocent, That dosen't make it right, condemning it is all i can do.

George
George, There are lots of relative moral decisions in this life. Permanent harm to me including having 3000 fellow citizens, including among them 65 Orthodox Christians, pulverized to dust on 9-11-2001.
To save even ONE of them, there is no telling how many caterpillars or other enhanced interrogation techniques I would use. I would do it for them, I'd do it for you, I'd even do it for Bogo, even if the sentiment or favor would not be returned; and gladly take my chances in the hereafter.

Thats all need be said, you recognize it's wrong, and understand the consequence, Good enough. That does not mean that anyone not willing is wrong, just less willing.

Don't remember the VC or North Koreans playing by the Geneva Rules...

Don't expect that Muslim extremists will...

When it comes to protecting my or a brother in arms 6 I do what needs to be done...

Some need a taste of combat...

Combat is and always has been an unfortunate part of human history.
But torture is not combat. It is subhuman, evil, demonic. It is not self defence but an extraction of revenge which the US has sunk to and has become just as evil as those it "combats" and in the process has lost any high ground.
really? The US is evil? That's news to me. Thanks for setting my country straight.  Roll Eyes Should I come on here and claim that Aussies are Lazy (and just to be clear, I do not subscribe to that view and and not claiming they are; I am just making a point about how in appropriate your coment is)? I think not. Such would be inappropriate. In fact, I would be moderated for such. But you come on here claiming that the US is evil. disgusting.

Our country being as diverse as it is, to say that it is wholly evil, is folly to me. while I agree some aspects of governmental policie tend towards evil, our country as a whole is not evil per se, based on the fact that so many disagree with these policies, and desire to rid us of them. While others fight tooth and nail to further them. denying the U.S. is evil does not make it so.  Admitting it tends to use evil to further it's agendas, seemingly more and more, would be a more accurate statement in my eyes.


George


To sit in the face of evil and not only do nothing, but actually encourage it does not make a Nation righteous, it is a collective sin.
"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34)


And what do you constitute as nothing? Voting against policies that allow these atrocities is nothing? Speaking out against them is not nothing, especially where i live, they love to persecute you here if you disagree with them, or point out the wrong they do. I'm not afraid of them and I'll stand up to them anytime. does that mean I sit by and allow it to happen? or encourage it?
There are lots of people here who do the same, so to say the U.S. as a whole, is Evil, is hogwash, to put it not so eloquently
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« Reply #152 on: May 04, 2009, 06:38:45 PM »

Oh please back at you! Wink  
Oh please! back at you times a thousand. Jinx! No-comebacks!

I'm sorry your apparent emotion and anger is clouding the issue, IMO.
Emotions are a bad thing, aren't they? We must supress them at all costs otherwise, torturers might feel pity for their victims. And then where will we be? Smiley

If this was simply a matter of, you don't agree with waterboarding and I do, this thread wouldn't have gotten this far.I have no beef with someone who thinks waterboarding is torture and is against it
But if I think that waterboarding is torture and evil and you do not think it is and go ahead and inflict it on someone or support those who inflict waterboarding on others (which is in fact what you and others have done on this thread) should I remain silent? Would you remain silent in the face of something you held to be intrinsically evil being supported on this forum? I'll shut up if you guys shut up about your perceived "right" to inflict waterboarding on people..

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« Reply #153 on: May 04, 2009, 06:51:30 PM »

In the end, I believe we've essentially proven the Op's original point and the title of the thread:

Support for terror suspect torture differs among the faithful.

OzGeorge has his opinions and he's entitled to them, we all have our opinions and we're all entitled to them, My opinion differs from OzGeorge's, but at the same time, he's seen things from a different perspective. So, the US may be evil and OzGeorge may be way out there and have no clue what he's talking about but at the end of the day what we do in the US is what we do in the US. What George and the Aussies do in Australia is what they do in Australia. We really don't need to start attacking each other as visciously as we have been. Now I'll step aside and accept the ridicule from both sides.

I have no issue with ozGeorge holding the political views that he holds.  That's the wonderful thing about Western society.  Throughout history the Church has backed violence, and all that it entails, when it has been politically expedient to do so.  Inept and cruel rulers (and I'm not being anachronistic, as such was the contemporary view of Russia by Europeans) have been canonised.  Ask some of our Coptic posters if the sainthood of Justinian is a stumbling block to ecumenical relations with the Chalcedonian churches.  The record of the Church on war, violence and the like is ambiguous at best.  My objection is to George acting like a typical American and pretending that his political views are religious views and then using religious language to condemn anyone who disagrees with his political views.    
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« Reply #154 on: May 04, 2009, 06:57:44 PM »

 The record of the Church on war, violence and the like is ambiguous at best. My objection is to George acting like a typical American and pretending that his political views are religious views and then using religious language to condemn anyone who disagrees with his political views.   
If you can quote any Canon or Father of the Orthodox Church which supports the use of torture, I will forever shut up about it. But the Orthodox Church I grew up in not only lacks any canons in favour of the use of violence, it has canons clearly against the use of violence (the very reason St. Nicholas was deposed).   
Politics has nothing to do with it, except, apparently in the case of those who support the use of torture, because they do so, not from a theological point of view, but a political one.
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« Reply #155 on: May 04, 2009, 07:00:31 PM »

Would you remain silent in the face of something you held to be intrinsically evil being supported on this forum? I'll shut up if you guys shut up about your perceived "right" to inflict waterboarding on people..

Actually, wouldn't a better solution be to just not call each other names and discuss the issue civilly without condemning entire countries. When I see people start calling the US subhuman and evil I can't help but remember the pictures on 9/11 of entire cities cheering the carnage.  And why wouldn't they, they've been led to believe we are the evil satan, worthy of destruction.
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« Reply #156 on: May 04, 2009, 07:07:20 PM »

 The record of the Church on war, violence and the like is ambiguous at best. My objection is to George acting like a typical American and pretending that his political views are religious views and then using religious language to condemn anyone who disagrees with his political views.   
If you can quote any Canon or Father of the Orthodox Church which supports the use of torture, I will forever shut up about it. But the Orthodox Church I grew up in not only lacks any canons in favour of the use of violence, it has canons clearly against the use of violence (the very reason St. Nicholas was deposed).   
Politics has nothing to do with it, except, apparently in the case of those who support the use of torture, because they do so, not from a theological point of view, but a political one.
Sorry to interrupt. This is true.  Smiley And this is why saint Athanasius the Great had damned some ruler of Libye, of course, among many more...
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« Reply #157 on: May 04, 2009, 07:12:46 PM »

When I see people start calling the US subhuman and evil I can't help but remember the pictures on 9/11 of entire cities cheering the carnage.  And why wouldn't they, they've been led to believe we are the evil satan, worthy of destruction.

Violence cannot end violence. It becomes a spiral which gets bigger and bigger- attack, revenge, attack, revenge attack, revenge.......
I guess we can see it in this thread also, and that's my fault. I'm sorry. I don't think the US is evil, I take that back. But I do think that waterboarding is an evil practice which must be stopped along with all forms of physical and mental torture.

What ends violence is not more violence is an acknowledgement of it- "Yes, I did wrong, I'm sorry, please forgive me." But if somebody supports the infliction of torture and then denies that is torture and insists on their "right" to inflict it, what should we expect? Should we expect our victims to accept our "right" to torture them? And if they retaliate, are they evil, and we are not evil?
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« Reply #158 on: May 04, 2009, 07:24:15 PM »

To save even ONE of them, there is no telling how many caterpillars or other enhanced interrogation techniques I would use. I would do it for them, I'd do it for you, I'd even do it for Bogo, even if the sentiment or favor would not be returned; and gladly take my chances in the hereafter.

Why do we need euphemisms such as "enhanced interrogation techniques"?
You are free do do as you wish, I can't stop you, but I absolutely forbid you to torture anyone in my name. And if you ever do, may they win a Martyr's crown and may I be thrown into Hell forever for being the cause of their torment.
Mankind, fallen as it is, will always be at war until Christ returns, but if we must have war, can't we who claim to be Christians at least show some chivalry? Are our soldiers noble warriors like St. George or torturers like his executioners?

               
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« Reply #159 on: May 04, 2009, 07:35:03 PM »

If you can quote any Canon or Father of the Orthodox Church which supports the use of torture, I will forever shut up about it. But the Orthodox Church I grew up in not only lacks any canons in favour of the use of violence, it has canons clearly against the use of violence (the very reason St. Nicholas was deposed).  Politics has nothing to do with it, except, apparently in the case of those who support the use of torture, because they do so, not from a theological point of view, but a political one.

What I have been saying is that it is ambiguous - there has been the monastic ideal of nonviolence, but there has also been the pragmatic side of the Church.  For example you're not going to find any real condemnation of the 1905 Russo-Japanese War.  As you well know the Annunciation is very much linked to Independence Day in popular piety - and the Porte didn't one day say "Oh, yes!  Independence for Greece is a dandy idea!"  Then there are those pesky Scriptures filled with gory accounts of Yahweh ordering that the women and children be killed too.  

While I respect that your religious views have formed your political views on this matter, you can hardly say that you hold the Orthodox position on the matter.  I'd even go so far as to say that my religious views also influence my political views on the matter - that if torture is used it ought to be only for a very clear objective (i.e a very high likelihood that actionable intelligence will be obtained) and there absolutely has to be independent oversight.  In case that wasn't clear enough, I don't think that most of the cases carried out under the Bush administration fit those criteria.    
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« Reply #160 on: May 04, 2009, 07:38:38 PM »

What I have been saying is that it is ambiguous - there has been the monastic ideal of nonviolence, but there has also been the pragmatic side of the Church.  For example you're not going to find any real condemnation of the 1905 Russo-Japanese War.  As you well know the Annunciation is very much linked to Independence Day in popular piety - and the Porte didn't one day say "Oh, yes!  Independence for Greece is a dandy idea!"  Then there are those pesky Scriptures filled with gory accounts of Yahweh ordering that the women and children be killed too.  

What does war have to do with this Nektarios?
I repeat:
Mankind, fallen as it is, will always be at war until Christ returns, but if we must have war, can't we who claim to be Christians at least show some chivalry? Are our soldiers noble warriors like St. George or torturers like his executioners?

               
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« Reply #161 on: May 04, 2009, 07:39:09 PM »

When I see people start calling the US subhuman and evil I can't help but remember the pictures on 9/11 of entire cities cheering the carnage.  And why wouldn't they, they've been led to believe we are the evil satan, worthy of destruction.

Violence cannot end violence. It becomes a spiral which gets bigger and bigger- attack, revenge, attack, revenge attack, revenge.......
I guess we can see it in this thread also, and that's my fault. I'm sorry. I don't think the US is evil, I take that back. But I do think that waterboarding is an evil practice which must be stopped along with all forms of physical and mental torture.

What ends violence is not more violence is an acknowledgement of it- "Yes, I did wrong, I'm sorry, please forgive me." But if somebody supports the infliction of torture and then denies that is torture and insists on their "right" to inflict it, what should we expect? Should we expect our victims to accept our "right" to torture them? And if they retaliate, are they evil, and we are not evil?

Since no one had even heard of waterboarding when 9/11 occurred, what exactly do you see as the evil the US was committing at the time that we could have stopped doing and asked forgiveness for and thus averted the attack on the towers?  And do think that dropping our arms and asking Islamic terrorists to forgive us for (fill in the blank) will result in peace?
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« Reply #162 on: May 04, 2009, 07:41:55 PM »

Since no one had even heard of waterboarding when 9/11 occurred, what exactly do you see as the evil the US was committing at the time that we could have stopped doing and asked forgiveness for and thus averted the attack on the towers?  And do think that dropping our arms and asking Islamic terrorists to forgive us for (fill in the blank) will result in peace?
What has war got to do with this livefreeordie?
I repeat:
Mankind, fallen as it is, will always be at war until Christ returns, but if we must have war, can't we who claim to be Christians at least show some chivalry? Are our soldiers noble warriors like St. George or torturers like his executioners?

               
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« Reply #163 on: May 04, 2009, 07:42:48 PM »

Mankind, fallen as it is, will always be at war until Christ returns, but if we must have war, can't we who claim to be Christians at least show some chivalry? Are our soldiers noble warriors like St. George or torturers like his executioners?

So rather than all the energy you have put into condemning the evil United States, which has a negligible Orthodox population, I have seen relatively little protest about Serbia, Russia, Georgia and Armenia who have all entered into conflicts over the past two decades that have left many, many civilians dead and international organisations have condemned for human rights abuses.  And you wonder why I say your position is political.  
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« Reply #164 on: May 04, 2009, 07:44:30 PM »

So rather than all the energy you have put into condemning the evil United States,
You must have missed this in your political excitement:
I'm sorry. I don't think the US is evil, I take that back. But I do think that waterboarding is an evil practice which must be stopped along with all forms of physical and mental torture.
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« Reply #165 on: May 04, 2009, 07:49:45 PM »

Since no one had even heard of waterboarding when 9/11 occurred, what exactly do you see as the evil the US was committing at the time that we could have stopped doing and asked forgiveness for and thus averted the attack on the towers?  And do think that dropping our arms and asking Islamic terrorists to forgive us for (fill in the blank) will result in peace?
What has war got to do with this livefreeordie?
I repeat:


I was addressing your point that violence breeds more violence and asking your opinion if we addressed terrorists and those whom would harm us by asking for forgiveness and not resorting to violence would it result in peace. 
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« Reply #166 on: May 04, 2009, 07:51:59 PM »

So rather than all the energy you have put into condemning the evil United States,
You must have missed this in your political excitement:
I'm sorry. I don't think the US is evil, I take that back. But I do think that waterboarding is an evil practice which must be stopped along with all forms of physical and mental torture.

Which makes my point that despite not having an Orthodox population of any significance and despite still having a relatively good overall human rights record, you still choose to focus on the US rather than Orthodox dominated countries with abysmal human rights records.  By the time you get here this summer you'll be entirely indistinguishable from an American.  Kiss
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« Reply #167 on: May 04, 2009, 08:02:52 PM »

I was just outside singing Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" to my kids and they went from banshee nuts to happy and calm listening to daddy sing and strum.  Made me think that maybe I should turn a new leaf and advocate meeting terrorists by asking for forgiveness and singing "don't worry, about a thing, cause every little thing, gonna be alright" or some similar happy song.

And then I realized they would probably have cut my head off before I could get to the part in the verse I love, "pitched by my doorstep" and quickly changed my mind.

FYI, for anyone who has ever thought about playing guitar, I would recommend learning to play "Three Little Birds".  Just three chords and a rhythm that are easy to learn and play, easy to remember lyrics, everyone always sings along.
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« Reply #168 on: May 04, 2009, 08:04:54 PM »

What was that you were saying about discussing the topic civilly?.......
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« Reply #169 on: May 04, 2009, 08:07:23 PM »

What was that you were saying about discussing the topic civilly?.......

It might have been a bad joke, don't think it treaded very close to being uncivil. Wink

And I was in fact outside singing Three Little Birds to my kids which I do every night about this time, and which put me in a happy place.  Sorry if I was uncivil.
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« Reply #170 on: May 04, 2009, 08:09:42 PM »

By the time you get here this summer you'll be entirely indistinguishable from an American.  
I am already indistinguishable from an American, and so are people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and so are people everywhere. We are all one race- the human race. We are all blood brothers. We are all one family. And like siblings in all families, we sometimes fight one another, but we are still one family.
The "distinction" is artificial.
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« Reply #171 on: May 04, 2009, 08:10:22 PM »

I was just outside singing Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" to my kids and they went from banshee nuts to happy and calm listening to daddy sing and strum.  Made me think that maybe I should turn a new leaf and advocate meeting terrorists by asking for forgiveness and singing "don't worry, about a thing, cause every little thing, gonna be alright" or some similar happy song.

And then I realized they would probably have cut my head off before I could get to the part in the verse I love, "pitched by my doorstep" and quickly changed my mind.

FYI, for anyone who has ever thought about playing guitar, I would recommend learning to play "Three Little Birds".  Just three chords and a rhythm that are easy to learn and play, easy to remember lyrics, everyone always sings along.

I agree with George on this one.  In the long term, soft power is far cheaper and a far more effective way of obtaining national security than ad hoc military responses.  Even Robert Gates has said as much - dealing with the root causes of war, investing more in diplomacy, international development and the like will do far more to prevent terrorism a generation from now than a military-only strategy.      
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« Reply #172 on: May 04, 2009, 08:12:02 PM »

By the time you get here this summer you'll be entirely indistinguishable from an American.  
I am already indistinguishable from an American, and so are people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and so are people everywhere. We are all one race- the human race. We are all blood brothers. We are all one family. And like siblings in all families, we sometimes fight one another, but we are still one family.
The "distinction" is artificial.

I knew it.  You'll be driving cross country in an F150 with a gunrack and a confederate flag.  I bet you'll have cool mudflaps too. 
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« Reply #173 on: May 04, 2009, 08:14:19 PM »

I knew it.  You'll be driving cross country in an F150 with a gunrack and a confederate flag.  I bet you'll have cool mudflaps too. 

Ask GiC or Admiralnick about the bumpersticker that's already on my car
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« Reply #174 on: May 04, 2009, 08:17:38 PM »

I knew it.  You'll be driving cross country in an F150 with a gunrack and a confederate flag.  I bet you'll have cool mudflaps too. 

Ask GiC or Admiralnick about the bumpersticker that's already on my car

Maybe we'll catch up in chat.  Unlike Americans who think the world is theirs to pollute with their cars, I have to catch the bus and head to class.   Wink
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« Reply #175 on: May 04, 2009, 08:21:16 PM »

By the time you get here this summer you'll be entirely indistinguishable from an American.  
I am already indistinguishable from an American, and so are people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and so are people everywhere. We are all one race- the human race. We are all blood brothers. We are all one family. And like siblings in all families, we sometimes fight one another, but we are still one family.
The "distinction" is artificial.

I knew it.  You'll be driving cross country in an F150 with a gunrack and a confederate flag.  I bet you'll have cool mudflaps too. 

Said the fellow who supposedly disdains stereotypes.  Wink
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« Reply #176 on: May 04, 2009, 08:37:22 PM »

I was just outside singing Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" to my kids and they went from banshee nuts to happy and calm listening to daddy sing and strum.  Made me think that maybe I should turn a new leaf and advocate meeting terrorists by asking for forgiveness and singing "don't worry, about a thing, cause every little thing, gonna be alright" or some similar happy song.

And then I realized they would probably have cut my head off before I could get to the part in the verse I love, "pitched by my doorstep" and quickly changed my mind.

FYI, for anyone who has ever thought about playing guitar, I would recommend learning to play "Three Little Birds".  Just three chords and a rhythm that are easy to learn and play, easy to remember lyrics, everyone always sings along.

I agree with George on this one.  In the long term, soft power is far cheaper and a far more effective way of obtaining national security than ad hoc military responses.  Even Robert Gates has said as much - dealing with the root causes of war, investing more in diplomacy, international development and the like will do far more to prevent terrorism a generation from now than a military-only strategy.      

I wouldn't disagree, long term you have to use the carrot. If we could eliminate poverty that alone would put a big dent in war and evil. But until that paradise arrives, sometimes you have to use the stick.
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« Reply #177 on: May 04, 2009, 08:59:17 PM »

By the time you get here this summer you'll be entirely indistinguishable from an American.  
I am already indistinguishable from an American, and so are people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and so are people everywhere. We are all one race- the human race. We are all blood brothers. We are all one family. And like siblings in all families, we sometimes fight one another, but we are still one family.
The "distinction" is artificial.

I knew it.  You'll be driving cross country in an F150 with a gunrack and a confederate flag.  I bet you'll have cool mudflaps too. 

Is that the narrow minded vision of American's you arrived at because of the past U.S. president? (Bush) or is that taught to you?
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« Reply #178 on: May 04, 2009, 10:06:21 PM »

Is that the narrow minded vision of American's you arrived at because of the past U.S. president? (Bush) or is that taught to you?

Dear findingfaith,
As a new member of the forum, you probably are not aware of our policy about not posting political posts in the public forum,
We actually have a Private Forum which allows for political debates and other polemical debates. If you would like to have access to the Private Forums, please pm Fr. Chris, the forum administrator. Please do not discuss current and contentious politics in the Public Fora.
Regards,
George
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« Reply #179 on: May 04, 2009, 10:22:54 PM »

Is that the narrow minded vision of American's you arrived at because of the past U.S. president? (Bush) or is that taught to you?

Dear findingfaith,
As a new member of the forum, you probably are not aware of our policy about not posting political posts in the public forum,
We actually have a Private Forum which allows for political debates and other polemical debates. If you would like to have access to the Private Forums, please pm Fr. Chris, the forum administrator. Please do not discuss current and contentious politics in the Public Fora.
Regards,
George


My bad, I was not aware simply using a former politician in reference was wholly political in nature. I will refrain in the future.

I would like to point out though, as i'm sure you, and others might have noticed, quite a few post's in this thread may well fall in this category as well  Wink  But that does not excuse my use of it.

George
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« Reply #180 on: May 04, 2009, 10:23:35 PM »

One of the things frightening me about those on this thread who defend waterboarding, painful coercion, etc. while refusing to call it torture, is the fine line they are walking in inadvertently creating an argument for its usefulness on US citizens. If it's not torture, then it's not cruel or unusual, is it? If that's the case, then do you take issue with waterboarding in cases of getting low level drug dealing US CITIZENS to give up their suppliers, or suspected child rapists to reveal the bodies of their victims?  If not, why not? It's for the greater good, isn't it?  
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« Reply #181 on: May 04, 2009, 10:24:15 PM »

By the time you get here this summer you'll be entirely indistinguishable from an American.  
I am already indistinguishable from an American, and so are people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and so are people everywhere. We are all one race- the human race. We are all blood brothers. We are all one family. And like siblings in all families, we sometimes fight one another, but we are still one family.
The "distinction" is artificial.

I knew it.  You'll be driving cross country in an F150 with a gunrack and a confederate flag.  I bet you'll have cool mudflaps too. 

Said the fellow who supposedly disdains stereotypes.  Wink

Emphasis on....
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« Reply #182 on: May 04, 2009, 10:46:52 PM »

I would like to point out though, as i'm sure you, and others might have noticed, quite a few post's in this thread may well fall in this category as well  Wink 
Indeed I have, and they too have been asked to refrain (when a moderator types in green font, she or he is speaking as a moderator- look for the green font in this thread).
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One of the things frightening me about those on this thread who defend waterboarding, painful coercion, etc. while refusing to call it torture, is the fine line they are walking in inadvertently creating an argument for its usefulness on US citizens. If it's not torture, then it's not cruel or unusual, is it? If that's the case, then do you take issue with waterboarding in cases of getting low level drug dealing US CITIZENS to give up their suppliers, or suspected child rapists to reveal the bodies of their victims?  If not, why not? It's for the greater good, isn't it?  
Interesting point. Can the US citizen mother of a wanted criminal be waterboarded to reveal his whereabouts?
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« Reply #183 on: May 04, 2009, 10:57:47 PM »

This topic is going to get political...if it hasn't already, move it for real fire works
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« Reply #184 on: May 05, 2009, 01:19:39 AM »

One of the things frightening me about those on this thread who defend waterboarding, painful coercion, etc. while refusing to call it torture, is the fine line they are walking in inadently creating an argument for its usefulness on US citizens. If it's not torture, then it's not cruel or unusual, is it? If that's the case, then do you take issue with waterboarding in cases of getting low level drug dealing US CITIZENS to give up their suppliers, or suspected child rapists to reveal the bodies of their victims?  If not, why not? It's for the greater good, isn't it?  

The situations are quite different.  What you mention are domestic law enforcement issues.  While the cartel problem has the potential to become more serious, none of them pose any real existential threat to the US.  That's very different than a state of war and only using torture in very limited circumstances.     
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« Reply #185 on: May 05, 2009, 01:24:24 AM »

One of the things frightening me about those on this thread who defend waterboarding, painful coercion, etc. while refusing to call it torture, is the fine line they are walking in inadently creating an argument for its usefulness on US citizens. If it's not torture, then it's not cruel or unusual, is it? If that's the case, then do you take issue with waterboarding in cases of getting low level drug dealing US CITIZENS to give up their suppliers, or suspected child rapists to reveal the bodies of their victims?  If not, why not? It's for the greater good, isn't it?  

The situations are quite different.  What you mention are domestic law enforcement issues.  While the cartel problem has the potential to become more serious, none of them pose any real existential threat to the US.  That's very different than a state of war and only using torture in very limited circumstances.     

"Very limited circumstances" is rather open to interpretation.
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« Reply #186 on: May 05, 2009, 01:34:27 AM »

Personally, I would never, ever approve or support torture (or whatever you call it), under any circumstances.

I agree.
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« Reply #187 on: May 05, 2009, 02:35:01 AM »

One of the things frightening me about those on this thread who defend waterboarding, painful coercion, etc. while refusing to call it torture, is the fine line they are walking in inadently creating an argument for its usefulness on US citizens. If it's not torture, then it's not cruel or unusual, is it? If that's the case, then do you take issue with waterboarding in cases of getting low level drug dealing US CITIZENS to give up their suppliers, or suspected child rapists to reveal the bodies of their victims?  If not, why not? It's for the greater good, isn't it?  

The situations are quite different.  What you mention are domestic law enforcement issues.  While the cartel problem has the potential to become more serious, none of them pose any real existential threat to the US.  That's very different than a state of war and only using torture in very limited circumstances.     

"Very limited circumstances" is rather open to interpretation.

I already defined those early in the thread and said the key is to have an independent review.  What I don't quite understand is what is really so different about killing someone on the battle field vs. waterboarding (which isn't that bad).  It seems people are operating some romantic vision of it being honourable or whatever to kill.  If a country is facing an existential thread, I don't see how it could be considered ethical if the leaders choose to not use all force at their disposal. 
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« Reply #188 on: May 05, 2009, 08:57:49 AM »

One of the things frightening me about those on this thread who defend waterboarding, painful coercion, etc. while refusing to call it torture, is the fine line they are walking in inadently creating an argument for its usefulness on US citizens. If it's not torture, then it's not cruel or unusual, is it? If that's the case, then do you take issue with waterboarding in cases of getting low level drug dealing US CITIZENS to give up their suppliers, or suspected child rapists to reveal the bodies of their victims?  If not, why not? It's for the greater good, isn't it?  

The situations are quite different.  What you mention are domestic law enforcement issues.  While the cartel problem has the potential to become more serious, none of them pose any real existential threat to the US.  That's very different than a state of war and only using torture in very limited circumstances.     

I think you're partly missing my point. If we're willing to make justifications for the use of torture for what may be considered imminent and profound threats, at what point will we make the leap to using torture for less immediate, but equally serious threats to our safety and society? If a rationalization already exists for its use, AND if we refuse to define these techniques being discussed AS torture, making that leap to using won't be as difficult.
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« Reply #189 on: May 05, 2009, 10:30:03 AM »

Personally, I would never, ever approve or support torture (or whatever you call it), under any circumstances.

Suppose the Great Russians decided to reclaim the Ukraine since the little Russians obviously haven't been able to administer it properly themselves, would it be permissible in your eyes to raise any sort of military resistance?



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Νεκτάριος, it's not THE Ukraine, just Ukraine.   Wink

This is a touchy subject.  I enjoy living in a country which provides me certain freedoms and liberties.  Some would say this is due to the actions happening in the "background" that I am not even aware of...that keep us relatively "safe".

However, while I crave safety for myself and my loved ones, just like any other living person....I have trouble justifying torture as a means to an end.

If you look at things from a secular aspect...and convenience of living, etc....than we would "justify" many, many things...such as abortion.  Allowing the birth of unwanted children puts stress on the mothers, stress on our society, as well.  That unwanted child will be passed from foster home to foster home, and will be a burden on society, and eat up our tax money, etc.  We could go on and on....  We can justify anything.

However, from an Orthodox perspective, abortion is NOT permitted.  That little life has a right to flourish and prosper and live.

Therefore, while on one hand you can justify torture...for it allows us to live in relative "peace"...how can we truly be at peace knowing that "we" are harming others?  It's a double sided coin!

We need to live by Christian ethics.  Remember, we are only here for a certain number of years.  The "thereafter", will last an eternity.   

We will reap there what we have sewn here.

"Do unto others, as you would have them do onto you."

...Just my humble opinion.




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« Reply #190 on: May 05, 2009, 11:55:12 AM »

Νεκτάριος, it's not THE Ukraine, just Ukraine.   Wink

No offense intended.  I was merely pointing out the irony that Pan Heorhij has a constant mantra that American culture is woefully inadequate yet merely the placement of a definite article causes controversy.  And my question still hasn't been answered - does Ukraine have the right to defend itself were there be a Russian invasion?  Or perhaps more likely would be if Crimea attempts to secede.   

I think you're partly missing my point. If we're willing to make justifications for the use of torture for what may be considered imminent and profound threats, at what point will we make the leap to using torture for less immediate, but equally serious threats to our safety and society?

The slippery slope argument doesn't really work.  Maybe Papist could derail this thread too to make my point (since I'm sure that legalised abortion in the US means we're only a short step away from concentration camps).     

If a rationalization already exists for its use, AND if we refuse to define these techniques being discussed AS torture, making that leap to using won't be as difficult.

Who is this we?  I've always referred to waterboarding as torture. 

Here is what I am getting at - for war in general to be considered an ethically acceptable choice, it ought to be to protect against an existential threat.  Do we more or less agree?   

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« Reply #191 on: May 05, 2009, 02:32:15 PM »

"Who would Jesus waterboard?"

What a question...


I'd say, that I totally agree with ozgeorge...

Two of the biggest problems -in my opinion- in American Protestantism and/or Evangelism -besides that it is heresy, of course- Smiley are
a)rationalism, loss and lack of the mystic essence of christianity and its transformation to... another religion, sth that I would call most "offensive" for Christianity as a whole...
b) Overconcentration on the Old Testament, and misinterpretation. The people at that age were condemned by means of the lack of penance of Adam and Eve to a lot of things. Jesus was indeed a redeemer in that he "freed us of the curse of the Law" and set some moral standards that are beyond non-violence. And he set them for all, whether it is "Caesar" or not.

Saints that were "kings" truly followed to a certain (large) degree this spirit. St Constantine the Great, John third Vatatzis the "Merciful" for example established an outstanding democracy within in and in comparison to the given historical context. Theodosius the so-called (by historians) Great and Justinian were not saints by any means. 

Well, not to elaborate on these, just to conclude with reminding that we judge the tree by its fruit. And the trees here are Catholicism of the white, American Evangelism and so on... So sad. But seems that contradicts with some other poll, that showed most Christians in US thought themselves as "left" or "liberal" or "progressive". Could these be ethics of a "left" american?...  And could we as Christians be so much less sensitive about these issues than a secular moralist? A scandal...
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« Reply #192 on: May 05, 2009, 02:39:51 PM »

"Who would Jesus waterboard?"

What a question...

As long the person doing the slaughtering is Orthodox they are a candidate for sainthood. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justinian#Nika_riots
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« Reply #193 on: May 05, 2009, 02:49:23 PM »

"Who would Jesus waterboard?"

What a question...

As long the person doing the slaughtering is Orthodox they are a candidate for sainthood. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justinian#Nika_riots
Not to offend you, but this is so wrong, my friend...  Smiley Fathers of the church always condemned so strongly these crimes... And there is an example  very distinctive. Saint Ambrosius of Mediolanum(Milan) literally threw Theodosius the king out, when he came to attend church after the slaughter at the hippodrome of Salonica, because of a riot that occured due to a dissent of the people about a matter of the state.

Anyways, did you have sth specific in mind?    Smiley

Edit: Only just seen the wikipedia claim that he is considered a saint by the Eastern Orthodox. As far I know, this is mistaken. There is a saint called Justinian, as well as (there is) a saint called Plato, but they are not the famous (or infamous  Smiley ) ones... Greetings... Smiley
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