Blowing Smoke: Unauthorized Technique?
- 08-27-2009, 12:27 PM
Blowing Smoke: Unauthorized Technique?
Are you f*cking kidding me?
CNSNews.com - Blowing Smoke at Terrorists
- 08-27-2009, 12:31 PM
is slapping them with bacon on the list too?Animis Rep
08-27-2009, 12:37 PM
Do the people that actually care we do this live in the real world? What is giving them such sympathy for these a$$ holes?
08-28-2009, 03:36 PM
Personally, I think we should what is needed to get information to save American lives however, we can't be the first ones to cry foul against other countries if we are not going to abide by the rules that we helped to create. Actually I like the slapping with bacon idea, the only cruelty in that is the hot grease.
08-28-2009, 03:49 PM
08-28-2009, 04:13 PM
08-28-2009, 04:17 PM
08-31-2009, 02:45 PM
This is one of the reasons why I haven't jumped on the lefty torture bandwagon; I'm just not sure if what is being classified as 'torture' or 'enhanced interrogation' really fits the bill of what I would consider torture. Especially if it is effective and is preventing attacks. That last bit isn't my only frame of reference and there are lines I think we shouldn't cross. But way, way too many people seem to be trying to lump anything and everything under the label of torture just for the purposes of 'getting back' at the Bush administration.
08-31-2009, 03:19 PM
08-31-2009, 06:28 PM
I cant believe it either. I would personally have used a super heated Soldering Iron and carved the constitution into their faces...
08-31-2009, 06:51 PM
While I understood the article to focus much more on interrogator death threats, and the threatening of al-Nashiri with a power drill and a .9mm, the "smoke issue" is pretty damn ridiculous. To the end of the article's focus, I am unsure whether or not threatening to kill a detainee's family is torture or not - in my estimation, that is rather pedestrian as compared to actually killing their family; however, a certain contingency of the population will latch onto any technique deemed "aggressive" in an attempt to bolster their own moral position. ("We would never do that!")
The article mentions that the detainee was hooded and naked while the gun and power-drill were used as interrogation props: does this constitute "torture"? I would say, "probably not". Enhanced interrogation, yes; torture, no. What gets lost in the mix of these articles is unfortunately the crux of the issue as a whole: whether or not enhanced interrogation/torture/new techniques approved by the JD.,/whatever arbitrary name you choose to throw on them are effective.
In reality, whether or not these terrorists deserve this treatment and/or whether or not you are willing to stick a broom in their ass is pretty incidental to the operative question of, "Does it work?". I find too often people say, "Do whatever takes", meaning to imply the most extreme measures, without considering the practical effectiveness of the measures themselves. Sure, 99% of people will talk if they think are going to be shot, but will it be accurate information?
While I would have loved to pull al-Zarqawi's teeth out, I would just as soon give him a cookie if I felt it would elicit otherwise unattainable information.
08-31-2009, 11:54 PM
09-01-2009, 08:50 AM
09-01-2009, 10:25 AM
I made a large post pursuant to my thoughts re: the international culpability of torture here:
Well, the precedent-setting case is not Hamdan v., Rumsfeld as a I said, but Hamdi v., Rumsfeld which came by two years earlier. Particularly engage with the Pluralities of Souter and Ginsberg, who feel, as I do, that the AUMF or 2001 and MCA of 2006 were unconstitutional in and of themselves. Post-Hamdi v., Rumsfeld actions clearly violate the Geneva Convention, as per the opinion of the Supreme Court.
We are also speaking about fundamentally different things: you are speaking about habeus corpus denial, and I am speaking about the treatment of combatants pursuant to Article III of the Third Geneva Convention; the detainment was found to be lawful, torture was never tried. Considering the Hamdi v., Rumsfeld and Hamdan v., Rumsfeld clearly grant non-citizens the basic rights pursuant to the Third Geneva Convention, torture would then be an illegal act; considering Hamdi v., Rumsfeld came in 2004, the Administration committed illegal acts in the context of rendition and torture. One can debate about the legality of unlawful combatant status, B, but these individuals were granted the provisions of the Geneva Convention by the Supreme Court - torture is illegal.
I believe you are claiming pre-Hamdan v., Rumsfeld torture and rendition are constitutionally justified when, they are not: it is only their detention and denial of habeus corpus which was [...principally to unconstitutionally...] justified under the AUMF 2001 and MCA of 2006. In regard to clarification, I feel none is needed there: it was torture, which is illegal. The statute of limitations on international war crimes [which were committed here] is incredibly lengthy; again, pursuant under certain provisions of the Third Geneva Convention. As the use of torture, as per the so-called "torture memos" was encouraged by the Administration and carried out by certain individuals, both are liable to prosecution by a U.N.,-sanctioned war tribunal.
Hamdi v., Rumsfeld came in 2004 which, while it centered around the constitutionality of denying U.S.,-citizens habeus corpus, extended provisions to non-U.S., citizens as well. You are speaking about the detention of so-called, "unlawful combatants"; I am speaking about their treatment pursuant to the articles of the Geneva Convention. As I have shown here, all detainees were retroactively granted basic inalienable rights as per international law - considering these episodes of rendition and torture continued beyond Hamdi v., Rumsfeld/Hamdan v., Rumsfeld, including rendition to non-belligerent nations, torture and lack of due process, the Bush Administration enforced and administered illegal acts. There is really no controversy about this point in the legal community. As well, the quote is slightly out of context as it is speaking about detention and trial rights pursuant to the third Convention, not the inalienable basic human rights in the Third Article of Geneva, B. The Supreme Court ruled that the provisions of war trials as enemy combatants did not apply to al Qa'ida, it made no such ruling as to their basic human rights - i.e., torture was still illegal.
I will grant you that the denial of habeus corpus and access to the U.S., Supreme Court was legal pre-Hamdi v., Rumsfeld, but only in the context of the AUMF or 2001 and MCA of 2006 which, as you know, specifically removed the inalienable rights granted via the Geneva. This is to say, for example, I unlawfully removed restrictions on murder to kill some guy that hit on my girlfriend - removal of the restrictions infringed on his inalienable right to live [under the constitution, or, in my case, the Charter and Rights and Freedoms principle to a constitution] in order to commit a further illegal act. As I have said all along, this entire scenario is only justified post-hoc due to careful maneuvering of the term, "unlawful combatants". As I say, the U.S., Supreme Court can only try the cases put before it; plainly, torture and rendition charges were never brought to the court - most likely because the victims were being illegally detained in the first place - and so a decision was never made in that regard. We cannot extrapolate certain decisions to those which were never tried. Torture is illegal my friend, no matter how long-winded we get!
Again, I am not arguing the legal status of "unlawful combatants" - though, as you have shown, they are considered as covered under Geneva, and were by proxy all along - but rather; I am arguing their treatment under those same articles. We must not confuse our terms here: habeus corpus was debated, torture was not. As to whether or not these will be tried, it is very unlikely: rendition and torture occurred mostly in the C.I.A., overseas prisons, and; as such, the Obama administration would need to convene a U.N.-sanctioned war tribunal as the United States would not have supreme jurisdiction where the torture took place. (You try crimes where they took place, unfortunately.)
09-01-2009, 10:48 AM
09-01-2009, 11:02 AM
09-01-2009, 06:32 PM
09-02-2009, 12:57 AM
Anyways, does it really matter if the intel is bad. These are bad dudes taken off the battlefield. If its bad intel, just waterboard them some more.
09-02-2009, 10:45 AM
There is something else: Matthew Alexander [pseudonym], a lead interrogator in Iraq for some time, and the individual responsible for the capture of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, corroborates with Soufan's opinions. He claims in several interviews, articles and the like that torture is an ineffective and unproductive means of extracting actionable and accurate information from terror suspects.
And finally, there are the IG-requested reports themselves, which are rather ambivalent as it pertains to the effectiveness of torture. Essentially, they are hundreds upon hundreds of pages with a hardly an endorsement for these techniques which has not been refuted elsewhere, by actual interrogators. Even officials from the IG pre-Obama claimed that the successes of these techniques are not so easily measured - i.e., [...in non-politico speech...] "we have no reliable information that these techniques have led to any successes whatsoever."
So, the torture discourse looks like this: on one hand, you have former GWB Administration appointees and officials - all technically in liable for the approval and execution of torture - and a group of politicians claiming that "torture" and/or "enhanced interrogation techniques" are effective; on the other, you have two interrogators - who actually caught the very high-level individuals "enhanced interrogation" was purported to - and IG reports themselves contradicting that rhetoric. When the [...most likely...] reliable information is excised from all the political leanings, rhetoric, and attempt to support a "party line" it is becoming painfully obvious that torture is an ineffective means of obtaining high quality, accurate information - and this is additive to its [always] dubious legality. The immaterial and unquantifiable notion of damaging a nation's moral-standing aside, the use of torture also seems to be damaging the counterterrorism effort as a whole. Why this policy would continue, even from the most pragmatic of view points, is beyond me.
Yeah, I mean: who cares? These people are really dogs and/or vicious hardened criminals prior to attacking anyway, so I am sure that our actions and/or morality and/or signs of respect are pretty ineffectual over there. Well, I would disagree. That same Matthew Alexander, who took his lead interrogation role in 2006, and who took part in over 1,000 interrogations - I would say n=1000 is a representative sample here - claims that a very substantial portion of the detainees he interviewed joined the Islamofacist movement precisely because of our actions; precisely because we were torturing! Now, the most obvious conservative argument is: "Well, we said you should have never told them!" Which is, of course, pretty ridiculous. The more effective option would have been to cease using illegal and ineffective techniques against the recommendations of the interrogators who were actually securing high-level information.Anyways, does it really matter if the intel is bad. These are bad dudes taken off the battlefield. If its bad intel, just waterboard them some more.
09-02-2009, 12:57 PM
Actually, I would go as to say one is moderate to severe discomfort, while the other, murder. I wouldn't know what else to call it.
I still believe these "Islamofascists" are good Muslims. They justify their actions by their holy book, and justify them well. They're simply doing what they were instructed to do. It bothers me when they're referred to as Islamofascists rather than Islamic Fundamentalists.
09-02-2009, 01:24 PM
Also, I don't entirely understand your post. You disbelieve what "Matthew Alexander" said in regards to our actions bringing in more combatants to the Islamist cause?
It all depends on severity and context. If you and I agreed that I would water-board you, at a mutual location, with emergency support staff on hand, with the understanding it would be for a short duration and/or until you felt uncomfortable, than I am sure "severe discomfort" is a pretty adequate term; you are fully cognizant you are not going to die, and probably feel safe. However, if you are detained without due process, are renditioned to another country, held indefinitely, told your family is going to die, had no idea of the process itself, and were then water-boarded in a dingy room, your perception of the act may change. While "we" understand the individual is not going to die/drown, "he" may not understand it.Actually, I would go as to say one is moderate to severe discomfort, while the other, murder. I wouldn't know what else to call it.
I disagree, and think Islamofacism is an adequate term for the extreme movement. I think the individual muslims, particularly in Iraq, are simply commoners; however, the movement as a whole, including al Qaeda and the Taliban, is most certainly Islamofacist. What is disconcerting is that moderate muslims in these parts of the world are, in fact, beginning to sympathize with the Islamofacists, in part because of our involvement there.I still believe these "Islamofascists" are good Muslims. They justify their actions by their holy book, and justify them well. They're simply doing what they were instructed to do. It bothers me when they're referred to as Islamofascists rather than Islamic Fundamentalists.
09-02-2009, 01:41 PM
I've stated my beliefs here numerous times. I most definitely believe that many Muslims are fairly normal people, but I also believe that those people are not true Muslims. You can look at history, and study their holy book chronologically and see the evolution of the religion. It started out humbly and peacefully, but as power was gained through numbers, the peaceful aspect was lost, and was taken over by violence. The Qur'an even has verses stating that if verses are contradictory to one another, use the latter verse as opposed to the former. - Peace is only acceptable when the enemy has the upper hand. If the enemy wants peace, give them peace, but not when you're ahead. You can see this through Muhammad's own teachings. When he was powerless and with little followers, he was peaceful. As he grew in strength and power, he showed his true beliefs. I see it as a religion of back-stabbing.I disagree, and think Islamofacism is an adequate term for the extreme movement. I think the individual muslims, particularly in Iraq, are simply commoners; however, the movement as a whole, including al Qaeda and the Taliban, is most certainly Islamofacist. What is disconcerting is that moderate muslims in these parts of the world are, in fact, beginning to sympathize with the Islamofacists, in part because of our involvement there.
I equate it to people that call themselves Christians and don't follow any Biblical scripture. There are plenty of Muslims that call themselves Muslims, but don't live the way Islam instructs them to.
You're young enough, as am I, to see the overthrow of Europe by the growing Muslim population. It will happen in our lifetime, and I believe you will see the change in attitude.
09-02-2009, 02:03 PM
Ultimately, the most you can say when interpreting one's adherence to a doctrine is: "According to my interpretation, Group X does not conform to the teachings of book p". However, this ultimately does nothing to diminish their own perception of their faith, education, teachings, whatever.
09-02-2009, 07:07 PM
I've conducted lots of interrogations in my work, and I can tell you that there is a time and a place for many different techniques. Every person has different wants/needs/fears, and the goal of any interrogation is to get information by using it to your advantage. However, there is a limit to what I can do, due to that pesky constitution.
If there were no constitutional 4th and 5th amendment limits....ie interrogating enemy combatants....then I would have a much larger playbook to draw from. And I would draw from every technique available to me that I thought would save American lives and prevent future attacks.
Some people will talk if you give them candy. Some people will talk if they think their family will be killed if they don't. Some people will talk if you waterboard them enough. There are no magic bullet in interrogations, every person and situation is unique. However, handcuffing feds to constitutional or army field manual standards while dealing with enemy combatants is akin to forcing an NFL caliber offense to run off a high school football playbook.
How many innocent American lives must be at stake in an attack before it is moral to conduct enhanced interrogation techniques on unlawful enemy combatants?
The legality of these techniques is precisely the question, so its silly to describe these techniques as 'illegal' when we obviously disagree on that point. As far as 'ineffective', I don't know much about 'Matthew Alexander', except that he's been all over Huffington Post and other liberal rags, which I take with a grain of salt. Logic dictates that literally holding someone's feet to the fire will make them more truthful.Yeah, I mean: who cares? These people are really dogs and/or vicious hardened criminals prior to attacking anyway, so I am sure that our actions and/or morality and/or signs of respect are pretty ineffectual over there. Well, I would disagree. That same Matthew Alexander, who took his lead interrogation role in 2006, and who took part in over 1,000 interrogations - I would say n=1000 is a representative sample here - claims that a very substantial portion of the detainees he interviewed joined the Islamofacist movement precisely because of our actions; precisely because we were torturing! Now, the most obvious conservative argument is: "Well, we said you should have never told them!" Which is, of course, pretty ridiculous. The more effective option would have been to cease using illegal and ineffective techniques against the recommendations of the interrogators who were actually securing high-level information.
09-02-2009, 07:22 PM
There is no disagreement on the legality of torture - it is illegal. In reality, any technique which deviates from the Field Interrogator's Handbook is illegal; in reality, water-boarding is illegal pursuant to the Hague Addendums to the Geneva; in reality, Guantanamo, rendition, the secret prisons, etc., are all illegal. If there is any disagreement, it is coming from your end.The legality of these techniques is precisely the question, so its silly to describe these techniques as 'illegal' when we obviously disagree on that point.
I am entirely unconcerned where he was featured in this particular instance. He happens to be the interrogator who caught al-Qeada's leader in Iraq, al Zarqawi, and his story happens to corroborate with Ali Soufan's who caught the mastermind of 9/11 - you know, the people the U.S., military was actually after. You'll excuse me if I take their word over Cheney's or any other hot-winded pundit!As far as 'ineffective', I don't know much about 'Matthew Alexander', except that he's been all over Huffington Post and other liberal rags, which I take with a grain of salt.
Logic dictates only that a torture victim will say something; nothing dictates that "something" will be accurate.Logic dictates that literally holding someone's feet to the fire will make them more truthful.
09-02-2009, 07:31 PM
I'm not saying that other techniques are not effective or that they're not sometimes more effective. I'm saying that by limiting the arsenal of an interrogator, you're limiting the potential for actionable intelligence.
If you don't believe me, ask Vic Mackey or Jack Bauer.
09-02-2009, 07:34 PM
09-02-2009, 07:40 PM
I can see what you are driving at, but I would still disagree. When we have high-level interrogators responsible for some of the clearest counter-terrorism victories thus far known saying torture is ineffective, than why use it?I'm not saying that other techniques are not effective or that they're not sometimes more effective. I'm saying that by limiting the arsenal of an interrogator, you're limiting the potential for actionable intelligence.
09-02-2009, 09:15 PM
So far you've shown two individuals who perform interrogations who disagree with its effectiveness. In order to call it ineffective, I'd like to have the following answered:I can see what you are driving at, but I would still disagree. When we have high-level interrogators responsible for some of the clearest counter-terrorism victories thus far known saying torture is ineffective, than why use it?
1. How many agents did not come forward? Any agent who felt it was effective would surely not say so publicly, as the president is launching criminal investigations into who committed 'torture' and would be a natural target to be made into an example.
2. What information was blacked out of the documents brought out by the FOIA request? All the documents that 'torture' was alleged had the results blacked out.
09-02-2009, 11:07 PM
Unfortunately an argumentum ad ignorantiam [negative evidence] does not fly here either. You could just as well say, "Well, nobody has proven that fairies did not assist in the interrogations, so they very well could have". And considering the President is not going to pursue convictions, and the torture was performed in non-belligerent nations who do not have prosecutable statutes in place to convict the "torturers", I would tend to not recognize this point. Unfortunately, there is a line between technical and actable culpability, and the GWB Administration and the actual interrogators fall under the former.1. How many agents did not come forward? Any agent who felt it was effective would surely not say so publicly, as the president is launching criminal investigations into who committed 'torture' and would be a natural target to be made into an example.
As well, one would assume that if "torture" and/or "enhanced interrogation" had excised information of the actionable and accurate quality of the "Alexander" and Soufan level, we would have heard it lauded clear from the NeoCon side during the Senate hearing.
While the specific sections on "Effectiveness" from the IG Report itself was blacked out, an OLC Memo from 2005 - the "Bradbury Memo", reveals several of its conclusions. Here is a quote from that memo, and one that I paraphrased earlier:2. What information was blacked out of the documents brought out by the FOIA request? All the documents that 'torture' was alleged had the results blacked out.
Obviously, the bold portion will key your interest most immediately, but I would like to address something first. The language "it is difficult to determine conclusively whether interrogations have provided information critical to interdicting specific imminent attacks." is importantly vague in politico-speech. As I said previously, this most likely means, "we have no evidence to support the efficacy of torture in obtaining actable information". However, it must be noted it could simply mean that the OLC had an ambivalent view on torture. Either way, it does not speak well to your point about torture's effectiveness.Second, it is difficult to quantify with confidence and precision the effectiveness of the program. As the IG Report notes, it is difficult to determine conclusively whether interrogations have provided information critical to interdicting specific imminent attacks. (See id. at 88.) And, because the CIA has used enhanced techniques sparingly, "there is limited data on which to assess their individual effectiveness," fd. at 89. As discussed below, however, we understand that interrogations have led to specific, actionable intelligence as well as a general increase in the amount of intelligence regarding al Qaeda and its affiliates. See hi. at 85-91.
Now, on to the bold portion. The cases which the OLC goes on to detail in the paragraph below this one are the specific cases which Ali Soufan testified directly against - in other words, the claim that "actionable and critical information" was obtained via enhanced interrogation is demonstrably false. Now, considering that Hayden, the OLC, the JD, Cheney and so on referred to these cases specifically and ad nasuem to demonstrate both the infrequency and effectiveness of "enhanced interrogation", your point (1) appears even bleaker. While the IG Report is not available in full, a clearer portrait is constantly being painted that the CIA's enhanced interrogation program, including waterboarding, was ineffective, cannot be linked to any concrete successes and, possibly more importantly, was unreliable and inconsistent.
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