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What is "torture"?

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Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,709
3,515
126
Torture is that which one does to another, in the name of information, to break his notion of his own interests in favor of your own. This is always evil because the interests of all men are the same. Torture then is the forced bending of the will of one person to the bent will of another. Torture requires an increase in the cost of holding one view by increasing the pain needed to maintain it while increasing the motivation to harm another human being to change that view by increasing the sense that such harm is justified.

Thus, where there is torture, you will find an evil use of force on one person and a commensurate need for rationalization the act of evil on the part of another.

Torture, then, in every society, will have a body of delusional thinking that supports its use so that those who do it can pretend they are not evil. The pretense will take on all the trappings of official sanction via codification and law and all the other illusions men create as a charade for their lack of character.
 
May 16, 2000
13,529
0
0
Originally posted by: palehorse74
Originally posted by: PrinceofWands
Originally posted by: Craig234
Originally posted by: Jaskalas
So for Craig, if we force an enemy combatant to talk, we should instead set them free and be jailed ourselves for war crimes.

Interesting way to fight a war.
So, why don't you keep them imprisoned for the war, humanely, and interrogate them short of torture, which will be enough for many of them to talk, and you stay out of jail.

Your attempts to paint some silly picture don't help the discussion. The bottom line is you want to get to be the bad guy, abusing power of captives, but don't want to admit it. Right?
What no one has addressed so far is that more extreme forms of torture have been proven time and time again to be almost entirely ineffective at providing useful information. People just say what needs to be said for the pain to stop. Therefore there's absolutely NO good reason to go beyond mild torture as a method of encouraging disclosure.
What would you consider each of the items listed in the OP? For each one, and combinations thereof, please tell us whether you consider them "extreme forms" or "mild torture," or "neither."

I'll say this before you do: Each of those listed has been proven effective in breaking sources and receiving good information.

I'd also like to throw a new one into the mix: mock executions.
After just a brief glimpse it appears that #1 is the only one which could cause harm, or give the impression of harm, therefore it's the only extreme torture on the list. Unless the others were taken WAYYYY too far...I mean, if you keep someone awake for 8 days, yeah, that's obviously extreme and can cause real damage. Three days we do to ourselves all the time, so it's no big deal.

The rest could qualify only as very mild tortures depending on how much, how often, how intense, etc. I would call them coercion, not torture. Again, unless taken way too far.

Torture is burning, breaking, beating, ripping, cutting, hurting, putting in fear of your life, etc.
 
Jun 26, 2007
11,925
2
0
Originally posted by: palehorse74
OK, over the years we have had some pretty decent "debates" here about various aspects of interrogation and "torture." I'd like to expand our recent discussion of water-boarding to a more thorough discussion of any/all techniques that may/may not be contraversial, or outright unacceptable.

From the following list of supposed methods, tell us which of them you consider "torture," whether or not they are acceptable, under ANY circumstances, and why.

1) Water-boarding
2) Stress positions
3) Sleep deprivation
4) Temperature fluctuations
5) Darkness / Brightness
6) Loud noises or music
7) Isolation
8) "Truth" serums
9) All of the above
10) Other

/discuss
You already know the answer according to international law and the Geneva conventions.

There is no discussion to be had and you know it.

I find this, quite frankly, a rather distasteful way of trying to circumvent what you already know to justify shit that's already been done.

You should fucking know better.

9 is the answer if anyone is to daft to get that, all of the above according to the ratified Geneva conventions.
 

GrGr

Diamond Member
Sep 25, 2003
3,204
0
76
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Originally posted by: palehorse74
OK, over the years we have had some pretty decent "debates" here about various aspects of interrogation and "torture." I'd like to expand our recent discussion of water-boarding to a more thorough discussion of any/all techniques that may/may not be contraversial, or outright unacceptable.

From the following list of supposed methods, tell us which of them you consider "torture," whether or not they are acceptable, under ANY circumstances, and why.

1) Water-boarding
2) Stress positions
3) Sleep deprivation
4) Temperature fluctuations
5) Darkness / Brightness
6) Loud noises or music
7) Isolation
8) "Truth" serums
9) All of the above
10) Other

/discuss
You already know the answer according to international law and the Geneva conventions.

There is no discussion to be had and you know it.

I find this, quite frankly, a rather distasteful way of trying to circumvent what you already know to justify shit that's already been done.

You should fucking know better.

9 is the answer if anyone is to daft to get that, all of the above according to the ratified Geneva conventions.
Yup this is a disgusting fishing expedition by Palehorse. He is just looking to Jack Bauer peeps.
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
11,547
0
76
Originally posted by: GrGr
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Originally posted by: palehorse74
OK, over the years we have had some pretty decent "debates" here about various aspects of interrogation and "torture." I'd like to expand our recent discussion of water-boarding to a more thorough discussion of any/all techniques that may/may not be contraversial, or outright unacceptable.

From the following list of supposed methods, tell us which of them you consider "torture," whether or not they are acceptable, under ANY circumstances, and why.

1) Water-boarding
2) Stress positions
3) Sleep deprivation
4) Temperature fluctuations
5) Darkness / Brightness
6) Loud noises or music
7) Isolation
8) "Truth" serums
9) All of the above
10) Other

/discuss
You already know the answer according to international law and the Geneva conventions.

There is no discussion to be had and you know it.

I find this, quite frankly, a rather distasteful way of trying to circumvent what you already know to justify shit that's already been done.

You should fucking know better.

9 is the answer if anyone is to daft to get that, all of the above according to the ratified Geneva conventions.
Yup this is a disgusting fishing expedition by Palehorse. He is just looking to Jack Bauer peeps.
you idiots... I'm not looking for anything in this thread beyond a civilized discussion.

I see that was too much to ask of some people...

I know exactly what the legal limits are in the DoD; and I've never been asked, or needed, to circumvent them.

Just give your .02, and move on. Insults and trying to analyze my motives are pointless...
 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
1
0
Originally posted by: palehorse74
Originally posted by: GrGr
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Originally posted by: palehorse74
OK, over the years we have had some pretty decent "debates" here about various aspects of interrogation and "torture." I'd like to expand our recent discussion of water-boarding to a more thorough discussion of any/all techniques that may/may not be contraversial, or outright unacceptable.

From the following list of supposed methods, tell us which of them you consider "torture," whether or not they are acceptable, under ANY circumstances, and why.

1) Water-boarding
2) Stress positions
3) Sleep deprivation
4) Temperature fluctuations
5) Darkness / Brightness
6) Loud noises or music
7) Isolation
8) "Truth" serums
9) All of the above
10) Other

/discuss
You already know the answer according to international law and the Geneva conventions.

There is no discussion to be had and you know it.

I find this, quite frankly, a rather distasteful way of trying to circumvent what you already know to justify shit that's already been done.

You should fucking know better.

9 is the answer if anyone is to daft to get that, all of the above according to the ratified Geneva conventions.
Yup this is a disgusting fishing expedition by Palehorse. He is just looking to Jack Bauer peeps.
you idiots... I'm not looking for anything in this thread beyond a civilized discussion.

I see that was too much to ask of some people...

I know exactly what the legal limits are in the DoD; and I've never been asked, or needed, to circumvent them.

Just give your .02, and move on. Insults and trying to analyze my motives are pointless...
Then go "practice" your arguments elsewhere if you don't like the answers you get.
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
11,547
0
76
Originally posted by: 1EZduzit
Originally posted by: palehorse74
Originally posted by: GrGr
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Originally posted by: palehorse74
OK, over the years we have had some pretty decent "debates" here about various aspects of interrogation and "torture." I'd like to expand our recent discussion of water-boarding to a more thorough discussion of any/all techniques that may/may not be contraversial, or outright unacceptable.

From the following list of supposed methods, tell us which of them you consider "torture," whether or not they are acceptable, under ANY circumstances, and why.

1) Water-boarding
2) Stress positions
3) Sleep deprivation
4) Temperature fluctuations
5) Darkness / Brightness
6) Loud noises or music
7) Isolation
8) "Truth" serums
9) All of the above
10) Other

/discuss
You already know the answer according to international law and the Geneva conventions.

There is no discussion to be had and you know it.

I find this, quite frankly, a rather distasteful way of trying to circumvent what you already know to justify shit that's already been done.

You should fucking know better.

9 is the answer if anyone is to daft to get that, all of the above according to the ratified Geneva conventions.
Yup this is a disgusting fishing expedition by Palehorse. He is just looking to Jack Bauer peeps.
you idiots... I'm not looking for anything in this thread beyond a civilized discussion.

I see that was too much to ask of some people...

I know exactly what the legal limits are in the DoD; and I've never been asked, or needed, to circumvent them.

Just give your .02, and move on. Insults and trying to analyze my motives are pointless...
Then go "practice" your arguments elsewhere if you don't like the answers you get.
I appreciate all of the actual discussion, but the personal insults were unnecessary. Do you disagree?
 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
1
0
Originally posted by: palehorse74
Originally posted by: 1EZduzit
Originally posted by: palehorse74
Originally posted by: GrGr
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Originally posted by: palehorse74
OK, over the years we have had some pretty decent "debates" here about various aspects of interrogation and "torture." I'd like to expand our recent discussion of water-boarding to a more thorough discussion of any/all techniques that may/may not be contraversial, or outright unacceptable.

From the following list of supposed methods, tell us which of them you consider "torture," whether or not they are acceptable, under ANY circumstances, and why.

1) Water-boarding
2) Stress positions
3) Sleep deprivation
4) Temperature fluctuations
5) Darkness / Brightness
6) Loud noises or music
7) Isolation
8) "Truth" serums
9) All of the above
10) Other

/discuss
You already know the answer according to international law and the Geneva conventions.

There is no discussion to be had and you know it.

I find this, quite frankly, a rather distasteful way of trying to circumvent what you already know to justify shit that's already been done.

You should fucking know better.

9 is the answer if anyone is to daft to get that, all of the above according to the ratified Geneva conventions.
Yup this is a disgusting fishing expedition by Palehorse. He is just looking to Jack Bauer peeps.
you idiots... I'm not looking for anything in this thread beyond a civilized discussion.

I see that was too much to ask of some people...

I know exactly what the legal limits are in the DoD; and I've never been asked, or needed, to circumvent them.

Just give your .02, and move on. Insults and trying to analyze my motives are pointless...
Then go "practice" your arguments elsewhere if you don't like the answers you get.
I appreciate all of the actual discussion, but the personal insults were unnecessary. Do you disagree?
I haven't read the whole thread, but in the quoted post above I see no personal insults? Unless you think someone questioning you motives is a personal insult???

I happen to agree with their asessment of your motives. It's like asking if stealing one penny is considered theft because it's not on the same level of seriousness as stealing a million bucks. It's still theft, no matter how you slice it and dice it.
 
Jun 26, 2007
11,925
2
0
Originally posted by: palehorse74
Originally posted by: GrGr
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Originally posted by: palehorse74
OK, over the years we have had some pretty decent "debates" here about various aspects of interrogation and "torture." I'd like to expand our recent discussion of water-boarding to a more thorough discussion of any/all techniques that may/may not be contraversial, or outright unacceptable.

From the following list of supposed methods, tell us which of them you consider "torture," whether or not they are acceptable, under ANY circumstances, and why.

1) Water-boarding
2) Stress positions
3) Sleep deprivation
4) Temperature fluctuations
5) Darkness / Brightness
6) Loud noises or music
7) Isolation
8) "Truth" serums
9) All of the above
10) Other

/discuss
You already know the answer according to international law and the Geneva conventions.

There is no discussion to be had and you know it.

I find this, quite frankly, a rather distasteful way of trying to circumvent what you already know to justify shit that's already been done.

You should fucking know better.

9 is the answer if anyone is to daft to get that, all of the above according to the ratified Geneva conventions.
Yup this is a disgusting fishing expedition by Palehorse. He is just looking to Jack Bauer peeps.
you idiots... I'm not looking for anything in this thread beyond a civilized discussion.

I see that was too much to ask of some people...

I know exactly what the legal limits are in the DoD; and I've never been asked, or needed, to circumvent them.

Just give your .02, and move on. Insults and trying to analyze my motives are pointless...
It wasn't meant as a direct insult to you Palehorse and you know that, all i'm saying is that you should know better and you KNOW what torture is so why the fuck do we even discuss it, it is right there, stated in plain text.

Unless you want to change the definition to be something else than it is, and i can get why you have to be hostile to do that, it's stupid though, NOTHING you can come up with justifies it.

Shit happens in warfare, if you really feel so bad about it that you need to become hostile to defend it there is help to be had, i am not telling you this in any condescending way at all, i've been there myself.

It would be better if you took the discussion directly with me, i know all the laws and rules, the problem is that there is no real discussion to be had, you know that and i know that and what i find disgusting is that you try to portray the set laws as flexible when both you and i know they are NOT.

OT, i hope all is well with you.
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
11,547
0
76
Originally posted by: 1EZduzit
Originally posted by: palehorse74
Originally posted by: 1EZduzit
Originally posted by: palehorse74
Originally posted by: GrGr
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Originally posted by: palehorse74
OK, over the years we have had some pretty decent "debates" here about various aspects of interrogation and "torture." I'd like to expand our recent discussion of water-boarding to a more thorough discussion of any/all techniques that may/may not be contraversial, or outright unacceptable.

From the following list of supposed methods, tell us which of them you consider "torture," whether or not they are acceptable, under ANY circumstances, and why.

1) Water-boarding
2) Stress positions
3) Sleep deprivation
4) Temperature fluctuations
5) Darkness / Brightness
6) Loud noises or music
7) Isolation
8) "Truth" serums
9) All of the above
10) Other

/discuss
You already know the answer according to international law and the Geneva conventions.

There is no discussion to be had and you know it.

I find this, quite frankly, a rather distasteful way of trying to circumvent what you already know to justify shit that's already been done.

You should fucking know better.

9 is the answer if anyone is to daft to get that, all of the above according to the ratified Geneva conventions.
Yup this is a disgusting fishing expedition by Palehorse. He is just looking to Jack Bauer peeps.
you idiots... I'm not looking for anything in this thread beyond a civilized discussion.

I see that was too much to ask of some people...

I know exactly what the legal limits are in the DoD; and I've never been asked, or needed, to circumvent them.

Just give your .02, and move on. Insults and trying to analyze my motives are pointless...
Then go "practice" your arguments elsewhere if you don't like the answers you get.
I appreciate all of the actual discussion, but the personal insults were unnecessary. Do you disagree?
I haven't read the whole thread, but in the quoted post above I see no personal insults? Unless you think someone questioning you motives is a personal insult???

I happen to agree with their asessment of your motives. It's like asking if stealing one penny is considered theft because it's not on the same level of seriousness as stealing a million bucks. It's still theft, no matter how you slice it and dice it.
but you're wrong. The only methods discussed by most pundits are water-boarding and mock executions. Only rarely do they address other methods such as some of those listed in the OP.
 

CycloWizard

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
12,353
1
81
Originally posted by: palehorse74
How the hell was my last post not rational!? I have no personal "definition" of torture, so I'm not sure what it is you're looking for. I would have to address each method on its own merits. The only specific line that I have draw is with regards to my own list of methods in the OP; and that is that I believe water-boarding is torture, but the rest of the methods are not.

Why? Well, mainly because water-boarding may result in a subjects death. The other items on the list are merely causes for temporary discomfort or disorientation. To me, those effects do not equate to "torture," hence my explaining the subjective nature of the topic to you.

Take my position however you wish, and discuss each of the methods if you choose. Otherwise, we're all having a pretty decent discussion here, so take your "trolling" accusations elsewhere - we don't want to hear them!
I'm looking for a personal definition of torture. You haven't yet figured out why you would allow certain things and not others, so I'm trying to lead you in that direction. A nation cannot form policies on a case-by-case basis or on the basis of vague generalities.


 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
1
0
Originally posted by: palehorse74
but you're wrong. The only methods discussed by most pundits are water-boarding and mock executions. Only rarely do they address other methods such as some of those listed in the OP.
I don't put much stock in what pundits say. I subscribe to several newsletters from various pundits about the commodities markets. Hopefully because the more information I have the better, more informed decision I will make, but in the end it's my decision and I'm the one who has to live with it. Besides, one has to ask oneself, "If the pundit's advice is so great then why are they wasting their time selling it?"

IMO your list is all torture, just varying degrees. I arive at that conclusion by asking myself "If it was unwillingly done to me, would I consider it torture?" and the answer is yes in each case.

"Theft is theft" and "torture is torture". Are there varying degrees? Yes, there are, but thankfully we have "rough men standing ready to do violence on our behalf" if need be.
 

RFE

Member
Dec 15, 2007
71
0
61
Originally posted by: Moonbeam
I think Cyclo Wizard has it about right here:

I would naively define torture as applying distress to obtain information. Distress could be mental, physical, emotional, or perhaps even verbal. I might instead define torture as the violation of basic human dignity in an effort to obtain information.

I would define a torture as a coward who applies the above because he has no real faith or core morality. A coward only thinks in terms of results and the importance of his life. There is nothing he would die for, especially his own personal dignity. A torturer is a person who has no self respect and no self love, and unaware of the God within himself sees not the God within those he tortures.

A torturer is a person who is emotionally dead and whose soul already is in hell. Torture is his means to revenge.

To torture is to admit to yourself that you are worthless.

Ye will know yourselves by how you treat the least among ye.

Easily said......or perhaps more accurately, easily typed from the comfort of your home/office. It doesn't seem appropriate to be so generic with this topic as the situation/circumstance hasn't been considered. In cases where the CIA uses this, we're not talking about trivial stakes or simply acting out of malice. Do you recall that the people being subject to these "tortures" are those that are willing members of a group that would have the US (and a few other Western civilizations) wiped off the face of the map? These are the same people willing to blow themselves up or ram jets [that they are piloting] just to kill people that don't agree with their radical views. Is that acceptable? Given that nature, I?d say that several of the ?tortures? list in the OP are fair and justified in comparison.

Moonbeam, it?s readily apparent that you've never been in harms way in a military setting. Honestly, I'm very glad for that, but don't be so quick to take the high ground when you haven't given thought to likely circumstances and long term ramifications of not obtaining critical information quickly. It?s not like the CIA can refer to Wikipedia for info needed to save lives or prevent a disaster. What about protecting the rights of the truly innocent (life, liberty, property, pursuit of happiness, those precious things that terrorists yearn to relieve even you of)?
 
Jun 26, 2007
11,925
2
0
Originally posted by: RFE
Originally posted by: Moonbeam
I think Cyclo Wizard has it about right here:

I would naively define torture as applying distress to obtain information. Distress could be mental, physical, emotional, or perhaps even verbal. I might instead define torture as the violation of basic human dignity in an effort to obtain information.

I would define a torture as a coward who applies the above because he has no real faith or core morality. A coward only thinks in terms of results and the importance of his life. There is nothing he would die for, especially his own personal dignity. A torturer is a person who has no self respect and no self love, and unaware of the God within himself sees not the God within those he tortures.

A torturer is a person who is emotionally dead and whose soul already is in hell. Torture is his means to revenge.

To torture is to admit to yourself that you are worthless.

Ye will know yourselves by how you treat the least among ye.

Easily said......or perhaps more accurately, easily typed from the comfort of your home/office. It doesn't seem appropriate to be so generic with this topic as the situation/circumstance hasn't been considered. In cases where the CIA uses this, we're not talking about trivial stakes or simply acting out of malice. Do you recall that the people being subject to these "tortures" are those that are willing members of a group that would have the US (and a few other Western civilizations) wiped off the face of the map? These are the same people willing to blow themselves up or ram jets [that they are piloting] just to kill people that don't agree with their radical views. Is that acceptable? Given that nature, I?d say that several of the ?tortures? list in the OP are fair and justified in comparison.

Moonbeam, it?s readily apparent that you've never been in harms way in a military setting. Honestly, I'm very glad for that, but don't be so quick to take the high ground when you haven't given thought to likely circumstances and long term ramifications of not obtaining critical information quickly. It?s not like the CIA can refer to Wikipedia for info needed to save lives or prevent a disaster. What about protecting the rights of the truly innocent (life, liberty, property, pursuit of happiness, those precious things that terrorists yearn to relieve even you of)?

What you don't get (i'm a Captain in the Briitish service) is that what you think doesn't fucking matter at all, international laws and the geneva conventions is what i've sworn to uphold and if i had actually seen someone break them i would have been justified in shooting them in the head to defend those laws.

There is no "kinda" or "sort of" the laws are clearly defined and anyone who breaks them is an enemy combatant in my book.

The rest of the shit you are meant to protect is secondary, if you had actually been an officer you would have known that.
 

CycloWizard

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
12,353
1
81
Originally posted by: RFE
Easily said......or perhaps more accurately, easily typed from the comfort of your home/office. It doesn't seem appropriate to be so generic with this topic as the situation/circumstance hasn't been considered. In cases where the CIA uses this, we're not talking about trivial stakes or simply acting out of malice. Do you recall that the people being subject to these "tortures" are those that are willing members of a group that would have the US (and a few other Western civilizations) wiped off the face of the map? These are the same people willing to blow themselves up or ram jets [that they are piloting] just to kill people that don't agree with their radical views. Is that acceptable? Given that nature, I?d say that several of the ?tortures? list in the OP are fair and justified in comparison.

Moonbeam, it?s readily apparent that you've never been in harms way in a military setting. Honestly, I'm very glad for that, but don't be so quick to take the high ground when you haven't given thought to likely circumstances and long term ramifications of not obtaining critical information quickly. It?s not like the CIA can refer to Wikipedia for info needed to save lives or prevent a disaster. What about protecting the rights of the truly innocent (life, liberty, property, pursuit of happiness, those precious things that terrorists yearn to relieve even you of)?
There's an old saying... Something to the effect of "If someone can put a price on your principles, then you never really had any principles." This hold unequivocally for this situation. If you think ditching the "moral high ground" that America should hold is worth getting some information, no matter how important it might be, then we have no moral high ground and we are no better than those who you would torture.
 
Jun 26, 2007
11,925
2
0
Originally posted by: CycloWizard
Originally posted by: RFE
Easily said......or perhaps more accurately, easily typed from the comfort of your home/office. It doesn't seem appropriate to be so generic with this topic as the situation/circumstance hasn't been considered. In cases where the CIA uses this, we're not talking about trivial stakes or simply acting out of malice. Do you recall that the people being subject to these "tortures" are those that are willing members of a group that would have the US (and a few other Western civilizations) wiped off the face of the map? These are the same people willing to blow themselves up or ram jets [that they are piloting] just to kill people that don't agree with their radical views. Is that acceptable? Given that nature, I?d say that several of the ?tortures? list in the OP are fair and justified in comparison.

Moonbeam, it?s readily apparent that you've never been in harms way in a military setting. Honestly, I'm very glad for that, but don't be so quick to take the high ground when you haven't given thought to likely circumstances and long term ramifications of not obtaining critical information quickly. It?s not like the CIA can refer to Wikipedia for info needed to save lives or prevent a disaster. What about protecting the rights of the truly innocent (life, liberty, property, pursuit of happiness, those precious things that terrorists yearn to relieve even you of)?
There's an old saying... Something to the effect of "If someone can put a price on your principles, then you never really had any principles." This hold unequivocally for this situation. If you think ditching the "moral high ground" that America should hold is worth getting some information, no matter how important it might be, then we have no moral high ground and we are no better than those who you would torture.
During my time in the service i have done some strange things, most are things that are benign compared to this shit that the US has introduced and it makes me sick to my stomach that there are people willing to fight evil with evil who don't get that evil then becomes a figh of ones own principles.

I would never, i will never not report misuse of authority and i hope to hell that someone reports me if i am to step over the line.

 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,709
3,515
126
Originally posted by: RFE
Originally posted by: Moonbeam
I think Cyclo Wizard has it about right here:

I would naively define torture as applying distress to obtain information. Distress could be mental, physical, emotional, or perhaps even verbal. I might instead define torture as the violation of basic human dignity in an effort to obtain information.

I would define a torture as a coward who applies the above because he has no real faith or core morality. A coward only thinks in terms of results and the importance of his life. There is nothing he would die for, especially his own personal dignity. A torturer is a person who has no self respect and no self love, and unaware of the God within himself sees not the God within those he tortures.

A torturer is a person who is emotionally dead and whose soul already is in hell. Torture is his means to revenge.

To torture is to admit to yourself that you are worthless.

Ye will know yourselves by how you treat the least among ye.

Easily said......or perhaps more accurately, easily typed from the comfort of your home/office. It doesn't seem appropriate to be so generic with this topic as the situation/circumstance hasn't been considered. In cases where the CIA uses this, we're not talking about trivial stakes or simply acting out of malice. Do you recall that the people being subject to these "tortures" are those that are willing members of a group that would have the US (and a few other Western civilizations) wiped off the face of the map? These are the same people willing to blow themselves up or ram jets [that they are piloting] just to kill people that don't agree with their radical views. Is that acceptable? Given that nature, I?d say that several of the ?tortures? list in the OP are fair and justified in comparison.

Moonbeam, it?s readily apparent that you've never been in harms way in a military setting. Honestly, I'm very glad for that, but don't be so quick to take the high ground when you haven't given thought to likely circumstances and long term ramifications of not obtaining critical information quickly. It?s not like the CIA can refer to Wikipedia for info needed to save lives or prevent a disaster. What about protecting the rights of the truly innocent (life, liberty, property, pursuit of happiness, those precious things that terrorists yearn to relieve even you of)?
You may be right. I might be screaming for torture if my ass were properly roasted. But it doesn't change a thing about what I said. Even if I lack the character to maintain and act on what I believe, I am still right and there ARE people with such strength. One I know of them said 'Father forgive them for they know not what they do" as he was being killed.
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
11,547
0
76
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Originally posted by: palehorse74
Originally posted by: GrGr
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Originally posted by: palehorse74
OK, over the years we have had some pretty decent "debates" here about various aspects of interrogation and "torture." I'd like to expand our recent discussion of water-boarding to a more thorough discussion of any/all techniques that may/may not be contraversial, or outright unacceptable.

From the following list of supposed methods, tell us which of them you consider "torture," whether or not they are acceptable, under ANY circumstances, and why.

1) Water-boarding
2) Stress positions
3) Sleep deprivation
4) Temperature fluctuations
5) Darkness / Brightness
6) Loud noises or music
7) Isolation
8) "Truth" serums
9) All of the above
10) Other

/discuss
You already know the answer according to international law and the Geneva conventions.

There is no discussion to be had and you know it.

I find this, quite frankly, a rather distasteful way of trying to circumvent what you already know to justify shit that's already been done.

You should fucking know better.

9 is the answer if anyone is to daft to get that, all of the above according to the ratified Geneva conventions.
Yup this is a disgusting fishing expedition by Palehorse. He is just looking to Jack Bauer peeps.
you idiots... I'm not looking for anything in this thread beyond a civilized discussion.

I see that was too much to ask of some people...

I know exactly what the legal limits are in the DoD; and I've never been asked, or needed, to circumvent them.

Just give your .02, and move on. Insults and trying to analyze my motives are pointless...
It wasn't meant as a direct insult to you Palehorse and you know that, all i'm saying is that you should know better and you KNOW what torture is so why the fuck do we even discuss it, it is right there, stated in plain text.

Unless you want to change the definition to be something else than it is, and i can get why you have to be hostile to do that, it's stupid though, NOTHING you can come up with justifies it.

Shit happens in warfare, if you really feel so bad about it that you need to become hostile to defend it there is help to be had, i am not telling you this in any condescending way at all, i've been there myself.

It would be better if you took the discussion directly with me, i know all the laws and rules, the problem is that there is no real discussion to be had, you know that and i know that and what i find disgusting is that you try to portray the set laws as flexible when both you and i know they are NOT.

OT, i hope all is well with you.
I know you probably covered the Laws of War in OCS, or elsewhere - and I did too. As the GC's are written, there is too much ambiguity in their definition of mistreatment, or torture. They certainly do NOT spell out what crosses the lines from discomfort to torture. When they wrote the GC's, they expected their interpretation to be as obvious as you make them out to be - but they're not.

So, the DoD has its own interpretations, and they (we), of course, err wayyyy on the side of caution by preventing any/all physical interrogation methods - NONE are allowed. period.

Other agencies, all over the world, however, have a much more liberal interpretation of the same ambiguous statements in the GC's.

So things may not be as black and white as you describe.

That said, as a member of the military, none of this applies to me because I (we) are strictly forbidden from using ANY method not listed in FM 2-22.3. But that still doesnt mean that other methods are not worthy of discussion. After all, many members of the military eventually go on to work for "other agencies"... so none of us knows where we'll be in five years, or what we'll be asked to do once we're there.

We must be prepared for those decisions; and the best way to do that is through introspection, and to debate as many of them as possible well ahead of time!

see my point?
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,520
0
0
Originally posted by: palehorse74
...
I know you probably covered the Laws of War in OCS, or elsewhere - and I did too. As the GC's are written, there is too much ambiguity in their definition of mistreatment, or torture. They certainly do NOT spell out what crosses the lines from discomfort to torture. When they wrote the GC's, they expected their interpretation to be as obvious as you make them out to be - but they're not.

So, the DoD has its own interpretations, and they (we), of course, err wayyyy on the side of caution by preventing any/all physical interrogation methods - NONE are allowed. period.

Other agencies, all over the world, however, have a much more liberal interpretation of the same ambiguous statements in the GC's.

So things may not be as black and white as you describe.

That said, as a member of the military, none of this applies to me because I (we) are strictly forbidden from using ANY method not listed in FM 2-22.3. But that still doesnt mean that other methods are not worthy of discussion. After all, many members of the military eventually go on to work for "other agencies"... so none of us knows where we'll be in five years, or what we'll be asked to do once we're there.

We must be prepared for those decisions; and the best way to do that is through introspection, and to debate as many of them as possible well ahead of time!

see my point?
I'm not sure how much stock I'd put in how "other agencies" do things, since many of them seem incapable of finding their collective ass with both hands and a map when it comes to human intelligence. And in any case, while the military has a long history of dealing with prisoners of war, and while domestic law enforcement has a long history of dealing with apprehended criminals, foreign intelligence agencies have very little experience dealing with prisoners of any sort on the kind of scale we're talking about here. Frankly, I don't think they are the best people to be leading the way on this...I think we'd be much better off listening to the folks who have actually DONE that sort of thing before.

And let's be honest, it's not like the methods being discussed are new ideas that we haven't talked about before. Mistreating prisoners to extract information is hardly a new idea, and most of the proposed methods for doing so have been around for hundreds of years. And really, it's all been discussed to death already...and in every case, we reached a point at which it was decided that certain methods were NOT worthy of discussion any more because they weren't in keeping with the kind of civilization we want to represent.

You're point isn't that we need to engage in some introspection to figure out right from wrong...hell, we did that decades ago when we decided that we were no longer going to conduct ourselves in the barbaric way the rest of the world did, when we decided that our objections to Japan and Germany in WWII went beyond their goal of taking over the world into their treatment of people as they tried to achieve that goal. We KNOW it's wrong, we've known it for years. So what you're really saying is that you want us to suddenly place every idea on equal ideological footing, and pretend that every idea is equally worthy of consideration, no matter how horrible or backward it may be.

I know it's wrong, you know it's wrong, and God damn if everyone else doesn't know it too. And seeing everyone trying to prance around the issue makes me want to punch somebody in the face. What the FUCK is wrong with this country?
 

RFE

Member
Dec 15, 2007
71
0
61
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Originally posted by: RFE
Originally posted by: Moonbeam
I think Cyclo Wizard has it about right here:

I would naively define torture as applying distress to obtain information. Distress could be mental, physical, emotional, or perhaps even verbal. I might instead define torture as the violation of basic human dignity in an effort to obtain information.

I would define a torture as a coward who applies the above because he has no real faith or core morality. A coward only thinks in terms of results and the importance of his life. There is nothing he would die for, especially his own personal dignity. A torturer is a person who has no self respect and no self love, and unaware of the God within himself sees not the God within those he tortures.

A torturer is a person who is emotionally dead and whose soul already is in hell. Torture is his means to revenge.

To torture is to admit to yourself that you are worthless.

Ye will know yourselves by how you treat the least among ye.

Easily said......or perhaps more accurately, easily typed from the comfort of your home/office. It doesn't seem appropriate to be so generic with this topic as the situation/circumstance hasn't been considered. In cases where the CIA uses this, we're not talking about trivial stakes or simply acting out of malice. Do you recall that the people being subject to these "tortures" are those that are willing members of a group that would have the US (and a few other Western civilizations) wiped off the face of the map? These are the same people willing to blow themselves up or ram jets [that they are piloting] just to kill people that don't agree with their radical views. Is that acceptable? Given that nature, I?d say that several of the ?tortures? list in the OP are fair and justified in comparison.

Moonbeam, it?s readily apparent that you've never been in harms way in a military setting. Honestly, I'm very glad for that, but don't be so quick to take the high ground when you haven't given thought to likely circumstances and long term ramifications of not obtaining critical information quickly. It?s not like the CIA can refer to Wikipedia for info needed to save lives or prevent a disaster. What about protecting the rights of the truly innocent (life, liberty, property, pursuit of happiness, those precious things that terrorists yearn to relieve even you of)?

What you don't get (i'm a Captain in the Briitish service) is that what you think doesn't fucking matter at all, international laws and the geneva conventions is what i've sworn to uphold and if i had actually seen someone break them i would have been justified in shooting them in the head to defend those laws.

There is no "kinda" or "sort of" the laws are clearly defined and anyone who breaks them is an enemy combatant in my book.

The rest of the shit you are meant to protect is secondary, if you had actually been an officer you would have known that.
Well, then you better get to work executing members of various British intel branches. Truth serum, sleep deprivation, etc, a little to rigid for you? Better load that pistol up, pal.
Laws regarding the Geneva Convention are, like most laws, subject to legal interpretation. If at some point in time, your government determined that captured terrorists were not POW's and the Geneva Convention doesn't apply, then you best fall in line, soldier. The rest of the "shit" that you're meant to protect is secondary, if you're an officer, you better recognize THAT. If the crap starts hitting the fan again, the interpretation of the laws may very well change yet again (or new laws added). Not to mention, we're talking about intel agencies, not the military (at least I was as my original post clearly indicates). Thank goodness Palehorse74 recognized this (thank you, Palehorse).

Moonbeam, Jesus was only sacrificing himself with the goal in mind of saving many. While I understand the point that you're trying to make, I honestly don't think that's a good quote to use when discussing the safety of many Western countries. Kind of opposite to that effect (sacrifice one for the good of the many.....and certainly not the sacrifice of a life, either).
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
11,547
0
76
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Originally posted by: palehorse74
...
I know you probably covered the Laws of War in OCS, or elsewhere - and I did too. As the GC's are written, there is too much ambiguity in their definition of mistreatment, or torture. They certainly do NOT spell out what crosses the lines from discomfort to torture. When they wrote the GC's, they expected their interpretation to be as obvious as you make them out to be - but they're not.

So, the DoD has its own interpretations, and they (we), of course, err wayyyy on the side of caution by preventing any/all physical interrogation methods - NONE are allowed. period.

Other agencies, all over the world, however, have a much more liberal interpretation of the same ambiguous statements in the GC's.

So things may not be as black and white as you describe.

That said, as a member of the military, none of this applies to me because I (we) are strictly forbidden from using ANY method not listed in FM 2-22.3. But that still doesnt mean that other methods are not worthy of discussion. After all, many members of the military eventually go on to work for "other agencies"... so none of us knows where we'll be in five years, or what we'll be asked to do once we're there.

We must be prepared for those decisions; and the best way to do that is through introspection, and to debate as many of them as possible well ahead of time!

see my point?
I'm not sure how much stock I'd put in how "other agencies" do things, since many of them seem incapable of finding their collective ass with both hands and a map when it comes to human intelligence. And in any case, while the military has a long history of dealing with prisoners of war, and while domestic law enforcement has a long history of dealing with apprehended criminals, foreign intelligence agencies have very little experience dealing with prisoners of any sort on the kind of scale we're talking about here. Frankly, I don't think they are the best people to be leading the way on this...I think we'd be much better off listening to the folks who have actually DONE that sort of thing before.

And let's be honest, it's not like the methods being discussed are new ideas that we haven't talked about before. Mistreating prisoners to extract information is hardly a new idea, and most of the proposed methods for doing so have been around for hundreds of years. And really, it's all been discussed to death already...and in every case, we reached a point at which it was decided that certain methods were NOT worthy of discussion any more because they weren't in keeping with the kind of civilization we want to represent.

You're point isn't that we need to engage in some introspection to figure out right from wrong...hell, we did that decades ago when we decided that we were no longer going to conduct ourselves in the barbaric way the rest of the world did, when we decided that our objections to Japan and Germany in WWII went beyond their goal of taking over the world into their treatment of people as they tried to achieve that goal. We KNOW it's wrong, we've known it for years. So what you're really saying is that you want us to suddenly place every idea on equal ideological footing, and pretend that every idea is equally worthy of consideration, no matter how horrible or backward it may be.

I know it's wrong, you know it's wrong, and God damn if everyone else doesn't know it too. And seeing everyone trying to prance around the issue makes me want to punch somebody in the face. What the FUCK is wrong with this country?
How can you act as though noise/light/temperature/sleep fluctuations, or isolation, are as cut-and-dry evil, as water-boarding?! Let's try to think beyond binary here, or black-and-white, and discuss the line where "torture" is actually drawn. AFAIC, causing disorientation through the above mentioned light/noise/etc does not cross that line; AND, those methods which merely cause temporary disorientation in a subject HAVE actually been proven effective.

I might equate them to taking advantage of the "shock of capture" effect you might have heard of... it's one of the best times to question someone, and if messing with light, noise, sleep, etc. has the same effect, and is temporary, how can it be classified as torture?

Given the ambiguities of the GC's, and the vast difference between disorientation and torture, what's not to discuss? Why are you so worried about people merely discussing the subject? Is it taboo? Forbidden? In bad taste? Offensive?

seriously, why stimy debate on something this important?

Please tell me WHY light/noise/temp/sleep fluctuations are torture. What makes them such? Spell out your reasoning just as I've spelled out my reason for feeling otherwise.
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,520
0
0
Originally posted by: palehorse74
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Originally posted by: palehorse74
...
I know you probably covered the Laws of War in OCS, or elsewhere - and I did too. As the GC's are written, there is too much ambiguity in their definition of mistreatment, or torture. They certainly do NOT spell out what crosses the lines from discomfort to torture. When they wrote the GC's, they expected their interpretation to be as obvious as you make them out to be - but they're not.

So, the DoD has its own interpretations, and they (we), of course, err wayyyy on the side of caution by preventing any/all physical interrogation methods - NONE are allowed. period.

Other agencies, all over the world, however, have a much more liberal interpretation of the same ambiguous statements in the GC's.

So things may not be as black and white as you describe.

That said, as a member of the military, none of this applies to me because I (we) are strictly forbidden from using ANY method not listed in FM 2-22.3. But that still doesnt mean that other methods are not worthy of discussion. After all, many members of the military eventually go on to work for "other agencies"... so none of us knows where we'll be in five years, or what we'll be asked to do once we're there.

We must be prepared for those decisions; and the best way to do that is through introspection, and to debate as many of them as possible well ahead of time!

see my point?
I'm not sure how much stock I'd put in how "other agencies" do things, since many of them seem incapable of finding their collective ass with both hands and a map when it comes to human intelligence. And in any case, while the military has a long history of dealing with prisoners of war, and while domestic law enforcement has a long history of dealing with apprehended criminals, foreign intelligence agencies have very little experience dealing with prisoners of any sort on the kind of scale we're talking about here. Frankly, I don't think they are the best people to be leading the way on this...I think we'd be much better off listening to the folks who have actually DONE that sort of thing before.

And let's be honest, it's not like the methods being discussed are new ideas that we haven't talked about before. Mistreating prisoners to extract information is hardly a new idea, and most of the proposed methods for doing so have been around for hundreds of years. And really, it's all been discussed to death already...and in every case, we reached a point at which it was decided that certain methods were NOT worthy of discussion any more because they weren't in keeping with the kind of civilization we want to represent.

You're point isn't that we need to engage in some introspection to figure out right from wrong...hell, we did that decades ago when we decided that we were no longer going to conduct ourselves in the barbaric way the rest of the world did, when we decided that our objections to Japan and Germany in WWII went beyond their goal of taking over the world into their treatment of people as they tried to achieve that goal. We KNOW it's wrong, we've known it for years. So what you're really saying is that you want us to suddenly place every idea on equal ideological footing, and pretend that every idea is equally worthy of consideration, no matter how horrible or backward it may be.

I know it's wrong, you know it's wrong, and God damn if everyone else doesn't know it too. And seeing everyone trying to prance around the issue makes me want to punch somebody in the face. What the FUCK is wrong with this country?
How can you act as though noise/light/temperature/sleep fluctuations, or isolation, are as cut-and-dry evil, as water-boarding?! Let's try to think beyond binary here, or black-and-white, and discuss the line where "torture" is actually drawn. AFAIC, causing disorientation through the above mentioned light/noise/etc does not cross that line; AND, those methods which merely cause temporary disorientation in a subject HAVE actually been proven effective.

I might equate them to taking advantage of the "shock of capture" effect you might have heard of... it's one of the best times to question someone, and if messing with light, noise, sleep, etc. has the same effect, and is temporary, how can it be classified as torture?

Given the ambiguities of the GC's, and the vast difference between disorientation and torture, what's not to discuss? Why are you so worried about people merely discussing the subject? Is it taboo? Forbidden? In bad taste? Offensive?

seriously, why stimy debate on something this important?

Please tell me WHY light/noise/temp/sleep fluctuations are torture. What makes them such? Spell out your reasoning just as I've spelled out my reason for feeling otherwise.
Actually, I was talking about waterboarding and similar torture techniques. I know you aren't saying this, but a lot of people seem to be making the argument that EVERYTHING should be on the table, that being "torture" does not make something forever out of bounds. I think that's pretty cowardly reasoning, and I'm getting a little tired of people trotting out the same bullshit arguments to justify their moral weakness.

That said, I think "disorientation" techniques can IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES be valuable as long as they don't cross the line into torture or be taken to such an extreme that the subject is delusional instead of disoriented. It should be obvious that light/noise/temperature/sleep based techniques can all be turned into pretty severe torture if applied properly, but the difference between those techniques and something like waterboarding is that they can be used more mildly to simply help things along.

I'd say the line really comes from whether or not the interrogation approach simply helps put the prisoner in a more receptive state of mind or whether it physically or mentally FORCES him to give information. After all, even something as mild as offering less restrictive security quarters (or not) based on the information given is calculated to provide an incentive for cooperation and decrease their resistance. Same with being friendly to a prisoner or acting sympathetic to their cause, none of these things are something I'd consider over the line.

Waking someone up in the middle of the night to question them can remove some of their natural resistance without inducing physical or mental discomfort as a means to induce cooperation. On the other hand, forcing someone to stay awake for days on end could end up placing them in a state of mind where they will do anything to get it to stop or where they truly don't know what they are saying. The first is acceptable, the second is not. The difference, in my mind, being that you are not FORCING the subject to say or do anything, simply trying to prod them into doing so. The point of a good interrogation is to get the person to WANT to give you the information, while torture is FORCING them to do so. It sounds like hair splitting, but I think the difference is pretty obvious.

As for why I'm worried about people "merely" discussing this topic, it's that at a certain point, reasonable discussion of a topic gives it legitimacy. If we, as a country, start debating the pros and cons of torturing our prisoners to gain information, it doesn't really matter what the outcome is...in our collective mind, we've placed torture in the category of options worth considering. And once we're thinking about it that way, we've opened the door to using it at some future point, even if we decide not to right now. Once you take that leap from saying torture is completely unacceptable into saying that we just don't want to use it RIGHT NOW, it's hard to go back.
 

GrGr

Diamond Member
Sep 25, 2003
3,204
0
76
Yup. that is why i said the OP is looking to "Jack Bauer" people. The OP is greasing the slope to make it more slippery. At the heart of this discussion is the same old "the end justifies the means" mentality the OP has often previously demonstrated he supports. Palehorse does not support international law or the GC, he supports "might makes right" (as long as he is part of the mighty I presume), he has demonstrated this many times in the past.



 

Ozoned

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2004
5,583
0
0
I still say that nothing has changed. What you didn't use to know, didn't bother you.
 

Obsoleet

Platinum Member
Oct 2, 2007
2,184
1
0
Main Entry: 1tor·ture
Pronunciation: \'to?r-ch?r\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French, from Old French, from Late Latin tortura, from Latin tortus, past participle of torquere to twist; probably akin to Old High German drahsil turner, Greek atraktos spindle
Date: 1540
1 a: anguish of body or mind : agony b: something that causes agony or pain
2: the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure
3: distortion or overrefinement of a meaning or an argument : straining

By the only and real definition, marriage could be included.

That said, in war you do whatever it takes to win. As long as you do methods that are proven to work reliably, obviously you want reliable information.

"Torture" in our military's sense might not be torture at all, all the prisoner has to do is give up the information and it's over.

It's their decision to end whatever is being done to them. I'd personally quit being so stubborn maybe?
But whatever people want to do with their time.

If you like broken legs thats cool but no one's ever had their legs broken in dedication to me so I doubt I'd go through that for the USA.

It depends who captured me though, if it was Islamic terrorists I wouldn't give up any information because they'd probably cut my head off anyway so there's no point in helping them out. Now if it was the Chinese or the US who captured me I'd probably give up the info because I'd guess they'd be more likely to let me go or at least not break legs ect.

To me this isn't a debate, its a two way street, you can always choose to give up the goods.
And the root problem is why wars keep happening, not defining what torture is.

How about instead of the wedge issues we just bring the troops home or does this country enjoy wasting time on distractions to what really matters right now? Stupid question, this is America.
 

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