UK Officials Deny That Torture Helped Foil Terror Plots

US News • Views: 24,270

British intelligence officials said yesterday that there was no evidence to support George Bush’s claim that the use of waterboarding had helped to foil terrorist plots.

David Davis, the Conservative former shadow home secretary, said: “For [Bush] to demonstrate the use of torture saved British lives he has to demonstrate you can’t get information any other way.” He added: “We know from Iraq that whenever brains rather than brutality was involved, you get better results.” Davis pointed to claims made by one detainee, Ibn Sheikh al-Libi, after he was tortured that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida and that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, both of which have proved not to be true.

Bush also mentioned Abu Zubaydah, waterboarded after his capture in Pakistan in 2002. Zubaydah told his interrogators that al-Qaida had links with Saddam Hussein and that there was a plot to attack Washington with a “dirty bomb”. Both claims are now recognised by the CIA to be false.

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156 comments
1 darthstar  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 10:54:17am

This whole book tour thing and reinventing the facts of his presidency aren’t going exactly as planned, is it? Kind of like Iraq, and that other place he invaded but lost interest in because they didn’t have oil…wait, those are Obama’s wars now…never mind.

2 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 10:57:39am

You mean W. might have been lying to himself and us about how effective it was?

What else can he say. He destroyed an moral stand and sound military policy of the United States that lasted for over 200 years. W. thought he knew better than Washington, Grant, Pershing Bradly, MacArthur to name a few.

Such men were all wrong about torture being morally indefensible and militarily useless - but W. knew better.

W. has to cling to that. Such an insecure man must have his illusions. He was the decider after all.

3 elizajane  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 10:58:31am

Will the new Republican congress investigate this?
Apparently it’s not out of the question. Here’s the Republican congressman from Utah on investigating the Bush torture regime:

CHAFFETZ: Well, it may be on the list as well. I’m not afraid of going after the Bush administration. I wasn’t brought here by the establishment. When I ran for congressman in 2008, I’m just a freshman year, George W. Bush, Orrin Hatch, and Bob Bennett, three Republicans, they campaigned against me. So I don’t mind going back and looking at ‘em. So I don’t have any hestitation whatsoever.

Will any other Republicans follow him? He’s on the Oversight Committee.

4 albusteve  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 10:59:29am

re: #3 elizajane

Will the new Republican congress investigate this?
Apparently it’s not out of the question. Here’s the Republican congressman from Utah on investigating the Bush torture regime:

CHAFFETZ: Well, it may be on the list as well. I’m not afraid of going after the Bush administration. I wasn’t brought here by the establishment. When I ran for congressman in 2008, I’m just a freshman year, George W. Bush, Orrin Hatch, and Bob Bennett, three Republicans, they campaigned against me. So I don’t mind going back and looking at ‘em. So I don’t have any hestitation whatsoever.

Will any other Republicans follow him? He’s on the Oversight Committee.

sounds more like a revenge gig

5 Nick Schroeder  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:00:27am

It doesn’t matter. Bush’s book is called ‘Decision Points’ for a reason. He’s clearly decided that he saved, like, a million billion American lives as President. And he’s ‘The Decider’, so once he’s decided on something, all of your liberally bias ‘facts’ and ‘evidence’ go right out the window.

6 goddamnedfrank  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:01:27am

Old news is old.

‘Enhanced interrogations’ don’t work, ex-FBI agent tells panel

“From my experience — and I speak as someone who has personally interrogated many terrorists and elicited important actionable intelligence — I strongly believe that it is a mistake to use what has become known as the ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ ” Soufan noted in his written statement.

Such a position is “shared by many professional operatives, including the CIA officers who were present at the initial phases of the Abu Zubaydah interrogation.”

Soufan told the committee that within the first hour of his interrogation of Zubaydah, the suspected terrorist provided actionable intelligence.

But once the CIA contractors took over and used harsh methods, Zubaydah stopped talking, Soufan said. When Soufan was asked to resume questioning, Zubaydah cooperated. After another round of more coercive techniques used by the contractors, however, Soufan said it was difficult for him to re-engage Zubaydah.

Fort Hunt’s Quiet Men Break Silence on WWII

Back then, they and their commanders wrestled with the morality of bugging prisoners’ cells with listening devices. They felt bad about censoring letters. They took prisoners out for steak dinners to soften them up. They played games with them.

“We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture,” said Henry Kolm, 90, an MIT physicist who had been assigned to play chess in Germany with Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess.

Blunt criticism of modern enemy interrogations was a common refrain at the ceremonies held beside the Potomac River near Alexandria. Across the river, President Bush defended his administration’s methods of detaining and questioning terrorism suspects during an Oval Office appearance.

7 albusteve  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:01:51am

re: #1 darthstar

This whole book tour thing and reinventing the facts of his presidency aren’t going exactly as planned, is it? Kind of like Iraq, and that other place he invaded but lost interest in because they didn’t have oil…wait, those are Obama’s wars now…never mind.

lost interest in Iraq?…that’s a curious notion

8 Ming  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:01:57am

My understanding is that intelligence professionals have been saying for years that torture is not a good way to get information. The Bush / Cheney methods were copied from dictatorships, like the USSR, that used torture to get FALSE confessions. First-rate countries are interested in INFORMATION. Third-rate countries are interested in humiliation and false confessions.

I still feel that it’s possible that there’s some unusual situation where some torture may be called for. But I’m not a professional, and we really need to pay more attention to what the intelligence professionals are saying, that torture is not recommended. Unfortunately, many Americans would rather listen to the likes of Lynndie England (remember her?) and Sarah Palin.

9 iossarian  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:03:18am

But WHAT IF THERE WAS A TICKING TIME BOMB UNDERNEATH WICHITA???

10 Killgore Trout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:03:48am
British counter-terrorism officials distanced themselves from Bush’s claims. They said Mohammed provided “extremely valuable” information which was passed on to security and intelligence agencies, but that it mainly related to al-Qaida’s structure and was not known to have been extracted through torture. Eliza Manningham-Buller,head of MI5 at the time, said earlier this year that the government protested to the US over the torture of terror suspects, but that the Americans concealed Mohammed’s waterboarding from Britain. Officials said today the US still had not officially told the British government about the conditions in which Mohammed was held.

Kim Howells, former chairman of the Commons intelligence and security committee and Labour foreign minister, told the BBC that, while he did not doubt the existence of plots, he doubted whether waterboarding provided information instrumental in preventing them coming to fruition.

It sounds like a little bit of plausible deniability. They were happy to have the useful information but they can’t legally accept intelligence gathered through waterboarding. Of course there’s no way to be sure that the plots would have been successful so it’s really a debate over hypothetical situations. The truth is probably somewhere in between but I tend to lean a little more towards our President than British politicians in this case.

11 Political Atheist  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:04:25am

At least this is far more credible than the alleged “would have endorsed Obama” story. That one just reeks.

Does anyone here believe Bush’s mistakes were largely an overreaction to 9/11 and that AQ threat rather than a craven personal hunt for power?

I think the first instance, not the last.

12 Killgore Trout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:05:23am

re: #11 Rightwingconspirator

At least this is far more credible than the alleged “would have endorsed Obama” story. That one just reeks.


Yeah, I’m not buying that one either.

13 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:05:56am

re: #11 Rightwingconspirator

At least this is far more credible than the alleged “would have endorsed Obama” story. That one just reeks.

Does anyone here believe Bush’s mistakes were largely an overreaction to 9/11 and that AQ threat rather than a craven personal hunt for power?

I think the first instance, not the last.

re: #11 Rightwingconspirator

At least this is far more credible than the alleged “would have endorsed Obama” story. That one just reeks.

Does anyone here believe Bush’s mistakes were largely an overreaction to 9/11 and that AQ threat rather than a craven personal hunt for power?

I think the first instance, not the last.

My answer to that is complicated.

14 Kragar  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:06:01am

re: #9 iossarian

But WHAT IF THERE WAS A TICKING TIME BOMB UNDERNEATH WICHITA???

Eh, Its Wichita.
/

15 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:07:01am

Still have to say I’m fascinated that the wingnuts don’t seem even slightly alarmed that Bush refused to take military action against Syria at Israel’s request.

(Note, I’M not alarmed, but I’m just a Zionist, not a wingnut.)

16 darthstar  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:07:49am

re: #7 albusteve

lost interest in Iraq?…that’s a curious notion

No, bush lost interest in Afghanistan, which is why he invaded Iraq.

17 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:09:47am

re: #16 darthstar

No, bush lost interest in Afghanistan, which is why he invaded Iraq.

I know this is a bit volatile, but I think Iraq was going to happen during Bush’s term in office, almost no matter what. I don’t think Afghanistan had much to do with it, aside from slightly slowing down the process.

18 RadicalModerate  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:10:12am

I said this almost ten years ago.

Its a very bad idea to get your antiterrorism policy from watching episodes of “24”.

19 Obdicut  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:10:19am

re: #10 Killgore Trout

It sounds like a little bit of plausible deniability. They were happy to have the useful information but they can’t legally accept intelligence gathered through waterboarding. Of course there’s no way to be sure that the plots would have been successful so it’s really a debate over hypothetical situations. The truth is probably somewhere in between but I tend to lean a little more towards our President than British politicians in this case.

I don’t think you’re getting the totality of what they’re saying.

The simplest way of putting it is:

More information will be extracted using method other than torture, than using torture, and the information will be of better quality.

So torture ‘doesn’t work’ in the same way that satiating your hunger in the wild by eating every wild mushroom and berry you come across doesn’t work. Sure, maybe you’ll be lucky and they’ll only be good tasty ones. But probably not.

You have to figure out how much time was wasted, how many intelligence assets burned, how many lives were lost because we followed up stories told to us during torture because the torturers wanted more information, and the person being tortured wanted the torture to stop.

20 Kragar  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:11:23am

re: #18 RadicalModerate

I said this almost ten years ago.

Its a very bad idea to get your antiterrorism policy from watching episodes of “24”.

But can we still learn police procedures from Steven Seagal movies?

21 wrenchwench  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:11:45am

re: #17 SanFranciscoZionist

I know this is a bit volatile, but I think Iraq was going to happen during Bush’s term in office, almost no matter what. I don’t think Afghanistan had much to do with it, aside from slightly slowing down the process.

Settling accounts for GHWB? That’s what I’ve come to believe.

22 recusancy  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:12:31am

re: #17 SanFranciscoZionist

I know this is a bit volatile, but I think Iraq was going to happen during Bush’s term in office, almost no matter what. I don’t think Afghanistan had much to do with it, aside from slightly slowing down the process.

Yup. It seemed almost unreal how everything happened just as I (we) thought it was going to.

23 RadicalModerate  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:15:56am

re: #20 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

But can we still learn police procedures from Steven Seagal movies?

Apparently, someone thinks so.

A&E: Steven Segal:Lawman

24 recusancy  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:16:25am

re: #17 SanFranciscoZionist

I know this is a bit volatile, but I think Iraq was going to happen during Bush’s term in office, almost no matter what. I don’t think Afghanistan had much to do with it, aside from slightly slowing down the process.

And if Iraq was even close to successful we would probably be knee deep in Iran as well right now.

25 DaddyG  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:20:36am

re: #9 iossarian

But WHAT IF THERE WAS A TICKING TIME BOMB UNDERNEATH WICHITA???

Is it a dirty bomb and what is the wind direction for the next few days?

/

26 Amory Blaine  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:22:04am

There’s been evidence that waterboarding doesn’t produce accurate results for decades. But we live in a country full of whiny little pussies that tremble at their own shadow and believe any lie that comes from the ruling class.

27 tradewind  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:22:30am

re: #18 RadicalModerate

Its a very bad idea to get your antiterrorism policy from watching episodes of “24”.


Or your environmental/economic-impact reports from the WH:
[Link: www.politico.com…]

28 Big Steve  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:24:03am

re: #26 Amory Blaine

There’s been evidence that waterboarding doesn’t produce accurate results for decades. But we live in a country full of whiny little pussies that tremble at their own shadow and believe any lie that comes from the ruling class.


So since the ruling class is now Obama…..shall we assume everything that comes from him is a lie also?

29 JeffFX  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:25:17am

re: #28 Big Steve

So since the ruling class is now Obama…shall we assume everything that comes from him is a lie also?

Read his post again and yours. There’s a huge disconnect.

30 Amory Blaine  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:25:31am

Who said everything that comes from the ruling class is a lie?

I didn’t. You just like the idea of torture. That’s your failing not mine.

31 DaddyG  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:25:47am

Linked to that politico article:

Marine Lt. Kelly Son of Marine Major General Kelly killed in Afganistan:

[Link: www.politico.com…]

Prayers to the family. They have given much.

32 Political Atheist  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:26:05am

re: #19 Obdicut

It’s interesting to note how we choose not to torture. Ethics and a lack of effectiveness. And I fully agree we as America or her allies-must not torture.

But when the shoe is on the other foot, as in if/when an important American Officer gets captured, we assume it will in fact happen, and it will work.

33 recusancy  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:26:47am

re: #28 Big Steve

So since the ruling class is now Obama…shall we assume everything that comes from him is a lie also?

To these people Fox News is the ruling class. Obama is the occupier. It’s why they want their country back.

34 Big Steve  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:28:45am

re: #30 Amory Blaine

Who said everything that comes from the ruling class is a lie?

I didn’t. You just like the idea of torture. That’s your failing not mine.

Where, perchance, did you get that like the idea of torture. You simply said we were a country of whiny pussies who believe anything the ruling class says. And I simply wanted to know if that pertains to the current ruling class as well?

35 Amory Blaine  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:30:35am

Don’t put words in my fucking mouth, I won’t put words in yours.

Got it?

36 Big Steve  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:31:56am

re: #35 Amory Blaine

Don’t put words in my fucking mouth, I won’t put words in yours.

Got it?

So playing your own quote is putting words in your mouth. Quite the comeback genius.

37 JeffFX  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:34:16am

re: #36 Big Steve

So playing your own quote is putting words in your mouth. Quite the comeback genius.

AB isn’t the one coming off as cognitively challenged. Keep digging.

38 Obdicut  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:34:42am

re: #32 Rightwingconspirator

It’s interesting to note how we choose not to torture. Ethics and a lack of effectiveness. And I fully agree we as America or her allies-must not torture.

But when the shoe is on the other foot, as in if/when an important American Officer gets captured, we assume it will in fact happen, and it will work.

No, you’re not getting it either. We know that it will happen, and that it will ‘work’ in that some of the stuff our guys will say will be accurate intel.

That doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be more effective for the enemy to also use the tactics of conciliation and friendship. Those would still be more effective interrogation techniques.

Torture ‘works’. It works for getting false confessions along with true ones, with getting made-up intel along with real stuff.

39 JeffFX  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:36:39am

re: #38 Obdicut

Yep. No one ever claimed that you don’t get some true intel with the bad.

Unfortunately some people don’t perceive that level of nuance.

40 recusancy  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:38:54am

re: #38 Obdicut

No, you’re not getting it either. We know that it will happen, and that it will ‘work’ in that some of the stuff our guys will say will be accurate intel.

That doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be more effective for the enemy to also use the tactics of conciliation and friendship. Those would still be more effective interrogation techniques.

Torture ‘works’. It works for getting false confessions along with true ones, with getting made-up intel along with real stuff.

[Link: www.nytimes.com…]

Bush made us into mid century communist China.

41 RadicalModerate  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:39:00am

re: #27 tradewind


Or your environmental/economic-impact reports from the WH:
[Link: www.politico.com…]

You’re giving equivalence to a wholly fictional dramatic TV series and a drilling ban report that had two paragraphs swapped (and whose misleading edit was apologized for within a couple days)?

Nice to know where your “reality meter” readings reside.

42 Talking Point Detective  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:39:14am
The truth is probably somewhere in between but I tend to lean a little more towards our President than British politicians in this case.


There is a long line of interrogation experts who have made exactly the same point since the Bush administration declared that “torture works.”

Their categorical statement is clearly unfounded, as they have never had any way to prove that they couldn’t have gotten more, and more reliable information by other means.

Again, I’ll repeat that there is a long line of interrogation experts who, from years of experience, have said (and demonstrated) that they have, in the real world, acquired more and reliable information through other means.

I have to believe that you have read those accounts. If you haven’t they aren’t hard to find. If you really can’t find any, let me know and I’ll give you some links when I have the time.

43 Obdicut  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:39:23am

re: #39 JeffFX

And in fact, the Germans, for captured airmen, didn’t use torture, but instead the friendship routine, and had incredible success with it.

[Link: en.wikipedia.org…]

It’s his interrogation methods that the US Army adopted. Because they were so effective.

44 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:39:56am

re: #32 Rightwingconspirator

It’s interesting to note how we choose not to torture. Ethics and a lack of effectiveness. And I fully agree we as America or her allies-must not torture.

But when the shoe is on the other foot, as in if/when an important American Officer gets captured, we assume it will in fact happen, and it will work.

I don’t want to speculate on how well it would or would not work.

I have a suspicion that there are those who will torture Americans for no other reason than they want to torture an American.

45 Talking Point Detective  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:40:58am

re: #10 Killgore Trout

Sorry - see comment #42. I’m still not quite used to this (excellent) comment interface.

Oh, and btw, let me know if you’re still convinced that I’m a Communist Party shill, because if you are, I won’t bother responding to your posts.

46 Big Steve  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:41:55am

re: #39 JeffFX

Yep. No one ever claimed that you don’t get some true intel with the bad.

Unfortunately some people don’t perceive that level of nuance.

There is another element to this as well and it has to do with what the expected consequence of giving up information under torture could be expected if you were returned home. Generally in the US military there is no life altering consequence if you are captured, tortured, and give up information. While there may be shame, even military officials are not court marshalled in these events. On the other hand, if one expects to return to a totalitarian or lawless situation then your desire to be able to deny giving up information is higher.

47 recusancy  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:42:02am

re: #44 reine.de.tout

I don’t want to speculate on how well it would or would not work.

I have a suspicion that there are those who will torture Americans for no other reason than they want to torture an American.

Exactly. And the other side of that is, if torture is allowed, there will be American servicemen who will torture a captive for no other reason then to just torture. War can change a person, and not always for the better.

48 Obdicut  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:42:29am

re: #44 reine.de.tout

That is one of my biggest problems with any use of torture by the US: You have to employ people who want to use torture and are ‘good’ at using torture.

I have no problem with people who want to fight our enemies and kill them. It’s a savage desire but it’s not irrational.

I am completely creeped out by anyone who wants to, who is capable of, torturing a helpless person.

49 Killgore Trout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:42:49am

re: #19 Obdicut

I don’t think you’re getting the totality of what they’re saying.

I don’t think you’re getting it either. They admit they don’t know which intel was gained from waterboarding and which wasn’t. Yet they go on to say that the good intel came from non-enhanced interrogations. They can’t admit to accepting the the information from waterboarding without opening up all kinds of inquiries trials and scandals in the UK.
If I have any criticism of Bush in this case is that maybe he should have kept his mouth shut about this. He did kinda sell out the Brits by saying the intel from waterboarding was used to stop plots in the UK.

50 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:43:22am

CBS news story about the man who spent a year interrogating Saddam Hussein.

I read this a few months ago. No torture was used; instead, the guy worked at becoming Saddam’s “best friend” (given the circumstances of his imprisonment).

And that seemed to work just fine.

51 Obdicut  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:43:38am

re: #46 Big Steve

Well, that doesn’t really hold up. Totalitarian dictatorships don’t really care what the truth is. So if they don’t like you, they’ll say you spilled information willingly and execute you. If they don’t, you survive.

However, you have gotten close to something else: If you know that your enemy tortures its prisoners, you’re much less likely to surrender, more likely to fight to the death. And those who torture find few allies amongst those who don’t.

52 Political Atheist  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:43:58am

re: #39 JeffFX

Actually I have seen that claim from the most uh, fervent anti Bush policy folks. Or I see the shorthand “it does not work” confused as the whole truth.

53 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:43:59am

re: #47 recusancy

Exactly. And the other side of that is, if torture is allowed, there will be American servicemen who will torture a captive for no other reason then to just torture. War can change a person, and not always for the better.

Exactly, and sadly, yes.

54 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:44:40am
55 Obdicut  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:44:56am

re: #49 Killgore Trout

I’m sorry, but you’re still missing my point.

It doesn’t matter if the intel came from the waterboarding sessions. I agree that the British are legally covering their asses by saying they can’t know.

But the point about torture’s ‘effectiveness’ being a comparative argument is the important one.

Torture is ineffective when compared against other techniques.

56 Political Atheist  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:45:13am

re: #50 reine.de.tout

My grandfather told me about German officers being taken out on the town in the LA area during WW2. I’ll bet a few good meals and a movie or two helped win them over. Imagine the help those men were after the war ion reconstruction.

57 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:45:34am

re: #48 Obdicut

That is one of my biggest problems with any use of torture by the US: You have to employ people who want to use torture and are ‘good’ at using torture.

I have no problem with people who want to fight our enemies and kill them. It’s a savage desire but it’s not irrational.

I am completely creeped out by anyone who wants to, who is capable of, torturing a helpless person.

Obdi - and I wonder how the act of engaging in applying torture to someone will change an otherwise good person. It has to have an effect. There’s no way that something like that will not have a negative effect on a person.

58 Killgore Trout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:45:49am

re: #50 reine.de.tout

CBS news story about the man who spent a year interrogating Saddam Hussein.

I read this a few months ago. No torture was used; instead, the guy worked at becoming Saddam’s “best friend” (given the circumstances of his imprisonment).

And that seemed to work just fine.

Good article but I think it’s a mistake to assume that Piro’s good cop routine was the only method used on Saddam.

59 Obdicut  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:46:25am

re: #58 Killgore Trout

Did you read what I posted about Hanns Scharff? My link above.

60 Big Steve  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:46:27am

re: #51 Obdicut

Well, that doesn’t really hold up. Totalitarian dictatorships don’t really care what the truth is. So if they don’t like you, they’ll say you spilled information willingly and execute you. If they don’t, you survive.

Even dictatorships have their secrets they don’t want shared. Saddam even executed his wayward son in laws who defected then came back. Clearly the old Soviets were the king of secrecy. As to your second point, that is a good one.

61 Talking Point Detective  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:47:17am

re: #10 Killgore Trout


Also, it’s interesting that you seem to be dismissing the British officials’ opinions on the basis that they’re politicians - but not see that the same criticism applies to Bush, who has equally if not more reason to adopt a CYA stance.

Also, please note that the Bush administration’s entire policy was based not on recommended procedures by the intelligence community/interrogation experts, but on the suppositions made by political entities.

There is an established/predominant opinion in the intelligence community that torture is an ineffective interrogation technique.

62 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:47:49am

re: #58 Killgore Trout

Good article but I think it’s a mistake to assume that Piro’s good cop routine was the only method used on Saddam.

In the absence of any other information, it’s all I’ve got to go on.

Piro wasn’t really all that “good cop”. There were consequences if Saddam didn’t cooperate, and they were applied. But it wasn’t torture.

63 yasharki  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:48:01am

re: #56 Rightwingconspirator

What the hell were german officers doing in LA? Were they captured on pacific front somehow?

64 ihateronpaul  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:48:19am

“I’m a waterboarding republican”
-Mark Levin

65 Fat Bastard Vegetarian  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:48:29am

re: #63 yasharki

What the hell were german officers doing in LA? Were they captured on pacific front somehow?

They had just bombed Pearl Harbor.
/

66 Talking Point Detective  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:49:43am

re: #57 reine.de.tout

Obdi - and I wonder how the act of engaging in applying torture to someone will change an otherwise good person. It has to have an effect. There’s no way that something like that will not have a negative effect on a person.

There is also a lot of evidence of how being a torturer leaves an indelible mark on their psyche.

67 insanity police  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:51:19am

It was torture listening to Bush speak sometimes. =)

68 Obdicut  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:51:42am

re: #66 Talking Point Detective

PTSD comes from seeing trauma inflicted on yourself, in seeing it inflicted on others, or inflicting it.

There are lots of soldiers with severe PTSD who were never injured, but who can’t deal with the aftereffects of killing other human beings.

So much more, I’d imagine, for those who torture other human beings. Unless they’re already rather twisted inside.

69 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:52:13am

re: #66 Talking Point Detective

There is also a lot of evidence of how being a torturer leaves an indelible mark on their psyche.

It has to!
There’s no way it can’t.

70 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:53:39am

CHARLES:

You just sent out this on twitter:

Lizardoid Charles Johnson
Brits Say Cargo Bomb Was Timed To Detonate Over US East Coast [Link: lgf.bz…] #LGF #lgfpages #tcot #tlot #p2
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The link isn’t working; it goes this page.

Extra characters, apparently, but which ones are the extra ones?

71 insanity police  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:54:05am
72 Talking Point Detective  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:54:34am

re: #48 Obdicut

That is one of my biggest problems with any use of torture by the US: You have to employ people who want to use torture and are ‘good’ at using torture.

I have no problem with people who want to fight our enemies and kill them. It’s a savage desire but it’s not irrational.

I am completely creeped out by anyone who wants to, who is capable of, torturing a helpless person.

Interesting to note that the “good” people at the FBI refused the Bush administration’s orders to employ torture - which is why the Bush admiinistration had to resot to using inexperienced personnel to conduct their “enhanced” interrogations.

The FBI told them it doesn’t work, it’s illegal, and it’s immoral.

74 Political Atheist  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 11:56:39am

re: #69 reine.de.tout

Of course it does. Apart from a serial killer in the right (gag) job. Look at the consequences of hard combat with the troops coming home! PTSD and all that. Make a man a killer, and you make a different man. (Or woman, I can only shudder at the consequence of making a mother a killer.)

75 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:00:14pm

re: #74 Rightwingconspirator

Of course it does. Apart from a serial killer in the right (gag) job. Look at the consequences of hard combat with the troops coming home! PTSD and all that. Make a man a killer, and you make a different man. (Or woman, I can only shudder at the consequence of making a mother a killer.)

The more one engages in evil, or even just illegal or unethical acts, the easier it becomes to do so, and the easier it is to progress to greater evil, or illegal or unethical acts.

The reverse is also true - doing the right thing is often not the easy thing. But it gets easier and easier the more you practice it.

The things we do, the actions we take, are what forms us into good and ethical people, or evil, unethical people. We can talk a good game all we want; but it’s our actions that will form us.

And if someone is engaged in torturing others, there is just no way it can NOT have a seriously negative effect.

76 Big Steve  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:00:29pm

re: #73 insanity police

Amnesty International: Former President’s defence of torture highlights need for criminal investigations

right or wrong, for the Democrats to even begin down this path would be a death rattle. It would give the right another weapon to beat them with in the ‘12 elections.

77 Talking Point Detective  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:01:23pm

re: #69 reine.de.tout

It has to!
There’s no way it can’t.

I would serious wonder about anyone who thinks that torturing other human beings wouldn’t have a deeply troubling psychological impact.

That isn’t, itself, necessarily a reason not to torture. You might decide that in the end it is a price worth paying. And I’d even go so far as to say it would be possible to construct a scenario where a willingness to endure the negative impact of being a torturer would be a noble endeavor.

But the bigger problem is that it leaves a mark not just on the psyche of the torturer, but on any society that condones torture as an approved policy.

If a president in particular circumstance decides to order torture because they have a justifiable reason, that would be on them as a risk they wanted to take. But it would have to be a willful decision to obey the law and accept the consequences. To codify the policy as acceptable law will affect the psyche of any society that enacts such laws.

78 Obdicut  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:01:49pm

re: #75 reine.de.tout

Heh. Spooky.

I used to be not a nice person, paranoid, secretive, and selfish in the extreme.

The main way I became a better person was pretending to be a nice person, even though it all felt hollow and hypocritical and stupid.

The more I did it, the truer it became.

79 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:02:24pm

re: #78 Obdicut

Heh. Spooky.

I used to be not a nice person, paranoid, secretive, and selfish in the extreme.

The main way I became a better person was pretending to be a nice person, even though it all felt hollow and hypocritical and stupid.

The more I did it, the truer it became.

EXACTLY!
(You grew up, is what happened!).

80 Obdicut  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:02:41pm
81 Talking Point Detective  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:03:28pm

Sorry - a willful decision to disobey the law. I really need to stop trying to do too much at once and to begin previewing

82 b_sharp  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:03:47pm

re: #78 Obdicut

Heh. Spooky.

I used to be not a nice person, paranoid, secretive, and selfish in the extreme.

The main way I became a better person was pretending to be a nice person, even though it all felt hollow and hypocritical and stupid.

The more I did it, the truer it became.

Standard psych technique.
It works.

83 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:04:02pm

re: #82 b_sharp

Standard psych technique.
It works.

Yep.

84 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:05:06pm

re: #81 Talking Point Detective

Sorry - a willful decision to disobey the law. I really need to stop trying to do too much at once and to begin previewing

We all have our moments.
Folks will be patient, esp. when you come back and explain as you just did.
And I’ve seen you display equal patience with others.

85 b_sharp  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:05:09pm

re: #83 reine.de.tout

Yep.

Hey reine. How are you doing?

86 JeffFX  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:05:20pm

re: #52 Rightwingconspirator

Actually I have seen that claim from the most uh, fervent anti Bush policy folks. Or I see the shorthand “it does not work” confused as the whole truth.

Sure, go far enough right or left and every single person there is a moron or crazy. You don’t get to be an extremist by being level-headed.

87 b_sharp  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:06:01pm

re: #84 reine.de.tout

We all have our moments.
Folks will be patient, esp. when you come back and explain as you just did.
And I’ve seen you display equal patience with others.

Patience? What’s that?

88 Obdicut  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:06:37pm

re: #84 reine.de.tout

By the way, glad to hear your husband has a diagnosis. Hope his recovery goes smoothly.

89 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:07:05pm

re: #85 b_sharp

Hey reine. How are you doing?

Hey {b-sharp}

doin’ fine.

Patience is what I finally learned when I turned, oh, 55 or so.
LOL.
It did take that long.

90 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:07:43pm

re: #88 Obdicut

By the way, glad to hear your husband has a diagnosis. Hope his recovery goes smoothly.

Thanks, Obdi!
He does seem to be on the mending side of the curve of this thing.

91 CuriousLurker  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:09:22pm

re: #90 reine.de.tout

Thanks, Obdi!
He does seem to be on the mending side of the curve of this thing.

I didn’t know anything was wrong with him, but I’m glad he’s getting better.

92 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:11:53pm

re: #91 CuriousLurker

I didn’t know anything was wrong with him, but I’m glad he’s getting better.

{CL}
thanks.
“Frozen Shoulder Syndrome”.
It’s been a painful 6 months.

93 Big Steve  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:13:59pm

re: #92 reine.de.tout

{CL}
thanks.
“Frozen Shoulder Syndrome”.
It’s been a painful 6 months.


is it anything like getting the cold shoulder…….I get that a lot.

94 Kragar  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:16:04pm

re: #93 Big Steve

is it anything like getting the cold shoulder…I get that a lot.

Have you considered mints?

95 Killgore Trout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:17:46pm

OT: Inevitable: Fox hires Lou Dobbs
Fair and Balanced!

96 reloadingisnotahobby  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:17:58pm

re: #92 reine.de.tout

I always thought it was my wife pulling the covers over to her side of the bed!/
Hope he’s gaining on it daily!!

97 Gus  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:19:00pm

re: #95 Killgore Trout

OT: Inevitable: Fox hires Lou Dobbs
Fair and Balanced!

Have the fired Tucker Carlson yet?

/

98 CuriousLurker  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:19:02pm

re: #92 reine.de.tout

{CL}
thanks.
“Frozen Shoulder Syndrome”.
It’s been a painful 6 months.

Ouch.

I miss seeing you here. {reine}

I have to make a point of joining the threads earlier once in a while. Of course, I could’ve emailed you too, but sometimes I get lazy about that.

99 DaddyG  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:19:25pm

re: #82 b_sharp

Standard psych technique.
It works.

Fake it till you make it!

100 wrenchwench  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:20:18pm

re: #92 reine.de.tout

{CL}
thanks.
“Frozen Shoulder Syndrome”.
It’s been a painful 6 months.

Mr. w had that. He worked at making it go away, then it just went away. I hope the Roi’s case is a relatively short one.

101 DaddyG  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:21:01pm

re: #78 Obdicut

Heh. Spooky.

I used to be not a nice person, paranoid, secretive, and selfish in the extreme.

The main way I became a better person was pretending to be a nice person, even though it all felt hollow and hypocritical and stupid.

The more I did it, the truer it became.


Seriously it sounds like your behavior and thoughts weren’t matching up with your desires for what you wanted to be. This may be a bit pollyannaish but I would say you brought your behavior in line with your true inner self. (Of course unless you preferred being selfish and paranoid in which case I’m full of it…)

102 DaddyG  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:21:38pm

re: #89 reine.de.tout

Hey {b-sharp}

doin’ fine.

Patience is what I finally learned when I turned, oh, 55 or so.
LOL.
It did take that long.


My kids are beating it into me slowly but surely.

103 jamesfirecat  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:22:23pm

re: #28 Big Steve

So since the ruling class is now Obama…shall we assume everything that comes from him is a lie also?

Notice “ruling class” not “ruler”…. Obama being elected didn’t mean that suddenly bums were millionaires and vice versa…

104 Obdicut  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:23:38pm

re: #101 DaddyG

Nah, I got abused a lot as a kid and that made me all paranoid and stuff. I didn’t want to be that way. I just didn’t think I could actually be any other way. Took some good friends to help me out of that, and meeting the woman who is now my wife.

(Not that I got better quick enough to keep her the first time— I lost her and we didn’t talk for six years. Luckily, when we got back into contact, she recognized how much I’d changed for the better and we still were both in love with each other. Awesomeness.)

105 yasharki  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:24:33pm

Off topic, can someone please explain what does “deflect away from the facts” means? I’ve been having fun trollin @ atlas, and the best response to my seemingly reasonable and logical comments was an accusation in the above mentioned quote. Being a non native speaker I’m having problems understanding what it means.

Thanks in advance!

106 Obdicut  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:25:28pm

re: #105 yasharki

Don’t troll, not even at Atlas. It’s just a waste of time. The people you’re trolling enjoy being mad.

But that phrase means “you’re going in a different direction/talking about a different topic in order to avoid recognizing the facts”

107 Kragar  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:25:50pm

BTW, The USMC is celebrating its 235th birthday today.

Also, I met my wife 16 years ago today.

Oddly enough, those 2 events are related.

108 jamesfirecat  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:25:51pm

re: #47 recusancy

Exactly. And the other side of that is, if torture is allowed, there will be American servicemen who will torture a captive for no other reason then to just torture. War can change a person, and not always for the better.

F***, there were already American servicemen who seemed to want to torture a captive for no other reason than to torture a captive even when it it should in theory have been not allowed, see naked prisoner pyramid girl whose name escapes me at the moment….

109 reloadingisnotahobby  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:26:25pm

re: #105 yasharki

Reasonable and logical comments?
As in??
…and don’t deflect away from the facts!!

110 jamesfirecat  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:27:23pm

re: #76 Big Steve

right or wrong, for the Democrats to even begin down this path would be a death rattle. It would give the right another weapon to beat them with in the ‘12 elections.

It says sad things about America that “I would refuse to torture people” is a losing proposition among the electorate….

111 reloadingisnotahobby  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:27:36pm

re: #107 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

BTW, The USMC is celebrating its 235th birthday today.

Also, I met my wife 16 years ago today.

Oddly enough, those 2 events are related.

Was she on our side or the….other?
Congrats! on both!

112 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:30:51pm

re: #98 CuriousLurker

Ouch.

I miss seeing you here. {reine}

I have to make a point of joining the threads earlier once in a while. Of course, I could’ve emailed you too, but sometimes I get lazy about that.

I do too.
I miss seeing you around, too,
figured you were very busy.

113 yasharki  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:31:42pm

re: #106 Obdicut

That’s what I thought, something like “ignoring the facts”.
I wasn’t trolling in true sense of the word, just trying to see if anyone there can see reason. It appears that it was a futile attempt, they seem unable to hold a meaningful discussion, falling back to insults or parroting PG&RS.

114 Brother Holy Cruise Missile of Mild Acceptance  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:31:42pm
115 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:32:20pm

re: #100 wrenchwench

Mr. w had that. He worked at making it go away, then it just went away. I hope the Roi’s case is a relatively short one.

The worst thing was trying to get a diagnosis.
It took 6 months; part of that problem, of course, was that he was out at work for 2 weeks, then home for 2 weeks and he’d get one visit to the doc in, then be gone again for 2 weeks …

Very bizarre sort of thing to have happen, and it’s very sudden. But it appears to be getting slowly better now.

116 Obdicut  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:32:47pm

re: #113 yasharki

Heh. Yeah, on Atlas, looking for a reasonable discussion probably is seen as trolling.

117 Mad Prophet Ludwig  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:33:40pm

re: #115 reine.de.tout

The worst thing was trying to get a diagnosis.
It took 6 months; part of that problem, of course, was that he was out at work for 2 weeks, then home for 2 weeks and he’d get one visit to the doc in, then be gone again for 2 weeks …

Very bizarre sort of thing to have happen, and it’s very sudden. But it appears to be getting slowly better now.

He is in my prayers.

118 Kragar  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:33:46pm

re: #116 Obdicut

Heh. Yeah, on Atlas, looking for a reasonable discussion probably is seen as trolling.

REASONABLE!? You know who else was reasonable? NAZIS!
///

119 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:34:41pm

re: #117 LudwigVanQuixote

He is in my prayers.

Thanks LVQ!

120 CuriousLurker  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:35:19pm

re: #112 reine.de.tout

I do too.
I miss seeing you around, too,
figured you were very busy.

Yeah, works been kinda nuts for the past couple of months. Hopefully, things will slow down with the coming holidays. *fingers crossed*

121 Killgore Trout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:36:03pm

Blood Squirting Lizard

122 Kragar  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:36:38pm

Speaking of the Marines, I had the oddest dream last night. I dreamed I was back on a deployment and was unpacking in the new barracks when I realized I had not packed a single pair of pants. All my other gear was there, just no pants.

123 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:37:12pm

re: #122 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Speaking of the Marines, I had the oddest dream last night. I dreamed I was back on a deployment and was unpacking in the new barracks when I realized I had not packed a single pair of pants. All my other gear was there, just no pants.

You were dreaming of blogging your service?

124 Kragar  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:37:22pm

re: #121 Killgore Trout

Blood Squirting Lizard

[Video]

Will…not..make…only…dangerous…3…days…joke…

125 Charles Johnson  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:37:32pm

re: #70 reine.de.tout

CHARLES:

You just sent out this on twitter:

Lizardoid Charles Johnson
Brits Say Cargo Bomb Was Timed To Detonate Over US East Coast [Link: lgf.bz…] #LGF #lgfpages #tcot #tlot #p2
3 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

The link isn’t working; it goes this page.

Extra characters, apparently, but which ones are the extra ones?

Thanks for letting me know! There was a little teensy bug in the machine - now fixed.

126 Obdicut  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:37:35pm

re: #122 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

I now understand you a lot better.

You’re like me.

Image: Venn-Diagram-pants.gif

127 Brother Holy Cruise Missile of Mild Acceptance  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:38:03pm
128 Kragar  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:39:53pm

re: #126 Obdicut

I now understand you a lot better.

You’re like me.

Image: Venn-Diagram-pants.gif

Accurate assessment.

129 Talking Point Detective  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:42:11pm

re: #84 reine.de.tout

Whre: #84 reine.de.tout

We all have our moments.
Folks will be patient, esp. when you come back and explain as you just did.
And I’ve seen you display equal patience with others.

Why thank you ma’am.

It’s always an unexpected pleasure to encounter a gracious and kind person in the blogosphere. We tend to be a surly lot.

130 Killgore Trout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:44:30pm

Bush offers weak rebuke of recent wave of Islamophobia

The lefties at Think Progress are unhappy with Bush’s response. I’m a little more Meh. I wish he would have spoken up but I understand why he won’t.

131 Talking Point Detective  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:49:59pm

re: #130 Killgore Trout

Bush offers weak rebuke of recent wave of Islamophobia


[Video]The lefties at Think Progress are unhappy with Bush’s response. I’m a little more Meh. I wish he would have spoken up but I understand why he won’t.

Please explain.

Given that he stated over and over while in office that respecting Islam was an important weapon in the “GWOT,” why wouldn’t he speak up in the face of blatant Islamophobia?

132 JeffFX  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:52:15pm

re: #131 Talking Point Detective

Please explain.

Given that he stated over and over while in office that respecting Islam was an important weapon in the “GWOT,” why wouldn’t he speak up in the face of blatant Islamophobia?

Yep. Bush got a lot of people killed, but he’s not an islamophobe, and didn’t realize what he was doing when he called it a crusade.

133 Killgore Trout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:54:21pm

re: #131 Talking Point Detective

Please explain.

Given that he stated over and over while in office that respecting Islam was an important weapon in the “GWOT,” why wouldn’t he speak up in the face of blatant Islamophobia?

Because1) he doesn’t want to step on Obama’s toes and 2) the Republicans are forming into an anti-Islam party with platforms restricting Muslim’s legal rights. He’s not going to throw his party under the bus.

134 S'latch  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:55:40pm

“For [Bush] to demonstrate the use of torture saved British lives he has to demonstrate you can’t get information any other way.”

Is that statement correct? Regardless of whether torture is right or wrong, is it true?

If the use of torture resulted in information that saved British lives, does Bush have to demonstrate that the information was otherwise unavailable before he can honestly say that the use of torture saved British lives?

135 Talking Point Detective  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:57:38pm

re: #132 JeffFX

Yep. Bush got a lot of people killed, but he’s not an islamophobe, and didn’t realize what he was doing when he called it a crusade.

The notion that Bush didn’t realize what he was doing when he said something isn’t too terribly hard to believe - if you get my drift.

He absolutely ducked the question in the interview. When asked whether he was disappointed by an increase in the amount of anti-Muslim sentiment, he simply indicated that many Americans respect freedom of religion (and that there are loud voices dominating the debate).

I fail to get how that is an understandable response if he meant what he said whil ein office about being a “uniter?”

136 Killgore Trout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 12:58:51pm

re: #134 Lawrence Schmerel


Is that statement correct? Regardless of whether torture is right or wrong, is it true?


Not really.

137 S'latch  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 1:00:22pm

re: #136 Killgore Trout

Thanks. I didn’t think so either.

138 JeffFX  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 1:00:45pm

re: #133 Killgore Trout

Because1) he doesn’t want to step on Obama’s toes and 2) the Republicans are forming into an anti-Islam party with platforms restricting Muslim’s legal rights. He’s not going to throw his party under the bus.

2 I get, but speaking out against islamophobia steps only on the toes of clueless bigots and the cynical politicians that would exploit their fear.

139 cliffster  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 1:04:23pm

I suspect there’s a possibility there are some single young men on this board, who may need some help in attracting the opposite sex. For you, I offer the secret..

Image: get-girl.png

don’t say I never helped you.

140 Talking Point Detective  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 1:04:40pm

re: #134 Lawrence Schmerel

“For [Bush] to demonstrate the use of torture saved British lives he has to demonstrate you can’t get information any other way.”

Is that statement correct? Regardless of whether torture is right or wrong, is it true?

If the use of torture resulted in information that saved British lives, does Bush have to demonstrate that the information was otherwise unavailable before he can honestly say that the use of torture saved British lives?

The Bush administration stated that “torture works.” Implied in that statement is the idea that by using torture, more and better information would not have been attainable via other means.

Does “torture work” if by using torture you miss out on more and better information?

My answer is only if you have some irrational need to defend the use of torture.

In other words, if using torture provided information that saved lives but more lives could have been saved if other methodologies (the ones recommended by experienced interrogators, btw, as opposed to methodologies recommended by interrogation novices and politicians who panicked in the face of 9/11), can you really say that torture “saved lives?”

If the use of torture results in a net loss of lives saved, had it really “saved lives?”

141 Talking Point Detective  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 1:06:50pm

re: #133 Killgore Trout

Because1) he doesn’t want to step on Obama’s toes and 2) the Republicans are forming into an anti-Islam party with platforms restricting Muslim’s legal rights. He’s not going to throw his party under the bus.

How does denouncing Islamophobia step on Obama’s toes?

If your answer that you understand throwing reasonable policy away for the sake of partisanship, ok; I guess in that sense I understand it, also.

142 Killgore Trout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 1:09:14pm

re: #141 Talking Point Detective

How does denouncing Islamophobia step on Obama’s toes?

If your answer that you understand throwing reasonable policy away for the sake of partisanship, ok; I guess in that sense I understand it, also.

Because ex-Presidents usually try to refrain from commenting on things like that unless it’s a coordinated thing with the existing administration. All presidents try to observe this rule with the exception of Jimmy Carter.

143 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 1:13:18pm

re: #139 cliffster

I suspect there’s a possibility there are some single young men on this board, who may need some help in attracting the opposite sex. For you, I offer the secret..

Image: get-girl.png

don’t say I never helped you.

wait, what? :D

144 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 1:14:25pm

re: #126 Obdicut

I now understand you a lot better.

You’re like me.

Image: Venn-Diagram-pants.gif

That’s genius :D

145 Talking Point Detective  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 1:14:55pm

re: #142 Killgore Trout

Because ex-Presidents usually try to refrain from commenting on things like that unless it’s a coordinated thing with the existing administration. All presidents try to observe this rule with the exception of Jimmy Carter.

I don’t see how “a thing like that” would interfere with the existing administration. He didn’t even have to answer the question about the “mosque” controversy. He was asked about an increase in anti-Muslim sentiment.

I think that he flat out ducked. It seems to me he put partisan loyalty head of a chance to make a statement about the impact of Islamophobia. I also think he tried to hide behind a cloak of “not wanting to step on toes,” and not wanting to be “roped in” by the big bad (“lamestream”) media.

I didn’t catch his Fox interview, but somehow I don’t think there were many questions he refused to answer out of a desire to not interfere with Obama’s administration.

146 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 1:16:31pm

re: #75 reine.de.tout

The more one engages in evil, or even just illegal or unethical acts, the easier it becomes to do so, and the easier it is to progress to greater evil, or illegal or unethical acts.

*looks at unpaid speeding ticket*

^_^;

147 reine.de.tout  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 1:19:50pm

re: #146 WindUpBird

*looks at unpaid speeding ticket*

^_^;

get it paid, WUB!

148 CuriousLurker  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 1:25:30pm

re: #146 WindUpBird

*looks at unpaid speeding ticket*

^_^;

Yup, what reine said. Otherwise six months from now we’ll be hearing about a giant furry creature with a sassy mouth robbing banks up & down the Pacific Coast Highway! ;o)

149 tradewind  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 1:33:52pm

re: #130 Killgore Trout

The lefties at Think Progress are unhappy with Bush’s response.


I’m shocked….they always loved him so.

150 S'latch  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 2:00:41pm

re: #140 Talking Point Detective

I don’t agree that the statement “torture works” implies that other means would not yield more or better information.

I want to travel all the way across my home state. My bicycle works.

151 deranged cat  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 2:40:16pm

Michael Westen from Burn Notice says this all the time:
“Torture just gets you the answer that will make the pain stop the fastest.”
maybe i shouldn’t base my opinion on torture on a fictional character from a tv show, but that seems to make a lot of sense.

152 b_sharp  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 2:42:23pm

re: #89 reine.de.tout

Hey {b-sharp}

doin’ fine.

Patience is what I finally learned when I turned, oh, 55 or so.
LOL.
It did take that long.

Sorry reine. My wife dragged me away from the ‘puter moments after my last post.

I just turned 55 so don’t tell me what happens next, I want it to be a surprise.

153 b_sharp  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 2:44:09pm

re: #92 reine.de.tout

{CL}
thanks.
“Frozen Shoulder Syndrome”.
It’s been a painful 6 months.

I had a feeling that was the problem. My wife had that in both shoulders for months. They finally operated on them and injected cortisone. She’s fine now.

154 JamesS  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 2:59:28pm

re: #110 jamesfirecat

It says sad things about America that “I would refuse to torture people” is a losing proposition among the electorate…

To be fair, “I would do whatever it takes to protect America” does have more appeal - weakening it to “I would do whatever it takes, except X”, even if X doesn’t actually help, still seems weaker.

The impulse to hurt prisoners isn’t limited to this situation, either - just look at prison guards (including, I think, several of the National Guardsmen who mistreated Iraqi prisoners?) in civilian prisons, cops (I’ve seen uniformed police manhandling a suspect quite severely - the fact he’d stabbed a soldier and the first cop who approached him, one fatally, explains but doesn’t legally excuse it)…

If Bin Laden were to be captured alive, I can imagine the troops holding him having to struggle to treat him as required by the rules - but they would make that effort, and anyone harming a prisoner, even him, would face the consequences, and I do think that’s something to be proud of: even Saddam himself, having surrendered, was kept alive and returned to Iraqi custody unharmed.

155 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 5:05:14pm

re: #148 CuriousLurker

Yup, what reine said. Otherwise six months from now we’ll be hearing about a giant furry creature with a sassy mouth robbing banks up & down the Pacific Coast Highway! ;o)

Oh, it’s not due for ten more days, no worries :D

156 claire  Wed, Nov 10, 2010 5:53:21pm

What if there’s a time element involved? (Making no judgement as to likelihood of such or resemblence to an episode of 24.) Sheik Mohammed was waterboarded like 180 times, or something, so that probably went on for weeks or months? If you get info from it, it doesn’t sound like it’s instantaneous. Cheeseburgers and ping-pong would probably take a long time too- What if there’s a nuke going off in 24 hours that will kill a million people, and you just captured one of the bad guys? Does risk level, and urgency play into the calculus? I would think it would have to.


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