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The value of torture
JohnH
I was looking at a little bit of faux news with Rep. Robert Wexler. Rep. Wexler made some comment about torture or Guantanamo being a reason for impeachment. The faux talking head retorted about giving up that good information that had prevented further attacks. Clearly not quoting and I probably did not get the full sense of the discussion but it reminded me of one of my current pet peeves.

The administration and its defenders make the argument that illegal detention; torture and rendering are required to prevent more attacks and worldwide “terror”. None of the opponents ask the simple question, give me concrete evidence that these activities are effective. It is a very simple argument, give me proof that these activities work and maybe I will change my mind about them. Not true in my specific case but maybe for some.

I understand that there are obvious reasons for secrecy. Certainly, however some indication of success could be given without jeopardizing people or future activities. There have been isolated comment about prevented attacks but no significant indication of success has been given. In fact, to the extent that we can infer success or failure the greatest indication is of failure.

Take the case of Guantanamo. The vast majority of the people who have been imprisoned there have been sent back to their home countries. Of the ones that remain only a few are scheduled to be placed before the kangaroo court set up there. The majority who remain are either there to be witnesses or cannot be sent back to their home countries. Of the few that have been tried most are like that truly dangerous criminal Osama’s driver. The clear and obvious lack of success is an obvious indication of the failure of the whole scheme.

It very much troubles me that no one has confronted the administration and demanded proof of the benefit of these activities. Let’s be honest, this administration has shown a willingness to at least bend the truth. In this case they have not even done that, they have remained essentially silent. I would argue that their silence proves that these activities have not been successful. However no one in the media or the so-called opposition has called them on the obvious lack of success. I wonder and am angered at that.
 
Bob of QF
You are not the only one who is/was angered by using the good name of the USA to harbor a medieval torture camp.

History shows that the only useful information that torture gets, is a sort of parroting-back of whatever the victim believes the torturer wants to hear.

Truth has nothing at all do do with it, either.

I agree: if there was even a single case of USEFUL information, why did not bushya trot that out as "see? It works!"

But nothing. Mamby-pamby excuses such as "we don't want to compromise--blah blah-blah" Right.

This from the same people more than willing to compromise A US CITIZEN'S career in the information field, over a simple criticism. Right.

If it would've served their inflated egos, it's quite clear they would've been MORE THAN HAPPY to compromise "sources"-- if they HAD any.


Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
derF
Torture has little value. John McCain agrees and who would know better. The only benefit torture committed by US personnel has it that it serves as a very good recruitment tool for new jihadis.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
Bob of QF
derF wrote:
Torture has little value. John McCain agrees and who would know better. The only benefit torture committed by US personnel has it that it serves as a very good recruitment tool for new jihadis.


Agreed.

It is why Bush is/was so popular among terrorists.... he is literally a terrorist recruiter's wet dream...
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
JohnH
I agree completely with both of you, particularly the comment that if it would serve their interests the bushies would have gladly sold out an anything or anyone, look at Valery Plame.

That is why I am so frustrated by the behavior of the media, even the non main stream media. The administration has offered no real evidence that their immoral behavior is working. Still discussions remain strictly around the morality of it, or the intellectual point of it being ineffective. What about the obvious evidence that it is not an intellectual point but a practical point that it has been ineffective.

No one seems to have pushed the issue of forcing the administration to tell us something concrete, showing that these activities have benefit. I know that the response will be "no we can't do that because it will jeopardize ongoing activities". To which the response should be "surely explaining how an attack was prevented 3 to 4 years ago could not compromise activities today". Remember also that many of these people have been detained now for 5-6 years. Those detainees could not have any useful information about current activities and clearly anyone who they could compromise has been safely buried away somewhere. No one has presented the obvious and I think rather simple argument that torture and illegal detentions are not providing any significant benefit.

I do think that the argument that torture has been an effective recruiting tool for the jihadis has been made. It is that cost benefit ratio analysis that I have been looking for. I think I would estimate the cost/benefit at something around 10,000/1.
 
seeker
What about the fact that torture is actually illegal? How is it that this blatant flaunting of international law doesn't even get a regular mention by the media? Our president and much of his administration belong in jail and its actually quite shocking to me that he isn't at this point.

If there is one legacy that Bush will leave behind it is that he didn't regard the law as applying to him.
 
JohnH
I agree that the fact of the illegality of these activities has not been emphasized enough by the media. I do think that they have brought it out. The Yoo memos were in the news and so was the fact that many foreign countries objected to the use of their territory for renditions. Certainly some of the more egregious arrests have been made clear in the media.

My main point remains that given the various negatives what have the positives been. There have been no obvious ones and yet no one asks the question.
 
Bob of QF
Due to the very illegal nature of the torture, and that Bushya HAD to be at least partially aware of it, I predict that in the last two days of Bushya's office 2 thing will happen:

2nd to last day: Bushya will pardon everyone in his evil regime, including Cheney, for literally everything. Then, shortly after that, he will step down as president.

The rules will automatically go into effect, and Cheney is sworn in as president on the last day.

Then, Cheney will blanket-pardon Bushya.

I would not put this past either of'em.
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
derF
Interesting hypothesis Bob of QF. A little far fetched but then when you consider the Bushman's actions over the last eight years, it makes you go hmmmmmm. I wouldn't put it past the sneaky liar.
Edited by derF on 11/16/2008 16:08
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
seeker
I would to see a situation where after Bush steps down as president he is sent to the Hague to stand trial as a war criminal.
 
catman
I'd love to see that, but it will never happen.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Bob of QF
I think that Bushya's world-traveling days are over, though.

He's made enough of a stink, world-wide, that if he dares to set foot in certain countries, he might just BE arrested.

I'd watch that....and celebrate Justice Done, too.
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
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