Water-boarding IS torture

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Xyun
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Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Xyun »

It is a fact startling in its cynical simplicity and it requires cynical and simple words to be properly expressed: The presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush.

All the petulancy, all the childish threats, all the blank-stare stupidity; all the invocations of World War III, all the sophistic questions about which terrorist attacks we wanted him not to stop, all the phony secrets; all the claims of executive privilege, all the stumbling tap-dancing of his nominees, all the verbal flatulence of his apologists...

All of it is now, after one revelation last week, transparently clear for what it is: the pathetic and desperate manipulation of the government, the refocusing of our entire nation, toward keeping this mock president and this unstable vice president and this departed wildly self-overrating attorney general, and the others, from potential prosecution for having approved or ordered the illegal torture of prisoners being held in the name of this country.

"Waterboarding is torture," Daniel Levin was to write. Daniel Levin was no theorist and no protester. He was no troublemaking politician. He was no table-pounding commentator. Daniel Levin was an astonishingly patriotic American and a brave man.

Brave not just with words or with stances, even in a dark time when that kind of bravery can usually be scared or bought off.

Charged, as you heard in the story from ABC News last Friday, with assessing the relative legality of the various nightmares in the Pandora's box that is the Orwell-worthy euphemism "Enhanced Interrogation," Mr. Levin decided that the simplest, and the most honest, way to evaluate them ... was to have them enacted upon himself.

Daniel Levin took himself to a military base and let himself be waterboarded.

Mr. Bush, ever done anything that personally courageous?

Perhaps when you've gone to Walter Reed and teared up over the maimed servicemen? And then gone back to the White House and determined that there would be more maimed servicemen?

Has it been that kind of personal courage, Mr. Bush, when you've spoken of American victims and the triumph of freedom and the sacrifice of your own popularity for the sake of our safety? And then permitted others to fire or discredit or destroy anybody who disagreed with you, whether they were your own generals, or Max Cleland, or Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, or Daniel Levin?

Daniel Levin should have a statue in his honor in Washington right now.

Instead, he was forced out as acting assistant attorney general nearly three years ago because he had the guts to do what George Bush couldn't do in a million years: actually put himself at risk for the sake of his country, for the sake of what is right.

And they waterboarded him. And he wrote that even though he knew those doing it meant him no harm, and he knew they would rescue him at the instant of the slightest distress, and he knew he would not die — still, with all that reassurance, he could not stop the terror screaming from inside of him, could not quell the horror, could not convince that which is at the core of each of us, the entity who exists behind all the embellishments we strap to ourselves, like purpose and name and family and love, he could not convince his being that he wasn't drowning.

Waterboarding, he said, is torture. Legally, it is torture! Practically, it is torture! Ethically, it is torture! And he wrote it down.

Wrote it down somewhere, where it could be contrasted with the words of this country's 43rd president: "The United States of America ... does not torture."

Made you into a liar, Mr. Bush.

Made you into, if anybody had the guts to pursue it, a criminal, Mr. Bush.

Waterboarding had already been used on Khalid Sheik Mohammed and a couple of other men none of us really care about except for the one detail you'd forgotten — that there are rules. And even if we just make up these rules, this country observes them anyway, because we're Americans and we're better than that.

We're better than you.

And the man your Justice Department selected to decide whether or not waterboarding was torture had decided, and not in some phony academic fashion, nor while wearing the Walter Mitty poseur attire of flight suit and helmet.

He had put his money, Mr. Bush, where your mouth was.

So, your sleazy sycophantic henchman Mr. Gonzales had him append an asterisk suggesting his black-and-white answer wasn't black-and-white, that there might have been a quasi-legal way of torturing people, maybe with an absolute time limit and a physician entitled to stop it, maybe, if your administration had ever bothered to set any rules or any guidelines.

And then when your people realized that even that was too dangerous, Daniel Levin was branded "too independent" and "someone who could (not) be counted on."

In other words, Mr. Bush, somebody you couldn't count on to lie for you.

So, Levin was fired.

Because if it ever got out what he'd concluded, and the lengths to which he went to validate that conclusion, anybody who had sanctioned waterboarding and who-knows-what-else on anybody, you yourself, you would have been screwed.

And screwed you are.

It can't be coincidence that the story of Daniel Levin should emerge from the black hole of this secret society of a presidency just at the conclusion of the unhappy saga of the newest attorney general nominee.

Another patriot somewhere listened as Judge Mukasey mumbled like he'd never heard of waterboarding and refused to answer in words … that which Daniel Levin answered on a waterboard somewhere in Maryland or Virginia three years ago.

And this someone also heard George Bush say, "The United States of America does not torture," and realized either he was lying or this wasn't the United States of America anymore, and either way, he needed to do something about it.

Not in the way Levin needed to do something about it, but in a brave way nonetheless.

We have U.S. senators who need to do something about it, too.

Chairman Leahy of the Judiciary Committee has seen this for what it is and said "enough."

Sen. Schumer has seen it, reportedly, as some kind of puzzle piece in the New York political patronage system, and he has failed.

What Sen. Feinstein has seen, to justify joining Schumer in rubber-stamping Mukasey, I cannot guess.

It is obvious that both those senators should look to the meaning of the story of Daniel Levin and recant their support for Mukasey's confirmation.

And they should look into their own committee's history and recall that in 1973, their predecessors were able to wring even from Richard Nixon a guarantee of a special prosecutor (ultimately a special prosecutor of Richard Nixon!), in exchange for their approval of his new attorney general, Elliott Richardson.

If they could get that out of Nixon, before you confirm the president's latest human echo on Tuesday, you had better be able to get a "yes" or a "no" out of Michael Mukasey.

Ideally you should lock this government down financially until a special prosecutor is appointed, or 50 of them, but I'm not holding my breath. The "yes" or the "no" on waterboarding will have to suffice.

Because, remember, if you can't get it, or you won't with the time between tonight and the next presidential election likely to be the longest year of our lives, you are leaving this country, and all of us, to the waterboards, symbolic and otherwise, of George W. Bush.

Ultimately, Mr. Bush, the real question isn't who approved the waterboarding of this fiend Khalid Sheik Mohammed and two others.

It is: Why were they waterboarded?

Study after study for generation after generation has confirmed that torture gets people to talk, torture gets people to plead, torture gets people to break, but torture does not get them to tell the truth.

Of course, Mr. Bush, this isn't a problem if you don't care if the terrorist plots they tell you about are the truth or just something to stop the tormentors from drowning them.

If, say, a president simply needed a constant supply of terrorist threats to keep a country scared.

If, say, he needed phony plots to play hero during, and to boast about interrupting, and to use to distract people from the threat he didn't interrupt.

If, say, he realized that even terrorized people still need good ghost stories before they will let a president pillage the Constitution,

Well, Mr. Bush, who better to dream them up for you than an actual terrorist?

He'll tell you everything he ever fantasized doing in his most horrific of daydreams, his equivalent of the day you "flew" onto the deck of the Lincoln to explain you'd won in Iraq.

Now if that's what this is all about, you tortured not because you're so stupid you think torture produces confession but you tortured because you're smart enough to know it produces really authentic-sounding fiction — well, then, you're going to need all the lawyers you can find … because that crime wouldn't just mean impeachment, would it?

That crime would mean George W. Bush is going to prison.

Thus the master tumblers turn, and the lock yields, and the hidden explanations can all be perceived, in their exact proportions, in their exact progressions.

Daniel Levin's eminently practical, eminently logical, eminently patriotic way of testing the legality of waterboarding has to vanish, and him with it.

Thus Alberto Gonzales has to use that brain that sounds like an old car trying to start on a freezing morning to undo eight centuries of the forward march of law and government.

Thus Dick Cheney has to ridiculously assert that confirming we do or do not use any particular interrogation technique would somehow help the terrorists.

Thus Michael Mukasey, on the eve of the vote that will make him the high priest of the law of this land, cannot and must not answer a question, nor even hint that he has thought about a question, which merely concerns the theoretical definition of waterboarding as torture.

Because, Mr. Bush, in the seven years of your nightmare presidency, this whole string of events has been transformed.

From its beginning as the most neglectful protection ever of the lives and safety of the American people ... into the most efficient and cynical exploitation of tragedy for political gain in this country's history ... and, then, to the giddying prospect that you could do what the military fanatics did in Japan in the 1930s and remake a nation into a fascist state so efficient and so self-sustaining that the fascism would be nearly invisible.

But at last this frightful plan is ending with an unexpected crash, the shocking reality that no matter how thoroughly you might try to extinguish them, Mr. Bush, how thoroughly you tried to brand disagreement as disloyalty, Mr. Bush, there are still people like Daniel Levin who believe in the United States of America as true freedom, where we are better, not because of schemes and wars, but because of dreams and morals.

And ultimately these men, these patriots, will defeat you and they will return this country to its righteous standards, and to its rightful owners, the people.

--Keith Olbermann
Last edited by Xyun on May 24, 2009, 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by miir »

If you're going to post an article in it's entirety, link it and/or use /quote.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21644133/
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Boogahz »

yeah, I was thinking "there's no way this is xyun 'talking'" while reading that. Then I saw the "sig."

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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Fash »

Keith Olbermann is a vile jackass who doesn't deserve the airtime he gets. Holy shit, could a tiny story about 3 shitbags being tortured be blown up any more than in this litany of hate? Nobody cares, Keith... and your conspiracy theories aren't helping anyone so stop being a media whore for the anti-bush crowd.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Xatrei »

Another great Special Comment from KO. Here is a link to the video on if anyone's interested.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Fairweather Pure »

Good video. I would like to see an official response debunking anything he said in that commentary.

But those of us who knew all of this all along do not need anymore convincing, and at this point (more like the entire time) those that don't care will never care.

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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Aslanna »

Fash wrote:Holy shit, could a tiny story about 3 shitbags being tortured be blown up any more than in this litany of hate? Nobody cares, Keith...
Nobody? Yeah.. Who cares about torture? Nobody.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Nick »

Olbermann does love his hyperbole, but 99% of the time he doesn't use it, in favour of pointing out reality over bullshit.

But yeah, he's totally a "vile jackass" because he points out things that are obvious to anyone with a brain. :roll:
Nobody cares, Keith..
wrong.

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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Fash »

Oh I'm sorry, did I miss all the news stories about the riots and protests this has caused?...

Nobody cares, but keep lapping it up, sheeple.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

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sheeple.
You fail.

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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Canelek »

Actually, I thought that was a pretty good letter. Always enjoyed Keith's rap, but he still plays second fiddle to Danny P.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Ashur »

Reading that first post was torture.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

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Fash wrote:Oh I'm sorry, did I miss all the news stories about the riots and protests this has caused?...

Nobody cares, but keep lapping it up, sheeple.
apparently you did miss the news stories about the protests. When you say nobody cares are you referring to the mindless twits that don't mind the constitution being trampled on as long as they got their t.v. or X-box 360 or their internet connection so they can continue to ignore real life? Are you one of these mindless twits? THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES IS BEING VIOLATED dipshit. but yea... nobody cares... who the fuck cares about this country and it's laws anyway?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21636290/
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

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Considering it happened today and was a very small affair... :roll:

I disagree that the constitution is being violated in this case... Khalid Sheik Mohammed is not a U.S. citizen!
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

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I'm sorry but I misunderstand, are you arguing that water-boarding is not torture?
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Fash »

No it most certainly is torture!
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Nick »

Ah the true spirit of an American :roll:

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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Sueven »

This is a retarded article.

I'll provide the executive summary:

So the acting assistant attorney general let himself get waterboarded and decided it was torture. Bush fired him for this.

The end.

So basically, Bush is staffing the executive branch with like-minded individuals. As if we didn't know this already?

Other Americans have allowed themselves to be waterboarded and concluded that it doesn't constitute torture (I remember a FNC reporter doing it around the time that torture was a big issue in the senate). I personally don't have a firm opinion, although honestly, I lean toward not torture (it doesn't last long, it's terrifying but not painful, and it has no physical aftereffects or consequences whatsoever, unless they're brought on psychologically). I would volunteer for the same test Levin took, if possible.

Bush makes personnel decisions at least in part on the basis of whether the employee comes out on his side of a contested issue. Where's the revelation? We knew this in 2001. I was mildly pissed about it then and I remain mildly pissed about it now. I don't understand how the revelation that Bush fired someone for disagreeing with him should change my opinion on Bush's staffing policies, which themselves remain unchanged (actually, they've improved as far as I can tell... Gates > Rumsfeld, Mukasey > Gonzalez/Ashcroft, etc). I don't see why some poorly written rants by a pseudo-journalist should change my opinion when the only ammunition he's got is one anecdote demonstrating a practice that was already widely understood.

Speaking of low-quality ranting, I wonder if Keith thinks that the FNC reporter who submitted to waterboarding deserves a "statute in his honor in Washington right now." Give me a fucking break.

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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

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Has someone stolen Sueven's account?

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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

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Sueven wrote:This is a retarded article.

I'll provide the executive summary:

So the acting assistant attorney general let himself get waterboarded and decided it was torture. Bush fired him for this.

The end.

So basically, Bush is staffing the executive branch with like-minded individuals. As if we didn't know this already?

Other Americans have allowed themselves to be waterboarded and concluded that it doesn't constitute torture (I remember a FNC reporter doing it around the time that torture was a big issue in the senate). I personally don't have a firm opinion, although honestly, I lean toward not torture (it doesn't last long, it's terrifying but not painful, and it has no physical aftereffects or consequences whatsoever, unless they're brought on psychologically). I would volunteer for the same test Levin took, if possible.

Bush makes personnel decisions at least in part on the basis of whether the employee comes out on his side of a contested issue. Where's the revelation? We knew this in 2001. I was mildly pissed about it then and I remain mildly pissed about it now. I don't understand how the revelation that Bush fired someone for disagreeing with him should change my opinion on Bush's staffing policies, which themselves remain unchanged (actually, they've improved as far as I can tell... Gates > Rumsfeld, Mukasey > Gonzalez/Ashcroft, etc). I don't see why some poorly written rants by a pseudo-journalist should change my opinion when the only ammunition he's got is one anecdote demonstrating a practice that was already widely understood.

Speaking of low-quality ranting, I wonder if Keith thinks that the FNC reporter who submitted to waterboarding deserves a "statute in his honor in Washington right now." Give me a fucking break.
ok smart guy. why don't you tell us your definition of torture since water-boarding apparently doesn't fit into that definition. Also, I would love to know if you condone this act being perpetrated by the CIA. What exactly is your opinion on Bush's staffing policies? From what I can tell from this post, you are quite content with the politicization of the DoJ. The attorney firings were A-OK in your book too? Why shouldn't Rumsfeld and Gonzales stay in their posts?
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Acies »

Taken from the Merriam-Webster Dictonary:
Main Entry: Torture
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French, from Old French, from Late Latin tortura, from Latin tortus, past participle of torquēre to twist; probably akin to Old High German drāhsil 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
Note please the first sentance in 1. Anguish of body or mind. Maybe not physical torture, but mental? It qualifies.

The fact that there is a debate over if waterboarding is torture is fucking ridiculous. Water torture has been used for centuries. Waterboarding itself is a psychological torture in which the persons gag reflex is activated and the subjects natural instictive fear of drowning is kicked in. Repeatedly.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Sueven »

Xyun wrote:ok smart guy. why don't you tell us your definition of torture since water-boarding apparently doesn't fit into that definition.
I don't know. It's a tough question. It seems more like a semantic issue to me. I'm more concerned with the question of what sorts of information-gathering techniques are acceptable to use in different contexts, regardless of whether they're called 'torture' or not. Given the way the word has been used, I think the most accurate definition of torture is 'anything that the government shouldn't do to get information from a subject.'

I'd probably define it as 'intentional infliction of severe physical and psychological anguish' or something like that.
Xyun wrote:Also, I would love to know if you condone this act being perpetrated by the CIA.


Unsure. You know those hypotheticals about 'would you waterboard a suspect in order to stop a bomb from killing 15,000 people?' They're tough to ignore.

I certainly don't condone its widespread use, and I need to do more thinking about the difference between what interrogation tactics are acceptable in a domestic criminal justice context versus what interrogation tactics are acceptable in an international terrorism context, and why a disjunction can be justified.

I would probably support an absolute prohibition, with the caveat that there's a tacit understanding that the CIA will go ahead and do it in really, really desperately important circumstances anyway.
Xyun wrote:What exactly is your opinion on Bush's staffing policies? From what I can tell from this post, you are quite content with the politicization of the DoJ. The attorney firings were A-OK in your book too? Why shouldn't Rumsfeld and Gonzales stay in their posts?
I think they're pretty hideously poor. I think his staffing of the judiciary with "strict constructionists" and his staffing of bureaucratic positions with right-wing social conservative christians will likely be the most damaging aspect of his legacy. The country will take years and years to recover from the damage he's caused just by giving jobs to the wrong people. You've got to expect some level of politicization of hiring processes, but Bush has taken it way too far.

I'm just not surprised by it. I think we knew how Bush's staffing was going to go when he picked his daddy's Secretary of Defense to be his Vice President, and then rolled into the White House with Rumsfeld, Condi, Wolfowitz, Rove and others in tow.

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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

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I'm just picturing Jack Bauer yelling at some guy "TELL ME WHO YOU'RE WORKING FOR!!!"

"No."

Then he drops the guy and goes "Well shit, I've got nothing." and walks away.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

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Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... id=topnews
In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.


Congressional leaders from both parties would later seize on waterboarding as a symbol of the worst excesses of the Bush administration's counterterrorism effort. The CIA last week admitted that videotape of an interrogation of one of the waterboarded detainees was destroyed in 2005 against the advice of Justice Department and White House officials, provoking allegations that its actions were illegal and the destruction was a coverup.

Yet long before "waterboarding" entered the public discourse, the CIA gave key legislative overseers about 30 private briefings, some of which included descriptions of that technique and other harsh interrogation methods, according to interviews with multiple U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge.

With one known exception, no formal objections were raised by the lawmakers briefed about the harsh methods during the two years in which waterboarding was employed, from 2002 to 2003, said Democrats and Republicans with direct knowledge of the matter.

...
In case you were wondering, they're only upset about it now because it's politically beneficial for them.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Siji »

Nick wrote:Ah the true spirit of an American
Please don't associate those of us with half a brain to those like Fash, Midnyte and others without a quarter.

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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

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and why is torturing people bad?
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Animale »

So, in order to save our bodies we lose our souls... I'd be interested to see how far the knowledge chain of this went - all the way to the top or somewhere lower?

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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Winnow »

So what's everyone's strategy for spilling the beans if they get tortured?

I've pondered this. If you talk too fast, they might think you're lying and torture you anyway...so should you take a little bit of torture before giving up some information?

I've decided that I'll never withhold information if captured after seeing James Bond get his balls smashed repeatedly in the last movie.

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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Ashur »

Winnow wrote:So what's everyone's strategy for spilling the beans if they get tortured?

I've pondered this.
I ponder why you've pondered this? What is it you know that would be worth torturing out of you?
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Sylvus »

I'm sure there's something. I say they should just go ahead and start smashing Winnow's balls. :shock:
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Winnow »

Fuck, now everyone knows to go right for the ball smash if they want info.

Since the release of the Bond movie, all secret operatives of the U.S. have had their balls removed to prevent this form of torture. I'm not an agent though!
Ashur wrote:I ponder why you've pondered this? What is it you know that would be worth torturing out of you?
I know the truth about CLIT!

http://www.veeshanvault.org/forums/view ... ?f=1&t=426

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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Ashur »

Winnow wrote:Fuck, now everyone knows to go right for the ball smash if they want info.

Since the release of the Bond movie, all secret operatives of the U.S. have had their balls removed to prevent this form of torture. I'm not an agent though!
Ashur wrote:I ponder why you've pondered this? What is it you know that would be worth torturing out of you?
I know the truth about CLIT!

http://www.veeshanvault.org/forums/view ... ?f=1&t=426
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Xyun »

Your feet are shackled, and so are your wrists. When you were lead into the room you saw that it did not have the usual table, this room had a board, and a drain in the floor. You are blindfolded by the guards and roughly forced to lie on the wet wooden board. Even though you are shackled they tie you down to the board with three ropes, one across your chest, on across your waist and one across your legs. You are now completely unable to move, your head is below the level of your feet making the blood rush to your head.

You can hear them moving around and hear a hose running, filling a bucket of water. Your heart begins to race as your mouth is forced open and a wet rag is stuffed inside. There is enough clothe that it fills your mouth, and prevents your teeth from meeting, even at the back of your mouth. You feel a person sitting next you on the board, and they put their hands on your stomach, just above your diaphragm and push down, keeping you from taking a deep breath through your nose. You sense someone else standing above your head, and then the water starts to pour over your face. Not a little, but a torrent of water, it is running up your nose, and you can not breath! Your gag reflex kicks in, but the rag in your mouth does not let you gag.

Your body begins to convulse, convinced in the most primitive of reflexes to try to do anything to get more air! You thrash but the ropes and shackles have you completely immobilized. You feel the water hitting your face, as the person on the bench presses down on your diaphragm, forcing what little air you have out, not in. You are now sure that you are going to die, that you are going to drown, not an abstract, but for real, and right now. Your chest buns with the need for more air, your eyes tear under the blindfold as you struggle to get one more breath.

You are no longer a rational human, you are now just a survival machine, ready to beg anyone, do anything to make the pain stop and get just one more breath. The water stops falling on you. You suck air in through your nose and try to suck it in through you mouth. Both bring more water along with the small amount of air you can get. You hear the hose running again and know that this is not over, it is just starting. Your heart is going like a trip hammer, and you are in a state of terror, like nothing you have ever experienced or thought of. You know if and when they ask you something, you will do or say anything, anything to prevent them from doing it again. Then the hands push on your stomach, and the water starts falling again.

You struggle, trying to hold your breath, but the gag reflex kicks in again, and again you become more animal than man as you struggle for breath your body wracked with pain and convulsively struggling to get free to breath.
Video demonstration:
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Fash »

Sounds terrible... Jack Bauer would probably think this was too slow or tedious... Would you rather a gun to your head, or perhaps a blown kneecap and the gun pointed at the other one? It would have to be pretty urgent and critical to national security for me to approve, but I'm not against torture if it is believed necessary.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Spang »

Torture is never necessary. The United States is a civilized country and does not torture. Also, torture, especially waterboarding, is highly ineffective.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by masteen »

Nothing ruins a potential intelligence asset faster than torture. It confirms in a way nothing else can their belief that we are their enemy, preventing them from ever coming to trust in us in even the smallest amount. It will turn an otherwise honest and honorable man into the most adept and willing liar.

The only purpose torture can serve is as an intimidation tactic, but that only works after you've released the victims. This is rather pointless for a country with the most sophisticated and deadly armament ever seen.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Funkmasterr »

Spang wrote:Torture is never necessary. The United States is a civilized country and does not torture. Also, torture, especially waterboarding, is highly ineffective.
That's one of the most laughably naive things I've heard, ever. We have used torture as interrogation tactic for decades if not longer, and will continue to do it regardless of what Obama tells you.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Fash »

masteen wrote:Nothing ruins a potential intelligence asset faster than torture. It confirms in a way nothing else can their belief that we are their enemy, preventing them from ever coming to trust in us in even the smallest amount. It will turn an otherwise honest and honorable man into the most adept and willing liar.

The only purpose torture can serve is as an intimidation tactic, but that only works after you've released the victims. This is rather pointless for a country with the most sophisticated and deadly armament ever seen.
On what basis do you make this absolutely solid judgment?

I would never be that sure of it, on either side of the argument... Survival is a hell of an instinct, and while there are definitely some people who would die instead of divulge information, I believe there are more who would crack and roll over to save themselves.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Spang »

Funkmasterr wrote:We have used torture as interrogation tactic for decades if not longer, and will continue to do it regardless of what Obama tells you.
Obama has nothing to do with it. The United States signed and ratified ('88,'94) the UN Convention Against Torture Treaty which defined torture as:
Torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Fash »

Blah blah blah... I support the law saying we don't, but. we. do. it. anyway.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Spang »

Fash wrote:Blah blah blah... I support the law saying we don't, but. we. do. it. anyway.
Anyone who tortures is a criminal and should be treated as such.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Fash »

That's nice.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Spang »

Fash wrote:That's nice.
Torture is illegal.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Xyun »

Criminals don't care about legality. The Bush administration was saturated with criminals. They convinced the savage and barbaric right that being savage and barbaric is acceptable in America, and that in order to defeat our enemy, we have to become like them. The people who adhere to this ideology expose themselves for what they really are: cowards.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Tyek »

Xyun wrote:Criminals don't care about legality. The Bush administration was saturated with criminals. They convinced the savage and barbaric right that being savage and barbaric is acceptable in America, and that in order to defeat our enemy, we have to become like them. The people who adhere to this ideology expose themselves for what they really are: cowards.
Because no Democrats went along with this...sure. Stop with the Party-line crap. I understand you don't like Republicans but they both suck. I guess you can say one party is better then the other, but to be frank neither has shown me shit in years. We had a Democratic congress for several years, so if bad stuff happened they either knew about it and allowed it, or were ineffectual in stopping it. It's called checks and balances. Obama cannot change the world because he needs congress, Bush could not do everything he did without a quiet consent from Congress.

edit -
I hate coming off like I am defending the Republicans or the right. I am not, I just am amused that we have turned Bush into this almost mystical being. He was a terrible President, his administration was a joke, yet he was apparently able to wield unstoppable power and keep the wonderful Left from protecting us. He is supposedly not very intelligent, yet he was able to steal 2 elections, destroy the economy and create a massive war in the Middle East with only the backing of his administration?

I guess I am just tired of the political party line crap from both sides. The truth is,I fall somewhere in the middle of both ideologies and I stopped caring about party affiliation. I will vote on the candidate I think is most likely to TRY and accomplish the things they promise while still doing whatever it takes to get the votes. I think we have quite a few intelligent people on this board and I hope they are watching their own party as much as it seems some are watching the other. It seems like the politics of the day is to bash the other party and blame them for the failures, yet no one seems to be noticing that even in the best environments it takes groups from both sides working together to make things work. I am afraid of both groups pushing away from the middle and working on extremist agendas, be it right or left.

I think us in the middle, and I think that is the majority of this country, are being ignored by the radical voices to the left and the right. I think Obama won because he appealed more to this silent group in the middle. He was always getting the people on the left, but he spoke to those of us in the Republican party that were disenchanted with the leadership and direction the vocal minority was taking us. I think the Democrats would be wise to learn from that lesson and move people like Pelosi out of the spotlight or in 8 years we may be talking about the death of the Democrats the same way people talk about the death of the Republican party today.

Just my 2 cents.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Fairweather Pure »

Fash wrote:Sounds terrible... Jack Bauer would probably think this was too slow or tedious... Would you rather a gun to your head, or perhaps a blown kneecap and the gun pointed at the other one? It would have to be pretty urgent and critical to national security for me to approve, but I'm not against torture if it is believed necessary.

Funny how the right loves to wrap themselves in the flag, play armchair general and blather on about how they are oh, so patriotic and how they love the military.

The Republicans have 2 real military heroes in their party, McCain and Powell, who, because of their experiences in war, are pragmatic and moderate, especially on things like war and torture. And their politics were shaped by those experiences.

Then you have guys like Cheney and Limbaugh, who never spent a day of their life in military service and everything they espouse and know about war and such comes from their imagination and Hollywood movies. Or fictional television shows like 24. Because they have only their imagination and what some Hollywood screenwriter made up to increase the dramatic effect, they espouse the most hard core and dangerous and frankly, non realistic things in regards to war and the military and politics.

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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Drasta »

just wondering ... is water boarding in the torture museum? or is it not cool enough to be in there? i mean come on ... getting water boarded ... compared to i donno ... drawn and quartered? i mean cuz they are totally on the same level .. or maybe iron maiden .... the rack ... finger screws ....

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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Keverian FireCry »

I don't know much about this "Mancow" guy, but apparently he's a very conservative radio host from Chicago. Anyhow he's been defending Guantanamo and water-boarding and decided to man up and give it a try himself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUkj9pjx3H0

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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Spang »

OLBERMANN: This is where I normally remind Sean Hannity that it is so many days since I took him up on his offer to be water-boarded for charity, without any reply.

But with today's development, the point is moot.

"Mancow Muller" had the guts to put his mouth where his mouth was, and the guts to admit he was dead wrong -- as you saw, he not only said it is torture, but that he had nearly drowned as a boy, and it is drowning, and that he would have admitted to anything to make it stop.

So the offer to the coward Hannity -- a thousand dollars a second he lasted on the waterboard -- is withdrawn.

And to Mancow Muller, whose station's publicity person contacted us yesterday saying she'd heard I'd offered ten thousand dollars to anybody who would do what he did...

You got it. Ten thousand dollars to the military-families charity of the man who did the waterboarding, "Veterans Of Valor."

As to Hannity... you are now unnecessary.
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Re: Water-boarding IS torture

Post by Fash »

Spang wrote:
OLBERMANN: ... he would have admitted to anything to make it stop.
I always thought this part of the argument was totally misguided. You're not torturing someone to get them to admit to something, you're doing it to get information... information which can be acted upon and verified. Considering how traumatic it is, it's less likely they'd be able to make something up on the fly. Again, just how many people did they waterboard? Very few... There has to be a specific reason, if you're going to take it that far.
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