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aikishrine
05-26-2009, 04:02 AM
We've heard rather a lot of this in the past eight years, and IMO not enough of the following two questions:
1. On what basis do you assert that your "whatever" methods are, in fact, what it takes (and, implicitly, that no other methods will suffice)?
2. On what basis do you assert that your "whatever" methods produce a result that "keep[s] America safe"?

Answer these first; otherwise you're just begging the question.

I ask you this. Do you think that our "torture" methods have helped in thwarting acts of terror on our soil since 9/11? I certainly do. and when you are dealing with people that have no regard for there own lives, let alone yours, how else are you going to reach them. I wish there was another way, and maybe there is, and if so i hope we find it. But i am not counting on it at this point. As i stated before war is ugly. And if you ask me, the American military as a whole may be to ethical. If we went into Iraq and Afganistan with all guns blazing we would have been in and out in no time. But we are worried about collateral damage where as no other country would be. Especially the people we are fighting.

jss
05-26-2009, 05:16 AM
But we are worried about collateral damage where as no other country would be.
Great way to insult your allies. I 'm sure the Dutch troops in Afghanistan appreciate it. [Disclaimer: I am Dutch, but not in the military.]

Peter Goldsbury
05-26-2009, 06:23 AM
Mr Northrup,

With respect, I think that there is too much thread drift here.

Your initial question related to aikido and bushido as philosophies. Given the breadth of the question, I can understand posters discussing Japan's wartime military activities done in the name of bushido--and even Morihei Ueshiba's supposed connections with the military government that was in power at the time. I think the questions are indirectly relevant to aikido as an ethical philosophy.

However, there is an Open Discussion forum for discussion of the type of questions you pose in your post (copied below). Aikiweb is an international aikido discussion forum and I do not believe that AikWeb members, especially Aikiweb members like myself, who are not US nationals, should be faced with the question of debating the morality of the actions of US forces in Iraq or Afghanistan--especially in a thread relating to the Japanese concept of bushido.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury

I ask you this. Do you think that our "torture" methods have helped in thwarting acts of terror on our soil since 9/11? I certainly do. and when you are dealing with people that have no regard for there own lives, let alone yours, how else are you going to reach them. I wish there was another way, and maybe there is, and if so i hope we find it. But i am not counting on it at this point. As i stated before war is ugly. And if you ask me, the American military as a whole may be to ethical. If we went into Iraq and Afganistan with all guns blazing we would have been in and out in no time. But we are worried about collateral damage where as no other country would be. Especially the people we are fighting.

lbb
05-26-2009, 07:05 AM
I ask you this. Do you think that our "torture" methods have helped in thwarting acts of terror on our soil since 9/11?

I have no idea if our torture (no quotes, be honest and call a spade a spade) methods have helped in thwarting acts of terror on our soil since 9/11. Unless you're privy to some specific information that you're not disclosing, you don't either. You guess that they have, but your conclusion is dependent on a chain of premises. You continue to cling to your guess, your gut feeling, but the two questions I posed are exactly what you must answer in order for your guess to be anything more than that. You believe that others' being tortured is an acceptable price to pay for making you feel safe; I say I want evidence that such torture actually has made me any safer before I will even entertain discussion on whether torture is acceptable. With regret, I have to say that we're never going to agree on this.

aikishrine
05-26-2009, 08:24 AM
Peter and Joep you are both quite correct, so please forgive me. I only went that way because of a couple of other post that prodded that response out of me, and i reacted emotionally. Please accept my apologies.

Mary you are correct in assuming that we wont ever agree:D.

Ron Tisdale
05-26-2009, 08:50 AM
Hi Brian,

Please don't think that I at least am offended. People disagree on things all the time. My political views, my views on aikido, my views on the world at large are just that...my views. Yours are yours. No particular reason why they should be the same. I have had disagreements on the internet with folks for many years...and then I meet those same people, but we get along wonderfully!

One of the most disagreeable interactions I had on the internet turned out to introduce me to one of Ueshiba's students/teachers! The person who arranged that meeting for me is someone I now hold in very high regard.

I guess I would rarely turn down the opportunity to exchange ideas civilly with other aikidoka...even those with whom I strongly disagree.

Please keep posting...if you believe in what you have written, don't stop because we disagree. If our arguements don't convince you, that is ok. The only thing I can ask, is that we respect each other in spite of our differing opinions.

Best,
Ron (find value where you can, leave the rest for another day...you never know where it might lead you later)

dps
05-26-2009, 08:55 AM
I have no idea if our torture (no quotes, be honest and call a spade a spade) methods have helped in thwarting acts of terror on our soil since 9/11. Unless you're privy to some specific information that you're not disclosing, you don't either. You guess that they have, but your conclusion is dependent on a chain of premises. .

"The waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is often cited as one of the major waterboarding "success stories". ABC News reporter Brian Ross credited waterboarding for the crucial information used to avert the destruction of Library Tower."

ROSS: "That has happened in some cases where the material that's been given has not been accurate, has been essentially to stop the torture. In the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the information was very valuable, particularly names and addresses of people who were involved with al Qaeda in this country and in Europe. And in one particular plot, which would involve an airline attack on the tallest building in Los Angeles, known as the Library Tower." http://waterboarding.org/success_story

You continue to cling to your guess, your gut feeling, but the two questions I posed are exactly what you must answer in order for your guess to be anything more than that. You believe that others' being tortured is an acceptable price to pay for making you feel safe; I say I want evidence that such torture actually has made me any safer before I will even entertain discussion on whether torture is acceptable. With regret, I have to say that we're never going to agree on this.

Maybe some of the people in Los Angeles feel safer.

David

Ron Tisdale
05-26-2009, 09:40 AM
Hi David,

Feeling safer and Being safer are two very different things...

Best,
Ron

C. David Henderson
05-26-2009, 09:54 AM
The "torture saved LA" narrative is seriously to be questioned. The timing of the announced "thwarting" of the LA attack substantially preceded the reported timing of the waterboarding of this individual.

He was, by the way, waterboarded six times a day for thirty days.

Effective compared to what?

Carsten Möllering
05-26-2009, 12:11 PM
Maybe some of the people in Los Angeles feel safer.
Maybe the rest of the world would feel safer if the US wouldn't use torture and wouldn't tell fairy-tales.

aikishrine
05-26-2009, 03:11 PM
Maybe the rest of the world would feel safer if the US wouldn't use torture and wouldn't tell fairy-tales.

Then maybe the rest of the world shouldnt ask us for help anymore. How safe will they feel then.

lbb
05-26-2009, 03:20 PM
Brian, a good part of "the rest of the world" begged and pleaded with the US to not start the Iraq war. Just sayin'.

Ron Tisdale
05-26-2009, 03:21 PM
Heck a good part of the US begged and pleaded too...what good did it do us?? :(

Best,
Ron

aikishrine
05-26-2009, 03:26 PM
Iraq is one thing, but what about South Korea or Syria or Burma or Europe during WWII or various other countries in Africa, Or the people of Saudi Arabia etc...

aikishrine
05-26-2009, 03:27 PM
And the people of Iraq wanted us there to begin with, maybe not now i dont know for sure.

aikishrine
05-26-2009, 03:29 PM
By the way thank you Ron for convincing me to post again

lbb
05-26-2009, 03:30 PM
Iraq is one thing, but what about South Korea or Syria or Burma or Europe during WWII or various other countries in Africa, Or the people of Saudi Arabia etc...

This went off-topic for this forum a while back. I'll start a thread in General; head over there if you would like to continue.

aikishrine
05-26-2009, 03:31 PM
OK Mary good deal

lbb
05-26-2009, 03:32 PM
...err, in Open Discussions. Headslap!

Ron Tisdale
05-26-2009, 03:39 PM
ahem...

Iraqi taliban, suni (sp) amoung others certainly did not.

And they made that quite clear (my appreciation to the U.S. service men and women who gave their lives and bodies). Despite my appreciation to those that serve, I cannot personally justify entering that war. And there are many many Iraqis (from what I have heard and read) that even after their initial joy, quickly decided otherwise.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
05-26-2009, 03:44 PM
By the way thank you Ron for convincing me to post again

Open discussion in the marketplace of ideas is one of the best things about the internet. We need our challengers here, if only to keep ourselves honest. Same thing in keiko...no?

Best,
Ron

lbb
05-26-2009, 03:45 PM
(this is spun off the "aikido and bushido" thread on the General forum -- apologies if the thread title doesn't do justice)

Iraq is one thing, but what about South Korea or Syria or Burma or Europe during WWII or various other countries in Africa, Or the people of Saudi Arabia etc...

The argument you've been trying to make is (paraphrased) "Those other countries ought to shut up about what the US is doing, because they asked us to do it." As I pointed out, in the case of the Iraq war (which is really what we're talking about here -- remember we got to this point in the discussion by talking about whether torture is justified to fight terrorism), in fact, many countries strenuously objected to the US's starting the war.

So, you don't want to address the case of Iraq? Okay, but if so, you're dropping the whole discussion of US policy leading to and resulting from that war, thus making it pretty hard to carry on a discussion about US policy re: torture. So, we'll consider those topics closed.

As for your "what about", I'm not trying to be difficult, but your "what abouts" are just too general. Entire nations don't speak with one voice, much less entire continents: "South Korea" didn't ask the US to go to war on its behalf. I'm not even sure what conflicts you mean with your reference to Syria and Burma. In any event, though, it's such a bad idea to take a request for assistance as a blank check to act however you please. It's not ethical behavior, for starters, and from a purely pragmatic point of view, it always blows up in the end.

aikishrine
05-27-2009, 08:16 AM
(this is spun off the "aikido and bushido" thread on the General forum -- apologies if the thread title doesn't do justice)

The argument you've been trying to make is (paraphrased) "Those other countries ought to shut up about what the US is doing, because they asked us to do it." As I pointed out, in the case of the Iraq war (which is really what we're talking about here -- remember we got to this point in the discussion by talking about whether torture is justified to fight terrorism), in fact, many countries strenuously objected to the US's starting the war.

So, you don't want to address the case of Iraq? Okay, but if so, you're dropping the whole discussion of US policy leading to and resulting from that war, thus making it pretty hard to carry on a discussion about US policy re: torture. So, we'll consider those topics closed.

As for your "what about", I'm not trying to be difficult, but your "what abouts" are just too general. Entire nations don't speak with one voice, much less entire continents: "South Korea" didn't ask the US to go to war on its behalf. I'm not even sure what conflicts you mean with your reference to Syria and Burma. In any event, though, it's such a bad idea to take a request for assistance as a blank check to act however you please. It's not ethical behavior, for starters, and from a purely pragmatic point of view, it always blows up in the end.

I am not talking about the conflict in Iraq in regards to our "torture" procedures. In all actuality those procedures were put into place after 9/11, in regards to all who may be terrorist. And yes South Korea is in fact asking us to keep North Korea at bay, as well as Japan for that matter. Wether we like it or not the U.S. is the world police. In the times we live in someone has to be, so i would rather it be us than anyone else.

Mike Sigman
05-27-2009, 10:11 AM
I have no idea if our torture (no quotes, be honest and call a spade a spade) methods have helped in thwarting acts of terror on our soil since 9/11. Unless you're privy to some specific information that you're not disclosing, you don't either. You guess that they have, but your conclusion is dependent on a chain of premises. Well, the Democrat George Tenet, the CIA Director under Presidents Clinton and Bush, bluntly said: "I know that this program has saved lives. I know we've disrupted plots. I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us." And other people who had access to the information and machinations say the same thing.

Personally I think that it will take another attack or two before a lot of fat-dumb-and-happy theorists begin to understand that life ain't about just MTV and nice theory. I always remember an interview I read of an Israeli Army captain who after listening to the theory-laced questions about what is "right", whether Israeli women were allowed to fight in combat, etc.,..... he said something like, "Ma'am, it's nice to have all of those theoretical concerns back in the US, but we're actually fighting a war for our lives here".

So Mary, how do you define "torture"? The law, until very recently, was fairly specific about lasting harm, etc. However, some people think that sleep-deprivation is torture, that shouting at a prisoner is torture, that even touching a prisoner is torture. How do you define torture?

Best.

Mike

Marc Abrams
05-27-2009, 10:55 AM
The CIA director was very direct in talking about the torture as having provided us with a lot of useful information. This has been confirmed to me by people who were and are in "the know." That being said, I have the following opinions:

1) The Bush administration made a HUGE mistake (one of among countless mistakes) in stating that non-uniformed, enemy combatants would be treated according to the Geneva Convention and then violated those conventions and tried to hide it behind legalese.

2) The Bush administration would have been much better off by simply stating that these combatants would not be treated according to the Geneva Convention. If our soldiers were caught, they certainly were not provided with those "niceties." Frankly, the "high value" prisoners should have been tortured for all of the information and then tortured to death.

3) This war on terrorism is real and really dangerous. If we are not willing to fight this war to win, then a whole lot of misery is ahead of us. A zealot who is hell-bent on killing us is better off dead BEFORE an act, rather than after the act. If they do not have any civil rules of engagement, neither should we. We need to fight to win by taking out their leadership wherever, whenever, and however it can be done. If torture is a tool to extract information then so be it. If it is a clear sign to them that we will go to any extreme to wipe them off the face of the earth then so be it. They are not going away, so maybe we need to fight to win the minds of poor, disenfranchised Muslims, while at the same time, eliminate the terrorists any way we can, and as fast as we can.

4) We wasted FAR TOO MANY LIVES AND DOLLARS by the Bush Folly in Iraq. Those that advocated for this folly were the ones without mud on their boots! When they had a chance to serve, just look at their records, it speaks for itself.

Marc Abrams

C. David Henderson
05-27-2009, 11:04 AM
Hi Mike,

FWIW, one of Israel's top interrogators was interviewed a while back for US television; his techniques were pretty similar to those of professionally trained interrogators in the US military. He would, at times, try to gain a suspect's respect; at others, to convince them he already knew everything about them. In one case, he tricked a detainee into believing the police had arrested her mother.

I don't recall any examples of "enhanced interrogation" being used --i.e., techniques of physical coercion like waterboarding that were reverse engineered from torture resistance courses like SERE, by people without formal training in interrogations aimed at gathering intelligence (as opposed to the propaganda aims of, for example, North Korean interrogators during the Korean War).

The verdict still is out, moreover, as to whether these techniques were used by former administration officials (regardless of who elected, selected, appointed, or retained them) in an attempt to, in the words of the famously leaked British memo, "fix the facts" around the decision to invade Iraq.

Suppose the facts show no such use of "enhanced interrogation" for political purposes occurred (even though from the timing of the activity, that conclusion is subject to question): The danger inherent in using these techniques is that they lend themselves to such purposes.

That has nothing to do with being safer or feeling safer, but with an incredibly ugly power game no different in kind from the purposes for which these techniques were used against US military personnel.

So, while I certainly understand the "you have to do what it takes" point of view, its not always obvious, as Mary points out, what "what it takes" really is. I'd defer to those like the FBI and military interrogators who have objected to the use of these techniques, and to General Patreaus, who supports the end of the use of these techniques.

Regards,

cdh

David Orange
05-27-2009, 11:22 AM
I have no idea if our torture (no quotes, be honest and call a spade a spade) methods have helped in thwarting acts of terror on our soil since 9/11.

Anyway, what they have done is legitimize torture for a lot of American citizens and given it a happy place in their hearts. Torture is good for us because it keeps me safe from the bad guys.

Is any greater proof needed of the sickness of the Bush administration and particularly Dick Cheney who probably has a dungeon in his basement.

And all this is only compounded by the fact that Iraq was a completely unnecessary action that seriously weakened our efforts in Afghanistan to the point that we have almost lost the entire country again to the people we "liberated" it from so long ago. So we left the real problem, made excuses to handle Bush's personal hatred toward Saddam Hussein and then resorted to torture to work our way out of the mess Bush created.

People think Viet Nam caused scarring of the American psyche.

Ten years from now, we'll be confronting horrors in our own society that will be inextricably rooted in the crimes Bush promoted in Iraq and Afghanistan, and torture will be high among them.

Even the Nazis were hesitant to mistreat prisoners of war because of the Geneva Conventions.

What a shame for America.

David

Mike Sigman
05-27-2009, 11:26 AM
FWIW, one of Israel's top interrogators was interviewed a while back for US television; his techniques were pretty similar to those of professionally trained interrogators in the US military. He would, at times, try to gain a suspect's respect; at others, to convince them he already knew everything about them. In one case, he tricked a detainee into believing the police had arrested her mother.

I don't recall any examples of "enhanced interrogation" being used --i.e., techniques of physical coercion like waterboarding that were reverse engineered from torture resistance courses like SERE, by people without formal training in interrogations aimed at gathering intelligence (as opposed to the propaganda aims of, for example, North Korean interrogators during the Korean War).

The verdict still is out, moreover, as to whether these techniques were used by former administration officials (regardless of who elected, selected, appointed, or retained them) in an attempt to, in the words of the famously leaked British memo, "fix the facts" around the decision to invade Iraq.

Suppose the facts show no such use of "enhanced interrogation" for political purposes occurred (even though from the timing of the activity, that conclusion is subject to question): The danger inherent in using these techniques is that they lend themselves to such purposes.

That has nothing to do with being safer or feeling safer, but with an incredibly ugly power game no different in kind from the purposes for which these techniques were used against US military personnel.

So, while I certainly understand the "you have to do what it takes" point of view, its not always obvious, as Mary points out, what "what it takes" really is. I'd defer to those like the FBI and military interrogators who have objected to the use of these techniques, and to General Patreaus, who supports the end of the use of these techniques.

Hi David:

As has been discussed publicly a few times, the high-value detainees upon whom the EIT's were used had already been through a series of unproductive "softer" approaches and time was also an element under consideration. Probably it would have been better to allow large-scale destruction of Los Angeles than to open this can of worms; you don't live in L.A. and I don't live in L.A., so we could probably treat the destruction as just another TV show and go back about our business. Far better to lose L.A. than to lose our American values, I suppose. ;)

Like I indicated, people tend to not take life serious in a fat-dumb-and-happy society like the US has become in recent decades. A little reality would probably change a lot of perspectives. Look at how suddenly many people suddenly wanted the US to drill for oil when gasoline started costing $5/gallon and it actually crippled the economies of many families. Before that, many of those people were all supporting the theoretical cutting off of all drilling in the US and off the coast.

Let's just hope that realized-ultimate-reality isn't totally devastating when it comes. And it's no longer "if it comes", in my opinion. Now that everyone realizes the US's top punishment is "stern resolution from the UN", you can be sure they're not going to miss the opportunity.

Best.

Mike

David Orange
05-27-2009, 11:26 AM
Feeling safer and Being safer are two very different things...

That fellow that shot that girl in the bookstore where she worked felt safer after he'd killed her.

I think Ted Bundy killed all those women because he felt they were out to get him somehow.

Just because something makes you "feel" safer is no good man's reason to do it.

David

thisisnotreal
05-27-2009, 11:36 AM
a fat-dumb-and-happy society ..


It is not just the US, btw. Although somehow it is a focal point.

Just wanted to share this, as thought it was provocative and tangentially related:
Amusing Ourselves to Death (Huxley v Orwell) (http://www.corrodedreality.org/2009-05-Amusing-Ourselves-to-Death.png)
Not that this is the whole of the issue but an interesting comment on the zeitgeist (spirit of the times)

Josh
interesting discussion (http://www.reddit.com/r/comics/comments/8nejx/orwell_vs_huxley_amusing_ourselves_to_death/)

David Orange
05-27-2009, 11:37 AM
The "torture saved LA" narrative is seriously to be questioned. The timing of the announced "thwarting" of the LA attack substantially preceded the reported timing of the waterboarding of this individual.

Good on you, David. Most of that stuff comes out like that. Check it out a little further and that kind of propaganda falls apart. We are not a nation of Nazis and we should not sink ot the sewers because one idiot and his VP will stop at nothing to be the rulers of the earth. Good thing their time is up.

He was, by the way, waterboarded six times a day for thirty days.

Give Cheney five minutes of that and he'll quickly tell you he lied about it all. They did what they did because they're natural born torturers. Bush blew up frogs as a kid and grew up to be the "Torture President". He and Cheney are both sociopaths to the core and it's really disappointing how many Americans will approve of that because it's good for them, financially. Or, it was...

Effective compared to what?

Compared to all the intelligent things Bush could have done other than the stupid things he did.

I realize now that I have been very wrong about Bush in many ways. I thought he was an idiot for making his speech in front of that Mission Accomplished sign because the mission clearly was a LONG way from being accomplished.

The thing is, "winning" that war was never his "mission". His mission was to get us inextricably locked into that war, with big money tubes hooked up funneling tons of cash into Haliburton, where Cheney will soon resume a position of great honor.

Bush's mission was to screw the taxpayers in favor of the super-wealthy stockholders in Haliburton, Brown-Root, etc.

Mission Accomplished and a big black eye for America to boot!

David

David Orange
05-27-2009, 11:40 AM
Then maybe the rest of the world shouldnt ask us for help anymore. How safe will they feel then.

Yeah, Hitler felt very safe when he had all those Jews and Gays and Gypsies under lock and key, and even safer once he'd gassed them. He also got a lot of hard work out of them before that.

If we want to be the Torture Nation, maybe the rest of the world will feel safer if we decline to help them.

It's not an "either/or" proposition, you know.

You'll be better off when you admit what you have advocated and how seriously sick it is.

David

David Orange
05-27-2009, 11:41 AM
And the people of Iraq wanted us there to begin with...

Oh, yeah. I think Cheney has a nice letter from grandma in Mosul, asking him to "torture some sense" into her grandson.

I'm sure they all wanted us there.

Get real.

David

David Orange
05-27-2009, 11:43 AM
(my appreciation to the U.S. service men and women who gave their lives and bodies)

I was amazed by the way they went into Baghdad and I cheered the valor of the troops even as I mourned the stupid decision to send them there.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
05-27-2009, 11:50 AM
And yes South Korea is in fact asking us to keep North Korea at bay, as well as Japan for that matter. Wether we like it or not the U.S. is the world police. In the times we live in someone has to be, so i would rather it be us than anyone else.

And somehow, even under Nixon, we never endorsed torture. Police DON'T TORTURE. If they do, they are dismissed.

Does that make sense to you?

Haven't you heard of the hundreds (at least--more like thousands) of drug raids on the wrong addresses? The police burst in with drawn guns and take husbands and wives out of bed and hold them at gunpoint, under flashlight, get their kids out of bed and scare the hell out of them, ransack the house, maybe break doors and windows. In more than a few cases, they have actually shot the homeowners and killed them. In other cases, homeowners have died of heart attacks.

Now let's throw a little torture into that police action.

When the cops (at the wrong address) don't find the drugs they're looking for, say they decide to go Jack Bauer on the husband. Or shoot the wife in the knee to get him to talk. Do you think he wouldn't say "ANYTHING" they wanted to hear to get them out of his house?

Do you think NONE of our raids in Iraq was on the wrong house? Do you think no one has been tortured and confessed to our interrogators even though he was 100% innocent?

You need to stop trying to justify what is really criminal behavior, unconstitutional and immoral. Even if it helps your country, it degrades your country to the point that it's not worth helping.

David

C. David Henderson
05-27-2009, 12:04 PM
Hi Mike,

Thanks for your thoughtful response.

I have to remark that it's striking how we all seem to live in slightly parallel universes of information these days. From what I have read since the "torture memos" were released and the congressional committee filed its report on military use of these techniques, some of the information that previously has been circulated about the points you raise is being called into doubt.

Here is what I've heard since the release of this information about the "softer" approaches not working:

With Abu Zubaida, the FBI interrogators initially used traditional techniques, even assisting in tending for his wounds. The got information. Before they were done, the contractors were brought in, he was waterboarded, and he shut up. The FBI re-engaged, and were able to get more information from him. Then the contractors were brought back in, and he shut up. On it went for several rounds, and each time the FBI interrogators found it harder to get him to talk again.

Eventually the FBI became concerned about "borderline torture" being used, pulled out, and refused to participate in any more CIA interrogations of this type (itself a fact that could endanger lives).

Most if not all the actionable intelligence from Abu Zubaida was obtained with conventional methods, even though he was waterboarded more than 80 times over the course of a month.

According to the news reports I've read in the last month or so, the report suggesting Abu Zubaida only gave up valuable information to the contractors who waterboarded him is an outrageous spin on the chronology of events; yes, he gave additional information after being waterboarded (and after the waterboarding stopped, and once traditional methods were re-employed). It's like saying he gave up information after he ate a sandwich (and then was interrogated).

As for the LA bomb plot, as I've mentioned elsewhere, now that we know the chronology of the waterboarding, it appears the authorization to waterboard occurred after the thwarting of the plot was announced.

Suppose for the sake of discussion, moreover, that these techniques do produce some intelligence of value -- say the existence of the LA plot (despite what I related above). That doesn't establish established techniques would not also have worked in that situation or in most situations.

So, while I can't claim first hand knowledge, or that "my facts are better than your facts," I think there is a lot of credible information out there supporting the ban of these techniques.

Finally, and perhaps somewhat ironically, I find myself agreeing with a lot of what you say about complacency as a problem in this country on a whole host of issues. The end of complacency, however, can be for a whole lot of folks over-compensating fear of a particular risk (I'm specifically not saying anyone posting to this thread falls in that category).

Will there be a devestating terror event, domestic or foreign in this country again during my life -- can't bet against it. Will there be a limited nuclear exchange in South Asia -- probably. Will I be driving a plug-in car in the next ten years -- hope so.

But that holds true irrespective of whether, in my own view, we try to make ourselves safer by subjecting other people to techniques that were deployed out of fear -- physical and political -- and without (apparently) top policy makers even being aware of what these techniques were designed to do.

Regards, always,
cdh

David Orange
05-27-2009, 12:06 PM
Well, the Democrat George Tenet, the CIA Director under Presidents Clinton and Bush, bluntly said: "I know that this program has saved lives. I know we've disrupted plots. I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us." And other people who had access to the information and machinations say the same thing.

The problem with that is that all those people are defending actions they ordered, endorsed or took part in. Of course, they're going to say it was good.

Personally I think that it will take another attack or two before a lot of fat-dumb-and-happy theorists begin to understand that life ain't about just MTV and nice theory.

I know Rush and John Boehner are with you on that. They're just praying for another big disastrous attack on US soil.

However, I think you'll find that Obama is playing this the way Bush SHOULD have played it from the beginning. We surely could have gotten rid of Saddam for less than $700 Billion without ever taking our eye off the ball in Afghanistan. We could have infiltrated both Taliban and AQ quietly and taken OBL out without ever ruining our reputation with the world.

Did you notice the Snopes article on that e-mail you posted of the first-hand accounts of how Obama nearly ruined the pirate takedown? Does that count as slander, perjorative or villification? Or is it something else? And was it you doing it, since you just passed along the poison message? Or is it all the fault of the guy who wrote the lies in it????

Just don't worry. Obama will turn out to be an excellent commander in chief and he will allow, support and facilitate the destruction of those who would harm America.

Anyway, you can be sure that if he ever gets an intelligence briefing saying "Terrorists Determined To Strike Inside US," he will actually READ it....

I always remember an interview I read of an Israeli Army captain who after listening to the theory-laced questions about what is "right", whether Israeli women were allowed to fight in combat, etc.,..... he said something like, "Ma'am, it's nice to have all of those theoretical concerns back in the US, but we're actually fighting a war for our lives here".

It's just a shame that Bush decided to fight the war on a shoestring (for the soldiers) while handing out billions to Haliburton and all manner of sheikhs. Obama will conduct a war with the intention of actually completing it--not to drag it on for the benefit of his friends.

So Mary, how do you define "torture"? The law, until very recently, was fairly specific about lasting harm, etc. However, some people think that sleep-deprivation is torture, that shouting at a prisoner is torture, that even touching a prisoner is torture. How do you define torture?

Somewhere between tickling with feathers and waterboarding, is my guess. But there can be no question that, under Bush's direction, our nation went FAR over the line.

David

David Orange
05-27-2009, 12:12 PM
This war on terrorism is real and really dangerous. If we are not willing to fight this war to win, then a whole lot of misery is ahead of us. A zealot who is hell-bent on killing us is better off dead BEFORE an act, rather than after the act.

And it's a shame Bush didn't read "Osama Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside US" when it was put before him.

Having failed miserably in due diligence, he then acted like a chicken with its head cut off: but it was just an act. He had a mission to accomplish. He had to frighten the US enough give him a blank check to invade anyone he wanted. And Saddam Hussein was who he wanted, for personal reasons, with the entire military and treasury of the greatest nation on earth poured out for him to waste. My four-year-old boy takes better care of his toys than Bush cared for our military. And he never went to Iraq to "win" but to get us in there and keep us in there. He thinks its still going fine. McCain would have kept us there another hundred years.

We wasted FAR TOO MANY LIVES AND DOLLARS by the Bush Folly in Iraq. Those that advocated for this folly were the ones without mud on their boots! When they had a chance to serve, just look at their records, it speaks for itself.

You've got that exactly right, Marc. You'd probably like to read the book "Long Rifle," by Joe LeBleu, a US Army sniper who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the Balkans, I believe, and elsewhere on special ops. He shares many of your views about Bush.

Best to you.

David

MM
05-27-2009, 12:17 PM
Even the Nazis were hesitant to mistreat prisoners of war because of the Geneva Conventions.

What a shame for America.

David

I find it ultimately sad that you do not have the perspective to even begin to see the difference between what the Nazis did in WW II and what America has done.

People toss the comparison between Nazis, Bush, and America lightly, as if it were something either "intellectual" or as if it could give any meaning to how hateful they view Bush and/or America.

However, anyone with any relatives who fought in WWII, anyone with friends of family who fought in WWII, anyone who has been told the stories by those coming back from WWII have a vastly different perspective. One that shreds any comparison between the Nazis and America.

It isn't America that holds the shame here, David. It is those who use "Nazi" as a comparison for what America has done, for these people have little understanding of what happened. If they did, they would never use that term lightly or in comparison to American actions.

thisisnotreal
05-27-2009, 12:22 PM
deleted

David Orange
05-27-2009, 12:29 PM
Like I indicated, people tend to not take life serious in a fat-dumb-and-happy society like the US has become in recent decades. A little reality would probably change a lot of perspectives.

Well, it worked wonders for Bush, didn't it?

When did we get so fat dumb and happy that our President couldn't be bothered to read an intelligence report that bin Laden was making every effort to attack inside the US?

He took a solid month of vacation right after that and just days after he came back, it was 9/11.

After that, he was in full panic mode and went from pure, fat-dumb-and-happy ignorance of vital warnings to an "anything goes" approach where you even torture in the name of freedom.

They allowed the attack to happen. Do you think Obama will be that stupid or lazy?

They mismanaged the war, but now they want to tell Obama how to run it.

They ruined the economy, now they want to tell Obama how to fix it.

They lied about "normal" intelligence gathering results. Why would we ever imagine that they're NOT lying about the results of their torture????

Look at how suddenly many people suddenly wanted the US to drill for oil when gasoline started costing $5/gallon and it actually crippled the economies of many families. Before that, many of those people were all supporting the theoretical cutting off of all drilling in the US and off the coast.

You never heard me calling for drilling. I live seven miles from work. I don't really care if gasoline goes to $10/gallon. Of course, it wil hurt a lot of people who have big, wasteful cars and also live 30 to 60 miles from their jobs. But rather than whine for more drilling in wildlife reserves and on the coasts so that those people can still continue undisturbed with their "lifestyles," I have advocated that they alter their lifestyles, live closer to their jobs, or get a job closer to their homes. In terms of war, the equivalent would have been for Bush simply to look into the cameras and tell OBL, "We're going to get you for this" and put heavy resources into doing exactly that.

Instead, he wasted resources, lives, money, taxes, time and everything else he could waste. The odd thing is that somehow, his friends all made a lot of money off that. Go figure.

Let's just hope that realized-ultimate-reality isn't totally devastating when it comes. And it's no longer "if it comes", in my opinion.

Gee. If only you had been there to tell Bush to "READ THAT REPORT!" Maybe he never would have had to resort to torture at all.

Nah. He would have found another reason. It's his nature.

David

David Orange
05-27-2009, 12:48 PM
I find it ultimately sad that you do not have the perspective to even begin to see the difference between what the Nazis did in WW II and what America has done.

You really need to read more closely and also to get clear that there's a difference between what "America has done" and what Bush ordered done. I'm not comparing our military to the Nazis, but Bush and Cheney could easily have gone the way of Hitler if times had been just a bit worse. For instance if our economy had been pretty low when 9/11 happened, it might have stirred enough public anger and fear that Bush could have gotten full support for anything he wanted to do. And that it one guy with very few internal limits. He doesn't mind seeing someone else in pain or laughing at their suffering, as long as he's not the one suffering.


People toss the comparison between Nazis, Bush, and America lightly, as if it were something either "intellectual" or as if it could give any meaning to how hateful they view Bush and/or America.

Again, you really need to learn the difference between hating Bush and hating America. Those who love Bush most also hate America most. Those who love America most hate Bush the most. And when you have a sociopath as President, the line should have been very clear, but there are plenty of people who would have supported Bush in gassing muslims, kurds and anyone else who got i our way. It's only a short step from torturing them.

It isn't America that holds the shame here, David.

No, Mark, it isn't. It's George Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz and all their supporters who left the country vulnerable and then used the certain disaster as their excuse to kill and torture. They are the ones who led our country into sheer evil and they are the ones who are covered in shame. Of course, they all have enough money that even shame doesn't bother them. Like "the rule of law" and going to prison for your crimes, shame is for the little people.

It is those who use "Nazi" as a comparison for what America has done, for these people have little understanding of what happened. If they did, they would never use that term lightly or in comparison to American actions.

Sorry, Mark, but the newspapers (or internet columns or whatever we have) ten years from now will sound remarkably like the newspapers in Germany ten years after Hitler. They'll be saying, "How could the American people have allowed that to happen in their country? How could we have allowed that kind of monster to run wild on the earth, killing and destroying in our name?"

What will our answer be: "Because it made us feel safer?"

"Never again", and "It can't happen here" have become as quaint as the Geneva Conventions.

David

lbb
05-27-2009, 01:14 PM
Well, the Democrat George Tenet, the CIA Director under Presidents Clinton and Bush, bluntly said: "I know that this program has saved lives.[

And I know the earth is flat.

If we can't agree that this sort of "knowing" has no validity whatsoever, there's no point in continuing this discussion. Let's stick with the put-up-or-shut-up "knowing", or just shut the damn thing down as a waste of time.

Edit: aaaand on reading the hijack, the editing, the snatching of comments from that other thread etc., I conclude that it is indeed a waste of time. Thanks for nothing y'all, continue to "know" what you "know", I'm outta here like last year.

Mike Sigman
05-27-2009, 01:16 PM
Here is what I've heard since the release of this information about the "softer" approaches not working:

I'm not sure where you got your information, David. In effect you're saying that the US got no useable intelligence from waterboarding and that it failed to elicit useful information? That's not the way that I understand it.

However, as I indicated previously, we should have allowed L.A. to be bombed so that we wouldn't have this worry about enhanced interrogation techniques. But I suppose then we'd have people still questioning and despising the Bush administration for not having gotten the intelligence, wouldn't we? I haven't really seen anyone deploring the actual enemy in any of these threads, have you? It seems that the focus is on how bad the U.S. is, but then again, that's the way many people have been raised for the last several generations... hating the U.S. It seems to be a sort of sickness. If it was legitimate outrage, there'd also be outrage about US citizens killed by the enemy, US citizens killed by illegal immigrants or things like that. Since we see no outrage along the lines of people doing things to the US (it's all our fault), then maybe we should have a general revolution and let the best (strongest) side win, eh? ;)

Naturally there's a bit of wry humor in my comments, but take a look at these current threads and see if you can find posts that even mention the idea that anything "bad" originates outside the US. Look at David Orange's seething posts... is this sort of stuff fair or rational? But that's where we are today. Surely this sort of extreme hate should be setting off alarm bells in peoples' heads.

FWIW

Mike

David Orange
05-27-2009, 01:17 PM
And I know the earth is flat.

If we can't agree that this sort of "knowing" has no validity whatsoever, there's no point in continuing this discussion. Let's stick with the put-up-or-shut-up "knowing", or just shut the damn thing down as a waste of time.

Or we could just admit that, like the war in Iraq, torturing prisoners was the Bush administration's choice and its preference. Need or no need, it's their charcter. To say otherwise, anyway, is definitely a waste.

David

Mike Sigman
05-27-2009, 01:18 PM
And I know the earth is flat.

My bad. I didn't mean to bring facts into the conversation. ;) What does Tenet know that civilian commentators don't know, after all?

Mike

MM
05-27-2009, 01:26 PM
You really need to read more closely and also to get clear that there's a difference between what "America has done" and what Bush ordered done. I'm not comparing our military to the Nazis, but Bush and Cheney could easily have gone the way of Hitler if times had been just a bit worse.
David

David, I really don't think you have the understanding of what Hitler ordered, what he had done, what the Nazis did, and what atrocities were committed. I would be the first to say I don't have a great understanding of it, either. But, what I have found, been told, heard about, etc gives me enough to state that I would never compare Hitler or Nazis to any of these: Bush, Cheney, Rove, America, Obama, Kennedy, Biden, etc, etc, etc. There is no comparison, no "this could have been" if things were just a bit different, nothing of that sort.

People can dislike politicians all they want. They can hate them. They can hate the person holding the Office of the President of the United States of America. They can hate America. We can do that because of the differences between the way America is and the way other countries are. The way America was and the way other countries were.

But, it is intellectually dishonest and disingenuous to compare Hitler/Nazis to America or Bush, etc. Any amount of historical research will negate that comparison. Using that comparison comes across as tawdry to those who have done the research. I would strongly suggest that you work harder at doing the research necessary to gain a better perspective of what Hitler did and what the Nazis did.

That's the last I'll say on the matter. The choice is yours as it always was.

Mark

Marc Abrams
05-27-2009, 01:34 PM
David:

I am in agreement with you on the points that you have made about the previous administration. You and I have shared similar thoughts on threads over the years about how bad and dangerous the last administration was. That being said, we need to separate our thoughts and feelings about the last administration and take a serious look at how we might actually gain an upper hand in this fight against fundamentalist Muslim terrorists.

Case in Point: A number of years ago, the Israeli government began a VERY EFFECTIVE program of targeted assassinations against the leadership of some terrorist groups who had been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks against its citizens. These organizations were so deeply damaged that they complained so loudly to the EU that this neutered organization began pressing the US until it caved-in and pressured Israel to stop what worked! Guess what? Citizens died again. The Gaza strip is governed by a terrorist organization.

The last administration began using drones and other means with a similar objective in mind. Luckily for us, the current administration has ramped this effort up quite a bit. The result is that the leadership of these organizations are a lot weaker, which makes it easier to conduct more effective operations against them.

I would like to see our country fight this genuine threat in an effective manner. I cannot envision our nation acting like the Nazis, Serbia, Congo, Sudan..... Our citizens would not stand for this. I do believe that our nation would stand behind a policy of doing whatever it takes to eliminate the threats. Those extremists do respond to brute force, despite the rhetoric that says otherwise. If that side knows that being captured means an unimaginable hellish way out of life, then let that be the message. We can extend a hand of peace to those who accept it. To those who want to hurt us, they always be looking over their backs and fear what we will do to them. Ultimately, the choice should be up to all of us in how we can hopefully navigate a way of living in peace despite our differences.

Marc Abrams

ps.- I would love to use that coward Cheney to practice enhanced interrogation methods. If that weasel does not believe that it is torture then lets ask him some tough questions. Personally, I call it interrogation by torture.

Aikibu
05-27-2009, 01:39 PM
My bad. I didn't mean to bring facts into the conversation. ;) What does Tenet know that civilian commentators don't know, after all?

Mike

With all due respect Mike...As if you have an better command of the facts...;)

If you wish to believe what your government tells you about The Gulf of Tonkin Incident... WMD...Al Qwacky Terrorist Links with Saddam..."Torture saves lives..."Well then by all means march off to war with your comrades singing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"

The Iraq War makes Vietnam look small in comparision in terms of what a huge disaster it is...

Here is another statement George Tenet made to George Bush in answer to The then Presidents Question if Saddam had WMD's "It's a SLAM DUNK Mr. President."

Yup... Not only does your government lie to you... It often has no better command of the facts than you do...

Again with all due respect Mr. Sigman.

Everyday we borrow Billions more from the Chinese and Arabs and more folks die in Iraq...

Are we witnessing our own decline???

That is up to us, and let's hope Babara Tuchman was wrong about our "March of Folly"

William Hazen

David Orange
05-27-2009, 01:43 PM
However, as I indicated previously, we should have allowed L.A. to be bombed so that we wouldn't have this worry about enhanced interrogation techniques.

It was good for New York, wasn't it?

See, it was the guy who IGNORED the danger and the warning who STARTED the torture.

Do you notice that? The one who IGNORED rushed to war and urged our troops to TORTURE.

It's not the liberals who ignored the threat. It was the hardest-line right-winger the US has known since probably...well, since the last time the economy was this bad.

What you propose as so terrible is exactly what the right-wing torturers have allowed to happen on their watch. They allowed it to build while they were persecuting Clinton for illicit sex and they allowed it to build while Bush lazed on the old ranch, wearing his cowboy hat and boots.

So don't tell us that the liberals will cause "the next one" that the right wing torturers are hoping for. You should just hope it doesn't happen in Colorado.

But I suppose then we'd have people still questioning and despising the Bush administration for not having gotten the intelligence, wouldn't we?

Why? Bush DID get the intelligence and he declined to read it. Other intelligence he got, he just ignored. Shaky stuff, he propped up and inflated. Other stuff was never well analyzed. You really, seriously need to face the facts that lack of intelligence was not our problem on 9/11: it was the neglect of responsibility by the right wing neo-cons and nothing more.

So what value will questionably-obtaine and likely-false confessions give us if the President is too busy cutting brush and adjusting his cowboy hat to understand the implications of the intelligence?

I haven't really seen anyone deploring the actual enemy in any of these threads, have you? It seems that the focus is on how bad the U.S. is, but then again, that's the way many people have been raised for the last several generations... hating the U.S.

There you go again, Mike. I suppose in pre-war Germany, people who questioned Hitler were said to "hate Germany".

As for OBL and his jihad jamboree, I hate all of them more than words can say. But Bush is NO BETTER THAN THE JIHADIS. He has long family business ties with the bin Laden family and he and his friends profitted richly from the waste of US lives and resources in Iraq while OBL continued building al quaeda stronger wherever he is. And he is still out there, so Bush did not try very hard to get him.

So I don't hate America. I do hate OBL and AQ and the Taliban and those who murdered people like the translator of The Satanic Verses (in Japan) and the filmmaker van Gogh, in the Netherlands.

I used to note how those types of people loved to reduce a nation to total chaos and squalor because they and their forces could operate and recruit without restraint in that kind of environment. The Balkans, Chechnya, Somalia and anywhere else they really dig in, all get turned into muddy fields of killing.

But George Bush made the same kind of thing out of Iraq (which did not attack us on 9/11, by the way) and he and his closest friends have made millions on it ever since. So get it clear that Bush has been a serious enemy to the United States and has done us serious harm and, for that, he rates more disgust than the foreign jihadis. They did what they did as foreigners. Bush did what he did to his own people as well as to hundreds of thousands of innocent people around the world.

It seems to be a sort of sickness. If it was legitimate outrage, there'd also be outrage about US citizens killed by the enemy....[quote]

I have rage against the 9/11 hijackers, certainly. But I have a much greater rage against George Bush, who ALLOWED it to happen through his incredible NEGLIGENCE.

Your enemy is terrible, but your "friend" who helps the enemy is a thousand times worse. And that's Bush.

[QUOTE=Mike Sigman;230934]...US citizens killed by illegal immigrants or things like that.

Well, you know, the all-Republican congress from 2000 to 2006 chose to keep our southern border wide open all through those years when we were searching gray-haired grannies at airports. The Republicans could have closed that border very effectively, but they needed the nannies and the yard men and the fruit pickers from Mexico, so we have a tremendous problem now with illegal aliens and that includes their crime gangs. And the Repbulicans gave that to us for the benefit of business that wants cheap labor.

Since we see no outrage along the lines of people doing things to the US (it's all our fault), then maybe we should have a general revolution and let the best (strongest) side win, eh? ;)

Good time to suggest that, since the wealthy have become ten times as powerful under Bush. You can hire hillbillies to kill the liberals and the liberals won't be able to stand. Great idea.

Naturally there's a bit of wry humor in my comments, but take a look at these current threads and see if you can find posts that even mention the idea that anything "bad" originates outside the US.

Why point the finger elsewhere, when your enemy is at the table with you? George Bush has done more damage to our nation than OBL did or could do.

Look at David Orange's seething posts... is this sort of stuff fair or rational?

Is torture fair or rational? I know you think it is, but one day you will realize that the cost of that kind of thing far outweighs any benefit. But that's the whole story of the Bush years and that's why the economy is in the tank and OBL still runs free. Obama is going to take him out, though. I think Obama will get bin Laden before this year is out.

But that's where we are today. Surely this sort of extreme hate should be setting off alarm bells in peoples' heads.

Your hate e-mail about Obama's actions in the pirate standoff certainly rang some bells for me. You certainly put more effort into defending the misguided former administration than you do supporting our nation NOW by supporting the President we elected in a massive landslide. He's going to fix the damage Bush did. And that's because he loves America and he earned everything he's gotten in life. It's morning in America again. Why won't you guys wake up?

David

David Orange
05-27-2009, 01:58 PM
David, I really don't think you have the understanding of what Hitler ordered, what he had done, what the Nazis did, and what atrocities were committed.

Yes, I have a deep understanding of Hitler, his motivations and his actions. And I understand why the "majority" of German citizens supported him, even when they could smell the victims burning in his death camps.

I would be the first to say I don't have a great understanding of it, either. But, what I have found, been told, heard about, etc gives me enough to state that I would never compare Hitler or Nazis to any of these: Bush, Cheney, Rove, America, Obama, Kennedy, Biden, etc, etc, etc. There is no comparison, no "this could have been" if things were just a bit different, nothing of that sort.

Well, you're right about America, Obama, Kennedy and Biden, but Bush, Cheney and Rove couldn't be closer to Hitler, Himmler and Goering. They plunged the world into destruction and death for personal gain. Cheny got $36 million from Haliburton just months before Bush handed Haliburton the fattest war contract in human history. They didn't do it to "get OBL" or "terrorists," but just to keep a profitable war going---profitable for themselves, but ruinous for the American people. Look at the laundrylist of horrors those three perpetrated in Iraq, the waste, the corruption, the fact that even today they have still never gotten reliable electricity in Baghdad and our soldiers are being electrocuted in showers in buildings where Haliburton did the electrical work. Just imagine what they would have done if there had been NO political restraints on them. That's ALL that kept them from going from horrid to truly unspeakable actions. They would have had no limts at all. And remember--this is not talking about America but about Bush, Cheney, Rove, Wofowitz, Rumsfeld and all those insiders.

But, it is intellectually dishonest and disingenuous to compare Hitler/Nazis to America or Bush, etc. Any amount of historical research will negate that comparison.

Any historical research will show that the Bush administration never soared to the heights of depravity that Hitler reached, but it was only a matter of degree. And that degree was nothing but the American will that we not become such as Germany during the war. Even with that kind of resistance, Bush went further than any US President has ever found it necessary to go and he still did not win the wars, did not get the prime architect of 9/11, did not, ultimately, get rid of the Taliban. They all thumb their noses at us now. But what Bush did manage to do was, in effect, to lose two wars, lose our biggest terrorist enemy, bankrupt the nation, destroy the economy and remove vast swaths of the Constitution's protections for our daily lives. Gee. If these are good results, how would "bad" look?

Using that comparison comes across as tawdry to those who have done the research. I would strongly suggest that you work harder at doing the research necessary to gain a better perspective of what Hitler did and what the Nazis did.

Sounds like I have a better understanding and must have done more research on the matter than you have. Well, you will have plenty of time to rethink my position as the years go by and we get further from what has happened and people learn more about what actually happened under Bush. You'll be singing with me, then.

David

Aikibu
05-27-2009, 01:58 PM
David:

I am in agreement with you on the points that you have made about the previous administration. You and I have shared similar thoughts on threads over the years about how bad and dangerous the last administration was. That being said, we need to separate our thoughts and feelings about the last administration and take a serious look at how we might actually gain an upper hand in this fight against fundamentalist Muslim terrorists.

Case in Point: A number of years ago, the Israeli government began a VERY EFFECTIVE program of targeted assassinations against the leadership of some terrorist groups who had been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks against its citizens. These organizations were so deeply damaged that they complained so loudly to the EU that this neutered organization began pressing the US until it caved-in and pressured Israel to stop what worked! Guess what? Citizens died again. The Gaza strip is governed by a terrorist organization. A Democratically elected "Terrorist Organization" LOL Not so effective... The Bull Dozing of Private Homes... Keeping Gaza under siege...Isreali destruction of any and all Social Organizations...80% unemployment rate among Gazen Males due to the blockade...Isreali censorship of what happens inside Gaza...Gaza's condition and the Isreali Occupation as a huge terrorist recruitment tool.

The last administration began using drones and other means with a similar objective in mind. Luckily for us, the current administration has ramped this effort up quite a bit. The result is that the leadership of these organizations are a lot weaker, which makes it easier to conduct more effective operations against them. Not so effective...Use of drones results in huge blowback with regard to civilian casulties resulting in the Pakistani Taliban proving to be a legimate contender against the Pakistiani Government in the minds of civilians...

I would like to see our country fight this genuine threat in an effective manner. I cannot envision our nation acting like the Nazis, Serbia, Congo, Sudan..... Our citizens would not stand for this. I do believe that our nation would stand behind a policy of doing whatever it takes to eliminate the threats. Those extremists do respond to brute force, despite the rhetoric that says otherwise. Your right brute force always works just ask the Soviets in Afganistan and Chechenya... If that side knows that being captured means an unimaginable hellish way out of life, then let that be the message. We can extend a hand of peace to those who accept it. To those who want to hurt us, they always be looking over their backs and fear what we will do to them. Ultimately, the choice should be up to all of us in how we can hopefully navigate a way of living in peace despite our differences.

Marc Abrams

ps.- I would love to use that coward Cheney to practice enhanced interrogation methods. If that weasel does not believe that it is torture then lets ask him some tough questions. Personally, I call it interrogation by torture.

Marc & Folks...I highly recommend this blog for those who are interested in how to actually fight and win a counter-insergency campaign.

http://smallwarsjournal.com/

It's a good place to bone up on the stuff we're discussing. :)

William Hazen

C. David Henderson
05-27-2009, 02:02 PM
Hi Mike,

As I indicated, the information I related was based on mainstream news accounts after the release of the torture memos and the congressional panel's findings.

I can't say we got no useful information from "torture," because I don't know all the facts involving all the detained people who were subjected to the these techniques. (I have heard we got a whole bunch of noise in the process that went nowhere.)

And I can say that the torture "poster children" touted by previous office holders, including the director of the CIA, are substantially at odds with the new information.

If their prime examples are not true, it doesn't prove there was nothing of value obtained, but it does throw doubt on all of their claims.

Like when a witness is caught in a lie at a trial, the question now may be asked, "Tell me Mr. Tenat, is there any kind of gesture you make when you actually are telling the truth so we know when to believe you?"

As for LA, you can't really say my point of view amounts to "let 'en bomb it, I got my principles," unless we have a common set of agreed upon facts where the choice was "torture or let 'em bomb it."

Instead, we depart in this friendly debate from a common premise -- "sometimes you have to do what it takes." We disagree about facts, and our disagreement about facts reflects different media reports at different times and places.

As for the idea of "blaming America," I don't think its an either/or proposition.

Here, I'll go out on a limb - people who commit acts of terrorism on innocent civilians commit evil. They are usually ruthless. They have to be taken seriously. And our society will inevitably demand they be dealt with effectively in order to protect ourselves and our families.

I also think this torture stuff challenges our national ideals and our history. Its to be expected that people are upset at the government right now because they feel not only that those ideals have been compromised, but because they were lied to about it. Its not just Bush haters either, not any more.

When you talk about the deaths of US service people, keep in mind that one military interrogator who worked extensively in Iraq claims based on the interrogations he performs that a primary recruiting tool for the foreign Jihadists, many of whom targeted coalition forces with suicide bombs, was propaganda exploiting the reported abuses at Abu Gharib and GITMO. These "actual enemies" may have remained "potential enemies," but we handed their hearts and minds over to the bad guys.

Does that make us evil? Let someone else make that argument; its not mine.

My argument is that this policy was the product of fear and political calculation, that its results may have been substantially over sold, and that there is a good reason that many people who are trained to get reliable information from people for a living have opposed it as stupid.

Until we get to a situation in which we can agree the means are necessary to achieve the ends, we can't really debate the point you come back to -- whether they are justified by those ends.

cdh

Mike Sigman
05-27-2009, 02:20 PM
With all due respect Mike...As if you have an better command of the facts...;)

If you wish to believe what your government tells you about The Gulf of Tonkin Incident... WMD... One of the things I do know is how little civilians know about that actual facts, Hazen. I was in the Gulf of Tonkin when it went down. I had 2 buddies on the Turner Joy. I read CinCPacFleet intelligence lines every day. The difference between what was really happening and what the MSM in the US was reporting was incredible. What liberal people were being outraged about in the U.S. was astounding because usually the things they were having heart-attacks about never really happened. My suggestion is to get the facts and if you're going to react to something at least react to all the issues, not just the partisan ones.

Notice my humour about bombing L.A. Have you seen anyone on these threads say a word about "IF the EIT's saved lives in L.A., that's a good thing"? No. L.A. and terrorists are just reasons to hate Bush.

Notice my comment about Sandy Berger stealing and destroying documents prior to his 9/11 testimony. One of my favorite topics because it simply does not register among US-haters. Think about how someone like David Orange would have fits if Rumsfeld had stolen/destroyed documents in order to hide what Bush had done. Not a peep. In other words, there's no one of these complainers who's really worried about fair evaluation of anything, it's simply partisan politics disguised as some false concern for the U.S. What baloney.

WMD's? There have been indications from ex-KGB types, ex-Iraqis, from the 2 commission that officially investigated, etc., that something was shipped to Syria so they just don't know. Do you see any partisan Bush hater ever say "we don't know"? No. This is the sickness I was talking about. Instead of worrying so much about Bush (he's gone), you should be wondering why supposedly spiritual (Namaste, Bro!) Aikido types contain so many haters in the ranks. One thing I learned during my stint in the Haight, when I played a guitar in a small bar back in the late 60's, was that one of the most common phoney facades is that of the spiritual "love and peace" types. Things haven't changed and I'm still having my fun pulling their legs. ;) But hey.... I have a reputation for leg-pulling that I have to maintain.

Mike Sigman

David Orange
05-27-2009, 02:31 PM
...we need to separate our thoughts and feelings about the last administration and take a serious look at how we might actually gain an upper hand in this fight against fundamentalist Muslim terrorists.

I couldn't agree more.

Case in Point: A number of years ago, the Israeli government began a VERY EFFECTIVE program of targeted assassinations against the leadership of some terrorist groups who had been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks against its citizens. These organizations were so deeply damaged that they complained so loudly to the EU that this neutered organization began pressing the US until it caved-in and pressured Israel to stop what worked! Guess what? Citizens died again. The Gaza strip is governed by a terrorist organization.

Again, agreed, entirely. But Israel is sitting within its own borders and its enemies are infiltrating the country (or were) and firing rockets across its borders, coming across the border and grabbing Israelis and murdering them.

In our case, we allowed the terrorists to hit us very hard on 9/11, but pretty much everything that has happened since has been a debacle of stupidity, greed, arrogance and pride.

Now we are not talking about peoople coming into our land and attacking us. We're talking about us going into their land, and their people attacking ours on THEIR land. And Iraq had NOTHING to do with 9/11 or with the general jihad against the west. Saddam didn't want any jihad happening in Iraq, even if he paid for it to happen in Israel. The Iraqi people would be better off, the US economy and military would both be far better off and our strategic position in the middle east would be a thousand times better. We would have eliminated the Taliban completely and we could easily have kept Saddam contained.

The last administration began using drones and other means with a similar objective in mind. Luckily for us, the current administration has ramped this effort up quite a bit. The result is that the leadership of these organizations are a lot weaker, which makes it easier to conduct more effective operations against them.

That's true, too, but that whole situation would not even exist if we had not invaded Iraq. From a strong position in Afghanistan, we could have had tremendous influence on both Iraq and Iran. We could have developed some REAL intelligence networks all through al quaeda and the taliban and we could have resources better positioned throughout Iran. Bush's bumbling incompetence put paid to all those possibilities though. If Obama starts ramping up those efforts, he could build a very good network in the next eight years, but it won't be nearly as strong or as good as it would have been if we had not invaded Iraq.

I would like to see our country fight this genuine threat in an effective manner.

Me, too!

I cannot envision our nation acting like the Nazis, Serbia, Congo, Sudan..... Our citizens would not stand for this.

You and I would not, but there are a lot of people out there who would see it as a chance to make The Turner Diaries a reality. Which is how Bush got so much support for invading Iraq. I hate to use the comparison to the Nazis, but once we get further down the road from this, we will look back and will scarcely be able to believe how far we let Bush go. And we never really stopped him. He escaped. And all the people who backed him (maybe 13% of the US, now) intend to carry on their efforts to support Bush by doing all they can to tear down Obama. Which is why I get so involved in questions like these.

Mochizuki Sensei told me that, after WWII, he was teaching judo in France and at one seminar he had two big Germans. He said that after the classes, he was changing clothes when the Germans came in. They said to him, "We're sorry that Germany folded first and failed to support Japan through the rest of the war. We are sorry that happened." Then they stuck out their hands to shake his hand and said, "Next time, we will stay strong to the end!"

Mochizuki knew what the war had done both to his own country and to Germany, so he thought these guys were crazy.

But we have people like that all over the United States and they have not given up. We may be in a more dangerous time now, and facing more danger from within, now, than we were in at 9/11. That kind of thinking has to be discredited and denounced, lest it grow.

I do believe that our nation would stand behind a policy of doing whatever it takes to eliminate the threats.

Yes, we could, but only if we really went about it in the right way. Americans knew that Bush's negligence had allowed the 9/11 attacks, but they still rallied behind him when he spoke from Ground Zero. And they cheered him when we went into Afghanistan and drove out the Taliban.

What Americans expected at that point, and the action the would have supported wholeheartedly, was to clamp down on Afghanistan, eliminate the Taliban and the warlords, and bring real Justice to the poeople of Afghanistan--education for children, including girls, end of rape as a tool for dominating women, having real participatory elections. But what we soon saw was a corrupt government being set up, a back-pedalling from protections for women and the Bush administration's leaving the job half done to go and attack a country where no meaningful jihad was taking place. Americans saw that our leaders would abandon the goals we had signed on for and saw an endless stream of lies to justify attacking Bush's personal enemy.

So even though Americans will wholly support the good fight against the terrorists and jihadis, they will just as quickly drop that support when they realize the leaders are not really pursuing that agenda, but are working on other aims entirely. Which is what happened with Iraq. That simply should never have happened and its another instance of corrupt leadership losing the support of the people. And the congressional election of 2006 and the Presidential election of 2008 shows what happens then.

Those extremists do respond to brute force, despite the rhetoric that says otherwise.

Yes, they do. But so do ordinary people, and when we kill families and children, through over-broad attacks directed from thousands of miles away, we lose the support of those ordinary people and they may even join up with our enemies. Bush was far too dull to appreciate that fact.

If that side knows that being captured means an unimaginable hellish way out of life, then let that be the message.

But if that message also contains the subtext that America will torture if it gets its hands on you, whether you are guilty or innocent, then we hurt ourselves. Who will people choose to support then? Us foreigners, with a different religion? Or their own local people, who share their religion? Ordinary people would not be able to tell so much difference between us and the Islamists. Their choice could be a flip of the coin. We have to be FAR better than the Islamists so that the ordinary people can see that difference and know that we will help them.

In many ways, we have been able to do that in Iraq, but we have been just as loud, jarring and threatening to ordinary people by our remote bombing and missiles and our torture of prisoners--some of whom were innocent.

We can extend a hand of peace to those who accept it. To those who want to hurt us, they always be looking over their backs and fear what we will do to them.

As long as we don't alienate the normal people we theoretically propose to help, I agree.

I would love to use that coward Cheney to practice enhanced interrogation methods. If that weasel does not believe that it is torture then lets ask him some tough questions. Personally, I call it interrogation by torture.

I'd like to see him and Sean Hannity get waterboarded and see how many false confessions each will make in five minutes. People will say anything you want them to say to get you to stop torturing them. It produces bad information and why go for that when the administration ignores the good intelligence it gets?

Best to you.

David

Marc Abrams
05-27-2009, 02:36 PM
A Democratically elected "Terrorist Organization" LOL Not so effective... The Bull Dozing of Private Homes... Keeping Gaza under siege...Isreali destruction of any and all Social Organizations...80% unemployment rate among Gazen Males due to the blockade...Isreali censorship of what happens inside Gaza...Gaza's condition and the Isreali Occupation as a huge terrorist recruitment tool.

Are you trying to say that Hamas is not a terrorist organization? Whereas I do not condone a fair amount of what Israel does, that does not equate with what Hamas, Islamic Jihad,... has done. Frankly speaking, if the Palestinians displayed half of the moral character that Israel had displayed, that region would actually be living under more peaceful conditions. Maybe you should try living next door to someone who has the goal of you total destruction. I think that your answers would be different.

Not so effective...Use of drones results in huge blowback with regard to civilian casulties resulting in the Pakistani Taliban proving to be a legimate contender against the Pakistiani Government in the minds of civilians...

I beg to disagree with you on that one. The drones have been VERY EFFECTIVE in taking out a lot of the leadership (among other things being and that have been done). The Pakistani Taliban have other larger reasons for challenging the Pakistani Government.

Your right brute force always works just ask the Soviets in Afganistan and Chechenya...

Afganhistan- No, Chechenya- yes. They have basically eliminated most of the threats in Chechenya.

Marc & Folks...I highly recommend this blog for those who are interested in how to actually fight and win a counter-insergency campaign.

http://smallwarsjournal.com/

It's a good place to bone up on the stuff we're discussing. :)

William Hazen

I would recommend the book "The Utility of Force"

Marc Abrams

Mike Sigman
05-27-2009, 02:38 PM
As I indicated, the information I related was based on mainstream news accounts after the release of the torture memos and the congressional panel's findings. Can you point me to something that say the EIT's didn't work, David, or are you just saying that "some people opine that it didn't work"? I read the news (from all over the world) pretty thoroughly and at most I've seen *speculation* that it wasn't necessary. Most of it comes off as Monday-morning quarterbacking, not actual facts. But if you have a source of facts that isn't just opinion, please post it.

I can't say we got no useful information from "torture," because I don't know all the facts involving all the detained people who were subjected to the these techniques. (I have heard we got a whole bunch of noise in the process that went nowhere.) OK... so that's an "I don't know". That's probably where most people are, even the ones who are defaming/slandering, wouldn't you say? And don't get me wrong... I tend to speak out against extremists from both the Left and Right. It's just the Aikido tends to have mostly Far Left leanings. I got tossed off a "Christian based" martial arts list, too. ;)

I also think this torture stuff challenges our national ideals and our history. I don't think so. Look at the crime rates in our large cities now, due to our "national ideals". Look at our economy as the result of the Subprime Mortgage Meldown, as it was originally called until that became politically embarrassing for the Dems. Look at how our media has taken to simply not reporting crime rates, educational problems, etc., in an effort to shape our "national ideals". Our "national ideals" are gone/changed. If our national ideals are to worry about people trying to kill us while nothing is said about the thousands of murders in the U.S., the killing of U.S. soldiers, or if our "national ideals" are to hate the U.S. military and spit on it, then those ideals are a fairly worthless red-herring to focus on.

Personally, if the mild abuse of waterboarding on someone intent on committing murder saved 3,000 lives in L.A., U.S. citizens, then I say it was worth it. Some people will disagree that the lives of those citizens was worth some imagined besmirching of "national ideals". In that case, I can only wish them and their families the same fate that they casually dismiss for U.S. citizens while focusing on hating a president who is now out of office.

FWIW

Mike

Aikibu
05-27-2009, 02:43 PM
One of the things I do know is how little civilians know about that actual facts, Hazen. I was in the Gulf of Tonkin when it went down. I had 2 buddies on the Turner Joy. I read CinCPacFleet intelligence lines every day. The difference between what was really happening and what the MSM in the US was reporting was incredible. What liberal people were being outraged about in the U.S. was astounding because usually the things they were having heart-attacks about never really happened. My suggestion is to get the facts and if you're going to react to something at least react to all the issues, not just the partisan ones. With all due respect Mike my entire Military Career all 16 years of it active and reserve was preimarely focused on the study Terrorism/Counter-Terrorism.

Here's one set of Non-MSM facts put together that seems to support and contradict your POV on the Tonkein Gulf.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Tonkin_Incident

Notice my humour about bombing L.A. Have you seen anyone on these threads say a word about "IF the EIT's saved lives in L.A., that's a good thing"? No. L.A. and terrorists are just reasons to hate Bush. I noticed your humor I also noticed your painting everything with the good ol Bush hater Liberal brush...I completely understand...It's all the 20% of the country who still believe Bush was a great President have left. ;)

Notice my comment about Sandy Berger stealing and destroying documents prior to his 9/11 testimony. One of my favorite topics because it simply does not register among US-haters. Think about how someone like David Orange would have fits if Rumsfeld had stolen/destroyed documents in order to hide what Bush had done. Not a peep. In other words, there's no one of these complainers who's really worried about fair evaluation of anything, it's simply partisan politics disguised as some false concern for the U.S. What baloney.

Another common conservative meme The good ol "Hey you think Rumsfeld was bad!!! You should see what Sandy Berger did!!!" LOL At thsi point why even discuss or debate this if everyone who dissents is a "USA Hater"

WMD's? There have been indications from ex-KGB types, ex-Iraqis, from the 2 commission that officially investigated, etc., that something was shipped to Syria so they just don't know. Do you see any partisan Bush hater ever say "we don't know"? No. This is the sickness I was talking about. Instead of worrying so much about Bush (he's gone),
Three commissons and to folks Bush personally appointed to find WMD's in Iraq found nothing to indicate anything on the scale Bush used to SELL the Iraq War...Those facts are undesputed and a matter of public record.

You should be wondering why supposedly spiritual (Namaste, Bro!) Aikido types contain so many haters in the ranks. One thing I learned during my stint in the Haight, when I played a guitar in a small bar back in the late 60's, was that one of the most common phoney facades is that of the spiritual "love and peace" types. Things haven't changed and I'm still having my fun pulling their legs. ;) But hey.... I have a reputation for leg-pulling that I have to maintain.

Mike Sigman

Your reputation remains intact. :)

C. David Henderson
05-27-2009, 02:45 PM
Notice my humour about bombing L.A. Have you seen anyone on these threads say a word about "IF the EIT's saved lives in L.A., that's a good thing"? No. L.A. and terrorists are just reasons to hate Bush.


Alright, fair is fair -- would you agree that "IF the EIT's DID NOT save lives in L.A., that's a bad thing; both because our government tortured people and because we were lied to about the results?"

You confess first, bra, and then I say Namaste.

Otherwise it is just leg pulling people you have put in the "partisan Bush hater" pot. :eek:

Mike Sigman
05-27-2009, 02:54 PM
With all due respect Mike my entire Military Career all 16 years of it active and reserve was preimarely focused on the study Terrorism/Counter-Terrorism.

Here's one set of Non-MSM facts put together that seems to support and contradict your POV on the Tonkein Gulf.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Tonkin_Incident

Er, I don't need "Wikipedia" as a factual source for anything, thanks. Do some research on Wikipedia and how many college professors now prohibit the use of Wikipedia as an unbiased source. Besides, I know more about the incident, people who have reported on it, people who have written books on it, the actual intercepted intelligence from the NVA, etc., than you do. My point was not the Gulf of Tonkin incident but the way you threw it out there as a proven case when you yourself don't really know what happened.
Another common conservative meme The good ol "Hey you think Rumsfeld was bad!!! You should see what Sandy Berger did!!!" LOL At thsi point why even discuss or debate this if everyone who dissents is a "USA Hater" That's odd... it's like you missed my invitation to comment on Berger. You changed the subject to something else. Seems to happen a lot. So you don't think Berger is worth discussing, do you?
Three commissons and to folks Bush personally appointed to find WMD's in Iraq found nothing to indicate anything on the scale Bush used to SELL the Iraq War...Those facts are undesputed and a matter of public record. If things were removed then nothing was found. Bush didn't "sell" anything that Clinton or others used as actionable intelligence, did he? Are you saying that Clinton lied when he said that Hussein had WMD's or was it just Bush. Your reputation remains intact. :) Really... don't worry about my reputation. Worry about other peoples'.

Mike Sigman

David Orange
05-27-2009, 03:00 PM
Notice my humour about bombing L.A. Have you seen anyone on these threads say a word about "IF the EIT's saved lives in L.A., that's a good thing"? No. L.A. and terrorists are just reasons to hate Bush.

Mike, you know perfectly well that you, I and anyone else on this board would ultimately confess to anything we were told to say if we were continually waterboarded for long enough. Not only is it questionable "IF" the torture worked but it's questionable, very, very questionable that the information could not have been gained in some other way.

Notice my comment about Sandy Berger stealing and destroying documents prior to his 9/11 testimony.

I didn't see that comment. How many people died because Berger lied? Bush's death toll is over 4000 Americans (maybe 30,000 or more horribly difigured, maimed and barely even alive) and probably somewhere over 100,000 Iraqi civilians. So you're going to have to give me something that outweighs that on Berger's side before it can move my attention from the Bush war crimes.

One of my favorite topics because it simply does not register among US-haters. Think about how someone like David Orange would have fits if Rumsfeld had stolen/destroyed documents in order to hide what Bush had done.

If it was to hide Bush getting oral sex, even from someone like that "hotmilitarystuds.com" guy, I wouldn't give a dook. I would think it was funny. But the cover-up for Bush covers bodies. What did Sandy Berger's actions do? But what can I expect from someone like you, who hates America and the President and wants the right-wingers and readers of The Turner Diaries to have rights in America? (see, Mike? It works both ways.)

In other words, there's no one of these complainers who's really worried about fair evaluation of anything, it's simply partisan politics disguised as some false concern for the U.S. What baloney.

Ah...right. Clinton got a BJ and Bush killed over 100,000 people after allowing terrorists to strike, although he had been warned....

Speaking of baloney, you could make a killing if you'd just put most of your posts between slices of bread and sell them down at the foundry at lunch time.

WMD's? There have been indications from ex-KGB types, ex-Iraqis, from the 2 commission that officially investigated, etc., that something was shipped to Syria so they just don't know.

Yeah, and since we don't know, that means Saddam HAD the WMDs. And since I don't know where you were last Saturday night, I think you may have been involved in that robbery in New Orleans.

Where do you get your logic, anyway? Out of MAD magazine?

Do you see any partisan Bush hater ever say "we don't know"?

I've said many times that Saddam may have sent chemicals or something to Syria. We definitely know he had some at some point because the US supplied him with all kinds of stuff when we were supporting him against Iran. The FACT is, there was never any reason to invade that stupid country and give up everything we had won in Afghanistan.

This is the sickness I was talking about. Instead of worrying so much about Bush (he's gone), you should be wondering why supposedly spiritual (Namaste, Bro!) Aikido types contain so many haters in the ranks.

Righteous anger is part of the human heart and Bush has earned the disgust of the entire free world and the laughter and hurled shoes of the rest.

One thing I learned during my stint in the Haight, when I played a guitar in a small bar back in the late 60's, was that one of the most common phoney facades is that of the spiritual "love and peace" types. Things haven't changed and I'm still having my fun pulling their legs. ;) But hey.... I have a reputation for leg-pulling that I have to maintain.

Another VERY common facade is the "I Love America" type whose comments very gradually describe something a lot closer to wartime Germany than anything we ever wanted for the US. More law and order, more prisons, more prisoners, yet our streets are filled with violence and every "biggest drug bust in history" is dwarfed by the next "biggest drug bust in history." You want America for the Americans, but your Republican culture warriors make damned sure that the border remains porous as a sponge here in this time of terrorist war. So we have less freedom than ever, more drugs and street violence than ever, more illegal aliens than ever (or we did until the economy crashed) and also the crime those aliens commit. This after eight years of near-total control of the US by Republicans.

So get real. Lie to yourself, but just remember we know when you're lying to us.:cool:

David

Mike Sigman
05-27-2009, 03:01 PM
Alright, fair is fair -- would you agree that "IF the EIT's DID NOT save lives in L.A., that's a bad thing; both because our government tortured people and because we were lied to about the results?" Well, if a plot to stop an attack on L.A. did not happen (EIT's or not), then someone lied and they should go to jail. Don't misunderstand my position. If they pin some crime on Bush, Cheney, or whoever, I think they should be punished and I'll be the first to say it publicly. If Clinton and Berger perjured themselves to cover a crime, they should go to jail, too, don't you think? I'm strictly equal opportunity.

On the other hand, if someone is smearing Bush's name or Obama's name using false assertions, that guy should get his due too, don't you agree. Look at the people wishing torture on Cheney, etc., on the forum. Let's wish them every harm they wish on others. ;)

You confess first, bra, and then I say Namaste. Please don't call me "bra". Just because my cup runneth over. ;)

Mike

C. David Henderson
05-27-2009, 03:05 PM
Mike,

Here is a quote from Wikipedia, drawing on references sources (the article is quite long). Not saying its the best place to get your news, but it covers what I had read in other sources, including many of those cited.

The person quoted, Ali Soufan, was the lead FBI interrogator in the case, who made these assertions in sworn testimony before Congress.

"Ali Soufan states that the assertion that traditional, rapport building interrogation methods were not working, and therefore harsher interrogation tactics were necessary to obtain actionable intelligence, was incorrect.[85][86] He further alleged that the claim Abu Zubaydah only revealed actionable intelligence after the harsher interrogation techniques were applied is also incorrect.[85][86] Ali Soufan said

It is inaccurate, however, to say that Abu Zubaydah had been uncooperative. Along with another F.B.I. agent, and with several C.I.A. officers present, I questioned him from March to June 2002, before the harsh techniques were introduced later in August. Under traditional interrogation methods, he provided us with important actionable intelligence. We discovered, for example, that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Abu Zubaydah also told us about Jose Padilla, the so-called dirty bomber. This experience fit what I had found throughout my counterterrorism career: traditional interrogation techniques are successful in identifying operatives, uncovering plots and saving lives.[85]

He also wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times

Defenders of these techniques have claimed that they got Abu Zubaydah to give up information leading to the capture of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a top aide to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and Mr. Padilla. This is false. The information that led to Mr. Shibh's capture came primarily from a different terrorist operative who was interviewed using traditional methods. As for Mr. Padilla, the dates just don't add up: the harsh techniques were approved in the memo of August 2002, Mr. Padilla had been arrested that May.[85]

Soufan is also quoted as saying "I was in the middle of this, and it's not true that these [aggressive] techniques were effective," he says. "We were able to get the information about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a couple of days. We didn't have to do any of this [torture]. We could have done this the right way."[86]"

The article also summarizes what was done to Abu Zubaida by the CIA, and discusses the lack of any interrogation experience by those using "EIT."

FWIW.

[If EIT did not save LA, would you agree it was a bad thing?]

regards,
cdh

David Orange
05-27-2009, 03:06 PM
Whereas I do not condone a fair amount of what Israel does, that does not equate with what Hamas, Islamic Jihad,... has done. Frankly speaking, if the Palestinians displayed half of the moral character that Israel had displayed, that region would actually be living under more peaceful conditions. Maybe you should try living next door to someone who has the goal of you total destruction. I think that your answers would be different.

I'm with you on that, too, Marc. Very few of those "Palsestinians" were actually in the region when the separation occured in 1947. Like Arafat, they came from Egypt, Jordan, Yemen and all kinds of places like that to claim the land. And of the ones who WERE there and lost something in the exchange, probably more Jews were forced out of Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc., at the same time. And note the mobility of Palestinians. They're all over Birmingham, all over New York, all over the US. They seem to have no trouble going anywhere they want in the world except Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen or anywhere else but next door to Israel. No matter what Israel gives up for peace, they get stones, suicide bombings and crude rockets in exchange. The palestinians get no sympathy from me.

David

David Orange
05-27-2009, 03:16 PM
Personally, if the mild abuse of waterboarding on someone intent on committing murder saved 3,000 lives in L.A., U.S. citizens, then I say it was worth it.

Sure, it would be worth it IF it saved those lives but there is no reason to believe TORTURE saved us anymore than there is reason to believe it was because I went there and witnessed to the terrorist, made him cry and got the information from his broken heart.

David has already posted information that the LA plot was thwarted BEFORE the subject was waterboarded. It was simply Bush/Cheney's preference, will and desire to order torture of human beings that caused the guy in question to be waterboarded. There is far more reason to suspect any information gained that way than there is to credit those methods with saving a dog on a common street.

Some people will disagree that the lives of those citizens was worth some imagined besmirching of "national ideals".

Mike, Mike, Mike. There you go again and again. We're going to have to start calling you Mike Strawman because you keep putting up this ridiculous "if/or" choice that's just not based on reality.

I know a guy who believes that the only reason Martians have not attacked us yet is because he plays a series of Led Zeppelin songs backward every night at 10:02 PM and then plays a Beatles album straight ahead. Otherwise, gee...who knows? Maybe the martians would attack us. That's the same argument you're using to support torture of human beings--many of whom were probably absolutely innocent, with no knowledge of any terrorists, and even the guilty of whom probably just said whatever they thought we wanted to hear.

In that case, I can only wish them and their families the same fate that they casually dismiss for U.S. citizens while focusing on hating a president who is now out of office.

Who has dismissed the citizens of LA or their lives?

Against your martian-repelling torture schemes, it just looks ridiculous.

David

David Orange
05-27-2009, 03:27 PM
Er, I don't need "Wikipedia" as a factual source for anything, thanks. Do some research on Wikipedia and how many college professors now prohibit the use of Wikipedia as an unbiased source.

I don't think many people consider Wikipedia a factual source but only as a quick jumping-off point for looking further. It's a good place to get a quick overview of a subject, but you have to look deeper to get information you can really trust.

But thinking of it that way, the Bush administration ran everything on a sort of Wikipedia basis. They could put any "facts" out that they wanted, framed up in a nice, coherent scenario, but they could also remove and change any part of the story that didn't work well. They could discount legitimate sources and spread their version of the truth so widely that few Americans would take the time to look further.

Besides, I know more about the incident, people who have reported on it, people who have written books on it, the actual intercepted intelligence from the NVA, etc., than you do. My point was not the Gulf of Tonkin incident but the way you threw it out there as a proven case when you yourself don't really know what happened.

I am completely satisfied that the government account of the "incident" was completely falsified. And if you tell me differently, I have to remember that you were the one circulating that false e-mail about Obama's orders in the pirate stand-off. Tonkin was forty years ago. It was an early "big lie" for America. I think that was exactly the point where we really started going wrong. And Bush just repeated the mistake on a huge level when he got the chance.

That's odd... it's like you missed my invitation to comment on Berger. You changed the subject to something else. Seems to happen a lot. So you don't think Berger is worth discussing, do you?

Your one-line references are hardly conducive to discussion of Sandy Berger. But maybe you've answered my questions about that in a post I haven't gotten to yet. I'd still like to know if Berger's actions resulted in the deaths of over 100,000 people, as Bush's did.

Really... don't worry about my reputation. Worry about other peoples'.

You were the one who brought up worry about your own reputation. In the last couple of days, you've really made me wonder about it, too. I'd say you should worry a bit more about yours and less about others'.

David

David Orange
05-27-2009, 03:32 PM
...if someone is smearing Bush's name or Obama's name using false assertions, that guy should get his due too, don't you agree.

Yes, Mike. You owe the President an apology for circulating that scurrilous, false e-mail.

Look at the people wishing torture on Cheney, etc., on the forum. Let's wish them every harm they wish on others.

Doesn't work that way, Mike. We wish Cheney to experience the same evil he ordered done to others. Why wish us to experience Cheney's evil just because we want him to experience the evil HE perpetrated on others? See, when you do that, you're just skipping the middle and wishing torture on people.

Popular among some people today, but not the mentally healthy ones.

David

Aikibu
05-27-2009, 04:47 PM
Are you trying to say that Hamas is not a terrorist organization? Whereas I do not condone a fair amount of what Israel does, that does not equate with what Hamas, Islamic Jihad,... has done. Frankly speaking, if the Palestinians displayed half of the moral character that Israel had displayed, that region would actually be living under more peaceful conditions. Maybe you should try living next door to someone who has the goal of you total destruction. I think that your answers would be different. Nope Marc... I am saying Hamas was elected...Frankly speaking If you consider it just a question of "Morality" Why not just utter some platitude like "Forgive them Lord they know not what do!" and be done with it. :)

I beg to disagree with you on that one. The drones have been VERY EFFECTIVE in taking out a lot of the leadership (among other things being and that have been done). The Pakistani Taliban have other larger reasons for challenging the Pakistani Government. Says who??? The U.S. Military??? If these drones have been so effective then why do we seem to be having so much trouble with Afganistan/Pakistan??? Don't get me wrong Drones are a great tool for Force Projection and the minimization of US and ALLIED casualites...and they do play have an important role but they can't win the war by themsleves ESPECIALLY an insurgency...

Afganhistan- No, Chechenya- yes. They have basically eliminated most of the threats in Chechenya. Nope they have not...What Putin did was bribe a Chechen Warlord in a similair action to the US "Sunni Awakening" The Chechen Insurgency is now underground and Russian Genocide continues. You don't hear about it because again the Chechen Nationalists have lost access to the MSM...The Russians like most Proto-Dictatorships have a huge advantage in controlling the media and the message getting to the outside world.

I would recommend the book "The Utility of Force"

Marc Abrams

I read it and while General Smith is very qualified on the subject The basis for his theories is some 40 years old....In this regard I am happy General David Patreaus retains Dr David Kilcullen as his primary advisor (and author of numerous articles on the "Small Wars Journal" website I mentioned). Dr. Kilcullen seems to have a much better handle on modern Islamic Insurgencies.

William Hazen

Marc Abrams
05-27-2009, 05:20 PM
Nope Marc... I am saying Hamas was elected...Frankly speaking If you consider it just a question of "Morality" Why not just utter some platitude like "Forgive them Lord they know not what do!" and be done with it. :)

Hitler was elected into office. It is obviously far deeper than issues of morality. Spend some time in Israel and the complexities become readily apparent.

Says who??? The U.S. Military??? If these drones have been so effective then why do we seem to be having so much trouble with Afganistan/Pakistan??? Don't get me wrong Drones are a great tool for Force Projection and the minimization of US and ALLIED casualites...and they do play have an important role but they can't win the war by themsleves ESPECIALLY an insurgency...

The drones had been effective in decimating the leadership. It is far easier to replace "cannon fodder" than a leader. That issue is far different than why we still have trouble in Afganistan and Pakistan. Of course they cannot win the war, but they are effective tools.

Nope they have not...What Putin did was bribe a Chechen Warlord in a similair action to the US "Sunni Awakening" The Chechen Insurgency is now underground and Russian Genocide continues. You don't hear about it because again the Chechen Nationalists have lost access to the MSM...The Russians like most Proto-Dictatorships have a huge advantage in controlling the media and the message getting to the outside world.

The Russians have no problems being ruthless. Long history of it. They have no problems going to any country in the world and kill people who cause them problems. Once again, this is not an issue of morality. War and morality never seem to make good bedfellows. The Chechen rebels have lost more than internet access. Russian does more than control the media. They will wipe out a family of someone involved with the rebels. Effective way of silencing a population while thinning out the perceived problems. I am in no way advocating this tactic and strategy, but am just pointing out that it is effective.

I read it and while General Smith is very qualified on the subject The basis for his theories is some 40 years old....In this regard I am happy General David Patreaus retains Dr David Kilcullen as his primary advisor (and author of numerous articles on the "Small Wars Journal" website I mentioned). Dr. Kilcullen seems to have a much better handle on modern Islamic Insurgencies.

William Hazen

I do not necessarily see General Smith's thinking as 40 years old. It is relevant today. The same strategies and tactics that worked in Iraq are not really working well in Afghanistan because of very different realities on the ground. Many good people are trying to find a new "formula" that works. Regardless of what strategy you choose to implement, the fundamental fact remains that you need to take out the leadership and cut off the finances of these organizations. It is harder to replace a good leader and to find new channels and venues for money movement than it is in convincing a person with no real future to sacrifice his/her life in order to provide the family with a financially better future. Unfortunately, those cultures breed a huge disconnect between the haves and have-nots. The have-nots are simply used as expedient ammo by those who have the resources.

Marc Abrams

Mike Sigman
05-27-2009, 05:23 PM
The person quoted, Ali Soufan, was the lead FBI interrogator in the case, who made these assertions in sworn testimony before Congress.
Ah.... I saw him on TV and I heard about his testimony. However, during the interview I saw, the commentator also mentioned that Ali Soufan's version of events was disputed by the FBI or CIA or something, so I didn't pay much attention. Let me look into it.

Mike

Don_Modesto
05-27-2009, 05:25 PM
"[T]he politically motivated show trial of Galileo brings credit to Galileo but not his accusers....an important lesson of history learned again over the last eight years—that those who would subvert justice by the use of torture to confirm their preconceptions, through the use of secret evidence and the convening of a tribunal which is little more than a kangaroo court, stand to be condemned by history’s judgment."

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2009/05/hbc-90005052

Don_Modesto
05-27-2009, 05:27 PM
"Matthew Alexander, author of How to Break a Terrorist, used non-torture methods of interrogation in Iraq with much success. In fact, one cooperative jihadist told him, 'I thought you would torture me, and when you didn’t, I decided that everything I was told about Americans was wrong. That’s why I decided to cooperate.'"

http://original.antiwar.com/paul/2009/05/25/hold-the-torturers-accountable/

Mike Sigman
05-27-2009, 05:45 PM
To David H.:

Well, pooh. There's not much specific about anything so I called a buddy of mine who's knowledgeable (because of his vocational contacts) with these things. The main reason there's not a ton of specific information I can find is because it's still classified, in the main. However, it's pointed out to me that all those CIA directors AND Dennis Blair, Obama's appointed "Intelligence Director" said: "Harsher interrogation techniques used on terrorist suspects yielded valuable information." The only dispute is whether they could have perhaps gotten the same info using softer techniques and over what period of time it would have taken. So it's a gamble with the lives of a lot of people in L.A. to say "well maybe...", isn't it? Then again, I doubt that the lives of people in L.A. mean much, in terms of today's world where lives are not as important as politics (yes, I know everyone gives lip-service, but on these political discussions, most of that "care" is bunkum, IMO).

So in short, we're back in another situation of "we don't know either way for sure", aren't we? I.e., I'm not ready to emote and wish harmful things on people with whom I politically disagree. ;)

Mike

Don_Modesto
05-27-2009, 05:50 PM
So a corrupt and unabashedly mendacious cabal of unscrupulous oilmen and women launch an aggressive war (crime against peace) (killing roughly 1.3 million) against a county which hadn't attacked us, but had been recommended by the Project for a New American Century and planned for by our military (another crime against peace).

Said interested parties enrich selves and transfer massive amounts of US treasure (and flesh-criminal murder according to Bugliosi) to war and it's corporate representatives, protect egregious war profiteers, neglect fighting men and women as regards equipment, mental and physical health, and campaign for similar war against Iran, another country which hasn’t attacked us.

Meanwhile, this chicken-hawk administration (stateside pseudo-service for one, 5 deferments for another) talks tough and mainstreams torture (war crime, and, systematized, crime against humanity), a practice losing us moral ground, enhancing recruitment for our enemies, and inevitably justified by the ticking-bomb fantasy despite clear evidence that it was invoked in the main as political CYA while professionals who actually get results (unlike well-nigh the whole of the 43rd administration) decry such brutality as counterproductive.

And now we’re to believe this documented serial-liar Cheney to the effect that secret memos will bear out the effectiveness of torture when the men actually there testify that results were gotten before torture, not after.

In times of our greatest peril, the Revolution and the Civil War, our leaders have eschewed such barbarity. Now, the mightiest nation ever to exist on this earth which single-handedly spends more on military than the rest of the world combined trembles before bronze-age camel-jockeys?!

What a nation of pussies we are.

C. David Henderson
05-27-2009, 05:50 PM
[T]he commentator also mentioned that Ali Soufan's version of events was disputed by the FBI or CIA or something, so I didn't pay much attention. Let me look into it.

Mike

The CIA does dispute his testimony, I believe. I think, however, they have more of a motive to lie than he does (and somebody here probably is lying).

Mr. Alexander's book (How to Break a Terrorist) is another good source of material on the view point of an experienced interrogator who rejects EIT.

Thanks for being open to taking a look; for the friendly debate; and for being an iconoclast.

cdh

C. David Henderson
05-27-2009, 05:55 PM
To David H.:

So in short, we're back in another situation of "we don't know either way for sure", aren't we? I.e., I'm not ready to emote and wish harmful things on people with whom I politically disagree. ;)

Mike

I think we agree on both those points.

David

Mike Sigman
05-27-2009, 06:09 PM
The CIA does dispute his testimony, I believe. I think, however, they have more of a motive to lie than he does (and somebody here probably is lying).
Hmmmmm.... is that a "think" supported by facts or a "think" supported by personal belief? Personally, I have a hard time understanding the 'hate America' culture that sprang out of the late 60's into a trendy populist idea, but I certainly see the CIA as in a very strange position (not that all members of the CIA have a monolithic position).

If you look back over time, the major leaks from the CIA come during the time of Republican presidents by a wide margin. National espionage secrets, dirt on Repub politicians are an indication that the CIA is staffed by a goodly number of essentially Democrats. For the last two presidential terms, the leaks have largely been anti-Bush (think of Joseph and Valerie Plame as an example... in an impartial CIA a Valerie Plame would not exist). So OK, the Repub was replaced with a more desireable (to the CIA inside the Beltway) with a Democrat. One of the first thing he does is release Top Secret memos that put the CIA in a bad light. Then he obliquely puts CIA members in jeopardy by not directly saying they would be beyond prosecution. So suddenly the CIA is aghast because it has learned the meaning of "be careful what you live for". So they're now leaking memos and info to discredit Nancy Pelosi and the Dems. All of this is interesting to watch, but my main thought is "how did we wind up with a political party named the CIA that tries to impose itself regardless of the elected officials?". You see what I mean. We have a CIA that has become a power unto itself and it's troubling.

Oh, well. Back to the humorous side of watching a bunch of "spiritual" Aikido types viciously attacking (enter the name of choice). ;)

Best.

Mike

C. David Henderson
05-27-2009, 08:23 PM
It is an "I think" based on a lawyer's instinct; no more, no less.

Not partisan.

You know the old saying -- A conservative is a liberal who just got mugged; a liberal is a conservative who just got indicted.

Me, I struggle to hold onto an ability not to reduce people to old sayings...

Regards,

cdh

Carsten Möllering
05-28-2009, 01:31 AM
Hi,

I'm a bit late ...

Then maybe the rest of the world shouldnt ask us for help anymore. How safe will they feel then.

It's just part of the propaganda of your conservative politicians and media to argue that "the rest of the world" asks the US for help.

The protest against the war in vietnam was very far reaching and had a deep influence on the development here in Europe.

In both - the first and the second Iraq war - there where services in nearly every church, where people prayed for the US not to go to war.

None of the governments that took part in the alliance continued in office.

You would be amazed if you could read European newspapers or if you could watch German TV. The reasons for going to war are not accepted over here at all. They are considered as lies.

And that - important to know - not only by some freaks or radicals but by a big majority including most of the conservatives.

Another point:

Torture, Guantanamo, secret jails of the CIA etc. shifted the US from being one of the good boys to being one of the bad guys in the eyes of the free world. It’s called crimes against humanity.

We had trials with that accusation because some German citizens have been kidnapped and tortured by the CIA.

Third:

In seminars at university or at school and even in our media the parallels between the proganda of the Bush administration and the Propaganda of the Nazis are pointed out.

Are you aware of those points?

And are you aware how much support Obama got on his trips to Europe? Because the people here hope he can change the foreign affairs of the US.

So all in all it’s the other way round:
The rest of the world asks the US not to go to war, not to torture, not to offend human rights. Not to be part of the problem but part of the solution.

Carsten

aikishrine
05-28-2009, 08:06 AM
Yeah, Hitler felt very safe when he had all those Jews and Gays and Gypsies under lock and key, and even safer once he'd gassed them. He also got a lot of hard work out of them before that.

If we want to be the Torture Nation, maybe the rest of the world will feel safer if we decline to help them.

It's not an "either/or" proposition, you know.

You'll be better off when you admit what you have advocated and how seriously sick it is.

David

Then move!!!!!!!!

HL1978
05-28-2009, 08:08 AM
I am curious as to why many western governments join the US in condemning the actions of others, but don't always take as much action as the US to follow through on those condemnations.

I am sure it has to do with self-interest, but why even support UN resolutions if they are an empty threat much of the time.

aikishrine
05-28-2009, 08:26 AM
Or we could just admit that, like the war in Iraq, torturing prisoners was the Bush administration's choice and its preference. Need or no need, it's their charcter. To say otherwise, anyway, is definitely a waste.

David

If you think that torture is a new tactic for us you are greatly mistaken. We have used it for decades. And agian i say to move, sinve you hate us so much. Your hatred makes me sick.

aikishrine
05-28-2009, 08:30 AM
Hi,

I'm a bit late ...

It's just part of the propaganda of your conservative politicians and media to argue that "the rest of the world" asks the US for help.

The protest against the war in vietnam was very far reaching and had a deep influence on the development here in Europe.

In both - the first and the second Iraq war - there where services in nearly every church, where people prayed for the US not to go to war.

None of the governments that took part in the alliance continued in office.

You would be amazed if you could read European newspapers or if you could watch German TV. The reasons for going to war are not accepted over here at all. They are considered as lies.

And that - important to know - not only by some freaks or radicals but by a big majority including most of the conservatives.

Another point:

Torture, Guantanamo, secret jails of the CIA etc. shifted the US from being one of the good boys to being one of the bad guys in the eyes of the free world. It's called crimes against humanity.

We had trials with that accusation because some German citizens have been kidnapped and tortured by the CIA.

Third:

In seminars at university or at school and even in our media the parallels between the proganda of the Bush administration and the Propaganda of the Nazis are pointed out.

Are you aware of those points?

And are you aware how much support Obama got on his trips to Europe? Because the people here hope he can change the foreign affairs of the US.

So all in all it's the other way round:
The rest of the world asks the US not to go to war, not to torture, not to offend human rights. Not to be part of the problem but part of the solution.

Carsten

I think when all is said and done you will find that Obama was a huge mistake. And go ask South Korea and Japan if they want us to help them out right now in regards to North korea.

lbb
05-28-2009, 08:44 AM
Then move!!!!!!!!

Ah yes, the ultimate answer to any political dissent in the United States. Well stated, Brian, that'll shut 'em up.

C. David Henderson
05-28-2009, 09:51 AM
I'm a bit amazed:
This is such a great Country that we've used torture for decades. Don't question this or you're at least unpatriotic if not worse.
This great Nation is founded on the ideal of personal freedom, but if you oppose through the exercise of your right to free speech the use of torture -- the ultimate negation of freedom -- you obviously hate the Country, and you should MOVE.

If I find these sentiments horrific (and I do), do I get to ask the person who genuinely believes and expresses them to MOVE, or should I learn to cope with my feelings in a different way?

Why is it I don't enjoy the privilege of arranging the world so I don't have to encounter unpleasant points of view (on an "Open Discussions" forum, no less)?

I invite all reasoned responses.

David Orange
05-28-2009, 01:08 PM
"Matthew Alexander, author of How to Break a Terrorist, used non-torture methods of interrogation in Iraq with much success. In fact, one cooperative jihadist told him, 'I thought you would torture me, and when you didn’t, I decided that everything I was told about Americans was wrong. That’s why I decided to cooperate.'"

Great points, Don. This post and the one about Galileo.

http://original.antiwar.com/paul/2009/05/25/hold-the-torturers-accountable/[/QUOTE]

You know, we did hold some people accountable for the tortures in Abu Grhaib. Charles Graner, a sergeant, acting on orders from above, was sentenced to ten years in prison. And Lynddie England was sentenced to three years.

So, by our own govenrment's definition, these acts were felonies. But why punish the lowliest of the low, who followed orders from Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Gonzalez?

Further, we hanged a number of Japanese as war criminals for waterboarding American troops. The death penalty for what Bush and Cheney feel was a good, moral thing to do.

That should seal the case for anyone but the far right-wingers just poo-poo it.

Sad state, indeed.

David

David Orange
05-28-2009, 01:17 PM
...So it's a gamble with the lives of a lot of people in L.A. to say "well maybe...", isn't it?

But it's still a gamble, even when you torture your victims. To eliminate the gamble, you have to eliminate anyone who could potentially do you harm. So we carpet bomb N Korea and Iran. And Pakistan. And Afghanistan. Yemen. Somalia.

Every day we fail to do that is to gamble with the lives of the people of LA, isn't it?

Kind of a dumb argument.

Then again, I doubt that the lives of people in L.A. mean much, in terms of today's world where lives are not as important as politics (yes, I know everyone gives lip-service, but on these political discussions, most of that "care" is bunkum, IMO).

But you know what? In reading all your posts, I get the general impression that you would pretty much just as soon flush all the sorry people in LA as look at them. So please, don't hold them up as your standard.

So in short, we're back in another situation of "we don't know either way for sure", aren't we?

If you think that, then it's utterly foolish not to go ahead and just preemptively eliminate all those little backward raghead countries that could possibly threaten us. It's all downrange. It's just a matter of how far you want to go with it. Bush Sr. stopped short of Baghdad but fools rush in where angels fear to go. Angels don't fear torture because they're sissies.They fear it because they know it is destructive to their own souls.

I.e., I'm not ready to emote and wish harmful things on people with whom I politically disagree.

That statement really rings hollow, Mike. As for calling for waterboarding Cheney, that's just wishing that he gets what he gives. You may wish the full weight of my own karma to come upon me and the full weight of my karma is all I expect. However, don't taint my nation with Dick Cheney's foul karma or Bush's either. We have more than enough sewage in the world, already.

May we all get our own karma as due.

David

David Orange
05-28-2009, 01:20 PM
So a corrupt and unabashedly mendacious cabal of unscrupulous oilmen and women launch an aggressive war (crime against peace) (killing roughly 1.3 million) against a county which hadn't attacked us, but had been recommended by the Project for a New American Century and planned for by our military (another crime against peace).

Don, have you seen the movie "W."?

That's really worth watching. Stone did a pretty good job with it even if a lot of people think he was too soft on Bush.

David

David Orange
05-28-2009, 01:27 PM
I have a hard time understanding the 'hate America' culture that sprang out of the late 60's into a trendy populist idea..."how did we wind up with a political party named the CIA that tries to impose itself regardless of the elected officials?". You see what I mean. We have a CIA that has become a power unto itself and it's troubling.

Gee, Mike, that's the main point of most of the people you love to call "America haters." Very few of us (whom you describe as such) do NOT hate America but hate the types who have brought shame and international disgrace to America. And those are mainly the CIA and republicans. Our fixing of the election of Diem in South Vietnam, bombing civilians ("The Quiet American"), murders of priests and nuns in South and Central America, all came from the CIA.

They bother you?

You're sounding like an America hater.

We don't hate America. We hate when fools use American authority and resources to damage America's reputation around the world.

David

Oh, well. Back to the humorous side of watching a bunch of "spiritual" Aikido types viciously attacking (enter the name of choice). ;)

Best.

Mike[/QUOTE]

David Orange
05-28-2009, 01:30 PM
Then move!!!!!!!!

The statement of a man with no vision or sense of options.

No thanks, Brian. I'm an American.

And so can you.

David

David Orange
05-28-2009, 01:32 PM
Then move!!!!!!!!

Too funny, Brian. But it's not I who needs to move.

You hate our current President and, apparently, the vast majority of Americans who rejected your backward thinking, so I think the thing is for YOU to move, isn't it?

I'm thinking you would fit well in...oh....maybe Khazakstan. Russia. Maybe Serbia.

Have fun. We Americans will remember you.

David

David Orange
05-28-2009, 01:52 PM
I am curious as to why many western governments join the US in condemning the actions of others, but don't always take as much action as the US to follow through on those condemnations.

Maybe, in the case of GW Bush, the rest of the world perceived that we were taking too much action and not enough consideration, with far too little understanding of the culture's we're attacking.

I had a gay couple as neighbors for awhile. Two middle-age chubby guys with their dogs.

Say I took a notion that one of those guys had looked at my child. Say I decided he had unhealthy interest in my child.

Likely, you would agree that the guy shouldn't be allowed around my child. But would you join me if I wanted to put on a ski mask and go visit him with a baseball bat? What if I told you I just wanted you to go over there with me, in our ski masks, and just frighten him? But then when we got there, I actually jumped on him and started beating him?

That is the way the world has perceived the Bush administration. Bush was a sociopathic idiot who was never able to "think" any problem through very far without getting hopelessly confused. He could understand slogans (in a way) and he could understand principles (sort of, in a very limited way, if they were very simple principles, like "you hit me, I'll hit you twice as hard" or something like "fool me twice....you....you..." [okay, even simple things, he didn't always really understand]).

But Bush had his agenda to invade Baghdad in place the day he went into the White House and the world could see that no matter what else, he was intent on killing Saddam Hussein. And I think there was also the sense about him that he had no moral limits. I certainly didn't support how much action he took and if literally millions of people in his own country felt that way about him, it's no wonder that the rest of the world would not want to go as far as he was willing to go.

I am sure it has to do with self-interest, but why even support UN resolutions if they are an empty threat much of the time.

And when UN resolutions are so often stacked in favor of terrorist nations or groups, as well. I think there are hundreds of UN sanctions against Israel but very, very few against the groups that attack them within their own borders.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
05-28-2009, 01:54 PM
If you think that torture is a new tactic for us you are greatly mistaken. We have used it for decades. And agian i say to move, sinve you hate us so much. Your hatred makes me sick.

Who is this "us" of whom you speak? Right-wing nuts? Yeah. KKKers? Yeah. Neo-nazis? Yeah.

Which are you?

David

David Orange
05-28-2009, 01:56 PM
I think when all is said and done you will find that Obama was a huge mistake.

Coming from a guy who hasn't noticed what a disaster Bush has been for the last eight years, I'm afraid your comment doesn't inspire much confidence, Brian.

Ron Tisdale
05-28-2009, 02:20 PM
Whoa...David...lighten up! :(

B,
R
Who is this "us" of whom you speak? Right-wing nuts? Yeah. KKKers? Yeah. Neo-nazis? Yeah.

Which are you?

David

David Orange
05-28-2009, 03:07 PM
Whoa...David...lighten up! :(

B,
R

Thanks, Ron. I've been trying.

But my last comment may need some explaining:

Brian Northrup wrote:
If you think that torture is a new tactic for us you are greatly mistaken. We have used it for decades. And agian i say to move, sinve you hate us so much. Your hatred makes me sick.

My reply meant that, yes, I do hate (severe) right-wingers. I do hate KKKers and I do hate neo-nazis.

Since Brian said "you hate us so much, I'm thinking he might belong to one of those groups. After all, I love America, so....

Best to you.

David

akiy
05-28-2009, 03:48 PM
Too much name-calling and other personal attacks in this thread.

Thread closed.

-- Jun