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Old 05-27-2009, 10:04 AM   #26
C. David Henderson
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Re: Terrorism, torture and US foreign policy

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
 
Old 05-27-2009, 10:22 AM   #27
David Orange
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
 
Old 05-27-2009, 10:26 AM   #28
Mike Sigman
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Re: Terrorism, torture and US foreign policy

Quote:
David Henderson wrote: View Post
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
 
Old 05-27-2009, 10:26 AM   #29
David Orange
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
 
Old 05-27-2009, 10:36 AM   #30
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: Terrorism, torture and US foreign policy

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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)
Not that this is the whole of the issue but an interesting comment on the zeitgeist (spirit of the times)

Josh
interesting discussion

Last edited by thisisnotreal : 05-27-2009 at 10:42 AM. Reason: procrastination
 
Old 05-27-2009, 10:37 AM   #31
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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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.

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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...

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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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
 
Old 05-27-2009, 10:40 AM   #32
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
 
Old 05-27-2009, 10:41 AM   #33
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
 
Old 05-27-2009, 10:43 AM   #34
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
(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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
 
Old 05-27-2009, 10:50 AM   #35
David Orange
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Re: Terrorism, torture and US foreign policy

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Brian Northrup wrote: View Post
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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
 
Old 05-27-2009, 11:04 AM   #36
C. David Henderson
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Re: Terrorism, torture and US foreign policy

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
 
Old 05-27-2009, 11:06 AM   #37
David Orange
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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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.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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....

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
 
Old 05-27-2009, 11:12 AM   #38
David Orange
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Re: Terrorism, torture and US foreign policy

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
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.

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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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
 
Old 05-27-2009, 11:17 AM   #39
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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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.
 
Old 05-27-2009, 11:22 AM   #40
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Re: Terrorism, torture and US foreign policy

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Old 05-27-2009, 11:29 AM   #41
David Orange
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Re: Terrorism, torture and US foreign policy

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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????

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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.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
 
Old 05-27-2009, 11:48 AM   #42
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 05-27-2009, 12:14 PM   #43
lbb
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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.
 
Old 05-27-2009, 12:16 PM   #44
Mike Sigman
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Re: Terrorism, torture and US foreign policy

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David Henderson wrote: View Post
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
 
Old 05-27-2009, 12:17 PM   #45
David Orange
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
 
Old 05-27-2009, 12:18 PM   #46
Mike Sigman
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
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
 
Old 05-27-2009, 12:26 PM   #47
MM
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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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
 
Old 05-27-2009, 12:34 PM   #48
Marc Abrams
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Re: Terrorism, torture and US foreign policy

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.
 
Old 05-27-2009, 12:39 PM   #49
Aikibu
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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
 
Old 05-27-2009, 12:43 PM   #50
David Orange
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Re: Terrorism, torture and US foreign policy

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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?

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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.

[quote=Mike Sigman;230934]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.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
...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.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
 

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