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Thread: torture

  1. #21
    Member Fuulie's Avatar
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    In my opinion, torture is never justifiable, and both mental and physical methods fall into that broad category. I don't like to see other people in pain, especially when it can be avoided. There's got to be a better way to get the information.

    Besides, it frequently produces false information or nonsense from the person being tortured, who just wants the paint to stop. Or at least that's what I've read in many studies (please correct me if I'm wrong- I'd like to know).

  2. #22
    Junior Member TheShadowKnows's Avatar
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    I am betting I am one of the few people on this forum who has actually water boarded someone. It is most definitely torture. I can elaborate, but it is basically the absolute panic and suffering of drowning without the release of death.

    Having said that. I believe in situational ethics. Torture is ineffective for gathering reliable intelligence. But, I never say never. I am sure most anyone can construct a scenario where they would accept torture as an acceptable sacrifice for the end they wish to achieve.

    I would hope that we can build checks and balances to ensure that only the highest levels of our government can make those decisions and that to do so they must risk loss of career and freedom if they are wrong. Accountability is key.

  3. #23
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    I'm leaning towards that in general: in circumstances of imminent danger, if a person is known to possess knowledge which if extracted could prevent the danger from occurring, then whatever is necessary is permissible. I recognize the impracticalities of torture--can produce bad info--but sometimes it does work. I think when torture is regularized, systematized, and not scrutinized, then there is a big problem. I do believe in vigorously making prison conditions unpleasant, though not through physical beatings or waterboarding. Redneck has a good point with the truth serum.

    Bottom line: I would not remorse its use in certain cases.
    Johari Nohari

    "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. "--Niccolo Machiavelli

  4. #24
    Member Felix's Avatar
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    I think the worst form of torture would be to induce someone to completely lose control of their thoughts and mind for a period of time. The damage done would be irreversible, and painful beyond anything.

  5. #25
    Senior Member millerm277's Avatar
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    As far as what we've done at Guantanamo and other places....no. It is not remotely justifiable. Will I say never? No. There are certainly circumstances where it has it's purpose. If a soldier in the field captures an enemy and needs his information right NOW, do what you need to do. However, they don't exactly need to be told that, nor does the government need to condone it.

    Unless we have some highly credible intelligence that someone has very time-critical information that is a major threat to national security, then torture should not be allowed under any circumstances in prisons and places of that sort. And even then, I still do not believe that it is a useful tactic, he can tell you false info as easily as true.
    I-95%, S-84%, T-89%, P-84%

  6. #26
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    If two sides have similar strength and resources, to not torture would be putting yourself at a disadvantage if your opponent isn't playing by the same rules.

  7. #27
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheShadowKnows View Post
    I am betting I am one of the few people on this forum who has actually water boarded someone. It is most definitely torture. I can elaborate, but it is basically the absolute panic and suffering of drowning without the release of death.

    Having said that. I believe in situational ethics. Torture is ineffective for gathering reliable intelligence. But, I never say never. I am sure most anyone can construct a scenario where they would accept torture as an acceptable sacrifice for the end they wish to achieve.

    I would hope that we can build checks and balances to ensure that only the highest levels of our government can make those decisions and that to do so they must risk loss of career and freedom if they are wrong. Accountability is key.
    Do you think we should change the Common Law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to accomodate this view?

  8. #28
    Junior Member TheShadowKnows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Do you think we should change the Common Law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to accomodate this view?
    If we could alter the law effectively it would require decisions to torture to be made by any one of say 10 top generals and executives in our government on a case by case basis with a clear signature on a memo specifying what can be done and why with copies of that order filed for future review, then it might make sense.

    The truth is that if you are someone who has abducted my child and I think you know where she is. I'm going to torture you (given the chance and access). It's going to be fundamentally wrong within our justice system but I am still going to do it. Because in my opinion the information and chance to save my child is worth it the ramifications of my actions (prison sentence etc.).

    Yet, I don't condone torture methods to be used by the state or police in the same situations. I might change my tune if it had to be someone's freedom and life on the line to make the call. The problem with government is that no one ever has their ass on the line.

  9. #29
    Perfect Gentleman! =D d@v3's Avatar
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    AQ targeted the U.S. because of Bin Laden. Why Bin Laden? Because during the Cold War, there was a war called the Soviet-Afghan war. During this war we (the U.S.) were indeed supporting the Mujahideen (in which anti-American Osama Bin Laden fought). Mujahideen fought against the Soviets (Red Army).

    After the war the Osama asserted he (the mujahideen) had single-handedly brought about the destruction of the Soviet Union and that the U.S. had nothing to do with it. Obviously this wasn't true, as the U.S. and allies gave weapons and intelligence support throughout the war.

    The thing that really ticked off Osama is that when the Soviets withdrew, the U.S. ceased to have interest in Afghanistan- leaving it in Civil War and not helping to rebuild or provide arms support.

    And here we are today... it's basically the same war, for the same reasons, only we are directly involved rather than indirectly.
    Freedom Isn't Free. [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #30
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Torture is proven to cause deep feelings of hatred and a need for revenge.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This is an excerpt from a paper I just turned in about Al Qaeda's formation, financial history, why they hate the U.S., etc. The main reference was a book titled "The Looming Tower"

    "III.Why is the U.S. a Target of Al Qaeda?
    Two early schools of thought that fueled AQ’s desire to target America for terrorist attacks are discussed below.

    A.Crimes Against Muslims and Islam
    One theory that America was targeted by Al Qaeda on 9/11 begins with the torture of Islamists in the prisons of Egypt (Wright, 61). Sayyid Qutb and his acolytes, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, purportedly acquired a deep desire for revenge after their torture (Wright, 60). Although the primary targets of Islamists wrath was Egypt’s secular government, some of the anger was channeled toward the West as it was seen as an enabler of the regime that committed the torture (Wright, 60). Torture of the Islamists in Egyptian prisons was thus transmogrified into the humiliation of all Islamic society, especially to young radicals (Wright, 60). Revenge against the West was no longer retribution, it was justice (Wright, 60)."

    REFERENCE:
    Wright, Lawrence. (2006). The Looming Tower - Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. New York: Vintage Books – A Division of Random House, Inc.
    If that was so, it's kind of ironic/senseless that they employ the same methods of torture that we used/condoned.

    I think torture techniques (starting with mild forms if adequate and only escalating into more extreme measures if absolutely necessary) can be of benefit in extracting important, crucial information, and obviously it depends on the situation and the severity of it. I also believe it should be done in a controlled environment as well as professionally (as ironic as that may sound). It is our natural reaction to go into a "fight or flight" state when under duress. What happens when you're unable to flee or fight? You're left on your will to survive. A majority of people will do/say anything in order to survive. I don't believe it's civil per se, but sometimes it's a necessary means to an end, IMO. Sometimes the route to justice hovers at the same level of viciousness as the actions of the transgressor. That's just the nature of the beast...

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