Archive for Tuesday, November 22, 2005

No justification

November 22, 2005


To the editor:

Would it be premature to prepare a medal, and an apology, for the first American - soldier, civilian, man, woman - to be tortured on the grounds that "you do it to us"? The present administration prides itself on its Christianity. Perhaps someone knowledgeable in the New Testament could figure out and tell the president Jesus' views on torturing one's enemies.

John Rosen,



bisky1 12 years, 5 months ago

what is getting your head chopped off? why is that not torture? why is panties on your head torture? time for a reality check there john, buddy.

blessed3x 12 years, 5 months ago

Agreed, bisky1, our soldiers and citizens are tortured all the time by the enemy, but if the liberals admitted this fact, they would have to take a stand against it which would lend credibility to our efforts to erradicate these muslim terrorists and that is walking the line too close to supporting Bush. I only fear that it will take a much more serious event than 9/11 to make some people realize the brink upon which we stand.

craigers 12 years, 5 months ago

I think I would rather have underwear on my head and be piled on top of other prisoners rather than having my head chopped off. I think their prisoners of war have been treated better than ours. By that I mean the ones the US possess have it better.

avhjmlk 12 years, 5 months ago

There is a difference between murder and torture. Getting your head chopped off after you've been taken hostage is kidnapping and murder. And, since it's not done in accordance with the rules of war, the people who commit these atrocities are eligible to be tried, convicted, and likely executed.

Torture is different, mainly because the object of torture isn't necessarily to kill the victim.

From Merriam-Webster online: "1 a : anguish of body or mind : AGONY b : something that causes agony or pain 2 : the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure 3 : distortion or overrefinement of a meaning or an argument :"

When people are tortured, it is meant to take them to the farthest extremes of suffering without killing them, usually as a way to try to make them give up information, or just to physically and emotionally destroy one's enemies (aka, the group to which the victim belongs).

No one, not the writer, not the Administration, and not those who are against the war, is saying that Americans who are beheaded have not been harmed. It's just not appropriate to label it as torture considering the structure of the Geneva Conventions and the rules of engagement.

Jamesaust 12 years, 5 months ago

"I think I would rather have underwear on my head..."

Oh no - for you I think the rectal probe/hypothermia technique apparently perfected by SEALs in Mosul.

Or perhaps the drowning just short of dying torture that takes all of 14 seconds, described in the CIA's own words here:

Or perhaps we'll be merciful and just beat you and hang you by your arms until you die from asphyxiation 45 minutes after you walk into the prison (oops, expected that to take up 45 DAYS of torture - real career buster for the amature torturer).

No, no, the lacy underwear torture is reserved for those who do not cheer on war crimes. And then, only for those in the secret CIA prisons that don't exist (apparently, even to the knowledge of the congressional "oversight" (!) committees).

Bruce Bertsch 12 years, 5 months ago

This is simple...Ask John McCain about torture and whether or not it should be used. He lived it, the rest of us are merely p'ing in the wind. Of course, the neo-cons won't like what he says, but thats tough.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

I agree. We need to immediately adopt all the techniques used by terrorists. We need an Office of Official Beheadings to make sure that they are maximally effective.

And instead of just dropping bombs from 50,000 ft., from now on, our pilots should be instructed to crash their aircraft into buildings. We'll promise them a spot in heaven with Ann Coulter-- I hear she's a virgin.

Jamesaust 12 years, 5 months ago

Gee, I wonder how much useful information we would get with torture? How do you tell the truth from the lies?

I don't know. You don't know. No one knows.

Hence, a problem (one of many) with torture. You end up being told what you want to hear. [Note: wasn't 'being told what you want to hear' a key flaw in pre-war intelligence?]

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 12 years, 5 months ago

Well, Pilgrim, what it gets the US in Iraq, where the majority of prisoners were detained for no particular reason other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it gets you an explanation of why the "insurgency" is not going away.

craigers 12 years, 5 months ago

It's not an anal probe!!!

It only takes 14 seconds for the near drowning thing? Wow. I guess the panic accelerates the process.

Jamesaust 12 years, 5 months ago

"A little sleep deprivation, a little humiliation, a little physical discomfort gets you ..."

This is true and is allowable under U.S. law for those not covered by the Geneva convention. That would be pretty much al-Qaeda detainees (as in, Guantanamo). No standard exists internationally for such non-state actors, certainly none that the U.S. has agreed to. Had the Administration stuck to this narrow but important exception, it would have been legally fine (although controversial).

W. has proclaimed that Geneva does apply in Iraq (safe move - if not Iraq then nowhere). NONE of those techniques should exist anywhere within its borders, let alone worse. Geneva disallows so much as sending detainees to bed without their supper. The presence of torture in Iraq proves the lie.

To accomplish this then one would not want to move the commander of Guantanamo to .... say.... Abu Ghraib with orders to 'shake things up.' It is important to remember that Abu Ghraib was used to house the mass of people being rounded up, of which in excess of 90% weren't guilty of so much as a traffic infraction.

It is astonishing how many generations of unquestioned policy the proponents of torture are willing to junk. It beggars all belief that this Administration would do so in a war characterized by a high need to win friends and allies to our cause.

wonderhorse 12 years, 5 months ago

I was submitted once to the tied up naked, lace panties on the head torture. I enjoyed it. Ah, those were the days.

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