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Abu Ghraib Redux

On Wednesday 16 February 2006, Australian public broadcaster SBS current affairs program DATELINE telecast a segment featuring 60 new photos of the torture inflicted on prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Be warned the images are graphic. Also check out Amnesty International's Flash Video on how Extrodinary Rendition touches us all.




Quicktime Video 11MB 13'11
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Comments

Man.

What is wrong with us?

I don't think this particular video has been posted on here (I haven't actually checked yet)...but has anyone seen the British soldiers beating the Iraqi kids? Fucked up.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=24...qi+beating

Haven't been here in a while. I like the new site!

This torture issue is truly a systemic issue and the U.S. is doing it's best to keep it under the radar - it won't stay there.

Norm, that video at You tube is loading reeeealy slowly. Can you post it to your own website?

Sravana

So, we're f*g up both detainees and our own people by allowing continued torture. I'm beginning to believe that vampires are real in a corporeal - not supernatural - world. The perpetuation of these horrific acts sucks the lifeblood out of both the victims and those who inflict humiliation, psychological and physical abuse, and death.

While the detainees may have their dignity intact, a look in the mirror after post-abuse would be painful, to say the least. On the other side, I do not know how the abusers could stand to see their reflections in the mirror. The person looking back has too many tales to tell. Both groups of people have been tortured psychologically, and those imprisoned also bear physical wounds and scars.

Suspend reality for a moment: Pretend that the war ends tomorrow. How do we expect all involved to participate in society? While I'm not into the "pity me,I'm a victim" M. O., I also don't see how you can expect soldiers, FBI agents, and physically tortured Muslims to just slip back into society and forget what has taken place in these prisons once we finally call off the dogs-literally and figuratively- in this bloody mess.

It's time for a strategy to end military and subversive covert action in the Middle East. Step 1 is to end torture - NOW. HONESTLY. Take the high road. It may seem long, but current actions can only make the road both longer and tougher to hoe. If our officials won't implement such a strategy, then it's time for citizens to take action and to start replacing the complacent jerks who claim we're on the right path. Look at the pictures - this is not NOT NOT the right path. Once the abuses have been cut off, the next steps involve holding the abusers - officers included - accountable, then handing back control of Iraq and Pakistan to their respective countries. Find the best damn olive branches available and develop a path or 10 toward resolving this tragic scenario.

Unfortunately, I'm probably preaching to the choir (for the most part) in this blog. Also unfortunately, I feel that many non-neo-cons are complacent in this country's relative prosperity and lack of relation to this war (lack of combat and casket pictures, tax cuts rather than hikes to foot the enormous war tab, remote locale of conflict). Organization, information, and lack of fear of being detained for a t-shirt or protest action are all needed in the opposition to the nastiness taking place.

This is not a comment on the entire military. Fortunately, there are many soldiers who do take the high road, and would never participate in the actions photographed. They may help end the abuse, but it is unrealistic to expect them to clean house on their own. Plus, those with non-prison missions have enough stress in their jobs and lives already. Let's have the civilian population do some work in ending the Mid-East conflict, something that would forecast a return home for those in uniform.

Sorry for the long post. It's easy to go on and on about the torture and ill-conceived military action. Certainly, this is a problem that begs our attention more than Cheney's hunting mishap and delayed public explanation.

done--

I guess it depends on your definition of "torture". I don't condone punching, kicking or striking a prisoner. But many of the photos you see are a combination of demonstrated humiliation and physical stress techniques that I don't consider torture. ie.. Being made to stand for hours with a hood over your head etc. It's hard for me to. How else are you going to gt answers?

What constitutes torture aside, what is it you suggest when standing for hours with a hood over your head etc doesn't get answers?

Hi Norm, great site

There are numerous techniques of coercion that I would put in the same category as standing for hours with a hood over your head, sleep deprivation etc, just tons of things you could do , that DONT include punching, hitting or striking someone. Right now they are being described as torture and I don’t think they are.

After they stood there for hours with a hood on and it doesn’t work? You try something else of the same ilk, you have them interrogated for hours on end by multiple people, make them uncomfortable, you just keep at it. Some people you will break, some you wont. I don;t consider any of that "torture"

I’d like to ask you, how would you handle a POW then?

How would I handle a POW? I would apply the Geneva conventions which include mental as well as physical torture and yes I do consider combinations of such things as sleep deprivation, stress positions, and playing loud music torture as does most of the world. It seems clear that such tactics would be banned by the convention.

Here is an article written by Jason Vest, government executive, concerning torture, and how it does not work, and how it corrupts the people who do the torturing. http://nationaljournal.com/about/njweekly/stories/2005/1119nj1.htm I am surprised that there aren't more people upset by this. How would we feel if our own soldiers were treated this way? Well, I am sure that we would all be outraged. But since it is happening to some possible terrorists, I guess that makes it ok. But these people are just SUSPECTS. That means that innocent people end up being tortured. And, yes, Stephen, the things that you mentioned are torture and are cruel and unusual punishment.

What kind of society have we become that this type of treatment barely raises an eyebrow? I cannot imagine what monsters the U.S. must look like to the rest of the world. :(( If the tables were turned, the U.S. would not be putting up with this, and I don't think that the Arab nations are going to put up with.

Norm, Be a little more specific, we capture a guy who is a memeber of a terrorist group, you ask him questions, he doesn't want to answer, what do you do specifically?

Do you think putting these guys in the lap of luxury would have a positive effect? We could feed them filet mignon, and fine wine with every meal, give them a luxury hotel room with a king sized bed, you name it, and they would not turn around and say “gee those Americans are nice fellows, why are we fighting” or “ man these guys are nice, I’m going to give them the information they desire” they would despise us even more for our weakness. I know you or anyone else isn;t sugesting that. But how would you gain information that they don't want to give?

Joann, I dodn't disagree with you on torture, i think it's wrong. I couldn't stomach doing it, if faced with it, they would have had to discharge me, I'd refuse. I just disagree with what the definition of torture is. Making guys stand there naked, sleep deprivation, many of the things cited as torture are almost on par with pledging for a frat.

"If the tables were turned" They have been! We've had our guys taken as POW's, they didn't deprived of sleep, or hoods put over their heads, they, they got their heads cut off on live tv, or their throats cut.

Yes, Stephen, and the people doing this are terrorists. But for the U.S. to condone this type of behavior? What if the beheading were state sponsored, say that Egypt or some other country were doing the beheadings? What then?

And the U.S. IS going after the terrorists. The Arabs will now be going after the U.S. even more. This type of behavior from the U.S. will serve to upset the Arab world even more and they WILL strike back even harder now as more people join the jihad out of anger. Is this what we want?

If I couldn't get it within the terms of the Geneva conventions I wouldn't get it. It is not unlike the problem you face when your torture mini doesn't get results. You don't find out. What do you do if the person in the stress position refuses to stay in the stress position? Or what if he refuses to stand, you up the ante and your torture mini turns into even torture you don't countenance.

"Yes, Stephen, and the people doing this are terrorists. But for the U.S. to condone this type of behavior? What if the beheading were state sponsored, say that Egypt or some other country were doing the beheadings? What then?"

But we aren't beheading people. And these "terrorist" are the people we are catching and depriving of sleep. As far as not wanting to do this stuff out of fear of upsetting the Arabs....haven't they been pissed off and attacking us for 20 years now? USS Cole, WTC I and II, Marine Barracks, Us. Embassies, Iranian hostages, all prior to us even doing anything like making them stay up for long hours.

Norm, I see your point, the whole "slippery slope" arguement. That line of thinking could be used to outlaw just about anything. If they refuse to stand, then you switch to something completely diffrent, and you keep trying and trying. Once you exahsted all meathods then hey, you face the fact that you just won't get the info. You don't hit them, kick them, slap them, anything like that. And I only think these meathods (sleep deprivation) should be used as a last resort. You try to build a rapport and trust first, but after days, weeks, a few months if it isn't working, you move on to these more drastic means.

Stephen says: "Do you think putting these guys in the lap of luxury would have a positive effect? We could feed them filet mignon, and fine wine with every meal, give them a luxury hotel room with a king sized bed, you name it"

YES! There is no doubt in my mind that it would have a positive effect. Treat them nicely, with respect. Give them a fair trial or let them go. Why should we deny constitutional protections (like due process) to anyone?

Near the end of WWII, some Germans fought like demons through the Soviets to get to where they could surrender to the Americans. Why? Because the Americans would treat them nicely and give them ice cream. The Soviets would beat, starve, or shoot them. Would you rather have been captured by the Red Army or by the GIs? Yeah me too.

If I knew I'd be chucked into a place like Abu Gharaib, I'd be inspired to fight to the death. I'd rather die on my feet than through torture. If people weren't terrorized by the idea of capture by the Americans, I think they would be more willing to help us. Tipsters give better intelligence than torture victims anyway.

Oh man... this. This filla you up with som much hate! And I had trouble trusting military from the get go.. Disarm the world and teach dumb fucking farmer-boys some common sense.

I feel I'm well-entitled to use such words in this situation.

To start with, you have to absorb the fact that the overwhelming majority of those people had nothing to tell. Even the military admits that the majority of people at Gitmo had no connections to the insurgency or Al Qaeda.

They were scooped out of crowds that gathered after bombings. Scooped at random. Many were given to them by local bounty hunters that were being paid large amounts of money for bringing in "suspicious" people. Most of those were simply kidnap victims, snatched because they were alone belonged to a different clan or village.

These poor bastards don't have anything to tell their torturers.

It is difficult not to conclude that being an Iraqi and a Muslim is a crime punishable by Inquisition methods.

When I was a small child, six or seven years old, I saw a Life magazine article about the conditions and practices employed at one of the Nazi concentration camps.

There were some ghastly line drawings. What little I could read of the article and the drawings had a very strong and lasting impression. At the time I was horrified beyond words. Bad dreams, the whole bit.

At the same time I was so angry, I couldn't wait to be 16 so I could quit school, join the army, and go fight those bastard Germans. I was a bit confused about whether or not the war was over. At seven, the Germans and Russians seemed to be the same.

The point is, that those images and what they said about the people that did those terrible things, filled my baby's heart with rage and a desire to "fight the bad guys", that is still there.

Imagine the effect this has on the people of the entire Mid East.

Think about what this behavior says about us. The US, "democracy", etc.

What we see here is the bald face of human evil and depravity. There is a terrible price for such terrible deeds.

Unfortunately, many who will pay that price will not deserve it. Many who do, will walk away, to die in bed, and be buried with honors.

The overwhelming majority of the victims of this state sanctioned sadism, were not and are not terrorists. However, you can bet everything you have, that we are creating future extremists among those that survive our barbarism.

And another thing. For those who would say that what I've said above is a good argument for suppression the photo's and information, I would strongly suggest that, in deed, it is a damned good argument for never going down this barbaric road.

You can't keep these things secret for ever. One way or another, it was going to come out.

And, American citizens, the ones who will foot the unimaginably large bill for this war, need to know.

We have a right have a right to know, to see, the results of the kind of thinking that is going on in the White House.

Keep these images in mind, when you think about the drastic consequences of sections of the so called Patriot Act, and secret wiretaps against the president's political enemies.

Time to respond: First, most of the detainees at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo and wherever else we're placing them are not confirmed terrorists. Second, an overwhelming part of the time, torture does NOT work. See the link below: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?040510fa_fact

Go to the 5th large section for comments on the effectiveness in garnering military/political intelligence through torture. The entire article describes the abuses in Abu Ghraib as well as who the perpetrators are.

The high road really is best. I implore all to seriously contemplate this. De-humanization can occur swiftly. Re-humanization almost always takes longer (epiphanies excepted).

Over and out. This one's shorter, at least.

Democracy now has a very interesting and informative interview with Professor Alfred McCay, a history professor who has long studied the CIA.

He wrote an important book, on CIA activities in the Golden Triangle, titled "The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia".

McCoy has studied the evolution of CIA interrogation technics from Vietnam until today. Some of his observations need to be thought about if you claim to have an informed opinion on the subject.

No matter which side of these arguments you are on, this interview is well worth your time.

Http://www.democracynow.org

Dated Reb.17,2006

That's Professor McCoy. "McCay" was a typo.

Thomas and Gypsy Sister, thank you for caring enough to take the time to post what you did.

Stephen said, "But we aren't beheading people. And these "terrorist" are the people we are catching and depriving of sleep."

Stephen, what kind of little game are you playing here? Are you being serious or just arguing for the sake of arguing? This is too important an issue to be playing games and acting cute. The U.S. Military is doing a lot more than depriving them of sleep.

No, Stephen, there is no evidence that the U.S. military is beheading them. I am not using the word "we", since not all of us approve of this barbaric behavior.

Didn't you watch the film, read any of the links provided, or listen to what anyone is saying?

When you watched that film, did you condone all of the things done to those men and women? Or was it ok, because you didn't witness anyone being beheaded? What is your threshold for behavior which you consider barbaric? Do you not believe that the Geneva Conventions should be enforced and followed? Should not the U.S. be a model for correct behavior?

Are you not aware that who you are calling "terrorists" are often just SUSPECTS?

Thanks for the support Jo Ann. The link to the Jason Vest article should be required reading - for everyone.

From the need for intel perspective: interrogators who get information from psychological or physical abuse need to ask themselves just how reliable that info is. Do you torture to cull good intel, or just because it satisfies some sadistic urge?

Joann, Yes I did read the links posted, and I listened to what people said. Did You? You ask: "When you watched that film, did you condone all of the things done to those men and women? Or was it ok, because you didn't witness anyone being beheaded?"

Which video are you talking about? The only one I see on this thread is the one at the top of the brits beating an iraqi kid, which I do consider inhumane

I think I have stated a few times in this thread, that I don't condone torture on moral grounds, and I agree 100% with the premise that in most cases it isn't the most effective tool for garnering information. I just disagree that SOME of the examples given are torure, such as sleep deprivation, long interrogations, being made to stand with a hood on your head, things like that. Anything where a POW is struck I do not condone.

Anytime I try to debate with you Joann there doesn't seem to be any middle ground. I basically agree with 75% of your arguement (torture is sadistic and uneffective), I just don't believe many examples given are torture.

Stephen, first you said, "After they stood there for hours with a hood on and it doesn’t work? You try something else of the same ilk, you have them interrogated for hours on end by multiple people, make them uncomfortable, you just keep at it. Some people you will break, some you wont. I don;t consider any of that "torture" Now you are saying "I basically agree with 75% of your arguement (torture is sadistic and uneffective)"

So it looks like you have changed your mind. Initially you were saying that torture was effective. At least you now can see that torture does not work. If only you could now understand that it is barbaric and against the Geneva Conventions to inflict sleep deprivation and to make a POW stand naked with a hood on and be forced to masturbate in front of the enemy.

The Geneva Conventions state that "No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind."

So you are arguing that the United States should ignore the Geneva Conventions. The attitude of too many Americans these days is that the U.S. is entitled to do anything it pleases and to hell with the rest of the world. To hell with the U.N. To hell with Geneva Conventions. The U.S. is heading down a very dangerous path and the rest of the world is looking upon in horror and shaking their heads. The U.S. has lost respect around the world.

Stephen, seriously, try standing with your arms extended in front of you, for 15 minuets. A full fifteen minutes. Try it with a hood on your head and remember that every time you stagger or drop your arms, someone is going to give you reason to put them back up or kick your butt off the ground, where you fell because of visual disorientation.

And remember, the prisoners don't go home after 15 minutes and they have zero control of the situation.

You will find that fifteen minutes are very, very long.

Now, let's do it for several hours.

The vid of the British soldiers was nothing compared to the stuff we are talking about.

Do have the courage and honesty to view the video interview with Prof. McCoy at Democracy now. It's only about 15 minutes long and he talks about the specific details of the techniques employed.

You will also discover that the USA is the only western nation that uses such techniques. Torture is outlawed by most nations. The US signed the international torture agreement but insisted upon using psychological torture methods that all the other signatories agree is serious torture. There is much medical evidence to back up that position.

If you maintain the idea that these methods are not torture, then check out the interview. Learn how these techniques were developed, and why.

Learn how a Canadian doctor, at McGill University discovered he could create a psychotic episode in a normal healthy person, in just 48 hours, without ever hitting or physically touching the person.

More important, learn why they worked so hard to develop such methods.

I am taking you at your word, that you do not believe such methods constitute torture. This interview and a little research on your own, will convince you otherwise, if you are sincere about your opposition to torture.

Joann, Please point out where I said torture is or was effective. I just read through all my posts, and I don't see it. I have only made 2 main agruements 1. I don't condone torture and recognize it's ineffectiveness , 2. I don't believe ALL of the exapmles given are torture.

thomasmccay, I understand how hard it can be, i went through bootcamp and other training, had to stand there doing similar things, my point is I agree with you there, and in no way think it is easy.

This pretty tough to debate in that I think the line is so thin between interrogation and torture. Making someone stand for long periods of time, long questioning periods? I think those are fine, as a last resort mind you, when you add something like as JoAnn mentioned above making someone masturbate, that crosses the line.

What is your refrence for stating that we are the only western nation that uses long interrogation periods, sleep deprivation etc?

"Joann, Please point out where I said torture is or was effective."

This sounds like you were saying torture was effective when you said: "After they stood there for hours with a hood on and it doesn’t work? You try something else of the same ilk

I don't think that your experience in boot camp compares to what these so-called detainees (humans/POWs) have had to endure. "Standing there" for hours with a hood on is torture. Have you ever had to "stand there" for 24 hours, naked, with a hood on your head in fear of your life because you were in the hands of enemy forces?

"and in no way think it is easy." No kidding. :(

Do the Geneva Conventions mean anything to you? You have not yet addressed this issue.

When you compare what we are talking about, to boot camp, it makes it pretty clear that you don't want to understand what is being talked about here. I went through basic training as well. Boot camp, as harsh and unpleasant as it was, was nothing compared to what is being talked about here. You either lack the will and imagination to understand or you are maintaining ignorace as a way to avoid the reality. Playing innocent.

Either way, this is a waste of time and energy.

Jo Ann, I wasn't comparing boot camp or other military training to their "torture" per se, (i see how it looked that way, it wasn't my intention) I was just saying that I've had to do similar things on a much smaller scale, so I have some unerstanding that it isn't easy, this was in response to thomasmccay who said I should try it for 15 minutes and who insinuated I thought it was some kind of cakewalk.

As far as me saying "torture is effective" You quote a sentence where I said we should do things that I DON'T consider torture to demonstrate that I have said torture is effective. You seem to be unable to comprehend the fact that you and I only disagree on what torture is, not rather it is effective or not, or if it is "right" to torture people. Either that or you can't give ground and admitt when you have made the slightest mistake or miscomprehended anything. C'mon JoAnn, it's not hard just say "my mistake, I took it the wrong way". C'mon just admitt that for once you are not 100% right.

As far as the Geneva Convention? Yes I believe in it. Where does it say that sleep deprevation and standing for long periods of time, and playing loud music is torture?

Thomas said, "Either way, this is a waste of time and energy. I agree.

yes, it's much more expediant, and less taxing to debate issues with people who think exactly like you do, makes you feel smarter anyway.

Stephen, you keep attacking me personally and have yet to address the issues. You are completely ignorant about the Geneva Conventions. You are ignorant about understanding that the sleep deprivation methods being used against the "detainees" are torture. You are ignorant about understanding that being made to wear a hood and stand for 24 hours naked before your captors is torture. You keep insisting that you just disagree with me about what torture is and that is the point. To quote you: "Making guys stand there naked, sleep deprivation, many of the things cited as torture are almost on par with pledging for a frat.".... Wow.. are you really this ignorant?

You are obviously incapable of understanding the point that I was making, so I guess that I will have to spell it out for you, since you are not capable of figuring it out on your own. You seem to think that since you do not consider something torture, that it is not torture. You seem to think that your experience in boot camp is all you need to understand this situation. You need to educate yourself. If you are insinuating that you are too clever for me to keep up with, don't flatter yourself. The reason that you keep attacking me personally is that you are incapable of debating the issues.

I will debate the issues with adults. You are just a smart ass little boy who is wasting my time.

JoAann, Attacking you personally.....where? Have I called you a any type of name, like "smartass litle boy", or said you were "ignorant"?, the only thing I have done is disagree with you, which judging from your response in this thread as well as other threads where we have debated, offends you a great deal. The only thing I have said about you personally is that you can't seem to give ground on the smallest of things. But I haven't insulted you personally.

"You are obviously incapable of understanding the point that I was making, so I guess that I will have to spell it out for you, since you are not capable of figuring it out on your own. You seem to think that since you do not consider something torture, that it is not torture."

OK....your point, is it torture because you believe it is? You seem to be agreeing with me here, that we disagree on what torture is, which I've pointed out to you a few times when you are saying I have said that torture is effective, and now you throw it back at me as if i'm too ignorant to understand my own argument.

"You seem to think that your experience in boot camp is all you need to understand this situation. You need to educate yourself."

Thomasmccay said to try holding your arms up etc for 15 minutes, just to get an idea of what it must be like. I clarified a couple of posts back that I had done things like that in boot camp and other training, and I see his point. I even specified that I in know way meant to compare the two, Jesus, even when people agree with someone you have a problem.

"If you are insinuating that you are too clever for me to keep up with, don't flatter yourself. The reason that you keep attacking me personally is that you are incapable of debating the issues."

rough day at the office? I have never insinuated anything close to that. You are the one who seems to be losing their cool instead of debating issues.

I addressed all the issues you brought up and you responded that it was a "waste of your time and energy". I didn't resort to name calling, you did.

If you could look back on this board you'd see that I have never called anyone a name or attacked them personally, despite being called various names, and being told "i hate people like you" and attacked personally on the few occasions I have disagreed with the prevalent (on this board anyway) way of thinking. I don't post anon, my real email is in my profile, i just like discussing issues, especially where we disagree.

"OK....your point, is it torture because you believe it is?"

NO

Nearly everyone has referred to the Geneva Convention for a definition of what torture is. You seem to have your own private definition derived it seems from Rush Limbaugh.

When the same point, in this case a definition of torture needs to be repeated over and over, your motives seem like not one looking for a rational discussion on the topic but a troll.

Trolls let me add are sooner or later denied the privilege of posting comments here. You are closer to sooner than later.

Norm, "Nearly everyone has referred to the Geneva Convention for a definition of what torture is. You seem to have your own private definition derived it seems from Rush Limbaugh."

Parts of the GC that are being quoted are in my opinion pretty ambiguous. Not everyone who doesn't believe EXACTLY as you do is some far rightwing nut who worships at the feet of Limbaug or O'Reilly. I bet you have seen more of their shows than I have, because I've probaly seen a total of 10 minutes of each of them.

So you are saying a troll is someone who comes on here and no matter how much you argue with them you can't seem to get them to come around to your way of thinking? So that makes them a troll?

To me a troll is someone who comes on insulting everyone, calling names, and generally being disruptive, and I haven't done anything close to that.

Ignore the fact that I probably agree with you on religion, gay marriage, the war in Iraq in general, and being pro choice, Go ahead and ban me for disagreeing with you on this one subject, that makes you no better than the far right wingers you love to hate.

You have a very entertaining site here, I've came on, and though I have disagreed at times with people I have respected the rules you set forth "criticize the idea not the person" or something to that effect. Meanwhile I've been called "asshole" and various other names, hey people act like that sometimes, I didn't make a big deal of it, and didn't escilate it by responding, just continued argueing ideas, but you never jumped in and threatened to ban them or take any issue with it, but now I get threatened with a ban for disagreeing.

You post links on here that take shots at the republicans for trying to squash disenting voices, and really that is common criticism you hear from "the left", and it's a valid one, but also hypocritical because you are trying to do the same thing. You beleive strongly in free speech, strongly in accepting peoples diffrences as long as they are in line with your way of thinking.

I had great repspect for you and your site, and tried to show that by not resorting to name calling and acting like a troll. If you decide to ban me, so be it. But I probably have less respect for you now than you have for me.

"Parts of the GC that are being quoted are in my opinion pretty ambiguous."

But that's not what you said, you said others just had opinions like you based on nothing more that their own perception of what torture is. Everyone gets it you think stress positions, sleep deprivation, waterboarding, loud music, use of dogs etc is not torture. I find that despicable. The question is not you having different opinions but that you mis-represent what others say. You create straw men and argue against those. That is what the trolling is. Whether you do it intentionally or just lack the cognitive skills necessary to carry on a reasonable dicussion I don't know. In either case you've demonstrated, at least on this topic that, that further discussion is pointless.

"Parts of the GC that are being quoted are in my opinion pretty ambiguous."

But that's not what you said, you said others just had opinions like you based on nothing more that their own perception of what torture is. Everyone gets it you think stress positions, sleep deprivation, waterboarding, loud music, use of dogs etc is not torture. I find that despicable.

I only gave my take on the GC, because I was asked about it directly by Joann, that wasn't what I was basing my arguements on, but after having you and her ask me directly about the GC, I said it was ambiguous. As far as you finding my views on sleep deprevation despicable, hey that's your right.

The point I don't get is "The question is not you having different opinions but that you mis-represent what others say" How did I do that? Really? These posts have been me answering questions on my beliefs, I'm the "disenter" so to speak, JoAnn is the one saying that I said "torture is effective", which I never said. I think both yours and her views are pretty straightforward, and in black and white, and do not need interpitation.

Stephen says: I guess it depends on your definition of "torture". But many of the photos you see are a combination of demonstrated humiliation and physical stress techniques that I don't consider torture. ie.. Being made to stand for hours with a hood over your head etc. It's hard for me to. How else are you going to gt answers?

Norm says: I would apply the Geneva conventions which include mental as well as physical torture and yes I do consider combinations of such things as sleep deprivation, stress positions, and playing loud music torture as does most of the world. It seems clear that such tactics would be banned by the convention.

Jo Ann says: The Geneva Conventions state that "No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind."

Stephen say: "As far as the Geneva Convention? Yes I believe in it. Where does it say that sleep deprivation and standing for long periods of time, and playing loud music is torture?"

Stephen does not understand that the methods he describes are unpleasant treatment, coercion and mental torture, and instead writes long paragraph after long paragraph debating with Jo Ann about how she won't admit that she is wrong about how Stephen thinks that torture is "uneffective" (sic), although she already said, "At least you now can see that torture does not work". Stephen is more concerned about having this silly little debate about himself and how no one wants to hear a "disenting" (sic) voice. He doesn't understand that no one has a problem with dissenting voices and they get it... Stephen thinks torture is ineffective, but disagrees as to what torture is.

Stephen says:

I just disagree with what the definition of torture is. Making guys stand there naked, sleep deprivation, many of the things cited as torture are almost on par with pledging for a frat.

The only other people who don't consider this torture are people who listen to Rush Limbaugh. So if you don't listen to him, then you somehow are echoing the sentiments of him and people of his ilk.

Re: Torture at Abu Ghraib Caller on Rush Limbaugh

CALLER: It was like a college fraternity prank that stacked up naked men

LIMBAUGH: Exactly. Exactly my point! This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation

Even Rumsfeld would agree that these methods are considered torture. His argument is that the "detainees" don't fall under the Geneva Conventions, because they are not POWs.

Really, you just enjoy debating and don't seem to give a damn about the very important issue of how the U.S. Military is treating POWs. This is not about you Stephen and your delight in debating with people you disagree with. This is about whether or not the U.S. is violating the Geneva Conventions. If you were ever captured and these methods which you dismiss so easily were applied to you, I have a notion that you might change your mind as to whether or not they are torture, and you would quickly discover that your frat house experiences and boot camp experiences were not enough to enable you to understand what torture really is and how to understand the Geneva Conventions. But you're too busy engaging in personalities rather than attempting to understand what everyone is talking about here.

I care JoAnn, otherwise I wouldn't join the debate. Just because I hold a diffrent view doesn't mean I don't care. I'm not even saying that all of the cases brought up aren't tourture.

I didn't make this about me or about personalities. Both you and thommasmccay did when you came off very arrongantly with your "waste of time and energy" comments, and then your personal attacks, Norm did when he threatened to ban me from the site. That is when I responded with all the "engaging in personalities".

As far as the whole boot camp thing. You and thomasmcay crack me up with the way you keep bringing that analagy up as if I said "I know how tough it is because I went through bootcamp" You keep trying to beat me over the head with it. Thommasmccay is the one who brought that up, HE said :

"Stephen, seriously, try standing with your arms extended in front of you, for 15 minuets. A full fifteen minutes"

All I did was agree with him and say I went through bootcamp and other training, and I see your point.

The frat party statement I regret making, I was aiming for sarcasm there. I do see some very disturbing things on many of these videos, it pisses me off that more higher ranking people haven't been called on the carpet for some of this behavior.

Anyway, I guess this has reached the point of beating a dead horse.

Stephen, I apologize for any personal attacks. I will try to be careful about that in the future.

it pisses me off that more higher ranking people haven't been called on the carpet for some of this behavior I agree,,,Don't faint ;)

Peace

JoAnn, At the risk of getting all sappy, and this turning into some bad afterschool special on how people who disagree can get along and find common ground. I realize I may have overreacted a bit, and gotten a little self righteous sounding, and I can see where a few of my statements may have came off as personal attacks as well, and I in no way meant it that way. I have disagreed with you on here quite a few times, but you have always came off to me as quite intelligent.

Jo Ann reads what Stephen just wrote and faints ;)

Thanks Stephen. After all of the words that we have exchanged, that was an incredible thing for you to say.

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