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June 19, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

MORE TORTURE....The latest whitewash of U.S. "interrogation techniques" aka torture has been released, and in it Brigadier General Richard Formica concluded that it was OK to hold prisoners in cells 4 feet high, 4 feet long and 20 inches wide for several days. Spencer Ackerman comments:

Here are two such questions you can puzzle over from your home or office. Take all the shelving out of a typical filing cabinet. (My own office cabinet happens to be slightly smaller than the cell described here.) Now lock yourself in it for two days. You may notice you can neither stand up straight nor lie down, and crouching gets really uncomfortable extremely fast. Remember that as an Iraqi detainee, the Geneva Conventions apply to you. Now ask yourself: Why would Formica consider such treatment "reasonable" for two days? And if someone put an American soldier in such conditions for two days or authorized doing so what should happen to that person?

I recommend posing those questions to Cliff May, who apparently thinks that even Saudi Arabian interrogation is too wussified these days.

Kevin Drum 5:32 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (210)

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Comments

Look, homos!

Posted by: Republican on June 19, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Why would Formica consider such treatment "reasonable" for two days?

Because the lives of many American soldiers were saved due to the information given by the terrorist during the interrogation. Why do you care about the lives of terrorists more than the lives of Americans?

And if someone put an American soldier in such conditions for two days or authorized doing so what should happen to that person?

American soldiers are good. Terrorists are evil. How can you draw a moral equivalence between Americans and terrorists?

Posted by: Al on June 19, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you, Al. Your check is in the mail. Heh-heh.

Posted by: George W. Bush on June 19, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Now lock yourself in it for two days. You may notice you can neither stand up straight nor lie down, and crouching gets really uncomfortable extremely fast.

OK, so sit.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 19, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. In "The Gulag Archipelago", Solzynitsyn goes into great detail about such cells---which were a favorite tool of Soviet interrogators. Same unable-to-crouch-or-kneel dimensions, same mutli-day lockups.

Posted by: Ben M on June 19, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

OK, so sit.
Posted by: Red State Mike

I'd bet YOUR ass is wider than twenty inches.

Posted by: someOtherClown on June 19, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin - Can I point out you post about abuses by our troops but you never find time to blog about successes?

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on June 19, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Ben M., a 4' x 4' x 20" cell gives plenty of room to sit in various positions, and to kneel on hands and knees, etc. Not saying it doesn't suck a monster root. But thou protests too much.

Just for kicks, I googled on airline seat sizes. Heh.

Coach seats on U.S. domestic flights are usually either 17.2 or 18 inches wide; on longer flights, economy-class seats on wide-bodied planes tend to be slightly larger, up to 18.5 inches. (A seat in an average economy car is 22 inches wide while an ordinary office chair measures 19 inches.) Boeing, which provides most of this countrys domestic fleets, claims that seat size has not shrunk over the years and in fact is not likely to change. What is changing is the other important dimension, what the airlines call pitch, the distance between rows. In coach, the industry standard is 31 to 32 inches from the back of one seat to the back of the one behind it. (Ed: so subtract the thickness of the seat to see how much space the airlines torture us with.)
Posted by: Red State Mike on June 19, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of shelving, can we shelve that crap about 'values voters'?

I grew up on a steady diet of "love one another" "obey the commandments" "do unto others..." "thou shalt not kill" "genocide, bad" "war, bad" "we are all God's children" "America is special because it believes in the Pursuit of Hapiness" "doing [insert nasty thing here] to people because of their race was a bad idea - but now we know and won't do it again" "nuclear weapons are retaliatory only - and even then a very bad thing" etc. etc. etc.

It's to our great shame that so much wickedness has come to be seen as acceptable. Though I fear that 'great shame' is the least we have to worry about for wrecking bedrock principles.

Posted by: Saam Barrager on June 19, 2006 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Now ask yourself: Why would Formica consider such treatment "reasonable" for two days? And if someone put an American soldier in such conditions for two days or authorized doing so what should happen to that person?

Now also ask yourself: say you were an Iraqi, and that the Americans arrested your brother or sister or son or daughter and kept them in those conditions for two days. What would you want to do to an American in return?

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

General Dick Formica?

Posted by: cld on June 19, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Kevin - Can I point out you post about abuses by our troops but you never find time to blog about successes?"

Frequency, don't complain about Kevin. Why don't you lay out a few successes for us to read.
We're very interested.
Please proofread them first.

We're all eyes.

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on June 19, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

What is Cliff May's military background, by the way?

Posted by: U.S. Grant on June 19, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Now also ask yourself: say you were an Iraqi, and that the Americans arrested your brother or sister or son or daughter and kept them in those conditions for two days. What would you want to do to an American in return?
Posted by: Stefan

Make them sit in Seat 29E???

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 19, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

Now also ask yourself: say you were an Iraqi, and that the Americans arrested your brother or sister or son or daughter and kept them in those conditions for two days. What would you want to do to an American in return?

Repay them with flowers and candy?

Just a guess I had from reading old administration talking points.

Posted by: trex on June 19, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

How come nobody ever seriously talks about the depth of moral depravity of the people who support such treatments of other human beings?

Posted by: nut on June 19, 2006 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

Coach seats on U.S. domestic flights are usually either 17.2 or 18 inches wide;

I don't know if you've flown much lately, but on most flights you're not kept chained to your seat and are actually allowed to get up, walk around, talk to your fellow passengers, read, watch a movie, make a phone call, use the bathroom, etc. (well, unless you're flying United, that is). Nor are most passengers beaten and/or tortured if they disobey (again, except United). I'm not sure the same conditions apply to Iraqis locked in these boxes.

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

nut
How come nobody ever seriously talks about the depth of moral depravity of the people who support such treatments of other human beings?

That's exactly what I think when I'm behind a guy who reclines his seat. What I wouldn't give for a 4' x 4' x 20" space then.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 19, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

"Formica" is Italian for ant. His name is Dick Ant. Or if you put his last name first, it would be Ant, Dick.

Posted by: gab on June 19, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

In WW2 we tried not to torture prisoners so that hopefully they would in turn treat US prisoners better and so that enemy soldiers would be more likely to surrender knowing that they would not be tortured. I guess neither of these policies merit consideration these days. What has become of us?

Posted by: Where's osama on June 19, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Mike's right, I'm sure the Iraqis in these tiny cells just piss themselves laughing when they realize the comic similarity of their plight to having to sit in a cramped airline seat for a few hours.

Particularly the one's who've been wrongly apprehended, that must just add to the hilarity of it all.

And then think about the lack of air conditioning or even air circulation in the Iraqi heat -- then it's like that episode where Bugs Bunny tricks Rocky the gangster into hiding in the oven.

ROTFLMAO!

Posted by: trex on June 19, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike

You are morally depraved. I am sure that you take that as a badge of honor.

Posted by: nut on June 19, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Can't anyone see that these terrorists are terrorists because nobody has ever taken the time to get to know them, or give them a hug?

Posted by: Liberal Strawman on June 19, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't we hear Al Qaeda called off the subway gassing because they realized their system could not work? So why is the National Review claiming torture stopped it? Oh wait - it's the National Review so I answered my own question. Never mind.

Posted by: pgl on June 19, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know if you've flown much lately, but on most flights you're not kept chained to your seat and are actually allowed to get up, walk around, talk to your fellow passengers, read, watch a movie, make a phone call, use the bathroom, etc. (well, unless you're flying United, that is).

In following the post, I see that they are allowed to leave their roomy box in order to use the bathroom. While if I'm in the window seat or (stick a knife in me and just end it) stuck in the middle of a wide body, I might just as well wet myself as attempt to claw my way out of the corner.

Nor are most passengers beaten and/or tortured if they disobey (again, except United). I'm not sure the same conditions apply to Iraqis locked in these boxes.

I don't think they are being beaten (but could be wrong). I think the torture is being in the box. Or stuck in the middle seat on a long flight next to someone I don't like. My kingdom for some solitary.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 19, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

So, just to check, none of the Republicans here would have a problem if American soldiers were confined in such conditions, correct? Wouldn't complain about it at all, right?

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Such treatment is not only unreasonable, it is potentially life-threatening. Sitting in such a confined space for two days without getting up and moving around might result in blood clots in the legs. This is known to happen on long flights which are far shorter than 48 hours. Perhaps someone in the medical profession could weigh in on the risk of DVT under these circumstances.

Posted by: thug on June 19, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

The equivalancy drawn between American soldiers and terrorists is sickening.

If terrorists want the protection of the Geneva Convention, then they have to meet the requirements of the convention, which would start with wearing a uniform recognizable at a distance. Until then, their only protection is Iraqi law, which appears not to have been broken.

Posted by: American Hawk on June 19, 2006 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike: While if I'm in the window seat or (stick a knife in me and just end it) stuck in the middle of a wide body, I might just as well wet myself as attempt to claw my way out of the corner.

Perhaps Yellow Stain Mike would be a more appropriate nickname, then?

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan
So, just to check, none of the Republicans here would have a problem if American soldiers were confined in such conditions, correct? Wouldn't complain about it at all, right?

Have a problem with it? When the day comes that our enemies raise their standards for treating our guys, that will be a wonderful thing.

Having been through SERE School I've received all of the interrogation methods that we use on them. We were always briefed that our methods are "kid gloves" and to expect far, far worse.

The down side to aggressive interrogations is it undercuts our our moral street cred and is corrosive to those who deal out the punishment.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 19, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

It's clear that judging by the tenor of most of these comments that the U.S. is a profoundly religious country and that most of its inhabitants abide by the humanitarian teachings of the religion(s) they subscribe to.

Of course, when the opportunity for an unprovoked war comes along we don't want anything to get in the way of having a good time while performing unacceptable actions on a people who had never done anything to provoke the U.S. Of course, by doing these kinds of things (the 4' x 4' x 20"" thing) we guarantee that we will provoke people who were previously unprovoked into doing things which will cause the U.S. in turn to modify the 4' x 4' x 20" thing into the 2' x 2' x 10" thing. And so on and so on.

It is clear that deep down in these kinds of people there is an unspoken anger coupled with an assumed right that permits Americans to go charging around the world with their clodhopping military might and (as a famous neocon put it - I forget exactly who) "periodically throw another country up against the wall for their own good".

I would like to see Red State Mike - and others like-minded - volunteer for service in Iraq and be subjected to the kind of treatment Kevin describes and to hear what his thoughts are then.

How about it?

Posted by: JB (not John Bolton) on June 19, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Italian for 'ant'!

That's so good I'm speechless. I was thinking about bulletproof countertops.

Posted by: cld on June 19, 2006 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

So what is the point here? It is after all pretty obvious that interogation techniques like these are pretty damned uncomfortable. That's pretty much how they work.

Either you don't think we should interogate prisoners such as these any more severely than one might expect as a citizen here in the U.S. at which point anything worse than a harsh talking too amounts to torture. Or you believe that we must interogate prisoners like these because the risks to our soldiers require it. It isn't pleasant to contemplate the details, but then little in war is.

The bottom line though is not that the information in the report tells us anything new nor can it really change anyone's views of the issue of interogation/torture. General Formica quite clearly believes that interogation is necessary. There is no "whitewash" of what happened, he simply does not share Kevin's going in assumption regarding interogation/torture.

Posted by: Hacksaw on June 19, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Cliff May is a tool and I can't help wondering why the likes of Donna Brazile keep appearing, civily, with him on programs like WJ yesterday. He's another shrill projectionist from "the right" and it's because they believe they ARE RIGHT that anything that is done to people who disagree with them is just fine!

Posted by: Dancer on June 19, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

Red State Mike,

Like the idiot you are, you conflate two different situations.

The 18 inch airline seat only provides 18 inches of support. It is not a constraint.

The 20 inch wide holding cell defines the limits of your movement. It is, indeed, a constraint.

They are not the same.

But, to wingnut mentality, it is okay to conflate two different things to make a "point",

No wonder you idiots have to cheat to win debates. and no wonder you mental midgets are afraid of scientists.

Posted by: Sky-Ho on June 19, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK
Just for kicks, I googled on airline seat sizes.

And yet, for some reason, your stats only have two dimensions; perhaps you have neglected the fact that airline seats -- which themselves can dangerous to sit in for extended periods of time without breaks, much shorter than days -- do, in fact, provide space in excess of four feet in the vertical direction, not to mention a supporting structure designed to make sitting, if not actually comfortable, remotely tolerable; that they are, in short, completely unlike a 4'x4'x20" box that people are forced to stay in for days at a time.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 19, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps Yellow Stain Mike would be a more appropriate nickname, then?
Posted by: Stefan

It's abbreviated to "Stefan"

Quitting time. I guess I'm the only one who found it mildly amusing that we pay for the privilege of sitting in a space for hours and hours that constitutes torture in other circles.

I would like to see Red State Mike - and others like-minded - volunteer for service in Iraq and be subjected to the kind of treatment Kevin describes and to hear what his thoughts are then.
How about it?
Posted by: JB (not John Bolton)

Great idea! In fact, been there twice (first gulf war and then Op South Watch). And you know how nicely they treated our guys shot down back then. A Marine friend of mine had both his legs broken with a metal pipe, to ensure he wouldn't escape. Air force bubba got to use the "talkman", where the put electrodes around his ears and "cranked up the volume."

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 19, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Al"American soldiers are good. Terrorists are evil. "Prove it.

Make sure you state your terms of relevance. Prove it for an American, for a Muslim, for an Arab, and for some other non-Middle Eastern and Non-North American nationality.

I do not expect any response, of course. You aren't capable of it.

Oh, and define good and evil.

Posted by: Rick B on June 19, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

The down side to aggressive interrogations is it undercuts our our moral street cred and is corrosive to those who deal out the punishment.

And, of course, the fact that it's evil.

But why should that bother Americans? If it was good enough for the Soviets it's good enough for us!

By the way, love how torture is now "aggressive interrogations" -- sort of like calling rape "aggressive lovemaking" and robbery "aggressive acquisition."

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Where's Osama,

That's easy. We fought and won WW II with a Democratic administration.

Now we have incompetent Republicans.

Posted by: Rick B on June 19, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK
The down side to aggressive interrogations is it undercuts our our moral street cred and is corrosive to those who deal out the punishment.

Interrogation and punishment are completely separate things; the downside to "aggressive interrogations" is that they have nothing to do with interrogation, and everything to do with punishment.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 19, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

And yet, for some reason, your stats only have two dimensions; perhaps you have neglected the fact that airline seats -- which themselves can dangerous to sit in for extended periods of time without breaks, much shorter than days -- do, in fact, provide space in excess of four feet in the vertical direction, not to mention a supporting structure designed to make sitting, if not actually comfortable, remotely tolerable; that they are, in short, completely unlike a 4'x4'x20" box that people are forced to stay in for days at a time.
Posted by: cmdicely

In a 4' x 4' x20" box, you can sit with legs bent, with legs straight out (unless *really tall*) kneel on hands and knees, lie on your back and straighten your legs out straight up or bent, do bicycle exercises, etc. I know this because I've spent time in one while in Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) training. It sucks, yes.

In an airline seat you are in a full body cast, essentially limited to squirming and crossing legs. Vertical height? Meaningless since you can't stand.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 19, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

Keep it up, wingnuts. It's funny how so many Republicans get hard-ons over torture, mutilation, murder, brutality, etc. Let's hear it for the Ted Bundy Party! (Bundy, after all, was an active Republican).

Posted by: Red on June 19, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK
How come nobody ever seriously talks about the depth of moral depravity of the people who support such treatments of other human beings?

Perhaps, vecause there are two types of audiences for those comments:

1) People to whom it need not be mentioned, and
2) People who are likewise depraved and incapable of seeing what is wrong.

In either case, its superfluous to mention it.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 19, 2006 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Have a problem with it? When the day comes that our enemies raise their standards for treating our guys, that will be a wonderful thing.

That's not the question -- the question isn't what the other side's moral failings are, the question is whether you think that this is appropriate treatment for captured American servicemen? Would you have any complaints if you knew your men were being held in these conditions?

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

Old story. US did this once before in VN, but back then they were secret and called tiger cages.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_cages

Posted by: C.U.Nicely on June 19, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

I really like how guys like Al, Red State Mike, American Squawk and others believe that all of this is just A-Okay because, hell, our enemies are WORSE!!!!!

So I guess we should just shut the fuck up until we become as bad as those we fight. Then--maybe--we can have some mild objections.

America: We're not as bad as the scum of the Earth. But we're working on it!

Posted by: Derelict on June 19, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK
In an airline seat you are in a full body cast, essentially limited to squirming and crossing legs.

An airline seat is not a "full body cast", or even remotely analogous to one. Its hard to tell, RSM, if you are really this completely insane, perhaps through being thoroughly propagandized, or if you are just utterly dishonest. I suspect its a mix of both.

Vertical height? Meaningless since you can't stand. The combination of vertical height and support is rather important, even without standing; there is a reason that variations on the chair, with room to sit upright and lower legs downward, are so ubiquitous across societies and cultures and times.


Posted by: cmdicely on June 19, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

That last part should be

Vertical height? Meaningless since you can't stand.

The combination of vertical height and support is rather important, even without standing; there is a reason that variations on the chair, with room to sit upright and lower legs downward, are so ubiquitous across societies and cultures and times.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 19, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

. . .the question is whether you think that this is appropriate treatment for captured American servicemen? Would you have any complaints if you knew your men were being held in these conditions?
Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

No, I'm not really all that comfortable that American Servicemen are being shot and blown up either. How they're being treated in captivity is a different issue.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 19, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

"I recommend posing those questions to Cliff May, who apparently thinks that even Saudi Arabian interrogation is too wussified these days."

At this point, Cliff May would probably argue that the GESTAPO's interrogation techniques were too wussified -- and half the guys at the National Review would back him up. The descent into fascism is never pretty.

Posted by: billmon on June 19, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Either you don't think we should interogate prisoners such as these any more severely than one might expect as a citizen here in the U.S. at which point anything worse than a harsh talking too amounts to torture.

I think we should interrogate prisoners exactly as permitted by the Geneva Convention, which is the law of the land and which prohibits torture.

Or you believe that we must interogate prisoners like these because the risks to our soldiers require it. It isn't pleasant to contemplate the details, but then little in war is.

We somehow managed to defeat the German Wehrmact and the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy, two of the three most fearsome fighting forces in the world at the time (the third being the Red Army) without resorting to torture. We didn't believe that the "risk to our soldiers" required torture, and yet we still won.

Yet now that we're facing a few thousand lightly-armed guerillas somehow we can't possibly win unless we behave like the Gestapo or the KGB -- a sad commentary to how far we've fallen.

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

General Dick Formicolonoscopy.

Posted by: cld on June 19, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

And you know how nicely they treated our guys shot down back then. A Marine friend of mine had both his legs broken with a metal pipe, to ensure he wouldn't escape. Air force bubba got to use the "talkman", where the put electrodes around his ears and "cranked up the volume."

Of course an Iraqi could now claim with a straight face that they had to interogate American prisoners like this because the risks to the Iraqi soldiers required it. It isn't pleasant to contemplate the details, but then little in war is.

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan-- You've never read the Geneva Convention, and you don't even know what the legal definition of a prisoner of war is. If you had, you wouldn't have made that post. At a minimum, google before you speak.

Posted by: American Hawk on June 19, 2006 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

If terrorists want the protection of the Geneva Convention, then they have to meet the requirements of the convention, which would start with wearing a uniform recognizable at a distance. Until then, their only protection is Iraqi law, which appears not to have been broken.

Flatly untrue and a complete and utter lie. The Geneva Conventions (of which both America and Iraq are signatories and which therefore apply to American forces in Iraq) provide that while nonprivileged or unlawful combatants cannot claim the same protections under interrogation as POWs, they are, like all detainees, protected from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as set out under international human rights law and customary international law.

Relevant international instruments include Article 75 of Protocol I, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention against Torture. For instance, Article 2 of the Convention against Torture, which the U.S. has ratified, states: "No exceptional circumstance whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture." Violation of Article 2 is a criminal offense of universal jurisdiction.

Geneva does not apply merely to uniformed soldiers. Persons not entitled to POW status, including so-called "unlawful combatants," are entitled to the protections provided under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. All detainees fall somewhere within the protections of these two Conventions; according to the authoritative Commentary to the Geneva Conventions of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC): "nobody in enemy hands can fall outside the law."


Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

General Dick Formicolostomybag.

Posted by: cld on June 19, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk,

"If terrorists want the protection of the Geneva Convention, then they have to meet the requirements of the convention, which would start with wearing a uniform recognizable at a distance."

Does that mean that US Special Forces personnel are not entitled to Geneva Convention protection when they're on missions in which they're not wearing a uniform recognizable at a distance? What about snipers trying to disguise themselves as a shrubbery - are they entitled to Geneva Convention protection?

Posted by: cactus on June 19, 2006 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

You've never read the Geneva Convention,

Odd, then, that I've written papers on it.

and you don't even know what the legal definition of a prisoner of war is.

Really? Could it be (i) members of the armed forces of a party to the conflict, (ii) members of militia forces forming part of those armed forces, and (iii) inhabitants of a non-occupied territory who take up arms openly to resist the invading forces, who have "fallen into the power of the enemy"? And could it be that the definition also applies to captured members of irregular forces who are under responsible command, have a fixed distinctive sign (such as an insignia, uniform or other marking) recognizable at a distance, carry arms openly, and conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war?

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

What unbelievable creeps these trolls are, defending torture. And they actually think it "works!" They are sub-human and certainly subAmerican.

Posted by: Edward Franze on June 19, 2006 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

At this point, Cliff May would probably argue that the GESTAPO's interrogation techniques were too wussified

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one. Geheime Staatspolizei=US marines.

BTW, I'm fine with the cell size as long as they are aligned towards Mecca.

Posted by: Al on June 19, 2006 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

We somehow managed to defeat the German Wehrmact and the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy, two of the three most fearsome fighting forces in the world at the time (the third being the Red Army) without resorting to torture.

Did we? How do you know? One thing we do know is that the Allies firebombed German and Japanese cities, and even nuked a couple of them, killing hundreds of thousands of people in the process, many of whom died slow and painful deaths from their injuries. Next to that, torturing a few captured spies doesn't seem like such a bad thing.

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

I should emphasize, once again, that one does not need to be a uniformed soldier to fall under the Geneva Convention protections. Article 4 of the Fourth Geneva Convention defines a "Protected person" as "those who, at a given moment and in any manner whatsoever, find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals" -- i.e. it applies to anyone not a POW held captive by the enemy.

Article 5 further provides that "where in occupied territory an individual protected person is detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power," (i.e, a terrorist or guerilla) "such persons shall nevertheless be treated with humanity and, in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed by the present Convention. They shall also be granted the full rights and privileges of a protected person under the present Convention at the earliest date consistent with security of State or Occupying Power"....

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

What about snipers trying to disguise themselves as a shrubbery - are they entitled to Geneva Convention protection?

What about two snipers who have disguised themselves as two shrubberies, one slightly higher, so you get the two-level effect with a little path?


Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

How come nobody ever seriously talks about the depth of moral depravity of the people who support such treatments of other human beings?

According to this poll, only a small minority of the public (32%) believes that torture of suspected terrorists is never justified. 15% think such torture is "often" justified, 31% believe it is "sometimes" justified, and 17% think it is "rarely" justified, for a total of 63% of Americans who believe torture of suspected terrorists is justified on some occasions.

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

What about two snipers who have disguised themselves as two shrubberies, one slightly higher, so you get the two-level effect with a little path?

Priceless!

Stefan should ask Kevin to pay him for making this blog a site to behold!

Posted by: nut on June 19, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Cheney;

Not only that, John Kerry used to have sex with Ho Chi Minh too, that dirty commie traitor. They used to spread out an American Flag and do it right on top of it, desecrating and soiling it with their disgusting bodily fluids, right there, in front of God and everybody. Sometimes they did threesomes with Jane Fonda too.

http://instapundit.com/archives/199403.php

If that's not proof that torture works, and we can't possibly free the world from the grip of terrorists without it, then I don't know what is.

Posted by: American Fuck on June 19, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Not only that, John Kerry used to have sex with Ho Chi Minh too, that dirty commie traitor. They used to spread out an American Flag and do it right on top of it, desecrating and soiling it with their disgusting bodily fluids, right there, in front of God and everybody. Sometimes they did threesomes with Jane Fonda too.

Is this available on DVD?

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

According to this poll, only a small minority of the public (32%) believes that torture of suspected terrorists is never justified. 15% think such torture is "often" justified, 31% believe it is "sometimes" justified, and 17% think it is "rarely" justified, for a total of 63% of Americans who believe torture of suspected terrorists is justified on some occasions.
Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

According to polls in 1491, 99% of people believed the world was flat.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 19, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

According to polls in 1491, 99% of people believed the world was flat.

I seriously doubt that.

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

This is nothing new, but something very very old. In medieval times, a cell that was too small to stand, sit or lie down in was known as the Little Ease. Only difference is that in medieval times, they were honest enough to admit the purpose was torture.

So if anyone is still unsure which direction the Bush administration is trying to take this country, you have your answer now. The Dark Ages, only with euphemisms.

Posted by: JoyceH on June 19, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Is this available on DVD?
Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

No, but Trey Parker and Matt Stone are working on a re-enactment with marionettes. (sorry for the use of a dirty french word).

Posted by: American Fuck on June 19, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

According to this poll, only a small minority of the public (32%) believes that torture of suspected terrorists is never justified. 15% think such torture is "often" justified, 31% believe it is "sometimes" justified, and 17% think it is "rarely" justified, for a total of 63% of Americans who believe torture of suspected terrorists is justified on some occasions.

GWB does not have the unqualified approval of even those who think that torture is often or sometimes justified!

On to the issue at hand, the questions of morality cannot be answered on the basis of polls.

Posted by: nut on June 19, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

GOP - "justified on some occasions"

Is that "justified because it works" or "justified because Americans - but not the other side - have the right to do it"?

Which is it?

Before you answer remember this: torture doesn't work - it gets you answers that the prisoner thinks you want to hear so that he can stop being tormented, which is not the same as useful information, not to mention the degradation of the torturer. Do you really want American troops to come home the worse off for their experience?

Posted by: JB (not John Bolton) on June 19, 2006 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

At this point, Cliff May would probably argue that the GESTAPO's interrogation techniques were too wussified -- and half the guys at the National Review would back him up.

You're missing the MO. They'd be bristling and yowling over being called 'Nazis' while pulling the lever on the 'shower' full of brown people.

Remember, we're the "good guys". God Mitt Uns!

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on June 19, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

GWB does not have the unqualified approval of even those who think that torture is often or sometimes justified!

Why would you expect him to?

On to the issue at hand, the questions of morality cannot be answered on the basis of polls.

I don't think questions of morality can be answered at all. But this poll does suggest that a majority of your fellow Americans (I'm assuming you're American yourself) are, in your opinion, morally depraved.

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

Upthread, Cheney said "even John McCain who opposes torture knows first hand that it works."

Are you implying that John McCain and the other tortured US POWs really did commit the 'war crimes' they confessed to under torture?

When you say that 'torture works', that depends on what you want to achieve. If you want valid information, we've already proven that false. If all you want is faked and coerced confessions for Soviet style show trials, torture works like a champ.

Posted by: JoyceH on June 19, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

torture doesn't work

But it does work! It gets all the would-be Gauleiters (RS Mike, Chuckles, Don Pissypants) all moist in the pants and eager to vote for whoever's keeping the brown man down on Election Day!

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on June 19, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

No, but Trey Parker and Matt Stone are working on a re-enactment with marionettes.

Actually, I just found it on Netflix. Commie Sympathizers Gone Wild! Volume 3.

Man, that Jane Fonda was a babe back then, wasn't she?

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Why does John McCain say that torture works then?
Posted by: Cheney on June 19, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Because he was tortured into saying it!

QED.

Posted by: American Fuck on June 19, 2006 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

One of the interesting themes runniing through so many of the responses here which seek ways to justify such treatment is the blanket assumption that "because they are a prisoner they are, ergo" therefore guilty of essentially everything and also holding information which must be obtained from them by torture."

Once you start wading through the many many instances in which those being held have been discovered to have been caught in a dragnet when they happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and/or turned over to authorities after they refused threats from Iraqi or Afghani warlords and thugs who told them, pay me a big bribe or I call you a terrorist....you realize that far too many of these folks are not or may not be terrorists.

The problem is, you need to try them in a court of law and allow evidence to be presented which can be judged as to its merits to find them guilty or innocent of the charges.

but instead, we simply throw them in a cell (or a filing cabinet sized space, say they are guilty because we say they are guilty, allow them no chance to confront accusers, little or no access to a lawyer, and do everything we can to avoid there ever getting a real trial.

This is what today, passes for the American brand of justice and democracy which we are supposedly trying to pitch to other nations as an exemplar of why we are superior to other countries which torture.

We are so afraid of using the rule of law that we have decided to abandon it in the name of preserving it. Kafkaesque indeed.

Posted by: dweb on June 19, 2006 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

Is that "justified because it works" or "justified because Americans - but not the other side - have the right to do it"? Which is it?

The poll question was: "Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified?"

As I said, a large majority, 63%, answered either "often," "sometimes," or "rarely."

Before you answer remember this: torture doesn't work

If "doesn't work" is supposed to mean something like "never produces correct information," that claim does not seem to be true.

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

But this poll does suggest that a majority of your fellow Americans (I'm assuming you're American yourself) are, in your opinion, morally depraved.

Not really. I would not put those who say that torture is rarely justfied in the same column.

In any case, my question pertained to treatments of this kind and not to torture in general.

No one knows how many of us support putting Iraqis in 4'X4'X20" cells, but the number may not be a majority of Americans. As a matter of fact, if you specify the details of specific acts of torture in polling the results may be quite surprising. Just my guess.

Posted by: nut on June 19, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

John McCain wrote in his book about the ACTUAL top secret information he was forced to reveal to the enemy - I don't care about the "war crimes" part.

Of course, if someone confessses both valuable and completely worthless information under torture there is no way to reliably know which is which -- in which case, therefore, the torture is worthless.

Assume, for example, you're a Gestapo thug trying to find where a cache of weapons is hidden, and you torture your captive to reveal where. First he screams out "it's at Point A" and then, later, after you've told him you don't believe him, "it's at Point B". Well -- which is it?

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

It's real simple. If you wouldn't want someone else to do it to our soldiers, then don't do it to them. Sure, some of these guys we have in custody are terrorists, but erring on the side of caution and humanity sure makes you look a hell of a lot better than the bad guys, which we certainly do not right now.

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe on June 19, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

John McCain wrote in his book about the ACTUAL top secret information he was forced to reveal to the enemy - I don't care about the "war crimes" part.
Posted by: Cheney on June 19, 2006 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

He also tossed George W Bush's hairy salad after the Bush campaign slammed him in 2000, spread rumors about his sanity, his black love-child, and his wife's drug problem.

I think that pretty much confirms that McCain is a closet sub, and will do anything for his Master, whether that's Ken Lay, Karl Rove, Ho Chi Minh, or Pat "2000 lbs" Robertson. Whoever's holding the riding crop.

You can't rely on all torture recipients having a submissive personality.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 19, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

As a matter of fact, if you specify the details of specific acts of torture in polling the results may be quite surprising. Just my guess.

What if, for example, you rephrased the question to say "Do you think the use of rape as torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified?" I doubt you'd hit 63% -- people's intrinsic sense of horror, shame and disgust wouldn't (hopefully) allow them to answer yes.

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan: "Of course, if someone confessses both valuable and completely worthless information under torture there is no way to reliably know which is which -- in which case, therefore, the torture is worthless."

Absolutely. The problem with torture is that the person will eventually tell you whatever you want to hear, whether or not it's true. That makes the information worse than useless; it's actively harmful if you take action on false information.

A while ago there was an article in the Post about how the Prince George's County police department had managed to coerce murder confessions from no less than FOUR innocent men using nothing more severe than sleep deprivation.

One fellow sat in prison for seven months awaiting trial for the murder of his wife while the real murderer went on to commit six more rapes.

Posted by: JoyceH on June 19, 2006 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

Of course, if someone confessses both valuable and completely worthless information under torture there is no way to reliably know which is which

Depends on the nature of the information. If it's independently verifiable, then obviously you can find out whether it's valuable or worthless.

Assume, for example, you're a Gestapo thug trying to find where a cache of weapons is hidden, and you torture your captive to reveal where. First he screams out "it's at Point A" and then, later, after you've told him you don't believe him, "it's at Point B". Well -- which is it?

Whichever one of them, if either, is where the weapons are actually hidden. Go to Point A and Point B and look.

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Torture posts really brings the trolls out...

Doesn't it?

It'd be interesting to go back and look at other torture posts and quantify troll appearances.

I suspect there is a definite correlation and that this speaks volumes about troll personalities.

In short:

They are mostly evil males who enjoy the thought of torturing enemies: both perceived and real. Not at all the sort of people you want to populate a country with...

Posted by: Bill "the cat torturer" Frist on June 19, 2006 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see if the two captured US troops in Iraq are held in boxes of that size, and then measure the reaction of the tr00ls and the wingnut blowhards. Or, y'know, if they're stripped and leashed, have dogs set upon them, or are made to stand on boxes with electrodes attached to their genitals.

Billmon's right: the slow collapse into fascism really is accompanied by the odor of shit.

Posted by: ahem on June 19, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Osama_been_forgotten,

According to polls in 1491, 99% of people believed the world was flat.

Hmmm. Dante's Commedia has a spherical Earth, and it was written about 175 years earlier. Mind you, some other details of the geography are rather hazy, but still . . .

Posted by: waterfowl on June 19, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Whichever one of them, if either, is where the weapons are actually hidden. Go to Point A and Point B and look.

Ah, but it's the beloved ticking time bomb scenario, and you only have time to go to one before they're carted away. Which is it?

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

What if, for example, you rephrased the question to say "Do you think the use of rape as torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified?" I doubt you'd hit 63% -- people's intrinsic sense of horror, shame and disgust wouldn't (hopefully) allow them to answer yes.

Well, who knows? It would be interesting to see a poll that asked that question specifically. Of course, even if someone believes that rape is never justified, they might not believe that of all forms of torture.

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

All those morally upright Americans who were so perturbed by a blowjob should definitely oppose such treatment of Iraqis.

Posted by: nut on June 19, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, but it's the beloved ticking time bomb scenario,

Your scenario involved a hidden cache of weapons, not a ticking time bomb.

and you only have time to go to one before they're carted away. Which is it?

How do you know when the weapons will be "carted away?"

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously, has Kevin Drum ever blogged about successes of the US military?

Posted by: Down goes Frazier on June 19, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously, has Kevin Drum ever blogged about successes of the US military?

He should be required by law to post a blog every hour that exhorts us all to clap harder. Way harder, so that the Iraq fiasco is transformed into an unqualified and glorious success. Write to your local Congressman and Senators to propose a bill to this effect.

Posted by: nut on June 19, 2006 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

I'm trying to understand the point of Ackerman's question, "if someone put an American soldier in such conditions for two days or authorized doing so what should happen to that person?"

Why should we care what should happen to such a person, when it won't happen to him? Our enemy has no scruples about treatment of prisoners or of innocent civilians. Unfortunately, kinder behavior on our part won't change that.

Furthermore, many who share Ackerman's view also want prompt US withdrawal from Iraq, even though that might result in 25 million Iraqis being be subject to far worse torture, just as they were for many years under Saddam.

I could understand a deeply religious person believing that her God probits certain behavior in all circumstances, regaredsless of consequences. I think Ackerman's viewpoint is pseudo-religious -- call it mrrogersism -- a simple application of the Golden Rule. It would be wonderful if being nice were all it took to fix the world's problems.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 19, 2006 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

If you had read McCain's book, I doubt you could say he was "submissive" at all - torture works nonetheless.
Posted by: Cheney on June 19, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

AF didn't say that. I did. And I didn't say he was "submissive". I said he was a closet sub. Soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside.

Hmmm. Dante's Commedia has a spherical Earth, and it was written about 175 years earlier. Mind you, some other details of the geography are rather hazy, but still . . .
Posted by: waterfowl on June 19, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

What Ever.

You can prove to someone empirically that the earth is round. Most people used to believe it was flat, until it was empirically proven to not be so. And still, many people - to this day, believe it to be flat.

And to this day, there are people who believe that torture provides reliable, actionable intelligence, and that because of that, the benefits outweigh the harms to the concepts human dignity and rights begun by the Magna Carta in 1215, and continued throughout history to the Bill of Rights, the Geneva Conventions, and beyond.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 19, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, then I guess "AF" is stealing your email address?
Posted by: Cheney on June 19, 2006 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, take it up with him. You already like to criticize his URL skills.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 19, 2006 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

I guess it's called riding "terrorist" class.

"..morally upright Americans.."

Well I can see a problem if one is morally upright. We need more "morally crouching" Americans.

Otherwise, I have always understood that terrorists, except for Bin Laden himself, are all two foot midgets. That is how they get under the metal detectors.

Posted by: Matt on June 19, 2006 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

Does the entirety of Republican sexuality revolve around sadism and the ultimate depravity of snuff? Can they not rub one out unless they ACTUALLY rub one out? Can they not choke the chicken without first choking the prisoner? Can they not bone their partner without boning the entire world?

For the love of god folks, give those detainees the safe word!

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on June 19, 2006 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

Why should we care what should happen to such a person, when it won't happen to him?

Why won't it happen to him? We could perhaps capture someone who treated an American captive in such a way -- after all, we've caught plenty of kidnappers in Iraq already. So then the questions remains, what should happen to him? Would you propose to punish him for treating an American captive that way, or would you tell the American to suck it up and stop being such a whiny cry-baby?

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Our enemy has no scruples about treatment of prisoners or of innocent civilians. Unfortunately, kinder behavior on our part won't change that.

So, because your enemy behaves badly you're justified in behaving equally as badly? That turns civilization into nothing more than a race to the bottom.

The point of "kinder behavior" isn't merely to make your enemy into living up to your standard (though it is, partly) -- the point of behaving morally is, quite simply, because it is the moral choice. Or, as Dr. King said, "The time is always right to do the right thing."

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

How do you know when the weapons will be "carted away?"

Because it's my scenario, of course.

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

The 'flat earth' theory was a triumph of theology over observation, maintained by religious types and their followers. Nowadays, Charlie longs for the days of the Mappa Mundi.

Posted by: ahem on June 19, 2006 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

The problem with torture is that the person will eventually tell you whatever you want to hear, whether or not it's true.

If he knows you want the truth and will probably keep torturing him if he tells you lies, don't you think that gives him a rather strong incentive to tell you the truth?

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

General Formica? Is he a cousin of General Confusion?

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on June 19, 2006 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Because it's my scenario, of course.

But how do you know in your scenario? Because another terrorist told you? Or what?

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

The hysteria of the right-wing trolls' responses reveals nothing more than the fact they know they are vulnerable on this issue and seek to drown out any kind of rejection of their belief that might makes right. They know that moderates (like me) read Kevin Drum and are influenced by his opinions. They also know this is a wedge issue, so they spew their sewage here to try to prevent minds being changed.

I've said before - I used to be a Republican and I'm proud of many things the Republican party has stood for in the past. I'm not a radical. I find most of the lefties here on PA to be childish and short-sighted. I support the centrist positions of the Democrats (not grandstanding blowhards like Feingold) because they are closest to my own values.

The issue that decided it for me, the straw that broke my Republican back, was Abu Ghraib. It made a mockery of everything America stands for and put the lie to George Bush's war. What happened there is wrong. Full stop.

Torture is anti-American. It is the opposite of what we are. People who support it and try to make some kind of virtue out of it are not just sick. They are unpatriotic.

fercryinoutloud

Posted by: fercryinoutloud on June 19, 2006 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney doesn't even care that he is subhuman and subAmerican. I suppose torture may work to get you to say something, but what? Why would you believe it to be true?

Posted by: Ace Franze on June 19, 2006 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

No, he is the cousin of General Linoleum.

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Torture is anti-American. It is the opposite of what we are.

According to the poll I cited, a substantial majority of Americans, 63%, believe that torture is justified on at least some occasions. Other polls have also found widespread support for the use of torture, at least sometimes, amoung Americans

So it does seem to be a part of "what we are."

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Since the Americans have thrown away the Geneva Conventions where "terrorists" are concerned, what incentive would there be for the people holding the two Americans Iraq to humanly treat their captives?

Since it is OK to torture Iraqi detainees wouldn't it likewise be OK to behead or otherwise torture the Americans now being held?

If your answer is "No, it is never OK to torture", then I'm afraid it is a little late to say such a thing. Since America has vocally proclaimed its right to torture (supported by the executive branch, upheld by the judicial branch, with no objections from the legislative branch) clearly no force opposed to the U.S. should be bound by the Geneva Conventions.

In my opinion, no one should ever, ever, ever, NOT live up to the Geneva Conventions . . . unless faced with a nation so evil that it has publicly said they are not beholden to the rules of engagement. In other words, the United States.

Posted by: Dicksknee on June 19, 2006 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

That the appropriateness of torture is even being debated is a measure of how far the country has sunk since this junta seized power.

Posted by: Rand Careaga on June 19, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Other polls have also found widespread support for the use of torture, at least sometimes, amoung Americans

So it does seem to be a part of "what we are."

Yep, just like religion and theism in particular.

Very persuasive.

Why, just a few months ago Cheney was arguing on religious beliefs that of should outlaw divorce and homosexuality.

Maybe you two could collaborate on that project.

Posted by: trex on June 19, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

fercryinoutloud
The hysteria of the right-wing trolls' responses reveals nothing more than the fact they know they are vulnerable on this issue and seek to drown out any kind of rejection of their belief that might makes right. They know that moderates (like me) read Kevin Drum and are influenced by his opinions. They also know this is a wedge issue, so they spew their sewage here to try to prevent minds being changed.

Blah-de-blah, blah...

Vulnerable? I think polls show most Americans agree roughly with the "trolletariat". Especially when you phrase the question in a concrete manner. If you caught someone who you knew knew where are two GIs are being held, would you be OK with heightened coercion? Or you knew they knew where a bomb in a subway was? This differs from the standard "toss him in the filing cabinet" blanket prescription.

Most Americans would recognize this as an ethical dilemma. It is a dilemma because it offers two "rights" (or two "wrongs" if you're a glass-half-empty kind of person). Who can argue it'd be nice not to torture? Or to avoid a catastrophic bomb blast that kills thousands? To blanket decide that it is *always* correct to not coerce no matter the situation (or to coerve no matter the situation, for that matter), is the chicken's way out. You avoid the hard decision by not making one.

I'm basically against mistreatment. As a pilot, I knew full well I was in for a world of shit if I got shot down and captured. And this was confirmed by how pilots were treated by Saddam. For that matter, the Iranians mistreated our Embassy personnel when they invaded our sovereign territory and took it over. Many's the discussion we had over what we'd do.

I also know guys who have returned from Iraq. And they'd capture someone who had been shooting at them with an AK-47 minuted before, and knew critical information that could save lives. The fact that abuse is few and far between (considering the huge number of encounters) is a testimony to their extraordianry discipline. No heads cut off, no drill holes through skulls and limbs.

Posted by: Red state mike on June 19, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

That the appropriateness of torture is even being debated is a measure of how far the country has sunk since this junta seized power.

Yes, the Bush Administr--sorry, I mean the Bush Junta--has been projecting its dastardly "N-Rays" into people's brains to convince them to support torture. If only Gore had been elected, Americans would of course be resolutely opposed to torture under all possible circumstances, as all right-thinking multi-cellular organisms are.

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

trex,

Very persuasive.

If you have some evidence contradicting the findings of the poll I cited, I'd love to see it.

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

dicksnee, are you honestly saying that Al Qaeda plays to the rules of engagement? And what would possibly make you think that those hostages will, or would be treated humanely. These are people of a belief system that shoot school children in the back as they run for their lives. And you want us to recognize Geneva Convention accords for these jihadists that represent no country, have no defined borders and kill innocent civilans at will? Please tell that to the voting public this fall.

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney--

No, I hadn't any particular attachment to the positions of A.M. Dershowitz. Honest. I'm not even opposed to the death penalty as such, although if I had anything to say in the matter its imposition would require a higher standard of proof than "reasonable doubt." But I do oppose torture, now and, say, 37 years ago (cf "Dan Mitrione," you appalling troll), and so would all but a vanishingly small minority of Americans before the present climate of ethical debauchery took hold.

Incidentally, Dick, I post under my real name, and am readily searchable. Et vous? Or are we a member of the 82nd Chairborne posting from an "undisclosed location?"

Posted by: Rand Careaga on June 19, 2006 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

There is no evidence that most Americans agree roughly with the trolletariat.

Posted by: nut on June 19, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Let's pursue a policy of torture based on some bullshit opinion poll, brilliant!

No wonder I'm nothing but a joke here.

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

If you have some evidence contradicting the findings of the poll I cited, I'd love to see it.

My point was just that if you're trying to base the soundness of your argument (torture is justified, or at least a "part of what we are") on what a majority of people believe, then to be consistent you need to apply that same logic when you argue about theistic beliefs. Applying your logic here to that case, since a majority of people believe in a personal god then that must make it "a part of what we are" -- the implication being that it is "OK" in some sense.

I have never argued to outlaw divorce.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2006_03/008388.php#842918

Posted by: trex on June 19, 2006 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

It is God's will that we torture these little savages who threaten our comfort. If we have to incinerate the entire non-Western world to maintain our way of life, then it shall be done with the approval of the Lord. I thank Jesus every day that unbelievers are being sent to perdition by our brave Christian soldiers.

Posted by: Republican Psycho on June 19, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, GOP, Jay, and Cheney posting all in a row.

It's a dumbass trifecta!

Posted by: I Love It on June 19, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Al Qaeda plays to the rules of engagement?"
says Jay

Troll-talk: "America is, or shouldn't be, any better than Al Qaeda. Or, at least, Republican America shouldn't."

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on June 19, 2006 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

I am placing bets on the trifecta!!!!!

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

American soldiers are good. Terrorists are evil. How can you draw a moral equivalence between Americans and terrorists?

Posted by: Al on June 19, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

The right wing moral equivalency test. You don't actually have to be proven a terrorist. Any "towel-head" will do. If they're not terrorists, no matter. No consequences. It's the same when you shoot them. What a simpleton.
==================

According to this poll, only a small minority of the public (32%) believes that torture of suspected terrorists is never justified. 15% think such torture is "often" justified, 31% believe it is "sometimes" justified, and 17% think it is "rarely" justified, for a total of 63% of Americans who believe torture of suspected terrorists is justified on some occasions.

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

What GOP meant to say is:
In the US, 1 in 3 recognise the moral issue and clearly decide for no torture, and another 17%, for a total of 49% (for you, GOP, that's pretty much half the people), think torture is "rarely" justified.

Amazing what a small minority is to a repugnut. Not, as someone pointed out, that morality can be polled. But it explains why the Repubs think they have a mandate with 51% of the vote. Heaven help the minorities.
======================

...that might result in 25 million Iraqis being be subject to far worse torture, just as they were for many years under Saddam....

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 19, 2006 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

Aha! There you have it then. We do torture but it is a better class of torture and less of it. Therefore acceptable. Must be nice to be able to partition morality so neatly.
===================================

nut --
this is for you. I don't think a discussion on this is superfluous. I think it goes to the heart of the issue. I particularly have a problem that many who support torture are "good Christians". The above shows how easily people lower themselves and justify depravity.

Unfortunately humans seem only too capable of this type behavior; men, women, all races and no matter how "civlized", in any age.

Sad commentary.

Posted by: notthere on June 19, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

Dear little Chuckles, our resident clown, wrote: "Why does John McCain say that torture works then?"

He doesn't. You're simply lying about his statements on torture, just as you were lying about Professor Dershowitz's views on torture. You've been called on it before, of course, but the truth never did mean much to you, any more than morality does. Some "Christian."

Posted by: PaulB on June 19, 2006 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

From the Globalsecurity.org web site and it's description of Operation Southern Watch.

"By early 2001 pilots had entered the southern "no-fly" zone in Iraq 153,000 times since 1992. Not one pilot has been lost. Between February 2000 and February 2001 allied pilots entered the zone 10,000 times. On 500 occasions, the Iraqis fixed radar on the jets or engaged them with anti-aircraft weapons."

No mention of downed pilots in this article or subsequent searches for "Operation Souther Watch downed pilots", just saying.

Posted by: bz on June 19, 2006 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

The terrorists believe they are actually FREEDOMFIGHTERS, and how does one know a freedom fighter has critical information?

The freedom fighters fight the invader and want the freedom to do in their country what they want to do, even have charia laws, according to their religion, like in freedom of religion.

How does Bush know they hate freedom?

Posted by: lysistrata on June 19, 2006 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

notthere,

What GOP meant to say is

No, what I meant to say is what I did say: According to the poll, a whopping 63% of Americans believe that torture of suspected terrorists is justified on some occasions. This includes 31% who believe torture is "sometimes" justified, and an additional 15% who think torture is "often" justified.

Not, as someone pointed out, that morality can be polled.

Moral beliefs can be polled just like any other beliefs. If you think you have discovered some way of verifying moral beliefs as "correct" or "incorrect," please present it. I'm sure a lot of people would be interested to see it.

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

Aha! There you have it then. We do torture but it is a better class of torture and less of it. Therefore acceptable. Must be nice to be able to partition morality so neatly.

No, it isn't nice at all. I don't know whether it's appropriate to put enemy into tiny cells. But, I'm unimpressed by those who think they can achieve a higher moral plain by focusing on only one small aspect of a situation, while ignoring the guts of it.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 19, 2006 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

What are the "guts of it"?

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on June 19, 2006 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

How does Bush know they hate freedom?
Posted by: lysistrata on June 19, 2006 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Easy.

He tortured them, and they confessed.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 19, 2006 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

Some of them might be guilty, but all of of them give vital information. Like the fictional subway attacks. Those could have been really important.
Just hard to know separate the chaff from the chaff developed from excrutiating torture techniques. Hey, it's not a war crime if you call them illegal combatants. Torture is in its last throes I hear.
Scary, amoral megalomaniacs in charge! This won't end well . . .

Posted by: Sparko on June 19, 2006 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

No, what I meant to say is what I did say: According to the poll, a whopping 63% of Americans believe that. . . .

. . . blah blah blah . . . antipodes. . . blah blah. . . wikipedia, blah blah. . . click my link. . . blah blah Posted by: Cheney on June 19, 2006 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney, you're an idiot.

Where's the wikipedia article demonstrating that torture works?

90% of Americans think NASCAR is good racing too. Doesn't make it so - that's my point. Good job going to extremes to distract from the actual topic which is: wingnuts are wrong, both morally and pragmatically, when it comes to torture. If that makes me an America hater, then so be it. Most Americans buy at Wal Mart, instead of favoring American products; thereby cannibalizing their own damn economy. Do they hate America too? All hail the brilliance of the masses and mob rule. Fucking dumb shit fuckwad.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 19, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

The equivalancy[sic} drawn between American soldiers and terrorists is sickening.

I don't know about that. Two American soldiers are their prisoners, according to the news. How should they be treated, according to you? And why?

Posted by: Bob M on June 19, 2006 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

Charley, the Cheney/GOP sock puppet trick is getting really, really old. The only thing lamer than your amorality and habitual trolling is not being honest enough to

1. Post under your own name

2. Post under one handle

Posted by: Marc on June 20, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

osama,

90% of Americans think NASCAR is good racing too. Doesn't make it so - that's my point.

Doesn't it? What does make "good racing," then? If it's a matter of taste or personal preference, why is one person's preference better or more valid than another's?

Morality is also like this. There are no objective criteria by which we can judge a moral claim (such as "torture is sometimes morally justified") to be true or false. All moral beliefs ultimately boil down to subjective preferences. They're not empirical facts. That's why the comparison to beliefs about the shape of the earth is just irrelevant.

Posted by: GOP on June 20, 2006 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

How should they be treated, according to you? And why?
Posted by: Bob M on June 19, 2006 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

They should be fed, protected, and released. But of course, you know that the beheading videos are going to be on the web within a week.

Why can't we demonstrate that we're better - that western liberal democracy is better? Instead, we kidnap detainee's wives and children and assrape them in front of them to supposedly make them "talk".

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 20, 2006 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

The claim that the prisoners in Iraq are "enemies" is not undisputed, so-called ex-liberal. Torture is a moral test, and you flunk. It isn't just that it doesn't work; it corrupts the entire system that it
is a part of. Claiming that you're the good guy means nothing unless you act like the good guy.

Posted by: Marc on June 20, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

So, because your enemy behaves badly you're justified in behaving equally as badly? That turns civilization into nothing more than a race to the bottom.

Not quite. I'd say, because the enemy behaves very badly indeed, we're not just justified, we're compelled, to behave effectively in defeating them. You may be right that we shouldn't put prisoners in tiny cells for 48 hours. Maybe the limit should be 24 hours. I don't know. My point is that this issue is small potatoes compared to the carnage going on right now in Iraq and compared to the potentially greater carnage that could ensue in Iraq and elsewhere if we don't succeed.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 20, 2006 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

Repubnuts will dismiss it but:

Al Gore on Charlie Rose, started with "An INconvenient Truth" but has moved on to other related topics. You can pull down the video free for 24 hours on the CR web site:

"...Invading Iraq is America's biggest strategic mistake ever...."

CR: "Do you think Bush knew he was going to invade Iraq before he was elected?"

AG: "No. Cheney hadn't told him yet...."

Priceless!

Posted by: notthere on June 20, 2006 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Marc,

Torture is a moral test, and you flunk.

If the NCR poll is a reasonably accurate reflection of the beliefs of most Americans on torture, you're the one who "flunks" the test.

Posted by: GOP on June 20, 2006 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

That isn't how morality works Charlie.
Can you explain why you post under two different names in the same thread, by the way?

Posted by: Marc on June 20, 2006 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

marc,

That isn't how morality works

How does morality work, then?

Posted by: GOP on June 20, 2006 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

You don't care about morality at all Charlie; you just care about scoring imaginary points against liberals. Sophistry is an old philosophical trick.

You don't determine right and wrong through polls. Even if you only care about "what most people believe", subjects where the answer changes drastically when the wording changes are not well tested by simple polls. Of course, I can look forward to your abandoning your longheld anti-abortion position because there is no such thing as morality, or because a majority of Americans oppose an unconditional ban on abortion.

On subject B:
Two computers, two handles Chuckles. It can be done. Your, um, style shines through both of those handles. Curious that both handles responded at the same time, isn't it?

Posted by: Marc on June 20, 2006 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

marc,

You don't determine right and wrong through polls.

How do you determine it, then? How may we determine whether the moral claim "torture is always wrong" is true or false, correct or incorrect?

Even if you only care about "what most people believe", subjects where the answer changes drastically when the wording changes are not well tested by simple polls.

I see no evidence that the answer changes drastically based on wording. In fact, an Associated Press poll on torture from December 2005 found a similarly high level of support for torture.

Posted by: GOP on June 20, 2006 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

GOP

I am bothered by your continued insistence that those who say that torture is only rarely justified somehow approve of torture.

I think it is either a misunderstanding on your part as to what rarely means, or you are being intentionally dishonest.

Take away the rares, and the reason for your enthusiasm on the basis of the poll immediately vanishes.

Posted by: nut on June 20, 2006 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

Moral beliefs can be polled just like any other beliefs....

Posted by: GOP on June 19, 2006 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

No, I said "morality can't be polled". It's a value in itself. Outside of a society there is no correctness standard of morals. They call it the law of the jungle but in fact animals rarely go to the excesses man is capapble of, and apes (and other animals) will ostracise aberrant behavior.

Let me try this on you.

Stealing another's property is defined as a crime. In our society (and all I know) it is a bad thing to do, frowned on, unacceptable. Stealing is despicable behavior, morally reprehensible. Because there are felons in our society doesn't mean it justifies retaliatory stealing; not from felons themselves or other members of our society. Nor does it make it right to steal from a Canadian or an Iraqi even though they have felons too.

In our society we don't allow torture, or cruel and unusual punishment. Not husbands on wives, parents on children, police on captives, or voters on politicians. It's not just legally but also morally unacceptable. We've signed international treaties for the same. We don't allow female circumcision although those people consider it part of their culture.

But it's OK to practice torture on any captives held by the US on hearsay evidence or for just being in the wrong place? The answer should be "no".

Now, is torture OK on a known terrorist? Why cross the moral line? The Israelis say they don't although I would argue they cross plenty of others. So where's the countervailing value?

No, I know you just don't get it. Just like your stats (32%=a small minority).

You know, just sign up for an ethics and morals class. I'm sure you'd get the greatest satisfaction frustrating the hell out of the lecturer. Oh...but wait...you'd have to pay for that and this is free.

But you have no intention of ever learning anything. Just wallow in your prejudices.

Posted by: notthere on June 20, 2006 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

Two separate IP addresses? Even I don't know how to do that.
Posted by: Cheney on June 20, 2006 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Start->Run cmd
ipconfig /release /all

Unless you're on a static IP.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 20, 2006 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

nut --
re GOP: he is intentionally dishonest -- after all he is a repubnut -- but the obtuseness is 100% natural.

Posted by: notthere on June 20, 2006 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

notthere,

No, I said "morality can't be polled". It's a value in itself. Outside of a society there is no correctness standard of morals.

The moral values of our society include the belief that torture is justified on some occasions.

In our society we don't allow torture,

We do allow torture in our society. And polling data indicates that a large majority of Americans believe that torture is justified on some occasions.

But it's OK to practice torture on any captives held by the US on hearsay evidence or for just being in the wrong place?

I don't think so. I haven't seen any evidence that most Americans believe that, either.

The answer should be "no".

How do you know what the answer "should" be?

Now, is torture OK on a known terrorist?

Depends on the circumstances.

Why cross the moral line?

To save lives, and to attain other important goals.

The Israelis say they don't although I would argue they cross plenty of others.

The Israelis have definitely practised torture, and almost certainly still do. Ditto for the U.S., Britain, France, and probably most other countries too.

No, I know you just don't get it. Just like your stats (32%=a small minority).

63% believe torture is justified on some occasions. That's a large majority.

Posted by: GOP on June 20, 2006 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

notthere,

In our society we don't allow torture, ... It's not just legally but also morally unacceptable.

Again, the poll found that:

15% of Americans believe torture of suspected terrorists is "often" justified.

An additional 31% of Americans believe torture of suspected terrorists is "sometimes" justified.

And an additional 17% of Americans believe torture of suspected terrorists is "rarely" justified.

You may believe that torture is "morally unacceptable," but fortunately you only speak for yourself, not for the American people.

Posted by: GOP on June 20, 2006 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

Cutting through all the changes of subject, I think the main point was that the report showed most of the accusations were baseless.

Posted by: milspec on June 20, 2006 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

Other interesting things Americans believe that we know from polling:

From a telephone sampling of more than 2,000 households, university researchers found that Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in sharing their vision of American society. Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.

Even though atheists are few in number, not formally organized and relatively hard to publicly identify, they are seen as a threat to the American way of life by a large portion of the American public. Atheists, who account for about 3 percent of the U.S. population, offer a glaring exception to the rule of increasing social tolerance over the last 30 years, says Penny Edgell, associate sociology professor and the studys lead researcher.

Since what most people believe is what matters I suggest we merge this with Americans' acceptance of torture and begin torturing atheists. Why not? Engaging in torture is just a personal preference, and most Americans already mistrust atheists anyway. Torturing atheists may very well bring us important information on how they've been planning to subvert society, and other important goals.

Just because some "innocent" atheists may be tortured doesn't mean we should give up trying to extract important information from the rest of them. If torturing atheists serves as nothing but an example of our willingness to do whatever it takes to protect society and therefore acts as a deterrent, then it is worth it.

Positive benefits to society will include a release of collective tension by providing a scapegoat for our troubles, a building of our national will to do whatever it takes to protect ourselves from our enemies, a purification of our culture from dangerous and corrosive non-religious taint, and a tightening of social bonds.

At least that's what I gather from some of the arguments on this thread.

Posted by: trex on June 20, 2006 at 1:42 AM | PERMALINK

GOP --
that's why you don't get it.
Walk next door and torture your neighbor. See how many think you are morally in the right. But it's OK on some faceless, nameless foreigner.

AND 32% say not at all, and 17% say rarely. You're on thin ice.

milspec --
unfortunarely the report was hardly exhaustive or comprehensive. That's a sad and bad reflection on the armed forces and its willingness to make sure there's conformity to code and law.

Posted by: notthere on June 20, 2006 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

Gack! This thread makes me want to wash out my eyes!

And the Republicans call Liberals moral relativists. (Situational Ethics, etc.)

But their true calling card - it's Good if America did it.

Posted by: MobiusKlein on June 20, 2006 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

The Israelis have definitely practised torture, and almost certainly still do. Ditto for the U.S., Britain, France, and probably most other countries too....

Posted by: GOP on June 20, 2006 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

Cites, evidence please.

Posted by: notthere on June 20, 2006 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

Any of you wise folk ever talk to a trained torturer ? They are around, you know - and the net is available. I forget where he posted them - likely on his own blog - but his opinions on torture are interesting. exMI at SomebodyShouldCareMaybeNotYou

Posted by: opit on June 20, 2006 at 4:27 AM | PERMALINK

O.K. The guy I'm thinking about is http://exmi.blogspot.com/ but I haven't located his comments on the utility of torture ( or not ).

Posted by: opit on June 20, 2006 at 4:48 AM | PERMALINK

MobiusKlein wrote:

And the Republicans call Liberals moral relativists. (Situational Ethics, etc.)

But their true calling card - it's Good if America did it.

Actually, the reverse is the case. LIBERALS true calling card - it's BAD if America did it.

Too much American priveledge has turned your side into spoiled children.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on June 20, 2006 at 7:40 AM | PERMALINK

BREAKING NEWS: The two missing American Soldiers have been found DEAD.

I wonder if the insurgents followed the rules of the Geneva convention?

For all the (dim) lefties on this thread, I'll answer that question. The answer is no.

Stand back libs, and let the guys with actual balls protect your freedom to whine like idiots.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on June 20, 2006 at 7:42 AM | PERMALINK


Thanks sportsfan79!
You're my hero!
When does your plane leave for Baghdad?

Oooh, he's so manly!

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on June 20, 2006 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

I just got back from
REAL Americans R Us

I did a quick poll of the inmates there
over 64% thought torture was OK in the circumstances you outlined
[of course I didn't you the word circumstance - too many syllables]

Point for you Cheney, good one

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on June 20, 2006 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK


No Cheney,
the rest of us here think its great that two more American servicemen have died in Iraq - awesome.
2500 and how many?
George Bush - making the world safe for Haliburton one dead soldier at a time, or sometimes two or three.

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on June 20, 2006 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

What the hell, Cheney, why don't we just torture ALL suspects? Next time one of our impeccable soldiers (as you have it) comes up before a court-martial (why do we have those, given the moral spotlessness of our armed forces?), let's just torture the truth out of the suspected thief or rapist or murderer? Why bother with investigation or trial, just go straight to the 4'x4'x20" box.

Posted by: Ace Franze on June 20, 2006 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK


The thing that impresses me us how succesful the tactics at Abu Ghraib have been.

I'm convinced the insurgency is in its last throes,
thanks largely to torture and abuse,
and the ballsy help of Sportsfan and the brave comments of Cheney

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on June 20, 2006 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney: I realize, for the rest of you here, the answer would still be "no" - you didn't have to break the news to the families of these 2 brave soldiers.

I realize that for you, the torture of innocent Iraqis just on the off chance they might have information that might have saved those two soldiers would have been fine and dandy!

I also realize that for you, the rape and torture of the daughter of someone who had information that could have saved those two soldiers would also have been fine and dandy.

I realize that when it comes to defending Bush's foreign policy, every Iraqi life becomes more precious than gold (which is the most precious commodity to conservatives) and every American soldier becomes cannon fodder, a tool to use for partisan advantage before it is thrown away and forgotten.

I realize that Cheney only cares about these two soldiers to the extent their deaths can be used to further Bush's agenda, but when it comes to hazard pay, health care, and veterans' benefits, Cheney like Bush prefers tax cuts for the wealthy and will even send bill collectors after maimed soldiers who through no fault of their own could not serve out the full term of their enlistment for which they received a bonus that Bush now wants to take back and give to his wealthy contributors instead.

Posted by: Advocate for God on June 20, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

sportsfan69withBush: I wonder if the insurgents followed the rules of the Geneva convention?

Since Bush hasn't either, your point is . . . what?

Bush is an American - we are responsible for him.

The insurgents are not Americans - we have no control over or responsibility for their actions.

But I know in your world if the terrorists were running around raping innocent American women then it would be okay for American soldiers to go around and rape innocent Iraqi women, because that is exactly how pathetic little self-centered minds like yours work.

Posted by: Advocate for God on June 20, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Not quite. I'd say, because the enemy behaves very badly indeed, we're not just justified, we're compelled, to behave effectively in defeating them. You may be right that we shouldn't put prisoners in tiny cells for 48 hours. Maybe the limit should be 24 hours. I don't know. My point is that this issue is small potatoes compared to the carnage going on right now in Iraq and compared to the potentially greater carnage that could ensue in Iraq and elsewhere if we don't succeed.

Of course, if I was an Iraqi guerilla holding American prisoners I'd make the case "Not quite. I'd say, because the Americans behave very badly indeed, we're not just justified, we're compelled, to behave effectively in defeating them. You may be right that we shouldn't torture American prisoners for 48 hours. Maybe the limit should be 24 hours. I don't know. My point is that this issue is small potatoes compared to the carnage going on right now in Iraq and compared to the potentially greater carnage that could ensue in Iraq and elsewhere if we don't succeed."

Now, morally, where would I be wrong if I was that Iraqi?

Posted by: Stefan on June 20, 2006 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney: Again, I think MORE than 63% of REAL Americans would agree with me.

You mean 27% of "real" Americans would disagree with you?

Wouldn't all "real" Americans agree with you since you've consistently defined "real" Americans as only those who share your views?

You are even stupider than usual today.

Because I, like Alan Dershowitz, reluctantly support torture in only the rare, extraordinary circumstances . . .

There is absolutely no reluctance in your support for torture, or in Bush's nor is there any indication at all in your posts that the circumstances need be extraordinary and rare for torture to be okay for you.

. . . if we had caught a terrorist suspected in this kidnapping, in order to get their location out of him . . .

But that is the problem, right?

It would only be someone "suspected" which means there would be a significant chance (given the performance of the administration to date in arresting and confining large numbers of innocents) that the person tortured would be innocent and perhaps not even a terrorist or insurgent at all.

Clearly, you would be okay with that.

Clearly, that's why the "Left" considers people like you to be fascists not unlike the Nazis whose methods you seem to embrace with glee.

Posted by: Advocate for God on June 20, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Jesus, that's sick. You can practically taste the glee coming off Cheney's posts that the missing soldiers were found dead. He's happy and giddy, reveling in their deaths.

Posted by: Stefan on June 20, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney: .S. to AOG - I said "suspected terrorist" but if you want to talk specific methods or even VA benefits, I'll be happy to do that tomorrow - today is for the families of 2 brave soldiers.

Which is, of course, why you are trying to score partisan points with your question about torture, which has no relevance since those men are already dead.

Nothing in your posts indicates anything but crocodile tears for those men or their families, friends, and comrades (funny how you forgot the first and latter two categories of closely affected persons - I guess the urge to get in a partisan zinger was just too strong, eh?) - they were hardly your first thought, only thought, or even your primary thought.

Once again you prove yourself a liar, a hypocrite, and a person who uses "the families of [two] brave soldiers" for partisan political purposes with no real concern for their loss.

Which is why they are dead in the first place - because partisan advantage and the self-service that conservatives give to their own arrogance is more important than the men and women who serve this country.

No wonder you don't want to talk about the benefits being taken away from these brave men and women or about the military, led by our Chicken-in-Chief Bush, sending the bill collectors after those who have given their very limbs in the service of their country.

And no wonder you don't want to acknowledge that you are perfectly willing to torture innocents on the off chance that:

1) the tortured person is an insurgent or terrorist;

2) the tortured person was involved in or knows about the kidnapping;

3) the tortured person has knowledge of where the soldiers were taken;

4) that knowledge can be timely obtained through the use of torture;

5) and that knowledge can be timely and effectively used by an incompetent administration to save the lives of the soldiers.

Posted by: Advocate for God on June 20, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney: That's not glee . . .

Of course it is.

I have never defined "real" Americans as only those who share my views.

Sure you have, at least implicitly.

But then conservatives do change the meanings of words on a daily basis, substituting false and different meanings as the occasion demand, so I'm sure that whatever "real" means today makes your statement, well, probably still false since you simply can't seem to keep track of what the words you use mean.

Posted by: Advocate for God on June 20, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

See? The tone is so clear. He's happy about it...the thought of telling a mother her child is dead is actually making him quiver with excitement.

Posted by: Stefan on June 20, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Dem leaders are too spineless to attack the Repubs on their lack of morality, although, given the Bushlickers' penchant for torture, it would be eminently justified to do so.

Posted by: nut on June 20, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

cheney: Would the torture of a terrorist suspected in said kidnapping have been justified to save those 2 soldiers' lives?


relax....

tony snow says its just a number...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 20, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Now, morally, where would I be wrong if I was that Iraqi?

I wish that our two troopers had been kept in boxes for 2 days, had water thrown in their face, even slapped around. All in accordance with established rules for interrogation. I think we'll find out that they had holes drilled in their arms and legs, holes drilled in their skulls, subjected to horrific torture for the sake of creating terror and making a point to the public. And you'll have a hard time making a "tit for tat" argument that being locked in a box for two days is somehow equivalent having a hole drilled in your skull while conscious and struggling and being held down by the driller's loyal assistants.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 20, 2006 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK


rsm....

yawn...yeah we know the terrorists are the bad guys..

but why use their tactics?

because otherwise its hard work?


ABSOLUTE MORALITY = TORTURE IS BAD

RELATIVIST MORALITY = TORTURE IS OK WHEN WE DO IT

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 20, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

From the transcript of June 15, 2006 White House press conference:

Q Tony, American deaths in Iraq have reached 2,500. Is there any response or reaction from the President on that?

MR. SNOW: Its a number, and every time theres one of these 500 benchmarks people want something....

Q Was he told about the benchmark, the President?

MR. SNOW: I dont know. Im sure he will hear about it.


Posted by: Stefan on June 20, 2006 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

GOP,

"Depends on the nature of the information. If it's independently verifiable, then obviously you can find out whether it's valuable or worthless."

If the information is independently verifiable, then why does one need torture, again?

Posted by: Sky-Ho on June 20, 2006 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

I wish that our two troopers had been kept in boxes for 2 days, had water thrown in their face, even slapped around. All in accordance with established rules for interrogation.

I note that you never want to answer the question as to whether it would be OK by you to keep American prisoners locked up in little boxes. The point isn't that someone did something worse to prisoner, the point is is this appropriate treatment to mete out to American prisoners, yes or no?

I think we'll find out that they had holes drilled in their arms and legs, holes drilled in their skulls, subjected to horrific torture for the sake of creating terror and making a point to the public.

Of course, an Iraqi could say that was all done in accordance with established rules for interrogation....

And you'll have a hard time making a "tit for tat" argument that being locked in a box for two days is somehow equivalent having a hole drilled in your skull while conscious and struggling and being held down by the driller's loyal assistants.

It's not a tit for tat or equivalence argument -- they're both wrong. Torture of any kind is wrong -- the fact that some people are objected to horrific torture does not make the fact that others are subjected to less horrific torture right.

The only time that equivalence enters the picture is in my point that it's hard for us to object when our prisoners are tortured given that we ourselves torture. Then you're reduced to making the sort of lowest common denominator argument you make above -- "OK, we may beat people but we don't drill holes in them...sure, we rape, but we don't gang rape...yes, we murder, but we don't murder slowly...." Then all you're really saying is not that you're good, but that you're not as bad as the absolute worst.

Posted by: Stefan on June 20, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

A sobering report from the AP:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The bodies of two U.S. soldiers reported captured last week have been recovered, and an Iraqi defense ministry official said Tuesday the men were "killed in a barbaric way."...

The language in the statement suggested the men had been beheaded...

The director of the Iraqi defense ministry's operation room, Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Mohammed, said the bodies showed signs of having been tortured...

There's a valid debate over what tactios we should use, but please don't make any reference to moral equivalence.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 20, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

If the information is independently verifiable, then why does one need torture, again?

Because all other means of obtaining the information have failed.

Posted by: GOP on June 20, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

trex,

Since what most people believe is what matters

Matters to what?

I suggest we merge this with Americans' acceptance of torture and begin torturing atheists. Why not?

Because it would be wrong. I assume that by "torturing atheists," you mean torturing someone merely because she is an atheist. If she's a terrorist who's planted a bomb, who also happens to be an atheist, then in that situation "torturing atheists" might not be wrong.

Posted by: GOP on June 20, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, I don't complain about Al Qaeda torturing hostages, that's to be expected, they are barbarians that only understand violence. What I complain about is the people that don't fully understand the depravity of this enemy and continue to want to fight this war with kid gloves.

When we dropped the bombs on Japan, we demonstrated our willingness to win the war at all costs. What happened, the war ended. We have yet to demonstrate that to the jihadists and if that takes beheading their hostages, I am all for it. War is not a game to be played by rules, especially when the enemy does not abide by any rules. Wars are to be won and won as quickly as possible in the attempt to avoid pain and suffering. If we had to behead one Islamic Jihadists to end this war and save future lives, then that's what needs to be done.

The difference between us is that you're prepared to lose by playing by the rules to satisfy your selfish sense of morality whereas I am prepared to do whatever I have to to stop these people from killing innocent people all over the world; Jakarta, Beslan, Madrid, London, New York, etc. etc.

If you really want to know what torture is, try watching the left attempt to define their position on the war.

Posted by: Jay on June 20, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, by his own admission, is here only to mock liberals. Ignore him.

Posted by: Marc on June 20, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder who "Marc" is.

Posted by: watcher on June 20, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Well done Marc. You do not take the bait.

Posted by: Jay on June 20, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Matters to what?

Matters to your argument on how we determine right/wrong.

Because it would be wrong. I assume that by "torturing atheists," you mean torturing someone merely because she is an atheist. If she's a terrorist who's planted a bomb, who also happens to be an atheist, then in that situation "torturing atheists" might not be wrong.

It can't be "wrong." You've made it patently clear in this thread and many others that there is no objective right or wrong, just subjective and aesthetic preferences on the part of individuals and at best a kind of "will of the mob" that can be appealed to for moral justification when it's convenient.

So it's off to torture the atheists! Not that we need to justify our actions morally because the lack of objective morals demands no such thing, nevertheless to be internally consistent within our own moral framework we can justify torturing atheists because most Americans see them as a threat to social cohesion in a historically theistic world, and further we can posit all kinds of social benefits from torture that I enumerated upthread.

Using your logic, of course.

Posted by: trex on June 20, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Jay: The difference between us is that you're prepared to lose by playing by the rules to satisfy your selfish sense of morality whereas I am prepared to do whatever I have to to stop these people from killing innocent people all over the world; Jakarta, Beslan, Madrid, London, New York, etc. etc.

Well, one thing here is that you're equating the anonymous perpetrators of this heinous act with terrorists that are determined to strike in the US and at our allied countries. That ignores the fact that most of the violence committed in Iraq is done by groups limited in scope to Iraq. That isn't to say they should be ignored, but let's try to represent their threat potential more accurately. Even al Queda in Iraq is not the same organization as al Queda. So that difference you're describing between your position and Stefan's doesn't seem like a real difference to me at all.

But on to your other point about playing by rules:
War is not a game to be played by rules, especially when the enemy does not abide by any rules. Wars are to be won and won as quickly as possible in the attempt to avoid pain and suffering. If we had to behead one Islamic Jihadists to end this war and save future lives, then that's what needs to be done.

Fighting wars of this type (asymmetrical) is a difficult issue, but to reduce the Geneva Conventions to "rules of a game" seems to discourage serious debate on how our soldiers should conduct themselves in these conflicts.

So Jay, you're OK with beheading one militant. OK what about two? What about two hundred? What about ten militants and one innocent Iraqi child? What's really at stake in this discussion is not simply the rules of some game but where we draw the line once we start down a certain path.

And I'm not tyring to make a rhetorical point here about your position leading necessarily to heinous acts by our soldiers that would eventually rival Saddam's atrocities. But really I'm interested in hearing what mechanism, once we have thrown out the Geneva Conventions (and parts of our own UCMJ), do we use to draw and enforce the new line?

Posted by: cyntax on June 20, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan
I note that you never want to answer the question as to whether it would be OK by you to keep American prisoners locked up in little boxes.

Actually, I said upthread that I was basically against mistreatment, and that as a pilot (aircrew made up 700+ of the 850 captured personnel in Viet Nam, and possibly all of the POWs in Iraq I) I knew I'd be in for it if captured.

Posted by: Red State Mike on June 20, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney: Mr. Snow never said these two (or even 2500) is "just a number" - we both grieve the loss of every American soldier - thank God it is not 50,000 like Vietnam.

So many lies in a single sentence.

Jay: When we dropped the bombs on Japan, we demonstrated our willingness to win the war at all costs.

The same justification the terrorists are using - they must demonstrate their willingness to win the war at all costs.

Jay: Wars are to be won and won as quickly as possible in the attempt to avoid pain and suffering.

Then why did Bush send too few troops to get that job done?


Posted by: Advocate for God on June 20, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

I just love the moral bifurcation. Supposedly we accept torture as immoral within our own society but it's definitely OK on damn foreigners. And the right still accept that anybody we call a terrorist is a terrorist, so it's A-OK.

No lessons learned. Not from Vietnam or any prior war.

I've got to believe all these people are themselves conscienceless about war crimes.

Posted by: notthere on June 20, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

We have plenty of troops to win this war, what we don't have is the will to be as brutal as necessary with those forces. And that's exactly what I am talking about advo, the enemy IS willing to do whatever it takes to win this war, we're not, yet. But we should, and if we had, we may have won this already.

cyntax, This is a war with barbarians wherein trying to take the higher road will only cost us more lives. We have to beat them at their own game. And that would require beheading one, two or a hundred jihadists. The barbarians need to understand that civilized nations are civilized but when attacked viciously, can become their worst nightmare.

Posted by: Jay on June 20, 2006 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

trex,

Matters to your argument on how we determine right/wrong.

Huh? Considering that I have explicitly denied that we can "determine right/wrong," I have no idea how you think it matters to that.

It can't be "wrong." You've made it patently clear in this thread and many others that there is no objective right or wrong, just subjective and aesthetic preferences on the part of individuals and at best a kind of "will of the mob" that can be appealed to for moral justification when it's convenient."

Right. So, again, how does polling data on moral beliefs "matter" to my "argument on how we determine right/wrong?"

So it's off to torture the atheists!

What is "off to torture the atheists?" You're not making any sense.

... to be internally consistent within our own moral framework we can justify torturing atheists because most Americans see them as a threat to social cohesion in a historically theistic world,

Huh? How does that justify torture? Do you believe that torture of any "threat to social cohesion" is justified, or only of atheists?


Posted by: GOP on June 20, 2006 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

We have plenty of troops to win this war, what we don't have is the will to be as brutal as necessary with those forces. And that's exactly what I am talking about advo, the enemy IS willing to do whatever it takes to win this war, we're not, yet. But we should, and if we had, we may have won this already.

No Jay, we don't have enough troops to win this war; in fact we can't keep up with recruitment goals because of this war. We took on 19% Cat IV's for our new recruits last November, while the annual limit was 4%. That's indicative of a very bad trend for the Army and the quality of its recruits.

And there's still the question of how to conduct the war. If you want to disregard the Geneva Conventions-- fine. Where do we draw the line? The Conventions define that line clearly, what rules do you want to replace them with?

It's easy to say we need to be as viscious as them, but how far are you willing to go down that path? Are you willing, for example, to kill the the child of a suspected jihadist in an attmept to get information from him? Are there any limits, or is everything now possible?

Posted by: cyntax on June 20, 2006 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Again, we HAVE plenty of troops, hell we're winning right now fighting this war the poltically correct way. Geneva Convention accords went out the window when they flew airplanes into buildings, when they shot school children in the back in Beslan and when they blow up commuter trains in London. These barbarians were not party to nor do they abide by those accords. That being said, I would never harm women or children, but we should definitely make a few good examples out of the male leadership.

Posted by: Jay on June 20, 2006 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

Jay --
well done.

Become a barbarian yourself. The perfect answer of ignorance.

And why not women and children. They've been known to be terrorists too. Strange place to end your own barbarity. No logic yto it.

Posted by: notthere on June 20, 2006 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

So, again, how does polling data on moral beliefs "matter" to my "argument on how we determine right/wrong?"

Let me go slow:

You're an atheist.

You've expressed that you don't believe in an objective morality.

You do, however, appeal to polling (most recently polling on torture) to support your argument. As far as I can tell you're trying to give the argument for torture credibility by appealing to its popularity or acceptance in our culture.

Still with me? Good.

I was simply taking your positions to a logical extreme in a test case. Why not torture atheists? It can't be wrong to torture atheists, because there is no right or wrong. Further, most Americans don't like atheists, and place them at the bottom of the list of potential ne'er do wells -- as if I needed a reason to torture atheists, which apparently I don't because there is no right or wrong.

Seems to me your ethical theory would endorse, or at least not criticize, the torture of atheists like yourself. How could it not? As for the social cohesion thing, I don't really need a reason, on your theory all I need is to want to do it. If you're going to make me defend it on utilitarian grounds then I can just make the social cohesion or threat to society case.

My point: if you're going to defend the policy of torturing alleged terrorists on the grounds that there is no objective morality, then you have no grounds to reject the torture of any individual or class of people including yourself.

Posted by: trex on June 20, 2006 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

So, again, how does polling data on moral beliefs "matter" to my "argument on how we determine right/wrong?"

Let me go slow:

You're an atheist.

You've expressed that you don't believe in an objective morality.

You do, however, appeal to polling (most recently polling on torture) to support your argument. As far as I can tell you're trying to give the argument for torture credibility by appealing to its popularity or acceptance in our culture.

Still with me? Good.

I was simply taking your positions to a logical extreme in a test case. Why not torture atheists? It can't be wrong to torture atheists, because there is no right or wrong. Further, most Americans don't like atheists, and place them at the bottom of the list of potential ne'er do wells -- as if I needed a reason to torture atheists, which apparently I don't because there is no right or wrong.

Seems to me your ethical theory would endorse, or at least not criticize, the torture of atheists like yourself. How could it not? As for the social cohesion thing, I don't really need a reason, on your theory all I need is to want to do it. If you're going to make me defend it on utilitarian grounds then I can just make the social cohesion or threat to society case.

My point: if you're going to defend the policy of torturing alleged terrorists on the grounds that there is no objective morality on which to object to it, then neither have you any grounds on which to reject the torture of any individual or class of people including yourself.

Posted by: trex on June 20, 2006 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney (and Jay),

The numbers you are quoting don't address the issues I'm citing. The Army is able to make its recruitment goals only be virtue of cooking the books and taking in a disproportionate percentage of Category IV recruits. Are you aware that we need 80,000 new troops every yearr to maintain our current force posture?

The qaulity of the Army is being degraded by this war. This war that has nothing to do with 9/11.

Posted by: cyntax on June 20, 2006 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

a 4' x 4' x 20" cell gives plenty of room to sit in various positions, and to kneel on hands and knees, etc...

need to consider shoulder width not just waist

Posted by: anony on June 20, 2006 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

Cheney: Come on, cyntax - I think you are blowing this out of proportion...

Well, fair enough. You shouldn't simply take my word for it. Would you consider taking Joe Galloway's word for it?

    General H. Norman Schwarzkopf has called Joseph L. Galloway, a military consultant for Knight Ridder's Washington Bureau, "The finest combat correspondent of our generation a soldier's reporter and a soldier's friend."

As Galloway describes it:

    "this is not an army on the way up but one on
    the way to a disaster. we need more and smarter soldiers. not more Cat
    IVs. so far it is the willingness of these young men and women to serve,
    and to deploy multiple times, and to work grueling and dangerous 18 hour
    days 7 days a week that is the glue holding things together. all the
    cheap fixes have been used; all the one-time-only gains so beloved of
    legislators trying to balance a budget and get out of town."

This strikes me as a critically important issue. Not simply because we are talking about the Army's future war-fighting capability, but because we're talking about the lives of the soldiers serving right now, and the sacrifices they are having to make above and beyond what they can, in all fairness, be asked to do.

Posted by: cyntax on June 21, 2006 at 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

I'm glad you sick GOP fucks have back the tiger cages from Vietnam.

Because everytime an American soldier tortures or GOP cult tool defends barbarism, I get their soul.

See you in hell boys!

PS. Bush and Cheney made the list long ago.

Posted by: Satan on June 21, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Opit reference me in a post about torture becasue as a former interrogator I have fairly strong views about what is and isn't torture and how effective it is as an interrogation technique. I refered him to some posts on my blog that directly deal with the topic. I don't think I am going to throw myself into this sommnet fest this far along with a whole lot of arguements. I'll just wait for the topic to come up again (which of course it will) amybe opit or someone will point me this way a little earlier inthe game.
I will say this though. Back in first post he writer quote Spencer Ackerman saying "Remember that as an Iraqi detainee, the Geneva Conventions apply to you. " Actually under the laws of land warfare the average Iraqi insurgent is not entitled to Geneva protection. There are very specific guidelines for who is and who isn't. If I had my copy with me I could cite the section but I don't. So look it up yourself.

Posted by: exmi on June 21, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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