Commenter Archive

On “Down in the Dungeon with the Torture Trolls (warning: rated J for Japanese graphic violence)

The real reason the detainees are not entitled to POW status is to be found in a distinction first made by the Romans and subsequently incorporated into international law by way of medieval European jurisprudence. As the eminent military historian, Sir Michael Howard, wrote in the "October 2, 2001 edition of the Times of London, the Romans distinguished between bellum, war against legitimus hostis, a legitimate enemy, and guerra, war against latrunculi — pirates, robbers, brigands, and outlaws — "the common enemies of mankind."

The former, bellum, became the standard for interstate conflict, and it is here that the Geneva Conventions were meant to apply. They do not apply to the latter, guerra — indeed, punishment for latrunculi traditionally has been summary execution."

"

Torture

hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

I just wondering where this moral high ground has been for the last 35 + years as babies were ripped, torn and slashed from their mothers....where was the horror as solutions were pumped into amniotic sacs to cause death by chemical burning...

hummmmmmmmmmmm

where was there outcry to end the torture.

roflmao

"

Would they have approved systemic institutionalized torture?

strangelet on April 24, 2009 at 8:25 PM

Yup. In fact they did. We have never had a President so squishy as we have now.

It really amazes me when the left tries to use the founding fathers to support one of their arguments. The ideologies between the Left and the those of the founders could not be more opposite.

You do know that the least a "outed" gay dude in the times of the founding fathers could expect in punishment was to have boiling tar poured over them and then feathered. Then placed in stocks and ridiculed in a public square. That would have been considered lenient.

By all means, let's start looking back to those principles. Hmmm?

"

Would they have approved systemic institutionalized torture?

strangelet on April 24, 2009 at 8:25 PM

Considering that the accepted the maintenance of the South's "peculiar institution," I think the obvious answer is that they would have accepted just about anything in the interest of preserving the nation - even things that many felt were totally immoral, in the interest of some day being able to eliminate them.

Your deployment of the phrase "institutionalized torture" is prejudicial, as is your insistence on a broad, collectively self-flagellatiing definition of "torture."

Let others determine whether what we choose to do is "torture," and whether that makes it a bad thing, and and whether that makes them want to do something about it. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that in Japanese and Arabic, just to pick two languages, have very different usages.

By adopting an open, results-oriented commitment to maximally humane but sufficient physical compulsion where necessary, we let our enemies use their own (on this score likely fertile) imaginations. If your objective is to reduce the morall abhorrent incidence of torture, then consider in addition that many who might, under your favored scenario, end up being tortured informally by Jack Bauer, or drugged, would instead simply talk, knowing that soon enough they would end up talking anyway.

The harder you look at a word, the harder it is to understand it.

"

I am really only concerned with myself and what I have learned in discussion with the Mathmatikos.
I’m Alyosha.
“I could not do it.”
You have to decide who you are for yourselves.

strangelet on April 24, 2009 at 8:37 PM

and yet you spend significant amounts of time trying to either persuade or browbeat others.

"

Fighton03 on April 24, 2009 at 8:27 PM

I am really only concerned with myself and what I have learned in discussion with the Mathmatikos.
I'm Alyosha.
"I could not do it."
You have to decide who you are for yourselves.

"

And actually that was not Buchenwald, it was Dachau.

Terrye on April 24, 2009 at 6:49 PM

Pardon, you are correct.
Dachau

"

It is not a matter of politics for me.
Like I have said repeatedly, release all the memos and let the judiciary decide.
What would the Founders do in this situation?

strangelet on April 24, 2009 at 8:21 PM

Ok, I'll give you that. but you don't control the process. As for the founders, I suggest that if Washington had a standing order that proscribed a certain behaviour, that anyone apprehended having broken it would have been summarily punished, up to and including execution. not exactly whats going on right now huh?

"

Are you talking about the same founders who hanged Muslim pirates without trials?

Guardian on April 24, 2009 at 8:24 PM

Yup.
Would they have approved systemic institutionalized torture?

"

The founding fathers thought otherwise. Our declaration of independence gives us the duty to.

At some point, tolerance MUST go out the window and inevitably replaced with war.

Chaz706 on April 24, 2009 at 8:09 PM

Well, what would the Founding Fathers do????
Tell meh.
Would they have approved of institutionalized torture?

"

What would the Founders do in this situation?

strangelet on April 24, 2009 at 8:21 PM

Are you talking about the same founders who hanged Muslim pirates without trials?

"

This isn’t about legality, this isn’t about being proper. This is about political power and demonstrations of it, pure and simple.

Fighton03 on April 24, 2009 at 8:17 PM

It is not a matter of politics for me.
Like I have said repeatedly, release all the memos and let the judiciary decide.
What would the Founders do in this situation?

"

Torture done on a regular/uniform basis by an organization (i.e. it’s a common fallback)? That’s what I think you’re getting at.

No insult intended. Just wanting a definition.

Further more, some of these pansies being interrogated will call it torture no matter what we do.

Chaz706 on April 24, 2009 at 8:12 PM

For example, we defined "water torture" already. The Bybee memos attempt to redefine the practice as not-torture. It became SOP with government approved equipment, trained personnel, procedures, protocols, and funding.
Systemic, institutionalized torture.

"

This is no longer a matter of law, it's a matter of politics. Obama made it one. I'm surprised you don't see the pattern yet. First it was wall street (actually first it was an inoculation against criticism using his race). Publish lots of memos, hold press conferences, explain half the story. Stoke the rage machine, then turn around and in a closed do meeting make sure the bankers know he's "the only one between them and the pitchforks". Now it's the lawyer and officials who could organize against him. So here we go again. But this time it's going global.

This isn't about legality, this isn't about being proper. This is about political power and demonstrations of it, pure and simple.

"

At some point you cross the line between being a bystander and being an accomplice. They knew what was going on! All those who would’ve fought against it had already started fighting, or died doing so.

Chaz706 on April 24, 2009 at 7:54 PM

But that is not my point....my point is that the soldiers were so horrified by the results of torture that they forgot their training and shot unarmed men.
Would they want us to have institutionalized torture?

I'm pretty sure WWII paratroopers might have pistol whipped some intell out captured prisoners. But that was extralegal, spontaneous, and in-situ.
And neccessary.

"

strangelet on April 24, 2009 at 8:08 PM

I will take you at your words, though I will ask what is "institutionalized torture". Torture done on a regular/uniform basis by an organization (i.e. it's a common fallback)? That's what I think you're getting at.

No insult intended. Just wanting a definition.

Further more, some of these pansies being interrogated will call it torture no matter what we do.

"

Guardian on April 24, 2009 at 7:55 PM

At some point, tolerance goes out the window.

Hath not the master said: "I came not to send peace, but a sword." This was not a sword of violence but of separation. At some point, the good will be separated from the bad. Not that I say this will happen simply because God hath said so (though he hath said it), but sadly, it is the nature of man to devolve into warring tribes and cut each others throats.

At some point, one side will be irreconcilably separated from another by their own actions. Then what? Do we excuse their intolerable acts? Do we make peace with a foe who wishes us death?

The founding fathers thought otherwise. Our declaration of independence gives us the duty to.

At some point, tolerance MUST go out the window and inevitably replaced with war.

"

Bush could’ve used the psychological model of enhanced interrogation and many in the opposition would’ve still spoken out against it. What would you have said then?

Me? nothing. I am against INSTITUTIONALIZED TORTURE.
Is the psychological model of enhanced interrogation torture? I think that is what the Israelis use actually.

"

Dr. Manhattan on April 24, 2009 at 6:39 PM

Suspects often left the interrogation cells legless with fear after an all-night grilling. An inspired amateur psychologist, Stephens used every trick, lie and bullying tactic to get what he needed; he deployed threats, drugs, drink and deceit. But he never once resorted to violence. “Figuratively,” he said, “a spy in war should be at the point of a bayonet.” But only ever figuratively. As one colleague wrote: “The Commandant obtained results without recourse to assault and battery. It was the very basis of Camp 020 procedure that nobody raised a hand against a prisoner.”
Stephens did not eschew torture out of mercy. This was no squishy liberal: the eye was made of tin, and the rest of him out of tungsten. (Indeed, he was disappointed that only 16 spies were executed during the war.) His motives were strictly practical. “Never strike a man. It is unintelligent, for the spy will give an answer to please, an answer to escape punishment. And having given a false answer, all else depends upon the false premise.”...

Threats, drugs, drink and deceit....do you what oxytocin is? sodium pentathol? cannabis? Oxytocin is a neuro-hormone that can be used for empathy bonding.
We should be using those techniques...they don't to be redefined like water torture, which is what we called it when the Viet Cong and the Japanese did it to our men.
Let me make it clear.
Torture is illegal in America.
Release all the memos.
Let the DoJ decide.

"

Frankly I feel that our tolerance of trolls and dissenters is what separates us from the left.

Dr. Manhattan on April 24, 2009 at 7:29 PM

No. Tolerance is the left.

The line between intellectual discourse and pointless trolling has been crossed so many times already. And it's a big broad line at that.

Tolerance is what keeps us divided. To put up with crap in the name of tolerance is what got us into this mess. There comes a point where you make a stand. This far and no more.

Tolerance will get you gay marriages, Presidential bowing before Islamic Kings, trillion dollar deficits and countless capitulations that further weaken our country and economy.

Tolerance will get you killed on a battlefield and tolerance will destroy the country if left unchecked.

This whole country was founded on the Principles of intolerance. I'm hanging on to those values.

F**k tolerance. It way too expensive and way over rated.

"

I recommend the Churchill model.

strangelet on April 24, 2009 at 7:35 PM

I like the Psychological approach. It's far more effective... but what happens when that's spoken out against?

One must draw a line at some point and stick to it no matter who or what persuades him (or her) otherwise.

The thing I'm getting at is this: Bush could've used the psychological model of enhanced interrogation and many in the opposition would've still spoken out against it. What would you have said then?

If there is anything I hate about trolls, it's a decided lack of inconsistency? Not that I'm calling you one Strangelet, but consistency from all people isn't too much to ask.

And lastly, about the Germans at Dachau... they knew what was going on and said nothing, did nothing, and expected nothing. I'm not sure who was more naive: the Americans doing the shooting or the Germans that got shot?

At some point you cross the line between being a bystander and being an accomplice. They knew what was going on! All those who would've fought against it had already started fighting, or died doing so.

"

This cowardice of “let that guy take the fall” is unserious.

Lehosh on April 24, 2009 at 6:40 PM

No...that is a personal decision. It every man's own choice to be Ivan or Alyosha.
"Following orders" is a cop-out.
I'm Alyosha.
I neither rely on the Highlander to be Ivan or judge him if he is.
Freewill.

"

The Highlander helped me understand what bothers me so much.
It is the institutionalization of torture as part of established American policy.

And strangelet has already decided that torture is whatever the Bushies did because the Bushies are bad Republicans. It is a rather inverted kind of logic, but what can you expect from the morbidly partisan?

Terrye on April 24, 2009 at 6:57 PM

Like I said, release ALL the memos and let the DoJ decide.
There is a thought experiment I'm fond of....what would the Founders do?

I think Obama should step out of this entirely.
The debate should not be partisan.

"

Strangelet how should we interrogate? Should we, even?

Dr. Manhattan on April 24, 2009 at 6:39 PM

I recommend the Churchill model.

"

Guardian

Frankly I feel that our tolerance of trolls and dissenters is what separates us from the left. We want real dialouge, not false consensus. I will agree though that Allah and pals drum up friction in the pursuit of hits and comments. but that is the nature of all advertiser or hit-supported media. Controversy is it's lifeblood, much like democracy.

*Comment archive for non-registered commenters assembled by email address as provided.

Related

From the Featured Archives

Categories

Extraordinary Comments

CK's WP Plugins