View Poll Results: Should Waterboarding Be Illegal

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  • Yes

    19 79.17%
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  • It depends on the situation

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Thread: Outlaw Torture?

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    Outlaw Torture?

    What types of torture should be outlawed, if any by the U.S. government?

    Should waterboarding be outlawed or should their be any limits established on its use?



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    Re: Outlaw Torture?

    If they outlawed it, Jack Bauer would not get the confessions he needs to stop the terrorists. I mean in 24 hours he tortures at least 30 people.


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    Re: Outlaw Torture?

    I'm ok with anything that makes them seriously uncomfortable, but stops short of significant or permanent harm. So waterboarding is A-OK in my book.



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    Re: Outlaw Torture?

    Waterboarding is undoubtedly torture, and the U.S. should not torture as a general policy. It should be that simple, except the administration has redefined torture to fit its purposes. The stuff done to people during rendition is even worse (razors to the unmentionables anyone?).

    This kind of thing is a clear black mark on the reputation and honor of the United States, and violates the principles this country was founded upon.

    There should be a provision by which we are able to torture individuals, but it should be clearly defined so that the decision is made by someone who can be clearly accountable for their actions. That person should probably be the president, who should have to specifically pre-authorize any use of torture, and may only due so if there is substantial reason to believe that someone has the information necessary to prevent immanent harm.


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    Re: Outlaw Torture?

    Frankly, I think "torture" should be defined, first. If you believe the freakazoid leftist "amnesty international" types, anything less than a 5 star hotel with room service is "torture". They have been creeping up the definition of "torture" since the 1960s.

    On the other hand, "waterboarding" is torture. And ineffective. And the folks alleged to be using it aren't military, as it is a prosecutable crime in the military. I think too many of the "brylcreem boys" in the alphabet agencies watch too many bad movies.

    I was a military interrogator from 1996-1998 and I know what they are limited to, and what is permitted. Frankly, I'm professionally repulsed by the idea that direct discomfort techniques are even discussed. There are so many more effective "games" one can play with a potential information source, that do not demean the interrogator, and are harmless to the interrogatee.

    On a third hand, I watched an episode of "Numbers" the other day, where when they discovered that a murder victim had been tortured, "it must have been US military/Special Forces" that were involved, according to the "star" of the show. Only heroic measures prevented the TV from being thrown out the window.


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    Re: Outlaw Torture?

    I think the government has to have some ability to force information out of its enemies, however, after looking up what waterboarding was, I have to say that's pretty sick. Then again, I can't imagine too many torture methods are as pleasant as a bed of roses either.

    My question is what happened to the good ol' fashioned Chinese water drip method? Even MythBusters proved under the right conditions that is an extremely effective form of torture.


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    Re: Outlaw Torture?

    Unless we pull out of the Convention Against Torture (which, obviously, we shouldn't), waterboarding is illegal in this country and anyone who does it or authorizes it should be held legally accountable.

    I heard Bill O'Reilly shrieking last night that George Tenet and someone else have said that waterboarding worked on Khalil Sheik Mohammad so thus it should be legal. It about made my head explode. I can't believe the number of people, popular people who have an audience of millions or want to be president, that are willing to argue that the US should torture. It's just mind blowing.



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    Re: Outlaw Torture?

    I'm not so sure waterboarding is torture. Has it ever been legally determine to be so? I believe the Convention Against torture is limited to "severe" mental and physical suffering.


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    Re: Outlaw Torture?

    It is torture.

    The military thinks it's torture.

    The US convicted a Japanese officer of war crimes for waterboarding in WWII.

    A US soldier was courtmartialed for waterboarding in Vietnam.

    An assistant Attorney General, appointed by Bush, was tasked with determining whether techniques used by the CIA were torture, so he had them performed on himself. He said waterboarding was torture. He was then fired.

    Waterboarding is torture. Period. The only people arguing otherwise are the 20% of the population that are still supporting Bush and would throw away any moral standing that the US has left in the world, or the Constitution for that matter, just to protect their Dear Leader. (see my comment on Bill O'Reilly above)



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    Re: Outlaw Torture?

    Waterboarding may indeed be torture but it, IMO, it probably depends on the potential value of the information. There's probably a sliding scale here that varies case-by-case.


    “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals. They are complementary.”

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    Re: Outlaw Torture?

    That's pretty dangerous to say torture is bad, UNLESS the information is good enough. That's a pretty big deal to be left up to a judgement call. What if someone thinks the information is good enough to warrant torture, only to find out later the guy doesn't know anything, can't really untorture someone.



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    Re: Outlaw Torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Incyte View Post
    Waterboarding may indeed be torture but it, IMO, it probably depends on the potential value of the information. There's probably a sliding scale here that varies case-by-case.
    Um... That seems to be an argument for using torture under some circumstances, not that waterboarding is not torture. No one in their right mind would try to redefine what torture is based on the perceived value of the information...


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    Re: Outlaw Torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by cmoneyr View Post
    That's pretty dangerous to say torture is bad, UNLESS the information is good enough. That's a pretty big deal to be left up to a judgement call. What if someone thinks the information is good enough to warrant torture, only to find out later the guy doesn't know anything, can't really untorture someone.
    It would be based on the potential value of the info. There would have to be a judicial review process beforehand of course. It would be similar to what we use now for terrorism warrants.


    “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals. They are complementary.”

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    Re: Outlaw Torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle View Post
    Um... That seems to be an argument for using torture under some circumstances, not that waterboarding is not torture. No one in their right mind would try to redefine what torture is based on the perceived value of the information...
    I'm talking about a LEGAL definition here Kyle. Yes, waterboarding is torture. That does not mean it meets a LEGAL definition of torture. The fact we use sliding scales that balance various interests shouldn't surprise you as a law student.

    Whether something qualifies as legally being torture would depend on the specific circumstances of each case.


    “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals. They are complementary.”

    Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Re: Outlaw Torture?

    Quote Originally Posted by herbiedoobie View Post
    Frankly, I think "torture" should be defined, first. If you believe the freakazoid leftist "amnesty international" types, anything less than a 5 star hotel with room service is "torture". They have been creeping up the definition of "torture" since the 1960s.

    On the other hand, "waterboarding" is torture. And ineffective. And the folks alleged to be using it aren't military, as it is a prosecutable crime in the military. I think too many of the "brylcreem boys" in the alphabet agencies watch too many bad movies.

    I was a military interrogator from 1996-1998 and I know what they are limited to, and what is permitted. Frankly, I'm professionally repulsed by the idea that direct discomfort techniques are even discussed. There are so many more effective "games" one can play with a potential information source, that do not demean the interrogator, and are harmless to the interrogatee.

    On a third hand, I watched an episode of "Numbers" the other day, where when they discovered that a murder victim had been tortured, "it must have been US military/Special Forces" that were involved, according to the "star" of the show. Only heroic measures prevented the TV from being thrown out the window.
    Holy crap. I actually agree on the whole with herbiedoobie with something.


    ...I feel dirty.


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