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In another attempt to bring life back to our waning political discussions, I thought of this topic after a discussion we had in AP World History. What do you think of torture as a way of getting intelligence? What cases (if any) should it be used in and how much? Keep in mind Abu Gharib (sorry for spelling), Mossad (Israel intelligence), etc.
1/12/2007 #1
Hmm... mental torture is much more efficient, I am okay with that. Physical torture will only strengthen their will, and there would be too many liberals protesting it. But things like sleep deprival, constant blaring music, and food teasing are okay in my book.
1/12/2007 #2
[q]there would be too many liberals protesting it[/q] Ha ha. Would only liberals protest it? Are liberals not tough enough? hah. Anyway...Mossad has used physical torture to get intel to great results. It doesn't really strenghten their will. It breaks it that's the idea of torture. In theory anyhow.... But do the ends justify the means? If you knew a guy had a bomb somewhere and you needed to know where... you wouldn't blare music at him...so how far do you go? Is Physical and Sexual torture ok, then? Personally, I don't believe in torturing someone in this situation. I think that you have done something to be in that situation and torturing someone else to get you out of it is not right. Take responsibilty one might say, but what i mean is that you are at war with terror, so the enemy combatants are terrorists, therefore the geneva convention would apply to them. That was my argument in the class discussion, which people weren't very responsive during...so I figured the more politically thinking people here would say more.
1/12/2007 #3
Well, all the conservatives I know (alot) say that they are cool with the idea of torture. Physically I would draw the limit at sexual torture. I dont mean r*** or whatever, I mean comprimise. A suspect's will would break pretty quickly if you had n*** women parade in front of him and not allowing him to... how should I put it... satisfy his lust. I assume. But, I guess that is kind of mental torture. I think that deprivation/teasing torture, like what I just described, would work in most cases. You could starve him (to an extent) while forcing him to look at (and smell) something along the lines of thanksgiving dinner. If you don't kill him and you don't permanently injure him, if it saves lives, then I think itis justifiable
1/13/2007 #4
Torture is wrong. Plain wrong. As a means of gathering intelligence it is wrong. Physical torture is an antiquated, brutally cruel way of doing anything. Mental torture, such as the ones you put forward, Onetrackmind, are also incredibly cruel. You think minds can't be permanently damaged by starvation, sleep deprivation or any other kind of deprivation and torture in general? Try to study a little bit of psychology, you'll discover that just the fact you're being tortured will do incredible things to your mind. The whole idea of torture is that if you don't give the torturer the information he is looking for, he might continue hurting you, he might continue abusing you, or you might die. What sort of things do you think that does to a person's state of being?
2/2/2007 #5
Well, then, if the person was at the point that they were on the verge of permanent damage they would talk. And if torture was used, then it would be justified. The idea, maybe i didnt state it in my last post, was that the situation would call for the release of the information to save lives. Two lives can justify one life (under most circumstances).
2/3/2007 #6
If you are at risk of permanent damage, are you going to tell the truth, or what you think your jailor wants to hear? By the time a person is in that sort of mental state- that they will say absolutely anything if they think it means their torture will end, their testimony really shouldn't be considered, even if it is going to save lives.
2/4/2007 #7
That is where a military tactic often reffered to as 'triangulization of information' comes in. You will check three+ sources to verify that the information that you recieve is not incorrect.
2/4/2007 #8
What sorts of sources? Sources from other torture victims?
2/5/2007 #9
not neccesarily.
2/5/2007 #10
But if they have those sorts of sources, how come they need to torture people in the first place?
2/5/2007 #11
That said, ONETRACKMIND, do you believe torture of American POWs is justifiable?
2/6/2007 #12
^ Bump. Just would like a response cause u may not have seen this.
2/10/2007 #13
Well, Lord-of-fools, we need something to base our data on. It would probably wind up being other tortured people. Blackbird, I don't like the idea of our people being tortured, but that can be said of most americans (I hope). I don't like the Idea of torture as anything but a last resort to save lives. If it can be justified, then whatever.
2/11/2007 #14
If you found out that a friend of yours had been tortured, what your honest reaction be? Would you think, 'oh they were saving lives, that's okay'? Most likely, the friends of, say, an alleged terrorist would, upon discovering that their friend has been tortured, are going to plot some sort of revenge. And if those friends have been arrested, then their children, their brothers, comrades... somewhere along the line, there's going to be a backlash. Meaning, in actuality, that torturing someone, even as a last resort to save lives, is going to cause the deaths of more people.
3/9/2007 #15

Some People give in even if they're innocent just to stop the torture. It's not as effective as some people beleive. It's not exactly a bad idea, it just has some flaws...

5/7/2008 #16

There are ways to tell if a person's lying. That could prevent unnecessary torture, too.

5/8/2008 #17


5/29/2008 #18
Ten ways to spoil dinner

Is that the one where they keep dripping water on your head and it actually hurts.

7/2/2008 #19

In my opinion, it's just wrong to torture people. It makes me sick to think about it. But then again, you think about the certain circumstances where in some way it could possibly be justified...I don't know what to think about that. Because there are definitely disgusting people out there who deserve to be punched around alittle. But torturing them...no. Just, no.

7/26/2008 #20

it makes you go insane, so it could hurt

7/27/2008 #21
Ten ways to spoil dinner

Torturing is bad, but some people would do it for justifiable reasons... protecting your country (But only if it's a last resort, if there's a better way, DO IT) Because one life vs. thousands, millions even. Though lives are invaluable, one thousand is still larger than one.. or ten... or however many there are being tortured (Also, torturing a bad person, to save good people.. Now torturing a good person, for a bad person... not that good.)

I would rather not torture, but I believe it can be justified.

9/19/2008 #22

Top CIA interagators have said torture doesn't work. I end my case.

12/18/2008 #23

I believe that torture can be justified under certain circumstances but I draw the line at physical torture (Cutting off peoples fingers and other nonsense).

I do not honestly get this logic that we should find terrorists and kill them but do NOT torture them if they are captured. Fine, lets just line up all of the people we have captured and ask them a question, if they do not give us the correct answer shoot them and then move down the line and do the same until we reach the end or get the truth.

Or we could just not capture anyone and simply kill everyone who we think is a terrorist. The way this debate is being spun, one would think that taking someones life is the lesser evil.

Another thing that is troubling to me is how the classification of what is torture is expanding. For example, some would say being blared with loud music is torture. Well, if that is the case can we prosecute my idiot neighbors for blaring their music so loud I could actually FEEL the vibrations.

Torture = Physical pain (Breaking arms, jamming nails into peoples bodies, tearing off finger nails.)

Torture dose not = things that make me feel uncomfortable (Sleep deprivation and other techniques that will cause no lasting physical damage.)

In fact let's just tell the terrorists that if they don't stop denying us the information we will be angry with them. Wait that might hurt their feelings and lower self confidence thereby making them uncomfortable, we should be talking with these people and trying to understand them not yelling at them like we are superior. Let's just be nice to the terrorists and maybe they will tell us what we need to know...if they feel like it...after all at least we have the moral high ground :)

(I was exaggerating in the last paragraph for effect obviously and was in no way serious....)

5/3/2009 . Edited 5/3/2009 #24

Actually according to many CIA interrogators so called, enhanced interrogation techniques don't work. In fact they mostly back fire for two main reasons. A, we don't always catch the right guy, so if we torture him chances are he's started to think "hey maybe Osama is right America is full of a***." Second, we're talking about people who blow themselves up in the name of allah. Stress techniques aren't going to make them crack. I was listening to NPR and they had a CIA interrogator on and according to him the best method was to get the terrorist to trust you. Then he'd be willing to give more information during torture people will say just about anything to make it stop however if you convince them without the use of torture they're more likely to give you accurate information.

And the bit about what is and is not torture. Okay take your right leg, put it in the air then have some one bend it over the other shoulder so your toes are touching the ground then have them hold it there for several hours. Then tell me that that isn't torture sleep depravation can kill you the affects are far more then feeling tired also if they're not thinking straight what good are they to you?

Water-boarding also counts as torture it was used by the spanish inquisition for god's sake. That should be the first tip off, it was used again in the pacific by the Japanese to torture US Marines do you know what we did to the interrogators we caught? We shot them. I'm pretty sure torture follows the category of cruel and unusual punishments which is unconstitutional.

5/4/2009 #25

Does mental torture count, or is that simply interrogation? I personally believe that is an easier way of gathering intelligence, Physical torture though cruel, i personally view as a less effective method because some people are trained to have wills, not to talk and under no circumstances will betray their country, so their mind and will is too strong. Egocentric and or stubborn people are easy to fool, you have to simply know how to push the correct buttons.

8/18/2009 #26

Torture of any kind doesn't work, mainly because people will say anything to make it stop and bad intel is worse then no intel. The best method is actually to be civil with them, offer them a drink, even bring in a tv or portable dvd player and watch a movie with them because that gets the insurgent thinking. "Hey maybe Osama was wrong, maybe the Americans aren't such bad guys."

8/19/2009 #27
Bambi Queen of the Off-Black

I'd take them out to dinner. Than maybe we'd go clubbing. That'll show 'em!

11/14/2009 #28

It'll work better then waterboarding.

11/15/2009 #29
Bambi Queen of the Off-Black

It's what Jesus would do. I mean, look at my avatar over there. Right over there, on the left. He's all for dinner and a movie. He's your Buddy Christ! He's giving you a thumbs up! Let's treat these terrorists civilly. We'll torture them after we go clubbing and take them out to dinner.

11/16/2009 . Edited 11/16/2009 #30
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