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Depends What The Meaning Of “Torture” Is
Political Mavens/Jewish World Review ^ | June 22, 2007

Posted on 06/22/2007 4:13:37 AM PDT by theothercheek

It’s been eight months since President Bush authorized the CIA to resume using "enhanced interrogation techniques" on terrorism suspects, but the intelligence agency is loathe to use any of the methods it proposed to the administration until the White House signs off on them in an executive order, reports The Washington Post.

Last summer, the Supreme Court ruled that all U.S. detainees are covered by the Geneva Conventions. Under Common Article 3 of the Military Commissions Act, Bush must certify that the CIA’s interrogation methods to not involve "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." Complicating matters, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence insists that the Department of Justice review the legal underpinnings of the administration’s interpretation of Common Article 3 and the CIA’s proposed interrogation guidelines.

No one would argue that techniques that physically disfigure or disable a person, or are so painful as to cause unconsciousness – such as burning the skin with a blowtorch or gouging out the eyes, just two of the methods used by al-Qaeda – are torturous.

But when it comes to psychological pressure, the difference between "tough" and "torture" is a matter of degree. If interrogators do not go overboard, hooding and other sensory deprivation (though not so extreme as to cause hallucination), keeping cells on the chilly side (though not also dousing detainees with water so as to induce hypothermia) and having a growling dog in close proximity (but always leashed) are aggressive and effective - but not torturous - interrogation techniques.

Another aggressive interrogation technique that some say crosses the line into torture, is blaring popular music for hours on end (reportedly, rap songs by Eminem and Dr. Dre have been used by interrogators in Afghanistan). While The Stiletto doesn’t much care for rap, tens of millions of people worldwide enjoy this musical form and listen to it at ear-splitting volume, which undercuts claims by Human Rights Watch that it constitutes torture.

[Editorial Note: Being forced to listen to Hillary Clinton’s campaign theme song at full blast 24/7 – now that would be torture. And by the way, The Stiletto’s own personal concept of Hell is to be forced to listen to that Barbra Streisand-Celine Dion duet, "Tell Him" (video clip), over-and-over again for all Eternity – at any volume.]


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cia; enhancedinterrogaton; thestiletto; thestilettoblog; torture; wot

1 posted on 06/22/2007 4:13:38 AM PDT by theothercheek
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To: theothercheek

Panty them all.


2 posted on 06/22/2007 4:15:54 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: theothercheek

That been the problem with all the grandstanding in DC all along. Various irresponsible politicans, egged on by an incompetent “News” media, have thrown around the word “torture” with reckless disregard for the facts.

The USA has not, and does not, use torture.


3 posted on 06/22/2007 4:22:27 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (If you will try being smarter, I will try being nicer.)
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To: MNJohnnie

Of course not. One of the links in the post is an article dating back to when Iraq took Abu Grahib (spelling?) over from the US. All the “tortured” prisoners were REALLY tortrued then and said the Americans were much more humane captors. I am amazed at John McCain using his credibility as a POW who was tortured to claim that my country and his is engaging in practices even remotely similar to what was done to him. This, and immigration is why he will never be president.


4 posted on 06/22/2007 4:40:07 AM PDT by theothercheek ("Unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything." - U.S. Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall)
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To: theothercheek

Leaving the lights on at a dim level 24/7 - low enough to interfere with close vision, but bright enough to interfere with sleep - seems to me might be an effective way to induce real discomfort and fatigue on a prisoner and I don’t see how it could be termed torture under even the most expansive definition.


5 posted on 06/22/2007 4:40:51 AM PDT by John Valentine
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To: John Valentine

The RAP music that they play at my gym is pure torture.


6 posted on 06/22/2007 4:46:43 AM PDT by GeorgefromGeorgia
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To: John Valentine

You have to induce a certain level of discomfort and/or fatigue - not physical pain and not exhaustion - to break the prisoners. Only after you break them can you get then to talk. And if you are not inflicing pain or causing the mind go into a hallucinatory state, the information you get will like be accurate. No one will willingly tell you what you want to know unless it is in his best interests. Keeping them in four-star hotel conditions makes it in their best interests not to talk because they’re living it up better than they ever had it back home.


7 posted on 06/22/2007 4:52:24 AM PDT by theothercheek ("Unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything." - U.S. Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall)
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To: GeorgefromGeorgia

I’ve finally gotten used to it - if I don’t try to make out the lyrics.


8 posted on 06/22/2007 4:53:17 AM PDT by theothercheek ("Unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything." - U.S. Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall)
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To: GeorgefromGeorgia

And don’t forget Monday morning staff meetings, DC traffic, going to the dentist, taking the car in for service and hoping it will cost less than $100, waiting in an airport terminal while CNN blares the same 5 pointless stories just loud enough to make reading or conversation impossible.


9 posted on 06/22/2007 4:53:59 AM PDT by meowmeow (In Loving Memory of Our Dear Viking Kitty (1987-2006))
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To: theothercheek

We all know and understand that if we do not use torture, our troops will not be tortured if captured! /s


10 posted on 06/22/2007 4:57:50 AM PDT by jch10
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To: theothercheek

“(though not so extreme as to cause hallucination)”

they call it torture when waterboarding terrorists? hmmm... just this week I watched my 2 year old granddaughter learn how to hold her breath and swim to the side of the pool, guess it’s all perspective...rto


11 posted on 06/22/2007 4:58:08 AM PDT by visitor (dems Undermine National Defense, Mislead their Voter Base, Demoralize Troops, Encourage the Enemy)
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To: jch10

I don’t understand how according Geneva Conventions treatment to terrorists who are not bound to return the favor - and do NOT - is somehow going to prevent our soldiers from being tortured. They ARE being tortured - their mutilated bodies prove it. But McCain never seems to explain this in his pat denunciations of HIS definition of torture. I wish someone would hold his feet to the fire on this.


12 posted on 06/22/2007 5:24:18 AM PDT by theothercheek ("Unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything." - U.S. Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall)
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To: theothercheek
Last summer, the Supreme Court ruled that all U.S. detainees are covered by the Geneva Conventions.

Yes, they are. They are covered as nonuniformed combatants--terrorists. Guess what? They have no rights. Period. You can kill them at will.

The Geneva Conventions recognized that if armies degraded into general terrorism, it would not be to civilization's benefit. Therefore, terrorists, spies and sabateurs should be treated harshly to discourage such behavior.

Now our government wants to afford them the same protections enjoyed by uniformed combatants fighting on behalf of national identities--very foolish... and dangerous.

13 posted on 06/22/2007 5:56:36 AM PDT by pgyanke (Duncan Hunter 08--You want to elect a conservative? Then support a conservative!)
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To: pgyanke
Yes, they are. They are covered as nonuniformed combatants--terrorists. Guess what? They have no rights. Period. You can kill them at will.

I think this is a dangerous view. It suggests that rights come from pieces of paper, and not from a higher source. If the Geneva Conventions were voted out of existence tomorrow, would that mean that prisoners of war have no rights?
14 posted on 06/22/2007 6:10:14 AM PDT by HaveHadEnough
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To: theothercheek

Torture as defined by the left and its publicity arm, the media, is anything that the military does while Bush is president.


15 posted on 06/22/2007 6:16:17 AM PDT by Leftism is Mentally Deranged
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To: HaveHadEnough
I'm referring to law, not moral and religious code. The law regarding treatment of prisoners is spelled out in the Geneva Conventions. If the Geneva Conventions were voted out of existence tomorrow, prisoners of war would have no legal rights... correct. We, however, have always treated our prisoners humanely. The Geneva Conventions came about to deal with the treatment of our soldiers in the hands of enemies.

As I mentioned earlier, the purpose of the nonuniformed combatant rule was to discourage "unlawful warfare" and confine the fighting to the battlefield. The Arab world, on the other hand, recognizes that they can't engage us conventionally. Therefore, they use "nonaffiliated terrorist organizations" to do their fighting. Prisoners taken in such activities should be dealt with harshly... to deter others who would follow suit. In the long run, it is far more humane than allowing such a cancer to fester in civilization.

16 posted on 06/22/2007 6:27:41 AM PDT by pgyanke (Duncan Hunter 08--You want to elect a conservative? Then support a conservative!)
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To: pgyanke

And do you really think that “moral and religious codes” (at least the ones you and I might subscribe to) condone killing a caged human being at will?


17 posted on 06/22/2007 6:38:35 AM PDT by HaveHadEnough
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To: theothercheek

Aggressive interrogation helps America win the war on terror,

therefore, “libs” oppose it.


18 posted on 06/22/2007 6:39:54 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: HaveHadEnough

Spare me. This is a discussion of law and the court’s ruling.


19 posted on 06/22/2007 6:52:39 AM PDT by pgyanke (Duncan Hunter 08--You want to elect a conservative? Then support a conservative!)
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To: pgyanke

Fair enough. But most of us answer to something greater than the law.


20 posted on 06/22/2007 7:00:35 AM PDT by HaveHadEnough
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To: HaveHadEnough

Admit it... you were just itching for an excuse (no matter how tenuous) to preach this morning. Buzz off... we’re not in the same conversation.


21 posted on 06/22/2007 7:05:00 AM PDT by pgyanke (Duncan Hunter 08--You want to elect a conservative? Then support a conservative!)
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To: MNJohnnie
The USA has not, and does not, use torture.

I think that's probably true. But I'd be OK with it under some circumstances if it did happen.

To spare suffering of the guilty, if it allows suffering of the innocent, is immoral. IMHO.

22 posted on 06/22/2007 7:06:28 AM PDT by Ramius (Personally, I give us... one chance in three. More tea?)
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