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"Interrogation at Guantanamo was left to untrained amateurs"


JadedWolf

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Interrogation at Guantanamo was left to untrained amateurs, and yielded no useful information, if we are to believe an ex-FBI agent that was interviewed by der Spiegel.

 

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/former-fbi-official-ali-soufan-condemns-guantanamo-torture-a-1014475.html

 

Without drawing conclusions from it, I found it a worthwhile interview to read.

Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.

 

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Yeah the report is interesting, its not new information but interesting nonetheless

 

The thing about the article I'm not understanding is they talk about " untrained professionals "

 

But that psychologist, James Mitchell, who was involved in the advanced interrogation techniques was very highly trained in the  psychological methods of extracting information and getting people to become cooperative it sounds like. So why do they say he untrained?  Because he failed to get new information if that article is to be believed ?

 

But Guantanamo Bay has been a blight in the American consciousness for ages, its a real problem that Obama inherited from Bush. And what stupifies me is despite all his efforts to close it down he is still getting blocked by certain Republicans and Democrats. Why not transfer all the prisoners to a supermax  prison, I don't understand why this can't be done or why people are blocking this?

 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/12/02/obama-plan-to-shut-down-guantanamo-bay-suffers-major-setback/

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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"All of life’s lessons come with a price…
We may learn a lesson, and things may get better in the end…
So that’s the trade off…life experience for exhaustion… wisdom for innocence.
There may be a happy ending to our stories…
but we paid for that with little pieces of our souls and we will never get those back."

-Austin Lunn

 

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Yeah the report is interesting, its not new information but interesting nonetheless

 

The thing about the article I'm not understanding is they talk about " untrained professionals "

 

But that psychologist, James Mitchell, who was involved in the advanced interrogation techniques was very highly trained in the  psychological methods of extracting information and getting people to become cooperative it sounds like. So why do they say he untrained?  Because he failed to get new information if that article is to be believed ?

 

But Guantanamo Bay has been a blight in the American consciousness for ages, its a real problem that Obama inherited from Bush. And what stupifies me is despite all his efforts to close it down he is still getting blocked by certain Republicans and Democrats. Why not transfer all the prisoners to a supermax  prison, I don't understand why this can't be done or why people are blocking this?

 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/12/02/obama-plan-to-shut-down-guantanamo-bay-suffers-major-setback/

 

When you say things like " very highly trained in the  psychological methods of extracting information and getting people to become cooperative", I mean, that's like saying "yes but it sounded like he was very well trained at whatever you need to be trained in, you know". What exactly are the qualifications for torture, and do you get one by being a psychologist, or by being a certain type of psychologist?

 

It's hard to say whether you could label psychologists like Mitchell 'amateurs' who shouldn't have any say, or 'expert consultants'. But I know what people learn in psychology PhDs. His dissertation had nothing to do with learned helplessness or interrogation situations, etc. He did work for the military, which included some scenario training re. interrogations. Whether that means it's reasonable that he comes up with this new Total Torture setup and it gets approved, you'll have to decide. 

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Yeah the report is interesting, its not new information but interesting nonetheless

 

The thing about the article I'm not understanding is they talk about " untrained professionals "

 

But that psychologist, James Mitchell, who was involved in the advanced interrogation techniques was very highly trained in the  psychological methods of extracting information and getting people to become cooperative it sounds like. So why do they say he untrained?  Because he failed to get new information if that article is to be believed ?

 

But Guantanamo Bay has been a blight in the American consciousness for ages, its a real problem that Obama inherited from Bush. And what stupifies me is despite all his efforts to close it down he is still getting blocked by certain Republicans and Democrats. Why not transfer all the prisoners to a supermax  prison, I don't understand why this can't be done or why people are blocking this?

 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/12/02/obama-plan-to-shut-down-guantanamo-bay-suffers-major-setback/

 

When you say things like " very highly trained in the  psychological methods of extracting information and getting people to become cooperative", I mean, that's like saying "yes but it sounded like he was very well trained at whatever you need to be trained in, you know". What exactly are the qualifications for torture, and do you get one by being a psychologist, or by being a certain type of psychologist?

 

It's hard to say whether you could label psychologists like Mitchell 'amateurs' who shouldn't have any say, or 'expert consultants'. But I know what people learn in psychology PhDs. His dissertation had nothing to do with learned helplessness or interrogation situations, etc. He did work for the military, which included some scenario training re. interrogations. Whether that means it's reasonable that he comes up with this new Total Torture setup and it gets approved, you'll have to decide. 

 

 

Some interesting points raised, but would it be possible for you to not use the word " torture". Usage of that word immediately sets an uncomfortable precedent when we talk about the  advanced interrogation techniques that were used. And as the article mentions the CIA still maintains that very pertinent information was gained through these techniques

 

You read the article in the Spiegel and juxtaposed to that are the Japanese hostages about to be beheaded and yet the CIA have somehow become the " bad guys " in this narrative, food for thought perhaps about how we sometimes pass judgement about institutions tasked to protect us?

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Interesting dichotomy between the two versions of what the psychologists did, and from the psychologists themselves at times. Mitchell himself has simultaneously said he didn't have much to do with abuse and that he did and it was a success anyway:
 

He insisted that the torture techniques he developed had produced results, and was derisive of critics of the program, such as former FBI special agent Ali Soufan, who says standard rapport-building techniques he used in interrogations were far more effective for obtaining information from detainees. [..]

 

“We didn't have a damn thing to do with that [abuse],” Mitchell said. Instead, he said, the blame lay with Pentagon contractors and civilian staff “who wanted to help out and made some dumb mistakes”.

[Source]

 

Not really sure how to reconcile the two statements unless he is explicitly using the 'enhanced interrogation techniques torture by trained professionals is fine, by amateurs is highly irresponsible' definition of abuse. Still, for a reported 81 million dollars I suspect there'd be a fair number of respected medical professionals whose ethics would suddenly become more elastic let alone if their patriotism were appealed to- and you basically have to believe that you're better than and got the good oil for a better cause than Saddam Hussein, Heinrich Himmler, Hideki Tojo or Laurentiy Beria's torturers who were just plain thugs.

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Some interesting points raised, but would it be possible for you to not use the word " torture". Usage of that word immediately sets an uncomfortable precedent when we talk about the  advanced interrogation techniques that were used. And as the article mentions the CIA still maintains that very pertinent information was gained through these techniques

 

You read the article in the Spiegel and juxtaposed to that are the Japanese hostages about to be beheaded and yet the CIA have somehow become the " bad guys " in this narrative, food for thought perhaps about how we sometimes pass judgement about institutions tasked to protect us?

 

 

Does it make you uncomfortable to call a spade a spade?

 

If you're well grounded in reality, It shouldn't.

 

Efforts to call a spade other than what it is, are efforts at deception and evil in nature.

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Yeah the report is interesting, its not new information but interesting nonetheless

 

The thing about the article I'm not understanding is they talk about " untrained professionals "

 

But that psychologist, James Mitchell, who was involved in the advanced interrogation techniques was very highly trained in the  psychological methods of extracting information and getting people to become cooperative it sounds like. So why do they say he untrained?  Because he failed to get new information if that article is to be believed ?

 

But Guantanamo Bay has been a blight in the American consciousness for ages, its a real problem that Obama inherited from Bush. And what stupifies me is despite all his efforts to close it down he is still getting blocked by certain Republicans and Democrats. Why not transfer all the prisoners to a supermax  prison, I don't understand why this can't be done or why people are blocking this?

 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/12/02/obama-plan-to-shut-down-guantanamo-bay-suffers-major-setback/

 

When you say things like " very highly trained in the  psychological methods of extracting information and getting people to become cooperative", I mean, that's like saying "yes but it sounded like he was very well trained at whatever you need to be trained in, you know". What exactly are the qualifications for torture, and do you get one by being a psychologist, or by being a certain type of psychologist?

 

It's hard to say whether you could label psychologists like Mitchell 'amateurs' who shouldn't have any say, or 'expert consultants'. But I know what people learn in psychology PhDs. His dissertation had nothing to do with learned helplessness or interrogation situations, etc. He did work for the military, which included some scenario training re. interrogations. Whether that means it's reasonable that he comes up with this new Total Torture setup and it gets approved, you'll have to decide. 

 

 

Some interesting points raised, but would it be possible for you to not use the word " torture". Usage of that word immediately sets an uncomfortable precedent when we talk about the  advanced interrogation techniques that were used. And as the article mentions the CIA still maintains that very pertinent information was gained through these techniques

 

You read the article in the Spiegel and juxtaposed to that are the Japanese hostages about to be beheaded and yet the CIA have somehow become the " bad guys " in this narrative, food for thought perhaps about how we sometimes pass judgement about institutions tasked to protect us?

 

 

You think 'advanced interrogation techniques' are a neutral term and 'torture' is a biased one? You don't think the choice of AIT is equally a choice to constantly imply to people that it is not torture? You are free to continue to refer to it as AIT, just as I may refer to it as torture - the word that most people would use if confronted with such a scene without other context. I do not think a conversation about who is 'more' biased or not is productive; we should be able to discuss this knowing that both of us can be biased in various ways.

 

'Very pertinent information was gathered through techniques' is one of those claims that become particularly meaningless in the current set of wars. Notwithstanding the guy they interviewed for this article, you would have to have data about what kind of information was gathered from suspects throughout a given period; which was gathered through torture, which was not; a judgment on whether torture-gathered data could not have been gained any other way; how valuable that information was; etc. 

 

Now, I know you do not have access to sufficient information to make a judgment about whether these techniques produced 'very pertinent information' at a sufficient rate to make this 'worth it' by whatever metric. I know this because most of us do not have access to that information. This is exactly the same as the Snowden problem: quote Dianne Feinstein, "I wish we could tell you all the good this program has done, if only that wasn't classified." (paraphrased) In fact, it is so classified (and voluminous) that even the FISA Court, the court charged with judging the legitimacy of at least some of these activities, has confessed that it has to go by the word of the NSA sometimes. It is the same here. You have to go by the word of the CIA. 

 

So, do you trust the CIA to assess its own torture or AIT and then tell you 'it was / was not worth it, now move on'? I would have reasonable expectation that the CIA is probably competent most of the time; that most of its personnel are highly patriotic to the United States; and so on and so forth. I would not have the expectation that the CIA can be trusted to assess the morality of its own operations without any proper external audit. Why? Not because it's the CIA in particular, but because independent, external audit is one of the few things that - despite its problems - works to stop institutions from living in their own bubble and getting carried away with things. It is also, I should mention, a founding principle in how American government is designed.

 

You can't just not trust anybody and assume the worst in everybody, because then your own ability to say you know anything or do anything becomes critically undermined. That's what we call the tin foil man who raves in the street; he might be the wisest of us all, but he certainly doesn't have much of a life. Fine. But you have to have certain standards about what you decide to trust, and also occasionally question those standards. So what standards leads you to trust that the CIA was doing something right with torture? You don't seem to need the pertinent data in front of you, or a proper independent audit. 

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Yeah the report is interesting, its not new information but interesting nonetheless

 

The thing about the article I'm not understanding is they talk about " untrained professionals "

 

But that psychologist, James Mitchell, who was involved in the advanced interrogation techniques was very highly trained in the  psychological methods of extracting information and getting people to become cooperative it sounds like. So why do they say he untrained?  Because he failed to get new information if that article is to be believed ?

 

But Guantanamo Bay has been a blight in the American consciousness for ages, its a real problem that Obama inherited from Bush. And what stupifies me is despite all his efforts to close it down he is still getting blocked by certain Republicans and Democrats. Why not transfer all the prisoners to a supermax  prison, I don't understand why this can't be done or why people are blocking this?

 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/12/02/obama-plan-to-shut-down-guantanamo-bay-suffers-major-setback/

 

When you say things like " very highly trained in the  psychological methods of extracting information and getting people to become cooperative", I mean, that's like saying "yes but it sounded like he was very well trained at whatever you need to be trained in, you know". What exactly are the qualifications for torture, and do you get one by being a psychologist, or by being a certain type of psychologist?

 

It's hard to say whether you could label psychologists like Mitchell 'amateurs' who shouldn't have any say, or 'expert consultants'. But I know what people learn in psychology PhDs. His dissertation had nothing to do with learned helplessness or interrogation situations, etc. He did work for the military, which included some scenario training re. interrogations. Whether that means it's reasonable that he comes up with this new Total Torture setup and it gets approved, you'll have to decide. 

 

 

Some interesting points raised, but would it be possible for you to not use the word " torture". Usage of that word immediately sets an uncomfortable precedent when we talk about the  advanced interrogation techniques that were used. And as the article mentions the CIA still maintains that very pertinent information was gained through these techniques

 

You read the article in the Spiegel and juxtaposed to that are the Japanese hostages about to be beheaded and yet the CIA have somehow become the " bad guys " in this narrative, food for thought perhaps about how we sometimes pass judgement about institutions tasked to protect us?

 

 

You think 'advanced interrogation techniques' are a neutral term and 'torture' is a biased one? You don't think the choice of AIT is equally a choice to constantly imply to people that it is not torture? You are free to continue to refer to it as AIT, just as I may refer to it as torture - the word that most people would use if confronted with such a scene without other context. I do not think a conversation about who is 'more' biased or not is productive; we should be able to discuss this knowing that both of us can be biased in various ways.

 

'Very pertinent information was gathered through techniques' is one of those claims that become particularly meaningless in the current set of wars. Notwithstanding the guy they interviewed for this article, you would have to have data about what kind of information was gathered from suspects throughout a given period; which was gathered through torture, which was not; a judgment on whether torture-gathered data could not have been gained any other way; how valuable that information was; etc. 

 

Now, I know you do not have access to sufficient information to make a judgment about whether these techniques produced 'very pertinent information' at a sufficient rate to make this 'worth it' by whatever metric. I know this because most of us do not have access to that information. This is exactly the same as the Snowden problem: quote Dianne Feinstein, "I wish we could tell you all the good this program has done, if only that wasn't classified." (paraphrased) In fact, it is so classified (and voluminous) that even the FISA Court, the court charged with judging the legitimacy of at least some of these activities, has confessed that it has to go by the word of the NSA sometimes. It is the same here. You have to go by the word of the CIA. 

 

So, do you trust the CIA to assess its own torture or AIT and then tell you 'it was / was not worth it, now move on'? I would have reasonable expectation that the CIA is probably competent most of the time; that most of its personnel are highly patriotic to the United States; and so on and so forth. I would not have the expectation that the CIA can be trusted to assess the morality of its own operations without any proper external audit. Why? Not because it's the CIA in particular, but because independent, external audit is one of the few things that - despite its problems - works to stop institutions from living in their own bubble and getting carried away with things. It is also, I should mention, a founding principle in how American government is designed.

 

You can't just not trust anybody and assume the worst in everybody, because then your own ability to say you know anything or do anything becomes critically undermined. That's what we call the tin foil man who raves in the street; he might be the wisest of us all, but he certainly doesn't have much of a life. Fine. But you have to have certain standards about what you decide to trust, and also occasionally question those standards. So what standards leads you to trust that the CIA was doing something right with torture? You don't seem to need the pertinent data in front of you, or a proper independent audit. 

 

 Sure, I agree with some of the points you making. What I think is in times of war certain lines get blurred and years later we tend to look back and scrutinize with a much more critical eye what a particular government did. I do trust the CIA in the sense I firmly believe there intention is to keep the USA safe. Does that mean I deny they used questionable techniques to gain information, no I'm sure they did. Like waterboarding, its irrefutable this was used. But I ask people to remember context, 9/11 had just happened and the Western was angry and scared

 

Now The Spiegel writes these articles and there is a tendency from people to pass judgement and make comments like  "typical Western governments, they lecture us on morality and yet they tortured captives....what hypocrites " ( I'm not saying you are saying this but I have had these debates many times ) I find it a little exasperating to be honest, The Spiegel should be exposing and updating us on the real and actual horrors being perpetuated by ISIS for example instead of promoting an almost anti-Western sentiment. The West really aren't the "bad guys " after all but when you read these articles you could almost believe that the USA has no interest in adhering to international laws and that there country is some super police state where people are indiscriminately tortured to gain information. Despite the fact these AIT are now completely outlawed and considered anathema by the current US government

 

For me these types of articles are not new, we know most of this, yet they become talking points and have a tendency to confuse people around who the real threat to global stability is 

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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...  I do trust the CIA in the sense I firmly believe there intention is to keep the USA safe. Does that mean I deny they used questionable techniques to gain information, no I'm sure they did. Like waterboarding, its irrefutable this was used. But I ask people to remember context, 9/11 had just happened and the Western was angry and scared

 

 

So being angry and scared justifies evil acts?

 

I've little doubt that some of the people you think are the 'bad guys' are angry and scared. How come their evil deeds aren't justified this way.

 

And the CIA does not have keeping the USA safe as it's priority.... it works for the international bankers (aka 'Wall Street), not for the people of the USA.

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." How come their evil deeds aren't justified this way."

 

HUH? They are justified that way by many people. Just read that  newspaper mass murder thread for lots of justification for it based on the  perpetrators being 'angry' and/or 'scared'.

 

L0L

 

Your biased bigotry is showing.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Bruce, your logic makes big jumps in little gaps between statements. Actually, that's what we all do, because that's how our language works: one sentence flows from another, and the chasms between them become forgotten. For instance: 

 

What I think is in times of war certain lines get blurred and years later we tend to look back and scrutinize with a much more critical eye what a particular government did. I do trust the CIA in the sense I firmly believe there intention is to keep the USA safe. Does that mean I deny they used questionable techniques to gain information, no I'm sure they did. Like waterboarding, its irrefutable this was used. But I ask people to remember context, 9/11 had just happened and the Western was angry and scared

 

(1) Do you believe that being more critical after the war, and being less critical during the war, is a reflection on how we are unfairly over-critical afterwards, or how we are dangerously under-critical during? You obviously imply the former. Why? No reason is given.

(2) You trust the CIA intends to keep USA safe. As I said, so do I. You admit certain techniques were used. As do I. Then you say the West was angry and scared. So? Why is that a relevant or sufficient justification? No reason is given.

 

The Spiegel should be exposing and updating us on the real and actual horrors being perpetuated by ISIS for example instead of promoting an almost anti-Western sentiment. The West really aren't the "bad guys " after all 

 

(3) I agree that "all criticism of non-Western horrors is silly, the West is just as bad" is a pointless and dangerous line of argument. But then you immediately go on to say that Der Spiegel should decline to report in critical terms about CIA interrogations, and instead go for the 'real horrors' of ISIS. So you again make huge leaps with no reason given:

  • You cannot say criticising the torture is wrong, because that means you'd be saying "criticism of Western horrors is silly, the non-West is even worse" - making you the same as those you criticise.
  • You say 'real and actual horrors' as if putting people in boxes is not a 'real and actual horror'. So are you now saying there's some kind of metric here? 
  • Certainly, by many (Western) standards, the West is much less of a 'bad guy' than ISIS. So are you now saying journalism should protect the West and criticise the 'bad guys'? Why? The West already has its politicians, military, etc. to do that. Historically, we wanted journalism so we could see if the West was sometimes doing bad guy things, and to make sure it doesn't turn into a bad guy. 
 

For me these types of articles are not new, we know most of this, yet they become talking points and have a tendency to confuse people around who the real threat to global stability is 

 

I agree that this article in particular is imprudent in several ways, and that just sitting here criticising the US all day long is counterproductive. However, you have not justified in any way why, more broadly, this kind of criticism should not take place, or should be taken less seriously, or that they should be displaced in favour of ISIS coverage (which we alreayd have a lot of), etc, etc. 

 

You like to ask others, in very thinly veiled rhetorical questions, whether they are perhaps aware of their own biases and blind spots. To be consistent, then, you should also ask yourself: what is happening when your arguments rely on "who is the real bad guy", "who is more of a bad guy", "they tortured but they were angry and scared"?

 

 

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Some interesting points raised, but would it be possible for you to not use the word " torture". Usage of that word immediately sets an uncomfortable precedent when we talk about the  advanced interrogation techniques that were used. And as the article mentions the CIA still maintains that very pertinent information was gained through these techniques

 

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- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Man, I'm 99% sure that Bruce is a troll, but then there is that 1%. I mean can a person be that good of a troll?

Yes, I've found the most effective way to troll is to act like you actually believe in what you're saying.

 

And I'd trust the 99% feeling.

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the CIA still maintains that very pertinent information was gained through these techniques

 

 

In all fairness though, what do you expect them to say? "Actually, we pretty much committed a series of most vile human right abuses and violated pretty much all international treaties on the matter for sh*ts and giggles?" Maybe mutter "mistakes were made, we're sorry", while hanging their head in shame? 

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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Well, 97% of the time, it's not! The problem is the remaining 3%, and the fact that vaguely worded forum roles and the mod squad having people who are perfectly cool with torture as long as it happens to brown people make me extremely apathetic about reporting clearly abusive behavior.


Well, that's your problem then. I highly doubt any moderators are cool with torture (seriously though, name them if you're going to throw a dart like that), some may argue that it's justified as a means to get intelligence and that is their hill to fight on. And even if they are, they may very well do their "job" regardless.

 

 

You honestly don't see how "thinking torture is a justified means to get intelligence" logically leads to "being cool with torturing people as long as it yields intelligence"?

 

And the thing is, being okay with torture speaks of a lack of empathy on the most basic level. If a person is willing to trivialize the torture of a mentally handicapped person - a person who is not only innocent, but isn't even capable of understanding why is this happening to them - to use the footage of them crying as "leverage"*, just because the CIA pinky-swore** that torture sometimes yielded useful information, how the hell am I supposed to assume that they'll take seriously my much less grievous beef with someone who was mean to me on the Internet?

 

 

*Page 16, footnote 32.

 

** because they'd totally admit if they had violated all international human rights treaties for no particular gain, right?

 

 

Just to give another view about how the advanced interrogation techniques-  AIT ( torture as you like to call it )  were used. I watched an interview around how it was implemented, the CIA didn't use AIT and then ask questions expecting it to yield the only answer, it was used to gain confirmation around information already gathered. So for example if the CIA was told that person X was a courier of Bin Laden they would use AIT just to confirm this 

 

This is important because there is a valid view that says torture doesn't provide really accurate information because people will end up telling the interrogator  anything they want to hear, the way AIT was used it did reveal information

 

And I'm not suggesting this is something that made it okay but its not correct to say it wasn't effective 

 

 

 

How about having this conversation here?

 

 

Thing is, if you try to argue for the effectiveness of torture, your job isn't to prove that torture was "useful". Of course it was "useful"; that's why people have been using it for millennia! Question is, a/ was it more useful than using interrogation methods not involving lasting psychological damage and risk of immediate death, and b/ was it useful enough to outweigh the completely unjustifiable additional torture and, in some cases, killing of innocent people the program also entailed?

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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Well, 97% of the time, it's not! The problem is the remaining 3%, and the fact that vaguely worded forum roles and the mod squad having people who are perfectly cool with torture as long as it happens to brown people make me extremely apathetic about reporting clearly abusive behavior.

Well, that's your problem then. I highly doubt any moderators are cool with torture (seriously though, name them if you're going to throw a dart like that), some may argue that it's justified as a means to get intelligence and that is their hill to fight on. And even if they are, they may very well do their "job" regardless.

 

 

You honestly don't see how "thinking torture is a justified means to get intelligence" logically leads to "being cool with torturing people as long as it yields intelligence"?

 

And the thing is, being okay with torture speaks of a lack of empathy on the most basic level. If a person is willing to trivialize the torture of a mentally handicapped person - a person who is not only innocent, but isn't even capable of understanding why is this happening to them - to use the footage of them crying as "leverage"*, just because the CIA pinky-swore** that torture sometimes yielded useful information, how the hell am I supposed to assume that they'll take seriously my much less grievous beef with someone who was mean to me on the Internet?

 

 

*Page 16, footnote 32.

 

** because they'd totally admit if they had violated all international human rights treaties for no particular gain, right?

 

 

Just to give another view about how the advanced interrogation techniques-  AIT ( torture as you like to call it )  were used. I watched an interview around how it was implemented, the CIA didn't use AIT and then ask questions expecting it to yield the only answer, it was used to gain confirmation around information already gathered. So for example if the CIA was told that person X was a courier of Bin Laden they would use AIT just to confirm this 

 

This is important because there is a valid view that says torture doesn't provide really accurate information because people will end up telling the interrogator  anything they want to hear, the way AIT was used it did reveal information

 

And I'm not suggesting this is something that made it okay but its not correct to say it wasn't effective 

 

 

 

How about having this conversation here?

 

 

Thing is, if you try to argue for the effectiveness of torture, your job isn't to prove that torture was "useful". Of course it was "useful"; that's why people have been using it for millennia! Question is, a/ was it more useful than using interrogation methods not involving lasting psychological damage and risk of immediate death, and b/ was it useful enough to outweigh the completely unjustifiable additional torture and, in some cases, killing of innocent people the program also entailed?

 

 

I do understand your point, you are saying can you gain pertinent information without using AIT. So my first point  would be you are dealing with people who are religious zealots and many of them are not highly educated, thats why terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda are so appealing to them. They truly believe that killing innocent Muslims and Westerners is going to guarantee them a place in heaven

 

But if you read that Speigel link he talks about using the the "rapport building technique" . In the article he says 

 

"By engaging in a mental poker game with them, but consistently presenting them with facts and evidence of their guilt, by speaking their language -- both figuratively and literally -- which is something none of these private contractors for the CIA could do. For example, I questioned Salim Ahmed Hamdan, bin Laden's driver, in Guantanamo. I offered him tea, made it possible for him to call his wife -- those are things that had been promised to him, but the promises weren't kept. During the interrogations, I lay down next to him on the floor, and then we talked. That's classic "rapport building"

 

But I question how effective this is really to gain the information you need? And this applies to anyone who is prepared to kill for a cause. Suddenly relating to them and being friendly is going to make them betray their religion? I'm sure this works for some but not the majority

 

So the question I would ask you is how would  you as an interrogator who needs to get vital confirmation around information get this confirmation?

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Oh Orwell.

 

'Advanced Interrogation techniques'

 

There's really nothing advanced about torturing someone. In fact it's a sub 100 IQ level approach to a situation. Either that or just some evil sickos getting their evil on.

 

Real advanced techniques would involve coercion akin to what Hanns Scharff became famous for.

 

You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

 

Do us all a favor Bruce and please go read 'A Brave New World', '1984', and 'Animal Farm'.

Edited by Valsuelm
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Ahh "Advanced Interrogation Techniques" or it's not torture cuz we call it something else.

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