Discussion in 'Serious' started by DLDeadbolt, 10 Dec 2014.
This is a difficult one for me, because you don't know what the CIA (and, of course, other such organisations) have prevented as a result of this interrogation.
If we knew that the interrogation and possible death of one terrorist could have prevented the Twin Tower attack, would we condone it? Would we allow him to walk freely, preaching and converting others at the cost of 3,000 people and billion's of pounds of cost to the country?
If water boarding a known terrorist meant that they could have prevented the 07/07/05 bombing and meant that a close member of your family is still with you, would you condone it?
Please don't see this as me fully condoning all methods of interrogation that they used, more that in certain circumstances, and in the interest of national security, it may have been necessary.
Bottom line: if you want to be the good guys, you have to act like the good guys. Otherwise, you're saying that the end justifies the means (however repugnant those means are) and that has to be just as applicable for the terrorists as it does for law enforcement.
Fishlock, the CIA's own records (what remains of them) point out the limited return on investment.
According to CIA records, seven of the 39 CIA detainees known to have been subjected to the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques produced no intelligence while in CIA custody. CIA detainees who were subjected to the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques were usually subjected to the techniques immediately after being rendered to CIA custody. Other detainees provided significant accurate intelligence prior to, or without having been subjected to these techniques
While being subjected to the CIA's enhanced interrogation techniques and afterwards, multiple CIA detainees fabricated information, resulting in faulty intelligence. Detainees provided fabricated information on critical intelligence issues, including the terrorist threats which the CIA identified as its highest priorities.
From the report:
The committee reviewed 20 of the most frequent and prominent examples of purported counterterrorism “successes” that the CIA has attributed to the use of its enhanced interrogation techniques. Each of those examples was found to be wrong in fundamental respects. In some cases, there was no relationship between the claimed counterterrorism “success” and any information provided by a CIA detainee during or after the use of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques. In the remaining cases, the CIA inaccurately represented that unique information was acquired from a CIA detainee as a result of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques, when in fact the information was either (a) acquired from the CIA detainee prior to the use of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques or (b) corroborative of information already available to the intelligence community from sources other than the CIA detainee, and therefore not unique or “otherwise unavailable...”
Trying to justify the torture in the first place makes you just as bad as the ACTUAL terrorists, and when used against INNOCENT people, it makes you worse.
First off, Torture = Bad.
But, whatever the "Intelligence" services (oxymoron alert!) do, its a no win situation.
If they suspect someone of terrorist intent, arrest them, ask them nicely if they're a terrorist planning to attack and kill lots of people, and then let them go once they say no. Then said person goes on a kills lots of people, they will be criticised.
If they suspect someone of terrorist intent, arrest them, use any and all means to find out what plans are afoot, and then stop them, they will be criticised.
The problem is, is that the negative results are visible (mass killings, human rights violations, etc), and the positives (stopping mass killings) and invisible, and we can only take their word on the latter.
Isn't there a quote along the lines of "The price of peace is war"? Its just that war is no longer just lumbering armies in pitched battles, its now "asymmetric" which no side can really "win", its just a case of who loses the least; just look at the "results" of Iraq and Afghanistan... cant really say anyone won
Can we please not call it interrogation, or enhanced interrogation for that matter.
It is no such thing, it's torture no two ways about it and as such no information gathered from it could ever be relied upon for accuracy, it probably cost more money and time chasing dead ends just because the poor sod being tortured said anything as long as that mean they would stop.
First, as Corky42 says: let's call it what it is. Would it feel like torture if it was done to you? Of course it would. So it is torture.
Second, as Corky42 also says: torture does not work. People will say anything to make the pain stop. So you have to engage in a cat-and-mouse game, asking questions that (you think!) you already know the answer to to check whether they are still lying, while they try to guess whatever it is you want to hear that will make you stop torturing them, please. You will note that this dynamic does not sound very different from the one you get in a standard interrogation where the opponents try to outsmart and out-guess each other. Therefore: torture does not add anything to the process of getting to the 'truth'. Quite the opposite, in fact, as George Orwell illustrated. Now, how many fingers am I holding up?...
Third, as bawjaws says: the price of being the Good Guys is that you have to be the Good Guys. This means that you don't have the same options as the Bad Guys. You do not always get to win, either. But that is what it means to be the Good Guys: to have moral principles that outweigh expediency. Else they don't mean anything, and you're not the Good Guys.
Fourth, it is one thing to balance the torture and possible death of a terrorist against the deaths of innocent civilians in a terrorist attack, but what if the subject of torture and death turns out to be an innocent civilian as well? It's not as if we always know whether someone is a terrorist. How many innocents are we prepared to risk subjecting to torture and death to keep how many other innocents safe? Answers on a post card, please.
True. Well said.
The consequence of prohibiting actions (of any sort, terrorist or otherwise) is that "innocents" will be affected (caught in the crossfire as it were), no matter how careful the responsible organisations. Thus as both bawjaws and Nexxo have said you have to be above reproach in your actions, regardless of the potential (and that's the key word here I feel) consequences.
Real actions can never be justified by the potential or possible. [i.e. invading Iraq 'cos they had WMD]
Perpetually amazed at how many people are willing to brush torture under the rug because 'they might be terrorists' or 'might prevent attacks'.
If someone tortured British people, repeatedly, for no reason other than religion and general moaning about weather (hello stereotypes!), you might be inspired to **** their day up too you know.
torture doesn't really work. If someone is going to talk they will do so pretty early. Once the torture starts the validity of anything they say is in question. If they are tortured as described above they can be so out of it that they don't even know what is true or a hallucination.
All's fair in love and war. Just don't complain about the 'terrorism' if you're willing to condone the torture.
Indeed. I would go as far as to join George Orwell in arguing that torture is never about getting to the 'truth'; it's about imposing your 'truth'. The purpose of torture is transformation of the victim. Professional torturers boast to be able to transform a person into anything, from a Communist to a Catholic, or whatever is required, within six weeks. You make them what you want them to be; you make them not just confess but believe it; make their brain perfect before you blow it out on the public stage. It's about self-justification and total control of people's reality.
The US tortured prisoners because it needed them to be inhuman terrorist monsters, and by treating them as such they created that reality in themselves, in their victims and in the general public. And people in systems being people in systems, everybody went along with this dictated reality. Total control is not just making reality whatever you want it to be, but to make everybody else's reality whatever you want it to be as well.
Frankly I don't get why it matters whether torture is effective or not. Torture is wrong regardless of its effectiveness.
AFAIK terrorists won. They "terrorised" us in doing this crap. Compare to traffic accidents and cardiovascular disease, terrorism shouldn't even make the news. And yet we are all freaking out.
Some interesting responses...
How do we know this style of interrogation does not work?
Do any of us really think they've disclosed the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? How do we know what catastrophes have been prevented by bending the rules?
What happens when 'being the good guy' stops working? Do we just let the world fall apart around us and allow the bad guys to take over? I'm sure the world will scream that the 'services' didn't do enough should it happen. The London riots are a good example of this.
They know when someone is linked to terrorism. And if the information that person provides prevents an attack, then their knowledge makes them concerned in an act of terrorism and therefore guilty.
I open another question up to everyone: You are strapped to a chair and have two buttons in front of you. One kills an innocent young female, recently married with two Children. The other kills a thousand randomly selected people. If you refuse, they'll all die, yourself included. If you kill the female, there's a 50% chance the other thousand random people will die anyway.
Which do you press?
Simple logic, if someone cuts off your fingers one by one until you admit to being a terrorist how many % of people will make a false confession to stop you cutting off their fingers?
I bet it is very close to 100%.
So why have they continued to use these techniques for hundreds of years?
Because torture results in you getting the answers that you are looking for, and therefore there's a self-perpetuating myth that torture works.
They used to burn witches hundreds of years ago, but that doesn't mean we should be making pyres for "witches" today.
How about when it gets the answer that you are looking for, that saves thousands of people? We'd be the first to criticise the CIA for just releasing a terrorist when offering them a cup of tea didn't work. Even more so if they went on to kill.
Burning witches wasn't torture. It was a way of killing someone capable of 'witchcraft'. We all know it's rubbish now, but the public were genuinely terrified of witchcraft back then and thought it was the only way of dispelling it.
No, even during the inquisition there was a "due process" and you still needed a confession in order to burn anyone. Eventually, they all "confessed" to withcraft, Which says it all regarding the efficacy of torture.
That said, this is still an irrelevant point. Are you saying that you would kill/harm someone to save several people?
The point is that you only get an answer that you already suspect to be true - so if you already have suspicion that x is a terrorist, and under torture y confirms (because you prompted them, not because they spontaneously volunteered the information apropros of nothing) that x is indeed a terrorist, you've not actually gained any valid new information. Y has only implicated x because he's been tortured, not because he necessarily knows that x is a terrorist. You don't get actual verification of the suspicion that you hold, because the information extracted under torture isn't reliable.
If you then go ahead and act on the information that you extracted under torture, all you've done is added a false veneer of authenticity to your already-held suspicion. If you already think that x is a terrorist, then go ahead and arrest them. If you don't have enough evidence without torture, then frankly you don't have enough evidence with torture, given that the tortured will say anything to make the torture stop.
If you want to go ahead and start arresting and detaining people without sufficient evidence, you can do so without torturing anyone.
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