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View Diary: Michael Moore Speaks Out on Zero Dark Thirty (85 comments)

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  •  Moore doesn't know what he's talking about (7+ / 0-)

    he says:

    ...[I] f you torture someone who actually has the information, they will eventually give it to you."
    That's just not true. Torture almost always fails to produce accurate info and often produces inaccurate info. No wonder he didn't have a problem with ZDT; he think torture never fails to produce accurate info!

    In fact, in the real (not Hollywood) hunt for OBL, at least two valuable suspects stopped providing info when the torture began, and two others provided bogus info that hindered the search.

    Moore's (flawed) point is that opponents of torture shouldn't engage in the efficacy argument; they should argue it's wrong, period, but that's just foolish. The fact is, many Americans are willing to support torture if they thinks it keeps them safe, and it's important for torture opponents to debunk that argument.

    His argument reminds me of the old argument of death penalty abolitionists who said we should use practical arguments against the death penalty-- cost, lack of deterrence--but stick to a strictly moral argument; lo and behold, it's been tangential arguments that have begin to sway public opinion.

    Like it or not, Americans' views on human rights issues are often informed by their self-interest, and we have to engage on practical questions.

    One of the worst pieces Moore's ever written. Beyond his bullshit about torture, I'm surprised this famous, anti-war lefty is heaping praise on such a jingoistic America-centric film.

    I could go on but I won't.

    •  You are misquoting him (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mumtaznepal, viral, Jon Says, arlandbaee

      He says that most information gained from torture will be useless because most people will attempt to stop the torture by giving their torturers the information they think they want.

      It has astounded me that so many otherwise smart people are so afraid to admit that torture - which is immoral, illegal and usually ineffective - might not get useful information sometime. This has been a huge part of the anti-ZB30 argument (people are so easily misguided, this movie will validate torture, it must be opposed).

      The effect is that the average person - who gets that faced with torture he's usually give up information - rejects the greater arguments against torture because those who argue against the film start with the wrong conclusion that torture doesn't work usually.

      •  I quoted him! It's a direct quote-- (9+ / 0-)
        If you allow the question to be "did torture work?" then you'll lose because yes, if you torture someone who actually has the information, they will eventually give it to you.
        Such bullshit.

        Generally, the most hardened suspects likely to have the best info are least likely to break, not least because being tortured always intensifies their feeling of righteousness.

        No opponent of torture - not me, not anyone -- has ever said torture can't work. Of course, it conceivably could. We're saying--

        a) there's no proof it provided valuable info in the hunt for OBL; indeed, people with access to the SSCI report say there's proof it didn't

        b) it's much less likely to produce accurate info than legal, rapport-building techniques.

        •  c) there's evidence that... (11+ / 0-)

          ...torture can provide disinformation that gets innocent people killed if the torturers are gamed by well-prepared, highly committed captives.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 01:59:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I heard an interview with John McCain in which (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades, jayden

            he talked about giving the North Vietnamese false information when he was being tortured. Here is a statement from a SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) instructor on teaching Americans how to resist if captured and tortured.

            When torture is applied, and right at the top of our torture slide, in our resistance lesson is why torture does not work. And the first line of that PowerPoint is, it's completely ineffective. Once a person learns what is coming, they gain the ability to resist. Even if it's just a little bit.

            And so waterboarding is a demonstrator to show just how an evil totalitarian nation can use one of many, many different tortures. And there are some horrible, horrible tortures out there. Waterboarding's a mild one, but it's equally as stressful. But it demonstrates that they have the ability to put you in a situation where you will comply.

            Now, complying does not necessarily mean—does not necessarily mean that you're giving the truth. You're giving an answer. And an answer can be anything. It can be a truth, a half-truth, a lie, a medley of all three in the same sentence. You know?

            Gerrymandra delenda est

            by Mokurai on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:12:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Just to finish that quote (0+ / 0-)

          from Moore, here's the rest of that paragraph:

          The problem is, the other 99 who don't know anything will also tell you anything to get you to stop torturing – but their information is wrong. How do you know which one of the 100 is the man with the goods? You don't.
          So its a direct quote - that leaves out the crux of the point he's trying to make.

          Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by NLinStPaul on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:38:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not only that (7+ / 0-)

      he makes this extraordinary claim that the strong and vocal criticisms of the film are the result of sexist Hollywood males, essentially.  

      He just pulls that right out of his ass.  First of all, most of the early criticisms did not come from Hollywood liberal males and the film critics were wild about it.  It's gotten far more praise than criticism.  Second, the Hollywood liberal males who are speaking out against it (there are only a relative few that I know of) strike me as some of the least sexist kinds of guys in that realm, and pretty good activists too -- guys who actually give a shit about what's going on in the country beyond their own wealth and fame.  Third, on what basis does he make this claim?  Does he offer any evidence at all?  He just jumps to that conclusion apparently because the people who he would usually agree with on most things are not agreeing with him on this.  It sounds to me like he could not come up with a strong argument of his own so he pulled this one out of his ass and played the sexism card, trying to actually guilt people into agreeing with him when the things they strongly object to have not the first f'ing thing to do with sexism.

      I'd like him to stop making arguments in defense of feminism here.  I don't find characters like Maya to advance the feminist cause in any way.  And the things that I have read about the real life person who Maya is modeled after?  If those stories are accurate, trust me, she is no credit to the feminist cause and as far as the humanitarian cause, and other things... I have to stop.  People can read about her themselves.

      Moore also conveniently ignores the fact that Boal had a huge influence on this film. Bigelow credits him with all the research, essentially.  So the facts and perspectives or at least a lot of them came from Boals, who, IMHO, is probably the one who injected a lot of the CIA propaganda into it.  He has a history of war time embedded journalism.  Watching the interviews with Boal also gave me that strong impression.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 01:18:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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