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View Diary: Rumsfeld's Revenge: Army Field Manual to Allow Torture (217 comments)

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  •  You're an absolutist on this stuff, and I... (2+ / 0-)
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    Phoenix Woman, Troutnut

    appreciate your position.  The lines between abuse, torture, and legitimate interrogation techniques are pretty clear.   I don't like arguing with you, because our realities are different, and I find myself supporting things I would love to condemn in blanket fashion.  But I can't.  

    If you truly believe that American interrogators regularly use torture, or want to use torture, or have used torture....then I can't help you.  I can imagine scenarios where I would want to "sensory deprive" detainees during movements that last more than 8 hours.  I don't want them seeing, and I don't want them hearing, and I don't want them talking to one another.  If it's torture, then I'm a torturer.  But I'm not.  

    To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

    by joesig on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 04:50:55 PM PST

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    •  Great comments throughout here, joesig. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoenix Woman

      You bring expertise and reason to the general viewpoint that I've just been expressing with snark.  I oppose torture, but I see Valtin's diary as too absolutist.

      ---
      "If Obama is the nominee, we are doomed." -Rush Limbaugh
      "Always speak before Barack Obama, not after Barack Obama." -Olbermann

      by Troutnut on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 06:04:08 PM PST

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      •  Thank you. I think Valtin is terrific... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Phoenix Woman

        but his expertise on torture makes him set impossible standards for real interrogations of real bad actors.  

        I appreciate your support, and his knowledge as well.  My hands are too dirty to be an absolutist.

        To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

        by joesig on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 06:34:37 PM PST

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    •  I actually don't believe (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoenix Woman, Creosote

      American interrogators "regularly" use torture. Just wanted to make that clear. Why? Because the vast majority of prisoners cooperate with the use of rapport measures and direct questioning. The "shock of capture" is usually more than enough "breakage" for the average prisoner.

      Am I right, joesig?

      But whether I'm an absolutist or not, Geneva, CAN and other protocols are pretty clear about how prisoners should be treated. It's not up to me.

      War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade Invictus

      by Valtin on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 08:39:02 PM PST

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      •  Valtin... sorry for the delay. And you are .... (0+ / 0-)

        absolutely right.  Both about interrogation and the Geneva Conventions.  

        I used to instruct this stuff, to guys who were going to be doing the capturing, and the bagging and tagging, to be honest.  I stressed one thing: this stuff is simple, regarding the treatment of prisoners.  The Conventions are absolutely clear: ALL captured personnel are to be treated as legitimate POW's until they are adjudicated otherwise in an official procedure.  In other words, there is no thinking or judgment required; the guys on the ground have no leeway to decide that a bearded, non-uniformed, non-citizen of the country where captured is an illegal combatant.  It's not in our legal power to decide, even if it seems obvious.  

        Thanks for your work.

        To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

        by joesig on Mon Jan 26, 2009 at 05:10:07 PM PST

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