The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Friday, December 16, 2005

Max Boot points out where most so called torture occurs

In response to the silly defense liberals have given against so called torture of terrorist types, Max Boot in the LA Times points out where most so called torture occurs: in our armed forces training camps. The same techniques used against Al Qaeda types decried by liberals are used on our own troops in special training.

"They are routinely made to stand for long periods in uncomfortable positions. They are made to walk for hours while wearing heavy loads on their backs. They are bullied by martinets who get in their faces and yell insults at them. They are hit and often knocked down with clubs known as pugil sticks. They are denied sleep for more than a day at a time. They are forced to inhale tear gas. They are prevented from seeing friends or family. Some are traumatized by this treatment. Others are injured. A few even die."
We provide this training to prepare them in the event they are taken prisoner and subjected to such treatment. While the liberal media is ready to raise the banner to ensure terrorists everywhere are gauranteed a good nights sleep and gourmet meals, we are not likely to hear a word of complaint about the training we provide our own.

It just appears liberals in the media not only lack the stomach to do what is necessary to defend our country as needed, they also have a real loathing for our men and women in uniform. The reports are always skewed against them and never are the deeds of bravery and even kindness given a spotlight by these children of the 70's. Watch how quickly they skip over the successful elections in Iraq thanks to the diligence of our soldiers, while all negative localized issues related to the military are front page for days and weeks.

19 Comments:

  • At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Sean said…

    So what does this have to do with banning the use of torture on the enemy? What does this have to do with 'having the stomach to do what is necessary'? Are you saying torture is necessary?

     
  • At 11:33 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    I used the words "so called torture". So far we have seen no evidence of what would be real torture. Some firm treatment involving temperature changes, sleep deprivation, water boarding are not torture and they are used on our boys in their training. Why the media chooses to blow up these actions into torture makes me wonder who's side they are on.

    As for true torture, there may be circumstances where torture would be necessary to save lives and where the enemy is not protected by the Geneva Convention because they do not wear a uniform. To save thousand in a "ticking time bomb" situation torture is feasibly justified. I would argue to make very sure such conditions truly exist.

    If the president got on TV after we see a mushroom cloud over one of our major cities to state how fair we treated prisoners that might have had info to stop it would make me quite angry.

     
  • At 8:56 AM, Anonymous Sean said…

    So you want the media to take sides? Would you be happier if they supported the U.S. unconditionally and didn't question our actions?

    It's too bad you bring up 'ticking timebomb'. Seriously. Straight from the horse's mouth. Can you think for yourself or did you read the talking points too?

    As far as it being justified, I'm sure that if there were a nuclear device in one of our cities, and if it was timed to go off, and if we had one of the enemy in custody, and if that enemy actually knew how to disarm the bomb, well, it guess we might use any means necessary. Sure is a lot of "if's" there though.

    What most from the right don't seem to understand is that the ill will toward us is fostered by things like this, how we have to broker a deal amongst ourselves, even, in order to say we won't torture them. Does this sound like a humane society? One that can barely reach a concensus that torture is a bad thing?

    Think of it from the fragile mind point of view. Would you want to be captured by the U.S. if there is a distinct chance you will be tortured, especially now that we know that the White House wants to keep the possibility open? Of course not. Instead you are going down guns blazing or explosive belt exploding.

    See, this is such an easy thing for the enemy to exploit. "Look, the enemy tortures people. They are unjust. Look at Abu Graib. This will happen to you. Don't become dogs. Fight them to the death, from everywhere."

     
  • At 1:21 PM, Anonymous paw said…

    "So far we have seen no evidence of what would be real torture." Respectfully, sitting in your living room you are in no position to make such judgments. You are basing your judgments based on partisan information. Our predecessors (in the civilized world, if you will allow me to use that term) have determined where the torture line is. Our precedents, conventions, and agreements regarding torture by and large grew out of the experiences of those who went through WWII. Bunch of pansy libs who misunderstood issues of war and peace? That's the position you have to take to reject torture conventions. This is my main point.

    You try to frame a liberal position on this issue, but you're misguided in that. There are the Bushites and their supporters, redefining torture in a very un-conservative way, and then there is everyone else. You are out on a dangerous limb, alone. The problem is owned by Bushites, not by liberals. Some of the activities we've been engaged in ARE torture by it's internationally accepted definitions.

    And about the Boot article, I'm surprised you fall for such sophism. As a self professed thinker, how can you stand for such sloppy logic? Can you defend the position that Sadaam's behavior justifies or should have any bearing whatsoever on our policy regarding torture? Can you defend the position that the wrongful death rate is a good metric by which to determine anything about torture? Can you explain to me at what point a terrorist suspect becomes a terrorist, and thereby eligible for torture? Can you explain to me what bearing the statement "what the word 'torture' commonly connotes" has on what torture actually *is*?

    I dug this up just for you, buddy: get this statement from the Israelis related to a ruling declaring that stress positions are illegal: "...this decision does not ease the task of coping with the difficult security reality prevailing in Israel. This is the destiny of democracy, as not all means are acceptable to it, and not all practices employed by its enemies are open before it." Care to take on the Israelis?

     
  • At 2:26 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Sean,
    "So you want the media to take sides?"

    I do not care if they take sides or not. Just don't take a side and pretend to be objective. The media consistently takes a side that is hostile to the US side. They have the right to do so, just don't claim to be objective or neutral because it simply isn't the case.

    "It's too bad you bring up 'ticking timebomb'. Seriously. Straight from the horse's mouth. Can you think for yourself or did you read the talking points too?"

    I used a term I knew to be commonly used in this argument in the interest of time. Get a life instead of using the lame 'think for yourself' line.

    "Think of it from the fragile mind point of view. Would you want to be captured by the U.S. if there is a distinct chance you will be tortured, especially now that we know that the White House wants to keep the possibility open? Of course not. Instead you are going down guns blazing or explosive belt exploding."

    In a way, you make my point by focusing on the enemy's understanding of our position. The fact is if we codify an anti-torture policy too strongly, we draw a clear line in their mind how long they need to hold out during an interrogation. It is kind of like in the cartoon where the cat measures off the chain of the ferocious dog and stand just one foot beyond it. The cat knows the dog can't touch it. If the chain length is more vague and perhaps classified, the enemy does not know how long to hold out for.

    "Look at Abu Graib"
    Abu Graib was not torture, it was simply stupid. If the media had printed that story for a single news cycle, it would not have inflamed the Arab world like it did. Of course Abu Graib gets many news cycles while the 3rd major successful election in Iraq is already a fading memory.

     
  • At 2:39 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    paw,

    "Respectfully, sitting in your living room you are in no position to make such judgments. You are basing your judgments based on partisan information."

    I am in as good a position as you to make these judgements. I have read many articles from both sides on this issue and nothing in any of them that provably happened and was condoned by the US falls under MY definition of torture. (My blog, so I go by my definitions here)


    "As a self professed thinker, how can you stand for such sloppy logic?"

    My logic here is flawless. The bottom line here is that I do not want US laws codified in such a way so that a decision maker has to be worried about going to prison for taking action he thinks is most likely to save lives in an extreme situation. At the same time the law should be such that mistreatment in trivial situations such as Abu Graib are correctly punished.


    "Care to take on the Israelis?"
    In this situation, you bet. They are wrong. It is not the first time I have disagreed with an Israeli decision. I have disagreed with each land giveaway as well.

     
  • At 5:12 PM, Anonymous paw said…

    When we take over again you're not going to like it at the reeducation camps....

     
  • At 5:32 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    "When we take over again you're not going to like it at the reeducation camps...."

    I guess it is ok to torture a conservative :)

     
  • At 7:14 AM, Blogger LASunsett said…

    From what I am reading here, there is a big difference in the definition of what is and what is not torture.

    So, Paw and Sean. What is/are YOUR definition(s) of torture?

     
  • At 11:37 PM, Anonymous paw said…

    Who, me define torture? I'm an IT guy, not an interrogator. You want an IT guy to come up with a definition of torture?

    I dont' see that its my duty as a citizen to define torture. My duty as a citizen is to pay attention and to be versed on the issues. God forbid that we all get to make our own definitions. I want the interrogators on my side to be as rough and tumble as can be allowed. I think they deserve and need clarity in where the line is.

    I'm comfortable with the definition of torture that has emerged from international negotiations from the generations who were in charge of and lived through the most bloody century in recorded history. I think those guys probably had a lot to offer on the subject. This is my main point, and probably where we differ.

    I'm comfortable with the McCain initiative.

    Article 1 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment seems to be a good place to start talking about the definition of torure. It's an international treaty and therefore is the supreme law of the land, according to Article VI, Paragraph 2 of the constition.

    I'd posit that the threshold of torture can occur before a detainee reaches the point of organ failure or impairment of bodily function. For that matter, in absolute terms I think we could all agree that the generally accepted notions of torture could occur well before that point. I think that the recent tinkering with the definiton and the legal justifications of torure by a group with very little millitary experience has been a bad thing, resulting (among other things) in confusion where there should be no confusion, which is bad for the people we detain, bad for our people charged with the task of interrogation, and ultimately bad for our cause.

    I could go in a dozen directions and write a book here before this topic has been given justice. And it should be given justice by each and every American. I'm not interested in going that deep in this forum.

     
  • At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Sean said…

    "From what I am reading here, there is a big difference in the definition of what is and what is not torture.

    So, Paw and Sean. What is/are YOUR definition(s) of torture?"

    Actually no, there is no discrepancy so far. I reviewed the my posts and I don't see any conflicting definitions. Don't know where you got that.

    When people use the words 'always' and 'never' to describe others they don't agree with, I tend to discount their ideas because they obviously do not have a frame of mind that can be questioned.

     
  • At 11:05 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    "Who, me define torture? I'm an IT guy, not an interrogator. You want an IT guy to come up with a definition of torture?"

    Paw, are you trying to make the point that an IT guy can have no input into public debate/dialogue. I don't think that is what you meant, but it sure reads that way.

    "Actually no, there is no discrepancy so far. I reviewed the my posts and I don't see any conflicting definitions."

    Sean, you made zero definition statements in your posts, so how could there be a conflict. The reasonable assumption on LA's part from thenature of yours posts is that you likely are placing "mistreatment" into the torture category. Perhaps you would consider sleep deprivation or late meals as torture. I would not.

    My position seems to be characterized as being pro-torture or to be eagerly looking for opportunities to torture. That is not the case. My objectives are not to torture. They are:

    - Not have a clear line in the terrorist's mind how far we will go in interrogation
    - Not place a politician in a position where he must choose to let a terrorist attack happen rather than face jail time for doing what may have prevented it.

    - As for always and never, black and white is much better than the slippery gray that so often is out there.

     
  • At 1:55 PM, Anonymous paw said…

    uh, er, umm..... I provided a number of examples of how torture has been defined in recent times and I basically said "I like this one here's a couple reasons" and of the other one I basically said "I don't think so" and of another one I said "this doesn't bother me." Are they MY definitions? Nope! Am I interested in developing a personal definition of torture? Nope! Would there be any value in that? I don't think so. Rather than providing MY DEFINITION of torture (which I think would be of little value since, lacking direct experience, I would be borrowing heavily from other definitions and basically making up stuff) I provided MY OPINION on a couple recent definitions of torture. There's a big difference in that. I'll aim for less accuracy in the future to avoid confusion.

     
  • At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Sean said…

    "Sean, you made zero definition statements in your posts, so how could there be a conflict."
    ...I know!!! Crazy how that works. I make no mention of the definition of torture, yet I'm told that I'm questioning it.

    "The reasonable assumption on LA's part from thenature of yours posts is that you likely are placing "mistreatment" into the torture category. Perhaps you would consider sleep deprivation or late meals as torture. I would not."
    That would be utter tripe, a completely UNREASONABLE assumption. Please do not put words or ideas in my mouth. Just because I haven't agreed with you so far doesn't mean you can presume to know my stance. After all, why blog at all if you already know everything I have to say or think?

     
  • At 4:56 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Sean, you seem very unwilling to disclose any hint as to what you think torture is. It is your little secret now, so I will stop guessing. I think LA was correct that a clear definition would help the debate. At this point the vagueness in terms does seem to be hampering things.

    paw, fair enough. I was trying not to put words in your mouth by concluding that "I am comfortable with" meant "I agree with". You are usually very forthcoming with your opinions, so I was not sure exactly what you were saying. Thanks for the clarification. I agree a deeper dive beyond what we have stated is not appealing. I am mulling over a new but related post. We may find fresh appealing points to debate then.

     
  • At 9:26 PM, Blogger LASunsett said…

    Sean and Paw,

    AICS has ascertained where I was trying to go.

    PAW,

    I think your response is a bit troubling in that, you feel that because you are not an "expert", you can't develop and have your own opinion. Right, wrong, or indifferent you are entitled to that opinion.

    Sean,

    I did not mean to imply that YOUR definitions are conflicting. What I mean is, yours and AICS's are conflicting.

    AICS is right when he says that we need everyone's definition, before any logical discussion can occur. That is why I asked for your definitions. Like AICS, I believe there IS a difference between torture and mistreatment. And I'll add this, there is certainly a big difference, between both those two applications and mere inconvenience.

    Too many people are confusing the three. They are intent on lumping all three into the classification of torture, when that is clearly not the case.

    So I think it is a fair question to ask what you two consider torture.

     
  • At 11:39 PM, Anonymous paw said…

    I assure you I'm opinionated. I suspect now that you meant to ask for my opinion on when torture occurs or something like that rather than for a definition of torture. To finish the last battle before starting a new one, I tried to indicate why I'm not interested in providing a definition, and then followed up with pure, substantiated opinion. Since that's causing confusion, I won't try to explain any further and offer apologies to the host for messing up his site with subtle distinctions. At this point maybe you could do me the favor of looking past the distinction I was trying to make. I'll be more blunt in the future if I post again.

    On the opinion front, up to this point I've cited a treaty and an article of the constitution, I've rejected Gonzales' definition and embraced McCain's, and cited historical events as informing my view. I tried to provide provocative criticism of the article used by the host to introduce his idea. I'd think you could find a lot of fruit in there.

    To the question "... what you two consider torture".
    Now that's a good question, and it makes a lot more sense. But I'm beat and I've lost respect here. Maybe you want to take the lead on that thread and offer up your distinctions between torture, mistreatment, and whatever the third pole is. I'm curious what you mean by mistreatment, and if that's a popular culture term or a legal term. I am sincerely interested, as well, how you came to the position that the collective, codified wisdom of the generations decimated by the wars of the 20th century and who successfully navigated the West through the most consequential conflicts in history somehow got the torture thing so wrong, or sat idly by while it was mishandled by others, so that Bush and company had to intervene to make things right. That is where I think the burden of argument really lies, in justifying the unprecedented moving of the bar and the resulting confusion. (If I was trying to get under your skin I would refer to Bush and company as a bunch of chicken hawks who by and large passed on their one very good opportunity to gain a finer appreciation of such things. Which they most certainly did, but I'm not saying that.)

    It's probably best that we resolve this with a fist fight. Give me your addresses, I'm coming over!

     
  • At 6:49 AM, Blogger LASunsett said…

    Paw,


    How hard is it to get you to step out from behind the cover of a political definition written by a legislator and come up with a definition of your own?

     
  • At 11:48 AM, Anonymous paw said…

    You ignored my questions.

     

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