Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Reminder

We dont torture for 2 primary reasons.

First - it doesn't really work as a method of information gathering.
Second - we don't want people to do it to us.

After reading the details of the Bush Torture Memos including but not limited to the idea that one admittedly evil asshole was waterboarded 183 times in one month I have to wonder. So after a simulated drowing 182 times, did he break at 183? (no, according to other stories nothing valuable was ever gained from this prisoner)

All this still really leads to point #2. Let's assume there will be another US conflict sometime in the future (otherwise buying all these bullets is a bit of a waste)... and lets assume that the enemy captures a few. When the women in enemy custody are covered in insects or have towels wrapped around their necks so they can be thrown harder into walls - repeatedly - and denied sleep or fed fried rat on cardboard - or simply waterboarded 182 times (afterall we've established that 184 isnt torture) - remember this day. Remember that we've made it perfectly clear that we consider doing these things to be perfectly ok to enemy combatants. And, at the end, when you hear the horror stories of what they did to our American servicemen and women remember that we set the bar.

At least we make sure those most precious to us wont be subjected to this.

Edit: "Their language is the precise bureaucratese favored by dungeon masters throughout history. They detail how to fashion a collar for slamming a prisoner against a wall, exactly how many days he can be kept without sleep (11), and what, specifically, he should be told before being locked in a box with an insect — all to stop just short of having a jury decide that these acts violate the laws against torture and abusive treatment of prisoners." Obviously the question is whether the senior members of the government were giving this advice as 'an honest attempt to set the legal limits on interrogations, which was the authors’ statutory obligation' or whether they were 'written to provide legal immunity for acts that are clearly illegal'... I know a really good way to find out. Let's ask them... in a way in which we know they'll answer the question...
As far as I'm concerned - Obama deciding to whitewash this situation is as vile a betrayal of the system of laws designed to prevent this as the actions of the perpetrators themselves. He is quite clearly as morally bankrupt and despicable as the last asshole to run this country.


SE Martin said...

All politicians are morally bankrupt. That's their pathetic lot in life.

SE Martin said...

And, honestly, an insect? I imagine most who've spent time in "torture cells" would laugh off a cockroach.

Wars demand no rights; bloodshed should be the law.

No one's immune to the silly and ignored "rules of conflict." Soldiers and civilians are equal targets. Let's get beyond the BS. Wars should be fought to the bloody end. To assume war is anything but a vile hiccough is to entertain naivete.

Let's make war bloody and inclusive. That's the only fair way to engage enemies; the only fair way for enemies to engage us.

To claim anything else is pathetic pollyannism.

Since blood will be spilled, let blood be spilt.

Que sera, sera. It's about time people accept the inevitable.

GreatGoblin said...

The story I'm hearing - that hasnt been confirmed yet - was the screaming of a mother in an adjacent cell while she was being raped by US interrogators in an effort to cause her children to confess the whereabouts of their father - but i gather your greater point is that there is no line left to be crossed once you're at war.

Having read Clausewitz I understand where you're coming from. Once one makes the decision that war will be used to make and end of a political disagreement there is certainly a strong case that utterly destroying your oppontent - even the civilians responsible for supporting that disagreeable political establishment - is the most effective measure one can take.

I think, though, that if one chooses to follow this sort of code - it's rather important that everyone understand that these are the rules by which you will conduct yourself. The idea that one side will turn the other's nation to glass is one that should serve as a deterrent - as Dr Strangelove pointed out so eloquently.

There is a sense that our society is, generally, a system of shared social contract... and that even disagreements that result in armed conflict should be controlled by the same engines that rule our social fabric. If we make the case that going to war is simply a reversion to the baser animalistic nature of man we get James Tiberius "(War) is instinctive. But the instinct can be fought. We're human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands! But we can stop it. We can admit that we're killers...but we're not going to That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to!". If it's about destroying one's enemies then it's not about 'the only fair way for enemies to engage us' at all - it's about eliminating enemies altogether, without remorse, without a second thought. If that's what America is all about - a black and white us and them live and die approach to everything - ok - but they'd best put me on the badguy list because to me people who think like that are wiping their asses with the flag.