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sultan_emerr

Holder To Appoint Prosecutor To Investigate Cia Terror Interrogations

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I'm not so sure it's a good thing...

"Unfortunately, the pressure . . . to indict someone will be overwhelming," said Mark Lowenthal, a former senior CIA official. That will produce "two simultaneous unappealing outcomes," he said. "Half the population will think it is a whitewash and the right people weren't indicted. And half the population will think it is a lynch mob.

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I'm not so sure it's a good thing...
"Unfortunately, the pressure . . . to indict someone will be overwhelming," said Mark Lowenthal, a former senior CIA official. That will produce "two simultaneous unappealing outcomes," he said. "Half the population will think it is a whitewash and the right people weren't indicted. And half the population will think it is a lynch mob.

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The half/half opinion is a quite a bold prediction. What if this does progress to people at the top? What if higher officials, directors, or even VPs are held responsible? I think if that happens, many people will be very pleased with the outcome. If litigation is brought against men and women at the bottom of the food chain, they will undoubted say "I had authorization from..." and hopefully the prosecution will work its way up. Only time will tell that one.

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ABC reported yesterday that Panetta got into a "profanity-laced screaming match" with a White House staffer over the investigation.
I think the administration wants Panetta to resign, so that they can replace him with a lower-profile director, since they plan to run eveything in this area from the White House thru a Security Czar anyway. Edited by sultan_emerr

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Not that two wrongs make a right, but why don't they leave dogs lay? I wonder whats happening right now in THIS administration that could stir up an investigation in 4-8 years.

What is the difference between doing the deed ourselves, or shipping these folks to a country that has no such qualms?

Anyone here think OUR soldiers, which BTW wear uniforms and don't hide behind civilians skirts, would be coddled by an extremest group?

War is hell, my friends. Like it or not... we're in one, and if you'll notice, the President is still committed to finishing in Afghanistan.

Other reported instances in which CIA interrogators used unauthorized techniques did not merit a separate IG investigation, according to the report. "These included the making of threats, blowing cigar smoke, employing certain stress positions, the use of a stiff brush on a detainee and stepping on a detainee's ankle shackles," said the report. "For all of the instances, the allegations were disputed or too ambiguous to reach any authoritative determination regarding the facts."
(bad boys!)

CNS news

Edited by bozodog

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What is the difference between doing the deed ourselves, or shipping these folks to a country that has no such qualms?

Anyone here think OUR soldiers, which BTW wear uniforms and don't hide behind civilians skirts, would be coddled by an extremest group?

Wow, really?

It is absolutely necessary that we hold ourselves to a higher standard. "What is the difference between doing the deed ourselves, or shipping these folks to a country that has no such qualms?" If we commit torture, we are no better than those of whom we are fighting. We are America, and if we're going to consider ourselves "more civilized than the others" (which in itself is a completely different discussion) then we cannot torture, and those responsible must be held accordingly. If you want America to start acting like "extremest" groups, then what's the point of any of this?

We have rules of interrogation for a reason.

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If we commit torture, we are no better than those of whom we are fighting.

I've never understood that argument. I mean, I understand it, I know what it's supposed to mean, but I've never seen it used in situations where "we" (whoever "we" is) were doing something that was as bad as what "they" were doing any reasonable standard. Usually what "we" are doing is unremarkable.

We are America, and if we're going to consider ourselves "more civilized than the others" (which in itself is a completely different discussion) then we cannot torture, and those responsible must be held accordingly.

No one who's aware of the history of civilization could believe that being civilized requires or implies righteousness. How many hundreds of millions of people did civilized nations kill last century?

If you want America to start acting like "extremest" groups, then what's the point of any of this?

Proactive self-defense?

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... It is absolutely necessary that we hold ourselves to a higher standard. ...

I can agree with that, however I don't think it means we must restrict ourselves to the point where we are ineffectual in fighting those who HAVE no standards. In a war against an opponent that obeys modern rules of war, we too must obey modern rules of war. In a war against opponents that obey no rules but their own ... I'm not willing to sacrifice hundreds or thousands of lives solely to retain a self-defined moral superiority, one they do not subscribe to in the least. If a common enemy blows up highly populated public places, hijacks airliners full of innocent passengers and intentionally crashes them into highly populated buildings, gasses their own citizens to ethnically cleanse their population, specifically target civilians and hide within civilian populations to avoid retaliation, THEY have abandoned any "right" to a civil reaction. Once it's clear that a civil reaction is or will be ineffectual (meaning, it must, at least, be tried, and I think we did that, and paid a very high cost for it), then it's time to react in a manner commensurate to the dangers we face.

If a common enemy uses a weapon or tactic that makes ours ineffectual and obsolete, we must do something. At one time it was "improper" to shoot at your enemy if it wasn't your turn! It was "impolite" to kill a high ranking soldier. It was even considered "bad manners" to take cover! If the enemy changes the rules, you HAVE to respond, or perish.

To be clear, I'm philosophically opposed to "torture," and that includes "outsourcing" torture (whether it's so we can pretend we're not the ones responsible or as a matter of efficiency or expediancy). However, I'm also philosophically opposed to war, but that doesn't mean I can NEVER under ANY circumstances accept that a war may be necessary. War itself is an abomination, but self-preservation, probably THE most basic animal instinct, is necessary if society is to survive at all.

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Would it be too UnAmerican to herd the terrorist prisoners into an abondoned building and crashing a surplus airplane into it?

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THEY have abandoned any "right" to a civil reaction.

They never got a trial to 'prove' they did anything to 'abandon' their rights.

Once it's clear that a civil reaction is or will be ineffectual (meaning, it must, at least, be tried, and I think we did that, and paid a very high cost for it), then it's time to react in a manner commensurate to the dangers we face.

There have been many CIA officials who have come forward and said that we could have gotten all of the same info through more reasonable means.

Also, how about the notion that these forms of 'enhanced interrogation' often produce false information--getting the recipient to say anything to make it stop?

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Also, how about the notion that these forms of 'enhanced interrogation' often produce false information--getting the recipient to say anything to make it stop?

Would a lie detector strapped to their arm during interrogation reveal lies/false information?

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Would a lie detector strapped to their arm during interrogation reveal lies/false information?

Lie detectors don't work.

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Would a lie detector strapped to their arm during interrogation reveal lies/false information?

Lie detectors don't work.

Especially under high-stress scenarios like 'enhanced interrogations'

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Would a lie detector strapped to their arm during interrogation reveal lies/false information?

Lie detectors don't work.

Especially under high-stress scenarios like 'enhanced interrogations'

Well, I guess these types of excesses will be curtailed under the Global Justice Initiative.

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THEY have abandoned any "right" to a civil reaction.

They never got a trial to 'prove' they did anything to 'abandon' their rights.

Once it's clear that a civil reaction is or will be ineffectual (meaning, it must, at least, be tried, and I think we did that, and paid a very high cost for it), then it's time to react in a manner commensurate to the dangers we face.

There have been many CIA officials who have come forward and said that we could have gotten all of the same info through more reasonable means.

Also, how about the notion that these forms of 'enhanced interrogation' often produce false information--getting the recipient to say anything to make it stop?

According to "the rules," they didn't have rights to begin with, we as a nation, however, accord them rights -- up to a point.

An opinion that something might have gone differently is meaningless. Some people were of the opinion that we should have been harsher still. I wouldn't elevate opinion to the level of fact.

How about the notion that we were already getting false information?

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According to "the rules," they didn't have rights to begin with, we as a nation, however, accord them rights -- up to a point.
This crawls into the territory of whether or not we believe people are guaranteed basic human rights, or privileged to legal US rights. I suppose that's where you and I disagree.

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Timely article in the WaPo: How a Detainee Became An Asset.

After enduring the CIA's harshest interrogation methods and spending more than a year in the agency's secret prisons, Khalid Sheik Mohammed stood before U.S. intelligence officers in a makeshift lecture hall, leading what they called "terrorist tutorials."

In 2005 and 2006, the bearded, pudgy man who calls himself the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks discussed a wide variety of subjects, including Greek philosophy and al-Qaeda dogma. In one instance, he scolded a listener for poor note-taking and his inability to recall details of an earlier lecture.

Speaking in English, Mohammed "seemed to relish the opportunity, sometimes for hours on end, to discuss the inner workings of al-Qaeda and the group's plans, ideology and operatives," said one of two sources who described the sessions, speaking on the condition of anonymity because much information about detainee confinement remains classified. "He'd even use a chalkboard at times."

These scenes provide previously unpublicized details about the transformation of the man known to U.S. officials as KSM from an avowed and truculent enemy of the United States into what the CIA called its "preeminent source" on al-Qaeda. This reversal occurred after Mohammed was subjected to simulated drowning and prolonged sleep deprivation, among other harsh interrogation techniques.

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This crawls into the territory of whether or not we believe people are guaranteed basic human rights, or privileged to legal US rights. I suppose that's where you and I disagree.

We don't necessarily disagree, we haven't yet defined what we believe those "basic" rights might be. I was referring to "international" courts, governing bodies, and non-governing bodies (Geneva convention, UN, etc.). To be applicable and practical, rights have to be defined. Those sources have defined those rights. In a confrontation you have certain rights -- if you're following the rules -- fewer if you're not (you're still entitled to food and water for example, regardless of what you've done or how you've done it).

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