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Lords reject torture evidence use

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,027
3
Denver
almost sounds like pointless rhetoric?

I mean, if you're torturing a guy, you're not looking for him to admit to crimes for the purpose of a trial. If you're already torturing him -and- he's committed horrible acts, you'll just execute him instead of arresting him.
 

.:Jeenyus:.

Turbo Monkey
Feb 23, 2004
2,832
1
slc
DRB said:
That's not an answer but maybe my question isn't pointed enough. When does it go from interogation to torture?
As soon as you start hurting the person. Mentally or physically.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
9,902
5
Hypernormality
.:Jeenyus:. said:
As soon as you start hurting the person. Mentally or physically.
No, it's not that simple. I could claim I was being 'mentally hurt' simply by being questioned. There has to be a more defined standard, although I agree with your 'do no harm' premis.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
9,902
5
Hypernormality
Geneva Convention says:
1. Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
 

DRB

unemployed bum
Oct 24, 2002
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Watchin' you. Writing it all down.
Changleen said:
No, it's not that simple. I could claim I was being 'mentally hurt' simply by being questioned. There has to be a more defined standard, although I agree with your 'do no harm' premis.
And there is my biggest problem. Even the Geneva Convention is horribly vague. The US is being villified and accused of something there isn't even a reasonable definition.
 

ohio

The Fresno Kid
Nov 26, 2001
6,638
4
SF, CA
DRB said:
And there is my biggest problem. Even the Geneva Convention is horribly vague. The US is being villified and accused of something there isn't even a reasonable definition.
Just because something isn't illegal doesn't mean it's right.
 

DRB

unemployed bum
Oct 24, 2002
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ohio said:
Just because something isn't illegal doesn't mean it's right.
Incredibly insightful answer.

What isn't right? Not allowing someone to sleep for 3 days. Not giving them a feather pillow to sleep on. Not allowing someone to go to the bathroom for 3 days. Threating to beat them with a baseball bat. Using drugs to paralyze them. Asking them questions.

You want to say someone shouldn't do something you better be ready to quantify what it is that you don't want them to do.
 

ohio

The Fresno Kid
Nov 26, 2001
6,638
4
SF, CA
DRB said:
Incredibly insightful answer.
I think it was. And I'll explain why in a bit.

As you've stated, that the line where interrogation becomes torture is highly subjective, and a function more of cultural norms than of physiological certainties, even inasmuch as we can quantify them.

Because it is a function of cultural norms, it will be defined much like "reasonable doubt", by a jury of peers (in this case signatories of the Geneva Convention). Again though, we're faced with the issue of how could we possibly predict what those peers will judge to be torture...

... my point was, we should aspire to be so far above the fray that we never enter the grey area where a majority or even a large minority of those peers are calling our practices into question. Instead, much like Delay's ethics, we are continually pushing the boundaries and entering very grey areas.

Would that this weren't as much a media battle as it is a ground battle, and we could define torture as the inflection point of reliable information or permanent physical/psychological damage, but the reality is that if we don't respect the cultural aspect of this, the cost becomes far greater than the benefit.

Better?
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
9,902
5
Hypernormality
DRB, You're being purposefully Naive here. The CIA isn't kidnapping people off the streets and flying them to Egypt and Syria in order to put them up at the Hilton and give them a foot massage now is it? If they were acting within the law of the US they would bring them abck to the US - far cheaper, far more controllable and far less potential for problems both with security and the media.

Your argument is heading in the direction of 'unless you can show what we're doing wrong, we're not doing anything wrong'. And regardless of what actually happens to these people, who are no doubt being tortured in what 99% of the world would consider fairly nasty ways (reports from those released include electric shock treatment, freezing, sensory depravation, suffocation, beatings) the biggest problem for the US is perception. Once again, here is Mr. Freedom and Democracy going around completly undermining the very things it claims to represent. Do you think the Arab world is somehow not aware of the media? When are Bush and co. going to understand that?
 

fluff

Monkey Turbo
Sep 8, 2001
5,672
0
Feeling the lag
ridetoofast said:
and your continuous condescending remarks are so mature :rolleyes:
Oh, I do apologise. In future I shall try and follow your (and N8's) example of a constructive addition to the debate.

To wit; why does the US not take the initiative and define the treatment that they will give to prisoners? As Ohio says, if you are seeking the limits of 'torture' simply in order to find out how far you can push without crossing the line into torture then you are hardly taking the moral high ground. The Geneva convention may well not mention depriving prisoners of oxygen as illegal but that hardly endorses the concept. The US should provide the fine example of justice that much of the world believed it did for so many years.
 

DRB

unemployed bum
Oct 24, 2002
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Watchin' you. Writing it all down.
There the US says no torture by civillian or military personnel.

Everyone is doing a very good job of high and mighty but it still doesn't answer the question of when interrogation becomes torture? Or are you unwilling to try and make a distinction for some reason? Because if moral folks like y'all can't make the line then how is a morally corrupt government ever going to do it.
 

fluff

Monkey Turbo
Sep 8, 2001
5,672
0
Feeling the lag
DRB said:
There the US says no torture by civillian or military personnel.

Everyone is doing a very good job of high and mighty but it still doesn't answer the question of when interrogation becomes torture? Or are you unwilling to try and make a distinction for some reason? Because if moral folks like y'all can't make the line then how is a morally corrupt government ever going to do it.
Definition is never going to be exact enough or detailed enough to allow a decent crack at interrogation without leaving itself open to interpretation in either direction.
 

ohio

The Fresno Kid
Nov 26, 2001
6,638
4
SF, CA
DRB said:
There the US says no torture by civillian or military personnel.

Everyone is doing a very good job of high and mighty but it still doesn't answer the question of when interrogation becomes torture? Or are you unwilling to try and make a distinction for some reason? Because if moral folks like y'all can't make the line then how is a morally corrupt government ever going to do it.
It has already been defined. While there's always room for improvement, I don't see anything major wrong with the existing definitions (though, of course, I'm hardly an expert). They served us well for 50 years, until two things happened:
1. The media gained more access to conflicts
2. The current administration publicly chose not to apply a set of those definitions to our conflict

The existing set will function just fine if they're observed in good faith. The issue is that this administration has not only encouraged pushing the limits and finding the holes within the definitions, they have disdainfully undermined the value of them.