The question is: what if "enhanced interrogation techniques" helped give tips that led to the capture of Bin Laden?? If so, is "water-boarding" justified in certain rare situations authorized on an individual basis by the President of the United States?

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Then why don't you provide evidence of the terrorist jailed as a result of information extracted from KSM by means of torture?  Why don't you provide an explanation as to how the Marriot and Australian Embassy bombing plot continued unhindered by any information extracted by KSM by means of torture?  You can use all the ad hominems you want, but they do not serve to undermine the irrefutable evidence that I have provided you that torture does not work.  Continuing with your stance in spite of the evidence is called 'faith', and you are full of it, and that is counter to Atheism, not following the evidence and asking for counter evidence before reevaluating my stance.  Face it, Sassan, you have lost this debate.

It was no debate, just a clarification on your part.

Face it, [..............]. Leon Panetta and other former administration officials have said that enhanced interrogation techniques may have led to tips which led to capturing Bin Laden. Watch some news. (this was directed to Heather, not you Cloudy)


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Here is a independent source that sheds an interesting light on your point of view.



If these reports are true then there is no excuse for torture.

KSM was water-boarded in March of 2003, and now 8 years later OBL is dead and former administration officials are attempting to take some political credit by saying the illegal tortures that they authorized may have helped.  George Bush already tried to take false credit by suggesting he foiled a second 9/11 style wave but he failed to offer us any suspects for that plot.  So the precedent is set, these guys love to fabricate imaginary fruit and attribute it to their own poisoned tree.


On the other hand, we know for a fact that the torture of KSM failed to stop the Marriot Hotel and Australian Embassy bombings even though KSM was the mastermind of those plots - so we have established for a fact that the ticking time bomb DID exist and the torture of KSM failed to avert the catastrophe.  Torture does NOT work.  Worse yet, innocent people were tortured in the process - so torture not only fails to deliver security, it violates it, and those are the facts.


You can continue to ignore the facts and toss out your ad homs, but all you do is further degrade the way you are perceived in this public forum.  Why don't you try actually addressing the evidence before you.  Most of what I've offered above is based on DOD and DOJ documents of the government you seem to love so much.  Do you think they are lying when they offer facts that prove torture doesn't work?

Thank you Heather for taking the time to find some of the links I was thinking of in my earlier post.  Professional interrogators have long known that torture produces very dubious results, as the tortured person will either tell you what you want to hear, or determine to tell convincing lies, in the case of the ticking time bomb, in order to achieve some measure of vengeance.  Either way the desired result is not achieved.  Also, we must in this scenario grant the president or his minions some degree of omniscience or clairvoyance to know that the party about to be tortured is in fact the party that possesses the information.


In the end I can't help but think that torture is at best a base reaction to fear and at worst a simple desire to inflict pain on an enemy.  This is unacceptable in a civilized society.

Yes, well that is why I wrote my blog, The Ticking Time Bomb Fallacy.  The hypothetical ticking time bomb always postulated by proponents of torture requires nothing less than clairvoyance, as you pointed out, on the part of the interrogator in order to produce actionable justifications - as opposed to hypothetical ones.  If that clairvoyance existed, though, it would defeat the justification of torture since the clairvoyance itself could be used to locate the bomb.


If nothing else, the torture of KSM and the resulting DOD documents and DOJ documents provide us with irrefutable evidence that torture does not produce actionable intelligence.  Furthermore, the torture of KSM serves to establish the credibility of other reports of innocent people being tortured in the process.  Unfortunately, this has lead to one judge noting [in that last link] that, "America's idea of what is torture ... does not appear to coincide with that of most civilised nations"[1]


This is an extremely disturbing observation that serves to indicate that, aside from torture resulting in more harm than safety, the practice undermines the very perception of the United States as a nation of justice at all.

[...........] for again losing the chance to engage in a honest discussion with a person that you do not agree with by attacking the person in stead of the context. You're baseless attacks on certain members have done more harm to your position then you might think.


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When someone claims that their "prayers" would have had the same effect as preventing another terrorist attack one can only come out and call them for what they are: [................] How else can one respond to such nonsense with a person that is supposedly rational and logical??

In addition, anyone who makes the claim it would have been better to "let the Taliban evolve" instead of our involvement in Afghanistan are truly a despicable human being and should be ashamed to call themselves an atheist. The Taliban evolve??? Really?? Is there anything meaningful to reply to this person with or any level of respect when they don't understand the type of brutal barbarians the Taliban are/were and to think this person thinks the Taliban can "evolve"??? GIVE ME A BREAK.


(edited by moderator. inappropriate. -Nelson)

@ Sassan K.
Are you deliberately obtuse? Heather said that she [i]"could equally well say that...." This was meant as an example I suppose of how an unproven claim does not add anything meaningful to the discussion unless it is backed up by evidence.

Your "reply" is to come back with even more ad hominem attacks and you still somehow miss the glaringly obvious that people want you to proof the claims that you've been making. So far I can't really say that you've done anything but scream insults at people that do not subscribe to your ideology. Too bad that you've completely missed every opportunity to engage in a debate by providing context, evidence etc.

I'm done with you Sassan K., first the thread about "US imperialism" now this thread again, it's such a pity that you are unable to share your opinions like an adult with others and instead resort to name calling. The topics that you bring up and the positions that you hold are interesting and I normally enjoy exchanging opinions with people that I do not agree with, because I can learn from them and perhaps change my opinion. 

I've come to the conclusion that this is not an option with you, too bad.

The UN felt that the Taliban could be guided to change through sanctions - do they not understand the type of brutal barbarians they deal with all over the world? Are they deluded?

Absolutely not.  It has been fairly conclusively demonstrated that torture does not produce good intel.  I'm tired and it's late, so I don't have the energy to look up references,  but there have been many stories on AlterNet and CommonDreams that could provide documentation for this.  I can recall this being discussed by former and current intelligence analysts and they all agreed that torture and violence were counterproductive.  I'll also have to say I agree with Jim Minion on this.


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