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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I've not read all of Hitchens' work, but I rather doubt he would condone torture in any form, although I could be wrong, and I'll be happy to admit it if you'd provide some quotes.  But I believe that's called arguing from authority, and although I admire and respect both the authors you name I don't take them as authorities on this subject, any more than I take Galloway, Chompsky or Moore as my authorities. I personally disagree with the concept of institutionalized torture on my own personal and moral grounds, with which you obviously disagree.
You do realize, Sassan, that I was actually defending both your right to debate this issue as well as the merit of your decision to bring it up for debate in this forum?

After some thought I can see that you're correct on this.  In my defense it was late and I'm new so I guess I should have kept my mouth shut till I got a better picture of what goes on here and what is acceptable. 

I agree that as non-believers we need to define our morality in terms other than having it dictated to us by "authorities".  Which is another reason why I find the idea of giving any government, under any circumstances, the "right" to torture offensive to the general concepts of liberty.  Who draws the line?  Who decides who has valuable information? 

Yes, very well stated, and no reason to defend your initial opinion unless you wish to convince others of it.  For the most part this is a pretty clear matter to those involved, but there are always going to be opposing views on every issue - some perhaps more rational than others.
@ Sassan K.

Why are US Citizens exempt from this? You are saying that if a terrorist happens to have been born in the US then it is not okay to be tortured? Why? Does being born in the US gives you more rights? Seems rather bigoted.

There are a number of cases where US citizens were tortured in the US or were sent to prisons in countries where their willingness to torture on the US behalf is documented.

Sassan will tell you that he think it should be used on a limited basis, I guess torturing hundreds is a limited based on world population.


To clarify: non-U.S. citizens are exempt from our constitution and civilian courts; and non-enemy combatants not wearing the uniform of another sovereign nation are except from Geneva Accords as they are not wearing the uniform or representing another sovereign nation. Capturing Iraqi troops would be better than capturing Al Qaeda in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan.
So if I understand you correctly Sassan K. a captured black ops US soldier can be tortured to extract information if he/she is captured not wearing an official uniform?
No, because he is representing America. Al Qaeda terrorists do not represent any specific nation.
But how do you know what nation he represents if he is not wearing a uniform? If he is standing in his own country and opposing your ideals - then why, by your rules, can you not torture him?

This how I was informed when you are in places we say we aren't or you are doing black ops, if you are captured your on your own. If you are killed they will inform your family that you disappeared somewhere else other than where you were. to large degree you are on your own, but you know that going in.

These types of situations are the reason I don't take what the government says at face value, what they tell the public and what they do is not the same.

So if I understand you correctly, the English were justified in torturing those that fought for the independence of the US?
Freedom fighters are exempt from the Geneva Conventions as irregular forces not belonging to a specific nation?


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