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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Sassan, you don't remember Bush's I talked with god speech about going into Iraq and Afghanistan?

Sure, going into Iraq was a rational, freedom initiative.

"Since then NO War that the US has been in has been justified in my mind."

Uf one subscribes to the assumption that overwhelming majority in the UN is sufficient justification, I think Kosovo and Bosnia were sufficiently justified. I also think think resolution 1773 justifies US intervention in (implicit declaration of war on) the government of Libya.

So at least SOME wars the US has been involved with has been sufficiently justified by some objective normative standard. Perhaps not ALL, but certainly not NONE.

Any act of torture voids the perpetrator of the torture of any merit, regardless of the cause.

Information can be obtained without torture, this isnt an episode of 24 or your stock hollywood action, there are many other professionals that can obtain information through more humane means.
Cloudy, I am not advocating for such measures on a systematic basis or even a regular basis. All I am saying is that if every other method has failed (as Islam requires a certain amount of resistance before being able to confess and still go to heaven) then the authority should be on the table for a case-by-case basis determined by the commander-in-chief himself for non-U.S. Citizens who are not bound to our constitution and the Geneva Accords.
I'm really disappointed to see a discussion such as this here. What has this to do with atheism or anything of that nature?  I'm sure there are many conservative website where you will find great support for your ideas.  And I believe the Geneva accords do not limit themselves to US citizens.  I believe it was Ben Franklin who said that those willing go give up freedoms to acquire security deserve neither freedom or security.  When you are willing to give up the rights of others you start on a very slippery slope.
Although Sassan has a superlatively minority stance on this issue here, it is a rather valid discussion in the context of Atheism.  Theists like to think they get their morality from 'on high', even if they do just have it dictated to them by the political leaders of their religion, but I think most Atheists consider it important to see morality defined in a much more democratic context such as public discussion.
I have the likes of fellow atheists Christopher Hitchens' and Ayaan Hirsi Ali on my side; you have the likes of the scumbags George Galloway, Noam Chompsky, and Michael Moore.
Argument from Authority, no explanation given, no context provided. What else is new?
Can you hear me rolling my eyes?  They are about ready to fall out of my head, which might spare me from seeing your awful logic any more.
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?


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