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posted by takyon on Saturday April 16 2016, @05:57PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the involuntary-sleep-deprivation dept.

Eric Fair served as an interrogator in Iraq working as a military contractor for the private security firm CACI. [...] Fair writes about feeling haunted by what he did, what he saw and what he heard in Iraq, from the beating of prisoners to witnessing the use of sleep deprivation, stress positions and isolation to break prisoners.

[...] Raad Hussein is bound to the Palestinian chair. His hands are tied to his ankles. The chair forces him to lean forward in a crouch, forcing all of his weight onto his thighs. It's as if he's been trapped in the act of kneeling down to pray, his knees frozen just above the floor, his arms pinned below his legs. He is blindfolded. His head has collapsed into his chest. He wheezes and gasps for air. There is a pool of urine at his feet. He moans: too tired to cry, but in too much pain to remain silent.

[...] Sleep deprivation, as I've said before, can be accomplished in a matter of hours. You can let someone go to sleep in a dark room with no windows, and you can wake them up in 15 or 20 minutes. They have no idea how long they've been asleep. And with no windows, they have no idea what time of day it is. You can let them go back to sleep, and you can wake them up in 20 minutes. They still have no idea. And they've since—within 45 minutes, they've lost all sense of time. Two or three hours later, you can convince this person that he's been living for four or five days, when it's really only been an hour.

[...] [The purpose of sleep deprivation:] The complete lack of hope. It is to strip away someone's hope and to insert a different way of thinking into their mind, which would be my mind into theirs, so that they're going to cooperate with me.

Part 1: http://www.democracynow.org/2016/4/7/a_torturer_s_confession_former_abu

Part 2: http://www.democracynow.org/2016/4/7/ex_abu_ghraib_interrogator_israelis_trained


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @06:23PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @06:23PM (#332849)

    Translation: "I did something bad to people and now I feel bad"
    Boo fucking hoo, cry me a river. You just confessed to torturing people, you did it in writing, that's off to the courts with you, fella. I sincerely hope the people who hold you will be more humane than you were towards your captives.

    You may get a reduction in sentence or leniency if you help us convict other torturers, but you should do time, my friend, no question about that.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @06:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @06:26PM (#332850)

      If this guy gets off lightly, we should at least be consistent and let off any murderer who has remorse...

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:07PM (#332868)
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:36AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:36AM (#333067)

        ahhh, nothing like unloading the conscience while filling one's pockets, eh?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by SomeGuy on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:12PM

      by SomeGuy (5632) on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:12PM (#332874)

      Let us not forget about the higher ups in charge who permitted and enabled this person to do what they did. Quite frankly, those kinds of people need to be locked up even more.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:39PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:39PM (#332896)

        Yep, bust the head, not the toe.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:49PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:49PM (#332936)

        > permitted and enabled
        Make that: *ordered*

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by SomeGuy on Saturday April 16 2016, @10:33PM

          by SomeGuy (5632) on Saturday April 16 2016, @10:33PM (#332980)

          Make that: *ordered*

          Possibly.

          But that would put the blame squarely on that higher-up. And higher-ups tend to avoid that. In practice, blame for bad things among higher-ups gets spread out in a nebulous manner. And in a large organization things like this become systemic. There is blame all over, from whoever the immediate boss is to Ted in accounting. Somewhere there is probably someone who is supposed to be enforcing ethical conduct but turning a blind eye. Or the person who "encouraged" that person to turn a blind eye. All while carefully staying clean of actual incriminating knowledge or direct actions.

          The problem is, you lock away the peon for it, and eventually a new peon will take his place doing the same thing.

          • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:35AM

            by Gaaark (41) on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:35AM (#333108) Journal

            Supposedly, Hitler was great at this:
            Suggest you REALLY want something, in a vague sort of way, and watch the underlings fight to accomplish it.

            Hitler: I'd love to see some sort of solution to the Jewish question.
            Underling goes away and... well.......

            --
            --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by CirclesInSand on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:56AM

        by CirclesInSand (2899) on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:56AM (#333043)

        You mean the population that voted for them and funded them with taxes?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Mr Big in the Pants on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:56PM

      by Mr Big in the Pants (4956) on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:56PM (#332909)

      This is not about feeling sorry for him. He is a whistleblower and his use here SHOULD be to get to the people responsible for this.

      In this case CACI and the people who employed them. They should all be tried for war crimes including the heads of state responsible for overseeing this.

      For that, a plea deal is PERFECTLY acceptable, just like it is elsewhere.

      Of course none of this will happen because most of the super power countries are run and somewhat populated by bloodthirsty nutjobs who don't have the empathy to fully grasp what they are endorsing - or even how little it actually achieves.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:17PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:17PM (#332920)

        You know what I'm tired of? Heterosexual males raping and sodomizing young girls. That's what I'm tired of.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:36AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:36AM (#333011)

          Then stop doing it. Oh wait, I missed the part where you said heterosexual.

        • (Score: 2) by Mr Big in the Pants on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:31AM

          by Mr Big in the Pants (4956) on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:31AM (#333038)

          I know you are just a useless troll, but even at that it appears you are useless.

          The raping of anyone is illegal almost everywhere under almost all circumstances. (unfortunately not all)

          Torture by the state, rarely so.

          So again, you are a fail-troll of the douchiest order.

          • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:24AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:24AM (#333164)

            Deuteronomy ch 22 v 28-29, hebrew.

            Faggot.

            • (Score: 2) by Mr Big in the Pants on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:27PM

              by Mr Big in the Pants (4956) on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:27PM (#333359)

              A religious quote coupled with hate, ignorance and bigotry?

              You may be a mouth breathing moron, but you certainly know the perfect accompaniments for religion. Good on you, if he existed I am sure your god would almost certainly proud

              And if you can tell me where this practice is legal then you can have a cookie. No? Then perhaps you can stop pretending that spouting ancient religious nonsense has anything to do with the law.

        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:26AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:26AM (#333165)

          It is what girls are for.

          Read the old testament.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:55AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:55AM (#333135)

        I think there is a law that was passed that gave military contractors a free pass from other things done during this time, free as in made as difficult to sue or prove standing, both legislstively and through court decisions supporting those things or justifying putting kibbosh on the cases that have come up.
        which sucks.

        what sucks is we have at least two presidential candidates who'd order it to be turned back on. two who are doingvquite well.

        what is sad is that noone who seems for this has even contemplated at all that they themselves could be subject to such treatments. in their minds, the notion is totally inconceivable. their belief that they just arent one of Them, could ever be one of Them, is absolute. and they believe that almost everyone else is one of Them, even if they havent outed themselves yet.

        Dick Cheney wrong? (ok, he's kinda had to keep a low profile about the Gays...) If anything, we were too soft about it. Yu, the lawyer who drafted the document that set "legally" it in motion? Unrepentant. and so on.

        As nutty as Sen. John McCain has been sonetimes, it is sad when he and his cohorts were summarily dismissed from the conversations. Or even taiNted/smeared by Donald Trump about it. Yet McCain's voice on this has been clear and consistent.

        in a way, they're like the Indonesian military members who are proud of what they did in the 50's (there's a recent, chilling documentary about it).

        I thought we Americans were better than that.

        I'm sorry, rest of the world...we failed you.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by RamiK on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:50PM

      by RamiK (1813) on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:50PM (#332938)

      Why should he be sent to jail? It wasn't like he was some Nazi SS ghetto commander. It wasn't some big secret. Everyone knew about the tortures. CIA black sites been widely known to anyone who cared since at least 2005 and everyone knows what went, and still goes on there. There were, and are laws and rules allowing them. It was mentioned in the news. Much of public supported it. Most still do.

      Even outside the US you'd be hard pressed to find a blanket opposition to it: http://www.pewglobal.org/2015/06/23/global-publics-back-u-s-on-fighting-isis-but-are-critical-of-post-911-torture/bop-report-27/ [pewglobal.org]

      People believe it works. And they support it. Internally, where people should know better, they don't. The interrogators especially are cut off the feedback loop. Every time someone says anything, regardless of it being true or false, they believe they saved someone's life. CIA staff officers don't get a feel for it either. They fill in the reports and forward them to the DoD. The army doesn't know what's coming from whom. They receive intelligence, run a patrol, come up with nothing or something, and fill in a report to the DoD as well.
      The DoD knew about it soon enough, and raised up a whole investigatory committee way back in 2002 saying it's useless and illegal. What happened? The torture memos approved the practice without notifying the DoD officers it was still ongoing... That went on until the 2004 leaks to the British media.

      So, no. He shouldn't be sent to prison. He was following the rules and laws and when others better positioned to complain did oppose the tortures, they were ignored.

      Imprisoning him won't stop tortures. It will only discourage whistleblowing.

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      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Saturday April 16 2016, @09:19PM

        by Thexalon (636) on Saturday April 16 2016, @09:19PM (#332950)

        Why should he be sent to jail?

        Because "I was following orders" is never a valid defense for war crimes. If you roll on your superiors, that should affect your sentencing quite a bit, but a public written confession (completely uncoerced, I might add) does not in any way absolve a criminal of their crime.

        However, coercion is a valid defense: If Mr Fair reasonably believed that he or his family would be killed if he didn't do it, for example, that would be a defense for his actions.

        The reason for these rules, if you are interested in preventing future torture, is that you want those who actually do the torture to refuse to follow those orders rather than put themselves in a position to go up in front of a war crimes tribunal.

        --
        The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
        • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Saturday April 16 2016, @09:45PM

          by RamiK (1813) on Saturday April 16 2016, @09:45PM (#332958)

          Complete and utter nonsense. Disobeying orders is statistically insignificant especially after basic training when the "troublemakers" are weeded out. Even facing the worse atrocities, nice white soldiers marched on 999/1000 times. Expecting people to do anything but follow their orders like the cowardly brown-nosers we all are is as idiotic as leaving a wallet full of cash in the middle of the street hoping it still be there. This puritan attitude towards personal ethics only encourages not placing real checks and balances in the system on the premise of self-regulation.

          Let me know when you put Cheney and Bush in front of a criminal tribunal. Until then, don't talk to me about hanging G.I.Joe for not climbing on the cross.

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          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anal Pumpernickel on Saturday April 16 2016, @11:41PM

            by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Saturday April 16 2016, @11:41PM (#332999)

            Disobeying orders is statistically insignificant

            So what? The statistics have nothing to do with whether a law was broken or whether 'Just Following Orders' is a valid defense. Which it isn't.

            like the cowardly brown-nosers we all are

            Speak for yourself. The way you've phrased it, even a single counterexample would prove you wrong. It's also irrelevant.

            This puritan attitude towards personal ethics only encourages not placing real checks and balances in the system on the premise of self-regulation.

            There's nothing puritan about expecting people to not commit war crimes. We should punish those who do and place real checks and balances in the system. Enough with your false dichotomies.

            Let me know when you put Cheney and Bush in front of a criminal tribunal. Until then, don't talk to me about hanging G.I.Joe for not climbing on the cross.

            We should put them in front of a criminal tribunal, but the fact that we haven't doesn't absolve others of their crimes.

            • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:41AM

              by RamiK (1813) on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:41AM (#333125)

              The statistics have nothing to do with whether a law

              This isn't about enforcement, this is about regulations and policy. The guy wasn't guilty to begin with since it was legal at the time and passed multiple committees as well as a presidential approval. A soldier is not a lawyer. There are ten of thousands of rules and regulations, some of which in complete contradiction with moral and common constitutional interpretation, that no one, solider or citizen, can be expected to follow. Half the time, soldiers aren't told why they're shooting their enemies or if it is even legal.
              Illusions of morality hinder constructive legislation and policy that actually has a change at stopping war crimes. You end up saying, "No. We don't need a week review of operation to be submitted to an external body to the regiment. People can submit complaints and grievances if something is wrong. And they can always say No if asked to do something illegal...".

              would prove you wrong. It's also irrelevant.

              Delude yourself all you want. There's enough social science experiments showing just how quickly humans comply with authority. We're all dogs that do well in math. We don't challenge authority until the leader shows weakness. We're hardwired to follow norms. The few that don't are either in jail or dead. And yes, I'm no different.

              There's nothing puritan about expecting people to not commit war crimes.

              But that's not what you're asking. They're not lawyers. They don't see it as war crimes. One day they get order to kill people. The next they get orders to torture people. These aren't college grads we're talking about here. They don't get mission briefings. They don't even see where they're shooting half the time. It's the middle of the night and they've been ordered to fire. People asking questions get shot first.

              should punish those who do and place real checks and balances

              Impossible. Once a person is punished, people stop caring. It's social catharsis. People immediately lose interest and public support wanes. You simply can't have it both ways. You either punish the guilty, or you try fixing the problem constructively. Humans are too stupid to do both. It's why whenever something wrong it's so easy for politicians to just wage war. A conflict satisfy people's demand for revenge. It doesn't have to be satisfied or reasonable. People are just out for blood and don't care who will pay.

              but the fact that we haven't doesn't absolve others of their crimes

              Yes it does. Lead by examples works both ways. And you should always start from the top. Otherwise nothing will get done since the same people will still remain in power and will pass the same laws and regulations.

              The key issues here is that you're trying to punish people as a means to an end. While I don't particularly care about that guy or the next. I'm concerned with the current war. And the next one after that. Which we all know is being handled by the same people following the same norms.

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              • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @05:10AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @05:10AM (#333140)

                This isn't about enforcement, this is about regulations and policy. The guy wasn't guilty to begin with since it was legal at the time and passed multiple committees as well as a presidential approval.

                Bullshit. Torture is blatantly and obviously illegal, or if not that, then unethical and condemned by the international community.

                Delude yourself all you want.

                Put words in my mouth all you want. I don't deny that many people will simply obey authority figures. However, the degree in which someone will obey authority figures varies from individual to individual (i.e. not everyone will obey an order to torture someone, but they might obey orders that are less bad but still bad), and the effect doesn't apply to everyone in existence. That's what you fail to grasp. Your statement was an absolute, which makes it trivial to deny, and that is your fault. You seem to have corrected this, but that's not how you stated it before.

                Also, I might add that these are the social sciences we're talking about. They're not exactly known to be very rigorous and you have to be cautious about them. But that is irrelevant to this discussion, because whether the individual studies are true or not, that changes nothing.

                People asking questions get shot first.

                If you're in danger of being shot, you don't have time to be torturing people. Usually, torturers are not in the middle of a battlefield, which means they have plenty of time to think about whether or not they should do it. Actually, that would take a few seconds at most: The answer is no, they should not.

                Impossible. Once a person is punished, people stop caring.

                You have not demonstrated that it is impossible, and there is no logical reason to think that it would be. Punishing torturers and setting up a system centered around preventing it are both possible. Just having one is not as effective as having both. You need accountability for the torturers, the ones who ordered the torture, and you need a system that discourages it.

                Yes it does. Lead by examples works both ways. And you should always start from the top.

                As I said, let's hold everyone involved accountable. Your false dichotomies are complete and utter bullshit.

                The key issues here is that you're trying to punish people as a means to an end.

                What I want is a system that discourages torture. Accountability for those who blindly follow orders is simply one part of that system.

                You seem to be mighty opposed to actually holding torturers accountable, and you use red herrings ("But! But! What about Dick Cheney!?") to justify this.

                • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:01PM

                  by RamiK (1813) on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:01PM (#333230)

                  Bullshit. Torture is blatantly and obviously illegal, or if not that, then unethical and condemned by the international community.

                  Not it's not. Not even now. The US adopted the ticking time bomb exception from Israel and the current administration hasn't refuted it in paper or word. It's legal is torture to extract evidence and admissions of guilt for court. But if immediate and clear danger is shown, there are still rules, laws and procedures to apply force for the purpose of extracting information.

                  the degree in which someone will obey authority figures varies from individual to individual

                  Insignificantly so. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment [wikipedia.org] Even if you're an optimist, just under 50% of people will unquestionably obey an order to torture a person from a guy they never met before who was telling them "It's Ok. I'm a doctor". Now imagine being under a military hierarchy that constantly reinforces obedience and a letter from your administration telling you it's ok. Oh, and they're not just any random person, the people volunteering for service aren't anti-authoritative by nature and are filtered to favor obedience during training. You can lecture on morals all you want, but war is murder and soldiers are people cherry picked via selection and elimination to do it no questions asked.

                  there is no logical reason to think that it would be

                  It's not logic. It's how people work. Someone gets murdered, people make a fuss, the person in charge finds someone to hang. No one asks where were the cops, who decided on the patrols, where did the police funding went to, why did the killer drop out of high school, why did he have a gun or why he could afford a gun but not afford his rent. There's a systematic use of scapegoating in society to avoid reforming and repairing problems.
                  When a project fails, the easiest thing to do is to fire the guy who wrote the code. It's much harder to look at his manager that didn't use proper QA and his manager that didn't care enough.

                  Accountability for those who blindly follow orders is simply one part of that system.

                  No it's not. Soldiers will always be rewarded for following orders. And they didn't blindly followed orders. They tortured people and made them talk. They filled reports with information and were rewarded for their good work telling them they're saving lives at each step and turn. A few asked around and were shown the letters from the administration telling them it's legal and desired. The tourture training wasn't conducted in some dark dungeon. It was done in a classroom right in the US with no more secrecy involved than the M4 manual. They didn't hide what they were doing or felt shame about it. It was done by man. It was done by genders, races and creeds. They had an officer overlooking their work. They had a doctor standing next to them telling them it's ok. They had psychologists evaluating them and the prisoners to make sure everything is up and running. A few took pictures and smiled while doing it. It was such an institutionalized reinforced norm that making it sound like they were working outside what was considered acceptable and that they need to be found accountable for doing what every other soldier around them supported and did, is just plain wrong.

                  You seem to be mighty opposed to actually holding torturers accountable

                  You keep bringing up accountability here... You seem to misunderstand something. The Geneva Conventions requires certain laws to be enacted and enforced regarding the treatment of enemy soldiers. The requirement only applies to individuals who identify themselves as soldiers, and wear an insignia. Breaches of the treaties, such as failure to enforce or legislate, are resolved through UN committees and if the UN council finds a country in breach, they can decide it's signature is invalid and they're no longer under the protection of the treaty. Individual breaches of the treaties, such as torturing, are left to local courts. Finally, when a country is defeated in a war, an International Criminal Tribunal is held in Hague.
                  When the US made it legal to torture suspected terrorists, the Geneva Conventions wasn't violated since the terrorists weren't signed under the convention or wearing an insignia. What was violated is a separate human rights treaty that doesn't hold individuals responsible, but rather, holds administrations and countries in breach. The problem was that the US operated black site in every single major NATO country so an International Criminal Tribunal would have found everyone guilty so no one asked for one.
                  Back to the individual level, I'll say it again. Soldiers aren't accountable for following orders for the most part. Only very few cases, mostly dealing with high ranking officers that systematically signed on grave breaches against properly dressed and identified war prisoners are ever charged.
                  In this case, they followed US laws and didn't breach the Geneva Conventions since their enemies weren't wearing insignia. They violated humanitarian laws regarding the handling of foreign citizens and human rights were violated, but those kind of violations are on the nation and administration level. Especially in this case where the orders and laws came all the way from the president's office.

                  • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:57PM

                    by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:57PM (#333369)

                    Not it's not.

                    At the very least, it is deeply unethical. I think it is illegal under international law.

                    But if we're talking about what we should do, then it definitely should be illegal in the US, and the torturers definitely should be held accountable.

                    Insignificantly so.

                    For one, that is a famous social science experiment, but still social science; it's hard to conclude anything from it. Also, how does that relate to directly torturing someone right in front of you?

                    And as I said, I don't give a fuck about how likely someone is to obey orders from authority figures. It's irrelevant to whether or not they should be punished. If we had a society that punished people who blindly obeyed evil orders and discouraged people from doing so, that type of behavior might be less likely.

                    Oh, and they're not just any random person, the people volunteering for service aren't anti-authoritative by nature and are filtered to favor obedience during training.

                    Okay. I am absolutely fine with punishing them, because this attitude should not be encouraged.

                    It's not logic.

                    I fully understand that, because you never actually demonstrated that something as simple as punishing people and having a better system in place are impossible to do at once. You only stated that it was. I have no interest in magical false dichotomies.

                    No it's not. Soldiers will always be rewarded for following orders.

                    Yes, it is. No, they don't have to be rewarded for following *any* order. Following some orders can and should result in punishment. I don't care how they rationalize it, how many people told them what they're doing is okay, etc. All these silly, transparent excuses are irrelevant.

                    You keep bringing up accountability here...

                    What the law currently may be is irrelevant, because then I am simply advocating changing it so that we actually punish torturers.

                    • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:47PM

                      by RamiK (1813) on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:47PM (#333426)

                      it is deeply unethical

                      Oh? It is? A guy straps a couple of kids next to a time bomb that's about to go off any minute now. The door is locked with a pin number or you just don't know where he hid the kids. You got the guy. Would kindly wait while the bomb goes off or will you smack the guy silly until he gives you the password?
                      This is the time bomb exception. It passed both international and US moral and legal scrutiny. You can argue on the fine details of the example and how it relates to reality, but there have been well documented cases justifying it.

                      it's hard to conclude anything from it.

                      Seems pretty straight forward to me. But sure, your millage may vary.

                      how likely someone is to obey orders from authority figures

                      Sure you do. If a traffic light\officer aimed you towards the headlight of a truck you'd be furious. If a doctor told you you should have a surgery that you really shouldn't, you'd be furious. You'd consider your situation unfair since those authority figures were in a position of trust that they violated by steering you in the wrong. Now, imagine the officer, doctor, or whatever saying you should have doubled checked so you're just as guilty as he is and should be dragged to court and sent to prison.
                      Look, even your knowledge of the law is authoritative. Are you a lawyer? How do you know it's illegal? How does a soldier suppose to know? He asks his commander, and he tells him it ok. He asks again, and he shows him a letter from the attorney general. He asks if it's moral, and they tell him about that time bomb exception. This isn't black and white. And no person should be punished for doing something most other people would likely do if they were in their shoes.

                      you never actually demonstrated that something as simple as punishing people and having a better system in place are impossible to do at once

                      I didn't demonstrate pigs can't fly either by throwing each and every one of them off the roof. However, it's not that I'm against punishing people, I'm against punishing people for the sake of revenge. There's no point to this. No utility. No justice. No ethics. It doesn't improve society. It only excuses keeping things as is since the system worked and justice prevailed at the end.

                      But really. I'm done. If you can't see how much gray there's in this issue and how damaging it is to set the standard for morality as low as "You shouldn't because it's not nice and you wouldn't like it done to you" then I really don't know what more to say.

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                      • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Sunday April 17 2016, @10:19PM

                        by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Sunday April 17 2016, @10:19PM (#333435)

                        Oh? It is?

                        I think so, yes. I don't care what hypothetical scenarios you put forth, either. I'd rather we go down sticking to our principles than become barbaric torturers.

                        Seems pretty straight forward to me. But sure, your millage may vary.

                        That's the best part about the social sciences.

                        Sure you do.

                        It's foolish for you to tell other people what they think. The same can be done to you. For instance, by telling you that you don't actually believe any of the arguments you've put forth and that you agree with me in your heart.

                        All I can say is that your characterization of me is incorrect in a number of ways and many of your examples simply do not describe me.

                        And no person should be punished for doing something most other people would likely do if they were in their shoes.

                        It's a popular course of action, so we shouldn't punish them? I don't think so. We're not going to fix the problem by letting people get away with engaging in the bad behavior, that's for sure. Cultures can and do change, and we should try to change the bad aspects of our culture.

                        Do you also think that the results of the Nuremberg trials were wrong, or is that magically different because the people using the 'Just following orders' excuse happened to be in positions of power? The logic is the same, and the situations are mostly the same. Maybe most people would have even done the same thing, which, as we all know, absolves them.

                        I didn't demonstrate pigs can't fly either by throwing each and every one of them off the roof.

                        I don't see your point.

                        I'm against punishing people for the sake of revenge.

                        Well, so am I, but this isn't merely for revenge. It's part of the reforms to make torture less likely.

                        It only excuses keeping things as is since the system worked and justice prevailed at the end.

                        Right, right. It's either one or the other, because you said so.

                        But really. I'm done. If you can't see how much gray there's in this issue and how damaging it is to set the standard for morality as low as "You shouldn't because it's not nice and you wouldn't like it done to you" then I really don't know what more to say.

                        Well, if you don't think that torture is bad or think that we shouldn't punish individual torturers, then our goals are simply irreconcilable.

                        • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Monday April 18 2016, @08:57AM

                          by RamiK (1813) on Monday April 18 2016, @08:57AM (#333667)

                          It's foolish for you to tell other people what they think.

                          I'm using plural you and me. Most people trust authority and feel violated when it fails them. And to be clear, I was the troublemaker that was disobeying orders when I was in the service over what I thought was right which eventually got me kicked out. But I would never presume to hold other people to my personal convictions or expect them to follow what they know is right when it means standing up to the whole chain of command as a simple grunt. I would, however, hold high ranking officers and politicians accountable since, at that point, they're in the positions of power and influence to do something about it.

                          if you don't think that torture is bad

                          I don't think it's immoral. I think it's impossible to regulate since proper oversight and check and balances failed and fail so I'm in favor of banning torture altogether which is inline with your goals.
                          However, the laws, rules and regulations at the time, and now, allow it. And there are morally justifiable conditions for it. So I'm not in favor of witch trials.
                          But for the sake of writing enforceable and practical laws, I'm willing to risk the odd criminal getting away \ terrorist blowing himself up. However, it's not a moral position. It's a technical positions that relates to my personal experience with how rare it is for people to step up and do the right thing when facing direct orders as well as everything I read on the subject.

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                          • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Monday April 18 2016, @09:54PM

                            by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Monday April 18 2016, @09:54PM (#333968)

                            I would, however, hold high ranking officers and politicians accountable since, at that point, they're in the positions of power and influence to do something about it.

                            Not always. Also, your standard was: "And no person should be punished for doing something most other people would likely do if they were in their shoes." Since it's based on how popular a given course of action is, if we find out that those high-ranking officers and politicians took actions that most other people would take were they in their shoes, we can't hold them accountable.

                            And there are morally justifiable conditions for it.

                            I reject this altogether.

                            So I'm not in favor of witch trials.

                            The difference between a witch trial and this is that the torturer is real.

                            It's a technical positions that relates to my personal experience with how rare it is for people to step up and do the right thing when facing direct orders as well as everything I read on the subject.

                            And we have to discourage that type of behavior as best we can. Punishment is simply part of that.

                      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Sunday April 17 2016, @11:52PM

                        by Thexalon (636) on Sunday April 17 2016, @11:52PM (#333481)

                        A guy straps a couple of kids next to a time bomb that's about to go off any minute now. The door is locked with a pin number or you just don't know where he hid the kids. You got the guy. Would kindly wait while the bomb goes off or will you smack the guy silly until he gives you the password?

                        1. You don't necessarily "got the guy": You might have gotten somebody who isn't the guy. And in that scenario, if you spend your time smacking the guy who doesn't know anything, all that will happen is that you'll waste valuable time while beating up an innocent person.

                        2. If you did in fact catch the right guy, what possible motivation would he have to give up the information? Your need for the information in his brain is keeping him alive long enough to see the bomb go off, and he knows that. All he'll do is lie to you to get you to stop smacking him around, wasting your time until the bomb goes off.

                        This is the time bomb exception.

                        There is no such thing under international law. It doesn't say "You can't torture prisoners unless it's really really really important." It says "You can't torture prisoners."

                        All your thinking is based on the idea that if somebody's done a monstrous thing, they'll tell you all about it if hurt them enough. But all available evidence points to the person being tortured will instead tell you whatever lies he thinks will convince you to stop torturing them, and you get no useful information whatsoever.

                        --
                        The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
                        • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Monday April 18 2016, @07:56AM

                          by RamiK (1813) on Monday April 18 2016, @07:56AM (#333648)

                          You don't necessarily "got the guy"

                          Oh he\they take credit for it. I shouldn't have presented it as a hypothetical scenario when I know it happens regularly with botched suicide bombers. They come-in strapped with a bomb, you catch them, and then you're on the clock. Because they often operate in teams and another bomber is headed elsewhere.
                          At that point, there might not be another bomber. The bomber might be lying to you. It might be that the bomber was forced into to it... It doesn't matter. You have a few hours to apply as much force as you can while keeping the guy alive and get what you can out of him. You're right in saying many don't break. But enough do.
                          But again, this is a very tight exception. The way people were imprisoned for months and tortured throughout doesn't hold up to this exception. Still, it's a valid exception that should be brought before congress on a vote to regulate it. Because right now, it's left out in the hand of the executive branch and they tend to overstep their bounds without proper oversight.

                          There is no such thing under international law

                          First off, there's no such thing as international laws. Only treaties. Enforced through the force of individual nations and alliances.
                          Secondly, there's strict rules on the geneva convention and where it applies. It's specifically requires military uniform and insignia. Separately, there are human rights treaties that are often prerequisites to joining NATO. But they don't have real enforcement by-laws. Issues regarding nation level compliance are brought before the general assembly and are voted between the members on sanction or downright expulsion. Some treaties regarding human rights only allow fellow nations to submit grievances. Meaning, when a veto powered nation like the US does the violating, no nation will even bother with it. At best, they'll file grievances. At most, they'll quite NATO and break off the treaties.

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              • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:18PM

                by maxwell demon (1608) on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:18PM (#333307) Journal

                The key issues here is that you're trying to punish people as a means to an end.

                Punishing people is by its very nature a means to an end. Otherwise it's not punishment but revenge.

                --
                The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @11:59PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @11:59PM (#333003)

            Following your reasoning, making more people question and disobey orders they don't agree with will make more people 'unqualified' for service (i.e. weeded out as a troublemaker); which in my book is a good thing!

            • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:50AM

              by RamiK (1813) on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:50AM (#333130)

              Correct. Which is why scientist make terrible soldiers.

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              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:54AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:54AM (#333134)

                I'd rather have free-thinking, principled soldiers who question horrible orders than mindless drones who do whatever they're told, even if the latter are more efficient.

                • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:10PM

                  by RamiK (1813) on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:10PM (#333235)

                  But you can't have it both ways. You can't send young kids to a foreign country and kill on command without conditioning to take orders without asking questions or the first thing they'll ask is why they're killing people in the first place. So, if you want to avoid horrible things from happening, you need to build the chain of command with enough external oversight to make sure it doesn't. Any talk of principles of free-thinking in a military is just wishful thinking. Worse, it keeps you from reforming with oversight in mind since you keep telling people should just behave and be punished when they don't, instead of making sure they do by putting people in bases who actively police these rules.

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                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:53PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @07:53PM (#333368)

                    I don't want it both ways. I do want soldiers who question the validity of the wars themselves. If that means it is far more difficult for the government to go to war or find soldiers, then good.

          • (Score: 2) by sjames on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:58AM

            by sjames (2882) on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:58AM (#333083) Journal

            Or they may assert their right to written orders. If 1 in a thousand does that and the C/O backs down, he loses the respect of the other 999. If he gives the written orders, he's confessing to a war crime.

            • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:52AM

              by RamiK (1813) on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:52AM (#333132)

              Google the torture memos. They received hand written orders telling to do it by their highest ranking officials. And not just military officers, elected and appointed officials signed those orders.

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              • (Score: 2) by sjames on Sunday April 17 2016, @05:38AM

                by sjames (2882) on Sunday April 17 2016, @05:38AM (#333150) Journal

                So next step is to start demanding prosecution.

                • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:04PM

                  by RamiK (1813) on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:04PM (#333231)

                  I've explained the legal issue regarding the geneva convention here under another thread branch.

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          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:08AM

            by Thexalon (636) on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:08AM (#333118)

            Let me know when you put Cheney and Bush in front of a criminal tribunal.

            I would gladly do that if given the chance. Cheney in particular: In 1945-6, the Allied Powers executed people for doing what Cheney confessed to doing, completely uncoerced, during an interview on CNN.

            But again, that doesn't absolve the people who actually did the torturing. And yes, anybody in the chain of command who obeyed an order to torture somebody is also culpable, so this guy's commanding officer all the way up to whoever actually gave the order.

            I think there's some misunderstanding about how severe these crimes really are. As in, they are rated as worse than high treason - not only can the US try and punish anybody who committed it, but any other country who signed the Geneva Conventions can as well, and the penalties can include life in prison without parole or even death (except that many of those signatories also have outlawed executions).

            --
            The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
            • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by RamiK on Sunday April 17 2016, @05:05AM

              by RamiK (1813) on Sunday April 17 2016, @05:05AM (#333138)

              Absolution is given by the god and church. This isn't about morality. This is about laws rules and policy. They received their orders in writing. They complained through official channels and were reassured by the executive branch and attorney general it's all kosher. There's a limit to what can be reasonably expected of a person under such circumstances. The fact that there weren't any, and I mean ANY meaningful acts of subordination isn't to their fault. It's simply teaches us that to keep repeating this axiom of "they should have known better" is idiotic. They shouldn't have known better. No soldier ever knows better. And to have this ignorant self deluded mentality that soldiers should disobey orders when they think they're not moral, is the height of hypocrisy.
              There's nothing moral in murdering other people on command. The people doing it for a living should not be expected to be saints and martyrs. They'll do as soldier always did since the dawn of time, they'll follow orders. The fact that we delude our selves they'll do any differently is what stopping constructive actions to reform the military.
              The drug wars... Prohibition... Even the simplest of things like speeding tickets. When all the laws and regulation are based on lies, nothing works right and nothing gets done.

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            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @08:13AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @08:13AM (#333171)

              Woah there!

              Torture is permitted under the Geneva Conventions unless **both** parties have signed the conventions.

              Haven't signed? We can torture you. (this of course encourages the signing of the conventions)

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:35AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:35AM (#333193)

                Woah there!

                Torture is permitted under the Geneva Conventions unless **both** parties have signed the conventions.

                Haven't signed? We can torture you. (this of course encourages the signing of the conventions)

                Double whoa here! This AC is completely ignorant of the International Laws of Armed Conflict. The Hague Conventions prohibit torture, and Geneva conventions reaffirm this prohibition, and it is now SETTLED international law, which means that it is binding even upon non-signatory nations, and even upon mercenary scum like this guy working for CACI. RamiK is probably a 15 year old American kid, has nothing to go on but a rather sick fascination with torturing people.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday April 17 2016, @08:22AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 17 2016, @08:22AM (#333175) Journal

            Disobeying orders is statistically insignificant especially after basic training when the "troublemakers" are weeded out.

            The riskier it is to carry out, the more "troublemakers" there will be. Sure, you can find a lot of amoral or sociopathic people with no moral objection to any illegal activity that is desired. But even then, they'll still CYA.

            Expecting people to do anything but follow their orders like the cowardly brown-nosers we all are is as idiotic as leaving a wallet full of cash in the middle of the street hoping it still be there.

            It's worth noting here that it works. It doesn't 100% prevent all atrocities, but it sure cuts down on them. In this very story, the need for secrecy of the torture meant that they were limited in how many people they could torture.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @10:41PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @10:41PM (#333446)

          Because "I was following orders" is never a valid defense for war crimes.

          Right. It didn't work for Adolf Eichmann, it shouldn't work for this fellow either. But if he wants to burn the people who gave them these orders then perhaps leniency might be warranted.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @11:57PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @11:57PM (#333001)

        Everyone knew about the tortures. CIA black sites been widely known to anyone who cared since at least 2005 and everyone knows what went, and still goes on there. There were, and are laws and rules allowing them. It was mentioned in the news. Much of public supported it. Most still do.

        I fail to see how this is relevant.
        The facts of the matter are as follows:
        - This guy describes in great detail how he, himself, personally, tortured people
        - This guy acknowledges how he things what he did qualifies as torture
        - You point out, correctly might I had, that there is evidence in the public domain that he is not making this stuff up.
        - As a society (both this country and the civilized world as a whole) we have decided that torture is bad, I believe even this country has laws against torture for both peace- and wartime

        Ergo: he deserves a trial where all evidence is evaluated and if it is as he says, then he is a torturer. If that is the case, then I don't see why he shouldn't punished as such.
        Stop making excuses for horrible and reprehensible acts because it was done by someone from your own tribe!

    • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Sunday April 17 2016, @08:58AM

      by davester666 (155) on Sunday April 17 2016, @08:58AM (#333181)

      Nope. Because at that time it was "enhanced interrogation techniques", and the gov't lawyer-shopped until they found one that would write a legal opinion that it was all legal.

      Now it has switched back to being "bad".

      Next year, with Trump, it supposedly will go back to being "good".

      Personally, I find it hilarious that a number of senior military people are saying "oh no, we'll totally refuse to do this stuff AGAIN, because now we know it's bad." What they didn't wasn't new, it was stuff that we executed Japanese soldiers for doing to US soldiers during WWII.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:08PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:08PM (#332870)

    This is an essay by a former soldier in the israeli defense force who was assigned to work internal checkpoints in palestine.
    He describes how these sorts of situations destroy the souls of both the people who pass through and the people who man the checkpoints.
    It is intense and heart-rending and not all that different from what TFA describes.

    http://www.bostonreview.net/BR37.4/oded_naaman_israeli_defense_forces_palestinians_occupation.php [bostonreview.net]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:19PM (#332882)

      You might be interested in the work of Combatants for Peace. It is made up of Palestinians and former Israeli soldiers that are looking for ways to improve the situation.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combatants_for_Peace [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Francis on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:53PM

      by Francis (5544) on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:53PM (#332906)

      Until the Israelis stop committing crimes against humanity, it's going to be very, very hard to prevent the Palestinian terrorists from finding cheap sources of suicide bombers. There are few jobs available, medical supplies and the like are hard to come by and Israel is illegally blockading the PA coast.

      Terrorism is horrible, but by the same token, it would be a lot more expensive to send suicide bombers if the potential recruits had money and access to things like proper education and medical care. Right now it only costs a couple hundred dollars to finance a suicide bombing. Israel has basically no hope of preventing it from happening when the attempts are that cheap.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @09:57PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @09:57PM (#332963)

        Wow, that is a surprisingly objective viewpoint. Gotta fix the underlying cause, not band-aid the wound.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @10:22PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @10:22PM (#332975)

        The article really has nothing to do with that other than those issues being a backdrop to the experience of the author.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @10:42PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @10:42PM (#332985)

          But the underlying cause of the situation has everything to do with those issues.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:00AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:00AM (#333005)

            Not so much. That shit wrecks the peons who do the oppressing anywhere there is serious amounts of oppression.

        • (Score: 1) by Francis on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:15AM

          by Francis (5544) on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:15AM (#333092)

          You can't ignore that, if they'd address the underlying problem, then they wouldn't need to deal with the terrorists as terrorists rather than as POWs.

          The type of terrorism that we're dealing with in the 21st century is largely a byproduct of incompetent foreign relations. There are always going to be people who are willing to martyr themselves for their cause, but getting somebody to martyr themselves for somebody elses cause is a different matter and in most of the terrorist cases they aren't people who actually believe, they're people who are either coerced, bribed or feel they have no other options than to engage in terrorist activities.

          The more typical western style terrorist was somebody who wanted to get away and there was usually a way of dealing with the problem with little or no life lost. For example the IRA would usually report the bomb with plenty of time to defuse it knowing that having a bomb placed in the financial district would cause disruption just because of the time needed to disarm it.

          Torturing enemy combatants just provides evidence that we're less than human and deserving of these sorts of radical attacks.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @05:27AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @05:27AM (#333146)

            It is becoming more and more clear that you haven't read the article and are just keying off any old mention of the occupation to use as a platform to talk about whatever you want to talk about. That's pretty selfish of you.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @11:28PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @11:28PM (#333467)

              In other words, you're not smart enough to see the connection and would rather accuse me of being selfish than either address the point or ignore it.

      • (Score: 2) by Bot on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:27AM

        by Bot (3902) on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:27AM (#333189) Journal

        > Until the Israelis stop committing crimes against humanity, it's going to be very, very hard to prevent the Palestinian terrorists from finding cheap sources of suicide bombers.

        In fact, we should ask this torturer how much useful information they gathered from the tortured people. As it is described, cruelty against suspected terrorist is basically a terrorist factory.
        1. torture suspected terrorists
        2. let them free
        3. let them immigrate freely
        4. ???
        5. profit!!!

        Were I a muslim I would feel very funny being allowed entry in his territories from the great satan. I would enter nonetheless of course.

        --
        Account abandoned.
    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Saturday April 16 2016, @10:30PM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Saturday April 16 2016, @10:30PM (#332978) Journal

      Thanks.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:14PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:14PM (#332877)

    No problem, nothing will change. Certainly nobody higher up in the chain will be held responsible. It's not like they did something really bad like kill dogs or say something racist.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by PinkyGigglebrain on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:43PM

    by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:43PM (#332899)

    I'll believe he truly regrets what he has done when he turns himself in to European authorities, waves his immunity as an American and is tried for the war crimes and crimes against Humanity that he has confessed to by an International war crimes court.

    Then, and ONLY then will I believe this piece of shit excuse for a "member of Humanity" feels anything approaching true remorse.

    --
    "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @07:53PM (#332907)

      Your comment is harsh but fair. It's a shame it has been modded "Flamebait".

  • (Score: -1, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:10PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:10PM (#332917)

    The enemy would gladly do worse to us. Refusing to do likewise to them is giving them an advantage, and thus treason. Shame on you all.

    This stuff wouldn't need to be secret if we didn't have traitors in our midst. Torturing the enemy is something to take pride in. The faster we break their will, the better. This is of course mostly from our perspective, though it may also reduce total death by ending things faster and more decisively. (as Hiroshima did)

    Think how hesitant an Islamist enemy would be if he knew that a failure to flee would mean we do things that he sincerely believes will send him straight to Hell. We can have left-handed women kill him while he touches a pig or pig waste. Some of this has been done: the Kurds are using women, and Europeans used to use lard-greased bullets. Let's take it to the max.

    Some kinds of "peacekeeping" just drag things out forever. Centuries later, people will still be dying over the matter. It's even possible, ultimately, to have more dead people than the maximum population of the Earth. There are cultures that simply can't live in harmony with each other; there will be no peace until after one side or the other is slaughtered. Be a winner.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:25PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:25PM (#332923)

      and thus treason

      Another grand logical leap from shit ACs.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by aristarchus on Saturday April 16 2016, @10:59PM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Saturday April 16 2016, @10:59PM (#332988) Journal

        and thus treason

        Another grand logical leap from shit ACs.

        Not just a shit AC! A war-crime advocating AC! Kind of a Donald of ACs! Probably a Nazi, or at least a terrorist. If anyone thinks that a nation needs to respond to atrocities by repeating them, they are a coward of the worst sort.

        --
        You are currently banned from moderating. The last day of your ban is 2022-03-25.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:31PM (#332926)

      To you, 'empathy' is something others should have for you, no?
      I'm so glad we have freedom of expression, because it brings out the best in all of us and let's us identify which ones are the whacko's that need to be stayed away from. The best in you that was brought out, is not that great, friend...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:45PM (#332934)

      So you want us to conduct ourselves like barbaric terrorists because 'They do it too!'? You are truly brilliant and have an excellent grasp on ethics and what "treason" means.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:53PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:53PM (#332941)

        So you want us to conduct ourselves like barbaric terrorists because 'They do it too!'?

        The argument worked for the CIA, Dick Chaney, the Decider in Chief and the rest of their gang who green-lit torture.

    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:45PM

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Saturday April 16 2016, @08:45PM (#332935) Journal

      If you turn evil in order to fight evil, evil has already won.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 1) by Francis on Sunday April 17 2016, @11:34PM

        by Francis (5544) on Sunday April 17 2016, @11:34PM (#333472)

        Pretty much. Most of the last 15 years the US has devoted trillions of dollars trying to put that fire out.

        What's worse is that we've gone about it in the most hamfisted and counterproductive way imaginable. The current problem of ISIS is mainly a byproduct of the inept handling of the unnecessary Iraq war. The Iraq war itself was an ignorant response to Al Quaeda that was itself largely a product of our policies during the cold war where we armed militants and pointed them at the Soviet Union.

        It's astonishing to me that so many fail to comprehend that most of this stuff is just the natural reaction to things that we did and that it's definitely not going to stop if we keep engaging in questionable activities to protect our own interests. And that's assuming that they're questionable, a lot of it is black and white definitely crimes against humanity when a less powerful nation does it.

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @09:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @09:10PM (#332946)

      I agree somewhat. This is not a Disney Movie. This a war. Or if you will; a police action. Either way it's not a picnic. If you don't want war then vote out the war-mongers. That will still not keep the other guy from coming to your town and killing your loved ones. You can be the peaceful hippie if you want; I will protect my family and friends with what ever force/intel I have at my disposal.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @09:31PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @09:31PM (#332952)

        "If you don't want war then vote out the war-mongers."

        Voting actually means something? Where do you live? Fantasy Land? Or Iceland?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @09:39PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @09:39PM (#332956)

        Then you're unprincipled barbarian that would probably get along better with the uncivilized terrorist groups than people who genuinely want to live in civilized, free, and principled countries. The ends do not justify the means.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:11AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:11AM (#333032)

          How do you think those countries became what they are now.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:47AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @02:47AM (#333073)

            I'd rather go down fighting an outside enemy than have my country become an authoritarian one by my own hands. And in the first place, it's usually authoritarians like you that make the country worse from the inside. You seem to be saying that all these countries were taken over by evil invaders, which is simply false.

            Also, you didn't actually ask a question.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @11:07PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 16 2016, @11:07PM (#332993)

        You can be the peaceful hippie if you want; I will protect my family and friends with what ever force/intel I have at my disposal.

        Yeah, you scaredy pants person, you! I feel sorry for your family and friends that they have such a paranoid wacko thinking he will "protect" them! More than likely, your armaments that you think will protect them will be the greatest realistic threat to their safety! Not only that, but your true nemesis will slip up upon you, silently, and you will not even see the enemy coming!! Ha! Yes, you will probably die from slipping in the bathtub, since you spent to much time and money worried about your delusional fears to actually get around to installing the "no-slip" strips. Terrorist bathtubs, extremist porcelains. Be vigilant. Install the damn strips! And get professional help.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:09AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:09AM (#333029)

          Why do you thing he/she has any "armaments?" "force/intel" If your referring to guns; then you must not have any. Hippie. Look at your post. Think hard about the troll trying to get out. He's the one that will do you in. Are you a doctor? Do you prescribe "help"? Dr Troll. Welcome to SN. Where even you can be a SJW. Oh and buy a gun and learn how to use it. So you don't become a burden to those in your family that have to protect you. NOTE: Keep your inner Troll away from the gun.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:50AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @09:50AM (#333201)

            Gun? .54 caliber Creedmore barrel, dead-on at 1000yds. Single shot, but then that is all you ever need. It is kind of like a bathtub with no anti-slip strips in it. Of course, I am not afraid of some scary terrorist killing me or my family. And since I am not afraid, I do not need some other idiot too cowardly to refuse blatantly illegal orders to torture another human being, terrorist or not. No one in my family has to protect me, and I am certain that no one in the US military is protecting me as well. Their recent "actions" have done nothing but embarrass the world, and make everyone less safe, and evidently scared some Americans so bad that they think they have to buy guns and throw away the only decent thing Americans ever gave to the world, aside from Sassparilla, their Constitution with its recognition of inherent human rights.

      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:14AM

        by sjames (2882) on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:14AM (#333091) Journal

        If he invades my town, I'll shoot him if necessary but I will not preemptively invade his town.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:47AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @04:47AM (#333129)

          He's invading your town right now.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by rts008 on Saturday April 16 2016, @10:16PM

      by rts008 (3001) on Saturday April 16 2016, @10:16PM (#332970)

      Traitors and treason? Let's throw sedition on the list, too.

      And that list describes you and your ilk to a tee. Ignoring the constitution, enriching yourselves at the expense of the taxpayers to further increase the FUD-driven profits, the offenses are plentiful.

      You present a sad picture of a pathetic, scared, and hateful creature. Yes, like Smeagol/Gollum. I hearby name you Gollum, and you are no longer an Anonymous Coward, just a coward named Gollum.

  • (Score: 2) by legont on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:51AM

    by legont (4179) on Sunday April 17 2016, @12:51AM (#333016)

    Since modern terrorists did not write books on the subject yet, here is a very good Russian one. It is a fiction, but based on personal experience. The Faculty of Useless Knowledge [amazon.com]
    It's very good. He managed to beat torturers at their game and the methods are very similar to what the US uses.

    Nowadays it is a required reading for many school children in Russia.

    --
    "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
  • (Score: 4, Informative) by inertnet on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:33AM

    by inertnet (4071) on Sunday April 17 2016, @01:33AM (#333040)

    I absolutely condemn torture, but I can understand how someone can become a torturer. When I was young, my uncle used to tell me stories about how he was drafted as a young man and was sent to a war for 5 or 6 years, in a different part of the world. Right after WW2 many young men in my country were drafted and sent to Indonesia, which was a colony at the time. My uncle started out as a regular soldier, but because he quickly learned the language he was moved to intelligence. At first he didn't torture people, but after he had seen some of his buddies drop dead right beside him, he gradually changed and thought he could save lives by extracting information from captured spies, as he called them. He didn't give many details, and I didn't really want to hear any, but he mentioned that they used electricity on sensitive body parts. He had lots of great stories and I could listen to him for hours. I knew other veterans from that war and none of them ever talked about what they'd seen, not even to their own wives. When they came back home they were told not to tell anything because nobody would believe them anyway. It was a very brutal war, a couple of years ago an Indonesian survivor (not my uncle) told me a story about a time when he was in a jail cell with 25 to 30 other people, it was too crowded to sit or lie down. One day their captors executed everyone in the cell next to them and told them that the next day it would be their turn. They agreed to attack their captors the next day as soon as they'd open the door, because they'd die anyway. But they didn't need to, because one person from the other cell had survived and opened their cell during the night. It's not hard to imagine that people turn to torture if those kinds of things are your daily reference. Torture is a horrible thing, but not unimaginable.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17 2016, @03:29AM (#333102)

      What point are you trying to make? Are you merely giving us an example of the type of mentality a torturer can have, or are you trying to justify the use of torture even though you also say that it is horrible?

      • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Sunday April 17 2016, @10:52AM

        by inertnet (4071) on Sunday April 17 2016, @10:52AM (#333217)

        My point is that many people can turn out to be torturers when their circumstances change, it is human nature and history proves it. Probably including a number of those who are condemning it in this discussion. I don't have scientific data, but I guess that at least 20% of people have it in them without knowing it. It's an observation, not a justification.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Beryllium Sphere (r) on Sunday April 17 2016, @05:36AM

    by Beryllium Sphere (r) (5062) on Sunday April 17 2016, @05:36AM (#333148)

    Do you want trained torturers coming home and using veteran's preference to get police jobs?