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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    Default WaPo: Congress Briefed On Waterboarding In 2002. Asked If it Was Tough Enough.

    Hello Pot? This is the Kettle. You're black.

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php...show_article=1

    Highlights of the article:

    Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

    "The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.
    With one known exception, no formal objections were raised by the lawmakers briefed about the harsh methods during the two years in which waterboarding was employed, from 2002 to 2003, said Democrats and Republicans with direct knowledge of the matter. The lawmakers who held oversight roles during the period included Pelosi and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), as well as Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan).


    And then there's this neat-o part:

    "In fairness, the environment was different then because we were closer to Sept. 11 and people were still in a panic," said one U.S. official present during the early briefings. "But there was no objecting, no hand-wringing. The attitude was, 'We don't care what you do to those guys as long as you get the information you need to protect the American people.' "
    Only after information about the practice began to leak in news accounts in 2005 -- by which time the CIA had already abandoned waterboarding -- did doubts about its legality among individual lawmakers evolve into more widespread dissent.
    I don't need to say anything, the artcle speaks for itself and it's complete with all kinds of back-peddling, spin and statements that begin with "Well you have to understand that at the time...".

    They sign off on Waterboarding and then two and a half years later they condemn it. If I worked for CIA I would have destroyed video tapes too.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing! Darkstar's Avatar
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    12.04.14 @ 11:23 PM
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    So....what the hell is "waterboarding"?
    Love should NOT be work, it should be as easy as breathing Dave's Dreidel

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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    03.03.15 @ 08:31 PM
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    It's a form of torture.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkstar View Post
    So....what the hell is "waterboarding"?
    From ABC News:

    Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

    According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaeda's toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess.

    "The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law," said John Sifton of Human Rights Watch.

    The techniques are controversial among experienced intelligence agency and military interrogators. Many feel that a confession obtained this way is an unreliable tool. Two experienced officers have told ABC that there is little to be gained by these techniques that could not be more effectively gained by a methodical, careful, psychologically based interrogation. According to a classified report prepared by the CIA Inspector General John Helgerwon and issued in 2004, the techniques "appeared to constitute cruel, and degrading treatment under the (Geneva) convention," the New York Times reported on Nov. 9, 2005.

    It is "bad interrogation. I mean you can get anyone to confess to anything if the torture's bad enough," said former CIA officer Bob Baer.
    It IS torture.

    My problem and the underlying point of this thread is that Congress could (and should) have shown some balls/common sense and told the CIA "No, you can't do that". 9/11 doesn't give you the right to violate the law (even if you are the President of the United States) and it sure as hell doesn't give you an EXCUSE to be derelict in your duty as a lawmaker/over-site committee member. Any one member could have spoke out at that review and it would have stopped right there. Instead they gave it the green light and in the end it was the CIA itself that called a halt to the tactic because they felt it was illegal and unreliable.

    Then the very same Congress people and Senators turn around and demand an investigation on the CIA's use of torture after the CIA had already walked them through it step by step and these same dolts didn't think it was tough enough.

    Good interrogation is an art and it takes time. Every prisoner is different and it's not supposed to be about 'Breaking" them but about extracting the information from them. Most Jihidi-types and Al Qaeda guys are actually very proud of what they do and are happy to talk about what they've done. If one is willing to take the extra time they can also learn the prisoner's secrets and with the majority of prisoners we take there is no reason to rush because they are mostly low-level wannabees. The high-value prisoners also require time and as much as I love to watch Jack Bauer break fingers and shoot kneecaps the real world demands a more methodical approach. The CIA knew this before they added Waterboarding to the mix and it' the main reason that they abandoned the technique.

    The proof of this can be found in our success today in Iraq. We simply went back to what has always worked and instead of beating prisoners we are using our sneaky-bastard abilities to compile information from a variety of sources. The result is that today we are rolling up new insurgent groups as fast as they spring up and we're doing it in a way that we don't have to be ashamed of.
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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
    My problem and the underlying point of this thread is that Congress could (and should) have shown some balls/common sense and told the CIA "No, you can't do that".
    They have. We've got laws against torture. None of it is well-defined, however, and it's fuzzy for a good reason. From a standpoint of legal construction, the moment you start laying down specifics you create loop-holes.

    My own opinion on all of this is that none of it matters much in the grand scheme of things. Limits have been created and they've been tested. There's an ebb and flow to these things. In the big picture, do I really care if some non-US citizen is tortured by the CIA, directly or indirectly? Not particularly.

    You can never completely change human nature. Conflict and hate breed some measure of sadism. It's not a perfect world.

  6. #6
    Eruption Kevy5150's Avatar
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    07.12.08 @ 04:41 PM
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    Through the lies, murder, corruption, manipulation, and betrayal the U.S. government has already imposed, I hope the American people will not suffer the consequences of unfamiliar mistakes.
    Respects.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
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    My own opinion on all of this is that none of it matters much in the grand scheme of things. Limits have been created and they've been tested. There's an ebb and flow to these things. In the big picture, do I really care if some non-US citizen is tortured by the CIA, directly or indirectly? Not particularly.
    Hey, I don't have a chainsaw as my avatar because I'm a warm and fuzzy guy. I still have a monthly hissy-fit because we eliminated Naplam from our arsenol and we haven't re-introduced the flame-thrower back into urban warfare.

    My problem is that the Congress has gone on a witch hunt and the end result is that the careers of low-level government employees will be ruined (possibly with jail time) over a program that had been secretly approved by them.

    It's sleazy.

    It would be like Brett canning you as a Mod for over-stepping your bounds even though you'd consulted with him in advance. Then Brett devoting entire threads about what a bad guy you are.

    Also, it underlines the supreme lack of leadership we have at every level of elected government in Washinton. Congress has had six years to define the rules of engagement for the war on terror. We have no legal definition of what an "Unlawful Combatent" is or how we are supposed to treat them so some 22 year old Marine out in the field is left to figure that out. THEN when that Marine "tests the boundries", as you put it, that Marine ends up in prison for war crimes. Marines follow orders, if they don't eat it, clean it or salute it they kill it (or fuck it up) and you can't always rely on that one single Marine to see the "World View", especially after his unlawful combatent has killed some of his buddies.

    I would be fine with testing the boundries if I knew that some political lowlife wasn't going to turn around and make political points out of the mess that will most likely follow.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  8. #8
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    People generally know the difference between right and wrong. Anyone working for/with the CIA who is in a position to waterboard someone knows what the deal is. They also know that the deal changes. And if they don't know that... well, such is life. I have little pity for someone who puts another human being through hell and is later shocked to find out that perhaps they shouldn't have been doing it.

    As for Congress, what's new, you know?

    And no, there's just no agreed on way to classify someone who's fighting outside the sanction of a nation. That's not surprising. The Geneva Convention can't possibly cover what wasn't fathomed at the time it was hammered out. Common article three just wasn't written with this in mind, and our courts are grasping at straws when they attempt to deal with the problem. What's needed is a new international agreement. The problem with that is you'll never get anything like Geneva, where the idea was that those nations who would be fighting each other would likely be bound by it. Gonna get terrorist groups to sign off on something like that? Of course not. So it just becomes a feel-good measure amongst countries signing any such agreement.

    It's a nasty problem that's not going to be resolved any time soon. 22 year old Marines know what they are supposed to do and what they're not supposed to do. The problem isn't with what to do with these individuals on the battlefield--it's what to do with them in the camps.

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 02:04 PM
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    It seems like a lot of people make these interrogators out to be horrible people, but I wonder how many of them would do the same, if not far worse, if the terrorist had information about where their own family was being held hostage?

    War is ugly. While everyone would like to say we keep a moral high ground and exemplify that around the world, we all know that has never been true. We have commited crimes just as horrid as anyone else (save for maybe the Nazis) under the flag. This is one of those issues that has no good/defensable argument. If you want them to do waterboarding, you do not care for human rights. If you do not support waterboarding, you do not understand the intentions and character of the terrorists.

    It seems hard to imagine you could get immediate and actionable intelligence from someone by denying sleep and forcing them to listen to Christina Aguilera. These people strap bombs to their chests and knowingly kill innocent people while taking their own life--they cannot be reasoned with as they show no reason. War is indeed very ugly.

    Something tells me our children will be having the same debate.
    CNN may think my opinion matters, but you shouldn't.

 

 

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