Patterico's Pontifications

2/13/2008

Not Even Hitler Did This

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:38 pm



Sure, Justice Scalia said physical coercion might be legal under some circumstances . . . but he didn’t realize it might lead to this:

The admissions made by [9/11 suspects at GTMO] — who were given food whenever they were hungry as well as Starbucks coffee at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — played a key role in the government’s decision to proceed with the prosecutions, military and law enforcement officials said.

(Via Hot Air.)

Well, this guy looks like he could use a little pick-me-up:

ksm.jpg

36 Responses to “Not Even Hitler Did This”

  1. “Barista, there’s a hair in my Caramel Macchiato!!”

    qdpsteve (cd214a)

  2. We weren’t the first to use such tactics. If my public school education is correct I think I remember Spanish inquisitors using “Comfy Chairs”-

    Ximinez [with a cruel leer]: Now — you will stay in the Comfy Chair until lunch time, with only a cup of coffee at eleven. [aside, to Biggles] Is that really all it is?
    Biggles: Yes, lord.
    Ximinez: I see. I suppose we make it worse by shouting a lot, do we? Confess, woman. Confess! Confess! Confess! Confess
    Biggles: I confess!

    Demetri (c3f397)

  3. That’s Rosie O between waxings, not KSM. You can’t fool us.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  4. Wha wha wha? You mean humane treatment actually led to suspects making admissions…admissions admissable in an actual court? I thought only waterboarding did that (except for that admissable part)???!?!

    Mike (8e0e3b)

  5. Get them jacked up on coffee for a month or two, and then make them go cold turkey. They’ll tell you anything you want to know. The only reason Jack Bauer hasn’t tried it is that he’s only got 24 hours.

    Jim Treacher (592cb4)

  6. This past week, if you bought a lb of beans at Starbucks, they would ship them to the Marines over seas and give you a free coffee. Please don’t tell me my donation went to some terrorist at Gitmo!

    tired (ed9045)

  7. Waterboarding wasn’t intended to get convictions, Mike. It was intended to get information, which it did.

    Too bad it killed KSM, and now we won’t be able to put him on trial.

    What’s that? He’s what? We are? You don’t say.

    Pablo (99243e)

  8. Look, it’s time to face up to the evils of Starbucks (worse than Haliburton!) and their over-roasted coffee beans. That stuff is tantamount to torture.

    Instead, we should put the Guantanamons to useful educational work, assisting in the Sex Workers Art Show that is scheduled at campuses all over the country. That should quiet the college protesters down.

    driver (faae10)

  9. Interesting idea driver. Supposedly these people are very sexually repressed, although according to the Jawa Report some of them look at a lot of pron on the internet. We should let them spread their wings a little in the freedom that is present in American society. Imagine how impressed they would be on a day like today to hear female college students talking incessantly about their vajajays. Imagine the delight they would take in hearing prostitutes, both male and female, describe the trials and tribulations of plying their trade. The assault of new thought to the prisoners of what passes for mainstream thought at American universities is likely to drive the prisoners mad with desire to live in a free society, or to kill infidels, take your pick.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  10. Pablo> There’s the flaw in your argument. You think that killing a terrorist is the worst case scenario from torture. It’s not even close, in my mind. The worst cases stem from getting flawed intel that hinders an investigation. But wait, some of what he said was true, so I guess it was all worth this kerfluffle.

    Mike (8e0e3b)

  11. The worst cases stem from getting flawed intel that hinders an investigation

    No, the worst would be relying on flawed intel. Which is why you check the info out before acting on it. How is this not obvious?

    Steverino (e00589)

  12. How is this not obvious?

    It’s not obvious for two reasons. First, sometimes flawed intel is just as good or better than real intel. For example, if the purpose is just to secure a conviction. Or if the purpose is to scare the American people into falling in line behind the Imperial Presidency and the Republican Party. The Communists didn’t seem to have a problem with show trials featuring (coerced) confessions. Maybe the GOP has Stalin envy.

    The second problem, of course, is how you check his info out. If the info is that Mother Teresa was a co-conspirator, you can pick Mother Teresa up and enhanced-interrogate her until she confesses. Presto! The original info checks out!

    Or you can take to heart the real lesson, which one trained interrogator after another has repeated: torture is counter-productive for intelligence gathering. Its use, such as it is, is for intimidation, and for exciting the perverse sickos who search high and low for excuses to implement and enjoy it.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (9232bf)

  13. He looks like he needs a Baath.

    (blatantly stole that joke from a commenter on Tim Blair’s site, sorry)

    Sean P (e57269)

  14. It’s not obvious for two reasons. First, sometimes flawed intel is just as good or better than real intel.

    It boggles my mind how badly you missed my point.

    First, my point was that the obvious thing to do with any intel is to verify it before acting on it.

    Second, just how is “flawed intel” better than “real intel”? By its definition, flawed intel would be worse than real intel.

    For example, if the purpose is just to secure a conviction.

    You are confusing intel with evidence. Try again.

    Or if the purpose is to scare the American people into falling in line behind the Imperial Presidency and the Republican Party. The Communists didn’t seem to have a problem with show trials featuring (coerced) confessions. Maybe the GOP has Stalin envy.

    I used to grudginly respect you. But your posts of the past few days have cured me of that. Your stupidity is breathtaking.

    The second problem, of course, is how you check his info out. If the info is that Mother Teresa was a co-conspirator, you can pick Mother Teresa up and enhanced-interrogate her until she confesses. Presto! The original info checks out!

    Do you live on a farm? I’m wondering where you get all the straw you use for your “arguments”.

    Come back when you’ve graduated from 4th grade.

    Steverino (e00589)

  15. Or if the purpose is to scare the American people into falling in line behind the Imperial Presidency and the Republican Party.

    You know, if Bush and Co. were even a quarter as evil as you people think he is, you’d all have been disappeared by now…

    I see precious little of your freedom to be fucktards being eroded, Andie…

    Scott Jacobs (3c07ad)

  16. Andrew is more right than wrong on this, guys. We have way too many examples in history of “enemies of the State”, or “witches” who just wouldn’t put out for the local priest, who confessed just so they could be executed because that would stop the torture, to be complacent about snatching some Romanian off his farm, taking him to Gitmo, and “interrogating” him until he “confesses”. And yes, even Mother Teresa would not have been safe.

    *Information* obtained by torture is nothing more than the *information* the torturer wants. We would be better off *interrogating* the *interrogator* to find out what he knows.

    nk (616f8b)

  17. Hey Patterico, speaking of torture, I thought you would find this article by professor Darius Rejali at Reed College called “Five Myths About Torture and Truth.” He just wrote a massive book called Torture and Democracy. It details five myths that people have regarding torture, and even (perhaps especially) as a liberal against torture I was taken aback by some of them. I went to speak to Professor Rejali at one of his book-signings, and his knowledge of the history, psychology, and political science surrounding torture is deep.

    Here are the five myths:
    1) Torture worked for the Gestapo.
    2) Everyone talks sooner or later under torture (this one surprised me the most: 3% to 14% at most).
    3) People will say anything under torture (though he still mentions the problem of the false confession).
    4) Most people can tell when someone is lying under torture.
    5) You can train people to resist torture.

    Also, here is a long interview with Professor Rejali in Harper’s where he expands on some of the points in his article.

    Russell (5ecf4a)

  18. and for exciting the perverse sickos who search high and low for excuses to implement and enjoy it.

    Andy – You make this point a lot. Do you have anything to back it up, like interviews with interrogators and such bragging about it? You seem to have a very active imagination about the way people think and act and it probably hinders your ability to perceive reality.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  19. We don’t need Pofessor Rejali. We can just look at a few cases *investigated* by Sergeant Burge of the Chicago Police Department in which innocent men *confessed* to crimes which sent them to Death Row.

    nk (616f8b)

  20. “Get them jacked up on coffee for a month or two, and then make them go cold turkey. They’ll tell you anything you want to know. The only reason Jack Bauer hasn’t tried it is that he’s only got 24 hours.”

    – Jim Treacher

    Heh.

    Leviticus (68eff1)

  21. And they’re forcing them to attend indoctrination sessions!

    Patricia (f56a97)

  22. Jon Stewart was funny about KSM. “Turns out the terror mastermind is…my super!”

    Patricia (f56a97)

  23. Patricia – Who wouldn’t want to torture their super?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  24. That was typical of Andrew’s commentary, nothing but rhetorical lead-ins to call Republicans nazis. The laundry bills for getting the spittle off his tie must be crippling.

    It got old a long time ago.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  25. I’m not embarrassed to agree with nk on this subject. Hope the feeling is mutual.

    Steverino, I’ll try to be more clear. You don’t have a point, when we try to apply your comment to torture as practiced in the real world. Somehow you’ve gotten it into your head that we use torture in vastly different, better ways than all the other countries that have tried it. We know those other countries used coerced confessions to intimidate and terrify, but somehow the show trials in Guantanamo won’t do that even though their rules of evidence allow material obtained by torture! (So much for that distinction between intel and evidence.) We know that those other countries created entire fabricated crimes and conspiracies out of daisy-chained confessions. You don’t think our enhanced-interrogators, faced with the choice of admitting they are uncivilized war criminals or magnificent and daring heroes whose willingness to do anything stopped the latest terrorist incident, will do everything possible, consciously or not, to convince everyone (not least themselves) that the latter alternative holds?

    Daleyrocks, I submit that the casual attitude towards torture exhibited by you and your friends is a prima facie case that you are sick perverts. I don’t need links.

    Scott, real clever there using a feminine version of my name. That’ll go a long way towards dispelling my charges that your affection for torture is rooted in your hope its superficial machismo will do something about your feelings of fear and impotence in the face of Al Qaeda.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (9232bf)

  26. IIRC, the agents who grabbed KSM said they mussed him up before taking the picture. Took off his shirt, messed up his hair, et cetera to make him look grungy.

    It worked.

    Although I must say that even on a good day, KSM looks like he would scare away pets and small children.

    SteveMG (a64de0)

  27. AJL – You are full of it again today:

    “but somehow the show trials in Guantanamo won’t do that even though their rules of evidence allow material obtained by torture!”

    We haven’t had a trial or any rulings on evidence, so nice fantasizing on your part. There has been ample publicity on the lack of admissibility of evidence obtained by agressive interrogation to argue against your point. Is this talking point from Truthout as well?

    “You don’t think our enhanced-interrogators, faced with the choice of admitting they are uncivilized war criminals or magnificent and daring heroes”

    You forgot the choice of being scape goated in front of show trials in a rabidly biased antiwar Congress purely for political gain without any thought for applicable law or future employability, much like what the democrats did to the firewd U.S. Attorneys. That’s why a bunch of those intelligence professionals took out private liability insurance, to protect them from hacks like your ilk.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  28. Cheap namecalling is all AJL ever has to offer.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  29. Daleyrocks, we haven’t had a trial but the rules of evidence have been announced. And they allow evidence obtained by torture. You can take Patterico’s word for it. (He says use of tortured confessions may be unconstitutional, which is rather odd from Team Conservative that holds (a) persons President Bush declares are unlawful combatants have no rights and (b) Guantánamo is outside American jurisdiction—where these defendants would get any constitutional rights on Team C’s beliefs escapes me). Or you could check out the MSM‘s coverage.

    On Jan. 18, 2007, the Defense Department released its rules for military trials of terrorism suspects. It incorporates controversial rules blocking a detainee’s right to challenge his or her detention and allows prosecutors to use hearsay information or coerced evidence.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (9232bf)

  30. Scott, real clever there using a feminine version of my name. That’ll go a long way towards dispelling my charges that your affection for torture is rooted in your hope its superficial machismo will do something about your feelings of fear and impotence in the face of Al Qaeda.

    Way to over-analize…

    It was actually seated solely on the grounds that I have absolutely no respect for you…

    Honest.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  31. Who wouldn’t want to torture their super?

    True enough, LOL!

    Patricia (f56a97)

  32. Andy – You’re still at it with your foaming at the mouth, rug chewing, uber righteous, NIMBY, always certain but seldom right progressive opinions.

    Your first link to Patterico’s prior post blows you out of the water from the start:

    “Under the Military Commissions Act, evidence obtained by coercion may be introduced at trial provided a judge finds it “reliable and probative” (meaning persuasive and damning).”

    No rights? Evidence is required to be shared with the defense. Whether the defendant sees it is another question.

    You can’t seriously expect people to take the drivel you are writing on this subject seriously, can you? It’s way too easy to check. Beclowning yourself is what you are doing.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  33. Somewhat late to this thread but…I just thought it was hilarious that Patterico broke Godwin’s Law before the post even started.

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  34. Daleyrocks, we haven’t had a trial but the rules of evidence have been announced. And they allow evidence obtained by torture.

    Ah, so coercion = torture. Well played, Andrew. Let’s get that info to all the cops out there so they’ll stop telling people that they’ll get a better deal if they cooperate with an investigation. Can’t have all that torture going on here in America, can we?

    Pablo (99243e)

  35. But can you get espresso shots with that?

    Really, free food, starbucks, free medical care, caribbean climate… are we sure this is not a stealth ‘health care’ package being tried out on test subjects before marketing to the American public? Of course you lose your rights practicing private war… but look at the benefits package if you can survive to get picked up by the US!

    But then, the way the candidates have been talking, you are going to end up with that *anyway* plus have to do it in the miserable climate you are in *with* a mortgage. Who would you rather live under: the IRS or the US armed forces? I thought the idea was to discourage terrorism, but now the evil plan is seen in its full light… starbucks! For FREE!

    What next, free beer?

    ajacksonian (87eccd)


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