Patterico's Pontifications

7/10/2010

Texas Psychologist Accused in GTMO Torture

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 1:45 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

The American Psychological Association is working to strip a Texas psychologist of his license, claiming he helped torture a Guantanamo detainee. The APA sent a letter on July 1st to the Texas licensing agency alleging Dr. James Mitchell committed unethical conduct and should be stripped of his license:

“Mitchell is a retired Air Force psychologist who participated in the 2002 CIA interrogation of detainee Abu Zubaydah, according to a 2008 Senate Armed Services Committee report on the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody. Mitchell is not a member of the American Psychological Association.”

This is the only time in the APA’s history that it has sent a letter of this type.

— DRJ

178 Responses to “Texas Psychologist Accused in GTMO Torture”

  1. So they’re saying that it would be better if NO psychologist was present during these interrogations? Leave it in the hands of laymen?

    “Obviously, I’m not free to discuss any work I may have done for the CIA,” Mitchell told the AP. He called Cox’s complaint libelous and said it is “riddled throughout with fabricated details, lies, distortions and inaccuracies.”
    — It will be difficult to sue for libel if you’re restricted from testifying on your own behalf. Guess the public claim of libel will have to suffice, without any attendant legal action.

    Icy Texan (10bbf5)

  2. Just so no one is confused about the politics behind this, Professor Margulies is the author of ‘Guantanamo Bay and the Abuse of Presidential Power’.

    GeneralMalaise (9cf017)

  3. So it was not a couple, but a menage a trois, Mitchell, Leso, and James?

    nk (db4a41)

  4. I would guess that the APA would be silent if the CIA had just stood the mook up against a wall and dealt with him “Castro style”.

    Our Academic “elites” need a good house-cleaning.

    AD - RtR/OS! (a25bb4)

  5. From the linked article:

    “In 2008 the APA voted to ban its members from taking part in interrogations at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other military detention sites where it believes international law is being violated.”

    The APA is welcome to believe any legal theories it wants, proving them is an entirely different matter.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  6. daley…I’m glad to know that the APA outranks the National Command Authority when it comes to medical personnel at GITMO.

    Arrogant little pricks, aren’t they?

    AD - RtR/OS! (a25bb4)

  7. Guys, I don’t know if these were attending physicians to make sure the interrogators did not go too far, or the psychologists who constructed the “enhanced interrogation” techniques (there were two of them), but whether doctors should participate in such things to any degree is far from a cut and dried question.

    nk (db4a41)

  8. according to the complaint by Northwestern University law professor Joseph Margulies

    Oh, brother. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to stereotype Margulies as undoubtedly one of those idiotic leftists (or “progressives”) who believes shedding tears for the felon, and a murderer in particular, somehow instills in a person a veneer of compassion, humanity and civilization.

    As for the victims of such felons/murderers? Margulies probably thinks: “Others can worry about them!! My heart is reserved for the truly needy, the truly downtrodden, the truly sad and sympathetic!

    “If someone butchered several people or used terrorist tactics to kill the innocent, he must have had a valid reason! Perhaps the society he was raised in was racist or didn’t have enough social services or had been ravaged by an imperialistic, capitalistic nation!”

    Joseph Margulies is an attorney with the MacArthur Justice Center and an Associate Clinical Professor at Northwestern University Law School in Chicago….After a clerkship with the Hon. William Hart of the Northern District of Illinois, Margulies joined the staff of the Texas Capital Resource Center, where he represented men and women on Texas’ death row.


    The Roderick MacArthur Justice Center (the Justice Center) has been called “a law firm like no other” by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. Our nonprofit public-interest law firm at Northwestern University School of Law litigates issues of significance for the criminal justice system, including prisoner rights, the death penalty, and gun control.

    In this time of limited resources for the poor, the Justice Center spends more than $400,000 annually to provide free legal representation on criminal justice issues affecting the indigent.

    Mark (411533)

  9. I worked with Rob Warden, for a short time, a generation and a half ago. We need lawyers like that. Everybody becomes indigent once indicted. 😉

    nk (db4a41)

  10. “Interrogators subjected Zubaydah to severe cold, food and sleep deprivation, confinement in a narrow box and, with Mitchell participating, a simulated form of drowning known as waterboarding…”

    Poor baby.

    I’m getting all weepy just reading about it.

    Dave Surls (a646cc)

  11. DRJ,

    I’m definitely splitting hairs here, but I just want to point out that the allegations against the good Dr. concern actions outside of any conduct in GTMO. To describe this as a matter involving “GTMO torture” may lead one to believe that there has been waterboarding conducted at the detention facility, which is not the case.

    I’m probably just being extra-sensitive today, but there it is.

    RWL

    RWL (6d9570)

  12. If complaints are shielded, why are they writing letters detailing them?

    htom (412a17)

  13. Much like the ABA tried to disbar Cully Stimson, for pointing out that blue chip law firms, shouldn’t be representing terrorists. And John Yoo and Addington for writing the briefs that permitted
    Gitmo to exist. Basically, if we are doing something
    to save American lives, they are against

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  14. Once again this is a “Water’s wet” sort of story out of the left. Like Holder’s DOJ investigating the jury trial of the cop in Oakland but dropping a case of admitted voter intimidation.

    I’d love to be able to say I’m tired of it and ignore it, but this stuff matters, it matters a lot dammit.

    Vivian Louise (643333)

  15. The Times Scott Shane, outed the lead interrogator,
    and mentioned his family, and his new place of business once he left the CIA, Mitchell and his
    partner Jessen, ABC News was the one who published
    their pictures

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  16. Good, they should be outed. We don’t need torturers in this country. Deport the animals to Germany where they should have been born. (“Mitchell and his partner” — does that carry the other meaning?)

    nk (db4a41)

  17. In the firm, of Mitchell and Jessen, nk, they had been through SERE training. these folks helped stop the Library Tower plot, among many others

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  18. “We don’t need torturers in this country.”

    nk – Are you using one of the left’s flexible definitions of the word “torture” as the APA appears to do in this article or its actual accepted definition under international law?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  19. Yeah, well, SERE training is resistance to suffering. No problem with that.

    The other stuff … you sit with me chained to a chair for an hour, I’ll have you reciting Robert Frost. (I don’t hurt people.)

    nk (db4a41)

  20. You’re from Chicago, right, where they have that real deft touch with police interrogations

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  21. Comment by daleyrocks — 7/10/2010 @ 6:46 pm

    I have a problem with mistreating prisoners. Once you deprive a person of his liberty, you become responsible for for his wellbeing, as though he were free, in my view. I’ve been saying that, here, like forever.

    Even though I only score 27% on the libertarian scale. 😉

    I think my opinion is also codified in UCMJ. I can look it up and link it, if you want.

    nk (db4a41)

  22. Google is your friend:

    813. ART. 13 PUNISHMENT PROHIBITED BEFORE TRIAL
    No person, while being held for trial, may be subjected to punishment or penalty other than arrest or confinement upon the charges pending against him, nor shall the arrest or confinement imposed upon him be any more rigorous than the circumstances required to insure his presence, but he may be subjected to minor punishment during that period for infractions of discipline.

    nk (db4a41)

  23. When I raised the issue of working for the CIA my two sons laughed. They basically thought that in the current political climate one would have to be crazy or stupid, and preferably both, to join a government organization where today’s instructions might be tomorrow’s indictment. So much for recruiting good people for important national security jobs.

    Scott Shane, outed the lead interrogator
    Maybe Mr. Shane’s picture, work place, and home address should be posted on all the various special ops and intelligence websites so he gets a little feel for what it is like, and he can hope no harm comes to the people he outed. A person needs to take responsibility for their actions, especially when their actions jeopardize the lives of others.

    Typically sticking a knife into someone’s belly is a crime, but when it is done by a surgeon to save a life it is not a crime. Being “mean” to an innocent person is wrong, being “mean” to a terrorist (or criminal) in the purpose of saving innocent lives not so wrong. Of course, just how mean is the question. Say you had Mengele in custody, and you knew there were 25 of his captives still alive being held captive by his subordinates. Is there no moral imperative to coerce the information from him, no matter how unpleasant it may be?

    On one end of the spectrum is the abuse of prisoners to get them to confess to crimes they didn’t commit just so the agony would stop. That obviously should never happen. In the middle is interrogation that gets a criminal to say things that can be used to hold him accountable. That is the norm, though I have zero first hand knowledge what that looks like. A heinous criminal should not be mistreated at the whim of captors, but aiding his/her victims should take priority over making him/her comfortable, I would think.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  24. “I think my opinion is also codified in UCMJ.”

    nk – I understand that. I also do not like people throwing around the word torture loosely and have been consistent here on that. You dodged answering that question. There was no assumption that these unlawful combatants were being held over for trial, but I thank you for the UCMJ citation.

    Why has Congress been too cowardly to define torture?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  25. From the legal perspective I know nothing, but it seems to me there is a huge difference between having someone captive awaiting trial for a specific past event, and having someone captive who has information concerning the ongoing deadly force being used against innocents in the present and into the future. I don’t know where, if at all, this issue is addressed.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  26. I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath and agreement:

    I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.

    ….

    But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.

    ….

    All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.

    ….

    If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot.

    nk (db4a41)

  27. We talk about doctors sticking scissors into babies’s heads or sucking them out with a vaccum cleaner, and then we tolerate this?

    nk (db4a41)

  28. Rest assured, they will come again for the Library
    Tower (Zubair, Bashir Bin Lap) and Heathrow (bin Al shibh) and we won’t be that lucky next time

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  29. You really think doctors should exercice their skills in “enhanced interrogations”?

    Pharamcists? I’ve commented here, four years ago, about naloxone, an antidote for opiate poisoning, having been found to be both something that brings down the pain threshold and the Palovian reflex (fear).

    nk (db4a41)

  30. “We talk about doctors sticking scissors into babies’s heads or sucking them out with a vaccum cleaner, and then we tolerate this?”

    nk – Whaddaya mean “and then we tolerate this?” The stuff you describe makes enhanced interrogations look tame. I don’t know what you’re complaining about.

    How are you coming on that definition of torture?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  31. You don’t strip a man naked and put him into a freezer. And then sic dogs on him. Or tie him on a chair and give him belly slaps. Or tie him on a board and trickle water down his throat.

    You just don’t.

    nk (db4a41)

  32. Your mileage may vary.

    nk (db4a41)

  33. I don’t know how to explain it.

    (I’ve lost count of how many times my nose was broken (Six, I think).)

    I’m not talking about pain, I’m talking about dehumanization.

    nk (db4a41)

  34. nk – If you and your fellow travelers are unable to tell people what interrogation techniques are permisable, how the heck are we supposed to try get information out of captured jihadis? Playing Jerry Lewis movies or Keith Olbermann reruns would probably be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  35. If a physician pronounces someone dead after capital punishment, that (now deceased) person is not his patient. The person and physician has not entered into a mutually understood obligation of physician-patient.

    While I stand by the Hippocratic oath (except for the swearing by Greek gods, you know), the oath itself for many years has been edited to the liking of those who use it. In it’s original form it was anti-abortion, and we know what happened to that.

    Is jamming scissors into the back of the head of a baby the equivalent of having Mengele strip naked and put him in a freezer if that is necessary to save 25 of his victims?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  36. Is jamming scissors into the back of the head of a baby the equivalent of having Mengele strip naked and put him in a freezer if that is necessary to save 25 of his victims?

    Comment by MD in Philly — 7/10/2010 @ 8:00 pm

    You should not do either. You are neither the baby’s nor Mengele’s God.

    Do no harm.

    nk (db4a41)

  37. You can also take it up with Ezekiel Emmanuel, he seems to have a real problem with it, hence the ‘complete lives’ system

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  38. Even though I only score 27% on the libertarian scale.

    But you must score 100% on the ass-backwards liberal-leftwing scale. That’s a condition where a person often is a lame or inept judge of people and situations. So the good becomes bad, and the bad becomes good. IOW, truly ass backwards.

    So when a Democrat Congressman from North Carolina several weeks ago was asked — simply and courteously — by a college student with a video cam “Do you fully support the Obama agenda?,” and the liberal politician immediately grabbed at the student’s camera and spat “who are you!!?”, your heart started bleeding…for the asshole Congressman.

    I said what I said and I’m right in every state of the union. Everybody has a right to walk down a public street and nobody has a right to stick a camera up against anyone’s face. Comment by nk — 6/14/2010 @ 3:24 pm


    In regards to the release of the Pan Am Lockerbie bomber — who as things turn out, really wasn’t witnessing his last days of life in jail due to a fatal illness — your heart bleeds for the…(surprise, surprise!) terrorist:

    Only God knows if Megrahi is guilty. Comment by nk — 7/5/2010 @ 7:44 am


    Your opinions are okay if you’re at least honest enough to admit that liberal sentiments definitely do NOT make you or anyone else kinder, more civilized and more humane.

    We talk about doctors sticking scissors into babies’s heads

    Another thing: I notice quite a few liberals are no less ass backwards when it comes to moral equivalency and relativism.

    There is a difference between an innocent new-born life and that of an adult suspected (or certainly guilty of) murder or other types of crimes. BTW, new-born life that is HUMAN, since more and more of the left in today’s era places animals on the same level with humans (“My heart bleeds for horses sold by their owners to rendering plants! It must be banned! As for young, underaged girls in California being allowed to get abortions without parental consent? C’est la vie, baby!”)

    Mark (411533)

  39. “I have a problem with mistreating prisoners.”

    Yeah?

    I have a problem with guys who take little American girls prisoner, and then murder them in cold blood by flying them into the sides of buildings.

    Mistreatment of Al Qaida prisoners, and even REAL torture is totally justified, under the circumstances.

    Al Qaida tossed the rulebook out the window on 9/11.

    So, go bore the liberals with that bleeding heart hogwash; they might even actually believe it. Of course, liberals were the guys who fried 100,000 Japanese civilians at Hiroshima, so I doubt their moans of anguish over a few Al Qaida scumbags getting leaned on is real…but, you never know.

    Dave Surls (a646cc)

  40. I’m sorry,

    I just have this thing about the abuse of prisoners/helpless people. I will not tolerate it.

    nk (db4a41)

  41. I’m not talking about pain, I’m talking about dehumanization.

    The only people who I would consider advanced interrogation techniques on already have done an advanced job of dehumanizing themselves. As far as dehumanizing of the interrogators, the perspective would be important. Is the interrogator enjoying making another person suffer, or are they obtaining information to save innocent lives, information that the guilty party would readily volunteer if there was a shread of humanity left in them.

    By all means, it’s easy to say stuff sitting in front of my computer as opposed to being in the situation, but I don’t think being polite to Mengele while his underlings are torturing 25 people seems like the right thing to do.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  42. So, Mark, you make a distinction between people with Government IDs (and/or uniforms), and Arabs with boxcutters abusing prisoners/helpless people?

    nk (db4a41)

  43. MD in Philly,

    I don’t know if you did it on purpose, but you made my point better than I could have. Mengele was a guy with government authority and immunity, just like our “doctors” in Gitmo.

    nk (db4a41)

  44. _____________________________________

    I don’t think being polite to Mengele

    But if such a person professes to being a humanitarian or populist do-gooder (or underdog—at least as defined by a liberal) — sort of like a Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung or, hell, Black Panther — then kum-bah-wah feelings rule all — certainly in the minds of the left — and every excuse and rationalization aimed at such a person is hunky-dory.

    Mark (411533)

  45. Lets take KSM for a moment, he methodically plotted
    the death of 3,000 Americans, and had information on dozens of plots, it’s really an obscenity to make
    the Mengele comparison

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  46. you make a distinction between people with Government IDs (and/or uniforms), and Arabs with boxcutters abusing prisoners/helpless people?

    I make a distinction. I see the differences between one and the other—certainly keeping in mind that your descriptions (eg, “Government IDs,” “Arabs”) require further adjectives.

    In general, I certainly don’t care for moral relativism. Do you?

    Mark (411533)

  47. “Mengele was a guy with government authority and immunity, just like our “doctors” in Gitmo.”

    nk – Are you now equating what Mengele did to what our people have done interrogating Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners? Really?

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  48. Oh, of course we’ll never do what the Nazis did. After all, they were the country of Mozart and Goethe, and we are the country of Mark Twain and Duke Ellington.

    nk (db4a41)

  49. I just have this thing about the abuse of prisoners/helpless people. I will not tolerate it.
    Comment by nk — 7/10/2010 @ 8:08 pm

    I understand that the idea of abusing someone who is tied up, etc., is a concept of being cruel. The question is, is there a situation where such behavior is morally justified, just as when a doctor puts the scalpel to the ill patient?

    In the theoretical case I presented, Mengele is not helpless, in fact, he has the power of life and death over 25 others. He is presented the opportunity to give truthful information, which is his moral duty anyway.

    C.S. Lewis wrote that when you interact with people, one “never interacts with a mere mortal, but a creature that ultimately will resemble God more than a human as we know them, or something so hideous that it would be hard to believe it was once human.” (my poor paraphrase)

    Even if one had the personal feeling and belief that they should not, would not, could not inflict pain to a prisoner, I don’t think you can say the person is helpless in the kind of situations we are talking about. Any lawyer or professional that is against such measures needs to be confronted with the following- your child is being held hostage and will be among those killed in a terrorist act. In custody is someone who was part of the kidnapping and who knows where the hostages are being kept, etc. Are you content with giving the person coffee and donuts while awaiting for the act to be done? If the person can “really confront that reality” (as far as possible) and hold by their opinion, then I can respect that. If the person, however, persists in the fantasy that such a thing is not possible, people cannot be that cruel, etc., etc., then they are deluded and their opinion has no merit. You can’t have a valid opinion of what to do in a situation if you reason from the assumption that the situation doesn’t exist.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  50. “Mengele was a guy with government authority and immunity, just like our “doctors” in Gitmo.”

    Slight difference. Mengele supervised the MURDER of thousands of INNOCENT people…but, other than that, you are right, it’s the same thing.

    Note: Key words highlighted for the intellectually challenged.

    Dave Surls (a646cc)

  51. nk – Are you now equating what Mengele did to what our people have done interrogating Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners? Really?

    Comment by daleyrocks — 7/10/2010 @ 8:30 pm

    Yes.

    nk (db4a41)

  52. I will repeat myself one more time and that’s it.

    You don’t hurt prisoners.

    nk (db4a41)

  53. That’s right up there with the comparison with Moledet and Tehiya (I threw the last one in for free) with AQ, seriously flawed, but we see the
    fruits of the Levick Group’s p.r. campaign

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  54. You don’t hurt prisoners.

    Unless they’re carrying a videocam and asking a liberal Democrat “do you support the Obama agenda?”

    Mark (411533)

  55. 48.Oh, of course we’ll never do what the Nazis did

    No nk, that is not a claim I would make. The claim I would make is that the ability to be utterly inhuman is in the human heart of all, whether from Western Europe or East Asia, Northern Hemisphere of Southern, technologically advanced society or squalid hand to mouth subsistence. It is the knowledge of that reality that does make one monitor oneself as well as consider what to do in the face of such barbarism.

    Analogies and hypotheticals are helpful only to the degree they reproduce the key components of the real-life situation. Mengele abused humans because in his mind they were not worth being counted as humans. That is not at all similar to an agent of any society or government who causes pain with th intent of rescuing innocent people. My understanding is that soldiers have the responsibility and right to refuse an illegal order. Comparing Mengele to a Gitmo interrogator is like comparing hemlock and oranges.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  56. #

    “nk – Are you now equating what Mengele did to what our people have done interrogating Al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners? Really?

    Comment by daleyrocks — 7/10/2010 @ 8:30 pm

    Yes.

    Comment by nk — 7/10/2010 @ 8:33 pm”

    BLINDINGLY STUPID, YES, I SAID IT, MORAL EQUIVALENCE

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  57. “I will repeat myself one more time and that’s it.”

    Well, that’s good. It’s not like we haven’t been treated to these same inanities for years.

    Gitmo = Auschwitz.

    Bush = Hitler.

    Waterboarding a few terrorists = The Holocaust.

    Yawn.

    Heard it a million times already.

    Dave Surls (a646cc)

  58. You don’t hurt prisoners

    That’s a different statement than before, and if that is your feeling, and you feel you would act in the same manner if it was your child in danger, then we disagree, no name calling necessary.

    As above, I would ask all who criticize the interrogators face those realities themselves, and not delude themselves with ideas such as the individual is helpless or that society has no power to judge people’s actions and hold them accountable. I think most people simply do not grasp that people can be that evil and want to kill innocents and turn it into a self-righteous “we’re better than that”. That is the kind of arrogance that allowed Nazism to rise. I’m not saying we’re better than anybody else, I’m saying that when innocents are threatened in real time it is different than when an individual is in custody awaiting trial for an accomplished act. I think the two situations call for different responses.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  59. People who aren’t capable of accurately assessing or judging people and situations (hello, so many of you friggin’ liberals out there!) can never really be trusted. They’re like someone who raves about Swanson frozen TV dinners, McDonald’s burgers and Thunderbird wine also trying to analyze fine cuisine. IOW, from that point onward, you can never trust their perceptions or opinions.

    Mark (411533)

  60. Interrogators subjected Zubaydah to severe cold, food and sleep deprivation, confinement in a narrow box and, with Mitchell participating, a simulated form of drowning known as waterboarding, according to the complaint filed with the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists.

    That’s the allegation, where’s the proof?

    according to the complaint filed with the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists.

    That isn’t exactly doing it for me. But, don’t let me stop the argument.

    Ag80 (363d6e)

  61. Playing Jerry Lewis movies or Keith Olbermann reruns would probably be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

    Except in France?

    GeneralMalaise (9cf017)

  62. The fact that all of these hand-wringing, teeth gnashing appeasers would be beheaded should they happen to fall into the hands of ANY of these terrorists doesn’t seem to occur to them.

    Irony… where is thy sting?

    GeneralMalaise (9cf017)

  63. nk:

    I will repeat myself one more time and that’s it.

    You don’t hurt prisoners.

    I agree with you.

    If they are starving themselves to death because of their beliefs, do you let them die, or do you intervene.

    Which side of that coin is hurting the prisoner?

    Being a human being requires everyone to make decisions. Those decisions depend on a myriad of choices. Some of them are good and some of them are bad.

    Some of those decisions are based on a society that values the sanctity of life and the contribution of each and every member.

    And all those societies can do is try to construct a system that is just, but still fallible.

    You don’t hurt prisoners.

    Those words are noble. But those words mean nothing in the abstract. They do mean something in the just.

    Ag80 (363d6e)

  64. I see nk has slipped into the dark side again.
    Perhaps sometime in the future he will gain the professional help he is so desperately crying out for.

    AD - RtR/OS! (a25bb4)

  65. I have also said, “You don’t hurt children”.

    You don’t hurt the weak and helpless.

    Why do those principles bother you guys so much?

    nk (db4a41)

  66. 27.We talk about doctors sticking scissors into babies’s heads or sucking them out with a vaccum cleaner, and then we tolerate this?
    Comment by nk — 7/10/2010 @ 7:27 pm

    — Yes, because (and please, stop me if you’ve heard this one) babes in the womb are INNOCENT! They don’t have any friends that are planning to murder as many innocents as they possible can.

    Icy Texan (2279de)

  67. “We can’t just go around hurting people.”
    “Why?”
    “Because.”
    “Why?”
    “Because! Just trust me on this.”

    nk (db4a41)

  68. #65 nk:

    You don’t hurt the weak and helpless.

    Why do those principles bother you guys so much?

    nk, you are irrationally conflating two different principles that have very different applications.

    It is precisely because terrorists wage war against the weak and helpless that they have become unlawful combatants. Once an actor has become an unlawful combatant, they are no longer privileged to be treated as a prisoner of war… and it is a mistake to think of such an actor as weak and helpless~they continue to be a threat as an unlawful combatant even when restrained.

    Because they have placed themselves outside the rules of warfare, and because they continue to wage war against the weak and innocent, even while restrained or incarcerated, they are not eligible to be treated as a prisoner, with the rights of a prisoner of war because they remain an unlawful combatant.

    There is a way for them to shed that status as an unlawful combatant, and to do so only requires that they stop waging war against the weak and helpless, including volunteering any information of planned operations against innocents.

    I do not understand why you are so inappropriately intransigent and irrational on this point, but I suspect that it is a matter of personal experience unrelated to the discussion at hand.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  69. Well, for a fact, I do not consider ourselves weak and helpless against terrorist.

    As for the personal part, all my life I could not hit somebody who could not hit back. I guess some people could call it a weakness.

    My mother was the same way. My father (not she, it was too late by then) told me the story of a dog that my mother fed after his owner had blinded him.

    But you know … it’s also in that Book that they gave us for free as kids. They slapped Him and spat in His Face.

    Allright.

    nk (db4a41)

  70. Zubeydah, KSM either organized through logistics or planned out the deaths of 3,000 innocent people, on one sunny September Morning. They aren’t innocent, what do you do with a rabid dog, who’s bitten other children

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  71. I know the Library Towers story. They waterboarded KSM 178 times before he said it. Was there corroborative evidence?

    nk (db4a41)

  72. what do you do with a rabid dog, who’s bitten other children

    I’m a farmboy. I’ve actually seen rabies in a horse. You put it down kindly and then get fifteen shots in your navel just for having touched it.

    Those metaphors don’t really work.

    nk (db4a41)

  73. No, they did it three times, that’s how many times they poured the water, total. The rule isit should
    be ‘safe, legal and rare’ only to be used in certain circumstances.

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  74. Fake?

    nk (db4a41)

  75. Isn’t there something called the Hippocratic Otha that doctors – including psychiatists – take? And isn’t it a doctor’s creedo to “first, do no harm“?

    JEA (9c99ca)

  76. Comment by JEA

    See #35

    Taking the role as physician in one thing, being an army surgeon confronted by an attack and having a weapon thrust into your hands is another. Being present when an unlawful combatant is being questioned is somewhere in between.

    Maybe if Joseph Margulies leads a movement against those who behead their captives, those who advocate euthanasia, and abortion then I’ll listen to him seriously. Perhaps he does already, but I don’t think it is likely.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  77. I guess my question for nk and others of his persuasion is whether they have considered the practical, real world alternative to their position.

    If an unlawful combatant is captured in the field and the people doing the capturing know there is no chance of extracting useful information from him because all they, CIA and Gitmo are allowed to do is endlessly repeat questions while providing a comfy chair, three hots, a cot and copy of the Koran, what is a practical commander to do? Drag the terrorist along? Waste time and resources sending the terrorist to the rear? Or institute the Geneva approved solution [field trial, execution, shallow grave], continue on and ask “What combatant?” if taken to task.

    And please, none of that BS about the terrorists treating their prisoners worse if we follow this course. Based on the handful of cases reported, these guys haven’t crawled out of the Dark Ages with prisoner treatment and aren’t likely to no matter how we treat our captives.

    kaz (e7a67c)

  78. nk, I have this thing about Liberals like you going to insane extremes to protect the guilty from their just desserts. I pray for your side to get “Balanced” Heinlein style.

    PCD (fce1ee)

  79. All you folks who support torture…
    Good news for the rest of us on this planet!
    You will die someday!
    Do us all a favor and make it soon!

    Duke (a4b4a1)

  80. I am not a liberal (big “L” or little “l”). I am a person with certain ideas about how to deal with my fellow human beings. Not necessarily consistent. 😉

    If you knock on my door with friendly intentions, you will get food and drink.

    If you break into my house, I will not ask about your intentions, I will shoot you until I run out of ammunition.

    If you cannot hurt me, I will not hurt you.

    nk (db4a41)

  81. I didn’t like Heinlein all that much. Zelazny and Vance were more to my taste.

    nk (db4a41)

  82. I will shoot you until I run out of ammunition.

    And just what does the IL penal code say about the use of deadly force when a threat NO LONGER ARISES?

    Isn’t your position akin to “bombing to bounce the rubble”?

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  83. I’m sorry,

    I just have this thing about the abuse of prisoners/helpless people. I will not tolerate it.

    Comment by nk

    I understand. You just defend the people who do. I don’t mean the Gitmo and CIA people. I know you would never defend them. I mean the amateur torturers. The ones who do it for fun or who ejaculate as they do it. Those are your clients.

    Since you are an expert on everything, nk, I am surprised you seem not to know that psychologists are not MDs and do not take the Hippocratic Oath. In fact, in keeping with more modern concepts of “do no harm” very few medical students take it anymore.

    Now, I have to go take a shower. I get that dirty feeling around people who support terrorists.

    Mike K (82f374)

  84. I believe in “support for terrorists”, Mike.
    Brit-style: Shackle them to a chair, and then allow the firing squad to do their thing (see: Breaker Morant).
    Alternatively, the French (and I believe the Spanish) would stand you up with your back to a post, and your wrists bound behind the post.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  85. And just what does the IL penal code say about the use of deadly force when a threat NO LONGER ARISES?

    It says when I have a child in the house and you break in, I get a lot of slack for how much force I use, and I get to determine when the threat no longer exists.

    Illinois law is pretty much the bellwether in criminal law and self-defense in your home.

    nk (db4a41)

  86. ______________________________________

    I am not a liberal (big “L” or little “l”).

    No, you’re a “progressive.”

    Speaking of which — and in light of the current White House and Congress being experts at illustrating the law of unintended consequences (or, better yet, the road to hell being paved with good intentions) — here’s another great boost they’ve given to the economy:

    money.cnn.com, July 9, 2010:

    With a new mandate looming that will require business owners to file millions more tax forms, the Internal Revenue Service has begun the daunting process of figuring out how to turn the law’s sweeping demands into actual rules for taxpayers.

    The new regulations, which kick in at the start of 2012, require any taxpayer with business income to issue 1099 forms to all vendors from whom they purchased more than $600 of goods and services that year. That promises to launch a fusillade of new paperwork: An estimated 40 million taxpayers will be subject to the requirement, including 26 million who run sole proprietorships, according to a report released this week by National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson.

    The expanded reporting requirements, which Congress slipped into the landmark health care reform bill passed in March, are an attempt to create a paper trail of 1099s exposing business-to-business payments that might otherwise stay off the radar.

    ______________________________________

    Mark (411533)

  87. nk: You keep using terms like “harm” and “mistreatment” but you need to define them. So, for example, you write, “I have a problem with mistreating prisoners.” But prison itself could easily be seen as mistreatment: it takes away a person’s right to free association and movement, and can cause immense psychological damage. That doesn’t mean that it is immoral to imprison someone. Sometimes it is morally necessary to do so.

    You also refer to the “first, do no harm” clause from the Hippocratic Oath, but you seem to be defining that so broadly that it would disallow many medical treatments. Surgery is harmful: you’re cutting into a living body. Medicine is usually a matter of choosing the lesser harm in order to heal or prevent a greater harm. Until you define what you mean — and you have to because it’s obviously not self-evident — no one has any grounds for agreeing with your judgments. Including, ironically, you.

    Jim S. (7f4eb8)

  88. Any comparison with Mengele seems over the top and counterproductive.

    This attempt to go after the psychologist seems nasty and wrong and is itself a threat to justice and liberty.

    That said, I have a problem with a trend I see on this thread and elsewhere. It seems to be held as self evident that it’s OK to use “enhanced interrogation” on the guilty to save the innocents.

    I have two questions,
    1.) Where is the accountability for who this is done to and how?
    2.) What if the person is innocent and does not have the information to give?

    On TV Jack “convinces” the bad guy to give him the location of the bomb and the USA is saved. Sipowhatever “tunes” the perp until he confesses and justice is served. I think the Japanese police, who can use enhanced interrogation techniques, have a 96% conviction rate. Do you think they are really that good? I doubt it.

    Power does not corrupt, immunity corrupts. Absolute immunity corrupts absolutely.

    Who holds authority responsible when the victim is not proven to be guilty? I would not be comfortable with the Obama administration having the authority to deem me a threat to America and to innocent lives and force a confession out of me or a loved one to protect the innocent. I don’t think this was done before but where are the safeguards to keep this from drifting that way. After Ruby Ridge and Waco it is no longer rational to trust the government to that extent without strict oversight and accountability.

    I know that strict controls were in place under Bush. I don’t know if they were enough but in any case what binds a new administration from broadening those controls, out of public view. It just seems that the justifications I am seeing here are a big step onto a dangerous road.

    It is a difficult problem and if you can prove a man is a terrorist and has critical information then I might be more inclined to accept some of these methods but who makes this call and what criteria are used? Is the confession obtained considered enough justification or proof? Would you be comfortable giving an Obama official or Mayor Daley this power over you, without public oversight or accountability?

    Machinist (497786)

  89. Jim S..

    I think it important to recognize the difference between a convicted criminal and a suspect. There should never be punishment of a suspect, though confinement may be justified.

    Machinist (497786)

  90. Well, confinement often is punishment. “Punishment” is more difficult a term than “harmful” or “mistreatment” because it brings the intentions of the person inflicting the harm into play.

    Having made my pedantic point, I know what you mean, and I agree.

    Jim S. (7f4eb8)

  91. This is why there is bail for suspects.

    Machinist (497786)

  92. And a high bar for confinement without bail.

    Machinist (497786)

  93. Mengele is over the top, our people in Gitmo are not Mengeles, but it is good as a cautionary tale.

    Other people have said it better, but the inhumanity we witnessed from one of the most civilized and cultured countries in the world — Germany — came not in one leap but in incremental steps over a decade, from the Night of the Long Knives, then Chrystal Night, then Night and Fog, then the Final Solution.

    nk (db4a41)

  94. The Gestapo certainly used torture to get information or confessions, but Mengela was a sadistic quack who indulged his sadistic curiosity because he had the immunity to do so. It is just too long a reach and is an insult to our servicemen to even mention him in this context of GITMO. At least in my opinion. I recognize that I could be all wrong.

    Machinist (497786)

  95. If you want to point to the Gestapo as a warning about the danger of a politicized FBI or ATF then I am right with you.

    Machinist (497786)

  96. Let me make more explicit the argument I’ve been trying to get at.

    A legitimate government has an obligation to protect it’s citizens from unjust harm when it can. There is no such conflict when talking about holding a person for trial for a crime already committed that he/she is accused of, or after being found guilty and given a prison sentence. So it would be the norm to never infict unnecessary pain of the typical suspect or convbicted criminal. But there is a conflict in the government’s responsibility to try to save innocent parties if withholding advanced interrogation from the unlawful combatant makes it more likely innmocents will suffer and die.

    So, if you want to make, “Never harm a person in custody” as a fundamental principle that trumps any other moral issue you can; but there are principles to appeal to that give reason for differential treatment.

    Machinist, I used Mengele as an extreme example of the concept, not as an “equivalent” example. I am sure there is a technical rhetorical term for it that I don’t know, but if you look at an extreme example do you believe the same way, or do you say “that’s different. So, in this example, if one said, “Yes, Mengele would deserve it”, then one is not really against enhanced interrogation, rather one just has a different threshold for employing it, and the discussion would not be over if, but over when.

    In the current discussion, I’m assuming the person’s guilt is unquestionable (which puts one big qualifier on the issue). In the kind of terrorism we’re talking about, with people eager to confess as part of their rationalization, I think that is a condition that can be satisfied. As far as who gets to make such a decision, however it is worked out the person/s would still be held accountable for their decision and actions according to a standard. (I addressed this to a degree in #23 near the end.)

    The challenge to any protocol or established procedure is can it handle a situation which is significantly different from the norm, and if so how. We aren’t talking about 99.9% of cases where there is a suspect captive; we’re talking about a “ticking bomb” scenario which is not an issue of just punishment for a crime already committed, but how to handle a murderer in the act of murdering. When the person has the gun pointed at the victim and the authorities say, “Put the gun down”, everybody is ok with shooting the perpetrator if he doesn’t. If the murderer-to-be is not in the immediate physical location, but still has the power to murder because of what they know and can decide to go through with it or stop it, are they subject to similar direct physical intervention?

    How would you answer the Golden Rule on this? Say I know where a group of captives are being held, and the location is wired to blow up at a certain time. The absurd question is whether I would prefer you sit and watch me so you could then try me, find me guilty of multiple counts of murder, and execute me, or use inhanced interrogation techniques that cause me to give in. In the later case then I’m charged with multiple counts of something else, plead for mercy since I did give the information to save the hostages, etc., etc. If I was sane and human would I prefer that you would have let me kill the hostages? If I did prefer to kill them would my desire count for anything anyway.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  97. I type ssllooowwwllllyyyyyyy. #’s 91-96 were done while I was typing. I hope my post at 97 clarifies the use of mengele. I was in no way equating our troops with Menegele, I was trying to say what would you want our troops to do if they had a Menegel in custody and could save 25 innocent lives by water-boarding him.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  98. Mengele… Gestapo… Kristallnacht… I don’t about all that… all I know is that I’d love to have one of those elliptical training machines our government gave Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

    GeneralMalaise (9cf017)

  99. “How would you answer the Golden Rule on this? Say I know where a group of captives are being held, and the location is wired to blow up at a certain time. The absurd question is whether I would prefer you sit and watch me so you could then try me, find me guilty of multiple counts of murder, and execute me, or use inhanced interrogation techniques that cause me to give in. In the later case then I’m charged with multiple counts of something else, plead for mercy since I did give the information to save the hostages, etc., etc. If I was sane and human would I prefer that you would have let me kill the hostages? If I did prefer to kill them would my desire count for anything anyway.”

    But this again assumes the person is guilty and has the information. Would you want the enhanced interrogation techniques used on you if they were wrong and you were not the right person or did not have the information they wanted?

    This is my problem with all of the rationalizations I hear. If someone is pointing a gun at my wife I know it is him when I shoot him. If I don’t know who is threatening my wife but shoot someone I think might be the one, it is a very different matter.

    Machinist (497786)

  100. Maybe I gave a poor description, or perhaps since it is a long thread my original introduction of Mengele in #23 was never seen. I’ll repeat, I was not at all comparing our troops to Menegele, I was trying to look at the strongest scenario I could think of where someone might want to use enhanced interrogation.

    Other people have said it better, but the inhumanity we witnessed from one of the most civilized and cultured countries in the world — Germany — came not in one leap but in incremental steps over a decade, from the Night of the Long Knives, then Chrystal Night, then Night and Fog, then the Final Solution.
    Comment by nk

    Absolutely, which is why I agreed with you that I believe such barbarism is possible from any human heart, in theory at least. But there is a huge difference in aim and trajectory between enhanced interrogation as it has been used by the US (or so I think) as opposed to the escalation of Nazi or Imperial Japan’s barbarism. The US soldiers were trying to extract information from guilty parties to save people’s lives, not finding ways to inflict cruelty for sadistic or other ends.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  101. MD in Philly,

    In any case I was not referring to your mention of Mengela but to NK’s.

    Machinist (497786)

  102. “…from guilty parties …”

    There’s the rub. They were not convicted yet. Who determines they are guilty and what oversight and accountability is in place?

    It is like a wise and benevolent ruler, how do you assure those and take back the power from someone who is not wise and benevolent? Better to trust in rule of law and deal with the problems that come with it. Our government has usurped more of our freedom than any foreign power or terrorist. They pose more of a threat to my safety.

    Machinist (497786)

  103. This is my problem with all of the rationalizations I hear. If someone is pointing a gun at my wife I know it is him when I shoot him. If I don’t know who is threatening my wife but shoot someone I think might be the one, it is a very different matter.
    Comment by Machinist

    I completely agree with you, which is why I think the conditions that justify enhanced interrogation are very, very narrow. With the Al Queda types we typically have had a confession along with other evidence, and in fact the evidence may be necessary to insure the person’s confession is not a ploy.

    I’m trying to push the limit to the extreme, to push it until the decision is never to use enhanced interrogation even if you know it is “the devil himself” you have in custody. If one thinks it could be justfied in the extreme, then the question is what kind of parameters have to exist.

    I think most of the Joseph Margulies(es) of the world are too fixated on knowing the US is not perfect and feeling they are superior to the ones in charge to really grapple with the reality of wickedness. They don’t think we ever have wicked people in captivity. As long as Gitmo is just a place where a bunch of innocent shepherds who were at the wrong place at the wrong time are being held then it is easy to demand a “white collar crime” treatment. When it really sinks in that the person smiling at you on the other side of the fence would just as well prefer to slit your throat and string your body up to gloat over, then a new realism and seriousness comes into play.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  104. The problem is that we did not have that confession before the interrogation. Imagine being pressed for information you don’t have to give.

    I think Moore said, “I give the Devil benefit of law for my own safety’s sake.” At least in the movie. How many times has the Constitution been weakened or violated for public safety?

    I am not arguing against GITMO detention as intended and I believe that careful rules have been followed in the application of enhanced interrogation, but where are the safeguards against an administration deciding that Tea Party members are a threat to the government and a threat to the earth (remember Nancy claiming she was trying to save the planet. Can we let the Constitution stand in the way of that?).

    Machinist (497786)

  105. Its a pattern. If you provide legal advice they don’t like, they try to strip you of your law license.

    If you provide medical advice, they try to strip you of your medical license.

    If you provide psychological advice, they try to strip you of your shrink license.

    If any of these organizations had any sense of what was their proper place, they would butt the hell out.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  106. If I have to choose between the extremes I will go with the law, the Constitution.

    Machinist (497786)

  107. AW,

    More politics in something that should be apolitical. I agree.

    Machinist (497786)

  108. Despite my doubts, I do, most of the time, believe the teachings of Christ and His heart-rending suffering, and I do try to treat every person as though he were Christ or the Thief.

    Also, I have worked half my life for prisoners so it’s an occupational thing too.

    I have never claimed to be an expert on anything. I’m just talking, here, as a break from CLE. Take what you want from my words.

    nk (db4a41)

  109. “If I have to choose between the extremes I will go with the law, the Constitution.”

    Machinist – Which is why Boumedienne was so controversial. I believe the SC got it wrong based on the insertion of a colloquy into the Congressional Record as if it was part of the floor debate. Our Constitution was never intended to be extraterritorial and extend rights granted thereunder to persons detained overseas. The enhanced interrogation methods were carefully crafted IMHO to comply with international laws on the subject in spite of progressive whining to the contrary.

    The subject of the detention of Tea Party members domestically is interesting but diverges more into Glen Beck conspiracy land, IMHO. The law is much clearer with respect to U.S. citizens and domestic detention.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  110. I am not a Christian but have many Christian values. My views on government are based on the fact I believe a Constitutional Republic is or was the only hope for man’s freedom and dignity and has brought mankind to heights undreamed of before. It is the only form of government I have seen show that potential. All others such as socialism or democracy have failed every time.

    We are not perfect but we were given a good shot by some truly great and wise men. I think we have traded our chance away for trinkets and promises of health care insurance but I would like to leave as much as possible for the coming generations. I suspect the great power we leave to the forces that will end up ruling will make the coming darkness long and very dark.

    Machinist (497786)

  111. Tamam, Machinist, tamam. (That’s “exactly” or “perfect agreement” in Turkish/Arabic.)

    nk (db4a41)

  112. “You also refer to the “first, do no harm” clause from the Hippocratic Oath, but you seem to be defining that so broadly that it would disallow many medical treatments. Surgery is harmful: you’re cutting into a living body. Medicine is usually a matter of choosing the lesser harm in order to heal or prevent a greater harm. Until you define what you mean — and you have to because it’s obviously not self-evident — no one has any grounds for agreeing with your judgments. Including, ironically, you.”

    Jim, are your arguments always this defective? You are telling me there’s no way to make a moral choice? How do you define it? Would it be allowable for foreign psychaitrists or doctors to stand by while our soldiers were being tortured? Either you believe in your values or you don’t, and throw them away when it’s convenient for you to do so.

    JEA (9c99ca)

  113. but where are the safeguards against an administration deciding that Tea Party members are a threat to the government and a threat to the earth (remember Nancy claiming she was trying to save the planet. Can we let the Constitution stand in the way of that?).
    Comment by Machinist

    I agree with you about that. The problem I think with that is years ago people started to think relativistically and the rule of law and reason was replaced with the rule of feeling and personality. I think that when Clinton did not resign, as any other male in our country would have needed to have done if found in a similar situation, it showed how far we had slipped from any fixed sense of right and wrong.

    Comment by nk
    I realize that most of your clients, even the real scoundrels among them, usually had a lot of assistance getting to where they were, and it might have felt unfair at times that others didn’t get to share in the consequences of earlier wrongs. I know among my patients none of them woke up happy and content one morning and said, “Gee, I think I’ll start being a prostitute”, or, “Hey, hitting the clubs to see how many guys I can hook up with sounds like a lot of fun.” Yes, millions of broken lives could stand a huge helping of mercy along the way.

    Yet when Jesus encountered some Roman soldiers while preaching one day, he did not tell them to quit being soldiers because it was wrong to harm people. He told them to be honest in their work, not to extort from people by force.

    As kaz said in #78, accepted Geneva convention says that am unlawful combatant is entitled to a field trial under militry rules, execution, amd burial. The authority is in the highest ranking military present, and he/she is accountable to superiors in the chain of command.

    Both of you have legitimate reasons to come down on one side of the issue. I’m against people lobbying to treat detainess like they are innocent farmers rounded up by our evil and wicked soldiers, when the reality is more like the worst of a group that would just as soon kill you and your family as not are in captivity and some “harsh” treatment can save lives, when they could have rightly been executed on the field. I think there are some who have earned justification for harsher treatment in order to save innocent lives, especially those who look you in the eye, spit in your face, and tell you they would kill more if they had the chance.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  114. JEA:

    Would it be allowable for foreign psychaitrists or doctors to stand by while our soldiers were being tortured?

    You think Abu Zubaydah is the same as a soldier?

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  115. JEA appears
    and thoughts turn to honey red
    ant hill rope and stakes

    ColonelHaiku (9cf017)

  116. “Either you believe in your values or you don’t, and throw them away when it’s convenient for you to do so.”

    JEA – Comedy Gold coming from you. The hallmark of today’s progressives is rock solid principles and morals which come and go as circumstances and convenience warrant.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  117. daleyrocks,
    I don’t listen to Beck so I can’t speak to that but has this President or this Congress shown any decency or restraint? Any reason to trust they will follow the letter or spirit of the law?

    Will such a bleed over be known to the public if it is not clearly an criminal act? The founders drew some very sharp and bright lines where they considered the government had to be restrained. I am not as confident in the wisdom or good intentions of those who have decided we could blur and smudge those lines because it was in the public interest.

    Machinist (497786)

  118. situational
    ethics govern Left morals
    change with the season

    ColonelHaiku (9cf017)

  119. I agree that men taken under arms and out of uniform while fighting American troops are not subject to our civil due process but they are entitled to due process, either military or Geneva Convention or whatever. There has to be a determination of guilt before they are punished beyond the detention as a POW. At least this is how I my uniformed mind thought it works and thinks it should work. How was this determination made before enhanced interrogation was used, or was it made? Were all the persons subjected to this captured this way? If there is not oversight and hard rules governing this then we are on a dangerous path.

    Machinist (497786)

  120. Intelligence gathering has nothing to do with the judicial process, and the intermingling of the two is where we have developed this problem (Thank You, Jamie).

    As Illegal Combatants, terrorists are entitled to a bullet; if they give up actionable intell, they could be rewarded by confinement. But, in the end, they knew the rules when thye first set out upon the game.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  121. Spain Wins!

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  122. “I agree that men taken under arms and out of uniform while fighting American troops are not subject to our civil due process but they are entitled to due process, either military or Geneva Convention or whatever.”

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  123. Due Process for an Unlawful Combatant:
    Ready, Aim, Fire!

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  124. Yippee spain wins now
    running pomeranians
    in the pamplona

    ColonelHaiku (9cf017)

  125. “I agree that men taken under arms and out of uniform while fighting American troops are not subject to our civil due process but they are entitled to due process, either military or Geneva Convention or whatever.”

    Machinist – Blew the comment above. I don’t listen to or watch Glenn Beck either. I just hear the lefties whining about his conspiracy theories, in this case FEMA Camps.

    I’m not sure “due process” is the correct choice of words in my mind. Detainees are entitled to the protections afforded by the laws of land warfare or the Geneva Conventions, whether or not they belong to entities who are signatories. Due process implies we intend to try the detainees for something rather than just remove them from the field of battle for the duration of hostilities, which is one of our options.

    I have no idea how the chain of command worked for determining which detainees would be subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques, but my uneducated guess is that it reached very high up in the national command structure.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  126. The person at the very top of the command structure today is a person that is a proven liar and has shown absolutely no respect for the law or the Constitution. That is what worries me. I had no concern about Bush but you can not give any administration power you don’t trust in every administration.

    Due process may just be a hearing in front of an officer but the person has to be found guilty by the one with lawful authority and that authority can be held accountable for his actions. A soldier can not just decide some guy looks like a terrorist and shoot him. That is due process and if the safety of the United States depends on throwing that away than we have lost. Every policeman has life and death power but he is held strictly accountable for how he uses it. That is how government power is held in check. Obama and Clinton had no more power than Bush or Reagan, it was the immunity from scrutiny that made their corruption possible.

    Machinist (497786)

  127. I wonder if they read him his rights?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCmz2ymM1qU

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  128. #124 AD,”Due Process for an Unlawful Combatant:
    Ready, Aim, Fire!”

    So do you think Lt. Calley at My Lai was justified if he felt all the villagers were VC? Was his trial about the guilt of the villagers or the legality of his actions?

    Machinist (497786)

  129. Calley was properly prosecuted for what he did…I’m talking about Unlawful Combatants taken prisoner on the field of battle with their arms; I don’t recall any of Calley’s victims being armed.
    It’s not about feelings, it’s about facts. And, if Calley had felt that the village was harboring VC, or was totally VC, he could have called in air-strikes to level it, and no-one would have had to fire a shot.

    The great miscarrieage of justice in Calley, was that he took the fall for a failure of leadership that reached all the way to Westmoreland.

    Sort of reminds one of McChrystal falling on his sword for a failure of leadership at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – because there have certainly been unneccessary deaths from that failure, just as there were 40+ years ago.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  130. Alright then, can any GI take it upon himself to declare someone an enemy combatant and execute sentence in the field?

    Were all the people who were given enhanced interrogation “taken prisoner on the field of battle with their arms”?

    Machinist (497786)

  131. Soldiers have always taken it upon themselves to determine who shall be a prisoner, and who shall be a KIA.
    I would remind you that in the European Theater, particularly after the Bulge and the later discovery of the first “camps”, German soldiers displaying SS insignia were rarely found in POW columns.
    In the Pacific, once the Marines (in particular) realized the fanatacism that they were facing, they used every available tool to kill the enemy, knowing that that enemy would keep trying to kill them until he was dead – and in some cases killed Marines and Soldiers after they had died through the booby-trapping of their own bodies and the bodies of their mates.
    As to those few men who underwent “enganced interrogation”, my understanding is that most of them were apprehended while “on the lam” by third-parties, and turned over to the CIA for the reward, and that the “Agency” had a pretty good idea about who was involved with what (in some cases, but not all – but each capture led to more info that dovetailed with what had been learned previously…they were connecting the dots), and was looking to confirm previous intell, or to develop new leads.
    It is continually amazing to me that such a kerfuffle has resulted from the very limited use of such techniques, when you look at the larger picture of just how many deaths these few men were responsible for.
    If they had died resisting capture (the Hussein Boys, for instance), no one would really care; but we would have foregone a very large amount of intell.
    And remember, this was all about actionable intell, not about getting these men into a Court of Law.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  132. enganced…enhanced…digital dyslexia!

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  133. enganced…enhanced…
    A bad case of digital dyslexia.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  134. Taking or not taking prisoners in combat is one thing.

    Someone “taken prisoner on the field of battle with their arms” is another.

    Someone “apprehended while “on the lam” by third-parties, and turned over to the CIA for the reward,” is a very different matter.
    –Who decided they were the parties claimed?
    –Does any soldier having custody have a right to shoot them? If not, how does this square with your statement,
    “Due Process for an Unlawful Combatant:
    Ready, Aim, Fire!”

    Deciding a person is a clear and present danger and must be killed by military action is one thing and the authorizing authority must be held accountable for his decision.

    A prisoner is another matter. If a person is found guilty and declared to be in possession of important or useful information then that is another matter, but we are talking about forcing these confessions from people who are not known to be guilty of anything or known to be who we think they are. This is another matter, citizen or not. I am not saying they should get access to our courts but “Ready, Aim, Fire!” on the basis of a paid for accusation is not due process in any America our founders would recognize.

    This is what I have trouble with.

    Even Sadam had a trial. Even the Nazi leadership had trials.

    Machinist (497786)

  135. Almost all of these folks were trained in Pakistan or Afghanistan, even the “Tipton 3″ from ‘Road to Guantanamo’ admitted that. The roundup part came
    via the Levick Group and Mark DenBeaux’s remarkably
    flawed studies, ironically many of the innocent he vouched for, went on to committ more terrorist acts

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  136. Machinist, in some ways I don’t know if we’re even talking about the same thing. I’m not talking abnout forced confessions, I’m not talking about a Cpl on the battlefield or a sargeant at a field post. I’m not talking about people that you don’t have an ID. I’m talking about someone you know is a high ranking person, who often make it clear who they are and that they are proud of what they’ve done, and the interrogation has nothing to do with getting evidence to build a case against him or give evidence about what somebody else did.

    I go back to my Mengele hypothetical. It is Mengele, he knows the whereabouts of 25 innocent people about to be tortured to death, he is being held by a group of military intelligence and CIA folk, the highest ranking is a Colonel. Do you allow them to do things that would be uncomfortable or painful but not leave any permanent injury in seeking to fulfill your reponsibility to protect innocent lives?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  137. I think this hypothetical is far removed from what we are talking about to have any relevance. Were any of the people subjected to enhanced interrogation in possession of such immediately urgent knowledge? I have not even argued against using these techniques were guilt is known, but no one has told me we were sure these people were guilty before applying coercion.

    My questions on your example would be,
    1.) How do you know the person is Mengela?
    2.) How do you know he has such information?

    Let me ask you, if you don’t have proof of both of these points do you go ahead and torture him anyway?

    Machinist (497786)

  138. If the CIA has solid information that the agent who knows the location of a dirty bomb is in an apartment building with 200 other men, women, and children, do we torture all of them to get the information to save thousands?

    The people given or being given enhanced interrogation are not theoretical or hypothetical people. This was not a movie or show in which we know they are guilty. Would you be OK with them doing this to you or a family member because someone thought they had useful intel?

    Machinist (497786)

  139. ASk the families of Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg, Fabio Quatrocchi, Paul Johnson, how theoretical this discussion is, the focus is on Zubeydah, KSM, AlQuahtani, who were supervised meticulously,now as the story notes, Mitchell isn’t even part of the APA

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  140. Did we have the realistic means of saving any of these people by torturing someone and we didn’t because we were too timid or restrained by ROE?

    Machinist (497786)

  141. Answer to your 137, no, I don’t.
    Answer to your 138, no, I wouldn’t.

    I answered your hypotheticals, you claim my hypothetical is too far removed. I don’t think so, at least that is not my argument. I am not arguing for widespread use of these techniques. From what I know it was used with very few detainees.

    The claim is that to assist in enhanced interrogation is wrong, de novo, no matter who, how, or what information is gained. I am trying to define parameters, if any, where it would be appropriate. Perhaps the parameters are so strict they would never be met.

    Here is a link about the guy in question:
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/profiles/abu_zubaydah.htm

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  142. No, they were too remote in one part of Afghanistan
    or Arabia (the movie “the Kingdom” illustrates the last) however would we wouldn’t have known about who actually killed Pearl, instead of who delivered
    him

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  143. I thought we had realistic means of stopping 9/11 if we had looked in computers that were in custody, or allowed the CIA and FBI to talk with each other.

    Obviously you are asking for a level of info that may not be available to the public.

    You refuse to say whether you would ever allow it or never allow it, but debate the scenario. I don’t think there is more to say that I haven’t said, starting way at at 23.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  144. Were any of the people subjected to enhanced interrogation in possession of such immediately urgent knowledge?

    One, or more of them, were in possession of knowledge about the plot to destroy the Library Tower in Los Angeles, which enabled our people to thwart that plot.

    One has to remember that in intell, the failures become glaringly public, while the successes are hopefully never found out.
    We do not know just how many successes that we have had due to the information gained from such “enhanced interrogations”, which is one of the reasons that these men should never see an Art-III Court – the greatest gift you can give your enemy is to hand him notice of your means and methods, which is what would happen in an Art-III Court.
    This is why beyond TOP SECRET, is the classification of “Sensitive Compartmented Information” (SCI) which is even more restricted and is on a highly “Need to Know” basis;
    and, the last people on Earth who have a “need to know” are the people that are trying to kill us.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  145. MD in Philly,
    I am not trying to be evasive or difficult. My answer would be dependent on the answers to my two questions. Lacking solid answers I would say no, as you did. If I had convincing evidence that these people could be saved, then I would probably give the go ahead and then expect to face the consequences of my decision. I would want to shield those who were taking my orders as the call was mine. If I could not do so then I would be in a more difficult ethical position as I could not make that call for others under those circumstances without some reason to believe they would want me to.

    Machinist (497786)

  146. ian cormac ,
    Then what is it I should face the families about?

    Machinist (497786)

  147. Because that is the mercy they show civilians, regardless of Gitmo. Now we tell these people, provide the means to protect this country, but if you mistep, or perception of same, you can lose your
    liberty, your livelihood, your family can even be
    threatened, that’s what we call a cop out

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  148. Ian cormac,
    This is not the first ruthless and brutal enemy we have faced. Do you know what the Japanese did to American civilians and nurses they captured?

    We held their leaders responsible for war crimes but they still got due process.

    What am I to ask the families about?

    Machinist (497786)

  149. You do understand the difference between regular warfare covered by Geneva, (a recognized uniform, openly bearing arms) and what AQ do, deliberately, right

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  150. #147,
    I said above this was a travesty and a mistake.

    That said, when you give people the power to kill, they must be held accountable for how they use that power. It is not the power that corrupts, but immunity. We have standards and doctrine on how the power is used and there should be accountability when it is misused. Allowing abuse of power by anyone is a terrible mistake and makes them more dangerous than the people they are protecting us from.

    Machinist (497786)

  151. I read something this weekend that seems to be relevant:
    Historians look back at events with an almost perfect knowledge of what has transpired, and praise or criticize the actors accordingly, failing to realize that the actors did not have “almost perfect knowledge” and had to act/respond to events, with only the knowledge that was available.

    This is our current situation: We demand perfection of those who operate in our name, but refuse to acknowledge that they were not operating with the knowledge that we today possess. And, we lose sight of the fact that the greatest failing can be to sit back and wait for more information, doing nothing in the face of existential threats.

    Again, we make perfection the enemy of the good – which I find is a common falacy (weakness) of libertarians (particularly Big-L libertarians, and some on the Left.
    We see this in the debate over a border fence:
    Well, if it can’t stop everyone, what good is it?

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  152. #149,
    Yes I do.

    Are you suggesting our CIA should have carte blanche if they say someone is AQ or might have information about AQ?

    Machinist (497786)

  153. That said, when you give people the power to kill, they must be held accountable for how they use that power.

    Just who was killed?

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  154. Comment by Machinist — 7/11/2010 @ 9:03 pm

    “There you go again”, setting up absolute strawmen that do not exist in reality.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  155. AD,#151,

    I entirely agree with everything you said in this comment. Did I give you the impression I didn’t? Do you lump me with those people who expect perfection?

    Machinist (497786)

  156. #153,
    I was responding to Ian “Now we tell these people, provide the means to protect this country, but if you mistep, or perception of same, you can lose your
    liberty, your livelihood, your family can even be
    threatened, that’s what we call a cop out”

    I took this to include soldiers and police that must do a difficult job and are often held to impossible standards. I see he could have been focusing his remark to CIA agents doing interrogations.

    Machinist (497786)

  157. A new twist in “How the Terroism Worm Turns!”
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/07/026733.php

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  158. Do you lump me with those people who expect perfection?

    I only know what I read.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  159. #154,
    I am asking. It is hard to have a discussion if any request for clarification is or attempt to define terms or parameters is jumped on as setting up straw men. Have I been that unreasonable in this discussion?

    He asked me if I knew the difference. I said I did, but asked how far this difference allows the CIA to go. If not that far, then how far. s this really an unreasonable question? How would you ask it?

    I am open to education.

    Machinist (497786)

  160. #158,
    What did I write to indicate I expect that. Does wanting any accountability mean I expect perfection. Does wanting some due process mean I want absolute proof? I have tried to be careful in my wording but perhaps my command of the language is inadequate. I am trying to answer you reasonably, would you please help me to know where I have given this impression?

    Machinist (497786)

  161. Sorry about the typos. This has been going on for a while. Don’t mean to be sloppy.

    Machinist (497786)

  162. Since the Ops Manual for the CIA is a highly classified document, anything we say would be strictly speculation.
    And, Yes, I think you border on unreasonable, because you seem to be unable to acknowledge the vicissitude of war, which seems to be encompassed by that old saying that “no plan survives first contact with the enemy”.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f4b0b9)

  163. We dealt with Stalin, Hitler, and Tojo without this. Why do we need this now? How am I unreasonable? What have I said that is unreasonable?

    What do you think I want that is unreasonable?

    I have not condemned waterboarding.
    I never want these detainees in the USA or in USA courts.
    I think the detainees are coddled way too much.

    What is it that is unreasonable?

    Machinist (497786)

  164. Well the media condition perfection as a goal, hence AQ using the manual that was recovered in
    Birmingham, often spread accounts of outrageous
    cases of abuses, like one of the AQAP’ heads who
    conjured up a torture right out of “Casino Royale”

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  165. So, what are you complaining about then, part of the complaint was Mitchell’s supervising waterboarding, and having it characterized as ‘torture’

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  166. I have said more than once that I feel strongly that the complaint was bogus and unfair. It is an attempt to politicize the issue and strike at innocent people, like the attacks on the lawyers.

    Throughout this thread my complaint has been the idea that due process is not needed to apply these techniques. By due process I mean whatever legal system applies, be it military tribunals or whatever. There must be a legal structure and it must be applied. If that means a hearing with three officers and then a bullet in the head out back, that is due process as long as it is legal and there is accountability. My complaint is with,
    “Due Process for an Unlawful Combatant:
    Ready, Aim, Fire!”

    No enhanced interrogation should take place until it has been legally determined that we are interrogating the right man and he has essential information.

    The propriety or legality of water boarding is another issue. I have mixed feelings and have not made up my mind, but it has been determined by the lawful authority that it is legal and proper and methods and limitations have been established, so I am not complaining about that.

    If I may give an example for clarity without being accused of constructing a strawman, I believe strongly in capital punishment. The recidivism rate is zero and I believe our founders believed it was appropriate. That does not mean I want it applied without due process.

    Again to avoid misunderstandings or mischaracterizations, when I earlier referred to “legally determined that we are interrogating the right man” I was not saying we needed absolute proof or a civil trial, but as with water boarding there should be a specified legal process that is followed and there should be accountability. No one should be interrogated in this way before they have had this due process.

    Is that clear?

    Machinist (497786)

  167. In none of the the three or four cases. listed was that in doubt, it was the extent of their information that was in question, the point is these
    are the exactly the same rules that the Church Committee, Admiral Turner and later John Deutsch imposed, don’t eve consider proactive action

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  168. I’m not sure I understand your last point. What rules are you referring to?

    When you say their there was no doubt, what do you mean? Was there a trial or hearing or was someone just sure they were the one? I am not saying they were not guilty, I am saying that due process was called for. If they got it than no problem.

    What are YOU complaining about?

    Machinist (497786)

  169. That last is not meant as snark. I get the impression you are upset that I won’t admit I am a liberal leftist who wants to release terrorists, hobble the CIA, and hates America.

    AD thinks he knows much more about the “vicissitude of war” than I do but has not explained why he thinks this. I don’t know if he has experience or did scholarly research or watched a gritty movie. I look forward to learning more about this. I respect knowledge.

    Machinist (497786)

  170. There hasn’t been a trial, because the same people now in the administration, have litigated every comma, re the only proper to handle this, the military commission, which has been true for more than two hundred years. They had some assistance from some Supreme Court justices who refused to look
    at the proper precedent. The top figures had already
    plead guilty

    ian cormac (93d17d)

  171. I thought the military commissions were the right way to handle this. Bringing it into the civil system was a terrible mistake and a sign of judicial ego.

    As you say, this was long established and effective.

    Machinist (497786)

  172. 69.Well, for a fact, I do not consider ourselves weak and helpless against terrorist.
    — I never said that we were. However, one of the ways in which we maintain our strength against future terrorism is by interrogating those that we have already captured, learning their secrets in order to thwart the future plans of their associates.

    As for the personal part, all my life I could not hit somebody who could not hit back. I guess some people could call it a weakness.
    — That guy that gets in your way on the sidewalk . . . you first ascertain if he can hit back, and then you hit him?

    Icy Texan (74c331)

  173. 76.Isn’t there something called the Hippocratic Otha that doctors – including psychiatists – take? And isn’t it a doctor’s creedo to “first, do no harm“?
    Comment by JEA — 7/11/2010 @ 5:56 am

    — Ever heard of “the greater good”? And since when are psychiatrists and psychologists the same thing? Since when is everyone that earns a doctorate required to take the Hippocratic oath? Since when do the words “first do no harm” even appear in that oath?

    And what’s a “creedo”? Is it some sort of skimpy bathing suit worn by Scott Stapp?

    Icy Texan (74c331)

  174. Would it be allowable for foreign psychaitrists or doctors to stand by while our soldiers were being tortured? Either you believe in your values or you don’t, and throw them away when it’s convenient for you to do so.
    Comment by JEA — 7/11/2010 @ 12:54 pm

    — Allowable by whom? the lawmakers of those foreign governments? That, by definition, is up to them. Any well-trained soldier will expect (and do his utmost to resist) said torture. Is the word you’re searching for “acceptable”?

    Icy Texan (74c331)

  175. To DRJ & daleyrocks:

    No, I don’t believe he’s a soldier. But we either have standards or we don’t – which do you want it to be? It was justifiable after 9/11, but 3-4 years later? These are the kind of things repressive, dictatorial govts do.

    The United States of America should not be known as a country that tortures. We don’t, and never have, stood for that.

    And it could be turned on you or me whenever the govt wants, in the name of ‘security.’ I don’t give a damn if it’s a Dem or Republican in the WH – I don’t want govt to have that kind of power, and I believe that, unless a bomb is ticking somewhere, it’s unnecessary. And I also believe they’ll eventually abuse it.

    As for the progressive comment, I’ve said it before but evidently it doesn’t register with anyone here – I’m not, and I give libs just as hard a time.

    If your response is always ‘you’re just a stupid liberal’ then it’s time to rethink what you believe in and whether it’s actually right or not.

    JEA (b29a48)

  176. “The United States of America should not be known as a country that tortures.”

    JEA – What specifically was done that you consider torture? What is your definition of torture? Given that top Congressional leadership was briefed on the enhanced interrogation program and had no problems until much later, I do find this do be another example of sudden liberal hypocrisy.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  177. They are not soldiers, any more than those who planned that bombing in Uganda last night, are soldiers, Al Sahaab being an AQ affiliate

    ian cormac (93d17d)


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