Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Waterboarding, Redux

I was asked yesterday in a comment made on a post from July, whether in the light of new evidence I was prepared to review my thoughts about waterboarding etc. The answer is yes, I am prepared to do do.

This editorial, and others like it, have described the interrogation tactics practiced on certain high value detainees in great detail.

While I continue to support the Bush Administration's effort to define just what constituted torture, I cannot support the way these techniques were implemented. While an instance of waterboarding on its own may not rise to the level of torture, 183 instances surely does. After oh, I don't know, maybe the 47th waterboarding, did they not think Khalid Sheik Muhammad had figured out that he was indeed NOT going to drown and that he was indeed going to make it through? This was simply sadistic and wrong.

The President has a duty to work with the intelligence community, law enforcement and the military to come to an agreement on what the acceptable techniques are. It looks to me like they've done that. I also believe the President needs the "ticking time-bomb" option with respect to even more drastic procedures. But KSM wasn't a ticking time-bomb anymore, and his treatment over time can only be described as torture.


Anonymous said...

Though I disagree with what you say, I will defend your right to say it and chalk it up to a severe case of naiveté.

Bill said...

We can analyze history from 150 years ago and apply today's prejudices without fear of prejudice. History allows the fickleness of time to bend it and manipulate it. But today we live in a world impacted severely by 9-11 and I suspect everyone who reads this blog was alive during that time and remembers all to well the surreal life we all were part of.

War and the conventions of war are always being defined by those who neither understand or participate in combat operations but love to Monday morning quarterback. When we apply those conventions against an enemy that neither understands, respects or cares we are put in the moral dilemma of what really is right and a field day for the quarterbacks occurs.

If torture saves one life is it worth it? If torture saves a thousand lives, a million...is it worth it? What price bears out the process?

Philosophy and reality make for strangest of bedfellows.

Smoothfur said...

Excerpt from;
CIA Must Return To Its Roots To Become Effective Once Again
March 2009
By Charles Faddis

At the end of World War II, Kermit Roosevelt wrote the official history of the OSS in an attempt to record for future generations the lessons learned. On the first page of the manuscript, he wrote: “Secret intelligence, sabotage and subversion could not be run along standard military or bureaucratic lines. In the handling of agents the human element was primary, and it was discovered many times over that a few individuals who combined understanding of this factor with imagination in operations and objectivity in evaluating results could produce far better intelligence than could larger staffs which attempted to work on a more regular, more bureaucratic or more military basis.”

We don’t need to add more layers of supervision, oversight and coordination to the process of collecting human intelligence. We need a new OSS.

Reaganite Republican Resistance said...

What is obvious is that if the tables had been turned, this 7th-century savage KSM would have been chopping our heads off while making a video of it. Irresponsible grandstanding on the left is to be ignored, these people don’t know -or don’t want to know- what it takes to keep America safe... nor do they understand the nature of the enemy, apparently.

And waterboarding is not a near-drowning technique- the subject is never in danger of drowning. Water boarding is not torture- there is no physical harm to the subject.

Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed is a BAD guy, wouldn’t talk, and was taunting US interrogators with “you’ll see”… so they obtained valuable info from him using this technique, which we now find-out prevented a 9/11-scale attack on Los Angeles. Who cares how many times it took?

It was up to him how long before he decided to cooperate, didn’t have to be this way- looks like he clung stubbornly to a bad decision.


Tom de Plume said...

Sorry CW, you are wrong on this one. Don't even try to justify your stance.

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