Obama poised to end waterboarding
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Thread: Obama poised to end waterboarding

  1. #1
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    Obama poised to end waterboarding

    I realize that I may be in the minority here, but I do believe that waterboarding is torture. Furthermore, I may be wrong, but whatever information interrogators get from simulating drowning, is, I feel, the waterboardee saying whatever he feels he needs to say to get it to stop. Put yourselves in that position; if someone is pouring water over your face, aren't you going to do or say whatever you feel you have to in order to get it to stop?

    Sources: Obama ready to end harsh interrogations - Yahoo! News



    WASHINGTON President-elect Barack Obama is preparing to prohibit the use of waterboarding and harsh interrogation techniques by ordering the CIA to follow military rules for questioning prisoners, according to two U.S. officials familiar with drafts of the plans.

    The proposal Obama is considering would require all CIA interrogators to follow conduct outlined in the U.S. Army Field Manual, the officials said. The plans would also have the effect of shutting down secret "black site" prisons around the world where the CIA has questioned terror suspects with all future interrogations taking place inside American military facilities.

    However, Obama's changes may not be absolute. His advisers are considering adding a classified loophole to the rules that could allow the CIA to use some interrogation methods not specifically authorized by the Pentagon, the officials said.

    The new rules would abandon a part of President George W. Bush's counterterrorism policy that has been condemned internationally.

    Obama spokeswoman Brooke Anderson did not have an immediate comment Friday about the drafted plans, which the two officials discussed only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly.

    No final decisions have been made about how to adjust the government's interrogation standards. Obama is still weighing whether to alter interrogation policy by executive order during his first days in office or working with Congress through legislation.

    The plans do not specifically address the issue of extraordinary rendition, the policy of transferring foreign terrorism suspects to third countries without court approval.

    In private Capitol Hill meetings, CIA Director nominee Leon Panetta and Director of National Intelligence designate Dennis Blair have said Obama wants a single set of rules for interrogations. And in Senate testimony Thursday, Attorney General nominee Eric Holder called the Army manual "a good place to start."

    The 384-page Army manual, last updated in September 2006, is a publicly available document. It authorizes 19 interrogation methods used to question prisoners, including one allowing a detainee to be isolated from other inmates in some cases. The manual explicitly prohibits threats, coercion, physical abuse and waterboarding, which creates the sensation of drowning. Holder termed waterboarding a form of torture on Thursday.

    The CIA also banned waterboarding in 2006 but otherwise has been secretive about how it conducts interrogations. In the past, its methods are believed to have included sleep deprivation and disorientation, stress positions and exposing prisoners to uncomfortable cold or heat for long periods. It's also believed that some prisoners have been forced to sit in cramped spaces with bugs, snakes, rats or other vermin as a scare tactic.

    Waterboarding has been traced back hundreds of years and is condemned by nations worldwide. U.S. officials waterboarded at least three top al-Qaida operatives including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in 2002 and 2003 because of fears that more attacks were imminent.

    The Army manual can be amended by the military. It is unclear whether the CIA would be held to the one published in 2006 or future versions.

    For Obama, who repeatedly insisted during the 2008 presidential campaign and the transition period that "America doesn't torture," a classified loophole would allow him to back up his vow to end harsh interrogations while retaining a full range of presidential options in conducting the war against terrorism.

    The proposed loophole, which could come in the form of a classified annex to the manual, would satisfy intelligence experts who fear that an outright ban of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques would limit the government in obtaining threat information that could save American lives. It would also preserve Obama's flexibility to authorize any interrogation tactics he might deem necessary for national security.

    However, such a move would frustrate Senate Democrats and human rights, retired military and religious groups that have pressed for a government-wide prohibition on methods they describe as torture.

    Glenn Sulmasy, an international law professor at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., said Obama can and should preserve his executive authority to order aggressive interrogations when necessary. But he said that should be done on a case-by-case basis and not become a broad policy.

    "There are some coercive techniques that he might employ on a ticking time bomb scenario, but he'll distinguish himself by making it clear that the presumption under the law is that there is no torture," Sulmasy said Friday.

    Critics, however, said Obama cannot claim to ban torture if it's not clear what interrogation methods will be allowed.

    "That would not be good," said the Rev. Richard Killmer, executive director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. "We don't need to be able to torture and we don't need to engage in any interrogation techniques that are not humane. And unless we have absolute clarity that these interrogation techniques will not be used, they are not going to be able to say that." Speaking with reporters Thursday, outgoing CIA Director Michael Hayden said harsh interrogation tactics have been needed to get information from the most hardened terror suspects. He and some other U.S. intelligence officials oppose limiting the CIA to the Army manual, which was written specifically for military interrogations and may not be effective on the most dangerous detainees.

    "It is an honest discussion to talk about what techniques we should use, but to assume automatically that the Army Field Manual would suit the needs of the republic in all circumstances is a shot in the dark," Hayden said.

    Senate Democrats aren't likely to support a classified annex. Holder on Thursday said the interrogation methods outlined in the Army manual would be just as effective as those used by the CIA.

    "I'm not convinced at all that if we restrict ourselves to the Army field manual that we will be in any way less effective in the interrogation of people who have sworn to do us harm," Holder said.
    Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

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  3. #2
    When you take options off the table, you take options off the table. I'm not a fan of waterboarding but in certain scenarios it is an effective method. When you're trying to obtain information from someone to potentially save lives you're not running an intervention. Torture is not the most effective method to obtain information but to tie your hands in the options you have available is a win for your enemy.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by gogriz91 View Post
    When you take options off the table, you take options off the table. I'm not a fan of waterboarding but in certain scenarios it is an effective method. When you're trying to obtain information from someone to potentially save lives you're not running an intervention. Torture is not the most effective method to obtain information but to tie your hands in the options you have available is a win for your enemy.
    I agree with this statement.

    An enemy combatant is exactly that, an ENEMY
    -Austin

  5. #4
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    I'm not a fan of waterboarding either, however when it comes down to some dirtbags that have only one direction in life to kill as many Americans they can I have no problem with it. In our world of terrorism the ends justify the means...we can't take any chances.
    USAF Retired, CATM, SC CWP, NH NR CWP, NRA Benefactor
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  6. #5
    I can't help but wonder, in defining and determining what "tortue" is and what actions constitute torture, if anyone remembers the horrific moments on 9-11 just before the first tower collapsed.

    Innocent civilians trapped above the destroyed and burning floors were forced with a decision to stay and burn, or jump and die. Many jumped and died. Many more stayed and burned, and then were buried in millions of tons of rubble. Just recalling that day makes my stomach hurt, and the "torture" those innocent people were faced with.

    I'm not saying torturing suspected al-queda and taliban dirtbags makes it all okay, but I am saying we should never forget who it is we're dealing with. Once again, I feel the focus is misplaced - thank you mass media.

    Just my opinion, and nothing more.

  7. #6
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    Angry Shame on you guys.

    Waterboarding is torture, and we are not supposed to be in the business of torture. To deny a person their rights under the constitution for the sake of expediency is a pretty fascist (read: Nazi or Communist Soviet style) attitude. What is good for a suspect should be good for you, your wife or husband, your child, or your parent. A lot of you who pay lip service to the "giving up liberty for security receives neither" line (like I do) should realize that this is exactly the kind of thing to which Franklin was referring.

    The reason that we used to win wars (Revolutionary War, 1812, WW1, WW2) is because we had moral superiority. Although I like and respect other cultures, we must be able to draw the line somewhere and say "that is unacceptable". We have to stand for something, not just against something. When did we lose the ability to tell right from wrong? I mean, for heaven's sake, isn't friggin TORTURE one of the obvious things upon which we can agree? I guarantee that our grandfathers and great-grandfathers who fought in World War 2 (America's so-called "Greatest Generation) would absolutely reject the notion of torturing people. Torture is not what my beloved country is supposed to represent.

    We should filter everything through the filter of our own family, because eventually a family member will experience it. Like AZSATT, I remember watching the towers burn, seeing people forced out of the windows by the flames, seeing the buildings fall. However, the thing that struck me is that, because of our freedoms, those scumbags hated us that much. I have no doubt that any of us caught by Al Qaida would suffer far worse than waterboarding. Nevertheless, becoming more like them is not the solution. If everyone keeps reducing to the lowest common denominator, eventually we are able going to be at the bottom. That is why it is called standing up for something.

  8. #7
    wolfhunter Guest
    Waterboarding may be torture, but as long as Ted Kennedy is against it, I'll be in favor of it.

  9. #8
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    To deny a person their rights under the constitution for the sake of expediency is a pretty fascist
    Enemies taken prisoner out of country have no rights under the Constitution. Terrorists, those fighting without clear identification as part of an army have no rights under the Geneva Convention.

    What you seem to be talking about has nothing to do with what the US has done (or maybe done). Not doing what is necessary to protect the country from terrorists is insanity.

    When did we lose the ability to tell right from wrong? I mean, for heaven's sake, isn't friggin TORTURE one of the obvious things upon which we can agree?
    If there is no physical harm is it "torture"? Is playing loud music or keeping people awake "torture"? Since that regularly happens to military trainees, are they tortured? I think PC has turned the country into neurotic fools.
    Maybejim

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  10. #9
    Some of the definitions of what constitute torture happened at my family reunions, loud music, sleep deprivation, cousins holding my head underwater, we're a nation of wimps these days!!!

  11. #10
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    Unhappy Second time, Jim.

    Quote Originally Posted by maybejim View Post
    I think PC has turned the country into neurotic fools.
    Jim, you are more than welcome to disagree with me. In that case, I would expect you to make some cogent argument against my stance. However, you don't seem to be doing that. This is the second thread in which you have called me a fool. You are going to have to come up with something a little smarter than just a personal attack to get your point across. Let's try to keep it above the belt, maybe even as high as the brain pan. It is up there for a reason.
    "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson

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