Author Topic: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?  (Read 11916 times)

DCharlton

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2014, 11:07:17 AM »
A deeper question is whether the Clinton and Obama administrations use the same techniques, but without the jingoistic swagger of Bush and Cheney.  I voted for Obama in part because he promised to put an end to those practices.  In hind sight that was more than a little naive.   
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Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2014, 11:08:01 AM »
while I would not want to be a part of a comparison test....

waterboarding in military training
vs
what Sen McCain went thru

let's see which do you think was more authentic?

did any of the folks in the training loose the use of their...   ah, forget that...

Harvey Mozolak

What is your point, Harvey?  Who is suggesting that the type and extent of torture that Senator McCain went through is comparable to water boarding? "Authentic"? That McCain's torture was more authentic? I suppose.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 11:14:28 AM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
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Terry W Culler

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #32 on: December 11, 2014, 11:36:52 AM »
For me the effectiveness of water boarding or other methods of torture isn't the point.  If you could get all the information you wanted by putting 10 innocent children in front of the person being interrogated and then killing them one at a time until he talked--would you do it?  The question is do we want to be those people who torture?  I, for one, do not.  I do not want to be Dick Cheney's nation.  And while I rant I'll also say that I just can't bring myself to celebrate Usama bin Laden's murder.  Why didn't we just take him?  I might be wrong, but murder is murder, even if the victim is vile.

Lest anyone believe I'm some sort of liberal Democrat, I am not.  But then even a blind pig occasionally finds an acorn, and Sen. Feinstein has found a big one.
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Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #33 on: December 11, 2014, 11:52:34 AM »
And while I rant I'll also say that I just can't bring myself to celebrate Usama bin Laden's murder.  Why didn't we just take him?  I might be wrong, but murder is murder, even if the victim is vile.

Murder? Osama bin Laden wasn't murdered.

Have you listened to the interview of Robert OíNeill? That would explain to you why we didn't "just take him."

BTW, do you feel the same way about drone killings? How about killing in combat? Are those situations murder?
Don Kirchner

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Randy Bosch

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #34 on: December 11, 2014, 12:04:49 PM »
But then even a blind pig occasionally finds an acorn, and Sen. Feinstein has found a big one.

Try "willful blindness".  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2014/12/10/the-torture-reports-one-glaring-weakness/
From David Ignatius' article, referencing the Senate and House oversight committee members years ago and for many years, Democrats and Republicans: "They were silently complicit. They just donít own up to that fact."


jmiller

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #35 on: December 11, 2014, 12:56:13 PM »
I may be the only person on this forum to ever work for the CIA.
I can assure you I have a very hard time believing the senators involved had little or no knowledge of the techniques in question.
Over the almost 20 years of rendition and our own interrogations, they were briefed and approved of it. I would bet the farm.
This report condemns them as much as anyone.
Do we need national repentance? For this and many other things.
Did we get actionable intelligence? Of course we did. Was there another way to get it? Maybe. Is it easy to judge in hindsight? You bet.

JMK

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #36 on: December 11, 2014, 01:13:18 PM »
Quote
For me the effectiveness of water boarding or other methods of torture isn't the point.  If you could get all the information you wanted by putting 10 innocent children in front of the person being interrogated and then killing them one at a time until he talked--would you do it?  The question is do we want to be those people who torture?  I, for one, do not.  I do not want to be Dick Cheney's nation.  And while I rant I'll also say that I just can't bring myself to celebrate Usama bin Laden's murder.  Why didn't we just take him?  I might be wrong, but murder is murder, even if the victim is vile.

Lest anyone believe I'm some sort of liberal Democrat, I am not.  But then even a blind pig occasionally finds an acorn, and Sen. Feinstein has found a big one. - Pr. Terry Culler

That is a good point! It should be pointed out that one of the most prominent human rights specialists in the LCMS is a clergy man who is against torture and also is decidedly pro-life when it comes to abortion. His name is John W. Montgomery. Also, of course, on the Republican side is John Mccain who is against torture. It is not just a Democratic party issue.

I wonder if the church's view of medieval torture should be brought out in the discussion? For example, I came across one article that pointed out the following:

ďThe huge elephant in our Catholic living room that everyone politely refrains from mentioning is the massive, trimillennial Judeo-Christian tradition that legitimized torture right up until Vatican IIĒ as a means of punishment or extracting information." - https://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/2006/04/29/114633381931140970/




John_Hannah

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #37 on: December 11, 2014, 01:15:30 PM »
I may be the only person on this forum to ever work for the CIA.
I can assure you I have a very hard time believing the senators involved had little or no knowledge of the techniques in question.
Over the almost 20 years of rendition and our own interrogations, they were briefed and approved of it. I would bet the farm.
This report condemns them as much as anyone.
Do we need national repentance? For this and many other things.
Did we get actionable intelligence? Of course we did. Was there another way to get it? Maybe. Is it easy to judge in hindsight? You bet.

Yep!

Furthermore, it is not in our national interest to be playing politics with our intelligence apparatus.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

peter_speckhard

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #38 on: December 11, 2014, 01:48:58 PM »
Years ago in these threads we had a debate about the definition of "torture" and what practices should be included under the definition. The word is key to the emotional impact of the debate. It does no good to say, "You are guilty of depriving terrorists of sleep!" You have to first define that as torture, then ditch the qualifications and say, "You are a torturer," so that there is no distinction between what the CIA was doing and what might have been happening in the Tower of London back in the day. It is the same thing as referring to unwanted kissing as rape-- it gets the point across at the expense of clarity. I always go back to the movie Mississippi Burning, in which the Gene Hackman character resorts to what today would be called torture to beat the KKK. He cuts one man, beats another senseless, orchestrates a mock lynching to terrify another into talking, and behaves as an all-around bully to the poor klan members. Is he is a hero? A monster deserving of a prison sentence? A tough cop who may have gone too far in a good cause? It is hard to make a blanket condemnation of the Hackman character because we believe wholly in the purity of his cause and the evilness of the KKK. But in movies or stories where the cop does the same sorts of things but is not necessarily on the side of the good and the pure and his victims not visibly in league with Satan, we see a lot of ambiguity and even cruelty in actions like the cop in Mississippi Burning took. Similarly, those who believe in the rightness of the American cause and the pure evil of Jihad have a more difficult time condemning the CIA without qualification, while those who think America isn't so right and pure and Jihad not so abjectly Satanic seem to have no trouble condemning the CIA in unqualified terms.   

What would be genuinely helpful as an alternative to blanket condemnations would be a set of proposals. We catch a terrorist plotting an attack and we know he is a key part of a network planning more attacks. What shall we do? Let him go? If not, what can do beyond asking him nicely to get him to share the information that we know he has and that could very likely save many lives? Anything at all? And if we can do anything at all to get him to talk, what would you say for yourself if what you just approved was later determined by other people to be torture? Because that is, I think, the situation many of these interrogators involved in water-boarding or sleep deprivation techniques find themselves in. They weren't saying torture is okay, they just didn't think they were really torturing.     

Charles Austin

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #39 on: December 11, 2014, 02:00:26 PM »
FWIW it is not hard at all to make the blanket combination of the GEne Hackman character in Mississippi burning. His tactics were despicable. The rightness of his cause or the evilness of the KKK did not make them any less despicable and wrong and shameful.
And why do you draw a phony line between considering America wrong and Islamic Jihad right?
America is not always right and pure. That doesn't mean we have to think the "other side" is correct. I am not responsible for what the other side does. I am responsible for what my country does.
If we catch terrorists plotting against us, we deal with them according to our laws. We do not take to some other country, hide them somewhere, and torture them.
Of course, we do indeed do that; but we shouldn't.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minnesota. Interested in faith related to todayís life; and in church history, choral singing, cooking, movies and live theater.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #40 on: December 11, 2014, 02:18:48 PM »
FWIW it is not hard at all to make the blanket combination of the GEne Hackman character in Mississippi burning. His tactics were despicable. The rightness of his cause or the evilness of the KKK did not make them any less despicable and wrong and shameful.
And why do you draw a phony line between considering America wrong and Islamic Jihad right?
America is not always right and pure. That doesn't mean we have to think the "other side" is correct. I am not responsible for what the other side does. I am responsible for what my country does.
If we catch terrorists plotting against us, we deal with them according to our laws. We do not take to some other country, hide them somewhere, and torture them.
Of course, we do indeed do that; but we shouldn't.
Well, some people never find it hard to make blanket condemnations. But the question is whether the Hackman character is deserving of prison. The movie was made in the 80's and he was clearly the hero of the movie at the time; I don't recall anyone finding it easy to make a blanket condemnation of his behavior back then. It was a big movie-- perhaps you or one of your journalist friends reviewed it or wrote about it; if so, I doubt the main character was condemned in the review for using torture. Applying today's standards to the past is easy. But if the movie ended with Hackman in cuffs and the klansmen going free based on the fact that the evidence was obtained illegally, not many people would call it a triumph of justice.

Terry W Culler

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #41 on: December 11, 2014, 02:24:28 PM »
And while I rant I'll also say that I just can't bring myself to celebrate Usama bin Laden's murder.  Why didn't we just take him?  I might be wrong, but murder is murder, even if the victim is vile.

Murder? Osama bin Laden wasn't murdered.


Have you listened to the interview of Robert OíNeill? That would explain to you why we didn't "just take him."

BTW, do you feel the same way about drone killings? How about killing in combat? Are those situations murder?


Everything about war makes me uncomfortable. Killing in combat is not murder, but neither is it good, even if occasionally it might be necessary from a human perspective.  Sending men to kill other men does things to them which should not be done to anyone.  It feeds the beast in our hearts and drives out thoughts of turning the other cheek and going the extra mile.  I can't think our Lord is pleased with it.  No one can walk away from combat unchanged, and that change is never good.  If we have to fight wars, all long distance weapons should be banned and we should have to fight with short swords, our fists and our teeth.  Drones and other forms of distance attacks make death seem clean and unreal to those who aren't dying. 
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Donald_Kirchner

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #42 on: December 11, 2014, 02:57:40 PM »
Killing in combat is not murder, but neither is it good, even if occasionally it might be necessary from a human perspective. 

Was not the attack to kill bin Laden a combat mission?
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David Garner

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #43 on: December 11, 2014, 03:05:22 PM »
I am not a pure pacifist, but I share Pastor Culler's discomfort with war and the justifications for war.  Regarding Bin Laden, I wrote this shortly after his death:

http://forheisgoodandlovesmankind.blogspot.com/2011/05/osama-bin-laden.html
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

Rev. Matthew Uttenreither

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Re: Is the torture report indicative that it is time for national repentance?
« Reply #44 on: December 11, 2014, 03:15:04 PM »
The CIA water-boarded some really bad people and made them listen to heavy metal music to keep them awake.  Muslim terrorists chop the heads of innocent people. 

As for drones, that is President Obama's weapon of choice.