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View Diary: The Bush-era Torture Memo Obama Never Rescinded (76 comments)

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  •  How its defined is precisely the question (0+ / 0-)

    why do YOU think some techniques were repudiated and others weren't?  You have it backwards, as you should be arguing that the definition should, in fact, be expanded in light of what we now know about human psychology -- isolation seems to be more damaging than things that are recognized as torture, but its less obviously degrading than electroshocking someone's genitals.  But unless very prison in America breaking the law, we're not there yet.  

    Or, you could just stomp your foot.

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Thu May 02, 2013 at 06:36:24 PM PDT

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    •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

      Are you actually arguing degrees of torture that are acceptable to America?

      There are no sacred cows.

      by LaEscapee on Thu May 02, 2013 at 07:25:47 PM PDT

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      •  nope! (0+ / 0-)

        what i said is there are differing degrees of proof that various techniques really are torture.  There's (a) meets the moral criteria and has been recognized as such by law, and (b) meets the moral criteria but has not been recognized as such by law.  For class (b), the argument needs more, and while the morality (or even practicality) of torture can never be justified, the legal consequences are different, to the extent that describing the policy "as" torture begs the question.  An argument that things like isolation and such are correctly understood as torture, by the U.S. and others, looks very different -- the distinction is in the difference between reporting precedent on the particular level and applying a different precedent from a more general level, to the concrete.  As it stands now, the structure of the argument is criticizing the administration for answering a question incorrectly that it simply never asked.  The problems with isolation and such run much deeper, and when the consensus emerges that the law should regard it as no different from waterboarding (the argument for which is actually undermined by treating (b) as if it were (a)), the position of the administration largely takes care of itself, by the evidence of what it's done right and why.  

        Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

        by Loge on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:20:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You just did it again (0+ / 0-)

          Let me make this simple for you and I don't need the lawyerly speak or the same excuses that the last three AG's have used.

          Do you or do you not agree that stripping someone down and putting them an isolation cell with no bedding is torture?

          Do you or do you not agree that housing people in an encampment on the suspicions of others without benefit of counsel or trial is torture?

          Do you or do you not agree that turning over people to countries that are infamous in their treatment of people torture?

          There are no sacred cows.

          by LaEscapee on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:55:07 AM PDT

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          •  Maybe (for how long?), no, not enough information (0+ / 0-)

            but each is a meaningless statement with no information beyond someone's own opinion, without agreement on why, or what it means to "be" torture; or why it is that the government can't do it if it were (legally proscribed?  costs outweigh benefits?).  There's an interesting philosophical discussion you're not willing or able to have.  Preaching to the converted doesn't even do anything to accomplish short term goals.

            Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

            by Loge on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:12:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There is nothing philosophical about it (0+ / 0-)

              You either are or aren't for the mistreatment of human beings. You either are or aren't for war, you either are or aren't for killing people with drones, you either are or aren't for the treatment of animals no matter the species humanely.

              There are no degrees of any of those actions that are acceptable and anyone that would attempt to use words to justify any of them have been the problem for centuries. It's like saying the death penalty will stop murder or that more guns will prevent gun deaths. It's some weird circular logic that has no place in serious discussion.

              Have a read and apply that to all subjects above.

              A young Yemeni writer on the impact and morality of drone-bombing his country

              There are no sacred cows.

              by LaEscapee on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:44:22 PM PDT

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              •  I had in fact already read that - (0+ / 0-)

                shows what you know.

                You have no hope of convincing anyone of anything if you treat the issue as requiring a series broad ideological commitments, as opposed to gradually working up from the particulars, where people might agree on a series of policies for incompatible or self-serving reasons without it ever becoming zero sum.  You've outlined a path that pushes people away, but allows you to feel superior, not just to people who disagree with you, but to people who want to agree with your arguments if only you'd make them in a slightly analytically rigorous way.  The subject isn't the person agreeing or disagreeing, but the ideas themselves -- you have nothing to say, for example, to a pure utilitarian.  It's convenient, then, that the death penalty doesn't deter murder, because the test of seriousness of discussion isn't whether it induces in you the proper knee-jerk response.

                Such an emotional reaction cannot, by its very nature, be interesting to anyone but yourself.  So, it's not as if I don't feel repulsed by what you described, it's that my revulsion is not for you to share in.

                Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                by Loge on Fri May 03, 2013 at 01:00:40 PM PDT

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                •  I don't feel or act superior (0+ / 0-)

                  Unlike you I never insulted your intelligence for starters. I asked questions that you not only didn't answer but talked circles around. It's called a Houle Hoop and is employed by those that refuse to take a stand and use many words to say nothing. In case you haven't noticed I'm not one of those people.

                  Perfect example is that you chose "the death penalty" from all the other issues I pointed out and still, even then, never took a stand.

                  Just in case you missed it

                  Mastering the Incredible Adjustable Houle Hoop!

                  There are no sacred cows.

                  by LaEscapee on Fri May 03, 2013 at 02:30:57 PM PDT

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                  •  well, it's one thing to misrepresent an argument, (0+ / 0-)

                    but when you present them as summaries of what came above, it's hard to claim the high road.  I have no idea about your intelligence, but you've shown a great deal of laziness which might or might not be typical of your thought in other areas.  It's not something I worry about; but you seem fairly anxious about the whole issue.  I'll know more if you can see why linking that diary back at me is ironic.

                    I answered every question you asked - if you weren't satisfied, ask better ones, not ones that double down on the very conflations you're making.  What's more, I am against the death penalty, for any number of different and overlapping reasons, and have no problem saying so.  There's nothing to infer from not saying so, then, especially in the context of questioning the utility of expanding the scope of debate to incorporate things that might or might not be related.  (The drone war, for example, has a much weaker connection to issues relating to treatment of people in custody than the death penalty, and animal rights is even further afield.  Must one also be vegan? I could read your comment either way -- doesn't matter; all you've shown is that dualism breaks down at the margins.  And the irony of citing the drone war, is that the Guardian article doesn't really support your own arguments.  You're coming out on the same side, but for different reasons, it seems to me.

                    My argument is actually quite simple: there are different ways to be wrong on the torture question, and different inferences to be drawn from each.  It has nothing to do with changing the names because I support whomever is in power; everything I said could apply to the Bush administration after Jack Goldsmith's tenure at OLC.

                    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

                    by Loge on Fri May 03, 2013 at 03:04:01 PM PDT

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                    •  Link your answers (0+ / 0-)

                      You know the ones you provided.

                      Do you or do you not agree that stripping someone down and putting them an isolation cell with no bedding is torture?

                      Do you or do you not agree that housing people in an encampment on the suspicions of others without benefit of counsel or trial is torture?

                      Do you or do you not agree that turning over people to countries that are infamous in their treatment of people torture?

                      There are no sacred cows.

                      by LaEscapee on Fri May 03, 2013 at 03:46:14 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

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