Skip to main content

View Diary: [UPDATED] U.S. Citizen "Ghost Detainee" Accused of Bush Assassination Plot, But ... (127 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Torture of U.S. citizens (4.00)
    Eventually, if it has not already happened, our government will end up torturing someone who is truly innocent.  Mistaken identity or mistaken intelligence will make it so sooner or later.

    We should clearly articulate from the top on down that torture is never, ever acceptable.  We are the good guys.  We shouldn't run torture chambers at Abu Ghraib prison--or anywhere else.  We should abhore and never participate in the practice of "rendition" to accommodate off-shore torture.

    The rejoinder that we need to be somewhat vague about our torture policy to keep the bad guys guessing about their treatment only makes the policy unclear to our guys as well.  If our policy on torture is so ambiguous that the prisoner won't know if it is allowed or not, then neither will U.S. agents, who may believe they have the green light... just as M.P. reservists on active duty with the U.S. Army might so believe.

    What about the ticking bomb scenario, where torture will help save an entire city?  Shouldn't we have the option even then to use torutre to save so many lives?  No, in my view, it should still be illegal even under those circumstances.  

    If some CIA or FBI agent, or the member of some Delta Force, believes that torture will save millions of lives, then he should put it on the line and do what has to be done.  It will still be an illegal act.  If he is truly right and saves thousands of lives through torture, then there is always the institutional relief valve of our criminal law system--the Presidential Pardon.  And the Republicans have shown little reluctance to use that power, pardoning Elliot Abrams for lying to Congress about U.S. activities in Central America.

    Well, if torturing someone is an illegal act, won't that make it tough on the CIA or FBI who guesses wrong and tortures someone who doesn't have crucial information to stop a ticking bomb?  Yes, it will--absolutely.  We want to deter torture not condone it, not give it a wink and a nod and tell our CIA that we don't care so long as they don't get caught.  If a truly unusual hypothetical situation arises that would justify torture, something that seems highly unlikely, then the burden should be on those in favor of torture to justify their actions.

    Right now, Bush, Gonzales, and Yoo have given torture a green light.  It should never be so in our country.

    •  Ticking speciousness (none)
      What about the ticking bomb scenario, where torture will help save an entire city?

      It's a specious scenario:

      It's well documented that people under torture will say whatever they believe the torturers want, just to make the pain stop. As a result, a torturer is going to get ONLY what they want to hear from the victim, which is not necessarily the truth.

      In short, torture is a very effective way to force someone to back-up the conclusion to which you've already jumped, but a completely ineffective way to find actual information. If the torturer jumped to the right conclusion, he or she may be lucky enouhg to have accidentally extracted the right facts from the wrong person.

      Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

      by mataliandy on Tue Feb 22, 2005 at 09:23:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What do you mean by (none)
      "Truly innocent"?

      The man who has secretly been tortured on instructions from the awful office stands accused of a THOUGHT CRIME!! Old ladies at checkout counters murmur such things to each other when they scan the newspaper headlines. Farmers in fields, pickers in orchards, guys up ladders, GI's in humvees, pool men and cleaning ladies, travellers, foreigners everywhere wake up wondering whether Today is the Day.

      Really.

      •  I don't know (none)
        all the facts of the situation you refer to.  You may be right that all the accused did was voice hatred of Bush.  He may be "truly innocent."  I simply don't know.

        I do condemn any torture though.  

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (145)
  • Community (63)
  • Environment (42)
  • 2016 (42)
  • Republicans (37)
  • Elections (34)
  • Culture (34)
  • Bernie Sanders (33)
  • Memorial Day (31)
  • Media (26)
  • Climate Change (25)
  • Labor (25)
  • Education (24)
  • Hillary Clinton (24)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (23)
  • Barack Obama (23)
  • Spam (23)
  • Civil Rights (23)
  • GOP (22)
  • Science (20)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site