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Waterboarding is Torture

Original post made by Marvin on Apr 7, 2008

For those of you who still feel that waterboarding is not torture or are not sure, this article on CNN.com may be of interest:

Web Link


Comments (34)

Posted by jill, a resident of Stanford
on Apr 7, 2008 at 2:33 pm



The indigenous populations of most countries in the rich world will either stagnate or decline….

The 2006 population revision predicts the steady depopulation of vast areas of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union as a result of high levels of emigration and birth rates running persistently below replacement levels.

Bulgaria's population will fall by 35 per cent by 2050; Ukraine's will plummet by 33 per cent, Russia's by one quarter, whilst Britain's population will rise from 60 million to approaching 69 million by 2050—almost entirely because of immigration.

The expected global upheaval is without parallel in human history.

Certain countries — Afghanistan, Yemen and whatnot — have 6, 7, 8 kids per couple — while Spaniards have a perfectly inverted family tree: four grandparents have two kids and one grandchild.








Posted by joel, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 7, 2008 at 2:48 pm




Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed Monday to allow 10,000 Arabs to legally reside in Judea and Samaria, according to Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Israel has restricted Arab immigration to Judea and Samaria since the beginning of the Oslo War in 2000.

The 10,000 Arabs in question live in Judea and Samaria but lack legal status.


Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 7, 2008 at 2:59 pm

What does the above two posts have to do with the topic I posted?


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 7, 2008 at 5:24 pm

Marvin,

"Van Nath described how male prisoners were whipped raw, their fingernails were yanked out, they were hogtied to wooden bars. Prison guards mutilated women's genitals, ripped off their nipples with pliers. And worst of all, babies were ripped from their mothers' arms and slaughtered."

Then he described how many thousands were slughtered in that camp, including drownings.

Now, just taking the notion, so often asserted by you and yours, that torture does not work, and combing that with the fact that only a handful of CIA interrogations were waterboardings, which produced extremely valuable intel, and probably saved many lives, what does this tell you, Marvin?

That George Bush is Pol Pot?

That torture works very well? Or that it doesn't work, and the CIA public reports are lies?

That selective waterboarding can be a useful lifesaving tool?

That the USA has extremist enemies that need to be held to harsh interrogation techniques?

I haven't a clue about what you are actually saying. Why don't you just spell it out, Marvin? Be specific.


Posted by marvin, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Apr 7, 2008 at 7:28 pm

it is clear what I am saying-- waterboarding is torture. We have eye witness testimony about from van math. It is pretty clear to me-- clearly you have issues with it since you seem to need to justify it's use.
is bush like pol pot? I will leave that for others to decide. Any more questions, Gary? ( that is a rhetorical question, btw)


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 7, 2008 at 7:35 pm

"is bush like pol pot? I will leave that for others to decide"

Sometimes, Marvin, even the most naive and ignorant can figure something out. You just provided evidence that you are among those with no more than two neurons touching. Even Hillary and Barack would flush you down the toilet on that one.

Hint: When the hook is baited, don't bite it.


Posted by marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 7, 2008 at 8:30 pm

thanks, Gary. We know what you stand for and how you deal with those who disagree with your way of thinking. You just gave us another example of how personal insults are the response for those who date to disagree with you.


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 7, 2008 at 10:03 pm

"...only a handful of CIA interrogations were waterboardings, which produced extremely valuable intel, and probably saved many lives..."

I'm calling your bluff, Gary. The only way you could know this is to actually be in the intelligence community, in which case you would keep your oath of silence or go to jail. The alternative is you are working without real information, which is far more likely.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 8, 2008 at 4:10 am

Paul, sometimes one must make a judgement based on the totality of evidence available. It is rare to know everything.


Posted by Coulter loves Limbaugh, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2008 at 6:34 am

Gary does not realize that torture is not a republican vs democrat thing--it is an issue of what values our nation holds dear.
At the first sign of trouble do we become like China or other dictatorships with regards to human rights?
I have a feeling that McCain is no fan of waterboarding.
As for the loaded "george bush pol pot" question. I am sure that there are those who will give Gary a good argument for that being true. Free speech is terrible, Gary, when it goes against what you "know" is true.


Posted by Sydney, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 8, 2008 at 6:45 am

America needs to be civil and not use the so called torture tactics - why? Take a closer look into what the Iraqi's, Afghani do to our soldiers when the soldier is captured. I do not quite support tit-for-tat attitude, but its a war zone and things have to work differently than the good old my-town-your-town .. otherwise we stand a major risk to our army, nation, citizens.


Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 8, 2008 at 9:04 am

America is now the most hated country in the world. It no longer stands as a shining star for freedom and democracy. Do you think Gitmo and torture might be part of the reason for this? Try traveling abroad and ask someone other than someone your paying what they think of the U.S.A. now.

Torture may have provided some useful information. We have no way of knowing this for sure. We didn't torture in WWII and we also obtained information so there's no way of knowing if torture was necessary.

But torture is destroying opinion of the world of America. Getting cooperation without the use of force is going to be much more difficult. In the long run, the use of torture has been counter-productive.


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 8, 2008 at 9:30 am

Once more you miss the point, Walter. I claim that neither Gary nor you nor any other torture enthusiast on this blog has any credible facts (evidence, if you will) to support your assertions that waterboarding has produced useful intelligence, much less saved lives. Thus you have no credible justification for this disgrace to our once-high national moral values.


Posted by Walter E. Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 8, 2008 at 11:36 am

Paul, just the fact that guys like you oppose waterboarding is evidence it is beneficial to the interests of the United States.
I suppose that, since I actively tried to kill some folks who were actively trying to kill me I am also a killing enthusiaest?
You Feather Merchants are a kick.


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 8, 2008 at 11:57 am

Very well, Walter, you've shown you cannot justify torture on the grounds of intel value or saving lives, so I'll politely ask you to stop advocating this disgracing of America and its ideals.

Gary, what have you got?


Posted by Weekend Warrior, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 8, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Paul--Gary's got nothing. He is a wannabe warrior lobbing his "grenades" in this forum--that is where his "fighting" begins and ends. At least with Walter, I have respect for him because he served in the armed forces and saw action.
the closest Gary comes to being in combat is to maybe playing paint ball in the woods or Dungeons and Dragons in the safety of his living room. I bet you he lives at home with his parents even though he must be at least 40 years old.


Posted by june, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 8, 2008 at 1:59 pm



The notoriety of Abu Ghraib was enough to chill the fervor of even the most revolutionary citizens.

It was said that thousands of men and women were crammed into tiny cells and that abuse, torture, and executions were daily occurrences.

The regime tested chemicals and biological weapons on the inmates, and some prisoners were given nothing but scraps of shredded plastic to eat.

Chunks of flesh were torn from the bodies of some prisoners and then force-fed to others.

Gruesome tortures involving power tools and hungry dogs were routine, and thousands of people who entered the doors of that fearsome place were never heard from again.

It was known that mass graves existed around the country, and it was known in general terms where they were situated; but of course nobody dared to hunt out the final resting places of those poor men and women who had become victims of the enthusiastic guards at Abu Ghraib, for fear of becoming one of their number.

Four AIDS-stricken women were dealt with in a fashion brutal even by the standards of the prison.

Stripped of their clothes, they were placed, alive and screaming, into an incinerator so that they and their "vile disease" could be utterly destroyed.

In this way Saddam "delivered" our country from the horrific
infections of the West. Web Link







Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 8, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Saddam was a sadistic tyrant. So are the torturers in Sudan and Egypt. This isn't justification for the U.S. to lower itself to their level.

We have obtained intelligence without torture in the past, why do we suddenly need it? Just because John Yoo writes a memo saying the President's wartime powers trump the U.S. Constitution, doesn't make it legal or necessary.




Posted by june, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 8, 2008 at 2:33 pm




In survey after survey, as many as two-thirds of Americans say torture is sometimes justified when it's used to get information from terrorists.

In an abc/Washington Post poll in the wake of the 2004 scandal, 60 percent of respondents classified what happened at Abu Ghraib as mere abuse, not torture.

And as recently as last year, 68 percent of Americans told Pew Research pollsters that they sometimes consider torture an acceptable option when dealing with terrorists.

Most people consider water boarding, as practiced on American troops to prepare them, not to be torture but training.

If we do it to our own people why not to those who plan to and do KILL us?




The American people have spoken


Posted by Coulter Loves Limbaugh, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2008 at 2:40 pm

Surveys can be biased--depends how the question is asked.
Read the original article that Marvin posted and read what the witness to Khmer Rouge water-based torture had to say.

In the past I am sure you would have gotten sizable chunks of americans to say that slavery was okay,that separating blacks and whites in the public education system was okay.
There are somethings that cannot be decided by a majority-for example what our country stands for and how we treat others.


Posted by joel, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 8, 2008 at 2:42 pm



The Chinese use torture much worse the water boarding.

Hillary's biggest whopper was today was her call on Bush to boycott the opening Olympic ceremonies because of China's human rights abuses and use of torture in Tibet.

These same abuses didn't cause Hillary and Bill to boycott campaign donations from Chinese bankers or sales of missile technology to China...
Tibet needs to be addressed, but I don't want to hear that from Hillary.

I'd rather hear a drunk driving lecture from Ted Kennedy.

I'd rather hear advice from Eliot Spitzer on how to treat a lady.



Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 8, 2008 at 3:29 pm

Good example, joel. Because she lives in a nation that blatantly practices torture, Hillary's indignation does sound hypocritical, possibly arrogant. But it's all she can do for now. Hopefully in a year she or John or Barack will have banned that stain and begun to restore America's prestige in the free world.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 8, 2008 at 4:06 pm

For all those who are commenting on how Gary is taking a dive, not providing any evidence, insisting the he must be part of the CIA (or not) in order to know that waterboarding works, etc., I offer the following from the public record:

"A leader of the CIA team that captured the first major al Qaeda figure, Abu Zubaydah, says subjecting him to waterboarding was torture but necessary.

In the first public comment by any CIA officer involved in handling high-value al Qaeda targets, John Kiriakou, now retired, said the technique broke Zubaydah in less than 35 seconds.

"The next day, he told his interrogator that Allah had visited him in his cell during the night and told him to cooperate," said Kiriakou in an interview to be broadcast tonight on ABC News' "World News With Charles Gibson" and "Nightline."

"From that day on, he answered every question," Kiriakou said. "The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks."

Web Link

I am getting tired of all the pablum on this subject.

George Bush is not Pol Pot. He did not murder millions of his own people. He murdered Saddam. He should be honored for doing so. Apparently the hatriots just don't know what morality is about. Hate is a hard thing to get over. What can I say?




Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 8, 2008 at 4:27 pm

Kiriakou said he now has mixed feelings about the use of waterboarding. He said that he thinks the technique provided a crucial break to the CIA and probably helped prevent attacks, but that he is now convinced that waterboarding is torture, and "Americans are better than that."

"Maybe that's inconsistent, but that's how I feel," he said. "It was an ugly little episode that was perhaps necessary at that time. But we've moved beyond that."



Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 8, 2008 at 4:42 pm

Neat little PR release, Gary. Now we know that

(a) Waterboarding is torture, AG Mukasey's pusillanimity notwithstanding, and
(b) Divine intervention is essential.

Talk about pablum.

Now, does your hero represent the CIA that swore there were WMDs in Iraq, that missed the buildup to 9/11, that still can't find bin Laden, and that failed to foresee the fall of the Soviet Union? Why would anybody believe an agency with a track record like that?


Posted by Jane, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 8, 2008 at 4:49 pm



Albert Einstein, manifestly one of the most intelligent persons who ever lived, urged President Roosevelt to prevent a threat which turned out to be completely illusory, an act he later called "the greatest mistake" of his life.

Einstein warned Roosevelt that Germany was working on an atomic bomb and that unless the United States began efforts of its own it might face a new and unanswerable weapon.

The consensus after the war was that Hitler was never even close to obtaining an atomic weapon.

If the Second World War had been fought to keep Hitler from conquering the world with atomic weapons it would technically have been a mistake.

"The German 'uranium project' - which had been set up in 1939 to investigate nuclear reactors, isotope separation and nuclear explosives - amounted to no more than a few dozen scientists scattered across the country. Many of them did not even devote all of their time to nuclear-weapons research.

The Manhattan Project, in contrast, employed thousands of scientists, engineers and technicians, and cost several billion dollars."

Technically a mistake. Yet the question of whether it was right to topple Hitler, or even to attempt the development of American atomic weapons, is a larger one which gets no clearer over the years.



Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 8, 2008 at 5:16 pm

Paul,

What we know, based on this CIA insider report, is that waterboarding works, and that its selective use by the CIA against high value al qaeda perps has saved many lives.

We do not know more than this. The rest is opinion. My opinion is that we should not give up this very valauble technique, becasue it could lead to many innocent deaths, if we do such a foolish thing.

One sadly pablum view that has been expressed on this thread is that the USA should not use the means of war to win a war. Such a view would have eliminated FDR's strategy of winning in WWII, by banning fire-bombing of German and Japanese cities, including the A-bomb. The USA is on the side of freedom and democracy, but that does not prevent us from fighting to achieve that goal, with the means necessary to win. Waterboarding is a small, but effictive, technique to be used against high value targets, not covered by the Geneva accords.

Are there any serious minds out there, who can oppose my views? I am opposed by mush brains. I want some serious opposition. Where is it?


Posted by marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 8, 2008 at 6:21 pm

Gary strikes again. Those that do not toe the line on Iraq and/ or waterboarding ( or anything else Gary believes in) are "hatriots" or "mush brains". There are many serious brains who oppose your views-- but by (gary's)definition they are mush brains . Gary reflex response to criticism is unoriginal personal insults. Don't waste your time with him


Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 8, 2008 at 6:31 pm

Gary: I think a filtered anecdotal puffpiece from a government agency that has repeatedly proven itself monumentally unreliable is a poor justification to advocate shaming America. You may disagree.

My original challenge, that you have no real data to prove the efficicacy of torture, remains open and likely will forever. Maybe you really don't know the difference between a hard analysis and a TV soundbite.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 8, 2008 at 6:45 pm

"Gary reflex response to criticism is unoriginal personal insults"

Actually, all I request is serious argument. I use peronal/generic criticisms, where required, to render serious responses. Sadly, I rarely get any on this blog.

Are there any out there?

So, here is a throw back to those who are complaining:

Please explain why you have a problem distinguishing George W Bush from Pol Pot. Try to give me a serious response, even though it is a complete impossibility. This should be absurdly interesting (and mush brained), but the ball is in your court.


Posted by marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 8, 2008 at 7:10 pm

Gary, you chose to introduce the bush/pol pot red herring into this discussion. The issue really is waterboarding is torture and you have a survivor of the Khmer rouge version of it to attest to that fact. Stop trying to cloud the waters with unrelated issues. Anyway why bother responding to your " challenge"-- you have already dismissed any responses in your post above.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 8, 2008 at 7:36 pm

"is bush like pol pot? I will leave that for others to decide"

Now, Marvin, that is your own quote. Now you say, " Gary, you chose to introduce the bush/pol pot red herring into this discussion". No, I questioned the relevance of your original link, than asked if you equate GWB with Pol Pot. You, Marvin, answered with the above quote.

This is what I mean by "mush-brained". Sometimes, I wonder if I am talking to people with two neurons touching. Now, in this case, I wonder if one neuron can hear itself clapping.

This is getting ridiculous!

Give me some SERIOUS debate.


Posted by marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 8, 2008 at 8:16 pm

there you go again, Gary. Personal insults.
Yes I answered with the above quote- a non-answer that was irrelevant to the discussion. Sorry you fail to see the point of my post. What is the point of debating you? You dismiss any arguments before they are even given and you muddy the waters with red herrings bTW, did you make up that " two neuron" comment you amuse yourself with or did you hear it on right wing talk radio. You should bone up on brain chemistry to see that it is false, like most of your assertions


Posted by Waterboarding is Torture, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 8, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Clearly, Gary is a victim of a waterboarding experiment gone bad.


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