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  #1  
Old 03-03-2007, 01:25 AM
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West Point invites 24's Sutherland to explain to cadets why torture doesn't work

In its latest effort to dissuade troops from following the example set by 24's Jack Bauer, the Army is asking Kiefer Sutherland to explain to West Point cadets why they shouldn't imitate the Fox show's torture-happy protagonist. Sutherland, probably alarmed by the slew of reports that interrogators are adopting the Bauer approach to torture, has agreed to pay the cadets a visit. The Army is hoping Sutherland will have better luck than West Point professors, whose in-class attempts to explain that "Jack Bauer is a criminal" have yet to resonate.

The motto of many of [retired West Point Professor Gary Solis' former] students was identical to Jack Bauer’s: “Whatever it takes.” His students were particularly impressed by a scene in which Bauer barges into a room where a stubborn suspect is being held, shoots him in one leg, and threatens to shoot the other if he doesn’t talk. In less than ten seconds, the suspect reveals that his associates plan to assassinate the Secretary of Defense.

The failure to temper future soldiers' enthusiasm for the Bauer approach—in addition to reports that interrogators in Iraq plagiarize tactics displayed on the show—had previously led West Point's dean to make a bizarre, on-set appearance before begging 24's producers to be gentler with the show's almost exclusively Muslim torture victims.

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/node/3799

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Old 03-03-2007, 02:01 PM
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Whoa, what's this? The adrenaline junkies here who think that Jack Bauer is the greatest thing since toilet paper have no comment on West Point, I mean WEST POINT, having to struggle to keep FOX/Bauer's BS from infecting future officers of our nation's army?

But cmac, imagine there was a terrorist and further imagine that he knew when and where a nuclear device was located to go off in one of our major cities, and further imagine that instead of setting it off as soon as they got into the harbor, they stashed it somewhere and this one terrorist knew how to turn it off and we had him in custody!! (be still my beating heart)

And further imagine that the pod people from Venus were located nearby and had the magic nectar that made young women mad with desire, and further imagine that ....
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Old 03-03-2007, 03:51 PM
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And who is Sutherland in the grand scheme of things?
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Old 03-04-2007, 01:34 AM
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Sutherland is making a good living satisfying the primal urges of all sorts of armchair warriors who imagine that nothing is off limits when it comes to interrogating them damn Ay-rabs, most all of Al Qaeda, of course. In the process he's giving many upper brass fits cause of guys like the Abu Gharib night crew who get imbued with a belief that the harsher the torture, the more likely one is to get useful info, just like they saw on "24."

This has been pretty much disproved many times. But don't try to tell that to "24" fans.
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Old 03-04-2007, 07:31 AM
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I think the Abu Gharib crew were doing it not for any info but for fun. After all, they are the enemy and had fun with their captives? What was that about the golden rule again?

In any case, KS isn't really going to be able to do much. Window dressing, maybe. Look at some of the threads we have. Take the child abuse ones. We have people wanting to do all sorts of things to the perps. It is not for any real value other than plain revenge. It has nothing to do with 24. The urge to have fun via torturing enemies is already in us. The information is just an excuse. Now, if this were some enemy you just captured, I can understand. However, many of the people in AG have been there for a while and any info they have is probably so old that it is worthless. Yes, the enemy WAS in that house? What of it? Miss them by 5 mins is a miss. In any case, were those people in AG really interrogating them or just having fun? I think the latter.
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:04 AM
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i don't watch the show. my wife does though.

i hope i don't piss her off too much.

tom w
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
Sutherland is making a good living satisfying the primal urges of all sorts of armchair warriors who imagine that nothing is off limits when it comes to interrogating them damn Ay-rabs, most all of Al Qaeda, of course. In the process he's giving many upper brass fits cause of guys like the Abu Gharib night crew who get imbued with a belief that the harsher the torture, the more likely one is to get useful info, just like they saw on "24."

This has been pretty much disproved many times. But don't try to tell that to "24" fans.
Why should anything be off limits to those that don't have any limits to us? What about playing by the rules that people follow? Oh, never mind. If we are harsh to them, they will be harsh to us, right? So it follows that if we are nice to our captives they will be nice to our captives? Has that fallacy worked yet in that theater? Of course the brass is having fits. Because people like you are objecting to it and causing a stink and crap rolls downhill.

Torture hasn't worked? In what sense? To get a confession? Probably not. However, if you are so certain, why don't we play a game and see? We'll have someone tell you a number from 1-10000 and I'll torture the info out of you. You think the CIA would send captives to other countries that are less squeamish about torture to extract info because they want to give the captive a change of scenery if it cannot yield info? Yes, sometimes there is no info to give. However, in the long run, if it will save you or your buddy, why not?

Torture works on the principle of "We do this to avoid that." That is what people have been doing. Very simple. I have seen people forced out of jobs because the boss didn't like them. How? Well, boss made conditions difficult so the employee decides to walk. Boss gets what they want and the employee does it. Let me ask you this. The drunk that hit my car and caused me over $9000 damage and inconvenience. You think he would be alive today if that principle wasn't true. If Bush promised me a pardon, you think that after I found out he was hurt badly and DRUNK, I wouldn't have fluffed up his pillow so he sleeps better and more importantly, longer? It is based on me wanting to avoid the jail time (torture) that I did something else (not killed him). Torture is about creating discomfort until compliance is met. You think I would work if there was no money in it or I was independently wealthy? Definitely not. I work to avoid being destitute and maybe later on, a prostitute. IOW, I do this to avoid that. Just like I spill the beans to avoid more pain.
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Last edited by aklim; 03-04-2007 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 03-04-2007, 04:11 PM
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Maybe Westpoint would have better luck having "Mistress" head over to explain the uselessness of torture... Hmm. On second thoughts that might be even more counterproductive

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  #9  
Old 03-04-2007, 04:30 PM
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the key is getting RELIABLE information.

if one is tortured for information that one does not have, one will make something up to stop the pain.

so that is why torture does not work.

you get information that is not reliable.

you also make it ok for the enemy to torture our guys if they catch them.

in ww2 the germans near the end sought out american units to surrender to because they knew the russians would treat them roughly. perhaps because the germans previously treated the russians roughly.

in our country we have a tradition of treating prisoners humanely, including healing their wounds.

unfortunatley our reputation for fair treatment is suffering in this present conflict.

tom w

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Old 03-04-2007, 05:09 PM
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He's a freaking actor - he is not an expert. Stupid.
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  #11  
Old 03-04-2007, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
the key is getting RELIABLE information.

if one is tortured for information that one does not have, one will make something up to stop the pain. so that is why torture does not work. you get information that is not reliable.

you also make it ok for the enemy to torture our guys if they catch them.

in ww2 the germans near the end sought out american units to surrender to because they knew the russians would treat them roughly. perhaps because the germans previously treated the russians roughly.

in our country we have a tradition of treating prisoners humanely, including healing their wounds.

unfortunatley our reputation for fair treatment is suffering in this present conflict.

tom w

tom w
Agreed.

Also agreed. However, you understand that possibly inaccurate information with accurate information is better than NO information. It is like businesses. They'd rather have a few bad checks than no money.

As opposed to what? Our enemies will withdraw from the stupid Geneva conventions? Oh, that frightens me all right.

And they treated Americans roughly too. However they knew Americans would be too dumb to respond as they have been done to. IOW, I have to follow the golden rule (biggest pile of horsecrap) but you don't have to. BTW, did it improve the treatment of American POWs in WWII? You may say "yes" but I'll bet a lot of people who received good treatment at the hands of the Japs and Germans would disagree.

Nobody is perfect.

Sure it is. What is your definition of "fair"? Here is my definition. Giving as good as getting. IOW, you behead my guy, I behead your guy. You are decent to me, I am decent to you. Your definition of "fair" seems to be "you do what you want and I have to be nice."

I know you are Tom W. Why tell us twice?
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Old 03-04-2007, 06:23 PM
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i don't know

i don't know

tom w

tom w
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:45 PM
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As for torture, I pretty much agree with Allen Dershowitz on that score. It should never be legal and there are going to be times when you turn your eyes from necessity. His argument goes like this: You have a man in your custody who knows the code to shut-off a nuke. He's more than willing to sacrifice his life and the life of any human being to see his plan succeed.

And folks, torture DOES work. The Romans proved it, the Soviets proved it and the Gestapo deomnstrated it effectively by torturing SAS and OSS operatives all over Europe during WWII. This is why the spy cells were so heavily insulated from knowledge of each other. On PBS several years ago they aired an interview of a retired French officer who was in charge of torturing suspects in French North Africa. He said that he could extract truthful information from anybody, given time.

So back to Dershowitz. His argument is that though society must never condone routine torture, it must be willing and able to accept it as a last resort. He said what we need is to have the chain of command sign-off on torture on an individual basis so that everybody in the chain is morally and legally culpable. His argument is that if the reason for torture is so dire as to require that everybody in the chain agree to it, that the public would probably accept the necessity of it. To me, that goes to Doestoyevsky's argument about those who will and do vs those who will and cannot do. The former become the establishment, the latter go to prison.

Let me put the Bot's personal spin on it. Say you have the kidnapper of your child in your custody....

Bot
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:05 PM
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So if I have a short chain of morally bankrupt people?
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Old 03-05-2007, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
As for torture, I pretty much agree with Allen Dershowitz on that score. It should never be legal and there are going to be times when you turn your eyes from necessity. His argument goes like this: You have a man in your custody who knows the code to shut-off a nuke. He's more than willing to sacrifice his life and the life of any human being to see his plan succeed.

And folks, torture DOES work. The Romans proved it, the Soviets proved it and the Gestapo deomnstrated it effectively by torturing SAS and OSS operatives all over Europe during WWII. This is why the spy cells were so heavily insulated from knowledge of each other. On PBS several years ago they aired an interview of a retired French officer who was in charge of torturing suspects in French North Africa. He said that he could extract truthful information from anybody, given time.

So back to Dershowitz. His argument is that though society must never condone routine torture, it must be willing and able to accept it as a last resort. He said what we need is to have the chain of command sign-off on torture on an individual basis so that everybody in the chain is morally and legally culpable. His argument is that if the reason for torture is so dire as to require that everybody in the chain agree to it, that the public would probably accept the necessity of it. To me, that goes to Doestoyevsky's argument about those who will and do vs those who will and cannot do. The former become the establishment, the latter go to prison.

Let me put the Bot's personal spin on it. Say you have the kidnapper of your child in your custody....

Bot
It doesn't seem like a good comparison to me.

Secret service or military torture applications are executed from a methodical stand point, while being an average parent handleing the extraction of information on his/her child's kidnapper could hardly be a methodical issue.

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