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Author Topic: Usama Bin Laden dead?
AI Wessex
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TNR, check this out [Smile]
quote:
In a rush to report the news Sunday night that Osama bin Laden had been killed, a local affiliate of Fox News accidentally spelled the terrorist leader's name as "Obama bin Laden."

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cherrypoptart
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http://www.cnbc.com/id/42871400

Enhanced Interrogations Led to Bin Laden Kill: Senator
Published: Tuesday, 3 May 2011 | 12:59 AM ET

By: Reported by Laura Gamble, Written by Patrick Allen
CNBC.com


A member of the US Senate Intelligence Committee has told CNBC that the death of Osama Bin Laden was a direct result of enhanced interrogations.


“The information that eventually led us to this compound was the direct result of enhanced interrogations; one can conclude if we had not used enhanced interrogations, we would not have come to yesterday's action,” US Senator Richard Burr in a telephone interview with CNBC.

--------------------------------------------

You know what I know. You have the same internet that I do. I'm not over there myself, and I'm sorry if I lead anyone to believe that I was in Hawaii, or Kenya, or Afghanistan, or point man on the bin Laden mission, or an interrogator with the CIA, or an extraordinary renditioner of extraordinary renditionees. I'm just some dude typing stuff on a computer hooked up to an internet, same as the rest of you more than likely.

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
See, I think the large probabilities are that far more than 10 innocent people have been tortured, besides all the guilty ones -- and just for a mere probability of increasing the chances to get Osama.

Would you torture 10 guilty people to find Osama? You can set the terms of your condition of guilt, and what they are guilty for. Say, 10 people proven in court and convicted of assisting with the 9/11 attacks, or whatever, 10 Nazi war criminals, 10 members of the Bush administration.
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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
So to put it back to you, would you torture 100 people when only 1 person has the information that will help you, but you extract answers from the 99 others, too? Note that if you knew the real answer you wouldn't have used torture, so you probably won't know what the information is ahead of time. How do you know which of the 100 people had it? In other words, is it worth the cost and the uncertain result?

I probably would not torture the 100, because of the problems you have outlined above. Now if I had very good evidence that identified a specific individual had the information, I may torture them, but their are so many nuances involved in the cost/benefit equasion. I would probably not torture a captured enemy combatant, even if I KNEW he must have the information I required, because it is against the rules, but I could be tempted. It depends on the information he possesses and who it effects? Is the information the location of a bomb in a neonatal ward? Or is the information the location of a camoflaged machine gun nest on a ridgeline?

I would be more willing to torture an individual, against the rules or not, if their actions were also against the rules. In my mind, breaking the laws of warfare may abbrogate your protection under them. Plus, I'm more willing to break the rules to save a few babies then to save my life or the life of my friends or soldiers under my command.

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cherrypoptart
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It reminds me of that movie "The Box."

Would you let the CIA torture one guilty terrorist if it meant you wouldn't die a year from now? Okay, you'd sacrifice your life so that guilty scumbag terrorist who yesterday sent a 12 year old kid out to explode, that's noble. What if if was your wife and children who would die a year from now if this terrorist didn't get waterboarded?

How about nine guilty terrorists and one innocent guy who got mistaken for a terrorist?

Would you push a button and murder someone you don't know somewhere in the world for a million dollars?

Or would you be like this guy?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiFKm6l5-vE

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Originally posted by Grant:
quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
See, I think the large probabilities are that far more than 10 innocent people have been tortured, besides all the guilty ones -- and just for a mere probability of increasing the chances to get Osama.

Would you torture 10 guilty people to find Osama? You can set the terms of your condition of guilt, and what they are guilty for. Say, 10 people proven in court and convicted of assisting with the 9/11 attacks, or whatever, 10 Nazi war criminals, 10 members of the Bush administration.
We're talking the hypothetical scenario of 100% certainty to find Osama if I torture them, whereas if I don't choose to torture them he certainly remains free until the end of his life?

Then, yes. I'd torture 10 torturers/rapists for the certain benefit of finding Osama. But I'm the guy who *did* say that I can think LOTS of instances where torture can hypothetically be morally justified, so I don't see what is that supposed to prove.

It's the *legality* of torture that I can't justify.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Would you let the CIA torture one guilty terrorist if it meant you wouldn't die a year from now? Okay, you'd sacrifice your life so that guilty scumbag terrorist who yesterday sent a 12 year old kid out to explode, that's noble. What if if was your wife and children who would die a year from now if this terrorist didn't get waterboarded?
There's a reason why we don't let the family of the deceased be the juries in trials, and that's because they can't be unbiased.

To have examples that show how we're morally biased towards protecting our families says the obvious -- but serves little in determining a moral path.

[ May 03, 2011, 12:44 PM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
It's the *legality* of torture that I can't justify.

I'm baffled by that stance. The Law requires no justification, nor is it necessarily just or fair. The Law is just a codified system of societal behavior and in many instances is clearly unfair.

Clearly forms of punishment that would be considered torture in most developed countries were widely practiced and 'legal' in the former Soviet Union and modern day Cuba and China. While the torture might be repugnant in those countries it's certainly 'legal'.

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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
It's the *legality* of torture that I can't justify.

I'm baffled by that stance. The Law requires no justification, nor is it necessarily just or fair. The Law is just a codified system of societal behavior and in many instances is clearly unfair.


Law in America explicitly requires justification; the "consent of the governed." Furthermore, I would say that the degree to which law diverges from justice is the degree to which revolution is likely. While it is true that what is legal is not always right, it does not follow that what is right is irrelevant to what is made legal or illegal. As much as possible, we should strive to make law that is fair, just, and ethical.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
It's the *legality* of torture that I can't justify.

I'm baffled by that stance. The Law requires no justification, nor is it necessarily just or fair. The Law is just a codified system of societal behavior and in many instances is clearly unfair.
Must I really explain the difference between "is" statements and "should" statements?

Perhaps you just misunderstood my sentence, so let me offer a few equivalent paraphrasings:
"I can't morally justify the legality of torture".
"Torture shouldn't be legal."
"It is wrong for torture to be legal".
"It is right for torture to be illegal".

quote:
Clearly forms of punishment that would be considered torture in most developed countries were widely practiced and 'legal' in the former Soviet Union and modern day Cuba and China. While the torture might be repugnant in those countries it's certainly 'legal'. [/QB]
And the fact of its legality in those countries is part of what made the law in those countries morally repugnant.

[ May 03, 2011, 02:28 PM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
What about the information from guys who got renditioned?

Edited to add: I guess it's pretty clear and understandable now why Obama didn't get rid of the extraordinary renditions and the accompanying outsourcing of enhanced interrogation techniques.

I always opposed Obama the Candidate's stance on that and I'm glad after he became President and understood the whole situation more thoroughly, he came around to my point of view. Oh, and Bush's. It paid off in spades. A lot of credit goes to President Obama. Flexibility is a great asset, and it takes a really big man to admit he was wrong about the renditions, the civilian trials, and closing Gitmo so the war could be prosecuted as successfully as he has done it. Kudos.

If we are going to use any form of enhanced interogation we need to establish legal perameters. What I would propose is that there must be "clear and present danger" and a warrant from a judge. Further techniques must be limited to techniques that won't do permanent physical damage to the subject. A physician needs to be present for any phyisical technique. Evidence gathered may not be used in prosecution of either the subject nor anybody named by the subject.

Enhanced interrogation may not be used for any purpose other than information gathering under extreme circumstances, otherwise it would qualify as cruel or unusual punishment.

Personally as a Christian I am still uncomfortable with torture in the extreme but I am not one of those Christians who regards my interpretation of the Bible as the law of the land.

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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
Don't strain yourself. If I need any Deep Wisdom (like "I hate to rain on the parade, but this isn't Star Wars, killing Vader / The Emperor isn't going to end the Empire.") I will crack open some Sun Tzu or Robert Greene. Meanwhile, keep the PC policing to a minimum and remember, Islamist extremism won. Or rather, people living in the US have lost.

So the villiage heckler can't take a correction without becoming upset? I'll bear that in mind in the future.
I don't mind corrections, but I'd prefer grammar policing. I'm also wondering whether you go on sites like 4chan and "correct" the posts.
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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
I'm not quite sure why you and others are trying to link those two issues Tommy.

I can't speak for anyone else linking Obama's birth certificate and bin Laden's death (?), but both issues are being blown out of proportion and are distracting us from actual problems: debt, health care, never-ending war, etc. Killing ObL was at least cathartic, for some people, and information on his computers might be useful, but in the long run I doubt it will make a difference.
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AI Wessex
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I think they're linked because people are speculating about both of them. The birther thing may be dying down now, and I don't think too many people (Americans, anyway) think OBL was *not* killed.

The hot button in the US for the OBL killing is whether torture got the information that led directly to his whereabouts or whether he would have been found at all without the discoveries provided by torture. A Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee says absolutely torture deserves the credit for revealing crucial information; the Democrat who chairs the same committee says torture interrogations had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Looks like another partisan football, but with a number of high profile Republican defections to the other side (including Cheney and Rumsfeld). The question is what will people who have no facts whatsoever of their own to go by insist is the "real" "truth".

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
Don't strain yourself. If I need any Deep Wisdom (like "I hate to rain on the parade, but this isn't Star Wars, killing Vader / The Emperor isn't going to end the Empire.") I will crack open some Sun Tzu or Robert Greene. Meanwhile, keep the PC policing to a minimum and remember, Islamist extremism won. Or rather, people living in the US have lost.

So the villiage heckler can't take a correction without becoming upset? I'll bear that in mind in the future.
I don't mind corrections, but I'd prefer grammar policing. I'm also wondering whether you go on sites like 4chan and "correct" the posts.
What I corrected you on was a comment about Islam based on the completely inccorect implication that Mohammed is God in Islam. Association of humans with God is considered deeply blasphemous in Islam and is their chief complaint about Christian theology. That's not being politically correct, it's just being correct.

Now my Liberal Lord Fauntleroy, I don't go around harping on people's spelling or typing. However if you get facts wrong on this forum expect SOMEBODY here to call you on it.

[ May 03, 2011, 04:22 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
Must I really explain the difference between "is" statements and "should" statements?

Perhaps you just misunderstood my sentence, so let me offer a few equivalent paraphrasings:
"I can't morally justify the legality of torture".
"Torture shouldn't be legal."
"It is wrong for torture to be legal".
"It is right for torture to be illegal".

You seemed to be differentiating between a 'moral' stand and a 'legal' stance in your earlier post. But from what you've said above your objection is on moral grounds.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
You seemed to be differentiating between a 'moral' stand and a 'legal' stance in your earlier post.
Yes, and I'm *also* differentiating these and the moral stance ON the legal stance.
In short there's Morality(x), and there's Legality(x), and there's Morality(Legality(x)).

  • Legality(Torture): depends on the law of the land, in most civilized nations FALSE, in some regimes as you mentioned (Cuba, etc) TRUE.
  • Morality(Torture): depends on circumstances, almost always FALSE, but I can think many circumstances where it'd be TRUE
  • Morality(Legality(Torture) equals TRUE): *always* FALSE as far as I can tell.
----------
Here's a different way to state the above, in English now:
  • Sometimes it may be right to torture
  • Sometimes it may be legal to torture
  • But it's never right for it to be legal to torture.


[ May 03, 2011, 04:45 PM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]

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MattP
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quote:
“It is true that some information that came from normal interrogation approaches at Guantanamo did lead to information that was beneficial in this instance. But it was not harsh treatment and it was not waterboarding.”
Donald Rumsfield

How did we get him, then?
quote:
By 2005, many inside the C.I.A. had reached the conclusion that the Bin Laden hunt had grown cold, and the agency’s top clandestine officer ordered an overhaul of the agency’s counterterrorism operations. The result was Operation Cannonball, a bureaucratic reshuffling that placed more C.I.A. case officers on the ground in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

With more agents in the field, the C.I.A. finally got the courier’s family name. With that, they turned to one of their greatest investigative tools — the National Security Agency began intercepting telephone calls and e-mail messages between the man’s family and anyone inside Pakistan. From there they got his full name.

Last July, Pakistani agents working for the C.I.A. spotted him driving his vehicle near Peshawar. When, after weeks of surveillance, he drove to the sprawling compound in Abbottabad, American intelligence operatives felt they were onto something big, perhaps even Bin Laden himself. It was hardly the spartan cave in the mountains that many had envisioned as his hiding place. Rather, it was a three-story house ringed by 12-foot-high concrete walls, topped with barbed wire and protected by two security fences. He was, said Mr. Brennan, the White House official, “hiding in plain sight.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/03/world/asia/03intel.html?pagewanted=2
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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
Don't strain yourself. If I need any Deep Wisdom (like "I hate to rain on the parade, but this isn't Star Wars, killing Vader / The Emperor isn't going to end the Empire.") I will crack open some Sun Tzu or Robert Greene. Meanwhile, keep the PC policing to a minimum and remember, Islamist extremism won. Or rather, people living in the US have lost.

So the villiage heckler can't take a correction without becoming upset? I'll bear that in mind in the future.
I don't mind corrections, but I'd prefer grammar policing. I'm also wondering whether you go on sites like 4chan and "correct" the posts.
What I corrected you on was a comment about Islam based on the completely inccorect implication that Mohammed is God in Islam. Association of humans with God is considered deeply blasphemous in Islam and is their chief complaint about Christian theology. That's not being politically correct, it's just being correct.

Now my Liberal Lord Fauntleroy, I don't go around harping on people's spelling or typing. However if you get facts wrong on this forum expect SOMEBODY here to call you on it.

I'm taking that as a yes.

Islam's chief complaint about Christian theology is that atheists like to offend them? That's even stupider than Muslims rioting over drawings of their God.

[ May 03, 2011, 05:32 PM: Message edited by: TommySama ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Islam's chief complaint about Christian theology is that atheists like to offend them?
No, you're straw-manning. Islam's chief complaint about Christian theology is the belief that God has even been as lowly as a human, which they considered horribly blasphemous; God in certain doctrinal forms of Islam is believed to be platonically perfect, and would never lower Himself to human levels. There would be no point to the exercise.

Muslims believe that the greatest prophets have communicated -- often at a great remove, limited by their mortal understanding -- with God, but that God has never and will never be embodied on Earth.

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TommySama
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So what you guys are saying is that Mohammad was a jinn?
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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Islam's chief complaint about Christian theology is that atheists like to offend them? That's even stupider than Muslims rioting over drawings of their God.


You really couldn't understand something this simple?

Islam's chief complaint about Christians is the idea of incarnation is counter to the notion of Allah who is fully transcendent.

Mohammed in Islam is a mortal prophet, fully human. The drawings were of Mohammed, Mohammed is NOT God in Islam.

If you don't want to understand religous dogma, don't write about religion.

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TommySama
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There are no photographs of God, and there are no photographs of Mohammad. Therefore they are the same God.

Don't be so naïve, VL. This is so simple that I feel embarrassed for you. The vicarious redemption, which was when the christian prophet Jesus told humanity that his god gave them the ability to empathize with strangers, allowed us to literally "redeem" other people in our minds. Through empathy one can forgive, and through forgiveness one's reputation can be restored. I forgive you for your ignorant outburst, fellow Christian.

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Viking_Longship
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There are no photographs of Alexander the Great or Ghengis Khan but like Mohammed they left behind a world with very different borders. (Which should make the "Jesus never existed" game Atheists like to play a little more difficult with Mohammed.)

Allah is God in Islam, not Mohammed. My "outburst" is basd on you either not knowing this or (and I presume this) knowing and pretending you don't know.

My religion is really not an issue in this debate. Yours seems to be though.

[ May 03, 2011, 08:32 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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TomDavidson
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Yeah, VL, Tommy's just trolling. He doesn't want to lose face by backing down from being obnoxious, so he's just upping the stakes.
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Viking_Longship
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Yeah he's getting into Noel/G2 territory.
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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Yeah, VL, Tommy's just trolling. He doesn't want to lose face by backing down from being obnoxious, so he's just upping the stakes.

Well if he can get so upset for no reason I might as well push it.
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Viking_Longship
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Tommy you're having a fit because I questioned your religion. Ironic isn't it?

I'm getting pretty bored with this though. At least Cherry and Noel are interesting.

[ May 03, 2011, 09:13 PM: Message edited by: Viking_Longship ]

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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
Tommy you're having a fit because I questioned your religion. Ironic isn't it?

I'm getting pretty bored with this though. At least Cherry and Noel are interesting.

Good, good...
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AI Wessex
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What is this, a flash micro-rumble?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Tommy you're having a fit because I questioned your religion.
No, he's having a fit because you over-reacted. And you can't let it go, either.

Just power down, space rangers.

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Viking_Longship
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Tom I am letting it go, that's why I didn't respond to the link.
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TomDavidson
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Excellent, then. [Smile]
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AI Wessex
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It's not real until you give it a name. Now we have deathers, ("Oh yeah, show me Osama's body!") to go along with birthers. Sounds like family sitcom where viewers are invited to vote on what they imagine Daddy really does when he leaves the house. Each week the winner and loser ideas are incorporated into the plot.

I am thinking about copyrighting the following, just to be ready when the time comes:

Sleepers: She is the reason Obama didn't write lots of papers at Harvard Law. Trust me, we *will* find her.

Fishers: The real story about collusion between Obama and BP in the gulf. Hint, he went to Tuscaloosa last week to check on his investments.

Smokers: Those weren't cigarettes Seth Meyer was referring to when he advised Obama to start smoking again.

Muggers: What Obama really was organizing in his "community action" days in Chicago. World Net Daily has already got the goods and is waiting for the right time.

Shirleys: Proof that Obama is plotting to institute Sharia law in the US. That's no jest.

[ May 04, 2011, 08:57 AM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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ken_in_sc
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Mohammad was ordered to 'recite' by a jinn. The jinn's name was Gabriel. Muslims believe the jinn was an angel. Gabriel dictated what Mohammad was to recite. Mohammad's reciting became the Koran. Salmon Rushdie wrote a satirical novel in which he implied that at least some of the dictating came from Satan. He was sentenced to death for it and has had to hide for years.
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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
If we are going to use any form of enhanced interogation we need to establish legal perameters. What I would propose is that there must be "clear and present danger" and a warrant from a judge. Further techniques must be limited to techniques that won't do permanent physical damage to the subject. A physician needs to be present for any phyisical technique. Evidence gathered may not be used in prosecution of either the subject nor anybody named by the subject.

Enhanced interrogation may not be used for any purpose other than information gathering under extreme circumstances, otherwise it would qualify as cruel or unusual punishment.

Personally as a Christian I am still uncomfortable with torture in the extreme but I am not one of those Christians who regards my interpretation of the Bible as the law of the land.

I like this concept, but I'll call it torture rather then "enhanced interrogation". I like the judge and doctor thing. I like the immunity from information gained.

One thing I would insist on. Torture needs to be done by professionals. Not the morons who seemed to be running things years ago. I think American military and civillian intellgence skill at interrogation, "enhanced" or otherwise, was woefully inadequate. After reading some of the idiot methods of torture supposedly used, listening to Barney, etc, I thought we should be outsourcing our interrogations to the KGB (FSB, whatever) or MI6.

Finally, somebody needs to be able to make a judgement call as to wether we are cutting off a toe to save a leg, or cutting off a leg to save a toe. The problem with that is that there are always going to be disagreement in the public as to cost/benefit. Some people think it was worth torture to get OBL, some people don't.

Honestly, I think torture opens a bag of worms that as a government the United States should just keep shut. I'm sure there are other ways to "enhanced interrogate" an individual that doesn't involve pain or fear. On a torture scale I think certain things are easier to handle then others. Sleep deprivation and isolation on one side of the spectrum, waterboarding and fried buffalo oysters on the other.

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JoshuaD
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I give President Obama credit for not releasing the photos.
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edgmatt
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I don't. I think it's a weak move. If he had taken that stance from the beginning, I'd have been more okay with it.

The waffling back and forth, and then saying he's not going to show it because he doesn't want repercussions makes him look weak and a bit scared.

If his reason is that he doesn't want the public to see such graphic photos, I don't buy that either. We have seen everything from the beheading of American citizens, photos of dead children in the streets, the aftermath of Hiroshima, to the killing of civilians in China, not to mention the shooting of JFK on live tv. We'll be okay if we see Bin Laden dead.

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AI Wessex
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"The waffling back and forth, and then saying he's not going to show it because he doesn't want repercussions makes him look weak and a bit scared."

The use of the pejorative "waffling" says a lot more about you than about him, namely that you don't give him credit for being thoughtful and deliberative. I think he demonstrated with his handling of the mission that he has been anything but a "waffler".

I don't really understand why Cons claim to have such insight into what he's thinking. He doesn't want to look weak or scared? Really? How do you figure releasing or not releasing them would do that?

The fact that you have seen worse elsewhere doesn't raise or lower the bar for this situation. I'm glad he didn't release them, because they are undoubtedly gruesome and it have served no useful purpose, period.

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Funean
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Had he been directly asked whether the pictures would be released? I'm asking because I've heard reports of everything from "no decision has been made" to "the White House has not yet released a statement on whether pictures will be made public," but no direct quote of same. I haven't been looking, so if there was a definitive non-definitive statement prior to now that answers my question. I just think it a mite unfair to accuse the administration of waffling if that's only based on the equivalent of the old press standby, "the subject of this report did not respond to inquiries."

That said, I don't think the pictures should be publicized. I don't think they need to be classified or anything that strong (besides, that's like a red flag to the Wikileakers of the world), but with a cost of looking like gloaters or corpse defilers, I don't personally need to see them. And, yes, I'm fully aware that some people will use that to fuel an extant belief that the whole thing is a hoax. Eh. <shrug>

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