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Author Topic: Rational, informed and conservative.
cb
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quote:
Originally posted by hobsen:
Since Iraq is a large country, making sure no nuclear materials have been overlooked would be impossible. But Iraq had relatively few people with the technical training to take the lead in producing nuclear weapons. U.S. investigators after the invasion interviewed as many such people as they could find, and they said they had been working on Saddam's nuclear weapons program until he discontinued it. Then they found other jobs and scattered over the country. So as I understand, when investigators found the best people Saddam had to boss his nuclear weapons program had demonstrably been working on water purification or whatever for the last ten or twelve years, that made them believe his program had ended. I suppose he could have decided to fire everyone and start fresh, but no one can imagine why, nor do people who could run such a project seem to be missing.

The finding or not finding of WMD's after the invasion has always been a red herring used to slap Bush and Republicans in the face whenever possible. The fact is, (and it ultimately is the most salient fact) the decision to invade Iraq because of the evidence available at the time concerning WMD's had bipartisan support and encouragement.

Many liberals are on record weighing in on Sadam's historical use of and probable continued development of WMD's . Here are just a few quotes (there was another page and a half of similar quotes available but I just picked the best ones) from liberal and moderate politicians and statesmen.

"Whereas Iraq has consistently breached its cease-fire agreement between Iraq and the United States, entered into on March 3, 1991, by failing to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction program, and refusing to permit monitoring and verification by United Nations inspections; Whereas Iraq has developed weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological capabilities, and has made positive progress toward developing nuclear weapons capabilities" -- From a joint resolution submitted by Tom Harkin and Arlen Specter on July 18, 2002


"(Saddam) will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983" -- National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, Feb 18, 1998


"Iraq made commitments after the Gulf War to completely dismantle all weapons of mass destruction, and unfortunately, Iraq has not lived up to its agreement." -- Barbara Boxer, November 8, 2002


"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retained some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capability. Intelligence reports also indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons, but has not yet achieved nuclear capability." -- Robert Byrd, October 2002


"There's no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat... Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He's had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001... He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn't have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we." -- Wesley Clark on September 26, 2002


"What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad's regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs." -- Jacques Chirac, October 16, 2002


"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security." -- Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002


"I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons...I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out." -- Clinton's Secretary of Defense William Cohen in April of 2003


"Iraq is not the only nation in the world to possess weapons of mass destruction, but it is the only nation with a leader who has used them against his own people." -- Tom Daschle in 1998


"Saddam Hussein's regime represents a grave threat to America and our allies, including our vital ally, Israel. For more than two decades, Saddam Hussein has sought weapons of mass destruction through every available means. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal." -- John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002


"The debate over Iraq is not about politics. It is about national security. It should be clear that our national security requires Congress to send a clear message to Iraq and the world: America is united in its determination to eliminate forever the threat of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction." -- John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002


"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction." -- Bob Graham, December 2002


"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." -- Ted Kennedy, September 27, 2002


"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed." -- Ted Kennedy, Sept 27, 2002


"I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force - if necessary - to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." -- John F. Kerry, Oct 2002


"The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last 4 years we know after Operation Desert Fox failed to force him to reaccept them, that he has continued to build those weapons. He has had a free hand for 4 years to reconstitute these weapons, allowing the world, during the interval, to lose the focus we had on weapons of mass destruction and the issue of proliferation." -- John Kerry, October 9, 2002


"(W)e need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. We all know the litany of his offenses. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. ...And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War." -- John Kerry, Jan 23, 2003


"Over the years, Iraq has worked to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. During 1991 - 1994, despite Iraq's denials, U.N. inspectors discovered and dismantled a large network of nuclear facilities that Iraq was using to develop nuclear weapons. Various reports indicate that Iraq is still actively pursuing nuclear weapons capability. There is no reason to think otherwise. Beyond nuclear weapons, Iraq has actively pursued biological and chemical weapons…There can be no doubt that Iraq has continued to pursue its goal of obtaining weapons of mass destruction." -- Patty Murray, October 9, 2002


"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." -- Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998


"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. And that may happen sooner if he can obtain access to enriched uranium from foreign sources -- something that is not that difficult in the current world. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction." -- John Rockefeller, Oct 10, 2002


"Saddam’s existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose a very real threat to America, now. Saddam has used chemical weapons before, both against Iraq’s enemies and against his own people. He is working to develop delivery systems like missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that could bring these deadly weapons against U.S. forces and U.S. facilities in the Middle East." -- John Rockefeller, Oct 10, 2002


"Whether one agrees or disagrees with the Administration’s policy towards Iraq, I don’t think there can be any question about Saddam’s conduct. He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do. He lies and cheats; he snubs the mandate and authority of international weapons inspectors; and he games the system to keep buying time against enforcement of the just and legitimate demands of the United Nations, the Security Council, the United States and our allies. Those are simply the facts." -- Henry Waxman, Oct 10, 2002

I have always wondered at liberals and their convenient amnesia when it come to historic revisions. The fact that there was no WMD's does not detract from the fact that almost EVERYBODY! agreed that removing Sadam through invasion was the best answer to the evidence available that he had them and was continuing to develop them. Sadam was the one who refused to have inspectors come in and verify that, indeed he was sticking to UN guidelines. He brought about his own downfall.

All the above leaders saw it the same way, it wasn't just Bush.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
On to water boarding. Makes the person feel as if they are drowning when in fact they are not.



Yeah- they're actually just suffocating. So no water _in_ the lungs, but it'll kill you just the same if done long enough.

quote:
Gets potentially useful information that we have the option of acting on or not.
Gets tons of misinformation and no actually documented useful information. The closest we have to evidence is unverified claims from the people who were using it, whose primary motivation in saying so was to prove that they were justified in using it. There isn't any documentation that ties it to useful information (as opposed to the CIA and army recommended techniques, which got us Saddam Hussein and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) but it's gotten us lots of false leads, misinformation, and maybe a few expendable minor players. Just enough to lead investigators on and sell them on crap to waste their time.

quote:
It causes no physical harm. No one dies, no one is in danger of dying.
That's patently false. It's suffocation. It may not leave a visible mark, but that's a far cry from no harm, and it can kill you just as surly as any other method of depriving the lungs of air can. And if not kill you, it can at least cause brain damage from oxygen deprivation.

In counter to your general thrust- any use of force or intimidation, mental or physical, is both unethical and qualifies as torture. They all have the same effect- they will cause the subject to be less willing to surrender useful information and more willing to say anything else that will make their torturers think they have gotten useful information.

Effective interrogation can involve some unethical behavior (lying about things offered in exchange for information, for example) but only if you don't care about the quality of future information.

Trust is the most important element of getting useful information- once you have built that, you can get just about anything as long as you maintain it. That's what the people who actually have experience with effective interrogation say, rather than folks more willing to trust Hollywood than experienced professionals on the subject.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
Your statement implies that it is not OK to be for the government on somethings, against it on others.

My statement mainly implies that it's not OK to let your government torture darky foreigners.

And definitely I prefer the "inconsistency" of liberals who are okay with the government to take property, rather than the inconsistency of conservatives who are okay with the government torturing people.

quote:
As of right now, as far as I know, it's not considered torture.
It had always been considered torture until retroactively the Bush administration unconsidered it.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2007/dec/18/john-mccain/history-supports-mccains-stance-on-waterboarding/

After World War II, an international coalition convened to prosecute Japanese soldiers charged with torture. At the top of the list of techniques was water-based interrogation, known variously then as "water cure," "water torture" and "waterboarding," according to the charging documents.

--

I will make a note however that you oppose all the other methods you noted. What will you do when it starts getting revealed that Americans commited things in that list as well? Will you call for their punishment? Their imprisonment? Their execution?

Or will it all be okay, because they were just doing to defend American lives -- same as the Japanese executed after WWII were defending Japanese lives I guess.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
In the context of Al Queda combatants
What about the context of innocent taxi-drivers that have been tortured to death?
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
I was in a car accident when I was eighteen, the guy in front of me stopped very short and I hit him hard. To this day, I breath in sharply when someone in front of me stops suddenly. Was I tortured when I was in that accident?

I had a hernia operation a few years ago...I was put under anesthesia, cut with a knife, and had a piece of rubber attached to my abdomen and muscles. To this day I get a pain in that area if I stretch to far or lift something really heavy. It has an impact on my life years later. Was I tortured?

Are we going to define torture as anything that has any negative impact on one's life in any way?

Ok so now we cant water board, so the interrogator just calls him a big fat jerk because he won't answer the questions. Years later the guy is going for an interview for a job, and he has a panic attack because of the harsh treatment the interrogator gave him years before. This is torture?

In the context of Al Queda combatants; these guys are perfectly fine with their friends and family strapping bombs to themselves and blowing up random people, flying planes of innocent people into buildings filled with more people, beheading enemies, and spending their lives hate-filled and bitter...but put them under water, and that's what pushes them over they edge? Because of water boarding they get all messed up? A little hard to swallow...

This is a startlingly bad argument.

I don't know where to begin.

Let me just say that if your belief is that waterboarding is not that bad, and not seriously psychologically damaging, you should try to provide some evidence for this argument or just be content with the assertion.

What you should not do is invent weird straw men like comparing near car accidents and voluntary surgery to a situation in which suffering is deliberately induced for the purpose of breaking someone's will.

The comparison to shouting is better. At least you retained the essential elements of one party in power trying to exert it over another person for the same purpose. But I do not think that getting shouted at induces the same sort of panic and visceral terror. I think waterboarding is more akin to dangling someone over a precipice, although waterboarding is probably worse because it's not just about fear of death but about feeling like you are being killed.

That many of these people are willing to die or commit brutal acts for their cause is another bizarre and inappropriate comparison. That has nothing to do with the design of waterboarding: inducing mortal terror and suffering for the purpose of breaking someone's will. Sure, whatever induces them to join their cause may also be brutal. Heck, I can imagine brainwashing to try to produce shiny new terrorists that is just as bad as waterboarding. But that is irrelevant. That doesn't justify doing something similar, just because other bad things have happened.

Surely you can justify your belief that waterboarding isn't all that mean without resorting to these weird attempts to distract from the nature of what is happening.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
\Waterboarding saved lives. It was the only way to get the information. If there are effective ways besides waterboarding, why don't we use them on rapists and murderers to find out who their victims are and where they are buried? Why not use them on gang and mafia members to undo their organizations.



"Just tell us who your supplier is, and we'll let you off easy" or something to that effect, is a commonly used line that nets double catches all over the place on not only the tip, but the self incrimination. (Don't trust a cop who tries to bargain with you; make sure you've got a good lawyer making an enforcible deal, because otherwise you're falling prey to the most effective interrogation technique there is)

On the other hand, half the point of the witness protection program is to offer an essential exchange for the release of information. That's how effective interrogation works. You get them to trust you and then make bargains for the information. Like helping protect their friends and family. If you're just after one little bit, then you don't even have to follow through. (The interrogator who got Saddam Hussein's location promised extensive protections for the friends and family of the prison who gave him up. He said afterwards that he'd given the information to the army, but seriously doubted that they followed up on it, because it wasn't worth the effort now that they'd gotten what they needed.

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edgmatt
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I am trying to determine your definition of torture. It seems to be, as I have said, anything that has any negative impact on one's life in any way. Please clarify so I can be sure.

quote:
Let me just say that if your belief is that waterboarding is not that bad, and not seriously psychologically damaging, you should try to provide some evidence for this argument or just be content with the assertion.

It is your assertion that it is "bad". Please provide some evidence for this argument. As stated above, it is going to come down to what your definition of "bad" is. Is "bad" defined as having any negative impact on one's life?

I agree that being in a car accident and being water boarded is not the same thing. There are similarities, but enough differences that you cannot consider them as comparable. So we agree that there is a line, on one side is mental stress and trauma from a car accident, on the other is mental stress and trauma from water boarding.

It is my assertion that there is also a line between torture and water boarding. The psychological impact of water boarding is not comparable to that of ( what I consider ) torture.

quote:
But I do not think that getting shouted at induces the same sort of panic and visceral terror.
Nor do I, that was the thrust of my argument.

quote:
EDGMATT: As of right now, as far as I know, it's not considered torture.

ARIS: It had always been considered torture until retroactively the Bush administration unconsidered it.

So what is wrong with my statement?

quote:
I will make a note however that you oppose all the other methods you noted. What will you do when it starts getting revealed that Americans commited things in that list as well? Will you call for their punishment? Their imprisonment? Their execution?
You noted that I oppose all other methods of torture....but then ignored your own note taking when asking me those questions.
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BobDylanThomas
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quote:
"Just tell us who your supplier is, and we'll let you off easy" or something to that effect, is a commonly used line that nets double catches all over the place on not only the tip, but the self incrimination. (Don't trust a cop who tries to bargain with you; make sure you've got a good lawyer making an enforcible deal, because otherwise you're falling prey to the most effective interrogation technique there is)

It worked for Bello and Bradley when they testified agaist Rubin "Hurricane" Carter.

My dad was a narcotics officer for years and I agree that you don't ever want to trust a cop, or the DA or the Judge for that matter unless you have something in writing that your lawyer signs off on, but most of the time they will catch and release a small fish to get to a bigger fish and they will continue to trade up as far as they can. They will give "dealers" immunity and they absolutely will let a cooperative 'user' skate. Terrorists are probably a different matter.

Did y'all know that you have to lie in court after you make a deal with the DA? We all went in front of the judge I pleaded "no contest" and then the judge asked me if anybody had offered me a deal to make that plea? Fifteen minutes before that we had just gotten a guarantee of probation if I pled out from the DA and five minutes before that the judge had agreed to the deal. I hesitated, I was only a kid, and said "No, sir?". The judge said fine; "Very good. Probation and $20,k in fines and hospital costs for the "victims". Next case!" I don't know what they would have done if I'd messed up and said 'Yes, sir, you honor. Remember we just discussed it at length a few minutes ago? [Smile] God I hated giving them that money. (The first one was my fault, but the second was theirs but I couldn't fight it with one felony for the same thing on my record. Plus, they were offering me probation again. I don't imagine they offer probation for your second aggravated assault charge very often so I pled, again.)

KE

[ November 12, 2009, 12:49 PM: Message edited by: BobDylanThomas ]

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DonaldD
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quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
Your talking about psychological damage. That is separate from physical damage. I haven't heard of any serious psychological damage occurring from water boarding.

For you to believe this requires that you either believe the brain is not a physical component of the body, that damage to the brain cannot be effected by any means short of direct physical manipulation, or that a person's psychology is not even partly determined by the physical condition of the brain (rather by the condition of the aiwa, ka or spirit?)

Even ignoring the effects of oxygen deprivation(which I assume even you must admit as a danger) the brain can be damaged from environmental stimulous as well. As just one example, PTSD exists, and it has nothing to do with having been directly impacted by bullets or shrapnel.

Once you admit that the brain is a physical organ, that it can be damaged through non-direct manipulation, and that psychological 'damage' is based on the physical condition of the brain, then you are just quibbling over matters of degree. That you are not aware of the extent of such examples means only that you are not aware of such examples. But such damage is one of the primary, desired effects of repeated waterboarding.

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BobDylanThomas
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<two cents> The damage caused to the brain from intense negative emotions like war and waterboarding has been well documented. </two cents>

KE

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velcro
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Seagull wrote
quote:
I am sure there are many other reasons that I have yet to think of why it may be OK, but I get tired of speculating. I'd love to hear why you think it is OK to claim that there was no classified evidence directly from you - Velcro.
I'm sorry, I 'm afraid I don't understand what you are asking.

Are you asking why I claim that there was no classified evidence? The answer is that Porter Goss and a congressional committee researched all the relevant evidence and found none. I'm really at a loss to see how this is not conclusive.

Let me try asking the question again. Cheney said that evidence existed. He justified war based on the existence of that evidence. The claim that evidence existed was proven to be false. As a conservative, do you feel that this is acceptable behavior on the part of the VP? I am not asking you to speculate on reasons why it might be OK. (where did you get that from?) I am asking you if you think it is OK, and if so, why.

Also for clarification: You said
quote:
If winning arguments is more important to you than understanding how the "other side" sees things then it is OK.

If you refuse to accept the possibility that the "facts" you rely on are considered irrelevant (or even unfounded) by others who do not share your ideology, then it is OK.

If following your ideology is more important to you than understanding why rational and informed people may disagree with it, then it is OK.

I'm not clear on what you mean by "you" here, and who thinks what is OK. I do not think it is OK for Cheney to lie, so my inference is that I don't think winning arguments is more important, following my ideology is notmore important, etc. Is that what you meant to say?

Please clarify.

Talltwin,

I hear what you are saying. In my opinion, if something is OK in a hotel room in Arlington, but it was done in the Oval Office instead, it does not merit completely disrupting the operation of our country by removing the President from office. Even the impeachment process, spending millions of dollars and thousands of hours of Congress's time, is far in excess of the actual crime. No damage was done to anyone, except the perception that the President can lie about a personal matter without a legal penalty. Compare to Iran-Contra, lying about justifications for war, political motivations for firing U.S. Attorneys, illegal wiretaps, torture, exposing CIA operatives, etc. Yes, it was slimy. Censure him strongly, file yet another civil suit, and be done with it so the country can move on.

TRYING to lurk.

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edgmatt
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quote:
Once you admit that the brain is a physical organ
Admit? I never denied it. You didn't mention oxygen deprivation last post, so I assumed you were talking about psychological damage. Honest mistake.

It's not quibbling over matters of degree, that's the whole argument. As scifi pointed out, there is a difference between the mental stress of a car accident, for example, and water boarding. There is a difference in the degree of damage done from water boarding than from being struck in the head with a hammer repeatedly.

The line between torture and harassment is a matter of degree. I am trying to determine if it is considered torture to inflict any sort of damage, physical or psychological, at all. If not, where is the line? If there is a line, on which side does water boarding fall?

Getting nervous in a rainstorm years later is not the same psychological damage as being unable to drink water for the rest of your life. I don't consider the former to be serious psychological damage. Again, there is a line. It is my assertion that water boarding does not seriously damage the person physically or psychologically. It doesn't cross that line.

Is there potential for death? Ok. That I'll admit. I don't think that is a strong enough argument against water boarding.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Let's also "admit" while we're on the topic that discussions of what is/isn't torture are inherently arbitrary.

Some people are comfortable with waterboarding; some aren't. Some of us are comfortable with the idea that some people are comfortable with waterboarding; some aren't.

But what the hey. It's a free country. (insert facetious lecturing Marine tone): So long as guys like edgmatt appreciate the freedom we provide for them to feel that waterboarding is OK, and show us Discomfort War vets respect, that's the best we can do, I suppose.

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Pyrtolin
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Dug these out of another thread since we're basically rehashing the same ground all over again:

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/08/hitchens200808

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-04-20/torture-doesnt-work/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/28/AR2008112802242.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/05/AR2007100502492.html

http://www.scribd.com/doc/6222229/Senate-Testimony-Col-Steven-M-Kleinman

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB122/CIA%20Human%20Res%20Exploit%20A1-G11.pdf

From page 5:
quote:

The interregator must _never_ take advantage of the source's weaknesses to the extent that the interrogation involves threats, insults, torture or exposure to unpleasant or inhumane treatment of any kind. Experience indicates that force is not necessary to gain cooperation of sources. Use of force is poor technique, yeilds unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the subject to say what he thinks the interrogator wants to hear.

http://humanintel.blogspot.com/

[ November 12, 2009, 02:06 PM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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Wayward Son
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quote:
The finding or not finding of WMD's after the invasion has always been a red herring used to slap Bush and Republicans in the face whenever possible.
Which probably explains why, cb, some conservatives irrationally hold on to the unsubstantiated notion that the WMDs actually, really did exist. [Smile]
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DonaldD
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Well, for the moment I don't particularly care about the definition of what is and is not torture, but you (edgmatt) made the following claim (about waterboarding) on the previous page: "It causes no physical harm". This is categorically, demonstrably false, even ignoring oxygen deprivation, and is what I was addressing in my previous posts. The reason I jumped on it is because it is a meme that runs rampant in waterboard apologists' arguments. And as I explained in my previous post, this harm is not limited to the damage caused by oxygen deprivation.
quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt
Getting nervous in a rainstorm years later is not the same psychological damage as being unable to drink water for the rest of your life.

OK, this just tells me you are unfamiliar with PTSD and panic attacks. Absent any psychological damage, very few forms of torture cause physical damage as debillitating as panic attacks can be years later.

Additionally, why are you comparing the effects of waterboarding years later to the effects of not being able drink water years later? It's a ridiculous comparison. You could as easily have compared red hot needles under the finger nails, or genital electrocution, or flaying someone's skin to the inability to drink water years later. Guess what: barring death, those methods don't have as severe long-term effects, either. Does that make those methods more or less acceptable? It's a non sequitur.

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Talltwin
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Velcro, I appreciate your trying to lurk, and I apologize for continuing to draw you in. I think the distinction I am making is that while the affair with Monica Lewinsky was a personal matter, it became part of an official matter when a previous "conquest" sued him in court. Had this been a one time occurrance, then let the affair go. But, this was much more complicated than that, and a citizen's right to address the person she felt had wronged her, and her right to find out information that would support her case supports the supposition that "no one is above the law". President Clinton was not impeached for having a relationship with Monica Lewinski, it was for his behavior after the fact when he was trying to "protect" his family. I am sorry to say, but his feeling about his family will have to come in second place to the legal rights of his accuser. Remember, he put himself in this position, no one else did.

I will let you go back to lurking, but I hope that I have laid out a logical, reasonable case for why the impeachment process was correct. In the end, he was NOT removed from office, as the members of the Congress did not feel his actions arose to the level needing that level of sanction.

talltwin

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kenmeer livermaile
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Sadly, while I agree with many that the reps behaved as an opportunistic pack of dogs re: the Lewinsky thing, Clinton ****ed up, didn't fess up, and so earned his impeachment.

Why the Dems didn't dogpile Dubya over the Iraq causus belli once Abu Ghraib hit, I'll probably never know, but I will venture as first hypothesis some form of spinelessness.

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seagull
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Velcro:
quote:
I am not asking you to speculate on reasons why it might be OK.
Sorry Velcro,
I thought you were asking if your rephrasing of the question was OK and I was trying to answer that question with my speculations about why you think it is rational to think that "no [classified] evidence existed". I did not realize that you were asking if what Cheney did was Ok. Looking back at the quote I can see that it could be interpreted either way so please ignore the speculation portion of my response, it was based on a misunderstanding that you have now clarified.

Thank you for clarifying why you think it is OK to claim that there was no classified evidence.

Velcro:
quote:
Porter Goss and a congressional committee researched all the relevant evidence and found none. I'm really at a loss to see how this is not conclusive.
I am still perplexed by your reasoning. I was not aware that Porter Goss and a congressional committee were omniscient and I fail to see how they could have access to "all the relevant evidence" especially if some of it was "double-super-classified".

I believe that I have already addressed your question about whether I "think it is OK for Cheney to lie":

seagull:
quote:
I also expect governments (from either party) to publish misleading information if/when doing so is in the best interest of the nation.

I think that questions like "why did he lie to us" are either naive or disingenuous. When the government lies in public Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Assad and/or anyone else who may now be in control of parts of Saddam's arsenal are part of the audience. Telling the (whole) truth in public would be stupid (regardless of which party controls the government) and I hope and pray that our leaders (from either side) will not be that stupid. If someone is foolish enough to take these statements at face value that is not the fault of the politicians who make those statements.

So just to be clear:

Do I think it is OK to lie? No.
Do I expect politicians to do it anyway? Yes.

Do I think there are valid justifications for lying in some cases? I'd have to examine that question on a case by case basis. When I do not have all the facts, I prefer not to pass judgment.

[ November 12, 2009, 03:53 PM: Message edited by: seagull ]

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Is there potential for death? Ok. That I'll admit. I don't think that is a strong enough argument against water boarding.
Many forms of torture are non-lethal. One of the favorite tricks the communists used to torture prisoners, they used this on a lot of Orthodox clergy, was to chain them to naked to rocks in the summer and let the mosquitos at them.
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Wayward Son
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There's a risk of death there, too, Viking. Ever heard of encephalitis? [Wink]
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DonaldD
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also, exsanguination (veeeery hungry mosquitoes)
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velcro
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Seagull,

Cheney made the claim that there was classified evidence to support his position. Congress asked the CIA to provide ALL the relevant data. They read ALL the data that the CIA provided. The evidence Cheney mentioned was not there. Either 1) Cheney lied or 2) the US intelligence community provided classified information to Cheney, but refused to provide it to Congress. Since some members of Congress have the right to see all classified information, Cheney could have shown it to them. He did not. Can you speculate on why that might be? Or can you accept the much simpler, obvious explanation, that he lied about it?

And you just lost the attempt at rationality. Here's your justification for politicians lies:
quote:
When the government lies in public Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Assad and/or anyone else who may now be in control of parts of Saddam's arsenal are part of the audience.
Tell me, please, how making up false justification for war hurts our enemies? They know the truth, so they are not the audience. He didn't lie about troop movements, he didn't lie about what we knew or didn't know to mislead the enemy. He pretended to have evidence, said "Trust me, I saw the evidence", but there was none, and he never produced it, never showed anyone else, never tried to get it declassified, or showed any redacted information that would corroborate his statement without revealing damaging facts.

And if you think making up justification for war is OK if our leaders "know" that war is justified even without evidence, then you must realize that you have handed our leaders unlimited power with no accountability.

So take a stand. I gave you a specific case. You have the facts. Will you admit that Cheney lied to justify the war?

Still looking for the rare species.

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velcro
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Congressional Testimony

quote:
Thank you, again, for promptly responding to the Committee's request for all intelligence information related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) capabilities, as well as any ties to terrorist organizations, including al Qa'ida. The Committee has reviewed all 9 volumes of material that you provided, Additionally, it has held several closed hearings and an open hearing, conducted a number of interviews, made several oversight trips to Iraq, and reviewed additional materials over the last
four months.

In October 2002, the NIE on Iraq's WMD programs made a statement about Iraq's nuclear program, ``..... in the view of most agencies, Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program.''

There follows info from the NIE that Congress had already seen. Cheney said there was more, but it was classified.

quote:

Our examination has identified the relatively fragile nature of this information.


We have not found any information in the assessments that are still classified that was any more definitive.

They read it all, there was nothing more definitive, in contradiction to what Cheney promised.
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cherrypoptart
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http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/10/world/kidnapping-has-germans-debating-police-torture.html

Kidnapping Has Germans Debating Police Torture
By RICHARD BERNSTEIN
Published: Thursday, April 10, 2003

The two most important facts of the case were readily accepted today by the prosecution and the defense as the trial of a 27-year-old law student named Magnus Gäfgen opened in a standing-room-only courtroom here.

The first fact is this: on Sept. 27, Mr. Gäfgen kidnapped Jakob von Metzler, the 11-year-old son of a prominent banker, and murdered him by wrapping his mouth and nose in duct tape.

Four days later, Mr. Gäfgen was arrested after the police watched him picking up the ransom, but after hours of interrogation he was still refusing to disclose where Jakob was being kept.

That is what produced the second undisputed fact: imagining that Jakob's life might be in imminent danger, the deputy police chief of Frankfurt, Wolfgang Daschner, ordered subordinates to extract the necessary information from Mr. Gäfgen by threatening to torture him.

Mr. Gäfgen was told, his lawyer later said, that ''a specialist'' was being flown to Frankfurt by helicopter and that he would ''inflict pain on me of the sort I had never before experienced.''

A few minutes after being threatened, Mr. Gäfgen told the police where Jakob was -- at a lake in a rural area near Frankfut -- but when officers arrived there they discovered that Jakob, his body wrapped in plastic, was already dead.

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

There you go. Not physical torture, but even the threat of torture got the cowardly perp to admit where the body was.

I'm sure he was completely innocent though. Just a lucky guess. Maybe the threat of torture inspires pyschic power.

But let me understand this. So if a perp picks up the ransom money and then refuses to tell where the child he kidnapped is, the police, after failing to persuade him and unable to locate the victim, have to just wait and let the child die alone of thirst?

Maybe never even find the body and never successfully prosecute the kidnapper, setting him free to try, try again?

Okay. That's fine I guess. As long as we have that clear.

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seagull
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quote:
Either 1) Cheney lied or 2) the US intelligence community provided classified information to Cheney, but refused to provide it to Congress.
Either or? It could have been both or neither.
Don't expect to with with a straw man.
I thought you were looking for rational discussion.

quote:
Can you speculate on why that might be?
Velcro, you already came up with one obvious speculation that would qualify.
In the same post you:
a. Made fun of it by discounting it as an excuse.
b. Retracted your own irrational argument because you did not want to sound pattronizing.

quote:
can you accept the much simpler, obvious explanation, that he lied about it?
I have already accepted it as a possibility. Can you accept that people on the "other side" may not agree with you on what is "obvious"? Can you accept that people who think that there are valid excuses for lying can still be rational and informed? Or do you think that lying to us about the reasons for starting (and stoping) a war is only OK when non-conservatives like Bill Clinton do it?

I don't mean to imply that the only two options are either:
1. Accepting that there are valid excuses for lying or
2. Thinking that lying about war is only OK when non-consevatives do it.
I am much more interested in understanding where you stand and how you reconcile your own positions on these two matters.

quote:
you just lost the attempt at rationality
Interesting phrasing for someone who claimed not to be interested in winning.

If you want to pretend to be rational, you need to come up with better arguments than the straw men in your last post.

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seagull
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quote:
you must realize that you have handed our leaders unlimited power with no accountability
Many Americans do that every time they walk into a voting booth. What is your point?

Some of us console ourselves that the power handed over by voting is limited to the term of office. Personally. I do not find much comfort in that illusion. One of the reasons I did not vote in 2000 was that I could not stomach voting for either Bush or Kerry. It was not ME that "handed our leaders unlimited power".

I think that our leaders have power regardless of whether I choose to vote for them or not. I have doubts that anyone who thinks otherwise is either rational or informed. But that is a topic for another thread.

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seagull
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Thanks Cherry. Great post.
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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Well it doesn't have to be all or nothing. My response would be "Liberals sure hate big government, except when it comes to stealing someone else's money, giving it out as they see fit, and calling it a program - they trust it very much then."

I have stated this before in different threads, but it seems to be needed here as well. Conservatives want the government to be very powerful in the things they do, but very limited in what things they are allowed to do. I certainly want the government to be as powerful as possible when it comes to defending me. I do not want the government to be able to tell me when and where I can eat for example.

The government telling you where you can eat is what a health inspector does. That's supposed to defend you. Food poisoning put me in the hospital once, it's really no fun.

Liberal Conservatives, AKA mainstream Republicans, want a big government to do some things, Liberal Progressives want a big government to do others.

Personally I'd take a smaller government at the price of having to be more vigilliant in regards to my own defense, but I have to say I do appreciate the health inspector.

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velcro
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Seagull,

You never answered the question. You dance around, and pretend you answered it, and attribute opinions to me that I never stated (non-conservatives can start wars). The facts are perfectly clear.

1)Cheney said there was classified evidence
2a)Trusted people checked ALL the evidence and found none
2b)Cheney was capable of showing the alleged evidence to certain people, but never did.
3)Cheney lied

Either attack the logic, attack the facts, or agree with the conclusion. The closest you have done is weakly question premise 2a.

Join the ranks of Daruma, KenBean, Warsaw, and Redskull. You win. Given ironclad facts and reasoning, you refuse to acknowledge that an idea you had may be wrong.


And if you believe that voting for someone gives them unlimited power, with no accountability, you may want to read something called the Constitution. Only when we regularly allow our leaders to violate the Constitution, by lying to Congress, or illegal wiretaps, or manipulating intelligence, do we give them unlimited power.

Jeebus Charisma!

quote:
Can you accept that people on the "other side" may not agree with you on what is "obvious"?
You believe that 2+2=4, that is obvious. Can you accept that people on the "other side" may not agree with you on what is "obvious"? Well, if you believe that there is such think as objective truth, then the answer should be "no". If you don't believe that there is such thing as objective truth, then there is no purpose in discussing anything.
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seagull
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quote:
The closest you have done is weakly question premise 2a.
I do not trust any of the people you refer to in 2a. That is not a weak question, without that the rest of your argument collapses. Furthermore, I submit that even if 2b is true, 3 does not necessarily follow.

But I am tired of this. I really do not care much about whether Cheney lied or not. What I cared about was figuring out whether your arguments are rational, I think I have the answer to that now.

quote:
you refuse to acknowledge that an idea you had may be wrong.
ROFL
Take a look in the mirror sometimes. [Smile]

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seagull
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quote:
You believe that 2+2=4, that is obvious.
2+2=4 is not an "Objective truth".

Velcro, if you can not accept that other people may not agree with you on "what is obvious" - I feel sorry for you. There is so much to learn from people with a different perspective of the truth. So much that you are missing by saying that "there is no purpose in discussing anything".

At the same time, if this thread is an indication of your best attempts at a rational argument, I will agree with you that there is no point in discussing this topic any further.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Lads, we can't prove a negative. Unless we can absolutely corral all the sources of information that Cheney could have access to, and examine them personally, we cannot say with certainty that Cheney lied unless someone with greater information access can produce evidence plainly showing where Cheney said 'This is my evidence' and that evidence is undeniably inconclusive. Further, to satisfy extreme rigor, we would have to have shown that Cheney was allowed to reexamine this evidence and given a chance to retract, but declined.

I believe that is what it would take, velcro, to convince seagull that it is certain that Cheney lied. I believe that is what he meant by 'rational discussion'.

That said, while we can't prove that negative, there are heaping steaming gobs of positive evidence strongly suggesting Cheney lied. It is, in fact, the absence of conclusive evidence yea or nay that so strongly condemns him in the minds of so many including myself.

A summary of that pile of positive evidence is this: none of the evidence presented conclusively supports Cheney, gobs of fails to support him, and virtually no one in the circles of power is wiloing to stand up for him, not even his former boss.

Leaving aside rational evidence in the strictest sense, in which measurable evidence must perfectly match a theory for that theory to become truth, I think it's true that the preponderance, indeed, the overwhelming preponderance, of evidence supports the idea that Cheney is a rat-****ing liar. Well, at least a rat-****er. [Wink]

[ November 13, 2009, 04:44 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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PSRT
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Well, kenmeer, the argument I would advance is that rationality does not require us to prove a negative before making an assertion. It requires that no contrary evidence be present, and supporting evidence to be present and accessible to multiple parties. Rationality also requires us to acknowledge that the negative has not been proven, so the assertion could be overturned.

What is not rational is believing something without supporting evidence and in the face of contradictory evidence.

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seagull
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OOPS,

When I said "there is no point in discussing this topic any further", I meant with Velcro.

I really enjoyed the informative posts (from both sides) on this thread and I do appreciate the rational arguments (Wayward, KE and others).

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Wayward Son
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I think kenmeer is on to something here.

While it's true that we cannot absolutely prove that Cheney lied, we do have some good reasons to believe that he did--lack of corroboration of his story, either through written documents, through testimony of those who would be privvy to such documents, or even specific reference to those documents. One would expect such things if he spoke truthfully.

So why, seagull, do you believe Cheney did not lie? What events occurred that make you believe he spoke truthfully?

Saying he may not have lie is not enough. We have good reasons to believe he lied.

What are your good reasons to believe he was truthful?

You may have covered these earlier, but the thread is getting a bit long, and I think a quick summary would be useful for clarifying this point.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"Well, kenmeer, the argument I would advance is that rationality does not require us to prove a negative before making an assertion. It requires that no contrary evidence be present, and supporting evidence to be present and accessible to multiple parties. Rationality also requires us to acknowledge that the negative has not been proven, so the assertion could be overturned.

What is not rational is believing something without supporting evidence and in the face of contradictory evidence."

I agree.

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seagull
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quote:
I believe that is what he meant by 'rational discussion'.
I couldn't have said it better myself.

quote:
while we can't prove that negative, there are heaping steaming gobs of positive evidence strongly suggesting Cheney did [lie].
Why bother with all the heaping steaming (and cursing). You don't need all that to convince me that he lied.

1. Politicians lie.
2. Cheney is a politiciam
3. From 1 and 2 we can conclude that Cheney lied.

This rational argument is enough to convince me that Cheney lied but I find it rather trivial.
I also think it is irrelevant to the question of whether I should think of myself as a conservative.

Here is a much more interesting argument:

A. Politicians lie.
B. Cast iron sinks.
C. From A and B we can conclude that "Politicians lie in cast iron sinks"

I accept the validity of both A and B.
I have some trouble in accepting C but I do find it fascinating and I'll try to keep an open mind on the subject.

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Wayward Son
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Sounds more like the proof that a Ham Sandwich is better than Eternal Happiness.

A. A Ham Sandwich is better than nothing.
B. Nothing is better than Eternal Happiness.
C. Therefore, a Ham Sandwich is better than Eternal Happiness.

Even logic has it's limitations. [Smile]

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Quinnalus
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quote:
Originally posted by kenmeer livermaile:
(insert facetious lecturing Marine tone): So long as guys like edgmatt appreciate the freedom we provide for them to feel that waterboarding is OK, and show us Discomfort War vets respect, that's the best we can do, I suppose.

I tried KL... Honest, I tried...

But no matter what I do... I always here your posts in the voice of Donald Sutherland's character in Kelly's Heroes -- Oddball

[ November 13, 2009, 07:43 PM: Message edited by: Quinnalus ]

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