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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 07/02/2008 :  17:35:49  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, it looks like we took our inspiration for torture from a source that knew the job well.

NY Times article. May require a login, its free though.

The military trainers who came to Guantánamo Bay in December 2002 based an entire interrogation class on a chart showing the effects of “coercive management techniques” for possible use on prisoners, including “sleep deprivation,” “prolonged constraint,” and “exposure.”

What the trainers did not say, and may not have known, was that their chart had been copied verbatim from a 1957 Air Force study of Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean War to obtain confessions, many of them false, from American prisoners.



I've found a copy of the original paper on the subject.

Here is the chart that was copied.



And here is the full paper. Not pleasant reading.
http://www.box.net/shared/ivg5dfhs8s


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth

Mycroft
Skeptic Friend

USA
427 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2008 :  21:03:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Mycroft a Private Message  Reply with Quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_fallacy
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2008 :  21:22:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Mycroft

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_fallacy
It would be if Dude were arguing that the only reason torture is bad is that the Chinese did it.

This news just makes it worse.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Mycroft
Skeptic Friend

USA
427 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2008 :  22:41:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Mycroft a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.
Originally posted by Mycroft
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_fallacy
It would be if Dude were arguing that the only reason torture is bad is that the Chinese did it.

This news just makes it worse.


I don't see any other argument Dude is making, and I don't see how the Chinese having done something makes it any better or worse than it would be otherwise.
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2008 :  02:47:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As I read it, torture is bad, and now USA is taking lessons from the masters of torture. The conclusion being that USA desires to be the new masters of torture.



Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2008 :  07:03:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Mycroft

I don't see any other argument Dude is making...
How about the title: We lose, because we have become "them"? It's not so much an argument as a commentary on the hypocrisy of the administration.
...and I don't see how the Chinese having done something makes it any better or worse than it would be otherwise.
You're right, it's not the Chinese that make it worse, it's that the techniques we're using today are exactly the same horrors those nasty ol' commies (enemies of the American way of life) used decades ago.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2008 :  21:50:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mycroft, when you adopt the behaviors of your enemies (especially the ones you openly criticize and prosecute as criminal), you have lost. You have become them.

My argument is not that torture is bad because the Chinese did it, my argument is simply that torture is bad.

Add in that we have imprisoned others for this behavior and our hypocrisy becomes that which defines us.

The fact a study on the horrors inflicted upon our troops has become the instruction manual for how we treat our prisoners should outrage you!


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Mycroft
Skeptic Friend

USA
427 Posts

Posted - 07/06/2008 :  01:02:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Mycroft a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dude
Mycroft, when you adopt the behaviors of your enemies (especially the ones you openly criticize and prosecute as criminal), you have lost. You have become them.


Logically, this makes no sense at all. Even if you start with the premise that there are some behaviors your enemy will employ that you wont, you still have lots of behaviors that are used by both you and the enemy. To say that one side has "lost" because its behavior matches the other is just nonsensical.

Originally posted by Dude
My argument is not that torture is bad because the Chinese did it, my argument is simply that torture is bad.


As a stand-alone statement that makes sense. We make lots of self-referencing moral statements, something is bad just because it is.

I would point out, however, that most of what's in that document doesn't rise to the level of "torture".

Originally posted by Dude
Add in that we have imprisoned others for this behavior and our hypocrisy becomes that which defines us.


Have we done this? When and where?

Originally posted by Dude
The fact a study on the horrors inflicted upon our troops has become the instruction manual for how we treat our prisoners should outrage you!


Why?

Let me quote from that file:

We found that the Chinese Communists used methods of coercing behavior from our men in their hands which Communists of other countries had employed for decades and which police and inquisitors had employed for centuries. The Chinese interrogators succeeded or failed to influence the behavior of their victims roughly to the extent that the skill and persistence of the personal they employed matched those of practitioners in other places and times.


So these are methods that have been used by police and interrogators for centuries? Once you understand that, you take away the emotive stigma of the evil commies having done it. We didn't invent this and neither did the Communists. Interrogation methods have evolved over the centuries because sometimes people have a need to interrogate people.

Should I be upset that someone was sleep-deprived as a part of an interrogation? I'm not. If the interrogator feels he needs to do that to get useful information, I'll let him make that decision.
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 07/06/2008 :  07:25:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mycroft said:
I would point out, however, that most of what's in that document doesn't rise to the level of "torture".

Argument from ignorance. Your casual dismisal has no bearing on these things being torture or not.

Logically, this makes no sense at all. Even if you start with the premise that there are some behaviors your enemy will employ that you wont, you still have lots of behaviors that are used by both you and the enemy. To say that one side has "lost" because its behavior matches the other is just nonsensical.

The nonsense is your reply. If you adopt a behavior that you have previously considered wrong, then you have indeed lost. Lost because you have changed your morality and become a hypocrit.

So these are methods that have been used by police and interrogators for centuries? Once you understand that, you take away the emotive stigma of the evil

So... in your mind its OK to do these things to other people... because its been done for centuries. Yeah, the Inquisition did it, so its OK for us to do it! I'm sure you can see the problem with your logic there.

Should I be upset that someone was sleep-deprived as a part of an interrogation? I'm not. If the interrogator feels he needs to do that to get useful information, I'll let him make that decision.

You have obviously never been sleep deprived. From personal experience, I think I'd rather be waterboarded (an obvious torture technique) than sleep deprived. Intentionally inflicting it on another person is torture.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 07/06/2008 :  08:21:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Mycroft

Logically, this makes no sense at all. Even if you start with the premise that there are some behaviors your enemy will employ that you wont, you still have lots of behaviors that are used by both you and the enemy. To say that one side has "lost" because its behavior matches the other is just nonsensical.
We're not talking about behavior like eating, breathing, riding bicycles, etc. We're talking about behaviors that one side had deemed immoral, and for many of its citizenry, is still immoral.
As a stand-alone statement that makes sense. We make lots of self-referencing moral statements, something is bad just because it is.
Where were you during our discussions of objective morality?
I would point out, however, that most of what's in that document doesn't rise to the level of "torture".
Just a judgement call without an objective definition of "torture" in sight.
Let me quote from that file:

We found that the Chinese Communists used methods of coercing behavior from our men in their hands which Communists of other countries had employed for decades and which police and inquisitors had employed for centuries. The Chinese interrogators succeeded or failed to influence the behavior of their victims roughly to the extent that the skill and persistence of the personal they employed matched those of practitioners in other places and times.

So these are methods that have been used by police and interrogators for centuries? Once you understand that, you take away the emotive stigma of the evil commies having done it.
Wow, that's the genetic fallacy.
We didn't invent this and neither did the Communists.
Nobody's saying so. The hypocrisy revolves around the source of a training document, not the source of torture itself.
Should I be upset that someone was sleep-deprived as a part of an interrogation? I'm not. If the interrogator feels he needs to do that to get useful information, I'll let him make that decision.
What if the interrogator feels the need to smash the testicles of the interrogatee's son with a hammer to get the interrogatee to talk? What if he feels the need to bury someone alive? Would you let the interrogator make these decisions?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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Mycroft
Skeptic Friend

USA
427 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2008 :  01:25:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Mycroft a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dude
Argument from ignorance. Your casual dismisal has no bearing on these things being torture or not.


It's hardly ignorance to actually look at the list and consider if the individual items actually constitute torture. Did you read it?

Is isolation torture? If so, our prisons are guilty of it. How about threats? Could anyone seriously argue that indulgences are torture?

The simple fact is not everything on that list is torture. Some are clearly not, others may or may not be depending on circumstances.

Originally posted by Dude
The nonsense is your reply. If you adopt a behavior that you have previously considered wrong, then you have indeed lost. Lost because you have changed your morality and become a hypocrit.


I don't think anyone ever claimed communism was wrong because communist Chinese tortured people. No, the claim is that communism is wrong because it's an inferior socio-economic model that makes individual needs and freedoms subservient to the needs of the state. That communists tortured to stay in power is secondary.

What you're doing here is you're trying to impose an arbitrary definition that serves no purpose except to help you make an emotive argument.

Originally posted by Dude
So... in your mind its OK to do these things to other people... because its been done for centuries. Yeah, the Inquisition did it, so its OK for us to do it! I'm sure you can see the problem with your logic there.


That's not at all what I said.

Originally posted by Dude
You have obviously never been sleep deprived. From personal experience, I think I'd rather be waterboarded (an obvious torture technique) than sleep deprived. Intentionally inflicting it on another person is torture.


Wouldn't that depend on circumstances? Making you stay up an hour past your bedtime might make you feel grumpy, but would hardly constitute torture. On the other hand, making you stand at attention for 48 hours under threat of death if you fall asleep most certainly would. Somewhere between those extremes a line could be drawn, but it's absurd to claim that any and all sleep deprivation is torture.


Originally posted by Dave W.
We're not talking about behavior like eating, breathing, riding bicycles, etc. We're talking about behaviors that one side had deemed immoral, and for many of its citizenry, is still immoral.


The claim was not that it's wrong in and of itself, but that it's wrong because because Chinese Communists did it. Remember?

Originally posted by Dave W.
Just a judgement call without an objective definition of "torture" in sight.


Fair enough. It seems we need an objective definition of “torture”. Since it's Dude that makes the assertion that these things are torture, would you agree that it's his responsibility to find one?

Originally posted by Dave W.
Wow, that's the genetic fallacy


Lol!

I'm not making the argument that these methods are acceptable because police and inquisitors have used them, I'm countering the argument that they ar
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2008 :  04:04:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Torture is as torture does. Would anyone here like to spend an extended period in isolation with too cold/warm tempertures? Would you like to try and sleep with New Age Rock crap blaring from a remote speaker for a week or two, or many, whilst getting buckets of ice water poured on you? Or be bound in an uncomfortable position for a long while? None of this leaves blood on the floor, but it is torture never the less, and just because it has been done for centuries by various authorities does not excuse it nor make it in any way moral.

I have an hypothsis that says that anyone who indulges in the torture of any sort to anything is quite likely a sort of sexual pervert who gets off on it.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2008 :  05:49:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Mycroft

The claim was not that it's wrong in and of itself, but that it's wrong because because Chinese Communists did it. Remember?
I remember that the claim is that it's hypocritical because the commies did it. It's wrong no matter who does it.
Fair enough. It seems we need an objective definition of “torture”. Since it's Dude that makes the assertion that these things are torture, would you agree that it's his responsibility to find one?
I see conflicting claims, since you obviously have something in mind about what torture is, yourself. As far as I'm concerned, you can both make a case and defend them.
I'm not making the argument that these methods are acceptable because police and inquisitors have used them, I'm countering the argument that they are unacceptable just because Chinese Communists have used them. There is a difference.
Nobody is making the claim that these methods are unacceptable just because the commies used them. That's a strawman on your part.
I'll take that as an acknowledgement that it was a genetic fallacy when Dude first did it. :)
Dude wasn't making the claim you think he was making, yet you clearly made the claim that these methods shouldn't have "the emotive stigma of the evil commies having done it" just because the commies didn't invent them. No genetic fallacy on Dude's part, but an obvious one on yours.
I'm not aware of anyone claiming we didn't do interrogations at least as harsh in our efforts to win the Cold War, but if you can find someone who makes that claim then I certainly will reconsider the claim of hypocrisy.
I'm not aware of anyone claiming that we did interrogations at least as harsh until 2002 or so, but the problem is that the U.S. has had a history of speaking out against China's human-rights record.
Is that a slippery slope fallacy? Are you claiming that allowing sleep deprivation will somehow lead to smashing testicles and burying people alive?
No, I was wondering where your prohibition against second-guessing the interrogators comes to an end. Your earlier statement was a broad and unqualified endorsement of allowing interrogators to do whatever they want so long as they think it's necessary to get useful information. Is there some line between sleep deprivation and entombment across which you think interrogators should never cross?

By the way, the examples come from John Yoo, former Deputy Assisant Attorney General from the Office of Legal Counsel, who wanted to know the motivation for testicle-smashing (is there a context in which it would be okay?!), and who wouldn't give a yes/no answer regarding burying people alive.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2008 :  09:02:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mycroft said:
The claim was not that it's wrong in and of itself, but that it's wrong because because Chinese Communists did it. Remember?

Who made that claim? You keep saying that I made it, but it has been clearly pointed out to you multiple times that I'm not making that claim.

Acknowledge your mistake and move on. Any further insistence by you that I am making the claim "its wrong because the Chinese did it" will be taken as an intentional insult and a deliberate use of the strawman fallacy.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2008 :  11:49:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Induced illness, semi-starvation, and explotation of wounds aren't torture? Are you kidding? Keep in mind that there is no rule of using only one at a time. If the items of this list aren't tourture, then what the hell is?

Edit: Upon rereading, mycroft said "most" isn't torture. Even if a single one is torture, that's too much. But I'd have to say at least 10% is definitely toruture, especially when you consider the possibility of using multiple treatments.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Edited by - Ricky on 07/07/2008 11:53:06
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Mycroft
Skeptic Friend

USA
427 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2008 :  21:18:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Mycroft a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dude
Who made that claim? You keep saying that I made it, but it has been clearly pointed out to you multiple times that I'm not making that claim.



Fair enough.

Your actual claim that we "lose" because we "become them" by using techniques that Chinese Communists used is nonsensical in that it imposes an arbitrary and meaningless definition of "lose" that seems to serve no purpose except to help make an emotive but illogical argument.

It also seems to confuse different enemies from different time periods. Unless you're arguing that we "lose" against Islamic extremists by becoming Communists Chinese?


Originally posted by Dave W.
I see conflicting claims, since you obviously have something in mind about what torture is, yourself. As far as I'm concerned, you can both make a case and defend them.


I didn't start the thread and I don't believe I need an alternate definition of “torture” to point out that “indulgences” won't qualify. For most of the rest of the items on the list, it really depends on what degree they are applied. One could claim that waking a detainee from an afternoon nap for an interrogation was “sleep deprivation”, but no reasonable person would call that torture.

Originally posted by Dave W.
I'm not aware of anyone claiming that we did interrogations at least as harsh until 2002 or so, but the problem is that the U.S. has had a history of speaking out against China's human-rights record.


Project MKULTRA? No?

Originally posted by Dave W.
No, I was wondering where your prohibition against second-guessing the interrogators comes to an end.


The world is full of tasks and jobs where I feel no specific need to micro-manage the doings of people who have put far more thought and training in than I ever will. If some military interrogator with decades of experience in extracting information believes keeping Khalid Shaikh Mohammed awake for a day or two is likely to produce life-saving information, then I'm okay with letting him do that. If you extrapolate that into an affirmation that genital mutilation or burying people alive is okay, well that better describes the workings your mind than it does mine.


Originally posted by Dave W.
Your earlier statement was a broad and unqualified endorsement of allowing interrogators to do whatever they want so long as they think it's necessary to get useful information.


No. It wasn't.

Originally posted by Dave W.
Is there some line [i]between sleep deprivation and entombment across which you think interrogators should never cross?


That's the issue, isn't it? The discussion should be about where the line is, not a knee-jerk condemnation of all interrogations.



Edited by - Mycroft on 07/07/2008 21:22:43
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